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The State of Every NHL Team's Salary Cap - Dog Days of Summer Edition

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"Moves Required Before Season Starts to Get Under Cap"

Edmonton Oilers:

Highest Contract: C. McDavid - F - $12.5M/yr

With 11 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, the Oilers are $6.03M above the top of the salary cap.

It seems that O. Klefbom - D & M. Smith - G are both "expected" to go on LTIR for the upcoming season, allowing Edmonton to go over the upper salary cap limit by $6,367,000M.

The GM also still has to re-sign RFA R. McLeod - F and probably add another forward to the squad, something he can't do with only $334k to work with. That means someone has to go and it seems that J. Puljujarvi - F ($3M) and W. Foegele - F ($2.75M) are the most mentioned.

It was pointed out to me by an Oiler fan that moving a winger doesn't make as much sense as shipping defenseman T. Barrie out. Barrie's $4.5M salary would definitely give Edmonton the space they need to re-sign McLeod, as well as add another forward & defenseman with about $4.8M to do so.

Edmonton will move into the LTIR category once they make the moves to field enough forwards.

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Florida Panthers:

Highest Contract: A. Barkov - F & S. Bobrovsky - G - $10M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Panthers $3.376M above the cap.

Florida has re-signed all their RFAs, but do have a pair of veteran players on PTOs (E. Staal - F & A. Hammond - G).

News is that forward A. Duclair will miss the start of the season, allowing the Panthers the ability to go $3M over the cap's top limit.

For the time being, Florida only needs to shed $376k (+ cost of replacement forward) before the regular season starts, but they will need to do more once everyone is healthy.

The GM has some work to do before Duclair returns, since he will need to move out a minimum of $4.126M (using replacement player with $750k salary) to become cap compliant. That leaves 8 possible players to trade and some of them are very unlikely to be moved (Barkov, Tkachuk, Ekblad, & Bobrovsky). The remaining 4 players are all forwards - S. Reinhart ($6.5M), P. Hornqvist ($5.3M), S. Bennett ($4.425M), and C. Verhaeghe ($4.167M). Seems the most desireable for a Panther fan would be Hornqvist, who has a no trade clause (8 team no trade list).

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Toronto Maple Leafs:

Highest Contract: A. Matthews - F - $11.64M/yr

With 14 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Leafs $1.493M over the cap's limit.

The Leafs can send one of the extra forwards down to the AHL and save between 750-900k, but that still leaves them slightly over the cap and needing dollars to sign RFA R. Sandin - D. That will likely require somewhere in the $1.25-1.4M range on a one year deal, therefore Toronto needs to find a way to free up $1.85 to $2.2M in cap space.

Based on comments from Leaf fans, the most mentioned possibilities include players like J. Holl - D ($2M) & A. Kerfoot - F (3.5M). Unfortunately Holl won't make enough space by himself, since that would leave the TML with only 6 defensemen once Sandin was signed. Replacing him with a NHL minimum contract would only free up $1.25M and still leave them over the cap.

Kerfoot would work out well, since they would still have 13 forwards on the roster and it would give them approximately $600,000k in cap space once Sandin was signed.

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"Need to Make a Move During Season to Become Cap Compliant"

Boston Bruins:

Highest Contract: C. McAvoy - D - $9.5M/yr

With 14 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Bruins $2,241,667 over the salary cap.

Since both B. Marchand - F ($6.125M) and C. McAvoy - D ($9.5M) are going to miss the start of the season due to injuries, Boston doesn't need to make any moves to become cap compliant at this point. When both are ready to return, the Bruins can either risk losing players like C. Wagner - F ($1.35M) and C. Clifton - D ($1M) by sending them to the AHL to get under the cap OR look to move a player out via trade (Forbort/Grzelcyk/Reilly/Foligno).

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Carolina Hurricanes:

Highest Contract: S. Aho - F - $8.46M/yr

With 12 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Canes are currently $1.18M over the salary cap ceiling.

However, with the recent news of M. Pacioretty - F ($7M) going on LTIR until February, Carolina looks like they will need to add two forwards to the roster. Perhaps those players could come from their AHL affiliate (Chicago Wolves), who are coming off a Calder Cup championship.

The team currently has too many defenseman on the roster as well, since J. Gardiner is still on LTIR but from the sounds of it will be ready to play this season. So they can shed some salary with a demotion, but will still need to move out a bit more money to get under the cap when Pacioretty is ready to play.

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Montreal Canadiens:

Highest Contract: C. Price - G - $10.5M/yr

With 14 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, the Canadiens are $248,334 below the cap.

It sounds like forward P. Byron will start the season on LTIR, but will likely come back at some point. Regardless, that gives the Habs an extra $3.4M in space to play with.

Montreal's GM off-season isn't done yet, as he has a couple of RFAs to re-sign in K. Dach - F and C. Primeau - G. The word on the street is that Dach's next contract will likely be around $3M, that means the Habs need to create some more cap space when Byron is ready to return.

With Dach/Byron on the squad, the Canadiens would have 15 forwards and therefore could send a couple down to the minors. That would free up $1.6 to $2M more space, but that still won't be enough to have a $3M Dach and sign/promote a 7th defenseman.

The biggest question surrounds the health of goalie Price. Sounds like he expected to be back this year, but has also had set-backs in his recovery. If he goes to LTIR, then all the Habs salary cap worries go away. However, if he is ready to go at the start of the year (or at some point during the regular season), then the GM will have to make some moves to become cap compliant.

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Tampa Bay Lightning:

Highest Contract: N. Kucherov - F, B. Point - F, & A. Vasilevskiy - G - $9.5M/yr

With 13 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Lightning $7.196M above the cap.

However, one of those defensemen B. Seabrook won't be playing at all next season, so his $6.875M contract will allow the Lightning to go over the top limit. As a result, that would put them just $320,833 over.

But since A. Cirelli - F ($4.8M) and Z. Bogosian - D ($850k) will also both be on injured reserve at least until December, Tampa Bay doesn't have to make any moves to become cap compliant and have plenty of space to add a 13th forward to their roster. Once the injured players are able to come back, the Lightning would have to send down a couple players to the minors to become cap compliant.

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Washington Capitals:

Highest Contract: A. Ovechkin - F - $9.5Myr

With 14 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Capitals $6.322M over the cap's limit.

The Caps will be able to put C. Hagelin's $2.75M contract on LTIR for the entire season, making them only $3,571,666 over the cap. But with N. Backstrom & T. Wilson combining for over $14.3M in salary and also unavailable for the season's start, Washington doesn't have to make any moves prior to October.

The Capitals situation isn't as easy to deal with as the Lightning's was. First, they really don't know if Backstrom will be able to come back, but if they both are able to return at some point in the regular season, then the team will have to shed over $3.5M to become cap compliant. Trading forwards on 1 year contracts in that range like D. Strome, L. Eller, or C. Brown might be the GM's answer.

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"Into Long-Term Injury for the Entire Season"

Vancouver Canucks:

Highest Contract: Q. Hughes - D - $7.85M/yr

With 14 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Canucks $2.752M over the cap's upper mark.

With M. Ferland's $3.5M on LTIR, the Canucks don't have to make any moves before the start of the season. With the health of defenseman T. Poolman uncertain, Vancouver also has an extra defenseman counting against the cap at this time.

There has been talk forever about a JT Miller ($5.25M) trade and with both him and Bo Horvat ($5.5M) set to become UFAs at the end of the season, does the GM move either of them? If so, will he do it now or at the trade deadline?

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Vegas Golden Knights:

Highest Contract: J. Eichel - F - $10M/yr

CapFriendly has Vegas spending money on 12 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies to be $5.795M over the NHL's salary cap.

With defenseman S. Weber's $7,857,143 & goalie R. Lehner's $5,000,000 set to go on LTIR for the season, the Knights have about $7M to re-sign RFA defenseman N. Hague, add a 13th forward, & get a starting goaltender.

**Latest news has N. Patrick - F ($1.2M) going on LTIR, possibly for the entire season. That give Vegas around $8.2M to fill two forward spots, re-sign Hague, and find another goalie.**

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"Less than $3M in Space to Start the Year"

Calgary Flames:

Highest Contract: S. Monahan - F - $6.375M/yr

With 12 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Flames $2.76M under the cap.

Calgary's GM still has some work to do, with RFA A. Ruzicka - F to re-sign and to decide whether to offer a contract to PTO J. Brook - D. The health & future of S. Monahan - F could decide whether the Flames are active going forward, as trading his $6M+ contract or having him on LTIR would open up a lot of options to add talent.

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Columbus Blue Jackets:

Highest Contract: J. Gaudreau - F - $9.75M/yr

With 17 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has way too many players on the Blue Jackets roster, resulting in a cap overage of $1.86M.

Columbus has re-signed all their RFAs, but do have 5 players on PTOs to consider signing. At this point, the team has 3 players (forwards B. Jenner & A. Texier and goalie D. Tarasov) on LTIR, but it seems that they should be back to start the season. That means the GM will need to get rid of a minimum of 5 players, most likely by sending down to the AHL, and that will easily make them cap compliant (with about $2.15M in space).

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Dallas Stars:

Highest Contract: T. Seguin - F - $9.85M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Stars $10.336 under the cap.

However, with RFAs J. Robertson - F & J. Oettinger - G to re-sign, that cap space will start disappearing quickly. For Robertson, I've seen predictions of $8M for 6 years and it seems that Oettinger's camp is asking for a bridge in the $4-5M range.

If everyone is healthy, they will have around $12M to sign the two players after sending S. Wedgewood - G ($1M) and a forward on a $750k contract down to the minors. There is some question about A. Khudobin's (G) health after hip surgery, but it sounds like he could be ready for the season's start or shortly after.

Could the Stars be looking to Vegas to gauge their interest in Khudobin's $3,333,333 contract? Would certainly free up more than enough space to get those valuable RFAs re-signed.

It sounds like it will be tight without a trade, but hardly undoable for Dallas' GM. There won't be much cap space once he gets it done though.

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Colorado Avalanche:

Highest Contract: M. Rantanen - F - $9.25M/yr

With 11 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Avalanche are $3.91M under the cap.

Colorado only has minor league RFA S. Bowers - F to re-sign, but they do need to add a couple forwards to their NHL roster as well. They will be able to create a bit more room by sending one of the extra defensemen down to the minors.

So, if the GM wants to fill out the line up by looking in the bargain bin, he can likely get forwards like P. Stastny and/or S. Milano with a bit of space to spare. Should he want to take a shot at keeping Kadri for another Cup run, then he's got some trading to do - probably needing to free up $4M at a minimum.

Since I can't see the Avalanche trading the forwards making that much, I think it really comes down to two options: finding a taker for E. Johnson - D ($6M) - who has a list of 19 teams he can be traded to OR the less palatable choice S. Girard - D ($5M). I guess it's possible that moving forward JT Compher's $3.5M might be enough too, but it seems too tight to me.

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Los Angeles Kings:

Highest Contract: D. Doughty - D - $11M/yr

With 15 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Kings$1.513M below the cap.

LA still has a couple RFA defensemen to re-sign in M. Anderson & S. Durzi, but they also will have a minimum of 1 extra forward and 2 defensemen on their roster at that point (freeing up a min of $2.25M in cap space).

The Kings have a bunch of RHD, so that might make the GM look to move someone like S. Walker to gain even more cap space to re-sign his RFAs. Regardless, LA will likely end up with less than $3M in cap space to start the season.

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Minnesota Wild:

Highest Contract: K. Kaprizov - F - $9M/yr

With 11 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Wild $4.313M under the cap.

Minnesota's GM needs to use his remaining space to find a couple more forwards for the NHL roster. With all their RFAs re-signed already, those 2 spots will be filled with promotions from the minors (M. Rossi) or free agent signings. The Wild don't have the space to make a major signing, but shouldn't have any problems being slightly under the cap when the season begins.

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Nashville Predators:

Highest Contract: R. Josi - D - $9.059M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Predators are $2.395M below the cap's upper limit.

Nashville has signed all their RFAs, but they do have C. Schneider - F on a PTO.

The GM will have to decide whether to spend any of his remaining space to try to improve the team or just save it for a potential trade deadline deal.

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New Jersey Devils:

Highest Contract: D. Hamilton - D - $9M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, the Devils are $73,375 below the cap's upper limit.

New Jersey had to deal with season-ending injuries to goalies J. Bernier & M. Blackwood last season and that has to raise some concerns coming into this year, which is why they also have V. Vanecek .

Jersey doesn't have to do anything with the remaining off-season, but with a derth of RHD there has been talk that pending UFA D. Severson could possibly be moved to create more cap space.

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New York Islanders:

Highest Contract: M. Barzal - F & A. Lee - F - $7M/yr

With 13 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Islanders are $11.185M below the cap's upper limit.

New York has work to do, with RFAs N. Dobson - D, A. Romanov - D, & K. Bellows - F to re-sign (also have a couple minor league RFAs to sign). It could take in the $5.5 to $7.5M range to get Dobson's name on a contract, depending on length. Seems like the GM should be able to get it done with a bit of cap space to spare.

However, if all the Kadri to the Islanders rumours are true, then someone will have to get traded. The most often mentioned target is J. Bailey and his $5M contract, but can they find a buyer before someone else gets Kadri to sign?

Latest news is that a couple of NHL insiders are saying that the GM has 3 to 5 moves already agreed upon, without mentioning any specifics (RFA signings/trades/Kadri??).

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New York Rangers:

Highest Contract: A. Panarin - F - $11.643M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Rangers are $1M under the cap's upper limit.

NY doesn't have to make any more moves if they don't want to. The only players with decent salaries that may be expendable if the GM wants to make further moves would be defenseman R. Lindgren ($3M) or B. Goodrow's terrible contract ($3.642M for 5 more seasons).

If the Rangers keep the $1M in cap space until the trade deadline, they will have accrued $4.7M in space - enough to take on the final portion of someone like P. Kane's $10.5M contract if the GM wanted to.

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Ottawa Senators:

Highest Contract: B. Tkachuk - F - $8.2M/yr

With 12 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Senators are $7.94M below the cap's upper limit.

Ottawa still has work to do with RFAs A. Formenton - F and E. Brannstrom - D left to re-sign. I really have no idea what it'll take to do that, but I'm guessing it'll cost around $4-5M and put them in (or close to) this category.

If they decide to move defenseman N. Zaitsev ($4.5M), then the Sens could join those teams with plenty of cap space.

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Philadelphia Flyers:

Highest Contract: S. Couturier - F - $7.75M/yr

With 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Flyers are $2.523M above the cap's upper limit.

Philadelphia has 4 minor league RFAs to re-sign, but those signings won't impact the cap situation.

The Flyers have so many players on their NHL roster because there are questions regarding the health of Ellis and Couturier. That's a maximum of $14M potentially going to LTIR and even if it's just one of the players, Philly will be OK cap-wise. If both of them are healthy to start the season, the Flyers could send the extra 3 players down to the AHL and save enough to barely get under the cap.

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Pittsburgh Penguins:

Highest Contract: S. Crosby - F - $8.7M/yr

With 14 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Penguins $1.48M above the cap.

Not sure why CapFriendly has an extra forward & defenseman on the Penguins roster, but just sending the two cheapest salaries to the minors would make Pittsburgh cap compliant.

So unless the GM is looking for an equal money coming in-going out trade, it appears that the Pens roster will look fairly similar to what CapFriendly shows right now.

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San Jose Sharks:

Highest Contract: E. Karlsson - D - $11.5M/yr

With 13 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, currently CapFriendly has the Sharks $1.2M above the cap.

San Jose also still has a couple of RFA forwards to re-sign - J. Gadjovich & N. Gregor. However, with everyone signed and healthy, the Sharks GM would be able to to send a bunch of players to the minors (2 F/2 D) to free up around $4M in cap space. That would give them around $2.8M to re-sign the RFAs and that is not counting whatever savings SJ may gain from sending one of their 3 goalies down to the minors or trading them.

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Seattle Kraken:

Highest Contract: P. Grubauer - G - $5.9M/yr

With 16 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Kraken $1.01M beneath the cap's top end.

Seattle has one RFA left to re-sign in C. Fleury - D, but also have too many forwards and goalies on their NHL roster. It may seem that the team is up against the cap, but they could free up significant amounts if they send players to the minors (more than $2M) and trade one of the goalies (M. Jones - $2M).

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St. Louis Blues:

Highest Contract: R. O'Reilly - F & V. Tarasenko - F - $7.5M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, CapFriendly has the Blues $625k below the top of the cap.

St. Louis could just ride the situation as is until the trade deadline and would have just under $3M accrued to play with. Or they could mix things up by trading forward V. Tarasenko before he walks away in free agency next summer? For now, they stay in the just under the cap category.

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"Has Cap Space To Play With"

Anaheim Ducks:

Highest Contract: J. Klingberg - D - $7M/yr

With 13 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Ducks still have just under $19M in cap space.

With no players left to re-sign, Anaheim has the opportunity to potentially gain future assets from those teams in cap trouble.

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Arizona Coyotes:

Highest Contract: C. Keller - F - $7.125M/yr

With 13 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 1 goalies on their roster, the Coyotes have over $20M in cap space at their disposal.

They still have to re-sign RFA B. Hayton - F and find another goalie as well as possibly signing G. Dronov - D (PTO), but they have plenty of room to do so. Arizona also will be looking to take advantage of those teams needing to shed salary.

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Buffalo Sabres:

Highest Contract: J. Skinner - F - $9M/yr

With 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 3 goalies on their roster, the Sabres are sitting with $19.6M in cap space.

Having signed all their RFAs, Buffalo's GM will also be open to acquiring players/contracts if the return is helpful to the team's future.

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Chicago Blackhawks:

Highest Contract: P. Kane & J. Toews - F - $10.5M/yr

With 14 forwards, 5 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Hawks have $10.59M in cap space to fill out their roster.

Chicago still has a couple RFAs P. Kurashev - F & C. Jones - D to re-sign, but neither should break the bank. The Blackhawks do need to add another defenseman and with excess cap space, they may be able to take advantage of another team looking to dump a high salary d-man.

**CHI signed Kurashev ($750k) and Jones ($1.35M), using up $2.1M in cap space, leaving them with $8.49M left under cap**

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Detroit Red Wings:

Highest Contract: D. Larkin - F - $6.1M/yr

With 13 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Wings have $9.246M in cap space.

Detroit still has RFA F. Zadina - F to re-sign and 2 extra d-men to demote/move, but the salary cap is not a concern. It sounds like R. Fabbri - F may start the season on LTIR, so adding or promoting a forward will likely happen too.

The Red Wings are another team that can look to gain some assets by taking on contracts from needy rival teams.

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Winnipeg Jets:

Highest Contract: B. Wheeler - F - $8.25M/yr

With 11 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies on their roster, the Jets are sitting $6.28M under the salary cap.

Winnipeg won't be keeping all that cap space, as they need to add a forward or two. The GM could do it on the cheap ($1.5M) by promoting two of D. Gustafsson, S. Maenalanen, and K. Stenlund. He could also take a shot at some of the mid-range UFAs like P. Stastny, S. Milano, or E. Rodrigues and join the less than $3M in cap space club.

The Jets do have a surplus of defensemen, so could either find a new home for one of their more expensive d-men (B. Dillon, N. Schmidt, or D. DeMelo) to give their young players a chance or trade one/some of their defensive prospects (V. Heinola, L. Stanley, D. Chisholm, L. Gawanke, J. Kovacevic) for forward help.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.