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Currently below cap floor, a handful of teams will be forced to open their wallets

Jun 28, 2012, 4:14 PM EDT

Coyotes vs Kings Getty Images

The NHL and NHLPA announced today that the salary cap floor for the 2012-13 season has been set at $54.2 million.

That figure could fall if the players’ share of revenues is reduced under the terms of the new CBA, all else staying equal. (It could also go up, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.)

Regardless of where it ends up exactly, there are teams that will need to spend/take on money this summer to get above the floor.

Take Phoenix – according to CapGeek, the Coyotes have just $38.9 million in committed cap payroll for next season, and that’s with 18 players (the max is 23) under contract.

Nor does Phoenix have any restricted free agents that are in line for big raises, and it’s possible UFAs Shane Doan and Ray Whitney won’t be back.

The Coyotes did add Zbynek Michalek’s $4 million cap hit in a trade with the Penguins, but they’ll have to add more to get above the floor.

Other clubs flirting with the lower limit:

Anaheim ($39.3 million, 14 under contract) – And that’s with Bobby “Move me” Ryan’s $5 million hit.

Colorado ($38.0 million, 15) – The Avs have a pile of RFAs left to sign, including Erik Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly and Steve Downie.

Nashville ($34.9 million, 14) – Assuming he’s not traded and signs another one-year deal, Shea Weber should get the Predators to around $43 million. Sergei Kostitsyn and Colin Wilson are RFAs that need raises.

Florida ($40.0 million, 15) – RFAs Kris Versteeg and Dmitry Kulikov need new deals, and Roberto Luongo could be on his way, too.

Dallas ($39.6 million, 16) – Jamie Benn is RFA and should get a big raise.

St. Louis ($42.1 million, 18) – The Blues have two key RFAs that need new deals in TJ Oshie and David Perron.

  1. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    So what exactly happens to teams that start the next season under the cap? Financial penalties? Probationary periods? Verbal lashings and hurled epithets?

    • bcisleman - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      I think they lose their top draft pick.

    • t16rich - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      So much lawyer BS to this article, but this should have all your answers.

  2. homelanddefense - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    they can all trade for Tim Thomas and use his 5 million cap hit if they need it.

    • loinstache - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      But don’t you see the state of America’s economy?? /tt

    • stakex - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      Thats almost certain to happen. Picking up a $5 million cap hit that they don’t actually have to pay for would be a HUGE gift for some of these teams.

      • t16rich - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        If a team were in a true rebuild mode, it would be a perfect thing to do. It would allow your own prospects to play and grow instead of overpaying a decent player to join your team. You are only paying in the form of the cap hit, and not actually signing Tim Thomas’ cheque’s.

  3. bcisleman - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Even after Visnovsky acquisition and likely signings of Matt Martin, Micheal Haley and Dylan Reese, Isles will still be about $7-8 mil short of the floor.

    I expect them to be busy signing another top 4 defenseman and likely a #2 center and a bottom 6 grinder.

    • habsman - Jun 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      There was a rumor last fall that the Isles traded for Scott Gomez in an attempt to reach the cap floor for this year but Gomez had a limited NTC and veto-ed the deal. Don’t know how valid it is.

  4. mclovinhockey - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Actually they have to pay Thomas… Only a moronic gm would trade for a huge cap hit on a player that won’t pay when they can’t afford to reach the cap floor… Why not go for suter or parise with 10 mill dollar offers instead?
    Any smart GM would rather have a player play for 10 mill than eat your money and not play at 5 mill. If ANY gm trades for Thomas he better be fired right away.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      You’re wrong, they do not have to pay him if he does not show up.

      • habsman - Jun 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        That’s my understanding as well. They don’t pay the salary, but they do absorb the cap hit, or a portion of it.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      yeah mclovin is 100% incorrect.

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