directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Dollars and sense

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dollars and sense

If you don't like the financial side of hockey stay far far away from this post

According to this article, the cap is expected to up next year by 3 million. That cap was 50.3 million this year thus it will be right around 53.3 next.

The Jackets payroll is right around that 40 million dollar mark - one of the lowest in the league.

What does that mean? Well teams will have more money to spend, especially the big markets who can spend right to the cap.

That Jackets are in an enviable position as they'll be shedding quite a bit of salary at the end of this season but unfortunately the market size won't allow them to spend to the cap - just not enough revenues.

The cap going up allows more teams to get in on the bidding for UFAs and creates more competition for the Jackets to land the players they covet. Obvioulsy for the Jackets the less competition the better as theirs lest teams bidding up the prices.

Players that I think are unlikely to return next year are Sergei Fedorov (6.08 mil), David Vyborny (2.2 mil), Michael Peca (1.3 mil), Ron Hainsey (900k) = 10.4 mil

Players that may not return are Adam Foote (4.5 mil), Jan Hejda (1 mil) = 5.5 mil

Total money off the books = 15.9 mil*

*this number does not reflect Jody Shelley, Curtis Glencross or Dick Tarnstrom's pro-rated salaries

Current roster players that are RFAs and need resigned are Pascal Leclaire and Dan Fritsche.

Already resigned is Jason Chimera (1.85 mil - 850k raise over previous deal).

So if you take the raise into account that Chimera received that leaves about 15 million. Of course the big deal is to get Leclaire resigned -- I don't see him getting anything less than 3 mil a year. So now your looking at 12 million available.

This also doesn't include the backloaded contracts our good buddy Mr. Doug MacLean gave guys like Rick Nash (who will make 1 mil more next season), Nik Zherdev (will make 750k more), Duvie Westcott (will make 750k more but is likely to get bought out), Manny Malhotra (300k more), Rusty Klesla (250k more), Freddy Modin (750k more) = that's 3.8 million more dollars going out in signed contract hikes alone.

Subtract that from the 12 million and now your looking at 8.2 million that is freed up from last this year's budget number.

Then if they decide to resign Foote or Hejda that number goes down even further.

Of course that is if ownership keeps the exact same budget they had last season which I can't see being the case. I expect a cash infusion of some form to enable Howson to get the guys he wants resigned and to go out and grab a couple of big fish on the open market. The time is now to add some key players to this franchise. The only RFA that must get signed is Pascal Leclaire.

They'll be plenty of competition though. Like every year, expect many overpayments and I think the Jackets will be buyers this offseason.

If your interested a great place to look over contracts and lengths for Blue Jacket players (and the rest of the league) is here.


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