I debated about waiting to put this stuff up until after the finals. I mean, we have all offseason. We'll also have some downtime this series, though, and realizing the shape the Penguins are in in terms of the cap puts a lot of things in perspective that can make this series all the more important. I'm not saying next year the Penguins will drop off, just that the team they put on the ice could be very different and just as good.
I took the cap information from NHL Numbers, which is an amazing site, and turned it into an excel file that can be used to toy around with the Pens' financial situation. Wondering if Shero has the room to sign Laraque and Ruutu after giving Hossa $8 million and Malone $4.5 mill? This is how you can find out.
SALARY CAP SPREADSHEET (.xls)
(If that link does not work try this one.)
Send us your edited spreadsheets or just ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them after the finals are done, along with ours. Hopefully we can find one Pens fan who can figure out how to reasonably keep Hossa and Malone without mortgaging the future. So be creative and specific; names of replacement players would be awesome, and start some nice debate to help get through the offseason.
Who knows, if we put enough effort in we might get some people at the Penguins to notice. The next update will be after the finals.
Some rules for playing GM:
-Just fill in the boxes for the UFA's and RFA's with the average $/year that you would sign the player or their replacement. For example, if I think we won't keep Big George, I may think we should only pay our 4th line RW only $0.75 million/year.
-I bolded the average $/year part above because, unlike the NFL, in the NHL it is tough to be creative with contracts. In the NFL you can front load or back load a deal since the cap hit for a player is their salary for that year. Things like bonuses make it easy to pay a player a ton of money when you have plenty of room under the cap and then have more room when things get tighter. You can't do that in the NHL. Even if you give Hossa $10 million next year and $7 million the next three, he still has a Cap Number of 7.5 million each year. This is what makes it so difficult.
-The cap next year is projected to be around $56 million, a rise of $5.7 million. Thats around an 11% increase, which I used to calculate the cap for future years. Probably unrealistic, but its as good as a prediction as any.
-I have Sabu and Conklin listed as of now, but only one will really stay on the cap. If you decided to sign Conks or his replacement, just delete Sabu's salary for next year.
-You may also want to leave a little room for pulling players up after the roster limit is lifted at the end of February. 200 grand for trades and call ups should do it.
-For more info check out the CBA or the NHL Numbers FAQ