The NHL salary cap drop will cause a “Capageddon” around the league and teams that haven’t drafted and developed well will be feeling the pinch. It’s not like teams didn’t see this coming but some expanded their scouting departments and others relied on free agents.
Compliance buyouts will be in full bloom in the upcoming season but all that will do is give teams the ability to get 1 solid free agent instead of a herd like the Wild did during the lockout adding Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
$64 million dollars is the cap number for next year and while that seems like enough to field a solid team you can only do that if you don’t have a gaggle of RFA’s and UFA’s. Some teams GM’s planned well for this. Others like the Flyers and Rangers will have to get creative next year. Both could take a page out of the Islanders playbook.
There comes a time when a team has to make the playoffs and next year is that year for the Islanders. However, along the way Snow’s two great moves in my opinion were the acquisition of defenseman, Lubomir Visnovsky at last year’s draft for a second-round pick and some cost certainty with one year left on his deal. His solid play and willingness to sign a new deal keeping him on the Island for two more seasons made captain, Mark Streit expendable. So trading his “rights” to the Flyers for Shane Harper and a 4th rounder was a steal and good asset management.
The Swiss defender is getting older (will be 35 next season) and his speed and defensive prowess have dwindled. Harper is sturdy, an energetic 4th line type who had a solid training camp in Philly last year but that 4th rounder was the key. In a very deep draft this year that pick could yield this team a potential 3rd line talent in the future. Let’s not forget that the Islanders took Tim Thomas’s cap hit to reach the floor last year
UNDER THE DOME
NHL'S SALARY CAP FORCING TEAMS TO DRAFT WELL OR ELSE
BY RUSS COHEN