Which teams are in the best shape from a cap perspective moving forward? This is part two of the series. Here are the next batch of 10.
Grade B: The 12 year signing of Zetterberg, could be genius or insanely bad if he develops any chronic injuries. Having he and Datsyuk signed long term is the key and both are priced under market value, at the present time. Signing Kronwall early is probably a smart move, but it will be challenging to fill Lidstromâ•˙s void if decides to retire. The Wings continue to get by with cheap goaltending, weâ•˙ll see if that trend continues.
The Albatross: In retrospect, they may have wished to deal away Filppula rather than sign him for 5 years at 3 million per. Without that deal they could likely keep both Hossa and Franzen. They will be challenged to keep both of these players, but the Wings always get discounts.
Grade D: I donâ•˙t like what I see on their books. They have a lot of money tied up for a long time in players that you wouldnâ•˙t consider long term mainstays.
The Albatross: Pick one. Penner might be worth is 4 year 4.25 per. Sean Horcoffâ•˙s 6 year 6 million dollar extension kicks in next yearâ•œ Yikes. That is franchise dollars for a good 2nd line center. Their d looks ugly to with Vishnovsky (4 more), Souray (3 more), and Tom Gilbert (5 more) signed for about 15 million between them. None of those guys strike me as a top pair guy. Poor cap management in my opinion. They also have no goalie.
Grade F: This is a team that just does not seem to catch a break. I would put a lot of money that says they will miss the playoffs. Just more bad luck. They have a ton of overpaid players on their books and not much coming off of the farm.
The Albatross: Many choices here. Cory Stillman makes 3.5 for two more. Olesz signed a 3.4 million dollar long term extension after he scored his first goal. Major major
bust potential on that one. Even though they pay him like one Stephen Weiss just is not going to be a top line center. Heâ•˙s on the hook for 3.2, 4, 4.1 over the next 3. Theyâ•˙ve jumped the gun on their young players and it has stung them badly. They will lose JBo, the kick in the balls is, they canâ•˙t even really afford him.
Grade C: They needed to make it to the floor, so they obviously have money left over. Theyâ•˙ve done a great job of signing their young players. The Dustin Brown contract may be the best in the league.
The Albatross: I donâ•˙t think anyone would touch Handzus which has been a cap filling bust for LA. Tom Preissing has also turned out to be a mess and Iâ•˙m not sure anyone would touch his 2.75 deal for two more. Kopitar has a lot of living up to do to reach his 6.8 million dollar tag.
Grade B: In terms of cap they are not bad shape, but they will certainly be able to afford Gaborik and Backstrom both. They have also had a hard time developing top young players. Brent Burns is signed to a great deal, Nick Schultzâ•˙s deal cancels it out. Iâ•˙ve never liked his game.
The Albatross: I personally would not touch Schultz and his 3.5 million dollars for 4 more years, I just donâ•˙t think heâ•˙s that good. If thatâ•˙s their worst though, they are not in that bad of shape, they will just be short on talent.
Grade A: Most of their contracts expire this year which means they will probably look very different next year. Their veteran core will be replaced at just about the right time and there is never a shortage of players (Russians) who want to play in Montreal. They need a Canadian star. They will need to replace a lot of talent, but will have the money to do it.
The Albatross: It has to be Roman Hamrlik and his 5.5 million for the next two years.
Grade C: This is another budget team. Theyâ•˙ve committed to building a great blueline, but they simply do not have enough skill up front. The loss of Radulov killed their chances this year.
The Albatross: Legwands sentimental 4.5 million dollar 5 year deal look bad. I also did not like Dumontâ•˙s 4 year 4 million dollar deal, heâ•˙s just a little too old to get that type of deal, but it wonâ•˙t kill them. They will benefit with a highly skilled draft pick this year. I guess thatâ•˙s what you get for 9 straight years for 1st round defenders (sarcasm).
Grade D: Long considered the genius Lou Lam has not handled the cap era well. There isnâ•˙t a single long term deal that I think looks good. Parise was signed at a good price, but for some reason he didnâ•˙t go as long term as he went with DANIUS Zubrus. They canâ•˙t mess up on Zajac
The Albatross: Iâ•˙ve always like Elias, so Iâ•˙ll leave him out of this, most of his problems have been dealing with health (a word of the wise for a 12 year Zetterberg deal, I think Elias was a top 10 player at some point). The Brian Rolston 4 year 20 million dollar deal is one year in and will only look worse. He was a great player, but he is on the slide. Zubrus is signed for 4 more years at 3.4 million. Bad deal, IMO. New Jersey always seems to find a way though. If Brodeur doesnâ•˙t return to form, they will have problems.
New York Islanders
Grade B: They wonâ•˙t be pushing against the cap, but is a long way away from success. Dipietro and Streit will be wasting some time before they are successful. Theyâ•˙ll have a lot of money to spend. Maybe theyâ•˙ll take a couple bad contract dumps, but theyâ•˙d be better off collecting some early draft picks and reaping those benefits.
The Albatross: I wonâ•˙t even touch the Dipietro contract. When he hits the UFA market in 2021, weâ•˙ll see. That is a real contract, only trumped by Zetterberg for now. Overall the price is not bad given the current goalie market. The length is insane, I guess I touched the Dipetro contract. Streit is overpaid at 4.1 million for 3 more years, but they have to pay someone I guess.
New York Rangers
Grade F: Theyâ•˙ve been living in excess. They arenâ•˙t happy with just Gomez, they get Drury. Not just Redden, but he and Roszival. This really will hurt in the long run. Zherdev, Dubinsky, and Staal will make them regret these deals. Theyâ•˙ll have to trade Gomez or Roszival to keep a couple of these guys because they are the only ones that even movable.
The Albatross: Wade Redden saved the Jackets. His 6.5 million for the next 4 years will be one of the worst deals in the league. Drury is my favorite non-Jacket player, but he is a 3.5 million dollar player making 7 because of character. I donâ•˙t put it past them to make another terrible deal.
Click on back through our January Archives to read Part 1.