Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who Stays? Who Goes? Who Knows?

Here's a quick look at the Salary Cap numbers of the Senators going into the summer.

I've broken the players into 3 separate groups as you can see below.

Most Likely To Stay

(Player followed by Cap Hit - not actual salary)

Dany Heatley - 7.5
Jason Spezza - 7.0
Daniel Alfredsson - 4.875
Mike Fisher - 4.2
Jarkko Ruutu - 1.3
Nick Foligno - 0.850
Shean Donovan - 0.625
Ryan Shannon - Restricted
Jesse Winchester - 0.550

Chris Phillips - 3.5
Filip Kuba - 3.7
Anton Volchenkov - 2.5
Brian Lee - 1.275
Chris Campoli - 0.633

Pascal Leclaire - 3.8
Brian Elliott - Restricted

Total Cap Hit: (Roughly) 42 million

Possible Trade Bait

Chris Kelly - 2.125 (most likely will stay but would be moved if the right deal came along)

Christoph Schubert - 0.883 (Schubes days as a Sen are over)

Jason Smith - 2.6 (Senators will find no takers for his salary but this may be a blessing in disguise - Smith is a warrior who will be valuable come playoff time)

Alex Picard - 0.8 (I have no idea how Murray feels about Picard but I'd bet he goes)

Brendan Bell - Restricted (He will be cheap and useful - he stays)

Alex Auld - 1.0 (I think he's gone but what do I know)

Total Cap Hit: (Roughly) 7 million

If none of the players on the above list are moved, the total cap hit for next year will be 49 million. That doesn't take into account the salaries due Ryan Shannon, Brian Elliott and Brendan Bell. Shannon will probably make close to 1 million so that at least brings the cap hit to 50 million.

If the NHL's salary cap is in the mid 50's as expected, the Senators will have about 3 to 4 million to possibly entice one or both of the following players who are unrestricted. That won't be enough unless they cut costs elsewhere (such as shipping out Schubert, Picard and Auld)

Unrestricted Free Agents (May or may not be back)

Mike Comrie
Chris Neil

If recent failed negotiations are any indication, Neil is probably gone and Murray has already expressed his disappointment in Comrie for his lackluster play.

The problem is that the Senators desperately need two players just like Neil and Comrie (when they are on their games).

Letting both of those players go significantly weakens the Senators on both offense and in the toughness department. But does Murray want to spend the money?

Hopefully Murray learned his lesson when he went cheap on his defenseman after trading both Wade Redden and Andre Meszaros (again, I'm not saying he should have kept those specific players, but he should have replaced them properly...don't freak out Redden haters).

Sometimes you have to overpay players to keep them from going elsewhere and Neil is probably worth the 2 million required to keep him, especially if you can cut the fat elsewhere on the roster (and especially if the Leafs are going to try to sign him).

Comrie on the other hand is more of a gamble. He has hip issues and his career seems to be on a downward spiral ever since his glory days with his hometown Oilers. He's not worth the 4 million he made this year but he might be a bargain at 2.5 if he retains his form.

It could get interesting this summer due to the fact that Jesse Winchester somewhat outplayed Chris Kelly in a similar role, and he did so at a bargain price. Yet I still feel that Kelly has a lot to offer and by all accounts, he is one of the most popular teammates in the room. His playoff experience can be a big asset to the Senators who are not (and should not be) in a rebuilding mode.

Casting away too many veterans, such as Kelly and Jason Smith could come back to haunt them.

Besides, 2 million is basically the average player salary in the NHL. People get up in arms over 2 million dollar third and fourth line players, but really, that's the cost of players in this league nowadays.

If you can augment that with cheap but effective youngsters, you can remain comfortably under the salary cap and have success that way.

But it would also make a lot of sense for Murray to sacrifice some players such as Kelly and Neil in order to bring in a proper power-play defenseman.

If you're going to weaken your toughness and depth, do it at the expense of someone who will have a major impact on your team.

Obviously, Jay Bouwmeester leads the pack but other unrestricted defenseman who may interest Murray are Mattias Ohlund, Nick Boynton, Phillipe Boucher, Francois Beauchemin, Derek Morris, Jaroslav Spacek, Jordan Leopold and Martin Skoula.

Trade-wise, well take your pick.

Who knows what Murray could get on the trade market. Could Sheldon Souray be available? What about Cam Barker?


Cansuckdick said...

FUCK Redden and FUCK you.

Canucnik said...

Cansuckdick you better not be who I think you are.

To Jeremy one thought ya got 4.5M tied up in #21 & #25. Two totally irrelevent players... Can you imagine... Beauchemin... or Ohlund!!

Join the crusade, lest the Sens let this one pass. (Remember the Status Quo is unacceptable... We are not presently a play off team.)

Post Script: Can we not do something about your first commentator, I liked him better as that Brain Dead Anonyous.

hambown said...

I'm all in favour of BM trying to sign either Ohlund or Beauchemin. Especially Beauchemin would be great. Without one more top 4 signing on the blueline, we aren't a playoff team.

Don't know about Cam Barker, let's see if he can make some noise in the playoffs. Either Souray or Visnovsky might be on the market given that both Edmonton (and Calgary) will likely make a play for Bouwmeester. And they're more likely to sign him, given that he's reputed to want to play in Western Canada.

Anonymous said...

Schubert never got a fair shake.

I'd like to see them retain Schubie and Neil. Dump Ruutu and Smith to make room.

Auld and Picard should also be moved.

I got nothing against Leclaire personally, but his cap hit bothers me. It's about cap management. The Sens could have signed Emery and Neil for the money that they are going to give Leclaire.

That is what management is all about. Detroit has been going cheap on goaltending for awhile and has been able to keep a great roster together.

If Leclaire wins games by himself, then its fine. If not, the Sens would have been better off using a cheaper goaltender.

Watch for a shrewd team like Detroit to nab Emery on the cheap.

I think that you alluded to that before also, Jeremy.

Jalen said...

Getting Barker would be a coup, particularly if we could move some salary the other way.

- Jalen

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Murray make a trade for Cam Barker maybe in package deal someone like Kelly and Picard going to the Blackhawks for Cam Barker and Andrew Ladd but I don't think that would happen or my second choice I would like to see Murray get is Sheldon Souray and Ethon Morau .

My third choice would for Murray to sign Mattis Ohlund or Nick Boyton and sign Erik Cole.

Anonymous said...

If there is no dumping of Smith, there is no new defenseman. I can't imagine them not playing Lee and Campoli, Kuba, Philips and Volch. Nor can I imagine them sitting the $2.6m Smith as a 7th. But if they keep Smith and shed other irrelevents, they should have enough to sign Camalleri and Franzen. And they are pretty much like Comrie and Neil only good. Get Bass and Regin on the 4th with Winchester. Maybe keep schubert as a spare

Anonymous said...

I can't believe someone actually wrote "kelly and picard for barker and ladd"! Are you fucking kidding? You wouldn't get barker alone for those two! Listen up, I've got a good trade though. How about, for neil's rights (who at over 800 grand will be overpaid), we get crosby and malkin.

By the way everyone, this team is going nowhere as is. We have one of the worst defenses in the league. You can trade all the kelly's, schuberts Aulds you want, and it won't change that. I don't know why everyone is so hell bent on keeping basically everyone on the team for next year. Newsflash: We sucked!

It's good smith will be a warrior come playoff time, the only problem is that without big changes here, the next time that happens he'll be 45.

To Anon820: we could sign franzen, good idea, but we'll have to wait awhile, as he signed an 11 year deal with the wings 3 weeks ago. Thinking WAY outside the box. I like it.