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Tag: Salary Cap

Salary Cap Implications For The Golden Knights In The Aftermath Of The Mark Stone Trade

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the dust settles on the Mark Stone trade, it’s time to start looking at the future of the Vegas Golden Knights as it relates to the salary cap.

The salary cap was set at $79,500,000 this season. The normal increase in salary cap from year to year is about 2-5%. Last season the cap increased by $4.5M. It should be expected that the cap increase from this season to next will be in the neighborhood of $4M to $7M.

Thus, we can expect the salary cap to be somewhere around $85,000,000.

According to, the best salary cap site on the Internet, the Golden Knights projected cap hit for 2019-20 is $72,875,000 without Stone’s imminent $9.5M AAV extension. So, just with Stone, the Golden Knights are looking at a projected cap hit of just under $82,375,000.

The Golden Knights still have David Clarkson on the roster. His contract can be placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) next season. There are some oddities to that rule, but for simplification sake, Vegas can get around $5.25M in salary cap relief by making this move.

Therefore, if nothing changes, Vegas should have around $7,875,000 left to work with.

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Future Cap Better Than Present Team

Three of the four major professional sports in North America have a salary cap. The reason the salary cap is used in leagues like the NHL is to keep parity as high as possible. It makes it challenging to keep all of the best players while helping to distribute them to the weaker teams in the process.

Hopefully guys will keep taking fair prices like Marchessault did before testing free agency. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This may be hard to believe, but even with the superb talent the Golden Knights have put on the ice in 2017-18, with the three 1st round picks, and with the contract extensions for Jonathan Marchessault, Jon Merrill, and Deryk Engelland, George McPhee’s biggest asset from the Expansion Draft is still the salary cap.

When all is said and done with this season, the Golden Knights will end the season among the bottom 10 teams in money spent against the cap. This includes the contracts of David Clarkson, Mikhail Grabovski, and Clayton Stoner, none of which will play a game for the Golden Knights. It also includes the retained salary of Alexei Emelin and Derick Brassard. Things can change slightly down the stretch, but as it stands, the Golden Knights will be the cheapest team to make the playoffs.

Projected Salary Cap Usage In 2017-18 ($75m Salary Cap)
Vegas Golden Knights – $68,950,653
Buffalo Sabres – $68,698,464
Florida Panthers – $68,068,090
Montreal Canadiens – $67,761,117
New Jersey Devils – $67,421,712
Colorado Avalanche – $66,931,457
Edmonton Oilers – $66,249,688
Carolina Hurricanes – $59,183,386
Arizona Coyotes – $58,768,559
*All other teams are higher

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Vegas’ Cap Looks Golden, Even With Marchessault Signing

As great as the Golden Knights have looked on the ice and as amazing as the prospect pipeline and cupboard of draft picks look for the future, the Golden Knights management of the salary cap may be their best asset moving forward.

Keeping these two isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds when you look at the Golden Knights cap. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

First off all, the Golden Knights sit more than $8M under the cap for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, so, monetarily speaking, nothing is off the table at the trade deadline.

But on to the more important portion of the cap, the future. As of this article, the Golden Knights have a total of 17 NHL players under contract for next season. The total cap space these 17 players take up is just north of $40M. If the cap stays stagnant (which it almost certainly won’t, it’ll probably go up a couple million) that leaves Vegas with about $35M to work with, plus David Clarkson‘s $5.25M that can come off due to injury. So essentially $40.25M.

That’s $40.25M to pay the following players. James Neal, David Perron, William Karlsson, William Carrier, Tomas Nosek, Luca Sbisa, Jon Merrill, Colin Miller, Deryk Engelland, Shea Theodore, Oscar Dansk.

For the sake of proving a point, let’s say every single player mentioned here has their salary doubled to return next season. That would cost the Golden Knights $38.5M, under the cap by $1.5M.

Yes, that’s with paying James Neal $10M, David Perron $7.5M, Luca Sbisa $7.2M, and Deryk Engelland $2M. None of that is happening, yet even if it did, the Golden Knights would STILL be under the cap next season.

Instead, here are some more likely numbers (still probably overpaying everyone).

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Stagnant Salary Cap Good News For Golden Knights

The NHL GM Meetings kick off from Boca Raton today with Golden Knights GM George McPhee finally allowed to be a part. The 31 general managers will discuss things like coaches challenges, the offside rule, bye weeks, concussion protocol, among many other rules and regulations.

There’s one that’s particularly interesting to Vegas though, and it has nothing to do with the Expansion Draft. It’s the salary cap and how projections are for it to remain stagnant rather than the normal annual increase.

The NHL apparently anticipates the cap to remain flat next season, with little if any increase projected over this year’s $73 million ceiling. So the major-market franchises that drive NHL revenue and successful clubs that habitually are cap teams get hammered again in attempting to maintain — or improve — their personnel while the small market clubs go along for the ride. –Larry Brooks, New York Post

If this does indeed come true, which we should find out sometime over the next three days, it’s a win for the Golden Knights.

We’ve always known that teams are going to be looking for a way to dump contracts on McPhee, which he has a plan for.

I’m not taking on any bad contracts unless someone wants to pay us to take on a bad contract. I’m really not interested in that, we’ll claim somebody else if we have to. -George McPhee

With the cap not increasing, teams like Chicago, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and a host of others who are already up against it will have some tough decisions to make.

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