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.
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).
Neal $8M, Perron $6M, Karlsson $5M, Sbisa $4M, Theodore $3M, Miller $3M, Carrier $2M, Nosek $2M, Engelland $1.5M, Merrill $1M, and Dansk $1M. That’s $36.5M, still $3.75M under.
That’s keeping everyone. Say just one of Neal, Perron, or Sbisa are out, that would leave the Golden Knights with nearly $10M of free cap space, and having paid every single one of their RFAs. Even if you play with the numbers, paying Theodore and Karlsson more, Nosek and Carrier less, there’s almost no way to reach the salary cap.
After locking up Marchessault and McNabb, and having the long term deals in place for Smith, Eakin, Haula, and Schmidt, the Golden Knights already have a majority of their core pieces locked up, and still have an insane amount of cap room to work with.
Nothing is off the table. If McPhee wants to keep everyone, he can, but if he doesn’t, the amount of room he has under the cap to work with is nearly preposterous, especially for a team that might win the Pacific Division in its first year.
The next player to get a long term deal is likely Karlsson. His deal will probably be in the neighborhood of 4-5M. Then they’ll have to figure out what to do with Theodore, Miller, and eventually Tuch. They are all integral pieces of the team, but none of them will break the bank.
The Golden Knights balance is a huge reason why they are so darn good on the ice, but that same balance is also going to pay off even more off it.
It sure is nice to be a Golden Knights fan, am I right?
Clarkson’s salary has to be on the the cap the 1st day of the start of the season then he can be moved to LTIR. So they will have to stay 5.25 mill under the cap to account for his salary. After they place him on LTIR they will have 5.25 mill cap space that they can work any kind of trades with. But they still should be able to get everyone signed that they want to sign. There are also some very interesting RFA’s that are going to be available come the off-season. With all the cap space available and the way the team is playing it will be fun to see how things develop.
Ufa not rfa
How about getting John Tavares with the extra money. They would be a super team!
What top Free Agents are available this summer? Also, if you see the Knights go after a player at the trade deadline, who do you think they will go after? What type of player do you think they need for a strong playoff push?
They need some help on the PP. I think a player like Hornqvist, that is great in front of the net, would be a good fit. He is a ufa at the end of the year and the way the pens are playing he might be available at the deadline. I think they got the guys they need for the PK they just need to figure it out. The only bad thing about Hornqvist is that the pens would want at least a 1st rnd pick for him.
$8M for Neal is really steep at his age. Maaaybe with a short term deal, like 2 years, but no way longer than that. Any extended contract, I’d say $6-6.5 very tops.
$8 million for Neal?!? That’s crazier than you thinking Marchy would get $6.5. mil.
Paying James Neal 8 million is absolutely crazy. I would not pay anyone of the players on this team or 6.5 right now. They shouldn’t look to bringing every single guy back either in my opinion , look around the league and add to the roster , people will want to play in Vegas.
They also have a goalie question to answer at the end or middle of next year. Cheap and inexperienced or pricey and experienced (maybe you want to throw in a bit more money and have both of you aren’t sure)
To have flexibility please please please don’t sign James Neal and David Perron 8 and 6 mil deals.
I agree that paying Neal 8 million is insane… If there’s any term. If it’s a 1 or 2 year deal, it’s not so crazy because the Golden Knights wouldn’t be using that money anyway. That was pretty much what I was trying to prove with that article.
If you don’t pay Neal and/or Perron, then who do you sign to replace them that is equally good and cheaper?
It’s highly unlikely guys like JT or Doughty hit the market. The 3rd and 4th lines aren’t scoring goals and you can’t only expect to have the Wild Bill line carrying the team every game.
Pirri and Hyka look like the only 2 guys that could start on this team from the wolves. And let’s say they do play, they are replacing 3rd and 4th line guys. They haven’t shown that they could be 2nd line players at this point of their careers. I expect Neil to get a 4 year 7 mil+ aav extension and Perron is left unsigned.
The team does not have enough assets and depth yet and they aren’t selling to get more assets. That plan is long gone and it is doubtful they will are at the deadline as they need to keep every asset possible for the future.
Take a look at the cap friendly site. You’ll see that with each upcoming season, vgk has more and more cap space to work with. They aren’t going to be a team that sells vets and tanks for high picks. They locked up Marchy and will inevitably extend Wild Bill. I think they extend Neil and hope that Tuch can add speed and size to the Haula line while Hyka and/or Pirri take a spot on the 3rd and 4th lines. We’ll see Glass in a vgk uniform in the 2019-2020 season and Suzuki a year later.