(photo via sportsnet.ca)
The Chicago Blackhawks are in a bit of a cap crunch heading into the 2017 off-season.
After inking Russian forward Artemi Panarin to a 2-year 12 million dollar contract, the perennial Cup contenders have roughly 6.5 million dollars in cap space to fill roughly 9 roster spots (numbers via capfriendly.com).
So maybe “a bit of a cap crunch” was downplaying the scenario. If Stan Bowman wants to keep core players like Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marian Hossa around for a few more years he’s going to have to get creative when filling out his 2017-2018 roster.
He could try to bait Las Vegas into taking someone like Marcus Kruger in the expansion draft which would free up some space, but wouldn’t solve his problem entirely.
Looking at the task at hand for the Hawks and all of the numbers involved really got me thinking, could Bowman really find 6-8 competent players to fill out his roster at less than a million dollars per player?
Which led me to dig through every NHL team’s cap hits and constructing the best possible roster of players whose cap hits are under $1 million, excluding entry-level contracts.
I’m not sure what purpose this little exercise serves, other than just to show that there are quality players around the league who can be had for a bargain price.
Also if I left a player from your favourite team off of my roster of bargain players, it’s because I hate your favourite team and I’m obviously a moron.
IMPORTANT NOTE: PLAYERS ON THEIR ELC’S WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE TEAM
With all that said, here is my roster for the “2016-2017 Bargain Bin All Stars”:
|K. Versteeg, CGY, $950k||S. Gagner, CBJ, $650k||R. Spooner, BOS, $1mil|
|J. Marchessault, FLA, $750k||J. Pageau, OTT, $900k||P. Eaves, DAL, $1mil|
|M. Ferland, CGY, $825k||N. Dowd, LA, $650k||R. Vrbata, ARZ, $1mil|
|L. Korpikoski, DAL, $1mil||W. Karlsson, CBJ, $1mil||R. Dzingel, OTT, $750k|
Just from doing this I found some great bargain contracts. Just goes to show that if your team is savvy enough in the offseason, you can always find production at a low cost, something I’ve shown below with the cost per point numbers of the entire team.
|T. Van Riemsdyk, CHI, $825k||N. Beaulieu, MTL, $1mil|
|A. Petrovic, FLA, $1mil||C. Miller, BOS, $1mil|
|J. Edmunson, STL, $1mil||B. Manning, PHI, $975k|
Where the forwards were mostly vets given another chance or late bloomers, the defensemen I’ve found actually all have top 4 potential. Shows that even after their ELC’s defensemen aren’t close to developing to their full potential. Yet all of these players are still very serviceable top 6 d-men, shows you again that value can be found in so many different ways in the NHL.
|C. Pickard, COL, $1mil||P. Budaj, LA, $650k|
Here are the cost per point numbers:
There were a few players that I debated slotting in, but ultimately left off, here’s my bubble players as well as their cap hit and cost per point via capfriendly.com (where you can find all of these numbers as well as other great tools).
Markus Granlund, C, VAN, 900k, 64k/point
Bryan Rust, RW, PIT, 40k/point
Dmitry Jaskin, W, STL, 111k/point
Tyler Pitlick, RW, EDM, 65k/point
Rene Bourque, LW, COL, 50k/point
Derek Forbort, D, LA, 59k/point
Jesper Fast, W, NYR, 63k/point
Jordan Martinook, LW, ARI, 43k/point
I looked at not just point production, but a variety of other numbers (possession, scoring) as well as keeping in mind what I’ve seen from watching these players throughout the season. Hence why some players off the team yet have a better cost per point numbers. Also, players on the team are all in their official listed position, so that factored in as well.
Did I miss someone? Left someone off that deserved it? Do you agree? Let me know!