Now that we know the NHL salary cap for 2015-16 has been set at $71.4 million, we can start debating over how the Capitals will get as close to that number as possible in the coming weeks.
First, a financial overview:
The Capitals have 15 players under contract who are expected to be on their roster for next season -- eight forwards, six defensemen and one goaltender. Those salaries, which substitute goalie Philipp Grubauer for Justin Peters, carry an estimated total of $49.8 million, giving the Caps roughly $21.6 million in spending money.
With that in mind, please help fill in the following blanks on the Caps’ projected roster/depth chart for 2015-16:
Alex Ovechkin [$9.538m] – Nicklas Backstrom [$6.7m] - ???????? [$]
Marcus Johansson [RFA] – Evgeny Kuznetsov [RFA] – Andre Burakovsky [$925,000]
Jason Chimera [$2m] - ????????? [$] - Troy Brouwer [$3.666m]
Brooks Laich [$4.5m] - Michael Latta [$575,000] - Tom Wilson [$894,167]
Eric Fehr [UFA]
Joel Ward [UFA]
Jay Beagle [UFA]
Brooks Orpik [$5.5m] - John Carlson [$3.966m]
Karl Alzner [$2.8m] - Matt Niskanen [$5.75m]
Nate Schmidt [$812,500] – Dmitry Orlov [$2m]
Extra: ????? [$]
Braden Holtby [RFA] – Philipp Grubauer [$750,000]
Let’s assume the Caps sign Holtby for a cap hit of $6 million and hand a total of $6 million to Johansson and Kuznetsov. That would eat up $12 million in cap space and reduce the cap room to $9.6 million.
That would leave the Caps $9.6 million to fill the vacancies at top-line right wing, third-line center and seventh defenseman. If the Caps are able to free up even more space by including Brooks Laich or Troy Brouwer in a trade, then just about any trade or signing is in play for the Caps leading up to the draft and July 1 free agency.
If the money was yours, how would you spend it?
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