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Salary Cap Floor Should Not Pose Problems For Any Team In 2018-19

Salary Cap Floor Should Not Pose Problems For Any Team In 2018-19
Published On: Tue, Jul 10
Jan 7, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; 2015 IIHF World Junior champions Max Domi (16) and Robby Fabbri (29) of Team Canada drop the ceremonial opening face off to Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner (27) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf (3) at the Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 6-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The purpose of the salary cap in the NHL is to maintain a sense of competitive balance across the league. That means both limiting how much a team can spend, the salary cap ceiling, but also ensuring that every team is competitive with a minimum expenditure, the salary cap floor. Some teams, generally those in smaller markets or undergoing rebuilds, tend to try to toe the line of the salary cap floor, paying as close to the minimum as possible for their roster. In years past, some teams have even struggled to hit that mark, taking on injured players or overpaying players in order to pass the floor. Ita€™s unlikely that any of the 31 franchises will face that problem in 2018-19.

This season, with a corresponding jump in the salary cap ceiling, the floor moved to $58.8MM. With the bulk of unrestricted free agency accounted for, just three teams currently sit below that mark: the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg Jets. However, both the Rangers and Jets can immediately be crossed off as a salary floor concern. The pair are perhaps the two teams with the most potential salary tied up inA salary arbitrationA this off-season.

The Jets currently have the lowest projected payroll in the league, with a 16-man roster that accounts for approximately $52.7MM. However, Winnipega€™s list of restricted free agents who have filed for arbitration include Vezina candidateA Connor Hellebuyck,A defensemanA Jacob Trouba,A and forwardsA Adam Lowry,A Chris Tanev,A andA Marko Dano,A as well as defensemanA Tucker PoolmanA who did not file. Those six players could easily combine for more than $20MM in combined salary when all is said and done, putting the Jets well clear of the floor and closer to the ceiling. DefensemanA Josh Morrissey, who is not arbitration eligible also needs a new contract. Winnipeg is far from a floor concern.

In New York, the Rangers sit at $55.8MM in projected cap committed to 16 players, just $3MM shy of the ceiling. They also need to re-sign a majority of their young core, with forwardsA Kevin Hayes,A Ryan Spooner,A andA Jimmy VeseyA and defensemanA Brady SkjeiA having filed for arbitration.

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