As it sits, the salary cap for the 2011-2012 season is set at $64.3 million dollars. The only way they could get the salary cap that high is to raise the salary cap floor. The salary cap floor is set at $48.3 million. Look, I am all for the salary cap. I think it makes the league more fair in a way that no team can "pay for championships." I do not like how some teams are abusing this just to get to the salary cap floor.
The salary cap era was done for the benefit of the league. Teams with a low cap hit should be trying to get a superstar to build their team around. This will make that team competitive for years if they build around said player. It is not for teams to overpay role players.
The Florida Panthers are the prime example of this. Don't get me wrong, they have greatly improved their team from last year but at the expense of the rest of the league. They have overpaid for such players as Tomas Fleischmann (4 yrs, $4.5 mill/yr), Scottie Upshall (4 yrs, $3.5 mill/yr), Tomas Kopecky (4 yrs, $3 mill/yr), Sean Bergenheim (4 yrs, 2.75 mill/yr), Ed Jovanovski (4 yrs, $4.125 mill/yr). These players are all good players, don't get me wrong, but none of them are worth that much. The Panthers are overpaying role players just to reach the salary cap floor. This does not just make it hard for other teams to get in the bidding process for these players, but it drives up the prices for similar players on the unrestricted free agent market.
Believe it or not, these small market teams struggling to make it to the cap are affecting the larger teams with barely any cap space left to fill out a roster. According to capgeek.com, the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, and Washington Capitals all have under $5 million left in cap space. The latter three teams have under $3 million remaining. These teams still need to fill out rosters and they cannot get into bidding wars against the smaller teams for role players because teams like the Panthers are skyrocketing the prices.
This may not be an easy fix but there has to be a way to make it so small market teams are able to reach the salary cap floor without overpaying role players. One suggestion could be that each team should have at least one player who is paid a large amount, maybe like $7 million per season. That way, each team can have a great player who they can build a team around. I don't think teams will pay a role player $7 million a year. Maybe this would even the talent around the NHL and give each team a fighting chance. What is your opinion?
Around the NHL
The New York Rangers should be a better team with the signing of Brad Richards. Him and Marion Gaborik could end up being scary to play against.
Speaking of the Rangers, Mike Rupp will wear #71 and former Penguin Ruslan Fedotenko will switch back to #26.
The Washington Capitals may have gotten the steal of the free agency period with the signing of Tomas Vokoun for only $1.5 million. With a goalie, the Capitals could become a contender. Plus, he provides some veteran leadership for youngster, Michal Neuvirth.
Are the Flyers really a better team? After the dust settles, it is still unclear whether the Flyers really have improved. The locker room has been blown up and they lost some star players but have they really gained enough to contend for the Cup?
I don't think any of the Restricted Free Agents will move to a new team. Stamkos is too good of a talent for the Lightning to lose. If they lose him, it will knock them back a few years instead of being a perennial Cup contender.
I don't see Drew Doughty being moved either. He is a big part of the Kings' blue line and they cannot let him go. LA has improved a lot this offseason with the acquisitions of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. Word on the street is that they are not done either.
Here is a great interview with Evgeni Malkin. He talks all about injuries, Matt Cooke, Ovechkin, and a lot more. http://sports.yahoo.com/n...igarettes-?urn=nhl-wp8722
I will be back with much more news including an idea for realignment and other Penguins/NHL news.