If the season ended today there are 16 teams in position to make the playoffs.
San Jose Sharks
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
13 out of these 16 teams are in the top 16 in the league in terms of cap hit. So it seems spending as much as you can gets you into the playoffs. The major exception to this rule is Dallas who sits 27th in the league but 1rst overall in cap hit. It also shows that the Canucks are playing way over their head. Their cap hit is 25th but they are in 8th overall. A close second is Nashville ranked 29th in cap hit but 15th overall.
What does this tell GM's. If you want to make the playoffs you have to spend to the cap. Teams will make back this money from revenue generated in the playoffs. Now someone please forward this to Sabres management and get them working on some trades with extra cap hit coming back.
On a side note, SJ is 21-3-1. Thats crazy. They are on pace for 141pts.