How does the (new) Northeast Division shape up financially?
Four weeks ago we looked at a breakdown of the salary cap situation for all 30 NHL teams. The message is clear: there will be fewer dollars available for free agents this summer than there are normally due to the salary cap ceiling dropping to $64.3 million. The impact on fantasy hockey, mainly cap leagues, is significant as there will be many players who will be forced to sign for less than what we may think they are worth.
This week we will continue a team-by-team breakdown of potential moves that could happen this summer. Hopefully we can stay ahead of the curve in trying to determine which players could potentially become cap bargains when they sign their new contracts.
Since the 2004-05 lockout, the popular course of action is for teams to take care of their own. Many pending contract expirations are settled during the season rather than waiting until after July 1st. Then, those who become free agents get whatever money is left, often with limited potential destinations.
So with that in mind, it is highly probable that free agents who re-sign with their current teams will have more odds of signing contracts that resemble what we would have seen last summer. On the other hand, players who hit the open market may get the short end of the stick.
Here is a breakdown of the NHL's new Northeast division: