Hey guys and gals! This started out as a fairly brief preview of where the Avs are currently sitting for 2011-12 season, but I sorta didn't stop writing, and now its long. Its still early, but since so many of us (mostly me) want to forget about whats going on on the ice right now, I figured I would take a look at where we are in relation to this current year's cap clinging ways.
All numbers have been taken from Capgeek.com, with a healthy amount of my own ridiculous opinion thrown in. Enjoy more after the jump!
The Avalanche are heading into the offseason with 14 current roster players signed, and plenty LEM and prospects locked up. There are going to be a lot of questions about RFA offersheets and Free Agent signings, because as of now, the Avs are going to look pretty skimpy for next season.
Avalanche Forward Situation
Forwards currently signed:
Peter Mueller________________ 2,000,000
Jay McClement ______________ 1,345,000
Daniel Winnik ________________ 950,000
Ryan O'Reilly _________________900,000
Mark Olver___________________ 850,000
There are also 5 players up with RFAs (Galiardi, Stoa, Jones, Porter, Dupuis) and 3 UFAs (Fleischmann, Hejduk, Koci). Some will be let go, some will certainly be tendered offers.
Avalanche Defense Situation
Defensemen currently signed:
Five current Dmen have RFAs (Hunwick, O'Byrne, Cumiskey, Belle, Wilson) and only one is a UFA (Foote). There are also several prospects hopefully waiting in the wings to jump into this mix.
Avalanche Goal Tender Situation
None. Both current keepers are RFA (Elliott) or UFA (Budaj).
Basic Current Outlook
At the moment, the Avalanche have $30,180,833 dedicated to the 14 players listed, as well as a $916,667 buyout from Tom Preissing that is still in effect for this year. Assuming the NHL Salary Cap remains constant, the cap floor will remain at 43.4 million. The cap floor is set to 16 million less than the total salary cap. If the overall cap goes up (which it may certainly do) by 2-3 million, the floor will rise with it. That decision won't happen until late June.
That basically gives the Avs $13.3mil to flesh out the existing roster with RFA signings, free agent acquisitions, and possibly salary-increasing trades before they even REACH the cap floor, with another $16mil to play with beyond. Anyone think we'll reach the limit?
Some Wild and Probably Terrible Salary Estimations
Confession: I'm not good at this sort of thing. I don't think I'll be too far off, but my numbers will probably vary widely from the actual contract. Anywhoo, I will give this a go with some possibilities.
Milan Hejduk, UFA: Duke, a UFA this offseason, will likely be signed to an extension or new contract (TBH, I'm not really sure which it would be) with the Avs, unless he decides to retire. I expect his contract to be similar, if not exact, to the one that he had this year. $3,000,000
Tomas Fleischmann, UFA: I definitely hope we re-sign the Flash. I know that he is a little more risky now, but his production here with Duchene was pretty special. I figure that, if he's signed, his riskiness and his value are going to basically even out to a middle ground and a small raise. $3,100,000
T.J. Galiardi, RFA: I figure that TJ will probably get a decent raise from his initial $875K, but not as much as he might like. I would put him in at about $1,800,00
Ryan Stoa, RFA: Whelp, if we re-sign Stoa, I imagine that he would probably be pretty low. He has had some decent top line time, as well as middle-lower line time, and hasn't really fit in anywhere well. $1,200,000
David Jones, RFA: This was the year that we have been waiting for from Jones. Maybe next year will be even better. If the Avs brass managed to sign Stewart to a $2.9M deal, I expect they will be able to give Jones a similar number based on his fragility and scoring prowess. $2,900,000
Kevin Porter, RFA: The enigma continues. Is he a top liner masquerading as someone who can't shoot? Is he an energy guy that doesn't hit? Is he both, but with enough talent to sign again? I figure that the Avs will sign him again, but I have no idea what he is worth. He has 22 points this year compared to Wolski's 32. Sooo... ? $1,400,000
David Koci, UFA: Koci is a hard working guy, and he will throw down, even if he doesnt win. I would rather we signed Bordeleau to a 2-way contract, but I think the Avs might want to keep Koci around for whatever reason it was they kept him around last year. Probably the ones that I mentioned above. Maybe $600,000
Phillipe Dupuis: This kid has crazy energy, but I don't really see him progressing much beyond where he is now. If they sign him again, I would expect a sub-mil contract for him. $750,000
If the Avs really re-sign all these guys, some of them will end up going back to Lake Erie for a while. I think we can count on Olver, Dupuis, and Stoa being sent down before the season starts.
Matt Hunwick, RFA: Hm. I think they may well sign Matty again. They will either tender him an offer or go after another Dman in free agency. Based on that, I think they might offer him ... whoa. He's a minus 19? With only 9 points? At least he would be cheap at maybe $1,750,000
Adam Foote, UFA: I... I see mini mites in your future! Thanks for the great times, Adam!
Ryan O'Byrne, RFA: This is another one thats a little hard to place. He's really not the best defender, he just helps steady Liles into awesomeness. I would guess, tho, $2,300,000
Kyle Cumiskey, RFA: I loved his speed, but I somehow doubt he will be tendered a contract. I hope you heal up, Kyle, and live strong!
Shawn Belle, RFA: Um, I suppose they will sign him to what would end up being a depth signing, and one to reinforce LEM. I would venture a guess at his current salary - $600,000
Ryan Wilson, RFA: I'm at a loss for this. Should he get what I estimated for OB? He has better stats than Hunwick, but does that mean I should offer Wilson more, or Hunwick less? I dunno at all. I hope he sticks, tho; he's a very good 5-6-7 defender, and I want him around. A generous $2,000,000
Brian Elliot, RFA: Man, I dunno. 2 different options: He could be starter (yes, I hit my head on the desk as I typed it), or he could be backup. At starter, I would expect him to run about $1.8M, and as a backup, no more than $1,000,000.
Peter Budaj, UFA: It might be time to let Boods go. I love the guy, probably way more than I should, but he has stagnated here and I don't see his position improving. I would be ok with him staying as a backup, but I don't think that he would work out at all as a starter. I would assume that, based on his play, a bit of a paycut is in order for a being a backup: $1,000,000
Joey Hishon: $1,200,000
Tyson Barrie: $715,000
Stefan Elliott: $843,333
Joel Chouinard: $566,666
Greg Mauldin: UFA, but previously $500,000
Now, the fun stuff: Fielding Lines and some Overall Salary Estimations
With our current players and prospects, having some current players starting in LE:
Flash / Duchene / Hejduk
Hishon / Stastny / Jones
McLeod / O'Reilly / Galiardi
Winnik / McClement / Porter
Johnson / Quincey
Liles / O'Byrne
Wilson / Gaunce
Elliott / Budaj
Total Estimated Salary for this setup, including Mueller and Preissing: $50M.
With my estimations, the Avs will clear the cap floor easily. Maybe their negotiating skills are way better than mine, and they won't give out the kind of deals that I thought up. But we won't have to go out and buy up a big name just to make the cap floor.
In retrospect, as I look over this whole deal, I was pretty generous. Would you rather have O'Byrne at $2.3M, or Brent Sopel at $2.33M? Yup. Interesting. Even if you cut my estimations by 25%, we should clear cap floor with this team.
Anyway, kids, what do you think?
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