This time, we turn our attention to the Flortheast, that perfectly logical geographical division made up of the Eastern Conference's Canadian teams and the Floridian teams they can help keep afloat. Also detroit for some reason. Bettman's NHL. Sorry for any mistakes in this one or if it's boring/filled with joke duds. I'm in a dogfight with sinusitis and it definitely has the upper hand right now.
13-14 charts use either the $64.3 million cap or what the team spent as 100%, whichever is larger. (Some exceeded the cap due to bonuses.) 14-15 charts assume a salary cap of $70 million, which I chose for being near what everyone has been saying and a nice round number. As always, you can click each graph to embiggen.
1. Boston Bruins (117 points)
I don't see any doubt that last season's Bruins were a prototypical Cap Team. In fact they may have been too much a Cap Team.
For next season, as of right now, the Bruins are in a Cap Crunch. For starters they have nearly $5 million in bonus overages from 2013-14 counting against the cap. Barring a trade that frees up significant salary, the Bruins have a few RFAs to lock down and some roster to fill with less than $3 million. That's pretty scary. But the Bruins are a team that's been built pretty well, so unless it still looks like this in September, fans of the Bear should probably not be that concerned.
Note: I noticed the mistake too late, but that name Johnson in the 14-15 legend should be Svedberg. Excel is tricksy; false.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (101 points)
Maybe Thin Cap Team works for this pie? Nine players take up a lot of the cap here, among them Stamkos, Filppula, Carle, and half a season of St. Louis. But the team is also very young as evidenced by having 3 RFA defensemen to re-up this summer. Thin would certainly describe their results, as the team was hopeless in the playoffs without Vezina candidate Ben Bishop in the lineup.
Next season is a little bit hairy. That pie is a total mess. The Lightning bought out Ryan Malone yesterday, which freed up about 6.4% of their cap, but after they sign their RFAs they don't have a whole lot of roster left and still have plenty of cap room. And everyone makes the same amount of money. Is that Balanced? Are they an incognito Budget Team? What exactly is this, Stevie Whyzerman?
3. Montreal Canadiens (100 points)
Montreal were also a well-structured Cap Team last season. The largest cap hit on their books belonged to Carey Price. (It still does unless they've signed PK Subban's All Of The Dollars x Forever deal this morning.) No skater took 9% of the cap on his own, and there is no significant dropoff from top to bottom. Look, Peter Budaj!
For next season Montreal need to Sign Some Fucking Players, most notably the aforementioned PK Subban. Between that, replacing Vanek, and replacing some defensemen, we'll be looking at another Cap Team next year and see if they can repeat their success. Much like the both other teams so far, next year's team will look a lot like this year's.
4. detroit red wings (93 points)
That's more like it! Stuff! Things!
Last season's red wings indisputably met Good Lord Stop Getting Hurt criteria. Look at all those cute miniature slices. That's what happens when you're calling up guys to replace injuries to guys replacing injured starters. It was absurd up there. It's almost like a roster full of old bodies isn't going to be able to stay healthy. Who knew?
They go into next season for now in Sign Some Fucking Players land. $3 million in bonus overages come off the top. There's three RFAs including Tatar and DeKeyser, and minor raises that are already in place for Datsyuk (naturally) and Gustavsson (him?). They have a LOT of forwards to replace.
Of course you can see from the legends that this roster will be at least 99% less repugnant in 14-15, so thumbs up from me.
5. Ottawa Senators (88 points)
Those of you who follow Travis Yost on the Tweet box can skip to number 6, you know the answer here.
Budget Team. No doubt about this one. From the things we already know about Melnyk's finances, man we didn't even need to look at this one. They were a Budget Team in 2013-14. They'll be a Budget Team in 2014-15. It's just handy to take a peek at what that looks like. Hey, they need that piece of the expense sheet for their forensics team, that just doesn't show up on Capgeek.
The only question mark here is Spezza, whose 10% cap share is looking to catch a flight elsewhere. That will leave more than 35% of their cap open to replace him with cheap parts. Whoooo are you, Spezza trade partner? Who-who? Who-who?
6. Toronto Maple Leafs (84 points)
Hahaha. Oh boy. Last year that was a Cap Team and its results were pretty insufficient.
But hey, luckily for the Leafs, they've got literally nobody signed next year! There's 12 guys on Capgeek's roster. Right? Not so fast. Franson, Gardiner, and Reimer are all RFAs. Move Dion Phaneuf over next to Phil Kessel, American Hero, and all of a sudden this looks really potentially Topheavy. Filling in the rest of the roster can't be done except in a Thin way because they only have 30% of the cap, somewhere around $21 million, to sign a bunch of players. They're going to have to fill their roster from the Humble Bundle. That structure sound familiar?
Phil absolutely deserves his 11.4% cap share, Phaneuf deserves his 10%, but when you've got another 25% in Clarkson, Lupul, and THE Bozak, just, holy shit.
7. Florida Panthers (66 points)
This is clearly a no-question Budget Team. The best-paid forward is old friend Tomas Fleischmann. Like, he hockeys good, but highest-paid forward good?
We should expect more of the same from Florida next season, although they sit now needing to Sign Some Fucking Players. Whatever boring next
8. Buffalo Sabres (52 points)
What. on earth. is this. I think I'll go with Rebuilding Disaster. Look at all those tiny slices from players who were traded in or out, or were injured, in this true nightmare of a Sabres season. 28 forwards. 13 defensemen. 8 goalies. Wow. There aren't words. In fact, I like that better than Rebuilding Disaster. This structure pie is There Aren't Words.
Fortunately for you, Sabres fans, and I know we have a few of them around here thanks in large part to the Dominator, the Sabres have more than half of their cap available to spend and plenty of roster spots to spend it on. Maybe next season they won't be historically bad.
That's it for the Flortheast, stick around next week as we tour the Canafornia division before coming back home to #ConferenceIII and a comparison between the Avs and everyone else. Enjoy your Thursdays. I'm gonna go sneeze and clear my throat for a while.