Reports have indicated that the salary cap could rise by nine hundred thousand dollars for next season. For the purpose of this blog let's assume that the cap will be set at 57.7 million. With that, here's a look at what The Sens are dealing with:
One way contracts
FORWARD - 10
Spezza 7m, Kovalev 5m, Alfredsson 4.875m, Michalek 4.33m, Fisher 4.2m, Cheechoo 3m, Kelly 2.125m, Neil 2m, Ruutu 1.3m, Shannon .625m
DEFENSEMEN - 4
Kuba 3.7, m, Phillips 3.5m, Lee .875m, Carkner 700m
GOALIES - 2
Leclaire 3.8m, Elliott .850m
TOTAL of committed one way salary for 2010-11 season is 47,883,333
There are four players that are restricted free agents that need new contracts. Based on what they made this past season, Peter Regin and Jesse Winchester must be offered 10% increases in order to retain their rights while Nick Foligno and Chris Campoli must be offered 5% increases. Regin, Winchester and Campoli have arbitration rights. Here is what it will take(bare minimum, knowing it will certainly take more) to get all four resigned.
Foligno 825,250, Campoli 708,750, Regin 682,000, Winchester 632,500
The Sens will still be dinged with buy out cap hits on Daniel Alfredsson and Ray Emery.
Alfredsson 700,000, Emery 562,500
Next. Let's assume that 3 entry level players on two way contracts make the big club. Erik Karlsson (big reach there), Bobby Butler and Zack Smith.
Karlsson 1,300,000, Butler 900,000, Smith 533,333
Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility of a one of the young defensemen (Cowen, Wiercioch, Gryba) jumping up and having a big camp, but we'll leave that alone for now.
Adding up our four totals that has Ottawa spending 54,777,666 on 15 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies.
That leaves Bryan Murray with just 2,992,334 in cap space.Keep in mind that the 54,777,666 assumes that the four RFA's to resign at the minimum. Not happening.
This number will be cut a bit as we know that Murray will not carry 15 forwards. Recent history has shown he will carry seven defensemen and maybe 13 forwards. Another cut will likely come in the form of buying out the remaining 3.5 million (3 million in cap dollars) on Jonathan Cheechoo's contract. That would mean a cap hit on each of the next two seasons at 1.16m rather than three million in the 2010-11 season.
So, the point being. Unless there are other substantial moves looming, the math tells us Bryan Murray doesn't have a hope in hell of resigning any of the three key unrestricted free agents in Anton Volchenkov, Andy Sutton or Matt Cullen.