Yesterday, the Minnesota Wild broke the world by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The immediate reaction here at Hockey Wilderness was one of jubilation and pure, unadulterated joy. Several fans of other teams stopped by to congratulate the HW community, something we thank them for doing. As the day wore on, however, the joy seemed to wear off, and there were some Wild fans starting to question some things, and some fans of the other teams invovled in the "sweepstakes" that turned bitter.
How do two elite level players signing deals for cap friendly cap hits wind up causing cap concerns? We aren't sure, but we'll go along with it for now.
We wanted to set a few things straight, and allow for the fans to enjoy this moment in time without being smacked around by those who feel they know better. To that end, we take a look at the Wild's cap situation this season, next season, and going forward. We also address the haters.
Join us after the jump.
To the Haters
Minnesota Wild Cap Issues
Looking at CapGeek, the Wild still sit about $2.8 million below the current cap of $70.2 million. That is plenty of room to leave the team room for injury call ups, and even make a trade, should that be deemed necessary. That is really all Wild fans need to be concerned with right now. The team has maneuvering room should they need it. They are certainly considered a "cap team," but that is plenty of room to do things they need to do.
Please note: CapGeek does not have Jake Dowell listed. I have yet to see contract details there, but I can't imagine it is a cap buster.
Some are freaking out a bit about what might happen in the new CBA. There are rumors swirling about the cap going down, and teams being stuck being over the cap and having to shed payroll. I have no inside information, but my thoughts are that if the CBA forces the cap down, teams will either be given a grace period of a season to get below the new cap, or that the new CBA will also include a salary roll back to bring salaries within the scoe of the new cap.
I wouldn't put too much worry into this, folks. If, for some reason, the Wild do need to get under the cap, there are plenty of contracts they can buyout, or bury in the AHL. I just don't see the NHL dropping the cap so much that the Wild would need to panic.
The issue going forward becomes a complete non-issue. Next year, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Matt Cullen, Niklas Backstrom, and the last of Cam Barker's buy out all come off the cap for the Wild. That's roughly $14 million off the cap hit for the team in a single off season. Add that to the room they already have, and you're over $19 million. That number is huge. Should the cap stay reasonably steady, imagine what the team could do with $19 million to spend, prospects hopefully making a case for the second line spots, and really only needing to fill a spot in net?
In the summer of 2014, are set up with plenty more cap space, with Dany Heatley's current deal expiring, and Devin Setoguchi set to be a UFA. Tom Gilbert, Clayton Stoner, and Nate Prosser also all hit UFA status that summer, along with Zenon Konopka, Matt Kassian, Darroll Powe and Chad Rau. That summer, the Wild will also finally be rid of the Josh Caron and Bjorn Krupp deals signed by HWSRN. CapGeek says $39 million+ is available that summer.
So... while there are always cap issues in the NHL, it becomes clear that unless the new CBA drops the cap and offers no way out, the Wild are in perfect condition when it comes to managing those numbers.
In other words... stop worrying and just be happy for once. If for no other reason than to annoy the piss out of the bitter fans across the league.