Navigating the wage cap is among the extra essential duties for any GM. Teams that may keep away from whole cap chaos by strolling the tightrope of inking gamers to offers that match their worth (or compensate for future worth with out breaking the financial institution) stay profitable. Those that don’t see struggles and front-office adjustments.

PHR will have a look at each NHL workforce and provides a radical have a look at their cap state of affairs for the 2022-23 season and past. This will focus extra on gamers who’re regulars on the roster versus those that might discover themselves shuttling between the AHL and NHL. All cap figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Current cap hit: $89,574,031 (over the $82.5M higher restrict)

Entry-level contracts

D Nick Perbix (one 12 months, $842.5K)

Potential bonuses
Perbix: $82.5K

Perbix has already signed an extension, so we’ll cowl that later. His bonuses are games-played primarily based and sometimes require 80 video games to max out. However, there are usually a couple of tiers for bonuses at this value level, so he ought to obtain a few of this quantity. With Tampa Bay into LTIR, no matter Perbix earns will come off their cap subsequent season.

Signed by 2022-23, non-entry-level

F Rudolfs Balcers ($750K, RFA)
F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ($1M, UFA)
D Ian Cole ($3M, UFA)
F Ross Colton ($1.25M, RFA)
G Brian Elliott ($900K, UFA)
D Callan Foote ($850K, RFA)
F Alex Killorn ($4.45M, UFA)
F Vladislav Namestnikov ($2.5M, UFA)
F Corey Perry ($1M, UFA)

Killorn’s future with Tampa Bay has seemingly been in query for some time now with the workforce having to chop from its veteran core every season. Those questions will solely intensify, because it’s onerous to see how the Lightning can afford to maintain him. The 33-year-old has an opportunity at beating his profession excessive in factors (59, set final season), which might assist him hit the open market on a excessive be aware. He ought to have the ability to get a small elevate on a medium-term settlement. Namestnikov additionally seems to be unlikely to return as he hasn’t slot in throughout his second stint with the workforce. He’ll even be hard-pressed to match his present AAV until he can flip issues round down the stretch. Perry and Bellemare are low-cost veterans Tampa Bay will both wish to retain or herald another person to interchange them at probably a barely decrease cap cost. If the Lightning look elsewhere, they’d be in line for related contracts to what they’re on now.

On the RFA aspect up entrance, Colton might be in line for a large elevate. He potted 22 targets final season and has an opportunity at 20 this 12 months. Notably, he’ll even have wage arbitration eligibility, which may push his subsequent contract previous the $3M vary. He’s an essential a part of their backside six, however they may need to get artistic to maintain him round. Balcers was picked up off waivers earlier this season, and he examined the UFA market final summer season after being purchased out. Another minimum-priced contract needs to be coming his manner, which may hold him round for one more 12 months in Tampa Bay.

On the again finish, Cole is arguably having a greater 12 months than he did final season with Carolina, logging his highest ice time since 2018-19 within the course of. Having performed on one-year offers for the final two seasons now, he may need a shot at a multiyear settlement at a price ticket that’s near this one. Foote nonetheless hasn’t been in a position to fairly lock down a full-time spot within the lineup, which is able to harm his case even with arbitration eligibility. He ought to have the ability to push previous the $1M mark, however his subsequent deal shouldn’t be far more than that, even when they resolve to tack on a second season.

Elliott has put up numbers which are hovering close to the league common this 12 months, which is an efficient return on one of many least expensive goalie contracts within the league. But he turns 38 in April and goes to be going year-to-year from right here on out. On benefit, he’s worthy of at the least a small elevate, but when he needs to stick with the Lightning, it’ll need to be at this value level at most. With how their roster is structured, the Lightning merely can’t afford a costlier backup netminder.

Signed by 2023-24

D Zach Bogosian ($850K, UFA)
D Haydn Fleury ($762.5K, UFA)
F Brandon Hagel ($1.5M, UFA)
F Pat Maroon ($1M, UFA)
D Philippe Myers ($2.55M in 2022-23, $1.4M in 2023-24, UFA)
D Brent Seabrook ($6.875M, UFA)
F Steven Stamkos ($8.5M, UFA)

Stamkos isn’t actually slowing down and has supplied lots of worth on this contract as he continues to be a focus of Tampa Bay’s assault. Accordingly, he has positioned himself for a elevate on his subsequent deal if he needs to go after prime greenback. In that case, he may land an eight-digit AAV, particularly with 2024 pegged because the summer season for the higher restrict to leap up by a fair-sized quantity. But if he needs to stay round with the Lightning, this appears like a state of affairs the place he may settle for a longer-term contract to assist attempt to deliver the cap hit down considerably relative to market worth. Such a deal would take him nearer to age 40, which isn’t essentially superb, however it will hold the worth tag nearer to the place it’s now. That would enable them to maintain the core round so long as doable.

The Lightning paid a large value to land Hagel because of what has shortly was one of many greater bargains within the league. If he continues to attain round his present tempo, he may make a case to quadruple his present price ticket. Even with the next cap at the moment, it could be robust for them to maintain each Hagel and Stamkos round. As for Maroon, he’s a fourth-liner at this level and might be 36 when he hits the open market. That will probably hold him round this price ticket two years from now.

Let’s get Seabrook out of the way in which shortly. You may need forgotten that he’s right here now as a substitute of in Chicago, however his state of affairs hasn’t modified as his taking part in profession has come to an finish. He will stay on LTIR till this deal expires, which signifies that Tampa Bay goes to have common cap house for a couple of extra years.

Myers came visiting through the summer season within the Ryan McDonagh commerce. While many anticipated him to be purchased out to present Tampa Bay a cap credit score, he was as a substitute prolonged at this cheaper price. The Lightning’s cap state of affairs has Myers within the minors proper now, but when he can lock down an everyday spot subsequent season, he may have the ability to land a deal a bit nearer to what he’s getting this 12 months. Bogosian has had a restricted position when wholesome this season and is extra of a depth defender at this level.   deal round what he’s getting now’s the place his market ought to fall. Fleury, in the meantime, has had a restricted position. Until he can set up himself as an everyday, his worth goes to stay at or close to the minimal wage.

Signed by 2024-25

D Victor Hedman ($7.875M, UFA)
D Nick Perbix ($1.125M from 2023-24 by 2024-25, UFA)

Hedman has been Tampa Bay’s prime defenseman for the higher a part of the final decade and hasn’t proven a lot in the way in which of indicators of slowing down. At a time when prime rearguards are touchdown greater than $10M after they’re eligible totally free company, he has been a pleasant discount for the Lightning and may proceed to be for the remainder of the deal. When it’s up, his taking part in time needs to be beginning to dip, which may hold his AAV near this one, particularly if he re-signs. Perbix has been a pleasing shock this season, which earned him this low-cost extension not too way back. It’s a low-risk proposition. If Myers or another person passes Perbix on the depth chart, the deal might be buried within the minors with none lingering cap cost.

Signed by 2025-26 or longer

D Erik Cernak ($2.95M in 2022-23, $5.2M from 2023-24 by 2030-31)
F Anthony Cirelli ($4.8M in 2022-23, $6.25M from 2023-24 by 2030-31)
F Nikita Kucherov ($9.5M by 2026-27)
F Nick Paul ($3.15M by 2028-29)
F Brayden Point ($9.5M by 2029-30)
D Mikhail Sergachev ($4.8M in 2022-23, $8.5M from 2023-24 by 2030-31)
G Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9.5M by 2027-28)

Kucherov has been one of many elite wingers within the NHL for a number of years now however is just tied for the fifth-highest AAV within the league amongst wingers (and can slide additional down the record over the subsequent few seasons). At 29, there’s no purpose to assume he doesn’t have a number of extra high-end years left in him, so this needs to be a relative discount for the foreseeable future. Point is a official No. 1 middle, and at 26, he’s in his prime. He doesn’t decide up the factors like Kucherov does (few do) so his deal isn’t as below-market as his frequent linemate, however having a prime intermediary locked up for this lengthy will get one of many foundational items in place for the lengthy haul.

Cirelli’s numbers are down this season, however he continues to be one of many stronger defensive forwards within the league. If he can lock down the second middle spot, the Lightning will get good worth right here. If he stays extra of a secondary choice (which may occur early on with many of the core set to return subsequent season), this deal could be a bit dear initially until he’s in a position to get nearer to the 50-point mark. Paul was considered as probably a straight rental, however they have been in a position to work out a long-term deal to maintain him round at a higher-end third line charge. He’s producing a bit above that this 12 months, and so long as that continues, they’ll do properly with this deal.

Sergachev has slowly been bettering every season and has discovered one other gear this 12 months, rising as a official top-pairing defender. While he might want to keep his present stage of manufacturing to justify this value level, there’s actually purpose for optimism that he’ll have the option to take action. It could possibly be steered that he’s already near turning into their No. 1 defender, and when that does occur, he’ll be making lower than market charge for somebody in that position. Cernak is a priceless shutdown defender that may play some heavy minutes defensively. At his present price ticket, they’re getting good worth. At $5.2M, although, that’s a little bit of a premium to pay for that kind of participant. Perhaps there’s a bit extra offensive upside there but when that doesn’t occur, this could possibly be a little bit of an above-market contract.

Vasilevskiy has been an elite goaltender for a number of years, and even in a little bit of a quieter season, he nonetheless has been properly above common. Yes, he’s paid above the league common for a starter ,however he has performed properly sufficient to earn that kind of payday. It’s doable that he slows down a bit towards the top of the deal, however that shouldn’t be a priority for some time. They’ll be paying a premium at this place, however they’re getting bang for his or her buck.


F Vincent Lecavalier ($1.762M by 2026-27, cap-exempt)

Retained wage transactions


Best worth: Hagel
Worst worth: Myers

Looking forward

There has been a purpose why GM Julien BriseBois has been suggesting that his workforce isn’t more likely to be lively on the commerce deadline. They simply don’t have lots of LTIR room remaining, not even sufficient for a participant making the league minimal. They could be compelled to attempt to get a workforce to retain on a minimal contract. When you’re in that state of affairs, it’s onerous to take a giant swing on the commerce entrance.

For subsequent season, the Lightning have over $75M in commitments even after backing out Seabrook’s deal, which is able to as soon as once more be on LTIR. They’ll have at the least 5 roster spots to fill (probably one or two extra to be secure) with what’s left, in order that doesn’t give them sufficient flexibility to attempt to hold Killorn within the fold barring a commerce. There has lengthy been an expectation that the additional veteran depth would slowly be damaged up, and that has began with previous trades of Tyler Johnson and McDonagh. That development is more likely to proceed for 2023-24 and past.

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