The National Hockey League roster deadline is this coming today at 3 p.m. MT. At that time, teams must be both compliant with the league’s roster requirements and with their salary cap requirements. Now that the Calgary Flames have signed everybody, we have a much clearer picture of how they’re going to sneak under the salary cap.
Here’s a handy table with all current roster players in numerical order. All cap hits via General Fanager.
|8||Nicklas Grossmann||D||n/a (PTO)|
|—||Mason Raymond buyout||—||$1,050,000|
|—||2015-16 cap overage||—||$630,500|
As presented above, the roster includes two goalies, nine defensemen and 14 forwards (25 players total) – Nicklas Grossman is still here but doesn’t have a contract so functionally it’s 24 players. As you can imagine, they’ll need to do a bit of wriggling to get under the salary cap and roster limit considering they’re a player and $116,000 over. That said, the obvious solution is going to be sending a body down to the AHL tomorrow to get under the cap.
- Daniel Pribyl (knee) is likely going to be declared non-roster on Tuesday. Since he spent zero days in the NHL last season, none of his cap hit counts against the Flames’ total. He’s a non-issue.
- Ladislav Smid (neck) is likely also going to be declared non-roster on Tuesday. Since he spent last season in the NHL, his entire cap hit could count unless the Flames decide to put him on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR). For a multitude of reasons, I imagine they don’t want to do that: it’s essentially the payday loan of cap compliance in the sense that it gets you what you need, but it’s messy and complicated in an administrative sense, and really handcuffs your ability to do other things cap-wise. Long story short: it’s a mechanism they can use, but they probably don’t want to begin the season by using it to balance their books because it eliminates a lot of their flexibility. I’m also not convinced that the Flames are definitely going to place Smid on LTIR (because of how it restricts them) and they’ll be under the cap without having to do it.
- Sam Bennett, Brett Kulak and Linden Vey are all waiver exempt, and Brandon Bollig could be by tomorrow. One of them could be sent down to the AHL in order for the Flames to be cap compliant, which is the most likely thing to happen. (If they send Bollig down, they’ll only get $925,000 of cap relief and $325,000 of his salary will remain on the NHL cap.) I’d wager that Vey is the most likely to go down at the moment; he’s the seeming placeholder on a line with Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland, and he’s using Gaudreau’s corner stall in the Flames locker room. Swapping him out, on paper, seems to make the most obvious sense.
In short? The Flames roster seems to be set. They don’t need to put Smid on LTIR to balance the books, and they’ll likely be between $600,000 and $700,000 under the cap when the season begins (depending on who they send down). Brad Treliving may be a wizard, and his wizardry has given the Flames a bit of breathing room as we head into the regular season.