Olympic Rosters: The Salary Cap Edition

[Editor's Note]: This is a wonderful Fanpost on the Olympics, detailing the salary of each Olympic team. For archiving purposes this article has been republished. It was originally authored by ElvisVF101 on January 1st, 2010; the initial Fanpost can be found here.

Happy New Year hockey fans! Today, the US announced its Men's Olympic Hockey roster, meaning that all the contenders for medals at the 2010 Vancouver games will be announced.

These games have been highly anticipated for several reasons:

1.) The venue: Canada is one of the most hockey mad countries on the face of the planet. Anytime the game goes to one of it's spiritual homes, you can expect a great atmosphere and great support at each of the games, even for neutral games.

2.) NHL Participation: While the "Miracle on Ice" was one of the greatest sporting stories of all time because, among many things, a team of amateurs beat what was essentially a seasoned professional side, participation by the NHL has given us some of the best games we could ask for. NHL players do participate in the World Championships, but many players are frequently unavailable due to playoff commitments. With this being possibly the last year the NHL participates, we could be seeing this type of talent together on the ice for the last time.

3.) Crosby vs. Ovechkin: It's been one of the biggest stories in the NHL, and now it's going global. Yes, yes, there'll be more than just these two at the games, but let's face it, they are the star power. The prospect of these two meeting again for something as big as a gold medal will get even the most casual fan interested.

4.) The Dark Horses: Canada and Russia will meet for gold. That's about 99% certain. They're just too talented... but wait. What happens if Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundqvist or Miikka Kiprusoff get hot? What happens if Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra become unstoppable? What happens if Jaromir Jagr remembers that he used to be the best player in the world? What happens if Marion Hossa finally wins the big one? In a single elimination tournament, it only takes one bad game for it all to go wrong for a favorite. And the pride of playing for country always seems to give everyone a boost.

5.) Payback: In Salt Lake City, Canada won gold, and snuck a loony under center ice to boot. Russia has won the past 2 world championships at Canada's expense, once on Canadian ice. Slovakia was undefeated in Turin until the Czech Republic bounced them. Finland was on a tear in Turin until Sweden finally got the best of them in the gold medal game. And how much you wanna bet Lavtia and Belarus wouldn't just love to beat old Mother Russia? Hockey players are like your brothers: sometimes, you just want to punch them in the face really really hard.

With all the hype and all the anticipation, people are going to be looking at all sorts of stats and metrics to gauge each teams chances: goals, points, international and Stanley Cup experience, save percentage, etc.

We're going to look at one metric that most people might be tempted to ignore: payroll.

That's right, because we're geeks, we're going to look at the cap hits of the seven Olympic rosters that have more than half their spots filled by current NHLers.

All numbers are drawn from www.capgeek.com, and use the current cap of $56.8M.

Let's start with team Slovakia:

EDIT: 1/4/10 to add Miroslav Satan's contract

PLAYER CAP HIT

F Marian Gaborik $7,500,000
F Marian Hossa $5,275,000
F Michal Handzus  $4,000,000
F Pavol Demitra $4,000,000

F Tomas Kopecky $1,200,000

F Miroslav Satan$700,000
D Zdeno Chara $7,500,000
D Lubomir Visnovsky $5,600,000
D Andrej Meszaros $4,000,000
D Milan Jurcina $1,375,000
D Andrej Sekera $1,000,000
G Peter Budaj $1,250,000
G Jaroslav Halak $775,000



ROSTER SIZE 13
TEAM CAP NUMBER $44,175,000
CAP SPACE $12,625,000

There are some big names here, and some big cap numbers as well. Comparitively, Marian Hossa and his $5.275M cap hit seem reasonable, even if they are for the long term.

Interesting fact, the Stanley Cup was purchased in for $48.67. Adjusted for inflation, that's $1151.96.

Next up is the Czech Republic:

PLAYER CAP HIT
F Patrik Elias $6,000,000
F Martin Havlat $5,000,000
F Martin Erat $4,500,000
F Milan Michalek $4,333,333
F David Krejci $3,750,000
F Tomas Plekanec $2,750,000
F Tomas Fleischmann $725,000
D Pavel Kubina $5,000,000
D Tomas Kaberle $4,250,000
D Filip Kuba $3,700,000
D Marek Zidlicky $3,350,000
D Jan Hejda $2,000,000
D Zbynek Michalek $1,250,000
D Roman Polak $1,100,000
G Tomas Vokoun $5,700,000
G Ondrej Pavelec $1,433,333

ROSTER SIZE 16
TEAM CAP NUMBER $54,841,666
CAP SPACE $1,958,334

I don't think they can fit Jagr's $10M KHL contract there, and filling 7 roster spots with less than $2M would be tough as well.

We move north to Finland:

PLAYER CAP HIT
F Olli Jokinen $5,250,000
F Tuomo Ruutu $3,800,000
F Mikko Koivu $3,250,000
F Saku Koivu $3,250,000
F Niklas Hagman $3,000,000
F Valtteri Filppula $3,000,000
F Teemu Selanne $2,625,000
F Jere Lehtinen $2,500,000
F Antti Miettinen $2,333,333
F Jarkko Ruutu $1,300,000
D Kimmo Timonen $6,333,333
D Joni Pitkanen $4,000,000
D Sami Salo $3,500,000
D Toni Lydman $2,875,000
D Sami Lepisto $550,000
G Niklas Backstrom $6,000,000
G Miikka Kiprusoff $5,833,333
G Antero Niittymaki $600,000

ROSTER SIZE 18
TEAM CAP NUMBER $59,999,999
CAP SPACE $-3,199,999

Finland, unfortunately, bust the cap. They can not buy a vowel. Not that they need to.

By comparison, their cross-border rivals, Sweden, are as follows:

PLAYER CAP HIT
F Henrik Sedin $6,100,000
F Daniel Sedin $6,100,000
F Henrik Zetterberg $6,083,333
F Daniel Alfredsson $4,875,000
F Fredrik Modin $3,250,000
F Samuel Pahlsson $2,650,000
F Nicklas Backstrom $2,400,000
F Tomas Holmstrom $2,250,000
F Loui Eriksson $1,600,000
F Patric Hornqvist $713,333
D Nicklas Lidstrom $7,450,000
D Tobias Enstrom $3,750,000
D Mattias Ohlund $3,607,142
D Johnny Oduya $3,500,000
D Niklas Kronwall $3,000,000
D Henrik Tallinder $2,562,500
D Douglas Murray $2,500,000
G Henrik Lundqvist $6,875,000
G Jonas Gustavsson $2,500,000

ROSTER SIZE 19
TEAM CAP NUMBER $71,766,308
CAP SPACE $-14,966,308

Sweden have both Kronwalled and Crankshafted the cap.

Next up, one of the only 2 all NHL rosters, Team USA:

PLAYER CAP HIT
F Chris Drury $7,050,000
F Paul Stastny $6,600,000
F Phil Kessel $5,400,000
F Ryan Malone $4,500,000
F Patrick Kane $3,725,000
F Dustin Brown $3,175,000
F Zach Parise $3,125,000
F Jamie Langenbrunner $2,800,000
F David Backes $2,500,000
F Ryan Callahan $2,300,000
F Bobby Ryan $1,921,666
F Ryan Kesler $1,750,000
F Joe Pavelski $1,637,500
D Brian Rafalski $6,000,000
D Mike Komisarek $4,500,000
D Paul Martin $3,833,333
D Brooks Orpik $3,750,000
D Erik Johnson $3,700,000
D Ryan Suter $3,500,000
D Jack Johnson $1,425,000
G Ryan Miller $6,250,000
G Tim Thomas $5,000,000
G Jonathan Quick $770,000

ROSTER SIZE 23
TEAM CAP NUMBER $85,212,499
CAP SPACE $-28,412,499

This is actually a fairly respectable team, given what some of the other top contenders are fielding from a salary perspective. And, if you consider that Chris Drury is massively overpaid, it looks even better. Heck, you might as well just take Phil Kessel's cap hit off the books and just call it two first overalls and a second rounder.

The best hope for the US in Vancouver is that Ryan Miller plays out of his mind and that our $80M goes really really fast.

Now here's an interesting roster, Russia:

PLAYER CAP HIT
F Alexander Ovechkin $9,538,461
F Evgeni Malkin $8,700,000
F Pavel Datsyuk $6,700,000
F Ilya Kovalchuk $6,389,300
F Alexander Semin $4,600,000
F Maxim Afinogenov $800,000
D Andrei Markov $5,750,000
D Sergei Gonchar $5,000,000
D Denis Grebeshkov $3,150,000
D Fedor Tyutin $2,843,750
D Anton Volchenkov $2,500,000
G Evgeni Nabokov $5,375,000
G Ilya Bryzgalov $4,250,000
G Simeon Varlamov $821,666

ROSTER SIZE 14
TEAM CAP NUMBER $66,418,177
CAP SPACE $-9,618,177

Now, the $66M cap number is on par with teams like Finland and Sweden. But it's for 14 players. 14. They are $12M more than the Czech Republic's 16 and $22M more than Slovakia's 13. Quite impressive for what was once the heart of the world's largest centrally planned economy.

And now, for the one we've all been waiting for. The big spenders. That economic juggernaut that his Canada:

PLAYER CAP HIT
F Sidney Crosby $8,700,000
F Eric Staal $8,250,000
F Dany Heatley $7,500,000
F Joe Thornton $7,200,000
F Jarome Iginla $7,000,000
F Patrick Marleau $6,300,000
F Mike Richards $5,750,000
F Rick Nash $5,400,000
F Ryan Getzlaf $5,325,000
F Corey Perry $5,325,000
F Patrice Bergeron $4,750,000
F Brenden Morrow $4,100,000
F Jonathan Toews $2,800,000
D Scott Niedermayer $6,750,000
D Dan Boyle $6,666,666
D Chris Pronger $6,250,000
D Shea Weber $4,500,000
D Brent Seabrook $3,500,000
D Drew Doughty $3,475,000
D Duncan Keith $1,475,000
G Roberto Luongo $6,750,000
G Martin Brodeur $5,200,000
G Marc-Andre Fleury $5,000,000

ROSTER SIZE 23
TEAM CAP NUMBER $127,966,666
CAP SPACE $-71,166,666

Wow.

Team Canada's current payroll would place them 189th on the CIA World Fact Book's listing of GDPs, just between the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. It is approximately 4% of the US$3.3B bailout given to the auto industry by the Canadian and Ontario Provincial Governments.

A little bit of breakdown here: Ontario leads the way with 8 players and some $48M in salary, just a shade under 38% of the cap hit.

Quebec's 4 players, all 3 netminders and surprise inclusion Patrice Bergeron, account for $21.7M or just under 17% of salary.

British Columbia's 4 D-men (and a scary core four of Niedermayer, Weber, and the Chicago pairing of Keith-Seabrook, seriously, I think I could play goal behind them), by comparison, are $16.225M or just under 13%.

Saskatchewan sends an impressive trio of Marleau, Getzlaf and Morrow for $15.725M at about 12%.

Alberta may only send 2 players, but the prolific duo of Iginla and Heatley each top $7M, giving the province a $14.5M hit, or 11%.

Nova Scotia makes its one selection count, with Sidney Crosby accounting for $8.7M, just under 7%.

Manitoba's Jonathan Toews currently only accounts for $2.8M or 2%, but his new fat contract will change all of that.

Now, when all is said and done, yes, these guys get paid a ridiculous amount of money to do what they do. It's more money than any of us will probably see in our lifetime. It's money that could do a whole lot of good for a lot of suffering people around the world.

But you know what, this is the Olympics. It isn't about the money. The players are doing this because they love it, and because they want to win. And some of us are paying ridiculous amounts of money to go see them do it live. Why? Because we do love the game, and someone, somewhere, benefits when we spend money too.

And you know what, it's a new year, which means you can always make a resolution to give more.

Happy New Years hockey fans!

GO SHARKS!

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