Fuzzy Math... maybe?
This serves as a companion to this post- I'm trying to crunch the numbers right now, and needed to put it on paper the internet for the sake of my mental health.
Here's where we are starting off today, July 2nd:
5.3 M in cap space, six forwards and a backup goaltender need to be signed.
If we're assuming McGinn will crack the roster, that brings us to 4.3 (his cap hit is .997). When mentioning Boucher's departure, David Pollak of Working The Corners stated, "All that presumes, of course, [is] that the Sharks see Gustavsson or Thomas Greiss as their likely back-up this fall." [link]. For the sake of discussion, either goaltender's cap hit will be estimated at $.800 M.
$3.5 M in cap space, five forwards need to be signed.
Once Ryane Clowe's reported deal is cleared with league offices, I assume he will make somewhere in that range. Let's slot him at $3.0 M per year. [Plank Edit: Clowe re-signs for "north" $3.5 M per year- numbers in this post are updated under the assumption it is worth $3.5]
$0.0 M in cap space, four forwards need to be signed.
Not much to play with here, to say the very least. A list of potential trade prospects and their cap numbers:
Jonathan Cheechoo (3.0), Milan Michalek (4.3), Christian Ehrhoff (3.1), Brad Lukowich (1.57), Patrick Marleau (6.3), Douglas Murray (2.5), Evgeni Nabokov (5.38)
Let's engage in a rousing game of hypotheticals for a moment:
- Cheechoo, Michalek, Ehrhoff, and Lukowich are moved. After those deals occur, the Sharks are left with roughly $11.97 M in cap room. In order to fill out the roster, San Jose must bring in six forwards and two defensemen. That is $1.5 M per player.
- Nabokov, Cheechoo, and Lukowich are moved. After those deals occur, the Sharks are left with roughly $9.95 M in cap room. In order to fill out the roster, San Jose must bring in five forwards, one defenseman, and one goaltender (presumably a starter). That is $1.42 M per player.
- Marleau, Lukowich, and Michalek are moved. After those deals occur, the Sharks are left with roughly $12.17 M in cap room. In order to fill out the roster, San Jose must bring in six forwards and one defenseman. That is $1.74 M per player./
Essentially, what these numbers are saying is the available space is minimal at best, and therefore a) trade value of all of these players could decrease once opposing GM's realize the cap complications b) it may not matter because the Sharks must take less net salary in a deal to fill the roster and c) expecting a fair return (let alone an upgrade) in a trade is not a guarantee.
Furthermore, d) San Jose may be renamed Worcester next season with the influx of minor leaguers being called up e) our free agency targets are going to have to be in the sub 2.00 range and f) Nabokov and Marleau are definitely not off the table, regardless of whether or not it is in the best interest of the organization's on-ice product.
Other Notes: As mentioned before, Lukowich is where this needs to begin- you can't be paying above $1.5 M for a healthy scratch blueliner... Torrey Mitchell must be re-signed... 2008-2009 was the first season the organization spent to the salary cap maximum... Setoguchi, Pavelski, Marleau, and Nabokov will be free agents next offseason, with Seto and Pavs due for raises... the salary cap is predicted to drop for 2010-2011... We looked at the cap earlier this season, but may have underestimated it... grumble grumble...
We haven't hit critical mass just yet- San Jose is still a playoff team. However, expecting that at the end of this month we will have improved the roster from last year's version may be a bit of a pipe dream. Doug Wilson is going to have to get pretty creative for that to happen.
Here's to hope.