Now that the NHL roster is nearly final, we can take a look at how the salaries total up. I used the phrase "nearly final" because Lehtonen will start on the IR and whenever he is healthy again someone will have have to depart (assuming there are no other injuries). So it is likely that one of these salaries will come off the books during October.
Another unknown are performance bonuses for players on Entry Level Contracts (ELC). In the case of Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane, they both have a base salary of under $1 million, but that could surpass $3 if they trigger all their incentive clauses. Ondrej Pavelec, Boris Valabik and Bryan Little have much smaller incentive clauses.
During the 2008-09 NHL Training Camp, the Thrashers were actually below the cap floor excluding Zach Bogosian's $2+ million performance bonuses. However, the addition of Mathieu Schneider and his $5.6 million cap hit, put the team on a path to spend closer to $44-45 million cap number. By trading Schneider weeks before the trade deadline, the final number was probably closer to $43 million.
The organization has made a major addition in payroll in the range $6-8 million over the previous year. I wouldn't be surprised if Zach Bogosian takes another step forward and earns much of his bonus money. If that is the case, both the Thrashers cap payroll and the actual payroll could both break the $50 million mark.
Another factor for the Thrashers is that they currently stand right around the NHL mid-point. It appears very likely that the team will finish above the midpoint--which means they will not qualify for Pool B for NHL Revenue Sharing money (For a more complete explanation of the Revenue Sharing formula go here).
All numbers below are courtesy of CapGeek.
|Forwards||Cap $||Actual $|
**player has incentive bonus clauses that could increase salary.