Way back in May, I took a stab at estimating the Thrashers cap situation for 2010-2011 season. A great deal has changed since that May post, so I thought it would be interesting to look at how much the roster has changed and what effect that has had on the team's projected salary cap number.
In terms of roster changes, the Thrashers did not re-sign Kubina or Afinogenov but did choose to re-sign Boulton and Slater. They walked away from MacArthur's arbitration award. They dealt away Reasoner to Chicago and acquired Sopel, Byfuglien, Ladd and Eager in two trades. They signed Chis Mason for one of the two goalies spots. At this point the only two unknown numbers are RFA salaries for Bryan Little and Nic Bergfors (I have estimated each at around 2.2 million cap hit).
Assuming my projections for Bergfors and Little are in the ball park, what is interesting to me is that the current team cap budget is actually $4 million less than my May projection for the club. Part of this difference is that the team has filled the D slot with the cheaper Sopel ($2.3) rather than my projected $4.5 million going to Kubina. The other major savings were at the goal position. I had budgeted $4.7 for Pavelec and mystery goalie, while the actual cap cost for Pavelec and Mason comes in at a low $3.0 million combined.
|Role||May Projection||Cap $
||July Lineup||Cap $|
It would appear that the Thrashers are comfortably over the NHL Salary Floor for the upcoming season. However, it is worth nothing that that Bogosian and Kane are both unlikely to trigger all their bonus clauses and their final cap for the season will likely be closer to their $2 million combined base salary than their $6.5 combined cap number. Ergo the Thrashers will almost certainly need to spend a little bit more somewhere to stay clear of the floor. If they choose to carry a 3rd bench player (teams are allowed 23 active roster players) that would add some salary.
The Thrashers still have a huge amount of cap space. They could potentially snap up a bargain basement UFA who remains unsigned heading into NHL camp--if they wish to go that route. They also have a lot of room to take on cap hits during the season either through a wavier pickup or in a trade. Dudley has assembled an interesting team and still has a ton of cap space at his disposal.