Navigating the salary cap is one of the more important tasks for any GM. Teams that can avoid total cap chaos by walking the tightrope of inking players to deals that match their value (or compensate for future value without breaking the bank) remain successful. Those that don’t see struggles and front office changes.
PHR will look at every NHL team and give a thorough look at their cap situation heading into the 2021-22 season. This will focus more on players who are regulars on the roster versus those who may find themselves shuttling between the AHL and NHL. All cap figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.
Current Cap Hit: $70,835,659 (under the $81.5MM Upper Limit)
F Nils Hoglander ($892K through 2022-23)
F Vasili Podkolzin ($925K through 2023-24)
D Jack Rathbone ($925K through 2021-22)
Hoglander had a nice rookie season, notching 27 points in 56 games while finishing eighth in Calder Trophy voting. He’s likely to be in a middle-six role for the next couple of years which could have him in bridge contract territory although if he’s able to improve his production a little bit, his camp could look at recent deals for Joel Farabee and Drake Batherson as potential comparables. Podkolzin is coming to North America after spending the last two years in the KHL and should play a regular role fairly quickly. They may ease him based on their current winger situation which makes it tough to project his next contract but he’s someone that should be part of their long-term plans and will get more expensive over time.
Rathbone didn’t look out of place in a late stint last season but with their depth, he will likely have to start in the minors. However, the 22-year-old is probably going to be one of the first recalls and as a result, he will have a few opportunities to produce. That could help him earn a cheap one-way deal for 2022-23 but at this point, it’s unlikely he’ll hit his bonuses.