CapFriendly released a series of tweets today outlining the teams that suffered cap overages in 2015-16 and will thus feel the effect in 2016-17. Overage penalties are incurred when players with bonus-laden contracts meet the contractual criteria to receive those bonuses. The resulting payout is attributed to the prior season, in which the bonuses were earned, but if the increases put the team over the salary cap for that year, the overage carries over as a cap penalty in the following season. The following teams had players earn bonuses that put the team’s salary cap payroll over the 2015-16 salary cap limit, and CapFriendly has calculated rough estimates of the accompanying penalty against the 2016-17 cap:
Florida Panthers – $1.42MM
San Jose Sharks – $617K
Detroit Red Wings – $550K
Toronto Maple Leafs – $512K
Edmonton Oilers – $322K
Vancouver Canucks – $315K
Tampa Bay Lightning – $314K
St. Louis Blues – $190K
Unfortunately, but also predictably, many of these teams are already struggling with the off-season salary cap crunch, and must also take these overage penalties into account. The Red Wings are currently further over the cap (about $4.24MM) than any other team in the league and already must be considering trading away a significant piece to become cap compliant. The Leafs and Sharks are also right up against the cap, and overage penalties give them even less cap flexibility to maintain compliance. The Lightning currently have over $6MM in cap space, but have yet to re-sign key restricted free agents Nikita Kucherov and Nikita Nesterov, and the last thing they need is yet another reason why they can’t afford to meet the asking price of the pair.
In other league news:
- Veteran journeyman defenseman Tyson Strachan has signed an AHL deal with the Rochester Americans, the affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, the team announced today. Strachan has bounced around the NHL and AHL throughout his career, never finding a permanent home at the big league level. The soon-to-be 32-year-old had his best season in 2014-15 though, with five points in 46 games for none other than the Sabres. Buffalo does not have much depth on the blue line at the AHL level, and Strachan seems likely to earn an upgrade to a two-way deal with his former team should the injury bug strike the defense corp in 2016-17.
- Another player looking to get back to the NHL is the Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo. WEEI’s D.J. Bean caught up with Rinaldo’s agent, Todd Reynolds, who says he hopes to see Rinaldo given another chance this season. After trading a 3rd-round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers last summer to get Rinaldo, Boston was happy with his grit and intensity early in the year. However, as young players pushed for ice time and the Bruins focused more on scoring and fighting for a playoff spot, Rinaldo got into fewer and fewer games. Eventually, he was put on waiver, went unclaimed, and was optioned to AHL Providence in February. Rinaldo was not recalled for the remainder of the season, and now questions what his role is in the organization. While Rinaldo is likely to get the chance to earn a spot in Boston during training camp and the pre-season, the Bruins have several young grinders like Noel Acciari and Tyler Randell who played well last year, as well as young scorers like Seth Griffith, Danton Heinen, and Jake DeBrusk who will look to earn NHL spots. Factor in the additions of Riley Nash and Dominic Moore, and there appears to be very few energy line spots up for grabs. Rinaldo’s NHL future is very much in doubt right now.
- The Bruins are giving another player whose future was once in doubt a fighting chance, as 2016 NHL Draft pass-over Simon Stransky has been invited to rookie camp. The biggest surprise left on the board in June, Stransky was a point-per-game player in juniors this past season, and is considered by many to be an elite offensive talent who is held back by his mediocre defensive game. However, if an organization that emphasizes the two-way game, like the Bruins, can work on developing his defensive game, his scoring and play-making skill could make him a great value find.