Navigating the Salary Cap is probably one of the more important tasks for any general manager to have. Teams that can avert 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 2017-18 season. This will focus more on those players who are integral parts of the roster versus those who may find themselves shuttling between the AHL and NHL. All cap figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.
Current Cap Hit: $68,913,333 (under the $75MM Upper Limit)
A team that is designed for a Stanley Cup run probably shouldn’t have too many players on entry level contracts and the Predators have just the two. Fiala is the team’s top young potential star as the former 2014 first-rounder found himself getting called up to the Predators and logged 54 games last year, scoring 11 goals. He even managed to cement himself in the starting lineup and played in five playoff games, scoring two goals, but then broke his femur and his playoffs were cut short. Nevertheless, the team is expecting a big year from the young wing and some even have him penciled in on the team’s second line. As for Saros, the 22-year-old goalie had a pretty good showing last year, playing in 21 contests (19 starts) and putting up a 2.35 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He should be able to shoulder the load as the backup and right now looks to be Nashville’s goaltender of the future.
One Year Remaining, Non-Entry-Level
The team, already immersed in quality defenders, picked up another veteran defender in Emelin this offseason in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights, who picked him from the Montreal Canadiens in the expansion draft. A solid veteran, Emelin, should fill in for the injured Ellis until he returns in December and then provide some veteran depth throughout the rest of the season, which should keep Nashville’s defensive corps as strong as it had always been and he will likely be allowed to move on when his contract expires next year.
Hartnell returns to Nashville after 10 years. Originally drafted in the first round by Nashville in 2000, the 35-year-old forward played six years for the Predators before being traded to Philadelphia. He has scored 314 goals, but only managed 13 in his last year in Columbus. The team hopes his presence will spark the team for another Stanley Cup run. The rest, including Weber, Irwin and McLeod