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: $75,196,355 (over the $75MM Upper Limit)
Despite a disappointing season a year ago, the Dallas Stars did have some young players who showed some promise. Shore was one of those players. A second-round pick in 2010, the 23-year-old had a decent first year with the Stars, scoring 13 goals and adding 20 assists and playing in all 82 contests. What Shore did not get much of was ice time, as he averaged just 14:08 on the ice. That may change this year as there are many who believe he could be a top-six forward right now. Honka is another player who got a little bit of time with the Stars last year. The 21-year-old defender, their first-round pick from 2014, has already fared well with the AHL’s Texas Stars. He scored seven goals and added 24 assists in 50 games with them and got 16 games with Dallas at the end of the year and picked up five points. He is a likely candidate to make the team this year.
One Year Remaining, Non-Entry-Level
G Kari Lehtonen ($5.9MM, UFA)
D Dan Hamhuis ($3.75MM, UFA)
F Antoine Roussel ($2MM, UFA)
D Jamie Oleksiak ($965K, RFA)
D Patrik Nemeth ($945K, RFA)
D Greg Pateryn ($800K, UFA)
D Stephen Johns ($725K, RFA)
F Curtis McKenzie ($700K, UFA)
F Brian Flynn ($700K, UFA)
F Mattias Janmark ($700K, RFA)
F Adam Cracknell ($675K, UFA)
That’s a long list, but the team really has few major worries about re-signing free agents next season. Lehtonen was a buyout candidate this offseason after the team had too many goaltenders. Instead, they held onto him to be their backup, but at $5.9MM, that’s an expensive backup who played 59 games and had a save percentage of .902. The team will rejoice at their salary cap savings next season. As for Hamhuis, the 34-year-old blueliner will need to have a big year if he wants another contract.
The 27-year-old Roussel is a different story. Everything depends on how he plays, but Dallas would like to see more offense than 12 goals from him to go with his 115 penalty minutes he picked up last year. The same holds true for Oleksiak, although he will be a restricted free agent, but the 24-year-old defenseman must show he can win a full-time job. He only managed 41 games last year. Johns, however, will likely be retained next year. He managed to get into 61 games last year and currently expected to make the team.