With Brayden Schenn now under contract with the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2016-17 season (and three more years beyond), the team’s salary cap situation has become a little more clear. Let’s break it down, with help from General Fanager.
That site currently has the Flyers with a projected cap hit of $71.61 million for 2016-17, which would leave them with $1.38 million in cap space entering the year. But it’s a little less clear than that, and the needle could move depending on a few things.
Goalies and the Umberger buyout
First, let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. The Flyers will pay their goaltenders — Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth -- $5.725 million against the cap. They also owe R.J. Umberger $1.6 million against the cap as part of his buyout. So we start with $7,325,000. On to the forwards.
- Claude Giroux: $8.275 million
- Jakub Voracek: $8.25 million
- Brayden Schenn: $5.125 million
- Sean Couturier: $4.33 million
- Wayne Simmonds: $3.975 million
- Matt Read: $3.625 million
- Michael Raffl: $2.35 million
- Dale Weise: $2.35 million
That’s $38,283,333. After these eight forwards, five of these next seven forwards will also be on the roster.
- Scott Laughton: $863,333
- Nick Cousins: $840,000
- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare: $712,500
- Chris VandeVelde: $712,500
- Jordan Weal: $650,000
- Boyd Gordon: $950,000
- Travis Konecny: $894,166
The cheapest combo would be $3,778,333, but that’s probably unrealistic. The most expensive combo would be $4,259,999. The most realistic option, as we stand here today in late July, is probably Laughton, Bellemare, Cousins, VandeVelde and Gordon, which would cash in at $4,078,333 against the cap. So let’s call it that for estimate’s sake.
That gives the Flyers $49,686,666 against the cap with 13 forwards, two goalies and the Umberger buyout on the roster. On to the defense.
- Mark Streit: $5.25 million
- Andrew MacDonald: $5 million
- Michael Del Zotto: $3.875 million
- Radko Gudas: $3.35 million
- Nick Schultz: $2.25 million
- Shayne Gostisbehere: $925,000
- Ivan Provorov: $894,166
- Brandon Manning: ???
General Fanager has T.J. Brennan on the NHL payroll, but we are pretty confident he will be in the AHL to start the year, so we aren’t going to list him here. We’ll assume that Ghost, Streit, MDZ, Gudas, and Schultz are on the team. Manning is probably locked in as the seventh defenseman, too, and we’ll assume that his contract comes in around $900,000. (That might be a touch high, but it’ll at least be over $800,000.)
So let’s say that with six defensemen, the Flyers will be at $16,550,000 on D.
The big question then becomes whether or not Ivan Provorov makes the team. If he does, it seems likely that the Flyers would again bury Andrew MacDonald in the AHL to make room on the roster for him. The Flyers save $950,000 of AMac’s $5 million with him in the AHL, so his cap hit would be $4.05 million under that scenario.
Add Provorov’s $894,166 and the total for the Flyers defense would be $21,494,166. Should Provorov not make the team, meaning AMac remains on the roster at his full cap hit, the total for the defense would be $21,550,000. It’s a marginal difference in money.
That leaves us at $71,186,666 against the salary cap with 13 forwards, seven defenseman, two goalies and Umberger’s buyout on the books. That’s $425,000 under General Fanager’s current outlook.
That leaves one roster spot open, of course, for a player like Jordan Weal whom the Flyers might not want to expose to waivers. Regardless, somebody with a cap hit between $650k to ~$850k will fill that final spot.
With a cap of $73 million, that makes the situation pretty tight for Ron Hextall and Co. -- but it’s not unworkable either. The Flyers have certainly dealt with worse in recent seasons.
There are still quite a few variables involved: Which young kids might make the team out of camp? What will Manning’s exact salary be? Which forwards make the team on the bottom two lines? The answers to those questions could impact the cap give or take a few hundred thousand dollars, but this is a pretty good ballpark for where the Flyers will sit entering the 2016-17 season.