davemess wrote:Actually under a Salary Cap system it is a good thing to have guys under contract for next rather than a bad one. Simply because a players salary stays the same year to year under the cap rules.
The team with the least $$$ committed for next season is Buffalo with a paltry $6.1M.
Sounds great to have all that cap space but just look at the guys they have out of contract.
Afinogenov, Biron, Briere, Connolly, Dumont, Hecht, Numminen, McKee, Fitzpatrick and Grier are all unrestricted Free Agents.
Kotalik, Miller and Roy are RFAs and probably all looking for major upgrades in their deals.
How many of those guys are they going to be able to keep before they run out of cap space? I doubt if they can get more than two-thirds of that group resigned.
The obvious answer is that it is only good to have players signed to long term deals if they are productive, high character guys. The Pens are stuck with a roster that sucks. Some of their younger guys will obviously improve, but they have several aging vets that already suck and certainly will suck worse next season when they are a year older, slower, weaker, etc.
Hecht is signed for $2.2M according to THN. They will probably deal Biron in the next few weeks. I doubt if Miller & Roy are arbitration eligible. The Sabres will be able to pick and choose which guys they want to bring back and will capitalize on other teams signing UFAs. For example, they got Toni Lydman on the cheap because Calgary signed Hamerlik. They got Numminen for ~$2M as well. Buffalo was smart enough to get 2 dmen better than Gonchar for less than $5M without taking on an untradeable contract. They will have the flexibility to build their roster while a team like the Pens is stuck with a bunch of bad contracts. Many armchair GMs questioned the Sabres strategy last offseason when they let Satan, Zhitnik, etc walk. They did not rush out and appease their fans with reckless PlayStation signings. Instead they let the market settle then cherry picked the bargains.
Buffalo won't run out of Cap space because they have more Cap space than any other team. The fact that other teams are closer to the Cap and signing UFAs to big ticket long term deals has proved again to be a flawed strategy will drive the market down for UFAs and let Buffalo get more value conscious deals instead of assembling a Rotisserie style team of big ticket players. The Sabres will enter this offseason with the same roster strategy they used last offseason. Regher has shown he is ahead of the curve.