Per Darren Dreger, the Senators have inked Kaspars Daugavins to a new one year contract. If you'll recall, Daugavins was scheduled to have his arbitration case heard tomorrow. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) was the first to report the terms, apparently it is a one-way deal worth $635,000.
Unless you're keeping tabs on Ottawa's cap management and their race to get to the salary cap floor, the money in Daugavins' deal is irrelevant. He got was he was looking: a one-way contract and the guaranteed NHL salary that comes with it.
With Daugavins' salary accounted for, using Capgeek's numbers, Ottawa's total payroll now stands at $51,208,333. Even with 13 forwards, six defencemen and two goaltenders under contract, the Senators are still $2,991,667 below the cap floor.
Even with the inclusion of Mika Zibanejad ($1,744,167 cap hit as the extra forward) and a seventh defenceman -- either Mark Borowiecki ($610,000) or Patrick Wiercioch ($875,000) -- the Senators still fall short of the floor. Accounting for the contracts, with Boro and Ziba, the Senators will be $637,500 short and with Ziba and Wiercioch, they'll be $372,000 below the threshold.
Replacing one of the team's lowest paid forwards for Jakob Silfverberg's $900k cap hit will bring them closer, but it will not put them over. Unless the NHL plans on abolishing the cap floor in their CBA negotiations, the Senators are going to have to make another roster move to become cap compliant.
If you have any suggestions on how the Senators can do that, put them in the comment thread.
Last Man Standing...
Wth the Dogman under wraps, the Senators can focus their attention on signing their lone remaining restricted free agent, Stephane Da Costa.
Given the inevitable cap hits of injury-replacement players, the cap floor isn't going to be an issue at all this season even if it isn't lowered during the upcoming CBA negotiations. The Senators don't have to start the season above the cap floor, they simply have to end the year that way.
Of course, that's assuming the league is interested in fining teams that don't reach the cap floor, something they've never done before (there have been teams who missed the floor in the past, if I'm not mistaken).
@silversevensens If the current CBA rules pertaining to the floor are applied, Article 50.5(c)(i) stipulates that: No Club shall, after commencement of the regular season, be permitted to have an Averaged Club Salary that falls below the Lower Limit for that League Year.
Given that there are currently five teams below the floor and given how much the Nashville Predators are below the cap (which could be partially resolved by the Weber contract), it's possible that the cap floor is an entity that will be hotly contested in the next CBA discussions. It's a wait and see kind of thing.
Considering how the close the Sens are, I don't foresee any issue if there is a floor. Nevertheless, I don't believe that there has ever been a team to miss the floor b/c of the non-compliance penalties outlined in Article 50.12 (c)(iii):
In addition to the provisions of Article 26 of this Agreement, the NHL shall discipline Clubs for material and intentional non-compliance with these provisions, provided, however, that a Club's first offense shall carry a mandatory fine in the amount of any revenue discrepancy plus $1,000,000, plus the loss of a first-round draft choice; and a Club's second and any subsequent offense shall carry a mandatory fine in the amount of twice any revenue discrepancy plus $5,000,000, plus the loss of three (3) first-round draft choices.
@Nichols6thSens @silversevensens According to CapGeek, the 2010-11 New York Islanders had a salary cap payroll of $40,343,584, although the floor was $43.4M. No penalties have been reported. Both the Colorado Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers were also below the $43.4M cap floor that season, but by smaller amounts which could be attributed to mathematical error. Either way, no penalties were assessed.
The 2009-10 Islanders were also well below the floor: Payroll of only $38,058,061 against a cap floor of $40.8M (again, according to CapGeek).
It's possible that CapGeek's numbers aren't 100% accurate, but they're the best ones we've got, and they give four instances of teams which have failed to reach the cap floor yet haven't faced penalties. I'm sure the NHLPA could grieve these realities, but they'd be making a lot of hay for a few million dollars in added expenditures and they'd spend a lot of bargaining leverage doing so.
@silversevensens Interesting read at Kukla's that helps explain this situation: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/psh/comments/teams_below_the_salary_floor/
Cap floor will go down, if you've seen the proposals made by the NHL during negotiations so far. Only a question of how much, but I doubt it will be small.
And yes it might take losing part(or the entire) NHL season to do so.
From a pure hockey-ops perspective, I think the goal here is quite obvious: move some of our bottom-6 forwards as part of a deal to acquire a bonafide top-6 forward. The other thing is that in all likelihood though, the cap ceiling and floor (if the latter is not abolished) will be reduced after the CBA is finalized. The new rules will likely have an effect on player valuation, and cheap + playable players will be at a premium for teams that up against the ceiling. As jmikelittle points out, however facetiously, it won't be hard to find someone to take Ottawa's money if they're ultimately unable to get to the floor through a trade.
@fmblair It's just so unlikely that teams will want to trade a quality player for 3 bottom six guys that they could (or could have) easily get on the free agency market. I'm holding out hope for a Semin signing and then some minor trades to get ride of extra players for draft picks.
@jmikelittle It could take some creativity to make it happen, but I don't think it's impossible. Players like Greening, Smith and Condra are all more valuable than free agents who assume comparable roles. They're cheaper and still have some upside. However, the more I think about it, the more I believe that the team will do nothing with its inexpensive bottom-6-type forwards until the CBA is finalized. If the cap drops considerably, the value of those players will rise dramatically.
@T-Money Ottawa's not going to carry 15 forwards at the NHL level. Looks like the only way that Winchester signs with the team is if Ottawa trades quantity for quality, absorbs a little more cash and then signs him to replace whomever was moved.