Friday, June 29, 2007

Getting Ready For The Silly Season

I'm flying to the Okanagan tomorrow morning to join the rest of my softball team at Vernon's Funtastic tournament. Before I leave though, I thought I'd throw out my two cents on the upcoming free agency madness.

To no one's surprise, it was announced today that the salary cap was going to go up yet again. The surprise (well, to me anyway) was how much it was going up by:

Sources tell TSN that for the 2007-08 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $50.3-million. That is a $6-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $44-million.

Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, teams must spend at least $34.3-million on salaries next season.
It sounds funny now but it turns out the best thing to happen to the players during the lockout was capitulating on the whole cap/linkage issue.

I've updated my header to keep track of how close the Canucks are to the cap. As it stands tonight, they've spent $40.7 million on 14 players (including Marc Chouinard's buyout). This means that come Sunday, Dave Nonis has almost $10 million to sign six to eight more players.

So who does Dave sign?

A couple of weeks ago, James Mirtle posted a comprehensive list of available free agents and their expected market value. One thing that stands out from the list is how few elite players are available. After guys like Scott Gomez, Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Ryan Smyth, there is a bit of a dropoff to the second-tier guys. No wonder there are rumblings that those four may fetch up to $8 million per season on a multi-year deal.


Nevertheless, there are some intriguing names on the list. Kyle Calder and Jason Blake are available and can play right-wing on a scoring line, something the Canucks need. Peter Forsberg and Danius Zubrus are big centers the Canucks don't ever seem to have. Brendan Shanahan and Paul Kariya are up for grabs as well.

Or maybe Nonis goes the bargain basement route for one more season until Markus Naslund's and Brendan Morrison's current contracts are off the books, and the Canucks potentially have $18 million-ish in cap space to woo Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley.

After a couple of seasons with Nonis at the helm, I've learnt to trust his decisions. As long as Eric Lindros doesn't come this way, I'll be okay with whatever Dave does.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 8:19 PM


At July 05, 2007 9:12 AM, Blogger All Blog Spots said...

nice blog

At July 07, 2007 3:31 PM, Anonymous RumeursDeTransactions.com said...

Canucks have signed free agents :

Byron Ritchie (Calgary Flames)
Brad Isbister (NEw York Rangers)
Curtis Sanford (St. Louis Blues)

These players won't bring the cup in Vancouver....

At July 08, 2007 5:11 PM, Blogger Magicpie said...

Still about 2.5 million left if we sign linden and a 6th d. Here's hoping we spend 1 mill of it to get bulis back.

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