As we slide into August the question on everyone’s mind is surely:
Will the forest fires be as bad as last year?
Or perhaps: Why can’t the concessions at Jericho Beach sell beer like Kit’s Beach?
Or perhaps: How long will the Red Tide last?
Way down the list of things you should be thinking about are the esoteric considerations of the Canuck salary cap situation. Especially since it is being perfectly handled by our incredibly astute General Manager Jim Benning (GMJB for the uninitiated).
To summarize: The Canucks currently have about $5 million in cap space, and need to sign RFAs Brock Boeser and Nikolay Goldobiin.
Boseser is rumoured to be in line for $7 million per season, hopefully for as many years as possible. Goldobin is not.
The Goldy wars have cooled off in the hot days of summer, but since his last contract was for an AAV of $1.08 million, about the same would be considered by many as about right for his next contract. Goldy’s Quaifying Offer would have to be $874,125 according to CapFriendly.
That would put the Canucks just about $3 million over the cap at the start of the season.
Antoine Roussel has a cap hit of $3 million. He’ll start the season on LTIR, and be there for at least several months.
I’m no expert, but if I understand it correctly the cap benefit of putting a player on LTIR is maximized by being as close to the cap as possible. For a good explanation, see our friends at Leafs Nation and the value of trading for David Clarkson.
There’s still the small detail of how to get down to the right number of contracts, and the right cap hit before placing the Rooster on LTIR. Enter the waiver wire considerations.
There are three roster skaters who are waiver exempt at the moment: Elias Petterson, Brock Boeser, and Quintin Huges. Goaltender Thatcher Demko is also waiver exempt, but Goalies are voodoo and we don’t mess with them.
By a delicious twist of ironic fate, the shining hopes of the future for the Canucks can also provide an added bonus helping sign Boeser this season: Pettersson and Hughes can be sent down to the minors “On Paper” to clear cap room even though they will certainly be on the opening night roster. Their cap hits are $925K and $916.7K which leaves about $1.15 million to find. Putting Goldobin on waivers at about that salary should just about do the trick, and gets the total number of contracts down to the exact number (23) needed.
In another bit of irony, getting Goldy through waivers to start the season would make him MORE attractive as trade bait. Since he’s already in the AHL the team acquiring him has no risk of losing him on waivers, and can use him for injury call-up while he’s safely stashed in the AHL.
When bringing up our own boy-band “Petey and the Q”, there needs to be room for one more player, which gives GMJB some options. If often-concussed mid-six winger Sven Baertschi is not able to start the season, he can be placed on LTIR; or the Canucks can put any one of Tim Schaller, Alex Biega, or Tyler Motte on waivers depending on who plays themselves on to (or off of) the team. GMJB has also shown that he’s not afraid to send an expensive veteran down (see Sam Gagner last year), so Loui Eriksson might even find himself there if all the young guns impress at camp.
All together this is surely a great job of cap management. We’d expect nothing less of GMJB, and we can get on with enjoying our summer secure in the certainty that he’s always a few steps ahead of the game.