What the new salary cap means for Red Wings
Detroit – The Red Wings won't be affected this summer – but they likely will be a year from now.
The NHL and NHL Players' Association announced Tuesday the 2015-16 salary cap will increase to $71.4 million -- a $2.1 million increase from last season -- with a minimum each team must spend set at $52.8 million.
The salary cap is determined by a formula from hockey-related revenue accrued during the season.
The NHLPA also triggered a 5-percent escalator clause to increase the cap this coming season.
As for the Red Wings, they can plan accordingly for the rest of the summer with the potential for trades and unrestricted free agents with few worries about the salary cap. They currently have 17 players signed for a total of just under $57 million.
One minor worry heading into this summer is the list of restricted free agents.
Forwards Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Joakim Andersso, Teemu Pulkkinen and Landon Ferraro, and defenseman Brendan Smith, will see bumps in salary, although nothing that will hamstring the Red Wings' salary structure.
The Red Wings could gain some salary cap relief if Johan Franzen (concussion) goes on long-term injured reserve. Franzen has a $3.95 million salary; general manager Ken Holland expects him to be ready for training camp.
The Red Wings can gain further relief financially this summer if they choose to buy out forward Stephen Weiss.
A major disappointment his first two seasons with the Red Wings, Weiss has a $4.9 million cap hit for the next three seasons. The Red Wings have until June 30 to buy out the contract, although it's unlikely they'll do so.
Teams can buy out a player for two-thirds the remaining value of his contract spread over twice the remaining length of the contract.
The cap hit on Weiss' contract would be roughly $9.68 million over the next six seasons. That would put a crimp into the Red Wings' plans, considering the free agency situation in 2016.
Forwards Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader are potential unrestricted free agents next summer, while forward Riley Sheahan and goalie Petr Mrazek, and defensemen Danny DeKeyser, Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet, are all potential restricted free agents.
RED WINGS SALARIES 2015-16
Pavel Datsyuk, $7.5 million
Henrik Zetterberg, $6.083 million
Jimmy Howard, $5.292 million
Stephen Weiss, $4.9 million
Niklas Kronwall, $4.75 million
Jonathan Ericsson, $4.25 million
Kyle Quincey, $4.25 million
Johan Franzen, $3.95 million
Tomas Tatar, $2.75 million
Jakub Kindl, $2.4 million
Danny DeKeyser, $2.187 million
Darren Helm, $2.125 million
Justin Abdelkader, $1.8 million
Drew Miller, $1.35 million
Petr Mrazek, $738,000
Riley Sheahan, $950,000
Luke Glendening, $628,333
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS