Thursday, May 12, 2011

GM for a day. Now with 100% less Bucky.

Let's try this again (blogger lost my first draft). Here's my goal in this post: I want to get a look at what we can spend in free agency on a center after we re-sign our players. I'm assuming we can't get Connolly on the cheap (He probably wants out with the level of disdain fans here have for him). I tried to trend the numbers towards a "worst case scenario", so that if it seems like I'm overpaying, that's a bit by design.

Here's how I treated our NHL Unrestricted Free Agents:
Cody McCormick: $400k raise to $900k. While he seemed to fade down the strech, he's a goony guy with the ability to play hockey. Worth keeping around at a reasonable price.

Connolly: I'd give him a cursory 1 Million/yr offer with the expectation that he leaves.

Montador: We don't have the room on the blue line for the price he'll fetch.

Grier: If he's good to go, a $800k offer to play. Otherwise, I'd offer him a video-analyst position of some sort where he can work with the young guys.

Neidermayer: Epic playoff performer, but just doesn't have a full-season in him any more, unexpectedly sad to see him go.

Lalime: Some organizational role seems like a good idea for one of the better team-first guys we had last year.

Here's how I treated our NHL Restricted Free Agents:

Stafford: $2.1 Million raise to $4M. The big fish. More than doubled his salary for 1 or 2 years and that gets him to UFA status. Seems fair to both sides. It might take 5 Million a year to get this done. Either way, I think you pay it. (A 3.5 Million longer term would be acceptable as well).
Grabner at 3 Million is comparable stats-wise, but with only one season under his belt and a lower Point-per-game pace than Stafford I think a higher price should be expected.

Gerbe: $350k raise to $1.2M. Such a lovable little guy, but has to prove he can do it year-round. Very young, still a RFA - 1.2 Million seems pretty reasonable.

Sekera: $1 Million raise to $2M. Good, young defenseman who's still learning and growing as a player. 100% raise is justified.

Butler: $650k raise to $1.5M. Perhaps a bit much, but with the TOI he had during the playoffs, I think he's earned a solid bump in salary.

Weber: $1 Million raise to $1.55M. I have a heterosexual man-crush on Mike Weber and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I've paid him accordingly.

Gragnani: $1 Million raise to $1.5M. His Playoff and World Championship performances provide a lot of support for a big raise.

Enroth: $1 Million raise to $1.566M. He's going to get a raise, probably not that much - but he will be seeing some more ice time next year.

This ends up being a little under 1 Million LESS than the Sabres spent last year.

In all, with the 15% increase in salary that Ted Black mentioned (~7-8 Million extra), the Sabres have about 8 million to spend on a new center. (A little less with a 13th forward on the roster, a little more without). Seems like a good spot to be in to compete for Richards or make a trade for a big name and replace a traded piece. Here's an approximation of the final roster:


Thomas Vanek ($7.142m) / [Insert New Guy Here] ($7.500m) / Jason Pominville ($5.300m)
Brad Boyes ($4.000m) / Derek Roy ($4.000m) / Drew Stafford ($4.000m)
Patrick Kaleta ($0.907m) / Tyler Ennis ($0.875m) / Jochen Hecht ($3.525m)
Nathan Gerbe ($1.200m) / Paul Gaustad ($2.300m) / Cody McCormick ($0.900m)
[Zach Kassian ($0.900m) as first call-up, not included in calculations]

Jordan Leopold ($3.000m) / Marc-Andre Gragnani ($1.500m)
Tyler Myers ($1.300m) / Andrej Sekera ($2.000m)
Mike Weber ($1.550m) / Chris Butler ($1.500m)
/ Shaone Morrisonn ($2.075m)

Ryan Miller ($6.250m) / Jhonas Enroth ($1.566m)

BUYOUTS: Tim Kennedy ($0.166m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $55,058,690; BONUSES: $425,000
CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $4,341,310

Edit: To clarify why Kassian wasn't included in my calculations.

1 comment:

  1. I've gotten a few comments about trading Roy, letting Stafford get an offer sheet, and signing UFAs from other teams. I think that treads closely to "Bucky" territory, which I'm trying to avoid. The goal here is to examine the things we have near-complete control over.