When it comes to pro sports a constant topic of discussion is contract value. We love analyzing who’s over or underpaid and how that effects the makeup of teams as whole. Well, what if we created an NHL team only using the very best value contracts in the league? How good of a lineup of 18 skaters and 2 goalies could you create while still being compliant with the salary cap? Let’s find out.
Before getting into this let me note that I did this without including any players that are still on their ELCs.
I first went through every team in the league and made a list of players to potentially include team by team, marking down the player’s name and salary. As the salary cap this season is $81.5 million that gives us an average of $4.075 million per player on this roster. I considered any player that I could include for under that amount as a big win as it opens up more cap space to include higher salary players.
I basically made the team I wanted from the players I had and then figured I’d make swaps from there to get it down. I initially landed at $89.35 million. Not bad, just $7.85 million to shed. I swapped higher contract players on my list for lower ones until I landed at a final team cap hit of $80.91 million, just a hair under the ceiling.
Let’s take a look at the lines.
*each player’s 2021-2022 cap is denoted in millions next to their name
Brad Marchand (6.125) – Nathan MacKinnon (6.3) – Patrice Bergeron (6.875)
Jonathan Huberdeau (5.9) – Aleksander Barkov (5.9) – Brayden Point (6.75)
Nazem Kadri (4.5) – Sean Couturier (4.333) – Troy Terry (1.45)
Carter Verhaeghe (1.0) – Jason Spezza (0.750) – Andrew Mangiapane (2.425)
Total: $52.308 million
Charlie McAvoy (4.9) – Morgan Rielly (5.0)
Shea Theodore (5.2) – MacKenzie Weegar (3.25)
Devon Toews (4.1) – Tony DeAngelo (1.0)
Total: $23.45 million
Jack Campbell (1.65)
Tristan Jarry (3.5)
Total: $5.15$ million
Overall Total: $80.908 million
As you can see every player on this roster has an extremely team friendly deal given their level or production/value they provide to their club. Like the real NHL, it’s still a balancing act of benefiting from guys like Spezza or Terry to be able to afford players over the average cap hit like Point or Bergeron.
What do you think of the roster? Leave a comment below with what you would have done differently.