Here’s where we stand. In round amounts, the CBJ have $68M committed next year in player salaries. If we estimate a cap hit of $6M for PLD and $3M for Gavrikov, but convert Dubi to the long term ILR to collect on the insurance, we stand at about $72M of the fixed $81M cap.
Many of us are left wondering GM Jarmo’s thinking in signing a 37 year old center whose best years are behind him. As fans, by giving away our defensive depth for next to nothing we all thought that Jarmo was clearing cap space last week so he could make a run at a forward that could reasonably add 20 to 30 goals a season. What if it’s just a move recognizing the economic realities of the pandemic? i.e. is it possible the CBJ have moved from a cap team to a budget team? If so, the team you see now is the team on the ice for opening night (whenever that is). If that is the background then the Koivu signing makes more sense.
We are small market team. The CBJ are also in a non-traditional market that can’t count on the broadcasting revenues Canadian teams or bigger US markets can if fans aren’t allowed back in to NHL games to view games in person anytime soon. We are blessed with a loyal owner with deep pockets, but the McConnell’s primary income comes from manufacturing, so income for the last quarter is down about 1/3 and about ¼ for the last twelve months. The resources that can be drawn on to support hockey aren’t infinite.
We don’t know when this mess will end, and even when it does will fans quickly flock back to the arena to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with 17,000 other people? (Hint: I doubt it.) Many businesses, including hockey may have to “hunker down” for another year or more. So, is it possible that ownership gave marching orders to GM Jarmo to do his best to put a competitive team on the ice, but to do with a player salary budget of $10M less?
All thoughts and perspectives are welcome. I fully recognize this post will look really dumb if the CBJ sign Taylor Hall tomorrow. :-)