The Nashville Predators won't be happy about the loss of Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild, but they have cash to spend if they can find a target. According to NHLNumbers, the Predators have a little over $40 million on the books against the salary cap next season. The salary cap floor is $54.2 million. Naturally, they still need to get Shea Weber signed, but he's the last real big-money figure left to be inked. Nashville isn't alone, either. Phoenix has a few players to sign – notably captain Shane Doan, if the team looks certain to stay in Arizona – but find themselves with current commitments just north of $41 million. As it now stands, fully 10 clubs need to find a way to add $5 million or more to their salary cap hit for next season. Free agency holds some of the answers, but the big-budget targets are mostly gone and the crowd of depth players has thinned out considerably. At least some of these teams will likely need to add some money via trade. Likely at the top of many lists is Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas is in the final year of a four-season contract with an average cap hit of $5.0 million, but has already stated that he will sit out next season. However, because his contract came into effect after he turned 35, his cap hit will stay whether he plays or not. In other words, for a budget team looking to reach their salary cap obligations without breaking the bank, Thomas could be worth $5.0 million in actual dollars. Further adding to the appeal is the fact that the team would have the option of 'tolling' the final year on his contract, where he's paid $3.0 million – meaning they'd have the option next season to keep one of the game's best goalies on a one-year deal where he's paid significantly less than his cap hit.
Could Tim Thomas, Scott Gomez, or Shawn Horcoff appeal as trade options for teams trying to reach the cap floor?
Edmonton Journal | Jul 5