Habs Salary Cap – Reprise

By Bob Trask – Earlier I took a look at the Habs salary cap situation an outlined a couple of options available to Kent Hughes. Today, I am presenting a hypothetical season-opening roster with the following assumptions:

  • Jesse Ylonen and Alex Newhook will sign for the approximate amounts estimated by AFP Analytics
  • Carey Price will be placed on LTIR
  • Mike Hoffman, Chris Wideman and Rem Pitlick will be assigned to Laval if no trades are made


1Jake Allen$3,850,000
2Samuel Montembeault$1,000,000
3Mike Matheson$4,875,000
4Kaiden Guhle$863,333
5Jordan Harris$1,400,000
6Arber Xhekaj$828,333
7David Savard$3,500,000
8Justin Barron$925,000
9Jonathan Kovacevic$766,667
10Nick Suzuki$7,875,000
11Kirby Dach$3,362,500
12Christian Dvorak$4,450,000
13Jake Evans$1,700,000
14Juraj Slafkovsky$950,000
15Josh Anderson$5,500,000
16Brendan Gallagher$6,500,000
17Joel Armia$3,400,000
18Jesse Ylonen (estimated)$875,000
19Cole Caufield$7,850,000
20Sean Monahan$1,985,000
21Alex Newhook (estimated)$2,260,000
22Rafael Harvey-Pinard$1,100,000
23Michael Pezzetta$812,500
Mike Hoffman ($1.15M buried)$3,350,000
Rem Pitlick (contract buried)$0
Chris Wideman (contract buried)$0
Edmundson retained$1,7500,000
Alzner buyout$833,333
Bonus overage penalty$1,170,000

This roster would have a cap hit of $73,731,666 leaving the Canadiens with $8,768,344 in cap space. If Price’s contract is added in to the totals, the cap hit would be $84,231,66 or above the season opening cap limit by $1,731,666.

Should the Canadiens want to maximize their LTIR flexibility, they could try to come as close as possible to the $82.5M cap limit on the opening day roster including Price’s contract. That would mean reducing the roster by $1,731,666 or as little above that as possible. How could that be done?

If Kent Hughes assigned Juraj Slafkovsky and Arber Xhekaj to Laval, the team would save $1,778,333 and put them within $46,667 of the salary cap. Both are ineligible for waivers so there would no risk in losing either player. It would leave the Canadiens with a roster of 22 players, one under the league maximum.

While it seems counter-intuitive to send two of your most promising young players to the AHL, it would be a paper transaction only. Once the season got underway, Price would be destined to LTIR while Slafkovsky and Xhekaj would reassume their positions on the Canadiens roster and bring the roster back up to a full complement of 23 players.

The end result is a massive amount of cap space. Hughes could use that at the trade deadline to acquire a player the Habs might desire or he could weaponize that cap space as a third party to facilitate a trade between two cash strapped teams.

The caveat is that another off-season trade could make this entire scenario irrelevant. But the goal here isn’t to predict the outcomes, it is to shed some light on some of the options the Canadiens’ disposal.

2 thoughts on “Habs Salary Cap – Reprise

  1. Thanks Bob. It’s great to know there is a workable option if Hughes doesn’t work out another trade. I’m thinking there are other combinations that will also work and management will have to figure out the best option. This roster construction remains extremely interesting. It’s great for me because I’m not invested in a particular move – i just want to see improvement and development.

  2. Once you get rid of Matheson ,Savard and Hoffman Monet troubles go away and you still keep Slothkovsky in laval

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