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SJHN Daily: Salary Cap Going Up to $88 Million in 2024-25, Best CapFriendly Replacement?

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Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

It looks like the flat cap era is over.

The NHL announced on Saturday that the salary cap was going up to $88 million for the 2024-25 season.

That’s a jump of $4.5 million from 2023-24, a 5.39 percent increase, the largest since 2017-18 to 2018-19, when the cap went up 6 percent, from $75 million to $79.5 million.

Since the COVID pandemic in Mar. 2020, the salary cap has only gone up from $81.5 million in 2019-20 to $83.5 million in 2023-24.

The new salary cap floor is $65 million.

For the San Jose Sharks, who have been shedding salary in recent years, that’s going to leave them plenty of space to improve around 2023 fourth-overall pick Will Smith and soon-to-be 2024 first-overall pick Macklin Celebrini.

The Sharks could have about $33 million to spend, even after re-signing potential free agents like Luke Kunin, Henry Thrun, Thomas Bordeleau, and Ty Emberson.

They’re not even close to the floor: How will the Sharks spend their money this summer?

Sharks Have Tons of Cap Space This Off-Season…How Much?

At San Jose Hockey Now…

Are Marco Sturm and Ryan Warsofsky the finalists for the head coach job?

Which 2024 Draft prospects did the San Jose Sharks interview at the Combine?

Director of player development Todd Marchant gives year-end updates about virtually every Sharks prospect in the system.

Scouts discuss which forwards that the San Jose Sharks should consider with the No. 14 pick of the 2024 Draft.

Three Celebrini Combine stories: How did Macklin Celebrini fare in Combine fitness testing? Celebrini reveals that he’s never been to a San Jose Sharks game. What were his thoughts about playing Will Smith?

Other Sharks News…

2022 third-round pick Michael Fisher has opted to play in the BCHL.

Fan favorite Joonas Donskoi is back playing hockey…he’s joined the North American Floorball League.

Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek debate whether Celebrini should turn pro or not next season.

Who do the Sharks pick at No. 14 in Montreal Hockey Now’s mock draft? Check out your place for all things Montreal Canadiens for the answer!

Ex-Shark Steven Lorentz appears on Art But Make It Sports.

How did Fear the Fin see Mario Ferraro’s performance this year?

Around the NHL…

The Washington Capitals are buying CapFriendly, oh no! Except what if there’s already a ready-made replacement? Check out PuckPedia! They’re constantly updating!

The Florida Panthers take Game One of the Stanley Cup Final over the Edmonton Oilers.

Or is it the Carolina Panthers with a 1-0 lead? The Florida Panthers get dissed again.

Colorado Avalanche playing board games with prospects? Goalie prospect Mikhail Yegorov brags about beating GM Chris MacFarland in a game during his Combine interview.

Utah is asking Combine prospects what their Uber score is.

(Almost) all Combine prospects heights and weights!

What’s the latest in the Philadelphia Flyers’ quest to get Matvei Michkov over to North America?

The 4Nations Faceoff is coming in February to the homes of the Boston and Montreal…schedule and broadcast info are out too! The US, Canada, Finland, and Sweden are participating, while David Pastrnak is pissed that Czechia was left out.

Kyle Dubas reveals some rebuild strategy.

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Joseph

Usually a player going to the BCHL spells the end of their time as a viable NHL prospect. But Fisher basically missed his entire USHL season and struggled in college, and this way he keeps his NCAA eligibility. Still. Not a great sign.

Zeke

Tough to see but its a number game and some guys just never had what it’d take. Others get compromised by injuries. Might be a case of both with Fisher. Obviously, the vast majority of the pipeline never sees the NHL and even among those that do, several will do so for the proverbial cup of coffee.

As was acknowledged during the podcast, the pipeline story was so much the same for each guy. Get bigger, stronger, faster. Getting bigger and stronger is doable. Faster … that’s tougher!!

Joseph

Very true, and it’s especially tough to project guys like Fisher, who didn’t play against top competition in his draft year. Those prep schoolers are playing against a future NHLer or two, but they’re also playing against guys who won’t even make their club college teams.

Scott

Are the capitals really behind on cap salary understanding that they have to buy cap friendly? Lol.

Zeke

I doubt they’re buying it for what we see. I’m also not sure why they’d make it go dark for everyone else.

Falco5

Dam that sucks about capfriendly. Capitals are my new least favorite team.

Clark

Not sure they can be worse than FV in my mind, but yea, this sucks.

matthias893

FYI the link on the line “Ex-Shark Steven Lorentz appears on Art But Make It Sports.” actually links to the Fisher Penticon story.

It feels like a step back, but hopefully it ends up being a useful reset for Fisher.

Zeke

So Puckpedia is partnered with NationalHockeyNow which includes franchises(outlets?) like SanJoseHockeyNow Sheng, you’re more important than ever!! I do think capfriendly’s format is better than Puckpedia. The column for tweets on the right side uses valuable space on the page, forcing them to take 2 pages to include the info and a lot more scrolling than capfriendly needed (I use a large monitor, not sure about scrolling on mobile devices). Based on a quick check, seems most of the info on capfriendly is there on puckpedia. I’ll note capfriendly let you see things like terms on trade and movement clause… Read more »

Zeke

So cap floor is $65mil Sharks are now at $51.6mil This covers 9 forwards 6 d-men 2 goalies the LTIR players, Logan, Vanacek and Benning are included in the above count. It does not include: Kunin and Thrun, both in need of new deals. It does not include Celebrini. The Sharks signaled an interest in keeping Justin Bailey and Ryan Carpenter. It does not include Mukhamadullin or Gushchin, both under contract but in theAHL. Nor Bordeleau, who is a pending RFA. Say Kunin, Thrun, Carpenter and Bailey are re-signed. Celebrini makes the move to the NHL and Mukh gets promoted.… Read more »

Joseph

The Sharks might actually have more trouble getting the cap floor is next summer. I put together a simulated roster on CapFriendly (RIP) with some expensive, high profile additions for this season — Dakota Joshua at 4 years/$4M and Tyler Toffoli at 2 years/$7M up front; Sean Walker at 4 years/$6.5M and Dylan DeMelo at 2 years/$6.5M on defense. I also re-signed RFAs like Kunin, Thrun, Bordeleau and Emberson to modestly inflated deals in the two year range, except for Kunin which was three. You could interchange Toffoli or Joshua for any other top-six wingers you like in that price… Read more »

Zeke

Plan B. Sign Crosby to a 2 yr, $10mil per year deal. Might not be that crazy if guys like Mukh and Thrun take a big step. Buy out Vlasic and get a legit 1 on defense. Macklin goes to 2C, probably a good call given his NHL experience will be 1 season’s worth. Smith goes to wing. Macklin and Smith on the same line. 3rd line is Zetterlund, Eklund and Granlund. Sturm heads up the 4th line. Graf on the same line with Crosby could work, probably add a Toffoli-type to that. Or to the 3rd line and swap… Read more »

Joseph

I like it. Sidney Crosby owes Sharks fans a Stanley Cup, anyway.

Zeke

fwiw, the Pens article is interesting one — and one of the reasons I’m glad sanjosehockeynow allows us to see other hockeynow sites. They’re in a somewhat similar situation to a recent Sharks situation. They have older, top-end talent. EK65, Malkin, Crosby, Letang. But it hasn’t been enough to get them to the playoff in either of the last 2 seasons. Can they get better? Maybe. enough to be a serious competitor? That’s a stretch. They want to re-something. re-build? re-set? re-tool? Kyle Dubas, their GM, is close to no-man’s land. Aided, ironically enough, by one Doug Wilson!! if Dubas… Read more »

downriver

It’s hard to give up when your fans think the team is close. But making the playoffs and keeping Malkin, Crosby, Letang and Karlsson all healthy enough to have a shot at the Cup is pretty iffy.

Zeke

Very much a crossroads moment!! Continuing on and hoping things go right is the path of least resistance. You can rationalize it in a bunch of ways. I think there’d a be a stiff drink or two involved before making the rebuild call !! Unlike with the Sharks of 2021 when the rebuild call was obvious (except to the people who had that call to make), one can actually see a Pens team competing for a Cup this season. A bunch of things need to go right, but its not irrational. If it was me, I’d do the rebuild. It’d… Read more »

downriver

I don’t see the Eastern Conference getting any easier in 2024-25. Also, there’s got to be long odds on Karlsson playing 82 games for three seasons in a row. If the Pens get off to a bad start or injury trouble, I’d pull the pin if I were GM (and get reviled by the faithful, ha!)

Joseph

Things were so close to going off the rails in Malkin’s last contract negotiation, and I have to wonder if the Penguins wish they had. Not only would they be able to upgrade their roster using his money, there would be less of a pull to keep those first three together their whole careers. If they wanted to build another cup winner around Crosby, they probably needed to do it around just Crosby.

Nimrod

With the Sharks needing to get to the cap floor, and the Rangers contemplating a Truba buyout; what would the Rangers offer to take on that horrible 8mil AAV contract for the remaining 2 years? The Rangers have their 1rst rd pick this year…can TMMG pry away that 1rst & the corpse of Jacob Trouba for a serviceable bottom paring Defenseman like Ruta?

Joseph

That seems like pretty fair value for both sides, and the kind of cap dump that would actually improve the Sharks roster.

Falco5

Honestly i could see the sharks taking him on for nothing. He’s not worth 8 million but he is a huge upgrade over what they have.

Zeke

Trouba, like most guys getting paid a healthy chunk, has a NTC. Doubtful San Jose would be among the teams he’d want to join. He’d be a really good fit if he’s open to it. Plays hard and with a lot of edge. Tough — played with a broken ankle this season that wasn’t revealed until after the playoffs ended. Sharks really could use that toughness. He’s a good player and with the cap going up, not sure why the Rangers would bail on him for cap space. He’ll save them $4mil in years 1 and 2 of the buyout… Read more »

Joseph

The one reason I might see Trouba being willing to waive for San Jose is its proximity to arguably the best medical practitioners and facilities in the country. His wife is a doctor and it’s been well documented that both being somewhere they can practice their profession at a high level is a top priority for them. Aside from that though, feels like a tough sell. I bet Chicago would get in on those sweepstakes, too, and they can offer essentially the same incentive.

Zeke

Grier, on The Deep interview from a few days ago, described what he’d go after with veteran free agents

“grit and size and toughness to make sure our guys are feeling comfortable to play their game”

Sounds exactly like Trouba (except for the FA part). I know a number of the comments up here see it the same way. Want protection for the young ‘uns.

at the 6 minute mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaYR2cgd224

SJShorky

Elliot is correct. Jeff is wrong.

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