Sometimes people come up with a story idea for their team that's so good you just have to copy it. Well clrkaitken, a reader over at PensionPlanPuppets made this fanshot about how he would build the Maple Leafs and I thought that would be a smashing idea to try on our team. Now, there are some key differences between the two teams that you have to remember when trying to take the idea of building your own team and applying it to the Coyotes. First, is that with all of the courtroom drama and questions over who exactly is funding the team at the moment, do you really think the team can spend any money on big free agents? Not likely. Which means once again we'll likely find ourselves scraping the salary floor this year. So when putting together a roster's worth of players I took the current Cap Floor of 40.7 Million dollars, (Which isn't expected to change much) added a little bit as a cushion, and came up with 42.5 Million as the upper reach of what the team will likely be able to spend. From there you can start making a picture of what exactly you can do.
With those guidelines in place i'm going to put together the best team I can with the budget I have. Sign RFAs, UFAs, make trades, whatever I need to do to make a solid team. Then after you've looked at mine, have a go at making your own using the FanPost function. Take a look after the jump and I'll take you through the rest of this exercise in building a team on the cheap...
So in building our team what exactly are we going to need?
Start with your 4 Forward lines. You don't want to go moving wings around too much, even though Gretzky might, so don't move people around too much. Keep things realistic. In addition to your 12 starting players you should also pick one that will either rotate in or be the guy that sits in the press box just in case. Then put you 3 defensive pairings. Add your 7th Defenseman in because we always carry one. Then add in your goaltenders. Have two. Don't go all crazy saying we're going to sign Biron and still bring Montoya with for good luck. Just 2 goalies.
What about trades? Jovo for Tavares!
Sure, go ahead and trade, but make them realistic. If you're shipping off Jovo's big salary we're going to be getting something similar in return, maybe a better player, but certainly some shedding of cap money.
Can I resign Scottie Upshall for .5 Mil a season?
No. Again, we're being as realistic as possible. If you think the team can get him on a 3 year 1.7 per year deal. Then that works, just try and make everything fair.
I don't know anything about how this stuff works. Where am I supposed to find numbers for this?
There are a few places you can find salary information but the one I use is NHLNumbers.com They have everything you'll need from who the pending free agents are to how much we pay entry level guys. You can also take a look at other teams to see what pay guys of skill level x get. to try and compare what we might sign someone for.
Anything else I need to know??
Just a few notes:
Remember that Don Maloney is very good at finding skilled players and finding them for the right price. he doesn't overpay players so we should be looking at Daniel Briere type contracts.
When adding up how much you spent, don't forget that we're still paying on the buyout of Dave Scatchard. He gets paid 700,000$ a year.
Just do your best and have fun with this, even if it is depressing...
With that, here's a look at how I would put together the Coyotes for the coming year.
Ilya Bryzgalov: Under contract for the 09 season for 4.25 Million. He's still our starter people.
Al Montoya: .75 Million for the kid. He showed that he has some potential at the end of last season. Give him some real starts in games that count and see what the can do.
Doan - Mueller - Nik Antropov: Antropovwould be a great free Agent pickup. Last season he made 2.05 million and while he'll be looking for a raise I don't think it's going to be all that much. Who knows, with the FA market a little slim this year, but he's 29 years old and got 28 goals last year. Seems like a GMDM kind of player. I think we could get him for 2.6 Million. Combined Line Salary: 8 Million
Lombardi - Prucha - Upshall: This line was great at the end of last year. We already resigned Prucha, and Upshall is an RFA so hopefully we got something done soon. I say we do at about 2.2 million. Combined Salary: 5.65 Million
Hanzal - Tikhonov - Kevin Porter: Porter showed promise last year and if he can keep it up again in camp he might be able to claim a place on the team. Combined Salary: 2.6 Million
Lisin - Turris - Boedker: This line would move so quickly no one could keep up. They'd also be pretty tiny so hopefully we can get them out before the checking line comes against them. Lisin is RFA but hopefully gets resigned at 1.4 million. Combined Salary: 3.15 million
Fedoruk: Just in case we need a bruiser: 1.05 million
Mikalek - Sauer: Best shot blocking tandem in the entire league. Breakup the pairing at your own risk. Salary: 3.25 Million
Jovanovski - Steve Montador: Why not? He's a young moderately priced Defenseman who played alright but I don't think he got a lot in terms of a raise for his efforts. Maybe we could get him for 2? Salary: 8 million
Yandle - Anhelov: Yandle will get a raise, but only to 2 million. Ahnelov looks like he might be ready for the big club come training camp. Salary: 2.575
Hale: Still under contract though he's been useless. Salary : .725
If we do all that, give or take a little on the deals, since we have to probably pay a premium to get guys here at the moment., but as I calculated them that put us at exactly 40.7 million dollars in cap money spent. And i'm actually decently happy with that line up. Might Antropov and Montador cost a little more to get here? Sure, but we need to have a cushion above the cap to make sure we're above it anyways. What do you think?
Now go and try making you own in the FanPost area. Make sure you title it with something telling everyone what it is and we can all compare notes...