[Ed. Note: We have two new additions to our dysfunctional (yet happy) little family. Welcome the first of the two new writers, you know him, you love him - Kevin Riach]
For most Duck fans, you've come to the realization that we can't reach the playoffs. The season is all but over for our beloved team. While this time can be somber, or even down right depressing, there are things to be thankful about. First and foremost, the Ducks at least tried to make it interesting instead of sitting in last place with the Columbus Blue Jackets and waiting for their draft pick. Secondly, this team has a bright future ahead of it. A core that is reaching their prime, two fantastic young defenseman, a long list of young forwards with amazing potential, and a new head coach that has everyone believing again.
Naturally we look to the summer and free agency, a time of endless possibilities and unexpected results. A time when fans believe that anyone can be signed or traded for. Where even the most pessimistic fans can feel optimism, and even last year's bottom dwellers have a chance to make the playoffs. But it would be silly and premature to start talking about signings a trades when there is still so much hockey to be played and a Cup to be won.
Instead I leave you all with a guide to the team's financial situation going into the summer, a run down of all the current Ducks who are to be free agents, and what our roster looks like without any moves or signings. My intent is to create a guide for people to start formulating their own opinions on who to sign and who to trade this coming summer. Hopefully it is useful in the coming months and even more people can get involved in the discussions come summer.
Financial situation: The Ducks currently sit at $59,447,874 against the $64,300,00 salary cap limit. Next season the Ducks will have $41,060,000 against the cap, before players are resigned, signed as free agents, or traded. The Ducks are not a cap team and have probably spent a bit more this season then they are comfortable with. [Ed. Note: Ducks are a budget team and want to be around $54M.]
Their cap payroll is different than their actual payroll (contracts like Lubo's count more against the cap than they do actual payroll) but this is a fairly accurate figure to go off of. This means no proposing ridiculous trades or signings that put the Ducks over this number. Another thing to keep in mind is that Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Cam Fowler will all be up for new contracts at the end of NEXT season. It is unlikely for the Ducks to take on too much salary or long term deals if it renders them unable to resign these three key pieces.
Free Agents: This offseason the following players are Unrestricted Free Agents (or UFAs) and can either resign with the Ducks or any other team this summer.
Teemu Selanne - current cap hit $4,000,000
Jason Blake - current cap hit $4,000,000
Saku Koivu - current cap hit $2,500,000
Nicklas Hagman - current cap hit $1,500,000
Dan Ellis - current cap hit $1,500,000
George Parros - current cap hit $875,000
Sheldon Brookbank - current cap hit $750,000
Jean-Francois Jacques - current cap hit $650,000
Matt Smaby - current cap hit $600,000
Rod Pelley - current cap hit $550,000
Mark Bell - current cap hit $575,000
Troy Bodie - current cap hit $550,000
This offseason the following players are Restricted Free Agents (or RFAs). If another team offers them a contract the Ducks can either A) match the offer and keep the player or B) let the player sign else where and receive draft picks as compensation (the round and amount of picks are determined by the size of the contract).
Iiro Tarkki - current cap hit $1,325,000
Rick Schofield - current cap hit $900,000
Marco Cousineau - current cap hit $850,000
Dale Mitchell - current cap hit $759,000
Ryan O'Marra - current cap hit $735,000
Mathieu Carle - current cap hit $726,000
Kyle Cumiskey - current cap hit $709,000
Nick Bonino - current cap hit $693,000
Riley Holzapfel - current cap hit $575,000
Patrick Maroon - current cap hit $550,000
Sean Zimmerman - current cap hit $525,000
Luca Caputi - current cap hit $525,000
Current 2012-2013 Depth Chart: Without any roster moves or re-signings our team would look like this next year.
Emerson Etem - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Francois Beauchemin - Cam Fowler
Hopefully for everyone's sanity Murray signs, resigns, and/or trades some people because that line up (especially the forwards) is not going to cut it.
Positions Wanted: This last part is more personal than factual, but I would like to leave you all with a some positions I think the Ducks could be looking to fill come the summer. These players can be on the current roster and resigned, traded for from another organization, or signed via free agency.
1st Line Winger
2nd Line Center
2nd Line Winger
4th Line Center
4th Line Winger
Top 4 Defenseman
Bottom Pairing Defenseman
Hope you all find this information useful and use it to your advantage come this summer. Make sure to answer the poll about the team's biggest offseason need. Sound off in the comments if you would like to start day dreaming about how awesome our team is going to be next season (hopeful trades, signings, in house guys we should resign, etc).