I thought I'd look at the Caps' salary cap situation in light of all the talk about trading or extending Ribeiro lately. According to Capgeek.com, the Caps' current cap number for next season is $49.159m. That includes Ovie, Backstrom, Laich, Brouwer, Ward, Chimera, Perreault, Beagle, Green, Carlson, Erskine, Orlov, Oleksy, Schultz and Holtby, which is 15 players so 8 spots available for $15.141m.
For some perspective, the cap next year is $64.3 for 23 players or about $2.8m per player. So, having 8 spots open with $15m means they pay those 8 an average of $1.9m. Not bad considering they have 4 solid top 6 forwards, 6 defensemen and their starting goalie already committed.
So, here is one scenario for how they could approach next year.
1. Use their two amnesty buy-outs for Ward and Schutlz. I know a lot of people are chiming for using that on Green which saves about the same money as those two but I went with those two. Ward is playing as a 4th liner and you can't pay them $3m and Schultz is the 8th or higher D under Oates and you can't pay $2.75m for that spot. At least Green is a top-pairing D at his $6m which is not unreasonable.
2. Re-sign Alzner who is an RFA. Here's where my numbers get soft as I have very little data on what the RFA guys are likely to get. I went with $3m for Alzner thinking he gets less than Carlson's $4m but happy to hear that I'm wrong on that.
3. Hendricks and Wolski re-signed at current salaries. Serviceable 4th liners/depth players for near league minimum.
4. Kundratek signed as RFA for $1m. Again no idea his value, I'm guessing here. Help me out. I see this as an upgrade over Schultz for $1.8m less.
5. Neuvirth is re-signed for $1.5m. I went with a little less than Holtby who is starting this year.
6. Forsberg joins the team all season, he is committed at $1.5m.
7. Re-sign Fehr. He has done well in his role. But, no clue his value, clearly a raise over $600k, I guessed $1.5m.
Those moves leave them with $11m left and 3 open spots.
If they re-sign Johansson at $2.5m, (I'm guessing again here), that leaves $8.5m for two more players.
So, the whole point of this is that if they make those moves, they would have $5m for Ribeiro at his current salary and $3m for a depth players/replacements.
I think my moves are reasonable but repeat that my RFA numbers are wild guesses. If the comments can provide better numbers on those, I'll update my spreadsheet.
Personally, I don't know that Riberio is worth $5m but my only point was to show that they can absorb the hit if they want him back and keep the team in tact.
To repeat, this is not an analysis of how/if they could/should "blow up" the team. That's a different post. This is the post on CAN they afford to keep paying Ribeiro $5m. I think the answer is yes if my RFA numbers are in the ballpark.
Do you agree they can afford Ribeiro at $5m?