Brett Carson (center) celebrates with #33 Bryan Rodney and #17 Jerome Samson as Albany River Rats teammates in November 2009 (photo by sandpiper)
Last Monday, we took a look at the status of the Carolina Hurricanes so far this off-season, and suggested where there was work remaining for Hurricanes uber-GM Jim Rutherford. With only 38 signed to pro contracts, we knew he still had some slots to fill on the rosters for both the Hurricanes and those who will be playing some (or most) of the season in Charlotte for the AHL affiliate Checkers this season.
After some expected moves (the signings of the three RFAs Nick Dodge, Bryan Rodney and Justin Pogge) and announcements of the less certain though generally well-regarded contracts with Riley Nash and Brett Carson, I have an updated table for you and the Excel file for downloading so you can explore the possibilities on your own.
Click here for that file: Hurricanes 2010-11 Roster and Salary Chart rev. July 20
With the addition of these five contracts over the last nine days, 43 hockey players are signed up with the Canes organization and ready to go in September. At the very least, one more spot remains for a forward to join the fun and the fray. With comments from Rutherford that Jeff Skinner has a shot at playing in the NHL, we have to wonder if the GM is done until at least they get a look at the talented 18-year-old sniper in action at Traverse City.
So let's take a look once more at the roster and salary status, after the jump.
As before, the players in the gray fields have two-way contracts. I have indicated only one possible scenario for who is playing in Raleigh and who in Charlotte, this time using the Hurricanes own depth chart to guide me. One example: Riley Nash is on the NHL roster, Jonathan Matsumoto is over on the AHL side.
|Canes Country Roster/Salary Worksheet|
|HURRICANES (NHL) ROSTER||Other Players w/Contract (All 2-way)|
|(gray cells have 2-way deals)||(also known as the AHL roster - not AHL salaries)|
|Name||NHL Cap Hit||NHL Salary||Name||NHL Cap Hit||NHL Salary|
|Eric Staal||$8,250,000||$7,500,000||Oskar Osala||$850,000||$785,000|
|Tuomo Ruutu||$3,800,000||$4,000,000||Zac Dalpe||$875,000||$637,500|
|Erik Cole||$2,900,000||$3,000,000||Chris Terry||$750,000||$625,000|
|Sergei Samsonov||$2,533,000||$2,800,000||Stefan Chaput||$548,333||$565,000|
|Chad LaRose||$1,700,000||$1,900,000||Cedric McNicoll||$610,000||$550,000|
|Jussi Jokinen||$1,700,000||$1,900,000||Jared Staal||$566,667||$550,000|
|Tom Kostopoulos||$916,667||$950,000||Matt Kennedy||$566,667||$550,000|
|Brandon Sutter||$1,225,000||$875,000||Jon Matsumoto||$512,500||$500,000|
|Zach Boychuk||$1,195,833||$875,000||Jerome Samson||$512,500||$500,000|
|Drayson Bowman||$845,833||$687,500||Matthew Pistilli||$521,667||$500,000|
|Riley Nash||$704,167||$550,000||Nicolas Blanchard||$512,500||$500,000|
|Jiri Tlusty||$500,000||$500,000||Nick Dodge||$500,000||$500,000|
|Patrick Dwyer||$500,000||$500,000||13th forward?|
|Joni Pitkanen||$4,000,000||$4,500,000||Bobby Sanguinetti||$855,000||$765,000|
|Tim Gleason||$2,750,000||$3,000,000||Michal Jordan||$606,667||$580,000|
|Joe Corvo||$2,250,000||$2,000,000||Brett Bellemore||$533,333||$555,000|
|Anton Babchuk||$1,400,000||$1,400,000||Kyle Lawson||$552,500||$540,000|
|Jamie McBain||$850,000||$685,000||Bryan Rodney||$525,000||$525,000|
|Brett Carson||$500,000||$500,000||Zack Fitzgerald||$500,000||$500,000|
|Jay Harrison||$500,000||$500,000||Casey Borer||$500,000||$500,000|
|Cam Ward||$6,300,000||$5,000,000||Murphy, Mike||$783,333||$630,000|
|Justin Peters||$525,000||$500,000||Pogge, Justin||$500,000||$500,000|
|Total Salary for roster players||$44,122,500|
|# roster players||22||Roster Size (Charlotte)||21|
|CAP SPACE||$9,221,167||Numbers as of July 20, 2010|
This little bit of tinkering with the roster line-up put the salary expense at $44,122,500. This figure is about $350,000 lower than the number I came up with last week, or less than a 1% reduction. I would guess that it is probably irrelevant, since we know that the rosters on the left and right have numerous combinations of interchangeable parts.
Further details on the new deals
To better appreciate how these negotiations are working out, let's look at both sides of the two-way deals. Twenty-six-year old RFA defenseman Bryan Rodney's salary for the 2009-10 season was $550,000 at the NHL level, but for 2010-11 his contract provides for a salary of $525,000 - a 5% pay cut. But when you look at the AHL side of the agreement, last year he was paid just $55,000 while this year he is at $105,000, nearly double.
RFA goalie Justin Pogge, 24, acquired at the deadline from the Anaheim Ducks as part of the Aaron Ward trade, had to lower his expectations even further. According to capgeek.com, Pogge received an NHL salary of $605,000 in his one-year contract for 2009-10, while this year he will receive just $500,000. That's 17% pay cut - if he was actually playing a full season in the NHL, which he won't be, so really this figure is more about pride than bank accounts. In contrast, Pogge's AHL salary numbers jump from $70,300 to $85,000 - a 20% raise.
Finally, for Brett Carson, the NHL-level figure also dropped. He has gone from $525,000 in 2009-10 to $500,000 this year. When he's at the AHL level, like Bryan Rodney, his annual pay jumps from $55,000 to $105,000. However, all indications are that Carson, who is also 24, is the most likely of these players to spend the majority of his season on the blueline, paired with the likes of Joni Pitkenan or even Jamie McBain, in Raleigh. This becomes an excellent example of how these negotiations become a guessing game for the player, maximizing his immediate income while also projecting what is best for his career and long-term potential income as a professional hockey player.
My last thought as I was running through these very "relate-able" numbers for the AHL contracts is how much these players (and the majority of professional hockey players in the NHLPA) are living in a whole different world from the nine-figure numbers in the Kovalchuk contract mess. One has to wonder if they consider Kovy's problems as part of their own, or, rather, as a situation that is beyond the limits of where (and how) they ever expect to be negotiating.