The cap crunch of 24-25 and its impacts, Late August version

I did a write up in mid June to take an early look at how 24-25's potential cap issues would affect our 2023 off-season.

If you want to take a look again to compare, you can find it here:

As we all know, Andersen, Staal, Fast, and Aho were signed to deals that carry them through at least 24-25. Bunting and Orlov were the two unexpected off-season acquisitions that also affect the 24-25 cap.

I am using the same perimeters as before. I used excel for the following to add up our cap hits if a player is on the roster or to be signed over the next 2 off-seasons. I used Evolving Hockey's and The Athletic's contract prediction models to determine a 24-25 Low end (LE) signing and a 24-25 Upper End (UE) for each player. I averaged in the median column to show a likely signing number.

Lets take a look.

Already signed
Forwards 2023-24 2024-25 LE Median 24-25 UE
Aho, Sebastian 8,460,250
9,750,000 9,750,000
Kotkaniemi, Jesperi 4,820,000 4,820,000 4,820,000 4,820,000
Svechnikov, Andrei 7,750,000 7,750,000 7,750,000 7,750,000
Fast, Jesper 2,400,000 2,400,000 2,400,000 2,400,000
Staal, Jordan "C" 2,900,000 2,900,000 2,900,000 2,900,000
Bunting, Michael 4,500,000 4,500,000 4,500,000 4,500,000
Slavin, Jaccob "A" 5,300,000 5,300,000
Burns, Brent 5,280,000 5,280,000
Orlov, Dmitry 7,750,000 7,750,000 7,750,000 7,750,000
Kochetkov, Pyotr 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000
Andersen, Freddie 3,400,000 3,400,000 3,400,000 3,400,000
Forwards 23-24 24-25 LE Median 24-25 UE
Necas, Martin 3,000,000
7,750,000 8,500,000
Martinook, Jordan "A" 1,800,000
2,400,000 2,600,000
Jarvis, Seth 894,167
5,500,000 7,000,000
Extra 775000 775000 775000
Skjei, Brady 5,250,000 6,000,000 6,500,000 7,000,000
Pesce, Brett 4,025,000 6,000,000 6,500,000 7,000,000
Morrow, Scott 925000 925000 925000
Extra 775000 775000 775000
TOTAL 69,529,417 83,525,000 86,975,000 90,425,000
Cap Space 3,975,000 525,000 -2,925,000

Going into the off-season of 2024 we will have 4 winger openings (1 is top 6), a C opening, and 3 defender openings.

Likely to be on the roster


Martinook is an assistant captain, seen as a key leader in the locker room, and had one heck of a series against New Jersey. I will say he is coming back and likely gets the Fast special on his new deal a 2 x 2.4 million deal, which leaves 3 winger openings.


I will also assume Morrow is signed during the 23-24 season and is one the roster for 24-25.


Jarvis is coming back but for how much? Do we go 2 year bridge because we need more cap space? Do we try to sign for 8 to save money in the long run? A lot will depend on his performance in 23-24.


He blew up this season and accounted for a few points during overtime periods. He did struggle to produce on the playoffs and was a heavy perimeter player. He is likely coming back and for how much will be dependent on his production. He'll be closer to the median or UE than the lower end.

Exploring Re-signings

Let me direct your attention to the cap space row in the sheet. Trying to keep Skjei and Pesce while keeping the previous mentioned players, will be very hard. Going to UE, we are in the red already. At best we keep one of these two, which would give us around 6 to 6.5 million in cap space to fill in 2 winger positions, 1 defender, and 1 center opening. That is not a lot of space if we are looking for a top end forward to help with the offense.

What to do

Lets hypothesize getting a top end scoring forward being our top priority in the offseason. To be able to afford it, we are going to trade a forward on the roster or not re-sign both Pesce and Skjei. Subtracting from our forward group doesnt make much sense with the prospects coming to Raleigh in 23-24 / 24-25 are 4th line types. We should aim for letting all of our 4+ million dollar free agents walk, get a top end forward, and find a cheaper 2nd RD option to replace Pesce.

Lets take a look at this option

Already signed
Forwards 2024-25
Aho, Sebastian
Kotkaniemi, Jesperi 4,820,000
Svechnikov, Andrei 7,750,000
Fast, Jesper 2,400,000
Staal, Jordan "C" 2,900,000
Bunting, Michael 4,500,000
Slavin, Jaccob "A" 5,300,000
Burns, Brent 5,280,000
Orlov, Dmitry 7,750,000
Kochetkov, Pyotr 2,000,000
Andersen, Freddie 3,400,000
Necas, Martin
Martinook, Jordan "A"
Jarvis, Seth
top end Winger 7,600,000
Winger 800,000
4C 800,000
Extra 775000
2nd Pair RHD 5,000,000
3rd Pair LHD 800,000
Morrow, Scott 925000
Extra 775000
TOTAL 87,475,000
Cap Space 25,000

Even allowing Skjei and Pesce to walk, we are looking at about 7.6 million in space for a top end forward to the group. That will limit the available pool and how high end the forward will be. Of course we can decide to skim a little on the 2RD, which would be unlike this team, or pinch Jarvis.

The roster would potentially look like

Bunting-Aho-New Forward