What first struck me as a comment unfit for consideration at The SHP the other day by Lemmiwinks about Heatley staying on with the Wild after this season now has me thinking about it.A lot of people assumed that Heatley would be a buyout...
What first struck me as a comment unfit for consideration at The SHP the other day by Lemmiwinks about Heatley staying on with the Wild after this season now has me thinking about it.A lot of people assumed that Heatley would be a buyout candidate after this season, given that the cap is expected to fall to 64.3 million dollars for the 13-14 season. Indeed, the Wild find themselves in a pickle with regard to the salary cap going into next year. This much was assumed, but with the acquisition of Jason Pominville, the Wild seemed to be shutting the door on the Dany Heatley Era. Consider that the Wild have $55.1MM committed to next season (which includes nearly a million dollars of The Stink of Doug Risebrough, aka Mark Parrish). That leaves the Wild with an asshair less than $9.2MM from the cap. Not so bad until you have to consider that the Wild need to either re-sign Matt Cullen or another second line center and have three Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) in Cal Clutterbuck ($1.4M last year), Jared Spurgeon ($527K), and Justin Falk ($825K).Did I mention they also need a Number 1 goalie, and another forward or two? Assuming that Cullen's next contract is about the same as what he got from the last one, that Clutterbuck, Spurgeon and Falk will all garner modest (or immodest) raises, then the Wild GM Chuck Fletcher will likely have less than two million dollars for a couple healthy scratch forwards and a goalie. Not even League minimums will pay for that. If Jason Zucker earns a roster spot (and I think he has), his 830K eats up a lot of that money.Something's got to give.Enter a "Compliance Buyout," aka an Amnesty Buyout. This allows a team to buy out a player who's not earning his salary, or just a player who owns a big cap hit. Assuming the Wild can't move a big salary, this is how they'll get the cap space needed to put together a roster for next season. And Dany Heatley seems like the leading candidate for that.But back to Lemmiwinks' point. Heatley was effective on the third line last season with Brodziak (and either Clutterbuck or Bouchard) before getting hurt. Without Heater in the lineup, Jason Pominville stepped in nicely. But with Bouchard and his $4MM salary riding off into le coucher de soleil, the Wild have need of a third line winger. Clutterbuck can fill that role, but seeing him out there with Mitchell and Rupp was a sight late in the season. That line was effective, and I want to see more of that. It also puts pressure on that line knowing that Zenon Konopka is ready to jump into the lineup (That depth is a Good Thing, more on that later.) So if the Wild want to retain Heatley's services and cap hit, they need to come up with some cash.And that brings us to Jar Jar Binks, aka Tom Gilbert.While it may rile the provincials who love them some local boys, Tom Gilbert might be the odd man out, and there are a couple reasons why. First, he was as effective as Cam Barker - and that says a lot considering that Gilbert could skate halfway across Rohan before Barker passes the Gates of Isengard. And at $4MM a year, that hurts. Second, the Wild loves Clayton Stoner and Justin Falk for their physical play, and with Marco Scandella's playoff performance, he's earned a spot in the lineup. Unless they want to carry 8 defensemen again, Scandella will displace someone. (The Wild could trade Nate Prosser, true, but he earns a paltry $825,000 compared to Gilbert's $4MM.) Third, as I said above, they may place a priority on Heater and his bigger salary.So the next question becomes what the Wild could do with what money they have, and there are four scenarios:They can leave the roster as is. As you can see below, if they do that, they're fucked.They can buyout Heatley and keep Gilbert. This gives them a good amount of money to work with.They can buyout Gilbert and keep Heatley. This gives them a modest amount of money.They can buyout both (this is the Deion Sanders Option). This gives the Wild a shitload of money to use. As
about 18 hours ago