Daily Fantasy Sports Games at FanDuel.com

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bury or Buyout? That is the Question

Wild on Sports
Detroit Red Wings: 
Bury or Buyout? That is the Question
By Wild on Sports Analyst Brian Pierce

I was reading an Mlive article and poll about who the Wings might use their two compliance buyouts on. They talked about maybe Bertuzzi, Sammuelson, and perhaps Tootoo as they didn't get playoff time and their contracts are pretty awful.

I started to look into it, because I was thinking that they could bury the contracts in the AHL with better results. I was right about that, but found something which surprised me and made the Mlive article moot.

Cap hits of a compliance buyout MUST be 3 million or more! This means Bertuzzi and Tootoo would not be eligible for it. In fact only Zetter, Pavel, Franzen, Quincey, Ericsson, Kronner, Sammuelson, and Howard would be eligible for it. The others could go through normal buyout procedure but they would count against the cap.

Obviously Zetter, Pavel, Franzen, Kronner, and Howard aren't going to be bought out. Only Sammy is realistic in my mind. Doing this research I think they definitely will buy him out with a compliance. They have to because I went through and put together a cap roster that has what I consider to be high end realistic cap numbers for the RFA players. Some of these players could realistically get more, including Brunner who might go to another team for bigger money. I also used the cheapest methods to clear the older parts that might not contriubte to the team. This gave me a 22-man roster that doesn't Include Val or Cleary.

My Best Guess
Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Johan Franzen ($3.955m)
Gustav Nyquist ($3.000m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Damien Brunner ($4.000m)
Tomas Tatar ($0.840m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Patrick Eaves ($1.200m)
Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Joakim Andersson ($1.200m) / Drew Miller ($1.200m)
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m)
Jakub Kindl ($3.250m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Kyle Quincey ($3.775m) / Brendan Smith ($3.000m)
Brian Lashoff ($0.725m) / Carlo Colaiacovo ($2.500m)
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
Buyout: Mikael Samuelsson ($0.000m)
Buried: Todd Bertuzzi ($1.150m)
Buyout: Jordin Tootoo ($0.567m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,744,545; BONUSES: $1,010,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,565,455

The most notable thing is that this only leaves 1.565 Million in cap space... with Pavel due a massive raise the following year along with others. I cannot see how to keep Tootoo (not that I want to keep him, I hate him) or Val. There could be trades to thin out the Defense in exchange for more cap space, but I do not think the Wings are going to bail on Quincey after the first round pick, Smith is too young to decide on, and you need all the rest of the guys just to be okay.

I also considered buying out Gustavsson, which would still count against the cap... so burying the contract is a better option as he is over 26 and by rule 1/3 of his contract would count against the cap this year and 1/3 would count next year. Sending him down to back up Mrazek would save 925k of cap space which would up the cap to 2.49 Million but then you would either need to bring Mrazek up, which I don't see them doing yet, or sign someone else. They might possibly even sign McCollum to a 1 year deal at minimum which is 550k or more for a vet, and not play him often. This would deduct the cap space spent on a backup from 1.5 million to 1.05 million, saving only 450k. A buyout would cost the Wings 500k this year and 500k next year, which could be crucial. Clearly if they are going to get rid of him, it will be via sending him down... which could create troubles if they need to call someone up. Will the Wings be that desperate for money?

The funny thing is there was a Freep list of potential targets in free agency. Even if all the players listed were signed for much less, I still don't see it possible for them to go and add people. At the very best I could see them adding someone for 2 million or upwards of 5 million if they short others SEVERELY. I do not see anyone that could help the team enough to be had in that range. They will likely sit on the money, add just one depth guy, or maybe bring back Cleary for depth on the cheap. They might short the RFAs 400k collectively and keep Tootoo, but I hope not. If they do, it will be extremely tight and they might even lose Pavel the following year. Though they would likely lose someone else.

Here is the current cap situation without any signings or buyouts.

Before any moves.
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Mikael Samuelsson ($3.000m)
Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)
Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
Patrick Eaves ($1.200m)
Tomas Tatar ($0.840m)
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Kyle Quincey ($3.775m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m) / Carlo Colaiacovo ($2.500m)
Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m) / Brian Lashoff ($0.725m)
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $53,352,879; BONUSES: $1,010,000
CAP SPACE (19-man roster): $11,957,121

I wrote this whole thing for one reason, to illustrate that with a weak market and the cap restriction, the Wings might have to make tough choices and not add anyone for two years minimum without clearing much more space.

I do not pretend to know what they are going to do but it seems very likely that they are going to have to buyout Sammy.

Finally, it might be the Wings MO to do right by the players and not bury them in the AHL. If that is the case, then Bertuzzi will most likely be bought out and cost 1 million against the cap this year and next, out of principle. Tootoo might cost them 950k over the next four years. The Monster, who was awful, could cost them 750k over the next two years against the cap. This is why I screamed my head off when they signed these contracts. This is why I am worried our progress will be 100% farm based for the next few years. Not that this is a bad thing, just wanted to make this established in our minds, as I haven't seen any journalists who cover the Wings properly paint this picture.

At least they didn't give up a 6th rounder and 4 million for Sergei Gonchar... Maybe there is more reason to keep trusting in Holland.


Post a Comment

Great Deals from our Sponsors