logo

The Canucks are officially under the cap FLOOR for 2024/25 (but only for the moment)

alt
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
25 days ago
As we write these words, the Vancouver Canucks are on the cusp of Game 6 against the Edmonton Oilers in Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and sit just one win away from the a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
It’s a position the team hasn’t been in since the year 2011.
But though we’re hesitant to take a break from the postseason action to discuss financials, today we’re taking the diversion, because the Canucks are officially in another spot they haven’t been in for at least that long, if not longer: they’re below the salary cap floor for the 2024/25 season.
Yes, you read that correctly. Not the cap ceiling. They’re below the cap floor.
Of course, that’s only for the moment. But let’s explore the moment while we’re in it, and help kill some minutes ahead of Game 6 at the same time.
With all but a handful of teams eliminated by now, the bulk of the league is firmly moved on to their individual offseasons, and a focus on the 2024/25 campaign to come. In turn, and with the cap famously not applying to the postseason, all salary-tracking sites like CapFriendly and PuckPedia have turned their books over to the next financial year.
And, by that measure, the Canucks are under the estimated salary cap floor (the minimal amount of cap hits a team is allowed to carry) of $64.7 million, and well, well below the estimated cap ceiling of $87.7 million.
Canucks fans can be forgiven if they didn’t even realize there was a cap floor. It’s not something the team has concerned itself much with in the past. So, why are they there now? The easy answer is a preponderance of free agents, each of which count as a big ol’ zero against the books for the time being.
The only active, on-the-roster forwards that the Canucks have signed for next year are Elias Pettersson ($11.6 mil), JT Miller ($8 mil), Brock Boeser ($6.65 mil), Conor Garland ($4.95 mil), Ilya Mikheyev ($4.75 mil), Pius Suter ($1.6 mil), Nils Höglander ($1.1 mil), Vasily Podkolzin ($1 mil), Nils Åman ($825K), and Phil di Giuseppe ($775K) for a total cap hit of $41.25 million.
Elias Lindholm, Teddy Blueger, Dakota Joshua, and Sam Lafferty are pending UFAs. Linus Karlsson is an RFA.
On the blueline, the Canucks have just four active defenders under contract, and they are Quinn Hughes ($7.85 mil), Carson Soucy ($3.25 mil), Noah Juulsen ($775K), and the injured Tucker Poolman ($2.5 mil). That’s a total expenditure of just $14.375 million.
Filip Hronek is a pending RFA, and all of Nikita Zadorov, Tyler Myers, Ian Cole, and Mark Friedman are pending UFAs.
In net, it’s just Thatcher Demko at $5 million, along with technically Nikita Tolopilo at $950K, but we won’t count him for now. Casey DeSmith is a UFA, and Arturs Silovs is an RFA.
Add in Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s “raise” to a $2,346,667 buyout penalty, and you end up with the Canucks at a $62, 971,667 cap hit for 2024/25.
That’s $1,728,333 under the cap floor. And, so those keeping track at home, $24,728,333 under the cap ceiling.
And that’s without having placed Poolman’s $2.5 million cap hit on LTIR. Pop him on there, and the amount of spendable cap rises to $27, 228,333.
Of course, things will change from here on out. They literally have to. This is only a roster of ten healthy forwards, three healthy defenders, and one healthy NHL-level goalie. They’ll need to add at least six contracts to the roster just in order to hit the minimum numbers of players, and even if all six were to be paid at the minimum rate, that would still put the Canucks well above the floor.
And, of course, chances are very good that the players the Canucks add won’t be all paid at the minimum rate. Soon enough, the Canucks will become very concerned with the cap ceiling once again.
Which is part of why it’s so nice to take a moment to enjoy this rare occasion, and to think at least a little bit at the myriad offseason possibilities that all this financial flexibility might offer the Canucks.
Think of it this way: by the current count, the Canucks have the seventh-lowest team cap hit for 2024/25, ahead of just Carolina, Detroit, Anaheim, Chicago, San Jose, and Utah. From that list, only Carolina made the playoffs this year, and they’ve since been eliminated.
All of the other teams still active in the postseason have at least $5 million more on the books for the 2024/25 campaign.
Like we said at the outset, this is all a diversion, and perhaps not the most effective one. Most fans brains are rightfully geared toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs right now, where the cap only counts if you want to use it as reason to complain about the Vegas Golden Knights.
But since it’s been so long since the Canucks showed up under the cap floor, even on a temporary and theoretical basis, it’s worth at least a little celebration.
Under the guidance of GM Patrik Allvin and Co., the franchise’s financial health has truly come a long way.
Which, when one thinks about it, probably has a lot to do with why the team is still alive in the playoffs, even if one side of the success is much more fun to cheer for than the other.
Let’s go, numbers!…and, now, back to the action.

Check out these posts...