Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thrashers Payroll Update

I've seen some people talk about the Thrashers payroll being in the high $20s or low $30s, but that's not accurate. If you actually look at a 20 man NHL roster and include the qualifying offers for Lehtnonen and Sterling and Zhitnik's buyout the team sits at $35 million right now.

2008 Cap Cost/Player
$6.4 Kovalchuk
$3.7 Kozlov
$2.4 T. White
$1.2 Armstrong
$0.9 Little
$0.8 Christensen
$0.8 Perrin
$0.6 Sterling (RFA Qualifying Offer)
$0.5 Thorburn
$0.8 Slater
$0.5 Larsen
$0.5 C. Stuart
$4.5 Hainsey
$2.7 Havelid
$1.4 Exelby
$1.2 Klee
$0.9 Enstrom
$0.9 Valabik
$2.2 Lehtonen (Qualifying offer)
$1.2 Hedberg
$1.2 Buyout (Zhitnik)

Now Lethonen will probably end up re-signing for $3-4 million, let's assume $4 million, now the Thrashers sit at $37 million. If the team decides to carry 3 bench players instead of the NHL minimum 20, so if you need to toss in roughly another $2 million for three more roster players. Now you have a Thrashers roster sitting at $39--which is still $2 under the salary floor.

So realistically the Thrashers not nearly as far from the salary floor as many fans think. Of course even if the Thrashers add a $3 million player the team is nowhere close to being competitive as presently constituted. Over on HFboards there is a thread about the worst roster fo 2008. Nearly every poster mentions the Thrashers in their top three.


  • I tend to agree with btn over at HF:

    "It is interesting that the Thrashers and Lightning ended up with almost the exact same GF and GA figures. Roughly 210 goals scored and 270 goals against.

    The Lightning spend all their money on forwards, are in the process of trying to trade one of their best defenseman, and have added a goalie whose last team lost so much faith in them they added another starting goalie at the trade deadline. And they are viewed as the most improved.

    The Thrashers add 2-3 defenseman(Hainsey, Nikulin, and Bogosian), and are viewed as one of the worst teams so far.

    We will see how it all works out."

    By Blogger Justin, at 10:04 PM  

  • Hang on--Does Larsen have a 4.5 mil/year contract??? Or did I just read that wrong? Cause THAT'd be a BIG problem

    By Anonymous Mountainboy, at 12:18 AM  

  • Brad Larsen makes 4.5 million? No wonder we suck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:35 AM  


    Just got the decimal point moved over when typing it up. He makes .45 million--it was correct in my spreadsheet so the grand total for the Thrashers remains unchanged. Thanks for catching it guys.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 11:07 AM  

  • Justin:

    After trading away Boyle Tampa's payroll is only $44 million and they have lots of room to trade for a quality defender (Schneider?) shoudl one become available.

    Right now Tampa's payroll is only $3 million over the floor--which team would you rather own Tampa or Atlanta? I certainly know which one has more stars and will sell more tickets this coming season. I don't like all of Tampa's moves but I give their GM credit for making massive changes and their owners for spending some additional money.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 11:10 AM  

  • Sooo.... did we sign Nikulin or not? The local rag rumored it was close but thats the last Id heard, and Id seen nothing on either. Is he coming over to North America or is he still over in Russia?

    By Anonymous Mountainboy, at 11:45 PM  

  • There's no doubt Tampa has the star power and a pretty good top six in the making. Beyond that, they have a porous defense, a goalie with 47 games of experience and a veteran goalie coming off a bad year. They have to make some moves on the D front before I really take them seriously. Props to them for surrounding Stamkos with some talent he can work with, though.

    If the Nikulin rumors are true, I don't think Tampa is leaps and bounds better than us.

    By Blogger Justin, at 11:05 AM  

  • "which team would you rather own Tampa or Atlanta?" Hockeywise, you may be right but I'll say again that very few teams have improved dramatically by ramping up offense. Financially, I'll take ASG's position over OK Hockey any day. ASG paid 250 million (Thrashers, Hawks, operating rights at Phillips): Forbes values the Hawks alone at 286 million which may be low considering that the Seattle franchise sold for 360 million. Even if the Thrashers have a lower franchise value than the Predators (193 million) this looks to me like ASG has assets that have nearly doubled in value in four years. What if OK Hockey has bought in at the peak? Depreciating assets can dwarf year-to-year operating profits (and the previous owners claimed the Bolts lost $80 million during their tenure) very quickly .

    By Blogger Big Picture Guy, at 2:18 PM  

  • Justin: Nikulin has flirted with the Thrashers before. Nothing is official until there is a press release. Heck, given that this is Russia we are talking about, nothing is official until he steps off the plane.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 3:24 PM  

  • BPG: Very good point in terms of the franchise value difference. I guess I was thinking more in terms of short and long term future of each franchise. Tampa has proven that if you put a decent product out there their fans will buy tickets. They have the goodwill a Cup win creates.

    The Thrashers have none of that so far. They have a nice building and a lot of ill-will in the local hockey community for all the losing year after year.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 3:27 PM  

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