In the NHL where 20 teams have less than $3 million salary cap remaining, the Detroit Red Wings will start the season with more than $13 million in salary cap space.
The Red Wings have $14.2 million remaining with only Givani Smith still to sign, according to CapFriendly.com. Only the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres have more cap space than the Red Wings. The Sabres have $23.6 million and the Senators are at $24.5 million with Brady Tkachuk still to sign
What’s remarkable is that Yzerman, at least on paper, significantly improved his team this offseason with the acquisitions of center Pius Suter, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and defenseman Nick Leddy. He spent more than $11 million on those three players and that could not have been predicted. He also left room for prize prospect defenseman Moritz Seider.
Detroit’s cap space outlook gives Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman plenty of room to maneuver in-season, particularly around the trade deadline when teams will try to create cap space to make deals. Eleven NHL teams have zero cap space remaining heading into the start of the season.
Yzerman also has $24.3 million coming off his cap next summer. That list does include Nick Leddy and Robby Fabbri.
In evaluating how Yzerman has managed his salary cap, it’s hard to find any fault with his strategy.