The Phoenix Coyotes are still awaiting to hear whether or not Sane Doan plans to re-sign with the team, or if he will decide to leave the place he has called home for the past 16 seasons. While they await that decision, they are unsure how much money they will have to spend.
Most teams have to worry about how much money they have left to spend, but the Coyotes are in the opposite scenario with the minimum salary cap rule in the National Hockey League. Every team has to hit the basement number of at least the projected $54.2 million salary cap. As of now, Phoenix only has about $45 million committed to 22 players who are signed for the upcoming season. Even if they are able to re-sign Doan, they will still likely be under the minimum number.
Unless they throw even more money at him than other teams are reportedly willing to offer, although that would still not be smart.
In fact, the best way for the Coyotes to reach the floor cap number is to trade for Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
And it is also the most fiscally responsible way to do so as well.
Technically, Thomas is retired. At least for the upcoming season. But he is still on Boston’s payroll list, meaning his $5 million salary does count against the cap for next season, even if he never suits up for the team. If Phoenix acquires Thomas, his salary would count toward their number, meaning it would get them closer to the basement cap number.
But the best thing for the Coyotes is that while his cap hit would help, they would not have to pay him a dime. And with incumbent netminder Mike Smith, it is not as if the Coyotes would care about possibly talking Thomas out of retirement beyond this season. It would not matter to them if he ever came back, but he could still help them out from the comfort of his own home.
If a similar salary cap floor number is put in place whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, then a few teams will be looking to reach that number by acquiring some new players.
But nobody can do it better without altering future plans than by trading for Thomas.
Who would have thought that one of the hottest NHL trade commodities could be a retired goaltender who is extremely outspoken?