The NHL is currently in the middle of a major change to the salary cap, so it’s important to remember the rules when choosing your next big free agent.
It’s possible you can still have a shot at making it to the Stanley Cup Final with a first round pick, but there’s also a chance you’ll be spending all or most of your money on a player who will not only not be playing in the next two years, but will likely never be a regular NHL player.
Here are a few players that are likely to be left on the shelf, even if they are good players in the right situation.
Pavel Buchnevich, Tampa Bay Lightning Buchnevich is entering the final year of a six-year, $39 million contract.
His deal was originally scheduled to run through 2020-21, but he signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lighting on March 9.
The deal included a no-trade clause.
The deal is expected to earn Buchnevs salary $1.9 million in 2017-18 and $2.4 million in 2018-19, making him the fifth-highest paid defenseman in the league, behind Nicklas Lidstrom ($5.8 million), Jason Garrison ($5 million), Nicklas Kronwall ($4.9M) and Anton Stralman ($4 million).
Anton Stalberg, Nashville PredatorsAnton Stalborg was a late addition to the Nashville Predators, but his signing with the Predators was a significant boost to the franchise’s power play.
He is set to make $5.932 million over the next three seasons, the sixth highest on the team behind Shea Weber ($5,634), Kevin Fiala ($5M), Mikko Koivu ($5m) and Justin Falk ($4M).
Nikita Nesterov, Montreal CanadiensNesterov is set for a huge raise this summer with a five-year extension that is expected pay him a whopping $9.6 million per season.
Nesteros salary is set at $6.2 million for the 2018-2019 season, a $2 million increase from this season’s salary.
Nesters current deal with Montreal was set to expire after this season.
Shea Weber, Montreal Montreal has had some struggles with injury, but the franchise has added some quality talent this off-season.
Weber will make $7.5 million in 2019-20, a salary he’s not likely to match for another five years.
Tomas Hertl, Nashville Nashville’s second pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, is set up to make more than $5 million per year.
He is set with a four-year $7 million contract that will run through 2022-23.
Nick Bonino, St. Louis BluesBonino has been a key piece for St. Lucie over the past few seasons.
He will make nearly $5M per season in 2019.
His current contract is set through 2021-22, so his deal could be worth upwards of $10 million per campaign.
Jonathan Marchessault, Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Marquez will make about $4.3 million over his first two seasons with Chicago, making the Blackhawks one of the best teams in the NHL.
Marquez’s contract is expected be worth around $6 million for two more seasons, but it could be $5 or $6M in 2019 and 2020.
Mikael Granlund, St Louis The St. Lous Blues have a big problem on the blue line with Mikael Lindgren, who is set on a one year, $1 million contract with a $1,000,000 bonus.
Mike Green, CarolinaThe Panthers will likely lose Cam Ward, who signed a four year, free-agent deal last summer.
Green’s contract with Carolina is set after 2021-12, so he could earn about $3 million a season.
Green could also get a raise this offseason with a deal that is set in 2021-13.
Niklas Kronberg, Tampa St. The former first overall pick in 2014, Kronberg has been one of Tampa Bay’s most reliable and consistent players.
His $7M cap hit for the 2019-2020 season is expected, so a raise is possible.
Nicklas Backstrom, Minnesota The former second overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry draft is set down with a two-year contract, with a base salary of $3.5M.
He signed a three-year pact in 2020-20 that includes a $5,000-per-game bonus.
Mark Scheifele, EdmontonThe two-time Stanley Cup champion will make around $3M per year for two seasons, with an average annual salary of around $4M.
Henrik Sedin, VancouverThe reigning Norris Trophy winner is set-