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The recent signing of Sergei Samsonov appeased Canadiens fans for a few days, but now most people are wanting more.  The question is though, is there room for any more?  Even with the cap being increased to $44 M US, how much room is really left, assuming GM Bob Gainey wants to leave a little left in the kitty for later in the season.  Today, we look at each player’s cap hit for the upcoming season.

We start with the goalies, and a reminder that the figure that you see may not necessarily be what the player is making this season, as the salary cap hit is the total money the player will make over the term of the contract divided by the number of years on the deal. Years remaining show the number of years left on the contract after this upcoming season.

Player Cap Hit Years remaining
39-Cristobal Huet $2,850,000 1
30-David Aebischer $1,900,000 0
75-Yann Danis $543,400 0

TOTAL GOALIES: $5,293,400

Next, we move onto the defencemen:

Player Cap Hit Years remaining
44-Sheldon Souray $2,432,000 0
52-Craig Rivet $2,270,000 0
79-Andrei Markov $2,000,000 0
51-Francis Bouillon $1,875,000 2
25-Mathieu Dandenault $1,750,000 2
8-Mike Komisarek $946,900 0
32-Mark Streit $600,000 1
64-Jean-Phillipe Cote $495,000 0

TOTAL DEFENCE: $12,368,900

Finally, the forwards:

Player Cap Hit Years remaining
11-Saku Koivu $4,750,000 2
27-Alexei Kovalev $4,500,000 2
24-Sergei Samsonov $3,525,000 1
14-Radek Bonk $2,394,000 0
20-Mike Johnson $1,900,000 0
71-Mike Ribeiro $1,900,000 0
22-Steve Begin $1,033,000 2
46-Andrei Kostitsyn $801,800 0
21-Chris Higgins $673,000 0
42-Alexander Perezhogin $627,000 0
57-Garth Murray $575,000 1
40-Maxim Lapierre $562,500 0
47-Aaron Downey $475,000 0
86-Jonathan Ferland $450,000 0
35-Tomas Plekanec $450,000 0
73-Michael Ryder Unsigned – RFA TBD

TOTAL FORWARDS: $24,616,300

When you add all of the totals together, the total cap hit, provided all of those players were to be up all season, is $42,278,600.  The good news is that there’s 26 players currently listed, so in reality, taking Danis, Cote, Ferland, and Lapierre will save some money, $2,050,900 in total.  The bad news is that Michael Ryder will likely get somewhere around that amount, so in reality, when the season starts, the current cap hit will be between $41.75 and $43 million, leaving a bit, but not much wiggle room for adding players during the season.

However, there appears to be one way that the Habs could add another UFA, assuming no players are dealt off the current roster.  If they feel that Andrei Kostitsyn is better suited to play in Hamilton one more season, they can take his 800 K and change and put it towards a mid-tier free agent, about 1-1.75 M max.  What you’re going to get with that, who knows. 

To sum it all up, in reality, it appears doubtful that the Habs have the money and the wherewithal to pick up another lower-tier UFA on the market, since it appears the plan is develop a youngster in that 23rd spot; Gainey himself has said so.  If the Canadiens are going to be active the rest of this summer, it will have to be through trades, and even then, they will not have the means to pick up a top player, unless there are player(s) going back the other way.  The offseason moves may not be over yet, but they are close to be.