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At the low end the Bolts have two players in Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow that were acquired for first-round picks at the deadline. A major attraction for both was their relatively cheap cap hit, along with a term that runs through next season.
At the bottom of the pecking order are three youngsters on expiring ELCs, of which at least one, Anthony Cirelli, will have earned a solid raise. But that’s next year’s problem. Edmonton’s one ELC among the forward ranks, Kailer Yamamoto, still has a year to run at what will surely prove to be a bargain rate.
Two very different structures here, even as both clubs have invested similar sums in the blue. Tampa has two kingpins on the back end in Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh, and both are handsomely compensated. After them there’s $5 million drop-off to the rank and file, with four players around $1.5 million, and a fifth, Mikhail Sergachev, also in that range once he collects his bonuses. He too has an expiring ELC and can expect a handsome raise after three excellent seasons of 32-40 points. Like Cirelli, he has no arbitration rights leaving the club a one-year window to play hardball with him if they choose (or are forced) to do so.
Notable here are the three UFA’s discussed in some detail in Part One, namely Kevin Shattenkirk, Zack Bogosian, and Luke Schenn, all of whom signed with Tampa at a fraction of the big tickets they once earned. That was sharp work by BriseBois, but surely an example of players who had their choice of destination. Hard to envision Edmonton having been on the radar for any of them for reasons outlined in those three bullet points up the page. This is not a fair fight.