Vancouver Canucks: 3 Reasons Lower Salary Cap Helps

May 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly waits to present the Prince of Wales trophy to Pittsburgh Penguins after the Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Eastern Conference Championship in game seven of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won the game 2-1 and the Eastern Conference Championship four games to three. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly waits to present the Prince of Wales trophy to Pittsburgh Penguins after the Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Eastern Conference Championship in game seven of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won the game 2-1 and the Eastern Conference Championship four games to three. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 12, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows (14) awaits the start of play against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Financial Pressure: Youth is Cheap, Burrows is Not

The first two reasons are great. The Canucks can benefit from the other teams failing to cope with the cap. But Vancouver is no exception. The Canucks would like more money to accomplish the big achievements in free agency, too.

The way this organization is moving, the way Willie’s been coaching pretty much all year, you could see the writing on the wall. So it’s just a matter of time, I guess.
(LW Alex Burrows)

Is that just another reason to trade veteran forward Alex Burrows?

The 35-year-old veteran left winger is among the league’s most anticipated names to be bought out. The Canucks, however, would not be doing themselves much good by buying out the $3.5 million contract.

Despite the $4.5 million cap hit, buying out Burrows saves the Canucks just $2 million this year while one million dollars will count against the 2017-18 season, when names like Bo Horvat, Nikita Tryamkin, and Anton Rodin will have to be signed to new contracts. Don’t forget about Ben Hutton, Nikita Tryamkin, and Jacob Markstrom, too.

Burrows should not be bought out. He should be traded.

The Other End of the Equation: Salary Cap Floor

But who would want a 35-year-old veteran who costs top-six money?

How about the teams that need the contract to stay above the salary cap lower limit? The Arizona Coyotes and the Carolina Hurricanes need to find ways to stay above the cap. Perhaps unsaid in Daly’s statement is that the lower limit is also expected to jump up a bit.

While the Canucks should not give up assets to simply ship out Burrows’s contract, a team needing bottom-six leadership and some cushion from the salary cap floor should pursue a name like Burrows.

Next: FREE AGENCY FRIDAY: 6 Strategies for the July 1st Frenzy

And this ultimately is the piece that has to click to make the free agency work, as well as re-signing guys like Emerson Etem and Andrey Pedan.