This Guy (Rolston) is a Salary Mule. That Guy (Yashin) is a Salary Mule. The Other Guys (Niederreiter, Tavares this year) are Salary Mules.
They are Mules in different ways. This Guy because he's old and overpaid. That Guy because he has a high buy-out cap hit. The Other Guys because they are on Entry Level Contracts with huge potential bonuses they may not reach that count against the salary cap anyway.
I think we can all pretty much agree that This Guy is going to be on the team for the whole season. That Guy still counts for a few more years. The Other Guys aren't necessarily going anywhere -- especially since one of them just signed for 5 more years.
But... what happens with This Guy's cap hit for next season? Before you know it, there are actually 11 guys who are UFA's and 2 who are RFA's at season's end (not counting minor league guys).
Who is coming off the books?
UFA: Rolston ($5.0 million), Eaton ($2.5 million), Jurcina ($1.6 million), Staios ($1.6 million), Pandolfo ($1.4 million), Parrenteau ($1.25 million), Mottau ($800,000), Wallace ($700,000), Montoya ($601,000), Nabokov ($570,000), Nielsen ($525,000)
RFA: Martin ($852,500), Haley($550,000)
That's $17.948 million.
Who is re-signed? Whose ELC comes onto the books? I have seen how much we like the P-word, but here goes...
Resigned: Nielsen ($3.1 million), Parenteau ($2.8 million), Montoya ($1.7 million), Jurcina ($1.5 million), Martin ($1.1 million), Haley ($650,000)
New ELC's: Strome ($1.775 million), de Haan ($1.47 million)
Increased hit: Tavares ($5.5 million)
That's $15.845 million; a deficit of only $2.103 million. But there are still 5 rosters spaces open with these changes.
Let's say those spots are filled with a couple of the kids. Rhakshani, Wishart, Cizikas, Ness, etc. all have cap hits in the $1 million range. That puts the total cap at $3+ million HIGHER than this year, with fresher bodies and brighter futures.So, with all that said... let the mules clear the road because this year is not "Fail for Nail" but "The Year of the Mule".