VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 3: A Buffalo Sabres shows off his tattoo during the third period in NHL action between the Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres on March 03, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
It was confirmed yesterday that the salary cap for the 2012 NHL season will be $70.2 million, though that is subject to change with any new CBA. However, as it currently stands the Buffalo Sabres will have just over $11.6 million to go after potential free agents.
Buffalo currently has 19 players signed for next season, totaling just over $58.5 million. They still have two restricted free agents to deal with in Tyler Ennis and Patrick Kaleta, and those numbers do not include call-ups from Rochester such as Marcus Foligno, Luke Adam, and Corey Tropp.
The Sabres are not expected to be big players in free agency this year, but will likely go after a forward or two to help shore up the back end. They currently have the seventh-highest payroll in the NHL, but with the massive spike in cap space this offseason, 27 of 30 teams have at least $10 million to play with, and 17 of 30 have at least $20 million in cap space.
Unless things change with a new CBA, expect another summer with silly amounts of money being passed out thanks to a weak free agent class and GMs with cash burning a hole in their pocket.