The NHL and NHLPA continue to squabble over the future of the NHL's salary structure, but as it currently stands, the Buffalo Sabres currently have the highest payroll in the entire league, at least as far as pure salary dollars.
Thanks to the massively front-loaded (some would argue cap-circumventing) extensions to Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff, the Sabres are paying out $75.3 million - the most dollars to their players this year out of all 30 NHL teams.
Myers is being paid an insane $12 million this season, despite having only a $5.5 million cap hit thanks to his eleventy-billion year contract, while Ehrhoff is being paid an almost-as-ridiculous $8 million this year for a $4 million cap hit. That's $20 million committed this season to just two defenders, for you math wizards out there.
Their $75.3 million number is the highest in the league by almost $4 million, edging out the Minnesota Wild, who sit at $71,839,444 this year.
The numbers become even more egregious when you calculate the deficit between salary dollars and cap hit dollars. In that scenario, the Sabres are first in the league with an astounding -$10,945,477 deficit between their cap hit and their actual dollars paid, first in the league by an amazing $6.2 million over the next team, Chicago.
I know that most of us are starting to get used to the Terry Pegula era, but this type of fiscal strategy was unthinkable under Tom Golisano, the man who ran the team purely to turn a profit. It's truly incredible how much things have changed in just a short period of time for the Buffalo Sabres.