One of the things I've recently been asked about a lot is just how I'd build a team. And usually I explain it in the terms that I know, but today, I've started really getting into the idea of actually building a team, as in, going out, and putting the players together who embody the attributes that I'd put into my team. So with that, here we go, the DGS guide to building a perfect NHL 23-man roster that is cap-compliant.
Here are the rules for how I did this:
1: I need to get 23 players on the roster, with a minimum of 12 forwards-6D-2 goalies
2: The 23 man roster MUST be cap compliant/all cap numbers will reflect the 2011-12 cap hits of players.
3: All players must be "reasonably healthy" so LTIR players like Pronger and Savard aren't eligible
4: I also needed to pick 4-6 "injury callups."
5: The team's goalies must be 1 ready starter, 1 true NHL backup and 1 waiver exempt callup
Make sense? Good, let's go.
First off, the basic philosophy of my team building is based on the idea of getting 1 true scoring line, 2 solid 2-way forward lines and 1 true checking line. The defense pairs are 1 impact pair, 1 shutdown pair and 1 pair of specialists (PP specialist, PK specialist).
We shall start with the goalies: (cap hit)
Starter: Pekka Rinne (4M)
Backup: Josh Harding (750K) -note: he has a day to day injury, not career ending like Pronger or Savard
Waiver exempt callup: Braden Holtby
Totals goalies spent: 4.75M
Ryan Suter (3.5) and Matt Carle (3.437)
Anton Volchenkov (4.25) and Zdeno Chara (6.916)
Sheldon Souray (1.65) and Braydon Coburn (3.2)
7th D: Cody Franson (800K)
Injury callups: Marc-Andre Bourdon, Ryan Ellis.
Total money spent on D: 23.753M
Daniel Sedin (6.1) Henrik Sedin (6.1) Ryane Clowe 3.625
Do I need to say any more about this top line? the Sedin's doing Sedin things, with Clowe picking up the rebounds.
Total Cost: 15.825
for a top line, a bit pricey, but if they're sheltered properly, the Sedins will get their 100 points and Clowe's a better net front presence than Burrows, toss in PP time and he could get 70-75 points as well.
Dustin Brown (3.175) Claude Giroux (3.75) Sean Couturier (1.375)
Total cost 8.3M
I love to talk about how Cooter needs to be free, he's got ~20 points being buried mostly on the 4th line, and he doesn't have a horrible contract...pure win. These guys would end in the 60-65 point range because the Sedins would take up more offensive time, but again, solid 2-way play. is the key.
Matt Read (900K) Dave Bolland (3.375) Wayne Simmonds (1.75)
Total Cost: (6.025)
Simmonds and Read (wow, more Flyers forwards, they're a solid group, aren't they?) have high depth scoring (even if a bit unsustainable) and Bolland is criminally underrated in his PK/defensive center abilities.
Max Talbot (1.75) Eric Belanger (1.75) Greg Campbell (1.1)
Total Cost: 4.6M
3 solid defensive forwards (well, Talbot's more of a depth scorer, but Bolland-Campbell-Belanger-Talbot would be the 4 PK forwards)
13th forward/scratch: Brandon Prust (800K)
Forward injury callups: Brayden Schenn (he's waiver excempt) and any goon of your choice that costs 750K or less.
If my math is correct, this team costs 64.053 in Cap Hits. which puts them right against the cap.
For leadership personnel,
Captain: Zdeno Chara-he's a Vet, he's won a Cup.
Alternates: Ryane Clowe and Ryan Suter. 2 more veterans who are young enough to understand the youth on the team and help out in that regard.
Honorable mentions: I really wanted to get Scott Hartnell (in Clowe's spot) or Manny Malholtra (4th line) on the team, but I couldn't fit them under the salary cap. Same with Defense-no Doughty or Weber.
Even then, I'm really up against the cap meaning that if injuries happen, the 7th D would slot into Coburn's spot and Coburn would fill in for the top 4. On the forwards, Prust would fill in for Talbot or Read and they would slot into wherever was needed. If LTI was used, you could see a callup. If a goalie gets hurt-you'd see Matt Read get sent to the AHL allowing Holtby to be recalled and Prust would play.
Yes, Geoff Detweiler, I fully expect you critique me for using LTI and waiver rules to loophole the cap.
Enjoy. What are your thoughts on "the perfect" roster.