The Pittsburgh Penguins had the NHL’s highest total salary-cap hit by the end of the 2015-16 season, not that anyone was complaining.
When you win the Stanley Cup, as the Penguins did, the price of more than $70 million is forgotten. It’s money well spent and the residuals of a Cup run – playoff revenue, merchandising and other revenue generated – make up for a lot of expenses.
But what about the other 29 teams? How much bang-for-the-buck did they get from their spending?
In terms of dollars spent per point in the regular season, the Penguins had 104 points and spent $708,686 per point, according to generalfanager.com, which tracks NHL team finances. Again, the Pens won it all.
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The Carolina Hurricanes had a smaller payroll, a little more than $61 million, and finished with 86 points. The price per point for the Canes: $713,133.
Then again, the Toronto Maple Leafs had 69 points and spent more than $1 million per point. Not much bang for those bucks, unless you factor in the Leafs getting the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft and taking forward Auston Matthews.
The San Jose Sharks reached the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues both reached the conference finals. That justifies a lot of spending but the Blues’ $682,448 per point was very reasonable.
Here’s a look at the NHL, in terms of price per point, based on total end-of-season salary cap figures provided by generalfananger.com:
(Regular-season points, price per point)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Columbus Blue Jackets
*Detroit Red Wings
*Tampa Bay Lightning
New Jersey Devils
*San Jose Sharks
*Los Angeles Kings
*New York Rangers
*St. Louis Blues
*New York Islanders
* playoff team