I saw some interesting tweets from Andy Strickland of HockeyBuzz.com, suggesting Paul Kariya is waiting to see what the market will bear for a return in 2011 and hoping to possibly reunite with former teammate, Teemu Selanne, in Anaheim, where he started his career. This sort of news gets a guy to thinking, you know? Could this possibly work out for the Ducks to get both both players signed on for the 2011 season?
Both players are firmly into their Summers, especially since the Blues and the Ducks failed to make the playoffs in April, so there must have been a number of free moments between then and now to contemplate their futures. Obviously, it sounds like Kariya has come up with some conclusions, while there is some belief that Selanne will hang up the skates at age 39 (or 40 in one month's time). I guess, the better first question will be, would the prospect of Kariya going back to Anaheim be enough for Selanne to return for another year? If the answer is no, then all other discussions about this topic are now moot.
For the sake of saying yes though, I suppose it would have to be a look at possible cap numbers going forward, before we try and fit something into the Ducks annual cap numbers. Let's remember, both players did take less money to play together once before in Colorado, so I think we can safely assume that there could be a special incentive for the Ducks to have both of these players signed on for the 2011 season.
In 2010, Selanne was signed on to a cap hit of $2.625 million with the Ducks as a 39-year old winger and he finished with 48 points in 54 games. Kariya, on the other hand, had an annual cap hit of $6 million with the Blues as a 35-year old and he only picked up 43 points in 75 games. It might be high time that Kariya took a bit of a pay cut, don't you think? So, saying that, what kind of pay cut are they looking at, especially since Selanne could almost argue for a fine raise with the production he managed in 54 games, but that's another story altogether. It may not be unreasonable to say to both, here's a 1-year deal for $3 million each, call it square. I'm sure the Kariya camp may barder for a bit more, but seeing what kind of offers that are made by quality teams might mean he'll be low-balled in discussions. Fair enough, Kariya has barely scored enough to warrant a $6 million cap hit lately anyways.
Okay, we've settled on $3 million each, which if playing well together on the same team works wonders, it may just be a good bargain for the Ducks to pick up. Currently, in accordance to my spreadsheet and the Pool Outlook, the Ducks currently have $35.3 million in cap space allotted to 14 players, which looks like plenty of room to slip two players at $3 million each, bringing their total up to $41.3 million for 16 players, leaving over $15 million for seven players. A big thumbs up to some quality bookkeeping here.
This idea is plausible, but first you have to convince Selanne to make a return and the Ducks would have to come out and say that this is a good idea. It's not a terrible idea, for the right price, of course.