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Salary Cap Sensations
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NHL Salary Cap - Toronto HockeySidney Crosby was the best player in the NHL last season, he won the scoring title, and took home enough hardware at the NHL awards to fill his living room. There was very little Sid the Kid didn't accomplish in 2006-07. But was Sidney the best bang for your fantasy dollar? Fantasy general managers living in a salary cap world can often be faced with some tough decisions when a player lands a big contract. Young superstars like Thomas Vanek where relative bargains at last years prices. All that changed in a hurry this summer when Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe signed Vanek to a $50 million dollar offer sheet. While Thomas was no doubt thrilled about his new salary, and still remains one of the top young players in the NHL, fantasy GM's were less than elated with the wingers new fortunes. Vanek went from one of the most coveted players in salary cap leagues to overpaid in record time.

While there aren't many Buffalo Sabres left in the bargain bin there are still a few. Let's take a look at some of the Sabres and other players around the NHL that are the best bang for your fantasy dollar.

In top spot we have Milan Michalek of the San Jose Sharks. Milan was paid a mere $7,139 per point last season which makes him top dog in our salary cap world. Michalek will be tough to knock off his perch as long as he is skating beside Joe Thornton. Expect more of the same from the well-rounded winger, and possibly even an increase in performance.

While the St. Louis Blues didn't finish near the top of anything last season they appear to have found themselves a good deal in Lee Stempniak. Amounts like $8,654 per point sound like a lot, but in todays NHL that's good enough for the second best dollar per point ratio in the league. Like Michalek, Stempniak is young enough that he should improve on last years numbers and be amoung the $/point leaders again this season.

Third spot on our list belongs to Colorado's Paul Stastny. Stastny finished the season on fire and was one of the top rookies of 2006-07. The Avalanche were well represented at both ends of our list with players like Andrew Brunette, and Peter Budaj also offering top value. While others like Rob Blake and Jose Theodore were among the NHL's worst per dollar performers.

As with every year there will be changes and the upcoming NHL season will be no different. Players like Vanek are no longer coveted by salary cap GMs like they once were. While others like Derek Roy, Zack Parise, and Dustin Penner also with hefty new contracts have fallen from the top as well.

Look for the Anaheim Ducks still to be well represented on our list with young guns Cory Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Chris Kunitz still making reasonable amounts of coin. One of our favorites, Alexander Radulov, should be among the young guns replacing our leaders. Jason Pominville in Buffalo will be hurt by the loss of Briere but should see his minutes increase with the new openings and is a good bet maintain his value as a top point per dollar fantasy player.

Here's a look at last seasons top 50 bang for your buck forwards:

Rank Player Salary GP G A P PIM +/- $/P
1 Milan Michalek 471,200 78 26 40 66 36 17 7,139
2 Lee Stempniak 450,000 82 27 25 52 33 -2 8,654
3 Paul Stastny 741,700 82 28 50 78 42 4 9,509
4 Tomas Plekanec 450,000 81 20 27 47 36 10 9,574
5 Andrew Brunette 800,000 82 27 56 83 36 -8 9,639
6 Derek Roy 627,000 75 21 42 63 60 37 9,952
7 Dustin Penner 450,000 82 29 16 45 58 -2 10,000
8 Michel Ouellet 500,000 73 19 29 48 30 -3 10,417
9 Thomas Vanek 942,400 82 43 41 84 40 47 11,219
10 Zach Parise 703,000 82 31 31 62 30 -3 11,339
11 Jason Pominville 800,000 82 34 34 68 30 25 11,765
12 Jeffrey Hamilton 475,000 70 18 21 39 22 -4 12,179
13 Ryan Getzlaf 714,400 82 25 33 58 66 17 12,317
14 Eric Perrin 450,000 82 13 23 36 30 -7 12,500
15 Petr Prucha 550,000 79 22 18 40 30 -7 13,750
16 Jussi Jokinen 700,000 82 14 34 48 18 8 14,583
17 Erik Christensen 488,000 61 18 15 33 26 -3 14,788
18 Randy Robitaille 600,000 78 11 29 40 44 -6 15,000
19 Glen Metropolit 500,000 77 14 19 33 34 9 15,152
20 John Pohl 450,000 74 13 16 29 10 -4 15,517
21 Corey Perry 684,000 82 17 27 44 55 12 15,545
22 Chris Kunitz 962,500 81 25 35 60 81 23 16,042
23 Andy Hilbert 450,000 81 8 20 28 34 10 16,071
24 Alexei Ponikarovsky 725,000 71 21 24 45 63 8 16,111
25 Bates Battaglia 500,000 82 12 19 31 45 9 16,129
26 Anze Kopitar 984,000 72 20 41 61 24 -12 16,131
27 Daniel Cleary 650,000 71 20 20 40 24 6 16,250
28 Mikko Koivu 902,500 82 20 34 54 58 6 16,713
29 Viktor Kozlov 865,000 81 25 26 51 28 12 16,961
30 Derek Armstrong 760,000 67 11 33 44 62 13 17,273
31 Vernon Fiddler 450,000 72 11 15 26 40 11 17,308
31 Richard Park 450,000 82 10 16 26 33 4 17,308
33 Matthew Lombardi 800,000 81 20 26 46 48 10 17,391
34 Chris Higgins 672,980 61 22 16 38 26 -11 17,710
35 Nathan Horton 1,100,000 82 31 31 62 61 15 17,742
36 Antti Miettinen 450,000 74 11 14 25 38 -5 18,000
37 Jay McClement 650,000 81 8 28 36 55 3 18,056
38 Ray Whitney 1,500,000 81 32 51 83 46 -5 18,072
39 Kristian Huselius 1,400,000 81 34 43 77 26 21 18,182
40 Ryan Craig 495,000 72 14 13 27 55 -11 18,333
41 Yanic Perreault 700,000 66 21 17 38 34 -1 18,421
42 Chris Clark 1,002,000 74 30 24 54 66 -10 18,556
43 Stephen Weiss 900,000 74 20 28 48 28 -1 18,750
44 Taylor Pyatt 700,000 76 23 14 37 42 5 18,919
45 Chris Kelly 725,000 82 15 23 38 40 28 19,079
46 Alexander Semin 1,400,000 77 38 35 73 90 -7 19,178
47 Tyler Arnason 950,000 82 16 33 49 26 -8 19,388
48 Michael Zigomanis 450,000 75 14 9 23 46 -8 19,565
48 Nikita Alexeev 450,000 78 12 11 23 12 7 19,565
50 Wojtek Wolski 984,200 76 22 28 50 14 2 19,684
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