28-In-28: Sweet Home Chicago!by SICHL Insider | August 20, 2015, 9:51 PM ET
Sweet home Chicago! We are gonna take a look at the Tigers and what is in store for them in the offseason and going forward! GM Sheetal Khera will continue building from the ground up, this being a relatively new expansion club from 2012.
Tiger’s current cash position $40M Revenue:
- The team had 79.1% attendance last season which was bottom 10 in the league.
- Chicago generated $61.8M in non-playoff revenue ranking them 3rd last in the SICHL.
- Their $3432 per seat places them in the middle of the league.
- Costulator predicts the Tigers revenue to remain neutral this season as the team works at another top draft spot.
- Chicago had no playoff revenue last season and that is expected to continue for this upcoming season.
- Expected Season Revenue $61.5M with no anticipated playoff revenues.
Based on the roster here is the Costulators forecast of the Tigers expenditures:
- Current Roster 33.6M, Expected farm team costs 1.6M.
- Franchise Player 4.5M, RFA resignings 4.5M.
- There are 4-5 forward roster spots open it is expected that they will be filled with rookies or cheap UFA's.
- Expected team expenditures in the $47-50M range.
- Forecast Bank Balance for the Tigers = $51M
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Only three potential UFAs with obvious signing being Brad Richards as FP. Visnovsky and Erat are replaceable if Sheetal decides to dip in Free Agency.
Restricted Free Agents:
Only three potential RFAs to sign! Easy offseason for the Tigers. Important to sign will be Karri Ramo who will most likely battle Reto Berra for the #1 job in Chicago. I would also bet that Irwin gets signed as well. Both will most likely get qualifying offers to keep costs down.
This is not a deep team and it isn't expected to be at this point. Still a young expansion franchise. There are some building blocks in place and I suspect the team will have another bottom ten showing. Sheetal will have to sign some FAs to fill out the roster, but not of the high end variety. No need to go all "Dublin"!
In the System:
Top 3 prospects include:
1. Kevin Fiala - Strong on the skates, solid skater who can avoid checks. Very good playmaking winger with upside. A game-breaker and constant scoring treat. Fiala could see some time with the GHA Ice Hogs this season and will most likely be pro ready in a season or two!
2. Alex Wennberg - Talented playmaking center with upside. Solid on-ice vision, good wheels and side-to-side movement. Wennberg played full-time minutes in Sweden's elite league as a teenager and is now ready to make an impact with the Tigers this season in some capacity. Ability to be a plus 2nd line center and the potential to QB a SICHL powerplay!
3. Chris Bigras - Voted 2nd for the OHL's best defenseman award in 2014/2015, Bigras looks like a keeper prospect. He had 20G and 71PTs this past season with the OHL's Owen Sound Attack. In addition to the offensive game, Bigras has the ability to play a shutdown game. He has drawn comparisons to Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi. Very intelligent player and has the IQ to play a simple but effective game. 2-3 seasons away from making an impact on this team.
In additional to the aforementioned, the Tigers have some other youngsters, especially the defensemen to keep an eye on in the near future. Players like Schmaltz, Tinordi, and Orlov.
Sheetal has eight picks in the SICHL draft which includes the 5th overall selection. I am guessing a player like Hanifin, Strome, Marner, Zacha or Strome will be selected here!
As an expansion GM, Sheetal gets it! Offering this quote about his team: "As a new SICHLer it will be a longer time before we actually see the Tiger dominate the world. My goal is to balance some prospects and veterans for the next few seasons. So let's say it's Chicago status quo."
Well we were able to track down a buddy and fellow GM of Sheetal! He had this to say about the Tigers: "Okay, so I'll admit I don't know the Tigers very well, but I've had a couple beers with Sheetal and, aside from being way too attached to Chris Bigras, he seems like a smart GM. Let's take a look at the roster: Toews, Staal, Karlsson, Bailey, not bad! Wait, you mean those are just crappy siblings? Oh. Hrm. Well, looks like this is a good draft year, so go get 'em buddy!"
No real words of wisdom here other than don't trade anymore 2nd overall draft picks for Jeff Carter and Nicklas Jensen! Not until the team is at least a contender! Draft smart Sheetal and someday you will give the World Conference a run for their money! This team will work its way up from the basement to the penthouse!