28-In-28: Slammin' Slammers!by SICHL Insider | August 31, 2015, 10:10 PM ET
The "Slammers" sounds more like a WWE tag team than a hockey team based out of Ottawa!
Yep, we are off to the Nation’s capital to check out the Slammers. They finished last season with 89 points, six points shy of a playoff spot in a strong Canadian Conference. How will they fare in 15/16? Let's dig into the guts of this machine and see what we have!
Slammers current cash position -$160k
- The team had 84.4% attendance last season which is bottom 10 in the league.
- Ottawa generated a little over $63M in non-playoff revenue ranking them 8th last in the SICHL.
- Their $3519 per seat places them in the 12th in the league.
- Costulator predicts the Slammers revenue to increase very slightly this season.
- Ottawa had no playoff revenue last season and Costulator is predicting that does not change this upcoming season.
- Expected Season Revenue $64M with no anticipated playoff revenues.
Based on the roster here is the Costulators forecast of the Slammers expenditures:
- Current Roster 41M, Expected farm team costs 4.5M.
- Franchise Player 3.5M, RFA resignings 5.5M.
- The Slammers don't have the cash to sign high level UFA's but it is expected they will sign a couple depth forwards and dmen.
- Expected team expenditures in the $55-58M range.
- Forecast Bank Balance for the Slammers = $6M
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Only five potential unrestricted free agents on the Slammers. Easy choice for Pat as he will (should) use the FP provision on Jason Garrison.
Restricted Free Agents:
On the flipside there are plenty of RFAs to look at this offseason, sixteen in fact. Key player to lock up will be Nicklas Backstrom one of the cornerstone pieces of this franchise. Other notables include Nathan Gerbe and Kevan Miller.
For starters, the Slammers have one of the best offensive D-men in the world in Erik Karlsson. Karlsson was tied for the team lead in points last season with 87 points and was also the league's highest scoring defensemen. Not to mention the Bobby Orr trophy winner. No reason to think he doesn't repeat that feat in 15/16.
The team also has one of the highest scoring centers in the league in Nicklas Backstrom. He also tied team scoring with 87 points. I see Eriksson and Hornqvist complimenting Backstrom on the top line in 15/16.
Pretty solid goaltending due in Antti Niemi and Brian Elliot. Having two decent starting goalies gives Pat options in the offseason to upgrade/add a forward or defenseman by dealing one. There are a number of teams needing a starter, so Pat could roll one of those two goalies with Scott Darling in a backup role.
The only thing I think this team needs to compete for a playoff spot is to add 1 or 2 top six forwards plus a top four shutdown D-man.
In the System:
Top 3 prospects include:
1. Calle Jarnkrok - With very good puck control, Jarnkrok projects as a playmaker. Jarnkrok boasts high-end skating ability and he possesses a great deal of hockey sense. Lacks ideal size but has the talent to overcome this deficiency. Jarnkrok will see 3rd or 4th line minute with the Slammers this season.
2. Oscar Lindberg - this former New York Empire 3rd round pick has a solid work ethic and has 2-way potential. He can step up in the big games and has good on-ice awareness. Lindberg is a playmaking center with some upside. Most likely ride the GHA buses again this coming season.
3. Tanner Pearson - Scoring winger with bags of hockey sense. Can also play responsibly in his own end when needed. Has some upside and impressed scouts with his improved skating and added muscle, which in turn helped his offensive game. Most likely plays a 4th line role with the Slammers this season, but continues to improve.
Pat has two picks in the SICHL draft which happens to be his 3rd and London's 5th. The Slammers have all of their picks from 2016 onwards which is a good thing. The Express hold Ottawa's 1st rounder the 10th overall selection. Pat could sell one or both picks to put his team into the black to allow the Slammers to sign some free agents.
Unfortunately I was unable to reach Pat for comment. Rumor has it he is on a fishing trip off the coast of Florida.
However, I was able to find a GM willing to give me his thoughts on the team from Ottawa: "This Swedish team..., I mean the Slammers look to be a team on the brink to break through. After missing the playoffs last season, Team Sweden (Slammers) is poised to make a run at the playoffs this upcoming season. The combination of Patric Hornqvist and Nik Backstrom is a killer combination. Reigning Bobby Orr trophy winner, Erik Karlsson will make another run at top forward, and their one-two punch in net will challenge some of the favourites in the Canadian Conference. Thank goodness they are in the Canadian Conference and not in our weak World Conference"
I do agree they do like a bit o the Swedish flavour, however, I am not sure if I am quite sold on their playoff chances. If they add a few of the previously suggested pieces, then I think they get in as the #7-8 seed. After that any team can take it all. This could be a slammin' squad to watch in 15/16! Pat is a pretty crafty trader and I can see him adding the right pieces to help Ottawa make the jump!