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CapFriendly

The Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers are battling it out for the Stanley Cup, game two is tonight, and the hockey world is on Twitter… about the sale of a relatively unknown website to the Washington Capitals. Cap Friendly, a data aggregation site that focuses on the salary caps of each NHL team (and player), has been purchased by the Washington Capitals. Apparently, they intend to shut the site down and use it for their own internal purposes. The obituaries for the site are impressive.

For journalists like me, the site’s closure means little. I find the hand-wringing and speculation about the salary cap much less entertaining than, well, actual hockey. Unfortunately, not for the first time in my life, I am in a minority. Many will miss knowing that the Philadelphia Flyers, despite being a rebuilding team, are expected to have the lowest salary cap in the league when the new season begins. Conversely, the Utah team to be named later can double their current payroll and hit the salary cap. Guess we know who’s in the finals next year!

All kidding aside, the salary cap is a factor in the NHL…just ask the Vegas Golden Knights. Cap Friendly also conveniently has a list of unrestricted free agents at the top of the homepage. It’s a great tool for shady real estate investors to quickly identify who might have a few bucks to invest in a Phoenix-area arena this summer. But the real thrill is getting involved with the third-string player who cost your team a playoff spot and then finding out he makes more than Wyatt Johnston. As a fan, you can then go crazy for the entire offseason sifting through reams of draft analysis to find this year’s Wyatt Johnston.

Sites like CapFriendly are a vital part of fan entertainment and top-notch NHL coverage, allowing fans to see exactly why Macklin Celebrini is excited to join the Sharks this fall. The biggest question I had when I heard the news was why the Washington Capitals were the buyer? Maybe they want us to forget about the $3.9 million in dead cap money they owe for Evgeny Kuznetsov next year?

Whatever the case, it seems there will be no shortage of serious hockey analysts trying to fill the deep void left by Cap Friendly’s disappearance in July. I hope they succeed, otherwise I may miss some important details in my upcoming analysis of the New York Rangers’ offseason plans.

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