It is all but certain that one of these teams will miss the cut, though fans of both should be disappointed that their teams couldn’t clinch a spot weeks ago. Each spent over $65 million on payroll costs, placing them among the league’s three highest-spending teams (the Philadelphia Flyers are first, with a $67 million payroll). The Capitals have been perennial playoff busts, but they were once again Stanley Cup favorites until it became apparent that star Alex Ovechkin was having a down year. The Sabres were one of the biggest spenders before the season, signing new contracts with Christian Ehrhoff (10-year, $40 million), Ville Leino (6-year, $27 million) and Drew Stafford (4-year, $16 million). Neither of the forwards has reached 50 points this season, and Ehrhoff has a -2 +/- rating and just five goals (he scored 14 in each of the last two seasons). A deep playoff run by either team will alleviate the ails of its fans, but it doesn’t change the fact that this season fell far below expectations for both.
(Sabres - AP Photo/David-Duprey)
(Capitals - AP Photo/Luis Alvarez) More From Forbes
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