Lightning are NHL's smartest spenders
Analysis of dollars spent per standings point reveals the league's best bargain-hunters
Steve Yzerman gets an A-plus in cap management this season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's rookie general manager not only helped the team make an impressive 24-point gain in the standings over last season, he also helped it finish the season as the lowest spender among the 16 playoff teams.
The Lightning collected 46 wins and 103 points while spending an estimated $50.3 million -- about $9.1 million below the $59.4 million upper limit.
In a CapGeek.com analysis of cap dollars spent per standings point, Tampa Bay is far and away the leader with a ratio of $488,893. The high-spending Vancouver Canucks, winners of the 2010-11 Presidents' Trophy, checked in at No. 2 with a ratio of $507,692 per standings point.
So how did the Lightning manage to pull this off?
On the surface, it might seem like the numbers wouldn't work out so well for a team paying $7.7 million for Vincent Lecavalier and $5.25 million for Simon Gagne. While those two players finished third and fifth in team scoring, respectively, their production (54 and 40 points) doesn't quite match their hefty price tags.
But Yzerman did a fine job of getting his value elsewhere.
To read more about how Steve Yzerman built the Lightning on the cheap, and see a full list of the league's best and worst teams in dollars spent per standings point, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Predators lean on Rinne, add to Oilers' woes
- NHL suspends Stars' Garbutt, Jets' Lowry
- Blues considering bringing Brodeur aboard
- Alfredsson to announce retirement in Ottawa
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NHL Insider Content
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Prospectus: Rating B's, Canucks' depth
CapGeek: Bs, Canucks provide cap blueprints Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas takes the lead
Greenberg: Projecting Tyler Seguin
Greenberg: Lapierre is Canucks' MVP
Prospectus: Special teams aren't that key
Conn Smythe Watch: Kesler's charge
Joyce: Sharks stars lack 'it'
Greenberg: Best Gs vs. the best shots
Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas rises
Button: Philly's crisis of crease confidence
Greenberg: Can blocks carry Bolts to Cup?
Prospectus: Ranking Caps' playoff failure
Prospectus: Top playoff rooks since 1998
Conn Smythe Watch: Roloson No. 1
Prospectus: Datsyuk remains underrated
Conn Smythe Watch: Neuvirth shines
Greenberg: Best D pairs vs. Alex Ovechkin
Prospectus: Thomas doesn't give B's big edge
Prospectus: Playoff team depth rankings
Cooper: Preds try to ditch Rd. 1 jinx
Prospectus: Team-by-team odds to win the Cup
Prospectus: Ranking the first-round netminders
Prospectus: These Sharks built to last
Prospectus: Puck luck could pluck Ducks
Cooper: Why playoff hockey is so different
Team Scouting Reports
How to beat the Boston Bruins
How to beat the Philadelphia Flyers
How to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins
How to beat the Washington Capitals
How to beat the Anaheim Ducks
How to beat the Detroit Red Wings
How to beat the San Jose Sharks
How to beat the Vancouver Canucks
May 11: Why Wings may soon fall off
April 28: Strome surges in Mock Draft 2.0
April 13: Nashville tries to overcome history
April 11: D. Sedin tops final player rankings
April 7: Coaches feeling the hot seat
April 6: How Caps' draft strategy has worked
March 30: Can Flyers win Cup with Bobrovsky?
March 9: Re-ranking Top 50 draft prospects
Feb. 28: Traded prospect evals
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the West
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the East
Feb. 17: Worst. Trades. Ever.
Feb. 17: NHL Mock Draft 1.0
NHL Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
NHL Experts Blog
Daily ice shavings of insight
NHL Draft Blog
A look towards June 2011