The team’s payroll back in the early 1980s wasn’t even a quarter of the 50.3 million dollars of this year’s salary cap. It was a different era back then and the group that consists of the Core of the Four will probably never be able to be put back together again for four straight seasons.
But if that team were to play in 2007-08, well, there wouldn’t be a team. As great of a general manager as Bill Torrey was, there’s just no way he would have been able to keep the Core of the Four under the salary cap.
So, basing the Core of the Four players on current NHL players to get estimate for a 2007-08 salary total, here’s how much the Core of the Four team would have cost.
*** Disclaimer *** Trying to find good current counterparts to those 1980s guys is almost an impossible task and everyone is going to have an opinion on who was the Jarome Iginla back in 1983 or who is the current day equivalent of Bob Nystrom. It’s not as much about that as it is trying to find a good basis for a salary comparison. We also kept current Islanders off the list.
Special thanks to broadcasters Howie Rose, Billy Jaffe, Steve Mears, Chris King and FSN producer Kevin Meininger and FSN director Larry Roth for their assistance on coming up with the list.
We’ll start off with the New York Islanders Hall of Fame members. For Mike Bossy, Bob Bourne, Clark Gilles, Bob Nystrom, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith and Bryan Trottier, it would cost 40.55 Million dollars.
Mike Bossy: Ilya Kovalchuk (6.4 Mil)
Bob Bourne: Daymond Langkow (2.5 Mil)
Clark Gillies: Jarome Iginla (7.0 Mil)
Bob Nystrom: Brendan Morrow (4.1 Mil)
Denis Potvin: Chris Pronger (6.25 Mil)
Billy Smith: Marty Turco (5.6 Mil – Since both are good with their sticks albeit in different ways)
Bryan Trottier: Sidney Crosby (8.7 Mil – Using next year’s salary since Trotts was in the prime of career and then so would Crosby)
Then if you throw in Butch Goring, Ken Morrow, Stefan Persson and John Tonelli, well that’s another 17 Million to bring the total up to 57.55 Million. We’re already over the cap and we only have 11 players.
Butch Goring: Rob Brind’Amour (4.0 Mil)
Ken Morrow: Chris Phillips (3.5 Mil)
Stefan Persson: Brian Rafalski (6.0 Mil)
John Tonelli: Justin Williams (3.5 Mil)
And to round out the Core of the Four, we have Anders Kallur, Gord Lane, Dave Langevin, Wayne Merrick and Duane Sutter. That’s another 8.83 Million.
Anders Kallur: PJ Axelsson (1.85 Mil)
Gord Lane: Sean O’Donnell (1.25 Mil)
Dave Langevin: Robyn Regier (2.28 Mil)
Wayne Merrick: Kris Drapper (2.2 Mil)
Duane Sutter: Chris Neil (1.0 Mil)
So, for those 16 Core of the Four players, the Islanders would roughly have a combined salary of 66.38 Million. Just 16 Million over this season’s salary cap. And we’re still short a back-up goalie that played at least a third of the regular season games and three more skaters.