The break even is at 7-8 players for each team .... the top 7-8 contracts + buyouts next season are roughly equal between Toronto and Vancouver.
Toronto then begins to take the lead as you slide down the depth ....
Deal with it brotha.
So when you take TO's top 9 paid forwards and Top 4 paid D-Men they have spent 68.52 Mill on those 13 Players.
If you take Vancouvers Top 8 Forwards and Top 3 D they have spent 46.08 Mill on those 11 Players, giving Van almost 22.5 Mil to spend on Hughes/Petterson to round out the same player totals.
Most estimates are Hughes for 6ish years at 7.5-8 Mill and Pety on 3 years for around 7.5-8 Mill on the high side that is 16 Mil for both players putting Van at about 6.5 Mil less on their top 4 D and Top 9 Forwards. I don't know were your math comes from but TO is heavy even when its top 13. Now we get down to those last 3 forwards and 2 D, TO spent 5.5 Mil and Van spend 5.9 Mil so your spent .4 mil less but lets not forget the extra 6.5 mil Vancouver has. so now on our entire roster we have spent 6.1 Mil less and I would say have a more complete lineup on forwards and comparable D (Better D if OEL works out for us).
Last Spot is Goalies, Van has spent about a mil more for I would say an arguably better Duo in net.
So in total TO has spent 79.5 mill on 12 F 6 D and 2 G. and then have 1.2 mill tied up in Kessel. Leaving only enough space to have either 1 spare forward or D left as a scratch.
Vancouver has spent 75.5 on 12 F 7D and 2G (based on 16 mill in contracts for Pety and Hughes). They have 3.6 mill in dead cap and then 3.5 Mil in LTIR Leaving enough space to have 2 F and 1 D scratch and not even touch the LTIR from Ferland and still have $500k to spare.
So you are running 1 spare player and no scratches really and are right up on your cap. Van technically could add another 4 mil of contracts during the season and be fine(more come trade deadline). Van have the better lineup with the flexibility to swap out their young players to help develop them.