Rangers still facing cap woes next season, the Stars won’t trade Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen, and the Flyers aren’t in a rush to re-sign Brayden Schenn.
NEWSDAY: While the New York Rangers are cap compliant for 2015-16, Andrew Gross observes they could face salary cap difficulties next summer. Chris Kreider, Kevn Hayes and J.T. Miller will be restricted free agent in 2016 with arbitration rights. Gross speculates that could cost them defenseman Keith Yandle, who will be eligible for UFA status next July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have over $54 million invested in 12 players for 2016-17. Assuming the cap makes another marginal increase to, say, $74 million, they’ll have $20 million to fill out the rest of their roster. Kreider, Hayes and Miller could eat up over half of that. Yandle almost certainly won’t be back, and considering how much they gave up to land him via trade last season (defenceman John Moore, top prospect Anthony Duclair, a conditional first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-rounder this year), it will be a costly departure.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika, responding to a reader’s question regarding the potential trade status of Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, doesn’t anticipate either goalie being moved by the 2016 NHL trade deadline. “I think they are committed to the season because they still worry about goaltending depth in the playoffs. Unless a deal comes where the Stars get a rock solid back-up in return, I don’t see them trading either this season.”
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tom Dougherty reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall doesn’t anticipate re-signing forward Brayden Schenn yet. Schenn is a year away from restricted free agent status. Hextall claims the subject hasn’t come up in his discussions with Schenn’s agent. Dougherty believes Schenn “hasn’t shown enough to warrant an extension, but he’ll have another 82 games to show what he’s worth.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like both sides want to take a wait and see approach. The Flyers don’t want to rush into any lengthy commitment to Scheen yet because they undoubtedly feel they haven’t seen his best yet, while Schenn likely hopes to bolster his value next summer with a strong performance in 2015-16. His performance could determine his long-term future with the Flyers.