Updates on contract negotiations of Steven Stamkos and Anze Kopitar, Kyle Quincey’s trade status and the latest on the Boston Bruins.
Updates on Stamkos and Kopitar.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith believes it’s not time for Lightning fans to panic because captain Steven Stamkos hasn’t been signed yet. Management wants to re-sign Stamkos, but he’s expected to seek a significant raise, which could have long-term complications for the club’s salary cap and efforts to re-sign other key players over the next couple of years. Smith cites the marginal rise in the salary cap combined with uncertainty over the value of the Canadian dollar as issues which are likely complicating the situation. He also notes the Los Angeles Kings are facing a similar situation with center Anze Kopitar. Like Stamkos, Kopitar is eligible next summer for UFA status. Smith claims it’s unclear how wide the gap is between Stamkos and the Lightning.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell also weighed in on the Stamkos and Kopitar contract negotiations, suggesting the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar and its effect upon the NHL salary cap as the culprit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For over two years now, I’ve sounded the warning multiple times about the impact of a declining Canadian dollar upon the NHL salary cap. I’m not surprised by what’s happened this summer. Barring a significant rally in the value of the “loonie” over the course of the upcoming NHL season, we can expect another marginal cap increase next summer. That will make it increasingly difficult for teams to re-sign their top stars to big raises whilst attempting to maintain the core of their respective rosters.
Regarding Stamkos and Kopitar, I believe they’ll be re-signed to expensive long-term contracts, forcing the Lightning and Kings to make some tough decisions regarding the remainder of their rosters. They’ll have to cut salary elsewhere in hopes of freeing up sufficient cap room to retain other important players. Indeed, they risk losing one or two of those players to free agency.
Latest on the Bruins.
BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg acknowledged he didn’t like hearing his name bandied about in trade rumors this year. Conroy writes that Seidenberg “knew a deal was not happening because he has a full no-trade clause in his contract, and new general manager Don Sweeney never asked him to waive it.” Still, he vows to use the speculation as motivation to improve his performance. Even if the Bruins wanted to move the veteran blueliner, Conroy points out it won’t be easy, citing his age (34), contract (three years left at $4 million annually) and that he’s coming off his worst season as a Bruin.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently profiled Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly. Like Seidenberg, Kelly was the subject of trade speculation this year. Haggerty wondered if the Bruins might try to trade Kelly before training camp to free up cap space for other moves. As such a deal would be a salary dump rather than a hockey trade, he feels it doesn’t make sense to move Kelly, who will be a UFA next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seidenberg and Kelly were often cited this summer by rumor bloggers dreaming up package offers for Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. It ain’t happenin’, kids.
Could the Wings shop Quincey this season?
DETROIT FREE PRESS: In a recent profile of defenseman Kyle Quincey, Helene St. James speculates the Red Wings could employ him on their third defense pairing, provided they keep him. She notes Quincey is entering the final season of his contract, suggesting the Wings could trade him if necessary to make room for a promising blueliner like Alexey Marchenko or Xavier Ouellet.