A look at several clubs with work still to do this summer and an update on Nail Yakupov in your NHL rumor mill.
SOME TEAMS STILL HAVE WORK TO DO THIS SUMMER
CBS SPORTS: Chris Peters listed the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche as teams that still have work to do this summer to address some roster issues.
The Flames still have to re-sign RFAs Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, who are in line for substantial raises over their recent entry-level contracts, perhaps comparable to Nashville’s Filip Forsberg’s six-year, $36-million contract. Aside from potentially attempting to trade defenseman Dennis Wideman, re-signing those two are the Flames’ priority.
The Lightning, meanwhile, have only $8.5 million in salary cap space, with RFAs Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Nesterov to re-sign. Of these, the priority is Kucherov, whose new salary could eat up most of that cap space. GM Steve Yzerman has already admitted he’ll have to clear some cap space to re-sign the trio, which could put goalie Ben Bishop or forwards Valtteri Filppula or Ryan Callahan on alert.
Despite the Rangers recent swap of center Derek Brassard to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad, they still have to re-sign RFA forward Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, plus find a suitable replacement for departed puck-moving defenseman Keith Yandle. They’ve been linked to St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk and Colorado’s Tyson Barrie in the rumor mill.
Speaking of the Avalanche and Barrie, the clock is ticking on getting a long-term deal done before his arbitration hearing on July 29.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nice roundup by Peters. Gaudreau and Monahan will get lucrative long-term deals, probably in the same neighborhood as Forsberg’s deal. Moving Wideman’s contract ($5.25 million cap hit, no-movement clause) won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. However, they could be forced to either pick up part of that cap hit or take back a bad contract in return.
Kucherov will likely get around $6.5 million annually on a long-term contract. Given the lack of a decent trade market for Bishop, Callahan, Filppula or Braydon Coburn could be shopped, provided their respective no-trade clauses aren’t much of a hindrance. The Rangers recent swap of Brassard for Zibanejad also shed around $2.3 million in cap space, which could be put toward adding a puck-moving defenseman this summer.
LATEST ON YAKUPOV
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis reports it’s becoming clear Oilers winger Nail Yakupov has low trade value, citing rejected rumors linking him to Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic and former New Jersey Devils blueliner Eric Gelinas, who was subsequently dealt to the Colorado Avalanche. While Yakupov’s on-ice struggles haven’t helped his trade value, Willis citesnext year’s expansion draft as a factor, as any team acquiring Yakupov must either protect him in the draft or risk losing him for nothing. Another is the Oilers aren’t dealing from a position of strength.