NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 19, 2017

by | Jun 19, 2017 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Will the recent increase in the salary cap be enough for the Washington Capitals to re-sign T.J. Oshie?

Salary cap for 2017-18 set, plus updates on T.J. Oshie, Petr Mrazek, Valeri Nichushkin & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: The NHL salary cap for 2017-18 is set at $75 million, a slight increase over this season’s cap ceiling of $73 million. The cap minimum will be $55.4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s going to hurt clubs with limited cap space, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders. Expect those clubs to shed salary via trades. They could also free up some cap space if they lose a salaried player via the upcoming expansion draft.

Teams carrying over $50 million in cap payroll with several notable players to re-sign (Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild) could also find it difficult to re-sign that talent. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC:  J.J. Regan wonders if the cap increase will be sufficient for the Washington Capitals to re-sign right wing T.J. Oshie, who’s eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1. 

MLIVE.COM: Performance and attitude were the factors behind the Detroit Red Wings’ surprising decision to leave goaltender Petr Mrazec exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. If unclaimed, the Wings could attempt to move him via trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At the very least, this move is a shot across Mrazec’s bow by Wings management. They’re clearly unhappy with his inconsistent play and cocky manner. 

NBC SPORTS: Amid speculation winger Valeri Nichushkin could return to the Dallas Stars, the club included him on its list of protected players in the upcoming expansion draft. Nichushkin spent last season in the KHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Nichushkin didn’t like playing for former Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, who’s since been replaced by Ken Hitchcock. If he does return, however, it’ll be interesting to see how well he and Hitchcock get along. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers and pending UFA forward Jordan Weal aren’t far off in contract talks. They’ve agreed on term but still have to hammer out the annual salary. Weal’s agent said he’d like to better gauge his client’s value by testing the free-agent market but Weal’s preference is re-signing with the Flyers. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Contract extension talks have begun between the Blue Jackets and head coach John Tortorella, who has a year remaining on his current contract. Tortorella is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. 

TVA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes’ financial situation is so precarious they’ll have to take on another ghost contract (like they did last summer with Pavel Datsyuk) to reach next season’s salary cap minimum. Dealing away the bulk of goaltender Mike Smith’s contract on Saturday to the Calgary Flames “for nothing in return” doesn’t help. “They’re broke. It’s ridiculous,” a source told TVA Sports on Saturday on condition of anonymity. 



  1. And yes they are being run by a genius the eternal rebuild continues ?

  2. Some of the lists were a little more interesting that expected. It’s odd to get to see how teams value their assets.

    From what it sounds like; Columbus, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, Chicago and maybe the Islanders may already have deals in place with Vegas, while Minnesota, Ottawa, Florida, LA, and Nashville do not.

    For those teams that don’t have a deal, you have to figure that the value Vegas is getting is now locked at the best player exposed, and to retain that player you are going to have to put together a package that Vegas values as much or more. They also now have to bid against the teams that are calling Vegas about other exposed players.

    I was hoping for more trades leading up to, I think in all there will be as many or more trades than expected, but now I feel like we will get them almost like a data dump on Thursday. Just a list that’s made available all at once to see what trades were made to protect who, then probably a few more trades throughout the day announced as Vegas flips some selections to other teams.

    I feel like there are a good number of spots for Vegas to get some really good value as well.

    If they can get defensemen like De Haan, Scandella, and Demers in deals where they are essentially paid to take them, they can flip any of those into even more assets.

    If it’s true that the Islanders will pay their 1st to pass on any forward so that Vegas selects De Haan, that would be massive. Also, it would take even more than that if I were McPhee to take Scandella instead of Dumba. I am not sure what Florida would pay for protection, they may just decide to let Vegas take their pick, and Vegas would likely shop around the asset and take whichever one they can flip for the most given their ages and marketability.

    Should be interesting, gives me a reason to watch the awards show for a change. Just too bad we probably won’t hear much else until then.

    • As Garrioch points out in an article this morning “The Knights have former Senators chief scout Bob Lowes on the Vegas amateur staff so he knows the Ottawa prospects well” which makes me suspect it could cost someone like prospect C Filip Chlapik to keep McPhee away from Methot. If, on the other hand, Vegas intends to pick Ryan – well, so long and good luck.

      • Vegas will probably milk it for some combo of taking a player they might value near as much as Methot. They hold all the cards at this point, and I wouldn’t doubt there are some scenarios where they will end up with a player they may have considered picking anyway and an asset.

        Vegas seems to have kept the price high, and now holds all the cards for those teams that don’t have firm deals in place. It wouldn’t be surprising if Vegas milked this for 8+ picks in the first two rounds of the draft. This draft being considered a little weaker might even play into their hands with teams just throwing picks at them. While the odds of any one pick becoming a good NHLer or star player are lower, if Vegas holds say 3-5 picks in each of the first two rounds, the odds of landing a few good NHLers and someone that turns out to be a star are actually in their favour.

    • There are several reports of teams making deals with Vegas to not pick players they have exposed, but I’ve heard nothing of Vegas offering picks or positional draftees (like, a choice of their drafted centers) to other teams to get them to expose one player instead of another. Maybe, that could explain a couple of the surprises that have appeared on the list of exposed players. Do you know of something of that sort?

  3. am i way off base or should the coyotes trade for cory schneider.they have the assets(young players and high picks) to make this happen.it would add to a NJ rebuild and make the coyotes an instant playoff team i think.maybe something like…domingue,cam dineen,lawson crouse and the 7th overall pick this year would do it.that would give NJ some decent youth, a great pick and a goalie that will help them tank without even trying to tank.besides,by the time NJ will be competing,cory schneider will have finished the final 5 years on his contract.does anyone else feel like this would be a great move for NJ and arizona?

    • You really feel like Arizona is only one great goalie away from a playoff spot? The team that struggles to reach the salary floor and must take on retired players’ contracts to do it?

      Your scenario is wishful thinking from a NJ fan. I never thought there would one of those left after sucking so bad for so long with nothing to show for.

  4. NYI has 22 players signed, 4 mil in cap space today & another 5 mil when Grabovsky is put on LTIR. Factor in a lost player in expansion & what cap issue?

    Columbus is in even a better position than NYI & facing the same scenario with Clarkson & LTIR.

    Now Chicago is in trouble. If rumours are to be believed & Kruger & TvR are headed to Vegas that still only leaves about 1.5 in space to sign or promote 3 players.

    • Islanders need to sign the following players in the next two years
      Seidenberg (resign or replace)
      Hickey (resign or replace)

      Thats a lot of their stars. Cap troubles are coming for the Isles

      • As Yzerman just showed, easily accomplished. Who saw anyone taking Filppula’s contract pre expansion draft?

        This was to the post NYI has cap issues today. They don’t, in fact they have a ton of cap space. In Access of 9 mil before losing a player in expansion & only needing to fill 2 roster spots which could easily be filled internally with Pulock, Pelech, Barzal, Dal Colle, Ho Sang, etc.

        Not all those players are going to be retained, you also have Kulemin, Grabovsky; LTIR coming regardless, Chimera & Halak coming off the books, that’s 16 million just for those 4. I think Halak will be traded this summer to back up a young goalie else where, Arz, Phi or Win.

  5. Arz had the 4th highest cap hit in the NHL last season according to Capfriendly. NHLNumbers had their cap hit last season at 81.688 mil, they used 10.421 in LTIR for Bolland & Pronger, recovering 80% of their actual salaries in insurance. That left essentially 71 mil, remove the ghost contract as TVA calls it, Datsyuk’s contract; 7 mil & Arz still spent 64 mil last season in cap hit. More than 10 million above the floor.

    It’s ridiculous alright, but it’s the irresponsible reporting by TVA making BS reports claiming an unidentified source has the inside scoop. Arz is fine, the on going building dispute & 1 foot out the door stories which TVA is helping to perpetuate are a bigger problem.

    Arz may well take on a ghost contract & they should. They will get paid to do so in assets. Arz will be well above the floor when the season starts not counting the ghost contract they may take. Is Arz losing money? Yes, their reported operating loss for 2015-16 was 8 mil but that’s a far cry form the 30 to 35 per season they were losing in yesteryear’s. Last years #’s won’t be made available for some time yet, this fiscal year isn’t even over till June 30th.