Roundup of Remaining Unsigned NHL RFAs – September 5, 2017

by | Sep 5, 2017 | Rumors | 44 comments

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is among several notable unsigned restricted free agents.

A look at NBC Sports’ Pro Hockey Talk list of the remaining notable NHL restricted free agents.

NBC SPORTS: Cam Tucker looked at this summer’s notable NHL RFAs still seeking new contracts. 

There was a report winger Josh Anderson would skate with a team in Switzerland if a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets wasn’t reached before training camp. His agent, however, claims that’s not the plan but merely an option. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets carry nearly $8 million in salary-cap space for this season, more than enough to re-sign Anderson. Still, they could prefer to keep his salary within a reasonable amount in order to give themselves room for future signings or acquisitions. Anderson’s AAV was just over $894K under his entry-level contract and he could seek around $2.5 million annually on his next season. 

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou continues to evaluate offers from the Wings and the KHL. His agent said there’s a considerable difference in the amount of money from the Wings and from KHL teams. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings sit above the $75 million cap ceiling by over $3 million, though they’ll get some cap relief by placing sidelined winger Johan Franzen ($3.9 million) on long-term injury reserve. Still, that won’t be enough to give Athanasiou a suitable raise. I’m assuming he could be seeking between $1.5 – $2 million annually. There’s some talk the Wings wish to offer up less than that so as not to screw up their internal salary-cap structuring. 

There’s speculation Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett could get between $2.5 – $3 million annually on his next contract. Flames general manager Brad Treliving remains confident of getting Bennett signed before training camp opens. 

The Minnesota Wild has only around $2.14 million in salary-cap space to re-sign winger Marcus Foligno, who was acquired in a multi-player trade from the Buffalo Sabres in June. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foligno earned $2.25 million last season. Unless the Wild shed some salary to give him a modest raise, he’ll have to accept less money to re-sign with the Wild. 

After leading the Vancouver Canucks in scoring last season, center Bo Horvat is due a significant raise. The Canucks have around $5.3 million in cap space. There’s talk his new contract could be a short-term bridge deal, but team president Trevor Linden denied the speculation. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Canucks’ current cap space, I expect Horvat’s new deal will be worth just under $5 million annually. If it’s more than that, they’ll have to shed salary via trade or waivers to give themselves more room under the cap ceiling. 

Negotiations between the Boston Bruins and winger David Pastrnak’s representatives were expected to resume last Friday. It’s believed agent J.P. Barry would make the case for his client to receive an eight-year deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The eight-year, $68-million contract signed by forward Leon Draisaitl with the Edmonton Oilers last month hangs over the Pastrnak’s negotiations. The Bruins reportedly offered up six- or seven-year deals worth $6 million annually, but the winger’s camp apparently wants maximum term and over $7 million per season. That prompted some trade speculation last month but management quickly shot that down. 

Contracts discussions between the New Jersey Devils and defenseman Damon Severson aren’t expected to drag on into training camp. 

The Colorado Avalanche and defenseman Nikita Zadorov are reportedly $500K apart in negotiations. The 22-year-old seeks $2.5 million per season. Earlier this summer, it was reported Zadorov had an offer from a KHL club but was awaiting a better offer from the Avs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have over $11 million in salary-cap space. Perhaps they have an internal cap ceiling they wish to stick with for the upcoming season. Given how close the two sides are to a new deal, however, it appears as though the Avs are quibbling at this point. As more than one pundit pointed out this summer, they seemingly have no problem throwing big money at veteran free agents. 

Other than Foligno, all these players are coming off their entry-level contracts. At this stage, they have little leverage other than to refuse to report to training camp or threaten to sign with European teams. Trades are possible but I don’t think any of them will be dealt.



  1. Bo Horvat …. 52 pts (86th in NHL), 20 goals (92nd in NHL), 32 assists (91st in NHL), -7 (791st in NHL).

    Horvat is at best as 2nd line center. Vancouver management, media and fans hype this guy like he’s a Hall of Famer.

    No Show Bo scored 0 goals in his last 17 games of the season. None, zero, zip, nada. This guys the “leader”, the “future captain”. Horvat cant skate, cant check and cant score, yet he’s the player Bennings rebuild is going to be centered around? No wonder Vancouver is a lottery team.

    Horvat – 3 years at 3.5 million per show me deal. If he wants to make big bank then he needs to bank big points.

    • More garbage from Yawn Dull. You must be bored hey ?

      • I’ve had my issues with Ron – that’s no secret – but in this instance just how is what he says about Horvat “garbage?” Those stats aren’t exactly the stuff stars are made of – unless you can point to something positive that doesn’t show up in the bottom line. The other day Arizona “rewarded” a guy (Duclair) with $1.2 mil who regressed from a 20 goal – 24 assist season to just 5 goals and 10 assists in 58 gp – and a demotion to the minors where he did no better relatively speaking.

        Is this to be the norm now?

    • Horvat is developing right on schedule. 20 goals & 52 points as a 3rd year 21 year old playing sheltered minutes barely getting 2nd line PP time is solid. 25 to 30 goals & 65 to 70 points next season in his 4th year breakout.

      Did you parents drop you on your head?

      • Jeezus Striker!
        You’re just inviting trouble now.

      • Give it a rest already striker! You probably don’t remember saying jyrki jokipakka was the key piece for the flames when they dealt kris russel? You said he would be a stud, he just signed a pto to stay in the NHL! My point is you know the same as every poster on here,quit acting like you know more

      • Bigbadbruins.

        I said no such thing.

      • Shoreorpark.

        I hate Benning to but to make such blantantly bias cliams is odd.

        Horvat has had a solid 1st 3 NHL years. Just scratching the surface of his potential.

        Entering year 4, a little over the 200 NHL regular season games, going to be a solid NHL C. Is already a very good 1.

      • Striker – Sorry, I should have clarified my meaning.
        I agree with your assessment of Horvat.
        He projects to be a top 6 forward.
        However, regression is just as likely as progression.
        My earlier comment was solely based on the head dropping comment.
        I should probably throw in a few lol’s every now and again.

      • You are full of crap striker! Anyways give it a rest thinking you know more than everyone else

    • You spread the same hate for Benning on some Canuck sites. My guess is you applied to sell peanuts at the Canucks home games but they turned you down because you weren’t qualified.

  2. Lyle, how many online newspapers do you subscribe to and does that get expensive?

    • I’d guess at least around 40 with the bigger centers covered by at least 2 each and wirh LA-Anaheim and Rangers-Islanders covered by the same newspapers.

    • Chrisms, I subscribe to all the online papers in every NHL city. Average cost per month is over $450 Cdn. That’s one of the reasons why I have ads on this site.

      • That’s a lot of fake news.

      • Nice one, Caper, and don’t forget certain Twitter accounts.

      • Lyle Richardson – Thank you for making my day each and every morning. You are 1 of my top 5 sites I visit daily. Keep up the great work!

      • Gotta make that paper Lyle. I love how responsive to the readers you are when there is problems with them.

      • I personally don’t find the need to follow other writers or bloggers. Lyle you do an absolutely fantastic job.
        Special shout out to the consistent form posters as well who provide some great insight on fan opinion and stats.

      • Thanks for the kind words and the support, everyone. It’s very much appreciated.

      • My favorite ad is the virus pop up. Your iPhone is infected, then I have to clear search history and data.

      • That’s not an ad run on my site, Matt. I don’t run pop-ups. That’s a browser issue on the phone. Please contact me directly at and we can discuss this.

  3. Pasternak gets less than Draisaitl in both term and AAV. Winger vs Center.

  4. I wonder if MTL would or have kicked the tires at Zetterberg in DET. Might be able to snag him for a decent rental price.

    • I think it comes down to if zetterberg wants to move or not

      • I guess that’s the question I’m truly asking: Are Zetterberg and Holland willing to accept a deal with the Habs? If yes what would Detroit require for the 36 yo pivot.

  5. Neely has said that they did not get a counter offer from the Pastrnak camp and he also doesn’t believe one contract (Draisaitl) shifts the market. So this could get interesting. I wonder what do the leaf fans want to see happen? I would thing with Nylander coming up next year and Marner the next year. I would think Lou is hoping Boston gets it done under $7, and never mind Matthews he’s presently between Draisaitl and McDavid and if he goes 50g 50a!
    I do think a lot of the NHL is watching the Pastrnak negotiations closely.

    • Something tells me pastrnak wants his money and it doesn’t matter what team he gets it from, could get ugly

      • OR, he has a persuasive and money-hungry agent who only sees immediate $$ signs and not his client ‘s long-term future.

      • how is him not getting the maximum money not in his best interest?

      • By playing in a league where they still fly DC-10s and where he could regress by picking up bad habits in a loosy-goosy environment. But if the big bucks NOW is what he deems important then go for it.

      • I agree with bbb here.

      • I believe JP Barry is the real problem here.
        My guess is 8 years at 6,125000 per year.
        I can’t see how he can command more than Marchand.
        Agents are a weird lot though……..asking for the best interests of both the player and oneself.
        It all goes back to my Dads favourite saying……” When things of importance are on the line, I like me, who do you like?

      • Well said Shoreorrpark’s dad.

      • He could pick up loosy goosy habits in buffalo, in vegas, in tampa and in ottawa. his best interest in in looking out for himself in a league dominated by the owners. good for him. he is no worse off without boston than they are without him. he is likely the difference between a playoff team and a lottery team. he sees what other players are paid and is using his contractual rights to advocate for the best move for him and his family. I hope he makes the team pay up.

    • It could Caper, with George that his agent is leveraging everything to get max $$ out of Boston. Which is his job. Neely is right for a change, one contract does not set the market. I would also agree with SilverSeven, he won’t get Draisaitl $$. Not just because of position, but it does play a part. Draisaitl is and will be a complete player you can line up against the best centers in the league and win more than you lose. Pastrnak hasn’t proven that and can’t be that, although he could grow the defensive side of the game. It is not a good comparable in my opinion. Bridge or 6.5 for 7 yrs is my best guess.

  6. Hard for the Jackets to argue that Anderson isn’t valuable (contract wise) after paying a fortune to Vegas to protect him.

    Time to pay big bucks for your 4th line right wing, Jarmo.

  7. if Draistal is going to shift the deal upward for pastrnak…then i would say Wenneberg deal brings it back down! i believe Pastrnak is somewhere in between those deals…saying they should settle for about $6.5m per year on a long term deal is reasonable…

    • I would go 7 mill on D Pastranak he’s very talented and this coming from a habs fan

  8. pastrnak 7mm 6yrs thats it or trade him

  9. Lyle.

    Confused. Who or what does this statement relate to, Colorado?

    “As more than one pundit pointed out this summer, they seemingly have no problem throwing big money at veteran free agents.”

    • Sounds like the Yankees to me.

    • Soderberg, Beauchemin, Iginla…

  10. Zadorov is going to be a great two way d man once he figures out how to use an alarm clock. Mark my words!