Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 12, 2018
Updates on the Lightning, Ducks, Oilers and Canadiens in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
WHAT WILL NEW CONTRACTS FOR VASILEVSKIY AND POINT LOOK LIKE?
THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith recently took note of the Anaheim Ducks re-signing goaltender John Gibson to an eight-year contract ($6.4-million annual average value) and speculates Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was paying attention. Smith suggests Vasilevskiy, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season earning $3.5-million AAV, could more than double his salary when his current contract expires in 2020.
One agent suggests he could get between $8 – $8.5 million AAV or “Carey Price money ($10 million AAV)” if he “wins the Cup and MVP.” Another agent feels it could depend upon the overall goalie market as more teams are paying for potential than past performance.
Smith also noted center Braydon Point is slated to become a restricted free agent next summer. The Lightning could go the bridge contract route or sign him to a long-term extension. Smith feels they’ll do a bridge deal similar to what Nikita Kucherov received (three years. $4.76 million annually) in 2016.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Point is the more immediate concern. Smith points out he lack arbitration rights. With the Lightning having over $66 million invested in 12 players for 2019-20 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), they hold all the leverage here. Point will get a two- or three-year bridge deal.
Vasilevskiy will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in 2020. Barring a decline in his performance over that period, he’ll be in line for a hefty raise.
The Lightning already have over $52 million tied up in just eight players for 2020-21. Still, general manager Steve Yzerman is a master at getting his best players to accept less than market value on long-term contracts. Maybe he’ll try to pitch a long-term deal next summer to the Vasilevskiy camp worth $7 million annually.
CAN THE DUCKS AFFORD TO RE-SIGN SILFVERBERG?
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently examined where a potential new contract for winger Jakob Silfverberg fits under the Anaheim Ducks’ current salary-cap payroll. Having re-signed John Gibson and Adam Henrique this summer, the Ducks currently have over $66 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20. Silfverberg is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. Re-signing current RFAs Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie could further chip away at that cap space.
Stephens noted Ducks GM Bob Murray raised the possibility of trading someone like Silfverberg rather than risk losing that player to free agency for nothing. If Silfverberg’s asking price is reasonable, however, Stephens feels there’s a chance the Ducks can keep him. He thinks they’ll try to get him just under $5 million AAV on a four-year deal. That also assumes getting Kase re-signed to a comfortable rate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stephens also mused over the possibility of the Ducks getting some cap relief if sidelined center Ryan Kesler is unable to play next season or beyond or perhaps buying out or trading Corey Perry. Either scenarios would free up considerable cap room for the Ducks and make it easier to keep Silfverberg.
Otherwise, Silfverberg’s contract situation could be worth keeping an eye on this season. His performance, as well as that of the Ducks, could determine his future in Anaheim. If the Ducks fall out of playoff contention, Murray could decide a rebuild is in order, meaning Silfverberg could hit the trade block by next February.
LATEST ON THE OILERS AND CANADIENS
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is exploring options for bringing in a 14th forward in time for training camp. He’s spoken to several players regarding professional tryout offers and he’s also keeping an eye on the waiver wire.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not many decent PTO options remain via free agency. The most notable names include Troy Brouwer, Kris Versteeg, Mark Letestu, Tommy Wingels and Daniel Winnik.
In the stupidity department, some rumor websites are “reporting” that Jonathan Drouin injured a knee playing summer hockey. Total BS. He’s 100% healthy. Everyone can go back now to enjoying their summer.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) August 11, 2018