NHL Rumor Mill – September 18, 2018
The Winnipeg Jets’ future cap crunch and an update on Erik Karlsson in your NHL rumor mill.
JETS FACE SALARY-CAP CRUNCH NEXT SUMMER
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: In the wake of the Jets re-signing Josh Morrissey to a two-year contract, Mike McIntyre reports Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t worried about the future salary-cap issues facing his club after this season. Cheveldayoff said he’s excited about his current roster, adding the business would take care of itself.
McIntyre notes Cheveldayoff could face shedding a salary or two next summer. They currently have over $56.4 million invested in 13 players, with such notables as Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Jacob Trouba as restricted free agents next July. Other free agents include Tyler Myers, Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Brandon Tanev, Joe Morrow, Ben Chiarot and Laurent Brossoit.
Trouba could be in line for a significant raise next summer, assuming he isn’t traded if a long-term deal cannot be worked out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed Trouba will be traded next summer, likely around the 2019 NHL Draft from June 21-22. However, if he significantly elevates his play this season and an agreement can be reached on a new contract, Cheveldayoff could be forced to consider other options to free up cap space.
Even trading Trouba might not fully resolve the Jets’ cap issues next summer. Laine and Connor combined could take up at least $15 million in cap room. Myers isn’t likely to accept less than his current $5.5-million annual cap hit to stay in Winnipeg. There must also be sufficient room left to re-sign or replace the others.
Cheveldayoff could be forced to consider moving a player under contract through 2019-20. Mathieu Perreault ($4.125 million AAV) or Dmitry Kulikov ($4.33 million) could become trade candidates, though their respective injury histories and modified no-trade clauses could be difficult to move.
SHARKS HOPING TO RE-SIGN KARLSSON
TSN: cites San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson telling The Mercury News his club wouldn’t acquired Erik Karlsson if they didn’t believe they had a good chance of re-signing the defenseman. He said he’s spoken to Karlsson and his agents about a contract extension. The two-time Norris Trophy winner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
“When you have the type of team we have, the type of team and the type of players, [knowing] what players are looking for, I think we fill all those boxes,” said Wilson, who also noted his club’s success at acquiring and re-signing key players. He also said he has no problem offering Karlsson a maximum term of eight years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dollars could be the sticking point here. Karlsson said last fall he intended to seek full market value. That could be something comparable to the eight-year, $88-million contract Drew Doughty signed in June with the Los Angeles Kings.
Wilson suggested Karlsson might accept less money to stay with the Sharks. If Karlsson has another Norris-worthy performance this season, I have my doubts that he’ll accept less than $11 million annually.
Cap Friendly indicates the Sharks have over $53 million invested in 10 players, so they have the room to re-sign Karlsson to a big raise. However, they’ll also have to re-sign such notables asJoe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi and Timo Meier. Those four alone will be expensive to retain.