NHL Rumor Mill – March 14, 2019

by | Mar 14, 2019 | Rumors | 26 comments

Latest on Brayden Point and William Karlsson plus an update on the Predators in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


TSN: reports Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point will wait until the offseason to begin contract negotiations. Point told Pierre LeBrun he informed the Lightning of his decision in November. He joins Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner, a fellow restricted free agent who also recently revealed his decision to wait until the offseason to start discussions toward a new contract. LeBrun also reported in his notebook for The Athletic (subscription required) that an offer sheet from a rival club isn’t part of the plan for Point and his agent. 

Brayden Point intends to wait until the summer to talk contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Point might not be receptive toward an offer sheet but the Lightning still faces a difficult effort re-signing him. Cap Friendly reveals they have over $73 million invested in 16 players for 2019-20, with Adam Erne and Cedric Paquette also becoming restricted free agents while defenseman Anton Stralman, Braydon Coburn, Dan Girardi, and Jan Ruttu are slated to become unrestricted free agents.

Assuming the cap reaches $83 million as projected, the Lightning will have less than $10 million to re-sign or replace those players. Even if Point re-signs for less than market value (which could happen because of the absence of a state tax in Florida), his new contract could eat up 75 percent of their remaining cap space. 

I expect they’ll sign Point while Erne and Paquette should be affordable re-signings, but they must free up some cap space to replace those aging UFA blueliners. The frequently sidelined Ryan Callahan ($5.8 million annually through 2019-20, modified no-trade clause) is a constant subject of trade speculation, with some suggesting they could attempt to bundle him with a draft pick or prospect to a club with the cap space to take him off their hands. Tyler Johnson ($5 million annual salary-cap hit through 2022-23, no-trade clause) has also occasionally popped up in trade chatter.  


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Having re-signed Mark Stone to an eight-year, $76-million contract, the Vegas Golden Knights have over $83 million invested in 17 players. Jesse Granger believes they’ll have to shed salary to free up room for Karlsson’s new contract, though general manager George McPhee doesn’t appear too concerned about it. Granger speculates they could shed salary by shopping Cody Eakin or Ryan Reaves, who both have one year remaining on their contracts. Another could be moving Colin Miller, who’s earning $3.875 million annually for three more years. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights will get $5.25 million of cap relief to start the season by placing the all-but-retired David Clarkson on long-term injury reserve to start the season. Nevertheless, McPhee will have to make a couple of salary-dumping deals.

Re-signing Karlsson, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, will cost at least $5.25 million, which is what he’s making on his current one-year contract. Moving Eakin and Reaves would free up over $6 million. That would free up enough room for Karlsson and others but it’ll be a tight fit.


THE TENNESSEAN: In a recent mailbag segment, Paul Skrbina was asked about the possibility of the Nashville Predators signing Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene as a free agent this summer, re-signing Wayne Simmonds or re-signing Brian Boyle. He thinks Predators GM David Poile might pursue Duchene, pointing out the club has the salary-cap space to sign him. He doesn’t rule out re-signing Boyle but sees Simmonds as strictly a rental player. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators have over $74.5 million tied up in 18 players for 2019-20. Assuming an $83 million salary-cap, that leaves less than $9 million. Duchene is earning $6 million annually on his current deal and could seek around $8 million per on his next contract. Unless the Preds shed salary, he’s not coming to Nashville. 


  1. Vegas should have no problem peddling Cody Eakin given that he turns 28 in May and is a good 3rd line C with decent production (17g 18a 35 pts +18 – so far), with one year to go on his $3,850,000 cap hit. However, not sure how many teams would find a roster spot for 33 y/o RW Ryan Reaves whose size and rough edges are his only assets – limited production, no hockey ”sense” at all and prone to taking bad penalties. Especially at close to a $3 mil per cap hit.

    • I know they just isgned him this season but maybe Vegas should look at moving Stastny and his $6.5 m for two more seasons. He has a 10 team no trade list, so could be workable and at 33yrs old he isn’t no one long term plan but a short term gap.

      • I can think of several teams that could use him – Ottawa included – but I doubt he has them on his OK list

  2. Point is putting up great numbers but if he went to a different team with less talent would he be a game changer that makes other players around him better? Probably not. Tyler Johnson is type of player I would take on my team good value contract. This summer will be highly interesting…Marner and his Daddy will ask for league max or at least more than McDavid and it might be a battle which leaves the young millennial with hurt feelings.

    • Lots of bright young talent hitting RFA this summer, in the pass this wasn’t exciting because the rfa’s had no say…so they thought. Going to be an interesting summer.

    • You folks may have discussed this already as I haven’t been on here much lately, but who do you guys think gets more $$, Marner or Point?
      Adjust for state taxes of course.
      Who deserves to get more and which player would you rather have?
      If Point gets $7.5 as suggested above, and Marner get upwards of $11.5 as has been speculated, I would take Point.
      For the same money …. I think I go Marner but tough call.

      • Will either player take a bridge deal to help out their team? Will someone leave money on the table to help sign other(s)? They both wanted to wait until the offseason, is that an indication they want the most they can possibly get? I really like Marner game I give him the edge.
        This offseason will be interesting; Ray what do you think Carlo and McAvoy get in Boston? I’ hoping they sign Carlo for 7yr at $5m per and Charlie at 8yrs @ $6.5m per or he takes a 2yr bridge at $5m per

      • I don’t see enough of Point to choose … but to me Marner is the real deal. He and his agent will go for as much as they can get – maybe even pulling a Nylander – and why not? Careers can – and often have – been cut short by serious injuries. I don’t see too many players today taking discounts “for the glory of (insert team name here) …” regardless of that franchise.

      • IMO the leafs have done a very poor job of cap management.

        Should have traded Nylander, for starters, then

        Matthews @ 11? Sorry I’ll take driastl for 8.5. I know it doesn’t work that way but seriously you got taken dumbas. Especially seeing it’s for 5 years…

        Next marner for what 11-12 wow no thanks.

        Good luck winning a cup, looks like the team will be dismantled before they get a shot, especially with their porous defends.

      • Tough question on Carlo and McAvoy Caper. I think Carlo will be a little less than your suggestion and McAvoy a little more.
        I have a great appreciation for Carlo and how well he defends at a young age, but close to zero offence at this stage.
        McAvoy has more to learn than Carlo defending, but he should continue to grow offensively and be a solid defender as well, especially when he starts to get #1 unit PP time in a couple years, assuming they can’t afford to resign Krug. D-men who can defend and put up points get paid.
        Let’s go with $4.5 over 8 for Carlo, McAvoy gets 6 on a 2 year bridge and then tries to hit the home run contract.
        I fully expect to be wrong, like I usually am when it comes to contracts.

      • The whole state tax thing irks me. It gives those cities unjust abilities to sign players for less. NHL should step in and figure something out so that teams are playing on the same salary cap filed, which could include lowering the ceiling of the cap for those teams in states with less tax.

  3. Well I said over and over again I didn’t like Boston having two 5’9″ defenseman and especially playing together. With both Grzelcyk and Krug out tonight against Winnipeg. I won’t have that to complain about tonight when I go watch the Bruins take on the Jets. No Miller, Krug, Grzelcyk, Pastrnak, Debrusk or Johansson oh man am I making excuses already.

    • Ya, best to get them over with now Caper.
      A little adversity prior to the playoffs isn’t a bad thing to get them refocused on the details of playing the right way.
      Just need to get healthy come playoff time.

  4. Won’t Vegas get a couple million dollars of cap relief when Brassard’s contract expires?

    • Since Brassard’s $2 mil portion comes off the books at he end of this season, I believe that was factored into what Lyle says above, i.e., “Vegas Golden Knights have over $83 million invested in 17 players” – correct me if I’m wrong Lyle.

      • George O i’m not lyle but accordning to capfriendly.com Vegas has 17 players counting for $82,375,000 this is because Schmidt, Pacioretty, Stone, Tuch and Fleury all have increases that kick in next season.

      • You’re correct, George. The $82.375 million the Golden Knights have invested in 17 players for next season takes into account Brassard’s $2 million is off the books by then.

  5. @Icebear
    I think the Leafs have to trade Nylander to get under the cap after his signing bonus is paid on july 1.

    And am I the only one who thinks Matthews cap hit of $11,634,000 is a bit too high? 1.13ppg this season, already missed 14 games, 44th in scoring (17th in ppg)….

    • I think it is a tad high Juss76, but they are betting on future improvement.
      Obviously a very good player, I just don’t see him in the same class as a McDavid, but there has been inflation. The Oil also bought 3 UFA years.
      Time will tell.

      • Being a C makes Matthews contract somewhat justified – but not if he continues to show he’s prone to missing a clutch of games every year. For a cap hit of $12.5 mil, the Oilers have received from McDavid 275gp – 121g 295a 356 pts and, except for the freak injury his first year, has hardly missed a game.

        For $11,634,000 kicking in next season, the Leafs have received 200gp 106g 89a 195 pts while having him out of the line-up for 20 games last season and 14 so far this year.

        Interestingly, both have played 13 playoff games and their stats there are quite similar – 5g 2a 7 pts for Matthews and 5g 4a 9 pts for McDavid/

        By way of comparison, another top paid C, Jack Eichel, is costing Buffalo $10 mil per while contributing 274gp 98g 151s 249 pts. He hasn’t had a chance yet to show what he can do in playoff hockey.

      • The Eichel comparison is a good one George. They seem pretty equal in terms of value. Buff also bought some UFA years, so yeah I would say Matthews is a little overpaid.

  6. NJ has room to take on Nylander and some prospects to give back.
    Think they should try to grab Nylander from TOR if the price is right…. it only helps out TOR with cap space to resign Marner anyway.

    perhaps something like this

    to TOR: Carrick (RFA) & 1st rd pick (protected)
    to NJ: Zaitsev & Nylander

    TOR gets cap relief. Gets a 1st for Nylander
    NJ gets scoring depth and uses their cap space to grab a solid player in Nylander for only a 1st.


    • Seems pretty cheap for Nylander ihatecrosby, but I get the thought train.
      I think he bounces back next season, and if he gets back to his previous norms he would be a steal.
      I don’t know what to make of Zaitsev, is he really that bad that he a total salary dump and you have to pay to move him?
      Not like the Leafs are loaded with NHL caliber D. Seems like Gardiner was valuable after all! They sure seem to be missing him and Dermont.

      • hey Ray….I think NJ definitely hs to add more than the 1st for Nylander but yes my point is to grab him to “help” TOR with their cap space problem. what else besides the 1st would get it done? Quenneville?

      • Yeah, don’t hear from too many Gardiner haters right now.
        The Leafs sure need his help with exits and entries.