NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2019
The 2019-20 salary cap limits finally revealed, Leafs close to re-signing Kapanen and Johnsson, plus updates on Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The league finally released the salary-cap limits for 2019-20. The upper level will be $81.5 million and the minimum is $60.2 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As rumored, the upper level is $1.5 million less than the projected $83 million. Cap-strapped teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Edmonton Oilers (stick tap to Cap Friendly) could be forced to make cost-cutting trades this summer.
TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly close to re-signing winger Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson. Kapanen is expected to get a three-year deal worth $3.2 million per season while Johnsson will receive four years at $3.4 million per. The deals, however, won’t be finalized until their salary-cap situation is clarified.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, once the Leafs sort out Mitch Marner’s contract situation, they’ll formally announce those new contracts.
Not surprising those two are getting affordable deals. Each reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time but they’re coming out of their entry-level deals and had almost no leverage. The odds were low of one of them receiving an offer sheet. If necessary, those contracts would also be easy to move.
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will meet with the Florida Panthers tomorrow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with TSN’s Bob McKenzie that Bobrovsky could be the Panthers’ priority. They desperately need a reliable starting goaltender. They’ve already got a proven top-line left wing in Jonathan Huberdeau. Panarin a luxury they don’t need, especially when they also need another top-four defenseman.
NEW YORK POST: Islanders captain Anders Lee isn’t happy that he doesn’t have a new contract yet. “I didn’t think we’d get to this point,” Lee told NHL.com. “The process hasn’t … I haven’t enjoyed it, but it is what it is. We want to make sure that everything is done right and it’s right for both of us, for both sides. I hope it works out. They’re working on it right now.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Term, not dollars, is the sticking point. The Isles are reportedly willing to go to five years but Lee wants six or seven. The UFA interview period begins today and Lee and his agent can speak with other clubs if they wish. It’s rumored the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild could be interested in talking to him.
NHL.COM: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill confirms winger Mats Zuccarello intends to test the UFA market on July 1. However, he could still sign with the Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Zuccarello will fish for the best offer on the open market and see if the Stars will match it.
THE TENNESSEAN’s Paul Skrbina took to Twitter reporting the Nashville Predators won’t be re-signing pending UFAs Wayne Simmonds, Zac Rinaldo, and Cody McLeod. It also doesn’t sound like Brian Boyle will be back but GM David Poile has met with his agent.
NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward John Quenneville from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward John Hayden.
SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks traded forward Tom Pyatt and a sixth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for Francis Perron and a seventh-round selection.