NHL Rumor Mill – July 25, 2019

by | Jul 25, 2019 | Rumors | 18 comments

A look at 10 supposedly untradeable contracts in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Noting the recent Milan Lucic trade, Ken Campbell feels no NHL contract is truly “untradeable” anymore. Nevertheless, he provides a list of 10 players with seemingly unmoveable deals. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remember, Campbell isn’t saying the following contracts can’t be traded. It would be difficult to move them, but a bit of creativity and a willing trade partner could make it happen. He also looked at contracts with four-or-more seasons remaining. That’s why Loui Eriksson isn’t on this list. 

Is Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris’ contract really untradeable? (Photo via NHL Images)

Nashville’s Kyle Turris, Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader, and Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo come in at 10 through eight on Campbell’s list. Turris has five years remaining on his contract worth $6-million annually. He lacks no-trade protection. Abdelkader, 32, has four years left with an annual average value of $4.25-million. Okposo has four years remaining ($6 million AAV) and has battled injuries and concussion-related illness in recent years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turris could be the easiest to move if the Predators picked up part of his cap hit or took back a toxic contract in return. The 29-year-old center had a rough 2018-19 but played well for Canada at this year’s World Championships. He could be poised for a bounce-back performance, which could also make him enticing if the Preds want to move him. Abdelkader’s declining play and Okposo’s injury history are significant sticking points.

Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz and Minnesota’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter fill positions seven through five. Schmaltz is starting a seven-year deal worth an AAV of $5.85 million and suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2018-19. Parise and Suter are aging veterans with six seasons remaining on their identical $98-million contracts with full no-movement clauses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Including Schmaltz on this list could be premature. While Campbell notes he’s had only one good NHL season thus far, he did tally 14 points in 17 games with Arizona before his injury. With a strong recovery, he could quickly regain his offensive form and become a solid addition for the Coyotes. Parise and Suter, on the other hand, are now past their prime and age and injuries could take their toll. Parise turns 35 on July 28, Suter on Jan. 21.

The New York Islanders’ Andrew Ladd, Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes, and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook fill spots four through two. Ladd was frequently sidelined by injuries, has a full no-trade clause this season and four years remaining on his deal with an AAV of $5.5 million. Hayes inked a seven-year, $49-million contract that Campbell doesn’t believe will age well. Seabrook has five years left ($6.875 million AAV) with a full no-movement clause to 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ladd’s injury history could be a killer here unless he becomes a permanent long-term injury reserve candidate. As we’ve seen, those contracts can be desirable for cap-strapped clubs. I agree with Campbell that Hayes’ deal could become burdensome during its latter years. Seabrook’s name surfaced in trade speculation last season but came to nothing. Moving his contract remains a daunting challenge.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber topped Campbell’s list. The 34-year-old has seven years left on his deal worth over $7.9 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber’s contract was traded once before. It could be moved again. He’s still an effective top-pairing defenseman, making him valuable in the trade market. He also lacks no-trade protection.

The threat of salary-cap recapture is there if he retires, but it’s the Nashville Predators on the hook for the bulk of it, especially the latter years. If you’re a Predators fan, pray he doesn’t call it quits before 2025-26.


  1. Just kinda learning about the recapture penalty and all its ramifications.Now that’s a piece of work.

    I get why its there and indeed, Nashville better pray that Weber hangs in to the bitter end

  2. Poor research… Loui Eriksson signed a 6 year / $36,000,000 contract with the Vancouver Canucks, including a $28,000,000 signing bonus, $36,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $6,000,000. In 2019-20, Eriksson will earn a base salary of $1,000,000 and a signing bonus of $4,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $6,000,000.

    • Campbell only examined contracts with at least four seasons remaining. Eriksson has three. I neglected to include that caveat. I’ve updated it. Cheers!

  3. That woukd make Eriksson contract more attractive to teams who could be willing to absorb the cap hit and teams who would benefit pay millions less in actual salary. So it’s a moveable contract in my view.

    I’m surprised that some of the veterans who had their contracts bought out like Dion Phaneuf aren’t signed. Are teams worried they won’t accept low offers like Jason Spezza or are these players holding out for more lucrative contracts?

    In today’s salary cap system some of them will have to either drop their asking price, settle for PTO contracts, go to Europe or consider retirement.

    In general though, we’re starting to see many of these former long term lucrative contracts stink badly as they age.

    • I heard on sportsnet 650 that Eriksson got his bonus on july 4th, so his cap hit is 6 million but he’s only owed 9 million over the next three years

  4. Lyle, any comment from a reader that starts with “poor reaearch” doesn’t warrant a response or change. Anyone who reads your work knows it’s all well researched.

    • He wasn’t commenting on Lyle but on ken. And ken can often properly receive that admonishment

  5. Weber has 3yrs @ $6m per 1yr @ $3m and 3yrs @ $1m per I don’t believe he be a difficult move. He still plays at a high level and won’t be retiring until at least 4 years and only if he wins a cup by then.

    • In actual salary yes, cap hit not so much. I could see a team making that trade though, as you said he still plays at a high level. As long as he stays healthy his cap-hit isn’t outrageous.

      Without any NMC protection, I could definitely see Shea Weber as the first captain in Seattle.

      • DM I also see the salary cap hit as a positive for some teams. $1m salary large cap hit, good player for those teams that like to keep close to the floor he is a great addition. Agree not for all teams.

      • good point on Seattle. for those that say Seattle will not get similar deals as Vegas I do not agree. teams will cough up picks and extras to get Ronnie to take salary.

    • That sounds a lot better than the 7.9 AAV described above. If there’s a modern “Chelios” in the league it’s Weber but to expect a guy to be worth 7+ per a year after 40 is asking a lot… now 1 mill a year at that age might be a steal with Weber…

  6. Okposo was washed up at age 28 before his head injury, another good reason to not hand out deals to old forwards, especially don’t sign any forward age 30 to a longer deal if he can’t skate as fast as Paul Coffey. With the speed of game now losing a step is end of career

    • I bet Okposo could outskate Paul Coffey, Coffey is 62 years old after all.

      • I would still put my money on Coffey , I don’t care how old he is. Smooth and effortless. What a beauty.

      • TB , TB , TB

        your making me feel old…. Coffey is still in his late 50’s … I played against him once at a tournament when we were kids …. so I know he’s , just like me , still in his 50’s

        So ☹️ that you think of us in our 60’s …. LOL

        Coffey could skate like the wind ; quite literally …. he could skate backward faster than most skating forward

        I am confident that there are current NHL players less than 1/2 his age that he could battle quite closely with (still) in a single sprint

        As for me …., I am confident that eloquent 72 year old Eddie Shack could challenge me right down to the finish line…. LOL

    • The problem with some of these deals is that the game changed drastically over the past 3 years. I bet if you looked at the average age of a team even 5 years ago compared to now it could be like a 5 year difference… Some teams just made those deals riiiiiiiggggghhhhttt before the game became dominated by the young 25 and unders – and those teams are paying for it big time…

  7. How are those Suter/Parise deals not 1 and 1A ?

    What are the full details on those? They sound atrocious.