NHL Rumor Mill – July 30, 2019

by | Jul 30, 2019 | Rumors | 40 comments

The effect of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s new contract upon the Lightning’s cap space, plus the latest on Mitch Marner and Kevin Shattenkirk in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TAMPA BAY TIMES/THE ATHLETIC: John Romano and Joe Smith examined the effect Andrei Vasilevskiy’s new eight-year. $76-million contract will have upon the Tampa Bay Lightning’s salary-cap payroll for 2020-21. Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Ryan McDonagh have annual average values between $6.75 million and $9.5 million. Restricted free agent Brayden Point could receive a minimum of $8 million, leaving the Bolts with six players taking up nearly 60 percent of their salary cap.

Could Tyler Johnson become the Tampa Bay Lightning’s next salary-cap casualty? (Photo via NHL Images)

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois acknowledged he’ll have tough decisions to make next summer. Last month, he shipped forward J.T. Miller to Vancouver in a cost-cutting deal.

Romano speculates that could mean parting ways with someone like Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat or Tyler Johnson. Smith, however, observes their respective no-trade clauses, and that of forward Yanni Gourde could make it challenging to move one of them for cap flexibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Lightning have over $67.3 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. Assuming Point is re-signed to a new deal paying him $8 million annually, they’ll be sitting at over $75 million committed to 14 players. Should the cap rise to $84 million next season, that won’t leave enough to re-sign RFAs like Mikhail Sergachev, Erik Cernak, Mathieu Joseph, and Anthony Cirelli and still provide room to fill out the rest of the roster.

Johnson frequently surfaced in trade speculation over the past two years and could become their prime trade candidate. He has a full no-trade clause, which will significantly hamper efforts to move him. Killorn, Palat, and Gourde would also attract interest if available but, like Johnson, their NTCs could handcuff BriseBois’ efforts to shed salary.


THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cites The Athletic’s Joe Smith reporting a source saying player agents of high-profile RFAs are waiting for Mitch Marner to set the market for their clients. Marner is among several young stars coming off entry-level contracts. Others include Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point, Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Vancouver’s Brock Boeser, and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever Marner gets doesn’t mean the others will be getting the same. It’s believed he could receive around $10.5 million annually. Whatever he does receive, however, could raise the ceiling for the rest.

It’s assumed Point could get around $8 million, in part because he plays where there’s no state tax. The decline in Laine’s production last season could keep him in the $8 million per season range. Rantanen and Tkachuk are expected to receive around $9 million while Boeser could come in around $7.5 million.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: If the New York Rangers buy out defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk within their current second buyout period, David Staples wonders if he’d be a worthwhile fit with the Oilers. He examined the strengths and weaknesses in Shattenkirk’s game, suggesting he might be worth it on a short-term deal within the range of $1.5 million annually. That being said, he feels it would be a longshot for the Oilers to sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out very soon, probably by tomorrow at the latest, if the Rangers intend to buy out Shattenkirk. If they do, he’ll attract interest in a free-agent market that’s been picked almost clean of decent veteran talent. But as Staples observes, Shattenkirk’s preference for playing in the Boston-New York area could make him reluctant to sign with a Western team.


  1. The Vasilevskiy signing reminded me that I was a bit baffled by TB signing McElhinney as a UFA. Domingue has been a solid backup for them, is 9 years younger and has a slightly smaller salary than Mc.

    Domingue will be UFA after this season, and will want a raise so I suppose next year there will be cap savings. I also assume Domingue will be traded to some team in need of an experienced backup so there will be $1.15M in cap space to help with signing Point.

    I’m a bit surprised Domingue hasn’t already been picked up a team like CBJ, just to throw a more experienced keeper into the mix.

  2. Lyle, re your point above about Laine’s expectations needing to be lowered – agree completely, it’s “show-me” time for him – what about Kyle Connor? After a 34g 32a 66 pt season and adding 3g 2a 5 pts in 6 playoff games, and coming off an ELC of $925,000, shouldn’t he have been included among the “high profile” RFAs?

    One way or another, those two are going to eat up a huge chunk of Cheveldayov’s $17,592,503, and CapFriendly shows the Jets with just 17 on the major league roster. Their signings would bring them to 19, so they might be hard-pressed to form a 23-man roster

    • PTO’s for all in Winnipeg.

    • This ⬆️ !

      Thank you, George

    • Hi George, i wouldn’t get to carried away with the number of players listed on the active roster.
      In Winnipeg case it’s all but expected that both Kristian Vesalainen (cap hit $894,167) and Mason Appleton (cap hit $741,667) will both be on the open day roster. As the jets have 13 forwards list on capfriendly non roster and 8 dman.
      Other who may get consideration are Mark Letestu, JC Lipon and Seth Griffin. There is still plenty of ufa out there they could sign, maybe bring in a player like Brian Boyle on a 1 or 2 year term or other on a pto.
      I suspect Laine will do a two year bridge deal and Connor a 4yr deal if not a longer term 7 or 8; they’ll need to sign these two or make a couple of trades before they can play ball with any other players.

      • They’re quickly running out of options as to who they can trade to clear cap space. Certainly there aren’t any teams that I can see capable (or willing) to take Little or Perreault and their $5 mil+ and $4 mil+ contracts

    • If I had a choice of who to sign long term between Laine or Connor, I would take Connor hands down. You can win with Connor I am not sure you can win with the one dimensional Laine.
      I have said this before, if Laine could not score goals he would have a hard time sticking with an ECHL team. He is slow can’t handle the puck very well and plays a real bad defense

  3. It’s not probably, but definately by tomorrow that we find out about Shattenkirk. Buy out period ends at 5:00 pm Wednesday…. I still can’t see it happening. There is almost no cap savings in 2nd year of buyout, while adding over 1.4 mil cap hit for years 3+4. I still think that a trade with 50% retained could be an option, if not now, maybe at deadline. Smith or Staal, although they wouldn’t save as much this year, are still better buyout options.

    • even if Shattenkirk is bought out how do they fit under the cap if Names or Kreider are not moved? And if Shatty is bought out there is no way to resign Kreider next season with that huge hit from the buyout next season.

      Here is to hoping Trouba IS a first pairing D

      • ds
        Rangers are 4.1 mil over cap with current 23 man roster, which doesn’t include DeAngelo and Lemieux. Buying out Shattenkirk will save them 5.1 mil this year. That gives them 1 mil in cap space with those 2 fra’s Still to sign, but if you figure Beleskey going down to AHL will add another mil. So technically, if they can sign those 2 guys for close to their qualifying offers, they’re right there. I still think they’ll pursue a trade, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be Kreider or Namestikov. And whether they buyout Shattenkirk or not, doesn’t really have much bearing on extending Kreider since they’ll have more cap space next year.

      • @Slick
        Kreider should get 7mil next contract and with the potenial 6 mil hit from Shatty buyout not sure how Kreider could fit even with the expiring contracts

        -4.6 Kreider
        -4 Names
        -1.9 Beleskey
        -1.85 Fast
        -3.1 Strome RFA
        -800 Georgiev RFA

      • here’s to hoping Panarin is worth all that money that has put us in cap hell!!

      • ds. You have to also figure in Girardis cap hit next year from his buyout drops 2.5 mil and also figure cap to go up about 2mil.So giving Kreider a 2.5 mil raise shouldn’t be an issue. Again, I’m against Shattenkirk buyout! I think Staal makes more sense, or even Smith. With Staal, you’ll save 2mil next year compared to Shatty only being 500K. Heck, I think buying out both Staal and Smith is a better option than Shatty alone!

      • If Shatty is bought out they would be able to afford Kreider next year. Namestnikov and Strome contracts will be up. That frees up $7.1 million. Also, the cap ceiling will probably go up to $83 million.

  4. I’ve thought that all along that RFA’s have been waiting to see what Marner signs for in order to presumably gauge their own worth by comparison. Its been an interesting summer to say the least

    • Either him or Mikko Rantanen Joey. I think Sakic may be in a bit of a pickle after getting the straw that stirs their drink – aka Nathan MacKinnon – long-term for $6,300,000, which still has 4 more seasons to run.

      Rantanen has had back-to-back ultra-solid seasons and normally, by today’s standards, should be seeking close to $9 mil per. How that might sit with MacKinnon, however, is unknown. But I just can’t see Rantanen and his agent settling for MacKinnon money (or less) out of some sense of “team morale.”

      • I can’t see Mackinnon getting bent out of shape over Rantanen making more than him. The cap has gone up, and when he signed his deal he had a decent season for a young guy, but not outstanding.
        Mack signed his 7 year deal prior to the 16-17 season. The year prior he had 52 pts in 72 games. In the following season he was pretty similar. Then took off.
        If he would have signed a 2 year bridge deal he would be earning significantly more today.
        So I guess look in the mirror.

      • Mikko Rantanen aside George, and not to dispute his #s either, but its really all about Marner getting signed that’s holding things up for the RFA’s around the league; otherwise they would all be signed by now.

        I shouldn’t be that way but it is. I guess Marner is the proverbial big bad wolf

  5. Killorn will most likely be next summers first casualty as his contract becomes a Modified-NTC after this season and making him the easiest to move of the players mentioned. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an attempt to move either Johnson or Palat as well. The TBL will need to realize more contracts in the range of $2.5 – $4 million range if they’re going to stay afloat while maintaining their core.

    • Killorn is a good pick to move next summer followed by one of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson or Gourde being picked up in the 2021 expansion draft.
      If a team invests 60% of their cap in 6 players they better have an awesome scouting staff and pipeline of players from US college and Europe to bring in undrafted mature players at or around league minimum.

  6. Are there no other decent buyout candidates ? There’s got to be more than just Shattenkirk. Who if it goes that way will not sign in Edmonton. He did play in St. Louis and Colorado so I wouldn’t rule the entire west out.

    • SilverSeven, to me Staal would make much more sense! He’s 2 years older and I’m not sure how worse he can play and I’d prefer not to find out! He has a full nmc, so trading him or sending him down to AHL is not an option. He doesn’t save you as much in cap space this year, but does in next 3 years over Shattenkirk buyout. I just saw a rumor on twitter that Rangers are “receiving calls on Strome but prefer trading Namestikov”
      I think decision on buying out Staal or Shattenkirk could be made depending on how close Gorton is to making a trade today.

  7. If the forwards are waiting for Marner who are the defenseman waiting for; Werenski, Butcher, McAvoy, Provorov, Pettersson or cup winner Edmundson.

    • Good question Caper. I doubt that Edmundson will be the gauge – he’s the “old man” of the group at 26, and the 64 215 lb D-man went from ELC of $742,500 to $1,050,000 to $3 mil even, His offense (2g 9a 11 pts in 64 gp with a +8 isn’t much of a factor in his negotiations, and will likely come in at around $4.5 to 5 mil.

      Of the others I’d rate Ivan Provorov as the one to watch. The 22 y/o – 6′ 200 lbs played all 82 games last season, scoring 7g 19a 26 pts and was a +17 with the Flyers – comes off a $894,167 ELC

      Right behind him I’d place Marcus Pettersson, 23 y/o 6′ 2″ 210 lbs who played 84 games last season (Anaheim & Pittsburgh) potting 2g 23a 25 pts and a +17 while earning $794,167 along with Charlie McAvoy who put in 54 gp for Boston, and the 6′ 205 lb D-man had 7g 21a 28 pts and a +14, earning $916,667

      The remaining two, Zach Werenski of Columbus (22 y/o 6′ 2″ 210 lbs) and Will Butcher of NJ (24 y/o 5’10 190 lbs) both earned $925,000, with Werenski showing the most offense at 11g 33a 44 pts in 82gp – but a -12, while Butcher played 78 games with 4g 26a 30 pts and a -17.

      Bottom line, Provorov would be my choice as the gauge with Pettersson and McAvoy coming close to his settlement once the dust settles.

    • Kind of wondered that myself Caper. So good young Dman out there just sitting around whittling. I don’t get that either

  8. I wonder if all the agents are waiting for Marners agent to do the work are they going to give him their percentage for negotiating their contracts.
    Maybe the RFA’s should fire their agents and hire Marner’s.
    Sounds like Dubas will be blamed for the contracts being high.
    Sounds about right , everyone waits to see what a successful business franchise will do.
    I see Melnyk saved some more money. Good, smart business man knows how to get pay outs , without spending any money.
    And got a 5th round pick for a sixth

  9. The defensemen are waiting to see what Barrie gets.

  10. Heh George

    Just saw the Calahan/Condon swap…. Melnyk must have given a huge hug to Dorion this morning. Condon was due $3.0M (per cap friendly) this year; and since ins. pays 80%, Melnyk will only cut a cheque for just less than $1M to Callahan…. $2M+ in savings and getting a pick (albeit late rounder)— Kudos to Dorion

    Can you please ask GMPD if he would be interested in re-investing that savings? JJ (1/3 retained) for a 3rd?

    The net relative to what Sens were at yesterday … no extra money paid in 19/20… gain of 3rd and 6th?

    Can we shake on it? LOL

    Bolts it looks like per CF; are burying the two extra goalies and now have $11M+ in space…. it appears good to go this year no matter what.

    • Was busy for a while – just saw that Pengy. Well, you’ve been calling that deal – at least as far as Callahan was concerned – for some time. I never thought it was a go largely because I never thought Dorion could get anyone to take Condon! That, at least, clears up the goalie log-jam in Ottawa. Getting a 5th for a 6th is pretty much tweedle-dum for tweedle-dee in terms of future prospect viability as NHLers. Some hidden gems – but mostly duds – have come out of both those late rounds.

      Maybe you’re on a roll and Rutherford will find a way to move JJ. 🙂

      • I’m hoping and praying George

        I guess I didn’t read the article correctly. I thought there was only one pick traded (going to Ottw).

        The 5th for a 6th thing is even crazier when you think that there is a possibility that Bolts win cup…. so Ottawa’s pick becomes #155; and if as is currently speculated; Ottawa finishes in a lottery position; then it could be swapping #155 for #156 or #157 or #158.

        The absolute most it could be would be something like #147 for say #163… a max shift of 16 spots in later rounds? what was the point of including that swap?

      • Exactly!

    • @ Pengy: I’ll give you credit brother. I’ve never seen any poster on any website try as hard as you do to plug the idea of gettiing rid of JJ for even a half a roll of tape.

  11. And now a report that Minnesota have fired Paul Fenton after one year. The next GM will be required to make moves just to keep the job past the next season.
    Chiarelli come to mind?

    • Boy, if there was a “do nothing” team since the season ended it has to be the Wild. The owner may think he has the makings of a playoff team, but at first glance, every team ahead of them in the Central; have made more roster improvements since season’s end. They were as close to deal last in the Conference than they were to a playoff spot and, although their D was their strong point, they were one of the lowest scoring teams out west

      All Fenton managed was to deal Coyle for Donato and Niederreiter for Rask along with signing UFA Zuccarello to a 5-year $6 mil per cap hit along with a clutch of depth additions. That isn’t going to improve their chances.

  12. Please no Shattenkirk in Edmonton!!!! Staples should be forced to watch all his games and see why the Rangers want to get rid of him! I don’t see a lineup of teams trying to trade for him.

  13. Fenton seemed geared to do a rebuild or at least a reset, and ownership clearly was not interested in that, and Boudreau probably threatened owners that he would spontaniously combust.

    That attitiude may deter a lot of younger newer GM Candidates from even wanting to apply. Owners probably blame Fenton for not getting Kessel and being unable to trade Zucker 5 times this season. they are only interested in

    • Fenton did not inherit the best roster. But losing 3 trades and failing to get a game breaker(easier said than done…) maybe had him throwing up his hands too

  14. WIld needed something. That’s the trouble.
    Donato Coyle trade is not lopsided and Zucarello replaces Niederreiter. Term and dollars aside.
    They definitely treaded water in comparison.