NHL Rumor Mill – July 5, 2019

by | Jul 5, 2019 | Rumors | 77 comments

Five candidates for player-elected salary arbitration plus updates on the Rangers and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE HOCKEY NEWS: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and defenseman Joel Edmundson top Steven Ellis’ list of the top-five potential salary-arbitration candidates. Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich, Montreal Canadiens winger Joel Armia, and Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Donato round out his list. 

Could St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington file for salary arbitration? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deadline for player-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET today. The NHL Players Association usually publishes the complete list soon afterward. Hopefully, it’ll be available for tomorrow’s NHL morning coffee headlines. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the players on Ellis’ list file for arbitration.

The deadline for team-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET on Saturday, July 6. The arbitration period starts on July 20 and ends on August 4. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks observes the Rangers have around $8.9 million in salary-cap room. Their restricted free agents include Jacob Trouba, Tony DeAngelo, Pavel Buchnevich and Brendan Lemieux.

Looking at possible cost-cutting moves, Brooks notes buying out Kevin Shattenkirk would free up over $5.166 million this season but only over $567K in 2020-21. It would also “add $1,433,333 in dead space for both 2021-22 and 2022-23.” If they bought out Brendan Smith it ” would save $2,304,167 this year and $129,167 next year, but would add $1,145,833 in dead space for both 2021-22 and 2022-23. Smith’s NHL cap hit is $4,350,000.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers could also try trading Shattenkirk or Smith. However, they’ll likely have to include a significant sweetener, such as a good young player, a high draft pick, or a top prospect. They could also shop winger Chris Kreider. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status and could prove too expensive to re-sign. Kreider would garner more attention in the trade market. 


VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma observes the Canucks have just over $6.8 million in salary-cap space following their recent UFA acquisitions. Their restricted free agents include Brock Boeser, Josh Leivo, Nikolay Goldobin, Josh Teves and Brogan Rafferty. They also need to add a winger for Bo Horvat’s line.

General manager Jim Benning has attempted to move expensive, aging veteran winger Loui Erikkson but found no takers. He speculates Benning could try to move center Brandon Sutter. He has two years left on his contract with an annual average value of $4.375 million and a modified no-trade clause. 

Kuzma believes moving Sutter will be difficult. The 30-year-old has battled injuries and is no longer a second-line center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Vancouver has just over $7 million, but it’s still not enough to re-sign everyone. They face the same problem with Sutter that the Rangers face with Shattenkirk and Smith. The Canucks will have to include a sweetener to make him enticing. That still might not be enough. Boeser’s new contract will take all of that remaining cap room. 


  1. Using today’s CapFriendly figures and their order of listing, here’s a list of the teams showing – Number To Sign (in order to reach 23) – Current Cap Space – RFAs Still To Sign. I just thought it might be useful to see it all on one page when discussing who needs to move players to remain cap compliant and which teams have the space (and need) take on players that the former will HAVE to deal.

    Note, however, that when it comes to the number of players signed up to 23 CapFriendly has, for some reason, made assumptions that, in many cases, bears no resemblance to reality. For example, showing Toronto with the full complement of 23 (0 to sign) whereas players like Agostino, Shore, Petan will likely start in the minors:

    Arizona is a curious case. They have 2 players to sign to bring their roster up to 23 but with only $178,099 in cap space! Some may look at their roster and say that someone such as Connor Garland will likely start in the minors, freeing up $775.000 – but even a couple of moves like that isn’t going to free up much – and then they’d have to sign 3 or more at the major league level.

    Vegas 3 $0 Gusev, Subban;
    Arizona 2 $178,099 none;
    Chicago 2 $1,636,519 Perlini;
    Pittsburgh 2 $1,592,500 Bleuger, Aston-Reese, Pettersson;
    Dallas 2 $2,470,001 Honka, Dickinson;
    Toronto 0 $3,765,301 Marner;
    Edmonton 1 $3,933,001 Puljujarvi;
    Washington 3 $4,285,706 Djoos, Vrana, Stephenson;
    Nashville 3 $5,191,668 Grimaldi, Sissons;
    Detroit 2 $5,284,623 none;
    Florida 6 $5,414,206 Montembeault, McCoshen, Weeger, Malgin;
    San Jose 4 $6,382,583 Gambrell, Labanc;
    Vancouver 0 $7,769,296 Teves, Rafferty, Leivo, Goldbobin, Boeser;
    Tampa Bay 4 $7,926,569 Point, Erne, Martel, Paquette;
    NYR 3 $8,018,534 DeAngelo, Trouba, Lemieux, Buchnevich;
    Montreal 0 $8,469,524 Hudon, Lekhonen, Armia;
    NYI 1 $8,653,334 DalColle, Beauvillier;
    Anaheim 1 $9,250,242 none;
    Calgary 2 $9,473,292 Rittich, Bennett, Tkachuk, Mangiapane;
    Boston 1 $10,153,334 Carlo, McAvoy, Heinen;
    Carolina 6 $11,119,334 Forsling, Bishop, McGinn;
    Minnesota 5 $11,346,411 Eriksson Ek, Fiala;
    L.A.4 $12,765,606 Roy, Kempe, Iafallo;
    Buffalo 5 $12,765,476 Ullmark, McCabe, Larsson, Rodrigues, Girgensons;
    St Louis 4 $13,920,406 Binnington, Edmundson, Sundqvist, Sanford, Fabbri, Barbashev; Philadelphia 3 $14,967,421 Provorov, Konecny, Laughton;
    Columbus 3 $17,399,251 Werenski, Harrington, Sedlak;
    New Jersey 7 $20,770,000 Carrick, Butcher, Mueller, Zacha;
    Ottawa 3 $21,940,000 White;
    Winnipeg 8 $22,872,503 Comrie, Pionk, Connor, Copp, Laine;
    Colorado 5 $27,150,239 Zadorov, Graves, Rantanen, Compher. Burakovsky, Kamenev

    • “Arizona is a curious case. They have 2 players to sign to bring their roster up to 23 but with only $178,099 in cap space!”

      They also have Marian Hossa’s salary which will go on LTIR, so they really have $5,453,099 in cap space.

      • True. Thanks. But as I understand it that can only be applied once the season starts.

      • Technically, yes, but they can also spend up to 10% over the cap during the summer.

        Hossa goes on LTIR the day before teams have to be compliant, so as long as they don’t spend more than his salary, they’re good.

      • I was under the impression that teams can only place players on LTIR once the season starts (as opposed to the day before)?

      • Could Lyle clarify for all on LTIR, is it when the season starts for the league or each team as I assume not every team plays on day 1, maybe they do then the question is mute

      • Caper just posted the link to Cap Friendly that explains it.

      • Also, to be clear, the use of LTIR during the offseason is a recent development. Up until two years ago, the assumption was you couldn’t use LTIR in the off-season. Teams could exceed by 10 percent in the offseason but had to be cap compliant when the regular season started.

        That part is still true, however, if the team provides medical information that an injured player won’t be ready to play at the start of the season (10 games or 24 days into the new schedule), they can place them on LTIR during the off-season and that carries over into the regular season. It’s always been in the CBA but nobody really started using it until two years ago, when the Blackhawks put Hossa on LTIR. Until then, most folks weren’t aware you could do it. Even NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, in an interview before then, wasn’t aware of it. https://theathletic.com/71770/2017/06/30/nhl-following-league-procedure-with-marian-hossas-ltir-status/

    • Great list! Thanks for the share, George!

      Re: Garth’s Hossa note, I’m not sure. Can the Coyotes go 10% over the cap all the way until October. i.e. Can they be up to $8.1M over and then remove Hossa’s $5.4M at the last second? So, being $5.4M over the cap for them this summer will be fine?

      Genuinely unsure!

      • “i.e. Can they be up to $8.1M over and then remove Hossa’s $5.4M at the last second? So, being $5.4M over the cap for them this summer will be fine?”

        Correct. As long as they don’t go more than Hossa’s $5.275M over the cap, they’ll be fine.

      • I always thought they had to be compliant the day the season starts and couldn’t put someone on LTIR until the first day of the new season, meaning they couldn’t use LTIR to become compliant on day 1.
        I don’t know that I’m right, just what I always thought was accurate.
        An important detail this year!

      • Lyle,

        Can you clear this up? My understanding was teams have to be cap compliant by opening night but cannot use LTIR until day 2 of the season.

      • Thanks for the link Caper. Talk about needing the services of the proverbial Philadelphia Lawyer!

    • Wow, somebody needs a life …

      • You’re welcome eddie. And thanks for yet another in a long list of meaningful posts.

      • He has a life, a life of retirement. He is living the dream!
        (if anyone is reading that as sarcasm, it’s not)

      • Heh Taz. At times the dream turns into a nightmare – but overall I ain’t complaining. Been damned lucky so far.

    • Nice work, George!

      • Thanks Lyle. Just thought it would help the conversation flow since much of what we’re discussing lately is potential trades involving teams that must clear space.

    • George O, personally don’t find the number to sign to reach 23 that important, can always move out or move up a contract. The meat of your post in the unsigned. Using Boston for example they have 1 to sign to meet 23, but have 3 important pieces in McAvoy, Carlo and Heinen to sign. Depending on how each players camp the $10m in cap space isn’t enough to sign all 3. The only way Boston gets these 3 players signed with the cap space allotted is to have all 3 do a bridge deal; if they are not willing to do a bridge deal then a contract like Torey Krug needs to be moved out while only taking prospect or picks in return.
      Boston could send 2 of the lesser life’s to the minors giving them another $1.5m in cap space.

      Didn’t realize the Rangers who were in a quick rebuild were that close to the cap with Trouba, Buchnevich and Lemieux still to sign. I imagine Belesky will be put on waivers and sent to the minors giving them that $1.9
      When you get Panarin, Trouba and Kakko, rebuilt happens quickly.
      There is a lot of grade A rfa talent that need new contracts and supposedly the Bridge deal dead, going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I going to say the bridge deal isn’t dead and some of the rfa’s will sign bridge deals with better days to come.

      • Oh yeah, I get that Caper. It’s just that I find it a bit odd that the folks at CapFriendly would do that for teams like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal (i.e. show 23 signed with names that likely won’t be there once the season begins) and not for, well, every other team who have players signed to fill out their 50 (52?) max. That way they’d all show 0 to sign. Makes little sense the way they did it.

    • Great list George 🙂

  2. Most teams had better hope they stay healthy.
    Bridge deals are the solution for RFA and not sure why that has gone away.

    Meir has been the best deal. In my opinion he is the minimum and Aho should be the maximum for this year”s class. 7 and change as the delta

  3. Nice list George

    Perhaps NYR can convince Dorion to take Namestnikov and add a semi-sweetener in Lettieri for a mid rd pick. No Long term committment by Dorion. NY gets a pick and clears space. OTT has the space.

    • Certainly a deal like that should be possible. But from the sound bites we’ve been getting locally from Dorion, it appears he’s done all he intends to do with the roster for now – except get White signed which should happen fairly soon.

      He could also be hamstrung by Melnyk who would happily go through a season with $20 million in cap space as long as the team “shows improvement” – even of that means finishing last or near the bottom again, and get another crack at the # 1 overall (just check out the link in the headlines thread to see what one local “fan” thinks of Melnyk – lol).

      Another possible project for Dorion is ironing out details of a new contract for Chabot, who becomes an RFA next year. No “bridge deal” there. And if they don’t get him signed long-term that will be the final nail in the coffin for a lot of fans.

      • I am feeling your frustration with letting good young players slip thru the systems to be lost for nada. Chara, Hossa, EK, Stone and all when they had every opportunity to get ahead of it by talking to the player early and making them feel wanted.

        But if Dorion doesn’t want Chabot…Manhattan will glady accept him with open arms and some $$

      • LOL. I’m sure ihatecrosby. The thing is, with the cap space they have now, and the number of teams needing to move bodies to be able to sign their RFAs, the Sens could easily return to playoff contention (not cup contention) this coming season by coughing up some of their top prospects/picks for seasoned veterans.

        But looking ahead, they’ll have RFAs Chabot, Tierney, Brown, Duclair, Verroneau, Jaros to deal with next year and UFA deMelo (among 4 other UFAs who likely won’t go beyond this coming season).

        So, loading up now to maybe contend for a playoff spot is not a wise investment. The fan damage has been done. What those still attending this season will be looking for is general improvement all around. Anything beyond that will be a bonus.

  4. Eriksson and Sutter are untradeable unless the Canucks add a sweetner to both. Benning has already gifted his 1st rounder to Tampa Bay so their 2021 first rounder must be on the table.

    Im amazed that perennial bottom feeders like Vancouver and Edmonton have cap issues. Top level teams I can understand (TBay, Toronto, Washington, or Pitts) because they have high end talent throughout their roster to be paid.

    Cap management is clearly an issue for both Oilers and Nucks on top of poor drafting , shoddy trades and suspect free agent signings.

    Oilers removed their problem (Chiarelli). Why hasnt Vancouver?

    • Many Canucks fans believe that the owners are the problem, not the GM.

      • Living in Vancouver I can confirm that is very true. Not many Aqualini fans in these parts.

      • The GM is the problem when you trade your 1st rd pick for JT Miller……..just being honest.

        Owner’s meddle…..but ultimately the GM makes the trade and the buck stops there. If you do not want to listen to the owner….resign.

        Pretty sure the Aqualini’s did not force Benning to trade their 1st rd pick for JT Miller nor sign Eriksson. lol

      • IHC, agree that he isn’t picking specific players to trade or trade for. More likely something along the lines of you won’t have a job if we don’t make the playoffs next year.
        He may disagree, tell him he disagrees and still do it because he needs, or wants/likes his job.
        Still a good gig to be an NHL GM, even when you disagree about the timing of betting the future on the now.
        I guess my point is if the heat isn’t turned on by ownership he might not make that deal.

    • Was more than just PC Ron, but a good first step.
      Hopefully Katz leaves Holland alone, and actually gives him full autonomy instead of just saying it. Still plenty of ex players around that had his ear previously. Some are gone, but not all.
      How much of Vancouver’s lack of patience should land at the feet of Aquilini? I thought that was why Linden left, he wanted to stick to the long term plan and Aquilini didn’t.

    • Ron, so many issues with what you are saying. Perennial bottom feeders? yes Edmonton deserves that but how many teams have been to the stanley cup final in the last 8 years? cause Vancouver has. They depleated their prospect stable on a pretty good run from 2008-2013. Poor drafting? Boeser and Pettersson are considered steals in their drafts. Horvat was a solid choice, Hughes is expected to be a stud. Benning has only had 5 years at the helm. taking over at a time the cupboards were empty. Ericsson didnt work out, many teams were in on him. Taking a $3M cap hit from Bobby Lou retiring is something no other team has.

      • Vancouver went to the scf’s 9 years ago. From then until present day 13 different teams have made it to the scf’s (43%) using 30 teams. 41.9 of you wish to include two years of 31 teams.

        San Jose

        I’m not knocking the achievement of making it, but using that really isn’t a good argument given the % of teams that have achieved it. It’s damn near a coin flip.

    • Ron don’t forget the Rangers and Vegas!
      Rangers have to sign Trouba, Lemieux, DeAngelo and Buchnevich. They will obviously demote some players which could save them more $. But Trouba alone could cost around $7.0mil to re-sign. DeAngelo had 30 points in 61 games. How much will he cost to re-sing? $2-3mil? Lemieux and Buchnevich could cost around $4mil together.
      And Vegas? If they want Gusev they have to make a cost cutting trade.

      • NYR4Life – those stats dont exactly scream bottom feeder do they? Being considered a contender for 5 straight years takes its toll. they werent just a team making the playoffs during those years, they were largely considered to have a legit shot at winning. their core players aged out and had no young studs in the system (or really anything even close).

      • Re the Canucks – another situation they had to handle was the uncertainty with the Sedin brothers and the perceived unwillingness to start a proper re-build while the Sedins were still playing.
        It’s a reach but you could compare that with the path that Pittsburgh and Chicago face – when do the stars retire and what to do in the meantime.

    • Ron, the Vancouver list has been whittled down by one today with the signing of Josh Leivo to yet another of a long list of 1-year deals, reportedly for $1.5 mil

      I understand, too, that Columbus has reduced theirs by 1 as well with a 3-year contract to Scott Harrington at a reported $1.633 mil per

      • Based on the number of contracts the Canucks are handing out they must be planning on running with 5 fwd lines and 4 d lines…

      • Two more RFAs signed – Girgensons in Buffalo for 1 year at $1.6 mil and Paquette in TB at $1.65 mil to 2021. Malcolm Subban of Vegas and Chandler Stephenson of Washington have opted for arbitration

  5. If the habs are willing to offer sheet Aho[apparently with the only benefit of screwing over a team with their cap structure] why stop there? Drop an offer sheet on Macavoy for 8.4 mill, then brock besser for 8.4 and then Provorov…. Screw over those teams too! Burn all bridges!

    • Nick, as a Bruins fan I don’t see the humor in that.

    • Neither Boeser nor Macavoy can be offer sheeted. Also, the purpose of the Aho offer sheet wasn’t to screw over Carolina. It was to make it difficult for them to match so Montreal would come away with a young star.

    • The offer sheet to Aho was a long shot but surely you don’t think it was to screw a mediocre team over do you?

      Like most Canadian teams, the Habs have trouble attracting high end UFAs. With the exception of Tavares, I can’t think of one who has signed north of the border. Taxes, fan/media scrutiny and weather all play roles.

      I don’t mind that as I think high priced UFAs are the tipping point. Where it sucks is when players on Canadian teams hit UFA status and go elsewhere. It’s one reason why Canada hasn’t seen the Cup since 1993.

    • McAvoy and Boeser are not offer sheet eligible. Didn’t play 40 games in their first season, making them ineligible for an offer sheet.

  6. Was listening to the fan 590 radio station in Toronto this morning. Joey Vendetta said a source told him that a team that had a good playoff run and has cap space will offer sheet Marner at 12.5 million maybe as early as today. I know not all sources are creditable but thought I would share. I know not much Leaf talk on here lol.

    • A $12.5mil offer sheet for Marner would cost the team making the offer sheet 4 first round picks if Marner signs (and the Leafs don’t match). Marner is worth a lot, but not this much. So i would let him go.

      • At 12.5 the Leafs would have to let him go or come up with a couple of huge moves in 7 days to get the $$ to match.

      • Funny when you look at George’s great find up top and factor in the 10% grace which is $8.1M and add it to the actual remaining cap space for the Leafs and one can figure anything below an offer of $11.8M the Leafs can match right away but anything north of that they would have to make a move to keep him if they don’t want the four 1st round picks.

        Whenever they do sign him, they still won’t have space unless they sign him under $9.5

      • Four 1st picks looks like gold on paper – but, they’d be spread out over several years and, depending on what team makes the offer, they could be well down the list. What are the odds that any would be anywhere near as good as Marner? Dubas would have to match and then deal with the problem through other moves. Not ideal certainly – but losing Marner for 4 maybes who wouldn’t make an impact for anywhere from 1 to 4 years wouldn’t look good on Dubas’ resumé.

      • George, you’re right, the four firsts could work out and could not.
        However, with that return the Leafs can resign Muzzin and Barrie (or replace him) for next year.
        Signing Marner to 9M-11M would really hamper the Leafs in 2020 unless they trade Nylander (which is obviously the preferred route)

    • Heard it on TSN 1200 here in Ottawa this morning on the way to work. All signs point to the Islanders

    • Resident genius on HockeyBuzz claims a “mystery” team is about to make a 1 year 13 million dollar offer to Marner.

      Who comes up with this sh*t?!?

      • I seen that lol everything I read here is news and hockey buzz is like the funny pages

      • Ron I agree the hockey buzz is a joke . Like I said I heard it on the fan 590. Who knows they may just need something to talk about but thought I would share .

  7. Geez , you mean the sky isn’t just falling in Toronto. That was good information George. I enjoyed reading it . On here sometimes it seems Toronto is the only one with problems. Thanks for the research. The salary cap is definitely in place for the GM’s. I don’t think teams should be able to trade injured players contracts. How does Arizona fans feel paying those bad contracts and not making the playoffs. And yes I do realize Toronto has been notorious for this practice.

    • Thanks Vinnie. Part of the problem you cite re Toronto seemingly being the only team targeted for its cap problems is because the Leafs are usually somewhere in the topics of the day, and with by far the biggest “involved” fan base of any franchise. Pittsburgh seemingly runs a close second.Rarely do we see, for example, any prolonged discussions about a Minnesota or Washington or NJ etc., simply because among those who visit these threads their fans are few and far between.

      Until that Marner equation is solved for Dubas I suppose that trend will continue.

      • George, if I were Kyle Dubas, I’d sign Jake Gardiner and officially announce and reflect through the Central Registry and Cap Friendly.

        It’s Marner’s camp move, however, at the end of the day, he is still Toronto Maple Leafs property until it is no longer feasible.

        Gardiner is more valuable to the team and he wants nothing more than to be with the TML organization.

        I have not an ounce of doubt that between Matthews, Nylander, Tavares, Kapanen, Johnsson, Rielly, Kerfoot, Barry, Ceci and the rest of the newly signed pieces will more than make up his offensive total and a cohesive atmosphere.

      • Where exactly is Gardiner fitting with Reilly, Muzzin and Dermott on the left side?

        You aren’t just replacing Marner with pieces, come on man.

      • Taz,




        That’s formidable offensive and change the way forwards play – more defensive and supporting.

        Fast skilled ..

      • Neither Reilly, nor Gardiner can play on RD.
        This is simply not going to work.

  8. George. I think you should go all out and get that list tattooed on your back. It’s that good.

    When was Sutter a number 2 center?

    With so many teams needing to shed salary and so few able to take salary it makes me wonder where these players get dumped to? Even useful players might return nothing or even need a sweetener? Using my pens… bjugstad or rust might need moved. Not bad assets on reasonable contracts. But could the pens actually have to pay a sweetener to make it happen?

    • Hopefully the next CBA allows players to be dumped in EUROPE and it takes it off the CAP….and also allows unlimited buyouts BUT you must pay out the entire value of the contract to buy out..all upfront and it NOT be against your cap; While also leaving the current method as an option to buyout with it still counting against the cap. Give the gm both options.

      • How the hell do you have it worked out that you can force a player to move continents?

      • Nothing forced rather IF the players agrees to head to Europe in lieu of a buyout in order to maintain salary but it no longer holds against the cap.

        Optional talking points.

    • Maybe like Cliff and Norm on Cheers I’ll get hammered and have it tattooed on my butt. 🙂

      • Your craggy old heiny is that large?

      • LOL. No, it would need to be small print. Actually I’m 6′ 2″ 200 with, as my wife angrily points out when ticked off, “no ass at all.”

    • Chrisms when you say “it makes me wonder where these players get dumped to? Even useful players might return nothing or even need a sweetener?” I couldn’t agree more. I made pretty much the same point yesterday about Gardiner in that short thread about the best UFAs still available. Combined with the number of teams stocked up to the hilt in terms of cap space – or about to once they sign their RFAs – and his back problems, he’s in the worst possible spot at the worst possible time.

      I know some have suggested he re-sign with the Leafs for 1 year at a low cost – but someone in his position simply can’t afford to take the chance that his back issues get worse and his career is over at age 29 with no prospect of ever getting another contract.

      Where he stands now he has to offer his services league-wide and for a lot less than he might have thought he could get and nowhere near 7 years.

      Nor is he alone in that approach among the remaining UFAs. Most of the contracts signed on day 1 of free-agency were 1 & 2 year deals for a reason.

  9. Dubas this is my best offer

    Kreider, Strome, Nieves & 2 1st rd picks for Marner
    best I can do unless you want Shattenkirk or Smith too….then I will also say yes.




    • Okay, we’re taking away your trade proposal card!

      • Fair enough!….to my defense…it is pretty hot outside…..

  10. Not sure what Brooks is talking about. He’s giving a number for Smith based on if he’s demoted to Hartford, that a buyout would save an additional 2.3 million from minor league salary. He’s included on roster currently, so a buyout would save 3.4 million off current cap

    • i have a feeling 1 more season of Smith & Shatts as the bottom pairing…..then the following season they both will be bought out. Allows Gorton to see how his D in Hartford have develop. It also reduces the $$ cost against the cap since they may buy out both.

      What do ya think?