NHL Rumor Mill – July 5, 2019
Five candidates for player-elected salary arbitration plus updates on the Rangers and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.
POTENTIAL SALARY-ARBITRATION CANDIDATES
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.
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.
POSSIBLE COST-CUTTING MOVES BY THE RANGERS.
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.
UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS
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.