Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 21, 2019

by | Jul 21, 2019 | Rumors | 72 comments

The latest Flames, Oilers, Bruins and Devils speculation in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup. 

AFTER LUCIC-FOR-NEAL SWAP, FLAMES STILL FACE SALARY-CAP CRUNCH

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien reports the Calgary Flames saw little salary-cap savings ($500k) for this season by shipping James Neal to Edmonton for Milan Lucic. They have around $9.7 million in cap space but that’ll evaporate quickly with restricted free agents such as Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, and David Rittich to re-sign. O’Brien speculates it could cost a combined $10 million to get Tkachuk and Rittich under contract. 

Could T.J. Brodie become the next Calgary Flames trade candidate? (Photo via NHL Images)

O’Brien examines some potential cost-cutting options for Flames general manager Brad Treliving, One is buying out defenseman Michael Stone ($3.5 million for 2019-20). Another is trading Bennett’s rights. They could also shop a salaried player like T.J. Brodie ($4.65 million), Michael Frolik ($4.3 million) or Travis Hamonic ($3.875 million). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Bennett and Rittich filing for arbitration, Treliving’s cost-cutting move could be determined by the outcome of those contract hearings. Bennett’s is slated for July 27, Rittich for July 29.

They could trade Bennett but a more likely course of action is buying out or trading Stone or another salaried player. O’Brien points out Brodie was part of a proposed pitch to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Nazem Kadri before he was shipped to Colorado. Frolik was part of a failed attempt to acquire winger Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild at the February trade deadline. 

LATEST ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers have around $2.4 million in salary-cap space following the Lucic-for-Neal trade. He believes signing “a free-agent third-line C, preferably a right-shot, seems a reach.” 

Matheson’s colleague David Staples isn’t sure the Oilers want to or should trade defenseman Kris Russell. “Maybe if you can trade for a 2nd line winger or 3rd line centre. But Russell is defensively sound d-man, good on bottom pairing, OK if asked to play in Top 4 due to injury — & 77 oft-injured.” The 77 being blueliner Oscar Klefbom. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Oilers GM Ken Holland has up his sleeve. He’s earned kudos for the Lucic-for-Neal swap. Perhaps he’s got something planned to address that third-line center position.

It’s anticipated a promising young defenseman like Evan Bouchard, Ethan Bear or Caleb Jones could crack the roster this season. If so, perhaps Holland will try to move Brandon Manning or Matthew Benning to free up some space. 

CAN THE BRUINS MOVE BACKES?

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Following the Lucic-for-Neal swap, Joe Haggerty pondered the possibility of the Bruins pulling off that deal by offering up David Backes for Lucic. He believes it’ll be very difficult for the Bruins to move the 35-year-old Backes in a similar trade for another problem contract where the Bruins aren’t taking on more years to the player they’d receive or giving up a “sweetener” in return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we’ve seen this summer, such moves are possible but they will come with a cost to the Bruins. With over $8 million in salary-cap space and Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to re-sign, they’ll face a cost-cutting scenario before the season opens in October.

They could bury a couple of contracts in the minors. Depending on the combined cost of McAvoy and Carlo, they could be forced to make a trade. If it’s Backes, they’ll either have to retain some salary, take back a toxic contract, or give up a high draft pick or a top prospect. 

THREE POSSIBLE MOVES FOR THE DEVILS

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan recently listed three realistic roster moves for New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero.  One would be acquiring winger Nikita Gusev from the Vegas Golden Knights. Gusev and the Knights are said to be $2 million apart in contract talks and Vegas is reportedly shopping him. Ryan thinks Shero was likely among the GMs to contract the Golden Knights. 

Another would be signing UFA  defenseman Jake Gardiner, who could become more affordable the longer he remains available. Ryan also suggests a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. They could be in need of shedding salary once Brayden Point is under contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Ryan observed, Shero’s already had a busy offseason. He selected Jack Hughes with the first-overall pick in this year’s draft, traded for all-star defenseman P.K. Subban, and signed rugged winger Wayne Simmonds. Shero could opt to evaluate his roster during training camp/preseason play in September before making another significant roster addition. 







72 Comments

  1. I think Bouchard Or Bear do have a shot at making Oil this fall; that will certainly ease/mitigate any further Holland moves

    Guy in a tight one … will be very interesting to see what pans out

    Shero is sitting in the driver seat with $18M+ could do all those options listed above (take on Callahan and get extra assets in return; trade and sign Gusev [although I’d love him as a Pen]; and get Gardner)

    Will be interesting

    • It sure seems, on the surface anyway, that Shero is sitting pretty, and while his 3 RFAs (Zacha, Mueller and Butcher) will likely combine for around $6.8 mil when signed (Butcher will get the biggest boost), it will still leave him around $11 mil in cap space.

      However, he also has to keep any eye on next year when Hischier, Hayden, Bratt and Blackwood all become RFAs and, of course, there’s Hall who becomes a UFA (he will also need to re-sign or replace UFAs Greene and Vatanen.

      • Thanks Craig and Ray

        I hadn’t followed Jones and didn’t realize he was ready to step in to top 4D

        If that’s the case; Oil situation not as desperate as I had thought

      • George, would make sense to sign Gardiner as Greene will be turning 37 at start of season. Will cover them for next year. Also, Simmonds 5m hit only for a year. As you have posted too, they’re only showing a roster of 18, so they need to add a couple guys besides the rfa’s…. have a feeling Hall will explore the ufa market next year, so Devils will need to be ready to pay at least what Panarin got. Maybe me depending on what kind of season he has.

    • It’s Caleb Jones spot to lose in camp . He looked nhl ready last year before being asked to play 20 minutes a night on the top pair . For Bouchard , he has to have a fantastic camp / preseason and change Kens mind . He has been crystal clear on his plan here and doesn’t even mention Evan when talking about the camp battle just yet .
      Klefbom Larsson
      Nurse Jones
      Russell Benning
      Perrson
      That’s my take . If Bouchard outright wins a look persson goes down and benning in the box . Imo , he starts in Bakersfield and finds his way up around Christmas. Russell trade not out of the question but don’t think it happens before the season .

      • That sounds about right Craig. Bouchard needs reps without the spotlight on him, even if he looks good in camp. Still has things to work on.
        A full year in the minors never hurt anyone.
        Need Klefbom to stay healthy and their D should be just fine.
        Goaltending is a bigger question mark IMO.

      • Was koskinen that bad last year ? .906 2.93 , winning record . Not sterling by any means but not terrible either . Asked to play a lot late and looked tired , smith is a question mark but can’t do much worse than what talbot provided last year, .888 , 3.40 and losing record . Klefboms health is a big key to the D and both goaltenders .

    • Pengy he may not be ready for top 4 ideally , I just see that as the best fit next to nurse . I believe he is nhl ready but that could also be beside Russell in a more sheltered role . Hitch loved him but he really hit the wall when he started chewing 22 , 24 minutes alongside larsson . It affected them both . He is definetly heading in to camp at the top of the list imo , see where it goes from there .

      • Thanks Craig

    • “Guy” should have been “Cgy”

  2. In addition to the above speculations, for those teams still looking to shore up their D you have to wonder if St. Louis might be a potential trade partner. They have 3 key RFAs to re-sign but limited cap space to do so, with just $7,120,406 to ink C Oskar Sundqvist, C Ivan Barbashev and LD Joel Edmundson.

    Sundqvist is coming off an ELC of $700,000 after 14g 17a 31 pts in 74 gp while Barbashev received $741,667 while potting 14g 12a 26 pts. You’d think both should get something in the range of $2.2 mil which would leave them around $2.7 mil which wouldn’t be enough to sign Edmundson, a big 6′ 4″ 215 lb LD with 4 years experience and coming off a $3 mil cap hit.

    Right now CapFriendly shows their main roster with 8 D not counting Edmundson – Pietrangelo (29), Parayko (26), Bouwmeister (35), Gunnarsson (32), Bortuzo (30), Dunn (22). Pouliot (25) and Schmaltz (25) – the last 3 on ELC deals, and 2 of whom will likely be re-assigned (Scmaltz shouyd remain in St. Louis).

    I just have a feeling we could be hearing soon of a trade involving the Blues and a D-man.

    • Hi George

      Edmundson would be a great add for many teams

      Much of StL strength was their D depth and goaltending; I would think that Edmundson signing would be a priority over Sunquist and Barbashev

      The rationale you’ve given for $4.4M for the two is sound but I think STL might more likely (as at now being at 22 on roster) send down Shmaltz and Pouliot …. Roster then at 20 and close to $8.6M M in Cap… enough to sign the 3 RFAs…. basically fielding the exact same SC winning team (sans Maroon)

      StL has much more flex than teams like NYR, Cgy, Bos, Leafs, Pens , etc

      • Pengy…..Interesting news from hockeybuzz.com Three teams are in on Jake Gardiner and the Penguins are one of them…thoughts…..

        Article says Penguins are making a push for him making it tough for Gardiner not to choose them…two other teams also in I’m sure one is New jersey and Shero..we will see.

        Rutherford is kind of famous for this swooping in and getting what he needs ala Phil Kassel 4 years ago…

        I’m sure they will be unloading some people to make it fit..

        Johnson $ Rust will be those two to get moved, traded or bought out… that clears $6.7 million

        if Gardiner can stay healthy (back thing) he is a good second pairing fit with Schultz and the penguins up tempo style…

        Letang & Dumolin (+30 last year)

        Schultz & Gardiner

        Pettersson & Gudbransson

        This is a lot better D corps (all can skate) much more than Matta & Johnson playing on the second unit…Petersson’s time will come soon

        would rather have Jonas brodin Minnesota less alary no back thing..or trade for brandon Montour Buffalo (Colin Miller just acquired (montour could be available) they have a ton of d-men
        Dahlin Ristolanian Scandella Montour Boghossian Colin Miller I think we could get Scandella or Montour for maybe Brian Rust..

      • Hi BlackNGold

        Hadn’t seen that anywhere

        That would surprise me huge … can’t see Jimmy making that move

        It would be great if JJ moved and was replaced by Gardner but a lot more than JJ and Rust would have to go out

        JJ and Rust traded …., then available Cap
        Is $7.5M

        That’s not enough to sign Gardner ; Pettersson and ZAR

        As a Leaf fan I was never a huge fan of Gardner ….Good overall offensively ; but costly on D at the most inopportune time (see playoffs)

        Wonky back also a risk

        Pens should steer clear of Gardner

        Now if there was no Cap issues ; and Pens are ridding JJ and still signing Pettersson and getting Gardner…. team is better

      • Dear blackngold,

        Just a heads up but hockeybuzz is not a credible source for hockey news, eklund has been called out on multiple occasions even by tsn for making up false rumors, all he does is try and create a “buzz” by making up click bait rumours, theres a reason he uses a large fan based team like toronto in lots of his “rumors”

      • blackandgold

        HockeyBuzz is tripe. Bunch of drivel made up just to get $$$ generated by the rubes clicking links thinking Eklund is an actual legit source of info.

      • Ok I have found out a lot of haters on hockeybuzz.com see that. point noted..

        Pengy….. what is your obsession with Stahl of Minnesota? the penguins are getting younger why would we add him he is older and slow.

        as I said would rather see a straight up trade forward Brian Rust for defenseman Jonas Brodin salaries almost identical win/ win for both teams…

        or Brian Rust to Buffalo for Brandon Montour salaries even closer win / win for both teams….Buffalo adds a 20 goal scorer if healthy pens add a top 4 dman..

        Buffalo has so many defenders and we do have x pens assistant gm there so maybe a deal…

        I like Gardiner but like yo u I am weary.of him I’ll take him over Matta and J.J LOL

        I just feel something else is comin from Rutherford….

    • NY is having a half-price sale on D men! If anyone’s interested, Smith,Shattenkirk , and Staal available at 50% retention.

      • Slick,

        Pengy says the Penguins are having a 100% off sale on JJ. Rangers will have to do better if the want to win the Desperation Sales War.

      • Ron Jull. I’ll go “buy 1 get 2 free”! Final sale

      • Ron

        100% off sale for JJ?

        Pens will go 125% … take JJ , Pens retain all salary ; and give the receiving team an extra $800 K in Cap space …. deal???

        I’m desperate here

        Joking aside ; it will likely be an incentive laden multi-player deal to include JJ:

        Bjug + Rust + JJ

        For

        Staal + Rask (50% retained) + 2nd + 5th

  3. Stone and Frolik are gone one way or the other. Even if you retain some salary or go the buyout route. They represent $8m .
    More than enough to cover Tkachuk Bennett and Rittich adding their existing $9.7m

    • I think Stone is the back up plan if they cannot trade Brodie.

      On another note everyone is waiting for all these top end RFA’s to sign, I firmly believe we will start seeing GM’s using the CBA to their advantage by signing them to shorter term bridge deals. They will still get big money but instead of signing 6 or 7 year contracts for 8,9, or even 11 million we will see these guys signing 2 year deals in the 5-6 or 7 million range.

      As I mentioned yesterday the Flames actually have over 11 million in cap space so if they sign Tkachuk to a 2 year deal at 6 million, Bennett 2.5, Rittich 3, and Mangiapane for 1 million that’s 12.5 million
      So if they can’t or don’t want to move any players a simple buy out of Stone will get them under the cap.

      • Fortunate that they even have the option to buy out Stone. He’s only 45k above the minimum salary for the 2nd buyout window.

  4. Do the math, with remaining Rfa’s and bad contracts. Soon there will be more money being paid the players than there is salary cap.
    Then what? I guess there will be some really good players not playing in the nhl.

    • True that Yes guy, tough to see how this all works out without giving up quality assets to move crap.
      Or perhaps the bridge deal makes a comeback.
      Should be interesting come training camp.

    • I agree. I brought this up a while back. With the current state of bridge deals going the way of the dodo bird, so many bad contracts in the nhl… something has to give.

      I don’t think “sweeteners” are enough to convince gms to take on someone else’s headache while putting their own future RFAs / UFAs at risk for a pick. Certainly not without a major jump in the cap ceiling. Which I don’t see coming anytime soon.

      Maybe the pending work stoppage coming will allow 2-amnesty buy outs? Otherwise teams will have 2 options. Buy them out or ride them out.

      The noose has just tightened too quickly.

    • That’s precisely why I said a few days ago that it soon might start some to thinking about another new league la WHA. Second teams in Toronto and Montreal (a return of the Maroons 🙂 maybe?), Hamilton, Quebec City, Regina/Saskatoon, Hartford, Rochester, N.Y., Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland/Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Houston, Portland, Kansas City

      • Interesting that many people have talked about the nhl talent being watered down by expansion… yet you put forth a valid argument for a whole new league!

      • Bring back the Hartford Whalers =)

      • Maybe someone will start up a co-ed pro league. Give some players a shot at continuing their careers and female players a pro league to play in.

        What? Wait a minute, thats right. Women are on strike against their nonexistent league.

        Never mind.

        lol

      • IHC,

        Bring back the Kansas City Scouts, Cleveland Barons, Oakland Seals, Montreal Maroons and Wanderers, Ottawa Silver Seven, Hamilton Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Flames & Thrashers, New York Americans, Philadelphia Quakers and Minnesota North Stars…. along with the Whalers.

        14 team league…..and Im sure I missed a couple a couple in there as well.

    • The problem is that it’s been a long time since the league has had compliance buyouts.

      Many (myself and, I think, Jim Rutherford included) assumed that there would be another round of compliance buyouts…so a 5 year deal for, say, Jack Johnson would really be a 3 year year deal. The reporting around the Capitals resigning of TJ Oshie basically came out and stated that it wouldn’t really be an 8 year deal.

      But, the latest word is that the new CBA will NOT have compliance buyouts.

      This is a mistake. Players of the future will be underpaid because of past players being overpaid. The system needs a way to purge a few bad deals every so often for the sake of both the teams and the players.

      • Way to fix is to allow unlimited buyouts. However the remaining value needs to be paid upfront to player but it will not count against the cap.

        That would create significantly more movement and allows players to earn without being cost controlled with the only hope of a pay day at 28

        Revenue share gives money to small market teams so they will have cash to buy out too

      • That would be a Rangers or Leafs fans dream, wouldn’t it?

        They could sign all the Smiths and Shattenkirks they wanted.

        No, 1 per team every 5 years or whenever the CBA expires are enough. Teams that manage their caps well can acquire players to buy out with sweeteners from the teams that really blow it.

      • Agree with mg. Could you imagine how loaded a team like rangers or Toronto could make themselves at the deadline when it’s easier to squeeze in contracts if they could just buy them out after the playoffs?

      • Disagree MG. All teams still need to be under the cap just buyouts can happen more often. If anything low revenue teams can trade their bad assets to teams with high revenue to buy said player out for them.

        It would create more player movement. 1 buyouts per 5 yrs keeps player salaries artificially lower and doesn’t allow guys who deserve more to always be paid more. So less than fair market value.

        For example if rangers wanted to buyout shattenkirkk with no cap penalty they would. Both the player and team wins. Players gets total value from remaining contract upfront. Team gets roster spot.

        shattenkirk can now go sign anywhere and work right away. Rangers can now pay the next player a fair raise versus the artificially lower raise because of cap restraints of shattenkirks buyout would have caused.

        Win for everyone. Low revenue teams still get revenue sharing so they don’t lose out. If anything they may get players on the open market on discounts.

        Personally I’d love a luxury tax like the nba along with revenue sharing.

      • It creates a competitive disparity between the owners who have tons of cash ready and those that don’t. And it has high potential for abuse.

      • We get it. You miss the good old days when the Rangers could buy wins like the Yankees.

        The competitive advantage would be obscene for big market teams, which of course is exactly why they closed the Wade Redden loophole, as well.

      • Buy wins like the Yankees? Smh.

        How many championships came from NY, Toronto, Philly etc. overpaying players during these spending sprees? Zero. As a matter of fact, NY wasn’t even making the playoffs during their highest payroll years 98-04.

        Nobody wins anything on paper. As we’ve seen so often. Nothing is won or lost on July 1st…. other than money.

      • Hockey? Or all sports?

      • Chrisms, I agree with the talent dilution school of thought. I know retraction is a forbidden word in all pro sports but the NHL would offer a far better product with, say, 24 teams.
        But, instead, we have expansion and decent odds of another lockout when this CBA ends.

      • The nhl does not need retraction… the product is great. What it needs is concentration. Significantly cut down the games played in a season. I’d love to see a season where they played against every team in the league once a year alternating home games each season. Add in a home and home against the division and that’s like 38 games! One at most two a week! Man those games would matter and get hyped up. One of the reasons the nfl is so popular is that it’s easy to get hyped up for.

  5. Bruins I hope are knocking on the Devils door they have a lot of cap space for Backes & a pick or prospect his vet leadership to go with Subban and Simmonds would be a nice add for them

    • Brian Boyle would come cheaper and they already have familiarity with him. Their young kids needs ice time and Backes would eat into that. If it were just to acquire and asset I would understand and make Backes the permanent press box guy…..

      but as someone said earlier (forgot who) NJ has RFA next year and beyond to plan ahead for along with Hall’s contract which will eat up a ton of space. Backes would cloud that space too much .

      I do not see a cap fit there.

      I am really excited to see Hughes play at the NHL level. See how fast he is comparatively. (mentally and skating)

  6. Moore and Miller are injured for Boston. Both on IR will open 5+ million enough to sign Mcavoy and Carlo. Moore I heard is out till about January. So they might be able to squeak by until then.

    About all the other RFAS. Prices have to start coming down. Other teams ruined the league by paying RFA huge contracts. So many free agents without contracts and teams have no money to sign them.
    Teams with space can really take advantage of other teams and scoop up some free agents for low salary.

  7. Everything will be fine when Seattle starts. 50 more spots for players and 80m + dollars in salary cap available in the league . Until then it is going to be interesting. Too many very good RFA’s Do you have several holding out ? Band of Brothers ?

    • Careful, SilverSeven, with that “holding out” terminology or a certain someone will jump down your throat saying it should be “without a contract.” I got that forcibly last season when I called Nylander a hold-out. Some just can’t get their heads around distinctions without differences 🙂

    • Not the players holding out, more likely a “gentlemen’s agreement” among GM’s.

  8. You read all the time about players benefiting from a change of scenery. I think Ken Holland will benefit from his change of scenery. Already making moves he would never have made in Detroit.

  9. The NHL need the bridge deal to work. This isn’t to say young stars don’t deserve their money or that bad contracts should be easy to move.
    But if you’re going to start paying these players top salary of the league coming out of elc, this is going to put teams on a tight robe of financial constraints, no longer can you budget your team for 5 plus years down the road with the use of bridge deal for say two years. It changes the whole complexion. You won’t be able to keep your players because potential you could have more then one player at a time coming out of elc. What happen if the player has a regression, then your stuck with a long term contract that no one wants.
    The 30yr old are either out of the league or playing for minimum wage and holding down 4th line duties.
    The bridge deal is extremely important to the team’s and the league. This is why I don’t believe there will be any offer sheets because players are going to be forced to sign a Bridge deal to keep it in tact. But no one is talking about it. Just silently doing it because it would be collusion.

    • Maybe the league switches to 5 yr Eli contracts right into USA status then so gems are forced to recognize snider high dollars long term for overage day forwards.

      The buyouts should also be unlimited and not count against the cap. Buyout cash though needs to be full value of contract upfront so player is not screwed.

      It amazes me how sports “own” players till their 28 and then with only few good years left get to choose where they want to work.

      • Reasonable suggestion IHC, they could also make arbitration available right after ELC and make it automatic and binding if there is no resolution by a certain date.
        No more holdouts, and if they can agree on a long term deal, then they still can.

    • Agree with that Caper, most of it anyway. The main reasons RFA’s out of ELC’s didn’t get massive long term deals is that many of them simply had one great year and had no leverage other than refusing to sign and not playing.
      One great year does not make a great player, and in reality if you do it multiple times the odds of it continuing obviously go up.
      I still believe GM’s have more leverage, go ahead and wait until Dec 1 and sit out a year. I would call that bluff every time.
      I don’t think it is collusion, I believe GM’s simply understand the situation for what it is and are smart about it. Well all except one.
      If a player want long term security, there needs to be some give on their end.

      • One idea that’s been bandied about is having 1 franchise player per team. That player would be a home grown talent and could get paid more than the max and have the salary not count against cap.

  10. If Calgary still has cap issues can someone explain why they would acquire Lucic. He brings absolutely nothing to the plate. I understand Neal wanted out but combined with the right players & he’ll give you 15-20 goals. Lucic is nothing more than a boat anchor.

    • Well Buffalobob… watched Neal at Flames games & he was completely lost. He can train with Roberts all he wants but if he was in a Flames uniform, he would not be able to get a top 6 position on our team. Ignoring the toxic situation between him & coach, he was a waste of a roster spot & 5.75 mill. He brought nothing. He was not a reason why we won the Pacific division & were 1st seed coming ouut of the West. We did it in spite of what Neal did.

      But we had no answer for guys like Zadorov, Reaves, Kane, Lucic & now that Ferland is in Vancouver. We dont need Lucic to score 20 goals, we need him to hold morons accountable that take liberties on our smaller skilled players. With Lucic, I see Tkachuk being able to play a little more of his pest game.

      Neal had to go, & Treliving didnt want to have to add a Dube or Kyllington or a 1st round pick to move Neal. Instead we probably gain a pick & we gain $500K in cap space which should cover the lion share of Magpianne’s deal. We’ll worry about the expansion draft in two years. Lots can happen by then. Believe it or not, this was a good deal for both teams. Im sure Neal will jump all over his fresh start & bring something Oilers really lack & thats legit top 6 forward. Flames get that nuclear deterrent in Lucic. Flames can already score goals, now they have just become a little tougher to play against.

  11. Looks like the NHL has a choice get rid of the cap, or be prepared for a rival league.
    Looks like it is business, it’s in the future WHA cycle again. That’s how the WHA came about, players wanted their fair share.
    No different than anyone else.

    • They are getting their fare share aren’t they? Players money is guaranteed whether they perform to the level of their contracts or not.
      That is a big part of the equation that doesn’t get mentioned enough.

      • Fair share is relative to the context isn’t it?

        If a team only has 1.5 m to said said player but the market really is 2 m for players type point totals. The team will only be able to offer 1.5 and the player basically has a taken it or leave it option as a rfa to remain in the league.

        You are correct if the company overpaid for the value they receive but that is why I suggest unlimited buyouts that do not count against the cap.

    • So, they have a choice of getting rid of the cap or facing a challenge from WHAT rival league that is going to top NHL salaries?

      Who is starting a league from thin air that can top NHL salaries and why?

      The AAF wants to know.

      • if you can’t draft trade coach play your way to a cup you could certainly try to buy your way to one.

  12. I actually think another WHA league would be good for hockey.
    There’s lots of good hockey players bring it on . More hockey, maybe they could play through the summer. Hockey year round. 2 leagues

    Great idea and I think it would work this time. It was exciting in the 70’s and the talent wasn’t at the level it is now.
    Geez, how soon can it start

    • Europeans aren’t going to to come over and play in the wha when they can stay there and make the same amount of money

      • Ya , I know and the WHA was never gonna happen. More opportunity now than ever before. Lots of excellent prospects in the AHL.
        Team in Quebec city , Hamilton Toronto , lots of places to start . Lots of North American s players playing overseas.
        I would never say it wouldn’t happen again. Players getting to pick where they play.
        I think it would be awesome.

      • A good first step would be for the nhl to scrap it’s embarrassingly bad chl deal. The ahl could be an even better league if they could add those players that did it all in junior but need some experience.

        I also like the idea of being able to bury a bit more salary in the minors. Not a lot more but an increase would help.

  13. Well if you want to be able to bury more cap in the minors, isn’t that telling that the cap isn’t high enough.
    Maybe they will have to have arbitration for every player, and tell him that’s what he makes and that’s it.
    No salary cap , sink or swim that is the way business works. A big work stoppage is coming. Count on it.

    • Vinnie, ya maybe but not because there are unsigned RFA’s IMO.
      I can see escrow being an issue.
      The players association wants more teams, or at least as many as they have so there are more spots for the players. The issue is there is a huge discrepancy between the rich teams and the not rich teams (smaller markets or non traditional hockey markets) .
      6 teams lost money last year based on operating income. That is before taxes or servicing of debt. Teams like Nashville, great town, have been an excellent team for years, had an operating income of just $4.7M. That is a brutal return on investment when you consider the cost of a franchise.
      IMO the answer isn’t no cap or making it easier for rich teams to buy out players to cover mistakes or you their wealth to extract talent from other teams. It has to be competitive or teams go away. That simple.
      How about revenue sharing? The NFL does it extremely well, but a different animal. They all/most play on Sunday, and fans watch all competitive games or where they have a player from their fantasy team playing. The TV revenue is huge for all teams.
      Hockey is more regional. so tough sell to owners of the big markets.
      They need to increase revenue for the bottom half and everybody wins, except the big market teams. So can’t see it happening. The long play is more teams making money, helps the majority of players.
      More gambling would help too.

  14. They should start another league called the NHL. It should be called the NURSING HOME LEAGUE! We let retired players play against each other. It could work.

    • Could George be the commissioner?

  15. Could work , and we could have a daily blog
    Call it senor Spector’s
    It would keep more people keyboarding.

  16. You are probably right Ray Bark. You could let the rich franchise buy the poor franchise and carry it that way. Which I don’t think is allowed but why not. Makes more sense than letting them be dependent constantly.
    I believe some of the franchise’s like to stay poor. Bookkeeping can be an amazing way to make up losses.