NHL Rumor Mill – August 1, 2019
The latest on the Rangers and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.
RANGERS COULD STILL MAKE A COST-CUTTING TRADE
NEW YORK POST: While the Rangers intend to shed salary by buying out defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Brett Cyrgalis believes there’s still some trade possibilities on the table. Winger Chris Kreider ($4.65-million annual average value) is a year away from unrestricted free agency and could cost around $7 million annually on a seven-year deal to re-sign. Forwards Vladislav Namestnikov ($4 million) and Ryan Strome ($3.1 million) could be smaller cost-cutting options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Rangers currently sit around $4.156 million above the $81.5 million salary cap with Brendan Lemieux and Anthony DeAngelo to re-sign. Buying out Shattenkirk will free up over $5.16 million for 2019-20.
Assuming Lemieux and DeAngelo are each signed for under $900K for next season, the Blueshirts will have to bury one or two contracts in the minors to stay under the cap. That won’t leave much wiggle room. Trading Kreider, Namestnikov or Strome isn’t a certainty but we can’t rule out the possibility one of them will be moved before the start of the season.
Kreider’s pending UFA status ensures he’ll be a fixture in this season’s rumor mill, especially if the Rangers sit outside the playoff picture by the trade deadline.
COULD THE FLAMES SHOP FROLIK?
THE ATHLETIC: Kent Wilson observes the Calgary Flames need to clear about $5 million in salary-cap space to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane. He speculates Flames winger Michael Frolik could attract interest as the depth in available wingers in the unrestricted free agent market has dwindled. He has a year remaining on his contract with a $4.3-million salary-cap hit.
Wilson suggests the Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and Columbus Blue Jackets as possible trade destinations. All have plenty of salary-cap space to absorb Frolik’s contract and could use a good utility winger. The Devils, Flyers, and Blue Jackets are poised to be competitive this season. Frolik’s 10-team no-trade clause could complicate things.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind the Flames nearly had a deal in place at the trade deadline that would’ve sent Frolik to the Minnesota Wild for Jason Zucker. Given the management change in Minnesota and the Flames’ shipping James Neal to Edmonton for Milan Lucic, I don’t believe that potential deal will be revisited.
Nevertheless, it suggests Frolik could waive his modified no-trade for the right team. We don’t know if any of those on Wilson’s list might come calling for Frolik. The veteran winger might prefer joining one of the more competitive clubs.