NHL Rumor Mill – August 2, 2019
Potential destinations for Kevin Shattenkirk and how Michael Stone’s buyout could affect the Flames’ salary cap in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WHERE WILL SHATTENKIRK LAND?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: With the New York Rangers buying out Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract, Steven Ellis examined the top five destinations for the 30-year-old defenseman.
If the Buffalo Sabres trade Rasmus Ristolainen, they’ll be in need for an affordable right-handed shot on their second power-play unit. The Columbus Blue Jackets have plenty of salary-cap space to “throw a couple of million at Shattenkirk for a season or two” to solidify their blueline corps.
Ellis also suggested the Edmonton Oilers as a destination. The Los Angeles Kings could use experienced, affordable blueline depth. The Winnipeg Jets could use Shattenkirk on their second defense pairing
NJ.COM: Chris Ryan examines whether the Devils should look into signing Shattenkirk. While a “buy-low opportunity” is possible, the Devils right-side blueline depth (P.K. Subban, Damon Seversen, Sami Vatanen) makes Shattenkirk a gamble they don’t have to take.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan wonders if Shattenkirk would be a fit with the Detroit Red Wings. He notes the Wings plugged a hole on the blueline by signing Patrick Nemeth earlier this summer while Oliwer Kaski and Dennis Cholowski will be competing for a full-time spot in training camp. Wings general manager Steve Yzerman intends to sign veteran Niklas Kronwall if the 38-year-old decides to return for another season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the decline in Shattenkirk’s production and foot speed, several clubs could be willing to sign him to a reasonable short-term deal. He might prefer joining a playoff contender like the Blue Jackets or Jets or staying close to New York. I agree with Ryan’s assessment regarding the Devils. If Kronwall decides to retire, perhaps Yzerman will look at Shattenkirk as a replacement.
DESPITE STONE BUYOUT, FLAMES MUST SHED MORE SALARY
THE ATHLETIC: Kent Wilson examined what Michael Stone’s buyout means for the Calgary Flames’ salary-cap situation. The move frees up $2.33 million, giving the Flames $7.75 million in salary-cap space. That won’t leave enough to re-sign RFAs Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane.
Assuming an affordable bridge contract for Tkachuk isn’t possible, Wilson believes they’ll have to make a cost-cutting trade. Stone’s buyout could make trading a defenseman like T.J. Brodie or Travis Hamonic less likely. Wilson suggests right winger Michael Frolik could be aggressively shopped to free up sufficient room for Tkachuk’s new contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Frolik, 31, is in the final year of his contract with a $4.3-million cap hit ($3 million in actual salary) with a 10-team no-trade list. The Flames were reportedly close to shipping him to the Minnesota Wild at last season’s trade deadline but ran out of time to complete it. Since then, there’s no indication the two teams will revisit that deal.
While the Flames might be keen to move Frolik, rival clubs could be interested in Brodie. Like Frolik, he’s in the final year of his contract and carries an eight-team no-trade list. A top-four defenseman, his cap hit is an affordable $4.65 million.