NHL Rumor Mill – May 9, 2020
Possible free-agent targets for the Red Wings and Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill.
POSSIBLE RED WINGS UFA TARGETS
THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan believes a potential dip in next season’s salary cap could prove beneficial to the financially secure Red Wings. They have only $46.2 million invested in 11 players for 2020-21.
While a good chunk of the Wings’ cap space will be used to re-sign restricted free-agent forwards Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Robby Fabbri, Kulfan believes they’ll still be in a good position to take advantage of this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.
“Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis), Livonia’s Torey Krug (Michigan State/Boston) and Tyson Barrie (Toronto), forwards Taylor Hall (Arizona) and Mike Hoffman (Florida), and goalies Robin Lehner (Vegas) and Braden Holtby (Washington)” are among the notables who could be available at season’s end.
Kulfan admits some of those players could end up re-signing with their current clubs. Some, however, will hit the open market and the Wings could be among the teams that benefit. They need to bolster their defense and goaltending.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could target Pietrangelo, Krug, Lehner, or Holtby if they hit the open market. Convincing one of them to sign with a rebuilding club that finished this season with the league’s worst record, however, will likely take more than waving lots of dollars at them.
Their preference could be to sign with playoff contenders. Yzerman will have to sell them on his vision for the future and how long he believes it’ll take to achieve it.
POSSIBLE DEVILS UFA BLUELINE TARGETS
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Corey Masisak recently examined some UFA targets to improve the New Jersey Devils’ defense corps. Alex Pietrangelo and Torey Krug topped the list.
Other clubs could give Pietrangelo a better chance to compete for the Stanley Cup. There’s some question if Krug would be as effective with another club as he’s been with the Boston Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Wings, the Devils have plenty of salary-cap room ($55.2 million invested in 13 players) to make a competitive bid for a top-four free-agent defenseman. However, they’re also a rebuilding team that still hasn’t decide who their full-time general manager will be.
Whoever’s sitting in that role following this season will have to be a good salesman to land one of this summer’s better UFA rearguards.