NHL Rumor Mill – July 24, 2020

by | Jul 24, 2020 | Rumors | 29 comments

A look at how the expansion Seattle Kraken could build their roster and coaching staff, plus the latest Predators speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Following yesterday’s reveal of Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise as the Kraken, Darren Dreger examined how they could build their coaching staff and roster. He said Kraken general manager Ron Francis still intends to take his time finding the right bench boss.

Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis (NHL.com)

There’s speculation linking former Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant to the Seattle franchise. Dreger feels it’s safe to assume Gallant is in the mix.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant’s performance during the Golden Knights’ record-breaking inaugural season earned him the Jack Adams Award as the 2017-18 NHL coach of the year. He’ll be a tempting option for Francis.

Dreger also believes a flat salary cap of $81.5 million could work in the Kraken’s favor when building their roster next year. Francis could take advantage of the tough decisions some cap-strapped teams could face heading into 2021-22.

Some of those clubs could try to interest Francis in taking a high-salaried player off their hands. He could also take advantage of arbitration cases where a team rejects the arbiter’s award or those that walk away from qualifying offers for their restricted free agents.

Dreger’s colleague Travis Yost believes the Vegas Golden Knights have provided the Kraken a blueprint for building a successful expansion roster. They got secure goaltending by selecting Marc-Andre Fleury in the expansion draft, swung several trades to obtain key players such as Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore, and William Karlsson, and loaded up on promising young assets through the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis will have his own ideas for building his roster, but I don’t doubt he’ll also attempt to follow the Golden Knights’ template. The flat cap provides him with perhaps better opportunities to land quality talent through next summer’s expansion draft or via the trade and free-agent markets.

I’ve avoided the expansion draft guessing game some writers played during the interruption in the NHL schedule by COVID-19. A player that could be available today might be protected next year, while limited cap space could leave a supposed untouchable player unprotected. Still, it will be interesting to see what opportunities unfold for the Kraken come next summer.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked about the likelihood of the Nashville Predators buying out Kyle Turris’ contract to free salary cap space to re-sign Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith. The two forwards are slated to become unrestricted free agents at season’s end.

Buying out Turris would save the Predators $4 million annually through 2024. Vingan isn’t sure if they’ll do t but believes they should give it serious consideration. Even then, he feels the likelihood of re-signing both Granlund and Smith is low.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: PuckPedia indicates buying out Turris will also leave the Predators with $2 million in annual dead cap space through 2027-28. With the cap expected to be flat for perhaps the next two seasons and growth to be slow after that, it still might not be a bad idea to remove the bulk of Turris’ cap hit.

As per Cap Friendly, the Predators have over $72.2 million invested in 17 players for 2020-21. Buying out Turris would reduce that to $68.2 million, providing a little extra wiggle room to re-sign Granlund or Smith, or to perhaps consider more affordable options via trade or free agency.

Whether GM David Poile goes that route is another story. He could attempt to move Turris’ entire contract, but that could mean packaging the center with a high draft pick and/or a top prospect.


  1. Not sure if Nsh buys out Turris; but if they do… he’s out $8M.

    Set aside the great tax advantages of Nsh…. would some team sign him at $2M * 4 as their 3rd line Centre?

    A team taking on his remaining 4 @ $6M ; with his recent numbers….. mmmmmmm….. tough to do

    Buyout saves $4M in Cap for 4 years but has $2M for 4 after that

    50 % retained? Saves $3M in Cap for next 4 years; then off the books

    Who takes him @ $3M (Cap and cash); and what’s the sweetener

  2. Call this a “preemptive strike” if you like … but PLEASE, no suggestions that Ottawa agree to take Turris back in a package including “sweeteners.” NO amount of sugar is going to get Dorion to agree to take back what has become an albatross contract.

    • Lol.

      “Well we avoided that disaster… let’s revisit how we can not avoid it! “

      • Wait’ll the suggestions start surfacing that, perhaps, the Sharks should shop Karlsson.

  3. VGK also did not take unprotected players for picks and prospects.

    Not sure about the nickname Kraken. Then again I hated the Mighty Ducks and even Lighting at first.

    • It’s better than sporting a perpetual spelling mistake!

    • I have always liked the lighting name and logo. I agree on the Mighty Ducks though. Still not a fan.

      I really don’t like choice of Kraken. I think this was a mistake. Definitely do not like the logo or color choices. I don’t see a real tie to Seattle or Seattle’s culture. They should have went with “Homeless” or “Grunge”

  4. It’ll be fun watching as people get cracking on Speculating which players teams will protect. COVID and the stagnant cap may create opportunities for the Kracken but I also think teams will remember the past draft. Where they gave up great talent and prospects to have Vegas pick a certain player over another. Perhaps teams will simply let Seattle take the guy they can’t protect rather than lose out on two solid players by making such deals. Vegas was able to load up on early draft picks plus get top 6 players and they are exempt from the expansion draft if I do recall. I think other teams will remember the template as well and may move to hinder it at the very least move to not be enablers

    • Agree Jeff

      And yes VGKs are exempt from the expansion poach

      Would still love the miracle of the current player wearing #3 in Black ‘N Gold becoming a Kraken.

      I still think Kraken will make some side deals; many teams have learned from last time; but flat cap is flat cap!!!

    • I think you mean “It will be fun watching people get Kraken on speculating…”

    • Seattle will have to make side deals and with the restrictive protective rules will have the leverage to force teams to make them. Seattle has no farm system to speak of and will have to find a way to fill one quickly. Meanwhile the other 30 teams will have players they want but can’t protect or want to clear out but have to sweeten to get rid off.

      I’m sure other GMs have learned from the sting of the LV draft and Seattle won’t have it easy but other teams still have to do something to keep what they have or gain cap space.

      • I 100% guarantee you that nhl gms learned nothing from the Vegas draft and Seattle will be set up to compete and have a good crop of young players in their system.

  5. This could be history in the making if the Kraken announce Gallant as the head coach. He would be the first head coach of two expansion teams!

    • I hope Gallant gets hired somewhere in the NHL. He’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while whose innovative style is copied by many teams.

      • Rumor in NJ is that Gallant was given an offer, but turned it down. He will get whatever job is to his liking.

    • I can certainly see GKC: Gallant the Kraken Coach

      • Pengy, the king of nicknames! Lol. Is Gallant still getting paid?

  6. Too bad expansion draft wasn’t this year. Not even worth speculating right now. Will be plenty of player movement between now and then. 2 entry drafts. A trade deadline. Another draft. Free agency. 2 rounds of playoffs. Some more coaches getting fired.

    • Ok. I screwed that up. One draft.

  7. If I’m Montreal I offer a grade a prospect plus my first rounder so the Seattle takes Price. Seattle like Vegas will need a face for the franchise and Price would be it. Pittsburgh had to give so that Vegas took Fleury. Montreal would have to give up way more based in the current economics and Prices mediocre play over the last 3 years not to mention that albatross of a contract. With that being said even though Price has been terrible the last 3 years he still carries a lot of weight with hockey fans and would instantly sell tickets and add interest the the Seattle franchise. Seattle might be suckered into it with the right package.

    • Luckily for Montreal, we’re not in charge.
      That’s a lot to give up just to give up your #1 goalie.

      • @Shorepark. Pittsburgh had to give up a second rounder. Fleury had better stays the 3 years prior to the move than Price has had his last 3 years. Fleury’s cap hit was 5.75 million and that was only for 1 year where as Price is 10.5 for 5 or 6 years or maybe more not sure. We weren’t going through a major pandemic that is changing the entire economics of the league. Fleury has also won stanley cups and the list goes on. It might be the only opportunity to get rid of Price and even if Price does somehow improve for the next 5 years is Montreal really anywhere close to being a contender. Price makes them think they are despite the facts that he’s won them nothing. Seattle will need a face for the franchise so maybe you can move him for less. I know if I’m Seattle there’s no way but you never know. Like I said opinions on Price are high but these teams have analytics teams so there’s no way they take what is probably the worst contract in the league based on dollars and length.

      • Also, Pittsburgh didn’t necessarily want to get rid of Fleury, but they were going to lose either him or Murray. Does Montreal have a similar up and comer that will surely be taken if not protected?

  8. Price is not terrible just not the best in world anymore. Money taken out of the equation still a top tender. Current salary included in evaluation no thanks.

    Seabrook out of return to play.

    • What are you basing that on Silver screen? Opinion and that’s it. That’s why you might be able to get Seattle to bite As long as they don’t look at his corsi stats which show saves in low danger areas and other very relevant stats then sure. He’s been in the bottom half of the league over the last 3 years in every single relevant stat except for opinion screw reality I guess Best goalie in the world 4 seasons ago and don’t even give me the bad defense argument as Montreals defen8is not that bad. Worst contract in the league but a mile but like I said he was great 4 years ago and is still living off those years where he was a top goalie best time to sell. Not only that Montreal will always think they can win as long as they have Price. Forget about the fact that he’s never won them anything or even so much as stolen a playoff round for them because I guess it’s opinion that matters regardless of the proof. I’m not saying he can’t regain that greatness but he’s only getting older and easily has the worst contract in the league well based on actual play anyways. Players that might play him a whole 2 times a year said he’s the best so it must be even if he doesn’t make the save. He would be the face of there franchise but I hate to break this to you Fleury has been better than Price in every significant category other than opnion and comes in at million more per year.

      • Speaking of opinion!

      • Price has a NMC, so that doesn’t work unless he waves it!!!!!

      • I would be more inclined to think if the Habs are going to offer picks & prospects it would be moving Shea Weber, not Carey Price.

        In Weber Seattle would have a leader & possible captain & a huge chunk a cap space used, as they must get to the floor. Owed $6 mill, $3 mill & then $1 mill the following three years, so out of pocket money is far less than the cap amount. AND, if injuries take their toll on him & he retires a couple of years early, Nashville is on the hook for the cap amount, not Seattle.

      • Shea Weber is still a very useful top 2 defenseman. That contract can probably be traded and that player can mentor your younger guys coming up. I’d keep him over Price all day but that’s my opinion. Price also Carrie’s a much bigger cap hit for longer. I just doubt you will find anyone to take Price so that’s why I think Seattle might be there only shot to get rid of him Even if somehow he bounces back and becomes a top goalie again the trade is still worth it in my opinion. Montreal needs a rebuild. They currently have one of the best prospect pools in the NHL but that’s because none of there picks are making it to the NHL and when they do they’re just ok. If you look at teams and use all players under 23 as the criteria which to me is way more accurate Montreal looks horrible. Where’s there Quinn Hughes, Mathews, Barzel, Aho ect…..