NHL Rumor Mill – July 7, 2020

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Rumors | 26 comments

Find out how a flat salary cap could affect the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports Brent Seabrook’s contract creates a salary-cap headache for the Blackhawks. The 35-year-old defenseman has four years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.875 million.

Brent Seabrook’s contract could create some salary-cap difficulties for the Chicago Blackhawks (Photo via NHL Images).

With the salary cap remaining at $81.5 million, Seabrook’s AAV will make it difficult for the Blackhawks to re-sign some key players. It will also affect efforts to improve their roster.

Seabrook has a full no-movement clause until 2022. It also means he must automatically be protected in next year’s expansion draft unless he agrees to waive it.

A huge portion of his salary is tied up in signing bonuses, rendering any buyout pointless. There won’t be any compliance buyouts under the proposed CBA extension.

Despite his recent surgeries, they won’t be putting him on long-term injury reserve as he appears on track to return to action.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blackhawks have over $74 million tied up in 16 players for next season, with Corey Crawford, Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, and Drake Caggiula to re-sign.

Seabrook was the topic of trade speculation in 2018-19 but his contract was considered unmoveable even then. If he agreed to waive his clause, the flat cap makes it unlikely the Hawks will find any takers now.

Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad was frequently mentioned in this season’s trade rumors. Don’t be surprised if his name resurfaces as a cost-cutting trade candidate.

THE JOURNAL NEWS: Vincent Z. Mercogliano recently examined the effects of a flat cap for next season upon the New York Rangers. He believes it’ll leave them with around $13.5 million in cap space.

Re-signing Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo are the priorities. Mercogliano speculates each could cost $5 million annually but it behooves the Rangers to get that down to $4 million each or risk losing winger Jesper Fast to unrestricted free agency unless he’s willing to return for a minor raise over his current $1.85 million. RFA winger Brendan Lemieux must also be re-signed.

If Fast departs, Mercogliano suggests re-signing RFA Phil Di Giuseppe, adding an affordable player via the UFA market as a replacement, or perhaps letting a young forward like Lias Andersson to step into that role.

They could also explore trading Strome or DeAngelo, buy out the final season of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s contract, or entertain trade offers for RFA goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of options to choose from here. Most of the Rangers speculation suggests Lundqvist could be bought out, but that’s not a certainty. There has been some media trade chatter about DeAngelo, Georgiev, and Andersson.

Something’s got to give in the off-season and it’ll be interesting to see what general manager Jeff Gorton has in store. One of those players noted above probably won’t be a Rangers when next season begins.


  1. This is my opinion and I am sorry if you don’t like it. It was more than convenient when Hossa retired due to a skin condition related to hockey equipment (that could not be solved?) that bailed Chi out of a cap crunch. If Seabrooke suddenly has a career ending hangnail injury the league really must step in. When you sign the contract both parties know what they are getting into, and giving a NMC is on the team. I understand players get more injury prone as they age – but the solution to that is don’t sign older players to contracts that term out to their 40s. Sorry for ranting.

    • Kevin, you might want to check out Seabrook’s injury history. He is currently recovering from both hip and shoulder surgeries. He has said that he hopes to play again when the season resumes but his status is uncertain and it won’t be a hangnail that forces him to retire.

      • I am not quit sure you guys know how the cap works. Hossa’s contract does not disappear, he remains on the roster with a cap number allowing the team to spend up to 10% over the cap (not quite sure on that figure) at which point the team puts the player(s) on LTIR to gain the cap relief. I have not clue what his injury was but I assume he still wanted to play, I mean he scored 26 goals his final year so its not like there was nothing left in the tank.

        That being said Chicago traded him to the Yotes to gain that cap relief anyways.

    • I don’t feel sorry for Hawk org. at all, they made their own bed, now lie in it! What should the league step in and do?
      D. Keith is 36, and has 3 more years. And is still a decent D man but in decline.

      • Agreed, they got 3 cups in the last 10 years and signed their guys up to some ludicrous contracts. They had to know at that time that guys were going to decline and now they have to live with the crap consequences that came with building a multi-cup winning team. They are now paying the price for the decisions that helped them win and by the time some of the contracts are off their books, they’ll have a good young team to build up again.

    • Sure the Hossa contract, skirted the agreement via loophole, he wasn’t the only contract that did. All you had to do was listen to Hossa’s comments after the Hall of Fame announcement that he really wished he was still playing but the medications and condition made it too difficult to continue. In an era where a President doesn’t tell the truth and attempts to color facts as conspiracy, I think you needed to do research before going conspiracy on the Blackhawks and Hossa. No, the equipment couldn’t be adapted to stop causing the skin issue, ask Ton Reid, who was the first player who had severe rashes eons ago, and the equipment was improved. It’s human nature to easily cry over slipped milk, but you are as responsible as anyone to attempt to not spread misinformation.

      • Yeah that makes sense lol

    • Hossa? So you think the League just took Chicago’s word for it????
      The league has no Doctors??????
      Seabrook has played a lot of hard minutes handing out and taking hits. He’s part of the reason for Duncan Keiths longevity.
      So why would anyone doubt injuries are keeping Seabrook from playing??
      For the Chicago haters –
      Just be happy there’s a Salary cap or the Hawks could have 6 to 8 Cups between 2010 and 2020.
      They hate us cause they Anus

      • Its not about hating Chicago, relax. Its about players and management across various teams setting up the contracts that are bound to be abused. Hossa contract, first some one above mentioned his contract is still on Chi’s books, well according NHL and Capfriendly, no it is not. And it was too convenient that his allergies kicked in the same time as his $1 million /year salary kicked in. And for Seabrook, yes I agree he has injuries, that is what you expect from older players in a contact sport. That is why you better consider it when signing that contract or suffer the consequences.

      • Your 🌭 suck too!

      • Without salary cap Chicago could have maybe 1 or 2 cups, not more then 3.

    • Kevin you couldn’t be more correct. Chicago getting LTIR relief on Hossa was an absolute joke. Amazing how his condition became so debilitating once his actual salary dipped to “only” $1m.

      • Guys, you can get develop allergies later in life, including skin allergies. Simple google search will tell you that.
        With Tony and Bill on this one. The league would get their own doctor to evaluate Hossa so I have a hard time believing this is simply a scam.

  2. Jesper Fast is no great loss but Strome and DeAngelo need to remain. The situation with Hank will be dealt with this off season. I think a buyout is the only solution unless you want to virtually give Georgiev away. Not getting much and his salary is not impactful enough.
    Something got to give with Chicago soon to be renamed Blackhawks . Caggiula gone, Crawford team friendly short team deal $4m and Strome a bridge of 2-3 years at around the same. Kubalik is a wild card. Deserves more but will get a short term show me it wasn’t anomaly year or traded . Dach will play a bigger role this year

    • SS, I think Rangers will entertain offers for Gorgiev at the draft. He needs a new contract too, and if there’s a team that sees him as a future starter, then he’s gone. If not, he’ll be exposed in expansion draft next year and we could lose him for nothing anyway.

  3. Didn’t the Rangers already sign Deangelo to an extension some time ago?

    • DeAngelo held out last year as an rfa with no arbitration rights. Eventually signed for a year and now is rfa again with arbitration rights. Coming off the year he’s had, I don’t see him taking a team friendly bridge deal. A lot of talk amongst bloggers about trading him.

  4. Kevin IMO it is not a rant it is a legitimate observation. The worst contracts in the league are these old player deals. Anyone reading here regularly will realize how much I dislike the Marner deal. The only thing good about it is his age. He still can be traded for things of value.

    This one for you George. Whereas “Alan” Ladd cannot be traded with a huge group of complicated throw ins.

    The only way the GMs stop the bad old guy contracts is to make them pay the price for their errors.

    • Brent Seabrook equals bad contract. Three Stanley Cups – what does that equal?

  5. BCLeafFan….the question is when was the contract signed in relation to the Cup wins. If it was signed after as a reward that is possibly a legit management decision. Especially if he was underpaid during the winning streak. But it has the consequences that the Hawks are now facing.

    • GMs around the league need to make decisions based on the best information they have.
      Stan Bowman wasn’t the only one to miscalculate the growth of league revenues – most people in the business, players and management, expected the money ball to just grow and grow.
      Teams also need to be competitive, or at least look as though they’re trying and, if you’re not spending to the cap, for a lot of fans, you’re not trying.
      I think the flat cap will go a long way to sorting out the contenders from the pretenders in terms of money management and also in potential to win the Cup.
      Someone mentioned the other day that a lot of young prospects are going to get their shot in this environment. I couldn’t agree more. Players on Entry Level Contracts who can play at the NHL level will be like gold.
      Teams that draft well and develop their prospects will shine – as it should be.

      • And they need to avoid the pressure to overpay after a Cup win. Washington is about to join LA and Chicago as overpaying after a Cup win and landing in cap hell.

        The team that has done well with the cap is the Bruins, who make it well known that if you want to stay with the Bs then you have to fit under their cap plan. As much as I don’t like the Bs, I have to acknowledge they have done this well, so far. Their latest test will be with Krug.

  6. Going to be fun watching teams scramble to get under the cap. Chaos coming in St Louis, Toronto, Edmonton and more.

    Teams with cap space are going to get some very good players on very team friendly contracts.

    Joe Sakic and Pierre Dorian should do very well come free agency.

    • I agree Ron . No one seen the cap not going up for a few years but will be fun watching GM s trying to figure this out lol. The thing is at least the Blackhawks will need to pay the bill now for 3 cups . But some teams (Toronto) have not even won a playoff round in years and will be capped out for there best players best years that will hurt a long time !

      • You’re right, Swany, but as someone said today on another blog, at least, they are good players – pretty young too.
        I sure don’t begrudge Seabrook his money – three Cups is three Cups. He’s been really good for a long time.

  7. Tampa in my opinion is in most trouble with cap not sure what they will do someone or maybe two have to go.