Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 12, 2020

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Rumors | 51 comments

Three teams and five pending UFAs hurt the most by a flat cap in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and St. Louis Blues as the three teams hurt the most by the salary cap remaining at $81.5 million for 2020-21.

The Leafs have over $76.9 million invested in next season’s cap payroll, the Lightning $76.1 million, and the Blues $79.425 million.

Notable Leafs due for new contracts include Jason Spezza, Kyle Clifford, Travis Dermott, and Ilya Mikheyev. Defensemen Tyson Barrie and Codi Ceci are all but certain to depart via unrestricted free agency. The limited cap room could also be a problem next year when goaltender Frederik Anderson becomes eligible for UFA status.

Could a flat salary cap force the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade William Nylander? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed Leafs general manager Kyle Duba will make a cost-cutting move or two. The Toronto Sun’s Michael Traikos believes a forward like Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, or even William Nylander and his $6.9 million cap hit could be traded in the off-season.

Dubas supposedly promised Nylander he wouldn’t be traded as long as he was the GM, but an unexpected flat cap could provide the perfect excuse. There would be considerable interest in Nylander, but perhaps not that much in his cap hit. 

The Lightning has two good young players in defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and center Anthony Cirelli as restricted free agents in the off-season. A new contract for Cirelli alone could take up all of their cap room. Boylen points out winger Alex Killorn’s full no-trade clause becomes a 16-team no-trade at the end of this season, suggesting the Lightning might have to explore those 14 trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn seems the most likely Lightning trade candidate when this season ends. Some have also suggested Tyler Johnson or Yanni Gourde but they’ve got full no-trade clauses and could be unwilling to waive them.

The Blues will have to make a couple of salary-dumping deals if they hope to re-sign defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn. Boylen wonders if Colton Parayko, Tyler Bozak, David Perron, or Jake Allen hit the trade block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen seems a likely trade candidate now that Jordan Binnington’s secured his place as the Blues’ No.1 goaltender. Bozak and Perron have modified no-trade clauses. Of the two, the 32-year-old Perron would have more value than the 34-year-old Bozak, but Perron also has two years (at $4 million annually) left on his contract while Bozak has just one year at $5 million.

Lots of clubs would line up to land Parayko but I don’t think Blues GM Doug Armstrong wants to move him. In a recent mailbag segment, Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch proposed winger Jaden Schwartz as a possible trade option if the Blues re-sign Pietrangelo.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of Pietrangelo, Ryan Kennedy recently lists the Blues’ captain among five free agents who could get hurt by the flattened salary cap. The others include Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Vegas Golden Knights netminder Robin Lehner, and Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Sami Vatanen.

Kennedy speculates those five won’t enjoy the big-money free-agent bonanza they would otherwise get in a normal off-season. Some, like Pietrangelo or Markstrom, might have to accept a hometown discount on short-term deals if they wish to stay with their current clubs. The others might also end up having to accept a shorter term or less money.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They won’t be the only unrestricted free agents likely to be disappointed by what they’ll likely get in the open market. A few, like Pietrangelo, could still get top dollar but could find those offers coming from rebuilding clubs with plenty of salary-cap space. Those players could be unwilling to join those clubs and instead accept shorter contracts for less money from contenders. 


  1. With an already glut of goaltending UFAs available this summer & a flat cap, I can’t imagine any willing to trade for Allen & his $4.35 mill per contract next season to fill a backup role????

    He has been given numerous opportunities to seize the #1 job over the past six season & has never lived up to his billing. Not sure what would be willing to roll the dice on him as the #1 at this time???

    The only scenario, I can actually imagine would be St. Louis n moving a prospect(s) &/or higher round draft picks with him to a team with cap room as a salary dump only. Even then, that market is very thin.

    • Uwey,

      Don’t ruin my day—Allen and Walman to Buffalo for Hutton.


    • Sabres need a 1B Goalie to play with Ullmark. Hutton played his best years with St Louis. Could there be a swap of goalies? Both are going into their prove it seasons. St Louis will have to add a back-up if they replace Allen. They would open up close to $2M in cap space. Not sure their would have to be any sweeteners.

    • If St. Louis holds half his salary he becomes a reasonably priced back up.

      • Rory’s take is a lazy superficial “analysis” when it comes to the leafs. The teams hurt by flat cap are the teams with bad contracts they cant easily move. The less have zero and their core players all signed. Just complimentary players needed to fill out roster which are a dime a dozen and they have a few good to great prospects who can be plugged in (sandin, Robertson and to a lesser extent Lillegren)

      • Chrisms,

        Some Sunday research:

        Of the available goalies, how many of them have at least 289 regular season wins with an additional 24 playoff wins??



      • Counter research. How many teams want a 4 million dollar back up?

        To answer your question holtby maybe Murray, howard got those playoff wins. Holtby markstrom Lehner Howard Elliot I believe have those regular season wins.

        When less than a third of the league has cap space to play with and a significant amount of teams needing to dump dollars AND a flooded goalie market… not good for at Louis. And Clark…. that post is somewhat accurate but leafs won’t get much back for most of those players (except maybe nylander) and top heavy teams relying on cheap filler don’t win championships.

      • Best I can give you for your research project is a C-

      • Considering I forgot there was an exam and pulled all that out of my butt I’ll take it! Also I was in my underwear.

      • @Iawa boy how many of those wins were because he was playing on what at the time were considered Stanley cup favorite team. St Louis was great on defence on offence bit yet Allen won squat. They actually had to bring in am unknown goalie who wasn’t even on there depth chart to finally win the cup. Allen equals overrated even as a backup. He should have won the cup with that team but proved time and time again that he couldn’t. I can only imagine how many cup wins st Louis would have if they had a true number 1 goalie. A monkey could have won that many games with that team

      • Jake underrated? I think you failed your exam. He had so many chances to be the guy, but failed

  2. If Perron is available, then Bergevin had better come calling. Two years at $4m. AAV is very reasonable for him.

    • Yes on Allen,
      Yes on Bozak,
      no on Perron
      and NO on Parayko.

      • iowa boy, it is sometimes hard to follow the replies, but if you are trying to sell the Habs on Bozak, no thank you. He has had 13 goals or less the last three seasons.

    • As long as Montreal isn’t on his list of no-trade destinations.

  3. Lyle,

    Every team except Las Vegas has to make a goalie available for the expansion draft that is either under contract for the 2021-2022 season or an RFA at the end of next season. It doesn’t appear that the goalie position has the 40-70 rule like the rest of the players. Can you confirm that? There are a few teams, like Carolina and St. Louis, in which their starter and back up goalie contracts expire at the end of next season.

    With the salary cap set at 81.5 million, Seattle will have have a minimum salary cap of 60% which is $48.9. Is there also a minimum salary Seattle has to pay?

    I think Ron Francis will do well in the flat cap environment but it wont be the immediate success Las Vegas had. Francis has a lot of experience working with internal cap and salary restrictions. I can see Seattle ending up with a few Teravainen type trades.

    • There are a bunch of hockey writers that believe Seattle won’t have the expansion draft success Vegas did because they learned their lesson with Vegas. When have nhl gms ever, collectively, learned? While a trip to the scf is far fetched Seattle should be able to set themselves up very nicely to immediately compete and have a solid future. The flat cap only helps them further.

      • Agreed, I think that flat cap is going to be huge for Seattle. They’re going to get a couple really good players who either themselves have an overpayment or as payment to take a player with a bad contract. As long as Seattle’s ownership isn’t afraid to pony up enough money to spend 70-75M on salary, but I can’t imagine they are coming into the league with a brand new team complete with a cap-minimum frame of mind.

    • Seattle has to reach the league minimum for next season. Assuming the cap remains at $81.5 million, the cap minimum is just over $60 million.

      As for the goalies that have to be protected, check out Cap Friendly for the contract details of each team’s current goaltenders. That should provide the info you seek.

  4. Their will be a bunch of teams giving Seattle a first round pick to take their expensive contracts Seattle will be in a good place. Wendel I disagree Leafs have a few contracts they would like a do over with.

  5. I think a team like Tampa just needs to get by for a year and hope they can move a player next off season to Seattle. (Tyler Johnson is from Spokane) Neither Sergachev or Cirelli have arbitration rights. Maybe they can convince them to take cheap 1 year deals, with promise of cashing in next year. Of course they can always force issue by signing an offer sheet if a team has the nerve to offer one. I do agree Killorn could be dealt.

  6. Hmmm “There would be considerable interest in Nylander, but perhaps not that much in his cap hit. ”

    Really? Why write something so wrong? That’s pretty bad Lyle especially seeing how 40 and 50pt grunts have recently received +$6M but you do your thing as wrong as it is. I really wouldn’t know one GM that wouldn’t want a 30g/60+pts from a player UNDER 24 and UNDER $7m/yr with little in actual cash to be paid after his next signing bonus is paid out.

    Yes Nylander would be a great trade chip but the Leafs will never get equal or better value for him than having him on the team so why trade him? There are many multiple options such as something as crazy as trading Rielly since on the left side they can use Muzzin and Sandin and flip Reilly to a team that needs a number 1 or 2 LD for a 1-2 RD. As bad as this scenario is, it’s much better than trading away an asset for something in value that is much less Han what you’ll get by trading Nylander as high as his value is now, well maybe not among your commenters on your site.

    • The point you’re missing is that you are always going to run across opinions that differ widely from your own. That doesn’t make either one THE definitive viewpoint – simply a different perspective. That applies to many other aspects of life – politics included.

      Or are you going to suggest that yours is ALWAYS the correct one?

    • Ron Moore, even as a die-hard Habs fan, I think Dubas should be shot with a ball of his poop for even considering trading Reilly rather than Nylander!!!

      You are correct in saying that the Leafs will not get what Nylander is worth, but that is the price of having too much high priced talent on one roster. IMHO, the Tavares signing was a huge mistake moving forward with the young talent they had.

      FYI, can some explain to me, again, a die-hard Habs fan, why any Leafs fan would want to move Mitch Marner????

    • Ron, in normal circumstances, his cap hit probably wouldn’t be a big issue. But with the cap remaining flat, and 13 teams with payrolls in excess of $70 million, and half-a-dozen others in excess of $65 million, $6.9 million annually is more burdensome heading into 2020-21. You notice I did indicate there would be considerable interest in Nylander. His cap hit now, however, could be a significant sticking point. Even clubs with cap room to take him on could be a bit leery of it because of the uncertainty beyond 20-21.

      • And, to add, because some idiot GMs have handed out +$6 mil deals to “40 and 50pt grunts” hardly justified giving Nylander – an RFA at the time with very little leverage – close to $7 mil.

        I like him as a one-dimensional scorer – but not at that cap hit in a flat cap era

    • Nylander has played with Matthews, Tavares, or both. A wise GM would ask how much of an affect that has had on Nylander’s performance.

      • Also he might be the most one dimensional forward in the league

    • How about that kettle talking about black….George you talking about yourself because I never asked/wanted your predictable shaded comment.

      • Missing the pot. I think you guys got that…dumb post anyway.

      • I voice MY opinion – if some don’t agree with it that’s fine. I couldn’t care less. You seem to have the attitude that, once you formulate an opinion it automatically becomes the ONLY correct one. Get over yourself Ron. You’re one of many easily riled Leafs fans.

        Anyway, if I were to agree with you then we’d both be wrong.

    • We are in the world of the covid cap. It’s all about the AAV then about the name on the back of the jersey.

      To even go into a players value is less meaningful unless his AAV allows if a fit in a teams cap structure.

      Dollars & sense for at least 3yrs all the rest is pretty much semantics.

      Signing JT became a real big domino effect like it or not it’s undeniable.

      Bobrovsky & others created issues for their teams. Covid was unforeseen & GM’s with pie in the sky dreams got bit by themselves as usual..

      • It’s amazing how everyone is saying Tavares contract hurts the leafs when I was saying that from the very beginning

  7. However difficult Tampa’s cap problems are I see no scenario in which Sergachev leaves.

    Hedman has had concussion issues and must be considered vulnerable going forward. That leaves only McDonagh as a strong D, still playing well but 31 now and not an offensive contributor.

    Further, Sergachev is only 1of 5 D that are either UFA or RFA on their current roster.

    Add in the salary cap for the next several years and what team has the money to tender an offer sheet expensive enough that Tampa can’t match but that the offering team can absorb?

    • Montreal.

      • Ok, Ottawa.

        Habs? They can afford it rattus, but they need help most in their top 6 forwards, size and scoring.

        Yes their D needs help and they could rationalize giving up two firsts, a second, and a third in compensation but they have Juulsen, Brook and Fleury who need ice time to develop.

    • Winnipeg

  8. OBE….yes the Leafs have contracts that they would like a do over on…Marner’s for money….Matthews for term….the greater sin IMO….Matthews term

    But I don’t see other Leaf fans railing against Matthews term…they should….if the Leafs have a window I would be shocked if it is as short as 5 years…unless they trade Marner for D

    • Agree OBD on Matthews term Marner money but Tavares in a couple years in my opinion might be bad but time will tell. I do believe Toronto can out score a lot of teams and compete for the cup but personally I would have traded some offense for defensive help. Also they had no idea Covid would put the breaks on the cap going up but I guess management should plan for hiccups. Still Leaf fans have a young exciting team to cheer for.

  9. LJ, as Lyle pointed out, TB barely has enough to pay Cirelli. I can’t see either getting long term deals right now. I know one team that has about 35mil to spend this off season. And their GM was fond enough of Sergachev to trade for him a few years ago.

    • Well, let’s sit back and see how it unfolds, Slick62. I’d be shocked if the Bolts let Sergachev get away. Remember too that the Bolts have a big tax advantage over many others. But yes, there will be changes in Tampa in the off season.

  10. Do the Bolts need Mcdonaugh ? Add. Pick if you have to

    • SS. The problem with McD and most other guys is the ntc’s. I agree with LJ. makes more sense to keep Sergachev but, as I said, he’d have to agree to a cheap 1 year deal. Unless they decide to trade Pointe. IMO, it’s unfair that Tampa can get guys below market value because of state tax situation. And they’re still up against the cap! Someone should offer sheet Sergachev.

      • Nothing unfair about it. Or let me rephrase. There are unfair advantages throughout the league based on location. As a New York fan do you see the unfairness in the rangers mystic as an original six, ability to always spend to the cap whether winning or losing cause the metro population guarantees ticket sales, being in a big city with lots of appeal to young men in their twenties and thirties making good money find attractive?

        I struggle with fans of certain teams… rangers one of them… saying things are unfair.

      • Ny also has the “advantage” of the highest taxes , the highest cost of living in the country… by far. 130% over average… Pittsburgh? -1% under the national average.

        I don’t think the “draw” of being an original 6 outweighs the financial burden.

        As far as cities go, there are a lot of fun cities for guys in their 20s. Tampa, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, LA, etc.
        And most of those cities have a MUCH cheaper and easier way of living.

        As far as spending to the cap, it seems most teams do these days.
        It’s what currently driving most discussions here these days.

      • So panarin took less money in fa to go to New York… cause…


      • I’m not sure one player is an accurate picture. Holik, Gomez, Drury, Redden, Messier, took MORE because NY had deep pockets… not to play for an original 6. Or the Lure of NY city.

        Pat Verbeek bolted to Dallas… because the same deal in Dallas that NY offered Meant much much more.

        NY has HAD to overpay free agents in the past to bring them in .

        One example of a player taking less ain’t cutting it.

      • Gaborick, Brad Richards, Shattenkirk, Quital, Ward, …..

        Should I keep going? Or you want to go one for one ?

        You’re up…. you got to come up with about 10 players who came to NY for the draw rather than the $$$$$$.

      • The thing ny… is you just proved my point. Ny can do that. Because they are ny. If they do it poorly it’s on them but the advantage of being ny is the attraction.

        So so unfair.

      • Ny can do it because most of the time they HAVE to do it.

        For tax , cost of living reasons. On a cap era , their pockets don’t help. The fact that they have to pay free agents more than a Tampa, Dallas or even a Pittsburgh hurts, not helps.

        And no, $$$$ Are the attraction. Not NY.

  11. Panarin took less after taxes to play in NYC.