Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 26, 2020
Check out the latest on the Sabres and Red Wings in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SOME SUGGESTED SABRES TRADE TARGETS
THE ATHLETIC (Subscription required): John Vogl recently examined how a flat salary cap of $81.5 million for 2020-21 could affect the Buffalo Sabres. They have just over $47 million invested in 10 players for next season, with between 10 to 13 players to sign.
Their restricted free agents include Sam Reinhart, Brandon Montour, Linus Ullmark, Victor Olofsson, and Dominik Kahun. Re-signing all their RFAs could push their cap payroll to almost $73 million. The addition of top prospect Dylan Cozens will push that to $73.87 million.
Vogl believes the Sabres need one forward to reach the roster minimum. They could also want to add a left-handed defenseman and a spare forward. He suggested targeting several clubs with limited cap space looking to shed salary for next season.
Some realistic trade targets could include Chicago Blackhawks forwards Dylan Strome and Brandon Saad, San Jose Sharks winger Tomas Hertl, Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, Alex Kerfoot, and Ilya Mikheyev, Arizona Coyotes forwards Derek Stepan, Nick Schmaltz, and Christian Dvorak, Anaheim Ducks forwards Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique, and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see which players become available once the playoffs are over and the trade market kicks into high gear.
The Blackhawks could listen to offers for Saad, who has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $6 million. He also has a modified no-trade clause for 2020-21. They could attempt to re-sign Strome to a short-term deal with a more affordable AAV.
The Leafs are expected to move one of those young forwards unless GM Kyle Dubas can come up with a more creative way to cut costs. He could be reluctant to ship one of them to a close division rival like the Sabres. I can see the Coyotes shopping Stepan or maybe Dvorak but not Schmaltz.
Given the Ducks popgun offense, it wouldn’t make sense to move Rakell or Henrique unless they’re getting a scorer in return or another deal. The Blues could part ways with Jake Allen to free up some cap room to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo and/or Vince Dunn.
I don’t think the Sharks are interested in moving Hertl, but GM Doug Wilson has a history of making bold moves.
SHOULD THE RED WINGS SWING AN EXPANSION DRAFT DEAL WITH THE KRAKEN?
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James recently published her list of players the Detroit Red Wings could protect in next year’s expansion draft. She also looked at the possibility of general manager Steve Yzerman swinging a deal with the Kraken involving Frans Nielsen or Justin Abdelkader.
Nielsen ($5.25 million annual average value) and Abdelkader ($4.25 million) currently carry the second- and third-highest cap hits on the Wings. Convincing the Kraken to take either guy would involve adding a draft pick or a prospect in the deal. St. James doesn’t believe that makes sense for the rebuilding Wings.