NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2021

by | Sep 2, 2021 | Rumors | 9 comments

Are the Panthers close to announcing a new contract for Aleksander Barkov? Are there other moves the Islanders and Avalanche could make? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: With Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier and Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov getting new contracts last week, George Richards wondered if Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov could be next to sign a lucrative long-term extension.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov (NHL Images).

Richards reports the Panthers are expected to announce a new contract for Barkov in the coming weeks, perhaps before training camp opens on Sep. 22. It’s believed he’ll get more than the $7.75 million per season that Couturier and Svechnikov will receive. The 25-year-old Panthers star is earning $5.9 million annually on his current deal which expires next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barkov is the Panthers’ top player and among the best two-way forwards in the league. I don’t see them letting him go to market next summer. Richards expects it’ll be an eight-year maximum deal. He could pull in over $10 million per season.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple looked at what other moves could be in store for the New York Islanders after officially announcing new contracts yesterday for Anthony Beauvillier, Casey Cizikas, Kyle Palmieri and Ilya Sorokin.

The Isles didn’t announce a contract for Zach Parise but the winger will be joining them this season. Staple speculates he’ll get a one-year deal for the league minimum with performance bonuses on a plus-35 deal that could earn him over $2 million for the season.

Staple points out general manager Lou Lamoriello still hasn’t replaced Nick Leddy on the left side of the Islanders’ blueline. The Seattle Kraken has a surplus of left-handed defensemen but there hasn’t been much discussion between the two clubs. He doubts the Columbus Blue Jackets will part with Vladislav Gavrikov and it would take a decent-sized offer to pry Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As noted in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines, the Islanders are $3.7 million above the $81.5 million salary cap. That will increase once they officially announce Parise’s contract.

They’ll address that overage by placing permanently sidelined Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million cap hit on LTIR. However, it still won’t leave much room to add a defenseman unless it’s a dollar-for-dollar swap or one or two players get demoted.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Peter Baugh was asked if the Colorado Avalanche might add a free agent or two to their bottom-six forwards. He believes they could offer someone like Tyler Bozak a cheap one-year contract or a tryout offer but they aren’t desperate to add someone before training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Baugh’s column was published before the Avalanche signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a professional tryout offer yesterday. They could do the same for a UFA forward like Bozak though there’s no certainty they will. GM Joe Sakic could see how things unfold in training camp before seeing if he needs another veteran for his bottom-six.


  1. Barkov is stellar . However, these $10m deals hamstring most teams that have them. Especially if you have a couple three. What about Bob.

    We will see how the Islanders do starting the season on a 13 game road trip. They are built for the playoffs but you have to get there first.
    Lee will be back which will help with some offence . I bet they they don’t score 25 on that trip

    • Barkov is only 26, today, so an 8 year deal gets him to 35, which is high but it will probably work if the cap finally goes up. A 10m deal will also put a cap on all other deals and its not as if he makes 14m…. Now if they could only get out of the Bob contract

    • I will take that bet how much can you afford to lose?

  2. Cannot see Barkov taking “hometown discount.” If he is not offered $10 plus they he walks. If Kiprizov is offered $9m for 5 by Minny (some reports) then Barkov is absolutely 10 plus.

    • Playing in Florida he might take hometown discount. No state tax. 9m x 8 is possible. Will need to do a Huberdeau extension next year. My guess is Bob plays 2 more seasons in Florida before getting bought out.

      • Slick62,
        The tax implications aren’t so straightforward.

        Players are taxed in the city they play in and number of days spent there.

        So on road trips to Florida and Carolina players benefit from the no State tax too.

        I won’t go into the nitty gritty but you get the idea.

      • Not necessarily Habfan. If the state you live in has a reciprocal agreement with Florida, the player would owe state income tax to their home state. Any wages wages earned in Florida could still be subject to state income tax.

  3. These 10 mil contracts are insane. I think he’s an amazing talent but unless the cap goes up exponentially all other teams will end up like Toronto: 3-4 players tying up half the teams cap so essentially no middle class. Works fine if players earning the inflated salaries produce. If they don’t do you expect bottom feeders to win games for you in the playoffs?

    Teams should learn from Toronto’s misfortunes:

    Tavares is 7.5-8 mil player on an 11 yr contract

    Matthews is a 10 mil player on an 11.6 mil contract

    Marner is a 8.5 mil player on a 10.9 mil contract

    Nylander is a 5.5 mil player on a 6.9 mil contract

    Total cap hit close to 50% of entire team cap

    Total overpay = 8.5-8.9 million enough to get you two top six players or two top 4 defenders

    • The Leafs are screwed.No wonder why they can t win a playoff series.Not enough pucks to go around.I would really like to see Matthews go home and save the Arizona franchise,and speaking of going home,Eichel would love to come home to the Bruins.