NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2022
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked what it would mean for the Nashville Predators’ salary cap if they signed Filip Forsberg to a new contract in the range of $9 million per season. The increase of next season’s salary cap to $82.5 million would leave the Predators with $26.2 million in cap space.
Setting aside $9 million for Forsberg, Vingan believes they have enough to re-sign such players as Luke Kunin and Yakov Trenin to modest raises. It would also mean trimming payroll around the edges such as replacing backup goaltender David Rittich with Connor Ingram. He advised the Predators to spend wisely as Alexander Carrier, Dante Fabbro and Tanner Jeannot will need new contracts following 2022-23.
Asked if Ryan Johansen’s resurgence this season could make it possible for the Predators to trade him, Vingan pointed out he’ll soon turn 30 and has three more seasons left on his deal with an annual cap hit of $8 million. He doubted there will be many takers unless the Predators retain some salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg is 27 and likely seeking an eight-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million per season. Predators general manager David Poile will obviously attempt to sign him at the low end of that asking price and perhaps seek a shorter-term close to five years.
I concur with Vingan regarding Johansen. Poile would have to retain some salary in a trade, something he’s never done.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently pondered how the Oilers can hang onto Evander Kane. He’s had a positive effect on the lineup since joining them two months ago as an unrestricted free agent after the San Jose Sharks bought out his contract.
Making that happen could require some hard decisions about younger players such as Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi, who will become restricted free agents this summer. Both have endured highs and lows this season, leaving Leavins to wonder whether they’ve shown enough to invest in for the long term or perhaps one or both receive short-term bridge deals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s future with the Oilers could also depend upon the outcome of the grievance he filed against the Sharks for terminating his contract. If an arbiter determines Kane should receive most or all of the remainder of his contract with the Sharks ($7 million AAV through 2024-25) while allowing him to remain a free agent, it shouldn’t cost much for the Oilers to retain him if he wants to stay.