NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2022

by | Mar 30, 2022 | Rumors | 27 comments

How would a new contract for Filip Forsberg affect the Predators’ salary-cap payroll next season? Can the Oilers afford to sign Evander Kane? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

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.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

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.


  1. If you disregard what Kane has done, I can see the temptation to resign Kane, but considering his history, make it 2 years max, because its after that he becomes a problem, and if before it wont cost to much to buy him out

    • I agree 100%. On the ice, he’s pretty damn valuable. I just worry about the past. It’s gonna be interesting to watch.
      I’m pretty sure though that a few GMs would price him out of Edmonton.

  2. Not too many opportunities to type “leaving Leavins …” 🙂

    Re the Oilers dilemma with Kane – according to CapFriendly they have $69,443,795 committed to 14: 8 Fs: McDavid, Draisaitl, Hyman, Nugent-Hopkins, Kassian, Foegele, Ryan, Shore – 5 D: Nurse (who jumps from $5,538,462 to $9,250,000), Keith, Barrie, Ceci, Bouchard – 1 G: Smith

    That leaves, with the cap going up only marginally, $8,889,538 to sign 9. Kane, if retained, will cost the major bulk of that – certainly at least $6 mil (which they’d be lucky to retain him at) – leaving about $2.8 to sign 8.

    Klefbom’s $4,167,000 will be available again when the season starts with him on LTIR – but with $750,000 still retained on Lucic (1 year to go), and $1,916,667 (Neal – 3 more years) and $1.5 (Sekera – 1 more year) lost to buyouts, most of that is used up there.

    If they bring UFA Koskinen back (currently $4.5 mil off the cap) in goal how much is he going to cost and for how long? Smith is signed – but he turns 41 next March. If not Koskinen, who do they get in goal?

    Then there are their RFAs – Kulak coming off $925,000 and McLeod coming off $834,167. How much to re-sign each?

    None of their other UFAs (Brassard, Russell, Archibald) will likely be back. But they need someone to replace them.

    Holland has his work cut out for him.

    • Darnell Nurse at 9.2 million is such a ridiculous overpay. Its no surprise the Oilers are in cap trouble handing out #1 defence money to whats at best a 3 or 4.

      Edmonton, Vegas, Vancouver and Toronto will all have cap issues going forward even with a small bump in the cap.

      Edmonton can justify McDavids and Draisitl contracts. The Canucks can claim fair return on Demko and Hughes deals. The Leafs are getting good value on Matthews deal but Vegas just looks like a mess to me.

      Nurse, Tavares, Pettersson, and Ekman Larsons contracts in my opinion are huge overpays that dont come near reaping the return their salaries should supply. Patches, Stone and Lehner deals are looking like very big mistakes in Vegas.

      Some teams are going to be facing difficult cap related decisions and should be a lot of fun watching them unfold.

      • Nurse at $9.5 may be an overpay, but I think it’s quite a bit less than you think. It was the Seth Jones and Zachary Werenski signings that were done previously to the Nurse signing that pushed the market up. If you look at Nurse’s advanced stats he’s actually having a strong season. The Oilers problems on defence don’t start with Nurse.
        Out of McAvoy, Jones, and Werenski who all signed similar deals this past offseason Nurse is second to only McAvoy in pretty much all the advanced stats this season. Including the stat that I hate but a lot of posters love, the plus-minus.
        Now I’m not sure about Jones, McAvoy, and Werenski, but I do know that Nurse is usually the guy on the ice when the other teams top offensive players are on the ice, so he doesn’t get the easy minutes.
        I do see some player movement on the Oilers this offseason. Two or three of Borberg, Niemeläinen, and Samorukov should make the Oilers blue line next season.
        Dylan Holloway should be another AHLer who should make the Oilers forward group next season to replace Archibald.
        Skinner in net will be another ELC who should be on the Oilers roster next season.
        The Oilers should benefit from having a few players on their roster who will be on their ELC’s. Along with a few departures like Smith and Barrie.
        Next season the Oilers have 14 players under contract, including Klefbom. They have a projected cap hit of $73,610,462, which includes Klefbom’s contract and their retained salary and buyouts.
        Plus the one million cap increase next season and putting Klefbom on LTIR the Oilers should have $14056538 million in cap space to sign 9 players, which includes Puljujärvi and Yamamoto. The cap will be tight, but the Oilers shouldn’t be in the same situation as Vegas or Toronto.

      • Truthfully now – would you rather have Chabot at just over $8 mil or Nurse at $9.5?

      • Sept. 19th, 2019 eight million was the going rate for a team’s number 1 d-man. Move forward 2 years and that price increased $1.5 million. Also, the Sens get 5 UFA seasons from Chabot. The Oilers get UFA seasons from Nurse, which also raises the contract price.
        I’m not saying that Nurse’s contract is great, but it’s hardly one that handcuffs a team like OEL’s or Tavares’s contracts.
        Looking at what top 6 forwards are signing at now, it just makes Draisaitl’s and McDavid’s contracts look like bargains.

      • Looking at Chabot’s advanced stats, they aren’t all that different than Nurse’s. Some Chabot is better and some Nurse is better.
        As I said, Nurse’s contract that kicks in next season isn’t nearly as bad as you think.

  3. George your 100% right good luck with that mess. I can see if they don’t make playoffs or lose in first round Connor or Leon wanting out it looks to me like a very frustrated pair of stars.

  4. Flyers eliminated from playoff contention. Hopefully Chucky Fletcher and Mike Yeo are shown the door.

    • You spelled Bobby Clarke wrong. With goons like that in upper management, the team will always be middling and mediocre. 1976

      • You mean Booby Clarke who, when GM, walked up to the microphone at a draft and said “The Philadelphia Flyers are proud to select … err (turning to his entourage) what’s his name again ?” Claude Giroux

      • Robert Earle Clarke is not involved in team management. He is a team Ambassador.

  5. Don’t forget Minnesota Ron. With 17 committed to next year and facing $12,74g3,588 in dead cap space thanks to the buyouts of Parise and Suter (which jumps to $14,743,588 the following two years), and possessing no major LTIRs for relief, they are really facing some serious roster challenges.

    Trades for either LTIR contracts or for low-cost ELC prospects seem to be in the cards for them. There are, for example, rumblings heard around Ottawa that Fiala (an RFA coming off a $5.1 mil cap hit) could be headed here in the off-season in one such deal. A couple more of that nature may need to be arranged.

    • Hey George, from my (admittedly limited) understanding, trading for LTIRs provide zero cap relief to a team in a trade. They are only useful in two situations:

      1. If a player you already have goes on LTIR, then you can make a trade to get a player with salary up to that value. But if you are at the cap already and trade for someone on LTIR, it doesn’t allow you to then go over the cap again. Minny wouldn’t benefit from this.

      2. If, like Arizona, you want to hit the cap floor, you can use the LTIR player’s cap hit

      LTIR worked for Tampa because they already had Kucherov, he got injured, went on LTIR and his cap savings allowed them to get other players. But if they had traded for a guy on LTIR, they could not have done so.

      At least, I’m pretty sure that’s all correct. Happy to be told I’m wrong by the people here, many of whom know a LOT more than I do!

  6. Cap management has been an issue for a few years and the GMs up against it always seem to make it

    I’d be more concerned with the GMs who have missed the playoffs for 5 consecutive years.

    • Depends on the basic reason for missing the playoffs – total re-build comes to mind.

  7. You will never win a cup with E Kane. Put that money to better uses like in goal.

    • Back in the early 90’s people were saying that the Red Wings would never win the Stanley Cup with Steve Yzerman. Look how that turned out.

      • very true…

      • Kane is no Yzerman, bad comparison, I’m sure there will be some Wings fans all over your post, lol

  8. @silverscreen

    I am boggled why certain GM’s do not attend to their goaltending issues , most critical position
    Edmonton and Toronto are 2 prime examples ..
    I really thought the division Toronto was in , was favoured with the 2 Florida teams
    It isn’t , Toronto and Boston are equivalent ..
    Being a Leaf fan , and critical at times , Leafs have a very good team , but this goaltender shortfall is going to hinder any real chance to advance .
    Another huge disappointment

    Thankyou DUBAIS
    Best Regards ,
    Leaf Nation

  9. Spencer Knight would look good in an Oilers uniform, the stud they need.