NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2022
Are the Penguins in danger of losing Malkin and Letang to free agency? What’s the latest on the Lightning? Could a couple of Golden Knights become offer sheet targets?
ARE MALKIN AND LETANG EDGING CLOSER TO FREE AGENCY?
THE SCORE: Josh Wegman cites The Athletic’s Josh Yohe reporting sources claiming the Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t had regular contract talks with Evgeni Malkin since mid-May. A number of agents and several people within the Penguins organization believe the 35-year-old center won’t be returning. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.
Yohe also reported the Penguins offered Kris Letang a three-year deal. However, the 35-year-old defenseman wants a five-year contract worth over $8 million annually. Like Malkin, he’s due to become a UFA on July 13.
Malkin was reportedly willing to accept a pay cut from his current $9.5 million annual average value. Letang, meanwhile, seeks a raise over his current $7.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A recent report indicated management intends to turn its focus toward Malkin once they’ve sorted out Letang’s situation. That could explain the lack of discussions.
Letang could be pricing himself out of Pittsburgh. What he’s asking for is two years too long for the annual salary he’s seeking. Perhaps the Penguins would agree to $8 million annually for three years. If that’s not acceptable to Letang he could test the market but I don’t see many teams lining up to meet his asking price.
Re-signing both players will bite deeply into the Penguins’ $23.2 million in salary-cap space for 2022-23. Yohe indicated a defenseman such as Marcus Pettersson, John Marino or Brian Dumoulin could become a cost-cutting candidate. One assumes they’d move one of them after signing Malkin and Letang. No sense doing so if one or both end up departing via free agency.
LATEST ON THE LIGHTNING
THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois indicated during his post-Stanley Cup Final press conference that he’s hopeful of re-signing Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul and Jan Rutta. The trio is slated to become UFAs on July 13.
The Lightning, however, once again has limited salary-cap space. To retain at least Palat and Paul would mean shopping a salaried player to free up sufficient dollars.
Smith believes they have several players with value in the trade market. One of them is Alex Killorn, who has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.45 million and a 16-team no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The one advantage the Lightning have, apart from their championship pedigree, is the lack of a state tax in Florida. That makes it possible for them to sign players for less than market value because their dollars will go further in that state.
Paul was traded by the Senators because he reportedly spurned a four-year, $10 million contract offer. He could seek something between $3.5 and $4 million annually. Palat was earning $5.3 million annually on his current contract. He could get as much if not more on the open market, but maybe the 31-year-old winger will accept a little less to stay put.
Killorn was a frequent subject of trade speculation whenever the issue of the Lightning needing to free up cap room comes up. This time, however, it could become a reality. The 32-year-old winger only managed four points in the postseason but enjoyed a career-high 25 goals and 59 points in the regular season.
COULD TWO GOLDEN KNIGHTS BECOME OFFER SHEET TARGETS?
THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger speculated over whether Nicolas Roy or Nicolas Hague will be targeted for offer sheets by rival clubs. Both players are restricted free agents with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Roy is coming off a career-best 15 goals and 39 points in 2021-22. The 25-year-old forward was on a two-year deal earning $750k annually. Hague, 23, had 14 points in 52 games. The defenseman is coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights.
The Golden Knights lack salary-cap space at this time to sign both players after shipping out Evgenii Dadonov to Montreal earlier this month. Another cost-cutting move could be on the horizon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy recently reported at least two Eastern Conference clubs had “serious interest” in Hague. That could force the Golden Knights to make that cost-cutting move before he becomes eligible to receive an offer sheet on July 13.
Flyers fans waiting in anticipation of Chucky Fletchers next act of lunacy.
I joke about how Scooby Dubas keeps his job, same could be asked about Fletcher too.
Yes, it could. Now, do you have any thoughts about the Penguins’ efforts to keep Malkin and Letang, or on the Lightning and Golden Knights?
Lyle, Tampa Bay has no option but to trade Alex Killorn if they intend to even keep two of the three UFA’s. Plus, Killorn is the only one for whom they could get an asset in return. Trading one of the younger players doesn’t free up enough cap space and you’re not gonna cut into the core four. Moving Ryan McDonagh would come to mind given his age and cap hit except for the fact the lightning are not deep enough on their blue line and have nothing coming up in the minors to suggest otherwise.
Hopefully someone breaks his phone.
Guy is a trainwreck, sad that there’s so many better options out there w/o jobs.
Dave Tallon comes to mind. He just got a job but he would still be better than what we have had to suffer.
Smart moves would be to trade JVR(50% retained), Trade Lindblom.
Test the market for TK & Provorov. If we can get multiple assets back then go for it.
At this point i would rather have Sanheim then provorov playing heavy mins.
Also DONT SIGN ANY PLAYER OVER 30 YEARS!!!!!!
check that, just dont sign any player and let’s see what the kids can do and go from there.
Yes indeed, and in the case of Scooby & Fletcher, ownership are to blame.
Philly was in a rebuild, decided to skip steps, and ownership fired a rebuilding GM for a “win now” guy who has never “won”. Now they need to rebuild again because they’re neither good enough to win nor young enough to be rebuilding.
Scooby…he must have incriminating pictures on someone…how else do you explain bringing a guy back for a 9th season with zero playoff success? Next summer it’s either “re-sign or trade” Matthews time as he’ll be entering the last year of his contract. NO chance he re-signs to keep losing. Next year is the year Scooby finally gets whacked and a new GM starts a new tear-down/rebuild. What a waste of a lottery win. Bad management 101.
Give Dubas credit for signing Giordano at 800k per. Guy plays close to full seasons every year. Any GM would be crazy to give Letang 8M per for 5 years! He’d be turning 40 at end of that deal.
Vegas already over cap and holding off on signing Smith, who reportedly has agreed to 5m per.extension. I’d say they better get moving on trades.
I can see lots of Crazy GM’s giving Letang 4-5 years at +$7.M….❓ He is a Very Smooth skating d/man who consistantly puts up very good points every year as A-list d/man…..
Due to the lack of offencive d/men avalable on the Market at pressent, he Letang could very well get A big deal for 4-5 years.
like 29 yr old UFA John Klingberg RD, He could get + $8.-$9M range…🤔
This would start a chain reaction for next level of offencive d/men ” B-list” …
like a RD Tyson Barrie as he will be on the Market who makes $4.5M and puts up almost 50 points each year….⁉️
WillyW, lots of crazy GM’s? Would have to be clinically insane! I don’t know which ones have cap space for that deal that he’s asking. And is Letang, who’s already over 70 mil in career earnings, going to leave only team he’s ever played for to go to just any team? For an extra year or 2?
Scooby is forced to “bargain hunt” because he spent his cap space foolishly on supposed 11M players Tavares & Marner. I give him ZERO credit for mismanaging his cap and squandering a rebuild.
If im the Penguins I let Malkin and Leturnover walk. Under no circumstance would I move out a younger player to free up dollars just to resign a relic of past success.
If the dollars are term make sense then get them signed but both have lengthy injury histories and are well into the back nine of their careers.
Tough decisions ahead for the Pens.
They would be better off with Klingberg at 8M x 7, and Trocheck at 6M x 7
Johnny z..i agree klingberg is Letang lite but a better shot, runs a good power play and is 30 not 35
Trocheck a solid two way olayer only 28 malkin 36 you save $3 million, you get you ger, use that money to resign Rackell..
Try to re-sign Letang for 3 years. Max. salary $7.5 million. If he doesn’t accept that contract offer let him walk.
Let Malkin walk and try to sign Kadri or try to aquire J.T. Miller.
I struggle to see what Pittsburgh could offer Vancouver for Miller. I just don’t think they have the assets.
And no Pens fans. Any combination of Zucker , Pettersson, Ruhwedal, Marino , and a 1st aren’t starting points. They’re hang up the phone points.
I agree. Going back several years, followers of the Pens, Bruins, Leafs and Habs have been predominant in here, especially with each riding high, but recently, a combination of a stagnant cap and key players either severely (long-term) injured or simply growing long in the tooth, couple with top-heavy cap hits, has most scrambling for solutions that usually involve canoes for battleship exchanges or salary-dumping on teams like Arizona and, until recently, Ottawa.
Habs fans have come to the realization that those situations described above have led their team to the proverbial brick wall, that there is no “quick fix” and that a long, painful process of re-building has begun. It has yet to penetrate the thoughts of some Pens and Bruins fans, and while the Leafs will continue to bring hope to their faithful with a powerful offense for a couple of more years, it’s becoming clear – to some – that it’s a false hope if they continue to try and flesh out their roster with fading veteran UFAs who swallow their pride and come in a rock-bottom cap hits, or elevations from their system of secondary prospects. Getting lucky and finding a Bunting every year is not a formula for success – especially when a Bunting reaches UFA status – which he does after next season.
You have to give something to get something. I don’t know what Miller would be worth. Definitely not Zucker or Ruhwedel. Marino could be a starting point but the Pens would have to add. But how much (picks, prospects, another young roster player?) do you offer for a player with one year remaining on his current contract?
The better option would be signing Kadri and let Malkin walk.
Have you seen the price of rental players?
Copp (pending UFA) who had 35 points in 56 games landed :
Morgan Barron, 2 conditional 2nds (1 ended up a 1st) and a 6th.
Giroux, 34 years old (pending ufa) 42 points in 56 games . A couple of guys you’ve never heard of and a 5th. landed:
Owen Tippet ( 1st round pick, 10th overall) a 1st round pick , a 3rd round pick
To answer your question of what a guy with a full year who put up 99 points in 80 games is worth?
A hell of a lot more than left overs, bad contacts and a 1st!
Juss..i think the Penguins are more in on Connor Garland..hearing Rutherford wants john Marino…
Kapanen Marino to Canucks
Garland Schenn to Penguins
Maybe we add a 3rd round pick
The Leafs have been Bounced out of the 1st round of the playoffs 6 times in the past 6 Years…⁉️
Im not Sure what they are waiting for its a joke Now they need to trade Marner Or Tavares Or Both….
and there $11.M contracts ASAP…
if not? its going to be 7 in a Row you just can have 50% of your salarys tied up in 4 forwardsMathews is worth it so is WN, but the other two need to go…
Dude we are trying to have a mature and thoughtful conversation. Yours is neither.
Resign Letang only to 3 yr contract, and if he wants 5 then seya!!
3×8 is too much but i get it that they have no replacement for him and i think he’s trying to leverage that with his 5 year request.
Malkin can go to fla or tb and get paid maybe 2mil.
His ask is crazy if they offered him a 5mil deal and he turned it down. Problem for malkin is theres alot better players available this year.
Much as I respect Letang and his abilities, when you’re 35+, you can’t expect contracts longer than two years. If management does this; you’re either duping them or too foolish to know what good or bad management looks like. Is it he or his agent that’s this bigheaded?
If I’m the Pens, I probably try to get Malkin back in, let Letang taste free agency and then come back with hat in hand.
There’s a pretty real danger of Malkin going to the Caps seeing as they need a center to replace Backstrom. That’s a bigger danger than the Letang situation, I think.
It seems as though the offer sheet compensation for Hague and Roy would be a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Is that correct, Lyle?
If it is, it would be an easy decision, wouldn’t it?
If it’s between $2.1 million and $4.2 million, compensation is a second-round pick. Between $1.3 million and $2.1 million, a third-rounder.
Are either worth more than 2.1? I think Vegas matches if under that. I believe they can go 10% over cap until season starts. Could be more handshake agreements going on until they can dump some salary.
The Penguins should move away from both Malkin and Letang. Detroit held onto their stars too long and literally drove off a cliff. Ande before the typical silly retort, no, you are not going to one for one replace them. You need to move forward though.
It is also time for Hextall/Burke to show that they run the team, not Sullivan. But who am I kidding, Sullivan calls the shots on who comes and who goes.
They need to trade Karlsson or Martinez ASAP
There are plenty of teams that could use either one. Martinez goes to a 12 team no trade list on July 1…or is that moved back a little this year?
In regards to Penguins, have the GMs learned nothing? The time to pay top dollar for the past performance has come and gone. $8 million for Letang is stupid money. Pay them what you think an over 35 player will produce and stop there. Be ready to walk away rather than run the franchise into the ground.
Letang certainly isn’t taking any home town discount.
5yrs is to long, still have value but the dollars and term are to much.
Although Malkin says he’ll take a discount, how much? again comes down to term.
For both players 2yrs be the perfect team fit, 3 is doable but after that, decision really tough to go 4 or more.
TB is already over the cap by $1.98 m signing anyone is going to be difficult.
Trading Killorn and his $4.4 gives them $2.47 to spend, not enough to sign anyone.
Trade for Dumba??
They have about 6MM in LTIR, which they have some experience using.
Been said many times but the tax situation is a crazy advantage for teams like Tampa. This is a league that put a hard cap in to make sure teams like the Rangers and Leafs dont have an advantage-wont even consider a luxury tax for the same reason. Yet they are perfectly fine with Tampa Having a 15% to 20% edge on everyone else due to the lack of state tax. Thats bull, make the cap an after tax cap a- not that hard to do…
Players should be making decision based on the team itself not tax savings
There are advantages for teams throughout the league. Should the original 6 teams be penalized for being more alluring due to their history? Should sw cali be punished cause the weather is nice?
Good points and especially affects Canadian teams
Well said Sam. Agree 100%. It’s not as if a formula could not be put in place to even things out. Unfortunately, I guess, there’s no way to even up the weather attractions
To some degree it’s the same with teams suddenly finding themselves behind the cap 8-ball due solely to the advent of the pandemic and shortened seasons which led to virtually stagnant cap increases. Hardly their fault … so why not come up with a formula that takes the unprecedented situation into account?
Tax rates are a significant advantage, can’t argue that, mostly for cap management, but not necessarily for attracting players.
But there are other financial factors as well.
The big one that stands out is for Canadian players who live year round in Canada. Helps if you live in Canada in the off season and play in the US as well.
The exchange rate, as paid in US $, and spend and convert to CDN$, makes up for the tax difference, and if you play in EDM or CGY, even more so due to the lowest tax rate in Canada.
So make a change for Canadian teams and Canadian players too?
Kind of like replays, where do you stop and is it that big of a problem?
The weather, too much is made of that IMO. Teams play half their games on road. So what are we talking about? A 100 days, and you are working most of them. Not like the fall and spring aren’t just fine either. heck, you can head just out of town with your dog and look for Bison!
The cap issue should be addressed I suppose, but managing to the exceptions can get out of hand.
Ray, all good counter points (except the weather and the lack of amenities in the “smaller” Canadian cities, which is meaningful).
Here is another factor: salary based pension contributions. The higher the player’s salary, the higher the pension will be. By itself probably not a tipping point, but worthy of consideration.
Not to totally discredit your point. But the difference between NY and Florida taxes are around 8-9%. Not 15-20%.
But there are a lot of other factors that make everything a bit more convoluted.
Cost of living in NY, Massachusetts, California are much higher than Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida etc. Disgustingly higher.
I’m not sure how you could balance everything out. I don’t think that’s an easy fix.
That’s correct. Cities such as NYC, LA, Toronto are not only 3 of the 4 largest cities in NA also with the highest cost of living. State taxes, exchange rate, don’t cover the fact that everyday items, such as gas, property values and the taxes associated with them are also higher…the bottom line is if you play in a major city especially one of these three (having lived in all three) your dollar doesn’t go as far.
I can’t help wonder how these players who sign a lower than market value contract to play in FLA like that decision when they get traded.
There is no fix. A hard cap is a good start to manage escalating cost to run a successful hockey team who still unfortunately relies on gate driven revenues. They need to tweak the cap and make it not punish teams who successfully build their teams such as TB, Avs, Leafs, NYR, through the draft, develop players that excel and demand a fair market value for their services. The cap, as it sits, punishes teams and players if they are better at their job than expected. Even teams such as the Sens, Habs, and others that are going to load up on prospects are going to hopefully run into cap problems once their prospects hit.
Worse yet, although it’s their own doing, the cap hurts teams like the Habs that really can’t improve the team in quick order and will have to toil in mediocrity for years due to limits on what the cap will allow them to do. It’s like counterproductive to help the teams that could use it. It’s also why we won’t be seeing any dynasty teams anytime soon unless we redefine the meaning of it. The era of super teams are over and it’s because of the cap.
Rn, when you say “They need to tweak the cap and make it not punish teams who successfully build their teams such as TB, Avs, Leafs, NYR, through the draft, develop players that excel and demand a fair market value for their services …”
how many of a team’s roster that came through the draft constitutes “successfully building their teams that way?”
According to the latest CapFriendly, those shown for the 4 teams you mention including pending UFAs and RFAs are as follows:
Leafs 14 F – 5 drafted – 9 signed/traded/claimed
8 D – 3 drafted – 5 signed/traded/claimed
3 G – all signed/traded/claimed
Tampa 14 F – 7 drafted 7 signed/traded/claimed
7 D – 2 drafted 5 signed/traded/claimed
2 G – 1 drafted – 1 signed/traded/claimed
Colorado – 14 F – 4 drafted – 10 signed/traded/claimed
9 D – 2 drafted – 7 signed/traded/claimed
2 G – both signed/traded/claimed
NYR – 15F – 4 drafted – 11 signed/traded/claimed
6 D – 1 drafted – 5 signed/traded/claimed
2 G – 1 drafted – 1 signed/traded claimed
On a % of rosters that were drafted, the above works out to
Tampa – 44%
Colorado – 40%
Toronto – 32%
NYR – 26%
So, in each case, over 50% (and in two, WELL over 50%) were obtained through means other than the draft. I imagine it’s the same throughout the league. Ottawa, for example, has the same % as Toronto.
That’s interesting George. The cap savings then would be that percentage. My idea is basically allowing all teams not only to be competitive but allow them to open up their wallets to sign their star players they drafted without fear of the cap to stop them from walking or stop them from adding UFAs. I have no idea other than I feel once a team gets as good as a Tampa or Colorado, etc, they should remain good for years and not have to cut players that they can no longer fit in the cap but can certainly afford it.
A hard cap I think only exists in the NHL and not in any other major leagues. Maybe even work in that revenue sharing as part of it since the goal was always to make sure smaller markets acquire and retain talent.
I am sure that the player gets many more endorsement opportunities in a big market city then the smaller market less taxed cities. That and the big city lights are reasons they go there, and they more than even out in the income department.
Have you seen what the highest paid players are getting in endorsements?
They don’t get Football , Basketball type of $$$’s. And mid tier or unknown players (which is probably 99% of the league) aren’t being offered any endorsements.
Imagine a commercial featuring Kadri, Letang, Palat? I can’t.
Less than a handful make more than 2 million in endorsements. Even guys like Price, Panarin, Seguin. Are in the 250k-500k range.
Until they make short sleeve Jerseys, or skate – shoes you can wear to work, this isn’t going to change.
Had to laugh at the last line Captain, true that.
All I could find online is #1 McDavid at $4M in endorsements (Adidas and CCM the big ones), hardly a big market in EDM, but hockey is #1 by a mile.
Matthews 2nd at 3.5. Nike and Verizon.
This doesn’t include McDavid’s Bet MGM deal he signed in 2022. I think Matthews did a gambling one too.
Doesn’t seem to matter where you play for the market $$ by the looks of it. Be a really good player does though.
Letang has had multiple commercials in the burgh.
Advertising for Bobs used Buicks and Hyundai isn’t exactly enticing a player to sign for less.
He’s not showing any endorsement money, so maybe he gets a new / used 1999 Lesabre every couple of commercials?
I wouldn’t consider local adverts as “endorsements”.
Fair enough. But he did get them. Maf commercial when he was here was hilarious
Sam, we do respect 15 to 20% is balderdash. The average state tax in the US is 5% and you have to remember that only serves as an advantage for the home games or in the states which have no state income tax. The last I looked that wasn’t many.
Both Palat & Paul want to find a way to stay in Tampa & local press asserts that both have instructed their agents to try to find a way. Rutta has been silent but the Lightning have publicly stated they would like to keep all three. They’ll have about 6MM LTIR relief again (the Kuch Dodge again!) so that plus moving Killorn who has a limited NTC would allow Briesbois to keep all three and probably have room for two – three traded for entry levels to fill things out as the Bolts need some youth and speed to start training in the Lightning Way and there’s not much left in the system. GitErDone, Julian.
Too much of an ask from Paul. Unless you use him up in the lineup, $4-5M for a 30ish point player, ie, a guy that can score about a dozen goals and set up another dozen and a half is really worth that much? Overpaying these types drive up the prices of the stars…I mean if all being the same but You’re a player who can score at 2 or 3 times this rate don’t you think you should get about double?
I doubt Paul would get any more than 3 anywhere else unless it was for 2 years
Malkin wants to keep same colour uniform. But with different team????
Sure go ahead and pay him 7mil a year.
Way better options out there than Malkin.
Should go with Kadri before Malkin, but both are going to be overpayed.
As long as he isn’t a Capital or Flyer I’m good..
I wonder how much a young player thinks of taxes?
I definitely think they consider life style. Ie bars, restaurant, night clubs, golf courses, weather.
I remember going to college in Ontario and hopping on the train with a few buddies heading to Montreal for the weekend.
I not a fan of the Habs, but as a College student i loved that city and their night clubs. Great atmosphere.
I grew up in Vermont, used to drive up to Montreal a few times a year in my late teens with a group of friends. Mostly, we did this because of the drinking age but we could also get into an Expos game cheap and yeah the nightlife was excellent. Later in life, I’ve visited Montreal a few times with my wife and kids and still had a blast, albeit doing far different activities. It’s a great city!
Fiala to Kings.
Interesting Slick62. To L.A. for their 1st round pick (19th overall) and prospect Brock Faber, a D from Univ. of Minnesota.
I’ve been ambivalent about the rumours Ottawa was hard after Fiala, worrying that he could turn out to be a one-hit wonder like CheeChoo – whereas Dark G has been adamant that Dorion look elsewhere.
I guess, in the end, that either Dorion has never shown much interest in Fiala, certainly not to the extent of offering the 7th overall, or the Wild regard a combination of the 19th overall plus Faber as better than the 7th. We’ll never know for sure.
George, I had similar concerns from Devs perspective, I also did not want to tie up that much in a winger – Fiala signed for 7 years at almost $8 million. Seems a little steep to me.
CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.. first kevin fiala rights traded to la kings for 2022 1st and college player brock favor
Good deal for kings wild shed cap..
Penguins…are nore interested in Connor Garland..not Miller
Marino for Garland there will be some tinkering but crux of the deal
Fiala was a rfa that Minnesota couldn’t afford, so they essentially saved nothing. Fiala was signed after he was traded, 7 years just under 8 million. The Wild HAD to move him or lose him for nothing/ offer sheet.
Faber is a 19 year old 2nd round pick (45th overall)
Fiala has buyer beware all over him. Never put up points like he did this year.
While Miller also enjoyed his best season, he has also had a ppg season before this and was putting up 40-50 points in NY primarily on the 3rd line. Never fit in Tampa.
As I mentioned, interested or not the Pens don’t have the assets for Miller. Vancouver isn’t under the same constraints as Minnesota.
Marino for Garland? Maybe. I don’t see it, but maybe as part of a bigger deal.
Like you said Penguins aren’t a realistic fit for Miller….Agreed.
Connor Garland is a cap causality is 25 and is a good fit for the Penguins.
Connor Garland / Luke Schenn to Pittsburgh
John Marino / Kaspari Kapanen + a 2nd round pick either in 2022 or 2023
You lost me at Kapanen and a 2nd.
He’s a rfa coming off 3.2 er and Marino makes 4.4.
So they’d be taking on about 8 per, and sending back 6. That’s the opposite of cost cutting. That’s adding 2 million in cap space per year.
Zero chance Vancouver bites.
Even if they could sign Kapanen at 1 per, (they can’t) it’s a wash and the only thing Vancouver gives up is production.
I don’t see a deal here either.