Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 17, 2022
Did the Flyers attempt to move James van Riemsdyk in a cost-cutting trade? Will the Rangers have sufficient cap space to get into the playoff rental market at the 2023 trade deadline? Could Lars Eller become the odd man out in Washington? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
WGR 550: cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli discussing the Philadelphia Flyers’ attempt to shed salary last week by shopping James van Riemsdyk. The 33-year-old winger has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7 million.
Seravalli believes the Flyers were attempting to make some room to take a run at signing Johnny Gaudreau, who subsequently ended up with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He felt there were five or six teams (including the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings) asking for a significant piece to be included with van Riemsdyk, such as a first-round pick. In the end, the Flyers decided against it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk leading up to the recent NHL draft that the Flyers were trying to move van Riemsdyk. With almost all the top talent now gone from the free agent market, it seems unlikely they’ll be trying to clear the veteran winger to make room for a significant addition this summer.
Keep an eye on van Riemsdyk during the upcoming season. The Flyers could attempt to move him at the trade deadline if they’re out of the playoff chase by then.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the next challenge for Rangers general manager Chris Drury is ensuring he accrues sufficient cap space over the course of 2022-23 to get into the playoff rental market at the 2023 trade deadline.
Anticipating the Rangers’ cap space at just over $2 million when the season opens, Brooks projected they would have around $9 million in accrued cap room at the trade deadline in February. If managed properly, he thinks Drury would have enough for a big-ticket rental such as Chicago Blackhawks’ winger Patrick Kane or Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s still a long way between now and the 2023 trade deadline. Something could come up to bite more deeply into the Rangers’ accrued cap space. It will be a challenge for Drury, and every general manager on a potential playoff contender in 2023, to ensure they’ve got enough room to make additions to their rosters by the deadline in the hope of staging a deep playoff run.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reported the Capitals’ addition of Dylan Strome could create a potential logjam at center, particularly if Nicklas Backstrom returns from hip surgery at some point in the coming season.
With the club also looking at giving promising Connor McMichael a larger role, Silber speculated it could make Lars Eller the odd man out. They could try to shift him to left wing but that could also cause congestion there with Alex Ovechkin, Anthony Mantha and Marcus Johansson filling three of those spots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller, 33, is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He carries an affordable $3.5 million cap hit and lacks no-trade protection.