NHL Rumor Mill – September 14, 2022
An update on Jason Robertson’s contract talks with the Stars plus the latest on the Canadiens and Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LATEST ON JASON ROBERTSON
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports Stars general manager Jim Nill remains hopeful that Jason Robertson will be at training camp when it opens next week. Contract negotiations continue between Stars management and the 23-year-old restricted free agent winger.
Robertson is coming off his entry-level contract and a career-best 41 goals and 79 points in 74 games. Nill indicated he’s in constant communication with the winger’s representatives. The club has around $7.2 million in salary cap room depending on the final roster makeup.
DeFranks suggests that means a long-term contract is off the table, speculating Robertson could get an average annual value of $7 million on a three or four-year deal. The Stars can create more cap room for the coming season by carrying a smaller roster or trading players such as goaltender Anton Khudobin ($3.33 million) or forward Radek Faksa ($3.25 million).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bridge deal seems the most likely option here. How much Robertson gets could depend on whether Nill can find a taker for Khudobin or Faksa.
Their respective AAVs aren’t that expensive. Nevertheless, it’ll be difficult finding a trade partner at this time of year when most clubs have limited cap room.
UPDATES ON THE CANADIENS AND OILERS
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reporting Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson is garnering interest in the trade market as training camp approaches. Lavoie claimed there’s a lot of interest around the league for a blueliner like him.
Lavoie doubts Edmundson, 29, will be traded now but thinks the 6’5”, 229-pound rearguard is drawing some attractive offers and could garner more as the season progresses. He missed most of 2021-22 with a back injury but can bolster his trade stock with a healthy, productive season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Murphy suggested, it’d doubtful he’ll be moved before the 2023 trade deadline. Unless the Canadiens get a mind-blowing offer they’re not trading Edmundson now. They recently made him an alternate captain and value his experience and leadership among their young blueliners.
TSN’s John Lu took to Twitter reporting Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen admitted he’s “had communication” with management regarding a contract extension. However, he offered no further comment on the subject.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Carey Price’s uncertain future and the ongoing development of Cayden Primeau, it’s unsurprising the Canadiens are interested in discussing a new contract with Allen. They’ll need some veteran stability in goal beyond this season if Price’s career is over and Primeau isn’t ready for prime time.
He also indicated they’re exploring all cost-cutting trade options for winger Jesse Puljujarvi. They can still start the coming season with what they have if they don’t move Puljujarvi but it could create salary-cap complications later in the season.
Rishaug doesn’t see Tyson Barrie as a trade candidate. He expects the Oilers will start this season with what they’ve got on their blueline and see how things go.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, avoiding arbitration with Puljujarvi by signing him in July to a one-year, $3 million contract provides cost certainty when attempting to trade him. It seems no team wanted to take on an unsigned restricted free agent with consistency issues with arbitration rights.
On the other hand, most teams have limited salary-cap space. Puljujarvi’s $3 million cap hit is a tight squeeze for many clubs right now.