Ryan Graves was traded from Colorado to New Jersey this week for Mikhail Maltsev and a second-round pick – the Avalanche picked that result over leaving Graves unprotected at the Kraken.
On Friday, the New York Islanders traded Nick Leddy to the Detroit Red Wings for Richard Panik and a second-round pick, both to get something back for Leddy before having to expose him in the expansion draft and release. extra space. The Red Wings also retained 50 percent of Panik’s $ 2.75 million AAV.
The last minute jockey may not be over yet.
An NHL roster freeze begins Saturday afternoon when protection rosters are due, and continues until the expansion draft on Wednesday. It could be urgent for the teams who will be forced to lose a quality player against Seattle.
Here is the latest buzz around the league …
THE DEVILS WILL BE INTELLIGENT WITH THEIR CAP ROOM
Ceiling space might be the most valuable thing a team can have right now. Since the upper limit will not increase in the near future, it is vital to have flexibility around the cap and those who have room have a distinct advantage over those who are forced to buy back or have to sell. a player for a price below market value.
The New Jersey Devils are one of those teams, with $ 31.5 million in planned caps, only Buffalo, Detroit and Seattle having more. New Jersey used some of it to trade for Graves and add a top-four defenseman to their roster.
But if you think New Jersey is anxious to use that money on someone else’s bad contract if that means adding a draft pick, think again. The Devils have other motivations.
“I think they legitimately want to improve and run,” Elliotte Friedman said on 31 Thoughts of Friday: The Podcast. “I think Lehner is a guy they look at… this one makes a little bit of sense to me for Jersey.” The sure feeling about the Golden Knights is that they want to open up some leeway. The Devils can do it and take advantage of it. “
The Golden Knights have around $ 6 million in cap, but ideally they would like to re-sign UFA defenseman Alec Martinez. They are also, as usual, linked to a number of the rumor mill’s biggest business candidates, including Jack Eichel. There is no way they can make these deals without losing their pay first.
At the same time, they invested $ 12 million in the goalkeeper position between Lehner and Vézina winner Marc-André Fleury. The latter still has one year of contract and will be 37 in November; the first is still four years old with a cap of $ 5 million.
The addition of Lehner would give the Devils a veteran presence to play alongside MacKenzie Blackwood, 24, who signed a cap of $ 2.8 million for an additional two years. A good start to next season and Blackwood could even be on Team Canada’s Olympic radar, at least as a No. 3 goalie.
ZACH HYMAN’S DEVELOPING MARKET
While Hyman and the Leafs would like the hometown boy to stay in Toronto, if the market goes as it looks, Hyman’s price will simply be lower.
Now that the Leafs have given Hyman and his representatives the green light to speak to other teams, the chances of him returning, however small, will be highlighted. Early market indications are not in favor of Toronto. Hyman could get $ 6 million or more.
“The best I can muster is that I think Toronto wanted to keep him and he wanted to stay,” Friedman noted. “I think there’s a 6 × 6 or maybe a 7 × 6 out there potentially for him. I think what Toronto tried to do, and it’s kind of an educated guess, did they try to maximize it to bring down the AAV and I just think it’s too far from the place where Hyman is potentially going to go here. There is a will to leave something on the table, I just think the gap was too big. “
The Edmonton Oilers continue to be among the top teams linked to Hyman in free agency.
WHAT’S NEW WITH BROCK BOESER COMMERCIAL RUMORS?
The Canucks are eager to do business and prepare to return a better unit next season. So why did Brock Boeser’s name appear in the commercial rumor mill after leading them with 23 goals last season?
“That’s what I think was going on with Boeser. I think its name came up, but I don’t think it was because Vancouver put it on the market. I think it was Vancouver looking for something they wanted or really needed and the name of Boeser And I really believe that if Boeser got moved this year it was only because Vancouver got something and we would say, ‘Oh okay, now we understand why this happened.’ “
So we’ll see. If Boeser is moved, it could be a huge exchange. But the team is not looking for him.
WHO IS TARGETING IN NET?
The goalkeeper market promises to be interesting again, both in free agency and in commerce. The fact that Ben Bishop has waived his no-trip clause for the expansion draft means he could travel to Seattle, although his injury history is cause for concern. The Minnesota Wild will have to exhibit veteran Cam Talbot or young Kaapo Kahkonen.
The Kraken could take over the goalkeeper market, depending on what’s in front of them when protected rosters are filed and the deals they make with various teams.
“Everyone thinks Seattle takes (Chris) Driedger from Florida and signs him,” Friedman noted. “People expect it. “
Driedger has had a solid season in Florida and is set to become a UFA on July 28. The Kraken could reconcile with him in his exclusive negotiating window, sign him, and he would count as their selection on Florida’s roster.
“I think Seattle is interested in (Braden) Holtby, but not the number ($ 4.3 million cap hit),” Friedman continued. “I think they want to see if they can get Vancouver to keep something. And then Seattle is no doubt going to pick up goalies to see if they can return them.
Among these possible names? Jake Allen, Alexandar Georgiev and Alex Nedeljkovic.
CANADIANS COULD COME BACK WILD
While most of the rest of the league ran out of pennies last offseason, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin aggressively added players and payroll, and it finally paid off with an appearance in Stanley Cup final. Now he might be able to do a similar splash.
It’s just that, at the moment, we don’t know how much headroom he will have. They are expected to have a $ 14 million cap this offseason before re-signing players. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen are FRGs, while Phillip Danault, Joel Armia and Corey Perry are UFAs they might want to pick up.
But there are big questions surrounding two other key players. This week it was reported that injuries put Shea Weber’s career in jeopardy, although it is not yet clear whether the NHL would allow him to compete in the LTIR and thereby give the Canadians $ 7.857 million in space. limit, or if he should retire, which would leave a ceiling clawback penalty instead. And then there’s Jonathan Drouin, who missed the playoffs for personal reasons and with no indication yet of his return.
If neither is back, Montreal could end up with a lot more leeway than initially thought.
“Now we think Phillip Danault is going to market,” Pierre LeBrun said Thursday night, ”Friedman said. “Marc Bergevin is a wild man, isn’t he? When he has money to throw away, he throws it away. Everything about the Montreal team is that Weber blow, the fact that he won’t play for at least a year, it changes the whole team …
“I could see Bergevin, because that’s his way of thinking, going out and taking a big hit. I said Landeskog. Would it surprise you if this guy hit the market and, depending on Bergevin’s situation, took a hit with it? Eichel Would that surprise you?
Things are about to get really interesting again in Montreal.
COULD TAMPA BE A DESTINATION FOR SETH JONES?
With Nikita Kucherov in good health and, for the time being, all the other key players on track to start the regular season, the back-to-back champions face their tight ceiling situation. They think they are losing a good player to Seattle, while UFAs Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman and David Savard are unlikely to be back.
However, GM Julien BriseBois could still surprise us by doing something exaggerated. Two in a row is not enough.
“The other team that’s kinda stealthy and I’m a little interested in is Tampa because I think they’re going to go for a triple round. Colorado is another …
“I wonder if a Tampa or Colorado is maybe thinking of a one-year deal with Seth Jones. These two teams are here to win it next year and I think they might try to take things away that give them a chance. “
MANY SUTER COLORS
Acquired by the Minnesota Wild, 36-year-old defenseman Ryan Suter is a 22-plus-per-night defenseman who has become a shocking addition to the UFA market.
As you can imagine, it will have a lot of choices.
“A lot of teams are interested in Ryan. A lot ”, Suter’s agent, Neil Sheehy, told Michael Russo of The Athletic. “I was talking to someone yesterday who said to me, ‘There isn’t a single team in the league that could have gone through all of their scenarios and drills off season and never thought Ryan Suter would be available. Now he is. “
Suter, known for his heavy use throughout his career, is looking for a multi-year contract according to Sheehy. Still solid among the top four, or even among the best defensemen, Suter will be 37 in January, so age-related decline should always be taken into account.
But until then, he’s an extremely valuable defenseman in this league, one who was previously close to ending his Minnesota career and is now suddenly available for any top contender.
“Ryan’s goal is to win a Stanley Cup,” Sheehy said.