Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
With so much attention focused on Lecavalier, the Flyers' better option to clear cap space is staring them in the face. Newly reacquired forward R.J. Umberger is second only to Giroux in salary-cap hit among forwards.
Umberger is a prime buyout candidate.
The Flyers do not have any compliance buyouts remaining (executed on Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere in 2013), but they can still use a "regular-course" buyout.
It would cost them $9 million in cash over the next three seasons to buy out Umberger. His current $4.6 million salary-cap hit would become $1.6 million for the next 3 years, then $1.5 million for the next 3 years after that. It's an immediate cap savings of $3 million.
With that Canadian television deal kicking in, the salary cap is expected to rocket to $75 million in 2015-16. Meaning that $1.6 million in dead space due to Umberger would be an increasingly smaller drop in the bucket each year the cap grows, which it will with continuously record-setting revenues.
So, why would the Flyers buy out Umberger after just trading for him? He's a lot cheaper to buy out than Scott Hartnell, who had 2 years more left on his deal. That's a savings of $10 million in cash for a team that is now internally pulling on the purse strings. The fourth-round pick in last week's trade would just be a bonus.
more on the Flyers' cap issues...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Edmonton’s roster right now holds only Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at first-line centre, and Boyd Gordon on the fourth-line.
Is general manager Craig MacTavish counting on newly minted draft pick Leon Draisaitl to play No. 2 centre in the NHL as an 18-year-old this fall? Or does the timing of this trade suggest that MacTavish has already landed a No. 2 centre during the interview period prior to the opening up of free agency at noon Eastern on July 1?
It’s not often you can trade, ostensibly, a 5-foot-10 winger for a 6-foot-3 one like Purcell, but this appears to be a classic case of two guys whose organizations felt it was time to move on.
Purcell comes billed as a Top 6 right-winger, but at times late in the season Tampa coach Jon Cooper had him toiling on the fourth line. He’s a pass-first player — even though Purcell is reputed to have a wicked wrist shot — who surely does not play as big as his frame might have you hoping he will.
added 7:55am, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal on Sam Gagner,
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Ryan Johansen spent the past two days camping near his home in British Columbia, and the Blue Jackets spent the past two days adding a new wave of talent to the organization at the NHL draft.
But these are not peaceful, happy times for either party.
Contract negotiations between the Blue Jackets and their top offensive player are going nowhere, even after a meeting this weekend in Philadelphia between Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, and assistant general manager Bill Zito.
The road block to further negotiations appears to be the term.
“We’re not even close,” Johansen told The Dispatch. “They say ‘We want to sign you to a ‘bridge’ deal.’ We say ‘We don’t want to do a ‘bridge,’ and that’s the end of it.”
The Blue Jackets want to sign Johansen to a two- or three-year contract, which would expire when he still was a restricted free agent.
from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington,
It’s no secret the Capitals are looking to add two defensemen to their blue line and landing Niskanen and Orpik would be a grand slam for general manager Brian MacLellan. The Caps might also have interest in 32-year-old defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres over the weekend.
“I think the first phase of making our team better is getting a staff in place right before the draft,” Trotz said. “Now, when you talk to a free agent he knows what the staff is. I think that’s really important.
“We’ve got the staff, we’ve got the facilities, we’ve got a lot of good pieces on our hockey team, so we have a lot of good selling points.”
Tomorrow kicks off the free agency period but Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is wasting no time between the Draft and the Open UFA market to start setting up for things to come.
Last night the Lightning was wheeling and dealing to free up cap space and managed to snag another pick in the 2015 draft which is to be stronger than the one we just watched in Philadelphia.
After the Tampa Bay Lightning sent Teddy Purcell to the Edmonton Oilers for Sam Gagner they flipped Gagner out to the Arizona Coyotes along with B.J. Crombeen for a 6th round pick in the 2015 draft. Gagner’s night was summed up beautifully by Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo on Twitter.
⛄️ -> �� -> �� @89SGagner— Strombone (@strombone1) June 30, 2014
Tampa was just getting started. Around midnight the Lightning would acquire both a fourth and a seventh round pick for the 2015 draft from the Anaheim Ducks while the Ducks would receive forward Nate Thompson in the deal. Yzerman collected an additional three picks for the Lightning in the next draft and off loaded cap space.
With the 3 trades tonight, TB saved $5,583,333 in cash and $5,650,000 in cap space; plus added a 4th, a 6th and a 7th round pick.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2014
Tomorrow the Free Agent Frenzy starts and Tampa looks to have a plan.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch must have gotten a rare day off prior to the day-before-teams-make-decisions-they'll-inevitably-buy-out, a.k.a. the start of unrestricted free agency, so the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby filled in the Sun newspaper chain's rumor-based-column category for Sunday evening, and he posited the following regarding salary cap-compliance buy-outs addind Christian Ehrhoff to the mix of unrestricted free agents...
“It adds players that you hope your team can get at a better price,” said one NHL exec on Sunday evening. “You know these guys aren’t going to sign for what they had before. You are going to get more players coming into the picture. You hear management guys say it all the time: “I love this player or that player at $3 million, but I hate him at $5 million’.”
And he offered this surprisingly honest take from a league exec regarding Jason Spezza's ability to continue to have Nashville on his no-trade list, which David Poile and Bryan Murray seemed to suggest was the most selfish act in the history of hockey:
“It complicates your life, no question,” an NHL team exec said of players’ having no-go lists. “It’s just another restriction we have to put up with in a cap system — and more players are getting full no-movement clauses in their contracts. Some teams benefit from that at times, like when an agent calls up and says: ‘We want to come to your team’ and you weren’t really aware of it. But it can be a double-edged sword if they just want to come (for a sunset season or strictly personal satisfaction). So you have to be careful.”
Hornby continues with free agent speculation...
The theory was that very few free agent players were actually going to meet with teams' coaches or general managers during the "wining and dining period"--which ends today--because the draft's location in Philadelphia would yield too much of a hubbub (see: players being chased down by the media as they go from hotel to hotel and meeting room to meeting room)...
But the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo reports that the seemingly inevitable marriage between Thomas Vanek and the Minnesota Wild will get a meet-and-greet kick in the pants on Monday:
With the free-agent market set to open Tuesday at 11 a.m. [Central Daylight Time], pending free agent Thomas Vanek was scheduled to sit down with Wild coach Mike Yeo late Sunday. General Manager Chuck Fletcher was not expected to be at the meeting.
For more than a year, Vanek has seemed destined to sign with the Wild. The 30-year-old former Gophers star turned down lucrative long-term contracts last season with the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders in order to become a free agent.
However, the Wild appears set to offer Vanek only a short-term contract, so he likely will have a tough decision to make Tuesday because it’s expected that he’ll have the chance to sign longer-term deals for more money with other teams.
But wait, there's more, especially in the, "WILD WILL SIGN EVERYBODEYZ" category:
As Paul noted, the Tampa Bay Lightning went and snagged Sam Gagner from the Edmonton Oilers for Teddy Purcell, sending Purcell's $4.5 million cap hit to Edmonton for Gagner's $4.8 million deal (all figures from Capgeek). Then the Bolts flipped Gagner to the Arizona Coyotes (who were likely looking to replace the behaviorally-challenged Mike Ribeiro), and shuffled B.J. Corombeen's $1.15 million salary off to Arizona as well, receiving all of a sixth-round draft pick in return.
The team did bring in Jason Garrison's $4.6 million cap hit during the first day of the draft, but it looks like the Lightning are trying to do something big, but ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that there be cap weirdness afoot:
This stuff happened so quickly that even Capgeek hasn't had a chance to catch up, but the Bolts have a little short of $9 million in cap space now. Who are they going after? Sportsnet's Chris Johnston believes it might be a familiar name...
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Tags: anton+stralman, b.j.+crombeen, christian+ehrhoff, dan+boyle, dominic+moore, edmonton+oilers, jason+garrison, martin+brodeur, matt+niskanen, mattias+ohlund, phoenix+coyotes, sam+gagner, teddy+purcell, tim+thomas, tomas+vokoun
from Josh Cooper of the Tennessean,
The Predators and Michael Del Zotto appear to be done with each other.
Calling the 24-year-old defenseman “not a fit” for Nashville, Predators general manager David Poile said he had not yet given the restricted free agent a qualifying offer, which is due by 4 p.m. Monday.
That leaves three options for Del Zotto: He either will be traded, signed to an extension or left without a qualifying offer, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
The last option seems the likeliest possibility. Last week, Del Zotto’s agent, Mark Guy, said he and the Predators had no discussions on an extension, and nothing appeared to have changed as of Sunday.
“Del Zotto is a good player. He’s a good offensive player. He couldn’t get ahead of (Roman) Josi, (Shea) Weber, (Seth) Jones and (Ryan) Ellis in the offensive situations,” Poile said Sunday. “We have all these balls in the air. We’ll see what happens.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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