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Available Players

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The message was simple yet still jaw-dropping. When asked to size up the trade market as a whole, this is how one NHL general manager framed it on Wednesday:

“The number of franchise-changing players available or being talked about each day is astonishing,” the GM said. “It’s just that no one has any room for them.”

Welcome to the 2020 version of the NHL’s off-season with a frozen $81.5 million salary cap.

There are now more than 50 names in play on the latest TSN Trade Bait board.

Each team has an incredible number of balls in the air between pushing to clear cap space, managing internal budgets, being unable to afford restricted free agents and juggling the free agent market, along with next week’s draft – oh, and all of that with one eye on the 2021 Expansion Draft.

continued with an updated trade bait board...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


OlderThanChelios's avatar

- Speaking of Bobrovsky, is that the NHL’s most unmovable contract?

As a goalie with a 3.23 SV% over 50 games and six years left on a $10M contract? Yeah, that’s probably about as unmovable as it gets. But I’m sure the Wings would be willing to help the Panthers out by taking Spencer Knight off their hands for, say, a couple of second-round picks.  wink

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/01/20 at 12:19 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

You wonder if Stevie struck too soon on the Staal deal, and if he should’ve kept his dry powder for everyone else in a crunch.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/01/20 at 12:52 PM ET


Putting Bobrovsky on the trade board is ridiculous. First he is not going to be traded, No team would take that contract in a good year especially in a year with a glut of UFA free agent goalies.

Also having Keith Yandle on trade board is silly he has a no movement contract. Although expensive he is a very good defenseman. I wouldn’t trade him.

Dale Tallon made some excellent trades and free agent signings during his tenure however at the time I thought he overpaid considering Robin Lehner was available for much less money. His only other blunder was protecting Nick Bjugstad instead of Jonathan Marchessault. Bjugstad never lived up to his potential.

His best trade may have been getting Mike Hoffman from San Jose for some picks. Unfortunately he is now a UFA. Losing Hoffman is going to hurt Panthers. 

Posted by Puckbubba on 10/01/20 at 01:02 PM ET


Weve still got plenty of room if Yzerman wants to work something out for a franchise player. Almost 30 mil in cap space?  This was very projectable. 

On the flip, we need a goalie, at leaat 1 legit top pair Dman and another top 6 center.

If any of those types are available and worth their contracts i cant see us not being able to aquire shochever of those presents itself.  I imagine there will be question marks in regards to all those players available.  Whether or not its age or experience.

Itll be a challenge to stay the course with all these shiny objects but its a team, theyll have to fit the big picture.

Posted by ThatGuy on 10/01/20 at 02:00 PM ET

d ca's avatar

You wonder if Stevie struck too soon on the Staal deal, and if he should’ve kept his dry powder for everyone else in a crunch.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/01/20 at 12:52 PM ET

Even if so, Staal’s contract is only for 1 year and with a flat cap next year other team problems are going to be the same—if not worse because of owner finances without gate revenue from this past year.

Plus you get a trade deadline to retain 50% and extract another pick. With Staal his salary is 3.2M (his 1M bonus has already been paid by NYR), so to make math simple trade deadline at half-way point means 1.6M left and you retain 800k so you are trading a 3rd pair/#7 d-man for 800k. That should net at least a 4th even on a cap strapped team.

I can’t foresee an UFA maybe approaching his last contract not wanting a tryout on another team and a shot a Cup by using his clause to block a trade.

Putting Bobrovsky on the trade board is ridiculous….Also having Keith Yandle on trade board is silly…..is going to hurt Panthers.
Posted by Puckbubba on 10/01/20 at 01:02 PM ET

Florida’s players are on the trade-board because the team’s owner is losing a significant source of revenue….his convention/wedding business at the arena, the concession/catering company, and the arena’s operations company (he doesn’t own the arena—the county does). Compound that with the hockey team losses.  It looks like the team had a yearly operating loss of 21M in 2017-18 ( source ) which only grew last year—remember he runs the other companies that operate the arena so his net is going to be much smaller, but not for long. With gate accounting for 17M in revenue that loss could be 35M+ a year over the next few flat-capped limited fans years…no owner not even a billionaire is going to sustain those kind of loses going forward. Hence why players with large contracts are up on the rumor board. Can those players reject—sure, but then he simply moves players without NMC and guts the team making those players essentially Datsyuk his last 2 years in Detroit.

Posted by d ca on 10/01/20 at 02:37 PM ET


Teams will certainly want cheaper proven players
and or some picks or prospects in order to move a
“franchise player” even if somewhat desperate.
Staal was no longer an effective player for NYR.

And who knows how old those franchise players
available are and how much term they have left.
Could be acquired and maybe help rebuild and be flipped
later on in their deal I guess.

One aspect of Staal’s acquisition was definitely the expiring deal
to possibly flip and the ability to get more picks/prospects next offseason
when his contract is off our books but other teams are still struggling
with a flat cap.

But there should be ample space to do an even bigger version of the Staal
deal in coming days or weeks.

Posted by lefty.30 on 10/01/20 at 03:04 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The Staal trade works because DET got a 2nd from NYR for the bother, and NYR was willing to part with it.  If Yzerman can do another one of those kinds of deals, he ABSOLUTELY should.  And I’m sure there are a couple other teams with the cap space that should be trying the same thing right about now.  NJD in particular stands out to me where a deal like that would maybe work (though I’d think they’d want a 2nd in 2021).  Not sure about OTT or BUF as they have more guys to sign yet than DET and NJD so their cap space might be deceiving.

There’s definitely a market to move some of those bloated deals to older players though.  But the team moving them out needs to understand that there has to be incentive, so they better have picks or maybe middle-tier prospects at the ready, that’s the going price/rate.  The biggest problem with that is teams like DET and OTT already have stockpiled some of those 2nd rounders that teams might use as currency, and some of the teams that might wan to move a player out don’t have a 2nd this year.

Posted by Primis on 10/02/20 at 08:42 AM ET


I don’t see any franchise players getting traded in salary cap dumps.  You don’t clean up your cap by trading away a franchise player, you clean up your cap by getting rid of the player(s) who’s salary outpaces their production.  Imagine if the Wings were in cap trouble this year, would you expect them to trade away Larkin to solve their cap issues?  Hell no.  They would give away draft picks or prospects to get someone to take Abby and/or Nielson’s contracts off their hands. 

Tampa will have to move some good players to make cap space, but they won’t be moving any “franchise” players.  There may be a few other teams moving players out who still have value, but the majority of the cap driven trades will be just like the Staal deal.  One team paying another team (either in draft picks or prospects) to take on an overpaid veteran whose game has fallen off the cliff.

Posted by MikeO on 10/02/20 at 02:53 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Tampa will have to move some good players to make cap space, but they won’t be moving any “franchise” players. 
Posted by MikeO on 10/02/20 at 02:53 PM ET

I agree with you, that said, with so many teams needing to shed payroll, will Tampa specifically be able to?

Consider that Tampa won a cup without Steven Stamkos.  If the cost to shed Kilhorn is extremely high, or they would have to move a reasonably price Gourde, would it be better for them to move Stammer and get something that eat a bag to lose one? 


Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/02/20 at 03:31 PM ET


Tampa is going to need to trade both Kilhorn and Gourde, or some other combination of middle tier players players, in order to have enough room to resign Cirelli, Sergachev and Cernak, and still have enough cap room to fill out their defense corps.  As of right now, the only D’s they have signed are Hedman and McDonagh. 

That the fact that they won the cup without Stamkos means that obviously they could win without him going forward, but it’s about more than his on ice production.  He’s been the face of the franchise for most of his career. and the backlash from fans (and possibly some of the players) would be significant. 

I’m reminded of how when the Wings got swept by Jersey in the finals in 95 there were rumors the following offseason that the Wings were shopping Yzerman (Apparently they almost traded him to Ottawa for Yashin, Stanislav Neckar, and a first round pick).  When the rumors got out, the fans flipped out, and shortly after that the rumors died out. 

Stamkos has a full no movement clause, so he would have to be on board with any deal involving him.  Maybe he would be open to the idea of going somewhere else and starting over, but I would be surprised if he did.

I think Tampa is going to have to pay dearly to move the players necessary to clear out the cap space they need, but the idea of losing either Cirelli or Sergachev is probably a bigger poison pill to swallow than the loss of prospects and/or draft picks they will have to give up to move the players/contracts they end up deciding to get rid of.

Posted by MikeO on 10/03/20 at 11:22 AM ET


There is definitely still room for Yzerman to take on another “bad” contract that comes with incentives. I think Vegas, Tampa and Nashville all have significant reasons to shed some cap and will need someone like Detroit to help them out.

If they can find another target like Staal who can be flipped at the trade deadline for even more assets all the better.

The most valuable commodity right now is cap space and the Wings have more than almost any team to play with.

Posted by evileye on 10/05/20 at 03:54 PM ET

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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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