Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Cap Issues

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Some of these clubs — the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders, in particular — need to prioritize locking up their own restricted players instead of looking elsewhere. (And certainly some franchises not on this list have internal caps set by ownership they must solve.)

Not only has a crowded cap hellscape left more UFAs on the board than normal and forced a surge in minimum-wage contracts, but in-season manoeuvres could also suffer with a lack of breathing room.

Without further ado, here’s a look at 10 teams living in cap hell, and how and when they might climb out.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Cap space: $2.9 million

Roster size: 18/23

The difference between the Blues and Lightning and the rest of these franchises in a bind is about 14 karats. No doubt, it’s easier to rationalize life in cap hell when you’re wearing a Cup ring.

Tampa is the early Las Vegas favourite to go all the way again in 2021, but GM Julien BriseBois has some serious lifting to do yet. All three RFAs — Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak — are players worth investing in. All three need raises.

Even with letting nice role players like Shattenkirk and Zach Bogosian walk, more money needs to be shipped out. That Tyler Johnson ($5 million AAV) cleared waivers unclaimed — and that loyal captain Steven Stamkos’s name was dared to be raised in trade rumours — illustrates just how difficult it’ll be to get money off the books here.

BriseBois will either need to attach draft picks to tough contracts (Johnson, Alex Killorn) or ship out a player he’d rather keep (Ondrej Palat? Yanni Gourde?). This is one heckuva pickle, but banners hang forever.

nine more teams

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink



The salary cap sucks.

Posted by SevensForTed on 10/24/20 at 08:33 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Only if there was a team not expected to contend, that had a lot of cap space and OPEN rosters spots that could solve a problem or two for a top end prospect or pick from these teams ohh

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/26/20 at 07:28 AM ET


Only if there was a team not expected to contend, that had a lot of cap space and OPEN rosters spots that could solve a problem or two for a top end prospect or pick from these teams

I think it is fairly safe to assume Yzerman has had discussions with Tampa. The biggest issue is probably that both Johnson (4 years) and Killorn (3 years) have significant years remaining on their contracts and nobody really knows how long it will be before league finances improve. Those two players also have NTCs.

I don’t think a roster spot will stop them from getting a deal done if they really want to..Filpula or Erne could still be waived. They could decide to keep Zadina playing internationally. The could trade Helm or Glendening.

I expect Yzerman will wait until he’s got Bertuzzi and Mantha under contract and continue to weigh his options. Tampa only has a few capable partners out there especially when you consider team spending limits. There is no hurry on the Wing’s part to get this done. They should pretty much demand a pretty high price to take on one of those contracts.

We are talking multiple years here so the leverage of cap space of all those this season must be taken into account.


Posted by evileye on 10/26/20 at 09:13 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com