The acquisition of Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow in the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline had Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup. The Florida squad will not be able to attempt such maneuvers this time as they try to defend their title.
“We have no deadline whatsoever under the salary cap to add a player by the deal deadline,” said Julian Presbyter, Lightning’s general manager.
“Not even a dollar,” he insisted. This is our main hurdle. ”
The current champions are not the only ones in this situation with an approaching deadline that could be a different league this season. Of the 31 teams in Bateman Arena, 18 formations have $ 1 million or less on their payroll. Especially since the salary cap won’t increase by a dollar next season, which makes things more complicated.
Important players such as Buffalo striker Sabers Taylor Hall and goalkeepers Jonathan Bernier and Devan Dubnick may change their titles, but even players closely involved in the trading market cannot even predict what will happen. May Ax falls on April 12 at 3 PM EST.
“It’s very unpredictable because of the difficulty in setting salaries,” added New York Islander General Manager Lou Lamorillo. The salary cap will not change next year, so every contract added this season will disrupt plans for next year.
Negotiations will be more difficult with regard to all aspects of payroll, but they will be the same for everyone. ”
Kyle Dupas, general manager of Toronto Maple Leaves, admitted that the seven Canadian teams were in “a worse position”.
In addition to having to negotiate a meager budget – just like the American teams – they must take into account that any player from the United States will have to self-isolate for seven days.
This isolation has been cut in half – it was 14 days at the start of the season – but it remains a burden on the teams, as a player who arrives in Canada can only join his new squad with ten matches to play before the qualifiers. .
But before we get there, the teams will have to come to an agreement despite the challenges the salary cap poses.
According to estimates by PuckPedia, the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, Vegas Golden Knights and Lightning don’t even have enough space on their payroll to add one more player, even being paid only the minimum wage in the NHL.
“There are a lot of teams in the same boat, which means they have to give up an active player if they want to add one,” BriseBois said.
“Even for teams with more space, I don’t know how they will react. Are they going to buy or sell? Are there more teams that will choose not to move? I don’t know, but it would be very interesting to follow it,” according to the general manager of the company Lightning.
Buyers and Sellers
Among the teams that can waive are the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers have lost three of their last five matches since their general manager, Chuck Fletcher, said he was “not looking to sell now”. But everything can change.
Purchasing teams are easy to spot. Islanders lost Captain Anders Lee during the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, and Maple Leaves may be looking to add a player or two to consolidate their position lead in the Northern Division, while the Edmonton Oilers may be tempted to get a defenseman to compete with Maple Leafs.
“If we’re talking about adding a fourth-tier defender, there are two things to consider,” said Oilers General Manager Ken Holland.
“First, there won’t be much of them, and even for those who will, the asking price will be very high.”
The options could be narrowed down further if Nashville Predators decide to keep Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm in order to cement their place in the playoff.
David Savard, Quebec’s Blue Jackets defender, is possibly the most popular defender there. He will be an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the Season.
Hole and New Jersey Devils striker, Kyle Palmery, can cater to the islanders, who aren’t the only team looking for these types of players.
“We are always looking for a winger who can produce offensively, but all the other teams too. Lamorillo remembers that he is not easy to pick up.
Adding a reliable goalkeeper is also not easy, as the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals might try. Both teams want to secure their place in the qualifiers and have made a short-term vision.
Perhaps Bernier or James Reimer of Carolina Hurricans would be good options, even though they are both injured now. Otherwise, one of these teams could attempt a hit by trading with the Los Angeles Kings to secure Jonathan Kwik’s services.
Players like Quick or Anaheim Ducks striker Rickard Rakell are usually in high demand, as they have contracts that won’t expire at the end of the season. However, with the salary ceiling remaining at 81.5 million next season, the situation may change.
“Usually, the team is willing to pay a little more to have a player in this category, but it will be more difficult this year,” added Dubas.
“It’s a very unique time where it might be better to go and find a short-term rental player.”
But even adding a player with freedom of air at the end of the season could be complicated this year.
“There are teams that have payroll space and are ready to fill it; it’s available in the market,” says Canada’s general manager, Mark Bergevin.
“But there’s a price to pay for that,” remembers Bergevin, who had to amend his offer to Cypress to withhold half of Eric Stahl’s salary in exchange for two recruiting options.
All this makes the deadline for trade unexpected as never before this season.
“Your hypothesis is as good as mine,” BriseBois suggested.