Posts Tagged Montreal Canadiens

Salary Cap Outlook – The Atlantic Division

The NHL’s salary cap system was put in place after the 2004-05 lockout to try to even the playing field between teams and eliminate over-spending.

As you know, over-spending still happens, and there are still teams (Boston, Chicago, LA, etc.) who are far superior to others (Edmonton, Florida, Buffalo, etc.).

The cap has virtually just called for more creative long-term contracts when trying to land, or keep, a marque free agent (think Shea Weber, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane) and shorter, small contracts for mediocre players.

Some teams struggle to hit the cap floor, while some struggle to stay under the max. Let’s take a look at each teams cap situation for the coming 2014-15 season, as well as the 2015-16 season.

This will be written as a four part series over the next week, looking at one division’s teams at a time.

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NHL Rumors IV: Friedman Talks Maple Leafs

  • Hope Smoke: Elliotte Friedman: “Obviously the relationship between the Leafs & Franson isn’t easy. Have had contract battles for a few years in a row now” … “It’s pretty clear Franson wasn’t happy at times last year with the team & they weren’t happy with him” … “He’s [Franson] a right shot guy who can score points & those guys are hard to find”… “There have been some teams sniffing around Franson. I think Calgary was one.” … “The Leafs know they just can’t give Franson away, he’s too talented. But the other teams know…””…, are they going to give up a good piece for a guy who is 1 year away from testing the market?” … “The Leafs are in a bit of a tough spot. Teams that are trying to trade with them are in a tough spot”
  • Hope Smoke: Elliotte Friedman: “I think there were a couple of different options between the Leafs & Habs for Gorges.” … “I think there was also a chance that Montreal would have done it [the Gorges deal] for a draft pick
  • Hope Smoke: Elliotte Friedman: “The Leafs still have a bit of [cap] room. They still need to get the Reimer situation sorted out”
  • Hope Smoke: Eliotte Friedman: “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bridge deal for Gardiner. A 2 year thing.” … “I would suspect, and this is purely guess work on my end with the number, but in the mid $2s [For Jake Gardiner]” … “They’ve had some conversations [RE Gardiner deal] about it & there aren’t expectations that it will be a brutal deal to get done”
  • Hope Smoke: Elliotte Friedman: “One of the things I kind of heard that the Leafs around the draft had some cap flexibility and offered to take on some $ to get an asset back in return. I don’t know if that’s still something they would do now.” … “This was widely reported earlier, but I know the Leafs took inquiries on a lot of their players to see what the return would be” … “The Leafs received a couple of calls for Lupul, but he’s a 25 goal guy making $5.25 million.” … “If you trade Lupul are going to be able to replace him for that number? That’s a pretty good cap hit” … “I’m not so convinced the Leafs are willing to do that [trading Lupul] anymore”
  • Hope Smoke: Elliotte Friedman: “If Reimer is back in Toronto next year I’m sure he’d be disappointed & would prefer to be somewhere else…” … “…but in the end if he isn’t a professional who are you hurting? Yourself. It’s a small league.” … “Who would go out there and make a deal for Reimer if they see him as being a downer? I just don’t see Reimer being like that”

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NHL Rumors III: Friedman’s Final Thoughts of the Summer

  • Elliotte Friedman: Teams could be eyeing Coyotes Antoine Vermette, who has one year left on his deal. GM Don Maloney would like to sign to an extension.Have to think Ryan O’Reilly will follow Paul Stastny out of town. There is a $1.225 million salary gap in their arbitration filings, which is a less gap than what their contract talks were rumored to be.

    Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom’s linemate may depend on who their second line center is. They want to move Tom Wilson up in the lineup. Braden Holtby is their No. 1 starter. The Caps are lukewarm on the idea of trading Mike Green. They want to see how he does in Barry Trotz’s system.

    Shouldn’t be surprised if Christian Ehrhoff gets an extension after January 1st from the Penguins.

    The Islanders offered Jarome Iginla a four year contract.

    The Islanders will give Brock Nelson a shot with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

    The sale of the Islanders may have hit a snag last week.

    The Oilers are still looking for a center as they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl.

    Justin Schultz and Jake Gardiner could sign bridge deals.

    The Flames continue to tell teams they can take on players with a tough cap hit. The Flames would like adjust their blueline. Dennis Wideman’s name has been out there. They may have looked at Cody Franson.

    Rumors that the Canadiens asked the Maple Leafs about Joffrey Lupul. Sounding like the Leafs will keep him.

    Talk from teams that Evander Kane may start the season on Winnipeg.

    Canucks GM Jim Benning is concerned with their depth due to the heavy travel schedule. Benning on rumors that he is not a Chris Tanev fan:  “I don’t know where this comes from. I’m a big fan of his, he made big strides last year.”

    It’s thought that the Canucks and Oilers tried to trade for Blues Patrik Berglund. Berglund more likely to remain in St. Louis after the departure of Vladimir Sobotka.

    Talk that the Blues tried to trade for Jason Garrison before he was dealt to Tampa Bay.

    If Jason Spezza accepted the trade to Nashville, it would have been similar to what the Predators gave up for James Neal. (Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling)

    Ales Hemsky will start the season with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Valeri Nichushkin could lineup with Jason Spezza.

    Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Braydon Coburn rumors: “He’s a big man who can skate. Not surprised people ask about him.” Teams saying Flyers are looking at other options first.

    If he doesn’t sign with the Blackhawks, the Bruins and Penguins could be favorites to land Kevin Hayes over the Panthers.

    Dmitry Kulikov’s three-year contract with the Panthers may not mean trade rumors are over.

    Teammate said that striping Joe Thornton of his captaincy may not force him out. Thornton got the “C” when they striped it from Patrick Marleau.

    There has never been talks between the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, about returning.

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NHL Rumors II: Johansen, Five Arbitration Cases and No Setoguchi For Leafs

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen may still be far apart in contract talks, but at least they have been in contact after weeks of no communication. A source saying that Johansen’s camp recently sent a second contract offer to the Blue Jackets, a two-year deal. Johansen said last month that the Blue Jackets “bridge” offer was a slap in the face. To date, term has been the major stumbling block, with the Johansen looking long-term and the Blue Jackets looking short term.

    “Ryan wants to be a Blue Jacket and he wants to be in Columbus,” said Overhardt, who declined to discuss the negotiations. “That has never been an issue in any of this. He loves it there.

    “He was very excited to see the club wrap up Brandon Dubinsky with such a long-term contract (earlier this month). That’s the kind of player he wants as a teammate, the kind of player he wants beside him.”

    It’s unclear what both sides are offering on a two-year deal, and how far apart they are on salary.

  • Mike Brehm of USA Today: Five interesting salary arbitration cases that are schedule to begin today.Vladimir Sobotka – determining salary for when he decides to return to the NHL.

    Ryan O’Reilly – had a $6.5 million salary last season, with the Avalanche trying to get much lower than that. Recorded 28 goals and 64 points, while picking up the Lady Byng Trophy.

    James Reimer – had 3.29 GAA last year, but a .911 save percentage. Had $1.8 million salary cap hit last year, $1.6 million in salary.

    Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard – the Rangers have about $12.3 million available for four roster players.

    P.K. Subban – comparable to when the Predators and Shea Weber went to arbitration. Weber was awarded $7.5 million in 2011. Subban could break Weber’s ruling record.

  • Andrew Walker: Free agent Devin Setoguchi won’t be signing with the Maple Leafs. He is considering two teams in the East.

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NHL Rumors II: UFAs That Are Still Available

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Free agency has hit a bit of a lull.

    “There’s a few players that teams are starting to call on to round out the roster,” said one agent on Wednesday. “They go through the initial blast of free agents, then it gets quiet. Then they get into arbitrations and qualifying offers.”

    Some UFAs that are still available:

    Peter Mueller – There is interest and is looking for the right fit.
    David Booth - “I’m talking to a few teams about him,” said Mike Liut, a veteran agent with Octagon. “There’s interest out there for sure.”
    Daniel Winnik – Good bottom six and penalty kill option.
    Martin Brodeur – Drew some interest at the start of free agency and will circle back in the next month.
    Devin Setoguchi – Could look to sign a one-year deal to show he’s better than the 11 goals last season.
    Tomas Vokoun – 100 percent healthy from blood clot issue. Currently has two offers he’s considering.
    Dustin Penner – Has playoff experience and can play in a top-six.

  • Luke Fox of SportsNet: Top 10 remaining UFAs

    10. Dustin Penner – Could add some scoring and size to bottom-six. Three teams since 2013.
    9. Saku Koivu – Could be a fit in Minnesota or Montreal, back in Finland or retire.
    8. Daniel Winnik – Should be able to find a bottom-six role somewhere.
    7. Andre Benoit – Can’t rule out an Avalanche return.
    6. Devin Setoguchi – Not a lot of talk that there is demand of Setoguchi. Could the Sharks be interested after having some earlier playoff success with them? Maybe the Bruins would be interested to replace the hole left by Jarome Iginla.
    5. Martin Brodeur – Brodeur wants a contender. The Leafs, Blackhawks, Bruins, Penguins and Lightning had kicked tires. The Lightning and Penguins have already signed a backup.
    4. Tomas Vokoun – Has multiple offers.
    3. Lee Stempniak – ESPN saying a handful of teams are intersted. Bruins are not one of the teams interested as they are looking to trade for a winger.
    2. Michael Del Zotto – Teams that missed out on Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen could look at Del Zotto. Cost to sign him shouldn’t be high.
    1. Daniel Alfredsson – Red Wings or retirement.

    Best of the remaining free agents:

    Forwards: Ray Whitney, David Booth, Andrei Loktionov, T.J. Galiardi, Ryan Carter, Matt D’Agostini

    Defence: Sami Salo, Henrik Tallinder, Cory Sarich, Jamie McBain, Raphael Diaz, Brett Bellemore

    Goaltenders: Tim Thomas, Ilya Bryzgalov

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NHL Rumors I: Stamkos, Subban, Demers, Schwartz, Eriksson and Johnson

  • Erik Erlendsson: Price range for Lightning’s Steven Stamkos’ next contract is now set after Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signed their eight year, $84 million contracts.
  • HabsLinks: Bob McKenzie said on TSN 690 radio that P.K. Subban’s salary cap hit will end up between $8 and $9 million.
  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks Jason Demers filed for salary arbitration last week, but they hope to signed.

    “We’ll get him under contract — it’s just trying to find a middle ground that works for him and works for us as far as dollars and term,” Wilson said. “He’s another guy who had a good season, probably wasn’t overly pleased with his playoffs but will learn from it.”

  • Andy Strickland: Blues RFA Jaden Schwartz doesn’t have any negotiating rights, which is why either side has been in a rush to get a deal done. With rookie camp ending today, they’ll continue contract discussions soon.
  • News 1130 Sports: Canucks goalie prospect Jocim Eriksson has a clause in his contract that allows him to return to Europe if he’s sent to the AHL. His agent, Anton Thun, said he’ll be talking with the Canucks about Eriksson’s future.
  • Jonas Siegel: Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson said he’ll return to the Swedish league next year if he doesn’t make Leafs.

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NHL Rumors I: Blackhawks, Subban, Erixon, Kings and Boyle

  • Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago: Contract talks between the Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane continue.

    “The talks are and have been going for a little while, and, yes, the Hawks are making it a priority,” Brisson wrote in an email on Tuesday.

  • Patrick Caisse of TVA Sports: (via google translate) By P.K. Subban filing for arbitration, it means that he can’t sign an offer sheet with anyone.

    “Negotiations will continue before the date of the arbitration” has also referred to the agent defenseman, Don Meehan, the TVA Sports.

    It’s likely they will get a deal done before their arbitration hearing.

  • Aaron Portzline: A deal between the Blue Jackets and RFA defenseman Tim Erixon should be done shortly. Other than Ryan Johansen, other RFA deals should come together quickly.
  • Dennis Bernstein: The Kings are looking to add a veteran goaltender in case Jonathan Quick hasn’t fully recovered from his wrist surgery. Tomas Vokoun and Nikolai Khabibulin are being considered. The Kings likely won’t decide on a goalie until later on this summer.
  • Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times: The Lightning signed Brian Boyle to a three year, $6 million deal last week. Boyle turned down more money from the Maple Leafs.

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NHL Rumors II: Offers Sheets, Johansen, Del Zotto, Brodeur, Roy and the Penguins

  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: Simmons thinks that James Reimer should avoid salary arbitration. Shouldn’t be surprised if the Leafs two assistant hires aren’t internal promotions.Simmons thinks GM should get a little nasty and sign rival players to offer sheets.

    It isn’t about getting the player, necessarily. History has shown most teams match RFA offers. It’s about altering the competitive nature of your competition. Like playing billiards, it isn’t just the shots you make, it’s what you leave behind that matters as well.

    If you’re the Maple Leafs, for example, didn’t it make sense to make an $11 million or $12 million offer per year for Subban? If you get him, you’re acquiring a game changing player. If you don’t, you’re messing up the payroll of one of your chief rivals. There’s no lose in this kind of deal.

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackets are $18 million under the salary cap and could easily match any offer sheet that Ryan Johansen signs.

    “If he signs an offer sheet, he signs an offer sheet,” Kekalainen said. “Our ownership is strong, and I said before, we would match any offer he could possibly sign. If somebody wants to waste their time and effort on that, that’s fine for them. We’d just match it and keep the player.”

    The Blue Jackets and Johansen are still at odds on term, and haven’t really started on the money part of it.

  • Jimmy Murphy: Thinks the Stars and Red Wings could be good fits for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. EJ Hradek: Adds the Sharks under Larry Robinson would also be a good fit.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Del Zotto is still waiting for someone to buy low on him. He is the most intriguing free agent out there as he’s still young and has ability.Martin Brodeur may be a victim of both the salary cap and the shadow he could cast over a teams No. 1 goalie. Brooks wonders about the Blue Jackets behind Sergei Bobrovsky. Brodeur behind Marc-Andre Fleury may have been better than Thomas Greiss.Bruins Torey Krug is not eligible for salary arbitration nor offer sheets.
  • Josh Rimer: Derek Roy is getting close to signing a deal. Down to two teams, with one in the East and one in the West.
  • Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said that 2014 1st round draft pick Kasperi Kapanen could make the team next year.

    “We have to keep in mind that Kapanen could come in and make this team,” he said. “He’s played with men [in Finland] for two years. He’s a good player.”

    Their roster is work-in-progress, and could be up until next years trade deadline.

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NHL News: 20 Players File For Arbitration … Sides Working to Get Deals Done

  • NHLPA: 20 Players filed for salary arbitration yesterday.

    Brandon McMillan (Ari), Matt Bartkowski (Bos), Joe Colborne (Cal), Cameron Gaunce and Antoine Roussel (Dal), Jimmy Hayes (Fla) Dwight King (LA), Justin Fontain (Min), Lars Eller and P.K. Subban, Mattias Ekholm (Nas), Kevin Poulin (NYI), Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello (NYR), Derek Grant (Ott), Nick Spaling (Pit), Jason Demers (SJ), Cody Franson and James Reimer (Tor)

  • Ken Campbell of The Hockey News: The Pros of Subban filing for arbitration:

    - First, it is certain Subban will not be embroiled in a contract dispute with the Canadiens and will be in training camp the day it opens in September.
    - Second, it protects the Canadiens from having another team submit an offer sheet on Subban.
    - And finally, if it goes all the way to arbitration, it ensures that Subban will be neither overpaid nor underpaid.

    The Canadiens have the option of either one- or two- years. Hard to see them not selecting a two-year deal.

  • Allan Walsh: Rangers Derick Brassard has filed for salary arbitration but they will work on getting a long-term deal done.
  • Michael Russo: Wild winger Justin Fontaine filed for salary arbitration but they will work on getting a deal done before the arbitration hearing.
  • Jim Diamond: Predators GM David Poile on Mattias Ekholm filing for arbitration: “We talked about it during negotiations. Hopefully that gives us some urgency to move forward & get it done.” Diamond doesn’t think he’ll get a big raise from last year. He doesn’t have a lot of leverage and only had a decent year last year.

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NHL Rumors VI: Bruins, Vrbata and Blue Jackets

  • Nicholas Goss of NESN.com: The Boston Bruins have a surplus of NHL-caliber defensemen, which is a problem every other team wishes it had.

    “I think we have a good group right now, and I include (David) Warsofsky because I believe he’s as close to an NHL player as you’re going to get from Providence,” Chiarelli said Tuesday during a conference call.

    With the overload of D-men, it will likely result in the Bruins making a few roster moves prior to the regular-season opener, including the possibility of a trade(s).

    “As I said, we have nine (D-men), so I’ve got to do something,” Chiarelli said. “I can do it now. I can do it during the summer. … You saw what (free agent) prices were today for defensemen. I’m happy with the (D-men) that we have. We have more than enough. I’ve had guys call me for our (D-men) from the moment we lost (to Montreal). They want our (D-men). They’re coached well, they’ve developed well, so I’m pretty comfortable with that we have. (We have) to figure out the right formula; that’s what our jobs are.”

  • Sarah McLellan of AZ Central: The Vancouver Canucks weren’t the only team in the mix to land the 33-year old Radim Vrbata. Although his agent, Rich Evans wouldn’t confirm it, Montreal, Boston and San Jose were also rumored to be interested. At various times, Vrbata’s camp was speaking to more than nine teams. One offer tabled was a four-year deal.

    “The free agent process, it ended up wearing him down a bit,” Evans said. “But once we agreed to terms with Vancouver, he got his energy right back.”

    Vrbata didn’t receive an offer from the Coyotes prior to July 1st. The Coyotes proposed a four-year deal but the money was way less than what Vrbata ended up accepting from the Canucks. The Coyotes were prepared to include only a limited no-movement clause and not a full one.

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has said he will match any offer sheet Ryan Johansen could sign, and he can, because the team is about $18 million under the salary cap.

    “If he signs an offer sheet, he signs an offer sheet,” Kekalainen said. “Our ownership is strong, and I said before, we would match any offer he could possibly sign.’’

    Only 10 clubs have the draft picks and appear to have the salary cap space to make a run at Johansen: Arizona, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, San Jose and Winnipeg.

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