Around the League: Recapping this week's NHL headlines – June 28
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded veteran forward Patrick Marleau as well as a conditional first-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in a move that most believe was strictly for cap space. This move comes in the wake of the NHL announcing that the salary cap for 2020 will be lower than the $83-million previously expected. In return for Marleau, the Leafs received a seventh-round pick for the 2020 draft. The condition on the first-round pick being that if it is within the top-10, Carolina will then receive Toronto’s 2021 first-rounder instead.
Another huge trade took place soon after as the Nashville Predators shipped Norris-winning defenseman P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defensemen Steven Santini and Jeremy Davies, as well as a second-round pick in the 2019 draft and a second-round draft in the 2020 draft. It seems the Devils are making big moves to ensure that they don’t miss the playoffs in 2020.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning traded forward J.T. Miller to the Vancouver Canucks for goaltender Marek Mazanec, a 2019 third-round pick, and a 2020 conditional first-round pick for 2020. Miller has four years left on his current contract with an annual average cap hit of $5.25-million.
The Philadelphia Flyers continue to make moves this off-season as they have traded Ryan Hartman to the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Tyler Pitlick. Hartman, who had 20 points in 64 games for the Nashville Predators before being dealt to Philadelphia at the trade deadline, posted six points in 19 games with the Flyers. Pitlick had 12 points in 47 games in 2019 with the Stars.
Forward Carl Soderberg has been traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Kevin Connauton and a third-round pick in the 2020 entry draft. Soderberg had a career-high of 23 goals last season with the Avalanche and has one year remaining on his current contract.
The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Calvin de Haan and Aleksi Saarela from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goaltender Anton Forsberg and d-man Gustav Forsling. De Haan has three years left on his current contract and adds depth to Chicago’s blue line. Forsberg adds stability in net for the Hurricanes as both current goalies are restricted free agents this off-season and one may leave.
And finally, the Vegas Golden Knights have sent Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes. In return, Vegas received prospect Nicolas Roy and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2021 – the condition being that Vegas only receives the pick if Haula re-signs with Carolina. Haula has one year remaining on his contract and missed much of last season with a knee injury.
The Anaheim Ducks doled out three one-year contract extensions to members of their roster. Goalie Ryan Miller, defenseman Korbinian Holzer, and forward Derek Grant will all return to the Ducks lineup for next season. The breakdowns are as followed: Miller, 38, was given a $1.25-million deal, Holzer received an $850,000 deal, and Grant received $700,000.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Travis Sanheim to a two-year contract extension worth $6.5-million – the annual cap hit being split evenly at $3.25-million per season. In his sophomore year in 2019, Sanheim had 35 points in 82 games with 133 blocked shots.
Another popular Karlsson has been linked to a new eight-year deal. The Vegas Golden Knights have locked up forward William Karlsson to an eight-year deal worth $47.2-million. The average annual cap hit will come in a $5.9-million. Karlsson posted 56 points in 82 games last season.
In coaching news, the St. Louis Blues have signed head coach Craig Berube to a three-year contract extension. Berube led the St. Louis Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship, posted a regular-season record of 38-19-6 since taking over for former coach Mike Yeo, and was a finalist for the Jack Adams award as the league’s best coach.
The Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed goaltender Brian Elliot to a one-year contract worth $2-million. Elliot went 11-11-1 last season but missed a majority of the time due to injury.
The Montreal Canadiens have locked down defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year deal worth $3-million. Reilly had 11 points in 57 games during his first year with the Habs.
Waivers and Buyouts
The Carolina Hurricanes announced Thursday that they will be buying out the final year of Patrick Marleau’s contract. Carolina acquired Marleau earlier in the week in a trade involving the Toronto Maple Leafs. Both teams look poised on creating more cap space. With the buyout, Marleau will enter into directly into free agency.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan has been placed on long-term injured reserve. It is possible that Callahan’s playing days could be behind him as he was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. Non-official sources claim that he has been advised to retire from the game of hockey. Callahan currently has one year remaining on his contract.
After a playoff tournament that saw many controversial plays go unnoticed, the NHL announced several rule changes that will be put into place for the 2020 season – the most notable coming in the category of video review. Coach’s were already able to challenge on offside and goalie interference plays but will now be able to challenge plays in the offensive zone that should have resulted in a stoppage of plays. For example, when the puck goes over the glass into the spectator netting but lands quickly back onto the ice without the referees noticing. Coach’s can now challenge as much as they like but the consequences for unsuccessful challenges will now be met with delay of game penalties as opposed to a team losing their timeout.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the NHL salary cap for the 2020 NHL season will sit at $81.5-million. This came as a shock to most teams as it was projected earlier in the year that the cap would be increased closer to $83-million. We may see quite a few trades and waiver placements happening over the next few weeks as many recent signings were made under the impression that the cap would be higher.
The NHL has released the full schedule for the 2020 season. The 2020 season kicks off on October 2 and includes matchups such as the defending champion St. Louis Blues facing off against last years Cup winning Washington Capitals, the Toronto Maple Leafs facing off against Ontario rivals the Ottawa Senators, the Edmonton Oilers against the Vancouver Canucks, and the Vegas Golden Knights taking on the San Jose Sharks.
The 2019 Hall of Fame class has been announced as is led by female hockey great Haley Wickenheiser. Joining Wickenheiser will be players Guy Carbonneau, Vaclav Nedomansky, and Sergei Zubov. Jim Rutherford and Jerry York will fill out the “builders” category of this year’s inductees.
Brooks Orpik, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins (the only man to win with both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin), has announced his retirement from professional hockey after 15 NHL seasons.
NHL entry draft recap of the top-10:
1. Jack Hughes – New Jersey Devils
2. Kaapo Kakko – New York Rangers
3. Kirby Dach – Chicago Blackhawks
4. Bowen Byram – Colorado Avalanche
5. Alex Turcotte – Los Angeles Kings
6. Moritz Seider – Detroit Red Wings
7. Dylan Cozens – Buffalo Sabres
8. Philip Broberg – Edmonton Oilers
9. Trevor Zegras – Anaheim Ducks
10. Vasili Podkolzin – Vancouver Canucks