Yesterday we talked about some players that could be on the move due to their teams being in a salary cap crunch, ie Schneider, Aucoin, Khabibulin, Havlat, Knuble and Nylander were just a few mentioned. Today lets look at possible destinations for these guys by examining the teams that are currently below the cap and have room to take on more salary. The source for approximate cap numbers was www.nhlscap.com and we projected those out based on what we think the opening day roster will be so numbers don't match exactly what is shown on NHLSCAP.
Atlanta - They've got plenty of room and a dump trade might be there best chance of getting a top line C or some much needed help on the backline.
Buffalo - Some space but they're small market and probably not looking to add.
Carolina - Some space and rumoured to be shopping Frank Kaberle, since they have 9 dman on their roster right now.
Colorado - Currently have room but saving it for Sakic and Forsberg.
Columbus - Have room and need for a top 6 C and a veteran dman.
Florida - Have space but they usually trade away their best players, not trade for them.
LA - Shedloads of cap space but you can forget about them making a trade just to take on salary to get to the floor, they'll be fine. Could be a love connection with Philly to help their old buddies out with their cap situation.
Minnesota - Small amount of wiggle room but that's what they wanted when they bought Mark Parrish out.
Montreal - Sitting with around $5M in space, might be enough for either Sundin or Selanne.
Nashville - Looking for Radulov's replacement, cap space isn't a problem but owner's cash flow is.
NYI - Money to burn (maybe they could give Yashin more not to play for them?) they're going with the youth movement but you gotta think they would listen to offers if the price was right cause they could use the help.
Ottawa - Probably won't have room after Meszaros signs.
Phoenix - Well below cap and were well below the cap last year as well, so they'll probably just stay the course with the young guys.
Tampa Bay - Looking to move a few forwards for a dman or two. Wouldn't be surprised if they're a destination for someone making big coin. You just have no idea what they'll do next!?!
Toronto - Sitting with about $7.0M in space, just waiting on Mats.
Vancouver - Also waiting on Mats but if that doesn't happen we could see them take on some salary in a trade, if it brings them some scoring help... how 'bout Havlat in VanCity???
So to recap, we could see teams like Atlanta, Columbus, NYI, Tampa Bay and Vancouver possibly being destinations for a salary dump move in the next few weeks.
The Nashville Tennessean is reporting that Jan Hlavac has signed to play in Sweden next year... one less option for Nashville in their quest to find additional scoring help. Great quote from Hlavac's agent Ritch Winter, "It was hard for us to understand, Jan was prepared to take less money to come back than to sign (in Sweden). But the Predators never really got anywhere close to the kind of offer you'd expect for a player that's accomplished what he has." That's very liberal use of the word "accomplished" don't you think? Lets break this down... Jan plays 5 seasons in the NHL, breaks 45 points only once, goes back to Europe for 3 seasons, comes back last year as a 31 year old signing with Tampa Bay for $700k, scores 35 points last year and his agent thinks an offer of around $740k is "Not the kind of offer you'd expect for a player that's accomplished what he has"??? What did he accomplish last year to deserve a raise? Now we're no fans of Nashville so maybe they're sad about this but respect to David Poile to offer a player a fair deal and walk away if the player gets greedy. This is also good news for Patric Hornqvist who will hopefully move into Radulov's spot on the top line with Dumont and Arnott and could enjoy a breakout season.
LA GM Dean Lombardi is going on the offensive, he recently told Craig Custance of SportingNews that if anyone comes after his RFAs next summer, specifically Anze Kopitar and Jack Johnson, that they can expect retribution, "We're not only going to match any offer sheet, we'll have enough space to go after your guys." Custance followed that up by saying that he mentioned this quote to someone else in hockey, who said that Lombardi better worry about having a job next summer before concerns about offer sheets. Bam! We love this, adds a little spice to the league to see the GMs getting their tail feathers all ruffled and for example, we think that the St. Louis offer sheet on Steve Bernier as retribution for Vancouver's offer sheet for David Backes was a thing of beauty.
We can now declare that Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher has made one good move since taking over as GM, getting a 3rd rounder from Florida for Chad Kilger, who never played in Florida last year and may not play this year, was brilliant.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... Brett Favre's going to play for the Jets??? Now, we're all about hockey here and not big football fans anymore but isn't it going to be surreal to see Favre in anything but a Packers jersey?... kinda like Gordie Howe in a Whalers jersey or Ray Bourque in a Avs jersey. Question for the real football fans out there: Is this going to end up badly? If it is then we don't want to see it... like Bobby Orr's finish in Chicago, Michael Jordan's comeback in Washington, Johnny Unitas in San Diego or Chad Kilger's swansong in Florida... oh wait, that never happened.