With the last piece of major housekeeping completed in Detroit after the Red Wings signed star Dylan Larkin to a five-year, $30.5MM deal, the team now has to take a look at their salary cap, which they will be over, even after they move forward Johan Franzen to LTIR. General manager Ken Holland told The Athletic’s Craig Custance, they will likely be “in the neighborhood” of $1MM over the cap.
“We’re very tight,” Holland said on Friday of the cap situation. “With this deal, we’re probably a dribble over. Not a lot, but we’re over. We’re going to have to make some decisions moving forward.”
One possibility would be to bury the contracts of Martin Frk and Luke Witkowski in the minors. However, if the team believes that veteran Henrik Zetterberg could end up missing the season as his injuries haven’t improved this summer, the team could place him on LTIR as well and wouldn’t have anything else to worry about. Custance adds, however, that if Zetterberg does return, that likely would end the chances of 2018 first-round pick Filip Zadina of making the roster out of training camp.
- In a mailbag series, Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports writes that with eight quality NHL defenseman on the roster, the team will likely make a trade before the season starts. The team has Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, Adam McQuaid, John Moore, Kevan Miller, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo on the roster. The scribe writes that could mean that the team might be ready to move Krug if the team can get a big return for the blueliner. And they would need to, as Krug is one of the top offensive defensemen in the league as only Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, Brent Burns and John Klingberg have more points over the last two seasons. He has 22 goals and 110 points combined in that time.
- The Athletic’s Ryan Stimson (subscription required) wonders where restricted free agent Sam Reinhart should play next year in the Buffalo Sabres’ lineup once he signs. The 22-year-old center has been a decent center for the Sabres in the past, but saw his game blossom once he was moved up and played on the wing next to top-line center Jack Eichel. With the team moving on from Ryan O’Reilly and bringing in prospect Casey Mittelstadt, what should the team do with Reinhart? The scribe breaks down Reinhart’s game and wonders if it would be best for the youngster to take over the team’s No. 2 center position and ease Mittelstadt in.
- The Athletic’s Mitch Brown (subscription required) ranks the Montreal Canadiens’ top five prospects with 2018 third-overall pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi listed as their top prospect. The young centerman, who flew up the draft boards in the final weeks, anchors a list of prospects that Brown believes is the most exciting in the last five or six years. He has been successful playing in the SM-liiga as an 18-year-old and is expected to fill that long-waited hole in the middle.