With the NHL salary cap set Saturday at $81.5MM for the 2019-20 season, cap room has become a premium. That became just as apparent Saturday when teams began unloading some of their expensive contracts, including Nashville’s P.K. Subban (to New Jersey), Tampa Bay’s J.T. Miller (to Vancouver) and Toronto’s Patrick Marleau (to Carolina). The latter trade of Marleau to the Hurricanes perhaps was the most interesting as Toronto also had to fork over a 2020 first-round pick as part of the package to unload Marleau’s $6.25MM contract.
That deal may become a precedent for teams hoping to move out a bad contract. In fact, because of that trade, The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa (subscription required) suggests that the Boston Bruins will likely have to keep forward David Backes on the roster for at least another year. The Bruins still owe $6MM to the 35-year-old Backes for another two seasons, which isn’t helping the team as they must re-sign a number of key free agents, including restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen and also wouldn’t mind keeping unrestricted free agents Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari. Backes has struggled the last couple of seasons, but his numbers really fell off this season as he posted just seven goals and 20 points in 70 games and has fallen into a bottom-six role.
While the team wouldn’t mind unloading that contract, Shinzawa writes that the Marleau deal, which has a similar number to Backes’ contract, except for one more year, would almost guarantee cost the Bruins a first-round pick (and possibly more) to unload, which they are unlikely willing to do.
- The Detroit Free-Press’ Helene St. James reports that the Detroit Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman won’t change their offseason plan as they wait for defenseman Niklas Kronwall to make a decision on whether he wants to return for a 16th season. The veteran may not make a decision until late in the offseason. One reason to suggest that the 38-year-old could return is that he is 47 games shy of having played 1,000 games. The long-time Red Wings blueliner still fared well last year, scoring three goals and 27 points in 79 games.
- The Athletic’s John Vogl writes that while the Buffalo Sabres need a second-line center to give Casey Mittelstadt time to adjust to the NHL, general manager Jason Botterill said that it is unlikely that Sam Reinhart will be moving there. Reinhart, originally drafted as a center when he was the second-overall pick in 2014, saw his career take off when the team moved him to the right wing position two seasons ago. Since then, he’s tallied 47 goals in those two years. “Look, it’s always a possibility there,” said Botterill. “You have to be open to it and we’ll see how things go with Ralph (Krueger) with that discussion, but I also think in the last year or so, he’s excelled on the wing and I think he’s in a position where he can drive a line from the wing.”
- The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel reports that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said Saturday that there is nothing new on the trade front when it comes to moving defenseman Nikita Zaitsev. The team has made it clear to other teams they aren’t just going to use him as a salary dump. “We’re willing to try to accommodate him and work with him, but we need a similar player back,” Dubas said. “We don’t have the depth on D and we don’t want to rush our prospects.”
I get Miller has a lot more value when compared to Marleau, but it’s pretty amazing that Tampa received a first rounder to dump his contract while Toronto had to include one to dump one year of Marleau’s.
One again Leaf hating not suprised Jd when’s the last time your Sens have won a cup there buddy?
The defence group the Leafs are gonna trot out next year is gonna be hilarious and I’m here for it.
Marner I know you wanted to try and prove Leafs have been better recently but I wouldn’t be using recent cups as a comparison. my guess is you weren’t even a blip on this planet at that time.
Trollol. You think stating that is “hating”?Wow you’re thin skinned.
Marner you need to give kudos to JD on this… Ottawa is a mess visibly, but has reached a lot farther then the Leafs in the last decade “and” so on. The only reason the “over-rated” Leafs are even in any good position that they happen to show at all for this moment in time is due to a GM that isn’t even there anymore. I have a feeling (hope) that in 3 years, the hockey stars are aligned once again and Ottawa is looking good and the Leafs are back to sucking. Actually I have a feeling this just may start this season. Good luck Millennial Dubas!!
Still don’t understand why the Bruins couldn’t entice another team with 50% retention of salary on Backes. Throw in a pick and/or prospect and call it done. Backes is a useful player…. even if he’s not the 25 goal scorer of the past
I don’t recall my comment being generated towards you there bud! However the correct answer 1927. Yes the Leafs won last in 1967 less time without a cup then the Sens. Hence the point stated earlier.
What’s that got to do with anything price?
Two of your favourite comments. You have one good player on your team to build around.
I can’t believe my comments make you this miserable this is amazing
Kudos for not answering the original question let’s be real. Maybe so, have the made the playoffs recently? Im not denying that at all. Luo is one of the best gm’s alltie. Dumbas made his mark signing willie instead of trading him which will no doubt go down as his biggest mistake ever.
Let’s be honest with that joke of an owner Melynk, blacking out seats in the arena and that puppet of a gm it’s gonna be awhile before they make the playoffs / contend . Andy deserves a trade. Leafs fans at least support there team win or lose. I can count on both hands how many tickets I’ve been offered when the Sens are bad and losing no one goes when they start winning everyone’s back on the band wagon!
Your an amazing guy who never answers the questions I ask. What area of the country do you live in and cheer for the Sens?
Marner, all true fans are loyal. Many fringe Sens fans are like fringe Leaf fans and certainly jump on board a winning team.
You think I’m going to tell a person who is clearly addicted to me since you reply to every one of my comments where I live? That’s pretty creepy. Maybe if you didn’t troll every single one of my posts like you do you’d have an easier time making friends… you have to know that you’re trolling right? You can’t possibly be so ignorant to believe what you say in here, right?
JDGoat — did you also get that Marleau had a full NTC because of the age he signed, and made it clear he would only play for a team close to his home in California? He got traded to Carolina, who have said they will try to talk him into playing for them, but the trade was made with the understanding that they would buy him out and allow him to seek a contract with San Jose.
Carolina essentially paid $6.25M for a first round pick. Debate the merits of that for both sides if you want but do it recognizing the facts.
You are so right…the Sens are a mess and I can’t see it getting any better short of leaving for another city. I’m just a Leafs basher at heart I guess lol. I’m a big Devils fan right behind the Flames, so I give all my Kudos to the team in Blue all to him. Dubas is a millennial statistician that should not be running a team with actual salaries attached. He has the mentality that it should just all work out (he would have been good in the pre-salary cap era). he’s in trouble now and it’s fun to watch.
On the other note…yes the Sens are bad now, but the last say 10-15 years overall they have been a better team then the Leafs. Yes…guess we’ll say the pre-Lou-years. Soon we’ll be able to witness that again. Like I said a downturn as soon as this year I suspect.
He Momus, that is how I understand it too. Marleau would have had to agree with the trade, so it sounds like Carolina is just posturing. They need to justify not only paying that money for a low draft pick, but also for paying him to play somewhere else for the next two years.
They don’t need to justify it all. Getting a first round pick for money they won’t use is a coup
When’s the last time your Leafs won one?
If you would actually read before posting. I answered this already the answer is 1967.
Price, I disagree but we’re all entitled to our own opinion.
JD, typically people that live near the area tend to cheer for that team. So I was just curious so that I could put 2 and 2 together. I’m not on here to make friends got lots don’t need anymore but thanks for offering. Whatever you wanna call it. Like I keep telling you that you need to be educated on sports. If I didn’t believe it I wouldn’t be writing it there bud!.
Hockeysense, That’s fine there is nothing wrong with that. If the points are valid which for the most part you seem to know your hockey. Dubas lost me after the Nylander move.
Thanks for breaking it down for JD. I gave up on teaching the guy hes helpless. Only wants to bash the Leafs and cheer for his Sens, Jays and Bandwagon Raps!
Marner bandwagon raps and leafs fans are plentiful in Toronto. anytime the city sees success in sports, people come out of nowhere and start cheering. Eventually when they lose, you see a drastic drop. I lived in Toronto for 29 years. certainly there is a large base of loyal leaf fans, but the team also has plenty of bandwagon jumpers.
I kinda agree Sinker for the most part, but there are some fans that may look at a few million dollars for a potential late round pick as a little hefty with a possibility of nothing showing for it. They can at least say that they tried to get the guy in the line-up before paying his salary for 2 years. Time will tell, and I for one would love to see Marleau play for them and do good. As well getting a pretty good player with their pick. The perfect world scenario….and personally anything that makes the Leafs look bad (right Kessel??).
Ive yet to meet many if any in my lifetime. Okay well you would know then.