Here’s a closer look at the original content here at PHR over the past week.
With free agency in full swing, there are quite a few veteran players that are still searching for new contracts. While we wait for them to find new homes, we’ve started to take a closer look at where those players may fit. I took a look at center Derick Brassard, defenseman Ben Lovejoy, and center Brian Boyle while Zach assessed center Oscar Lindberg’s situation. With a few teams being tight to the salary cap and several others holding onto their remaining cap space until they can re-sign their key restricted free agents, the UFA market has been slow to develop beyond the July 1st flurry so far.
While teams that are in a cap crunch are garnering most of the attention, Zach examined the teams that are tight to the contract limit of 50. Seven teams now sit with 48, just two below the maximum. Of those, Tampa Bay appears to be in some trouble as they still have two restricted free agents to re-sign in winger Adam Erne and center Brayden Point. They’ll undoubtedly want to get both signed by training camp and heading into the season with no flexibility in terms of contract slots would be risky. Accordingly, a trade that sees someone under contract get moved for an unsigned prospect or a draft pick is something that is likely to happen in the coming weeks.
Already this summer we’ve seen several instances of players opting to waive their no-trade clause to facilitate a deal with some rumblings where players decided not to as well. With that in mind, we asked our readers to pick who they would have on their no-trade lists. With roughly 16,000 votes cast, the three teams with the most selections were ones that have struggled in recent years in Ottawa, Edmonton, and Buffalo. At the other end of the spectrum with the fewest votes were Tampa Bay, Colorado, and Nashville.
While most players over the past week have settled on a new contract before making their pre-hearing arbitration filings, Sabres center Evan Rodrigues did go through the full process after a career 2018-19 season that saw him put up 29 points in 74 games. Zach broke down both sides of the case but as is often the case when it goes to an arbitrator, the end result came in very close to the midpoint of the filings as Rodrigues was ultimately awarded $2MM (the midpoint was $2.075MM).