Settling with Alexey Toropchenko today gave the St. Louis Blues come salary cap flexibility, says CapFriendly. Much like the Philadelphia Flyers did with Anthony DeAngelo, settling with Toropchenko, the Blues’ last remaining player who had filed for arbitration, opens a second buyout window for the team, which will open in three days and last for 48 hours. The rules for this unique buyout are limited, though – a player must have been on their reserve list at the trade deadline and must carry a cap hit of at least $4MM.
The Blues are cap-compliant but barely – CapFriendly projects them with roughly $290K in space with a full 23-player roster. They’ve expressed a clear desire to move out one of their aging top-four defensemen via trade, but nothing’s manifested yet, and it’s becoming less and less likely as the offseason trods on. It’s entirely possible general manager Doug Armstrong could choose to execute a buyout for someone like Nick Leddy, who’s struggled during his time in St. Louis and carries a $4MM cap hit through 2026. It would be a hefty buyout, running through 2028-29, but it wouldn’t carry a cap penalty of more than $2MM in any of the six seasons – it might be appealing.
More from around the NHL this weekend:
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are also granted a second buyout window after settling with forward Tanner Jeannot before arbitration. The team has cut costs wherever possible, but they still have less than $1MM in cap space, even taking into account Brent Seabrook’s long-term injured reserve relief. Unfortunately for them, there are no possible candidates here – all of their players carrying a cap hit of $4MM are core parts of the team and won’t be considered for a buyout. General manager Julien BriseBois is prepping for another long season of cap management on a day-to-day basis.
- PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan today offered updates on a pair of Arizona Coyotes RFA forwards – Jan Jenik and Jack McBain. Morgan notes that Jenik’s deadline to accept his qualifying offer passed yesterday, meaning the team now has to negotiate a new deal with him to return to the desert. The 22-year-old was a 2018 third-round pick and notched 23 points in 30 games with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners last season. Morgan also notes that there hasn’t been any progress between the Coyotes and McBain on a new contract with his arbitration hearing looming at the end of the month, although they still have about two weeks to come to a deal before the hearing.