Although the Bruins would certainly not want to part with an asset to get out of the remainder of David Backes’ contract, Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien argues that doing so may be a necessary evil this offseason. Boston has a pair of young defensemen to re-sign in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo and with about $8MM in cap space to work with per CapFriendly, that probably won’t be enough to get both signed. While parting with a pick and/or prospect to move Backes and his $6MM price tag, freeing that up would safely allow them to re-sign both defenders plus take a run at an extension for blueliner Torey Krug who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. As Backes no longer has a no-move clause in his contract (though he still has considerable no-trade protection), he’s someone that could be waived and sent to the minors next season but doing so would only open up $1.075MM in extra cap room.
Elsewhere out East:
- Devils winger Taylor Hall will be entering the final year of his contract in 2019-20 and there haven’t been significant discussions about a contract extension just yet. GM Ray Shero told NHL.com’s Mike Morreale that he doesn’t expect Hall’s pending free agency to be a distraction next season. The 27-year-old projects to be one of the top players in the 2020 UFA class and with Artemi Panarin setting a new benchmark for wingers in free agency, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Hall’s current asking price is in that $11MM range.
- While some teams have shied away from handing out extra years on contracts in an effort to lower the cap hit in recent years, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan acknowledged to J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington that he was comfortable offering extra term to his class of free agent signings to get them at a cheaper price tag. Wingers Richard Panik, Carl Hagelin, and Garnet Hathaway all received four-year deals from Washington, a term that not many expected. However, the trio has a combined $7MM cap hit, a reasonable price tag for three upgrades to their depth.