After signing defenseman Jake Gardiner to a new four-year, $16.2MM contract, the Carolina Hurricanes have added key depth to their team, but have also now gone beyond the salary cap and are currently sitting about $1.5MM over it. Teams are allowed to go over the cap by 10 percent during the offseason, but with the season approaching, the team will have to make some adjustments, according to Hockey News’ Jared Clinton.
While a trade might be the obvious solution for the Hurricanes, the scribe writes the team could send some players down to the AHL to make up the difference in salary, including center Clark Bishop, who played 20 games (and two playoff games) for Carolina last season, as well as recently acquired defenseman Gustav Forsling. The problem is, neither player is waiver-exempt and the team could lose both players to other teams looking for a young center or a defenseman with 122 games of NHL experience.
If the team does want to go the trade rout, the most likely candidate would be Justin Faulk, who will be playing in his final season before hitting unrestricted free agency. However, moving him might be somewhat challenging as Faulk has a 15-team no-trade clause, while another blueliner Dougie Hamilton, does not, making Hamilton a more likely candidate to move.
- Despite a new four-year, $13.6MM contract, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson has high expectations for himself and notes that his goal is to come out of the gate better than he did last year, according to NHL.com’s Dave McCarthy. The 24-year-old winger started very slow for Toronto last season, scoring just three points in the first 18 games of the season, before finally breaking out with a hat trick on Nov. 24. He finished his final 55 games with 40 points (18 goals and 22 assists). A better start could mean a better season. “[The slow start last season] is in my mind,” Johnsson said. “I want to have a better start this season than I did last. I’ve tried to be as prepared as I can be. Now I have a full season under my belt and I know what to expect from it. It was a little bit longer summer for me this time, so it was a long time to prepare. I feel like I’m able to be healthy and was able to work on my body and mind. I feel like I’m coming stronger into this season than last.”
- The Washington Capitals have rebuilt their defense as the team has moved out several players including Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, while bringing in Radko Gudas, getting a full season out of Nick Jensen and high expectations for youngster Jonas Siegenthaler. One forgotten player is defenseman Christian Djoos, who many have already penciled in as the Capitals emergency defenseman after struggling returning from a midseason injury. However, The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir (subscription required) writes that Djoos, who suffered a thigh injury that forced him to miss 24 games during the season, now claims to finally be 100 percent healthy and wants to reclaim his spot on Washington’s defense, but will have to beat out Siegenthaler as well as 2018 first-rounder Alex Alexeyev and Martin Fehervary, the team’s second-rounder in 2018, to do it.