As we inch closer to the presumptive start of the 2020-21 NHL season, our NHL Rumours series is continuing in full force. With the majority of the offseason dealt with, many NHL teams are looking at their future. With some big names requiring new deals next offseason, negotiations on extensions are starting to heat up. There’s also the musical chairs act of this offseason to consider, as a few established NHLers are looking to take their talents overseas next year. Today, Last Word on Hockey covers the Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, and Carl Soderberg.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) November 10, 2020
Analysis: Considering the rate at which Pettersson has scored so far in the NHL, this news can’t come as a surprise to anyone. Undoubtedly the team’s player of the future, Pettersson will be commanding a deal easily north of a $10 million cap hit long-term. Considering how highly touted Pettersson was, the Canucks must’ve been expecting this, right? They should be prepared?
2020-21 is not only the last year of Pettersson’s entry-level contract. It’s also the last year of Quinn Hughes‘ and Thatcher Demko‘s. While the latter two will surely be getting bridge deals, the Canucks’s salary cap situation starts to look quite hairy at that point. The exorbitant cap hits of Loui Eriksson ($6 million), Micheal Ferland ($3.5 million), Antoine Roussel and Jay Beagle ($3 million), and Tyler Myers ($6 million) will all be on the books in 2021-22. The Canucks will be extremely hard-pressed to stay competitive while getting their ducks in a row financially. Unfortunately, even if Vancouver can move out some salary, their rebuild is likely to be put on pause. The good news is that Eriksson’s, Roussel’s, and Beagle’s, the worst of the bunch, all expire after 2021-22. But until Vancouver can rid themselves of those deals, they may not repeat last year’s success.
Rumour: Continuing the theme of contract projections, a mailbag in the Dallas Morning News by Matthew DeFranks puts John Klingberg‘s next deal at around $6.5 million per season.
— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) November 4, 2020
Analysis: Klingberg’s situation is a bit different from Pettersson’s, as Klingberg actually has two years left on his deal. Talks with Klingberg on an extension can’t start until the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, but those talks are expected to happen.
It’s a reasonable extension for Klingberg and a great deal for Dallas if they can get it done. Referencing last week’s piece in NHL Rumours surrounding Miro Heiskanen‘s deal, it’s feasible that Dallas could have a stud trio here in Heiskanen, Klingberg, and Esa Lindell for around a combined $21 million cap hit. It’s decent value, but with pieces like Thomas Harley on the way, is it sustainable? It’s a lot to invest in defence. But Dallas is a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of offensive firepower or sure-fire forward prospects. It’s a smart long-term investment by the Stars management. Klingberg has been invaluable to this squad since his emergence, especially in the playoffs. It would be beneficial to both sides to get a deal done.
Rumour: Despite recent success in the NHL, Soderberg is opting to look for a deal in Switzerland via Swiss Hockey News.
— swisshockeynews.ch (@SwissHockeyNews) November 9, 2020
Analysis: This rumour comes as one of many byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen this offseason. In a normal year, teams would go crazy for a player like Soderberg on the open market. He’s a reliable third-line centreman who can be counted on for around 30 points of production. He would’ve come cheap as well. However, with a flat cap and a growing cost-effective youth movement in the NHL, Soderberg is getting phased out of the league early.
Soderberg is already 35 years old, so if he does head overseas, that’s likely the end of his NHL career. He didn’t make his NHL debut until age 27, but Soderberg managed to parlay his late-bloomer status into a decent NHL career. Across eight seasons with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Arizona Coyotes, Soderberg was able to play in 552 games while tallying 103 goals and 280 points. Even at 35, Soderberg will likely dominate in the Swiss league or someplace else in Europe. He’s got a few years left before retirement.
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