Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! The standings are starting to work themselves and teams are figuring out what pieces they will need in order to contend for a playoff spot. Plus some teams are looking ahead to extend key pieces to have future success. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, and New York Islanders.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Analysis: The Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to look towards the future, especially with their goaltending. Campbell has continued his stellar play into the start of this season. That is good news for the Maple Leafs on the ice. However, off the ice, it puts the Leafs into dangerous waters especially in terms of the salary cap. Campbell is looking for a raise and contract negotiations have yet to start between both parties. Campbell currently has a salary cap hit of $1.65 million. So the Maple Leafs got Campbell as a steal. Originally Campbell was supposed to be the backup. However, Campbell because of injuries to Frederik Andersen last season and Petr Mrazek this season has taken over the reins.
The two comparables are Cal Petersen in Los Angeles and Juuse Saros in Nashville. Both goaltenders under their new deals currently have a salary cap of $5 million. Petersen hurts more because he played in fewer games than Campbell has. And that $5 million mark is where Campbell’s camp is going to start negotiations. And that was the deal Andersen got when he came to Toronto. So that is the true comparison in terms of goalie salaries. The Maple Leafs need to pay Campbell quickly as Campbell’s play is only going to continue to rise.
Analysis: The Nashville Predators are rolling to begin the season. There were question marks about the future of general manager David Poile before the season started. However, for now, his job is safe. But that could change quickly. Next up on his agenda is superstar forward Filip Forsberg. While contract negotiations have yet to begin, talks are right around the corner. Forsberg will be looking to get a bump from the $6 million he currently gets a season. And the Predators will want to start talking new deal soon before he goes to unrestricted free agency.
Forsberg’s camp will be looking for an eight-year max deal with the club. The issue becomes his salary for those next eight years. Forsberg’s camp is going to want to start by looking at players on Forsberg’s current team. His teammates in Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene each make $8 million a season. So you know Forsberg will want that because of the production he is putting up. He has been one of the best players for the Predators since coming over in a trade from the Washington Capitals all those years ago. And deserves every penny of a potential $8 million a year salary. Do not be surprised if he is the highest-paid forward on the Predators going forward.
New York Islanders
Analysis: The New York Islanders are struggling to begin the season. Defensively they are not the same team as they were a year ago. The Zdeno Chara experiment is not working out as much as the Islanders hoped it would. For two straight seasons, the Islanders were victims of the salary cap. The first year, they had to trade away Devon Toews. This past off-season, the Islanders traded Nick Leddy. The Islanders have yet to find a suitable replacement for Leddy. And now with Johnny Boychuk‘s salary off the books, it gives Lou Lamoriello some breathing room to make a move.
A few weeks back in NHL Rumours, the Last Word on Hockey wrote about the Islanders making a defensive move at the trade deadline. That move could come sooner with the Maple Leafs shopping Dermott. He is a good fit for the Islanders as he a good left-shot defenceman and cheap under the salary cap. Acquiring Dermott would not cost the Islanders that much at most a second-round pick. That gives them a chance to pull off a bigger move at the deadline. But depth defencemen will be hard to find after Dermott. If the Islanders want to upgrade they should act fast.
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