It didn’t take lengthy for the bubble to start bursting at the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup celebration.
The results of a flat wage cap took its toll at the Lightning not up to two weeks after successful their 2d Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay bid farewell to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who signed with Anaheim, and the staff was once compelled to position heart Tyler Johnson on waivers because the NHL’s loose company duration opened Friday.
Within the intervening time, the league’s upper profile loose brokers equivalent to defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and winger Taylor Corridor, remained in the marketplace with a $81.five million cap — unchanged from final 12 months — including a layer of uncertainty to a coronavirus pandemic-altered economic system.
“It’s somewhat of a brand new global at the moment with the flat cap and the earnings state of affairs,” Minnesota Wild common supervisor Invoice Guerin mentioned. “You don’t need to possibility anything else too lengthy on both sides as it simply may now not make sense.”
It gave the impression to make sense for the St. Louis Blues to successfully finish the Alex Pietrangelo technology by way of signing defensemen Torey Krug to a $45.five million, seven-year deal Friday night time. Krug will rely $6.five million towards the wage cap during the 2026-27 season.
That was once cash doubtlessly earmarked for Pietrangelo, a homegrown Blues product, who was once captain once they received the Stanley Cup in 2019. Krug famously delivered a helmetless hit all over that ultimate whilst taking part in for Boston.
Suitors for Pietrangelo were lower down by way of St. Louis signing Krug and the Toronto Maple Leafs inking T.J. Brodie to a $20 million, four-year deal. Vegas cleared cap area to take a swing, regardless that Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon on Friday night time refused to reply to a query about Pietrangelo as a result of he’s now not at the roster.
Whilst the marketplace was once comfortable for skaters, it was once very energetic for goaltenders as a long-anticipated shuffle materialized within the first hours of loose company.
Jacob Markstrom left Vancouver to signal a six-year, $36 million contract with the Calgary Flames. The Canucks changed Markstrom by way of signing Braden Holtby to a two-year, $eight.6 million contract. The 2016 Vezina Trophy winner spent his first 10 seasons in Washington, the place he helped the Capitals win the Cup in 2018.
Henrik Lundqvist signed a one-year contract with Washington, two weeks after having his contract purchased out by way of the New York Rangers.
The Wild briefly addressed their goaltending wishes after buying and selling Devan Dubnyk to San Jose, by way of signing Cam Talbot signing a three-year, $11 million deal. Anton Khudobin, who backstopped the Dallas Stars run to the Stanley Cup Ultimate, is staying installed Dallas after signing a three-year, $10 million contract.
Amongst skaters, Shattenkirk agreed to a three-year deal price $11.7 million, an individual acquainted with the placement informed The Related Press. The individual spoke at the situation of anonymity for the reason that deal has now not been introduced.
The Lightning entered the offseason projected to have about $four.five million of room underneath the cap, additionally misplaced ahead Carter Verhaeghe, who signed with Florida. As for Johnson, who had 4 targets and 7 issues in 25 playoff video games, he was once put on waivers with 3 years final on a seven-year, $35 million contract that features a no-trade clause.
A lot of the Lightning’s core stays in position with captain Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Level, defenseman Victor Hedman and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy all underneath contract.
The flat cap resulted in a flood of avid gamers hitting the marketplace. They integrated numerous limited loose brokers, whose rights weren’t retained as a result of groups feared what contracts the ones avid gamers may well be awarded in arbitration.
Capitals common supervisor Brian MacLellan mentioned the wage crunch was once explanation why at the back of why probably the most upper profile avid gamers have been nonetheless to be had.
“You noticed some groups transparent some cap area, so I’m assuming it’s lovely aggressive on the ones large names at the moment,” MacLellan mentioned. “I feel as soon as the larger names move down, I feel it’ll chill out or may decelerate after that. I feel it’s nonetheless going lovely exhausting at the moment.”
The Vegas Golden Knights have been a type of groups in kicking off the day by way of buying and selling Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets. In liberating the general 12 months of Stastny’s contract and $five.five million cap hit, Vegas bought defenseman Carl Dahlstrom and a conditional 2022 fourth-round draft pick out.
The commerce was once a reversal from two years in the past, when the Jets had little room to move underneath the wage cap, and have been not able to re-sign Stastny after being outbid by way of the Golden Knights.
“It’s 2020. that’s the way you sum it up, proper?” Stastny mentioned of his surprising go back to Winnipeg. “You at all times must anticipated the surprising. And when stuff like this occurs, you at all times must be able to transport on and brace for the following problem that comes forward.”
Holtby was once relieved to discover a touchdown spot.
“The entirety’s other this 12 months,” he mentioned. “It’s now not an enjoy that I feel is a laugh, now not realizing and all that. I’m excited to have it over now.”
In Washington, Lundqvist is converting uniforms after 15 seasons in New York, the place he received the Vezina Trophy in 2011.
After years of tormenting Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals within the playoffs, he’s going to attempt to assist them win it once more on the tail finish of his illustrious time within the NHL whilst sharing the tasks with Ilya Samsonov.
“It’s more or less loopy,” Lundqvist mentioned of being teammates with Ovechkin. “It was once humorous to name him the opposite day. He’s been so a laugh to play towards as a result of how excellent he’s, however he’s additionally a personality at the ice, so I sit up for now be at the similar staff.”
In different strikes:
— The rebuilding Detroit Pink Wings agreed to a one-year $1 million maintain 33-year-old winger Bobby Ryan, who’s hoping to restore his profession after combating alcohol problems. Ryan ignored greater than two months of final season in Ottawa after getting into the NHL/NHLPA avid gamers help program in November, 2019.
— Veteran ahead Wayne Simmonds was once a few of the first loose brokers to signal, attaining a one-year $1.five million maintain the Maple Leafs. The 12-year veteran cut up final season between New Jersey and Buffalo.
— The Rangers agreed to signal defenseman Jack Johnson, who had the general 3 years of his contract purchased out by way of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
— The Blackhawks agreed to signal rookie of the 12 months finalist Dominik Kubalik to a two-year, $7.four million contract extension. With beginning goalie Corey Crawford getting into loose company, the Blackhawks additionally signed goalie Malcolm Subban to a two-year, $1.7 million contract.
— The Senators and newly bought goalie Matt Murray agreed to two-year, $25 million deal. The Senators traded ahead prospect Jonathan Gruden and the 52nd pick out this 12 months to Pittsburgh to get Murray on Wednesday.
AP Hockey Writers Larry Lage and Stephen Whyno, and AP freelancer Denis Gorman contributed to this document.
For extra AP NHL protection: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities