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A few teams could help the Lightning for a price

October 17, 2020, 2:58 PM ET [3 Comments]
Kevin Allen
Blogger •HHOF Writer's column on the NHL • RSSArchiveCONTACT
While Toronto Maple Leafs fans finish their debate about whether the Kyle Dubas signing of Joe Thornton was genius or folly, let’s ask and answer important questions about what’s happening in the NHL

Is the NHL really going to start next season on Jan. 1?

Answer: That’s the hope, objective and best-case-scenario. But the NHL is at the mercy of Covid-19. Most hockey folks seem to believe it will likely be a later start, meaning fewer games

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ have $12.9 million in cap space: Why haven’t they done more?

Answer: They are concerned about the possibility of Pierre-Luc Dubois receiving an offer sheet. They are holding their cap space just in case. Once Dubois is re-signed, expect the Blue Jackets to acquire scoring help. They probably are in discussions with Mike Hoffman, and maybe Mikhael Granlund.

Are the Red Wings, with almost $19 million in cap available, done dealing?

Answer: Don’t believe so. Some of that money is going to restricted free agents Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha, two important players in their rebuild. But the Red Wings are willing to take a bad contract from a team with cap trouble if they are given a nice return. It would be logical for the Red Wings to make a deal with the cap-strapped Lightning. As the former general manager in Tampa Bay, Yzerman would know their prospect list well. It feels like a deal could get completed for Tyler Johnson. But Yzerman would want plenty and would want Tampa to eat some of the Johnson cap space.

How much cap trouble are the Lightning in?

Answer: They are likely going to have to trade Johnson and maybe Braydon Coburn. Alex Killorn is also a possibility. They have to create enough cap space to sign Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak. Right now, the Lightning have just under $3 million. Johnson’s hit is $5 million and Coburn is at $1.7 million. Killorn’s salary cap number is $4.45 million.

Who else has the cap space to help the Lightning?

Answer: The Nashville Predators. They have $12.9 million, according to CapFriendly.com. They also are looking for two forwards to play in their top six. Try this hypothetical: They take Johnson’s contract with the idea that he will be their No. 2 center. Matt Duchene moves to the wing. Don’t forget Johnson scored 29 goals two seasons ago. Maybe the Predators are interested in Killorn who scored 26 goals last season. The Senators and Devils have cap space to trade, but they also are going to want draft picks and/or prospects

Who gets Hoffman?

Answer: Would list Columbus as the favorite, followed by Nashville, Florida and the Los Angeles Kings
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