Oilers’ Zack Kassian among 10 takeover candidates ahead of NHL takeover window

The NHL’s first acquisition window of the summer opens on July 1, meaning each team has roughly two more weeks to sort out the mystery of their salary cap and the project they can afford into grueling contracts for another season.

The cover area has never been greater as the NHL is set to enter its fourth consecutive season with flat cover as a result of the pandemic. Salary cap is expected to increase by as little as $1 million to $82.5 million in 2022-23; Only six teams will have this full amount to spend as a result of previous purchases and salary cap bonus increases.

Last year, eight contracts were purchased at the first window, and Minnesota’s Ryan Sutter and Zach Barriss were leading the period in a seismic moment for the franchise. We correctly predicted six of those eight acquisitions in daily confrontation. What’s likely to be in store after the Stanley Cup Final?

Here are 10 potential victims as takeover candidates as of July 1st:

Announcement – Continue reading below

(All contract data and acquisition accounts are provided by CapFri Friendly.com.)

1. Zach Cassian
Right winger, Edmonton Oilers
Age: 31
Contract: 2 additional seasons, $3.2 million
Purchase limit fee: $667K (2023-2023), $1.87 million. (2023-24), $967K (2024-25), $967K (2025-26)
BREAKING NEWS: The Oilers are looking at salary cap flexibility this summer and buying Kassian will likely represent the easiest path to chipping away at $2.5 million in books for the upcoming season. Yes, there’s the next season’s $1.87 million song that makes it a bit less palatable, but that seemed like an issue to be dealt with at the time. No team wants “final” money on the records, but Cassian’s contract can be difficult to transfer and Edmonton is not overflowing with the assets to spend to do so.

2. Matt Murray
Goaltender, Ottawa Senators
Age: 28
Contract: 2 additional seasons, $6.25 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $1.75M (2022-23), $750,000 (2023-24), $2.5M (2024-25), $2.5M (2025-26)
The scoop: $5 million. That’s the amount the Senes will save in real cash over the next two seasons by executing this summer’s acquisition of Murray, who ranks 51st out of 63 goalkeepers in savings percentage since signing his $25 million deal in 2020. And that amount matters to Ottawa’s bottom line. devastated during the pandemic, it charges a mostly benign cap fee that comes with acquisition controversy.

3. Mark Edward Vlasic
Left defense, San Jose Sharks
Age: 35
Contract: 4 more seasons, $7 million
Purchase Limit Fees: $3.7M (2022-23), $1.4M ($2023-24), $4.2M (2024-25), $5.2M (2025-26), $1.7M (2026-27), $1.7 million (2027 – 28), $1.7 million (2028 – 29), $1.7 million (2029 – 30).
Scoop: Ouch. This hurts. There is no doubt about that. Whoever gets selected to be the next GM of the Sharks will have to think long and hard about signing up for eight years of pain. Vlasic’s play crashed, dropping to just 15:13 per night in ice time after being at 20:18 two seasons ago. His deal lasts until his 39th birthday and it’s only going to get worse. His purchase may conflict with the competitive outlook and lack of rebuilding envisioned by owner Hasso Plattner during the interview process, but the only thing worse than the acquisition is keeping Vlasic on the books when the $7 million cap is reached.

Announcement – Continue reading below

4. Marco Scandella
Left defense, St. Louis Blues
Age: 32
Contract: 2 additional seasons, $3.275 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $567K (2022-23), $1.4M (2023-24), $1.1M (2024-25), $1.1M (2025-26)
Scoop: Scandella only spent 58 days in St. Louis before the Blues signed him for a four-year term in 2020, a term GM Doug Armstrong now laments. It’s not that Scandella’s hat hit is overwhelming, it’s just $3.3 million too much for someone who plays mostly in the third pair. Buying Scandella this summer would give Armstrong another $2.7 million in cover space for next season, a large portion of the cost of keeping UFAs like David Perron up front.

5. Jason Dickinson
Left winger, Vancouver Canucks
Age: 26
Contract: 2 additional seasons, $2.65 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $942K (2022-23), $391K (2023-24), $992K (2024-25), $992K (2025-26)
Scoop: How many times have we heard Canucks chief Jim Rutherford talk about cap flexibility? One way to do that and create a little more space is to move on from Dickinson, who scored just 11 points last season in 62 games. Yes, the salary cap space isn’t ideal, but Canucks probably won’t be in a position to part with a lot of assets – that way he’ll only count to roughly one list of lowest salary, instead of the three or four he’s getting paid now.

6. Philip Myers
Right Defense, Nashville Predators
Age: 25
Contract: Additional season valued at $2.55 million
Maximum Purchase Fee: $617,000 in credit (2022-23), $633,000 (2023-24)
Scoop: Myers presents a unique and peculiar opportunity for a restricted team that can actually trade for itself Create Maximum salary space with takeover. Since Myers is 25 years old and his deal has been reloaded, his purchase will result in a 616,666 dollars in credit in the cap for the following season, followed by a fee of $633,334 the following season. This has happened before (see: Jared Quinn in 2016) and the Toronto Maple Leafs swooped on the deal.

7. Tyler Johnson
Right wing, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 31
Contract: 2 additional seasons, $5 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $2.7 million (2022-23), $1.7 million (2023-24), $1.4 million (2024-25), $1.4 million (2025-26)
Scoop: Two-time Cup winner Johnson was a victim of the Tampa Bay salary cap and played just 26 games for the Hawks last season in a disappointing campaign. Since Chicago is not trying to be competitive over the coming years, and there will be no contractors to contract it, the best course of action is likely to be to buy it and pocket nearly $3 million in real cash savings for the property over four seasons. The teams will no doubt be interested in Johnson as a free agent with a cheap, demonstrable contract.

8. Jason Zucker
Left Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins
Age: 30
Contract: Additional season, valued at $5.5 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $2 million (2022-23), $1.7 million (2023-24)
Scoop: That’s interesting. There is no doubt that Zucker’s trade (first round, Calen Addison, Alex Galchenyuk) did not work out in Pittsburgh, which was acquired under the previous regime. Zucker was injured but finished the season on the active roster, skating in the last five games of his first-round loss to New York. An active hit will prevent possession. But if the pens are looking for more space, Zucker is a clean way to shell out an extra $3 million, which can help with calculus to try and hold on to Chris Letang, Evgeny Malkin and Evan Rodriguez.

9. Patrick Nemeth
Left defense, New York Rangers
Age: 30
Contract: 2 additional seasons, $2.5 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $1M (2022-23), $0 (2023-24), $1M (2024-25), $1M (2025-26)
Scoop: Nemeth clearly did not have the confidence of coach Gerard Gallant in the playoffs. He appeared in the first four games of the first round against the Penguins, then didn’t skate a single turn in Game 5 until Rangers had a two-goal lead with 16 seconds left. Nemeth has been a healthy scratcher in the last 15 consecutive games to end the Rangers postseason. The acquisition provides immediate savings of $1.5 million next year.

Announcement – Continue reading below

10. Nick Foligno
Left wing, Boston Bruins
Age: 34
Contract: 1 additional season, $3.8 million
Purchase Limit Fee: $1.9 million (2022-23), $933,000 (2023-24)
Scoop: If next season is going to be painful for the Bruins, they may also stick to Foligno for the final year of his two-year contract. Foligno has really struggled with the back injury and that was evident, relegating to the fourth-line role with just two goals in 64 matches. The purchase will represent $1 million cash savings and $1 million maximum savings, although spread out over two years. It might make sense to stick with it and not get caught up in the books for 2023-24 when the B’s are ready to bounce.

honorary: Michael Del Zotto, Ottawa Senators


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