On Sunday, the NHL and NHLPA officially announced that there would be a shortened 56-game 2020-21 season for the beginning on Jan. 13, and with that, an already boiling NHL Trade market is trying to find a way to alleviate the building pressure.
“About to boil over,” one industry source told Off the Record.
The New York Islanders still need to sign restricted free agent Mathew Barzal and with just $3.9 million in cap space now, don’t expect them to be too active on the free agent market unless they make a trade or too. However, teams will cap space will begin to mine the NHL Free Agency market, and there are some marquee names such as forwards Mike Hoffman and Mikael Granlund, and longtime Boston Bruins captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara still out there. Will they get the money and term they’ve been asking for, or will they be forced to take less because of salary cap restraints and fiscal restraints some teams are under due to COVID?
Before the puck drops on the 2020-21 NHL season, there are still some logistical nightmares ahead. The league and players agreed to a deal, but that doesn’t mean politicians and health ministers, especially in Canada, are on board.
One of the biggest questions right now is what to do about the Canadian Division. Not all teams may be able to play at home, and the number may be shrinking, not growing. A reliable source from one of the Canadian teams offered a little insight regarding the owners’ discussions—more on the emerging options below.
That and more in the latest ‘Off The Record’!
1. Waiting For The Lightning To Strike
All eyes are on the Tampa Bay Lightning to jumpstart the NHL Trade market and make a deal to become cap compliant before the season begins on Jan. 13.