We’re closing in on Christmas and that means more NHL rumours are open to us. General managers across the league are trying to give themselves some early holiday presents. This could be in the form of a new player or dumping an unwanted contract to give them salary cap space. It’s hard trying to plan for the future, but next year’s cap number is already on the minds of GMs. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s a West Coast bias edition of our NHL rumours.
All NHL rumours come from the original source.
Rumour: Ottawa Sun reporter Bruce Garrioch talked about how teams are calling on Jets blueliner Logan Stanley.
Analysis: Garrioch said that teams are “kicking the tires” on the young defenceman. However, Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t going to give up the young defender without it being a good deal. Cheveldayoff isn’t actively shopping the young defenceman, but teams are still going to call.
Stanley comes at a low cost of $1 million and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The Kitchener, Ontario native is a rugged defender and can block shots if needed to. He’s not going to light up the scoreboard, but he does serve a useful purpose as a more defensive defenceman.
The 25-year-old is a very big body at 6-foot, 7-inches tall and 225 pounds. Stanley can throw his weight around and has an edge to his game. General managers don’t always need puck-moving blueliners. Sometimes they need old-school, more traditional defenders that can play a physical game. Winnipeg seems to be in position to contend for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot, but Stanley could come into play if the price is right.
This isn’t the most recent edition of NHL rumours to focus on the Jets and defencemen. Stanley is part of a Jets squad that has very good structure and their defensive group is a very deep one.
Vegas Golden Knights
Rumour: The Athletic’s Jesse Granger looked at how the proposed increase in salary cap will affect the Golden Knights plans this coming off-season.
The Golden Knights have six UFAs at the end of this season:
• Jonathan Marchessault
• Chandler Stephenson
• Alec Martinez
• William Carrier
• Michael Amadio
• Ben Hutton
What does the proposed bump in salary cap to $87.7M mean for Vegas?
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) December 9, 2023
Analysis: Next year’s salary cap is slated to go up $87.7 million, which is a bump of $4.2 million. That increase is the largest in six seasons, but how will it help teams out in the coming off-season? Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon will have six unrestricted free agents to sign in the coming off-season. Some of these players have been very important to the Knights winning the Stanley Cup last season.
Vegas has been using long-term injured reserve to ensure a bit of cap relief. Robin Lehner, Shea Theodore and Daniil Miromanov are currently on LITR. The Golden Knights have 15 players under contract for the 2024-25 season with a combined cap hit of $65.036 million according to Cap Friendly. Lehner is currently not included on the list. If the Swedish goalie was to return, Vegas would have 16 players with a combined cap hit of approximately $70 million.
This would give Vegas nearly $23 million to play with and that could get them anywhere from five to eight players to sign. However, players like Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Marchessault could be expected a raise in one of the last big deals that he could sign.
Chandler Stephenson, Alec Martinez and Michael Amadio are all also names the McCrimmon will have to decide on this season. Some good news includes that Kaedan Korczak and Pavel Dorofeyev may only get small raises barring a massive step forward in the second half.
Main photo by: James Carey Lauder -USA TODAY Sports