NHL Rumors: Free Agency, and the Washington Capitals

Originally published by NHLRumors.com

With not many teams having the salary cap space, the opening of free agency could be slower than normal

Nick Cotsonika of NHL.com: Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell notes that the defenseman market is a little thin and that there are an abundance of forwards.

The salary cap is only going up by a million, and not a lot of teams have room. Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin said there isn’t much money to go around.

“Yeah, there’s tons of teams that are close against the cap, and I think a lot of the agents don’t realize that 25 teams are against the cap,

Many teams are still trying to move out salary. The Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Seattle Kraken have cap space that they can use to their advantage.

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill.

“In the end, you’ve got 25, 26 teams up against the cap and six or seven that aren’t, and to what magnitude do those get involved? Do they start picking up players in trades? Do they go to the free agent market? That’s going to be the interesting dynamic.”

Nill said that there will a bunch of signings when free agency opens, but it may play out a little slower this year.

Capitals eyeing Kuemper?

Sammi Silber of the Washington Hockey Now: Pierre LeBrun reported that pending UFA goaltender Darcy Kuemper and the Washington Capitals are a potential match.

After trading Vitek Vanecek at the draft, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said they’ll be looking at the trade and free agent goalie market.

Adding a top goaltender doesn’t come cheap, but MacLellan said they could do it “right now.”

Darren Dreger reported that Kuemper could be looking for something similar to Philipp Grubauer money – six years at $5.9 million.

The Capitals will talk to RFA Ilya Samsonov soon about an extension.