Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 26 No. 113
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Lower-Than-Expected Salary Cap Leads To Big NHL Trades

The Predators decided to trade Subban to the Devils to help relieve some of the team's salary cap constraints
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Predators decided to trade Subban to the Devils to help relieve some of the team's salary cap constraints
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Predators decided to trade Subban to the Devils to help relieve some of the team's salary cap constraints
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The impact of the NHL's hard salary cap is being "felt more acutely than ever," as it caused "virtually all of the player movement" seen during this weekend's Draft, according to Chris Johnston of SPORTSNET.ca. The cap "may yet produce another trade or two in the week ahead." The Predators sent D P.K. Subban, who is set to make $9M in '19-20, to the Devils in what was more of a "salary dump" than a trade. Predators President of Hockey Operations & GM David Poile acknowledged that the "main reason" the Devils ended up with Subban is because they were the "only trade partner willing to take his contract on in full." Clearing Subban's contract off the books "was something Poile felt he had to do even though it weakened a roster designed to win now" (SPORTSNET.ca, 6/22). Poile said, "In this day and age, there's certain things that need to happen in a cap era. Our team was trending in a certain way with our contract that we needed to make some decisions" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/24).

MORE CAP-RELATED MOVES: USA TODAY's Kevin Allen noted the NHL salary cap coming in at $81.5M for next season instead of the expected $83M caused several teams to move "name players for salary cap reasons." Along with the Predators trading Subban, the Lightning, who "need cap space to re-sign" C Brayden Point and others, traded RW J.T. Miller to the Canucks. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs sent LW Patrick Marleau to the Hurricanes, who are receiving a top 10-protected first round pick in '20 for taking Marleau's $6.25M cap hit for one season (USA TODAY, 6/23). THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell wrote the lower salary cap "didn’t trigger the fire sales, but it undoubtedly had something to do with them." In all three cases, teams that had "plenty of dry powder in the form of cap space were able to gain valuable assets by taking on unwanted contracts" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 6/23).