NHL Rumors: A Flat Salary Cap Doesn’t Help The Maple Leafs, Lightning, Blues, and Capitals
going to give teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues, and Washington Capitals some issues.
© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rory Boylen of Sportsnet: Looking at three teams who could be hurt the most by the salary cap remaining at $81.5 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs – The Maple Leafs have $76.908 million already committed to salaries next season. UFAs include Jason Spezza, Kyle Clifford, Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci. RFAs include Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev. Barrie and Ceci are likely gone. Frederik Andersen will be a UFA after next season and will be 31 by that time and it may not be an easy decision.

Tampa Bay Lightning – They have $76.1 million already committed with big RFAs in Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Alex Killorn‘s full no-trade clause converts to a 16-team no-trade clause this offseason.

St. Louis Blues – The Blues have $79.425 million committed next season with UFA Alex Pietrangelo and RFA Vince Dunn needing new deals. Pietrangelo may need to take a shorter-term deal (with the Blues or elsewhere) and look for more money later. If they are able to re-sign Pietrangelo, they’ll need to move out salary with potential trade candidates being Colton Parayko, Tyler Bozak, David Perron and Jake Allen.

J.J. Regan of the NBC Sports Washington: The flattening of the salary cap doesn’t do any favors for the Washington Capitals. The Capitals were tight against the salary cap ceiling this past season and only carried six defensemen for the most part.

The Capitals have been a cap team for a while now and have been forced in the past to offer more term to players in order to keep them. This could come back to haunt now.  They have 11 players on their roster that have three or more years left on their contracts.

Currently, the Capitals have about $10.4 million in projected salary cap space with 16 players under contract – 11 forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender.

Pending RFAs include Jonas Siegenthaler and Travis Boyd. Pending UFAs include Braden Holtby, Ilya Kovalchuk, Radko Gudas, and Brenden Dillon.

Are Holtby’s days in Washington over now? Are they able to re-sign any of their pending UFAs?