NHL Rumors: Vegas Golden Knights, and the Chicago Blackhawks
The Vegas Golden Knights won't have an easy time fitting in a new contract for Robin Lehner. The Chicago Blackhawks will face a salary cap crunch this offseason.
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
The Golden Knights will have trouble fitting a new Lehner deal in

David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: The flattening of the salary cap at $81.5 million makes it tougher for the Vegas Golden Knights to re-sign Robin Lehner, but they are in better shape salary cap wise than some of their rivals.

“We’re going to have an offseason that’s probably going to be between six and seven weeks when the season concludes, and that’s where you start to have those final decisions that are going to be made that are going to impact your cap,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon said June 15.

The Golden Knights will have about $6.375 million in salary cap space with 17 players under contract next season.

Lehner will be looking for a multi-year deal and could be looking for something in the $6 million per season range. Marc-Andre Fleury is under contract through 2021-2 at $7 million a year.

If they don’t re-sign Lehner, they’ll need to acquire a backup goaltender. The Golden Knights recently signed Oscar Dansk. They could look at other pending UFAs or take a look at New York Rangers Alexandar Georgiev who could be available.

This could be the last season for 38-year old Deryk Engelland.

“We’re comfortable with where we’re at with the signings that we have made through the pause,” McCrimmon said last month. “We’ll make those decisions as we go along.”

The Blackhawks are one of many teams that will feel the cap crunch

Scott Powers of The Athletic: The Chicago Blackhawks have about $8.58 million in projected salary cap space for next season for 11 forwards, six defensemen and one goaltender.

Corey Crawford is their top pending UFA. Top pending RFAs include Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Slater Koekkoek, Malcolm Subban, Alexandre Fortin.

They’ll need to re-signing Kubalik and Strome, and either re-sign Crawford or find another No. 1 goaltender. It seems unrealistic given their cap situation.

Kubalik could cost between $5 and $6 million on a four-year deal.

A short-term deal for Strome at between $3 and $4 million makes sense.

Crawford could be looking $4 million a season.

Buying out Olli Maatta and Zack Smith could give them around a combined $5.5 million in cap space next year.

Andrew Shaw could be a LTIR candidate if he’s not deemed healthy enough. GM Stan Bowman has been reluctant to dip into LTIR cap space in the past though.