There are plenty of teams with cap issues. Some teams like the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Anaheim Ducks are at the cap ceiling with no breathing room for a call up. These teams are tight, but can still easily manage their situations looking for breathing room.
Top 3 teams with salary cap issues
Tampa Bay Lightning: A quick look at CapFriendly will show you just how bad of a situation they are in. With only 18 players signed, and the need to get to at least a 21-22 man roster, Tampa only has $2.89 million in space. Remember, they have two RFAs needing to be signed in Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Changes are coming for the Cup champs.
New York Islanders: We’ve documented their situation here over the last week because Mat Barzal is still waiting for his money. They have $8.9 million to play with and have 20 players signed to deals for next season. However, they need to lock up Barzal longterm for the new building in Belmont and that will cost almost all of that free space. They also have Ryan Pulock who needs to be signed too. Lou Lamoriello has work to do.
Winnipeg Jets: Obviously the Jets have been in the news a lot with regards to Patrik Laine, but they have cap issues as well. With 21 players under contract, they have a walloping $27,000 to their name. Not much room for an emergency call up. Kevin Cheveldayoff has work to do.
NHL Top trade bait candidates
This segues perfectly into the top trade bait list. That’s because all of these teams mentioned above has at least one name on it.
- Patrik Laine, WPG
- Alex Killorn, TB
- Tyler Johnson, TB
- Johnny Boychuk, NYI
- Matt Dumba, MIN
- Noah Hanifin, CGY
- Brady Skjei, CAR
- Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI
- Jaden Schwartz, STL
- Phil Kessel, AZ