NHL Rumors: Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres RFAs Mittelstadt and Ullmark. Potential Pittsburgh Penguins trade candidates. Vancouver Canucks could have top-six issues.
© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Sabres RFAs Mittelstadt and Ullmark

Lance Lysowski: The Buffalo Sabres were expected to resume contract talks with restricted free agent forward Casey Mittelstadt late this week.

Elliotte Friedman: The Sabres filed a $1.8 million arbitration offer for goaltender Linus Ullmark, who countered with $4.1 million.

Lance Lysowski: Would expect Ullmark to get around $3 million a season.

Potential Penguins trade candidates

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have any salary cap space and the trade market has seems to have come to a halt.

Things would have to go completely sideways for the Penguins to make Evgeni Malkin available. A look at potential trade candidates for the Penguins if they get off to a slow start.

Jared McCann – Carries a $2.94 million salary cap hit. Could be relegated to third-line duty on the left side.

Jason Zucker – The Penguins gave up a first-round pick and Calen Addison for Zucker. He recorded 12 points in 15 games for the Penguins but his play was inconsistent and he didn’t have much chemistry with Malkin.

Kris Letang – The Penguins don’t have No. 1 defenseman to replace Letang if they moved him, and they lack a third right-handed defenseman. The Penguins wouldn’t get equal value back in a trade.

Zach Aston-Reese – Could start the season on the LTIR, depending on the start date. Carries only a $1 million cap hit.

Canucks could have top-six issues again

Harman Dayal of The Athletic: It’s a little disappointing that the Vancouver Canucks haven’t been able to clear out cap space, which ended up costing them Tyler Toffoli.

It’s surprising that they couldn’t move Brandon Sutter or Jordie Benn while retaining salary. A Sutter buyout would have saved them $2.33 million in salary cap space.

Not being able to re-sign Toffoli likely vaults Jake Virtanen into their top-six and likely on a line with Elias Pettersson. If Virtanen doesn’t fit in, would Loui Eriksson become their next best replacement? The Canucks may be forced to acquire a top-six winger midseason – again.