Stephen Whyno of the AP: Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien Brisebois said they zero salary cap space ahead of the trade deadline.
There are 18 teams team that have under $1 million in cap space. Teams still aren’t sure how the trade deadline is going to play out.
“There’s so much unknown because of the cap,” New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said. “The cap is going to be flat next year. So any contract that you take on that is more than one year is going to disrupt whatever you’re doing next year and will put you in worse shape. So that complicates the matter without the cap increases, but it’s the same for everyone.”
The Lightning, Washington Capitals, Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens don’t even have the salary cap space to add a player making the league minimum.
Canadian teams also have to deal with the seven-day quarantine if they acquire someone from a U.S. team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers are on the playoff bubble. The Flyers are struggling but GM Chuck Fletcher recently said they aren’t looking at being sellers just yet.
The Edmonton Oilers could use a top-four defenseman to challenge the Maple Leafs but that won’t come cheap.
“If you’re talking about trying to go out and get a legit top-four — any, a lefty or a righty — defenseman, No. 1 there’s not a lot of them that are going to be available,” Oilers GM Ken Holland said. “And those that are going to be available, the price is going to be high.”
The Washington Capitals are looking to add a veteran goalie and they may need to trade someone off their roster as they don’t have the cap space.