If the Florida Panthers had it their way, Sergei Bobrovsky WOULD BE OFF THE CASE. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s Nick Kypreos is reporting that the Panthers are looking to deal Bobrovsky, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, over the offseason. Kypreos added that Florida is willing to take on “plenty” of Bob’s remaining salary to make it happen.
The Russian netminder has four seasons and $40 million left on a seven-year, $70 million blockbuster deal he originally signed in 2019.
Great @NHL goalie discussion on #RealKyperandBourne today. Gibson’s agent Kurt Overhardt tells me “No truth to John requesting or discussing any trade with @AnaheimDucks” Also Bobrovsky being shopped hard by @FlaPanthers who are willing to hold back plenty of 💰 https://t.co/a4Ya7WNJuI
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) June 14, 2022
Bobrovsky, 33, had a 39-7-3 record in 54 appearances for the Presidents’ Trophy winning Panthers, posting a .913 save percentage and three shutouts. Bob’s 23.4 goals saved above expected ranked fourth best in the NHL per Money Puck, behind only Igor Shesterkin (34.1), Andrei Vasilevskiy (28.4), and Frederik Andersen (27.8).
“Florida may be floating out that they’d be willing to [take on] 50 percent (of his salary) and hope that it doesn’t, that they can hold back less money,” Kypreos said on Real Kyper & Bourne. “They’ve got cap issues as much as anyone out there in the league.”
The Panthers currently have only $3.07 million available under the cap with nine unrestricted free agents and two RFA’s headed into July’s free agency period. Getting a chunk of Bobrovsky’s $10 million cap hit off the books would give the team much needed flexibility. If Bobrovsky is dealt, the team would turn to backup Spencer Knight, who went 19-9-3 with a .908 save percentage last season. The 21-year-old Knight is going into the final year of his entry-level contract and makes $925k per season.
One team that could be interested in landing Bobrovsky is the Washington Capitals. During the Capitals’ locker cleanout day, general manager Brian MacLellan said that he would prefer to not turn to the young goaltending duo of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek for a third-straight season.
“I think our goalie decision will be our first one,” MacLellan said of the team’s offseason plan. “And then we’re going to go from there depending on how much money we have.
“We’re going to explore,” MacLellan added. “There’s a couple guys. I don’t know if it’s a deep free-agent market. We’ll talk to other teams and then we’ll evaluate. [Samsonov and Vanecek] have both been pretty good but not great.”
The Capitals could have some significant cap space open up this summer. The team already has $8.9 million available to spend and they could have more if Nicklas Backstrom ($9.2 million) and Carl Hagelin ($2.75 million) end up on long term injured reserve next season.
Another name being floated on the trade market includes Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson. Gibson, 28, has five years remaining with a $6.4 million cap hit. The Ducks reportedly explored trading him ahead of the trade deadline last season.
Nick with good info here. The Ducks took calls on Gibson ahead of the trade deadline, as we reported in March. Gibson open to moving explains why. Trade talks are expected to continue leading into the NHL Draft next month. He owns a 10-team no-trade list. https://t.co/DF5ON0D7Su
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 13, 2022
Kypreos reported that “Gibson’s agent Kurt Overhardt tells me ‘No truth to John requesting or discussing any trade with @AnaheimDucks.'” That also does not throw water on the claim that the Ducks are open to dealing him.
Former NHL goaltender Kevin Weekes called Gibson the “best goalie option available in the marketplace for trade to contending team hands down!”
Great reporting by @thegoldenmuzzy on G Gibson being open to a trade from the @AnaheimDucks . I’ve been saying for years ; Gibson has been money since @OHLRangers days. Best Goalie option available in the marketplace for trade to contending team hands down ! @NHL #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 13, 2022
Though Gibson’s numbers are less supportive of that claim. Gibson’s save percentage has not eclipsed .904 over the last three seasons as his play has nose-dived as seasons have worn on.
As some of you know, John Gibson has had a negative goals saved above expected in each of the past three seasons.
Here's how he got there, game-by-game, each season. pic.twitter.com/2LcwP4G5FZ
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 13, 2022
The NHL’s unrestricted free agent market for goaltenders does not include many sure things. The list is led by the Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury and the Avalanche’s Darcy Kuemper, who has been unflappable in this year’s playoffs. The rest of the pack includes names like Jaroslav Halak, Martin Jones, Joonas Korpisalo, Jack Campbell, Thomas Greiss, Mikko Koskinen, Casey DeSmith, and Braden Holtby.
If the free-agent route is deemed too volatile, there could be other proven commodities available via trade. NYI is tied to both Semyon Varlamov ($5 million) and Ilya Sorokin ($4 million) through the next two seasons and could potentially jettison one of those players to open up salary cap space after missing the playoffs.
Headline photo: @TheWuWu/Twitter
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