Islanders NHL rumor round up: Taylor Hall free agency and Senators Cap

Eugene Melynk and Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Eugene Melynk and Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

A weekly look at rumors that could interest New York Islanders fans.

In this week’s NHL rumor round-up, I wanted to look at two specific rumors that could be of interest to the New York Islanders and their fans.

The first will look at the free-agent market in this uncertain time that has the salary cap sitting still for a number of years. And secondly, the Ottawa Senators will have a ton of cap space going into 2020-21, but how much of that cap space are they going to be willing to use?

Taylor Hall Getting Big Money

We know that Taylor Hall had a meeting with Arizona Coyotes’ new COO Xavier Gutierrez recently. The pending UFA isn’t ready to make a decision just yet on where he’ll play next but Elliotte Friedman suggests that the Coyotes have offered Hall a deal with a $7.5 million (go to 24:08 mark of the podcast) cap hit.

As Elliotte Friedman suggests, a deal worth $7.5 million isn’t likely going to get Taylor Hall’s signature. Even in this unprecedented economic climate for the NHL, Taylor Hall is going to get an increase on his current deal with a $6 million AAV.

He’s not Artemi Panarin, but Hall is the type of player the Islanders could use on their top line. Hall isn’t likely to command the same salary demands he had hoped for at the start of the 2019-20 season. But even if Hall is going to cost less than what he had anticipated, the Isles are going to have to make a number of moves to free up that much cap space.

The Islanders are going to have a hard enough time making enough space to sign their three RFAs let alone adding an ~$8 million player like Hall. But if the floor for Hall is $7.5 million Lou might try to add a top-line veteran for less than market value.

Senators Cap Space

The Ottawa Senators have a projected $39.6 million in cap space for the 2020-21 NHL season. While the Senators have a number of players to re-sign, none are about to break the bank for next season. The Senators can likely hit the floor without needing to bring in any other deals through trade.

Sportsnet’s Wayne Scanlan wrote that the loss of revenue from the lack of games will hit the Senators a little harder than some. Owner Eugene Melnyk has been reluctant to spend at the best of times so with the lack of money flowing into the club thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic he’ll likely continue to spend as little as possible.

If the Senators can hit the cap floor without the need to acquire someone like Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million deal, why would they trade for him? Unless the offer from the Islanders is significant.

We might have to re-adjust what is a fair trade to dump salary to teams with a ton of cap space next season.