NHL Rumors: Eriksson and the Canucks … Ristolainen and the Lightning?

Alex Killorn, Anton Stralman, Brandon Sutter, Brayden Point, Brock Boeser, Buffalo Sabres, Dan Girardi, Loui Eriksson, NHL Rumors, Ondrej Palat, Rasmus Ristolainen, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tyler Johnson, Vancouver Canucks, Yanni Gourde
Could the Tampa Bay Lightning rekindle their interest in Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen?
© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Eriksson buyout offered little savings as Benning tries to find someone to take entire cap hit

Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet: The almost 34-year old Loui Eriksson has already received $27 million over the first three years of the six-year, $36 million deal.

He’s still an NHL player, but the third-fouth liner is being paid like a first liner.

Vancouver Canucks free agent signings and trades have sunken their cap space down to around $8 million and they still need to re-sign Brock Boeser.

Brandon Sutter has two years left on his deal at a $4.375 million per.

Eriksson’s has bonuses so it offered little savings on a buyout. If they retained 50 percent of his salary in a trade, each side would only be on the hook for $1.5 million per season in salary for each of the next three seasons. GM Jim Benning will still look for someone to absorb the entire cap hit of $6 million.

Could there be Ristolainen fit between the Sabres and Lightning?

Joe Smith of The Athletic: The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t made any major additions to the blue line after losing right-handed defensemen Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi (remains unsigned).

“I think the likeliest scenario is those are our guys,” BriseBois said. “We’re always looking for opportunities to improve our team. But I would expect this is the D core we’re going into the season with.”

Could the Lightning circle back to Buffalo Sabres Rasmus Ristolainen? The Lightning showed interest at the trade deadline and earlier this offseason.

Having the salary cap space to Ristolainen as well as fitting in Brayden Point‘s next contract might take some work.

The Buffalo Sabres need a top-six forward and the Ristolainen could bring them the best return.

Smith thinks Tyler Johnson would be the ideal target for the Sabres but he has a no-trade clause. Yanni Gourde‘s no-trade clause has now kicked in. Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat also have no-trade clauses. The Lightning also have an extra 2020 first-round pick from the J.T. Miller trade with the Canucks.

John Vogl thinks that if they trade Ristolainen, they need someone who will immediately help them. They are okay down the middle in the future, but presently they are not good.

Smith wonders if the Sabres would be willing to take on the last year of Ryan Callahan‘s contract in a package.

Vogl adds that Anthony Cirelli is one player the Sabres could be interested in especially if they are giving the Lightning a top-four right-handed defenseman and taking on Callahan’s contract. Smith doesn’t see the Lightning wanting to move Cirelli.

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