A recent history of NHL salary dumps and how they happened

Two weeks ago, the Blue Jackets parted ways with Oliver Bjorkstrand and the $5.4 million cap his contract carries for the next four seasons.

In exchange for Bjorkstrand, the Seattle Kraken traded the 2023 third and fourth picks to Columbus. Without looking at the context, it’s a robbery. However, context is always key, and because of the signings of Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine, the Blue Jackets had to drop some salary to meet the cap for the 2022-23 season. Therefore, Bjorkstrand’s trade can be classified as a wage dump. Click here to read ours dan twice why this trade had to take place.

Let’s take a look at some of the league’s pay cuts in recent history and see how they’ve played out for teams that have made these moves. All cap numbers and cap related statistics are from capfriendly.com.


We will start the 2019 off-season. The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Patrick Marleau ($6.25M capacity) along with a 2020 first-round pick (13th overall – Seth Jarvis) and a 2020 seventh-round pick (199th overall – Alexander Pashin) to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2020 Sixth Round Pick (177th overall – Axel Rindell).

The Leafs had to make this trade to free up cap space so they could sign Mitch Marner, who was an RFA at the time, who they would eventually sign to a six-year contract with a 10.903 cap. millions of dollars. On the other hand, Jarvis had a fantastic debut campaign in the NHL, as he finished in the top 10 in goals and points among rookies in 2021-22. As for the other draft picks involved, neither Pashin nor Rindell have yet played in the NHL.

Yes, Toronto had to make the trade, and yes, Mitch Marner is a world-class player. But, since that trade, Carolina has won three playoffs including the 2020 qualifying round. Toronto? Zero. However, if the Leafs win the Stanley Cup with Marner playing a big role, this trade will have been worth it.


Let’s move on to the 2020 offseason. The St. Louis Blues acquired a 2020 third-round pick (86th overall – Dylan Peterson) and a 2020 seventh-round pick (203rd overall – Chase Bradley) from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Jake Allen (hit $4.35 million) and a 2022 Seventh Round Pick (216th overall – Miguel Tourigny).

This salary dump is less egregious than the previous trade, but Allen posted a .927SV% in 24 regular season games and a .935SV% in five playoff games in 2019-20, so you could argue that a goaltender with these figures at that time the number of ceilings could generate a greater return. Nonetheless, the Blues had to factor in the $6.5 million cap extensions that affected both Brayden Schenn and Justin Faulk at the start of the 2020-21 season, and it also freed up space for them. helped sign Torey Krug at age seven. one-year contract to a cap of $6.5 million. Additionally, Jordan Binnington was entering the final year of a two-year contract and would sign a six-year extension with a cap of $6 million reached in March 2021.

This exchange worked out well for both clubs. Although none of the players selected with the draft picks have yet played in the NHL, Allen posted a .907SV% in 29 regular season games in 2020-21, which helped the Habs qualify for the NHL. playoffs and go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. The Blues have been able to use cap space to re-sign key players and make significant free agent signings that have helped them stay competitive in the two seasons since.


By staying in the 2020 off-season, The Detroit Red Wings acquired Marc Staal ($5.7 million ability) and a 2021 second-round pick (48th overall — Artem Grushnikov) from the New York Rangers in exchange for future consideration.

If you’re wondering if a trade is a lost wage, if a team only receives future consideration, chances are it’s a lost wage. It was a necessary move for Rangers as Chris Kreider’s eight-year, $6.5 million cap extension kicked off for the 2020-21 season and they also had to account for RFA Tony DeAngelo, who ‘they signed for two years, $4.8. M cap has reached the contract.

The Wings have also benefited greatly. Staal brought a veteran presence to a team during a rebuild and the pick they acquired was packaged with the 23rd and 138th overall picks of the 2021 draft and sent to Dallas for the 15th overall pick of the draft. With this selection, Detroit has chosen Sebastian Cossa, whom they hope will be the goalkeeper of the future.


Last but not least, in the 2020 off-season, The Colorado Avalanche acquired the signing rights to Devon Toews from the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick (60th overall – Janis Moser) and a 2022 second-round pick (65th overall). altogether – Calle Odelius).

Upon acquiring Toews, Colorado signed him to a four-year contract capped at $4.1 million and won the Stanley Cup in 2022.

Well, given that the 2021 second-round pick the Islanders acquired was used to gut Andrew Ladd’s salary in a trade to Arizona a year later and Devon Toews played a key role on the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche so far is as one-sided as he gets. However, if Odelius becomes an elite defenseman for the Islanders, the trade won’t seem as tilted to Colorado as it does now.


This section is an honorable mention to the Vegas Golden Knightswho during the last three off-seasons (2020-2022), have exchanged Max Pacioretty, Marc-André Fleury, Paul Stastny, Nate Schmidt and Evgenii Dadonov for a combination of future considerations with players who never played for the team and picks that were later traded before being used, such as when the pick Vegas received from Winnipeg for Stastny was part of a exchange package sent to Rangers in exchange for Brett Howden.


In a hard-capped league like the NHL, these trades are inevitable. Whether or not the Bjorkstrand trade is worth it for the Jackets depends on how Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine play. This question will be answered over the next few seasons, the premiere of which is just over two months away.

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