Yesterday was a busy day in the NHL. Tuesday was the day that the league’s general managers had to get players to waive their no movement clauses (NMC) for the purpose of the expansion draft. Teams must submit their protected lists by 5pm on Saturday. Seattle’s draft is on Wednesday, July 21st.
First word of the morning was that longtime Predators goalie Pekka Rinne called it a career. In his 15 year NHL career, all with Nashville, he leads the Predators in all sorts of goaltending stats.
683 games played.
1 career goal.
Simply the best. pic.twitter.com/mtTFTsWmbb
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 13, 2021
This season was the last of his contract. While it was good in some ways, the birth of his first child, it was tough in that he lost his starting job to his Finnish compatriot, Juuse Saros. At 38, he said that one of the reasons he retired was because his priorities changed.
Pekka Rinne on his decision to retire from hockey: ”Every time I looked at my son, at Erika — I just felt like a different person, almost, if that makes sense. My priorities had changed, and my mind knew that, even if my body didn’t.” https://t.co/8mqUx8WVE4 pic.twitter.com/ryCnfatyv1
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) July 13, 2021
But the big news was happening in the midwest. The Minnesota Wild bought out two of their big contracts: Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 13, 2021
Michael Russo on NHL Live on the NHL Network last night said that although the timing was similar, it turned out that the transactions had nothing to do with either player declining to waive their NMCs. Parise, 37, has been on the decline for years after developing a severe back injury and with 4 more years on his deal, he was only going to get worse. During the past season he slipped down to the fourth line, which is a real lack of value for his contract. Suter at 36 can still move the puck but was also on the decline in recent years. For instance, while he still averaged about 20 minutes per game, he scored only 19 points during the 56 game season whereas the year before in 69 games he was good for 49 points. Minnesota chose to accept nearly $5 million in dead cap space this season to free up nearly $10 million. They’ll pay for this later, specifically between 2023-2025 when they will have $14.7 million in dead cap for each year. That will suck for them.
In the meantime, both Parise and Suter will sign elsewhere for presumably cheap, presumably a contender. While Parise is not a player the Bruins could use, Suter will have a suitor in Boston. As a left D who can handle big minutes, he could play alongside the younger Charlie McAvoy, freeing him up to do more of the awesome stuff he can do. The more I think about it, the more I like it.