Today it was announced the Tampa Bay Lightning sent Ryan Callahan’s contract and a fifth-round pick to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Mike Condon and a sixth-round pick. Callahan will not be playing Ottawa due to a back disease which unfortunately cut his career short.
The move gives Tampa Bay cap space to sign the bevy of restricted free agents they need to lock up. Ottawa on the other hand gets rid of a goalie they didn’t need and will save the team money as insurance will be paying most of Callahan’s salary.
Before this past season that trade seemed like a move that the Arizona Coyotes would have made. While Don Maloney would be the first general manager to make a move acquiring a player’s contract to get a player, it would become a staple of the Coyotes under General Manager John Chayka. Chayka traded for a player’s contract three times, acquiring Dave Bolland, Pavel Datysuk, and Marian Hossa.
Arizona doesn’t look like they are going to be in a position to make moves like these anymore. Per CapFriendly the Coyotes currently have a projected cap hit of $81,321,901, although the team should get more space when Marian Hossa is put on the injured reserve list.
Arizona was able to speed up their rebuild by acquiring cap hits and assets from other teams. It would lead to the team acquiring Lawson Crouse, Jakob Chychrun, Vinnie Hinostroza, and Jordan Oesterle who are all poised to become key pieces of the Coyotes moving forward.
With the team consistently improving over the past few years and the acquisition of Phil Kessel and Carl Soderberg this past offseason, the rebuild seems to finally be coming to an end. Combine that with the team finally getting an owner with deep pockets and the Coyotes may not need to worry so much about saving money.
It remains to be seen if the Coyotes are a cap team under new owner Alex Meruelo. The team trading for Kessel suggests that the team will have a bigger budget. But considering the pending restricted free agents the team needs to sign after next season that cap space seems spoken for.
What do you think of Arizona’s history of bringing in player’s contracts for assets? Do you think the Senators got enough back for acquiring Callahan’s contract? Do you think the acquisitions helped speed up the rebuild?