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NHL Rumors: Kraken and Carson Soucy, Maple Leafs and Michael Bunting, and the Salary Cap

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Don’t Debug the EBUG, on Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting and the salary cap.

** transcription

Marek: “You reported Saturday about Nick Bjugstad and the Edmonton Oilers. I had mentioned something about Carson Soucy after you as well, defenseman for the Seattle Kraken. And I think a lot of people are wondering, again, and this is a big if, if Seattle decides to do something with him. There’s a number of teams that would be looking at Carson Soucy.

Discussion about Nick Bjugstad and the Edmonton Oilers

Marek: “Do you have a thought on Carson Soucy? Who I mentioned on Saturday.

Friedman: “I like him.”

Marek: “I like him a lot too. He’s 16 minutes a night. I know he’s a bottom-pairing guy. It’s tough to get in that top-four with Seattle. And the conundrum here is, and by the way, there have been no conversations up until Saturday night that may have changed Sunday as we record this but up until Saturday, no conversations between Ron Francis and Jerry Johansson the agent there.

He’s on an expiring contract. Seattle is going great. Looking like very much a playoff team and maybe even a playoff team that can do some damage come playoff time. We shall see.

So the decision is, do you risk losing him for nothing or do you move him for assets at the deadline? Do you say to yourself if you’re Ron Francis, we can just punt this until after the season and we’ll still have a window to do something? We know Soucy likes Seattle. What do you think of this player and this situation with Seattle?”

Friedman: “Well, first of all, I hope with after his career he becomes a talk show host, cause ‘Late Night with Carson Soucy’ has a great ring to it.”

Marek: “That’s a great handle for a talk show. Absolutely”

Friedman: “With Seattle, somebody said this to me about Boston too, and for the first time Boston’s actually in a slump, but Seattle has something special going on there right now. And do you really want to tinker with that,

And the thing this year Jeff is, until we know what the cap is, how many guys are going to be getting signed? Not guys like minimum guys. Ben Harpur got signed week, and Juuso Valimaki got signed week. Those guys are making numbers that are gonna tip your cap but guys like Soucy who have a big number to them, there’s going to be a lot of guys like that who don’t get signed Jeff.”

Marek: “I know, it’s going to be a brutal offseason. I know, it really is.”

Friedman: “Someone said to me, for example, there’s been a lot of talk about Toronto and )Michael) Bunting and (Conor) Timmins and everything. Timmins, if he’s going to sign for a couple years at a really low number by NHL standards, you can do that. But someone said to me, until Toronto knows what Matthews is going to do and where the cap the going to go, how can they make any kind of decisions?”

Marek: “Oh, they can’t. Especially on Bunting. Now, Bunting’s played a lot better lately, but he had an awkward being to the season. He had a great season last year riding shotgun with Auston Matthews.

You’re looking at the next contract, you’re saying, licking your chops, he’s playing on the top line. But I’m with you, until they know the cap and Matthews, how do you do your budget? How do you figure out how much money you have for a player like Michael Bunting? It’s a really, really tricky dance here.”

Friedman: “So, what I would do if I were these teams, and it’s a risk for everybody cause the player could get a big offer and go somewhere else, but if I was Seattle, I would just say, look Carson, we have a good team here. We have a chance. If we can’t do this now, we’ll take our chance in the summer, until we know what the number is.

In this particular case that may change. I’m talking in general. I have to say in a lot of cases in the league this year, I’d be saying to guys, look, we’re not going to know until the summer, we’ll take our risk. Now, a super star player is different.

Like I said, some of the minimum guys are different. But I think a lot of those guys who are kind of in the middle, I think you’re going to see teams say, we have to know what the number is.”


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