Ryan S. ClarkNHL reporter2 Minute Read
The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded ahead Jakub Voracek and a sixth-round draft choose to the Arizona Coyotes for goaltender Jon Gillies in a transfer that provides each groups extra monetary flexibility.
Voracek has remained on injured reserve since he sustained a concussion Nov. 4 in a recreation towards the Colorado Avalanche. The 33-year-old veteran mentioned in December that he has had round “seven or eight” concussions all through his profession. At the time, Voracek mentioned he was not considering retirement. But the actual fact he and his contract have been traded to the Coyotes suggests he may need already performed his final recreation.
He signed an eight-year extension carrying an $8.25 million cap hit in 2015 when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers. In 2021, the Flyers traded Voracek to the Blue Jackets, the staff that had drafted him, in alternate for Cam Atkinson. Voracek has yet another season left on his present contract, which might have left the Blue Jackets with what CapFriendly projected to be $11.154 million in cap area forward of subsequent season.
But now? Columbus may have greater than $19 million in cap area, which permits it to be an lively participant within the offseason, whether or not by way of free company or trades.
As for the Coyotes, taking over the Voracek contract is the newest in what has been a collection of strikes to make sure they’ll attain the cap flooring subsequent season. Last month, they made a commerce with the Vegas Golden Knights to amass defenseman Shea Weber’s contract with the notion he’s additionally anticipated to not play once more. Weber has three years left on a deal that can pay him $7.857 million yearly. Plus, the Coyotes even have yet another yr of Bryan Little’s contract left at $5.291 million.
The choice to get Voracek’s contract, in flip, means the Coyotes might hypothetically transfer a participant on a big contract to achieve extra draft capital. The Coyotes have been lengthy regarded as one of many groups extra actively seeking to subtract relatively than add coming into the deadline. On Wednesday, they traded defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2026 third-round choose. Later within the day, they despatched defenseman Jakob Chychrun to the Ottawa Senators for a conditional 2023 first-round choose, a conditional 2024 second-round choose from the Washington Capitals and a 2026 second-round choose.
Entering Thursday, the Blue Jackets and Coyotes have been among the many groups within the operating to win the NHL draft lottery and choose Connor Bedard, the presumed No. 1 choose. The Blue Jackets have the fewest factors of any staff within the NHL whereas the Coyotes are fifth with a distinction of 5 factors separating them.