Tyler Myers' new deal won't hurt the cap-strapped Sabres, but they still must make a move. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman Tyler Myers to a seven-year, heavily front-loaded $38.5-million contract Thursday, avoiding a potentially long summer of negotiations and trade speculation.
As the contract begins in 2012-13, it won't have any bearing on the Sabres payroll this season, which is a good thing, because they're currently perched nearly $3.6 million above this year's $64.3 million salary cap.
With Myers' future settled, GM Darcy Regier can now turn his focus to finding a way to become cap compliant before the season opens Oct. 6.
Regier could resolve the problem by demoting right winger Ales Kotalik ($3 million) and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn ($2.1 million). But in late August he hinted at making a cost-cutting trade, though at the time he said nothing was imminent as most of his peers were just returning from vacation.
Since then, there's been no word if Regier has managed to drum up any trade interest. That, however, doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't discussed the possibility.
He would probably prefer to move at least $4 million to have a little wiggle room under the cap. It's possible he could move one player via trade and then demote or loan another overseas.
Clubs he could target might be those hovering just above the salary cap floor of $48.3 million, such as the Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes or Dallas Stars.
DOES TURRIS WANT OUT OF PHOENIX?
Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney recently told NBC Sports no progress had been made with restricted free agent Kyle Turris, who is reportedly seeking a three-year deal worth worth $3-$4 million per season.
Matthew Sekeres of The Globe and Mail suggested Turris' salary requests, if accurate, appeared to be “a trade request in disguise.” If the Turris camp continues to insist on such an unreasonably high number and the young center is willing to stage a long contract holdout, it will force Maloney to consider trade options.
There’s little chance Turris would get $4 million per from another club, but if this is his way of forcing a trade, he might accept a lesser offer from another team.
Neither side has commented so far on the possibility of a trade, but if there's no resolution by month's end the speculation will surely increase.
ARE DOUGHTY NEGOTIATIONS GOING SOUR?
There is little sign of resolution in Drew Doughty's contract negotiations with the Kings.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported Wednesday night Kings management has no intention of paying Doughty more than $6.8 million per season, which is currently what center Anze Kopitar earns. It's rumored the Doughty camp seeks $7 million per.
Dreger noted sources suggesting management could pull its offer of seven years, $6.8 million per season off the table if there was no resolution by the end of the week.
Thursday evening, TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted what transpires between the two sides over the next 24 hours would be critical, suggesting this may get “perilously close to going off the rails.”
It doesn't sound good, but there have been plenty of quick turnarounds in negotiations in the recent past. Earlier this week, reports out of Boston suggested negotiations between the Bruins and Brad Marchand weren't going well, yet the two sides agreed on Wednesday to a two-year contract.
SAMSONOV HUNTING FOR TRYOUTS
The Detroit News wrote Thursday free agent left wing Sergei Samsonov has been skating this week with the Red Wings and is considering several professional tryouts.
Samsonov, 32, lives near Detroit and would like to try out with the Wings, but the report suggested management is comfortable with its forward depth.
His agent had been in contact with the Islanders earlier this summer, but it appears those talks fell through.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla's Korner.