After all the mystery and intrigue surrounding the Canucks cap situation and their intent to sign defensive prospect Nikita Tryamkin, it appears that the monstrous Russian defender is on his way to North America, forcing us to assume that these problems have been sorted out.
There are still some missing links and we’ve yet to get official confirmation from the Canucks, but when his KHL team is bidding him farewell, I think it’s safe to say that a deal is imminent – if not already completed.
It was reported that the club was on the verge of inking Tryamkin to a deal, but that some paperwork was getting in the way. Among other sticking points (like immigration), Tryamkin was still under contract to Avtomobilist until April 30th, though the Canucks felt that they could get around that, according to Elliotte Friedman on Saturday night.
It certainly seems like they’ve gotten their way. In the wee hours this morning, Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, the KHL team to which Tryamkin was under contract, posted this on their website:
Tryamkin’s contract expires on 30 April 2016 but the defenceman asked the club to let him go to North America before that date. To remind you, Nikita was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks.
The club decided to accommodate their trainee, so Nikita’s season will continue in Canada. Avtomobolist will retain his KHL rights.
We wish Nikita Tryamkin good luck!
(Stick tap to Artem Zhurakhovsky for the translation, which beats the Google translation.)
Now we are still waiting for the Canucks to confirm his signing, but this is a major tip off. As for how they managed to do that, we’ll have to wait on the details.
Earlier this week, Canucks Army discussed the Canucks’ ability to sign Tryamkin based on their current cap situation, which is convoluted to put it lightly. Based on the conclusion that we arrived at, the Canucks would still be able to sign Tryamkin to an Entry Level Contract with the space afforded to them by Brandon Sutter’s LTIR relief. That being said, regardless of adding extra salary, it didn’t seem like the Canucks were going to be able to activate Sutter from LTIR without forcing themselves over the salary cap. Benning himself would disagree however.
Benning said they have cap rm for tryamkin despite what someone tweeted out
— Omar A (@omarcanuck) March 4, 2016
Evidently they’ve managed to do this deal by finally adding Alexander Edler to LTIR, giving them all sorts of cap space.
#Canucks confirm Edler went on LTI this week. Lots of cap space for Tryamkin. Deal close. Team working on KHL release and visa.
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) March 6, 2016
Of course, should both Brandon Sutter and Alex Edler get healthy before the end of the season, the Canucks will find themselves in a spot of trouble trying to activate both of them, and any potential Tryamkin contract only complicates that matter. Even when accounting for daily accruals, the cap website General Fanager estimates the Canucks to have zero dollars in cap space at the end of the season. In fact, the Canucks have only had three days this entire season where they weren’t using LTIR relief (February 7th to 9th), with Chris Higgins, Brandon Prust, Brandon Sutter and Dan Hamhuis all seeing time on the long term injury reserve.
As with before, a possible explanation for this is that one or both of Sutter and Edler do not return for the rest of the season, allowing them to continue using the LTIR relief with impunity. In fact, if it is announced that one of them is shut down for the season, I wouldn’t be surprised if their cap issues played a large part in such a decision – not that I would expect them to admit that. Who knows what the deal with Henrik Sedin is either – the captain left in the first period of last night’s game (the third time he has done so this season) and is heading home with a suspected back ailment. It’s possible that at some point they just decide to shut Henrik down, freeing up even more cap money. Spend away, Jim.
This mess should all be settled in the coming days, if not hours. They still have to work through immigration, and don’t forget how much trouble James Reimer, Teddy Purcell and Jiri Hudler had with that just to transfer from Canada to the United States.
Whatever the case, it appears that we’ll be getting our first glimpse of the 6-foot-6 Tryamkin in the near-ish future.