The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired goaltender Jon Gillies from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Jakub Voracek and a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Voracek (concussion) has missed most of this season and is likely done for his career, so this is GM Jarmo Kekalainen dumping a contract and opening up space to make other moves for the team’s long-term future.
Voracek himself said he doesn’t expect to return to the NHL anytime soon, thus this is not one of those deals the NHL warned teams about a few days ago that would circumvent LTIR and stash away a player for the playoffs. Considering the Coyotes are not in the playoff mix anyways, the NHL wasn’t likely to look at this in any way. So too, the memo was about trading for players and putting them on LTIR. A team needs to be over the cap to use LTIR and the Coyotes are not.
Trading for Jakub Voracek’s contract now gives the Coyotes the ultimate flexibility in the next 24 hours to move core pieces such as Nick Schmaltz or Lawson Crouse, as they see fit, and not have to worry about the salary cap floor. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff adds, “Really smart move for the Blue Jackets to move Voracek’s deal and ensure they get under the final cap calculation this season to avoid a performance bonus carryover and can start clean next year.”
GM Jarmo Kekalainen on moving our Jake Voracek’s contract: “This move provides us with some organizational goaltending depth for the remainder of the season and flexibility from a salary cap standpoint to improve our team moving forward.”
For the Coyotes, Voracek has $7.8 million in cash remaining on his deal. There is insurance coverage on it, thus the Coyotes won’t actually have to pay anything out. Arizona now has $57M of Cap Hit for 17 players, bringing them closer to the floor of $62-63M.
Next: Patrick Kane Talks Joining Rangers, Possible Contract Extension
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