NHL Rumor Mill – February 24, 2018

by | Feb 24, 2018 | Rumors | 76 comments

Latest on the Senators, Flames, Oilers, Maple Leafs and Canadiens in an all-Canadian edition of your NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Prior to the Ottawa Senators shipping center Derick Brassard to the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, Pierre LeBrun noted Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman’s apparent unwillingness to part with roster players in a trade. The Lightning have been linked to Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. LeBrun also noted the Senators’ preference to include winger Bobby Ryan and his $7.25-million salary-cap hit could complicate a potential Karlsson trade and wonders if a three-team deal might get it done by the 3 pm ET trade deadline.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith also noted Yzerman’s reluctance to part with roster players and how the Senators’ desire to include Ryan in the deal complicates things further. He points out the Lightning are still believed in on New York Rangers blueliner Ryan McDonagh, who could be an expensive acquisition but far more affordable than Karlsson. Detroit’s Mike Green and Columbus’ Jack Johnson could be affordable rental options.

The Ottawa Senators’ hope to include Bobby Ryan in any potential Erik Karlsson trade. (Photo via NHL Images).

 TSN’s Travis Yost cites sources claiming ” Ottawa in serious discussions to engage third and fourth-party teams to further develop an Erik Karlsson trade. Working to include Bobby Ryan.” Yost added, “Tampa Bay is working Ottawa extremely hard and has been for three days now.”

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators decision to trade Brassard likely means they won’t be shopping center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, as his role with the club will likely expand with Brassard gone. The Senators are also talking to teams about Erik Karlsson, while the futures of forwards Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith and defenceman Johnny Oduya remain uncertain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The three-way deal that sent Brassard to the Penguins certainly adds credence to the possibility of the Sens bringing in a third or fourth team to move Karlsson and Ryan. Pulling it off, however, remains difficult.

The Brassard deal was complex and at one point had to be reworked after it was rejected by NHL headquarters. A three- or four-team swap involving Karlsson and Ryan could get quite complicated. I’m not saying it can’t happen before Monday’s trade deadline, but it could become so complex that it becomes a Rube Goldberg machine that fails to pass the league’s smell test. At this point, it’s more likely Hoffman, Smith or Oduya get moved at the deadline. 


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis recently examined the Calgary Flames’ needs approaching the trade deadline, suggesting they require a top-six winger and potentially a goaltender if currently sidelined starter Mike Smith is out longer than expected. He also feels their third line, which he called “an embarrassment this year”, is in dire need of an upgrade.

Francis lists forward Sam Bennett, defenseman T.J. Brodie and prospects Jon Gillies and Adam Fox as possible trade chips. While Brodie could fetch the Flames a top-six winger, Francis doesn’t see him getting moved.

CALGARY SUN: Francis followed up by reporting GM Brad Treliving has until the trade deadline to determine if his club needs to bring in a goaltender. With Smith sidelined, the Flames are making due with rookies such as Gillies and David Rittich as they struggle to remain in the Western Conference playoff race. He notes Carolina’s Cam Ward and Buffalo’s Robin Lehner are available but wonders if either guy would be an upgrade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Hurricanes jockeying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, I don’t think Ward’s available. The Sabres could entertain offers for Lehner but I’m not certain they’re ready to part ways with him yet. I agree with Francis that the Flames are unlikely to shop Brodie. If they do make a move for a winger or a goalie, I expect they’ll draw from their prospect depth.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector recently examined the Edmonton Oilers’ needs at the NHL trade deadline. He pointed out their ongoing need for a right-handed defenseman who can run the power play and for speedy wingers. He noted pending free-agent winger Patrick Maroon as a possible trade chip, linking him to the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. Spector also doubts they’ll be able to dump winger Milan Lucic and his $6-million annual cap hit. He suggested a bold move would be shipping center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for a No. 1 defenseman, such as Colorado’s Tyson Barrie.  Spector said he’d be shocked if the Oilers shopped their 2018 first-round pick at the deadline.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Terry Jones reports Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli indicated yesterday he had no interest in blowing up his roster but will attempt to remodel it. In other words, perhaps moving assets for “almost-ready-for-prime-time prospects,” especially those with speed. He’s also not shopping prized players such as Leon Draisaitl. Chiarelli also acknowledged receiving interest in pending UFAs Maroon and Mark Letestu.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Maroon and Letestu will be goners, likely for draft picks and/or prospects. Chiarelli’s most significant “remodeling” attempts will likely come in the offseason. I don’t see Nugent-Hopkins getting dealt at the trade deadline, but I wouldn’t rule it out for the offseason if there’s a good return to be had. I agree with Spector that Chiarelli won’t trade his 2018 first-rounder at the deadline. He’ll could perhaps peddle it leading up to the 2018 Draft. 


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently examined the trade needs for the Toronto Maple Leafs approaching the trade deadline. He feels they require a top-four, right-shot defenseman and more depth at center. He speculated they could look at “Detroit’s Luke Glendening, Edmonton’s Mark Letestu, or New York’s David Desharnais as a bottom-six centre.” Potential trade assets could include winger Matt Martin, forwards Josh Leivo and Kasperi Kapanen and goalies Calvin Pickard and Garret Sparks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Leafs have been linked to the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh, Fox points out he’s a left-handed shot. The Leafs could instead look at a rental such as Mike Green and perhaps seek that right-shot rearguard via trade or free agency this summer. I expect they’ll make a move but it could be for short-term depth. Having dealt away Nikita Soshnikov last week to St. Louis, I don’t see Kapanen going anywhere. Leivo or one of those goalies could be used as trade bait. 




  1. Lyle, I couldn’t resist tuning in to see the reactions following the Brassard deal which, as I suspected from certain quarters, ranged from the pragmatic “let’s wait and see” to the usual rush to judgement about getting hosed without any analytical thought. One thing everyone seems to have overlooked is that Ottawa can now give Colorado the 1st they got from Pittsburgh – which figures to be low – to complete the Duchene deal and keep their own first this year – regardless of where they finish – and next which both figure to be Top 10 at least.

    Just a one-time observation.

    • You can analyze it any way you would like to and be as pragmatic as one can be but … the Sens did get hosed.


      • Wrong George

      • wha!?!?! no way!

    • That 1st is top 10 prospected. And I don’t think they can actually give Colorado that pick from Pittsburgh to replace it anyway. They can defer their own pick until next year. But I’ve never seen a clause that basically says they can actually swap picks like that, nor do I ever remember it happening in the past?

      I suppose they could trade the picks. But I think they end up deferring until next year.

      • Protected! Lol

      • If I was Ottawa, I would be giving this years draft pick to the Avs. Next years draft pick isn’t lottery protected and I fully expect Karlsson to be traded in the off-season, add that to the other purged players and the Sens will be much worse next season.

        I realize they are looking prime to finish bottom 5 in the league this year but what if they are dead last next year? which is very possible.

        Ah the Duchene trade just keeps on giving doesn’t it?

      • Canadian king. What if they give it this year and win the lottery. Finish dead last next year and lose all 3 lotteries.

      • Lightning had that right in a trade Phil Esposito engineered and it resulted in getting Lecavilier rather than Legwand

      • Jeff, I would still target giving this years first rounder and if by chance the Sens actually win the lottery then defer it until next year.

      • Canadian king. Can the choose to defer it after the lottery is drawn or must the decide before the lottery?

    • is that true? not sure ott can give col the pens selection… if the trade was for ott’s pick in the first round and not just a first round pick… Estoy muy curiouso.

    • And in the immediate future, they got hosed. It doesn’t take a lot of “analytical thought ” to see that!
      Unless of course we’re all sitting around for 4-5 years waiting on a prospect goalie ( I think we all know how erratic their development can be) or 3-5 years Waiting on a high draft pick to develop.

      When you’re sitting around trying to invent positives , like somehow that pick now goes to Colorado, perhaps your putting too much analytical thought into an obvious bad deal.

      • ***perhaps YOU’RE putting too much analytical thought into an obvious bad deal.***

        Damn I’m not with it today!

    • George O: good call but I wonder what the wording is…can they give that 1st to complete that trade? If so that was best move Dorion has ever made

    • Welcome back, George, keep us updated on the Sens’ moves. A lot of moving parts there, hard to get a handle on things.

    • It’s a good point George, as i don’t know the language of the trade; however, if it just states a 1st round pick, then yes they could just give Col the Pitts pick. Again depend on the language in the trade. Is it their or A first round pick.

      • I think it has to be Ottawa’s pick but guess we will find out. The other pick is still pittsburgh’s Ottawa is just using it. If that makes sense.

    • Why can Ottawa do that, its there pick, why would the Avs trade for someone else’s pick, its the Sens pick.
      The Sens can switch this years pick to next but it must be a Sens pick.

      • I haven’t see the actual trade language, so it’s hard to say. If Dorion can trade any 1st round pick Ottawa possesses in 2018 (top 10 protected) or 2019 (no restrictions), the Brassard trade improves significantly from Ottawa’s perspective.

    • I don’t beleive they can. I think Ottawa has to give their own originally pick. But hey that be awesome. I hope very much you are righf.

      Lyle do you know? Perhaps I should read the rest of the post.

      • https://www.capfriendly.com/draft/2018&round=1&tid=8&otid=21

        this sums it up, Sens are protected if its top ten this year, otherwise it becomes Sens, first rounder next year.

        It would be insane for the Avs to let the Sens just trade for another teams first rounders and then say hey take this one, its completely changes the dynamics of the trade from the Avs trade.

      • Thanks puck23

      • Again, the actual trade language was never released. Remember everyone thought Bobby Ryan had to be protected in the expansion draft because of his NMC, but the language in the NMC allowed Ottawa to expose him. The details never came out until everyone cared about the issue just before the expansion draft.

        It would be a very pleasant surprise if Ottawa can dump Pittsburgh’s 1st round pick to Colorado to complete the Duchene trade, but not inconceivable until we know the actual trade language.

      • Puck22: I saw that link myself. Did you notice that it says “a first round pick in 2019” not “Ottawa’s 2019 first round pick”? It also says if the pick in 2018 (not if Ottawa’s pick) is top ten, then it’s a 2019 first round pick. Definitely room for interpretation and for Ottawa to give up the Pittsburgh pick if that is the language.

      • If you go to capfriendly you can see Colorado already posses the Sens 1st round draft pick. How could the Sens negotiate a trade of a pick they didn’t posses at the time of the trade?

        It’s almost like Vegas agreeing to trade Brassard to Pittsburgh 3 months ago. It can’t happen.

    • Not..pens first. .Ottawa’s..sorry George. .and next year. .if it’s a lottery pick..that Hughes kid!..bye bye Dorian!..

  2. copied from the brassard article…

    I am curious about these two bozos

    my thunks

    pens still need another 6-7 d man but otherwise are set.

    I am surprisingly curious about who dunn and tobias are… any chance at all for down the line nhl ice time?

    I’d have preferred a trade of Jarry so long as the pens brought back another vet backup for this season/playoffs… Seatle could be a problem though this is far from an immediate concern.


    Overall a great day in Pittsburgh… except the impending flooding.

    • The two guys they got are almost certainly the definition of “warm bodies”.

      Dunn is a career ECHL and Lindberg has been traded 74 times in the last 3 years.

      These are likely just contract dumps who won’t be qualified and will end up in the Swiss League and the KHL, respectively.

      Lindberg, in particular, seems to have been used solely to facilitate the transaction…Vegas had to trade something to Ottawa to get Brassard onto their roster.

      There are no actual 3 way trades in the NHL, it took 3 separate trades (VGK w/ OTT, then VGK w/ PGH, the PGH w/ OTT) to move these pieces around yesterday.

      • Woulda been sneaky for brassard to end up in Vegas and the McPhee turns out the lights and disconnects the phone

      • MG is correct. Lindberg was actually an Ottawa prospect dealt in the Phaneuf trade with Toronto. Both he and Dunn are career AHL/ECHL players that were contract dumps.

      • Yeah but after years of trading picks the Pens are very light on prospects in this age range. The baby Pens could use these guys as well as their forward lines are not super. I don’t mind taking them on at all. They will just play out their contracts like Biggs and then move on.

  3. Any Olympic signing or call up rumblings?
    Canadian turned German Brooks Macek looked like he had some untaught speed. Could work as a third liner in the new NHL

    Rene Bourque looked even slower

  4. Hmm, turns out teams WERE looking to the Penguins some favors…

    This kid Tobias Lindberg must be a stud…first, the Sens trade Brassard a 3rd and a prospect for him and then another team evidently just had to have him and offered up a 1st, a 3rd, a stud goalie prospect and Ian Cole for him.

    The main offer I pitched for Brassard was a 1st, a prospect not named Sprong or Aston-Reese, Matt Hunwick and a 2nd to take Hunwick. The Sens will end up with a first, a prospect not named Sprong or Aston-Reese and will likely trade Cole for a 2nd or so. I figured asking the Sens to take money would be the main impediment to the deal, so getting Vegas involved was brilliant.

    Losing Cole hurts a lot…to the extent that I’m not sure the Pens’ odds of wining the Cup have actually increased with this trade.

    Rutherford needs to be just as creative to upgrade that #6 D spot. The pending UFA D market is ugly.

    • Luke Schenn or Justin Faulk even worth Pens time?

      • No way the Pens could get Justin Faulk. If you mean Justin Falk, why bother.

        Luke Schenn (of the cheap pending UFA D) was the best option I saw.

        Maybe there’s a mid tier prospect in the Pens’ system that Tocchet liked from training camp or something they could offer for him.

        But I’d be curious what Rutherford could do if he offered a package of Hunwick, his 2nd and the 3rd he got from Ottawa.

        They could get a guy with term left on his deal if they move Hunwick, which would give them a longer list of options.

      • MG …the package of Hunwick, a 2nd & 3rd (OTT) to AZ for Hjalmarsson (25% retained) work? He has term left and specifically a defensive defenseman they need.

      • Hjalmarsson was one of the first guys I thought of but the Coyotes already have two retained salaries on their books (the max) so they can’t hold salary.

        NOW, that doesn’t mean anything to crazy old man Rutherford as he proved yesterday, but they’d have to find a third team to hold money to get him.

      • I thought the max was 3? I would pay a second just to get rid of Hunwick. Getting Hammer back would be too good to be true. I would trade Hunwick for Brendan Smith if the Rags retained %40 of smiths cap hit.

      • Deee….lol the point of trading Smith is to rid his cap hit and not just his poor play. taking back Hunwick and holding 40% is like keeping Smith…. so as to speak for GM Gorts…no thank you LOL.

        Ward & Martin in SJ are on the block perhaps I’ll call them for Gorts and offer Smith for them both =)

  5. Noway Edmonton trades their 1st round pick, they love the Lottery.

  6. My opinion is Leafs are secretly shopping JVR, perhaps, with a third team involved, to find their match for a defenseman, or upgrade to their center situation.
    Dermot or Kapanen will be remain in Toronto.

    • As a Leafs fan I’d be happy to take a 1st rounder and mid level prospect for JVR, the big issue is demand, there is a large supply of wingers so how much will teams pay for JVR vs. what the Leafs are willing to let him go for.

      IMO the Leafs aren’t going to use JVR to bring in a centre of D man IMO, that will happen in another trade.

      JVR is on the first PP and can be easily replaced there by giving Matthews and Nylander more PP time, and 5 on 5 he’s barely playing now and will only play less in the playoffs, his value is higher in the trade market to the Leafs then on the ice.

  7. What will flyers do at deadline, any thoughts?

  8. Flames could deal prospects but not Brodie or Bennett unless it is something very substantial in return

    There are no guarantees in life especially with Lord Stanley
    Murray and Letang could both go down
    ( any minute). Pens third pairing is brutal.

    Dorion looking for an unprecedented a third three way in one season. They should and need to keep Cole

    • Benett & Brouwer to OTT for Anderson??? This way if Smith gets hurt again they have another starting NHL caliber goalie.

      • No-way on Bennett. A young 4th overall pick for Anderson !
        Brouwer ok but tight wad won’t take his salary. “And” Bennett is absurd.

  9. The San Jose Sharks have expressed interest in Ottawa Senators D Erik Karlsson and its worth noting that they have the cap space to take on Bobby Ryans contract as well (which Ottawa wants included in any trade for EK), per Pierre LeBrun.

    I plagiarized this from a post on a fan site

    • They could offer up their 1st rd pick, 2nd rd pick ..Boedker, LaBanc, Martin and something for Karlsson and Ryan

      after this season they still would have plenty of cap space

      • If Ottawa takes that offer, fans will burn the CTC to the ground!

      • wait…they aren’t crashing and burning already? LOL

        sj can add Dillon too

        really curious the Poker face yzerman is showing. less than 72 hrs from the deadline and not one blink from him.

  10. Even if Pittsburgh’s first round pick was lower then ottawa’s or higher whatever way you see it when you make a trade you must own the pick before hand to trade it… So Ottawa traded their own pick which they owned ….if they had Pittsburgh’s pick before they would have to state traded Pittsburgh’s pick in the trade… Like how do people not know this lol you can’t just give picks afterwards to teams … Whatever you trade including picks and players they go automatically to the other team … they don’t stay in your team …

    • Makes sense

  11. Well good for Ottawa they will trade all their talent and never make the playoffs for the next 5 to 10 years just like Arizona and then Mel could relocate it the way he wanted and no one will care since they will be last for the next decade…
    If no one gets it I’m being sarcastic … really sad they are trading a team that would of been good next year if they signed some UFA’s hopefully fans can convince them not to trade Karlsson he could of showed chabot a few things … If Karlsson goes this team is ruined and finished … they should put Duchesne as well for sell since there’s no way he’s going to resign in Ottawa well that’s for next year drama

    • It’s hard to see it happening…like real real hard, but if Ottowa does pull of the deal with Tampa for a good chuck of Canada’s Memorial Cup tourney roster, they’d have a passel of good youngsters on cheap contracts, and a good GM could do a bit with that. The Bolts would be in cap hell, and winning four rounds is never a sure thing. AS a Bolt fan I’d rather see the depth move through naturally and have five-six years of possible runs rather than than two and ooops. Unless the bolts, who have been smurf-forward centric for a while like the Nashville model. The only way I see any of this making sense is that Karlsson has told the Sens behind the scenes (“I’M Outa here”) and yzerman thinks he can find more late rounders to develop like Ondre Palat and Yonni Gourde and Jonothan Marshessault and Tyler Johnson and … hey, there’s a pattern here.

      • Tampa didn’t find Jonothan Marshessault, the NY Rangers did.

  12. I speculated a week ago that SJ might be seriously looking at EK. It seems like more of a hope and a prayer, as I feel he will be too expensive. Given their current winning streak…. anything is possible.

    Id like to see them add maroon and Domi. Or Hoffman and Maroon. Size and scoring is what they need. There are plenty of pieces out there but is Doug willing to give up assets to get them? Unlikely.

    I would also like to see them unload Hansen. What a bust. Seeing as Vegas picked up part of the tab on the Brassard deal maybe there’s a team in the east that would take him off our hands. I’d take a bunch of ripe bananas.

    I think the sharks are willing to move a right Dman like Demelo or Heed, and maybe a prospect like O’regan. I say give up the first round pick if you are getting a quality player with some term. The sharks are hit an miss with their picks any how.

  13. Yesterday I read an article about Lamoriello. His first day in Toronto he told his staff that in New Jersey he had an untappable phone/ fax line that he used exclusively to talk to other gms and he wanted the same installed in his office in Toronto. So his staff calls everyone and anyone trying to find a way to install this for him and they have no luck at all. So one of the guys call Lou’s old assistant in Jersey to see where they got it from. The assistant laughs and tells the Toronto guys that when Lou asked them for that all they did was change his phone chord from blue to red and they told him it was all set up. So the best day Lou comes in to his Toronto office to a red phone chord and he was a happy camper. THIS, leaf fans, is who is running your team.

    • Wait. Red chords are untappable? If I put a red phone case on my phone does that do the same thing?

  14. I bet OTT fans are wonder gin if they can trade players and GMs too with TB…send Karlsson and Dorion over for Yzerman plus =)

    • Lol. Now that you mention it In wanting to trade ownetships

  15. GMJR…..PRETTY PLEASE ….get rid of Hunwick …. ur D will upgrade with ANY of the following UFAs that can be had for 3rd or 4th, or maybe even a 5th: Connaughton , Schenn , Falk (Buff); Wideman; Oduya…. again Please with sugar on it

  16. No GM in their right mind would take on the contract of Lucic or Bobby Ryan. Well, then again you do have these dopey GMs who hand out long term deals to forwards age 30 and up. Bobby Ryan is a waste of a roster spot the guy is the tin man-no heart.

  17. Holy smokes GMJR…. just found out Davidson was got by NYI for a 2019 3rd….. even Davidson would be a Hunwick upgrade …. would Arz take Hunwick + 5th for highest paid lamest ARZ AHL player?Frees up Cap room for any other D

    • would you do Hornqvist and Hunwick to OTT for Ryan? LOL
      bc you do not approve of Hunwick as much as I do not of Smith?

  18. Ottawa’s being slagged way too much for this trade.

    They got a first, a goalie who was a 2nd round pick and would have been a first if you redid that draft and they will get at least a 3rd, probably a 2nd for Ian Cole. And they didn’t have to retain salary themselves.

    Effectively, they got the equivalent value of two late firsts and a second. That’s not bad at all.

    The only way to say that that is not a good return for Brassard is to judge against the absurdly foolish Duchene trade.

    • OTT gave Brassard to PITTS for a 1st rd pick and a goalie prospect. They swapped 3rd rd picks.

      Pittsburgh does deep enough, that 1st rd pick is really a high 2nd round pick. If it were a top 15 1st rd pick I would say it was a more fair trade. Ott should also not have had to give Pitts a 3rd rd pick unless a 2nd was coming back.

      So to MOST people…OTT got hosed.

      I would surmise some playoff team could have offered a
      better positioned 1st rd pick along with another prospect.

      • Agreed. Ottawa should have given up a 4th to take Pittsburgh’s 3rd back. The original trade failed because of Pittsburgh’s cap issues.

      • A top 15 pick for a year and a half of a second line center? Plus a top prospect and Cole?

        If you think he’s worth more than Gretzky then OK, sure, Ottawa got hosed.

      • A high 1st round and a goaltender that’s 19 and completely unproven.

        How many times over the last 25 years have we seen 1st round picks bust for goalies? 10? 12?

        Way too erratic of a position/ development process to say he’ll be anything.

    • I don’t hold goalie prospects in high regard. Look at how erratic they’ve been. Way too hard to really understand how they’ll develop at 19 years old. It’s less than a coin toss flip of their success.

      Hadek, 10th round, Lundqvist 7th round.

      Mark Visentin, remembers him? Neither does anyone else. 1st round draft pick 2010.

      Al Montoya 1st round 2004, journeymen backup.

      Jack Campbell, 1st round, Jamie Storr, 1st round, Rick Diepietro 1st round, on and on….

  19. Just read some pundit respond to a question regarding what it takes to land MacTruck. The offer was Brown(24), Rosen(AHL & 24) and a pick…
    the response was ” you’re not too far off”

    what are people thinking? Mac is worth more than some “pick”, an AHL player and a grinder (although good player).

    wow just wow

    • What do you think McDonaugh brings back? i’ll guess a 1st and a prospect.

      • same and a decent prospect at that like top 5 in the organization. The pundit that he’s quoted above is Eklund,take that for what you want, the price quoted is to low for him and I’m a leafs fan.

        My guess is that rangers will wait for the Karlsson deal to be done and then ship Mcdonaugh, he will be worth more then.

  20. Montreal is winning again against Tampa Jesus Christ can’t this team loose when they need to loose they win when they needed to win they loose this team should be all traded for AHL players in their 30’s maybe then they could finish last and lose some games… I’m starting to hate this team more and more if your going to loose a season with no playoffs then finish at the bottom of your fighting for a playoff spot then sure win and try but come on this team is just not normal