NHL Rumor Mill – August 6, 2019

by | Aug 6, 2019 | Rumors | 38 comments

The latest Sabres speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski reports Sabres general manager Jason Botterill must find a way to free up some salary cap room. Following the recent re-signings of Linus Ullmark and Jake McCabe, they’re sitting over $1 million above the $81.5-million salary cap.

One way could be using their second buyout window (which opens today) to shed a contract. Lysowski suggested forward Vladimir Sobotka or defenseman Marco Scandella as possible buyout candidates. Buying out Sobotka would free up $2 million in cap space for the coming season while a Scandella buyout would save over $3.1 million in 2019-20.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen remains a fixture in the NHL rumor mill (Photo via NHL Images).

Lysowski speculates Botterill is likely trying to free up cap room via the trade market. Sobotka would have little trade value but Scandella or Matt Hunwick ($2.25 million) could draw interest from clubs seeking blueline depth. Moving either guy won’t address their logjam of eight right-side rearguards.

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for months and seems the most likely to be moved. The Sabres would want a top-six forward in return and that would offset Ristolainen’s $5.4-million cap hit. Lysowski speculates they could also try to buy time until Zach Bogosian is healthy and then attempt to move him.

THE ATHLETIC: Marc Antoine Godin reports veteran winger Jason Pominville would prefer returning with the Sabres this season. He’s spent most of his career in Buffalo and is reluctant to move his school-age children.

Botterill hasn’t ruled out bringing back Pominville, who’s an unrestricted free agent. If that isn’t possible, his agent suggested his client might be receptive if the Montreal Canadiens came calling. The Canadiens haven’t really replaced winger Andrew Shaw, who was shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks in late-June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A Sobotka buyout makes the most sense to free up cap space. We’ll find out soon if Botterill goes that route.

I still believe Botterill’s acquisition of so many right-side defensemen is in preparation of moving Ristolainen for a top-six forward. He has the most value and would attract plenty of interest in the trade market.

If Botterill is shopping Ristolainen, it could take some time to find the right deal. Perhaps that move comes next month when training camps open and teams begin to assess their rosters.

Botterill could also attempt to move Bogosian when he returns to the lineup. However, his injury history and $5.14-million cap hit could hurt his trade value.

Pominville turns 37 in November but he could still have some value to the Sabres or another club in a checking-line role. He knows he won’t be getting a lucrative multi-year contract. I can see him accepting a one-year, bonus-laden deal with a base salary of around $1.25 million.







38 Comments

  1. Sabres better take advantage of Bogosian’s health window because it won’t be for long. He is one of those players that is perpetually hurt.
    I wonder if that ever comes up when discussing multi year deals. There has been a few. Hanzal Gaborik Ryan Murray

    • Taylor Hall’s ability to stay healthy this season will have a significant impact on his next contract. He was drafted the same year as Skinner and has played 99 less NHL games.

  2. I hope Sabres fire the GM, he clearly learned nothing being with Pittsburgh. Why does he keep signing so many 4th line guys? Get your core group like Penguins did for cups and alway keep cycling out bottom guys. You can’t pay the 4th line 10 million, 4-6 guys should be all 1 million or less each year. 5th,6th D men and bottom 4 forwards. Rookies and cheap veterans. Girgensons and Larsson 3 million? Svbotka why? Stop picking up guys like Hundwick which are 2.5 mill dead weight. There are 3 young D men ready to play now. Think cheap and always cycle guys in and out. It’s not hard. Scott Wilson is signed 1 million, he’s fine for fourth line. Every little bit adds up.

    • It’s like my wife who makes 65,000 but never has money, spends $100 here, $50 there. It adds up.

      Sure let’s sign Pominville! Yeah be a nice guy GM sign everyone, because guys need to feed their starving families.

      • You are out of your mind. Botterill has turned that sad sack team into the next great thing. You are going to eat your words.

    • A couple things Matt:

      A few players that came back to Buffalo in the O’Reilly trade had played much better than the 7-12 forwards Buffalo currently had.

      Secondly, the story has been presented, but not refuted by ownership that they forced the trade so they could avoid the signing bonus.

      Your comment about how Pitt is a great model is not realistic as they pay their top 8 forwards over $3.5 million per.

      Buffalo’s 4th line isn’t anywhere near $10M, but they do still have a couple bad contracts signed by the last GM that they need to get rid of.

      Girgs and Larsson make $3.1M combined.

      It seems like some of your numbers are a little confused.

    • Im always amazed that perpetual bottomfeeders like Buffalo, Edmonton and Vancouver have very little or no cap space to utilize.

      Clearly incompetency in the GMs office (Chiarelli, Benning and Botteril).

      • I don’t agree in Vancouver besides Beagle and Erikkson(who knew he would age so badly…

  3. Montreal should wait to see what’s going to happen with Poehling and Suzuki before comiting to Pomminville. Management arent afraid to promote young players when they perform well during training camp. Wouldn’t be wise to sign a 37 yo when the solution could be within at less cost.

  4. Hey! Hey! Hey! Let’s lay off Botterill! As a Blues fan, he’s my FAVORITE gm!!!

    And his GREATEST trade was July/18:
    Blues get:
    Ryan O’Reilly (2019 Selke, Conn Smythe AND STANLEY CUP)
    Sabres get:
    Patrik Berglund (lucky for Buffalo he quit and went home),
    Vladimir Sobotka (current buyout candidate),
    Tage Thompson,
    1st round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft (pick #31) and
    2nd round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft

    THREE CHEERS FOR JASON BOTTERILL – My FAVORITE NHL GM and a lifetime friend of the Blues!

    • Ouch dude! May be true but sometimes its best to keep rape & pillages on the qt. :->

    • Nasdaq40

      Absolutely a skewed trade; no ifs, ands or buts.

      However, I can’t lay the thrux of the blame on Botterill. He was not dealing/negotiating in a position of strength.

      The publicity over moving R O’R was out there. He (Botterill) was getting seriously nudged (we’ll call it forced) by his owner; and there were limited trade partners.

      He took what he could get.

      I truly believe that the “dressing room” “environment” issue publicized had very little (if any at all) to do per se with R O’R but more with a battle of their current captain who coveted the spotlight.

      big big win for St L. ; but as I said, not all of the skewed trade blame can be laid on Botterill.

      He also inherited some issues as well.

      He is in a bind right now; we’ll see going forward.

      • That is a lot on Captain Jack

    • Hi Nasdaq40

      Absolutely a skewed trade; no ifs, ands or buts.

      However, I can’t lay the thrux of the blame on Botterill. He was not dealing/negotiating in a position of strength.

      The publicity over moving R O’R was out there. He (Botterill) was getting seriously nudged (we’ll call it forced) by his owner; and there were limited trade partners.

      He took what he could get.

      I truly believe that the “dressing room” “environment” issue publicized had very little (if any at all) to do per se with R O’R but more with a battle of their current captain who coveted the spotlight.

      big big win for St L. ; but as I said, not all of the skewed trade blame can be laid on Botterill.

      He also inherited some issues as well.

      He is in a bind right now; we’ll see going forward.

    • It’s not Botterill’s fault that Vladimir Sobotka became the NHL version of Frank Sobotka. And if you don’t know who that is then you are old and out of touch.

  5. Old Hockey Fan…
    Is there any scenario that Mitch Marner may find himself in, that he is not permitted to play NHL hockey anywhere……not signing contract or not being offered contract ????
    Just left to sit out.????

    Next question is how much is too much ????

    • I don’t have the exact date, but I am pretty certain there is a deadline in mid-December for RFAs to have a contract or they are required to sit out the remainder of the season.

      • It was Dec 1st last year.
        They sit out the entire season if that deadline passes.
        They can resign during that time but can’t play. Not sure if they can be traded, I think they can, but still can’t play.

  6. Re Buff

    Scands buyout would be the best for Buff (and me 🙂 )

    Sabres save $3.1 M in Cap this year. Excellent. Scands loses a total of $1.6M gross; so signing anything more on a 1 year @ $1.6M is a bonus for him. That is assuming he would take a 1 year.

    I would love for Pens to pick him up.

    Since it was rumoured that Ducks were trying to get Shatts (and lost out in the bidding) ; then they are still interested in a Dman. They had interest (apparently) in JJ 3 weeks ago.

    JJ to Ducks for futures (nothing); waive Ruhweedel and Trottman.

    Extend Pettersson, sign Scands one year (if possible).

    Now you are talking!!!!!

    Or… Rust and JJ to Ducks for Ritchie and Steel; waive Rhuweedel and Trottman

    Now with close to $7M in Cap space; sign both Scands and Pettersson long term.

    Now your talking 2 !!!

    • There is absolutely no room for Scandella on the Pens even if they can dump Jackhole. The Penguins do not need to make any more moves at all. Trading Bjugstad is stupid, he’s my 3C for the start of next year. I’m sure they can find a taker for Rust and that’s the only guy I’m willing to lose. They are still one of the best teams in the world at centre. Murray/Jarry can hold it down. If they could somehow get rid of the Jackhole it would be Rutherford’s best move of all time, but Jimbo thinks Jackass is an NHL player and he’s not.

  7. The last thing Montreal needs is another bottom 6 F, they are up to their eyebrows and beyond already in that regard.

    Sadly, that seems to be Bergevin’s specialty.

  8. From a Leafs perspective Ristolainen for Nylander would be great! We get a right handed D and save 1.5 million. Willy is 6.9 and Ristolainen is 5.4. But of course that doesn’t help the Sabres if they are looking to shed salary. Oh and by the way; Marner will sign!

  9. Marner should be traded. Great pond hockey skills, not much else in terms of driving to a Cup-anyone who watched him against Boston can see his l;imitations. Get a really good d-man, or send him to Calgary for Tkachuk?

  10. Marner for Tkachuk in Calgary? Why wold Buffalo want another Nylander, when they just dumped both Alex and the dad?

    • I like the idea Marner for Tkachuk , probably would need to take Brodie or Hamonic to help with cap issues and give them a draft pick to compensate

  11. Trade proposal

    to MTL: Namestnikov & Staal (since MTL wants LD)
    to NYR: Weise & Alzner

    Rangers get cap relief and MTL gets the better forward

    both teams lose on the D side lol

    • I guess if the Rags have no intention of being anything but a laughing stock then this is a great idea

  12. Would it be cheaper for Buffalo to get cap room by trading

    to NYR: Risto
    to Buff: ADA & Smith & 2nd pick

    Smith then bought out

    ADA is significantly cheaper than Risto for BUFF

    • Who is ADA?

  13. Marner should not be considered untouchable. I don’t disagree with that at all. It’s just that he will sign. I just like to remind all the armchair managers on this site we aren’t the ones who figure it out. Seems many people hate the Leafs and don’t want them to be able to sign him. The management team will figure it out. Back to the trade talk; I think a guy like Tkachuk would be a great add and in a multi player deal I would do it in a moment. However, why would Calgary want another Gaudreau. He was quite invisible this past spring. To be honest I wouldn’t consider Matthews completely untouchable either. The right deal for him could be out there also.

    • Seems a lot of leaf lovers think he should be underpaid also! I don’t think Calgary would trade tkachuck for marner they have gaudreau

      • Don’t really think he should be underpaid, but I do think Tkachuk would add something the Leafs need.
        I would think McAvoy is worth 10 million a year and Carlo probably 7 million.
        Sounds about right, don’t think they should be underpaid either.

      • I agree

      • @BBB: As a Leaf fan I’d do it but I doubt the Flames would do that trade

      • My point exactly bigbadbruin

  14. Lol , that surprised me.

  15. Marner: According To TSN, Marner Has been offered A 3,6 &7 year deals with an AAV of between $9- $11 Million. He’s not getting a 5 year deal no matter what.

    I really don’t think its going to get any better than that for Marner and It seems to draws a line in the sand for Marner and his agent and sets a point of value moving forward. Thank God

    • I have a feeling dubas will cave again for marner! I’d hope he would for marner more than nylander anyway that nylander might do ok in the regular season but when crunch time comes he vanishes