NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2020

Could the Avalanche attempt to acquire Henrik Lundqvist? What’s the latest on Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Craig Anderson, Alex Martinez, Kyle Palmieri, and Alex Galchenyuk? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers believes the Colorado Avalanche have a trade option in New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist if their goalie tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz fail to snap out of their midseason funk. Lundqvist, 37, is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $8.5 million, but just $5.5 million in actual salary for next season.

Could the Colorado Avalanche make a pitch for New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist? (Photo via NHL Images)

Chambers believes the Avalanche have the salary-cap space and prospects/draft picks to entice Lundqvist to waive his no-movement clause for an opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup contender. With the Rangers carrying three goalies, Chambers believes they want to trade one of them. Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick could be another option, though he’s got three years remaining on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be Rangers management, not Lundqvist, who might be enticed by the Avs cap space and their draft picks/prospects. The Avs can’t make that pitch to Lundqvist.

Every report I’ve seen and hear regarding Lundqvist’s future suggests he’s not leaving New York. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but he has to be willing to accept a trade.

We don’t know if anyone is making a pitch to the Rangers, or if “King Henrik” has been approached about accepting a trade to a Cup contender. If Lundqvist is willing to accept a trade, Colorado might not be on his list of preferred destinations.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports there haven’t been any in-depth contract talks yet between Ottawa Senators management and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The 27-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. LeBrun speculates those discussions could begin later this month. How they go will determine if Pageau hits the trade block. If he does, LeBrun lists the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Boston Bruins as potential suitors.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators goaltender Craig Anderson’s performance must improve if he hopes to be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. His stock has declined in recent weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t automatically assume Pageau will be traded. He’s a local boy who could be reluctant to leave the only NHL team he’s ever played for. He might want to be part of the club’s promising future. We’ll know within a month if he stays or goes.

As for Anderson, I can see a team taking a chance on him, though the Sens might have to pick up part of his $4.75-million salary-cap hit. His 10-team no-trade list could complicate things.


THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also reports the Los Angeles Kings are open to dealing defenseman Alec Martinez, who’s signed through 2020-21 with a $4-million cap hit. The Carolina Hurricanes have internally discussed bringing a steadying presence to their blueline, but it would mean moving one of their rearguards to make room for Martinez. LeBrun also suggests the Colorado Avalanche or Winnipeg Jets as possible destinations, though the latter continues to face uncertainty over Dustin Byfuglien’s situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez would be a fine addition to a contending club’s defense corps. LeBrun cites an Eastern Conference executive suggesting the Kings could get a second-round pick and a prospect in return. He also pointed out GM Rob Blake can afford to wait until this summer to find a better return.


If the Montreal Canadiens become sellers, LeBrun believes they could be reluctant to part with defenseman Jeff Petry. He also feels they have to listen to offers for Tomas Tatar. Both players are signed through next season.

Speaking of the Habs, LeBrun suggests the Boston Bruins inquire about winger Ilya Kovalchuk if he’s still playing well in a month. The Bruins had some interest in Kovalchuk after he cut ties with the LA Kings, but weren’t ready to offer him a contract at that time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun isn’t saying the Canadiens will trade Petry or Tatar, only that they should at least listen to offers. We’ll see if GM Marc Bergevin is willing to do that. Like Blake with Martinez, Bergevin can wait until the summer if he doesn’t receive any worthwhile offers leading up to the trade deadline. As for Kovalchuk, I can see the Habs shipping him to a contender if there’s sufficient interest.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ asking price for winger Alex Galchenyuk is believed to be either a draft pick or a bottom-six forward. He’s a UFA on July 1 with a cap hit of $4.9 million.

Before being fired, former New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero was telling teams he wasn’t interested in trading winger Kyle Palmieri. Now that Shero’s gone, it’s anyone’s guess what the future holds for Palmieri. He’s signed through next season and interested in re-signing with the Devils. LeBrun believes Palmieri would be a good fit with the Bruins.

LeBrun expects the struggling San Jose Sharks could become sellers at the trade deadline. They could dangle defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Melker Karlsson, but they aren’t looking at blowing up the roster.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2020

After firing GM Ray Shero, what’s next for the Devils? Which second-line wingers will the Bruins target? What moves might the Flames make? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Corey Masisak and Scott Burnside weighed in with their thoughts on the New Jersey Devils firing general manager Ray Shero yesterday.

After firing their general manager, will the New Jersey Devils trade pending UFAs like Sami Vatanen before the Feb. 24 trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

Masisak believes they need a replacement for the recently-traded Taylor Hall, an upgrade or two on defense, and a resolution to their goaltending predicament if they’re to contend next season. Burnside believes they have important decisions to make regarding pending UFAs Andy Greene, Sami Vatanen, and Wayne Simmonds before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addressing the goaltending is the priority. The Devils have the second-worst goals-against per game (3.38) in the league. Long-time starter Cory Schneider hasn’t been the same since suffering hip, groin, and abdominal injuries over the previous two years. Mackenzie Blackwood has shown some potential but he’s struggled with his consistency. Louis Domingue is a decent backup but he’s never going to be a reliable starter.

Trading Greene, Vatanen, and Simmonds at the trade deadline won’t fetch immediate help to their woes between the pipes. However, one of them could bring in a promising prospect or a quality draft pick that could one day blossom into a goaltending star.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reported the Bruins still need a quality winger to skate alongside second-line center David Krejci. He believes GM Don Sweeney will be contemplating such potential options as the New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider, the LA Kings’ Tyler Toffoli, and New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri or perhaps his teammate Wayne Simmonds.

Dupont also suggested San Jose Sharks center (and former Bruin) Joe Thornton. While he has a no-movement clause, he’s 40 and won’t get a chance to win the Stanley Cup with the fading Sharks this season.

Thornton wouldn’t fix the Bruins’ second-line winger issue but could provide stability at center and give coach Bruce Cassidy the flexibility to move Charlie Coyle back to the second line. Dupont acknowledged the return of Thornton to Boston is unlikely, but reminded us Sweeney surprised us in the past with his acquisition of Rick Nash from the Rangers in 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s more likely we’ll see Kreider, Toffoli, Palmieri or Simmonds in a Bruins jersey than Thornton. That ship sailed a long time ago and it ain’t comin’ back.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently pondered some possible moves by the Calgary Flames. They’re seeking a top-six winger to play alongside first-line stars Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He considered Sam Bennett an intriguing trade chip to address that need.

Duhatschek suggested Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou as an option, pointing out Wings GM Steve Yzerman was believed to have interest in Sam Bennett when he was GM of the Lightning. The Flames, however, could prefer a right-handed shot. He also wondered if Bennett might be a good fit with the Toronto Maple Leafs, proposing winger Kasperi Kapanen would be a good fit for the Flames in terms of age, skill, and salary.

Other options for the Flames could include Kings winger Tyler Toffoli and Devils winger Wayne Simmonds.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett has frequently surfaced in trade rumors over the past three years. So far, however, Flames GM Brad Treliving has resisted the temptation to move him. That could change if a club comes calling with the right offer.

Athanasiou is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights who could pursue a hefty raise after last season’s 30-goal performance. Kapanen is under contract through 2021-22 with an affordable $3.2 million cap hit. He’d be the better fit, but every indication I’ve seen or heard suggests the Leafs don’t want to part with him.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 12, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 12, 2020

More speculation on the Canadiens, Rangers, Leafs, Golden Knights, Sharks, and Ducks in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Michel Bergeron believes it’s time for the Montreal Canadiens to consider trading goaltender Carey Price and defenseman Shea Weber. Bergeron points to Price’s obvious frustration as the club continues to struggle on the ice. He points out Price and Weber aren’t getting any younger, suggesting management sit down with both players to find places where they’ll each have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Price has a full no-movement clause, but Bergeron believes he could waive it to join a contender.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests the Carolina Hurricanes should at least look into acquiring Price or New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, though he doesn’t see any scenario where Lundqvist leaves New York. He doesn’t see the Hurricanes winning the Stanley Cup with the tandem of Petr Mrazek and James Reimer.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is expected to wait until the club’s pre-All Star break before meeting with his staff to determine their plans.

Should the Montreal Canadiens consider shopping Shea Weber? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Canadiens putting Price or Weber on the trade block unless they ask to be moved. Given their expensive contracts, however, I don’t believe those are moves that can be made during the season. Those types of deals tend to take place in the offseason when teams have more salary-cap room and more willingness to spend.

Even then, it won’t be easy to move either player. The Habs would probably have to absorb a portion of their annual average salary to facilitate a deal or take back an expensive contract in return. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports teams have been told the New York Rangers are willing to take calls on goaltender Alexandar Georgiev if what’s being offered impresses them. He believes the asking price could be a young NHL-ready forward or one who’s close to it.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wonders if the Tampa Bay Lightning might be interested in a package of Georgiev and Chris Kreider. The problem for the Rangers, however, is the Bolts would be reluctant to part with a meaningful player to add another. The Blueshirts could load up on draft picks, but that return isn’t likely to help them push for the playoffs over the next couple of years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until promising Igor Shesterkin made his recent impressive NHL debut, I didn’t see the Rangers moving Georgiev while they were in the chase for a wild-card spot. It appears their position has changed. If they get a return they like, Georgiev could be moved before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger reports league sources are claiming the Vegas Golden Knights are shopping around for a top-four defenseman to take some pressure off Nate Schmidt and Shea Theodore. Given their limited salary-cap space, Granger believes it’ll have to be a dollar-for-dollar swap. He feels a deal could happen at any time between now and the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

Granger suggested the New York Rangers’ Anthony DeAngelo as one of the most attractive defensemen potentially available in the trade market. His puck-moving skills and low salary for this season ($925K) would make him a perfect fit. Another would be the New Jersey Devils’ Sami Vatanen, though his $4.875 million salary-cap hit and pending UFA status could rule him out.

Other sugessted options are Los Angeles’ Alex Martinez, San Jose’s Brenden Dillon, Chicago Erik Gustafsson, and Carolina’s Jake Gardiner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas’ cap limitations will force GM Kelly McCrimmon to get creative. He could be forced to ship out a decent salaried forward to bring in that top-four rearguard.

I’m surprised to see DeAngelo mentioned as a trade candidate. Granger believes his defensive play is why he could be available in the first place. His restricted free agent status with salary-arbitration rights could be another. The Rangers aren’t under any pressure to move DeAngelo now, but his situation could be worth monitoring in the coming weeks.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the San Jose Sharks hope to contend next season if they fail to reach the playoffs this year. They don’t intend on moving any of their core players. They’re willing to talk about pending UFAs like defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Melker Karlsson. Friedman said the Toronto Maple Leafs could be kicking the tires on Dillon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dillon’s annual average value is $3.27 million. The Leafs have over $1.3 million in projected trade-deadline cap space.

The Anaheim Ducks, meanwhile, have let it known they’re willing to use their salary-cap space to help other clubs with limited cap room. However, they’ll also want good, young assets as part of the return.

Updates on NHL Players Who Have Requested Trades This Season

Updates on NHL Players Who Have Requested Trades This Season


NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2020

Check out the latest on the Bruins, Oilers, and Sharks, plus an update on Robin Lehner in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Jacob Camenker cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Boston Bruins could pursue Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli. “I’ll tell you this, I do think Boston if they wanted to, could do a deal for Toffoli almost at any time. I think they know they’ve got that in their hip pocket,” Friedman said. He added the question was whether they’d do that deal or wait for New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider to become available. Friedman said he’s been told the Rangers are starting to think more about keeping Kreider.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri checks all the boxes for the Bruins. If Palmieri’s available in the trade market, one NHL assistant general manager suggested the Bruins could make a pitch similar to the one that landed Charlie Coyle last year from the Minnesota Wild. Shinzawa proposed offering up winger Anders Bjork and perhaps a prospect like Axel Andersson for Palmieri, who’s signed through 2020-21.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports league sources confirmed the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks have talked trade. One source mentioned Bruins defenseman John Moore as a possible trade target for the Hawks, who are in the market for a third-pairing rearguard.

Murphy also claims Bruins GM Don Sweeney has an interest in Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad and Rangers winger Chris Kreider. With only $1.7 million in salary-cap space, Sweeney must shed some salary to make room for a top-six winger. Moore has three years left on his contract with an annual average value of $2.7 million.

Are the Boston Bruins close to acquiring LA Kings winger Tyler Toffoli? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After falling just short of winning the Stanley Cup last spring, the Bruins are all-in this season. Sweeney’s not reluctant to make significant moves before the trade deadline, acquiring Coyle and Marcus Johansson last year and Rick Nash in 2018.

Be it Toffoli, Kreider, Saad, or somebody else, I believe the Bruins GM will pursue a top-six winger before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Anders Bjork could be packaged with a prospect or draft pick to acquire that winger. Given the Bruins’ limited salary-cap space, Sweeney must dump some salary and perhaps get a trade partner to pick up part of the salary of the player he’s pursuing to get a deal done.


TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos believes the Edmonton Oilers must add a top-six winger to avoid wasting another MVP season from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. While the Oilers hold a playoff position in the Western Conference, they’re not that far ahead of the ninth-place Vancouver Canucks. He suggests pursuing Ottawa Senators winger Anthony Duclair, who has 21 goals and 32 points in 43 games this season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson recently tweeted Oilers GM Ken Holland will help his players out at the trade deadline by going after a third-line center. He wondered if Holland might look at Nashville’s Nick Bonino if the Preds fail to gain ground in the standings, but only if they pick up part of his $4.1-million AAV through next season.

Matheson also speculated Holland could look at Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou. He doesn’t believe Holland will trade his first-round pick in this year’s draft but feels the second-rounder and a defense prospect could be in play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t dismiss the possibility of the Senators parting ways with Duclair, but he’s a restricted free agent this summer and they’re under no pressure to move him before the trade deadline. If he keeps playing well, the Sens could be keen to re-sign him.

Predators GM David Poile made a coaching change in hopes of getting his team back into the playoff chase. If they keep spinning their wheels, however, a roster shakeup could be in order, and that could include shopping Bonino before the trade deadline.

Not sure how interested Holland would be to acquire Athanasiou. The young forward staged an ill-advised contract standoff with Holland in 2017 but subsequently re-signed a two-year deal with no fuss. The 25-year-old is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

Holland also has winger Jesse Puljujarvi as a trade chip. He recently told The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun he wouldn’t rule out moving Puljujarvi for a playoff rental, depending on who that player was. However, I still think Holland intends to use the winger to seek a more long-term return.


THE ATHLETIC: With San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture sidelined for several weeks with a fractured ankle, Kevin Kurz examined how his absence will affect the Sharks lineup. He also suggested it could make GM Doug Wilson’s trade-deadline plans less complicated. The problem is Wilson doesn’t have much to sell as most of his key assets have various forms of no-trade protection. He believes defenseman Brendan Dillon is a goner and forward Melker Karlsson could also be on the way out.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton also weighed in on the struggling Sharks’ woes without Couture. In addition to Dillon and Karlsson likely hitting the trade block, Clinton suggested shopping defenseman Tim Heed and goalie Aaron Dell. He also recommended asking Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau if they want an opportunity to chase a Stanley Cup elsewhere. Clinton acknowledged whatever returns the Sharks get for those players won’t include first- or second-round picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a significant second-half turnaround, the Sharks aren’t going to reach the playoffs. They’re currently eight points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth.

Wilson won’t get much back for those suggested trade bait, but whatever he gets will be better than nothing at all. He gambled everything on this roster, even giving up a first-round pick in this year’s draft for Erik Karlsson. Wilson must restock his prospect pipeline and look toward the summer in hopes of finding some affordable NHL talent via trades or free agency.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield reports Robin Lehner made it clear he’s not accepting another discount on his next contract. The 28-year-old goaltender said he enjoys being a Blackhawks and hopes to remain part of their future. However, he’s also accepted contract discounts throughout his NHL career.

“I’m not a guy that wants to be overpaid either. I want to gain some respect that I think I deserve, and we’ll see if that happens or not,” he said. Lehner knows the market is wide-open for goaltenders this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, if the Blackhawks won’t pony up a lucrative long-term deal worth considerably more than the $5 million he’s earning this season, there are plenty of other NHL clubs willing to do so this summer.

They could include the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, or Ottawa Senators. The Vancouver Canucks could also come calling if they can’t get Jacob Markstrom re-signed, as well as the Edmonton Oilers if they’re not sold on Mikko Koskinen as their starter.

NHL Sense or Nonsense – Budget Teams with Cap Space Will Be Power Brokers at Deadline

NHL Sense or Nonsense – Budget Teams with Cap Space Will Be Power Brokers at Deadline