NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2016

by | Oct 12, 2016 | Rumors | 47 comments

Could the Boston Bruins land Winnipeg Jets holdout Jacob Trouba?

Could the Boston Bruins land Winnipeg Jets holdout Jacob Trouba?

Updates on Jacob Trouba, Hampus Lindholm, Marc-Andre Fleury and more in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN:  In his “31 bold predictions for 2016-17”, Frank Seravalli predicts the Boston Bruins will step up with the biggest offer for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who recently requested a trade. However, he speculates it could come down to the Dec. 1 deadline for re-signing free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins definitely could use Trouba, and they have depth in draft picks and prospects to offer up. However, the Jets right now reportedly seek a left-handed defenseman of comparable age, skill and experience to Trouba. Torey Krug comes closest to matching that description, but the Jets might want a promising young forward such as David Pastrnak or Ryan Spooner as part of the deal. If the Trouba standoff drags on into November, however, the Jets could lower their asking price, which could prove favorable for the Bruins. 

If right wing Evander Kane’s play doesn’t improve this season, the Buffalo Sabres will have a hard time finding anyone willing to take him off their hands.

Seravalli predicts Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella won’t survive the first month of the season, expecting the Jackets to nosedive in the standings.

The Dallas Stars lack of confidence in their current goalie tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi could force GM Jim Nill into the trade market. While Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop seems an obvious choice, one of the Winnipeg Jets’ inexpensive young goalies would make more salary-cap sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only goalie the Jets likely want to move is Ondrej Pavelec, who was demoted to their AHL affiliate. I don’t see them parting with Michael Hutchinson or Connor Hellebuyck this season. 

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury won’t relinquish the starting role again this season, putting the Penguins expansion plans regarding their goaltending situation on hold until after the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend upon Fleury’s performance as well as Matt Murray’s, the team’s overall play and whatever roster needs might arise. 

The Jets will be forced to part with either Michael Hutchinson or Connor Hellebuyck via trade or the expansion draft in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Then again, they can swing a deal with Las Vegas to ensure neither goalie gets selected before the expansion draft, perhaps by offering up a draft pick or a prospect. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports the Anaheim Ducks were unable to re-sign restricted free agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm and forward Rickard Rakell before the start of the regular season. The agents for both players claim there hasn’t been any progress and they’re not any closer to new deals.

Stephens speculates the Ducks prefer re-signing Lindholm to a deal comparable to the six-year, $32.4 million contract inked yesterday by Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen. The Lindholm camp, however, initially sought something approaching the eight-year, $60 million contract of Florida’s Aaron Ekblad. The Ducks have $7.5 million in salary-cap space and prefer getting the duo under contract without having to shed an additional contract to make room for their new deals. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the Ducks are at an impasse with LIndholm and Rakell. However, signings could happen quickly if both players decide they don’t want to miss any playing time this season. If the Ducks succeed in getting Lindholm signed to a $5.4 million annual cap hit, that won’t leave much room for a suitable raise for Rakell. They’ll likely have to shed salary, and blueliner Cam Fowler and his $4 million annual cap hit remains the most likely trade candidate. 


  1. With expansion looming Winnipeg can’t trade Hutchinson they need him to meet the exposure requirement come the expansion draft.

    • Sorry I should have added that it’s unlikely Hutchinson would get selected regardless & if he does that sets the stage perfectly for Comrie to slide into the back up role; although at 22 might be a little to young & raw, or Winnipeg simply buys a veteran back up for peanuts. Hellebuyck will be playing 60+ games regardless so the back up isn’t all that relevant.

      Winnipeg will be exposing far better options at forward than Hutchinson in net & numerous teams will be exposing solid young goalies. Potentially Graubauer, Subban, Domingue, Picard, Korpisalo, etc.

      Nor will it be as easy or cheap to pay off Las Vegas as in past expansion drafts. The quality of players being exposed is far greater; significantly so not just in NHL talent but prospects/young players & there buy the said cost to convince Las Vegas to pass them over as well.

      McPhee isn’t going to do any favors for anyone & this isn’t Mel Bridgeman or Phil Espisto; no slight to Phil, love him, he just wasn’t qualified to start an expansion team, bungling their way through the expansion draft with little to no NHL talent available.

      • The cost might not be to high for Vegas. Specially of they keep their cards close to their chest. What if they have no intention of taking Hutch. Winnipeg doesn’t know that. So Vegas takes a end rounder for free as it doesn’t change their decision. Why get greedy and squeeze teams for everything you can and have them back out of the deal when through milder negotiations Vegas can pick up free draft picks to say they won’t draft people they never intended to.

    • I don’t follow. Winnipeg trades Hutch for Niemi ( we know there would be more but this is base of the theory ) Winnipeg then protects Hellebuyck and exposes Niemi. I think Hutch can easily be traded.

      • Winnipeg isn’t taking Niemi even at 1/2 his salary & cap hit of 2.25 the max allowed under the CBA. Nor is Dallas taking Hutchinson as their solution in net. Winnipeg would only do that deal if it contained a solid sweetener; & dumping Niemi at 2.25 isn’t a positive but a negative, to do so & how does that help Dallas or Winnipeg?

      • It was just hypothetical. My point is Winnipeg can trade Hutch getting a goalie they can expose come expansion draft. Of course the sweetener would have to be something of value.
        I can’t see why he cannot be traded if the right deal comes along.

      • I assumed as much & was going to say so but couldn’t tell. Problem with text. You miss the connotation & humor. Anythings possible as we have seen in the NHL. If Clarkson can be traded no scenario is impossible.

    • Your right Striker, it’s the reason they signed Hutch to the 2yr deal so they could expose him for the expansion draft. Winnipeg goalies of the future are Hellebuyck and Comrie. Some believe Comrie will be the best of the three.

      • I’m totally sold on Hellebuyck. I’m all in, I have him in all 3 of my fantasy leagues & drafted him in 2 of my 1 year leagues in the last round. No slight to Comrie he will be traded eventually if as good as advertised. Hellebuyck is a stud. I got lucky as I thought he was going down until Pavelic got injured but even in my 1 year leagues he only need 35 starts to pay at that draft point.

      • I do believe that is most likely true. I just don’t follow why he cannot be traded. You take a goalie back who can be exposed like Hutch.

      • Agreed. I just don’t see Hutch having any real value. I was shocked no 1 put a claim in for Wedgewood. He appears to be a great young goalie & could have been had for nothing more than the waiver fee.

      • Agreed on Wedgewood Striker. Who is SJS back up ? Think he may have fit in there nicely.

      • Dell!

    • Winnipeg’s biggest concern should not be their goaltending but having Myers exposed in the draft as Byfuglien, Enstrom and Stuart all have No Movement Clauses. It is also why I have trouble with their expressing the desire to replace Trouba with an equivalent experienced left defenseman.
      To my way of thinking you would want to jettison Stuart and acquire a promising left defenseman who is exempt of the draft. Especially when you consider the Jets are a small market team that don’t spend to the cap.
      Currently, they have $63M (+ 4M in potential bonuses) committed and a Trouba or his equivalent will conservatively cost them another $5M. In 2015/16 the Jets spent $63.5M in total salaries, I can’t see them jumping in 2016/17 to being a cap team with no lock on being in the playoff picture.

      • Stuart doesn’t have an NMC but a modified NTC & he can be exposed. No team was giving Stuart a NMC.

      • Many teams are going to protect 4 Dman & risk losing a forward as it’s a far easier position to fill. Winnipeg will ask Enstrom to wive his NMC, should he say no, they will protect Buffy, Enstrom, Myers & Trouba.

        If Trouba isn’t with the team come the expansion draft & a comparable Dman isn’t brought in, then they will use the 7F & 3D as opposed to 8 skaters.

        No serious protection issues come expansion in play for Winnipeg what so ever.

      • Fleury has a modified NTC and he can’t be exposed. I think any player with any trade clause has to be protected. They should have at least given every team one free contract buyout that removes that contract from the teams cap number with no penalty. And then given LV the first chance to sign said player above and beyond the draft. It would make things more interesting.

      • The NHL has already said only NMC’s not NTC’s

  2. I think this whole swing a deal to ensure an expansion team doesn’t draft a goalie is a little overblown…look at the number of goalies available and what their value is on the trade market in acquiring one especially guys with big contracts or a guy like Bishop who will be UFA and only cost $…why are would multiple teams give up assets to protect a position filled by so little assets? Yes I realize Murray and Hellebuyck look promising but I think that people kind of lose sight of the value of a goaltender when thinking of these scenarios especially goaltenders that have yet to start in 50 games during a regular season.

    • Bingo. The sens would be delighted to see Anderson plucked by Las Vegas.

      • There are going to be bigger players to worry about being exposed than goaltenders who look like they maybe good but as of yet are unproven, why waste picks on protecting them when say if your the Pens you have 5 of 11 protected with the likes of Matta Pouliot Dumoulin Hornqvist Hagelin Dailey Bonino…the Jets have just 2 protected which looks ok until you take in to consider the 2 protected are D and its Buff and Enstrom leaving Myers or Trouba unless the protect 8 skaters which leaves 4 forwards on a team that has probably 7 or 8 good forwards Wheeler Little Scheifele Stafford Perrault Dano Armia Burmistrov Lowery…Is say there is lots of things worth worrying about as much as giving up picks for goalies who haven’t played full seasons

      • I can’t see Winnipeg having any issues exposing Dano, Perreault, or Burmistrov. Stafford will be a UFA. If they risk losing Armia, Lowry or any of the 3 above who cares really, a small price to pay for their 15 mil share of expansion revenue.

        Right now baring any changes, I have Winnipeg at 8 skaters the 4 D & Wheeler, Little, Scheifele & 1 of those 5 above.

      • I doubt that a Gm trying to put together a winning roster really cares too much about the expansion revenue the owner is receiving. I m I’m sure it matters but I’m pretty sure the GM is more worried about job security vs one of the richest men in the country making more profits. Come on now Striker kinda blurring the lines there.

      • Bonino and Daley are UFAs……..

      • Your misinterpreting what I’m saying. Every team is losing a player. Teams will expose the players they care the least about losing. Part of expansion is excepting the rules there by your share of the profits. Winnipeg losing 1 of those 5 players isn’t really significant. They have a ton of youth coming to replace said players & 15 mil makes it easily acceptable to do so.

        This is a business & the lines are very blurred now between the 2 unfortunately. The salary cap has forever altered the game & everyone but a select few care about the profits. Some make so much money they could care less, the top 4 teams in the NHL make more money than the rest of the league combined, NYR, Mon, Tor & Chi but for a team like Winnipeg 15 mil is significant. No team has a smaller revenue base than Winnipeg & they have to care about every penny both coming & going.

        We are essentially on the same page I just lean more to the impact of the business side of the game than you. 8 teams in the NHL lose money including TB. Another 8 barely turn a profit. Come the next CBA rest assured the NHL will want that to change.

      • I’m not trying to argue individual team rosters Dee fact is there are 2 goalies on a team compared to 12-13 forwards and 6-8 D chances are more likely Vegas will be more worried about filling out a roster with some kind of semblance of a team structure than concentrating on goalies who have not played a full season as pointed out by Striker above there are a few in the same boat as the Pens and since there are only really 2 spots on Vegas roster for goalies it may be in teams best interest to worry more about losing skaters compared to goalies who still haven’t played a full season. A thought maybe if I’m an expansion team I’m not sure I’d want to be wasting picks on guys with very little NHL experience because realistically I know I’m likely to be bad for a couple seasons and I don’t want to destroy a young goalies confidence.

    • I agree, but I think it is a blend of Cap space and comfort when it comes to the goaler perceived as the back-up. Established playoff teams with a defined back-up & Cap hit, sure…they would be willing to pay to keep their back in moost cases, but not overpay;their players already have a confidence in that back-up, and know his strengths/weaknesses. Teams with goaltending by committee, and no strong prospect candidate almost ready, sure they will give Las vegas “something’ to stay away.
      I agree whole-heartedly on Murray and Hellebuyck.
      Right now they “look” like the real deal.
      But I have been following the game far to long to not notice there have been many rookie goalies who start so strong and impactful, but by the time the opposition breaks down tendencies, the enemy attacks them, and they falter from future all-star to average plug in.
      And that begs then next question: Are Murray and Hellebuyck horses that can actually handle a starting NHL workload.
      I DO think that if the Las Vegas GM is shrewd, he can bluff his way to some mid round picks for not picking established teams players – even ones they have passive interest in.

    • One more babbling reply addition…
      UFA goalies may NOT want to play in various cities, so the key for losing far away organizations IS to get a younger developing goalie who will WANT to be part of a future.
      If Las Vegas thinks ONE more moderately Capped vet along with TWO younger up & comers with low cap hits works, they may try and pluck cheaper younger goalies with a prospect they DO play up to starters.

    • Agreed. All these things will simply play themselves out. The only 1 currently that’s even remotely an issue for me is the Pittsburgh situation with Fleury. His NMC complicates things but with his abilities & cap hit Pittsburgh will have no issues moving him when the time comes.

      I assume that will be following the season. Pittsburgh is a serious cup contender to repeat; Crosby? being an issue, I believe this isn’t his 3rd concussion, but 5th. I think he had 2 in JR?

      If Fleury can’t reclaim his starting role I think he’s to proud to want to be the back up & will either agree to waive his NMC & go to Las Vegas potentially or he gets traded to another team, again in the off season. Even though Murray has been stellar & has already won a cup why risk it. If he gets injured do you want to turn the reigns over to Jarry or Condon if still with the team in the playoffs? I don’t.

      As for Bishop. He gets traded at some point or walks as a UFA who cares. TB could use the cap space next summer to sign Palat, Johnson & Drouin which just got way easier with Kucherov’s incredibly team friendly contract. It’s up now when Filppula, Garrison, Condra, Stralman & Coburn will all come off the books. Brilliant signing & term. Building a cup contender sure has it’s benefits. These players want to stay & will do so under your terms.

    • Anybody think Las veags with pick THREE high priced veteran goalies and tons of fat contracted veteran players just to finish one place higher in the standings?

      • Won’t be doing that Bill; there is going to be some decent talent availiable for Vegas, depending on offers made to NOT pick a player, Vegas will have an opportunity to start stockpiling some draft picks. No rush for Vegas to try an make the playoffs, should give themselves a 5yr window and build it from the ground up with a solid foundation. Not to often you get to do build something new and if you want it to last, well like a building the structure comes first.

      • McPhee’s 1st question should be “who can that team least afford to lose” and from there try to extract a sweetener (i.e. player + pick); secondly “who has the most value around the league” (with an eye to trading the player to another team immediately or later); and thirdly “can this player fill a long term gap in our roster.” I don’t see there being too many irreplacable gems left exposed so I’d see them looking to acquire assets mainly, then fill gaps through free agency, waivers, etc. One exception is in goal though. They would be wise to take 3 young goalies from which they should be able to find a long term starter. I could see them taking a toxic contract or two just to give them flexibility to take a cost-controlled player elsewhere. They will also probably target a lot of defensemen who are harder for their teams to replace. Icing a competitive team in year 1 should be secondary to drafting a core of front line players.

      • Not sure a bright young goalie is going to continue to be a bright young goalie after losing 30 or 40 of his first 60 starts…may be easier to go out and pay a UFA like Bishop or get a vet that understands what his role will be for the time being. It’s an expansion team and likely will take some time to be good.

      • Point taken, they may dress a veteran goalie in year 1. But they would be foolish not to load up on the young goalies available. Goal is one position the draft is deep in. Put it this way, they’re not going to find a future first line centre or top pair defenseman but they should be able to lock up their future in goal. Since there are only so many NHL/AHL starts they might even take the best two and flip the third to another team, like the Leafs who don’t seem to have found a long term answer in net.

  3. I agree the thought of altering the management of your team the entire year to protect themselves from the expansion draft is overblown. At the worst a team loses one player. There will be plenty of time between the end of the season and expansion draft to make side deals.

    • I fully agree Scott. Job 1 is make the playoffs, job 2, win the cup, then worry about expansion. It certainly factors in to the equation just not going to stop teams from what needs to be done to potentially win it all.

  4. Trouba, Trouba and more Trouba until he signs or doesn’t sign (Dec 1st)same goes for Lindholm but we don’t seem to here as much about him; maybe because he hasn’t requested a trade (that we heard about). The jets are considered a bubble team. They have 8 games in Oct, 6 are against teams that did not make the playoffs last year, the other two games against Minny and Dallas. Its imperative for the jets to come out of Oct 5-3 if its reverse it will put a lot of pressure to move Trouba quicker rather then later to stay in the early playoff hunt.

  5. Look at bold prediction #31! Got that one wrong right off the hop.

    • The Jets waived Pavelec, so I doubt that means a trade for Hutchison or Hellybuck (or however you spell it). Pavelec will not make his way back if one of these two take the ball and run with it as I suspect they might. Maybe the Jets get in on the Bishop talks? They want a defender for Trouba; isn’t your best defenseman a capable goalie? Just some radical thoughts to throw out there, as I am sure this type of comment would attract some discussion.

  6. Question, If a player is under contract for several more years but has a NMC for this year and a NTC starting next season. When is the official date of change over from NMC – NTC. For example Tuuka Rask with $7m cap hit until 2020- 2021 has a NMC for this season and NTC next season. You know, because if it switches before expansion draft they could expose him. Not that Vegas would take a $7m goalie but I’m ok if they do.

  7. YA, 7M is too mich for a goalie.
    Even though I think Tuuka will bounce back and be a stud again, and hope that either Subban or Mcintyre strep up.
    The issue with that is they then have to expose either Subban or Rask.
    As Bill said earlier, I think LV will look at low cost and young with 2 of the picks, and plug in a cap friendly vet for a starter.
    So I don’t think they would even pick up Rask, unless it was as a chip to trade.

  8. Gentlemen & possibly ladies enjoy the games tonight. My 1 month hockey sabbatical is fast coming to an end. I need to get my projections finalized for the season, figure out my over unders & get all my wagers laid before the drop of the puck at 4 PM Pacific time.

    I bet on players over under for total points, teams making the playoffs; SJ paid huge last season, & a few cup winners, hedging some what to try & balance out the risk.

    Game on, keep your sticks on the ice & your heads up.

    • You a fan of the Red-Green Show?

      • Aren’t all crazy Canucks. stupid funny.

  9. If Matt Murray comes back healthy, he will be the starter. Sullivan has far more confidence in him and Murray is, ultimately, the better goalie.

    • Time will tell. I don’t think there is a wrong choice. Play the hot hand some, form of rotation either just a pure one, or they play till they lose. Great position to be in having 2 solid options but like Bill says I need to see him play 60 to 65 games in 1 season to see if he can carry the load.

      Not saying he can’t & I’m certainly solid on him Vasilevskiy & Hellebuyck. I’m all in on Hellbuyck. Not my starter but took him in all 3 of my fantasy leagues & as my last goalie in 2 of my 1 year draft pools. Was hoping for 35 games. Winning 1/2 with 3 shutouts. Anything more is gravy. We only dress 1 Goalie in my fantasy leagues my starters are Jones, Lundqvist & Crawford so only really hoping for Hellebuyck to establish good trade value in those 3 pools.

      Only 20 teams so like in the real world moving goalies is challenging & even then rare to get solid value.