NHL Rumor Mill – November 17, 2018

by | Nov 17, 2016 | Rumors | 70 comments

Could the Leafs swap James van Riemsdyk for a defenseman this season?

Could the Leafs swap James van Riemsdyk for a defenseman this season?

Updates on James van Riemsdyk, Brandon Saad, Martin Hanzal and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN RADIO:  Appearing on Leafs Lunch, NHL analyst Pierre LeBrun was asked if the Toronto Maple Leafs could move one of their top veterans such as James van Riemsdyk. LeBrun said he hasn’t heard van Riemsdyk’s name in the rumor mill, though if such a move took place it could be at the March trade deadline or the offseason. He said if that’s the price to pay to upgrade their defense, it’s not out of the question.

LeBrun said he was mildly surprised “JVR” wasn’t named an alternate captain, though he stressed not to read too much into that. Dave Poulin said he didn’t see van Riemsdyk as a “letter” guy, as he’s someone who just wants to play his game without the added stress of an alternate captain role. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see van Riemsdyk going anywhere this season. With 15 points in 16 games, he’s off to a terrific start. That being said, if an offer of a top-two defenseman was made for JVR, I think the Leafs could seriously consider it. However, this would more likely be a move that gets made next summer. 

TSN: cites a tweet from Newsday’s Arthur Staple saying the New York Islanders are “trying hard” to make a deal for a forward. Staple also noted the Isles and Colorado Avalanche had recently scouted each other’s rosters but he feels a major deal between the two clubs, involving someone like Avs center Matt Duchene, is unlikely. Staple wonders if Islanders GM Garth Snow might give up one of his top prospects for a high-end forward. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles don’t really have a lot to part with other than those promising young players and prospects. You’ve gotta give to get. Like so many teams this season, the Isles have limited cap space, so any deal at this point will have to be dollar-for-dollar. 

SPORTSNET: Eliotte Friedman reports a high turnout of NHL scouts for Evander Kane’s recent return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup. He claims the Sabres want to move Kane, but haven’t yet received an offer worth getting excited over. The Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild are linked to the Sabres winger in the rumor mill, though Friedman said he’s getting denials about the Wild’s interest, though he thinks they’re looking to add a forward. 

Friedman wonders about the status of Columbus Blue Jackets winger Brandon Saad, who was nearly a healthy scratch last week. The Blue Jackets need to ease their cap crunch. He claims Chicago investigated it last season but couldn’t make things work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d be very surprised if Saad hits the trade block so soon after the Jackets acquired him in June 2015. Still, stranger things have happened. If the Jackets really feel moving him is the only route toward some much-needed cap relief, so be it.  

The New York Islanders are seeking help at forward. Friedman doubts they want to move their talented prospects. He’s also uncertain over how serious the Isles are about trading goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who’s started six of their last seven games.

The Ottawa Senators have let it be known backup goalie Andrew Hammond’s available.

One NHL GM interested in acquiring a goaltender is waiting to see what the Pittsburgh Penguins do with Marc-Andre Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That GM could be waiting until next June. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford appears content to keep the tandem of Fleury and Matt Murray intact this season. 

Friedman believes the Calgary Flames want to add a defenseman who plays with a bit of an edge. He also wonders if the Detroit Red Wings might be interested in Flames blueliner Dougie Hamilton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good point about the Wings. As Friedman noted, they struck out in their pursuit of Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk last summer. Given their lack of cap space, it’ll have to be a dollar-out, dollar-in deal

The Arizona Coyotes let it be known they don’t intend to trade pending unrestricted free agent center Martin Hanzal unless they get a young player in return who can help them right away, preferably a center. Friedman said there sounds like quite a bit of interest in Hanzal, and he could see the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks having interest.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Hanzal becoming available in the trade market until late-January at the earliest, if at all. He could agree to a short-term deal to remain with the Coyotes. 


  1. As a Leafs fan it is difficult to see a guy like Van Reimsdyk leave; however, we definitely need help on the back end and if he can fetch a bona fide defender then so be it! It seems like this trade talk around Van Reimsdyk seems to be picking up more traction. It’s too bad that we may not get to see more of him playing with Marner as they seem to have some chemistry going.

    • Taylor hall fetched a number 2 defenseman in adam larrson give your head a shake if you think JVR will gather anything close to that.

      • Geez don’t say that twin dan39 will throw out some stats that don’t relate to anything that jvr is a top 5 winger in the league!

      • Actually Twin, you are the one that should give his head a shake! The Oilers got taken to the cleaners in that deal, not the hat Larsen has been bad but they should have gotten much more than him for Hall.

      • Totally agree, the leafs would not get anything close to a top pair defenseman. I would be surprised if they even got a second pair defenseman, more likely a 5th or 6th dman. You are absolutely dreaming if you think the leafs would get a top 2 dman. Let’s be realistic.

  2. If Toronto is looking for a serious upgrade at D and is willing to move van Riemsdyk then maybe a straight up van Riemsdyk to the islanders for Hamonic? Salaries are comparable and suit both their needs. Mind you that would cause quite a gap on D for the Islanders.

    • Hey Thirstydeer,

      I have often thought of that one too. Fowler would be nice to trade for as well.

      • We need a righties not so much as having a lefty playing the wrong side

      • Indeed, good posts. I’d add to the wish list from the Islanders Pulock, wouldn’t mind taking him either.

      • The leafs would have to add more than jvr to get hamonic or fowler, and the islanders aren’t trading pulock why would they?

      • Very true BigBadBruins – some just take a bit longer to grasp the tenet that, when building – OR maintaining – a competitive hockey team, you must do it from the back end out. It took the Oilers years to learn that lesson and, despite having some of the best F in the NHL, there are cracks showing once more in their D and goaltending.

      • Edmonton’s playing fine. Their schedule is just balancing out. No team had an easier schedule out of the gate. 8 of their 1st 10 games to start the season were against teams that didn’t make the playoffs last season. All of October & Nov 1st. Now the are drawing the better teams & it’s not like they are getting blown out & have lost games they deserved to win.

        Oct 30th against Ott. Lost 3-2; out shot them 37 to 22, Anderson stood on his head. Nov 1st 3-2 OT loss to Tor; out shot them 46 to 31, Andersen stood on his head & then the level of competition got significantly better.

        Last 4 losses. Pit 4-3, Dal 3-2, NYR 3-1 & Anh 4-1. In 3 of those games Edm was the better team. Only NYR ran circles around them. I’ve seen 4 of Edm’s 8 home games this year live. This isn’t even last seasons Oilers. They are significantly improved in a whole range of ways not the least of which is defensively & boy are they not fun to play against. They hit everything that moves.

        Edm has under gone some significant changes in a very short period of time. They are still a very young team & no 1 had them as a cup contender this season. Edm will contend for a playoff spot. Hell they might even make it if LA & Dallas can’t solve their injury & roster issues, cap issues are also serious problem for LA. Both’s respective depth is being seriously tested & Dallas’s D is down right ugly & I’m not just talking about their D. Klingberg looks lost with out Goligoski as his safety net.

      • Sorry should read & I’m not talking about just their D. Missed just above.

      • The Islanders are a little bit banged up on the backend at the moment. I can’t see them trading a defender at this point. If anything, they should consider bringing in D help.

      • Klingberg does look lost without golo Josi also looks lost without Weber

      • You can add Ekblad without Campbell as well.

      • Not that I think Hammonic would be coming the other way but the Islanders have been looking for a guy to play with Taveres for some time and I get what you are saying about Hammonic but the same can be said for top line left wing with size who can score…they come at a premium. Particularly with that contract which yes only has a year after this one but really means there is less risk to it and JVR than if it was long term. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, no where are you getting a 50-60 point top line player locked up for close to 4 mill unless you were giving up something significant. Again not saying Hammonic just saying I don’t think it’s as one sided as some are making it sound (as usual) if this was the other way around there would be 2 guys screaming that Pulock has proved nothing in the NHL just cause he was good in junior and all the rest but since it’s JVR mentioned well why would the Islanders ever consider! lol 60 point 210 lb left wingers don’t grow on trees.

      • I don’t disagree & I love JvR. Ideally I think Toronto should do everything they can to resign him long term to help mentor & be part of Toronto’s future. There will be other options to acquire a Dman this summer. A solid can’t miss prospect not Matthews, Marner or Nylander, nor any of these existing D playing in the NHL of any value, Reilly, Zaitsev, gardner or Carrick & a pick; even a 1st if necessary for the right Dman, should suffice.

      • Jvr is a solid forward but is not landing hamonic or fowler, jvr is overvalued ( as usual) by certain ppl. no reason for the islanders to trade pulock.

      • Lol. And I overvalued Mcilrath by saying ” I’m shocked nobody picked him off waivers for free” lol

      • Saying JVR is worth more than a prospect is overvalueing? Sure slayer whatever you say. Again 50/60 point left wing with size who has a cap hit of 4.25 for a kid who has played in all of 16 NHL games at 22 years old?

      • My point….. Saying I overvalue a guy , that would have been had for absolutely no return , almost no cost, and almost zero risk….is beyond ridiculous!!!!! Yet you find a way to overvalue every player in Toronto there “Shtickles”

        And we’re talking Hamonic…. 16 games? Lmao!

      • JVR for Hamonic is a pipe dream!!! Much like Stamkos tweets. Tavares talk, and all the other nonsensical times you’ve been duped and unrealistic.

      • Did you have difficulty reading the first line?

        Shticky on November 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm

        Not that I think Hammonic would be coming the other way…

        And I think judging by these comments

        Dan39 on November 17, 2016 at 11:00 am
        Indeed, good posts. I’d add to the wish list from the Islanders Pulock, wouldn’t mind taking him

        Bigbadbruins on November 17, 2016 at 11:13 am
        The leafs would have to add more than jvr to get hamonic or fowler, and the islanders aren’t trading pulock why would they?

        There was more to the conversation than just Hammonic

        Sorry if it doesn’t help but that’s about as much as I can slow it down for ya.

      • Lol!!! Slow it down?

        “I don’t think it’s as one sided as some make it”

        Meaning Hamonic is not out of the realm of reality.

        Maybe you should slow down for you to process?

        Then again, I’m asking this of a guy that got duped by a liked tweet!

      • And also thinks a player that gets nothing in return is “overvalued “. Lol, talk about delusional!!

      • Listen I’m not getting in to another one of these dumbass boring arguments with ya NYR just not goin to take the bait today(you’re just not worth it perhaps if you could actually come up with something resembling original) but not sure where you’re getting this duped by a tweet idea I never wanted him to sign in Toronto there are enough here who probably remember me saying it over the year (but even still it must have been a consideration now wasn’t it considering he did come to meet management?) anyway keep on keeping on cheers lol

      • Actually Shticky, this was really more about the JVR for Hamonic posts, and had little to nothing to do about you. The only thing that referenced you was the Mcilrath comment…. Which was beyond ridiculous….. But as usual, you feel the need to jump in there swinging for the Leafs fans

    • I like Hamonic or Hamilton, any other right handed D aren’t good enough or too good and won’t be traded.

    • What about the fact van Riemsdyk has 1 year remaining on his deal after this season & is a UFA where as Hamonic has 3 at what may be 1 of the best value’s in the NHL at 3.857. No Dman of this quality is moving for anything less than a premium. I love JvR but he isn’t getting you Hamonic at any where near straight up & what motivation does NYI have to move their best Dman?

      Hamonic even scores if deployed in that role just very rare as he logs all the hard defensive assignments unless injuries open the door on the PP. Teams don’t trade these assets unless they get an offer t hey can’t refuse & JvR isn’t that player for Hamonic.

      It’s nice to have dreams.

      • Yup.
        Hall for Larsson wasn’t the lopsided trade a lot of people like to make it out as. That’s the going rate for a top 2-3 Dman.

      • I don’t think that Larsson moving for Hall is the going rate. It’s certainly a factor in any D trade moving forward but the situation in EDM was some what unique. 10 years of futility & a serious need to address it.

        Larsson’s contract was also a factor. His contract is great value for his responsible defensive play & ability to play big minutes against the leagues best players. That like Hamonic’s adds value over & above just their on ice abilities effecting their value in trade.

      • I would think if the Islanders were not interested in moving Hamonic in a deal for Hall then why would they move him for JVR?

      • Good point brettzky jvr is no Taylor hall

      • Agree that JVR will not get you Hamonic, but it may get you Fowler in June considering ANA’s depth on the blueline.

    • As an Isles fan I don’t see the value being equal. Could be I’m over valuing Hamonic or Undervaluing JVR because of my bias.

      Hamonic is a top pairing D man for the Isles, pretty much their best defenceman. He’s under a really team friendly contract and is a heart and sole guy. My perceptions of JVR are that he’s not really a top line/top 3 forward and isn’t overwhelmingly consistent. I’m not saying he’s not a good player, just wouldn’t be willing to part with Hamonic for him and some throw ins. Plus it’s clear that top D men are worth more than most wingers right now.

      If the Isles are going to move a D man it’s more likely De Haan as they aren’t likely going to be able to protect him in the expansion draft. I’m not saying he’s worth JVR or suggesting a Leafs trade at all but it’s more likely you see De Haan and a prospect moved for forward help.

    • Hamonic requested a trade out west for personal family reasons.I doubt he heads to Toronto. Snow wanted a comparable D man in return too. With Gaudreau out maybe JVR for Dougie Hamilton??? Money isn’t that far apart.

  3. The talk around whether Pittsburgh is keeping Murray or Fluery will not go away until a decision is made, much like Trouba I suppose. It was Fluery who got fleeced against Washington last night; 5 goals on 25 shots and Murray did let in 2 on 10 shots. I suppose that will generate some speculation as well. But the real thing here is why would Pittsburgh keep an aging veteran, who is still a capable starter over a young goalie like Murray? I know Murray has not been around long but he certainly played well last spring. Someone has to go and we all know who it is.

    • There is no way they will keep Fluery over Murray, who ever is saying otherwise needs their head checked.

    • Actually, not to be nit picky, but Murray saved 12 of 14 shots, not 8 of 10 shots.

  4. I can’t see Hamilton moving. He had a terrible start to last year as well. Wideman is done at the end of this year (or sooner)…Leafs need to start to draft defence. Their first round pick this June must be the best available when it is their turn to select….Columbus has a lot of depth at forward and defence. They should be able to make a move to shed salary. I think they will be a tough team to eliminate this spring

    • Done in Calgary yes. Wideman will sign a 2 or 3 year deal some where as a UFA this summer for significantly less money to run someones PP & play a top 4 role. Not enough Dman in the world to stock 31 teams that are better than Wideman even at 34 next season.

      Wideman has a ton left in the tank just not at 5 mil + per season. You just have to learn to accept players strengths & weaknesses. He isn’t a fit in Calgary with Giordano, Brodie & Hamilton all getting PP time ahead of him. Wideman is an offensive specialist & transitional Dman. His ability as a shut down defensive dman or even a 2 way guy isn’t his strong suit.

      Numerous teams PP’s would improve significantly if Wideman were manning the point on their #1 PP. I assume Wideman will be moved at the trade deadline to a contender, probably for at least a 2nd & a B grade prospect. Worse dman have moved for more as have forwards. I can think of 2 that Pit bought for 2nd’s & 3rds. D. Murray & Winnik.

  5. Sabres moving on from Kane? he’s only played 70 games for them. And what exactly are they surprised about?

    Kane has been for them what he’s always been, an injury prone, mediocrity with an over-developed sense of entitlement.

  6. Lyle.

    You keep raising cap space issues for teams but not factoring in LTIR. Grabovsky has yet to be put on LTIR & can be at any time that free’s up 5 mil. That’s a ton of money should NYI choose to spend it.

    Now if your argument is NYI has an internal cap & doesn’t spend to the ceiling that’s a different matter & should be expressed as such. They are collecting Grabovsky’s insurance so the vast majority of his salary expense is being off set.

    • Same scenario for Columbus with Clarkson except he’s actually being paid 7 mil in salary so Colmubus is collecting more in insurance premiums than cap hit.

      Does anyone know if an NHL player is paid like the rest of us in the real world if we go on LTIR? My employee’s aren’t paid their salary but the insurance premium. In Canada disability payments if paid monthly aren’t taxable but if you agree to a lump sum payout are. The monies collected are significantly lower but by the time you factor in the tax are very similiar.

      I don’t know how it works in the US. All me US workers are contracted labor. I have always understood that NHL players collect their salaries & the NHL team a certain % of their salaries. Although not all players are insurable. The vast majority are but some underwriters just refuse to write. Horton is such a player.

      Columbus was unable to insure his contract. A significant reason why he was moved to Toronto for Clarkson who’s contract is insured. Toronto is eating Horton’s salary.

    • Just because a team places a player on LTIR doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to use that available space for a trade.

      • No I agree but your saying they don’t have the space. They have it if they want tons of it. It doesn’t have to be dollar for dollar as you have written far from it.

        Now their inclination to spend it is another matter as I referenced.

      • And until they decide they wish to spend it, they lack the cap space to do so. If they don’t want to put Grabovski on LTIR, then it must be dollar for dollar.

      • Teams appear to be waiting to put players on LTIR until absolutely necessary. Not sure why, kind of a new trend. Must be a CBA issue of some nature.

        It’s not that I disagree with you just don’t like the way your expressing it. Ha-ha! As usual semantics but being a Chemical Engineer I live in a very black & white world. I hate grey, I except it exists every where but my brain just doesn’t work that way. Ha-ha!

  7. Not sure I see many teams eager to move a top pairing guy for a forward in season unless it was a team with little in the way of playoff expectations and are getting in early on dealing with expansion issues. Islanders could make a bit of sense closer to the deadline they been searching for JT wing man for years now so maybe if they were out of it, I suppose depending if the season keeps going the way it’s started. Can’t see the Ducks upping Fowler in season.

    • The Wild could make a good partner, for the Leafs.

  8. I kinda wonder if the Canucks and Islanders should start talking about swapping Eriksson for Ladd….????

    • Not happening.

    • In the off season before the expansion draft I see at least 3 solid Dman possibly even 5 being moved before the teams that have them potentially lose them for nothing as it also opens up the ability for these teams to use the 7 skaters, 3D & 1 G option as opposed to 8 skaters & 1 G. They may still lose a decent player but no team is allowing a really valuable asset; solid top 4 Dman, to be lost when a solution is easily available to solve the problem.

      It should be a very exciting summer.

    • lol that thought came into my mind as well.

      • addressing the Ladd comment.

    • What would that accomplish? On either side?

  9. With the understanding that neither looked very good last night (mostly because Malkin played the worst game of his life) but…

    The time to trade Fleury was before the draft unless they are getting back a player. They will get the same pick now as the week before the next draft.

    Might as well keep him now as an insurance policy…ASSUMING there are plans in place to assure that Murray is protected in the expansion draft, up to and including buying out Fleury if need be.

    I thought the non-trade with Calgary was such a bad outcome for all involved. The Flames wasted their time with a non-solution in Elliot. The Pens missed their window to get a solid asset. And Fleury was going to spend a year opening a bench door instead of leading a young Flames team on a playoff push.

  10. Boy was that Calgary game last night hard to watch. Arizona was terrible & if not for Smith standing on his head Calgary would have won that game comfortably. Tkachuk’s goal was a weird 1. Went off the back of Smiths head. Perfect example of anything can happen if you put the puck on net. Not even a scoring chance really the angle was so sharp but a goal regardless.

    I didn’t have the greatest angle on the play I sit in section 213 2 seats on the aisle next to 212.

    • “Tkachuk’s goal was a weird 1. Went off the back of Smiths head. Perfect example of anything can happen if you put the puck on net. ”

      Boucher needs to ram that thought home forcibly to his forwards. I remember an interview many moons ago when Ward Cornell asked Rocket Richard – between periods – what his goal-scoring secret was. His answer was “secret? there’s no secret – I just direct the puck at the net because you never know what’s going to happen.” Incidentally, that was the same year Cornell asked NYR goalie Gump Worsley which team gave him the most trouble and his bland answer was “the Rangers.”

      • Nice one about the Gumper, George, he sure was fun to watch.
        About the Sens, though, 10-5-1. There’s a problem???

    • @striker thanks for the usual informative novel. We all wanted to know that you sit in section 213 next to section 212.

  11. Interesting article about goal scoring droughts by Travis Yost TSN correspondent & former Hockeybuzz blogger.


    It happens to everyone.

    • Well the article addresses a larger topic, but it’s impetus is the ridiculous, media-driven story line about Matthews supposed scoring drought.

      Typical media play to appeal to the sensibilities of the masses of fools – BigBear, this is your queue to chime in and tell us how over-rated he is – who haven’t caught on to advanced stats yet.

      Matthews is top five in shots across the league and given the number of posts he’s hit – half a dozen or so? – I suspect he’s higher than that in the Fenwick tables.

      All is well.

  12. Stamkos done likely for close to 4 months

    • Yikes – he may never be the same player when he comes back from this meniscus tear. Wish him all the best, glad we didn’t sign him.

  13. What would take for the habs to get Sean Couturier?
    1st rd pick 2017, Mikail sergachev,M McCarron and T Plekanec
    Would it do it?

    • To get the most overrated prospect of all time you are going to have to throw Price in to even get Philly to answer the phone.

      Sean Couturier is Dave Bolland 2.0, I have said it for years

  14. Do you think the long term absence of Stamkos will nudge the Lightning toward moving Bishop sooner?

    • Doubt it. Remember, they’ve played well in Stamkos’ previous absences and Drouin’s now back in the lineup.