Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 6, 2016

by | Nov 6, 2016 | Rumors | 52 comments

A Toronto sportswriter believes the Leafs have a shot at signing New York Islanders captain John Tavares in 2018.

A Toronto sportswriter believes the Leafs have a shot at signing New York Islanders captain John Tavares in 2018.

Resurrecting the “Tavares-to-Toronto” rumors, plus updates on Jacob Trouba and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox resurrects the John Tavares to the Maple Leafs speculation, suggesting the Toronto-born superstar might want to get away from the New York Islanders circus when he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2018.  He lists the Isles inability to build into a Cup contender, the ongoing issues at their former and current arenas, and their unwillingness to re-sign key free agents among the factors that could convince Tavares to seek green pastures, perhaps in his hometown. Cox suggests the rebuilding Leafs could be a much better team by then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, it’s possible Tavares could decide it’s time for a change by 2018. But if we learned anything from last season’s Steven Stamkos watch, it’s that there’s no guarantee a Toronto-born (or Ontario-born) pending free-agent superstar wants to “come home” by joining the Leafs. Tavares could set his sights on clubs that could give him a better chance of winning a championship.

And who’s to say by 2018 the Leafs will even need Tavares? Should Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner blossom into the full-blown NHL superstars they’re projected to become, the Leafs will have an embarrassment of riches at forward. They also won’t be able to afford to re-sign those three and still have enough room to pay Tavares a big-money contract, even if he agreed to accept a “hometown discount”.

SPORTSNET:  Nick Kypreos reports Jacob Trouba’s agent Kurt Overhardt met with Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff recently in Detroit. Things remains quiet, but Kypreos said the Jets would still love to re-sign Trouba, perhaps to a six-year deal worth $5 million annually. He speculates if Turris signs that sort of deal before the Dec. 1 deadline and returns to action, being under contract could improve his trade value.

Elliotte Friedman notes Overhardt went through this with client Kyle Turris and the Arizona Coyotes several years ago. Turris was re-signed on Nov. 22 and subsequently trade to the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 17. Friedman also said there’s no truth to speculation Trouba could return to the Jets on a two-year deal. He also notes the Jets have let it be known forward Alexander Burmistrov is available.

BOSTON HERALD:  Steve Conroy believes a trade for Trouba could help the Boston Bruins if it’s for the right price. He suggests offering up forward Ryan Spooner and left-shot defense prospect Jakub Zboril — the 13th overall pick in 2015. If that’s not good enough, Conroy suggests targeting Anaheim Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler or continuing to rebuild from within.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And the Jets will thank you politely for your offer and move on. It’s apparent Cheveldayoff isn’t in any hurry to move Trouba. He either wants him back at his price or he wants a big return for the blueliner. Spooner and Zboril won’t be enough.

While the Jets aren’t doing that well, they’re also not doing that badly, even with injuries to some key players and their questionable goaltending. Cheveldayoff isn’t under any pressure from his bosses to move Trouba. Indeed, they seem to be counting on the young defenseman to blink first. If Trouba is re-signed and returns before Dec. 1, maybe he will be dealt later this season. It’ll still cost the Bruins more than Spooner and Zboril to get him. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch also reports on the Jacob Trouba standoff with the Jets, claiming at least two teams (Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks) attempted to pry the blueliner out of Winnipeg. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand Detroit’s interest but Anaheim? They’re loaded with young defenseman and are in need of scoring depth, especially at left wing. That doesn’t make much sense at all. 

Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka apparently wants to make some sort of roster move. His defense needs improvement. 

The New York Islanders are shopping goalie Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Calvin de Haan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: First I’ve heard that de Haan might be available. He’s seeing third-pairing minutes with Dennis Seidenberg. 

Florida Panthers defenseman Steve Kampfer will likely be traded or demoted. He’s only suited up for one game with the Panthers this season. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to shed a couple of contracts. One was left wing Scott Hartnell ($4.75 million annual cap hit) and there’s some talk they’ll listen to offers for defenseman Jack Johnson ($4.375 million). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not so much the salaries as the tenure on those contracts that’s likely dampening their trade value. Hartnell, 34, is signed through 2018-19, while the struggling Johnson is inked through 2017-18. 

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is in the market for a backup goalie. He’s tight for cap space and Garrioch speculates he might listen to offers for Tommy Wingels or Matt Nieto.


  1. Damien Cox is just engaging in his semi-regular “get the fanatics stirred up” type of column.

    • Yep exactly this, and as Lyle points out if some of these younger guys keep on their current trajectory the need for another expensive forward is kinda deabatable at best. Too bad kids from Toronto don’t play D it appears.

      • Toronto has to worry about Austin Matthews wanting to go home….

    • Does Damien Cox ever write about anything real? John Tavares wants to get away from the NYI “circus” because they’ve lost a few games early. This is the same guy who had Stamkos signed sealed and delivered to the leafs last season. And if Tavares was leaving the circus then why would he even think about the circus and fishbowl that Toronto is for hockey. Sell those papers with your nonsense Damien!!!

    • I agree George O, the Leafs don’t even need Tavares with all the young forwards they have. This column is just embarrassing for any self respecting Leafs fan. I think we might still need defense by the time he is ready to sign.

  2. Toronto media is absolutely embarrassing.

    • The underlying factor is their long-suffering BURNING desire to have something about which to brag in comparison to their brethren in other NHL cities. It’s fine to have big seasons from the Blue Jays and Raptors – but neither is hockey, and say what you like but in the heart of most residents in the GTA who are sports fans, hockey is # 1.

  3. And since when did Garrioch need anything to “make sense” in order for it to appear among his “rumors de jour?” Like Cox, he loves pulling things out of the air in order to flesh out a column. both never let reality get in the way of a potential eye-opener.

  4. So, if it’s true Doug Wilson is looking for a back-up goalie, why didn’t he make a better offer to Pittsburgh for Condon?? Hell, if he wants to give up Wingels I’d send him the Hamburglar as soon as he’s healthy.

  5. If it’s no thank you from Winnipeg for Spooner and Zboril, then it should be no thank you from Boston and move on with the development program. I’ve always said I like to see Trouba in a Bruins sweater but I never said at any price. Chevy simply wants Trouba on his roster and is only willing to accept an overpayment if he can’t get him sign. Have no issue with that, I do believe Trouba will make a big difference to any NHL team defense but I don’t think he is going to be happy playing the left side.

    • All depends what happens leading up to Dec 1. Up to that point the price remains high, if he signs it stays high. If he doesn’t it drops.
      He likely will sign, as it benefits both to get a deal done.
      If I am Sweeney, I wait and see, like every other GM is also doing.

  6. Carlo may hit the wall at some point but he looks great so far & has made the need to add Trouba unnecessary. Stay the course with the rebuild. Morrow can’t even get in the line up & I don’t want to see he or C. Millers development reduced to accommodate Trouba.

    Lets go get a top 6 winger, ideally a LW but not picky at the moment as Krejci could always play LW if necessary, Backes slide opening up a RW spot.

    I would really like Tatar to play LW with Krejci & Backes.

    • Backes slides to C opening up a spot at RW

    • No idea how to make it happen though. Detroit is in cap hell but has serious issues at D not a position Boston can really help them with.

    • I don’t like what’s happening to Morrow, this is exactly what happen last year played 33 games. This year played two, he was responsible for a goal against playing Montreal and didn’t see the ice after that shift. This is not how you develop a player and if you don’t think he’s worth a position on that D, then but him on waiver because no one else should want him either. This is what bugs me, I see JML, Mcquaid, Chara, Krug making numerous mistakes and get back out there the next shift. Morrow makes one, then banished to the press box for 9 games and counting. Who sits when K.Miller comes back, guarantee its C.Miller who’s game is finally developing, astonishing play him, let him make mistakes and use it as a teaching moment and but him back out, without the fear of one F-UP your done for the foreseeable future. Mcquaid – K. Miller redundant, Krug – JML redundant. Get rid of one of Mcquaid, K.Miller and JML. Play Morrow or trade him and bring O’Gara up.

      • I was having the same thoughts. Who sits when K. Miller returns? I really wish Boston hadn’t wasted a roster spot & money on signing Liles. Why isn’t the same standard enforced on all players? It’s always bugged me but I get that pedigree & salary are determining factors in who gets to play but I don’t like it. The opportunity to play should have to be earned always at level.

      • At this level.

        Struggling this AM. To many beers at the Chicago Dallas game last night. Brain not cooperating. Argh! What a great game. You have to love watching Dallas play & I always enjoy Chicago. To bad Dallas doesn’t have a better D but in fairness they played very well last night, the Oduya Johns 3rd pairing was incredibly solid, I would have had them play more.

    • Agree stay the course. Adding Trouba for the cost of trade and salary isn’t worth it. Boston isn’t winning the cup this year so let’s work on the rebuilding. I wouldn’t move any high picks or Zboril,Carlo or Mcavoy.
      Our first will be a lottery pick can’t move that.

  7. Trouba & Burmistrov for Spooner & Zboril and a 2nd

    • No thank you.

      • I wish the jets would do that wishful thinking for Boston

    • not enough going back to Winnipeg. Jets need a dman in return but if they did trade Trouba to Boston they should ask for Pastrnak+ in return. or preferably trade him and a later pick to Anaheim for Lindholm.

  8. Wrong forum but wondering what if anything Kadri get for his hit. I was actually surprised to hear the HNIC crew defending the hit, then I remembered they all live in Toronto. I’ll say this if Pastrnack got 2 for his and deservingly so, I believe Kadri is 4 and what about O’Reilly hit, that actually looked worst.

    • I agree on both counts. Curious to see what happens if anything. NHL punishment is so unpredicable.

      • no suspension no fine…it was a blindside granted for sure but that wasn’t a head shot in a sense where the head was a target and primary point of contact. For whatever reason blindsides are not really suspendable offences it seems.

      • Looks like the Player safety gave their old boss a bye. No a Canucks Fan and don’t dislike the leafs, but that was wrong on so many levels. Hopefully Vancouver gives some payback when the meet in December.

    • I agreee Kadri should be atleast 4, it will also his 4th suspension

      • Only if he played for Boston.

      • Apparently no supplementary discipline forthcoming to MacKenzie or Lebrun.

    • Just saw the hit worse than Pastrnak.

  9. I don’t see a market for Burmistrov in trade unless Winnipeg gives him away for like a 5th but at his cap hit 1.55 not sure there is a market. Perhaps they mutually agree to termination so he can return to the KHL but until Winnipeg’s injuries to Little, Stafford, Perreault, Armia & Matthias are resolved he’s not going any where regardless.

    When most return something has to give.

  10. Olli Maatta, Eric Fehr, Dom Simon and the highest second for 2017 for Trouba and Burmistrov. Dumoulin/ Letang, Daley/ Trouba, Cole/ Shultz, Pouliot and Bengsston would be decent.

    • not sure if I would rather the Pens have Trouba or Maatta. Tough choice. Im not a big Burmistrov fan so would rather him not go to Pittsburgh.

      • Might Maatta not be Trouba at some point, certainly not today but I like the cost certainty that Maatta comes with at $4,083,333 for 6 years.

        His injuries the last 2 seasons have hampered & delayed his development it’s hard to gauge what he is going to be but certainly top 4 & there maybe top 2 potential there, we won’t know for sure for several more years but I assume based on play to date & his pedigree that he will be given every opportunity to be so eventually.

        Pittsburgh has serious cap issues moving forward & hard for them to take on salary in any deals. Moving Fleury will eventually free up some but numerous players are slated for raises & others heading to UFA status so needing to be paid or replaced.

        I assume Trouba is getting about 5.5 per & he doesn’t fit Pittsburgh’s salary structure well. Even moving Fleury eventually, there is still not enough money to sign & replace everyone. Pittsburgh is fast facing the Chicago dilemma. Having to move out assets just to stay cap compliant.

    • Winnipeg has no interest in bring Fehr back.

      • Trouba is a right shot and Olli is a left. Dumoulin is the LD for the foreseeable future. Obviously Letang is the RD of the present but they are deeper at LD than RD. I like Maatta no doubt but his foot speed doesn’t match the current system. We’ll keep Fehr if they keep Burmistrov, don’t want him at all just seems like they are trying to unload him on any Trouba deal and 2 mill is a lot to pay for a 4th line winger who is easily replaced in house: Jake Guentzle has 12 points in 9 games in he AHL and he is really too good a player to spend more time there. Daley is a left shot playing on He right side and it’s time to give Pouliot a real shot when he comes back from injury.

  11. Might a team Like Colorado be prepared to trade a player like Pickard, or Washington Grubauer to LA so as to not potentially lose them in the expansion draft. Or might Colorado potentially expose Varlamov & protect Pickard? I don’t think Varlamov would necessarily be selected regardless.

    Numerous teams face this same dilemma with good young back up goalies or in the AHL a year or 2 maybe 3 from potentially being NHL starters. Dominique Arz, Korpisalo Clb, Berube NYI, etc.

    • I honestly see the kings just sticking with budaj, they play good defense I think they just stand pat

      • I don’t disagree. Just green lighting.

    • I think they protect Pickard. He is close to being # 1 if not there already in Colorado.

  12. Tavares to the Leafs next year MacDavid the year after, man the Leafs are lookin like the best team ever.

    • lmao, an Oilers fan dissing? A team that run their talent to the ground and trade them for scraps (Hall, Yakupov, Omark, Paajarvi, Dubnyk, etc.).

  13. As a fan of any team other than Toronto, Damian Cox is a tool. Not sure how much clearer Tavares could have been than he has been that he’s not going to the Leafs. If he’s gone through all the crap he’s experienced so far and still remains clear that he’s committed to the Isles I can’t imagine that new ownership and a lot of young talent has him looking for an exit now or in the next two years.

  14. No suspension for Kadri; as per TSN and Sportsnet

  15. I’d think the Preds might make for good trade partners with the Bruins or Wings. They have one of the best defense corps in the league but are struggling. Some good players like Ellis or Ekholm could interest Detroit or Boston, I’d think.

    • They certainly are. Can’t score 5 on 5 for some reason. PP has been stellar but just lost 2 games in shout outs to 2 of the worst teams in the league.

      I assume Nashville will get it together & Poille is systematic in his approach to everything he does. Has seriously altered the make up of Nashville in the last 3 years.

      Hard to move any of those Dman as their cap hits are so club friendly. Ellis 3 years at 2.5 & Ekholm 6 at 3.75 essentially remaining. I assume Nashville will protect 4 Dman come the expansion draft & expose a fairly decent forward but perhaps your right & at some point they pair their D keepers down to 3 before the expansion draft to protect 7 forwards instead of just 4.

      • Yeah, it’ll be interesting. No major gaps on this team to explain their struggles. A little more scoring and a little more leadership wouldn’t hurt, but they should still be doing a lot better, regardless (and I imagine they will, before too long).

        You’re definitely right, though; the expansion draft will certainly affect how teams go about trades during this season, too!

  16. 1967. Why is anybody dying to go play for Toronto? For such a lousy team the last time I checked the Isles spanked them last week. If Tavares leaves to play “for a better team” it won’t be Toronto. It would be Chicago or Montreal or Washington. Toronto needs to focus on making the playoffs before saying they are a better team that everyone is dying to play for.

    • None (Montreal, Washington, or Chicago) will be able to afford.

      • Neither will the Leafs when he’s ready to be a UFA again what with Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Rielly and others dipping deep into their cap funds.

  17. Hey NK..

    Leafs are not as far away as you think…In regards to making the playoffs..

    Defence is a grey area….