NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2016

by | Dec 2, 2016 | Rumors | 54 comments

Could the Colorado Avalanche shop Gabe Landeskog for a defenseman?

Could the Colorado Avalanche shop Gabe Landeskog for a defenseman?

Latest on Gabe Landeskog, Dougie Hamilton (yes, again!), Anthony Duclair, Kris Russell and more in your NHL rumor mill.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports of “rumblings” the Colorado Avalanche would trade left wing and captain Gabe Landeskog for a quality defenseman. For those dismissing that notion, he reminds us of last summer’s Taylor Hall-for-Adam Larsson deal. He wonders about offering Landeskog to the New York Islanders for Travis Hamonic, or to the Anaheim Ducks for Cam Fowler. He also claims there’s a belief Avs center Matt Duchene could also be available for a “minute-munching young defenseman.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the Avs recent loss, GM Joe Sakic claimed he wasn’t planning on any major changes, insisting he still believes in the club’s core players. Landeskog and Duchene belong to that group. However, if they don’t improve soon, Sakic could reconsider his position. 

Matheson believes the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to move goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury before the March 1 trade deadline. He wonders if Fleury might accept a trade to the Buffalo Sabres, where he’ll be reunited with former Pens coach Dan Bylsma. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stranger things have happened, but I suspect the Penguins would prefer dealing Fleury to a Western Conference club, such as Calgary or Dallas. 

If the Calgary Flames were to trade Dougie Hamilton for a scoring forward, where do they find another blueliner? Dennis Wideman is an unrestricted free agent next summer and Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie are their only defensive locks. 

Don’t bet on Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan seeking a trade at the NHL deadline. 

Matheson also wonders what the Edmonton Oilers will do with defenseman Kris Russell, who’s helped stabilize their blueline this season. Russell’s a UFAnext summer, but if the Oilers re-sign him, they’ll have to protect him in next June’s expansion draft. Matheson suggests the possibility of the Oilers and Russell reaching a verbal agreement on a new contract and waiting until after the draft to announce it. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights could pass on Russell if he’s still unsigned before the draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers go that route, it could be a costly decision. League deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that teams who violate the rules of the expansion draft would lose their first-round draft pick. A verbal agreement with a pending UFA could be interpreted as skirting those rules. 

TSN.CA:  Darren Dreger reports the Arizona Coyotes offered up winger Anthony Duclair and a draft pick to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Dougie Hamilton during the 2016 NHL Draft. The offer was swiftly rejected by the Flames. Dreger claims the Coyotes continue to make the 21-year-old Duclair available. He’s currently struggling through his sophomore season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting change on the Duclair situation, as it was originally believed the Coyotes were listening to offers but not shopping him. It was thought they’d want a good young player, preferably a center, in exchange for Duclair. If they were willing to move him back in June, it suggests general manager John Chayka doesn’t have much confidence in the young winger. It was Chakya’s predecessor (Don Maloney) who acquired Duclair as part of the return for shipping Keith Yandle to the Rangers in 2014-15. 

Pierre LeBrun reports the Ottawa Senators aren’t interested in Duclair but are working the phones in search of a bottom-six forward. 

LeBrun also notes the Dallas Stars depth in young defensemen could attract interest from other clubs over the course of the season. For now, the Stars are content to wait until everyone’s healthy before deciding on possible moves going forward. 

THE ATHLETIC: David Alter speculates the Toronto Maple Leafs could need an improvement in their backup goaltender if Jhonas Enroth continues to struggle. So far, Enroth is 0-3-1 with a save percentage of.872. 


  1. In fairness to Enroth he’s barely played & all 4 starts have come on the back end of back to backs. It’s hard for any team to win the back end of a back to back never mind a young team like Toronto, who although on the right track & fun to watch aren’t really a very good team yet & will be 1 of the worst teams in the NHL this season & are now.

    No point changing Enroth. He’s a place holder & baring injury Andersen is going to play 60 to 65 games. What’s the point of moving anything to bring in a different back up. Get Andersen a rest occasionally & move on to the future.

  2. It’s been mentioned a few times Ramo is practising with the team and is likely Enroth replacement if he soon doesn’t get some of Babcocks confidence back.

    • Be interesting to see if The Athletic has staying power, There are few good journalists involved with it.

      • This is ridiculous, they are 3 points out of a playoff spot Striker and I somehow doubt many teams are going to be pulling the plug in early December. Yes Anderson is likely to play a lot of games but as of now with nearly 60 games to go they are 3 points back of a playoff spot. I’m sure a coach like Babcock is a competitive one and doesn’t like giving away 2 points every time the sched gets busy. The later part of Dec early Jan with the WJHC in Toronto and Montreal there are going to be some long stretches on the road (where you really need a backup to play and hopefully play well) it might be wise to have a goalie who is not letting 15% of the shots he faces in the net. Leafs Devils who ever not sure there are many teams pulling the plug the beginning of Dec lol

    • Sorry Shticky this isn’t directed at you in anyway but how is who’s Toronto’s back up even really news. Does anyone really care? Enroth, Ramo, other. Boy he looks good sitting on the bench for 65 games. Look how the blue brings out his eye’s. ha-ha!

      I assume several teams will be pulling the plug soon enough on the season. The standings are very tight as assumed but several teams are already obviously not headed to the playoffs. The weren’t when the season started nor was it even their goal really as much as they preach otherwise.

      NJ sitting 10th in the east now, 1 point out of 12th & only 4 out of 16th. My 2nd marker & main marker for playoff teams; 80% make it if in a playoff spot at this point in the season going back over 15 years, the last team in the league playing it’s 25th game is hit next week. Columbus on Friday night.

      At this point I lay my final hedge bets against my bets made before the season started & at my 1st marker, last team playing it’s 10th game.

      I few surprises so far. I expected Carolina, NYI; I had them as a playoff lock in the top 6 in the east, & Arizona to be better than the have shown, for 2 of the 3 not playoff teams but in the bubble group & they still may be, the standings are tight & all have been better of late & nor did I expect Columbus to be doing what their doing. I expected them to be better but didn’t see them playing like, this especially this style of play.

      • You seem to think it’s news as your 1st post of the day is about Enroth. ?
        I do agree on the bigger scale who the Leafs have as their backup really isn’t that important. It has been tossed around a bit in the media and I’m sure that’s the reason it’s here.

      • Just the 1st 1 that struck me as odd. I like Enroth. He’s being paid to do exactly what he’s supposed to do. Take the odd start ideally on back to back nights. That’s what he’s done. Mission accomplished. A win would be nice but Toronto isn’t going any where this year regardless, nor is it even their goal & I’m sure they would like to improve their draft pick odds.

        I assume we will see them pull the plug early as they did last season shutting down anyone with a hang nail at the 1st opportunity.

      • Again Striker wonder if Babcock would agree that winning is not the goal? Give your head a shake. lol Of course it’s the goal, coaches players who ever are going to try and exceed expectations.
        If a team gets blown out you don’t think Babs is bag skating them? Why would he do that if it’s acceptable to lose? Your outlook is messed up if you think with nearly 3/4 of a season left teams are saying “eh well maybe we should just call it a year and comeback next October..”

      • Playing and coaching soft I don’t think is part of the plan at all with the young guys. Just not an example you want to set, for Mathews Marner Nylander Shoshnikov the marlies and everything that you just posted is jello like soft. Absolutely bizarre outlook that I can’t imagine would ever cross the minds of guys like Shanny Lou Lamare or Babcock

      • They did it last season & I assume they will do so again. This team hasn’t had a great 2nd 1/2 record for years. I just play the odds; & although the points are tight & maybe this is the year those #’s buck the trend but I’ll play the odds every time.

        Toronto will do what they did last season, work hard, try to win, keep laying the foundation for the future & part of that includes high draft picks but the wins will get harder & harder to acquire as the season advances after the 40 game mark & Toronto starts jettisoning the Hunwick’s, Polak’s, Bozak’s & possibly even JvR’s from the roster. They just have to wait for the right trade opportunities.

        Nor has Toronto sustained any significant injures as yet. Unlikely they are making it through the year with no significant injures. Their schedule now through the end of January isn’t onerous though & February isn’t much worse so maybe they surprise.

        6 of their 12 Dec games are against teams that didn’t make the playoffs last season through Dec but in Jan it starts getting tougher & down the stretch through March & April it is down right brutal.

      • Last year and this year are 2 different things You are not accepting losing with all these young guys on the team it’s nuts to say with 60 games left they are going to start packing it in when they are 3 points out, not they are a playoff team but I’m sure they want to make sure they are taking steps towards it, learning what it takes down the stretch and stay in a race. The vets last year knew what the “plan” was they are not going to teach young guys it’s that losing is accepted by pulling the plug in Dec. its laughable.

      • It’s called respect, and you deliberately did it to get a reaction and to start an arguement after the other day.

      • Thank you Shticky.

      • Who’s Toronto’s back-up becomes of paramount importance, I suppose, if Andersen goes down. Much like in Montreal where the reins would fall to Montoya, and in Ottawa where it’s a tandem of Condon and Hammond should Anderson be required to be away6 long-term.

      • What I don’t like is this Lou-p hole where it seems Toronto has or has had players sitting at home in Toronto waiting to sign a contract if needed. The really shady thing will be when they put Enroth on waivers for a mutual termination of contract so he can return to Sweden to play and then they sign Ramo for the same amount pro rated contract. It’s totally circumvention and even tho I am a fan of the team this is going to be embarrassing.

      • Maybe this is Loophole Lou’s version of the football “taxi squad.” There – but not there.

      • The biggest stroke of genius or (joke depending on how you look at it) of this whole Leaf regime thing is letting the guy who wrote the Cap provisions in the last CBA (Pirdham assistant GM) be hired by a guy who worked at NHL front office with competition committies who also then hired loop hole Lou to work together to expose all the short cuts in what the first guy wrote. Clarkson Robidas Lupul Enroth dumping big contracts like Kessel and Phaneuf look at all the $ they are getting around not really on the books but are still kinda paying for….it’s crazy.

      • The one that gets me is Lupul. One minute he’s saying he can’t wait for camp to start then the next he’s on long-term IR as “unfit to play.” According to who? Sounds more like he was bought off under the table – i.e., “don’t contest our decision and you’ll be set for life.” Seems to me that if the league had any rocks they’d say we want him examined by a bevy of independent doctors. Something smells there big time. Maybe with Robidas too.

      • Agreed and kinda part of my point the people doing it and just to make it look extra dirty-ish is that the one guy has been sanctioned previously for a shady contract the other wrote that part of the CBA on behalf of the league and their boss worked for the league organizing a competition committee? Ummm okay nothing to see here…move along lol

      • If I’m the owner of another NHL team that’s got some cap issues I’m screaming bloody murder at the BOG meetings.

      • Or you just do what the Leafs are doing, and those goes the integrity of the league.

      • Only thing with that Ray is teams that are close to the cap or have cap issues don’t exactly have the financial might to be paying guys to stay at home or bury them in the minors…that’s kinda part of the idea of having a cap in the first place make it so teams can’t spend their way out of trouble and level the playing field. I hate a lot about the cap but even I have to admit some of this might be worse than some of the circumventing contracts of the last lockout.

      • Think of it this way Lupul Horton Robidas is
        13 mill+1.25 Kessel retained=14.25 mill+Michalek buried1 mill Greening buried 1mill Liach Buried 1 mill buyout Cowan
        It’s nearly 20 mill off the cap and an extra 9 or 10 on the Marlies so they are paying nearly 30 mill or just under half the cap and only 9 of it actually shows up. Wonder if some of the smaller teams could afford to do that? lol

      • Assuming LTIR of course if not it’s still on the cap but doesn’t change the fact they are paying guys to stay home, and I’ll bet ya a dollar that Enroth either gets traded for a draft pick or contract terminated saving another mill (prorated) and that money and contract goes to Ramo….it’s stinky lol

  3. I didn’t have Colorado as a playoff team or even a contender for a playoff spot in the west. They are part of a large group of bubble teams & could finish any where from 9th to 12th, I have the standings so tight in each conference. I had them 11th. That D is still in serious need of help & the forward depth is questionable.

    I think Sakic has been methodical in his approach to developing talent. Youth is coming Rantanen has arrived, Bigras, Greer, Picard, Jost, Compher, Meloche etc.

    Colorado isn’t a very good team, so no point really doing anything rash like moving Landeskog or Duchene, as they aren’t making the playoffs in the west baring a miracle.

    4 to 6 Dman will be made available beofre the expansion draft & Colorado would be smart to try & secure 1 of them at that time. As currently constructed Colorado is probably 2 years away from being a playoff team in the west & that’s only if said prospects are as advertised.

  4. I’ve long regarded Buffalo as the ideal landing spot for Marc-Andre Fleury.

    Bylsma. Good young team. Mediocre goaltending.

    But, Tim Murry bet on Lehner and he doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who admits to his own mistakes.

    And while the Pens would prefer to trade MAF to the west, I’m not sure that’s what Fleury would want and I think the Pens will accommodate him. The level of respect for Marc within in the organization is very high.

    • Lehner has played great but just can’t seem to stay healthy. Buffalo is a possibility but I assume Fleury ends up else where. Calgary, Carolina, Dallas; the best fit, or Philadelphia.

      Really only 2 of these seem like viable options as I think Philadelphia will resign Mason at decent value 4 to 4.5 for 3, maybe 4 years & I don’t think Carolina would take on the cap hit with out enticement. That really leaves Calgary & Dallas.

      It simply may not happen till the off season before the expansion draft though. At that point Dallas can buy out Lehtonen or Niemi; I assume Lehtonen as he has the bigger cap hit & in real dollars is only owed 500K more so the buy out variance is nominal, & move Fleury into the #1 keeper spot & expose which ever 1 they don’t buy out. 1 of Dallas’s young D goes back the other way. Depending upon which 1 will determine what pick may be added.

      The long term benefit to Pittsburgh is really just getting his cap hit off the books but he will garner a decent but not spectacular return. Goalies rarely do. Varlamov having been the most expense in recent memory.

      • If Dallas wants him this season and incentivizes it enough then niemi and and top prospect or pick could go to pens for MAF. pens could expose niemi in e-draft and when not taken decide if he is better to use as back up for 1 more year or buy out. If it garners a 1st or a honka it might be worth it for pens.

    • Lehners a beast. He just has to stay healthy. They were giving him a heavy load to begin the season to see how he reacts to it. His injury is apparently very minor. We’ll know whether they want him long term soon enough.

    • MAF is not going to Buffalo unless something dramatically changes. First, MAF bombed in the playoffs multiple times for Bylsma. I realize MAF won under Bylsma as well but there were multiple runs blown up by MAF.

      Second, and maybe more importantly both Lehner and Nilson are playing great right now. There is no need for MAF on the Sabres. Flames are a better desination and I’m sure there are others. His contract makes it tough though.

  5. Starting to look like Sackic isn’t cut out to be a GM. and this whole experiment may have spoiled the core of this team.

    • I like the group of young players Sakic has drafted in his 2 years as GM 3 as Ex VP & DHO. The reality is Colorado isn’t a very good team especially at D currently, they cab barely ice 2 scoring lines & their 3rd & 4th lines are littered with borderline NHL players.

      Sakic was named executive VP of Hockey Opps in May 2013 & assumed the title of GM the season following when Sherman moved into the assistant GM position.

      Colorado has been in a rebuild since Sakic took over it’s just never really talked about for some reason. We discuss Colorado rarely & generally if we do it’s about some ridiculous Roy scenario.

      Sakic has accumulated a solid stable of prospects. Not studs like a few teams but in his 3 drafts they have selected 23rd, 10th & 10th. They didn’t have a 2nd in 2014; moved before he arrived, but appear to have done very well in the 2nd round in 2015, with Greer & Meloche.

      It’s way to early to judge Sakic. 3 years, 2 as GM isn’t a large enough window to grade his draft picks. He’s made a few trades not many but has made some sound UFA signings to help bridge the gap. Soderberg; technically not a UFA as he was acquired in trade for a 5th I believe just before July 1st & signed, Beuchemin & Iginla; boy is father time catching up to him this year.

      I assume he’ll flip a few of his pending UFA’s at the trade deadline this year for futures & continue adding youth. He needs at least 2 more years before we can judge his decisions as he’s been building through the draft as your supposed to but not tanking games to secure better prospects. That’s admirable. I’m certainly not a fan of tanking & it is starting to go the way of the dinosaur due to the new lottery rules.

    • I never thought he would be a good GM in the first place, and apparently neither did the Colorado brain-trust. Some 13 days after naming him Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations on May 10, 2013, ostensibly giving him “the final say on all matters regarding hockey personnel” they hired Saint Patrick as “head coach and vice president of hockey operations” with Bob McKenzie reporting that Roy would have “the final say in all hockey matters” despite then GM Greg Sherman still holding his post – clearly “in name only.”

      Colorado drafts since then began with the no-brainer selection of Nathan McKinnon 1st overall in 2013. Other picks that year (Chris Bigras a D at # 32 and Spencer Martin, a goalie at # 63 are still toiling in their system, as are 1st round picks Connor Bleeckley, a C in 2014, Mikko Rantanen, a RW in 2015, and Tyson Jost, a C in 2016.

      Let’s face it, the Patrick Roy era there only muddied the waters,but if they thought Sakic was GM material why did they go down that silly route?

    • Yeah I don’t get why Sakic isn’t able to put it together. They have some real quality pieces. Mackinnon, Landeskog, Duchesne. All near superstar quality players. They got some decent pieces in the O’Reilly trade too. They need to take some risks and beef up that defense.

  6. Perhaps it was a young GM that Burke was threatening to name?.. I would consider Duclair for Hamilton borderline insulting. I believe the Hamilton rumors, in so far as Calgary has serious interest in talking trade (not necessarily pulling trigger). They’re very happy with Andersson and Kylington in Stockton. However, I don’t think he will be traded because other teams will want Hamilton at a discount. JVR is a non starter. They’ve got LW already.

    • It could have been chyka that was a dumb move bringing him in as gm hopefully Tippett still has a lot of control in Arizona

      • interesting that a day after Burke blows up and threaten to name the team. We learn Duclair was offered up for Hamilton, boy I wonder who leaked that?

      • Lol that is interesting

    • if it was a 1st from a team that likely would be top ten pick then it is far from insulting. Chyka has made some good moves and as soon as Tippet gets his geezer butt out of there Arizona will be able to take off. He has way to much control in Arizona

      • I agree. Might classify this as a low ball offer but we all know it’s just an opening bid. It’s all a big game even Burke is playing it.

      • interesting article on Hamilton by Mark Spector.
        Link below.
        He spoke to 4 pro scouts to evaluate Hamilton. Basically a good player who does everything well, but not great. Big but plays soft. Paid like a number 2, and plays like a number 4. And gets 2nd pairing minutes from his own coach not first pairing. Being overpaid makes you not that attractive to other teams I suppose, but still young.
        Methinks Burke protests too much.


  7. Yesterday I posted in regards to Lebrum 3,2,1 pts system. So today I did the math. I was able to get the win/loss ot wins ect from sportingcharts.com if you wish here it is based on the current 2,1 pt system and the wishing 3,2,1 pt system. I done it by division:

    NYR 33 49 Mtl 34 49
    Pit 29 39 Ott 29 38
    Clb 28 37 TPB 27 39
    Was 28 39 Bos 25 36
    Phi 25 32 FL 24 29
    NJ 25 30 Det 24 31
    Car 22 30 Tor 24 33
    NYI 20 25 Buf 21 28

    Chi 33 41 SJ 29 41
    STL 29 39 Ana 26 37
    Min 25 38 Edm 26 37
    Nsh 25 36 LA 25 31
    Dal 24 32 Cal 24 32
    Wpg 24 32 Van 22 26
    Col 19 25 Arz 19 23

    These standing are based on yesterday and not todays. Looks like on the 3,2,1 LA would fall out of the playoffs by won point, either Dal or Cal would take its place. Otherwise other then a couple point gap difference not much would change.

    • @Caper Dreger says that he believes it was Arizona, Duclair and a pick (not a 1st) was offered at the draft and the rumours started sometime in July. There’s no indication any other team had approached Calgary before that. Dreger said that there was no hard evidence it was Arizona but it kinda looked that way

      • Didn’t Burke say it was a team from the eastern conference? Not that you can reallly take his word for it but still. To me I think Buffalo makes some sense.

      • I don’t recall Burke saying an eastern team, could have. Dreger on 1050 said Arizona made an offer at the draft and from there it gets murky. Dreger said he couldn’t tell who started the rumour, he couldn’t find any sign of another team involved at that time

    • I think the 3 points for a regulation win is needed. They worry about parity but being able to catch up in a game by 3 points makes it a non-factor in my view. Fans would quickly get used to the notion that being down or ahead by 6-8 points isn’t a huge deal anymore.

      The current system just doesnt make sense. the hesitance is partly because they don’t want to add another column in the standings. What’s one more?

  8. Don’t think Fowler is anywhere near the trading block now given his superb performance thus far this season. Most likely candidate now would be Sammy Vatanen who is also a quality Dman just struggling a bit. It’s funny on how most of the league dismissed Fowler as a top rated Dman, bet those same people would love to have him now. This guy can skate and is a magician in getting the puck out of his zone, makes plays and now as revealed recently can really put up points. This guy is s keeper for sure.

  9. I ask that folks refrain from deliberately antagonizing each other on this site, especially their religious beliefs. I’ve already deleted two offending posts. If this continues, the offending parties will be banned.

    It’s up to yourselves, folks. Act like adults or get treated like children.

  10. I could see a deal between Colorado and the Isles. The Isles are going to have too many D to protect in expansion and will lose either Pullock, Hickey, or De Haan. Of course they may manage a side deal with Vegas given that Macphee worked with the Isles prior to taking his new job. Course that also means he knows the personnel pretty well.

    I’m really hoping they don’t move Hamonic but Landeskog would be a pretty nice forward to add. I could see them packaging De Haan plus for a forward to help their top 6. De Haan is a top 4 D man (in my opinion) at age 25 and is currently +6 on an Isles team that hasn’t played very well. Packaging him with a pick or a mid six forward should be able to get some scoring back.

    • Not sure if I was the Isles I’d want Ladeskog for Hammonic maybe but, I’d try to squeez Sackic for Duchene never know.

      • Hey Shticky!!

        I’d try to put a package together that didn’t include Hamonic for Duchene. Isles were in love with him at the draft and apparently were tempted to take him over Tavares. Thank god they didn’t but the org seemed to like him a lot.

  11. Here`s a shocker, the NHLPA rejects the NHL`s proposal of a 3 yr. extension of the cba in exchange for going to the Olympics

  12. Nice try on the extension thing. Not sure how they even relate. Last 5 Olympics has been bad ?? Only the injury to Tavares comes to mind….Duchene can be had but not for Hamonic straight up

  13. Strikers earlier comment on the Leafs is more than likely “bang on.”

    After the 40 game mark.. Leafs will downscale and start making moves, maybe even significant ones.

    A JVR, or Bozak,, could reap a significant return, with the year they are both enjoying.