NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2017

by | Aug 11, 2017 | Rumors | 23 comments

How will the Chicago Blackhawks replace sidelined winger Marian Hossa?

Recent speculation regarding the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers in your NHL rumor mill. 

NHL.COM: In his latest mailbag segment, Dan Rosen assumes the Chicago Blackhawks will use the salary-cap relief they’ll get by placing sidelined right wing Marian Hossa ($5.275 million annual salary) on long-term injured reserve to beef up their roster.

He expects they’ll wait until after the season begins to put Hossa on LTIR. That will provide them more cap flexibility during the season.

What moves GM Stan Bowman makes could depend upon how they start the season. Rosen speculates Bowman could look for rental players, perhaps on defense. If Hossa’s skin condition places his playing career in jeopardy, perhaps Bowman will consider adding players with term remaining on their contracts. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks currently sit just over the $75 million cap ceiling. However, they can easily get under that by demoting a lower-salaried depth player to the minors before the season opens. I agree with Rosen that Bowman will probably evaluate his team over the course of the season to determine the priorities to be addressed.

Defense is the biggest issue for the Hawks, as the depth drops sharply beyond Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. There’s talk they could invite unrestricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson to training camp. If he plays well enough on a tryout basis, perhaps they could add him to an affordable one-year deal once Hossa is placed on LTIR. 

Rosen also replied a reader’s question over the possibility of the Detroit Red Wings landing New York Islanders center John Tavares via free agency next summer.  He thinks the odds are fair that the Wings will be in the market for him. However, it’ll take some work to free up sufficient salary-cap space to sign him and build a winning roster around him.

If Tavares hits the open market, Rosen doubts he’ll sign with a rebuilding club. He also believes Tavares will re-sign with the Islanders. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Tavares becomes an unrestricted free agent, and that’s by no means a certainty, I doubt he’ll head to Detroit. If the Wings were still a Stanley Cup contender as they were nearly a decade ago, it would be a different story. 

Regarding the New York Rangers, Rosen is leaning toward them trading for a center than a defenseman. He thinks they could shop blueliner Nick Holden to make room for young d-man Anthony DeAngelo.

Rosen feels Toronto’s Tyler Bozak would be a perfect third-line center for the Rangers but he wonders if the Leafs would want Holden, as well as what else they’d want in return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Leafs are interested in swapping Bozak for Holden. I agree their defense still needs work but I don’t think Holden’s the answer. While Bozak’s a UFA next summer, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Leafs re-signing him. 



  1. Another way of looking at Dan Rosen’s assertion that Detroit’s chances of landing Tavares as a UFA are “fair,” is saying they are slim. And that highlights another quirk in the English language because “slim chance” and “fat chance” mean the same thing.

    • and we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway! Wheres that watermelon?

      • Ha-ha! Why is something that travels by ship called cargo yet something that travels by truck is called a shipment?

        Boy we are hurting for topics in the dog days of summer.

        Only 54 days till opening night.

    • And to think I used to pick on you for your syntax George. On another note are you happy with the makeup of your Senators going into the season? I for one am looking forward the reemergence of the Leafs Sens rivalry as both seem bigger threats to be in the playoffs from year to year now. Being a Leafs fan though I am very concerned about a sophomore jinx, the signing of Marleau, and the relative non activity regarding the blueline this off season. I was also hoping the Leafs would also seriously address the back up goalie situation.

  2. The leafs now have 4 forward lines that will continually press and opponents do not have the defence personnel to withstand the pressure.they will not be trading 20 goal scorers for questionable defence men from other teams, they will be building from within their current talent base

    • ” … opponents do not have the defence personnel to withstand the pressure …”

      Really? So, a “super team” in other words – look up “delusional”

      • From a Leafs fan George.. I couldn’t agree with you more. There are no super teams in a cap era. Whether you like Bettman (the Count) or not the salary cap has improved competitiveness.

  3. Slim to none and Slim just left town

    • Slim is a shady guy!

  4. I wish I could get paid for the next four years because I have an allergic to my desk chair. Must be nice being Hossa. I don’t make $1M/year either. 😉

    As an aside, this wreaks of cap circumvention given his skin condition hit the breaking point when his yearly salary plummeted the last four years of his deal. Hossa gets paid to not play and Chicago mystically gets $5.3M of cap space.

    • lol, the hockey Gods work in “mysterious” wayS! 😀

    • I agree Van. Not a single person I talk hockey with in my personal life ever thought Hossa would play 1 season of those final 4 at a mil per. What Chicago & Toronto are doing burying players & neither the NHL nor NHLPA doing anything about it is a joke.

      What really shocks me is that the other 29 teams in the NHL aren’t screaming about it. Cap circumvention? Clearly. Lupul went from unfit to play to start the season, to fit top play for the expansion draft & back to unfit to play following. Hossa all of a sudden when his contract drops to a mil per develops a mystery alignment we have never heard of before now. I’m not buying it.

      • only teams that might make a stick are teams that have artificial cap ceilings or trying to spend to the floor. Otherwise the rest of the teams see that and say “mmmnnnn… that’s pretty slick… maybe I can try that.”

      • Look up Ron Flockhart- ” Flocked Hockey”. The rash is a real thing whether Hossa has it or not is another matter.

    • And never mentioned before this….. hmmmmmm?

  5. Capfriendly shows Chicago with a 22 man roster at $34,795 over the cap. Baring changes I assume Berube will be waived freeing up 700K, I think Forsberg will be Crawford’s back up. Then 2 D will need to be added to get to their 23 man roster declaration, 1 of Forsling or Gustafsson; both waiver exempt & Pokka; has to clear waivers now, & Schmatlz will be sent down overnight getting Chicago to a 23 man roster; 13 F, 8 D & 2 G’s, under the cap, Hossa is put on LTIR on opening day & Schmaltz is recalled giving Chicago essentially 5 mil in cap space to play with moving forward.

    • Smart isn’t it Striker?

  6. I don’t see NYR doing anything to address their #3/4 C spot until they see whether it can be filled internally. Zibanejad, Hayes & Desharnais will start as the top 3. A rookie may fill the #4 role dislodging Desharnais over the course of the season or coming up after the new year to do so.

    I assume the 2nd choice will be to see who is given away due to cap reasons from another team, Detroit; Sheahan, Toronto; Fehr? Might Pittsburgh look to bring him back off waivers? other?

    If neither of those work NYR has 3 mil & change to address. We’re only talking about a player that has to play 10 to 11 mins a night in a 4th line role.

    • doubt pitt brings him back. wasn’t making the team most nights as a 4th liner.

    • Go with Sheahan; $3,000,000 per goal is a great deal!

    • If just looking for. 4th liner they would probably fill internally, but most have DD on 4th.. Rangers need a 2 or 3C. I’d like them to move Miller to 3c and look for forward depth. Otherwise, They might want to shop Smith.

  7. There are players that the Leafs would deal but I doubt JVR and Bozak are going anywhere unless the Leafs have 2 better linemates for Marner. I don’t see that yet.

    • Is bleeding assets for nothing part of the long term plan doktordave?? If they play well and jvr bozak play well and are in a playoff spot , or chasing one , are they then sending out jvr or bozak ? Or if they play poorly and are out of it and then willing to part with guys , jvr bozak have down seasons or injuries , value is next to nothing . Again leaves me asking is this is a long term plan or quick u turn to win now ? Most teams claiming a long term stradegy don’t give away there best lw and 3 C at the moment for nothing in return .