NHL Rumor Mill – August 16, 2017

by | Aug 16, 2017 | Rumors | 45 comments

2017 Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher meeting with several NHL teams.

Updates on Will Butcher and David Pastrnak in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers reports a source said former Colorado Avalanche prospect defenseman Will Butcher will meet with the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights. Butcher, the 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner, became an unrestricted free agent yesterday. Chambers believes there’s still a chance the 23-year-old blueliner could circle back to the Avalanche, but only after he’s visited other interested teams. 

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox lists the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild, along with the Sabres and Devils, among the clubs that could have interest in Butcher. He also notes the Toronto Maple Leafs have a spot open now that Alexey Marchenko has departed to the KHL. Butcher’s agent, Brian Bartlett, said his client is exploring all options and hasn’t ruled out returning to the Avs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I pointed out yesterday, the strict limitations on NHL entry-level contracts means playing time, not money, will likely determine where Butcher signs. It could take several days or possibly a week or two before he reaches a decision. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he’s not trading restricted free agent winger David Pastrnak. Sweeney’s brief statement comes in response to recent rumors suggesting difficulties in re-signing the 21-year-old winger’s could prompt the Bruins to put him on the trade block. Pastrnak’s agent, J.P. Barry, said his client prefers a long-term deal with the Bruins. He adds talks with Sweeney have been “very open”, adding there’s still plenty of time to get a deal done. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pastrnak trade rumor took off on Monday when NHL analyst Brian Lawton tweeted, “With what I am hearing I would not be surprised if David Pasternak is traded.  ” However, Lawton didn’t say the Bruins were shopping Pastrnak, only that he wouldn’t be surprised if they did because of supposed contract problems. He was merely voicing his opinion on the subject. Yes, the Bruins traded promising young players in the past (Phil Kessel, Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton) but I don’t see Pastrnak following them. He’ll be re-signed. 



  1. Makes a lot of sense for chiarelli to wait on pastranak deal at reported numbers even the 7 million ask. And it also makes sense for pastranak to wait on draisaitl to push his number up . I expect both players to be signed , when one deal is done the other will follow quickly . I think now the range for pastranak is 6.5-7 and draisaitl 7-8

    • I don’t see any comparison with Draisitil and Pastrnak.
      If McDavid wasn’t in the mix and received such a big contract and Draisitil was on most any another team he would get $9 million per year plus that’s just his market value..and would have been signed.
      Chiarelli over paid Lucic and is burdened by that contract.
      Drasitil is the long term equivalent to the Crosby but Crosby took less to keep a core intact and let malkin Fleury and Letang make money Crosby didn’t need to be the highest paid player to be the best.
      He made his money in endorsements and have his team a chance to be financially fiscal each year to win multiple cups….Mcdavid may have not allowed that long term we will see.
      I’d trade RNH to alleviate cap money if there is a deal to be made and look to a player on a one year deal to replace him and sign Draisitil…if possible

      • How arent they comparable lol ? I didn’t claim to know what was going on behind closed doors i said makes a lot of sense . Which it does .

      • Drasitil and Pastrnak are not comparables but Drasitil and Crosby are? Well then Leon should be getting about $12.5m per season.

      • Edm’s cap issues 2 years out are going to be bad, even next season they could become problematic.

        Paying McDavid 12.5 mil, 2 mil more per season in 2018-19; Price, Toews & Kane, than any other player is making currently in the NHL doesn’t make sense to me. It sets a new bar for all players.

        If I’m Draisaitl or Pastrnak I’m not taking less than 9 if McDavid is worth 12.5. How can McDavid be worth twice what Scheifele signed for last summer? Or Marchand, Gaudreau, Fowler, Forsberg, Monahan, etc. Yes he may be the best player in the world, still currently Crosby for me, but just a matter of time before he is but is he twice as good as those other players?

        Hockey is a team game & 1 player doesn’t make a team a cup contender you need a core of at least 7 really good players, 2 which need to be Dman & 1 a G & paying 1 player that much money means you can’t afford all 7.

        Edm better win a cup in the next 3 years or they MAY never have a shot due to cap issues. The cap is essentially stagnant, increasing at 1.5 to 2 mil annually. The next CBA isn’t improving the players share of the pie or escrow.

        Trading RNH if able would help elevate future cap issues short term.

      • Striker , we have been through this before and if draisaitl , which he will , comes in under 8.5 it will be the exact same model as Pittsburg , who you hail and aren’t wrong as in the midst or close to a dynasty . How is following that exact model with almost identical cap hits (%)with 2 elite centres , one being Mcdavid , the next Crosby , with a cheaper , better , defence , inked long term , a goalie who loves playing Edmonton , won’t be getting a huge number in 2 year , and prospects not far away at each postion to work in to offset the big money deals . Bear jones paigin Martha benson puljujarvi Yamamoto elis to name a few . Nuge may be moved but more likely in two years it will be sekera and Russell both moving out . The cap isn’t as much of an issue as you are saying . A couple tweaks and young blood coming in to support Mcdavid Leon larsson klefbom talbot. How isn’t that similar to Pittsburg striker ? How is it playing out there ? Lucic strome RNH and a host of other proven NHL players to buy time for the prospects

      • @Craig, PC is trying the same formula that he had success with in Boston, team toughness. The downside PC doesn’t manage the cap well, he should have signed Drasitil before MacDavid, what was the rush to get this deal done, it wasn’t like he wasn’t going to sign for 12.5 next season. As it stand today Edmonton has some nice pieces but are not comparable to Pitts depth. Yes they have prospect who may or may not develop. PC so far hasn’t shown that he learn from his cap mistakes in Boston. Oiler fans should have some concerns going forward.

      • @Craig I posted another comment earlier. You are rattling off some quality names but how are you getting all of them under the cap?
        They will have 55 Million locked up with McDavid, Draisaitl ($8.5), Klebom, Sekera, Lucic, RNH, larsson, Russell, Kassian and pouliot buyout.
        Say the cap rises to 80M

        How do you plan to use 25 million to sign
        Talbot (If you are giving CMD 12.5 they better be ready to pay him $7 at the minimum)
        Nurse (why would he sign a bridge deal if no one else is)
        Puljuuarvi (why would he sign a bridge deal if no one else is)
        Maroon (3.5 – 4.5M)
        Letestu (2.5 – 3M)
        Strome – what if he breaks out playing with CMD)

        Even if they are able to sign everyone, thats still an additional 7 roster spots to fill out.

      • Crosby was signed in a different cap world. His deal was spread over 12 years so the cap hit could stay low today & for the previous 4 years of this deal. Same situation in Chicago with Keith & Hossa. Those advantages don’t exist in today’s cap world.

        I typed MAY in capital letters. Edm MAY find away to shuck & jive to try & manage the cap but if McDavid wouldn’t take less, or even the max being paid to the other best players in the NHL & they owned his rights for at least 5 more years why should any of those other RFA players coming up over the next 3 years do so. Draisaitl now, Strome, Caggiula, Slepyshev, Nurse & Benning next summer & Puljujarvi the season following.

        I don’t like McDavid’s contract, he should have gotten 10.5, I do like McDavid but I don’t think any team can afford to pay 1 player that much money & expect to build a cup contender in today’s cap world. Again not the same cap world Crosby was signed in. If it were Pit couldn’t have built the roster they have.

      • Mcdavid would have got 15 million offer sheets next summer , anything less is a discount , 8 year term out of elc was the gift Edmonton needed for the long term success of the team . The arguement that just because Mcdavid … anything , is not even an arguement . He is a generational talent being treated and paid as a generational talent . Other great even star players will be reminded of this and that structure starts with Leo . 8 million or less , or bridge . I don’t see the team or player going that route , just both trying to squeeze best deal

      • Striker , both have no
        move clauses that end in two years , at which point if the prospects aren’t ready cheaper options will be found to support larsson klefbom nurse Benning.

      • Thanks Craig. Just couldn’t get a handle on exactly what you were saying.

        I don’t necessarily disagree with you that ways can be found just have concerns.

        Time will tell. It’s been several years since anyone offer sheeted anyone due to the restrictive nature of the rules in the last CBA. Might someone have to McDavid next season? We will never know.

        What I do know is generational or not McDavid sets the bar, a new bar for all future player contracts. He has yet to accomplish anything really. Will he? I assume so they did advance 1 playoff round this season & who can’t like what has played out for Edm.

        This is a cup contender for me as currently constructed next season. Winning the McDavid lottery was part of it but Chiarelli’s moves have helped a ton. He has rebuilt the D & made Edm no fun to play against with the acquisitions of Larsson, Kassian, Maroon & Lucic. This is an elite level hitting team now & several of these player hit to hurt making the meek think twice about holding onto the puck for to long or going into the corners to get it.

        A great time to be an Oilers fan. Boston may be my favorite team but I have always liked Edm, even thru the Lowe era. Been a seasons ticket holder since 92.

      • Leon 8.5 for 8 yrs the oilers are gonna be the team to beat very soon

    • Caper ,
      I’ve got none, already today a better d , top 2 locked up , nurse Benning restricted and Russell sekera for the next two years . Mcdavid was and should be the priority , Leon is not comparable with Mcdavid . Mcdavid agent clearly used crosbys contract or ended up at the same cap percentage , either way . Run the numbers , in two years Russell / sekera and that 10 million will alleviate any pressure , like any team the prospects must steal some spots along the way and how many 1 year rentals can be had for 1 million who can still play ? Lots but with prospects as different stages of development at each position they are set up well to keep rolling guys in for years to come . and this is two guys ENTERING prime not exiting .

      • Craig.

        Confused by.

        “Run the numbers , in two years Russell / sekera and that 10 million will alleviate any pressure,”

        What does that mean? Both have 4 years left?

    • Taz ,
      Elc and bridge contracts for guys who aren’t on the cusp of stardom . That’s how they will fit , for most of the length of McD and Leo contracts actually , 3 year elc alone on most of the guys I mentioned . IF strome breaks out , does maroon need to stay ? No , if he does , it will be at a discount . Talbot in no way is affected by Mcdavid cap hit .

      • What will Talbot’s next contract be 2 years out?

        How does Maroon playing LW effect Strome playing RW? Didn’t Strome essentially replace Eberle?

        EDM has created a window for themselves now & with a little luck can maximize it but any on ice success now will cost them in resigning players in the future.

        If Strome & Nurse have big seasons or anyone else mentioned that’s coming up for contract renewal soon, they are going to want to be paid. Any player coming out of his ELC could be hard-balled & bridged as they have no arbitration rights buying time but if studs that means signing them out of the bridge may cost more following.

        Edm is in a great spot to compete for the cup now potentially. I like the resigning of Russell, Jokinen is still a solid 2 way hockey player giving Edm 3 solid lines. I hope Sekera gets back quickly & with the added development of their youth, EDM could do some significant damage this season.

        The are right on the cusp of greatness just concerned about how long they can keep it together.

      • They went to wrong place but striker , both have no move clauses expire in two years , if the prospects aren’t ready to support Benning nurse klefbom and larsson cheaper options will be added for short term .

      • 3 years elc plus bridge deals carries jones bear Yamamoto puljujarvi all past RNH contract and past or to the end of Lucic contract , which will be living on ltir before that anyways .

      • What do you expect Talbot to sign at? If McDavid doesn’t affect it, then you may want to look at what Price got. Talbot was a work horse and had great numbers last year.
        Do you see Talbot making less than Hank? Bob? Rask? Rinne?
        He’ll need to be paid a top 5 goalie salary, it will be between the 7M – 9M range. I was being conservative with the estimate.
        Say you left Maroon walk, which 1st line LW are you getting for less than 4-5M? Lucic already showed its not going to be him.

        You are counting all the salaries that drop off and not taking into account what it will take to resign the roster.

        Edmonton will be a contender the next couple of years and will be in the mix for the foreseeable future but to ignore the obvious cap crunch on the horizon is foolish.

      • Leon at 8.5 , 4 million less than Mcdavid . As an oiler fan I am over the moon !

  2. I thought journalism was based on fact not opinion. Thumbs down to Lawton on this one as he is an actual journalist regarding hockey matters. The rest of us are merely fans voicing pipe dreams for our teams. Also thumbs down to basically anybody who failed to take even a passing notice of Lawton voicing an opinion rather than a fact. Lyle, you were dead on regarding a boring summer in one of your recent Soap Box segments. For some reason sports journalism seems like a tie dyed t shirt with respect to fact and fiction. Many of the journalists in the genre don’t even seem to get it. Fact; McDavid signed. Fact; Draisaitl has yet to. Fact; only those on the inside know why or why not. Fact; I need to know when it happens. Fact; when Pasternak signs I will know then. Fact; right now regarding that topic I know all I need to know! Don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t wait for the season to begin. One last fact; the manager in Montreal (Bergevin) provides the most off season fun!

    • Not sure Twitter should be considered journalism. Hockey yes. Hockey rumors no. How can Rumors be fact?

    • Lawton isn’t a journalist. Journalists get degree’s in journalism. Lawton is a former player, manager who has become a broadcaster, blogger, tweeter, etc. In today’s world the lines have blurred significantly.

      This is a rumor sight. It doesn’t deal with many facts. We are here to discuss hockey rumors but as you know we discuss a whole range of hockey matters. Lawton’s comments are sensational, designed to get hits & generate revenue. Mission accomplished.

      Lawton’s opinions are no more or less valuable than your own, the difference is he has a forum, you could to if so inclined, I know numerous bloggers that have carved out decent careers & livings discussing hockey, not the least of which is Lyle right here, but that doesn’t make their opinion any more valuable or right than yours or mine.

      We the reader, listener, etc. get to decide who we wish to believe or use to formulate our own opinions. Lawton’s just not 1 of them for me. I do value Lyle’s opinion & love his format. He makes it unnecessary for me to read every daily & this is the best chat board for hockey on the net.

      • Agreed completely Striker; however, those who choose to publish their “knowledge” should know enough to categorize their comments as rumour and fact. And as you correctly assert the reader bears a responsibility there too.

        And like you I prefer this site also because of the clear and concise delineation between the two. After all TWITter is for you know who.

      • Ha-ha!

        Just take it all for what’s it’s worth. Which is virtual nothing. Lawton may be being some what honest from his perspective. He’s hearing contract talks are problematic, as they should be for a 21 year old player who scored 34 goals & 70 points coming out of his ELC. He’s not alone, Draisaitl, Horvat, Wennberg, to a lesser extent Bennett, Anderson, Brown, Duclair & numerous lesser lights remain unsigned also. Most will be bridged as they haven’t broken thru yet but those big 4 are all waiting for something to give with 1 of the others to use as comparables now.

        Edm didn’t do anyone any favors signing McDavid with a year remaining. Numerous teams are wishing Edm had waited until next summer to resign him as his contract resets the market for everyone moving forward.

  3. Draisaitl is not Crosby or even close to an equivalent. He has had 2..3 seasons in the NHL and has won nothing !

    Why wouldn’t every team team look into a “free player”. He is a fifth rounder and not highly ranked. He could only hope to be as good as Garth Butcher 🙂

  4. I can’t agree more with Striker’s take on teams passing on bridge deals. There is no way to win in today’s NHL without having some really good players on ELC and bridge deals.
    If Edmonton signs Leon to a UFAesque contract like they did with McDavid? What sort of negotiating strength do they bring when they have to sign Nurse, Puljuuarvi (sp?) and Talbot? What if Strome has a good year playing with McD? Letestu & Maroon are due raises.

    How bad is that Lucic signing now? Did Chia not know that all these guys were RFAs/UFAs in the next 3 years?

  5. I think Poile in NASH and Chiarelli in EDM set the market already for Draisaitl.
    Ryan Johansen signed an 8m/8yr recently. He is 4 yr older than Leon. Scored 61 pts in the regular season and 13 pts in the playoffs.
    Leon had better production with 77 pts in the regular season and 16 pts during the playoffs.
    MCdavid only had 9 pts in the playoffs.

    Emotional arguments out of the way about who played with him and etc……the market has been set and I think Leon is waiting for a market value offer. I assumed he is looking at 9-10 a yr.
    if 8m/8yr is 61 pts and 12.5m/8 yr is 100 pts then 10m is 77-80 pts

    and that is what Pasternak is looking at and why Pasternak is waiting as well.

    • It’s not just about points but I agree with you otherwise. The business side of hockey is in play. Arbitration rights, waiver eligibility, UFA status, how many years your buying into a players UFA years all factor into what players are paid.

      Hard to compare Draisaitl & Johansson from a business perspective. EDM owns Draisaitl’s rights for 5 more years. Nashville owned Johnasen’s for 1 more, the reason he got 8 for 8, he could walk as a UFA in 1 year.

      If I’m any of the big 4 RFA’s; Draisaitl, Pastnrnak, Wennberg or Horvat, I want big money or bridge me at significant money & delay the big money for a year to 3. Most bridge deals are 2 years, with a few exceptions. If McDavid is worth 12.5 then these players are worth 7 to 10 mil respectively down the road. None are any where near fully developed nor have they had their best seasons yet.

      • Agree with you on “the business side of hockey is in play.” I think that is being viewed from the TEAM perspective mainly while Leon is trying to leverage his youth and production as the main factors. Still very early in the offseason and I would not be surprised these RFA negotiations going “down to the wire.”

        Perhaps EDM looks to ARZ and work out a RNH deal? Say a 1st and Duclair? It would give EMD cap relief and then Leon signs as the #2c. EDM also gets a young top 9 winger. ARZ on the other hand gets their #2c in RNH, who is only 24. Stepan #1 RNH #2 Strome #3

      • Players are probably gun shy about lockouts by now and want money in the bank.

        I’m not exactly sure it is the right move for Edmonton, but if Leon wants to cash in now, I would seriously consider trading him to add promising youth to their D and O positions. They already put their eggs in McDavid’s basket and I think a big upgrade on D may be more beneficial in the long run. And promising upcoming youth would be a better all around scenario for a modern day dynasty.

        I think Chiarelli jumped the gun a little here, and Edmonton’s glorious opportunity may disintegrate before it even begins. I am closely watching Toronto here too, although they are a little better situated and I trust Lou a little more.

        These are the best two up and coming teams, but both have got a little ahead of themselves and put possible 2-3 year obstacles unnecessarily in their own way. Maybe just a tad too eager on both teams. We’ll see shortly.

        Every GM wants to be David Poile, but they don’t know how. Poile must be shaking his head with a wry smile on his face at the rest of the NHL.

        “Welcome to Nashville folks! Home of your next REAL Dynasty!! It’s gonna be SpecTACuLAaaaaaAAR!!!

  6. any info on where kerfoot might sign?

  7. It seems to me that if Butcher wants significant minutes in the NHL, Colorado is his only logical destination. They are really short on NHL dmen. Buffalo, Toronto, Vegas and to a lesser extant Vancouver, all seem to have NHL caliber dmen.
    Colorado on the other hand, only have 4, but 1 remains unsigned dmen.
    That is where his best chance is of playing in the NHL this year.

    • I was thinking the same thing in regards to playing time, however, I think Butch is also lookingg at how management has been handling players and the relationships they seem to botch. With the leverage he has I am sure he is looking for more than juts playing time but an atmosphere, he believes, is more “player friendly” and a “winning environment”. Not throwing shade at the AVS organization but perhaps that is his logic in this.

  8. LEON signs 8.5m/8yr EDM gets a great deal if he keeps his production going.

  9. Good luck to Boston getting Pastrnak signed for less then they are paying Bergeron or Marchand now. He is every bit as valuable as Draisaitl. The cost to sign Wennberg & Horvat, hell every player is going up, it was regardless but it’s going to be accelerated now.

    Boy does Scheifele’s contract last summer ever look like amazing value now, as well as numerous others.

    It will be interesting to see how teams deal with these contracts coming out of the next CBA. The market will be changing significantly again in 4 years.

    • Striker pastnak isn’t as valuable as draisaitl cmon it’s really not close

      • Really! How do you figure they aren’t the same never mind even close? Pastrnak scored 5 more goals & 7 less points in 7 less games. Draisaitl played 1st line minutes with McDavid seeing the 2nd most icetime of all forwards & 2nd most PP of any player on Edmonton, Pastrnak was 4th & 4th.

      • They are both very comparable . I would give the slight edge to Leon because he is a center man , which are more valuable , and the playoff run . People look at the fact of 77 points with Mcdavid as a huge negative . Proving that he can be a high end top line winger , in small sample . While also producing 51 pts at center without Mcdavid in 15/16 and a dominating playoff run this year when Mcdavid was taking the matchups and attention . That’s what we will be seeing for the next 8 years . But to say pastranak isn’t close , I would disagree there , also a great player .

    • Striker, what are you referring to that teams will be impacted after the next labour negotiations. My thoughts are the main issues will be length of terms of contracts.
      The cap will not change.
      I do not think the owners will get anything less than 50% of hockey related revenues. Or for that matter more than 50%

      • The owners will be clawing more back in the next lockout. I would be surprised if the players share of revenue stays at 50%. That said hockey related revenue will pick up more things off setting any give back from the players on this issue some what.

        I’m not sure the term of contracts will be an issue except limits may be put on contracts coming out of your ELC.

        Owners will have to give back something. I assume that will be free agency nominally sooner, far greater revenue sharing to help the have not teams, guaranteed Olympic participation, costs shared by both the NHL & NHLPA, expansion revenue to count as HRR.

        A 1/3rd of teams in the NHL lose monies now, another 1/3 barely turn a profit & can only hope to if they make the playoffs. This business model will take at least 2 more lockouts to lay a foundation so almost all teams can be profitable.

        Contract growth is growing faster than the cap/revenue. This is not sustainable unless players want to pay escrow, the tool that presently balances the players share at 50%.

      • Your response does not make sense. You said the players will gain some other hockey related revenues. To offset anything the owners take back. That would mean no change to the salary cap. Which will mean there is no change to the impact of these current contracts.

  10. The Oilers will likely be in cap trouble but they are mirroring the Pens model more than people realize.

    The cap % is a reasonable way to evaluate players in the modern cap era. The argument that Crosby signed in a different era and got a 12 year deal to keep the hit lower is an argument for McDavid’s deal being appropriately valued, not against it. If McDavid is getting the same % but is forced to take a shorter deal, then his deal should have been a higher % than Crosby’s.

    The oilers will have hard decisions to make, but Pittsburgh was in the same situation when Staal was going to require a new contract that wasn’t going to make sense for a team with so much invested down the middle. The question will be if PC will be as shrewd about building around his stars. So far the deals to Lucic, and the decision to sell low on Eberle while retaining RNH aren’t promising signs of good cap management, but the they have their top two players signed for $21M a year. That’s the same as Toews & Kane Combined, and right now I don’t think you can doubt that for the remaining years on those deals, McDavid/Draistl will likely provide more value.

    The oilers can build around that duo, but PC needs to be very careful how he does so. He needs to ensure he doesn’t over value wingers who put up good numbers playing in good situations, that he continues to draft well to fill in holes cheaply from one year to the next, and that he doesn’t tie up too much long term money to periphery players.

  11. After reading some of these comments, its clear a more than a a good share of them don’t understand the whole cap situation?
    Especially those who blame Mcdavid as some greedy individual who doesn’t care about winning?
    The majority of the owners ( especially small market) fought for the cap. People have no idea how much money certain superstars generate in merchandise alone. Let alone, ticket sales. So what are they supposed to do?…. Let ownership take everything? For every jersey, or any other team NHL merchandise sold, do people actually think the players get anything from it?
    The way certain teams ,is Pits-Chic have maintained success. By continuing to build around a core group of 6 or 7 plus a goalie,every couple years. Teams like L.A or Bos had success, but failed in the longterm recycling. Thus keeping the group intact ,hurt them as they got older under contract.
    I trust and hope the leafs are beginning that trend. By locking up the 7 long term keepers. And signing the rest to 3 yrs or less. Not to mention avoiding the miller- no trade clauses to those recyclables