NHL Rumor Mill – August 25, 2017

by | Aug 25, 2017 | Rumors | 38 comments

The Los Angeles Kings could face a difficult decision regarding the future of defenseman Drew Doughty.

Latest on Drew Doughty, Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford and Will Butcher in your NHL rumor mill. 

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien points out the Los Angeles Kings could face a daunting decision on all-star defenseman Drew Doughty. His contract expires at the end of 2018-19, when he’ll be 27 and eligible for unrestricted free agency. He’s currently earning $7 million annually and could command much more on his next deal. He also lacks no-trade protection.

While re-signing Doughty appears a no-brainer for the Kings, O’Brien suggests management might have to at least consider the possibility of trading the former Norris Trophy winner. While such a move would be wildly unpopular among Kings fans, O’Brien makes the case that it would provide the Kings with salary-cap relief whilst garnering a return of promising roster talent plus draft picks and/or prospects to restock their farm system. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no indication new Kings general manager Rob Blake is mulling a Doughty trade. If asked, he’ll likely say it’s far too early to get into concerns over the blueliner’s future in Los Angeles. I doubt Doughty will end up on the trade block this season.

Still, O’Brien’s assessment on Doughty’s future foreshadows what will surely be significant focus on this subject next summer, when the elite blueliner will be only a year away from UFA status. Much will likely depend upon the Kings’ performance this season and whatever moves Blake has in store for his roster and salary cap. 

Some Toronto pundits could seize upon Doughty admitting he’s a Leafs fan, though they’ll likely overlook the part where he said he didn’t know if he could cope with the fishbowl existence of living and playing in Toronto. Still, if the money’s right and the Leafs keep improving, anything’s possible. 

TSN: Agent Brian Bartlett, who represents unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford, told Buffalo’s WGR 550 on Wednesday that interest in his clients has increased of late and he expects both could be under new contracts soon.

Earlier this summer, it was reported Vanek was in touch with the Detroit Red Wings, but their salary-cap issues makes it unlikely they’ll bring him back. Stafford’s reportedly been in talks with the Boston Bruins and could get a professional tryout offer from them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several of the notable remaining UFAs, like Vanek and Stafford, could get new one-year contracts by the end of September. They might have to accept PTO offers first in order to earn those deals during training camp and preseason play. Vanek and Stafford still have enough value to be enticing to clubs seeking affordable and experienced depth on the wings. 

WGR 550: Brayton Wilson cites reports claiming former Colorado Avalanche defense prospect Will Butcher could reach a decision on his NHL future on Sunday. The Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights are believed among the finalists. The Pittsburgh Penguins are also said to still be in the mix. 



  1. “Some Toronto pundits could seize upon Doughty admitting he’s a Leafs fan, though they’ll likely overlook the part where he said he didn’t know if he could cope with the fishbowl existence of living and playing in Toronto…”

    Oh, THAT is as inevitable as … well … Stamkos and Tavares suggestions!

    • Oh here we go….more pre-mature ejaculations by Toronto media that he and every other star born in Canada is dying….BEGGING to play for The Laffs.

      Well after Matthews cashes in, after Marner and Nylander cash in…..there won’t be ANY money for John Tavares….
      No money for Drew Doughty.
      Sucks we now have to endure a whole year or 2 of crap media reports and speculation that these guys are going to come there and all the trade scenarios.

      • Would the Kings be better off getting Marner or Nylander + another young player for Doughty? And would the Leafs be better making the same deal?
        I think both teams benefit. The Kings are on the playoff bubble with their lack of forward depth now.

        The Leafs also have both their 2018 and 2019 1st round picks.

      • Oh look at the totally non bias fan criticizing a reaction that has yet to happen…

      • Doughty and Tavares will take minimum just to play in Toronto

      • So tune out then Cryler!

      • To be fair the Stamkos to Toronto speculation was a lot more heated than Tavares to Toronto.
        Doughty makes a ton of sense for the Leafs but its too early to say.
        Any suggestion of ‘there is NO WAY he would go Toronto’ is the same amount of ridiculous that ‘Doughty will come home to Toronto’

      • The leafs definatley won’t be able to afford Doughty, he’s going to get 10M+ a season for max term. With that being said…. He would no doubt be the person to push Reilly to being elite. Doughty always plays with one of the youngest D men as his partner. 2 years of Reilly + Doughty is intreging but can’t happen.

    • I know George and again as a Leafs fan it is so frustrating! Stick with the plan; Marleau aside.

    • Exactly! Nobody wants to play for Toronto. They are the NY Yankees of hockey, only without the success. Plus, It’s a complete media circus and the fans will turn on them as soon as they go e games w/o scoring… Not to mention the cost of living, extraordinarily high taxes, and these are just a few of many other drawbacks as to why no Free Agents don’t sign there.

      The only time good players ever sign there is when they are in the twilight of their careers, and want to cash in on one final contract (which Toronto had to overpay to lure them there).

      Lastly, Toronto fans have a terrible reputation. It’s also hilarious that those fans were basically penciling in Tavares, Stamkos, and now Doughty – and with Stamkos, they started talking as if he had already singed there 2 years before his contract was up. They did the same for Tavares, but the day he was drafted hahaha….LOL

  2. Why Lyle, why? Drew is 2yrs away and you had to throw the Toronto speculation out there. You’re just prodding, please don’t until next offseason.

  3. A little more here in the now, what do the Canucks do with the twins? do they resign? for how much and how long? could they be moved in separate deals (not likely nmc) could they be moved as a package to a contender, then return to the Canucks next season or do they just retired. What is the best thing for Vancouver to do?

    • 2 year deals at 4.5 to 5 mil per, excepting 2nd line minutes thise season & next then in the final year of those 2 year deals they move to 3rd line roles & retire life long Canucks.

      Or 2 consequitive 1 year over 35 bonus laiden deals & they retire Canucks.

      • Striker, you don’t think the Sedins have any interest in chasing the Cup? Didn’t look at the numbers but maybe they are what could push the cup to Nashville if they signed there. Or traded there at the deadline, win the cup and sign back with Vancouver.

      • Very unlikely. Henrik has 2 young kids in school; 7 & 11. Daniel 3 kids 6, 9 & 11, his wife Marinette received her psychology degree at the University of British Columbia & works for the Canucks Family Education Centre.

        I don’t see the Sedin’s interested in moving any where. They will resign with the Canucks or retire. I assume they will continue to live in Vancouver returning to Sweden when their kids are out of school in the summers as they do now.

      • Re-sign/ resign usaage on this comment section needs improvement considering the words mean the opposite.

      • @Striker

        Why would it matter if the Sedin’s kids were in school? To have basically one chance at the one trophy that you played your whole life for at basically the end of your career would be a god blessing and they’d take it.

    • Sedins to the leafs.

      • Chara too

      • Parise and Price too

  4. Hey Lyle, I clicked on the ‘Agile ITSM’ ad as it looked interesting. The tracking link broke but still got me to the site.
    Best to check in if GA is actually tracking (or AgileITSM giving you credit) that you were the source of the website visit, I take it your banner ads have some rev tied to clicks.

  5. From a Sabres fan:

    You don’t want Stafford! I’ve never seen a guy with less passion for hockey in my life! Let him retire and focus on his band.

    Vanek was lazy at age 20-28, why get him now? Slow lazing in heart.

    Pass on both

    • As per TSN, Stafford just signed a 1 year 800k contract with the Devils

      • So, re my list yesterday of remaining available UFAs and question of who’ll be the first to be signed, the cigars go to Jeff Noel and Striker who both picked Stafford.

        So, who’s next?: (I still think it might be Parenteau):

        Cody Franson – D – 30 y/o
        Brian Gionta – RW – 38 y/o
        Jiri Hudler – C – 33 y/o
        Jarome Iginla – RW – 40 y/o
        Jaromir Jagr – RW – 45 y/o
        Jay McClement – C – 34 y/o
        P.A. Parenteau – RW – 34 y/o
        Drew Stafford – RW – 31 y/o (1st to sign)
        Thomas Vanek – LW – 33 y/o
        Daniel Winnik – C – 32 y/o
        Roman Polak – D – 31 y/o
        Chris Neil – RW – 38 y/o
        Alex Chiasson – RW – 26 y/o
        Andrew Desjardins – C – 31 y/o
        Dennis Wideman – D – 34 y/o
        Brooks Laich – C – 34 y/o
        John-Michael Liles – D – 36 y/o
        Teddy Purcell – RW – 31 y/o
        Rene Bourque – RW – 35 y/o
        R.J. Umberger – C – 35 y/o (Dallas try-out)
        Chris Kelly – C – 36 y/o (Ottawa try-out)
        Zbynek Michalek – D – 34 y/o

      • Vanek.

    • Pominville is the same way! Glad the Sabers got him back. Very lazy the past couple years. Playing not to get hurt, zero passion for the game.

    • From a real Sabres fan…

      Vanek wasn’t lazy with us. Hell if he was he wouldn’t be 2X 40+ goal scorer, 4X 30+ goal scorer and a 8X 20+ goal scorer in a Sabres uniform. Lazy players don’t score that many goals @Paul. Also Just because they are slow doesn’t mean they are lazy bud.

  6. Franson.

    I still think Jagr will be signing somewhere soon.

    And 3rd after that is maybe Chaisson

    Then Hudler.

  7. Here we F&$@in Go again He will be with the Leafs for sure, by the way sweet Patrick Marleau signing there is still Guys his age out there that can’t get a contract, but hey let’s sign him to a 3 year deal what a Joke. PS I hate the Flames also but they have the nicest jerseys wish they would have brought the horse breathing fire back come on Adidas lol.

    • Completely agree on the Marleau signing. In particular, adding that third year which coincides with Matthews’ and Marner’s new deals was just plain stupid.

      • I am a Leafs fan and I HATE the Marleau deal! He must have pictures of someone in management doing something.

  8. Stafford signs in NJ today. I’m 1 of the winners.

    • I’m surprised at the amount. Thought he would get $1.5 or $2

      • I would have liked him back as the 3rd line RW in Boston but Vatrano probably moves to #3RW to make room for 1 of the rookies or Agostino as the #2 LW.

        Ideally this hole would be addressed in trade or perhaps Vatrano plays as the #2 LW & 1 of the rookies moves into the #3 RW slot.

  9. Please sign bo horvat please,

    Or and anybody isnt signed.

  10. Isn’t Seguin up before Doughty? We need to go through that circus too? I am a Leaf fan and it would be nice to have Stamkos, Traveres, Seguin and Doughty but realistically this is all about reality. Maybe one or two of them would consider the Kariya example of signing for low money to win a championship but how did that workout for him? I think Matthews, Marner and Nylander have the potential to equal or get close to Stamkos, Traveres, and Seguin but time will tell. It is also interesting to note that only Stamkos was a factor to get his team into the finals. Seguin did win a cup but was not the driving force.

    • Which one of those players that’ll still be in the primes of their careers will take a huuuuuge deduction in salary to play for the Leafs? Like honestly you Leafs fans are just so high on yourselves. It’s hilarious.

      Next thing we know Toronto will be only team in the NHL. Unreal.

  11. Probably time for a nickname
    The three horsemen
    The three Amigos

    Like Detroit I don’t get LA’s financial trouble