NHL Rumor Mill – September 12, 2017

by | Sep 12, 2017 | Rumors | 46 comments

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli prefers to retain center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Updates on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and David Pastrnak plus the latest on the Canadiens in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s recent preseason interview with Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli where they touched upon center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ future with the club.

Nugent-Hopkins’ $6 million per season salary has given rise to speculation he’s a luxury the Oilers can’t afford down the road. Chiarelli seems to suggest, however, that Nugent-Hopkins could skate in the second-line center role with Leon Draisaitl on the wing.

The Oilers GM still considers the 24-year-old a key part of his roster and has spoken to the center about his value to the club. He told McKenzie his message to Nugent-Hopkins is he isn’t going anywhere but declined to speculate over how long he’ll be with the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Chiarelli wants to keep Nugent-Hopkins but salary-cap constraints beyond this season will make it difficult to do so. They have over $60 million invested in 13 players for 2018-19. Assuming another $2 million increase in the cap, they’ll have around $17 million to re-sign or replace free agents such as Patrick Maroon, Ryan Strome and Darnell Nurse, as well as address other roster needs as required.

The Oilers shipped out Jordan Eberle last June in a cost-cutting move so it’s natural to assume they’ll do the same with Nugent-Hopkins. If Chiarelli wants to retain RNH, he’ll have to get creative. Otherwise, he’ll have to move him out next summer to free up cap room for next season. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty cites KHL reporter Alvin Kalnins reporting Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak has several offers from KHL teams on the table if he can’t reach agreement on a new contract with the Bruins. The Bruins made two offers of six- and seven-year deal worth $6 million per season each, but the Pastrnak camp has reportedly countered with an eight-year deal worth close to $8 million annually.

Haggerty believes there’s middle ground here for a new deal worth between $7 – $7.5 million but so far there’s little budging by both sides. Meanwhile, Bruins stars Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron said they have no problem with Pastrnak potentially earning more than they do. Marchand’s annual cap hit is just over $6.1 million while Bergeron’s is just over $6.8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Pastrnak’s representatives are attempting to leverage those KHL offers into a better deal with the Bruins. However, I think that’l have little effect upon Boston management, as they know Pastrnak’s preference is to stay in the NHL. I expect the two sides will get a deal hammered out within the next two weeks, probably seven years and $7 million annually. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports the Canadiens have over $8.5 million in salary cap space for the upcoming season, but don’t expect GM Marc Bergevin to go shopping. While Bergevin acknowledged it’s nice to have that much room, he said there isn’t much talent available to invest in right now.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Bergevin intends to evaluate his roster in the coming weeks to determine his potential moves as the season progresses. He doesn’t have to use that cap space now but I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes advantage of it later on, perhaps near the Feb. 26 trade deadline. 



  1. I feel like the Pastarnak deal is likely to get done right before camp and it will be nothing out of the ordinary.

    I know it was on yesterday’s thread, but I think the potential of Doughty moving on from LA could be one of the more interesting stories in hockey over the next year. The reason is, I would take
    him at his word that he wants to play for a team that could win a cup, and I think LA needs to re-build.

    Doughty is so interesting because he would be the best player to move teams in over a decade, and his position and all around game means there is no team he doesn’t improve, and with the minutes he plays, his impact would be massive on any team adding him. This could make him worth the investment. Adding a top 3 defensemen in the league that plays nearly half the game can turn a weak defense into a good defense instantly.

    Teams like Edmonton, Dallas, Toronto, Buffalo would be vastly improved. Teams that are close to a cup could use Doughty as the last piece, like Anaheim, Tampa, or Washington. And a team like Pittsburgh could go all in and try and add a couple of additional cups to an already impressive era in their teams history.

    His age and durability should alleviate some of the concern of having to sign him, since an 8 year deal brings him to 37, and the amount of impact he can have would probably make him one of the few players in the $9M+ club that could justify the price for the impact they have on the line up.

    It’s interesting because it’s fairly realistic he decides to move on, and teams should be lining up to get his services. This isn’t the new part, the new part is that he might actually be worth the hoopla. This won’t be a case of over paying for the best player available, it’s likely to be relatively justified.

    It will be interesting to watch.

    • None of the teams you mention, Edm, Dal, Tor, Buf, Anh, TB, Was or Pit would be able to get Doughty’s future contract of 9 mil+ onto the books with out shipping out a significant asset.

      Doughty is 1 of a very limited group of NHL Dman that can do everything. He may well be the best all around Dman in the NHL certainly top 3.

      I don’t look forward to the speculation. I hate the rhetoric. He’s under contract for 2 years & I would be shocked if LA doesn’t resign him next summer certainly before he hits UFA status. Will LA be a cup contender again with in 2 years? Will Doughty consider them such if true to his word?

      Possibly but hard to tell. The core pieces are in place, Kopitar, Carter, 2 solid centers, Tiffoli & Pearson both young & just scratching the surface, 1 of the best D’s in the NHL, a top flight goalie & some youth coming but no real studs that appear obvious but Forbert, Gravel & LaDue appear to all have solid NHL futures in different roles on D.

      Forbert looked great playing with Doughty on the 1st pairing & LaDue’s emergency was surprising. In Clifford & Lewis you have 2 solid depth players & Clifford can play the enforcer but take a regular shift & he doesn’t take a ton of stupid penalties, 12 of his 92 PIMs are majors for fighting, his 11 minors puts him in the 200’s.

      Dowd, Shore & Andreoff inject some youth & Kempe should get an audition with Gaborik injured to start the season.He’s the only real forward prospect on the horizon at present that is close to ready.

      If they can find away to get Gaborik & Brown off the books over the next few seasons that would help. Brown plays a solid role but just not a 5.875 mil per player & certainly not for 5 more years. Gaborik has 4 years remaining at 4,875. These contracts won’t be easy to move & have handcuffed LA in numerous ways.

      Like many teams with Cup success Lamorello choose to overpay pieces, specifically Brown & Gaborik & now LA has to bare the burden of that success.

      • If Kopitar does not return to form this offense cannot compete within their own division. True they have a top netminder for at least the next 5 seasons.

        Strike is a glass half full with the Kings compared to my take.

      • Learn something everyday….never knew Lamorello was the GM for the LA Kings….always thought it was Lombardi.

      • Thks. Ron, sorry weird brain block, Lombardi obviously.

        I have 3 names I seem to always screw up. Svoboda & Sobotka, Oshie & Okposo & Lamerello & Lombardi.

        No idea why as they aren’t even close to 1 & other really.

      • No I agree with you, if Kopitar can’t return to being a dominant 2 way force there’s trouble brewing.

        Will Kopitar & Tiffoli bounce back?

        How can a team that is in the upper echelons in almost any defensive catagory be as bad as LA was last season? I was happy to see Sutter go, open it up a little, you can win if you can’t score a minus 4 different goal differential isn’t getting you into the playoffs in today’s NHL.

        I’d say it’s still 1/2 full. There are some concerns beyond the top 2 lines offensively.

      • I think the recipe for a Cup contender is still
        True #1 center
        True #1 defenseman(ok the Pens without this…)
        True top flight goalie
        Solid top 4 D
        Depth scoring

        I don’t see the Kings having all the ingredients.
        ( the Habs have all but the center… ;-0

      • The key to LA bouncing back rests as mush – if not more – on a healthy Jonathan Quick (he missed 65 games last season). He’s as important to their fate as Price is to Montreal’s.

      • Buffalo’s GM already has had many years of working with the cap, he would use the Pittsburgh method. I’m sure Doughty wouldn’t come to Buffalo but he would be able to fit within the cap as we have a smart GM unlike teams like Detroit and LA who gave out long term deals to guys over age 30. In today’s game I would never give out a long deal to any forward over age 30. Guys at forward get washed up quick at age 31-32.

  2. Ryan Nugent Hopkins is a very good player who could fetch a great return. Having said that he may very well be the guy from the Lowe era, or “low” era, that can adapt and be part of the new Oilers. It isn’t always necessary to improve from without. The unfortunate part here for RNH is economics though. At $6,000,000 he could be tough to keep. The Oilers need to focus on Nurse as an eventual free agent. They can’t let him go. Maroon or Strome could be used as trade bait just like RNH could though. Just my thoughts.

    • I agree Steven. Like many players we discuss the only problem with RNH’s game is he has been miscast as a 1st line C which he was thought to be when he was drafted & isn’t a 6 mil cap hit player in today’s NHL.

      He is a soft #2 or solid #3, he would make a great 3rd line C who plays 2nd line minutes as injuries warrant getting 2nd line PP time but who can afford to pay a 3rd line C 6 mil per.

      Potentially having Draisaitl as his RW would help but that’s a stop gap as Draisaitl is destined to be a C in the NHL.

      RNH is simply a luxury Edm can afford for 1 more year, 2 if they are willing to let allow all 4 of their UFA’s to walk next summer replacing them with kids on ELC’s. Which they appear they might be able to do.

      Caggiula & Slepyshev both appear to have top 9 potential & could assume the scoring line roles, with Puljujarvi developing Edm might be able to assume the loss of Maroon.

      It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Nurse is most likely bridged buying some short term cap space but it’s going to be tight next summer.

      • I think Edmonton is well aware of the improvements they need to make. Do you think Nurse and his agent will be open to a bridge contract Striker? Going forward I hope they get it right in Edmonton. I am a Leafs guy but I am truly hopeful of a total resurgence in Edmonton also. Can’t help but be nostalgic of the old Oilers. Which is ironic, because I wasn’t a fan then! I think Ottawa and Calgary look good this year too. A rest for Karlsson might be a blessing in disguise.

      • With Sekera out for an indeterminate amount of time to start the season Nurses role may increase, if he has to much success to quickly possibly not but I don’t think Edm will have any choice, not much wiggle room so not certain how they would get him in under the cap if forced to sign him at 4 to 5 mil for 6 to 8 years.

        Similar situation played out with Kucherov last summer. TB simply couldn’t sign Kucherov for huge money long term, surprised it ended up at 4 years still an RFA coming out of it but with arbitration rights & only 1 year to UFA status gives Kucherova ton of leverage.

        Hard to compare Kucherov & Nurse except from a business perspective. I certainly don’t doubt what Nurse will eventually become but as you know I try to bride all potential really good NHL players coming out of their ELC’s as if the develop in stars or superstars by year 5 or 6 in the NHL I want to lock up for 8 years.

        Curious to see how Edm makes it’s salary structure work moving forward next season.

      • Sorry should read 3 years for Kucherov

      • Thats crazy.

        NUGENT hopkins is little different than guys like Kyle Turris who are great 2c and able to fill a 1c spot.

        Great 3c and poor 2c my butt

      • Turris had 9 more goals & 12 more points last season, winning 53.06% of his faceoffs, to RNH’s 43.85. RNH has scored more than 20 goals once in his career, Turris has done so 3 times, 24, 26 & 27.

        Nor Was Turris ever just handed the ice time the way RNH was. For numerous years no player in EDM logged more TOI/GP or PP TOI/GP than RNH at forward & Turris has never had a player like Hall on his wing or really Eberle for that matter.

        I perceive Turris a soft #1 or solid #2. Last season he finished 24th in scoring for C’s, 2015-16 he missed significant games, 2014-15th 17th; RNH had the same # of goals 24 but Turris outscored him by 8 points, 2013-14, 18th; Turris 5 more goals & 2 more points, playing almost 2 minutes less per game seeing 30 seconds less power play time per game on Ott’s 2nd unit.

        Are the similiar? Sure but I’ll take Turris. What good is a C that can’t win faceoffs? Or can’t break 60 points playing as a teams #1 for years getting the most TOI/GP at forward & 1st line PP time?

        Factor in Turris is completing the last season of a 5 year contract with a cap hit of 3.5 to RNH’s 6 over the last 4 of his & it’s no context for me.

  3. Doughty is 27- 8 years makes him 35. There would have to be a wholesale shift in personnel to accomodate a $9-$10m salary on almost all clubs….I predict that RNH has a great year, driving up his value and will be moved next summer. I do not see how they can keep $6m. Oilers will have to have a carousel older players over the next number of years ala Jokinen playing with the dynamic duo.

    • Doughty is 27, but he has two seasons left on his current deal, so an 8 year deal from the end of his current contract makes him 37.

      What will be interesting is watching LA this year, as that will put pressure on Blake to really figure out where this team goes this summer. Dougthy’s value on a sign and trade would be massive, and the teams trading for him would likely be sending back significant cap and asset. I wouldn’t be shocked to see any team drastically re-structure their D or salary cap situation to accommodate a player like Doughty.

      I am not so much interested in speculation of where he will land or the “will he won’t he”, but the different landscape it would present in that he may actually be worth the the cost of acquisition, and the drastic shift he could have on the NHL as a whole.

      Also, I think LA is a team in a really tough spot. They simply aren’t good enough as is to compete. They have pieces of a contender, but their offense is abysmal, their Defense is excellent (both D-core and team defense), and their goaltending is average to slightly above average. They have some of the worst contracts in the league tying up cap space, they have some prospects that look solid, but I don’t think they have anyone that is going to take a major leap forward compared to where they are, and even their core aside from Doughty is signed for a long time and all over the age of 30.

      As I said, I think the thing that will be interesting is watching how the team reacts and treats the situation. I would consider it a large gamble if LA didn’t have a great year this year, and didn’t try and get top value for Dougthy before his UFA season, but does that signal a full on re-build?

      Throw in the fact that the speculation will drive people to call Blake, and the offers for Doughty if he can be negotiated with, will be massive, and you have an interesting tipping point season for one of the strongest franchises in the cap era.

  4. I think its fair for Bergevin to take his time. What bugs me is he says to all that his defense squad is better than last year. Sorry, I dont see that. Do you?

    • The only part that dropped is maybe Markovs pp points but jerebak might handle that, other than that I’d say it has improved in all other areas. Getting rid of emelin and beaulieu is addition by subtraction they severely lack good hockey sense

      • Granted Alzner is better than Emelin. The rest, I see question marks all over the place. Schlemko? Meehh…. As for Jerabek, no one is talking about him any more. Which is kind of annoying… Anyways we’ll see.

    • I think it’s really an unknown for Montreal this year. I mean a healthy team, we’ll make the playoffs I’m pretty sure. Radulov out, Drouin in seems a wash.

      The defense though, lots of changes.. it does worry me a bit for sure.

      • What about streit he still has some gas left in the tank good power play man

      • The reason Streit bounces around is, he’s a defensive adventure every second he’s on the ice.

  5. JVR a first Rrounder, Carrick and a top prospect for Doughty, only 2 mill difference in salary. Leafs get a number 1 D and LA gets a winger that scores goals. LA can resign JVR with the savings from Doughty contract. With the salary cap going up appox 2 mill a year, within 2 years the leafs can resign Doughty.

    • unless that ‘top’ prospect is Nylander or Marner this deal isn’t getting done….Why do you have Carrick in this deal at all?

      • He sees him as expendable? So many of these “can’t miss” trade proposals include someone the person making the proposal simply wants to dump.

        With the Leafs trending up, that 1st rounder could be well within the bottom 10 of the draft And what “prospect” does he think would seal the deal? I agree, any such deal would need to start with Marner or Nylander – NOT Van Riemsdyk

      • Wasn’t Van Reimsdyk traded striaght up for Luke Schenn? Admittedly neither lived up to expectations. However is now prudent to think that Van Reimsdyk is worth one of the top 3 defensemen in the NHL?

        I think we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves with Doughty. He won’t be traded this year. He will sign for huge dollars as a FA if not traded for a kings ransom next off season.

  6. I feel that you guys have Doughty vastly overrated……….look at his stats for the past couple of seasons……..he is not worth $9.m. a season!!

    • Someone will pay Howard. It’s not a matter of “IF”. It’s a matter of “Who” and “When”

    • Which stats are you talking about? Are you looking at just goals & assists?

      Plays 1/2 the game against the leagues best every night & he did so last season carrying a rookie Dman like Chara did with Carlo. Few coaches in the NHL stressed D 1st like Sutter did in his time in LA.

      If you asked 10 forwards in the West which Dman they would like to see traded to the East I would wager 70% say Doughty.

      When a reporter asked Toews what he thought of Weber being sent to MtL he said thank god I only have to face him twice a year now, no other Dman I hate playing against more.

      As much as I like to try & quantify data as much as a I can about players stats don’t tell the whole picture in hockey. There are just a ton of intangibles.

      • I agree with that assessment striker.
        There are six complete defensemen in hockey right now in my opinion. Josi, Weber, Karlsson, Hedman, Burns and Doughty.
        OEL and Ristolainen are going to be there soon.
        Pietragelo, Keith and Suter aren’t dynamic enough offensively in my opinion.
        He is worth every penny of that 9M but good luck getting him at that, it’ll be around 10M to sign Doughty.

        I did kind of smirk when I read your last line though “As much as I like to try & quantify data as much as a I can about players stats don’t tell the whole picture in hockey. There are just a ton of intangibles.” ……oh the irony!!

      • How is Letang not in that conversation again? Yeah he has injury issues but he plays 30 minutes in all situations and dominates at both ends. When healthy he is the Pens most important player.

  7. JVR, Carrick or Dermott (to replace Doughty in the line up), Bracco, and Kapenin or a 1st rounder for Doughty makes more sense if they are rebuilding. A steep price to pay if this could get done this year but the Leafs would be a real contender?

    • Taz…Kris Letang not even mentioned he is better all around d-man than OEL and Ristolainen !

  8. I have always liked Van Riemsdyk and wouldn’t mind seeing him with the Sens. But mitigating against his returning a Top D from anyone is the fact he’s a UFA next year, when he turns 29, and will surely seek a “career” deal in terms of length and a hefty increase from his current $4,250,000 cap hit. How much more and for how long is the question, and any team willing to part with a Top D to get him is not only going to want to be sure he’s willing to re-up with them, but what terms he will be seeking. Too many “ifs” for any team to give the Leafs something of that calibre based on JVR with a pick and a prospect.

    • I can’t agree more. I like JVR, and at his current cap hit, I REALLY like JVR. But I’m not giving away a top 4 d for a guy that’s about to cash in! With the current contracts being given out, where does JVR stand? 7-7.5 for 6-7 years?

      • JVR is a 6 million guy. Should be no more. Something like 6×7 or $6.5 x 5

      • I think JvR is a $6M player, Scheifele ($6.125M) is a good comparison salarywise. Still taking into consideration that he comes in at a hometown discount for what he brings to the Jets.

      • Top 4D r getting harder n harder to acquire. As the go to guys to fill in minutes if a top 2D in place its not many teams that have that luxury. D depth has been a forever task for GM’s & it won’t change.

        Its one reason the trade market gets stale. With many teams in the hunt for a top C or top 2D only the draft is left to get lucky on getting them.

        It doesn’t matter what JVR’s value is cuz a winger gets only what the buyer will pay. When it takes a Hall to get a Larsson that example alone is a rarity & only exacerbates the problem for teams looking to add that key piece.

        Whether we like it or not not many big deals happen unless a player wants out eg Hamilton

        In this cap world of the hi/lo contracts the vets r getting squeezed out with ELC’s becoming gold. GM’s league wide sign up all their top youngins long term & deal with cap problems later. Nothing has changed much as far as GM’s go with the huge signings other than they are wiping out the middle class. Copy cat signings. Its all coming down to GM/Agent comparables right or wrong. McDavid & Draisaitl are legit good but their contracts have put a squeeze on GM’s for future signings.

        Pastrnak AM Nylander Marner etc will be pushing the GM’s hard & only the hometown discount can be hoped for.

  9. The Leafs aren’t going to trade JvR+ for a legit 1D, just doesn’t make sense! They’ve spent too much time rebuilding their prospect pool to just throw them away. Once Matthews and Marner gets their payday, then we’ll see bodies moving around to get a little better on D. Right now, Shanny and Lou are also waiting on what Rosen and Borgman can do at the NHL level…not to mention if Dermott can crack the lineup. It’ll be exciting to see Liljegren grow as a potential top 3 Dman for the Leafs in a couple of years.

    • JVR+ not for a legit 1D?

      You’re nuts thinking that would even get offered & if it was & turned down even crazier.


      • Not sure what you’re getting at. Are you saying JVR + will get back a 1D and that any team offered that (what’s the +) should jump at it?? Because I go back to what I say earlier – how will that team giving up the 1D be certain JVR will re-up with them next year and how will they know NOW what he and his agent will be seeking when the time comes in terms of cap hit and term? That’s a classic pig-in-a-poke and any team that gives up a legitimate 1D for that has you-know-what for brains.

      • When I meant “JvR+”, is along the lines of:

        JvR + Bracco/Brooks + Dermott + 1st

  10. Disclaimer: I just got home and haven’t read beyond the first ten comments.

    If divisional closeness is disregarded as a factor, Doughty in Edmonton seems awfully tantalizing. Would not a 25 year old Nugent-Hopkins, a first round pick and a solid prospect be enough to land Doughty and a reclamation prospect? … Jeff Carter is a bit long in the tooth age-wise. He won’t last forever and imagine Kopitar, the Nuge, and Gabe Vilardi (Valardi?) as your top three centers. If L.A. goes into re-build mode, Kopitar will be the new Henrik Sedin by the time they get back to competence, and you can never have enough depth at center.

    • I was about to mention the same trade!😨lol it saves LA money!and it gives the oilers a chance to win the cup this year!But can they fit him under the cap next year or beyond? Would NJ take sererka(spelling?)