NHL Rumor Mill – October 18, 2017

by | Oct 18, 2017 | Rumors | 32 comments

Updates on the Kings, Capitals, Canadiens & Predators plus latest on Evander Kane, Andreas Athanasiou and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Pierre LeBrun speculates the Los Angeles Kings could consider drawing upon their defense for trade bait later in the season if they feel they need to further bolster their scoring. He suggests they could put out Jake Muzzin or Alec Martinez on the trade block. Both are under contract beyond this season so they wouldn’t be rental players. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind LeBrun isn’t saying for sure the Kings will move either guy, but merely speculating they’ve may have had internal discussions about it. If the Kings maintain their current improvement over the course of the season, they could bolster their scoring punch near the Feb. 26 trade deadline by adding a playoff rental player without having to part with Muzzin or Martinez. 

LeBrun also believes the Washington Capitals were looking around for blueline help before Matt Niskanen (upper-body injury) was recently placed on long-term injury reserve. He notes the Vegas Golden Knights still carry 10 defensemen and must trade one or two of them soon in order to recall Shea Theodore. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights general manager (and former Capitals GM) George McPhee is thought to be trying to find a trade partner. Perhaps he and his former club might work out a deal? If so, don’t expect Nate Schmidt to be returning to Washington. He’s among Vegas’ untouchables, as is Theodore. Jason Garrison, Jon Merrill and Griffin Reinhart have come up as possible trade candidates. 

Darren Dreger reports teams are wondering what the Buffalo Sabres are going to do with left wing Evander Kane, who’s eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. He doesn’t feel they’ll move Kane at this point in the season unless they get an offer too good to refuse, but his strong play thus far has elevated his trade value. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The higher Kane’s value on the trade market goes, the more the Sabres will want in return. They could also hang onto him but that’ll depend upon how much he wants to re-sign with them. If that proves too expensive and if they’re out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, they could shop his services to the highest bidder. They’ll likely want at least a young, established top-four defenseman (preferably with a right-handed shot) in return. 

Bob McKenzie reports discussions between the Detroit Red Wings and the agent for restricted free agent right wing Andreas Athanasiou have intensified over the last couple of days. Remains to be seen if they get a deal done but McKenzie gets the sense things could break one way or the other this week. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Dreger’s appearance Tuesday on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin’s recent appearance at several New York Islanders games. Dreger said he’s checking on it but so far hasn’t identified the target or targets Bergevin’s eyeing on the Isles. He notes the Canadiens cap space and their need to improve this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, the Canadiens won’t land John Tavares. Get that out of your heads now. The Isles hope to re-sign him and he’s reportedly awaiting the outcome of their bid to construct a new arena at Belmont Park. If that gets the green light, Tavares will likely re-sign within days. If Tavares hits the trade block, the Habs lack sufficient assets to acquire him. 

However, there are other players Bergevin could be looking at on the Isles. Defensemen Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey and Dennis Seidenberg are UFAs next summer. So is winger Josh Bailey and center/winger Brock Nelson is a restricted free agent. I’m not saying the Isles will part with them but maybe Bergevin has his eye on one of them. Perhaps he’s also looking at sophomore left wing Anthony Beauvillier, though he was a healthy scratch in the last two games. 

Dreger also said the Colorado Avalanche have heavily scouted the Nashville Predators. He notes this summer’s speculation linking the Predators to Avs center Matt Duchene but isn’t sure if that’s related. He acknowledges the knee injury suffered by Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis might have affected things but isn’t sure Nashville GM David Poile wants to part with Ellis. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports over the summer claimed Poile wasn’t interested in giving up any of his top-four defensemen. Of course, things can change over time. Still, he knows that blueline is among the league’s best and played a significant role in the Preds march to last spring’s Stanley Cup Final. As much as Poile might covet Duchene, I’m not sure he’ll pursue him at any price. 



  1. I think it was MG that raised a good point the other day. What difference does it make to Tavares if NYI gets a new arena or not. It will take years to get approved & built, 4 to 6, possibly longer. How is that really a factor in if Tavares wishes to resign?

    • That’s the beauty of building on state land. The state wants an arena plus, if the RFP goes to the Islanders there are no more approvals the acceptance of the rfp IS the approval. No local politics to muck it up. From the date of approval to opening day will likely be 2.5 years. And for JT that means he will have 5 years in the brand new building giving him certainty. Of course that’s IF the rfp submission gets accepted.

      • That would be awesome, I hope it works that way.

      • Maybe the Flames could move to Belmont Park lol. They might make some money there…….

    • It assures him the team won’t relocate.

    • your timetable for building the arena is off. 2-3 years.

    • It doesnt matter when it will be built. As long as that win isnt before any currently used rink doesnt get condemned.

      Its about the franchises stability.

    • Hmmm hmmm. 10/16. I think it was my comment about building arena. Thank you. Lol

      • Striker. I brought up fact that arena has no bearing on Tavares. Even if it could be built in 2-3 years, which I seriously doubt, I think that is still really low in factors deciding if he stays.

  2. Tavares will re-sign with the Islanders. I said before, and I will say it again, hockey players are boring and rarely do the unexpected. Just like Stamkos he signs where he has always played.

    • Always been that way. I don’t think Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzsky, Mark Messier, etc., have ever moved their residence back to Canada. Just like immigrants they got to like their new surroundings, became comfortable with the style of living and, while always thumping the flag whenever the occasion arose, never had any intention of moving permanently north of the border. Stamkos and Tavares will be no different.

      • I agree that Tavares won’t bolt just to play in Canada. He’s face of franchise and I’m sure he prefers to stay with Isles. Stamkos got 8 year deal and i think term and $ will ultimately be deciding factor for J.T. I don’t think he’ll accept a shorter term. Somebody will be willing to give him 7 years. He has 1 shot at making this his final contract and if Isles aren’t willing to take care of their star player, then so be it.

      • Hull and Messier did return to Canada. Hull even came back to start a new league!

  3. Now that we got the Tavares thing out of the way, and I can’t believe I am saying this, let’s return to players like Duchene who are likely to move. At least, in this case, there are plausible destinations that could land his services. Like Lyle said, Montreal is not getting Tavares. Nobody else is either.

    • Dutchy might not move at all either. He has 6 points in 7 games and is carrying his line with a rookie(Kerfoot), and a reclamation project(Yak.) He’s had an excellent attitude and has been a positive influence on his teammates. The media talks about it every day but I would bet on his not being traded this year at all. There’s also the issue of the ridiculous asking price.

      • That’s true Deeee,

        The media often make issues bigger than they are.

      • If Duchene keeps it up the price isn’t so ridiculous. As Sakic knew all along, we have a really good player that everyone else wanted to slag as a dwindling talent and only wanted if Sakic took food stamps instead of cash in return.

        But on a side note, looks like the Avs rediscovered the mysterious dark cloud of last season lurking around still the last two games. If I didn’t know any better I would like to think that they threw that game against the Preds on purpose last night. Most of the team acted like zombies last night devoid of emotion. Nobody even got excited about scoring the first goal of the game last night, even after a hard fought first period. MacKinnon looked almost apologetic that he was the one who scored the goal. Very strange team last night.

        MacKinnon has had no enthusiasm in his game this season. His game is very lackluster and he isn’t playing inspired. In the international games he is awesome and crashing the net and zooming all over the ice. But in Avs games he mostly plays a perimeter game, always racing into the offensive zone and stopping up along the left boards where teams have been playing him very smart this year. And when he’s checked he just loses all motivation to try harder. It has become my greatest concern this season. He was fired up in camp and the first game of the season, but since then, not much. Something has changed during the month in him.

      • Scheduling issues play a huge factor in that fatigue showing. Go to ESPN hover over teams go to Colorado click & then click on their schedule.

        It’s been brutal & gets worse over the next 6 games. They started their season on a 3 game East coast road trip in 5 days returning home to play their 1st 5 games in 8 days.

        Then they play 6 in the next 11, they played Friday at home against Anh then started those 6 games on Saturday in Dal then flew to Nas.

        That’s 11 games 6 on the road, z against teams that made the playoofs last season, in 23 days with a trip to the east coast & then Dal & Nas on the road as well. Dal didn’t make the playoffs last season but are 2 of the 4 games against non playoff teams & they drew them on the 2nd night of back to backs with travel.

        No team has had that tough a schedule to start the season. I don’t care what team you are, your going to be lucky to come out of that any where close to 500.

        Compare that to Vegas’s start. 5 of their 1st 6 against teams that didn’t make the playoffs 4 of those 6 played at home. Travel is a huge factor in the NHL, it balances out over the course of the season but westtern teams face a far more onerous travel schedule

        NJ hasn’t even left it’s time zone yet & could have taken the bus to 1/2 their games. Ha-ha!

  4. As for Evander Kane; his recent play is more indicative of the talent he truly is. It’s unfortunate that he does not always demonstrate this. I have said this before on this site also: Evander Kane is one of the most talented players in the entire League and if gets traded to a team whose coaching and management staff actually help him reach his potential it will be great for all hockey fans to watch this guy. I just don’t think it will ever happen. I would love to be wrong though.

    • Or he is pne of those talentrd guys who coast till contract year comes aeound.

  5. Fact Checker

    Before the official announcement of the severity of Ellis’s injury…

    Poile was negotiating a trade to acquire Duchene for Subban.

    Yes it’s true. It’s damn true!

    Why you ask?

    During exit interviews at the end of last season players voiced their criticsm of Subban.

    He was a cancer in the Canadians dressing room and is now a cancer in the Predators dressing room.

    A few players like him but the majority of them don’t.

    There have been several fights in the dressing room similar to the many fights he had in the Canadiens dressing room.

    Subban’s trade to Nashville wasn’t shocking within the NHL.

    It was only shocking to the fans who don’t know what’s really happening internally.

    As always…

    Your welcome!

    • When you fact check you need to post thexsource of the info. Otherwise you just talking.

      • It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. He’s hasn’t quite grasped that tenet yet.

    • Subban has a no trade clause.

      • When a player with a NTC is traded before it kicks in, the team acquiring the player has the option of dropping the clause, which Nashville did in Subban’s case. It was reported on the day after the trade.

    • Am I the only person who thinks Subban is way overrated? For me, he always looks like a liability on the ice. Like his attempt at being fancy is a huge mistake waiting to happen. He thinks he’s fancy with the puck, but he’s not at all. IMO, he just makes too many mistakes with the puck on his stick to be considered an elite defender. Definitely not worth his salary.

      As an Avs fan I don’t want Subban anywhere near the Avs locker room. Especially this season. With this poltergeist infesting the Avs organization, we will never be able do get rid of Subban down the road and be strapped with his monster salary til its up. If Subban ends up in Colorado for Duchene, you all heard it here first…


      “”The poltergeist
      haunting the Avs is reaaalll!””

      • Subban DOES NOT have a no trade clause.

        Poile gives them rarely.

        Only two players on the Predators have no trade clauses and they are Emelin and Rinne.

        Subban’s on ice performance is not the main issue. At times it has been but overall it’s not.

        The main issue is his character and personality.

        The fans in some places have nicknamed him “Gorilla” which is idiotic for so many reasons.

        Internally his nickname is “Cancer”.

        A terrible nickname to have.

      • I’m not arguing whether he has a nmc or not. But whether he does or does not has nothing to do with Poile…. he didn’t sign that deal, he traded for it.

  6. Clarification

    I said before the Ellis injury…

    The trade negotiations STOPPED when Ellis’s condition was official.

    Subban is not going to get traded until after Ellis returns if at all depending on Ellis’s production after his injury.

    This is what was being negotiated before.

  7. If Subban is so bad to their locker room MB should take him back for Streit and Schlemko or Benn LOL. They have the cap room..pffft.