NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2017

by | Oct 19, 2017 | Rumors | 47 comments

Latest on Matt Duchene, Zdeno Chara, Sam Reinhart & more in your NHL rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET: In his weekly “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman believes center Matt Duchene’s preference is to be traded, despite the Colorado Avalanche’s solid start to this season. He thinks the Avs are looking at the “non-NHL prospects” of potential trade partners, especially defensemen with left-handed shots. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported the Avs’ asking price remains “a real good Top 3/top-pairing defenseman, and a good prospect, and a top draft pick.” The only notable change is their interest in a left-handed blueliner. 

Friedman said  there’s nothing unusual about Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergervin joining his club on its west coast road trip. However, he considers the Canadiens and New York Islanders as “sensible trade partners,” noting the Isles are in “win-now” mode and among the few clubs with legitimate defensive depth. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin could be interested in landing a defenseman, but that move won’t address his club’s anemic offense. That’s the bigger issue for the Habs right now.

The Canadiens have nearly $9 million in salary-cap space. but in an interview with NHL Network last night, Friedman believes they’ll hold onto that in order to make the biggest move they can.  He feels if there’s a situation where the New York Islanders place pending UFA center John Tavares on the trade block the Habs will be all in, but I doubt they have sufficient trade assets to swing that deal. 

If the Boston Bruins continue to struggle there could be an increase of interest in defenseman Zdeno Chara. Friedman noted Bruins GM Don Sweeney intends to re-sign Chara and talks are underway to do so but he believes several teams looked into Chara’s availability last summer. Two years ago, the LA Kings and San Jose Sharks made inquiries. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney wants to keep Chara and he wants to stay. Regardless of what happens with the Bruins this season, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. 

Friedman’s hearing Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart’s name recently surfaced in the trade rumor mill. But after checking around, he said the Sabres don’t want to do anything rash. It could be something worth watching later this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart’s had back-to-back 40-plus point campaigns but consistency’s been an issue for him. He’s off to a slow start this season but did score in his last two games. He’s only 21 and still has upside. Sabres GM Jason Botterill and head coach Phil Housley could prefer evaluating Reinhart throughout the season before reaching a decision on his future with the club. 

The Washington Capitals need defensemen and the Vegas Golden Knights have plenty to move, but Friedman isn’t sure there’s a trade fit there. He points out the two sides couldn’t agree on a Philipp Grubauer trade last June that would’ve protected blueliner Nate Schmidt during the expansion draft.

Friedman reports the Columbus Blue Jackets have spoken with pending free agent defenseman Jack Johnson. However, he doesn’t believe they’re close to an agreement on a new contract. 



  1. My Sabres biggest problem is the lack of speed. Reinhart is a turtle, great pp guy and along the boards but no speed for today’s game. Moulson, Okposo, O’Reilly, Reinhart are all slow. Sabres are getting blown away by the speed of teams. Moulson will be bought out, Okposo and Reinhart hopefully traded. Keep O’Reilly but get him fast wingers.

    • They would never be able to trade O’Reilly’s contract anyway.

      • Get Buffalo eat 3 million and I’d take his 58% faceoff percentage and 2nd line center duties

    • Makes a lot of sense!

    • Evander Kane and REINHART for GALENYCHUK and Plekanec

      • Take it Montreal

      • Evander Kane is worth more than that

  2. After Watching the capitals this season I think they wish they would’ve retained Nate Schmidt. They are very weak on the backend and it’s getting exploited.

    • they wernt willing to give up a pick, which likely wouldn’t have been super high, to get vegas to take grouber and now they pay the price.

  3. Caps are weak and thin on the back end. With Niskanen out they are in trouble. A far cry from last year.

    I am not sure about Reinhart. He would have value as a former #1 overall and attract some interest. Not sure what a potential return would look like or what the Sabres would even want

    • Reinhart was the #2 pick but I agree he should have decent value. I would imagine the asking price is going to be high probably, I would guess a top 4 dman.


  4. Boston should not rush to resign Chara, once trade deadline approaches and if they are on the outside looking in, trade him for the best possible package and if need be resign him in the offseason when he’s an UFA. Much like Buffalo did with Matt Moulson after trading him to Minnesota.

    • No thank you. Chara is still Boston’s #1 Dman. I get the concept but I’ll pass. Boston has playoff aspirations & won’t be pulling the plug at the trade deadline. Let’s get a 1 year bonus laden salary deal signed allowing for cap flexibility.

      • No Thank you….. Chara is a depreciating asset and if someone wants to give up a 1st round draft pick and/or a solid prospect that will be in the lineup for the next 10 to 12 years, Sweeney needs to be all over that.

      • I don’t think Chara’s contract structure will ever allow for that. I’m usually all over the business side of the sport but a player like Chara, a 40 year old veteran & future hall of famer has the right to choose where & what he wants to do when signed.

        If he willingly accepted that I’m all in, if he doesn’t wish to he has an NMC & isn’t going any where & I don’t have an issue with it.

      • Chara has a no trade. Which he earned and has held up his end of the deal being a great player, a great team mate, leader in the dressing room and community.
        The Bruins will not treat him simply like an “asset”, nor should they. Unless you want to viewed by your own players as a classless organization.
        He will not be traded, and he will sign a new deal barring a severe injury that changes that. And if I had to bet he will stay on with the organization when he hangs em up.

      • I agree fully. His defensive game is still stellar & if deployed in an offensive role would still be incredibly effective but he see’s very few looks in that role nor has he since Krug, then Hamilton & now McAvoy have come onto the scene.

        With Spooner gone for 4 to 6 weeks someone is getting promoted to the #1 PP. I sure hope Bergeron & Backes get back soon. Losing Backes isn’t a death nail but not having Bergeron, 1 of the elite 2 way C’s in the NHL sucks.

      • Getting Bergeron back will change the entire team. He is so good defensively it will help all the younger guys including the D.
        He just sets the tone and stabilizes the entire team.
        It was good to see Subban get his first win, sucks that it came against us. I had a felling that he would get picked up, too talented not to have someone give him an opportunity.

      • I agree. I would have preferred they waive Khudobin. Subban almost made it thru. Vegas picked late & that wasn’t the team I saw potentially grabbing Subban. I thought they wanted Pickard as their back up.

        It’s not the end of the world. More than enough goalies floating around to stalk 31 teams.

        With Rask locked up for 3 more years after this year McIntyre should be ready to move into the back up role next season & serve as Rask’s under study for 2 years & then start assuming the starters role from Rask. He’s only 16 months older than Subban.

        If McIntyre is unable sign a UFA or make a trade at that time.

      • bruins should trade chara only if they are really looking in from the outside. but if that is the case then they absolutely should try to trade and resign. Chara would have to agree first and getting him a shot at another cup would be the definition of classy.

      • Trading Chara is not classless it’s business. Chara has a nmc so he would’ve to approve it.
        If the organization wants to be a friend to Chara then trade him to a contender and let him take another run at the cup; because it isn’t happening in Boston.
        That mind set of hanging on to veteran just because is the same reason some teams don’t advance because they don’t know when to cut bait.

      • Jinx!

      • It’s solely at Chara’s discretion, he has earned that right. You & I have been having this basic discussion about moving Chara for about 2 years now. As a Bruins fan I* don’t want him moved but resigned & I don’t care if he could be sent off & return. If he’s good with it sure but not so be it.

        I think the chances of Chara moving & not just retiring as a Bruins some time in the next 2 or 3 years are slim to non existent.

      • Chara has earned his NMC, and I wouldn’t even broach the topic with him until the deadline. Teams will ask, and if then when you have offers worth bringing it up, you come to him and let him know contending teams are interested and leave it to him. He deserves that, and it’s about the only way you can approach it respectfully. Players are assets, but so is goodwill. Being respectful to future HOF players is in the best interests of team.

      • Trade Chara asap! This bruins team is going no where in a hurry, brutal defense, anchors of contracts like backes,krejci and Rask. The prospect pool isn’t great as much as bruins fans think it is, Chara could bring back a pick and maybe prospect which the bruins could really use

  5. Gosh…last of the Reinhart’s
    With all the heat Canucks get over drafting Virtanen over Nylander/Ehlers, I can’t imagine the roasting going on in Buffalo.
    It seems these Reinhart boys never took power skating lessons.
    When Eichel got injured there was never much of a sigh of relief or “Don’t worry, we got out #2 overall pick Reinhart to pick up Eichel’s slack”.
    Will be very interesting to see what his next contract will be

    • I doubt that next contract will be with Buffalo…I think he is traded by next years draft. I was upset when he was taken over Draisaitl and Nylander over a D-man (Sergachev or Chychrun). Enjoyed GMTM’s interviews but he put this team behind a couple extra years. JBot has his work cut out righting the wrongs of GMTM…add a first for Lehner.

  6. Things are starting to fall in place, now that most teams have played 6 or 7 games. Listening to talk radio after the Oilers first game, and McDavid 3 goal game they were debating how many goal Connor could get and yes they debated between 82 and 100 not points but goals! I was thinking that’s a heck of a jump from 30.
    After 3 games there was 23 players on track for 82 goals or more now after 6 and 7 its down to 3 and Connor has scored a goal since game 1 and is now on pace for 49, which is a much more realistic number.

  7. I posted this on the news section as well…

    MAJOR rumblings behind the scenes in Montreal

    Lots of phone calls being made

    Today it is chaotic….has been since the loss last Saturday

    They also didn’t sellout last Saturday night

    Will update later today or tomorrow

    • still waiting on one of these posts to be correct… maybe this one?

      wait for it….

      • Well, to be fair, he was right on yesterday in saying that P.K. Subban no longer has the protection of a no movement/no trade clause. Whether that means he gets dealt to Colorado is quite something else.

    • Rumors have been circulating for days that Bergevin is looking to do something. Why this money wasn’t spent when players were available in the summer doesn’t make sense.

      ESPN showed paid attendance at 23102 & 9s reporting that at 100.1% of capacity. Like a few teams they can hold more than 100% in that makes any sense.

      Bergevin better fix that D as it’s brutal, Benn, Davidsson, Morrow & Schlemk; yet to play, are all borderline NHL Dman & the Petry/Alzner paring has been a train wreck.

      What does Mtl have to trade to address their needs? Their prospect kitty is basically barren, moving out anyone of value to get something of value is a lateral move at best. Their draft pick will be middling so value isn’t significant either.

      Bergevin needs to be removed that’s stage 1. You just replaced the coach what’s left.

      • Markov and Radulov were to be the recipients of the money. Neither re-signed so here we are. Also, that is a lot of money this year, but it will no be their next year, especially with Price’s new contract, so JT is nice but he would pose some cap issue going forward assuming Patches next contract is more realistic and not such a sweetheart of a deal….

      • I had hoped that Bergevin would be a good GM when he was first hired, but he has put the Canadiens in quite a bad spot. They have one of the worst prospect pools in the NHL, and the his signings and trades have made the team old, slow, and they have a lot of cap head aches coming up for the next 5-6 years.

        They have over half of the current cap committed to Price, Weber, Drouin, Petry, Alzner, Gallagher and Shaw for the next 4 years. I am not saying that there isn’t talent in that group, but not near the level of talent you would expect to get for over $37M (over $40M next year).

        Also, aside from Drouin, the value of that group as trade chips is likely damaged by their respective contracts. This will make it hard for the Habs to deal with most of their issues going forward. Their best players are not great assets to start a re-build around, so they have to truck on.

        Unfortunately, Bergevin will continue down this path of trying to cobble together a playoff contender because there is no way he could sell ownership on a re-build without basically costing himself his job by admitting he has this roster in rough shape. So chances are Beregevin will continue to double down on these issues and start moving the what assets they have left for stop gap “solutions”, that will basically create more long term problems.

      • Habsfan1.

        GM’s are allowed to start talking to UFA’s a week before July 1st. Bergevin should have known what it was going to cost to sign either before July 1st & if he wasn’t have looked at other options.

        Moving Sergechev for Drouin will come back to haunt Mtl but not a huge issue today, moving Beaulieu for the 3rd round pick to Mtl was a joke.

        Markov could have been signed, rumors were he would have done 1 year at 4.5 but Mtl/Bergevin moved on. This mess is all on Bergevin & there is no easy way out. He has drafted poorly, his prospect kitty is barren, his roster talent limited & his picks middling. Getting out of the mess appears to require skills Bergevin lacks.

      • I get the points you all are making and most are valid. To me a big issue regarding the prospects have been a HUGE issue of Therien and the continuing issue with Lefevre in the lackof development of our prospects. Beauliue failed in Mtl because of Therien IMO. He showed early promise because he learned on his own but when he needed some guidance, he got none. Same has been happening with Galchenyuk. And yes, a lot lands on MBs plate. I’m not sure about Markov. He will make big money playing for Russia if they win and will be retired for the next ones. Can’t play for them if he played in the NHL and might not even be on the team if NHL players could go. Both guys were teasing, on purpose or not, that they would re-sign. How many free agents were available after the first week of UFA that filled MTL needs and would sign for resealable term ad money? and the big question would sign with Mtl? The Sergachev deal will depend on Drouin succeeding at center but I honestly take your point and do not dismiss it.

      • It’s funny hearing striker bash a team this early in the season with his devils,Knights all being way better than he expected and anyone who says they’re striker gives the old its early!! Lol

  8. What or who would Winnipeg offer for Carey Price?

    • With just $5,184,163 in cap space now, they’d have to move someone with at least a $2 mil cap hit. But of course it’s going to take a herlluva lot more than that to pry Price out of Montreal – assuming he’s even willing to go! Thwene there’s next year with his $10 hit kicking in when the Jets also have to deal with RFAs Lowry, Armia, Dano, Petan, Tanev, Trouba, Poolman, Morrisey and Hellebuyck, plus UFAs Matthias, Hendricks and Enstrom. Some of those RFAs, I suppose, might be part of the deal, but do they really want to saddle themselves with a $19 mil goalie going forward?

      • $10 – TEN – mil goalie …”

      • Wheeler ($5.6mil), Trouba ($2.8mil), and plus a draft pick? That is over $8mil out.
        Also as per CapFriendly the Jets have over $5.6mil in available cap space available.

    • Absolutely nothing. No goalie is worth 10.5 per season not even Price & certainly not for 8 years taking him to 39!

      • I said a couple of years back that Prices new deal would make Lundqvists look good.

        In all fairness, both are ugly. I agree, I’m not paying any goaltender 8-9-10 per! Absolutely ridiculous. I thought keeping Talbot over Lundqvist was the better idea then, and even now. I know Talbot is struggling, but so is Hen-leak. I’d rather have a 4 million dollar problem than an 8.5 million problem. NY is stuck with that deal, no way around it. The only saving grace is Ny seems to have a legitimate replacement that will help absorb that disgusting hit until he goes away.

    • GALENYCHUK for DUCHENE for starters!!!

      • That’s not even a starter. In any deal involving Duchene, Galchenyuk would be the 3rd added piece – maybe. And Montreal doesn’t have ANYTHING that comes even close to Sakic’s unmovable ask for a Top pairing YOUNG D. They maybe had one – but gave that up to get Drouin. And how’s that working out?

  9. I’ve been banging the drum for about a month now about how Rangers should move Skjei for Duchene. I’ve also mentioned if they’re not planning on extending Nash, which I don’t think they would, they need to move him to open up cap room. DeAngelo is steadily gaining more playing time and Skjei has become a bit invisible. Rangers have an excess of left handed d men and the need for center depth is becoming more and more obvious. Isles game another where they ended up double shifting their centers after benching Kracknell. SJ coming to town and would be a good fit for Nash. He has a 12 team Trade list and I’d imagine his buddy Jumbos team would be on that list.