NHL Rumor Mill – October 23, 2017

by | Oct 23, 2017 | Rumors | 44 comments

Latest on the Canadiens, Rangers, Canucks and more in your NHL rumor mill.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergervin is under public pressure to find help for his struggling team. Several of Bergevin’s peers have contacted him to let him know they’re interested in underachieving winger Alex Galchenyuk. The Habs carry about $9 million in salary-cap space but Bergevin is taking a long view rather than a quick fix.

Garrioch said many are wondering if they might shop captain Max Pacioretty if they don’t soon reverse their fortunes. League executives believe Bergevin’s best best is to find a way to pry center Matt Duchene away from the Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Easier said than done for Duchene, as Avs GM Joe Sakic still seeks a significant return of at least a young, established top-four defenseman (preferably a left-handed shot), a high draft pick and a top prospect. Bergevin doesn’t have those assets.

Galcheyuk’s poor start is adversely affecting his trade value. At this point, the Habs probably won’t get a return that bolsters their offense or improves their blueline. I don’t think Bergevin is ready to move Pacioretty. However, if the Habs miss the playoffs this season, his future with the Canadiens could get murky. Pacioretty is signed through 2018-19 and lacks no-trade protection. 

Questions persist over whether John Tavares will re-sign with the New York Islanders or test next summer’s free-agent market. If the Isles decide to move him at the trade deadline there will be considerable interest in his services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Tavares wants to re-sign with the Isles but he also wants assurances that they’re heading in the right direction with their roster and plans for a new arena. We’ll learn more about both as this season unfolds. 

There’s speculation New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault risks losing his job if the club doesn’t snap out of its early-season funk soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Rangers management will remain patient for now. If the Blueshirts don’t start winning soon, a shakeup behind the bench is possible.

Prior to the Detroit Red Wings trading Riley Sheahan to Pittsburgh to free up salary-cap space for Andreas Athanasiou’s new contract, there was talk they would move Gustav Nyquist ($4.75 million through 2018-19) or Darren Helm ($3.85 million through 2020-21) but their salaries were too expensive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist might have more trade value next summer, when he’s entering the final season of his contract. I don’t see anyone taking on Helm’s contract unless it’s to get to the cap floor. 

The Vegas Golden Knights are still carrying 10 defensemen. Jason Garrison, Jon Merrill and Brad Hunt could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Problem is, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in those blueliners, at least not at the present time. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes any near-term solution to improve the New York Rangers will have to come from within. He notes there’s only been one major pre-January trade in the salary cap era (Thomas Vanek for Matt Moulson in Oct. 2013), while the Rangers last notable pre-January trade (Marek Zidlicky, Thomas Kloucek and Rem Murray to Nashville for Mike Dunham) occurred on Dec. 2002.

Brooks feels it makes no sense to shop pending free agent winger Rick Nash unless “a future building block can be obtained in return.” That sort of move, however, takes place near the trade deadline and not in October or November. If the Rangers felt Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk would be a certain second-line center, the asking price could be Chris Kreider or Mats Zuccarello. However, there’s no evidence the Blueshirts have any interest in Galchenyuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks forgot  about the Nov. 30, 2005 trade that saw the Boston Bruins ship Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau.

Regardless, he’s right that there likely isn’t a significant deal the Rangers can make right now that would notably improve their roster. Sure, just because such deals are rare in the salary-cap age doesn’t mean they can’t happen, but Rangers GM Jeff Gorton will have to get creative to find the right players who also fit within their salary-cap constraints. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford dismisses speculation the Vancouver Canucks might attempt to dangle promising young blueliner Olli Juolevi to the Colorado Avalanche as part of a package deal for center Matt Duchene. Botchford said the Canucks are looking to add a center but won’t part with the 19-year-old defenseman they selected fifth overall in this year’s draft for a soon-to-be 27-year-old center. 

Botchford suggests keeping an eye on Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart, who’s surfaced recently in the rumor mill. He notes the Canucks and Sabres “already walked a possible Evander Kane trade quite a distance, so there’s been ground work laid.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With a record of 4-3-1, the rebuilding Canucks are off to a better start than many experts expected. Sure, at some point this season, they could come crashing back to earth, but I don’t think they’re keen to sacrifice a key piece of their future for a center who could bolt via free agency in two years. If the Canucks pursue a center, it could be a more affordable option such as Reinhart, who can skate at center or on the wing. 



  1. isles made that trade, not rangers, but who’s counting, right larry?

    • You might want to check that again.


  3. I guess Alain Vigneault got dumb over the summer. Nothing to do with the roster changes.

    MTL needs to move Alex Galchenyuk. Not sure what they can get but I would be calling VGK for a couple of D, and a prospect or pick

    • I know it sounds laughable this offer I’m about to make and its the contract length I can’t get past but the Leafs are in win now mode in no small part because of the cap.

      What if Price came this way and we send, Bozak, JVR and Anderson to Montreal.

      How crazy is this or some variation of this?

      • Ha! Not bloody likely.

      • Perhaps if you add Matthews in the deal

      • Did someone say Add Matthews?

        Funniest thing I have heard all day. Price’s contract is going to be the noose around the Habs neck for the next 10 years… beautiful!


    Darren Dreger and Elliotte Friedman have announced publicly that no changes are happening in Montreal this year.

    As per usual they will be proven to be wrong.

    The era of good news reporting is long past.

    Now onto the news:

    Calls continue to be made and received in Montreal regarding available players, available Assistant GM’s and available coaches.

    There is a big push internally to wait and see what happens with Vigneault in New York. If he gets fired Montreal is eager to sign him.

    But they aren’t willing to wait too long.

    Other coach candidates contacted are:

    Bob Hartley, Marc Crawford, Kevin Dineen, Paul MacLean and Guy Carbonneau.

    The top two candidates are:

    2)Patrick Roy

    and #1 is Dan Blysma

    I have more news and will post later today or tomorrow.

    As per usual,

    Your Welcome

    • Vigneault? Carboneau??? How many times do they take that “been-down-this-road-before” approach before realizing that there was a reason they fired the guy once already (Therrien, Julien)?

    • Delvecchio, I have no idea if the rumors you are posting will turn out to be accurate.
      Please do not confuse hockey rumor speculation, or any rumor speculation for that matter, as news.
      The era of good news reporting has not ended. What has changed is where and how the public get’s it’s news and how speculative reporting, not substantiated or supported by evidence, has become accepted as news by many in the public.
      Hockey rumors are a chance for us all to be armchair GM’s and voice our opinion on a platform where we can debate. Good fun, but not to be confused with news.
      Just a pet peeve, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

      • That’s a little over the top Ray. But I believe Delvecchio is truly fictional and play the role of an insider. First off CJ isn’t being replaced, secondly both Freidman and Dreger; Elliot actually said on HNIC that he believes Edmonton should contact the Habs to see what it would take to get Pacioretty. I don’t see the Canadians trading Max.
        Maybe the Canadian should look at Moving Price before his full nmc kicks in at the end of the season. As of now he can submit a 15 team trade list. Is there team(s) out there that would be willing to trade for Price at $10m per and still have enough on the ice to be competitive. I would say Carolina has the asset and cap space but that deal wouldn’t happen.

    • Dan Blysma is their #1 choice? Ha ha, thanks for giving me my laugh of the day!

      • What’s really weird is that a Habs follower (I assume he’s a Habs fan as well) would take as his moniker the name of a player who was a royal pain in the ass to the Habs for 22 seasons as a Red Wing!

      • Disco Dan the One Trick Pony Man.

        The Habs would get to their game. Or something.

        I think Roy is a joke, but I’d still give him a shot over Dan.

        Dan belongs at NHL Network.

        If the Habs want to hire a former Habs coach…give Therrien a call. They soff.

    • The last thing the Habs need is another new coach.

      They just don’t have the horses any more.

      They really miss the set up man Markov on the Power play.

      IMO… Shaw was a terrible pick up and has not added the RIGHT impact that was needed.

      Plekanecs has seen better days …

      Price has been wasted in his prime over tha past 2 years and nothing of any real substantial quality players has been added…if you think Matt Duchene is the answer you are dead wrong as it looks as if the HABS and AVS have very very similar team in style.

      Price carried this team for too long and covered up the ugly spots when they actually had a better team …now they are worse and he can not plug all the holes in the damn any longer …age injuries and the lack of help always being behind the 8 ball in goal differential has killed them on a nighlty basis.

      The HABS are no longer feared …they have no speed…no big wingers to cough up pucks in the corners ..no game breaker …no power play and little in teh syetem to draw on outside of Mc Carron and hes to slow…for the new NHL !

      Iam not trying to bash the HABS as Iam a big Carey Price fan even though the Habs are not my team …but Price has been left to win every game by himself it seems and when they loose they say Carey needs to steal them a game ….totally unfair …hes been stealing them games for 5 years now ….and now you have surrounded him with a below average team ..he sees the writing on the wall this year …hes not going to kill himself over this team in front of him that’s for sure !!

      The Habs this quality of a team and still have $ 9 million in cap space is a beyond CRAZY when you have the best goalie in the world in his prime ….that is just crazy bad…they should be an unstoppable force right now with that type of net minder as a Franchise player.

      • carey price welcome to henrik lundqvists world..

    • Dwayne Klessel, did you find yet another alias? Delvechio huh, just stealing part of another old hockey players name again? Ok go back to the buzz.

    • What?..ok thanks tips!

  5. As of now the Rangers are stacked on Defense , how about moving 1 of them ( DeAngelo, Sproul, Graves )with a prospect for Gally .

  6. How about a rumor about a goalie going to Vegas because they need one. How about Ottawa having a spare in Bellville. Even if you don’t think it’ll be Hammond. Pick another team then

    • I guess because Lyle doesn’t make rumours up would be a good place to start. There’s guy on another site I mentioned in a comment above that would love that idea. The Penguins are looking for a goalie too and Hammond might not be a terrible idea. Matt Hunwick for Hammond?

      • Dorion would take a 7th round pick for Hammond – in 2025

      • LOL. That’s awesome George

    • niemi for future considerations?

      • Niemi is on waivers so maybe it is happening. Worst 700 grand anyone ever spent.

      • Future considerations is my favorite term in hockey.

        Just the fact that they put in an actual contract that basically says:

        “that player isn’t worth thinking about today.. but I will give a written agreement that states that I will think about giving you something later. No guarantees on the giving part, but I promise to think about it”.

      • Future considerations just means they haven’t decided on the compensation exactly but they can go ahead and have the player and the teams can continue to negotiate for as long as they want.

        According to the beat guys Niemi’s locker is cleared out. He must be on his way to Binghamton as we speak. Good riddance.

  7. The Habs coaching is not their issue.

    To me Corsi, Shot%, scoring chance%, basically most team possession and shot stats are more of a reflection of coaching systems and the coaching staff then they are of individual talent. I think of them as essentially work rates. There are instances where teams work hard, and they play the coaches game plan and dictate play for most of the game, but the issue we could all see coming, just a lack of individual talent, makes it hard for them to win anyway.

    Julien is getting the most out a group that just isn’t talented enough. Their results are worse than their team really is right now, it’s early, but they weren’t ever going to be a great team this year, the talent just isn’t there. The construction of this team is the issue. Their defense is slow, and they don’t have near enough scoring punch to take advantage of the extra shots and chances they are getting.

    This team will have better results over the course of the full season than they are having now, but just like last year’s 10-0-0 start hid the fact that the team was a relatively mediocre playoff team, this year’s poor start will likely sink a bubble team and cause them to miss the playoffs.

    • Agree 100%, Danny (thumbs up emoji)

    • Good analysis. Price would have to “steal” around 40 games – at least. Not gonna happen.

  8. NYR will be fine. Their scorers just aren’t scoring currently. 3 games under 500 in the NHL’s formula. Well except for Zibaejad with 5.

    Things have away of balancing themselves out by the time the last team in the league plays it’s 25th game.

    I assume NYR’s picture will look brighter at my next marker. The last team in the league plays it’s 12th game.

    As for Bergevin no way he makes it till the summer. This mess is fully of his creation. He will be fired by Christmas.

    & I still hope Colorado doesn’t trade Duchene until next summer at the earliest.

    • NYR will not be fine.
      Bergervin will make it to season end.
      PS- PK Subban will be traded by the Habs!

      • Mtl got Weber a way better Dman than Subban, for a longer term & for less actual salary owed & cap hit.

        1 of the few things Bergevin did right.

        If you follow my feelings on D moving you know my position clearer. No rare trad3s in the NHL.

        For you Subban fans of which I am 1, no illwill intended. Given a coice of either I take Weber. A complete 2 way Dman 1 of the leagues elite most complete Dman. Subban isn’t totally 1 dimensional but no where near the class of Weber.

        When the games matter, see Canada’s best teams, Weber is #2 to Doughty, Subban lucky to even be selected & if lucky enough barely dresses never mind play.

      • Agree that MTL won the Webber/Subban deal short term. Long term? It is too soon to tell, but I would lean to Nashville as offensive production starts to go the wrong way a D men age. Magic age seems to be 32, of course there will be exceptions.
        As much as I cheer against all Habs, and ex Habs for that matter, Subban is an under rated defender, and yes not as good as Webber in that regard, but very few are. I think his image as a flashy guy has had an impact on how he is perceived on the ice.
        He drives possession while playing the tough minutes. How he was deployed by Nashville in the playoffs spoke volumes about how the Pred’s view his defensive ability. He got the tough match ups.
        Really a great trade, need more of them.

      • You’re missing my point. The point I was making is you posted that Susan would not get traded. He did. So I am questioning your confidence in the statements that you have made today.

    • I agree on the Rangers, although I don’t really see them as a strong playoff team, and a weak start could definitely see them out of it, as I see them as a kind of middling team.

      Things usually balance themselves out, great teams with bad starts usually rebound, very weak teams with hot starts can fall out. However, the teams in the middle often are either decimated by bad starts, or end up making it just because of hot starts. A team like LA will probably make the playoffs on the strength of their great start, and a team like Montreal probably misses because of their atrocious start. Realistically, I think both teams suffer from overall lack of offensive talent, and either team could have missed the playoffs.

      I initially disagreed about holding onto Duchene for too long, but I have come around, and think that unless someone blows the doors off with a crazy offer, this summer will be better.

      I still think they should have traded him after his 30 goal season while still having 3 years remaining on his contract, but that offseason was a mess because of the Roy situation, so I get why they didn’t .

      Now, his value would be better when a team can trade for him and re-sign him at the same time. Not to mention that deals in the summer can be a little more flexible in terms of what teams are willing to do with roster players. You aren’t getting a team to trade a current top 4 young D during the season, so if that’s what you want, it’s nearly impossible to get during the summer. Also, if he can have a strong rebound season, it can only help things.

      • Hot and cold starts can also be attributed to key injuries – or lack thereof. Toronto, for example, goes from game to game with the only names on their injury list day-in day-out being Lupul and Horton, while others around the league are missing the likes of Fowler, Vatanen, Eaves, Kessler, McQuaid, Krejci, Spooner, Raask, Draisaitl, Sekera, Carter, Gaborik, Niederreiter, Coyle, Granlund, Parise, Ryan, Smith, Borowiecki, Bouiwmeester, Fabri, Berglund, Subban, Fleury, Marchessault, Burakovsky, Niskanen, Lowry, Kulikov, Perreault.

  9. Wasn’t the Thornton trade pre salary cap? So don’t think Brooks forgot that one.

    • Nope. Salary cap was implemented summer of 2005, with the first season being 2005-06. The Thornton trade occurred on Nov. 30, 2005.

    • Nevermind haha

      • That was quite the trade, easy to say the Bruins lost it because they did. Has to go down as one of the lopsided trades in history.

  10. Don’t forget Mr Belligerent trading two first round draft choices for Phil Kessel. The draft choices were Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton.

  11. Maybe trades are rare in season, but the Duchene situation is out of ordinary. Rangers went with 7D and 11 forwards again in loss to Sharks. They need to pull trigger on a deal for Duchene. Rotating 3 centers through 4 sets of forwards can’t go on. There is no answer internally as Brooksie suggests. If they can somehow include Smith or Nash with Skjei being main piece would help cap problem. Otherwise, trade Nash in separate deal. They’re not going to bring him back next season!!