NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2017

by | Oct 28, 2017 | Rumors | 60 comments

Proposed trade targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs plus the latest on Matt Beleskey in your NHL rumor mill.

SPORTING NEWS: Michael Augello lists six possible trade targets to upgrade the Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman. They are Vancouver’s Chris Tanev, Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen, Detroit’s Mike Green, Carolina’s Noah Hanifin, Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba.

Augello suggests Vancouver need reinforcements at forward and notes Tanev was paired with the Leafs’ Morgan Reilly on Team Canada at the 2016 World Championships. Anaheim could also use some offense, especially with Patrick Eaves being recently sidelined.

Green is a UFA next summer and the Leafs have the cap room to take on the remainder of his $6 million salary this season. Carolina is stacked on defense and budget constraints could force them to move Hanifin for a scoring forward.

Ekman-Larsson, whose contract expires in 2019, might have to be dealt if he’s unwilling to re-sign with Arizona. Trouba is a restricted free agent (with arbitration rights) next summer and has a contentious contract history with Winnipeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some interesting suggestions here from Augello. Bear in mind he’s not saying the Leafs will target those blueliners.

Green could be the most readily available this season. because of his UFA eligibility and the Red Wings are in the midst of a rebuild. However, he’d only be a short-term addition. As Augello points out, he might not be the type of defenseman the Leafs want to add.

Ekman-Larsson would provide an immediate boost for the Leafs blueline. However, I think the earliest the Leafs (or anyone else) could get him is next summer, when he’s a year away from UFA status.

Trouba would also be a solid addition but, like Ekman-Larsson, the earliest he could be available is next summer. That will depend upon how his contract negotiations go. 

The 20-year-old Hanifin certainly has considerable potential but he still hasn’t reached it yet. The Leafs need someone who can step into a top-pairing role right away. For all the talk of the Leafs pursuing him, I think they’re better served with a slightly older and more established rearguard.

Vatanen would be a good fit with the Leafs. He’s a skilled all-around blueliner carrying an affordable contract ($4.8 million annually) through 2019-20. But as Augello points out, he’s yet to return from shoulder surgery and the  Ducks are unlikely to move anyone until their injury-ravaged blueline is healthier.

Like Vatanen, Tanev carries an affordable deal ($4.4 million) through 2019-20. If the Canucks were to shop him, however, they’ll likely want a center, especially if they decide to part ways with Henrik Sedin after this season.

As for trade bait, the asking price for all but Green will be expensive. It could cost the Leafs William Nylander or Mitch Marner. You’re not going to get a long-term blueline upgrade with castoffs and prospects. Those teams will want at least a young established forward. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports the ongoing offensive struggles of Bruins winger Matt Beleskey is raising questions over his future in Boston. He’s scoreless in six games and was a healthy scratch in two of the last three Bruins contests.

However, Beleskey won’t be easy for the Bruins to move. He carries a $3.8 million cap hit through 2019-20 and carries a modified no-trade clause. Shinzawa believes the Bruins would either have to include a draft pick or prospect or pick up another bad contract in return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beleskey’s signing is one Bruins GM Don Sweeney probably wishes he could undo. He were blinded by the winger’s performance in a contract year (22 regular-season goals and eight postseason goals) in 2014-15. While the cap hit wasn’t ridiculously expensive, it’s the term that’s hurting them. 



  1. Matt Beleskey – $3.8 mil deal based on one decent season – Holy Colin Greening!

    • More like “Holy David Clarkson!

  2. “Trouba is a restricted free agent (with arbitration rights) next summer and has a contentious contract history with Winnipeg.”

    I’ve read several times that one speculation is, he either doesn’t like playing in Winnipeg in particular – or in Canada in general. IF (note the emphasis on IF) that is indeed the case, what makes anyone think his contract negotiations would be any easier in Toronto?

    • Ya George O, who knows why he supposedly wants out of WPG. He said he wanted to play the right side to help his development. There was also talk of endorsement opportunities or the lack of in WPG, and yes the not wanting to play in Canada.
      It could all be BS and just used for leverage to get a better deal.
      To me he seems to be exactly what the Leafs (and any other NHL team) need. Young, established, tough, right shot D that has offensive skill.
      If I am WPG I want a lot back in return, not sure Nylander or Marner on their own would be enough.

      • He can’t sell trouba’s tuba’s in the peg? no music classes in high school?

    • The rumors circulating when he was forced to except Win’s 2 year bridge deal was he wanted to be a in a market where he could market himself. Toronto would qualify potentially.

      I see no way Trouba resigns in Win unless he accepts a 2 year arbitration award making himself a UFA coming out of it.

      Regardless of the team Chevy is building I don’t think Trouba wants to be there.

  3. As for all this late Oct-early Nov trade speculation, SIGNIFICANT deals before the U.S. Thanksgiving in late November are as rare as anything can possibly be. In fact, there are just 3 that even remotely fit that description:

    1) on Nov 15, 2005 Anaheim got a young Francois Beauchemin to flesh out their D from Columbus in exchange for an aging Sergei Federov plus a 2006 5th round pick which turned out to be Nick Sucharski. That did not turn out well for Columbus

    2) on Nov. 24, 2008 the Leafs sent Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo to the Blue for Lee Stempniak – enough said;

    3) on Oct. 27, 2013 NYI got Thomas Vanek from Buffalo for Matt Moulson, a conditional 2014 first-round draft pick and a 2015 second-round draft pick. The Isles then chose to retain their 2014 1st and instead gave Buffalo their 2015 first which, I believe, was later involved in a Winnipeg deal.

    So, few and far between.

    • Agreed George. I was saying this about Nash just yesterday. Moving a 6-7-8 million dollar cap hit prior to the deadline is pretty much impossible. And even at the deadline guys on expiring contracts usually have some sort of salary retained.

      If you’re expecting blockbuster trades in October, November or even December….. you’re dreaming!

  4. Let’s wait until closer to the deadline. More reasonably 2/3 level guys will be available for much less.

  5. Brendan Smith for Tyler Bozak

  6. I guess I was a day early with my Belesky comments. Trade him and Spooner for Galchenyuk.

  7. If you have spent a winter in Winnipeg you would know why players don’t prefer playing there.

    Marner for Hannifin is interesting. Dependent on Fleury’s development I would assume.

    • Considering I spent many of Winters in Winnipeg, your comment has merit as it pertains to the harsh winters we get; however we get excellent summers. The reality there isn’t the big social life in Winnipeg as compare of the other markets and hockey talk is 24/7 so your living in a bubble and it’s hard to escape.
      With that said no NHL player lives in Winnipeg in the Off season, this is their place of employment. As a note, Minny, Edm and Cal all have harsh Winters and they all get more snow then Winnipeg.
      If one is to believe Trouba wants out of Winnipeg then you must also believe he doesn’t want to play in a Canadian market. That leaves Toronto out of the equation for Trouba.
      If the jets are to trade Trouba I dare say the package would be much higher then the Duchene(rumored) wish list. Personally i’m hoping he’s true to his word and wanted top 4 and right side as he got all of his wishes.

      • What I remember about Winnipeg summers if and when I went there in my government job, was that, after the first time, I packed plenty of Off, I swear the mosquitoes looked more like hummingbirds.

      • everything was bigger in the paleolithic age george.

        dang… couldn’t resist that one.

        good morning!

      • LOL. Love it!

      • George I’ve lived here for 12yrs and I can assure you our mosquitoes are bigger then most. Just a minor nuisance, like some people on here.

      • Ha-ha!

      • Pegs winning at something!

    • I don’t see Carolina moving Hanifin. They simply don’t need to. There contract structure, prospect base & needs don’t require them to do so. This team is about 1 year from being a a playoff contender, they are close now & I actually choose them to make the playoffs this season but just sneak in.

      In 2 or 3 years as a few of their stud forwards get more development they should become a serious cup contender.

      My Concern is giving a 4 year 4.15 per deal to a goalie that has never been given the opportunity to show he can handle the load or pressure. I would have preferred a 1 year show me deal & resigned him after January 1st. Similar to Talbot in EDM although he arrived with 1 year remaining.

      Perhaps Dubnyk in Min is a better example, although not identical either as he had kind of shown the ability to shoulder a starters load in Edm having played 35, 47, 38 & 32 before being let go. A starter for me needs to be able to play 55 games min, manage about 3 to 5 shut outs & maintain at least the league average SV%.

    • Marner is a 4th line player and Hanafin is a Top pairing Defenseman. Not sure where we see the value coming back to Carolina. Hanafin has 5 pts. In 9 games, looks like he’s settling in to that top pairing role.

  8. I understand everyone saying a deal will be closer to the deadline but in the Leafs case if they are going to target an expensive, meaning trade wise dman like OEL they I would suspect they would want to do that as soon as possible to get him settled in with our system and teammates.

    Seems weird saying it but the Leafs are one of many teams that have a shot at the cup but the defense has to be shored up and preferably with someone like OEL or Faulk in Carolina.

    I’m willing to give up whats needed but are the Leafs lol?

    • In your opinion what is needed ? Marner + what ?

      • Can’t really decide who I think has the bigger upside though considering the chemistry shown between Mathews and Nylander I’m guessing it has to be Marner.

        Maybe add a first and Travis Dermott?

      • That’s not going to get it done.

        You can never say never but I don’t see Hanafin, Faulk or OEL being moved until the teams that have them are confronted with no choice. For OEL that means at the trade deadline next year if not extended this summer.

        Hanafin not for years, he will get his long term extension this summer just like Pesce & Slavin. Faulk may become available if he can’t be extended in 2 summers nor do I see Tanev moving until Van is confronted with him approaching UFA status.

        Trouba will be moving I think, just a question of when. Will he even elect salary arbitration or the club for that matter? This is a bad situation & the leverage swings to Trouba now. The return for Win when Chevy final moves him will be significant. I assume a bidding war starts this summer & he is traded to 1 of the teams he really wants to play for signing an 8 year deal similar to Ekblad’s, higher now due to inflation. This is exactly what ever team wants in an NHL Dman.

  9. 7-0 loss to an expansion team. Joe Sakic’s Days have to be numbered.

    • That was a combination of one team coming face-to-face with reality and another team not quite ready to learn the lesson.

    • As always Sakic isn’t going any where. Colorado is a significantly better team than last year but has limited depth to cover for injuries. The loss of Compher, Jost & Wilson killed their ability to ice 3 semi decent lines, they have now lost Kerfoot as well.

      This is start of year 3 of the rebuild for me, year 2 for the elimination of the dual headed monster & 2 people with player personal power pulling in 2 different directions.

      I had Colorado as the 2nd worst team in the west this season but I had them also scoring 40 to 50 more goals. Lossing 7-0 to Vgs is meaningless. They sit 5-5 after a pretty brutal schedule to start the season. 10 games played 6 on the road with a 3 game road trip to the east coast, 6 of those games played against teams that made the playoffs last season, the non playoff teams they have faced are NJ, Dal twice & Vegas.

      Did you watch that game last night? Colorado outplayed Vegas in almost every facet of the game & lost. This is 1 of the worst D’s in the NHL & just because they have gotten off to a great start doesn’t change where they are. A bad team in the early stages of a rebuild.

      Why are other teams allowed 5+ years but Colorado & Sakic aren’t allowed the same?

      • You are wrong @ Striker
        The ownership tried to bring in Kyle Dubus last summer to replace him. He will be replaced.

      • Time will tell Scott.

        You may be right & just don’t share your thoughts. The talent Sakic has accumulated is just starting their NHL careers. If Colorado does let Sakic go it will be a terrible decision just like Buffalo letting Murray go. Murray’s efforts were just about to bare fruit & the Paggula’s make a terrible decission.

        That’s not to slight Botterill who inherits a great foundation built & laid by Murray. Housley looks totally out of his depth though as does Tocchett but it’s early. Bednar had to work through a brutal year with a roster last season that couldn’t beat several AHL teams but Buf & Arz’s rosters shouldn’t be this bad.

      • Scott, dubas was interviewed by sakic for a position in the org. You really think sakic is going to interview somebody to replace himself? If ownership doesn’t trust sakic, why would they trust him to find his own replacement?

    • Maybe Sackic’s days are numbered! Just one bad loss shouldn’t be the reason. Look the Penguins got crushed by Chicago and Tampa and they are 7-3-1. The Av have played better to start the season and news flash Vegas is pretty damn good. Getting all those top players from each team they have to be decent.

    • Shoot, everybody is losing to Vegas. I don’t see it being the straw to break the camel’s back.

    • You wish Scott!

      There is no pressure on the Avs internally.
      And the rest of the NHL has left them for dead after this Summer’s mauling.
      As always, the Avs have been marooned on a lost island and nobody cares until someone on the team’s island has been seen floating adrift.

      News flash. The Avs and Joe Sakic feel no pressure, other than Joe’s desire to build a contending team.

  10. I’m surprised with several teams needing even patchwork temp options on d that vegas couldnt trade garrison for a mid pick (with a little retained salary). or one of the other superfluous d men.

  11. MTL needs to claim Garrison. They can afford it and I can’t see how it would hurt.

  12. lyle although I find your Colom interesting most of the times kindly note there are other teams in this league besides the leafs and this what if Toronto stuff is really getting old fast I know your just quoting others but still there are other teams 6 others right here in our back yard

    • So what exactly you disappointed in? Leaf coverage or not enough Canadian teams coverage? There is other teams beside the Canadian market. Lyle can only post what’s out there and some markets have very little NHL coverage in their own market so there isn’t much reported.

      • you are a leaf fan that’s obvious no need to comment all have tunnel vision

      • Caper’s a Bruins fan I believe living in the great white north.

      • Tunnel vision from a person who called a Bruins fan a leaf fan. Irony

    • Today is only the second time this week I’ve noted the Leafs in my rumor section. During that period, the Canadiens have appeared five times, the Flames and Canucks twice and the Oilers and Senators once. The Jets didn’t appear because there’s been no media trade rumors about them for some time.

      • enjoy your colom but perhaps there’s to much leaf coverage over all it gets tiring out west wasn’t a complaint just tired of hearing about them I can only imagine if they ever win a cup

    • Although a rumors site & chat board we often discuss numerous unrelated topics, feel free to weigh in with anything you wish to discuss no better chat board on the net.

      Lyle reads news papers & bloggers for all 31 teams & shares what they are reporting in 1 concise post, adding his opinion or insight. He doesn’t make stuff up.

      The majority hear are Toronto fans, I’m a Bruins fan but happy to discuss anything hockey, Lyle a Montreal fan. We have numerous others here who like Ott, Edm, Mtl, Buf, Det, NYR & a few others.

      Toronto is 1 of the largest NHL markets & those demographics play out here as well.

      • Hey😒

      • Sorry we have at least 4 avid Pit fans as well. Ha-ha!

      • your stating the obvious but doesn’t change the fact that there is over kill coverage on a team that hasn’t won a cup in any of our life times I shutter at the thought if they ever win one it ll be 24 hour coverage what they ate when they slept what they had for breakfast Tsn will dedicate w eek to them

      • OIL9911.

        It’s the format not a bias. Toronto is the largest hockey market in the world, more media, fans, etc. then any other team. Again that demographic is going to play out here.

        It relates to what is being reported in rumors.

        Do you have any Edm rumors to share? We would love something else to discuss.

      • OIL9911
        I feel your pain, I rarely visit this site frankly because like you the forum be it Lyle or the fans relate every thing back to the Leafs. I don’t need reminding that it’s a big market every one outside of TO are painfully aware of this. This only adds to other media members, sites and publication. You switch on the TV on what’s supposed to be a national channel and you’re bombarded by more Leafs. I guess for those that live in the rarefied atmosphere of TO that’s fine for the rest it gets boring real quick

      • Man that’s some leaves hate. Which is weird. Those types of comments are based on jealousy and the leaves haven’t had much to be jealous about.

  13. Garrison cleared waivers.

    • There’s a surprise!

    • Striker…Toronto a bigger hockey market and more pressure to win than Montreal..I think that’s iffy man you get fired in Montreal if you can’t speak both french and English.

      It is close, but Montreal is under way more pressure to wiin from the media, the fans, and the 2O PLUS Stanley CUPS!

  14. Hey Lyle,

    Is this a Freudian Slip, lol?:

    “He were blinded by the winger’s performance in a contract year”

  15. Didn’t Trouba say he pretty much didn’t want to play in Canada? Is Toronto still in Canada?

    • Is TO in Canada, naw, Toronto is Canada according to the residents 🙂

    • That’s what i’d heard that Trouba eventually wants to play in the Eastern US like Shattenkirk.

  16. Yeah sorry Mike, No way do i see the Leafs getting either Hanifin or OEL as it would cost them one of Marner/Nylander and Trouba wants no part of Canada other then finishing it out with Winnipeg he wants to play in the Eastern US it was reported from Darren Dreger Trouba hates Toronto always has always will diehard Wings fan that grew up hating the Leafs just don’t see it. Mike Green is the most realistic target of them all.

  17. I dont understand why all this trade marner for this guy and that guy. While his play leading up to his demotion dropped off a bit,JVR and bozak have been way worse. Further Babcock already said he wasn’t dropping those two because were the veterans and that Brown had earned a chance to play up in the lineup. Marner has already established him self with a 61pt rookie year and he’s still learning. So I think the leafs having to add more to for a Hanifin, trouba or Tanev is pure fantasy. OEL maybe but unless its a straight up 1 for 1, History over the last few years has seen teams make deals for top tier players and not have to give up top young players or blue chip prospects. Rather a team may give up a top 9 guy B prospect of value plus high pics. So forget any of leafs top 3 players. Let’s also not forget that while the media has a anointed them cup contenders after only there 1st season of a rebuild, this team is still learning and in no way have to rush to overpay for other teams player personnel issues.

    • Agreed .the leafs hate is salty! 😂..and marner and nylander are not being traded! ..not for one.. or any of those dman!lol . wow just wow..then again if chia pet was their gm..then ya ..great stuff Lyle! .always a good read!