Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 22, 2017

by | Oct 22, 2017 | Rumors | 30 comments

Latest on the Canadiens plus updates on Matt Duchene, Evander Kane and Sam Bennett in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Despite the Montreal Canadiens poor start (1-6-1), Elliotte Friedman believes they’re determined not to make any panic moves. He also doesn’t think there’s a desire by ownership to replace general manager Marc Bergevin at this time. Chris Johnston feels the key for the Canadiens is goaltender Carey Price returning to his usually stellar form.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman points out, whatever trade offers the Canadiens are getting right now won’t help them improve. Rival GMs are hoping to exploit the situation to their own benefit. Bergevin has come under criticism and some of it is justified. Still, I don’t think the Canadiens are a better team if he’d re-signed Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov and didn’t trade away promising blueliner Mikhail Sergachev for forward Jonathan Drouin. They’d likely still have the same problems if Price is struggling between the pipes.

As Johnston points out, the key factor is Price, who isn’t playing as well as he usually does when he’s healthy. If he doesn’t rebound soon, the Canadiens will be in serious trouble. That could put more pressure on Bergevin to swing a major deal or put his job in jeopardy. 

Friedman reports he doesn’t believe the Colorado Avalanche gave center Matt Duchene a timeline for when he’d be traded but there’s a sense everyone expected a deal would’ve been done by now. Nick Kypreos believes the Avs having a good start to this season means Duchene will have to remain patient. He said GM Joe Sakic wants as many as three pieces (current player, draft pick, blue-chip prospect) in return. There’s talk perhaps the Vancouver Canucks could get into the mix as they have a promising prospect in Olli Juolevi, though there’s a sense he’s not yet NHL-ready.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche are off to a better start to this season (4-4-0)than expected and that’s taken pressure off Sakic to move Duchene right away. That could change if they slip again in the standings. For now, however, Sakic can take his time and remain patient. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger’s Friday appearance on Buffalo’s WGR 550 discussing the future of Sabres left wing Evander Kane. Dreger doubts the Sabres will re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent and suggests interest will build for him in the trade market. He feels it’s a question of finding the right timing to move him, based on the offers the Sabres receive. If Kane keeps playing well, that value will keep rising as the trade deadline nears. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger also acknowledges it’s possible the Sabres could try retaining Kane but points out it could cost over $6 million annually, especially if he’s flirting with 30 goals in a contract year. Much depends upon where Kane sees himself spending the next seven or eight seasons. If he’s happy in Buffalo perhaps the two sides can work out a suitable deal. If he prefers playing elsewhere and wants to explore the UFA market, the Sabres will have little choice but to shop him for the best return near the trade deadline. 

THE ATHLETIC: Kent Wilson recently addressed Sam Bennett’s trade value during his inaugural Flames mailbag segment. Given Bennett’s age (21) and affordable contract ($1.95 million annually through 2018-19), Wilson imagines there’s still a lot of interest in him. However, the longer he struggles the more his value will decline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In eight games this season, Bennett has no points, 12 PIMs and a plus/minus of minus-three. Still, there could be a club or two willing to gamble on his improvement if the Flames were willing to explore his trade value. However, at this stage they’re unlikely to get a decent return. My guess is the Flames will remain patient with Bennett over the course of this season. 



  1. ok… so getting niemi for peanuts seemed like a decent fa signing… low risk high reward cause he could be buried in minors if he screwed up. but I never realized pens had been… gifted… so many back to backs… knowing how much they would have to play niemi should have had them look to other options. I was refreshingly wrong on that one for sure! Get Jarry up here or go get a decent back-up. they moved a winger for a center which was good but still have sprong in the ahl averaging 2.0 points per game. he will be up soon so that will make another winger expendable.

    • Win the Cup in consecutive years and your reward is to open the season back to back on the road followed by more of the same. Mr Bettman, the Penguins and their fans thank you.

    • Ive posted this before …when the Blackhawks won the first cup they did so by being a team that won with one of the highest goals against averages in NHL history to ever win a cup. he was never as good as it seemed he was hence why Niemi was not kept after be the guy. he was terrible in Dallas and Iam really surprised he is on the Penguins…the Pens should have claimed Coreau off waivers from the Red Wings..IMO

      have been to a few Sabres games this season so far …and they look like a bunch of individuals as a opposed to a team out there …there is something fundamentally wrong with the core of this team…If I was Buffalo I would trade 2 players ASAP for just a Hockey deal..Kane and Lehner..
      I would start there at the earliest…I would move Lehner for Halak and a 1 A Prospect.
      Halak only has this year left on a contract the money works both ways and wont cost long term issues for either team..Islanders are always looking for a Goalie like lehner as well
      …any Kane deal would need money out and money in as per his contract so you might need to take on a player with some term to move him… I .E. Dustin Brown and a top prospect and or first round pick scenario.
      Brown can help long term and might play well on a wing with O rielly and brings a few cups into a room that has none.

      Just spit balling …in any regards a culture change is needed in Buffalo in my opinion and they should start there!

    • He was ” the steal of fa, “July 1st?
      How did that go wrong?

  2. I believe niemi was brought in just for this. No sense in jarry playing in 25 game’s the pans aren’t going to try in. Keep him with wbs where he’s gna get alot of work. Seems the pans are going to use the regular season as a 6 month practice. They’ll turn it on in March. No need to worry now.

    • pens dont have the depth to give away points like they are by playing a guy who isnt just having occasional bad games but is bombing. sheahan is no bonino. winning games is far more important than developing a guy who will be traded at sometime because he wont supplant murray and is likely starting goalie caliber. it would be ideal to trade for another backup and keep him down there but they need to fix this.

      • Calm down.
        Your guys just won back to back cups.
        You’re being a little greedy, dont you think?

      • Plus, as I keep trying to remind everyone – it’s OCTOBER. Concern should only start to kick in after the U.S. Thanksgiving on Nov 23. If your team is still sputtering by then, with obvious weak points, then the hand-wringing can start.

      • No… when crosby is a geezer and malkin finishes his career in russia and the pens become mediocre then I’ll settle down. not till then! 1 is too many and 1000 is never enough! I need me my parade fix!

    • There’s no question Niemi has to go. I have been saying this since the second they signed him. I wish they would have snagged Picard when he was on waivers. But they decided to wait and see and what they are seeing is a goalie with dead reflexes and no rebound control. Right now anything would be better. It’s hard to try and win games when you have no confidence in you goaltending. The game was over before they could even get going. 2 games in a row where Niemi gets scored on with 0.1 seconds left in a period. Rutherford has really been striking out lately. Sheahan ate up almost all of their cap space and he’s not very good. Maybe a 4C but not a 3C. Reaves has been much better the last 2 games. Last night he was the only one playing with a little pride. I think Niemi has played his last game in the NHL and if he does get another and gets lit up then he’s gone for sure. Right now Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith are much better options. Hell even Sean Maguire would be a vast improvement. The Penguins have depth on the wings they need to move someone anyways to get Daniel Sprong on the big team so he’s not wasting his time tearing up the AHL. Need a goalie, who’s got a goalie????

      • I’d give casey desmith a shot. ahl career sub 2.00 gaa.. above .925 %. 25 years old and doubtful as a nhl startere but backup? would allow jarry to split time with niemi in the minors.

        I want to give the sheahan experiment time to gauge before judging… not a whole lot out there available for trade and waiting until crsoby and or malkin get hurt would have driven prices up… didnt give up much for the guy.

      • Deeee 100% agreed this was a disaster from the start one of the few blunders JR has made as GM.

    • Jag…Niemi sucks period and the Penguins have 17 more back to back tilts this year. We can ill afford to lose valuable points. They are getting blown out in the second of back to backs.(Chicago Tampa twice all road games ) This year with Washington not as strong we could win the division for a change. Then let Columbus, Washington, Philadelphia, and the Rangers go at each other in the first round. Plus Columbus will be a solid contender.
      Tristan Jarry can get some back up seasoning and help get us some wins

  3. Price’s play is reflective of the D & team in front of him. You can’t lose 3 of your top 5 D in 1 summer & expect to have success. Really the #2, 4 & 5 two of which helped drive the transitional game on offense & another that made life no fun for the opposition in the defensive zone & not expect problems with goals against.

    Put a really good goalie, even the best behind a really bad D & this is what you get. Apparently even if your Price.

    We have had this discussion many times. See Schneider last season. Schticky & I debated what that meant in goals against for over a year.

    • Agreed. I’m still on the fence about Corsi/Fenwick. I want to believe it, but have never seen any conclusive proof.

      See this year’s Habs: They dominate in Corsi/Fenwick. However…

      – Have a bad D that gives up quality shots, it doesn’t matter that there aren’t too many of them, lots will go in
      – Have not enough offensive skill, it doesn’t matter how many shots you take, not very many will go in

      Corsi = High, results = low.

      Price is not playing well, either, which hurts. But he is also being caught as a victim of a VERY poorly constructed hockey team. His improving won’t change the results much.

  4. I don’t see Kane resigning in Buffalo, unless his attitude had a big time change. I see Kane ending up in LA or NYR and possibly the Fylers as he liked a tweet that some one tweeted him in playing for Philly while he was with the jets. Kane wants to be in the big city, I know some would say LV but I feel his mentality is NY or LA, the kings only have $8m cap space next year with 16 players signed; with Nash being a ufa freeing up $7m maybe the Rangers are the fit. Outside chance to Philly who does have the cap space.

    • He might be interested in Philadelphia because someone tweeted him? Tweet – twitter – I’m too damned old to know – or give a rat’s ass about – the protocol for that aspect of social media, so what do we call those who follow use it religiously – twits?

      • George never to old to learn another tweet.
        The like tweet itself is harmless fun, however it was longed believed here in Winnipeg the Kane see himself as a high roller and only wants to play in a large market, and enjoy what a city of NY or LA has to offer.
        Why a team wouldn’t be interested in a 26yr old who scored 28g last year in 70g, has size and speed and also very good on the pk, would only be because of what he may or may not bring to the dressing room.
        Personally I would love to see him in a bruins jersey. If NY or LA have any interest in Kane remains to be seen but I believe Kane has interest in them.

    • Uh oh. Not another liked tweet? Didn’t we see that with Stamkos to Toronto?

      I don’t see Kane fitting in NY unless he becomes a center. Nash gone won’t have any real impact on them signing another winger. I don’t see NY making any significant splash in FA unless they have a shot at Tavares. And even then, they look happy in their “re-tool.

      Kreider, Vesey, Buchnevich, Miller, Zuccarello, doesn’t leave much room or need for Kane . Especially if he’s going to cost 6-7 per. Nash may be coming off the books, but they have Vesey, Miller, Hayes, Skjei to deal with next year. Stuck with Staal and Lundqvist deals, and Mcdonagh to deal with the following year. Also, Girardis buy out number increases 1 million next year and the year after.

      Can’t see a fit.

      • Zibanejad – 5g 1a 6 pts -8
        Brassard – 6g 4a 10 pts +10

        (LOL – just to keep up with something started by you-know-who last year)

        By the way, I still think the Rangers will shake off the early season funk and get back into the mix. What I find weird is that, on Oct 22 last year they had played 5 games – this year 9 crammed into the same period (as with everyone else of course). Was this schedule drawn up when there was still a possibility of going to the Olympics?

      • All Good.

        As we discussed early last week, Brassard should bounce back to near career norms.

        There is no way Ott can win this trade. They gave up almost 6 years in age, & a 2nd round pick in 2018. Brassard is a UFA 1 season out.

        This trade was about saving money in the short term. Brassard has 1 more year to UFA status after this year. Will Ottawa resign him? Can he be signed for less than 5 year 5.35 Zibby just signed for.

        As you state & I fully support it’s Oct. Min & Car just played their 6th games, my 1st snap shot. Certainly a few surprises regardless of the odd schedule or quality of competition. I sit on my hands now until the last team in the league plays it’s 12th game.

        NJ looks to be far better than I thought they would be, Vgs has surprised me but the rest of the stuff is virtually meaningless at this juncture.

        Zibby will outscore Brassard baring injury.

    • I don’t see Kane resigning at all. Re-signing however your guess is as good as mine.

    • Vancouver will have a lot of cap space next year as I don’t see the Sedins coming back for another year at 7 mil each, Kane did play his jr here

    • Rangers have a few rfa’s next season that will need raises. If they keep Nash he’ll still get at least 3-4 mil per., so there’s really not the 7.8 available that is his cap hit now. If they don’t plan on signing him I’d expect them to trade him before deadline. I’d like to think they’d use his cap space this year to get Duchene. Skjei one of the players that will need a significant raise next year and Rangers could solve a lot of problems by using him in deal for Duchene, which according to all reports is the exact type of player Sakic looking for.

      • How is that the answer? Duchene minus Skjei = still having to pay Duchene 7+( you don’t think he’s not seeking a raise?) And Mcdonagh the same year? So now NY loses Skjei from a trade, and possibly loses either Duchene and or Mcdonagh to free agency? Holden is gone this year.

        Staal- Deangelo
        ? – Graves?

        Liking that look on the backend?…. yeah, I don’t either!

      • So you’re worried about what our pairings look like 2 seasons from now and you don’t try and put best team on Ice over this season or next? Seriously doubt we keep Staal and let Macdonaugh walk. Chytil and Anderson should both be on roster in 2 years so they can decide then what to do with Duchene. Backend? Pionk, Beteglazov, Graves, Day and whoever else we may draft or sign in next 2 years?

  5. Please no Duchene in Vancouver! Especially for our best D-man prospect.

  6. I had hoped EKane would have matured. If and when -look out. Some good indication so far this year. Game tying and game winning goals and a threat most shifts.

    He may want to ride with Eichel. Unless he has some large gambling debt to take care of 🙂 I would pick Buffalo

    He needs to stay away from Vegas.

  7. I’ve been saying this for years. Montreal is an average team with a great goalie. If Price falters or gets hurt, it’s game over. Montreal won’t realize this and won’t accept that they need a new vision for their team. They’re basically thinking along the same lines of the Leafs before they finally accepted they needed a wholesale rebuild.

    • “Getting it right” where Montreal is concerned always takes on an added dimension, and one that seems to be avoided in many general discussions: THEIR pool of the best coaches and GMs to hire is forever whittled down to those that are francophone – or at the very least are bilingual. Like it or not, that means they are not always getting the best available candidate for either post. And when they start looking at their on-ice roster with the same caveats, whether in signing UFAs, conducting trades or drafting, that too means they are not necessarily getting the best available.

      I’m not about to get in an argument as to whether or not this is a viable approach – they have almost always seen it as a necessity – but it is ironic that the best GMs/coaches they have ever had in terms of championships have been anglophones named Selke, Pollock, Irvin, Bowman.

      Maybe it’s time they stop worrying about media reaction to the hiring of the best candidate possible to manage/coach them. It won’t stop the fans from attending if it turns out for the best.