NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2017

by | Nov 11, 2017 | Rumors | 38 comments

Updates on Patric Hornqvist, Alex Galchenyuk plus latest on the San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes in your NHL rumor mill. 

POST-GAZETTE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Sam Werner was asked if this season could be the last for forward Patric Hornqvist with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hornqvist, 30, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and Werner speculates the Pens could have difficulty re-signing him.

Hornqvist’s gritty style and offensive consistency will create a strong market for him and the Pens will have limited cap space to re-sign him. Still, Werner doesn’t rule out the possibility GM Jim Rutherford could find a way to keep Hornqvist in the fold. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have over $60 million tied up in 14 players for 2017-18. Fortunately, Hornqvist is their most notable free agent next summer. The rest, including Bryan Rust, Ian Cole, Tom Kuhnhackel and Riley Sheahan, should be affordable re-signings. Given Hornqvist’s age and style of play, the sticking point could be the length of the deal. Rutherford could be unwilling to commit beyond four years. 

THE ATHLETIC: In his Friday mailbag, Craig Custance was asked who’s the next big player to be dealt now that Matt Duchene’s been traded. While the logical choice would be New York Islanders center John Tavares, the Isles are looking better than expected this season and there’s a sense Tavares will “give that team every opportunity to prove to him it’s worth sticking around.” Custance instead chooses Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk if his recent improvement bolsters his trade value. 

Custance also doesn’t expect the Arizona Coyotes to move veteran defensemen Alex Goligoski and Niklas Hjalmarsson, He cites a recent interview with Coyotes general manager John Chayka, who said moving those two would “risk exposing the young defensemen in Arizona and stunting their development.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin saying he wasn’t giving up on Galchenyuk, the trade rumors about the young winger won’t go away. If Bergevin can get a return that helps his club right away I believe he’d go for it. Problem is, he’s not going to get that kind of offer right now, if at all. 

THE ATHLETIC:  In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz said he believes several teams are interested in San Jose Sharks center Chris Tierney but doesn’t them trading him. Kurz points out it makes little sense to move Tierney as they have few young centermen who can play at the NHL level. He acknowledged many Sharks fans want to see under-performing winger Mikkel Boedker shipped out but his contract makes such a move unrealistic. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boedker lacks no-trade protection but he carries a $4 million annual cap hit through 2019-20. Given his low production (only six points in 14 games this season) the Sharks won’t find many takers for him unless they’re willing to absorb a big chunk of that cap hit. 

NEWSDAY: In his latest mailbag, Arthur Staple was asked what area he felt the New York Islanders needed a upgrade. He felt they need help in goal, speculating head coach Doug Weight would prefer a netminder who can take over the reins full-time. He doesn’t see many options in the trade market “aside from some obvious, flawed candidates (Kari Lehtonen, maybe Jimmy Howard, Curtis McElhinney)”.

Staple’s also skeptical that defenseman Calvin de Haan, a pending UFA at season’s end, might get dealt at the trade deadline to make room for a promising youngster such as Devon Toews and Sebastian Aho.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Islanders are playoff contenders by the trade deadline they won’t be moving de Haan. I can see them keeping an eye on the trade market for a possible goalie upgrade but they could be stuck with what they’ve got over the remainder of the season. 



  1. Remember those who served before – remember those who are no more – remember those who serve today – remember them all on Remembrance Day

    • Well said George O

      • A little time spent on reflecting is good for the soul. I was born in May 1938 – by December 1939 my dad was in England with the 1st Anti-Tank Regiment attached to the 1st Infantry Division. I didn’t get to see him again until July 1945.

      • Holy smokes. Almost an octogenarian!?!? Didn’t realize you was that old. Congrats. If only I’m that lucky some day

      • Hell, at times I don’t realize I’m that old. Believe me, when you hear older people say they “don’t know where the time went …” they mean exactly that. Time is non-refundable – use it with intention.

      • I’m learning that myself. Yesterday I was rockin out with my donger out in college. Today I’m a new father signing up for life insurance. Huh.

    • George, I’ve worked in retail over 30yrs. The one thing I wouldn’t do or allow my staff to do, was put out Christmas decorations until November 12th. I would allow outdoor lights only just because in the North you wouldn’t be able to put them up due to the cold weather.
      Always felt for that one day we could say thanks and pay our respects to those many wonderful people who served to protect our freedom. My small way was not to sell Christmas merchandise our decorate my place of business until that respect was pay on November 11th.
      Thank you to all who have served and to those who are, and Thank you Lyle for your service I respect and salute you.

  2. Hey George O.

    My mother was born in March of 1939 and never met her father until 1945. She met him after his basic training in NFLD when he returned home before going to Europe. Her brother was created then:). It’s hard to imagine the numerous sacrifices made by so many during this time in our history. Thanks for sharing.

    On a lighter note I am sure Caper, an avid Bruins fan, would love to remind you who won the Cup in your birth year!

    • Sorry your birth year was 38! That would be Detroit. I was confusing my mother’s birth year for your’s. Her’s was 39! Guess who won that year Caper?

      • Steven the answer would’ve been one of two teams. Either Boston because it’s the team I cheer for or Montreal because it the team that I really really really don’t like. But since you don’t seem to have Chrism sarcastic tone. I’ll say Boston. (which I google)

    • Well, I remember my father telling me he was in attendance for one of the games when the Ottawa Senators beat the Bruins 4 games to 1 to win the Cup (he would have been around 13 years old at the time)

      • … to win the Cup in 1927 …

  3. Well… I was born in 1980… heck no to being and Islanders fan.. Go Habs Go…

    Once a Cape Breton Oilers fan too. But the team left here in 94.

  4. Trade Price to the Islanders ask for a package of young players ….
    Package starts with Brazel

    I’d do something like this
    Montreal : C.Price, JD la rose, M.Mccarron, V.Mete and a 2nd round pick …..
    Islanders : M.Brazal, JH Sang,
    M. Del Colle, A.Ladd, CD haan and Islanders 1st this year or next year Canadians choice …

    • Also to make it more tempting Montreal takes Halak so Islanders save money with halak and Ladd and Calvin de haan …. Now they will have enough to sign Taveres and you brought a superstar in to keep him happy long term.. Islanders have still good young players in their system and the best pure centre in the league and the best goaltender in the league … Montreal is happy because they restock the cupboards with youth and centres and now they could keep Galchenyuk on the wing and Drouin on the wing where they both belong. Also never trade young talent like Galchenyuk the kid is 23 and has 30 goals on his resume … Play him more give him ice time the kid is playing 14 minutes and under and you expect him to score.

      • this package is utterly insane. isles have two extremely promising goalies in the system that are ready as soon as next year, with greiss locked up for next year as well. they are not sending their two best forward prospects out in barzal and ho-sang, who should be in the isles top 6 for the next decade. without them, this franchise their most exciting youth, and inevitiably takes a step back with price’s contract demands and age consideration. this would be a god awful move for isles, and it would never happen, thankfully.

  5. I noticed Arizona was mentioned above. Can anybody comment what the heck is wrong with Dylan Strome. Is it to the point that he is a right off. I can’t believe somebody with so much hype Has disappeared

    • I wouldn’t say he’s a right off he is only 20 years old big centre with lots of talent just isn’t ready for the NHL .. I do agree if the hype matched the player he’d be in the league way before C.Keller … I think he should go to another team that could play him with more veterans not in Arizona where he can learn.

      • His brother isn’t doing much in Edmonton either

      • To me they look like the reinhart brothers.. so much hype til they hit the bigs

      • He stands around too much for NHL level. Playing in AHL and doing well 1-9-10 in 10 games or so. I know I’m close on the numbers.
        He might be better off on a wing. Right now his defense is killing him. It is a common theme when you are coached to play just offense in junior etc.

    • The only time I pay attention to Arizona is when a glimmer of hope reappears that they will disappear or relocate.

  6. Aside from trade speculation, there are a few teams that no doubt would like a do-over from summer/early season acquisitions.

    Winnipeg, surely the most furiously and consistently inconsistent team in the NHL, jumps to mind with Steve Mason and his 2-year deal costing them $4.1 mil off the cap for the second-worst goalie in the league stat-wise – .877 save% and a GAA of 4.44.

    The only goalie worse is Antti Niemi (.872 save% and 5.11 GAA). Surely there were better options for Florida, even in an emergency.

    And while Dallas seems to be picking things up, that 3-year deal with full NMC and an annual cap hit of $4.75 mil for C Martin Hanzal must be looking like the proverbial albatross contract with 1 goal and 1 assist in 13 games – not to mention his -9.

    Then there’s Montreal and Ales Hemsky – a puzzling signing that some will defend by saying it was an inexpensive gamble along the lines of Alex Semin a couple of seasons ago and even Radulov last year. Yes, true – BUT, there is simply NO way Hemsky can contribute from the 4th line as he is purely and simply an offensive type who has no clue as to what his end of the ice looks like. And, too boot, he is ALWAYS injured (just 7 games played this year – 0 goals 0 assists).

    There are probably a few I’ve overlooked too.

    • George O.

      This is one of the reasons I preach contraction rather than expansion. These players are signed because there are so few people in the world who can actually play hockey at the NHL level. Last I checked Nigel Dawes was third in league scoring in the KHL, just as a point of reference. Cut this League back to 24 teams, in cities that want hockey, and players like the ones you mentioned will no longer need to be discussed.

      • I agree Steven – but, of course, as long as new owners are willing to fork over half a BILLION to be shared among the other owners I’m afraid gradual expansion is here to stay.

  7. The Galchenyuk situation is typical of why we all love – and get very frustrated by – trade rumours:

    – When he’s playing badly, his value is low, so why would the Habs trade him and get little value in return?
    – When he’s playing well, he’s a valuable piece of the team, so why trade him?

    Thankfully trades DO happen – and I think as long as Bergevin is in charge, he WILL trade Galchenyuk (unfortunately), as I don’t think MB likes Galchenyuk’s game – but it’s why they never happen as often as we’d like!

    • Galchenyuk didn’t help his cause with a stupid unnecessary penalty in his own end in the 2nd period last night ; all because him and former Hab Nathan Beaulieu had words in the 1st, you have to maintain your composure , especially in times when the team and him are struggling. If Bergevin gets what he wants , and i’m assuming it’s for a dman , he will pull the trigger

      • If the rumours are true that Edmonton is talking to Mtl about a forward, who are they willing to give up?

  8. George you would know the meaning behind my tag name “Silver Seven ”
    I believe the last time Ottawa won the cup

    • The Ottawa Hockey Club was among the original founders of the NHL (and the first in Ontario), and operated under 3 nicknames – The Generals in the 1890s, then The Silver Seven from 1903 to 1907, and finally the Senators when the 7th on-ice player (the rover) was removed from the game. As The Silver Seven they won the cup in 1903 and again in 1904, 1905, 1906. As the Senators they won it in 1911, 1920, 1921, 1923 and their last in 1927. By 1934 they had relocated to St. Louis as The Eagles – and when that failed they were planning on a return to Ottawa when the league decided to disband the franchise and disperse the players.

      As a kid growing up on Bronson Avenue during WW II one of my friends was the son of Milton Halliday who played on a line with Hec Kilrea and Jack Duggan wh en they won the cup in 1927. In the 1940s he ran a garage on Bronson and I can remember going into his little office which was covered in memorabilia, and on some days when he had time he would tell us stories about that season. Great memories.

      • Wow George that’s cool!

  9. Travis Zajac has been cleared to practice. His return would give the Devils Zajac, Hischier, Henrique, Zacha, Coleman, Boyle and McLeod down the middle.

    Adam Henrique should be the Pen’s target to fill the third line center role. He has two years left at $4 million and Hischier/Zacha make him expendable in NJ.

    Offer a first, a third, Riley Sheahan and Josh Archibald and see if that gets it done.

    • I like the idea of the Pens trading for Adam Henrique. Pen’s cap space is less than 1 million. How would you fit Henrique’s contact under the Pens salary cap today??

      As far as Patric Hornqvist resigning with the Pens, a good possibility. Hornqvist is a different type of forward. He’s crucial to their power play. Remember when Ryan Malone was no longer with the Pens? Hornqvist was protected for the expansion draft. Why was Hornqvist protected instead of Bryan Rust???

      Carl Hagelin earns 4.0 million a season through 2018/2019. Envision Hagelin gets traded at some point.

      • Hornqvist is too important to the Penguins..energy, leadership, talent and grit, THEY WILL MAKE A god effort to sign him in the off season..

    • Devils likely wouldn’t want players back for AH unless they were someone they could flip at the deadline. AH is very much a heart of the team, so it would take a good deal to trade him while the Devils have a chance to show real growth this year. A 2018 1st would be a good starting point however for a realist that doesn’t feel they are a real contender yet and that likely AH won’t be there when they hit the next level.

  10. Do the Penguins trade yet another first round pick to try and achieve a three-peat? Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Kessel are all roughly 30 years old. Their prime years will be over soon and the window can reasonably be assessed at two or three more years. It is always difficult to trade a first round pick, but if that pick is going to be 27th to 30th consistently, then maybe waiting for that 42nd to 45th overall pick isn’t such a bad thing if you can get the right player.

    On the other hand, at what point does your prospect system become deplorable due to the lack of top 30 picks?

    • Augustus,
      I think Crosby and Malkin have many great years ahead despite being 30. Rutherford understands hockey history and is not afraid to make a deal. He would love to vault his Penguins into the company of those Toronto and Montreal teams, and the Islanders, who have won three or more consecutive championships. Yes you trade a first to accomplish this feat. All of the effort taken to get to this point should not be sacrificed for a player who you don’t even know yet. It’s like spending your money before winning the lottery. Why would you do that?