NHL Rumor Mill – November 18, 2017

by | Nov 18, 2017 | Rumors | 44 comments

Latest on Carey Price and Erik Gudbranson plus latest on the Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: During an “Ask Me Anything” segment yesterday, Matt Larkin was asked what would be a serious and realistic return for the Montreal Canadiens if they traded goaltender Carey Price. Despite Price’s recent injury history and expensive upcoming new contract, Larkin points out Price is a superstar still in the prime years.

Larkin believes the Habs would get a “gargantuan return” for Price, though not a top center and a No. 2 defenseman. Instead, he feels they’d get a package of elite prospects and high draft picks – ” like what Colorado received for Matt Duchene, but multiply the return twofold. Then you immediately start shopping Shea Weber and Max Pacioretty.” In other words, they don’t trade Price unless they intend to rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price’s recent absence due to injury and the Habs improvement under call-up goalie Charlie Lindgren prompted some recent speculation suggesting they shop their sidelined starter. It’s rubbish, of course; Price carries a full no-movement clause this season and through the next eight under his new contract. His $10.5 million annual cap hit on his new deal is almost as good as a no-movement clause.

If (and that’s a huge “if” at this point) the Canadiens did put Price on the market, I agree with Larkin that it’s indicative of a major rebuild. They would seek a package of top prospects and high picks in return. They would also put Weber and Pacioretty on the block for similar returns. Given the Habs struggles this season, that probably sounds like an attractive thought for some of their fans. But that’s not going to happen, not in a town with a “win-now” attitude like Montreal. 


SPORTSNET 590: In a recent appearance on the Jeff Blair Show (stick tap to Pro Hockey Rumors), TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie said there was some interest around the league in Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson. Lavoie believes the Toronto Maple Leafs have included Gudbranson among their targets for stay-at-home blueliners, though the others aren’t at his level. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, Gudbranson has his critics, especially among analytics advocates. That’s prompted questions over his future with the Canucks.

But as The Province’s Ben Kuzma recently observed, Gudbranson’s leadership and physical style make him a valuable asset for Vancouver and for clubs, such as the Leafs, seeking experienced defensive depth. The Leafs’ blueline weaknesses are no secret. They’re among the league leaders in shots-against per game (33.5). 


THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle wonders if the San Jose Sharks can close the revolving door of left wingers on their top line. They could move Tomas Hertl into that spot but it could adversely affect their second line, which is those most effective one right now. They could split up Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, but a recent attempt at that during a game against the LA Kings failed to generate an offensive spark.

A trade is an option, though two players who could be on the market this winter (Buffalo’s Evander Kane and Dallas’ Jason Spezza) “are less than ideal fits.”  Kane has off-ice baggage plus the Sabres asking price could be expensive while Spezza is 34 and carries a $7.5 million annual cap hit through 2018-19. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing a top-line left wing, even as a rental player, likely tops the wish list of Sharks general manager Doug Wilson. As long as the Sharks remain in playoff contention, I expect he’ll wait until the Feb. 26 trade deadline draws near in hopes of better options becoming available. 



  1. I strongly disagreed with Larkin is his q/a bag. No goalie has garnered more in value than a top ten pick and Schneider was cost controlled and younger. Would price get more? Sure. But a haul equal to or greater than duschene is a pipe dream.

    • The Canadiens moving Carey Price would look a lot like the Miami Marlins moving Giancarlo Stanton.

      The contract is so big, just getting rid of it would pretty much be the return.

      And like Stanton, him being good wouldn’t matter nearly as much as you’d think.

      • I agree with most of what has been said, not any return for Price would be as big as has been speculated but would be more than a drop in the bucket. Impossible, virtually, for all the reasons mentioned. IF it did happen, I disagree that Weber and Paches would also have to be traded. NoPrice means serious cash for a push on Taveres. ZPleks, I think at current play, could interest a contender at the deadline, meaning a spot opens at center,Taveres, Droiun and Danault as your top three. The rest of the team is ok,especially with Lingren playing as a starter. way better looking team than today. And yes, that is a whole lot of rainbows and candy to make that all happen, but my point is a Price trade does not necessarily mean a full sale of the farm.

    • Even if Price was to wave his No Movement/No Trade clause for a trade to a contender no contender would be willing to gut there team to land him. They wouldn’t be a contender any more. Plus all teams would have to be wary of Price’s injury history and his level of play this year. As a Leaf fan I prefer to have Anderson over trading picks and assets for Price.

  2. “SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, Gudbranson has his critics, especially among analytics advocates.”

    Analytics advocates like Tom Rowe and Co. in the Florida Panthers super smart and modern front office? How have they done since trading Gubranson?

    The Arizona Coyotes hired an intern to be the GM because he spoke Corsi. How’s he doing?

    Moneypuck took two franchises that were on the rise and put them right back into the basement. Hockey isn’t baseball.

    • MG spot on, I’ve been wondering why no one was talking about the wonder kid GM in Arizona. I’m not going to say there is no value in Analytics because all teams use them to varying degrees; but to solely rely on them, doesn’t work in the NHL to many other variables come into play.

      • I have raised the question several times in tbe last month why does Tocchet still have a job & asked what does ownership think of Chayka now.

        Arz shouldn’t be this bad. No team should & the 1st step should have been Tocchet sent packing by now & if not corrected by years end Chayka joins him on tbe unemployment line.

    • Well written. Agree 100%

  3. Larkin is right price would receive a huge haul if moved, without a doubt more than duschene got but I think he would get young guys that they’ve seen play not “ maybes”

    • Not so sure about that. If it was his last contract? He’ll Ya, there would be a nice haul…but not at 10.5…it would strap a team trying to get to the promised land.

      • Not sure about that! Kane and toews both get that much and Chicago has won 3 cups? Whether a goalie or a forward it’s just money on the cap,name one team that has got a penalty for being over the cap? It’s not hard to work around the cap as we have seen countless times with different teams

  4. But that’s not going to happen, not in a town with a “win-now” attitude like Montreal. Lyle that is the saddest part of your statement. Montreal would rather be a playoff team and accomplish nothing, then rebuild with a chance to win in the future.
    Price is the best goalie in the NHL when he’s on top of his game; which isn’t today.
    It’s an interesting question for Montreal to trade Price, Pacioretty and Weber whose base salary next year is $6m which is less then his actual cap hit by 1.857 million. Anyway never going to happen so continue on Montreal maybe you’ll win the lottery this year.

    • I think Mtl will be in the playoff battle right till the end coming up short by 4 to 6 points, they are 3 out today but have played 20 games, numerious others less.

      I doubt Price is traded & should he be it doesn’t necessarily mean a total rebuild should be undertaken.

      Pacioretty is less than 2 years from UFA status so if he can’t be extended this summer the return should be tested & a possible trade found.

  5. Sharks should target a veteran LW, preferably someone with size and speed, ability to get to front of net, even play on their top PP. Too bad they couldn’t find that within the organization this past summer. Oh wait… oh, yeah…

    • Good one. It’s the same with Columbus – apparently they are in the market for a top-6 centre.
      Hmmmm – there’s a kid in Nashville……

    • SJ didn’t want to match that contract.

      Clb did well getting Jones. I think their happy with that trade.

      It’s just not that simple.

  6. Montreal’s win now attitiude…yes I agree they have it, but it isnt to win the cup. Its more like the reader above stated to make the playoffs and shut the fans up and give them a glimmer of hope riding on the coat tails of yesteryear when Patrick Roy or the Steve Penneys of the world stole a series or won the cup. Times have changed and we are behind the eight ball not sure why but our organization still feels a goalie is the main building block, when all other teams have decent goalies but put their efforts into the other positions not named goalie or defense. Year after year I hope but we don’t succeed at the draft. Round after round of selecting goalies and defenseman…for what? to trade away and get nothing in return …no run at the cup….McDonough, Subban, Hainsey, Pateryn, Beaulieu, Sergachev, Jorges, ….the last great deal we made to get a decent forward was the trade of Craig Rivet for Josh Jorges and 1st round pick who turned out to be Pacioretty….all of our forward or centre picks have been busts…McCarron, Louis LeLeblanc, David Fisher?, Letrendesse?, Im sure im missing some real busts in there too …How is Montreal going to be in a win now situation… when they have nothing to win with? Its time to trade for picks and id be more than happy to watch draft picks and youth and speed and exciting hockey than watch slugs crawl around the ice…wasn’t it Carey price who said just a little while ago “everybody just needs to chill”??…funny how this year he was seen chopping down goalposts with his goalie stick….come on man

    • Can’t help but wonder where Montreal would be in the standings if they still had Subban, Markov, Radulov and Sergachev on the team instead of Weber, Drouin and Alzner.

  7. Tough break for Kamenev in Colorado . Nothing is guaranteed. What did they get besides the draft picks ?
    A broken arm and under weight defensemen.

    “Your next shift could be your last “.

    The contract “no movement clause” is funny. It would also work for great play or poor play.

    • Essentially futures. We won’t know what Col got for 6 to 8 years. I have watched all 3 games Girard has played for Col, he has looked great logging over 20 mins a game playing well defensively. His TOI/GP in those 3 games is 22:01.

      Very small sample size but when Col gets Nemeth back the future of an NHL D is starting to take shape. With him, Girard, Johnson, Barrie, Zadarov, Bigras, Mirinov & Lindholm.

      Very young & needing years to develop but at least some semblance of a future. No harder position to build a solid foundation at.

    • We are ecstatic with Girard. He alone made this trade worth it. He has shown more in his 3 games with Colorado than Duchene did the past 2 years. Just keep kicking the Avs, you’ll see…

      • I love the trade for Sakic & Col.

        For the life of me I don’t know why people look at Colorado different than any other rebuild.
        Girard has elite offensive skills & although small has played a sound positional game & his transition game is awesome as well.

  8. Schneider moved for a 1st rounder. Roy for ruscinsky Kovalenko and Thibault and hasek for a 1st and kozlov… anyone else have any comparison trades that can make a case price would garner a huge return? Goalies don’t go for all that much compared to other positions. Sorry habs fans.

    • Big bear seems to think so but those delusional Habs fans over valuing their players is nothing new! Right big bear!

    • I agree, a supply & demans issue & as Lyle pointed out his contract is like a NMC worse it’s problomatic in trade for about 70% of teams.

      Another is Varlamov moving from Was to Col for a 1st & 2nd but he wasn’t even an established starter when acquired.

      I have no idea what Price might return in trade but the cap hit hinders options. To much money & to much term for a goalie even Price. Mtl would have to take salary back from almost any team tbey might find willing to trade for Price & in most that I tried to spit ball yesterday that means a bad 1, not in all scenarios just most.

      I don’t see Price traded anytime soon but if he is it won’t be for the quantity of assets Col aquired, as Mackenzie said the 3 way deal allowed for that haul, but the quality could well be better. A very good play, possibly a stud prospect & better 1st? But again no idea really as goales of quality rarely move so not a ton of reference points.

      • Kinda funny hear pens and leaf fans talking hockey 2 teams that literally have to tank to get better what a disgrace! Eh shticky kinda simplified the name to FD did you! Lol

      • Not only tank but for lemieux flat out cheat! And those parades were just as fun as can be. Hope they do it again. And poor habs fans. No hope on site.

      • I’ve seen more habs cups in a decade than the pens have total!

      • They except one were before I was born and or aware making them meaningless. Sorry bud.

      • All you have seen is tanking. Sorry rookie

  9. I had raised the issue of Gubranson being tradec on Dobber the other day. With Stetcher & Tanev ahead of schedule in recovsry from their inuries Pouliot is going to be pushed back out of the line up. He has actually played ok with the exception of tge last game.

    He helped inject a little creativity to the 2nd PP unit & hasn’t been a total train wreck.

    I have raised here that Gubranson can’t be resigned in Van & the reason Flo moved him were unrealistic salary demands for what is really a #4/5 Dman tgat can play on a 2nd pairing as a punishing hitter, net front presence.

    Gubranson will be moved but historicly the best return for such a players is right at the trade deadline. Might Benning move him sooner? Unlilely if they are on the playoff bubble but dependes on what the return is.

  10. SJ hey have an extra defenseman in Demelo who is capable but doesn’t get used much. I think they made a BIG mistake in keeping Thorton for 3 years, and I also think maybe Hertl has been overvalued as well. If they could unload those guys (easier said then done, I know), then maybe they’d be able to get some quicker guns in place. Even Pavelski might be someone to offer up. However, I have no idea at all who might be a good target at this point! And they are an awesome team on d.

    • Thornton signed a 1 year deal.

      Hertl was progressing well before last seasons injury derailed his development some what. SJ seems to want him to play C but with Thornton & Couture still holding down the top 2 spots & Tierney a solid #3 he is better suited to the wing today, he should replace Thornton at C eventually.

      SJ should be due for a step back this season as they try to work more youth into the line up in full time roles. LeBanc & Donskoi are early into their NHL careers, Meier, Heed & Ryan are just starting theirs.

      • Hertl looked like he was going to be a superstar until a dirty hit from Dustin Brown made him not the same player.

      • Rick Nash would be a good fit with his buddy Thornton. Torrent would help Rangers center depth

      • >Tierney

      • Nash and Thronton together would be great! Two of the worst playoff scorers

  11. I wonder if teams are going to start to realize it’s hard to win with those really big contracts (10.5 mil for Price) taking up so much cap space. The Pens manage it somehow but I think it’s hurt Chicago a lot. Be interesting to see how the Oilers manage with McDavid, Dreisetl, Lucic and Nugent Hopkins.

    Stevey Y has done a masterful job of fitting guys in. Stamkos took less than he could have to stay in Tampa.

    • Pens drafted amazingly well in the mid rounds to make that happen. Murray rust guentzel letang good examples. Good development as well. Pens starting to show the price of success this year.

      • Should be a good one tonight – the Pens will surely remember the second game of the year in Chicago. And, by the way, every team in the league would love to deal with the problems that the Penguins and Hawks face – the Kings as well. Great problem to have.

  12. We can speculate all we want. There is a deal out there for Price that would work it just hasn’t been found yet. NHL GMs have more than demonstrated that when there’s a will there’s a way whether it makes sense or not.

  13. I’d call Edmonton and trade price there …. I want Drisitle or I’d take a package of Nurse, RNH, and puljarrvi with edmontons 1st …..

    • I think that Edmonton says. .no thanks…unless montreal hold back some of Prices salery?even then!…maybe Arizona. .strome raanta duclair and a dman prospect and pick!somthing like that might work?. . But Keller and their dman prospect from 2016?..(can’t remember his name?)Lol and this year’s 1st would be a hang up from the Yotes!imho

  14. Evander Kane has had zero locker room problems once he left Winnipeg. His off ice trouble never went to court and in fact he was never charged, he actually didn’t do anything. He’s not going anywhere.