NHL Rumor Mill – November 27, 2017

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Rumors | 45 comments

Speculation on Shea Weber and Tuukka Rask plus the latest on the New Jersey Devils in your NHL rumor mill. 


TSN: Travis Yost recently examined an “improbable, but not impossible” Shea Weber trade. The 32-year-old Montreal Canadiens defenseman carries a hefty contract. He’s signed through 2025-26 with an annual cap hit of over $7.8 million. However, given the Canadiens’ struggles this season, the fact they’re no closer to Stanley Cup contention and Weber’s abilities as a top-pairing defenseman, Yost wondered “if there’s any way his name could be kicked up in the trade market.” 

While acknowledging Weber’s age and contract could make difficult finding suitable trade partners, Yost pondered the possibility of a team such as the Toronto Maple Leafs taking a shot. He noted the Leafs have been in the market for top-four defensemen for over a year. He considered their lack of an experienced No. 1 blueliner on their young defense corps a fatal flaw. He pointed out the Leafs have the depth in young assets who’ll need new contracts soon as possible trade bait, as well as over $5 million in salary-cap space. Leafs coach Mike Babcock is a big fan of Weber. The Leafs are in “win-now” mode and won’t get burned by the salary-cap recapture penalty should Weber retire before his contract expires. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost isn’t saying the Leafs are pursuing Weber or if they’re even interested. He’s merely offering up a possible Weber trade scenario. It’s an interesting one, but the Canadiens and Leafs rarely make trades with each other, especially deals of that magnitude. It could take getting another team involved for Weber to move from Montreal to Toronto. Should the Leafs go shopping for an experienced top-pairing defenseman, I don’t think Weber will be on their radar. 


BOSTON HERALD: Despite the Bruins 4-2 loss to Edmonton yesterday with Tuukka Rask in goal, Stephen Harris believes the Bruins should stand by their struggling starter. With backup Anton Khudobin playing well, Harris notes Rask’s status ”  became prime talk-radio fodder. Opinion ran the gamut from sensible to wacky (“Get rid of Tuukka and give the job to Khudobin”).” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins goalie controversy has resulted in Rask’s name popping up recently in the rumor mill. However, there’s no indication the Bruins will give up on their struggling starter. One shouldn’t dismiss the likelihood that he’ll regain his form soon. He’s coming off four straight seasons where he’s won 30-plus games, maintained a save percentage of .915 or higher and collected 22 shutouts. Khudobin’s off to a good start but there’s no guarantee he can keep that up over the course of a full season. 


NJ.COM: During his quarter-season review of the New Jersey Devils, Chris Ryan predicted they could be buyers by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He notes general manager Ray Shero was a seller during the last two seasons, but if the Devils are in playoff contention, Ryan can see Shero adding a piece or two. “They won’t mortgage the future just for a chance to win this season, but look for them to add something if a deal makes sense.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Ryan’s assessment. If Shero goes shopping, he could look at bolstering his blueline depth. 



  1. At this point in Montreal I see no reason not to entertain trading Weber to the Leafs. Nor do I see it in the Leafs best interest if they want to acquire him to not at least ask just because he plays in Montreal. It makes sense on both sides to pursue it. Now I am Striker, or George O., so I will not throw out any trade suggestions, as mine would likely pale in comparison, to their’s. However, I will say this; Montreal will not catch Toronto in the standings this season, with or without Weber and Toronto will not likely advance beyond the second round without acquiring a guy like Weber. So the old argument of not trading with a rival makes no sense this year. A rivalry implies that something is at stake and this year, as in past years, to be honest there is no true rivalry between these two teams. One is in win now mode and the other is looking toward the future, whether they know it or not. So I say at least inquire if you are the Leafs! And yes I there is always a rivalry as such with Montreal and Toronto; but this would just magnify it and it would be good for both teams! Who saw Phaneuf going to Ottawa?

    • Could a Weber trade to Toronto happen? Sure, anything’s possible. Will it happen? Unlikely.

    • I know I am saying two things; that there is no rivalry but that there is a rivalry!

      I say there is no rivalry lately because from year to year one of the two teams in question are really not part of the contender equation leaving little bearing on the importance of their head to head to play.

      But as is the case with Toronto and Montreal there is always excitement because of the past glory days between these two. That’s in short supply right now.

      A trade like this might reignite the rivalry.

      • That “rivalry” stemmed more from old Conn Smythe’s anti-French bigotry, fueled by the media during the 1940s/1950s, and the simple fact they were the only two Canadian franchises among the Original Six and met at least 12 times during a season. Today’s generation know little or nothing about that history so any “tense” rivalry is highly doubtful considering they play each other only a handful of times over 82 games – and seldom back-to-back which used to result in some vicious games.

      • I would think Weber has 3 more seasons as a top pairing D. Imagine the pressure he would take off the rest of the Leafs D squad.

        There cannot be that many suitors IF the Habs move him. Salary cap is too tight now.
        Cannot see the Devils making a move for him even though he would slide in there well.

      • That “history” sucks, who wants to watch a league with only 6 teams? What a bore. You want a tense rivalry watch the Penguins vs the Flyers or the Flames vs the Oilers. Those games are almost always an absolute war.

    • Actually, youi’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere where I put forth a trade suggestion WITH specifics. I may comment on a few but if I suggest, say for example, the Sens make a trade to shore up a weak spot, I’ll confine it to those I think might bring back the best return, such as Ceci or Dzingel, etc.

      • I suppose that’s true George. Just respecting your hockey knowledge. And yes the “rivalry” between these two teams is not close to what it once was.

      • The Leafs – Habs rivalry is still strong but, of course, there are 29 other teams in the equation now. Leaf fans definitely know that, until this season, Montreal had beaten the Leafs fourteen consecutive times. Hope fully the Leafs can get a little run going in the other direction. I’d be very surprised if the teams made any major trade, especially one that involved Weber, because that would take the die-hard Montreal fans back to PK Subban and Nashville in the Cup Final, and some of my friends will never, I repeat never, forget that move nor forgive it.

    • I have the utmost respect for Weber. He may be one of my favorite players. As a Leafs fan however I would have very little interest in this deal.
      Weber signed a monster contract, he was and is excellent value for it. However, he wont be for long and I really wouldn’t want that contract on the Leafs cap 4 years from now.
      The true value of that contract has been enjoyed by both the preds and the habs, the Leafs need to avoid taking on the tail end. Not worth it in the long run and not worth losing multiple players over in the offseason.

      • Believe me when I say the current “rivalry” between the Leafs and Habs is not even remotely close to what it was during the late 1940s-1950s-1960s. It’s no more than the Ottawa-Montreal or Edmonton-Calgary “rivalry.”

    • As a Leaf fan I would cry if the Leafs brought in Weber and his massive contract that runs to 2025 – 2026. This would totally defeat the mantra of patience and follow the plan. On top of that he is a LHD and the Leafs already have 10 – 20 of those. Only a Habs fan could think up a trade like that.

      • Weber is an RHD

    • Would the rivalry allow one team to give the oghercteam a better chance fir the cuo if it benefits the first team sometime in the future.

      I think some rivals dobt want to see their opponent raise the cup.

      • Did you type that with your elbow Jeff?

  2. Would be a great target for the Leafs- but the asking price is far fetched- even if the Habs ate 6 million. When would trade a young star for a 32 year old defenseman. That’s just way too far fetched.
    Would they move a Travis Dermott and a Gauthier (sadly, automatically I look for the only French prospect the leafs have)?

  3. The problem I see is call cap related. The Leafs will have to sign the big 3 as well as other players. Gardiner will need a new contract as well if they decide to keep him.
    I just don’t see how the Leafs can afford a top Dman unless they move Marner/Nylander.

    • Yes unfortunately Stormcrow Nylander or Marner might be one of the pieces going the other way in any trade for a defender!

    • Top d men are hard to come by. If im Toronto im calling the oilers about Nurse. Even if its an overpay. Marner or nylander, their first rounder and mcdermit as a sweetner gets the deal done.

      Ill get roasted for this but teams dont trade darnell nurses!

      • Especially not when their D is already as thin as a razor blade.

      • That’s quite a haul for Nurse so I think you deserve a roasting! JK but in reality I agree If Toronto wants a legit top pairing young D (Nurse isn’t a #1 or #2 in my opinion yet) Marner or Nylander is PART of the package going the other way. I would assume a pick, and another prospect down the depth chart.

        I can’t see the Leafs going in for Weber, that contract is just too much of a bogey, MTL will likely have to eat salary, ride it out or take little back in return (not Bryan 😉

      • Noel ,
        What is nurse exactly if he isn’t a 1/2 ? He is playing the most minutes , the toughest minutes , also on the pk for the oilers and is a +6 compared to a -15 team . He is not only playing that role , he is playing it extremely well , and consistently has been since coming in for klefbom .
        At this stage last year the oilers were 12-10-2 for 26 pts , this year they are 9-13-2 for 20 . They didn’t exactly squeak in to the playoffs last year , wayyy to early to write this team off yet like poulin and others already have .

      • Craig, just because he plays minutes and has a plus rating doesn’t make him a #1 or #2, I said he could be but 25 games of good hockey doesn’t do it for me. He was not solid last year, he needs to establish himself a little more. We’re splitting hairs though, he’s a solid D I’m not arguing that fact at all and where someone plays #2 or #3 means minimal things when it comes down to it.

      • Craig, anyone who writes something suggesting the Oilers are done this season shouldn’t be categorized as an “Oilers-hater.” They are only doing so based upon one simple fact: with the 3-point games to contend with for teams ahead of them in the pecking order (they currently need to climb over 6 teams to get the last wild-card spot), and using a points % basis (i.e. what pace they need to achieve in order to get to the expected cut-off of 95 points) they have to play .647 the rest of the way. Since they’ve performed at .417 so far, that’s a huge increase. And it only assumes that 95 will be enough. Maybe, with seemingly more and more parity, it will take more like 98 points and, if that’s the case, it dictates that they need to play .672. So the question becomes, with their lack of scoring beyond McDavid, Drasaitl and a somewhat resurgent Nugent-Hopkins, do you see that team, as presently constructed, as capable of playing at those levels the rest of the way? The math says differently, including the fact that, any team in their position as of the U.S. Thanksgiving historically has a 3.5% chance of making the playoffs.

        They might go on to defy the odds and surprise everyone – but it is highly unlikely

      • And as a further point of comparison, at this exact date last season they were performing at a .565 pace, and when the season ended their overall points % pace was .628 – an increase of .063 %.

        This year, from the same spot on the calendar, they need to increase their pace by .230! That’s a helluva jump for a team with no consistent offense beyond 3 guys which makes it a lot easier for opposing teams to shut down or limit.

      • Noel
        I can agree with needing to see more from nurse . However I don’t really agree with the rest , he’s not just playing the minutes , he is excelling . Top line minutes vs top competition and I think when comparing teammates , plus minus can be used as a useful stat , which is why I mentioned the plus 6 relative to team . He is playing like a 1/2 but I will say it is in small sample to date .

      • And George ,
        I never said oiler hater,I just think it’s ridiculous to write a team off , 6pts out with 58 games left ! 58 ! Even with 6 teams in between , 82 games seems a little ridiculous if at this stage the oilers or any team in similar spot is done . And I do see this team being able to achieve that , just last year they did ! Eberle and pouliot were not the driving forces behind any part of that . Some confidence , talbot steady , sekera back and hopefully a couple additons closer to the deadline if this group can steady the ship and I doubt many teams will like seeing that matchup in round 1

      • Craig, I know you never said that … poor reference insert on my part stemming from past experience when daring to criticize or downplay the Leafs for any reason which more often than not brought back charges of being a Leafs-hater.

        Nor, you will note, did I ever say they were incapable of doing it – just pointing out the mathematical roadblocks to doing so based upon history. It’s good to have faith on your side, but those are some significant “ifs” you list.

      • George ,
        I understand the leaf hater angle lol . I didn’t say you wrote them off either , I said Dave maple leaf poulin and others have . It’s not really a lot of what ifs though . The confidence is coming back throughtout the lineup , the flu to there key guys (Mcdavid klefbom talbot among them) will pass . Both not really what ifs . Talbot has back to back good starts , need him to be himself, in line with career numbers . Sekera IS nearing a return , not if . Adding guys is the big what if , it was always part of petes plan to add to this group , but this start and how they come out of it will dictate how much sooner than the deadline he moves .

      • I realize the numbers from past seasons , i an ok with saying it’s a tough climb , it is . But anyone writing them off or writing articles saying the playoffs dream is over , not so fast . The west is far from set , not even close to what we will see after 82 , I would guess right now , at minimum 3 teams that are currently in a playoff spot do not finish the season in the dance .

      • Teams don’t trade Marner or Nylander for a defenseman who does not appear to have the upside to play in their top pairing (Nurse is a LHD and will not replace Reilly any time soon) let alone add a 1st round pick plus one of their better prospects.

    • The Leafs don’t need a top end Defenseman this year. They are not a realistic cup contender this year or next. They would make a bold move if a young highly skilled defender is affordably available and I know they are not. We could have drafted one ahead of Marner, we chose not to for reasons Mark Hunter understands. I happen to agree with those reasons. One last comment, Weber will never be a Leaf regardless of what Montreal may want in return. That contract and his age are not a fit.

  4. Weber “might” be traded this year but I think the Leafs would pass for cap reasons alone. He would be an awesome pick-up for a budget team concerned with making the cap floor and icing a competitive team. in cap-cap recapture bill paid by the Preds if he retires early, the last of his huge signing bonus has bee paid by Mtl, and his actual salary is 6 mill for four years with a cap hit of 7.8. His actual salary drops amazingly after that. No clue to who or for what….

    • Its an ultra front loaded deal for exactly the reason you mentioned Habsfan. It’ll make moving him a lot easier to a budget team, He’s still Shea Weber, he’ll draw in the crowds and sell jerseys

      • Habsfan1 – I can’t recall in recent years any teams having any difficulty in making the cap floor and I don’t see a team specifically picking up Weber for that reason. Actual pay might be front loaded but the teams looking to take a run at him (win now mode) are likely right against the cap so that actual cap hit will be a stumbling block. I think MTL will have to retain salary to get an equitable return, or trade him for a winger/centre in a similar contract signed long term.

  5. This is off topic, as lyle didnt comment above but what do you guys think pat maroon would bring back as a rental? Hes on a team friendly 1.5 mil cap hit which the oil coupd eat half of thus be available to all in addition to scoring at a good rate last year . Hed be a big plus on alot of second lines and will fight and stand up for teammates.

    • Think his value will rely on what happens with Kane. If the oilers can’t work out an extension then a 1st rounder is not out of the question

      • 1st Rounder for Maroon ? Can I have some of that Kool-Aid ? I like how he is playing but let`s face it take him away from McJesus, he will NOT give you that kind of production

  6. Well I Agree that the scenario is very unlikely to happen between MTL and TOR. But let`s face it ,, we have seen stupid contracts moved.

  7. TO has Rosen, Liligren and Dermott just about ready tomake the jump. The last two appear to have just as good an upside as anyone on the Oilers and we still don’t know Reilly’s full upside. The Leafs need a big mean shutdown guy. They have a few potentials but no “cant miss” guys. Hainsey fills that role right now. They do not need Weber this year and wont be able to afford him after this.

    Once they get their roster set for a run to the cup there will be an expensive core with a lot of role/support players. The perfect roster is 1/3 young cheap developing players, about 1/3 comprising your core, and then about 1/3 of useful experienced role players. In a perfect world players move through each group during their career. The best thing is when you get a few really good cheap players that are also considered core.

    • Where is lilegren jumping to anytime soon lol ? Rosen and Dermott couldn’t win jobs over the likes of borgman , polak . Not that close .

    • Speaking of coolaid lol that sounds like straight vodka.

      Reilly draft plus 5 if he was going to be a true top pairing guy …like a legit top pairing, statistically he would be by now….not saying he isnt going to be average but hes not in the same sentance as the hedmans, karelssons, nurses and pieterangelos.

      If he was on a bottom feeding team that wasnt averaging 5 goals a game his plus minus and points would be in like with a number 4 or 5 d man.

      Teams dont trade top tier d men even a number 2 will cost a taylor hall.

      To think that someone challenged Nurse for marner, a first and mcdermott is unreal… look and see calgary traded 2 first and a second for an aging number 4 dman…. wake up leaf fans no ones trading jvr and a sixth round pick for romain josi lol

  8. You Leaf fans are too much…every player is being traded there, blah blah blah. There is ZERO chance Weber goes to Toronto, its a stupid article

  9. I’m both a Habs fan and a Shea Weber fan, but, yes, I would trade him if the deal was right. Leafs/Habs rivalry or not. Unfortunately, the Leafs do not have a #1 center available that the Habs would want in return. A 1st Round pick is a no go as the Leafs would probably pick fairly low. Edmonton could be a possibility. They could use Price there more at this time. I would do either trade for Leon Draisaitl and a pick. Intriguing.

  10. I think you should replace Nurse’s name with Doughty, because he doesn’t belong in the same sentence with those other top D-men…He is currently #3 in ice time on a team that is 29th place in the league lol….