NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2017

by | Dec 1, 2017 | Rumors | 45 comments

Latest on John Tavares, Evander Kane and Drew Doughty plus update on the Oilers and Canadiens


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports New York Islanders captain John Tavares is sounding more like someone making excuses to re-sign rather than depart via free agency. Tavares is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. LeBrun said there’s still no guarantee the Isles captain stays put, as he wants to take his time before making what could be the biggest decision of his hockey career and could wait until the offseason to do so. Still, he remains open to all options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles are playing very well so far this season. If they maintain that solid performance throughout the remainder of the schedule it could prove to Tavares that the club is heading in the right direction. That could be a significant factor in his decision. For all the speculation suggesting the Isles could moves Tavares by the Feb. 26 trade deadline if he’s unsigned by then, I believe they’ll also be patient and wait for their captain’s decision, even if it takes until late-June for him to reach it. 


Darren Dreger reports it’s “very unlikely” Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli will make a significant deal comparable to yesterday’s deal that saw the Anaheim Ducks ship defenseman Sami Vatanen to the New Jersey Devils for forwards Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi. However, Chiarelli has admitted he’s dabbling in the trade market and is willing to discuss “certain players” such as Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira and Anton Slepyshev.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s appearance Thursday on the NHL Network discussing possible moves by the Oilers. Regarding speculation suggesting Chiarelli should shop center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Friedman feels the Oilers GM doesn’t want to make that move as he’s been among their better players this season. He speculates if Chiarelli were to move Nugent-Hopkins he’ll want an “even better return” than the one he got for winger Taylor Hall, who was traded last year to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s important to remember the Hall-for-Larsson swap occurred in late June. As I’ve frequently said, if the Oilers trade Nugent-Hopkins it’ll be in the offseason,when the Oilers stand a better chance of getting a solid return. As for Caggiula, Khaira and Slepyshev, they won’t fetch a return that turns the Oilers’ season around. 


THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Sabres GM Jason Botterill is very pleased with the play of left wing Evander Kane, who is the club’s only consistent scorer this season. However, he remains undecided if he’ll re-sign the 26-year-old winger or move him before the trade deadline. The Sabres have multiple roster needs and risk losing Kane to free agency in July. In 25 games, Kanes has 12 goals and 23 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a difficult decision for Botterill. Sure, it’s easy for fans to yell out suggestions, but this won’t be an easy move for the Sabres GM. If he trades Kane, he gives up his best scorer with no guarantee of getting back a return than will significantly improve the Sabres. On the other hand, he can’t risk losing Kane next summer for nothing. This could come down to how much Kane seeks on his next contract and the willingness of ownership to pay it. 


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox examined “6 reasonable reactions” to Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s recent comments regarding his free-agent status in 2019. Doughty believes he should earn more than Nashville’s P.K. Subban ($9 million annual cap hit) on his next contract, adding he will touch base with Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson (also eligible for UFA status in 2019) regarding contract negotiation strategy and how much he loved playing for Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock in the Olympics.

Fox cites colleague Nick Kypreos saying this is a huge distraction for the Kings and Senators, something they don’t need right now. While Kypreos said Doughty’s stance isn’t out of the ordinary it’s not something that’s mentioned in public by a player a year and a half before his UFA eligibility. He points out Doughty and Karlsson are both represented by Newport Sports Management so it’s only natural that they would exchange information.

Fox also notes Doughty, though he returns regularly to Ontario, wasn’t a Leafs fan growing up, but a good way to start a bidding war would be mentioning hockey-mad Toronto. He adds that Doughty is an outspoken player who didn’t do anything wrong or slam anyone with his latest comments. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings GM Rob Blake downplayed Doughty’s comments and claims it won’t be a distraction. But of course, what would you expect him to say? It’s refreshing that Doughty isn’t beating around the bush. Sure, he could opt to test the UFA market in 2019, especially if the Kings can’t afford to re-sign him or if the club hasn’t returned to Cup contender status by then. Heck, yeah, he could sign with the Leafs or maybe join them via trade before his UFA eligibility, maybe as early as next summer. It’s also just as likely that he’s making these public statements to leverage the best deal he can get from the Kings. 


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports a source saying the Montreal Canadiens are shopping defenceman Brandon Davidson and have informed the other NHL clubs via e-mail that he’s available. The 26-year-old Davidson was a healthy scratch from several recent games and appeared in just 13 contests with the Habs this season. 

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect a significant return, Habs fans. Montreal will likely get a draft pick for Davidson. 



  1. Pretty sure cole was a peice to try to get Henrique out of jersey but obviously vatanen better. Pens lost out on that one.

    • That woulda been a quick phone call JR “ how about cole as the dman going your way” RS “ hahahahahaha” click

      • 💍💍. I know. I know. The sting goes away eventually

      • Please, don’t act like Ray Shero hasn’t made a bad trade before.

      • Ed.

        I think it’s pretty safe to say all GM’s have made a questionable to bad trades, just part of the game, no different than drafting.

    • AGREED….Chrisms although pretty sure penguins will not trade with in the Metro division….
      i think the Pens are focused more on Bozak or maybe Marchesseault

    • Cole is a defensive specialist that can kill penalties & block shots. Even in Pit he’s pretty much played as their #5 at least by TOI/GP. Facing UFA status his value at best brings a 2nd round pick & a prospect or another pick like a 3rd.

      Tor isn’t Bozak anotger UFA for Cole nor do I see Vegas giving up Marchesseault, in fact it assume Marchesseault will be resigned by tge trade deadline if not he will be moved & the return far better than Cole.

      I’m not paying Cole 4 mil a year in the future.

      Caper looking at what these types of Dman are now demanding see Smith in NYR as well Miller’s contract looks like great value as he is essentially the identical asset & I would say a minor notch up over either.

      • Striker, regarding the Toronto comment and Bozak you are 100% right. The Leafs are not dealing Bozak for Cole. I can’t see the Leafs dealing Bozak as they really don’t have a properly developed replacement and I think it’s important they continue to show their young players a proper taste of playoff hockey. So making the playoffs is key, doing well in the playoffs is key. As such, having centerman and depth at center is very key.

  2. Doughty’s interviews are gold. All he’s doing is saying what we’re all thinking. I’m sure he’s been criticized by some for doing so, but actually having a player speak honestly about his plans and his sport is very fun especially in hockey.

    I could see Doughty changing addresses though. He’s won 2 cups and a Norris. If he wants to start a new challenge, he can do so knowing he accomplished a whole lot in LA. Having said that, I’m sure living in LA with that lifestyle is pretty spectacular and I may not want to leave if I was him haha.

    Chiarelli wants an even better return for RNH eh? lol. Well I wouldn’t really call Larsson for Hall a great return so I think he can only go up from there. He paid Hall for a decent Dman on a good contract, but no one can argue who the better player is.

    • It’s pretty refreshing to see someone in this league of robots has a personality.

    • Doughty should keep his big mouth shut and play hockey.

      • Ha-ha!

        I think he’s playing hockey just fine. The best 2 way Dman to play the game since Lidstrom. There are few Dman in the NHL today that bring all the skills to bare that Doughty does.

    • Have you seen karlsson’s response. It is equally blunt. These 2 are going to be trying for 12 milliom.

  3. I would take Doughty on my team for 9.5 million a year. No problem at all.

    • For how long will be the question. You don’t want to end up with a homer of a contract and have a slow old defenceman with a cap hit of $9M a year. See Shea Weber in 2020.

      • That’s the market. Even at 38, the age he will be when his 8 year extension expires, Doughty will have been worth that 8 year deal in spades, just like Chara he will decline but still be an extremely solid NHL Dman a soft #1 to solid #2 who plays a far more defesnive shut down role tutoring others.

    • Same here Doughty for $9.5 million is very reasonable.

    • 9.5 won’t do the job. Try a number starting with a 1, maybe a 1 to follow. Karlsson’s injury last year seems to have affected him (why wouldn’t it?) but, if he bounces back, he’ll be in the same ball park.

  4. Drake Caggiula might get you something. Jujhar Khaira and Anton Slepyshev virtually nothing. All three together ?
    Maybe Ian Cole and Hagelin 🙂

    Drew Doughty -2019 really ! That is a long road in the rumour mill. Hey McDavid is up 9 years from now

    • I’m not giving up Caggiula for Cole.

  5. Cole and Davidson should receive about the same return if traded, both 6,7 dmen in the nhl

    • That may be the stupidest thing I have read in a long time.

    • Big bad bruins..Cole is not a 6, 7 d-man c-mon dude be fair and wake up..Cole is a 4, 5 and was a top four in the whole playoff run last year to the Cup…

      • Davidson and Cole both healthy scratches the past few games! Why would Sullivan sit cole the way the pens d is playing if he is what you’re saying? Wake up man

      • And don’t give the crap he is sitting to be traded this early in the season that makes absolutely no sense what so ever

      • BBB, Cole is a very good #5 defenseman who is deployed in a defense heavy roll.
        He is a top shot blocker and can throw his weight around.
        If you watched the Playoffs last year (2016), he was everywhere on the ice and took the majority of the defensive zone starts. He’ll get moved for a return which is higher than Davidson

      • If you read whatever advance stats,toi you want they say different between cole and Davidson, gms around the league are gonna look at this yrs production not last yrs playoffs

      • Cole was 6th last season in the playoffs for Pit Dman in TOI/GP.

        I essentially agree with you on what he is, just more a 5/6 for me who can play as a #4 in a pinch. My criteria for determining such is TOI/GP & then if really close how specialty icetime factors in.

        Black N Gold the following isn’t directed at you just on topic. Cole would be playing today if not for what ever his grievance is with Sullivan.

        Pit fans shouldn’t be expecting much back in a 1 for 1 swap, a similiar asset & Bozak is more valuable.

    • More Stevie Wonder caliber scouting.

      • he’s faking it… didn’t you see him catch that mike pole? duh.

  6. Can’t remember who was agruing or debating with the other day about Kris Russell but he did a beautiful spin a rama the other night and blew one past his own goalie…funny thing this guy was saying he is a stay a home Norris trophy type block shots guys and i said he was mainly offensive.. well he proved me right and blasted one past his own goalie and wasn’t great there defensively so…kind of like the Sanchez butt fumble..he was saying Russell is better defensively than Ian Cole and he is not.. good player overall…-

    • You mean the same post where you claimed to have watched Russel in Dallas for years only to be reminded he only played 11 regular season games in Dallas?

      • You beat me to it Dino!

    • Lol
      Norris trophy type . That was me and I said stay at home shot blocker preferably played in 5/6 role . You countered with he is an offensive d man and you knew this from “years” watching him in Dallas .

      • And he played a great game last night . That was an unfortunate swipe after trying to pin kadri stick but he played a hell of a game . The highlights you watch don’t generally show defensive highlights .

    • Loloololololol

    • That comment was gold

  7. As a Leaf fan, the suggestion of Doughty signing with the Leafs as a UFA is a pipe dream, especially in the neighborhood of $9 M per.
    His age & potential salary range is not a fit.

  8. Doughty is essentially saying “Lou, save the cap space for me.” Lousy situation for Blake and the Kings.

    Brent Burns went from the Norris winner to a struggling player in one year. No smart person is going to sign a 30 year old defenseman to a $12 M AAV, 7 year deal. Doughty had better call Terry Pegula directly if he wants that money.

    Ian Cole back where he belongs. In the Pen’s top 4. Still hold out hope for an extension.

  9. I am a Pens diehard and I really like Ian Cole but most of you homers are really over estimating his value. We knew Bonino was going to walk yet we didn’t trade him. This is nothing more than a HC & a player not liking each other. Our defense is thin right now, what would it be like w/o Cole? Keep him, play him and let him go.

    • Geez ed quit talking common sense to your fellow pens fans lol

  10. The same people underestimating Ian Cole are the same people who said the Penguins couldn’t win the Cup last year because their defense wasn’t good enough.


    • So the coach is underestimating him doesn’t play. It’s hard to accept Cole as a solid defence man if he’s sitting in the press box. I’m sure he would help some other team but can’t see how that happens unless he plays.

      • OOPS – “Because he doesn’t play.”

  11. Stop talking about Ian Cole speculation, jeez if this is all the buzz in the mill right now then this has become a dull affair, let’s start a dialogue of some under the radar moves, who saw vatanen for Henrique? No one, lets get creative boys. Carlson from wash
    Duncan Keith or seabrook
    Maybe even Jamie benn