NHL Rumor Mill – December 13, 2017

by | Dec 13, 2017 | Rumors | 51 comments

Latest on the Senators, Sabres, Blues and Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger considers it unlikely the Ottawa Senators could trade Erik Karlsson but he doesn’t fully dismiss the possibility. If general manager Pierre Dorion gets an offer too good to refuse before the trade deadline or in the offseason for Karlsson, Dreger believes he has to take that to owner Eugene Melnyk. Despite Karlsson’s status as an elite defenseman, there are concerns regarding his next contract and his health.

Dreger reports Sens coach Guy Boucher isn’t going anywhere for the time being so it’s more likely a trade of a core player other than Karlsson could be the next move. He lists Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Zack Smith or Cody Ceci as possible trade chips as those are the players other GMs call on most often. Pierre LeBrun notes the Sens lack picks in the first and second rounds of the 2018 draft. He believes if the Sens bottom out they could attempt to recoup some high picks before June.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have plenty of assets to interest playoff contenders. If Dorion wheels and deals, the belief around the league is the goal is to stock up with younger talent. Garrioch still considers it highly doubtful the Sens will move Karlsson without first attempting to re-sign him next summer. He also cites Hoffman, Pageau, and Ceci as possible trade candidates, as well as center Derick Brassard. Doiron realizes their value could rise closer to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, it’s possible Karlsson could be dealt before the trade deadline. He confirmed submitting a 10-team no-trade list as requested by Dorion, as did this teammates who also carry no-trade clause.

However, I still think a move of that magnitude comes in the offseason, as interested parties will want an opportunity to discuss a contract extension with him before committing to a trade. If Dorion makes another big move, it’ll likely involve Hoffman, Ceci, Brassard or Pageau. 


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the trade talks regarding Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane have gone on all season and are starting to intensify. He doubts Kane gets moved before the upcoming NHL holiday trade freeze (Dec. 19-26) but more teams are talking to the Sabres, who hopes to drive up the asking price.

Kane is eligible in July for unrestricted free agency and the Sabres hope to get more than a first-round pick, a prospect and a conditional pick. McKenzie lists “San Jose, St. Louis, Anaheim and perhaps the Calgary Flames” among the clubs with the most interest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Sabres can re-sign Kane before the trade deadline, I expect he’ll be playing elsewhere by Feb. 26. The Sharks need to bolster their scoring depth. Injuries continue to wallop the Ducks so Kane could be an attractive option to boost their playoff hopes. Losing Jaden Schwartz for several weeks to an ankle injury could provide more incentive for Blues management to pursue a scoring winger. As for the Flames, I think they’re set at left wing with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, while Sam Bennett has eight points in his last eight games skating as their third-line LW.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the St. Louis Blues are on the lookout for a top-six forward between now and the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He feels that need stretches back to losing winger Robby Fabbri for the season to a knee injury.

LeBrun also reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning seeks a top-nine forward now that Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi are sidelined by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps they’re putting in calls to the Senators?



  1. The players have quit on Guy Boucher. Nothing changes until he’s gone.

    And even then.

    At this point, there is no one left willing to say the Sens won the Duchene trade, but…they are poised to lose that trade far worse than anyone could have imagined…

    The Sens traded their first round pick. For MATT DUCHENE.

    Yes, this year’s pick is lottery protected, but…next year’s pick is not and they might be even worse next year.

    It’s possible that the Avs will get a #1 overall pick for Matt Duchene.

    Dumpster fire is kind, at this point.

    • Did anyone like this trade for Ottawa to begin with? I called it a lateral move at best just on Turris for Duchene never mind the other assets Ott gave up. Turris, a 1st; top 10 protected, & 3rd in 2018, Bowers; 2017 1st RP 28th overall, & Hammond.

      What did Ott get? 1 more year potentially from Duchene but I believe he will need to be traded this summer as well. I don’t see him signing an extension in Ottawa this summer or before next seasons trade deadline.

      This trade should get Dorion fired, add in the trade of Zibanejad & I have zero faith in his abilities to play the hand he inherited from Murray & the hole he’s put this team in. He had 2 C’s, Zibby & Turris both of who were signed for reasonable monies & term in NYR & Nas, going to be curious to see what’s left when Brassard & Duchene leave in trade as I see neither being extended or signing in Ottawa before they become UFA’s.

      Brutal asset management. Thank god this years 1st is a top 10 protected pick but I agree with you MG that if Ottawa chooses to retain this years pick pushing it to 2019’s it has the potential to be even better.

      Boucher doesn’t like playing kid’s? Well that’s going to be a problem as they are coming & fast. Chabot has put up points consistently at the NHL level but Boucher doesn’t trust him defensively. News flash, you need to score more goals than the other team to win. Is he any worse defensively than Cleasson, Harpur, Oduya hell even Karlsson. Doesn’t this team ice enough checkers to cover for a young Dmans defensive deficiencies? Just use him in a sheltered role, the PP & offensive zone starts. No 1 else can put up points apparently.

      • Ottawa won the “who won the trade polls” that I saw after the deal with Nashville (the real winner) a distant third. Most everyone stated that Ottawa got “the best player in the deal” even though Turris is a much better player because Duchene is flashier.

        If this year’s pick is #4 overall or higher the Sens might want to send it to the Avs anyway.

        Anderson and Condon look so bad, with no signs that they will get better. Neither seems to have any lateral movement at this point. Age is unlikely to improve this.

        And, yep, Thomas Chabot is the single most important player in the Sens organization from a long term persepective but Boucher is scratching him to play stiffs like Oduya.

      • I talking heads & people that answered those poles were wrong.

        Colorado won this trade by a mile. Kamenev, Girard, Bowers; 2017 1st RP 28th overall, a 1st 2018; Ott’s top 10 protected, 2nd in 2018; Nas, a 3rd 2018; Ott’s & Hammond.

        2nd was Nas, Turris & 6 years at 6 mil per.

        Last Ott. I hope then can salvage from Duchene what they paid to get him. Not meant to disparage, Duchene. I like Duchene as a player but if better than Turris it’s negligible at best.

        I rarely follow the pack with my opinions or assumptions, I make my own based on the data available trying to account for all issues now & moving forward.

        As a potential UFA in the summer of 2019 Duchene will get at least what Turris just signed for in Nas if not more but his inability to generate points in Boucher’s system will limit what Ottawa gets in trade. I see no way they can recover even what they paid.

      • Spot on Striker, you did mention many times that Turris is at least as good as Duchene.
        Let’s not forget the loss of Methot. If all it took was a questionable goalie prospect and a 2020 2nd to get him then why wasn’t a side deal made with Vegas pre-draft?
        Is this sheer laziness or lack of creativity? Either way, for a GM to make blunders like this should be unacceptable.

        Sure the sens overachieved last year but I doubt that was Dorian’s doing. Its not like the Burrows and Brassard acquisitions were the difference maker

      • Not sure about the trade and all its details but I did look forward to seeing Duchene playing for Ottawa. He had a solid start to the season in Colorado and my feeling was that he would keep it up with the Sens, especially on the power play with Karlsson. What’s happened since the trade is a surprise and it’s tough for Ottawa fans. Duchene is a good player and I still think he will make an impact at some point.

      • Striker you were singing the praises of Duchene .Stats not as bad as last year indicated etc.So far he is worse and the Sens have won like twice since that deal Timing ? Coincidence ?

    • MG,

      I, for one, never thought Ottawa won this deal. I will even go so far as to suggest that I wouldn’t even have made a player- for-player trade involving Turris for Duchene. And I know that Turris went to Nashville, and it was a thre team deal, and that there was a whole bunch of other parts to this deal. But ultimatley Ottawa lost Turris and Colorado lost Duchene. Hard to say Ottawa won this deal. Turris is a much better player Duchene.

  2. The schedule is weird, Arizona has already played 21 road games, and 11 home games, the rangers are the opposite 20 homes games and 10 road game (which they need to improve 4-6). Boston has at least 2 games fewer played then everyone else and 6 less then Washington and Arizona. But play 7 in 11 days starting tonight. This catches up to them come Feb 24th from there they have 3 back to back and only 1 time with two days off, otherwise it’s every second night to the end of their regular season April 7th. Winnipeg just finished 17 games in 31 days and travel west-east-west-central-east-home. Not complaining just weird scheduling, I’m sure all teams have their peaks and valleys.

    • I have also brought thus up numerous times. I can’t remember at any time such an imbalanced schedule especially for so many teams. I listed 5 teams yesterday, NYI, NYR, Mon, Anh & Arz that had at least a 5 game differential, more than 1/2 a dozen have a 3 game imbalance. This has to play out in the standings as most teams lose a higher % on the road win at a higher % at home. The more games tucked into more nights for a team like Boston will cost some games from pure fatigue as they cost several playing so many early in the season.

      Solid observation.

  3. Lets see, do we see any similarities here?

    Guy Boucher’s Coaching record in TB.

    Year 1. 2010-11. 82-46-25-11, lost game 7 in Conference final.
    Year 2. 2011-12. 82-36-36-8, missed the playoffs.
    Year 3. 2012-13. 32-13-18-1, fired.

    Few players have any desire to play this system, the 1-3-1, it is very effective defensively, especially if you get an early lead, but they tire of it quickly.

    • If I’m approaching UFA status I don’t care how much money your willing to pay me I’m running at the 1st opportunity to get out of such a system. Winnings awesome & when its happening everyone’s happy regardless of the system played, when losing & not having any fun, check please. Ha-ha!

  4. Think the rangers should try to get brassard back?

    • Can a team eat cap hit with out eating any of the actual salary?

      Brassard hits the cap at 5 mil but will only be paid 3.5; 2.5 in signing bonus, 1 mil in salary next season, part of the reason I think Ott traded for Brassard to begin with was his actual salary was only 3.5 for Ott last season as well, he was acquired after NYR paid his 1.5 mil signing bonus on July 1st so only cost Ott 3.5 last season in cash as well.

      Would love to see Brassard return to NYR but cap hit is an issue with Miller, Hayes, Vesey & Skjei all RFA’s this summer all looking at substantial raises & replacements needing to be found for Nash, Desharnais, Grabner, Holden & Pavelic as UFA’s.

      Even at a cap ceiling of 80 mil not sure NYR will be able to afford Brassard’s 5 mil cap hit after all those monies are expended but he would be a perfect solution to what NYR needs.

  5. What team would trade Karlsson willingly if they had him? Maybe, just maybe, Karlsson’s comments are for real. I know he downplayed them, but that’s what hockey players do. The Senators may very well be forced to trade him. What is he truly does not want to sign there?

  6. It all comes down to whether a team has enough assets in the minors or young players with potential on the team to help offset costs.

    Filling a roster around core elite player who is slated to make 10% or more of the salary cap means avoiding David Clarkson contracts. That is overpaying aging players who underperform.

    Ottawa has about 5 contracts that they need to dump to allow for Karlsson to get paid, and to rebuild.

    I don’t see a lot in the minors that stand out, nor do they have a first and second rounder this draft.

    Fire the coach? Trade underperforming overpaid players? Trade Karlsson?

  7. Ottawa is a mess and trading Karlsson is one way to climb out of it long term….He is vastly overrated, poor defensive play, exciting offensively but that is not what is needed for a team of grinders like the Sens were last year. getting Duchne made them feel good but in the longer term he is not the answer

    • Jon, I think you may not have watched Karlsson over the last couple of years. His defensive game is vastly improved and with doing that he also generates the offense.
      The sens underrated Methot, which gave Karlsson the freedom to drive the offense. EK is still doing that now – because he has to – but anytime a risk is taken his partner cannot be responsible defensively.

    • Not only Karlsson, but you are describing Kris Letang to a T.

      • yOU MEAN kRIS lEtURNOVER..eD vAN iMPE !

      • A very subjective stat by NHL watchers. Burns leads the league for Dman with 68 give aways. Letang 3rd with 47. Karlsson is tied for 46th with Trouba at 25.

  8. I have tried to remain as interested in pro sports as I was in my younger years – but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it’s a complete waste of my time (whatever time I have left anyway :)). NFL, NBA and MLB no longer hold any interest for me, never could get into soccer or, God forbid, curling, and lately I find myself more and more drawn to college football, basketball and junior hockey where, for the most part, they are giving their all for the love of the game (less than 10% in each of those sports go onto become pros). I suppose the final straw – for me anyway – was seeing the complete indifference displayed by the Senators over the past 12-15 games. I could not possibly care less if their reason for the lack of effort centres around the coach and their dislike of his “system” – they are being paid handsomely compared to the rest of us to play the game dictated by their coach and. What they have done is forget the axiom that they and their opponent want the same thing and that the ONLY thing that matters is, who works hardest for it.

    In the end, they clearly don’t give a s*^t, so why should I? One thing I could not abide during my career with the federal immigration program was incompetence and indifference to one’s responsibilities. As far as I’m concerned, they can pack up and move elsewhere and I know for a solid fact that it won’t affect my static retirement income, my federal and provincial taxes, my health and well-being or whatever.

    It’s been fun in here – and really, this WAS the main catalyst for keeping up my interest in the game as a whole – but I’d only be fooling myself and everyone else if I continued. And it’s too late and pointless to switch allegiances. So good luck to all, I hope the teams you follow never fall into that abyss, and enjoy the holiday season.

    • You are a crotchety old man, good riddance.

      • Ed VanImpe, Lyle would block/remove what I really want to say to you.
        Seriously? Does your life suck so bad that you need to make yourself feel good by making anonymous rude quotes to people hiding behind a keyboard.

      • & that would make you what exactly?

      • Directed at Ed vangimp, Raybark. Ha-ha!

      • Lyle can block me, you are a garbage person for posting that and you’re one joke about a Pittsburgh defencemen that you make over and over again with maybe funny the first time but that was a long time ago . I don’t post often but best of luck George, I mostly read the comments and I always enjoy yours. I have family in Ottawa who are fans, my cousin wrote for the newspaper covering the senators. I’m sorry you have lost interest, all the besT.

    • how about shuffleboard?

    • I agree with you on amateur sports, George. Pro sports has lost a lot of it’s luster in recent years. The need for money and security have become overly dominant, and its that that is squeezing out the spirit of the game. In the top 4 major pro sports, basketball was the first one to go. Then football, with baseball close behind. Now hockey is starting to trend that way after the 2004 lockout. I’ve been unhappy with some of the changes to the game that were designed to make new fans, and thus more money. Bettman is a bad businessman. All he knows how to do is squeeze money from a cash cow. If he continues to turn hockey into a flashy and gimmicky sport to dazzle new fans, he will eventually ruin the NFL in the long run. He is treating the NFL like a pass-thru carnival or casino. The game may be flashy and exciting, but it is losing its depth and it good natured players. It is like baseball in that it only keeps the old die-hard fans and has become just another place of recreation for other people during the regular season. Bettman is a bad businessman because he bleeds the natural spirit from the game of hockey. More and more players are chasing money like players have been doing in the other pro sports. Hockey is the best sport on the planet because of the spirit it takes to win combined with the epic journey it takes to win it all. But, now the spirit of the players is being comprised by money, and the journey has been trending less epic since 2004.

      And George, I feel you. Ottawa is looking like Colorado did the past 3 years. Playing without drive and playing disinterested. They were really good in Sweden, what happened when they came back home!?

      And as for Karlsson, I heard during a game broadcast last night rumors that he has asked, or might ask, for a trade because he wants to win. Whether or not that is true it wouldn’t matter to me, I would have my sights on moving him anyway. I really don’t like his attitude and comments a la Drew Doughty. I sense a collective motive from both to perk the ears of championship caliber teams and hint at their availability. Their only card they can play for now is pricing themselves out of their current teams tasted, or it would raise red flags with the league. I think both will move on if winning is their priority. If money is, they might stick with the team if they can pay up. But, for me, I sense motive to move to a contender…
      Lol, maybe they pull a Selanne and Karyia.

    • wow a true sports fan sticking it out well by George O..best of luck..

    • George stay the course, take the good with the bad. Bleed red, white & black. Teams have good times & bad. Ottawa isn’t as good as they showed last season & they aren’t as bad as they have shown over the last month.

      I don’t come here to talk about my Bruins specifically, rarely do, we spend far more time talking about other teams. I come here to discuss & debate hockey on the best chat board on the net.

      We may rarely agree but I value your opinion & insight. If you pull the plug what are you going to do with all that spare time? Ha-ha!

    • Wow George I have never always seen eye to eye with you but you are a wealth of knowledge on this sport. I know things aren’t going well for you team and I understand the frustration(see Penguins franchise 2000-2005, traded Jagr who was still the best player in the world for Rico f’ing Fata.) But hang in there things get better. Maybe just take a break for a bit. Best of luck to you!

      • Um…. jagr for fata? I missed that trade.

    • George!!! Noooo!!!! I was only kidding!

    • George, as a lifelong Leaf fan, remember somewhere over the rainbow…..bluebirds fly. Better days ahead.
      I certainly agree about amateur versus pro sports – high school, college, junior – it’s great.

    • Well said George, not all of it but most of it for sure.

    • Remember as well George that I am 48 and a Leaf fan, have not suffered as much as some but far more than most fans in this league.

    • Sorry for the posts but keep reading more:)…I used to watch hockey, football and baseball, also watched basketball during many of the Jordan years and the Vince years for the Raptors.

      Now some of it was getting older and responsibilities with young kids and little time to go around.
      I have a serious love of hockey and will always follow it in some ways but my point is during many of those horrible Leaf years I simply refused to watch and I think I was saner for it lol.

      I never could ‘cheer’ for another team but in all honesty, for a Canadian, there is no shame in starting to follow the Leafs or Habs.

      Provided of course you are not a fan of either already:)

  9. With the injury to Fabbri AND Schwartz, I agree with the Blues need for forward. I just don’t see that cap space/$s would allow for Kane, Hoffman, Stone, van Reimsdyk, etc.

  10. George , I enjoy reading your posts, as many do. Last year the stars were aligned for the Senators, everything that could go right did….. they are in a funk now. Not long ago the Habs were in turmoil and they seem to turned it around. Take a break and see how this plays out.

  11. As much as I dislike Bettman he has grown the game. I do not like how he has dealt with the players (lockouts, the Olympics) and the fans (the Olympics). To me growing the game should include the Olympics so if he doesn’t want the players there maybe they should boycott the next World Cup? Of course the Olympics should have been part of the last CBA so the Players Association also missed the boat.

    I expect that in a couple of years Seattle will get an expansion franchise but it will be interesting to see if Houston and Quebec are expansion franchises or relocation. My prediction is we will have 32 teams with Quebec and Houston being relocations from two of Arizona, Florida and Ottawa. From the way the finances are they could easily 34 teams but competitively there are not enough good coaches and GMs to do this. There are definitely enough players.

    • I neither like or dislike Bettman nor do I have to. His vision of the NHL has grown the game exponentially in the US & has it as the fastest growing game in the world.

      The NHL will return to the Olympics eventually but studies have shown the growth of hockey in relationship to the Olympics has been virtually non existent accept when held in Vancouver. This dispute is all about money & marketing rights with the IOC. The NHL will get what it wants with the IOC & the next CBA will include Olympic participation.

      The players aren’t coboshing the World Cup it’s a 50/50 split on revenue.

  12. For all you Bettman haters out there & you are many. Under Bettman’s watch the NHL has flourished. It’s next US national TV contract & CBA will set the foundation for all NHL teams to be profitable.

    It’s not just what Bettman has done at the NHL level but the infrastructure he has had it’s member teams & corporate sponsors commit to building. Since Bettman took over the NHL, over a 1000 arenas have been built all over the US, literally developing & building it’s on fans & future players.

    We have star NHL players coming from places like Texas, New Mexico, Florida, California, Colorado, Arizona, etc. If not for Bettman’s vision & foresight these places wouldn’t even have arenas, nor 100,000’s of thousands of kids all over the US now playing hockey instead of football, baseball or basketball. The Jones, Matthews’s, Carlo’s, Keller’s etc. of the world are just the tip of the iceberg.

    The future growth of the game is going to be amazing. I don’t like much about the new NHL. I don’t like the scoring system for standings, I hate the shoot out but still the greatest sport in the world to watch when played to entertain people.

    The NHL would never be where it is today & if not for Bettman, Canada wouldn’t have 7 teams today but 3, Vancouver, Toronto & Montreal, possibly Edmonton would have survived. The last 2 CBA’s got Cal, Ott & Edm thru a terrible time with the Canadian dollar.

    • This

    • I’d love the NHL and NHLPA consider the NHL TOP prospects (already drafted) NOT playing in the NHL to be part of the Olympics. SO AHL/College?etc. Showcase the next level of NHL talent coming to the NHL in the future. It also will not mess up the NHL schedule.

    • Few things annoy me more than Penguins fans who hate Bettman.

      Mario sold the team to Jim Balsillie knowing full well what Balsillie would do with it and ONLY Gary Bettman stopped it.

      Meanwhile, yinzers whitewash the truth about Mario and boo Bettman because they are (mostly) ignorant bang wagon hopping dunces.

    • “For all you Bettman haters out there & you are many. Under Bettman’s watch the NHL has flourished. It’s next US national TV contract & CBA will set the foundation for all NHL teams to be profitable.”

      I believe this was more symptomatic of how all of society got ‘bigger’ and just about any competent leader in the chair during those years would have got the same results or better and maybe even the state of the game itself would be in better standing if a former NHL great was the commissioner.

      Bettman gets too much credit anyways as I attribute the rapid growth of hockey in America to the Gretzky trade and all that he brought as the unofficial spokesman for hockey.

      “The future growth of the game is going to be amazing. I don’t like much about the new NHL. I don’t like the scoring system for standings, I hate the shoot out but still the greatest sport in the world to watch when played to entertain people.”

      Agree wholeheartedly but still love the game so much it does not stop me from watching, only the incompetent Leaf management stopped me from watching.

  13. Pro sports has lost it’s luster because the everyday fan has become unnecessarily knowledgeable about the business side of the sport. When you block all that crap out which is hard to do in a world of media proliferation you become cynical about the sport. It’s misguided frustration to be honest with you. I do my fair share of griping about these issues too, however when I watch a game I watch it for the game and not as an activity to ponder salary caps, UFA status, Corsi %age or any of the other overanalytical statistics and NHLPA/ Board of Governors crap that distracts my interest in the actual game. The real things to be frustrated about are stupid shootouts, useless expansion, goofy Nintendo style World Cups (Team NA; really?!) and continuous banter about whether or not the NHL will allow players in the Olympics!! What about just watching hockey? The sport where who scores more wins? The sport where sometimes teams score the same amount of goals? This is a very simple sport which is fun to watch and has become far too analyzed from every angle imaginable! Just enjoy hockey guys!

  14. Hockey was better when it was 21 teams. Expanding sucks. Karlsson and Bob Ryan have 1 goal in season each as if a few days ago, fire the coach, no way you will be trading the entire team. That coach makes hockey boring.

  15. If pitts is looking to shake it up maybe they call OTT about JGP? Maybe something like
    to OTT: Sheahan & 2nd
    to PITT: JGP
    JGP would be an awesome 3rd line pivot for a team like Pitts…

    to OTT: Hags & 1st
    to PITT: Hoffman (slots with Crosby)