NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

by | Dec 5, 2017 | Rumors | 59 comments

Latest goaltending rumors for the Oilers, Sabres and Sharks plus updates on the Senators and Wild in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: With Edmonton Oilers starting goaltender Cam Talbot sidelined by injury and backup Laurent Broissoit struggling, Frank Seravalli reports Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is working the phones in search of a netminder. He lists Buffalo’s Chad Johnson, Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson, Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth, Toronto’s Calvin Pickard and Detroit’s Petr Mrazek as potential trade targets.

Seravalli notes salary-cap space isn’t an issue this season for the Oilers, whose draft picks could be of interest for clubs seeking to stock up on assets. However, they are one man shy of the 50-player limit, “likely necessitating a body-in, body-out trade.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Darren Dreger yesterday reported the Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs inquiring into the availability of Johnson and Sabres starter Robin Lehner. While Johnson’s struggled this season, he has decent career numbers (2.52 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) as a backup. If he’s available, the asking price could be a draft pick, perhaps a fourth-round selection. I don’t see the Sabres trading Lehner.

I agree with Seravalli that the Jets likely won’t part with Hutchinson while Steve Mason remains sidelined with a concussion. Neuvirth may be streaky but I don’t see the Flyers moving him right now. I expect they’ll keep their current tandem of Neuvirth and Brian Elliott intact as they attempt to snap out of their recent losing funk. 

Sportsnet’s John Shannon believes Pickard could be the best bet, but he could cost the Oilers a third- or fourth-round pick. He could certainly be a tempting choice but the Leafs won’t be in any hurry to move him. I doubt Chiarelli has interest in Mrazek, who’s struggling this season and won’t bring much improvement between the pipes for Edmonton.

Perhaps Chiarelli should get in touch with San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson. In a recent mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz was asked if the Sharks could trade backup Aaron Dell at the trade deadline rather than risk losing him to free agency this summer. Kurz believes it’s a little early to predict what moves the Sharks could make at the deadline but said he’d include Dell among the assets that could be moved if the Sharks look to upgrade their forward depth. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if Senators GM Pierre Dorion decides to make a roster move via call-ups or a trade. With the Sens struggling and five points out of a playoff berth, Garrioch said there’s a belief Dorion is getting calls from rival GMs.

He speculate the Senators could look at improving their defense, which has been horrific at times. Garrioch thinks teams could be calling about blueliner Cody Ceci, who’s been a lightning rod for criticism this season. However, he’s still well regarded around the league. However, “the Senators have never been willing to trade him in the past and the last thing Dorion wants to do is make a change for change sake.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion’s already made what’s likely to be his big trade for this season by acquiring Matt Duchene from Colorado and shipping center Kyle Turris to Nashville in a three-team deal last month. If he makes a move before the Dec. 19 holiday trade freeze it’ll likely be a depth move where he gives up a draft pick. He could also keep a close eye on the waiver wire. 




  1. I responded this morning to a comment made by Chadwell n yesterday’s posts but, given that yesterday’s comments are like he proverbial day-old newspaper, and since struggling Ottawa is again mentioned in Lyle’s opening blurb, I thought I’d repeat the posts here. In his comment, Chadwell again flogged what I thought I had proven to be a dead horse a few weeks back when he wrote “The biggest problem with the Sen’s is the internal budget. If your team who refuses to spend to the cap there’s very little chance of making the play-offs. I know, I know look at last year. But they are not as good of a team as they were last year.. Should be interesting once they have to sign Eric. My guess is they trade him by the summer. They are not going to pay him $11 mill a year, and that’s about what it will cost.

    My admittedly exasperated response was “Hellooooo! The Sens sit 12th in a 31 team league with current cap space of $2,609,191. Teams with MORE cap space than them include LA, Columbus, NJ, NYI, NYR AND Tampa – not spending to the cap doesn’t seem to be hurting them.”

    I have to assume he is aware of the current salary structure so, is he saying Dorion should go out and find someone at around $2.5 mil so they would no longer be regarded as “cheapskates?” Considering the slugs in the league currently costing teams that much, finding someone to eat that space up shouldn’t be much of a problem.

    • Hey George O.,

      I really don’t see Ottawa signing Karlson to $11,ooo,ooo a season either. Ottawa has really hit a wall here recently. That trade for Duchene isn’t looking great either. They have some serious roster issues to consider.

      • Not disputing that Steven. They are in disarray for sure, mainly centering around the the D where Ceci is struggling. The losses of Borowiecki and Wideman off that 5/6 pairing hasn’t helped either.

        But the issue is, the insistence by some that they are a “budget” team while the fact is, they sit 12th overall in cap spending and with just over $2.6 mil in cap space.

        Teams with more are NYI (3 mil); Calgary (3.5); Nash (3.7); NYR (3.76); Phil (3.78); Tampa (3.8); L,A, (4.8); SJ (6.2); Buff (almost 7 mil); Columbus (8.3); Mtl (9.6); Wpg (10 mil); F;la (10 mil); Edm (10.7 – although that will disappear next season); NJ (11.6); LA (11.7); Colorado (13.5); Carolina (23 MIL); Ariz (24.6 mil)

        So, regardless of the root causes of their current struggles, at least stop calling th em a “budget” team

      • It’s not what Ott is spending to the cap that concerns me, it’s the player personal decisions made to save money, Ottawa has to spend to retain players. I slagged the Zibanejad trade, made to save money, Zibanejad signs in NYR for 5 years at 5.35, that trade was made to save money at point of trade. They move Turris, it appears Ott was not willing to meet his contract demands, giving up a ton of assets to buy time with Duchene; 1 year, who for me is essentially the same asset.

        Who hear thinks Brassard or Duchene will resign in Ottawa? Why would they, as UFA’s they will both get as much or more than Zibanejad or Turris potentially on the UFA market. Ott could have retained Turris & Zibanejad to be their #1 & 2 centers allowing for the slow progression of White & Brown into the NHL.

        Now Ott is looking at trying to extend Karlsson, Brassard & Duchene this summer. They could have paid Turris & Zibanejad but choose not to, will these 3 players get their extensions this July 1st? Karlsson has said publicly no home town discount, I doubt Brassard or Duchene will take 1 either, are all 3 being traded this summer?

        We hit my marker for trying to determine what may happen over the final 2/3rd’s of the season, the last team in the league; Boston, playing it’s 25th game. Now look at the standings & make assumptions on what’s happening over the remainder of the year.

        Little update.

        Brassard. 25-11-6-17
        Zibanejad. 24-11-11-22.

      • I didn’t think I was addressing what “concerns you” about the Sens. I was addressing Chadwell’s contention that their problems stems from the fact they are among those teams that “don’t spend to the cap.” That’s the ONLY issue I was addressing.

      • Striker your bias is affecting your reasoning. When they got Brassard they eantedca more consitdnt experienced centre who was left handed (i think it was the left handed D they lacked) 8t wasnt money.

        When they traded for Duchene it was for a perceived better player who could play both wing and centre.

        Yet money also played a roll. Not because Ittawa is cheap.
        Non of this in the end saves them money. What it does regarding money is move it around. It allows them to spend it where they want.

        Whether or not the dic8sions work out is another thing but the overall dollar spent remains pretty much the same.

      • The 11 million dollar deal is here and don’t be surprised when Tavares, Kucherov, and Karlsson when ink them…

      • George not directed at you specifically just on topic picking up portions of everyone’s input.

      • Bill.

        Of course it is. McDavid has reset the bar, all studs, stars, superstars, what ever you wish to call them now will want at or near his salary & they’ll get it, if not from their teams on the open market or after being traded.

        McDavid is going to make 12.5 next season & may well be the best forward on the planet but he’s not superhuman & isn’t 2 mil better than many other players in the NHL today. Hell Eichel is jumping to 10 mil next season & he may not even be in the top 20 at forward at least yet.

        Tavares will be 28 when he signs his new deal, cause for concern as his contract will carry him to 36, Kucherov will be 25, if extended this summer getting TB 9 years, his final year on his bridge deal & 8 more, Karlsson 28, same situation as Kucherov, potnetially 9 years but would be 37 at the end of that extension.

      • Noel.

        What bias are you referring to?

        I like Ottawa, numerous of my favorite players are playing for them & I have been riding many, specifically Hoffman & Stone for years, but have ridden others for significant periods in Turris, Brassard & Phaneuf, in my fantasy leagues & draft others consistently in 1 year leagues.

        My only real bias if it exists is against Montreal.

      • McDavid will not be “the best forward on the planet” until he becomes a more complete 200 foot player and can carry his team out of last place and into contention.

    • The captain of the Ottawa Senators has called his squad “a budget team”, saying they have to grind out victories, because they can’t afford the high-priced talent some rivals can. “We don’t have the same players as most teams do that are high-skilled and we’re not going to win games from a skill base,” Erik Karlsson said Wednesday.

      • At forward Ryan, Duchene, Hoffman, Brassard & Stone at D Karlsson & Phaneuf, in net Anderson all making significant monies & all possessing significant skills.

        Ceci is just a kid; 23, developing at the NHL level; won’t be fully developed until the end of next season, with a very bright future playing as Ott’s #2 & he hasn’t been as bad as people claim, he logs by far the hardest minutes & plays on the #1 PK, he sits minus 2, Karlsson is minus 11. That’s 5 EV strength goals against for Ceci, 24 for Karlsson. who’s cost Ottawa games?

        Smith & Dzingel are solid middle 6 forwards, 3rd liners ideally that can play 2nd line for significant periods of time. Regardless of what Karlsson says this isn’t a budget team specificly.

        As George stated they sit 2.6 million off the ceiling 12th overall in cap hit. For me a true budget team needs to be in the bottom 7 or 8 not the top 12 & with significant raises coming for Stone & Ceci never mind extensions for Karlsson, Brassard, Duchene or Dzingel a year out this summer will continue to spend at or near the cap.

      • With all due respect to Karlsson – who clearly is as bad at math as he is great at his position in hockey – how the hell can he call his team a “budget team” when they’ve spent to within $2.6 mil of the cap??? Maybe you hang on his every word – but I don’t – and what I see is a team with a lot of well-played players who are simply not producing AS A TEAM.

        If he’s regarding some of his teammates “overpaid” underachievers, then maybe it’s time they did trade his sorry ass out of town. I, for one, won’t miss him.

      • That was directed at Chadwell, by the way.

    • The biggest issue for me with Ottawa is they have clearly caused some ripples in the dressing room because by all accounts I have heard Kyle was a fantastic teammate.

      • If that is indeed true, then it’s time someone sat them down and reminded them that they are PROFESSIONALS and well-paid to do their jobs on the ice irregardless of what changes the GM and coach deem necessary. Anything else is inexcusable.

    • Hi George
      The Sens actually have a lot more cap space than the 2.6 million that they show. C MacArthur’s 4.65 Million which I believe is insured and not costing Melnyk anything. MacArthur has not played at all this season, so the Sens actually have more than 7.2 million in cap space. That puts them between San Jose and Buffalo which puts them at #20 not 12.


      • Every team has that concession if and when a player goes on LTIR. It doesn’t take away from the fact that they’ve committed all but $2.6 of their cap in terms of actually paying players – so the bottom line of my issue remains the same – they are NOT “cheap” when it comes to paying players.

      • The only problem with that approach is, how many games do you give him before you decide he isn’t ready yet? By the time you realize he needs a lot more seasoning you could be buried alongside Arizona and Buffalo.

  2. Pickard is an excellent goalie who struggled behind a very bad Colorado team last year. In the world cup however he proved he could run with the best of the best.

    If the Oilers landed him he would easily be the be the best goalie in their system!

    The Leafs shouldn’t give him up for a 3rd. Even if the Oilers offered their 1st the Leafs should think long and hard about it.

    Chiarelli is not smart enough to acquire Pickard anyway he’s more likely to offer Patrick Roy 10 million per on an 8 year deal to come out of retirement and play nets. GM ever!

    Forget about a goalie the Oilers biggest problem is Chiarelli!

    • Haha . You don’t like chiarelli . That is clear , not a piece of truth or sense other than that in this post lol

    • Pickard is not a starter in the nhl yes it was a bad Avs team but he didn’t help the cause, and he is not close to Talbot don’t be silly

    • come on man, if the Leafs get a 1st for Pickard; Lou may be going to jail for grand larceny.
      Talbot won 42 games last year, the comparison is beyond tilted in Talbot’s favor.

    • Pickard didn’t struggle in Col last season , he played very well behind a brutal team as in historically bad.

      Take a great goalie put him on a bad team & you get a below average goalie, see Schneider last season in NJ. Take a good goalie put him on a bad team & you get a bad goalie. No position better reflects a teams deficiencies than in net.

      For the life of me I don’t get why Vegas didn’t retain Pickard & just shuffle him down to the AHL after he cleared waivers & 1 of the AHL goalies to the ECHL. They aren’t a team with a ton of goalie depth.

      Tor gave up Lindberg & a 6th round pick to get Pickard. Lindberg appears to have no NHL future but at 22 who knows he 1 assist in 17 games playing for the Chicago Wolves.

      Vegas is playing very well but McPhee has made several very odd decisions that leave me scratching my head.

      • For the most part I agree with Bigbear, Pickard is probably not an NHL starter, with only 31 starting jobs it’s not an easy job to acquire but like a Talbot, Raanta or Darling he may get a chance as he is only 25 & the door didn’t really open for those guys until 28. Showing he could carry the load playing in 50 games last season posting a .904 SV% on a brutal team was interesting.

        He is playing great for the Marlies so anything is possible. To young to write off. with assets I often wonder what we are missing as his #’s for almost his entire career at every level have been reasonable to solid & he has shown the ability to shoulder a heavy work load.

    • If the Oilers offered their 1st for Pickard I would easily do that, heck I’d throw in another piece too as that 1st is shaping up to be protected top 6 the way that train wreck of an organization is going…

      That being said I don’t think even Chiarelli is that dumb.

    • Toronto need to keep Pickard as insurance – if Andersen gets hurt, Pickard could be his replacement. I think he is considered the second-best goalie in their system.

  3. I read your book “battle of Alberta” great read! My favorite part of book is when you said that a common mistake people make is thinking Lanny MacDonald scores 89 cup winning goal, even Al MacGinnis who played in the game thinks Lanny scored the cup winning goal. Glad to see I’m not alone with knowing the truth.

    P.S. I have game on tape in case anyone wants to dispute this. Gilmour scores winning goal and empty net

    • Gilmore did have the winner but it wasn’t into the empty net .. but he did score the empty net goal.

      • Yes the winner was on the pp 1102 of 3rd period.

  4. I think sabers and leafs get more than that based on need of oil. I’d wager 2nd rounder for pickled and 3rd for Johnson. Why would pens be interested unless they planned to trade Jarry or Murray?

  5. Colorado picked up Hammond in the Duchene trade with the intention of flipping him, he sits 6-2-2 with a .917 SV% in the AHL; 15th, still playing for Bellville a bottom feeder in the AHL.

    • Good call Striker, thats a very viable option. Or maybe Bernier is available?

      • Belleville currently sits with 23 points in a 30-team league with 10 teams with less points than they have. Not great – but certainly not the worst.

      • Belville’s winning % which the AHL uses for standings sits 6th, 2nd to last in the North Div, 12th out of 15 in the Eastern Conference, & 22nd out of 30 in the league. They have played 24 games tied for 2nd most games played in the AHL.

        Bellville has essentially rotated Hammond & Taylor. Hammond sits 6-2-2 with a 2.75 GAA, .917 SV%. Taylor 3-7-1 with a 3.71 GAA, .886 SV%.

        Games played has to factor into the equation even when your running your stats about what teams would have to do over the remainder of the NHL to make the playoffs this season.

        Really hoping you will rerun your NHL stats now factoring in games; winning %, as we still have a serious discrepancy in games played. Arizona has played 30 games, Ott, Bos, Car & Col only 25, 5 teams have played 28, 14 teams 27 & 7 teams 26. With the standings so tight this variance in games played today has to be reflected in the math.

        It’s a ton of work so I get it & don’t feel compelled but it would paint a slightly different picture. Nor has the schedule even balanced out yet but now a better reflection. At least 4 NHL teams have some brutal stretches coming & when they play out a different picture for a few teams is going to appear.

  6. George O.,

    I don’t get the budget team comment either with respect to any team when you consider there is a cap in place. Some teams go to the max and others maybe not so much. I meant to say that I am not sure who, including Ottawa who want to commit that much money to one defence man. I realize the cap is going up and therefore he will get his percentage of that but from a management perspective I wonder if you are better off to find several solid defenders rather than committing that much to one player.

    • Steven.

      I would, I’m not paying any single player today that kind of money, I get agents & players are factoring in the cap down the road but I pay market value today compared to other players on long term contracts. Pick 1, hell pick a dozen there are tons of players signed to 6 to 8 year deals some kicking in next season. How can these players be worth so significantly more than the others. Are they better? yes but as I wrote yesterday, is Doughty or Karlsson 4 mil per season better than a player like Fowler.

      I’ll save the 4 million. Lindholm has 4 more years after this season at 5.2 & change, Manson 4 years at 4.1, Fowler 8 years at 6.5. Anh gets 2 of those Dman for the same monies being bandied about for Karlsson or Doughty. Insane.

      I’m not paying it, they accept fair market value & it isn’t 11 mil per, McDavid’s contract has skewed the market, Hedman is just as valuable to TB as either of these Dman to their respective teams, a top 5 NHL Dman if not top 3 & only 26 years old making 7,85 for the next 8 years.

      • Let another team pay them & take the haul of assets each would yield & not handcuff your roster for the next 8 years.

        Ottawa has to sign, Stone, Ceci & try to figure out who can be extended out of Karlsson, Brassard, Duchene & Dzingel. Ottawa does make hockey decissiosn based on monies & has shown a habit of taking the less expensive route for short term gain as opposed to long term but they will be spending at our near the cap what choice do they have, they can’t let everyone walk or trade everyone.

        What aild Ottawa today will be resolved financially we they finally get their new building. Playing in the sticks seriously effects their revenue stream but this is a profitable team & Melnyk needs it to profit & pay for it’s self.

      • This comment doesn’t make sense. If you are GM of Ottawa or LA you either sign you star for the market price or you trade them away or let them walk. Paying Fowler 6.5/season is not an option and neither is paying any other very good player who is not on your team. If you trade these players you will likely have to accept prospects, picks and possibly a good player or 2. I don’t think other teams will offer a Fowler or Trouba, etc.

      • So Striker,

        You would or you wouldn’t?

      • Would or wouldn’t give Karlsson or Doughty 8 year extensions at 11 mil+ per?

        No I wouldn’t, I would trade either to the highest bidder. In the 8 to 9 mil per range I would sign both as long as they are front end loaded with in the NHL’s cap rules & the last 3 or 4 years come with modified NTC’s.

  7. Edmonton needs to trade RNH and a 2nd for Charley Lindgren and Pacioretty

    • or preemptive strike and make a pitch for Karlsson in OTT

      to OTT: RNH, Larsson or Klefbom, and a 1st
      to EDM: Karlsson

      Ott can let Brassard go as RNH fills in the 2C behind Duchene. They get a young defenseman to replace Karlsson and a 1st to grab more assets

      EDM can sign Karlsson to the combined salary of Larsson or Klefbom & RNH.

      XBOX trade at its best right there =)

      • So, in other words, gut your team for a guy you will have to pony up a 11M per year for, along with paying McDavid & Draisetl … your user name says all we need to know about you little fantasy boy.

      • mr. ed vanimpe….. very mature response of you… I see you learned to play well with others.

      • He’s always chirping – and usually dead wrong. A week or so back when I described a Sens game as a “defining moment” for both the team and Dorion’s record so far as a GM, he called it “preposterous” – or something of that nature. Well here we are, 4 more losses later and I see NOTHING that tells me they have the horses to break the funk. I hope I’m wrong of course, but there is little I see of the D and the goaltending that encourages me. Anderson’s incredible ride last year has clearly left him emotionally drained and he just isn’t the same. Condon is a decent back-up. Period! Ceci seems afraid to touch the puck, Hoffman remains “streaky” and they are getting zilch from the likes of Smith, Pyatt, Thompson and others on those 3rd and 4th lines.

  8. Another team who should probably be in the market for a goalie is the Islanders. While they’re having no problem lighting the lamp, opposing teams are preying on the poor play from their goaltending tandem.

    • I don’t specifically disagree with you but NYI is playing a pretty wide open brand of hockey, they are giving up the 26th most shots against per game but more importantly the quality of many of those shots are high.

      They are hanging their goalies out to dry ofetn. Making a significant upgrade in net isn’t easy. We have a handful of studs perhaps 8 maybe 10 then about 15 goalies that are essentially a wash.

      What goalie could be had that improves their goaltending?

      • Fleury probably the only name that comes to mind immediately.

  9. Marner and a pick for Ristolainen and Alex Nylander?

    • what are you smoking? ill give you kane and mccabe for your nylander with lilligren and something else…. a pick. ristolainen is untradeable and is suffering this year because the whole team is suffering in fron and behind him. risto cant play offense because most of the time he is the only one capable of playing defense. buffalos nylander is going nowhere. take kane and mccabe and make a deal with van riemsdyk and or bozak for other defense or whatever else is needed.

  10. That trade is terrible for Edmonton. We got Karl’s best years. Trade him and his wonky foot. But we won’t be getting that kind of return, and we’ll be taking bad money back too, because the receiving team knows what it will cost to keep 65.

    Striker. I couldn’t disagree more about the building. It will be the death of this franchise moving them downtown. 3-5 years you’ll have a new JetForm Park in the middle of the flats with no fans, no tenant and the Seattle Senators taking a run at the western conference final.

    Melnyk has been in personal receivership for a couple years now. The league is closely monitoring his transactions to make sure he’s not bleeding the team. Lebreton is dead…..and thank goodness.

      • First they need to get shovels in the ground. In Septemeber, Anselmi said the new rink was still “4 or 5 years away.” The team will be sold and likely gone before the NCC and other critical players get off their asses.

      • Um.
        he’s worth 1.2 on paper. The Sens Value (of which he still has debt on) is 1/3 of that according to Forbes 2016. His other properties make up another 1/3 (which he also owes on) And finally his biovale/Valliante or whatever they’re called stock.(paper) He is extended. Heavily. I respect you enough striker to know you know how mortgages work.

        I can get in to why the downtown thing will be a massive bust – but it’s like shouting at a rock concert. Nobody hears. They have 5k Kanata Season tickets and 5K Orleans Season tickets. They literally lose most of those when puck drops downtown.

  11. I pray every day that buffalo trades Lenher, he is the worst goalie I’ve seen. waste of 4 million dollars.

    • agreed!!!! what a waste of our 1stt round pick that went to ottawa…which was centerman white who will be in the nhl soon. konecky wouldve more than likely been than pick since murray salivated over him before he foolishly traded the pick away. moulson is out finally. next is lehner and johnson i hope. ullmark is gonna be the better option for many years to come. we need better defense…beaulieu has been a bust so far. gorges will probably be traded or walk after this season. if buffalo trades kane they better get a package like colorado got for duchesne since he is the only player that shows up every night. i want chychrun, domi, duclair from arz or william nylander and lilligren from toronto. need younger players with high potential in return. the veterans havent played up to their paychecks or ability. i wouldve kept eichel unsigned this year too he wasnt worth 10 mil per season. i wouldve listened to offers on him even since he has been a crybaby complaining im sick of losing then the next game not showing up himself. too many excuses on this team and im not buying housleys coaching abilities. i wouldve fired him after 3 straight shutouts and hired former arz head coach tippett who did a lot with very little in the past. theres just no leadership. lehner isnt completely to blame but im not a lehner fan either.

  12. Why is it that every commentator and pundit says the Oilers needs to trade for a goalie when they have yet to give Ellis a chance? He did better than Broissort in AHL. True that NHL is a different beast. But to trade for a goalie before they give the other one a chance would be making a trade just to make a trade imho. I maybe biased. But as an Oiler fan, I’m hoping Ellis is the next Matt Murray.