NHL Rumor Mill – January 3, 2018

by | Jan 3, 2018 | Rumors | 73 comments

Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty continues to dominate early-January trade speculation.

Updates on Max Pacioretty and Mike Hoffman plus the latest Coyotes speculation in your NHL rumor mill.


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger being asked by Montreal’s TSN 690 how seriously we should take recent reports claiming the Canadiens are shopping Max Pacioretty. While admitting it’s possible Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin could trade the left winger for the right offer, Dreger suggests his scoring slump this season could create a “buyer beware” scenario. Speaking of Bergevin’s job security, Dreger believes he’s on solid footing with team owner Geoff Molson. 

Nichols also cites Dreger’s colleague Pierre LeBrun’s Tuesday appearance on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 discussing the growing Pacioretty trade chatter. He said he “probably talked to eight or nine teams in the last three days that some of them I would see as potential fits that put it very bluntly – sources in those front offices – that they don’t believe they had talked to Montreal.” However, he notes there could be clubs that see this growing speculation and could contact the Canadiens to inquire into Pacioretty’s availability. Given the winger has another season remaining on his contract, LeBrun feels the Habs aren’t going out of their way to move him, but acknowledges Bergevin could be at least listening to offers. 

Nichols noted insider Elliotte Friedman’s Tuesday appearance on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 discussing the Pittsburgh Penguins. He believes the Pens are trying to add some offense. “I think they’ve had some interest in Evander Kane. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were interested in Pacioretty. They’re looking. I think if they could, they’d add a winger and a center. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could do both,” said Friedman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Bergevin is willing to listen to offers for Pacioretty, but I don’t believe he’ll move him before the trade deadline. With Pacioretty still under contract through next season, Bergevin’s in no rush to move him. Barring a great offer before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, I still think a Pacioretty trade takes place in late-June, perhaps during the NHL draft weekend in Dallas. 


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger discussing the trade status of Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman with Montreal’s TSN 690. Dreger said he recently spoke with Sens GM Pierre Dorion, who acknowledged there’s interest in Hoffman but no concrete offers yet. Dreger also said there’s no fire sale in Ottawa yet but that could change if team owner Eugene Melnyk decides it’s time to cut payroll. 

OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren reports Hoffman admits he’s heard the trade speculation but he’s trying to block it out as much as he can. Warren said the St. Louis Blues are believed to have interest in Hoffman and Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams pursuing Hoffman are likely playoff contenders like the Blues. His offensive streakiness could be why the Sens haven’t received firm offers yet. Those clubs could also be considering other options before circling back to Hoffman. As the Feb. 26 trade deadline draws closer, Dorion should start getting some firm offers. 


AZCENTRAL.COM: Among his eight suggested New Year’s resolutions for the struggling Arizona Coyotes, Richard Morin wondered which players could end up on the block this year. He notes Coyotes GM John Chayka has consistently shot down talk of moving defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. “Still, the Coyotes do have several veterans (Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brad Richardson, Tobias Rieder) who could be attractive to some teams.”

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith recently considered Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair “a low-risk, high-reward option in filling a need at top-nine wing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks also suggested the Rangers should consider bringing back Duclair if the asking price is reasonable. It wouldn’t be surprising if Duclair, who’s on an affordable one-year deal and struggling to regain the form that saw him net 20 goals and 44 points in his 2015-16 NHL debut, ends up playing elsewhere later this year.

Hjalmarsson has also popped up in the rumor mill as an option for playoff contenders seeking an experienced blueliner. Rieder, who turns 25 on Jan. 10, could also be enticing for clubs in need of forward depth. 



  1. I can’t understand why Doiron would even consider moving Hoffman who is arguably one of the Sens best forwards after Mark Stone. He’s only 25 and on a relatively favorable contract. I’d rather move someone like Bobby Ryan for a (much) lesser return to clear out some contracts. I know he’s not worth his contract but I’m sure Doiron could get something for him, even if it means retaining some salary.

    • Trading Hoffman, Ceci, Smith, Stone, Pageau makes no sense to me. Moving out soon to be UFA’s, soon being a little over a year, should be the priority, you know Brassard, Duchene & Karlsson can be signed before you get to the draft or they all go if not then shortly after July 1.

      • 28

      • Can’t negotiate an extension until after July 1st so they can’t be signed before the draft this year.

    • A good move for the Sens would be to move Ryan for a similar cap hit that’s had more money paid out much like they did getting Phaneuf. There are probably plenty of good options

      • Spezza maybe. O’Reilly or Giordano with something to sweeten the deal

  2. Last night Islanders goal against Boston was the first 5 on 5 goal allowed by the Begeron, Marchand and Pastrnak line all season; which was caused by dman Carlo mistake in front of the net. Who later while on the penalty kill try to carry the puck out of his zone but got stripped of the puck. Kevin Miller another dman got stripped of the puck twice as he tried to skate out of his own zone, Matt Grzelcyk (dman) while trying to clear the puck out of his zone shot it off the boards and gave it to the islanders creating a scoring chance.
    I’m just picking up from my comment yesterday about good goaltending masking deficiencies.
    Winnipeg gave up 4 two on one in the third period alone, they were bailed out by Helleybuck.
    These ain’t stats this is what my eyes see.

    • An unbelievable stat for the Bergeron line, Caper. Those guys are money; every time I’ve seen them against the Leafs, the puck never seems to leave Toronto’s end of the ice.

    • I didn’t pick up the Grzelyck give away but did the others. That’s hockey, the puck gets turned over a ton in hockey & the NHK doesn’t do that good of a job tracking most data. Grzelyck didn’t get credited with a GvA. Boston sits 22nd in GvA with 341. Or 10th best at not giving the puck away if you prefer. NYR is 1st or worst with 561.

      Good thing they don’t have Letang it they would be at 1044. That was for Ed

      • Ray, the answer to your questions is YES, the forwards were in the right spots, my comments are not shading the bruins defenseman, you can throw Debrusk pass thru the center that got picked off, Marchand and Pastrnak making too many dangles and losing the puck, causing odd man rushes. I’m making one simple point, the goaltenders play of late is masking some of the Bruins mistakes.
        If the Bruins were losing you be pointing to all these things. In business we have a saying “good sales hide sins.” no different in Hockey “wins hide mistakes” but once the sales or in this case the wins stop everybody looks at the sins for example Pastrnak hasn’t scored a goal in 10 games; nobody talking because they are winning and have very good depth. Boston has a nice team and are winning but they are not without deficiencies that need to be worked on.

      • Thank you Striker, much appreciated. But I will say Letang played pretty well last night in Philly. But even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile.

      • Ya Rask has been really good Caper. Player of the month good. Perhaps I did not interpret your post correctly. I think the team has been great as well. When Rask plays well it looks like he never has to make a desperation save. He looks like that now. The whole team is in sync.

      • & a broken watch is right twice a day. That should be Bergevin’s new line. I’m almost right as often as a broken watch, well almost.

    • Caper, you must be a forward with all the shade going the D’s way!
      Every D man turns the puck over, so does every forward, it is just more noticeable when the D does it.
      The giveaway and turnover stats (Carlo’s are very good for that many minutes by the way) are not a good measurement of a D’s value, so I agree with you and Striker on that.
      I didn’t see the play you are referencing and not disagreeing with you on it, but we the fan often blame D when we shouldn’t, which is why I hate that stat because the dude counting them doesn’t know either. Being able to rewind TV today is a wonderful thing.
      Was the forward where he should have been? Was the D getting pressured and relied on the safety off the boards play that has been drilled into his head by the coach and the forward lost the battle to get it out? Are the forwards supporting the puck enough or skating away from it? The obvious ones are easy to spot as they often end up as a scoring chance against. Every player makes them, some more than others and I don’t think Carlo is any worse than any other 2nd year pro D man. making good outlet passes is the toughest part of the game to learn for young D. He is a good defender and will be a solid player.
      And regarding Rask from yesterday, it’s about time he got back to his old self. He gets paid to have a 920 and above save %. I am thrilled with the B’s young D, and they are better faster than I thought they would be. Yes Striker, I was wrong about that.

    • I did watch that game and Winnipeg carrie the play in the third with a really slow byfuglein break away shot at an empty net that hit a leg and could of one the game. then they tied it with 32 seconds left.

      most teams when pressing the offense to tie a game give up chances. jets are no different. the good teams find away to to the game and the jets easily could of one that game if not for the slow start and unlucky bounce.

      its laughable that you use an example from a point in a game where the jets were cheating by allowing their D to join the rush.

      • lets try this again. my comp is giving me issues.

        I did watch that game and Winnipeg carrie the play in the third with a really slow byfuglein break away and a shot at an empty net that hit a leg and could of won the game. then they tied it with 32 seconds left.
        most teams when pressing the offense to tie a game give up chances. jets are no different. the good teams find away to tie the game and the jets easily could of won that game if not for the slow start and unlucky bounce.
        its laughable that you use an example from a point in a game where the jets were cheating by allowing their D to join the rush.

      • Jeff what is laughable is that you don’t understand the point of view. I’m using examples from a game the day after you said I was wrong, to provide you with proof that Winnipeg still has some glaring issues that has plagued them under Paul Maurice. As I pointed out there was no reason to be forcing the play when there was still 15 minutes to play in the third period. Jeff read my post 15 minutes left in the game 3 two on ones. That’s bad defense. I’m not talking the last 3 minutes.

  3. While MB has made good moves, this year kills all the good he did do. One place for improvement is A) Creating market place for on the block players and B) Revamps the development teams »(AHL and Martin Lapointe team) – Friendship should have it`s limits and I would not trust a re-tool or rebuild with those guys in place. Secondly how about changing JJ and some assistant coaches ?

    • Spot on James.

  4. I find it amusing that ‘Dreger suggests his scoring slump this season could create a “buyer beware” scenario.’

    Just wait, in a few articles time, my guess is that his stance will be ‘Dreger suggests his scoring slump this season could create an ideal opportunity for him to bounce back wearing a new uniform.’

    Gotta love how these guys spin the words and recycle each other’s rumours!

  5. maybe I am not seeing this right but from what I see on capfriendly.com St Louis has almost no cap space when Schwartz returns from LTIR.
    That being said the only way I could see them making a significant move would be to convince Statsny ( UFA end of season ) to waive his NTC and package him with a couple of high end prospects to bring in two top 6 forwards.

  6. I have read that the Blues have interest in Hoffman and Pacioretty. Can some of you “eastern conference fans” compare the two for me? The Blues do have a cap issue—I suspect that Berglund or Sobotka would need to be a part of a trade. Would the Habs consider Sobotka, Dunn, Blais and Barbashev for Patches?

    • Not sure they want a 30 year old coming back their way…. A pool of prospect is a good start. I personally have not seen those kids play. I do not think any of those kids play on the top 6 right? I would surmise if Patches goes….which I think STL is the best system of play for Patches……..MTL would want a top prospect who can slot top 6 as a starting point.

    • No I don’t want any of those players at all maybe berglund but even he’s just a throw in Montreal needs prospects and St. Louis First round pick is basically a 2nd round pick so that’s not even as good … we will want 2 top prospects St. Louis has plus their first plus berglund

  7. Hoffman is a speedy winger with a big heavy shot, signed to an affordable 5.187 for 3 years. Pacioretty is not as quick as Hoffman but has more net presence, very affordable 4.5 contract but will be looking for big money after next season. Trade partners would likely be asking for one of Kostin, Kyrou or Thomas in the mix but your offer is decent.

    • I’d add that patches also has more of a physical presence and is better defensively.
      To me Hoffman is very one dimensional and it’ll be hard for him to skate alongside Schenn and senko. He’ll should do pretty well with Stastny and steen though. Patches can slide up or down as required

  8. What gets added?
    To NYR: Patches (2yr/4.5)& Benn (2yr/1.1)
    To MTL: Vesey (RFA), Smith (4yr/4.35) & DeAngelo (2yr ELC)

    • Your on the wrong track. Bergevin wants a very capable 2/3 defender back or a decent scoring winger. What you propose does none of that, not even close.

    • You change Vesey to Chytil and you add JT Miller.

      • I would not trade Chytil or Miller straight for Patches. He will want a 5-7 year contract in 2019 and will be 30.
        Miller would become the #1 center in Montreal- which he should not be.

        If the Rangers were closer to the top contender in the East then I would maybe trade Chytil

  9. StLouis has to move salary to take on cap hit , hence Sobotka, Berglund in the mix. Montreal could turn around and flip Sobotka or Berglund for a pick / prospect.

    • Random idea…what about a Hagelin and a draft pick to EDM, Maroon to STL, Berglund to the Pens type of deal?

      FWIW, the Blues have a bunch of skilled smaller left shot forwards, they need size and IDEALLY a right hand shot to add to the top 6 or top 9.

      • What you propose will not get Maroon out of Edmonton, unless its a first round pick, and we all know that’s not going to happen. Why is it everyone thinks other teams want the penguins failed experiments.

      • Not sure how Berglund helps the Penguins. Not opposed at all to moving Haglen along though.

      • Failed experiment…? Two Cups in two years later…

        If you want to say he sucks now, I’ll agree, but under no even semi-accurate terms could Hagelin as a Penguin be deemed a “failed experiment.”

        Edmonton has little team speed. He would have actual value to them. But even then the Pens would have to include a pick because even if Edmonton needs him, they won’t bid against themselves.

        Maroon is a career 4th liner before he was put on the line with The Next One. Will teams without McDavid value him all that much? I wouldn’t bank on that.

      • Not sure Berglund would help them much either, TBH. But I can say the same of pretty much every realistically available center they have been linked to…

      • The problem that Hagelin has is that his hands don’t match up well with his skating. The guy burns up and down but has hands like concrete. Rutherford couldn’t give him away at a little over 4 mil a year. Any trade the Pens make will have to include him in order to make the numbers work. And any major deal will have to include Sprong who I am not so eager to part with. Of course if Sullivan keeps playing him with Sheahan it won’t matter. He belongs with Crosby and move Horny down.

      • I don’t think EDM can get a first for Maroon. Valuable guy when the going gets rough as he has the hands to play with skill and step in when required, but in reality he is a 3rd line winger and is a rental.
        If he wants upwards of $4M, which is rumored, Edmonton will let him walk if they don’t move him first.
        A 2nd?

      • If the pens had just had patience with Konstantin Koltsov they wouldn’t need to be paying Hags… Duh.

  10. Blues all in this year and Stasny is part of that. I can see them giving up picks and prospects for one more forward like Patches

    • great idea , how are they going to fit the 4.5 cap in? they have to move players to take on salary

      • Get rid of Bouwmeester

      • A Blue will go in LTIR as usual. Adding Patches and removing Stasny leaves them in the same place

      • I really did not realize the whopping 48k STL had for cap space.

        They really need to do this with the team on paper now

    • They will regret dealing Kostin if it comes to that. Ott should be jumping all over him in a deal involving Hoffman.

    • I don’t really think the Blues will do much of anything, their roster as constructed can compete for a cup. Just need some luck or a few good bounces. Keep all those kids other than possibly Schmaltz. I think Blais can fill a 3rd line scoring role at LW.

      Maybe add a depth player at the deadline but other than that take a shot with what you have.

    • CHRISMS…WHO koltsov? Why does everyone just dump on Hagelin geez! He has been solid in hIs 2 years with the Penguins.
      He has speed up and down the ice, is good defensively, and kills penalties. Yes he couldn’t hit air jumping out of a plane scoring goal wise This season, but he is a big part of our team speed.
      And nhl dman still back up when he is flying down the ice toward them.

  11. Boy veterans are sure getting younger. Rieder will be 25 on Jan 10.

    • If reider is a vet than whats that make George?

      • Hahahaha

        I think that’s called an unhappy Senators fan. That 1 TSN turning point game was his demise.

        Boy does Dorion’s decision to move out Turris & bring in Duchene look like 1 of the biggest mistakes ever made. Ottawa has been beyond brutal since that trade.

        I had Ottawa missing the playoffs but even I didn’t have them this bad. I had them fighting for a playoff spot not the 1st pick in the lottery.

  12. One team that should be a little concerned is Nashville. They are slumping and with Forsberg missing they don’t seem to have much bite to their offence.
    Ekholm has been brilliant and is now moved to the third pairing. They would be better served moving him and getting a good package in return.
    I can easily see landing Patches+, JVR++ or Hoffman++ for someone like Ekholm. The +s here are meant to signify that there are other pieces needed in these deals but this would be a way to add some scoring

  13. The Bruins are playing an incredibly stingy game right now.
    I have never been this happy with their play, the only player I would really like to see suit up for the B’s via trade is Dumba. The kid is a high octane defenseman with some grit and speed.
    trouba isnt going anywhere so what is it going to take for Boston to get Dumba.
    I’d say a 1st, bjork and lower end prospect

    • Bruins look great, they should stay the course with their youth.
      Dumba is going to be the number 1 in Minny in two years or less, he wont cost significantly lower than Trouba.

    • Yep stay the course. They have a future #1 with McIvoy, plus other offensive D with Krug and Grezlyck. More D in the pipeline, time to focus up front.

      • I definitely agree boys
        like i said, im very content

        we have a puck moving defensemen paired up with a shut down d in each pairing
        ive been calling for Gryz to be called up since last season,
        mcquaid would be awesome to have in the playoffs but currently is the odd man out
        Carlo has had a lot of mishaps but is promising
        i feel like a couple games upstairs would be good, put postma through waivers

    • Player development is not linear, there are peaks & valleys. I simply take the good with the bad. Love Carlo going to be a solid 1st pairing NHL Dman May be the anchor of a 2nd unit similar to a player like Seabrooke.

      Sweeney has done an awesome job & this is just the beginning, it only gets better from here.

      • I agree striker
        Sweeney has done a phenomenal job and I couldn’t be happier with his work

        Its about time he starts getting the respect he deserves

      • Sweeney done a good job but not awesome

  14. Man. Patches interviews are getting tougher and tougher to watch… Lastnight he may as well have just said ” please get me outtta here..”. He’s so dejected it’s sad.
    Same with MCD in Edmonton. Time for him to walk into chiarellis office ( which is probably below his) and ask for a winger to play with. Tough time for hockey in Canada the last week. Toronto stinks. Edmonton /Vancouver look as good as done. Montreal is on a path of self destruction… Winnipeg seems like our last great hope.. oh. Yeah. Forgot about the flames ..they just need to get a goalie and they will be a real team!!!

    • You forgot Ottawa, they are a Canadian team……….for now

    • Mike Smith has played very well in Calgary and David Rittich has filled the role of a backup nicely. Your evaluation is off,

    • It’s a long season.

      Van has been hit by a rash of injuries, still out are Horvat, Baertschi & Sutter, Edler & Taney just returned, Hutton & Stectcher are banged up. I would think Van has played way better than most assumed they would.

      Cal has found to replacement for Versteeg who really helped their PP & now with Frolik our 1 of the best shut down lines in hockey has been impacted significantly. Calgary’s goaltending has been solid.

      Edm has been cold, hot, cold. Still see them battling for a playoff spot, not going to be easy though.

      Win looks good but the playoff battle in both conferences are tight. 1 prolonged losing streak over the 2nd 1/2 & anything can happen.

      Who cares about where teams are from. I’m a Canadian, a proud 1 but a Bruins fan, my next 2 favourite teams are TB & Nas but like tons of teams just very few Can 1’s. I own jerseys for Bos; black, Buf, older blue, Min; green 3rd jersey, Win; blue, StL; 3rd blue with arch, Nas; old 3rd blue with ghosted black checker board trim, Chi; old black 3rd, Det; White Federov & Was; dark Bondra days.

      Almost bought a Tor jersey over Christmas, new Blue just couldn’t quite get there but I’m really close. Ha-ha!

      • Don’t do it Striker

  15. Marchessault extended in Vegas 6 years at 5. We’ll done. That will keep That linerigether for years once Karlsson is reputed.

    Sorry MG just wasn’t happening.

    • Sorry dam spell checker.

      Posting from my phone moving forward the tech issues with laptop & tablet have made posting from those platforms to troublesome.

    • See Striker we don’t always disagree, this was an excellent signing by Vegas

      • And someone in Florida should never be allowed to forget that they let Marchessault go.

      • Yea BCleaffan I never got that one. \didn’t understand why Florida didn’t protect him.

  16. FYI Marchessault signed extension with Vegas

    • Ok. Striker. That was quick. Lol

  17. & only 7.5 mil less per year for 2 less years than McD! When Vegas gets Karlsson signed that whole line will only cost about 25% more than Edm is paying their #1 C.

    Sorry but I hate that contract no slight to McDavid butI’m not paying any player 12.5 as soon as next year yet.

  18. The Habs are boring. No offence for years & somehow MB still has a job. Sad sack situation. Paying a goalie $10.5m per i just cannot wrap my around. Having no GM would be better than this gong show. No prospects to speak of & nothing to look forward to.

  19. letang for pacioretty .