NHL Rumor Mill – March 24, 2018

by | Mar 24, 2018 | Rumors | 31 comments

Updates on the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs in your NHL rumor mill.

Could Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton become a trade candidate? (Photo via NHL Images)


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited NHL insider Elliotte Friedman appearance yesterday on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 and Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 where he was asked if the Flames might be the team most likely to change their core in the offseason. Friedman thinks it’s possible and pointed out the word coming out of the recent NHL general managers meetings that Flames GM Brad Treliving could look at acquiring a first-round pick in the 2018 draft.

One of the Flames who Friedman suggested could have good value is defenseman Dougie Hamilton, noting the Flames have some good defense prospects. He speculated Calgary could get some calls about the blueliner. “I’m not saying they’ll do it, but I think they’ll at least be tempted to at least think about it,” he said. Nichols noted Hamilton has three seasons left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.75 million. His modified no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until July 2019.  Friedman also suggested the Flames could get calls about winger Matthew Tkachuk, though he doesn’t see him going anywhere. He also thinks forward Sam Bennett could attract interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames dealt away their first-round pick in this year’s draft to the New York Islanders last year in the Travis Hamonic trade. Getting one back, however, could cost them a promising young player from their roster. Prior to the trade deadline there was talk the Flames might dangle prospect goaltender Jon Gillies, so perhaps they’ll revisit that option leading up to the draft.

I don’t doubt there will be interest in Hamilton but it’ll take a significant offer to convince the Flames to part with him. I agree with Friedman that Tkachuk isn’t going anywhere.

Bennett, on the other hand, could be available. Maybe the Flames offer him up to clubs carrying multiple firsts, such as the Rangers, Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings.However, his struggles during his three NHL seasons could hurt his trade value. 


TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran recently wondered if Toronto Maple Leafs forwards James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak might end up playing together for a different NHL club. The duo are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and salary cap issues could prevent the Leafs from re-signing them. McGran suggested the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and New York Islanders (if John Tavares departs via free agency) as possible destinations.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL:  Yvon Pedneault poured cold water on the notion of van Riemsdyk and Bozak joining the Canadiens. While acknowledging both are playing well right now, he noted they weren’t too impressive during the first half of the season. He also doesn’t see Bozak filling the role of first-line center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Canadiens might look at van Riemsdyk if they decide to trade left wing Max Pacioretty. However, he needs a proven playmaking center to set him up and that’s a commodity the Canadiens lack. Besides, I think van Riemsdyk prefers joining a playoff contender rather than a rebuilding club or, in the Habs case, one that’s in denial over their current plight. 



  1. JVR would get his money and ice time In Montreal but, I think he wants to win as well. So, it will be awhile for that to happen if he goes that route. Oh well, he has played a few seasons with the leafs so at least he can golf!

    • For JVR, Habs is a plan B or C for MTL, JVR is a plan B or C but we don’t know what can happen. Trading Max Pat. to get a good center can happen…

  2. Wow, combine this blog with one from the other day, and Hamilton would be exactly a guy the Rangers would target. With the assets they’ve accumulated, I think Trouba and Hamilton should be at top of their list. Will be interesting to see what happens come summer time, but Rangers Definately need a top pair right defenseman.. Definately worth the 2 late 1st rd picks Rangers got from Boston and Tampa..

    • Perhaps something along these lines if CGY needs scoring upfront and a 1st

      TO CGY: Spooner, DeAngelo & 1st (via BOS)
      TO NYR: Hamilton

      does that get it done?

      • Cal has d prospects. Both late 1sts might get it done.

      • Calgary needs RW and would want 1sts or 2nds.
        Keep in mind they traded a 1st and 2 2nds for each Hamilton and Hamonic. So they would want at least that back.

        Trading their D seems like a step back in my opinion.

        They need to look for a young right shot RW.

  3. Just spit balling here. What about Toronto’s first rounder plus Leivo and a sign and trade of JVR to Calgary for Hamilton?

    TO gets right handed D man at a low cost to them. Calgary gets back a first and one of the top goal scorers in the league to boost their offense. JVR agrees because that way he can get an 8 year deal. Calgary gets to have JVR’s AAV lowered and they don’t have to compete on the open market for one of the most covetted free agents.

    • JVR will want a NTC/NMC clause and I remember when a defenseman in starting with V a few years back had a NTC. He waived the NTC to go to a preferred team but when they wanted to ship him to NYI he vetoed and the league ruled his NTC had been waived since he waived it to goto ANA the 1st time.

      That would void JVRs NTC/NMC clause unless they start it the following year…but it would leave him susceptible to be traded (doubtful , but if he performs horrendous) prior to it kicking in on July 1st (typical time s i tend to see on contracts).

      Not sure sign & trades in the NHL work like the NBA ones.

      Plus CGY could keep Hamilton and sign JVR to a 6 yr deal to their cost preference whereas teams are only signing yourg kids to the 8 yr deals to grab some of their UFA years and JVR is already 28 yrs of age this year. Not sure CGY wants to sign him till 36….

      but hey ya never know….. they may try it if someone grabbed Brouwer’s contract and freed up $$ to do so.

      • A sign and trade wouldn’t void anything. Acceptable terms would be written right away.

        Plus if calgary wants JVR the only way they’ll get him is if he gets 8 years. There’s no way American JVR is going to choose to go to a non playoff team in Calgary any other way.

      • $$$$ talks

    • Cal has their top 2 LW’s in Gaudreau & Tkachuk. Where does JvR fit? 6+ mil per season for at least 6 years is a ton of money to pay what would have to be a #3.

  4. Why would Calgary want to trade Hamilton? Their leading goal scoring defenseman. They wouldn’t, he got 3 years left at 5.75, he still improving, although I would like it if he would use that 6’6″ 210lb frame a little more.
    I do not believe the Flames are entertaining any thoughts of moving him, makes 0 sense.

    • Caper, thank you for saying it and bringing logic into the conversation. Flames would trade Hamonic, Brodie and Giordano before they’d trade Hamilton.

      They’re a team that feels they are a piece or two away from being a contender. No way are they trading their best d-man, especially for draft picks.

    • I totally agree that trading Hamilton makes zero sense. For the reasons you list, I think the Rangers would have to give up more than just the 2 1st rd picks. Would be worth pursuing if rumor is to be believed. I think with what happened with Trouba a couple years ago when he was a rfa, he would be more likely to be traded than Hamilton. Rangers have positioned themselves nicely to make some moves this offseason. Trouba having injury troubles this year kind of brings value down a little. Will be interesting to see if Jets have a disappointing post season what will happen. There where all sorts of rumors about Zucharello going there at deadline. Could happen in off season

    • Agreed.

  5. isn’t Hamilton leading all NHL defence in goals ? If not very close. I still stay they look to UFA come the summer for some help up front. Valamaki will be a player and I think will start as the #6 maybe as early as next season. They may trade some backend depth as in Rasmussen and Kylington for picks . Maybe Bennett gets involved with one of those but it would have to be a good deal

    • Good call Silverseven. Yes he is leading all defenseman in goals with 16. He’s also tied for second among d-men for gwg and ppg.

      Dream on people, Hamilton is going nowhere.

      • & if Gulitzen hadn’t kept trotting Brodie out on the #1 unit for most of the year Hamilton would even be better. Trading this asset makes no sense to me.

      • Good point Striker.

  6. I liked Calgary on paper coming into the season. I rarely see their games so I can’t speak to why they’ve underachieved.

    I’ve never been a Gulutzan fan in his previous stops.

    I also haven’t seen much of Hamilton since he became a Flame but I’ve never been a fan of his, either. Reminded me of Mike Green. Skilled, but soft. Not a player you win with in a key role.

    Very good first line, great 2nd line, the pieces for a good to great third line, good young goalies and a good veteran. 4-5 solid D men. Lot to like there.

    But, they might need a Mike Therrien type to put the hammer down and weed out the weak links.

    • I agree. I’m not a Gulutzen fan either. Calgary should have been a playoff team. This is a solid roster but making the playoffs in either conference isn’t easy & it’s significantly harder in the west even with 1 less team. The overall quality, # of good teams in the west is significantly better than the east.

      • Agree about coaching in Calgary. Joel Quenneville will be available at season’s end along with some other current and former head coaches. There are AHL coaches ready to prove themselves.
        I think a new voice behind the bench and some consistent goaltending will make the Flames into a playoff team. They aren’t far away from being contenders. A lot of teams would love to have the Calgary defence corps and their star forwards should be good for a long time.

    • I agree MG I watch every flame game and have never liked Gulatzan and his coaching staff. In my mind in professional sports coaching is so important to a teams success or failure. This is a case where the players are better then the record but poor coaching has brought them down. I think leaf fans can attest to this as I’m sure if they did not have Babcock they may be fighting for a playoff spot.
      I know I am biased but I would rather have the flames roster than the leafs roster but the big difference is coaching.
      As far as getting a 1st rounder the only player the flames are dangling is Brody. He is an excellent skater can run the power play. Mark my words under a different system Brody would be a solid 2, 3 defenceman who can run the power play. He is a left shot but in past years he has always played the right side. I am pretty sure there would be a lot of interest in Brody. As far as Hamilton the only way he is traded is if the leafs offered Mathews for him and we all know that won’t happen.

  7. I see NYI being in big time for JVR. A top line of Taveres, Eberle and JVR would be lethal. It could also be the kind of move that convinces both JT and JVR to take salaries that fit the cap without killing the team. I am not suggesting either would accept a ridiculous pay cut or anything, but be willing to to think a little bigger than themselves to make the numbers work. To that end, if Snow had to package one of his 1sts to dump a contract to make the numbers work, I could see it happening….

  8. Anyone who only began watching hockey this year would wonder how the Penguins won the Cup in 2016 WITH Letang, not how they won in 2017 without him.

    He’s been so bad this season, but last night was especially brutal.

    He was directly responsible for the Hischier and Hall goals with bizarre decision making.

  9. I agree that trading Dougie makes zero sense but the truth of the matter he doesn’t fit well in the locker room. He didn’t in Boston and I believe it isn’t much better in Calgary he really wanted his brother Freddie to be on the team. He is a fantastic player but never seems to be a good fit.

  10. If Calgary wants a first the Leafs should be willing to take Hamilton for a first, second, Carrick, and Johnsson at least. Flames might want another prospect like Bracco so they might have to send a lower pick back to TO. I know Lou might see this as an overspend but to TO he is worth it. Imagine a defense of:


    Borgmann and Polak would be used when more physicality is needed, for injury replacement, and/or when Hainsey needs a rest.

    • Tugboat I will make a counter offer of
      Hamilton and Brouwer for Nylander and Marner.

    • That’s no better than yesterday’s nonsense.
      Tug, how do you feel about this, Tor trades A. Matthews to Cal for a 1st a 2nd, Porier, Bartowski and F. Hamilton?

      • Oh god….just stop there. Throw In the Calgary stampede and it’s a deal!

  11. FA taverres to leafs, jvr to nj/nyi…