NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2018

by | Apr 12, 2018 | Rumors | 38 comments

Latest on Erik Karlsson, Ryan O’Reilly and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins plus updates on the Flames, Blues and Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion recently telling a group of the team’s season-ticket holders that he won’t trade captain Erik Karlsson during the 2018 NHL Draft. Dorion also said he intends to proffer an eight-year contract extension to Karlsson on July 1. However, Friedman wonders if a rival club might try to tempt them with a trade offer before July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Dorion is sincere about not wanting to trade Karlsson at the draft and trying to re-sign his captain this summer. However, if a rival club makes a big pitch before July 1, including offering to take Bobby Ryan’s full contract ($7.25 million annual average value through 2021-22) off their hands, Dorion and team owner Eugene Melnyk could seriously consider it. 

There’s a lot of expectation the St. Louis Blues will be aggressive in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues need to bolster their offense. During the season they were linked to Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman. They could revisit their interest in those players this summer or perhaps shop around for other options. 

Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly could become the focus of offseason trade chatter (Photo via NHL Images).

There was some trade speculation during the season surrounding Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly. While Friedman was told at the time that it was unlikely O’Reilly would be dealt, he wonders if those rumors could flare up again following the center’s recent comments about losing his love of the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect there will be changes coming to the Sabres this summer. The only untouchable on their roster is center Jack Eichel. Everyone else, including O’Reilly, could be available for the right price. 


STLTODAY: Jeff Gordon believes the Blues’ offseason priority should be bolstering their scoring via trade or free agency. He thinks GM Doug Armstrong could get into the bidding for New York Islanders center John Tavares if he becomes available as a UFA or a sign-and-trade scenario. He also suggests Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly could be interesting trade targets. The Blues have over $64 million invested in 20 players for next season and must re-sign defenseman Joel Edmundson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t sound as though Nugent-Hopkins is available, as Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said he doesn’t intend to trade him. Tavares would be a very expensive signing (possibly over $11 million annually) while the asking price for O’Reilly could be one or two of the Blues’ good young players. 


CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis believes the Flames need to shop a core defenseman such as Dougie Hamilton or T.J. Brodie to bring in a scoring forward. He feels it’s the best move for GM Brad Treliving to address a significant need without overspending via free agency. The Flames’ depth in promising blueline prospects also makes it possible to shop someone like Hamilton or Brodie. If Treliving goes that route, Francis also feels he should try to recoup a draft pick or two in the deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Treliving does draw upon his blueline depth for trade bait, Flames fans would probably prefer Brodie as the trade candidate. However, Hamilton will fetch a bigger return than Brodie, whose stock is likely down after struggling throughout this season. Hamilton, 24, tallied a career-high 17 goals this season and exceeded 40 points (44) for the fourth straight season. Cap Friendly indicates he’s signed through 2020-21 with an annual cap hit of $5.75 million and lacks no-trade protection until 2019-20. I’m not saying Treliving will move Hamilton, just pointing out he would bring back the best. 


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings aren’t likely to be very active in an increasingly thin free-agent market. However, they need to add a goaltender to either back up Jimmy Howard or compete for the starter’s job. Khan said Blues netminder Carter Hutton is on their radar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t sound like Hutton could be available for long. Blues GM Doug Armstrong has reportedly reached out to the 32-year-old goalie to open contract talks. 



  1. Phone call for Mr Parent. Mr Bernie Parent, Ron Hextall calling on line 2.

    Pylon > Brian Elliott.


    • Defense was wayy worse than the goaltending. Hasek wasn’t winning that game. Not that Elliott deserved first start of the game or anything.

  2. Things seem to be looking up in Buffalo! What a hot mess this organization has become! Best of luck pulling any fa into that increasingly toxic environment.

    • In many ways, Buffalo reminds of my Blue Jackets, three or four years ago. A fair amount of talent with a few players who could be very good, but not really playing well. Maybe Buffalo needs to do the equivalent of hiring the JD-Jarmo-Torts triumvirate.

      • I’ve like Columbus for a few years now. What Columbus went through I think had a lot to do with injuries to key players over the years.

        I don’t know that anything other than shuffling the players out will help this team. The things out of the players mouths who should be their “leaders” is pretty horrifying if I’m a fan.

        If I’m the owner or GM, ROR has played his last game for me! Buyout trade, push him down a flight of stairs…. whatever it took. And I’d have a gag order on Eichel. These two are NOT doing or saying the right things. I’m sure it’s frustrating being in a constant losing environment. But this is NOT the way you handle yourself. At least keep your crappy attitude in the locker room….. not in the media.

        ROR is always a player I liked, until this.

      • Nyr if though the buyout for Henrik was expensive it would be rough for 7.5M cap hit ROR :). You must really like showgirls the movie to mention pushing down the stairs :). SAw moment like that at doctor other day where like older one jumped in front of the younger threat ;). Its funny though she only works w/ the 1 doctor there while others have a few who work for them :). She is pretty though or does what can to look that way to be fair ;).

        ROR least would give them an excuse to suck if they bought him out. Why would his comments bother about Buffalo sucking or accepting losing since its true ;). Not seen Buffalo give an effort worth watching in like a decade or two ;). Hell didn’t they play some awful outdoor game vs. Rangers this year ;)? Like who in hell would want to watch that if talking about a nightmare matchup :). Tonight seems like NHL has too many games to televise properly ;). ROR should get traded to Senators for Bobby Ryan that would let Buffalo off hook for a massive cap hit in a few years while winning a lottery maybe too :).

      • There is literally zero chance ROR gets bought out. If he were to go on the block there would be 25 teams interested in taking him on.

      • AT least the Blue Jackets have players or things can point to as promising… They are like the Blue Jackets when they had Jody Shelley only decent when playing at home horrible on road :). Though I don’t see MIke Dunham or some of the other studs they had in net ;). Buffalo is worse than the Blue Jackets or any expansion team that has ever been in the NHL :). Hell even the Atlanta Thrashers won the division once just like LA Kings history :). Maybe the Coyotes are a team that could compare to Buffalo though least they were good back in Winnipeg Jets days w/ some flashes :). Like when NHL owned them least they lost in the WCF I think it was to Kings in 2012. Buffalo all they have is crying that Hasek got shafted in Game 6 of a SCF they wouldn’t have won in 7 anyways ;). I think it was a goal, these goalie interference calls are pretty bogus much like that off side no goal they shafted Subban with :). Coyotes least are not that bad if really look at roster compared to Buffalo ;). Buffalo will be paying Ehrhoff longer than any hope of seeing playoffs ;).

      • ROR is slightly overpaid! There are NOT 25 teams lining up for him at 7.5 per…. people here talk about Stepan being overpaid. Their roles and production is near identical. So if Stepan isn’t worth 6.5 how the hell is ROR worth a million more? This is a 6 million dollar player. 25 teams may line up, (yeah, he’s lost love for the game, let’s send some young talent and draft picks away for his poisonous attitude) but 18 of them can’t afford him and the other 7 aren’t touching him with that contract! 1.5 per retained at least before ANY team starts sending assets the other way!

        And with that hot garbage attitude, it wouldn’t surprise me if more than 3 teams lined up…. and still expect a good portion of that deal to be retained!

        It’s funny to see a Pittsburgh fan, so openly bitter about Jagr having the same attitude in Pittsburgh come roaring in to RORs defense?

      • The NY Rangers wish they had a center like ROR, led the entire NHL in faceoffs and set a record for most wins in a season, he scored very well even though he had the worst wingers in NHL history, I’d love to see ROR with some real skilled wingers. 61 points playing with bums is damn good AND he went against every teams best lines every shift he could. Also the Sabres have the lowest scoring defense in the league so he is getting no help at all. I’d be upset to playing on a team with guys like Girgensons, Larrson, etc

      • Ahhhhh Matt, every team sucks except mine Matt! Lmao!

        Worst wingers in NHL history? Lmmfao! Stop! Okposo, Kane? Worst eve!!!! Omg ! This is beyond being a homer! This guy just said!!!!!! He has NO heart! Why on earth would ANY fan want this piece of hot garbage on their team!! Wake up homer!

        Look at the leadership coming out of NYRs…Lundqvist ” we need to be a competitive team” Zuccarello ” frustrated, we need to be better”

        Oreily and Eichel…. “boo hoo we suck” we’re supposed to be the guys that make I better!

        Nobody want buffalos hot garbage! Stop homer!

    • Interesting that they say Eichel is untouchable and yet if you were to believe the rumours floating around it’s a divided dressing room.
      Going to be an interesting summer in Buffalo there was be some significant changes, has to be, right?

      • Not saying that everyone is lining up to join the Leafs or that its the only team in the league or whatever; If Ristolainen is available the Leafs should be all over that. I don’t believe they are landing Doughty next year. Ristolainen to me is exactly the player needed, hard hitting defenseman, long reach and a good skater. Him and Reilly would be an unbelievable 1/2, respectively.

      • I was listening to Buffalo radio station inferring the split dressing room is no where near even…. something along the lines of Eichel, Okposo, McCabe and one or two more vs the rest. They also emphasized how well Eichel and Middelstadt get along…. reading between the lines this sounds like a dressing room divided by a different line…. let’s just say for fun ….. the 49th parallel!!!!!!

    • So we can all finally agree that Lehner is a goner?

    • I remember in the 90s the Rangers had the highest payroll in league 50 million more than Buffalo and NY would miss the playoffs. Things go up and down, Hawks and Kings had bad years, that’s how they picked so many good players to win cups.

  3. Hamilton would have to involve a top 10 pick this year and a decent top 4-6 forward. That limits the field and makes it unlikely.

    • Rangers could send a 1st+Spooner or Namestikov or Hayes. Hamilton in my limited watching seems inconsistent

      • Hamilton while very strong on the pp and in the offensive zone is very weak in his own end. He needs to be paired with a Giordano or a Chara. He maybe a big guy but he doesn’t play big.

    • Flames need a proven scoring LW, Habs need better D. Pacioretty for Hamilton as starting pieces would seem to make sense. Habs wouldn’t need to add a first rounder there, IMO, but maybe one of their second rounders?

      If Pacioretty for Brodie, then I think Flames need to sweeten that deal

      • IMO In both cases (for either Hamilton or Brodie) Mon would need more to offer to get deal done

      • Agreed. For Hamilton, Pacioretty wouldn’t be even close. Part of the issue is Pacioretty only has a year remaining on his contract. Hamilton has another 3 years at a great cap hit and Brodie has 2 more years at a pretty good cap hit. Calgary would get multiple offers better than just Pacioretty for both. Hamilton has no NTC restrictions and Brodie has only an 8-team NTC list.

      • Paddy
        The last thing the flames need is a left winger. That is where they are strong with Gaudreau, Tkachuk, bennet and Lazar
        What they need is a scoring Right winger or I would really like to see ROR from buffalo, he scores and he wins face offs
        I’m sure his attitude would change if he could play on a winning team. Flames could push Backlund down to the 3rd line making them really strong down the middle

    • And more

  4. So, just for the record, an expansion team that began in 2018 and an expansion team that began in 1999 both got their first playoff wins in team history last night.

    • I think they were referring to just the Winn version of the franchise or did Atl also never win a single game?

      • Thrashers only played 4 playoff games. Obviously, won none.

    • MG they are still tied in Division Titles w/ 1 which even the LA Kings only have a single title :). Though they won 2 Cups so would rather have Cups than Division titles like Sharks ;). Atlanta should have got the Winnipeg Jets full history another reason to hate the Coyotes :). Since moving to the WEst at least Jets have done better than EAst… It was a real tough travel schedule they went the most miles when Atlanta became Winnipeg 2.0… Now they just need to get to the teams formerly in Atlanta who won Cups like Flames ;).

  5. Instead of Carter Hutton, can I interest the Red Wings in Jake Allen?? (or ANY other team)

    • I’d love to see Allen with a consistent team. Getting too much of the blame in St. Louis. Some slack a$$ honkeys in front of him. Whenever he’s seen as playing well he is literally carrying the team. And get those GD sticks out of the way!

    • Put the pads on Hunwick …. can have him for a 7th rounder in 2039

  6. The Avs could probably use a decent 2nd line center. I wonder…

    • Hunwick played centre as a 6 year old …. 7th rounder 2039 offer still stands

  7. as stupid and arrogant as he is, chia better not trade rnh

    • “Better not” ain’t in his vocabulary…. I hinestly wouldn’t be surprised if he traded RNH…. highly disappointed …. but surprised at another buffoon move …. nope

      • That was “honestly” not “hinestly” …. dang

  8. The Quebec Sabres it seems like the Quebec media sources are trying to destroy Buffalo to move to Quebec :). Now that Islanders are getting new arena, Florida looking better, its time to strike ;). HEll Buffalo has been so bad its like they can’t even win a lottery when they need it ;). If they can get the stud D-man in draft they will still suck for next decade wasting a blue chip talent :). Sounds more like a story from pro wrestling w/ the click or factions in nWo or whatever else ;).

    Senators GM has to make it seem he wants to keep King Karl… That might raise the price he gets in a return :). Though really who would buy season tickets for that team if they think it wont have any talent :).

    I’ve given up on Blues ever winning cup while alive to see it ;). Not that care if they ever win or don’t… Just thought way they were going this could have been their year… Think they had like best record in NHL in September or whatever it was at time. Yeah they never seem good enough in net, even if it was fine during regular season. Just like this team can’t get over that hump or a key player is hurt or playing hurt. I remember thinking there was no way Stamkos will go back to TAmpa… Almost typed Stamos like its Fully House :). I do think there a higher chance of Tavares going back to Islanders… If he wanted to leave why score GWG in final game OT or not get traded during season to give them assets… Was it that important to have the summer off or April :)? Its exciting to speculate or talk about big name players moving locations. I don’t think Drew is coming back to LA, they should trade Dustin Brown before he misses more wide open nets ;). Guy playing w/ Kopitar should be scoring 35-40+ goals ;). I just don’t get Harvey in this animated show w/ how Hot Sabrina is he is still clueless ;). HE must have grown up to become a GM for Montreal or maybe some other team if not coach :).

  9. IN Buffalo the untouchables are Eichel and Middelstadt, no way in heck that either get traded.