NHL Rumor Mill – April 19, 2018

by | Apr 19, 2018 | Rumors | 40 comments

Check out the latest offseason speculation for the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues in your NHL rumor mill. 

Sorting out Drew Doughty’s future will be key to the Los Angeles Kings’ offseason plans. (Photo via NHL Images)


ESPN.COM: Sorting out Drew Doughty’s future and improving the offensive depth are among Greg Wyshynski’s keys to the offseason for the Los Angeles Kings. Doughty, 28, is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. The Kings can open contract extension talks on July 1. Earlier this season, Doughty raised eyebrows by saying he’d seek to maximize his market value, even suggesting he’d swap contact numbers with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson. Meanwhile, limited salary-cap room could affect efforts to boost their offense.

SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre also believes Doughty’s future is at the heart of the Kings’ offseason challenges. Noting how the Kings were the bigger, slower team in their opening-round sweep at the hand of the the smaller, faster Vegas Golden Knights, he feels they must change to adapt to the NHL’s changing game. “Their expensive roster is aging and, compared to the best teams in the Western Conference, their top players are getting slower by the year.”

MacIntyre also noted Doughty’s comments last November suggesting he and Karlsson deserve “quite a bit more” than the $9 million annually earned by Nashville’s P.K. Subban. “If you’re the Kings and in transition, are you going to pay Doughty, say, $100 million for eight more seasons? Or are you going to speed the transformation of your roster by getting a bundle of assets in return for the best defenceman in the game?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty’s status hasn’t attracted as much attention as Karlsson’s, but given the Kings’ swift playoff elimination by the upstart Golden Knights, his name could come up more often in this summer’s rumor mill. Cap Friendly indicates the Kings have over $32 million invested in Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Dion Phaneuf. Doughty could seek over $10-million annually on an eight-year deal, which will bite even more deeply into their payroll for the coming years. It could also hamper efforts to transition toward a younger, faster roster. Doughty’s status could attract interest from rival clubs with salary-cap space seeking a blueline stud. 


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford examined possible offseason moves by St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. He notes Armstrong had talks with the Ottawa Senators about winger Mike Hoffman and the Montreal Canadiens about left wing Max Pacioretty before the trade deadline. It’s believed those teams were among those that wanted Armstrong to part with two of his top prospects, which he didn’t want to do. He’s willing to move one for the right deal as there aren’t enough for six young forwards to crack the Blues lineup in the near future. With a possible $10 million in salary-cap room after re-signing their key free agents, Armstrong feels his club can be active in this summer’s trade and free-agent markets.

STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Jeff Gordon suggested the Blues should attempt a trade for a center, suggesting the Buffalo Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly as a possible trade target. Gordon also noted New York Islanders center John Tavares could be available in this summer’s free-agent market, but the high cost of signing him could create long-term challenges for the Blues. He’s also against pursuing Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk, citing his age (he turns 29 in May) and the potential high cost of signing him. He doesn’t rule out bringing back Paul Stastny from Winnipeg via free agency for the right term and salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $62 million invested in 18 players. If they re-sign key free agents such as Kyle Brodziak, Carter Hutton and Joel Edmundson, they could have $10 million available if the cap ceiling rises to $80 million as expected.

Armstrong said his club has the resources to take on additional salary if needed, but I doubt he’ll pursue expensive UFAs such as Tavares or van Riemsdyk. He’s got the depth in young assets to swing a deal for someone such as O’Reilly, Hoffman or perhaps Pacioretty if he’s willing to sign a contract extension. If he’s unwilling to part with two of his top prospects, however, landing one of those established forwards will be difficult. 



  1. I doughty Doughty is going anywhere he should be the top defence salary and yes more than Subban and more than Karlsson.

    Kostin and one other prospect and maybe a second should be a package to get something done

  2. Can’t have both if your paying top bucks for Kopitar Drew and a few then it’s hard to add some more offense. Caught between a rock and a hard place.

    • Obe if Kings had a brain they would trade Brown at the draft before he sours… HE is coming off his best year for points even if he choked in goals… Guy playing w/ Kopitar has to be able to chip in 35-40+ goals like a Jeff Carter for example if they moved him up to 1st line RW over Brown… Kings need right shooting D-men, to ditch Forbort, while getting a LW who can score 30ish goals. Once they got rid of Gaborik they had no scoring LW… Pearson more of a setup guy, Kempe they kept playing at center though they can let Amadio take his place shifting him to 1st line LW. Clifford or Iafallo are not going to score more than 10 goals though maybe 15 like a Trevor Lewis for Iafallo is doable…

  3. The Kings are due for a shake up, as their age is starting to show.
    I doubt that Doughty is in their long term plans, so he would get a sizeable return of much needed draft picks, a good prospect & a younger roster player.

    • Greg lots depends on if they think Quick can get them going then transition to another goalie be it CAmpbell or that southpaw they signed Cal Peterson maybe it was in AHL can’t remember. Kings made bad trade to get crappy Rieder who isn’t any better than what had at LW or young wingers like Brodzinski or MErsh whatever his name among others. Either they move Kempe to 1st line LW or get a guy who can score 35-40+ points to play there… Brown needs to get traded or don’t see Drew sticking around on a sinking or sunken ship ;). Get value for Brown while he has some instead of buying him out like they were going to if he struggled this year again…

  4. I wonder what the Oilers would have to offer up, or if it’s posable to get Muzzin and Brown, with LA retaining some of Browns cap? It would probably start with the Oilers best d-man prospect it Bear and/or RNH. Now I don’t like trading RNH but things have to happen to improve the Oilers pack end and top wingers, and no I do not expect LA to take Lucic. This would help LA get younger, faster, and lower their cap situation to resign Doughty as well.

    • The only real issue that I see after my post is that these two teams are divisional rivals. So would either team make such a big deal?

    • The Oilers and every other team should stay far away from Brown. His shooting pct this year is not sustainable for a good player let alone him. Plus he’s the dirtiest player in the league. Giving up Bear and RNH for Brown and Muzzin is definitely a Chiarelli level bad trade for the Oilers though so you never know.

      • Looking at his career stats this season lines right up with his career numbers before Sutter. Those were all 50+ point seasons as well. Also I would say a .126 shooting percentage isn’t unsustainable. Ovie’s was .138 this season and has a career .124 shooting percentage.
        RNH maybe an overpayment for Brown, but with Muzzin I just don’t know. Especially if LA were to retain some salary. I just don’t want to be looking at this with Oiler blue glasses.

      • Agree that the Oil will be aggressive this off season. The pressure was on PC to win now, before this year’s debacle.
        If the Oil don’t rebound and contend next year it will be bye bye to PC and he knows it.
        Unless the Oil win the lottery and move into the top 3, their 1st round pick is definitely in play. Will likely be in the 9-12 spot. PC basically said that in his season ending press conference.
        Until we know who is coming back it is impossible to judge a decision like that, but moving first round picks will just continue the problem of a bare pipeline that has plagued the Oilers for a decade plus, and what I believe is the root cause of their extended futility.

      • The Penguins are flush with wingers that they need to move to make room for the next batch. I think a Brian Rust in a middle 6 role on the Oilers would make a huge impact and would not cost as much to acquire. That’s the kind of players the Oilers need, impact role players with a winning pedigree. A guy like Rust with his speed and his defensive abilities would be invaluable to a team like the Oilers. As much as I love all of our players we can’t keep them all under the cap. Rust is 25 and has 2 cups, Brown is 33 and has 2 cups. Rust is an RFA and he’s looking at a 3.5*5 year deal. Brown has 5 more years at 5.9 million and will be worth that contract for at most 2 more years. The Oilers need speed and skill on the wings not a washed up old guy. Not saying Rust will be available but he’s the type of player the Oilers need. Young, versatile and fast and affordable to acquire. They have enough big contracts, they need to find some value.

      • I’d git rid of sheary over rust toot sweet

    • You don’t want Brown, he’s old and signed long term.

    • Kings need to keep Muzzin… Though they would probably give Martinez along w/ Brown for a decent deal depending… I doubt anybody wants Forbort so trying to be realistic… Kings got more players who are better or as good as injury prone Martinez who blocking shots instead of scoring than they do Muzzin. Kings need a LW who can score 35-40 goals to play on 1st line… They might do that deal for RNH so that they can shift Carter to 1st line RW being rid of the disease of Brown… Then can put RNH between Toffoli and Pearson for 2nd line.

  5. Doughty will be Shea Weber for most of the term of his next contract – not worth it and likely unmovable. LA and Anaheim got a huge wake-up call from VGK. Their style is 5 years ago; they both need to turn over their rosters to younger AND faster players. Best outcome for LA is to sign and trade Doughty for assets that will allow them to play the speed and skill game that is today’s NHL.

    • I think Doughty will age well. I don’t know what route LA decides to go as they have some difficult decisions ahead, but Doughty will continue to be a top tier D man well into his 30’s. Guys who skate like him, seem to.
      Scott Niedermayer comes to mind. Won a playoff MVP at age 34, and produced right until he retired at 36.

    • Drew is good at everything which makes him great… Shea had a huge shot that made him a beast w/ like 100MPH+. Drew will be more like Chara on Boston who plays well into his 40’s at a high level or others like Chelious, Bourque, Blake, he might have a down year or two… Though on a different team or not playing w/ trash like Forbort his point total along w/ goals will be higher. AT worse he will be like Ellis is on Nashville. Sharks just upgraded their team while Ducks didn’t have it without Fowler… IF Ducks had Fowler besides some others they lost to expansion it might have went better. Sharks had a major upgrade while their young players are panning out even w/ the mistake they made keeping Ward losing Carpenter to Vegas on Waivers… Kings had refs cost them game 2 by suspending Drew… Kings had bad coaching, benching LaDue basically after he gets their only PP goal… Kings got no LW who can score, kept playing Brown who is awful there on 1st PP unit then wonder why can’t score. Kings need to decided if going to get 3 right shot D-men, get rid of trash like Forbort whose style maybe was good in 2012 but worthless liability now… Get a LW who can play on top line even if move Kempe there. Fleury played really insane out of his mind in that series not giving up anything having a GAA below 1 goal. Jones played decent having some really good games. I just don’t think Gibson/MIller good enough net minders for Ducks to expect anything. They should have missed the playoffs but Dallas choked w/ Bishop going down along with Blues losing to Berube among other things ;).

  6. The Kings really need to take a step back and evaluate where they are at. They had a very respectable bounce back season overall, but when you put it in context, they need to decide on a direction.

    This year, Brown and Kopitar had as good a year as you could possible home, Doughty had his best year, and Quick had his best season since 2012.

    Going forward, can you really expect more out of this line up. Some might point to the 4 game sweep, but that’s not a lot to judge a team on. More importantly, let’s look at full season. They finished with 98 points in a wild card spot despite all that went right for them. Sure they had an injury to Carter, but their biggest names really played as well as you can hope. They have over $30M tied up for at least 3 more seasons to the group of Phaneuf, Martinez, Kopitar, Brown and Carter. Can you expect to get more out of this group as they are playing into their 30’s? I don’t really think you can. Also, they don’t seem to have those excellent value contracts coming.

    The new NHL economy pretty much dictates that you are a little reliant on either cheap young talent, or a couple of massive value deals signed by players you could never hope to sign at that price today. LA doesn’t have enough of this to offset the overpayment they will be paying on guys like Phaneuf and Brown in the coming years, and there is a pretty good chance that guys like Kopitar and Carter will have a hard time justifying their full cap hit, or at least out performing their current deals, as they age.

    • The Vegas team so far has shown that u don’t have to have high end expensive players to compete and be successful on the ice. Why should teams look at high end expensive players like Doughty and Karr also to make them better. Let these guys walk and trade and draft players much like Vegas and the Jets. Signing these high end players only makes a team have to deal with salary cap issues and these guys r not young enough to sign them to multi year contracts.

      • I think the issue some teams face is two fold.

        1) They pay too much for what a player has accomplished, and don’t think enough about what they are buying going forward

        2) They sign too many players to similar deals at the same time.

        There is nothing wrong with making big commitments to players, but they need to be balanced out. Maybe be willing to overpay and keep a centre or top D, but don’t start extending that mentality to a core of 3-6 players all aging together. Kopitar at $10M is a tough pill to swallow, but was worth at least that this year, and Big centres are near impossible to get. It’s the surrounding contracts that will hurt, when Quick, Brown, Gaborik (now Phaneuf) are never able to come close to living up to the cost going forward, and are declining at the same rate.

        Anaheim made this mistake. I get keeping Getzlaf, big centres are so hard to replace and he plays such a complete and underrated game. Perry and Kesler got paid for legacy more than current ability. Perry especially cashed in on a hot run that won him a Hart, but truthfully, who couldn’t see it coming that a big winger who isn’t a great skater starting to decline very fast in his 30’s.

        You look at teams in similar situations, and it’s not often the primary big contracts that hurt, it’s the surrounding contracts. Chicago is likely Ok paying Kane, but Seabrook’s contract is hurting a lot, Hossa’s would have been brutal had they not gotten away from it.

        Teams that have stayed competitive haven’t been afraid to move on from players. They just a few key pieces and moved on when they had to. Pittsburgh committed to two big centres, but moved on from Staal, Fleury, Bonino, and a bevy of wingers that could have gotten overpaid. They added Kessel, but even then they did so for a pretty reasonable return and had salary withheld to ease the Burden.

        I would even argue that Washington had done a god job with this, letting guys like Green and Semin Walk rather than over committing. They haven’t got the cup to show for it, but have stayed competitive winning division titles like clockwork.

      • I am very sceptical that Vegas can pull of next season what they did this season. The majority of their roster had career years this season.
        Karlsson 25 yrs old – 25 points last season and that jumped to 78 this season. Plus his shooting percentage went from a combined .074 the last 2 season to .235 this season.
        Marchessault 27 yrs old – 51 points last season to 75 points this season.
        Perron 29 yrs old – 46 points last season to 66 this season. His previous career high was back 5 years ago with the Oilers with 57 points.
        R. Smith 27 yrs old – the last three season were 40-50-37 and that jumped to 60 this season.
        Haula 27 yrs old – 26 points last season to 55 points this season.
        Miller – 16 points 2015/16, 13 points 2016/17, to 41 points this season.
        That is only the top 6 point getters on the Golden Knights minus Neal who just had an okay season and may not be back with the Knights next season. They have plenty of other players who also had career years and to expect the majority to repeat is unlikely. Just my opinion.

      • your missing the flip side of that aspect KevJam. if it was one or two players with career years then maybe an anomaly… if it’s half their forwards (not to mention some d men) then that seems like a stretch to say its all luck or unsustainable. vegas will have cap space to sign some talent, assets to trade for it if they want, and a solid crop of teenagers getting bigger and better after last years draft. plus pacific don’t look so tough again next year.

      • We have seen this script plenty of times. The 2014/15 Calgary Flames come to mind. A supposed rebuilding team makes the playoffs due to a bunch of players having a career year then the following year the wheels fall off. Now granted the Knights had a better year than that Flames team, but then more of their players also had career years. If half of them fall back to their average career numbers it could be a disastrous year for the Knights.

      • If half stay with it with the likely infusion of talent then they will be fine. Why the hate?

    • Kings need to trade Brown while his value is going to be as high as possible before reality sets in. If they can trade Brown then maybe they can keep Drew otherwise he is gone… Kings will probably lose Drew Doughty, then hope Brown plays well enough to have Seattle take him in expansion draft as they hoped Vegas was dumb enough to do :). Kings need to have 3 right shot D-men to play 3/3 not this 4 or 5 left shot D-man crap. Kings need a LW who can score 35-40 goals to play w/ Kopitar… You can always move Carter up to 1st line to play RW if don’t upgrade there too… If get rid of Brown then can even move Kempe up to 1st line to play LW while having Amadio play Center on 3rd or 4th depending where play Lewis at RW or Center. When LaDue is only guy who scores PP goal then have him basically on bench while playing Folin or others it shows they don’t got a clue. When Kings were not winning cup they had too many of the same players. That Rieder trade was really bad, he sucks, blew his assignment in own end leading to an easy Vegas goal too… I think after this season coming if LA don’t do better than this they will fire head coach let Drew walk doing a full retool or rebuild.

  7. I doubt the Kings trade Doughty. Did you take a look at their defense for the game he was suspended?

    even with a rebound season, Dustin Brown is untradeable with his contract.
    Phaneuf could possibly get bought out if they are worried about cap space

    Maybe the Kings try to trade Jeff Carter for a speedier/younger forward?

  8. Building a team is all about a balancing act in today’s NHL. It’s not just a question of “Is this player work X Dollars a year”, it’s about getting the players you need when you need them. You can’t set some formula for what you want a player to be getting a year for however many years and basically pass on every player that doesn’t fit that mold, because players are a limited commodity and you can’t just pass on them until the right one comes along all the time, as your current roster will age.

    The other side of that coin is you can’t just lock a core of players at the same age to long term deals and have the whole team age together. It is usually expensive and restricting. Teams like Anaheim and LA will have trouble dealing with this.

    Realistically you need to identify players work keeping for their whole career, players you kind of just want for their prime years, and players worth overpaying for a little to round things out.

    Doughty and Karlsson would be the latter types. For a handful of teams, they will make perfect sense, provided that team acquiring either realizes they can’t make that type of commitment to other players who will decline at the same time, and don’t have contracts already in this situation.

    Doughty and Karlsson would fit best on teams in need of D (who doesn’t), whose core is quite young, or on great contracts. Toronto, New Jersey, Vegas, and Colorado fit this mold very well. None have overly problematic commitments to older players, all are competitive today, all could use a top pairing D, and all could structure their team for the long term around this type of set up as long as they were disciplined going forward.

    • pens did that… seems to have worked out ok

  9. The Kings should sign some more 30 year old forwards to 5-8 year deals lol.

    • Really good contribution Matt…nice!

  10. I don’t think it is a matter of do the Kings want Doughty, I think it is a matter of does Doughty want to stay with the Kings.
    He has said winning Stanley Cups is more important to him than staying in LA.
    Maybe Vegas steps up to the plate to try and sign him, or who knows maybe Boston steps up they have a terrific team that Doughty might view as his best chance to win another cup with.

    • Vegas would be an interesting destination for either Dougthy or Karlsson. They have an exciting team as is, but it’s not as if they have years of picks waiting in the system, and they also don’t have a ton of bad contracts clogging things up. Adding another face to their franchise would be reasonable, and likely keep the momentum going. As long as they don’t gum up the system with too many big deals to 27-30 year old players, they can afford a contract like that for the duration of that players career, and I do think Doughty and Karlsson could provide close to full value for as much of that type of deal as anyone could be expected. I see them aging like a Duncan Keith type defender. While their play will likely fall off, if they can be top tier D right until their mid 30’s, there won’t be too much of a massive overpayment at the end of the contract (provided the cap continues to increase).

  11. A NHL rule question. As far as I can tell a teams roster size needs to be between 20 and 23 players, not including players who are on injured reserve. Now as per cap friendly right now the Golden Knights roster size is 27 – 15 forwards, 9 d-men, and 3 goalies. Plus 3 players on IR not included in that number. As per the NHL website their roster size is 26 – 15 forwards, 8 d-men, and 3 goalies. Plus 1 player on IR not included in that number. How is this posable?

    • The 23 man roster limit is only in effect until the trade deadline. After the deadline, a team can carry as many players as they can fit under the cap, provided they appeared on the roster at some point before the trade deadline.

      This is why you see teams make paper transactions at the deadline, to ensure certain players are playoff eligible. During the playoffs, the cap is no longer a factor either, so teams will just carry any players that are eligible. Most teams right now have a roster of 25+.

      It’s the reason we stop hearing about teams not being able to recall a guy, or that teams all of a sudden start rotating their younger players in and out more frequently. It’s also the reason we hear about teams like Toronto and Vegas being stuck in 23 man purgatory, trying to wiggle things whenever possible, but as soon as the trade deadline passes, they are good to go and can do whatever they want. Teams will work to make room for a guy prior to the deadline, even if it’s for a few days, just so they are playoff eligible, knowing after the deadline, they can have more than 3 players in the pressbox if need be.

      • Danny not sure if all teams use the same terms… I think the guys Kings called up for playoffs were the “Black Aces” or some crap like that… ONce the playoffs start you get more roster spots like teams after AHL season is over often call up a 3rd goalie or whatever too… Like Predators called up think it was LInbeck or whatever his name a while ago. I think NHL should allow 1 more player to be active during season for games… Then teams can go w/ 13 forward or 7 D-men making it a much better game for getting young players or others playing time… Especially when lose a player to this concussion protocol or other BS ;). Just kinda annoying that they have healthy scratches when players are there anyways. Think game would be much better if added that 1 player to watch and scoring ;).

    • Thanks guys. That is what I was thinking, but I couldn’t find anything saying so.

  12. You guys all idiots if you think oilers are even close to making playoffs with pc and Mac at the helm. The only thing they got is Mcjesus. Nobody going to make trades with them. Ha ha on you armchair no minds.

    • Man. There is already a d. And he drags his 💩 out! Who are you to throw shade chief?

  13. Unless the Kings trade Brown then get a defense where will play 3/3 right shot d-men to left shot I don’t see Drew sticking around at all… I think HEdman wins the Norris over him since he has the bigger goal total… If Drew had like 15 I think he would have won the Norris… Subban even being in the top 3 is generous to say least… I don’t see him winning without AA, hell his goalie might win the VEzina if Hedman’s don’t… So that hurts both of them in a way compared to Drew who was playing w/ trash like Forbort. I don’t think Forbort would be in the top 6 or 7 of Tampa or Nashville on Defense unless they had 2-3 guys hurt ;).

    Kings need a LW to play on 1st line who can score 35 goals basically give or take 5. Iafallo maybe can get 10, don’t see him getting 20-30 anytime soon… He strikes me more of a Trevor Lewis when it comes to his offensive development upside of about 15 goals… Pearson should play w/ Toffoli though I think its best having that 70’s line over putting them around Kopitar. Kempe could move up on 1st line to play LW instead of making him a center moving Amadio into that slot for 3rd line etc. Rieder was a bad trade, bad defensive play in own zone led to Vegas backbreaking goal too. Forbort needs to go too, McNabb getting the GWG sweep for a guy they decided to protect over him among others was the final nail in his 1st round Tarasenko bust coffin… IF they had him they wouldn’t need a guy who can score… SEems Kings gave up on MErsh or whatever along w/ Brodzinski to trade for a guy worse than both of them in Reider and Camallari :). Maybe they bring back Folin, LaDue they benched for scoring their only PP goal in series against Vegas. How dare he generate offense or play better than the other scrubs they put in over him.

    Carter can eventually move up to RW to play on 1st line… IF Kings trade Brown now they will be able to afford to keep DRew while upgrading enough to compete for a Cup again. Otherwise Drew walks while Kings have about a decade of losing. I could see them doing something stupid like trading Muzzin for Max then he walks :). If they traded Martinez I think FAntenberg can produce his offensive numbers and play. Forbort nobody would even give a 7th round pick for or anything of value he is so blatantly bad. Dion they will try to get Seattle to take or buy out his final year which is only like 1M in a few years. He looked pretty bad vs. VEgas often his pairing was the worst for chances generated it seemed.

    I would laugh if Drew ended up on Sharks like Blake… Imagine Drew/Burns, he would play w/ Vlasic like he did at Olympics having huge years for both :). Vegas is another team he would get like 70 points way they let their D-men generate offense. Tampa he would be a nice match playing w/ Hedman. Maybe he goes to DAllas or Florida so he has to carry the team from the blueline like the Kings. I don’t see him going to Canada even Winnipeg though. My gut is he would try to stay in the West unless wanted an easier time from physical play in easy East :). I don’t blame him for wanting to get paid or leaving a place like LAK. IF I had money California on a sub par team w/ no chance to win cup is last place that would be playing for on or off ice reasons ;).