Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 22, 2018

by | Apr 22, 2018 | Rumors | 26 comments

Latest on the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


STARTRIBUNE.COM: Improving the offense, determining what kind of contracts can be expected for restricted free agents Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker, and perhaps shaking up the roster with a trade are among the questions facing the Minnesota Wild this summer.

Chip Scoggins believes Wild owner Craig Leipold faces two choices: standing pat and hoping things improve next season or make major changes to the roster and/or management. While the Wild reached the playoffs in six consecutive seasons they’ve also made quick postseason exits, with just 15 wins in eight series. The first order of business is determining if general manager Chuck Fletcher returns for a 10th season.

Could Charlie Coyle become part of a potential offseason shakeup by the Minnesota Wild? (Photo via NHL Images)

Scoggins also points out players the Wild counted on for production, such as Zucker, Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle, failed to score in their series against the Jets.  “The Wild has had too many passengers in the playoffs, not just one or two guys falling short. Whether they underperformed or are just not talented enough, this situation requires a realistic assessment of where the organization stands.”

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani suggests “guys like Coyle and Niederrieter might have finally worn out their welcome after following up disappointing regular seasons with scoreless postseasons.” He also notes the Wild face the decision on whether to re-sign Zucker and Dumba to high-paying contracts, pointing out  Zucker’s lack of production against the Jets and Dumba’s “head-scratching plays on the blue line.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Leipold does after his club made yet another early exit from the playoffs. If Fletcher returns, he could be under orders to shake things up and that could include moving Coyle or Niederreiter or Zucker.

As per Cap Friendly, Dumba and Zucker are both restricted free agents with arbitration rights. Dumba’s developing into a reliable puck-moving rearguard and should get a long-term contract. If Zucker isn’t traded he might only get a one-year deal from the Wild taking him up to unrestricted free agency next summer. 


ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan lists adding defensive depth and making decisions on rental wingers (and pending free-agents) Michael Grabner and Patrick Maroon among her keys to the New Jersey Devils’ offseason.

Regarding the defense, she notes John Moore is an unrestricted free agent this summer while 35-year-old captain Andy Greene is showing signs of slowing down. Given their salary-cap space for next season, there’s room to make a splash on defense. Grabner was a bust but Maroon did put up 13 points in 17 regular-season games and could be worth re-signing if the money and term are reasonable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have $55 million invested in 17 players for 2018-19, with Stefan Noesen, Blake Coleman and Miles Wood as their notable restricted free agents. Even if they don’t spend to the projected $80 million cap ceiling they have sufficient space to re-sign their key players and perhaps add a top-four defenseman and perhaps a faceoff specialist.

I don’t see them re-signing Grabner. Maroon was disappointing in the playoffs with just one goal in five games. If the Devils are looking for offense they could pursue other options. 




  1. How about improving the officiating team, while we are at it. I think the refs have an impossible job, and the league goes out of the way to make it worse. I like the call for a slash when you get your stick on the hands….not because I like the call, per se, as it often results in penalties for an act that doesn’t really impact play, but because it is a clear standard. But the slash for breaking the stick is the opposite. If you take two sticks into the lab, and repeat the “slashing” experiment many times, you’ll find the stick breaking to be pretty random, with only modest correlation with the force of the blow (position and angle are more important, as are hidden flaws in the composite. OF ten, we are revealing a player playing with a cracked stick. I see little more value in this call that calling a penalty of a player who breaks his stick on a slap shot…it’s that random. We all know what a cross check looks like. Can anyone tell me the difference between a cross check and a cross checking penalty?
    And we really really need to help the refs with fouls where the opposing player falls down. SO often, with the speed of the game, an act happens in the ref’s periphery, and the call is based on whether or not the ‘victim’ falls down. Diving has become an art form, as has throwing back the head or crumpling against the boards. I don’t expect professional players to stop trying to gain an edge, but here’s what I might try:
    1, The linesman won’t make calls, but they can overturn or even up in consultation.
    2, the first guy in after the whistle gets called, the first cross check gets called, the first third man in face wash gets called, and the linesmen can add embellishment.

    We’ve made “holding” a touch with the free hand standard, but holding the stick is ok.
    Lets move to “don’t close your hand on anything”…the puck, your opponents stick, or shoulder, anything. And no chicken wings either.

    But checks that don’t target the head aren’t penalties as checks (they might be interference).

    And if you’re are going to relax the rules around the net, put a semi-circle on the ice, where fighting for position is ok that would be interference elsewhere.

    Goalie interferance will require divine intervention, as i believe it is beyond the ability of mortal man to understand.

    “even up” should not longer be an unwritten rule.

    Try it for some exhibition games.

    Reducing the variance will improve the game.

    • A lot of variables there Richard, the only rule that needs to be adapted for me is the slash of the stick; i’m ok if the stick breaks it’s a penalty because that indicates enough force to break the stick, I realize not all sticks are created equally but you need to have a line. To many players just drop their stick with the slightest pressure they feel on there stick and that’s very hard for the ref to determine, if they players stick hits the opponent glove then make it an automatic. Players will learn to not slash an opponent glove.
      The one that irritates me is the crosscheck to the back, listening to the play by play guy or commentator you’ll hear them say “well he allow the first three but the fourth was enough and the ref penalized him.” Any given game you can see just one crosscheck result in a penalty or you can see a repeat of 5 consecutive up against the board not get call, but the next time the second one will. I guess it’s the ref taking the temperature of the game.

    • Solving the NHL’s officiating issues is really very simple. Call the penalties as written, eliminate the subjective nature or standard the NHL likes to talk about. This is what infuriates fans, what is a penalty in 1 game, isn’t in another or even in the same game.

      Also, you have 4 sets of eyes out there, make it like football. If the official calling the penalty is positive as to what he saw fine send the player to the box but get together like they do in football occasionally & use the 4 sets of eyes present to make the right call when uncertain or wanting insight from another official.

      It has never really made sense to me that linemen are so limited as to what penalties they can call. Too many men or a deliberate intent to injure. If we have 4 officials on the ice why not make better use of them. I also think officials should wear headsets & we should have spotters up off the ice that can communicate things to them.

      Officiating the game from ice level is extremely hard, it’s fast, people are in the way. There is no perfect answer but I far prefer the standard used in the WJC’s & Olympics than the NHL. Hitting to hurt gets penalised at those levels, charging & boarding are called far more often.

      A slash to the stick whether it breaks the stick or not is slashing as the rule is written. Crosschecking someone battling for net-front presence is cross-checking, call them & get them out of the game.

    • great post. The refereeing needs to be more consistent. I would add, a penalty is the same whether the perpatrator is Sidney Crosby or a goon, same with the “victim”. I am a Flyers fan, but don’t think the stars should get special consideration whether it is Crosby or Giroux or anyone else.

  2. Devils have a good direction. Need some more top tier offensive and have the cap space

  3. Perhaps Andy Greene along with a bundle of picks ( including 2 1sts) to MTL for Weber and Patches

    They get another right hand D man, that can hit and can play, to replace Greene and Ben Lovejoy (both don’t make the Devils better) and Patches to help with the scoring for Hall.

    MTL gets Greene with only 2 years left…giving MTL more cap space to re-adjust better on the fly their core and free up cap space to make other moves. IT also brings in a few 1st rd picks to pray they draft correctly.

    Devils can make a pitch for JVR say $6 for 5yrs and let Grabner and Maroon walk. JVR & Patches will certainly add scoring depth.

    better trade for NJ but MTL certainly needs to move on and retool within the next 2 years.

    • The Habs fan base would have a melt down if this trade happened.

      • Babs fan base would be apoplectic and go into a mass collectiveconniption.

      • Babs not babs

      • I have multiple vision issues, forgive the misspelling, once again it’s the Habs.

    • not disagreeing it is not the best upfront for the HAbs but if they can garner several 1sts and other pics …long term it will be a better option and get them up to playoff contention faster. Weber @32 is not getting faster nor will they be contenders in the next 2 yrs. better to clear off the space and garner as many assets that are valuable and move on asap before they are stuck.

      Perosnally I have always though Petry needs to go 1st but they need to clean house and move on…..

  4. JVR is comely useless outside of five feet in front of the net. As a UFA he’ll end up on another team for nothing in return but they’ll be saddled with a major cap for 6-7 yrs. this is what he looks like in late 20s…imagine in a few years.

    Teams need to make the playoffs and players like JVR can help get them there but they need to win in the playoffs and have players that are effective post season.

    • Any team who signs old man JVR to 6-7 years will regret it until the day they die! But of course some fool GM will sign him long term.

  5. Hey anybody in here seen Rick Nash, apparently he went missing. Don Sweeney has sent Ryan Spooner, Ryan Lindgren and a first round pick to look for him, but they been wide of their net in the search. Sweeney is considering widening his search and my but another Ryan as in Donato to see if he may help bring Rick Nash out of hiding.

    • Maybe get Rykov to help. Can look for Grabner too. Thank you NJ and Boston

      • I just hope the rumors of NYR considering brining Nash & Grabner back are false. I certainly see no need for them.

        just wish Gorton could have hoodwink’d a GM to take Brendan Smith …perhaps he is still working on that LOL

      • I hope NYR brings Grabner back as long as the term & monies are reasonable. 2 years at 2 to 2.5. Solid penalty killer & can slide around the 3rd or 4th lines on either side even bumping up to the 1st or 2nd line short term if injuries require.

        Solid depth player. Didn’t fit in NJ but gave NYR the better part of 2 great seasons.

    • I hate that trade.

      • I love Grabner, I remember thinking he’d be perfect in Vigneaults system. With AV gone, not sure they’ll bring him back at expense of giving younger guys new contracts. I think he’d be open to returning on a reasonable contract. He genuinely seemed to like organization…Rangers have an excess of forwards, and hopefully they parlay that with some picks to get a guy like Trouba or Hamilton. Nash another guy who embraced living in NYC and really didn’t want to leave. I just don’t see him getting signed by Rangers. I think Isles would be a better bet!

    • Yes Rick Nash has been missing his entire career in playoffs, he’s a loser

    • They don’t need Nash and not even Bergeron, all they need to do is stick with their arrangement with the referees and the Cup is theirs AGAIN…

      • Not sure what your watching but the Kadri could have had a few more. He makes Marchand look like a angel hope somebody grabs him tomorrow.

      • Marchand look like an angel….. pretty funny.

      • You know game 1 and 5 are the only games Boston had more PP then Toronto and if you take Kadri penalty out of game 1, there the same. Game 4 Boston had 0 pp.

  6. Minny isn’t firing Fletcher & see yesterdays comments. Minny is fine, great team with solid youth coming. The played without 1 of the leagues elite 2-way Dman injured, Spurgeon playing on 1 leg, Parise lost in game 2 against the 2nd best team in the NHL this season & a powerhouse. My cup winner.

    Coyle may be traded as he isn’t suited to playing a 3rd line RW as he did primarily this season. Kunin can assume that role.

    Dumba had a great season & only 23 with 310 NHL games of regular season experience. He logged the 3rd most TOI/GP & 2nd at ES finishing with the 2nd best +/- on the team for Dman at +15. Scoring 14 goals & 50 points. Amazing considering his slow start to the season. He & Zucker will be seeing huge raises & neither are going anywhere any time soon.

  7. 3 different types of players, guys who can’t score at all, guys who can score in regular season and not playoffs and guys who can come through in regular season and playoffs. Any guys who never come up big or even average in playoffs are not worth keeping.