Latest on the Leafs and Canadiens – May 12, 2018

by | May 12, 2018 | Rumors | 42 comments

Latest on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in your NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel believes the big challenge facing new Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is turning his roster from a good to a great team. Among the issues facing him is determining how much to invest and for how long in young stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander and whether Nylander is a center or winger and what his potential upside will be.

Toronto Maple Leafs new general manager Kyle Dubas.

Siegel also wonders if Dubas will engage in some outside-the-box thinking, such as tendering offer sheets to players such as Vegas’ William Karlsson, Detroit’s Dylan Larkin, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba or Minnesota’s Matt Dumb. Perhaps he’ll offer up a top UFA such as the New York Islanders’ John Tavares a rich one-year deal, or address their blueline instability via free agency (Washington’s John Carlson), a big trade or trying to unearth undiscovered gems in other franchises.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas has been touted as part of the next generation of young general managers, like Arizona’s John Chayka, expected to bring a fresh approach to building and maintaining a championship contender. Unlike Chayka, however, Dubas is working in the world’s biggest hockey market. He’ll be under intense pressure and considerable scrutiny from Leafs fans and the Toronto media.

It’ll be interesting to see how much “outside-the-box thinking” Dubas brings to the role. Offering up a one-year contract for the maximum salary ($16 million if the salary cap reaches $80 million for next season) or tendering offer sheets to a cap-strapped rival’s top restricted free agent has been done before by other clubs, but both are rare occurrences.

A one-year deal at the league maximum takes a big bite out of any club’s cap payroll, while offer sheets are almost always matched and can spark ill will among general managers. I suspect Dubas will look at more traditional methods this summer to bolster the Leafs roster, but he could also look at trying to acquire promising players unable to shine on deep rosters. 

The Leafs did the right thing by grooming Dubas for the role for several years so he  knows what he’s getting into. Still, he has little room for error. If Dubas starts making mistakes, this will be the constant meme from Leafs Nation:


JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: New York Islanders center John Tavares, Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Islanders blueliner Thomas Hickey and Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette could be the top-five free-agent targets this summer for the Montreal Canadiens. 

TVA SPORTS: Analysts Michel Bergeron and Louis Jean discussed whether Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny would be a good fit for the Canadiens. Bergeron cites Stastny’s leadership and experience, noting the Colorado Avalanche weren’t the same team after he departed via free agency four years ago. Jean, however, doubts Montreal is an attractive destination for Stastny. He also feels the 32-year-old center will seek a six- or seven-year contract worth $7 million per season. 

THE ATHLETIC: If the Canadiens fail to land Tavares via free agency, Arpon Basu recommends they hang onto their salary-cap space and wait for next summer, when the free-agent pool will be considerably deeper.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin will try to woo Tavares if the Isles center decides to test the UFA market, but I just don’t see him signing with Montreal. If the Canadiens were coming off a 103-point season as they were a year ago, maybe there will be a chance. But after missing the playoffs twice in three years, I doubt he’ll see the Canadiens as a potential Stanley Cup contender. Same goes for Carlson, who I expect will re-sign with the Capitals.

Stastny would be a good option but I agree with Jean that they shouldn’t overpay for the privilege. Hickey and Vermette would be much more affordable but they won’t significantly improve the Canadiens. 

Among the notables eligible next summer for UFA status include Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Matt Duchene, San Jose’s Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, Columbus’ Artemi Panarin, Dallas’ Tyler Seguin, Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler, Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Nashville’s Ryan Ellis.

Most of these players, however,  will be re-signed by their current clubs. Those that remain will not only seek top dollar but they could also seek to join a Cup contender. Factor in the fishbowl existence of playing in Montreal and a Canadiens team flush with cap space could still find it difficult to land a top free agent. 



  1. If the Leafs spend over 24 million for their three young guys they won’t win crap. They are good young players but are not great and unless the cap hits 100 million Toronto won’t have enough cash to build a winning defense. Kyles first test will be these three contracts or maybe moving one for a solid D man. He must also make sure that Babcock and the boys are a fit if not he has to make changes.

    • 24 million ? On what terms ? 8 years on all 3 and that’s a pipe dream . If the cap cap hits 80 , Mathews has the same agent who got Toews Kane and kopitar 10+ when Crosby was making 8.7 . Of course they were signed in different cap times , but Ovechkin the winger with zero cups got 9.5 in same cap world . Point being , it’s not always the best players making the most money. The cap and several factors also play in . If it hits 80 and it’s Brisson vs dubas , dubas will have to pay what Brisson is asking , or Mathews will be exposed to possible offer sheets , and another year to build his sample with more playing time in big situations as requested . Chiarelli hd to throw 13.25 at mcdavid if reports are accurate and mcdavid stepped in to bring it down to 12.5 . This doesn’t mean Austin will do the same , he could , but he hired Brisson for a reason . What will dubas have to throw at Mathews to get that signature a year early ? A smaller percentage than mcdavid can still make him the highest paid … might that be enough ? Striker swears the team holds all the leverage . We will see that theory put to the test a couple times this summer .

      • Ovechkin signed in 2008 for 13 years that was a different cap world.

      • That’s exactly what I said striker because I knew you would jump there . I said Ovechkin in the sane cap world as Crosby got 9.5 and an extra year term .

      • Or how I meant to say it anyways , Crosby /Ovechkin cap and rules 12/13 year deals etc . Kopitar Kane Toews 8 years bigger hits . Mathews in mcdavid cap world plus a potential 5 million with a Brisson as an agent . You think Laine isn’t cashing in this summer as well ?

      • Sorry misunderstood what you were trying to imply.

      • Mathews is not anywhere near McDavid 10 is lots for him Marner 8 is over payment and 6 for Nylander is more than fair. You pick the term but if I’m GM 8 for Mathews and 5 or more fore the other two.

      • You’ll get some good draft picks back from the offer sheets obe. Restart the shanaplan

      • Obe in this dream does Tavares also sign with Toronto at a million a year And as part of the deal doughty and karlsson join him on same deals ? Equally as likely . 8 for Mathews lol

  2. You need a free ticket to go to the jets street party. There was 25,000 free tickets available on ticket master, they were gone in 90 minutes. Shorty after you could buy a set of 4 free tickets on Kijiji for $150. Now really, who didn’t see that coming.

  3. The rumour floating around that makes some sense is the islanders trading brock Nelson and one of the their first rd picks for Max pacioretty to try and keep Tavares. I really thought hunter would get the job over dubas I can see this going south in a hurry

    • Why?
      Dubas has a fresh new approach and a really good hockey head. If he can convince Hunter to stay then I can see a good opportunity. The Leafs had two good in-house prospects and I think they picked the right one.

      • Why would Hunter stay? you just told him he wasn’t good enough for the job.
        The question will be how will Dubas and Babcock get along, after all Babcock is not Dubas hire.

      • Hunter has a year left on his contract, he’s a good candidate for GM jobs with other teams, he’ll get hired somewhere and, in the mean time, he’ll lead the Leafs’ scouts at the draft. His world has not come to an end.

      • I think this was the plan right from when all were hired. I remember reading articles to that point specifically. Hunter will move on eventually but Tor’s management structure although not totally unique except for Babcock’s control of the top 25, is starting to become the norm. Management by committee with the President, not the GM having the final say on all player personnel decisions really.

        In today’s NHL 1 person can’t do everything. Dubas becomes the front man for trades in Tor & has a huge say but any good manager discusses player moves, weighs the options & makes a decision with input from a large body of staff both above & below. The business side of hockey plays into everything almost now.

    • With Lee, Beauvilier, Ladd on the left side I guess Beuvilier gets bumped out of the top 3 in that scenario? When moved to Barzal’s wing he really started to progress offensively.

      NYI should be able to lock Brock Nelson up long term for decent monies. At 6’3″ he falls into the late bloomer category for me he has 398 regular season games played & if Tavares walks moves to the #2 C spot from playing as the 3rd last season.

      If Tavares returns NYI’s top 2 lines stay intact.

      Lee, Tavares, Bailey.
      Beauvilier, Barzal, Eberle.

      If not Barzal or Nelson take Tavares spot. Beauvilier could move to C & Bellows slides into the #2 LW spot. If Tacvares resigns Bellows plays RW on the 3rd line with Ladd & Nelson.

      Patches isn’t getting Tavares resigned & moving Nelson an RFA that can be locked up long term 5+ years at or near 4 for a LW not needed with 1 year to UFA status doesn’t make sense to me.

      Lossing Tavares would suck but NYI won’t be destitute if he does. Solid prospect pool, 2 1st & 2nds this year to parlay if Tavares decides to walk.

      It’s going to be an interesting summer with Carlson & Tavares both pending UFA’s & Karlsson potentially traded. Patches is moving but NYI seems unlikely. Tons of solid options, I’m leaning to Dal, Edm, Flo, NJ, Phi, or Sj; if Kane isn’t signed.

      • Brick Nelson was on the block last yr striker and it was very public? Nelson being moved at the draft is almost a guarantee it just depends where, patches on the wing with Barzal would be a good line. Just remember striker you are wrong as much as anyone on here, McDonough not being moved and the big one that anyone that knows the players knew vegas would be a playoff team and you had them finishing bottom 4 in the league lol

      • You totally cut up the vegas gm after the expansion draft and now they’re in the conference finals………….just saying

      • Stricker, I think the idea is to get rid of (trade/buyout?) of ladd and drop in Max. The idea being to up grade the wingers Tavereses is playing with to entice him to stay. Not saying it would work but I think that is the idea. As for return Nelson would interest Mtl. I would actually rather get Keifer Bellowsrather than the pick.

        No idea why therewas ever a suggestion of Antoine Vermette. Hard pass. More likely to resign Plekanes instead of Vermette. As for Ilse D, I wonder if Mtl would look at De Haan rather than Hickey. The rumour out of Mtlis Patches for Bucstad out of Florida, which I could see. I could also see Mtl trading the 3rd pick to Phoenix, asking for Strome (hard no from Yotes) but settling on Merkley and the 5th overall.

      • Tavares wants to win.
        Islanders need better defense to win.
        Tavares wants a better defense, not a winger.

        They should use Nelson and or Ho-Sang with one of their 1st rounder in this year draft to go get a good D men

    • Nelson and their first rounders…oh man…these hab fans!

      • ONE of their first rounders shticky! Still can’t read I see

  4. My first comment on this site. I wonder if Tor would accept Doughty, Brown n rights to Voynov for Marner and 2 1st round picks. Picks don’t have to be this year if they don’t have them right now. As a Kings fan, I don’t thing Doughty is worth the money n term he’s going to seek. Plus Doughty seems like he would rather join a contender n I don’t think Kings can contend w current roster.

    • As a fellow Kings fan, if Blake made that trade I would personally track him down and kick him in the nuts.

      Doughty alone is worth a lot more than Marner and 2 firsts.

      • There’s another component to my trade proposal, namely, Tor taking Brown off the Kings’ hands; this alone is worth another 1st round pick to the Kings. They can’t give Brown away, they have to pay someone to take him! One of my coworkers thought Vegas would take Brown as an expansion pick. Mindless thought. I predicted McNabb n I was right.

    • Now in saying that John, it’s nice to see a fellow Kings fan on here. Please comment more often and welcome.

      • Thanks, man. I used to watch a lot of hockey but less so these days. When I do watch the Kings, I’ve noticed Doughty tends to miss the net a lot; he takes these big slap shots and miss right, miss left, miss high, etc. I even saw him miss the net using a waist shot. This is why I think the Kings should move him. How much is he going to want? $10M a year for 8 years? I say move him and rebuild the pipeline, which currently is very bare.

      • John, You have a good eye. Doughty definitely misses the net a lot, and it can be quite frustrating. Now in saying that though, he is still the best all-round d-man in the world. And as we all know, stud d-men are the hardest things to acquire.

        I’m not necessarily against moving Doughty as the kings just got swept in the first round with DD making $7 mill per season, so how are they going to be any better with him making $10+ per? Answer is there not going to be. But if he is traded, the team acquiring him will have to expect to give LA multiple top assets just to get Blake to pick up the phone.

      • As for your Brown suggestion. Yea I agree that he is a salary dump most likely, although he is coming off a great year. But I don’t think I want to de-value Doughty just to move him.

        I really believe it’s not a coincidence that Brown has a resurgence, immediately after Sutter was jettisoned. They hated each other.

        I think it’s a huge mistake for the Sens to try and peddle Ryan with Karlsson.

        I’d just keep Brown and let him mentor some of the younger players on the roster, if you can’t move him without giving up an asset.

  5. Mtl will look at JT and through the relationship between JT’s agent and Bergervin Mtl will look at plan B before other teams cause they’ll know early it will be a lame duck offer. They’ll go through the motions for the fan base but Mtl will know they are not going to get him. I have a feeling with each passing victory Statsny will sign with the Jets maybe for a little less than he could get on the open market. From his play on ice, to locker room, and to the city he seems to have found an amazing fit.

  6. As a Colorado fan I like Stastny, but he sure isn’t worth 7 million per year. And certainly not for 6 or 7 years. Heck, he wasn’t worth that much 4 years ago, let alone now.

  7. Dubas is only a “B” and an “A” away from being a Dumbass. Seems like the perfect choice to run the Leafs.

    • Ummm, you mean an “m” and a “s” away.

      Anyways to those King fans who want Marner traded lol…Keep dreaming.
      Marner is not going anywhere, maybe Nylander, but not Mitch.

      • Trust me when I say the Kings won’t lose any sleep over not having Marner.

    • He’s actually an “m” and an “s” away …,

      • No. He is definitely a dubbaas

  8. Be interesting to see if Bergevin can find a taker for Patches. If the Rangers can trade Nash surely theres a market for another underscheiving overpaid disappear at playoff time winger. I can only hope Hextall doesnt deal for this creampuff.

    Vancouvers on line one.

    • Max has had two weak playoffs and two good ones. In both bad performances the team was out in the first round, he play four games, so really the whole team sucked, do not put it all on Max. Remember also he has NEVER played with a top centre. It has been a HUGE problem in Mtl since, well, ’93? when Muller suited up one the ice and not the bench. Absolutely there is a market for Max. His major issue, however, is he is not good on the power play. That is the hole in his game/value.

  9. Any team that offers a 6-7 year deal to Paul Statsny is just crazy! How many forwards are good until age 35? Hell, not many are even good until age 33. 7 million a year what a joke. Last time he had 60 points was 6 years ago. At this point a guy like that should get 1 year deals. Even playing 18-19 minutes a game he’s only had 40-53 points in each of last 3 seasons.

  10. Hard to believe the Leafs would turn to a young, inexperienced guy to be there GM. Not a hockey city of patience.

    Said it before – why in the world would Tavaras risk taking a one year deal then get hurt, all just to play in Tronna? He’s earned long-term security and he will have it on 7.1.18.

    • Tavares signing anywhere for one year is not happening.
      By the way, it’s nice to see contributors to the blog that actually pay attention to spelling. Could we have a seconder to add grammar to the list?

  11. He is not Einstein. He has a degree in sports management from brock. He does not have a masters degree in mathematics or computer science. Over rated. And Arizona did not make the playoffs. Next generation generation of general manager! Ha ha