NHL Rumor Mill – May 5, 2018

by | May 5, 2018 | Rumors | 37 comments

Latest on John Tavares, Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart, Dougie Hamilton, Sam Bennett and Ryan Ellis in your NHL rumor mill.


FRS NETWORK HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s Friday appearance on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 discussing the future of New York Islanders pending free agent John Tavares. Friedman’s always been of the opinion that Tavares wanted to stay but now feels it’s reached the point where the center could listen to offers from rival clubs and then decide.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares hasn’t tipped his hand as to this plans. Being willing to listen to offers doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll leave the Islanders. Once we get to late-June, that when we’re likely going to learn more about Tavares’ intentions leading up to his eligibility for unrestricted free agency on July 1. 


Nichols also cited Friedman’s Friday appearance on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 discussing possible offseason moves by the Buffalo Sabres. He feels it’ll be interesting to see if center Ryan O’Reilly and forward Sam Reinhart return with the club next season. “O’Reilly had his comments at the end of the year. Everybody is going to have a chance to take a deep breath. But if he’s available, it’s hard to find centers and he’s a good player,” said Friedman.

Ryan O’Reilly’s future with the Buffalo Sabres remains a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)

Later in the day, Friedman further discussed O’Reilly’s status on Edmonton’s 630 CHED. On a scale of one to 10 regarding a possible O’Reilly trade, Friedman speculated it was “a 6 or a 7, maybe a 7,” adding there will be lots of interest in him and clubs could come up with some tempting offers. Still, he feels Sabres GM Jason Botterill might prefer keeping O’Reilly to take pressure off young centers Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt.

If the Sabres draft Rasmus Dahlin, Friedman is doubtful they’ll put blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen on the trade block. “I would say a 2 or a 3 out of 10.”

Friedman thinks it’s possible Reinhart could be available (“a five or a six maybe”), noting he’d heard the forward’s name mentioned several times this season in the rumor mill. He doesn’t know what the Sabres plans are for Reinhart but he suggests teams could ask about him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botterill likely wants to shake things up but he’s not just going to toss away three of his best players for pennies on the dollar. If O’Reilly’s available, Botterill will want a significant return. Unlike Evander Kane, when only one team was interested in the pending UFA winger at the trade deadline, O’Reilly’s status as an elite two-way center will garner lots of interest.

If Botterill retains O’Reilly he could consider moving Reinhart instead. While the 22-year-old had a career-best 25-goal, 50-point performance this season, he tends to be a streaky scorer. Ristolainen, like O’Reilly, would garner lots of interest in the trade market but I don’t see Botterill moving him. 


In the same segment with Edmonton’s 630 CHED, Friedman believes the Calgary Flames could make a significant move this summer, perhaps to move up into the first round of this year’s NHL Draft. He thinks defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s name will come up and expects there will be plenty of interest. He thinks the Flames asking price would be high but he thinks they’ll consider it. He also thinks they could pull the trigger on trading Sam Bennett if there’s an offer that’s good enough.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, I think Bennett is the more likely trade candidate. Hamilton would certainly fetch the best return but the Flames could be leery about moving him. Bennett, on the other hand, has encountered difficulties reaching his on-ice potential. Perhaps he simply needs a change of scenery. However, his struggles could adversely affect his trade value.  


Friedman was also asked about the possibility of the Edmonton Oilers prying away defenseman Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators. Ellis will be eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status and could prove expensive to re-sign, but Friedman doesn’t believe the Predators will shop him. He feels they’ll do everything they can to retain him. 



  1. Every time I see Hamilton’s name here I can’t help but think how perfect he would be for Rangers. Not sure how many pieces they’d have to give…how about Kevin Hayes( reunite 2 players from one of the highest scoring lines in college, played together when Johnny Hockey won Hobey Baker) DeAngelo or Pionk ( get a young puck moving right D to replace Hamilton) and one of Rangers late 1st round picks

    • Question – did we ever hear why Hamilton wanted out of Boston? Good player, but something for other teams need to consider.

  2. Pete should call up the flames and see if the chance to get into the 1st Round at 10 would be worth a Hamilton ? What else would have to be added?

    • I agree with recent posts he’s probably not the guy moving (Brodie most likely) but what would the offer have to look like to have a chance ? I wouldn’t mind picking up Brodie either but not for the 10 pick

      • You can only cross your fingers & pray you can get a Hamilton, hell even a Brodie between 3 & 10 in most draft years.

        I don’t see Hamilton being moved, nor am I convinced Brodie will be either but if a Dman is moved out of the top 4 he makes more sense to me.

        I’m not a believer in radical roster change unless truly needed. Calgary doesn’t need to this is a solid roster. Gone are the Coach & president, that is fairly radical & fundamental.

        Neither Valimaki nor Fox are ideally ready. If Valimaki is then yes a Dman needs to move as Kulak just played his 1st full NHL season & now has to clear waivers. The other 5 are locked in, no room at the Inn. Valamaki needs to be playing 25 mins a night & that isn’t happening in the NHL.

        Rasmus Andersson is knocking on the door & will be the 1st call-up when injuries hit.

      • Are you saying you would trade the pick for Brodie ? I like Brodie and would gladly discuss a trade , but not with the 10 , I would include it IF the flames would listen on Hamilton

      • I agree no pick guarantees you a Hamilton or Brodie but I don’t think Brodie returns a top 10 pick if he’s moved

    • Draisitle for Hamilton would get it done

      • No thanks I would hope Pete wouldn’t even discuss that if that’s what it took

  3. How do we know only 1 team was interested in E. Kane? Al we know is he was moved to SJ for a 2nd & 4th. Should he be resigned the 2nd becomes a 1st.

    As for Reinhart he’s not streaky he’s young & developing. Housley traded to make him the 3rd line C to start the season he generated no offence from that position, but as a RW playing with an offensive C he can produce. Buf couldn’t ice 2 scoring lines last season trying to make 3 was a mistake. Reinhart’s paid the price for Housley’s poor decision making. Reinhart has way more to show. He should settle in as 25 to 30 goal scorer that can score 60 to 70 points. Depending on what Buf does this summer it may be next season but not enough depth here really for that to happen, I’ll go with 2019-20.

    Moving O’Reilly & or Reinhart isn’t making Buf better. What would be a good starting point is Eichel pulled his head out of his ass & stopped being a primadonna forcing Buf into doing things that won’t help like forcing Buf’s hand moving O’Reilly.

    • same way we know that minny and some other teams in the expansion drafts had deals in place to trade those players if mcphee didnt wheel and deal with them. look at the situation and draw the most reasonable conclusion. if a bidding war was in place for kane he would have cost more.

      • I didn’t say there was a bidding war, SJ made the best offer obviously, we don’t know if there were others. Pure speculation. A great acquisition for SJ even if they resign him & pay the conditional 1st if not a solid cost for the rental. Essentially the same cost Anh paid to acquire Eaves at last seasons deadline. A conditional 2nd, Buf also got a conditional 4th. Could become a 3rd but highly unlikely SJ chooses to keep this seasons 4th.

        I hope Kane is resigned in SJ, a great spot for him but he’s following the money.

      • It has been reported by several outlets that Buffalo only had one legitimate offer.
        I speculate, the Canes were in talks as the other team, but bailed out when the ask was for at least one young player and it cost Francis his job.

    • Sam isn’t going anywhere. O’Reilly is signed long term – he could bring the young wingers the Sabres need. Quite a few teams need centers; he’s a 200′ foot guy too.

      Botterill will earn his money this summer.

      • Leafs could use a player like Ryan as they have nothing like him, Mathews, Ryan and Ryan down the middle is good enough for a cup winning team.

      • You can have great centres but when the defense is a bad as Toronto’s you aren’t winning a cup

    • July 1 will be the real measuring stick for Kane. Who is going to be willing to invest major paper in Evander?

      • San Jose?

    • They’ve got Mittelstadt coming up and he played very well at centre. Not to mention Smith, Bailey, Baptiste, Guhle, Nylander and Ullmark will all be full timers next season. Add a superstar in Dahlin and a couple of decentfree agent moves this team could contend for playoffs. Their biggest question has already been taken care of.

      • Nylander is very poor in effort dept, he is the softest most lazy player since Grigorenko(who we called NoZip). I would want to see if Nylander could actually score in AHL next year instead of putting up terrible numbers, plus learn how to actually give an effort. I watched him live many times I live in Rochester

    • You’re right about Reinhart, what happened was our GM and coach wanted to see if he could play center so first 25-30 or so he played center and was bad, once he moved to wing and playing with good players he started scoring really well. Now they know he’s not a center, well, at least not a center playing with 3rd liners. He’s not very fast so if they want to move him I don’t mind, as long as he is part of a package for a top 8 pick innthis draft

    • I agree with this, 100%.

      And if O’Reilly (Lyle – “elite’?!?) does move, yes, it will be most likely a result of his purportedly prickly relationship with Eichel.

      Not an ideal situation for a young club, and Eichel is going nowhere.


    • The Flames should look at trading Hamilton, I like Toronto as a trade partner. Hamilton for Kapanen, Andreas Johnson and a first. The Boston series showed how bad TO’s defense was. They have a lot of players looking at substantial raises over the next few years

      Then take the first and Adam Fox (a NY native college who I don’t think will ever play in Calgary) send this to Buffalo for O’Reilly. Some suggest Daniel Sprong out of Pittsburgh but they have cap trouble and need entry level contract players, if they can get him for Anderson then do the deal.

      The Flames would look like this
      Gaudreau, Monahan , Kapanen
      Tkachuk, O’Reilly, Ferland
      Bennett, Backlund,Frolic
      Mangiapane, Jankowski, anybody but brouwer

      Gio & Brodie
      Kulak & Hamonic
      Stone & Anderson / AHL player or trade

      Top to bottom speed, skill, offense, defense and grit. This would transform the Flames and make them a much better forward group

      • Freidman is an idiot and is constantly making crap up for his own amusement. Hamilton will not be traded.

  4. Nas will extend Ellis on July 1st 5 or 6 years at 6.5 per. Like Van with Burrows & LA with Brown some of the money he left on the table from their previous contracts will be made up to him in his next contract as it’s the right thing to do or he will test the UFA market a summer from now. He might give them a discount & accept 5.5 for the full term of 8 years.

  5. This is what I see presently in Cal not knowing what the future holds this summer. Are, Dube, Foo, Klimchuck or Mangiapane NHL ready. Does cal trade for a RW? The could use 1 potentially. Kylington at D is also knocking on the door, as are numerous goalies. With the youth coming does Calgary need to trade up in this draft?

    Gaudereau, Monohan, Ferland.
    Tkachuk, Backlund, Frolik.
    Bennett, Jankowski, Brouwer.

    The 4th line is a question mark with Stajan a UFA but you have 2/3rd’s of it with Hathaway & Lazar. Ferland has shown if given quality ice time & opportunity he can score. Interestingly enough he has now played 250 NHL games!

    Giordano, Hamilton.
    Brodie, Hamonic.
    Kulak, Stone.

    The Brodie, Hamonic pairing really struggled, Brodie has been a train wreck for 2 years, making terrible decisions.

    Smith, Rittich.

    Rittch has to clear waivers, Gillies still has 1 more year might a goalie be traded?

    I just look at that roster to start last season & saw a playoff team. Next season who knows its way to early to tell but making the top 8 in either conference isn’t getting eaiser but harder.

  6. Brodie has modified ntc starting next season.. that with his cap hit might not bring back much of a return. If Calgary needs a RW, Rangers where rumored to have been shopping Zuc at deadline. Combined with all the picks and prospects they’ve accumulated, they’d be a good trade partner, but… only for Hamilton

    • Brodie will be 28 in June with a decent contract & cap hit of 4.6654. That modified NTC, 8 team no-trade list helps. If he’s moved at least a dozen teams are stepping up to bid & Zuc ain’t getting it done straight up. Brodie is far more valuable than Zuccarello.

      It’s a positional issue, D is far more valuable than RW/LW & that additional year; Brodie’s, has significant value.

      Brodie isn’t going to NYR nor is Hamilton, doesn’t make sense with what they appear to be doing the D on the roster & in the system.

      • Striker. Just for arguments sake, since Rangers have no need for Brodie. Especially considering they screwed up signing Smith last offseason. I understand how you value position, but looking back, don’t you think Devils got better end of Taylor Hall trade? And then Ducks trading away Vattinen…. seems like it’s more about value to that team at time of deal. Ducks where loaded on backend. Calgary currently is very weak at forward. I would think Zucharello, who who’s 53 points this year would’ve made him 3rd leading scorer for Flames, would be more valuable to them than Brodie. He’d easily be on 1st line next year. Also, which team where you refering to when you stated “ what they’re doing on defense”?

    • Also Brodie’s modified NTC kicked in to start this past season, July 1st 2017. Gueletzen miss used this player. He got undeserved 1st unit PP time both seasons under Gueletzen. Gueletzen took a long time to relent from such.

    • Rangers wouldn’t trade Zuc for Brodie. No need for another left dman. Again, I comment on current story put out here. Hamilton. My suggesting Zuc was based on Strikers comment of trading for a RW. I never suggested a straight up deal. Rangers have a lot of extra pieces to use in filling a couple of needs. Pieces that maybe would entice Calgary into dealing Dougie

      • Zero interest in Brodie!! You can prop him up all you want no need for him. As far as ntc, didn’t realize website I looked at was still showing past season. My bad

  7. To Minnesota: Ryan O’Reilly (C), Kyle Okposo (R)

    To Buffalo: Charlie Coyle (C), Nino Niederreiter (R), 2018 1st round pick, Tyler Ennis (C)

    Tyler Ennis to be bought out by Buffalo instead of Minnesota, and makes the trade pretty much perfectly equal in terms of cap hits.

  8. Slick62, as a Flames fan, in order to pry Dougie from us, Rangers would need to give up Zuccarello and Skjei. Brodie was dynamite until he was put on the left side. I would see Brodie re-united with Giordano on the top pair, and Skjei skating alongside Hamonic.

    But this all gets muddied by the fact that there is a glut of right handed defencemen on these teams. The Flames have Hamilton, Hamonic and Stone locked in for a few years and the Rangers have Shattenkirk and Pionk. If the Rangers trade for Hamilton that gives them three, leaving Pionk on the third pair where he doesn’t belong.

    I say that because I wouldn’t want to take Pionk back if we trade Hamilton, because Brodie would become a right side player. It would leave Brodie, Hamonic and Stone, with no room for Pionk.

    Basically, there is no decent trade between the two teams for that reason.

    • I don’t see ny needing Hamilton at all. Not unless Shattenkirk is getting moved out. As far as Skjei and Zuccarello, this is gross overpayment for Hamilton.

      Also, Skjei is by far the best and most promising Left handed d-man in NY. Why gut the left side for another righty that is another offensive d-man when they already have Shattenkirk?

      Trading for another righty at this time makes no sense whatsoever.
      The part I will agree to is… I don’t see a deal between these two teams .

      • NYR. Shattenkirk is not a top pair guy. Just because Hamilton has good offensive stats, doesn’t necessarily make him amn offensive defenseman. He’s still better in his own end than Shatty. I agree there’s no way I include Skjei, but to say we don’t need help on right side isn’t true. Pionk played decent but him and DeAngelo are still unproven. After them we have Sproul and Kampfer. We are loaded on left side, adding at least 4 left handed d men at deadline… on top of all the rest we have already.

  9. TO should go after Hamilton. The 2018 first, Johnson, and two of Carrick, Gauthier, Bracco, or Lievo. Flames get two roster players and a first pick. Johnson, Lievo and Carrick skate well while Gauthier is a big fourth line center that is good on face-offs. Bracco is a small skilled set up guy. Leafs get a top pair right defense man. Leafs or Flames may have to add something to this.