NHL Rumor Mill (Part 2) – June 20, 2018

by | Jun 20, 2018 | Rumors | 19 comments

Latest on the Sharks and Canucks plus updates on Ryan O’Reilly and Cam Talbot in your NHL rumor mill.


THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle reports the San Jose Sharks acquisition of winger Mike Hoffman from the Ottawa Senators and subsequently flipping him to the Florida Panthers enabled general manager Doug Wilson to clear salary-cap space to pursue a top-six forward as well as restock their cupboard with draft picks. They’ve been considered potential suitors for pending unrestricted free agents John Tavares and Ilya Kovalchuk. Wilson also left open the possibility of acquiring a scorer via trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson isn’t done, that’s for sure. He’ll likely keep an ear open in the trade market but I think Tavares and Kovalchuk are his main targets. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of acquiring Tavares’ rights if the Islanders are unable to re-sign him by next week. 

Teams remain interested in Ryan O’Reilly but the Buffalo Sabres aren’t keen to move him (Photo via NHL Images)


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres GM Jason Botterill isn’t surprised by the interest of other clubs in Ryan O’Reilly, noting the center is among his team’s better players. While Botterill is getting plenty of calls, Harrington said he’s not shopping O’Reilly or any other player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The O’Reilly trade chatter has subsided a little in recent days. Doesn’t mean he won’t get dealt but I think Botterill’s asking price could be far more than interested parties are willing to pay. Remember, the Sabres GM isn’t under pressure to move his best two-way forward. O’Reilly under contract through 2022-23 so he can afford to be patient. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers have yet to reach out to goaltender Cam Talbot regarding a contract extension, but that doesn’t mean they’re trading him. While they recently signed former KHL goalie Mikko Koskinen to a one-year deal, he’s not a replacement for Talbot. Matheson suspects Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli might prefer waiting to see how Talbot performs in the first half of 2018-19 before opening contract discussions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no goaltender in this summer’s UFA market who’s a suitable replacement for Talbot and no trade chatter about any notable netminders. Sure, it’s possible Chiarelli’s working on a trade that could land the Oilers an upgrade between the pipes, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. They’ll stick with Talbot for next season and see how things work out. 


THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke cites a report by Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal claiming he’s heard the Vancouver Canucks could target Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle if he hits the free-agent market on July 1. Assuming the Canucks don’t trade away one of their current centers, Burke doubts they’ll pursue Beagle. “He’s not an inherently bad player; he just doesn’t offer anything that isn’t already available to the Canucks with their current crop of players. And it’s not often a team alters its lineup significantly to accommodate a 32-year-old fourth-line centre.”



  1. Botterill is gonna make a deal, he wants to shakeup the Sabres’ locker room. He’s gonna move somebody.

    Might be Reinhardt, Risto or O’Reilly – or someone else

    • moving Risto would be a mistake. Adding Dahlin and removing him only hurts their depth. They need to move Bogosian and keep Risto. Perhaps Bogosian & Reinhart get paired to get something.

      • I hate to bring the Leafs into this but if Risto is available the Leafs need to put in a very serious offer. Something that has Nylander as a starting point.

      • Queue the Bogosian for Smith trade!

  2. Beagle brings wonderful leadership and team-building skills, which the Canucks still need.

    • No one can blame Beagle looking to see if any great offers on his last contract before making a Capital return fit

    • Exactly right.

      Burke’s analysis is a fine example of why I’m down to Friedman, Down Goes Brown and this site.

      It’s amazing how little most hockey writers know about hockey these days.

    • So does Matt Stajan. But it’s also about production too.

  3. Are we saying Steve Mason isn’t as good or as bad as Talbot? He’d be available.

  4. If Risto is available 25 teams are calling.

    Just my randomness here–

    ROR is worth more than the Habs 35th pick and would Buffalo even want ROR so close by? Habs near future will look up if they add a center @ #3 and a 1A center for now… Stasny does not seem like he would want to be that guy. Would they give up the 35th for Namestnikov? He is technically a center

    • Add to my own post lunch madness
      Habs#3 for Rangers #9+Namestnikov+?

      • I am sure Montreal would be interested, from what I have heard they would like to move back in the draft. Seems a little high for the Rangers though.

        Is that Kotkaniemi going to still be available at 9 is the real question,

      • Maybe they prefer Joe Veleno…who is from Montreal

      • Ok trade for rangers..but latest mocks have kotkaniemi going sooner than 9 which would nix the deal. I think Rangers do want a goal scorer in round 1 and picks #3-#7 would pretty much guarantee them one. #2 seems to be their goal but price will be very high, so unless some blockbuster, i see Rangers dealing into the top 7 but not necessarily #3.

  5. Lyle, I respect your judgement a lot, but I really doubt Kovalchek goes to SJ. The Sharks are now built for speed, which Kovi lacks. He is also an older player than they want, especially for the money and term he’s expecting. If Wilson can’t land Tavares, I believe he will re-sign Thorton to a one year Incentive-laced contract and bring in a top flight defensive partner for Burns.

    • Did you really say Kovalchuk lacks speed? Was that being sarcastic?

      • But Thornton does?

  6. If available, of course SJ makes a bid for Tavares. Or maybe they use their cap space to push a higher offer, forcing another team to match. Assuming they don’t sign Tavares, they now have plenty of cap space for Karlsson, which really isn’t that unreasonable. Top four is already among league’s best. Adding Karlsson makes them top two in league with an extraordinary amount of depth on blueline. Thornton is the intriguing option. I think Wilson trys to make it work, possibly by working in a deal for Kovalchuk. Who knows. Whatever happens, could be an interesting summer for Sharks fans.

    • Wasn’t Hoffman a top 6 forward? Why not just keep him instead of going for Kovy.