NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2018

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Rumors | 64 comments

After trading Marian Hossa, do the Chicago Blackhawks have other moves in store? Could the Detroit Red Wings move the recently re-signed Andreas Athanasiou? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

Could the Chicago Blackhawks use their extra cap space to bring back winger Artemi Panarin? (Photo via NHL Images)


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien wonders what the Chicago Blackhawks will do with the cap space free up by shipping the contract of virtually retired winger Marian Hossa yesterday to the Arizona Coyotes. He lists Columbus Blue Jackets winger (and former Blackhawk) Artemi Panarin, Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty, Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner and defenseman Justin Faulk and Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson as the most enticing trade targets. However, if he wonders if they can afford to land any of them.

O’Brien considers Faulk as perhaps “the best consideration of them all”, as he would provide much-needed depth to the Blackhawks defense corps. He also carries an affordable $4.83-million annual cap hit through 2019-20, whereas the others are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus also wonders what the Blackhawks will do with their extra cap space. He feels the Blackhawks must do something this summer. They can’t go into 2018-19 with their current roster and expect to make the playoffs in the very competitive Central Division.

Lazerus suggests bringing back center Marcus Kruger in the Hossa trade could make Artem Anisimov more expendable, which could free up an additional $4.55 million per season. That could create room to pursue Faulk or maybe Faulk and Skinner. He also suggested it could be enough to pursue Pacioretty or maybe even go for broke and chase Karlsson.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Joe Knowles believes the Blackhawks now have greater flexibility to bolster their blueline. He points out they’ve reportedly inquired about Faulk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With their current cap space ($9.3 million, according to Cap Friendly), the Blackhawks have the room to improve their defense corps, which I consider their biggest need this summer. There’s not much skilled depth beyond the aging duo of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Moving Anisimov would certainly provide more room to add a defenseman and a scoring winger but addressing both needs via trade won’t be easy.

Given the Hurricanes’ recent additions of Dougie Hamilton and Calvin de Haan, it appears Faulk’s days are numbered in Carolina. The Hurricanes, however, reportedly want winger Brandon Saad in return. While shedding Saad’s $6-million cap hit might be enticing, that move could weaken the Blackhawks’ scoring punch. Maybe something can be worked out to include Skinner in the deal but that could be a deal too complicated to work out. 

I don’t doubt the Blackhawks would love to bring back Panarin, who could be dealt if he’s unwilling to commit to a long-term extension with the Blue Jackets. The asking price, however, will be a player who can help them now and other assets for the future. Probably too expensive for the Blackhawks.

The Canadiens will want a scoring center in return for Pacioretty, who could be determined to hit the open market next summer if the Habs aren’t willing to re-sign him. The Senators’ asking price for Karlsson and the high cost of re-signing him before next summer puts the Blackhawks out of the bidding for his services. 


DETROIT FREE PRESS: Despite the Red Wings’ recent re-signing of winger Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year, $6-million contract, Helene St. James said it wouldn’t be surprising if they traded him at some point. “If they get a good offer — at least a second-round pick or a good prospect, preferably a defenseman — he could be flipped to help the rebuild,” she wrote.

St. James acknowledged Athanasiou’s speed and offensive skills but noted he’s a streaky scorer and his defensive game needs improvement. She suggested his new contract could also bolster his trade value. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Wings will take a “wait-and-see” approach with Athanasiou. He has good offensive skills but he always seems to leave you wanting more. If he fails to significantly improve in 2018-19, I can see the Wings attempting to move him before the Feb. 25th trade deadline. 



  1. Montreal is not going to get a scoring center for Patches. Bergevins dream of getting a draft pick and a center that can rack up points is laughable. It looks like hes trying to undo all the damage hes caused with one move. Nobody is going to trade anything of value for a 17 goal scorer on an expiring contract. He cant trade the Patches of 3 years ago, he has to move the slow as molasses cant check disappears in the playoffs 17 goal dud he is now. Fnny thing is, even if by some miracle or act of God he does trade for a decent scoring center just exactly who is that new center going to be passing the puck too? You just traded the only player with anything resembling offensive ability to get him!!

    • Ever hear of a guy named Brendan Gallagher? He only scored 31 goals last year.

      • and what did he do before that?
        a 5’6″ smurf who will never hit 25 goals again period!

    • Depends on their goal. If their goal is to deny they need to rebuild and they try to sneak into the 8th playoff spot…a Max P. for Anisimov deals makes sense.

      • Yeah, it’s one of those arguments that if you assume a flawed premise, sure it’s logical.

        Montreal should be focusing on the rebuild, and while it may not grant immediate gratification, I think Montreal should just focus on prying out Chicago’s first. If they can get Chicago’s first without lottery protection, they would be better off with that versus the 1st with protection and a secondary prospect. It’s a gamble, but the upside could be worth it. Chicago doesn’t look like a playoff team in a very tough Central division. Montreal could be in a situation where they have the best odds at the #1 overall pick, even if they don’t finish last, or where they pick two times in the top 10. If they draft well again, that could really accelerate things.

        It’s fun to imagine getting a center, but in general, you can’t trade a winger to get a comparable center as it is, let alone trading a winger with one year left on his deal after a down year when he’s entering his 30’s.

        Chicago looks to be all in on taking another run with it’s aging core, they just gave up young cheap NHL talent, maybe with a little upside, just to move a contract. Montreal should take advantage, and try and offer a deal that takes nothing off their current roster to maximize value.

      • Still curious if the Habs sniffed around Rangers for Hayes or Spooner or Names…

        Teams looking to add Patches do not have a spare top 6 center. Habs need a 3rd team involved if a center is their goal.
        Anisimov best option for them?

      • DS,

        If I am Montreal, I am looking more at potential. Those guys would be fine, but with Weber out, and a team that wasn’t overly competitive to begin with, and likely trading Pacioretty for futures, I would be looking at trying to get potential on the cheap. Trying to find the next Yanni Gourde.

        I really like the idea of them targeting Nic Petan in Winnipeg. They would have a hard time matching an offer sheet in the $2M range for a player they don’t use regularly in their roster. They don’t need to offer sheet him, but use that as leverage. Petan has looked good in the AHL, and is likely worth a 2nd or something around that value to give him a shot in Montreal this season.

      • How does Mon start a rebuild? How do you get Price, Weber, Petry, Alzner & Shaw who all have long-term deals off the books in an organized dismantling? It will take years.

        I like several of the things Bergevin has done but previous brain farts have this organization stuck in a weird spot & he has done far more bad than good, unfortunately.

        Mon is not good enough to be a playoff team next season especially without Weber but not structured to rebuild. It’s essentially a retooling on the flu now, slowly working these contracts out bringing in younger developing players & drafting well, ideally high if even only for 1 more year. They may as well get in the running for Jack Quinn.

        Domi & Armia are kind of the start of such for me & when Patches goes he will bring in another NHL quality player who is younger with futures, picks & or prospects.

        If Dallas were to miss out on Karlsson might they look at adding Patches at forward? Could Mon squeeze Faksa out of them in some form on a deal? Unlikely & he has serious untapped offensive abilities if ever deployed in such a role, his defensive game is already exceptional. Janmark, Nichushkin, Honka? Could any of those players be had as part of a deal with Dallas?

      • Danny.

        I mentioned Petan numerous times as well. Even with Armia being moved out that gets Roslovic another stud prospect in Win a full-time NHL roster spot but Petan needs to clear waivers & Win doesn’t have room for him on their NHL roster unless injuries open a spot. He can’t check & the top 3 lines are set.

        He is a smurf but I assume that if Mon wanted him they would have worked him into the Manson/Armia deal but perhaps it gets revisited.

      • Not one for one. Maybe Pacth + 3rd rnder in 2019 for Anisimov and Chicago 1st in 2019 (no protection).
        That deal makes sense for both and honestly I shouldn’t be adding the 3rder in this deal but Patch’s value is low and this helps both team

      • Not one for one. Maybe Pacth + 3rd rnder in 2019 for Anisimov and Chicago 1st in 2019 (no protection).
        That deal makes sense for both and honestly I shouldn’t be adding the 3rder in this deal but Patch’s value is low and this helps both team

    • It depends on what the scoring C is. I’m not valuing Patches on 1 season but his contract status is a serious factor in his return. If his salary demands & term killed a deal with LA it may with others & significantly impact the return especially with Skinner potentially on the board a better LW choice & Karlsson’s deal holding up other trades, Faulk I assume.

      Mon has coring wingers that still have significant upside. Drouin should be playing RW not C he can score hasn’t shown us anything near his top end, as can Gallagher, they have numerous young NHL developing wingers & a C who are just scratching the surface in Lehtonen, Domi, Armia & Patches.

      They just drafted Kotkaniemi & if he doesn’t step straight into the NHL he will be playing by the All-Star break, he may need time to acclimatise to life in NA & the smaller rink.

      I’m also curious to see if Peca can actually get an NHL shot in Mon or what Hudon might be able to do if actually given decent offensive minutes.

      Mon is in a tough spot but all isn’t totally bleak. I can’t believe I’m defending Bergevin & Mon. Worlds colliding Jerry. The return for Patches will be solid to great, depends if the team acquiring him can lock him up & numerous potential dance partners are gone, StL & Cal specifically.

      I’m thinking a soft #2 C, a prospect & pick. NOt saying these players but players like them as it will probably be with a team we haven’t really addressed, A Spooner, Ansimov type C. Few teams can afford to move the quality of C Mon covets today.

    • It’s guys like you mr. negative the reason why
      Players hate playing in Montreal. I don’t think you would be happy with anyone.

      • Interestingly enough I support most situations.

        I’m a realist, not a pessimist, except for a few teams that have really backed themselves into terrible situations.

        I supported the Domi trade, Armia trade, bringing back Plek, etc. I loved the Weber trade for Mon, & expressed disappointment in Weber’s injury.

        I just sated all the players I like in Mon above that give Mon hope what more would you have me do?

        I had them missing the playoffs last year due to roster makeup but especially the D Bergevin built. With their roster as currently constructed what are your expectations and how do they turn the get this back on track?

    • Look at the numbers he posted since 7 years, he s the top 5 scoring NHL leader lol…

    • Leafblower

    • First of all he’s not slow at all and he checks very well I could see you are in la la land if you think patches is not a good player you people make me laugh the guy was injured and still scored 17 goals it’s not like he played 82 games wake up and move along go play NHL on PlayStation leave the real game to the real fans

  2. LOVE the Oleksiak deal. I wanted to sign him to the old Ian Cole did and that’s basically what he got. Nice work by JR.


    Nice move by Arizona. They got two useful pieces for free.

    Not sure what the Hawks are up to…

    If you are going to make this kind of move, shouldn’t you make it before the draft so you still have time to make trades and sign players?

    What do the Hawks have left to trade for anyone of note? Anisimov? That just opens another hole.

    Short of Corey Crawford returning and regaining Vezina nominee form, they are not making the playoffs next year.

    • Have to agree there MG. AND they still have to pay Toews $10.5 mil to 2022-23 when he’ll be hitting 35 y/o (all the intangibles don’t make him worth that big a cap hit), and Seabrook ($6,875,000 to 2023-24) and Keith ($5,538,m462 to 2022-23) at which point both will be approaching 39 years of age.

      I’m sure I’ll be hearing from the usual suspects about how each will have “rebound seasons” and that’s fine – but they’ll never convince me that each is not seeing their best years dwindling in the rear-view mirror.

      • Toews will be ok for a few more years, but Keith is falling off now, and is already looking like a bit of an albatross, and Seabrook has virtually no chance of living up to his current contract.

        Problem the Hawks face is that they have a few bad contracts, some OK contracts, but no steals on 2nd contracts, and only one big value ELC as of right now. They don’t have enough value deals to offset their overpayments, and their overpayments are declining in skill (as a group) faster than the cap is increasing.

      • George O: I agree the Toews and Seabrook contracts are anchors, but Keith is still well worth his $5.5M cap hit. Plus his salary is only $6.25M over the last three years of the deal. Keith is still a great defenseman and would be very easy to trade in a few years for decent assets unless he has a devastating injury. They could still do a Hossa dump given the salary if he was on LTIR.

        Toews was signed before the cap flatlined, but I have no idea what Bowman was thinking when he signed Seabrook to that contract. Way too much term at that price point given he signed at 30 years old with a year left on his previous deal. I think San Jose will have the same issues with Vlasic.

      • Danny: I’m sure you’re referencing DeBrincat as the big value ELC. He looks like he could be a star. I was surprised they traded Hartman given he was one of their only good young players, but they got a decent return. John Hayden could be a bargain the next couple years at $750k as well.

        Have you heard anything on Crawford’s status? He missed most of last year with Vertigo and that could be a long term issue. If Crawford is playing, the Ward signing doesn’t make sense to me because Forsberg is a capable backup at a much cheaper price.

      • George.

        I’m a usual suspect & you are hearing from me but in agreement on all but Keith. I have complained about the Toews & to a lesser extent, the Kane contracts since signed. Nor would I have paid Seabrooke those monies nor term.

        Keith’s contract provided such solid front end value I except the backend. he’s not the offensive player he once was he’s following a pretty normal path of becoming more & more defensive as he ages. His contract is still exceptional value & will continue to be so. Doughty now makes almost twice the monies Keith is making & Dman salaries are rising exceptionally fast.

        By the time Keith’s contract expires he will be playing a role similar to Chara still logging top pairing minutes being paid less than what most teams are paying their #4.

        I’d gladly take Keith at any point during this contract to come in & mentor my young Dman & be an on-ice coach like Chara, he’s turned 41 in March & is still Bos’s #1 & 1 of the best shut down Dman still in the NHL today logging hard defensive assignments against the NHL’s elite players every night carrying rookie Dman.

      • I’m not writing off a team with Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrooke & Crawford. I need to see what Bowman has planned as it’s hard to project how this roster is being filled out.

        Chi’s success has cost them dearly in having to sacrifice players to stay cap compliant. That said all is not bleak but I certainly don’t have them as a playoff team as we see them today. Add Skinner & or Faulk in some way?

        Here’s a crap shoot at trying to see what they may ice based on players on the team today. A bad dream at the moment as something has to happen. Skinner for me would be even a better option than Faulk.

        Saad, Towes, Debrincat.
        Schmaltz, Anisimov, Kane.
        Ejdsell, Kampf, Sikura.
        Kunitz, Kruger, Hayden.

        Keith, Murphy.
        Gustafsson, Seabrooke.
        Manning, Ruuta.

        Chi did sign a bunch of UFA’s coming out of college & Europe this summer. Sikura, Kahun, Lankinen, Nilsson, Hillman, Raddysh & last summer as well, Ejdsell, Kampf & Highmore.

        The prospect kitty is pretty bare but they do have several young Dman in the system many of who have NHL futures at least as 5/6 guys but 2 that should be significantly better in Jokiharju & Boqvist & Mitchell should be a top 4 eventually.

        Those prospect D are Jokiharju, Gilbert, Boqvist, Forsling, Carlsson, Tuulola, Snuggerud, Dahlstrom, Mitchell & the 2 mentioned above signed as UFA’s. Moving out any of these Dam other than Jokiharju & Boqvist with a player like Ansimov may get a player like Skinner or Patches with a pick.

      • WOW …just WOW!!

        You guys are crazy …and are starting to sound like all the HOCKEY Writers you guys bash …just for the sake of conversation…..

        Toews is ALL OF A SUDDEN an ANCHOR washed up not worth the $10 million as the Captian and was praised as the best Captain in the game 2 – 3 years ago and now all of a sudden because of Bowman trading half the team in the last 3 years Towes is a BUM …you guys have to give your head a shake…the guys wins 3 Cups and in the MIDDLE of all that signs for what he was worth at the time of WINNING 3 cups …an now you guys all talk like owners and want him shipped out and hes done…

        If you guys talk like that than you better all be willing to bite your tounges on McDavids deal in 2 – 5 years after he has WON ZERO cups and is owed his $12 million for another decade!!

        There was nothing wrong with the Toews deal and there still isnt he earned every bit of it and saved that Franchise from the brink of the abyss …or becoming the Arizona Coyotes literally !!

        Saving a franchise comes with a price and thats what it was !!

        Come on guys get out of the sun …your dizzy with B.S

      • Kal El.

        Don’t confuse my distaste for Toews contract with Toews abilities as a player. I also have stated many times since that deal was extended in July of 2014 that the NHL’s business model was altered significantly. When signed we were still in a cap world.

        I also stated I’m not writing off any team with Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrooke & Crawford & Bowman has something planned.

        Toew’s is an exceptional 2-way player & leader, 1 of the greatest ever. I’m just not paying 10.5 mil for that asset. I could have lived with 8.5 at the point of signing 4 years ago or close to 9 if that deal was being signed today but his & Kane’s unwillingness to take some form of hometown discounts has Chi in this situation. Seabrooke’s signing just mad no sense to me. That contract is an anchor.

      • Sorry, these site issues are a serious pain. It should read. We were in a runaway cap world when Toews & Kane were extended in 2014 by the summer of 2015 the cap had hit a wall.

      • Where did I – or anyone else – say that Toews was a bum?? Read what people effing say before you go on a rant Superman. I said I don;t think he’s worth that $10.5 mil cap hit – and I stick by that.

      • Same way, by the way, I don’t think Karlsson will be worth that $11.5 mil some idiot will pay him in about 2-3 years – if not sooner

    • MG

      Agree big time w.r.t. J.O.— but now Pens very tight on Cap

      I posted on the other Board: NHL Morning Coffee Headlines:

      “Nice signing for Pitts on JO— fair contract. However, now right at Cap— maybe $750K to spare.

      That is with listing DeSmith as Back up and not Jarry (still unsigned). Other than Jarry, still 3 Baby Pens to sign: Bleuger, Prow, Di Pauli

      With this tight at Cap now— no real room for ups/downs etc — GMJR needs to make another move— as no one (other than me) sees a positive trade with PK— the obvious move then for space would be Hags

      Who would have interest in Hags and what would be coming back? Who will fill his wing spot?
      The only other move for space would be Brassard (and there would be takers)— but I don’t like the vacuum left at C though.

      As it stands right now— IMO — Pens have the best 4 C’s in the league (to be clear….not top 4Cs— but best package of 4 Centres in the league— and technically as at now, they have 5C on roster in MC).

      Hags was a great PK type of guy and did get about 30 or so points, maybe 10 or so goals and maybe 15 or so minutes a game. Tough to replace— but may have to for Cap space saving

      If Hags is traded— freeing up $4M; I think GMJR should sign UFA Derek Grant — likely can get him for $1.5M or less. Had by far his best season ever— played C and was a good face-off guy— but can play (and has played ) wing

      My preference now(AND YES DON’T YELL AT ME BUT IT IS BASED ON MY PREDICTION OF HIM BEING AT PEAK NOW!!)— is to trade PK— and move to get Skinner. I believe max PK gets this year is 82 points and I see Skinner as a top 6 winger on Pens getting 70 points… so loss in my scenario is max of 10-12 points and more cap room maneuverability….. extra $1.1M

      No matter what— GMJR — MUST make some sort of move—- the $750K buffer is too tight to begin the year.”

      • That $745,000 figure is with a full 23 man roster and includes Jimmy Hayes, who might start in WBS anyway.

        All of the players left to sign will be in the AHL and not count against the cap.

        Rutherford and Co. are on vacation for the rest of the summer. That’s the roster.

        And it looks good…

        Guentzel Crosby Hornqvist
        Hagelin Malkin Kessel
        ZAR Brassard Sprong
        Cullen/ Sheahan Rust

        Dumoulin Letang
        Johnson Schultz
        Maatta Oleksiak


        I’d still like to see them offer a $700,000 contract to Kari Lehtonen to push DeSmith to the minors and shore up the G depth. But, otherwise, we’re set.

      • Hi MG

        Yes the total includes Hayes but is irrelevant as they have to get to a 23 man roster. So whether Hayes or someone else at same/relatively same Cap— They are still very tight
        Note: I wouldn’t have JJ as top 4 (hope I’m wrong at my perception of his upcoming performance)
        And (as you know I’d like to be proven wrong)— I would like to move PK at his peak (mine [and a handful of other’s] view that he’s reached his peak; and therefore at his best tradeable value)

        I’d really like to see another move— Hags out, Derek Grant in— free up cap space.

        Guentzel Crosby Hornqvist

        *Derek Grant Malkin Kessel

        ZAR Brassard Sprong

        Cullen/ Sheahan Rust

        Depth: Simon, Hayes,

        Dumoulin Letang

        Maatta Schultz

        Oleksiak Johnson


        Jarry instead of DeSmith (I believe Jarry will be much better and more mature this year); cede your option of Lehtonen if they can get him for $700 K

        *Derek Grant at $1.5 – $2.0 and Hags traded ($4.0)— more buffer room

        Or Trade Kessel— get Skinner (probably not a direct Pit/Car exchange though)

        Guentzel Crosby Hornqvist

        Skinner Malkin Rust

        ZAR Brassard Sprong

        Cullen Sheahan *Derek Grant

        Depth: Simon, Hayes,

        With Cap space attained— sign DeMelo in place of Reuwedl

      • Good post Pengy. I wonder if there’s any chance the Pens could engage a third team for a Kessel deal. SJ comes to mind.

        -Kessel to SJ Prospects/picks to Carolina
        Skinner to Pittsburgh

      • DeSmith has to clear waivers Jerry doesn’t. Is Pit going to risk waiving Desmith?

        Most teams carry 13 F’s, 8 D & 2 G’s. All teams need to submit a 23 man roster the day before the season starts. Once we hit opening day teams can choose to carry less if they wish. It happens to numerous teams for a multitude of reasons including cap hit issues. Calgary couldn’t even ice 20 skaters for a game a few years ago as they didn’t have the cap space to do so, other teams have found themselves in similar struggles, being 1 player short before the game even started.

        I think ZAR may have to start the season in the minors until injuries hit with Hayes being the blackace, 13th forward, saving 275K in cap space. Injuries would have ZAR back very quickly.

        I don’t think JR is done. I think Hagelin or Brassard will be moved at some point. If not before the season starts as soon as an injury to another team allows for such.

      • Dang

        Posted my thread re Brassard on wing in wrong place … should have been here…. sorry

      • Geoff204

        Nice thoughts… and would work

        On top of that move …. I’d still move Hags (maybe part of whole trade you stated with Car also getting Hags… and with recent banter in Brassard on wing … Derek Grant signing … as the best possible 3C UFA available … strongly recommended

      • Geoff204

        Nice thoughts… and would work

        On top of that move …. I’d still move Hags (maybe part of whole trade you stated with Car also getting Hags

        ….and with recent banter in Brassard on wing … Derek Grant signing … as the best possible 3C UFA available … strongly recommendedL

      • Are you high? Kari GD Let-em-in is worse than Niemi. DeSmith will get pushed out but it will be by Tristan Jarry who already should be the backup. And trading Kessel and replacing him with Skinner is like trading an Aston Martin for an Infinty sedan. They can move out Haglen but that is it. This team is one of the best rosters on paper in the NHL as it is. The forward group is dominant, especially if Sprong plays with Jake and Sid. The defence is one of the best groups as well, 1-5 anyways, they still have Jackass as the 6/7 guy. This team is going to give the rest of the league nightmares. And my sincere hope is that Jordy Bellerive makes it impossible for them to send back to CHL. Another super gifted player that can fill in at centre this year and take the 3C spot next year. There are currently so many things they could do with this lineup. Trade Haglen for a defensive prospect and a second round pick. The optimal lineup will look something like this.
        Guentzel Crosby Sprong
        Bellerive Malkin Hornqvist
        ZAR Brassard Kessel
        Cullen Sheahan Rust
        Dumo Letang
        Oleksiak Shultz
        Maatta Jackass
        First PP
        Hornqvist Crosby Kessel
        Malkin Shultz
        Second PP
        Guentzel Brassard Bellerive
        Sprong Letang
        Those PPs will generate a ton of shots and goals. There is ZERO reason to trade Phil this year, who cares if this is when he will bring back the most return. I feel you trade him then you can’t play him any more, it’s that simple.

      • DeMelo already re-signed with the Sharks which would make it pretty hard to sign him.

      • “Chi’s success has cost them dearly in having to sacrifice players to stay cap compliant.”

        It’s interest how they contrast with the Penguins, who have managed the cap so well. They have not lost a single really significant player in the last three years. The likes of Daley, Bonino, etc. have their roles, but have been easily replaced. The only exception is maybe Fleury, but his replacement was already on board.

      • Brassard is not getting traded, why would they trade him? His cap hit is only 3 million. There are no other centres of his caliber available and Sheahan is not the answer long term at 3C. There is no reason to make a trade just to make a trade. And ZAR is not going to be playing anywhere but Pittsburgh to open the season. He will be on the third line maybe even the second depending on how good his camp is. Hayes was brought in to be in WBS and a call up, he’s not there to sit in the press box every night.

      • Lehtonen’s numbers were about the same as DeSmith’s playing behind a much worse defense.

        Also, unlike DeSmith, he’s not child sized. And he’s proven he can play 60 games a year if need be.

      • The last time Let-em-in played over 40 games he had a .902 spct and a 2.85 gaa. DeSmith was an undrafted rookie who is still learning to play at this level. You cannot compare the 2. Let-em-in and Niemi cost the Stars 2 seasons of Seguin and Benns prime. Last year I had a meltdown when they signed Niemi and everyone said “oh just give him a chance, he just needs a change of scenery.” And he was absolute garbage. Let-em-in is much worse and he’s not signing anywhere for less than 2 mill. No thanks!

    • Anisimov is old and slow. Most of his 20 goals came when on the ice with Kane. Schmaltz is the #2 Center and Kunitz is will to battle in the Blue paint on the power play.
      I expect Anisimov’s play to fall off this year so it might be a good time to move him while other teams see him as a 20 goal scorer.

      • Anisimov would meet a ton of teams need as a #3 C, a #2 in a pinch & his contract 3 more years at 4.55 is about the going rate for such a player.

        Say what you want about Anisimov but in his 6 full years in the NHL he has scored 20+ goals 4 times & in 2012-13 the 48 game lockout season he scored 11 goals in 35 games. Those #’s imply to me he can score 20 goals regardless of almost who he plays with. He’s also a force along the boards, digging out lose pucks.

      • DEE..AGREE WITH YOU..EXCEPT!.We ned one ore d-man whether that’s a top 4 guy like justin Faulk or a depth signing like Alexi Emelin who would be a perfect bottom pairing guy with whoever..he is physical and the penguins got pushed around a bit by the Capitals..

        Can you imagine Faulk letang Schultz Dumolin johnson oliesiak Emelin matta…move Matta

      • Trade Maatta and bring Emelin in? Emelin is 32 and he had 9 points in 76 games last year. Maatta is 23, he’s already played 302 games and he had 29 points and played every game last year. That seems like a pretty big downgrade. They can’t afford Faulk and I doubt the Canes would trade with Rutherford. I don’t want to pay the price to acquire Faulk, he not worth Sprong, Addison, and a first or something along those lines.

  3. Im a big Athanisaou fan and hope Canucks would trade for him.
    AA-Horvat-Boeser could be a sick line. Would be a HUGE improvement over Sven Baertschi. Not sure what it would take to get AA. Canucks are stalking alot of prospects, perhaps this is a good scenario to part with one. Heck, take on Franzen’s contract if it helps.

    • Tyler Berg,

      I’m also an AA fan. Lightning speed. I think many teams would like to add him.

      I’m assuming that there is no chance for a Hags + Baby Pen + Mid rounder for AA— LOL

      • how about Virtanen and a 2nd for AA

    • Baertschi has had serious struggles staying healthy & his ice time has been tempered. Curious to see what he can do if he is deployed with Horvat & Boeser this year.

      This should be his breakthrough season if he can stay healthy. What that may actually mean is hard to determine due to his injury history.

    • Dee..not move Marta for emelin…get just in Faulk a tough get since they signed Calvin Denham. Originally move Marta and goalie Tristan jarry for Faulk sign emelin for depth.. Marta is good young but slow would be a better fit somewhere else…

  4. hawks are just delaying the “rebuild” …even if by some miracle they sneak into the playoffs it will be a short run for them….too many teams in the west on the bubble and many of them are much younger and faster than the hawks

  5. Anisimov and Saad + draft pick for Faulk Skinner and a D prospect like Bean maybe Fleury .Carolina backend is deep with Pesce and Slavin >Hamilton . Chicago might save a couple,of,bucks
    I think July will be quiet. Most people vacation and hockey guys no different. August we will see something. The drums are beating too loudly on a number of players

    • The trade has more of a chance if Anisimov is not included. Carolina is trying to get tougher to play against. I would rather see Carolina give the ice time to a prospect than Anisimov.

      • I assume you will get your wish & Necas steps straight into the NHL & is playing as Car’s #2 by Christmas.

  6. The Blackhawks created some much-needed cap space but according to Capfriendly still, need to get 6 players onto their roster to hit the NHL’s 23 man roster the day before the season starts. If they follow the standard model of 13 F, 8 D & 2 G then they need 4 forwards & 2 Dman with only $9,300,705 in space to do so.

    We had heard rumours earlier about Faulk to Chi with Darling which at the time seemed odd & it makes a ton of sense but what do they give up & how do they make the #’s work?

    Could Chi send Ward back to Carolina taking on Darlings contract with other assets to acquire Faulk? It would still cause cap issues but Carolina may like to get out from under Darlings deal.

    Not saying it will happen in fact doesn’t really make sense to me except this rumour without the Ward dynamic was floated by someone several weeks ago.

    If Carolina were willing to eat say a mil to a mil 5 depending on how many years they would eat cap space it could be plausible if the other assets Chi moves out to acquire Faulk can balance it out. It would allow Carolina to get out from under Darlings contract & Chicago’s cap issues improve in 2019-20.

    For me, the real issue is what does Chi have to give up? Their prospect kitty is barren & they shouldn’t be moving picks.

    • Striker

      concur they are definitely not out of the woods. They might go 14F-7D-2G instead but still then 5F-1d for just over $9M….. helllllo!!!

      I’m scratching my head to even consider a way that they can get to a level next year to be in the playoffs

      IMO — 3 Cal teams and Nsh, Winn, St L in for sure

      Fageddaboudit— Van, Arz

      IMO highly unliikely (unless major changes): the two Alberta teams

      Leaving 2 spots to be garnered from (in no particular order) VGK, Dall, Chi, Col, Min and I don’t see Chi (as at now) being top 2 of those 5 teams.

      My hunch is VGK and Dall as the final two Western spots.

      …. as an aside …. if somehow VGK win the EK sweeps— they bump either An or LA down to that vying 5 teams (for final 2 Western playoff spots)— and I then see that Cal team (An or LA) finishing in the first Western Wild Card spot

      • Some teams role 14 F’s, 7 D & 2 G’s when all are healthy & certainly as injuries dictate.

        Been a pretty interesting offseason already & we still have Karlsson, Patches & Skinner for sure on the trade board.

        There are a ton of interesting arbitration situations brewing as well where these players could force their teams into trades if they don’t get what they want. Trouba, Stone, Ceci, etc. Stone is 1 year from UFA status, Trouba & Ceci 2. Any could settle in arbitration take a year deal if Stone 2 years if the other 2 & walk following. That’s a ton of leverage.

        Add in Duchene’s 1-year tom UFA status in Ott & what is already beyond ugly could get far worse. If I’m any of Duchene, Stone or Ceci I’m not committing to Ott long term this summer & unlikely barring a miracle I would next year either.

  7. Just read online from Pitts Post-Gazette that GMJR claims he’ll be trying Brassard out at top 6 wing?????

    If so … the Hags out …. Derek Grant signing a must…. DG then in at 3C

    • There is nothing in that article that even implies that he’s going to play wing for sure. It says they might try him on the wing. It also says it would be with Malkin and Kessel and that would make the team VERY top heavy. They need scoring on all of the lines, especially the top 3 lines. Brassard will play wing when they load up a line after a PK or at the end of a period or when they need a goal but he is the 3C. Your Grant obsession is very strange, he’s a vanilla player that no team is in a rush to sign. Give him a PTO but I don a want him signed until after camp. Blueger re-signed today, I’d rather he play C than waste cap space on Grant.

  8. Montreal needs to hire Mark Hunter as GM and fix this wagon-train to nowhere that Bergevin has them on. Not much difference roster-wise between a good season and a bad one in Montreal, except a few guys are older and Price is not weaving his magic most nights. Really, the back-ups were not much different than Price last year, it has to make you wonder if that massive contract is really worth it during a rebuild?

  9. The Habs are in a tough spot, Weber’s health & Price’s wealth.

  10. Do the Habs need to start a rebuild? Of course.

    My Canucks & their fans said & wanted the same to start much earlier.

    Now its like someone previously mentioned what is needed or wanted or is best cannot happen when longterm contracts are on the books. Getting around NTC/NMC’s is a HUGE hurdle making it all impractical.