NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2018

by | Jul 23, 2018 | Rumors | 52 comments

An update on Max Pacioretty plus the latest on the Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.


LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Marc de Foy reports sources claim Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin ignored captain Max Pacioretty for months last season. Last month, a deal that would’ve sent Pacioretty to the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL Draft fell through. An unrestricted free agent next July, Pacioretty has been linked to the Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. de Foy notes Bergevin apparently doesn’t want to negotiate a contract extension with Pacioretty. He said relations appear tense between the two sides and it seems like a matter of time until Pacioretty is traded.

A recent report claims the relationship between Max Pacioretty and Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has deteriorated (Photo via NHL Images).

de Foy also claims former Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov contacted his ex-teammates last November telling them he was unhappy playing in the KHL and wanted to return to the Canadiens, but Bergevin turned a deaf ear. Noting the Habs GM also shipped out P.K. Subban to Nashville two years ago, de Foy wonders about Bergevin’s attitude toward the club’s popular players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree Pacioretty seems destined to be dealt between now and next February’s NHL trade deadline. Bergevin’s failed attempt to ship the left winger to the Kings indicates the Habs GM no longer sees his captain as being part of his club’s long-term future.

Teams are undoubtedly interested in Pacioretty, who carries an affordable $4.5-million cap hit for 2018-19 and lacks no-trade protection. However, those clubs probably want to ink the winger to a contract extension. His apparent unwillingness to do that (which is considered the reason why the deal with the Kings fell through) could adversely affect his trade value. 

de Foy also said those sources claim Bergevin makes life difficult for players who struggle on the ice. However, we should probably take this with a grain of salt.

Carey Price had his difficulties and is very popular with Canadiens fans yet he and Bergevin had no problem agreeing last summer to a lucrative long-term contract. The Canadiens GM also doesn’t seem to have any issues with scrappy fan favorite Brendan Gallagher.

Subban’s trade was said to be based in part upon some friction between the flamboyant blueliner and some of his teammates. Markov’s departure and that of winger Alexander Radulov appears based upon on Bergevin’s misguided attempt at playing hardball in contract talks, forcing the two players to accept other offers.


THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke suggests New Jersey’s Damon Severson, Carolina’s Justin Faulk and Dallas’ Julius Honka as three players from the “secondary trade market” for the Vancouver Canucks to explore.

Burke admits it’s hard to imagine why the Devils would part with Severson but noted TSN’s Blake Price last month linked the Canucks to the New Jersey blueliner. The Hurricanes are loaded with right-side defensemen and Faulk’s frequently come up in the rumor mill. Burke feels somebody has to give Honka a break, as he struggled to establish himself as a full-time NHLer under former Stars coaches Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock. 

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt teams called about Severson. The fact he hasn’t been moved yet suggests Devils GM Ray Shero has no interest in trading him or no one is willing to meet his asking price.

The Hurricanes could seek a scoring forward for Faulk. Rumors linking him to the Chicago Blackhawks claimed the asking price was left wing Brandon Saad or center Nick Schmaltz. Based on that, the Canucks could be asked to part with Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser.

Honka could be more affordable and was mentioned as part of a suggested return for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. But with the Stars hiring Jim Montgomery as their new bench boss, maybe Honka gets another chance to stick with the Stars. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford recently noted the Vancouver Canucks expressed their desire to be active in this summer’s trade market but so far no deal has materialized. He wondered if they have a defenseman they can package for a beneficial return. He notes

Alex Edler reportedly won’t waive his no-trade clause. Chris Tanev’s injury-ravaged 2017-18 campaign hurt his trade value and interested parties want the Canucks to absorb part of his $4.45-million cap hit. Botchford considers Erik Gudbranson almost untradeable as many teams “see him as a third-pairing defenseman making $4 million.”

Ben Hutton’s poor season and $2.8-million cap hit makes him “as close to untradeable as anyone.”  Botchford also notes teams aren’t lining up for Michael Del Zotto and his $3-million cap hit. He also doesn’t see Derrick Pouliot or Troy Stecher getting moved. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Canucks lack the defensive depth to use as bait to land a quality return to help them elsewhere on the roster. 



  1. If the ask is that much for Faulk then he will be part of the log jam in Carolina. Saad and Bo Horvat “I don’t think so Tim”.
    Schmaltz and Boeser – Ha Ha.

    Skinner for Pacioretty as the principals and picks and minor leaguers to get that done.
    Faulk for Anisimov and picks exchanged

  2. Is there is vaguer and more meaningless term than “linked.” As DK pointed out a few days ago, there is no link between the Penguins and Pacioretty, except in the minds of clueless bloggers who just copy each other so they have something to fill up their pages. Even by the lowly standards of rumor mongering, there has not be any “in the know” writer who has asserted that the Penguins have shown much interest in him. Skinner maybe, but not Pacioretty.

    • There are no link between 99.9% of what all these bloggers are saying.
      It’s pure speculation.

      • Correct.

    • You quoted the most clueless blogger ever in dk.

      • DK is a very mediocre sports writer, but he’s a pretty impressive cult leader.

        My favorite thing ever is him bashing the Pirates for being cheap and not keeping their best players and for crying “small market” and then he loses his two biggest name writers (Kaboly sucked but Yohe was the only reason to join that site) because another site paid them more and he cried “small market”.

        And all of his comment section lemming turn on whoever leaves no matter how much they profess to love them a week earlier. And they bash the multiple (I repeat, MULTIPLE) women who have accused David Koresh (oops, wrong DK) of sexual harassment. Nice little cult he has there.

      • He shoulda stuck to baseball alone. His work in the paper was so abysmal I was shocked anyone was foolish enough to pay him directly. He had so many articles bashing pens fans.

      • Huh? I didn’t quote anybody. You obviously don’t know what the word “quoting” means. You need to brush up on your English.

      • Referenced? That better professor?

    • Neither penguins don’t need patches or skinner…

  3. Outside of the injury prone Tanev the Canucks dont have a defenceman with any trade value. Edler is a +/- nightmare and Del Saster is simply horrid.
    Horvat and Boeser are the only two Canucks with any real value and it should take a huge offer to pry either of them from Vancouver.

    Sutter is heinously overpaid as is Eriksson. I dont see much coming back in a trade for Baertchi (sp) either.

    Cue the Striker comment on Eriksson having a “bounce back” season, lol.

    • Oh no I hated the Eriksson signing too. Way to much money & far to much term. Nor did he make sense for what should have been a rebuilding roster. There will be no real bounce back but the Canucks have no choice but to play him. He’s just blocking a young players path at this point. 4 years to go, ouch!

      I do like Edler & Tanev though but agree with you Tanev is an injury waiting to happen. Although Edler is Van’s #1 & has been for many years he’s really a very soft #2 or solid #3.

      • If Tanev could stay healthy his value to the Canucks and his trade value would be much greater. He’s decent, not great. Next to zero offensively but fairly adequate in his own end. Ideal for a team looking to add a #3 or 4 defenceman if he could just stay on the ice.

      • Agreed.

    • Not to mention that they went out and spent $30m on 3 4th line players.
      On top of that, what irks Canucks fans the most is Lindenning are so loyal to everyone they aquire. Its been reported that guys like Sutter, Tanev AND even Eriksson have all had GM’s kicking tires. Any other(well most other) GM’s wouldve taken the deals, sent them packing freeing up another $20m/yr on constantly injured cap space.

      Canucks have done a good job revamping their amatuer scouting/development departments but Benning isnt even running the drafts anymore.
      For the past 3 years, watching Benning approach July 1 is like watching a tourettes at an auction. Now we have a team of mediocre plugs signed long term and when the kids ARE ready to step in, there wont be any room for them and the loyalist Lindenning wont make room.

      • If Benning got an offer of a roll of tape for either Eriksson or Sutter he should jump at it. Even a 4th round pick with half salary retention should be considered and taken.

        His FA signings this year are baffling. Both the term and dollars make no sense. One day Benning is saying we’re going to give the young players the chance to play, the next hes signing 4th line slugs to four year contracts.
        Next to Bergevin in Montreal Benning has to be the worst GM in the league.

      • I like Sutter as a player but never understood that trade & he is nominally overpaid now significantly at point of trade. Most 3rd line C’s see those monies or very close today.

        He’s going to get a crack at the #2 C spot with Pettersson & Eriksson apparently.

        I don’t have a clue what Bennings doing, he takes 2 steps back, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.

        Vancouver has too many players. Where is Goldobin going to play? He has to clear waivers this season as do too many other players after bringing in Beagle, Roussel & Schaller.

        Most people I talk to in Vancouver would far prefer to see the kids play.

    • “DK is a very mediocre sports writer, but he’s a pretty impressive cult leader.”

      This is the kind pathetic ad hominem personal attack the rules the internet. If you can’t refute message, attack the messanger. It doesn’t matter where he is a mediocre sports writer or not. The issue is whether he is right or wrong. Here he’s right. That’s all that matters.

      • because of the opinion of the writer is agreed upon by the reader it excuses the previous statements / actions of the writer. Guess credibility, which you seemed so concerned about in the first place when you referenced dk, is obsolete.

      • Facts are facts, Parrot.

  4. If MB keeps this attitude up he is going to get even less in a trade for Patches and/or any other player he tries to move.

    The value declines as time moves on and if Patches starts the year with this whole bucketload of crap over his head— he’ll have to deal with more media pressure and that might also affect his production (he’s a pro and it shouldn’t, but who knows) which affects return.

    A trade needs to happen soon and I believe that Patches will thrive in any new environment.

    SilverSeven— I see your point w.r.t. Patches/Skinner as principals in a trade— but I’m interested in what you see as the net “sundry” pieces in that trade were it to happen — i.e. which team in your opinion would you feel would have to offer up more in net moving pics/pieces in a patches/Skins deal?

    • Mon has almost 2 months until training camp starts. We are in the dog days of summer, many GM’s are concentrating on arbitration at present. Patches should be gone before camp opens & that’s a long ways off. No great rush.

    • Striker/FD

      I just want to clarify re moving “soon”— as Striker pointed out– ARbs and other concerns right now—that is pressing for many GMs.

      I know almost 2 months to start of Camps… I would not wait that long— as soon as most major Arbs done (or signings pre-arb)— MB needs to move then and there— waiting until just before camp— when most teams are almost set (at least in principle)… trade partners narrowed considerably

      I just want this over for Patches.

      I really don’t think he’d be coming to Pens and can’t see by any stretch of the imagination a Leafs/Habs deal — so I’m therefore hoping for Patches to go to a Western Conf team… or the outside outside chance of the Skinner+sundry/Patches+sundry swap– as neither Habs or Canes a playoff threat 🙂

      • I think a deal for Patches is taking so long due to a couple of factors. One is tha Skinner is also available so potential trade partners need to weigh the worth of value added against value lost in both cases as well as the ability to resign them.
        Bergevin must be under a lot of pressure to hit a homerun on any deal. Past trades and the Canadiens freefall down the standings make it almost a neccessity he gets a large return in any deal. Expecting a “scoring” center, a prospect and a first round pick is unreasonable. Patches may have been up to last season a reliable 30 goal scorer but at age 29, coming off a 17 goal year and UFA looming hes going to have to lower his demands radically I think. Theres lots of teams that would love to add Patches (San Jose, Pittsburgh, Vegas, Boston and maybe Philly) but I doubt any of them are willing to help Bergevin atone for his past errors.

        Best bet I see is a prospect and a 2nd round pick. I just dont see anyone giving up a decent center when they are at a premium or a first rounder for him.

    • Agreed Pengy. Regarding Markov and Radulov, I has always wondered what role Rick Dudley played. He was the Habs ‘capologit’ so when it comes to missed contracts I wonder how much say he had. Also regarding Radulov people media and fans. made a big deal of him turning down a two year deal to sign a one year with Montreal. To me that actually was a red flag. I Radulov came back, played one good reason, he could (and did)vturn that into a longer and more lucrative deal. With a two year deal, he’d have to play well for two years. I would have paused as well and asked myself if he was going to live up to his contract for its duration. Just saying…

      • Bergevin made a double mistake letting both Markov and Radulov walk.

        Im amazed he still has a job.

    • Skinner is younger and has better skating ability. I think Mtl has to be a little sweeter but not a ton . Seconds for thirds kind of thing

  5. Agreed Pengy, MB needs to move Patches NOW! Its like he is a deer stuck in headlights. Montreal needs to act and act quickly.
    P.s…survived my first gun rampage last night on the Danforth. 20 feet from being shot! Scary times we live in.

    • FD

      Glad to hear you survived this. This City is getting to me.

      Thoughts and prayers go out to those innocents lost and injured.

    • My sister inlaw lives in that area as well.

      Glad youre safe. Sad whats become of Toronto, used to love it.

    • I just hope these latest rumors of Karlsson as a rental for the penguins..hell no we don’t need Karlsson, patches, or skinner.

      • yea and toronto doesn’t need him either

    • Cheers Chrisms!

  6. Dallas is a terrible judge of dmen. I would be happy to trade Jackass Johnson for Honka and let Honka actually play. Klingberg and Lindell are good players, Johns is ok too. The rest are meh.

    • Methot if he can stay healthy helps as does Polak. I also see Heiskanen stepping straight into the NHL & playing a game very similiar to McAvoy in his rookie season last year. It’s significantly better than it was 2014-15 & 2015-16 when it was beyond brutal.

      Lindell, Klingberg.
      Heiskanen, Johns.
      Methot, Polak.
      Hearthington, Honka.

      It’s not that bad, better than average. Very young but if Dallas finds a way to add Karlsson without losing Heiskanen it’s very solid.

      • Hi Striker,

        If they could get EK without losing Heisk you are bang on. I just can’t see any trade for Dall getting EK that does not include Heisk.

        I’m cheering for Dall or VGK to get EK but my gut still thinks Stevie Y is going to pull this off.

      • I don’t want to pay EK’s contract demands & term if most teams. Vegas really being 1 of the few exceptions.

        Just curious & I love Doughty to me the best Dman in the NHL today & should continue to be for many years but the business side of hockey is always in play for me. Who would you prefer to have Dumda for 5 years at 6 mil per at 24 in 2 days or Doughty at 11 per turning 30 shortly after that contract kicks in for 8 years?

        Dumba isn’t Doughty & probably will never be but is Doughty worth 5 mil more per season at his age?

      • Hi Striker

        If given that choice — yes Dumba at 24 at 5 * $6M… better choice

        I’ve already posted my bias/favouritism re Parayko— so I’d actually pick Parayko with 4 yrs left at $5.5M… half the price of Doughty— could basically afford both a Parayko and Dumba for the Doughty cost— so exorbitant costs for 1 Dman (Doughty or EK) starting at 30(Doughty) or 29(EK) years of age— tough pill to swallow— someone will do it though… that is almost certain.

        Putting that aside— I don’t believe there is a better D contract in the league than Headman at $7.9M

        I concur that Doughty can be argued as the best D in the league— he’s exceptional. I’m just liking Headman a smidgen more these days (a very fine smidgen) over Doughty— and at $3+M less per… that is the contract I would covet.

        If Stevie Y makes it (cap space) work— I think EK will sign in the $10M range — his take home in Florida at $10M basically on par with Doughty’s $11M in LA

        If TBay has both EK and VH…. and does not play them together… then basically any time in any game ; one of them is likely to be on the ice— and with that in mind …. barring a catastrophe and/or serious long term injuries to key players….. I can’t see TBay NOT going to SCF as the Eastern Rep for the next 2 years at least.

        ….. so EK …. look West young man

      • Hedman is right there for me as well & factoring in cap & term he would be my 1st choice as well.

  7. When it comes to Karlsson Dorian isnt dealing from a position of strength and all the other GMs know it. Much like the resident buffoon in Montreal hes going to have to lower the price or watch Karlsson walk for nothing as a FA.

    • Given the supposed current offers, Dorion might as well trade Karlsson as a rental. You don’t take a crap offer just because the media wants something to discuss in the off-season. When you see what Shattenkirk and Rick Nash got as rentals the last couple years, Karlsson should get a much better return than being thrown around now.

      Friedman eluded to it over the weekend, but there is talk around Ottawa that Karlsson wants to stay long term, but doesn’t like the current “direction” (i.e. Melnyk). Who knows. Maybe Karlsson’s non-commitment to an extension with a new team is related to him knowing/hoping Melnyk will soon sell the team. Stranger things have happened. No one knows what Karlsson is really thinking other than he wants to get paid his true worth (similar to Doughty) after being on a bargain contract the last 7 years.

  8. It is fair to ask why Hedman signed such a team and fan-friendly contract. It is never clear how much where a player wants to go influences GM’s, outside of a Martin St Louis kind of demand situation. But the extension signing price for EK might vary considerably from team to team. Most of us could not fathom,in our lives, giving up 2-3 Million per year, which in our frame of reference may be lifetime earnings. Even more remote is the aggregate 16-20 MM over the life of a contract. Yet Hedman clearly gave up a number like that, if his hockey value is similar to Doughty. Would EK sign a Hedman-like contract to play in Tampa? I’ve never seen it seriously proposed; but the general frames of reference we all use is that money is everything. Maybe it isn’t in all cases. 7 years at 9MM is 63 Million dollars. That may be a big enough number to push something else to first place in the decision making process. It appears we understand very few personnel decision GM’s make and disagree with most here. I don’t think we understand the olayers as people very well either.

    • Outside of the David Poile masterpieces (ex. Josi, Arvidsson, Jarnkrok, Ekholm, etc.), there are few examples of as team friendly a contract as Hedman’s. He left $2M+/year on the table at the time of signing his contract, which makes no sense regardless of your drive by money. That is more than taking a discount to stay in TB. The Nashville contracts are even true comparables since those contracts were signed to pending RFA’s, not UFA’s.

      The only player I can think of that left that kind of money on the table recently based on previous production is Arvidsson. He could have gotten $6M/year on the term he accepted and should have taken a 2 year bridge deal if all Poile offered was $4.25M/year.

      • My point is that it obviously made sense, in some fashion, to Victor, who signed it.

      • Dont forget that both Conner McDavid and Carey Price both claimed they “left money on the table” so their teams could sign other players. 12.5 million and 10 million per season. Rumor is they both said it with a straight face.

    • Hi Richard

      Your right … so many things to consider … fam (kids) ; wife/girlfriend; city itself; media frenzy? ; city nightlife; city safety ; spokesperson /ad $’S in city….signing bonus vs none; net takehome pay

      If just from pay perspective … VH got basically $8M… his take home pay at $8M in FLA is the equivalent of $9M or a slight bit more … in Montreal or Toronto or Ottw….

      So VH basically signed the same take home pay contract that PK signed 23 months before him

      ….. or maybe he just likes Marlin fishing… IDK???

      For the record …. at 57 and I almost always played Centre … some sparing Wing …. I’m willing to accept $1M * 3 (’till retirement) to play D …. will accept any City …. but must insist on NTC…. don’t want to move

      Stats: 6’3″ ; 210; shoots left
      Can do 4 sit-ups and 5 push-ups in one hour. I look great from the press box…. takers????

  9. MB sucks beyond belief & Dudley as a capologist makes me laugh.

    Eriksson was a poor signing as in 1yr too long & 500k too much. The signing & role he was cast for is at the root of all & the timing was poor to go for expensive UFA’s.

    Patches is overrated IMO

    As for Bo or Boesser for Faulk thats drinking the koolaid. Faulk is pretty good but hardly close to that. Canes are in a bit of pickle like many teams trading for a C. D used to a top commodity but in todays game its top C’s 1st & top 2D next given they are rately traded. Drafting is the way to go.

  10. Habs have their hands full with Patch as no team is going to extend him for the amount of money he wants. So the return for a rental is much less than if he is willing to sign an extension. Maybe some team will over pay at deadline I guess time will tell.

    • Exactly Obe, and you can’t blame Patches for that either. Would you sign an extension without being in an organization at all?
      I would want to know what I’m getting into before I committed, or at very least be able to choose between options you choose, not the team. And Patches will have them if he tests the market.
      I think you will see more players go this route unless they really want to stay with where they already are, for whatever reason; family, city, taxes/money, competitiveness, culture/team mates, whatever it is for you and your family.

  11. This is more of a question; maybe somebody out there has the answer! If Andrei Markov wants to play again in the nhl who holds his rights??? If it is montreal can they be traded for an asset? Wouldn’t a team such as Edmonton be interested in such a seasoned veteran defenseman? Maybe he could help school players like Darnell Nurse or Ethan Bear!

    • No one owns Markov’s NHL rights. He became an unrestricted free agent last July and signed with a KHL team. If he wants to return next season and if his KHL contract contains an “out clause”, he’s free to sign with any NHL team before the start of the season. He can also do so once the season begins, but if he plays a single KHL game by the start of the NHL season, he’d have to pass through waivers first.

  12. I don’t think that VAN will give up Horvat or Boeser unless it’s for a mega deal involving a young superstar of Matthews/McDavid/ Eichel type player , otherwise they are staying put. Tanev may get you a decent prospect and a pick…. Dallas needs to hang onto Honka , their biggest need is defense , score a ton of goals but little support at the back end .
    As for Pacioretty….MB is waiting for a GM to budge , he may still be waiting close to the deadline , and then the price may drop significantly.
    Skinner , i can see go to the West coast , LA or SJ , maybe to Pitt for Jarry & Sprong


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