NHL Rumor Mill – July 31, 2018

by | Jul 31, 2018 | Rumors | 75 comments

Speculation of the Leafs and Blues talking trade plus a look at the future of Rangers forward Kevin Hayes in your NHL rumor mill. 

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs pursuing St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko? (Photo via NHL Images)


BETWEEN THE POSTSHoward Berger reports a source told him the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues “have recently kicked trade tires.” The Leafs are looking “for a big-time defenseman” while the Blues are “in need of offence.” He said Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is trying to pry blueliner Colton Parayko out of St. Louis.

Berger doesn’t believe the Leafs would make William Nylander available to land Parayko. He instead proposes a package “that includes Jake Gardiner and Andreas Johnsson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me to hear Dubas is shopping around for a skilled defenseman. Perhaps he’s given a call to Blues GM Doug Armstrong to inquire into his asking price for Parayko.

However, Armstrong already made several moves to bolster his offense this summer, acquiring Ryan O’Reilly in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres and signing former Leafs center Tyler Bozak and hometown winger Patrick Maroon, as well as bringing back former Blue David Perron. So I doubt he’s still in the market right now for more scoring punch.

If Dubas were to offer Nylander for Parayko straight up, perhaps Armstrong would listen. That’s what I believe it would take to bring the big blueliner to Toronto.

Gardiner has good offensive skills but he’s not as solid as Parayko in his own zone He’s also a UFA next summer and I don’t think Armstrong would be interested in giving up one of his best blueline assets for a player who could bolt at season’s end. Johnsson has promise but he’s yet to play a full NHL season. Just because he was lighting it up for the Leafs’ farm team doesn’t mean he’ll do the same at the NHL level.

The Blues also have several promising prospects, such Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas and Klim Kostin, in their system. Perhaps one of them will crack the lineup in 2018-19 and provide the Blues with additional scoring punch. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports the New York Rangers yesterday avoided salary arbitration with center Kevin Hayes by re-signing him to a one-year, $5.125-million contract. Hayes will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, so this new deal casts some doubt over his long-term future with the Rangers.

Hayes could flourish in 2018-19 under new Rangers coach David Quinn, If not, he could become a trade chip near by next February’s deadline if Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton continues stockpiling draft picks and prospects. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Hayes isn’t a top-line center but he’s a good second- or third-line forward who’s exceeded 40 points in three of his four NHL seasons, including a career-best 25-goal performance last season. If the Rangers remain in rebuild mold by the trade deadline Hayes will likely be shopped to playoff contenders seeking depth at center. 



  1. The ONLY thing that I wish Armstrong/Blues would still explore is to find a “taker” for Jake Allen—then sign Lehtonen or Steve Mason to replace for the year. Instant upgrade.

    • Crunch the numbers boy. Blues only need to replace Allen for Dec/Jan…maybe Jan/Feb..he’s fairly consistent. ..always takes a couple months off.

    • Lehtonon is not a starter anymore. And Mason is too streaky

      but the Blues are taking a BIG risk on a tandem of Allen and Johnson. Johnson played poorly in Buffalo but that was with a bad defense. Allen’s play is like a roller coaster, too streaky and too many highs and lows. I think they will really miss Hutton. Armstrong made all the changes up front but the goaltending may impact their chances, they may struggle to make the playoffs again

      • Lehtonen can be a starter.

        He could start for 15 teams.

        The major issue with Lehtonen is his salary demands.

        He wants 4 Million a Season.

        Good luck!

      • Mason is not a starter.

        Mason may not even be a backup anymore but he should be given the opportunity to at least try.

        Mason to me seems AHL bound or Europe/KHL.

        Johnson will do well in the backup role with good defense in St. Louis.

        A good acquisition by the Blues.

      • True, the Sabres defense was bad, but Johnson couldn’t stop a beach ball last year. Plus, he threw his teammates under the bus at the end of the year.

    • I’d take Jake Allen over Mason and Let-em-in tied together in net. Neither of them were ever good and now they are barely AHL level players.

      • JUST WONDERING if anybody else heard about this crazy three way trade buzz…between Ottawa Pittsburgh and Vegas.. Saw it on a Pittsburgh sports site..Karlsson to Pittsburgh, Kessel to Vegas and they weren’t sure of what all went back to Ottawa..strange?

        what a dumb idea…..i don’t want Karlsson he is a traffic pylon on defense at $11 plus million

    • I dont see Lehtonen or Mason as a very big improvement over Allen, if they are at all.

      Careful what you wish for, lol

      • Allen is better without a doubt.

    • Jake Allen isn’t going anywhere.

      Blues Management made an internal decision to keep him for the upcoming season.

      Blues Management have no interest in Lehtonen and/or Mason.


      Not at all.

      • I expect Allen to have a solid season. It will come with at least 1 prolonged hiccup. Armstrong had a great offseason perhaps the best. certainly top 3 so far with Cal & Buf although that doesn’t mean much for Buf as they are improving on being the worst team in the league & just starting to win, climbing out of the basement. Cal & StL have both moved in with the contenders.

        StL is going to roll 3 solid scoring lines & a solid top 4 D that few teams in the NHL can match up with.Cap space is tight though so something may have to give.

        I assume Thorburn & Nolan will both be sent down freeing up 1.55 to go with the 200K to get Schmaltz signed as the #7/8 Dman & StL’s 23 man roster set. Schmaltz has waiver rights now so he stays, gets traded or will be lost on waivers.

        Also very curious to see if Dunn continues to advance or stumbles & experiences a little sophomore slump. He was a huge surprise earning a starting roll on StL’s D last season playing over 17 mins a game.

    • The idea that Kari Lehtonen or Steve Mason is an “instant upgrade,” let alone a long-term solution for STL, is laughable.

  2. Don’t see these teams trading with each other but Nylander to Boston for a defenseman like Carlo or Krug makes sense for both teams.
    Boston needs another top six right wing. Toronto needs some defensive help. Boston could add another defenseman prospect too make trade even.

    • Lyle mentioned a potential Kapp/Faulk deal last week, I thought the buds would have the right point covered by now.

      • I never mentioned a potential Kapp/Faulk deal last week.

      • Sorry Lyle, something to the effect “leafs like Faulk, Caine’s really like Kapp.”..there was no speculation.

    • No Thanks Dave, early impression of Nylander nice regular season, not playoff material.

      • Far too young to judge Nylander’s playoff contributions yet. He has 2 full years of NHL experience having just turned 22, he got into another 22 in 2015-16. He was 1 on Tor’s better players in the playoffs in both those 2 seasons.

        Let’s look to evaluate Nylander after his age 25 season & see what he has become. How many NHL players have scored 122 points in their 1st 2 full seasons in the league by age 21? Especially in this era with less than 3 goals scored on average by a team per game. This living in the now or on very short timelines like 1 or 2 years, especially for a young developing player is almost meaningless.

      • Bang on caper! You can see how soft Nylander is in the playoffs and it isn’t gonna change sorry striker he’s just like his old man

      • Ha-ha! Time will tell. He is certainly soft today, he avoids contact at almost all costs nor a willing shot blocker but is that really the role he’s destined for? Checkers come pretty cheaply & Nylander is never going to be a checker.

      • Not that I’m comparing the two but I don’t see Johnny Gaudreau blocking shots either.
        Multiple such examples in the league, a player who is offensively inclined but he won’t be killing penalties anytime soon.
        Nylander 8 points in his first 13 games – not too shabby.
        He’s no first team all star but he is certainly well above average for a guy with two full seasons.

      • too Many ppl care too much about the points, he does nothing without the puck to help the team and was pretty much useless against the bruins. You can say he’s young but he isn’t going to change he is a regular season player

    • Toronto is looking to add a Defenceman either by UFA or by trade.

      On July 4th:

      Dubas made a UFA offer to Dylan DeMelo.

      On July 7th:

      Dylan decided to re-sign with San Jose.

      Dubas has had discussions about bringing back Cody Franson.

      Alexei Emelin has also been discussed but his asking price of 3 Million per season is too high.

      I’ll post about the trade offers made by Dubas later as I have plans and I need to depart.

      The rumours to St. Louis are 100% incorrect.

    • The Leads and Bruins are not trading with each other rn. Btw I would hate to see nylander in a Bruins uniform

  3. Blues would not trade Parayko for fun and have lots of fire power up front starting with Schwartz and Tarasenko .

    I like Hayes a lot and he should be part of the Ranger”s plans. One year deal is odd but the right money. They signed Skej longer term so not sure what the thought process is there

  4. Cue the Rangers fans your top prospect and a first round pick for Hayes trade scenarios.

    Rangers and Leaf fans, always wanting to trade their table scraps for someone elses prime rib.

    • Not even 9:00 am EST and this is the best post of the day …

      • He is 6’5″ so that means 2 1st round picks….

        Regardless that I think Hayes potential has already been reached, making him an UFA next year takes away his asset value for the Rangers. Smart move for the Hayes camp-even if he only has has 50 points next season someone will pay him 6+million a season x6 if he makes it to July 1

      • Well at 1st & 2 2nds. Ha-ha!

        I don’t think Hayes is fully developed nor do I think we have seen his best yet, nor will we until the season after next. He’ll get 50 points easily next season. My current prediction is 28 to 32 goals & 57 to 63 points next season, 70+ the season following as long as he stays healthy & plays at least 75 games.

        This contract is very odd & we are starting to see them. I get doing this type of deal for a borderline depth player, UFA signing but de Hann, Gubranson, Nelson & now Hayes?

        Just seems like crazy asset management to me. If Hayes hits the UFA market next summer teams will line up to sign this monster with solid 2 way skills & unreached offensive potential. I assume he will get close to 6 mil from someone in need of a C.

        I hope NYR gets him locked up long term come January when eligible to sign an extension.

    • This comment was just as amusing yesterday….. I think we’ve seen your take more than any Ranger fan so far. We get it… no need to copy and paste the same thing daily.

      • Cue the typical Ranger fan sour grapes as their trainwreck freefalls down the standings. You probably think Lundqvist is a top 5 goalie dontcha? Lol

        Have a grate day.

      • Sour grapes? Lol… coming from the guy who literally hates his home team… same recycled hot garbage daily… “dim jim”” hahahahaha dim jim hahahahaha…..

        There is no train wreck here… I was screaming for a rebuild all last year. Why would I be bitter? One of the more successful teams in the cap era, just not good enough to win it all. It was time.

        When is the last time you seen singing Lundqvist praises? Or see me make lopsided proposals? Yeah…

        Have a “GREAT “day! Lmao

      • Ya Ron dull give it a rest

    • How many times are you going to repeat your Leafs prime rib analogy? We get it, it was dumb for first time you said it now it’s just annoying.

  5. Nylander for Paryako…maybe. Still would like to see Draisaitl for Paryako, but Edmonton seems set on keeping Leon. Gardiner and Johnnson for Paryako….Toronto press dreaming again!

    • I fail to see the logic in the Blues trading Paryako unless it is for another top pair d-man. And why do that when he is as solid as they come on a reasonable deal, unless your getting an upgrade like Drew D. Which they can’t afford and would have to give more back.
      Lyle touched on it above, they made moves to improve their goal scoring and their prospect depth is up front as well.
      It makes no sense. To me anyway. The Blues look locked and loaded for this season with the possible achilles heal in net. But goaltending is voodoo so maybe Allen lights it up.

      • I’m not advocating trading Parayko. A bigger issue may be the left side with Jaybo’s decline. A shutdown D on the left side would be nice. I bet Army deals with that during the season provided goaltending issues don’t take priority.

      • Wasn’t targeted at you KC but the Berger report. I get that it’s tough to come up with content in the summer, so if we want to debate rumors we take what we get.

      • Is not Joel Edmundson the shut-down guru of the Blues’ future? I read an article about the wisdom of the one year deal for him on THN, and the author expressed his belief that Edmundson can hang with the top opposition on a nightly basis.

  6. Do Leafs fans ever stop and consider other teams needs or interests before they think they can cherry pick every teams top players for under value? Why in the $%&# would the Blues trade Parayko unless they’re getting a steal of a deal? Only Marc Bergevin trades his top defensemen away and he’s plum out.

  7. Dc…that is the media speculating on a Paryako/leafs trade! So, not sure what your going on about?
    Ron Jull, your comments are well thought out…we can tell!

    • Your right FD, the media was speculating…and speculating…and speculating. As a leaf fan, I as the majority of leafs fans have had it up to the eye balls with the constant idiotic speculation. Reporting on actual rumours is one thing but making crap up gets old really fast. And please DC, and others, quit assuming all leafs fans are mindless automotons who have no knowledge about the game or value of there teams players. Yes, there are a percentage of leaf fans who have there heads in the clouds. And to those please shut your mouths, you embarrass the rest of us.

      • Drew, I agree as a Leafs fan. However, you are explaining to guys who are no better than the small percentage of Leafs fans they are complaining about. Leafs are in the news? Better bash everything Leafs and belittle Leaf fans.

        The over valuation of Leafs players by this subsection of Leafs fans is no different than the undervaluing of Leafs players by the haters.

        Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  8. StL moving Parayko their #2 Dman makes no sense to me. It doesn’t make them better taking his minutes off this roster, scoring can’t offset his 2 way play. Nor do I think they are going to have any issues scoring. They brought in an entire 2nd PP unit in ROR, Bozak, Maroon & Perron to join Parayko. Assuming Schenn, Schwartz, Tarasenko, Steen & Pietro man the 1st again.

    I don’t see how StL can possibly have the 2nd worst PP in the league next season, they add 20 goals on the PP alone with those acquisitions.

    I do have concerns about Allen though & agree with those above, he has had serious consistency issues so far in his young career. StL. has a ton riding on him & hope he can start to provide the quality of goaltending StL needs to be successful.

    • I really thought St. Louis would make a play for Cam Ward. Anyone know who’s in the pipeline in goal for STL?

      • StL. spent a 2nd round pick; 59th overall, to draft Fitzpatrick in 2016. Goalies take so long to develop who knows. Husso; drafted in 2014, 94th, maybe the closest at 23. He has had 2 solid AHL seasons since coming over from Finland. No saviours in the system today, StL. may have to try & address in trade & that’s challenging in season.

        Allen seemed to play better when sheltered by a veteran, the pressure I assume is an issue. At 27 he’s coming of age for goalies. We are often seeing goalies finally getting a chance to be a #1 at or near 28 lately. Talbot, Darling, Raanta, etc. this is kind of a new development from returning them to Jr, letting them continue to develop overseas, then spending several seasons in the minors finally giving them a backup role for a year or 2 & then letting them rip in or around 24 to 26 as starters.

        Allen beat the curve as have several other goalies & it’s far more common than with skaters. I’m curious to see how quickly a Hart, Samsanov, Demko, Sorokin, Shesterkin, etc. can make it to the NHL. These are thought to be the some of the next exceptional NHL goalies. 3 of them were drafted 4 years ago, 1 3 & the other 2.

      • Beyond Allen, the Blues are very high on Villa Husso, who will spend at least part of the season in the AHL. He seems about ready to make the jump…not that he’s ready to win the cup, he’s just next in line for the Blues. Evan Fitzpatrick is coming off a strong season in juniors and may have passed Jordan Binnington on the depth chart and who had a good comeback season in the AHL.

      • Ya KC, Binnington was the best goalie in Providence last year. Tells you where my Bruins goalie prospects are at when a player on loan bests your top minor league tender prospect.
        My guess is Vlader gets a chance in PRO this year.

  9. Just spitballing on that Leafs rumour.

    If indeed the Leafs & Blues talked about Parayko could one of the young goalies be of interest to the Blues? Gardiner, Sparks, + for Paryako? Not that I expect St. Louis to trade Parayko but just curious of what people think.

    • If the Blues would trade Paryako Nylander is coming the other way they will not take garbage back for one of their best … Gardiner is not a good Dman yet …. he’s still not a top 2 guy and if he was wouldn’t the leafs keep him since Paryako is a top 2 guy lol obviously Gardiner is not and adding sparks is zero value or Johnnson who ? Pls the blues would pick up the phone put it on speaker and record it and be laughing while hanging up ….later that day show that recorded phone call to anyone feeling down in the blues organization and send it to every GM in the NHL by email and the whole league starts laughing including the leafs until they realize it was them on the phone

      • Not meant to slight Nylander who is a stud offensive player in the making who will become a better 2-way player as he develops but he isn’t getting Parayko. StL can’t afford to trade Parayko unless they receive an offer too good to refuse & it would need to include a good young Dman coming back that is NHL ready, meaning can play at least 15 mins a night responsibly on a 3rd pairing min. A serious overpayment would have to transpire for StL to even consider such & Tor isn’t making that offer.

        Just go look at D trades. Not a ton of reference points as they aren’t overly common at least not at this level. Hamilton has moved twice, Yandle, Jones, Hanafin, Hamonic, Larsson, McDonagh, Shattenkirk, the Weber for Subban shocker. They are few examples in this class of Dman most get retained as they are irreplaceable. The only 1 that moved at a reasonable cost was Shattenkirk a pending UFA that everyone knew wanted to play for NYR, I didn’t.

    • I see Parayko play at least 8-10 games every year and the guy is a stud! Probably will become a top ten defenseman in the league.
      I think media and bloggers sometime hear a name without actually watching them play and run with speculation. If anyone is a serious hockey fan and have watched this guy play know very well St Louis is not trading a young 6’6” defencman who can skate and shoot the puck like no one else. These are the guys you build around not trade.

  10. You are dead on by saying the blues don’t need offense so no clue where this writer is getting his info ? The blues are pretty much a complete team … Allen isn’t that bad but if I was the blues I’d call up the Habs and ask what it would take to get Price … Instantly stanly cup favourites if that would happen … Tell them look I’ll give you Allen two A prospects and 2 First’s …. I’d loose two good prospects but let’s be honest they are prospects, my two firsts will be basically drafting 2nd rounder’s and I get rid of Allen and his contract … Blues get the best goalie in the league with the great D and the great offense and they still have good prospects in the system coming up… Habs should agree and the rebuild would be a good start with the good prospects and two firsts …

    • I’m not paying any goalie 10.5 mil a season from age 31 to 38 not even the best goalie in the world. Who Am I kidding I wouldn’t pay any goalie 10.5 mil a season today regardless of age.

      You don’t need the best goalie in the world to win, you just need an above average 1 that gets hot at just the right time.

      I’m not touching that contract unless Mon is eating 3 mil per for the entire 8 years, I’d prefer to keep the picks & prospects give Allen more time & if he fails this season to provide the quality of goaltending referenced above look to plug that hole next season but not at 10.5 per.

      There are more than enough quality goalies available to be able to fill the position well for in or around 4 mil per, 6 tops for me. There is zero correlation between salaries & winning for goalies & so much depends on what’s happening out in front of them. A bad D makes an exceptional goalie look very bad quickly, just ask Price how he enjoyed playing behind Mon’s D last season, or Anderson behind Ott’s, Schneider’s NJ’s in 2016-17.

    • 10.5 for a goalie? St.Louis needs one but, not that bad!

  11. Love this site. Been reading it for years but I have to say that if the Leafs acquired every player that a source, and I use that term loosely, got every player that the source, ahem, reported they were interested in then they’d have a 42 man roster. Will continue to read this site with interest but just hope it doesn’t go Hockey Buzz.

    • Too late bud..yours truly Jull and rest!. Really turning into a troll..site for sure!..

  12. Been out of the loop for a few days…. just reading this blurb re StL /Tor talks

    My ego tells me this was just to excite me … Parayko in a Leafs jersey …. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Then reality sunk in … why in the world would St L be willing to trade Parayko????

    I just don’t see it…. again would love to see him in Blue & White …. but not happening

    …. and even if Blues were silly enough to trade… I (as a leaf fan that sees great worth in Wee Willy [WW] Nylander) cannot see a 1 for 1 : Parayko-WW

    I’m very biased on Parayko … I’ve posted before that I believe he will be Canada’s top 2D at next Olympics… so with that biased belief …. it would take WW + to get Parayko

    …. because this would be a dream of mine …. now gauaranteed not to happen…. it made my day for a second though 🙂 🙂

    …. BTW …. just completely forget about any discussion re 1:1 swap straight up of Parayko – Gardner … if Dubas actually proposed that deal to St L…. they might never take a call from him again

    • Q:Why would they trade him? A:Depth.
      Parayko is a great asset that can get you back a proven scorer/playmaker. If the Blues are going to make a run at the cup a player like Ryan Nugent Hopkins (with a sweetener) or Nylander would help immensely. When you have a #1 pairing D man playing behind Pietrangelo why wouldn’t they look at upgrading the offence by moving him?

      • Probert, because they would then have a serious hole on their blue line. Their prospect depth is up front with offensive guys so they will have help coming, maybe as soon as next year.
        Who do the Blues have on D that could replace Paryako next season or the year after, even the year after that.
        The price would be higher than Nylander IMO. Top pair D are hard to get without an overpay.

  13. Not sure when Howard Berger suddenly became a Leaf insider. He was a regular on the Fan 590 at one time and his predictions and rumours were laughable then – can’t see that much has changed.

  14. @Drew well spoken. My bad. I will try not to discriminate against all Leafs fans when outlandish speculations happen from the vocal minority whom have their heads in the clouds. I share the sentiment of being up to my eyeballs with ridiculous speculation that is completely unwarranted.

  15. “Berger doesn’t believe the Leafs would make William Nylander available to land Parayko. He instead proposes a package “that includes Jake Gardiner and Andreas Johnsson.”

    Gardiner, Johnsson AND Nylander might not get it done.

    Parayko is a stud.

    • MG

      Concur on ur valuation of Parayko as a stud

      …. however he’s not coming to Toronto (or Pens)…. because it’s a dream of mine …. these never happen 🙁 🙁 LOL

  16. Perhaps he’d listen if Nylander was offered? What type of tool wouldn’t trade Parayko for Nylander??? If that offer had been made which it won’t be, but if it had the deal would already be done and would not be a rumour.

    • I guess I live in a box because nylander ain’t close to the value of a near top pair d man. The real question is

      What kind of implement would trade Parayko for nylander?

  17. Nylander for Parayko is crazy talk. Does St. Louis really appear like a team short on forwards? Tarasenko, Schwartz, Perron, Fabri, Steen, Maroon etc? I can see why Toronto would like this deal, but I can’t see why St. Louis does. And this isn’t a slight towards Toronto or Nylander. But an observation.

  18. Where the heck is George today? Do I need to put out a silver alert?

    • Not much sens news today. Sometimes I don’t see you round when the rangers ain’t the main topic.

      I have to confess. I wanted to call me up with a comically disparaging comment that compared to silver alert for ny and I’ve come up with didly squat.

      Not my night

  19. Yeah, here we go with another blockbuster trade from Toronto media/fanbase; the next one is Tarasenko for 2nd round draft pick, with the Blues retain some salary

  20. Jezz..you guys seriously talking about the berger..insider rumor. .lol..

  21. The only basis I can see for any tire kicking is cap space. The Blues have 12-13 players next season who will be UFA or RFA, and if the cap remains unchanged they will have 22 million to sign them all. They include Jay Bouwmeester, Robbi Fabbri,Joel Edmundson, Robert Bortuzzo, Carl Gunnarsson. Most will want more than what they are getting if they are deemed worth keeping. Maybe some of those walk, but even if they resigned at their current salaries that is about 13.5 million, and gives the Blues less than 9 million to sign 7 depth forwards and a goalie. Not to mention the year after that Schenn and Pietrangelo are due for a raise. Pietrangelo will be looking for a substantial raise.

  22. Howard Berger is SUCH a homer. AS IF the Blues would ever consider moving Parayko for Gardiner and a minor leaguer like Johnsson. Nylander would be the STARTING ask from STL. No less. Mark my words: TOR will lose one of Nylander, Marner, or Matthews because of the Tavares signing. Payroll. Can’t add a big-time defender and keep all those guys happy $$.

  23. If there’s no offer sheet this year on Nylander, there will be one next year on Matthews or Marner if they wait until July 1, 2019 to sign their next deal.