NHL Rumor Mill – August 1, 2018

by | Aug 1, 2018 | Rumors | 30 comments

Updates on the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.

Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov is unconcerned over his name coming up in trade rumors. (Photo via NHL Images)


TSN: Carrying more salary-cap space this offseason than usual, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman recently hinted he could be in the market for a veteran player to help his club return to the playoffs. With between $5.5 million to $6.5 million in cap room, Bowman said his club has more flexibility than in previous summers.

Bowman didn’t name any specific trade targets. However, he envisioned a scenario in which a young player earns a roster spot with another team and becomes an impact player, forcing that club to consider moving a veteran.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield recently reported Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov isn’t paying attention to trade rumors suggesting he could be dealt to create more cap flexibility. He carries an annual average value of $4.55 million plus a modified no-trade clause choosing 10 teams he’d accept being dealt to.  If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I’m not in control of that,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bowman is looking to add a veteran it could mean parting with a draft pick or a prospect instead of a roster player. That could also mean Anisimov won’t be shopped. Even if he was, finding a club on his list of preferred destinations willing to pick up his cap hit through 2020-21 won’t be easy. Bowman’s comments also suggests he’ll wait until at least training camp before targeting possible trade partners. 


NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross recently observed New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has yet to add to his blueline corps this summer. The only notable moves were “re-signing Thomas Hickey to a four-year, $10-million deal and Ryan Pulock to a two-year, $4-million deal.” Gross wondered if center Brock Nelson, recently re-signed to a one-year, $4.25-million contract and a year away for unrestricted free agent status, might be used as a trade chip to address that issue. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello will likely evaluate his roster during training camp and preseason before deciding if other moves are necessary. The Carolina Hurricanes are loaded with defensemen and Justin Faulk is believed available. The Hurricanes are said to be seeking help at center but their asking price for Faulk could cost more than Nelson.

The Boston Bruins could be another trade partner. Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid have popped up in trade speculation, though they’re more in the market for a scoring winger. 



  1. NYR only have 1 forward under contract for the 2020-2021 season Zibanejad and one rfa Buchnevich. realizing that’s 2 seasons away and lot will change by then. Still interesting to look at.

    • Interestingly I made the same observation yesterday when I was bubbling around the net. It is very odd considering that will be the expansion draft summer. Bos did something similar coming out of the 2004-05 lockout. Very strange. Curious as to what Gorton’s thought process is there.

      • And Gorton was the Bruins Asst GM at that time.

      • Coming out of the lockout it made sense due to the start of the cap era. Jacobs played a big role in that and knew the league would stand firm on that issue with the players. This one is harder to figure out. Might just be a coincidence?

      • Only handing out 2-year deals to Vesey, Spooner, Namestnikov & a 1 year deal to Hayes is odd. You would have thought these deals would have been staggered over ideally 4 years so not all were coming up for UFA status so quickly. I get giving Spooner & Namestnikov 2 year deals as both have struggled to establish their roles in the NHL as yet but not locking Vesey & Hayes up longer makes very little sense to me especially Hayes as 1 year to UFA status reduces his value in trade but perhaps they have a show me agreement in place & he will get extended in January if he plays as his best yet & NYR locks him up for 5 or 6 years then.

        No team has made more money under the last CBA than NYR & their reluctance to spend it seems weird. Going to be curious to see how this plays out.

      • You get the feeling the Hayes camp would like to try UFA next summer.

        IF Rangers youth pans out these short term contracts will look good in 2 years

        Would not be a surprise to see Hayes, Spooner and Namestnikov traded this season.

        Vesey deal was the only contract I would of preferred with more time

      • Ya, to me it seems Gorton isn’t thrilled with his forward group and will be trading many for younger/future assets. In Boston it did allow for a new young core to take over up front and the free cap space allowed for Chara to be signed.
        From his short tenure and Boston as interim GM and now early with NYR, I wouldn’t bet against the moves Gorton makes.
        Time will tell.

      • The issue is most youth doesn’t develop that quickly. Very little have started their NHL careers yet except for Buchnevich, 1 of Vigneault’s favourite whipping boys so the chances they will be ready for 1st or 2nd line roles if many of these older players are lost is a concern.

        Just a very unusual approach not often seen. Most teams lock up any player with a pulse & the ability to play on a teams top 3 lines.

        Ray raises an interesting point that Gorton was in place when Boston did something similar heading into the 2004-05 lockout. We not only have Seattle joining in 2020-21 but another lockout most likely the season following.

        Perhaps most of these players are signed before their deals expire regardless but most will see more money down the road than they would have seen today longer term as inflation is alive & well in the NHL.

    • Maybe they only have one player worth being signed.

  2. Trade Nelson for a bag of pucks. The most useless player ever. He belongs in the Ice Capades or driving a Mr Softie truck selling ice cream to kids. No Isles fans likes this guy over 6 ft and is afraid to hit anyone or go into the corners.Dump the chump.

    • Pete

      I can’t make an argument one way or the other re Nelson regarding his “non truculence ” and/or contract $ to player value as I’ve not seen him play in enough games to make any judgement at all

      I’m just going by his 19 G and 35 points alone (again can’t make opinion on his play in games) …. and truly believe that his value must be at least 3 bags of pucks + 4 XL Double Doubles (at Tim’s) + 2 signed JT posters ….. just sayin’ 🙂

    • Granted he doesn’t play a physical game but a willing shot blocker & has generated solid goal production considering his deployment, last year as NYI’s 3rd line C.

      I’m a Bruins fan but a hockey freak & I like Nelson’s game. Would love for him to see better quality ice time & he will this season as what choice does NYI have.

      Nor is he fully developed for me. Big guys take longer & this should be Nelson’s break out season. I assume a return to in or around 25 goals he scored 26 in his 3rd season when he lined up with Tavares often as a LW but posting his best point totals yet, in or around 55 should easily be achievable.

      Nelson has 5 years in the league scoring 14 goals in his rookie season, 20, 26, 20 & 19 goals playing primarily in a 3rd line role with middling 2nd line PP time is solid production, except in 2014-15 where he saw 2nd line minutes & 1st unit PP time.

    • With Clutterbuck, Komorov & Martin, hitting shouldn’t be an issue for NYI. Clutterbuck was 6th, Komorov 8th & Martin 32nd only playing 50 games for hits by forwards in the NHL. Cizikas is also a willing hitter at C. NYI finished last season 12th in hits & the additions of Martin & Komorov will easily move them into the top 5 this season.

      How many C’s in the league are hitters? Last seasons highest was J. Stall at 182, next was B. Schenn at 154, Dubinsky & Trocheck 145, Eriksson Ek 134, Pageau 131, Cizikas 128, Dubois 127 & rounding out the top 10 Boyle & Laughton at 126.

      The heavy physical lifting is usually done by wingers. Could Nelson play more to his size? Sure many players could but that’s not who or what he is. On last seasons NYI roster he was of only a handful of players that tried to backcheck & pick up his defensive assignments.

      • Agreed Striker, as an Isles fan since their inception I like Nelson. The same hate was heaped on Okposo but some Isles fans before he broke out.

        Nelson also seems like a character guy. I was surprised they only signed him for a year. They’ve just lost a centre so will need him for depth at least.

      • Interesting that you show Isles as 12th in hits, yet they still finished dead last in goals surrendered. Not to downplay importance of checking, but it didn’t actually make Isles a “hard team to play against”…calling certain players “soft” is a little misguided as far as playing defense. Not all about big hits

    • Used pucks. Practice, not game used.

  3. Are those posters with him in a Leafs, or an Islanders jersey? Makes a huge difference in trade value…

    • DC

      Thanks …. should have clarified …. Neither … poster of JT in London Knights Jersey

      Thanks for pointing that out

  4. Nelson will probably get traded at the deadline to a contender who wants more depth for a 2nd round pick, or a B rated prospect stuck in a farm system somewhere. There is always a market for players like him come playoff time. I agree his point production will likely go up being in an increased role, but his quality of opponent will be greater as well. It will be a true indication of where his defensive game truly is in comparison to the rest of the league. Trotz as coach will help his development in this regard.

    • Surely Nelson has to be worth more than a 2nd round pick or a B grade prospect. 6’3″ centres don’t gro on trees & he turns 27 in Mid October.

      • A late 1st at most but a B prospect is a waste. Hitting is overrated if wins are not the result. In the end its still & always will be about scoring & keeping the puck out of net. NYI needs D & a goalie thats not a sieve. Losing JT is a big loss but won’t matter til they stop fishing the puck out of the net.

        Snow gone helps but never much of an LL fan. Some might claim the player talent inthe isn’t good enough. I claim there is not enough good Pres’s or GM’s & coaches to go around. That alone holds the NHL back from being a bigger player in the NA pro sports market.

      • 6’3″ centers are easy to find. Finding one that has speed and skill is much more difficult.

        I suppose Neilson could have one of the “bounce back” seasons you continually defend stiffs with but its unlikely.

        A 2nd round pick is more than enough for Neilson in a trade. Of course Lou could trade him to Montreal and get a first and a prospect from Bergevin making us both wrong, lol.

  5. Nelson isn’t a physical player, isn’t willing to go to the net like Lee and isn’t a play maker. He needs skill around him. I hope Ho-Sang is back because Nelson looked ok with him and Ladd but once JHS was sent down, the 3rd line production dried up. I doubt Nelson gets the Isles a top 4 dman unless it is a salary dump or is a trade dumping one player that may not re-sign for another. On a good team Nelson can be productive but if asked to run the offense through him forget it.

    • Not everyone has to be a superstar. The fact Nelson scored 19 goals, 15 at ES considering his linemates & deployment as a 3rd line C barely clinging to 2nd line PP time is reasonably impressive. His 99 goals in his 1st 5 years in the league rank him in a tie for 72nd for all forwards over that time frame by ES goals tied for 49th with Steen at 78.

      Better than the likes of Galchenyuk, Voracek, RNH & 1 less than Backstrom for total goals scored nor has he ever seen the ice time like any of these players or those around him with similar or better goal production.

      There is far more to like here & if my formula is true & it takes players 6’3″ & or 215+ lbs longer to develop, like Dman at in or around 400 NHL regular season games Nelson sits at 398 meaning next season should be his breakthrough year & an increase his point production by at least 25%. I’m assuming significantly better than that unless NYI trades for a C which with the signings of Filppula & Kovar seems unlikely.

  6. The market for rentals has dipped the last few years. If a player like Stastny gets a conditional first, I cannot see how Nelson could demand something similar. NHL GM’s have become wiser after witnessing the aftermath of what happens to teams with empty cupboards and an aging core.

    • I agree with you that GM’s have for the most part been showing restraint at the trade deadline with a few exceptions.

      Stastny although moved for a conditional 1st the condition related to whether it would be in 2018 or 2019 based on if Win finished top 3 in the league by draft position, conditional 4th & a solid prospect in Eric Foley, the 4th is conditional on whether StL could sign Foley which they did so it won’t be paid. Stasny was also 32 at the point of trade with a history of injury issues.

      I don’t know how you want to value Brassard as numerous assets moved around between 4 teams Ott, Vgs, Pit & Clb to facilitate that trade but I perceive Brassard also moved for a 1st as did Nash + significant other assets, Tatar for a 1st, 2nd & 3rd. Those were essentially all trade deadline deals essentially.

      There is still a serious premium paid for C’s & at 28 Nelson will have better value than just a 2nd round pick. Just look at the hauls Col & Buf got for moving Duchene & ROR. Nelson isn’t in that class but he’s worth far more than a 2nd round pick.

  7. I am ok with the Senators and Ceci going to arbitration but if the Sens muck up the Stone contract situation then they are up the creek without a paddle. With Karlsson as good as gone, which is a sad saga in itself , Stone is the heir apparent face of the franchise.
    Melnyk will have no one to blame but himself if season ticket, game day sales and fan loyalty hits an all time low.

  8. With so few trades in this cap era & players locked up for 7/8 yr terms many other players don’t get a change of scenery. I don’t see that trend changing.

    To enhance the game more is hard to figure out but i’ve thought more penalties get ignored for various reasons i don’t agree with. Call them & the embellishment for more 4 on 4. Idc if the result is tons of PP’s & the PO’s should be no different. The trend to huge goalies & clogging shooting lanes & blocked shots is boring & too many injuries occur. Thats life in the NHL & how it gets coached. It tells me there is a big lack of talented shooters & playmakers to be had. Speed & stick handling is the only way around it & why more & more small water bugs get drafted. That trend will continue with GM’s seeing success from other teams small scorers & hitting/fighting being much less important.

  9. Stastny Brassard and Nash are all better players than Nelson which is why i suggest a 2nd and a B rated prospect like Foley. Its hard to debate worth of rental players. Even with injury history does Stastny’s playoff history not count for much more especially considering hes a “rental” player (and his playoffs were pretty damn good). ROR is a terrible comparison as he was not a rental. That was a cornerstone number one center trade on the blues part and debatable on worth. Only time will tell there.

  10. Wow, Ott offer Mark Stone $5m, he asked for $9m.
    George O, what r you saying?