NHL Rumor Mill – August 3, 2018

by | Aug 3, 2018 | Rumors | 75 comments

Having traded Jeff Skinner to Buffalo, will the Carolina Hurricanes shop defenseman Justin Faulk? Can the Sabres re-sign Skinner? The latest in your NHL rumor mill.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Prior to the Carolina Hurricanes trading Jeff Skinner last night to the Buffalo Sabres, Luke DeCock wrote about the possibility of Skinner and defenseman Justin Faulk returning with the Hurricanes in 2018-19. Regarding Faulk, DeCock noted the recent acquisition of Dougie Hamilton gave rise to speculation the long-time Canes blueliner could be expendable. He also speculated Faulk might not be an alternate captain this season, “and he remains a prime candidate for a change of scenery in the wake of what could be a very visible demotion.”

Having traded Jeff Skinner, will the Carolina Hurricanes shop defenseman Justin Faulk? (Photo via NHL Images)

While the Hurricanes spoke publicly about trading Skinner, “the talk about Faulk was primarily obvious speculation driven by the Hamilton trade.” Despite the fact Faulk’s minutes and role on the right side will be reduced with the addition of Hamilton, DeCock said there’s no rush to move him because he has two years remaining on his contract.

Following the Skinner trade, Decock and Chip Alexander reported Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said Faulk’s situation was different. “We never said we wanted to trade Justin Faulk”, said Waddell. “People assumed when we picked up Dougie Hamilton that was the direction we were going to go, but we don’t feel that same way. We feel if we do stay status quo, we’re going to have one of the best defensive corps in the league. Saying that, if some team steps up to the plate for him or another of our players we’re going to continue to look at that.”

SPORTSNET: During a conference call with reporters last night, Waddell said he’s not actively shopping a defenseman but is always willing to listen to offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes may indeed have one of the NHL’s best defense corps but, with Skinner dealt to Buffalo for a prospect and three draft picks, their offense is significantly weakened for 2018-19. Their 2.74 goals for per game last season ranked 23rd in the league.

Recent media speculation linked Faulk to the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs. With no obvious replacement for Skinner, the Hurricanes could again find goals difficult to come by. That will ensure Faulk remains a fixture in the rumor mill. 

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Yerdon considers the Skinner trade a big win for the Buffalo Sabres. noting they didn’t have to give up any of their three potential first-round draft picks to get the three-time 30-goal scorer. The 26-year-old Markham, Ontario native is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. If the Sabres can’t re-sign him, Yerdon believes he’d be “a very marketable player to move at the trade deadline.” Given Skinner’s age, however, re-signing him might be a good idea for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Sabres GM Jason Botterill handles Skinner’s contract situation. He could attempt to re-sign the winger before the regular season. Perhaps he’ll wait to see how Skinner meshes with his new teammates before exploring contract extension talks. Re-signing him could cost over $7 million per season but would be worth it if he  improves the Sabres’ offense.

Given how little Botterill gave up to get Skinner he should get a quality return if forced to shop him. However, the Sabres GM must avoid repeating the mistake he made last season with Evander Kane by waiting too long in hopes of boosting his trade value. If Skinner isn’t a good fit or won’t commit to re-signing come January, Botterill should act quickly to find a trade partner. 



  1. I see Buffalo resigning Skinner unless him & Eichel can’t get along. He had a NMC & accepted the trade so there’s hope.

    • Ya sounds like skinner didn’t give very many choices to get traded too, so he obviously likes something about buffalo. It would be nice to see him resign in Buffalo

      • Skinner picked Buffalo? Wow, Montreal is a laughingstock of the league

      • Fd are you new?

      • Euh whats the connection There fd????

    • Sabres have done some good deals and housecleaning. No more blaming the ‘room’- this is Eichel’s team now.

      From my limited watching I love Ristolainen’s game-he was 2nd in the entire league in per-game ice time just behind Doughty. As bad as Buffalo was last season it would of been far worse without RR

      • Risto was 4th in TOI/GP last season behind Doughty, Suter & Karlsson. I like Risto but he sure needs to develop a far better defensive game. He has logged huge minutes for Buf since stepping into the NHL but his PP time on the 1st unit may be lost.

        Very young still and developing but their are concerns about his defensive play.

      • you are correct…my stats sorted wrong by 17 seconds

      • Risto is a serious minute muncher. Would happily take him on my team but I don’t see Buf looking to move him anytime soon.

  2. Looking at return Carolina got makes you wonder if Skinner is interested in long term deal with Buffalo . Have to think if he was committed to extending, return would’ve been better. Maybe other teams decided to wait and see with him. Seems like players are more inclined to explore FA

    • Skinner’s getting closer to home and he should do well in Buffalo. They might want to re-sign him early just in case he wants to travel the QEW to where he really belongs.

      • Buffalo is making some solid additions this off season. They got so.e solid players for Ryan oriely connor sheary can slide to 3rd libe wing skinner eichel…

  3. And the summer of questionable decisions out of Carolina continues!

    • I’m not sure what questionable decisions you’re talking about. While I don’t care for the return here on the Skinner deal – it’s a lesson on not doling out NMC’s/NTC’s unless absolutely necessary.

      I thought the Canes marginally won the Hamilton/Hanifin deal, and the DeHann UFA deal was smart. Other than the questionable GM search and this deal, I thought it’s been a good summer.

      • The only way Carolina can win the deal is if Fernando can be extended & Fox can be signed. Calgary moved Fox as he wasn’t willing to sign there & appears to be favouring making himself a UFA coming out of College.

        Hanafin is Hamilton at the same stage of his development essentially but hasn’t yet been given 1st line PP time in his career.

        I think Cal won that deal but we won’t know for several years really.

      • Ferland for Fornando

      • No way ferland nets you Fernando. At least a 2nd better be going the other way as well!

  4. And ‘Canes fans (all 3 of you) were bitchin’ about Ron Francis … Don Waddell makes Marc Bergevin look like Scotty Bowman … a very underwhelming haul for a goal scorer … what a chump

    • Here’s one of the 3 fans chiming in: This whole Skinner deal is a lesson in leverage. The Hurricanes here had none. They had a player, who (for whatever reason) they decided wasn’t going to be part of the future. With him being UFA, that limits the return. With Skinner being on a NTC, that limits the return. The fact that he was historically a significant minus-player limits the return.

      Would have liked a better return? Absolutely. But what I want is irrelevant. It’s what the market and Skinner’s NTC would allow.

      Better this than the Islanders/Tavares situation. At least the Canes get a (small) return and save $5M on a guy who wasn’t in their future plans.

    • Ed, the return is less than almost everybody would have predicted, but I’m pretty sure Waddell didn’t turn down a better offer. I though a 1st would go back the other way. Could he have waited until the TDL and hope for a better return? That may or may not have worked and assuming it would have isn’t based in reality because we simply don’t know.
      whalercane is bang on, like any asset in any transaction, the value is simply what somebody will pay for it.
      I think we are seeing a trend in the NHL where young prospects and early draft picks are increasing in value as the team has more financial control of them, they are NHL ready sooner, more and more of them can really skate than in the past and 1 dimensional wingers with only a year on their deals are worth less. I think Hab fans hoping for a 2C in return for Patches are going to be disappointed.

  5. No obvious replacement for Skinner. It seems obvious to me that Zykov gets Skinner’s spot, with Necas NHL ready & Svechnikov stepping straight into the NHL these 3 players will more than make up for the loss of Skinner’s offence.

    That said terrible trade for Carolina & if I’m Mon I’m concerned as given a choice of Skinner or Patches I would have wanted Skinner. Perhaps Skinner’s NMC made finding a better return not possible. Mon had better hope so.

    • Don’t forget patches is a way better all around player and very good pk player. The other thing is skinners concussion issues

      • Skinner’s missed 25 games in the last 6 years & is 3.5 years younger. Hard to gauge Skinner’s defensive abilities fully having played for Carolina his entire career well they have been 1 of the worst teams in the NHL I believe the only team worse both in wins & goal scoring in those 7 years may be Buf.

        Curious to see how this effects the value of other players 1 year from UFA status. Carolina got fleeced, Buffalo added another solid NHL player. If he won’t sign an extension in Buf he will garner Buf a better return at the trade deadline than Carolina got today.

        I hope he signs in Buf. Boy has the roster improved. Take Thompson who slagged StL. In his parting interview may be hard pressed to make this roster now as 1 of the few players on the roster that doesn’t need to clear waivers.

        If he didn’t like his 3rd line role in StL. He’s in for a surprise barring more trades in Buf.

    • Striker, there you go again with this guy will be replaced by this or these guys. Doesn’t happen.

      Zykov 12 nhl games played over 2 season, Necas 1 nhl game two seasons ago and Svechnikov 0 nhl games.

      So these 3 guys with little to no NHL experience are going to jump right in and replace what Skinner was/is. No guarantee that any of these players will be on the roster 10 games in.
      What happen to your NHL games played learning curve? Doesn’t apply here?
      I know you’re not saying they’ll each get 30g but combined they’ll average 10 each.
      Maybe Aho will add another 10 goals to his total.

      • I have all 3 playing 41 + games next season far closer to 82 than 41. Zykov has to be waived, he’s destined to play as the #2 LW. Necas will be in the running for the Calder & Svechnikov according to the talking heads that are supposed to know what they are talking about they say he is NHL ready. With Waddell in charge who knows what he may elect to do with Svechnikov but I assume he will play.

        Zykov 20 to 25 goals, 45 to 50 points.
        Necas 15 to 20 goals, 50 to 55 points.
        Svechnikov 15 to 20 goals, 40 to RW points.

        Aho, Tervainen, McGinn will all be better.

        That said trading Skinner doesn’t make Carolina a better team but they will score more goals. No 1 player is replacing Skinner, his production will be replaced by numerous players.

      • 20% of players don’t follow a conventional path but beat it or start, bust or are significantly better off the hop but still follow the curve. Zykov is the former, Necas & Svechnikov the later, these 2 players are exceptionally high end prospects.

        Lucas Wallmark will also be stepping into the NHL for Carolina, he’s buried at the #4 center spot but he has to clear waivers as well & not a chance he will so Carolina keeps him, trades him or he will be lost for nothing. He’s not in Necas or Svenchnikov’s class but a solid prospect with at least 2nd line C abilities when his development is achieved.

        I don’t like what new ownership is doing in Carolina but Francis left this team in a great position & Carolina moving up to 2nd overall at this years draft was huge.

      • Striker that’s lofty goals for players with no NHL experience. I’ll take the under goals and points.
        It’s never as simple as having a group trying to replace a single player, this doesn’t bold well for any team, you just become easier to play against.

      • Necas’s 1 game was last season. He was NHL ready but Francis wasn’t rushing anyone nor was he needed last year with Ryan on the roster. Carolina has 2 centres at present now that Lindholm was moved. Rash & Stall unless Aho or Teravainen are deployed at C. I think allowing Ryan to wal & trading Lindholm is planned so Necas & Wallmark have roster spots available, moving Skinner opened a roster spot for Zykov to play a top 6 role.

        As always time will tell if my assumptions are correct.

      • Carolina will be icing the best roster they have in almost a decade. Solid depth & I do agree with Waddell in that this is the best D at least on paper in the NHL allowing for a ton of trade options moving forward.

        Aho, Rask, Teravainen.
        Zykov, Necas, Williams.
        McGinn, Staal, Svechnikov.
        Martinook, Wallmark, Ferland.
        Spare. Di Giuseppe.

        Slavin, Hamilton.
        de Haan, Faulk.
        TvR, Pesce.
        Fleury, ?.

        Unfortunately their goaltending is a serious potential issue.

  6. Seems like the Hurricanes didnt get very much for Skinner. Looks like a good deal for Buffalo especially if Skinner resigns.

    If thats all Skinner was worth in a trade then Bergevin isnt going to get anywhere near what he thinks for Patches.

    • Do you not understand that Skinner had a nmc and even waddel said he didn’t give him very many choices of where to go

      • And if Skinner signs with Buffalo, Patches value goes up at the trade deadline.

      • Handgun…

        I left that cause it’s funny. Habsfan (autocorrect above) I don’t get that logic.

  7. As a habs fan, this is very disapointing. This trades means Patches value is not as high as I originally thought. I would say that this means MTL should resign their captain but at this point I think the relationship between Patches and Bergevin is broken and even though I think he does want to stay, keeping him will be a non needed distraction and might affect his production and therefore his value.
    Honestly, at this point if Bergevin gets a good center or left D prospect (better then Pu) and a 1st rnder or two 2nders I would be ok with that.

    • As a fellow Habs fan, we know this from experience: just because someone got a bad return in a trade doesn’t necessarily mean that sets the market for other players.

      Bergevin gets low returns frequently, IMO. That makes it a bad trade, not a low setting of market value for similar players.

      E.g. Mike Hoffman: He was traded for a higher return to Florida minutes after the Sens traded him to San Jose.

      All that said, knowing MB, I’m not hopeful of him getting a good return for Patches, anyway!

      • Agreed Paddy….except the low return bit. To me, MB always seems to get returns with something extra, like a prospect or a later pick. Certainly compared to Houle and Gauthier. I get the “exceeding a lo bar” argument but it is exceeding a bar nonetheless.

      • Interesting, Habsfan! I often feel like he misses out on getting a pick/prospect. He loves his one for one deals. I love Subban so didn’t like that trade. But even if Weber is a great player (he is), couldn’t he have extracted a pick from Nashville, too, due to the age gap? Same for the AG-Domi swap. He’s done better in the last few trades for sure, as a re-tooling is clearly required. But in the past, I feel like there was more value another GM could have gotten as part of the same deal. Just my $0.02! 🙂

  8. I have never seen a person do the opposite of what they say quite to the extent that Tom Dundon has done in Carolina.

    Go back and read his interview with Elliot Friedman (it was like 14 of his 31 Thoughts that week) where he said…

    1) He wasn’t going to think that he knew more about hockey than his hockey people. A month later Ron Francis was gone.

    2) That money wouldn’t be an object and that winning was all that mattered. Now Skinner is dumped for table scraps to shed his $5.75 M salary instead of waiting until the deadline to try for a better return.

    Adding Skinner and Sheary (their two top 6 LW’s) for next to nothing is nice work by Botterill.

    • Dundon is ‘making moves’ for better or worse.

      Don Waddell placed in a position to make changes.
      If this was the best they could get for Skinner it means he had how many teams on his approved list? Cant imagine they could not wait until the trade line to get good assets back…. and are they concerned if he gets a head injury they would get nothing for him?

      • This – DS. Better to get something while you can than end up like the Islanders.

        Brind’Amour has been around this team for a long time, and now with the reigns, he’s obviously decided Skinner was not in his long-range plans (or even short-term plans). One Skinner injury and you’ll end up with no return AND eating his salary. Best to just rip the bandage off, I guess.

      • Skinner has missed 25 games in 6 years.

      • Striker hockeydb has him missing more than 25? Lol

      • Not sure what you are loking at. As per NHL stats, he’s missed 25, keep in mind one of those is the lock out season with 48 games

      • I forgot. Skinner is the only player in the NHL who is eligible for a head injury. Silly Sabres.

  9. I’d posted on Morning Coffee

    “I’m in awe with this deal … no player with any NHL experience coming back…. Pu may or may not become an NHLer…. the 3 pics are speculation and realistically the earliest any of those pics dress in a game (if at all) is in 20-21

    This IMO was a skewed deal in favour of Buff …. Kudos go out to Botteril

    I think there will be a few GMs (on list) second guessing what they previously offered to Waddell for Skins”

    In retrospect this is more likely influenced by Car ownership direction than Waddell unilateral agreement decision

    IF (my thoughts less likely now) they try to move Faulk … IMO offers will not be as strong as they might have been

    Buff sitting great as they have an option (if Skins does not want to sign extension) to flip at deadline and return can’t be that far off what they gave up
    … could very well then have guaranteed 3/4 of season … prob getting 20 G at least by trade deadline and after flip ; losing at best a miniscule net in assets …. if Skins performs as expected … would they not net at least a 2nd and a prospect?????

    • Some interesting opinions but I’m sorry, I have to point out there wasn’t a single, correctly put together, sentence in that whole section of words.

      • Daniel,

        Sorry. When I post on here using single (fat) finger typing on my iPhone; I throw all grammar, syntax, spelling etc. etc. out the window

        Hockey thoughts pour out as fast (read slow) as I can type

        In person my arguments and rationale are much more cogent

        My humblest of apologies

      • Daniel, I think you overused commas in your post. Especially the one between together and sentence.

      • Who cares it’s a hockey chat forum! Grow up

  10. Stone 1 year 7.35 deal , UFA next year. Sens rolling the dice

  11. Karlsson, Stone, Duchene & Dzingel all UFA’s in Ott next summer. Boedker, Pageau & Ceci the summer following that. Of these 7 players how many will be Senators to start the 2020-21 season?

    • Striker

      My guess is that it will equal the number of Melnyk owners in Ottw in 20-21

    • I wouldn’t set the over under above 3. I can’t understand why anybody would sign long term in OTT, so I would still take the under.

    • I, for one, don’t care one way or another. And I don’t think I’m a lone voice in the wilderness from the talk I hear here and there across town.

      • the best thing here in Ottawa would be for a group with deep pockets led by Lalibete to purchase the club. Melnyk has worn out his welcome, he is driving the team into the abyss. As long as Melnyk owns the team there will be resentment and pissed off fans.
        If and when the Senators trade Karlsson, foregone conclusion, the return is weak he will get run out of town.

      • If it were that easy nutting would be living in Cleveland. He ain’t.

  12. great trade for Buffalo, I can’t wait to play the Rangers next season. Not many players in last 8 seasons have more even strength goals than Skinner

  13. I wonder if Duchene regrets asking for a trade yet? Ottawa could move Karlsson,Duchene,Stone & Anderson this coming year & put themselves in a fantastic rebuild. 1ST & 2ND round picks with blue chip prospects. Gives the team a ton of cap space to make moves like Chayka is doing in Phoenix.

    • With the current course still cannot see the logic not giving the Avs the 2018 pick and rolling dice to get #1 2019. Brady Tkachuk might only be a 2nd liner in the end

      Who finishes last in the east? habs sens rangers….

    • Although they could lose the 1st overall to the Av’s which would be a big set back to a rebuild. Tough to be a Sens fan.

      • Exactly-if they wanted Brady Tkachuk so bad they could not of sent Stone or others to Arizona/Detroit for their pick and rolled dice on 2019?

      • can not repeat how often I said that Ottawa should move this year’s pick. Move that pick so the fans have something to look forward to next year, there is a shot at a generational player.

        Tkachuk will come in and always be compared to the guy who gets picked next year and if that is Jack Hughes then BT will carry all sorts of unnecessary pressure.

      • Nuts. If, If If – if your uncle had different equipment he’d be your flippin’ aunt!

      • These days George they could be both.

      • That’s very true

  14. I wondered when Stone asked for 9 mil in arbitration if that was his way of saying I want out of here.

    I was amazed at how little Skinner fetched given his offensive production. Not a slag of Waddell, I suspect he was handcuffed.

    Seems like Tavaras stabbing the Isles in the back has had an impact on GMs who have realized they need to move these guys for darn near anything rather than hold on.

    • JT didn’t stab anyone in the back. The team controlled him for 8 years beyond which he can make his own decision. NYI took a risk by not moving him earlier and that risk didn’t pay off.

      • saying jt didn’t stab the islanders in the back is stupid! That’s exactly what he did

      • Check out the definition of mercenary, taz.

      • With you on this one Taz, he didn’t stab anybody in the back, just made a decision he had every right to make. If the NYI wanted to trade him or any player earlier in their career they can and the player can’t do or say squat. Does that make the team mgt a bunch of back stabbers? No it doesn’t and we fans debate the value of the deal and not whether the team treated him fairly or not. Why is it different when a player makes a decision?

      • Check out the definition of working professional George.

      • Distinction without a difference

    • Let’s not lose focus on reality. Whether or not we philosophise on the back-stabbingness of Tavares’ actions, it is kind of up to the Islanders to decide if they feel like they were stabbed in the back. What will affect things is whether or not they feel that way, not whether or not logic supports it.

  15. I was perplexed by the Skinner trade as well. I thought Carolina would replace him with a player who could help right away, but we are not the ones with access to scouting services, our own hockey operations staff, and the experience and knowledge required to run a team. Zykov has been mentioned as a replacement for Skinner in the top 6.. might be ambitious for his first full NHL season, but he showed well late with 7 points in 10 games, and 33 goals and 54 points in the AHL in 63 games. I just wonder if Carolina will give the top 6 spot to Brock McGinn over Zykov, at least to start the year. McGinn has seniority in the grand scheme of the locker room and is not a bad player himself. He has had a similar points per game average in his first two “fuller” NHL seasons, his first being only 21 games long, but he could theoretically improve on his 16 goal performance and enter the 20-25 and between 40 and 50 points ….. for a Hurricanes second line player not bad, am I right? Eh? Eh? .. alright.

    In any event, there are options for Carolina, and plenty of young, talented players looking for roster spots. At any rate Jeff Skinner at 7m+ per season probably did not make sense for budgeted Carolina when they have younger players up and coming who may reach his offensive totals within a year or two. The re-tool is on in Carolina and the future centers around Aho, Svechnikov, Necas, maybe Teravainen, Julien Gauthier, Nicolas Roy, Warren Foegele.

  16. Next draft shaping up to be a C heavy one. Teams like the Canes deep on D are positioned well.

    Anyone like to try doing an early mock draft of the top 10?