NHL Rumor Mill – August 7, 2018

by | Aug 7, 2018 | Rumors | 52 comments

Another update on Max Pacioretty,  the latest on Canucks d-man Ben Hutton and proposed PTO targets for the Devils in your NHL Rumor Mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton believes the recent Jeff Skinner trade between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes should lower expectations of a big return if the Montreal Canadiens move Max Pacioretty.

The Hurricanes shipped the 26-year-old Skinner, a three-time 30-goal scorer who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent next July, to the Sabres last week in exchange for a prospect forward (Cliff Pu) and three draft picks, none of which were first-round selections. That could set the stage for an equally underwhelming return for Pacioretty, a 29-year-old left wing who’s also a former 30-goal scorer eligible next summer for UFA status.

The recent Jeff Skinner trade could affect the trade value of Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s assumed the Canadiens seek a young scoring forward, preferably a center, in return for Pacioretty. They reportedly had a deal in place with the Los Angeles Kings during the 2018 NHL Draft but it apparently fell apart over lack of an agreement on a contract extension. Since then, there’s no indication Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is any closer to dealing Pacioretty, though he reportedly wants to do so before the start of 2018-19.

Still, Bergevin faces slightly better odds of finding a decent return for his captain. Pacioretty’s lack of no-trade protection gives the Canadiens GM more trade options than the Hurricanes had with Skinner, whose full no-movement clause significantly hampered where they could trade him. 

TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports there is no truth to rumors Pacioretty would skip training camp next month until the Canadiens trade him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever dreamed up that rumor should give their head a shake. Pacioretty is entering his contract year and intends to seek a big raise next summer. Staging a holdout to force a trade not only wouldn’t make any sense but would also be out of character on his part. 


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent piece examining the stock of several Vancouver Canucks players, JD Burke believes no other player on the club needs a change of scenery more than defenseman Ben Hutton. It’s apparent the blueliner has fallen out of favor with coach Travis Green and his stock has declined.

Burke said the Canucks have tried trading Hutton for a while but can’t find any takers. He does point out Hutton’s performance wasn’t as bad as it seemed, noting he and Chris Tanev had solid shutdown numbers where paired together. He adds the Canucks did a better job controlling the puck in 5-on-5 situations with Hutton on the ice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like rival GMs aren’t impressed with Hutton’s shutdown and possession stats. Otherwise, the Canucks probably would’ve found a club willing to take him off their hands. 


NJ.COM: Chris Ryan suggests right wings Kris Versteeg, Tommy Wingels and Nick Shore, defensemen Toby Enstrom, Brandon Davidson, Alexei Emelin and Jakub Jerabek, center Logan Shaw and left wings Daniel Winnik and Scott Hartnell as professional tryout offer (PTO) options for the New Jersey Devils. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if the Devils invite any of these guys to training camp. I daresay several of those players could also become PTO candidates with other clubs  The exception could be Hartnell, who’s reportedly contemplating retirement. 



  1. Whoever dreamed up that Pacioretty “holdout” story ought to give more than their head a shake. Same with all those other rumors and stories. As has been previously mentioned here, 90% of it is nothing more than bored hockey writers rambling their way through the summer doldrums. Let’s stop putting stock in everything we hear.

  2. While I don’t think skinner is meaning less to the patches value it is fairly irrelevant. It’s all up to max. If he wants to hit ufa and won’t discuss extension then the skinner trade would be about right. He would have the most value at the deadline in that case if Bergevin can stomach holding him that long.

    • Disagree that Pacioretti would necessarily be more valuable at the deadline. First, it’s all about the market. Pacioretti’s value will depend on who else is available. Second, if he has another down season, fewer teams will be willing to take a chance on him.

      • True. But far more bidders can come into the picture. And he has a chance to show last year was a fluke. He certainly should be extra motivated by his contract year.

  3. I think even Marc Bergevin could have gotten a better haul for Skinner than the woefully inept Don Waddell did … I thought the new rogue owner of the ‘Canes wanted to win? won’t win making deals like that one …

    • Yeah, I’m sure Waddell turned down a Skinner for McDavid trade. Give me a break. The claim the a GM turns down better trades because he is dumb says more about the stupidity of the person making the claim than the GM.

      The fact is Waddell’s hands were tied. The owner wanted Skinner gone and Skinner had a NMC and was willing to accept very few options.

      • I think it’s a brutal trade for Carolina. I get that his NMC limited options but Car would have been better served to have just retained him & waited until the trade deadline if necessary.

        They had better hope the PU can play in the NHL as the odds of those picks becoming anything are extremely low.

        I think Col showed patience is a virtue in the Duchene trade. Not saying Skinner would yield the same return but once injuries hit especially significant 1’s, that said teams wouldn’t pay a better price. Although Skinner had an NMC I assume he would be willing to go no numerous locations for at least the remainder of this season.

        My argument is simply Carolina didn’t have to make this deal this quickly. Now on the other side of the ledger, several players are ready for greater roles in Carolina & Skinner was blocking a spot but even Zykov & Wallmark needing to clear waivers Carolina had room on their 23 man roster for all of them.

        This trade is a loss for Carolina today & a short-term win for Buf with no downside. If he can’t be extended he can be moved at the trade deadline for what I assume would be more if Buf isn’t in the playoff picture.

        People are entitled to their opinions & it shouldn’t lead to personal attacks on such. Rebutt the opinion don’t start name calling.

      • Your undervaluing picks again. Bad trade for Carolina but picks have decent value

  4. It’s been pointed out though many times through silly or meandering muses, that Montreal’s issues on ice neither begin or end with a patches deal.
    I don’t think you can bring this distraction into the season. With no player over six feet I can’t see them rising above it all.

    • Armie 6’3″, Del La Rose 6’3″, Patches 6’2″, Schrebek 6’2″, Danault 6’1″, Deslauriers 6’1″ then you have numerous players right at 6′ with decent body mass in Lehkonen 6’0″, Drouin 6’0″ 203 lbs, Plekanec 5’11” 193 lbs, Shaw 5’11”, Domi 5’10” 195 lbs, Hudon 5’10” 188 lbs. Mon’s entire D except for Mete is well over 6′.

      13 of Mon’s 21 skaters are over 6′ tall.

      • It doesn’t matter how big they are. They all play small and soft.

      • Striker you just confirmed Montreal is small.

      • Mon lead the league in hits last season with 2169! That would imply they aren’t playing soft.

        They finished tied for 10th in penalties. Tied for 16th in majors.

        They just added Armia, Scherbek will be an NHL regular next season in Mon or be lost on waivers. Bot bring significant size.

      • That was a factual spanking striker. Thoroughly enjoyed that.

      • Striker…it wasn’t journalism. It deserved a “badoom cha!” not a fact check.

    • When reviewing Nic Petan of Winnipeg a couple of weeks ago, I thought Montreal might be a good landing spot for him. They need a C, Chevy and MB have history with Chicago.
      Then I looked at the size of Montreal players 7 forwards 5’11” and under not sure if they want another at 5’9″ to go with Paul Byron 5’9″, Max Domi 5’10”, Brendan Gallagher 5’9″, Matthew Peca 5’8″ and Charles Hudon 5’10”.
      Granted some of these guy have a lot of heart and play big for their size, but that’s a lot of small.

      • In January 2018 the league average in age was 27.1 Mtl was 26.8 Height was 73.3″ Mtl was 72.4 Boston with Chara 72.5 and league average weight was 200.7 lbs Mtl was 197.8 lbs

        Mtl not quite an inch less not quite 3 lbs less than the average are too small differences to really have an impact factor in speed and the Habs are not bad at all.

    • “My argument is simply Carolina didn’t have to make this deal this quickly.”

      Yeah, they did. There are 5.75 million reasons. You must not be following what is happening in Carolina. The new owner had cheaped out at every turn. They even cut the play-by-play announcer’s salary.

      • This is Atlanta all over again

  5. As a long time Habs fan dating back to my pre-teens in the late 1940s through to about 1995, I could see the deterioration in a once-dominant franchise begin with Irving Grundman as GM in 1978, despite his cup win in 1979 which was in spite of his incompetence rather than anything he did from a positive aspect. Serge Savard righted the ship to some degree in his stint from 1983 to 1995, winning two cups, including their last in 1993, although he owed more to luck and Patrick Roy than anything else. Then came a string of GMs whose credibility in the role were constantly called into question – Rejean Houle (1995-2000) who engineered, perhaps, the most one-sided trade in NHL history when he sent Roy to Colorado for a collection of stiffs to appease his coach and long-time teammate Mario Tremblay, followed by André Savard (2000-2003), Bob Gainey (2003-2010) as bad a GM as he was good as a player, Pierre Gauthier (2010-2012), Marc Bergevin (2013 to date).

    This franchise is now where the Leafs were in their many years of futility, and although an approach similar to the one taken by the Leafs to turn things around would be the right one, the fact remains that the tax structure in Quebec (the highest in the country by the proverbial country mile – they’re even imposing a tax on Netflix users!), combined with the language necessity which means their pools of available GMs and coaches are watered down as a result, will relegate them to the bottom portions of the league for a long, long time.

    • George O, unfortunately Montreal doesn’t want the best Coach or GM available, they want the best French speaking Coach and GM available.

    • good to see you writing again George….big Leaf fan here and I like the approach they took….but luck as always in life is a big factor….1st overall when Matthews or McDavid is available is different than other ist overalls ….

      Secondly this good Leaf management team mishandled badly the trade deadline….they obviously in March were neither going up nor down in the standings….neither were they good enough to win in the play offs yet the let JVR, Bozak go for nothing….

      Got have luck andall management teams make mistakes… rebuilding is not easy

      • 30 year leaf fan—not trading jvr and blozak etc was dumb—could have used those assets and picks to parlay into a top D

      • Not dealing Van Riemsdyk and Bozak at the deadline was a head-scrather to some degree, although I’m sure the brain-trust carefully weighed the pros and cons at the time and came to the conclusion that, with some good bounces, they could get through to the 2nd round at least. Plus, unlike his previous stint as GM, Lamoriello not only did not have the final say in hockey matters, but he had to have seen the writing on the wall at the trade deadline insofar as his future in Toronto was concerned, and so even if he instinctively felt trading them at that time was the right move, he couldn’t pull the strings without Shanahan’s OK and, quite likely, that of Dubas.

        That’s what happens when you attempt to manage by committee. You know the old saying “a camel is a horse designed by a committee.”

      • @Jeff, I disagree. The Leafs were a lock for the playoffs and the deadline is a time to add as opposed to subtract. You don’t go into the playoffs after trading a 30 goal scorer and losing a top 9 center who also centers your first PP.
        What message would those trades give to the team? The Leafs lost to the Bruins in 7 and there is no telling what happens after that – they weren’t favorites to win but once you get to the dance, it’s anyone’s to win.

        Trading Bozak and JvR is an option I’m sure they explored but never seriously considered.

      • Tor did exactly what I expected them to do with JvR & Bozak as have most other teams, StL being 1 of the few exceptions moving out
        Shattenkirk & then Stastny to secure returns as opposed to nothing is the exception to the rule, not the norm.

        Tor could have potentially advanced past the 2nd round with last seasons roster, a few bounces & some luck.

        If you’re a solid playoff team, which Tor was other than unfortunately having to get by Bos & then TB just to get out of the div in this stupid bracket formula you shouldn’t be selling but buying & keeping your own UFA’s as rentals is essentially that.

        I think it was quite obvious when Babcock had Tor go out & get 1 of his favourite players in Marleau who he has coached numerous times international JvR’s future was sealed.

        I have no issues with Tor letting them walk for nothing nor did they get nothing. They gained a ton of cap space & made a run at a playoff spot having to play the 2nd best team in the conf 1 point behind TB & 4th best team in the NHL last season in Bos taking them to 7 games.

        Not directed at you George but I don’t perceive this as a failure. Only 1 team can win & a ton of things need to happen to even have a chance. If Tor had sacrificed JvR & Bozak to get something they wouldn’t have taken Bos to 7 games, they wouldn’t have even had a chance. They were 2 of Tor’s best players this playoff run. What ailed them is their 1st line of Matthews, between Hyman & Nylander, didn’t pull it’s weight & considering each only had 2 years of NHL experience is pretty normal development.

      • Dead on tax.

      • Certainly agree about luck with the Leafs – “rather be lucky than good” – but it’s not much fun when your historic competition is really in a bad spot. My wish for Montreal this year is for Carey Price and Shea Weber to be healthy. Might need some luck there.

    • Agree totally.

  6. Mon isn’t as bad as people make them out to be. Yes, Bergevin has made a ton of mistakes added by Moulson’s interference but not everything has been bad. Losing Weber last season for 56 games & probably at least 40 this season is irreplaceable & probably costs 10 wins last season min & who knows this season as we need to know how long he is lost for.

    They aren’t making the playoffs but it’s not Ott bleak. They will struggle to win games as they are getting younger & their D is a mess even with Weber but without him Carey Price looks way below average.

    Patches will be moved eventually & the return will be better than what Carolina got for Skinner & it will help what is a rebuild on the fly. Mon isn’t positioned to just tear it down. How do you do such with Weber, Price, Alzner, Petry & Shaw all signed for 3+ years & due to contracts difficult to trade quickly, it’s not like all can be moved out in 1 or even 2 years.

    • In order for Patches to haul in more than Skinner, then that would mean people value him or Skinner. I don’t know about you but I sure as hell don’t and bet many others share this sediment. The NMC aside of course simply because I’m speaking of in the event of both being available to you otherwise it would all be a moot point.

      • Skinner > Patches

      • Hydrox is > than Oreo.

      • How is Skinner > Patches?
        Patches is a better goal scorer and much better defensive forward – their defensive game isn’t even close.

        The only reason he brings in less or equal to skinner is because MB would be making the deal.

      • Anyone who would say skinner is better than patches doesn’t watch hockey very much! All around play skinner isn’t in the sam3 league as patches, gets tiring listening to Ron dull talk like he watches hockey

    • So now it’s become a comparison between lousy and really lousy has it? Why bring in Ottawa at all? It isn’t exactly a state secret that they could be in for a dismal season IF all those kids fail to make an impact and the Anderson/Condon tandem don’t bounce back. But as I said before, we – just – don’t – know. Oh, we can make predictions/guesses/opinions – classic distinctions without a difference – and then pat ourselves on the back when they turn out (but studiously avoid those made which fall flat). That’s easy.

      • Hey, George, I get you are an Ottawa fan & love having you back but I’m making a comparison. Your free to call them whatever works for you.

        We make assumptions, predictions, etc. here every day it’s a rumours site. We talk about what we think will happen that’s what we do.

        I’m not always right, far from it but I’m right more often than wrong as I do what they do in the real world. I evaluate using stats, the eye test, etc. making educated assumptions as to what I feel will play out.

        I was right about Ott making the playoffs in 2016-17 explaining why I felt they would & again with them not making them in 2017-18 again providing an opinion as to why.

        This year I have them dead last in the NHL. The reason being it’s a mess. They have 3 players 1 year from UFA status & this is Ott’s roster essentially in Karlsson, Duchene & Stone, another 2 Ceci & Dzingel 2 years away & have already lost Hoffman for a bag of pucks.

        I’m sorry this offends you but don’t read & move on to another subject matter if you don’t wish to discuss & debate such. I used Ott as a comparison as to how people are perceiving Mon. They aren’t even remotely close next season. Mon has gotten better not significantly but they will be better, Ottawa worse.

        What’s that saying? You can take that to the bank. I plan to. Ha-ha!

      • One thing that hasn’t changed since I “came back” – you don’t take well to any criticism, while at the same time showing an unmatched penchant for blowing your own horn which would put the Walls Of Jericho blowers to shame.

      • I legitimately laughed so hard st that George that I tooted my own horn. Some people on this site are very much like a trade proposal from a leafs fan… more quantity than quality.

        Excuse me now… gotta go do a discount dooouuubbbllleee check. Nobody likes being squidgy

      • “One thing that hasn’t changed since I “came back….”


      • Speaking of Karlsson, Stone and Duchene, there’s 3 reasons why Patches won’t get back any more than Carolina got for Skinner. A 4th reason is Panarin. With all possibly being available at some point, why would anyone make a move for a guy who’ll be 30 in November and coming off an awful year? Will he be extended or is he a rental? He’ll be 31 a month into a new contract.

  7. I like what Buffalo has done. Adding Skinner and Sheary is certainly going to add goals to the wing. Berglund and Sbotka for 3/4 line roles and depth . Getting Rid of O’Reilly for chemistry and landing Dahlen with the number 1 they will be much much improved next year. With some luck from the hockey gods battle for that 8th spot. Eichel Ristolainen and Reinhart must be healthy and lead the way.

    I also like the Calgary buyout on Brouwer. You can’t pay that much for that role. He is more of a leader type and could land somewhere for $1m. My thought is retirement.

    • I’m very curious to see how this significantly improved roster in Buf fairs. Even battling for a playoff spot after so long being the worst team in the league both in wins & goals scored would be a huge accomplishment but can all this change come together in 1 season? Quite possibly but just not finishing dead last again would be a significant improvement.

      I can’t yet fathom where they will finish. Going from dead last to battling for the final wildcard spot is to big a jump for me. I need to see what else plays out this summer & before the puck drops I need to address all as 1 of the pool formats I participate in is a standings pool. We play for big money & it’s an interesting dynamic & format.

      This would actually be a good type of pool to run on this site as many that come here are just hockey fans, others participate in simple pool formats, some are fantasy pool players, H2H leagues, etc. & some I assume are like me do all of the above & wager extensively.

      Lyle had said we could. If time allows I may build & post a link before the season starts & those that wish to participate can. It’s simple you make your selections & wait till the season ends & tally the results.

      • i’d love for you to run a pool which includes members of Lyle’s forum.

        Let’s get ‘er done Striker!

      • I love hockey but it’s a terrible sport for fantasy. Maybe it’s my lack of attention span but 82 games is too long. Maybe those daily sites are fun but I’ve never tried. The only sport lending itself to season long fantasy is football. I’ve never tried that either as I don’t have enough of a knowledge base but the 16 game season is perfect

      • I’d be in on that Striker. Set it up.

      • The guy on Buffalo that really has to improve? Okposo – they need him to the the NY Islander Okposo.

      • Agree Chrism, I play tons of fantasy football, and dabble in hockey and baseball here and there on DraftKings and fan duel. I like hockey and baseball much more than football, just too damn long! I find it hard to keep up with a 17 week schedule in football, especially during the holidays. 82 or 162 game schedules? No thanks, that thing called life just gets right in the damn way!

      • Other than taking 10 minutes to pick a team it requires no effort throughout the entire season

      • Then yoshie… what the hells the point?

    • Yea I was happy to see Brouwer bought out. I think he was one of the reasons why Gulitzan was let go. It was so frustrating watching gulitzan put Brouwer out on the power play taking faceoffs on the penilty kill. Geez it’s not like he didn’t get a chance. I was so mad at Gulitzan, it made no sense to put out a 4th liner that scored 6 goals on the power play and then wonder why it is so bad. Happy they are both gone

  8. Looks like Ben Hutton will play out his contract and either not be qualified, allowing him to sign a one year deal somewhere for $1 million, or he will bolt to the KHL. Just looking at the depth charts, there really isn’t any team on which he would be an upgrade to a third pair, except maybe Columbus.