NHL Rumor Mill – September 21, 2018

by | Sep 21, 2018 | Rumors | 53 comments

Updates on Sergei Bobrovsky and Justin Faulk in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Ottawa’s TSN 1200 he believes the New York Islanders could be “keenly interested” in Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He notes the Islanders “have been searching for a goaltender that can be a difference-maker for quite some time.”

Could the New York Islanders become a suitor for Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky? (Photo via NHL Images)

Dreger feels new general manager Lou Lamoriello knows he’s going to have to bring in that type of goalie at some point. “Whether there’s a deal to be made, whether or not it’s the Islanders or another team that jumps in on Bobrovsky as a free agent, there’ll be no shortage of suitors,” he said.

Dreger acknowledged the Blue Jackets currently have no interest in trading Bobrovsky or fellow pending UFA Artemi Panarin. However, he notes a lot can change between now and the trade deadline. If they can’t get them under contract before then, the Jackets could face making some difficult decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne are the top goalies potentially available in next summer’s UFA market. While Rinne’s the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Bobrovsky will likely attract more interest. Despite his woeful playoff record, he’s five years younger than the 35-year-old Rinne and has two Vezinas on his resume.

I agree with Dreger that Bobrovsky won’t lack for suitors if hebecomes available before the trade deadline or hits the open market in July. If current Islanders goalies Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss fail to significantly improve this season, I expect Lamoriello will be among the bidders for Bobrovsky.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites NHL insider Pierre LeBrun discussing Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk on Toronto’s TSN 1050 yesterday and the Leafs’ apparent interest in him this summer. “I was told this summer that to some degree Carolina and Toronto did talk about him, but it didn’t go anywhere. And that might just be that Kyle Dubas was calling around the league to start getting a foundation for what’s out there over the next 12 months, who knows,” he said.

LeBrun thinks Faulk, a right-handed shot under contract through 2019-20 with an affordable $4.83-million annual salary-cap hit, could be an obvious fit for the Leafs, who are in need of a top-four, right-shot blueliner. He feels Faulk hasn’t been moved yet because the Hurricanes will likely set a big price, which the Leafs aren’t ready to do at this point. Faulk also has a modified no-trade clause, submitting a 15-team trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk certainly seems like an obvious choice for the Leafs, who still lack skilled, experienced blueline depth. But after giving away Jeff Skinner this summer to the Buffalo Sabres, the Hurricanes will expect a better return for Faulk.

It’s also possible the Leafs might not be on his list of preferred trade destinations. Sure, he can agree to expand that list but it’s not a certainty. 



  1. The New York Islanders should offer the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to CMB for Bob and Panarin.

    • Who is this CMB you are talking about?

    • I can envision a package for Bobrovsky of LW/C Anthony Beauvillier, G Ilya Sorokin, D Mitch Vande Sompel and a 2019 2nd-round pick formerly held by Calgary. It’s a lot, and it would be especially hard to part with the first two, but I expect the bidding for Bob will be fierce.

      • When was the last time a goalie brought back anywhere near that return? If that is the cost I’m hanging onto my assets if I’m the Islanders. Beuvillier is a top 6 forward and Sorokin is one of the best goalies outside of the NHL.

      • Deee, it’s rare but hey it happens occasionally. I agree fully. Ha-ha!

        Not directed at you just on topic. I like Bobrovsky allot but if he wants more than 6 years at 7 mil per then with each additional year the cap hit declines. If 8 years at 10 mil+ as is being rumoured I’ll pass & find another goalie. I actually think NYI already has their goalie in Lehner & like Talbot in Edm he will be extended just after Jan. 1, for 3 or 4 years at in or around 4, perhaps significantly less?

      • I’d be shocked if NYI gave up that much for Bob. I don’t expect them to be a playoff team this year and they could get him for only cash next summer.

      • That’s ok striker if I started to agree with you on more than the rarest occasion I would check myself into a mental institution. I jest-ish. When you’re a team that is going nowhere any time soon you can’t live in the now you have to have to live in the future. Just look at 60 years of the Maple Leafs before 3 years ago. Trading Sorokin for Bobrovsky will, in 3-4 years, look as bad as Rask for Raycroft. The Islanders have had to play the long game since a guy named Denis Potvin played for them and this time they need to stick with it. Jack Hughes is a decent consolation prize for losing Tavares.

      • As much as I hate Lou , he kinda put it best. What did the islanders ever do WITH Tavares?

        I don’t believe losing Tavares makes the islanders any worse tbh.

      • As crazy as it sounds I think NYI will be a better team this season than last. Scoring will be more balanced, although overall goals will be down, they will be significantly better defensively meaning more wins & not a chance I see them allowing 293 goals nor 35.6 shoots against this season. I would assume goals against drops by 40 to 50. Goals for by about 15 to 20 improving their goal differential by in or around 30.

      • Wow, that’s quite a package for a goalie when Schneider only yielded a #9 overall pick. Also doubt that Clb makes any kind of deal within their own division.

        Striker I’m with you on the whole don’t blow up your cap on a goalie. They are too volatile and there are so many decent goalies available.

  2. If Don Waddell is involved then the other GM has a great chance of coming out on top in any deal that’s made … even Dorian & Bergy

    • Who’s “Dorian”?

      • Dorion’s invisible friend that is actually calling the shots in Ott. Ha-ha!

      • Like Dorian Gray?

    • Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that Waddell is unjustly roasted on these boards. I assume much (all?) of that comes from his time with the Thrashers. I’m not sure to what extent he’s to blame for that mess when there are ample reports of total ownership dysfunction. I’m not going to blame him for the Skinner trade, either. He’s not the one that gave him a NTC and backed them into a corner.

      I’m by no means sold that he’s the right guy for the Hurricanes, but I’m also not ready to blame him for previous ills that likely weren’t his fault.

      Dorion and Bergevin have a documented history of awful deals, I’m not sure why Waddell is lumped in with them. Although I’ll acknowledge that Dorion’s ownership probably suffers from, uh, Thrasherism as well.

      • I’m not a Waddell, fan never have been & what has he done in his time in Carolina as President? Francis had just righted the ship personal wise & prospect wise on a shoestring budget after JR & Waddell left it destitute. If not for the Darling signing & it didn’t like that signing, in fact, I hated it & stated such at the point of that deal. Not so much about Darling’s potential abilities but the monies & term for an unproven starter. I sure hope Darling can find his game as he was terrible last season. He personally cost Car more than 8 games early last season giving up soft goals putting Car playing catch up hockey.

        Car may have made the playoffs last season if they had received even average goaltending. Yes Ownership has set an odd course & Waddell stepped up as every GM candidate interviewed declined.

        I do like Dudley, very much actually, a bit of a personal bias as he once gave me almost 2 hours at lunch by accident years ago but I like his body of work& a very good evaluator of talent. Unfortunately, he was part of a group that should have waited to move Skinner later if the right deal didn’t exist today. Car had better hope PU can even be an NHL player as that was a terrible deal.

        I get Car has waiver issues this year but trading a player solely to get rid of him is bad management. Surely Skinner would have accepted a trade to more than just Buf & his value at the trade deadline or prior if injuries & or an opportunity opened up somewhere as Col showed with Duchene although a C would have been better. What’s done is done but that doesn’t mean I have to like it & as Waddell’s in charge that’s on him.

        I also like Brind A’mour as opposed, to Peters, who’s system & personal decisions boggled my mind. Car may be a playoff team this season although the injury right out of the gate to Rask is problematic & puts Necas & Wallmark under significantly more pressure. Might Aho have to play C to start?

        Teams get injury’s & Rask’s just solved Car’s waiver issues with his as he’s now heading to LTIR soon, had they retained Skinner until a better trade option opened & I believe it would have which would have, it would have allowed for an easier move of Aho to C with Skinner still at LW.

        If you want to be a playoff team you need a ton of depth to cover for injuries in today’s NHL & it can’t just be rookies. It could work but the odds are against such.

  3. Columbus should trade these two before they lose them for nothing.
    If they have no interest in staying.
    Can get a decent return of players who can help this year and into the future. Imagine what islanders could have gotten for Tavares if traded last season.

    • How many times does it take for people to get it through their heads – one year rentals don’t have all that much value, even top players. The return is usually one, maybe two good futures and bunch of middling ones. Anyone who expects anymore is just ignoring what the market has demonstrated. You aren’t getting decent roster players or blue chip prospects.

      • The other problem with “trade them now before they walk for nothing” is you have fans who have paid a chunk of money to watch the team. Blue Jacket season ticket subscribers want to see Bobrovsky and Panarin. They are star players.
        Keep them, play them, trade them at the deadline if the teams out of contention. Best of all, if you can, re-sign them.

    • Clb has been on the cusp of stepping up as a cup contender now for a few years. 2 years ago the talking heads had them as President trophy winners & cup contenders. It just hasn’t happened.

      Columbus will only move these 2 players if they feel come the trade deadline they aren’t contenders or a deal that helps now, not significantly altering their fortunes can be made, I don’t believe it can due to both players personal demands if rumours are to be believed. Those being Pannarin knows where he wants to play & is just going to make it happen ala Shattenkirk & Bobrovsky wants 8 years at 10+ mil per.

      Its quite possible if Columbus has a good season & is right there with the division leaders that both these players could simply be lost this summer as UFA’s with Columbus getting little to nothing. The little being trading their rights to a team so said team can sign them for 8 years as opposed to 7.

      This is a pattern that all these new contracts are laying the foundation for in the future. There are a ton of players who have signed long-term deals now 6 to 8 years coming out of their ELC’s which means they are going to become UFA’s at 27 to 29 wanting 8-year deals & the right to play where ever they choose.

      That’s what the players got from the NHL to make all of the other concessions they have essentially. UFA status has dropped from 32 to 27 in 2 lockouts & it will be going down again in the next 1. Incredibly inflationary & leading to players walking as UFA’s as the new system was put in place so they can if they want.

  4. I think this year”s early performance of Faulk will determine his value. Was highly rated for the Canes but now some doubt . Good salary that alone will carry some value
    Excellent target for the Leafs

    • Offense is only half of the game. His O isn’t going to make up for his D. Someone do corsi stuff on this guy and I’m sure it’ll show he’s a liability 5on5 and really only a danger when the other team has less players on the ice. But he plays on a bad team you’ll say. Well consider this, the reason he plays on a bad team might be because the players are bad? Nobody has a worse plus minus in last 3 years. Pass.

      • Thank you Arnie.

        These 2 Dman, Gardiner & Faulk entered the NHL at exactly the same time 2011-12, playing on 2 of the NHL’s worst teams for virtually the duration of their careers being deployed in exactly the same roles with Faulk even spending more time as Car’s #1 in TOI/GP than Gardiner.

        Gardiner was drafted 2 years earlier but played 2 more years of College hockey than Faulk, 3 years to Faulks 1. Gardiner has played Faulk has played 477 NHL games posting 74 goals, 149 assists, 223 points & sits -109. Gardiner sits at 489 games played scoring 42 goals, 173 assists, 215 points & sits -10.

        Better the evil you know & with Gardiner & Reilly manning Tor’s PP’s should Gardiner be extended & as Zaitsev showed in his rookie year he is capable of doing so as will McDermott be soon enough, why does Tor need Faulk? Tor should have signed de Haan even though a leftie, he could have played his offside with Dermott solidifying that pairing & replaced Hainsey next season playing a solid shut down role & killing penalties. Now they need to find a Dman like that or wait until it is developed in-house.

        If I’m Dubois & I’m not nor will I ever be working for an NHL team just a freak hockey fan & pool participate I wait to see what happens to Trouba & Ceci or similar asset before I do anything rash like trading for Faulk. That means waiting until next summer.

        I still don’t understand who will be playing with Dermott on the 3rd pairing in Tor. I assume Ozhiganov, Borgman, Rosen, Marincin or some combination of the 4 as injuries & or play will dictate. I really thought Tor would use some of their cap space to address this in the short term & I assume they will if none of the other options work.

      • The Corsi numbers are pretty clear on Faulk, 52.3 CF% for his career, and 55.7 last season. The important take for any player is more shots for than against when they are on the ice. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who think a player that has 1500 shots for and 1200 against while they’re on the ice 5v5 is a liability compared to one who has 750 for and 900 against.

      • Solid point The Shrike.

        I’m not a huge analytics fan far from an exact science. The NHL struggles to generate simple stats like hits, takeaways, giveaways etc so what are the chances of error for these types of stats?

        What about the quality of competition, were the games played in what volume over what period of time. What other injuries to the team were in play, were they playing from ahead or behind, etc.

        The only advanced stat I follow is zone deployments at ES. Otherwise, it’s just quantity & quality of ice time played with who.

      • I think Carolina had the most shots on goal last year. 31 thoughts mentioned their game plan was fire everything at the net. They outhsot all but 3 teams but were still a -28 goal differential. Something doesn’t seem right there Shrike, I don’t think those numbers tell the whole picture.

    • Are people not concerned about Faulk’s defensive capabilities? Is he any better defensively that Gardiner who most Tor fans complain about endlessly?

      He would help significantly & I don’t care about his or Gardiner’s defensive abilities specifically, as long as they try to be somewhat positional responsible when able. I get that they are there to drive offence, jump up into the play & put up points.

      Not directed at you but if people don’t like Gardiner they aren’t going to like Faulk any better. They aren’t identical in their play, Faulk has a howitzer of a shot that he gets off often, Gardiner is more of a passer transitional Dman that joins the rush, which is what gets him out of position. He has improved significantly defensively & has been overburdened in Tor since he got there, playing as Tor’s #1 or 2 in TOI/GP since he arrived on a brutal team. Tor has improved significantly but really only on the offensive side of the ledger & Gardiner is a big part of those forwards being able to do what they do offensively, it starts in transition, in offensive situations & on the PP.

      These Dman aren’t Shattenkirk, Barrie bad defensively but that’s not the game they are being requested to play nor will they ever be what you want them to be, solid 2-way Dman which ideally is what Tor needs or at the very least an elite shutdown Dman.

  5. If Bobrovsky wants 10 mil + on an 8 year deal I would think the # of bidders will be exceptional small for me it should be ZERO.

    As always I’m not paying any goalie over 7 mil per in today’s market, ideally significantly less. There is no reason you can’t secure a Stanley Cup quality goalie in or around 5 mil per but anything up to 7 for the right goalie would work for me.

    I don’t think Rinne is going to hit the UFA market, I think he will sign a 2 or 3 year deal allowing Nas to transition to Saros over the next 2 seasons with him being the undisputed #1 by 2021-22. 2 years at 5, if 3 bring the cap hit down to say 4.25 per. Saros has 3 years remaining at 1.5 & still an RFA coming out of that deal.

    Players love playing in Nas & Poille just has a way of getting it done at monies that in most cases way under value. Johansen being the rare exception but Johansen had a ton of leverage 1 year from UFA status when he signed his 8 years 8 mil per deal.

    • I’ll bite Striker, who is an available goaltender for Columbus to pick up between $5 & $7M if Bob walks, that is Stanley Cup caliber.
      I had a hard time finding one.

      • UFA goalies next summer at present. Bobrovsky, Varlamov, Talbot, Howard, Lehner, Smith, Ward, Elliott, Nilsson, etc. I assume several will be extended before we get there.

        Look at teams who have more than 1 today with a back up soon due to get a significant raise or may be due to waiver & or arbitration rights, cap issues need to go or the starter does as the kids ready. Some that have to clear waivers this season that could get selected although unlikely as few teams have room for a 3rd goalie needing to clear waivers.

        Dansk & Hutchinson were just waived, others that will need to be waived before the season starts this year never mind next, Boyle, McIntyre, Wedgewood, Forsberg, Berube, Satari, Montoya, Hammond, Grosniak, Lack, C. Gibson, Tokarski, Stolarz, Binnington, Bibeau, Picard/Sparks, Pasquale, & Legacy.

        NYI just picked up Lehner for nothing. I have him having a great season he played great in Buf for a bad team. I have defended this goalie endlessly. With expansion a year away this summer teams may choose to get in front of it.

        Jarry needs to clear waivers next season so Pit trades 1 of Jarry or Desmith next summer or losses 1 on waivers. Do you remember Bos trying to sneak Subban through last season?

        Would a team facing a cap crunch next summer do what Was did this summer moving Grubauer? How about SJ. If they sign Karlsson might they move Dell in a salary dump trade of some nature? Dell & Braun to CLB for? What about the teams sitting on stud prospect goalies who are very close having been well seasoned in the KHL like Samsanov, Shesterkin or Sorokin.

        Would Was move Holtby to save cap space bringing in a venteran back up to save money & shelter Samsonov? NYR doesn’t appear to have room for both Shesterkin & Georgiev. Would Van move Markstrom & pass the torch to Demko, etc.

        Then we have the rest of the world to draw goalies on. No easier position to try & fill in the NHL than in net, the issue is not enough opportunities for all the goalies the world is producing today & the cost to buy 1 historically in trade has never been significant.

        Club doesn’t have to find a long-term solution if Bobrovsky walks just a short-term 1 until they can get a better 1 & with expansion looming that market is under 2 years away.

        Thanks for biting?

  6. As a Leaf fan I understand that an upgrade at RHD is needed. It’s just that Faulk isn’t an upgrade on anyone the Leafs already have, or any other team has for that matter.

    Faulk is one of the most sheltered D in the League. He starts two thirds of his shifts in the O-zone meaning he never actually has to defend. Moreover when he is in his own zone defending, his goalie’s save percentage plummets. No other defensemen has more of a negative impact on his goalie’s save % than Faulk. Bad passes, bad coverage, an inability to take away passing lanes, an inability to clear the crease so his goalie can see, and a lack of ability to tie up opponents so they can’t tip point shots, leads to some of the worst defensive numbers of any defensemen. Shot volume doesn’t matter if every shot allowed has a 20% chance of going in!

    Hard pass! I wouldn’t even take Faulk off of waivers!

    • Faulk would be an upgrade on the leafs terrible defense no questions asked

      • Hell, he’d be an upgrade on Montreal’s even worse defense.

      • Agreed but not what Tor needs & he won’t come cheap regardless of his defensive deficiencies.

      • He would be Ott’s best George or at the very least their #2 as Ceci is a solid developing Dman.

        In Mon he would slot in at #3 behind Weber; when playing, & Petry & really would see similar TOI/GP to Alner just all offence as opposed to Alzner’s all defence.

    • Didn’t you say all of the same things about Hanifin and called him a bust. Then he was traded to Calgary and signed a 6 year 29.7 million dollar contract.

  7. I don’t know if Columbus and St. Louis are on speaking/trading terms, but I would think Bobrovsky is the final piece for the Blues! I would give some key prospects to have it happen–Husso, Wallman, Kyrou… Need to dump some salary.

  8. Bigbear it’s time you head back to your cave if you think Toronto needs another defender that sucks at playing defence. His numbers on offence have dropping too Hard pass

    • Gardiner and Reilly might as well be forwards Faulk is better defensively than both of them

      • Ha-ha!

  9. Way off topic but it looks like the Penguins have selected their 23 man roster already, and barring any last minute changes, Jusso Riikola has beat out Derek Grant for the final spot. Right now they have a 23 man team one and a team 2 with less players for the remainder of training camp. There are really no other surprises except Aston Rease, who is waiver eligible, is on the big team and Grant will have to pass through waivers. DeSmith is the backup and Jarry is WBS bound because of waiver status. One extra forward and 2 extra dmen. I wonder if it will be Cullen or Simon that is the odd man out? A solid argument could be made for either. Great roster this year, looking forward to it.

    • Someone reported today that Sheahan won’t be ready to start the season so he’s going to IR at some point opening up 1 roster spot until he returns so Pit may be able to delay having to choose.

      • Maybe as these preseason injury reports are mostly baseless. Playing through injury today is far different than when the puck drops. In the preseason its like soccer the slightest issue & they are being shut down for precautionary reasons.

      • I have not seen anything that would make me believe that Sheahan won’t be ready for the start of the season. Brassard had a serious lung infection but he is on track to be ready for opening night. He may even play in Saturday or Sundays game. Sprong and Aston Rease have had very strong camps so far and if Sheahan is ready for the first game then the lineup will look something like this
        Guentzel Crosby Sprong
        Haglen Malkin Hornqvist
        ZAR Brassard Kessel
        Rust Sheahan Simon
        Dumoulin Letang
        Oleksiak Shultz
        Maatta Johnson
        Riikola Ruhwedal
        The only change might be Cullen in for Simon but it seems like the roster has been set for a long time and it is an elite roster at that.

    • This is nonsense. They aren’t carrying eight defensemen and Grant isn’t going on waivers.

      • The normal NHL 23 man roster is 13 forwards, 8 defensemen & 2 goalies LMacDonald so what are you talking about?

    • Riiikkkooollllaaaaa!

      That’s to perfect a name to go through waivers.

    • Please stay on topic.

  10. Headline News…Michael Nuevorth is hurt in practice!
    Are any other flyer fans sick of this band aid?
    Hopefully Hextall gives him his release. Eating the balance of his salary beats counting on him when the back up his needed.

  11. Lou loves a good goalie but I’m not sure the Jackets would be willing to deal either of their pending UFAs inside the division. I know that many here think the Isles are a lost cause but I don’t actually agree with that assessment.

    In large part that may well be a fans bias. They have several young D (Mayfield, Pullock, Pellech, Toews, Aho, and now Dobson and Wilde) along with good depth at forward and several potential prospects (Ho Sang, Dal Cole (possible busts?), Bellows, and Wahlstrom).

    I believe the Isles could surprise now that they have a new coach in place.

    • Agreed.

  12. & teams start gambling trying to squeeze players through waivers. Today we see Dansk in Vegas & Hutchinson in Flo exposed before they can be sent down.

    My personal opinion is sooner is better if you’re going to try to wave players and sneak them through. Do so before the real injuries start piling up. The closer we get to the start of the season the more preseason games start to resemble NHL regular season games, sort of even the early season NHL regular season games are pretty sloppy & teams are still auditioning a few players that aren’t getting more than their 9 games before heading back to Major Jr.

    • I would be surprised if either gets claimed as few teams have room to carry 3 goalies today & no serious goalie injury’s that I am aware of currently.