NHL Rumor Mill – September 26, 2018

by | Sep 26, 2018 | Rumors | 51 comments

Reaction to the Senators placing Zack Smith on waivers in your NHL rumor mill.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports long-time Senators forward Zack Smith is “in shock” after the club placed him on waivers yesterday. But with three years and $9.25 million remaining on Smith’s contract, Garrioch believes he could pass unclaimed and remain on the Senators’ roster, considering it “highly doubtful” he’ll be demoted to their AHL affiliate. He checked with “league executives” yesterday, who said the chances of Smith getting picked up by another club weren’t good. Smith’s sub-par performance last season (19 points in 68 games) could also be a deterrent.

Garrioch also notes the Senators attempted to trade Smith last season, coming within a phone call of shipping him to an unnamed Western Conference club near the trade deadline before the deal fell through. It’s believed general manager Pierre Dorion revisited those trade talks this summer but interest was limited. The ask was the Senators take a contract in return, something they didn’t want to do. Garrioch speculates putting Smith on waivers might re-ignite trade talk.

Ottawa Senators placed forward Zack Smith on waivers. (Photo via NHL Images)

Meanwhile, Don Brennan reported on the reaction by Smith’s teammates to the news. “I’ll be honest … it’s a kick in the balls for us,” said Matt Duchene. “That’s how it feels.” Mark Stone admitted he was surprised. “He’s been here ever since I’ve stepped foot in this organization,” said Stone. “He’s done a lot for me ever since I stepped in. He was one of the leaders for us at development camp when I was 18.”

THE ATHLETIC: Chris Stevenson cites an Eastern Conference scout suggesting it’s still possible Smith could be claimed off waivers. He also reports an assistant GM saying a trade could still be possible if Smith clears, provided the Senators are willing to take back a contract “at .50 cents on the dollar.”

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites NHL insider Darren Dreger yesterday telling Ottawa’s TSN 1200 he sensed there was interest in Smith by other clubs dating back to last season’s trade deadline and perhaps beyond. However, the Senators preferred draft picks in return and didn’t want to take back a salary. Dreger thinks the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers “kicked tires” last season but doesn’t believe the discussions went far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So why all the fuss over the Senators waiving a veteran winger who struggled last season? Well, their woeful performance and off-ice dramas stretching back to last season certainly have a lot to do with it. So does their recent trades of Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman, and you could probably include last November’s Kyle Turris trade in that discussion.

The Senators are in the midst of an obvious roster tear-down. Placing Smith on waivers in what’s seen as a cost-cutting move stokes the headlines surrounding this club.

I also think this could have an effect upon the futures of Duchene and Stone, who are both eligible for unrestricted free agent status at season’s end. While Stone was diplomatic, Duchene seems angry by the move. If the Senators’ front office harbors hopes of re-signing those two, giving up a popular team leader like Smith through waivers won’t help matters.

If Smith goes unclaimed today and the Senators try to trade him, they’ll either have to absorb part of his $3.25-million cap hit or agree to take back a salaried player in return. I agree with Garrioch that it’s unlikely the Senators will find a trade partner willing to take on his full salary by giving up draft picks in return. 

As for the Flames and Oilers, whatever interest they had last season has probably changed since then. The Flames made several notable offseason changes while Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers lack the salary-cap room to take on Smith’s cap hit. 



  1. I once met a man with a wooden leg named smith…

    • Chrisms

      Don’t leave us hangin’ on ur punchline 😂

    • A few things

      #1 @ ED VANIMPE

      Ive posted heavily on Bobrovsky and have been roasted by a few people on my assessment especially being called delusional by ED VANIMPE among other things.

      …well Bobrovsky was just named Best Goalie by the REAL Hockey people so I stand by my assessment and fully support my review on him being a franchise player not just a number 1 Goalie and should be paid as such !!

      Ive been on this site for 7 years no and it really sucks when guys rip other guys for a sincere assessment on the topics …everyone has an view and an angle and most of my posts come with good research and a past history of playing Junior hockey as a goalie….so i try to be reasonable in my posts.

      … Q … the Duchene trade rumors again !
      Not sure who will sign him as he will most likely be looking for a term deal at $8 million plus if he goes UFA I think the Habs will be all over this come the Summer they need a legit #1 center!
      However….that asking of $8 million plus will bring down his value in the trade market ..he will be a trade deadline deal ..but Dorion will not recoup his loss on this and Duchene will walk if not traded!

      It is obvious the Melnyk wants everyone OUT that was on this team from prior years and wants ALL NEW players to step in and start from a real scortched earth scenario….no ex era players allowed…all new team!

      Wander how long Anderson lasts …Lou must be calling from the Islander soon ..but will ikely wit to see if he can snag up Sparks on waivers as I dont see the Leafs keeping him ..and have a feeling Lou is waiting on this first !!

      • …well Bobrovsky was just named Best Goalie by the REAL Hockey people

        That sentence and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks … Real Hockey people??? I stand by my delusional claim …

      • My only issue with Bobrovsky is the rumour he wants 8 years at 10+. An elite class NHL goalie who hasn’t had any playoff success but who’s regular season play has been exceptional

      • AC/DC:

        In Bob we Trust, its Bob or Bust!!!

      • While talking salaries, what exactly has Duchene done lately to deserve a long term, big money contract? Last 2 seasons: 49 and 41 points. Those aren’t exactly top center numbers. When was last time he was in playoffs?

    • What was the name of his other leg?

      • Peg

      • Thanks Chrism, I’ll watch MP with my daughter this weekend.
        Been a while.

      • 🌂

  2. He is making a decent salary for the potential of poor production but he has also show the ability to score. I look at the Isles with Cap space and a very questionable bottom 6 and wonder with the demotion of Ho-Sang and Bellows if someone that can put up 20-35 points at just over 3M is worth the gamble especially when you consider they are paying roughly the same amount for Cizikas and Clutterbuck who are not going to get that amount of production.

    • Smith has received far better quantity & quality minutes than Cziskas & Clutterbuck. Smith got solid power play time something neither Cziskas nor Clutterbuck have received yet Clutte buck has very similar production to Smith in his career.

    • I also think NYI will surprise you. Team depth is better than it has been for several years.

      Beauvillier, Barzal, Bailey.
      Lee, Nelson, Eberle.
      Ladd, Kovar/Filppula, Komarov.
      Filppula, Cziskas, Clutterbuck.
      Spare. Martin.

      Move wingers around anyway you like. A large portion of the D is young but the acquisition of de Haan & UFA signing Snidal really solidifies NYI defensively.

      Under Trotz NYI will play a far more defensive game garnering more wins than last season. Goals for us declining but goals against us going to improv significantly & goal differential which really impacts wins is improving significantly.

      • Sbisa

      • De Haan plays for Carolina now

      • “Never been a Sbisa fan. Had the misfortune to watch him play live in Vancouver for 2 of his 3 years. Gave up my season tickets the summer before his last season in Vancouver.

        Not good offensively, terrible defensively, turns the puck over constantly on the dump it out play, around the boards, etc. I remember a buddy & I were at the Cal/Van playoff series in 2015 game 1. He liked Sbisa, I didn’t & don’t. I said let’s count how many times he gives up puck possession in a game. I had 19, he had 17, the NHL 0. They don’t consider icing or wringing the puck around the boards to the weak side a giveaway but it’s certainly a change of puck possession for me or worse it brings the faceoff back into your own zone. At least 3 of mine were direct giveaways without question, 2 more should have been as the puck never cleared our zone & Calgary got a scoring chance.”

        Sept 3, 2018

        Old Navy has an end of season sale on flip flops. You should pick some up

  3. If there was no bottom floor for a salary cap, Dorion would have a minor league roster playing. I could even see him signing players from men’s leagues. He would make Chris Kotsopoulous captain.

    • 100%. And replace the name Dorion with Melnyk because in no way shape or form are these moves made by a GM doing his best to build a winner. Amazing what people will do (Dorion and Boucher) to have a job in the NHL. Easy for me to say but I would love it if someone would resign and say, “I can’t do anything here.”

      • Isn’t that what Trevor Linden just did? He supposedly left on his own accord because he wanted to seriously rebuild and not to retool half-assedly.

    • And Colorado is just watering at the mouth seeing that they have a liget shot at Jack Hughes.

  4. Please excuse this old man’s limited brain… am I missing something re “cost cutting move”.

    How does Melnyk save by waving him down to the baby Sens …. same salary

    Are they referring to potential savings IF he is picked up off of waivers (which it seems, per reporting, a slim likliehood)?

    Pengy (pre morning Tim’s)

    • If he clears & were sent down which is unlikely Ott would save 950K in cap space.

      • Ottawa has about 9 million in cap space, and an additional 8 million (approximately) coming in IR relief. Why are they concerned with saving cap $$$’s?

      • Striker (aka snow flake) your post is irrelevant as sens have no cap concerns. They have cash limitations.

      • Exactly, and when they gave Smith that contract it was in the hope that he could continue with his production from 2015-16 (25 goals and a bit of an edge in coming the defense of his teammates (8 fights included). Then it was 16 goals (4 fights) and 5 goals (2 fights). I’m not trying to glamorize fights, but it’s a reflection of his diminishing aggressive play, never mind his production.
        Some fans moan the lack of the NFL’s approach of “play the way we’re paying you or you’re gone” – this is the closest the NHL can come that formula. Yeah, a demotion to the AHL won’t save much, but I doubt it comes to that if he’s not claimed. This could be the precursor to another move.

        Look at it this way, if Smith had been the property of another team and placed on waivers with the same contract, would Ottawa pick him up? Not bloody likely.

      • I never said they needed the cap space, just that if he was sent down they get 950K in relief which I also said was unlikely.

        Can none of you read or do you see what you want an immediately attack.

        I never made any such comments so why are you directing your meaningless comments to my thread. Can none of you read?

      • How quickly we forget eh? Look who’s calling the kettle black.

      • Cap space relief doesn’t save Melnyk any cash

      • Striker …. yes I can read ….

        “If he clears & were sent down which is unlikely Ott would save 950K in cap space”….

        My question is valid! Why do they need cap space! ?

        For a guy whining just yesterday about other posters here…..

    • There’s a small chance that he’s picked up on waivers by noon today clearing d%*chebag of 3.25mil in salary responsibility. That small chance, what we hear is closer to 0, is worth gambling on at the expense of the dignity of a respected veteran (see palyer and coach’s comments) and the morale of the team. George O skimmerarinkadinkmethinks, I don’t want to ever hear you defend the senators again.

  5. A week ago one of the headlines was who was going to be the 3rd line centre for the Flyers to play with Simmonds and Lindblom.
    It looks like it will be misha Vyrobov.
    Exciting times for Flyers fans. This would give them 3 solid offensive lines. And the continuing graduation of top ranked prospect pool.

  6. Their was 50 Goaltenders that played a minimum of 26 games last season; of that 25 of them were 30yrs of age or over, 11 are 33 or older.
    Goaltenders 25yrs of age of younger only 7 played 26 games or more.
    The NHL is getting younger every year but one of the most important position in the game is not keeping up to that trend.

  7. Bruin fans Boston will have 7 d to start the season: Chara, McAvoy, Carlo, Krug, Miller, Moore and Grzelcyk. Who sits? and who would you trade?

    • Leafs/Pens fan chiming in

      It would be a very rare 23 man opening roster for any team going 15-6-2 (F-D-G). One D injury and ur at 5 and bringing up someone that would have recently been in camp but sent down to Prov

      I believe most 23 man rosters will have 7 or 8 D… so I’d trade none of them. However, if you absolutely insist I think I can be pursuaded to accept a McAvoy / Johnson flip (LOL)

      Sitting … it won’t be Chara, McAvoy, Krug or Carlo

      Bos fans to chime in on who from Miller, Moore, Grz should be press box bound

    • Sit Moore.
      Trade no one yet.

      • I have a very hard time believing they just signed Moore to a 5 year deal at 2.75 per to sit.

        I’ve always hated that guy, but I don’t see him sitting.

      • Him or Grz.
        I’d sit Moore personally.

    • None. We traded McQuad, I assume the Moore signing was as much about the future as today. You need injury insurance & at 2.75 he can rotate in when necessary. I assume if all are healthy Miller, Moore & Grzelcyk will rotate in & out in some way as the #6.

      With 5 mil in cap space, a solid prospect pool & D depth Bos has a ton of trade options when the time comes but sitting 1 of those 3 is a nice luxury until injuries hit & they will.

      • Sorry should have read as the 5/6 Dman.

  8. I Love how people are making a big fuss over Smith he’s a nobody any young talent in the minors could do what he does and he’s way over payed and the owner is counting his pennies so bye bye smith and bye bye Duchesne and buy buy stone …. Ottawa is going for last the next 3 years the 2 drafts coming up are high talent that could propel them like it did for Toronto … finish last draft first and become talented in 3 years not bad lol wish Montreal would start doing that trade Price, Weber, Petry, Alznar take everything you can get and finish last

    • Yeah, but this 1st overall is going to Colorado unfortunately

      • They might have, at best, an 18% chance of getting the 1st – which means they’d also have an 82% chance of not getting it.

    • It isn’t what Smith did last season or what he might do specifically, Smith is well respected by his teammates, yes he had a terrible season last year, so did Ott. Who was he playing with?

      His teammates wern’t Happy & waiving him made no sense all it did was Lisa off the players. The chances he was getting claimed with 3 years at 3.25 mil per made the chances virtually ZERO.

      Why Ott would do this served no purpose. The gong show continues. As always this is on Melnyk & Dorion & it was all about hoping someone would take his contract.

      Players are going to be getting out of this mess as quickly as possible. I can wait to see how these choices effect attendance this season & moving forward.

      What are the chances Stone, Duchene, Dzingel, Ceci even consider re upping to play in Ott? 18% Hahahaha!

      • I’m a sens fan and I agree with you Stiker. A weird move with no benefit in my opinion unless it helped in a trade, but why would another team trade for Smith if they could’ve just grabbed him on waivers. This sent a bad message to be rest of the future UFAs. Dark times in Ottawa brought on by a cheap, conniving owner and his loyal puppy dog.

      • Once again you “assume” as if you have the inside knowledge not even available to so-called “hockey insiders.” Ahh well, I guess we all know someone who speaks fluent s*^t.

  9. The Rangers could have extra bottom pairing D with Tony D and Pionk having good pre-seasons. Smith looks ok too but limited faith there now
    Could McQuaid be flipped sooner than later? There is no need to be dressing McQuaid Staal and Smith

    • My D in NYR is.

      Skjei, Shattenkirk.
      Staal, Poink.
      McQuad, DeAngelo.
      Claeason, Smith.

      If NYR is out of it or the right trade comes along McQuad will be moved no later than the deadline.

      • Mcquaid is staying on the east coast.

  10. As good as Bobrovsky is, as good as Price was before signing his ridiculous extension, I simply don’t believe that the goaltending position should pay that much. While I understand the argument from their side that they are as valuable to their team as the top center and top defenceman, but they take up too much of the cap.

    As an unpredictable position (goalies seem to rise and fall much faster than players in their careers), long term investments like Price’s don’t make sense.

    At the current cap allowance of $79.5m, a ceiling of $8m per year for your stud starter seems a fair cap hit to me. I am of the ilk that believes John Gibsons $6.4m is a better measuring stick than Fleury’s $7m, and I would pay Bobrovsky $8m per year over 5 years, say.

    $10m per for 8 seasons is insane, especially if he struggles like Price has.

    • Let’s look at a comparison. If you were about to lose the services of Bobrovsky, or of Kopitar, which player would be more difficult to replace?
      I would argue that a replacement goaltender would be easier to find, as goalies tend not to have longer contracts and are cheaper, one will come along sooner than a number one center will. That is the basis of my argument for the lesser value assigned to the goaltending position.

      Ignoring arguments like “Chicago was nothing without Corey Crawford” … doesn’t make Crawford worth $8-10m per year.