NHL Rumor Mill – October 1, 2018

by | Oct 1, 2018 | Rumors | 77 comments

Latest on Matt Duchene and Sebastian Aho plus the Lightning are open to moving a defenseman in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cited NHL insider Bob McKenzie giving his take on Matt Duchene’s status with the Ottawa Senators on Ottawa’s TSN 1200. Duchene is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. McKenzie doesn’t think there’s been serious discussions between the two sides over how this situation could shake out. He expects the 26-year-old center will let this season play itself out and see if there’s any improvement in terms of the atmosphere around the Senators.

Matt Duchene’s future with the Ottawa Senators remains murky. (Photo via NHL Images)

McKenzie feels it’s in Duchene’s best interest to play well in his contract year. He suggests there’s a difference in Duchene’s mindset compared to teammate and fellow pending UFA Mark stone, noting he played in a losing environment in Colorado and probably doesn’t want to repeat the experience in Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene and Stone haven’t ruled out re-signing with the Senators, but the latter seems more keen on doing so. Still, a lot depends on the club’s performance in 2018-19.

A repeat of last season’s collapse and the toxic environment that came from that could make Duchene and Stone unwilling to invest long-term with the Senators. If they’re both reluctant to re-sign before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline, they could be playing elsewhere before then. 


THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon considers re-signing forward Sebastian Aho to a long-term contract extension to be a “high priority.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a rumor but I can speculate over how much Aho could get. He had 24 goals and 49 points as a rookie in 2016-17, finishing second in team scoring. Last season, he was the Hurricanes’ leading scorer with 29 goals and 65 points. The 21-year-old could reach 30 goals and 70 points this season. He’s going to get a big raise on his next contract.

Aho is now in the final season of his entry-level contract. His his camp could be keeping an eye on what forward William Nylander eventually gets when he ends his contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs and perhaps use it as a comparable. They could also have Edmonton Oilers’ center Leon Drasaitl’s eight-year, $68-million deal in mind. 


THE ATHLETIC’s Joe Smith reports hearing the Tampa Bay Lightning are open to moving Slater Koekkoek or Braydon Coburn. “They’ve been calling other teams. One week until season opener, so should be interesting. The fact Cernak opened some eyes in camp gives TB another option.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koekkoek could be easier to move than Coburn. The former is a 24-year-old defenseman carrying a very affordable salary-cap hit ($865K) who’s slated to become a restricted free agent next summer. Coburn, on the other hand, is a 33-year-old blueliner with a $3.75-million cap hit and due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The Lightning might prefer moving Coburn’s cap hit. As for a return, I don’t think new GM Julien BriseBois wants to take any significant salary back, preferring to leave cap space for possible moves later in the season. 



  1. McKenzie feels it’s in Duchene’s best interest to play well in his contract year. Really? No kidding …

    • I once heard John Madden make the bold claim that whichever team plays better on offense and defense will probably win the game…hard hitting analysis there.

      • Double Minor

        Madden had bar attic surgery and dropped 175 pounds . Then underwent plastic surgery …. now playing in Hotels.com commercials as key spokesman

      • bariatric

      • It’s not different than most of what gets printed here and by other sportswriters. Look at yesterday. The caps may or may not make a deadline deal. Wow! Hold the press!

      • So what MacKenzie is inferring is that some of these so-called pro athletes dog it in non-contract years and only play to their full ability when a new contract is on the line? Maybe that explains why Ottawa put Zach Smith and his $3.2 mil per deal and 5-goal production on waivers.

    • The Duchene trade is going to be more important than the Karlsson trade …which unfortunately was botched by Dorion…in quantity not quality .

      The Duchene trade is more important for a few reasons ..#1 he gave up to much for him and needs to try and recoup some assets in that deal …but it will be hard as he is not in a position of power as was Sakic…#2 This will be Ottawas last player that is of any real significance of quality that can be traded and he really needs to get a TOP QUALITY YOUNG NHL assets back not prospects and 2nd rounders…

      Duchene will NOT resign in Ottawa… IMO.He stated on his exit from the AVS that he wants to play playoff hockey ..LOL ..well not going to happen there…He will hit the UFA market as did Tavares and go that route …its really the ONLY SENSIBLE thing to do in…as this will most likely be his last contract!

      Dorion obviously doe snot like to trade in conference with high end players as per the trade deal with Karlsson so that limits the scope of teams who will need a Center at the deadline….this really may come down to what teams have the worst injuries at that Feb deadline….not so much of long term need as per Stastny in the PEG!

      However once the season is over an Duchene goes to UFA he can sign with an Eastern team he wants to ….and if that is the case I see him Signing with Montreal.

      He wants to be close to home in Ontario …and the Habs may have the most need and money to spend on a quality NHL veteran Centerman to where as there are VERY FEW abvailable !

      The other team nay be Detroit as they too and in dire need of depth and need an upgrade at center on the 2nd 3rd lines

      ..his age and contract ( cap hit ) and term can fit in with organizational needs best in these 2 destinations with ease right away without having the team make any deletions from the current roster to make room !

      As a longer shot in my opinion id say the Blue jackets will be 3rd in s serious way due to the fact they will need to replace Panarins points as per players who can produce points and they too will have money and a need for a top line Veteran Center.

      Thought it was better to throw out some talking points and options as opposed to the remedial bashing of the hockey writers.

      • If his desire really is to play in the play-offs, what makes you think Montreal is any closer to a playoff contender than Ottawa?

      • Or Detroit for that matter.

      • Kal El: Of the three, Columbus is by far the best option as far as team quality. Detroit and Montreal aren’t going to be any better than Ottawa the next few years. Their only advantage is they still have their 2019 1st round pick. Even if Columbus loses Panarin and Bobrovsky for nothing, they are still going to be better than Detroit and Montreal over the next 2-3 years.

      • @ George O

        When you talk about potential of teams and really do a DEEP DIVE into what teams can afford
        ( cap structure and need ) a Duchene contract for a 2nd line Center there are very few teams that will be able to take on a heavy contract that he will be asking for …

        this will take Duchene into a 2nd tier of teams that will REALLY NEED his services to fill out a roster …and IMO …Montreal fits this bill better than most any team in the NHL …

        they still have Price, Weber, Drouin and Gallagher where fitting in Duchene Kotkanieme makes the most sense to me …and I think Montreal will be under the most pressure to obtain a player of his Caliber like Duchene and fit there absolute need for a Centerman.

        Here is a list for potential high quality 2019 UFAs …The Habs will fit right in here to obtain Duchene… where as 90% of the league can not afford a 2nd line Center at 8 plus million because they have a top heavy First Line Center at that price all ready !

        the Habs have to make this sacrifice …there will not be anything else available via trade or UFA options to where as they can control the scenario and or NOT DELETE a player or give up draft picks …it will only cost money !


      • I dont get you.

        Do you mean dorion got the trade right in quantity but wrong in quality cause I read I differently.

        Duchene being the last player Ottawa can trade thst hav top notch talent? You heard of Mark Stone?

        Ceci is rumored seeking 6 million per. He us s right handed D. His stats are not favourable if you look at the historic categories nor the new “fancy” stats. But teams have proven willingness to pay for D.

        And how do you rationalize your beleif Duchene will want out of Ottawa because he wants to play playoff hockey with his willingness to play for Montreal simy because it’s close to home. Where is Ottawa located compared to Duchene’s home town? Detroit? Because their goaltending and 2018 1rst round pick are going to carry them to the playoffs next year?

        I simply dont agree with anything you said nor fail to understand how your conclusions could be made.

      • “So what MacKenzie is inferring is that some of these so-called pro athletes dog it in non-contract years and only play to their ”

        Inferring? What exactly are you implying?

      • Would love to see the Islanders offer them Ho-Sang, Brock Nelson and a defensive prospect. After Losing JT, Duchene would be a great #2 center behind Barzal and the Isles have the cap space.

      • Simply that, without actually stating it, the inference has to be that SOME don’t always play to their full capability except in a contract year. How the hell else do YOU interpret what he said. It’s just a variation of “for every action there’s a reaction …”

    • Had Ottawa just paid Kyle Turris $6 to $7 million per season when he WANTED to stay …Ottawa would have still had :

      Shane Bowers, conditional 2018 1st round pick*, 2019 3rd round pick

      An would not be looking at paying Duchene more than the $8 million per season he will be asking for …

      Can Ottawa get back what they gave up for Duchene….I dont think so and it will cost them more money in the long term to keep Duchene now than it would have to have kept Turris !

      Turris was traded after coming off a career year with 27 goals and 28 assits …when Duchene was coming off a year with 18 goals and 23 assits.

      This swap does not make any sense for what teh SENS did in the long term or short term …this along with the Karlsson trade is worse than what gets guys roasted for here when they post trade scenarios

      …absolutely fricken stupid Ownership and Management !!!

      2nd D pairing could have been
      Chabot & Bowers
      with Turris at Center at $6.5 million per and the first round pick still in tact in what is suppose to be one of the deepest draft in NHL History !

      • Agreed that it was a horrible trade. Ottawa basically got nothing for Turris or nothing for Bowers and the picks. I think Duchene is a better player than Turris and he had more term left on his deal at the time of the trade, but that overpayment was ridiculous even if the 1st round pick is 15-20 let alone top 5.

        BTW, Bowers is a forward, not a defenceman.

      • Kal El, Van , George

        Putting aside value rec’d in Turris trade ; if Sens have fair inclination that Duchene won’t re-sign (and at this point IMO the odds lean a little more towards a no than a yes).,, then it’s more likely a TDL move than mid-year trade; and to a contender…. and if so … a Western contender who might need a boost to go deep and who has need/chance of re-signing for term : in no particular order:

        SJ: IMO would be in hunt to go deep … Pavelski gone in summer ??? So long term and short term fit … Meier + 1st + prospect + Mid

        An: IMO … won’t be in hunt … not a t add partner

        LA: if LA in on bids IMO Ottw will be looking at Kempe coming back … this should be a non-starter.

        VGK: Duch would be big diff maker … IMO Eakin flip a move GMGM would like to make: Eakin + prospect + 1st + two 2nds (’20)

        Winn : I think they are set and will be tight to cap… tough to bring in Duch

        StL: currently set at C … tight to cap … prob not

        Nsh: with Turris already there from Ottw … just don’t see them as a trade partner

        Remainder of West …. pics sublet fit but as at now I don’t see any of them as contenders and/or able to make to WCF; so IMO … not likely to be the successful bidders on Duchene

        Again, all speculation now ; but I see a trade at/near TDL a slight bit more probable (as at right now) than an extension

        I can almost guarantee Duchene will not be a Leaf or Pen post TDL …. LOL! 😆

      • Not refuting most of what you say Kal-El … except your contention that Duchene wants to be in the playoffs – so do you really see either Montreal or Detroit as any closer to that than Ottawa?? Sure they have the potential cash and are more willing to spend … but that alone doesn’t make them playoff bound any time soon.

      • Oops single finger typing faux pas

        Not “pics sublet ” but possible


    • Yea, I was thinking the same thing. Thanks Captain Obvious.

      • This comment should’ve fallen under Ed Vanimpe comment.

    • What a great insight….wow breaking news

  2. Koekkoek IMO, would get better return… but who’d be bidding on him right now and what would the return be?

    Fair young player but not a game breaker or serious impact player

    Slim chance of a trade now on virtual eve of season opener.

    • With Schlemko and Weber out for extended periods, would it make sense for MTL to grab Coburn? TB would probably give him away. MTL could let him play, then flip him to a playoff-bound club later in the season. The guy has a ton of playoff experience, and teams are always looking to add D depth at the deadline.

      • Coburn has a NTC no? Might not be willing to go to MTL or Van or Ott

      • DoubleMinor

        That has some merit… I still think return to TBay better with moving Koekkoek

        However , closer look at CapFriendly currently only shows 21 of 23 “up” on big team …. 12-7-2 (Fwd-D-G)

        Very rare ( and not a prudent move) to start year with only 6 D (which they’d have by moving either Coburn or Koekkoek )on 23 man roster. One D sick and/or hurt and they’re pulling from AHL club.

        With that in mind … if they were thinking of moving one of the two … who becomes 7th D on 23 man roster? Foote?

        TBay would need another Fwd on 23 man roster …. so maybe??? that is why they are considering moving one of those 2 D????

        Right now TBay has about $4.1M open for 2 spots. Move Coburn … then have $7.8M for 3 spots; move Koekkoek and just under $5M for 3 spots.

        Strange situation for TBay

      • Tyler Berg: Ottawa doesn’t need Coburn. They have cheaper options that are also as good or better. I’d rather have Chabot, Borowiecki and Lajoie/Harpur on LD than Coburn. They make less combined than Coburn’s salary too.

        If Ottawa could get a legit top 4 LD, than I’m all for it. Coburn isn’t that guy and is overpaid.

    • They could trade him for DF or RM so long as TF and QN live up to their potential on the PP and PK.

    • Pengy;

      I’d love for my Wings to make a move for Koekkoek, they should get some cap relief once season starts.

      A pick could be all Tampa wants back.

      • The En4Sir

        Would be good fit on Det but I really can’t see TBay just wanting a pick back… young up and coming D on reasonable contract and RFA in July.

        If in fact TBay do move Koekkoek … IMO it’s for a young fwd who has had at least a hint of NHL play

        They (TBay) still need 2 more players to round out the 23. At least one will be a fwd and the already sent Katchouk back down.

        No point moving out a young D only to bring in or bring up a young or younger D at relatively same $ level. If they move a D… IMO it would be Coburn (and a return in pick(s) more likely than player return).

        Koekkoek to Det IMO would mean young fwd coming back… thoughts? Suggestions?

      • I agree on them wanting more than just a pick, for Slator.
        Im just thinking re: Salary Cap & taking a salary back isn’t something they want/need, as he won’t be as cheap next year.

        I think the Wings should be inquiring re: what would be needed to get him & get it done.

        I don’t fully believe 90% + of any NHL rumour but this one is interesting as it seems like a move the Wings should be making.

        They need to keep adding young(er) guys to build with & gel together.

      • Hi En4Sir

        With you but feel a Det/TBay trade for Koekkoek would require a young RFA fwd coming back and that young fwd would need to be more valuable now and projected future than Katchouk

        If (big if) above holds… which RFA Fwd should Det offer up?

      • Pengy;

        I’ve been trying to think of a viable trade (on DET) & I don’t know who TB would be looking for.

        Maybe they know they can’t afford Slator going forward, therefore they take a pick or 2.

  3. With the start of the season here i would like to know if there are any web sites that give lineups for each days games in advance.

    • Norm

      I’ve never seen one but with roster (game sheets) usually handed in less than 1 he pre puck drop …. by the time a site would have the info AND post it … likely pick has already dropped

      • Yes- LeftWingLock is pretty reliable re: starting goalie info.

        Does Zadina go back to Halifax (they’re hosting Mem Cup this year)?

        Im taking my son to all the games for Mem cup, first time attending it, so its cool to keep on eye on who may be playing in it.

        RedWings are our team (even tho Canadian) & we lucked out in getting Zadina at the draft, imo…

      • Zadina was assigned to AHL Grand Rapids.

  4. Lyle what’s the hold up with Nick Ritchie? His demand shouldn’t be to high based on 10g and 27pts in 76 games.

    • Ritchie should have a lot more opportunity this year

    • Ducks are playing hardball, simple as that.

  5. I see where Calgary waived Curtis Lazar – that “stud” that Ottawa “stupidly” dealt away for a draft pick, and who was going to become a fixture on the Flames.

    • A pick which Ottawa, incidentally, turned into Alex Formenton

      • Stupid Dorion!

      • Agreed. Formenton looks pretty good right now.

      • I suppose we can call the Duchene and Lazar trade a wash then…

      • Heh. One cancels out the other in terms of dummy moves.

      • Interesting, too, that no one claimed him.

      • lol They drafted him in the first round! You make more trades than anyone in the league and maybe you’ll get one that works out ok. Sun shines on every dogs a$$ once in a while eh? Good to see someone was inspired by between two ferns. Disgusting commentary.

    • Disgusting in what way? Any more “disgusting” than the yahoo who screamed that Ottawa made a huge mistake in dealing him away when he showed no inclination to improve? Still got a chip on that little shoulder eh Arnie?

      • It’s disgusting that someone can defend the decisions by an unscrupulous miser and his puppet. Nevertheless you consistently do it. And he’s going to be one of the biggest criers the next CBA negotiation all the while making millions. His philosophy is he won’t touch his money, so you shouldn’t touch yours. But, you support the dirtbag day after day.

      • Aww got off your personal anti-Melnyk high-horse. He’s the bleeding owner – he can do what he likes. If the fans don’t like it they can stay away. Having said that, he had NOTHING to do with Lazar being dealt. he simply played his way OFF the team by doing consistently nothing. And continued to do that in Calgary to the point where they waived him – and no one claimed him. Seems to underscore Dorion’s decision pretty firmly I’d say. And getting Formenton with that pick was icing on the cake. Don’t like it – lump it?

  6. I could see Sj looking into Duchesne. Thornton only has this season left in San Jose. They will want a replacement. if he blows a knee again they will pay more at the deadline.

  7. Apropos of nothing on today’s subject matter, I was watching the start of a college football game yesterday (I think it was Notre Dame – Stanford) when the commentators mentioned Karlsson now being with the Sharks and how excited that made SJ fans. That had to be a first (for me anyway) hearing a major U.S. football show even mention the NHL.

  8. Just saw on the waiver wire that the Leafs have decided to retain Sparks as their back-up goalie (he probably would have been claimed had he been waived) and instead have placed both McElhinney and Pickard on waivers, along with D-man Carrick. Be interesting to see if any are picked up.

    • They better hope Freddie plays 80 games because sparks isn’t an nhl goalie yet

      • After posting that, and out to run an errand, I heard on radio that the Carrick thing was “premature” by the Leafs and that he was pulled off waivers, either because there was an injury on the Leafs D or because a trade might be in the offing (their speculation – not mine).

        Agree about Andersen – Sparks has promise but McElhinney gave them some good back-up last season.

      • What are you basing that on bb?

      • Your absolute hatred of any Leafs clouds all your posts here.

  9. Hes definitely not an NHL goalie yet but, I think the mind set is as George mentioned…lesfs brass see sparks (a younger ahl goalie who just won a championship)being claimed over an aging possible injury prone goalie. If unclaimed Mc will be Toronto’s backup as he is the better goalie right now. They are taking a chance he is though.

    • How can McElhinney remain the back-up if unclaimed? That would mean keeping 3 goalies up with the big team. Sparks will be subject to waivers any time they try and send him down. I suppose, should Andersen ever get hurt, McElhinney would be called up to replace him until he gets back and Sparks remains the bench back-up – but he’s got to play at some point or else lose his game “edge.”

      • The Leafs had no choice here …

        Sparks has been on the rise in the AHL for 5 seasons now and was AHL Goalie of the year and Calder Cup Winner …they would have lost him to waivers 100% …and then had no quality young back up after this year as most likely McElhinney would not have been resigned for another year past this one…and they would have been out Picard, Sparks and Mac next year…this way they keep the goalie who projects the best long term and can grow….

        WE WILL SEE!
        We may miss the Big Mac by mid season !
        I am a Sparks fan but he needs to get his act together here and fast… as he will face the Hawks on Sunday !! LMAO !!

        The biggest surprise on the Leafs short list is Marincin this is more of a shock to me out of anything…I see more upside in Rosen or Borgman in soo many ways ..and that would be a better signal to up and coming talent in the organization.

        Long term or next year for that matter
        Gardiner will be gone …and replaced by a more shut down guy ( I HOPE )
        Zaitsev is awful !!!

        Liljergen and Sandin will be in the rotation as a pairing and could be a star pairing not to far away from next year!

        Still need to make a deal for a bigger stronger D man in the bottom 2 pairings !

      • George would you rather lose a 35 year old aging asset, whom by the way played rather good as a backup…to a Calder cup winning 25 year old asset that may or may not turn into a starting goaltender?

      • Where did I say it was a mistake? I simply pointed out that they realized there was no way they could sneak Sparks through waivers (Ottawa would have claimed him in a flash and said goodbye to Condon I believe) so McElhinney becomes the odd man out. He only gets called back up (assuming he clears waivers) in the event of an injury to either Andersen or Sparks. But the waiver situation re Sparks doesn’t change now. IF – and I just say that as a possibility – he falters at the NHL level he still has to go through waivers if sent down. That’s all I was saying.

  10. Carrick just traded… Dal… conditional 7th rounder

    • Bingo, so what I pointed out above based on that radio blurb, he was recalled off waivers because Dallas offered that pick.

      • George,

        Yep….basically Sal dump… 7th rounder conditional (conditional on what … not sure).

        Heard on radio coach said he’s glad for him as he’ll get opportunity to play

        In retrospect … if Dall can get him some ice time and he somehow fits regularly in 6 D spot… OK deal for both teams :

        … Leafs sheds Sal on player they weren’t going to use and Dall pay a risk premium of only $450 K (amount over league Min Sal as Torinto already paid $200 K in SB) to get a depth D that may turn into a bottom pairing regular

      • The fact Dallas called and made that offer suggests they felt another team ahead of them in the waiver picking order might have grabbed him off waivers. Not sure where Dallas fit in the 30 orders of pick so it’s hard to speculate who might have taken him.

  11. So as of Wednesday Ritchie & Nylander will be having thier pockets pinched. As an example if you average out what we believe Nylander will get, say as a low point of $6m to 8.5m(he cant get more than that can he?) Which in turn see’s a result of between 70k and as high as 100k minus taxes per game. That’s alot of dough to send down the toilet.

    • FD,

      Concur … wait him out … IMO Leafs prob win first two games … so no rush for first week

      I still think he’s (WW) listening to his dad who played hardball as well.

  12. George. You were on the wagon for a while. This must be one hell of a bender then.

    Skay though. We all like someone to party with.

    • Going through the Scotch before someone puts a bloody tariff on THAT

      • I’m a Daniels man meself.

        George. Hope that’s good scotch. You should never drink a liquor younger than you.

        Uh oh.

      • The best I’d ever had was a few years ago … well, quite a few years ago when in my early 50s when I had ONE shot of Glenfiddich … smoooooth