NHL Rumor Mill – October 8, 2018

by | Oct 8, 2018 | Rumors | 72 comments

Latest on the Wild and Bruins in your NHL rumor mill.


STARTRIBUNE.COM: Sarah McLellan recently reported the Minnesota Wild’s veteran core (Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal, Devan Dubnyk, Nino Niederreiter and Matt Dumba) all realize changes could be coming if they once again fall short in the playoffs.

The Minnesota Wild’s veteran core, including Eric Staal, could be shaken up if they fall short in the playoffs this season. (Photo via NHL Images)

The Wild made the postseason in each of the past six seasons but advanced beyond the opening round just twice. Paul Fenton took over this spring as general manager. He has no timetable to start tinkering with the lineup, in part because he hasn’t made a final assessment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fenton did the right thing by not coming in and making a clean sweep of things this summer. Best to evaluate what you’ve got before deciding what changes must be made.

Two games into this season, the Wild haven’t had much jump or urgency in their game. There’s plenty of time, of course, to correct that problem. If it persists, to the point where their playoff hopes are in jeopardy, Fenton could be forced to make moves earlier than expected.

If Fenton does shake things up, either this season or next summer, it could involve younger players such as Brodin, Dumba, Zucker, Coyle or Niederreiter. All were mentioned in trade speculation last season.

Dumba and Zucker were re-signed by Fenton this summer so they’re less likely to move than the others. Still, it’s possible Fenton could entertain offers for either guy if a big shakeup is required. 

Staal is due to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. If he and Fenton cannot hammer out a new contract before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline, he could become a useful bargaining chip. 

Parise and Suter are well into their 30s and carry lengthy, expensive contracts that will be tough to move. Koivu has another year left on his deal but age (35) and declining production could hurt his trade value. Dubnyk has three years left on his deal. Given the lack of quality starting goalies available and his affordable $4.33-million cap hit I doubt he gets moved. 


BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports the Boston Bruins will move David Backes into their third-line center position as they attempt to address the offseason departure of Riley Nash. They’ve tried youngsters such as Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson but they weren’t yet ready for that role. They also tried Sean Kuraly in that spot but he seems better suited on the fourth line. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade rumor but it is a situation that could bear watching. If Backes is a short-term solution and their younger centers aren’t yet ready for the role, GM Don Sweeney could be forced to test the trade market for help. He’ll also likely keep his eye on the waiver wire. Free-agent options are pretty slim



  1. Bruins better be in the market, Backes is fragile …

    • Could use Seguin,Vatrano or Spooner at center if not traded.
      Haven’t really given the young guys a chance only in preseason.
      Give JFK or Frederick 5-6 real games to see.

      • Don’t forget about Carl Soderberg…

      • Soderberg wasn’t traded he wasn’t resigned due to cap space.

    • If Iam Boston …Id give Mark Letestu a call …he would fit in real well and can play bot PK and PP amnd is really decent on the draws and is always responsible defensively.
      3rd line 3th line minute eating guy who can be relied on at a minimal cost.
      Wont have to give up anything to add as opposed to a trade
      Thats my 2 cents …anyways..just sayin

      • Letetstu signed with Columbus

  2. This seems like as good a time as any to reiterate that the Leafs should trade Nylander for a Dman and use Kasperi Kapanen to fill his role.

    • MG

      This time ; yesterday; two months ago; tommorrow ; next week… ALL good times to mention that…..

      YES YES YES …. and more yes

      …. see my post on Morning Coffee …. D upgrade an absolute must. With hold out WW and the massive cap problems he could cause down the road …. yes trading WW for D upgrade is opportune

      The problem (right now) is lack of trading partners . Time was right in early July. So very few teams right now , (1) with space; (2) with need for a WW type; (3) willing to pay him what he’s holding out for ; (4) not in Atl Div ; and most importantly (5) with viable D [upgrade] to offer up in trade.

      Leafs don’t “HAVE” to trade now and certainly are NOT in situation that they HAVE to sign WW right away.

      I’m guessing status quo for the next little while.

      As I mentioned before … it would not hurt KD to call up Dotchkin’s Agent to see if he’s dropped the weight… outside of his appeal (which may net him $’s but won’t see him back on TBay); he’ll likely end up on some other team this year at league min. just to prove himself for a good UFA deal in Jul.

      Dotchkin at 20lbs over should still be much better than Marincin or our new Russian D-man

      …. things must change by TDL…

      • I didn’t have a name for that D man off the top of my head so I looked around on CapFriendly…

        It’s pretty much Nylander for Dumba or nothing. The other D aren’t good enough to trade Nylander for and the ones who are good enough aren’t getting moved, period.

        Maybe dangle Nylander and a 1st for Ryan Ellis. Poile probably says no.

        Realistically, the best the Leafs might be able to hope for is a Canuck crash and then renting BOTH Edler and Tanev. Go the 2006 Hurricanes route.

      • @ MG …I hear ya on your take …thats pretty much what Ive come up with as well…in a round about way…

        Dumba for sure is possible …Ellis is not woth Nylander but if there is a GM that would make a serious in season trade its Poille but Id need more for Nylander than Ellis …Id do Nylander and another minor piece for Ellis and Arvidsson.

        If I am talking with the Canucks ..Id like to get Gudbranson in that deal instead of Tanev.

        But in everything in what your saying is legit …its a really hard deal to make and it has to be done right ..you have to get someone that you can control $$$ and you know will not flop and is consistent…you can not make a deal with Nylander and just HOPE that the guy works out ..he has to be a legit shutdown guy….can not make a trade for the sake of the trade

      • Kal El: It would be much more than a minor piece added to Nylander to get Ellis and Arvidsson.

        I wouldn’t trade Arvidsson for Nylander if I’m Poile given the contract statuses. Same point production, but Arvidsson is at $4.25M/year for 5 more years after this season. What was Arvidsson and his agent thinking? Another masterful contract by Poole.

      • So, the topic today is Minnesota’s core and Boston’s third centre. Could we stay on topic and quit going around and around the Nylander carousel – boring is not a strong enough word to describe it.

      • Who’s ( WW)

    • Since we’re reiterating the “trade Nylander now” solution to the Leafs D, I’ll repeat what I’ve been saying, and this is that the other 30 GMs also no doubt see the hard stance taken by he and his agent on that $8 mil – long-term demand. So why would any of them give up anything of any consequence only to see themselves saddled with the same headache? It seems the Dubas/Shanahan tandem might have to resort to a sign-and-trade – sans No Movement clause – and then hope they can find a taker at whatever deal is reached. Yesterday, Pengy countered by saying another option would be to negotiate with an interested party and, assuming a tentative deal could be reached, allow that other team to try and work out a mutually satisfactory arrangement. The problem with that approach is, it could take ages if Nylander doesn’t like the new location and is not interested in signing there long term.

      • @ George ” O ”

        I hear you on what your saying for sure and good comments…I think some teams are desperate to get youth goal scoring and speed into there roster ASAP if they have the money and room …Cap is going up if its $7 million or $8 million no difference at that point ..Nylander will sign where he is traded too or will be shunned by the rest of the league and end up in Eurpoe for life .

        ..Iam not so sure that the Leafs give Nylander and his agent that much control over the situation…it would be just as satisfactory of Dubas to trade Nylander for what he wants and sells his rights ..the next Team still has and own Nylanders rights …that TEAM would not make the deal if they all ready knew that they wont pay Nylander the $8 million …IMO …if that seems to be the only sticking point!

      • Kal-El … “if that seems to be the only sticking point!”

        Just part of it, the other being giving up anything of any consequence to have the pleasure of dealing with that problem.

      • @ George O

        Was only thinking that if the team that trades for Nylander …TRADES for him they are all ready set on signing him at the asking of $8 million per …If Nylander does not sign because he does not like the team…I truly think he would be ostracized in the league…and would be very difficult to move there after and would have no option other than to sign or play in Europe thus burning 2 NHL seasons…and then some maybe …never being able to sign a quality deal there after !

        Just my thought on that ..not sure ..

      • Dany Heatley did that to Ottawa after DEMANDING a trade just 1 year into a 6-year deal – refused the one made to Edmonton and then eventually went to San Jose (taking $4 mil of bonus money paid up front by Melnyk for results never attained). Some pklayers are just pr*&ks

  3. @ Pengy

    I would not touch Dotchkins with a 10 foot pole …he has issues and is NOT a Babcock player… AT ALL…Leafs have better depth in the minors that are PROs…

    Been saying all along regardless of Nylanders quality as a player no team is going to give up a top 2-3 D man for him because they need them as well…and no one to replace with in there own system not to mention how they will fit him into the cap after signing …this is a VERY DIFFICULT trade to make and one that you have to get right …Leafs not in the driver seat on the trade its almost like a UFA status.
    I don’t think it can be a one for one deal it will have to be a broader deal to get what the Leafs need…. if at all.

    I don’t see it?? where??? or for who???
    Ive spent the past month and a half scouring all the possibilities of trades and cap implications for both of the teams ..its just not out there for a D man!

    # Gardiner and Zaitsev are TERRIBLE!!!

    If its TRUE that the Ottawa Senators, Ducks, Canucks and Islanders all made SUBSTANTIAL trade offers for William Nylander Id only talk with the Ducks and Canucks …

    • The Ducks have serious issues with Kesler Perry & Eaves and Getzlaf is getting up there …this is s a team that could be the team that needs to inject some youth and goal scoring and could sacrifice a Montour or Manson with a Ritchie to get it done.
      They have some new cap room moving Perry to LTIR as he will be out for 5 – 6 months !

      Plus you bury Nylander out West !!

      • I don’t think the ducks would be adding anything if they’re giving up montour or Manson especially how Nylander wants a big payday. It would probably be Nylander plus for one of those 2

      • @ Big bear

        I dont think so …

        a Manosn or Montour plus a Ritchie for Nylander is more like it …

        maybe add in a quality depth D man as well from the Leafs minor league system with a low cap hit to be worked into the fold.

        the Ducks have some serious aging and injury issues …up front they are a year away from a rebuild… IMO if not this off season!

        They need to get young and fast upfront ASAP …that the new NHL …they have way to many old injury lagged guys !

        Kesler and Perry are in serious trouble with the injuries they have had and are possibly looking in the rear view mirror of their career and still have a tone of cap in both players….too slow for today’s NHL

      • I think we have to keep in mind the Hall for Larsson trade here. Whatever GM is looking to trade for Nylander would, I think, be pointing to that trade.

        Hall is a better player than Nylander, and while Larsson is a solid defenseman he is no superstar. Usually there is some value in trading for a younger player because they are more cost controlled, but this is not the case with Nylander.

        IMO if TOR trades Nylander for a defenseman right now, it would be for a lesser d-man than Larsson, especially given the holdout and contract demands of Nylander.

      • You should be able to fetch 2 Nylanders for a Defenseman like Ellis or Matty Dumba.
        I believe you are overvaluing Nylander.

      • I agree shorepark.
        Poile is a guy that has done amazing work with the cap / contracts. I can’t see him giving up Ellis (signed for this year and 8 more @ 2.50 this year, 6.25 for the following 8 for a guy that’s seeking 8 per.

        Ellis is a top pairing guy. You’re definitely not prying him out of Nashville for Nylander straight up. I’d say you’d have a better chance prying Josi who’s 2 years away from UFA status from Poile….. but again, not for just Nylander and his asking price.

      • No way Manson or montour straight up for Nylander! The leafs would definitely have to add, Nylander and his dad will be a headache to deal with. If Nylander is traded the leafs are dealing from weakness because of the situation plus Nylander is a very soft player and IMO won’t ever be good in the playoffs just like his dad

      • Ducks watch their pennies – they won’t be trading for a guy wanting $8M. And they would not be tossing Ritchie in with Manson or Montour either.

      • hey ny. my apologies for last nights unnecessarily rude comment. Got irritated with people throwing barbs at someone who isn’t even around to defend themselves and went a little over the top. might have been in my cups a bit too…

      • It’s all good Chrism.

        I was fresh from a golf tournament and a bar afterwards… I may not have been in a good posting place …

        Too many 🍺….


    • Hi Kal El

      Correct … I’m in same boat …, been scratchin’ the old noggin for plausible moves to upgrade D since SCF in June. There were opportunities in July but yikes … Shut The Front Door right now.

      Yes Dotchkin may have some issues but I’d move on him in a heartbeat as no matter what he’s way way better than Marincin and the Wizard of Oz.

      Upside … he would definitely be an upgrade on the above; he’d come in at League min. ; has everything to prove as he’ll be UFA in July …. and the beauty of it is that he can be waived if things fall apart … Leafs have absolutely no budget and/or cap concerns today

      Yes re 1 for 1 deal (WW for D).., not out there.

      We’d not be getting a top 3 D back anyway.

      An upgrade in 4D or 5D still would make a diff

      Don’t see opp with Ottw

      Re Ducks … fit there now with top Fwds on LTIR… I posted before shot in the dark/way out there proposal before:

      WW + Gardner for Richie + Montour … balancing picks to work out the nitty gritty

      Ducks have space now and need scoring . They have hold out, Leafs have hold out. Ducks gain in fwd (WW over Richie …. note Leafs don’t NEED WW) and in D points (this year only) but Leafs get young D that is on rise and will be top four next year for Leafs and is an upgrade from a more sold D perspective. Leafs save in out years on Cap

      … happening …. sincerely doubt it

      Van … yes they are in the youth/change movement … and WW would fit in well.

      This is tougher…. and a huge pie in the sky guess … WW + Wizard of Oz for Pouliot , Hutton , 1st. Doubt Van would bite. Use 1st in package at TDL for vet D with at least 1 year left

      ….just not much out there

      • @ Pengy

        Some of the Ducks proposals could be legit for sure …I think if the leafs made a broader deal for Ritchie and Manson this would be a quality upgrade and control costs long term and they get a bigger winger in the deal as well who can score and has net presence which has been an issue on this team from what ive seen this year also !

        This could end up being the deal 🙂
        …and I like the fact that the Leafs can bury Nylander out West !

        With Perry out 5 – 6 moths it gives reasonable time for Murray to move money around and pay Nylander what he wants and fits in with a youth movement that the Ducks are desperate for.

        Sounds good from here …LMFA.
        Gotta love being an arm chair GM… lol

      • @ Double minor

        If there is a poster boy trade scenario to stay away from …its the Hall for Larson trade ….

        possibly the worst trade in NHL history ….Dubas is wayyyy to smart for that!

        Not even a thought process by this Leaf GM to emulate that deal…plus Nylander is an RFA and he holds his rights.

        Hall was a salary dump from the Oilers because Ciarelli gave too much money to Lucic …LMFA…
        worst trade EVER …
        even before Hall had his stellar year last year !

      • Kal El
        Your suggesting the hall larsson trade is the worst in nhl history .
        And in another post ready to trade nylander (who has better seasons than hall did at same ages, prior to trade ) for gudbranson (who isn’t as good as larsson or locked up as long at point of trade )
        Lucic was signed at the same time as trade not a reason for a salary dump . Halls own admission that he didn’t want coaching or to talk to coaches might have played a role, it isn’t Edmonton making these claims after trade , it was Taylor himself .
        But your proposing a very similar if not worse trade ..

      • @ Craig

        I do see your point…I have more to say on this but do not have the time now.

        But you have a point yes…you are correct in what your saying.

      • Kal El

        Re : Manson + Ritchie … yes Manson s bit better than Montour …not leaps and bounds but better… I was just trying to avoid being greedy in deal

        If (big if) they could persuade An to give up Manson then my trade with balancing pics would need Leafs giving up the plus side in picks:

        WW+Gardner + 2nd rounder


        Ritchie + Manson + 4th or 5th rounder


        WW+Gardner + Bracco


        Ritchie + Manson + 6th

        Long shot at best on either trade

    • Canucks ….imagine Nylander besides Elias Peterson for 10 years…that should be tempting…would seem an unusual opportunity for Benning …but what comes back

      • @ Old Blue Dog

        GREAT CALL… Blue Dog !!!

        That is exactly what Benning is thinking….and needs.

        Would need Gudbranson and a piece for that deal…and a player not named Olli Juolevi….he is a give away machine and way too soft …no projects here please!

        Still like the Ducks Ritchie and Manson suggestion better …LOL

      • Old Blue Dog

        Van would do very well with those two together… and yes Gudbranson should be a key piece coming back….. just not sure if Van would offer up the extra pluses needed in the deal?

      • Seriously guys, we don’t need Gudbranson. The guy is a tw*t.
        Not sure how you consider him a top 4 guy.

  4. @ Pengy

    Just a quick note again on Dotchkins ….

    Babcock has NO TIME for projects !!

    Aint going to happen Babcock likes guys who treat the NHL like a sanctuary and want to be the best PRO …it aint Dotchkins trust me!!

    Its Cup or bust …no time for projects !

    Id rather inject Holl Borgman Liljergen or Rosen at that point instead!

    • Kal El

      Right you are … Babcock wouldn’t want to. I’d make the move in a heartbeat …as there is room for big upside and the only gamble is $650 K(Leafs loaded in cash) as they can waive him at any time

      Since it’s my idea … not happening

    • Jake Dotchkin isn’t worth the time of day.
      If he was he’d be in TB right now.
      Lots of character issues with the youngster.
      Enough in fact, that TB weighed the pros and cons and decided that it was an excellent opportunity to cut bait.

      • ShoreOrrPark and Kal El

        Yep Yep Yep… Leafs will not move on Dotchkin and yep … issues

        I’d do it if I was GM … I’m not …. so not happening

        I truly believe that someone will take the gamble at League Min and will likely be rewarded at better value than League Min …. he’s had his wake-up call …. if he quickly drops the weight, re-asses … he could put full energy in this year for a fair UFA contract in July… with the gamble … some team should take it

  5. Lyle….I have a question….the Leafs sign Nylander with a huge signing bonus ($15 million) say Oct 15…then trade him Oct 20 new team doesn ‘t pay bonus….is that legit under CBA…is it breaking the Cap rules..thanks in advance

    • @ Blue Dog

      GREAT Question !!

      If it is plausible to do that work around than you could ask for more back as well…in the deal that is,as per player.

      What a great question…what is that time frame on paying out signing bonuses and a trade ….because that is a really quality work around in a deal where money is part of the trade scenario which is frowned upon!

    • Interesting idea…a cash poor team would love to trade for a guy whose cap hit is much higher than his paycheck.

      What about something like…

      William Nylander to Columbus for Josh Anderson and David Savard?

    • In theory, I suppose it’s possible. I’ve done a quick search in the CBA and I didn’t see anything against it, though that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

      I don’t think it’ll fly with NHL HQ, especially if it’s determined that the signing bonus was arranged in order to set up a trade soon afterward with another club. That would be very close to cap circumvention.

    • I would think any team making a deal for him on Oct 20 would know the full details of the signed contract … and a contract of is a contract – to be honoured regardless of the recipient’s position on such things. That’d be like a record company buying the contract of a Rapper and then trying to force the artist to sing only the music THEY promote – like Folk! 🙂

      • Every contract still must meet league approval. Just ask Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils.

      • Oh I agree. Just that only a real dumb GM would take on anyone in a trade until all the details are finalized.

  6. Nylander won’t be traded and he’ll sign with Toronto before the Dec 1st deadline and it will not be for $8m per

    Boston doesn’t need any outside help for 3rd line C. Backes should be fine in this role and if he isn’t; Sweeney will evaluate how JFK and Federic are playing in Providence.

    • Caper

      I think the odds in that (WW signed pre 1/12 at less than $8M) are pretty high

      As you can see here all of us struggling to find a workable trade and odds of letting him go past 1/12 w/o anything this year … very slim.

      It better be for <$7M and better be a bridge …. or all hell will break loose

    • That’s alotta money for an aging, 3rd line center. Bad signing, Moore too

    • And then they have an unhappy camper in their midst who’ll play the rest of the season wondering what Marner and Matthews were going to get when they come due in the summer. If he really was willing to sign for that much less than what he thinks he’s worth, he’d be there now.

      • Hi George

        I just think he’s mistakenly listening to his Dad…. reality will hopefully set in and he’ll sign a bridge …. triple fingers and toes crossed

  7. Lyle, did you block Striker?

    • Nah. Lyle woudn’t do that or a few more of us would be gone

      • Striker didn’t do anything to get blocked.

      • no doubt

    • Striker’s striking.

      • Regardless of any of the suggestions we all talk about the REAL issues are …that the Leafs CAN NOT afford Nylander at $8 million and keep (sign) the top 6 and improve on D all at the same time as well…

        there has to be a sacrificial lamb here for money and positional need and it seems that the unfortunate timing of this is now.
        After all the debates and scenarios discussed ..the Ducks seem to be the best option and they have the needs as well for offense with the injuries they have ..even if they get rid of one of the 4 quality D man they have they will survive and they need younger offense upfront …it is a need for need !


      • Kal El

        Completely with you

        I’d trade; you’d trade; seems many here would trade…. Unfortunately I’m struggling in my confidence that KD (1) would/will trade; (2) can get a workable trade done ; and most importantly (3) makes S freadr that upgrades the D

        I have all fingers and toes crossed

        Old Blue Dog

        Re contract, huge SB , then trade … great idea for us armchair GMs… but as Lyle pointed out … no deal is s deal until League says it’s a deal … and I’m pretty dang sure League would see through the ruse and not allow it… love the idea tho!!! GMKD just may have to think way outside the box on this one… only time will tell

      • Friggin single finger typing

        “makes S freadr that upgrades the D”

        Should have read “makes a trade that….”


      • snicker to that one

  8. Nylander to a contender would not make sense….Nashville would not overpay a 2nd line forward what Willie wants.

    Isles… Devils… Vancouver…

  9. watched the wild vs avs game last thursday….while i fully realize it was just one game the avs were skating circles around the wild…..they were not engaged and looked slow

    • Hey, a comment about Minnesota! Way to go, and how about that Backes move, eh?

      • BCLeaffan

        Did you watch the back to back Canuck Flames games?
        I have to say Vancouver has an unbelievable player in Elias Pettersson.
        That kid who looks like a string bean looked dominating at times. If Vancouver stumbles bad this year and ends up with Jack Hughes next year they could be a very tough team to play against. Benning just has to be careful with doling out big long term contracts so he doesn’t get into the problems Edmonton and now Toronto are going through.

      • He definitely should play 3C for the duration of the season.
        He plays a heavy game which complements Bjork and Heiny quite well.
        Grzzzz and Moore makes it real tough to put pucks behind them with their top end skating abilities.
        Rask is the weak spot imo.

  10. Signing Taveras has put the leafs in a bit of a pickle and the other GM’s know it. Mathews will get 12 million plus, if Marner has a kick ass year will want 9-10 million. No one is going to give the leafs anything close to fair value for Nylander. They may have to sign Nylander and trade Marner for a top defenceman. I know all the leaf fans on this board will howel about that, but as I said the other GM’s will be throwing anchors to Dubas not life jackets. PC was in the same boat in Edmonton when he had McDavid and Draisitle plus he a porous defence that he couldn’t win with. The other GMs knew he was hooped so they would not give him fair value for any of his stars. Toronto will be looking into Edmonton,s mirror and finding out there is no way they can get fair value for any of their stars and they cannot win with their defense. Then to add insult to injury Gardiner may want 6-7 million next year.
    I have listened to leaf fans always talking about going after all the top free agents, we’ll be careful what you wish for in the salary cap age, now that you finally have some stars of your own paying big bucks for a free agent may come back and bite you in the arse.

    • Looking forward to seeing Pettersson, FlameFan, he sounds like a great young player. We moved from BC back to Ontario this summer and as a result no Canucks games so far. We’re in the Sabres region though and I plan to take in plenty of their games. They might be the most improved team by years end.

  11. “the cap is going up”

    I hear this all the time, yes, it’s true the cap goes up but you can’t just throw around crazy money at average players like Trouba for example, that clown wants big time D man money and he can’t even score. Sure the cap is going up but you can’t just pay anyone any amount of money…Sure just give Nylander 9 million, Matthews league max, Marner 12 million. Cap goes up but there still is a cap and you need to fit contracts under the cap.