NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2018

by | Nov 10, 2018 | Rumors | 32 comments

Latest in Jimmy Howard, Kevin Hayes, and Nick Schmaltz in your NHL rumor mill.


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports part of the credit for the Red Wings rebounding from a 0-5-2 start belongs to goaltender Jimmy Howard, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. That’s prompted speculation he might be moved at the trade deadline for a draft pick. Some wonder if the Los Angeles Kings might come calling with starting goalie Jonathan Quick on the sidelines.

Could the Detroit Red Wings re-sign Jimmy Howard? (Photo via NHL Images)

However, the Wings are happy with Howard, who’s happy in Detroit, leading Khan to suggest “the sides are sure to agree on a contract extension this season.” He notes the Wings goaltending prospects are several years away from being NHL-ready and the Wings don’t see any viable options to replace Howard in next summer’s UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports’ James O’Brien questions the logic of the Wings re-signing Howard, suggesting they could end up overpaying to retain him by pointing to their previous overpayments of Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader and inking Jonathan Bernier last summer to a three-year deal worth $3 million per season. He also cited a recent article by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun pointing out such notables as Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky, Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov, Mike Smith, and Cam Talbot could be available. O’Brien feels they should take advantage of other teams’ goalie problems in hopes of getting a solid return akin to what they got last season for Tomas Tatar.

However, sometimes it’s better to go with the devil you know than the devil you don’t. The top options in next summer’s UFA market aren’t really that palatable. Bobrovsky will be massively expensive to sign and probably unwilling to join a rebuilding club, Varlamov has a long injury history, Smith is aging and injury prone and Talbot’s numbers have declined over the last two seasons. Perhaps a decent two-year extension can be worked out between Howard and the Red Wings. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a Wednesday appearance on NBCSN, TSN’s Darren Dreger feels it’s a little early for trade speculation regarding New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes. He points out Hayes, a pending UFA, is playing well for the Rangers right now. ” I would say very early in the New Year we’ll be able to identify those specific teams with interest.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some in the New York media (hello there, Larry Brooks) feel the Rangers shouldn’t wait for the trade deadline to move Hayes or Mats Zuccarello if there’s a decent return to be found now. He suggests keeping them on the roster could block some of their younger players from moving up in the lineup.

But if the Rangers are indeed taking the long view toward rebuilding, it might be best to wait until the New Year when the value for Hayes and Zuccarello could be higher in the trade market. 


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently noted the offensive struggles of Chicago Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz this season. He said the Blackhawks need Schmaltz to be “a productive distributor and goal scorer” if they’re going to give him a long-term contract. Powers cited a league source saying he wasn’t sure if the Blackhawks would invest long-term in Schmaltz. “The source thought the Blackhawks would be better off giving him a bridge deal or even trading him because he hadn’t been consistent enough.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmaltz is behind last season’s 21-goal, 52-point performance (eight points in 15 games) but plenty of time remains in the schedule to regain his form. He’s also only 22 and still has room to grow into the player the Hawks need him to become.

They also hold all the contract leverage as Schmaltz is in the final year of his entry-level contract. If his production is down from last season, they’ll likely give him an affordable two- or three-year contract. Given their salary-cap limitations (over $61 million tied up in 14 players for 2019-20), perhaps they’ll offer Schmaltz a bridge deal regardless of performance with the promise of a bigger deal down the road.

As for trading him, I don’t think that’s something the Blackhawks will consider. This is a team that needs younger talent on their roster. Dealing away Schmaltz doesn’t make sense unless they’re getting good long-term value in return. 



  1. Reports are that a sprong trade is imminent… wtf do the pens think they get for him that would help?

    • Matt Hunwick?

      • Double Minor ….. Blasphemy …. no soup for you!!!!!

    • Jonathan Ericsson? Ok, so unrealistic but you guys did take Sheahan off our hands, btw, has he scored yet? 🙂

      • Not yet … but he has a very impressive mustache going on …

    • Chrisms

      I’m begging GMJR not to move on Sprong now. He needs to be played with higher skilled players. Production is well below what he CAN contribute due to how they have played him (just as they did with Pouliot…. and remover poor return there and he is doing fantastic in Van)

      At this point in time the return will be small ….and a wasted and painful (down the road when Sprong performs well elsewhere) trade

      The return for Sprong right now would be the same as what they’d get for JJ … but they’d free up more $’s by moving JJ and I’m confident they wouldn’t regret the trade down the road …. I certainly wouldn’t…👍😉

      • Ahhhh not “remover ” … should have been remember … auto-correct and single finger typing on iPhone … ahhhh!

      • I would bump Sprong up to top 9 and drop Rust down to the 4th line before trading him … the problem is the injury prone malingerer Brassard … Sens knew what they were doing when they unloaded that slug …

      • You’d have to pay to unload Jj. If he had a reasonable term maybe not but 5 years?

      • Sprong has more points than either Rust or Haglen and he got them playing a lot less minutes. Sullivan needs to get his head out of his rear and play the kid. I always advocated for them to play Pouliot and stop diking him around and that trade bit them on the rear. Depending on the lack of NHL return(Andray Pedan) they get this time and Sprongs gifted offensive abilities this could be Marcus Naslund all over again. If Rutherford gets nothing for Sprong, like he will at this point, it’s time for him to go. He’s got no one to complain about but himself. He had 2 horrible offseasons in a row that even the most casual fan could see were going to end in disaster and, to the surprise of just Rutherford, disasters they were.

      • Chrisms

        Re : “You’d have to pay to unload Jj. “…. if you’re starting a drive to raise funds for this … please advise where to send the dough …. Quill poised and chequebook is in hand 🍺👍

      • Jack Johnson is not going to get traded for 3 seasons, if at all. There is more to that signing than just a normal UFA.

    • derrick poulliot

  2. Hey Lyle, Varlamov is still with the Avs

  3. Hayes can’t be signed until after January 1st, so I don’t see a trade before then.

  4. Hayes can’t be signed until new year. Don’t see him getting traded before then.

    • Sorry for double comment. Thought it didn’t go through.

      • Slick62

        The same thing happened to me yesterday or the day before … hit send and then gone ; re-typed, send …. two posts show

  5. It seems a bit premature to push the panic button in Pittsburgh. Back to back cups and a game 7 loss last year to the eventual Stanley Cup winners with a bit of a slow start is not a reason to fret. Just my opinion.

  6. I wouldn’t worry to much if I were a Penguin fan. Too much talent not to make the playoffs and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a long run. They will win like 8 of their next 10 and be back on top.

    • Penguins beat out Florida by 4 points last year. Nothing guaremteed

  7. Rutherford is limited to the money coming back from a Sprong deal. It would have to be a similar type player -no ? All of which won’t help this year. Puljujarvi Greenway Kempe Necas . Right now he is a suspect not a prospect NHLer. Part of a bigger deal maybe ?

  8. I understand the options for goalies are not vast for DET, but why sign Howard again?
    You have Bernier making $3M a year for an additional 2 years after this one. Make Bernier start and work on a more affordable depth goalie.

    They can use the extra cap space to round out their D (with Kronwall becoming an UFA) and the rest of their roster.

    Should even try to convince Daley to waive his NTC and a playoff contender to take Daley this season, along with Kronwall , Ericsson and Nyquist

    Perhaps Sprong /Hagelin to Det for Nyquist. Then flip Hags if possible for a pick.

    • Howard’s play has been superb this year. Put him on a team with a good “D”, and he would be a league leader. I have no problem if they sign him for 2 years, $7M max, and wait for some of our goalie prospects to develop and step up. Daly’s NTC expires 10 days before the next trade deadline in 2019. I believe he will be dealt. I don’t think I want anyone from the Pens except draft pics.

  9. Isn’t this somewhat the same scenario as last year. They(Pens) did have a bad stretch and then put it all together. Fans should not be getting thier nickers in a bundle.

  10. I agree with Crosby’s #1 fan. It doesn’t make sense to have two aging veteran goaltenders on a non contender team when they can develop a prospect in a backup role. Detroit is up against the cap and needs to shed their bad contracts before they can move forward as an organization and that starts with the aforementioned Kronwall, Helm, Howard, etc.

  11. I’ve got an honest question. Why is it that, when discussing potential UFAs such as Kevin Hayes, so many pundits suggest waiting until near the trade deadline so their value will be higher, but when it comes to Bobrovsky and Panarin, most of those same pundits say that their value will be lower the closer we get to the trade deadline?

  12. Heck if I were Holland, I’d call TML and see what need they have from my roster for Nylander. Only untouchables I would take off the table are Larkin, Mantha, Zadina & Anthanasiou (bc of cap control). Everyone else is good to talk and consider.

    Does Babs want Abdelkader & Green for Nylander plus?

    • Lol, no we don’t want AbdelKader and green for nylander PLUS.
      Also no interest in mantha or AA.

      Not to mention Green refused to be traded to TML last year

      • That is patently untrue.

  13. Leafs hand Detroit Nylander for anyone other than Larkin and they are fools. Nylander either signs in the next two weeks or is traded to the Kings: Doughty is on the table, leafs need to add pick and young prospect but I think kings ready to rebuild

    • Since when is Doughty on the table?