NHL Rumor Mill – November 17, 2018

by | Nov 17, 2018 | Rumors | 33 comments

A look at some possible goalie options for the Calgary Flames and an update on Sam Bennett in your NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: With Calgary Flames starting goaltender Mike Smith struggling (five wins in 13 starts, 3.48 goals-against average and a save percentage of .876) this season, Kent Wilson recently considered the Flames options.

Some trade targets to consider if the Flames are willing to pay could include the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford, the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price, the San Jose Sharks’ Aaron Dell, or either Pekka Rinne or Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Wilson is merely spitballing here. He lists a number of reasons why acquiring any of the aforementioned (cost, risk, no-trade clauses, expensive contracts, etc) would be difficult, if not almost impossible. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday dismissed the notion of Bobrovsky coming to Calgary, citing his no-movement clause.

Despite some trade speculation, the Calgary Flames remain patient with forward Sam Bennett. (Photo via NHL Images)

I don’t see any of those goalies donning a Flames jersey anytime soon. Wilson pretty much acknowledged this, suggesting the Flames’ likely course of action is sticking with Smith and backup David Rittich and perhaps giving the latter more playing time. 

CALGARY SUN: Taking note of Max Domi’s stunning improvement with the Montreal Canadiens this season, Wes Gilbertson wonders if Flames forward Sam Bennett might follow Domi’s lead and finally play up to expectations.

While speculating rival clubs may have expressed interest in Bennett, Gilbertson cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently noting the Flames’ reluctance to trade the under-performing Bennett for fear he’ll blossom into a star elsewhere. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the past couple of years, Bennett surfaced in the rumor mill as a possible trade candidate. I commend Flames’ management for staying patient with him, but as I’ve said before, they’re not going to wait forever. Bennett might not be a trade candidate now but that could change if he shows little signing of improvement over the course of this season. 



  1. This all you have this morning Lyle? You’re slipping lol. After all the Leaf/Nylander now Matthews mess and an exciting, unexpected start to the season for alot of other teams
    maybe a quiet one today, can’t paint a Picasso Everytime you pick up the brush I guess. Been great so far as always keep up the great work.

    • Yesterday we went from trading Matthews for a bunch of who knows what …and today its Price or Bobs for Smith ….LMAO !
      Thanks Athletics.

      Ian any regards in every interview I have heard from the Flames they still believe in Bennett…and the team loves him, not sure they are looking at this kid to be a 30 plus goal scorer but more of a depth guy who can play physical and still maintain a decent cap hit for the quality of the player, watching the Hall of Fame inductions was eye opening,

      St Louis had a mere 4 goals in less than 80 games in 2 seasons and a terrible coach in Ludzik in Tampa before Torts gave him his big break some times its better to give a guy who has this much talent just some time to evolve and stick with the process, he is not hurting the team they have guys who should be carrying the mail more than him, he is still a work in progress and does a good job for the money as a depth player, case in point is Jake Virtanen who has finally come alive with some patience.
      Sometimes making a deal can be bad when you know what you got all ready (Bennett) instead of taking on another project and not knowing!

      However if one team fits this guys mould the Habs would be a great landing spot for Bennett or both for that matter.

      Goalie trades are going to be really hard to do, it seems as if the league has a very big shortage of up and coming Goalie stars we have seen a lot of back ups in the league this year due to injuries and most of them have not been able to translate that into grabbing a spot or even giving second thoughts to keep a guy.
      A lot of quality veteran goalies are getting older and it doesn’t seem to be much depth in replacing them as the league moves forward as much as it does with the smaller faster players coming in changing the game, the goalie depth seems to be stagnant, year after year its the same back ups moving to another city as opposed to a team going to the minors and giving a guy a long hard look at the NHL level.

      • nice post just saying. agree on Bennett. On the goalies I think it is getting harder to play net in today’s NHL.
        Rule changes, sticks, skill level of the young guys entering the league.
        Scoring chances are up and it seems almost everybody can fire it today.
        I think that is why you see the move to draft bigger and bigger tenders.
        They simply cover more of the net as your reflexes simply can’t compete with the speed of the game and the puck.
        Get square, cover as much as you can, hope it hits you.

  2. Bennett for rust. Get er done.

  3. Bennett for Sprong and an exchange of middle round draft picks to Calgary’s favour …maybe.

    In regards to all the banter yesterday….. It is common place for every team to discuss every player in the organization almost every day. Some discussions maybe very short but none the less

    • Talbot for Bennett and Calgary’s second rounder in 2020

      • Jezus

      • Yep and Leaf fans are nuts

      • Trade ya a completely avg 31 year old rental goalie who’s only really been a starter for a couple years and is struggling for a early first round pick in his 3rd year in the league and a second???should go over pretty well in Calgary

      • Max Talbot? Deal!

  4. A post about the Flames. Yeah let’s talk about the Leafs! 🙄

    • well, I see Luke Schenn has been placed on waivers by Anaheim. Perhaps the Leafs might seek to shore up their D by revisiting that fiasco 🙂

      • yeah like jared cowen

      • Maybe the leafs sign another “Jeff Finger”…

  5. Why would the Sharks move Dell when both he and Jones are struggling?

  6. Any team suddenly in the need of goaltending help isn’t going to find much among UFAs still out there. But unless they’re prepared to over-pay for someone’s current goalie or back-up in a trade, or even someone from their farm system, someone from this list might be their only option:

    Kari Lehtonen – 35 y/o 649NHL g/p
    Steve Mason – 30 y/o 476 NHL g/p
    Andreas Lindback – 30 y/o 130 NHL g/p
    Ondrej Pavelec -31 y/o – 398 NHL g/p
    Michael Leighton – 37 y/o 111 NHL g/p

    • For clarity, that should read ” … or even someone from another team’s farm system …”

  7. CGY & EDM may consider a trade sending Bennett to EDM for Puljujarvii . both seem to need a fresh start.

    IF EDM needs D perhaps Puljujarvii to LA for Hagelin & something… and LA retains cap hit for Hags to keep EDM under the cap.

    EDM can use Hags speed along with the newly acquired spooner for McDavid.


  8. If CGY needs goalies, would DET & CGY have something to work out?

    to DET: Smith, Bennett
    to CGY: Howard, Nyqvist

    as a base and perhaps some other players to make sure cap compliance?

    Howard is playing well….DET needs to get younger and cheaper… and they can let Smith walk or trade him at the deadline. Nyqvist and Johnny G might click with their style of play.

    CGY is in win now and DET SHOULD BE in rebuild mode.


  9. perhaps DET & CGY swap goalies?

    Howard and Nyqvist for Smith & Bennett?
    CGY is in win now mode and DET should be retooling

    perhaps swapping Kronwall and Stone which would give more cap room to CGY next year and DET gets a body for next year

    DET can hold as much cap fo Howard, Nyqvist and Kronwall this year.

    Howard is playing well and Nyqvist would look good with Johnny G. Kronwall with limited minutes will be more affective and CGY’s top 4 are already set.

    DET gets a RD for next year and a young underdeveloped player for their retool.


    • Detroit the hottest team in the league right now, should be buyers, not sellers.

  10. Puljujarvi for Zacha would be a better comparable . Bennett has some grit and better speed . I would not trade for either of the above.

  11. You have to wonder if the flyers are going to actually make a smart move? Their goaltending is weak, their hyped young dmen aren’t even close to living up to expectations.. down 5-2 today

    • And they tied it up lol

      • And lost it in OT

  12. Larry Brooks is suggesting Kreider and Skjei for Nylander today….

    And if the deal happened tonight he’d be ripping it apart by Monday!

    • If the NYR make that trade they need to “rebuild” the front office.

  13. I can’t see the flames trading Bennet, his scoring numbers do not look great but man does he play hard and physical. I talked about this in a previous post if the flames make it to the playoffs that will be his break out. He is well suited to the tight checking physical aspect of playoff hockey.

    As for smith, he is the soul reason the flames are not running away with the division. He lets in at least one and many games he lets in 2 very weak goals that a pee wee goalie would stop. I really don’t see the flames trading for a goalie because of the weak market. They will finally let Rittick have the net, he has played extremely well. if Rittick takes over the starters role and plays like he has played the flames will be a very dangerous team

  14. The game against the Canadiens on Thursday was a typical Smith night. The Flames are running the canadiens out of the rink dominating them in every aspect out shooting them 43 to 22 and smith lets in 2 very weak goals, one was a wrister from the top of the face off circle and there was no screen it was a our gift to Montreal.
    Montreal was probably thanking their lucky stars because they had no right winning that game

  15. Sam Bennet is the anti – Nylander.
    Nylander is flashy in the regular season but his soft game does not translate well in the playoffs. Bennet is not Flashy but will be a Stud in the playoffs.

    • So you’re saying you wouldn’t trade Bennett for Nylander?

      • I imagine if you’re watching the battle of Alberta tonight you may see why the Flames probably not giving Bennett awaytime too soon

      • No, I know it sounds crazy to a leaf fan but a team really needs what Bennet brings to the team especially towards the end of the season and definetley in the playoffs you win with guys like Bennet