NHL Rumor Mill – November 26, 2018

by | Nov 26, 2018 | Rumors | 46 comments

A look at the likely trade candidates for the Rangers, Flames, and Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Rick Carpiniello recently listed Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, and Adam McQuaid as the players most likely to be traded by the New York Rangers this season. The trio is eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July and could be shopped by the February trade deadline. Zuccarello might fetch a first-round pick but more likely a second and a prospect.  Hayes could prove expensive for the Rangers to re-sign. His current play could potentially fetch a first-round pick.

Kevin Hayes could become a valuable trade chip for the New York Rangers. (Photo via NHL Images)

Carpiniello also thinks there could be a market for defenseman Marc Staal, provided the Rangers are willing to absorb part of his remaining contract ($5.7 million annually through 2020-21). However, Staal also carries a no-movement clause. The Rangers would also have to eat some salary if they want to move Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes there are two legitimate reasons to trade Hayes which have nothing to do with rebuilding.

The first is if general manager Jeff Gorton doesn’t believe the center is worth the money it would take to keep him off the free-agent market. The second is if Gorton “could acquire either a goal-scoring winger or top-four defenseman under multiple years of contract control who would enhance the Rangers’ chance of contending over the next three or four years, max.”

Unless the Rangers believe they won’t be contenders over the next two or three years, Brooks considers it pointless trading Hayes “for the traditional rental return of a bottom-end first-rounder and a prospect or two.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those potential trade candidates, Hayes has the most value. It could cost the Rangers over $6 million per season on a long-term contract to keep him in the fold. If they don’t believe he’s worth it, they could put him on the trade block before the deadline even if they’re still in playoff contention. The problem, however, is interested clubs could be only willing to part with that traditional rental return, rather than a quality player who can step in and have an immediate effect upon the Rangers’ roster.


THE ATHLETIC: Mike Halford recently listed defensemen Alex Edler and Michael Del Zotto as the Vancouver Canucks’ most likely trade candidates. Both are pending UFAs this season. Of the two, Edler would have the most value. He’d like to stay with the only NHL club he’s ever played for, but the Canucks haven’t opened contract extension talks. He has a full no-trade clause so it’ll be interesting to see how GM Jim Benning handles this. 

Center Brandon Sutter could be another trade candidate. While he has a full no-trade this season, it reverts to a modified NTC next summer. He carries a “digestible” $4.375-million cap hit. Other possible trade candidates could include Chris Tanev, Derrick Pouliot and Erik Gudbranson.

Halford also suggests shopping Jake Virtanen while his stock has increased could be a shrewd “sell high” move. Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, Ben Hutton and Troy Stecher fall under Halford’s “conceivable, but be careful” category. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following a promising October, and despite the best efforts of budding superstar Elias Pettersson, the Canucks have come crashing back to earth in November. If management has no intention of re-signing Edler he might bow to the inevitable and accept a trade. There won’t be as much interest in Del Zotto but a contender could see him as an affordable depth rental.

Once Sutter returns from a shoulder injury, the Canucks might test the market but that move like takes place in the offseason. The Canucks have resisted the temptation to trade Tanev but maybe they decide to move him this season while he still has value. As for shopping Virtanen, his improvement this season could make Benning leery of parting with the 22-year-old forward. 


THE ATHLETIC: Darren Haynes recently suggested defenseman Michael Stone as a possible Calgary Flames trade candidate. As they appear set on the right side with T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic, and Rasmus Andersson, Haynes feels the Flames could try to move the 28-year-old Stone to free up salary-cap space and give him more playing time. With Stone having been scratched several times from the roster and earning $3.5-million annually, there might not be much of a market for his services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A few days after this was published, the Flames placed Stone (blood clot) on injured reserve with no timetable for his return. 

Haynes also noted Sam Bennett’s appeared in trade speculation but the Flames are staying patient in hopes he’ll reach his full potential. While Flames fans unhappy with goalie Mike Smith’s performance would love to see him traded, Haynes pointed out his struggles would make him difficult to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames will stay patient with Bennett and Smith for the remainder of this season. They’ll likely re-evaluate Bennett’s performance at season’s end while Smith will be allowed to depart via free agency in July. 



  1. I mentioned the other day that I felt Rangers more likely to resign. I mentioned Boston as a likely landing spot with a target of either McAvoy or Carlo. Rangers aren’t as deep on right D. (McQuade would be a good thrown in going back to B’s) As mentioned by someone else, Boston unlikely to part with either, but that is the kind of deal Rangers should be looking for. As Brooks said in his article, why trade Hayes for a pick that you hope turns out to be the player Hayes is now? I don’t think Hayes, who has said he wants to stay, will break the bank. 6 mil for 5-6 years should do it. As far as Zuc, I don’t see why he wouldn’t bring back at least a 1st. He’s been Rangers top scorer past couple years. Nash got a 1st last year AND a top D prospect.

    • @Slick. Hayes has never looked better-tough decision now. No way Bruins trade McAvoy unless its for an 80 point guy- Rangers would love McAvoy of course but I see him as untouchable.

      Hayes as 2C is ideal for the Bruins. Not sure they have the pieces left for a deal after the massive payment for Nash

      • No Way the Bruins will trade Mcvoy at any point in the near future …IMO ..he is going to be their next #1 D man if not really all ready as Chara is on the way out and year to year …this guy is as solid as they come at his age…he legit.

    • HUGE miss by the Oilers not being able to be in on any of the 3 players in the Hawks Yotes deal …Oilers sitting on Pulujarvi could have been a nice piece for any of those 3 and most likely would have improved the roster they are sitting on…I had suggested a D Strome to Oilers yesterday to try and reinvigorate the room with the Oilers and McDavid as they need a new direction with younger players.

      Yet Hawks GIVE UP on yet another player they feel they do not want to negotiate with outside of Kane Toews….REALLY WEIRD!

      Boy did Rantta look terrible last night as did the Yotes entire D core !

      Chalk this up to yest another trade that would not pass the smell test here !!

      as Luke Skywalker said …”This is not going to go the way you think it is”

      I am really interested in seeing if Dylan Strome & Alex DeBrincat & Perlini play together…and if that line can grow.

    • @slick62 why do you have such a high value on Hayes? There won’t be a trade of Carlo or Charlie Mac for Hayes. Boston might be a little hesitant to take another shot at one of the Hayes boys.
      You hit the jackpot last season with the trade of Nash, now stop trying to fleece us!

      • I agree that Boston isn’t giving up McAvoy or Carlo for Hayes… but Jimmy and Kevin are VERY different players…

      • Bruins are in a ‘win-now’ mode just not sure they have the assets to get a real upgrade @ 2C

      • Caper…As I said, I think Rangers keep him.. But, if they where to trade that’s the return I’d want from Boston.

  2. Two phone calls I’d make if I were Jim Rutherford.

    Call Winnipeg (who tried to get him at last year’s deadline) and offer Brassard for Vesalainen.

    Call Arizona (who now have Schamltz and Galchenyuk at center) and offer some combination of Rust, Sprong and/or picks for Stepan, if the Yotes eat salary.

    • I don’t think Chevy would go for it now. He needs all the ELC’s he can get. The way Little, Connor and Laine have blended together the 2C spot is Little’s and Connors’ $ value is about to go through the roof. Curious though if you ask Chevy what he’d be willing to give up for Oleksiak. His cap hit is livable.

    • I like Brassard a lot! But Vesalainen is Winnipeg’s #1-2 prospect. And Brassard isn’t fetching that these days.

      • @ Nyr4life

        Would you move Hayes and piece for Kessel and piece.

        Just suggesting as this may be 2 components that these 2 teams are looking for ?

        Kessel comes with more goals and play making and a shorter deal at what Hayes is asking for or market suggests …Gives the Rangers a scoring punch at a manageable contract on shorter term

        ….will give Pitt a younger bigger body to build on that can help take some of the harder aspects of the game and still as upside for Pitt longer term as a player to build upon ( not around )

        If Pitt wants to walkaway at years end so be it …clear some cap in the end result.

        Thoughts ??

      • I like Kessel, but I can’t see this trade going down for a few reasons.

        Kessel is definitely more valuable than Hayes, but not to a rebuilding NY team at this time.

        If Andersson, Chytl , and Howden were more seasoned. This would be a different conversation. But they’re not..
        Keeping Hayes around a few years to allow them to develop makes a lot more sense than having a scoring winger at this point.

        Ny is not ready to complete. Regardless of their recent run, they aren’t there yet. Does Kessel want in on a rebuild at this point of his career? I doubt he does.

        Kreider Hayes Kessel would be a pretty good looking first line, but behind that would be ugly. Especially with Zuccarello more than likely out the door. And none of their young centers ready.

        If Hayes is moved, I believe NY will be looking for young , inexpensive prospects and or picks.

        If Kessel is moved, I can’t imagine he’ll want to spend the final productive years on a rebuilding team.

        I can’t see a deal between these teams this year.

      • @ Nyrforlife

        Ok ..Cheers

        was just suggesting as Kessel only has 3 more years at $6.8 if you sign Hayes at $6 plus its for longer term and than at that point maybe an unmovavble contract if he does not pan out …and if you loose Zuccs…you need goals to come from somewhere ??
        Kessel could be a more of an asset even if traded again than Hayes if need be !

        Where as Pitt might just want to clear the cap …and take on the player for short term if in a loosing season.

        Just a thought…

      • I definitely believe Kessel is the more valuable player. But NYs remaining centers have about 50 games of NHL experience between the 3.

        Hayes at 6 per for 4 years may be a hard contract to move down the line. But he gives them something Kessel can’t…. time.

        By the time Hayes contract becomes a problem (if it does) Lundqvist, Staal, Smith, Belesky, Shattenkirk, etc will all be off the books. And Howden, Chytl, Andersson, etc will be just coming off elcs.
        I don’t see a problem there.

        Ny shouldn’t worry about replacing Zuccarellos production. If they are, or would be, keep him around 2-3 years and let the younger players develop.

        Trading for Kessel now, confuses what they’re trying to accomplish. They shouldn’t believe that they’re a winger away from being competitive today. They should just continue to rebuild and sort out which young players to build around.

    • @ MG

      I am big Stepan fan …

      he is a big time player when things are on the line….he gets timely goals in big games especially in the playoffs …he is being wasted in ARZ…he would definitely be an upgrade and bring a bit more heart and soul as well.

  3. It would be a shame to see Zuccarello go at the same price as Grabner. At that rate, they’d be better off re-signing him to a 2-3 year deal.

    In no way is he hurting this team. I wouldn’t give him away for the sake of making a trade.

  4. I said it recently what is not to like about Perlini.
    Right now I put Strome in the bust category . Good trade for both clubs the way it looks today.

    I guess Nylander signs. It was fun while it lasted.

    • AZ traded a player they picked @ 20th in the ’14 draft for 12th pick in the same draft + a 3rd overall in 2015, brutal. Can’t blame Chayka since he was not the GM for those drafts but man that looks bad on AZ.
      What’s up with the Strome boys a 3rd, Dylan, and 5th, Ryan, overall and neither can establish themselves in the NHL?

    • Seems to be the season for for moving perceived “busts” – first Pearson to Pittsburgh, now Strome to Chicago. Wonder if Koekkoek has turned off his phone in TB?

      • Don’t forget Domi.

      • Oh yeah – how could I forget Max. If the other two turn out as good as him for their new teams, Arizona is going to look awful dumb down the line.

  5. Keep Hayes around on a 4-5 year deal. Don’t give him any ntc/nmc in the deal. Let Andersson develop. Playing 6-7 minutes a night with such superstars as McLeod, Gettinger , Fogarty etc seems like a good idea, but in reality, it’s probably not.

    This team shouldn’t confuse winning now, with rebuilding for the future. Either let the kids take over and let them sink or swim, or let them develop properly. Either way Andersson should be seeing more minutes, Pp, Pk time in Hartford, or in NY.

    Hayes would be a good Seattle expansion pick down the road.

  6. The Kings are in great shape, they have three forwards signed until they are 40 and one guy age 32 with a 10 mill cap it for 5 more seasons. Good job

    • WOW ….Lots going on last 48 hours

      ..Hextall fired as President & GM!

      As I posted on Sunday I really thought the Coach was going to go after the game on Saturday NOT the GM…they have a great amount of cap and have stuck to s system of retainig draft picks and looking to the future !

      This team is underachieving but its the Gm who takes teh fall for NOT FIRING the Coach early enough !

      There is more to this story than meets the eye here …

      no way you fire a Philly legend in Hextall before you try a new coach or make a few deals !

      they have lots of cap to do a lot of things !

      REALLY WEIRD ….that coach has to go !

      • They had a “legend” before in Booby (I didn’t give him cancer … the Flyers are proud to select with their first pick … err, what’s his name again?) Clark

      • @ George “O”

        I dont see what Hextal has done overly wrong other than not addressing the Coaching situation …as I said in my post yesterday Iam not a Nolan Patrick fan and I think they should move him ….but that’s beside the point !

        this team has a great core

        Giroux and Cotourier were in talks about MVP last year Giroux was silent but deadly for points last year…they have an amazing young D core …Konecny was a great little pick up in later first round …They have tried to pick up quaity tenders who have not panned out …not to the wrongful doing as most of the tendies are still quality !

        Other than this coaching has been terrible …they have a really good core of players …weird not to allow Hextall more time here ….just weird …there is more to meets the eye here !

        A serious blow up behind the scenes for sure !

      • You said booby

      • Isn’t that how Yakushev pronounced it after his 2-handed slash on Karlamov’s ankle?

    • Kings fell in love with their core players – something Belichek never did unless your name was Brady. Let someone else overpay them what they have done in the past.

  7. Great move by the flyers to get rid of hextall! The guy is not meant for the gm role, basically did nothing for the organization. Wonder what Ron dull thinks he wore the rose coloured glasses on hextall

    • @ bigbear

      What would you propose Hextal have done differently ??…neither here nor there for me on any personal level,just curious.

      He saved on Cap has really good money to spend.

      Kept 2 of the highest point getters in the NHL Last year instead of moving them as they are the core.

      Drafted Provorov Sanhiem and Myers on D
      (which EVERY TEAM wants or it seems on here )

      Is working on a Simmonds deal who is a crowd favorite and is a good asset and again
      (it seems as every team wants or it seems on here)

      he collected draft picks and started to retool from the minors out and have a budget !

      Outside of poor goal tending and NOT firing the Coach Iam not just not seeing what he did wrong!

      Just throwing it out there ….??

      • Dont bother Kal, he wont respond. Leafs Bruins hextall, it’s a personal thing with him and his other personality bbb.

      • GOOd hockey comment fd(shticky) kal so the team hasn’t been a contender with voracek,giroux Simmonds and has had terrible defense and goaltending but you go and overpay for a one dimensional jvr? And you talk about those young dmen besides Provorov the rest aren’t looking good in the minors let alone the nhl. The flyers need major changes and hextall wasn’t providing that it’s pretty simple

      • While I realize all GMs have made picks at the draft that were later surpassed by much better players – as things turned out – Hextall seems to have a talent for overlooking superior talent since his first draft in 2014 when he took Travis Sanheim with the 17th pick. Taken after him were Alex Tuch (18), Nick Schmaltz (20), David Pasternak (25). Then, with the 48th pick in the 2nd round he took Nicolas Aube-Kubel, while Brandon Montour went 55th.

        In 2025 he took Ivan Provorov 7th overall – a pretty damned good pick – but after him went Zach Werenski (8), Mathew Barzal (1), Tomas Chabot (18), Brock Boeser (23) -and after taking Travis Koneckny with the 24rth pick, Carolina grabbed Sebastien Aho 35th.

        And even though the jury still has to be out on the 2016 draft, he took German Rubtsov 22nd and Pascal Laberge 36th, while Alex DeBrindcat went 39th.

        I know, I know – the history of the draft is replete with similar hindsight – but as I say, his draft seems to have been either based on bad advice from his scouts, or he over-ruled their recommendations. Maybe that was behind the firing.

      • 2015 – not 2025 DAMNED faded script

  8. Back to goaltending in Philly – has to be top of the list there although the next GM will doubtless replace the coach first. And the beat goes on in the N-H-L.

    • They drafted Carter Hart …

      who is one year away and is to be one of the most elite Goalies outside the NHl …not far away..Hextall understand this process..he needed another year and to sort out the Simmonds contract ..IMO

    • Since most GMs prefer to have their own choice for coach in place – not something inherited – he’ll be gone soon enough as well.

      • Alzner on Waivers …LOL

        The irony is how long did John Carlson insulate this guy …and the year they move on from him the Caps win the Cup …Mmmmmm???

  9. I am interested to see how Alzner situation plays out. Assuming he goes unclaimed will the Habs be able to trade him @ 50% cap/salary retained or does he look at a buyout next off season? I have not seen him play this year but can’t imagine he is slower than Schlemko. I watched the Buffalo game last week and Schlemko looked a step behind.

    • Schlemko is coming off an injury and after missing training camp and the first part of the season, he’s playing catch-up in terms of game-pace. Even without his laces tied he’s faster than Alzner.

  10. This is to the Oil Fans, with the team losing to a horrible LA Squad, any chance GMPC put Lucic on waivers and sends him to the AHL for awhile to see if he can find his game and send a message to the team? Watching them play it seems there are bigger issues than coaching and some kind of shakeup is really needed before it’s to late. They have to have someone they can call up who can score as well as ML is at this time, maybe?

    • I’m not an Oiler fan. Lucic has a full NMC until 21-22. In other words… he’s not going anywhere. Certainly not Ahl bound.

  11. An English writer once wrote


    I think some parallel emotion or lack of intellect must be in play around July 1 st. How can an experienced GM…like Bergevin sign Alzner to a 5 year contract one year and 18 months later ….waive the player

    Bergevin isn’t alone.

    Frank wrote about a week ago 10 learning points for a GM. I don’t know if avoiding or being cautious with free agency was one…. But it should have been

  12. I dont understand the argument of holding onto UFA’s that can fetch a strong return package. The Rangers can ship Hayes and Zucc for nice picks and prospects and still sign them in the offseason. Send them to a playoff team with a shot at winning it and they will be thankful. The return package will make the Rangers much stronger in the long term and make them a more attractive landing spot in free agency.