NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2018

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Rumors | 40 comments

The fallout from the Blackhawks’ firing head coach Joel Quenneville plus the latest on Matt Duchene in your NHL rumor mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: In the aftermath of the Chicago Blackhawks firing Joel Quenneville as head coach, Jared Clinton said the move won’t resolve the lack of depth on their roster.

Salary-cap limitations brought about in part from big contracts for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook led to Teuvo Teravainen, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Artemi Panarin, Vinnie Hinostroza and Jordan Oesterle being moved in cost-cutting trades that saw the Blackhawks get back little in return. Management also made short-sighted deals that cost them a first-round pick in 2015 and 2016, two seconds in 2016 and center Philip Danault.

Unless those underlying issues are addressed, Clinton doesn’t expect the coaching change will improve the Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The majority of fans and pundits believe Quenneville was the scapegoat for general manager Stan Bowman’s mistakes. Quenneville wasn’t totally blameless for the Blackhawks’ decline but he was dealing with a roster being steadily depleted of talent in recent years. If the Blackhawks fail to improve under new bench boss Jeremy Colliton there could be other changes coming.

If Bowman and his staff remain in charge beyond this season they could be forced to consider rebuilding the roster but that won’t be easy to do. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $61 million invested in 14 players for 2018-19, with nearly $50 million invested in just seven players: Toews, Kane, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, and Corey Crawford. All but Saad carry no-trade or no-movement clauses. 

Firing head coach Joel Quenneville won’t fix the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster issues. (Photo via NHL.com)

Clinton also lists the St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings and Seattle’s expansion team as seven potential destinations for Quenneville.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t expect Quenneville to be out of a job for long. Yes, the Kings just hired Willie Desjardins but he’s there on an interim basis so there’s no certainty he’ll survive the season if the Kings fail to improve. I don’t think Oilers coach Todd McLellan is in danger of being fired but that could change if the club falters over the course of this season. The other teams mentioned by Clinton, however, are all viable destinations. 


TSN: In the wake of a secretly-shot video showing Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene and several teammates mocking assistant coach Martin Raymond, Bob McKenzie noted this comes at a time when Duchene’s agent is actively involved in contract talks with Senators GM Pierre Dorion.

While McKenzie said he can’t say if the center will re-sign with the Senators, he indicates there appears to be good faith bargaining on both sides. ” The Senators want him back and he has interest in staying if it’s the right deal. We’ll see how it goes from here.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ottawa Sun reporter Don Brennan pondered what the Uber incident means for Duchene. He wondered if Duchene really believes in the team’s direction, if he wants to stay and if the clubs wants to keep him.

If McKenzie’s report is anything to go by, both sides still seem willing to work out a new contract. Time will tell if this episode has any effect upon those negotiations. 



  1. “Salary-cap limitations brought about in part from big contracts for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook led to Teuvo Teravainen, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Artemi Panarin, Vinnie Hinostroza and Jordan Oesterle being moved in cost-cutting trades that saw the Blackhawks get back little in return.”

    George Santayana once observed that ”
    those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – since paraphrased to the more popularly used ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’

    There are at least 2 teams with recent big contracts under their belt about to face a few more big payouts. Either might well win a cup taking that route – but it will eventually end up the same as Chicago and L.A.’s current situayion.

    • Concur George

      I blame more Bowman on his signings than I do Quenville.

      I would not be suprised if he takes on the new challenge (Seattle).

      will be hard to move some of those contracts; and yes Leafs are moving towards a scenario that they could be Cap straight jacketed in 4-5 years. In the Leafs favour is that this Cap inflexibility will come with many of their core being (then) in their prime… easier to move a big contract if need be.

      This is all the more reason that moving WW now (for D upgrade) would be more beneficial in the long run.

    • Concur George

      I blame Bowman more for the demise. Too many inflexible contracts (NMC and long and big $’s for older players).

      It would not suprise me to see Quenville in Seattle.

      Yes— Leafs in precarious situation and could be very precarious in 4-5 years. The difference is that most of those heavier contracts will be for players (then [4-5 yrs]) that are still in their prime and easier to move.

      All the more reason to move WW for D upgrade now.

      Just saying

      • So Quenville is making what 6M this year? If he lands another role, does he forfeit any of that?

        The big challenge was that they spent their draft picks generously, helloooo Andrew Ladd! We’ll see if the Leafs head in the same direction. I’m really interested in seeing what happens with Marleau – I don’t think he gets traded but I can see him on LTIR and Marner or Kapanen being signed after he is placed there with some mystery injury.

      • @Taz,
        Chicago will be on the hook to make up the difference if he signs for less with a new team. But, if he signs for more than Chicago is off the hook.
        That is the way I understand it anyways.

      • Thanks Kev!
        I would guess that he is going to sit out for a bit and wait for the right opportunity and situation, he’s good enough to get a job whenever he wants

    • Florida surprises me with their record. Coach Q might look at that roster and see he could make it go.

      STL fits too. I do not remember why they let him go there

    • or “study the past” just throwing out there….I have given him credit for “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”…not with any confidence

    • Bowman ushered in the $10M/year contract and he did two of them. What do you expect when you commit over 20% of your cap to two players? Cap it off with Seabrooke and fire your coach. Makes sense.

      • 4th Hansen Brother, you forgot to mention the Stanley Cups they won.

    • And any and all teams would kill for one cup let alone three recent ones. Only team that shouldn’t be jealous of the hawks is the pens.

  2. If you’re talking the Leafs and the Jets I somewhat agree. The big difference is those two teams can develop their talent, and Chicago and L.A. recently have not. Only works if you keep your picks, and hit on them. This practice of trading away 1sts and prospects for rental players is what sinks most of these teams. Only choice is to pay veterans big money contracts or lose them for nothing, a lose lose situation for a GM.

    • DC

      Yep; Yep; and more yep.

      It seems that many GMs pressured into “loading up” in the here and now (trading futures for chance at cup)

      The problem with that is … 31 teams that are very tight … league parody is very close

      Throwing all futures at trying to win a cup might be enough to get you to final 4 but often “miracles” ; “exceptions”; “oddities” or major injuries either prevent a team (that is “all in” so to speak) from winning or create a situation where an unexpected team beats you

      I think the better route to take is develop/build a team that is strong enough to compete deep in playoffs over 5-7 years…. which will give them a shot at maybe 2 cups…. 3 at the very outside

      • Nothing like that old league parody, National Lampoons the NHL.

    • WHAT! Who cares that LA and Chicago will be garbage for a little bit, it’s cyclical, a team can’t be amazing forever!

      I’d easily trade years or another decade of futility if the Leafs won two stanley cups and basically had a shot for at many more for the better part of decade.

      Everyone is so quick to judge LA and Chicago and they certainly made a sacrifice for the short term future, one I would easily and gladly accept as a Leafs fan.

      • This is what it’s all about. (Minus the Leafs and add the Bruins of course).
        Just win baby!

      • Amen brother!

  3. At least L.A. and Chicago rewarded players for winning Stanley Cups. Keith has been a bargain to the point that he must feel he got the shaft .
    Others who have won nothing getting double digit aav hits I believe is a mistake.

    Players mock coach’s and assistants all the time. This occasion happens to be on video. I heard of a Tom Rennie story that he was furious between periods and was trying to break a stick and couldn’t . Ended up kicking a garbage can. When he left the room the players roared and started mimicking him

  4. If Dubas thinks trading Nylander a 22 year old who will be in his prime and only get better over an 8 year contract is worth throwing away for mediocre right handed defensemen I have three words for him:

    Hall. Larsson. Marleau.

    Is that how he wants to go down in history? To erase Edmonton’s spot for the dumbest trade in recent history and take over the spot as the most gullible GM in the NHL?

    Marleau and his 6.25 million no movement clause contract is the real albatross. The let JVR walk for nothing because of Marleau and now they could get back return that can be had with draft picks rather than Nylander.

    Pay Nylander 7 plus. By the 4th or 5th year he could be underpaid.

    Good luck trying to get Matthews and Marner to sign for under 8 now.

    Dubas needs to get rid of aging overpaid useless or underperforming players, get rid of the figure skating buttercup wingers whose last hit was running into their bed frame in the middle of the night to get a cup of chamomile, and deal draft picks for physical, dependable and consistent players.

    It will be 10 years from now before the Leafs will draft a player of Nylanders calibre. He needs to be part of this team now.

    • I don’t think there was ever any discussion of Matthews signing for anything less than Tavares, certainly not $8M/per. Marner will command much more than $8M/per and if he continues lat year’s play, which he is and more, he might push $10M. So thinks McKenzie et al.

      • I love the Tavares signing, but just look at what you just listed – 3 guys making approx. $30M/year between them.

      • 4th Hanson Brother – McDavid $12.5, Draisaitl $8.5 and Lucic $6 and you have 3 Oilers costing $27 mil off the cap. Toss in Nugent-Hopkins and it’s 4 costing $33 mil

    • Frank, that is a passionate rant dude! Agree on the Larsson Hall trade, as strictly one for one but get why PC did it and everyone was cheering his praises as they then made the playoffs for the first time in a decade and NJ continued to stumble. Last year the script flipped and he was a fool. This year Larsson is playing well again (and his D partner Klefbom is healthy) and the Oil look OK, albeit one more injury to there D away from missing playoffs again. He had to address the D, but I agree he overpaid to do it and rushed into because he Lucic in his back pocket. That is where the big mistake was. Pretty sure the Oil would trade Lucic to the Leafs straight up for Marleau.
      If you look at what the Hawks and Kings are going through today with a top heavy line up and no cap flexibility why would you run straight into that by overpaying guys like Nylander? Couple good point producing seasons and plays on a team that has won exactly zero. Promising yes but a first round playoff exit isn’t exactly a sure sign of future glory for this core.
      This is the only time you will have salary leverage in negotiations with the “big 3”. Why wouldn’t Dubas use it?
      I though LL was GM when the Leafs signed Marleau?

      • You are right Ray..I think everyone tends to forget they arent required to pay anything they dont want too..They can sit til they are 27…you can expect this same thing to happen to Marner…all this talk of 10 mill …give me a break..I love the kid but he is a winger.. even if I take a comparable like Patrick Kane- he just signed for 10.5 after how many cups? Kucherov etc.. I would try to lock up Matthews for 8 years bc centres are hard to find but everyone else you play hardball- you have too – just business want to leave Toronto at age 27…as a toronto boy on a team with Mathhws and JT – no problem- but until then we pay you what is FMV..Nylander hasnt come close to David Pastrnak – he shouldbt make his salary..

      • You cannot blame the Hawks for mortgaging their futures trying to win another Cup with the core. The Pens had a few better dice rolls than Chicago or LA.
        Even as a Ranger fan I cannot blame the GMs for trying to put the team over the top during Henrik’s peaks.

    • Frank, one could argue without Marleau the leafs aren’t where they are- he has had a huge impact on the development of those kids and providing example. He isn’t the reason they didn’t sign JVR -reason was he was slow as molasses already and barely played 12 mins a game. Marleau still has wheels and he scored a tonne last year- how is that an albatross..? Maybe he is trying to pay 7 and he wants 8? we don’t know the deal..and maybe all the scouts are watching Kapanens and Browns…just a thought

      • This guy gets it. Besides, Marleau is just over half a point a game, so he’s not exactly “useless”….what he’s teaching the young guys about being an NHL player, plus his knowledge of how to keep physically fit, plus somewhere in the neighbourhood of 50 pts a season isn’t so bad.

      • If say Leafs win Cup this season and Marleau retires before his last season, what is the cap hit?

      • ds: If Marleau retires, the Leafs get his full cap hit next year ($6.25M) because it was a 35+ contract.

    • Hey Frank, where you referring to Edmonton’s Hall Larsen trade or the trade that had Barzel end up in New York?

  5. There is only one (healthy) player on the Blackhawks roster that is worth what he’s being paid, but sure…fire the second winningest coach in NHL history. Makes sense.

    Mike Yeo and Bruce Boudreau are the two guys who should be nervous right now.

    He might actually be able to win with the Blues roster if they find a goalie.

    • Boudreau? He is pretty safe I’d think, Minny is one of the hottest teams in the league.
      Did you mean Carlisle?

    • I think Saad needs a change of scenery and he just happens to be from close to Pittsburgh, it’s time for him to go home. Maybe the Blackhawks could take on Haglen and Hallander and can flip Haglen at the TDL for another asset. Saad is scoring at under 0.5 ppg so it’s not crazy.

  6. They always say it is easier to get rid of a coach than a player. The question is do you want long-term for big money if he says these things behind the staffs back? Big money guys are usually captains. Is he captain material if he is ripping the coach? That isn’t to say he should always agree but he could have brought this up behind closed doors. I would have a tough time signing him seeing after seeing what he did.

  7. a GM provides a coach with slow older players then fires the coach for not coaching the team in the new modern fast way of the NHL…

    LA and Chicago …not far off in terms of a GM spending a lot of money and not getting value back Saint Louis..

  8. There were rumours floating around that coach Q wanted out anyway. I’d say he is relieved to be honest.

  9. did you guys see the uber video of the sens wow duchene and wideman do not like it there

    • Wideman should consider himself lucky he was offered a contract. His job is now in jeopardy thanks to the emergence of Jaros. Duchene will sign an extension in Ottawa.

  10. Would Melnyck pay Quenneville a competitive salary

  11. we should have depth into rumors mill with agent comment and others years to compare.