NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2018

by | Dec 14, 2018 | Rumors | 61 comments

The latest on the Leafs, Hurricanes, Blues, Kings, and Flyers in your NHL rumor mill.

Having failed to land William Nylander, could the Carolina Hurricanes shift their focus toward Kasperi Kapanen? (Photo via NHL Images)


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports it’s his understanding the Carolina Hurricanes had a trade with a Western Conference club fall through last week at the 11th hour. They’re believed in the market for a top-six forward and had interest in Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander prior to his recent re-signing with the Leafs.

It’s believed the Hurricanes have internally discussed Leafs winger Kasperi Kapanen, who’s a restricted free agent at season’s end who could prove difficult for the Leafs to re-sign. The Hurricanes have plenty of defensemen and that’s a primary need for the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brett Pesce or Justin Faulk for Kapanen, anyone? Discuss!


Bob McKenzie believes the Leafs could target help for their blueline prior to the February trade deadline, though there’s nothing imminent in the works. If the St. Louis Blues become willing to entertain offers for defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, he feels the Leafs could make the call.

McKenzie believes they’ll be interested in talking to any club that’s got a good blueliner available. He also points out Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson has arbitration rights this summer, which could make him more of a trade candidate than Kapanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnsson won’t have the same value as Kapanen, who’s on pace for a 30-goal, 60-point season. If the Leafs pursue Pietrangelo, Kapanen will likely be part of the Blues’ asking price. Same for the Hurricanes.  Pietrangelo recently underwent surgery on his injured right hand and that could put a damper on his recent trade speculation. 


Pierre LeBrun doesn’t think the Los Angeles Kings intend to tank the season to improve their chances of landing the first-overall pick to select Jack Hughes, projected as the top prospect in the 2019 NHL Draft. However, he feels they’ll have to make some difficult decisions.

LeBrun doesn’t believe Drew Doughty or Anze Kopitar are going anywhere but wonders if goaltender Jonathan Quick or defenseman Jake Muzzin might become available. While the Kings aren’t shopping Quick, LeBrun said he’s had teams tell him they’re “sniffing around that situation.”

McKenzie suggests winger Jeff Carter could be attractive to clubs seeking offense, such as the Boston Bruins or Arizona Coyotes. Carter has three seasons left on his contract with an affordable $5.27-million cap hit, though in actual dollars he’ll only be owed $7 million over the remainder of the deal.

Carter also lacks no-trade protection but loves living in Los Angeles and could be unwilling to leave. Retirement could be an option, though that would result in the Kings paying a $3.75-million salary-cap recapture penalty for each of those final three seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings must get younger but that won’t be easy to do when they’re carrying so many expensive veterans with no-trade clauses on their roster. Quick and Carter are probably among their few tradeable veterans as they lack no-trade protection, but they’re both in their 30s and each has a recent injury history. Still, they should attract interest if they hit the trade block before the February trade deadline. 


NBC SPORTS: John Boruk wonders if Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher is trying to swing a trade before the Dec. 19-holiday trade freeze. He notes there’s speculation the Flyers seek an upgrade in goal, a veteran defenseman, and a top-nine forward.

In terms of a blueliner, Boruk suggests Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks or more affordable options such as Jake Muzzin or Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings might be available. He also noted TSN’s Darren Dreger recently speculated the Toronto Maple Leafs could be a fit for Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds.

Tom Dougherty observed the recent trade chatter regarding Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and winger Vladimir Tarasenko, and wonders if they might interest the Flyers. While they have plenty of pieces to acquire a player like Tarasenko, Dougherty considers it unlikely the Blues will move him, suggesting it would be a panic move on their part.

He also wonders if Pietrangelo would waive his no-trade clause to come to Philadelphia, pointing out the Blues asking price would be high, perhaps three prospects (including a “Morgan Frost-level prospect) and a first-round pick, as well as perhaps a good young player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about Keith or Seabrook, I don’t see Fletcher going after aging veterans on expensive long-term contracts. Muzzin or Martinez would be more affordable in terms of return and contract but they might not be suitable long-term options. Fletcher would probably love to land Tarasenko or Pietrangelo but I don’t see either guy landing in Philadelphia this season. Such a move would more likely to occur in the offseason, if at all. 

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen lists the Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, and Dallas Stars as potential trade destinations for Flyers pending free agent winger Wayne Simmonds. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Simmonds status as a free agent, interested clubs will consider him a rental player and won’t want to give up too much to get him. Of course, if he’s willing to re-sign with his new team, the Flyers could get a better return. Ditto under a sign-and-trade scenario. However, I don’t see those last two scenarios unfolding prior to the deadline.

Fletcher has suggested he’s willing to discuss a new contract with the Simmonds camp. If he’s seeking a long-term deal, the Flyers GM could shop him before the deadline. 



  1. As Lyle would say, “Pietrangelo for Kadri, Kapanen, and Sandin”. Anyone, discuss…

    • Overpay for the Loaves … and I wouldn’t take both Pesce and Faulk for Kapanen … future star

      • Future star?? Cmon that’s a huge exaggeration

    • That’s too high a price to pay … he’s a FA after next year …. Brown,Liljegren and a 1st round ( conditional) if Pieteangello signs that turns into a 2nd If he doesn’t ……

      • No deal–but Kapanen, Lilegren and a 1st will get it done.

    • Leafs

      NO!!!! ( will regret it ) No GUY !!


      Kapanen Dermott Sandin 2019 First round pick ..draft is to deep…

      In Play…. YES GUY !!

      Nylander Liljergen Gardiner Zaitsev 2020 First round pick ..Trevor Moore Grundstrum Timashov


      Trade chips Move out …

      Nolan Patrick
      Wayne Simmonds
      Dale Weise
      Radko Gudas
      Ghostisbehre …if the right deal was there.

      ASAP !!

      St Louis – Oilers

      Are perfect trade partners right now.
      If they are as open for business as they say these tow teams could swing a major deal and be beneficial to each other for the right here and NOW!

      • Sandin has not looked good and the leafs need defensive dmen

      • Give it a rest BBB, Sandin has played beyond expectations so far especially when one considers he is only 18.

        Dealt with Leaf hate my whole life so could care less but at least research something before you babble away.

      • Shut up Gary I have dealt with leaf lovers my whole life, but atleast watch a few games sandin has played before spouting off

  2. Pietrangelo is not going anywhere . Blues just acquired a bunch of forwards to the tune of 4 or 5 changes from last season. I would give a shot for Tarasenko though with the right return. A Defence for another forward does not make sense

    Kapanen for Pesce is plausible . It would not be “and Faulk “ but maybe a pick

    LA should tank. It could not get much worse. Carter and Quick maybe Toffolli would garner interest and a decent return of picks and prospects and even roster players. They have a ton of injuries and need help.

    • Alright Silver—Tarasenko and Allen for Quick, Toffoli, Muzzin and a pick. Any good?

      Do you think Armstrong reads these???

      • I like that. Did not look at the dollars though.

      • makes sense on paper, but kings have Kovy. I think Allen+ for Quick makes sense.

      • @ Iowa boy

        Id like to see 2 different trades for the Blues …Kings and Oilers

        Tarasenko and Pieterangleo
        Draisitil & Nurse & 2nd round pick

        Shwartz & Parayko & Allen


        Quick Muzzin and Toffoli

      • Kal el, why would the oilers want to make that trade?

        IMO nurse & driastl are better than tarasenko and pieterangleo, so the oilers give up younger better players AND a 2nd for 2 guys who are older, slower and potentially already fading.

        No thanks!

      • Exactly Ice Bear.
        Will be interesting to see how Nurse does with the added responsibility on the PP and minutes with Klefbom out. Methinks he thrives.

      • Fair enough Caper. Give him a go.

  3. Would Leafs have interest in Shattenkirk? He’s currently out 2-4 weeks with a shoulder injury, but… when he’s returns and as season progresses, his name will start popping up before deadline. Rangers signed him before last season with idea they where contenders. Looking at where they are now, it would probably be best for both to part ways. Shatty has a 10 team no trade clause, and a front loaded contract that has 2 years left after this season. I can see Rangers willing to retain salary. Whatever people think about him, fact is he’s been one of the best PP QB’s for years. Rangers rebuilding and have given 1st PP time to Pionk. Shatty can’t be happy with how things turned out.Would be a good pick up for a contender. ( I know, didn’t help Washington)

    • @ Slick

      Iam passing on Shattenkirk …he is a Gardiner in sheeps clothing …no thank you !

      • Kal el. What if Rangers retained salary. Cheaper alternative to Gardner going forward. Also Hainsey on expiring contract.

  4. Why would Boston with so many promising prospects move them for a high salary aging slow forward. The league is changing to youth and speed. Didn’t work with Backes,Belesky or Rick Nash. Team has looked great on defense without slow footed Chara. Studnicka is looking good at the junior level.

    • Dave, agree on a no for Simmonds but do think they need to add up front before the TDL. Usually these guys are older that are available we will have to see as we get closer.
      Disagree that we look great on D without Chara, he is still one of our best defenders. IMO we haven’t been good on D, we have been outstanding in net, but it isn’t just the loss of Chara as you know there has been and are still many that are out.
      Agree we are deep in prospects, but we lack impact players, Studnicka has a chance to develop into a 2C, but after that who are they?
      Mostly bottom 6 F and bottom 3 D, still holding out hope for Zboril, but development has been slow.

      • Ray
        Agree if in a good playoff spot to add a rental or two but without giving up much more than second round picks.
        Defense has risen to the top of the league without Chara. He is great on the penalty kill but looks bad getting up and down the ice. The injury might slow him down even more.
        I know we don’t have a impact player prospect right now but have many that can become them that’s why I don’t want to trade them.
        JFK,Heinen,Debrusk,Donato,Studnicka,Senyshyn,Frederick,Bjork, and Cehlarik up front.
        Plenty of defenseman in the pipeline also.
        Trading for Simmonds or Carter will cost 2-3 of these prospects. Unless they can be had for less like a second rounder..

    • Agree Dave, Boston does not need to giving away picks and prospect for players in the last year of their contract.
      Please stay away from the old favorites. I much prefer to see a player like Zach Senyshyn who is now starting to score in the Ahl at 6’3″ he has size and a ton of speed and willing to drive to the net.
      We don’t need Simmonds or Carter or any other that can simply walk at season end.

      • Yeah I think Senyshyn should be given a shot on the second line RW.

      • I don’t think Senyshyn is ready for prime time.
        He has just started producing and who knows if he can sustain it.
        I check the game sheets from Providence regularly and prior to the last couple weeks he wasn’t even generating shots on net at a sustainable rate. In my mind he is still a crap shoot at best.
        If the B’s are serious about competing for a cup, with what I believe is a 2 year window, they should spend some of that prospect capital for something more proven.
        If Senyshyn all of a sudden becomes a consistent producer for more than a 2 week heater, than sure bring him up and see if he can handle it. I just wouldn’t bet one of you last good Bergy years on it.
        If the B’s keep losing bodies all year, and fall out of it then of course, don’t make a deal.

      • @ Ray Bark, I think it’s the perfect time to bring him up, nothing to loss and he has played very well over the two weeks. Bring him up while his confidence is high. he has now scored in 4 consecutive games. The there is the interesting comment made by his coach, where Zach for the first time two weeks ago, stop asking the coach for direction after every play.
        Nobody else is scoring so I’m definitely in favor of bringing him up, if it simply for crashing the net.
        Not betting a Bergy year but really there is nothing to lose.

      • FAir enough Caper. Give him a shot

  5. 1)Kapanen for Pesce
    2)Johnson, Lilegren and a prospect for Parayko (pull Liiegren off the table if it’s Pietrangelo as he is UFA)
    3)McQuaid for a pick before the deadline (if he’s healthy)
    4) Simmonds for prospects and picks
    5) Sign a capable backup!

    The loss to Tampa shows we need depth in the rugged areas. Completely out shot them so we can definitely play with the likes of the Lightning. The “attitude” O’Neill talks about with the Leafs would be addressed with moves like these providing the Leafs want to make a real run for the Cup this year.

    And yes people these things can be done as we have a ton of cap space for this year. Open the window all the way!

    • @ DOUG

      nice post ….

      I am NOT moving Kappy for almost anyone !
      I would try and sign him ASAP!

      I want Nylander GONE!! Worst move ever by the Leafs …and will come back to haunt them for years to come !

      Kappy is not worth a Pesce long term ..IMO …Leafs have some great young D to where as in you can go internal as opposed to give up a top 6 player for the same player in the organization in Holl or Rosen.

      – NO to McQuaid …always hurt
      – NO to Simmonds not worth what you would give up.
      – Good luck with the upgrade on Goaltending …VERY VERY THIN MARKET!

      Players id be interested in if the Leafs, that can fill holes of need and still keep the CORE now.

      Vegas – William Carrier & Brad Hunt W & C

      Red Wings – Kronwall & Abdelkader D & W

      Sabres – Nick Baptiste W

      Canes – Jordan Martinoook C

      Dallas – Devon Shore W

      Devils – Miles Wood W

      Pens – Hornqvist W

      Usual suspects …Manson and Muzzin D

  6. No wonder non Leaf fans go bonkers….Dreiger, Kypreous, throw a Leaf trade at every rumour out there…and if there isn’t a rumour out there they throw a Leaf option at what they have made….Same applies for contract options & the cap.

    Who is responsible? Leaf fans like me. There are too many of us and we will read about Morgan O’Riely’s dog in July if there is no other Leaf info.

    As to trades…I run a little counter to what I read here often. I think the guy to trade is Kadri. Two 30 years and a great contract. Include a credible defense prospect with him and try for a better defenseman and a worse center than Kadri. Leafs have too much quality a center after signing Tavares and getting lucky with Matthews.

    I would not trade Kapenen unless the return was outstanding. I would have traded Nylander during the walk out for a good defenseman.

    The idea of paying anything significant for a soon to be UFA does not appeal.

    They need a different orientation on defense. Too many similar (skilled but too similar guys on D) Same with forwards….too many cut from the same cloth. By supplying Babcock with similar guys he has severely limited his chance to coach. What is going to do in 3 years put Liligren for Sandin….or today Dermott for Gardiner.

    Think beyond template Kyle or you will fail.

    • @ OLD BLUE DOG

      Iam almost agree with everything you said …especially with Kappy & Nylander as I stated please see above..LOL


    • Old Blue Dog, I agree with everything you said. I’ve been suggesting to friends that Kadri may be the guy that has to go for all to reason you posted.

      And Kapenen is too versatile to be traded. Scoring, PP, PK speed and he’ll throw a hit or two as well.

      I was 100% hoping Nylander would be traded instead of signed. Down the line looking back he may be a regret for Leafs management.

      • Old Blue Dog, Don Sweeney here, what do you want for Kadri?

  7. Duncan Keith salary isn’t expensive at all, next year it’s $3.5 followed by $2.65, $2.1 and $1.5 yes he is 35yrs old and has a cap hit of $5.5 but his actual $$$ are in expensive.

  8. Isn’t Philly on the hook for Carters cap recapture penalty? They were the ones who signed him to the 11 year deal.

    • Good question! I put it to Cap Friendly and it turns out Philadelphia is NOT on the hook for Carter’s cap recapture. The Kings would be penalized $2.75 million per season over the remaining three years, with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Carter’s former team before joining the Kings) tagged for just over $183K per season for three seasons.

  9. It will be interesting g th see how the leafs deal with their roster salary issues. They also have to be wary of the expansion draft and tey and protect what they dont wish to lose.

  10. Not buying all the hype on Kapanen, yes he is off to a good start but I be very leery of trading away a solid player or prospect for him, has not proving to me that he worth the value lots have seem to put on him. So if the Leafs can sell him high now based on this season numbers then go ahead.
    He’s the classic type having a good season coming out of his elc and then signing a big contract that he doesn’t live up to.
    It’s probably the worst case scenario for Toronto just purely on timing. For me I need a bigger sample size and 32 games isn’t it, after having 7g in 38 games last season. Buyer beware

    • @ caper

      Always nice to do the dance with you…LOL

      Here is David Pastrnaks first 2 years numbers.
      You could have said the same for him…


      2014-15 Boston Bruins NHL
      GP 46 G 10 A 17 PTS 27

      2015-16 Boston Bruins NHL
      GP 51 G 15 A 11 PTS 26


      2017-18 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
      GP 38 G 7 A 2 PTS 9

      2018-19 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
      GP 32 G 12 A 10 PTS 22

      Iam not saying that Kappy is a Pastrnak …but if we go with a trend he will have a better 2nd season BY FAR than Pastrnak !

      I disagree on your evaluation of Kappy ..he has been lights out.

      Unfair to make an assumption he will only decline in future play !

      • Hi Kal El, happy your happy with Kappy as you should be. He very well might continue on his way but I wouldn’t over pay for one season and this is where Toronto finds themselves, they create a cap issue, they have players playing their best hockey at the worst time for Toronto.
        Now you want to compare Kappy to Pastrnak, the difference is Pastrnak is now a proven commodity and has NHL seasons of 10, 15, 34, 35 and 21 goals so far this season, that’s parts of 5 seasons and here is the kicker he is 2 months older then Kappy (as you call him). So no I wouldn’t compare his curve to Pastrnak.
        Yes Kapanen may continue to progress and be a multiple 30 goal scorer but he isn’t there yet and I wouldn’t trade a ton of assets for him at this point.

    • I will tell you one place Kapanen would look

      good …and thats on McDavids wing …WOW!

    • Exactly and that is why Pesce should be considered a reasonable return for Kapanen. Canes add a draft pick for his good season. He was a first by Pitt so the potential is there . Also he was playing a lot of Nylander minutes and I would expect a drop the second half

  11. Don’t forget that Kadri is a solid two-way centre, a position where the Leafs look good but in reality have little organizational depth. I keep him and trade a winger not named Marner.

  12. The problem Boston has with all these young prospects is that they do not have room for them all to play. I also wouldn’t trade two young guys for aging players like Carter or Simmonds but would move two or even three for a younger good player like Panarin. Boston is in a good position with Pasta Marchand and Bergeron signed long term at great contracts. Bruins can’t over pay the next wave like Charlie and Debrusk.

    • Agree if a guy like Panarin can be acquired and resigned then do it.
      As long as Mcavoy or Debrusk aren’t involved.
      But I disagree with having room for the young guys.
      Can easily fit them in. Backes can be bought out and the underperforming guys can be moved for picks or waived.
      Kuraly 30 games 1 goal
      Acciari 25 games 0 goals

  13. to Ray Bark: I did not have a specific proposal in mind. I was reluctant to do so as fans on other teams go beserk and I don’t know team rosters that well. But I will try out of respect for you. I assume a Bruins based on the pun on Ray Borque with a Boston accent. Pretty good really.

    How about Kadri and Zaitsev/Orgozanov and…the big defenseman you guys took in the second round (Brando Carlo) and De Brusk.

    Am out of line big time here?

    • OBD, yes Ray Bark is the Bourque connection. Actually had a big, goofy, burly dog named Ray Bark at one time. RIP.
      Kadri for Carlo straight up seems better than the additions. Not sure I like it from the Bruins side as Carlo is so young, so longer term value, but hard to argue that it ain’t fair.
      Kadri would allow the B’s to get younger at 2C after this season and they could get some decent assets back for Krecji.

      • Ray if Toronto throws in Kapanen then yes. Otherwise no for Kadri straight up for Carlo

      • Ya I hate to part with Carlo Caper. Could be a staple for a decade and already such a good defender.
        Kadri is a good 2C on a great contract IMO and as I have said on here I worry about the C position on this team after the next couple years, and we need a 3C right now, unless JFK picks it up big time. He has hung in there but needs more seasoning IMO.
        What to pay for Kadri that the Leafs would actually accept that isn’t named Carlo?
        2 of JFK, Lauzon,Heinen, Donato, Bjork? Would the Leafs take just prospects or picks? Maybe in the off season when they need the cap space, but would almost certainly find better elsewhere than mid tier guys I threw up there.
        Gotta give quality to get quality. Tough one.

      • Ray, I have said before love to have Kadri in a Boston Uni, as you mention great contract but Carlo a 22yr old Dman who is just starting to develop a nasty side. Kadri at 28 years old just too much of an age difference to give up.
        Boston may find themselves in a tough spot come expansion draft with McAvoy, Carlo, Krug, Vaakanainen and Lauzon etc. Can’t protect them all, so there will be a point where they might have to trade someone or loss to Seattle but that’s down the road.

      • Kinda the same thing that happened with LV and losing Miller.

  14. Hi All

    Absolutely the craziest day I’ve had in a long time and just between meetings and reading the posts of today.

    Welcome back my younger self Kal El 🙂

    To show you how crazy a day of meetings I’ve had; I’m coming up with the nuttiest of nuttiest “all in” game plan for Leafs.

    Picture holding a 2 of hearts and 7 of clubs in your hand for Texas hold’em and you go all in w/o seeing any cards


    I’ve advocated many times Leafs do NOT need WW and were doing fine offensively w/o him– the contract is a burden and Leafs could lose Kappy and/or have problem fitting in both AM and MM

    …. and I still say we need D upgrade

    With the mindset that Kadri may be on the table…. here is my absolute nuttiest “all in” proposal— this can’t and won’t happen but to make all of you laugh for the next few weeks….setting aside the NTC and MNTC issues….

    WW + Kadri + Zaitz + Oz + Holl + Johnson + 1st (’19)

    … for

    Parayko + Pietrangelo (SP?) + Maroon + Kyrou

    to make the St.L cap work; Leafs would also have to take on UFAs Jaybo and Gunnerson

    Merry Christmas… another nutty meeting expected in 9 minutes—– AHHHHHHHHH!!!

  15. Major trade would be Oliers and kings.


    TALBOT/Rieder/Garrison/Spooner, EDM 1st, NYI #3rd pick.

  16. Brett Pesce for Kappanen?

    If I’m Dubas it would be hard not to laugh.

    I would offer Zaitsev and his gold chain.

    • I think Carolina be the one laughing at that trade and Dubas be silly to say no. But he won’t have to worry because Carolina won’t be making that offer.

      • Geez where do leaf fans come up with this junk

  17. Wow. Same leafs garbalage as last time. I would be hard pressed to trade pesce for a winger whose cost is undetermined and has been playing mostly with top of the line c depth. A good top 4 d man with a real good contract for a likely good top 6 with no such contract.

    I’m am personally almost certain that nylander is not a cane because they refused to send pesce for nylander. If the leafs pried him out for kap then the leafs nation should be ecstatic

  18. It would be a disaster , in my opinion to lose Kapanan.
    Dubais , in my opinion , errored badly , not trading Nylander..
    I am beginning to think – Mark Hunter might of been the ideal GM .

    We will see ..
    The Leafs became so close , but the hopes are fading with Dubais at the helm .