NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2018

by | Dec 8, 2018 | Rumors | 32 comments

Should the Chicago Blackhawks try to trade Duncan Keith?  Is now the right time for the Ottawa Senators to trade Craig Anderson? Check out the latest in your NHL rumor mill.

Should the Chicago Blackhawks attempt to trade Duncan Keith? (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers cites a source claiming Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is looking at potentially moving a defenseman. He’s considering this move with Connor Murphy due to return from a back injury, giving the club eight blueliners. They’re reportedly shopping Brandon Manning and Jan Rutta, with the Blackhawks willing to accept a return that clears the roster and salary-cap space.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien suggests the struggling Blackhawks should hit the reset button on their ailing defense and attempt to convince Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to waive their no-trade clauses in hopes of finding trade partners for one or both rearguards. He considers Keith to still be a useful defenseman but the longer the Hawks hang onto the 35-year-old, the greater the risk of his stock declining as he ages. Finding a taker for Seabrook would be harder, given the 33-year-old’s $6.875-million annual cap hit through 2023-24.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek suggests the Blackhawks should consider moving Keith while scoring is still up around the league. He also proposes the Los Angeles Kings do the same with forward Jeff Carter.

Duhatschek points out the salary-cap hit for both is reasonable. Keith’s is over $5.5 million through 2022-23 but his actual salary declines sharply over the final years of the deal. Same goes for Carter, whose annual cap hit is over $5.272-million through 2021-22. Both could prove attractive to Stanley Cup contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keith may be aging, but he’s still well-respected around the league. With his experience and leadership, he could prove a useful short-term addition to teams with championship aspirations. The same goes for Carter. 

Of course, trading those two depend on the willingness of their respective general managers to consider that options and what they’d want in return. Right now, there’s no indication they’re even mulling the possibility.

Keith’s no-movement clause also gives him firm control over his trade status. Carter lacks no-trade protection, though I suspect Kings management would try to accommodate him by asking for preferred destinations. 

Seabrook’s stock, on the other hand, has tumbled in recent years. Assuming he’d be willing to waive his no-trade, the Blackhawks would have to pick up a big chunk of his cap hit to make him enticing to other clubs or take back a toxic contract.  


THE ATHLETIC: Graeme Nichols suggests now is the time for the Ottawa Senators to trade goaltender Craig Anderson. He noted Anderson’s request to be traded in June, citing the drama that surrounded the club at the time. In August, the netminder followed up by saying he had no interest in moving as long as those issues had been addressed. 

At the time, Anderson’s trade value wasn’t good because of his struggles the previous season. While he’s overworked this season, Nichols wonders if some rival GMs might be fooled into thinking a reduced workload on a team with a better defense might do Anderson a world of good.

Nichols feels this could be the last season providing the Senators the best opportunity to move Anderson for some assets to aid in a rebuild. It might also be a good time “for the Senators to start looking for alternatives who should be able to outperform Anderson at a lesser cost.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Senators GM Pierre Dorion moving Anderson at this time. He’ll want another month or so to evaluate his roster to determine if they can stay in the playoff chase. If they fail to do so, Dorion could again become a seller. While the Senators lack a reasonable replacement for Anderson within their system, perhaps (as Nichols suggest) they can find a suitable short-term option near the trade deadline. 



  1. It’s a cute suggestion by Nichols but he doesn’t explain how the Sens would replace him even beyond this year. There is no goalie that faces more shots than that guy. Any perceived starter coming in or taking over would get absolutely rocked unless they hit a jack pot on a goalie at low value.
    Gustavsson, and Hogberg aren’t ready, Condon is probably done and Mckenna is an AHLer. So they won’t get help internally.

    The only goalies that could be cheap via free agency or trade would be Nilsson (VAN), Kuemper in ARI when him and Raanta come back from IR and with Hill playing well. Maybe even look into bringing Lehner back. Mrazek, Kinkaid or try and sign Halak or Varlomov in the offseason.
    None of these jump to me thinking the Sens should go after ‘that’ guy. So ok maybe get a 2nd round pick… then they have to buy and strap a shovel to the inside of the net.

    • I wonder where Ottawa would be without Anderson, too risky to trade him this year. If they owned their own first round pick I’m sure he would be traded though

      • They would be right beside LA haha.
        You’re probably right, that pick makes the reward much better. They’d probably do it then

    • Valid points and I’m not sure you get all that much back for Anderson. So far goalies haven’t fetched a whole lot in return on the trade market. You end up moving a guy who can do the job to replace him with someone who may or may not be able to with little to nothing in return.

    • Ottawa can have Elliott or Neuvirth, or both.

      For FREE


  2. so what will the Kings do with Carter when they draft Jack Hughes next June?

    • I’m hoping they trade him for a young roster player, prospect or picks. But if they don’t, my guess is either he or Hughes (Cozins) is moved to the wing.

    • Sorry, word is the Canucks will have Hughes in their camp next year.

      • Srsly how great would that be? 🙂

      • Your right they will, but his first name is Quinn not Jack.

    • On second thought, does Hughes in Vancouver mean the Oilers make the playoffs?

  3. Halak hD a 2 year deal with. Bruins and will not get traded. But more importantly the. Sens are trying to avoid giving a lottery pick to the Avs. And won’t dump the only goalie they have

  4. Duchene status maybe a factor. Too bad if long term he was having a great season. I say he signs with the Sens .My opinion is you ride Anderson into the sunset.

    A team is going to make a trade. Might be after the Xmas break but there are too many issues and situations with a number of teams-LA-STL -PHL -Pit are leading the pack

  5. starting rumors is something, but we should find a way to execute them.

    • It’s kinda like a daily fortune cookie 🥠.

    • I’m trying my best over here fan.
      Sadly, I have little to no authority when it comes to making NHL transactions.

  6. Chicago is a prime example of how not to manage a cap! The salary given to Toews, Kane, Seabrook and Keith were all after the third cup win. The Keith deal isn’t that bad and with a declining salary over the rest of his contract he shouldn’t be hard to move.
    The bigger question is would Chicago be willing to or able to move Toews or Kane? Crazy right? This team is two points of LA and will not be in the playoffs once. Next season they have 15 players signed and $17.2m in cap space to sign 8 players.
    Teams they may want to trade for Toews or Kane would prefer to wait until after the signing bonus are paid out as they both had identical contracts.
    Next season they have a $6m signing bonus and a $3.8 salary followed by $7m, $6.9 and $6.9 and interest team would want the signing bonus paid first and have only a salary of $3.8m for next season.
    It would be a bold move to move one of the two and would either one accept a trade? Maybe, could very well depend on the location and that would be the case for any of the 4 (Toews, Kane, Keith and Seabrook) as they all have NMC

    • I’d keep Kane and move the others if I was Stan.
      You’re right Caper.
      Time for a reset in Chicago.

      • Reset for chicago?
        Probably a regress to the days prior to 2010 – remember when there were as many empty seats as filled ones because this team was terrible???
        Its history repeating itself – which tends to happen with many, many, many things in life.

    • It’s a problem for a lot of teams. Some of which are facing or will be facing the same issues without the success Chicago has had. Edmonton, Toronto, Tampa , Winnipeg…

      It will be interesting to see how those teams deal with cap issues beyond this year.

  7. Managing the cap and measuring your window of opportunity seem to be the 2 and 3 rd most important management skills (for me the 1 st would be making good draft choices after the top ten are gone.)

    It is hard to believe what has happened to Chicago,and LA…last night Doughty was bitching about his team’s play and he has 8 years left at 11 million. When will he be considered an anchor like Seabrook?

    Maybe the 4 th skill set of management is spending your free agent money. St Louis seems to have made a right mess of it. I am not a Burke guy by any stretch, but his observation that more mistakes are made on July 1 was not new when he made it years ago. And yet management goes back to the poisoned well.

    As to Ottawa and Anderson….I would be trading him and taking an older poorer goalie back with a significant asset attached…St Louis needs a goalie. Armstrong may be forced to compound is free agent mistakes out of fear for his job.

    • You’d be hard pressed to find an older goalie than Andersson at 37

      • But sometimes you find good wine for a year in a old bottle. Rollyson.

  8. Toews looks very good but not 10.5 good. Chicago would have to retain salary something. GMs would be interested . Tier1 player, captain

    They should not trade PKane. Tier 1+ elite player and only a handful in the league

    Not convinced the Hawks want to move either

    • I agree I don’t think they do want to move either; the flip side to my debate would be, the teams with the cap space would generally be on the bottom of the standings and not cup contenders wouldn’t sway any of them to be moved; but how about a team like Carolina? On the rise, solid defense core, how would a Kane or Toews look in a Carolina sweater and would either one help the Canes and more importantly the cost?
      Really this is just banter because they won’t get moved but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.

      I fully agree with GM mismanaging the cap on July 1st, maybe the problem with cap management is they want to pay guys for pass performances and want to under pay for the young producing talent.
      Boston had the wonderful signings of Backes and Belesky (who their still paying $1.9m for this and next season).
      Seem all teams want to buy up free agent years and rightfully so, as it seems to be these 5 and 6 year deals at the age of 27 or 28 they come back to bite you in the back half of the deals.
      Maybe more deals like a William Nylander is the way to go; if he keeps his production up he’ll be considered good value at $6.9m per season as the cap continues to rise; the trick is not to over pay when he becomes a ufa at 27 and watch his numbers decline on the back end of an overpayment of a 6yr deal. That to me is the challenge.

      Drafting is another storey, as I watch Kyle Connor, Mathew Barzal and Thomas Chabot have continue success in the NHL and I glance at the AHL to see how Zach Senyshyn and Jakub Zboril are progressing.

    • Didn’t P.Kane once say he’d like to play for his hometown Sabres? The way Buffalo are playing maybe a cup run with Kane on board?

  9. If CHI is looking to clear cap and OTT may not be able to sign Duchene (all speculation)….. perhaps

    TO CHI: DUCHENE, CECI & 2nd rd pick
    TO OTT: Anisimov & Keith

    • ihatecrosby, you must also hate Ottawa haha. The senators gave up a ton to get Duchene, and to give up him, a 2nd rounder and a very young decent defenceman to get a 35 year old D-man and an aging, fading, expensive Anisimov, while being a classic Ottawa move, is a reversal of the supposed re-build (the cheapening) they are attempting.

  10. On the other hand, someone mentioned Carolina as an interesting team for Toews.. he is young enough to be part of a 4 or 5 year cup push, has demonstrated leadership abilities, and could fetch a good return in cap space and young players.

    To Car: C Jonathan Toews, D Jan Ruutta

    To Chi: C Victor Rask, D Justin Faulk, D Adam Fox, 2nd round pick.

    • CAR is very weak at C, especially established C’s, so this framework could work. I’d leave off Ruuta and Fox, and make it a 3rd. I am leery of unloading Faulk, though, as he’s rebounded nicely from a very bad last year.

  11. phone calling is not optimus, nhl should have a trading room with gms, agents and scouts.

    • The logistics involved would be troublesome.
      It would make an interesting TV show though.