NHL Rumor Mill (Post Trade Deadline Edition) – February 26, 2019

by | Feb 26, 2019 | Rumors | 54 comments

With the 2019 Trade Deadline now history, find out what the future holds for the Canadiens, Islanders, Panthers, and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin wasn’t prepared to pay the high prices asked of the top rental players in this year’s trade market. He was rumored to be interested in Matt Duchene, who was shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Noting Duchene is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Cowan suggests Bergevin could take another run at him – or someone else – without giving up anyone from his roster or moving a first-round pick or one of his top prospects. The Canadiens’ improved performance this season could make them an attractive destination for free agents like Duchene. 

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports Bergevin was trying to upgrade his depth at center and on defense before the deadline. However, he balked at the asking prices, which included rookie center Jesperi Kotkaniemi and top prospects like Ryan Poehling, Nick Suzuki, and Alex Romanov. “If I would’ve done what I was asked for, you would probably have called me an idiot,” Bergevin said.

Could the Montreal Canadiens pursue Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene via free agency in July? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are exceeding expectations this season. By standing pat, Bergevin did the right thing. He’s keeping his focus on the long-term future.

With $62 million invested in 15 players next season and his core players under contract, Bergevin has the cap room to make a significant move or two via free agency like Duchene, though such players will be very expensive to sign.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he attempts to weaponize that cap room by targeting teams with limited cap room looking to shed salary before next season. That doesn’t mean taking on overpaid underachievers or fading veterans but looking at promising young players on reasonable contracts. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Arthur Staple reports the New York Islanders are thought to have made an offer for Matt Duchene before the Senators traded him to the Blue Jackets involving their 2019 first-round pick and young forward Anthony Beauvillier. Staple also feels the Islanders could have a keen interest in Blue Jackets left winger Artemi Panarin if he hits the free-agent market this summer.

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis believes the Islanders turn their focus toward forwards Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle, who are all on expiring contracts. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting atop the Metropolitan Division, the Islanders are also doing much better than expected this season and didn’t have to make a big move at the deadline. They have over $47 million invested in 14 players for 2019-20, giving them plenty of room to re-sign their key UFAs (which also includes goalie Robin Lehner) and still pursue a top potential free agent like Panarin or Duchene this summer. I expect they’ll re-sign Lee and Lehner for sure but I’m not so certain Eberle and Nelson fit into their long-term plans. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): George Richards reports Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon made “a substantial offer” to the Ottawa Senators for Mark Stone, who was subsequently traded to the Vegas Golden Knights yesterday. Tallon indicated he’s willing to re-sign pending UFAs Riley Sheahan and Troy Brouwer. Richards notes Tallon has plenty of draft picks and salary-cap space to be active in this summer’s trade and free-agent markets. They could be seeking a top-end forward, defenseman and a premier goaltender. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors were rampant leading up to the deadline suggesting Tallon was very keen to acquire Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Don’t be surprised if he’s among the suitors for both this summer via free agency. 


OTTAWA SUN: In the wake of trading Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel, Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators will make decisions in the offseason to add some veterans but much of the roster will be made up of youth. 

Don Brennan reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is happy to land promising defenseman Erik Brannstrom in the trade that sent Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights. Brennan notes Dorion is thrilled about the state of his team and its future but believes the Sens GM is in the dark or in denial over the unhappy mood of the fan base. Brennan also wonders how long the Senators will have defenseman Cody Ceci, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are well-stocked with draft picks, especially in the 2020 NHL Draft. As Brennan pointed out, however, they have a mixed record with their recent draft history, which includes busts like Jakub Klepis, Brian Lee, Jim O’Brien, Jared Cowen, and Curtis Lazar.

They’ll have plenty of salary-cap space for 2019-20, with $44 million invested in 13 players and a cap minimum expected to rise to over $60 million. However, their status as a rebuilding club with a cantankerous owner won’t make them a destination of choice for the top UFA talent or even for second-tier free agents.

As for Ceci, I think the Senators will try to trade him, probably in the week leading up to the NHL Draft in June. He frequently surfaced this season as a trade candidate and I expect we’ll see his name pop up again. 


  1. With all the negativity surrounding them it would appear there is no other option for the Senators franchise but relocation – with a new owner – which is what I’ve been saying will happen within 4 – 5 years.

    • Good day

      great conversation yesterday and some really good posts in the day …awesome to talk .

      Hope everyone is happy with there shiny new toys…

      Pengy…. I all ready know your really disappointed 🙁

      Caper & NYR4Life you guys should be respectfully happy …

      Surprise of the day for me was the falling value on Simmonds …

      George O

      I think where things get really dicey is when player that they have now that they feel is the next waive of the new era will be up for new contracts and see what they do or if they want to stay …while they will be RFA are they going to hold out for a crazy sum of money that is just a smokescreen to say that they want out.

      You have a very finicky players father in Tkachuck who was very verbal about keeping Stone….Keith was a player that made some of the most amount of money in NHL history ..he also played for a number of teams and knows this system well and how to use it in his sons favor come contract time …you may have a Nylander 2.0 on your hands….except this could be worse as he may just want out in a few years !

      Also if the Blue Jackets don’t end up resigning Bobs which they wont ..I think they should actually go after Anderson as well….in the ongoing pillage.

      • Hi Lyle

        Did your comment on the Islanders trying to trade for Duchene actually state that the Islanders offered up a 1st… AND ..player ( Anthony Beauvillier )
        that was a confirmed offer ??


      • Here’s what Staple wrote: “The Isles’ offer is believed to have been centered around their forthcoming 2019 first and young forward Anthony Beauvillier.”

      • Kal El

        Yep— sadness abounds — see my post below w.r.t. summary on TDL and remote chances for Pens.

        Leafs will bow out to Bruins IMO; but hopefully they can move WW and Marleau on July 2nd and Leafs can bring in a top 4 RHD… and somehow rid themselves of Zaitz— if so— looking at very fair chance of a (maybe even 2??) Leaf cup(s) over the springs of ’20 through ’25


      • That’s the underlying fear of a lot of the fan base here Kal El, i.e., “they feel is the next waive of the new era will be up for new contracts and see what they do or if they want to stay …while they will be RFA are they going to hold out for a crazy sum of money that is just a smokescreen to say that they want out.”

        And I agree about Tkachuk who will likely have pressure from dad and brother to join Mat in Calgary when the time comes.

    • Sad day for Sens fans.

  2. Injuries played a big part in the success and failures of Brian Lee and Jared Cowen.

    Jim O’Brien was a very late first round pick, made it to the NHL and has 77 games so far, plus 7 more playoff games, and is a borderline NHL depth player, which isn’t a failure, just not a success.

    Curtis Lazar has 245 NHL games to his credit, and having just turned 24 this month, is finally being properly developed at the AHL level where he has a 0.78 PPG avg this season, comparable to what many 3rd line forwards currently in the NHL had when they were in the AHL at the same age. He’s not done yet.

    Jakub Klepis was a failure, from the 2002 draft, 17 years ago.

    Be careful which opinion you quote, Don Brennan isn’t an opinion I would quote.

    • Nice summation Brian. Fergy, these are the results (so far) in the Ottawa Sun staw poll:
      How would you grade the Sens’ week of wheeling and dealing?

      F. As in freakin’ fiasco – 70.96% – 667 votes
      A. It was thge best they could do given the circumstances – 15.11% – 142 votes
      C. It could have been worse I guess – 13.93% – 131 votes

      What the above reflects is the mind-set of the fan base of virtually all pro sports franchises, and by that I mean the vast majority, who adhere to the “paint-your-face-in-team colours” and “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” principle of fandom and seldom if ever look beyond wins and losses, and who will almost always adopt that F option when their team of choice is going through rough times, regardless of the reasons. Yes, if they are among the paying customers, they too have as much right to their approach as the more pragmatic fans. But the approach of the latter, while just as passionate, is to dig deeper into a team’s make-up and effort and both recognize and bow to reality. For the most part, the latter is what we see here in Lyle’s site, although every now and then we hear from one of the former whose favorite approach is to ridicule and, when rarely proffering trade ideas, come up with the canoes for battleships proposals.

  3. George , if the team had their first pick in 2019 the fan base would have something to look forward to , but they don’t.
    I am however predicting that the team spends to the floor and suffers through another bad year next year but reaps the reward of getting 1st overall , Lafreniere, in 2020 who could be a franchise player.

    • Fergy22

      I had totally forgotten about Lafreniere; good point

      George, I’m hoping for Ottw to stay. It will be a tough season next year; and likely the year after.

      Branerstrom (sp?) is a great pick up. I still think Dorion got hosed a bit in the trade.

      All throughout the last week the report was ask was high but with TSN and SN predicting 1st, roster with term, and good prospect… they did not come close.

      At the close of yesterday, I thought this and then I saw they updated the trade. The flip of UFA Lindberg for AHL Lindberg (handful of NHL games) is a complete saw off. Not sure why McPhee had to add salt in the wound and insist on a player coming back?

      with the saw off of the Lindberg bros (just joiking, not related I believe)

      for Stone, Dorion got:

      a second instead of a first;

      a premiere prospect instead of a “good” one;

      but no Roster player with term.

      So for that reason, I believe Dorion didn’t do as well as he could have.

      On the radio this morning I heard that Cgy offered the 1st, and roster with term, and “good” prospect…. how is that not better than the VGK offer.

      In addition, the Duchene deal had a kicker: 1st plus conditional first if signs—- Dorion would have already known he was going to sign as he had to grant permission for Stone to speak to McPhee

      So…. excellent future with Bransserstom (sp?) but IMO, there should have been more coming back. At the very least; Dorion should not have had to give up an AHL player in the deal?

      Fingers crossed on their future success and for them staying in Ottw

      • The problem with finishing last these days is that the last place team has an 18% chance of winning the lottery – and an 82% chance of not. Which is why Colorado will be keeping their fingers crossed prior to this year’s draft.

      • It’s not better than Vegas’ offer because of how good Brannstrom will be as soon as next season. The Sens now have a really promising d highlighted by Chabot and Brannstrom. Having 2 guys that good is really going to be impressive. Look what Iines and Werenski are doing in Columbus and these 2 Sens kids could be many times better.

      • @ Pengy

        I think that with the offer that the Flames made ended up being very similar …the Sens gave Stone the opportunity to choose where he wanted to go …the fact that he had a deal signed all ready with Vegas would lead me to believe that was the case and was all ready being worked on right up til the end !

        Vegas has no state tax a great place to live and an amazing building to play in and they will be contenders for the duration of Fleurys contract….

        All this played factors IMO

        Thats my take on that

      • Hi Deee and KalEl

        Absolutely Brannerstrom (sp?) is an extremely talented prospect; no ifs no ands no buts

        I don’t have any issue with him and I’m very very glad that Ottw has gotten him.

        Re: Stone signing… he has not signed yet; can’t until Friday; but he has verbally agreed.

        Per Radio and TSN…. Cgy has not disclosed what the prospect was going to be; but “the belief” is that the offer was in fact 1st, roster [with term] and “good” prospect.

        To compare for sure, we’d have to know who the prospect was ; but if Dorion had taken the “good” prospect over Brannerstrom; he would have :

        (a) had a 1st instead of a second


        (b) had a roster player with term

        Again, not knowing the actual prospect makes it hard to analyze; but that is a substantial difference in “other” from the trade.

        To add insult to injury , they demanded a player back in the trade—- a Lindberg for a Lindberg

        I want to make it clear that I think Brannerstrom is excellent; I just believe that Dorion should have got at least a 1st instead of a 2nd ; especially for the fact that Stone is signing with VGK

        At the very least, since there is actually no Stone contract in place right now with VGK; this deal could have read as a conditional pick (2nd , to become 1st if he signs [which he will] )

        Re: Tax advantage— yep yep yep…. his take home AAV is greater than Austin Mathew’s

        His take home pay would be equivalent to $12.35M AAV had he been in Ottawa (or Toronto).

        Tor/Ottw have the worst tax hit; only just a feather worse than Montreal.

        VGK, Bolts, Panthers, Stars, Preds….. all have the same tax rate…. all gargantuan advantages over most of the Canadian teams and all quite a bit above the rest of the pack

        Players in those cities take home 60.85 % of gross; Chi next at 57.1%.

        Whereas Tor/Ottw players take home 46.8% of gross.

        Median after tax for all clubs is 53.4%

        The California teams also just marginally better than Ott/Tor/Montreal at 47.8%

        It’s almost criminal


        Why the hell are they playing Trottman tonight instead of Prow— this nightmare is getting worse.

        Under no circumstance, at any time tonight; can they play JJ and Ruhweedel as a pair.

        This game is likely going to sting

        Gotta head to catch my train now

        Go Pens Go

      • Pengy….wow huge win at Columbus 5 -2 no letang no dumolin no grudbrason gut check time..Crosby Malkin mccann 2 goals 13 now guentzel goal 29…coule days off at buffalo friday Montreal Saturday may have letang dumolin back hopefully.. great night.

      • Trotman has NHL experience and Prow doesn’t, that’s as much thought as Sullivan put into it. He continues to forget what the biggest contributing factor to winning 2 cups was and that is playing the young and hungry guys. That’s how Trotman, Wilson, Cullen and Johnson keep getting dressed over much better players. If they could get those 4 out of the lineup they would improve overall a great deal.

  4. Ottawa has plenty of picks and a couple of young studs to build around they are in fine shape for a rebuild. If they have to relocate because of a rebuild and being bad for a couple years Toronto should have moved years ago they were horrible for a very long time.

    • Ottawa has a lot of picks in the 2020 draft, not so much the 2019.
      If in 2020 they don’t land an instant impact player then those draft picks don’t become impact players till 2023 or 2024 – that’s a long time for the fan base to wait. Not to mention that how the Chabot, White and Tkachuk deals are handled will have a role to play as well.

      As an outsider looking in I believe the blame is shared to a large extent, if the fans refuse to go to games and spend on the team then the owner isn’t in a position to spend.
      A change of ownership is absolutely necessary in Ottawa, or this ‘battle’ between the owner and fans will not yield a winner on either side.

    • But with 5 times the potential fan base.

    • are there are Sen fans here?
      I cannot imagine watching your team torn apart over 2 years and expecting to be happy.
      Odd how team play fall apart when Methot was claimed in the expansion draft.

      • Well, when you look at that team that almost went to the cup finals two years ago, the only ones left from that roster are Pageau, Ryan, Ceci, Smith, Borowiecki and Anderson, and other than Anderson and, on rare nights, Ryan, none are much more than 4th liner, 5/6 D pairing grunts (and I include Ceci there).

        Methot has done zilch for anyone since being claimed and then promptly traded by Vegas, and also gone are fringe/over-the-hill players like Phaneuf, Pyatt, Wideman, Kelly, Burrows, Claesson, Stalbedrg, Wingels, Neil, Lazar and Condon. That’s over 50% of the 21-0man roster. Yeah, they also lost Hoffman who, thanks to that fiasco with the Karlssons (no fault of Dorion), had to go, and Brassard, hardly a game-changer, went in return for the G of the future Gustavsson. Turris was dealt when his demands exceeded what he brought to the table and that is born out by his less-than-stellar stats since joining Nashville (*at $6 mil per).
        As for Stone and Dzingel from that team they, along with Duchene, were part of a last place team last season and again through most of this one, and if they simply wanted out of town regardless of the offers, I think Dorion did as well as could be expected. Those who say McPhee took him to the cleaners might wish to tell us what offers they heard about that were better.

        Many also forget that this current crop is largely rookie-dominated, especially on D where 4 of the 7 are pure rookies, and that, as a consequence, there will be mistakes made in a learn-as-you-go-scenario. The hope has to be that most will get better as time goes by.

      • Im a huge Sens fan. All this talk about Dorion should of gotten more seems to miss one big aspect in regards to a trade. The thoughts snd desires of the GM’s attempting to get Stone.

        Yeah sure from an ottawa and Dorion perspective and looking at stone himself. Sure a great return of rainbows and unicorns should of been had.

        But, every Gm knew Dorion’s hand could easily be forced as Stone was likely walking away from the Sens.

        The only thing Dorion had to his favour was to hope GM’s didnt want their counterparts to land him. He held out as long as he could in hopes a team put up an offer of said unicorns to land stone before another did.

        In the end the best return in a trade can only be from what is offered.

        To suggest taking a lesser prospect than an A+ prospect because your second round pick might be a late 1rst round and a roster player whose skill level is unknown is, well i cant think of another word so hope i dont offend, stupid. You always take the best player.

  5. Re TDL moves and my wild guesses at success this year going forward and in to playoffs:

    Leafs basically stand pat and Bruins make a move at top 6 wing— I think that just may be enough to give the nod to Bruins over Leafs in round 1.

    Tbay stayed pat—- irrelevant —- wins first and second round easily no matter who they face.

    Clb loaded up and likely getting Wsh in 1st round. This will be a good battle, with the nod going to Clb likely but don’t forget the Wash head-hunter Wilson…. if he takes out Duchene or Panarin and therefore Wsh down a meathead and Clb down a top winger or centre— the net then puts IMO, Wsh as a fav.

    NYI to play one of Mon, Car, Pens. If their goalie tandem keeps shining… winner winner chicken dinner; but I think they fall to Clb or Wsh in 2nd round

    Outside outside chance (read big long shot): re Pens:
    Pens just might be done for the year. GMJR got drunk and again screwed up. One of two miracles need to happen for Pens to (a) get in to playoffs and (b) have any success in playoffs:

    1) quick healing of Letang, Dumo, Maata, with complete sitting of JJ, Ruhweedel, Gudbranstrom. Note: Letang, Dumo, and Maata will be back for playoffs if they make it.

    2) miraculous turnaround by Gudbranstrom in new city; and has tremendous impact on Pens D; also with mandatory sitting of JJ (all games)
    Odds of above happening…… 🙁

    If Pens can miraculously get to 7th place; they have a shot against NYI (who have much less experience)… it comes down to the goalie tandem for NYI— they have the ability to completely shut the door

    If Pens do get 7th, and get by NYI, with the battle of Wsh/Clb leaving a limping winner; and with Pens playing: Letang, Dumo, Maata, Shultz, Riikola, Petterson (not a single game for JJ, Gudbranstrom, Ruhweedel); then they have a chance to exit gracefully in 6 at home against the Bolts in the ECF. Otherwise, Bolts in ECF either beat Clb in 5 or Wsh in 6.

    West— SJ’s tweak , IMO, will get them finishing first in PacDiv… and will win against whatever WC team they face.

    I think with the Stone addition, and experience, VGK can just eke out a win against Cgy; but are then better lined up against SJ… IMO VGK have fair shot at getting to WCF

    Net additions for Winn and Nsh… I think Winn finishes first in Central and easily beats whatever WC team they face.

    Nsh has edge over StL; and then it’s a Winn/Nsh battle for Metro champs…. that winner will, IMO beat VGK and will eventually lose out to Bolts in SCF, in 6.

    How’s that for a crazy crystal ball prediction 🙂

    Finally and aside re: Pens…. Not only are Pens in an uber dire predicament right now; but can’t play their new acquisition tonight due to getting immigration papers signed/through. Instead of calling up their best AHL defenseman (Prow), they are calling up weaker Dman; Trottman (what the %^*$# is going on ????)

    Go Leafs Go

    Go Pens Go

    • “central” not “Metro” for the Winn/Nsh match-up—- brain fart and severe headache from GMJR moves/non moves

    • Look this wasn’t Rutherford’s best deadline day! We didn’t give up our number one pick and he didn’t do anything too rash. Are Grudbrason and Weidman all stars no….but I think they can give us depth. Sometimes a change of scenery can work wonders. ala:Justin Schultz etc….

      This guy is a tough dude who isn’t afraid of much and going in to the playoffs (if we make it) he will add some much needed toughness and security against the Wilson’s and cheap shot Simmons of the world Weidman is a decent puck mover good skater.

      The good news is letang and Dumolin both might be back for this weekends games..day to day is better than weeks.

      if all healthy

      LeTang Dumolin

      Schultz Pettersson

      Gridbrason Weidman

      keep johnson in the press box and you have Rudwhedel, prow and Rikola in reserve.

      I think Rutherford somehow missed out on Brandon Montour because we did have a 4th and a seventh to give like buffalo did.

      let the stretch drive begin and we play Columbus three times in the next couple weeks…

      Columbus won the day and they are going for it you have to applaud that for sure…but come summer Panarin, Brobosky, Duchense and Dzingel all UFA’s good luck with that..

      Go pens

      • Hi BlackNGold

        GMJR blew it completely

        Easily could have done better— the deal was a conditional 1st and a B prospect (D) who was drafted 4 years ago and has played only 2 NHL games this year; a total of 23 altogether, 7 points, +- of Minus 5

        Pens still had their first; could have easily (very easily) done better than that offer

        He or Sully is also not doing right by who they are brining up tonight — Trottman instead of Baby Pens best D man — Prow

        Gudbranson from all scouting reports is just a tad better than JJ in ability; but can and will fight; and cost more

        They absolutely should have kept Oleksiak— he was and is leaps and bounds better than JJ; bigger, and can dish out hits. He loses one fight to basically the 2nd best pugilist int he league and they let him go?????????

        I unfortunately have to disagree with you w.r.t. “all healthy” D pairings. I’m sure you meant until Maata is back (probably just in time for playoffs) but I would put:

        LeTang Pettersson

        Schultz Dumolin

        Gudbranson Riikola

        When Maata returns:

        LeTang Dumolin

        Schultz Maata

        Gudbranson Pettersson

        Train is bording…. gotta go

        Go Pens Go

  6. Given the Pens track record with turning around the careers of mid-20’s D men with pedigree, I will withhold judgement on Erik Gubrandson (a former #3 overall pick) until Gonchar gets ahold of him, but…

    I would have just kept Oleksiak (and said so at the time). Rumor is the Pens players soured on Oleksiak after he lost a few fights, but he was a good player who was getting better here.


    Dorion got a good return for two months of Mark Stone.

    He got a lousy return for 8 years of Mark Stone.

    Why no conditional pick?

    NYR got more for Hayes than he got for Stone.


    I don’t have much faith in Rinne. If I did, I’d like Nashville as the Cup favorites. Hard to find much fault in their F or D groups.

    • MG: I agree that Ottawa should have gotten more for 8 years of Stone, but Ottawa got more for Stone than the Rangers did for Hayes. Ottawa should have gotten a 1st instead of a 2nd round pick, but Brannstrom is light years ahead of Lemieux as a prospect. Prospects of Brannstrom’s caliber are basically never traded. Brannstrom is about the same level of prospect Chabot was 2 years ago.

      As a Sens fan, I hate that they traded Stone. Vegas will love this player and he is captain material. The long term concern is the next wave of talent, which is significant, will leave when their UFA years start and the cycle begins again in 5 or 6 years.

    • MG…Agree with you on giving Gonchar a chance to work with Gridbrason…everyone is running him out of town already…hell drew doughty is -28 and he is considered one of the best d-maen in the league he plays on a bad team the same as Grudbrason in Vancouver…If he plays 12 minutes a game on the 3rd pairing and can be physical and be a deterrent lets see. i also agree with you on Oleksiak he is a young player who was getting better…if they shipped him off because he lost a few fights that sucks.. don’t see kessell steeping up to protect anyone…LOL

      I’m pretty sure a couple d will be moved in the off season (olli Matta) as part of a bigger deal to get someone like a Jason Zucker or someone…

  7. Sorry George.
    Usually love your takes – but the “team leaving narrative” makes you sound like a trolling Leaf fan.

    They aren’t.
    They won’t.
    They can’t.

    come on man….

    EVEN IF he claims bankruptcy there have been **confirmed** offers for the team – and others would come out of the wood work. The NHL practically shut the door on future “sneaky” sale/moves after Atlanta. They’ll give first refusal to people in Ottawa to step up. Owners love their 20 million cut from new franchise fees. They get nothing but egg on their face moving a franchise. Phoenix/Glendale/Arizona Coyotes or the Fan-Less Panthers don’t get sold year after year but some how the Sens are suddenly going to be sold and moved to Quebec or some other place? Not happening.

    • I sincerely hope you’re right and I’m wrong Dark G. But comparing Ottawa to places like Phoenix and Miami with their respective empty seats is solidly in the apples and oranges category. Both those U.S. sites have comparative sweetheart deals when it comes to being state tax havens for both team and players, not to mention arena costs so, even with their empty seats while the Sens were enjoying capacity crowds, and thanks to equalization payments, in the end they were likely seeing just as good if not better profits.

      The Sens, on the other hand – team and players – are taxed up the yin-yan by federal, provincial and municipal governments, and that is magnified even more when there are countless empty seats to the points where they felt they had to cover several thousand by tarpaulins to avoid the negative effects on TV.

      If an owner – whether Melnyk or someone else – sees greater potential profits by being in Houston, Portland, Kansas City or Hartford, it’s pretty hard to deny them that opportunity in the lands of free enterprise.

      • It would be a dark joke but…Houston hockey fans should start a website called MakeItSixAgain . com

        Quebec City is willing to pay a lot of money for a team. Surely, they’ve made offers to Melnyk.

      • With the tax structure in the province of Quebec, that’s even worse than Ottawa! If an owner – Melnyk or otherwise – get the opportunity to relocate, it WON’T be to Quebec City.

  8. Jets did well in adding Hayes but I am kinda leery of the health of their backend. The have 10 D on the roster now, Morrissey and Buff may be on the shelf for a while. Jets must have these 2 back healthy for the playoffs.

  9. With the exception of Columbus not much addition in the east. The cup favorites Wash, TB and Tor didn’t make a noteworthy move. Toronto did their earlier with Muzzin.

    Boston over a couple of days added Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, who was their consolation prize after missing out on other targets.

    Boston is a better team today then they were yesterday, are they deep enough to win the Cup? Not in my opinion.

    Johansson who is an upgrade isn’t a right winger which means someone in Boston has to play on their off wing.

    Boston is deep at Center with Bergeron, Krecji, Coyle and Kuraly.

    With that said and Boston core being a year older next season, I believe next year is Boston all in season. They are set down the middle and will need to add a top 6 right winger which is things have panned out would’ve been Zach Senyshyn as he already has more goals this season then all of last season maybe there still hope.
    Boston will need to address their second line rw in the offseason or at the draft.

    While the upgrades are nice but nothing substantial they certainly have the making of a very good third line and makes Boston a little tougher to play against if help fight off Washington if Boston happens to play them. Hoping Boston finishes in the 1st wildcard spot and play the Islanders in the 1st round. Not saying they’ll beat the NYI just an easier path then Tor and TB.

  10. Yes, George it’s certainly much more fragile up here and the corporate sponsor thing is a much smaller pot…but still….he “claims” he’s averaging 14k this year. With 2500 seats covered still with that large wood thing at one end (I think) for a last place team…the negativity swirling….that’s pretty good if true.

    Next year I expect some sweetheart game prices/packages to get bums in seats.

    • Fingers crossed … but you know, if the taxpayer can be expected to look the other way when it comes to foregoing legal action against a large Quebec firm that broke several laws, then maybe it’s time to turn a blind eye to team give-aways to public servants in Ottawa as is the case with corporate actions in the larger non-government-dominated cities in Canada.

      • Lol. Wow.

  11. I did not watch all the goings on yesterday….Did I hear someone on Sportsnet say….”The Leafs are working on getting Nurse from Edmonton”…I thought I heard that and there was never another reference to it that I heard.

    Just another Leaf fan suffering from delusions or was something like this said. Any ideas what was supposedly involved.

    As to the Leafs, their management remains committed to the speed and skills concept….while most observers ( including Old Blue Dog) do not think it will work in April

    TS Eliot wrote April is the cruelest month…..who would have guessed he was a Leaf fan??

    • @ Old Blue Dog

      It was reported yes…

      I think from what Ive heard is that he Leafs were asked to make Connor Brown available if that was the deal …Brown had played with McDavid in junior with a great deal of success …potting 40 plus goals if am not mistaken …so I think there was to be a reunion..but Leafs balked at wanting to delete players and wanted to give up prospects and draft picks instead and another side piece but nor Brownie …see what happens in off season though ..see if they will revisit !

      • Thanks Kal El……

        I know Oilers want wingers badly while keeping Dria & Nugent Hopkins….but there must have been a big add from TO….I think the Canes right hand D will be revisited once the Leafs pay the bonuses to Kadri, Brown, Nylander as well.

        Leafs are lacking a lot going into the play offs….don’t see them doing well this year

  12. Read yesterday that Calgary was working on a big deal that fell thru Sunday night, that included players with term. Wonder with whom and for what?

  13. Wonder what and with whom Calgary had a big deal that fell thru on Sunday night with?

    • Apparently it was Ottawa for Stone. But I have no idea why the talks collapsed, although it almost definitely had to do with who the Flames were prepared to relinquish.

      • Treliving met the press and even though he didn’t mention Stone’s name he said that he wasn’t prepared to give up Valimaki as part of the deal and Ottawa wouldn’t budge either

  14. Mike, I believe it was a Stone deal. Calgary wouldn’t budge on the prospects.

  15. Yes, we loaded up and Bob, Bread, Duchene, and DZINGEL are all UFA’s. We could lose all of them but we have them now. We could also sign them too. A different spin is you do not lose them for nothing they all played out their contracts . The disturbing thing to me is how the NHL decided that starting with Vegas expansion teams will be gifted good teams in the expansion draft. All you other teams before that were all given scraps and struggled to build a team. I’ve been sitting in Nationwide area since day one and now I can get excited for this year. I’m sure that Seatle will get almost the same treatment as Vegas did. I say almost because Vegas will be exempt from the expansion draft.

    • Jarmo has brass balls by dumping all his picks to go all in this year. Trying to remember if something similar has ever occurred in the past …If this works he may be setting a new trend. Tortorella must be excited too.

      • Tortorella is having an orga****m with all these moves.

    • I’m happy for you Fred.
      I like the fact that they’re trying to build upon the solid fan base which already exists.
      Go for it!
      Give the fans something to be excited about.
      Good business move by JD and Jaro.
      This will pay off for now, and the future of the franchise.
      Unless of course they get bounced in the 1st round.
      Then it’s more about big balls.

  16. besides CLB having 6 UFAs to consider in the off season they also have 2 RFA’s who could get nice raises in Werenski and Ryan Murray, they also need to keep some coin tucked away for Dubois in 2020.

  17. What else could CLB do? Get some seconds and conditionals maybe a bottom 6 roster player or two . I like it. I also think Dzingel will sign and who knows the future.

    • I am pulling for CLB to do well the rest of the way. They went from selling off 2 of their best players to keeping them and loading up. Should be exciting for the fans.