NHL Rumor Mill – March 2, 2019

by | Mar 2, 2019 | Rumors | 14 comments

Possible coaching candidates for the Senators, plus the latest on the Islanders, Red Wings, and Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


OTTAWA SUN: Former New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Shaw, and Belleville Senators’ coach Troy Mann top Bruce Garrioch list of potential coaching candidates for the Ottawa Senators. Other possibilities include interim coach Marc Crawford, former Chicago Blackhawks bench boss, former Oilers coach Todd McLellan, and former St. Louis Blues coach Mike Yeo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per the Senators’ press release, they’re looking for a bench boss who will be a teacher (especially to their young players), a good communicator and a skilled tactician. Most on Garrioch’s list would fit the bill, but many of them could be reluctant to join a club with a meddling and cantankerous owner. 

Contract term could be an issue for New York Islanders captain Anders Lee (Photo via NHL Images)


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports hearing the New York Islanders are concerned about the term in a new contract for captain Anders Lee, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.  “That’s all I’ve heard. No questions about the player or the willingness to keep him, it’s all about the term on him,” said Friedman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lee will turn 29 on July 3, which explains the Isles’ rumored concern about the term of his next deal. General manager Lou Lamoriello probably prefers a five-year deal while Lee could seek a seven- or eight-year contract. I doubt Lamoriello wants to see another captain depart via free agency for the second straight year. However, it’s understandable if he doesn’t want to invest too long in a player who’ll soon be turning 30 in a league trending toward younger talent. 


THE DETROIT NEWS:  Ted Kulfan recently reported Red Wings GM Ken Holland said there was little to no interest in goaltender Jimmy Howard leading up to the recent trade deadline because all the playoff contenders have stable, healthy goaltending. He added he intends to meet with Howard in the coming days to discuss a new contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite a recent slump, Howard’s played very well for the rebuilding Wings this season. I expect they’ll want him to accept a two-year deal and for less than the $5.29-million annual average value of his current deal. 


NJ.COM: Abbey Mastracco recently reported the New Jersey Devils depth in draft picks could make them major players at the NHL Draft and beyond. Thanks to GM Ray Shero’s moves leading up to the recent trade deadline, the Devils now have six picks in the first three rounds of the 2019 draft, including three second-round selections and two third rounders. They also have two fourth-round picks in 2020. Shero isn’t ruling out using some of those picks as trade bait. 


  1. Ottawa won’t pay what AV or Todd Mcllellan will demand. Eugene will want to pay the minimum. Aka Carolina paying Brindamour $300k per year

    • Maybe the hire Alexander daigle to coach the team!

    • Good morning

      I thought Boucher was the lowest paid coach in the league ??

      It might serve Ottawa well to go the route of someone familiar ..or has had some, legacy with the organization….

      try and correct some of the wrongs they have done over the years with guys and former players departing …start that process now as opposed to the Leafs where it took them about 5o years to undo some wrongs …….don’t let it get to that !

      I understand where Lou is coming from with Lee ..ha has to look out long term for the organization ..and not repeat another Andrew Ladd scenario …that will be costly as well.

      Lee is making $3.75 million right now ..and way under paid …maybe give him more money on a shorter deal as opposed to long term so instead of offering $8 million per for 8 years give him $10 for 5 …I don’t see Eberle or Filppula being resigned …that will free up $6 million and $3 million …they may have to move out a D man as well such as Leddy who makes $5.5 for 3 more years as well and inject some youth on the back end from the organization depth …Aho ..Dobson or Wortherspoon…

      They will also need to find some money for Lehner who has had the best year of his career …


      I see Shero being very aggresive in this off season …he has to build from the net out this year again …and I think they wasted a year with Hall coming off a solid year …they did not do enough to round out the team last year or at the deadline …this was a surprise disappointment for me this year based on team trends …they just did not go out build further from a solid platform last year …it was rather idle and seemed to be to an internal cap situation …or why the heck not ???
      There was so much to market and campaign off of last year …and they just went out and laid an egg this year!

      Cheers 🙂

      • I would resign Val Filippula. He has been a solid veteran presence. Faceoffs/ PK, lockerroom. I would give him another one year deal.

      • i would resign Val Filippula to another one year deal. he has been a solid veteran for this team.

    • Where did you get Rod Brind’Amours salary? I noticed Capfriendly had it listed as unknown so I’m curious if there is a another source for coaches salaries.

      • @ GP

        In the news conference …a reporter asked Dorion a question surrounding if the SENS were serious about finding a QUALITY coach or a stop gap guy again…when he concluded his question about how serious they would be he said would you be willing to pay a coach more than Boucher being that he was the least paid Head Coach in teh league …

        Not sure what he is paid …bu there was no defence in the comment from Dorion …so I am under the impression that Boucher was the least paid coach in the league !

      • To be exact. The reprter stated that many have the beleif Boucher is the lowest paid coach. He did not claim it as fact.

        What frustrated me most was Dorion’s response. He said he didnt know how to answer that and went on to say they will hire the best coach to fit their needs and proceeded to list off various needs grounded around player and team development.

        He has to have known this question would come up. Ottawa’s biggest issue is the fans no longer trust them to build and maintain a roster. That stems from a perceived lack of finances from Melnyck.

        Money is a huge need. So when he says we will hire the best coach that fits their needs it comes across as they wont pay the best guy if he ask for to much.

        He should of said. YES. then went on with his list of criteria. This organisation has no clue how to win back the trust of their fans. Or simply knows they can’t because their fans worries are true.

  2. It will be Luke Richardson, he fits all the boxes for Ottawa .

    • Jim , 100% agreed LR would be a great choice just not sure Richardson would come back to Ottawa since he did not leave the team on good terms. There was sour grapes when he was not even on the candidate list when Boucher was hired in 2016. Even though he had been the head coach in Binghamton from 2012-2016.
      He is an Ottawa native and has strong ties to the community but working with current Sens management and ownership may be something he is not ok with.

      • I do not see Luke turning this franchise around and leading this young group. I think they should keep their options open and see whom are available after this season. I also think Yzerman should be called and offered the GM position 1st and let him pick his coach to build a proper culture 1st and build a team from there.

        Whatever Yzerman wants, just give it to him. He helped lay a foundation in TB that will last over a decade to come. TB is set to be extremely competitive.

  3. The team and players need to be creative in the cap era. While I understand a player coming into possibly his only major FA signing wanting to maximize his monies and term. In Lou case he could front load the contract on Lee. Instead of keeping it balanced over 7, have the first 3 years high. probably more than market value and drop on the back half of the contract. This way a player get his money and term, while the team has a movable contract on the back end if needed.
    But this team needs to sign Lee

    • @ Larry

      …what did you think of my suggestion up top on the short term but higher cap ….to make LEE whole for his tenure …

      I agree that they need to sign him hence why I gave him what I think is his max salary but for shorter term …in essence its probably shorter and less money than what they offered John anyways and keep the player !

      He will get between 8 and 9 million on the open market so why not just fork over the extra 1 million and save face for the organization …and not have to go through the repeat of another quality player leaving again !!

      I dont see how else you can make the fan base and player happy !

      Its not unreasonable in any regards ans shows the fan base they are serious once again about keeping players

  4. Larry I agree the Islanders need Lee but not for more than 4 years. Tavares leaves and they seem to be a better team. Everyone can be replaced and paying older players for to long is a huge mistake. Lots of UFA’S next year stay patient and one will fall into their lap.