NHL Rumor Mill – March 5, 2019

by | Mar 5, 2019 | Rumors | 19 comments

Could the Kings move Jonathan Quick, Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter or Ilya Kovalchuk this summer? Why didn’t the Coyotes make a big move at the deadline? Why didn’t the Capitals trade Andre Burakovsky? The answers in today’s NHL rumor mill.  


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Lisa Dillman was asked where Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick might end up and the Kings’ potential asking price. She suggests the Florida Panthers could come calling if they fail to land Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky via this summer’s free-agent market. The Kings could set a high asking price but the 33-year-old Quick is coming off a sub-par season and has a long injury history. 

Could the Los Angeles Kings trade goaltender Jonathan Quick this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

While the Kings don’t have many trade chips remaining on their roster, Dillman considers Quick and defenseman Alec Martinez at the top of her list. She also believes the Kings are intent on retaining winger Tyler Toffoli in hopes he’ll have a bounce-back performance next season. She notes Jeff Carter has no interest in moving and he has some control over his future as his contract winds down. With a different coach and system, Dillman feels Ilya Kovalchuk could also improve. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick, Toffoli, Carter, and Kovalchuk frequently surfaced in this season’s trade-rumor mill. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pop up again this summer.

Of the four, it seems Quick could be the most likely to move, though that’s not a certainty given the issues (age, performance, injuries) mentioned by Dillman. Still, if the Florida Panthers don’t land Bobrovsky, Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov or the New York Islanders’ Robin Lehner this summer, they could make inquiries into Quick’s availability. Other clubs could also look into Quick’s availability. 

Sounds like Toffoli’s not going anywhere and Carter has no desire to leave Los Angeles. The Kings might be willing to entertain trade offers for Kovalchuk, provided he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause and they absorb a healthy chunk of his $6.25-million annual cap hit through 2020-21. Having traded away Jake Muzzin, I think the Kings could retain Martinez. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Craig Morgan recently listed acquisition cost, budget, injuries, and the growth of role players for why the Arizona Coyotes didn’t make a significant addition at the recent NHL trade deadline. The Coyotes also got back sidelined forwards Christian Dvorak and Brad Richardson while defenseman Jason Demers and winger Michael Grabner will soon rejoin the lineup. 

Morgan praised Coyotes general manager John Chayka for not pursuing a big-ticket rental like Mark Stone when there was no certainty of re-signing him. He believes Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet would’ve loved to add someone like Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau or Mike Hoffman but their tight budget and the Panthers’ asking price may have factored into why they didn’t do it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau and Hoffman were linked to the Coyotes prior to the trade deadline. I don’t believe the Panthers intend to move Huberdeau, but if they do they’ll set a high price for him. Hoffman could be a more affordable option, provided his 10-team no-trade list doesn’t include the Coyotes. With over $68 million invested in 15 players and all their core players except Nick Schmaltz under contract for 2019-20, any deal the Coyotes make this summer could be dollar-for-dollar. 


WASHINGTON POST: Isabelle Khurshudyan recently reported Andre Burakovsky’s improved offense over the past month explains why the Capitals didn’t move the winger at the trade deadline. However, his future in Washington remains uncertain.

He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and it’ll cost the Capitals $3.25 million to qualify his rights. If not, he would become an unrestricted free agent. She speculates the two sides could agree to a new contract in the week between the non-tender deadline and the start of free agency on July 1. Burakovsky insists he wants to remain with the Capitals. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burakovsky’s future with the Capitals could depend upon his performance down the stretch and into the 2019 playoffs. 


  1. Craig Morgan didn’t notice it took Vegas 20 minutes to re-sign Mark Stone? “uncertainty”…no…it was pretty obvious to anyone who called the player or the agent what it would take.

    • Hi Dark G , Lyle and all

      I have a question w.r.t. Stone and his contract.

      We all know the announcement on TDL was that he had agreed to an extension for $9.5M etc. etc.

      We also knew that the agreement legally at that time could not be signed; had to wait until March 1st to formally sign

      I see on CapFriendly that he is still listed as UFA for next season. Has the contract formally/actually been signed now; or are they just finalizing the nitty-gritty details?

      Does anybody know if it does/will have a NTC/NMC ?

      Thanks in advance for the answer

      • Could be related to the tagging rule. Vegas currently has over $72.8 million invested in 16 players for 2019-20. Assuming a $9.5 million cap hit, that would put them in excess of the current cap ceiling.

        Under league rules, a team’s payroll for the following season cannot exceed the cap ceiling of the current ceiling. I understand there’s a 10 percent tagging allowance after March 1 enabling teams to go over the current ceiling. If so, Stone’s new deal could still push them over that.

        If so, it doesn’t negate the deal, as they’ll still be able to formally announce it once the new cap ceiling is officially revealed (late-June?). Hopefully, we’ll have more news on this soon.

      • Thanks Lyle and DoubleMinor

        Cheers 🙂


      • Thanks Lyle and Double Minor

        Cheers 🙂


      • Pengy & Dee….. Its amazing! Grudbrason has worked out well so far (small sample size) I knew this guy could fit in to our system. Everyone was running him and Rutherford out of town. Dumolin may play Thursday at home against Columbus that’s huge..and maybe even tonight. Grudbrason will give us protection against the Wilson’s off the world and he isn’t afraid… Hell even jack Johnson is looking like an NHL player these days (scary)

        Letang may be back the following week…… Big week Florida, Columbus and the Boston all this week at home….

        As far as my second fav team the kings Carter has a no trade and i honestly don’t see him waiving that….. he loves living in Manhattan beach..

        Quick maybe it must be the right fit! Tyler Toffoli I think is the one most likely to go along with Alec Martinez who i was surprised didn’t get moved at the deadline.

        I hope the NHL moves the trade deadline to Feb 1st some of these guys play like 18-19 games that’s it with the new club..

        more Gm’s might gamble if the deadline was moved up…..

      • @ Black & Gold …Pengy and Deee

        Gudbranson seemed to always be a bubble player in Vancouver …he had one foot in and out …the team was reluctant to sign and then did becuase he came cheap …Luongo was openly critical about the Panthers trading him away and lambasted the organization for that move …I love the player ..Iam a Leafs fan first and Pens fan second …he was always on the Leafs radar …wish they had picked him up when they had the chance instead !

        great pick up by the Pens both long term and short term …will give them better flexibility in off season to round out that back end better …

        The Pens are in cap hell as well as in RETOOLING hell…LOL …it would be beneficial if they can move on from Kessel … and maybe even move out Hornqvist to help with money …don’t get me wrong….
        I AM A HUGE HORNY fan …love how he plays …BUT he just signed a long term deal and you may need to upgrade there as well as lighten up the cap and get some returns for players …if your going to ride out Crosby and Malkin till the end …Hornqvist could bring a decent return of player, pick and prospect in the right deal ..just spit ballin

      • BlacknGold, Carter doesn’t have a NTC or a NMC. He has no say in whether the Kings trade him or not per se, however he can use the recapture penalty to his advantage by saying he will retire if traded to try and get some control.

        Whether or not that tactic will work, remains to be seen.

      • Slow down he’s only played 2 games. He’s a meat head through and through once he gets confotable the 8 mill cap hit for he and Johnson for 2 more years is going to look ridiculous. I honestly hope he continues to play at this level and grows as a player because he’s one of the toughest guys left in the league. But his career to this point does not reflect that. Jack has been playing slightly above replacement level since Tanger and Dumo went down but can he sustain it? There is nothing in his past that says he can. Those 2 are likely going to force Maatta out of town and maybe Shultz as well. Would you trade Maatta and Shultz for Johnson and Gudbranson?

      • I wouldn’t say the Penguins are in cap he’ll necessarily. Johnson and Gudbranson are the only 2 bad contracts on the roster and they are navigable. The stars contracts all look like bargains at this point and they still have a lot of good hockey left in them beyond this season. 4 or 5 more years of going for it and then sell off the vets for picks and prospects and rebuild, the Penguins started that trend and it’s been successful for them twice in the last 30 years. Crosby will play into his 40s health permitting and he will transition into a solid defensive forward a lot like Yzerman did at the end of his career. The assets that will get the biggest return at that point will be Dumoulin, Guentzel, Murray, Rust etc, guys who have won and are playoff performers.

      • I don’t see Schultz being affected but maatta certainly could go. Doesn’t sound like gmjr going to back off johnson. So letang dumo Schultz johnson as your top 4 with gudbranson Anchoring The bottom pair. 8+ mil on the bottom pair ain’t likely. Plus maatta would bring the best return. Shame though. Maatta at times over the last couple years was a great player. Consistency only concern

    • “Craig Morgan didn’t notice it took Vegas 20 minutes to re-sign Mark Stone? “uncertainty”…no…it was pretty obvious to anyone who called the player or the agent what it would take.”

      Just because he signed in Vegas doesn’t mean there would be any certainty of him signing with Arizona if they’d traded for him.

      There’s a chasm if difference between a team that made the SC Finals last season and a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs in over half a decade.

    • KINGS

      The last issue or player that needs to be moved out is Quick …he is the least of there concerns …and out of all the players that do need to go on the Kings he is the only one that is irreplaceable …who is going to fill that roll …sure they have a great up and coming goalie in Cal Peterson who I really like a lot …but Id keep Quick around to help the youth come up PLUS he is still very good …lol …not going to find a more economical or better goalie to replace him,….they need to get rid of about 4 – 5 forwards and bolster the back end.


      This is a real interesting up and coming team …the latest round of trades for Grabner Shmaltz Keumper Hinostroza and Richardson have all been good aquisitions mixing in with Keller and…. Iam a big Stepan fan and what he brings …they are also STACKED on
      D men ..really high quality…top 4 and 6 deep …
      very interesting team to watch for the next season …will be interesting if they bring in a player like Hoffman that would be a really good grab…..but Iam hoping Edmonton plucks him away from Florida….really want to see him play with McDavid

      Heard the funniest line of a Leafs hockey Radio show …a caller called them the Greatest POND HOCKEY team ever assembled …lol …yikes!!!
      ..always looking to stir things up ..lol

    • Leafs sign sparks

      …Iam not so sure this is a good way to go …I was a fan ..but not after watching him this year …I think they really need to upgrade there instead…with a veteran at low cost …McHilhinney!!! ..LOL …
      I actually even like Hutchinson better in the minors instead as well…Sparks can not move at an NHL pace or level to be a quality back up…IMO 🙁

  2. I can see the Flames as one of the teams who will be going after Quick and/or Bobrovsky this summer. Although they also have to sign Bennett and Tkachuk plus another backup goalie. Right now they have a little over $13million plus whatever the cap will be going up by. So it maybe tight, but do able.

    • @ Ken Jam

      I think that BOBS will be to rich for the Flames …I also think that they think very highly of Rittich …not to say that they wont kick tires and probably go out and get another goalie ..but with having to pay up for Tkachuck he may take up more cap that they think ..and not enough left over for Bobs !!

      Not to mention Bobs will most likely not sign there as he can go where ever he wants …doubt the Flames is
      1 -2 on his list !

  3. Maybe the flames can somehow rid themselves of the tooth fairy and his contract with a sweetener!

  4. Dee & Karl E…. I don’t think the Penguins are in cap hell. This summer they must move Phil Kessel, $6.8 Olli Matta,$4.1 Jack Johnson &3.75??? (if that one is possible)

    also secondary moves like Tristan Jarry and Dominick Simon that’s $1.6 million…

    if we move those 5 players that’s $16.2 million

    I love Horny don’t want to move but maybe…??

    I think Grudbrason can be effective in Pittsburgh as a third pairing DMAN 12 -14 minutes a game, play a physical game, be a force and a deterrent…

    1. Letang —Dumolin
    2. Schultz —Pettersson
    3. Grudbrason– Trotman/Rikola/ Johnson/Matta/Prow

    Dee…….Dumolin, Rust, Guentzal aren’t going anywhere nor is Murray.

    i disagree with you Malkin isn’t playing in to his 40’s hell he might not make 35….maybe Crosby because of his work ethic Malkin doesn’t have a high motor as we all know.

    time will tell…

    If he had Crosby’s, Ovechkin’s, Toew’s, Kane’s motor Malkin would be unstoppable but he doesn’t and he wont ever he is a super talented inconsistent enigma that is well frustrating….