NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2019

by | Apr 1, 2019 | Rumors | 16 comments

No April Foolin’ here, check out the latest on Tyson Barrie and an update on the Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers recently noted promising defenseman Cale Makar could soon join the Colorado Avalanche roster. The 20-year-old is considered a younger version of Avs blueliner Tyson Barrie. While the Avalanche can afford to carry Barrie and Makar, Chambers suggests the Avs could potentially trade Barrie if Makar plays up to expectations and use the saving to put toward re-signing restricted free agent star Mikko Rantanen.

Tyson Barrie’s future with the Colorado Avalanche remains a topic of conjecture (Photo via NHL Images)

Barrie is signed through 2019-20 with an annual salary-cap hit of $5.5 million. Makar would be earning less than $1 million annually on his entry-level deal. 

On Saturday, Chambers followed up by noting Barrie’s value to the Avs blueline this season. The 27-year-old became the franchise leader among defenseman for goals (73), assists (231) and points (304). However, Chambers once again suggested the potential addition of young Makar could cast Barrie’s long-term future with the Avalanche into doubt. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Avalanche have just over $46 million invested in 12 players for 2019-20. Assuming the cap reaches $83 million as projected, they’ll have around $37 million to work with if they become a cap team. Rantanen is their only core player without a contract and will be their priority. The remainder of their free agents can be re-signed or replaced on affordable contracts.

It could cost around $7 million annually on a long-term extension to re-sign Barrie. It’ll be interesting to see if the Avs attempt to re-sign him this summer or wait and see how next season plays out. They could trade him but I don’t think they’ll go that route. As promising as Makar is, he’s yet to make his NHL debut and it’ll take time before he gets up to Barrie’s standard.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield believes the Blackhawks’ most pressing need is their defense and he anticipates there could be some changes there this summer.

Aging blueliners Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have expensive contracts with full no-movement clauses. Erik Gustafsson is having a breakout performance and is signed through 2019-20 with a $1.2-million contract. Connor Murphy is steady and has a decent contract while rookie Henri Jokiharju should be back for a full season. 

Greenfield anticipates one or two of the Blackhawks’ top-five defensemen probably won’t be back next season. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Scott Powers anticipates it could cost the Blackhawks between $13 million to $15 million to re-sign young forwards Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome. Both have one year remaining on their entry-level contracts but general manager Stan Bowman will have to plan ahead to ensure he’s got sufficient room when their new contracts kick in next July. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $60.6 million invested in 15 players for 2019-20, Bowman will have around $23 million to work with this summer if the cap reaches $83 million as projected with all his core players under contract. He’s got room to add to his roster but I daresay he’d like to free up some additional long-term cap space to make room for DeBrincat and Strome.

Moving Keith or Seabrook would free up precious salary-cap room for additional moves this summer or next. Despite their impressive careers, however, both are in the mid-thirties, their best seasons are behind them, and moving their contracts won’t be easy even if they agreed to waive their movement clauses. If the Blackhawks blueline changes, I expect Keith and Seabrook will still be part of it. 

A possible salary-dump candidate could be center Artem Anisimov, He’s signed through 2020-21 with an annual cap hit of $4.55 million and his limited no-trade clause expires on July 1. 


  1. Happy April Fool’s Day to all those who think winter is over – or who thought we were headed for “sunny days” in the last election as you begin to fork over more for EVERYTHING under the new carbon tax …

    • Everyone thinks Eugene Melnyk is Ottawas April fool…in reality it’s justin Trudeau who is the real Fool!
      Welcome to the carbon tax!

    • I live in Alberta, we already have the carbon tax. Thanks for ruining my morning when I’m trying to read about hockey with your political BS.

      • Don’t know about the other comment – but mine was economic – which CAN have an adverse effect on the purchase of hockey tickets.

    • The tax is necessary! Otherwise Canada will never be able to freeze don cherry in carbonite for posterity!

  2. Lately, comments and observations on a wide variety of teams tells me that the GMs of those teams with a surplus of at least serviceable D, or in a position where they can’t really afford to re-sign their RFA D due to cap constraints, are going to have their phones ringing off the hook at both the draft tables and early summer, especially after the slim pickings from the UFA heap are dealt with.

  3. GMs will need to start applying some forward thinking when signing players this summer due to the 2021 expansion draft. Hoping that NMC’s are far and few between. All players with NMC’S must be protected in the expansion draft .Ducks will be in a bond if they have no choice but to protect Getzlaf, Perry and Kesler. Hawks will have no choice but to protect Seabrook and Keith etc

    I believe Colorado should re-sign Barrie. But no NTC & no NMC . If Makar plays up to his potential from day 1 look at moving Barrie in the future.

  4. Absurd idea/thought that Avs would move Barrie. If Makar signs, they’d keep him. “Move on” from Barrie? stupid. Sometimes the rationale of some of these scribes baffles me.Chambers=jackass

    • agree no reason to move on from Tyson..makar signs both are in the lineup avs have plenty of room to resign both rants and Barrie….with room to add a second line
      guy as well

      • It will be interesting to see how Sakic handles both Barrie and Rants.
        He proved he has the patience to wait and get the best deal for Duchene. Will he be tough with Rantanen while he is coming off his ELC? Does the team still have leverage in that situation as it seems the high end players are winning more than their share of these negotiations lately.
        Same is true in WPG. Big decisions to be made.

  5. Makar will need at least a couple of years at the NHL level. Keep Barrie. As stated -not a lot of tier one defence available.

    I still think the best deal of the year was Perlini and Strome for Schmaltz . …For both teams except for the injury

  6. Please post your political views elsewhere. Leave my Hockey alone.

    • Agreed. Let’s keep the conversation on topic.

  7. Just heard something interesting on Team 1200 radio – guess what team was in 31st place in the league when the calendar turned to 2019? Wasn’t Ottawa or L.A. It was St. Louis, and now, with a handful of games left, they sit 2 points out of 1st in their division which, if they should win it, would set up a Winnipeg-Nashville opening round!

    • Binnington for MVP!

  8. Would Bowman be crazy to take a 2nd rd pick, Gilmour and B. Smith from NY for Keith?

    Smith’s contract is up in 2 years and will give them the long term cap they need to sign DeBrincat and Strome.

    Keith can pair with Pionk allowing
    Staal to slide to 3rd pairing with DeAngelo.