NHL Rumor Mill – April 15, 2019

by | Apr 15, 2019 | Rumors | 36 comments

More speculation over Nazem Kadri’s future with the Leafs, plus the latest on the Canadiens and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


TORONTO STAR: Bruce Arthur noted Nazem Kadri faces his second playoff suspension in as many years, suggesting it raises questions over his future with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kadri received a three-game suspension last April for boarding then-Bruins forward Tommy Wingels and could face at least five games for cross-checking Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk during Game 2 on Saturday. 

Arthur feels it’s worth asking if Kadri can ever learn to rein in his emotions, and if a team with Stanley Cup aspirations like the Leafs can trust someone who’s done this two years in a row.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arthur isn’t calling for the Leafs to trade Kadri this summer like the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons. Nevertheless, it’s fair to wonder if his latest antics tests the patience of Leafs management and head coach Mike Babcock. Those questions will grow this summer if Kadri’s expected lengthy suspension ends up costing the Leafs in this series with the Bruins. 


TVA SPORTS: Lists San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski, New York Islanders winger Anders Lee, Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner, Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Artemi Panarin, and Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene as possible free-agent options for the Montreal Canadiens this summer. 

Should the Montreal Canadiens shop Brendan Gallagher for some high-end talent? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Sharks will re-sign Pavelski, who probably wants to finish his playing career in San Jose. Having lost one captain to free agency last summer when John Tavares signed with Toronto, I believe the Isles will re-sign Lee.

The Sabres acquired Skinner for peanuts and can’t afford to lose the best linemate Jack Eichel’s ever had. Panarin apparently wants to play in a big American market.

That leaves Duchene, who the Habs were reportedly interested in prior to the trade deadline. If the Jackets don’t re-sign him and if his asking price isn’t ridiculously high, perhaps the Canadiens will revisit their interest in him this summer. 

L’ANTICHAMBRE (Stick tap to GoHabsGo.com): Analyst P.J. Stock suggests the Canadiens should shop winger Brendan Gallagher while his trade value is high in return for some high-end talent. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, they shouldn’t. The factors that make the 26-year-old Gallagher’s value high in the trade market  (a tenacious, agitating lead-by-example 30-goal scorer with an affordable contract) make him invaluable to the rebuilding Canadiens. 


COURIER-POST: Dave Isaac reports bringing more experience to the Philadelphia Flyers blueline is a priority for general manager Chuck Fletcher. He’s likely to pursue a veteran defenseman this summer to take some of the pressure off their younger rearguards. 

Isaac notes the free-agent market for defensemen isn’t that deep beyond San Jose’s Erik Karlsson, with blueliners such as Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers, Vancouver’s Alexander Edler, and Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman as the other notables. He feels that big splash will likely come via the trade market, perhaps by acquiring the rights of Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, who’s slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. 

Flyers blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere had a disappointing follow-up to last season’s 65-point performance. Isaac suggests his puck-moving skills and team-friendly contract ($4.5-million AAV) could make him a player a rival club might want in return for a veteran defenseman. However, a healthy Gostisbehere could also prove helpful to the Flyers next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $47.7 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20, giving them around $35 million to work with should the cap reach $83 million as projected. That’s more than enough to re-sign RFAs like Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim and still leave plenty of cap dollars to bring in a high-priced blueline talent via free agency or trade.

Karlsson would be the most expensive, probably at around $11 million annually on a seven-year contract. If Fletcher wants to go the trade route, perhaps he’ll target a club looking to shed salary for next season. Trouba could be a good fit but he’ll have to give up one of his good young defensemen as part of the return. 


  1. Gallagher is the type of pain-in-the-ass player opposing fans love to hate … but would welcome with open arms on THEIR team. Just like Marchand – although not quite in Marchand’s overall class.

  2. Kadri should be suspended minimum 10 games.
    The NHL has given 2 games, 4 games, 10 game suspensions to Radko Gudas increasing each time citing his record for the increase in length. This is Kadri’s what 5th or 6th time and each time it is where the head is the target.
    Time for the NHL to show it has same rules for everyone.

    • Don’t be ridiculous, man.

      • I think he’s talking perspective here BCLeafFan. I mean, what would be the hue and cry if that had been Tom Wilson – suspended 4 times for illegal checks including 20 games for one during a pre-season tilt (later reduced to 14) – delivering that cross-check? And yet this would be Kadri’s 5th time and the 8th time he’s faced discipline from the league (he was merely fined three times)

    • There is no doubt he will get suspended but that game was an absolute s**t show for what Boston was allowed to get away with.

      Look up the Pasternak hit on Muzzin, Muzzin was already being checked into the boards by another Bruin and Pasternak cruise down the boards from at least 6 feet…leaves his feet and smashes into Muzzin as his head was being turned by the other Bruin.

      Absolutely disgusting and where was player safety?

      • Disagree Gary, we were debating if it should have been a penalty when we were watching the game. We didn’t think he targeted hi head, and his feet came off the ice after initial contact, which is normal when you are trying to hit someone hard. Normal follow through for applying a hard hit, you generate the poser from your legs, which is still legal.
        Penalty OK, they called it, like you said he came from 6 feet away (which isn’t that abnormal in the playoffs either).
        You could also say that Muzzin hit Krug late. Close call and debatable, but OK they let that slide too. Krug is out and likely in concussion protocol, although the Bruins will be silent on injuries.
        My issue is the game refs let almost all of it slide, from both sides and the game got away from them as the players took it into their own hands.
        Not disgusting but a normal playoff hockey outcome when the borderline stuff isn’t called and players, of course, try to get even.
        Methinks they jump on it early tonight.

      • Fair comment Ray and now that I looked at it with my blue and white goggles off I can see where he left his feet after the hit but still a dangerous hit to de sure.

    • Hi Dr. Pepper,

      I posted my take on this on the Morning Coffee side of Spector’s.

      10 games (at playoff time) equates to 20 in regular season; not happening.

      Per TSN analysis last night; Leafs argument will be that there has been limited actual suspensions for face/neck cross-checks in the past.

      However, unfortunately, due to his repeat offender status; I believe he’s going to get 4 or 5. 3 or 4 is justified in my opinion. 5 is pushing it. More, unfairly punished.

      I asked on the Morning Coffe side , whether anybody knew whether Ferland’s penalty and ejection had been rescinded by the League as per the expectations stated by all of TSN, HNC, and SN? Did it?

      The other thing I posted as a question was w.r.t. the assertion that the Hamilton hit was going to get reviewed for further discipline. Was it? If it was and they did NOT review the Ovi elbow to the head… then the Wash bias gig is up.

      Does anybody know if (1) Ferland’s was rescinded; (2) was their a review of Hamilton and/or Ovi hits?


      • Pengy the answer to all of your questions is “NO” as of 8:30 am central this morning.

      • I’d guess 5 games.

        That length seems not overly high, and also keeps Kadri guaranteed out of this series. If the series went to seven, Kadri came back and helped the Leafs win it, that could be pretty bad optics for the league. Five games guarantees that doesn’t happen.

      • Caper,


        Very sad to hear that at the very least the League didn’t recind the Ferland penalty …. I agree with HNC, TSN, SN…. clean check ; no penalty should have been given

        Leaving unrescinded permanently shows (for Ferland) a game ejection for an illegal hit to the head …. which it was not

        That’s hard to stomach

    • My guess would be 5 games.

    • the department of player safety is a joke.

      Voracek gets 2 games for bracing for a high impact hit from Boychuck.

      Kucherov gets 1 game for a blatant hit to the head of a player in a compromised position.

      Will be surprised if Kadri gets more than 2 games.

  3. With Duchene early success and if it continues his $$$ amount on his next contract will grow. Montreal should look at bring in Duchene but they’ll have competition for his service.

    • Maybe he says in Columbus now

      • Let’s hope so because, if he does, Ottawa also gets Columbus’ 1st pick next year as well – more assets to deal with

  4. Question…What really does it matter if Ferland’s was rescinded or not….that game is over.

    Question…Does anyone believe any general manager will give Karlson a 77 million dollar deal ???
    If one does exist he should not be in the hockey business..( imo )

    • I believe that, given the nature of that on-ice call, it automatically requires a review by the department of player safety.

      If the call is rescinded, no such review has to take place.

      I could be wrong on this, but it’s my understanding.

    • I know one thing for absolute certain – if anyone does give him 7 years and $77 mil it WON’T be Ottawa. Dorion made that offer – actually 8 years – and he turned it down. That bridge has been burned to a cinder.

    • @Old Hockey Fan,
      I could be wrong on this, but I think if a player gets 2 match penalties with in a certain time period, they automatically get a suspension.

    • Hi OHF

      If it stays on his record ; it can be used as evidence in any future discipline hearings and to a much lesser extent and/or probability ; can be used against him as information used when negotiating a contract

      Re: Kevjam’s assertion that cumulative ejections over a period of time can lead to a game suspension… I seem to remember talk of that but can’t remember if it was in the rule book or up for discussion at GMs meetings; to include in rule book

      Either way; incorrect call and ejection

      League needs to step up and rescind this blatantly incorrect call

  5. Stone looks great with Vegas…8 points in 3 games.

    Duschene looks good with Columbus.

    How could Ottawa be so bad with these guys?

    • Surrounding cast. Simple as that.

  6. kadri was being pounded on both legally and illegaly all game because he is the only physical player the leafs have and the bruins wanted to get him out of the game.de brusk singled him out and when cadre took him into the boards( not the so called half wall ) debrusk was in the process of falling which caused the cross check to hit him in the head area. it seems that everyone has forgotten that in todays nil cross checking and charging are no longer penalties. did anyone notice chara pounding on the head of kadri on that same play. no penalty there.rather than trade kadri the leafs should find other players to help him with the heavy lifting. perhaps they should suit up kyle dubas against the bruins and he might see the light.

    • To each their own, but that seems one biased version of what happened!

      Check out this clip at the 0:30 mark: https://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/is-babcock-disappointed-in-kadri~1660194

      There is no chance Debrusk is falling.

      Based on their history, this check was dirty, dangerous, behind the play, and pre-meditated by a player with a history multiple suspensions – including against this same team last year.

      Just because Kadri was being roughed up in the game (legally or illegally), he’s not excused from that. It was undisciplined and embarrassing, in my opinion.

      And I’m a guy hoping for the Leafs!!!

      • Paddy,
        While I agree with the majority of your post, I also think DeBrusk sold that penalty well just like Kadri sold the knee on knee. I think his stick rode up DeBrusk and made it look worst than it was.
        That beginning said, it was a foolish play on is part and he and the team will pay for his error. I would have said two games but being a repeat offender it will be five or more which I think is high.
        BTW, DeBrusk is playing tonight

      • Yes OK we get it, everything Boston does is dirty and illegal, everything Toronto does is clean and justifiable.
        Just for fun did you see JT knock over Rask in the first couple of minutes? Was Muzzin hit on Krug Late?
        In the end none of it has anything to do what with Kadri done. That was just bad on his part. I take Kadri on my team but he has to stop with the Brain farts.

      • Crazy Canuck, DeBrusk wasn’t falling.
        Kadri went is high and did it ride up? I don’t see that and watched it a few times. Paused it etc. When you see the angle from seat side of the glass it gives you a better perspective.
        Chara held back big time, and if you ever saw him in a real fight that is obvious. Kadri turtles and drops on top of DeBrusk, who Kadri just cross checked in the head. Intentionally. He has no idea if DeBrusk is actually hurt. Turns out he isn’t.
        Yes I am a Bruins fan. We lost 2 guys last game with one of them Krug, which you could argue was a little bit late by Muzzin. Borderline, and isn’t gonna get called in a game like that. Krug should know better than to watch your pass in a playoff game. I don’t see any Bruins fans crying foul about some double standard.
        Some Leaf players like to whine to the Refs, I guess some Leaf fans (not all by any means) like to whine as well.
        Game 3 is tonight, will be intense again. I would bet on the refs using their whistles a little more early on in the game. If they don’t it will keep getting nastier, which I think the Bruins would take.

  7. 3 reasons why Kadri will get 5 games. One, he is a repeat offender, two no matter his intention was to cross check the arm or the body, principal point of contact was the head and finally DeBrusk did not touch or have the puck so in the eyes of the NHL he was a defenseless player not thinking he would get hit. Knee on knee hit could be seen as dirty but I do not think it was premeditated, Debrusk was going to make a shoulder to shoulder check. Kadri’s hit was a overt act to injure. If he had touched the puck or was skating with the puck, not so but he had checked Marleau, legally and then was following the play.

    As far as Chara banging his head, watched 4 times, did not see it. Saw him grab his head and helmet but never saw him throw his head into the glass or punch him.

  8. Lyle.
    It all depends on what the Habs direction is. Are they in tear down mode or half way through a rebuild? If they’re rebuilding then Gallagher has to go. If it’s year two or three with prospects developing and a good push into the playoffs then sure keep him. But Montreal is an enigma. They over achieved this year. And, when Bergeven normally would have pulled the trigger on a Gallagher deal at the trade deadline he wasn’t able to as they were still in a playoff hunt. They’re in a weird spot. What will they be next year? Last? First? Mediocre? Wasting Price’s best years and what little time their captain has left.

  9. Sorry Lyle. No way anyone gives EK 77 for 7 years. Too much risk for any GM. Thats the kind of deal that can blow up in your face and become your legacy…

    I would pay it in a second if he didn’t have health questions.

    Fletch would be smarter to trade for Trouba. EK is still an uncertain commodity.

    • Gonna happen.

  10. Kadri is a bit of a backstabber always has been
    I have a solution drop the gloves and fight Debrusk . 5 minutes is better than 5 games.
    Kane fought Reeves last night who is out of his weight class. Same type on ice dyed. Pretty sure Debrusk is in Kadri’s

    • Exactly SilverSeven. Kane hung in there pretty good too. It could have been a lot worse. He took a run at Chara as well, didn’t fare quite as well, but hey give the guy credit for standing in there.
      I take back what I said about him when he was in WPG and that whole mess.

  11. Kadri is a gutless puke.

  12. Could PH send Ghost, pick and prospect for Trouba and also sign EK to give them a solid top 4?
    Sanheim slides to the left side


    that would look good……
    expensive but good