NHL Rumor Mill – April 24, 2019

by | Apr 24, 2019 | Rumors | 71 comments

Latest on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators in the aftermath of their first-round eliminations in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs can trust center Nazem Kadri after his second opening-round suspension in as many years. They must also improve their defense corps, especially with Jake Gardiner and Ron Hainsey slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. While they have some promising blueliners within their system, the Leafs could look to the trade market, as they did when they acquired Jake Muzzin in January.

The cost of re-signing restricted free agent winger Mitch Marner will also affect the Leafs’ efforts to bolster their blueline. Head coach Mike Babcock could also face questions after failing to guide the Leafs past the opening round for the third straight year. 

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs move Nazem Kadri in a cost-cutting deal this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons also believes the Leafs face questions over the future of Nazem Kadri, the cost of re-signing Marner, and figuring out what to do with Gardiner and Hainsey. He also suggests they find a way to shed veteran winger Patrick Marleau’s contract and what they’ll do with restricted free agents Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson. 

Terry Koshan noted Kadri has a cap-friendly $4.5-million annual average value with three years remaining on his contract. He also wonders if they can trust the center to do a better job containing his emotions in the heat of playoff competition. 

Michael Traikos believes Gardiner once again hurt his team with yet another poor Game 7 performance against the Bruins. He cited the blueliner’s turnover behind the Leafs net that turned into Marcus Johansson’s game-winning goal. He doesn’t believe the Leafs will re-sign Gardiner and will allow him to depart via free agency. 

THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle believes big changes are coming to the Leafs this summer. While the Leafs like Gardiner and he enjoys full support from his teammates, he’ll likely price himself out of the Leafs cap range. He also feels Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas will have to find potential replacements for Gardiner and Hainsey via the trade market.  Babcock will likely face increased scrutiny by Leafs followers but Mirtle doesn’t see him being replaced. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect the Leafs to dominate this summer’s rumor mill after failing to advance beyond the opening round for the third straight year. I’ll be shocked if Babcock is fired but he’ll feel the heat over some of his puzzling coaching decisions this season, especially in the series against the Bruins.

Turning to the Leafs roster, Cap Friendly indicates they have over $75.7 million tied up in 19 players. Marner, Kapanen, and Johnsson are their notable RFAs while Gardiner, Hainsey and winger Tyler Ennis their noteworthy UFAs. They’ll get $5.3 million in salary-cap relief by placing all-but-retired winger Nathan Horton on long-term injury reserve to start the season. Assuming an $83-million salary cap for 2019-20, Dubas will have around $13 million to work with. Most of that, perhaps at least $10 million, will be taken up by Marner’s contract, leaving little room to address the other roster needs.

A cost-cutting move or two is coming this summer. Wyshynski suggested the William Nylander trade rumors could crank up again. He’s carrying an annual cap hit of just under $7 million annually. If Dubas stands by his promise not to trade Nylander, he’ll have to look elsewhere for cuts.

Kadri could become a trade candidate. Despite his loose cannon act in the two series against the Bruins and his 10-team no-trade list, he’ll still be enticing for teams seeking a gritty second- or third-line center. Marleau is on a 35-plus contract, meaning a buyout won’t provide the Leafs any cap relief. He’ll also have to agree to waive his no-movement clause. Even if he did, his age (39), cap hit and declining production could make him a tough sell.

Even if Dubas moves Kadri and finds a taker for Marleau, he could still end up being forced to move an RFA like Kapanen or Johnsson, depending upon what they’re seeking on their next contracts.  


ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan and Chris Peters wondered if the Nashville Predators will stay the course or shake things up following a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the Dallas Stars. They feel the Preds must bolster their forward depth, though their limited salary-cap space means they’ll have to get creative to address the issue. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina suggests changes could be in the offing for the Predators this summer. He wondered if center Kyle Turris and defenseman P.K. Subban will be back, if any coaches will be fired, and if they’ll pursue any big free agents. 

THE ATHLETIC: John Glennon expects Predators head coach Peter Laviolette will be back next season, though another disappointing season could cost him his job.  

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin feels the Predators aren’t a very good team, pointing out their league-worst power-play and popgun offense this season. He believes they need a legitimate first-line center, perhaps someone like Columbus’ Matt Duchene if he becomes available via free agency this summer. Signing Duchene, however, would mean clearing some cap space, prompting Larkin to suggest moving Subban, who’s the oldest of the Predators’ top-four defensemen (29) and carries the biggest cap hit ($9 million AAV for three more seasons). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Poile’s reputation as a wheeler-dealer, I don’t expect him to stand pat this summer. A trade or two could be in the offing in June or early July.

The Predators have over $77 million invested in 23 players. I don’t expect pending UFAs like Wayne Simmonds and Brian Boyle will be back. 

Turris had a disappointing, injury-hampered season, with 23 points in 55 games and 2 points in six playoff contests. He lacks no-trade protection but is in the first season of a six-year, $36-million contract. Unless Poile is willing to absorb a healthy portion of that $6-million annual cap hit or includes a promising youngster or high draft pick in the deal, he might not find many takers for Turris.

Subban, on the other hand, remains an NHL superstar. Despite his hefty cap hit, there will be considerable interest in his services if Poile decides to trade him. His lack of a no-trade clause provides the Predators with plenty of potential trade destinations, though some GMs might be leery of Subban’s outsized personality and his offensive flair. 


  1. Simmers back to Philly? 3rd or 4th line? Don’t think he has enough left in the tank for a bigger role. Just wonder if he’s figured that out yet…

  2. The Leafs have to shed Hainsey, Marleau and Gardiner, minimally: if it were up to me I would also trade Kadri and make it clear that aside from maybe five players, everyone is up for grabs. Subban to the Leafs? That makes some sense but not financially. The root of the issues right now are in management and behind the bench. Babcock is an overrated coach and not the right coach for Matthews and young players. It is also clear that the sooner this team is Auston’s to lead, the better. I love Marner but he is not the leader of this team.
    Gardiner gets the goat horns yet again but he was hurt: the truth is that he has never been a very good defensive player. I might also lay some blame on Dubas because his vision of a winning team is flawed, starting with his decision to cut McIlhenny loose in favor of Sparks-almost every seasoned observed knew that Sparks was not the right guy. He won with Marlies because that team had lots of skill and depth.

    • …gotta disagree on the Marner v. Mathews.

      It should be Marner with C and I’d dump Mathews to Arizona. Marner is all heart….reminds me of Jordan Staal when he was young an growing up with the Penguins.

      That one play alone where he blocked two shots in 5 seconds. His performance this year and last in the playoffs compared to Mathew’s disappearing act.

      • Dissappearing act? You mean scoring goals?
        Goodness this fanbase no love for skills- none – we hated Mats Sundin and love Tie Domi

    • This non Leaf fan would make Rielly Captain. I don’t think Babcock is an overrated coach at all. The Leafs were the better team 5v5. Bruins PP was better and Tuuka got hot in game 7, Anderson wasn’t. Babcock can’t stop pucks.
      Why isn’t Babcock a good coach for the young guys? I never understood why people say that.
      He communicates extremely well. Is is hard on them sometimes? Of course he is, they need to be accountable. Every one needs to be. I think Matthews can handle it, and if he can’t they picked the wrong guy to invest $11M on.
      Unfortunately for the Leafs they have to keep playing the B’s in the first round who seem to have their number. If the playoff format was set up fairly that wouldn’t happen.
      The Leafs has some tough decisions this off season but they have a great core and an excellent coach. They will be fine.

      • @Ray you are absolutely correct the powerplay and the goaltending was the difference. Andersen is now 0 for 4 in game sevens and given up bad goals in each of them. Tavaras and Marner got more ice time than Matthews because they played against the Bergeron line and did a great job on them. That left Matthews against Krejci line and Matthews should`ve eaten Krejci alive but didn`t. Love Kadri because he plays with emotion something that definitely missing in this series after he got the boot, but I wouldn`t trade him. I agree with you Ray that Reilly should be the captain. Washington took how many years to win a cup.

      • Disagree Anderson was the only reason it went 7 games, the high danger scoring area chances Boston had were way higher than the leafs, the leafs dzone coverage is what lead to there downfall

      • What I said Bigbadbruin was that Tuuka outplayed Anderson in game 7. Which he did.

      • Leafs were not better 5 on 5 the eye test and stats both show it

  3. Sigh….what a relief that series ended up the way it did.
    Nice work Bruins. Now quickly dispense of Columbus so that Sens pick stays decent.

    So many ways to analyze that series, not sure any of us can put our finger correctly on why the Leafs lost. It’s just “hockey”.

    Casidy was my coach of the year candidate before the playoffs and he’s proving to be quite astute here again in the post season.

    • Now let’s hope the Sharks can beat Colorado and go all the way to the finals – and re-sign Karlsson – so the Sens get another 1st round pick. However, if he and his agent still think he is worth north of $10 mil per over 7 years I can’t see that happening in San Jose – nor in too many other places. That trade is looking better and better for Ottawa.

      Good luck to Poile trying to peddle Turris – yet another whose trade out of Ottawa drew severe criticism for Dorion from certain detractors. He sure as hell won’t be coming back here.

      To those who think the 5-minute major to Vegas was “unfair” – whether it was or not is immaterial – a team believing it’s a serious contender HAS to do a better job at killing that off than what transpired.

      If Dubas thinks he can lowball Marner to ANY degree at contract-crunch time, then he and Leafs fans had better be prepared for an impasse that will make the Nylander hold-out seem like a weekend affair. And, warts and all, good luck to Dubas trying to fill the departures of Gardiner and Hainsey from within the organization – or find 2 through trades capable of filling their minutes without sending his cap through the roof, and to find a replacement at C for Kadri who will give him the same production and effort over 82 games at that price!

      THIS is where we see if a number-crunching figure-filbert is the answer as an NHL GM.

      • You cant compare Matthews v Marner this series can you really? Matthews was clearly the dominant offensive force- and he didn’t get to play with John Tavares all series.or all season for that matter..lol.
        Zero creativity from Kapanen..zero….
        I love Mitch Marner but he was not a dominant player during the playoffs- heavier teams have an effect on him moreso than Matthews…

        The 5 minute major was brutal- but you are 100% correct- abysmal penalty kill

      • you are right on George….except the part about the sharks beating the avs….sharks will need to get their old legs moving even faster this series….but their playoff experience can’t be denied….if sens use picks obtained wisely they will end up in good shape….sens situation reminds me of avs 3 yrs ago…looked like sakic would be run out of town…ends up he made some great decisions trade wise and draft wise (rants a 10th pick overall)

      • First you to have to play well enough over 82 games to get INTO the playoffs – and when it comes to contract discussions, Marner’s agent will point this out

        Regular season – 212gp 111g 94a 205 pts
        Playoffs – 20gp 10g 3a 12 pts
        (and when you look at those assists stats compared to Marner’s, remember, Matthews is a C)

        Regular season 241gp 67g 157a 224 pts
        Playoffs – 20gp 5g 12a 17 pts

        Then, IF – and notice I stress IF – it’s deemed a lowball offer, the conversation might go like this:

        Marner’s agent: so, you went from an entry-level contract of $925,000 to $11,634,000 for the next 6 years for a C whose production, season and playoffs, over the past 2 years, is 24 less than my client’s, including assists, and my client is a winger, and your best offer is this??? Call me when you’re prepared to be serious.

      • @George
        that’s fair-
        and the leafs response will be William Nylander outscored and outpointed you at even strength the year before.
        You played on a top powerplay line the year before and we gave you an elite 2 way centre to play with ALL this season while Matthews – got everyone from Tyler Ennis to Marleau, to Brown. You had a great season yet we have gave you every opportunity to do so. The comparisons aren’t fair. For the record I don’t think he should be or will be lowballed- I just don’t think he should get more than 10 million..just my opinion.

        I think Hainsey will be retained – and I think Sandin and Rosen will both see action next season.
        We disagree on Gardiner..

        Kadri will be tough to fill – but this is where you find a older veteran on the FA pile and fill the void for a bit..

      • Marner’s agent: so, whose fault is that? My client doesn’t set the lines – he just goes out and does his job – and so far he’s done it better than the $11 mil man

      • George O /Pengy,

        I’m hearing Nashville is willing to move P.K. Subban for a top center.

        I’m not a huge Subban fan and I’m not a huge Malkin fan. (even though I love my Penguins.

        Do Nashville and Pittsburgh swap Malkin and Subban straight up?

        We need defense and Nashville needs a top center? Who makes this move and why?

      • That’a a toughie blackngold – on the surface it looks like both team’s answers with one giving up a top-notch C costing $9.5 mil off the cap to 2022-23 when he turns 37, and the other a top-notch D costing $9 mil to the same season when he turns 34.

        But the one big worry is, how fast is Malkin deteriorating in comparison. I know both he and Crosby have been discussed lately in terms of their possible 0 and I stress “possible” – waning production as they get older. but in Sid’s case we’re talking about a physical freak here who goes out of his way to take care of his body and is ALWAYS looking for new ways to change elements of his game to his advantage – as he works out in summer with MacKinnon and Marchand. I’ve always liked Malkin’s game but I know nothing about his off-season habits. Is he that dedicated?

        In Nashville’s case, there could be a quality C available through free-agency if Duchene doesn’t re-up in Columbus.

      • George O..agree with you again Karlsson got exposed big time in this series…..he is not good defensively that’s a fact.. good luck getting that monster deal…it ain’t coming

    • 2001avsattack “if sens use picks obtained wisely they will end up in good shape …” Now you’re scaring me, man.

      • George O…i think your spot on about the Malkin for Subban idea.. Salaries match, both are top notch, but i think maybe Nashville does the free agent route.

        Malkin is superbly talented, but misses more and more games each year, and doesn’t have that championship motor! The passion that Crosby has, that Ovechkin has, that Mc kinnon and Marchant has those guys are so driven..

        If we move malkin that clears a lot of cap space for a free agent like a Matt Duchense..

        If we move malkin we keep kessel …if we move kessel we keep malkin..

        two d-man will go Matta and hopefully Johnson

        geno is happy being second fiddle and skates around sometimes endlessly..if he just ahd more passion.

  4. I am unsure what more Kadri has to do to prove he’s untrustworthy.

  5. how quickly turis turned from a key part of the sens/preds/avs trade to a possible casualty…much is made how the sens were fleeced in that deal…I think the preds were fleeced just as bad and are left with a team that may have missed its cup window

  6. Just a guess, but…Gardiner to NYI this summer.


    Dubas cost the Leafs a real chance (perhaps their best?) to win it all this year by ignoring the obvious need on defense.

    He chose the luxury (particularly in the wake of Kapanen’s emergence) of Nylander over the gaping hole on their blueline.

    It didn’t make sense then and clearly looks bad now.


    Random, but…the one team that (if other efforts to upgrade fail) might be willing to take James Neal off of the Flames’ hands (if they retain salary) are the Oilers.

    • Defense- was strong? Muzzin Rielly Hainsey Dermott even Zaitsev played well- errors came from Gardiner (who may be hurt) though he doesn’t need and excuses. Muzzin was gold, and absolute steal of a D and exactly what this team needed for the playoffs.

      • @ Sam
        Muzzin was gold. Imagine that D without him now….

      • I believe (and the evidence supports the idea) that you need a top3 right shot D to win it all.

        Carlson, Schultz, Letang (twice), Seabrook (thrice) and Doughty (twice), Rafalski, etc.

        The last decade of Cup winners show only the Bruins without a dominant RHD…and even then, you could make a real argument for Boychuk.

      • Hainsey was terrible, the Bruins walked all around him this series.

        Agree on The Nylander piece. If I remember correctly the canes were offering Pesce for him but Toronto wanted more. Pretty easy to assume that he would have been more impactful in that series as compared to Willy

      • Muzzin was team high minus 6 not the good to me.

    • The Oil won’t be taking the Flames cap problem unless the Flames take their’s.
      Neal for Lucic.
      Stick tap to George

    • Not unless you are taking Lucic off our hands why would weeant another bad contract for four more years

  7. This is not a knee jerk reaction. Kadri was always the most likely to go- even more so now. No control and such an easy target- yes lots of heart and but no control. His absence hamstrung the team badly..
    Gardiner is gone- thank you Jesus- yes he is much maligned but he needs to go lol..
    Bring back Hainsey at a reduced number
    I am a Nylander fan, Im in the minority- I do not believe the Dubas’ vision was to have him centering two anchors in marleau and Brown, lol. He is world class elite and needs to be permanently locked on Matthews wing. Not all effective players are gritty and hit someone and yet this stat. …Bruins scored 12 even strength goals this series- Nylander was on for 1! Leafs scored 11 – he was on for 4! These are not fake stats they are real numbers. He owns the puck, wait til he gets his confidence back.

    marleau- loved intangibles he brings- but there was nothing left second half of season and playoffs. If he won’t go- use him as the 3rd line centre for a year while they look for a replacement

    Last – no so popular- Babcock will be let go- he has taken this team far as he can and clearly the GM and coach are on different pages.
    Keefe was retained..why? surely he sees possibilities elsewhere- or maybe he just knows something we don’t. Babcock’s salary was largely front loaded- so truthfully I don’t think Leafs suffer too much either way.
    Boggles the mind to think you load a powerplay and then let the players play 45 seconds- fine change the d up but leave the forwards out- does Ovi come off? Does Sid?

    All of this to say I think the leafs were the better team all series- even the UFC game 2- just some bad bounces and Rask played well.
    Credit to the Bruins

    • Sorry to disappoint you Sam Keefe is still the Marlie coach because for one the season is going but mostly because nobody`s offered him a head coaching job in the NHL yet. Keefe probably won`t take an assistant coach’s job in the NHL because he`s already paid better than a lot of them. He has an out clause of his contract, so he is free to accept any other NHL job if he wants it. Coaching in the AHL isn`t the same as the NHL ask Dallas Eakins

  8. McDermott will take Gardiner’s role if he moves. Maybe Jake takes a discount and stays. Kadri can’t be replaced for similar dollars.

    That was not a major game misconduct and a 5 minute penalty last night. Video replay has to be used differently.
    Fleury played great overall.

    Still think Matthews is a 11m dollar player? I don’t and will hamstring the Leafs from wining in the playoffs. Tavares was an overreach as well . 2-4 million saved between them would have make a huge difference next year.. Dumbass I mean Dumas has his work cut out for him

  9. How can Dubas get creative and move Nylander to Nashville..plus trade Kadri AND get top 4 reliable RHD?

    Nashville stuck with Turris+Bonino contracts…not sure Leafs want either of those players back.

    • Hornqvist for Bonino. Who says no?

      • Boninos too bald

      • Mg both say no..we had bonino they had hornqvist..doesn’t happen.

  10. I just want some input here – I might be reading too much into this – but….
    post game Babcock “we got some bigger bodies coming next year”.
    As a Leaf fan who watched this series can’t tell you how much this pissed me off.. Did the smaller bodies hurt you ?
    Ennis and Moore- were complete spark plugs should have been moved up to the 3rd line -Marleau and Brown should have been moved down. Its another insult hurled at the GM- the coach basically saying we lost because this roster wasn’t good enough- which is BS- this dinosaur wont adapt- he is working his way out town.
    How else would you read this?

    • Ennis and Moore were scaring the Bruins in game 7.
      Everyone else in blue was pretty pedestrian.

      • Tavares was smothered but he was doing what he could. I cant watch Nylander…his 2nd effort is terrible

      • Agree. Ennis / Moore / Bracco our 4th line for 2020. Get rid of Gauthier, Nylander, Gardiner, Marleau, Brown, Hainsey and Zaitsev for bag of shiny new pucks. Kadri should fetch decent returns.

    • Sam, agree on Moore, he was very good. Enis? Meh.
      Moore is the definition of a 4th line guy and did his job very well, a keeper for the Leafs, but a 4th line guy. Like Kuraly for Boston but not as good because he isn’t as big and strong.
      I wouldn’t assume it was a shot at Dubas as I wouldn’t assume Dubas doesn’t agree with him.
      Hard to imagine they haven’t had that discussion already.

    • Bang on. He had Matt Martin sitting in the press box last year when BOSTON was literally torturing the LEAFS physically. Look what Martin did for the Islanders this year against the Penguins. Babcock is overrated. He is now 3 wins 7 losses in game seven situations. Any coach could have led the Canada Olympic team to a Gold Medals.

  11. I thought Subban had an NMC? That was why the Habs did that rush deal to get him gone before July 1 (there was a whole big panic about it)

    Or did it waive the NMC when he got traded to the Preds? Anyone have any info on this?

      • Ever the expert. Thanks, Lyle! 🙂

      • How did they do that? Wouldn’t Subban have to agree?

    • Paddy you may be right…..not sure if Malkin has one either not sure……

      i was assuming if Nashville was thinking of moving Subban they indeed had some clearance from him…

  12. Jake Gardiner followed up his incredible -5 in last years game 7 with a pedestrian -3 this year. Guess thats what happens when you set the bar so high.

    Gardiner is an unrestricted free agent, who wants Jake the Mistake?!?!

  13. Leafs should sh*tcan both Dumbas and Boobcock.

    • Ron, why do you keep betting on the Leafs?

      • Why? Simple, the Leafs are a 100% guarantee.


  14. heard on the radio the other day that Turris has been dealing with a hip injury most of the season. He missed 27 games trying to rehab / recover but in all likelihood he came back too soon and did not perform up to standards. Don’t surprised to hear he is having surgery to repair the issue. I predict he will be back to his old self next season. Preds should try to move Subban in the off season for some scoring help up front. If not they stand a chance of losing him for nothing in the next expansion draft since they are pretty deep on the back end and I can’t see them protecting him.

  15. Boston just has Toronto’s number…

    • So true blackngold. You can point fingers and play the blame game all day, but they were up against a talented experienced and hungry team.
      2 evenly matched teams who are both near the top of the league. They shouldn’t have played each other in the first round, but it is what it is and out of the Leafs control.
      Leafs were better 5v5, Bruins were better on special teams.
      Tuuka played great yesterday, Anderson didn’t.
      The Leafs will be a contender for years, the B’s have a couple years left for their window.
      Firing Babcock would be a dumb move. An excellent young core that will improve. Stay the course.

  16. Boston does not have Leafs number….the Leafs do not know how to close….in the play offs they would lose tight games to Boston ( as they have shown) or Tampa, or Colombus or Pittsburgh etc. etc.

    What Boston has is the opportunity by fate/organization of the league’s play off structure to beat (or let the Leafs beat themselves) year after year. They look like they have the Leafs number….if anyone has the Leafs number….IT IS THE LEAFS….

    The issues in need of resolution it seems to this Leafs fan is the philosophic discord between coach and GM….if it can’t be resolved to Shanny and the Boards satisfaction fire them both and start again.

    A second Leaf problem is the design/composition of the team. Too much money and talent?? upfront not enough on the blue line. Too many small bottom 6 fast guys who think they are skillful and not enough bottom 6 guys who are fast and don’t think their job is their job to skillful.

    Structural changes from management to the ice is needed. This is the job of Shanny & the Board. So get to work upper management.

    • OBD, agree on a lot of what you said, but I think Babcock does too, or at least reading what little bit he give to the media/fans.
      I think Dubas tries to do what you just said, but easier said than done.

  17. I stopped commenting here on this site after the trade deadline because most so called knowledgeable critics on this site ridiculed me for suggesting that the LEAFS needed to be tough going into the playoffs. I have said that TO needed to upgrade on defense by trading for 3 players: Muzzin, Gudas, McQuaid. Dubas acquired only 1 of the 3. I have said with TO’s lineup going into the playoffs, they will not survive BOSTON’s physical grinding style of play. 3 times now they have faced BOSTON with same outcome. I have warned everyone this would happen if they don’t make changes in their roster. TO has too much flare but no physical presence. I have said, for Matthews, Marner, and Tavares to excel they need protection from others in the lineup. They had ZERO protection, there was ZERO response for Boston’s dirty antics and scrums. I have said, TO needed to move Nylander, Marleau, Gardiner, Zaitsev, Brown, and Hainsey. As these guys are way too soft, too slow, and some too old. I have said, replace these guys with more team toughness (Carrier, Martin, Reaves….type of guys). Everyone talking trash about Kadri, at least he and Muzzin were two guys who stood up to BOSTON’s dirty plays. What to do now for Dubas? He need to go after guys like Radko Gudas, Adam McQuaid, William Carrier, Ryan Reaves, Matt Martin. All five guys combine makes less than $13 mill per season. Marleau and Nylander combined makes $13+ mills per season. Who would you guys want in Toronto dressing room in 2020 Playoffs against Boston, those five guys or Marleau and Nylander. TO need to come out of LA LA land and face the reality. Playoffs are not for BALLERINAS, we need WARRIORS.
    2020 roster:

    Hyman / Tavares / Marner $25 mill
    Johnnson / Matthews / Kapanen $19 mill
    Carrier / Reaves / Martin $8 mill
    Moore / Ennis / Bracco $3 mill

    Rielly / McQuaid $7 mill
    Muzzin / Gudas $8 mill
    McDermid / Holl $3 mill

    Anderson / Hutchinson $6 mill

    • Mike….certainly wasn’t me your point about Toronto being tougher is spot on dude…the Bruins once again pounded the leafs in to submission….

      i like both teams that’s just reality bruins intimidated them in game # 7 and through out the series…that’s how Boston plays..

      • Exactly, that is Bruins game plan against the Leafs. Hit hit and hit some more, even after the whistle hit hit and hit some more. Why? Who in the Leafs roster going to retaliate against Bruin’s wave of hits? Yeah Kadri and Muzzin. So what did Boston do, they targeted Muzzin and Kadri. They pounded these two guys. TO will never beat Boston until they learn to play like Boston. They need to give Boston taste of their own medicine. Unfortunately, with guys like Marleau, Nylander and Brown. You can’t play that game. Dubas need to find a way this summer.

      • Did you actually watch the series

    • While it’s hard to refute any of your observations and recommendations which would make the Leafs a tougher team against which to take liberties (with their stars), what GMs do you see out there among the other 30 would do them any favours by, in t urn, making THEIR teams softer and easier to push around by relinquishing their low-cost tough-to-play-against guys?

      Gardiner and Hainsey you can’t trade for improvement since both are UFAs but maybe they find those kinds of replacements for then and their experience off the UFA list or within their system. Good luck with that.

      But expecting anyone to give up quality, low-cost hard nose players for Nylander ($6,962,366 to 2024-25), and Marleau ($6,250,000 for next year but now clearly past it) , Zaitsev ($4,500,000 to 2024-25) will be next to impossible if rival GMs see their warts as clearly and the same as you do.

      Brown, the cheapest at $2,100,000 to 2020-21) but with just 8 goals in 82 gp and 1 assist in 7 playoff games isn’t going to get you much more than a 7th round pick.

      and Brown (the cheapest at

  18. Leafs in my opinion need to make a decision on Mathews or Babcock they don’t seem to see eye to eye. Mathews needs to play a ton or if you don’t trust him move him you will get a boatload of talent for him. Nylander is softer than a pillow and Kadri is a bomb waiting to explode. Gardner can’t be resigned he is their escape goat. Toronto has no leadership they don’t have a captain or someone everyone follows.

    • Lamenting the fact this is a meme free zone

  19. As a happy Bruins fan today.
    Toronto needs to build around Mathews and Tavares.
    I would keep Marner and move Nylander and Kadri.
    They would have done better moving Nylander before the contract stand off happened.
    They are getting into cap trouble now. Maybe the Tavares signing was a mistake. Still need to add two top four defenseman.

  20. George O…..reports (leaks) coming out of Pittsburgh that Rutherford has the green light from ownership (mario & company) to make big moves. He has been given the green light to shop Kris letang and also in the report is that malkin was totally un-coachable this year and the organization is not sure if he is the answer moving forward or part of the problem…. wow

    Inside Pittsburgh sports.com

    pretty reliable one of my buddies writes for them.

    interesting summer ahead….

    • Ring ring. Ring ring.


      Yeah this is bs calling

  21. I haven’t posted much on the Flames, been very busy, but I have seen 3 playoff series the flames have been in over the last 5 years and in every series they could not elevate their game and would not sacrifice their bodies by being first in the corners and fighting hard for the puck.

    Having said that I think a move the Flames should make is trade Gaudreau for Hall.
    Johnny goes home and maybe get to play with Hughes.
    It is left wing for left wing Johnny is younger and has 3 years left on a favourable contract.
    The flames get more speed and a bigger player, downfall is Halls contract ends next year.
    I still think the flames have to trade Brody, there should be a good market out there for a top 4 defensemen that can skate and good puck handler.
    James Neal should be bought out, his buy out cap hit would be a little less than 2 million. That sure beats paying him 5.75 million for 4 more years.

    I know this would never happen but I would really like the Flames to take a run at acquiring Braden Point from Tampa.

  22. Hi Lyle,

    Sorry for late post (my birthday).

    “They’ll get $5.3 million in salary-cap relief by placing all-but-retired winger Nathan Horton on long-term injury reserve to start the season.”

    You have made this statement a few times (on different players), and I’m not sure that this is true.

    My understanding is that all teams, just before the season starts, have to present an “Under-Cap” roster to the League, and that that roster must include all long-term IR players.

    That Roster must be under the Cap ceiling and over the Cap floor.

    Only after they clear that roster/Cap hurdle, but, yes, before any game is played if a team so chooses, may a team then relegate players to the long-term IR to clear additional Cap room.

    Am I wrong in this?

    If I’m correct then I can see Dubas being quite constrained in signing Free Agents.


    • Hi, rich.

      I use that phrase because it’s shorter than going into the lengthier explanation. If they’re pressed for cap space, they can place a player on LTIR at the start of the season, which allows them to go over the cap by up to the full amount of that player’s cap hit, but they must become cap compliant should that player come off LTIR. During the offseason, they are allowed to be over the cap ceiling by up to 10 percent.