NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2019

by | Apr 25, 2019 | Rumors | 97 comments

Latest on the Toronto Maple Leafs plus a look ahead for the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


TORONTO STAR: David Feschuk examined potential offseason moves by Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. Re-signing Mitch Marner, who’s due for a significant raise following his 94-point season, will be a priority. Defenseman Jake Gardiner and Ron Hainsey are unrestricted free agents and won’t be easy to re-sign, with Gardiner likely to be too expensive.

Will the Montreal Canadiens try to pry Kasperi Kapanen away from the Toronto Maple Leafs? (Photo via NHL Images).

Dubas faces a difficult decision with center Nazem Kadri. His undisciplined play resulted in playoff suspensions in consecutive years but he also carries an affordable $4.5-million cap hit and brings a physical edge to the Leafs lineup.

Feschuk also notes wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson are restricted free agents and potential offer-sheet targets. He speculates one of them could be shopped for a defenseman, provided Dubas keeps his word about not trading William Nylander. 

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan notes the difficulty Dubas faces with his free agents while carrying limited salary-cap space. The Leafs currently have over $75 million committed to next season’s roster, which won’t leave move wiggle room with the cap projected to rise to $83 million. Marner’s next contract alone will push them over the cap. 

Koshan believes Dubas has no choice but to seek out trade partners, pointing out he can’t afford to re-sign Marner, Kapanen, and Johnsson. One of the latter two or perhaps William Nylander could become a trade candidate. Given the Leafs’ cap constraints, the return will likely be draft picks and prospects. 

Dubas must also try to find a way to shed the contract of Patrick Marleau (one year remaining, $6.25 million) or Nikita Zaitsev ($4.5 million annually through 2023-24). Koshan also believes the Leafs GM faces a decision over Kadri’s future in Toronto. 

RDS.CA: On the show On Jase, Alex Tanguay suggested Kapanen could be a good fit with the Montreal Canadiens. “If I’m Marc Bergevin, would not I want to have a Kasperi Kapanen who, for $ 6 million a year, will cost me a draft pick?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs can exceed the $83-million cap if necessary by placing all-but-retired Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) on long-term injury reserve at the start of next season. Still, Dubas will have to swing a trade or two to give himself sufficient cap space for Marner’s big raise (which I expect will be at least $10 million per season, probably more) and other necessary moves, such as finding replacements for Gardiner and Hainsey on the blueline and re-signing his other RFAs.

Trading Nylander would free up nearly $7 million in annual cap space but Dubas said Nylander wasn’t going anywhere as long as he was the Leafs GM. If he holds to his word, Kapanen or Johnsson could be traded, and probably Kadri too.

I agree with Tanguay that Kapanen would be a good addition to the Canadiens but he appears to be calling for Habs GM Marc Bergevin to sign the Leafs winger to an offer sheet.  Bergevin isn’t a fan of offer sheets so I don’t see that happening. He could try to acquire Kapanen via trade, though Dubas could be reluctant to send the winger to a division rival.

Kadri has a history of undisciplined postseason play. Nevertheless, his contract and physical two-way style will make him an attractive trade targets for clubs in need of depth at center. 

Moving Marleau, who has a full no-movement clause, will be very difficult. He’s pushing 40, his play is in obvious decline, and Dubas will likely have to absorb part of his cap hit or bundle him with a top draft pick or a top prospect to make him palatable to potential suitors. That’s assuming Marleau’s willing to waive his NMC. And don’t forget, he’s on a plus-35 contract, meaning his full cap hit still counts against the Leafs cap if he retires or is bought out. I don’t see much of a market for Zaitsev unless the Leafs eat part of his cap hit or include a sweetener in the deal. 


ESPN.COM: In the wake of the Washington Capitals first-round playoff elimination, Emily Kaplan and Chris Peters believe they must make a decision with winger Andre Burakovsky, who was the subject of frequent trade speculation this season. He’s a restricted free agent this summer and the Capitals could find a suitable return if they attempt to peddle him in June. 

They also suggest retaining pending UFAs Carl Hagelin and Brett Connolly on affordable contracts. The Capitals could part ways with Devante Smith-Pelly. Veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik might consider retirement but they might welcome him back for one more season on an affordable contract to mentor their young blueliners. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $72 million invested in 17 players (stick tap to Cap Friendly) and all their core players under contract, the Capitals aren’t facing any major offseason changes. Young forward Jakub Vrana’s coming off his entry-level deal and will be in line for a raise following his 24-goal, 47-point campaign, but the Caps could go with an affordable short-term deal. Burakovsky is likely to be moved. He’s got arbitration rights this summer and doesn’t seem to have a future with the Capitals.   

Greg Wyshynski and Chris Peters believe the recently-eliminated Vegas Golden Knights are in need of a foundational defenseman, noting GM George McPhee’s interest in Erik Karlsson last season. They have a solid defense corps but need a skilled top-pairing blueliner.

They must also re-sign center William Karlsson, whose offensive numbers were down compared to last season but he still has solid two-way abilities. Karlsson also has arbitration rights this summer.  They also feel the Golden Knights need more speed on their bottom-six forward lines. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are maxed out for next season, with over $82 million invested in 17 players. Placing all-but-retired David Clarkson ($5.25 million) at the start of next season will provide some relief, but certainly not enough to re-sign Karlsson, pursue a foundational defenseman, and re-sign or replace their other free agents.

Somebody’s gotta go and there could be a cost-cutting deal or two this summer. Trade candidates could include Cody Eakin ($3.875 million), Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million) and Nick Holden ($2.2 million). 


  1. Competent GMs do not make stupid promises they should not have to honour. There was absolutely NO reason to promise Nylander he would not be dealt after signing a deal.

    • Agreed 1000%

    • Spot on George.

    • Absolutely George and it tells me that Dubas is in slightly over his head atm. He is supposed to be a ‘genius’ and with all these cap genius’s around him I have no idea why he was not proactive before the deadline.

      Many of the players talked about being moved I have been advocating for all year.

      We have too many of the same type of player.

      Its also disturbing that a team that just won the cup has a better cap situation then we do and we have won nothing.

      Nylander should have been sat or traded, period but instead Dubas does as many parents do today try and be friends with their children/players.

      Sorry but it doesn’t work with your kids, till they are older at least and certainly does not work in a pro sports environment.

      • And another thing in regards to Nylander, all I heard from his nut huggers during the holdout was Nylander does not need Matthews.

        Yet now after this series all I hear is these same nuthuggers saying how Nylander had anchors on his wings in Brown and Marleau.

        Whether or not that’s true is not the point, Matthews played with a revolving door of players this year and still did reasonably well.

    • “There was absolutely NO reason to promise Nylander he would not be dealt after signing a deal.”

      That’s great, because he didn’t.

      Read Dubas’s quotes. He absolutely didn’t promise Nylander would not be dealt. He simply said that he wasn’t “being signed to be traded”. That doesn’t mean he promised to never trade him.

      • Look at footballs NY Giants GM on OBJ: “We didn’t sign him to trade him”

      • Good spotting Fergy – when I read

        “Our intention was that as long as I was here that I saw him as a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

        Reading that any way other than a promise not to trade him is avoiding a classic distinction without a difference. As I said yesterday – all in the eye of the beholder.

        But of course we will always have hai-splitters

      • Further dissecting that ‘saw him’ is past tense, leaving it a bit vague.
        I can say for sure that there aren’t many Leafs fans who’ll complain if Willy is far away from the roster in the fall

    • George O /Pengy,
      This is insane all the big teams are out. the last three cups champs Pittsburgh, Washington, Tampa is out, Nashville is out, Toronto is out, Winnipeg is out, Vegas is out WOw

      Who you hot?

      Just a guess here west Dallas/St.Louis vs Boston



      • Actually, you have to go back a lot farther than the last 3 years for when TB last won a cup. Looking at it another way, the ONLY recent cu p winner still in the hunt is Boston – and that was 8 years ago in 2011. Included among those out of the cup hunt since that Boston win are, in addition to Pitt (2 of the past 3) and Washington, are Chicago (2013 and 2015) and L.A. (2012 and 2014).

        Parity is indeed among us!

      • With years of disappointment this is San Jose’s biggest chance ever. Who I got? literally no clue, I’m not even sure who I’m rooting for anymore. Maybe Columbus because of how bold the GM was at the deadline

      • Extending the above a bit, of the teams left, Boston is the most recent cup winner – in 2011 – and from that team the only ones still left are Bergeron, Chara, Krejci, Marchand and Rask/

        The next most recent is Carolina – in 2006 – and the only one on their roster who was with them then is Williams – and he visited two other spots before returning last season.

        After that you have to go back to 2001 and Colorado’s last cup – I don’t believe there’s anyone left (at least in Colorado) from that team. Same with Dallas who last won in 1999 and, of course, the Islanders who last hoisted the cup 36 years ago in 1983.

        Those who have never won a cup are St. Louis, in the league since 1967 so with a 52 year drought. San Jose – in the league for 28 years since entering in 1991, and Columbus from the 2000 expansion -19 years ago.

      • Hi BlackNGold

        With you…. I’ve disliked Wilson since he was a teen… watched him play and do the same meathead hits to some very small players at the time (he was even more disproportionately bigger than other players then) …. without a care

        Agree that SJ seems “due” and I think SJ has an edge over Col…. but if the SJ goaltending falters just a bit… the fleet footed and energy attack of the Avs just might do it.

        It is possible that Binnington alone could take the Blues to the SCF

        In the East I think it will be represented from the Bruins Columbus series and I’d be shocked if Bruins will be surprised/knocked off guard like the Bolts. Bruins will not take them lightly

        Bruins v Sharks or Bruins v Blues would be my best bet

        If it’s Blues/Bruins …. who will be the goal scorer for Bruins flying through the air (hello Bobby) scoring on Binnington (Hall) after being tripped by Pieitro/Jaybo/Parayko (Noel Picard) ??

        Wouldn’t that be something

        With no vested favs … and as a born and bread and very proud Canuck ….. Blues having 16 Canadians …. my heart will be cheering for Blues

    • Everything about that deal was foolish. The kid should have been traded. Had he been the Leafs might have had the help on right D that would have propelled them past the Bruins. Instead, at this very early stage of their “window”, they are in cap hell. Start chucking bodies overboard, Dubas.

    • @ George: You bet..what I found interesting was the season ending Q & A from both Babcock and Dubas.
      According to themselves anyways, Dubas took full responsibility for his actions and Babcock didn’t take any for his.

      • What Babcock is saying is “go ahead and fire me kid”

  2. Interesting that Vegas is up against the cap already. Their original roster was made up of players exposed to the expansion draft. There should be plenty of bargains in there.
    As for the Leafs, the problem with Kadri is the lack of depth at the centre position. I think they keep him; I also think they ride Marleau’s contract for one more year, even if he’s playing on the fourth line. Mike Babcock can explain that to the world for eighty -two games.
    Best case scenario – a couple of the prospects on defence become NHL players. One of the RFA wingers will likely be traded.

    • I could envision Ottawa and Vegas dealing again , Vegas needs to shed $. Ottawa could target Karlsson ( the other one ) and or Colin Miller. Ottawa has lots of prospects in the pool and picks they could use as trade bait. One or two of Harpur , Jaros, Lajoie + ++ would give Vegas some cap room and some youth on the back end.
      Ottawa needs a number one center , Karlsson would fill that need for the next couple of years and Miller is just what they need to anchor a young D corps in Ottawa.

  3. Noticed this in the Ottawa Sun this morning:

    “While league sources confirmed Wednesday Dorion has received permission to speak with Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Jacques Martin, the indications are the Senators also plan to sit down with Providence coach Nate Leaman, who is considered by some to be one of the top bench bosses outside the NHL. The club may also be waiting to see if there are any coaching changes as a result of some of the unexpected first-round exits. The Senators are heading into their second full season of a complete rebuild and the decision to speak with Martin is based on the club’s desire to improve defensively. He spent eight years behind the Ottawa bench from 1996-to-2004 and there are some in the organization who believe he might be exactly what the team needs.”

    • That’s what I meant the recent cup winners should have been more specific…

      Boston looks good in the east and St. Louis San Jose in the west

  4. Dubas will lose all credibility if he breaks his word and trades Nylander. That could cost him in future. A man is only as good as his word.

    • He is young, people make mistakes and of course the obvious…things change.

    • Dubas didn’t promise Nylander he wouldn’t be traded.

      • Read Fergy’s post above … and quit trying to split hairs

      • If you listen to Kipper’s remarks on that promise. If I had a dollar for every time I`ve heard that promise at contract time. Every gm has made that promise. So I doubt it would have a big impact on anything Dubas does in the future.

    • As a Leafs fan, I’d applaud him for going back on his alleged word, which really isn’t the case here.
      I’m sure every player understands the business and thats why some negotiate NMC and NTC

    • This is coming from the master of all wording…Ron jull! What’s up, not hungover today? No Wally comments to share?

  5. I recently had brief conversation with a former pro athlete. Like many fans I have been frustrated with no-movement clauses, as players who, through their play, have little future with a team, nonetheless effectively hod the team hostage as a GM tries to improve.

    But I got an earful on how personally traumatic it is to be traded, especially to a totally unknown location and different local culture.

    I came away convinced that, for this one player at least, “its not about the money”.

    So we can’t always conflate the two in a players contract: the money is a business decision, the other may be personal.

    It might be good for both the players and the fan base if a player whose value is decreased, but still significant, could negotiate a lesser financial deal with a team that would still want him at a fair market price.

    Perhaps the CBA could extend this privilege to players past a certain age (33?) with a full NMC.

    • The NHLPA would never, ever allow for that.

      Also, the flipside to such a proposition would be that players over-performing on their contracts should be allowed to renegotiate as well.

      The answer here is for GMs to show restraint in signing aging veterans to long, lucrative contracts.

      • If the leafs hadn’t signed Nylander for 7 million. What would he have gotten after being traded to another team? Less? Ya right! Not that I’m a fan

      • Only a dumb gm would give him that much in the first place, especially after the playoffs he had the year before the kid doesn’t care about winning just getting payed

    • “… how personally traumatic it is to be traded, especially to a totally unknown location and different local culture.”

      Richard, every player in the league borne and raised somewhere in Europe (and probably some day in the Far East) is experiencing that regardless of where they go in the NHL.

      For those borne and raised in North America aspiring to become NHL pros, they know it’s a 31 (soon to be 32) team league and so there should be NO consideration in ANY contract signed, that a player can get either a full NM/NT trade clause or even a limited one. If they don’t want to join a pro league where they can be moved in an instant, then seek out something different in terms of a career.

      Besides, how many playing in the AHL or ECHL have such clauses in their contracts? Never mind major junior where it’s likely a helluva lot more traumatic for, say, a 17-year-old to go from Saginaw to Sudbury Halifax to Rimouski, or Spokane to Swift Current – or vice versa for that matter.

      • Or George they can parlay their talents into money and a say so in their location to work. So long as there is competition to sign these players there will be the option for the players to make these demands… and get them. And good on them

      • Well said George.

      • We disagree on this one George. There are other professions that pay 10 of millions, not many granted, but the others don’t restrict the way pro sports do.
        CEO’s earn more and are free to work for whoever they want. Actors earn more and can do the same. And comparing the military or RCMP is not apples to apples.
        I could be a police officer or joined the military when young and physically fit, and would have been welcomed with open arms and had a career. I also played hockey for 40 plus years, I sure as hell wouldn’t be welcomed on an NHL team. And also wouldn’t have helped my owner make millions.
        I agree that players who sign contracts with NMC shouldn’t demand trades after, and also believe that if a player is that good he should be able to exercise some control on where he goes and the owner should honor his end. Most do and my guess is the Leafs don’t even ask Marleau to waive. Shanny understands that.
        Pro sports are a different animal. They share revenue because the player drive that revenue and are the product. Good teams and players draw better.
        As far as us working folk, I like to think I am very good at my job. I have never been fired and have been recruited by other firms. I have moved on twice in 30 plus years of working and it was my choice. I accepted opportunities within organizations to move for work, again my choice. Players get drafted and have no choice for the first 7 years of their careers and that short only if they are the very best can they determine their own fate. Seems fair to me, even if it negatively impacts my team.

    • If I negotiated my contract without a NM or NT clause and was was making $5 million a year I should be able to get over the trauma of a trade.

    • I think what Richard is saying is the players are people. If you are happy on a team and you are a close knit group, it would suck to get traded.
      If you had kids in school and a wife who was happy in a specific city/environment/culture, it would suck for them to pick up in move. Sometimes with little or no advance notice.
      When you lose personal control of major portions of your life, it is stressful. If you say just suck it up you make lots of money, doesn’t understand basic human needs. We all have them. There are plenty of lonely, miserable rich people out there. If you negotiate a NMC/NTC, then don’t slam the player for negotiating a deal that he wants, especially when multiple teams are pursuing him.
      I don’t think Nylander was old enough or had enough years of service to get a NTC/NMC so he shouldn’t expect to get one. I think that is how it works?
      Either Nylander heard what he wanted to hear, or Dubas said what he thought Nylander wanted to hear, and likely said it in legal language as to not really commit to it. Nylander took it to the bank.
      If you were not in the room you don’t know. Regardless if Dubas wants to trade him he will and Nylander will have to deal with it until he signs a deal with one.

      • Ray, while I understand where Richard is coming from, we differ widely on this issue. Why should NHL players be any different than those playing their entire careers in AHL or ECHL cities? Is it less stressful for them to be uprooted as a footnote in an NHL package deal?

        As far as I’m concerned, if someone decides to make pro sports their career goal for as long as they can, with all the money being tossed at them, whether in hockey, baseball, football, basketball or soccer, they should be prepared to go wherever team management can make the best deal in order to improve their team/relieve cap space.

        If someone chooses a military career, they don’t get to pick the war zones.

        And besides, if a player can “demand a trade” why is that OK, at the same time making it incumbent upon the GM to then work out a deal only with teams NOT on the player’s no-go list? Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

      • George you are forgetting how much power the players don’t have. Comparing the players to a different career is a useless exercise btw. The players good enough to earn nmc or ntc would have been playing at least three years at well under market value.

      • This is just silly, all humans that work can have ‘traumas’.
        There are mergers and acquisitions all the time, people get laid off and many have to move to find appropriate employment. Man up and move on.

      • I agree completely Taz. And Chrisms, NHL players “toiling” for 3 years at “below market value” are STILL making more money in one year than 90% of the work force in all other occupations. I’m not naive – I know it will never change – but that’s the way I see it. And, sorry, I do not think comparing players to another occupation is useless. Not when I hear repeated out of player’s mouths when rationalizing trade demands or contract negotiations that “it’s all a business.”

      • George-all good points. But:
        A lot of players care enough to have such clauses.
        In a league with a lot of parity, the marginal difference between a happy & unhappy player is important.
        The amount of money makes a difference to you & me, but his contacts are his peers. On the other hand there, a lot of players in the AHL clearly buy your point of view and will readily agree that playing hockey at that level beats heck out of bagging groceries.

        I’ll leave my lesson at this…it was a mistake to evaluate the point of view this player had to his job based on my thought of what a life in the million dollar salary range might be like.

      • When I see this “traumatic” factor weighing in I have to laugh. Having your father go overseas in December 1939 and not return until August 1945 is “traumatic” – for him and the entire family – losing a son or daughter to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan is “traumatic” – seeing a husband or son/father police officer cut down in the prime of life is traumatic – packing up and moving your wife and kids (if any) while hauling along your multi-million dollar salary is as far from traumatic as anything can be.

      • George. That just reeks of bitterness and jealousy. How much money is to much money for a person to make that they can’t continue to try to improve their lot in life?

        And if the other professionals can finagle nmc and ntc day on ahl etc. good on them. The junior leagues are another animal and it’s awful the way the league treats them. I eagerly await the day the owners of that s**tshow get theirs.

      • It is useless George. Each occupation has its own hazards and advantages. Nhl players gambled at a very young age that they would pan out. Much time and money invested for a chance to make it. And most don’t. Those that win the gamble and make it big aught to reel the rewards they worked hard for. Ditto the families of these players.

      • So, basically, they “earned” the right to dig in their heels and force management to agree to a NM/no trade/limited movement clause even though that same management doesn’t want them around anymore and begins to view them as an impediment to team improvement. Making them as popular as a skunk at a garden party. Some win.

      • Actually yes George. Welcome to capitalism. Something the nhl is still shamefully falling short of. But at least there is an effort.

    • Richard, my comment back to the player would be you that “you knew the possibility of getting traded was there before you ever signed a pro contract or before you had a family. If that possibility bothered you then you should have considered another profession”

      Look I appreciate that pro athletes are people too, but they chose a career where this is a possibility. Like everything else in life there are consequences to our decisions. one of the consequence of being a professional athlete and making the money a pro athletes makes is that you can be moved without much warning.

      • How about Army follk? RCMP officers?
        I find the word traumatic to be such a stretch in this entire thread

      • Spicy, read Richards post again. He is specifically talking about NMC/NTC’s and then relayed the comments from a pro athlete he knows. He gave us that athlete’s perspective and why they negotiate and value these. Makes sense to me as a person.
        We, the fan, are viewing this from our perspective and how it impacts our favorite teams cap situation when a specific contract doesn’t work out the way WE want. If anyone is whining about something that has almost zero real impact on there life it is the fan saying how this or that player needs to go and give up what he has earned, even though he has a mutually agreed upon contract. The player is the selfish one in this conversation? I don’t think so.
        The players are different than other jobs as they are the product. There is no NHL without them and the owners know it, which is why they agreed to having the clauses in the collectively bargained contract. They are the ones that agree to them.
        The vast majority of NHL players do not have a NMC and the vast majority of hockey players never play long enough to earn one. Over half of them play less than 100 games.
        If you were in the top .0001 % of the people in a highly valued profession/sport, methinks you would have some control of you destiny and where you lived and worked.

      • Ray Bark when you say “We, the fan, are viewing this from our perspective and how it impacts our favorite teams cap situation when a specific contract doesn’t work out the way WE want…” – count me out.

        I view this as purely a business like any other business (or profession) – you go where the employer deems you to be best suited for the company (or service) – or you look for another job.

        To paraphrase General Patton regarding service in a war zone “well, at least you won’t have to tell your children or grandchildren that you shoveled s*&t in Louisiana …”

        There isn’t a profession or service anywhere in the world outside of pro sports that pays salaries in the multi-millions – in some cases hundreds of millions – so, sorry if I don’t see the necessity to feel sorry for them when they have to move. That’s just my way of viewing the world.

  6. Kapanen’s 20 goals during the regular season isn’t work 6 million/year, especially when he scored 1 goal in 7 playoff games. Suggestions that Bergevin or anyone else signs Kapanen for that kind of money show why no sports writer has ever gone on to be an NHL gm.

    • Agreed. Kapanen is a good young player, but he isn’t a line driver like Matthews or Marner. Anything over $3-3.5M on a short term deal is too much.

      • Van, I see Kapanen as the RFA most likely to be traded for a right-shot defence man. He will present excellent value to his new team and bring a decent player back to the Leafs.
        Toronto has solid prospects with the Marlies, both at forward and on the blue line. This depth could be the answer to the salary cap squeeze.

      • BCLeafFan: Unless Dubas trades Nylander, one of Kapanen or Johnsson almost have to be dealt assuming they can’t rid themselves of Marleau. Johnsson has arbitration rights and that may push Toronto to moving him instead depending on how things are looking on the negotiation front. I think Brown is a goner too given he is paid too much for his current 4th line role.

        Toronto really just needs to get through next year and then they should be OK unless they botch their new contract extensions this summer. Marleau and Horton are off the books next summer. Horton can go on LTIR, but it still causes roster issues until the beginning of the season.

        Marleau would be the best option to get off the books, but that will require a significant sweetener to take on the cap hit assuming Marleau waves his NMC. I honestly don’t get why Lamoriello gave Marleau the extra year and the NMC when signing the deal. Toronto would have been way better off given him the same amount of money over 2 years given the predictable cap crunch they have now with Matthews, Marner, Nylander and others starting their second contracts.

  7. As already well said here, Dubas was foolish to make such a promise. Promises are empty in sports by GMs, but it makes them look bad when they don’t keep them.

    All I know is that Kadri, Gardiner, and Hainsey must go in order for this team to make any improvements.

    If Dubas is to trade Nylander then it better be for a damn good player. In this case, Trouba.

    • Mike, that is never happening. Kadri had a better game and a half than the 7 that Nylander played.
      You can teach restraint your can’y teach work ethic.
      I’d take Kadri over Nylander all day every day.
      Nylander isn’t getting Trouba, agreeing to Pesce for Nylander, as was proposed last year, looks like a steal right about now.

  8. Leafs fans are terrible, fire the coach, lose Nylander, Kadri has to go. Last year all the fan talk was how valueable (way over valued) those guys were. Too many good young players to afford all of them is a good problem to have. No doubt the leafs brass have a pretty good idea of what their plans are, and they will not have all the weighting on one playoff series that they lost in 7 games….

    • There ya go J Bird.
      Why would you let data, evidence, reason and patience impact making a good decision?

    • @J Bird you`re just as bad. You`re saying all the leafs fans are terrible based on listening to a few people complain and you don`t even know whether they actually are Leaf fans. A lot of people just like to complain period. Some people are fans when a team is winning, some people change favorite teams more often than they change their socks. Every team has them, complainers, the Leafs just have more of them

      • @ Bob, when the leafs are winning, they are destined for the stanley cup. All of their players are more valuable than everyone else’s, and if a desirable free agent is available he’s going to TO. When the leafs lose, fire sale. sell everything. Last year Nylander was 8-9MM in all the fan talk, now hes overpriced at $6.9. Boston was always a tough matchup, the Leafs have known for months a cap crunch was coming. All these players are the same players they were. Babcock is the same coach he was. I am nothing like a leafs fan.

      • J Bird you`re doing the same thing right now as a few of the others do complain constantly. Your little rant is no different than the others so you are the same. 8-9 million now you`re making things up, everybody was pretty much in agreement 7.5 was too much. I`d say even amongst Leaf fans 6.5 would`ve been more than fair. No, you`re worse than 99.9% of the Leaf fans

      • @ Bob, typical leaf fan. short memory.

    • Ah yes…The Shanaplan! Jeez, I forgot about that. Problem solved.

    • You are entitled to your opinion as I am and everything I have been saying about certain players I said long before this playoff happened. Plus I was on board saying we do not have the right mix of players to go beyond the first round.

      The last thing I wanted was for us to slip by Boston and give the impression to Dubas that his ‘skill’ team can go 4 rounds of playoffs.

      Sometimes I worry that Dubas thinks the league is going to be just speed and skill and no emotion or toughness.

      If that ever happens I’ll be done with the game…now having said that I still wish they called the playoffs like they do the regular season meaning the refs.

      That will not preclude toughness from still being part of the game.

  9. I agree with Tanguay. Bergevin should go for Kapanen. For a good offer I think Dubas would agree. Personally I would offer Juulsen or Cale Fleury + 2nd rnd pick 2019 + Jake Evans. Then I would offer Kapanen a 2 or 3 years 4.5 million contract.
    What do you guys think?

    • Juulsen is unfortunately damaged goods right now due to his season ending eye injury. So I can’t see him involved in any deals any time soon.
      While Kapanen would be a great add, Montreal would need to figure out how to rid themselves of some forwards. They currently have 13 forwards signed and 3 RFA’s. Kinda surprised that they re-signed Thompson for 1 year, although he is good on face offs and apparently brought good leadership to the team.

  10. That’s a good deal for the Habs, and a great target as well.
    He would fit in with the age group and compliment Claudes system.
    I hate it.

    • IF the Habs took Marleau too it wouldn’t cost them as much. And Montreal is probably a destination you could convince Marleau to wave his NMC for.

      Unlike Ottawa, who has the room – and nobody wants to play for, or coach, or be the President of Hockey Ops for.

      • We’ll see.

  11. Lyle, two questions. One, I read your comments correctly, if Marleau is traded is Toronto still on the hook for his cap hit if he reitres. People want to compare the Datsyuk situation. I say he never retired but was granted a leave to play in the KHL. So if Marleau is traded then retires, is Toronto or the team he traded to on the Hook for 6.25 million in cap space?

    2nd, because most of Marleau’s pay next year, 3 million, is signing bonus, if he is bought out is he not entitiled to that money, not the prorated 833K over two years?

    • Mike since the bonus money would be paid on July 1st and the first buyout would come after so Marleau would`ve been paid the bonus money already. Marleau would have to waive his NMC to be traded, so the team he gets traded to be on the hook. I`m sure that team would want to talk to Marleau before they traded for him. If Marleau retires and they trade his cap hit that`s a different story

      • Yes, If Marleau retires after being traded then the Leafs are on the hook for the 6.25M
        If bought out, regardless of when that happens, the Leafs are on the hook for the entire cap hit

    • Hi, Mike. Looks like Taz and Bob beat me to it.

      As per Cap Friendly, “If a player signs a multi-year contract and is age 35 or older (as of June 30 prior to the year of the effective contract), the player’s individual cap hit counts against the team’s cap hit regardless of whether, or where, the player is active.”

      • Hi Lyle

        Just to clarify…. regardless of trade, retire, buy out…. Marleau carries a cap hit of $6.25M…. I agree

        but according to the TSN and SN panel… Leafs divest that Cap amount if he is traded …. in other words ; as per their suggestion (and what I’ve said all along)…. pay him his signing bonus (on 1/7) and get him to waive; trade him on or after July 2nd and Leafs are hit with zero on Cap even if he retires…, receiving team gets full $6.25M in Cap but is on the hook cash wise for a max of $1M (if he plays a full year)…. per TSN and SN …. a team with Cap space; low internal budget; but interested in a “bonus” (pick/prospect) from Leafs for taking the cap hit ; would be the ideal trading partner

        The only exception (saving of Cap) is if he pulls a “ Hossa” and gets put on LTIR

        This (Leafs off Cap hit hook if Marleau traded) to me makes sense…. otherwise there is no rationale at all for Leafs to even consider trading Marleau if they are on the hook for $6.25 M in Cap even if he’s traded

        I believe they are right on that… what is your take.



      • Pengy, yes, the Leafs can divest themselves of his cap hit if they trade him, provided he agrees to waive his no-movement clause. They could try to trade him after July 1, when they’ve paid him his signing bonus, as I doubt any rival GM will agree to take him off the Leafs’ hand before then. The problem of finding a suitable trade partner (one Marleau is wiling to waive his NMC for) remains.

        That’s the only realistic way to shed his entire salary-cap hit. If they buy him out, the full cap hit still counts against their cap. If he retires, the full cap hit still counts against their cap.

      • Thanks Lyle

        Getting a trade partner is less of a problem IMO; it’s just accepting their asking price ….. they have to have space so basically they are “buying” pick(s) and/or “prospects” for $1M ( Marleau’s remaining Sal)

        Getting him to waive …. lots of smooth talking

        To me he (Marleau) has little incentive to play another year at 40 …. a gruelling 82 games just for another $585K (apparently his take home pay of the $1M)…. add to that that he’s been under the media scope in a neagative way (on ice performance) recently……so retirement is much more likely …. the receiving team could in fact get him w/o actually paying a dime

        We’ve (my friends and I) been joking that since Leafs are owned by (and therefore truly Marleau’s employers) 2 media giants…. have a member of their advertising team secretly meet with Marleau and offer him an ad campaign (1 day shoot) for $1M with the condition of waiving his NMC …. all done in secret of course

        Win win

        Regardless, GMKD has to start having discussions with Marleau

      • From this vantage point Marleau has clearly hit a wall – it has happened and will continue to happen – to players approaching 40 (which he reaches on Sept 15) when the heart say “go” but the knees and legs say “to hell with you.” No team is taking that on – not even SJ – unless Toronto eats at least 50% of that cap hit – and even then they aren’t giving up a whole lot.

      • Hi George

        I think , with the right incentive (pick(s)/prospect(s) ) teams WITH Cap space will take him

        Receiving team will only pay him between $0 (retires) and $1M (plays full season w/o going on LTIR ( insurance picks up portion) … that’s $350 K more than League min…. to get futures in return…. doable IMO

        I know you will fully disagree with me …. but if Marleau did waive …. this would be PERFECT for the Sens …. $1M max with assets coming in the trade

        Don’t take my next conjecture the wrong way… I’m just using logic and I’m not dumping on the Sens and their future …. I’m definitely not….

        If Marleau does waive and adding to my already stated logic that he has little pay incentive ($585 K) to play another 82 grinding games ; his only motivation to play should be in the hopes of getting a cup…. if waived and traded to Sens ; a rebuilding team; he should definitely conclude he won’t win a cup with Sens in June ‘20…. increasing his odds of retirement …. Sens could get him for nothing

        Now add the worst case scenario … he stays a Sen ; Mentors a few youngsters; but gets traded (even for a minimal pick ) at TDL…. so Sal paid be Sens more likely in the $650-$700 K range … and the return is picks and prospects

        I know you’re against it… but if I was GM for Sens ; and Marleau waived…. I’d definitely be in for at least a lengthy conversation with GMKD

  12. For a smart guy, Kyle Dubas says and does enough dumb things to get most people labeled as not smart.

    Nylander should have been traded for a D man (and still should). Instead, he allowed a hold out to disrupt the team and sabotage Nylander’s season.

    And today, instead of quieting the media speculation about his coach, he undermined him. Even if you are thinking of firing him, you claim to have his back today until you do fire him. Anything less creates a scab for the media to pick.

    And any talk of the Leafs trading Kadri (especially instead of the redundant Nylander) is crazy. A team that distinctly lacks bite is going to trade the only guy with teeth?

    • If only some of those teeth were wisdom teeth.

      • Boom.

      • Mike drop!!!

  13. Thanks Fergy 22 for the link on the Dubas discussions wrt WW… greatly appreciated. I remember the interview but the refresher was good to listen to again

    Setting aside whether there was a true “promise” made or if “intension” was ….

    Even if there was a promise (to be honest I viewed it then and after reviewing it today as either (1) Dubas super smart and coy and using the proper words to give him an out later or (2) a true “intention” at that time of keeping WW but with a statement wrt a promise worded either accidentally or on purpose that sereptitously gave Dubas an out…. my gut goes with #2)… things can change … and did

    I would never have signed him at the time .. I’d have made him sit … the capitulation affects future negotiations

    All that aside; GMKD’s focus and responsibility lies solely with the team and not how he is perceived publicly and/or personally with WW…. IMO WW must be traded

    Cap hell is upon GMKD …. so something must be done….

    Do nothing (no trade) , and after signing MM … not enough left for re-signing Kappy; Johnson ; and fixing the D

    Gardner is gone … no matter what anybody’s views on him are

    As at now Leafs have (not including the LTIR King Horton) 10 F ; 5 D ; 2 G under contract for next year ….

    Putting the LTIR king back on LTIR next year AND moving WW (for a D upgrade) and Marleau (will cost Dubas pick(s)/prospect(s) ) will then leave approx. $26 M in Cap space for signing/paying for:

    D upgrade from WW trade
    2 depth wingers (prob @ League min)
    7th/8th D


    Do that and team is better now than this year

    Re: Kadri… if you are moving him … can you get a similar 3C for his Cap hit …. that to me is the tough part … love his grit …. didn’t like his costly exits from ‘18 and ‘19 playoffs …. if you think that will happen again … he’s a goner …. if you don’t think so (I don’t) … he must stay

    Re: Hainsey … if he’ll take $2M or less … otherwise … gone

    Zaitsev…I’ve not been a fan since day one … but he did have a couple of good games in the Bruins series … if he’s turned the corner… keep him; if there is any chance he continues at the level he played for most of this year and most of his full Leafs career … he’s got to go

    Fingers crossed


    • Go where?

      • 😆

    • Hi Pengy, re. Marleau…either he retires a Leaf and we have the cap hit for one more year…but it opens a roster spot for someone from the farm and the entry level contract.

      Or a trade back to San Jose so he can retire a shark and they get a prospect or pick.

      Ih he gets traded to San Jose can he retire before the season starts?

      • Maŕleau will retire after next year as a Leaf. Kadri will be back. The ufa’s will leave. The Leafs will struggle to make the playoffs. The uñiverse is unfolding as it should.

      • Gahh BCLeafsFans – a left-coaster invoking the image of PET.

      • Hi Gary

        Would be a “dream” I believe to Marleau to retire as a Shark…. and at first glance they seem to have about $26 M (assuming $83M Cap ) available …. but they have to fill 10 spots ….. and that’s including Karllsson if they are still considering it

        Taking on Marleau’s $6.25M ; and having him retire ; leaves them to fill 10 slots with $20 M…. which then nixes any idea of re-signing Karllson ….. assuming even a miracle $9 M for him …. would only leave $11 M for 9 spots ……

        Big Joe UFA… or replacement
        Little Joe UFA…. or replacement
        NyQuist UFA… or replacement
        Domskoi UFA … or replacement
        Meier RFA… re-sign?
        Leblanc RFA … RE-sign??
        Ryan RFA … Re-sign ??

        I just can’t see it happening

        Ideal spot is a team with budget constraints and loads of Cap … that’s why I suggested Sens

  14. I think we should put all the leafs in a woodchipper!

  15. Joey
    Scroll away back in notes
    Dubais owned up to his actions
    Babcock did not
    I missed this one
    They both need to own up to something ..
    They both have failed miserably , this past year .
    I honestly feel Shanahan has to take a long look at this situation
    Dubais keeping Sparks , even entertaining , signing Nylander
    Both very poor decisions !!
    Babcock , I was a “fan” but I am sorry – his coaching decisions , in the playoffs especially – were mind boggling -to say the least !
    So sad ..so sorry !!!
    Same old ..same old …
    Blunders !!!! Again , in Leaf land
    This is fact – not just an opinion

    Bite the bullet , Mr Shanahan before it’s too late …
    Dubais – we all thought wrong !

    Babcock is stuck in his ways and cannot adapt to change !
    Proven – this years playoff series
    He was out coached !!

    I really think Mark Hunter was the guy !!!
    Shanahan knows it now , will he own up to it ..
    He should , fix it before it’s too late !!

  16. Gary McCollom made a VALID pt , as well , in regards to Dubais !
    Scroll back !!!
    52 years , since a cup and no light at the end of the tunnel !!
    With this present GM and coach
    Necessary moves have to be made ….
    sounds like I am repeating myself , as per my previous blog , but it’s very , very disheartening !!
    An understatement t!!

    • An understatemen tit?

      • An understatement !
        Typo ….