NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2019

by | Apr 9, 2019 | Rumors | 33 comments

Latest on Taylor Hall and Jeff Carter plus updates on the Vancouver Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


NHL.COM: Mike G. Morreale reports left wing Taylor Hall wants to see the New Jersey Devils improve their roster for next season. Hall, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. “There is only so much patience you can have at this age,” he said. “The League is getting younger and Father Time is undefeated. You only have so many years left, so for me to be done halfway with my career and to only have played five playoffs games is disappointing.”

This summer’s moves by the New Jersey Devils could have an effect upon Taylor Hall’s future with the club (Photo via NHL Images).

Hall said he likes the culture and character in the Devils room but feels they’re still lacking talent at some positions. He added he’s enjoyed playing with the Devils and believes discussions regarding his future will happen at some point. Hall also said his rehab for a season-ending knee injury is going well and he expects to be ready for training camp in September. 

Devils general manager Ray Shero said adding more talent to his roster will be a priority this summer. He pointed out the 10 picks his club holds in this year’s NHL Draft leaves them well-positioned to address that need via trades if necessary. Shero also said he appreciated Hall’s honesty on the subject. 

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan speculates Shero could draw upon his depth in draft picks this year, including three in the second round and two in the third, as possible trade bait to bring in an NHL-ready player. Ryan also speculates the possibility of moving Hall could come into play if he’s not signed to an extension before training camp this fall. He also wonders if this is the summer when Shero makes a significant signing via the UFA market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall’s made it quite clear that bolstering the roster is necessary if Shero hopes to re-sign him to an extension. The Devils GM must make a big move or two via the trade and/or free-agent market to show his franchise player that the club is serious about becoming a perennial playoff contender.

I expect Shero will be among this summer’s busiest general managers. The Devils have over $47 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20 with Pavel Zacha, Will Butcher, Stefan Noesen and Connor Carrick among their notable restricted free agents. They should all be affordable re-signings, giving Shero plenty of room to swing a big trade or sign a noteworthy free-agent player. 


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Cooper reports Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter denied any talk he’s considering retirement, adding he intends to complete the three years remaining on his contract with the Kings. He also noted his lack of no-trade protection but said: “whatever happens, happens”.

Trading the 34-year-old, however, won’t get the Kings a real return. A contract buyout also won’t bring them any significant salary-cap relief over the next three years. Cooper speculates Dion Phaneuf could be a more likely buyout candidate

Lisa Dillman, meanwhile, noted the Kings’ interest in former Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan but the Buffalo Sabres have emerged as a serious suitor for McLellan’s services. Dillman listed former NHL head coach Alain Vigneault, Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards, and Dallas Stars assistant coach Todd Nelson as possible options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Carter is determined to keep playing and if Kings GM Rob Blake simply wants to shed his salary he could try to move him for a draft pick and a prospect. However, the return Blake got for Jake Muzzin (a first-round pick, a prospect and a promising player in Carl Grundstrom) suggests he’ll want at least a decent, affordable player as part of the return.

Given Carter’s age, the remaining tenure on his contract,  and the decline in his production this season, it’s unlikely Blake will find that type of deal.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes the Vancouver Canucks will have to spend in free agency this summer to bring in a right winger for center Bo Horvat’s line. However, there’s not much to choose from because UFAs either make too much money or are aging. He also believes the Canucks need another top-four defenseman and secondary scoring depth. 

Ed Willes noted GM Jim Benning’s recent comments about being careful with their spending and how salary-cap space can fill up fast. He believes the Canucks won’t be pursuing expensive free agent talent like Columbus’ Artemi Panarin this summer.

Willes also noted Benning’s desire to add a defenseman and thinks he’ll go the trade route, wondering what Jake Virtanen or Ben Hutton might fetch via trade. It appears their big move on the blueline will be re-signing Alexander Edler.

If Benning is inclined to seek a forward via free agency, Willes suggested Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner, Columbus’ Matt Duchene, and the New York Islanders’ Anders Lee as possible options. Down-scale targets could include Carolina’s Micheal Ferland and Columbus’ Ryan Dzingel. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have over $52 million invested in 19 players for 2019-20. New contracts for Edler and RFA Brock Boeser could total $12 million, but would still leave sufficient room to re-sign other RFAs and bring in a quality player or two. 

After overpaying for Loui Eriksson in 2016, Benning likely remains reluctant to go down that road again. Forget about Skinner, Duchene, or Lee, as they’ll be too expensive for his liking. Ferland or Dzingel might be more affordable but might not be suitable wingers on Horvat’s right side. The notable UFA right wing options include Gustav Nyquist, Mats Zuccarello, Jordan Eberle, and Wayne Simmonds. 


  1. Dzingle will sign with Columbus . Went to Ohio State.
    Duchene will sign with the Habs. A Francophone Center. Or at least a French surname.

    I hope there is not a big move in the draft lottery . I would throw up if the Oilers landed it.

    • The domain of the weird is constantly adding new elements which generate heated discussion. Twas ever thus. Would not surprise me in the least to see Edmonton’s name come out of the tank.

    • @SilverSeven
      I agree on Dzingle… Duchene will go for the money and Habs do have some cap space-would help that powerplay.

      If Buffalo or Edmonton wins the lottery…. I have a feeling Detroit gets 1st or 2nd

    • Hi Silver Seven

      I think almost all NON Northern Albertans would throw up if that was the case.

      A lottery win tonight though could very well immediately turn the Oil franchise around… with Mr. Hughes as bait; Oil could easily move that pick to rid Lucic contract and have something still coming back.

      I posted before regarding that 6.5% chance (Ed currently to pick 7th) … my suggestion if that happens:

      1st and Lucic to Van (assuming they also don’t move up in draft) for their 9th overall pick.

      Why would Lucic waive… he’s not well recieved any more in Oil country and he is from the Greater Vancouver area.

      Move puts Cannucks further down the development path; brings the bros together; encourages fans and sells more tickets…. at the expense of having Lucic; that they can buy out for $5M (over 8 years) if they want to. A prudent investment IMO.

      Oil free up a very valuable $6M and have space for off-season UFA acquisitions as well as Vancouver’s 9th overall pick and say plus Jesse Puljuujarvi (sp?) to move for upgrades.

      This will be very very interesting lottery tonight

      I agree that very very strong possibility that Djzingle signs back; but I would be very surprised if he did so without at least waiting until the “free” negotiating period just before July 1st.

      • There is less than zero chance any team trades away a generational talent pick just to get rid of a bad contract that really isn’t that bad. There are no teams left that are like the Coyotes were a couple of years ago that can and will take on a bad contract to collect a good future asset. This season has shown that most of the league is right there as far as being a playoff team. There are 4-5 like the Red Wings that suck but are still competitive. I don’t see anymore contracts being unloaded like Datsyuk or Hossa.

      • Agree Deee that they don’t trade that pick if they win the lottery. Even if they move up to 2 or 3.
        They need high end players more than they need cap space as even if they decide to start Hughes or Kakko in the NHL next season, they are on their ELC, so just what they need.
        I don’t see Hughes as a generational talent as he is in the same generation as McDavid.
        Agree on the Lucic contract as well, no idea who would agree to take that deal. If it was just a year or 2, then maybe, but methinks the Oil are stuck with him for a while.

    • Another smurf …. why not?
      And for 7 more years.


  2. I just mentioned Hall the other day; Shero can talk about the draft picks but they are 3 seconds and 3 thirds not saying none of them will pan out but not likely in the next two seasons. This will be an important offseason for NJ if they hope to Keep Hall.
    Shero should consider moving Hall who lack any trade protection at the draft for a 1st and 2 seconds or prospect(s) ready to jump in.
    If McDavid thinks he has it tough in Edmonton, he should look at Hall who has 8 fewer playoff games in 5 more season played, so it could be worst for a 1st overall pick.

    • I think the idea was the 2nds and thirds were trade currency for ready made talent. Targeting teams needing to shed salary etc.

    • Hate to read too much into Hall’s comments, but methinks he will test the market now that he has an opportunity to control where he plays, for what will be the rest of his prime years.
      I have a hard time believing Shero will be able to make dramatic enough changes to turn NJ into a contender for next season.
      Can they pick up some decent secondary pieces with the 2nd and 3rd RD picks, sure. Do they have room to after Panarin or Duchene, sure.
      Should they and will either of those guys go there? I don’t think so.
      They need to stay on the path of drafting and developing. It takes a long time but the only thing that will work long term. They have too many holes to fill via trades and UFA’s that will break the bank in a few years. They will pick in the top 6 and get another good piece.
      If Hall doesn’t want to wait because he has waited long enough, which he has the right to do, then move on and trade him.
      Hopefully for NJ’s sake he makes up his mind and gives Shero time to make the best deal he can. I do it before or at the draft if the right deal is there.

      • Ray,

        with you on the Duchene/Panarin view…. highly unlikely to sign in NJ.

        I do see Shero at least trying to make some prudent trades w.r.t. upgrading the team; but it will be a very difficult thing to accomplish and I think in the end; yes; Hall will be moved. However, I think this move may not come until TDL next Feb.

        We’ll see

      • You’re probably right about the timing Pengy.
        In the end they want to keep him, but agree he likely moves on.

  3. Wayne Simmonds trade to Nashville has not worked out so far, with 1 goal and 3pts in 17 games. This is an important playoff for him to jack up his value as an ufa in the offseason. I thought he be a nice fit for Boston looks like a good pass at the moment.

  4. Since Linden left Canucks, Ive been happy with Bennings moves and for that Ive been a huge defender of the man. In the paste 5 drafts, he has done quite well. Gets a black eye for Juolevi but OJ came with great accolades and was ripe for a great career while filling a need the team has needed. Nobody predicted he would get injured and have the setbacks he has incured.
    4yrs later Benning now has Boeser, Petey, Hughes as an amazing young core to build around while dazzling fans. Horvat being drafted by the previous guy but raised by Benning is a lock for Captain and has improved each year he has been in the league and still has a higher ceiling that what we’ve seen.

    Now im not trying to pump the Canucks tires too much, but Benning now has great pieces in place and the team IS exciting to watch. Its these young core dudes that are going to attract the better free agents

    That being said, I pray to god Benning doesnt go out and make knee-jerk signings on free agents already in decline. If so, please only sign for 2-3yr deals, not 6 or 7 like Eriksson.

    Cheers everyone

    • You forgot to mention Elias Petterson, who I think will be competing for the scoring title in a couple of years.

    • Unless by “Petey” you meant Petterson…I’ve not heard him referred to as Petey.

      • In this market, Petey is his nickname

    • Your assessment is pretty much bang on.

  5. Taylor Hall would look good in Black and Gold and he would fit perfect in timeline with Bergeron Marchand Pastrnak Charlie Carlo and company. Boston would have to move a few pieces around to afford him but if he wants to play in playoffs with him on team Boston would be a can’t miss.

    • I pass on Hall for a long term deal for Boston Obe.
      I would like to think being around Chara and Bergeron and the leadership group will turn Hall into a dedicated player/leader himself, but am skeptical. Your high priced guys need to push the rest, not need to be pushed.
      If the B’s are going to invest big $ on a UFA, it needs to be a C. They don’t have any youth that has the potential to be a 1 or 2C. With Studnika the only one having a shot and he hasn’t even played pro yet.
      Duchene? Meh.
      If Hall is for strictly a rental at the TDL next year and it still makes sense? OK, I’m in.

    • It’s destined to happen Obe.
      At least in my mind it is.
      Oilers should have drafted the center all those years ago.
      We should have had Hall from the start.
      Stupid Oilers drafting scheme hasn’t worked in 30 years.

      • Shoreorrpark, the weird part part of the whole Hall instead of Seguin debate is that the Oilers get roasted for what they got for Hall and it was actually better than what the Bruins got for Seguin.

        Oh yeah….. I guess it’s not weird.

      • Ray we are NOT allowed to talk about the Seguin trade.

  6. New Jersey has the cap space and the picks – this is what the NHL is now. Teams will be good for a while and then be in salary cap hell. I’m sure there will be more than enough suitors for them.

    As a Leafs fan I can only really comment on that roster, I think a 2nd lands you Kapanen. I’d be more than happy if Nylander goes for a 2nd (and a third?) – the price is low on both but if it means the Leafs can keep JT, Matthews, Marner, Reilly and Andersen then I’m all for it.

    There will be lots of deals available if NJ is up for it.

    • Hi Taz

      I’m trying to set aside my bias against Nylander (WW). I was against the signing and that signing has now caused a very bad situation (cap) for the Leafs. If I was GMKD I would have made him sit the whole year. Leafs would have been in exactly the same position they are now standings wise and with the same odds of winning a series against the Bruins; but would have Cap flexibility in the bank and would have had GMKD show that he is not easily one to capitulate on negotiations which would have helped in the Mathews and Marners negotiations. That signing was costly.

      However, that said, I think more than a first should come back for WW.

      After his signing bonus (SB) is paid on 1/7; he is only owed $700 K next year and for the balance of his contract the effective cash AAV is less than $5M per. He has potential…. a first coming back to a team with space and in need of scoring is way less than that team could and should pay.

      I still think a WW for a top 4 D (of course after July 1st SB paid) is viable. Remember, at this point, a top 4 D just means a player that has to be better than Zaitsev. That is not saying much.

      Without moving WW and/or Marleau (he has to agree) then there is just no Cap room to upgrade the D which is the Leafs absolute most important (imperative in fact) need.

      Fingers crossed that this can be done.

      Tonight is an annual NHL playoff draft that I go to that is now over 3 decades old… these guys are all from the GTA and I will be absolutely Gobsmacked if any of them pick a Leaf in the first 5 rounds (of 10 rounds). If they were picking with their hearts on this it is one thing but it is $500 per to enter so heart goes out the door and it will all come down to picks based on match-up logic and true probabilities (not Vegas odds which is based on betting). Leafs, IMO, and I suspect in the opinions of those at the draft tonight; just are not there yet w.r.t. deep playoff runs. The have to get better on D.

      Fingers crossed

      Go Leafs Go

  7. I agree Ray with your center remark ,I do believe Studnicka is the real deal and will be ready to take over when Krech is done. Boston has some great contracts top end guys under 7 million and if Hall wants to win I believe he is the perfect fit. Hall has speed and enough grit to be effective for a long time. If he goes to unrestricted free agency if I’m Boston I take a run at it.

    • What does bos do to be able to afford an 10-11 mil winger?

      • Chrisms, I wouldn’t pay Hall that much, but you might be right about $10M plus from somebody. Mistake IMO.
        What does Boston have to do? Next year it is only $6M for Hall, but you still have to find a sucker for Backes and his $6M as his deal is for another 2 yrs. Unlikely if not impossible.

  8. With their cap space does Buff get Duchene?? to take pressure of Thompson and Mittelstadt…to move on from Girgenson….
    OR not a locker room fit with Eichel?

    Dallas would look good with Hall. With Spezza off the books….they have some room to play with.
    Cogliano, Nichushkin and a top prospect ?
    Cogliano becomes the 3rd line center and Zacha moves to wing….?

    Perhaps the new GM in EDM can beg Shero to take back Larsson for Hall =) lol ..IF only McDavid had a speedy winger….hmmm

    • I guess O’Reilly wasn’t a locker room fit with Eichel either. Where’s he now and how did that work out?

    • They played Hall with McDavid in 15/16, albeit small sample size.
      Both guys want the puck on their stick through the neutral zone and entering the offensive zone. Didn’t seem to work.
      Would be great to have Hall with RNH, that did work well. McDavid with Draisaitl on the other. Matchup hell for opposing teams.
      I didn’t mind the theory of trading Hall as their D was a mess, just didn’t like the return.

  9. Habs with 16th pick meh

    • Seems like destiny that the Avs pick first doesn’t it? That story has to go full circle.