NHL Rumor Mill – May 16, 2019

by | May 16, 2019 | Rumors | 31 comments

Latest on the Predators, Red Wings, and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan notes Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is expected to make changes this summer. He examines several possible trade scenarios. Defenseman P.K. Subban could fetch an elite forward but Vingan feels that move should be made only if the return makes the Predators better.

Center Kyle Turris has surfaced in trade speculation but he carries a big salary and is coming off a down year. Vingan points out Poile has never retained salary in a trade but would have to in this case to move Turris.

Could the Nashville Predators pursue Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene? (Photo via NHL Images)

Vingan doubts Poile puts defenseman Ryan Ellis on the block after re-signing him a year ago to an eight-year contract extension. Shopping checking-line center Nick Bonino won’t land a big return but would provide salary-cap flexibility for other moves. Unless captain Roman Josi’s contract-extension negotiations break down, Vingan considers it unlikely he’ll be shopped. 

John Glennon wonders if the Predators will pursue Matt Duchene if he tests this summer’s free-agent market. He points out Poile previously had interest in the Columbus Blue Jackets center when he was on the trade block. The Predators would have to shed salary first as they lack sufficient salary-cap space to sign him. Duchene could seek between $8.5 – $10 million per season on the open market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators’ biggest need is scoring depth at forward and that’ll require a cost-cutting move to pull it off. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $76.8 million tied up in 22 players. 

It’ll be interesting to see what Poile has in mind. He could do a dollar-for-dollar swap involving Subban or Ellis. Turris’s trade value is low right now. His $6 million annual average value through 2023-24 is a deal breaker unless Poile picks up a big chunk of his cap hit and includes a sweetener like a prospect or pick in the deal. Maybe he moves Bonino’s $4.1 million annual average value for a secondary scorer carrying a comparable cap hit. 


THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan recently mused over whether shopping Anthony Mantha or Andreas Athanasiou could bring a quality defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings are deep in young forwards but short on talented young blueliners.

Steve Yzerman, the Wings new general manager, established a reputation for making bold moves during his tenure as Tampa Bay Lightning GM. Kulfan suggested clubs deep in defensemen, such as the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, and Nashville Predators, as possible trade partners. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman could draw upon his depth in promising young forwards as trade bait to bolster his blueline corps. With over $71.1 million invested in 18 players, he could forego the free-agent market to address his defense needs via trade.

Then again, maybe Yzerman takes a season to fully evaluate his roster before opting to swing a big trade. We’ll find out starting next month what he has in mind and if those plans involve Mantha or Athanasiou.  


TVA SPORTS: Left-side defensemen such as Toronto’s Jake Gardiner, Vancouver’s Alex Edler, Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere, and Los Angeles’ Alec Martinez could interest the Montreal Canadiens. 

Gardiner and Edler are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. There could be considerable interest around the league in the 28-year-old Gardiner. Edler’s age (33) and desire for a no-movement clause in his next contract could be cause for concern. 

The asking price for Gostisbehere could be a first-round pick, which would likely be too high for the Canadiens. It remains to be seen if the rebuilding Kings part with Martinez after trading Jake Muzzin this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have over $68.3 million committed to 20 players. They’ll have plenty of cap space to add a top-four left-side rearguard. I expect GM Marc Bergevin will attempt to address that issue this summer.

Gardiner could command over $6 million annually on a long-term deal. Unless Edler agrees to a three-year deal, the Habs could pass.

Martinez might not become available until next season’s trade deadline, if at all. Gostisbehere would be the best option but the Flyers won’t give him away. They’ll likely want more than just a first-round draft pick. I’m guessing they’ll want a top-six forward. 


  1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I would give up Ghost for a good first round pick.
    Not #15 though…

    • I’m so thankful for the great analysts at The Athletic for suggesting that the Preds trade Subban only if it makes them a better team. I had been convinced that Poile was going to trade him because he wanted to make the team worse.

      • Seems the author has Poile confused with Chiarelli.


      • It’s a fair comment because due to cap not all trades are made with the purpose of making the team better, but more as mitigating losses and creating flexibility for further moves.

        Jets seem poised to trade Trouba for non-hockey reasons – they are a better team with him. The list goes on.

  2. Yzerman better get on helluva return on D if he trades Mantha or Athanasiou. I would also say Larkin, Bertuzzi and Rasmussen won’t be going anywhere …..problem is there is not much left after those 4 forwards with much trade value.

    • “Then again, maybe Yzerman takes a season to fully evaluate his roster before opting to swing a big trade”

      If his time in Tampa is any indication it’s exactly what he’ll do. Probably one or two tinker moves and a year of careful observation. You could say he spent last year carefully observing – still I say he wont do much year one.

  3. How about Jonathan Drouin even up for Ghost? Anyone think that could work? Or Andrew Shaw and a 2nd?

    • How does that make Mtl better? Usually both gms have to believe a deal makes your team better. Not seeing it

    • I think Drouin in a straight up deal for Ghost is an excellent trade. It would probably be hard for the Have to trade him, considering his talent level, age, and potential for more. He’s Patrick Kane-lite, but needs more consistency. It hurts giving up Ghost, but both teams have enough youth coming up in those particular positions to offer the pain of giving them up. However, I would not give up Ghost for Shaw: He is a good player, but I’m not sure, even with a 1st, that he gets it done. Top 4 left-handed D-men are hard to come by, and players like Shaw are not (at least in my opinion). Good thinking, though. 🙂

      • “Patrick Kane light”?

        He’s not even Patrick Kane ultra light….!

        I got to hear where in your mind this comparison starts and stops? He’s never even sniffed Kane’s numbers!

        They both play in the NHL. Start and stop comparison!

    • If Fletcher trades Ghost for Drouin he should be fired immediately. Gostibehere gets as many points playing defence as Drouin gets playing forward.

  4. Gostisbehere would be a nice fit in the Habs or they could add Gardiner for just money. Depends on the ask for each I guess.

    They could give up this year’s first.

    Suzuki looking like a real deal. He lit it up in the OHL playoffs.

    • Montreal prospect pool is very strong. If they can solidify that defense while these young forwards progress they will be fine. They need Drouin for now.
      They have the cap space to add a D without a trade.

      • Drouin is “de souche”.

        He is going nowhere, at least for another year or so.

        Market considerations factor into all decisions here.

        Surprised? (ha ha!)

      • Rattus,

        I think you made a spelling error. Drouin isnt de souche, more like he’s Le Douche as in bag.


    • I’m a huge Habs fan and i would certainly give such a deal strong consideration – I think it does improve the team. As much progress as the Habs made this year, they will not take the next step until they fill the gaping hole on the left side of their defense. The Habs have a fair amount of good Under-30 forwards and several solid forward prospects in the system. Whereas their top 2 defenseman are both over 30 and play the right side and there’s a big drop-off to the rest of the D. And their defensive prospects are not as strong as the forward prospects. Also, there are better pickings In the free agent market to mitigate the loss of a forward than there are for a top 4 left D.

      • Howard, Jake Gardiner – all it takes is money.

      • Ya if gardiner wants 6 million it would have to be a gm like fletcher to give a forwArd 6 million to play defense! Th3 guy is bad and worse in th3 clutch

  5. Not sure trading Drouin for Ghost makes sense after giving up Sergachev only 2 years ago.

    • Sergachev is way overrated if you watch him play he is sheltered big by the good dmen around him

      • Girardi, Stralman and Coburn????? Those are the right dmen he’s surrounded by. I could be wrong, I don’t watch Tampa much, but I know MacD and Hedman are both left D

      • Sergachev isn’t even drinking age yet, don’t know how he’s over rated. 5 years young than Ghost

      • Isn’t the whole plan to shelter young D with either the minutes they play or who they play with?
        I thought that was the smart way to develop young players?

      • Next year Tampa can roll out Hedman, McD, Sergachev, Cal Foote and two affordable vets.

        Sergachev is a big kid with skills. Maybe 2nd pair limit but a solid NHLer

      • At the minimum ds, kids got skill and size. Just need to see if he has the brain for it. So far has progressed nicely.

  6. Ghost is overrated and why would Flyers want JD?

    • I agree that Gardiner would be the best option as no assets would have to be given up. However, as he is the only legitimate top 4 LD under the age of 33 in the UFA market, signing him is far from a sure thing for any team. That’s why other options must be considered.

      • As well, free agent signings can lead to so much regret as the bidding war heats up. Getting a player on a pre-existing decent contract is likely worth giving up an asset for

    • I agree: I think Ghost is over-rated. I am a Flyer’s fan, but I refuse to fall into the trap of over-valuing our players. He’s good with the puck but makes so many costly mistakes in our own zone and it can be frustrating to pay to go to games and watch him cough up a goal. He’s a clown-show in his own end. I’m a huge Flyers fan, but it was always tough to watch him fold like a cheap suit and Mason letting in EVERYTHING that was shot at him. He’s a literal Ghost in his own end, pun intended. As a season ticket holder, if we got a fair deal I would drive him to the airport. He reminds me of Marc-Andre Bergeron: Good powerplay guy, but AWFUL in his own end.

      Drouin’s not Patrick Kane, but he’s got a modicum of talent nonetheless. Sounds like the Habs were frustrated with him. A solid and inconsistent second-line winger for a second pairing D-Man who sometimes cannot play defense: seems even. That said, I’m not sure the Habs have anyone they’d be willing to give up, sans the 15th overall pick or Drouin (and even those two are up for debate). Somebody mentioned Suzuki, but I don’t think they’ll do that. I assume Drouin and a third would get it done, however it’s not happening. We’ll keep Ghost and he’ll end up costing us in some important late season game. WOW it’s fun being a Flyer’s fan!!!!!!!!!

  7. I don’t agree that the Red Wings should consider trading either Mantha or AA for a defenseman. I disagree also that they are deep on forwards in the system – they will probably not get any help from any forward prospects next season. Mantha, AA, Larkin, and Bertuzzi are the only top 6 forwards on the roster (and I’m not yet sure that Bert is – maybe 2nd or 3rd line). And if they do go after a d’man, it would need to be a LHD with size and skill – is there one of those available ?

  8. Regarding solution for issues like the nonreviewable handpass goal in overtime last night. Why cant the NHL have an automatic review of each goal scored? 90% of the time a goal could be looked at and verified before the celebration is over. A couple of minutes to verify or deny controversial goals shouldnt be a huge concern.
    Islanders clearly offside in game 5 of 80 Finals, Brett Hulls crease violation on Cup winning goal vs Sabres and last nights hand pass ot winner. If reviewed and called correctly the series outcome could be drastically altered.

    The NFL reviews every touchdown, so why not goals? Review the goal, if no camera angle can confirm or deny call made on the ice let it stand. Referees are only human and should have access to all available tools to assist them.
    It seems like a simple solution. NHL already has cameras in place, why not use them?