Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 5, 2019

by | May 5, 2019 | Rumors | 54 comments

More speculation over possible moves by the Leafs, an update on the Oilers’ attempts to sign Ken Holland as their new GM, some Flames conjecture and more in today’s Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently suggested several ways Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could make a big move this summer. Trading William Nylander for a hefty return is one. Chasing a marquee free agent such as Tyler Myers, Jeff Skinner, Wayne Simmonds, Kevin Hayes or Joe Pavelski is another.

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs trade William Nylander this summer? (Photo via

Using some young assets like Jeremy Bracco, Timothy Liljegren, Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen as trade bait for a right-handed defenseman like could be an option. The Florida Panthers are looking to make changes. The Nashville Predators, and Carolina Hurricanes are deep in blueline talent. The Los Angeles Kings (Drew Doughty) are rebuilding, the Pittsburgh Penguins could be ready to shake up their core, and the Vegas Golden Knights are “in it to win it”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Fox is just speculating here. We don’t know what Dubas has in store for his club this summer. 

Trading Nylander isn’t an option if the Leafs GM abides by his promise not to trade him. Of that “marquee talent” Fox listed, Skinner and Pavelski are the only ones who fit the bill.  Either guy won’t fit address their defense needs unless Dubas has other deals in the hopper. Myers would be a good fit on their blueline. 

Targeting a big-ticket defenseman from one of those clubs on Fox’s list is impossible unless Dubas frees up sufficient salary-cap room to take on the expensive contract. Trading Nylander and/or finding a way to shed Patrick Marleau’s $6.25-million salary-cap hit (another of his suggestions) might help. However, most of that cap space could be eaten up by Mitch Marner’s expensive new deal. 

Fox also looked at ways Dubas could bolster the Leafs defense. Given his salary-cap constraints, affordable free-agent options could include someone like Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman. “More doable” trade targets could include Vancouver’s Chris Tanev, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas or Ivan Provorov, Ottawa’s Cody Ceci, LA’s Alec Martinez, Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov, or Carolina’s Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce or Dougie Hamilton.

SPECTOR’S HOCKEY: Tanev, Gudas and maybe Zaitsev are “doable”. Trouba is a year away from UFA status and might prefer joining a US-based club. The Flyers won’t part with Provorov, the Senators reportedly want to keep Ceci, the Kings will probably hang onto Martinez, and the Hurricanes likely won’t move any of the defensemen. 


SPORTSNET: Emily Sadler cites Elliotte Friedman saying Ken Holland is expected to decide within the next 24-48 hours on becoming the next GM of the Edmonton Oilers. They’ve offered him a five-year contract worth $5-million annually. If he accepts the job, Dave Tippett could be in the mix to become their next head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers also reportedly told Holland he’ll have complete autonomy over hockey decisions. That means he’ll determine who gets hired or fired with no meddling from the higher-ups. Toss in a lucrative long-term contract and this could prove irresistible for Holland. 

**UPDATE** TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports Holland is expected to get back to Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson today. It’s expected he will accept the position of Oilers general manager. 

Mark Spector recently suggested the next Oilers GM must bring in a suitable goaltending partner for Mikko Koskinen. With Jordan Binnington having taken over the starter’s job with the St. Louis Blues, Spector wondered if Jake Allen might be available. Free-agent options could include Semyon Varlamov or Brian Elliott. A young goalie like Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie looking for a chance elsewhere might be a good fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers need a quality goalie to split the duties with Koskinen. There aren’t many viable options available via trade or free agency this summer. With their salary-cap limitations, they must avoid taking on another burdensome contract.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently examined why the Flames fell short in the 2019 playoffs and how to avoid repeating that fate. He dismissed the notion of entertaining trade offers for star forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He recommends not shifting gears, sticking instead on building its youthful defense corps and help it develop and mature.

“You can’t slash-and-burn your way through a reasonably well-constructed roster that had a good October-to-April run just because you came up short in the playoffs. Sorry, but that would do more long-term harm than good.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sound advice from Duhatschek, though I daresay Flames GM Brad Treliving already reached that conclusion. Yes, their early playoff exit following a dominant regular season was disappointing. Their goaltending remains a big question mark that must be addressed for next season. However, there’s lots of good young talent on this club, some of which will only get better in the coming years. Best to remain patient. 



  1. Hiring Ken Holland is an extension of the “OLD BOYS CLUB” in Edmonton. Maybe the job of Bob Nicholson’s should be examined! Does he know what the is doing?

    • Extension of the old boys club lol.
      GM in Detroit for 20+ years not a year with Nicholson , as I said yesterday anyone will be criticized . Well his last names Gretzky .. he’s a rookie gm … he is old and past prime .. worked with him at hockey Canada …has a friend related to Kevin Lowe , eats at the same restaurant as mactavish . On and on and on .
      Ken Holland is a great choice , his record speaks for itself . After 20+ years of no draft pick higher than 19 there was bound to be a few down years . Has he made mistakes ? Absolutely , like any and all gm ever . He is not an extension of the old boys club , will be given full autonomy, is highly respected and stability and experience are needed now more than ever . 22 straight years in the playoffs, let’s let that sink in for a minute , the critcism he is getting here is unbelievable.

      • Which trades are awful mike ? Like I said he isn’t perfect , made mistakes . 3 cups and 22 straight seasons in the playoffs , the cup in 08 , 10 years AFTER hire with datsyuk and zetterberg his picks , the leading scorers on the team for those saying he didn’t build anything . Like I mentioned before after such a run , 20 + years without a pick inside 19 they were bound to have a few lean years after High end stars retired and left for Russia . I hope he keeps Keith in place and effectively get both candidates . But yes like I said his record , cups and playoff run included speak for itself . Yzerman learned early in his career from Ken and seems to have picked up some good traits and tools .

      • Craig?

        Is this Craig MacTavish?!?

        I know, forget Holland, how about hiring Mike Milbury?

      • So apparently Ken Holland is not going to Seattle – oops!
        I’ll be interested to see if he retains Ken Hitchcock as coach.

      • What’s his track record like in the salary era? TERRIBLE!!!!

    • simply put no he doesn’t as a die hard the only solution is to clear house if hired this is just another mistake with a owner who ‘s only concern are the sell outs night after night

      • Why on earth if Keith would stay on the amateur side would you fire him ? Was on the short list for gm , which means he’s highly regarded . And the prospect pool is stronger than it has been in decades . On the pro side and above , do as he sees fit , but I’m all for Keith staying .

      • The talk I heard on Gretzky is he is considered part of the old regime, as he followed PC there out of Boston (a year later). The sense is to have a clean slate and Gretzky doesn’t represent a clean slate.
        Which is not the same as saying he isn’t capable or a good choice. It was his decision in Boston to pick Zboril, Senyshyn and Debrusk, over Chabot, Connor and Barzal all who were considered above the Boston 3 but i’m happy with the Debrusk pick. Not to mention he also picked Carlo in the second round of that draft, who is the Bruins best player from that draft.

    • McTavish should still be in prison for killing that poor woman in Boston. Drunken p.o.s.

  2. Not to be “that guy” but isn’t Nikita Zaitsev in Toronto already?

    • I think he meant Nikita Zadarov lol….

      We all are entitled to be a little senile every now and then lol.

    • I’m sure Lyle meant Zadorov , but unlike you! The rest of us understand and have the intelligence to not be that person.

      • Morning coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. 😉

      • In his defense, he did say he was trying to not be that guy…

      • YarmouthClipper,
        Settle down Francis! It was light hearted. No need to get your panties in a bunch unless Lyle pays you to edit his site?
        Intelligence? Lmao. Okay, back to your fry station!

        All good Lyle,
        It happens.

  3. Interesting : Ken Holland telling Gretz, and all the rest to GTF out of Dodge

    • WHere has this been said ?

  4. With the long awaited arrival of Igor Shesterkin in NY, I would think last years backup goalie could be had for a small return. Georgiev could be a fit in Edmonton. Rangers also signed Huska last season and drafted another goalie in 2nd round. Georgiev would appear to be odd man out, although they may want to wait and see how Shesterkin adjusts to North American game.

  5. Looking at EDM perhaps they call OTT and inquire about Anderson as a back up. He is signed for only for 1 more year at 4.75 and then he will be gone. Perhaps offering something like this

    to OTT: Lucic & 2nd
    to EDM: Anderson & Gaborik’s LTIR contract

    Ottawa gets back some salary/cap to stay above the floor. They get rid of a contract, in Gaborik, whom they would have been paying but cannot play and in return at least get a body who can suit up and skate.

    Edm gets their back up goalie with no long term investment. The can also buy out Gaborik’s less expensive deal.

    Ott then can look around at other goalies that teams are looking to unload or sign someone for a short term.

    • Ottawa (i.e. Melnyk & Dorion specifically) will not – and I can’t stress this enough – NOT take Lucic short of Edmonton giving up their 1st overall pick as part of the package. And even then I think they’d say no after some sober second-thought.

      • I have a feeling George that EDM would be willing to give up their 1st. Change that 2nd to a 1st and would ya do it?

        I understand they pay only 10% but if I understand correctly, does it not take up a roster/contract spot? Lucic can actually suit up and be iced.

      • You’re probably too young to remember the newspaper strip Lil Abner who had a character named Joe Btfslpk – best described as well-meaning, but in reality the world’s worst jinx, bringing disastrous misfortune to everyone around him as he moved about with a small, dark rain-cloud hovering over his head which became a symbol for misfortune.

        I just get the feeling Milan Lucic has become that character in the dressing room – making a ton of money but going through the motions game in game out. Great role model for the young bunch in Ottawa.

        If Ottawa didn’t have a slew of pick coming over the next couple of years – and with becoming a contender again at least that far away – passing on the 8th overall pick (Edmonton’s 1st) wouldn’t be that big a deal. In fact, if Dorion plays his cards right he might be able to parlay the Columbus 1st pick (around 19 depending if Boston knocks them out) into a higher mid-range pick by packaging that with one of their 2nd rounders and a prospect and hopefully get a shot at Raphael Lavoie of Halifax.

    • Besides Gaborik goes on the LTIR Ottawa only pays 10% of his contract the whole amount counts towards the cap floor they can sign another player. Lucic they have to pay the whole contract. Why even for a second would you think that Ottawa would ever consider a trade that bad

  6. Over the past few months we’ve heard “should never have signed him to that deal” – “won’t become ‘engaged’ when the going gets tough” – “grossly overpaid” ”floater” – and countless more negatives attached to Nylander – most from those within the Leafs fan base! If this site is a microcosm of the general Leafs fan base, would you not think this negtivity has filtered back to Luke Fox, and yet here he is suggesting they deal him for a “hefty” return. I would like to see what he regards as “hefty” given the circumstances and the knowldge that the the other 30 GMs must then see the same warts. Personally, I think they need to find another way to shed salary and give the kid a chance to redeem himself by being there next season right from the get-go.

    • @George O: While Nylander has value, his productivity this past season has lowered his trade value significantly. In short. TML is stuck with him until he proves to the NHL that this season was an anomaly.

    • If he wasn’t at full form after the amount of hockey he played something is not right, nylander is get me the puck while I wait here type of player and very soft! The only way he gets even close to a hefty return is to hold back money like they did with Phil kessel

    • bravo, George!

    • George, re Nylander, right on! He is a good player and will bounce back.

  7. @BBB Cant say I disagree: He’s a floater and a softee but I”m a Leaf fan so I have to support no matter what? I want gnarl and growl and all I can see is Please dont hit me and I”m sorry I bumped into you :s

  8. If I were Lou, I would send Nick Leddy, AB and a first to the Leafs for Marner.

    • @LM Lou will send an offer sheet for Marner if not under contract by July 01 Count On It. He’s still choked about JT and will seek revenge if given the chance

      • It would be a killer move. Toronto takes a major hit and Tavares loses a ton of future goals and assists. That being said, I’m not sure that anyone in the GM fraternity has that kind of brass. It takes a killer to make a killer move!

      • I think its more likely Lou tries to trade for Nazem Kadri. Filpula is a free agent and this might allow Kadri to slide into the number 2 spot instead of number 3 in TO. I could see him waiving for that.

  9. Kudos to Rod Pederson who was out front on the Holland to Edmonton story. He reported it as going to happen while the traditional insiders shot down the report.

  10. Calgary needs to create a bigger line for the playoffs. Monahan had a cracked thumb and Johnny had a net around him every game. A depth 5-6th scorer would have helped- (Zucker) . Trade Neal and don’t resign Frolik.

    Less Gardiner’s $4m actual and $6m potential will help but the Leafs are up against it if Marner is north of $9.5

    • Hi Silverseven

      I didn’t know Monahan had a cracked thumb.
      I looked a Neal’s buy out and it would be a little under 2 million. I agree they have to trade him but if that doesn’t happen I can see a buy out next year

  11. Duhatschek is a very respected hockey writer and in all honesty he is makes good points for not making some big moves in Calgary.
    The Flames however have to make a few moves for cap reasons to resign Tkachuk.
    Treliving has the pulse of the team and is not afraid to make some moves if he feels they underachieve in certain areas. I would say they totally underachieved in this years playoff so I fully expect some changes. It may not mean Gaudreau or Monahan but there will be changes coming.

    Some names that keep coming up are Brodie and Frolik.
    I would say Brodie is gone, he makes 4.35 million played top pair minutes and can quarterback a power play. He should command a good return. I’m thinking draft picks as the Flames need cap space.
    Same with Frolik a very dependable player with only one more year on his contract should get a 2nd round choice.

    Don’t be surprised if there is another blockbuster trade to improve the flames compete level in the playoffs.

    I have mentioned some big pie in the sky trades earlier like Gaudreau and Neal to NJ
    For Taylor Hall
    Then another big deal sending Monahan and Rasmussen Anderson to the leafs for Matthews
    The last part would be to trade either Brody or Frolik for cap reasons to make all the other deals fit, but instead of getting back picks they would have to get lesser paid players in return.

    It’s going to be a great time leading up to the draft and July 1 as some big moves will be made all forced by the Salary cap and all the top teams loosing in the 1st round.

    • Eric Duhatschek is an excellent hockey writer and really worth a listen when on TV or radio. He would be a great addition to the Hockey Night In Canada crew – multiple choices for who he’d replace.

    • I wouldn’t trade Anderson straight across for Mathews. Flames don’t need another soft player

      • Woody,

        Yea I’m pretty torn putting Anderson in that trade, Brodie would be much better
        Buy that would not get the deal done

  12. NYR would take Marleau and a 1st rd next year and help alleviate cap space for TML…while we send back Vesey.

    PT totals are very comparable but with the rebuild, i do not see Vesey as a long term team member…so why not grab 1st while ya can.

  13. Would Calgary do a Kreider for Gaudreau?

    NYR gets a 3 year younger winger on a very team friendly deal

    CGY gets a big fast, strong winger built for the playoffs. 28 years of age who can slot with Monahan.

    Sorta of fits both teams needs.

    • New York would have to throw in an international oil pipeline to make that deal.

      • NY & Wall Street have the connections….

        perhaps will even replace Trudeau for you gents as well.

  14. If the buffalo Sabres dont lock down Skinner this town will lose their minds.. The organization made that mistake b4… wont(better not)happen again..

    • Once he gets his big pay day I have a gut feeling year 4 and after he will perform like Okposo…… just my gut. I have been known to be incorrect. I had no idea Okposo would drop off so dramatically.

  15. Sure didn’t take long for Dubas to paint himself in a corner with the cap , just don’t see how u can have Marner at 10+ and a top D in that range as well

  16. With Nylander they used Pasta as a comparable which was a joke now Marner who is his comparable McDavid? Leafs paid Mathews Nylander way to much they shouldn’t make same mistake with Marner. Marner is a small skilled forward like a Johnny hockey or a Guentzel they both make 6 or so not 11. Just because they paid Mathews way to much it doesn’t mean you should make same mistake again. If some team offers the moon take the 4 first round picks and sign Panarin for 8 or nine would be way ahead. Better yet sign two good defenseman.

    • @OBE Not sure I agree about the Matthews over pay but I think Nylander should have been forced to sit the season out

  17. Mathews paid way to much he hasn’t done enough to earn almost 12 million a year. He in my opinion is worth 8 million on a 5 year contract. He has potential but when you look at other young guns making like half example Pasta and Scheifele than Mathews is over paid. Crosby and Ovechkin make less Kucherov signed for 9.5 Toronto way over paid in my opinion. GM,s paying young guys top dollar are putting their teams in cap trouble and can’t fill out a roster to compete. Oilers going through this now Winnipeg also if they sign Laine for stupid money.

    • I agree with you that Matthews is overpaid. A comparable player respectively contract could have been Draisait.
      (5 years at $8.500.000)
      But you cannot compare him to Crosby/Ovechkin (contract was signed years ago), Kucherov (taxes in Florida).
      By the way i’d rather have Draisaitl than Matthews…

  18. Juss I disagree Crosby is signed for longer than Matthews at 8.7 they both take up part of the cap. If Crosby makes under 10% of Pittsburgh,s cap so should Auston. When Boston signed Pasta and Marchand they said they were not making more than Bergeron who signed earlier period. The tail can’t wag the dog in some of these franchises they have it backwards. Anyway I’m glad they are overpaying makes it harder to win and I’m no Leaf fan.