NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2019

by | Jun 3, 2019 | Rumors | 84 comments

Several new names added to TSN’s trade-bait board. Check out the latest plus updates on Patrick Marleau and the Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

UPDATED TSN TRADE-BAIT LIST

TSN: Frank Seravalli recently updated his NHL trade-bait list. Among the recent additions are Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (10), Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri (17) and winger Mitch Marner (25), and Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique (23).

Others include Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer (15), Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Jack Johnson (18), Vancouver Canucks winger Loui Eriksson (20), Panthers winger Mike Hoffman (21), Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (22), and center Victor Rask (24). 

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel remains atop TSN’s updated trade-bait list (Photo via NHL Images)

Penguins winger Phil Kessel and Winnipeg Jets rearguard Jacob Trouba remain atop Seravalli’s list. Kessel recently rejected a trade to the Minnesota Wild. The Jets are reportedly talking to clubs interested in acquiring Trouba. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. 

Other noteworthy names include Wild winger Jason Zucker (3), Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (4), and Nashville Predators blueliner P.K. Subban (5). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can view the entire list by clicking the link above. Bear in mind that just because a player is on that list doesn’t mean he’s going to be traded. Many of them have surfaced in recent trade speculation but only a handful could get moved this summer.

Some, however, seem certain to get traded. We know the Penguins are shopping Kessel. Despite nixing a trade to Minnesota, Bob McKenzie isn’t ruling out the possibility of Kessel changing his mind if other suitable trade options don’t materialize. However, McKenzie’s colleague Pierre LeBrun said the Penguins are willing to retain the veteran winger if they don’t find a worthwhile deal. Johnson and Rask were added to this list because they were rumored to be part of that failed Kessel deal.

No word yet which clubs are interested in Trouba. Media speculation linked him to the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, and New York Rangers. Marner’s addition is due to recent reports suggesting his camp could entertain offer sheets during the free-agent interview period beginning on June 26. If his contract negotiations grow contentious, Seravalli suggests that could lead to trade talk.

Gostisbehere has come up as a possible trade chip to bring a top-six scorer to the Flyers. However, some Philadelphia pundits are against that idea. Should the Panthers pursue a new starting goalie, Reimer could hit the trade block.

Kadri’s been mentioned as a possible salary-cap casualty if the Leafs must free up room to re-sign Marner. Eriksson was recently linked to the Edmonton Oilers as part of a swap of toxic contracts, with the Canucks acquiring Milan Lucic in return. Hoffman’s come up as a trade chip if the Panthers pursue a defenseman. Anisimov and Henrique are thought to be possible cost-cutting options for their respective clubs. 

MARLEAU TO THE COYOTES?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun took to Twitter yesterday reporting the Leafs and Arizona Coyotes discussed a potential Patrick Marleau deal. “My sense is that for Arizona to get more interested Toronto would have to attach a premium asset in the trade as well,” said LeBrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bit of a surprise there. Cap Friendly indicates the Coyotes already have over $74.3 million invested in 20 players for next season. They can afford Marleau’s $6.25-million cap hit and he’s reportedly willing to waive his no-movement clause to go to Arizona. However, their uncertain ownership situation could make them reluctant to take on more salary. 

LATEST FLAMES SPECULATION.

FLAMES NATION: Ryan Pike cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports hearing the Calgary Flames are looking to move a defenseman. “Either Travis Hamonic or TJ Brodie,” said McKenzie. He said the Flames could consider moving one of them to make room for one of their promising young blueliners. Pike notes Rasmus Andersson had a solid rookie season while Oliver Kylington and Juuso Valimaki are also in the pipeline. 

McKenzie also said there’s talk the Flames are trying to move winger Michael Frolik to free up cap space to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Hamonic ($3.857 million for 2019-20) or Brodie ($4.65 million) would also free up cap room for Tkachuk. Frolik ($4.3 million) has a 10-team no-trade list. The Flames might have to include a draft pick or a promising young player, like Kylington or Valimaki, to move him. 







84 Comments

  1. I get it’s just a list- but I don’t ever recall so many “name” players being in play. Fear of offer sheets, repercussions of big contracts and a deep draft. This is going to be a crazy draft and off season like no other.

    I do think one of those RFAs will be dealt.. that first rfa deal..whoever signs first, whether it’s Rantanen , Laine, Tkachuk..Marner- will just inflate all the rest

  2. Flames gave up a lot for Hamonic and now they want to move him ?
    Maybe Brodie as Valimaki will be full time but Not sure you need to move any . Some fourth line size and grit is in order. A playoff team but not one that will win in the post season .

    • Flames success had alot to do with their top 4 D… yes odd to move one…but before signing a goalie or Tkachuk+Bennett they only have 14 million in cap space.

      • I honestly do not see the Flames moving Hamonic.

        Brodie for sure will get moved and possibly Stone.

        For some reason the pundits always talk about Rasmus Anderson who is a very good young defenseman, but in my eye Valimaki is heads and shoulders above Anderson.
        Valimaki was injured last year but when he played he was unbelievable. I think a true #1 defenseman.
        He will not be going anywhere.
        That was evident at the trade deadline when Ottawa wanted Valimaki in the Stone trade and the Flames rightly so turned down the deal.

  3. If there is ever a year to make offer sheets, it appears this is the one. Alot of good game changer RFA’s ripe for picking as their respective teams are tight. Many other GMs will be taking note of their collegues dilemas as well. Should be interesting to see what “sweetners” get attached to salary being moved out.

  4. There is NO way the Flames are trading Valamaki just to move Frolik … that is absurd and utterly ridiculous speculation.

    • I’m thinking Valamaki would be the easiest to add to a trade with Frolik to free up some cap space, IF you can’t find a deal to trade Brodie for the Flames. I think Andresson and Kylington are higher on the depth chart than Valamaki. If Brodie is traded than the Flames will need Valvmaki on the roster to keep some depth on defence.
      I also think that Hamonic would be the better d-man to keep than Brodie. Hamonic has the better contract and a lot better in his own zone than Brodie. Also Hamonic seems to be more versatile to be able to play with different d-men. Brodie struggles when not paired with Giordano.
      Now the Oiler fan in me says keep them all and sign Tkachuk to a huge deal and sign a cheap goalie and trade Mangiapane and Bennett due to lack of cap space to sign them. 😉

      • Kylington is not ahead of Valimaki in depth chart. Valimaki practically made the team out of training camp. It’s not even close.

      • No one’s getting Valamaki.
        He’s going to be a top pairing minute cruncher for the Flames for a long time.

      • @David
        Valimaki may have ALMOST made the Flames roster from training camp, the thing is neither Valimaki or Kylington made the roster from training camp. Kylington was however the first of the 2 called up and played more games, had better ppg, and a better plus minus than Valimaki. Also Elite Prospects has Kylington ranked higher on the depth chart than Valimaki.

    • Agree completely. Probably click bait lunacy.

      • KevJam,

        Totally disagree with you about Valimaki.
        Valimaki was with the team out of training camp and was a regular shortly after the season began.
        The only reason his games were less than Anderson and Kjilington was he got injured and was out for almost 4 months, then when he was ready they sent him down for conditioning and get some game experience.

        Valimaki is no doubt a future #1 defenseman. The Flames know this.
        As mentioned earlier Ottawa wanted him in the Stone deal and the Flames said no.

        There is no way he will be a throw in with Frolik.

        There are 2 reasons why the Flames want to trade Brodie. The first is they have excellent depth on their D-core, with Valimaki, Anderson, and Kjilington.
        Brodie can play on the left or right side and is a proven #2 defensman

      • Yeah, you’re bang on FlamesFan about Ottawa wanting Valamaki when Dorion discussed a trade involving Stone with Treliving. He’s the real deal with good size (6′ 2″ 212 lbs) and physicality to go along with it, skating ability and moving the puck well. When that fell through at least he got Erik Brannstrom out of Vegas – nowhere near the size or physical presence of Valamaki, but maybe a tad better in the puck-moving department, All in all though I’d have rather seen Valamaki.

    • Ed, you are absolutely correct in your assessment about Valamaki.
      A true #1 defenseman and possibly top 10 in the league some day

  5. Looks like greed is finally catching up as the players keep taking larger bites from each teams as possible. Ask yourself is there a huge different between 4 and 6 mil or 6 and 10? Before you answer, remember most players came from homes where their rookie deal is more than both parents make combined. Remember too any current kid will make more in a bridge deal than daddy made his whole nhl career. So when they whine about not being competitive or no cups….they should look in the mirror.

    • yes there is a huge difference between 4 to 6 million per and 6 to 8 million per year considering they don’t make this for a lifetime and they are an elite group that play. If you watch baseball you can see that Mike Trout makes over a third of the N.H.L. salary cap, why? because that’s the going rate. Either owners need to say we are not paying that much or live with setting the pay scale

      • Football, basketball and baseball all have a hard cap and therefore the salaries can be higher. If the NHL had a soft cap I guarantee you that the rich teams would be spending above and beyond the maximum and paying the penalties for going over.

      • You mean they have a soft cap and hockey has a hard cap

    • Azhockeynut – You cant blame the players. Why should they take a discount just so the owners can line their pockets? The Leafs for example, its been stated numerous times that they are hoping their young stars would take a discount to be competitive. You think Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment are planning on passing any discounts on to fans? Not a chance. If the owners capped tickets, then perhaps fans could look at the players. For a family of 4 to go to an NHL game its pretty much $1000 for ok seats – in most NHL cities.

    • @ Azhockeynut

      Greed was Jeremy Jacobs and the NHL putting a salary cap on the players ….its not chump change by any means but for 80% of the league after taxes for being a pro athlete there take home is minimal especially in Canada, now it is coming back to haunt the Owners as they have strapped themselves with terrible contracts to win over some players …and now can not afford others ….the players are making way less money than they actually should be for a pro sports world class player in a world class league ….out of almost every sport in the world the NHL players make the least for some of the biggest body sacrifices per sport there is .
      No question about it !

      A guy like Crosby took way less for his teammates Malkin Fleury Letang and so on cause he raked it in with endorsements ..if he did not have that luxury he should have been at $15 million per season back when.

      • Crosby was an odd exception due to his bizarre superstitions. He wanted to have a cap hit of 8.7 mil. Weird

    • Ultimately fans dictate the salarys not the players or owners.

      • Exactly. Keep the asses out of the seats and even TV revenue will start to take notice – then maybe both ticket prices and salaries will come back to reality. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen – not unless were nailed with another world-wide depression.

  6. Lyle please don’t post anything today that upsets George . If it looks like they are leaf fans or trolls because they’re leaf fans. Or if they disagree with what he says. He has pointed out he doesn’t have much time left, so let’s make it enjoyable for him. Thanks

  7. knowing the class act that marleau is, he likely told the leafs he would accept a trade in order for them to use his cap money to help sign marner.

    • It would appear that Marleau-to-Arizona rumour might have wings. The ownership glitch shouldn’t affect it in any way since whatever transpires they (Arizona) still have to stay within the cap. I would guess that the only thing which might negate any such trade is if part of the transaction involves Arizona getting into a buyout situation – and I don’t see that with Toronto involved.

      Right now Dubas has $29,403,634 to spend on 13 players and if he can send Marleau to Arizona that ups it to $35,884,000 so he’d be able to sign Marner, keep Kadri and perhaps Kapanen if he’s not part of the demand from Arizona.

      • It sounds like teams are putting a high price on taking marleaus contract and rightfully so! Sounds like the coyotes are asking for one of the leafs higher prospects

      • Hey George, where are you getting your numbers? Now I am far from understanding how the cap is calculated and don’t pretend to know, but as per cap friendly Dubas has spent 74,209,699 on 17 players.
        Not criticizing your numbers, just want to know where you get them from.

      • Hoo boy – ya you’re right Kevjam – I overlooked the fact Capfriendly dropped the 2018-19 list and was looking at next year! Yeah, even with the added $6,250,000 of Marleau’s cap hit if he goes, that leaves him just $15,040,300 to sign 6 – including Marner! Teach me to be more observant of editorial changes 🙂

        Even dealing Kadri won’t free up enough to keep RFAs Marner, Kapanen and Johansson this year, never mind UFA Myers – plus they’ll need to find NHL ready D to rake the spots of Hainsy, Gardiner!

        Thanks for pointing that out.

      • I don’t think that the Leafs will need to sweeten the pot with somebody like Kapanen or Johnsson to get somebody to take Marleau. I think the key is that they need to trade him to a team that is not a cap team. Once the signing bonus is paid his salary is only a $1.25M, which is very reasonable for a third or fourth line player that adds veteran leadership.

        Provided the team doesn’t spend to the cap, I would argue that the Marleau contract is a great value.

      • Except, Chris, that Marleau has to OK a trade and since I doubt any other Eastern Conference team is in his interest, that narrows the field quite a bit because there aren’t that many Western Conference teams with lots of cap space, even taking into account his actual salary.

      • Chris it hasn’t nothing to do with how much teams have to pay him! It’s the point Toronto can not afford him and the leafs have to pay ( picks/prospects) to rid them self of that cap hit to sign their other players

  8. I think reality for Marleau is – he knew this might be the case when he signed- his deal would be pretty much paid by his 3rd year (outside of cap hit ) and would be easier to move. Although he is a classy player- I think its more a case of he doesn’t want his family listening to how much he has slowed down or how his contract forced them to deal away young talent. moving his contract along would almost solve the cap problem.
    I also don’t think his contract coming off the books has any impact on what they pay Marner- they have a value in mind regardless of how much cap space they have.
    Still makes me shake my head- that he wants more than Kane/Kucherov/Ovechkin… if he was Swedish he would have been destroyed by now.

    • No tax for kucherov makes a huge difference and the cap was lower for Kane,ovy! Not to mention Tavares is making 11 million and you can’t deny marner carried that line not Tavares

      • haha- yes I can deny he carried the line with Tavares. Tavares had 84 points the year before and 88 this year, want me to credit those 4 points difference to Marner? sure. He carried the Tavares line because his point total increased by 4 points- but marner’s output increased by 26 points just because he is Mitch Marner?
        I get the tax implications- but Marner is not the accomplished player those guys were…
        Its hard for the Marner supporters to grasp- he isn’t Auston Matthews or JT- they are centres- centres make more- period. How on earth a guy with one good season after a Canadian Olympian centred his line is due to become the highest paid winger is just insane to me..but if not enough he wants to be in the highest paid player stratosphere… Stats don’t line find Marner’s numbers away from JT. Matthews has scored at an elite level- no studs on his wings- he just does what he does.
        I love the leafs, love Marner- but the level of overrated on this guy is insane. You don’t hear flames fans talk like this over Johnny Gaudreau?

      • Geez I would take marner or Tavares over Matthews, matthews at 11.6 is ridiculous the guy is a bandaid and marner has put up more points the last 2 years tha Matthews so how does he deserve that contract?

      • That’s a little misleading? I appreciate what you are saying but Goals per game played isn’t close.
        Consider that Matthews played with Marleaus and Kapanens most of the year while Marner got JT. Consider that the previous year Matthews wasn’t even on the 1st power play line- let that sink in. While marner was out to start every powerplay. Even strength Nylander had more points that Marner the previous year- 5 x 5 Matthews numbers are elite. We aren’t even scratching the surface on Matthews.
        I don’t want to belittle Marner – but it really isn’t close- there aren’t many franchise centres – smallish wingers (creative nonetheless) are a lot easier to find.

        I wouldn’t give him 10 million- bc he isn’t 3 million dollars better than Nylander. The recency bias will get you every time..

      • I’d still take the guy who shows up every night and plays both ends of the rink! Marner is a far better 2 way player than Matthews and that’s what wins in the playoffs, just look at bos and stlouis forwards a lot of great 2 way players on both teams. Looking at offensive stats too much will get you every time

      • So you think Marner had a better playoff series than Matthews…..and plays both ends of the rink……

        in the 7 game series
        Matthews had 5goals 1A and was a -3.
        Marner had 2 goals 2 A and was -4

        heck
        Nylander had 1G 2A and was PLUS 1 with 2 stiffs on his line.
        marner was the only one that had a stud for a linemate.

        OVERRATED- numbers don’t lie and for all the talk I hear about Nylander being soft- still waiting for someone to show me a video of Marner throwing a body check. He skates bc he is Canadian and Matthews is American and Nylander is a Swede.

        Not saying you need to be physical- but if that’s what one players gets critiqued for shouldn’t others…
        of course that one time Marner blocked a shot…roll out the brinks truck

      • So you picked this years playoffs what did matthews do the year before? Cmon we saw nylander not go after the puck more than once because he was going to get hit! Lol soft isn’t throwing a hit it’s actually battling for the puck and nylander does not do that

      • haha – yeah I picked this year’s playoffs? Arent you picking this year’s Marner regular season performance to justify giving him 11 million ?

        We disagree on value – np. Historically though if you want to use this years regular season stats to boost marner and denounce marner- then I can use the playoff stats to paint a picture as well lol.

        I like Marner- really do- I just don’t think he is worth more than 9.5 ..that’s just me-

      • The Marner mystique…. we will never hear the end of his two block shots in one game…He cannot hold Tavares’ game over 200 feet.

    • Kane, Kucherov and Ovechkin are in the midst of contracts they signed in previous years. Their numbers would be very different if they were coming to market this year. Players (and teams) are always paying forward on contracts, not back.
      I love Marleau but, if Nick Kypreos’s comment that Marleau’s family is moving back to California is accurate, the rumours of trades to Arizona or LA may not be simply Marleau’s good-heartedness. It would be in his interest as well as the Leafs – one way or another, Toronto’s still going to pay a price for that third year.

  9. A look at the two teams in the finals, St. Louis top salary guys Tarasenko and O’Reilly at $7.5 Their top salary dman is Pietrangelo at $6.5; Boston top salary is Krejci $7.25 Bergeron $6.875, their top salary Dman is Krug $5.25 and their goalie Rask who is considered over paid by some is $7m.
    Not one player on either side makes $8m or more, both teams have a lot of depth, which has made a difference for both teams success.
    If you can pay them for their present production and they continue to project upwards you can have some real good deals ie Pastrnak, McKinnon and Scheifele, include all of Nashville defense (removing PK).
    Hoping Boston signs McAvoy for 8yrs at $6.75 which is good for him today but might be great for Boston in 2 or 3 years

    • It’s so true teams win the cup not huge salary players! Look at the leafs, 3 forwards that will be making 11 million! They will never have the depth or solid defense to be actual contenders. Forgot nylander also makes 7

      • Forget Chicago Black Hawks? They won three Cups and had to offload players after each season because of the cap.

      • Ya but they spread it around forward and defense the leafs will have 4 forwards making close to have the cap with some very suspect defense. and they won 2 of the 3 cups before the towers and Kane contracts

      • It’s completely disingenuous to say look at this team and it’s player’s great contracts signed x years ago at $x for years. Like mentioned, but ignored, it’s cap percentage that we need to pay attention to.

        The cap issues can be in peril if you include a large cap hit percentage by a non-core player especially if you’re planing to have your core group take up more than 50% of your cap.

        So in general, most core players will take 8-10% of your cap regardless of the dollar amount…term, well that’s another whole can of worms.

      • I think his point is that it is very difficult to win the cup with 3/4 players making 10 plus.

        Go and look at the blackhawks salaries for each year they have won the cup. The last time in 2015 the 3 highest salaries were 6.3, 6.3 and 6 million.

        Since Kane and Towes starting making 10.5 each they haven’t come close.

    • The big difference is when all of those players signed their contracts. Tarasenko is 5 years in to his 8 year contract. O’Reilly is 4 years into his 7 year contract. Pietrangelo is a UFA after his 7th season on his 7 year contract. Krejci is on year 5 on his 6 year contract, Bergeron is on year 6 of his 8 year contract, and Krug is on year 4 of his 4 year contract and will be a UFA July 1st. Boston also DeBrusk on his ELC that’s big part in the Stanley Cup run. Yeah they have great depth, but it took a few years for them to get it after signing their core players to what was also big contracts at the time of their signing. Which is also why you want your core players to sign long term, and not only 5 years.

      • Exactly my point KevJam; unfortunately it sometimes backfires; handing out large contracts and the player doesn’t continue on the projection line or takes a step back. Risk vs reward.

    • When where those contracts signed? Salaries go up and so does cap. Chicago and Pittsburgh won multiple cups with most of their cap space going to a select few players… it can be balanced. I wouldn’t say Toronto can’t win because of a few players making so muck

  10. Looks like we’re all writing at same time.

  11. Once the finals finish it will be interesting to see if someone of the Bruins players start making the trade lists. Just looking on D they have a log jam so it will be interesting to see who they might look to move.

    • Good point. But they should be OK – with 19 signed for next season they have $14,303,334 in cap space to sign 4. Even though you’d think they plan on keeping their 3 RFAs (Heinen, McAvoy and Carlo) – whose combined cap hit this season was almost $3 mil and will likely be closer to $10 mil in total. they’d still have over $4 mil to sign one. I doubt any of the UFAs Acciari, Johansson or Kempfer will be back.

      • I don’t think you get those 3 players signed for 10 mill. I think they will pay McAvoy more now for a longer period to try and lower his cap hit.

        They need to rid themselves (I think) of Moore’s contract and who knows what will happen with Krug.

        All I know is with the expansion draft coming up it is going to get dicey.

  12. Just some fantasy armchair GM thoughts for the Flames:

    to Vegas – Neal and Stone (to be with brother){9.25mil} for Marchessault and Tuch (9.75 mil)

    to Florida – Neal and Hamonic (9.6mil) for Hoffman and Reimer (8.6mil)

    to Ottawa – either Neal and Brodie (10.45mil) or Frolik and Brodie (9.05mil) 3rd in 2019 and 2020, 2nd in 2020 for Boedker and Duclair and 3rd in 2021 (4mil + Duclairs arbitration)

    to Detroit – Frolik, Brodie and 2nd in 2020 (9 mil) for Athanasiou and Howard (7 mil)

    to Toronto – Derek Ryan, and Brodie (7.8 mil) for Nylander and Moore (7.7mil)

    to Rangers – Neal, Brodie, 3rd in 2019 and 2020, and 2nd in 2020 (10.45mil) for Strome and Buchwevich (3.1 mil plus Buchwevich’s arbitration)

    to Devils – Ryan and Brodie (7.7mil) for Hall and bratt (6.7mil)

    to Wild – Frolik Hamonic, Gillies and 3rd in 2020 (8.9 mil) for Zucker and Foligno (8.375mil)

    to Jets – Frolik, Hamonic and Gillies (8.9mil) for Ehlers and Brossoit (7.2mil)

    • sorry Bookie but that Vegas trade is way off kilter as is the NJ deal
      I bet Dorion would do the Frolik Brodie deal in a heart beat

    • A couple of these are absolutely insane

    • I think most gms are going to be more concerned with a valuable return rather than reuniting brothers and making trades simply because “the money works”

      I hate being a broken record, but how many times do we see trades involving 4-5 players with these kind of salaries , cap hits between two teams in the same trade? The answer is pretty much never.

  13. Lyle have you heard anything about Taylor Hall?
    Just heard from a New Jersey Devils beat reporter who I haven’t heard of before so don’t know how reliable he is said that Hall informed the team that he won’t sign an extension with them. I googled this and the only things I can find are on sites unknown to me. Puck Pros, Pucks and Pitchforks, and The Fourth Period.

    • Most recent report I’ve seen on Hall came from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. Writing for The Athletic last week, LeBrun said there’s been healthy dialogue between the two sides but actual negotiations haven’t started yet.

      • Thanks Lyle!

      • Kevjam the fourth period is pretty good! Seems to have some good sources

      • Thanks Bbb, I have been burned before by sites that I haven’t heard of before. I guess it’s something to keep an eye on until you hear from a more reliable source like LeBrun or McKenzie.

      • No problem kevjam, pagnotta has been right more than a few times in trades that I’ve noticed

      • Well that is a very interesting read. Perhaps they trade Hall to EDM for RNH then draft Kakko. Move Zajac to 3c and Zacha to wing for now. Lots of options

    • If devils draft kappo over Hughes then I think it’s a sign that there is a healthy concern about hall

      • I won’t be shocked if the devils take kappo, as an all around player kappo is the real deal Hughes won’t be near as good in his own end

      • I hope NJ takes Hughes . I think Kakko is an instant nhl star. But Kakkos health concerns me.

      • Instant over overall. Kappo is more ready they say but with extremely rare exceptions the center is the better option.

      • Kappo played more Center than wing this year?

      • Passing over Kappo, I’ve been saying all along, will ultimately be a mistake for NJ – doubly so since he’d then wind up with the Rangers one state over.

        I agree Chrisms that, % wise, when two players are ranked 1/2 take your pick, you should always go with the C – but unlike when Edmonton chose Hall over Seguin, this time I think the exception is called for. A guy like Hughes might light it up more in the early going – but when the grind starts about mid-December I see him fading, whereas Kappo’s size and strength will continue to show.

      • I agree George. I’m almost always taking the center. But not this time.

        Side note, Kakko can play center.

        Ultimately Hughes size concerns me , and Kakkos health concerns me. But I’d take Kakko before I took Hughes.

        I don’t think either is a bad pick.

      • I don’t think there’s many gm’s in league who would take Kakko over Hughes. I read an article the other day from combine where most of the teams reps there agreed.
        Hughes is 18 and listed at 5’10 170lbs. Figure he’ll fill out a little bit in next few years.
        top scorers this year
        #1- Kucherov 5’11 178lbs
        #3 Kane 5’10 177
        #5 Marchand 5’9 181
        #7 Gaudreau. 5’9 165
        #11. Marner 6’0. 175
        #12 Point 5’10 166

      • Most of that list is compiled of wingers. I think most people are split on the two. Scouts , Gms. I mean you can’t go a day without seeing 20 articles of how close this is…. it’s not as wide as you’re making it.

      • I’m not knocking Kakko. It’s just Hughes had been the consensus #1 for quite awhile. And for good reason. I listed players of similar size ( they where probably smaller when drafted) who are having success. I just don’t think anyone passes on Hughes because of his size.

    • Kevjam,

      Interesting speculation as I have been advocating a Johnny Gaudreau and James Neal trade to NJ for Hall.

      • I don’t see NY taking on 4 years of Neal and 1 year of Brodie for a couple of 3rd rounders. Strome finished the season playing 2c and was one of the bright spots down the stretch. Buchnevich is young and still growing.

        They are 1-2 years away from shedding Staal, Beleskey, Smith, Lundqvist , Shattenkirk, etc. I don’t think they’re taking on anyone like Neal for 4 years, and certainly not for a couple of 3rd rounders.

  14. Cap goes up by $4M: 20 players want a $2M raise.

  15. Some good posts today re Leafs cap problem my take is they over paid by a long way Matthews I had no problem signing Tavares it didn’t cost them anything except money. I thought once Tavares was signed they would move either Mathews Nylander or Marner for some D help. Regarding Boston’s contracts Marchand at just over 6 is unbelievable and he took that based on what Bergeron made team first contract. McAvoy will get close to 8 if he signs for 8 years. Carlo I’m not sure probably around 5 he is under rated. I still believe the Leafs GM is in over his head just my opinion and not sure how much Shanny influences decisions. I don’t get the feeling Matthews and Marner are in love with playing in Toronto. Their coach may be part of the reason.

    • Always lots of talk about players not enjoying their time under Babcock,

      • Cause he’s not a very nice person.
        He says the right things in public, or in front of the media, but he’s not a solid guy.
        Kinda like Bob Hartley except he’s not as good at coaching hockey.