Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 30, 2019

by | Jun 30, 2019 | Rumors | 122 comments

The Leafs have a tentative deal to send Nikita Zaitsev to the Senators. Check out the details, plus the latest on Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Sebastian Aho, and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


TSN: Bob McKenzie reported the Toronto Maple Leafs could have a tentative deal in place shipping Nikita Zaitsev to the Ottawa Senators for Cody Ceci. This trade won’t be finalized until July 1 when the Leafs pay Zaitsev his $3-million signing bonus.

The Toronto Maple Leafs strike a tentative deal to send Nikita Zaitsev to the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

McKenzie adds there could be other pieces in this deal. The Leafs could include a “sweetener” like a player (Connor Brown?) or a draft pick. Zaitsev, 27, has five years remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $4.5 million. Ceci, 25, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan adds Zaitsev has agreed to waive his modified no-trade clause, which kicks in tomorrow, to go to Ottawa. Senators head coach D.J. Smith, a former Leafs assistant coach, got involved to help facilitate the deal.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports this move is an indication Ceci and the Senators aren’t on the same page in contract talks. It’s believed Ceci, who earned $4.5 million on a one-year contract this season, seeks a five- or six-year deal worth between $5 – $5.5 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, the Leafs will honor Zaitsev’s trade request and move out his troublesome contract. On the other hand, they’ll have to re-sign Ceci, who’ll cost more for longer than Zaitsev. It’s interesting that Smith got involved to make this happen. He seems to see more in Zaitsev’s game than the blueliner’s critics. 

Ceci’s faced considerable criticism from Senators fans for his defensive miscues. However, maybe a move to Toronto could benefit his play. The Leafs could flip Ceci to another club. Given their blueline needs, however, I think they’ll try to keep him.

If Ceci’s seeking up to $5.5 million annually, it could complicate the Leafs’ efforts to re-sign Mitch Marner. It’ll also hinder efforts to land a suitable replacement for Jake Gardiner and perhaps Ron Hainsey. 


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater recently reported a source close to Artemi Panarin said the Colorado Avalanche continued to have serious interest in the 27-year-old left winger. The source also claimed the club met with Panarin personally this week. Dater acknowledged Panarin’s trips this week to the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to regular reader “Shawn” for the link. It’s worth noting Dater wrote this before the Avalanche acquired Andre Burakovsky on Friday from Washington. While he doesn’t think that move takes them out of the running for Panarin, “the optics aren’t good.” He also noted the Avs are among the suitors for winger Joonas Donskoi. If so, I think that takes them further out of the Panarin sweepstakes. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Montreal Canadiens could still have a shot at signing Matt Duchene. While it’s assumed Duchene will land with the Nashville Predators, Friedman said more than one source indicates that’s not locked in. Whatever happens, Friedman suspects the Predators will make a major move via trade or free agency. He also linked the Predators to Anders Lee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last weekend’s trade of P.K. Subban to New Jersey was done to free up cap space to add a scoring forward. If the Predators miss out on Duchene I can see them pursuing someone like Lee. I don’t think they’re in the bidding for Panarin as he’d be way out of their price range. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon intends to play hardball with Sebastian Aho. The 21-year-old center is a restricted free agent completing his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. The Hurricanes, to Brooks’ knowledge, haven’t indicated that they wouldn’t match an offer sheet for Aho. The pundit suggests it would be interesting to find out if they would.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s John Shannon recently reported the Hurricanes are talking an eight-year deal for Aho worth $6 million per season. Of course, that could simply be their opening bid. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said he didn’t think the two sides were that far apart. He also expressed confidence a deal will be reached before training camp in September.

Waddell also indicated he’s not concerned about Aho receiving an offer sheet. I can see the two sides agreeing to a long-term deal worth around $8 million per season. Given Aho’s upside, he’ll be worth more than that in a few years. 


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Ali Thanawalla cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting Joe Pavelski has initiated contract talks with the Dallas Stars. He met with the club earlier in the week. He also noted The Athletic’s Michael Russo reported Pavelski decided not to meet with the Minnesota Wild. Meanwhile, Russo’s colleague Aaron Portzline reported the Columbus Blue Jackets were among the clubs Pavelski politely declined to visit this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, Pavelski is making the Stars his top destination when the UFA market opens tomorrow. Of course, another club could swoop in at the last minute with a better offer. Stay tuned.

As for the Wild, The Athletic’s Michael Russo cites sources claiming they’re “aggressively pursuing” winger Mats Zuccarello. They’re prepared to offer him a long-term contract. Russo speculates it could be a five-year deal worth up to $6 million per season. I like Zuccarello but that’s too much for too long for a winger who turns 32 in September. 


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington believes the Sabres’ recent acquisition of defenseman Colin Miller means Rasmus Ristolainen will be traded soon. He cites Sabres GM Jason Botterill speaking of the options it gives his club on the blueline and “flexibility within their lineup”.

Ristolainen’s been the subject of trade speculation for weeks. While Botterill attempted to downplay the rumors, Harrington noted the Sabres GM also didn’t deny them. He points out the Sabres need for offense, suggesting Ristolainen would be the best trade chip to address that requirement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out a Ristolainen trade this summer. However, as TSN’s Darren Dreger observed, a team must “step up” in a big way or the Sabres won’t part with him. In other words, it’ll take a top-six forward to pry Ristolainen away from the Sabres. 




  1. Quite some time ago I said I would stop posting here. However, all the silliness regarding the Leafs difficulty signing Marner makes me want to say something. STOP! Everybody STOP! The Leafs will sign him. Replacements for Hainsey and Gardiner exist within. It’s time for the Leafs to give their AHL defence men a look in the NHL. Rosen, Lilegren, Sandin? If we get Ceci we then have him to add to Reilly, Muzzin and Dermott (I know Dermott’s out until November!). Yes Lilegren and Sandin might be young yet but surely Rosen is not as bad as Hainsey! Babcock talks him up all the time! So you take the money from Gardiner and Hainsey (about 8 million between the two) for Marner. One of Nylander, Johnson, and Kapanen will be gone. One of the latter two for prospects and picks likely. That’s @ 11 million when added to Hainsey and Gardiner. Send Nylander for another D man if you want. Don’t forget Horton 5.3 LTIR! C’mon everybody the Leafs will figure this out! So many other teams face similar situations yet nobody talks about it! I know this comment will generate much debate. Yaddi, yaddi, yaddah! I don’t care though because I know I am right and so does everybody else! But it’s the Leafs and apparently we are not allowed to propose how we can do things and yet everybody is allowed to talk about their team.

    • No doubt there will be debate about that post. Seriously!?!? Yaddi yaddi yaddah? What the hell is that?

      • Maybe he had the lobster bisque!

      • It’s an expression Chrisms. Never heard it?! Oh and George O thanks for your insightful analysis as always. Sorry for my lack of cap knowledge. However, the Leafs still have plenty of options to sign Marner. Kapanen, Kadri, Johnson and even Nylander are expendable. We are not the GMs. This will get done. Love the lobster bisque comment FD; it makes me think of a personal joke between my brother in law and I that I will spare you all the details of:). Glad I annoyed some people today! I will check back with you all when Marner signs. Or better yet I will celebrate the four first round picks we will receive! Then we can draft some D!

      • Oh Steve. It’s yadda yadda yadda.

        Solid Seinfeld episode.

      • Bugger all to do with “insightful” – just a simple check of CapFriendly and the details are there. For all to see. So, OK, say he does deal Brown with Zaitsez to Ottawa, lets Ceci walk, and then deals a Kadri or Nylander to free up the rest necessary to sign Marner – now his roster is down 17 with 6 to sign with almost all of the freed-up cap space used to ink Marner. Who the hell does he play with? You’re down to a 1 1/2-line team with 3 D having any experience at the NHL level. At that point I’d expect to see Andersen asking for a trade.

    • Steven, the cap hits of Gardiner and Hainsey are no longer calculated in the current Leafs situation. As it stands now, without them included they have 20 players signed with just over $5.5 to sign 3. If the Zaitsez/Brown deal goes through with Ottawa that adds 6.6 mil to his space, bringing it up to $12.1 mil to sign 5 – including Ceci who reportedly is seeking in the area of $5.5, Marner and maybe Ennis

      • That’s what I’m wondering to George? Steven seems to think that last yrs salary for Gardner and hainsey is part of the 5.5 space they have left? Lol

      • Typical Leafs fan. All guns blazing and no clue about what the actual facts of their tirade are.

        I enjoyed the “I know Im right” comment right after the utterly incorrect and wrong use of the Leafs cap status.

        Toronto Maple Leafs – 3 time defending NHL Paper Champions!!

        Go Leafs Go!!!

      • George O – are you forgetting about Horton going on LTIR which will free up another $5.3M. $5.5 + $5.3 is their actual cap room. Brown and Zaitzev to Ottawa $6.6M out, Ceci back is probably around $5M. that’ll give them around $12M to sign Marner and bring in a couple Marlies on ELC’s. The Leafs cap situation is a lot like all their players – Blown way out of reality.

      • George. I think you are the one that needs to give your head a shake. Currently without another trade leafs have enough to sign Marner for $11 million. They have currently 5.5 m plus Horton 5.5. That takes care of Marner. They are trading Zaitsev. That’s 4.5 m. They already signed Rosen, Hutchinson, Johnson and Kaps. After Marner signs at $11 m they have two spots not 6 to fill and have 4.5 million left not taking into effect potential Nylander trades. So with all due respect yadda yadda yadda

      • What the hell are you babbling on about?

      • why do the leafs always have to help the lowly sens give me a break the players we took on the phanuef fisascal was enough and now we might lose brown take this team to mexico get rid of them

      • Don’t forget the 6 mill from LTIR on savard

    • I don’t understand how you take gardiner and hainsey’ s 8 million? The leafs have 5.5 million in cap space right now without them signed? I can Guarantee leafs management and Babcock do not want to start the season with 3 ahl dmen being starters next yr!

      • I sure dont. That’s a recipe for disaster.

      • The D we have aren’t much better than AHL players

      • BBB,

        One should never let the facts get in the way of a good rant.


    • “So many other teams face similar situations yet nobody talks about it! ”

      So I guess you’ve stopped reading and posting? Tampa Vegas , Pittsburgh etc. cap issues have been talked about on a daily basis…. Maybe you’re skipping over these other teams and heading straight to Toronto comments?

      Nobody flat out denies that Toronto can figure out a way to get Marner under contract. Most of the talk is how having that much cap space will complicate things going forward (defense, and rounding out the rest of the roster.

      I agree with BBB, not sure any gm is salivating over the idea of inserting 3 rookies on defense. That certainly is a recipe for disaster!

      • Toronto has serious cap imbalance issues in signing Marner

        They will have about 40M tied up in 4 players.

        I believe teams need it at 4/7 if cap for 14F and 3/7 for 7D/2G.

        You can go over this for 1-3 yrs when you have a bunch of players on ELC or low bridge contracts.

        With an 84M cap you have 48M for forwards. Toronto will have near 48 tied up in 6 forwards.

        It would be more manageable if one of these contracts were ending each year because thrn you coukd plan to transfer the money. But they will be like this for 4 years at least.

        Toronto needs to trade Marner for defense. Nylander is viewed as high risk and overpaid. Thry could trade Matthews snd Marner as 2C

    • Thats an excellent rant Steven. A shame almost all of it is incorrect and invalid. Might I suggest a quick look at Cap Friendly before you unload next time.

      Other than being entirely factually incorrect and nonsensical it was awesome and an excellent example of why Leaf fans are mocked.


      • Hey jullie bean, I would have thought putting down a poster for ranting and being ignorant would have cut to close to your bone. You need some situational awareness.

      • Oh boy. Eh wanna be mathematicians. Sit back and learn. My goodness. If only any of you anti-leaf cranium packed arm chair QB’s had any thinking ability the Leafs will be fine with their current cap. Sit back and watch

    • Same Maple Leafs, different year! And guess what?? Next playoffs the Bruins will once again defeat the Maple Leafs!!!

  2. As I said to Bigbadbruins in that goalie thread, it’s hard to see how taking on Ceci alleviates the Leafs’ cap problems – unless something else was involved. Adding Connor Brown’s $2.1 mil cap hit to Zaitsev’s $4.5 barely gives him $1 mil if Ceci and his agent are insistent on a $5.5 renewal.

    • I really wonder if they let him walk.

      • That thought crossed my mind as well Chrisms. Let an arbiter decide and then sayonara Cody.

      • Ya, maybe they let him walk.
        And then sign who? Hainsey I guess. And who else fits in their cap?
        WIth Dermont out for a few months, I can’t believe the Leafs go into next season with 3 healthy proven NHL Dmen. You need a minimum of 7 in the rotation for injuries.
        After Myers and Gardner, the talent level drops significantly.
        Gary might be right, another domino will fall.

      • I think that might be the only move to let him walk and try some cheap ufa’s to fill in?

    • I’m sure if we keep cc they will redo his deal with a big signing bonus but you still have whatever the avv is gonna be.

      Hard to tell yet what their plan is with this deal but if I had to guess, there are bigger dominoes to fall yet.

    • The leafs can walk away from ceci if they don’t agree with the arbitration, he becomes a free agent and the leafs have freed up lots of cap space. I think this is the plan

      • I don’t get why the plan would be to file for arbitration and then let him walk when instead they could encourage him to sign an offer sheet and simply collect the picks.

    • Ceci plays right side and even with flaws better than Gardiner? or is that a coin toss?

      • Ceci is not anywhere near Gardiner from an offensive standpoint, and if “better” defensively it’s a marginal difference at best. He certainly will come in cheaper regardless of what happens because I think Gardiner gets close to – if not exactly – $7 mil somewhere come Monday.

  3. Colorado might’ve checked in on Panarin, but I never heard anything in past year that would be one of his preferred destinations. Looks like it’s between NY and Florida. As mentioned yesterday, Rangers aren’t looking for a bidding war. Looking at Isles and Panthers, I think their biggest selling point would be the fact they both are interested in Bobrovsky as well. Figuring he should get a decent contract, I don’t see how either of those teams could overpay for Panarin as well. As a Ranger fan, I have no problem with signing Panarin. What I don’t understand is, after trading for Trouba, and possibly adding Panarin, why wouldn’t you look to keep Kreider? He’s earned an extension and giving him a bump of about 2m will be covered by just the cap going up next year. Especially when you figure that Strome, Vesey, and Namestikov will all be moved in next year. I’m still betting on Smith getting bought out as well if they can’t move him.

    • I wonder if Lou on the island is gonna make a big splash this year. All the teams he’s been on his MO is first get your strong starting goalie that will bail you out and having a dynamic strong scorer.

      Both Bob and the bread man could do very well on the isle. Great area to play in, lots of Russians, lots of youth in the system and adding these two won’t make last year be a one off.

      • Which area is full of Russians? Uniondale, Brooklyn, or Belmont Park? All kidding aside, if Lerner and Isles aren’t close on a deal, the Isles could sign both Bob and Panarin. Will have to sign Barzal next summer though.

      • The Isles could be interesting. They have cap space and could deal a D man. I’m hoping they don’t make a massive overpayment for the Bread Man. Would prefer they resign Lee and Lehner and add some punch up front through trade.

  4. I hope Ceci finds his game , if he brings the same game he played in Ottawa the last 2 years the Leafs are not much further ahead moving on from Zaitsev except for shedding term. Dorion better have a sweetner coming back his way for taking on that contract.

    • Fergy, the Leafs are trading Zaitsev because he asked to be moved. For a useless defence man in Toronto, he sure played a lot of minutes.
      Be interesting to see how Ceci’s status gets settled.
      Dubas has dealt with the guys who wanted to leave, now it’s Marner and who fills out the lineup. I think we’ll see several Marlies with the big team in the fall. Some decent players there.

  5. Wow

    I’ve got to learn to quickly boot out of the morning coffee side to see if rumours side had been posted

    I posted this (below) on morning coffee; most has been answered in the blurbs above …. George …. your opinion ?


    Heard on the radio today that Dorion and Dubas have agreed to a deal that will formally transpire on Tuesday (after signing bonus paid tomorrow )…. principals are Zaitsev and Ceci…. I think you said that you would rather have Zaitsev than Ceci.

    For me it’s the reverse.

    For sure there would have to be a kicker by Leafs…. Connor Brown???

    Question to Lyle

    If this is a go and Ceci has already been qualified (has to have been offered at least what he just made…$4.6M); does that responsibility then transfer to Leafs?

    And , since I’m not clear on the qualifying issue …. does the offer to qualify (in this case $4.6M) mean that if there is no Arbitration opted by either Leafs or Ceci that Leafs then must give him 1yr at $4.6M (higher than Zaitzev’s)??
    I think if Ceci opts for Arb and the term/price is not amenable ; Leafs can walk away and Ceci is then UFA.
    What is the ramifications if Dubas is the one opting for Arb and Leafs don’t like the decision?

    Thanks in advance for your response


  6. I’m curious as to why when discussing Marner, the conversation about a new contract is somewhere around 11 mil, But…. Aho should sign long term for 8?
    Aho gp:242. G:83 Pts: 197
    MM gp:241 G:67 Pts:224
    Figure Marner gets more assists based on talent around him, I don’t see why a center like Aho( who plays with a bunch of jerks) wouldn’t be worth same. If not more than Marner

    • That is the $3M question Slick.
      I don’t get it either. Either Aho is selling himself short or Marner is high.
      Marner is a more exciting player with high end skill, but you can make a good argument that Aho is a more effective player.

      • I think that’s why most are saying aho might be the offer sheet this yr, I read an article on Carolina and it said if a team front loads a contract over 10 million for aho Carolina might have to let him go for 2 1st a 2nd and a 3rd

      • The difference is Marner plays in Toronto where the Leafs are megahyped by the local media and the always impartial Leaf media shills Sportsnet and TSN. Aho plays in Carolina where the Canes are on the back page and a media afterthought.

  7. Pengy, I tried to respond – but got one of those G-D “you’re posting too fast” messages. To hell with it, until that glitch is fixed I’ll just read.

    • George, if Conner Brown comes with Zaitzev ,that will be a good deal for Ottawa. Brown is slot better than a 3rd or 4th line player. He will score 25 a year if given the chance. And you know I like Zaitzev

    • George

      I also get those “you’re posting too fast” responses…. me …. posting too fast ??? With my single finger typing on an iPhone ?? Wow 😮

      • Pengy,
        One of your posts is usually the equivalent of 3 average posts.. lol. Maybe thats a glitch in system

      • Slick62

        Ya I do get winded at times don’t I … LOL…. noted

        However I have got that message after one or two liner responses ???

      • Pengy. I get them too. Write as much as you want. I enjoy your crazy trade proposals

      • Will do Slick

        With that in mind….

        JJ, Ruhweedel + ZAR to LA

        …. for Doughty (LA retains 50%)….


        Crazy 😝 🤪 enough!

        I’d settle for JJ to LA for a signed Doughty stick!!

    • While lyles site has really enjoyed its time with both you gentlemen it’s really not ready to take it to that next step. Enjoy what you have now…. isn’t it enough?

      • ‘Course

        Sorry Lyle was just stating what happened

        Always love this sight

        Just thought there was a built in algorithm checking how goofy/lame my post was and instead of saying … “are you kidding? , don’t be ridiculous! ; please take a moment to reconsider before posting” …. it says ….” slow down….”

        All good 😄


  8. From the Ottawa side, I am really excited about the trade if it is Zaitzev & Brown. I think Zaitzev is a solid #4 guy, Toronto always hates their players more than they should. I think his value is about $1mil/year off contract wise, but no biggie.

    Brown to me is huge. 25 he has 3 seasons under him, I think he is an underrated scorer, who can be good for 15-20g a year. Should be a perfect long term fixture on the 3rd line, will be back on the right wing and could see top 6 minutes this year due to our lack of depth.

    Leafs could win big in Ceci. I never felt he lived up to his potential in Ottawa and I think he CAN be a 40pt a year guy. Only time will tell if a trade can shake him up.

    I really do believe the writing is on the wall for Marner and they may go trade route and look for a defenseman. They have enough depth in offensive talent, but I could be way off base and probably wrong lol.

    • Marner for Doughty straight up!

      • I think that is a more credible trade than most do….LA has to change the calendar on their “win” window….other than a dramatic move like your suggestion Ray I don’t know if they will have the patience to do it….

        I suspect the two teams have talked about it

      • Yes they do OBD.
        Time to move older assets for whatever picks and prospects you can and start the rebuild.
        By all accounts Doughty loves living there, but is he willing to go through a 5 year rebuild? And it will take 5 years.
        Time to be pragmatic in LA.

      • I don’t think it would be marner straight up, if la is rebuilding and trading doughty they will want multiple assets back

  9. George….

    What do you think of the trade. It is interesting to me DJ Smith who coached Zaitsev in TO is pushing for the trade….that and the minutes of ice time in two 100 point seasons says a lot to me

    I think Zaitsev is a player hurt by TO media …especially Don Cherry…you have said a number of times you would take him…I have written he is unfairly criticized here…

    What is the story on Ceci? Strengths & weaknesses

    I have not seen him play much. Is he roasted in Ottawa like Ziatsev in TO.

    • Ceci is a -60 plus/minus very over rated and very hated by Ottawa fans. He is your typical can’t miss prospect with a lot of potential that was thrown into tough assignments that he wasn’t ready for and got wasted like many young players when rushed by poor management.

      What i read a while back is that Cecil was qualified but not accepted. If he is traded to the leafs he can file for arbitration get awarded a one year deal which the leafs can walk away from since it was player elected.

      If the Leafs are going to offer a sweetener, I would hope it would be to snap up one of their d prospects…any one would do since the Sens have a good eye for D.

    • Old Blue Dog, Ceci is one of those D who arrive on the scene at a young age (he was 20 when he made his NHL debut) – make a fairly good immediate impression with a 2-way game – and then flatlines (his past 3 seasons he’s been -11, -27, -22) and his inconsistencies – both offensive and defensive – often glaring. But he has been consistent in one regard. Amidst all this his contract negotiations have been acrimonious – and it’s reported this time, as an RFA, he’s seeking a jump from $4.3 to $5.5. Based on what?

      Again, I may be dead wrong, but if the Leafs somehow keep him I think down the road this will be looked at as one of their worst deals. But I seriously doubt Dubas has any intention of hanging onto him at anywhere near $5.5 – in fact, I think they’ll deliberately low-ball him, forcing him to go to arbitration – at which point they say “no thanks” and let him walk. At that point he’ll be lucky to get $4 mil anywhere.

      • UNLESS the arbiter has some good old common sense, looks at both arguments pragmatically, and comes to the conclusion that Ceci has been way overpaid for what he brings to the table, and decides $3 mil is more than enough. Maybe then Dubas reconsiders.

      • I agree with you George O, nothing with this Ceci trade adds up, except in favor of OTT. Yes I understand Zeitsev wants out, but we always here Dubas blabbing about “a trade has to benefit the Leafs long term”.
        Ceci was mismanaged big time by OTT throwing him to the wolves his draft year, he is known to make defensive blunders (did someone say Gardiner?), & is a career minus player.
        They could let Ceci walk if he goes thru arbitration again, but aside from cap space, how will the Leafs be ahead? They will be minus Zeitsev, & possibly Brown & Ceci. And Dubas still needs to find a Top 4 D man, with 3 less assets.
        And if they sign Ceci to a 5 year $5 M per, the logic doesn’t add up. They will be burying themselves further in Cap Hell.
        It’s a no-win situation with this Ceci trade.

      • All that is very true Greg. My issue with Ceci isn’t so much his gaffes – usually when it hurts most – as you say he’s still early 20s and most of his lapses stem from being inserted full time way to soon (just 30 gp in the AHL). But twice now he and his agent have balked at contracts resulting in the team forking over $4.3 mil for a guy whose on-ice value is closer to $2.5 in a 5-6 pairing and, even though showing no inclination to improving his game, he’s an RFA again, this time reportedly seeking $5 to $5.5! Nuts to that. And I’m sure Dubas feels the same way.

        What it boils down to is Dorion doing him a favour by taking Zaitsev’s long-term $4.5 mil cap hit and Dubas doing Dorion a favour by being the guy to tell Ceci to take a hike after his arbitration hearing.

        Again, though, as you say, that’s a costly way of having to free up cap space – i.e., losing one of your minute-eating D (along with Gardiner and maybe Hainsy) and having to find suitable replacements. Maybe he will, as some here have suggested, simply elevate 3 D from the Marlies (Dermot’s not back until December). THAT, I can’t see, will sit well with a coach like Babcock.

      • ceci is a useless senator defenceman nothing else to be said

  10. George, please come back everyone misses you. They didn’t mean it, post as fast as you want.

    • Aww gee, thanks Vinnie.

  11. about to go out Sun AM breakfast….a thought before I leave…..

    Marner + Ceci to LA

    Doughty + a forward to TO…..

    fair or too many pieces?

  12. Leafs should trade Nylander for Ristolainen and let Ceci walk (or trade his rights for a pick).


    Pens should offer Minnesotan Nick Bjugstad to the Wild for Zucker. They almost took Frolik, Bjugstad should be enough.

    Then, they should offer Hornqvist back to Nashville for Kyle Turris. Pens get younger and a legit 3C. Nashville gets a wing (they’ll be adding another C in Duchene soon) and free up enough cap space for a depth player.

    Pens forward lines would then look something like this…

    Guentzel Crosby McCann
    Zucker Malkin Galchenyuk
    Kahun Turris Rust
    Simon Blueger Aston-Reese

    Those are well balanced lines with players slotted in proper roles.

    • MG

      Yes to all you’ve shown; move or buyout or sit JJ for entire season .,.. Pens definitely waaaaaay better than last year and cup contenders

      As for UFAs …. I would like to see Pens throw a $700 K show me one year offer to Brandon Pirri (31 GP, 12-6-18; + 7; and about 2.25 PP 60 5 on 5) basically no risk (remember they signed Ruhweedel to 2 years at $700 K) with chance of very good return … VGK won’t have room for him

      That would leave ZAR as a trade chip…. just a thought

    • I think Risto might be the best defencmen on the block depending on the price. I think Nylander is close to enough. Even if you had to sweeten with Brown to get it done. He comes with so much upside and reasonable enough contract.

  13. For those of you getting “You’re posting too fast” messages, it’s because we’re getting a higher-than-normal volume of traffic today and thus the comments section is busier than usual. Just give it some time and try again. Cheers!

    • It’s busy season for Lyle. My father and brother are accountants…. worked crazy hours in the spring but always got some nice time off after… Hope it’s the same for you Lyle!

      • Thanks, Chris. Things usually start slowing down for me by mid-July. I usually take a week off during the dog days of August.

      • Just my old-age frustration rising to the surface Lyle, lately I’ve been “copying” as a safeguard against that – but didn’t this time at which time Murphy’s Law crept in! Live and learn.

      • Sorry Lyle was just stating what happened

        Always love this sight
        Just thought there was a built in algorithm checking how goofy/lame my post was and instead of saying … “are you kidding? , don’t be ridiculous! ; please take a moment to reconsider before posting” …. it says ….” slow down….”

        All good 😄


      • Buffalo does not need to trade Ristolainen now.

        If they do trade him they likely will want a middle 6 F , a expansion exempt prospect and a 1st.

        The driver of the trade will depend on who thry signing what there strategy is.

        They expect to have 2 wingers join the club full time in olofsson ( he hit high praise from his practice parter in victor hedman on his shot) snd nylander. Mittlestadt has rookie year done.

        Last year thry missed not having a 2C with experience. Mittlestadt can fill this role if he is paired with experienced players such as something like this

        Eichel centers olofsson, nylander, ver winger signed or acquired
        Mitykestad centers Reinhart, Skinner

        If this is the case then the look for a cheaper 3C who can bridge to there pick in Cozens in a few years.

        If they instead opt to go with something like this


        Then they would Target a current 2C with 2-3 years left under contract like Stepan for example.

        Thry return would be more than what Subban and Trouba got because

        Buffalo doesn’t need to trade him. Thry probably trade him before the 2021 expansion draft.

        Buffalo media does not have any insiders who tip off trades before made.

        Botterill has gotten calls for Ristolainen but he’s looking for a larger deal that isn’t just Ristolainen but possibly including some of their RFAs they have qualified.

    • Noted and will do thanks Lyle

    • BTW, Lyle’s message is directed at Ron and BBB – keep it down, you guys!

      • No it’s none hockey comments like yours and FD!Enough already !

  14. For the last 3+ years the Bruins have been looking for a scoring winger with size for the 2nd line and it looks like the only way they can get one is by trade this year, it also looks like their available cap $$ will only cover their RFA …..wasn’t Neely a PF you would think after all these years he would’ve had one in place by now

    • Neely isn’t the guy making that call.
      Sweeney is.
      Bruins are fine.
      Nice attempt at deflecting from the Leafs numerous problems though.

      • Don’t know about that ….Neely had a huge say in the Bruins getting rid of T Seguin…thinking he has a lot to say about what’s going on with the Bruins

  15. George, sometimes when older people get obstinate, younger people take advantage and put them in a aged facility . Be careful

    • That’s why I’m suspicious about children. I mean, hell, aren’t they here to replace us?

      • Lol , ya I guess they are.

    • And the old people leave their money to charity.

  16. Regarding Ceci I think everyone is forgetting that he will most certainly sign for fewer dollars for the priviledge of playing for the Leafs.

    Get a nice big signing bonus, play for the best coach ever on the greatest team ever assembled with the guarantee of being able to book tee times by the third week of April.

    • Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think..

      Just please enough of your hatred!

    • Geez, Ron it took awhile but you’re finally starting to see the light. I think Ceci may just need change of scenery. He can’t be that bad he is in the NHL

  17. 3 moves Dubas need to make this summer:

    1. If Marner gets offer sheet. Let him go. Take 4 first rounders. With Marners money sign Panarin. Between the two Panarin is a better player.
    2. Trade Nylander for Ristolainen + 2nd
    3. Do not resign Gardner, Hainsey. Time to promote Bracco, Moore, Mueller, Rosen and Holl.
    4. Trade Kadri for Gudas + 2nd


    75mill with this roster and you have 6 mill cap room to pursue one rugged defense man and a rugged body crunching forward. You also have 4 first rounders in the bank.

    This roster has better chance at Lord Stanley than the last year roster.

    Dubas if you need more help I am here. I’m a problem solver.

    • Lol only in dreams eh!

      • Meanwhile back here on planet Earth….


    • I assume Panarin is going to sign with the Leafs because of the huge Russian community in Toronto? Combined with all the tax dollars he’d surely save signing in Toronto as opposed to Florida.
      Most assuedly Panarin will join the throngs of available players lining up to sign for less money just for the honor and priviledge of wearing a Leafs jersey.

      You assume Buffalo would want Nylander, a 29 point one dimensional player at 6.9 million in a deal for Risto AND a 2nd round pick? Then you assume the Capitals would want Kadri and his one hit away from a 20 game suspension playing style? Washington already has a ticking time bomb in Wilson, highly doubtful they weaken their defence by trading for another one.

      All that and the Toronto defence would still be porous.

      Good luck with that scenario, yer gonna need it, lol.

      • Ron, Toronto does actually have a large Russian community. Not like NYC or Miami, but not small either.
        If it isn’t the most multi cultural city in the world it is top 3.
        Great city with a great energy. Always a good time when we visit family every couple years.

      • Oh yeah, and if anyone has yet to take in Greektown (aka Danforth) you’re missing some of the best restaurants on the planet.

    • Panarin is interested in NY, Florida because of the Russian population.


      “So you’re saying he wants to sign in Toronto “

      Aye aye aye.

    • Keep dreaming…

      Buffalo isn’t trading fir an overpaid underperforming nylander.

      More likely Kapanen, Dermont, and a 1st is what it costd

      • If Risto is so good & his salary cap is manageable to command this return why is Buffalo having him dangling like this in the trade market. Players that sit out that long usually have down years. If Leafs were ok with Risto & a 2nd for Nylander, Sabres should be all over that.

      • Kevin… Weber is a dman missed longer than nylander to start the season and beat him in goals And points so that excuse is garbage

  18. Toronto defense isn’t that bad, at least on the left side, you have Reilly, Muzzin and Dermott. The right is another storey. Maybe go after Adam MacQuaid (although oft injured) could be a good third pairing with some muscle on the cheap. Far outside take a run at Slava Voynov who can return to the NHL after 41 games. (personally hope no one signs him) but someone probably will.
    Everything doesn’t need to be done before training camp. Nothing wrong with starting rookies and see where it goes, but got to be careful of looking desperate.
    Side note Jake Muzzin going to want more money next year.

    • I would also consider Stralman and Girardi

    • Go after Sekera he a UFO now after oilers bought him out Dubas can probably get him for 2mil/season

      • Somebody will sign him – but he is 33 and has missed a full 22% of the games since becoming a full-time NHLer in 2008.

  19. 5 years at 6 million for Zuccarello is too much term. Minnesota is allegedly trying to get younger. Adding Zuccarello to the Suter and Parise contracts makes little sense to me.
    Zuccarello is a good player and the salary isnt overly out of line but the term is too long not only for the Wild but anyone else as welll

  20. Habs and Duchenne a good fit.

  21. With the Reimer Darling flip and FLA assuming the buyout…. and the freed up Cap space…. ya gotta think the Bobo deal is already agreed upon and Panarin deal is a stronger possibility (than it was before this flip)

    • Pengy,

      Panthers must be really sure theyre getting Bobvrosky. If they dont their goaltending is going to be a complete mess. With Luongoal retiring and trading of Reimer theyre left with someone named Chris Dreidger as the only signed goalie. Already going to be paying out 1.3 million for goalies they dont want (Luongoat and Darling).

      An opening for Talbot? Varmalov? Someone else via trade or FA signing?

      Clearly Tallons gone all in on getting Bob signed sealed and delivered.

      • Hi Ron

        Ya that is what I was saying … gotta be an all but confirmed deal (read announced at 5 min after opening bell LOL); could also mean that Panthers have strong feeling on the Panarin deal as well

        Nichushkin (sp?) next? LOL

      • If not….and Bob signs elsewhere with Panarin they could call NY and see if Hank wants to head South like so many other Rangers. Especially since they (FL) are in a win now mode. Hanks is also on a shorter length deal than Bob would be.

        They could also call St. Louis about Allen, Ott about Anderson, and FA like Kinkaid, Lehner and Mike Smith.

        Optics wouldn’t be good missing out on Bob when all their moves have been made to ensure it happens.

      • Wonder if Isles sign Bob, could Lerner head south?

      • IHC,

        Ive been wondering for a while if Lundqvist would accept a move, or if the Rangers have had or made offers for him.

        Great short term add for a team with Cup visions in the short term.

      • @Ron

        It only makes sense if he desires a last cup run. He still is a top 15 in the league. I rather keep him BUT with this being a transition year again…. wouldn’t hurt to lose some more and perhaps get the 1st overall for LaFreniere (dreaming)

        FLA gets a win now goalie who would be only locked for 2 years. JQ would love that. I think he’d play even better with a chance to compete for another Lord Stanley. Sadly Manhattan won’t be again for him.

        I do not think NY was shopping or gauging interest in Hank BUT they did ask him if he prefers to stay and gave him the option. IF and ONLY IF Hank asks to be moved…..would that option be explored. To me, FLA is his BEST option.

  22. I think no team will want to give up the 4 1rst round picks. Marner wont receive an offer sheet. Which will leave him with only toronto to deal with. A long stand off could insue

    I do think a sign and trade scenario can happen where the leafs acquire a solid puck moving defensmen. Perhals move ceci aswell in the trade.

  23. Think GM MB in MTL should ask GM Poile for Turris ($1M retained) along with Tolvanen for Weise & something and just forgo the 9-10 plus million for 7 years Duchene will command?

    NSH can buy out Weise

    Turris would be cheaper with a shorter term. They get a prospect for depth or can flip him and use the cap space to spend on that #1 LD they need.

    I just do not see Duchene worth 4 million more than Turris (albeit his down year) and for the 7 years he will command in this market.

    Gives MTL cap flexibility and to be honest they will need it to fix their D.

  24. After tomorrow David Backes actual salary will be $1m for the season with a $6m cap hit.
    Leaving next year $4m salary out of it because it doesn’t sound as attractive.
    Wondering Backes will have $1m owing this year after signing bonus paid out and $4m next season. Could Boston keep the $5m over the two years. Hence giving Backes away and create a savings $3.5m per season in cap space?

    • Caper, how do you do that?

      • Don’t Know. Probably can’t. Wishful thinking on my part.

  25. Mitch Marner had 2 goals and 2 assists in seven playoff games, his contract should be no where near 12.5 million, he couldn’t hold McDavid’s jock strap or even Pat Kane’s.

    • Just for fun, how many points did McDavid and Kane pick up in the playoffs this year?

      Oh, thats right.

      • Ron – haha, that’s a comparable… you get first
        Pick, Marner or Mcdavid. Ha!