NHL Rumor Mill – July 20, 2019

by | Jul 20, 2019 | Rumors | 52 comments

Check out the latest on the Rangers, Islanders, and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports the Rangers’ re-signing Jacob Trouba yesterday to a seven-year, $56-million contract puts them over the $81.5-million salary cap for 2019-20. That leaves them just over a month to figure out how to get under the cap. It also makes it more difficult for the club to re-sign restricted free agents Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony DeAngelo. 

Speculation persists suggesting New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider could be a cost-cutting casualty (Photo via NHL Images).

Cyrgalis feels that could include trading winger Chris Kreider and his $4.625-million salary-cap hit, or continue shopping center Vladislav Namestnikov ($4 million). He also suggests the possibility of buying out defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (two years, $6.65-million per season) and Brendan Smith (two years, $4.35 million AAV) more likely. If Smith clears waivers and is sent to the minors, the Rangers would save $1.25 million. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ryan Kennedy observes moving out Shattenkirk, Smith, or Marc Staal could help clear up the Rangers’ cap situation. He also points out they each have some form of no-trade/no-movement protection. However, he acknowledged anything is possible with the right deal and the right finessing. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Kreider, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, would be the easiest move. Cap Friendly indicates he has an 11-team no-trade list, but he’d be more enticing than Shattenkirk, Smith or Staal in the trade market.

Moving one of those three defensemen won’t be easy. Then again, we’ve seen several trades this summer involving players assumed to be almost unmoveable, like Milan Lucic, Patrick Marleau, and Nikita Zaitsev. As Kennedy suggests, anything’s possible with the right finessing, like absorbing a portion of an annual salary-cap hit or including a draft pick or prospect.  


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently wondered if the New York Islanders are done making moves this summer. If so, some questions still need answering. 

The Islanders were rumored to be considering an offer sheet for Toronto’s Mitch Marner. However, the Maple Leafs seem willing to absorb whatever Mitch Marner receives and the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the same position with Brayden Point. He asked if there were any other unsigned RFAs worth a major offer. 

As for filling the Isles’ fourth-line center position, Staple suggested Derick Brassard or Brian Boyle if they want to go the UFA route. He also thinks they could address their crowded blueline by shopping a defenseman for a draft pick or two. Candidates could include Thomas Hickey, Scott Mayfield, or Nick Leddy. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello could wait until later in the summer, or perhaps around training camp or preseason, to make an offer-sheet signing. While I believe Lamoriello may have seriously considered that option, I doubt he’s going to do it. There was some talk of swapping Leddy for a forward but that doesn’t seem likely now. 


TVA SPORTS: Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov is a free agent searching for a new contract. He spent the past two seasons with the KHL’s Kazan Ak-Bars. The 40-year-old blueliner’s reported salary demands ($2.5 million US) are too expensive for KHL clubs. His agent said he’s spoken with several NHL clubs, including the Canadiens, but hasn’t received an answer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Markov is willing to consider a professional tryout offer, I doubt we’ll see him back in the NHL.


  1. Following is an updated list – the first figure is the number needed to reach the maximum major league roster of 23 ACCORDING TO CAPFRIENDLY – the second is the number signed for the organization (maximum of 50 allowed) – the third is available cap space – the fourth are RFAs still to be signed including those (marked *) regarded as part of each team’s minor league rosters. Keep in mind, when looking at available cap space, that, for just about every team, CapFriendly also shows players with minimal cap hits on the major league roster who will likely be sent to the minors before the season begins, some of whom may require waivers.

    Vegas – 2 42 $0 Gusev, *Schuldt;
    NYR – 1 42 $0 DeAngelo, Lemieux, Buchnevich, *Lettieri;
    Arizona – 2 46 $178,099 *Emil Pettersson; *Hill
    Pittsburgh – 1 46 $842,500 Aston-Reese, Marcus Pettersson;
    Washington – 1 45 $935,706 Djoos, Stephenson;
    Dallas – 1 48 $970,001 Honka, *Hansson;
    Edmonton – 0 47 $2,433,001 Puljujarvi;
    Chicago – 3 44 $3,336,539 Perlini, *Ejdsell;
    Toronto – 0 45 $3,765,301 Marner;
    Carolina – 1 36 $4,595,209 McGinn, *Maenalanen, *Carrick, *McKeown, *Forsberg;
    San Jose – 2 46 $4,682,583 – none
    Florida – 5 41 $4,705,456 McCoshen, Weeger, Malgin;*Mamin;
    Montreal – 0 47 $4,044,524 Hudon, *McCarron;
    Vancouver – 0 45 $5,058,462 Goldobin, Boeser;
    Buffalo – 2 42 $5,115,476 Ullmark, McCabe, Rodrigues, *Elie;
    Nashville – 1 43 $5,191,667 Grimaldi, Sissons;
    Detroit – 2 45 $5,284,623 *Turgeon; *Rybar;
    Tampa Bay – 2 48 $5,576,669 Point, Erne;
    St Louis – 1 43 $7,120,406 Edmundson, Sundqvist, Barbashev, *Husso;
    Boston – 1 42 $8,103,334 Carlo, McAvoy, *Forsbacka-Karlsson;
    Anaheim – 0 48 $8,500,242 – none;
    NYI – 1 43 $8,653,334 DalColle, Beauvillier, *Ho-Sang;
    L.A. -1 48 $8,740,606 Kempe;
    Minnesota – 4 45 $9,446,411 Eriksson Ek, Fiala, *Warner, *Belpedio;
    Calgary – 2 40 $9,973,292 Rittich, Bennett, Tkachuk, Mangiapane;
    Philadelphia – 3 45 $13,417,421 Provorov, Konecny;
    Columbus – 2 46 $15,765,918 Werenski, Sedlak;
    Colorado – 1 39 $16,465,239 Rantanen, Kamenev, *Greer, *Dries, *Lindholm;
    New Jersey – 5 38 $18,345,000 Butcher, Mueller, Zacha;
    Ottawa – 3 48 $20,640,000 White;
    Winnipeg – 8 37 $22,872,503 Comrie, Pionk, Connor, Copp, Laine.

    • Up early this Saturday huh George. I’ll bet you already went to the gym, ogled the well seasoned ladies in the senior water aerobics class, drank your prune juice, put on your suspenders and went to Denny’s.

      • Hi Chrisms

        George is a charmer I’m sure he was ogling all the ladies and not just those “well seasoned” ones

        I’m in my late 50’s …. I hope to have George’s energy when I’m in my 80’s

        Thanks for the list George

      • Heh 🙂 – funny thing is, Chrisms, I’ve always been a physical freak to some degree and while each of my 4 sons have developed a “paunch” their old man is as flat as an ironing board, As for ogling the ladies ,,,. well … I ain’t dead yet!

        And by the way, since your post came 10 minutes after mine I gather there are fewer worms around your place this morning 🙂

      • A two year old and a 4 month old do a number on you beauty rest.

    • what do you think Philly will give prov 6.5 ?, kon 3.75 ?minimum 5 years each, or is this hopeful thinking to be able to have cap space for a rainy day

      • From what I read, Prov is asking Trouba money. At this point, he hasn’t earned that imo. He had 1 big yr and last year wasn’t great. I’m curious if he takes a 2×6 bridge and then banks on a big contract. He has a tough agent though. I’m also waiting for the Werenski and McAvoy contracts to drop as that will be better comparables to Prov.

        Konecny… I’m not sure. I would try to lock him up long term (6-7 yrs). he is only going to get better.

      • Provy has the POTENTIAL to be Trouba or better, but I have to agree that he hasn’t gotten there yet. No way he gets Trouba money yet. As Lyle pointed out earlier, Trouba went through quite a lot to get where he is.
        Provy has a few miles, and fights to go still…

    • Thanks George for that list you provide and update on a regular basis

      • George is a Beast.

      • And to think not to long ago George vowed to leave this site forever! What a loss that would have been.

      • Well, not quite accurate Chrisms … I did leave for quite a a spell, but that was related to something personal regarding health issues, Since then it’s one day at a time

      • Hope you feel better every day George. But I also distinctly renember your “final” post where you said you were washing your hands of all this.

    • Great job George,
      I just had a little closer look at Cap friendly and I am sure this is the same with most teams but in Calgary’s situation you can add 1.5 million onto the available cap space of 9.9 million giving them roughly 11.4 million.
      Because after Calgary signs their FA they will have to send one defensemen and one goalie down to the minors that are listed on the roster right now.
      Cap Friendly does an outstanding job but when push comes to shove I think they are 90 to 95% accurate

      • I’m waiting for an e-mail response from CapFriendly on that issue FlameFan where I asked if the seeming inconsistency could be related to waiver requirements. If and when I get a reply I’ll post it here.

    • Looking at Columbus and nearly 16 mil in cap space. With JD in NY, seems like a match made in heaven as far as trade partners. Sonny Milano a NY kid who can’t seem to stick with big club. Straight up for Namestikov or Strome?

  2. Re “Ilse’s crowded blueline”…. WW for Pulock …. win win both teams

  3. Rangers fans …. need to free up some Cap?

    Smith for JJ ; NYR retains $1.1M; then Rangers buyout JJ …. Cap savings for Rangers is $3M

    For Pens …. immediately better Roster at no extra cost and only have Smith for only 2 more years

    Still have to manoeuvre to sign Pettersson and ZAR ; but team is already waaaaay better off

    • Same deal could be had for Staal ($2.45 M retained) for JJ ; then buyout JJ…. still frees up $3M in Cap for Rangers and Pens immediately better at no extra Cap cost

      • Pengy, Rangers always have option of sending Smith down to AHL which saves over a million. Buying him out saves about 3.4m. Buying out Johnson would mean a dead cap hit for 8 years compared to Smith or Staals being 4. Staal full nmc. Has been a career Ranger and no way he’s leaving now with recent additions.

      • Dang Slick

        I thought I could pull the wool over your eyes on this one


    • Your hope, Pengy, is that the Pens revisit the Victor Rask deal.

      Rask for Johnson and whatever makes it even.

      The only problem is that Rask is probably a worse player with a worse contract.

      But, this team still has no 3C, so…who knows.

      • MG agreed Rask would be a good fit in Pittsburgh. He was good in Carolina for a couple years just didn’t fit in Minnesota.

        Rask & Brodin to Pittsburgh

        Rust & Johnson & Zach Aston Reese to Minnesota


      • Hi MG and BlackNGold

        Any reasonable trade that moves JJ ; improves the team

        If the money was made even ; under no circumstances is Rask more “costly” to the team …. every player is worse off when JJ plays ; not so for Rask.

        Rask can play 4th line low minutes or go in the press box…. Sully had JJ excruciatingly play all 82 games

        Jimbo seems destined to keep the Pens “no buyout “ streak alive and Sully has become brain dead in continuing to play JJ to the detriment of all Pens; ownership ; and all Pens fans

        The only solution towards a chance at a deep playoff run ; is a trade.

        The Rask / Brodin (8.17M); for Rust/JJ/ ZAR (right now at 6.75) couldn’t work cap wise

        Minn has often been reported interested in home-State boy Bjug


        For Staal/Rask (at $2M retained)…. $5.25M ; 2nd; 5th

        Pens waive Ruhweedel

        Pens then have $7.1M in Cap space

        Flip 2nd;5th to VGKs for Gusev

        Sign Pettersson and Gusev

        Staal is 3C

        Pens fit under cap and have a roster that has excellent shit of winning Div and excellent shot of getting to ECF (likely against TBay [last year TBay fiasco just can’t happen again]) where they have a shot at advancing

        Keeping JJ; there is a chance (read as “chance” ; I’m certainly not inferring “chance” as anything more than a low probabaility; but there IS a chance) they could miss the playoffs … they only made the playoffs by 4 points (ahead of Montreal).

        BlackNGold’s statement …. Johnson has to go…. is ABSOLUTELY bang in

        JJ on team … precarious; ZERO chance at cup

        JJ gone ; Pens immediately and massively improve

  4. While the way CapFriendly compiles their list for each team is difficult to unravel (some shown with 0 or 1 or 2 to sign to reach the maximum 23 but including players obviously destined for the minors) these teams clearly have a lot of signing to do this summer:

    Winnipeg – shown with 8 to sign to reach 23 and just 37 of a maximum 50 for the organization

    New Jersey – shown with 5 to sign and 12 to reach 50

    Florida – shown with 5 to sign and 9 to reach 50

    Lyle, from your knowledge do all teams go to the max 50, and has there been a history of teams entering a season with fewer than the max 23 at the NHL level?

    You have to wonder if there’s an underlying reason for those three to be dragging their heels.

    • Can’t recall at the moment, George. Perhaps you can check Cap Friendly’s archives.

    • George,
      Teams always go to the Max of 23 players on the roster, but seldom hit the max of 50 contracts. Most teams only use 45 to 48 contracts, this gives them flexibility to make trades not only for the parent club but for the minor league club as well

      • I can recall Carolina and Detroit going into the season with 22. Teams with Cap issues can go with less than 23 to start.

      • I remember, as well, back when the cap first came into being, a few teams that went into the season smack up against cap and with just 21 players – when injuries removed a player from the line-up short-term – a handful of games – they had to play with depleted rosters because there was no relief from those short-term injury cap hits and they couldn’t call anyone up since that would put them over. That’s when the term “wiggle room” came into play. I also think there were a couple of attempted circumvention ploys when they tried to claim a player was hurt worse than he was so they could free up his cap space and bring up someone having a big year in the AHL.

  5. From George”s list Calgary Carolina and Winnipeg need some minor league depth. Picks and prospects.
    I thought you could move Neal. Didn’t think Lucic could be done. Trouba would not have received $8m from arbitration. Makes him top 10 paid defence man ?

    • That’s why, and also in response to frenchy’s query above re Provorov, I think Philadelphia hasn’t yet reached a deal with their D-man. $6.5 mil is one helluva jump from an ELC of $894,000 for a D-man with decent but modest offensive stats but also sporting a -16.

      They could be thinking a bridge deal at around $4 mil which would also allow them to conclude a similar contract with Konecny, fitting both within the $13.5 mil they have left in cap space. Neither is involved in arbitration.

      • George,

        I wouldnt mind Provorov at 5 – 5.5 million for 5 years or Konecny at 4 – 4.5 for 5 years. I think Provorov can be a #1 top tier defenceman but isnt there yet. As for Konecny I see him as a very good #2 winger but not quite at the upper echelon. My gut is telling me Provorov is going to want 6-6.5 ( too much IMO) but Konecny will come in right around 4.5.

        With Provorov, Sanheim and Gostisbehere on defence and Hart between the pipes the Flyers should have a very good defence for a long time. I only fear Fletcher undoes the work Hextall did by making rash and poorly thought out moves. Like giving Kevin Hayes 7 million for 7 years, a vast overpay that reeks of desperation.

      • It wont take very long for Flyers fans to start in with the “F*ck Chuck” chants if things go south in Philly.

      • LOL. Philly fans – in every sport – never hesitate to let their feelings be known. And often graphically and to the point.

      • George, is there any other way??

      • You got that right BadCowboyDan. I have often wished those attending Sens games – especially those presuming to be Sens fans – would be a bit more “vocal” instead of sitting there with their thumbs (figuratively) up their asses, too timid (and polite) to let their displeasure be know.

        What a far cry from the old “blue collar” crowds at venues like the Montreal Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens and even the old Ottawa Auditorium for games involving the Sens of then then Quebec Senior Hockey League.

        I remember being at a game some years back when NJ was in town in full trap mode under Lemaire, a stultifyingly boring affair where, at one point, the jumbotron messaged the crowd to “make noise.” When the guys I was with and myself just sat there, a couple in the aisle below us turned around and asked why we weren’t “making noise” – you know, “clap-clap BOOM” kinda crap – and I just responded “I’ll make noise when they DO something.”

        Then they went into the nauseating “we will, we will ROCK YOU” and, of course, the cavalry charge. Jaysus!

  6. So torn on the entire Trouba Rangers trade+signing. Lot of money for a D that I hope JD and co have seen enough in.

    • I’d be more concerned with the Panarin deal than Troubas deal.
      They definitely needed a top pairing guy. Did they really need a top 6 winger?

      Don’t get me wrong, adding Panarin makes that too 6 better. But with so many young pieces that have yet to realize their full potential it may have been a bit premature.

      They don’t have a top pairing guy in the system near nhl ready. Plenty of prospects, Miller, Rykov, Day, Lindgren, Hajek, etc. but not one of these guys are near Troubas level or figure to be anytime soon.

      • I agree. I think 2 Trouba’s would have been a better situation. They paid WAAAYYYY too much for a winger…

      • I would include Robertson in their too Nyr4life. Tough to say for sure on an 18 year old but I think Ranger fans will be really happy in 2-3 years. The way he skates and the poise he plays with, point to getting to the NHL fairly quickly for a D.

    • Your basing all this on a guy that has 2 post seasons behind him and stuck behind Mcdonagh, Smith, Holden and Girardi?
      Yeah , that makes perfect sense!

      Up next, Hughes playoff success vs. Gretzky. Lmao

      • Skjei led the team in 5 on 5 ice time last season! You know nothing dude lol.

      • Skjei was the top pairing guy LAST year, with mixed guys on the other side constantly.

        What is Morrisey in for this year? Pionk and ?, ? .

        Yeah, I’m sure he’s in for a little surprise himself! They only have to rely on 3 unproven d-men to fill the void/ minutes left by Myers, Trouba and Chiarot.

        Most teams have 3 guys ready to step up to fill those spots! Lmmfao.

        Wait for the “overrated , sucks” for Myers, Trouba and Chiarot right…… now!

      • Except Skjei led the team in 5 on 5 ice time in 2017-2018 AS WELL by almost 200 minutes over the next player. If anything being “stuck” behind other guys means lower quality of competition as well.

        5 on 5
        2017-2019 Games TOI CF CA CF%
        Brady Skjei 160 2792:09 2479 2867 46.37

      • 17-18 he was 3rd in ice time. Maybe his overall minutes had something to do with Mcdonagh being injured / traded and only playing 49 games for NY?

        2017-18 was Skjeis 2nd NHL season. Forced maybe a bit into a role he wasn’t ready to handle at that age. Especially considering the rebuild.

        Adding Trouba helps Skjei and this young team. Not hurts.

        I actually like Pionk. I believe he’ll develop well. But let’s see who in Winnipeg is going to handle that top role now. 3 young inexperienced dmen is NEVER a good thing. Hence why you rarely see a team move or lose 3 in the same year.

        Signing Panarin, and Trouba make NY a better team instantly. Not to mention adding Kakko, Kravtsov etc.

        You’re going to have a hard time convincing anyone that Winnipeg somehow got better by subtraction this year.

  7. thanks for the reply george, great work on the article, i also think that provorov $ should be lower but i dont think it will be, fingers crossed, and yes ron jull chuck better not f**k up what hextall built there, or it will be many years of hard work and criticism there for nothing.

    • frenchy,

      I didnt like trading a pick for Hayes when he could have been signed for only $$ 2 weeks later. I really dislike the 7 million per deal Fletcher gave Hayes either. Adding Niskanen and Braun only make the Flyers older with less cap space but not noticebly better. Gudas was under rated in my humble opinion.

      Provorov, Sanheim, Gostibehere and Meyers already gave Philly a decent (not great) 4 defence without adding Niskanen and Braun. Id like to see Sam Morin get a legit shot this season.

      I dont mind the resigning of Elliott at 2 million for one season.

      Im finding every move Fletcher is making reeks of desperation where Hextall seemed cool and calculated.

  8. Trouba signing was as close to a no brainer as there is. My concerns are what happens with Kreider. Although they’ve moved guys like McD, Stepan and Hayes, I don’t see the same circumstances here. If they truly believe they’ve turned corner on becoming a contender, it just doesn’t make sense to me to trade him. I don’t agree with statement that he will be easiest to move. It’ll only be easy if you’re willing to accept below average return. Considering his no trade clause, and fact you don’t really want to send him to an eastern conf team, it’ll be hard getting a good return from a team he maybe doesn’t want to re sign with. Having to get under cap doesn’t put you in a strong negotiating position. I would think there’s other guys that you can walk away from (Namestikov-Strome) that won’t be as bad a hit

  9. Getting off the roster both Macdonald and Gudas are good moves by Fletcher. A very good young defence core and one of the best in the league considering the youth. Niskanen and Braun will add some veteran stability and I like those changes in front of Hart.
    You also have JVR at $7m along with Hayes. That better be the basis of a productive second line. I think it will if they can find some chemistry. That will allow Voracek to reunite with Giroux on a regular occurrence and Patrick drop to the 3c spot.

    • Kicking MacDonald to the curb was a no brainer. Im not big on JVRs 7 million either.

      • not a Mcd fan but hot a hater either: He needs a better home than Edmonton. Where? don’t know but I don’t believe he wants to stay in Edmonton