NHL Rumor Mill – September 19, 2019

by | Sep 19, 2019 | Rumors | 61 comments

Dustin Byfuglien’s uncertain future is generating questions over how the Jets will deal with his potential absence. Check out the latest speculation plus updates on Patrik Laine, Justin Faulk, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports talk of Dustin Byfuglien pondering retirement would explain his current leave of absence from the Jets. If the 34-year-old rearguard hangs up his skates, Friesen feels it would further deplete a blueline already weakened by the departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot.

Speculation that Dustin Byfuglien might retire has some pundits wondering how the Winnipeg Jets will replace him (Photo via NHL Images).

Friesen suggests the Jets could get some salary-cap relief out of this. If Byfuglien retires, the remaining two years ($7.6 million annual average value) of his contract comes off the club’s salary-cap payroll. If he drags his feet on a decision, the club could suspend him and save daily increments against the cap. Either move would free up cap dollars that could be put toward re-signing wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.

TSN’S Pierre LeBrun took to Twitter speculating over whether the Jets might look into acquiring Carolina’s Justin Faulk or Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen depending on what happens with Byfuglien. He believes the Jets aren’t on Faulk’s 15-team “no-trade” list. LeBrun’s colleague Shawn Simpson wonders if that would lead to the Jets shopping Laine for a top-four defenseman.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie and Yvon Pedneault discussed the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens taking advantage of the Jets’ precarious situation on defense. Pedneault believes Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin should look into acquiring Laine. If promising Habs blueliner Cale Fleury proves he can play at the NHL level, perhaps they can use Jeff Petry as part of the return for Laine. Pedneault also noted Max Domi’s name has been circulating all summer in the rumor mill but doubts the Canadiens will part with him.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre also weighed in on the report of Byfuglien mulling his future. While acknowledging the possibility of a trade to replace the big blueliner, McIntyre believes it would be depleting another area to fill a need. With Laine and Connor still unsigned, they don’t have a surplus of talent to work with.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bob McKenzie broke the story yesterday that Byfuglien was taking some time to consider his future. He also took pains to point out he wasn’t saying “Big Buff” would retire or not return to the Jets.

Friesen described Byfuglien as a guy “who’d love to skip training camp and jump straight into the regular season.” If so, this could all be much ado about nothing.

If Byfuglien is seriously considering retirement, Jets management will be forced to look at possible replacements. Faulk and Ristolainen have frequently appeared in recent trade speculation and could be reasonable options to take Byfuglien’s place. If the Canadiens seriously want Laine, it’ll take much more than Jeff Petry to get the deal done.


THE SCORE: Appearing on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650, agent Mike Liut said clients Patrik Laine and Mikko Rantanen aren’t on the verge of signing new contracts with their respective teams. He said there have been no surprises in discussions with the Jets and Colorado Avalanche. He also suggested Rantanen and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are “probably the two closest comparables in terms of how they play the game.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marner recently inked a six-year contract worth over $10.8 million annually with the Leafs. Liut seems to be angling for a similar deal for Rantanen with the Avalanche.


Appearing on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 (Stick tap to James @account4hockey), Elliotte Friedman said to keep an eye out for trades by the Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks. The Flames and Canucks are trying to clear cap space from the bottom of their roster.

The Hurricanes are interested in Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka provided they can do other things (trade Justin Faulk). The Stars are shopping Honka for a pick, while the Canadiens are offering a player.

Friedman also seemed to imply a trade that would’ve sent Faulk from the Hurricanes to the Anaheim Ducks is dead, likely because the blueliner couldn’t get the contract extension he wanted from the Ducks.

THE ATHLETIC’s J.D. Burke tweeted the Canucks could be trying to find suitors for Brandon Sutter and Tim Schaller. He also wouldn’t be surprised if Jake Virtanen’s name is out there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Hurricanes signing Fredrik Claesson earlier this week, they might not be looking at Honka anymore. If they are they’ll have to move Faulk or someone else to make room. Cap Friendly indicates they already have nine blueliners under contract, though two of them (Claesson and Gustav Forsling) are on two-way deals. Trevor van Riemsdyk is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and might not be ready for the start of the season.

The Flames have over $6.3 million in salary-cap space and must re-sign power forward Matthew Tkachuk. It could cost over $7 million to get him under contract. Winger Michael Frolik ($4.3 million salary-cap hit) has popped up several times this year in the rumor mill as a trade candidate.

Sutter has a 15-team “no-trade” list and an annual cap hit of $4.375 million through 2020-21. The Canucks could find it easier moving Schaller or Virtanen, though the latter did himself no favors by reportedly flunking his training camp physical.


  1. Is winnipeg that unpleasant? Never been there, but I get this feeling players would rather not be there…

    • Troll

    • If it was so unpleasant then you would think that Faulk would have it on his 15 team NT list.
      Winnipeg isn’t a bad city, and everybody who says differently is because they went there expecting not to like it or haven’t been there.
      FYI Winnipeg is the home of the Snowbirds.

      • Have always found Winnipeg great, friendly people

    • I been living in winnipeg for 3 years. It is not unpleasant. Though i have no delusion that it wouldnt be top of anyones choice unless they had family to live if that person was a millionaire.

      Yet i assumed the leave was for something like cocaine abuse and his requirement for rehab.

      It creates a nicer picture if he is just lazy and not wanting to do training camp or perhaps he has gotten to a point in his career where the will to put in the work isnt their any more.

      Yet im.not convinced and ckmplete speculation on my part but i am leaning towards substance avise treatment.

      Time will tell or owrhaps we will never know.

      • Cause he’s black?

    • Josh Morrissey recently signed for 8yrs @ $6.25 per would suggest otherwise.

    • Shut up

  2. Re Jets/Buff situation:

    “While acknowledging the possibility of a trade to replace the big blueliner, McIntyre believes it would be depleting another area to fill a need. With Laine and Connor still unsigned, they don’t have a surplus of talent to work with.”

    The immediate interim mitigation strategy IMO should start at least with Chevy calls to Botterill. (Risto) ; Waddell (Faulk) and agents for McQ and Girardi; just to “feel out” the parameters of any potential acquisition

    This situation has obviously caught Chevy (and everyone) off guard

    It is almost (in the words of the great Vizzini) “inconceivable “ that Jets start season missing all three of PL, KC , and big Buff

    I hope Buff decides to stay; but if he retires, thanks Buff for years of great entertaining hockey.

    If he does retire ; I’m hoping Chevy can pull a 🐇 out of a 🎩


    • Pengy….Buff long term leave of absence future in doubt? They have lost Jaob Trouba & Tyler Myers and Ben Chariot..

      Maybe they will need a Jack Johnson fingers crossed..

      Hell the Penguins will pay his airfare to get there… maybe a 6th round pick.

      • High BlackNGold

        I’ll drive down to Pens training camp myself; take JJ to the airport; walk him through the terminal ; watch him through customs ; and double and triple check that he actually got on the flight and landed in Jetsland and reported for duty with Maurice

        Joking aside BlackNGold; longshot (but not completely impossible ) for JJ in Peg as it is a RHD Chevy would first be looking at …. hence Risto, Faulk, McQ, Girardi

        Jimmy boy HAS to make a move regardless; so he should be reaching out to many many GMs to explore ANY and all options


    • A desperate and suppliant Chevy appears before kindly Jim Rutherford, hat in hand, and asks if he’ll part with one of his extra defensemen. Rutherford reaches into Chevy’s hat and, magically, pulls out a jackrabbit named Johnson.

      Rabbit food for thought? Lettuce pray.

      • Francis

        Your metaphorical and Punny post has made my day

        Thank you kindly

        🤞🙏 that this (or something highly similar ) happens to Pens resulting in the exodus of JJ

      • Pengy

        Glad you laughed. The deal should go through if Rutherford retains part of Jackrabbit”s rancid celery.

  3. It isn’t Tampa or Miami or L.A./Anaheim or San Jose or Phoenix – but then, damned few places in Canada even come close. Winters can be brutal and in the summer stock up on Off. Not to everyone’s taste for sure, but fault can be found in almost every location.

    Overall, it isn’t all that bad a city in which to live and raise a family and, to my mind anyway, it gets a bum rap.

    Their sports fans are as rabid as any – just go to a BlueBombers game – and fishing/hunting is among the best in the world as long as you prepare properly.

    • Sounds like Winnipeg is a good fit city wise for Buf.
      Jets SC odds just went down….. alot

    • George never been to the west coast I take it

      • I have. But I don’t see your point. I thought we were discussing Winnipeg and the false rap that it’s a bad place to live.

  4. Why would anyone trade anything of value for Sutter (4.375 million), Schaller (who?) or Virtanen (bust)?

    The only NHL GM incompetent enough to aquire any of them already has them on the roster.

    Jim Benning, GM of the year.

    • Being $1,716,539 over the cap, but with 26 still shown at the ML level by CapFriendly, it looks like they get below by the relegation of 2 ELCs + placing Roussel on IR to start the season at least. This from CBS Sports

      Roussel (knee) is expected to start the year on injured reserve, the team announced Thursday. Roussel suffered a knee injury in mid-March and it appears his problem will continue to linger into the new season.”

      Without that option they likely would have relegated Motte, Goldbobin and Biega.

    • Hi Ron

      You are forgetting the “other” Jim!!!

      What’s the lowdown on how/why JV failed his examination ? Weight? Tendons? Ligaments? Heart? Blood?


      • Probably too many burgers and fries in the off-season

      • Pengy,

        My understanding is Green and Benning had a chat with Virtanen at the end of last season about coming to camp in shape. Which of course he then proceeded not to do. He does have a couple of preseason goals already though.
        Virtanens fast, good physical game and au decent shot. Just has never put it together. Less than 15-20 goals this years makes him a bust if he isnt one already.

        Problem is for Benning to move a Sutter or an Eriksson hes going to have to add a draft pick. Already foolishly gave away their 2020 first rounder so that likely means 2021s pick is going to be up for grabs.

        Just another year in the Jim Benning rebuild / make the playoffs master plan. A bunch of desperation signings in a futile bid to make the playoffs. For what? To get rolled up and smoked in the 1st round again and again?

        Benning has somehow assembled a lottery team roster with next to nothing in cap space and no first round pick this year.

        Someone please explain how Benning still has a job. Please.

      • Thanks Ron

        Is JV a friend of Dotchkin’s?

        Fingers crossed for JV and Canucks that he “shapes up”

        Re the other problematic contracts…. can’t help you there unless Jim B is willing to give Jim R , Loui at 50% for the full JJ

        That’s a deal hammered out after two 60’s of Glenlivet are pounded back

        Ahhh …. the Jimmy and Jimmy show

      • Thanks Ron,

        Is JV a friend of Dotchkin’s?

        Fingers crossed for JV and Canucks that he “shapes up”

        Re the other problematic contracts…. can’t help you there unless Jim B is willing to give Jim R , Loui at 50% for the full JJ

        That’s a deal hammered out after two 60’s of Glenlivet are pounded back

        Ahhh …. the Jimmy and Jimmy show

      • Pengy……agreed RHD but those guys you mentioned all make $5 million or more and the jets are in a cap crunch and have to sign Patrick Laine, Connor too.

        Johnson $3.2 not a bad cap hit… Ok Risto and Faulk make a lot Mc Q ok cheap Girardi isn’t he like 100 ..

      • Hi BlackNGold

        Chevy has to have plan A , plan B , plan C…..

        All I’m saying is that McQ (32) and Girardi (35) are options that are far better than starting the season with only 19 players including only 6D (only 2RHDs and one RHD only has 30 NHL games played)

        If only JJ was RHD ☹️

        would he take Ruhweedel? 😁

  5. Chabbot gets done.
    Nice work Pierre From Orleans

    • holy 8 x 8 man. tad much?? no bridge? good young defenseman but not in the top 10 yet right?

      He is their#1 so kinda makes sense.

      • No doubt about it, good deal for the Sens

      • This will be a bargain in just a few short years – and also sends a message that there’s a whole new attitude within the organization, coming on the heels of the Colin White contract. Tkachuk will eventually sign long-term in Ottawa as well. The corner has been turned.

      • Even thought I’ve often enough shrugged off “statistics” by quoting Disraeli who observed “there are 3 kinds lies …. lies, damned lies and statistics” … but it’s kind of fun to compare Karlsson’s early seasons with those of Chabot. For what it’s worth.

        In Karlsson’s first year he potted 26 pts in 60gp followed by 45pts in 75 gp. In his rookie year Chabot registered 25 points in 63 gp and followed that last season with 55pts in 70gp for a dreadful collection that qualified as a “team” in name only.

        If he stays healthy, look for maybe a 70pt season.

    • Hi Dark G

      with any long term contract extension out of ELC for a player with only a relative limited sample size to evaluate on (I think he’s around 130 games) there comes a risk

      To me, the risk of falter and overpay in the out years for TC at $8M is minimal

      This lad is trending north and quickly

      I like his game; poise and attitude

      He continues this trend…. and that contract favours the Sens huge in a few years

      Great to see the Mellnyk wallet open up ; hope he didn’t borrow some of the expected payroll flow from a local Casino …. LOL


      I’m assuming this was a proverbial Clint Eastwood moment for you …”Make my day”

      Good on ya Thomas and Pierre

      • Like I say, Pengy, the most important factor is that his and the White deal sends a positive message to other up and coming kids in the system – Batherson, Formenton, Brannstrom, Abramov, Norris, Brown etc – that things have changed from the negativity of the past 2 seasons

      • George


      • That 2015 draft was a doozy in terms of the numbers of players selected (8 C. 8 D. 9 RW. 4 LW and 1 G) who have already turned out to be major factors for their teams – 16 of them, for the rest the jury is still out – the only head-scratcher, other than DeBrusk were those back-to-back-to-back Boston picks, including Zboril taken ahead of DeBrusk

        1 Connor McDavid C Edm
        2 Jack Eichel C Buf
        3 Dylan Strome C Ariz (major factor for Chi now)
        4 Mitch Marner RW Tor
        5 Noah Hanifin D Carolina (major factor for Cgy now)
        6 Pavel Zacha C NJ (jury still out)
        7 Ivan Provorov D Pha
        8 Zach Werenski D Clb
        9 Timo Meier RW SJ
        10 Mikko Rantanen RW Col
        11 Lawson Crouse LW Fla (jury still outm but now in Ariz)
        12 Denis Gurianov RW Dal (jury still out)
        13 Jakub Zboril D Bos (jury still out)
        14 Jake DeBrusk LW Bos
        15 Zachary Senyshyn RW Bos (jury still out)
        16 Mathew Barzal C NYI
        17 Kyle Connor LW Wpg
        18 Thomas Chabot D Ott
        19 Evgeny Svechnikov RW Det (jury still out)
        20 Joel Eriksson Ek C Minn (jury still out)
        21 Colin White C Ott
        22 Ilya Samsonov G Wash (22 y/o G – just 37gp in NA)
        23 Brock Boeser RW Van
        24 Travis Konecny RW Pha
        25 Jack Roslovic C Wpg (jury still out)
        26 Noah Juulsen D Mtl (injured a lot – jury still out)
        27 Jacob Larsson D Ana (jury still out)
        28 Anthony Beauvillier LW NYI (jury still out)
        29 Gabriel Carlsson D Clb (jury still out)
        30 Nick Merkley RW Ariz (jury still out)

      • Jhey george zboril was taken ahead of chabot as well. They both played on the saint john sea dogs. Zboril had all they hype and was felt to be the better player. I can pat myself on the back here for the claim chabot was by far the better, though my dream of him and karlsson pateolling our line for many years will never come to be.

        Good signing.

        Yet zboril stuggeling tk claim his spot in the NHL hasnt cause my hand to scratch my head.

  6. I thought if a player retired before his contract was up his cap hit still remained with the team until it ended. Or was that just for those front loaded contracts that were signed before the last CBA?

    • KevJam: You’re thinking of plus-35 contracts. Byfuglien is 34.

      • Would it matter if he was 35 though? Doesn’t the contract have to be signed after the player is 35?

      • It’s not a plus-35 contract. He signed the deal in 2016, weeks shy of his 30th birthday.

      • You are correct, only applies to contracts that are signed when a player is 35 or over.

      • Thanks for your replay Lyle.
        Then why is Luongo’s cap hit still on Florida’s and Vancouver’s books?

      • Hi KevJam

        BobbyLoo contract was signed B4 this CBA and when they did this CBA they included ramifications wrt long term (especially nose diving ones ) contracts that had been signed prior to that … affected BobbyLoo; would include players like Weber and Ovi if they retire early

      • In other words, Luongo’s is among those extremely lengthy, heavily front-loaded contracts from the previous CBA subject to salary-cap recapture penalty if a player retires before his contract expires.

      • Thanks again Lyle and Pengy,
        Until know I was under the impression that it was from this last CBA that a retired player still with turm on their contract that their cap hit would stay on their teams cap hit.
        Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  7. If Mtl wants a shot at Laine they will offer sheet him, similar to the deal for Aho. Moving Petry would leave too big a hole on D. I would guess the offer to Dallas for Honka was Hudon. I can see Mtl being interested because of Juulsen’s injury. I get why Dallas would say at this point but if Hudon has a good camp, I can see that changing.

    • How is Montreal going to offer sheet Laine with barely 4 million in cap space available?

      • There are those who will pop in now and say they’ll bury Alzner, Peca and Weise in the AHL giving them an additional $8,275,000 – but I think the chances of that happening and then offer-sheeting Laine are somewhere south of zero.

      • George,

        Youre bang on.

      • The Habs will bury Alzner, Weise and Peca in the AHL. That’ll get their available cap space to about $7.25m. Still not enough. Another forward would have to be moved. I don’t see an offer sheet coming. If the Habs are to pick up Laine it would likely be through trade. But I really dont see the Jets trading him. They’d likely match any offer sheet.

      • Putting Weis and Alzner in the AHL is a given. Placing a guy like Lkonen or Weal on waivers would be really tempting for other teams. Point is, Mtl could make the numbers work if needed. Not concerned that way. Far more concerned how Winnipeg can fit Laine and Connor under ther cap. That said, I think MB is pretty set with Habs as is right now, with the exception of a trade fo a D like Honka rto replace Juulsen

    • The Canadians will need to offer more than a soft offensive d-man (Petry) for Laine.

      • add drouin and a 1st along with petry and see if they say yes .

        plenty of ufa’s out there to fill in the gaps for MTL

  8. I think they should trade for Ryan Ellis and Kyle Turris for either Conner or Laine

  9. The Preators need more offense and the jets need use some D, so Ryan Eliis and Kyle Turris for Laine would work for both sides

    • Nashville has been trying to find a way to dump Turris for a while now – that isn’t going to do it. Who wants a 30 y/o C with 5 years to go on a $6 mil cap hit who, over 664 NHL games has average 0.2 goals per game and 0.6 pts per game?

  10. What about Ristolainen and a pick for Laine?

    • How does Buffalo, already $1,059,524 over the cap with Ristolainen’s $5,400,000 cap hit factored in, then find a way to accommodate what Laine is reportedly seeking? Assuming he’d even willingly sign there.

  11. Winnipeg will need to restock the cupboards and a big If Laine is moved it would have multiple assets coming back. Picks prospects and a player that includes a defence man -with out a doubt.

    Buff always had weight issues. I recall one year at weigh in -268 lbs. He has been injured a lot of recent years and mentally he might be done. Hard to believe he is leaving $15m on the table so it must be genuine. Has earned $63m in his career. The place as a city is fine except in January.