NHL Rumor Mill – September 28, 2019

by | Sep 28, 2019 | Rumors | 58 comments

A look at five NHL clubs that could soon make a move in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton speculates the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, and Winnipeg Jets could be worth watching as the season approaches. One of them could soon make a move to become cap compliant or to reduce their roster to 23 players. 

Calgary Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie frequently surfaced in this summer’s trade-rumor mill (Photo via NHL Images).

The Flames are among those that must become salary-cap compliant before the seasons opens on Oct. 2. They could achieve that by demoting someone like Dillon Dube to the minors. But if he cracks the roster, they could be forced to make a trade.

Winger Michael Frolik and defensemen T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic surfaced in this summer’s rumor mill. Jusso Valimaki’s knee injury makes it unlikely the latter two will be moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flames sit above the $81.5-million salary cap by over $658K. Frolik was nearly shipped to the Minnesota Wild at last season trade deadline for winger Jason Zucker. He’s in the final season of his contract ($4.3 million salary-cap hit) with a 10-team no-trade clause. 

Despite trading Justin Faulk this week to St. Louis, the Carolina Hurricanes remain overstocked on defensemen. Clinton suggests it might be necessary to move another one, with Trevor van Riemsdyk and recently-acquired Joel Edmundson as candidates. Dealing one of them might be a better way to become cap compliant than demoting a young player earning the league minimum.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are less than $500K above the cap ceiling. I doubt they’ll move Edmundson as he brings grit and Stanley Cup experience to their blueline corps. Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk is still recovering from off-season surgery. if he’s unable to start the season, the Hurricanes will get short-term cap relief by placing him on LTIR.

Clinton doubts the Stars want the distraction of unsigned blueliner Julius Honka on the sidelines. General manager Jim Nill acknowledged Honka requested a trade. The 23-year-old puck-moving rearguard has what Clinton considers untapped offensive potential and could blossom with a change of scenery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Montreal Canadiens were rumored to be interested in Honka. So far, however, nothing’s come of it. The market for Honka might not be to Nill’s liking right now.

The Vancouver Canucks could demote Tim Schaller and perhaps Nikolay Goldobin to get down to a 23-man roster. Clinton suggests shopping Schaller and perhaps Loui Eriksson. He acknowledged Eriksson’s $6-million cap hit makes it unlikely he gets move but feels it’s at least worth exploring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think there’s much of a market for those players. Jake Virtanen has also surfaced in recent trade talk.

If Dustin Byfuglien doesn’t return to start the season, the Jets will need short-term blueline help. Clinton wonders if a deal could be made for one of the Hurricanes’ depth defenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the clubs on this list, the Jets could have the more dire need to swing a trade. They needed depth on the right side of their blueline well before Big Buff took his leave of absence. They won’t be able to replace what Byfuglien brings to their lineup but they’ll have to add an experienced right-side rearguard as a stopgap.


  1. Re the opening above, here’s the updated summary of rosters – cap space/# of players at ML level showing breakdown of F-D-G according to CapFriendly – info changes hourly as roster decisions are made and injuries pop up as we get closer to the season openers

    3 remaining unsigned KEY RFAs … plus Honka
    Winnipeg – Connor – $14,859,169 – 22 (13F 7D 2G) – includes $7.6 mil for Byfuglien
    Colorado – Rantanen – $15,615,239 – 23 (13-8-2)
    Dallas – Honka – $970,001 – 22 (13-7-2)

    These 9 teams have everyone signed but are over the cap by the amount shown, so watch for other imminent roster moves (including application of LTIRs) as necessary on Day 1 – the 3 teams over 23 have the additional cap space of those demoted

    Toronto – $13,365,199 – 23 (13-8-2)
    Vancouver – $1,716,539 – 26 (16-8-2)
    Washington – $1,364,294 – 23 (14-7-2)
    Buffalo – $1,059,524 – 23 (13-8-2)
    Calgary – $658,375 – 23 (14-7-2)
    Ariz – $631,068 – 22 (12-7-3)
    St. Louis – $611,260 – 24 (14-8-2)
    Carolina – $498,124 – 24 (14-8-2)
    Pittsburgh – $331,625 – 23 (13-8-2)

    The teams with everyone signed and the most remaining cap space – listed according to adjustments which will follow increasing or decreasing to meet 23-man roster
    Ottawa – $11,815,001 – 21 (12-7-2)
    Columbus – $13,090,043 – 19 (10-7-2)
    Anaheim – $9,250,242 – 20 (12-6-2)
    Mtl – $6,406,191 – 23 (14-7-2)
    NJ – $6,461,667 – 22 (13-7-2)
    L.A. – $5,240,606 – 24 (13-9-2)
    NYI – $4,653,334 – 25 (16-7-2)
    Det – $4,270,457 – 22 (13-7-2)
    Minn – $874,745 – 26 (15-9-2)
    SJ – $2,682,583 – 22 (12-8-2)
    Nash – $1,334,524 – 24 (14-8-2)
    TB – $1,726,669 – 23 (12-9-2)
    Edm – $1,533,001 – 23 (14-7-2)
    Bos – $1,153,334 – 23 (13-8-2)
    Chi – $2,462,414 – 21 (11-8-2)

    These teams have everyone signed but have NO wiggle room
    Pha – $1,867,421 – 20 (10-8-2)
    Veg – $1,775,001 – 21 (13-6-2)
    Fla – $1,481,331 – 21 (12-7-2)
    NYR – $235,201 – 23 (14-7-2)

    • thank you for posting ignore that bozo complaining. it shows you did a lot of work on it very informative.

      • Thanks gary – if it keeps the site perking I’m happy to contribute

  2. How many times are you gonna post this. Everyone else can go to capfriendly.com too

    • Then go there. I only post it this way to provide a capsule list of all 31 teams. You rather go there and sift through all 31 to get a complete picture, then by all means, go ahead. In that event you must have a great memory if making comparisons.

      If Lyle thinks this is unnecessary then I’ll stop it.

      • I appreciate it George

      • I have no issue with it. Carry on, George.

      • Thanks Lyle, AZ Hockey Nut & Chrisms (I’m tryin’ to figure out a way to charge for the service 🙂 ). By the way Lyle, just wondering how you see the Washington situation unfolding? Right now they’re $1,364,294 over the cap with 23 shown at the ML level. Kempny and his $2.5 mil cap hit MIGHT go on IR, but if so it looks to be short-term.

      • For now, they’ll probably stick Kempny on LTIR in the short-term. They’ve got 14 forwards and could put Chandler Stephenson on waivers, though they’ll still have to shed another salary to boot.

      • Thanks George

      • exactly. well said.
        why isnt anyone talking about the best defense in hockey last year.as a good teading partner for winnipeg we are loaded with available dmen.we have too many all very good that includes the 19 yr future star Dobsen

      • Just ignore the drivel George. The vast majority here enjoy and appreciate your efforts.

    • Why go to cap friendly when you can get GeorgeFriendly for free?

      • George, this is my first post here. Keep ’em coming. A lot easier to follow and nice to have all the info in one list. As a Flyers fan I keep looking at 20 players and 1.8 million. Fletcher used up all the cap space Hextall left him.

    • Nobody else is complaining…. scroll on.

      • Thanks Nyr4life. The purpose behind the composite list is to hopefully generate more discussion re possible trade necessity etc. If it helps in that regard then I’m happy to do it.

      • They aren’t alone in that dilemma Sregdoor. There’s 5 others in the same situation, including the Jets if Byfuglien decides to return. He’s gotta you-know-what or get off the pot.

  3. Chevy

    Call McQ will ya

    He says no …. it’s the cost of a phone call

    He says yes to $1M 1 yr ; you have some sort of RD contingency at just over league min $’s

    It’s just a friggin phone call

    Buff comes back …. waive McQ …. bury the full $1M

    To me this makes most sense

    • Pengy it’s hard to believe there isn’t a place in today’s NHL for a player like Mcquaid.

      • Caper

        Fully concur

        He’s going to come cheap and has everything to prove.

        If he steps up and team out @ TDL might get a late round pic for him ; worst case is paying him maybe $300 K over League min to be 7th D

      • Still think the Bruins could use him at least for depth

      • Isn’t that why they gave Petrovic a contract?

      • Pengy – Caper – how cheap would McQuaid come? His last deal gave him $2,750,000 per. The fact he hasn’t signed anywhere yet as a UFA tells me he and his agent think they have a better shot at at least staying close to that by staying in shape … and waiting until injuries start to hit around the league … rather than go hat-in-hand and sign for minimum as did Petrovic.

      • McQuaid to the Jets makes a lot of sense.

    • Jets are comfortable with poolman who plays a physical game, has nothing more to prove in the ahl and will be a competent 3rd pair rD. Bitetto is decent 3rd pair also.

      That gives them Morrissey, Pionk (I have some doubts) , Niku and Kulikov (should be a better year for him). They have a mitt full of players they want to have a good look at as well. No upside with Mcquaid and if they end up needing another safer option he or someone like him will be available.

      • 2.0 the problem with that logic is you’re hoping they develop and give the kids a chance.
        The Jets d is brutal and they need to win games. Mcquaid is a solid physical dman who is the ultimate teammate.
        You rather have young guys costing the team games then a proven veteran who can stabilize the third pairing and solid penalty killer.

      • Which young guys are you most worried about? I am most concerned about Pionk, then Kulikov (might be asking too much of him) then Niku. They added some character guys with Bourque, Letestu and Bitetto. Zero concern about Poolman’s readiness. Poolman is also a good teammate and pro, not young either.

      • 2.0 as a group all of them. I don’t need to list who isn’t there because I know you know; with that said you can’t have the same expectations when you don’t have 4 of your top 6 dman from a year ago.
        At present the Jets have 2 right hand dman in Pionk and Niku, signing a player like Mcquaid on the cheap is a no brainer, he can always be put on waivers and if he’s claimed nothing lost and if clears he plays for the Moose.
        Poolman was ready last year I agree but it’s not a quality set of defense and how will Morrissey handle the pressure of being the number 1 dman?

    • @ Pengy

      Amazing celebration for Crosby retiring his # 87 for Rimouski and all through out the Q unbenounced to him…what an amazing player and… CLASS ACT !

      2 Years – in the Q – 16 – 17 years old…

      Goals – 120
      Assists – 183
      Points – 303

      Games Played – ONLY …121

      WOW! Lmao

      Wayne Gretzky – OHL stats 1 year in the ” O ”
      1977-78 Soo Greyhounds OHA
      GP- 64 G – 70 A- 112 PTS- 182…..LMFAO !

      • Kal El

        He’s also a great leader and clutch player.

        I am looking forward to being his father-in-law.


  4. If VanRiemsdyk does start the season on the IR, Carolina gets under the cap for a short spell. When he comes back, probably someone like Fleury gets sent down and his $850,000 ELC cap hit gets them under by just $351,876 – not ideal – so perhaps another trade is looming.

    Doesn’t Calgary get cap relief by placing Valimaki and his $894,166 ELC cap hit on LT IR on Day 1?

    Dallas has $970,000 in cap space and can afford to let Honka swing in the breeze for a while – until injuries on D start piling up around the league, at which time his value can only go up, especially if he’s staying in shape in Finland.

    Although Vancouver sits $1,716,539 over the cap, that’s for 26 players. 3 have to be demoted. With 16 F and 8D showing if Goldobin, Motte and Biega are sent down that $2,700,000 leaving them $983,461 under the cap.

    With the uncertainty of the Byfuglien situation, Benning is in a tough spot. Should he suddenly return, his cap space drops to $7.2 mil which MIGHT be enough to get Connor signed to a short-term bridge, but leaves very little wiggle room. That’s the most likely spot for an imminent deal of some sort.

    • George, Chevvy definitely is in tough if he doesn’t know when Buff is back. You would have to think they gave some kind of deadline to make a decision, they have an NHL team to run after all. Even though they said the opposite on TV I don’t get how they can just leave it open ended. Maybe they do and and they have more space than we think? Or is that tinfoil hat stuff?
      I think Conner gets a little less than Laine on a 2 year deal., if they go that route. Really good player but he does have the benefit of playing with 2 elite guys.

    • I don’t think Haydn Fleury would make it through waivers.

      • You’re probably right. Which is why I phrased it “someone like Fleury” – i.e., on an ELC

  5. Trying to trade Virtanen or Eriksson will require either a your garbage for our trash transaction or Benning is going to have to give away yet another draft pick. He’s already thrown away his 2020 first rounder so is 2021s next?

    Canuck fans all lament the terrible results they get in the draft lottery. Just imagine the tears that will fall when the Canucks are not only a lottery team this season but actually WIN the first pick only to watch Tampa Bay make the selection.

    Will that be enough to finally get Dim Jim fired?

    • That pick is lottery protected and would move to the 2020 draft .

    • Ron: I think the 2020 1st round pick is top ten protected. If it slides to 2021, no protection.

      I agree that was a horrible trade. Every other team in cap hell had to pay to get someone to take a contract (ex. Dubas giving up a 1st with Marleau). Miller is a solid 2nd line player, but Benning should have gotten him for much less. His signings have been puzzling as well (Beagle, Roussel and Myers) given they shouldn’t have cap issues when they’re a non-playoff team.

      • Van

        You are right, 2020 pick to Tampa is lottery protected. Which only delays a potential disaster by 12 months.

    • Well, if anything you are consistent with your hate.

      • Why “hate” – probably THE most erroneously over-used word on the net? He thinks Benning is a poor GM – so do a lot of others. Does Pengy “hate” Jack Johnson? I doubt it. He sure doesn’t think he’s an everyday NHL D-man based on his lack of skills – but “hate”??

      • Hi George


        Stating here as a fact

        I do not hate JJ

        I don’t know him

        Most reports he’s a nice person

        I am appalled at his play and detriment to the Pens success

    • Ron, that same scenario sure raised its head when Ottawa opted to keep their 1st pick last year and took Tkachuk, instead giving Colorado their 1st pick this past spring from the Duchene deal. Opinions were split on whether Dorion made the right choice, with some saying “what if that winds up giving Sakic the 1st pick overall and Hughes” and others (like me) arguing that, since there were no guarantees they’d win that lottery, even by finishing last, Tkachuk would be a great pick. That’s the way it turned out and only time will tell if Byram turns out to be a better pick than Tkachuk in the long run.

      Anyway, I think it’s all moot since it wouldn’t surprise me to see Pitt fall out of the playoffs, get in the lottery, and win it, once more plucking a franchise player (Lafreniere) with their historical blind luck 🙂

      But, yeah, watching TB staff stride up to the podium to get Lafreniere would send chills down the back of not only Canucks fans, but fans of all other teams. I would think that would be Benning’s worst nightmare.

      • While agree Benning has made some head scratchers, and I also disagree with the strategy of adding FA vets this early in what I thought was a decent start to a rebuild. Keep the first and wait until you can actually contend before you start adding guys like Miller, Myers, Ferland & Beagle.
        The Eriksson seemed brutal to the masses when he did it, and ya, it was.
        But, they are a way better team this year than last and have a shot to make the playoffs.
        They added solid NHL players. Miller, Ferland and Myers are all proven solid pros. That doesn’t make you worse today, but better.
        I just don’t think they should have been focused on today yet.
        I am guessing ownership disagreed, as attendance sunk like a stone from what I hear.
        We will see.

      • That luck has made my career as a pens fan an absolute dream.

        I have to admit that Mario through Crosby it’s hard to imagine the pens not having that type of player. It’s sorta just a given.

  6. For Calgary, I think the Frolik or Brodie ship sailed when Tkachuk signed a bridge. Besides, trading a 4 million dollar contract for cap space in October isn’t easy.

    The guys that are more likely to be traded are in the lower half of the roster.

    For example, Jankowski is slated to be the fourth line C this year. Quine can do the job for a million less. I am sure there is a team willing to take a former first round pick who outs up double digit goal totals and who is strong on the PK.

  7. Toronto just placed Aberg, Gaudet, Harpur and Schmaltz on waivers – probably just a formality although wuoldn’t it be a surprise to see re-claim Harpur now that Wolanin is lost long-term?

    • “… see Ottawa reclaim Harpur ….”

      • Well if true

        That trade worked out for Ottw as they don’t have to waive him right … he goes straight to Belleville right?

      • They haven’t put in a claim yet. Just thought it would ironic if they did and he winds up playing in Belleville again rather than in TO with the Marlies. At least his rent will be cheaper!

        That’s the one drawback for minor-leaguers when the parent team puts their main farm team in a large city.

    • @ George: I’m hoping Harpur clears waivers as not many left like him and the Leafs have nobody so inclined either. He stood up for his mates !

  8. Well, Rantanen just signed – $9,250,000 per to 2024-25. Colorado now has 24 at ML level with cap space of $6,365,239. Only Connor remains.

  9. miko 6yrs by $9.25 mil….salary only $6mil the year mac is up

    • AND they remain loaded for bear with over $7 mil in cap space once they send down one ELC to get to 23.

      • Hard to find a weak spot in that lineup. Maybe in net, but that is nit picking.

  10. Better price than Marner but still little high I was thinking 8.5. Nathan will want the moon next contract but now who can blame him.

  11. Not exactly sure where the writer thinks Calgary will have to make a trade to get under the cap.
    If capfriendly is accurate all they have to do is put Valimaki on LTIR and they will be cap compliant, no trade required.

    • Exactly. In fact, I raised that question above.

  12. Question to the posters on this board and Lyle as well ( always nice to hear from you when you post)
    If you had a choice to have Rantanen or Marner on your team who would you pick?

    After seeing all the signings of these top RFA,s it’s no wonder no Canadian team has won a Cup since 1993. For some reason the people who run Canadian teams always over pay in relation to the people running the American teams.
    Case in point:
    Marner – Rantanen, Rantanen 1.65 million less
    Point – Tkachuk, Point 250k less plus in my mind a much more valuable player.
    Meir – Laine, Meir 750k less and 2 years longer.
    Then you get the two excellent young defensemen in Boston who are signed on a great team friendly contract.