Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 29, 2019

by | Sep 29, 2019 | Rumors | 46 comments

Updates on the Blues, Islanders, Rangers, and Avalanche in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Jim Thomas weighed in on the Blues’ salary-cap space for next season and how it could affect efforts to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo and Brayden Schenn. Assuming the salary cap reaches $85 million, it’ll leave the Blues with over $19 million to re-sign seven players. It could cost at least $14 million to retain Pietrangelo and Schenn. General manager Doug Armstrong has said the Blues must get creative to re-sign those two.

Can the St. Louis Blues afford to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo (Photo via NHL Images).

Thomas doesn’t know how much Pietrangelo wants but it’s safe to say it’ll be more than his current annual average value of $6.5 million.

If the Blues decide they can’t keep both and try to trade Schenn, Thomas indicates the New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, and Colorado Avalanche have the salary-cap space to take him on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Blues are a playoff contender they won’t trade Pietrangelo and Schenn. Barring a salary-dumping deal next summer, I don’t think they can afford both of them. I can see them re-signing Pietrangelo to a five-year deal worth $9 million annually. If his asking price is higher, they can turn their focus to Schenn.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently pondered what could happen with the New York Islanders’ defense. If promising Noah Dobson cracks the roster, a veteran like Thomas Hickey, Nick Leddy, or Johnny Boychuk could be sitting out the Isles’ opening night. A trade might make sense, with Leddy and his $2.5 million AAV the easiest to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dobson was scratched from the Isles’ final preseason game. Head coach Barry Trotz hasn’t tipped his hand if the youngster has made the team. If he does, they’ll have eight defensemen on the roster. Somebody will have to move via trade or waivers. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports veteran forward Ryan Strome hopes to establish himself as part of the Rangers’ core. However, he’s an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Rangers have shipped out pending UFA talent over the last two seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired from Edmonton early last season, Strome put up a respectable 18 goals and 33 points in 63 games with the Rangers. If he can build on that it could improve his chances of securing another contract with the Blueshirts. It could also improve his value at next February’s trade deadline.



  1. Updated composite of all 31 rosters – cap space/# of players at ML level showing breakdown of F-D-G according to CapFriendly

    9 teams remain over the cap pending imminent roster moves (including application of LTIRs) as necessary on Day 1 – the 4 with over 23 have the additional cap space of those relegated. When the dust settles, most will be left with little or no wiggle room

    Tor – $14,259,366 – 24 (13-9-2)
    Van – $1,716,539 – 26 (16-8-2)
    St. L – $1,386.260 – 25 (15-8-2)
    Wash – $1,364,294 – 23 (14-7-2)
    Buf – $1,059,524 – 23 (13-8-2)
    Cgy – $658,375 – 23 (14-7-2)
    Ariz – $631,068 – 22 (12-7-3)
    Car – $498,124 – 24 (14-8-2)
    Pitt – $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
    Ott – $11,815,001 – 21 (12-7-2)
    Clb – $12,215,918 – 20 (11-7-2)
    Col – $6,365,239 – 24 (14-8-2)
    Ana – $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. – $4,315,606 – 25 (13-10-2)
    NYI – $4,653,334 – 25 (16-7-2)
    Det – $5,133,790 – 21 (12-7-2)
    Minn – $874,745 – 26 (15-9-2)
    SJ – $3,417,583 – 21 (12-7-2)
    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)

    The teams with everyone signed but NO wiggle room (I include Dallas here even though Honka is still not signed – or traded – as it looks like he’ll stay in limbo, as well as Winnipeg since the amount shown will disappear if and when Byfuglien reports – on the other hand, if he decides he’s finished and leaves that chunk on the table then Cheveldayov can make another move – but talk about LIMBO – time for Byfuglien to you-know-what or get off the pot)
    Pha – $1,867,421 – 20 (10-8-2)
    Veg – $1,775,001 – 21 (13-6-2)
    Fla – $781,331 – 22 (13-7-2)
    Dal – $970,001 – 22 (13-7-2)
    NYR – $235,201 – 23 (14-7-2)
    Wpg – $7,716,312 – 23 (14F 7D 2G)

  2. While the Jackets have cap space, both Dubois (coming off his ELC) and Anderson are RFAs, next summer. Both are core players and both are looking at significant raises. Also, Elvis Merzlikins is on a one year contract and, should he establish himself as the Jackets #1 goalie, he’ll also be due a significant raise. Theoretically, those three could eat up a huge percentage of that cap space.

  3. Strome is listed on Cap Friendly as a rfa at end of season. Shot over 20% last season, can’t see him putting up same numbers. Decent middle 6 guy that can play both center and wing, but can’t see him as part of Rangers core in future. With team right at cap, I think he can still get traded sooner than later. Jesper Fast might be another guy that could be moved. His contract is more manageable

    • @Slick
      It will be interesting to see if Strome says the 2nd line center and how far the Rangers go this season. With the glut of wings and no true #2 center the Rangers might wait to deal with that until next summer.

      • ds. He’s not a long term solution as we have 3 kids, all 1st rd picks, that were drafted as centers. I agree for now he’s a stop gap solution and will probably be dealt at deadline. But, they could use the breathing room his trade will bring now. As I said, I think Fast will be easier to move.

  4. Ottawa might be one team opting to go with 22 rather than the max 23 judging by comments shown in the Ottawa Sun this morning where Smith is quoted as saying that, rather than keep a young player up among 23 and either play limited minutes or sit in the press box, he’d prefer to see him playing significant minutes in Belleville. That won’t be an option for teams made up largely of veterans, but any team with a lot of kids might well take that same approach.

    • Hi George

      with that in mind (and I do agree with that philosophy of making sure young players get more ice time playing down the AHL and not putting them UP with very little minutes OR in the press box on the big team) sitting at 22 gives Ottawa the possibility of taking on another player to bring in extra assets.

      They could bring in a 23rd player from another team(so the other team can be Cap compliant) if the deal is right… big IF; but the flex IS there

      • That’s very true Pengy and one I overlooked – and Lord knows there are plenty of teams who will need to shed someone of some note in order to remain cap compliant – barring early season IR placements (like Rust??). Stay tuned.

      • Pengy, what matters most for teams like Ottawa is the number of NHL contracts (max 50), not the roster count. Waiver exempt players can be sent to the minors to clear space; and how many other teams would be interested in claiming Ottawa’s 13th best forward / 8th best d-man? If the Senators go for a 22 man roster, it will be a cash saving move, pure and simple.

      • While I disagree with that view Hammer_of_the_Gods, that’s the beauty of this site – different opinions abound. The way it should be.

        I see very little point in having a roster of 23 with the bulk made up of ELCs and sitting a kid out night after night (as Boucher did with guys like Harpur). Better to have them playing full-time in the AHL and brought up when dictated by injuries.

        As cheap as Melnyk might be, I really don’t see him avoiding ELCs to save a nickel.

      • George & HoftheG

        I just have a gut feeling that Dorian is sitting back and gleefully seeing other GMs in panickville getting to Cap Compliant levels and with full rosters. They must move a player (some 2 players)

        Ottw has 22 up and has one spot left on the 50 man list

        They can take in a Cap hit (preferably with lower cash than Cap) ; allow a young Sens bubble player to get tons more developmental playing time in Belleville than sparse minutes or press box games with Sens; AND Sens will get a bonus out of the trade

        George ; if it is Rusty coming; JJ is coming too (tough to see though with my scenario above as his cash $4M is greater than Cap $3.25 M this year) …. if so just to stay at 50 players ; a prospect or a Sen has to come back …. who is ur offer?

        JJ & Rusty for which of the 49 on the Sens list ?

      • PENGY..FINGERS CROSSED josh yorbe of the athletic says Rutherford has told jack Johnson a trade is imminent to be transparent with him..according to yorbe of the athletic there are two teams willing to take on all of jack Johnsons contract..they didn’t say what two teams though..we will see…black n gold

      • Hi BlackNGold

        Ya … I read that (with a smile on my face and Glee in my heart)

        I’ve got to think that one team willing to take him on at full Cap must be a deal that either brings crap back ; includes a Pen (Rust?); or benefits the team in another way

        Ducks must be one team and they must be discussing Kessler and/or Eaves coming back

        The net effect to Pens is exactly like a buyout but w/o any Cap hit this year or years coming…. even better than my buyout suggestion in June

        The cost is $4 M or $4.6 M (both) and JJ gone bye bye

        A buyout would have been $8.2 M spread out over 8 years

        Ducks get JJ effectively at $2 M per (just Kessler) or $1.9 M per (both) instead of paying North of $4.6 M for absolutely nothing


  5. I posted this last night but not sure how many people saw it is I will ask the question again.
    Now that Rantanen is signed who would you rather have on your team
    Rantanen or Marner?

    • Rantanen. Better overall game, pretty even offensively and makes far less $$ than Marner.

    • I agree FlameFan – I like Marner, at least as far as his seasonal game is concerned (much like Gaudreau) – but I like Rantanen a whole lot more.

      I also posted a question late yesterday which likely went in too late

      “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.”

      • McQuade signed that contract before 2015/16 season. He was traded with salary retained I believe. He’s 32 now. Nobody is offering anything close to that.

      • Probably not – but I bet he’s betting on at least $1.2 mil rather than the bottom floor taken by Petrovic, and when the injuries on D start piling up … and they will … teams will come calling as long as he’s doing something to stay in shape (like working out with a university team or something – which has been done in the past by UFAs not immediately signed).

      • Hi George

        With Slick 62 here

        His Agent may be thinking hire …, but has to realize now …. NO contract means NO agent fee %’age

        Some team will get him at $1M 1 yr or very close to it

        I’m gobsmacked that Chevy hasn’t offered that

        If Buff comes back ; McQ can be waived (and if not picked up) and all $1M buried

        There is no risk for Jets to offer McQ that

        The big upside if Buff does retire at least they have a RHD that CAN full in some minutes

        He’s rugged; big and at 32 NOT ancient

        I’m hoping GMJR moves JJ with another player netting Cap space if $4M + and then could take McQ as a depth D for $1M and still have $3M + in space

        Someone HAS to be taking him

        McQ retiring , to me , does NOT make sense

        Who’s going to take s chance on Vanek ? 16-20-36 in 64 GP last year… yes 35 + contract …. but Simone just might take him…. NOTE : Clb still needs 3 more Fwds

      • “higher” not “hire”

      • Mcquaid doesn’t want to play in the West.
        I’d venture to guess that he has no interest in playing anywhere in the AHL, with the provable exception of Providence.
        He’s gonna make a fine coach one day, if he decides to lean toward that route.
        A real solid individual!

    • FF

      Leaf fan here

      Biased Canadian here

      But straight logic… I’d have to take Rats at $9.25 M rather than MM at $10.9 M:

      Both have had stellar growth; both dynamic; both great in points; both did benefit from playing with SUPER players on their line

      Rats does score slightly more GPG

      Even counting all else equal above (although I give a slight stats nod to Rats in stats) then $1.7 M per in Cap cheaper and with less SB leans more in Rats favour

      Finally I can’t disregard the strength and grit of Rats over MM ; and almost all of that due to 4 + inches in height and 40 + lbs in weight

      Nod to be honest …. Rats ☹️

      • Pengy..regarding jack Johnson I’m thinking my three teams would be Los Angeles Anaheim Minnesota (Guerin’s there now) we may be taking back Victor Rask in that exchange….. outside shot Winnipeg.

        we will see interesting next 48 hours..

    • No contest, Marner. What do you expect from a Leaf fan?

    • Can I go slightly off the board and choose Rantanen over Matthews?

  6. I’m with you Ron, even if they were signed for the same money and term, Rantanen is a bigger player skates very well and was a beast in the playoffs last year, unlike Marner who is a shrinking violet in the playoffs.
    The large gap in pay makes it a no brainer.

    Toronto really screwed themselves with massive overpays on their stars

    • Overpaying Austin so fast….not good

    • Yes but it’s still better than having no stars and overpaying non difference makers

      • Like Lucic? And Ryan? 🙂

  7. Oh pengy. Get you some clean underwear. Yohe reporting that it is 80% likely johnson is traded in next 48 hours.

    • Chrisms

      Clean underwear at the wait 🤓

      Could be the turning point for the Pens

      JJ in ; playing as a Reg… ZERO chance at Cup; and equal chance IMHO; of (A) just missing the playoffs; and (B) out in first round

      JJ gone bye bye …. excellent chance of winning Div and meeting favoured Bolts in ECF ; where …. there is a chance ….slim but a chance… if they get by Bolts …. I think they have a shot against VGK or Nsh or StL.


  8. As an avs fan I don’t believe a single word that comes out of daters mouth….he was quoted late Friday that avs and rants were not close to a deal…..

  9. So everyone agrees Leafs suck. Dubas is a dumbass. The SHANAPLAN is actually a Shanascam.
    Toronto is bad.
    Groundhog day.
    Yogie Berra use to say its deja-vu all over again.
    A bunch of nitpicking old ladies.
    Got a feeling it’s going to be a long year for Leaf haters.

    • Long year but short playoffs.


  10. I agree Rantanen over Marner….. this is why I was semi-obsessed with the Marner process….( not the Matthews or Nylander contracts that in the end I think will be seen as slight not excessive over pays)….I wrote a number of times that Marner should not get over 9.5 million…..still feel this way….as a Leaf fan I hope I am wrong..but my itchy spidy sense says I was correct….

    I have been a Dubas supporter….but this on him….

  11. Vinnie Leafs have an awesome team I believe for this year and a chance at winning it all. Going forward because they over paid their stars I also believe they will not be able to pay their UFA defenseman so they will regress. Hard to win in this league without solid D and it won’t be long before Morgan and Anderson will want to be paid like their teammates their only hope is that the cap explodes.

  12. I am not a fan per-say but if the Leafs don’t win a cup this year it may be another decade. Without any injuries they have to be a favourite right now followed closely by two other teams in their division . Don’t plan the parade route just yet as injuries are up to the hockey gods and more than likely.
    I think every squad has hope even the lottery pick candidates ; Ducks Kings Sens Oilers and the Wings have aspirations of making the playoffs .
    Should be a fleury of transactions leading up to Wednesday

    • Hi SilverSeven

      Leaf fan here

      I’m under no delusion at all… I do not in any way see Leafs as a Fav this year.

      My heart says they could get to ECSF against Bolts ; but I’m not convinced 100 % as at right now that they can get past Bruins … it’s a toss up for me right now

      They are a single 20 game LTIR away from possibly missing the playoffs …. that being Freddy …. Freddy down and Hutch in for 20 games … and FLA passes Leafs for sure … and who knows if somehow Buff goes on a Run???

      Freddy healthy … Leafs, IMHO, finish 2nd in Atl Div ; then still must get past

      then Bolts
      Then Metro winner
      then VGK? NSH? StL?

      Anything can happen in the playoffs …. just take a look at Bolts being swept last year ; Car in ECF last year; a brutally blown call late in game 7 that let SJ get past VGKs…. anything CAN happen….

      but it would be another duplicative set of upsets and magical scenarios for Leafs to be crowned next June…..if I’m a betting man …. I can’t prudently have Leafs as a favourite in June of ‘20… I don’t

      My gut says Bolts vs VGK or Nsh or StL

      With that out of the way

      Leafs MUST look at their only window …. ‘20-‘24 …, and D improvement next July at the expense of moving a top $ Fwd is imperative to fit into the cap

      Barring that …. Leafs won’t get a Cup until I’m almost ‘70 ☹️☹️☹️😢😢😢😢

      Or even later than that 👎👎👎👎👎

      • My Dark Horse team out west this season is Calgary – they either “get it” this time or start tinkering with the line-up. However, I think they’ll “get it” when it comes to the playoffs.

        In the East it has to be TB – for much the same reason as Calgary. A re-visit of the 2004 finals with whole new casts.

      • Avalanche – Leafs SCF, who would win? Either way how fun would that be to watch?! (If they stop squabbling and get thr Avalanche/ Nuggets network up and running)

      • Agreed on Calgary, George. However, as always with the Flames, they have the pieces that COULD do it, but it either goes swimmingly or very bad for them.

        Can Rittich and Talbot give them the goaltending they need to advance in the playoffs? Can Sam Bennett finally have the offensive breakout we want? With Lucic in the lineup, can Calgary’s bottom six skate fast enough to avoid being embarrassed by fast teams like Colorado again? Can Calgary’s top six do that?

        The one thing the Flames really have going for them is depth. Up front, players like Zac Rinaldo, Austin Czarnik, Alan Quine, Dillon Dube and Mark Jankowski will all battle for bottom six roles.

        On defence, even with Valimaki hurt, the Flames can rely on decent depth options in Michael Stone, Oliver Kylington, Brandon Davidson, and even perhaps Alexander Yelesin to fill in on the bottom pairing.

        If the Flames’ top guns can perform the entire year and in the playoffs, they have as good a chance as any team.

    • The Bruins are always a new Bergeron injury away from falling. They did not add any depth or even replace the offense Marcus Joh added. I could see them in 4th behind Florida. Or they go to the Cup with that core. I would not bet money on Boston either way

      • As a Bruins fan, I actually agree ds.
        They couldn’t afford to add up front, so if in contention will add at the TDL.
        Agree with the injury take. Their core is getting older, and sooner or later the inevitable happens.
        Tough loss in the SCF also tough to come back from.

      • @Ray
        but no choice but to roll the dice with the core again

  13. You can say that about every team not only Bergeron and Boston. Crosby Ovie Kucherov Tavares and more. If Bergie goes down bring Krech between the two studs and bring up Studnika until Bergeron healed.

  14. Not a Leafs fan but they have a really good team even if I agree that they overpaid Marner. Leafs problems are two fold. What happens if Andersen gets injured and they dont have enough sandpaper to beat Boston, since its obvious the last 2 playoffs, you need skill and speed but you also need some size and grit, thats why Tampa lost this spring to Colubus