NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2019

by | Oct 12, 2019 | Rumors | 74 comments

Should the Kings consider trading Jonathan Quick? Is Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock feeling the heat in Toronto? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman and Josh Cooper examined Jonathan Quick’s poor performance in his first two games. The veteran Kings goaltender gave up 14 goals for a league-worst 7.17 goals-against average and .750 save percentage.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick’s poor start has some LA Kings followers calling for a trade (Photo via NHL Images).

Some on social media believe the Kings should trade or demote Quick. Dillman and Cooper believe it won’t be easy shopping a struggling goalie with a big contract and a long history of injuries. Nevertheless, they point out the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers swapped two high-salaried players (James Neal for Milan Lucic) this summer.

NBC analyst Keith Jones suggests that a trade is possible if a rival club has a goalie coach who’s confident they can help Quick regain his once-stellar form.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t dismiss the possibility of the Kings finding a trade partner for Quick but I doubt we’ll see it happening at this stage. His situation could be worth keeping an eye on as this season progresses. I expect the Kings will be patient with Quick but could give more starts to backup Jack Campbell or recall promising Cal Petersen at some point.


TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox wonders if the Maple Leafs’ wobbly play thus far could put head coach Mike Babcock on the hot seat. While Cox notes that Babcock didn’t build the current roster, he’s responsible to make it a winner.

The Leafs invested big bucks in a handful of stars, leaving little salary-cap space to address their defensive issues and goaltending depth. “It’s only Thanksgiving, only five games have been played, yet already there’s a whiff of urgency in the air,” writes Cox.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It hasn’t taken long for some Leafs followers to wonder if it’s too early to fire Babcock. He deserves his share of criticism for his handling of the roster, but it was general manager Kyle Dubas’ responsibility to address the club’s weaknesses. I thought the additions of Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci would shore up the right side of the Leafs blueline. So far, there’s little evidence of improvement.

It’s still very early in the season and the Leafs enter this weekend with a .500 record (2-2-1). There’s plenty of time for this club to improve. But if they’re still playing .500 hockey (or worse) in a month, Babcock will bear the brunt of the blame.


  1. I think sending quick to the minors and letting him play there for awhile would restore some confedience. Having Hextall back with the king’s may also help him. Quick has spoken highly of Hextall before and maybe a punch to the arm from him could also help. I do believe his best days are way behind him, but I have a hard time believing that he’s this bad.

    • CMB might be an option for Quick if CMB thinks Korpisalo cannot handle the load.

      to LA: Korpisalo & Dubinsky & picks or Milano/prospect
      to CMB: Quick & Lewis

      LA gets a younger goalie to compete with Campbell. Dubinsky can stay on LTIR or if he does come back he only has 2 yrs left compared to Quick’s 4. LA also gets a pick or two or a young prospect to help retool.

      CMB gets a goalie (if healthy) is still a good goalie for 4 years and a cost efficient rate for starting goalie in this league. Virtually even swap in cap from Dubinsky leaving them room next year for their signings. Lewis replaces Dubinsky in the bottom 6.

      • I think this deal is horrible for Columbus. And far fetched trade in the cap era.

      • As a Kings fan I love this trade, as a realist, I agree with NY, this is horrible for Columbus.

        As much as I hate to admit it, I have a hard time seeing any team give up much, if anything, for Quick with how’s he’s been playing the last few years.

      • Quick to CBJ, plus sweetener. Then CBJ can think about this.
        But that’s my opinion.

      • Cal Petersen is almost certainly the King’s next starter. If they make a trade involving Quick, a goaltender is not likely to be the key return unless it’s a solid prospect who isn’t going to be ready for at least a few years.

        Campbell is solidly NHL ready and the team is ecstatic with him in the backup role (or filling in for a struggling Quick while he’s still on the roster) and comfortable with him getting reduced minutes. Petersen already out-competed Campbell and is starting in the minors because they want him seeing lots of minutes and don’t want him riding the bench behind Quick. Campbell is already #3 on the dept chart behind Petersen, despite Campbell being in the NHL with Petersen in the A.

        Also, it isn’t being mentioned here, but if you follow John Hoven’s coverage of the Kings (and you should if you’re a King’s fan or want to talk about them knowledgeably) you’d have a better picture of what veterans the team has been exploring moving, including Quick, and the issues they’ve faced. Hoven might be someone Spector should consider following more closely for King’s news (although he does make it difficult being majority podcast instead of print).

      • I’ve followed the Mayor for years.

  2. OK, just to be clear, what part of Barrie’s and Ceci’s past performances would lead anyone to believe that their acquisitions would “shore up the right side” if we’re talking about defense?

    There is nothing in the game of either player so far in their careers that would suggest they would contribute to a tighter D. I’m not knocking what each can contribute from an offensive aspect – but we’re talking Defense here.

    • Totally agree George! I said before the season started this defense hasn’t improved and is probably worse, Colorado couldn’t wait to move on from Barrie he is great on Offense but brutal in his own zone and ceci well he’s just not good. You can’t blame Babcock for what dubas has giving him, last year they were bottom 5 on defense and it won’t change this year

      • Barrie is a similar player to Gardiner
        Zaitsev is better defensively than Ceci but LEaf fans made him a scaregoat

        They needed to add a minute eater who could play D….

    • The only reason Ceci and Harper are Leafs property was to get rid of Zaitzev’s contract. They even threw in Conner Brown to make it happen. Ceci will not be a Leaf beyond this season. Trying to get the bad scent of playing for the Senators off him so they can trade him
      He got blamed for situations he couldn’t control. Looks like they have it straightened out now. To bad he couldn’t have been there for the turn around.

      • Zaitzev asked to be traded which did not make him a scaregoat or a scapegoat. I agree with some of comments about this not being a huge improvement over last year’s blue line. For the past 3 years all Leafs needed was a stay at home type which usually comes cheap like Leddy.

    • BABKOOK IS JUST 1 OF MANY- over priced Leaf player/coach(s)…
      They have many, I loved seeing DET dump him.
      He is extremely arrogant, anyone who has seen the guy in person, can attest to it.

      Mike Commodore said it best:

      Tyson Barrie & Cody Ceci are never going to be part of a “new & improved D corps”…

      • @ The En4Sir : Wow…there’s no mistaking his thoughts on Babcock there. Makes you wonder if the current team isn’t tanking to get rid of him if Mike Commodore and his thoughts aren’t ringing true with the current roster.

    • George, you must be a carpenter cuz u just nail things!

  3. It is not too early to fire Babcock ….it is too late. He should have been removed after the last play offs and before the restructuring of the roster so that the new guy could have input.

    As for this year someone should have considered firing or censuring him for the way he treated Spezza. My opinion is that you have a 19 year player signed on for the minimum has his four daughters and parents ready to watch the season, he is in the line up no matter what. Myth and history should mean more than it does to Babcock (IMO).

    When a Leaf fan writes about the Marner contract or Babcock. It is not panic. It is writing retrospectively about errors in recent decision making. These errors to this Leaf fan cause a sense of ruefulness not panic. After all it has been a few years since we have been close to the golden ring. Most Leaf fans have adjusted to reality and panic is a thing for car accidents or house fires..

  4. I know it’s early on in the season, but you can bury yourself by November. I think staying .500 won’t kill you through the first couple of months, but piling up losses in October and November could be a disastrous hole you won’t get out of… especially if some teams like Buffalo continue to surprise.

    I know someone will bring up St. Louis here. St. Louis was a team I thought should have been a top team in the west right out of the gate. They played well under their potential imo early on.
    And for every St. Louis type of example, I’ll give you 100 teams that didn’t share the same good fortune.

  5. Tim Micallef brought up an interesting point of view yesterday on their show stating that since the players have been substituted and the results are the same, perhaps it’s the system itself thats flawed.

    However, Barrie=Gardiner, Zaitsev=Ceci, and Hainsey is better than Ben Harpur who wasn’t good enough to make the team according to Babcock. Oddly enough, he’s the only player they had with any jam.

  6. There have been lots of interesting success stories in the league & division over the past few years, regular season. The Jerks last year. The Lightning. Florida has made the playoffs a couple of times. Both Montreal, with arguably the best goaltender to build around, and Toronto, with arguably the best player to build around, have not had the expected level of success. One could easily conclude that those are, by some margin, the two hardest markets to build a winner in….in today’s NHL

    • I’m sorry did you just say Toronto had the best player to build around? Arguably by who? there is no debate the best player in the game is Connor McDavid.
      Furthermore I’m not 100% convinced that John Tavares is the best player on Toronto never mind the league.

      • Mcdavid is the undisputed best right now but I suspect it will be up for debate at seasons end when Matthews pots 60.

      • Cough Crosby cough.

      • Chrism “cough Crosby cough” Is he getting a rectal exam?

      • Matthews throws up 60? I can only assume you mean Mr Brittle makes it to 60 games, lol.

        60…to funny….

      • Biased canadians. Crosby is not even as good as Ovechkin and never has been

      • Wendal,
        He’s not Canadian (Chrism) he’s a penguins fan. Crosby is a hell of a player. But doesn’t belong in the conversation of best player to build around. Certainly not at 32. Unless you plan on building a team overnight which is typically not the case.

        A lot of players could be mentioned here, none over 30. I’d probably take Mackinnon over Mcdavid. He’s a guy that will put up 100 points for half of Mcdavids price tag. That leaves a hell of a lot more room to surround him with talent .

      • Is that whole cough thing real with rectal exams? I’ve avoided the finger so far but I gotta feeling my tome is coming

      • The cough is for your nads…. this is usually done periodically from 5 years old and on…. you got the wrong side!

      • If someone is having you cough during a rectal exam….it may be the janitor! Check his license next time!

      • Never to me! Wait. Should I feel grateful and relieved… or somehow neglected?

        Props on nads though. Ain’t heard that in a long time.

      • Just make sure he buys you a drink the 1st time.

    • Just curious as to why you say Toronto is one of the hardest markets to build a winner in? Year after year we hear of all these superstars want to come home to play with the Leafs. They all want to be the one to end the Cup drought. In the end it seems like they care more about the money than actually winning the Cup.
      I wonder now that if the NHL was like the NFL where players restructure contracts to help the team, would any of the players do it? Would Tavares (who’s made nearly $65m) take a $4m cut in salary to bring in an actual defensive dman?

      • The nfl players don’t actually take less money. It’s just allocated differently in signing bonuses and such.

      • NHL players can also be turfed if they don’t produce at the rate they’re being paid to do.

  7. Yes , I guess the Leafs should play Spezza because he is Jason Spezza. We should make sure all the old players have a place to play. The young talented players should have to wait till the old players retire. The old players should be able to do a couple victory laps. What does it matter if you were responsible for 3 or 4 goals last game. His daughters and family are wanting to watch him play.

    • Agree Vinnie, no entitlement it’s professional sport. I might change my mind if his whole career was in Toronto.

    • Didn’t Babcock sit Spezza for the home opener and get roasted by some in the media for it?
      Leafs will be fine IMO (If Anderson stays healthy). Are they a well balanced team that can contend for the cup? I don’t think so, but I am guessing they add the D help at the TDL.
      I am guessing 2nd or 3rd in division.
      Babcock didn’t forget how to coach all of a sudden.

      • No, not all of a sudden, he has forgotten how to coach for the last 8 of 9 playoffs series he has been out prepared and out coached in.

      • How so Wendel?

      • He doesn’t manage his most important player’s games (andersen) to be rested and ready for a long playoff run, he continually ran out the most predictable PP set up in NHL rendering them useless, he played his top 3 centers on same PP unit so Bruins could run out Bergeron line against Gauthier right afterwards, he played his best forwards 5 + minutes less than any competent coach would, he had gauthier line playing in 3rd period, he put there 2nd worst forward Marleau out as the extra man and he didnt even wait until the Leafs had possession to do it……for starters.

      • You can point to the PP Wendel, Leafs were 3 for 16 and the Bruins were 7 for 16. But you mention it was after the PP that killed them.
        Is that all on Babcock? Nah, at least I don’t think so. Bruins executed better. To me that is the players, not the system.

  8. Talking head here in Winnipeg stated it’s Babcock that Dubas has done his job he got the boys signed and now it’s up to Babcock.
    Personally I think that is very short sighted thinking, yes he got the players signed but he is also responsible for constructing the team and the big question “Is the team constructed properly?” The answer is to early and we’ll have to wait and see.

    • This team is a solid RD to play with Rielly instead of Ceci and a backup goalie upgrade away from having the best roster in the NHL. But they will still go nowhere until Babcock is fired.

      • Leafs are far too “top heavy”, need depth prior to- and especially come playoff time.

        A.Matthews, Nylander & Marner will all either be hobbled or silenced- when the real hockey starts.

        Leafs fans will blow their proverbial “Wad”, much sooner, than not

      • To say the leafs are 2 upgrades away from bein the best roster in the nhl is way overrating the team! Tb has a far deeper forward group and far better dmen on paper but paper don’t matter in the playoffs and both teams need improvement in different areas

  9. Coach’s don’t care where you are from or who is watching. If you don’t that you have not been around the game

    I thought Buffalo was going to surprise last year. Watched them twice already and they are solid. Montour will be back and Sheary had a good start and will be back. They are using Midlestadt and Olofsson properly. Barring a rash of injuries they will be in the fight for a playoff spot

  10. Yes….

    Spezza gets to play one game not because he is Spezza but because he has 19 years in the league….and one early game means nothing in the grand scheme of things….

    In fact treating players with respect just might get you the respect of other players and contribute to team building…..not coach fearing …the days of fear of coach as motivating factor diminished greatly with the millionaire hockey player and the powerful agent

    Just one fan’s opinion…….

    • Old Blue dog I have to disagree with you, the early games are just as important. You need points to get in the playoffs and jockey for the best position in the standings.
      Babcock owed nothing to Spezza and it was Spezza job to make the decision difficult for Babcock to sit him.

      • And Babcock thought an LA/Ottawa/Calgary reject and refugee from the KHL (Shore) in the line-up put them in a better position to win that game than did Spezza?

    • Who is Babcock supposed to play instead of Spezza?
      It’s not like he is sitting Kadri to make room for him. If you are going to judge his decision would you not have to make the case that his replacement is a better option?
      Would playing Nick Shore vs. Spezza really be a difference maker for the Leafs?
      Someone needs to explain to me why that is the case otherwise this is a big story about nothing.

  11. Like in all pro sports, Boobcock will be sacrificed long before Vyle Dumbass is forced to fall on the sword.

    • Rub Bull, are you having trouble with your spell check.

      • Vinnie,

        Nope, seams lyke my spellchek werks fyne. No problim at awl.

    • Dubas needs to realize that Ujiri had the guts to fire a coach and trade a star he knew he couldn’t win it all with and all Dubas has to do is fire a coach that has lost 8 of his last 9 playoff series and replace with Keefe.

  12. Pretty sure it wasnt Boobcock that overpaid Nylander, Matthews and Marner. That and the resulting lack of cap space lies solely on Dumbass and his boss Shanascam.

    Leafs have above average top 6 forwards. Below average bottom 3, subpar defence a slightly above average goalie but a complete pylon as the backup.

    No cap space to use at the deadline and no 1st round pick to use in any deal. Outside of their top 6 forwards, Barrie and Anderson who is anybody going to want to trade for?

    As for the Spezza fiasco. Its about respect. Boobcock should have dressed him for the home opener then sat him out.

    Going to be yet another 2nd or 3rd place finish followed by yet another humiliating first round playoff exit. As soon as the calendar hits April and the NHL starts playing mens hockey instead of pond hockey the Leafs will pull their annual springtime disappearing act.

    • Boobcock, in his dealings with Spezza I wouldn’t expect any less from him just look at Mike Modano’s 1499 nhl games and Boobcock healthy scratched him for the final 3 games of his last year so he couldn’t get to 1500

  13. Well you maybe right, so it should make it easy on the Leaf haters to nit pick.
    3 years ago they were Last.
    3 straight playoff appearances since.
    Improvement continues, Sandin looks good. Dermott will help as well.
    3 playoff losses were to Washington and twice to Boston. Mediocre teams I guess.
    Seems maybe the knowledge on this site is lacking more than what the Leafs are missing.
    Maybe next time Babcock will let Spezza play if Ottawa agrees to let him score a hat trick.
    After all his legend was built in Ottawa.
    Oh yeah they chased him away too. Like Alfredsson, Karlsson, Yashin , Lalime, Heatley ,Hoffman ,

    • Pretty easy for the leafs lovers to overrate their team,players,coach and gm you ca their hockey knowledge in leaf land is lacking more than the toughness the leafs are………just saying

    • I don’t get the whole “leaf hater “ thing? Aren’t teams supposed to have success for “haters” ? Patriots, Yankees, the Cowboys in their day, the 49ers in their day etc. Jesus, you’d have to be 70+ years old to remember anything the leafs accomplished!

      They haven’t done enough to create a hater following!

      Urban dictionary

      A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

      • There ya go. Well said.

  14. The only thing I know is that the leafs are never as bad as the hype and never as good as the hype. This works for individual players and for the team as a whole.

    • Absolutely correct

    • 2.0

      👍😁 concur wholeheartedly

      “never as bad as the hype and never as good as the hype”… my wife used those words in her wedding vows right after she said that other stuff about honour, obey , and worship …. yadda yadda yadda

      I just said “yes honey” and “I do”…. 3 plus decades later I’m an aging confused dough-head equally cheering for two NHL teams…. I can guarantee that I was never; nor will ever be; “as good as the hype”


  15. It is not too early to fire Babcock. It is 5 regular season games and 7 playoff games late…and counting. He is a dinosaur.

  16. Trying not to get too pedantic, but use of “.500 hockey” is only for old farts like me who were around before overtime points became a thing.

    .500 is not average in today’s NHL, it’s far below, due to giving opponents overtime points.

    82 points last year (aka .500) was good enough for 22nd out of 31 in the league. That record missed the playoffs by a whopping 16 points.

    They were much closer to 30th overall than making the playoffs.

    Pundits/people need to stop gauging .500 as a measure of even close to respectability; it’s actually a record of crisis. Maybe not after five games, but it is a terrible record. If you played .500 for 2-3 months, you’d almost certainly miss the playoffs.

  17. George, I would say they have been better with Shore in the line up , Spezza played last two games both losses. They need a little more toughness than he can provide. He is a skill player. A good depth signing.
    Geez, they couldn’t move him out of Ottawa quick enough because he turned the puck over all the time.
    Your memory seems to be slipping.

    • The point is spezza or shore aren’t changing anything in the first game of the season both 4 th line plugs

  18. RIP Ted Green.
    He was a fine player, and a better man.

  19. Been mostly out of the Spector’s site loop for the last week and a bit due to work

    I wanted to quickly thrown in my 2 cents (1 cent in US) worth

    Are Leafs in a predicament …. nope…. it’s 5 games in…. this level of production at US Thanksgiving and not ours…. then ur talking issues

    Will Leafs win cup this year …. nope… I’ve been consistent in my posts that Leafs Window is ‘21 – ‘24…. and D must be improved …. this can be addressed next July … I still say moving WW for a top 3 D who has a lower cap ; has term and is in mid 20’s is the route to go

    Dubas or Babcock in danger of losing their job right now …. nope. If Leafs are still at the 500 level come US thanksgiving … I think Dubas should at least consider moving on from Babcock …. Codicil to my point … a Freddy pro-longed injury …. that’s out of Babcock’s control

    Should Spezza have played instead of Shore opening … this was the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen… it’s Babcock’s right as coach to sit whoever he wants… that said …. a bonehead ; rude; disrespectful and disgusting thing to do. Even if Babcock thought Shore was a better player …. I don’t BTW; at the very most it is imperceptibly better ; and it’s for a bottom 6 position so this minor difference in ability wasn’t going to (a didn’t ) make a difference in the result of the opening game.

    Spezza signed at League min and came “home”. Opening game against the team he was drafted 2 nd overall to and played 11 years for; has > 300 goals; almost 600 assists; > 900 points.

    Shore …. a journeyman with just over 230 NHL games and 50 points …. who went through 3 teams last year had 5 goals and 19 points…. played just over 8 minutes in the opener …. instead of dressing Spezza??????

    If this is any game but the home opener … and coach TRULY TRULY believes Shore is the man and will be more of a positive impact than Spezza …. Shore in ; Spezza out …. coach’s decision …. can’t argue

    Not playing Spezza in the opener made me cringe and I was very upset. VERY

    I have normally backedBabcock …. he lost a great deal of respect IMHO ; with that move

    Nanaimowill above stated that Babcock sat Madano for his final 3 games ; sticking him at 1,499…. I didn’t know that…. if true …. also a Brutal stunt

    I believe Madano is (still as of this posting) the best US hockey player ever…. way too early to state that for Mathews.

    I also believe right now; that Spezza is better than Shore; I do

    Setting aside those personal viewpoints ….

    Sitting Spezza in the opener; and if true re MM….. holding him in the stands to finish at 1,499 games ….. completely wrong moves



    • Well said Pengy.

      I agree 100%.

      There are a few players who could fill us in on Babweiner’s true self.

      He appears to get off on showing well respected veterans that they’re not bigger than the game, all the while putting himself on the same pedestal he won’t allow others to stand on.

      He’s a big dink. I’ve never played for him myself, but some of the lads who have will tell you the same.

      • I never played for him either shoreorrpark, but I met him once on a golf course deck back in Sask. Seemed like a pretty normal guy in that setting. Also some relatives have a place not far from his in the same area and run into him during the summer. They say he is a decent guy. Likes to have a laugh.
        Does seem a little preachy much of the time.
        Coaches aren’t paid to be players friends, but to win hockey games. Scotty Bowman was despised by his players and was pretty successful.
        Times have changed and coaches have a shelf life, perhaps his best before date has passed in Toronto.
        I still think the Leafs will be fine and Babcock will get them going.

  20. Babs needs to get smarter, sitting vets ,playing younger guys with less experience is plain dumb. He has a history of dissing older players. If this doesn’t change direction in 20 games, give him his walking papers.

    • If Babcock and vigneault had a kid, he’d be the perfect coach!

      • Haha.