NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2019

by | Oct 7, 2019 | Rumors | 20 comments

Updates on several 2020 RFAs, some Coyotes speculation, and the latest on Joshua Ho-Sang in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: The recent re-signings of Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot, Arizona’s Clayton Keller, and Colorado’s Samuel Girard left Pierre LeBrun wondering if those moves were a reaction to this summer’s RFA signings. Negotiations to re-sign notable youngsters coming off entry-level contracts dragged on throughout the off-season. Some, such as Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, weren’t resolved until the final week of the preseason.

Will the New York Islanders re-sign Mathew Barzal before next summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

LeBrun believes there have been preliminary talks between the New York Islanders and center Mathew Barzal, the Columbus Blue Jackets and center Pierre-Luc Dubois, the New Jersey Devils and center Nico Hischier, and the Montreal Canadiens and defenseman Victor Mete.

It could only be a matter of time until the Blackhawks open talks with Dylan Strome. Meanwhile, it could take until season’s end before discussions open between the Tampa Bay Lightning and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, the St. Louis Blues and rearguard Vince Dunn, and the Boston Bruins and winger Jake DeBrusk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those RFA talks could be determined by how much salary-cap space those teams carry for next season. As per Cap Friendly, the Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Devils, and Islanders have more cap space to work with for 2020-21. They can afford to pursue new deals during the season for their notable free agents.

The value of the player is another factor. Barzal, Dubois, and Hischier are all first-line centers. That makes them more valuable to their respective clubs and a priority to re-sign.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked if the Arizona Coyotes might trade Alex Goligoski this season. The 34-year-old defenseman’s no-movement clause has now become a modified no-trade.

Morgan doesn’t think they Coyotes have any desire to trade Goligoski. That might change if they’re out of playoff contention by the February trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Goligoski has an eight-team no-trade list. That give the Coyotes some room to maneuver if they wish to shop him later this season. He’s signed through 2020-21 but his $5.45 million annual salary-cap hit could be a sticking point.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins weighed in on why the Oilers didn’t pluck Joshua Ho-Sang off waivers from the New York Islanders last week. He feels the only way Ho-Sang could help the Oilers is if he played as a top-six forward, something the winger hasn’t been able to do at the NHL or AHL levels.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay that’s the reason why Ho-Sang passed unclaimed through waivers last week. I’ve read some comments suggesting he’s an affordable gamble but that’s a view that doesn’t seem to be shared by NHL general managers. The fact he’s almost begging for a club to take a chance on him says all we need to know about his value in the trade market. 


  1. Alright. When are those original 6 teams going to finally trash those ugly sweaters and logos of there’s and get something new? I mean come on already! Spruce things up a bit.

    • When their jerseys are no longer the top sellers in the league. LOL

    • When the Steelers burn their bumblebee uniforms!😜

  2. Ho-Sang is a line 3 forward for now but at less than 1M for 1 year, why wouldn’t you take a chance? He is eligible to be sent to the AHL. A team could ease him in and if he doesn’t work back to AHL or cut him. The Isles are paying 1M to Johnson who will never see the ice. What could they ask in compensation? A 5th or 6rd pick at best.

    • One conclusion is – his reputation precedes him and he’s simply not seen as good enough to bother with his attitude.

      • That’s a good point George…personality can really matter in team sports. Teams will put up with a certain amount for a difference maker on the ice. Ho Sang has not proven that he is that difference maker. I don’t know that Ho Sang has a troublesome personality, but if he is that would explain a lot.

        Has he even proven that he can be an effective 3rd line player at the NHL level? I don’t think he has.

  3. Have to wonder if the pens might start making some trades to get some picks for a very deep draft next year, malkin and bjugstad are out long term and they don’t have the depth to make up for those loses aswell as no kessel. They need picks because their prospect pool is the worst in the league

    • they can ask for HoSang lol

      • Lol! That might work……….but really they need some good prospects every pool ranking has them in the bottom 5

  4. Pengy.. time for HoSang for JJ yet? lol

    • I suspect Pengy is in recovery after learning that Bjustad and Malkin are out for a significant amount of time.

  5. Pens should offer Bjugstad to Ottawa for Pageau.

    The Sens move Pageau’s $3.1 million while insurance covers Bjugstad’s* $4.1 million.

    Pens get a 3C in Pageau and move McCann into Geno’s spot.

    *Not sure how insurance works with a traded player, but assuming the policy goes with him.

    • If Pageau is going anywhere it won’t be for a Bjugstad-type deal. To what end? Not unless a high pick comes with him.

      • It isn’t as if they need the cap space – and while Melnyk might be a cheapskate, he isn’t THAT bad.

  6. ummm… Islanders are not an original 6 team. In fact they aren’t even the first wave of NHL expansion either.

    • Have I missed something? Where does anyone suggest the NYI are an original 6 team?

  7. So Malkins iron man streak has finally come to an end. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    • Ha!

  8. Namestikov to the Sens, sorry George!

    • Ennh. $3,250,000 with NY holding back 750,000 – and he’s a UFA next year. They had the space – NY needed it. Maybe hooking up with fellow Russians Zaitsev, Anisimov and Abramov lights a bit of a fire under his ass. The kids – Batherson and Chlapik – clearly need more AHL seasoning.