NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2019

by | Nov 20, 2019 | Rumors | 48 comments

The latest on the Leafs, Flames, and Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Bob McKenzie doesn’t believe the struggling Calgary Flames are considering replacing Bill Peters as head coach. He reports general manager Brad Treliving is trying to shake things up with a trade but there’s nothing imminent on that front.

Darren Dreger said there’s ongoing speculation over the availability of certain players like Mark Jankowski, Oliver Kylington and Michael Frolik. He also suggests the possibility of moving defenseman Travis Hamonic as the trade deadline creeps closer, though they could also retain him if they’re a playoff club by that point. Hamonic is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Tyson Barrie’s poor start could make it difficult for the Toronto Maple Leafs to move him (Photo via NHL Images).

The Leafs ongoing struggles raised questions about coach Mike Babcock’s future in Toronto. McKenzie doesn’t believe the Toronto Maple Leafs are predisposed to a coaching change in-season. However, the Leafs can’t afford many more games like their 6-1 loss on Saturday to Pittsburgh.

THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle wonders what the Leafs will do with Tyson Barrie as his poor start continues to worsen. The defenseman’s recent play and tiny salary ($2.75 million) makes it hard for the cap-strapped Leafs to get a decent return. Mirtle suggests a deal for Colin Miller, who seems to have fallen out of favor with the Buffalo Sabres. He also proposed a deal with another club that retains salary to get the contracts to match, pointing out the Leafs showed off-season interest in Flames rearguard TJ Brodie.

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan thinks the Leafs should address their backup goalie issues by trying to acquire Casey DeSmith or Tristan Jarry from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Greg Wyshynski suggests they should go further by flipping Barrie and a sweetener to the Penguins for fellow UFA defenseman Justin Schultz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A coaching change appears more likely in Toronto than Calgary. With the Leafs winless in six, Babcock’s future remains a hot topic. We’re also hearing more trade rumblings regarding the Flames than the Leafs, though that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t exploring the market.

Cap Friendly indicates the Flames and Leafs have limited salary-cap space. If they’re going to deal with each other, it’ll likely have to be dollar-for-dollar. Given Brodie’s recent medical scare, I don’t think he’s going anywhere for the time being. The Leafs can’t afford to take on Schultz’s $5.5 million cap hit unless the Penguins absorb a big chunk of it, which they’re unlikely to do.

The Sabres have more cap space (over $2 million) and could pick up a bit of Miller’s $3.75-milllion cap hit to get Barrie in return. But as we’ll see, they’re not in the market for a defenseman.


WGR 550: Paul Hamilton reports Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill acknowledged he’s actively seeking a forward to improve his struggling club. He also admitted the difficulty in a salary-cap world of swinging a major deal in November.

That doesn’t mean Botterill will shop a defenseman. He wants to ensure he’s got sufficient blueline depth in case injuries strike. However, they already have nine blueliners on their roster and three NHL-ready rearguards (Lawrence Pilut, Will Borgen and Casey Nelson) in the minors.

Sidelined defenseman Zach Bogosian is close to returning to the roster. That means any trades the Sabres make could be dollar-in, dollar-out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botterill might be reluctant to move a defenseman but I don’t see how he can address his need for a scoring forward without parting with a blueliner. He’s got several potential trade chips on his blueline in Miller, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Marco Scandella.



  1. Gudreau, Lucic, and a 1st round pick to NJ for Hall. NJ has the cap space to take Lucic plus sweetener while getting the younger and cheaper Johnny hockey( Jersey native) (Calgary native) Hall gives Flames upgrade at wing. 1st round pick if he signs there, becomes a 2nd if he don’t.

    • Unfortunately you’re stuck with Lucic, NJ won’t touch this deal, maybe swap in another player who can play.

    • I like the trade but I think Calgary has to have hall locked up long term before the trade

      • Johnny’s contract is reasonable. Taylor’s new deal won’t be unless it is where he wants to play. Different dynamics as players but interesting basis for a deal. Flames need to shake it up. Tkachuk Lindholm and Hannifin are untouchable . I think everyone else could be arranged.

      • True. Looking at what I wrote, Nj isn’t getting JG unless Hall agrees to extension. I do think Devils could take Lucic with understanding he will be bought out at end of season. They have space and adding a draft pick would make it worth it.

    • Why Hall?
      Gaudreau is cheaper, scores more, and is more durable than Hall.
      I think the Flames should be looking to add to their top 6, not trading from it.
      IMO A tough top 6 veteran player who can add some life into a game is what the Flames needs. If the Flames can somehow add a player like Voracek without subtracting Lindholm, Gaudreau, Monahan, or Tkachuk from their roster, that will help the team a lot.

      • You can have Voracek. Flyers would love to deal him but they would need JG in return. They would love to bring JG home.

    • Good for him to see that he needs help. Prey that he comes back in good health and and spirits.
      Getting clean only helped Kassian and Hall’s career, hope that it does the same or Ryan.

      • Concur KevJam…. good to see he is getting help and hoping for success

        You mentioned getting clean ….I’ve no idea if it is a substance abuse issue… the program also covers mental health issues (an issue that I support wholeheartedly)

        Regardless …. Complete/fulsome and Speedy recovery Bobby

      • Perhaps it is not a drug / substance issue. He has had a rough life outside of hockey. Could be anxiety or perhaps he is battling depression….can happen to anyone. Hope he heals. He sounds like a genuinely good person.

  2. How much will it take for ANY team to take Lucic off the hands of the Flames?
    Or maybe that’s just impossible?
    Surely not.
    Nothing is impossible, right???
    Well, maybe not.

    • It took giving a 1st round pick for Dubes to get Marleau off his hands, and Marleau is still a good serviceable NHLer. So it’s not impossible, but won’t be easy.

    • I’m sure Jersey would swap Schnieder for Lucic

    • Think it will take Pittsburgh shipping out Hornqvist AND Jack Johnson lol….. that is what it would take to take Lucic back lol

    • Holland was able to trade him for a guy that’s already got 13g/17pts. Can’t be that hard hahahaha

  3. It was rumoured a little ways back that LA were looking to trade Toffoli. Can’t remember what they were rumoured wanting for him, but does Buffalo seem like a good partner for a Toffoli trade? He seems like the type of forward that Buffalo is looking for.

    • I think I might have read somewhere that a second round pick might get you Toffoli but then again I’m old so my memory might be off. Buffalo needs to make a $4$ trade being they are in cap hell till next year.

      If Toronto were interested in Miller would they be willing to give up Kapanen in return and the Sabres holding around 350k to keep the money even?
      Miller has 2 yrs left after this year so Toronto doesn’t have to worry about a new contract. Both teams satisfy their needs.

  4. PENGY…Thoughts on maybe this move for the Penguins..

    To Pittsburgh Winger 27 Tyler Toffoli UFA next year $4.6 million and Defense man 32 Alec Martinez $4.0 million $8.6 million to Pittsburgh

    To Los Angeles C/Wing 25 Alex Galchenyuk UFA next year $4.9 million and Defense man 32 Jack Johnson $3.2 million $8.1 million to Pittsburgh…. maybe we add a little???


    teams exchange 32 year old defenseman and young talented forwards in their 20’s…

    • LA kings get ripped off large in that deal

      Galchenyuk & JJ wont nab you those players mentioned above from LA…

    • BlackNGold

      If you can pull that trade off …. HUGE HUGE HUGE increase in team performance

      GMJR could absolutely NOT refuse that deal

      That said …. I can’t fathom LA even taking the call on that proposal

      The Tiffoli/G-Chuck flip
      the s basketball calls a change of scenery flip of players underperforming value

      The Martinez for JJ (3 more years after this) is GM suicide for LA

      I ranted in morning coffee re JJ’s absolutely horrific performance last night;

      Unfortunately that trade wouldn’t fly for LA even if it was proposed by Jimbo the second after JJ scored his first goal in eons last week

      Your proposal would need a sweetener of at least Rust and Pens can ill afford that

      When Tanger back …. waive JJ and hold tight with current roster …. if serious slide …. possible trade then …. under no circumstances should they part with Jarry…., cheapest back up in the league …. and has the highest save percentage


      GO PENS GO

      • Friggin auto-correct

        “the s basketball calls”

        s/b “basically”

      • Like i said we could add if you read it…….

        what would be your suggestion.

        Galchenyuk is immensely talented and would fit better with a slower more physical team he is only 25 and scored 30 goals 3 years ago..

        Toffoli is also good but last year eeehhhhh

        Martinez isn’t the Martinez of the cup years in LA and he isn’t physical at all.

        Johnson well he is jack Johnson that’s why we add..but he has played a bit better..

      • Pengy…Maybe we add a draft pick or Zack Aston Reese

      • Pengy i was talking to end 4 sire telling him to read not you…LOL

      • Hi BlackNGold


        sorry did see that; I wasn’t trying to be snide… just so upset after last night and friggin JJ 🙁

        It will have to be substantial as the meathead JJ is in the deal

        After last night’s performance— I’m sure other GMs saw it… it will cost even more

        So… a better plan might be to waive JJ — freeing up $1.08 M

        Then a G-Chuck, ZAR, and probably Laffy would be needed for Martinez and Tiffoli

        If Bjug had stayed healthy and produced… the penultimate would have been

        Bjug for Soussy and Dewar

        I would love to see what it would take for JGP

        If the Minn trade above I suggested had worked… those two could have been flipped for JGP and likely a mid rounder…..

        the net effect being ….trading Bjug for JGP plus say Ottawa’s 4th… not too shabby

        With G-chuck under preforming; Bjug out again injured long term; and injuries to Sid, Tanger and Horny weakening the team… to get any improvement to the team; they are forgoing valuable young assets which they should not do

        Tradeable with not as much impact:

        G-Chuck— perhaps a straight swap for Tiffoli (change of scenery)– LA gets 2 years younger and has term with G-Chuck; Tiffoli just might come in gangbusters.

        ZAR– but what does he get in return

        1st in ’20… not giving that up right now

        Laffy — what does that get the team in return

        Blueger … a little more impact… what does that get them

        Poulin— what does that get them— and they shouldn’t be trading him

        Legere— ditto

        Would Stevie Y bite on
        ZAR, Ruhweedel, 3rd (’21)

        for Green at 50% retained?

        Waive JJ, bring up Trottman


        and then maybe a tweak change of scenery — G-Chuck for Tiffoli

        Fingers crossed

        Go Pens Go

      • En4sir read that quite nicely bng. And it was ludicrous.

    • Sorry BlacknGold but that is just horrible. In no way, shape or form does that trade benefit LA.

      First off, Martinez and JJ are not equals. Martinez still holds value, unlike JJ. LA will most likely be able to land a 2nd or 3rd rounder for him.

      As for TT for Galchenyuk, LA is rebuilding, they will want picks/ prospects, not another UFA. Especially one that holds less value on the market, like Galchenyuk.

      • Canadien king…I get what you are saying so what if we added young

        Zack Aston Reese
        a 2nd round or 3rd round draft pick
        to Galchenyuk

        Galchenyuk has had 3 assists in the last 4 games and had some good looks to score….he did score 30 goals a couple seasons back, and is only 25, and he has only played 10 games with his new team due to injury!… he had a good pre-season until the injury

        Your right J.J is not Martinez But the kings don’t need him to be, they need a 3rd pairing defender (which in the slower western conference J.J can do).

        Martinez is also 32 and not what he once was in the Kings Cup years EITHER OTHERWISE HE AND tOFFOLI’S NAME WOULD BE IN THE RUMOR MILL…

      • “Galchenyuk has had 3 assists in the last 4 games and had some good looks to score….he did score 30 goals a couple seasons back, and is only 25, and he has only played 10 games with his new team due to injury!… he had a good pre-season until the injury”

        So why do you want to trade him if you think he’s on the verge of busting out?

  5. Re:

    “Emily Kaplan thinks the Leafs should address their backup goalie issues by trying to acquire Casey DeSmith or Tristan Jarry from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Greg Wyshynski suggests they should go further by flipping Barrie and a sweetener to the Penguins for fellow UFA defenseman Justin Schultz.”

    My two fav teams in these proposals so looking at it realistically …,
    Greg … GMJR should say no thanks… Barrie struggling (Pens already have a seriously struggling DMan and Shultz this year much better than Barrie)

    Hi Emily … in any goalie deal … Pens need at least an AHL goalie back… moving day DeSmith …. then if Murray or Jarry gets injured … serious problem…. I think Pens should sit tight right now with their G situation

    ….. and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE no one suggest JJ to the Leafs ….. for me one migraine replaced by another

    I still say that Leafs big moves need to be next July and should make no moves no w that trade youth/prospects/futures for older players (with or w/o term)

    Pens need not panic …. when Tanger is back; sit JJ …. the team is plugging OK otherwise…. no one will take Bjug right now (IR) and I’m not sure what the return would be for G-Chuck

    • Justin Schultz is better and cheaper than Tyson Barrie…no deal..

      we have enough offensive defense man that cant find the defensive side of center ice without a GPS…

      • OKI Doki BlackNGold

        Here is my wingdinger for the day— 3 way

        To Leafs
        Anderson (50% retained)

        To Sens

        To Pens
        Hutch (replaces DeSmith in WBS)
        J.G. Pageau (50 % retained)
        3rd (’21 Leafs)
        2nd (’20 from Sens— highest numbered pick from Dal, Clb, Sens)

        Net to Leafs
        Flip Hutch, Petan, 3rd in ’21 for Anderson (at 50%); Note: with sending Kiskisuo to Marlies—net Cap hit for balance of year is about $160 K

        Net to Sens
        Reduction in Cap and cash of about $900 K
        Anderson (UFA) and JGP (UFA) and a 2nd get… DeSmith, ZAR, Petan (all with term)

        Net to Pens
        Decrease in Cap space left avail.— about $1.8M pro-rated amount (they have this space) and get Pageau (UFA) ; Hutch (UFA-WBS); 2nd and 3rd for ZAR and DeSmith

        …. but it will never happen

    • PENGY… How much term is left on Green’s contract ?

      Is he a UFA next year? Your proposal is quiet interesting…

      Detroit could use Zack Aston Reese
      Chad Rudwhedel is serviceable if he gets playing time..

      Detroit’s D isn’t good Rudwhedel could help bottom pairing and a 3rd round pick…doable

      • Babcock a goner

      • Keene new head coach in Toronto

      • Maybe Calgary will now fire Peters and hire Babcock!

      • I could see Calgary making a coaching change soon as well… they are awful and 2 ex flames playing very well on another team… hmmm

      • Keefe. Damn auto correct

      • Isn’t it true George that if Babcock takes another coaching job he is out the last 4 years of his contract? Leafs still have to pay him if he isn’t coaching I think. I certainly would wait some time and for the perfect opportunity if I was Babcock

      • Ya Chrisms, it will have to pay well for him to take it.
        Or he may just spend the summer at Christopher Lake, and chill.

      • Slick62

        I hate that friggin Soto-correct too

        Got flooded with texts on train on way home

        I don’t foresee a Berube type of turnaround …. but there will be better days ahead

  6. End to end who wins race

    Lucic or Chara

  7. Babcock gone..

    Chara wins the race he is taller and longerthan Lucic both timed with a sun dial…

    • If they fought at the end who wins that? I’ll take Chara in that one too.

      • Lol

  8. Is it true George.
    Makes you think of the loonie tune cartoon.
    I call him George I’ll love him squeeze him and love him forever.

  9. George O…Don’t really want to trade Galchenyuk…but we need another top 4 defender and with Bgjustad out longer term he is our best trade chip.

    Defense wins in the playoffs and to beat Boston, Islanders capitals, Tampa in a 7 game series you have to play defense..