NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2019

by | Nov 21, 2019 | Rumors | 57 comments

The latest on Johnny Gaudreau and Ilya Kovalchuk plus updates on the Sabres and Wild in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said he’d be astonished if the Calgary Flames traded Johnny Gaudreau at this time. There is concern over how the 26-year-old winger is playing this season, but no desire to make a rash move. Friedman believes Flames general manager Brad Treliving will try to breathe some life into his struggling club. It won’t be easy because of their limited salary-cap space.

Should the Philadelphia Flyers make a pitch for Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau? (Photo via NHL Images)

With players such as Mark Jankowski struggling, Treliving would be selling low. Veteran winger Michael Frolik’s been available for a while. Defenseman Oliver Kylington could be an interesting trade possibility. Friedman doubts head coach Bill Peters’ job is in jeopardy.

THE ATHLETIC: Darren Haynes wonders if it is time for the Flames to consider trading Gaudreau. He considers the pros and cons of such a move. While trading Gaudreau could be difficult to pull off right now, Haynes thinks it’s at least worth exploring.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Sam Carchidi believes the Flyers should make a pitch for Gaudreau if he’s available. He believes winger, who has roots in South Jersey, would be a good fit, providing their core with some much-needed speed and scoring.

Carchidi considers Gaudreau’s contract ($6.75 million annually through 2021-22) as manageable. It would cost a lot to acquire him but he’d be worth parting with some high draft picks. Carchidi also suggested including Jakob Voracek or James van Riemsdyk in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Flames can get a player of equal or greater value, shopping Gaudreau would be a huge overreaction. Maybe he and his teammates are suffering from some complacency after last season’s strong regular-season play. Perhaps he’s nursing an undisclosed injury that’s affecting his performance. Maybe he’s distracted by a personal matter.

Gaudreau’s coming off a career-high 99-point performance last season. Yes, his production is down but he’s tied with Sean Monahan for second among Flames scorers. He’s also not the only Flame having trouble finding the back of the net this season.

Unless Gaudreau’s unhappy playing in Calgary, I don’t believe he should be shopped or made the whipping boy for the Flames’ underwhelming team play this season.


SPORTSNET: Friedman also reported the Buffalo Sabres are facing a roster crunch as they’re sitting NHL-caliber defensemen like Colin Miller and Marco Scandella. Sidelined blueliner Zach Bogosian is also close to returning, which will have salary-cap implications. GM Jason Botterill is in the market for a forward. Friedman considers it difficult for Botterill to get a good deal when other teams see their situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botterill is probably shopping one of his defensemen in hopes of landing a forward who can bolster their struggling offense. Miller seems to have fallen out of favor and could be available. Scandella will become an unrestricted free agent next summer and likely doesn’t fit into their plans. Bogosian’s injury history hurts his trade value.

Rasmus Ristolainen frequently appeared in the off-season rumor mill after requesting a trade, but he’s reportedly enjoying playing under new coach Ralph Krueger. He lacks no-trade protection and could be their best trade chip to land that scoring forward.

Friedman also reports Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is “doing a lot of legwork on the value of his players.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been rumored Wild forwards Kevin Fiala, Ryan Donato, and Joel Eriksson Ek are available. They probably don’t have much value in the trade market. Fiala and Eriksson Ek have shown some improvement of late, but likely not enough to entice a lot of interest.





  1. Cgy ….. Right now, I can’t envision any trade (in which you move Johnny Hockey) that you win

    For sure the return will be lower than expected right now.

    Don’t worry …. he’ll swing back into form

    Of all listed today as possible trades … I like Scands….. they’ve been sitting him?

    What’s it cost? He’s UFA

    ZAR & a late rounder????

    waive JJ

    Net effect in Cap pro-rated is about $1.4 M and they have that….. done and done

    Would Botteril do

    G-Chuck for

    Scands & Chi Chi’s little brother Evan?

    • Hope so….I have been saying Scandella for weeks and weeks he fits the Penguins..he and Colin Miller (who has been a healthy scratch are available) either would work like Scandella better…

      ZAR plus a pick…???

      Would have like to move Bjugstad but he is out longer term.

      maybe G-chuck like you said pengy! i hate to give up on him but we need defense as the islander game proved.

      the penguins last i checked were like 5th best defensively in the NHL that was before the 5-4 OT loss.

      We have to get one more d-MAN I was hoping it was T.J. Brodie but he has became ill hope he is OK he looks to be out a while..

      • Hi BlackNGold

        Scands Or Brodie Or Miller Or absolutely ANYBODY in; and JJ out…. massive massive massive improvement to the team

        When Tanger returns ; they better sit JJ and put Riikola in his place; for sure

        I thought I was going to crack my big screen just from yelling at it the other day

        The penultimate cringe was when JJ was standing covering ABSOLUTELY no one with two (2) Ilses behind him and in front of Murray ; while JJ personally added a further screen to Murray ; Ilses in possession and in full attack mode …. this went on for 10-15 seconds

        No less than 10 times during the game he followed his own D partner to the corner (partner already engaged with puck carrier) leaving an Isle uncovered in front of the net…..

        and he screwed up the breakouts numerous times

        No ifs ands or buts …. even with Tanger out …. if Trottman was in for JJ that game … Pens win in Reg

        They refuse to waive him ; no one now will trade for him …. but they do have the easy option of sitting him

        Tanger …. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 Speedy recovery

  2. 11 day watch on for Jesse Puljujarvi, will Holland move him, will Puljujarvi sign in Edmonton? or Will he spend the season in Finland.

    • My guess Caper is that he spends the year in 🇫🇮

      • Agreed watching J.J is so frustrating…Rikola always seems to do a nice job whenever and wherever they put him in the line-up..

        Can they waive J.J now? I know there are certain time periods when you can and can’t waive someone…not sure when that is..




      • Petterson and Shultz are playing great together right now. Petterson is the team’s second best defender. Marino, some nights, is the best player on the ice and Riiko has looked like the real deal in every game he’s played. The guy is fearless and loves to throw the hits and he’s got a big shot. There is no way I play Johnson over him and seeing that A on Jacks jersey makes me sick to my stomach. The Pens don’t need to bring in any players except maybe a bottom 6 centre like Pageau.

      • Hi BlackNGold & Deee


        Any player that does not have a NM clause can be waived at anytime …. I believe the player must sit on waivers for a 24 hour period before being demoted to the AHL…. this gives any of the other teams the opportunity to pick up that player ….. pretty well zero chance of him being picked up…, even if he was …. all the better

        Once JJ with WBS …. $2.17 M (annualized ) Cap sits with Pens and $1.08 M is buried (saved)

        Dee and BNG

        I too love the Pettersson/Shultz pairing and I will be the first to admit that prior to the season I didn’t think Marino was going to be anywhere near as good as he has been… very glad to be wring in that

        I think Riikola has done quite well… hits and sees ice well… he also has a great slap shot when he gets it away

        An addition of Scands would be just great

        The injuries are a concern …. Bjug wasn’t providing much so that loss isn’t as dramatic other than team shuffling being down 2 C’s

        G-Chuck just doesn’t seem to be clicking at all… is he on the cusp of a breakout? If we just take his current production …. moving him doesn’t hit the team that hard …. just afraid if moved he somehow takes off

        JGP (if Sens made him avail) would slot in excellently at 3C….. what’s the cost to acquire???

        Yesterday I put out there a completely nutty very convoluted 3 team , multi-player swap that would have brought JGP in …. would never happen just due to the massive complications and number of players ; but there must be an amenable deal out there for Pens to get JGP (again on he understanding that he would be made available).

        Under absolutely no circumstances should GMJR consider moving Jarry ….. you can’t pay less than he’s getting …. I believe there are only 4 players in the NHL getting $675 K, all new contracts can’t be less than $700; add to that Jarry has the highest save percentage of ANY back up

        Moving DeSmith is a possibility but a back up must come back ….. can’t leave team with just Murray and Jarry …. if either gets hurt and DeSmith is gone there is no way Larmi can handle it and D’Orio is way off and at 0.882 Sv % in Wheeling!!

        I’m just hopping that this next stretch w/o Sid …. prob 16 games (8H 8A) … I’m thinking he returns for home game 27/12 against Nsh … that they can get say at least 19 points …. that’s 44 points in 37 games…. needing 55 in 45 (.611 clip) for team when Sid returns …. doable

        So …. if they stay on a reasonable course no panic moves need to happen


        GO PENS GO

  3. If the Flames suffer from complacency, JVR and Jake won’t help with that… Though I’d love to trade both for Johnny Soccer, I don’t think CAL would.

    • No way Flames trade Gaudreau without a huge return coming back. Flyers have the pieces to do it but it would be painful, then again, Gaudreau & Giroux would be lethal.

      If Im Treliving, I would let this group work there way out of this. If they falter, we have some real valuable pending UFA’s that would net a few extra late 1st round picks, a few 2nds & few mid round picks.
      If we are too far back I would trade Hamonic, Brodie, Talbot, Frolik, Czarnik & get nothing but futures & picks back. Go to the draft armed with multiple 1st round picks & cap space & see what value we can get. With the Flyers, I would want Provorov & Konecy coming back. Sounds steep, but that would be the only way I part with Gaudreau at his cap hit for 2 more years.

      • That doesn’t sound “steep”, that sounds ridiculous!
        I wouldn’t part with either for Johnny “dive boy” Soccer

  4. I know we long for the drama of the old trade market, but Puljujarvi is such a non factor in anyones lineup…

  5. With Babcock being sh*tcanned I wonder how it will be before the “Fire Dubas” chants start…..

    Leafs need to fire Dubas and the man behind the Shanascam Brenden Shanahan and hire Mark Hunter as President and GM.

    Poor roster building, gross overpays on RFAs should have gotten Dubas shown the door as well.

    • Well since they did not fire Dubas, maybe we could give Keefe a chance to coach at least one game?

      If this does not work out, I will be the first one to call for Dubas’s ouster.

      But does anyone think Dubas traded for Tyson Barrie to play 2nd PP for 24 seconds? Or signed Jason Spezza to sit in the press box for half of the games? The same guy who has outscored the 7 million dollar plus players club the last two games? Or to not play Auson Matthews the quantity and kind of minutes they are paying him for? Or putting the fourth line on right after the other team has scored to respond? Or to not even think about playing Freddy on a back to back, or God forbid playing him in the second game of a back to back because the players might need him more on the second night? Babcock was trained as a Teacher, but he failed to learn, and it has cost him. The team tuned him out. I am excited and hopeful to see how they respond to a new Coach.

      • Hi Murph

        with u on all ur thoughts with the exception of playing Freddy back to back

        To me ; FA is at this time their MVP…. most valuable to the team

        Take any single D or F out of Leafs line up for an extended period of time …. the impact is nowhere near what it would be with an extended injury/time off by FA

        Crappy back ups yes…. it is what it is

        If they had a B2B with 2 off days B4 and 3 after …. I’ve got no issue with having Freddy in both …. but those scenarios are very rare

        VGKs also in slight peril with Suban …. and playing the Flower B2B is much more difficult than with Freddy just due to the fact of his age (35 next week); FA 5 years younger

    • Hi Ron

      Well they certainly have now gone “all in” on the Dubas-Keefe plan…. there won’t be firings of Dubas or Shanny in the next few weeks …. next summer perhaps????

      I still say their window for Cup is ‘21-‘24 and no rash trades of youth/futures for vets w/o term should happen now

      Long term and towards window mentioned above:

      D improvement

      Grittier more balanced roster

      Back up improvement

      …. all within Cap

      This IS doable (tough but doable) with moves next July and I personally would start with moving WW for a 22-25 year old top 3 D (or trending towards top 3D) with term and at a Cap of 5’ish or less …. improves overall team ; saves Cap.

      Leafs have many speedy young offensive players that are not gritty …. seek a team that has the reverse (need for speed and offence with a few extra “grit “ players)… make the flip

      Sign affordable UFA back-up

      A load of work but doable

    • The real problem with the leafs is they have no leadership. Your best players have to be your best leaders. Tavares is a great player but he’s no leader. He’s rarely made the playoffs. Crosby, Bergeron, Toews are some of the best leaders to ever play and, funny enough, they all led their teams to cups.

  6. Bad Cowboy…

    I agree we long for a little drama…three ideas that could add a little drama

    1) when teams know they are not going to go far in the playoffs….why don’t they trade their July 1 UFAs ….regardless of the trade value….example the Leafs and JVR, and the others of that group when the Leafs came up with that lame phrase “own trades”….which meant they got no future assets and lost anyway

    2) why not trade older guys who obviously are too old for any window the team..I know the following two examples have NMC clauses….but if anyone thinks Doughty and the Minnesota captain are going to contribute when those two teams are ready to win….they are smoking what is now legal….why not trade them….

    3)…future drama could be increased if contracts with no trade clauses counted 110% against the cap and contracts with NMC clauses 120% against the cap…..this would increase drama and improve the quality of regular play….some of these guys with the long term contracts don’t care if they win….they just don’t want to move the wife and kids

    A mild rant from a Leaf fan….an aside I would rather have fired Dubas than Babock and both of them rather than one of them…but firing someone Big Bad Cowboydid create a little drama at least for a few days….off the ice the Leafs are contributing..

    • #2 is a tall order. Most teams that are ready to win now can’t afford the cap hit on guys like Doughty or Suter. And probably don’t want the term involved either.

      #3…. never happening. Nor do I clearly understand how increasing the cap hit will make a player better? If he’s not living up to his 10m cap hit, is he going to play harder or get better at a higher cap hit?

      I don’t think we can blame the players for taking Ntc, or nmc’s. Teams don’t have to offer them in the first place. Nor do I blame the team for offering their most valuable assets incentives to stay put.

      I don’t have any problem with either.

      Maybe GMs could learn a little restraint and think beyond a year or two?

      • Their is a minimum age for players to receive a NTC, so I was thinking why not have a max age for players to keep a NTC?
        25 is the minimum age, so the max age could be 32 or 35. After the max age then players no longer are eligible for a NTC. That would make it easier for teams to trade these players who received a long term deal and no longer living up to their expectations, and a team needing the skill set of what that player still has and the cap space to fit their cap hit on their books.

      • probably wrote the one on 110% & 120% against the cap poorly….I meant if you give a buy a no trade contract it would count against the cap at 110%….thereby penalizing the team that gives out no trades…same with 120% NMC

        Do not think this without a change in players agreement and I don’t think they would agree….just too many of these out there in terms of exciting fans who want trades…

        Not meant to be especially credible…just ideas

      • Kevjam,

        I believe setting age parameters should also be on the gm/team signing the deal. Why involve that in the cba negations?

        Again, a little restraint is needed by GMs . Don’t want a 37 year old with a nmc? Don’t sign him beyond an age they’re comfortable with….

        Nobody is putting a gun to their head to make these kind of deals….they’re putting the gun to their own head.

        This doesn’t seem like a fight worth adding to cba negotiations.

    • Hi OBD

      Agree re #1…. get something instead of nothing … always have the ability to get a return AND try and win a bid for the UFA come 1/7

      With NY4L on #2…. Cap space prohibits almost all of that

      Re # 3…. certainly would not have an immediate specific direct impact on performance and a serious long-shot for ever happening (much like a CBA that would allow Cap modifications wrt after tax impact).

      However, if there was some escalated percentages in apportioned Cap for NMCs and NTCs…. there certainly would be fewer of them signed in the future

      Too many out there right now that are completely handcuffing teams

      On the other hand ; truly elite players (e.g. McD) don’t get NMC/MTC protection until later in their second contract …. not that Oil is considering this at all… just using McD as an example

    • Great points OBD

  7. Good luck finding a player of equal or greater value than Gaudreau at that cap hit. When he’s on, JG is one of the most electrifying players in the league. As a Sharks fan, by all means move him out of the western conference. Or we’ll take him.

    • dpf

      Yep Yep and more Yep 👍

  8. Despite his poor season thus far, I think there wouldn’t be much clamor to trade Gaudreau if he had scored a goal or two during the Flame’s last couple of playoff appearances. And it’s likely that his trade value would be greater. After watching the Blues bludgeon their way to a Cup and the recent failures of softer and fancier teams, perhaps some hockey minds are wondering how effective a 5′ 9″, 165-pound player can be when the games count most and the players play hardest.

    • You’re making a joke, right, Francis? Go back in Cup History and you might find the odd smaller player can handle playoff hockey. I’ll go way back to Dave Keon and Henri Richard when hook, hold and hammer were essential defensive skills. You can have Patrick Kane and there are plenty in between.

      • Hi BCLeafFan and Francis

        I certainly would agree that the overall size of the team does have an impact to success in the grinding playoffs …. StL and the behemoth Caps two years ago (with 10 players 6’3”
        And 215 or greater) are recent and fair examples….. but for sure smaller players have been successful in playoffs in the past

        The tiny Theo Fleury was > PPG in playoffs

        I don’t think you can possibly win a Cup with an overall team average of 5’10” , 180 …. but a team that has some smaller and talented players mixed with bigger players , can

        I like the over-all mix that VGKs have…. they have smaller players like March but also strapping guys like Stone

        I like Johnny Hockey …. can’t have a team filled with his stature for sure ; but he’s a valuable asset that is just in a slump

        If he is traded I do believe Cgy loses the trade

      • “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”

      • Hi ShoreOrrPark

        That had to be the credence for guys like Doug Gilmour and Theo Fleury 👍

      • Whether BC or AD, I wish Leaf fans a lot of luck.

        I didn’t mean to claim that smaller players have never played well in playoff hockey. My contention is that Johnny’s playiff record would make potential buyers wonder about his value, or the value of anybody as small as him, in today’s playoff-type games.

        Just based on what’s happened in all of sports, I believe that the quality of hockey players has improved as the population of hockey players has grown. HHOFer Jim Rutherford won 151 games. At 5’8″, he probably wouldn’t be considered a prospect today. Neither would some of the guys that scored againsst him. They were big fish in a much smaller pool. I feel that some hockey myths survive mainly because the sport for so long was almost like a game played among neighbors and, therefore, lagged behind in the science of statistics.

        Athletes today are bigger, faster, stronger than their predecessors. NHL statistics don’t allow for determining absolutely, let alone historically, how much faster one player skated than another, but in sports where constants are measured, such as speed over a given distance, records keep falling as time passes. A long-time hockey fan might say truthfully that Rocket Richard was faster than the other players on the ice with him, but there’s no way he can say for certain that he was faster than Brayden Point.

        Of course, this is mostly my opinion. I don’t have the hockey statistics to back up anything I’ve said.

    • Theo Fleur 5’6″, Martin St. Luois 5’8″, Cam Atkinson 5’8″, Brad Marchand 5’9″, Jonathan Marchessault 5’9″, Torey Krug 5’9″, Mats Zuccarello 5’9″, and Braden Point 5’10”.
      There is more than people actually think. Marchand is actually smaller than I actually thought.

      • Marchand plays like he 6’+.

        Lots of guys are listed as 5’10 and 5’11, yet they are closer to 5’7 or 5’8.

        We lie about numbers all the time.

      • Hi KevJam

        Theo was the smallest “big” guy I’ve seen play…. loads of P&V and a massive heart

        Marchand is short for sure …. but he is solid…. met him once … I towered above him but he looked quite solid …. he’s listed at only 182 … that surprised me big time

        Size does matter wrt overall team avg. …. but for sure there are those like you’ve listed that play waaaaay above their “weight class”

        There are also those who are big but play “small”

  9. Small skilled forwards. Johnny hockey was all the rage a few years ago and now everyone wants him traded.

  10. Colin Miller has been great for a Buffalo as Henri Jokiharju has been, if anyone is traded it will be Scandella(who’s played very well), Ristolanen and Montour(needs contract). Dahlin and Jokiharju are not moving. It’s possible Miller is moved in a major deal but he’s played very well, I believe he sat out a few games just to showcase Scandella in a trade.

    • Hi Matt

      I posted elsewhere here today that Scands would fit in well with Pens …. what’s the cost in trade?

  11. Pengy & BlackNGold

    TO LA: JJ & Galchenyuk
    TO Pitts: Kovalchuk

    ya? lol jk

    • I’d sincerely consider that.

    • I hate Crosby…its not awful La would have to eat some money on kovy’s contract.


      But Kovalchuk could get pumped and rejuvenated to play with the Crosby’s& Malkin’s Guentzel etc and could help the power play.. IF HE CATCHES FIRE…





    • Hi IHC

      It’s the extra year on Kovy’s …. with Cap hit even if he retires ; that crimps this deal

      If UFA come July …. done and done

      50% retained on Kovy would be a must….

      G-Chuck (50% retained) & JJ at full tilt

      For Kovy (50 % retained)

      Net Cap this year (After pro-rating for 3/4 of yr remaining):

      LA loses 1.93 M in space , Pens gain $1.93 M in space


      • 50% retained on JJ
        and 50% retained on KOVY

      • yeah it was black n gold asking the Kovy cap question?..LOL

      • No way LA does this. Kovi only has one more year left on his contract after this year, whereas JJ has 3 more years.

        The cap hit doesn’t matter for LA as they are rebuilding, what matters is the length of the contract. Based on that, I’d way rather have Kovy than JJ, nevermind retaining 50%.

  12. Nylander to buffalo for miller and scandella. Use remaining cap space for a backup goalie

    • how about
      TO BUF: Nylander
      TO TML: Scandella & Risto


      TO DET: Barrie
      to TML: AA & 2nd rd pick

      TML gets D depth. Risto can play with Reilly while Ceci can play with Muzzin and Scandella can anchor the bottom pairing with Dermott or someone

      AA would be a faster option with Matthews than Nylander allows Johnsson and Kap to be a solid 3rd line pair with Spezza centering.

  13. Dee…..yes Petersson has played well and Marino may soon be the best overall defense man on the team…but that time isn’t now..not yet.

    They must bring in a top 4 defense man to play with Schultz….then your third pair is a strong Marino and Petersson

    Rikola / Rudwhedel / Trottman waiting in the wings we have so many injuries to defense man a top 4 is needed. EVEN JUST FOR DEPTH AND PROTECTION..This d corp isn’t good enough yet to win a cup

    Scandella is a stud and slides in nicely with Schultz he skates well, makes a strong outlet pass, has a cannon for a shot/ and is big and physical, and shock horror can cover the front of the net and play defense…

  14. I’ll get roasted but I would certainly trade B. Smith & Staal for Kovalchuk (no sides retain salary) and put him on the 3rd line with Kakko and Howden and move down Lemieux and Fast to the 4th line.

    1 more year with Kovy is better tan 1 more year with Smith & Staal.

    • Hi IHC

      My recurring offer to you of straight up Smith for JJ swap still stands

      I’ll also go JJ for Staal (40 % retained )

      Can we shake in this good sir?

      • no thank you lol. Stall is worth more for 2 yrs than JJ is for 4 lol





    • if you retained 25% of JJ LA may consider that

      Galchenyuk will have to really prove himself once again. Think he is playing himself out of the league.

      • Just stop already you two, LA didn’t want JJ when he was entering his prime, why would they want him when he’s old and washed up.

        BnG, so Toffoli and Martinez for a bunch of garbage, ummmmm NO!

  16. Gaudreau is a superstar. Seen him lots. I would look at Monahan but he is the number one center. I think only a fringe deal can be made. Like has already been mentioned: Jankowski,Frolik Bennett (hurt) and maybe Dube. You might be able to cobble something for a shake up.

  17. Canadien Queen…..I didn’t say Toffoli and martinez where garbage your words not mine.

    Toffoli is a talented winger in his prime..Galchenyuk is a talented winger only 25 and a 30 goal scorer a couple years back…so not that muh difference but toffoli right now is better.

    i added Zack Aston reese a solid 3rd 4th line guy and a third round pick….i added J.J to even out the money thats all.

    thanks for your thpught s though Mrs. trudeau….LOL


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