NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2019

by | Nov 30, 2019 | Rumors | 51 comments

The latest on the Canadiens and Maple Leafs, plus updates on Jesse Puljujarvi and Julius Honka in today’s NHL rumor mill.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey observes a growing chorus among Canadiens fans who feel the struggling club should cut their losses and trade Carey Price. He feels that option disappeared when the goaltender signed his eight-year, $84-million contract. It would be tough shopping Price when he’s playing well, but no one’s interested in a struggling goalie with six years left on his contract and a $10.5-million annual average value.

Don’t expect the struggling Montreal Canadiens to put Carey Price on the trade block (Photo via NHL Images)

Hickey suggests general manager Marc Bergevin could help by bringing in a top-flight defenseman. The Habs carry over $8 million in salary-cap space, but that would mean parting with some of the prospects Bergevin has been reluctant to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price’s no-movement clause is another deal breaker. Even if he agreed to waive it, the Habs would have to  absorb a significant chunk of his cap hit or take back a toxic contract in return.

Bolstering the blueline should be Bergevin’s priority. The Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly shopping a surplus defenseman. The Anaheim Ducks could also consider moving a rearguard. Chicago’s Erik Gustafsson and Calgary’s T.J. Brodie have surfaced in recent trade speculation.

Those clubs seek a forward, preferably a scorer, in return. They could attempt to squeeze Bergevin into parting with Nick Suzuki or Jesperi Kotkaniemi as part of the asking price.

Given the bad blood between Bergevin and Hurricanes management over his attempt to sign away Sebastian Aho, it’s doubtful a deal could be made between those two clubs. Brodie’s recent health scare probably sent his trade value plummeting, while Gustafsson isn’t the shutdown rearguard the Habs need.


THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman recently spoke with Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland over the possibility of trading winger Jesse Puljujarvi. The 21-year-old restricted free agent is playing in Finland awaiting a trade. If he’s not re-signed by 5 pm ET on Dec.1, he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season.

Holland indicated he’d spoken with a few teams in recent days, but he’s not optimistic a deal can be done before tomorrow’s deadline. He confirmed he’ll want a young player for Puljujarvi, or maybe a younger player/prospect and a draft pick. “I’m not looking to trade him for somebody who’s old,” said Holland.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently reported Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka is maintaining a positive outlook as the Dec. 1 signing deadline approaches. Like Puljujarvi, Honka is a restricted free agent playing in Finland while waiting for a trade to another NHL club.

Stars GM Jim Nill said he’s still talking to teams, but he hasn’t liked the offers he’s received that far. Honka, meanwhile, is focused on improving his game in Finland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players could be re-signed and traded to new clubs before tomorrow’s deadline. However, it doesn’t sound like either guy will be skating in the NHL this season. I expect they’ll be shopped by their respective teams next summer, probably during the 2020 NHL Draft weekend in June.


TORONTO SUN: After watching Michael Hutchinson drop his sixth straight game, Steve Simmons believes Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas must go shopping for a backup goaltender. “What he needs to do now is to find another option, a way to open salary-cap space, a way to alter his payroll, a way to find a backup goaltender who is both capable and ridiculously inexpensive,” said Simmons. “And around the league, nobody is about to do the Leafs any favors.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Toronto-based pundits suggested Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry as a trade target for the Leafs. He’s young (24) and carries an affordable $675K salary. The Penguins, however, aren’t in any hurry to part with Jarry, who’s done a good job spelling off Pittsburgh starter Matt Murray.


  1. As a Leafs and Pens fan Jarry oneither team is fine by me


    Under no circumstances should Pens trade Jarry ….

    1) you canNOT pay a player in the NHL a lower salary; and B4 last night’s game he had best Save %’age in League (team let him down last night… especially you-know-who… 2 friggin directly by him)

    2) Pens on bubble for play-off spot… trading away an excellent back-up leaves them further behind and then with having to bring up DeSmith (to replace) more Cap used AND one injury away from with DeSmith or Murray of being in massive trouble

    I’m thinking Leafs might have to wait for TDL for a back-up trade

    Re Habs …. certainly can’t see Price traded. Re D … if they have to give up Kotka …. forgeddaboudit !

    • Depends on the D before I’d say forget about Kotkaniemi. He’s been OK at the NHL level but he’s shown no signs of becoming any kind of dominant force.

      • Hi George

        I was very impressed with him last year; this year so far, he has not performed as well….I still like him and believe he has a bright future… Habs shouldn’t panic on him w.r.t. a trade now

        Remember he is only a 19 year old sophomore

      • All true – but as I say, it would all depend on the D offered. If it was someone that is still on the good side of 30, with experience, and capable of solidifying my D, he’d be gone in a flash. It’s not like he’s a Connor McDavid in the making.

      • @ Pengy & George

        I think the Habs draft a lot of GREAT complimentary players …second line top 6 guys for sure …but they have not been able to hit that home run with a pick that allows for the franchise to say …OK we got something here to hang a hat on….they missed that pick on Brady Tkachuck unfortunately …you can have all the young quick skilled guys in the world …but if you don’t have players willing to play down low and in the corners for 50 – / 50 pucks …and make plays …they will never have the puck …to show off any skills…the Habs have a lot of Finnishers …LOL ..but no play makers !

    • @ PENGY

      Good morning

      The clock is literally ticking on a YEARLY injury on Murray …it happens every year …the Pens need to keep both those Goalies in the fold …its not worth the headaches…for just a 2nd or 3rd round pick !

      Murray will get hurt …inevitable !

      • Oooo that hurt 😞😢

        🤞that your prognostication for Murray does not come true

    • IMO the Habs should send Kotka to the AHL if they continue to slide. Let him play a whack of minutes in all situations. Get some offensive confidence.
      I have watched the Oil make the mistake of having their young guys play in the NHL too early in the past. Holland is changing that.
      Has it ever hurt a player to play a full season in the AHL?

      • For sure. Last year, after a decent start, he had 0 goals and 3 assists in the push for a playoff spot in Feb-March.

        This season, so far, he’s done very little to justify keeping him up. Right now I’d say Montreal would have a problem trading him even-up for a quality D. Let him get some confidence playing in all situations in Laval. It’s not like anyone has to travel to see how he’s doing (at home anyway).

      • I think you would get a decent D for him George. I would be cool if the B’s traded a quality prospect like Vaakananen for him, plus a pick thrown in.
        B’s can’t give out of their roster for a 19 year old. He has 1 or 2C potential, real potential.
        IMO it is more normal than odd if a 19 year old struggles in the NHL. Most kids don’t fill out to at least 20, often later.
        Habs ain’t winning the cup this year and need to think long term. So if they trade him the return best be under 23.

  2. Here is my Carey Price trade proposal and it’s about the cap space and bad contracts.

    Carey Price $10.5m 6years to LA

    Johnathan Quick $5.8m 3yrs to MTL
    IIya Kovalchuck $6.25m 2yrs to MTL
    Alex Martinez $4m 2yrs to MTL

    LA gets immediate cap relief and MTL after two more season would almost have Price cap dollars available and after 3 would be total cleared.

    • How does that help LA?

      LA is rebuilding, so saving cap space for the next 3 years is useless. But right when their about to get competitive again and when those three would be coming off the books, they’d have to worry about Price’s god awful contract for another 3 years.

      That’s a big no from the west coast. The King’s are better off keeping those three, rebuilding and washing their hands in three years instead of increasing bad contracts for 6 more years.

      • CK i respect your point of view. Personally i don’t think Price career isn’t over. You save almost $6m now and in 3yrs with the rising cap Price contract is less burdensome and if rebounds it will look very good.

    • Oh and Alec Martinez is far from a bad contract. That’s an asset in LAs corner.

    • Leafs had Better hope Anderson doesn’t go down . Can’t afford much and might have to trade Kerfoot

      Kovalchuk is done unless 50% is held and he agrees.

      There should be some movement on the trade front

      • @ Silver Seven

        Iam all about trading Kerfoot in a deal ..

        I would like to take

        Hamonic ( UFA )
        Ceci ( UFA )

      • Like many Leaf fans, I’ve thought this year that the 18 wheeler over a cliff scenario would be an injury to Andersen.
        If the team hangs in to the trade deadline, and looks like making a run, Dubas will need to find some protection in goal even if it costs some depth at forward.

    • @ CAPER

      While I really dont see Price traded to begin with here is what I think is the best case scenario for both teams with high end trade pieces to make it work !

      I think a REAL TEAM that may be very interested in Price is the Calgary Flames …this team has thrown a lot of trade scenarios to HIGH end Goalies for the past 3 years ….They have a plethra of quality young players to use in a potential deal …with the Habs if any team at all…

      If The Flames were to take on Price Drouin and another player ….then FLIP Drouin to Avs …

      Potential players involved could be



      One of either ( centre piece of the deal )

      1 of – Monohan or Gaudreau

      secondary pieces….


      I really see a potential match here for both sides …to really change the direction of both organizations…

      • IMO if CGY takes on Price MTL would have to take back Lucic as CGY will need to balance out their roster with all the UFA’s and RFA’s they have. Particularly on the backend

        unless a crazy trade happens today like

        to MTL: Talbot, Frolik, Brodie
        to CGY: Price ($2m retained), Folin and something else that helps CGY.

        think the cap to take Price on is beyond what CGY can handle even if he was playing extremely well.

      • For Habs to move Price or Weber and not set themselves too far backwards they may have to wait until the Seattle expansion draft and do what Pens did with Fleury by offering Seattle an incentive to take Price or Weber or both like Pens did with Vegas. Could be the only viable solution that gives them pieces and allows Primeau more time to develop into their next number one goalie.

    • @ Canadian King

      Nice to hear from you again….

      Just out of curiosity …what do you feel a decent and fair trade would be with the Leafs for ….

      Cal Peterson

      Id really like to make a deal….with you …LOL


      • Hey Kal, tbh I wouldn’t trade him for anything at this point. Blake and co have already tagged him as the heir apparent in goal.

        Last summer they signed him to a three year contract in which the first year (this yea) is a two way contract. Which means they have every intention on giving him a legit chance at being their starter next season.

      • @ Canadian King

        Kind figured that would be your answer…LOL


      • I see Yzerman got himself another goalie – just dealt 22 y/o Vili Saarijärvi, a 5’10 180 lb Finnish D who was a 3rd round pick in 2015, for Eric Comrie from Arizona.

        Saarijärvi, who played one year of Major Junior in Mississauga, had 2 goals and 14 assists in 70 gp with Gran Rapids in the AHL last season and was a +19. This year he’s 0 1 1 in 13 gp and is a -5.

        The 24 y/o Comrie was a 2nd round pick by the jets in 2013 (59th overall) who has had just 5 gp in the NHL, all with the jets, who lost him to Arizona on waivers in Sept. In 4 gp this year with T ucson in the AHL he has a 2/75gaa/0.900 save %

      • Yea I seen that George. At face value it would appear to be a decent little move by Yzerman, but as usual time will tell.

      • Funny thing is Canadian King, Detroit was 4th on the waiver-wire list and clearly passed and now have to relinquish an asset to get a guy they could have had for nothing (Ottawa, L.A. and NJ were 1,2,3 and also passed). After Detroit, and before Arizona, came Buff, NYR, Edm, Ana, Vanc, Pha, Minn, Chi and Fla. Guess none felt they needed another goalie, not even one drafted as high as 59th.

      • Now I’m off to watch Notre-Dame – Stanford.

    • Valiant effort Caper, but can’t see LA doing it. I’m not sure I could come up with a Price proposal that makes sense.
      Price could turn it around, it is goaltending after all, and who the hell knows how it will go. Simply too risky for any team to bite.

      • Ray, he could gain some stability back – but to pay him $10.5 mil off the cap – never mind those huge up front chunks – for another, what, 6 years??, he’d have to revert to his consistent outstanding goaltending of 66 gp 2.06 gaa/0.934 save % of 4 year ago. When he was 27-28.

        Just being good does not warrant that kind of payout. Problem is, no one is going to take him at those prices unless he demonstrates, over a number of games, that’s he’s back in that old groove again. And if he does that why, then, would Montreal deal him if he’s almost single-handily pushing them back up the standings?

        And say Montreal did decide to move him by withholding a large LARGE chunk of that cash, and he suddenly did turn things around for his new team – there’d be lynch mobs in the streets that would make the 1955 St. Patrick’s Day riot look like a picnic.

        Talk about a rock and a hard place!

      • Exactly this, George! And it’s why so few trades happen:

        – Sell low? Terrible idea.
        – Player is playing well? Then why would we trade them.

        As a fan who loves trades, it’s a frustrating conundrum, but it is why so few deals actually occur!

        (Side note: with Price’s NMC, there is no chance he gets moved unless the Habs continue to miss playoffs, IMO. In that case, Price may ask for trade, in which case Habs are totally handcuffed and will have to do the right thing and take a bath on the deal. No good outs for Habs, IMO, other than Price becoming all-world again… Tough times!)

      • Agree 100% with both of you. How many tenders have had seasons worthy of huge money after the age of 35 or 36? Luongo was decent. Anybody else?

      • Hasek & Belfour both had some good/very good 35+ seasons. Probably a few others – those were the first two that spring to mind.

        But it’s rare… and the big difference is I don’t remember them having 2-3 poor seasons before 35, like Price is having. That’s the most worrying part!

  3. To Toronto: Alex Georgiev / Tony DeAngelo
    To NYR: Cody Ceci (1.2m retained)/ 2nd rd pick
    Toronto gets back up goalie and swap of D men adds about 2 mil in cap space. Rangers get a bigger dman on right side that they can either flip at deadline or possibly sign to extension. Also get 2nd rd pick they lost for Fox trade. DeAngelo has developed nicely, but I think with Fox and Nils Lundqvist coming in next year or 2, he becomes expendable as he will need a raise next year.

    • I will pass on the offer as a Ranger fan. ADA will garner at least a 2nd by himself (possible low pick with or prospect) at the deadline if NY decides to move him.

      Ceci has no value on the market for me IMO. TML is probably the only team that likes him IMO.

      Gorgi will certainly be a good asset as well. Another 2nd on his own.

      If you are looking at size on the blue line right side….RISTO for ADA & Strome is a reasonable offer.
      Buffalo needs to gets secondary scoring and fast. With Darlin out..ADA brings that offensive push. Strome is top 6 all around but both contracts hard for NY to balance in.

      Risto fills in that right side for you to pair with Hajek

      then bring back up Andersson if ya move storm to play RW on the 3rd line and move Kakko to 2nd line with Bread & Chytl

      • Neither DeAngelo or Gorgiev will get a 2nd on their own. That’s just typical over valuing of your teams players.

      • @Slick
        other years yes 2nd overpayment for ADA but at 24 AND a RFA with 19 pts in 24 games he could garner that 2nd or more IF he keeps up the pace. He is getting the ice time and taken advantage of his opportunity unlike last year. I think he point totals are pretty sustainable. he plays pp1 and is fully engaged in jumping into the rush.

        This is not overvaluing…just seeing him for what he is worth THIS season based on performance. For playoff team looking for scoring on the backend…yes a 2nd is fair value.

        as for Gorgi…..several team may not be comfy with their backups and if Gorgi rebounds from his last outing…and plays to his level….a 2nd is again fair value for playoff team in need of insurance. TML is one team if Hutchinson buckles again. They cannot afford to risk losing Anderson and not have someone back there. plus he is young enough and a RFA to be a long term option at the position for them.


      • That trade is so lopsided it seems like it would come from the other side.

        Overvaluing players? Have you watched Ceci play or heard from Sens / leafs fans about his play?

        Deangelo is well worth a 2nd on his own… a right handed d-man putting up good numbers?

        There is no shortage of teams looking for rh d-men with worse numbers.

        Are you just assuming NY won’t give Deangelo a deal?

        Today, I’d say Kreider will more than likely be traded at the deadline.

  4. So, Lyle, you’re saying the Habs need a D like Sergachev?

    What a clown “Bergie” is.

    • with their cap space i did suggest

      to MTL: Bjugstad & JJ (7.35 combined)
      to Pitt: Weise & Alzner (4.825 combined)

      when Bjugstad is healthy…MTL gets a big body to help upfront . they move past the Alzner thing and can bury JJ.

      Pitts gets cap relief by moving Bjugstad and can try and see if Alzner fits in with Pitts system better.

      • Hi IHC

        By Proxy from Jimbo and Marc…. please get this done

        I will personally pay for JJ’s limo to the airport and flight to Montreal; and I will buy you a Tim’s XL Double Double and a Pumpkin Spiced Muffin

        Gedderdone Good Sir

    • Seriously, Ceci is horrible. He looks luke a dummy with the puck.

      Not saying Sergachev is the next Pronger but, I would take him in a split second over Drouin.

  5. Deangelo is playing great. Why in hell would NY give him + for Ceci?

    I wouldn’t give up a conditional 6th round pick for Ceci’s services.

    This is insanity!

    • Neither would Ottawa!

    • Georgiev will be dealt. On his own he won’t get much. Ceci + a 2nd rd pick (you ignored that part) I’ve always felt DeAngelo had talent but his baggage scares me. DeAngelo held out this year, and will again next year. I don’t see him in Rangers future. As I said, could possibly flip Ceci at deadline. Pretty sure his value is higher than a conditional 6th. Sure he’s playing well. That’s what makes him tradeable.

      • You’re missing the point. Ask any Ottawa or Toronto fan about Ceci…. see George’s comment above.

        The 2nd makes no difference. I’d rather lose Georgiev for nothing than take on Ceci….. never mind extending the guy, or adding Deangelo.

        Now you’re suggesting these 2 guys for an awful d-man and a 2nd?

        A 1st round pick has about a coin flips chance of making a career in the NHL…. so you can imagine my excitement over giving up 2 solid players for Ceci and a 2nd.

      • Absolute madness!

      • Ny. I don’t need to ask fans about players. I can google. There’s arguments to be made that he was over used on a bad Ottawa team. DeAngelo has some Offensive value, but is undersized and I think Fox and Nils will give just as much offense in future. To me, Ceci is a better defenseman and gives Rangers size and experience while younger guys develop. I would either flip him or possibly give him a 1 year deal for less than he’s getting now. Shestyorkin needs to come up. Toronto needs goalie now.

      • Slick, he was part of that Ottawa team that was a double-OT goal from going to the finals 3 years ago. By that time he had 205 NHL games under his belt – and had flatlined insofar as “getting better” was concerned. Known more as a D-man with some offensive clout (as he was with the Ottawa 67s in Major Junior) than a shut-down type. in that season they came so close, he 2g 15a 17pts and was a -11 over the season, and in 19 playoff games he contributed 1 assist. The next two seasons he was -27 and -22. Yes, he does show defensive improvement with a +7 so far this year with the Leafs but again his offensive contributions are hardly what you want from a top-pairing D making $4.5 mil off the cap.

        He has always had highly questionable pass and shot selection – even in Junior – and don’t be fooled by that +7 which is more attributable to the statistical fact that Andersen has saved something like close to 94% of the shots faced when Ceci’s been on the ice.

      • George O. Point I was trying to make is maybe Ceci does better when not deployed as a top pair. In the years after that playoff run, he was playing over 23 minutes a game as a top pair. For Rangers, he wouldn’t be counted on to provide offense, and would have Trouba as the top shutdown guy. Again, I wouldn’t pay him what he’s getting now.

  6. Re Price

    As at now …. I think he’s a Hab for at least another 2 – 3 years

    The only time this year that I thought there may have been any remote chance of a trade (another desperate team) was about 3 weeks ago when Sharks (who are in a win now mode) were waaay out of it (playoffs) and Jones was absolutely brutal

    That move (if it ever would have got off the ground) would have had to be multi-player swaps with principals Price going west; and Pickles and Jones going east …. with of course other pieces involved in the trade

    Now SJ 8-2 in last 10; 1 pt. out of 3rd in PAC (with game in hand) ……. so who out there is that desperate and with any viable trade pieces and/or space ??? Methinks nada

    • I could see the Seattle scenario outlined above for Price but that doesn’t help Montreal right now.
      As for the Toronto/NY proposal for Georgiev, or for any solid backup goalie, I think the ask will be one of the Leafs’ young wingers. Not a great situation but better than things stand now.