NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2019

by | Dec 11, 2019 | Rumors | 46 comments

The latest on Alex Galchenyuk, some potential trade targets for the Golden Knights, and a recent blurb regarding Taylor Hall and the Dallas Stars in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels wonders if there’s an NHL team out there willing to believe Pittsburgh Penguins winger Alex Galchenyuk can change. Now on his third team in his eighth NHL season, the 25-year-old winger has the talent to be a top-six forward but is too much of a liability to play in the top-six.

Is there much of a trade market for Pittsburgh Penguins winger Alex Galchenyuk? (Photo via NHL Images)

Galchenyuk is seeing fourth-line minutes with the Penguins. General manager Jim Rutherford is reportedly attempting to trade him. An Eastern Conference executive isn’t impressed with Galchenyuk’s performance. “Everyone knows what he is. Not sure who will want to acquire him”, he told Engels. “And more importantly, what will they want to give up to get him knowing all that?”

Engels points out Galchenyuk is on an expiring contract carrying a $4.9-million annual average value. He doubts rival clubs will offer up first- or second-round picks to acquire him as a playoff rental. He also speculates Rutherford might have to absorb part of the winger’s cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s quite an indictment of Galchenyuk’s performance. He’s got no one but himself to blame. Montreal coaches Michel Therrien and Claude Julien, Arizona coach Rick Tocchet, and Penguins bench boss Mike Sullivan were unable to improve his overall play. It won’t help his value in next summer’s UFA market. Maybe someone will take a chance on Galchenyuk before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, but it doesn’t sound like the Penguins will get much back in return.


THE ATHLETIC: New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen and Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere are among Jesse Granger’s list of possible blueline trade targets for the Vegas Golden Knights. Detroit’s Mike Green, Buffalo’s Marco Scandella, and Chicago’s Erik Gustafsson round up the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but Gostisbhere are due to become unrestricted free agents in July. Vatanen would be the best all-around option. Gostisbhere’s $4.5 million annual cap hit through 2022-23 could be difficult for the Golden Knights to squeeze within their limited cap space for this season and next. Green, Scandella, and Gustafsson could be affordable rental options. Green is the only one on this list with no-trade protection. He has a full no-trade clause until Feb. 1, after which it becomes a 10-team list.



  1. Galchenyuk is one of many pro athletes who, while having all kinds of outstanding natural talent, frustrate coaches and observers by what seems to be a stubborn reluctance to learn from their mistakes and adapt their game accordingly.

    At some point you have to begin to wonder what they have between their ears. As Albert Einstein once observed, the measure of intelligence is the ability to change. There can be no design without discipline nor discipline without intelligence.

    • Right on as usual George. It seems like only 18 months ago that everyone was slamming Bergevin for trading Galchenyuk. Boy how time flies.

    • George O. I also wonder what some GM’s have between their ears. Rutherford brought him in, and I don’t doubt somebody else will take him on as well.

    • Edmonton looking into Galchenyuk?

      I heard they want him to be put on a line with Yakupov & Pulujarvi


    • Alexander Semin 2.0

  2. I also believe Galchenyuk has a battle with the bottle. Which does not help clear thinking . Another good trade for the Habs. Include Weber and a couple of disastrous situations avoided.

    My guess is Hall goes for picks and prospects at the TD. Tough to move him for a hockey deal in season.

    • Hi Silver Seven

      I hadn’t heard anything about G-Chuck re:alcohol issues ….. I’d think Pens would be on to it by now; but who really knows?

      He’s just not connecting and definitely not producing

      He appears to be skating hard ; it just isn’t working for him

      He’s not giving much at all in offence ; and Bjug wasn’t either when he was in line-up and Pens rolling without him(Bjug) anyway

      That’s 2 roster spots and $9M in Cap just wasting away

      If those two somehow can be flipped ANYWHERE (doesn’t have to be the same location) for just one solid LHD…. massive improvement to Pens

      For instance ….. Bjug to Minn for ???? (Pick(s) and/or prospect(s) ….Something? Anything?)

      Take whatever asset(s) rec’d from Minn+ Ruhweedel + G-Chuck (1/3 RD retained) to Buff for Scands

      Buff has zero Net impact to Cap and swaps Scands for Minn asset(s) + G-Chuck + Ruhweedel

      Minn gets 3C for balance of this year and next (hometown boy) for minimal asset(s) ….. nothing off roster

      Pens get Scands and net an additional $3.25 M in Cap space; and when Dumo back:




      *Scands forces Sully’s hands …. under no circumstance could he (Sully) rationalize playing JJ over Scands

      Until Dumo returns


      **All logic says he shouldn’t play JJ at all ; but Sully (who has been completely blind to JJ’s play) will play him 😡😡😡😡…. but this will be sheltered minutes and no more than 13-14 minutes/game


      • Pengy – win – win – win – except for the schmuck who thinks he can turn the games of Galchenyuk and Bjugstad (and Johnson) into something that would actually help his team. “Hometown boy” adds up to zilch if that’s the only connection.

        By this time in their careers any GM with an ounce of common sense knows you don;t take on those cap hits for players who just don’t bring complete games to the table.

        Impossible? Not when you see a Lucic dealt for a Neal I suppose. But certainly highly improbable.

      • Well AG is looking for opportunity. EDM needs op 6 depth or a #3C

        to EDM: AG 1.5 retained
        to PIT: Gagner

        Gagner can be sent down to WB or play bottom 6

        AG can slot 3c or play LW to RNH and Neal

      • If Galchenyuk has frustrated the hell out of 4 coaches and 3 GMs in 3 different organizations what makes you think Tippett and Holland can change his approach?

        Sorry, but 0.3 gpp/0.4 ptspg over 512 NHL games and a career total of -56 is not what any team would want to be paying close to $5 mil per off their cap for – for either a Top 6 winger or a 3rd line C.

      • George I understand your perspective but sending Gagner the other way (in this proposal)and taking a gander on AG for the remainder of the season (or until the trade deadline) would not cost them anything.

        I am not saying AG will “find his way” with EDM, but there is no risk to bring him in if you are merely offsetting cap space. He certainly is no possession driver. He most assuredly needs someone to drive the play and allow him to just shoot.

        I see no loss in giving him a shot by sending a non-used forward if JR accepts.

      • MINN should stay far away from guys like Bjugstad (expensive, not part of their future etc), they need to wait out a couple of their anchor/long term contracts out- before sending picks & prospects out, especially for Bjugstad in 2020…

      • Hi George

        Most oft I agree with you but here I do definitely see a win-win-win scenario

        JJ is staying put (unfortunately ) in the scenario …. and yes no one is training him

        I’m sure you see the Adv (win) for Pens so I won’t get in to that

        Minn (per TSN and SN) has previously looked in to Bjug ; and have been and are looking into changes and are looking at Fwd help (C all the better)…. getting one for non roster assets is a win. The hometown thing is no performance add but intrinsically a bonus to fans

        Re Buff …. already a few reports over the last week and a bit that Botteril may have interest in G-Chuck ; and also reports that they are willing to move a D; and Scands is a UFA

        If they are trading Scands anyway …. with this trade proposal ; they net non roster assets (from Minn) plus a D plus a winger…. if that winger (G-Chuck) improves …. then this is an even better win; he certainly can’t get worse … so taking current production …. Buff at least gets some added offence and a D and prospects for a UFA that they were more than likely to move anyway

        So that is where I got the win win win

  3. Cap space. Roster space. A mid round pick. All wins for Pittsburgh.

    • Hey Chrisms – a non-hockey question for an American. Lately, when tuned into a Detroit channel, I’ve seen political blurbs related to the ongoing elections in Michigan and, at the end, the candidate concerned says “I’m so-and-so and I approve this message.” Is that a requirement in all such elections and, if so, any idea what is the motivation?

      • “I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE” IS A law passed in 2002; it requires candidates for federal office to say that. The intention is to discourage misleading, false, or “attack” ads.

      • Yeah. That.

      • Last year’s Blackhat/Defcon showed how advanced and EASY it was to create deep fakes. 2020 elections, get ready.

    • Hi Chrisms

      See my response above to S7

  4. Testing

    • Check Check

      • Sorry. Got that weird godaddy firewall stuff for a minute. Wonder what happened to those commercials… that lovely lady had the ability to redirect some blood flow.

  5. Vatanen should fetch a nice return. But how will that D be without him?

  6. I’m surprised no team needing defense claimed Kampfer off waivers. Definitely can play and suck up minutes.

    • I’m shoreorrpark and I approve this message.
      He’s very useful.

      • LOL – and thanks for the explanation Rick.

    • Hi Dave

      Agree…. just a hair over League Min. and under contract at that also for next year????

      To a lesser extent in surprise waiver clears… Bowey also went unclaimed….. barely over League min Sal …. only this year under contract …. depth D add ?

      EVER single teams’ press box worst D is better than Kampher and/or Bowey???

      I can cite two roster players that played last night that aren’t anywhere near as good as either of them and those two (roster players) in total cost almost $2.2 M more than Bowey/Kampher combined and Bowey/Kampher avg. age is 3 years younger than theirs

      …. just sayin’

      • In reality Kampfer is Boston’s 9th D.
        Plus on a 1 way deal at $800K. Not a regular NHL D man IMO.
        I don’t think Boston ever intended for him to be anything other than an insurance policy as they had 2 guys on IR to start the year.
        Good veteran to have playing in Providence with the kids which was fully expected.
        If other teams have need an emergency call up to plug a hole for a few weeks, they would likely prefer to use their own younger guy on a 2 way deal.

      • Agree with that Ray. Journeymen and career AHLers rarely get plucked off the waiver wire. Having said that, I was a bit surprised to see the Jets claim Shore.

      • Hi Ray

        I’d like to have Kampher instead of either Ruhweedel or JJ

        Jimbo thinks smoke flies out of JJ’s but so he won’t (contrary to pure logic) waive him

        But he could have picked up Kompher and waived Ruhweedel …. $100 K diff (annually)… so for balance of year that is only about $65-$70 K…. a great investment …. D core gets much stronger right away

      • Well Pengy, the Pens could have had him for nothing. Maybe it’s because they have 49 contracts on the books already.

      • Yep may be right in that

        The proposal I had put above; also reduced Pens contracts by 2 —-3 out ; 1 in

  7. Question pertaining to declining players…..like Alex G….but ….PK Subban…is he as bad as statistics would say….or is that New Jersey is the kind of team that drags individuals down….how bad was he in Nashville…..my Montreal memories had him as a good player that was hard to coach….

    Has he lost it all

    • Ya, it’s weird OBD. PK was a Bruin killer when he was in MTL. I always saw him as a little bit self promoting as he wore a hat with the logo of himself in a goal celebration. So hard not too.
      But that is hardly a deal beaker and he was active in the community when in MTL and in Nashville.
      He played 22 + minutes on a good Nashville team.
      All of a sudden he sucks?
      Something else is going on in NJ, I don’t pretend to know what it is, just seems like the culture/environment/whatever you want to call it, seems a little sour.

      • Lamoriello hasn’t been there to crack the whip over the past few years of steady decline.

      • George, they definitely don’t seem to be all in on the effort side of things. Having Hall there knowing he isn’t going to resign likely isn’t helping on the team first side of the ledger either.
        Big TDL and off season for Shero.
        If the results don’t change next season, Shero may be gone. If he makes it that far.

  8. After winning the cup as GM of Pittsburgh in 2009 against Detroit, a year after losing the 2008 finals to the same team, the Penguins proceeded to get bumped in the 1st round five straight years, each time by a lower-seeded team, and in May of 2014 that cost Shero his job.

    I suppose if could be argued that Shero’s initial success came from inheriting a solid core thanks to his predecessor Craig Patrick who, before getting the axe himself, lucked into Sidney Crosby and then brought in Palffy, Gonchar, LeClair, Recchi, among other supporting cast.

    It seems you win one cup – regardless of how – and suddenly you’re a genius (witness Brian Burke in California) – until reality sets in.

  9. There are only two reasons to trade Galchenyuk: 1. The actual return that you get for him. 2. Need cap space for another trade that you know that you are making.

    If you don’t need the cap space, and you are only going to get a crappy pick, or crappy player in return… just keep him. His contract is over and maybe he will produce in the playoffs. The skill is there, just keep him to see if it comes out. If it doesn’t, then you lost a 4th rounder (return), who cares… it was worth the risk.

    • Hi Jim

      I agree if that was the case

      However space IS needed as you can bet GMJR will be making a move ….. Cap space is very valuable when needing to swing a deal at TDL

      I have to think there is a team that will take a shot at him. As I mentioned above , per TSN & SN , Botteril may be interested AND is willing to give up a D

      That’s why I was trying to come up with a deal

      Pens, now ifs ands or buts need help on D; Scands and G-Chuck both UFA…. Buff gets an extra roster spot plus assets and net zero on Cap

  10. To the suggestion above of:
    to EDM: AG 1.5 retained
    to PIT: Gagner

    Why would Rutherford do that? No Cap savings (with the retention) and switched to a much worse player.

    Even AG for Gagner 50% retained is a Pittsburgh loss.

  11. Pengy George O…..i believe someone will take a chance on G-chuck he is only 25 and only three seasons removed from 30 goals in this league.

    Teams like Buffalo,Anaheim, Los Angeles or Minnesota slower teams could all use a younger secondary scorer…. he just doesn’t fit wth Pittsburgh…

    someone will bite…will take the right system and the right coach but there’s talent there…

    • 3 seasons is forever in the NHL.
      Will someone take a flyer for $1M this off season? Agree on that blackngold.
      You can send him down if he doesn’t perform and the cap hit goes away.

      • I hope someone bites on Alex.G cause he has been nothing short of a disaster. Sluggish skates in mud and never seems like he wants on the ice. Almost feels like he can not play right cause he’s not the big fish on the ice. From the beginning I thought this was going to go south fast and it has. Give more time eventually someone will get hurt and some other fool will inquire about him.

    • Hi BNG

      agree …. Simone will take him…. it’s just got to include some sort of incentive

      Waiving him (just like if done with JJ) will free up an extra $1.08 M…. but if GMJR won’t waive the worst player in the league …. he’s not going to waive G-Chuck ☹️

  12. As a Flames fan, I hated the Lucic trade. No matter how few points Neal had last season, I thought we were getting the bigger of two evils in Lucic.

    Since Peters resigned, however, and Geoff Ward has changed up the lines, there seems to be a fit for everybody right now where they are. And, pleasantly surprising, Lucic seems to have found a nice role in the bottom six, has developed chemistry with the improving Derek Ryan, and is hard to move from the opposing crease on the power play (the diminutive Samuel Girard gave me a laugh the other night trying to do so).

  13. My only question is how can a player get his game going playing 8-10 minutes. Get him with Crosby or Malkin and see what he does and for more than just 1 game.