NHL Rumor Mill – December 23, 2019

by | Dec 23, 2019 | Rumors | 7 comments

The latest on Nicklas Backstrom, Craig Anderson and Lias Andersson in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE WASHINGTON POST: Samantha Pell reports a source claims contract term, not money, is a sticking point in negotiations between Capitals management and Nicklas Backstrom. The center is meeting directly with general manager Brian MacLellan to discuss a new deal.

Contract term is a sticking point in negotiations between NIcklas Backstrom nd the Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images).

Backstrom would prefer a five-year contract to avoid another negotiation soon. The Capitals prefer a three-year deal, extending Backstrom through the season when he turns 35.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backstrom is 32 and in the final season of a 10-year, $67-million contract. With 27 points in 29 games, he’s on pace for 68 points in 74 games this season.

While still productive, Backstrom’s at a point in his career when his performance will eventually decline. Perhaps the two sides agree to a four-year deal if Backstrom accepts an annual cap hit of $6 million per season.


OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren speculates the Florida Panthers could become a trade destination for Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. The netminder’s Florida home is just 15 minutes from the Panthers arena. He also spent parts of three seasons with them earlier in his career.

Warren indicates the Panthers are using prospect Chris Driedger is serving as a backup for Sergei Bobrovsky. He acknowledges their limited salary-cap space could be a stumbling block. They have around 900K available while Anderson carries a $4.5-million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers could be in the market for an experienced, reliable backup for Bobrovsky. Unless they shed significant salary, they’ll probably prefer a more affordable, younger option than Anderson.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks chastised Lias Andersson for his recent trade request and departure from the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford. The 21-year-old winger has been suspended by the Rangers. Brooks believes Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton has been trying to trade Andersson since the winger’s demotion in November. He points out the youngster’s trade value wasn’t helped by his poor performance in Hartford.

Brooks doubts there’s much of a market for a forward who lacks speed, explosiveness and isn’t creative with the puck. He wondered if the Nashville Predators would be willing to discussion swapping Andersson for Eeli Tolvanen, a once highly touted Preds prospect who’s also struggling to crack the NHL.

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell doubts the Edmonton Oilers will take a chance on Andersson. He feels the Oilers are looking to increase their speed and pace, especially at the center position. The Rangers could seek a draft pick in return, but Mitchell thinks the Oilers will want to keep the rest of their 2020 draft stock.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors were suggesting the Oilers swap Jesse Puljujarvi for Andersson before Puljujarvi’s Dec. 1 signing deadline. The issues raised by Brooks and Mitchell could explain why that didn’t come to pass. As for an Andersson-for-Tolvanen swap with the Predators, that’s probably not high on Nashville GM David Poile’s priority list. 


  1. I would stay away from Backstrom long term at a huge + contract, he is bound to start regressing.

    He is a hell of a hockey player though

  2. I might be wrong but I think that Bäckström will age well since his best attributes are his hands and his brain

    • Ya Kent, reminds me of Krecji.

  3. Lol… Larry Brooks is a tool…. prints garbage and lies. Horrible write up on 20 year old kid with more guts and talent than Brooks could dream of.

  4. Lias will play in the Swedish Elite League and be happy . Can’t give him away and nor should you.

    • Kerfoot ceci and hutchison and return 7th pick for larsson and mike smith. Leafs move spezza to 3c and engvall to 4c

  5. Capitals are smart with 3 year deal, players have zero loyalty to teams anymore so even if they need to retire they never do, last thing you want is a guy over 35 with huge cap hit and washed up