NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2019

by | Dec 27, 2019 | Rumors | 36 comments

With Seabrook and de Haan sidelined, will the Blackhawks go shopping for replacements? Are the Penguins planning to move a goaltender? Could the Senators shop Craig Anderson? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: With Blackhawks defensemen Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan sidelined for the season, Ben Pope reports the club put them on long-term injury reserve. That will free up their combined $11.4 million salary-cap hit, providing the Blackhawks with immense flexibility.

Should the Chicago Blackhawks pursue New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen? (Photo via NHL Images)

What general manager Stan Bowman will, and should, do with that space is unclear. He could pursue one or two rental players via the trade market, such as New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen or Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki. However, giving up assets to acquire those players seems short-sighted.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield speculates Bowman could pass on the opportunity to use that additional cap space to bolster his roster. The Blackhawks are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and they aren’t flush with prospects to use as trade bait.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers also ponders possible moves by Bowman. He could simply let the season play out and see where the chips fall. He could wait until the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches to get a better idea if he’ll be a buyer or a seller. He could be aggressive now in hope of adding rental players who can provide immediate help to the roster.

Powers also points out they lack sufficient assets to tempt rival clubs in the trade market. He doesn’t see Bowman trading away Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist and Ian Mitchell. Perhaps Bowman could attempt to use his cap space to plan for the future by acquiring an expiring toxic contract or two packaged with draft picks and prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be worthwhile keeping an eye on the Blackhawks. Bowman will likely see how things unfold in the coming weeks before deciding upon his course of action. He undoubtedly wants to restock his prospect pipeline but also wants to give his current roster a fighting chance to reach the postseason. If they can gain ground in the standings, perhaps he’ll see what affordable options are available.


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Vensel reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford doesn’t plan to act urgently with his goaltending situation. Tristan Jarry has outplayed starter Matt Murray, who’s only appeared in two games this month.

While Rutherford acknowledged one never knows what could come up between now and the trade deadline, he’s not looking to move a goaltender right now. Jarry and Murray are both restricted free agents next summer, so there’s no urgency to move either player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several teams would love to acquire Jarry. Rutherford could attempt to trade the young netminder while his stock is high. Given Murray’s injury history, however, I suspect the Penguins GM will hang on Jarry for the rest of the season. He could shop third-stringer Casey DeSmith, but he’s good insurance in case Murray or Jarry gets hurt.


OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion will have to decide over the next two months which veterans he’ll need to keep to bridge the gap as his younger core continues to develop. He believes pending free-agent goaltender Craig Anderson’s days in the Senators net are drawing to a close. The better Anderson plays, the better the return if and when a team comes calling for an experienced backup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just throwing this out there: Anderson to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They need a reliable backup and the two clubs have a recent trade history.

The Senators would have to pick up a healthy chunk of his $4.75-million annual cap hit. Even then, it could still get complicated cap-wise for the Leafs.


  1. Craig Anderson will be going somewhere where he gets a decent crack at the Cup and that will happen at the trade deadline. My bet is Florida who currently sit just 1 pt out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic back of Montreal with a game in hand and 3 back of the Leafs with 2 games in hand.

    Which is amazing when you look at their goaltending stats

    Bobrovsky – 29gp 3.20gaa 0.899 save %
    Montembeault – 7gp 3.31 gaa 0,889 save %

    Currently, Driedger is the back-up and while he has 1.69 gaa – 0.948 save % that is only over 3 games

    Anderson has played in 17 games and has a 2.88 gaa – 0.909 save %

    The only questions are, how do they make the cap $ work and what does Florida give up to get Anderson? It could get real interesting as we approach trade deadline day since I think there will be other teams jumping into the mix to get the veteran for the stretch run IF he stays healthy and continues to put up good numbers in Ottawa.

    • Hutchinson & something to OTT for Anderson. TML needs a backup that is reliable. They can try to work out the cap somehow.

      • Pass on Hutchinson thank you very much. Much rather go what’s left of the season after a trade with Nilsson and Hogberg.

      • Hutchinsons value is – minus

        Hes horrible

        All the while being behind Torontos horrible “defense”…

    • If those numbers are what Florida can expect from Bobrovsky, will they be at all concerned about the quality of his backup? He’s fast becoming one of those dreaded “toxic contracts.”

  2. George.
    I’ll bet you a “Coke” he goes nowhere.
    He hasn’t played enough, he’s held together with shoe strings and snot and he makes too much money.

    • You’re on Dark G – by the time of the trade deadline that $4 mil + cap hit will be down considerably and, depending upon what comes back, Ottawa could withhold a good chunk of that. In Florida he’d only have to play any remaining back-to-backs they may have following the trade and the odd other game here and there. He may be held together with bailing wire and duct tape (it worked well for Red Green) but he is also pretty resilient. First game back after being off with a recent injury he face 44 shots against Buffalo in a 3-1 win so there’s still “something” of the competitive goalie there. They only need him in Florida as a more effective back-up than anything else in their system.

  3. I think Anderson will go to Colorado I see them being buyers for rentals this season more than any other club

    • Current numbers on Avs backup far better than Anderson’s. Plus Avs goalie 10 yrs younger. I see the leafs more as the spot. Or Florida as someone noted.

  4. Everybody to the Leafs. Despite the fact Dubas doesnt have two nickels to rub together.

    • kerfoot & ceci for Vatanen & Wood?

      Move Spezza back to 3C full time

      • I wood do this in a second as leaf fan. Think and can do better though

      • Lol no way the devils give up vatenan alone for kerfoot and ceci! They will get ALOT more elsewhere

  5. I don’t know why anyone would trade for Anderson. He is more apt to end up injured than to help anyone.
    But maybe Colorado would trade Bowen Byram for him. Maybe even throw in Shane Bowers.

  6. If pens do move one I hope it’s murray. His potential contract demands, his injury hx, make him less desirable than Jarry. That being said I doubt you get anything worthwhile enough to make the deal. Better off keeping both and dealing with logjam in the offseason. Contract demands will be clearer. Hell. You could play them off one another. Whoever takes the team friendliest deal stays and starts… the other is off to who knows where!

    • Don’t think penguins are moving any goalie ..and Murray the way he iis playing he isnt getting any long term deal like people were predicting..especially a 6 year deal at $7 million..thats not happening..

  7. Jarry was originally drafted to replace Fleury.

  8. For all the talk of Anderson, will be interested to see what happens with Lehner. Good chance Hawks are way out of it by the deadline, which makes Lehner amazing trade bait. While he’d be a starter and not a backup, it could change the market drastically.

    He has virtually the same contract as Anderson and is, at this point in their careers, 5x the goalie. I’d pick Florida as more interested in Lehner than Anderson, if it’s only for this season and their financial price tags are the same.

  9. Jarry looks fundamentally sound I would trade Murray if possible if I were the Penguins get some more cap relief and get rid of a goalie who is injury prone. You dont need to get much back its more of trading some salary out and bring up DeSmith he is a capable proven backup from last year and was sent down because of a numbers game

  10. Wonder if Rangers could deal Lundqvist. Hank has no desire to be traded, but with assumption that they could shop Gorgiev to make room for Shestyorkin , would it make more sense for Rangers to deal Hank?He has 1 more year on contract and what if they decide to buy out his final year and let him know their plans before deadline? With his proven record in playoffs he could be the difference for some teams. His stats aren’t what they used to be but, he’s also playing behind a very young defense that bleeds shots.

    • Hefty cap to move. Not sure anyone has room to pick up a backup with that type of cap hit for the remainder of this year and next. Even if some $ is withheld.

      Will be an interesting deadline for the Rangers.

      • Hank is not a backup. A team like Av’s could fit his pro rated cap hit and have an experienced netminder going into playoffs. Just throwing this out there as I see Hank as a possible buyout candidate next season if they opt to hold onto Gorgiev. Would even be cheaper for Rangers to retain salary for final year.

      • Avs goalie tandem is actually playing well. Not sure Hank becomes the bonafide #1 there. I do not consider Hank a back up either but do you want Sakic to crap on both his goalies’ confidence by trading for Hank at this point in the season?

        If Hank did not have 1 more year , I could see some team using Hank to make a run. I rather the Rangers keep the guy. He has been an amazing teammate, ambassador and still plays well albeit the D forgetting their assignments when he is in net.

        I get where you are coming from with Hank. For me, I would not want to retain salary if we move him because we already are tight with Girardi, & Shatts buyout for next year’s cap hit.

        I guess anything is possible though. If their goalies crumble up to the deadline a Hank & Kreider becomes very possible.

      • Hi Slick 62 and IHC

        Any move on Hank is all in his hands. He has said many times that he wants to stay as a Ranger for the balance of his contract (if not his career).

        if he does change his mind and wants to win a cup (I don’t see him winning with Rangers by the end of current contract (June of ’21) when he will be 39…. would he come back for a year at 39?

        Re buyout for him after this year— Cash of $4M over two years; and Cap hits of $5.5 M(next year) and $1.5 M (’21-22)

        The cash is not the issue for any single team— its the Cap hit of $5.5M next year.

        IF (huge IF) Hank will waive; it WILL/MUST be a retained deal (and likely close to the max of 50%).

        Would Hank put teams over the top… certainly if their number one goes down. However, most cups runs (very few exceptions) have the starter going throughout. That is a big chunk to pay for Hank to sit through the playoffs as an insurance policy.

        What team then fits the bill (again after the big IF that Hank cedes/waives his rights) for need and has space even at the 50% retained; AND has a shot at a cup this year????

        that field is very very narrow and basically it would come down to Colorado…. and their tandem is doing fine.

        A little more likely than a move this year is Rangers buying him out after the season…. and not much Cap savings next year by doing that.

        Many many teams would love to have Hank; the odds are low now and again; it’ s all up to Hank.

      • Pengy, as I said, Hank has shown no interest in being moved. I only mentioned if they discussed the possibility of him maybe being bought out next season. Rangers would save 3m in cap space next season, while adding an extra year of 1.5m. Next year of course they’ll have Shattys cap hit of 6m so a Lundqvist buyout could make sense. This is of course based on them wanting to keep Georgiev….imo, Hank could be a #1 for a team like the Av’s

    • The Rangers should get rid of King.H

      Hes going to handcuff their rebuild, with his huge cap hit, NTC, they have 2 amazing young goalies- they would love to rid themselves of King.Henrik

    • Proven record in the playoffs?

      0 Stanley Cups and just one Finals appearance…. Lundqvist and Luongoat…. both vastly overhyped and over rated.

  11. I believe Anderson has a 10 team no trade clause. That and his willingness to be apart from his wife (it seems she is doing well) might factor in.

    As for Pittsburgh, I’m not sure of the ramifications for the 2021 expansion draft. Im guessing both DeSmith and Jarry require protection as well as Murray, so is it an advantage to keep all 3 until then, or better to move one now?

  12. Why would Florida want to add more dollars to the “goalie position” more than the $10 m already allocated. Makes no sense. No adequate back up or not. Bob is the guy . At least paid like one .

    Agree that Lehner will be highly sought after unless he is Chicago’s future goalie and Crawford is the one moved

    • Hi S7

      You might have something there. If Chi is giving up on this year; Lehner is UFA; they may get good trade value out of him.

      They’ve already paid his SB; retaining 50% not a big deal for a Franchise with loads of cash

      Bolts are not doing as well as they had hoped for; Lehner 6th in league in save %’age.

      Bolts have tons of prospects AND have that extra 1st rounder (Vancouver)

      Lehner with 50% retained for McIhenney +++ just might be a viable move for both teams.

      As a Leafs fan, If this was next year, I would be all in for Lehner at 50% (for back-up to Freddy) ; but again as I’ve posted many times; this is NOT Leafs year (window is ’21-’24) and no moves now should be used that affect that window.

  13. Let’s get Ross Johnston in a Bruins uniform so he can slow down the physical abuse the Bruins are taking …Chara can’t do it by himself

    • Hi Joe

      I didn’t know who he was; had to look him up.

      Solid stock… 6’5″, 235 !!!!

      Has he every fought the bonehead Wilson?

      • He has and Wilson seem to want no part of him

  14. Re Pens and goalies

    Jimbo would be Dumbo (more Dumbo !!!) to move any before year end

    1) I believe Jarry IS the future; and to top that off …. ANY replacement (you HAVE to have 2 goalies) will eat up more Cap this year …. no player in the ENTIRE league is paid less than Jarry is. Jarry’s stats are tops!

    2) Murray on a low; can only go up (which I truly believe he will) and trading now will get a very low return …. not worth it. And Murray then replaced by DeSmith (even at current Murray rate ; is that a difference? Please s then vulnerable if DeSmith and/or Jarry get injured)

    3) Trading DeSmith should only be considered in a swap
    (another 3rd goalie) move … if he’s traded w/o another 3G back; any injury to either Jarry or Murray could be catastrophic. Why would any team want to flip 3rd goalies ????

    Pens have been doing very well considering the fortune in players this year being off injured

    Still in playoff position and 1 point out of 3rd with game in hand and 3 out of 2nd place (although Isles have the game in hand); and Sid returning soon and I expect Dumo not that far behind ????

    Two excellent opportunities for trades …. Bjug and G-Chuck

    Pens have performed absolutely fine w/o Bjug (whose 82 Gme pace is 8 G 0 A ….8 pts) and G-Chuck is just not performing anywhere near his Cap hit (82 Gme pace of 6-24-30)

    Those two have a Cap hit of $9M

    Even if they were traded with MAX retained …. cap savings of $4.5 M (annual rate) and 2 assets (no matter how low a pick and/or how poor a quality of prospect ) at LEAST are coming back

    …. that’s basically almost zero impact to team performance by moving them ; a minimum of $4.5 M in Cap savings AND a gain of at LEAST 2 assets …. that should be the move

    Ideally …. Jimbo should call his former protege (Botterill) and offer G-Chuck (50 % retained) and Ruhweedel and a 5th for Scands

    Buff gets a “three-for” ; saves at least $850 K (annulal rate) in Cap ; $1.55 if Ruhweedel is waived and gets another top 9 winger they were looking for

    Pens shore up D and when Dumo is back ; the brutal JJ is forced to third pairing and maxing at 14 mins per. Basically no loss offensively (actual gain likely with Scands top 4 and JJ bottom pairing) and the cost is $850 K in cap (annual rate) and a 5th (Ruhweedel a bonus to Pens in moving him)

    Similarly …. Bjug to Minn for something (anything)

    Now at TDL …. Jimbo has at a minimum an extra $4.5 M (annual rate) in Cap space ; and at a minimum 1 extra asset (Bjug trade; if the Scands deal works) and maybe 2 or more (Bjug and GChuck just flipoed for assets)

    Use space and new assets plus picks to shore up depth

    Just st sayin’

  15. The Penguins are persuing their declared objective of winning another Cup during the Crosby-Malkin era, and every new season, Crosby and Malkin become a year older,. At the moment, the Penguins may be good enough to win a playoff series or two, but that’s not their objective. Being content with “going deep” is like holding hands with the nice guys who finish last. I think the Penguins won’t want to waste another year of Crosby-Malkin. They’re probably hoping for an offer for either of their goalies that brings them a player they think could get them a Cup.

    Although the sample size for Jarry is small, the sample size for Murray gets bigger by the season. It may be too big now to be considered a slump. Moreover, keeping both goalies this season makes it unlikely that they’ll be able to fit both under the cap next season. If they can, one will be exposed in the next expansion draft.

    Given these circumstances, and after seeing DeSmith play as well as Murray is now, I can see the Penguins thinking that keeping Murray is a bigger risk than keeping Jarry. Maybe, it would be wise to let another team take that risk. Murray will not improve their chances of winning a Cup if Jarry continues to get number one playing time because he deserves it. There might be another team he could help as a starter.

    • Francis S.very well said making the playoffs isn’t good enough for the malkin Crosby era..they need to go for it..