NHL Rumor Mill – December 31, 2019

by | Dec 31, 2019 | Rumors | 36 comments

Speculation of the Blackhawks scouting the Bruins and Sabres, plus the latest on the Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL scout claiming the Chicago Blackhawks have been scouting the Boston Bruins. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman was spotted taking in some recent Bruins games, as well as those of the Buffalo Sabres. With Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan out for the season, the Blackhawks need defensemen, something both clubs have to spare.

Could the Boston Bruins have an interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad? (Photo via NHL Images)

There’s also speculation Brandon Saad could be available. Murphy wonders if the Bruins might be interested in the Blackhawks winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres have more defensemen to spare than the Bruins. Murphy mentions Sabres blueliners Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian and Marco Scandella. There was talk Ristolainen asked for a trade last summer, but that’s died away this season. Bogosian and Scandella are both free agents at season’s end. Bogosian reportedly asked for a trade two weeks ago.

If Saad’s available the Bruins could pursue him. Making room for his $6 million salary-cap hit will mean sending a salaried player to Chicago or shedding salary elsewhere. The Bruins have less than $1 million in salary-cap space.


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently examined how things could get worse in this already-grim season for the San Jose Sharks. He pointed out how head coach Bob Boughner called out some unnamed players for their poor play following a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, their schedule gets bumpy over the next two months, and their lack of prospect depth gives them a grim long-term future.

Among their few short-term contracts, Kevin Lebanc and Brenden Dillon could become trade candidates. Lebanc inked a very affordable one-year, $1-million contract last summer, but he’s clearly in the doghouse this season. He’s a restricted free agent at season’s end and will seek a raise. Dillon, meanwhile, will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The next several weeks will make or break the Sharks’ season. If they haven’t gained ground in the standings by the end of January, general manager Doug Wilson could become a seller. If so,The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz believes Dillon could be the first to go.


  1. Tough break for Kevin Lebanc. Dude signed a sweetheart deal to keep the band together and it looks like maybe he should have chased the big money instead.

    • A lot of us in here thought he was bonkers to ink that deal, while many more applauded him for “putting the team first.”

      Personally, I still say he was nuts to accept that contract. With 8 goals and 11 assists at the halfway mark, being in the “doghouse” will make it very difficult to even match last year’s totals of 17g 39a. Good luck seeking any kind of substantial boost in salary this time around.

      • Hi George


        Deal was nuts o amundo!!!!

        Even taking his “dog house” stats of this year… on pace for 16-23-39…. that is still worth much more than $1M

        Change of scenery will do him great….. depth addition at almost league minimum Cap hit; worthwhile add for many teams at TDL

        He certainly won’t get $’s in 20/21 that he could have had (if he accepted a logical deal last summer) but it won’t be $1M again; that’s for sure.

      • Unless, of course, he is dealt to a team where he gets more ice-time and suddenly catches fire down the stretch. Then his stock rises again. And this time he won’t repeat that brain fart.

  2. To Lyle and All,

    Wishing you a Happy New Year and prosperous, healthy, and joyously enriched, next decade.


    • Happy New Year, Pengy and everyone who’s followed and supported this site in 2019 and throughout the decade. Here’s to a wonderful 2020 and a prosperous ’20s.

      • I hope the 20’s are like my late 20’s and not my early ones. Not sure I could survive that again.

        Happy New Years to yin’s all.

      • Any may your eyesight match the year!

  3. Happy New Year, all!
    Thanks, Kyle, for a place I can frequent each morning g to know what the hockey media is discussing.

    • I knew you were real, Bill.

      Thanks for joining us.

      Happy New Year, everyone!

  4. Hello Everyone, I don’t post often but enjoying reading not only the articles but the comments. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year, Gene!

  5. Chi down 2 D and looking to Sabres for a D????

    No thanks

    I’m still hoping and praying for a G-Chuck (19% retained to make the deal Cap even) and pick or prospect for Scands .

    G-chuck has picked up his game but even with that his current projection gets him (and Pens) another 6 G, 12 A (18 Points) for the rest of the year (based on playing all remaining 42 games).

    Scands also has played 30 Gs; switching G-Chuck for Scands and Pens lose (in production) ONLY 1 G and 6 assists for the balance of the year. That is basically NOTHING.

    So the Scands/G-chuck trade MASSIVELY improves the D on Pens; forces (once Dumo is back) JJ to 3rd pairing at best (massive reduction in minutes played) so that in turn FURTHER MASSIVELY improves D (the shots against and goals against) ; all at the expense of losing at most 1 more goal and 6 more assists for the balance of the year ; that proportionate loss is reduced as we get closer and closer to the TDL

    Why would Buff make the trade… they have the extra D so not a loss to them; but they have been publicly mentioned in being more than willing to trade an extra D for another top 9 forward. I believe that G-Chuck would certainly do better in Buffalo than his current production. They also get an additional pick or prospect in the deal.

    Jimbo… make your call to your former Protégé and see what the “extra” pick/prospect would be….and gedderdone ….. 👍🙂

    Pens also doing fine w/o Bjug and McC will slot in perfectly at 3C when Sid returns…. Jimbo call LA and see what it will take as an extra for a Bjug/Toffoli swap. Same age, LA gets a C under contract for next year.

    say Bjug and ZAR for Toffoli …. Gedderdone !!!!!!

    Now with the above moves and when Pens all healthy











    That roster has an excellent shot at getting to ECF; and fair shot at getting to Cup where I think they match up very well against Blues OR Knights OR Avs.




    • would AG get ya doghouse Miller in Buff?
      they want scoring and Pitts can use the depth in D

      then ask Chi if they want JJ & Bjugstad for a 2nd lol

    • Yeah, Galchenyuk has really picked up his game! Some GMs would look for more than a 3 game sample size…. like maybe his last 12-18 games?

      He’s been on absolute fire ! 4 points in his last 12 and 6 in his last 18-20! But GMs will probably only look to his last 3 games.

      On a side note…. even on New Year’s Eve….. it’s always Groundhog Day here!

      Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

      • Unfortunately ag might now be indispensable in Pitt now with Jake out. That felt gross to type.

  6. Sharks are a garbage team. Can’t wait to see their lottery pick go to Ottawa.

    • Karlsson trade is lookomg better and better every day

      • LOL. I don’t dare say that for fear of generating another spray of “Dorion is a door-knob” and elements of ancient history.

      • Why is Johny one note always picking on my team. I don’t like it ,I just want to criticize other teams .
        Poor George

      • George. Dorion is proving to be quite adept and working with the little resources Melnyck provides.

        It will be interesting to see if he can construct and keep the team together with what Melnyck desides to budget for him.

      • I rest my above case Jeff. Over … and over … and over … anyone recall broken records or am I that old? See also below. Makes a point … then beats it to death with repetition … makes the same point then repeats it – LOL – but maybe I should be charitable since that seems to be the extent of his hockey “knowledge”

  7. Chicago if you need D I am willing to trade you Staal & Haley for Saad.

    Thank you and Happy New year.

  8. The Karlsson trade might make up for how bad they lost the Hoffman trade.
    San Jose immediately flipped Hoffman for 2nd , 4th ,5th draft pick. Ottawa got a 6th round pick and a couple of nobodys.
    Melnyk can’t be used as an excuse. He has owned them 2003. He has paid lots of big money contracts that were were mistakes.
    I.e Jared Cowan, Bobby Ryan Michalek, Colin Greening amongst others.
    Dorion has been a scout for them since since 2009. Lot of misses.
    Obviously an Ottawa site the kool-aid is being drank.
    Is there a Waco street in Ottawa

  9. Poor George, lol

  10. George,

    I’m not saying Vinnie is a full on stalker…. but he said the new carpet in your living room looks lovely…. through some bushes….. and your blinds ….

    • The carpet is Dorion Blue , didn’t need a ladder being in the basement.
      Happy New Year George!!

    • LOL. And to think he once claimed he was playing me “like a violin.” All I need to do is pick out something positive about the Sens – or even Dorion specifically – and he’s into a full-scale rendition of Rosin The Bow – never a different tune.


  11. The carpet is Dorion Blue , didn’t need a ladder being in the basement.
    Happy New Year George!!

    • Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit! Vinnie

  12. So, the peace on earth, goodwill to man thing is over?
    That right?

    • Looks like it. Lol

    • Had to get my wife to translate. lol

    • Heh. If anyone is curious as to how to say it out loud, it’s a tongue twister – roughly it’s ahvlee on fuwee wash ah gewitch

      • Man. You are too old to hit the booze that rough.

      • Nothing like Guinness in the can to celebrate New Year’s … and let the Irish Gaelic take over