NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2019

by | Dec 5, 2019 | Rumors | 25 comments

An update on the Devils, the Canadiens are linked to Alec Martinez and Shayne Gostisbehere, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Taylor Hall trade talks have intensified, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen soon. New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero seeks first-round picks, including conditional options. Shero also wants high-level NHL-ready prospects.

There’s a lot of focus on the Colorado Avalanche as a trade partner. They think they can win now and have lots of defensive prospects to tempt the Devils. Several teams believe the Arizona Coyotes could make a serious attempt, while the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues could also be among the pursuers. Friedman feels the Edmonton Oilers might be interested, but they could be unwilling to meet the Devils’ asking price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I pointed out yesterday, recent reports indicate the Hall camp could be advising their client not to sign anything until the off-season. That’s when Hall will receive more lucrative offers from multiple teams. If so, that will have an effect upon his trade value and possible suitors.

I don’t think the Coyotes will go after Hall as a rental player. They’ll want to keep him beyond this season, but there’s no certainty he’d agree to that. Arizona Sports’ Matt Layman reports the Coyotes have limited salary-cap space this season. He believes the Coyotes would have to send one or two salaried players to the Devils as part of the return.

The Avalanche could be a good fit for Hall, but that depends on whether GM Joe Sakic is willing to gamble valuable assets on a rental. Sakic could be swayed if Hall is willing to re-sign. 

The Stars and Blues could be checking into Hall’s availability but I’m not convinced they can land him. Cap Friendly indicates the Stars are pressed for cap space this season, while the Blues must ensure they have sufficient cap room later in the season when sniper Vladislav Tarasenko returns from shoulder surgery. I concur with Friedman’s take on the Oilers. Besides, their biggest need is for a quality third-line center, not another top-line scoring winger.

Friedman also reports the Devils have put winger Miles Wood on the trade block. He’s signed through 2021-22 with an annual average value of $2.75 million but isn’t as aggressive or edgy as he was in the past.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A club seeking a speedy winger with power-forward potential could make a pitch for the 24-year-old Wood. No word on the Devils’ possible asking price, but it could be an NHL-ready player.

Are the Montreal Canadiens attempting to acquire Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Montreal Canadiens took a long look at Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez before his wrist injury. The Shayne Gostisbehere rumors were denied.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez is signed through next season with an affordable $4 million annual salary-cap hit. Maybe the Canadiens revisit that interest once he returns to action.

As for those Gostisbehere rumors, Friedman could be referring to this one (stick tap to Habsterix.com) from Martin McGuire of Montreal’s 98.5 FM. He claims the Habs and Flyers are in discussions regarding the puck-moving defenseman.

Before the coaching drama that recently went down in Calgary, rival clubs were trying to see if they could steal Sam Bennett from the Flames. The club has laughed off lowball offers. In the past, the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, and Nashville Predators attempted to acquire him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill in recent years. The Flames, however, show no interest in moving the versatile forward.

Friedman suggests keeping an eye on the Kings with most of their veterans except for Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty. The Buffalo Sabres have surplus defensemen, while the Carolina Hurricanes remain in the market for a top-nine forward. A rival GM predicts the Blues still think they can win again and could go for it. Meanwhile, things have calmed down in Minnesota as the Wild have surged in recent weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez and Tyler Toffoli could draw the most interest among the Kings’ veterans. Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown carry expensive contracts that are difficult to move.

The Blues could “go for it”, but they’ve also got to ensure they don’t gut their future. Right now, they’re riding high in the standings and are in a good place. I can see them making one or two affordable moves but I will be surprised if they pursue someone like Taylor Hall.

The Edmonton Oilers are believed to have spoken to clubs that had interest in winger Jesse Puljujarvi before the Dec. 1 RFA signing deadline. That includes the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Friedman believes they discussed Lias Andersson with the Rangers, but couldn’t agree on a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps those discussions will resume in the off-season. I expect the Oilers will move Puljujarvi sometime in June, likely around the 2020 NHL Draft weekend.


  1. Good morning

    After watching the Avs – Leafs game last night ..
    I think it would be a waste of depth to go after Taylor Hall if I was Sakic ….

    If I am the Avs all they really need is a player more like a Krieder …WAY less expensive …net presence …size & skill …fights for 50 / 50 pucks in the corner and probably a player in all reality they can resign and make use of the cap room they will need on Mackinnon and Makar longer term….IMO….after watching last nights game Krieder would be my main target if Iam the Avs !
    perfect player in that top 6 group of players and to have to go against a line of Kadri and Krieder would be very difficult after facing Mackinnon Rantannen, Landesgog ..along with Nischuskin Calvert …Donskoi…..Jost and Compher

    ….add in a Krieder for size on the wing and depth to any line and they are set for a run…IMO

    Also on the TSN radio here in the GTA …the panel discussed what a trade value would be for Matthews ..and if Makar would be an equal trade straight up …and most of the panel said they would not make that deal …very interesting to hear from past NHL players !

    just thought id spice things up ….not my conversation it was on TSN…talk radio …but thought it to be a very interesting conversation..

    I may have to agree …with that evaluation….unfortunately right now.

    • Kal EL
      I have said the same about Krieder to the Sharks. He’s worth the cap hit for his style of play. I could see him getting moved before the deadline.

      • Jshark, from the other SJ fan on Lyle’s holy grail of hockey insight, I agree.

    • Morning Kal El

      Just checking re the discussion you mentioned on trade value for Makar straight up…. are you sure they were talking Mathews for Makar straight up and notHall/Makar?

      Makar is fantastic and has an exceptional future likely ahead of him; but comparing an established #1 C franchise type player (who is 6’3” and 220) that should be a perennial 40 G guy to a freshman D (albeit exceptional but less than 30 NHL games under his belt) should not be considered straight up unless they are thinking of Makar in “Orr-like” terms (Maybe they are?)

      I would have thought the panel would quash that idea right away… I can’t see either team going for that deal (Sakic not wanting to pony that Cap hit and likelihood that he walks in 4 1/2 years; and Dubas then left with Tavares and Kerfoot as the 1C/2C)

      • Hey, Pengy.
        I heard today that the return for Phil Kessel from Minnesota was none other than Matthew Dumba!
        Could you just imagine?

        No wonder they fired Fenton.

      • ShoreOrrPark

        Are you Sharding Me?

        The report always said that JJ was involved going to Minn…..so you’re saying now that it was going to be

        Phil & JJ for Dumba????

        ….. and it only fell through cause Phil nixed it ????


        Instead the deal was ….. Phil @$6.8 M for 3 more years (on pace for 11 G and 31 A…. 42 pts this year) + 4th ‘21 (call it nothing) + Birks (24 yr old D now in ECHL
        and likely never to make NHL…. call that asset nothing)


        G-Chuck (UFA) @$4.9 M …. and on pace for 8 G + 31 A …. 39 points and….

        Pierre-Olivier Joseph …. good 20 year old D prospect …. selected 23rd over-all in ‘17

        …. so basically G-Chuck for Phil …. save $1.9 M in Cap this year; we lose 3 goals this year ; and rid out-year commitment ($6.8 M) on Phil ; and won’t have to protect him in draft ; and get a good prospect….. Pens win this trade for sure

        ….. but we could have rid JJ and had Dumba …… so Mofo Phil by nixing the trade would have cost us G-Chuck’s massive projected 8 Gs at the expense of replacing JJ with Dumba (😭😭😭😭😭😭😭) AND netting an additional $2.25 M in Cap ($4.15 M vs current deal savings of $1.9 M)….. 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

        going out to find a rock to crawl under

      • Hey Pengy, I honestly never heard if JJ was part of the deal or not.

        Regardless, Dumba alone would have been enough to push him down.

  2. IF the Blues “go for it”, I would want them to go after Kreider or Toffoli more than Taylor Hall. I think they are both better options at a cheaper price.

    • Kostin & a 1st would get it done fast

  3. If Colorado wanted a UFA rental why not wait until the trade deadline and go hard after Pietrangelo if he’s available, that’s a big If tho

    • Why would the Avs go after a defensemen? What they need more is a second line winger

      • Strom in NY would be a right hand option and VERY affordable

  4. I go for a R Reaves to the Bruins

    • Hi Joe

      Suggested that as one option yesterday for those asking for grittier push-back on teams honing in on pasta … but he (Reaves) is absolutely loved by fans in LV… don’t see him moved

      Also someone yesterday or the day before was asking for another bigger push back 3rd/4th line winger as well for Bruins

      I put it out there to see what the required return would need to be from Ducks for Good-B & Deslauriers (combined Cap $4.95 M)… that’s two push-back big boys …I don’t think anybody responded …. thoughts ?

    • The Bruins are needing a Maroon or a Kassian type player, not a goon. Someone who adds toughness to a roster and keep the opponents players in check, but still can skate and put up good quality minutes.
      IMO what teams should be doing more with teams like Vega is play as rough a game as possible. The rougher the game is the more Vegas puts Reaves out which makes that line weaker. There would be nothing better to have your teams topline out and Vegas having Reaves out on the ice. What teams top players couldn’t skate circles around Reaves? The more Reaves plays the less a better quality player plays, which falls in the your teams favour.

    • If you want to add some toughness Joe, a RW with pending UFA, it is Kassian.
      He can play with good players because he can skate and has some hands and hockey sense.
      There is a reason Kassian gets 16 plus minutes a night and Reaves gets 9.
      Plus he will fight anybody.
      Having said that, if the Oil hang on for a playoff spot, he isn’t going anywhere. Even if they miss I can see them resigning him.
      Dude is a valuable player.

      • Kassian is an elite skater for such a big rig. Decent hands on the big fella too.

        I think he fits well, right where he is though.

        Anderson, Lemieux and even Wood to a lesser extent are players I’d like to have.

      • @Shore

        Wood in NJ is available i would think.

        Backes, someone plus enticing pick for Wood & Simmonds for the playoff run?

  5. Wood should be a reasonable return. Maybe the coach was the issue. He would be a nice add for depth if nothing else .
    Hall probably goes at the deadline as a rental to which the return will not be as needed for the franchise . A lot of interest I am sure but not slot of cap space out there.

  6. To ihatecrosby,

    Strome has re-energized his career playing for Quinn in New York. For the reasons you mentioned, Strome is exactly what the Rangers need too; an affordable, relatively young-ish center who can play on their second line in any role and be a stop-gap until their real next second line center emerges. He is also useful insurance in case Zibanejad gets hurt. For those reasons I don’t think the Rangers will trade him unless they get an overpayment that is considered worthy.

    • Most likely correct.

      What goes thru my head is what cost he will want? Will he take market value or take a discount bc he finally found a home where he performs?

      Will it cost 4.5 or 5 or more? Does this push Kreider out?

      That is what I tend to think about. I think if Strome is not in your top 6 there is no point to keep him. Kratsov can come over playing 3rd line minutes with whomever centers.

      I was merely remarking with Strome how he would be an affordable pick up for the BOS playoff run

      NY can always resign him in the off season.

      wink and nod kinda of deal.

      • Ahh, I actually thought you were talking about Colorado! Well, let’s say he scores between 15 and 20 goals and 40-45 points.. at his age, I don’t think that is worth $5 million per season on a long term deal. On a 2 year deal maybe. If the Rangers were to keep him on a 4 or 5 year deal I would value him at $4.25 or $4.5.

        How cheap do you think he would come? As Rangers GM I would be asking for either Trent Frederic or Anders Bjork, with potentially a draft pick too.

  7. Phil Kessel :

    29 games played.
    4 goals ( on pace for 11 goals )
    11 assists ( on pace for 31 assists )
    15 points. ( on pace for 42 points )

    I do hope the guy that mocked my Kessel forecast actually copied and kept it. Refresher, I said Kessel would get less than 20 goals and around 40 points.

    So far so good.

    • I thought Phil would hit 30 40 70.
      Wrong again.

    • Hi Ron

      I had posted a projection of 40-50 points but that was projecting for the ‘20-‘21 season (and 35-45 for the expansion draft season … ‘21-‘22)

      I had thought this year he’d be 55-65 …. I didn’t think he’d fall off that fast

      Kudos on your projection

      BTW … he’s got a goal tonight; LOL