NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2019

by | Dec 9, 2019 | Rumors | 66 comments

The latest on Alex Pietrangelo and Carey Price in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: (subscription required) James Mirtle recently wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs should pursue St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo to fix their blueline now or during the summer. The 29-year-old defenseman is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. With limited salary-cap space for next season, the Blues could find it difficult re-signing him.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs look into acquiring St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo? (Photo via NHL Images)

Mirtle doubts Pietrangelo is going anywhere this season. He carries a full no-trade clause, loves playing in St. Louis, and the Blues are one of the best teams in the league. However, contract extension talks with the Blues are nonexistent. Mirtle notes Blues management have been sniffing around the Leafs lately.

If the Leafs pursue Pietrangelo next summer, Mirtle suggests they’ll have to subtract dollars from their forward lines to free up sufficient cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m encapsulating the main points from Mirtle’s piece, which goes into far greater detail on this subject. Pietrangelo and the Blues could part company in the near future, but it won’t happen during this season. They’re sitting atop the Western Conference and intend to stage a serious defense of their Stanley Cup championship. If the Leafs, or anyone else, want Pietrangelo, they’ll have to wait until next summer.

Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $73 million tied up in 15 players for 2020-21. Recent speculation suggests the Pietrangelo camp could seek around $8.5 million annually on a long-term deal. Assuming the cap jumps to $84 million, they won’t have enough to re-sign Pietrangelo and leave enough to re-sign restricted free agents like Vince Dunn and Sammy Blais without making one or two cost-cutting trades.

The Leafs, meanwhile, have over $65 million invested in just 10 players. Except for Morgan Rielly, all their current roster defensemen are due for new contracts next summer. Signing Pietrangelo will take up a big chunk of their cap space, leaving little to suitably restock their blueline unless they trade away a salaried forward. It’ll take considerable creative accounting to pull it off without significantly weakening their depth elsewhere.


TVA SPORTS: Michel Bergeron recently restated his belief the Montreal Canadiens should consider trading goaltender Carey Price and defenseman Shea Weber. He cites Price’s desire to win the Stanley Cup, pointing out he and Weber aren’t getting any younger. Bergeron suggests it’s time to move on.

Acknowledging Price’s no-movement clause, Bergeron believes he could waive it for the right destinations. One could be the Colorado Avalanche, who could win the Stanley Cup this season. Another is the Vancouver Canucks, which is close to the small North BC town where he was raised.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t going anywhere. His no-movement clause is a sticking point, and so is his $10.5 million annual cap hit through 2025-26. In addition to Price agreeing to be moved, the Habs could be forced to pick up a big chunk of his salary-cap hit to get a deal done. 

The Avs seem content with their current goalie tandem of Philipp Graubauer and Pavel Francouz. Maybe that changes if they struggle in the playoffs, but I doubt GM Joe Sakic intends on shaking up his goaltending this season.

As for the Canucks, they’ve given no indication they want to move on from Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko. They could be in the market for a starter next summer if Markstrom departs via free agency, but it’s too early to say that’s going to happen.


  1. I hope/expect the Blues will resign Petro to a new contract soon (maybe by trade deadline), so that rumors don’t become a distraction. But I hope a new contract is NOT for more than 5 years and I don’t think he would like that—less term/more dollars (maybe 5 yr.@ 9mil)

  2. Bergeron is out of touched with today’s reality. He keeps repeating over and over old ideas or events. Price is going nowhere.

  3. Carey Price is in MTL until Cayden Primeau is ready to take over the reigns. So is Weber until someone else can replace his minutes, production and leadership. One scenario for either of them could be the Seattle expansion where Seattle takes one of them in a trade after they’ve done their draft. That being said when we look at what Colorado got for Duchene; one had to wonder what could be had in exchanged for Price or Weber. The right partner and pieces could potentially put Habs on top of league and closer to a cup. It’s the NHL and anything could happen.

    • never going to happen BUT

      to COL: Drouin & Price ($1.5m retained)
      to MTL: Landy & Compher

      • that be a fast hard NO from the avs side….

      • lol agreed….

  4. Well Bergeron should give Dorion a call if he is looking for a big haul.
    He likes draft picks. And anything shiny.
    Dorion was told you need a solid foundation.
    That’s why his teams spend so much time in the basement.

    • Don’t you mean *Bergevin? lol

  5. If Markstrom departs Vancouver, that likely means Demko is the full time starter and they would then be looking for back-ups until DiPietro is ready to be backup.

    • Well, yeah, if Pietrangelo goes to free agency, every team should try to figure out how to get him.

  6. Id prefer Dorian over Bergeron- imho

    • I can understand that , you would get some good draft selections unless you trade it away.
      If Dorion is the GM , you would be in the lottery every year.
      I think Dorion is an assistant GM in Colorado as well.

      • Its more of Marc Bergevin(thats who u meant right?) being piss poor…

    • Bergeron is not perfect. No GM is. How may GM’s have to contend with the dual language media circus in MTL? He started off poorly I agree but he inherited a team that had already started sliding downhill. He’s made some questionable trades (I’m still trying to figure out the Eller deal to Washington) but he had also made some ok moves. Seating has been strong the last 3-4 years and the Domi trade is a pleasant surprise. End of the day the NHLis a crap shoot and anyone can end up on top or bottom on any given day.

  7. Leafs will need two D at $4.5 not one at $9m. Whoever they are next year.

  8. Dorion is a fantastic evaluator of talent. But he’s got no vision or plan-for-the-future ability.

    The trades he’s won (and there are a few) or the good pick ups he’s made have been luck.

    The rebuild is a standard Microsoft word template.

    • Exactly. Scouting is/was his strength. Was hoping against hope that when Murray stepped down they would have placed more attention to finding a replacement than just dipping into the system. But then, Melnyk wanted someone “compliant” to his “vision” so he was it.

      When he got that unprotected 1st from San Jose in next spring’s draft in the Karlsoon deal, no one on the planet thought that the Sharks would be struggling as badly as they are this season, and that the pick might turn out to be a lottery pick. Most – me included – figured it would be somewhere in the bottom third of Round 1.

      And hey, it’s nice to be able to discuss that without the condescending “LOLs” and guffaws that emanate from Johnny-One-Note.

      • I can’t disagree more with the evaluations of Dorion in this thread. Teams make succession plans all the time. So I don’t see how letting the guy they were grooming to take over is just settling.
        To start his GM he did make some trades I didn’t like, notably zibanejad for brassard, the Duchene trade, ooff, the Alex burrows trade. But so far the Stone and Karlsson trades look OK. Brannstrom has serious skill and is still developing. Demelo has been a solid player and Norris is having a great year in the AHL. A GM can’t control players not wanting to stay on their teams.
        Guarenteed if Karlsson was still on the sens having the year he is, most people would be ripping Dorion for not trading him when he had the chance and pissed about the contract.
        As far as his won and lost trades, how can his lost trades be his incompetence and his won trades just luck? That makes no sense. No credit to him whatsoever? A little unfair. Getting Duclair and 2 2nds for dzingel, Nemesnikov, nilsson who were all undervalued is pretty shrewd.
        Evaluating talent goes into trading. And so far him and his staff have done a pretty good job since the 2019 deadline. And saying he has no future building vision? What? How can you say that when it’s the 2nd year of the rebuild?

    • When you got Mr. Lahey(Melnyk) in the war room its hard to point a finger at Dorian and wonder which decisions are really his and its gotta be hard to fairly assess his judgements

      • So what you’re saying is Dorion is a puppet. Just glad to be a GM.
        Well I guess if no one else will hire you, you have to take what is available.
        Maybe he could say Melnyk punched him , and than maybe Bettman would make him sell the team

  9. Demko is not ready to be starter, but the problem for Vancouver would be term for Markström. If they could get a contract for 3 years that would be great but I think he wants longer but might be ok with 5, is that too long for Vancouver, it might be.

    • Perhaps we at the end of the year we circle back and see where Demko is.
      Right now he isnt ready to be “The Man” but he IS close.

      Signing Markstrom means they will have to move from Demko which could help get them a great asset in return as Im sure plenty of teams would love his services

      Canucks would then need a backup until DiPietro is ready

      • Demko is a grade a prospect, will be starter or backup at NHL level. Im not so sure about DePietro, his size might be a problem since he is small for a goalie

      • I wonder if the Canucks have thought about a Demko for Gostisbehere, after they have signed Markstrom to an extension, maybe conditional draft picks

  10. 10 million per season is a lot to pay for an over rated injury prone midlevel goalie. Very few teams could take on Prices anchor of a contract.

    • Seattle can ask for a 1st and top prospect to take Price and it would be a smart move to stay above the floor BUT not have to take as much garbage back from the rest of the league as well.

      • Price would have to OK being left exposed for Seattle to take him, since he has a full no-move contract.

      • Price has full nmc. Not going anywhere.
        Can’t see Pietrangelo signing in St Louis unless they can trade some guys making 4-5 mil. Would probably be the end for Bowmeester as well.

  11. Johnny-one-note here. That great evaluator of talent inherited talent from Bryan Murray that was within one goal of the finals .Decides from his evaluation to go for it , gets Duchenne finished 30th.
    Great evaluator of talent.
    Then finishes 31st.
    Mark Stone for a 5′ 9″ 173lb. Pinata.
    Any trades suggested that he won , he lost the first part so bad he couldn’t possibly have won.
    Ya ,he is a great evaluator of talent.
    Zibanejad for Brassard
    Blaming Melnyk is wrong as well. Ottawa has been dysfunctional since they came in the league.
    Muckler got them to the finals so they fired him and put Murray in charge.
    He overpaid players, in the playoffs one year out the next.

    • My goodness, so much “HATE”, for what I believe is the Sens, or maybe Dorian….or maybe George O, or maybe all 3?

      • I guess you can call it hate. Looks more like facts.

      • I just consider the source … and move on shoreorrpark. Clearly if he didn’t have that to constantly chip at he’d have nothing to say.

        If he’s patient, I said two years ago that, within 5 seasons, they’d be somewhere else. Down to 3 now and with a downtown arena off the table, it’s looking more and more like a sure thing. Houston? we have a problem for you. His name’s Melnyk.

      • The problem is George you can’t take any criticism of Ottawa.
        You’re such a touch hole.
        Melnyk isn’t the only problem

      • Vinnie, you’ve stated your point umpteen times when it comes to the Sens and Dorion. The repetition suggests a short-term memory problem.

        And what the hell do you mean that I can’t take any criticism of the Sens? Jaysus H. Kee-rist I’ve come on here and lambasted them and Melnyk – when they’re part of the discussion. You, n the other hand, don’t need such motivation. Ottawa isn’t part of today’s subject matter but you make certain it is with lame crap like “Well Bergeron should give Dorion a call if he is looking for a big haul. He likes draft picks. And anything shiny. Dorion was told you need a solid foundation. That’s why his teams spend so much time in the basement.”

        If you consider that a “fact” and valid observation well … your elbow is situated about midway between your shoulder and your wrist while your ass is that large obtrusion just below your lower back. And you’re welcome for the enlightenment.

        Now retort to your heart’s content – replete with
        your prerequisite condescending “LMAOs.” From this point on I, for one anyway, will simply go back to ignoring anything and everything you write.

      • George, will I become a cipher again.
        We can’t always post what is appealing to you George.
        Repetition is what this site is all about.
        Or do you not realize how many times you post about draft picks
        I post about Ottawa and I guess you’re part owner
        You over react and then pout like a kid and say I won’t respond to you anymore.
        I would say grow up , and when I bring up Ottawa don’t take so personally you baby

      • He’s just trying to deflect away from how bad dummy dubas is! Overpay overpay overpay oops we need defense Barrie and ceci will do! Lol

      • When someone twists their take on the exchange that way, it’s useless to even try and carry on an intelligent conversation.

  12. This is the least amount of hockey ive watched in years. The sharks are hot trash. Logan is a great player but IMO hes a terrible captain. Combine with having jumbo and patty, there’s nothing going on. I dont understand paying EK 11m when that could have been split for a decent d man and the forward they need.

    In the end their offense is lackluster, prospects depleted and I dont see them making the playoffs.

    • Don’t forget goaltending. The Sharks really need an upgrade there.

      • would ya trade Jones & Dillon for Price?

  13. On one hand I laugh at the thought of the Leafs buying another player to fix an issue. And on the other hand I laugh at the Leafs trying to buy a player to fix one of their issues. Right now there are 8 skaters taking up more than 54M. Add Anderson and you are near 60M. And then they want to add Pietrangelo? He is making 6.5M now. You think he will take a lateral contract to go to Toronto? Ah no, expect at least a 2M raise and possibly more. So 10 players will be 68-72M. Good luck filling out the rest of that roster. I actually would love to see them pull it off because they still wouldn’t be the best team in their division and would be so hamstrung with cap issues it would take 5 years to get out of that hell.

    • Good note. The answer to the Leafs cap situation is for a couple of current defence men on the Marlies to develop into NHL players – Sandin and Liljegren are the current favourites – and, as mentioned above, signing a couple of $4.5 million dollar veterans that are reliable, proven pros. Trading a player like Nylander could also be considered but he’s been really good so far this year.
      Long story short, Pietrangalo to Toronto doesn’t work.
      Did we mention a back-up goaltender?

      • The Leafs have been stuck in the mud, spinnin’ their tires…

    • NK, I agree. There is the never ending lack of patience in Toronto. Pengy has talked about it too.
      Rebuild take time. 5 years is short for most.
      I think the win now pressure played a role in Dubas giving in on the contract extensions to RFA’s.
      I’m with Burke, that Leafs are spending $3M to $5M too much on the big 3 of Nylander, Matthews and Marner.
      The Leafs had real leverage to work on a better deal by making the players wait (Nylander aside, but then he still gave too much). Yes the player has some, but until an RFA actually sits out a season I will believe the most leverage is with the team.

    • NOBODY said the Leafs WANTED Pietrangelo. A sports reporter says they SHOULD go after him. BIG difference.

      • …and I agree with you. (if you’re saying no to a nearly 30 year old defenseman – with hard miles on him wanting a big payday)


      • The Leafs blow their wad on fancyboy forwards- they dont acquire valuable D men with heart & skill, like Pietrangelo.

  14. Price vs Grubauer from the 2016-2017 season through yesterday.

    Price = 201 games played, .913 save percentage, 2.62 goals against, 9 shutouts, 32 years old, cap hit of 10.5 million for the next 6 seasons.

    Grubauer = 114 games played, .920 save percentage, 2.45 goals against, 9 shutouts, 28 years old, cap hit of 3.3 million for one more year.

    Since the 2017-18 Season

    Price = 139 games played, .909 save percentage, 2.80 goals against, 6 shutouts.

    Grubauer = 90 games played, .919 save percentage, 2.56 goals against, 6 shutouts

    This season

    Price = 24 games played, .902 save percentage, 3.04 goals against, 1 shutout.

    Grubauer = 18 games played, .914 save percentage, 2.76 goals against, 0 shutouts

  15. Re: Petro in T.O.— would love it…. Highly highly highly improbable— Cap space issues etc.

    Petro, IMHO, stays with Blues through Y/E anyway. Cup contenders; why mess with it now. If they can fit him in, they will. His value probably not far off his demand; even at homer discount— tough to fit him in but doable. Assuming the IRs and LTIRs are back—they’d have 18 with about 11.3 M (needing to sign Blaise, Dunn, DeLaRose, Petro, and one more). Unfortunately for Petro to stay, likely Armstrong would need to convince Steen to waive; AND find a trade partner; OR buy him out and have about $13.5 M to sign/pay for Blais, Dunn, DeLarose, Petro and a 7th D. Again, tight, but doable if Petro takes a homer discount. Absolutely NO way Leafs can fit him in IMHO>

    Price and/or Weber moving this year—- methinks not— Cap hit just too hard to swallow. Price has a NMC as well.

    Weber with 7 years left on the Cap hit… tough for a taker.

  16. Re: Leafs. I know I’ve posted many times on this; but I’ll repeat— Leafs are not there yet and the SC window is June ’21 – June ’24. Spending nigh 50% of Cap on 4 fwds is just not cutting it (and won’t cut it). I rarely agree with Burke but on the weekend he almost completely reiterated what I’ve posted many times before… The Cap issue all stemmed from the WW capitulation. He should have sat.. this would have brought in WW, MM, and AM at a total somewhere in the $3M to $5M that they are spending on them now (which is $29.5 M); and that $3M – $5M could have been much more logically/strategically spent on a D.

    To win the cup… Leafs number one issue in the re-work/re-vamp is D; then back-up; then grit.

    Counting the 2 on IR returning; Leafs then have 10, 1, 1 (F,D,G) under contract for next year and assuming $84M Cap— just over $18M to cover it.

    Let’s say for ships’n’giggles they get 4 wingers and a back-up for basically league min… call that $4M…. so just over $14M to get 3 top 4 D; plus a 5th, 6th and 7th D…. it is NOT happening without a move.

    WW after 1/7/20 is owed only $2.5 M next year; and an effective cash AAV for the balance of the term of about $5M… move him for a early-mid 20’s top 4 D (or trending to top 4) with term and a Cap of $5M or less

    That gives Leafs North of $16M in Cap space to fill 2 more top 4 D; and bottom pairing; and 7th D. That is doable.

    Kappy OR Johnsson and Kaskisuo OR Woll could be flipped for a bigger/grittier winger and an NHL ready back-up for about the same Cap space.

    Those two moves alone ((1) WW for D; and (2) Kappy OR Johnson plus AHL goalie for grit/size winger AND back-up) could then put Leafs ready for deep playoffs in ’21.

    • “at a total somewhere in the $3M to $5M that they …”

      should read as “$3M to $5M less than what they are currently spending” (which is $29.5 M)

      • PENGY…looks like Galchenyuk to Buffalo is going to happen…

        just hope its for a defense man either Marco Scandella or Colin Miller seems to be who Buffalo wants to move..

        there was a rumor Rutherford Botterlli discussed a one for one swap Vesey for galchenyuk…

        – vesy only $2.85 million but we don’t neeD another forward not the way McCann, Tanev kahun Rust Makin Blueger Guentzel are playing..

      • Agree BNG

        Pens do not need another depth Fwd

        If they are swinging for the fences then maybe a top 6 but certainly NOT a bottom 6

        Yes Pens need D help

        Moreover , the coach needs a head shake

        Did you see how well the team played in the second game against StL …. same team against …. it was like night and day … guess who was out …. JJ …. I thought he was put in the press box for costing 3 friggin goals the previous game

        I’m positive that Murray’s agent is flipping mad…. all those 5 St L goals over 2 games that were directly or mostly JJ’s fault (3 of them complete eclipses) and massively bringing down Murray’s save percentage…. which will be reflected in his new contract

        You mentioned I think yesterday …. Scands for a 2nd …. That would be nice but I think there may need to also be something else

        Now GChuck for Scands for sure is going to cost Pens more… GChuck is just not playing anywhere near his contract value

        Offensively Pens are doing OK w/o GChuck and Bjug (and that’s even with Sid out)…. those 2 are hitting the Pens for $9 M in Cap

        If there was a magic wand that replaced those two for Scands & Soucy …. now ur talkin’

        Throw G-Chuck ; Bjug ; Ruhweedel & Trottman) (I’d like to send JJ but he’s glued to Jimbo) retain 1/2 of G-Chuck to make it work ; plus a 3rd rounder

        For BOTH Miller and Scands

        Then JJ HAS to be in the press box when Dumo returns:


        Or shoot for the moon

        G-Chuck; Bjug; JJ ; Trottman… retain 1/2 of G-Chuck and 1/2 of Bjug …. 8.4 M going to Buff

        For Scands/Miller …. $7.8 M coming to Pens


  17. Don’t know if Geoff Molson has the vision for it….but to me Dorian would be a very good choice for GM in Montreal…

    He has to work with Melynk, he has to work with a small fan base…..I think he is underrated…..he is bilingual, experienced with a Canadian market…..he drafts well….Montreal does no attract free agents easily….he would bring an open mind but experience analyzing Montreal from the point of view of someone who needs to locate their weaknesses….

    • That would definitely get them high draft picks

  18. I realize now that posters here (myself included here, many times over) try to come up with big deals that fit both teams. There are so many factors that we can “fudge” and/or “ignore” and/or “don’t’ see” when it comes to actual trades. Two GM’s (and sometimes more) have to agree on players, fit within cap, fit within needs of team now and in future, be considerate of chemistry and the pros and cons of new players joining and the effect of traded players being missed.

    In the last few years there aren’t many true blockbuster trades but the one that involved 9 assets trading hands in a 3-way swap; to me; will go down as a “Biggie” and Sakic won this hands friggin’ down.

    Sackic moved Duchene (now at $8M for 6 more years after this one) who is on track this year for 21-40-61 for 4 players and 3 picks that are now:

    Bowen Byram
    Shane Bowers
    Prospect F: Justus Annunen
    Prospect D: Danila Zhuravlyov
    Prospect F: Matt Steinburg
    And Andrew Hammond (now moved on)

    Poile moved Girard and Kamnev plus what is now prospects Annunen and Zhuravlyov for Turris (4 more years after this at $6M; on track for [if he plays all remaining games] ]…18-22-40)

    Dorion (after flipping Duchene to Clb) effectively traded :

    Bowen Byram, Bowers, Steinberg, Hammond, and prospect Bergman for

    118 GP by Duchene (50-57-107); AND

    prospect Abromov;AND

    Lassi Thompson (D— picked 19th overall this past June)

    Going out on a limb here…. Joe won this trade

    • Wasn’t that long ago people on this site were calling Sakic an idiot.
      Sounds like Dubas will be successful

    • Its funny galchenyuk has 17 points in 30 games thats not great but not awful…he has played a bit better latley…

      even swap for Scandella we still save $900,000 for a second round pick which we don’t have we save the whole amount..

  19. NJ should consider trading Vatanen, Hall, & Simmonds for as many high picks in subsequent years. Trade Subban if humanly possible.

    let Greene walk and make a push for Pietrangelo.

    I think the leadership in that locker room has not won in so long there is nothing left to teach the young kids.

    Fresh leadership would be a welcome.

    Not saying Alex would sign BUT I think he brings another dynamic NJ is severely lacking in that room.

    young enough at 29 to give a 5 yr x $9 solid offer.

  20. …because Dubas has had a long & successful NHL career, just like Sakic has???

  21. The only way that the Leafs are going to take a step forward, is by trading away Matthews. The mistake they (Dubas) made was signing Tavares. But they did and made him Captain. Now they’re living in cap hell. I’d say trade Matthews to either:

    To TOR: J.Anderson + Werenski + Dubois + Collins
    To CBJ: Matthews + Rielly


    To TOR: Keller + Hayton + Chychrun + Dvorak
    To ARZ: Matthews

    • what about something different

      to TML: Woods & Zacha & Vatanen
      to NJD: Nylander & Ceci & pick

      Frees a ton of cash & cap room for TML to resign players.

      NJ gets a true top 6 forward. They have the cap room once they trade Hall & Vatanen

  22. If the Oilers could somehow shed enough salary during the season (or off season), Pietrangelo would look awfully good there. I think Holland has the guile to rush the Oilers to contention within 3 seasons, and you would have at least 2 or 3 good seasons left in Pietrangelo at that point. His leadership, particularly his lead by example style, would be a huge addition. They could also dump Adam Larsson because Ethan Bear and Evan Bouchard will have dibs on the other two right side spots.

  23. How about this shake-up? What would need to be added, if anything?

    To San Jose: C Auston Matthews, D Tyson Barrie

    To Toronto: C Tomas Hertl, D Brent Burns

  24. Two players who will likely end their careers with the same team that drafted them.

    • So many panicked and fatalistic posts. Relax. The ship has been righted. They will make the playoffs and likely go in as the hottest team once they have more reps under the Keefe plan that actually plays to leafs talent. ALL they need is a competent back up and one top 4 RHD to replace a dumped Ceci. It wont take that much to get these and leafs have lots of picks and prospects. They will be a cup contender for sure.