Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 29, 2019

by | Dec 29, 2019 | Rumors | 31 comments

The latest on Chris Kreider, Tyler Toffoli, Brandon Saad, and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): With Taylor Hall no longer available, Elliotte Friedman reports Chris Kreider is now the big name in the trade market. He claims contenders such as the Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to be interested in the New York Rangers winger.

With Taylor Hall off the trade market, there’s interest in New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (Photo via NHL Images).

Friedman recalls the Rangers didn’t move pending free agents Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello last season until close to the trade deadline. They’re a better team this year and Kreider likes being a Ranger. Teams don’t believe the winger’s available right now, but they’re waiting to see if there will be a change in his trade status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ performance in January could determine Kreider’s immediate future. If they’re in playoff contention, they might hang onto him for the remainder of the schedule. If there’s no progress in the standings or his contract discussions, they’ll put him on the block and see what they can get.

With Hall gone and the Rangers possibly holding onto Kreider, Friedman wonders if someone will try to move quickly on winger Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli’s stock could rise if the Rangers are reluctant to move Kreider. Like Kreider, Toffoli’s an unrestricted free agent in July, and there’s no indication he and the Kings are progressing toward a contract extension. The Boston Bruins have reportedly had an interest in him for the past two seasons.

The Chicago Blackhawks recently announced Brandon Saad is expected to be sidelined for three more weeks with an ankle injury. Friedman believes there was some interest in him before his injury. Once he’s healthy, some teams could take a look at Saad, even though he’s got a year remaining on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Saad lacks no-trade protection this season, but he carries an expensive annual average value of $6 million. They have over $72.5 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21 with goaltenders Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford, center Dylan Strome, and defenseman Erik Gustafsson among their notable free agents. Saad could be moved in a cost-cutting deal if the Blackhawks get a solid return of draft picks and prospects.

The Rangers also intend to be patient with unhappy Lias Andersson. The 21-year-old forward has requested a trade, but the Blueshirts don’t intend to move him for the sake of it. Just because Andersson wants out doesn’t mean they intend to move swiftly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks yesterday reported there’s been little interest in Andersson, the seventh-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Even though the Rangers have little leverage in trade discussions, Brooks said they’re not going to necessarily bite on the first offer they receive.

The Buffalo Sabres are looking to move an extra defenseman and the New Jersey Devils are looking for blueline help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres are said to be looking for help for their forward lines. They’ll want a forward (preferably a center) for one of their blueliners. Earlier this month, Friedman said the Devils were shopping Miles Wood. Maybe there’s a fit there.


  1. I wonder how long the Leafs Ice Capades no defence style of hockey will last once the Figure Skating season ends and the mens hockey playoffs start?

    5-6 games, as per usual.

    • You answered your own question.

      • Grant furh did not have one season as an Oiler where he had a 900 or above save percentage. Offence can win even in the playoffs. I get that the game took a dramatic defensive change in the mid 90’s but it is trending back to what it looked like in the 80’s. Those teams that are built on toughness and defense are falling behind. See Nashville and LA. Imo St Louis is the exception but to be fair they have both. Toronto is capable of winning the cup. Everyone just likes to ignore that the series against Boston who is a great team went to 7. It’s not like they ran over the leafs. Old time hockey is gone.

      • Roger, since 2011, 5 teams have won the cup being built around physicality, and the last two winners (Bos, LA, LA, Wash, STL), including the last two Cup winners.

        So please explaine again how teams built around toughness and defense are falling behind?

        LA is falling behind because they aged, the system of play has nothing to do with it, just the players in that system. That’s what happens when you trade top picks and prospects for a chance at Lord Stanley

    • Only the Leafs could go 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and get your usual stuff, Ron. They must be playing AHL teams, eh?

      • Bcleaf you can’t honestly sit there and like how the leafs have been playing? Lol

  2. Miles Woods=you can’t teach speed. Can he fetch a 2nd?

    • I meant 3rd! unless there is a bidding war for a bottom 6 depth winger

      • reminds me of a younger Grabner. I like his aggressive game but he lacks touch. He would be worth a Bogosian IMO. Frees up additional cap for Buff to pursue another move. maybe a Scandella for Tiffoli also.

      • @IHATE
        yes hands not like Grabner or consistent even with a 19 goal season in the past.
        But you throw him on your 3rd line in a long playoff series and on the pk.

      • BBB, of course you’re right – but I will say they are never out of a game. Big week coming up on the road against good Western Conference teams.

  3. Huh haven’t watched HNIC since the firing of Don Cherry. Not on purpose just no reason to tune into it.

    • First intermission used to be must see tv. Now its bathroom break and make a snack time.

      • That’s exactly it Ron. I would leave the game I was watching to turn on Coaches Corner, now there is no reason.

      • Certainly no one I know is making sure they catch Ron McLean!

      • Couldn’t agree more gentlemen, I haven’t tuned in since either.

      • As someone who never tuned in it is weeks and counting since the country that claims to own the sport had embarrassed said sport on national tv.

  4. Rangers could consider trading Kreider and let him know it will be for him to have a chance at the cup. Then make it known to him they want to resign him. Trade him for pick and prospect and then make him the offer in the summer.

    I’d like a Kostin & pick for Kreider from STL

    • This never happens. I still think Kreider signs. Can’t compare what they did with Hayes and Zuc. At this point, they signed Panarin based on not waiting and hoping that type of player is available when you’re a more competitive team. Seems like from what I read they’re interested in keeping Kreider. Cyrgalis reported they’re more likely to shop other free agents.

      • When they signed Panarin and traded for Trouba they made it abundantly clear that this team is still a rebuilding club / work in progress. And that they still needed a lot of work in the next couple of years.

        Unfortunately, when you sign those kind of deals people expect that NY will be an instant competitor.

        I was very against signing Panarin for that very reason.
        It seems to have confused the majority of the fan base.

        I think if NY is out of the playoff picture, Kreider is a goner. And as slick points out, it’s pretty rare that a players gets traded and re-signs with the original club. Very few cases of this happening.

      • it certainly will be interesting.

        Kreider has great chemistry with Zib
        Strome has great chemistry with Bread

        who ends up staying? I am guessing Kreider goes then and Strome signs for a 3 yr reasonable deal?!

        Agreed rare something as I proposed happens. Seems Kreider will be gone. Perhaps he is gone and they bring up Kratsov , post deadline, if he continues his play.

      • I don’t see Rangers making playoffs and if they do, I don’t think they go far. But, I do think they’ve turned the corner where trading Kreider for a 1st and a prospect will be taking a step back. Can’t expect all these kids to step in and make a difference. The very reasons that Kreider is considered a top target, are also reasons they should keep him. I think he has value on Rangers beyond what he’d do for other clubs, and they should be able to lock him up for a More reasonable deal. His age to me isn’t an issue. If they do trade him, I would think they’d want young guys already in league or a year away.

  5. Yesterday team Canada’s Captain didnt remove his helmet during Russia National Anthem.

    Disrespectful for sure, some are calling for him to be stripped of the C, should he?

    • He certainly had to at least “tip” it to the Russians when the game ended!

    • One of the worst showings by a Team Canada I can recall ever seeing. Only one comparable I can think of is the 8-1 sh*tkicking Team Canada took in the 81 Canada Cup Final. Team Gretzky completely destroyed by Russia as Mike Liut melts down and went complete sieve. Tretiak vs Liut was a mismatch in goal.

      • Was that ice capades hockey to Ron?

    • He should have taken his helmet off. Should he be stripped of his C? No.
      People shouldn’t aggrieved because a kid didn’t take off his helmet and people shouldn’t feel aggrieved because some nitwit on Twitter suggests he should.
      This is a waste of time conversation. Twiitter isn’t reality.
      People need to put their phones down once and a while and go into the real world.
      In fact I am going to go do that now.

      • I hate that he didn’t remove his helmet to respect the Russian national anthem, they earned it.

        Now that said, the Russians who are complaining left, right and centre on this should be reminded of Kovalchuk and half the Russian team that left the ice during the Canadian national anthem, which is a hundred times worse than one person forgetting to take a helmet off. Hypocrites!

  6. Penguins right now don’t have sufficient cap space trading for Kreider. Besides Kreider shoots left. Penguins wish find a right handed shooter play power play left circle once position by Kessel.

  7. I would be interested to see what the Rangers do about their goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist is close to retiring and can no longer play the bulk of the schedule. They have a Russian prospect in the minors that they’re very high on and are looking at as a potential #1. That leaves Alexander Georgiev, their current backup and one of the best backups in the league along with Malcolm Subban, as possibly being on the trading block. This should play into the Leafs’ hands since its no secret that they are actively searching for a backup. I would who they would be willing to give up for either player that makes sense. The best fit for me would seem to be Kasperi Kapanen. He would look good with Panarin or Zibenajed and would save the Leafs some cap space as well.

    • be nice if they take Staal for their defense lol. Staal & Gorgi & low rd pick for Kapanen & Ceci.

      then trade Ceci for at least the value of the pick sent to TML when Hajek is back.

      dreams…just dreams