NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2020

by | Jan 10, 2020 | Rumors | 48 comments

Updates on the Penguins, Rangers, and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Pittsburgh Penguins are talking to teams again about moving winger Alex Galchenyuk. They’d like a draft pick or a bottom-six forward in return because that’s the role Galchenyuk’s filling with them, one that’s not suited for his skills.

Bob McKenzie reports replacing sidelined winger Jake Guentzel remains the priority for Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford. It’s assumed he’ll look at rental players like the Rangers’ Chris Kreider or the LA Kings’ Tyler Toffoli. However, McKenzie said Rutherford could seek a hockey trade by moving players off his roster to acquire a top-six forward signed beyond this season.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Rutherford could free up cap space by placing Guentzel’s $6 million annual average salary on long-term injury reserve for the remainder of the season. He could also attempt shopping Galchenyuk ($4.9 million) or Nick Bjugstad ($4.1 million).

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins take another run at acquiring Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker? (Photo via NHL Images)

It’s hard to imagine Rutherford getting much in return for Galchenyuk, leading Mackey to speculate the Pens might have to part with draft picks and/or prospects, perhaps even their 2020 first-round pick. He listed Kreider, Toffoli, Chicago’s Brandon Saad, or Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau as trade targets.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: cited a report from The Athletic’s Michael Russo indicating the Penguins have renewed interest in Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker. They attempted to acquire Zucker last spring in exchange for Phil Kessel but the latter nixed the deal. TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggested Kings winger Tyler Toffoli as another trade option for the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford will do something before the deadline. With his club playing well despite their injury-depleted roster, he can take his time finding a suitable deal. I think he’ll try moving out Galchenyuk and/or Bjugstad, perhaps to bring in that top-six winger like Saad or Zucker with term on his contract. That could involve packaging his first-round pick in the deal.

Zucker is nearing a return to action after being sidelined by a broken leg since Dec. 17. His availability will depend upon where the Wild are in the standings and if GM Bill Guerin is willing to part with him for the right offer.

It was Guerin’s predecessor Paul Fenton who nearly shipped Zucker to Pittsburgh for Kessel. Fenton was also close to sending Zucker to Calgary at last year’s trade deadline. Guerin, however, could decide Zucker’s worth retaining, especially if the Wild remain in the playoff chase by the trade deadline.


TSN: Darren Dreger said reports are suggesting New York Rangers forward Lias Andersson is potentially dealing with mental health issues. He and his agent denied this, indicating he’s to undergo a minor surgical procedure on his foot. Unhappy over his role with the Rangers, Andersson returned to Sweden last month and requested a trade.

Bob McKenzie reports the Rangers are receiving calls on Andersson. They’re prepared to move him before the Feb. 24 trade deadline if they get the right prospect in return. They’re less interested in a draft pick. They also don’t want to be hasty moving Andersson to avoid sending the wrong message that they’ll trade players in their system who pack up and go home.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers management is staying mum on Andersson’s situation, their three-goaltender system, and potential decisions on pending UFAs Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast and RFAs Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, and Alexandar Georgiev. It’s believed Andersson hasn’t spoken with the Rangers since his suspension for walking out on their AHL affiliate in Hartford. Brooks said there’s an extreme disconnect between the young forward’s self-evaluation and the Rangers’ assessment of his status and performance

Brooks also reports DeAngelo could put the Rangers in salary-cap hell next season. The 24-year-old defenseman is on pace for a 69-point performance this season. Forced to accept a one-year, $925k contract last summer, DeAngelo has salary-arbitration rights this summer.

Brooks suggests Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson’s new contract (six years, $4.55-million per season) as a comparable, wondering how high DeAngelo’s asking price could go. He also thinks Ryan Strome’s play this season could push the winger into the $5-$6 million per season range.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersson’s made cryptic statements to the Swedish media regarding his time within the Rangers’ organization. He said many incidents disturbed him, leading one journalist to speculate the young forward was bullied. It seems there are irreconcilable differences between Andersson and Rangers’ management. If he’s not moved before the trade deadline, he’ll likely get traded in the offseason.

Cap Friendly indicates the Rangers have over $66.7 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21. At DeAngelo’s current rate of production, he could seek over $5 million annually on his next contract. Given his age and value to the Rangers’ blueline, they can’t afford to lose him. It could force the Rangers to part ways with Kreider and Fast.


TSN: Darren Dreger yesterday told TSN Radio 690 that the conversation around the league that the Montreal Canadiens aren’t thinking about a complete rebuild, nor are they interested in doing so soon. Pierre LeBrun believes Habs management will decide their plans for the remainder of the season during their Jan. 20 bye week.

If they haven’t gained ground in the standings by then, LeBrun feels they could become sellers. If recently-acquired winger Ilya Kovalchuk continues playing well, LeBrun thinks he could be flipped at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Barring a stunning reversal of fortune, the Canadiens will be sellers leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Pending UFAs like Kovalchuk, Nate Thompson, and Marco Scandella are the most likely trade candidates.

Don’t expect high-priced talent like Carey Price and Shea Weber to be going anywhere. I also don’t see them shopping RFA Max Domi. He’s well-liked within the organization, loves playing in Montreal, and among their few skilled veteran forwards. Maybe they try shopping Tomas Tatar, who’s a year away from UFA eligibility.


  1. Galchenyuk straight up for Frans Nielsen.

    • Boooo

    • Galchenyuk for Louis Eriksson!!!

  2. for Pengy ….Galchenyuk & JJ ( 1.5 retained ) to Ottawa for Anisimov, Reilly, Goloubef.

    Ottawa gets another reclamation project for 3 months and a 6,7,8 dman that could potentially be bought out or moved again or end up in Belleville for 3 yrs. They rid themselves of Anisimov’s 4.55 and Reilly’s 1.5 next year.
    Pitt gets a bottom six and two 6,7,8 to replace JJ

    Dorion then gets off his ass and resigns Pageau 4yrsx4.25, Demelo 4×3.25, Boro 3×3

    • Boooo

      • And them some!

  3. Did anyone foresee Noel Acciari getting 17 goals in a season never mind in 41 games played. His previous high was 10 in 60 games played.

    NYR4life who is this Anthony Deangelo kid, i see he is on the smaller size but obviously has offensive skills; how much is he going to cost to resign?

    • I sure didn’t.
      Who is he playing with?

    • Acciari leaving took some sting out of the Kuraly/ Wagner line

    • B’s let Acciari walk but sign Lindholm & Ritchie …..Sweeney

    • Caper,
      I have to admit, I wasn’t high on Deangelo. Nothing to do with his play, more to do with his lack of discipline and self control. He was a loose cannon, former 1st rounder traded twice before the ink was dry on his elc deal… very unusual for a guy with his skill set, and rh dman.

      Apparently, he has done a complete 180 according to his teammates and nhl observers… good for him. I was 100% wrong about this guy. But I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong!

      My best guess if he finishes in the 70 point range is 6+. Term depends on whether he goes to arbitration or signs a deal prior.

  4. Rumor – Penguins inquiring trading for Ducks winger Rickard Rakell.

    • They’d have to gut whatever quality is left in their system. And then more.

      • George O …I don’t think so. Anaheim has wanted a right handed defensman for a while now. justin Schultz could slide in their line-up on the number two pairing and maybe we add something…

        if Rakell was untouchable he wouldn’t be a trade candidate. (at 26)

        Hell i’ll give them Schultz and our number # 1 pick…picks in hockey are vastly over ratted..its not like the NFL very few of these guys are ready to play right away…

      • Who says he’s a trade candidate? Never heard anything of that sort from Anaheim mgt. He turns just 27 in May, has had two seasons of 33 and 34 goals and fell to 18 last year when he missed a bunch of games due to injury and, in fact, has just been re-activated from another injury this season.

        The guy’s on a cap friendly $3,789,444 contract that runs to 2022-23. If he was going to go anywhere in a deal there are teams that could offer a lot better return than Pittsburgh including # 1 pick that figures to be a lot higher than Pittsburgh’s!

        But that’s academic – he isn’t going anywhere unless the Ducks are over-whelmed with an offer they can’t refuse.

    • Speed Kills…..Rakell would be a nice addition, he is 26, a true center (can move Mccann to wing)and at a reasonable $3.7 million with term until 2022-2023..

      I know Anaheim has been dying for a right handed defense man Justin Schultz would fit nicely there..maybe add a pick if needed.

      Continue the trend of making the Penguins faster, more skilled, and younger..

  5. PJ Stock who is a Montrealer and ex Hab gave an interview to Sportsnet last week….

    If his facts are close to correct that the Laval team has been bad for years, on Montreal’s lack of size in the young players and the age discrepancy between the high talent players ( Weber, Price, Tatar, & Petry) and the young ones…the fact a number of the young players are being forced in above their heads and are not in a long term learning environment…he called for fundamental management, coaching and scouting changes

    Overall he painted a bleak picture and called for a complete re-build that would result in a few difficult years….

    Someone else produced a list of the last 10 years first st round draftees and where they are playing now…that too was hard for Habs fans I would think

    The Habs might be better off if ownership consulted the fans and if it is acceptable to Hab fans….start a complete rebuild with current players who are eligible playing in Laval with intense training/learning….anyone over 28 to 30 being traded ASAP….find a youngish leader or two that want to be there….Gallagher and Domi might fit the bill….and start a 3 to 5 yr rebuild….

    Right now it seems to be like putting a paper mache seal on a hole in the boat …it floats for a little

    To be fair…this from a Leaf fan who would not have to suffer through the rebuild

    • PJ seems to align with my thinking OBD. The Habs are in the dreaded middle ground and have huge $$ invested in Price and Weber. Weber can still play but how do you justify those signings and then go full rebuild to the ownership and fans?
      You can’t if you are being intellectually honest.
      Admit the mistake, and change strategy or you just delay the inevitable.
      If current management can’t or won’t then that becomes obvious as well.

      • Ugly times in Montreal for sure, but …
        Yesterday I pointed out that yes there have been years of first round draft pick busts for the Habs, but that they didn’t make any misses on stars that were still available. The closest was Aho, who was passed over by 8 teams after the Habs picked Juulsen.

        And remember how many first rounders Edmonton has had before McDavid fell into their lap.

        Part of the problem is not having a generational talent available to draft, part of it is that no high end UFAs want to come to Montreal, and yes, part of it has been poor player development.

        Yes, they have several rookies in their line up, along with older players. The alternative is all rookies and a fiasco, or all vets with no one being developed.

        As for consulting the fan base about how to build a contender, has there been a stupider idea? Really, Stock? Is that what you have to offer?

      • Lj, I just question the overall strategy. Will they be good enough to actually contend with the roster constructed as is?
        Will drafting between 10-14 ever get you there, while Weber and Price can still play at a high level? (Price isn’t at a high level now, but with goaltenders he could rebound)
        They don’t have that top level guy to build around and those guys come at the top of the draft other than the rare exception.
        Blowing it up doesn’t guarantee anything other than you will suck for 3-5 years. But the current strategy seems to guarantee you won’t contend for a very long time and delays the inevitable suck.

      • Spot on LJ. I’d remind people that there is an expansion draft coming and the potential for a guy like Weber or Price (if he agrees to waive his nmc) to go. I think it is impossible to move Price any other way. Weber is still cap wise cheaper and more productive than Subban. Bonus, if he retires early, the Preds take cap recapture so he could still have significant value to some teams, especially if they send back a tough contract.

      • Ray, I agree they don’t have that top level guy right now. That’s why Bergevin drafted so many centers in 2018, and why the need Kotkaniemi to be a bona fide # 1 enter.

        The strategy is that the rookies in the line up now, plus a couple of new editions next year, put them into the playoffs.

        Essentially, you are asking if Weber and Price can play well enough in the next two years to give them a shot? Great question, who has the answer?

        What I do know is trading Price and Weber now makes them go from bad to horrible. There are already empty seats at the Bell Centre, and the place would look like the Gobi Desert if that happened.

      • I can’t see either Price or Weber going in the expansion draft, whether Prices waves NMC or not.
        I would not be drafting old expensive players on the back nine with contacts that will last longer than their effectiveness.
        IMO the injury induced losing streak is actually a good thing for MTL in the long run. Better chance to get into the top 3 of the draft. Better than missing the playoffs by 5 points.
        I also think that Bergevin gets canned this off season or next.

      • Gotta agree there, Ray. Those running the Seattle franchise would gain absolutely nothing by taking expensive long-term contracts like that, even if they had the opportunity to do so. They sure won’t need the “publicity” for the first several seasons and besides, you can bet they’ll be following the pattern set by Vegas – who didn’t take on anything even remotely close to the Price and Weber contracts. And they’re doing just fine.

  6. They had Chara sitting out last night because of a abscess it’s sure is possible after what he went through with screws & pin infection but it’s interesting after the shot to jaw he took in Nashville game

    • I thought the same thing Joe. At very least it have to flippin hurt getting drilled in the jaw with an infection.
      Bone infections in your head can’t be a good thing. Best get that taken care of.

  7. Hope habs stick with their GM. They will continue to spin their wheels as long as he is running things.

  8. D’Angelo is a possible head case, not only due to his affection for the Orange Maniac in DC but for other reasons as well..thus his value is debatable outside NYC. Players are entitled to their political views, of course, but most cities where he might go will find it hard to like him given the racist nature of what Trump spews.
    Montreal; really does need a rebuild but that is easy to say and hard to do-Leafs are in year five of re-build and not yet close to the Cup final!

    • Being a Republican does not make you a racists. Saying that being a Republican means your racist does in fact make you a racist. This is a hockey site, so please let’s keep this to hockey.
      He is a very good young player. Period.

      • No. That’s not true. Unless republicans are a race. Ignorant to classify an entire group? Sure. Racist? Nup.

    • Keep your politics out of here.

      • Are you a moderator George? Keep the feedback to yourself.

      • No, I’m NOT a moderator. Just relaying what Lyle has said when stuff like that popped up in here i the past – and I agree. Unless he has changed his site policy, this is no place for airing political leanings.

        And why not practice what you preach Brock?

      • The policy hasn’t changed. Stick to hockey talk and keep the politics out of here.

      • Are the moderator Brock? The point of the comments is feedback. Don’t like it then don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split ya!

    • I’m pretty sure if his political leanings are ok in ny they would fly just about anywhere

  9. Speed Kills…..Rakell would be a nice addition, he is 26, a true center (can move Mccann to wing)and at a reasonable $3.7 million with term until 2022-2023..

    I know Anaheim has been dying for a right handed defense man Justin Schultz would fit nicely there..maybe add a pick if needed.

    Continue the trend of making the Penguins faster, more skilled, and younger..

    • Could someone explain why Anaheim would want to trade Rickard Rackell? Good player in his prime on a reasonable contract – don’t teams want as many of those as they can get?

  10. Yes, no politics here, PLEASE. Not the proper forum. Politics are everywhere, especially since a couple of years ; let’s keep this a “safe place” !

    • My safe word is “ blimp”.

      • Her size should never be included as a safe word…

      • I like thick women. I am not the least bit ashamed. More cushion for the pushin!

  11. Has anyone heard whether or not Anaheim is dying for a RHD?
    I may have read it somewhere or another.

  12. And the Rangers regret that Trouba deal in <50 games? Wow. Pionk has been out playing him too.

  13. Lafreniere in the lottery and all will be forgotten in Montreal.

  14. As long as GM JR doesn’t trade our 1st rounder, we need to keep restocking for the futures.
    I don’t care what anyone says….. draft picks are important, plus you might find a gem.

    • Pens4ever……I agree for the most part but our farm system is solid and we need to maximize the Crosby Malkin era.. So if using our number #1 pick helps us land a player that gets us on serious cup run…in in!!!

  15. Anyone questioning Chara,s tuffness please don’t it’s not possible the man is a horse and tuff as nails.