NHL Rumor Mill – January 15, 2020

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Rumors | 67 comments

Latest on the Leafs, Canadiens and Red Wings, plus updates on Chris Kreider, Braden Holtby, and P.K. Subban in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: With Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin sidelined, Bob McKenzie reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are getting calls from clubs hoping to take advantage of the situation. He also suspects the Leafs are making their inquiries on the front.

Would the Toronto Maple Leafs part with winger Kasperi Kapanen for a defenseman with a comparable contract? (Photo via NHL Images)

McKenzie believes the idea of trading for a defenseman isn’t entirely out of the question. Replacing Rielly and Muzzin on the left side of their blueline is their short-term need, but their long-term need is on the right side. He wonders if the Leafs would be prepared to part with an affordable young forward like Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson or Alex Kerfoot for a defenseman with a similar contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs must also find a reliable backup goaltender for overworked starter Frederik Andersen. Complicating efforts is their limited salary-cap space. Addressing either issue will take a dollar-for-dollar deal.

There are fans and pundits in Montreal calling upon the struggling Canadiens to trade Carey Price and Shea Weber. However, Pierre LeBrun reports Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he has no intention of moving either guy at the trade deadline. As the roster gets younger, Bergevin feels Price and Weber provide invaluable leadership.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once upon a time, Bergevin also said he had no plans to trade P.K. Subban and we know how that turned out. He could consider moving Price or Weber if a sweetheart offer were presented to him. Nevertheless, I don’t see him trading Price or Weber anytime soon. If such a move were to take place, it would be in the offseason when teams have more cap space and a willingness to spend.

LeBrun also reports the status of Chris Kreider remains front and center in the rumor mill. The New York Rangers winger is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July. There could still be contract negotiations between the two sides, but it’s believed Kreider will be moved before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, with the Blueshirts perhaps absorbing up to half of his $4.625-million contract. LeBrun speculates the St. Louis Blues or Boston Bruins could come calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers pick up that much of Kreider’s cap hit, they could seek an extra draft pick or prospect as part of the return. Kreider also carries an 11-team no-trade list. It’s believed Canadian teams aren’t on his list.

LeBrun also weighed in on how Nicklas Backstrom’s new contract could affect Braden Holtby’s future with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals goalie will become a UFA on July 1. Both sides agreed to wait until the end of the season to discuss a contract. LeBrun feels it’ll either be a short-term contract or Holtby goes to market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said he’d have to get creative to find sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign Holtby. The veteran goalie’s ongoing struggles and the promising play of backup Ilya Samsonov could affect those negotiations.

MacLellan must ensure he has sufficient long-term cap room to re-sign Samsonov, Alex Ovechkin, and Jakub Vrana at the end of 2020-21. Even if Holtby agreed to a short-term hometown discount (and that’s not going to happen), the Capitals GM would have to shed salary to make room for him and leave enough long-term cap space for the others.


NHL.COM: P.K. Subban said he’s not asking the New Jersey Devils to trade him. The 30-year-old defenseman was acquired by the Devils last summer and has two years remaining on his contract. He said he’s never requested a trade and remains focused on helping the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Subban asked to be traded, the decline in his performance over the past two years and his hefty $9-million annual average value would make him a tough sell. I’m not saying there wouldn’t be a market for him, but the Devils wouldn’t get a significant return and would probably have to pick up a healthy chunk of his annual salary-cap hit.


DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James recently reports Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman doesn’t intend to be passive as the trade deadline approaches. “I’m looking for ways to build for the future and trying to acquire draft picks or prospects or young players that can come into the organization sooner or later.”

St. James expects the rebuilding Wings to be active at the trade deadline. However, the players they’d like to move (Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Mike Green, and Frans Nielsen) have struggled this season and likely won’t yield much on the trade market.


  1. Taking advantage of the situation… mmnnnnn

    Mr Dubas. We have a totally legit top 4 d man who will stabilize your d core and is locked up at a bargain for several years! He could be had for pennies on the dollar! Please inquire to a mr Rutherford with your offer.

    • Chrisms?

      I’d absolutely love Dumo as a Leaf but there is no way Pens should even consider trading him; and there is no way that he’s traded cheap

      Seeing how well Pens are playing despite “you know who” (who has recently *decimated both Jarry’s and Murray’s save percentages) the return of Shultz and then Dumo will make a very solid D core


      Shultz/ Pettersson

      Marino/ Riikola

      If Jimbo could flip JJ + for Dillon 👍👍👍👍👍


      Shultz/ Pettersson



      * last 8 games save percentage difference (JJ on the bench vs on the ice): +036

      The sad thing is Jimbo will see a +2 for JJ last night w/o considering the fact that JJ’s blades were “on the ice” for 3 Pens goals for which he was nowhere near the goals; did not touch the puck and in no way had absolutely any influence on those goals ; over-riding the glaring (-1) where once again he’s nowhere near the Wild forwards on a GA 😡😡

      • Pengy…Letang and Johnson together are a disaster waiting to happen. they are both often in the same corner at the same time (ala Arizona’s 3 rd goal half way through the third period) and neither one has the common sense to stay in front of the net. Boom Arizona goal two people left unguarded after a point shot.

        we must ad a top 4 d-man or at least a capable guy like a Ben Hutton, a Brendan Dillon or a Colin Miller…

        and a top 6 forward whoever that may be even two forwards…. we do that we can compete for the cup..Crosby was amazing last night.

      • Agree BNG

        Anybody ; and I mean anybody, to replace JJ ; plus a top 6 …. and yes …. good shot at ECF; and then pretty fair shot at getting to SC

        Dillon 👍
        Hutton 👍
        Miller 👍

        Note: When Tanger and JJ are in the same corner…. it’s Tanger’s corner and Tanger is on Puck carrier…. JJ just seems its his job to join the fun

        Tanger CF and XGF w/o JJ; skyrockets

        JJ continues to bring down all stats for all teammates

        G-Chuck moved plus current space plus Guentzel’s freed upCap hit would give Jimbo ~$12M (annual rate) in Cap flex to aquire

        He should NOT get in a bidding war for Kreider

        Per MacKenzie perhaps Jim goes for a “real” hockey trade (non UFA-rental)…. Andreas Anth?

        Yes Sid was absolutely great

        I like McC on his wing

        G-Chuck now at a high value after scoring??? LOL

        Bjug has added ZERO to the team this year …. what can Pens get for him?

        Outside of ANY trade; the next biggest “super-bonus” to Pens is Dumo’s return

        His value to the team is huge but his return most importantly forces at worst; JJ to 3rd pairing an 10 minutes less/game

        At best ; and if Sully is truly viewing game videos…. forces JJ to the press box and leaves Riikola as 3LD (he is WAY WAY better than JJ)

        Dumo back plus say an acquisition of Dillon or Hutton or Miller….. and JJ in the press box a defifinite

      • Then put your little hand in mine
        There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb……

      • Cher… or rupp… tough call. He’s a baritone btw

      • I’m gonna go with Rupp.

  2. Could the Capitals move Holtby before potenially losing him for nothing? Ilya Samsonov has been solid and riding the hot hand could propel the Caps.
    Holtby for Talbot+pick/prospect?

  3. Let’s take advantage. Staal $5.7M and Giorgiev $0.792M and Tarmo Reunanen (prospect) for Nylander $6.96. Toronto saves $0.5M in cap space. Is that taking advantage enough?

    • @Dov
      We can eat 1mil of Staal’s salary or maybe they prefer Smith

      • Either option is also a possibility.

      • Did you mean neither option is a possibility?

        Prefer Smith over Staal? That’s like preferring 💩 for lunch rather than 💩 for dinner…..

        Smh… aye aye aye!

      • If someone took Staal’s contract…. or smith….

    • i’d rather eat 1 mill of Staal and send him along with Gorgi for Kapanen & Hutch

      Send Hutch to HFD and Igor stays up.
      Kapa plays 2nd line with strome & bread and move fast back to the 4th to shore up that line

    • Much as I’d love to snag a Nylander for reasons other than nostalgia, I think Staal brings more to the table on the ice than he would as a salary dump in that trade. He’s kind of their PK specialist, and I’m willing to ride out the contract as long as someone like Tony D can carry the offensive weight of the pair (and he is gonna get PAID by someone this summer).

      Georgiev is more likely going to someone for an NHL-ready forward. Not sure they can get an unprotected 1st for him, but if they can, that please!

      • When is the last time a goaltender landed an NHL ready forward or an unprotected 1st?

      • DeAngelo is an rfa. He’s only getting paid by Rangers. Staal not going anywhere. Full nmc.

  4. How about this:

    Nylander to SJ



    The sharks get something for the future. Toronto gets what it needs. thoughts?

    • I wold at least seriously consider that deal but I might want something else for Nylander…maybe expand the deal to send Nylander and Bracco to SJ for Dillon, Jones and another forward with some grit?

      • Are you nuts Jones at 5.75 mill for another 4 years and a Ufa for Nylander. If you want to be the laughing stock of the NHL just put Nylander on waivers that would be a better deal for Toronto, Wow

    • Certainly has a skillset, however Nylander is not the type of player Sharks need. Rather have Kapanen with much more affordable short term contract.

    • PK is brutal. A significant decline.
      Holtby if moved would be off season.
      think there a few goalie selections out there as a backup .
      If I were the Leafs Kerfoot is an asset I would consider moving.

  5. I wold at least seriously consider that deal but I might want something else for Nylander…maybe expand the deal to send Nylander and Bracco to SJ for Dillon, Jones and another forward with some grit?

  6. I would at least seriously consider that deal but I might want something else for Nylander…maybe expand the deal to send Nylander and Bracco to SJ for Dillon, Jones and another forward with some grit?

    • But would you at least seriously consider that deal?

      • Lol

    • Sorry Jon, what did you say?

  7. Re: Carey Price
    Other than the Florida Panthers, is there any team dumb enough to have a 30+, $10+ million/year goalie on their team? I think Bergevin is stuck with Price.

    • What GM would trade for Price or Weber? Both guys are signed until age 39 and 40. 6 years

      • I think Dubas is most likely to move Bracco. Too many other forwards have gotten a look from the AHL this year and Bracco – a more experienced prospect hasn’t. If Bracco can be moved and get a similar Dman with term that is where dubas would focus.

      • What, in your view, is a “similar Dman with term?” Someone perpetually stuck in the AHL in someone’s system? Because Bracco isn’t bringing back anything else. 3 goals in 37 gp in the AHL isn’t going to be pursued by anyone.

  8. Kreider & Brandan Lemieux to Bruins…..who goes back to the Rangers

    • David Backes and 4, 4th round picks.

    • Rangers need forward prospects. Baby Claude most likely not on the market. not sure the Bruins have anything to make a Kreider move as much as he makes sense there

  9. For my fellow Bruins fan or anyone; your thoughts on last night response or there lack of. for the shot to the head that Rask took from Bemstrom. Which took Rask out of the game early in the 1st period.

    • My thoughts …. accidental or not a player is responsible for his stick and Carlo did ask ref what happen and was told accidental stick to head …willing to bet 99% of all high sticking penalties are accidental….response by the Bruins ….None

    • I bet Rask is as mad as a wet hen.
      My guess is that’s why he left the game.
      Lack of response rather than injury.
      Maybe time to bring up young Fredric. He’s been wrecking guy’s in the AHL.
      He can’t score less than some of the others holding down roster spots.

      Why are they paying Ritchie?

      • our eyes dont lie….

      • Fredric is leading the league in deterring accidental high sticks. It’s a scientific fact.

    • I haven’t read that, but I trust your knowledge, Chrisms

    • My thoughts exactly. That being said the only Bruins doing that stuff right now is Chara, and I suspect with his Jaw still having issues that he has a no fight limitation right now.

      They definitely need some more toughness, and say what you will about Backes, at least he brings that

  10. The Sabres have 12 NHL defensemen so if the Leafs want one they can have anyone they want not named Dahlin or Jokiharju…McCabe would be perfect for Leafs, makes no money and can go against top lines, he hits, blocks shots and can skate. He is better in defensive zone then all Leafs D men except 1. I would want Leafs AHL center Bracco or maybe Kapenen. My Sabres have so many guys in AHL who can play defense now but we have zero forwards. Ristolanen is playing so well I’d rather not trade him but to get a forward they might have to move him. BoGo just give him away he is UFA and always hurt.

  11. Those nylander trade proposals are embarrassing the posters. Lyle is right the need now is a backup to spell off freddie during season so rested for playoffs. Leafs should not trade for slugs like Dillon. They are fine waiting for injury returns on LD. They need a top 4 stay at home RD with an edge as the other missing piece I.e Larsson, Manson, Risto, Hamonic etc. They can get these without trading away any important offense, just picks and ready prospects like Bracco, liligren etc.

    • Wendel17higgins, SilverSeven posted this about all the unlikely trade proposals surrounding Nylander:

      “WW 41 pts and 20 goals to date – about half-way through the season. Yeah he is just awful”

      to which I replied

      “That was the gist of my replies above and why I kept saying “IF” in relation to his perceived – by some – detrimental effect on the team in general and Tavares in particular. Seems like any time the Leafs go into any sort of a funk, his name pops up as the one that needs to go in order to free up enough cap space to fix a leaky D and wonky back-up goaltending.”

      Hell, if Dubas should, as YesGuy suggested yesterday, take what he can get because he was “bringing Matthews down” and is now “doing the same with Johnny T” I’d take him in a New York minute in Ottawa.

      One thing the Sens have is plenty of cap space and that, to me, is the biggest single roadblock in any attempt to deal Nylander IF they ever wanted to go down that road. Close to $7 mil per is hard to accommodate for far too many teams unless one of them is willing to cough up a $5 mil per solid D-man with term and not too long in the tooth.

  12. Re Leafs and D

    I stick with my repeated posts…. This is not the leafs year.

    The window is ‘21-‘24 ; in which they have a shot at a cup ; maybe even 2 🤞🤞🙏🙏

    Any moves (of significance) now need to be with that in mind (D player, young , top 4 ; WITH term; coming back in any trade made)

    With the Cap situation and window starting next year; no rash moves (Now) are really necessary

    Next summer and/or at the draft; significant shifts can be made

    Leafs cannot IMHO win a cup with basically 1/2 Cap spent on 4 forwards

    Pay WW SB on 1/7/20 and with his performance so far; plus then only owed $2.5 M for next year AND basically a cash AAV of $5M for the balance of his contract ; trading him in July should very easily bring in an early mid-20’s top 3 D (with term) plus something; AND still save at least $2M on Cap

    Leafs will have no problem putting the puck in the net; with or without WW…..

    Strengthened D; reasonable back up ; all within Cap ….. MUST be the plan of action in hopes of winning a Cup in the 4 year window starting June ‘21


    No rash moves needed now


  13. Wendell I agree those proposals are ridiculous ….but every fan base seem to do it…including we Leaf fans…

    it seems like a majority of Leaf fan proposals include Ceci….whereas the majority of proposals to the Leafs include the other team getting NYlander

    What does it tell you about the value of both players in the eyes of hockey fans

    I think Dubas will be patient….they have 2 games left to their 10 day break….McKenzie predicts Muzzin will be ready after the break….why worry ….Dubas knows they are at least a year from their window

    But I do agree with fans of other teams that the Leafs even with their best D men available do not have the D to win in the playoffs….so they better get one or two that fits their window

    My guess is at the TDL maybe some low draft choices for Del Zotto level D men….between the draft and after July 1 free agency has sorted itself out….Nylander gets traded for equal value D man….I don’t believe ….there are often many one sided trades in the NHL…

    In the short term decide whether you have a good back up as it seems to me Freddie going down or tapping out is the greatest danger…

  14. Wow!
    Vegas just gassed Gerard Gallant.
    Deboar to take over.

    • Kelly Kelly Kelly?????


      Mistake for sure

      I’m gobsmacked

      The “coaching shuffle” in the NHL continues

    • Another decision that no one seen coming. Where r the insiders or should we say the outsiders, or day of siders. hmmmm

    • That’s ridiculous!

      • Absolutely ! weirdest move I can think of, this season.

        One other point : more and more impressed by the attitude and play of Kovalchuk, since Montreal signed him. He still wouldn’t bring much back at TDL (a 3rd, or 4th ?). Why not offer him 2 years at 2, 2.5 , and, if he accepts, trade Tatar instead ? Tatar is signed through next season, and could probably still bring in a (late round) 1st.

      • Kovalchuk – so far – seems determined to demonstrate to all in general – and L.A. in particular – that he can still contribute offensively if used properly.

  15. I hope Stevie Y jumps all over Gallant.

    • great point. someone will

    • Stevie Y will

      they played together

      off season move to prepare for the draft

      • Or Bergevin might if we see Fire Julien Part Deux

      • Gallant won’t be around if Yzerman waits till the off-season.

      • @Garth

        I think he will if Stevie just calls him and tells him that DET will hire him. Gallant then can take the rest of the season off and relax.

  16. I made this point late yesterday but will repeat it today – Something tells me that William Nylander will be one of those guys whose name is always, repeat always, in trade rumors, but who ends up playing virtually all of his career with the team that drafted him.

  17. The Flames now have Gerard Gallant and Peter Laviolette to choose from when it comes to recycled NHL coaches, and in my opinion, Providence Bruins coach Jay Leach, who was tabbed two years ago as one of the next AHL to NHL hires along with Sheldon Keefe. No offense to Geoff Ward, but at least Gallant would be better, and Laviolette has a track record of vastly improving teams in the year or two after joining them.

    And, soon enough no doubt, Bruce Boudreau will also be available. The Wild are going nowhere, and nowhere quick.

    • Shocking that Gallant was fired. I thought he was the best coach in the league and my 2nd choice for Leafs after Keefe but never dreamed he would be released.

  18. BOS fans since you guys are looking to add

    if Palmieri isn’t available would ya do Heinen & Moore for Henrique from ANA? assuming AN likes this offer

    or a bigger deal

    to ANA: Backes, Moore, Heinen, prospect & 1st (this year)
    to BOS: Henrique & Gudbranson

    backed only to make cap work BUT ANA going nowhere will want picks and prospects along with NHL ready players.


    to add toughness on the backend to help Chara

    • Nope.

    • Gudbranson Would be a nice add and what they need but can find much cheaper somewhere else…. Henrique don’t score enough for the 5+ million for 5 years he’s owed….

  19. Still say Kreider signs with Rangers. If he where traded at deadline, isn’t cap hit pro rated based on what’s left on contract?

    • thought so too..perhaps leaving a team like STL even more cap to make a move on top of grabbing Kreider. perhaps nor is creating greater incentive in order to maximize the return?