NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2020

by | Jan 18, 2020 | Rumors | 70 comments

Several suggested trade targets for the Bruins, the Leafs are reportedly interested in Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, plus updates on the Sharks, Hurricanes, and Capitals in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty lists the New York Rangers Chris Kreider, New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood, Nashville Predators center Craig Smith, and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson as four physical players the Bruins could target before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He feels they need more physicality down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Should the Boston Bruins add more physicality by acquiring Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider’s been linked to the Bruins in the media rumor mill for some time. I suspect he’s their prime target, but the Rangers could seek a good young player or quality prospect in return.

Wood or Smith would be more affordable options but lack Kreider’s scoring punch. Like Kreider, Smith’s eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Manson and Wood have multiple years remaining on their respective contracts and might not be available. Manson’s 12-team no-trade list could also complicate things


THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle reports the Toronto Maple Leafs inquired multiple times this season into the availability of New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Given veteran Henrik Lundqvist’s status with the Rangers and promising Igor Shesterkin’s potential as a future starter, Georgiev’s appears the odd-man-out.

The Rangers seek a quality young NHL-ready player. The Leafs are willing to part with futures, but the Blueshirts seek someone like Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, or Alexander Kerfoot in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are desperate to find a reliable backup for Frederik Andersen. I can’t blame Rangers management for attempting to squeeze the Leafs for one of their good, young, affordable forwards. Nevertheless, that’s too high a price for Georgiev. As Mirtle points out, we don’t know what the 23-year-old netminder’s ceiling might be. He’ll be more enticing to the Leafs if the Blueshirts lower their asking price.


THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka recently opined San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson has little choice but to wave the white flag on this season and ship out a few parts of his roster before the trade deadline. He suggests pending UFAs Brenden Dillon and Melker Karlsson could be trade candidates.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked about the trade statuses of Sharks such as goalie Aaron Dell, defenseman Richard Simek, and forwards Marcus Sorensen and Kevin Labanc. He doubts there’s much of a market for a struggling goalie like Dell. He doesn’t think they’ll move Simek as they’ll need his physical style should they ship out Dillon at the deadline. Sorensen probably doesn’t have much trade value, but there could be some for Labanc despite the drop in his production.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson reportedly isn’t interested in moving core players like Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. It seems Dillon and Melker Karlsson could draw the most interest, though they won’t fetch significant returns. Labanc would draw interest, but his RFA status this summer means Wilson isn’t under pressure to move him during the season, assuming he wants to trade the winger.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock believes there’s no replacing sidelined Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The Hurricanes were in the market for a top-four blueliner before Hamilton suffered a fractured left fibula. DeCock believes the injury increases the urgency to find one.

Unfortunately, rival clubs know this and will set higher prices for their available rearguards. In the meantime, Jake Gardiner will get an opportunity to step up and fill some of that gap left by Hamilton’s absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen, Los Angeles’ Alec Martinez, Chicago’s Erik Gustafsson and San Jose’s Brenden Dillon are the best playoff rental options if the Hurricanes wish to go that route.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: In a recent mailbag segment, J.J. Regan dismissed the notion of the Washington Capitals trading Braden Holtby at the deadline for another goaltender or a top-four defenseman. He points to Holtby’s experience, including backstopping the Capitals to the 2018 Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals’ recent re-signing of center Nicklas Backstrom plus the rise of promising goalie Ilya Samsonov likely means this is Holtby’s last season in Washington. He’s a UFA at season’s end, doesn’t want to accept a hometown discount, and will be too expensive for the Caps to retain. Nevertheless, they’re still all-in for another Cup run this season. Given Samsonov’s playoff inexperience, they’ll need Holtby as insurance.


  1. Lyle,

    I disagree with your comment on Georgiev.

    He will be expensive. He’s good, he’s young, it’s a seller’s market.

    He is younger than Shest.
    A team taking him on is dealing for the future, not just to let him go for Cap reasons they following season.
    So the Leafs will have to dump salary to keep him. Therefore a player like Kap going for him is beneficial. It closes the trade deal while at the same time opening the Cap window.

    In fact the best play for the Rangers would be to wait out Lundquist’s contract next year and retain Georgiev.

    They don’t have to deal him, and they shouldn’t.

    imo, if the Leafs can get Georgiev for Kap then they should grab him.

    • rattus, you’re forgetting the Leafs also still need to bolster their top-four defense. That’s the type of return worth parting with Kapanen, Kerfoot, or Johnsson. They’re obviously in the market for an affordable backup. Georgiev has potential, but I agree with Mirtle that we don’t know what his ceiling is. The Leafs shouldn’t waste a valuable asset on a goalie who hasn’t yet fully established himself.

      • toronto is wasting points with this lousy backup scenario===go get a good one and be done with it—-

      • One thing at a time.

        There will be lots of D at the trade deadline.

        otoh there will not be very many G like Georgiev, if any, ie really good and can be fit this year under the current Leaf Cap space without dumping salary.

      • Lyle is right. Rattus rattus is wrong. Full stop

    • What makes you believe it’s a sellers market? The only major deal so far was hall and the so so return seems to indicate the opposite.

    • The Rangers will lose Georgiev in the Seattle draft for nothing. So will the Leafs or anyone else that has Georgiev. So he’s purely a rental for anyone who might have him. No way anyone gives up something big for a rental backup

      • Hank will not ask to be moved. Georgie is gone by TDL. The Rangers have a few other prospects that are looking good. Hank leaving would be nice for the cap space but cannot see it happening.

        If Freddy goes down so do the Leafs-Georgie could handle it compared to their current backup

      • No they won’t.

        Shest does not have to be protected and Lundqvist contract will be done.

      • Premature with 1.5 seasons left when a team is in a win now mode.

        The problem is bigger than trying ti think a gift is coming.

        Deal with it later lots of time.

      • That is incorrect. At the end of next season, Hank’s contract is done. Igor is exempt, which means NYR can protect Georgiev.

    • I couldn’t agree more, trading Georgiev would be a huge mistake, Rangers aren’t winning the cup this year, what’s the hurry???

    • Back up goalies never, ever bring back a good return. Didn’t matter how young and promising they are.

      Kings are one of the best at developing goalies and have done so many times over the years only to trade them as Quick had been firmly entrenched as the starter. Jones, Bernier, Kuemper to name a few. None of them brought back anything of significance, and neither will Georgiev.

      • Teams can cycle goalies almost independently.
        Bolts have Vasy & McLhenny, discarded an adequate Domingue fpr a 7th, cycled through Bishop still doing well, Mike Smith, still doing OK, and half a dozen fill-ins. You have to have someone playing goal, but the difference between # 8 and # 22 is pretty small, and backups that can play seem to be worth a low round draft pick. The key is to spot & keep the guy who can have a cup year. Giving up a significant playing asset for a backup in midyear doesn’t make much historic sense — are you betting your primary gets hurt and your BU actually wins you something? Shades of hamburgler.

  2. The Sharks certainly can’t expect anything significant in return for Melker Karlsson. The guy has 380 NHL games under his belt and has contributed 57g 50a. This season he’s on a pace for 6g 7a 13 pts!

    Unless he’s another William Karlsson who went from limited use 6g 19a 25 pts in Anaheim to 43g 35a 78pts in Vegas’ debut season, I don’t see too many teams lining up to bring in a $2 mil per UFA rental for much more than a 7th round pick.

    Dillon, on the other hand, is a 6′ 4″ 225-lb LD who has played pretty well for the Sharks as a 5/6 pairing and this year his -3 in 49 gp looks downright Norris-worthy compared to EK’s -16 and Burns’ -22. Also a UFA, what’s left of Dillon’s $3,270,000 cap hit should easily be absorbed by a team seeking to shore up their bottom pairing heading into the playoffs. He might return a decent prospect or a 4th round pick.

    Another UFA D-man who might attract some interest is steady veteran Ron Hainsy, maybe even back to the Leafs for the stretch run.

    • Dillon’s worth more than a 4th, that’s ludicrous

      • You’re absolutely right Ed. That was meant to read “a decent prospect & a 4th.” On a pick alone he should fetch a 3rd and, if the receiving team thinks they can re-sign him at a price that fits their budget, a 2nd.

  3. Toronto already had Hainsey, their defense wasn’t any better with him.
    The idea is to improve. The only defenseman Ottawa has that would be what they need would be Demelo.

  4. George:

    I have wondered about Hainsey back to the Leafs. What would be a reasonable cost to the Leafs of a Ceci for Hainsey trade in advance of the deadline. Hainsey being retained a small percentage.

    Would give Leafs improved defense, safety from a dressing room disruption and added cap space for TDL.

    What is fair? a 2nd or a 3 rd rounder?

    • Wernt the sens so happy to dump off ceci they took another awful contract back in the deal?

      • You got it. No way Ceci comes back to Ottawa. As for Hainsy, yeah, the Leafs D as constituted at the start of the year wouldn’t have been improved with his inclusion. Then, But I’m talking NOW, And for anyone to suggest he wouldn’t be an improvement heading into the dog days of the season over the likes of Marincin, Ceci and a couple of raw rookies reveals that bias trumps common sense.

        But I’d say a 4th rounder for Hainsy is fair OBD. That’s enough. Keep Ceci.

    • Why trade one steaming bag of poop for another.

      • Hainsey isn’t worth anything to the Leafs, they might better keep their 4th round pick and play Marincin or whoever else is in their farm system.
        If their was an improvement it would be minimal.

      • Last night

        Hainsy – 22.44 min – +2

        Marincin – 10:41 min – -4

        Some “minimal”

  5. They Rangers should retain 50% of Lundqvist salary and move him to Avs. Better for Leafs to ask about Crawford, dont think he would cost a Kapanen, and I agree they should move him only for a defender. How about Columbus as a trade partner, they have lots of good defencemen. Also better to move Johnsson than Kapanen

    • You’re assuming Sakic wants any part of Lundqvist.

      • Or Lundqvist wants any part of Av’s!

  6. Dumbas has painted the Leafs into such a small corner with all his overpayments on contracts, the Leafs really can`t do much this year. When a team is using the LTIR like the Leafs are there`s no pro-rating of contracts. A 6 million contract like Crawford has in Chicago will count 6 million in Toronto no pro-rating. That`s the downfall of using the LTIR, so even if teams eat half the cap hit Toronto still can`t make a deal. That`s why any Trade Dumbas makes has to be a dollar in dollar out deal. Bad enough he paid the big 4 too much but giving 2 million per to Holl was just crazy. Georgiev is a rfa with arbitration rights and will probably get a fair raise so unless Toronto is looking at him as next years starter, he`d just be a rental more or less so I can`t see or I hope Dumbas doesn`t give much considering goalies don`t seem to fetch as much as one would think

    • Agree Bob with the Leafs huge contacts.

      Austin Matthews – 11.6 M

      John Tavares – 11.0 M

      Mitch Marner – 10.9 M

      William Nylander – 6.9 M

      Where’s the money for the rest of their roster ??!??

      Leafs bounce early from playoffs again ??!??

      • Great to have such new information – thanks a lot.

      • Leafs have an OUTSTANDING roster. They are a solid back up and a top 4 defensive RHD from having the best roster in NHL.

      • Leafs issue is next season. Barely any cap to pay Cody and Barrie…and a quality backup

      • Gotta love that old info applies to today. It brings out the ppl who are in denial. Funny how none of those ppl worry about AM’s next deal after Dubass couldn’t get max term. I don’t give him any credit on contracts whatsoever.

        Cue the knee jerk reaction flying to his aid.

      • @ds I agree with you the next 2 years are going to be huge for them. They won`t even bother qualifying Ceci making him a UFA whether Ceci resigns at a lower pay I doubt it. They`ve started contract talks with Muzzin which pretty much says Barrie is just a rental because noway they can afford to sign both. if either. In 2 years they have Reilly and Andersen to deal and both will get big raises like Washington this How? But giving Holl 2 million per insane

    • Hi Bob


      I still say that all started with the WW contract capitulation…. if he sits (as he should have)… Leafs outcome last year unchanged but the Troika of WW, AM , and MM (total if $29.5 M) then are very likely signed for a total of $3M to $5M less per (maybe even on better terms ???)… that $3M-$5M could have been used on D and/or back-up

      Leafs window is not this year…. no rash moves including assets with term going out for “rentals” should even be considered

      Shuffling/fixing to get team in proper mode for true window (‘21-‘24) can much more easily (and effectively) be done ; in the off-season

      I believe so much in that ; that it wouldn’t even bother me if Leafs actually miss the play-offs this year

      That is a slim possibility (would mean FLA catching/passing AND Clb/Car/Phi staying strong ) but a possibility all the same

      To me…. if it means Leafs miss the playoffs this year but make the Cup twice; winning at least once; in the following 4 years …..👍👍😁😁


      • Pengy, the pessimist complains about the wind …. the optimist expects it to change … the realist adjusts the sails.

        Being optimistic is comforting, but that also describes someone who believes that taking a step backwards after taking a step forwards is not a recipe for disaster, but more like a cha-cha-cha.

  7. Boston got crushed on social media for their lack of response from the Bruins over the elbow to the head that Rask received from Columbus forward Emil Benstrom and the pundits are calling for a more physical player.

    Boston has enough size on the team to handle the physical play and big enough to handle 6ft 190lbs of Bemstrom but they didn’t, yes they tried to engage him on more then one occasion but he wouldn’t tangle.

    Sweeney answer all the pundits by putting Brett Ritchie and David Backes his two biggest forwards and supposing most physical players on waivers. Then brings in energy forward Karson Kuhlman all 5’11 and 185lbs.

    For me i don’t want David Backes fighting this man is only one good punch away from long term affects of a concussion and with his career coming to a close let someone do that.

    Ritchie was playing his best hockey imo before he got sent down, i didn’t understand the timing.

    Boston played physical against Pittsburgh, they say (the pundits that is) they answer the bell of criticism. For me not really, they played physical against a team that doesn’t play that style outside of Hornqvist and Tanev, nothing close to the physical play of Columbus.

    Personally i was very disappointed for the lack of response from the Bruins over the elbow to Rask head and at the time i said it was the first time i was emotionally disgusted by the bruins not for not going harder after Bemstrom but for not picking up the physical play and taking every opportunity available to hit a Columbus player or crowd the crease, take a stance, do something but no it didn’t happen, they did nothing!

    So no they didn’t answer the bell by playing physical against Pittsburg. Let me see that against Washington or their next game against Columbus on March 16th.

  8. Yikes! The Winnipeg Jets game against Tampa Bay last night, well lets just say I’m glad i didn’t pay money to watch it.

    This morning the Jets wakeup to see themselves on the outside of the playoff window. Unless Chevy gets help on that D, this team will continue it’s slide down the standings.

    Much talk or not much really about Dustin Byfuglien who supposing has started his rehab but no word if its on the ice or not. The reality is Buff been off the ice along time 9 months? He was always a big man, so how big is he now? what kind of condition is he in? Absolutely he make a huge difference on their blue line but reality is if he comes back it might be to late at that time.

    The Jets have the cap space and the assets to acquire a top 4 dman; It doesn’t appear that these deals are as easy to come by as one might think.

    Would Chevy part with Ehlers to get that top 4 dman? If Buff can return but Winnipeg doesn’t want him what could realistically expect to get in return for a player who hasn’t played a game this season?

    If Winnipeg doesn’t do something soon and if Hellebuyck play becomes average as for most of the season he has stood on his head, it will be to late.

    • @Caper
      I was always wondering if the Jets were going to do something about their defense. To me it seemed impossible to loose 4 starting D and still be a playoff team. It was puzzling to me that Chevy didn’t make any moves to acquire at least one defenseman, especially when you have the assets to deal.

      Who in your mind would be the player / players most likely to be traded for a top 4 dman?

      • Ehlers & Pionk for Spurgeon & Fiala

        Spurgeon helps the back end.

  9. Everyone is going crazy over this Rangers goalie and he has a career 3.00 GAA lol.

    • Even in AHL Alexandar Georgiev couldn’t even get less than a 3.40 GAA.

      • He also playing in front of the youngest team in the nhl, a young /bad overall defense, and a team 2nd in shots against. People talk about trading Price…. who’s gaa is just about as bad , and he’s a hell of a lot more expensive!

        The guy is 23, and definitely can stand on his head at times…. it’s not like he’s a 2nd overall pick on a perineal basement dwelling team making 10 million per to never make the playoffs😜

      • So it took a late 1st round pick for the Leafs to get Anderson. When the Rangers had Talbot they traded him for a 2nd and a 3rd round pick. He was also lights out and deemed a starter.

        In short, goalies are a mystery and few, especially back ups, don’t or have never demanded a 20 goal scorer or a 1st rounder.

      • I agree 100%. Ny is better off holding on to both Shestyorkin and Georgiev for the time being. Find a way to move Lundqvist or hope he retires. I’d seriously consider multiple sweeteners and incentives to get him out the door.

        Ny should take a hard look at both of these guys.

  10. Interesting, Nylander has scored the second most goals in the so called dirty area has 42 points in 48 games. Bad signing. Ha Ha
    Boy alot of players wish they sucked like him.

    • Vinnie, I know we disagree on a lot of things – but we’re on the same page when it comes to Nylander. I said last year – several times – that his so-so season stemmed from miss all of training camp and a good chunk of the opening schedule. That has happened before with pro athletes playing “catch-up” and when Nylander did get back last season, they were just heading into the more intense portion of the schedule.

      Many wanted to crucify him for his “greed.” I said then that, had they dealt him away at some point last season, or before the start of this one, they’d regret it. Always liked what he was capable of and, as I said the other day, would take him in a New York minute in Ottawa. ‘Course, that ain’t gonna happen.

      • George , I actually think we agree on alot of things.
        We just totally disagree on Ottawa

      • This exchange brought tears to my eyes.

    • He’s a very skilled player, but you mustn’t forget the quality of his linemates.

      His deal isn’t the issue, but you can’t change the past.

      • I guess you could say that about anyone. Draisaitl without McDavid. Pasternak without Bergeron or Marchand.

      • Not really, Vinnie.
        Bergeron, Marchand and big Leon can drive their own lines.
        Pasta and Willie can’t, yet.
        Marchand is the most underrated player in the entire league.

    • That’s all Willy does. No PK & doesn’t play much D. 7m is a solid contract nothing more. He’s more a product of having the 33m big 3 to insulate him.

  11. Years ago the Sabres had Lalime as the backup, but would call up Enronth when Miller needed a rest while he would sit. That could mitigate the situation in New York for this year, then they could give Lundqvist a skin disorder/Lupul-ish injury next year and put him on LTIR…Bam! Playing time/cap space situation solved.

    • Not sure lundquist plays ball there. Kinda hard to be a ny playboy with a skin condition. Now if he ended up on ltir for a condition like chronic penile gigantica…. that might work.

      • Tough to go on LTIR when you’ve been an perenial all star with said condition.

      • I bow to your knowledge of said situation. 😉

  12. If the Leafs are looking to get Georgiev they better hope to meet the Isles in the playoffs. He owns them. Other than that, ummm not so great.

  13. Kerfoot will be the one to move. Good veteran player with some speed. Reasonably priced.

    • Quite possibly – but then it all depends upon the quality and position of the player coming in – seeking a F from among Kerfoot, Johnsson and Kapenen, if I’m a GM willing to give up a good young (ish) Top 4 D-man with a reasoanable cap hit and term who’s capable of stepping into a Top 2 pairing, I want the bigger and faster Kapanen over Kerfoot.

  14. I love when hockey fans grade and value guys they’ve seen a handful of times

    Georgiev is a future #1.

    The rangers are trading him as such or they are hanging on to him.’

    The rangers can protect him. Igor is exempt, hank is UFA and exempt.

    On top of that I’m not giving the leafs an extra 20-30 Pts every year and if he’s in a platoon that’s what your talking, if he proves he can the #1 and it frees up the money that would go to Andersen in a new deal. That will help make the necessary improvements on the blue line.

    So truthfully, I’m not making Georgiev available to Toronto unless it’s part of a bigger trade for nylander.

    A lot of buzz that the sharks have already made labanc available for Georgiev.

    If it’s labanc and georgiev out west or kapanen/johnsson and Georgiev in the east bracket, from a ranger perspective, I’ve got no reason to help Toronto (a possible playoff opponent)

    No if Toronto wants him and believe they are aren’t looking to get him as a backup, that’s posturing, they are acquiring him hoping he can handle the #1 role and free up money to shore up other places.

    (Love your website spector. I schooled myself using your site beginning a long long time ago)

    • Exactly this.
      No one in the East should be willing to help them, unless the return is a win, or even.

    • Friedman says that Toronto and NY have had a couple of discussions about Georgiev and the player that Friedman says being offered is Bracco. I guess if Friedman is right that shows you what Toronto thinks he`s worth. I haven`t heard anything about Ranger scouts at today’s Marlie game

  15. Shoreorrpark, if that was true Bergeron or Marchand would be on different lines. Boston would have a more balanced attack, which they don’t.
    And if Leon could Edmonton would be better.

    • Vinnie, Leon and MacDavid have been on different lines for a few weeks.
      6-1-1 in last 7.
      Draisaitl has actually played a lot better defensively with the added responsibility.
      It took a few games to adjust, but Tippet stuck with it, unlike previous coaches.
      Fewer individual points but winning so all is good.
      When the B’s move somebody with Krecji it is usually Pasta, maybe they could try Marchand but if you add a winger and keep those 3 together that would be perfect.

  16. What is GM Sweeney waiting for? B’s need right side help on 2nd line and Toffoli, Simmonds, or Palmeri would do, but for toughness – KMiller and/or AMcQuaid would also do!!

    • jwd, IMO Sweeney is waiting to closer to the TDL. More teams willing move players, in theory, and also price may go down.
      Selling teams set the price high hoping somebody bites, but when you get to the last day or 2 before TDL, and you risk not moving a pending UFA and losing an asset for nothing….. maybe you take less.
      That’s the strategy any way.
      Sweeney did well last year, we’ll see how he does this year.

  17. For those chasing a goalie… next off season either Murray or Jarry will be available. Both better options than georgiev.

  18. If I was trading with Toronto , the two players I would target would be Justin Holl and Pierre Engvall. Both have size , are affordable can take and receive a pass and will use the body.
    Hopefully Dubas won’t trade them

  19. Watching Leaf game and they wonder why Matthews and Marner are minus a hundred they never get off the ice dead tired. Maybe instead of looking for a back up goalie they should be looking for a starter hasn’t made many saves.