NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2020

by | Jan 25, 2020 | Rumors | 54 comments

The latest on Chris Kreider and Mathew Barzal plus updates on the Leafs and Hurricanes in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports Chris Kreider said he and the New York Rangers aren’t engaged in contract extension talks. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. With the Rangers sliding down the standings, there’s speculation he could be moved by the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline.

There hasn’t been any contract talks between the New York Rangers and winger Chris Kreider (Photo via NHL Images).

Kreider claims he’s unconcerned. “It’s not something I’ve really thought about,” he said. “I’m a Ranger until they tell me I’m not a Ranger.” Fox’s colleague Elliotte Friedman recently reported Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs interested in Kreider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing sense the Rangers will wait for as long as possible to determine if they’ll be sellers by the deadline. If they fail to rise in the standings, I believe Kreider will be traded by Feb. 24 to one of those clubs cited by Friedman.


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports the New York Islanders have plenty to consider about Mathew Barzal. The 22-year-old first-line center is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

Cyrgalis believes the most likely scenario sees general manager Lou Lamoriello re-signing Barzal to a two- or three-year bridge deal worth between $6 – $7 million per season. The Bazal camp could counter by seeking a deal comparable to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner’s six-year, $65.3-million contract.

Cyrgalis also said there’s a pesky notion that Barzal would love to play for the new Seattle franchise that starts playing in 2021-22. He played his junior hockey there and it’s close to his childhood home of Coquitlam, BC. Cyragalis wondered if Lamoriello would be so bold as to strike a deal with Seattle in which they take Barzal in the expansion draft in exchange for a first-round pick plus a bit more.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Barzal kicks up a fuss and wants off Long Island, he’s not going anywhere. I doubt he gets a deal similar to Marner’s. Given Lamoriello’s reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator, it wouldn’t be surprising if Barzal’s re-signed to a short-term deal with the promise of a lucrative, long-term contract down the road.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun examined where the 31 NHL teams stand a month from the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He rehashed much of the recent speculation (Penguins’ linked to Minnesota’s Jason Zucker, potential destinations for Chris Kreider and LA Kings winger Tyler Toffoli, etc). However, there were two nuggets of interest:

LeBrun doesn’t believe the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown interest in LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez yet. He wonders if they might pursue Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba, Calgary Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie, or Anaheim Ducks d-man Josh Manson. Landing one of them could cost the Leafs an asset such as winger Kasperi Kapanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regarding Brodie, The Athletic’s James Mirtle tweeted the Leafs were on his eight-team no-trade list when they attempted to acquire him for Nazem Kadri last summer. Appearing on TSN’s Leafs Lunch yesterday, however, Mirtle said Brodie may have taken the Leafs off that list after learning of their interest in him. It could be worth keeping an eye on that, though I think the Leafs aren’t willing to part with Kapanen or Johnsson for a rental defenseman. Someone with term on his contract, like Martinez, Dumba, or Manson, would be more to their liking.

Losing Dougie Hamilton to injury could force the Carolina Hurricanes to pursue a more defensive-minded blueliner, suggesting LA’s Alec Martinez or San Jose’s Brenden Dillon as trade options. He also believes the Canes could be interested in Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner if he hits the trade block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Blackhawks will trade Lehner regardless of where they are in the standings. He’s outplaying Corey Crawford and I believe GM Stan Bowman will re-sign Lehner unless his salary demands are outrageous. If he seeks something comparable to Montreal’s Carey Price or Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky, see ya later.


  1. I doubt Lehner wants Bobrovsky money, but 7,5-8 on a 6-7 year deal is probably on the line

  2. Barzal won’t get marner money because they have a good gm, dubas has dug the leafs into a corner and no gm will help them out. The Kadri and muzzin trades have set this team back and forwards making half the cap will be a problem for years

    • Not a Leafs fan, so for what its worth: The Leafs act like a team of destint, but do not appear when I have watched them to be “team” driven. Seems more like a couple of Allstars dragging the rest behind them; and the Allstars seemed more focused on outdoing each other than winning the game. That’s a culture thing that I think Babcock was trying to keep in check, but Dubas won out. I see them being a real good team for years but never climbing the mountain, similar to the Rangers a few years ago.

      • Babcock was trying to keep players in check with his over inflated ego. What he did to Marner was absolute trash. Now the need to keep players in check I agree with. However, there is a balance. Players must be allowed to play to their strengths. The trick is figuring out who has what strength(s). The frustrating part is the painful observation of how obvious the problem is and the unwillingness to address it. It’s very simple: trade some of your forwards for D! It’s not rocket science. Kapanen, Johnson, Kerfoot, and others need to be shopped immediately. A backup is also required. Dubas is becoming too stubborn in his approach. D wins Championships. Add to this basic concept a dash of good coaching, which Babcock does not possess, and you have a winner. Exhibit A, Gallant in Vegas! And what did they do? We all know! I am curious to see how Tippett does in the playoffs when the Oilers make it. Could be another Vegas.

    • * 4 forwards

      • Leafs would trade Kapanen for Manson straight up, or for dumba with leafs adding. No chance they trade him for Martinez.

    • yeah because the bruins are suckers and have been duped into signing there

      • Lol

  3. There is no way Kreider won’t be traded by the deadline (unless he suffers a season ending injury).

    The Rangers are rebuilding – they aren’t going to risk losing an asset of Kreider’s value for nothing come July.

    • IF Kreider gets traded I hope he gets a legit chance at the cup. He definitely tries hard to say and do the right thing.

      The being said

      to TML: Kreider & Gorgi
      to NYR: Kapanen, Hutch & Gauthier plus pick

      Clears cap for TML. Kreider will thrive with JT and they can slide Nylander down to 3rd line i suppose to balance out the depth
      TML gets their backup

      NYR gets Kapanen to rebuild on a team redly contract. slide him next to Zib.

      Hutch can be sent to WFD while Igor stays up.
      Gauthier can center the 4th line . Mckegg to the wing and send Haley down.

      NYR gets the extra pick

      win win?

      • So how does that clear cap space For Toronto? Both Kreider and Georgiev would be rentals unless Georgiev can take the no. 1 spot from Andersen. So definitely not much of a win for Toronto. Toronto needs a RHD, not Kreider and a goalie that they can keep would be nice

      • Gorgi is a RFA

        Kreider could be resigned if in the off season Nylander is flipped for that piece.

        Rangers have space to hold some salary for TML in the proposal thus creating additional cap space.

      • Georgiev is a rfa with arbitration rights which probably puts him at least 2+ on his next contract. which is why I said unless he`s replacing Andersen, he`s a rental. If you have to trade Nylander to keep Kreider why bother Kreider`s not that good nor is he a piece that Toronto needs. Unless Toronto intends to just flip Kreider for what they need not worth it. Georgiev will play maybe 6 to 8 games in Toronto so what`s he worth if they can`t resign him. Toronto needs a RHD not Kreider

    • I would like Kreider to get a chance for a cup. Good dude who tries to say and do the right thing.

      Perhaps a shot in TML?

      to NYR: Kapanen, Gauthier, Hutch and pick
      to TML: Kreider & Gorgi

      Kreider can play with JT, Nylander slides to run the 3rd line for more depth. Kreider is that big body they can use against Boston and WSH in the playoffs. Gorgi helps their back up for years

      Cap helps the rebuild in NY on a team friendly contract. Gauthier centers the 4th line and McKegg to wing. Haley sent down. Hutch sent down ,Igor up and Hank backup.

  4. NYR need to trade the following:
    Kreider, TDA, Buchnevich, Anderson & Georgiev…
    I wonder looking at Capfriendly if Detroit might take a package of:
    DET gets : TDA, Howden Georgiev, Anderson Buchnevich, 1st round pick not lottery
    NYR get: Larkin, Athanasiou
    Detroit rebuilding needs Defense Goaltending & by the time their draft choices start hitting NHL Larkin will be near 30…just a thought.

    • Dylan Larkin???? you have got to be kidding with that one right? do u watch nhl hockey? Larkin is a guy you promote and build around, not trade for a pile of rubbish … another delusional Rangers fanboy

      • Ed: ever heard of Joe Thornton he was traded. Tyler Seguin…wake up major trades happen all the time. This is not life or death geez… take a chill…I was looking at Detroits roster and they could use an influx of young talent and a goalie of the future along with all the young draft picks they have to grow together. By the time those young players develope, Larkin will be near 30 years old looking for 7-8 year deal…Wishful thinking on my part…hell yes, but there is a lot of talent going back to Detroit as well

      • so where is the young talent you speak about???? Buchnevich has regressed … Andersson is a bust … Giorgev is a backup goaltender … Howden is a bust … TDA is having a fluke season … c’mon man, I didn’t mean to be harsh but Yzerman gets fired if he makes that trade

    • Um… No

  5. “Appearing on TSN’s Leafs Lunch yesterday, however, Mirtle said Brodie may have taken the Leafs off that list after learning of their interest in him.”

    Lyle, can a no-trade list be “adjusted” during the term of a contract? If they can’t re-arrange things like cap hit etc., how can such a list be adjusted one way or another if it’s part and parcel of a signed deal?

    • No-trade clauses are flexible. A player can agree to accept a trade to a club that’s not on his submitted list of trade destinations. Salaries, however, are a completely different matter because of their calculation against a team’s salary-cap payroll.

      • Thanks Lyle. The only reason I asked – and said “one way or another” – was a scenario whereby, let’s say Calgary arranged a trade with San Jose they very much liked, for example, but that, despite not being among his list of no-go destinations, Brodie suddenly decides he has no interest in going there and so nixes the deal.

        Seems to me that kind of “flexibility” could open up a whole slew of cans of worms, and would call into question the whole purpose of allowing “lists.”

      • @George according to Bobby Mac on Leafs lunch yesterday, Dubas is looking for a RHD with term on a reasonable contract and a longer term is better. MacKenzie says that Dubas will give up the assets needed. Term is the key and he has little interest in UFA`s nor will he give up anything for them. Mac did say Dubas would accept a LHD with experience on the right side. So according to Bobby Mac, not much chance guys like Brodie Hamonic will end up in Toronto or at the very least Dubas won`t give up much to acquire them and with no cap space to work with. Unless they`ve decided to keep Reilly out for the rest of the regular season. That would change it somewhat.

      • Thanks for that Bob. I trust MacKenzie’s take on things more than just about anyone else’s.

        Never really thought Brodie was a fit there – especially as a UFA seeking well in excess of the $3 mil or so he’s getting now. Just that this whole question of being able to “adjust” destination lists willy nilly calls into question the viability of allowing them in the first place.

      • Last summer Dubas thought he had a deal with Calgary and it was rumoured to involve Brodie. But it was vetoed by Kadri not Brodie. That was then and now apparently term is important. I wonder if the Barrie trade had something to do with that. Too bad Mackenzie didn`t drop any names, but Katyknappe from PPP thinks Johnsson Kappy and Kerfoot are in play and Pesce is main target

      • If Dubas could land Pesce for Johnsson or Kerfoot that would go a long way to shoring up their D along with a healthy Muzzin, But I’m not sure I’d give up Kapanen. I just have the feeling he could be like another Marchessault or William Karlsson by suddenly getting more Top 1 or 2 minutes and more pp time elsewhere … and producing like they did following a change of scenery.

      • For me, the guy I`d try to use to get a deal done is Kerfoot and maybe throw in a Bracco and a pick (2nd). Before you say not Bracco, he can play in the NHL, is he a 200ft. player no but he can put points up on the board, he needs to be a top 9 player useless as 4th liner. You compared him to Ho Sang which wasn`t fair Ho Sang`s biggest problem is Ho Sang, Bracco`s biggest problem is Marner Nylander Kappy and the beginning of the season Babcock. If Keefe was coaching when Marner got hurt Bracco probably would`ve gotten a call up. Dubas wants to make a hockey deal and it has to be dollar in dollar out deal.

      • George I`ve seen that list and that list isn`t based on anything really except the writer’s personal opinion which is no better than yours or mine. Then I`ve seen comments by scouts that they believe Bracco can produce in the NHL, some have described Bracco as a poor mans Marner. The guy that scouted Marner thought Bracco could play in the NHL and I give Mark Hunter`s opinion more value than a writer`s opinion. Is Bracco a 200ft player no, can he help a team that can`t score yes. That`s my opinion

  6. I still don’t think the Flames will trade a defenseman at or before the deadline.
    Treliving likes to have a lot of defenseman around going into the playoffs.
    I could see him signing Brodie and Hamonic in the off season then trading one of them.
    The one deal that makes sense to me would be signing Hamonic then trading him to Winnipeg.

    • I read a lot of comments on this site and rarely comment…but it seems to me that if you want if you really want and need a certain player with term….lets say a first or second pair defensemen, you have to trade assets…none of this well I really want this palyer but they can’t have Kapenan!!!

    • I agree with George O that kerfoot or johnsson for peace would be good, but not kapanen. I would add bracco with either of the first two to get a deal done.

      • Wendel, what the heck is going on with Muzzin? On the one hand I see where the Leafs have recalled him and Moore from their conditioning stints in the AHL – then, in a routine check with NHL Transactions Cap Friendly they show him as being placed on LTIR


        Is that simply a roster ploy until Monday to shave a few bucks off the cap?

      • I watched that game he played in Cleveland it appeared he took a puck off his foot, but it didn`t look serious and he finished the game

      • The rule for LTIR conditioning is Toronto has to play 2 games which they didn`t or 6 days which would`ve been Tuesday. Even then if Toronto wanted to leave him longer on conditioning they could`ve asked the NHL for an extension. So Muzzin going back on LTIR isn`t good news

      • Apparently, Toronto doesn`t have sufficient cap space to bring Muzzin back, so he has to stay on the LTIR until they clear cap space. What a mess Dubas has created

  7. Flames need to add a scoring right winger. Palmeiri or Zucker. You would need to give up Jankowski Bennett and a pick (s) . Agree no defence unless off-season. They are thin in the farm system and like all teams need depth on the back-end. A couple of key injuries like Reilly or Hamilton and it becomes problematic in a hurry.

  8. George, it’s my understanding that players must submit their lists prior to the season beginning. These lists can fluctuate from season to season, but once that list is submitted for the year, then it’s what is gone by

    So by going off your scenario, if SJ wasn’t on his pre-submitted list then he can’t just change his mind last minute and decide to put them on it. And to Lyles point, SJ was on the list, Calgary could approach Brodie about waiving that team, but ultimately it would be his call.

    • Thanks for that Canadian King. Makes more sense if, indeed, any such lists must either be extended or adjusted before the start of each season. But then, while players have “waived” a no-go restriction to allow a trade to go through if and when circumstances have change – not often, I guess, but I believe it’s happened – should they also be allowed to change their mind about going to a team that wasn’t on the adjusted no-go list?

      If so, it makes the whole process a bit murky.

    • Hi Canadian King

      No player can unilaterally “add” a nixable trade team; however if player and team agree ; these clauses can be waived or altered via mutual agreement

      I can’t think of anytime in which a team has agreed to a switch in switch out of non-tradeable destinations; because that limits their trading partner pool ; but stranger things have happened

      On the Flip side; many times in the past a team has asked a player to allow a trade to a certain team; that they (player) currently had as non-tradeable city…. Pens wanted Phil to waive Minn off his NTC; he did not acquiesce


  9. Per TSN today (LeBrun)

    Possibility of Pens looking to replace loss of Guentzel with one of Zucker , Tiffoli (both of which have been mention recently wrt to Pens) but now also Tatar in the mix

    Of the three I think the best reward (compared to what needs to be given up in trade) is Tater-Tots (like Zucker; under contract next year)

    All 3 are Lefties

    TT on 82 G pace for 71 points; Zucker 57; Tiffoli 46

    Tiffoli 27— UFA; $4.6 M; and is 1 1/2 “ taller and 10-15 lbs heavier than the other two

    Zucker 28— 3 more @ $5.5M

    TT ; 29 ; 1 more year @ $4.8 M; leads Habs in Gs; As & Pts; can easily play EITHER LW or RW (the other two can in a pinch but do not fair as well on their off wings); and by a seriously large margin; TT is waaaaay faster than the other two

    I’d love a trade like :

    1st; 4th; Simon ; Laffy ; G-Chuck; Ruhweedel (would love to send JJ but that ain’t flying) for

    TT; Scands ; Kovy

    • There are so many teams bunched up within a few points of one another in the hunt for a playoff spot – WC or otherwise – both east and west, that all it’s going to take is to have one of them jump out in front with a major deal in advance of the trade deadline in order to get a leg up and we will likely see a flurry of trades shortly after.

      In that event it will really become a seller’s market for the likes of L.A., Anaheim, N.J., Ottawa, Detroit and perhaps even San Jose. I think even teams like Buffalo, Chicago, Montreal, NYR and the Wild could jump in as buying bidders if it starts early enough, as none are yet out of sight of the brass ring.

      Who jumps in first? Obviously those with the most cap space will lead the way.

    • Besides the 1st that is garbage! And I can’t see Bergevin taking back galchenyuk EVER the guy will be in the khl next year. By the sounds of it kovy on his own will get a second and scandella maybe a 3rd it probably a 4th

      • Ha!

      • Hi BBB

        valid on G-Chuck but here is my logic

        Scands and G-Chuck both UFA; similar Cap; Scands was picked up for a 4th; my proposal kicked in Ruhweedel (under contract 1 more year @ league min. Setting aside my proclivities on CR; depth experienced D under contract at league min. should be worth a 4th )

        Kovy per TSN will get a 3rd max; I put in Roster bottom 6 Laffy; with owned rights for a few years (that should be greater than a 3rd in value); advantage with that logic…. Habs

        For TT …. 1st and middle six Simon

        Habs would only have G-Chuck for a 1/4 of the year

        With any multiple player deal; the odds are very long on success

        That said; I believe the value of the pieces are very close on either side

        Tater-Tots is the key

        I would think 1st & Simon and maybe a 4th would move the needle

        Pens ; if they can get a 3rdLD and sit JJ ; with no other move at all; have a very fair shot at getting to ECF vs Bruins or Bolts

        If in addition to above they can get a reasonable replacement for Guentzel ; odds on ECF go up substantially

        Pens should not pursue Kreider (will cost too much) and definitely should not go after Zucker …. Cap and what would be needed in trade; to acquire a player on track for 57 points ; to me, is not logical

        I would much rather safer moves if they can be done:

        Bjug for E Staal (lets McC play wing with Sid)

        Waive/bury G-Chuck …. saves $1.08 M (annual rate ) in Cap; or retain 50% and get a 7th for G-Chuck ; saves even more cap

        See what it takes from Stevie Y for AA (if reasonable , just might be worth the risk)

        Sit JJ ( it seems for certain that Jimbo and Sully refuse to trade and/or move him despite the massive detriment he has on team’s performance) ; play the far far far superior Riikola at 3LD:





      • I’ll take it one step further

        Jimbo to Wilson:

        JJ (50 % retained) for Dillon (50% retained)

        Cap diff nil this year; Dillon UFA; SJ get JJ for 3 years at $1.6 M

        That trade alone pretty well puts Pens at about 80% chance of getting to ECF

        Leaves loads of flex to trade for a top 6 winger

      • Bob Mackenzie literally just said on Friday that he expects kovy to get a second, he named the pens,flames,oilers and isles will be bidding for him. You also have to remember scandella was a salary dump for the sabres hence the low return for them. For tatar he’s on pace for the most points of any of the wingers that are expected to be moved at the deadline

      • So he is getting a 2020 second from the pens? I can’t wait to see that!

      • Hi BBB

        I hadn’t heard the Mckenzie prediction (2nd for Kovy)

        He’s usually fairly dialed in

        LeBrun said 3rd at most; Dregger concurred

        Pens under no circumstance; should pay a 2nd (would have to be ‘21 2nd as they don’t have one this year) for Kovy ….. to me ; a great add; but 2nd …. must be a hard pass

        Again …. easiest move to push Pens to higher odds of getting to ECF is sending a fax to NHl head office ; waiving JJ

        Saves $1.08 M (annual rate) in Cap and moves needle substantially on Pens getting to ECF

        Since Sully and Jimbo are both completely and systemically blind to the damage JJ does; unfortunately he will play …. it absolutely must be 3rd pairing , must be no more than 10-11 mins/game ; and must be ZERO minutes on special teams

        I expect Jimbo to acquire a top 6 forward

        Window is now for Pens

      • I see the isles or flames giving a second for kovy 2 teams that need scoring, barzal setting up kovy would be fun to watch

  10. Acquiring Manson should be the Leafs focus; 28 years old, 6’3″ 224 pounds, right handed D man. ANA is at the bottom of the Standings, they need help at every position.
    Kapanen & Liljegren for Manson & a prospect.

    • That is actually reasonable Greg.

    • Best deal of the lot!

  11. “Cyrgalis also said there’s a pesky notion that Barzal would love to play for the new Seattle franchise that starts playing in 2021-22. He played his junior hockey there and it’s close to his childhood home of Coquitlam, BC. Cyragalis wondered if Lamoriello would be so bold as to strike a deal with Seattle in which they take Barzal in the expansion draft in exchange for a first-round pick plus a bit more.”

    This is more dumb that a Larry Brooks piece. First off lets say LL wanted to trade Barzal, why would he accept a first round pick and a player. That player better be a star. They traded away virtually nothing to get the pick to get Barzal. Why would they in turn give him away for a pick and a throw away player someone else didn’t want?

    Secondly, until Belmont is complete Long Island isn’t a true destination yet even though the Isles have a good team. Trading Barzal a few seasons after letting Tavares go would be a huge PR hit. Plus what message does it send to other NHL players. The Isles aren’t serious about winning.

    Finally even if they have to pay up 6-7M is nothing compared to what Ladd is getting paid. He may not get Mariner money but 9-10 is possible for a long term deal if they want to go into some free agent years.

    If Gretzky can be traded it is possible but I would be absolutely stunned if this ever were to occur with a young star.