NHL Rumor Mill – January 9, 2020

by | Jan 9, 2020 | Rumors | 39 comments

The latest on the Canadiens, Islanders, Flames, Predators, Penguins, and Avalanche in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: If the Montreal Canadiens fail to climb back into playoff contention, Elliotte Friedman wonders if general manager Marc Bergevin will move some of his veterans by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Jean-Francois Chaumont examined Bergevin’s options if he goes into sell mode. The expensive contracts of goaltender Carey Price and defenseman Shea Weber makes them unlikely to be dealt. Weber’s leadership remains invaluable to the Habs.

Could Canadiens forward Max Domi price his way out of Montreal? (Photo via NHL Images)

Tomas Tatar and Jeff Petry are playing well and could fetch solid returns, but Petry’s value to the Habs blueline means it’ll take a significant offer to part with him. Chaumont also speculates Bergevin could listen to offers for Max Domi if the pending RFA proves too expensive to re-sign. It would be surprising if the Habs part ways with winger Artturi Lehkonen.

Chaumont suggests depth players such as Nate Thompson, Nick Cousins, and Brett Kulak could be peddled for draft picks. Recent acquisitions Ilya Kovalchuk and Marco Scandella could also have some value if they play well for the Habs in the coming weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Barring a miraculous turnaround between now and the trade deadline, they’re not going to reach the playoffs this season.

I don’t see Bergevin getting into a massive sell-off of assets but he could put UFAs like Kovalchuk, Scandella, and Thompson on the trade block. Price, Weber, Domi, and Petry aren’t going anywhere. Tatar has a year left on his contract, but Bergevin could gauge his value in the trade market. He’s not shopping any of his promising youngsters.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports defenseman Adam Pelech’s season-ending Achilles injury is a huge loss for the New York Islanders.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently reported Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello was succinct when asked about trade options to replace Pelech. “You don’t replace an Adam Pelech at the trade deadline,” he said.

Nevertheless, Staple speculates Lamoriello may still have to consider adding a veteran blueliner. Options could include San Jose’s Brenden Dillon, New Jersey’s Andy Greene, or Toronto’s Ben Harpur.

Staple also examined how the Islanders could address their scoring drought on the wing. He suggested Ottawa’s Tyler Ennis and Vladislav Namestnikov, Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli, Buffalo’s Conor Sheary, and Nashville’s Mikael Granlund as possible trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello will assess his roster over the next several weeks to determine if a move or two is necessary. For now, they’re using Noah Dobson as a third-pairing defenseman, while coach Barry Trotz continues juggling his forward lines. If there’s no significant improvement, the Isles GM could enter the trade market in February.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving has told potential trade partners he prefers players with term on their contract over rentals. If Elias Lindholm stays at center, Treliving will seek a winger. If not, he could go in a different direction.

Friedman also said there’s a sense change is coming to the Flames if they don’t improve. They’re happy with younger players like Rasmus Andersson, Dillon Dube, and Andrew Mangiapane but not as thrilled with some of their top dogs like Johnny Gaudreau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Treliving wants a player with term, perhaps he’ll look at Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad once he returns from his recent ankle injury. Friedman recently claimed there’s talk Saad could be available.

If the Flames fail to improve this season, a major change such as moving Gaudreau won’t happen until the offseason. That’s assuming Treliving wants to go that route.

Friedman also reports the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the market for a replacement for sidelined winger Jake Guentzel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And you can read my take here and here.

He also reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile could become a seller at the trade deadline if his club fails to gain ground in the standings. Center Kyle Turris has been shopped. Others could include Craig Smith, Mikael Granlund, and perhaps Nick Bonino.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My take on the Predators here.




  1. Nashville is stuck with those centers..unless they are sending a nice pick or prospect with them

    Johansen 8mil
    Duchene 8 mil
    Turris 6 mil
    Bonino 4.1 mil

    • i am sure Minny will trade Rask for Johansen and won;t ask for anything additional back lol

      • ouch

        Turris career peak one playoff run
        RyJo career peak before thigh issue on playoff run
        Duchene career peak last playoff
        Bonino career peak two cup wins on 3 scoring line team. bonino out performing Ryjo and turris this season

      • ds, your valid point reminds me that, with the exception of Mark Stone, Ottawa dodged bullets with two of those you list along with Karlsson and Dzingel to the tune of $28,875,000.

        Perhaps some can see merit in the contracts they signed combined with their output … but I, for one, see no such merit

        Karlsson – $11,500,000 for 7 years incl. this one with 5g 27a 32 pts and a -15 in 44gp

        Duchene – $8 mil for 7 years incl. this one with
        9g 20a 29 pts in 39gp

        Turris – $6 mil for 3 years incl. this one with
        5g 12a 17 pts in 35gp

        Dzingel – $3,375,000 for 2 years incl. this one with 8g 17a 25 pts in 43gp

      • @George O
        Good points for Ottawa

    • If Friedman thinks Petry is playing well then he is watching a different player than I am.

      • Friedman didn’t say that. It was a sportswriter for Le Journal de Montreal.

  2. Overall the Isles have been ok with Dobson however it isn’t ideal that he barely hits the ice in the 3rd period. That will wear on the remaining 5, especially vets like Boychuck and Leddy. I know Thomas Hickey has been injured in B’port. I assume with these reports he is nowhere near returning because he would slot in nicely as a replacement dman.

    Overall the Isles need a consistent scorer because over their last 20 games or so defensively although they have had some stinkers for the most part they have held up. It has been a lack of scoring that is killing them. Long goaless stretches or limited stretches by guys named Beauvillier, Bailey, Eberle, added to muckers Martin, Johnston, Komarov, Kuhnackl weigh down the team. The players mentioned here are not difference makers. I would like to see the Isles make a bold move. If Florida were to start to slip I go after Hoffman. He will be a UFA next season and is 30 but is gritty and has a true nose for the net. He is on pace for about 30 goals and 60+ points. The Isles have the cap space for him. He has a modified NTC but going to the playoffs playing in NY I can’t imagine being a holdup if the Isles were considered a non-favorable destination. I would think the majority of Canadian teams would fill that list.

    LL needs to go big. A player that scores maybe 20 goals is no better than adding another Cizikas to the lineup. The Isles need pure scoring talent that they can rely on, not more grinders that occassionally find the net.

    • Lou should give LADD another chance lol

  3. The terms “no significant improvement” and “lack of scoring killing” the Islanders is a bit of an exaggeration; they’re still playing pretty well. Some depth on D would obviously help and adding a solid scorer could help lead to a deep playoff run.

    • Hi Howard

      As a Pens fan , I would like GMLL to stand pat

      It’s already looking more and more like a rematch of last years first round

      If neither team makes any changes and Sully can limit JJ to 10 mins or less a game; Pens should take it

      More than likely both teams make a move

      Keeping the GAs down is NOT an issue on the island ; scoring should be their desire

      I fully expect GMJR to use the new $6M in space (Guentzel) to seek out and get a top 6 winger (lefty or righty … doesn’t matter)

      $9M more in space can be freed up without any significant hit to offence …. Bjug & G-Chuck

      • Pengy….you know we are both die hard penguins fans but if Rutherford stands pat we will get buried.

        You used to entertain many trade scenarios why all of a sudden are you standing pat..

        Even with Sid coming back soon we still need another forward and another defense man (even before the guentzel injury) to challenge Boston Islanders or Washington in a 7 game series..

        one top 6 forward one top 4 d-man..

        Anthansiou Sadd Pageau Namestinikov

        Colin Miller on defense would be nice maybe jeff petry

      • Hi BnG

        Not Pens staying Pat

        I was hoping for GMLL (Lou Lamerello) to stand Pat

        I fully expect (and want) GMJR to make a move

        If he can move G-Chuck AND Bjug for 2 picks …. no matter what they are…. that now frees up an extra $9 M (annual rate) in Cap Space…. and would NOT really hurt output at all

        Together with Guentz’s $6M on LTIR and current Cap space ; Jimbo would have room to bring in over $16 M worth of players’ Cap (annual rate) if need be

        I absolutely cant believe Bergevin got Scands for a 4th

        If Jimbo had done that and then say parlayed whatever assets G-Chuck AND Bjug got above ; plus say a 1st Laffy and maybe Legare; into say (just as an example)

        JGP and Tiffoli


        Sid Tiffoli McC

        Gino Rusty Kahun

        JGP Horny Simon

        Blueger Turbo ZAR

        Blender , AA

        Tanger Dumo

        Shultz Pettersson

        Scands Marino



        That team has excellent shot of getting to ECF and fair shot at getting to SCF

        and IMHO that roster matches up very very well with Blues; Nights and Avs

    • Borowiecki or DeMelo would be good D additions for the Islanders.
      Ennis would be a good & cheap $ depth forward for a playoff contender.

  4. Hockey Writers reported Price may ask to be traded to a Stanley Cup team and reportedly Colorado rumors have surfaced. I am all in favor of a sell out and do a full rebuild. Keep Weber to teach and trade all the expiring UFA sign Domi and Mete all the core of young pieces. The rumor is Price for Grubauer Bowen Byram and a 3rd round pick and get the 10.5 mil off the books 7mil savings on the cap

    • Not sure how they fit his salary in long term. That being said….. MTL should be exited if a team is willing to take Price and not ask MTL to hold a bunch of cap.

      Roy went to COL and won a cup albeit different circumstances.

    • That would be a terrible deal for Colorado in my opinion. There goaltending has been good overall. Taking on that contract and giving up a top prospect like Byram is insane.

    • Amongst the things that make trading Price most unlikely are any team taking a $10 million cap hit for a goalie of Price’s age – and past two years’ performance. Yes, some of that is a result of the Habs weak d, but he has also played poorly in important games.

      As for the Habs, pointless to trade for Grubauer as his stats are not exactly stellar this year. Cayden Primeau is in the wings.

      Byram? The Habs have Romanov coming next year. They need a big forward who can score.

      So Hockey Writers is navel gazing to fill a column.

    • Sounds like – if true – Colorado is looking for a repeat of the Patrick Roy lightning.

    • I really don’t think the Avs trade Byram for Price straight up.They’re pretty high on him. and they won’t trade him away for the chance to pay an aging goaltender $10M/Y for the foreseeable future.

      • My thoughts exactly C Kid. Not sure I would take Price for free with that contract and his play over the last couple seasons, let alone give up a prospect like that.

  5. Bellows is lighting it up at Bridgeport. Ho Sang is back and playing well why don’t they bring them up and demote MDC and Johnstone? A trade would be nice maybe Saad from Chicago or AA from Detroit.

  6. Why would anybody trade for Price? Ten million per season for an injury prone past his prime goalie seems a bit excessive.

    Which legit contender would consider Price an upgrade in goal? Boston? Tampa Bay? Toronto? St Louis? Vegas? Washington?

    Giving up assets and taking on that anchor contract for a very slight if any upgrade in goal makes a Price deal highly unlikely.

    Over rated, way over hyped and grossly overpaid. Price isnt going anywhere.

  7. if it wasn’t true before it’s true now. The Sharks season is over. They should sell as much as possible for picks and prospects.

    I would even trade Couture but that wont happen until at least the off season. It’s sad but the writing was on the wall when Pavelski left. It’s rebuild time.

    • Let’s not overreact. There’s still a chance 😂

      Couture is one of the best two-way centers in the league – and absolute money in the playoffs. You don’t trade a Logan Couture. Hertl will take over 1C with Marleau and Meier as wingers. Jumbo moves up to 2C with Kane and Sorenson.

      Love me some Brendan Dillon, but he’s rumored to be in the blocks. Jones is all but gone. That’s $10M to bring an Austin Matthews trade (for Burns?). And another goaltender.

      Ugh. Yeah, this sucks.

      • Not if you’re an Ottawa fan! 🙂

      • Matthew’s will not be traded, especially for Burns who is too old and is not defensively responsible.

  8. The value of a 2nd round draft pick. From 2005 to 2014 a total of 300 players were drafted in the second round and every GM on every team of every year said the same thing “we couldn’t believe he was still available.”

    Of the 300 players drafted only 87 players made a career out of it and are still in the NHL. That’s a 29% success rate.

    Yes there is some really good talent in the second round but more misses then hits. Below is the year and the number of players who made a career and are still playing. The list could potentially grow as some are in the minors but have not played this season.

    2005 – 7
    2006 – 9
    2007 – 3
    2008 – 9
    2009 – 11
    2010 – 13
    2011 – 15
    2012 – 7
    2013 – 7
    2014 – 6

    In 2007 only 3 players made it from the 2nd round but 4 players in the 6th round not counting Anthony Peluso made a career. The four players:

    Patrick Maroon
    Carl Hagelin
    Nick Bonino
    Paul Byron

    • Well done, Caper.

      I am not going to provide the rigor you have, but have a look at the first round draft picks from 2010 – 2016. You will see pretty much the same pattern, some bona fide great picks, almost always falling off to “where is he now?” at the mid point of the first round.

      Some pundits have pointed to the Habs miserable first round drafting since 2009, which is accurate to the extent that there have been a lot of busts. But there were no clear misses. The closest was in Aho’s draft year, and even then he was drafted 35th.

      This so, one has to question the value of trading a quality player for a first rounder, unless you know your first rounder is going to be in the top 10.

    • Draft luck…
      Last 3 Cup winners—

      undrafted 1
      1st round 9
      2nd 6
      3rd 4
      6th 2
      7th 1

      undrafted 2
      1st 12
      2nd 3
      3rd 1
      4th 1
      7th 1

      undrafted 3
      1st 7
      2nd 4
      3rd 4
      4th 1
      6th 2
      7th 2

      • DS, Interesting data thanks. My first thought was that the picks are also very late in the round, 1st almost a second, second almost a third, etc.

  9. Cant see CP moving at $10.5 M…. bad contract with term north of $7M coming back maybe OR more likely retained $’s

    To Col w/o retaining $’s makes little sense to me…. I do like CP but Col is just starting their window …. adding a $10.5 M player for 6 more years starting when he’ll be 33; just may be too problematic

    Col not struggling in goal; definitely doesn’t need to panic and make rash moves now

    Re Montreal and “unloading”

    On behalf of GMJR ; will give you a 4th back (same as you paid) for Scands …. pretty please and thanks

    SJ …. they are nearing (not there yet) that point of long term roster rationalization

    They can still get in but things need to change very soon

    I asked the other day but I don’t think anybody responded:

    To SJ fans

    what will it take extra to swap UFA Dillon for JJ …. same Cap this year BTW; 3 more years of JJ

    Both LDs; both Defensive Defensemen

    Similar offensive numbers this year


    Same weight; Dillon 3” taller; 3 years younger

    Please advise as to your suggested “bonus” payment


    what is the retained amount required for a straight swap?

    Thanks in advance

    • Dillon is a solid, mobile enough Dman who can play smart physically and doesn’t make many mistakes. Played with Karlsson last year, this year with Burns (though I like him better with Ferraro), and didn’t embarrass himself. JJ is… well, JJ. So, I’m gonna say no to the offer.

  10. Price for Marky/LE/Sutter

    The term left on Price is the biggest hurdle for a trade. The salary means taking on money. Habs if seriously considering moving Price it will take some creativity.

    Tbh I don’t see any trading of Price nor if my suggestion has much validity.

  11. You have to watch who you trade for.
    Stars in some cities are over rated. Teams play harder against some teams
    Everyone wants to beat Toronto.
    Just look at the stars who left Ottawa , Turris , Hoffman, Dzingle , Duchenne, Karlsson all under achieving but were super stars in Ottawa because nobody got excited to play them.
    Only Mark Stone looks like he still has some star potential.
    Teams don’t play as hard when they play Ottawa
    Marc Methot made Karlsson, when he left Karlsson showed the minus player he always was.

  12. E.Karlsson ruined the Sharks. You can’t take a veteran team that have been in the cup conversation for a decade and pay him $11m. Now you can’t afford to sign your captain and fortunate that Labanc cut them a deal . How does Burns feel ? They will also give up their first to Ottawa and that will be a nice one at the very least. Could be a Franchise player.

    • Or could be another Alexander Daigle

    • Or maybe Alexander Daigle again

      • Still wallowing around in ancient history eh Vinnie? Small things amuse small minds as they say.