Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 19, 2020

by | Jan 19, 2020 | Rumors | 56 comments

The latest on the Canadiens and Sharks plus updates on Jeff Carter and Erik Gustafsson in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Chris Johnston reports the Montreal Canadiens are very pleased with the performance of Ilya Kovalchuk. Earlier this month, they signed the veteran winger to a one-year, prorated $700K contract. He’s got eight points in as many games, including four goals. As the Canadiens get healthier coming out of the upcoming All-Star break and with the Feb. 24 trade deadline getting close, Johnston believes Kovalchuk could become a trade asset that lands the Habs a draft pick.

Will the Montreal Canadiens shop Ilya Kovalchuk for a draft pick at the trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

Earlier in the week, Johnston’s colleague Eric Engels observed Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin faces some difficult decisions in the coming weeks. If leading scorer Tomas Tatar’s value in the trade market is high, Engels suggests Bergevin should explore the winger’s value in the trade market. He also feels the same about defenseman Jeff Petry, but acknowledged it would take a significant offer to tempt Bergevin as youngers blueliners Cale Fleury and Josh Brooks are at least a couple of years away from becoming top-four blueliners.

If the Canadiens can’t find a suitable return for Kovalchuk, Engels proposes attempting to re-sign the veteran winger.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie believes the Canadiens will be sellers leading up to the trade deadline. He feels they should move Kovalchuk if he can fetch a second-round selection. He also thinks a team willing to do a “problem swap” could come calling about Max Domi. Lajoie lists Nick Cousins, Dale Weise, Jordan Weal, and Brett Kulak as other trade candidates.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Jonathan Bernier also ponders what the Habs could get for Kovalchuk in the trade market. He reminds us that the New Jersey Devils traded Brian Boyle last season to the Nashville Predators for a second-round pick. In 2017, the Detroit Red Wings sent winger Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for a third-round and Dylan McIlrath, while the Colorado Avalanche got a conditional fourth from the LA Kings for Jarome Iginla.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk’s thriving thus far in Montreal. If the Canadiens somehow surge back into the playoff chase in a month, they could hang onto him for the remainder of the season. If not, I don’t think it’s far-fetched to suggest they could get a second- or a third-round in return if he maintains his point-per-game pace.

Domi’s name has surfaced a couple of times in recent speculation. While there’s been some grumbling in the Montreal media over his temper, consistency, and supposedly selfish play, the 24-year-old reached a career-high 72 points last season and is on pace for a respectable 55 points. I’m not convinced that he’s in any danger of getting traded.

Tatar, meanwhile, has another year remaining on his contract. Bergevin doesn’t have to shop the 29-year-old winger this season, but it might not hurt to gauge his value in the trade market.


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall wonders if LA Kings center and former Flyer Jeff Carter might be available at the trade deadline. The 35-year-old Carter is under contract through 2021-22 with an annual average salary of over $5.2 million. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion and a four-time 30-goal scorer who’s on pace for 23 goals this season.

Hall’s colleague John Clark said the Flyers discussed the possibility of trading for Carter. While he has fond memories of his years in Philadelphia, Carter said he doesn’t want to leave Los Angeles. “I love playing in L.A. and being a part of this team,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter surfaced in the rumor mill midway through last season. A report claimed he could retire if traded, but he denied it. Carter lacks no-trade protection, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the rebuilding Kings looked into moving him.

Nevertheless, his age and annual average value are significant stumbling blocks. An interested club might insist on the Kings picking up a healthy portion of his salary-cap hit. Given the Flyers’ limited cap space, they can’t afford his full AAV.


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently reported the Chicago Blackhawks have spoken with other clubs about Erik Gustafsson. The 27-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He and Hawks GM Stan Bowman declined to comment regarding a possible contract extension.

A league source believes they’re checking the market value and could circle back before the trade deadline. They were asking mostly about prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Powers that how the Blackhawks fare in the coming weeks will also determine what happens with Gustafsson. If they climb back into the playoff picture, they could hang onto the blueliner for a run at the postseason.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s word San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is embarrassed the first-round pick he gave up as part of the deal for Erik Karlsson could turn into a lottery selection. As a result, he’ll try to get a first-rounder back before the trade deadline. He’ll have to sweeten the pot because none of his pending UFAs (including Brenden Dillon and Melker Karlsson) will fetch a first-rounder.

Garrioch speculates teams could call about Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, and Brent Burns. He also claims New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is sniffing around for a defenseman and should give Wilson a call.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson’s reportedly let it be known he’s not interested in moving a core player. Of course, that could change if someone were to make a significant offer, but I doubt that type of deal takes place before the deadline.


  1. Sharks were bloody awful vs Vancouver last night. Old and beyond slow.

    • Even Loui Eriksson scored a goal on them Ron! 🙂

      Ahh, but Pierre Dorion is a doorknob, don’t you know, and if that SJ lottery pick – or even their own – turns out to be # 1. Alex Lafreniere will turn out to be just another Alex Daigle

      • Wonder who your quoting on that insight George 🙂

      • George, maybe the Leafs will win the lottery.

      • Yes vinnie and dubas will draft another forward without an ounce of defence in his mind……….because it’s working so far right no playoff series wins in 15+ years?

    • Sharks

      Good day

      Wilson should be embarrassed….as George and I discussed greatly at length a yer ago and even 2 years ago signing Karlsson to a big contract was over reaching risky and stupid in a cap era …

      Thsi si a player that took up way to much room where Wilson had to let go of young fast and hard nosed players ..Karlsson has had SERIOUS injuries to pander for such a long term contract for that kind of money and if there was any glaring need on the Sharks it was updating the front end and getting guys signed …not the back end where you have a Norris trophy winner who was underpaid …Vlasic who is a very good defender ….they just needed some additions not an 11 million dollar player who will the will not want in a years time …

      They have 2 .5 million in cap space now and next year when Marleau and Thorton come off the books they will have 3 million more and give or take about 6 million with RFA and Ufa status players to use going into next year unless they shed more salary …

      If they want that 1st rounder back its going to cost them Brent Burns …as they my as well use him because they cant get rid of Karlsson ..and they can spar more defence than they can forwards right now as scoring has been a major issue….

      The problem here is that this Draft is being talked about as literally one of the deepest drafts ever …not just a good draft …but 2 to 3 rounds deep of really high quality players …teams are going to be very very weary to give up a first rounder this year.


      • Burns turns 35 in March and will be pushing 40 when his $8 mil per contract runs out after the 20243-35 season.

        Following seasons pf 60, 75, 76 and 83 (including a +13 last year), he’s on pace for 53 pts – not bad for any D-man but a significant dip in his case – and is currently a -23. Is he a victim of on all-round general malaise – or will some see him as part of the problem? Hard to say at this point. But I agree there is a lot better chance of dealing him for a # 1 than the $11.5 mil man who carries that burden for 6 more years after this when he’ll be pushing 36.

        Let’s face it, Wilson jumped at that trade figuring Karlsson was the one ingredient needed to become a Cup favorite. They won’t be that for quite a while with the cupboard bare
        and something like 8 roster players entering next season 30 y/o and up.

        I bet Kevin Labanc is kicking himself for his $1 mil signing after posting 58 pts last year, now that he’s on pace for just 41 pts and is a minus 22. Hardly stats to parlay into something long-term and significant.

      • I didn’t realize Dubas had been G.M. for 15 years. Time flies

      • Nor did I realize Dorion has been around for 27 years. Alexander Daigle

        Works both way Vinnie

      • George with the mic drop!

  2. If Bergevin can land a 2nd for a rejuvenated kovalchuck that would be a great signing for him! The leafs have allowed 30 goals the last 6 games dubas is looking for defenseman but other gms are wanting a lot after the overpayments for muzzin and Barrie

  3. If anyone wants Burns go ahead, Meier is a no-go and Hertl is a maybe

    • to Pittsburgh for Schultz & JJ Even cap hit =)

  4. if his core is off limits then how does Doug Wilson expect to get a first rounder back???? It’s time to break up the band Dougie …

  5. I know Carter says he wants to stay in LA but would he want to move to a legit cup contender??

    Pittsburgh is a great option and really creates a top 3 c rotation or Carter can play wing with Malkin on the 2nd line

    to LA: AG & Bjugstad
    to PITT: Carter

    by moving AG &Bjugstad Pitts creates about 2m in cap room now to add flexibility for another move.

    LA gains assets to flip for any sort of picks if they do not want to keep them. Where Carter may not have. Bjugstad has another year and could be kept for the 3c spot if he flourishes when he is back from IR.

    • Yea this trade isn’t lopsided in Pittsburghs favour in the slightest.

      Carter has over twice as many goals alone than those two combined.

      The only way a trade gets done is if Pitt is willing to give up a prospect or a pick for Carter plus another prospect or pick for LA to take back a bad contract, like Galchenyuk.

      LAs not taking back Pittsburghs garbage in the hopes to trade them later for assets. Why do twice the work for probably a lesser return.

      No thanks!

  6. Kovalchuk was a no risk signing, this is why i wanted Boston to sign him. No risk, high reward. As i said this was an excellent signing by Bergevin.

    Read a report that the Bruins are being heavily scouted by Anaheim and the two names that were mentioned that the bruins could be looking at are Ondrej Kase and Rickard Rakell; both players are young enough and have term but why would the Ducks want to move either of them when they are both having down season and their return would be diminished.

    • Rakell is one of the most underrated players in the league, Kase misses a lot of time due to injuries

      • Depends what the Ducks have in mind, short term or long. They also need help on the blueline.
        It’s not like Kase is all that. Agree with BBB that Rakell has real value.
        Would you trade Moore and Bjork for Rakell?
        Ducks get younger (with upside) up front and add much needed quality D man. B’s get the best player today in Rakell.
        If the B’s trade Moore, best sign Krug to an extension.

      • Ray i think i make that deal, i do like Bjork upside but as you mentioned numerous times; Boston window is closing.

      • I think I would too Caper, but to your first post, not sure the Ducks would.

      • Moore and bjork won’t get rakell need to add a lot more

      • Not so sure BBB, might have to add a little, but not a lot.
        Bjork and Moore are both NHL players today. Moore is a really good 5 or lower end 4, plus Bjork has some skill and can skate, 3rd line today.
        Rakell is better than each of them but it is 2 for 1 and you need quality up and down your lineup to compete today.

      • I just think another team will offer more, bjork and Moore style can be had pretty easy in today’s nhl

    • I keep reading speculation that the Habs could trade Petry and or Tatar, presumably for draft picks.

      Why would any team give up a top 4 D whose skating ability means he will be top 4 for several more years, or trade a consistently good scoring forward for a “future.”

      One strength the Habs have is a relatively young team with good prospects in the pipeline now. Selling off hard to replace assets ushers in a serious risk of missing the playoffs again next year.

      The Habs fan base are not going to show up to watch a developmental team. Get into the playoffs, give it a shot, and get your young players playoff experience.

      • There was a Domi to Edmonton rumor too. Puljujarvi being part of a package going to Montreal. I guess the Oilers want their own skilled pest to go up against Matthew Tkachuk in those Battle of Alberta games.

    • I’d stay away from Kovalchuck. His play in Montreal proves that he’s a selfish cancer and only plays when he wants to. Where was this play in LA? He quit on the Kings and this is proof of it. The fact that he said he can’t play 6-8 minutes and be effective is the biggest B.S. out there. He pouted and gave a poor effort in LA. Actions speak louder than words.

      • Have to disagree there. Kovalchuk has played a far more complete game than I expected. He really is all in. Due to all the injuries, Claude Julien has had to play him with better players. The 6-8 minutes comment is about the kinds of players/role he was being asked to play. Mtl has given him a role tailored to him. Call it selfish if you will, it does change the fact LA clearly did not manage him correctly.

        That said, MB should absolutely trade him. Hold off to the deadline and for sure look for a 2nd rd pick this year. He is a UFA this summer so chat with him now and gauge interest for next year. He is long in the tooth and a quality 2nd rounder (especially if the draft is as deep as people think) will be an asset long after Kovalchuk retires for real.

        I do not buy that Petry will be traded. Weal, Cousins, and Kulak is a different story. Domi I think is unlikely to go as I see his current production being held back somewhat by Drouin being out.

      • Kovy signing this deal was essentially him saying I’ll get traded to a contender. La flopped. He may be selfish in that regard but it does show he is gunning for a cup and is motivated.

    • George O , the Bruins , another team linked trading for Rickard Rakell.

  7. In hind sight I wonder if team owners & GM’s will re-think their strategy when it comes to stars demanding large chunks of the salary cap when they are approaching 30.
    Case in point;

    It’s unknown how Bobrovsky and Panarin will effect their teams but the other 3 have negatively effected their teams by either poor play or cap problems or both.
    These are great players but the difference between these players and a 5 million dollar player is razor thin in today’s cap controlled NHL.
    It is almost the kiss of death to have a superstar on your team as he will command and get anywhere from 10 – 15% of the cap

    It seems like the teams challenging for the cup are teams that have stars but not necessarily superstars with a more evenly spaced out salary structure.

    I will give Dorion a lot of credit as he and Melnyk took a lot of heat with their strategy. They could have paid their stars and stayed in that mushy middle of the pack maybe just squeeking into the playoffs but never being a true threat of winning the cup

    • I know Panarin may take up a large chunk BUT look at what he is delivering for NYR. Without him Strome is not having this type of season. It wouldn’t potentially allow ADA to jump is as aggressively as he has (many assists from Bread), and Zib would be getting stifled more because of matchups. Panarin has been worth every dollar doled out this season. He, and Backstrom in WSH, will age gracefully and are possession players.

      As for the others, agreed…..high cap percentage will hurt age 29 plus in future. Goalies especially will get hurt seeing how a good tandem system has been a a good results producer.

      • Oh Yea Panarin has worked out so well so far for the Rangers. Had to give away Names and Shatty and are still in Cap hell, having to shed more salary either trading CK20 or buying out Shatty and Staal. Oh yea the Rangers are also 9 points out of a wild card spot. Working to perfection

    • “It seems like the teams challenging for the cup are teams that have stars but not necessarily superstars with a more evenly spaced out salary structure.”

      Huh? Petrieangelo, O’Reilly, Tarasenko, Pastrnak, Marchand, Bergeron, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Carlson, Crosby, Malkin, Toews, Kane, Stamkos Hedman, etc etc etc….
      When are superstars not involved again?

      • And who, exactly, are the superstars if not among that group?

      • The only team in recent years that reached a cup final or conference final without a bonafide superstar up front was NY Rangers…. and we know how that turned out.

        Lundqvist yes, Mcdonagh… as close as they had. Every other team had more than one upfront and or on D.

    • Flame fan . How do you come to this conclusion ?? pittsburgh 3 cups in ten yrs with sid and geno and kessel on the team . chicago 3 cups in ten yrs with KANE TOEWS HOSSA KEITH ETC washington with Ovie , Backstrom , Kuznetsov , the blues Oreilly , tarasenko , pieterangelo . which cup winning team in the last did not have superstars making big bucks ????????

      • Yeah, I guess I was not clear enough.
        There are championship teams that have superstars but I can only think of Pittsburgh that won when the superstars got paid.
        As soon as the teams started paying them like superstars that’s when they messed up their cap so bad they could not win again.
        Now there is a difference between a star and a superstar. In my mind there might only be a handful of superstars in the league but every team would have at least one or more stars.

        A few more examples of teams paying players in their late 20’s
        That has not paid off with success

        Chicago – Toews , Kane
        LA – Kopitar, Doughty
        Dallas – Benn
        Vegas – Stone
        Minnesota – Parise, Suter
        Washington won, but is blowing its chance with overpaying Backstrom.

        One team and in particular Yzerman
        I will give credit to. He signed his stars to good contracts and have a serious chance to win multiple cups.

        I don’t understand, The NHL has had a hard cap for quite a few years and there are still GM’s that do not know how to manage it.

      • I enjoyed this conversation. But I loved the line of…
        I don’t understand, The NHL has had a hard cap for quite a few years and there are still GM’s that do not know how to manage.

        So true.

      • That’s for sure. And those that try are doorknobs under the thumb of a cheap owner

  8. Sharks look to have given in to the fact that this season is lost. Of course there’s a chance they can turn it around, this is a veteran group with a lot of players who won’t be returning next year. That said, there is no denying the lack of focus this year’s team has shown.

    San Jose has the talent to win. Couture, Hertyl, Meier, Kane, Karlsson, Vlasic, Burns – names like that should make the Sharks one of the most formidable lineups night in and night out. The question is, can they work together. Some nights, sure, they look like challengers for the cup, but on too many occasion, they look like a team searching for an identity.

    So what’s next? Wilson has said he’s not moving any of the core players, but just who are the core players? Maybe it takes moving someone significant. From the names above, Meier & Karlsson are the only untouchables. My guess is one of their other top D in Burns or Vlasic is moved along with either Couture or Hertyl for a true #1 center.

    Then there is the issue of goaltending. A proven netminder like Holtby makes sense, but he’s 30 and will San Jose have the cap space. And as fun as it would be to try and pry away an Ilya Samsonov or a Tristan Jarry, I highly doubt either opposing team will let that happen.

    San Jose Sharks are not playing to their potential, whatever the reason may be. Multiple players fates are in doubt. The GM has done little to nothing during the season to change things, aside from fire the head coach, which has seemingly back fired. An under performing team full of stars who can’t get it done, not fair to the fans. What else to say. In the words of Brendan Dillon after last night’s 1st period interview: “Damn.”

  9. I suspect burns goes to Dallas. He lives in texas, he’s friends with pavelski, who’s in texas, it makes sense. What do the stars give up to get him is the question.

    I’ve lamented this team all season. No chemistry, slow, old, with no real core direction. Do we play fast and shoot? behind the net with traffic in front? I’ve watched the fewest games in 10 years. Why? because from week two I could tell the team was a mess.

    They should just start over. Keep Hertl, Meier, Lebank and goodrow. Sell everything else.

  10. No team in the NFL blows more big leads than the Bruins ….Bruins should be looking for a shutdown Dman along with a winger that can score and while they are at it a tough guy would be nice…. shake that tree Sweeney

    • NHL..

      • Ya Joe, it’s weird this season. They also can’t win in OT or a SO.
        Last year they were great holding a lead.
        Bottom line is the B’s are in 1st place, and in no way are going to close deals for a shutdown D, top 6 winger with a bonus of having sandpaper and are tough without totally changing the team. They don’t have the space to simply trade prospects, so equal $$ needs to leave.
        No team is perfect in today’s cap world. Closest are Wash and TBay IMO.
        Bruins are gonna be in tough come playoff time. Long season last year, best players older. Will need a hot PP and tender to duplicate last years run.
        They are an average team 5 on 5. But hey that’s exactly what they did last season. Go B’s!

  11. Funny how the NHL changes , a lead use to be a sure thing.
    I don’t know where all these top end defenseman are gonna come from.
    There’s only one Ron Hainsey!!

    • Who, at 38, is head and shoulders above Marincin and Brodie when it comes to defense. The ONLY reason he wasn’t retained by Dubas is because the Leafs could not fit him in under the cap at the $3.5 mil he got in Ottawa. Perhaps he should have become another Labanc and sign a “team friendly” deal to show his appreciation to the organization.

      • Broken record…. when do you see trades involving that many salaried nhl players between two teams?

        Never….. these type of deals never happen. Why do people put any time and effort into dreaming them up?

        Then to top all this off with “a 1st if Montreal wins a cup”

        We as may well open up the discussion of riding a unicorn to the moon while pooping out bricks of gold. Because there is a better chance of all that happening than the suggested trade and Montreal winning a cup this year!

      • Ooooops,

        This was a reply to Craig MacFarlane.

  12. Once again, I will say it . He was with the Leafs for 2 years and their problems were the same as they are now. So why would you go back down that road again. I don’t think he will take them to the promise land.
    The team doesn’t play defense, Hainsey isn’t going to fix that.
    Demelo would be a better fit.

  13. Just “spit ballin” ideas here…… what would the Habs want for a return from the Oil for Domi ?

    • To EDM: Domi, Tatar

      To MTL: Puuljujarvi, Jones, Chiasson, Gagner, Russell, 1st, 2020

  14. To MIN: Paul Byron, Karl Alzner, Brett Kulak, Charles Hudon, Conditional 1st 2020 (If MTL wins cup, Min gets 1st, if not, defaults to 2nd), 2nd rounder 2021

    To MTL: Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu

    • Why?

    • If MTL wins cup? (chuckles)

  15. Kovi for a 2nd is pure stupidity. What a laugher.