NHL Rumor Mill – February 15, 2020

by | Feb 15, 2020 | Rumors | 48 comments

The latest on Duncan Keith, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, plus updates on the Flyers and Stars in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus reports Duncan Keith has not been approached by Chicago Blackhawks management about waiving his no-movement clause. The 36-year-old defenseman indicates he wants to stay with the Blackhawks. Lazerus believes Keith will stay put as long as the club keeps aiming to reach the playoffs. He feels the veteran blueliner doesn’t want to be part of a lengthy rebuild.

Duncan Keith wants to remain with the Chicago Blackhawks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lazerus observed Keith has surfaced in trade speculation linking him to Florida, Toronto, Edmonton, and Carolina. His name also popped up briefly in last season’s rumor mill. Unless the Hawks change management and start tearing down the roster, Keith will stay in Chicago.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Brian Witt believes Brenden Dillon is the most likely member of the San Jose Sharks defense corps to be moved before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Nevertheless, Witt wonders if there could be a market for Brent Burns or Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Either player could fetch a significant haul for the Sharks. Witt suggests Vlasic might be a good fit with his hometown club, the Montreal Canadiens, while the Columbus Blue Jackets have the salary-cap space to absorb Burns’ expensive contract. Vlasic has a no-movement clause while Burns has a modified no-trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Witt is just spitballing here. Burns or Vlasic would bring a nice return, but unless either guy askes for a trade, they’re not going anywhere. Burns’ modified no-trade is a three-team trade list, which is almost as ironclad as a no-movement, especially if that list includes California rivals like the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings.


THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor doubts the Philadelphia Flyers will target players at the top of the trade market before the upcoming deadline. A lack of salary-cap space and the Flyers’ slim Stanley Cup odds makes it unlikely they’ll part with young assets for a notable rental player.

If they do pursue some depth at the deadline, it’ll likely be on their forward lines. Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau would be a good fit, but O’Connor doubts they’ll part with a first-round pick to get him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher could surprise us with a dollar-for-dollar swap, perhaps by dangling defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, but the latter’s struggles this season probably hurt his trade value. If Fletcher attempts to improve his club, it’ll be through the bargain bin. They’ve got just over $2 million in projected trade deadline salary-cap space.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports Stars GM Jim Nill intends to keep his options open leading up to the trade deadline. He’ll look for offensive help without mortgaging his future, and doesn’t rule out a player-for-player hockey trade. The Stars lack trade currency in the form of prospects, draft picks, and salary-cap space. Pursuing a rental player might not be the best option.

DeFranks suggests New Jersey Devils winger Blake Coleman could be an affordable option. He carries a cost-effective $1.8-million annual average value through 2020-21. However, what makes Coleman enticing to the Stars also makes him attractive to other clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting third in the Central Division with 71 points, the Stars are nine points ahead of the fourth-place Winnipeg Jets, who sit one point out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Stars are also one point behind the second-place Colorado Avalanche and three back of the Conference-leading St. Louis Blues.

In other words, Nill isn’t under pressure to make a big splash. While he could make a depth move, he could stand pat if there’s nothing suitable in the trade market.


  1. I wish pundits would do a little research on the CBJ. #1) Yes, the Jackets have salary cap space. Now. They also have a slew of RFAs, including both goalies, to sign this summer.
    #2) The Jackets have 10 NHL level or ready defensemen while being short points making forwards. Why would the Jackets add more defensemen?

    • I’m pretty sure he was thinking that a high calibre d-man like Burns would be a great replacement for Seth Jones, not adding depth. Not too hard to figure out really.

      • Not to mention that they would trade a dman or two in the process of acquiring Burns and a forward….

    • Good morning


      The Sharks have $26.5 million locked into 3 D men..for at least a minimum of 5 more years !!!

      Thats is huge bucks right now for a team looking at going through a serious rebuild.

      If you ad Martin Jones to that …you are talking about $32.25 million in 4 players all on the D side of the puck …for at least 5 years ..all of which are now under performing and over paid for the rest of their term…BIG PROBLEM.

      Wilson drank to much Karlsson kool aid and set this team back a few years as they had to let a few younger players go that were still integral to the building of this team all around !

      The easiest player to move is Burns in the way of financing and quality of player ..but he may prove to be to hard to move via his no trade clause …Wilson may have to buy someone out or if he really wants to get rid of Vlasic to quote un quote the Habs …he may have to give up a very high draft pick for someone to take on a contract like that …he is in very tough on moving any one of those 4 players and the money ..without having to give up something to sweeten the pot …Karlsonn will be a non factor in 2 years from now …IMO and an albatross of a contract !

      • Ya Kal El, there is no easy answer for the Sharks. I can’t see teams lining up for Burns as he will be 40 when that contract ends. Vlasic, same thing. Big bucks for another 6 years after this one and he is already slowing down.
        The easiest one to move might be Karlsson because of his age, and you eat some $$.
        I can’t see how the Sharks get into a rebuild because of the difficulty moving those contracts.
        They are all in whether they want to be or not.
        Kind of like the Wild.

    • I agree Paul, and I cant understand why they would want Burns. He doesn’t seem to be a good fit with Columbus. Columbus gambled and lost last year, they should be conservative this deadline and wait until the off season to make any significant changes.
      Great job by Torts this year, you always know that you better be prepared to grind if you play Columbus.

      • @ GEORGE O

        What is your desired return for Pageau??

        Or what will you be content with ??..LOL

      • Kal-El, I’ve said it before, Pageau’s value to a team leading up to the trade deadline would be as a depth player who can slot in anywhere from lines 3 to 1, good on the pk and decent on faceoffs. His production with Ottawa this year stems from the fact he is likely the best C currently in the mix at the NHL level on their roster and so gets plenty of PP time, short-handed opportunities and top minutes – things he wouldn’t get on a top contender, either down the stretch or if signed by them for next season and beyond.

        Everyone knows that and so, consequently, as a pure rental I’d be happy with a 2nd round pick. Where he goes next year – if anywhere else – will depend on what he and his agent think he’s worth in money and term and whether someone is prepared to meet their demands.

        It won’t be Ottawa if his ask is anything north of $5 mil and more than 5 years – and I don’t care who thinks otherwise because they’ll need to be making room for Norris, probably Chlapik and, if they’re really lucky in the lottery, maybe even a Byfield, easily the Top C in the draft.

      • @ GEORGE

        that seems to be the fair market price for him ..so he should get that !

    • Hi Lyle

      do you have any further info on what the NO TRADE list entails for Brent Burns ??


  2. Rangers will need to wait for an offer that justifies the value of Georgiev. Back to back excellent performances.

    It’s not a matter of best available offer. They’re technically in no rush to trade him.

    One possibility is Minnesota. As part of the deal, Greenway may be a possible target for the Rangers as he brings size, talent, young and developing. Also, he went to BU which is where Coach Quinn coached.

    • DQ loves the north-south players like Greenway.

      Henrik requesting a relocation would solve alot

    • I think the Rangers are on the verge of surging back into playoff contention big time, with over $10 mil in cap space for TD Day, so there’s no way they move Georgiev now or, for that matter, their 5th highest points producer (Kreider). In fact, I can see Gorton doing what he can through a trade to load up now, and then worry about what to do with bulky contracts in the off season.

      • @ GEORGE O

        The blue shirts are getting ELITE goal tending from 2 rookie tendies …amazing what CONSISTENT good goal tending will do for a team !

      • Metropolitan division tough for Rangers making playoffs.

  3. Burns moving is not out of the question. He would get a first + a decent forward and a decent prospect. Maybe a little money retained. The Sharks can’t afford to keep all 3 high priced defence. I have said it before they have made their bed with E.Karlsson.

    Engvall new deal with the Leafs is about $350 k. too much. They need to start pinching some pennies

    • I agree silver, Burns is still a top player and probably one of those types that can play at a high level into his late 30’s. I think his salary makes him an attractive trade piece.

      There are so many teams that are looking for defensemen Wilson could get quite a haul for him in the off season.

    • @Silverseven Engvall`s contract isn`t too bad it can be buried in the minors if need be plus he`s still a rfa at the end of it. So if he continues to improve that deal will look good. For me the laugh is Holl`s contract at 2 million for 3 years. That`s another of Dubas`s overpayments by a good 500000. On a good defense Holl is a 6/7 dman.

      • Congrats to Engvall …

        May end up being one of the best point producers per game played per cap hit and contract this year ! for a bottom 6 player drafted in the 7th round !

        Awesome to see guys get rewarded …I really like his game on the 3rd line and as time goes along this contract will be pretty decent !


  4. John Chayka is lucky he works in Arizona where the media scrutiny is minimal. If he was in a hockey market I am sure the fans would be clamouring for him to be fired. He has been the GM for 4 years and although there is a small improvement I think he over thinks his moves by trading for 3 rd liners that have good analytic stats. It is very hard to build a championship team with good 3rd liners.
    To add insult to injury I don’t think they will be able to sign Hall.
    Maybe ownership will give him one more year but I suspect he will be the next GM on the chopping block

    • @ FLAMES FAN

      I think you can input and supplement the name Marc Bergevin….. into your post …and keep it the same and be correct on that point as well!!

      Habs need a very fresh pair of eyes on the direction this team is going !!

      watching the after hours interviews ..these guys are soooo dejected …they are either looking to get out or wanting the

      Tones of cap space …..and even more now if the HABS use the KANE clause with Weber !!!

      Not a big Habs fan ..LOL ..but hate to see good player struggle with where there careers are going like Gally & Price …what a waste of a quality players best years !

      IMO …

      • I think Bergevin is safe, can’t remember if it was on TSN or Sportsnet but they talked about his deadline trades and surprisingly enough they were very good deals.

        I could be wrong but I think his problem is poor drafting. Taking Kotkaniemi over Tkachuk is one that stands out to me. Maybe Habs fans can enlighten me

  5. No to Vlasic in Montreal. He is not a fit. He’s slowed down big time and that is an anchor of a contract.

  6. @ Flames Fan

    I dont see him being there next year …IMO

    he is there now because he is 2 weeks away from trad deadline ..but I think he is toast come end of season!

    • If you`re the owner and you`re sure he`s not going to return next year why would you allow him to make trades now. This might be the best time to can him.

      • @ BOB

        I dont think that the Montreals executive staff want to have any more embarrassments,,,and would rather just get the season over and deal with it then as opposed to having all the players put in front of a camera explaining the time Bergevin had there …IMO

        Why do these guys need to go through any more s**t ! opppps

        thats my take anyways !

        Fresh start in June !

    • Kal El

      You could be right but he seems to have 9 lives. I thought for sure he was going to be let go last year

      • Well he really hasn`t done much to help Arizona since he got there. His team seems to lack any direction just like Dubas and they`re both analytics junkies That`s not what I like to see

  7. SHARKS*

    Since the arrival of Karlsson, the play of both Vlasic and Burns have dropped. Burns is no longer the bull in a China shop offensive juggernaut from his Norris winning years. He still shows flashes, but the Sharks are definitely an Erik Karlsson-led team. The experiment of having two elite offensive Dmen has not worked out quite like we thought. They both have the physical ability, but the urge to work together just doesn’t seem there. Burns or Karlsson, pick a flavor; obviously management picked the latter. So trade Burns, a fan favorite, while his value is still high. It would be tough to lose him, but works better in the long run for everyone.

    Vlasic is a different story. When Karlsson first arrived, everyone was waiting to see what happened when you take one of the league’s best defensive Dmen and put them with the league’s best offensive Dmen. Fast forward a year and a half, and the pairing is a disaster. Neither play particularly well in their own zone. Vlasic, who once owned the defensive space seems to have lost his mojo. No idea why, but he is not the same player from years past. It’s not like he’s getting beat physically, more like he just doesn’t care. So trade him to Montreal for Max Domi and get some cap space. Or to a contendor like Florida who needs a defense-first Dman.

    Either way, both Burns and Vlasic could use a change of scenery, and both would provide the right team a very important piece to a Stanley Cup run.

    * (Stole headline idea from Kal El. Thanks Kal El!)

    • All Good ….dpf


      Nice post !

  8. Red Wings @ Boston today

    Boston -$480

    Not very often you see lines this large

    • It appears the fact the Red Wings have beaten the Bruins in two previous meetings – 4 – 2 and 3 – 1 – count for nothing. And as I write this they are up 1-0 over Boston at the end of the 1st! Go figure.

      • Mind you, I should add that Bernier has stood on his head in the 1st, turning aside all 18 Boston shots while at the other end, Rask has seen 6 – except for the unassisted shorthanded goal by Helm …!

    • At least not since my twenties!

      • Ho!

  9. I wonder if Burns and Vlasic start playing better now that Karlsson is out for the rest of the season.

    If that is the case I would be trading Karlsson at the end of the year.

    I have mentioned this in the past but Ottawa took a lot of heat for trading away their stars. In hind sight it seems like they did the right thing

    • Man, has San Jose been snake bit this year or what? Couture, Hertl and now Karlsson out long term.

      I hate to see any player get injured.

      As for the trade, when he turned down what Dorion was offering … and in the aftermath of the Hoffman fiasco … there was little choice for the Ottawa GM but to move him for the best returns possible. Now the chances of one of those returns being a high lottery pick just got better – unless, as you say, Burns and Vlasic suddenly start playing back up their capabilities. Gonna be interesting from here on for sure.

  10. George watched that Daccord play yesterday he had a so so game in the loss. But did you know his dad works for the Leafs as a goalie scout/adviser.

    • I was in Belleville last night as well .And the player who stood out for me in the hockey game was Joe Duszak , he is smooth skating and moves the puck very well. Started out with the Growlers and now has moved up to the Marlies.
      Was surprised Brooks had fighting ability as well.

      • Yeah Duszak got off to a rough start even with the Growlers. Don`t think he realized how much of a jump it was from college to the pros. For Brooks that was a bit of a surprise for me too. For these players, it`s a must to show that you can and will do what it takes

    • I think I did read that somewhere Bob when they signed him out of university, now that you mention it.

      • Duszak was free agent signing out of college he played in Mercyhurst. I see Erik Karlsson is out for the season with a broken thumb. Sure not working out for the Sharks is it

      • Now Evander Kane is suspended for 3 games – apparently he doesn’t think much of Parros saying he and his department “give some players a pass and throw the book at others.”

        Heh … I dunno … he might have a case there.

      • All he has to do is look at Chara and any one of them can make a case. a vicious cross-check to the head and he gets a 5000 reward and he`s a repeat offender to boot. There`s always been different rules for different fools and that will never change.

      • @Bob.
        “Vicious crosscheck to the head”
        Zdeno Chara is 6’9 and 250lbs.
        Brendan Gallagher is 5’9 and 180.
        If the crosscheck to the clavicle was as vicious as you make it out to be, don’t you think the smaller man would be forced backwards further than 2 to 3 inches, and there would enough force to garner more than a headsnap?

        I agree with the rest of your post, and will go as far as to say the optics are bad on the Chara crosscheck, but it was neither vicious nor to the head.

      • Sorry Bob. It was the neck not clavicle, and he didn’t even move back an inch.
        I apologize for the mistakes.

  11. Gallagher needs a couple more cross checks to the noggin he dishes more out than his share very dirty player and is always flapping his gums but would love to have him on my team like Wilson in Washington.

    • Yes. The kid is disgusting.
      They’d both make fine Bruins.


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