NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2020

by | Feb 25, 2020 | Rumors | 45 comments

Zach Parise was nearly traded to the Islanders, plus a post-trade deadline look at the Leafs and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild were working on a trade before yesterday’s deadline that would’ve sent winger Zach Parise to the New York Islanders. It was a complicated deal that also would’ve seen Islanders winger Andrew Ladd head to the Wild. Wild general manager Bill Guerin declined to discuss the details.

A deal that would sent Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise to the NY Islanders fell through before the trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).

Parise and Ladd both agreed to waive their no-movement clauses to allow the deal to happen. It’s unclear what caused it to fall through, but it may have been tied to the players’ contracts. Parise is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of over $7.5 million, while Ladd has three years remaining at $5.5-million.

Russo cited sources claiming a Parise-to-the-Islanders trade was discussed last summer with then-Wild GM Paul Fenton, but Fenton didn’t want to take back Ladd in the deal. Guerin said he has a good relationship with Parise and is happy the winger is still with the Wild.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Guerin said there’s a chance the Wild and Islanders could revisit trade talks this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Wild and Islanders circle back to these discussions in June. They’ll have more time to hammer out a possible deal and more salary-cap space to work with. Perhaps the Islanders wanted the Wild to retain a portion of Parise’s salary. That might explain why the talks fell through.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas declined to say whether he’ll re-sign pending free-agent defenseman Tyson Barrie. He said he’d use the remaining time to see if there’s a fit, but noted it wouldn’t be easy given their current salary-cap situation.

TSN: Bob McKenzie said the Leafs were seeking a first-round pick and a prospect for Barrie leading up to yesterday’s NHL trade deadline. “They want to try to do a deal like St Louis did with Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals three years ago. Or they want to do a deal like Andrej Sekera to the LA Kings from Carolina five years ago,” said McKenzie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie’s a goner this summer. I expect the Leafs will attempt to shop his rights for a draft pick before July 1.


WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said sidelined defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has no interest in playing this season. His $7.6-million salary-cap hit for this season is off their books and they’ll attempt to trade him at some point. Byfuglien has one season remaining on his contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Ken Wiebe suggests how things shake out for the Jets down the stretch could determine what the roster looks like next season. If they don’t make some noise, Wiebe feels Cheveldayoff could have little choice but to make a bolder move involving one of his core players.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre observes Cheveldayoff will have the salary-cap flexibility this summer to land a prized free agent or swing a major trade. The groundwork for an off-season player-for-player swap may have been laid based on discussions he’d had leading up to yesterday’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Byfuglien decides to retire, the remaining year of his contract comes off the Jets’ books. If he still wants to play, interested parties will want assurances he’s fully recovered from his ankle injury.

As for the off-season, we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out for the Jets over the remainder of the current schedule. If they fail to reach the playoffs or make an early post-season exit, they will be the subject of considerable summer trade conjecture.


  1. I would (and I stress would) have loved Parise for the stretch but I don’t think the Isles should pursue him in the Summer. He is 34 going on 35 with 5 years left on a 7.5 million dollar deal. Ladd is on a shorter cheaper deal that could essentially be bought out. If the Isles are going to use their cap space use it to re-sign Barzal and other UFA or make trades for younger players that will help for years. With the expansion draft coming next season the Isles can’t afford to have a ton of older players whom Seattle won’t take while exposing young talent. The Isles gave up a lot of picks for JG. They don’t want to have to bribe Seattle with high picks not to take an asset. Instead they want them to take someone such as Boychuk who still has value and will help them get to the cap floor.

    • I agree with you totally, for the long run Parises contract would have hurt the team. The fans were excited with the prospect of finally getting rid of Ladd, who has been a disaster. I had hoped a earlier rumour was true and the Ises would have gotten Brandon Saad for their top 6. Chicago most likely looking for a defensive prospect and a current player. Saad has 18 goals and his speed next to Barzal would have been fun to watch. His contract is also alot more affordable.

    • NK/Pete: Not sure if you looked at Ladd’s contract, but there is no point buying it out. It is one of those signing bonus heavy/buyout proof contracts. The Islanders would save more cap space by burying him in the minors than buying him out the next few years. Plus, they’d waste some cap space the following 3 years after that with a buyout.

  2. I love Parise 7 years ago time to move on. At his age and contract no thanks keep the money and go hard after Hall and buy out Ladd. Lou what are you thinking?

    • The Islanders version of his Marleau deal in Toronto?

  3. Well Edmonton got the player i wanted in AA and only cost 2 2nd round picks. Not the boat load you thought George O.

    Not to please with my Bruins, didn’t do enough for a two year window.

    My conference favorites Wash / TB St.L / Veg

    Cup TB over Vegas

    • Hi Caper

      Concur with the Knights/Bolts likely (as at now) SCF.

      I’m not sold one way or the other yet.

      Bolts seem unbeatable, but Knights are solid throughout and now with a D strengthening and guaranteed good goalie if The Flower goes down– I’m 50-50 right now.

      We’ll see how the stretch run goes down

      Agree Blues in WCF

      Caps over Pens—- setting aside my desires— to me as at now; toss up. Pens to me the better over-all team offensively and defensively; and even Steven in net; but Caps can (and have) “thumped” them (and others) into submission.

      50-50 for me on that.

      Final eight IMHO

      Knights, Oil, Avs, Blues

      Pens, Caps, Bolts, Bruins


      • Pengy…your thoughta on the Penguins trade dealine??

        i was disappointed

        i like Zucker and i thin K marleau is still a very fast and good player.

        i just don’t understand bring back Sheary and Rodriguez for Kahun..

        i would rather have Kahun and trade for a Marcus Foligno who has 10 goals (one more than Sheary) than Sheary and Rodriquez.

        they must be banking on close returns for Dumo and Marino…

      • Hi BNG

        See my summary below ( I got long winded) w.r.t. all major teams trades

        I would have rather had Kovy for a 3rd rather than Marleau for a 3rd (that can become a 2nd)

        I’m not completely freaked re: Rodrigez and Sheary for Kahun. Sheary UFA, the other two are RFAs.

        I think Jim read this as “now is the time:”… two depth adds for one (better) forward. Need depth in the playoffs in case of injuries.

        Sheary already familiar with the team; some chemistry there.

        It’ll be OK

        No D added; so this MUST (friggin better) mean that Dumo and Marino are returning soon. 🙂

        The big battle will be against Caps. They are huge and they can push the Pens around.

        Talent for talent; over-all when healthy, Pens IMHO way better offensively and defensively (as long as JJ limited to max 12 mins and only 5 on 5 ) and with a dual hit; somewhat so in Goal.

        However, if Caps come a bashing and knock out some Pens …. then it is going to be tough.

        Get by Caps — fingers crossed; and if there is a miracle with a Guentzel return; then Pens do have a reasonable shot at beating Bolts.

        Sid/Guentzel/ Sheary or McC


        McC/Marleau/Horny; or if McC up with Sid:


        Blueger/Tanev/ with ZAR or Bjug or Sheary or Rodriguez


        *Preferred; but Sully will be once gain blind and put in JJ (they have to limit his minutes!!!!)

    • I agree, but in my book Lehner is a better goalie than V, and if it comes to that he might steal the series but Bolts the overall better team. Also Penguins might beat the Caps based on better goaltending but the Caps the overall better team.

    • Pengy, concur. I picked TB on opening day so I’m going to stay there.

      Hopefully my predictions are like last year. Wrong!

    • I said it would cost “a lot” – not “a boatload.” If you don’t think 2 second-round picks is a lot, well, okay.

  4. Missed all the fun yesterday with work
    Read up on and watched (taped) trades last night.
    Entertaining and some strange ones (Buff on Simmonds???)

    To me, goal of TDL (or week leading up to TDL) is :

    For those in the Cup mix:

    to improve teams’ probability of getting to the SCF (where you would meet a team that you have only seen twice in the previous 8 months— anything can happen).

    For those out/re-building:
    maximizing for future

    For bubble teams:
    strategic moves w/o blowing the future (in case there is a fall off; and fail to reach post season).

    To me; using above as guidelines— Dorion is the big winner. 3 UFAs out; one of which they’d like to have kept but just couldn’t offer that 6th year…. JGP, Ennis, Vlad out…. Rec’d 1st, 2nd , 3rd (conditional), 4th, 5th …. 22 picks (note: a great deal of this will likely be used in tradeable assets) in the next two drafts (13 this year) including in those two drafts… 11 in the first 2 rounds (4 firsts, 7 seconds).

    For those who were already in the mix for getting to the SCF— IMHO— VGKs increased their odds of getting there, the most. I’m not saying that they have the highest odds of getting there; just that they have increased their odds the most (pre TDL week, to after):

    The penultimate for teams vying (and with fair chances) for a trip to the SCF; is to add to Roster; limit the Roster subtractions; and limit the current roster chemistry disruption; all while addressing needs.

    Setting aside the futures given up (that is the cost for competing for the Cup now) the Roster differential are:

    Eakin and Subban out; Lehner, Cousins, Martinez in. Call Eakin/Cousins a neutral move. VGKs seriously improved in D depth and massively improved at Back-up

    The four power houses in the East all made moves but it was almost to “keep up with the Jone’s”. To me, the pecking order of Eastern representation in the SCF didn’t alter much (if any)

    BOLTs & CAPS:
    just added to Roster so nothing taken (from Roster); and that is a plus… Coleman/Goodrow (Bolts) and *Kovy/Dillon (Caps)

    G-Chuck and Kahun replaced by Zucker, *Marleau, Rodrigez, Sheary (Fwd depth increased by 2) . I was hoping for a Depth D add, but from what Jimbo did it tells me that internally they know that the return of Marino and Dumo not far off… great sign!!!! 🙂 Moves JJ to bottom pairing. Wish of course that he was press box; but if they can go bottom pairing; 12-14 mins (absolute max) and no special teams— very good D core!

    *biggest tick I have re Marleau is that Kovy was gotten for a 3rd; Marleau also a 3rd (but could become a 2nd). If I am being honest, I would much rather have had Kovy for a 3rd . Only time will tell on the Marleau move.

    Heinen replaced by Ritchie and Kase— production increase; grit increase.

    Out West :

    Increased substantially IMHO, chances of playoffs (and likely first round victory IMHO; over Van) : Brodz and Ganger replaced by much speedier and younger Ennis and AA; plus the add of veteran Green!

    BLUES – AVS — FLAMES (Basically just adds):
    Scands (replacing Jaybo) — Vlad — Gustaffson/Forbert

    Tiffoli in for Schaller

    All said and done…. I’m still thinking Bolts in the SCF; but now I’m much more confident of VGKs being the Western rep.

    Still— the likely EC semis (Bolts/Bruins and Pens/Caps) will be (other than the SCF) the series to watch!!!!

    Finally — Leafs (who I fully believe at this time, are at best , first round casualties; and as at now 50-50 for just missing the playoffs):

    No changes yesterday to Roster — which I’m OK with. If there was a trade that could move say Barry for a Roster player with term— OKI DOKI. Dubas did end up “buying” a 5th rounder for $350 K (which Leafs are loaded with Cash) in the Lehner deal— so better than nothing; and they still have 10 picks this year (although nothing in 1st and 3rd rounds).


    • They bought the 5th for 1.1 million

      • More money than brains, I guess.

      • Actually they bought the pick for something a bit over $1M for the entire season, he’s a UFA so it works out to about $190K in actual salary they are paying for hte pick, either way whatever. Dead cap space so may as well get something, even if it is only a 5th round pick…though I read on here how horrible it is to trade away a conditional 6th round pick but also somehow stupid to basically buy a 5th round pick for money that wouldn’t be spent otherwise?

      • Hi Bob,

        Sorry for the confusion

        Annual Cap yes; but pro-rated amount (actual— balance of season) is what I was trying to show

        I made a mistake though— the $350K is VGKs end of it (pro-rated for basically 1/4 season left)

        Leafs at $1.1 M… basically $275 K; Knights $1.4M… $350K; Chi at $2.5M annually; balance of season pro-rated about $625K

        Sorry for the confusion

      • Hi Tb

        sorry reading these in order when I’m between meetings.

        I just answered Bob re: the pro-ration and it looks like you had it covered already



    • Don’t underestimate Marleau’s contributions. This guy is still a stud, 6’2″ and 215. Still healthy, still has speed. The Pens got a gift for nothing.

      • Hi Hud

        No, sorry if I inferred that.

        I am in no way stating that he cannot contribute. He can and will.

        I just would have liked to have had Kovy for a 3rd; rather than Marleau for a 3rd (that could become a 2nd)

        Basically same Cap and $’s; I just think that Kovy would have been a little bit better add.

        I also wanted to get Dillon on the Pens ; alas 🙁

        Fingers crossed on speedy recovery/return for Dumo and Marino

  5. Lyle,

    Question w.r.t. “retained” amounts in trades. I had always thought that 50% was the max; and I thought that this amount was the Max of the original Cap hit. From yesterday’s Lehner trade it appears that Chi retained 50%— knocking it down to $2.5 M; on to Leafs; who then retained $1.1 of that amount (44% of the $2.5M or 22% of the $5M); leaving VGKs just hit with 28% ($1.4M ) of the original Cap.
    Is this only for UFAs??
    The reason I ask is the “tougher” contracts of players such as PK… if this can be done; what is stopping a move to one team at 50%; that team then retains 50% and moves him on to a 3rd team. If that is done say after July 1st; final receiving team gets PK at $2.25 M (Cash) and $2.5 M (Cap) for each of two years. That is a worthwhile trade. The middle team (flow-through) team also gets hit with $2.25/$2.5 (Cash/Cap) for two years… what is that worth in picks/prospects (some from original team, some from final receiving team). NJ, moves a big contract; and reduces overall Cash spending by $5M, and Cap hit by $4.5M in each of the final two years.
    Is that possible, or is it just in final year of contracts?

    Thanks in advance


      • Many thanks Lyle for the quick response

        No I actually saw that on CF; but that is why I was asking as it was contradictory to what happened yesterday

        From CF

        “The percentage retained cannot exceed 50 percent of the player’s salary (including all bonuses) and Salary Cap Hit.”

        However a total of 72% was actually retained (albeit from two separate teams)??

        If this can flow this way (multiple consecutive max 50% retentions) ; then unloading the contracts of the likes of PK etc is not as “impossible” as it might have seemed. Still difficult, but not “impossible”

        Many thanks again Lyle


      • Hey Pengy,
        I could be reading this wrong, but I believe point 5 answers your question. “Players’ contracts are limited to 2 retained salary transactions per contract.”
        So because when the first team retains salary and cap hit the amount of salary of the player changes for the current team. So, if the current team trades that player again they can retain up to 50% of the salary and cap hit that they currently are paying. And that can only happen twice.
        That is just the way I read it and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m wrong.

      • Thanks Kevjam

        I’d seen that and knew of the total “ownership” of a contract was limited to 3 teams no more; but I was confused re “fifty percent total”. It didn’t seem clear.

        If this is as what happened yesterday (is allowed) ; there has to be two teams that can work together to move PK, each effectively taking a piece of the PK Cap/Cash

        NJ retains 50%
        Middle retains 50% of that (so 25% of original total)

        Receiving team… 25 % of original total

        He’s got $6M in SB due this 1/7; final two years Sal each at $2M; one more $6M SB on 1/7/21 (so $10 M after July 1st)

        Cap $9M per:

        Trade after this 1/7

        Cash/Cap after trade:

        NJ : $5M [Total] / $4.5 M Cap per (saving $4.5 M per)

        Middle team and final recipient: $2.5M/ $2.25 M per

        Final team getting PK for only $2.5 M in cash ($1.25 M per effectively) and only hit with $2.5 M in Cap per; should be willing to pony up something fair.

        Similarly (not saying this would ever happen but..) if it was Weber:

        After this year ; still owed $18 M ; Cap $7.9 M per rounded

        If done:

        Habs total payout is $9M, Save Cap of approx $3.95M Per for another 6 years;

        Middle & Receiving team pay a total of $4.5M each and each have Cap of about $1.97 M per

        His last 3 years he is only contracted for $1M per (to play at 38, 39 and 40); if he retires early — recapture for Nsh !!!

        Just sayin’

    • Hey Pengy
      I think Toronto is retaining 44% of the 50% Chi is retaining. So Vegas is still on the hook for 50%. So in reality it’s still only 50% retained, it’s just split between To and Chi.

      • Vegas is on the hook for 1.4 million Toronto 1.1 million and Chicago the other half 2.5 million

  6. The Canes did well. Adding Vatanen and Skej will help with their long term injuries on the backend. In net will be the achilles heel for them this playoffs.
    Flames did well also. Gustafsson should help with the PP .
    Oilers added much need forward depth. Not sure on the Green deal.

    • I see Green being on the bottom pairing against the other teams bottom 6 forward lines paired with Benning. He will also get the majority of the powerplay time for d-men.
      One thing the Oilers defence is missing is the ability of a great first pass out of their zone, which has always been a strength of Green’s. So hopefully this might be something that can rub off on Nurse, Larsson, Bear, Klefbom (when he gets back) and Benning.

  7. I hate to say it because I loathe them, but come playoff time I wouldnt want to run into the Penguins any sooner than I had too.

  8. I think the Oilers helped themselves a ton. Considering the circumstances he has to work with Holland had a very good day.

    Tough break for Vancouver and Markstrom. Team MVP thus far and definetely a Vezina candidate. Demko has been ok, a chance for him to shine.

    • Any more news on how long he’ll be out?

      • George,

        Supposed to have an update tomorrow per Benning.

      • Hope for the best. I like that kid. Easily on his way to a Vezina.

  9. Watching Dubas’ presser yesterday was actually quite entertaining. He looked like a spoiled kid getting grilled by his family. Seemed to have his back up the whole time. It’s tough to watch. Really wish we had a guy with a “I don’t give a damn what you think” mentality.

    I don’t hate the guy I just think he’s made too many mis- steps and he’s finally realizing that he’s been burned a few times. He’s in damage control mode right now and realizes if this doesn’t get fixed soon he’s a goner.

    • Other than the Kadri trade and overpaying Marner he has been very good at getting leafs out of Lou’s mess while keeping his young talent.

      • Right on. But the wrong site to say it on. Leafs are evil. Lol

      • Aside from the fact signing Tavares may not have been the smartest move. Overpaid for Muzzin, the Nylander contract was a disaster, should’ve let him sit for the year instead buckled and has cost him dearly since. The backup goalie situation another disaster of his making and cost a few picks needlessly. Just think if Dubas had let Nylander sit out the year he would’ve earned a lot of respect and put himself in a far better bargaining postition with everyone instead he caved now looks weak and it’s cost him on every contract since. It looks even worse because Nylander showed up out of shape and it basically became a wasted season and that’s on Dubas too. Now the 3rd year of Marleau’s contract wasn’t really an issue until they signed Tavares and overpaid the kids so it really wasn’t Lou’s fault. Again just think if Dubas lets Nylander sit like he should’ve the 10+ million could’ve been used at the trade deadline. A good GM with that much cap space would’ve been in the drivers seat and you just think his only screwup was Kadri. Even Dubas in public admits he’s made more mistakes than that called it a learning curve

      • Highly disagree.

        We didn’t need an offensive D man in Barrie. That was idiotic.

        Trading marleau for a 1st plus, plus.

        Signing Tavares when we really didn’t need him. He’s nice, he shiny and new but did we really really need him? Were we ready to acquire a player like that when our centers were pretty good.

        Overpayment for almost every asset his acquired.

        Would you trade a toonie for a loonie? Dubas would.

  10. Hey George, looks like the Sens are stacked with picks for the next two drafts, how do you feel about their scouting and how do you think they will use the picks. As in use them in trades or pick players.

    • Well , Pierre Dorian has been the chief scout since 2007 .How do you think it will go.

    • Azwingsfan, I seriously doubt they’ll actually draft anywhere near 9 in the first three rounds. Once we know the draft order from the lottery at least 3 will be dealt before or during the draft – possibly even one of those 1st round pick (probably the one from the Islanders).

      If they get # 1 in the lottery – either through their own or S.J.’s – it will be Lafreniere – which will go down well with the Montreal crowd 🙂

      I see Detroit has 4 picks in the first two rounds – look for Yzerman to be busy that way as well. Could be a fun day with Bettman uttering repeatedly “I have a trade to announce”

      • Sorry George, Lafreniere is LA bound, but I’ll be pulling for Ottawa to land Byfield.

      • Heh. You could be right CanadianKing. Second coming of Marcel Dionne! Anywhere but Montreal.

  11. How many good picks and even steady NHLers come out of one entire draft ? It is somewhat rhetorical but I don’t know the answer. Regardless, Sens better off getting 2021 picks irrespective of how deep this draft is supposed to be. They have several extra’s to play with this year.