NHL Rumor Mill – February 29, 2020

by | Feb 29, 2020 | Rumors | 17 comments

Check out the latest on the Rangers plus recent updates on Shayne Gostisbehere and Tyson Jost in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reported the Philadelphia Flyers weren’t shopping Shayne Gotisbehere contrary to speculation on social media. Even if they were, his trade stock is low due to injuries and a career-worst performance this season.

General manager Chuck Fletcher admitted teams had called about the 26-year-old defenseman. “Nothing really makes sense right now to me to move one of our seven D unless we’re getting a really great impact player back in some area,” he said. “Those types of trades usually don’t happen right now.”

Despite trade speculation, Shayne Gostisbehere remains with the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t just on social media where Gostisbehere surfaced in trade rumors. His name was floated more than once in the press, especially last fall when he was linked to the Montreal Canadiens.

Nevertheless, Fletcher admitted teams had made inquiries, but it’s apparent he wasn’t going to get back a solid return. That might not stop rival general managers from seeing if they can get him on the cheap.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers trading Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline means they won’t have to rip up the roster to accommodate new contracts for restricted free agents such as Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. He also feels they won’t have to trade winger Pavel Buchnevich to get under next season’s salary cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are in a better spot cap-wise for next season, but they’re not out of the woods yet. They have over $67 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21.

With Skjei off the books and Kreider re-signed, they have sufficient room to re-sign RFAs DeAngelo, Strome. Alexandar Georgiev and Brendan Lemieux, as well as UFA winger Jesper Fast if they wish. The arbitration rights held by those RFAs could complicate things. If they seek much more than the Rangers are willing to spend, it’ll quickly eat up that cap space.

They could pass on Fast, or consider trading one of those RFAs this summer if their asking prices prove too expensive. They could walk away from an arbitration ruling, or maybe move Buchnevich or somebody else to make room for the new salaries. If they’re looking at adding someone, that could also lead to a cost-cutting deal.


THE ATHLETIC: Following the trade deadline, Ryan S. Clark wondered if Tyson Jost still has a future with the Colorado Avalanche. The 21-year-old center popped up in the rumor mill leading up to the recent trade deadline. He’s spent 31 games as their fourth-line center this season and has shuffled up on the lineup due to injuries. A healthy roster might not leave much room for Jost.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Jost isn’t traded this summer, next season could prove crucial to his future with the Avs. Clark suggests he could be left unprotected in the 2021 expansion draft.


  1. Pengy wrote a nice piece yesterday about the size of the team D. Personally it’s a helicopter view and i don’t believe it’s as simple as average size.

    Boston has two big bodies in Chara 6’9″ 250lbs and Brendan Carlo 6’5″ 212lbs

    Then they have potentially 3 undersized dman

    Torey Krug 5’9 186lbs, Matt Grzelcyk 5’9″ 174lbs and Connor Clifton 5’11” 175lbs that’s a lot of small on the back end all with good speed but not elite.

    TB smallest damn is Kevin Shattenkirk by stature and weight 6’0″ 203lbs

    Washington one player under 6ft Dmitry Orlov 5’11 208lbs

    Toronto Tyson Barrie 5’11 197lbs and Rasmus Sandin 5’11 183lbs

    St.L smallest player on d is Vince Dunn 6’0″ 203lbs

    Vegas Nate Schmidt 6’0″ 194lbs

    Col Samuel Girard 5’10” 170lbs and Cala Makar 5’11 187lbs both these dman have good speed.

    As Ray Bark pointed out can’t just be big and tough need to be able to retrieved the puck and get out of the zone.

    Boston probably has the slowest dman in the league in Zdeno Chara who is also the biggest man in the league.

    Just speaking to Boston Chara foot speed is the reason Charlie McAvoy becomes the most important dman on Boston.

    Last year playoff run had opposing team dumping the puck in Chara corner knowing they could hurry him or beat him to the puck but on most of them dump in Chara was high and McAvoy low and crossing over to pickup the dump in.

    If Kevin Miller becomes healthy and Jeremy Lauzon at 6’1″ 204lbs adding some toughness on Boston back end. I believe Boston will alter their 9 dman depending on whom they are playing.

    Playing Pitts who have 7 forwards under 6ft will draw the 3 dman under 6ft, playing Washington likely only Krug will stay in out of the 3 small and Miller and Lauzon will replace Clifton and Grzelcyk.

    It’s not just the size of your own dman but the size of the opposing team forwards and type of game they play that make the matchup of size and speed interesting.

    One might say Boston losing one of their small damn in Grzelcyk was a key in the Blues winning but obviously Jordan Binnington and Ryan O’Reilly had a lot to say about that.

    • @ Caper

      ..lol..I will let you engage with Pengy ..all is well.

      Just wanted to add my 2 cents and just say that Charas deficiencies are not due to his size its his age …obviously and you know that ..

      with his size in his Prime he was dominant…and the league took notice after his rise to fame..and started to try and implement bigger D men on the team…that had skill and not just bruisers …

      My whole reason for bringing this up yesterday ,,is because I see a demand in the change of the style of play by teams ..the most coveted commodity right now is a D man with other size and skill…while Iam not taking away from a smaller skilled D man such as a jack Hughes …I have noticed one thing about the NHL and how it goes from season to season ..everyone want to emulate the last Stanley Cup winner …its just the way it goes…

      When PITT won there second CUP ..everyone wanted young skilled smaller players and did not care about the D ..and that was because no one took into conversation that both Murray and Fleury had stellar years …together ..

      Binninton was amazing last year but his D core last year was UNREAL and stellar 4 lines deep as well..and BIG ..

      BUT what I have noticed though over the post lockout is that the NHL goes in waves of 3 year cycles …when the smaller skilled players came into demand after the emergence of Patrick Kane everyone went small skilled guys at the draft …and created a league that was low on hits and the cut out head shots and sever body blows ..all good stuff…but as things went along the past 3 – 4 years now ..teams have had to adjust to win and beat the skill smaller guys and the way that this has been compensated for is by acquiring players who are highly skilled but are bigger in size to play hard and use there size against the smaller players now…you can see that some of the smaller players have had declining season over the past 3 – 4 years in some teams…and this is because most of the teams are now checking them harder and taking them out of the play and neutralising with bigger skaters …

      so as the league went smaller ..the other half of the league went bigger to start taking these guys out of the play more…and the softer smaller teams are on the decline …

      Thats just me and my view..I know you didn’t wish for a conversation or you would have addressed me earlier in your post to Pengy …so I will just leave it that and my 2 cents and my post for the day …my conclusion is that I see cycles of the game unfolding ..every time a team goes in a new direction and catches a trendy thing ..the other half of the league compensates and then that becomes the style of choice for the next few years ..I see the BIGGER SKILLED guys becoming the trend now …just like the early 2000s when that happen in the way of he goalies ..almost all goals are 6 foot 2 6 foot 5 now ..

      not Alan Besters anymore ..

      anyways …

      Take care

      cheers have a good one..

    • Hi Caper

      You are right re

      “ i don’t believe it’s as simple as average size.”

      Sorry if my analysis inferred that. Not my viewpoint; I was just giving the high level numbers

      My firm beliefs:

      A team can’t win the SC with 6 giant stay at homers that can throttle anybody but that are slow footted and can’t make breakout passes

      The SC equally cannot be won with six 5 ‘ 10”, 185 lb super speedy super offensive D men

      Very few NHL D-Men are big men that can pound anybody in front of their net; are great d-wise in their own end; but are also speedy puck movers with serious offensive abilities

      No team can afford 6 Victor Hedmans

      A strategized mix/balance with at least 2 “extra” NHL D-Men as depth in case of injury ; is critical.

      Leafs are NOT there. Nope. Nyet.

      Pens ; healthy and with JJ in the press box … pretty fair mix of puck moving righties paired with more defensive minded lefties

      Bolts have a good D over-all as do Blues

      Your bang on with your assessment re Bruins and Caps

      As at now I think the final 8 will include

      Bolts, Bruins, Pens, Caps, Blues, Knights…. not convinced in Knights opponent in Pac Div final and who Blues will play (possibly Avs)

      The SCF should be exciting but may be pseudo anticlimactic after the Bolts/Bruins series

      My gut as at now senses Bolts v Knights in SCF

    • Kal El, no disrespect, yesterday was a travel day and i seen Pengy write up and my comment was for anyone to comment on and to put a different spin, as i don’t disagree with Pengy, just saying there is more variables. Can a heavy team handle a skill team and no is the answer if they can hit them or catch them.

      I believe Pengy point is spot on that it needs to be a balance; however i also like a team like Boston (big surprise) that have depth where they can substitute bigger and smaller dman depending on who there playing and may i dare say depending on how the series is being officiated.

      Kal EL 100% agree that teams like to emulate the Stanley Cup Champs. You can see that in TB adding Patrick Maroon and Zach Bogosian, Wash added Dillon and Kovy.

      Then you have Pitts who added the small skill guys Sheary and Zucker.

      Will be interesting if Pitts play Wash

  2. Rangers should keep Fast, cheap and can play on all lines.

  3. Jost must have gotten the message yesterday…actually his play hasn’t been horrible…just been snake bit by posts and great saves….

  4. Bruins vs Stars in the final.

    Change my mind.

    • good picks , Dallas grew on me in last years SCF’s , if I had to pick a West champ today I would go with Vegas.
      Other than the current top 3 in the East , Philly may surprise and I would not count out Pittsburgh. Too early to lock it in.

    • I’ll give it a go Shoreorrpark.
      Might just be my lifelong Bruins paranoia, but I don’t think they get back to the finals. Just doesn’t happen very often and I think the reason is all the extra games catch up. Especially on an older core. Maybe if they can rest key vets down the stretch , they will be OK. They have been relatively healthy this year, are they due for an injury? Dallas plays tough and tight but the offence just isn’t there when they need it.

      Colorado vs TBay.
      COL key injuries all year, still winning, get healthy and peak at the right time. Francouz becomes this years Binnington.
      TBay comes ready to play in RD one this time and gets on a role.
      Avs win, MacKinnon playoff MVP.
      More heartbreak in the end for TBay and the can you win with Stamkos talk starts.

      • Ray, that’s about as sensible reasoning as I could have hoped for, but I’ll stand firm, mainly because I’m a homer.

        As Fergy22 pointed out, Philadelphia looks sneaky good as well, and who can look past Wash and Pitt.

        No matter what happens, it’s been a fun year of Hockey so far.

      • Ray, just read that Stamkos is having surgery and is week-to-week. Not good news for TB.

      • Hi BCLeaf fan

        Just read that now as well

        We’ll see how this affects Bolts (as I’m typing this up 3-0 on Flames) in next few weeks….

        This could tip the Bolts Bruins series so I might have to change to Knights v Bruins in final (which save for the blown Eakin call may just have been last years final; who knows?)

      • I like the Knights too Pengy. And Wash.
        Stamkos is out? Ouch.
        Has there been a rash of injuries to key guys lately or is it just me?

  5. I think the conversation on big or small defenseman is a good conversation..But I think the whole team has to buy into the defense aspect or it doesn’t matter.
    The 2 years Pittsburgh won back to back their defense was very ordinary. It was the team defense and great goaltending.
    That’s why Boston is so good, they play hard and for each other.
    It’s a team game and you have to play that way. And of course you need a great goaler

  6. I know this is late and maybe nobody will see it, but whatever.

    Quick armchair GM trade proposal for the offseason, perhaps at the draft…

    To Toronto: Patrick Kane

    To Chicago: Mitch Marner, Ilya Mikheyev

    • Not a bad idea. Smart for the Leafs.
      Need a defenseman though, no?

      • Definitely. But, the chance to have Patrick Kane is too good to pass up… D can be had elsewhere. Nobody on Chicago really stands out as a candidate anyway… Olli Maatta? Not going to trust him to be the answer. Connor Murphy…. who? Sorry Connor… The oft-injured Calvin de Haan doesn’t fit the bill…

        Think maybe Dumba could be the fit. Too bad Toronto has already made their draft situation too unpredictable to trade a 1st rounder for him.

        The Leafs need a TRUE stud defenceman, Rielly just isn’t that guy yet. Pietrangelo as a UFA signing makes sense, but fitting him under the cap would be insanely difficult.