NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2020

by | Feb 5, 2020 | Rumors | 62 comments

The latest on Mike Hoffman, Max Domi, and Josh Anderson, plus an update on the Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are calling the Florida Panthers regarding Mike Hoffman. With the Panthers jockeying for a playoff spot, he doesn’t think they’re shopping players but could listen to offers for Hoffman. They asked for his 10-team no-trade list in December.

The Panthers are a high-scoring team, and LeBrun suggests they have young players coming in (like Owen Tippett) who could replace Hoffman if they were to trade him. Noting their blueline needs, he feels it will take a defenseman to pry Hoffman away from the Panthers.

Could the Florida Panthers swap Mike Hoffman for a top-four defenseman? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers general manager Dale Tallon yesterday stated he’d like to acquire a veteran defenseman to play alongside Aaron Ekblad. “We need to be more consistent on the blue line,” he said. Tallon also said he’s in the market for help on his forward lines, though it isn’t as big a priority.

Given the Panthers’ limited salary-cap space, it could be a dollar-for-dollar swap. Hoffman carried a $5.18-million salary-cap hit. He’ll also become an unrestricted free agent in July. Since Tallon asked the winger for his no-trade list, he could be their likely trade candidate.


LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Yvon Pedneault is the latest Montreal-based pundit to muse about Max Domi’s future with the Canadiens. He wonders if the strong performance by rookie Nick Suzuki could change Domi’s importance with the club, noting the 24-year-old forward failed to step up as a leader this season when injuries took a toll on the roster.

Domi will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. Pedneault points out the Canadiens have over $62 million invested in next season’s roster, with Brendan Gallagher, Phillip Danault, Joel Armia, Tomas Tatar, and Jeff Petry eligible for UFA status in 2021. With Danault and Suzuki centering the top-two lines, Pedneault questions if the Canadiens should invest a big raise in a third-line center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canadiens become sellers by the trade deadline, Pedneault wondered if Domi might be of interest to other clubs. Perhaps, but that’s a move GM Marc Bergevin doesn’t have to make at the trade deadline unless he gets a great offer. He can always wait until the offseason to entertain offers if Domi’s salary demands become too expensive. Bergevin could also consider moving Domi back to the left-wing on his top-six lines, especially if he doesn’t bring back Ilya Kovalchuk next season.


TSN: Darren Dreger took note of the interest in Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson. However, he thinks it doesn’t make much sense for Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen to move Anderson unless he gets an offer that just blows him out of the water. Given the winger’s a restricted free agent this summer, Dreger suggests Kekailainen can move him in the off-season if unable to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur. Unless the Jackets get a mind-blowing offer, Kekalainen isn’t under any pressure to trade Anderson.


TSN: Bob McKenzie believes the Toronto Maple Leafs will intensify their hunt for a backup goalie with starter Frederik Andersen sidelined day-to-day with a neck injury. While backup Michael Hutchinson was 4-0 in his last four starts, his shaky effort replacing Anderson in a 5-3 loss to Florida may be a tipping point.

TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk believes Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas can no longer ignore his backup goalie problem. He has no confidence in Hutchinson, suggesting his poor performance throughout this season should’ve spurred Dubas to address this issue much sooner.

Feschuk cites the usual trade targets, such as Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, Ottawa’s Craig Anderson and the Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev. However, he wonders if Rangers long-time starter Henrik Lundqvist might waive his no-movement clause to join a contender, though finding room for his $8.5-million annual average value could be complicated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everything I’ve read and heard out of New York indicates Lundqvist won’t waive his NMC. That could change, of course, but I think he’s committed to sticking with the Rangers.

It would take considerable wizardry on Dubas’ part to find a way to fit Lundqvist’s salary within the Leafs’ already limited payroll. Even if the Rangers agreed to pick up half of it, the Leafs would have to shed another $4-$5 million to make it work.


  1. I’ll say it again. Schultz for Hoffman is a nice solid hockey trade.

    • Doubtful Penguins will trade Shultz for Hoffman. Last Saturday , I list a few reasons Penguins keep Schultz including every defense pair with a pucking moving defensemen. This is one way defeating the Capitals in the playoffs !!!! Penguins have plenty of options looking elsewhere for a winger.

      • It is doubtful but it is also a damn good idea. Unfortunately I’m not sure schultz would be enough. His injuries and play have lowered his value.

    • Good morning


      Personally ..in this very tight playoff drive for Florida …while Tallon is saying that he wants to bolster the back end ..I think he would be crazy to trade Hoffman & his timely goals and his points he puts up …

      You just spent $10 million AAV on a goalie that was suppose to shore up the back end as that extra D man ….giving up Hoffmans goals IMO would be a HUGE mistake for Florida.

      In saying that I do believe that Hoffman is the best UFA out there …it would have to be a very interesting deal to make that move and one that would have to be a very high quality name ..in the return.


      Dubas has wasted to much time in the season addressing the core issues after teh Babcock firing …he literally has screwed up this season by being… INACTIVE…when all the signs have been screaming for him to make a few roster changes.

      …that time has passed now ..he is in a position of less leverage and where as in the past he may have felt that he was not getting a fair shake on any potential deal …NOW…. he has lost ANY leverage he once had …every team see how desperate it is for the leafs to get a back up goalie …they are simply out of the playoffs because of this reason …no one is going to do the Leafs any favours ….Dubas sat way to long on pulling a trigger on at least 2 deals that he leafs needed done.

      There is no way the leafs will beat the Bruins Caps or Pitt in a playoff round …if they even make the playoffs ..LMAO

      At the start of the season ..I did say that the Leafs would be a wild card team…well..here we are and they look worse than that now…IMO

      A team that has the league leading goals scored is sitting out of the playoffs by a hair …HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN …OH yea poor goal tending and Defence !!

      … Ok Dubas… go out and get more goals and loose more games ..LOL

      • Leafs; I agree. Dubus is just not an NHL GM. I would like would to be wrong,but I don’t think I am wrong.

      • Why did anyone even think this person could fill the vacancy left by Lou.Total commitment to his misguided philosophy will leave the Leafs out of the playoffs !

    • that is a good offer Chrisms , could also see Hoffman for Brodie.

      • Giordano injured himself last night. If he is out for any length of time do the Flames trade a d-man?

      • Brian, that would be Brendon Shanahan and, at this point in time, I’ll take Dubas over Lamoriello.

    • Chrisms…I have to agree 100 % it is a good hockey trade we may have to add a pick to sweeten this trade.

      – Hoffman is playing well

      -Schultz has missed the better part of a year plus with injuries and looks rusty and not in game form yet..

      good call though i like this move..

      Earlier Rutherford was talking to new jersey about Vatanen and Palmeri together that would be awesome.

      I would give them
      Justin Schultz
      choice of (G-chuck or Bjugstad)
      our number # 1 pick this year
      number # 2 2021

      • Florida is said to be looking for a shut down D-man to play with Ekblad. Not sure if Schultz fits that role..

    • I have to think there is no chance Florida and the Penguins make good trade partners. Unless Florida falls out of the race, I don’t see them trading Hoffman.

      I think they’re more likely to find a selling team for some depth additions.

      • Their cap space is essentially non existent. I think that must be where the Hoffman rumors are coming from because you’re right it doesn’t make sense otherwise

      • Agreed I think Florida holds pat for now…

        I would rather have Kyle Palmeri as our number one target for the penguins

    • Schultz since injury played two games with Ruhwedel ( coach’s decision playing wrong side ) instead of Rikola. Each game Schultz was -1. Ruhwedel playing out of position is an adjustment for both Ruhwedel and Schultz. Domoulin ( +17 ) returns Penguins set at D. Schultz pairs with Jack Johnson and Ruhwedal sits.

      • Schultz on a bottom pair is not good value. A nice luxury sure. But jakes injury made luxuries…. well luxuries.

  2. Leafs at MSG tonight. Will Dubas be coming to NY with team? Gorgiev not starting again.

    • Bravo scratched from Marlins game last night

  3. Dubas might Look like Harry Potter but he is no wizard .
    Buffalo had fallen and Can’t get get up. Too bad wasting an MVP season with Eichel.
    We should see a trade prior to the big day. Maybe in another week to 10 days.

  4. Korpisalo for Kapanen?

    • This could be fun to watch…

  5. Florida …. NY will send Staal & Lias Andersson for Hoffman & a 3rd

    This way you get your Dman

  6. it is better for the Leafs to miss the play offs than to make a trade like this….

    • Hoffman is not getting traded. Unless the deal gets more complex in that it could be Hoffman plus Matheson for a steady shut down dman who can play 30 minutes and a talented depth forward.

      Lundqvist trade situation is only for the offseason.

      He will calmly choose where to go, basically, and get organized and prepared with his family.

  7. Any suggestion that the Leafs pick up Lundquist, even if he waives his NMC, is ridiculous. Remember, he’s signed through next year. Even if NYR picks up half his cap hit, there’s no way the Leafs use over $4m. on a backup goalie. It would only work if they trade Anderson and go with Lundquist as the starter, which, considering his age, would be even more ridiculous.

    • Ya Howard, seems far fetched to me as well. So I decided to read the article.
      First Feschuk criticizes Babcock for being really harsh on tenders. Then criticizes Keef for sugar coating the issue. Quote:
      “No, this isn’t a moment for sugar-coated positive spin. This is a moment for simple, clear truth-telling.”
      Really? You want Keefe to throw his backup under the bus when your starter is hurt and you have to play him, and call out your GM.
      Brilliant strategy for success. I live in Edmonton so I don’t read the Toronto star much if at all.
      Question to Toronto folks – is this the norm for this guy or just not his best work?

      • This guy is an idiot.

      • @Ray according to Anthony Petrielli of the Hot Stove League in his talks with both Dubas and Keefe says that the backup situation is of low priority in Toronto. They feel that they can survive with Hutch in net.

  8. No way Lundquist goes to the Leafs, the only reasonable option to me would be the Avs and then only if NY picks up part of the salary. I do think that if the Rangers asked he might consider it, but I dont think they will ask

    • Kent,
      The Hurricanes would be another option for Lundqvist, if NYR pick up part of his salary.

  9. Ron Hainsey to Florida? For future consideration? Keep the Hoff. You need him. Boro would give Florida more grit and Demelo seems to make any D partner instantly better – but they’ll cost you a pick of some kind.

    …also…for whatever reasons Lou keeps floating the idea of trading one or both of Boychuk/Leddy. Keep an eye on those 2.

    • The injury to Adam Pelech, who is out for the season, and has affected the Islanders defensive depth might have ended the idea of trading Leddy or Boychuk. Although, for Hoffman, who fits their need for a top 6 forward, it might still be worth doing. With Pullock, Toewes, Dobson and Mayfield as well as the one they don’t trade betweeen Leddy and Boychuk the defense can still be fine. IMO.

  10. It looks like Rutherford is obsessed with Jason Zucker has been for two years..i like him would rather have Kyle Palmeri…..

    Palmeri number one choice
    pageau number two choice
    Zucker number three choice

    WE aren’t getting Saad or Kreider so…

    back up
    Eric Stahl 19 goals good third line center rental but solid and strong for the capitals

    • Hi BNG

      Responded to both you and Chrisms in a single post well down the page

      Zucker to me is the wrong move ; due to term on contract left Billy G will demand a first +

      First way better spent on a needle mover

      Kreider will be IMHO a Bruin or Ranger at 5 PM TDL

      Staal for Bjug (20 % retained so as to match $’s )…, done and done 👍👍👍👍👍😁😁😁😁

      Tater-Tots for sure is my first choice … I detailed out in my post why I’d pick him over KP

      Then Tiffoli

      Then Pageau

      I would look at many many many options before being “forced” down the Zucker path

      A call to Stevie Y to inquire at least; the ask for AA; is in order

      All moves ; no matter what; are completely moot if JJ is played top pairing and almost completely moot if he plays 2nd pairing

      • pENGY…can you imagine if we got
        Kyle Palmeri LW 28
        and Andres Antahnsiou 25 a top 6 winger and a 3rd line center with speed and talent and skill.

        The pens would have centers
        1. Crosby
        2. Malkin
        3. Anthansiou
        4. Blueger


        The top two lines…just add a d-man we are golden say Sammy vatanen!

  11. Leave are talking extension with muzzin, if that goes badly he might be a deadline trade.

  12. Staal would be a good addition to contending teams. Will Minnesota decide to get serious about a re-build or keep playing in the mediocre middle of the pack?

    • The problem with that is how do you rebuild around Suter, Parise for 5 1/2 more years , Zuccarello for 4 1/2 etc.

      These kind of deals are becoming impossible to move these days. Nobody really has cap space . Especially given the climate of RFAs.

  13. @ Kevjam…I just read that Giordano may have torn a hamstring which would mean several months to heal and rehab. Sucks for the Gio, the Flames and their fans. If this is the case Brodie is not going anywhere unless Calgary decides to sell off and goes after a player for the future.

    • Just listened to a Ward interview and he said Gio was having an MRI done as he was speaking. Not sure if they do an MRI for a hamstring injury, but Ward said he was walking on his own when he saw him earlier. Ward sounded like he was expecting bad news though

  14. Domi could fetch a good return, depending on who the buyer is. I think Kovalchuk will be re-signed by Habs even if he is traded at deadline. Wonder if Bergevin will roll dice on another reclaim if Bufglyien contract is terminated.

    • Good points. I think Domi’s situation actually depends on Drouin. Those two had chemistry. If Drouin works well with Suzuki, Domi is fa trade candidate.

  15. There is no possible way, the Leafs can survive with Hutchison in net . As per an above statement , supposedly made by Keefe and Dubais
    Honestly, let’s be realistic !!!
    Even with Anderson healthy , he has his down moments ….
    Where the other top 4 pairing defender man comes from is another concern .
    Ceci is NOT the guy , and signed in the off season , for a ridiculous amount of money .
    Tyson Barrie is ok, but just ok

    Sandin will be very good , Reilly needs a skilled partner ,
    An aggressive forward at the trade deadline is a “ must” if the Leafs still qualify for the playoffs , only if the previous tweaks are addressed.
    Than there’s the salary cap to consider , but Reilly is out , should free up $$$ as well ..
    See what others thoughts are

  16. Ken….I don’t think it is the Leafs year/window regardless and I don’t think it will be next year UNLESS significant changes are made this summer….so I am not as worried as other Leaf fans if Hutchinson plays if Anderson injured…or what to do with the RFA D men we have now

    One or two forwards of some real/credible value….Marner, Nylander, Kapenan, AJ Johnnson, for example need to go for D men and back goalie of equal value…don’t try to too hard to win a trade just make a good trade……

    There are teams with more quality D than quality forwards….Carolina, Minnesota, Calgary , San Jose….the answer is to make a fair hockey trade and start again next season…..whether or not they make the play offs this year

    So says the Old Blue Dog anyway…..but be aware he is not sure of his own opinions….lots of stuff goes bad with too many years on this mortal coil

  17. Tor: Dillon & M. Jones (Sharks retain $2M of Jones salary)
    SJ: Nylander

    Have fun.

  18. The Leafs are exactly what we said they would be.

    I don’t understand how the majority of Leaf fans couldn’t see it as well.

    The team is poorly constructed and not being managed properly.

    Trade Matthews for the pieces needed in order to be a contender.

    Or trade MM.
    Do Leaf fans still hate him and his greedy father with unbridled passion?

    I haven’t been paying attention.

    • You`re right about not being constructed very well. The Shanahan plan was good to start but it got derailed when Dubas was handed the reigns and the early success I think hurt them to make bad decisions like sign Tavaras. I like Tavaras but he wasn`t really needed and the team wasn`t ready for that jump yet. The team went from a 5 year plan to make them a contender to wanting to win it in 4. That changed everything, raised everybody’s expectations and the costs to resign the kids skyrocketed. When Lou left it was time, but Dubas wasn`t ready to take over that`s pretty clear now. I don`t think he was even the right choice for the job. He`s pretty much bungled everything that`s happened there and now who knows what`s going to happen, a lot of holes to fill and no cap space. Just one big mess. Trading Matthews for the missing pieces maybe his only way out. Matthews to Jersey

      • Wow, that’s a big move Bob.
        Hischier, Bahl and their 1st in this years draft. (Currently #5)

      • Something along that line, but this is an offseason move. I`d want a little more than that too many unknowns. I`ll throw in Andersen for Severson and Blackwood too, then go after Georgiev or Lehner. Holes are filled, you take a step backwards at center to do it but that makes the Tavaras signing more meaningful. This should even give a little wiggle room to make another deal or signing

      • Fair point Bob. I like Hischier. Kinda like a young Bergeron. Really responsible player with high skill. Bahl looks to be a big, physical shut down d who can move for a really big man. Stock is rising. A year away.
        Current prediction for #5 pick is Jamie Drysdale. Played great as a 17 yr old for Canada in the WJC. It is rare for a 17 yr old D to even make team Canada, let alone play like he did.
        You’re right, some risk and a move that addresses 2 years down the road. I think I would actually do it from the Leafs side. Pickup $4M in cap space to boot.
        If the move Matthews need a C back IMO.

      • Nico would be a must in that deal, but when you`re giving up someone like Matthews you almost have to get a little more for the present time. That`s why I included Andersen to get Severson and Blackwood. Severson a good 2 pairing dman, Blackwood is another iffy but you have to get a goalie back vs, picks

  19. Between meetings

    Just had a quick read on the posts

    Good thoughts!! Great posts.

    Agree with most

    Where I differ:

    Re Hank moved…. IMHO slim slim chance … publicly stated he wants to stay

    Now Hank to Leafs …. count that at about 0.00001 % probability… Hank needs to first waive and the Rangers agree to retain 50%; and then GMKD needs to fin $4M + in Cap room (this year AND next ) for a back-up goalie

    On to Pens…..


    I love Shultz. Plays absolutely fine away from the unmentionable (everybody’ does)

    Pens need top 6 winger ; and GMJR will get one

    Hoff as you’ve posted; fits that to a T

    Not sure FLA will move him tho

    The Shultz/Hoff flip (UFA for UFA) seems fair. If FLA will accept a puck-mover instead of a shutdown guy… the most extra Pens would need to give up would be a 6th or 7th (G-Chuck trade value at50% retained)

    That said per today’s information…. FLA loking for a D-partner for Ekblad (also a RHD)

    So likelihood slim

    If done ; no first given up ; but now instead of a top 6 winger; Pens then need a top 4 RHD ; puck mover …

    Vats shoots R but usually plays LD…. cost?? Note; he is also oft injured

    Re Zucker …. I’m hoping not…. he’s not a needle mover ; term/play/Cap is a risk in out-years; AND more importantly because he has term ….. GMJR will have to pay well in trade (including a 1st) and not warranted at all IMHO

    Re Palmeiri …. not as against him as I am with Zucker; but not a needle mover for sure

    Re Staal …. IN A HEARTBEAT…. yes yes yes

    Him at 3C ; puts McC top 6 winger

    Bjug (20 % retained) for Staal …. that makes Cap neutral

    Minn gets a hometown 3C that is 8 years younger; and then effectively for $3.25 M next year!

    Pens gain excellent 3C (and 2nd PP unit) who can pop up if need be to top 6 winger; for Cup run; give up nothing from roster

    The negative (if any) is 36 year old 3C effectively at $4.1M (due to Bjug retention) next year…. to me … 36 year old ES waaaay better than 28 yr old Bjug!!!

    That move and GMJR doesn’t have to give up tons of assets to get a top tier top 6 winger (Kreider; Tiffoli; Tatar)…. and can therefore spend less on a lower tiered top 6 winger … perhaps a gamble on AA from Detroit???

    I still say best move for Pens is with Habs for TT …. not UFA; tops on team; speed; hands…. moving a package including a first to get TT is ok by me

    Will check back on responses and further posts tonight

    • Pens wouldn’t need a top 4 d man though. They have a top 4 and schultz isn’t in it when dumo returns. They would probably like to add another bottom pair guy but that shouldn’t be prohibitive cost wise.

      • And tt or kp are the only players I’d move the first for. Term.

      • Hi Chrisms

        Yep…. will lose it if Jimbo pays 1st and gets Zucker….. absolutely not the move to make

        Shultz as bottom pairing a waste …. the dogmatic appproach by Sully/ Jimbo using JJ top minutes is screwing everything up

        KP vs TT

        Setting aside the Leftie Rightie thing

        same age (2 months apart)

        same weight

        1/2 “ diff in height

        Both 1 more year under contract … Cap diff only $150 K

        Both on pace for about 30 G

        Call the above equal

        I give the slight nod between the two to TT :

        Much speedier
        A little better hands
        Much better on over-all points projected (more assists)…76 vs 63

        KP grittier but I see TT’s speed; hands ; and greater point projection more in line Sids style

        Both would be great ads …. but I’m giving my slight over-all edge in preference to TT

        Now adding to that TSN’s information today …. Kovy NOT getting a 2nd (different from last week when they said he might) and more likely a 4th or 3rd…. then why not try to get both TT & Kovy

        1st is a given; and likely G-Chuck coming back (to match Cap hit)

        Would Bergevin bite on

        G-Chuck ($100 K retained to equal TT)



        Legere (Montreal Lad)

        for TT & Kovy????

  20. it’s finally come time to unveil the world’s first soap opera-

    “As the Leaf Turns”

    • What do you mean finally it`s been on TV for the 50+ years

    • Casper

      We’ll see

      After tonight perhaps you will have to adjust your title to be in 5he proper tense

      “As the Leafs turned”

  21. What about a package to Pitt from MTL, Tatar and Petry? Petry is a solid RHD and Pitt has the pieces MTL wants, #1, Poulin, Legare, Addison, perhaps? Probably too much but, some of those pieces going back for those two would get it done.

  22. good job guys-

    50 Years? ai ai ai-

  23. Good move by Dubas bringing in Kyle Clifford. Dubas if you’re listening don’t stop now….bring in Ryan Reaves on the right side, and two physical stay at home defenders (Dumba, Manson, Dillon are examples). Kapanen has more upside than Johnsson and Kerfoot in my opinion but one or two of these will have to be sacrificed to get the defense that will be needed….. almost there Dubas….

    • You had me there when you said 2 physical stay at home dman and then you mentioned Dumba. Dumba is a younger version of Barrie. This team is so bad in its own end it isn`t even funny anymore. Campbell is an improvement over Hutchinson. Unless Dubas is flipping Clifford for something better it`s a sacrifice of 2 draft picks for nothing. So many bad moves from this idiot now he`s going to strip the cupboards and picks for little help. Clifford won`t make much of a difference on this team, but he`ll look good sitting on the bench waiting for his 2 shifts a period if he`s lucky