Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 2, 2020

by | Feb 2, 2020 | Rumors | 57 comments

Is Dustin Byfuglien done for the season? Should the Bruins trade David Krejci? What’s the latest on Kaspari Kapanen, Mikael Granlund, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Andreas Athanasiou? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Dustin Byfuglien could be out for the remainder of the season. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman has missed the entire campaign to date, first after being suspended for failing to report to training camp and then following ankle surgery. Friedman said he’s yet to resume skating.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien could be done for the season (Photo via NHL Images).

If the 34-year-old Byfuglien doesn’t return, it could provide the Jets with much-needed salary-cap flexibility. They’ve had to hold his $7.6-million annual average salary until his situation was sorted out. Friedman also said Byfuglien’s future could be revisited during the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck weighed in on Friedman’s report, pointing out the Jets were said to be in the market for a top-four defenseman. If Byfuglien’s out of the season, that will free up cap room before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman and Billeck indicate, the Jets have been handcuffed cap-wise by uncertainty over Byfuglien’s status. If he’s done for the season, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff can either keep him suspended without pay or place him on LTIR. That would give Cheveldayoff considerably more room to work with before the trade deadline.


BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont suggests the Bruins should consider trading center David Krejci. He points out Krejci’s line has been inconsistent this season. The veteran center is 33 and has a year left on his contract with an annual average salary of $7.25 million. Nevertheless, Dupont thinks Krejci could be one of the Bruins’ most tradeable assets. He has a 15-team trade list, which could put him in play if GM Don Sweeney wants him there.

Moving Krejci would also free up salary-cap space to re-sign defenseman Torey Krug. Dupont believes Charlie Coyle could take over the second-line center role, with either Par Lindholm or Jack Studnicka taking over the third-line center position.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Krejci before the deadline would be a bold move by Sweeney, but I doubt he’ll do it. Krejci’s playoff experience will be invaluable to their pursuit of the Stanley Cup this spring. Perhaps that move happens in the off-season.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said winger Kaspari Kapanen was a healthy scratch from Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators for “internal accountability.” Keefe said it was a one-time issue and the winger would address it on Monday. Kapanen has surfaced in recent trade rumors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to find out what this “internal accountability” stems from. Perhaps Keefe is unhappy over Kapanen’s overall performance. The 23-year-old winger is on pace for a 45-point performance but was held pointless in his last five contests.

There’s speculation Kapanen could be used as trade bait to add a top-four defenseman. This incident could dampen his trade value a little.


THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan reported winger Mikael Granlund’s offense has improved since John Hynes took over last month as head coach of the Nashville Predators. Granlund will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Vingan wondered if the Predators will retain him to push for a playoff spot, or shop him before the trade deadline if they know they can’t re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the deadline just over three weeks away, Predators GM David Poile could take the next couple of weeks to evaluate Granlund’s performance and that of his club before reaching a decision. If he keeps playing well and the Predators get back into the playoff chase, he could keep the winger as an own rental. Otherwise, Granlund could be playing for another club by Feb. 24.



  1. Good morning

    @ Caper @big bad bruins

    What would you like to see done with Krejci??
    Will there be any takers at that cap hit for his remainder of term?

    @ NY4Life

    Tough one on Krieder ..his stock just fell …did not look good !

    Flames – Oilers

    LOVE the old school Oilers Flames game …VINTAGE !
    Parros is the worst League official ever for his position…stay retired.. ..the fact that even gave Kassian a suspension for that game was a JOKE!

    Nice to see some passion back in the NHL after the NO HIT MANDATE around the league ..its obvious that the players have to defend themselves and take care of things on the ice …as Brian Burke always said as soon as you take away the players power …to correct a wrong the rats will run the ship and cheap shots and stick work will be the new norm..not the blind side hit or the staged fight !

    Hats off to Smith & Talbot …good on ya !

    League …was getting very boring last few years pond hockey type of play for the elite stars …..

    Kapanen …..need to see more emotion from Kappy on the ice he hasn’t looked engaged…add some gritty play to his game …he needs to wrench things up ..and play a more DISTURBER roll he his a BIG guy ..and should use his body way more for a 2nd – 3rd line player …to match his high quality talent….a young Patrick Hornqvist style of play would be awesome !!!


    • @ PENGY

      If the rumoured deal of Kappy for Brendon Dillon is true …do you thing that is worth it for the Leafs ??


      • Brenden Dillon left shot 6’4″ Chara type we need him

      • Hi Kal El

        If Dillon was still under contract ; reasonable move

        However; I firmly believe that Leafs; under no circumstance; should trade roster players or low round picks for UFAs this year

        This rationale is almost entirely due to my dogmatic belief that Leafs Cup window does not start until next year… all moves need to be with that window in mind ; and included in a long term plan to re-balance roster from skewed Cap top heavy on Fwds to more reasonable Cap distribution; move away from 1/2 Cap on 4 players; invest in stronger D corps ; and improve the back-up situation

        For Leafs to win this year; if they make playoffs as 3rd in Atl; they have to beat BOTH Bruins and Bolts; then Pens or Caps; then (likely) StL

        As it stands right now; I don’t see Leafs getting past two of those teams let alone all; and even if there was massive multi-player moves; I can’t see them at all winning all 4 rounds this year

        Proper off-season moves and/or moves in-year that gain players with term; will go a ling way to making them deep contenders from ‘21-‘24

      • A further point on Dillon

        I’d rather have GMJR move on him than Dubas

        Now ; for Leafs ; if a deal could be (which I don’t think it can) structured something like

        Dillon plus * conditional 2nd

        for Kappy

        * condition … deal is a 2nd in ‘21 IF Dillon signs with ANY team BUT Leafs; is a 7th (‘21) if he signs with Leafs

        I don’t think that deal could be made

        I would LOVE a

        JJ ; Laffy ; 3rd (‘21)

        For Dillon

        …. but Jimbo “can’t understand why everybody thinks Jack is so bad for the team”

      • Seems that way Pengy – avoiding UFA trades that is – where the leafs are concerned. Unless they somehow see such a move as improving, exponentially, their chances at a Cup this year.

        We keep hearing how Dubas is trying to juggle things so they can re-sign Muzzin, who turns just 31 in Feb and who is coming off a $4 mil cap hit. He isn’t going to be signing any discount deals so they’re looking at something closer to $5 mil.

        Dillon, who turns 30 next Nov, is also going to want a sizeable increase from his current $3,270,000 deal – again, probably closer to $5 mil. Unless there were major changes to come in both the cap increase and the Leafs’ internal structure, they couldn’t get both done, so Dillon becomes a pure rental. Big price to pay for a maybe difference that may not pan out.

      • Why in the world would the leafs trade a top 6 forward for a bottom pairing defenceman. I get that the leafs need to get tougher in the back end but seriously. If Kapanen was playing on the top 2 lines and getting top power play minutes he’d probably be producing closer to nylander numbers. The leafs are just that deep at forward. I would only trade Kappy for a top 4 young defenceman with term. Might have to give up a bit more than just Kappy to get that but Kappy is definitely worth more than just Dillon.

      • Hi George

        Fully agree with you with the exception if possible cost of Muzzin

        I’m thinking that he’d get offers on the UFA market in the 4 @ $6M range ; with all markets but Ott and Montreal giving favourable after tax $’s (compared to T.O.)…. so $5.5 M to me is the lower limit

        Yes ; they won’t get both (Dillon and Muzzin)

        However; if they feel Muzzin contract a bit rich (Cap wize for them)…. maybe they’re thinking Dillon as the “new” Muzzin in 20/21 onward

        No matter what; for Leafs, current roster players traded for UFAs should be absolutely avoided

      • There was a Kapanen and Bracco to the Oilers for Adam Larsson deal floating around too. Not sure why Edmonton would want two right wingers but a win for both teams in my opinion. Toronto would be getting a really good D man in that deal. Tough and mean.

      • Speaking of LD, I see where the Wild have placed LD Nick Seelers on waivers in the hope of getting him to their AHL club. This article covers the somewhat weird circumstances in this case considering his otherwise decent season last year and the fact he couldn’t get out of the press box this year – even with all their D problems.

        He has decent size and his cap hit is just $725,000 – be interesting to see if he clears

    • NY is saying no concussion and it’s not long term. I don’t think it hurts his value at all.

      • Kreider should be good to go next game – the injury Florida has to be assessing with bated breath is that of Barkov. If he’s out for any length of time that really hurts their chances.

    • I would keep Krejci I think he would sign a lower contract to stay in Boston when this one expires. Similar to Chara.
      He could drop down to third center.
      Studnicka will be ready next year.

    • BBB would like to see Krejci in Habs silks before the deadline. 🤭

      • Him and a lot of other GMs – but I’d bet dollars to donuts that Montreal – if not all Canadian locations – are on his big no-go list.

      • Oh look shore know more than Lebrun and Mackenzie! He probably wants krejci on his leafs I would think

      • Lol

    • No way Brendan Dillon gets more than 4.5 per year and that’s on the high end for a bottom pair defensemen. If that’s all we want then we can just call up Ben Harpur, he’s just sitting there in the ahl. The days of paying players just because they’re big and tough are gone. If Muzzin wants more than 5 per year than I don’t sign him either. He’s aging and he’s already been showing signs of slowing down.

    • Bobby Mac reported that Toronto is definitely looking for a younger RHD with term. Bob also reported that Toronto had little or no interest in the rental market. Dillion is a LHD and a UFA. Plus he doesn`t play the right side much so why would Toronto trade for him. I can understand the Larsson rumour it fits what Toronto needs. Dumba seems to be the name that`s being mentioned more often. Then there`s the rumour that Toronto`s watching very closely the Pietrangelo situation in St, Louis. If he becomes a UFA July 1st Toronto wants to be first in line. Dubas has painted himself into such a small corner they really won`t be able to do anything until the off season and remember every deal Dubas does has to be a dollar in dollar out type of deal because of the cap and using the LTIR no pro-rating of the contracts

  2. The exposure of keeping players you are certain you are going to move -Injury. Waiting for “a better deal” closer to the deadline is certainly a risk. Kreider case in point .

    A Puljularvi and Anthansiou basis should have some traction. Maybe conditional picks associated .

    Jankowski has to be done in Calgary . A brutal first rounder by Jay Fiester .. maybe you can get something like Bjugstad

    • SS

      Can I interest you in

      Janko and Brodie

      For Bjug (25 % retained) & JJ?

      ….. pretty please

      • Pengy, I will reference the TSN article the other day that argued that the Giordano/Brodie pairing is the only one playing well for Calgary right now. Brodie has returned somewhat to form and he isn’t going anywhere! Especially not for Bjug and JJ… sorry, you’re stuck with him!

      • Hi Augustus

        Well… it was worth a shot

  3. Mcavoy and Backes for Laine and Byfuglien makes some sense.
    Money and contracts are close. Bruins have depth on defense and could fill that right wing finally. Love Mcavoy and wouldn’t really want to trade.
    Backes and Byfuglien are both a wash this season and none year left for both.

    • I don’t think this makes any sense at all .

      And even if it made a little sense… trades like this do not happen in the nhl.

      • What about Mcavoy for Laine plus maybe a second rounder.
        Winnipeg needs a right defenseman and Boston needs a top six RW.
        Backes and Buff was just to give Backes a chance to play. Both are basically done and have a year left.

    • That isn’t a good idea, Dave.

      Krech has said that once this contract is up, he’s going home.
      He lives in NC in the off season so I’m not sure which “home” he’s referring to, but we’ll see.
      He’s earned the right to do as he wishes.

      I wouldn’t trade him unless he asked for one.

    • Dave for me if your going to McAvoy you need to have a player who is ready to step in and take on his role. Boston doesn’t have that and for that reason alone McAvoy is being moved.

  4. Never mind “Is Dustin Byfuglien done for the season?” – he’s likely as good as done. Period.

  5. Kappy for dillon would be a terrible trade for leafs. The only roster player I would trade for dillon is ceci.

  6. I’m skeptical that Krejci would be on the move in-year.

    Big Cap hit to take on by any team

    I don’t see contenders having space and/or need; bubble teams won’t necessarily get in (to play-offs) with taking on Krejci

    So its down to teams on the re-build /rise that are willing to pay $7M next year ; have the Cap space this year; and that are on Krejci’s NT list… that list can’t be more than a couple of teams

  7. Even if Buff was healthy right now he has to be pushing 285 -with his limited workout capability. Game shape is a distant memory . It could vary well be forever.

  8. This tidbit just popped up on ESPN by Greg Wyshynski: “First overall pick Jack Hughes was benched during Thursday night’s Devils loss to Nashville. He played 12:57 overall, his 3rd-lowest total of the season. Coach Alain Nasreddine said his start “wasn’t where it needed to be.” Hughes has 5 points in last 16 games, and one assist in his last seven. He’s on pace for 30 points. For perspective, 1999 No. 1 overall pick Patrik Stefan of Atlanta had 25 points in 72 games, while 2012 Oilers’ No. 1 overall Nail Yakupov had 31 points in 48 games.”


    • Thanks George for posting that.
      I was wondering why I never hear anything about him. He was supposed to be the second coming of McDavid who could skate and handle the puck at these incredible rates of speed.
      Any ideas why things have not gone well for him this year?

      • Don’t see enough of NJ to form any kind of opinion one way or another FlanesFan. If I had to guess I’d point a finger at his smallish size (listed at 5′ 10″ 170 lbs) – maybe he’s having trouble handling the NHL body contact – even reduced as it is.

        If you see a lot of the Flames, has that maybe caught up to Gaudreau (5′ 9″ 165 lbs) as well?

    • The vast majority of the 1st rounders from last spring are either still in Major Junior, university or in various European leagues.

      The only other one now in the NHL is C Kirby Dach (3rd overall to Chicago) and he isn’t lighting things up either with 7g 8a 15 pts in 46 gp, D-man Moritz Seider (6th overall to Detroit) is in the AHL.

      I remember saying just before the draft that I would have opted for the big Finn Kakko, but so far he seems to be plugging along like Hughes and Dach with just 7g 9a 16 pts in 46 gp.

      • Kirby Dach, may not be producing much but he is an impressive player.
        I have not seen a big man like him that can skate and handle the puck so well, very soft hands. I think Kirby could be the best player taken in last years draft, he just needs time.

      • I liked Kakko over Hughes. I felt and still feel Hughes is a little undersized to be an nhl center.

        Right now , Kakko doesn’t look good either. This will probably not happen now, but I believe both of these guys should be demoted. Generally speaking, NY has been rushing all of their prospects under Gorton / Quinn.

      • I agree there 100% Nyr4life – maybe, had Stefan (all of 3 AHL games) and Yakopov (never played an AHL game) been sent to the minors for a little seasoning, their careers may have taken a different turn. Instead, their NHL teams kept waiting and hoping for the lightning to strike – to the point where they became worthless (as # 1 picks) to both their team and a significant trade commodities. The same could be said of Alex Daigle who didn’t see the AHL until 7 years into his spotty career.

      • All of the top picks are getting rushed to the AHL for cap reasons. Most aren’t ready for the NHL and have to go back to the OHL as they aren’t eligible to play in the AHL. The choice is send them to the OHL where they’ve already learned all they could or bring them up to the NHL and hope that you have the right coaches and staff to help there development. I also think that fans need to temper there expectations as there are only a hand full of players who jump from juniors to the nhl and are stars there first year. That includes most first overall picks.

      • Roger, when you say “there are only a hand full of players who jump from juniors to the nhl and are stars there first year. That includes most first overall picks.” – the stats since 2008 don’t agree: with 3 exceptions the 12 1st overall picks have all been either legitimate “stars” or very good players right out of the gate: Stamkos, Tavares, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakopov, MacKinnon, Ekblad, McDavid, Matthews, Hischier, Dahlin, Hughes

      • @George Nugent’s Hopkins, yakupov, Hishier, hughes, Dahlen had ok seasons there first year but could hardly have been considered stars. Even mckinnon had a 63 point season which I don’t consider being a star. Nylander put up 62 his first year do you consider him a star? I remember McKinnon’s 2nd and 3rd year which weren’t great and they were talking about trading him. He’s a star now but was not his first few years. Maybe we just have a different opinion on what a star is or are you just basing it on that it’s there first year which by the way was the point I was trying to make.

      • Well, I did clarify, saying “either legitimate “stars” or very good players …” and I would consider both Nugent-Hopkins and Dahlen as “very good players.” MacKinnon suffered from a general malaise with the Avalanche at the time. He had “can’t miss” written all over him – and he didn’t.

      • I specified stars as you did in your response. We are talking about 1st overall picks here. The expectations are that they will be stars not just good players.

      • And once again this leads back to the god awful chl deal the league has. What a raw deal for those kids.

    • That’s uggo when put that way.

  9. The nice thing about watching these highly intensive playoff style games against the Oilers are the guys you can win with and the passengers really start to stand out.
    Johnny Gaudreau is just to small and slight to be a factor in tough, tight checking playoff hockey. He rarely ever wins any puck battles, and now it becomes an adventure when he starts dipsey doodling with the puck as time after time he is loosing it.
    Johnny is a great regular season player and excels in wide open non checking games where he has the ability to make highlight reel plays.
    Unfortunately in the tough tight checking games that are hard to win, Johnny is a liability.
    I am not saying Johnny will be traded at the deadline, but it would not surprise me to see him traded in the offseason.
    It will be a good time to trade him as he still has 2 seasons left on a team friendly deal.
    Obvious teams would be NJ and Philadelphia.

    • I remember hearing those Hall for Gaudreau rumours b4 Taylor ended up in Arizona. I think Gaudreau is a fine player but maybe better suited for the Eastern conference. He did say he wanted to play in Philly at some point in his career,Taking contracts into account…..
      Gaudreau for Gostisbehere ?
      Some sort of package revolving around Nolan Patrick if he gets healthy?

  10. Let’s see we’ll trade Krejci and put in Par Linholm or Studnicka as 3rd line Center and this will improve the Bruins chances of winning the cup. Ok then.

    Not likely. Move Krejci in the off season if someone will take the contract.

    Unless Boston has a viable replacement for him, their not moving him.

    • Bang on Caper. If you have SC aspirations you can’t go into the playoffs, or next season IMO hoping either of those 2 guys can be your everyday 3C. For that matter Coyle as your 2C. The Coyler is a very good 3C who can fill in at 2C as needed. Can he be a full time 2C? I suppose, but on a SC contender? Not usually unless you are stacked elsewhere.
      Also no harm leaving Studnicka in Providence to start next season until he forces their decision.

    • Agree make no sense trading him now get him a winger who can score for ROS and a big rugged player for 4th line ….will like their chances in the playoffs

  11. Puljujarvi and a 4th for AA ? Not even close. If I’m Detroit, I wouldn’t touch it. Puljujarvi is still a total wildcard for the NHL – and a 4th ? Why bother ? If Edmonton wants AA, it needs to be something like Puljujarvi + Broberg – otherwise, forget it.

    • Puge + Broberg??
      You can’t be serious!!

      • I’m not even sure I want Puge at all. Personally, I don’t think he has the cuhonies to play in the NHL. If I were trading for him at all, I would not offer more than a 5th rounder.

    • I wouldn’t do Broberg alone for AA. Chiarelli is no longer in charge so won’t happen.

      • And I wouldn’t take Broberg alone for AA.

      • If Broberg is offered for AA, Yzerman would be all over that like a pit bull on a meat truck.