NHL Rumor Mill – March 3, 2020

by | Mar 3, 2020 | Rumors | 33 comments

What does the future hold for Henrik Lundqvist? Could the Canadiens attempt to trade Jonathan Drouin this summer? What the latest on the Devils? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Travis Yost wondered what the future holds for Henrik Lundqvist. The long-time New York Rangers starter is now the third wheel in their goaltending tandem behind youngsters Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. The 38-year-old Lundqvist isn’t the dominant goalie he was once, but Yost believes he’s still capable.

Will this season be Henrik Lundqvist’s last with the New York Rangers? (Photo via NHL Images)

Lundqvist carries a full no-movement clause, but he only has a year left on his contract with an $8.5 million salary-cap hit. Yost feels that makes him a tradeable asset, but it’s uncertain if he’s willing to accept a trade or if the Rangers want to move him. Yost doesn’t believe they’ll move Shesterkin, but Georgiev could be an intriguing trade asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until Shesterkin’s recent injury, he and Georgiev were seeing the bulk of the games since early-January. I think that says all we need to know about Lundqvist’s future in New York.

If Lundqvist is open to getting traded this summer, the Rangers could explore it. They’ll probably have to absorb part of his contract or take back a salaried player in return. Failing that, they could buy out that final season before the end of the two-week buyout period on June 30.


TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie recently speculated over the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens shopping Jonathan Drouin this summer. He wondered if the 24-year-old winger might be shopped for a left-side defenseman. He mentioned the Colorado Avalanche’s Samuel Girard as a potential trade target, noting they have promising rearguards like Bowen Byram, Connor Timmins and Drew Helleson in their system. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin scouted two Avalanche games in Colorado before last Monday’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out the Canadiens moving Drouin this summer for a defenseman, but I don’t see him as a fit in Colorado. While he skated alongside Nathan MacKinnon during their junior days in Halifax, MacKinnon already has solid chemistry with wingers Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog.

The Avs possess promising young rearguards, but I don’t believe GM Joe Sakic is keen to move Girard. Most of the speculation concerning the Avs this season suggested one of those prospects being packaged for a second-line winger. Should the Avs stage a deep playoff run, Sakic might become less inclined to tinker with his lineup.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak said he doesn’t expect the New Jersey Devils to pursue this summer’s top UFAs if acting GM Tom Fitzgerald takes over the role full-time. He’ll likely seek younger players to skate alongside Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes. He could also add some veterans to work with his younger players.

Defense UFA options could include Calgary’s T.J. Brodie and Erik Gustafsson. Goalie targets could include Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, Anton Khudobin or Cam Talbot. UFA forwards options include Florida’s Evgenii Dadonov or Vancouver’s Tyler Toffoli. Masisak speculated they could buy out the final two years of Cory Schneider’s contract.

Masisak also suggested potential trade targets like the New York Islanders’ Devon Toews or Ryan Pulock, or the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Rasmus Sandin, Travis Dermott or Timothy Liljegren.

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan recently reported Devils winger Kyle Palmieri hasn’t give much thought yet to signing a contract extension, but he’s willing to keep an ear open. He’s slated to become a UFA next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have over $56 million invested in 14 players for 2020-21. They’ll have sufficient room to re-sign RFAs like Mackenzie Blackwood and Jesper Bratt and to bring in some much-needed depth in the off-season.

They also have three picks in the first round of this year’s draft, though two of those are conditional. I don’t see them moving their own first-rounder, but they could shop the other two if it fetches a return that provides immediate help. As for Palmieri, he could wait and see what management does this summer before committing to an extension.


  1. The chance of Rasmus Sandin being traded this summer to anyone is less than 0.


      If iam the rangers aim keeping both Georgieve and Shesterkin…in the system ..there is absolutely no reason they need to move Georgieve.
      hes and RFA …so hes not getting mega bucks and Shesterkin still has term on ELC …
      These are 2 special goalies in a league that has very little promise for up and coming goalies …sure Georgieve is a great trade chip but he is also the absolutely perfect back up to Shesterkin…next year …like literally perfect !
      have to find a way to move Hank and keep BOTH youngsters …even if it requires a buy out as opposed to holding back 50% of the contract via a trade ..as the penalty in money is only for 1 season ..and if you look at that penalty in a monetary sense thats what you should be paying a player like Shestrkin or Georgieve anyways ..as combined next year they make only 3 million if that so to me …you buy out Hank and keep both young goalies …

      • The expansion draft is in June 2021. It might be good strategy to keep both goalies for the expansion draft. I believe Fox and Kakko are exempt from the draft and Zibanejad, Panarin, Kreider, and Trouba all have NMC so they need to be protected. Other than those guys I don’t have the knowledge on the Rangers roster on who they will protect and leave exposed. Who else do they risk losing to Seattle?

    • I sure hope you’re right Wendell 17higgins. Nor would I trade Dermott. Sandin looks like he has so much potential

  2. Masisak also suggested potential trade targets like the New York Islanders’ Devon Toews or Ryan Pulock.

    The Isles will consider trading one of them for a top scoring winger which the Devils won’t give up. Pulock is a first line dman along with the injured Pelech and Toews is a 2nd line pairing. They had to get Greene from the Devs because of the injury so they aren’t deep at NHL dman until Dobson matures. For them to part with one, the Devils better be prepared to offer a lot because you are not getting one of them for a 3rd round pick like they think they are.

  3. Drouin has showed little progress in his young career, but I still think he’s worth hanging onto.
    If I were GMMB I’d be focused on filling out the D, but not at Drouin’s expense. That just puts him back at square one, looking for an impact forward.
    Habs need to rebuild on the fly and start drafting the best available and not just for position.

    • @ Shoreorrpark

      I agree with you here but only if Bergevin can get a dominant Center to play with him…I think Drouin is better served on the wing and get a proper big centerman that can skate and distribute the puck and he would be more effective…however …if there is a deal that can be made to better prepare for a better rebuild for the Habs than I would move him..the Habs need to stop having one foot in and one foot out ..they need to just jump in with a rebuild at this point ..they also need more size in the top 6 for sure !

      I know Phoeling was injured to start off the season and had his injuries issues through out the season in the minors ..BUT why this guy did not see more NHL playing time this year is really baffling to me ..and a missed opportunity IMO ..anyways …have a good day …


      • Agreed, Kal El, re: one foot in, one foot out. (and with you, Shoreorpark re: keeping Drouin)

        If trading a winger for a dman, that just weakens their forward corps. It’s rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

        I realize you have to give to get, but Habs have a great prospect pool and about a bazillion picks.

        Being facetious here, but they could trade seven picks for a midddle six FWD, 6 others for a top 4D and *still* have a pick left over this summer.

        If they want to win either now or in the future, they need to pick a lane. A 1-for-1 hockey trade (a la Drouin for Girard) may help a bit, but won’t change much.

  4. In all sports they say draft best player available….I had mixed feelings about it and even thought the KK move that it made sense…..Turned out so far to be perfect example why draft the best player became a cliche…..

    Another cliche Bergevin ignored is Defense wins championships when he traded Sergechev (?) for Drouin..

    Molson needs to decide some basic hockey questions as to what he wants to do with the team…..then ask himself if Bergevin is the man for the job….Timing the removal of senior management is not an easy decision….

    • @ OBD

      IMO …at this point I would move on from Bergevin..this entire team needs a new outlook a new direction and a new fresh start in EVERY WAY!

      Beregevin has run out of fingers plugging the holes in the dam ..most of all his moves have been sideways moves and have really never transpired into quality or progression…its time to cut bait and move forward as an organisation ..and watching the players in the post game scrums and listening to their broken hearts for another lost season ..this organisation needs an boost in that position to send a message for new beginnings ! ….IMO


  5. Didn’t the Habs trade a defence-man for Drouin . Before his injuries he was 15 points in 19 games . One more season chance before trading him .

    The Devils have holes all over the place. Will get a decent player in the draft. I think all their trades have happened.

    • The draft is in MTL this year and Bergevin’s deadline deals or lack of them may have been in contemplation of the draft. With a boatload if draft picks he may be looking to make a splash. Habs also need to recognize that 2021 is also an expansion draft for Seattle and I think they have. Domi, Tatar and Petry are due for raises so Drouin out for an affordable left d may be needed. Expect them to try and resign Kovalchuk and maybe Scandella who both performed well and were happy to be in MTL. I believe the Habs will be parting with Lindgren and Kinkaid and may be taking a long hard look at Carey Price considering McNiven and more so Primeau’s performances. Price may fetch the centre, the defense man, prospects and even picks Habs need to get better now and be in a strong position come the expansion draft. When we look at what Colorado got for Matt Duchene one has to ask what would a contending team or team on the way to being a contender pay for Price? I think Bergie and Julien will get one more season.

      • Domi, Drouin, Primeau, #1 next year to whichever team wins the draft lottery, C’mon down Detroit. Draft in Montreal the focus has to be Tanko for the Franko.

      • Andy, I agree MB will get one more season, and that the Habs need a proven back up goalie.

        Good luck trading Price at 10 million/year. And if you put two unproven goalies in McNiven and Primeau in net it will be a fiasco.

        Duchene is an unfortunate example of what can come of signing expensive UFAs. He has 12 goals and 40 points.

        The player I think will get traded is Domi – IF the Habs think Kotkaniemi is NHL ready. That leaves them with KK, Danault, and Suzuki as their first three centers.

        Note the caveate: KK has 0 goals in 11 games in Laval. Poehling has 5. That’s why they are in the AHL.

      • It’s hard to score in the AHL.
        KK will be just fine, imho.

        Strikers #’s are pretty close based on developing players.
        He hasn’t played enough in the NHL in order to truly evaluate his projections.
        I think he was a stealthy good pick by GMMB.

      • This team has no idea what to do. Now they are leading 4-0 vs Islanders, why?
        Their prospects are joke, 2nd liners max.
        There is nothing in MTL to build around. This team is and will be mediocre for years to come

      • @LJ
        Giving Bergevin one more year is a joke. But since they love comedy in Montreal, let’s laugh everyone.
        Bad drafting, keeping old players…tragedy

  6. Hoping Boston resign Halak it’s working very well in Boston. Not sure if there is a #1 position out there for Halak. The rest is required for Rask, to keep him from becoming mentally and physically fatigued.

    • Agree Caper, just depends what Halak wants for $$ and term. Not a spring chicken anymore.
      The good news on the B’s goal tending front is that Vladar has been great since coming back from injury. Needs another year, at least, of seasoning but at least we have a young guy who is playing well right now.
      How come Khudobin doesn’t get a chance to start somewhere? The guy might be the best back up/platoon in the league.

    • I would trade Domi way before Drouin, to get a left D.
      More upside.

    • The issue for Halak and other teams in a similar spot you can only protect one goalie – unless he has a full no move in which case you have to expose someone else I believe. Guaranteed Price won’t be protected unless he has a full no move. Haven’t looked at his deal.

    • I love vlader. Who wouldn’t. The marketing is set.

      • Right?

  7. Regardless of what the devils do I don’t see them being much better then they currently are next season. Their kids need to mature. If the add any kind of UFA it will likely be someone they can flip next trade deadline. Palmieri should weigh his option carefully. I don’t think there is another team in the league that he could go and continue to get first line minutes imo. Defense is in shambles. Ty Smith should crack that lineup next season, but he’s likely to see sheltered minutes. Bahl should spend a season in Bing, and we may see the same from some of the other prospects devils fans think they’ll see next season. Under Nas they have been above .500. Goaltending has had to be lights out for that to happen. Hopefully they just continue to develop players without trading away any futures. The metro is a beast of a division right now. Great teams aren’t built in just 5 years when the cupboards were completely bare when Shero first took over. Hoping Fitz can continue what Shero started, but with better drafting.

  8. girard for drouin?…um no way

    • Yeah, I think it’s wishful thinking on Lajoie’s part.

  9. As an Oilers fan Drouin is intriguing. He might look really good on McDavid’s left side. I know the Oilers will need to add to this, but Caleb Jones is a young LD who has shown he can play in the NHL, and would be their third best left shot d-man. I just don’t know what else the Oilers would need to add, or if they would be able to fit Drouin’s $5.5 million cap hit in their cap.

  10. I read a lot about player’s not being loyal to teams anymore, then read stuff about how NY has to get rid of Hank, ask him to waive or buy him out. Reminds me of Sundin in Tor, when players move they are disloyal, when they stay everyone wants them dumped near the end of their contract, can’t have it both ways. When Tor was dealing with the ‘Muskoka 5’ I remember reading that the estimate was an NMC generally took about $1M/year off of a contract, ie. a higher end player would make about that much less per season to have a full NMC but players were still killed in the media and by fans for not waiving when the team wanted them to, personally don’t think it’s right. I understand it’s a business and that’s how real life works but if that’s the case then people shouldn’t talk about a lack of loyalty. If a team or a team’s fans aren’t loyal to the players then the player’s should just look out for themselves and the best deal they can get anywhere they’re willing to go.

    • Ii don’t think in Lundqvist’s case this is a lack of respect. They just have better G’s in the system and Shesterkin might have just run back to Russia. The Rangers are one of the classiest operations in hockey and I am sure they will do right by Lundqvist. If he agrees to be traded, they will trade him to a team that he wants to go to (if that team will take him, of course). They will eat whatever salary they need to in order to do this (up to a limit of course). If not they will buy him out and find him a place in the organization.

      • Oh sorry, I wasn’t trying to imply that the Rangers weren’t a classy organization, I’m sure they will do right by him. Sather did seem a bit sketchy in the whole Derek Boogaard thing, if you read the Sports Illustrated story it sounded like the team helped him get pills from doctors on other teams, nobody look good in that, but overall I’ve always respected that organization. I just meant more but some fans want to ditch a guy who’s been loyal to a franchise for a long time. I’ve been a Toronto fan for my whole life and I thought it was awful that the team leaked that they wanted those guys to waive and it was wrong the way the media and fans treated them. I wasn’t specifically saying anything about the Rangers, just the whole system I guess. And even though they play in the east I’ve always thought Hank was one of the best to ever play and a really classy guy. When you hear him do a long interview like he did on spitting Chiclets you realize what a great guy he is

  11. Even if Rangers retain the max 50% of Hanks salary, that’s still over 4 mil per year. Not sure there’s many teams that would give up assets and pay that much for a goalie who is a shell of his old self. A mutually agreed upon buyout will probably be what’s best. That would allow him to sign with any team if he chooses not to retire.

  12. I’m sorry, but as a Quebecer and Hab fan, I can tell you that quoting Jean-Charles Lajoie, under any consideration, can’t possibly help one’s credibility.

    • You evidently didn’t notice that I dismissed Lajoie’s speculation. Like him or not, he’s part of the media. The purpose of this rumors section is to post up trade and free-agent rumors as reported by the media and offering up my opinion of those rumors. If I start getting selective by not posting reports on certain pundits simply because a reader doesn’t iike them, there wouldn’t be anything here.