Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 22, 2020

by | Mar 22, 2020 | Rumors | 10 comments

The latest on the Islanders, several stars who may have played their final NHL games, and questions about conditional draft picks in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: In a recent Q&A with New York Islanders fans, general manager Lou Lamoriello said it wasn’t his intention to let contract talks with Mathew Barzal reach the point where the 22-year-old center received an offer sheet from a rival club. If Barzal did sign one, however, Lamoriello said he’d match it. He remains confident in getting Barzal and fellow restricted free agents Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews re-signed.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles have over $71 million invested in 18 players. Assuming the salary cap remains at $81.5 million, Lamoriello will be hard-pressed to squeeze new contracts for Barzal, Pulock, and Toews within that $10 million of cap space available to him.

Matching an expensive offer sheet would gobble up almost all of that cap room. Lamoriello would get some cap wiggle room as he’s allowed to exceed the cap by 10 percent during the off-season, but he must shed salary before the start of the season to become cap compliant.

I doubt Lamoriello’s worried about a rival GM signing Barzal to an offer sheet. Most NHL clubs will feel the financial squeeze from this pandemic, leaving few with enough cap room to take a run at poaching the young Isles center.


THE ATHLETIC: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller, and Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu are among those on James Mirtle’s list of 15 NHL players who may have played their final NHL games if this season is canceled.

Others include Carolina Hurricanes winger Justin Williams, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, and Anaheim Ducks winger David Backes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Lundqvist may have played his last game with the Rangers, but I can see him playing with another NHL club if he waives his no-movement clause or is bought out of his current contract. Miller turns 40 in July and I suspect the Ducks will replace him with a younger option. If he’s unwilling to leave Calfornia, he’s likely done. Koivu has already hinted at retirement.

Williams spent half this season mulling retirement before returning to the Hurricanes. He could be done after this. Bouwmeester’s recent cardiac incident has likely ended his playing career. Seabrook’s double hip surgeries place his playing career in jeopardy. Ditto Backes’ concussion history.


TSN: Frank Seravalli recently reported there are many questions about how the NHL deals with the minutiae related to contracts and trades if the schedule is reduced or canceled. What happens with conditional draft picks involved in recent trades is among those issues.

In last summer’s deal that saw the Edmonton Oilers ship Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames for James Neal, the Flames get a conditional third-round pick if Neal tallies 21 goals and Lucic under 10 this season.

“What does the NHL do moving forward here? Do they decide to prorate it? In which case Lucic would remain under 10 and Neal gets to about 23? Or do they decide to leave it as is and that’s just one of the questions at stake with regards to other bonuses in contracts and compensation? Things like expansion draft considerations and also other picks that changed hands for deals at the deadline. Can we see things like compensatory picks and such.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This issue will have to be sorted out once a final decision is reached regarding the remainder of this season and the playoffs. For now, your guess is as good as mine.



  1. I like compensatory pick ideas

  2. Last night I watched game 5 of Oiler Sharks series of 2017. Oilers were big and strong guys like Maroon, Kassian and
    Lucic were smashing guys all over the ice. Lucic was arguably the best player on the ice him and Draisaitl were a force Connor not so much. Oilers won in OT and went on to win game six also. Penguins won cup with win over the Ducks that year. Size definitely mattered in that game.

    • You are losing your memory. Pens defeated the SHARKS in the 2017 final.

      • 2015/16 Penguins beat the Sharks
        2016/17 Penguins beat the Predators.
        I had to google it because my memory isn’t that great. lol

  3. If the season is cancelled I think Justin Williams plays one more year. He can still play at a top 6 level and still has the passion for the game and the compete level he has always had. On top of that he makes players around him better players. His influence on the development of young players is very important to the franchise. He is a natural leader and would probably be part of the coaching staff if he did retire.

    Williams wore down in 2018-2019 because of how far the team had to come back in the standings and the pressure to get the organization back in the playoffs. He can handle another season, especially if the team gets off to a good start and they rest him on the 3 games in 4 day stretches.

  4. Oops sorry Penguins beat Nashville my bad.

  5. Real hard way for Bouumeester’s career to end—but necessary. He was always so well-conditioned, and his iron man streak was remarkable! I hope he will be fully honored at a later date.

    • By at Louis or Florida?

      • Being instrumental in St. Louis’ only cup win I’d say by the Blues. They’d also likely have a far better crowd on hand to see it.

      • Both! Heck, you can even include Calgary too. However, JayBo will really be uncomfortable with all the “attention”.