Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 8, 2020

by | Mar 8, 2020 | Rumors | 26 comments

Updates on the Islanders, Rangers, and Senators in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


NEWSDAY: Arthur Gross wonders what could be in store this summer for the New York Islanders if they miss the 2020 postseason. He feels it would be a wasted opportunity following a strong start to this season, as well as a step back after advancing to the second round last year. He also notes they gave up draft picks (including a conditional first in 2020) for Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the trade deadline.

Could the New York Islanders pursue Taylor Hall this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

Gross believes the Islanders need more pop in their offense. He points out general manager Lou Lamoriello attempted to sign Artemi Panarin last summer before he joined the Rangers. Gross wonders if Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall might fit the bill if he tests this summer’s free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing a scoring winger for Mathew Barzal’s line should be a priority this summer for the Islanders. With over $71 million invested in 18 players and restricted free agents like Barzal, Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews due to big raises, the Isles lack the cap space to pursue a big-ticket UFA even if the cap rises to $88 million. Unless Lamoriello slashes payroll to make room for someone like Hall, he’ll have to go the trade route to bolster his scoring.


LOHUD.COM/USA TODAY: In a recent mailbag segment, Vincent Mercogliano said he didn’t expect the New York Rangers to be major players in this summer’s UFA market. He reminded his readers the Rangers signed Artermi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, and Chris Kreider to expensive contracts since last summer.

If the salary cap rises as projected to between $84 million and $88 million, the Rangers will have between $17-$22 million in cap space. However, Mercoglian anticipates re-signing free agents like Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, Brendan Lemieux, Alexandar Georgiev, and Jesper Fast will quickly use up most of it. They could move some of them to create more cap room, but this summer’s UFA market doesn’t have talent that would suit the club’s needs. It’s deep on wingers, but the Blueshirts need more depth at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers made their big splashes last summer with Panarin and Trouba. The focus this year will likely be on re-signing those free agents. Management could shop those whose contract talks could become contentious, but I think the intent is to keep them. Mercogliano speculates they could shop Georgiev, but I think they’ll either attempt to trade or buy out Henrik Lundqvist.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported the Senators are open to the idea of bringing back Ron Hainsey for another season. The 38-year-old defenseman will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He’s been Thomas Chabot’s regular defense partner. Head coach D.J. Smith is pleased with Hainsey’s efforts this season, saying he’ll speak with GM Pierre Dorion about bringing him back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not really a free-agent rumor, but something that could be worth watching this summer. Smith noted Hainsey’s been like an on-ice coach for younger blueliners like Chabot. He would be a steadying influence for another season. If Hainsey retires or signs elsewhere, the Sens could turn to this summer’s trade or UFA market for a suitable replacement.


  1. While we’re on the topic of the Rangers, here’s some trivia for Habs and Rangers fans. With Henri Richard’s passing, only 2 of the 12 players who played on all of the Habs 5 in a row cup teams are still alive. One of them played for the Rangers from 1963-70, the other coached them in the late 1970s. Without using Google, Wiki, etc., who are they?

    • Thought Fred Shero was the Rangers coach in the late 70s. I didnt google, but am pretty sure he went to the Rangers after Philly.

    • Jean Guy Talbot
      Donnie Marshall

  2. What happened to Johnny its not about the money Tavares? He used to be the heart and soul of the Islanders, the never quit never say die undisputed leader.

    Now he looks and sounds like a complete creampuff…. a Maple Leaf marshmellow.

    11 million dollars for the Captain of a rudderless ship that offers no leadership?

    Leafs west coast trip should have gotten 6 points, 4 at the minimum. The Leafs are very fortunate their division is full of bottom feeders otherwise theyd be battling for a lottery pick.

    The Shanaplan is a complete bust. Leafs need to turf Shanahan, Dumbass and Keefe.

    • Ron Jull , Lyle prefers that you stick to the topics in the article. Never seen creampuffs mentioned. Lol

      • What I prefer, Vinnie, is no trolling or tormenting other posters and sticking to talking hockey. Speaking of the topic at hand, do you have any thoughts on those at all?

      • Lyle… I think he was a actually trolling you…😳

      • Swing and a miss…;)

    • Not at all going to defend the Leafs but in all fairness didn’t the Penguins just roll through California and get dominated by all three teams going 0 for 3?

  3. Should TML miss the playoffs or get badly bounced from the first round, expect changes not only in player personnel but possibly mgmt personnel as well

    • NYI will need to find cap room to sign Hall, and it would be another big contract among the bunch they have, and will with Barzal.

      Pageau is their main off season move for now unless they make moves to free up space.

      NYR will stand pat and focus on their free agents. If they lose Fast to free agency then they’ll look for an experienced role player.

      Rangers are making big progress and allowing these young players to grow and hit their prime years is best.

      Lundqvist will be the biggest story. NYR can afford to take up 50% of cap and trade him to a team like the Caps, if the Caps let Holtby walk.

      Otherwise Lundqvist may do exactly what Luongo did. Finish a year before his contract ends. Hang them up and be a Ranger for life from start to finish and beyond with his number retired.

      Rangers will continue to have cap room for 2021 regardless as both Staal and Lyndqvist are out.

  4. I’m guessing Don Marshal and Jean-Guy Talbot, although I’m not sure I remember him coaching the Rangers

    • Good for you. I had to use a search engine and that is what I’ve concluded.

      Nice one, Howard.

      • Correct! Talbots coached the Rangers for one season, 1977-78; then Fred Shero came in and Talbot never again coached in the NHL. He’s best remembered for wearing a warm-up suit behind the bench.

  5. Bruce Garrioch reports Ron Hainsey has been Tom Chabot regular defense partner. Hainsey must be fleet footed to the bench when he sees the opposition is going to score.
    Hainsey is plus 10
    Chabot is minus 18
    Is that what you mean Lyle?

    • By George I think you’ve got it Vinnie, well done sir. This looks fun, let me have a go at it now.

      Yes Chabot is a minus player much like the great Morgan Reilly was in each of his first 5 seasons in the NHL, with a combined plus/minus of -70. That’s right a minus seventy.

  6. When Toronto signed Taveras I was one of the first posters on here to say it was a mistake. Not because Taveras is a bad player but because of the cap implications.
    If the Leafs would have stuck to the Shanaplan they would have been miles ahead in their quest for a cup.
    There are 3 pillars into building a cup contender.
    Draft and develop
    Managing the cap
    Player evaluation
    The leafs seem to do 2 out of 3 of these items really well. The cap management is the weak point and that probably falls on Shanahan and to an extent Dubas.
    Cap management seems to be a hard thing for the majority of teams. I could list probably 80% of teams that do a poor job.
    Surprisingly two teams that do a good job are Ottawa and Montreal
    I can see Ottawa being very good down the road because they seem to have a handle on all 3 items.
    Montreal will not because they only do 2 of 3 items well. Their down fall is drafting which is all on Bergevin

    The Flames are another team that almost get it. They draft well, evaluate well but in the last few years have not looked long term on cap ramifications.
    The oilers again only 2 items, they draft poorly.
    Vancouver don’t manage the cap very well
    Winnipeg seem to do all 3 items pretty well, they are unique because players just don’t want to play there, high taxes and unfortunately not the nicest city in the world.

    You also have to have a certain amount of luck that the year you are drafting in the top 3 there are generational players to be drafted.
    Edmonton and Toronto hit the jack pot with McDavid and Matthews.

    • Hmmmm Winnipeg not a nice city…Guess you have never been to Buffalo, Pittsburg, New Jersey or even Toronto!!

      • I don’t get the comparisons? The burgh is paradise. Duh.

      • Hey RayO
        I have Been to Toronto but not the other cities.
        Maybe I will have to eat a little crow
        Who knew Winnipeg was paradise

  7. I keep reading the above article, I don’t think I got the whole post.
    Could you repost Lyle, I missed the part with the Leafs in it.
    Just trying to stay within the boundaries.

    • The boundaries are: Don’t antagonize or bully other posters, and stick to talking hockey.

      • Lyle,

        Gonna take a truckload more than what Maple Leaf Vinny can bring to bully me. lol

      • Vinnie hasn’t even busted out Ron dull yet.

    • Tavares was a good signing.

      The Leafs do not have a cap problem. They have one bad contract that ends this year in Ceci. I will concede that Marner is $2m per year overpaid though but he can de a difference maker when on his game.

      Shanahan made a great decision hiring Dubas.

      Shanahan made a terrible decision hiring Babcock and making Lou L the GM. The GM hires the coach who is in line with his vision.

      Leafs will make the playoffs.

      We are only now entering the last month when each teams play down the stretch will determine whether they have gelled at the right time for a successful playoff run.

      • I like your attitude.
        You love your team so much it’s disgusting.

        Just like me and my Bruins.

        Stay the course Wendel. 🙂