NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2020

by | Apr 1, 2020 | Rumors | 15 comments

No April Fool’s here. Check out the latest on Braden Holtby and Tuukka Rask, plus an update on the Buffalo Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks observed this year might not be an opportune time for Braden Holtby to become an unrestricted free agent. The Washington Capitals goaltender has a save percentage of .897 this season.

Would Braden Holtby be a good fit with the San Jose Sharks? (Photo via NHL Images)

Nevertheless, Brooks wondered if the San Jose Sharks might feel differently. He pointed out they’ve been undone by dreadful goaltending over the last two seasons, ranking next-to-last in overall save percentage and last in five-on-five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree that the decline in Holtby’s stats will hurt his efforts to land a lucrative long-term contract as a UFA this year. I disagree, however, with the premise that Sharks might feel differently.

Not that they don’t need an upgrade between the pipes. That’s obvious to everyone.

Martin Jones‘ performance has declined over the last two years. However, he’s also signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value of $5.75 million and a three-team trade list. Unless Jones’ salary is shed via a compliance buyout (assuming the league goes that route following this season) or the normal buyout route, the Sharks can’t afford Holtby.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports Tuukka Rask sought to clarify his recent comment suggesting he might retire when his contract expires at the end of next season. He claimed he hasn’t made any decisions regarding his future. Given the current situation, it’s not on his mind right now.

“I’m sure we’re going to have good conversations with (Don Sweeney) after this season and go from there,” said Rask during an interview with WEEI’s Greg Hill. “But I’m only 34, so it’s not too old, might play another year or two and go from there. I don’t want to promise anything either way because you never know what’s going to happen.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Rask decides to play beyond next season, he’ll likely be looking at a short-term extension with the Bruins or a short contract with another club. With no immediate replacement for Rask in the pipeline, they could ink him to a two-year deal to buy time to groom his successor or shop for one via trade or free agency..


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski believes Sabres general manager Jason Botterill needs to make a significant trade to add a second-line center or top-six winger. He doesn’t feel the solution can be found via free agency, noting the Sabres’ haven’t had much luck in that department.

The Sabres aren’t in a position where they can trade away draft picks or prospects. Lysowski suggested peddling a defenseman like Rasmus Ristolainen or Brandon Montour for a talent forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Easier said than done. Ristolainen was a fixture in the rumor mill since last summer, but criticism of his play hurt his trade value. Montour could be a better trade option, but there’s no certainty he’ll fetch a scoring forward.

Nevertheless, with over $47 million invested in 10 players, Botterill is well-positioned to target cap-strapped clubs looking to shed salary, or those in need of blueline help. Perhaps he’ll have better luck addressing his needs in the off-season.


  1. Good day guys…


    I dont see how the Sharks are going to open the vault for Holtby ..after giving Karlsson wayyy to much term and money !
    They would have to get rid of one of either Burns or Vlasic to do so ..Holtby will not be CHEAP!
    I do see Holtby going to UFA ..he has no choice …especially with how well BOBs did in Florida…this will be most likely his last contract he needs to maximise…he should get between $7- $9 million per AAV …IMO


    I will take on Risto….LOL…

    Iam sure he wasn’t giving his ALL in Buffalo as the season went on ..he was one of a handful of guys who have asked for a trade over the past year ..so when he gets to a new team ..I figure you will see a guy with a much more determined pace and aggressive style of play that he was known for when it actually matters !


    I know this is not a post by Lyle …BUT I really wanted to see the Pens go the distance this year …the trade for Zucker seemed to be really clicking and Crosby was on a tear…as per usual …along with Jarry …they could have done serious damage to some of the better projected teams…again Crosby gets cut off in a great year ..by either injury lock out or some unforeseen…he has missed almost an accumulation of 3 years worth of games

    at his pace of play what would his final career numbers actually really be and would he have another CUP in his back pocket as well….guess we will never know …but while Mc david is a speedy guy putting up points

    Id take Crosby any day over Mac D for all around player….. ANY DAY!

    take car be safe and healthy !


  2. From what I heard Boston might only need a 1-2 year extension from Rask as they have a deep goalie pipeline. Signed that college kid on top of a top two pair in ahl. That accurate you Boston bozos?

    • Noted Bozo here,
      Very accurate.

      • Accurate Chrisms. Vladar had a great season this year once he got healthy. Big and athletic but raw when drafted.
        Rask is signed for next season so if Vladar does it again in Providence, he should be ready for a 30 game #2 type role in Boston. So ya, another year or 2 of Rask would be swell to see what he has at NHL level if he even gets there. Legace doesn’t appear to have a high ceiling, max games played in AHL is only 36. Doesn’t look to be the next Binnington.

    • The also have a new expression in Boston

      “He Tuukka Fart”

      • Ha!

  3. Everyone knows that the Sharks need an upgrade in regard to goaltending. That being said, why would they be interested in a goalie like Holtby who’s skills are on the downswing? He’d also be too expensive. Larry Brooks needs to find some crossword puzzles to improve his brain strength…

  4. Botterill needs to go. There has to be better GM options available to replace his swing and a miss history.

    • If he can hold out till gmjr retires I’ll take him back

      • Even if he doesn’t hold out till then, chances are he’ll still be available.

      • Neat!

  5. Sharks should go after Markstrom or Lehner if they buy out Jones

    • Unfortunately, the Sharks need a LOT more than just a goaltending upgrade. According to the Hockey Writers consensus their farm system ranks 27th with only Boston (28th), Washington (29th), Pittsburgh (30th) and Columbus (31st) ranked lower.


  6. CP31 would look good as a Shark. I don’t know what return would look like but likely huge. Jones contract could be peddled to a team in need of a goalie like the Red Wings.

  7. Columbus is a surprise to me at that thin of a farm system.

    Holtby needs to go to a team on the brink . Already a really good team. Maybe home to Alberta . Edmonton or Calgary. Nashville Carolina ?