NHL Rumor Mill – April 15, 2020

by | Apr 15, 2020 | Rumors | 34 comments

Several Western Conference clubs will face some serious off-season questions. Check out the details in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon wondered if the rebuilding Anaheim Ducks might shop a defenseman like Josh Manson or Cam Fowler.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If they do, it could be for a young scoring forward. Manson would be the easiest to move. He has a 12-team no-trade list, while Fowler has a four-team trade list.

Dixon expects Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka to continue pursuing a goal scorer, but wondered what’s the next solution? Phil Kessel turned into a disappointment, and they saw marginal improvement when Taylor Hall was acquired in December.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Do they shop more futures? They already traded away their 2020 first-rounder. Do they offer up promising defenseman Jakob Chycrhun despite his long injury history? Chayka’s going to have to get creative.

Could the Calgary Flames shop Johnny Gaudreau this off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

Dixon mused about the possibility of the Calgary Flames shopping Johnny Gaudreau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Never say never, but I don’t see this happening. Gaudreau’s numbers were down this season, but the 26-year-old winger is only a year removed from a career-high 99-point performance. Unless Flames GM Brad Treliving is going to rebuild the roster (and I don’t believe that’s his intention), It doesn’t make any sense to trade his best scorer because of one bad year.

The Chicago Blackhawks need goaltenders next season. Even if they re-sign 35-year-old Corey Crawford, Dixon thinks they must add another quality goalie who can play 40 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If, as expected, Crawford is re-signed for another year or two, they could find several good options in this summer’s UFA market. Boston’s Jaroslav Halak, Calgary’s Cam Talbot, Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, and the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss could be available.

Dixon asked if the Colorado Avalanche have Taylor Hall‘s phone number when he hits the open market in the off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He feels Hall would be a great addition on the Avs’s second line. I agree, but signing Hall will be an expensive undertaking. The Avalanche could easily afford him this year, but he would become their highest-paid player. Assuming they could get him for $8 million annually, that’s too much to invest in a second-line player, especially when Gabriel Landeskog and rising star Cale Makar will be in line for big raises next year.

Dixon wondered where the Dallas Stars will find some young forwards. It could cost them futures to land a scorer in his prime.

He’s also curious how much it’ll cost the Edmonton Oilers to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins before he becomes a UFA next summer. He also expects them to shop around for a goalie, as it may be asking too much to bank on 38-year-old Mike Smith.

Can the Los Angeles Kings trade Jeff Carter or Dustin Brown?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless they absorb half their salary or take on a toxic contract in return, the answer is no. Both are 35 and carrying annual salary-cap hits exceeding $5 million annually through 2021-22.

Does it make sense for the Minnesota Wild to trade defenseman Matt Dumba?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, it doesn’t. Dumba is 25 and signed through 2022-23. This was a down season stats-wise, but he was also coming off a serious pectoral muscle injury last season. Sometimes it takes time to fully recover from that type of injury. GM Bill Guerin could keep an open ear for reasonable trade offers, but I think he’ll hang onto Dumba.

Can the San Jose Sharks find a starting goalie? Dixon advocates pursuing a UFA netminder like Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstrom, or Robin Lehner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good idea, but the Sharks have over $66 million invested in 13 players, with $5.75 million annually being paid to current starting goalie Martin Jones, who has a three-team trade list. Unless they can find a way to move out Jones or slash another salary, they could be forced to consider more affordable short-term options.

Will Alex Pietrangelo re-sign with the St. Louis Blues?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe he will, but the Blues will have to shed some salary to accommodate his raise to between $8 million and $9 million annually.

Can the Vancouver Canucks keep Jacob Markstrom?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, but like the Blues, they’ll have to shed a salary to fit in his new contract. Maybe this is the year they find a taker for Loui Eriksson or buy out the remainder of his contract.

Is Robin Lehner the Vegas Golden Knights’ long-term goalie?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, Lehner is younger than starter Marc-Andre Fleury, put up better numbers over the last two seasons, and is in his playing prime. On the other hand, Fleury is a proven performer and remains the face of the Golden Knights. Had Lehner come in and took over the starter’s job from Fleury over the remainder of this season, perhaps he could make the case as their long-term goalie. Re-signing him would force the cap-strapped Golden Knights to dump a salary or two.

Dixon wondered if the Winnipeg Jets might move a forward to bolster their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule it out, but the anticipated termination of Dustin Byfuglien’s contract ($7.6 million AAV) could provide sufficient wiggle room to find more affordable depth options for next season.


  1. Lots of speculations but really it will come down to what the salary cap will be for next year or if the NHL/NHLPA agree to compliance buyouts for teams next season.

    If they agree to compliance buyouts, I believe most of the big names will be staying with their current teams.

    If the cap remains the same, it will get very interesting. I believe Florida and Buffalo will be the teams to watch. Vinnie Viola is unhappy in Florida and speculations are that they are looking at shaking things up. And I don’t believe Tallon will let Hoffman and Dandonov walk away for nothing.

    Buffalo has defense to spare to acquire second-line players but will it be enough? They are unhappy with Hutton and want to bring a more reliable option in net to share duties with Ullmark.

    • As I have offered before, I think Jake Allen to Buffalo for Carter Hutton makes sense for both sides. Buffalo probably needs to add a late draft pick to sweeten.

      • Only makes sense if buffalo thinks Allen is the solution in net Iowa boy. And so many goalies will be available.

      • At this rate Botterill doesnt have much time left so though it makes more sense to bring in goaltending competition like an Allen, Greiss or Halak, I think the Sabres go big game hunting and overpay Holtby or Murray. The defense looks set and aside from improving the 2nd/3rd lines in FA what else can you do without giving up assets then splash on a goalie. A position never solidified since Miller left

    • Agreed LeFrench. Buffalo has interesting D assets and FLA is flush with forward talent and strong F prospects on the way (Denisenko, Tippett, Borgstrom). If FLA ownership truly wants to cut the amount of salary that is being reported but also upgrade their D, there are some intriguing hockey trade type deals to made.

    • The League and the NHLPA will prorate the revenue from this year to determine the cap for next year and negotiate from there. At worst the cap stays the same but I bet it still goes up.

      In regard to compliance buyouts teams like the Leafs could, for example, trade for Suter and get Dumba (maybe even with a reduced cap hit) then Suter resigns with the Wild. Leafs would probably just send a prospect back. Same kind of deals could include Weber, Seabrook, Lucic, Staal, Parise, Turris, Kessell, and maybe even Skinner or goalie Bob. There could also be some prospects and/or picks involved. Not all of these guys need to be bought out but buying out and resigning Weber gets rid of all the penalties with his contract plus you get him for a reduced salary.

  2. In addition to Pietrangelo, the Blues/Armstrong have other important signings as well—Blais, MacEachern, Dunn, and maybe Scandella. Something has to give!! Jake Allen? Steen? Bozak? Gunnarsson? Faulk? ……some hard decisions.

  3. Gaudreau was coming around a couple of weeks prior to the stoppage. The season totals would not have been too bad after a terrible start.

    I think Chicago barring a lottery uptick will draft Askarov and their long term concerns in net will be addressed. Sign Crawford short term until he is ready

    Allen to the Sens for a second and maybe a third. Goalies don’t garner much especially this off season

    • SliverSeven, although it is likely a pipedream, I would still love to see CBJ pursue Gaudreau if he ever comes available. Slots in perfectly as 1st line LW to replace the high end skill lost when Panarin left for NYC.

    • Allen to the Sens is a reasonable idea SilverSeven. How about Nilsson going back instead of a pick.
      St Louis gets a fairly reliable backup which they need if they want to chase a cup, and Allen gets another shot at being a starter.

      • Ray see my comment above to Iowa.

      • this is a good offer if Nilsson has recovered by the start of next season. This injury lingered on longer than expected….never know with head injuries. Saves the blues 2 million towards the cap.

  4. Deaconfrost / Ray Bark

    I don’t think FLA will make Tippett available. He could potentially replace Hoffman. Borgstrom on the other hand I could see being included in a trade.

    Ray Bark: I would not offer Nilsson for Allen but that’s just my personal opinion. I also don’t think that Melnyk would be willing to pay the same salary, or close to, that he was paying Anderson to bring in Allen.

    George had some could points yesterday. I think, like George, that Hogberg has done enough to at least get a shot next year.

    • That’s the way I see it too Le French09 – while the team improvement will be noticeable in a new season (IF there is a new complete season – no guarantee there either with no vaccine generally available for possibly 12-18 months (front-line health and other “essential” workers will be – and should be – the first to get it – everywhere) – they won’t be making the playoffs, so with a number of young, improving goalies in the system I doubt Dorion has that down as a priority.

      With Nilsson’s concussion issues STILL lingering (reminder of MacArthur’s injury) I could see them bringing Anderson back for 1 more season to again share the load with Hogberg, and someone like Daccord – who was having a good year in Belleville (15 – 6 – 2 with a 2.61gaa and 0.915 save %) called up to fill in here and there as required.

      • Hi George

        Yeah I could see that too. I can see Daccord earning a shot if Nilsson’s concussion history lingers into next season (whenever that may be).

        I’ve been having a gut feeling about Goudreau for awhile now and I am curious about what people may think.

        DeaconFrost mentionned CLB as a potential destination. That’s actually not bad. My gut feeling? New Jersey. That’s where Goudreau is from and I believe there’s a decent hockey trade to be made between New Jersey and Calgary.

        But that’s just a gut feeling…

    • With attendance revenues likely to shrink in many markets, maybe completely across the NHL for the remainder of this season and most of next, will the NHL address the Cap floor?
      We have discussed the ceiling, but a team like Ottawa, and many others, who don’t have gate revenue and local large TV deals, will bleed cash.

  5. DeaconFrost: I assume you are current on CBJ…what is an equal trade in your opinion CBJ for Toronto forwards

    AJ Johannson

    Anyone as an individually or combo with D man Dermott

    Anyone else’s ideas would be interesting to me as well

    Thanks in advance

    • OBD I hope you are well in the pandemic. Great question….CBJ-TOR are a logical fit as trade partners in many ways as CBJ is seeking high skill F and have Anderson (Power F) D (anyone but Jones, Werenski, Gavrokov), and 1a/b G (Koripisalo) as available assets in the right deal. The challenge I see is in making the value & cap work sufficiently to move the needle for TOR. I think Anderson and Savard are assets that address key needs for TOR while Nylander and Kapanen are the players of most interest to CBJ. Many have proposed Savard-Kapanen could make sense but CBJ value Savvy so highly I don’t know if they make that move even with Kap’s high upside (Jarmo reportedly unsuccessfully tried to trade up to draft Kap). Could a package of assets Anderson, Savard possibly + for Nylander + a lesser asset to address cap would be in CBJ’s interest but TOR is giving up the best player in that deal so without unanticipated cap pressure what’s their motive to do that? I would love to see TOR-CBJ work out a deal but don’t know if CBJ can get the value and cap #s right to make it work for TOR. I also think they are reluctant to trade Anderson to an eastern conference contender which may derail the opportunity for a larger hockey trade deal between the 2. Your thoughts?

      • Savard to TOR is actually interesting… I think he could actually be a good fit there.

        My only issue with Anderson is: potential and injury. Would I trade say Kapanen or Johnson for Anderson? I don’t know…

        But I like the Savard idea to TOR. I would send Johnson for Savard, maybe with some add-ons from both sides.

        If I am Toronto, I would try to keep Kapanen and Kerfoot….

      • LeFrench I agree on good fit. However, (while I like Johnson) the disconnect may be he is redundant w what CBJ have too much of in their F roster. If they move Anderson or Savard it is likely in an attempt to upgrade the element of high skill that they are now sorely lacking so Johnsson may not move the needle for them.

      • DeaconFrost

        Valid point re: CLB roster.

        I still would not trade Kapanen for Anderson. Unless CLB add something else.

        Anderson for Kerfoot? I’d do that.

      • my thoughts are your proposal is credible…I think Nylander may be the best in the deal but in Anderson and Savard Toronto addresses 2 needs…

        How good is Savard? What is his contract like?

      • If I am CLB I would rather have Kerfoot than Kapanen. CLB could use a solid center. Both contribute some offence but as Deacon was saying they have 1/2 point per game wingers already, which is what Kapanen is.
        The Savard (if signed to an extension) and Anderson for Nylander seems pretty reasonable and would address needs for both teams.

  6. LeFrench understandable. I don’t believe Kerfoot gets it done for Anderson from the CBJ value perspective. Ultimately, if they do trade Anderson I see it being to a western conference team (i.e., CAL, COL prime candidates) or if in east: BUF.

    • DeaconFrost

      It’s like you read my mind lol I have been thinking about Anderson to CGY for quite some time. I think he would be a very good fit there.


      Anderson and Savard would be a great addition to TOR. But TOR is struggling mightily re: cap space.

      I think that giving up Kapanen for either guy is a bit too much but there might be a hockey trade there that I don’t quite see…

    • OBD I’ll share more later on Savard but a quick statement is severely underrated…..a complete rock of a defensive Dman w underappreciated passing/puck skills. He is 1 year before UFA at $4.25 million. It would hurt to lose him but I could see CBJ moving on if the right deal is there.

      • I totally agree with this …..Savard is steady & reliable it is D men like him that allow players like Jones and Werenski to get more involved in the offence.

    • DeaconFrost – what if Dorion were to dangle a Logan Brown and that 1st received from NYI for Anderson?

      • risky move imo George , Anderson is damaged goods right now. A power forward with bad shoulders is a recipe for LTIR , I would not give up a 1st rnd pick ( say ~ 20th ) and a 2016 11th overall.

      • I should have said , if he was healthy , I would do it in a heart beat if I was the Senators. Anderson on a line with Tkachuk would be fun to watch but I am not convinced he can play the game the same way until he gets at least 20 games under his belt.
        Playing a heavy game is tough when you are coming back from injury , ask Ferland.

      • GeorgeO
        I think that is a very strong package and liekly the asset cost for a Anderson (either signed or willing to sign LT). As arm chair GM with this draft class and Brown’s upside/fit I do that deal. Jarmo is a far more keen evaluator of talent than I though LOL

  7. Trading Gaudreau would be the dumbest of all possible options the Flames could make at this point! Bad start to the season sure, but there were games where he may have had 0’s on the scoresheet, but was buzzing all over the ice creating chances Monahan couldn’t finish. Scared the hell out of me when he did a pre-season interview suggesting he was happy to score 30 less points to improve his defensive game….

    If anything trade Monahan for picks/prospects. Still a good young scoring centre on a team-friendly contract. Move Lindholm to 1C and make a run at Taylor Hall. Sure he plays LW, but if you can play him off-wing you would have Gaudreau-Lindholm-Hall.

    • SCJ
      Hope you are well in the pandemic.
      Agreed, I am skeptical CAL would trade Gaudreau . The only scenario I can convince myself is even plausible is that they beleive Gaudreau isn’t staying past his current contract & they also are confident they can sign Hall log term. Still farfetched just love the fit of Johnny Hockey on the CBJ 1st line. If they make him available I hope CBJ is all over it.

      Would CAL seriously entertain moving Monahan? Another one CBJ should be pursuing if true. There are assets that may make sense for a CBJ-CAL trade on either player if that emerges this summer.

  8. I was going to mention Monahan. Something is not right currently. I am guessing but his wrist maybe. No velocity a little zip is missing and he was missing point blank chances that in years past went in. That has affected Johnny’s point totals