NHL Rumor Mill – April 22, 2020

by | Apr 22, 2020 | Rumors | 31 comments

Check out the recent speculation on the Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights, and Toronto Maple Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS: Examining the Philadelphia Flyers’ long-term needs last week, James O’Brien noted Shayne Gostisbehere surfaced in trade rumors this season. He pointed out the 26-year-old defenseman was hampered by injuries this season. He doesn’t feel they should sell low on a player who can generate offense, is reasonably young, and carries a generally cheap annual average value ($4.5 million) through 2022-23.


Does Shayne Gostisbehere still have a future with the Philadelphia Flyers? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $69.5 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. They have enough to re-sign restricted free agents like Nolan Patrick, Oskar Lindblom, Philippe Myers, and Robert Hagg, and should have sufficient space to re-sign or replace unrestricted free agent goalie Brian Elliott. If they want to add to their lineup, however, they’ll have to make a cost-cutting trade. The preference could be to get a player of decent value for Gostisbehere, but they could sell low and use the cap savings to pursue another player via a separate trade or free agency.


THE ATHLETIC (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED): Jesse Granger recently examined which Vegas Golden Knights’ free agents will stay or go. He believes keeping UFA goalie Robin Lehner will mean moving a big piece of their lineup because they cannot afford to invest $13-$14 million in Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury. Granger predicts UFA forward Ryan Reaves could re-sign for one more year at $1.5 million. The emergence of Nicolas Roy could make Tomas Nosek expendable. It might be time to move on from Deryk Engelland and Jon Merrill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Golden Knights pull a swerve and trade Fleury, they’ll bid adieu to Lehner following this season, whenever that might be. If Reaves is discussing a two-year extension, perhaps it’ll be for $1.5 million annually.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox addresses some Toronto Maple Leafs speculation in a recent mailbag segment. He doubts the Leafs can land St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo via free agency. He noted the Leafs prefer dealing for players with term left on their contracts, suggesting Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, and Minnesota’s Matt Dumba as possible trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Pietrangelo were willing to sign with the Leafs, they cannot afford him. It’s believed it could cost over $9 million annually to sign him. Assuming a flat cap for next season, the Leafs have nearly $77 million invested in 16 players for next season. Unless they shed significant salary, they won’t have sufficient cap space to invest in Pietrangelo.

As for Manson, Ristolainen, and Dumba, the asking price for each will likely be a top-six scorer, preferably a center. That’s what the Ducks, Sabres, and Wild need. And no, I don’t believe Alexander Kerfoot will address that need.

Fox believes Andreas Johnsson could be the player Leafs GM Kyle Dubas would be most comfortable trading, but he doesn’t consider him the one most likely to be moved. He feels Kerfoot or Kasperi Kapanen would be more enticing to GMs with defensemen they’re willing to trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnsson’s sophomore slump and injured right knee hurt his trade value. It could take parting with Kapanen or Kerfoot to land that top-four blueliner the Leafs desperately need after this season.


  1. For all you Toronto followers: Kapanan over Kerfoot longterm—correct?? I don’t see them often.

    • From what I have seen yes, Kerfoot is slightly better defensively but Kapanen has the higher ceiling with speed and skill.
      If I had the choice of keeping one, it would definitely be KK

    • Hi Iowa boy

      Yes … Kappy the better long term player to keep

      Winger over Centre/Winger sounds odd; but if I’m weighing the two…. Kappy

      • Both 3rd line players but kappy pk puts him ahead

  2. Gostisbehere to the Habs . They could definitely use him . What in return not sure. A decent prospect and a conditional pick?
    I thought Lindblom was done

    • Gostisbehere may be a tough player to trade. The Flyers might see this season as an aberration and be hesitant to trade him without a decent return. At the same time, his play this season will likely make teams hesitant to give up too much.
      The Habs obviously need an LD who can play big minutes. I believe there are several options and I hope Bergevin considers Gostisbehere at the right price. Romanov will likely be in Montreal next year, but we can’t expect top minutes from him yet as a 20 year old rookie.

    • Ghost to the Habs?

      In the first place, he is 27 and not 26.

      In the second place he is an undersized and seemingly injury-prone LD.

      And the Habs are supposed to actually give up an asset of quality in return?


      To quote that astute executive, Remo Gaggi – “why take a chance?”

      • Why take a chance? Because playing it safe hasn’t worked. After three consecutive springs with no playoffs, chances must be taken. Gostisbehere may not be the best option and, above all, the price must be reasonable. But he must at the very least be considered.

      • Howard: Romanov will play next season — whenever that is. As a rookie he can’t be expected to carry the team, but he is judged by the Habs to be NHL ready.

        I’d rather save the $ for an unquestioned upgrade, be it forward, d, or back up goalie.

      • LJ, I agree that they need help at forward, especially at RW. I would go after Toffoli, Dadanov or Hoffman as a UFA. That would leave a bit of a surplus at forward, so I’d look to deal possibly Drouin or Domi to get an LD. Romanov or not, they still need an experienced D-man.

  3. With Nolan Patrick missing all of this season with migraine issues, hopefully they can get them under control.

    What is his future and his value?

    • Caper, if the kid didn’t have bad luck, he’d have none at all. This long break from the arena and the game may be the answer for him. He’s a good one if he can find a way to stay healthy.

  4. The reasoning of Toronto management and many fans around being unwilling to trade one of the big 4 forwards eludes me.

    The team has fundamental structural issues

    You can’t make fundamental change when you are backed up against the Cap and are talking about trading Kerfoot or AJ…..what realistic change value do they have

    You MAY get around the edges of the needed change if you trade Kapanen or are you ready Anderson…..

    The idea you can trade some of these guys for value is a pipe dream…..home town love of your own players…not seeing them as other teams do

    • OBD your post should be glued to the screens of hockey writers everywhere.

    • Right because one player will cure all. Man we watched that movie. Defense isn’t improved by only plugging in a guy or two – it’s a team issue. No trades will “improve” the way the team plays, time will.

    • OBD, check the Leafs’ depth chart in goal. Andersen needs help behind (and in front of) him, not a ticket out of town.

  5. Petro on Leafs is a wonderful dream but one that I can’t see as viable

    With OBD in that moves out of smaller contracts …. the Kerfoots ; Johnnsons ; Kappys ….. just not viable/practical/logical for the collective (Leaf) need (for Cup chance) paired with limited budget

    Leafs can put the puck in the other net…. not in question …. limited Cap and a viable Cup worthy D is

    Re top 4

    AM will not be moved ;

    MM trade value and desire from a trade partner is extremely limited due to Cap hit;

    JT also a tough move : age/Cap hit…. retaining sal/Cap portions for either MM or JT does not make sense

    I stick with my repeated stance on moving WW…. after his SB is paid…. he’s only owed $2.5 M in sal for 20/21 and effectively about $5M per Cash AAV for the balance of the contract

    Flipping WW for an up and coming (trending to) top
    3 D with term ; will improve Leafs D tremendously and for out years AND will free up net Cap…. Leafs lose some offence but as I stated above … Leafs are not hampered in the offence department… the net overall IN is worth much more (team success wise) than the net OUT

    This is NOT an anti-WW post. Not even close. His production to Cap is duly noted (and appreciated). 👍🙂

    My post is wrt Leafs decision(s) moving forward with long term goal of garnering a SC

    Decision(s) are tough and come with public pushback (can’t appease everybody)

    From strictly an overall Leafs perspective moving forward; I believe this move to be the most prudent/logical/advantageous

    Keeping the big four ; I regrettably feel, will not get Leafs the cup



    • Note “budge” meant “cap budget”

  6. IF, in fact, Reaves is able to scratch out a couple more years and a couple more million, he has ended up with a pretty remarkable NHL career!! 10-12 years. Special memories from his Blues years. A respected teammate and a fan favorite—certainly has grown beyond an enforcer.

  7. We obviously (I mean, the Habs ! ) need help on the 1st D pairing ; I’m far from certain, though, that the Ghost is what we need. With the Boths seriously cap-strapped, and Sergachev being RFA, I would do everything I could, were I GMMB, to correct my past mistake, and bring him back.
    (possibly the only really bad trade, of the Bergevin era; barring it’s top 3, I would offer our 2020 1st)

    • If “D” is what they need then they should call Anaheim. Ducks have 3 choices
      Fowler age 28 6 years @ 6.5 MIl
      Lindholm 26 2 years @ 5.2 Mil
      Manson 28 2 years @ 4.1 Mil
      Montreal has what Ducks need, a boat load of draft picks and Anaheim will be in full rebuild mode.
      Anaheim has also stated that they will take a bad contract back ( as in Backes from Boston) so maybe Alzner could be in the mix, Anaheim expects to lose the next few years so having Alzner would supply a warm body replacement for two years.

      • Boom/Bust, those are the guys I would target. Both the Leafs and the Habs should be checking with Anaheim regularly.
        I still think a larger problem, again for both teams, is back up goal tender. Andersen and Price need to know that they will have regular nights off and that the team has a decent chance to win those games. Campbell may be the answer in Toronto, maybe not.
        As for the defence corps, internal development, reasonably priced UFA’s, and European FA’s could still work. Sandin and Liljegren, among others, need to become solid NHLers.

      • I agree that Anaheim is a team that the Habs have to check in with. Manson is an RD and doesn’t bring much offense so he wouldn’t work. Fowler would be a good pick up, except that he has a modified NTC (can submit a 4 team trade list) and a contract that runs till he’s just shy of 36, so that may not work. Lindholm would be the best option, but I don’t know if the Ducks are keen on moving him.

    • A 1st for Sergachev will never, never, ever get it done.

      Like Birdbrain’s “offer sheet” to Aho, much too cheap.

      M. Pilon, you are correct about the Bolt’s finances.

      If you want him, only way to do it is to offer-sheet Sergachev a 5 year deal at app $8million plus.

      The Habs lose a 1st, a 2nd and a 3rd the following year at that price.

      Well, the 1st is what he’s worth, and the 3rd is not worth much.

      So basically you’re paying a 2nd, and well worth it.

      We already have more than one 2nd next year.
      And secondly we won’t lose a significant player asset as in a trade.

      But Bergevin won’t do it.
      No stones.


      • I love when people say Bergevins offer was too cheap…….yet aho signed it? There is a reason the canes front office was not very pleased but you probably don’t understand why?

      • BBB, I think the point was that CAR matched it, as everyone knew they would when they saw it.
        The only way an offer sheet works if if you offer a player a lot more than the other team is willing to pay. So over paying substantially. So congrats, you just won a bad contract.
        The reason Aho signed it was it was more $ than CAR would have offered on just a 5 year term. They would have waited him out.
        So in the end how did Bergevin make his team better with that move? He accomplished nothing other than crap in Carolina’s sandwich, and if that is your focus as a GM, you probably shouldn’t be one.
        If he offers Sergachev $8M over 5 years, he will likely get him as that is an overpay.

  8. last april, coach Q received a police escort down Oakland park blvd. .ghost is local, from nearby margate. always has family, friends when the flyers visit south florida.and this team needs fans. any fans will do.

  9. The Golden Knights signed Roy to a two year deal, so it looks like Nosek is going to be a goner.

  10. Maple Leafs Top 4: Tavares has a full no movement clause. He can’t be moved unless HE wants out.

    Mathews could be moved but he’s your best player and improving too and is playing for that UFA contract down the road.

    Marner’ a very good player but a legend in his own mind who convinced Dubas of his legacy moving forward making way too much dough in relation to team salary structure

    Nylander: Not a Nylander fan by nature but he did make good on his contract which leads me to who of these 4 rock stars should be traded for much needed quality defensive help?

    Kappy and Kerfoot Or Johnsson are not going to cut it so it comes down to two likely suspects: Nylander Or Marner.

    U want quality? Ok But don ‘t think you can offer junk just because TML fans see their players that way..Either or of these two has got to go

    • Some sound reasoning Joey.

  11. Do you think the Leafs would entertain a Kapanen + for John Klingberg swap? Capwise will fit, with Heiskenen, Klingberg seems redundant for the Stars and would IMHO help both teams? Thoughts?