NHL Rumor Mill – April 23, 2020

by | Apr 23, 2020 | Rumors | 35 comments

Recent speculation on the Oilers, Flames, and Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Mark Spector was asked if the Edmonton Oilers might bring back Taylor Hall if they can shed some salary. He felt there’s zero chance of the 28-year-old winger returning to Edmonton, pointing out the Oilers already carry several players with expensive contracts. “I think it’s a dream Oilers fans should wake up from. Hall’s not coming back,” wrote Spector.

(NOT MARK) SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with “Cousin Mark”. Hall returning to the Oilers is a pipe dream. Stop pining about what could’ve been and look forward.

Jesse Puljujarvi’s future remains an off-season question for the Edmonton Oilers (Photo via NHL Images).

Asked out the most likely scenario for Jesse Puljujarvi, Spector said the Oilers prefer he returns and plays for them. If he doesn’t, they could let him spend another season in Finland (where he’ll make less money), or trade him at the draft for perhaps two second-round picks, or a second and a prospect (the Oilers lack a second-rounder in this year’s draft). Spector thinks Puljujarvi should return to the Oilers on a one-year deal and prove he can still play.

(STILL NOT MARK) SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how the Oilers handle this situation. Puljujarvi’s done well in Finland (53 points in 56 games), but that’s not much of an indicator whether he can be an effective NHL player.

Asked if Sam Gagner might sign with the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent, Spector believes he will. He’d be an affordable signing, his home is in Edmonton, and Oilers general manager Ken Holland could see Gagner as a future member of the front office.

(THE OTHER ) SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner is completing a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $3.15 million. He’s not getting that much ever again, but he could be a decent fourth-line pickup for the Oilers (or somebody else) on a one-year, $900K contract.


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis recently opened up the mailbag to address questions from Calgary Flames fans. Asked if the Flames might shake up their core, Francis doesn’t believe they will. Acknowledging the production of stars like Johnny Gaudreau is down this season, he feels the early end to this season ensures Gaudreau will return next season. He thinks players like Gaudreau and Monahan shouldn’t be shopped until they’ve had a shot at redemption.

(THE BETTER-LOOKING) SPECTOR’S NOTE: I didn’t put any stock into the trade rumors involving Gaudreau and Sean Monahan this season. Yes, their production was down this season, but they’re only a year removed from their respective career-high point totals. They’re still in the mid-twenties and very much in their playing prime. Unless they asked to be moved, they’re not going anywhere.

Francis thinks the Flames will kick tires on Taylor Hall if he tests the UFA market but believes they’ll use their cap space to plug holes in their defense corps than overspending on Hall. He also doesn’t see both T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic returning next season but Brodie could stay.

Francis also sees the Flames attempting to re-sign UFA goalie Cam Talbot or taking a stab at Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom or Vegas’ Robin Lehner. He doesn’t think they’ll try to buy out Milan Lucic’s contract, pointing out he fills an effective physical role, as well as his popularity with his teammates and among Calgary fans.

Asked if interim coach Geoff Ward will remain as their bench boss after this season, Francis believes he will, citing GM Brad Treliving saying he’s seen enough to make his decision. Following a shaky start, the Flames turned things around under Ward, who has a year remaining on his contract.


THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan recently weighed in with his thoughts on what Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman will do with his 12 restricted free agents.

Tyler Bertuzzi will likely get a long-term deal. Anthony Mantha’s situation could be more complicated. He could sign a one-year deal to post up big numbers before his UFA eligibility in two years, or the Wings could ink him to a four- or five-year deal believing he’ll keep progressing.

Kulfan believes Robby Fabbri has shown enough this season to be part of the Wings’ short-term future. He expects Adam Erne to be re-signed but feels he must take a bigger step forward.

He wouldn’t be surprised if the Wings cut ties with Madison Bowey and Brendan Perlini.


  1. It is pure fantasy to think that Puljujarvi will fetch two #2’s, or a 2 and a prospect. The Oilers will be lucky to get one 4th for him. Personally, I would not give any more than one 5th. He couldn’t make it on a team with McDavid, and there are serious questions whether he has the brass to make it in the NHL. The high return mentioned happens only in Ken Holland’s dreams.

    • I’m sure Rangers would gladly give up Anderson and a 2nd for him. Strome had similar numbers in his time in Edmonton. Fresh start in NY seemed to do wonders for him.

      • Hey Slick, I was going to post the same thing!

        Rangers Fans think alike.

        Take a shot on JP and grant Lias his trade request. Seems like a perfect fit.

    • JP is an NHL player. He had a spot as a 3rd line winger with the Oil. He was qualified and chose not to play.
      So the real question is would you trade 2 2nds for a 21 yr old, 6′ 4″, skates really well for a big man, 3rd line winger who lit up the WJC as an 18 year old?
      His offence hasn’t transitioned to the NHL, and if I had to bet he will never be an elite NHL scorer.
      Could he be a legit 2nd line winger with size? Still a maybe IMO. Or he may just be a 3rd line winger with size who chips in 30 pts/year. More likely.
      The odds of getting one 3rd line player with 2 2nds is about 50% depending the draft order.
      Seems about right to me.
      If I am Holland I don’t trade him for 2 2nds as I think he still has upside and is still 21. Big guys take a while, especially if you don’t speak English and come from nowhere rural Finland.

      • I’d trade 2 seconds and a 5th and 6th for JP.

        Excellent talent and size.

  2. After spending 25 years in Western Canada, mostly in Cowtown, I became a Flames fan. I have never been sold on Johnny Hockey. Is he fun to watch? Sure. Is he skilled? Absolutely. Someone posted a few days ago that the Flames should trade Monahan and keep Goudreau. With all due respect, I completely disagree.

    I would trade Goudreau. If they do, then I would take a run at Taylor Hall. I think he would be a great fit in CGY.

    I am also not sold on Rittich. To me he is too inconsistent to be a true #1. I would try to sign Lehner.

    Brodie could resign with CGY, but will have to take less money to do so. I would bring back Hamonic for sure.

    • LeFrench
      I still see the potential for a trade w/ Gaudreau, if, and that’s a big if, CGY a) is confident that he isn’t going to re-sign LT at a term/# they are willing to do (similar to the Panarin in CHI situation) and b) is going after Hall in UFA. Again its speculation but if those are true, this off-season could be the optimal time to get meaningful trade value.

      I’ll continue to suggest CBJ-CGY could make good trade partners with assets like Anderson, Koripisalo, a variety of D either w/ top 4 minutes played already or that potential available. Again, I own my bias that I think Gaudreau is the ideal target as a high skill LW to slot in on top line for CBJ (a desperate need) so that may cloud my judgment on the assets they have that get CGY interested.

      • Hey DeaconFrost

        I concur with you on Goudreau being a high skilled LW and that being a need for CLB. My problem with Goudreau is not skills/talent. It’s character. I worked for CSE for 9 years as a Zamboni driver for Hitmen/Flames game. Johnny Hockey is not a well respected player in that dressing room. Now, I know that I am no insider but I got to see how other players interacted with him.

        I don’t think CLB should go after him. Him and Torts would NOT get along lol…

        My bet would be to trade him to New Jersey, his home state. That’s where he apparently wants to play at dome point in his career.

      • LeFrench
        Thanks for the info. All great points. With all the rumblings around him potentially being available the character concern doesn’t surprise me. I agree on your Torts assessment….the prevailing belief in CBus is Torts is not likely to continue coaching past his current contract (though it is expected he will have a role in the Org if he wants one).. I wonder if that timeline and Jarmo’s desire to add high end skill influence the dynamic of trying to add players like Gaudreau should they actually be available.

      • Hey Deacon

        Again it’s just a personal opinion re: Goudreau’s character. I could be completely wrong lol

        With Torts being the current HC I think CLB should go after Domi. I believe Torts would be a great coach for him…

      • LeFrench

        Domi would also be a great fit for CBJ at 2C. CBJ-MTL could also be a good fit as trade partners. They appear to be targeting Texier as the long-term solution at 2C so I am curious if Jarmo will spend assets to acquire a young 2C like Domi or if he pursues the high skill W and is content to let C develop from withing.

      • Deacon

        You and I have shared similar thoughts re: potential MTL – CLB trade involving Domi and Anderson. Although I’d like to bring in Savard, I don’t think he would be a great fit in our system.

        Now I’ve always been a fan of Murray. Great offensive D-man but sadly cannot stay healthy. However I think him and Wber would make a fantastic pairing.

        So I’m curious about what you’d think of that trade? Let’s pretend I’m Bergevin and you’re Jarmo. Here’s my starting offer:

        Max Domi
        Noah Juulsen
        2020 2nd pick


        Josh Anderson
        Ryan Murray
        2021 2nd pick

        Annnnd action! Lol

      • LeFrench

        Murray is a polarizing player for many but having watched him his entire career I confidently say he is a top pairing D when healthy…..the “when healthy” part is the problem and such a big problem that it likely reduces his trade value so markedly I am not confident any GM values him sufficiently to part with meaningful assets in a trade. It was reported that Jarmo was shopping him before last year’s draft for draft picks and no offers of even reasonable value came through.

      • Deacon

        Very fair assessment. If you’re Jarmo what would it take for you to part with Murray?

    • @LeFrench

      I posted about keeping Gaudreau, trading Monahan and potentially taking a run at Hall for a 1st line of Gaudreau-Lindholm-Hall.

      Granted I have no inside into the locker room dynamics and can’t speak to the teams belief in his character (though he doesn’t have an A and that does say something). Calgary has certainly shown the willingness to make a trade based on locker room fit (see Dougie Hamilton).

      That said, Monahan is perceived as a 2-way 1C, but his defensive game is atrocious and he is completely unable to drive play. His 1-dimensional game relies entirely on someone putting the puck on his stick in front of the net. Deadly shot. But when your scoring 1C says in a pre-season interview that he’s fine losing 30 points off his last season total to improve his defensive game, that’s a problem! Yes, improving his defensive game is important, but Monahan scores and Backlund defends.

      Character aside, Gaudreau brings more to the team than Monahan and is able to make plays happen. They have tended to work great together, playmaker and finisher. With their salaries being very team-friendly (even with their reduced points this year) I would be happy to give them another shot at it next year; Hall is absolutely going to get overpaid by someone hoping he will be MVP calibre and not what he was this year.

  3. And that is exactly why he spends another year in Finland or plays with the Oilers. You can’t give a third overall and by the way a consensus third overall away for a 4th or virtually nothing. There are teams with multiple seconds and that is what will be required minimum to open a conversation. Otherwise status quo .

    • He was actually 4th overall. Most observers had him ranked 3rd, but the Jackets went with Dubois instead. Worked out well for them, hasn’t it?

      • Howard
        as a long time CBus resident and CBJ fan, it was remarkable how much grief Jarmo and the organization took for the Dubois pick. I shudder to think where CBJ would be with their C depth without Dubois as Wennberg, while still a very strong defensive C, offensive production has declined precipitously. It was a huge pick for the long term future of the organization.

    • LeFrench
      That is a tough one. Ideally they were looking for a 1st rounder in 2019….no way anyone touches that or a 2nd in 2020. I think he only gets moved as part of a package for team willing to take that chance (like you suggest) as a sole asset he likely doesn’t net the value he has when he plays. It’s a tough spot for CBJ right now as they love the player but he is 1 yr to UFA and has no appreciable trade value. Ultimately he has more value to CBJ but just can’t stay healthy. It is a bummer because in addition to being a underappreciated high quality D, he is also a great guy and well liked by the team.

      • Hey Deacon

        I couldn’t agree more with that assessment. So I guess you and I will just agree to do a Domi for Anderson straight up trade? 😎🤣🤣👍

  4. If Hall signed with Edmonton you have McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins and Hall vs Matthews, Tavares, Marner and Nylander

    Who you taken?

    • I take Edmonton even without Hall.
      Oil will win the cup within the next 5 years. Maybe a couple.

    • Lyle,

      (The Better-Looking Spector) was very funny.

      Good one!

      • Thanks, it’s a running gag between me and Mark. 😉

  5. I take McDavid he is hands down the best player Matthews is so talented but I believe McDavid cares more.

    • Obe, I’ll take the Leafs if they get goaltending lol.

      • Well personally I take Bergeron Pasta Marchand Krech and Boston has goaltending.

  6. “LeFrench”,

    Not sure why you call yourself that, presumably it’s got some rationale.

    So – two things:

    A) It’s “Gaudreau”, not “Goudreau” as you invariably write it.
    Makes me wonder as to your ethnic bona fides

    B) so happy you identified yourself as a Calgary fan, because, from a Montréal point of view, that is a very lop-sided deal that makes no sense.

    btw, I worked multiple summers during my university days going through the Alberta hinterlands on the oil pipelines.
    I love the province, and Calgary over Edmonton 8 days a week!

    Be well!


    • Rattus rattus

      Well, good call on the spelling. I guess my “auto-spell” has not adapted well to my bilingual background but thank you for catching the spelling mistake.

      I am originally from Montreal and Rocket is one of my favorite players of all time so I guess you can figure it out from here.

      It might seem like a lopsided deal but the fun part of this forum is that they’re great people on here that have great knowledge of our game and are fans of different teams. That’s what makes it so interesting. Sharing thoughts and ideas about our team and see what other fans from other cities and countries have to say.

      I believe this forum isn’t about ethnicities, background, language, etc. Its about bunch of hockey fans being passionate about the game of hockey and just sharing thoughts and ideas. Regardless if we agree or not with each other.

      Be well as well!

      Go Habs and Flames!

      • Well, we agree on Calgary being a great place.

        Can I at least say that?

        And we agree on the Flames, both my favourite Western team and the Cdn team that I myself will be the next to take the Cup.

        So, nah, I don’t care about your ethnicity or your politics, it’s all good.


        I just figured that if you were a francophone and a Flames fan you would surely have noticed Goudreau/Gaudreau.

        You had made the same error 4 or 5 times in a row, so I figured maybe it was some kind of Oilerboy dis!!

        And as a former Montrealer – there are so many – you maybe have some residual affection for the team?


        This is not team need.

        And we’re giving a pick on top in this deal??

        No, thanks.


      • Rattus rattus

        Yes Cowtown is a great city. And I agree with you that they are very close to contend for a Cup.

      • Can’t see them getting past the Oilers