NHL Rumor Mill – April 24, 2020

by | Apr 24, 2020 | Rumors | 28 comments

Check out the recent Canadiens and Predators speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie believes Torey Krug should be the Montreal Canadien’s ideal free-agent target this off-season. The 29-year-old Boston Bruins defenseman is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Lajoie felt Krug would be as beneficial at extending the career of Canadiens captain Shea Weber as he was with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, suggesting he would also help stabilize the Habs blueline. Lajoie acknowledged the Canadiens would have to overpay for Krug, perhaps a seven-year, $52.5-million deal, but it would be worth it to improve the Habs defense while weakening a division rival.

Should the Montreal Canadiens try to sign Torey Krug? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug would be a welcome addition to any defense. However, he wants to stay in Boston and the Bruins want to re-sign him. I think they’ll work something out.

If Krug tests the market, I don’t think the Habs would invest $7.5 million annually in him for seven years. Given the Habs’ difficulty enticing top free-agent talent to Montreal, they’ll probably use their depth in draft picks – 14 in this year’s draft, 11 in 2021 – to improve their defense through the trade market.

Lajoie also recently examined several possible backup options for Carey Price. While Montreal native Corey Crawford and former Hab Jaroslav Halak would be interesting choices, he felt Anton Khudobin would be the ideal free-agent target. Lajoie thinks he’d be an affordable backup who wouldn’t put pressure on Price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin would be the ideal backup candidate. Whether he wants to come to Montreal is another story. I’m not saying the Canadiens should break the bank to get him, but they might have to pony up $3 million annually on a two-year deal to bring the 33-year-old into the fold.


THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan recently examined whether the Nashville Predators will re-sign Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith. Both forwards will become unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Granlund’s production has improved since John Hynes took over as head coach in January while Smith was on pace for his sixth 20-goal campaign when the schedule was paused.

Assuming the salary cap remains at $81.5 million for next season, the Predators wouldn’t have enough to re-sign both forwards. Vingan suggests general manager David Poile would have to get creative, perhaps by trading or buying out center Kyle Turris.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Predators have over $72 million tied up in 17 players. Poile must shed salary if he intends on re-signing Granlund and Smith.

It was revealed last fall that Poile attempted to trade Turris last summer but couldn’t find any takers. The decline in his production combined with a $6 million annual salary through 2023-24 makes him difficult to move.

Unless Poile absorbs part of Turris’ annual average value or buys him out, he’ll have to consider moving out somebody else or watch Granlund and/or Smith depart via free agency.


  1. Can’t visualize Krug as a Hab. Gostisbehere I can for way less in terms of cap hit.

    I thought I read somewhere Poile has never retained salary. That is only way he is moving Turis

    • Way less in salary but way less qualified to be a top-pairing LHD

    • The Ghost way less expensive … but ***WAY*** thes capable of being the top pairing LHD the Habs need … AND, takes some sort of asset to acquire

      • Bravo GHT 120!

    • No players on Montreals roster Id trade Ghost for …. draft pick(s) maybe…… no need to help Bergevin out of the mess he created.

  2. Re Nsh and Turris

    …. tough to keep; tough to trade w/o big kicker in trade and/or Retention

    The recent media “scuttlebutt” of a potential CBO for teams will also add to the Cap constrained decisions wrt UFAs

    CBO in; Turris out; makes Nsh decisions on re-signing that much easier

    CBOs heavily favour cash rich teams so I cede the economic disparity of it

    Personally as a businessman I am for sloughing “sunk “ costs with little or no return (even more so with negative return …. you know who on Pens) but again acknowledge the true unfairness to smaller market cash strapped teams

    Someone here posted a few days ago about a hybrid suggestion of “tradable” CBO rights

    That is very unlikely to happen but would certainly be much more fair…. e.g. ….

    Cash rich /Cap strapped team wants two CBOs to “ease the pain”…., calls Sens …. $5M cash for your CBO

    Sens then have $5M cash infusion ; but a 20/21 Cap hit of $5M (which they won’t be near Cap ceiling anyway)

    Cash rich /Cap poor team then buys out 2 contracts for space; and technically Sens could then spend the $5M on those 2 players ($2.5 M each) on one year contracts ; getting vets at their “new” value (sal and Cap) and BO players recoup some if their buyout losses

    Likely to happen …. no

    But I did like that suggestion as a workaround for the unfair/inequitable CBO scenario (if enacted)

    • Turris is yet another – like Lazar and Jonathan Dahlén – who someone once said in these pages – repeatedly – would see the Senators ruing the day they didn’t keep.

      No thanks – don’t want ANY of them back.

      • All teams make good and bad moves, for every Turris there is a Zibanejad.
        I haven’t been too frequent here in recent times, and was wondering if someone can answer this question for me:
        If the season does in fact get stalled and there are no playoffs, what happens to the draft? No one is guaranteed to finish last. Specifically taking the example of the sens who have their first and SJ first, how do the lottery odds get calculated.

      • Very true Taz. Just that, while I have absolutely NO doubt Dorion would take Zibanejad back in the New York Minute, I also seriously doubt he’d even give second thoughts to the 3 mentioned.

        As for the draft, as Pierre McGuire said on Team 1200 radio early this morning, no matter what format they adopt it will satisfy some and Royally piss off others. So, look for something along the lines of what MacKenzie hears – an open lottery NOT like the one where Pittsburgh had Crosby fall in their laps but rather one where the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the bottom feeders and one where no team, regardless of who wins, can move up more than 4 slots.

        There will be bitching, for sure, but the situation is unprecedented – at least in the draft era. Many still bitch about Pittsburgh openly – and I mean openly – tanking to get Lemieux and then having Crosby fall in their laps, but that’s all they can do. Bitch. C’est la vie.

        What are the teams going to do that don’t like whatever formula is adopted? Drop out?

      • Let’s just call it. Since pens didn’t make playoffs they keep their 1st. Might as well just give the 1st overall to Pittsburgh now. It’s science.

      • Please no Chrisms, enough conspiracy theories out there.

      • But I’m from Pittsburgh! I need generational talent at all times!!!!!! It’s not hockey without it!

  3. Not sure how Krug extended Chara’s career when they don’t play together. Both LD.
    In the last 4 years Chara has been paired first with Carlo and then McAvoy. It has worked as Chara is mentoring them and they both skate well and go get it when dumped in.
    I think what has extended his career has been his dedication to diet, had work and physical conditioning. Being 6’9″ helps too.

    • Ray, I also thought that was a strange take.

      Any team giving Krug 7yrs are not going to be happy with 3 or 4 of them years. Please Montreal sign him for the proposed $$ and Term.

      The only Bruins ufa Montreal should be looking at is Halak. As he knows the city and could provide Price with more rest and still giving his team a good chance to win.

      • Hope they don’t and Halak stays, but ya he would help them.
        Other than them being bitter rivals, Moore would help MTL on the left side. He’s a solid #5, skates well. Can be a 4 on a team with not much D depth. Contract isn’t crazy. B’s just have better options.
        They have made deals in the past.

    • Simply by being able to play 20 minutes a night so that Chara didn’t have to play 25-30 minutes. That’s how I perceived it.

      • Fair point Adambuffalo

  4. WHL draft was great this year.
    Saskatchewan never fails to produce top end kids.
    The Oil Kings made out like bandits given their place in the draft.
    Regina stole the show though. That boy is something else.

    • The Pats got a beast.

      • They sure did, I for one, will most definitely be getting Pats season tickets to see this kid grow and develop.

  5. I dont quite get why Montreal would want a goalie that wont “put pressure on Price”. At 10 million a season the more pressure on Scarey the better.

    Price is vastly over rated, over hyped and definetely over paid for the results he gets. Price is supposed to be a leader and a part of the solution, not a multi million dollar anchor.

    Prices numbers at ten million per is the equivelant of McDavid being a 65 point producer, not worth the money or the cap space he wastes.

    Montreal should be looking for a reasonably priced goalie that can play 35-50 games should Price get injured (again). Halak or Allen come to mind.

    • Ronald, that phrase was a sportswriter grasping for content. A back up isn’t going to put pressure on Price. Price is being paid 10 million/ yr with a no trade clause. He won’t be going anywhere he doesn’t want to go and anywhere he did go would mean an increase in pay.

      I didn’t think Price played well the last couple of seasons either. But in a recent players poll Price was by far the first choice for a goalie. They know better than you or me.

      • Id take Tuuka Rask or Carter Hart over Carey Price any day of the week.

  6. Undersized or undertalented teams like Montreal are supposed to win games or series because of their goalie, not in spite of them.

    • You can dislike Price all you want. No skin off my nose.

      But your comment is that it is all on the goalie is silly. Every player on the team is supposed to contribute to winning, not just one.

  7. No to Krug with the Habs. Just another small man, and we have enough of them already. Go with Primeau and see if it works. Get the kid 25 games, CP31 should be able to handle the other 57 if they are planned and spaced out properly.

  8. Cap wise 4×4.5 is better than 7×7

  9. How about Turris and a lottery protected first to Detroit for a 6th pick, or something similar. Maybe Turris can revive his play and Detroit gets a very high pick and Detroit has the cap space