NHL Rumor Mill – April 3, 2020

by | Apr 3, 2020 | Rumors | 17 comments

Could the Rangers pursue Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? What will the Blue Jackets do with their goalie tandem? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NEW YORK POST: In a recent mailbag segment, a reader told Larry Brooks he’d heard lots of rumors about the Rangers trading for Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Brooks acknowledged the Rangers will attempt to bulk up at center for next season. They could be in the market for a second-line center depending on Ryan Strome’s contract status and Filip Chytil’s readiness. He feels they could defenseman Tony DeAngelo as trade bait.

Could the New York Rangers trade for Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? (Photo via NHL Images)

While Nugent-Hopkins would be a good fit, Brooks doesn’t believe the Rangers will pursue him. He pointed out RNH is only a year away from unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers could do it if they get permission from the Oilers to speak to the Nugent-Hopkins camp about a contract extension. However, I think the Oilers prefer to retain RNH. If they were to shop him in the off-season (whenever that might be), it’ll be for a second-line winger, not a puck-moving defenseman.


THE ATHLETIC: (subscription required) Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets believe they have two No.1 goaltenders in Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins. There’s an assumption they could trade one of them this summer. Both are restricted free agents with arbitration rights sitting a year away from unrestricted free agent status.

Portzline expects the Jackets won’t accept anything less than two years. It’s unlikely either goalie will accept anything longer than three or four years.

A free-agent goalie market featuring Washington’s Braden Holtby, Vegas’ Robin Lehner, and Chicago’s Corey Crawford could also affect efforts to trade Korpisalo or Merzlikins. Finding the right team and the right deal could also complicate matters.

The Jackets can afford to wait to move either goalie. They also won’t be under pressure to move one before next summer’s expansion draft, as Merzlikins is exempt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Jackets have over $68.2 million invested in 17 players, with Korpisalo, Merzlikins, and forwards Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Anderson as their notable free agents. They’re in a good position with their goaltenders.

If a club offered up a good young NHL center, they’ll probably act on it. Nevertheless, I think they’ll sign both netminders to two-year deals and see how things shake out.



  1. RNH doesn’t make sense to me to the Rangers unless it is a block buster. Several player deal . Defence and wingers back. DeAngelo a principal. Pujularvi thrown in the mix etc. Dollars would have to balance out. Can’t see it happening

    • Oilers don’t need DeAngelo. They are well stocked at both LD and RD, they just need to be patient. What they are sorely lacking is wingers, as Lyle alluded to.

      So if RNH and Puljijarvi are moved out, both currently wingers, then wingers need to be the main piece(s) coming back in any deal.

    • I can see the Oilers doing everything they can to keep RNH. And DeAngelo for RNH doesn’t seem to be a good fit as it doesn’t address the Oil’s biggest need at wing for McDavid. The Oil’s D will be a strength in a couple years and DeAngelo will block Bouchard who should be ready sometime next year. Broberg after him.
      Nuge is averaging well over a point per game since moving to the wing with Draisaitl, top 5 in the league in scoring over that span so why trade him for a winger? Can play C if one of the big 2 goes down.
      Keep him in Edmonton unless his contract demands are ridiculous.

    • If the Oiler’s move the Nuge it will be for a hell of a lot more than a D man that they don’t need.

      Either 2 top six wingers , or 1 top 3 winger with term. The Nuge is about a point per game with Dria.

      There’s what 3-5 wingers that are doing better.

  2. question Lyle….sorry it does not relate to today’s rumours….do you have any idea if or how the NHL & the NHLPA will adapt the fact contracts were given based a presumed revenue intake…and now it has gone in a completely different direction….are players getting paid ( regular amounts or lower amounts ) when there are no revenues….is there a “force Majuere” clause anywhere in player’s contract or broadcast contracts…..

    Again sorry for being off topic….but your hockey knowledge is comprehensive

    • To my knowledge, the contracts are binding. However, because this is a unique situation, the league and the PA could have discussions over deferring part of a player’s salary until such time as the owners’ share of hockey-related revenue is made whole. For now, everyone is waiting to see whether the season will resume and how much of that lost revenue could be recouped.

  3. Two observations with regard to the Jackets’ goaltenders and Lyle’s comments:

    1. It seems that a lot of trades could happen if only teams would offer up good young centers.
    2. No team is offering up good young centers. They are too valuable and there are too few to go around.

  4. Yet another goalie added to the flooded goalie market.

  5. During a q&a on Twitter yesterday Brian Burke said the trade we regrets most not landing was Joe Thornton, he said he called O’Connel (Boston GM at the time) more then once a day.
    He said he told Mike that he would protect 5 players and any player after that who OC believed to be the next best player he could have, plus Burke would throw in another roster player, prospect and a 1st round pick.

    Quick glance at the Ducks 2005 roster has Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in their first season, possible that one if not both would’ve been available to Boston at that time.

  6. Thanks for the update on Pengy, Lyle.
    You’re our only medium to check in on one another.
    Hope the rest of you fine folks are staying healthy and safe!

    • Hangin’ in like Gunga Din here!

      • “Nice reference.
        You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.”

      • I don’t git it.

      • The best way to see how some saw Kipling’s Gunga Din “hung in” is to watch the Peter Sellers movie The Party.

    • I’m a lumber jack and I’m okay.
      I sleep all night and I drink all day.

      • Tell us what you wear Strider

  7. I think the Columbus goalies are overrated due to playing behind the Columbus defence. I wouldn’t call either one of them a no one goalie on another team