NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2020

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Rumors | 12 comments

Blackhawks center Dylan Strome reportedly available, plus recent speculation on the Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill.


WGR 550 (via SECOND CITY HOCKEY): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman told “The Instigators” show he believes Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome is available in the trade market. He doesn’t think the asking price is prohibitive, though he didn’t elaborate as to what that might be. Strome, 23, is slated to become a restricted free agent at season’s end and lacks arbitration rights.

Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome is reportedly available in the trade market (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Strome has struggled with his offensive consistency. He netted 51 points in 58 games with the Blackhawks in 2018-19 following a trade from the Arizona Coyotes but managed only 38 points in the same number of games this season. Injuries have hampered his performance in this campaign.

With over $74 million invested in 18 players for next season and two goalie spots to fill, the Blackhawks will be pressed for cap room next season. If they won’t dump a salaried player, perhaps they’ll move an RFA like Strome.


NORTHJERSEY.COM: Abbey Mastracco recently wondered if this is the year the New Jersey Devils throw a ton of money at a free-agent defenseman. “Maybe a new GM will see it necessary to bring in some more established NHL players instead of waiting on talent to develop,” she writes.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak explored how the Devils could use the trade market to address their need for experienced blueline depth. He suggested targeting clubs squeezed for salary cap space. He felt Mikhail Sergachev is an obvious choice, but the Tampa Bay Lightning could attempt to move other players to make room for him.

Maybe the St. Louis Blues shop Vince Dunn or Colton Parayko if they re-sign Alex Pietrangelo. Perhaps the Boston Bruins peddle Brandon Carlo if they re-sign Torey Krug. The Buffalo Sabres have extra defenseman, though Masisak doesn’t advocate acquiring Rasmus Ristolainen. The Anaheim Ducks also carry lots of good young blueliners.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Devils have over $55 million invested in 13 players. They’ll still have plenty of cap space once they re-sign RFAs like Mackenzie Blackwood, Jesper Bratt, and Mirco Mueller to make a big move via trade or free agency.

I agree that Sergachev likely won’t be available. The Blues could face a difficult choice between Dunn or Paraysko if they re-sign Pietrangelo, but they could also move someone like goalie Jake Allen to free up the cap room. If Krug accepts a hometown discount of around $6 million annually, the Bruins won’t need to move Carlo.

The Sabres ($47 million tied up in 10 players) won’t be squeezed for cap room, but they could part with a defenseman like Brandon Montour for a top-six forward in return. The same goes for the Ducks.



  1. I cannot see the Devils having a top six forward they can part with. There trade focus is all about salary cap space and potential futures. If they were to trad Pamls or Gusev, who do they have to replace them? Not a pretty situation in NJ next year.

    • Ryan Strome, and DeAngelo for Nico!

  2. Oh Lyle! Colton Parayko–no way……

  3. Strome salary demand shouldn’t be too significant . The Hawks need to get younger. Bridge deal
    Can’t see any team giving up a good young defence on the list above. Unless it is an absolute boat load. They are just too valuable.

    • Funny how wrong so many of the commentators on this site really (and with regularity) bashed the Leafs for picking Marner over Strome…not surprising.
      Keep ‘em coming!

      • Or how they have half the cap invested in 4 forwards and just terrible defence?

  4. I think the economic outfall of this closing down of society will reveal which teams can afford to do what. My guess is that for a number of teams, this will dictate what teams do not whether sportswriters or fans deem to be a need.

    If you follow European soccer you will read that the league commissioners there are talking about this issue. How can teams honour contracts written under a different economic reality in recent tougher times. The French TV network I think has already opted out of their contract because they could. I don’t know what the NHL situation is but I suspect all that high priced supposed talent leaving Sportsnet was a canary in the NHL coalmine.

    I suspect some of the NHL owners bought teams thinking the capital gains when they sell justify the operating losses while they wait. If you went into the NHL on a shoestring or your fan attendance is less than you budgeted for, you now have a problem way bigger than who I want to play right D in the second grouping

    We have not yet seen the tip of the iceberg for certain teams. The NHL administration, the NHLPA, and the agents all know this. They are staying quiet. The question is what can they do about it. The most motivated to change will be owners losing money who really aren’t hockey guys. They will bail on expensive players as a first resource.

    Punch Imlach once said ” I can lose with anybody”

    Some guesses from here for the next few years are:

    A softening of the salary cap..

    Florida, New Jersey , Carolina, Arizona and some others will be making early moves not worrying about the quality of play.

    Re introduction of buy outs

    More trades based on player salaries

    Cap space will have more value than anticipated

    • OBD, you didn’t add contraction to your list. Depending on the length of this pandemic in North America, contraction could be on the table in virtually all major leagues, not just the NHL.

    • Right on, OBD. It just might be that Canadian teams (except Alberta, which with oil prices on top of COVID problems) are going to be at fiscal advantage due to stronger fan support.

      There are a lot of other factors: the relative strength of the Canadian dollar; will teams like heavily leveraged Arizona survive?

      But when this shakes out there will be teams who have a pronounced advantage on signing players.

      • Not sure about the fiscal advantage LJ when you include that our currency has dropped close to 8% since early January vs the USD. Mostly due to the decline in oil prices. This causes their largest expense, player salaries, to increase vs their revenue by that same 8%.
        While we are fairing better with flattening the curve than the US, the economic impact should be fairly similar and more fans watch from home because of that. I can see attendance dropping in Canada as well and the NHL is still a gate revenue league.
        Agree about the specific markets OBD mentions as they are already losing $, but some teams up here will face challenges as well.
        Don’t want to be negative, but I would guess the NHL isn’t assuming that fans will be allowed to gather in arenas to watch hockey come October. Hope so, but we just don’t know yet.

  5. Carlo is an example of player whose team you must be a fan of, to understand how good and how important he is to the team.

    Whether Krug resigns or not has no barring on Carlo because he (Carlo) isn’t going anywhere.

    • Agree Caper, hopefully Sweeney does too.
      If I had to choose between keeping Carlo and Krug, I keep Carlo. They are a good pair, but totally different players each with strengths and weaknesses. Cost of the player matters big time as well. My guess is they keep both, hopefully the number is around the 6 that Lyle suggests above as a target for the B’s.