Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 5, 2020

by | Apr 5, 2020 | Rumors | 37 comments

Recent speculation about several of this year’s notable restricted free agents in the Sunday NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his recent list of this year’s top restricted free agents, Luke Fox reported the following tidbits:

New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello recently said he’d match any offer sheet for Mathew Barzal. Fox expects the young center’s next contract will be a juicy one.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How juicy will depend upon where the salary cap sits for next season. Barzal’s completing his entry-level deal and lacks arbitration rights. Assuming the cap remains at $81.5 million, the Isles have over $71.3 million invested in 18 players, with defensemen Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews also due for next contracts. A big raise for Barzal means Lamoriello must shed salary to make room for other signings.

Could Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn become a salary-cap casualty this off-season? (Photo via NHL Images).

With Anthony Cirelli among several Tampa Bay Lightning RFAs to be re-signed, Fox speculates a forward such as Alex Killorn or Tyler Johnson could be a salary-cap casualty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bolts have over $76 million tied up in 15 players, with Mikael Sergachev and Erik Cernak the other noteworthy RFAs. Johnson has a full no-trade clause through 2020-21, but Killorn’s shifts to a 16-team no-trade following this season. That makes him the most likely trade chip. Killorn’s versatility and two-way play will draw considerable interest.

Fox believes the New York Rangers trading Brady Skjei to Carolina frees up the cap and roster space to re-sign Tony DeAngelo, though term could be tricky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks has suggested the cost of re-signing DeAngelo could be a trade candidate. It’ll be interesting to see how Rangers GM Jeff Gorton handles this situation.

Matt Murray could be the odd man out among the Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltenders. Tristan Jarry lacks arbitration rights so his contract extension should be easier to achieve. They also have Casey DeSmith under contract for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $68.2 million committed to 15 players, the Penguins can’t afford Murray and Jarry. One of them will be moved, and it’ll likely be Murray. GM Jim Rutherford made a difficult choice in 2017 by choosing Murray over Marc-Andre Fleury. He’ll have no qualms choosing Jarry over Murray.



  1. It’ll be killorn to van for a conditional 1st. Obviously.

    • Will be interesting to see what happens with RFA’s. Especially considering that GM’s have to consider the expansion draft as well when negotiating those bridge contracts.

  2. Goalies generally don’t get huge trade returns and market is gonna be flooded. A 2nd rounder or a b prospect might be all pens can expect for Murray.

    • Who is the market flooded with exactly?
      Only decent starter level UFA goalies are Holtby, Lehner, and Markstrom. Talent drops off a cliff after that.
      Plenty of teams unhappy with their current goaltending as well.
      Murray will get more than a b prospect

  3. While Murray is a pretty decent goalie I would think his injury history and a glut of available goalies would severely lessen any return Pittsbugh may get via a trade.

  4. If I’m the Leafs I go after Murray. Trade Anderson and keep Campbell. No brainer.

    • With the glut of goalies pointed out above, and Andersen making $5 mil and a UFA after next season, trade him where exactly? And for what in return?

      To get him they had to give up the 30th overall pick in 2016 which Anaheim used to take Sam Steel and a 2017 2nd round pick with which Anaheim too 6′ 2″ 210 lb F Maxime Comtois.

      I doubt they’d get anything even remotely close to that by trading him now – assuming they can even find a trade partner beyond his 10-team “no trade” list.

      • @George you`re right they won`t get much for him but he isn`t going to win them a cup either. Time to find a better solution, whether that`s someone like Murray not sure goalies are funny. The difference between a good goalie and a great goalie is usually between the ears. If you listen to Andersen`s post game interviews after he has a bad game, he`s never to blame always has some sort of an excuse. I remember the first year they made the playoffs under Babcock they had 3 games to clinch the playoff spot, all they had to do was win one. The first 2 Andersen looked bad, last game of the year Babcock went with McElhenney they won 3-0. Then they had Washington on the ropes and they should`ve won that series again Andersen blew it up 2-0 late in the third then Andersen 3 bad goals. Didn`t like him since

      • Bob, what I’d be curious to see is his 10-team no trade list – then, maybe, we can extrapolate from what makes up the other 20 where he might possibly be a desired target for at least the 2 years remaining on his deal.

      • @George true that list would be interesting, to say the least. It`ll probably be the 10 teams he figures that Toronto doesn`t want to trade him to, but the days of not trading to divisional rivals are long gone. Most GM`s excluding Dubas look at the return first before making a decision on where

    • What are you crazy trade the guy who makes the Leafs defence look like all-stars (especially Gardiner), The guy who`s never won an important game in his life? The guy who never makes the top 10 in any category when the players vote OMG. Then you want them to trade for Murray who`s 5 years younger won a cup OMG you`re crazy. Hahaha
      Do it

    • What’s pitt getting in return? No thanks to bracco.

      • Haha!

    • No brainer, Stefano? Murray and Andersen’s gaa and save % is virtually identical this year.

  5. Carolina would be happy to have Murray or Andersen. Lets go with Andersen to continue the Toronto goalie connection. Drafted Andersen, picked up McElhinney on waivers. traded for Reimer and borrowed the Zamboni driver.

  6. Murray seems to have lost his mo jo worst 7 hole in goaltending. Teams looking for goaltending I would see what Halak is thinking wouldn’t sign him long term but definitely a couple of years. If Oilers could dump Koskinen somehow not sure how Holtby would be a great fit there. If I’m Habs and there is interest in Price I pull the trigger he isn’t taking Montreal to the promise land they are to many players away. Love the Habs young core they need to fast track the rebuild by moving Weber and Price.

    • How much money would you hold on price?

      • THAT’S the $64,000 question. Turns 33 in August with SIX more years at $10.5 mil per cap hit and showing a deterioration in his consistency. I would think the ONLY way they’d find a taker is if they held back close to – if not a full 50% – half that hit for the duration. And you’d have to believe any potential trade partner would need to be an attractive enough destination for him to waive his full no movement clause.

    • The Habs are a few players away: a # 1 center, a good back up goalie, a RH d or two.

      The Habs face the same situation as a team that would receive Price: he has just a few good years left. Does a receiving team give up the at least two roster players needed to tempt the Habs into a trade?

      Do the Habs have the cap space to absorb the two good players they need, and, as Chrisms notes, keep some of Price’s salary for several years? What does that do to the cap space needed to sign Petry, Domi Gallagher and Tatar in the next 2 years?

      Most likely scenario is for Bergevin to supplement the roster by signing one good UFA, and develop what he has now.

      If there is a league to return to.

  7. George I thought the Sharks were disappointed in their goaltending this year. Jones low goals against high dollar contract…..a Jones buy out & Anderson trade there may be feasible….

    My own stance on Anderson or any other Leaf goalie is how can you judge anyone who has to play behind that defense….

    Goalies get overrated when they play behind a St Louis style defense and under rated when playing a team that trades for Tyson Barrie and has 4 10 million forwards….

    • SJ might have been a possibility a year ago Old Blue Dog – but all indications point to a long re-build in their case, a situation brought on by too many old crocks and a bare cupboard when it comes to top prospects.

      Having said that, when Andersen signed his deal in TO the Sharks were considered one of the top teams in the league, and perceptions were, after getting and signing Karlsson, they were even better. So it’s a good possibility they were not part of his 10 team no-trade list. But now the question there is, has Wilson come to realize that, not even an upgrade in goaltending will be sufficient to put them back into contention.

      • Not sure Wilson has much of a choice George. When you look at the contracts on the books, which ones can he trade to get a good return? Burns, Karlsson, Vlasic, Couture, Jones. Tough to move any of them. Some good players but on the back 9 with big long term deals. Karlsson is the youngest at 29, but has had injury problems.
        Status quo I am afraid.

    • @Old Blue Dog a lot of the goals Andersen`s been giving up during his time in Toronto has nothing to do with the bad defence. He has a tendency to give up soft goals at bad times that`s why he lost the job in Anaheim. The difference now in Toronto he has an excuse he can blame the defence for those softies. Just ask Gardiner he took the heat for Andersen`s less than stellar performance in game 7 against Boston. Andersen couldn`t stop a beach ball that period and he`s done that a few times only to have the defence take the blame. If you really want to see what he`s like just check out the player`s poll on who they think is the best goalie. Andersen is never on it despite what the fans and media say. Don`t get me wrong the defence stinks too but Andersen has to get some of the blame

  8. I think Price still has value I wouldn’t hold back very much if any maybe like two million Colorado should trade Grubauer and if Habs hold back more money than Colorado should give a pick or prospect. Avalanche have a big window and Price would bring experience and solid goaltending for many years. Weber should bring a top prospect d man or at least a first round pick and a solid prospect. Weber is still a great D man and would be a leader on any team. I would also move Petry and Gallagher for picks a kids do a real rebuild and a Montreal Leaf rivalry would be back alive and well in a few years.

    • Price has been at or near the bottom of the league for a couple years now. He was overrated with the exception of one great year. No goaltender is worth over 10 million let alone Price. No nhl gm worth anything trades for that contract. Grubauer has by far been the better goalie the last couple years and comes at less than a third the cost. Montreal would need to give up prospects, pics and eat some salary for anyone to take on that contract for just a small hope that he can still be a top goaltender I agree with Weber though. He’s still an elite defensemen and should get a solid return. Perry is another solid defender. Tatar is overrated as well. Having a great year but you need to look at the average with someone that old. He’s not an up and come. There’s more than enough data that shows the player he is. One great year dosen’t change that

      • Hmmmm, not going to defend Prices horrible contract but if your talking pure talent and skill, well, didn’t the players poll just name Price the best goalie? In fact that’s two years in a row he’s won.

        Didn’t see Grubauer anywhere near the top of that list. So don’t understand how he’s been by far the better goalie the last two years. Cheaper contract, well your right there.

      • So you base everything on the players poll and not the actual facts. The stats are there and they have been horrible the last couple years. Stats don’t lie. Opinions aren’t facts.

      • Just as a reference canadian king I compared his stats over the last 2 years against all other goalies who played at least 20 games based on save percentage and goals against average. This year he was 32nd, last year 14th and the year before 41st. So over the last 3 years he’s nowhere near a top 10 goalie. Combine that with the fact that he hasn’t one a Stanley cup or even came close and you would have to be crazy to take that contract. There are way better options out there and there all cheaper.

      • Price has proven that he is the only reason the habs remain competitive at all.

    • 2 mil is a reasonable hold… but don’t expect anything mote than a contract dump for that. 8.5 for a good goalie for a contender that can afford to go for it all is reasonable. But it would be a dump. Habs shouldn’t expect bupkiss in return except whoopsie from forgiveness

      • What makes you think Price takes you over the top? All his stanley cup wins maybe all the playoff rounds he stole for his team. Why would anyone take him for even 8.5 million. There are way cheaper options that will get you the same results.

  9. You don’t need great goaltending to win a cup if you are a really good team, but a really good team might even miss the playoffs with below average or bad goaltending.

  10. Goaltending stats don’t mean a lot Price hasn’t had much help most of his career quality of shots is biggest factor. If you can see every shot from outside and no deflections it’s an easy position to play. Try stopping the puck when you can’t see the shooter or puck it’s a different story. Nothing drives me more crazy than when announcers say wow 4 goals on 6 shots and the poor goalie had 3 two on zero and two 5 on 3;s and one went in off d mans foot. Come on be serious if you have a great team defense it’s a lot easier position to play. I’m know Montreal fan but Price is still one of the best in the league in my opinion. If Canada made a team today he would probably be the starter.

    • I don’t think too many are doubting his accomplishments Obe .. but with absolute uncertainty about the immediate future of hockey (and I include next season in this) due to the Coronavirus, no GM in his right mind is going to take on a $10.5 mil cap hit for 1 or 2 years, let alone 6.

      Uber-cautious will be the new focus for some time I’m afraid.

    • Montreal’s defenceman isn’t even that bad. He was the best goalie in the world 4 years ago with a worse defense core. I’m basing it on the last 3 years and Price hasn’t even been a top 10 goalie in that time. Stats over a cpl games sure but we are talking about 3 seasons so the stats are very revelent. No way any same person takes that contract. Even if they offered me a first, there top prospect and a quality roster player I don’t take it for another 6 years. Price probably would start for team Canada which is sad because they are just basing it on what he did 4 years ago. At least team Canada would be stacked so even average goaltending should still win it.

  11. Lol that’s why I love sports I am not taking Covid 19 into equation. Remember most teams pay a combined salary of between 6 and 10 million for their goalies. Putting Price at 8.5 if Montreal holds 2 million isn’t horrible now it would be if virus effects cap and future but not if it doesn’t. Goaltending is a different basket I played it coached it and my son played at high level I understand that stats are over rated when it comes to that position to many factors. Price is still one of the best in my opinion but each to there own.

    • I agree with you.
      Price is still stellar.
      Imagine if he had a team to play in front of.