NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2020

by | May 1, 2020 | Rumors | 18 comments

Check out the latest speculation on Taylor Hall, Alex Pietrangelo, and Tyson Barrie in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Allan Mitchell and Jonathan Willis debate whether the Edmonton Oilers should attempt to bring back Taylor Hall via free agency in the off-season.

Can the Edmonton Oilers afford to bring back Taylor Hall? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if they wanted to bring back Hall, assuming he’s willing to return to Edmonton, they can’t afford it. As per Cap Friendly, the Oilers have over $72 million invested in 16 players for 2020-21.

Mitchell and Willis suggest trading Kris Russell, buying out James Neal, and signing Ethan Bear and Andreas Athanasiou to affordable short-term deals. In theory, that would free up enough to sign Hall to a deal worth over $8 million annually.

Trading Russell, however, isn’t a certainty. It would make sense to dump Neal if there are compliance buyouts this off-season, but everything I’ve read and heard about that of late indicates the owners are cool to that notion.

If so, the Oilers will have to use the normal buyout route. It will free up over $3.8 million in annual cap room, but also leave over $1.9 million in annual dead cap space over the next six years.

More importantly, signing Hall for over $8 million annually would see the Oilers invest nearly $30 million in long-term cap space in him, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl. Given the potential effect of the pandemic upon league revenue and the salary cap for the next several years, it’s probably not a good idea to tie up so much money in just three guys.


THE DENVER POST: In a recent mailbag segment, Mike Chambers was asked about the Colorado Avalanche pursuing Taylor Hall or St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo via the off-season free-agent market. Chamber claims they aren’t interested in either player.

“The Avs will continue to build from their prospects, not free agency. They love their top-six forwards and don’t have room for another right-shot defenseman, with Connor Timmins set to come up and join Cale Makar and Erik Johnson on the right side.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chambers suggested talk of the Avs looking at Hall or Pietrangelo was based on speculation from other media types. General manager Joe Sakic reportedly expressed some interest in Hall before he was traded last December by the New Jersey Devils to the Arizona Coyotes. The Avs’ cap space for next season (over $59 million invested in 10 players) also stokes that conjecture.

However, the Avs must re-sign or replace such notables as Ryan Graves, Andre Burakovsky, Nikita Zadorov, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Valeri Nichushkin. Even if Sakic re-signs them all to affordable contracts, he probably won’t have enough to target a big-ticket UFA. He must also ensure sufficient long-term cap room to re-sign Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar next summer. If Sakic decides to add to his roster, I think it’ll be via the trade market rather than free agency.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked where he thought Tyson Barrie will end up playing next season. The 28-year-old defenseman is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and isn’t expected to be re-signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s believed Barrie has some interest in going home to British Columbia, but Fox doubts he’s a fit with the Vancouver Canucks when they’ve already got an elite power-play quarterback in Quinn Hughes. He suggests “Detroit, Chicago, New Jersey, and Los Angeles make for interesting fits on paper,” but thinks Winnipeg would be a more compelling destination.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Fox pointed out, Barrie would have to be willing to play for a rebuilding club to join the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Devils, or Kings. The Jets, however, remain a playoff contender loaded with scoring forwards who could further benefit from Barrie’s offensive skills from the blueline. With Dustin Byfuglien off their books, perhaps Barrie would be an enticing, more affordable option.


  1. I like Barrie as a fit in the Peg. I also think Edmundson who is from Manitoba and played for the Wheat Kings would fill out their backend nicely . Maybe even pair them up. Edmundson is a career plus player

    Taylor Hall has had one season in his entire career where he may have been worth the dollars bandied about. Pass.

    I predict playoffs start July 1 prior to which the draft will take place based on the yet to be determined final regular season standings .

    • Agree on Hall. But he had one very good season in Edmonton as well. So two total.
      People’s perception of Hall is bizarre. A lot of people were talkIng of him getting 9-10 per. He’s a mid 50s point guy. People were freaking out over Stepans 6.5 per as a 2 way center who put up similar numbers, yet Hall is worth 9-10+?

      • Hall is a dangerous bet / gamble. Winning the MVP with 93 points in 2018 makes a lot of people think he’s capable of being that guy. A drastically shortened 2019 and 52 points in 65 games this season should worry everyone. Granted that Arizona was playing over their abilities largely on the back of unreal goaltending; but when you bring in a guy like that and the team does worse…red flag.

        Yes, he has 17pts in 19 games, but almost everyone else has done worse since his arrival. I see him as the Subban type player where it is all about him. Disruptive to a team dynamic like Arizona’s but worked ok in 2018 when he could be the focus. Buyer beware.

        On the other note, I agree that Barrie could be a great fit in the Peg with Byfuglien out. That offence needs a guy who can dish the puck. Pair him with a Josh Morrissey type and you could have a scarily good PP.

    • Silver seven,
      Do you feel all teams resume the season? Or will it be just the ones who are competing for playoff positions?
      How do you feel about, rolling the standings back to the 68 game mark, and making the playoff teams from that point?
      This would limit, the teams, staff etc, from and other possible infections from the virus. It also would give the players, a bit more time to get into game shape, and give teams 2-3 exhibition games.

      • Not sure what is fair. I think they have to play something prior to jumping into the playoffs. Not complete the 82 but all teams with equal games. Otherwise it is win%
        No exhibition

    • Couldn’t agree more on Hall.
      He’s not a cornerstone. He’s a complimentary piece.

      Barrie would be an interesting fit in Winnipeg.

  2. I have doubts about Barrie in Winnipeg. If its for the PP tha t is a lateral or almost lateral swap with Pionk. They also have Morrissey, Niku and Heinola all billed as puck moving, skating dmen. Barrie brings a similar skill set. I am intrigued by the Edmundson suggestion.

    • 2.0 agree Barrie is not a fit for Winnipeg for the reasons you mentioned.

  3. Nyr4life, agree with you on Hall. Talk of him getting 9-10 is overpayment. His defensive liabilities are apparent when he isn’t scoring. I’ve seen him a lot over the years and I wouldn’t invest that much in what I would deem to be a one dimensional player.

    Barrie: good luck to anyone who wants to overpay for his services. Sakic got rid of him for a reason. Unless he signs for what Gardiner did in Carolina, given the uncertainty of the NHL going forward, he’s lucky to match what Toronto was paying him (which was half his normal salary since Colorado picked up the other half just to get rid of him).

    • I think the reason Colorado got rid of him was because they got Nazem Kadri back.

      • @Ray Colorado had been rumoured to trying to unload Barrie for over a year before Toronto bit. The fact that they got Kadri just shows how dumb and how badly Dubas wanted Kadri out of Toronto. Babcock tried and failed to make a defenceman out of him

  4. No desire to bring Barrie here to Detroit. We had too many defensemen who couldn’t defend here last year, and you see how that worked for us. Barrie would be a slightly younger version of the same – thanks, but no thanks…..at any price.

    • I disagree. I think he would be a solid addition to the blue line. We have problems moving the puck out of the defensive zone and he would do well in doing that. We also lack a second unit power play quarterback and he could fit that bill.

      • I would rather sign Kevin Shattenkirk. He played much better defense last season in Tampa than Barrie can, and would be just as good on the PP and moving the puck – and would also be cheaper.

  5. As a Devils fan i’d like to see Hall back with us (doubtful) What is it when fans say this guy sucks all the oxygen out of the room, but yet as a leader of some sort, he’s expected to be a spokesman from time to time. Any team expects a goal scorer like him to be a leader for younger guys in the room. I agree he may not be worth 9-10 mil, (& he won’t get it especially now). Between 7-8 i’d take him in a heartbeat. (defensive liabilities & all) He’s a top 6 LW on most teams in NHL.

    • At 7 or 7.5 I would bite on Hall. Otherwise find a different way to deploy cap space. Of course would much rather sign Pietrangelo at 9 – but 5 or 6 year max. Blues are going to sign him, so perhaps can weaponize cap space with Blues.

      • I would take him on the bruins at 7.5 in a heart beat. He IMO has not been on the right team. He needs to just play hockey and not worry about anything else. Team like the bruins, Blues ect.. can provide that for someone like him.

  6. It’s May and no playoffs, time to cancel the season, hurry up and start already, weather is getting warmer noway I’m staying in to watch hockey. Everybody rested should be exciting hockey.

    Wait, what; what is it I want!