NHL Rumor Mill – May 15, 2020

by | May 15, 2020 | Rumors | 27 comments

The latest on the Leafs, Jets, and Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Frank Seravalli expects the Toronto Maple Leafs to acquire more players on long-term injury reserve. Under the NHL CBA, a player under a contract whose career is cut short by injury but doesn’t retire can be placed on LTIR. That allows a team sitting at the cap maximum to exceed it by an amount equal to the player’s annual average value.

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs try to acquire a potential LTIR player like Chicago’s Brent Seabrook? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Leafs previously acquired the contracts of all-but-retired players like Nathan Horton and David Clarkson to give themselves more salary-cap wiggle room. With both players coming off the books at the end of this season, Seravalli believes Leafs management will be on the hunt for more LTIR contracts.

His suggested targets include Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler, Ottawa’s Marian Gaborik, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg, Arizona’s Marian Hossa, and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. Others could include Vancouver’s Micheal Ferland and Chicago’s Andrew Shaw.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman doubts the Leafs are eager to go the LTIR route again. “They knew they were starting last year without Travis Dermott and Zach Hyman. It wasn’t an easy dance for them — or Vegas — last season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I anticipate this loophole could be closed in the next collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile, there’s nothing within the CBA preventing the Leafs (or anyone else) from doing this again. Several LTIR contracts (including those of Gaborik and Hossa) were traded in recent years to cap-strapped clubs seeking some payroll flexibility. Bear in mind it remains to be seen if Kesler, Seabrook, Ferland, and Shaw become permanent LTIR players. They haven’t ruled out returning to play next season. 

Friedman raises a good point about the difficulty the Leafs faced to pull this off this season. It could become more complicated if their roster starts next season healthier than they were at the start of 2019-20.  


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Ken Wiebe examined some backup goaltending targets for the Winnipeg Jets if they don’t re-sign pending free agent Laurent Brossoit. Trade targets could include St. Louis’ Jake Allen and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, while the UFA market includes the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss and San Jose’s Aaron Dell. New Jersey’s Cory Schneider could be a long-shot option if the Devils buy out the final two years of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could move Allen in a cost-cutting deal to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo, but they won’t just give him away. Their asking price could be a good, young, affordable NHLer.

Dubnyk has a modified no-trade clause containing 19 preferred trade destinations. There’s no certainty the Jets would be on it.

In addition to Greiss and Dell, Cam Talbot and Anton Khudobin are also potentially available. All but Dell, however, could cost over $3 million annually each.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked if the New Jersey Devils might go after a big-name free agent like St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo. While acknowledging the possibility, he considers the odds slim, suggesting it might not make sense to pay Pietrangelo huge money for a couple of seasons before the Devils are ready to become playoff contenders. He advocates pursuing a younger top-pairing blueliner in a trade. 

Asked if the Devils could shop one of their three first-round picks in this year’s draft, Masisak thinks it’s too early to tell. “I don’t think they would consider trading the Arizona pick or the Vancouver pick until we know if it’s being transferred in 2020 or is an unprotected 2021 choice,” he said. “The value of those picks changes depending on that information.”


  1. Pietrangelo is awesome, full stop. But it would be an absolute waste of the Devil’s cap space to sign him. The timing is not right. Now if the Blues need help with their salary cap would be happy to discuss Dunn…

    • Kevin,

      SADLY I think Dunn may, in fact, be one of the casualties necessary to resign Petro (you can add Allen, Bozak, Steen, others to the list as well). I am hoping that some of the young d’men can serve to replace Dunn in time.

      So, you want to discuss: Is Dunn worth 1 of the 1st round picks the Devils are stockpiling??

      • Hey IB, obviously I do not speak for the Devils, but I think the Devils would definitely put the Vancouver in play in this scenario. It depends on what the Devs get with their first two picks. The Devs need so much help everywhere….

    • I’m not a Devil fan, but if they have a chance to sign Petro, they do it. They have boatloads of cap space and no big names to resign next year. You lock him up now. You don’t wait. Problem is, I can’t see him going to NJ. Why would he want to play there?

  2. I think the Devils are stuck with Cory (34 yrs old) But they can afford to bury him in minors at least this year. We can’t take a chance on him sh>thing the bed next fall. I do believe Devils need a couple veteran D men but I don’t think saddling your Cap with Pietrangelo is wise. (whomever gets him will give him term) Plus, does any players in their late 20’s early 30’s want to go to a rebuilding team? Devils are in great shape cap wise. Have some good prospects in the pipeline.

  3. Halak just signed for 2 and change why would those others Greiss Khudobin Talbot etc be 3m plus. Don’t think so Tim
    Dubynk is a starter no ?

    • $2.25m with another $1.25m in bonus money to play just 10 times. You could almost guarantee that he’ll get the full $3.5m.
      Also, his numbers are inflated quite a bit playing on Boston.

  4. With the leafs throwing money around other teams aren’t happy and are making the leafs over pay in any trade! Even their players are making the team overpay

    • Toronto wasn`t the first team to throw the money around so why would others be unhappy. Toronto was one of the last to do it actually. You forget the 15 year bonus laden upfront contracts that were being given out. Toronto did none of those, for years Toronto was being criticized for how cheap they were. As far as handing out big money now I`ll take Tavares, Marner or Matthews at their contracts over Price`s horrible deal any day.

      • They’ve won squat with those deals. 33m for 3 is a waste.

    • Ha!

      • Uhmm. Geordie it is pretty hard to win with any cap hit when there hasn’t been a playoff since 2 of the 3 signed them. Try to not let your leafs envy cloud your judgement.

    • The troll formerly known as bbb

  5. Corey Masisak must not get the worldwide net in his quarantine, because he seems to be unaware the Canucks would have to be one of the 7 bottom teams in the standings to get transferred, right?

    • I mean for that pick to r=transfer to New Jersey…

      • I think Corey was referring to when Daly stated that he will give the teams wiggle room to decide among themselves on how “conditions” are settled. But, yeah, I would think Vancouver would rather give up the pick for this year.

  6. A team with, for example, Player A with a $6 million AAV counting against their cap can take on a contract(s) totalling $6 million AAV while the first player is on LTIR … but must immediately get rid of wnough AAV to be cap compliant if Player A comes off LTIR … where is the benefit … other than being “paid” to take on the contract so that a cash strapped team doesn’t have to make the real dollar payments to a player that is effectively off the cap on LTIR

    • If you take my 6m LTIR, that isnt coming back, that I dont have to pay, I could take your 3m player that you dont want and cant trade away and maybe he can play for me instead.

  7. It’s a bad market this year if the blues want a valuable asset in return for Allen.

    • Chrisms and all,

      I sort of disagree with Lyle on this one. I think the Blues would have to swallow real hard to trade Allen to a rival within the division. But IF they did, I don’t think they’d want to take on a contract/prospect, I think they would just want a draft pick under the circumstances.

      • I don’t think St. Louis would hesitate to trade Allen within their own division. He doesn’t scare anyone on most nights.

  8. Thw LTIR loop hole should be closed and it should be closed now! It’s allowed teams like the Maple Leafs to make a farce of the Cap! On the other side, teams who have made dreadful contract mistakes, should not be allowed to dump those contracts to teams with a seemingly bottomless pit of money.

    • @Laurie 18 teams took advantage of the LTIR this year to varying degrees. Yes, richer teams get a bonus out of it but so do the poorer teams. It allows the cash strapped teams to unload a contract that they can`t afford even though they only pay 10% when a player is on the LTIR. Also, they`re not bad contracts they`re injuries, every team gets them. Some teams just can`t afford the extra costs of an injured player and the replacement costs as well

      • Toronto is not the only team willing to pay for an LTR. There is a market value for those situations that will sort itself out more as the years pass. It’s legit business side of hockey

      • Bob said the leafs never threw money before or after the cap!! Lol

  9. 2.000,

    Allen has 150 wins with the Blues. This year 12 wins, .927 save%, 2.15GAA. Some nights maybe someone is afraid (or should be).

  10. There’s no up side to taking on ltr contracts other than getting assets. If they stay away from ltr and run a 20 man roster for as long as possible they add the daily savings to trade deadline to accumulate cap space.Cant do that with a player on ltr.
    Also there cap stays at 81.5 for there a time roster. Why pay let’s say 7 mil extra for a guy that can’t play (for a 5 round pick) really