NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

by | May 21, 2020 | Rumors | 36 comments

The latest on the Canadiens and an update on Tyson Barrie in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked what he thought Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was doing in Colorado before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic dismissed the speculation at the time, pointing out Bergevin’s daughter attends Colorado University, but Engels indicated that didn’t explain why Canadiens’ assistant GM Scott Mellanby accompanied him on that trip.

Montreal Canadiens center Max Domi (Photo via NHL Images).

Engels believes something was brewing between the two clubs before the deadline, though he’s not certain what might’ve been discussed. “What I would say, however, is that some seeds were likely planted and we could see something materialize between these teams at some point this off-season,” he said. “There are multiple scenarios that make them good trading partners.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin’s visit to Colorado sparked plenty of wild speculation before the trade deadline. Canadiens like Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault, Jeff Petry, Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, and even Carey Price were bandied about in the rumor mill, while Philipp Grubauer, Tyson Jost, Samuel Girard, Ryan Graves, and Nikita Zadorov were mentioned as potential Avs trade candidates.

Maybe the Canadiens and Avalanche will hammer out a major deal before next season, or maybe their rumored trade talks in February will come to nothing. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Asked about the possibility of the Canadiens bringing back Mikhail Sergachev by signing the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman to an offer sheet, Engels thinks it would be too expensive, perhaps costing around $8 million annually plus the loss of a first, a second, and a third-round pick as compensation if the Bolts didn’t match. Instead, the Habs could keep an eye on which players the Lightning might shop in a cost-cutting deal to free up the cap room to re-sign Sergachev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev would have to be receptive to signing an offer sheet in the first place. If he isn’t, it’s a waste of time pursuing that plan. As Engels points out, the Habs could instead look at acquiring someone like Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, or Tyler Johnson if the Bolts put one of them on the trade block. Those four, however, have no-trade protection, meaning one of them would have to agree to be traded to Montreal.

Engels was asked about the long-term futures of Domi and Tatar in Montreal. He feels if Domi, a restricted free agent, was trending toward a one-year deal before the season was paused, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll get a longer-term offer now. Tatar, a UFA next summer, may have been on his way to pricing himself out of Montreal, but a flat cap beyond next season could make it difficult for him to get that type of deal. Engels likes the chances of both staying in Montreal next season.


THE SCORE: Matt Teague reports Tyson Barrie admitted he’s facing uncertainty following this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, but the current pause of the schedule means it’s yet to be determined when he’ll be heading to market. “It’s a weird time to be heading into free agency,” Barrie said, adding his current focus is on helping the Leafs make a playoff run whenever this season resumes.

Regarding possible destinations as a free agent, Barrie indicated he’ll be seeking a team looking for a defenseman with his skills. “A good team headed in the right direction and a good organization,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of right organizations that tick those boxes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vancouver Canucks could be one of those clubs. Barrie was born in Victoria, BC, and makes his off-season home there. He was linked to the Canucks before the trade deadline.  He could be a fit as a right-side defenseman if they part ways with Chris Tanev or Troy Stecher in the off-season.




  1. I like Barrie in Vancouver to support Edler and Myers but Q Hughes is the PP quarterback and will be getting a big raise in a couple of years. Add Barrie only at the right price

    Colorado and Montreal have some interesting possibilities

    • Barrie is an upgrade over Tanev and Edler. The pp is going to be the Hughes/Petersson show for the next ten years or so.

      • Barrie is not an upgrade over either Tanev or Edler and the Canucks should have no interest in him.

    • Canucks and leafs should swap barrie and tanev rights immediately following playoffs to give each a head start at signing the other teams guy.

  2. I would be surprised if the Avs traded Girard or Graves. Sakic has proved he is a patient and savvy GM.

    • I said here for years Graves should have made NYs roster. The guy looked good every year in camp and pre season.

      Gorton lost that trade!

      • Bergevin’s visit to Colorado is Patrick Roy 2.O. Price to the Avalanche for prospects. Montreal eats some salary. No crystal ball needed here! Price on a good team will reinvigorate his career.

      • I agree with you there. Price should end up with the Av’s, and based on the Av’s goalie situation I am sure they have explored it.

        But the cap staying flat this year and likely next will not help that trade go through.

      • If Sakic pulls a price trade it will ruin all he has done so far in Colorado. Bad idea, Carey is over priced and best years behind him.

    • I think Price to the Avs won’t be happening. They have 15-16 ufas and rfas to deal with this year and next. I don’t think they can afford Price unless Montreal holds a lot more than I think they’d be willing to hold.

      Way too many other cheaper options available this off season. And they won’t cost picks or prospects.

      Holtby, Lehner, Would be better / cheaper options.

      • They also have Pavel Francouz who they signed to a 2 year extension at $2M.
        My guess he would have been the starter in the playoffs. Great #’s in KHL for 2 seasons. Played well in AHL last year and was really good for COL this year playing 31 games. Better than Price.
        Before COVID we made playoff predictions and I picked him as this years Binnington with COL hoisting the cup.
        He’s a good player.

      • If you read what Engels had to say it was … nothing. His great scoop was “seeds “likely’ have been planted, ” and that we “could” see something “in the off season.” That’s three weasel words in one sentence.

        He was not able to summon one name who might be in play from whomever his sources were. He’s merely thrown base speculation into a column just to produce content.

  3. Not sure why Colorado or anyone else would give up players, prospects or picks for Carey Price.
    Injury prone with declining results. How many teams that consider themselves a contender and have the cap room would Price be an actual upgrade?
    And even if he is an upgrade how does any GM justify moving assets to take on that horrid contract?

    Capitals? Nope
    Penguins? Nope
    Bruins? Nope
    Leafs? Nope
    Lightning? Nope
    Flyers? Nope
    Blues? Nope
    Stars? Nope
    Canucks? Nope
    Oilers? Yes, but no cap room
    Flames? yes, but no cap room
    Predators? Nope
    Avalanche? yes
    Golden Knights? Nope
    Jets? Nope

    So the only contender with the cap room that Price would possibly offer an upgrade in goal for is Colorado. Limited market means the return wouldnt be overly impressive.

    Price is over rated, over hyped and over paid. His contract makes him next to untradeablel

    • Over paid and untradeable, yes. One reason he is untradeable is that the Habs won’t trade him. He’s too important to the team. But, fair enough, I also think he – and any goalie – is overpaid at 10 million/year.

      Over rated by … whom? As has been pointed out before on this site Price was voted by the NHL players — who play against him — as the top goalie. Have you stopped to wonder why that is so?

      It is your privilege to disagree. But when the majority of NHL players who actually play against him rate him as the best I will go along with them, as opposed to a casual observer who isn’t employed in the hockey world. It’s a good example of insight versus opinion.

      To put it another way, it’s like dismissing a physician’s advice in favour of a barber’s.

      • Very well put, LJ.

        Ron Jull, I have read your comments before, I usually find them succinct and quite accurate.

        But re Price?
        Maybe there’s just a little personal animus there?

        And, sorry, but compared to the opinions of the players who actually play the game and actually experience the player, your opinion re Price has close to zero value, imo.

        Nevertheless, it’s your right to spout off, just like it’s mine.

        Be well, and keep ‘em coming.


      • The nhl players are voting out of respect for Price and it is just an opinion. The actual factual stats show the Carey Price is not even a top 15 goalie in the league. That’s every stat by the way. Save percentage, saves in high danger areas, goals against, shots from low danger areas. An opinion even if it’s by the players is still an opinion. Numbers don’t lie and that’s based off the last 3 years so you can’t use them excuse that he just had a bad year. You also can’t argue that Montreal has a bad defenceman as a lot of the goalies ahead of Price play on teams with a worst defence. He is the worst contract in the league and competing him to Patrick Roy like some people on here do is laughable. For that matter is Colorado’s defense any better than Montreal’s. There goalies stats are way better but they sure dont gave Petry or Weber. Makes you wonder why Colorado goalie numbers are better

    • Interesting that you consider every team in Canada a contender. Except for Sens. Seems highly unlikely that Montreal would retain enough salary to entice a team to take Price, and still have to pay 2 other goalies. 6 more years after this season at 10.5.

      • Yeah, Roger Laurin, but it is the players’ opinion, and as such is worth considerably more than yours, than Ron Jull’s, and than mine.

        And with the players it is multiple opinions, not just one player.

        As to your view that these players say this out of “respect”, my opinion, respectfully, is that your view on that is both balderdash and very condescending toward the players.

        Why would they accord Carey any more respect than a lot of other fine goalies?

        And is this what you do when your own opinion is asked, give an opinion that is actually not your own, out of “respect”?
        I doubt it.
        And if so, why should we believe your “opinion” here.

        But hey, they’re not you, I guess.

        Let it go.


      • @rattus don’t look at any opinion the actual numbers are there for all to see. Price in fact has not been that good the last 3 years. That’s not opinion it’s fact the numbers are there for all including you to see. Numbers don’t lie and that’s a fact not an opinion. The great thing about the factual numbers is that all NHL goalies are judged by those same factual numbers so it’s easy to compare players to each other. Carey Price has been in the bottom half of the league the last 3 years based on every factual stat used to measure goalies. Half the league will only play Montreal twice per year again that’s fact so they’re opinion compared to actual facts mean squat.

      • Be careful! Having an opinion other than that of players is blasphemy….

        Forget things like stats , your eyes etc. that is not the way a player is evaluated anymore. Now it’s “I like him”, “I’m a fan of that team” , “players voted for him”.

        With all that being said,

        The new “great one” will now and forever be known as ……..
        Mike Rupp!

        That’s right , I said it so it must be !

        Sorry Gretzky, Jagr, Howe, Messier, Lemeiux! You all suck! Take a bow to the new king of hockey…….

      • #2 all time… John Scott…. hey, he was voted into an all star game!

      • Stats also say the habs are the greatest franchise to ever play in the nhl and no team will ever dethrone them! 😁 Henri Richard is the best player to ever play the game with 11 cups 😁 stats say the rangers are one of the worst franchise in the history of the nhl a measly 4 cups in just under 100 years! Wow that is bad!

      • What has Montreal done in the modern expansion era? Yeah….

      • 10 cups since expansion………. how many have the rangers won? Yeah….

      • We’re counting the 70s in a 16 team league? Lmfao.

        How many have YOU lived through? I’m a huge Yankee fan… but I don’t do around talking 💩 about the good ole days on Ruth and Mantle…..

  4. Maybe Sakic and mellenby like to edible and ski?

    • Actually, I think that is what this whole thing is about, right – opinion?
      That is what was quoted?

      And that’s what you challenged, right, opinion?
      On the basis of your “numbers”.

      Well, I do believe in the numbers, but I don’t believe that numbers are everything.

      Neither, apparently, do the players.
      Who should know.
      Because they play the game.

      And you?

      So, without being taken in conjunction with the players opinions, without considering multiple other aspects, as a stand-alone, I would say, in turn, that the numbers are pretty much worth “squat”.

      • Rich, what is Price worth? Since the players believe he is the guy.

        How much is Bob’s getting in Florida?
        What about jumbo Joe in San Jose? Certainly he is well respected amongst “player’s”. What do they sign him for next year?

        I like Carey Price, do I think he is the best goalie, do the stats say he is the best goalie? NOPE! Bergevin thinks he is

    • Remember all those cup wins fondly?

      Lmfao. You were probably not alive for one of them…That would have had you around 5-6 in 93. Putting you in your 30s…. which seems like 27 more years than you act.

      • NYRfL,

        Are you referring to me?

        If so, lyfao is correct.

        I did my paediatric residency at the MCH in the late 70’s/ early 80’s.

        The Forum was just the other side of Cabot Square, 40 years away.
        Seen lots of parades, friendo. “The usual route”, in the words of Jean Drapeau.

        btw, my second favourite team is the NYR’s.

        Amazing rebuild.
        I have both Kakko and DeAngelo in my carryover pool.

        Be well.


      • Hey rattus,

        That was aimed at Bigbear….sorry. Wrong spot

      • Nyr4…dont bother, bbb or bigbear or whatever he is going by today has very foggy glasses on. He cuts the leafs up any chance he gets ( well warranted btw) yet thinks the Habs have done anything relevant lately(25 years).

      • Very true Fd.

        I don’t know why I’ve even given him the time of day. If I ignore him… maybe he’ll return to trolling every leaf fan on here again!
        I don’t want you guys to feel ignored or left out.

    • He wasnt referring to the Expos parades?

  5. Mellenby definitely ski’s, or at least he did when managing the Islanders.

  6. Doh! I mixed up Milbury