NHL Rumor Mill – May 22, 2020

by | May 22, 2020 | Rumors | 53 comments

The latest on Taylor Hall plus a look at several blueline free-agent targets for the Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Lisa Dillman and Eric Stephens recently examined the pros and cons if the Los Angeles Kings made an unexpected free-agent splash by signing Taylor Hall. The 28-year-old Arizona Coyotes winger and former Hart Trophy winner will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall (Photo via NHL Images).

The Kings’ projected salary-cap space for next season is $23 million, giving them plenty of room to sign Hall. Unlike their flier on Ilya Kovalchuk, Hall remains in his playing prime and would provide a big offensive boost. He also wouldn’t have to be the Kings’ savior, as he’d be joining a roster with veterans stars like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty.

Assuming the Kings could get Hall at a discount, he’d still be expensive to sign. He’s also fast approaching 30 and most of the contract would cover his declining years.

TSN: Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet remains optimistic about Hall staying in Arizona. “I’m not saying he is going to sign here, but I definitely think we’re a team he’s very interested in staying with,” Tocchet said.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Matt Layman reports Hall believes he has a good relationship with Coyotes management and the coaching staff. “I think both sides are talking a little bit, but it’s important to know what the future looks like and to know when free agency could possibly be and what the outlook is.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Kings pursuing Hall or any other big-ticket unrestricted free agents this year. Dillman pointed out general manager Rob Blake last month indicated his club’s big salary-cap year would be in another year. That’s not to say Blake won’t look into the UFA market for one or two affordable options, but he’s not going to blow the wad on an expensive star.

Coyotes GM John Chayka must shed one or two contracts to free up sufficient cap room if he hopes to keep Hall in Arizona. Cap Friendly indicates they have nearly $80 million invested in 16 players for 2020-21, though they’ll get $5.275 million in cap relief by placing all-but-retired Marian Hossa on long-term injury reserve. Hall could seek around $9 million annually on a long-term deal.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal recently listed eight defensemen for the Vancouver Canucks to target via free agency. They include Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, Calgary’s Travis Hamonic, Washington’s Radko Gudas, Winnipeg’s Dylan DeMelo, Philadelphia’s Justin Braun, Florida’s Mark Pysyk, San Jose’s Tim Heed, and Tampa Bay’s Jan Rutta.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie and Hamonic are obviously the best of the bunch and would also be the most expensive to sign. Salary-cap space will likely be a significant determining factor here. The Canucks have over $63.4 million invested in 14 players, with Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Toffoli, and Chris Tanev are their notable UFAs while Jake Virtanen heads their list of restricted free agents.

It could cost a combined $12 million to keep Markstrom and Toffoli in the fold. Unless GM Jim Benning can shed some salary (Loui Eriksson? Brandon Sutter?), the Canucks could be forced to consider more cost-effective blueline options.


  1. For all you “old timers”—1963 revisited

    Regarding the Canucks cap issue

    Loui, Loui
    Oh Baby
    He gotta go…….

    The Kingsmen

    • And it was banned in several places in the U.S. and even spawned an FBI investigation because … well, since no one could understand the lyrics they therefore HAD to be dirty … and so it was that, thanks to that publicity, a song, which had originally emerged in 1957 as a Jamaican love song by it’s composer Richard Berry, and covered by a garage band whose lead vocalist was wearing dental braces at the time, and that most would probably not have listened to twice, became a major hit.

      • George not sure what is more amazing:
        A – that actually happened
        B – you remember it in that much detail

        Sometimes I can’t remember why I am downstairs in the storage room.

      • LOL. Been there too Ray. Just that my hobby has been to collect those songs that made the Pop, R&B, Country and Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening charts (Top 100) for the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Along the way I have also accumulated a lot of such trivia. Keeps me busy and out of my wife’s hair.

  2. Hall is seeking 9 per? Mid 50s per point guy….? Often injured

    Best of luck to the team that signs that deal.

    • Yup. I don’t understand that price tag for that level of production.

    • I am going to get flamed but winning does not seem to follow Hall. His MVP award was barely warranted imho

      no thanks

      • LOL. ds, I said much the same thing a few weeks back, likening him to Matt Duchesne in that regard, and did draw some predictable backlash.

        Hard to avoid that perception when the team records suggest there’s truth to it.

      • I’ll play Devils advocate. Pun intended. He had 93 points when he won mvp. Devils went from 70 points previous year to 97 points. They made playoffs after missing out in 5 previous seasons. I’ll admit he’s had injuries, but that’s different from being a 50 point guy. His per game average makes him more a 70 point guy. (I admittedly don’t know the math on this for fact, but a pretty good guess) sure there’s risk, but he’s definitely worth 9m when healthy.

      • Hall has had 70 points or more twice in his 10 year career. (93 and 80)

        The other years
        Total of 563 points over a 10 year career. His career average is 56 points.
        I know he has been injured a lot but that’s kinda the point.

        Unless we use the magic Price greatness factor and start counting points he never scored or could have scored….. he’s a 56 point player who is hurt a lot and isn’t worth 9 million….

      • Slick62, yeah, that 93 point season was a great one – but since he has been around for 10 seasons, let’s look at his average totals based on an 82-game season after eliminating his best and his worst season totals. That works out to 25g 41a 66 points. Not bad – but I’m not forking over $9 mil per for that or anything close to it.

        Had Jonathan Cheechoo been coming up for a contract renewal the season after his 56goal 37assist 93 pt season in 2005-10 instead of being on a $3 mil deal, how much would have been tossed about as his potential cap hit? 4 years later, after averaging 25g 25a 50 pts over his NHL career, he was in the AHL and 3 years after that in Europe.

      • I guess there’s a difference of opinion of what a “50 point” player is. I was commenting more based on talent level. 10 seasons is a pretty big sample size. Having a 0.089 per game scoring average projects to 73 points over an 82 game season. (ok. I did math) Compared to a guy that plays 10 full seasons and averages 50 points, which is what I call a 50 point player. I’ve admitted he has an injury history, but teams will pay for that talent. Not all teams, but someone will.

      • Unfortunately because of him being prone to injury, you can’t count on his per game production or pencil him on for 70-80 points. He’s only achieved that number 20% of his playing career. And missed 80%.

        Basically if he signs a 5 year deal , maybe he hits those numbers once. Chances are he doesn’t .

        It hasn’t been the norm to this point. I can’t imagine it gets better with age and time.

      • I have no doubt they will Slick62, history has proven that it’s impossible to protect incompetents from themselves. But what many are saying is, any GM that does is hamstringing himself in terms of cap nightmares down the line.

        There aren’t a whole lot of teams with lots of cap space to take on that kind of contract and all of them are at or near the bottom of the league at this juncture. I can’t see any of them (the Detroits, Ottawas, LAs, Anaheims as examples) taking on that kind of deal knowing they are going to have some high draft picks who, should they develop as expected, are going to get big bucks – nor can I see Hall wanting to go through the re-building doldrums again while these kids develop. So who does that leave? Most, if not all, the so-called immediate contenders already have several high-priced players in the fold and so taking on a $9 mil deal is a non-starter.

        Add to that the financial uncertainty dictated by the long-term economic effects of Covid-19 and I think Mr. Hall and his agent are in for rude awakenings.

  3. In an exchange yesterday re Carey Price and the value of NHL players’ view of him being the best goalie, Roger L correctly pointed out that Carey Price’s stats the past several years have not been good. Roger dismissed the players views in favour of “factual stats” as determining Price’s (and presumably every other player’s) impact.

    So, how predictive are statistics for player and team supremacy? Last night I explored the relationship between teams’ winning percentage for the regular season and winning the Cup. I also explored the impact of goalies’ save % on winning the Cup.

    The Cup has been won once since 2010 by the team with the best regular season winning percentage the same year: Washington. The Cup Champions’ goalie since 2010 has been won once by the goalie with the best save percentage the same year: Tim Thomas.

    Thomas, Ken Dryden and Dominik Hasek are the only three goalies in the top 10 all time save percentage that have ever won the Cup. Take Dryden out of the mix, and no top 10 all time save % goalie has won the Cup more than once (Hasek won the Cup twice with Detroit but Osgood was the starter in 2008).

    So … what? It would be foolish to disregard statistics. No goalie will have an NHL career with an .800 save %. It is equally foolish disregard the insight of the players regarding the bona fides of their opponents.

    If statistics were determinant:
    * the team with the top regular winning percentage would win the Cup much more than once every 10 years;
    * the team with the goalie with the best regular season save percentage should win the Cup much more than once every 10 years.

    So Roger, still wedded to “factual stats” as being supremely determinate? You could claim to be right about statistics but wrong in your conclusions. No, Price hasn’t won the Cup yet. But as statistics show, the best goalies usually don’t.

    Or, might you now allow that NHL players’ views are worth considering after all. Which validates their view that he is the best. Your choice.

    • You m going to go with stats. Nothing to do with not winning a cup.

      The more I have thought about this argument (that has now trickled into day 3) the more I find it absurd that Prices “elite status/ greatness etc is primarily based off of hypotheticals and ridiculousness.

      What other person in any walk of life gets that kinda pass?

      “Hey, Rosie O’Donnell would be miss America if she was 1000 times prettier than she is“

      Mike Rupp would have been an all star every year if he wasn’t so terrible.

      Larry Brooks would be a great writer if he didn’t suck so much.

      Carey Price would be the best goAlie ever if he had a different team in front of him.

      I base my opinions on reality and facts. Not hypocriticals and bs.

      • Hypotheticals not hypotheticals!

      • I’ll meet you part way, NY. I think Brooks is a doofus too. But be fair, that is an opinion. It might even be based on hypotheticals and ridiculousness.

      • totally concur

    • You can’t base it on save percentage. As stated yesterday you can look up Cary Prices save percentage? Goals against, save percentage from shots in high danger areas, save percentage from shots in low danger areas as well as many other valid and factual stats. Carey Price over the last 3 years in in the bottom. Half of every single one of those stats not just overall save percentage. Just for kicks I pulled up Jonathan quick stars for the 2011-2012 run. He was in the top 5 in every stat category over the 3 year span when they won there cups and top 2 both years he won the cups but that’s not the point. Any team that makes the playoffs can win the cup regardless of stats. That doesn’t chang the FACT that Carey Price has been a bottom half goalie the last 3 years the numbers and his play are there to prove it regardless what a player who might play him twice a year says You obviously have a love for Caret Price so you can have an opinion that he’s the best goalie in the world and that makes it so for you but factual numbers and every relevant goalie stat and I mean every one clearly shows he’s been below average the last 3 years. Like it or not it’s fact.

      • Roger: Your statement that any team can win the Cup regardless of statistics is absolutely correct.

        And you might have also said that LA was in 13th place, with a .579 win percentage well below almost every team to make the playoffs. Yet they won, in spite of what their statistics indicated. As is the case in almost every playoff.

        I like Price but I don’t love him. I was aware that his stats have been mediocre.

        But I am also aware that it is willful blindness to keep banging on about how statistics are the exclusive basis for judging talent, or success.

      • Lj if it was 1 stat or 1 year I could agree but this is every relevant stat over the last 3 years. There’s no logical way of disputing those numbers. The people who keep saying it’s the team in front of him is also laughable because Montreal’s defence isn’t even that bad and you can use things like saves in high and low danger areas which has nothing to do with the team it’s the actual saves he makes when shots are taken from those areas. He was the best goalie in the world 4 years ago but that was a long time ago

    • Carey Price is an elite net minder.
      His contract (dollar amount)is the only downside to his stat pack.
      If I were permitted to select any goalie in the league to build my team around, it would be Price.
      I’m not completely swayed by the rest of his stats, merely because the Habs aren’t a great team.
      However Carey Price IS a great goalie.
      If the Habs had the defensive talent to play the same suppressive style of game as the Bruins once did under Claude, Price would have a lock on every stat and award available.

      • Hypotheticals and ifs. None of which can be substantiated. But it’s interesting that this continues to be the argument.

        Maybe Sean Avery was the next Jagr if he played alongside Crosby?

        Lundqvist would have 6-7 cups had he not played so many years without goal support?

        The endless possibilities of hypotheticals and ifs….

      • Yes, NYR4LIFE.
        I suppose one could look at things that way.

        I’d just ask the players in a poll or something like that, if they agree with your comparisons.
        What do you think the percentage would be of those who agree with you?
        Close to the same percentage as those who KNOW better than those who don’t, and voted Price the best?

        No offense to you, but I take the NHL players evaluation of one another over yours anyday.

        And while we’re here, the Mike Rupp shtick is old and tired, and was the second time you wrote it.

      • Old and tired… like trying to base facts off opinions and what ifs for 3 days in a row?

        People lie, numbers don’t. Even Mike Rupp knows that!

        All these players voting him the best-est ever…. are sure beating him on a pretty regular basis over the past 3 years….

        So I guess their hs education didn’t teach them 💩 about numbers, statistics etc.

      • Why would you take a shot at the players educational achievement?

        You sure can be a nasty fellow when you’re wrong.

      • How am I wrong? Because I use actual facts instead of hypotheticals or opinion?

        That’s beyond absurd. It’s beyond stupid to use things that cannot actually be proven to evaluate anything.

        I guess every conversation here, we can just go ahead apply the Price rule from now on?

        Hey… that guy is no Crosby or McDavid…. but he could be?

        Lmao. Lyle might as well just close shop.

      • Roger I do not want to drag this debate on, and it is not personal for me with you or anyone else. Indeed I see NY4life is becoming increasingly snide with his comments and I am not interested in such exchanges. This site is supposed to be fun.

        But to be clear: I have not said and do not say now that Price is the best goalie. It might surprise you that I think his play has tailed off, just as you do.

        My point is that my thinking has been provoked by the NHL players poll picking Price as the best goalie, and by the news that Pittsburg doesn’t like the idea of playing a rested Price in the first round. Surely, Roger, statistics and all, that gives pause for thought.

        At least it does for me.

      • I do apologize for my remarks. 3 days of this bs is getting old.

        I just don’t see the point of all this discussion…. beating a dead horse .

        Here are some fun Price stats he is #1 in goals against this year! Nobody has more goals against than Price.

        #7 same category last year.

        #13 the year prior.

        Tied #17 year prior.

        Anyone else see an obvious pattern here? Nah…. these players that just beat this guy constantly are voting him the best……

        What do I know other than truth , stats, and the grossly obvious that players don’t?
        They got me there!

      • Lj nyr gets snide when he is wrong, nhl players know more than anyone on here by a mile !

      • Bigbear,

        Your opinion on about anything here is useless. You do nothing but fight and argue and troll here….

        How many people here even entertain your bs?

      • I think players are worth listening to , Bigbear. Most teams likely have an analytics department, it would be wise to have one.

        But it seems to me that most coaches and gms are former players, NHL or otherwise. That reinforces the merit of player insights.

        I know Dubas might fall into the camp of an analytics type, but don’t see that as a good example for the statistics champions.

      • Totally agree players know more than any of us

  4. Somebody is going to regret signing Hall for big bucks…reminds me of the PK Subban deal…he won a Norris somehow and MTL overpaid to keep him.

  5. The next ripping that comes up here about Toronto’s defense and Andersen …. I want some here to remember this Price conversation.

    All I’ve seen here is how horrible Toronto’s defense is… day after day.

    So I guess Andersen who plays in front of a horrible defense is better than Price?

    Andersen 2.85 gaa .909 sv% ranked #34

    Price 2.79gaa .909 sv% ranked #32

    • They’re both better than Lundqvist and Georgiev 3.16 gaa 905 save % and 3.04 gaa and 910 save %. Less goals against is better right? Lol

      • This year, yes they are . Career not so much. Price trails Lundqvist is about every statistical category regular season and playoffs.

        And he’s played about 275 more games than Price has season / playoffs combined.

        So I guess Lundqvist is the superior guy…,

        Oh wait let me add in the ifs for you!

        You’ve NEVER seen me pump Lundqvists tires you homer… so stop acting like I’ve ever painted that picture.

      • Oh so you want to talk about the past now? The other day you didn’t so I just provided the most recent stats

      • The other day I said do a career comparison and you disappeared like Price in the playoffs.

      • Or Lundqvist you forgot to mention! He hasn’t won the cup either

      • And the most recent stats overall… not counting Lundqvist who is basically being played out of NY…..

        Price still is less than most in the nhl. So what argument do you wish to use…. stats or opinions ? You can’t flip flop when it suits you.

  6. Hall got injured in warm-up for crying out loud. He is the reason Helmuts we’re going to be (are ?) mandatory in warmup.
    He also went head first into the boards in junior. I saw it and thought he broke his neck . Some players just have the black cloud and are injury prone . Whatever the reason Hall is one of those.

  7. Career


    Lundqvist 887gp 459 win’s 310 losses 2.43 gaa .918 sv% 64 so’s

    Price 682gp 348 wins 250 losses 2.49gaa .917sv% 48 so’s


    Lundqvist 128gp 61 wins 65 losses 2.28gaa .922sv% 10 so’s

    Price 60gp 25 wins 31 losses 2.53gaa, .914sv% 5 so’s

    Lundqvist 38 years old

    Price 32…..


    It’s official. Lundqvist is better… and I didn’t even have to throw in some bs maybes , what ifs hypotheticals etc.

    • Why are you being so obtuse?
      Settle down. It’s a difference of opinion.
      I believe you’re wrong.
      You believe that you’re right.
      Your stats are good.
      Your eyes aren’t.
      No need for the New Yark Nastiness.

      • Lol shore ain’t that the truth!

      • Settle down, but let me insult NY’ers on the way out of this comment! Lmao…

        Obtuse? Because I refuse to take opinions as fact? Lmao!!!! Priceless! No pun intended!

      • I lay out facts and stats you choose to ignore over opinion… and I’m obtuse?

        Jeezus! You can’t make this 💩 up!

      • Hey, guys, I enjoy a good debate as much as the next person, but I think this Price spiel has run its course. I’ve provided a lot of leeway of late in these comments because, quite frankly, there wasn’t very much to discuss hockey-wise over the last several weeks. But this one is getting out of hand now. You’ve made your points, some of them good ones, but it’s obvious you’re never going to sway the other or win the argument. Agree to disagree and move on. Cheers!

      • Agreed. It’s old and I’m done.

      • Of course the Montreal fan would call it the price spiel instead of the Lundqvist spiel. Lame.


      • Lmao

  8. Just to sum up, the original point was that a hot goalie could steal a short series. Price was used as an example, not as the focus of the discussion.
    Seems as though the players are willing to go with best of five for the play-in round but even that might trigger an argument.
    I don’t get it – hot goalies are part of the playoffs same as bad ice, unsung heroes, terrible officiating, etc. etc.
    Play on.