NHL Rumor Mill – May 25, 2020

by | May 25, 2020 | Rumors | 15 comments

​In today’s NHL rumor mill, we take a look at the latest Blues speculation plus several suggested second-line center and defense targets for the Jets.


STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat, Tom Timmermann was asked if the St. Louis Blues could trade Jaden Schwartz, Jake Allen, or both as cost-cutting measures.

Could the Blues trade Jake Allen after this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

He feels trading Allen would be the easiest solution to freeing up salary-cap space to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo. The improvement in his play this season could improve his trade value.

If Schwartz intends to seek a significant raise on his next contract in 2021, the Blues could be forced to move him. Trading him early when a team can get a full season out of him before his contract expires would improve his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $79.4 million invested in 20 players, with Pietrangelo and RFA blueliner Vince Dunn their priorities to re-sign. Shedding Schwartz ($5.35 million through 2020-21, 15-team no-trade list) and Allen ($4.35 million through 2020-21) would free up $9.7 million in cap room. That’s enough to re-sign Pietrangelo, but not for Dunn.

Unless Blues management intends to let Pietrangelo walk after this season, they’ll probably have to dump around $14 million to retain their cap, re-sign Dunn, and leave sufficient cap space for other roster moves next season.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Murat Ales suggested 16 candidates to address the Winnipeg Jets’ second-line center position for 2020-21.

In-house options include Bryan Little, Andrew Copp, and Jack Roslovic.

Unrestricted free agent possibilities include re-signing Cody Eakin or pursuing the Islanders’ Derick Brassard, Minnesota’s Alex Galchenyuk, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund, Arizona’s Carl Soderberg or Florida’s Erik Haula.

Trade options include Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson, Montreal’s Max Domi, or Dallas’ Roope Hintz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic could be the most likely in-house option. He wants to move up into the Jets’ top-six. It might be worthwhile to give him that opportunity. If it doesn’t work, they can turn to the in-season trade market.

Granlund might be the best of those proposed UFA options, though he’s spent more time on the wing in recent years. Unless Johnson waives his no-trade clause, he’s not going to Winnipeg. Despite the speculation in the Montreal media over Domi’s future with the Habs, I think they’ll re-sign him. The Stars aren’t moving Hintz, as the big 23-year-old sophomore winger is blossoming into one of their core forwards.

Ken Wiebe (subscription required) looks at 10 defense options via the off-season free-agent and trade markets. The UFAs include Washington’s Brenden Dillon, Calgary’s Travis Hamonic, Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Shattenkirk. His trade targets include Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Carolina’s Jake Gardiner, New Jersey’s Damon Severson, and Minnesota’s Matt Dumba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dillon, Hamonic, and Barrie could be reasonable options. Hamonic is a Manitoba native and could be keen on returning home if the Flames don’t re-sign him.

I don’t see the Ducks parting with Manson, the Devils with Severson, or the Wild with Dumba. Given the state of their respective bluelines, they need those rearguards if they hope to be competitive next season. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, might gladly listen to offers for Gardiner, but I doubt the Jets’ management would be interested in him.


  1. Pietrangelo should want to come in more than Subban and less than Karlsson and Doughty . $9 . Something

    Tampa vs Winnipeg ? If me not waiving my no trade. Little has had some major injuries. I know they love him on the Jets but you have to be realistic at this stage of his career.

  2. Now Schwartz could be an interesting option. But the teams with cap space are going to want some confidence he’ll resign. He’d be a great get for a contender as a possible rental but who is a contender and has cap space?

    • Boston if they let Krug walk.

      • You just made it move, Ray.

  3. Re Jets and D…. UFAs

    Again , I state emphatically that I would love him on Leafs or Pens; but Soucy will come very reasonably and I believe he is still rising (and quickly at that)

    Big smooth skater on the rise …. and getting a UFA still at 25 years old !!!! is a big bonus…. low risk ; reasonably low cost investment with potentially an excellent ROI !!!!

    Would Oilers have interest? He’s from Viking (90 mins away)

    Soucy shoots left; and Oilers have Klefbom ; Nurse and Jones; but Soucy has been used on the right; just a thought

    Penultimate for me; even setting aside CBO; do reg buyout of JJ; sign Soucy; net Cap diff ZERO or possibly even Cap savings; MASSIVE increase in Pens D performance and Pens over-all performance; team better; players , coaches, owners, fans much happier

  4. Blues need to keep Schwartz with his possession game even with the injury issues. Not sure how deep they would be without him and Piet.

  5. Regarding Blues/cap: The necessary $14 million that Lyle speaks of can come from Steen @ 5.75, Bozak @ 5, and Allen @ 4.35. Each of the guys are important contributors, but can be replaced. I just don’t know how Armstrong can get it accomplished.

    ps. you can add Gunnarsson @ 1.75 to the mix as well.

    pps. I would try to ditch Faulk’s 6.5 million before I would consider trading Schwartz

    ppss. Happy Holiday–Honor Our Veterans

  6. There would be less talk about the Jets need for a 2C if Little hadn’t been hit in the head by a couple illegal checks, one that resulted in a suspension and a slapshot. Prior to that his history in the league is not particularly injury prone. I watched recent re-runs of the Nashville series in 2018 – Little was fantastic. Even healthy the Jets traded to upgrade at center as the offensive chemistry is not there with Ehlers/Laine on the wings. He is a luxury to have as a 3c but is not an in house answer that fully addresses the issues.

    The answer may end up being someone who is not currently putting up great numbers but rather someone who finds chemistry with the wings (think Craig Conroy with Blues vs with Iginla). Eakin showed some potential in a short evaluation since the TD. I think that given the youth of the Jets that GM Chevy (is that the perfect name for a general manager employed by the Murray Group?) will continue to test the waters with lower risk aquisitions such as Haula or Eakin until someone takes off. Roslovic might end up being the guy as he muscles up – and this is a good scenario for the Jets. Appleton was rookie of the year in AHL and played centre there. He is smart, has good size and is another potential not to be overlooked.

  7. On defense Morrissey, Poolman, Pionk will be around. Morrissey and Pionk are smart and athletic. Neither scare anyone as #1 dmen but in Winnipeg we have started to have confidence in Pionk and Morrissey is a gem. Poolman is going to surprise people as about a #4 d.

    Niku, Heinola and Samberg are wildcards. Niku was defenseman of the year in the AHL as a rookie , expectations are significant but he had an injury riddled season that started with a car accident. Heinola far exceeded expectations in his 9 games as a rookie. Samberg expectations are high – I haven’t seen him play except for some with Team USA but some Trouba qualities are expected in a player said to be ready to make the jump.

    Kulikov can be part of the mix, just has been overpayed for what he delivered. I liked Spisa as a #7, Beulieu is a #5/6, many did not. Bitetto, Dahlstrom, and others are marginal replacement level players – to belong they need to be adding strong intangibles that fans don’t often see.

    I am really hoping to keep Demelo around – the jets were better with him. Hamonic, Severson, Dillon would be nice adds. They lack a dman who plays a heavier game – Kulikov is the closest to this.

  8. The two trade candidates that prompt the question: “what happened?” are Gardiner and Galchenyuk.

    Gardiner was effectively chased out of Toronto for gaffe filled play. Going to a stronger defensive team in Carolina he is a -24. The next closest player is -7. Quite a trick, that.

    Galchenyuk had 30 goals in 2015-16, and then his production has fallen off a cliff with each of the three teams he subsequently played for. Rumours are that his Dad was far too interfering in his coaching development. Thanks, Dad.

    Any receiving team would need much incentive to take either player.

    • LJ
      I thought Gardener was unaffordable in Toronto? If I recall, most rumors had them wanting to keep him. Also, Galchenyuk is a ufa after this season. Nobody needs to trade for him. Could be a low risk, high reward signing for someone. Only 26 years old and doubt he’ll cost much.

      • Slick, the cap was for sure an issue in Toronto. I am going off of memory about the criticism, maybe Leaf fans can comment?

        Fair point about Galchenyuk’s age. His Dad’s influence was present in his junior days, so basically all his career. Can he “unlearn” his Dad’s influence? Can he improve his commitment to defence/work ethic? Maybe, but he will have to re-invent himself.

  9. 2.0
    Rangers have had some recent trade history with Jets. Both Strome (2C) and DeAngelo are rfa’s currently having career years. Team will be up against the cap next year with 7.49 in dead cap space. Could be more if they decide to buyout Lundqvist. . Not sure they’ll be able to keep both. Strome has played most of season with Panarin and they’ve had decent chemistry. He could find same with Jets.

    • Stome could be the guy for 2C. Regardless of hockey side Chevaldeyov has shown low tolerance for potential disruptive players and as much as NYR might want to banish him to the Siberia of the NHL DeAngelo is unlikely to be a jet.

      • Actually, Rangers are pretty happy with DeAngelo. I don’t see him going to Jets. IMO, he has high value now and could be best trade pawn. If they somehow keep both, that would probably be the end for Jasper Fast in NY, and will keep them from upgrading roster. They would have to hope the kids keep growing into larger roles. To me, Chytil isn’t a 2C yet.