NHL Rumor Mill – May 30, 2020

by | May 30, 2020 | Rumors | 39 comments

Recent speculation on the Red Wings, Sharks, and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE DETROIT NEWS: Bob Wojnowski recently reported Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman acknowledged he might be slightly more aggressive in shaping his roster this off-season via trades and free agency. He wants to build up the supporting cast around Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Tyler Bertuzzi as the young core improves.

The Detroit Red Wings could have interest in Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug if he hits the UFA market (Photo via NHL Images)

Yzerman stressed he won’t go into the free-agent market to make a splash. He’ll instead focus on “sensible signings”. He remains confident he’ll re-sign restricted free agents like Mantha and Bertuzzi. “We’re not gonna let them go anywhere, we’ll get deals done,” he said.

Wojnowski speculated the Wings might be interested in pending UFA defensemen like Boston’s Torey Krug and Toronto’s Tyson Barrie or a goalie like Vegas’ Robin Lehner. “But who knows if they’d be interested in the Wings, who have decent young players and lots of draft picks, but few guaranteed stars,” said Wojnowski.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite having plenty of salary-cap space, Yzerman remains focused on a patient rebuild. I expect we’ll see more trades akin to last fall’s Robby Fabbri deal with St. Louis, targeting struggling young players on other clubs. He could be very interested in Krug, Barrie, or Lehner if they express interest in coming to Detroit, but he’ll likely have to settle for affordable second-tier depth talent on short-term deals.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Marcus White recently reported San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson faces a busy off-season. He must hire a full-time head coach, shore up his goaltending, add scoring depth on the wings, supplement his aging, expensive core with young NHL talent, and do it all with a limited budget.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Resolving the coaching situation seems the easiest of Wilson’s tasks this off-season. Wilson seems to be leaning toward removing the interim tag from head coach Bob Boughner’s title. The rest will be challenging. 

Wilson could peddle the 2020 first-round pick he acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning before the trade deadline to bring in an established young NHL player. However, that would leave him without a pick in the opening round.

Most of his core veterans have no-trade protection and hefty contracts. Wilson could shop restricted free agent winger Kevin Labanc, but then he’d have to find someone to replace him. He could pursue a UFA backup like Dallas’ Anton Khudobin or the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss, but he’ll have competition from other clubs for their services.


NHL.COM: Mike G. Morreale reports Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion is unlikely to sign any unrestricted free agents this year to long-term contracts. He could instead add some veteran depth on short-term deals.

The draft order could also determine how busy Dorion might be in the UFA market. He could have three picks in the first round, seven in the opening two rounds, and 13 over seven rounds. “If you’re going to pick Nos. 1-2, it’s different than picking Nos. 5-6,” Dorion said. “The players going 1-2 probably have a higher chance of playing in the NHL next year. At the same time, we know we’re going to take two good players with our first two picks.”

Morreale speculates Dorion could use some of those picks as trade bait leading up to the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion has sufficient cap room next season to add a couple of decent UFA depth players on short-term deals. He could make his biggest splash at the draft, using some of those extra picks to perhaps pry a quality talent away from a cap-strapped club.

If the Senators win the draft lottery, perhaps Dorion will be tempted to dangle the conditional first-rounder he got from the Islanders in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau deal as trade bait.


  1. For the Sad Seven, its going to be a horribly long off-season. And for NJ fans the conditional first rounders will be painful to wait and watch for. Ottawa, man that might be a quick turn around. I thought Dorian was an idiot to acquire Matt Duchene (and he was), but he has a chance to build a real good team now.

    • Dorian’s sitting pretty with those draft picks plus a good chance to win the lottery and land the first overall pick. Even at second and third overall, he’s going to land two quality young players with the potential to blossom into stars.

      Still, it’ll be a crucial off-season for him. What he does with those picks, including those he intends to use as trade bait, could have a significant effect upon the Senators for a decade.

      • So, no pressure, right? 🙂

    • Kevin, that whole Duchene deal keeps popping up as an example of a bad move by Dorion. And, using the 20-20 vision of hindsight, it probably was. But let’s remember that, when he made the deal to get Duchene on November 5, 2017 they were just into the season after coming oh so close to going to the cup finals the previous year, losing to the Penguins in double-OT in game 7. You can’t blame him for thinking the addition of Duchene’s offense might be the ingredient needed to close the deal.

      Yes, they gave up C prospect Shane Bowers to Colorado and with the 1st round pick from Ottawa, Colorado chose left-shooting D Bowen Byram from the Vancouver Giants – who has NHL written all over him. You have to give up something to get something, and at the time Duchene wasn’t exactly sliced cheese.

      Unfortunately, Ottawa’s season went south from the time of the trade and that’s when the “experts” began crawling out of the woodwork, calling Dorion an idiot. Again, ain’t hindsight great?

      When Duchene then demurred on signing a new deal in Ottawa (and it wasn’t the money/term offered which he said was fine – he just did not want to be part of a re-build – can’t blame him) he was dealt to Columbus on Feb 22, 2019 in a 3-way with Nashville which saw Ottawa able to dump Turris. In exchange Ottawa picked up prospects Vitali Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson and with the conditional 1st round pick from Columbus they selected D prospect Lassi Thompson.

      So here we are waiting to see whose prospects flourish and whose flounders. This past shortened AHL season, Bowers had10g 17a 27 pts in 48 games played. Byram was having another real good WHL season and looks to be the gem of the whole affair. But right now he is, like the others, a prospect.

      Abramov, in 51 AHL games, had 18g 23a 41 pts while Davidsson struggled with injuries, and D-man Thompson had 7g 6a 13 pts in 39gp in the Finnish League.

      Bottom line? None on either side have proven anything at the NHL level, so the jury is still out as to who came out better.

      • Not arguing with what you said, but also keep in mind that Matt Duchene had publicly requested a trade out of Colorado, so it should not have cost a premium to get him. At the time of the trade and in that context I thought it was an overpay. Dorian, however looks brilliant since in my opinion.

      • I see what you’re saying Kevin – but you also have to remember that Ottawa wasn’t the only team interested in a F who, for the Avalanche, had averages of 25 goals and 33 assists for 58 pts per season.

        Sakic likely had several offers to ponder and probably played one against the other to get the best deal possible.

      • George O,
        Not looking for an argument. But only just read your reply to my comment yesterday. I specifically stated “I don’t support the reckless behavior“ of protesters. I didn’t appreciate your calling me a “bleeding heart”. Nobody wants to see the violence and destruction. I was angry when I read your post. No, you don’t need to apologize, but understand, I saw plenty of comments on social media yesterday. I come here for hockey talk. You chose to express your anger at protesters, while my anger was with the “murdered” victim. I don’t need to apologize either. Hopefully, no hard feelings. Cheers

      • None at all Slick. And when I used the term “bleeding hearts” I wasn’t referring to you but rather the various news types and pundits who are always quick to come to the defense of those agitators who invariably cross the line when it comes to “protesting.” Nyr4life got my drift and as for my comment in the first place, I was responding to DeaconFrost’s post which opened “Hope everyone is well in the pandemic and civil unrest that may of us are experiencing. Significant damage in downtown CBus this morning after protests turned violent….truly unheard of for our city….”

        As I said, I am fully aware of the root cause of the unrest and while I totally sympathize with the black community in general and believe that moron cop should have the book thrown at him, I also know from first-hand experience during my working years that many protests targeting a wide range of complaints are hi-jacked by the idiot fringe who see it as an opportunity to loot, burn, smash and who, as Nyr4life pointed out, don’t “give a rats ass about justice.”

    • If Dorion is going to trade use a pick or two for some NHL help.
      The most sense would be for Dorion to make a trade offer for Josh Anderson.

      Josh Anderson fits the bill the type of player that would fit right in what Dorion is building the Senators.

      • I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Anderson was one of those being closely considered AI. But with reservations since he’s an RFA with arbitration rights, and did have a 27-goal season (47n pts) the year before his injury-hampered season) you can also bet that Dorion will want to determine a) that he’s fully recovered and that his injury isn’t a possible chronic type, and b) how much more than his current $1,850,000 cap hit will he and his agent be seeking.

        That’s why I keep saying Dorion will be looking first at solid-type, established players with term costing in the $2.5 to 3.5 mil range on teams smack up against the limit that simply MUST clear cap space in order to keep key RFAs and even some UFAs they may wish to retain.

  2. I believe that both Detroit and Ottawa have to be two of the KEY players for the Blues to deal with their cap concerns (you can probably add Montreal and Devils to list as well). Are you listening Armstrong?

    • Man, as a Devils fan would love to “help” the Blues out at the right price. But Devils ownership is starting to show an ineptness that could ruin what was starting to be built there. I liked most things Shero did, but yes it was taking too long, but the timing of his firing was questionable, and we still do not have a GM or coach – what was the plan? Outside of some lottery luck this team could be a lot worse. They have had salary cap room – for years- and fail to capitalize on that or pay up for top talent, even on an overpay.

      • Yes, the Devils face a difficult off-season. Once they hire a new GM (Fitzgerald? Gillis? Futa? Someone else?) and coach (Nasreddine? Gallant? Stevens? Laviolette?), we’ll have a clearer picture of their plans for the roster. They definitely need help throughout the roster and it’s going to take some shrewd moves to sort it out.

      • Sens are setting up very well for 2-5 years from now:

        —3 first rounders (unless Isles lose in playin and win a lottery ball)

        — 13 ‘20 picks

        — By my count 13 Belleville players 22 yrs or younger

        — 3 NHL players under contract for at leasT 4 more years AND 10 NHL RFAs (RFA this year or next)

        — Mucho Cap space this year

        —George available to keep Dorion in check

        I’d seriously try to deal with Chayka who MUST clear cap space…. wait for SB to be paid …. Stepan (only $2M Sal next year —- final year of contract) and Garland (IMO very good young NHLer —- CW —— on the rise and RFA) for a mid-late round pick(s)

        Sign a couple of single year contract UFAs …. that could be dealt at TDL ‘21 for young assets

        Re Blues , who need space; if they could get Steen to waive … Steen plus prospect to Sens for mid/late pick

        If Blues can’t get Steen to waive and if there is no CBO… they might need to move Boz… $5 M cap ; $4.2 M Sal…. so is it Kostin that would have to be the sweetener for a deal with Sens?

        No matter what …. Sens are positioned very well

        Re Sens keeping all picks or trading some of them …. just citing Chi and how they built a dynasty ….. picking 39 players over 3 drafts… ‘03 – ‘05….. scoring on some later picks (Hjarmalsson, Brouwer, Dusty, and getting Crawford @ 52ndand ) plus later parlaying some of those others drafted with other players in deals that brought them players that rounded out a powerful dynasty team

        One could argue that Chi lucked out with those later pick boons; or others could argue the gamble of keeping and taking so many picks seriously increased their chances of getting those odd successful late rounders … playing the numbers game

        Sens have 22 picks over the next 2 years!!!

      • Well Kevin,

        What kind of “help” are you interested in??

        Maybe Jake Allen and Zack Sanford for a 4th?

        How about Vince Dunn and Tyler Bozak for a 1st?

        Faulk? De La Rose? Bortuzzo? Gunnarsson? Steen?

        The Blues shop is open

      • @iowa boy, the Devils need help everywhere and have plenty of cap room. So helping with cap relief Allen should be no issue, any interest in moving Scott Perunovich?

      • Yes—as long as the Blues get Vince Dunn resigned, Perunovich can be dealt. Let’s go Allen and Scott P for that 4th.

    • The blues cap concerns…. but also Tampa, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Boston, San Jose, Toronto, Vegas, …, I forget anyone?


      • Hi Chrisms

        Arz…. see my post above re Stepan (with sweetener Garland) to Sens

        Looks like Pens could start next year with $4.1 M in LTIR space (Bjug)

      • Pengy

        If Dorion is going to make a trade I would like to see Dorion make a trade with the Blue Jackets

      • Hi Al

        Who are you targeting from Jackets?

      • Hi Chrisms

        With flat Cap; Bjug on LTIR…. ~ $17 M for 8 positions!

        Already posted many times for my greatest hope …. CBO….. JJ out ; sign UFA Soucy…. save Cap…. massive (absolutely massive) improvement to team) 🤞🙏

      • Arizona, Dallas, Vancouver, Chicago …

  3. Every GM with a few years and a number of trades on his record will have wins and losses. But I think Dorian is one of the most underrated in the NHL. I think he promoted the idea to move up to get Karlson at 15 th. overall. That turned out to be a foundational move. He also has to work with the most difficult owner in the league. Not just because of the financial restraints, but also one suspects for roster interference.

    With these limits he has arranged a group of draft picks that will give Ottawa a lot of leverage at the draft and star level players for the future. Star players who would not go to Ottawa if they were free agents.

    He would be high on my list for a future hire were I an NHL owner. This is the man with the CV that Geoff Molson needs. He has already turned older players into draft choices. Not every move has been perfect, but enough have been good enough to make him a success IMO. He is building now what Montreal needs.

    A potential problem. While Bettman seems to stand like a rock against franchise movement. He will not be there forever, and if the new NHL US television contract needs a different demographic than a team in Ottawa all of that might change. The Ottawa owner might jump at the chance of more money and a chance of new fans who won’t be criticizing him all the time.

    Dorian may have made one idiotic move, but he is not an idiot


      The Senators are not moving. Melnyk will look to sell the team eventually.

    • Pengy

      In one of previous post I mentioned that Dorion should target Josh Anderson.

      • Hi Al,

        I’ve always like Anderson’s potential… him on Leafs or Pens would make my day

  4. If Dorion decides to make more on trade using some picks.
    I would like to see the Doriok make a trade for a right shot defender.
    Two.namrs that come to mind are Mckenzie Weager and Brandon Carlo.

    • Pengy

      Would Josh Anderson on Senators make sense?

  5. Penny

    I would also like to see Dorion make a offer for Carson Soucy but the Senators don’t need anymore left shot defenseman.

    • Hi Al

      I already called dibs on Soucy for Pens 😀

  6. Pengy

    Would Josh Anderson make sense for the Senators?

    • Hi Al

      Yes for sure as long as Price is right …. picks only…. but I’m not convinced that Jarmo moves him

      • Hi Pengy and Al
        I live in CBus and am a CBJ lifer. The buzz here from local and select national insiders is that Anderson is available. However, it is believed that CBJ is only looking to move their prime tradeable assets…..Anderson, any D not names Jones, Werenski, & Gavrikov, Korpisalo (possibly) in deals that can yield high skill F help. While I can see CBJ-OTT as trade partners this offseason, It would signal a very different direction for the team if Jarmo traded the prime assets for futures only. Their mantra has been trading prime assets in deals that “help now and in the future” as they view themselves (at least in public statements) in contender status not retooling status. Engles and LeBrun reported at the deadline there were Anderson trade talks with CGY, COL, and BUF and that significant assets were in play. Some reported the BUF deal was quite close but didn’t get completed at the last min…..not word on what BUF assets were being discussed. Just some context with regard to what the buzz here is on Anderson. BTW…I would love CBJ to find a way to land a late 1st or early 2nd given the depth of the 2020 draft…..just not sure that is the way Jarmo is going to go this year.

  7. If Dorion decides to use more then one draft pick as trade bait .
    I would like to see Dorion make a trade for a right shot defenseman.

    Two names that come to mind are Brandon Carlo and McKenzie Weager.

    • Hi Al

      Can’t imagine any realistic trade offer from any team in which Bruins give up Carlo… it wouldn’t surprise me if Carlo is a Bruin for the next decade

      Weegar would be a good pick up but I’d think Tallon would go for a re-up rather than trade

      • I agree Pengy – no way Boston should consider trading Carlo. I’d love to have him here in Detroit, but I think the Bruins are too smart to let him go. He is more important to the future of the Bruin’s D than McAvoy.

  8. Question to Sens fans…. would you do this (I would)…

    IF (big IF I know)… Sens win the lottery twice and Isles lose play-in (meaning Sens would have picks 1,2, somewhere 12-15; 33rd; mid 40’s plus two more 2nds….

    Take Lafrennierre, Byfield then approach Murray (@ 5) to trade that 12th-15th plus 33rd plus mid 40s pick to get 5th and take Drysdale …. I would

    …. imagine 3 years from now having a team with…

    Chabbot ; Duclair, Tkachuk ; Formenton; Brown; Batherson; Brannstrom; Thompson; Gustavsson, Hoberg; Balcers; Wolanin; Jaros

    AND three 21 year olds named Lafrenierre , Byfield; and Drysedale ….. Boooyah!!!

  9. If I’m Detroit the last thing I do is over pay aging players big bucks. I finish near bottom trade every one I don’t want draft high and rebuild. Sure Krug is is good but what good is it signing a player that may help you you win a game or two. You start signing good players when your young core are coming into their prime.