NHL Rumor Mill – May 5, 2020

by | May 5, 2020 | Rumors | 28 comments

Check out the latest Maple Leafs and Red Wings speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked how much it could cost the Toronto Maple Leafs to re-sign Morgan Rielly when the defenseman’s contract expires in 2022. A good comparable is the Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s eight-year, $66-million deal. Fox also suggested paying attention to whatever Boston Bruins blueliner Torey Krug gets in the coming off-season.

How much could it cost the Toronto Maple Leafs to re-sign Morgan Rielly? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox acknowledged the fallout from the pandemic could affect the salary cap by 2022, which could impact what Rielly’s next contract looks like. Then again, perhaps league revenue rebounds by that point. Given Rielly’s value to the Leafs, don’t be surprised if his agent seeks top dollar. It’s worth noting the Leafs have over $55 million invested in just seven players for 2022-23.

Asked about a suggestion in The Athletic in which the Leafs trade goaltender Frederik Andersen and sign Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray or Vegas’ Robin Lehner, Fox isn’t sold on either guy as an upgrade over Andersen. He doesn’t expect Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to break up his current goalie tandem in the off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. I expect the Leafs will return with their Andersen-Jack Campbell tandem next season. Their performances will determine their long-term futures in Toronto. Murray, by the way, is a restricted free agent. The Leafs will have to trade for him or sign him to an offer sheet.

Fox doesn’t see the Leafs acquiring another LTIR contract to free up cap space to pursue St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. However, he thinks Dubas could attempt to acquire a defenseman via trade. “Paying Ryan Kesler or Marian Hossa to not play hockey won’t help Toronto land Petro. Paying Kesler might, in theory, help Dubas acquire a Josh Manson plus a draft pick from Anaheim in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas and his staff surprised observers with their wheeling and dealing last summer to free up sufficient cap space to re-sign Mitch Marner. We can’t rule out a scenario like that mentioned by Fox to bring in a defenseman, although that might not be necessary with yesterday’s signing of Mikko Lehtonen. Speaking of which…

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien believes the addition of Lehtonen could bring some intrigue to the Leafs defense corps. On paper, his addition creates a log-jam of left-handed defensemen. O’Brien wonders if the Leafs could trade someone like Travis Dermott to balance things out on the right side.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehtonen said he’s comfortable playing either side. If he adjusts well on the right side with the Leafs, they won’t have to trade someone like Dermott for a right-handed defender.


DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James examined potential free-agent options to bolster the Red Wings’ defense corps. The best of the bunch is St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo, but he’d probably prefer going somewhere more competitive if he doesn’t re-sign with the Blues. It might not be possible to lure Michigan native Torey Krug away from the Boston Bruins.

Other options include Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, Carolina’s Sami Vatanen, Tampa Bay’s Kevin Shattenkirk, and Calgary’s TJ Brodie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Red Wings have over $46.2 million invested in 11 players for 2020-21. A good chunk of that cap room will be invested in re-signing key players like Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha.

Provided ownership is willing to spend toward the cap ceiling, they should have enough to make a competitive offer to one of those UFAs in the offseason. Nevertheless, the rebuilding Wings might have to overpay to entice one of those blueliners to join them.


  1. It’s no wonder leaf fans come up with asinine trade values for their players, their media does it everyday

    • 😂😂😂😂 so true!!!!

    • It’s one thing to be a fan, but pretending your a fan of another team…is just pathetic.

    • Everybody to the Leafs!!! For less money of course because everybody wants to play in Toronto.

      Must be the storied tradition of winning, lmfao.

      • Lol no doubt Ron!

      • Are you sore because your team was the favorite to land Lehtonen and he chose the Leafs who offered a one year ELC with no bonuses?

      • Lol Ron you mean the dman that had one season with over 30points? Lol that isn’t very good in their own zone like the majority of dmen in the leafs system?

  2. Can’t see the Flames letting both Brodie and Hamonic leave. They are much needed right side defence.

    Halak signed a reasonable deal. A nice number for a good backup

    Not sure what Yzerman is going to do. The Wings might get Drysdale in the draft.

  3. All along I have thought it’s a 98% chance that Pietrangelo resigns with the Blues. Now, with each days “rumors” from various teams/writers, I’m starting to think it may be only 50/50?? I guess it will ultimately depend if Petro/agent are seeking longest term/biggest dollars.

    • Hi Iowa Boy

      The 98% prob may have recently hit a slide but for sure it’s not 50/50

      I’m extremely confident that Blues still want him; and I’d be a fool to believe that setting aside contract value; that Petro’s first choice of team would not be the cup champs Blues; staying where he resides now; not uplifting fam; and not moving on from a team (and teammates) where he has not only been for 12 years; 758 games (his entire NHL career) ; but as the Captain and as a loved (by fans) player

      It comes down to term/$’s

      Can he get a better contract elsewhere…. prob…. but weigh that against what he’s giving up and the disruption to his family…. methinks he’ll have flex in his demands

      If he was moving to another cup contender in a city with massive tax advantages …. massive increases in take-home pay; and better climate….. Knights? Bolts? …. maybe ….. but they’ve got no room…. not happen’n

      I still say favourable odds he stays …. both sides want to “geddderrrrdone”…. Army needs to make a move or two….. if somehow the CBO does come to fruition …. IMHO , huge odds of a Steen buyout….. which to me would mean excellent chance of Petro re-up


      • Colorado is a contending team who could afford him easily

    • It’ll depend on what the Pietrangelo camp seeks, and how much salary the Blues can offload to accommodate him. With over $79.4 million already invested in 20 players and Vince Dunn also to re-sign, they’ve got to make a couple of cost-cutting moves. Most assume Jake Allen will be traded and Alex Steen bought out of the final year of his contract, but that still might not be enough. It’ll be interesting to see how GM Doug Armstrong addresses this situation.

      • Lyle and Pengy,

        The only thing that I can’t help thinking about is how it played out with David Backes a few years ago—the circumstances are eerily similar!! Furthermore, Backes and Pietrangelo were really close teammates. In that situation neither Backes or Armstron would budge.

  4. If I had to bet Yzerman isn’t going to be pursuing UFA’s like Petro and Krug, even if they wanted to go there.
    They have a few nice pieces and luv Larkin, but that lineup has holes everywhere, and plenty of them.
    From the outside this looks like a 5 year rebuild, minimum. Not much point overpaying for right now with older players on big $ deals.
    If they pursue UFA’s, methinks they go bargain hunting and get serviceable depth guys on 1 year deals to fill out the roster that you can move for picks at the TDL.

  5. Using Krug as a comparable for Toronto could be a mistake, unless Krug takes a home town discount.

    Morgan Rielly is a better dman then Krug and anything Krug sign for then Rielly should be north of that.

    If Krug takes a home town discount at $6.5 per then im sure Dubas would be more then happy to pay Rielly that amount.

    • Hmmmmmm…..younger ? Yes. Better ? Noy from where I sit.

      • Iago, you are sitting with your back to the TV.

      • Younger yes, and better all around? Yes…

        As Bruins guy I would 100% take Rielly over krug. Plays in all situations for the leafs and solid while Krug is more a PP specialist.

        Do I like Krug yes, but not at the money he is asking for based on what he brings to the whole game. He is had been lucky that the Bruins have Chara, Carlo, McAvoy that play those hard minutes for them.

    • Agree Caper

      • I do agree that Carlo is better than Krug – I’d rather have him than any defenseman on the Bruins. But, having said that, there is still an issue with Reilly – he just can’t seem to shake the sunburn look he ends up with from the goal light going on so often behind the TML’s net. Krug is tougher as well.

  6. When it’s time for Reilly to re-sign, that’s the time the Leafs will need to do what St. Louis will be doing this year. Reilly’s a keeper. Thank you, Brian Burke.

  7. Not sure I would worry about Reilly next contract now still 2 years left after this one.
    No one has a clue what will be happening then.
    Don’t think their defense is as bad as everyone says .
    When the team decides to play a team defense they do well
    Consistency is the problem.
    If you could get a another player like Muzzin that would be great.
    Josh Manson would be great. But those players aren’t cheap.
    Pietranglo is a dream, Leafs can’t afford him.

    • Oh it’s as bad lol

  8. Neither Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry is an upgrade over Andersen. Murrays one bump away from the IR list and Jarry is nothing more than a backup.

    Leafs would be wiser to try and obtain a defenceman, with the emphasis on defence.

    • It is hard to judge Andersen with the poor defense Toronto has put in front of him in his career there.

  9. The Leafs will probably just trade for more LTIR, then they’ll go 10 million over the cap. They will use every loophole they can find, or that they can buy. They probably will have to play shorthanded for a couple of games but I believe they don’t really care about that

    • Shorthanded is a good thing for leafs. Give me a tiredMatthewsdoubleshifted to a fresh goat

  10. Ronald & Lago – i agree with both comments and toss out the idea with a stronger defense in front – that being the focus – let Andersen go only because they might not be able to afford him. I like him – but, he has proven to be streaky and D is suspect no doubt. See how Campbell does in 2020-2021 and suggest a stop gap with him for a few years.

    Many will say no as Leafs are ALL IN mode now. So they would be forced to consider a better pedigree playoffs goalie – but, I have never been sold on a pedigree – Binnington anyone??