NHL Rumor Mill – May 6, 2020

by | May 6, 2020 | Rumors | 32 comments

The Penguins could face trading a goaltender, plus some recent Jets speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NHL.COM: cites Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford saying he might have to trade one of his goaltenders during an interview with The Athletic’s Josh Yohe. Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry are restricted free agents with arbitration rights following this season. The Penguins have over $68 million invested in next season’s roster.

Will Matt Murray still be a Pittsburgh Penguins goalie after this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

“I’ll say this: If we are going to keep both of them, we’d have to move a few things around on our team,” Rutherford said. “There is a way to do things and to make that work, yes. There are some very, very tough decisions ahead.” Though next season’s salary cap has yet to be determined, he admitted he’s planning that it won’t be as high as this year’s $81.5 million. “We know that much,” Rutherford said. “It’s certainly not going up.”

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien also referred to Rutherford’s interview with The Athletic. He noted third-stringer Casey DeSmith didn’t come up much in that interview but feels he’s relevant to this situation. O’Brien admitted his surprise that DeSmith failed to secure the backup role this season and that no other club snatched him up when he was placed on waivers before the start of the season. DeSmith’s inconsistency in the minors this season makes O’Brien doubt he’d fetch much of a return in a trade. His best guess is DeSmith will back up Murray or Jarry next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a tough call for Rutherford. Murray backstopped the Penguins to their last two Stanley Cups, but his injury history is cause for concern. Jarry showed potential as a full-time NHL starter this season, but he’s only been in that role for a short time.

I think Rutherford was counting on seeing how Murray and Jarry performed down the stretch and in the playoffs before deciding which one he’d keep. He could re-sign both but that will mean shedding salary elsewhere in the lineup, adversely affecting their overall roster depth.  Murray or Jarry will be playing elsewhere next season.


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently examined the Winnipeg Jets’ long-term needs. Citing their issues on the blueline, he wondered if Ville Heinola and Sami Niku will develop into NHL defensemen. He also points out their ongoing need for a second- or third-line center.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Murat Ates recently listed veteran defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Nathan Beaulieu, and Luca Sbisa among those most likely to depart in the off-season. Center Cody Eakin could also be among them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With last month’s termination of Dustin Byfuglien’s contract, Cap Friendly indicates the Jets have over $65.9 million invested in 13 players for next season. The good news is all their key players are signed for next season, so there should be enough room for Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to address those depth issues.

Kulikov, Beaulieu, Sbisa, and Eakin are unrestricted free agents and might not fit into the Jets’ plans. Maybe one of them gets an affordable one-year deal, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Cheveldayoff considers other options via trade or free agency.



  1. Good morning Pengy,

    ANY idea how to “move a few things around” on the Pens in order to free up dollars ($3,250,000 for example) for the goalies 🙂 ????

    • You wouldn’t be referring to a certain defenseman with the initials, “JJ”? 😉

      • LOL. I’m curious to see Pengy’s take, as well as Chrisms’, just based on their overall cap situation. Right now, according to CapFriendly, they have $8,275,175 committed to 15 players leaving $15,724,825 to sign 8 IF the cap went to $84 mil. But all indications are that that just won;t be the case and if it stays at $81.5 that is reduced to $13,224,825 to sign those 8.

        Which just happens to be their number of RFAs – Rodrigues, McCann, Angello, Lafferty, Simin, Riikola, Murray and Jarry who, together, account for $10,87,250 off the cap this season. All 8 have arbitration rights so there will certainly be increases way beyond the $13+ available.

        They also have 3 UFAs to either sign or probably replace (Sheary, Marleau and Schultz) who, together, account for another $9,200,000 off the cap this season.

        Not even JJ’s $3,250,000 would cover that – assuming they could find another team willing to take him – or even one of the RFA goalies – on in these highly uncertain times.

        It’s going to be fascinating to see how Rutherford wiggles out of this.

      • $68,275,175 committed to 15 ….

      • Iowa Boy, Lyle, George,

        I posted earlier today against the Spectors section on Metro Div CBO suggestions

        No surprise …. yes if CBO a go; then JJ MUST be first done (in the league); and I agree with Michael, if there is 2…. Horny ;although I do like him; but will decline relative to Cap

        Right now rounding …. $15 M to sign 8 positions including both goalies and the other aforementioned RFAs

        If CBO for both JJ & Horny …. about $21M to sign 10 including all 8 RFAs (Which includes both goalies) …. no prob

        Marleau will not be re-signed, maybe Sheary as well??

        Only 1 CBO…. JJ; and trade Bjug for whatever they can get (no matter how small)….. frees up $7.4 M…. both goalies stay

        No CBO

        You know my first move for sure is still JJ buyout ; and I’d still move Bjug…$6.3 M saved; still can sign all RFAs I believe (including both TJ & MM)

        Schultz I believe is gone

        I would aggressively pursue my new bromance …. Soucy …. UFA ; big; 25 smooth skating Dman; on the rise that should be a fairly reasonable contract ; he’s a leftie

        I’d also seek another reasonable RHD UFA…. De Melo???

        Ruhweedel a must to WBS or traded (can’t really see any takers) ….



        De Melo/ Soucy


        The goalie availability this off-season will be fairly high so I believe the expected return on trading one leaving De Smith as back up is definitely not worth it…, try as best as possible to keep both TJ & MM…. any potential trade can be revisited in June ‘21

        In summary; a must in off season

        1) JJ out; Ruhweedel down and/or out; with likely non re-up of Shultz …. so replacements needed…. I’m saying Soucy for sure and maybe DeMelo (or similar)

        2) Do not re-sign Marleau

        3) Both goalies; McC; Simon; Riikola MUST be re-upped

        Not a definite but options/shoulds

        -Move Bjug
        -If 2 CBOs …. Horny out as well; if only 1 or 0 CBOs; consider reg buyout of Horny
        – re-up Rodrigues

        One or the other….

        Either trade or re-up one of Laffy or Angello; OR re-up both to 2-ways if possible with both starting in WBS


        Re-up Sheary ????? All depends on AAV/term demanded


      • Shultz is a goner. Jarry or Murray traded… unfortunately for a likely less than thrilling return. Bjugstad might be enticing for a team as a cheap acquisition on an expiring contract. I’d hate hate to lose rust but he could go and bring back a decent asset. If cap stays around where it is at now pens will be ok.

      • Hi Chrisms

        If its a choice between Rusty and Bjug….. it has yo be bye bye Bjug

        Agree , can’t see Shultz back

        No way please for re-signing soon to be 41 year old Marleau unless league min with no PB’s

        The TJ with DeSmith as back up in case TJ goes down makes me very very nervous

        Agree goalie trade market return will be crap… rather make moves; keep both ; and then move weaker of two (performance/upside wise) next June pre expansion draft; expose DeSmith

        No matter what …. JJ canNot play on Pens

        If CBO …..👍👍😁😁

        No CBO…. buy him out anyway … saves $2M in valuable Cap space; improves performance/stats for all 22 other Pens and will result in likely 6-10 extra game /standings points

        Just reg buyout of JJ plus moving Bjug should free up enough for the rest (save maybe re-upping Sheary)

        *I really want Jimbo to call Soucy’s agent

        What do you think Billy G would give as a return for Bjug to replace the likely soon to be retired Koivu??

        If he’d give Gordeev of Dewar; I’d jump on it!!

      • I really doubt pens can keep both Matt and Tristan. Jarry will get murrays money now and Matt moves on and pens goalie cap money is about a wash. Pens will keep jj if no compliance bo and pay a pick to Seattle to take him. Rust only goes if cap space needed

    • Pengy,

      May I caution you about using “Horny” AND “I do like him” in the same sentence ………..

      • LOL

      • Hi Iowa Boy

        Noted…. mark that down as Covid cooped up mania leading to lack of proof-reading

      • It appeared that you were taking one of your man crushes (Soucy, Parayko, Horny, et all) to a whole new level OR had simply forgotten what website you were on— Spectors Rumor Mill.

        Lyle, might I suggest you call a 5 minute unsportsmanlike OR a 25 word essay on the virtues of J. J., whichever you think is the greater punishment for Pengy

      • JJ and Pengy in any associative manor whatsoever is cruel/unfathomable punishment already

        That hurts me more than all the salaries I’ve been covering for the last 7 weeks with minimal rev coming in 😭

      • Jack Johnson has great alliteration in his name. He is a friend of Sidney Crosby. He can tie a super duper knot in his skates.

        I did yo homework pengy. That’s 100 smackers per paper. Venmo me.

    • I’d be really surprised if Rutherford didn’t trade one of them. I’m sure Jarry’s play and contract make him very attractive to other teams. Why trade away other assets to fit both of them under the cap when Seattle’s expansion draft is only a year away? I can’t imagine Pittsburgh would like to watch another one of their goalies play well for another franchise out west.

  2. I wonder if the Oil would kick the tires on Jarry if he became available?
    Smith is 38, Koskinen has been good, but seems to play better when he shares the duties.
    Jarry won the M Cup with the Oil Kings (Owned by the Oilers) so he know the city and organization.
    Benning for Jarry. Benning replaces Schultz.

    • Hi Ray

      See above …, I’d really keep both Jarry and Murray

      I believe Jarry for sure is worth more to Pens than Benning; but as I stated; goalie market won’t get a good return so from an Oil perspective …. fair trade; I just wouldn’t do it if I were running the Pens

      I’d prefer to keep both TJ & MM ; MM has the longer proven record and two cups ; Jarry in tough situations has outperformed this year albeit small sample size; Murray has injury history….

      If push came to shove (I really hope not) and knowing MM will demand and get more; and Jarry 1 year younger; rights owned longer; and will sign for less ; injured less; …. then worst case scenario is trading MM; re-up TJ; DeSmith as back-up (gamble)

      MM should bring back more than Benning type; but not much more; from who? For who?


      • Ottawa could use a young starter in net Pengy. For who? That’s a tough one. They have a boatload of picks. Is the 21st overall (Where it sits today) too much? Not enough? 2 2nds including the 33rd overall? 1st (21st) and a 2nd?
        Murray’s been pretty good, just the injury history.
        But agree with you that rolling with Jarry as your starter is risky if your realistic goal is to compete for the cup. We have seen plenty of 1 year wonders in net over the years.
        You’re probably right, they keep both.

      • I have said if pens could get that late 1st for Murray it would be a coup. Even a couple of seconds for him would be very nice. I do think pens try to keep jarry. A good young goalie is available to teams right now and with the goalie market… especially this year… it won’t cost a lot to land one.

      • Hi Ray

        I’m in s dealin’ mood today

        Since they are talking Draft pre-season/playoffs resumption …. it win’t be any ‘20 picks…. MM needs to be on team until end of this year; Ottw won’t pay 1st in ‘21 I think …. so….

        I realize to George the trade below is tantamount to a hate crime but…

        JJ & MM for two 2nds in ‘21…. and in the words of Russell Peters …. “Taykidandgoh” , “ Taykidandgoh”

      • Haha .. good one … but no way that happens Pengy. If Dorion is going to approach teams that must move a body or two for cap reasons and prepared to give up one or more of his 1st & 2nd Round picks and/or one of their prospects, he’s looking for a serviceable player with term who could step in and help the team next season. In no way does JJ fit that description even with another player involved – unless that player is Guentzel. Which won’t happen.

        As for one of the RFA goalies Ray, now that it appears Nilsson is finally recovered from his concussion, he and Hogberg will be the tandem next season, with prospects like Daccord and Mendelese a couple of seasons behind. They might be improved next year, but they ‘re still not going to be a playoff team, so why bring in a Jarry at this stage?

      • Hi George

        Well JJ has one of ur criteria …. term … LOL

  3. Trade Murray, sign Jarry. Cap space is king right now. It will be an interesting offseason for sure. Just like last year…the majority of teams will have no cap space so players that otherwise would be claimed off waivers will clear. Unlike last year, there may be a few teams that are in real financial trouble due to the effects that COVID had ownership hockey and non-hockey assets. So, there may be teams that have cap space but are still unwilling to take on contracts for picks like we have seen previously. I think we are going to see a bunch of 1-2 year deals and maybe some restricted FA’s that won’t sign deals. As for Rutherford…he seems to have a knack for combing college ranks for talent at entry-level price tags. There is a reason he is a HOF builder. Would love to see him unload a few select players though.

    • Hi Marko

      See my thoughts above re Pens

      Re bad contracts…., if this friggin Draft is held like it should be (after season) when players can be swapped…. the Cap strapped teams can call on eager (to take advantage) Cap rich teams….

      If no CBO ….This kind of move is NOT out of the realm of possibilities….

      Arz is Cap strapped… Stepan … Cap hit of $6.5 M is only owed $2M after SB is paid

      Sens currently have 8 the top 64 picks this year; its own 1st and 3 seconds next year

      So if pre SB (Sens on hook for $5M) ; AND Draft is AFTER season/playoffs….

      Stepan + Garland for 33rd over-all pick(Ottw) ‘20

      If post draft; post season; post SB…. Sens on hook only for r $2M…..

      Stepan & Garland. for

      One of the Ottw draftees this year from round two plus lowest 2nd rounder in ‘21 (Sens, CBJ; SJ)


      Steen (who would have to agree to the trade)…, Cap $5.75 M ; owed $3.5 M; and Allen $4.35 M Cap; $4M cash;

      Plus Kostin & Kyrou


      Anisimov and Nillsson (both 50 % retained);

      If done pre SB; sens pay extra $5.6 M in Cash but net an extra up and coming roster player (Kyrou) with years left on rights and future NHLer Kostin; and s net + 1 in roster forwards

      Blues free up a net of about $7.4 M in valuable Cap space; closer to possible Petro re-up; replace Steen with younger/bigger Anisimov; lose a bit in back-up quality; and lose Kyrou and Kostin (valuable futures)

      These of course are so many moving parts that it is highly unlikely to happen like that… just wanted to show you the options that are open to Cap poor teams and the advantages to be potentially gained by Cap rich teams

  4. Just curious, and it may be a dumb question, but if a team uses a CBO on a player who has a contract with retained salary does the retained portion go away?
    For example, if Calgary used a CBO on Lucic does the salary Edmonton owes go away too?

    • Hi AdamBufalo,

      I think (Not 100 % sure but think) the buyout is shared by whatever was agreed to in trade…. so if 20 % retained and new team (80%); and CBO…

      SB still 100 % due …. split 20/80; and Sal at 2/3rds owed ; spread over twice as long ; also split 20/80

      For Lucic if CBO by Cgy… I believe all Cap is wiped for Ed; but they’d still owe just over $1M as their 12.5 % share of SB, and about $560 K in Sal portion still owed to Lucic …, spread out over 6 years

      Just my thoughts

    • The team takes a portion of the original salary as a cap hit over an extended portion of time. I’m being lazy here, because I could look it up but I believe it is 2/3 the original amount owed (total remaining) spaced over twice the amount of time on contract. Something like that…

    • Hi AdamBufalo,

      I think (Not 100 % sure but think) the buyout is shared by whatever was agreed to in trade…. so if 20 % retained and new team (80%); and CBO…

      SB still 100 % due …. split 20/80; and Sal at 2/3rds owed ; spread over twice as long ; also split 20/80

      For Lucic if CBO by Cgy… I believe all Cap is wiped for Ed; but they’d still owe just over $1M as their 12.5 % share of SB, and about $560 K in Sal portion still owed to Lucic …, spread out over 6 years

      Just my thoughts

      • Pengy, I believe you’re right about the %. Rangers retained salary for Spooner when they traded him for Strome. I believe it was 900k to make money even. I think Spooner was getting 4m and Strome was 3.1m Edm bought out Spooner and Rangers have partial cap hit this year and next of 300k

      • Pengy,

        You still have me reeling at the thought of losing BOTH Kyrou AND Kostin from your earlier post!! You still must be upset about your 5 minute unsportsmanlike/misconduct!

        ps. Steen would never waive for Ottawa

      • Nor would Ottawa want him in the first place!

      • By that I mean, why on Earth would they even consider that trade proposed by Pengy just to get a couple of prospects named Kostin and Kyrou when they have umpteen prospects of their own just as good – if not better – with even better ones to come?

        Besides, there’s no way they want a 36 y/o who has 1 more year to go at $5,750,000 who has contributed 32 goals over the past 3 seasons while they still have a 33 y/o costing $7,250,000 for TWO more years who has given them 1 goal less over the same span.