NHL Rumor Mill – May 9, 2020

by | May 9, 2020 | Rumors | 17 comments

Possible free-agent targets for the Red Wings and Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan believes a potential dip in next season’s salary cap could prove beneficial to the financially secure Red Wings. They have only $46.2 million invested in 11 players for 2020-21.

Torey Krug could be an interesting free-agent target for the Detroit Red Wings or New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images).

While a good chunk of the Wings’ cap space will be used to re-sign restricted free-agent forwards Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Robby Fabbri, Kulfan believes they’ll still be in a good position to take advantage of this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

“Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis), Livonia’s Torey Krug (Michigan State/Boston) and Tyson Barrie (Toronto), forwards Taylor Hall (Arizona) and Mike Hoffman (Florida), and goalies Robin Lehner (Vegas) and Braden Holtby (Washington)” are among the notables who could be available at season’s end.

Kulfan admits some of those players could end up re-signing with their current clubs. Some, however, will hit the open market and the Wings could be among the teams that benefit. They need to bolster their defense and goaltending.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could target Pietrangelo, Krug, Lehner, or Holtby if they hit the open market. Convincing one of them to sign with a rebuilding club that finished this season with the league’s worst record, however, will likely take more than waving lots of dollars at them.

Their preference could be to sign with playoff contenders. Yzerman will have to sell them on his vision for the future and how long he believes it’ll take to achieve it.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Corey Masisak recently examined some UFA targets to improve the New Jersey Devils’ defense corps. Alex Pietrangelo and Torey Krug topped the list.

Other clubs could give Pietrangelo a better chance to compete for the Stanley Cup. There’s some question if Krug would be as effective with another club as he’s been with the Boston Bruins.

Other options include Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, Calgary’s T.J. Brodie or Travis Hamonic, or bringing back Sami Vatanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Wings, the Devils have plenty of salary-cap room ($55.2 million invested in 13 players) to make a competitive bid for a top-four free-agent defenseman. However, they’re also a rebuilding team that still hasn’t decide who their full-time general manager will be.

Whoever’s sitting in that role following this season will have to be a good salesman to land one of this summer’s better UFA rearguards.



  1. I have thought that both the Wings and Devils may be the key for the Blues to deal with their cap crunch. I wouldn’t expect either team to get a shot at Petro (still hoping he’ll resign), but I think they are both possible trade partners to free up some cap space—maybe Allen, Bozak, Faulk, Bortuzzo….. Armstrong and Steve Y already have a history as trade partners, albeit a bad one for the Blues.

    • Hi Iowa boy

      I still say CBO or no CBO; prudent for Steen to be bought out

      Regardless of which… net impact to Steen … less than $600 K loss to miss out on going through another full rugged season and playoffs to play at 36(start) and 37 (season end and playoffs); all with Covid-19 hanging over his head (and family)

      CBO $5.8 M freed up
      Reg BO $2.4 M
      Cash cost to Blues …. $2.3 M over 2 years

      Bozy & Allen & Kostin

      For Anisimov (50 % retianed) & Nilsson

      Plus reg buyout of Steen …. over $7 M in Cap space opened up; if CBO…. $9.6 M in extra Cap space

      Petro re-signed

      • That less than $600 K loss to Steen is take home pay not gross

      • In the scenario suggested 4 players leave the blues(steen Allen. Bozak and koskin), two join (Anisimov and Nilsson). The difference of two players still need to be replaced to fill the roster. At average of 1m for each replacement this leaves only 7.6 for petro.

      • Hey Pengy,

        I recognize that Anisimov in no way “hurts” the Blues (he’s still a pretty steady producer”), but I just don’t think the Blues would want to take on a 32 yr. old contract. Why get rid of Bozak, just to take on Anisimov instead.

        I do think that Nilsson would probably be an acceptable low cost back-up replacement for Allen. I would prefer, however, bringing back Hutton, or maybe someone like Mrazek or Domingue.

        One other thought: Even if a buy out option exists, I don’t think I would do Steen. He contributes in so darn many ways–on ice and in locker room!! Maybe someone like oft-injured Gunnarsson, even though it would have very limited $ benefit.

      • Hi 2.0 and Iowa Boy

        Absolutely no challenge on your knowledge (over me) of the pros and cons of each Blues player … I don’t get to see them anywhere near as much as you

        Was just trying to iron out a solution to keep Petro

        Re contracts in and out…. only 1 down off of roster … Kostin currently not on roster… 1 C and 1 G in and out in trade; nominal roster loss then is Steen

        yes I’d forgot that one loss in roster player… so take $1 M off my Cap free up scenarios

        Noted Iowa boy that Steen is integral to the team and no doubt a great dressing room contributor…. was just trying to come up with a Cap solution. I really believe that if there is a CBO that Steen is the most likely due to size of his Cap hit…, $5.8 M Cap hit freed up

        Noted re Anisimov coming in as 31 (almost 32) vs keeping Bozy…. but it is only for one year (same as Bozy’s term) …. and I was suggesting Anisimov at 50 % retained by Ottawa

        Just that flip with Anisimov retention …. gets Blues bigger (Anisimov is big) , younger (2 years younger than Bozy) and frees up $2.7 M in Cap

        No question that Bozy at 55 % is great on the dot and averages more PPG; but Anisimov (who certainly is not a set up guy) has 2 more goals (15) in 20 less games… Anisimov full season pace 25 G; Bozy…15-16

        I’d just like to see Petro back as a Blue (first preference of course for me would be Petro as a Leaf or Pen; but that isn’t happening)

        Re moving Gunny…. fewer takers; less Cap freed up; might need to add a sweetener

  2. Yzerman is respected. That goes a long way.
    He will build the Wings back but it will take a few years. Needs to hit on a draft pick.

    • Hi Silver Seven

      Picks however are speculative

      Stevie Y might “effectively” buy Connor Garland (now proving himself in NHL) for $2 M…

      Arz now in Cap hell… need to rid Stepan

      Stepan (after SB paid only owed $2M) / Garland

      For 3rd (‘21)

      Arz as at now with a flat Cap…. $1.5 M space for 7 spots!

      Trade above frees up $7.3 M

      Just sayin’

      • This is one of the few trades proposed that might make sense. I think we could eat Stepan’s cap hit for one year. garland might be worth a shot, especially since he is a right hand shot, and Detroit has few of those. But Garland is only signed for next year, and, with the expansion draft coming, and the Wings having precious few NHL ready young players, they will need to protect as much as they can. With Rasmussen, Zadina, Svetchnikov, and Smith all needing protection in addition to Mantha, Bertuzzi, Larkin and Fabbri, I’m not sure we should bring in another guy who needs protection. Maybe after the expansion draft.

    • He took a little “risk” with the Fabbri trade, that ended up looking real good!

  3. Krug may be intrigued with the prospect of going home to Detroit. But I think the chance to win the cup in Boston will will keep him there if he has not already won it when he hits UFA.

    • I can see Krug coming to Detroit. Would be shocked if Yzerman even thought about Hall.

    • Yeah, it’s tough seeing Krug leaving a contending team for one who is several years away (at least).

  4. I have read Buffalo and Arizona have money (different than CAP) problems…is this speculation based on the source of the owners fortune ( oil money) …..are there other franchises where the ownership is money weak…

    Are my two examples valid?

    • Should be. There are a LOT of economic sectors that are being hit hard. There 1000’s of auto’s being stock piled on ocean cargo ships on Stadium parking lots such as Dodger Stadium in LA, Oil tankers parked out in the ocean. Entertainment areas such as sports, movies ( making and going to them), concerts etc.
      Eating places, big & small. It’s not just the team I own is not doing well , it’s now also the hotel chain that I have a big stake in is closing down. Do you want to own a casino in Vegas with a huge hotel, trendy eating places + shops inside and employing 1000’s of people to keep it going 24HRS a day 7 days a week and for the past 6 weeks no income ?

      Goes much deeper than a team, the whole money chain has problems

  5. I doubt either Wings or Devils will pursue Petro, maybe Krug. But like someone above said, he might be way different player on another team rebuilding unlike B’s. Devils need a few vets, & beef up the “D”. they need a consistent back up goalie for Blackie. (sorry Cory) also a lil size/grit at fw. Viola! Back in the game.

    • Have I got a deal for YOU—Jake Allen and Robert Bortuzzo. There’s your “backup and beef”. And another “vet” Tyler Bozak. Cheap! Voila! Any interest?