NHL Rumor Mill – June 16, 2020

by | Jun 16, 2020 | Rumors | 13 comments

Check out the latest on the Canucks and Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Iain MacIntyre was asked who are the Vancouver Canucks’ priorities to re-sign between Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev, Tyler Toffoli, and Troy Stecher. Markstrom and Toffoli top the list, though not in that order, followed by Tanev.

Can the Vancouver Canucks afford to re-sign Tyler Toffoli? (Photo via NHL Images).

Regarding the cost of re-signing Toffoli, MacIntyre believes he could’ve received a five-year deal worth an annual average value of around $5 million when the cap was projected to rise to between $84 million and $88 million. He’s not so sure now. MacIntyre believes Toffoli would like to remain a Canuck but he has no established relationship with the club, making him less likely to accept the kind of UFA bridge deal Tanev has alluded to.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be an interesting off-season for Toffoli and his fellow UFAs. He could test the market to see what’s out there but could also be amenable to a reasonable one-year deal and try his luck again next season. Tanev could also do the same.

Asked if Loui Eriksson might retire after this season, MacIntyre tossed cold water on that idea. Eriksson is owed $5 million over the next two seasons plus a $3 million bonus this summer. He thinks the Canucks could see if the two sides can mutually agree to terminate the contract, allowing Eriksson an opportunity to sign elsewhere and finish his career on his own terms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Eriksson would accept a contract termination he probably won’t do it until after he’s received his $3-million bonus. There’s some speculation suggesting the Canucks could try shopping him to a budget club looking to reach the salary-cap floor because his full no-trade becomes a 15-team modified no-trade after this season.

MacIntyre also dismissed the notion of the Canucks buying out winger Micheal Ferland, who was sidelined by injuries most of the season. If Ferland can return to action, it’ll be a bonus for the Canucks. If not, he’ll remain on long-term injury reserve.


SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked if the Toronto Maple Leafs might bring back Tyler Bozak as their third-line center. The St. Louis Blues are rumored to have the 34-year-old center on the trade block.

Fox acknowledged the Blues need to shed salary to re-sign defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn following this season. Bozak has a year remaining on his contract with a $5 million salary-cap hit. However, Fox doubts the Leafs will bring Bozak back to Toronto, citing his age, declining production, and cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $76.9 million (as per Cap Friendly) invested in 16 players next season and a need to bolster their blueline, the Leafs have cap issues of their own. Bringing back Bozak isn’t an option.


  1. Toffoli is only 28 years old. He has been a consistent 20+ goal scorer with the exception of one down season. Even with the financial uncertainty that the NHL, not to mention the rest of the world, is facing, a 5-year contract with a $5m. AAV would be a very reasonable deal for a team to sign him to.

  2. Markstrom is critical to the Canucks and will be signed. I don’t think Demko is ready for prime time on a full time basis. If they lose him to expansion so be it. Toffoli is a great fit and if they can get him for Ferland money they should jump on it . Their backend could use some help . Tanev and Stecher should not be large dollars and if they end up as the third pairing it is a good thing .Draft defence 2020 and loom for a reasonably priced addition. The Ericksson horse has been beaten like a rented mule. Got to go one way or the other

    • Markstrom and Toffili should be first priority to get resigned. Tanev couldnt check a hat, offers zero offensive upside and should be easily replaced by a younger cheaper defenceman.

      Benning has spent the Canucks to the cap ceiling and will need money to get Hughes and Pettersson extended in the near future. The Ericksson, Roussel and Sutter signings are coming home to roost.
      I assume Benning is praying for a compliance buyout chance to dump 4th line Louie.

  3. Ericksson might leave after this year, if he’s owed 5 million over the next two years after this summers bonus, I think he might just go back to Sweden to play if the escrow is set at around 40% for next year.
    If he’s gonna make 2.5 next year mnus taxes & Agent Fees – Escrow = not much left
    Does anyone know what kinda money would be deducted off summer bonuses

  4. The sabres gm botterill just got canned

  5. How many of these guys abandon a contract like Eriksson’s ? Does anybody remember guys that have without a buyout? Someone must have. I think I remember the guy who got traded to Buffalo two years ago did. Are there other examples?

    It would be foolish to leave millions on the table after a valid contract has been signed. Most of the bad contract teams are stuck with are the signings of older free agents. There are some bad ones. And the players don’t easily abandon them.

  6. Sabres fired Botterill. Let yet another rebuild begin.

    • What’s puzzling is, it took them this long to come to that decision?

    • I don’t lay the blame on Botterill. Is it the GM’s fault that for two years straight the team flies out of the gate and looks like they are going to win the President’s Trophy then inexplicably falls apart and can’t win a game for weeks at a time? The talent is there they are just mental midgets.

      • Marko,

        Who is responsible for assembling the “talent” on the roster?

        The GM.

      • Marko, that O Reilly trade alone should get you fired, let alone all the other puzzling trades and signings Botterill was responsible for.

  7. Who has to deal with trade demands?
    The GM.
    Who inherits a dysfunctional team?
    The GM.
    Who needs the superstar to grow up?
    The GM.
    Who works for owners that seem not to have a clue and whose word cannot be trusted?
    The GM.

  8. Buffalo have some pieces. Dahlin and Eichel in particular. Cozens and Middlestadt up and coming. Can’t fire everybody so start with coaches and the GM. Johnsson signing not the best and Skinner a $9m mistake. I know if I made that error with my job I am gone.Failure to deal with salary constraints like Okposo and guess you are the one to move.