NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2020

by | Jun 19, 2020 | Rumors | 34 comments

Check out the latest Canadiens speculation plus updates on Braden Holtby, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Lias Anderson in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Andrew Berkshire was asked if the Montreal Canadiens should attempt to sign Dustin Byfuglien. The 35-year-old defenseman’s contract with the Winnipeg Jets was mutually terminated earlier this year.

Assuming Byfuglien is interested in continuing his NHL career, Berkshire doesn’t see a fit in Montreal. His age, injury history, and questions about his commitment to play are big warning flags.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens must bolster their blueline depth next season, but Byfuglien isn’t the answer here. We don’t know if he’s even interested in playing again. Assuming he is, those factors Berkshire raised will be significant issues.


Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (Photo via NHL Images).

Berkshire was also asked where he thinks Braden Holtby will end up after this season. The Washington Capitals goaltender is due to become an unrestricted free agent. Berkshire said he’d be shocked if Holtby wants more than a one-year deal or if a club is willing to give him one. He points to the 30-year-old netminder’s recent struggles and feels he needs to prove himself again as a starter.

He believes the best option for Holtby is joining a team that is somewhat established but lacking a top-end goalie and with a highly touted prospect who could claim the net by 2021-22. He suggested the Calgary Flames, as Holtby could provide support for David Rittich with the Flames having to rush promising Dustin Wolf. However, that might not be necessary if Cam Talbot wants to return on a short-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap constraints could prevent the Flames from signing Holtby. As per Cap Friendly, they have over $64.5 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. RFAs include Andrew Mangiapane, Mark Jankowski, and Oliver Kylington, while the UFAs include T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic, Erik Gustafsson, and Michael Stone.


PHILLY.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Sam Carchidi was asked if the Philadelphia Flyers were looking for a trade partner for Shayne Gostisbehere. While the 26-year-old defenseman struggled this season, the Flyers aren’t looking to just give him away. If they do try to move Gostisbehere, Carchidi thinks the asking price could be a young forward with 20-goal potential or a second-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere has frequently surfaced in this season’s rumor mill. Following the trade deadline, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher denied Gostisbehere was on the trade block. Considering the growing depth on the Flyers’ blueline and their need for secondary scoring, Ghost Bear will probably remain the subject of trade speculation.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Lias Andersson told Rangers president John Davidson he wants to remain a Ranger, but he declined an invitation to attend next month’s training camp leading to the 2020 Stanley Cup tournament. Brooks wonders if Andersson will ever don a Rangers jersey again.

Last December, Andersson returned home to Sweden and demanded a trade, prompting the Rangers to suspend him. Both sides agreed he would be allowed to play for his hometown club for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersson has popped up from time to time in trade rumors, usually linking him to Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who spent this season in Finland after requesting a trade. Most of the trade chatter suggests little or no interest in the once-promising young center.


  1. I would like Holtby on the Flames. Depends on dollars and term. He is from Alberta .
    Hearing a rumour that if the NHL proceeds this summer it will be pay per view.

    • Well that will kill the nhl playoffs success for sure.

      • Not a chance I pay for it.

    • That would suck SilverSeven, IMO it would be the networks decision regarding the pay per view option. Unless they reach a deal to share extra rev with the league.
      It exists now in Canada if you want access to every game with NHL center ice, which is really only a benefit in RD 1 as not every game is televised up here. by the 2nd RD you could find every game somewhere for free.
      Another reason I liked the BOS vs TOR matchup in the first RD, it saves me $$.

    • Can you provide a link where you heard that? Given the already established TV contracts, I doubt it’ll be pay-per-view.

      • No link Lyle.
        A relative of a player who is a neighbour of a friend. Could be speculation on his part. It would make sense from a revenue perspective but the NHL would not get the casual fan interested especially in July& August

      • Considering all TV contracts are established, I still doubt the league will televise those games via pay-per-view. Sounds like an unfounded rumor to me.

    • If that happens then I won’t be tuning in at all.

    • It already is pay per view. I pay a monthly fee for Sportsnet and thats all they have worth watching.

    • Honestly, I would love to see Flames try Holtby on a 1 year deal but I think if Flames crap the bed in the playoffs here, I see Treliving making a play for Hall & then testing that new GM in Buffalo with dangling Gaudreau for their 2020 1st, Cozens & even try to extract that 2021 1st out of them. Sabres really want back in the playoffs badly & Gaudreau Eichel combo could be one of the best in the league.

      If we did that & tried to get Holtby, then say good bye to Hamonic, Brodie & Talbot. Hope Valamaki is healthy & steps up & possibly resign Gustaffson & even Forbert for much cheaper to fit the cap. Doable but I sure didnt expect Holtby in the mix. Who knows.

      • You actually think Jonny could get even close to that return? Wowzers

    • Sorry Silver but Holtby was born and raised in good ole Saskatchewan.

      • Gaudreau worth 2 1st & Cozen’s? Good ole flames fans

    • Rogers paid like 4 billion for television rights. I will put their 4 billion up against this rumour of pay per veiw

  2. Lyle: Where do you stand on the Canadiens with regards to the total rebuild a la PJ Stock (my basis too) or this idea of tweaking the existing roster in hopes of making the play offs. Can you explain why you feel as you do. I read Canadiens fans here and I think most do not like the total rebuild.

    Is there just to much pressure in Montreal to put on a good show on Saturday nights?

    For years the Leafs resisted the total rebuild and it seems to this Leaf fan to have been a waste of years.

    I have liked what Ottawa has done the last few years. A couple of mistakes for sure, but some solid rebuild decision making overall.

    • Seems to me the Habs already spent several years tweaking the roster. Since 2018 they’ve put more emphasis on rebuilding with young players.

      Of course, they don’t call it a rebuild but a “retool”, but that’s semantics. They’ve been rebuilding in hopes of a turnaround over the next couple of years while Carey Price and Shea Weber remain in their prime. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

      • My money is on Nikita Zadorov to the Habs for bulking up the D. The Avs seemed to have lost trust in the kid. He is a big, tough kid & could make a great partner for Romanov for a year or two, as he too likes to play physical but lacks the size & especially the strength at this age to protect himself in the NHL.

    • Whatever path is taken must be all in. If it’s total rebuild, I’d say trade Petry and Tatar, UFA eligible next year, for picks and prospects. But if the team wishes to be competitive, a strong effort must be made to upgrade the roster, specifically adding a solid LD and a RW who can score 20+. There are options, including the UFA route. I don’t expect the top guys, such as Hall or Krug, to come to Montreal but there are good secondary options available. Bergevin must make a serious pitch for them. The problem is, Bergevin does not seem willing to commit to one path. He does not want to trade his veterans on expiring contracts for futures but does not seem willing to take bold moves to improve the roster.

      • Howard:

        I have been reading Marcus Aurelius and he writes….” The obstacle is the path”. Maybe the only way is the way of removing Bergevin. I know many Habs fans like that idea.

        I agree with your trade ideas. Believe the real issue is what do you do with two really outstanding older and aging hockey players. Who on some nights have looked exactly that.

    • OBD, the elements of a total rebuild include:

      * Moving out aging superstars. Moving Price is not just impractical due to his salary, it would be a PR disaster for the Habs; Weber is equally hard to move.

      * Signing UFAs. Bergevin has done well with players like Chiarot, Byron and Armia, but these are mid level players.

      We know that Montreal is as attractive to top level UFAs as an audit is to Trump.

      So Bergevin’s approach, having spurned multiple times by UFAs (Tavares, Duchene, Justin Williams, et al), is now restricted to building by the draft.

      I see no other way. Thoughts?

      • Armia, not a UFA.

        And Price, yes, the face of the team.

        Otherwise, I’m +++ into divesting and rebuilding, starting with a serious (5 years at app $8 mill per) offer sheet to Sergachev come Free Agency.

        For the love of Mike, let’s get this over with.

      • LJ

        I would keep Weber (unless he ask to be traded). As a Habs fan i would trade pretty much everyone except Weber, Suzuki.
        Definitely Canadiens need to change their GM, as much as it is easy to fire GM, you need to find a better replacement, and i have no idea who could be one? Roy?
        Basically Canadiens will be mediore for years to come. Close to the play off, but they won’t make it something between 10-15th posiiton in the league, which means they wont get high draft pick (Well they wouldn’t get even if they would be the worst). So there is no hope to see a decent team on the ice, changes won’t be made under Bergevin, which means Petry and Tatar will stay, and Habs will be bad.

      • NO NO NO. Montreal must resign Bergevin to a lucrative long term contract.

      • As I said, the top free agents won’t be coming to Montreal. But there are many useful UFAs who are the next rung down and who would fill positions of need. Toffoli, Dadanov, Hoffman and Gustafsson are examples. And with the Habs set to have a lot of cap space – something that the “desirable” teams will lack – they have a chance at a second level player as long as they offer enough money and term. Bergevin needs to make something happen. Whatever the risks, the status quo is not working.

      • LJ : I read you and Howard carefully as you are keen observers of Montreal. And my friggin grandsons are Habs fans.

        I think the draft and trades is the route for Canadian teams. Even when older RFAs might consider north of the border they can easily the worst contracts, stateside or here.

        I do think a rebuild is an all or nothing thing. But I also think that Price, Petry, and Weber would be easy to trade and get good value. I don’t think that of Tatar.

        You are the Montreal fan, so I leave it to you if it would be a PR disaster. I think Habs fans are sophisticated and love their team. If properly explained it would be accepted. I am not sure if Beregvin is the guy and I think the owner would have to be the salesman as he makes his next hire.

        I do think the Montreal media are often off sides. The new Russian kid a second round draft choice was compared to Doughty by someone. A little early for this pressure for a kid who may or may not speak English or French. I think the media there is one of the reasons it is hard for management to leave a good young player out of the NHL.

        But I think that the properly rebuilt Montreal can become a real threat precisely because the fans there get behind their team and the building is often electric the way few NHL stadiums are.

        I have written this before. If it is a full rebuild, there is a man for the job with experience and who speaks French….Pierre Dorian

  3. Byfuglien would be exactly the wrong player for the Habs to go after now. Firstly, he plays RD while they need an LD now. More importantly, he has injury and commitment issues right now.

    • Yup. Such a big body with a lot of serious wear and tear makes a functionable recovery unlikely.

    • 100% agree.

  4. OBD: My heartfelt congratulations on having such astute grandsons. You must be so proud!

    My Dad raised me as a Leafs fan. Thanks to Frank Mahovlich I ended up as a Habs fan.

    Enjoy the next family gathering over a Leafs/Habs game.

    • LJ, don’t you mean, thanks to Harold Ballard, you’re a Habs fan?

      • Still there, BCLF: My Dad was pretty laid back but if you mentioned Harold Ballard, Dad would throw a nutty.

  5. I wouldn’t write off Anderson. He’s still a “promising young center”. Rangers didn’t need to trade him, so I doubt that there wasn’t interest. More like they weren’t giving him away while value is lowest. Brooks is an idiot. I’ve read that besides Davidson, coach Quinn has also spoken with the kid. They’ve probably agreed the hassle of coming here with travel restrictions didn’t make much sense for a player that primly won’t dress for games. Anderson has only played 66 games. Averaged a little over 10 mostly bottom 6 minutes per game. I think the kid had higher expectations about playing time. He’s still only 21. If he would’ve just developed in AHL nobody would be talking about him. I don’t see him as any less a prospect than others taken after him in that draft. Mittelstadt, Rasmussen, Tippett, Vilardi. None of them have made it yet. Cody Glass was taken before Anderson and has less games played.

  6. Any rebuild in Montreal should start at the top. Bergevin has proven himself incompetent and needs to be replaced.

  7. Auston Matthews tested positive for COVID-19