Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 14, 2020

by | Jun 14, 2020 | Rumors | 26 comments

Check out the latest on the Kings and Penguins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: In his postmortem on the Los Angeles’ Kings 2019-20 season, Matt Larkin observed they’ll have around $20 million in salary-cap space if the cap remains at $81.5 million for next season. With all their impact players under contract, Larkin wondered if general manager Rob Blake will chase a major unrestricted free agent. Noting it’s still too early for the club to become a contender, Larkin believes Blake could remain conservative for another year.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Lisa Dillman was asked if the Kings might re-sign Trevor Lewis to a contract extension in the off-season. She doesn’t think so, pointing out the 33-year-old center was reportedly available at this year’s trade deadline. She suspects there haven’t been any contract discussions lately.

Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (Photo via NHL Images).

Dillman was also asked if Jeff Carter might be traded. She doubts it, pointing out the 35-year-old center recently underwent core-muscle surgery. She said there wasn’t a trade scenario before Carter’s surgery, but if there was, this would change the equation.

Asked which player she felt might be a good target for the Kings in the 2022 UFA market, Dillman cited Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau. She cautioned, however, that most pending free agents tend to re-sign with their teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree that Blake is likely to wait another year before attempting to make a big splash in the UFA pool. However, I don’t rule out the possibility he’ll attempt to pry away a good young player from a cap-strapped rival.

With over $69 million invested in 16 players (as per Cap Friendly) for next season, the Kings also have sufficient cap space to make that kind of addition. Blake has some tradeable assets if the opportunity arises to land a promising NHL talent. The Kings have seven picks in rounds two through four of this year’s draft and six in the same rounds next season.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Josh Yohe was asked what he thought the Pittsburgh Penguins will do about their goaltending situation. Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry are both restricted free agents with arbitration rights and the Penguins can’t afford to keep both.

Yohe speculates Murray could hit the trade block. He’ll command the most money, which could be a problem for the Penguins if the salary cap declines next season. To keep both goalies would mean trading Kris Letang or a couple of other important players.

Asked which two players won’t be on the roster next season, Yohe thinks Nick Bjugstad and Patrick Marleau are the most likely candidates. Bjugstad’s injury history, however, will make him hard to trade. Marleau, meanwhile, is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford hasn’t ruled out re-signing Murray and Jarry, but it will require some salary and roster juggling to pull it off. Even if the salary cap remains at $81.5 million, the Penguins have over $68 million committed to 15 players in 2020-21. New contracts for both goalies will eat up a big chunk of that cap room.


  1. So at what point do the Pens entertain the thought of moving Malkin?

    • Whenever he agrees to waive his no-movement clause, which runs the entirety of his contract (through 2021-22). And that doesn’t seem likely.

      • Pens have to start thinking of their future. Their future may depend on trying to get something now for a significant current asset. Approaching him for the purpose of moving Malkin would not be a bad idea.

    • Malkin is not going anywhere anytime soon !!!

      • why not? If the Pens are not contenders next season playoffs why not move Malkin for futures. Would give them 9.5 in cap space a year early

      • Because, as I noted earlier, he holds a full no-movement clause. If he doesn’t want to be traded, there’s nothing the Penguins could do unless they buy out the final year of his contract.

    • Not any time soon, waiving no trade clause or not. Malkin has scored more than a point per game in every season but one, including the last 9 straight. He is still a significant asset continuing to perform at an elite level.

    • Malkin will finish his nhl career a pen then play in Russia for a bit. Pens should stay in win now mode until crosby and him are ready to call it quits. I think they got one more cup in them.

      • Just wondering if European players who spend the off-season back in their own countries are as dogmatic about teams adhering to their NM/no trade clause as would, say, a player from North America?

        I have no idea where Malkin spends his summers, but maybe he wouldn’t insist on the clause being honored – depending upon where they’d try and deal him – I doubt he’d be interested in a bottom-feeder or even a bubble team at this stage of his career – so that limits the options.

      • George, I’ve seen little to suggest European players aren’t as dogmatic about teams adhering to their NTC/NMC as North American players. Sure, Malkin could waive the clause if he and Penguins management had a falling-out, but from all indications, he’s happy in Pittsburgh and wants to win another Cup with the Penguins. So he has no reason to waive his clause.

  2. With his injury history moving Murray might prove difficult for Pittsburgh.

    • Fair point. However, if he has a solid showing in the playoff tournament, it’ll improve his trade value.

    • There would be several teams in on Murray. But the casual pens fan would be disappointed in the return

  3. Going to be a lot of teams scrambling to fit under the cap. The teams with plenty of room should be able to make some one sided trades for some real good players. Feel for the UFA,S not going to get huge money just can’t see it happening. First players to sign will do the best in my opinion.

    • Obe,

      Agreed. Best to sign early before whatever cap room teams have disappears.
      Bottom feeders (Detroit, Ottawa etc) should be able to add decent players at a reasonable cost. Especially once the initial frenzy is concluded.

      Ottawa in particular has the dollars and assets to be very creative if Dorian wants to.

  4. Blake has done a pretty decent job so far cleaning up the mess he inherited. Hopefully he stays the course for an actual rebuild instead of opting for bandaid solutions. Save his cap space and collect draft picks until LA has a good nucleus of young players to add too.

  5. Could see Kings going after Taylor Hall. They have the cap space, and could slot in next to Kopitar or Carter. As a Sharks fan, that would supremely suck.

    • DPF: Was going to say same. L A has had a few good drafts already and should be picking high this year. Using Rangers as example, a lot of folks didn’t think they should sign Panarin because “they weren’t ready to win”. Hall more of a gamble with his injury history, but is a dynamic talent when on the ice. If you wait a year or 2, those type of players aren’t always available. Kopitar and Doughty not getting any younger.

      • That depends on whether Hall wants to sign with another rebuilding club. Ultimately, however, I don’t think the Kings will pursue him. Better to wait next season when the UFA pool could be deeper.

      • As a king’s fan, I hope they stay far away from Hall. Not that I think he’s a bad player, he’s obviously not, but because he doesn’t fit the age or timelines of this rebuild.

  6. Lyle, how does the expansion draft affect Murray’s situation?

    • It’s something that could be a factor if the Penguins were to keep both goalies for next season. If they re-sign Murray and trade Jarry, I assume they’ll protect him in the expansion draft.

      • If the pens found out some way to keep both (I doubt) I’m sure they will find a way to avoid any nmc activity to keep their expansion options open.

  7. I’m not sure how many teams will take a run at Hall at 9 million that seems like a lot if cap stays the same for a few years. I don’t see him as a top player has the tools but doesn’t think the game like a top player. I see him as a 2nd line player but a very good 2nd line player making in the 6-7 range on a 5 year deal. If he wants a chance at a few Stanley cup runs than he can’t get to greedy. I think teams like Pittsburgh Edmonton Colorado Boston St Louis Washington and if Toronto or Tampa could move players than them to obviously.

    • A 2nd line player with a Hart Trophy on his resume

  8. Not a Hart trophy winner anymore in my opinion not sure he is top 50 player if stays healthy may start scoring again.