NHL Rumor Mill – July 11, 2020

by | Jul 11, 2020 | Rumors | 64 comments

Could the Canucks trade Brock Boeser? What’s the latest on the Devils? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


Could the Vancouver Canucks consider trading Brock Boeser in the off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

TSN 1040’s Rick Dhaliwal cites colleague Matt Sekeres saying he was told the Vancouver Canucks are exploring the possibility of trading Brock Boeser.

Sekeres added he’s not saying Boeser is being shopped or is on the trade block. Rather, they’re looking at how they’re going to fit everyone within their payroll and Boeser’s $6 million cap hit was one of the things that came up.

THE ATHLETIC’s Thomas Drance believes there are better ways to navigate the cap than jettisoning Boeser’s contract and the Canucks know this. If there’s a Boeser trade after this season, it’ll be motivated by potential return than dumping salary. Drance thinks the Canucks have come to rate Tyler Toffoli more highly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting speculation heading into the Phase 3 training camp. It could dog Boeser and the Canucks during the playoff tournament.

I agree with Drance that there are better options to free up cap space. Management could be just mulling over all their options at this point.

A solid return for Boeser, however, could prove tempting, especially if they’re trying to keep Toffoli off the UFA market while looking to shore up depth elsewhere in the roster. They could set an expensive asking price,  perhaps a first-round pick and a good young defenseman.


NJ.COM: Randy Miller reports New Jersey Devils co-owner David Blitzer suggested his club could be among those that benefit from a flat salary cap for next season. The Devils have over $26 million in cap space.

Miller wondered if the Devils could use their cap room to their advantage by signing premium free agents and/or shopping their high draft picks (two first-rounders and a second-rounder) to accelerate their rebuild. Blitzer didn’t seem to rule it that possibility but suggested they could wait until their young core players make some big steps forward in their development.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: In his post-mortem of the Devils season, Matt Larkin speculated they could use their cap space to target a big-ticket free agent. He suggested Florida Panthers winger Mike Hoffman could be a good finisher to player alongside promising center Jack Hughes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are in a great position cap-wise to sign a significant free agent or target cap-strapped clubs looking to off-load salary after this season. Whether they go that route remains to be seen.

Ownership seemed to suggest that could take another year or two. With the cap likely to remain flat for 2021-22, they could wait until next summer when they’ve had a full season to evaluate their younger players under new coach Lindy Ruff.

I’m not saying they won’t take advantage of their situation to add a skilled veteran or two, but it might not be a blockbuster move.


  1. The Devils already over paid Nico and will do the same with Jack big mistakes they need to stop over paying kids who haven’t performed at elite levels. I think they are scared that these players will ask to be traded but that is know way to run a franchise. I wouldn’t over pay than hope the player develops into a star help them become stars than pay them.

    • It’s good business to over pay for future potential than to over pay for past performance. The contracts are quite good.

      • It’s speculative to over pay for future potential. The contracts may pan out.

      • In sports with highly regarded talent you will win that speculation more often than not. Paying for past performance you will lose more often than not. There was a great article on thn about the biggest fa in the past ten years. Almost all were bad after a year or teo

      • Chrisms, there is a difference between future potential and actual performance.

        The definition of potential is something that may be realized. Think of first round draft pick busts – all drafted in the first round because of potential. Just as a few examples, Puljujarvi was the # 4 draft pick in 2016 and Juolevi was # 5. I am not cherry picking – go through any draft year and you will see busts in every round.

        Past performance? Has it been consistent? Is the player in his mid to late 20s? Give me that over hope, prayers and incantations any day.

      • You start signing players in their late 20’s to term for past performance and more often than not you regret it. And with the exception of nail who has been a 1st overall bust in the past 15-20 years or so?

      • I’m only replying because it is a slow Saturday, Chrisms, and after this I am moving on.

        Firstly, I am working off of your premise. Secondly, narrowing your definition of future potential to the first overall pick isn’t demonstrating a lot of confidence in your premise. And with that narrow a definition its applicability is awfully limited.

        Enjoy the rest of the day.

      • Toodles.

    • Obe,
      Nico will be underpaid in a few years. So I don’t see how you feel it’s an overpayment. He hasn’t even played a season under his new deal. As for Hughes, he will need to make some more strides, before he gets a big payday. Even so, you rather pay for future performance than overpay for past performance. NJD are in a good spot cap wise, and hopefully use it to there advantage.

    • I don’t watch the Devil’s much, but from what I have read Nico is developing into an excellent 2 way center. I would compare it to the RNH deal. Good responsible player on a bad team without much support. Now looks like a great deal and has for a few years.
      The devil’s made a bet on him and we will see how it turns out, but looks reasonable to me.

      • Hello Obe, Hate to disagree with you but I do. Nico is a fine player who has not yes hit his prime years, and next year is the start of a $7.25 million annual contract. If he continues to develop, as is expected, this will be good value for the Devils. The Devs need some scoring wingers to make the playmaking centers of any use. Hopefully Foote, Boquist and this year’s first become that.

  2. It’s been said many times in these pages – several of whom are devoted Leafs fans – that the Leafs have plenty of offense and that they should trade off some of that in order to shore up their D.

    Since the announcement of the draft formula it got me to wondering what those who have suggested that route would like to see them do IF, through circumstances, the Leafs were the ones to win the 1st overall pick.

    Do they add to that offense by taking Lafrenière or do they grab the top-ranked D-man Drysedale? If they go with the offense are they going down the same road taken by Edmonton when they kept taking offense and ignoring the back-end?

    Just for discussion as a sort of microcosm of how highly-rated Lafrenière is in everyone’s eyes.

    Personally, I’d take Lafrenière and THEN deal off some of that other offense for D help.

    • How this has to do with the Canucks or Devils?

      • Not a thing. But with the Canucks and Devils the chat would dry up after about 6 posts. In the interest of fostering discussion – and like it or not that’s the case every time – you’ll get a longer exchange when discussing the Leafs, Penguins, Boston and Rangers.

        Anyway, it’s something that’s been on my mind since the draft set-up was announced and I just thought I’d take this opportunity to do it.

      • Post below is typical.

        Centre of the universe syndrome & avoids the topic.

        Boeser rumour is click bait more than anything. It came out of nowhere & can only be a distraction.

    • I would do the same thing George as they don’t have the space to trade the pick for established. The Oil tried in the trade of Hall for Larsson, but lost that deal IMO. Since then have drafted D with each of the last 2 1st rd picks.
      D take longer so neither has had an opportunity to impact the big club yet but both look very promising so far.
      In the NHL the MO has usually been take the best player/asset and deal with the positional issues later.
      Problem with that theory is that in a cap world you need to pay the high end talent and then when you go to trade them you often need to take the $$ back to make the deals work or trade for unproven picks/prospects.
      If they want to draft D, maybe you trade the pick for younger near ready prospect(s) vs expensive proven D man IE Byram plus or a Bouchard plus type deal. Not saying the Avs or Oil would, just giving examples of the type of player.

    • Right on, George, hope it doesn’t happen for all the right reasons.

    • George O, I be taking Lafreniere and trading JT for the simple reason of age.

      This would put Lafreniere, Matthews and Marner all closer in age and younger.

      Could be a few cup runs for the leafs if they add a couple more quality D.

      • Hi Caper

        I’ve posted before that Leafs can’t win cup with 1/2 Cap on 4 forwards and that I just can’t fathom KD moving JT or AM

        Leafs need D upgrade

        The return for Marner (less teams willing / can take on) will not be as relatively beneficial as trading WW (now only owed $2.5 M next year with a Cap hit about $4 M less than MM)

        Win Laf… then trade WW for an up and coming 22-25 yr old D (with term and trending to top 3) plus a prospect and still save ~ $2M – $3M Cap. Laf in ELC … $925 K

        Laf won’t likely have WW numbers year one but I’d doubt the loss is greater than 15-20 points (and Leafs are not challenged in the offence department)

        Result …. WW out ; Laf and up and coming top 3 D in; still ~ $1M – $2M Cap savings …, big increase in Leafs D ; and loss offensively to Leafs maybe 15 points (G’s & A’s)

        But ….. Leafs winning Laf …. pipe dream…. my gut still says Habs get him

    • George, I’ve been wrestling with same. What if Rangers land #1? As hard to imagine passing on a talent like Lafreniere, would trading pick be more beneficial? Lafreniere is listed at LW. Rangers have both Panarin and Kreider locked up for next 6/7 years. Both have nmc. Would either be as good on right wing ? You’re an Ottawa fan and in good position to trade up. I’be seen many stories discussing possibility of trading DeAngelo. One deal I’ve pondered: DeAngelo and #1 for Chabot and #3 and a 2nd rounder.

      • Way too expensive to move up to number 1 the last time u remember the first overall no edit was the pens moving up from three to one to take maf. It cost them a decent prospect and a 2nd to move up those two spots. No way it would cost a top pair young d man

      • Chrisms, my proposal wasn’t just #1 pick for 3 and top pair young dman. It included a top scoring young dman.

      • One that seems to only hold value by New York fans. Deangelo has a tempestuous past, is in a contract year having only played at this level for one year so no track record. He just does not hold a ton of marketable value at this stage.

        A comparable trade to the last time someone moved up from 3 to one would be one of Ottawa second rounders and a guy like batherson or formentin.

        Now the maf trade was many years ago but o can’t remember another more recent trade involving 1st overall.

    • George, If any team with the first overall wants to select Drysdale or anybody but Lafrenière, they need to trade out of slot #1, period.

      • Bill plazcek. I think there is possibility a team can take Lafreniere and see how rest of board plays out. There’s no guarantee another player you’re targeting will be available at spot you trade back to. Example. Trading with Ottawa thinking you can get Drysdale at 5, but then Detroit takes him at 4.

      • Boy, the responses so far show what a conundrum it would create should a top team like the Leafs land in that # 1 spot.

        I guess the bottom line is, how much higher Lafrenière is rated by the various scouting staffs in comparison to the other top picks. Unlike a McDavid or a Crosby etc., it’s clear from reading some of the top pundits’ analysis that, while the consensus # 1, he isn’t in that class.

        In his assessment of the draft (see the link below) the well-respected Bob McKenzie has this to say in his final rankings

        “Lafreniere is not viewed as a generational talent like Connor McDavid or necessarily labelled a franchise player, but there’s no doubting what he is. “He’s a top-line NHL winger right now,” a scout said. “He’ll walk into the NHL whenever we play next season and he’ll be a top player.”

        The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Lafreniere’s hockey sense and competitiveness are elite. He’s equally adept at scoring goals as he is making high-end plays. He’s a difference-maker every time he’s on the ice.

        If, as expected, Lafreniere is selected first overall, it will mark an end to an unprecedented four-year drought for Canadian hockey. Not since 2015, when Edmonton selected Connor McDavid, has a Canadian gone No. 1.

        Lafreniere would be the first Quebec-born No. 1 overall pick since goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in 2003 and the first Quebec-born skater to go No. 1 since Vincent Lecavalier in 1998.

        While he’s the clear favourite to be No. 1 this year, some scouts did allow that it’s not heresy to suggest there may be a player or two in this draft, prospects who didn’t perform at Lafreniere’s level all season, who could eclipse Lafreniere in future years.


        Whatever transpires it’s going to take a GM with big you-know-what NOT to take him if they’re picking # 1 and worry about the cap cost implications later

      • Hi George

        Fully agree that he’s not a generational talent but of those “regular” first overalls he is definitely nowhere near the weak end of them. McKenzie also pondered that had he been born 4 weeks earlier he would have been drafted in 19 and McKenzie said he would not have been surprised if he was picked then

        Whoever gets him is getting; a top line winger…. rights for 7 years; and I believe in 4 years he will be top 10 and maybe top 5 wingers in the league

        Still with any “prospect” anything can happen… but to me… great pick-up

      • Yeah, that bit about going # 1 in 2019 struck me too, With all the hype that preceded Hughes – despite playing in a league that, overall (team by team), is nowhere near the caliber of Major Junior – it would have been interesting to see how that played out.

      • George, although you might find the ushl an inferior league, The scouting of Hughes was largely based on international play. He ende his career as all time leading scorer. More points than Matthews, Kane, and Kessel

      • Slick, I recognize that. That’s why I used the word “overall” – to be sure there are great individual talents coming out of that program, but there are far more Major Junior players drafted over 7 rounds that, if they don’t make the NHL, forge careers in the AHL, ECHL and even Europe, than there are coming out of the league.

        As for Hughes, he has had impressive stats in a league that doesn’t have the 80+ game grind and physicality of Major Junior – and that showed in his first NHL season. A winger may be able to get by with that size in the NHL – but it’s damned difficult for a C – especially one who hasn’t had to deal with the physicality game in game out.

      • A lot of people are wondering if caufield was a big reason for Hughes success

  3. I put this on morning coffee but meant to ask here

    Lyle, saw this on Twitter.
    From NHL press release tonight: “Teams participating in a best-of-five series during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers are considered to have made the postseason and participated in a postseason series.”
    How does this effect NJ? They have Vancouvers pick conditioned on Canucks making playoffs. Do Devils now automatically have it, regardless if Canucks lose play in? This could give Devils a shot at #1 pick now. Would also mean as long as Arizona doesn’t get #1, Devils will have 3picks. Possibly 3 top 16 picks.

    • Is it conditional on them making playoffs? Or is conditional of it being lotto protected? That was the same thing before Covid but now is two very different things.

      • Hi Slick

        McKenzie addressed this before stating that NHL has ruled that the play-in games were neither reg season or playoffs; and the only teams to have “made” the playoffs already; are the top 4 on either side; again IF playoffs actually go ahead.

        Teams with conditional picks on “if they make the playoffs” per McKenzie; are therefore still pending the contingent on clause

        The Pens have the right to shift their 1st rounder (to Minn) from ‘20 to ‘21 “if they miss the 19/20 playoffs”…. this will not be decided until at a minimum ; end of game 3 against Habs

        If they lose to Habs ( 😢 ) they will definitely wait until 2nd lottery; win they’ll take Lafrennierre ; lose lottery …. they COULD still move pick to ‘21 as they had already missed 19/20 playoffs to Habs (again I 😢😭)

      • Pengy can you repeat that please.

      • Hi Caper

        LOL 😎🤪

        No can do…. cite old fart brain, single fat finger typing; weak eyes; and being out in the sun for two plus hours as my reasoning

        Can barely say Go Leafs Go or Go Pens Go right now

  4. Lyle,
    Sticking with the condition pick options, does NJD now get Arizona 1st regardless or does the lottery protection still remain in effect? Also, what happens with the condition on the 3rd(2021)? It could be a 2nd even a first is a few things pan out. Can you clarify, if these goes into effect this season or for future trades. Thank you.

  5. Lyle,
    Sticking with the conditional picks, how does it effect NJD with this years 1St from Arizona? Is it still lottery protected? Also, what happens with the 3rd(2021) from Arizona, which could have been a 2nd or even another 1st if conditions are met? Does the rule effect those picks, or is it for future trades.
    Thank you.

    • Arizona pick is same as was. Whether they were in playoffs or not, lottery protected. Vancouver pick stated that Canucks would keep this years if they didn’t make playoffs. I’m assuming that statement makes them a playoff team even if they lose play in. Hypothetically, NJ can now end up with picks 1,7, and 10 if Canucks end up winning lottery.

      • Slick62 from my understanding the play in round is not a playoff team until they win.

      • Caper. Look at nhl statement I posted above.

      • Caper. I’m confused too. Just read this from over a month ago
        “More specifically, for Trade condition purposes, a Club will not be deemed to have qualified for the Playoffs unless or until they have progressed into the Round of 16, and ‘Playoff Games/Rounds’ will only include the games/rounds played in the Round of 16 or later. We believe this interpretation will best reflect the intentions of the parties at the time of the Trade …”

      • slick62, then I dont know.

        Only make sense if all protection are still in place until you get into the playoffs and the play in round is not considered the playoffs.

        Confused until clear.

      • Looking at both statements again, the one posted yesterday says “postseason”. Not playoffs. That could be the difference, and I guess playoffs officially start after playin? So, Vancouver will keep pick if they lose play in

    • That has still to be determined, Francois. Hopefully there will be more details soon.

      • Lyle,
        Thank you.

    • Caper is right.

  6. Well he is 21 175 lbs hasn’t scored or produced very well doesn’t have a physical game and they don’t win many games. How that warrants 7.5 million I have no idea I could see a bridge two years at 4.5. Be like Boston paying Charlie 7.5 like most said he would get when he hasn’t produced at that pay scale. I’m happy these teams over pay easier for my team to compete.

  7. Boeser is a pretty decent player but injury prone. I wouldnt offer more than a 3rd and mid level prospect.

    • I’d give you three 3rds for that kid, all day long.
      He can score and he can play.

    • I would think if Benning only got a third he’d be fired within 5 minutes, unless like other times when the owner is sticking his nose into it.
      Good try by TSN to stir it up a bit tho

    • Good thing you’re not a GM

  8. Boeser has natural goal scoring ability. Something you can’t teach. Still very young and a first round selection. Not giving him away for a third. Injury prone or not. I really think they want to keep Toffoli . Lots of others you can buyout or give away. Suter Beagle Ericksson Ferland …off the top of my head

  9. Hamonic of the flames first player to opt out, his daughter battled and won a serious respiratory problem last year, good for Travis family comes first

    • Hi BBB

      With you 100%

      I’m a huge hockey fan ; and I’m sure all players are itching to play…. but family first is a no brainer

      I’d expect that he won’t be alone in the opt out and I’m confident that his teammates and all players in the league respect and support his personal decision


    • Agree family first but if Travis plays in Edmonton and lives in bubble and plays hockey how does he infect his daughter?

      • Re read my comment obe. I agree pengy he probably won’t be the only one

  10. Boeser for Dumba, sign Toffoli, let Tanev and Scetcher leave, trade Sutter and Vertanen for a draft pick.
    Just some ideas

  11. Always find it funny that even though this is not about the Leafs, the one person has to make it about the Leafs.

  12. Followed Boeser closely during his season with the USHL Waterloo BlackHawks (George’s lesser league).

    Dominant season, pretty complete player even then.

    Agree with Shoreorrpark, Bill, and Silver regarding value—it would take MORE than Dumba.

    ps. Waterloo has been a pretty good NHL pipeline—check it out

    • Iowa Boy, in defense of George, who doesn’t need me to stick up for him, but I will anyways.

      The USHL is a lesser league, there is absolutely zero debate in that. Yes it has made strides over the past decade but is still a far way from pumping out the skill level and volume of players that the CHL does.

      • And, Canadian King, if it were anywhere near on a par – overall – you might think the Portland, Everett, Spokane, Saginaw and Erie franchises would move into that league if for no other reason than to eliminate cross-border and often lengthy travel. It may well happen one day as the USHL is growing in calibre by leaps and bounds … but it isn’t there yet.

        As for the snide remarks by some elsewhere in this thread about me being a member of the “centre of the universe” crowd and starting a thread about the Leafs when they weren’t part of the subject matter, clearly these people have no clue about my leanings.

  13. BBB I read your comment don’t really care what u said all I’m saying sounds like a cop out to me if living in a bubble and miles away from daughter how will it effect her. Sounds like to me he is looking for easy way out and if I was a teammate looking to try to win the Lord Stanley I would be disappointed. Hey we never agree so who cares I’m just glad he is not my teammate.

    • Wow! You really don’t see why he’s doing it? He doesn’t want anyone to go through what his daughter had too and good on him