NHL Rumor Mill – July 14, 2020

by | Jul 14, 2020 | Rumors | 34 comments

Check out the latest on Brock Boeser, Alex Pietrangelo, and Torey Krug in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning vehemently denied recent rumors he was exploring trading Brock Boeser. Appearing on TSN 1040 on Monday, Benning claimed the team has been happy with the 23-year-old winger since drafting him in 2015.  I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” said Benning. “I have no intention of trading Brock Boeser.”

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal Boeser spoke to Benning and received assurances he wasn’t on the trade block.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (Photo via NHL Images).

“I’ve felt I’ve always been pretty honest with the media, and I feel like it was really unnecessary — and even the timing of the tweet was questionable with us getting ready to make a deep run. The last time I checked, the trade deadline has passed,” said Boeser.

They also cited a reply from THN 1040 Matt Sekeres, who reported Friday a Boeser trade was among several options being mulled over by the Canucks’ front office to free up salary-cap space.

If you were expecting a sitting GM to confirm he might have to trade a good young winger because he has made a mess of the salary cap, well, perhaps you are also waiting for COVID-19 to magically disappear in the heat.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drance and Dayal doubt the Canucks would move Boeser even if they were kicking around the idea. They point out it’s almost impossible to win such a trade in this off-season. Such a move would also damage the club’s chemistry as they’re better with Boeser in the lineup.

Maybe Benning and his staff were considering the idea. Sekeres makes a good point that we can’t expect the Canucks GM to admit it. We should also remember Sekeres said it was among several options they were looking at. It doesn’t mean they were giving it serious consideration.


THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cites Alex Pietrangelo telling NHL.com’s Louie Korac he remains hopeful of re-signing with the St. Louis Blues. The 30-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his seven-year, $45.5 million contract and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.

Pietrangelo said he and GM Doug Armstrong haven’t held any contract talks because of the uncertainty over the remainder of this season. He believes they’ll resume once the playoffs are over.

Brandon Maron, meanwhile, cites Torey Krug telling The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa he understands he might have to consider playing for another team after this season. The 29-year-old blueliner is also slated for UFA status at the end of this season.

Krug said he’s currently focused on the upcoming playoffs, but admitted he probably has to prepare himself for unrestricted free agency. Then he’ll see what happens with the Bruins and other teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pietrangelo and Krug are the top defensemen and among the best players in this year’s UFA market. Both will attract considerable interest if they become available.

The constraints of a flat salary-cap for 2020-21 will affect their efforts to remain with their present clubs. Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $79 million invested in next season’s payroll with Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn to re-sign. The Bruins have $63.5 million but must also re-sign or replace Krug, Jake DeBrusk, Zdeno Chara, Anders Bjork, and Matt Grzelcyk.

Both clubs could face cost-cutting trades to re-sign those blueliners. Blues goaltender Jake Allen and forwards Jaden Schwartz, David Perron, and Tyler Bozak have surfaced as possible trade candidates. DeBrusk was mentioned as a trade option if Krug’s new contract takes a big bite out of their cap room.


  1. I feel like there are several teams that are cost-conscious but have lots of cap space (Detroit, Ottawa) that could take Loui with a 1st round sweetener (1OA protected). If I am Vancouver, I look at that long before I consider trading Boeser, who has a great contract for what he is providing (0.817 ppg).

    Do any of these teams want Loui? Of course not, but a rebuilding team picking up a 1st round pick for 2 years of a guys making little in salary; I think there’s a buyer around if they can stomach the price. Vancouver has the good young pieces in place that the ability resigning Toffoli and Markstrom is very likely worth the 1st.

    • SCJ, we hashed over that Eriksson to a team like Ottawa pretty thoroughly yesterday. In another day and era – which we may not see again for quite some time – that kind of deal might have gone down with an Ottawa or Detroit. But not now. Not with so many teams up against the cap and absolutely needing to shred salary in order to retain their key RFAs and even some UFAs they wish to keep.

      Teams like Ottawa and Detroit can dangle picks and perhaps even a prospect or two to obtain a good solid NHLer with term and a cap hit that would make it worthwhile for the selling team to clear sufficient space. Some may even have to relinquish two of that nature.

      They don’t need to do ANY team ANY favours by taking on an albatross like Eriksson.

      And as I said yesterday, with the flat cap putting a damper on the expectations of a lot of UFAs, they could probably acquire a lot better player through that route for not much more than an Eriksson is still owed.

      The Canucks are stuck with him.

      • I had actually read through yesterday’s exchange this morning prior to posting. Maybe someone like Yzerman makes the move to trade picks to accelerate the rebuild, but Ottawa is pretty committed to draft and develop, so getting a 1st rounder (and having 4) for 2 years of cap space during a period where they’ve essentially committed to not being competitive is something that would be in their wheelhouse. Taking a 1st for a bad contract isn’t a favour which is why I didn’t propose a 2nd (no one would touch that).

        Especially, because there isn’t a decent UFA in the NHL that is signing in Ottawa this year.

        End of the day, I agree that Vancouver is stuck with Loui. But if they really want to keep their core together and resign a few guys and their willing to pony up picks, someone would bite; someone with cap space will always be there to take picks for filling empty cap space.

      • “Especially, because there isn’t a decent UFA in the NHL that is signing in Ottawa this year.”

        I wouldn’t be too sure of that SCJ. That’s the sentiment heard back when they signed Bobby Ryan with everyone certain he was heading “home” to Philadelphia (mind you, many of us now wish he had – but that’s another story 🙂

        Players are pretty perceptive when it comes to judging how fast a re-building team can rebound. If Dorion can pull off a couple of deals as described above, and gets what appear to be two gems early in the 1st round of this draft, a UFA could see Ottawa as a fast up-and-comer.

        As long as Melnyk lets him do his job. We’ll soon see.

        But with all the limitations imposed by the Coronavirus showing no signs of being alleviated any time soon, I just don’t see any team taking on an Eriksson.

      • If a guy thinks he is any good he should see himself as a major piece of said rebuild.

      • I think the Sens would have some interest in Erikkson and a pick. My understanding is that his actual salary is much less than his cap hit. Ottawa is way under the cap and needs to add to get to the floor. The team won’t be competitive next year anyways.

      • Exactly Chrisms – and some have the egos to think that way for sure. I’m not accusing Toffoli of being one with a massive ego, but I could see Ottawa discussing contract with him and his agent. He had 4 pretty good Major Junior years here with the 67s and established some long-lasting personal contacts.

        I haven’t actually heard anything of that nature – just citing him as a UFA “worth his salt” who might see a fit here if contacted by Dorion.

      • I don’t think Ottawa has “ essentially committed to not being competitive”. I’m always amazed how everyone always assumes a player isn’t leaving a contender to go play with a team that’s “not ready to win” Last year every division winner went out in first round. I think a younger player like Sergachev could go somewhere like Detroit and be a cornerstone for rest of his career. Yet, when I mention somebody offer sheeting him, I get same response. He’s not leaving Tampa. They can’t pay him this year. If Detroit offered him an 7 year deal for 8mil per, why wouldn’t he sign?

      • In this era of a flat cap – which could go on for another year or two – or three – the more you look at it Slick62 the more an offer sheet is making sense. With $76,166,6666 committed to 15 players and 8 to sign Tampa simply has NO cap space to re-sign all 5 RFAs never mind any UFAs they may wish to keep. And that’s without being faced with an offer-sheet that would exceed the $5,333,334 they currently have to sign those 8!

        Nor are they alone in that regard.

        At what point does an unwritten “gentleman’s agreement” get cast aside?

      • George O. I think Detroit would be perfect for a Sergachev offer. I get the “gentleman’s agreement end. Especially after letting Stevie Y go to Detroit. ( I don’t know for sure if he was under contract) But, I’ve mentioned here before, I have no sympathy for teams that play in a no tax state! They enjoy an advantage, and unless those owners agree to some kind of fair arrangement, I don’t give a hoot if they lose players to offer sheets. If you already have advantage of getting players for less than market value, how the heck are you in cap he’ll anyway?

      • Mike, as I said yesterday, getting to the cap floor is not a concern for Ottawa. They sure as heck don’t need Eriksson to accomplish that.

        Right now they have $41,964,167 committed to just 9 players with some 14 to be signed,

        Tierney, Connor Brown, Duclair, Paul, Balcers and Englund are all RFAs needing to be re-signed as well as UFA Borowiecki. Collectively, they accounted for $10,196,167 last year. Each they intend to keep and among those named I see only Balcers and perhaps Englund as being cut loose – will get an increase of some sort – a couple more than others.

        Then there are the likes of Josh Norris, Logan Brown, Drake Batherson, Alex Formenton, Lassi Thompson and Artem Zub whose ELC’s total $5,122,499 and who will all have a chance at making the club.

        So when you combine the two groups you’re looking at around at least $16 mil added to that $41,964,167 bringing them up to around $58 million. And that not counting any players they may acquire in trades from teams needing to shed salary – NOT named Eriksson.

        There is also the possibility of signing one or two from the UFA list. Bottom line – they’ll get to the cap floor without having to take on that stiff.

        As for acquiring draft picks, they have 13 this year including 3 in the first round and 4 in the 2nd. They don’t need any more at this stage.

      • George would agree 100% if there wasn’t the factor of very little salary, provided the Canucks eat the 3M bonus. The issue isn’t about talent its about cap space it’s about productivity relative to cap hit. He is still a premiere penalty killer and can play up and down the bottom nine. That said probably have to throw in a mid level prospect as well.

      • SwampDragon, I understand the benefits of a team taking Eriksson – with a good chunk of salary withheld – if their goal is to stockpile draft picks and perhaps shore up their pool of “mid-level” prospects at the same time.

        But Ottawa doesn’t need any more picks at this stage – this year and next they are loaded in that regard – and their farm system is well stocked with “mid-level” prospects in addition to a good pool of top prospects.

        So, the only benefit of an Eriksson to a team in their position would be to get to the cap floor. But as I pointed out, they’ll pretty much do that with the re-signing of their own free agents and can probably acquire a couple of decent established NHLers with term and fairly significant cap hits by dealing a few of their own picks/prospects from teams who absolutely MUST shed salary.

        Much better – and younger – than someone like Eriksson whose impact on getting to the cap floor would be reduced substantially by Vancouver withholding a $3 mil chunk of his salary.

    • SCJ, if it took the Leafs a first rounder to rid themselves of one year, $6 mill for Marleau, in a stable economy. What would 2 years at $6 mill in an extremely unstable economy cost the Canucks?

      Oh and I’d take Marleau over Loui if I had to choose.

  2. Boston isn’t trading Debrusk to resign Krug; the bigger question is what will Boston do with the $5m plus in salary cap when they don’t resign Krug. I say this because Krug also mentioned in his interview that his salary demand hasn’t changed and if that is the case Sweeney needs to walk away.

    • Sweeney will find away to get everyone signed. If. Krug stays firm on a pre covid cap number then it is time to let him sign with wings and see what it is to lose game after game Ruins are in good shape vs any other top team in league when it comes to cap management

    • Caper,
      What is your thoughts on a new DeBrusk deal?
      I feel without Krug’s $5M that frees up enough to re-sign all the others, and maybe get a player cheaper to replace Krug? (Maybe Schultz on a 1yr deal)

      • Francois, if it was me I would use the available space up front.
        B’s NHL and prospect depth is better on the blue line.

      • Francois I’m with the other guys I think it will be a bridge 2 to 3 years at 3.5 to 4

        If Krug walks, maybe Sweeney takes a run at Hall. Again dollars matter if more then $7.5 I be hesitant.

        Will be interesting to see how the market develops.

        Can never count out a GM willing to overpay in both dollars and term.

    • That is the $64K question Caper.
      I think we agree they are in win now mode with key core players in their 30’s and Chara year to year.
      So if they let Krug walk and don’t use the available space to improve on the wing for the top 6, I view that as a mistake.
      I also remember hearing that the 1 week window to talk with UFA’s is done so it will be difficult to understand your options when the UFA bell rings.
      It is a big decision that you would prefer not rush or be pressured into making by an agent putting you on the clock to make a decision or the player signs else where and deciding if he is bluffing or not.
      Would love to be a fly on the wall that day.

  3. Caper I agree but I also believe Debrusk is getting a two year bridge. I’m fine not resigning Krug I think Boston will be fine without him unless he really takes a home town discount like 5 million over 5 years.

    • Debrusk won’t get more than a bridge deal.
      Hw doesn’t have any leverage.
      I’m not completely convinced he can score without Krech.
      Krug needs to do whatevers best for him.
      Chase cups or chase cash.
      It’s completely up to him.
      Maybe he can sign with the Jackets? He could get both there.

  4. Trades are likely going to be hockey trades. Canucks are in a cap bind. About $17M with only 14 players signed. If Canucks are going to re-sign UFA’s Toffoli. Tanev and Markstrom and RFA’s Stetcher, Gaudette and Virtanen something will have to give.
    Sabres have some useful assets to make a trade. Gaudette would be a middle 6 C for a team in need. And Baertschi began his career with Krueger as his coach. Sabres have a 2nd Rd pick, a RD (either Montour or a cost-conscious prospect in Borgen) and a developing prospect in Mittelstadt who hasn’t fit with Krueger. Gaudette will command at least $2M and with Baertschi it could free up to $5 M, You have to give up to get.

    • No way they are trading Guadette for Mittelstat and a salary dump. Gauds is a Hobey Baker winner that has shown he can adjust to the NHL game very quickly and still has ton of upside. Mittelstat was a very poor choice at 8th overall and adjusted anylitics had him going in the 60’s pre draft. That spot would be much worse in hindsight as both his draft +1 and +2 years have both been very disappointing. To make this work, keep Mittelstat, throw in Mattias Samuelson and maybe we can talk… oh ya, it will be Erickson, not Baertchi as the salary dump. Real money owed to Erickson is negligible and although the cap hit is 6M for 2 more seasons, Buffalo won’t be doing much as far as signing any big ticket free agents. Now we can call the Dale Tallon fiasco closed. Thank you and good luck, lol.

  5. DeBrusk doesn’t have arbitration rights, so yeah, he’s probably looking at a 2 year bridge at about 3.5 per. ( That’s what Buchnevich got from Rangers last year coming off his elc and having similar stats) Boston has 18 mil to spend on 4/5 players to get to a full roster of 22/23. Even if you give Debrusk 4,and Chara comes back at 2m, that leaves 12 mil to sign Krug and 2 other players. I don’t see a problem there. Just need to decide how much you value Krug.

    • Hey Slick, agree with that except that Chara’s AAV is $4M.
      $2M is easily attainable bonuses. Basically if he didn’t have a season ending injury at the start of the year, he was getting it.
      Less next year? Maybe, but he still played the 2nd most minutes on the team this season.
      Still a great defender in his own zone and PK’er.

      • Ray Bark, all I know is Chara cap hit is 2mil. His career earnings are almost 100 mil. I don’t know how long he plans on playing, but I don’t think he’s a threat to want more than he got this year. That said, I think they’re able to sign both DeBrusk and Krug.

  6. The Bruins are in a different spot.

    With regard to Krug, they have a lot of D depth and really all Krug brings to the table is offense. Most D that are asking for the money he is asking for are both offensive and defensive. The market is so tight with the cap staying flat good luck getting a bunch more to play on a crappier team.

    With regard to forwards, assuming the bruins sign Bjork and DeBrusk they have 1 spot left assuming that Studnicka is the man to fill. I am not a huge Debrusk guy myself so I would not care if they got a decent draft pick for him.

    I am on the same train as everyone else, the Bruins need a top 6 forward that can score, my main target would be Hall, then Hoffman.

    I mean Hall is going to find it tight on the market this year too so maybe he signs a 1/2 year deal to play on a good team.

  7. If the Bruins let Krug walk and even DeBrusk would T Hall & Dillon be a option for them or a pipe dream

  8. And you know Dorion did all this without Melnyk involved how? Please enlighten us with your deep inside knowledge.

    • There’s a huge difference between an “opinion” and presenting something as an established “fact.”

      That’s like saying “here are the opinions on which my facts are based.”

  9. When Will the Bloody Vancouver Canucks Ever Get their Act Put Together.? Can This Team Ever Know
    How to Do Anything Right.? Well if they can then they are a Very Mentally Retarded Hockey Team and
    They Don’t Seem to want to Know About what it takes to Be An NHL Franchise and to Be in the NHL
    Even. Let the Canuckle Heads Belong in a League for
    2 Year Olds and why Not it seems to be About the Only League if there were t be One would be for them the Right League to belong In.

    David W Glavin

    Burnaby BC

  10. This makes a ton of sense. I would like to hear more. Much more.

  11. Good thing the Sens are not paying $11m for Karlsson .
    Melnyk controls the purse and he has alligator arms.