NHL Rumor Mill – July 18, 2020

by | Jul 18, 2020 | Rumors | 39 comments

Check out some recent Golden Knights and Ducks speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NHL.COM: Danny Webster reports Robin Lehner hopes to speak with Vegas Golden Knights’ management soon about re-signing a new contract. Acquired at the February trade deadline, the 28-year-old goaltender is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

Does Robin Lehner have a future with the Vegas Golden Knights? (Photo via NHL Images)

I’m sure we’ll have some discussions (with general manager Kelly McCrimmon) after the season and see what happens,” said Lehner on Wednesday. He added he’s had a really good impression about the team in his short time with them.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Jesse Granger recently examined how a flat salary cap of $81.5 million will affect the Vegas Golden Knights. They already have over $75 million committed to next season’s payroll with 16 players under contract.

The Golden Knights cannot afford to make expensive additions as they’ve done in their short history. They must instead improve their roster with younger, cheaper options. It will also make it difficult to retain Lehner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s status gave rise to speculation suggesting the Golden Knights could attempt to trade Fleury if Lehner outplays him in the upcoming playoff tournament. Easier said than done. Fleury, 35, carries a 10-team no-trade list plus an annual average value of $7 million through 2021-22.

If McCrimmon wants to keep both goalies, he’ll have to slash salary elsewhere to free up sufficient space. Assuming Lehner signs for $6 million annually, it would mean shopping someone like Paul Stastny ($6.5 million AAV through 2020-21, 10-team no-trade) or William Karlsson ($5.9 million through 2026-27, with a 10-team no-trade kicking in next season). Considering how many other clubs are affected by a flat cap, finding takers for either guy could prove difficult.

Other trade options could include wingers Reilly Smith or Jonathan Marchessault. Both carry $5 million AAVs beyond next season with modified no-trade clauses. Young winger Alex Tuch ($4.75 million through 2025-26) lacks no-trade protection and has power-forward potential, though injury hampered his performance this season.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag, Eric Stephens was asked if the Anaheim Ducks should move players like Josh Manson, Jakob Silfverberg, or Adam Henrique for picks or to move up in this year’s draft.

Stephens doesn’t see that happening, pointing to GM Bob Murray’s belief that the team is much better than it showed last season. Nevertheless, he believes Murray should at least listen on offers for Manson, who needs a bounce-back season. If promising Trevor Zegras is ready, perhaps an Henrique deal will be considered.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson would attract attention if he hits the trade block. He carries an affordable $4.1 million AAV through 2021-22, but also a 12-team no-trade list. For the right offer (a scoring forward), perhaps Murray would consider it, provided it from one of the clubs on Manson’s list of preferred destinations.


  1. Tuch will have some interest if the Knights held a little back. Maybe a million. Is it just me or are they old for an expansion team. My only concern for them is moving younger players.

    Youngest team in the league- Blue Jackets

    • Close, but according to this site – supposedly calculated on a daily basis – the youngest is Montreal at 26.1 – Columbus is 26.4 – just behind Arizona at 26.3, Vegas is 28.6.

      The NHL average is 27.7.

      The 3 “oldest” are Pittsburgh (30.4), LA (30.2) and Anaheim & Minnesota (29.6 each).


      • I can’t speak for every team, but they have Chytl listed as NYRs youngest player? I believe Kakko, Fox and a couple of others are younger.

      • George. Interesting chart. I thought Rangers would be one of the youngest, but I guess Lundqvist brings average up. Pitt and L A heading in different directions. Kings have built a solid prospect pool, while Pens are basically in an all or nothing window. They’re looking at some lean years as Malkin and Crosby age.
        I would think Vegas should look to buy out Fleury or Stastny. Easiest savings right there. Fleury will be 4.4 mil savings this year and nearly 4 the following. But. An extra 2 years of 2m dead money. Stastny only adds 1 year of dead space.

      • Nyr4life – you’re right about Kakko – still 19 – but whereas Chytil was born Sept 5,1999, Fox’s birthday was Feb 17, 1998 – according to CapFriendly, their major league roster shows no one else – other than Kakko – as younger than Chytl. If there’s a a contact link for the site – point it out to them

      • That’s an old list. They show Patrick Marleau on the leafs. Pululaevi on the Oilers along with a whole slew of other errors.

      • It is interesting Slick62 – but as Nyr4life pointed out, they overlooked Kakko. We also have to take into account the oldest players shown for each, most of whom are UFAs not likely to be re-signed – Justin Williams in Carolina (38.1) – by the way, I overlooked Carolina above who comes in at 26.2 – Soderberg (34.1) in Colorado, Richardson (34.8) in Arizona. Then there’s Niemi in Montreal (36.2) and Byfuglien in Winnipeg (34.7) – neither of whom are even with those teams.

        So, so much for being “calculated daily”. Be interesting to know their reasoning for including the likes of Niemi and Byfuglien.

      • And Marleau!

      • Roger, there’s no doubt there are some valid questions about the accuracy of the site – but it can’t be THAT old when you consider individuals like Jonas Siegenthaler of Washington who only joined the team full-time this season.

        As I say, I’d like to see their modus operandi

      • CapFriendly has the average age.

      • They do, GP – but where is the link on their site that shows the average age by team?

      • cool chart. It will be interesting to see where Detroit ends up next season with Kronwall, Ericksson, Howard, Daly, and Green all gone from the roster

      • @George if Mathews was born 4 months later that means he’s younger then Marner hence the different draft years.

      • LOL. Wondered if someone would pick that up. Poor phrasing which I realized as soon as I hit “send.” Lyle, your site needs to provide a chance to “edit” after the fact 🙂

  2. Speaking from an Not so Mighty Ducks of Anaheim fan they are kidding themselves if they think they are a playoff team. They do not have one #1 line players, Zegras may be a #1 center someday but that may take awhile. Two years ago I thought they were ahead of the Kings ( who I also watch ) in prospect depth but LA has done a really good job of collecting draft pick and drafting players whereas Murray has sat back and done little. They have 6 pretty good hockey plays that could bring a decent return of picks & prospects
    and they are Gibson, Fowler, Lindholm, Manson,
    Silfverberg, Henqrique. Of the 6 Gibson is the best and is the best player on the team but goalies do not usually bring back a bundle of goodies.
    Duck have to either start trading their most valuable assets for picks and prospects and fill the pipeline OR continue to fade towards the bottom of the league. Time to take risks, if you can lose with these six, you can LOSE WITHOUT THEM but at least have a chance to improve in the future.

    • What about Rakell?

      • Kent
        I’d keep him one more year and see if he rebounds
        4 years ago 33 goals
        3 years ago 34 goals
        2 years ago 18 goals
        season just ended 15 goals
        at age 27 I’d give him one more shot to get back to high 20’s – low 30’s

  3. Supposedly Punch Imlach once said…” I can lose with anybody”, and if the definition of losing ( I am not sure it is) is not winning the Stanley Cup, then there has been some absolutely great losers.

    In terms of trading and opportunity windows, my quick guess would be there 4 credible teams in terms of Cup winning and maybe 8 others that would be in with a chance if everything went their way.

    The question is why are the other approximately 20 teams trading anyone over 30. Remember George the popular saying from the 1960’s “Don’t trust anyone over 30”.

    It frustrates me as one of those hockey fans that loves trades and trade rumours, that many of those 20 teams without a chance don’t take more chances and develop some courage.

  4. error above should say ” not trading anyone over 30″

    • I don’t think there’s one among us who doesn’t love trades – or solid rumours thereof – OldBlueDog.

      I suppose the easy answer to your question about why those 20 or so teams don’t trade anyone over 30 is the cap and the often convoluted exchanges it makes necessary, especially when you factor in that, anyone worth their salt “over 30” is probably making a pretty good buck.

      • I expect that no trade lists also eliminate trade options – some will be the location (Montreal), others will be teams that are poorly run or currently trying to rebuild. Players 30+ likely want a chance to win the Cup, not grind it out with no-contenders.

      • Good points LJ – I realized I forgot to mention the NM/NT proliferation in contracts since the cap era dawned and just sat down to put in a P.S. when I saw your post.

        Location (and tax havens) is also a major factor.

  5. Marleau is so slow now he is still leaving leafs for san Jose via carolina

    • LOL. Now THAT’S one valid explanation for still showing Marleau on the Leafs, Wendel

    • That was a good one thanks for the laugh Wendel

    • 😂😂

      He certainly was slow today

  6. If Anaheim considered trading Henrique, I think the Sabres could do something like give up #8 this year and a prospect like Borgen for Henrique and the Boston first Rd pick Anaheim got at the deadline. Sabres need a 2C who can come in score goals now.

    • That would work, Ducks then would have #6 & #8 pick in draft and a boost to retooling the farm system. Also it opens up a little less than 6 million a year for several years so that Ducks could take on a bad contract ( turris ) for pick / prospect / 3 rd liner that can be traded elsewhere. Nashville looks screwed at center Johansen 8 mil @ 5 years,
      Duchene 8 mil @ 6 years Turris 6 mil @ 3 years
      It’s the way the money game is played now

      • Boom/Bust. Wouldn’t it make more sense for Buffalo to keep the 8th pick and trade for Turris and sweetener? Henrique is only 6 months younger than Turris and has same amount of years left on contract and almost same money. IMO. Buffalo should keep 8th pick and take Askarov. Touted as best goalie prospect in years. Play Cozens at 2C next year. Maybe try and sign someone like Brassard for a year.

  7. it was a good one Wendel…

  8. Slick62
    It would make more sense for Buffalo to keep #8
    BUT the offer was #8 for Henrique and as a DUCK fan I’d take. If I was a Saber fan I would not have made that offer. That being said Henrique is better than Turris at this stage, his goal scoring numbers are much better, and he is ok defensively and kills penalties etc. He is a pretty good second line center and if Buffalo is looking for goal scorer right now, would take him over Turris.

    • I think I would rather Turris and the #8 than Henrique and be out of the top 10 in the draft. That said, if Buffalo doesn’t get Eichel some talented help, eventually he really will demand a trade.

      In an offseason with almost everyone looking to shed salary, I would bet you could find a damn good player for the #8OA

    • I don’t think paying either for next 4 years would be a smart move for Buffalo. Henrique had a decent year but i wouldn’t say he’s a “goal scorer” They’d be better off trying to sign Hofman or Toffoli. Not sure either would go there, Like I said, they’re better off letting Cozens play. Mittelstadt too.

  9. Henrique plays edgy as well. Turris soft and a lightweight

  10. Roto Sports yesterday per the Athletic Blue Jackets 25.1 and Rangers next at 26.1 average age

    • Obviously more up to date, SilverSeven. Thanks

  11. Re Knights and Cap space

    I know George hates it when I propose it..l but I’m all for rebuilding teams to gain building blocks via the “opportunity” of taking on STS (short term shite) high cap low cost contracts from panicking cap strapped teams…. short term investment for reasonable probability of long term gain

    For Knights. They have a great team… but even though they are only 3 years young… change must happen… to me … the best move they can make is to rid Statsny…$6.5 M cap; but still high cash … $5 M… just 1 year left… 10 team no trade list

    Knights as at now for next year… 10-6-1 (F-D- G) signed… with Stephenson and cousins (RFAs) to extend; and decision re Lerner …. and only $6.4 M in space

    Retaining 50% on Statsny opens market more; takes less as of a sweetener …. but $3.25 M freed up won’t be enough

    Vegas loaded in prospects; and Glass will be full time next year; perhaps Krebs the year after

    I’m guessing both Whitecloud and Hague will be on roster next year

    So …. sweeteners available :

    Schultd (D)
    Bischoff (D)
    Coughlan (D)
    Lechyshan (C)
    Elvenes (W)

    *Korczak (Should NOT move him; but if push comes to shove)

    It may take two sweeteners above?? But; it is probably worth it for VGKs … to get to $11.1 M in space ( Statsny replaced by Glass; Hague up as 7th D) … with still Stephenson and Cousins to re-sign ; 2 depth Fwds; and a back up… plenty O’ room there

    Now if the back up is Lehner ….. mmmmmmm?

    No disrespect George… but can’t see Sens on Statsny’s list

    Detroit ???

    Could Avs squeeze him ( Statsny) in for just the one year to gain two A prospects (on top of their already impressive up and coming team)??

    Statsny plus sweeteners Schultd and Bischoff for a mid-pick???

    I realize these are stretches..l but prudently theses at least must be explored and discussed internally…. and a phone call to gather interest cost nothing

    If VGKs can weather the cap next year… I see them as contenders for the next 3 years (maybe more)

    • I don’t see Ottawa wanting Stastny, so it makes little difference if they’re on his list or not. Pengy, I fully understand the desire to see things return to normal – that’s human nature – but the reality, NOTHING is going to be the same for a long time. And that includes hockey. No longer are teams in Ottawa’s position who also have a deep pool of prospects – and with more coming – going to take on those kinds of contracts simply to stock the cupboard with another clutch of mid-range prospects that aren’t even as promising as what they already have or are about to get in the draft. This year and next.

      The old way of looking it is dead.

    • Pengy, why on this earth would the Avs who are closing in as a contender, want to bolster the Knights chances as a contender???

      I can’t comprehend that scenario.