NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2020

by | Jul 23, 2020 | Rumors | 17 comments

Updates on Taylor Hall and Anton Khudobin plus the latest Sharks speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


AZ COYOTES INSIDER (subscription required): Craig Morgan provided additional insight into Taylor Hall‘s recent meeting with Arizona Coyotes ownership.

Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall (Photo via NHL Images).

Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, reiterated the two sides agreed to wait until the end of the season to discuss a new contract. However, Morgan reported it sounds like an offer for Hall was crafted and it appears it was below market value and mid-term in length. It may have been a starting point for the Coyotes, or it could be all they’re willing to pay. Hall’s market value is still believed between $8 million and $11 million.

There are also conflicting accounts over the absence of general manager John Chayka at that meeting. One source said it was a mutual agreement between Chayka and ownership, with the Coyotes GM wanting Hall to meet new club CEO Xavier Gutierrez, but another source said that’s inaccurate. Chayka and Gutierrez declined to comment. Ferris was also absent from the meeting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe that meeting was for Hall to meet the new CEO and get a sense of the club’s direction. Maybe Chayka was bypassed to enable ownership to speak directly to the winger.

What’s more interesting is the supposed low-ball offer to Hall. It’s not unusual for a team’s initial offer to be below market value as part of the negotiating process as the two sides attempt to hammer out an agreement.

The Coyotes, however, have limited cap space and must shed some salary if they intend to re-sign Hall. If they don’t intend to move up into the market value range, Hall could be on his way out when the UFA market opens on Nov. 1.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked what it might take to acquire winger Brock Boeser from the Vancouver Canucks. He doesn’t see that happening, doubting the Canucks would trade Boeser within the division plus they’re not in a position to part with key core players or assets to acquire a player like him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s name was floated as a possible cost-cutting option for the Canucks, but I’ll be surprised if they went that route. If they do, I can’t see the Sharks landing him. Kurz cites good reasons, but I’d add their limited cap space (over $66 million invested in 13 players as per Cap Friendly), and several notable players carrying big contracts and no-trade clauses also make it difficult to pursue that type of deal.

Kurz was also asked what it would take for the San Jose Sharks to acquire a young goalie like Igor Shesterkin or Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers. He doesn’t see the Rangers parting with the promising Shesterkin. He’d be surprised if the Sharks pursue Georgiev, noting their recent signing of prospect Alexei Melnichuk from the KHL. Kurz thinks they’ll instead try to add a veteran goalie to compete with struggling starter Martin Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps it could be an experienced backup like Anton Khudobin. Speaking of the Stars’ pending UFA goalie…


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently reported Anton Khudobin hopes to re-sign with the Stars, though he’s leaving the negotiations up to his agent.

The 34-year-old netminder is due to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and is due for a raise over his $2.5 million annual average value. Contract term could also be an issue.

DeFranks indicates the Stars could have between $7.5 – $9 million in cap space after re-signing restricted free agents Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, and Denis Gurianov. They could also need to add some depth players if they feel promising youngsters like Thomas Harley, Ty Dellandrea, and Jason Robertson aren’t NHL-ready.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin’s experience and solid goaltending stats will attract interest around the league in the UFA market from clubs (like the Sharks) seeking depth between the pipes in the off-season.


  1. It has been stated many times a long list ahead of Boeser to make cap room.
    Curious to see what Labanc signs for with the Sharks.

    • agree with that – many ahead of Boeser that will be jettisoned, in Utica or maybe even Robidas island (Ferland). If NJD were to make a play, it would have to include Vancouver’s own first, Bahl and take back the likes of Louie E to get the conversation going. Benning made this mess with a $10 million fourth line….

  2. Most recent interview I saw with Lundqvist, he believes he plays better when he plays often. I think he gets bought out and SJ could be landing spot. Chance maybe they deal Gorgiev, but Shesterkin is their #1.
    As far as Hall is concerned, I’m guessing his agent has an idea of what they where willing to pay. and maybe that’s their starting point. Lottery is now less than 3 weeks away. I’ll say again, if Arizona gets 1st pick, they let Hall walk.

    • Sorry. I was referring to Devils with my “what they were willing to pay” comment. Guessing Arizona would at least need to top that. Kevin, I don’t see Calgary unless they deal Gaudreau. Arizona can get under cap even with Hall. As far as “contenders”, Yotes have a solid core of young players that are going to continue developing into high end players. With Hall, they can easily be a perennial playoff team.

      • I think the Devils are in a position to pay Hall more.(capsize) But, then again so could many other teams. The only (annual) contenders Colorado & Columbus?
        I really doubt Boeser is up for grabs. Van is not going to let him go. The Devils could dangle a 1st round pick, and a decent prospect. But, he’s not going anywhere imo.

  3. I cannot see Hall signing in Arizona unless its an overpay, and the Yotes cap structure and flat cap for the next couple of years just does not allow that. Where will Hall land. If he wants a Cup contender and a reasonable, albeit less than expected, dollars he could sign in Colorado. My guess is that somehow Calgary makes room for him, and no I am not suggesting they move Johnny to do so. It just seems like it clicks all the right boxes: contender, potential against Edmonton, and a close to home spot.

    • Silverseven, Labanc puts up top 6 numbers when he plays top 6 mins. Wouldn’t be surprised if he gets 3.5-4M on a three year deal, but he’s got to be playing with Couture.
      Boeser is an intriguing option given his age, but I honestly don’t know why Vancouver would give him up. Still,the thought of Boeser on a line with Timo Meier centered by Hertl? Yeah, I’ll take that.
      Sharks need to move Burns. Love the guy, but it’s probably best for both parties to move on. Maybe to Dallas?

      • I agree with you dbf about Burns. Going to be rough going until Wilson figures out how to move a few big contracts.

    • Wild card would be if someone took Stepan off the Yotes with a sweetener would open up $6.5M in salary cap. Plus Stepan is only owed $2M in actual salary as the Yotes have paid his bonus. Sabres would take that. If Cozens emerges they could even flip him at next year’s deadline.

  4. Lyle, maybe perceived to be a low ball order, or maybe it’s a realistic offer based on the new economics of the NHL.

    Personally i don’t see him getting between $8 – $11m, I’m guessing between $7 – $7.5 but one cannot never count out a GM offering too much $$ and to long of Term. We shell see.

    • Caper, that reported low-ball offer could indeed reflect the league’s current economic landscape. It’ll be interesting to see what transpires when free agency opens in the fall.

    • There is a lot of hype around Shesterkin. He’s around the same age as Vasilevskye (spelt correct?). I always find it interesting the trajectories goalies take when developing. It will be interesting if , who seems to excel wherever he plays, can reach the elite status many project of him. He’s been dubbed Henricks heir.

      • Jeff, his numbers while in KHL and early this year in AHL, have translated to NHL. So far he’s looked as advertised.

  5. If Caps resign Holtby, I wonder if the sharks could trade Merkley for Samsonov…..or somerhing of that nature. Merkley is very promising….but comes with attitude, so I read.

    • Here’s hoping San Jose hangs on to Merkley. Legit talent. Only way I would get rid of him is in a package deal for an elite 1C.

  6. Can anyone remember a bigger disappointment than the San Jose Sharks???
    Sooooooooooooooo much talent and they just continue to grossly under perform over and over and over while they let more talented players like Joe Pavelski walk.
    When does it all end?

    • It ends when they finally win the cup. Unfortunately for sharks fans, that doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon.