NHL Rumor Mill – July 27, 2020

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Rumors | 25 comments

Some suggested free-agent targets for the Sharks plus a rumor linking Peter Chiarelli to the Coyotes in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Kevin Kurz recently listed several potential free agents that he could see the San Jose Sharks pursuing in the off-season.

Goaltending targets could include the New York Islanders Thomas Greiss, the Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin, or the Calgary Flames’ Cam Talbot. Of the three, Talbot could be more affordable.

Could the San Jose Sharks pursue Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Toffoli in the free-agent market? (Photo via NHL Images)

Forward options include Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Toffoli, Florida Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov, and Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund. The Washington Capitals’ Radko Gudas and Winnipeg Jets’ Dylan DeMelo were among his defense targets.

Finding the right fit won’t be easy. With the salary cap remaining at $81.5 million, the Sharks have over $66 million invested in their payroll for 2020-21. Nevertheless, Kurz doesn’t expect them to sit idly by in the off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltending depth could be the priority given starter Martin Jones’ struggles and backup Aaron Dell’s expected departure via free agency. Talbot might be the cheapest option on Kurz’s list but he could also be looking for a starter’s job. If he can’t find that role, he could be amenable to another short-term backup role.

While the changing economic landscape could affect this year’s free-agent market, I doubt the Sharks could afford Toffoli or Dadonov. Granlund is a possibility as his stock declined following his trade to the Predators last year, though his play improved when John Hynes took over as head coach in January. Gudas or DeMelo could be more affordable options to shore up the blueline depth.

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has a well-earned reputation for making bold moves. He could surprise us this summer, though it’ll mean shedding some salary if he intends to make a splash in the UFA market.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites colleague Jim Matheson and The Athletic’s Scott Burnside reporting speculation linking former Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli to the Arizona Coyotes as a possible replacement for now-former GM John Chayka.

Staples points out such a move would reunite Chiarelli with winger Taylor Hall, who was traded by Chiarelli to the New Jersey Devils in 2016. The only way he sees the Coyotes bringing in Chiarelli is if they have no chance of keeping Hall off the free-agent market in the off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, Chiarelli won a Stanley Cup in 2011 as GM of the Bruins. On the other hand, his tenure with the Oilers was considered disastrous.

The Coyotes must choose Chayka’s replacement very carefully. This is a team dogged for years by ownership instability and mismanagement. They’ve been building in recent years toward playoff contention with promising young talent. Putting the wrong person in the GM’s chair could send them spiraling again, raising questions about their long-term future in Arizona at risk.


  1. Not a rumor comment, a couple of players I’m interested to see how the play during the Covid Cup.

    Ryan Nugent Hopkins 0 goals in 13 playoff games, only one play off season, still something to prove.

    Nic Ehlers – 0 goals in 21 playoff games, is he just a good regular season player or can he turn it up.

    Nazem Kadri- one of my favorite players, can he keep his emotions in check.

    Jake Debrusk, not the same player since the Kadri cross check, can he regain his confidence and play with some bite.

    William Nylander, will he continue to drive to the net or will he shy away from the physical combat.

    Carey Price can he regain his elite level play and eliminate Pittsburgh from the tournament. (I think he will and Pitts will win the lottery.)

    My early Covid Cup Champion prediction is Colorado Avalanche.

    • I liked Colorado BBC (back before Covid) to come out on top, but the team, to me, that should now be considered a dark horse is the NY Rangers.

      If everyone is healthy and they emerge from the “training camp” in game shape, look out.

      • Hi Caper,

        Re “ Carey Price can he regain his elite level play and eliminate Pittsburgh from the tournament. (I think he will and Pitts will win the lottery.)”

        U B talkin’ blasphemously 😡🤪😭

        Fingers crossed on Sid’s situation; but IMHO full healthy Pens only lose to Habs under two situations (and they are not mutually exclusive)…. Price plays (as he has done in the past) exceptional and spectacular throughout series AND Sully does the brain fart and plays JJ north of 12 mins/game

        Setting aside my Pens bias; I truly believe that if Pens stay in full health and sit JJ; they have an excellent chance of making the ECF; and pretty dang fair match-up (Bolts or Bruins) to make it to SCF

        A full healthy Pens match up; IMHO; very well against the West. The toughies being Knights and Blues. Avs are a young and very good team; just think that it’s next year that they could rep the West in the SCF

        Pens lose (😭😭😭😭😭😭🤬😡🤬😡) and there is no way the Karma cloud dons them Laf

        My gut stays with Laf wearing a Habs jersey next year

      • George, I’m a Ranger fan and I’m not as optimistic. All depends on Shesterkin. Defense bleeds shots. Ironic they traded Skjei at deadline to Canes and now they play them. Canes added a few pieces for playoffs, while now Rangers will depend on Brandon Smith back on d after playing most of season as a 4th line winger. We did get lucky with Kreider now completely healthy. Will be interesting.

  2. Caper some interesting takes and questions in your post but Pittsburgh beats Montreal and Arizona wins first pick. Jake better step it up if he wants to stay in Boston and sign a half decent contract.

    • Chiarelli in Arz? well then we know where 1st overall is going. Unless Pit will lose against Mtl, then sorry Arz, we have to take care of our Pit first.

  3. If Chiarelli doesn’t sign McDavid to an 8 year contract Edmonton would soon be in confusion…yet all Edmonton fans is rattle off his bad trades in their opinion….

    Edmonton fans when they feared McDavid would not put up with the frustration of losing looked around for someone to lynch….and with all the courage mob mentality often has decided the easiest target was the guy who already left town..while annointing Holland as after all he had never made a mistake in leaving Detroit in last place

    Not saying Chiarelli did not make bad moves…..all GMs do ….but I would say just like Dubas’s Achilles heal will be the length of Matthew’s contract…..Chiarilli’s saving grace will be the length of McDavid’s….time to give him so thanks for what he did do

    • Fair point OBD, he also took some heat for the Draisaitl deal at the time. Looks pretty good now.
      He drafted OK too.
      Here in Edmonton, the heat really started after Hall won the MVP and Larsson struggled a little bit.
      For me it was his final year when a bunch of deals went crooked and he seemed to be managing for his job and a quick fix. Failed. Also local stories of him blocking himself off from the rest of the staff and operating on an island and it became a dysfunctional management team. So they had to make a decision.

    • ridiculous comment obviously not a oiler fan but a chia fan all G M s make bad mistakes and bad signings then there’s the Milburys and the chias jusof the world

      • Not a Chia fan and not a Oiler fan….but without an 8 year McDavid contract and a long Draistl contract…the Oilers are in greater trouble than they would imagine….Do you think either player signs those contracts now ?

        Sure he made a a few bad trades….but without the lengthy contracts Mc David and Driaistl contracts the Oilers would be in big trouble……those contracts look league wide good now and they were done by Chia….this is what gives his successors the ability to plan for a cup…not what they have done since he left

        You have the right to think anyone’s opinion “ridiculous”…..but you might take some time to ponder where your own opinions lie on the ridiculous scale….you might be surprised…

    • OBD, agree and would add I don’t think Chayka was so great. 1st draft he benefited from Yandle trade from before he took over. Some of his picks could be questioned. He traded a pick for DeAngelo that Tampa used to draft Jakek, who is now on Rangers playoff roster. He then traded DeAngelo and a 1st for Stepan and Raanta. I’m sure fans would want that one back. Then the Kessel trade. And Hall, who might walk. Yeah they have a few young guys, but they’re against the cap with a couple of in their 30’s players. We’ll have to wait and see how all the prospects pan out, but I don’t think he’ll be judged favorably in a few years.

  4. New GM for Arizona
    Bob Murray – Oh Please, Oh Please Ducks will even throw in all the card board cuts of fans that they plan to use when next season starts. OK, OK we will also toss in all the old Might Duck uniforms in storage.

    Watched a little of the Angels / Oakland baseball games over the weekend, it’s like wow, that’s the most fans In attendance that I’ve ever seen at an Oakland baseball game.

  5. Mike Babcock for Arizona gm


      • If I recall, that wasn’t the tune being sung when he was hired. No, banners were being hung along Yonge Street in parade anticipation because the Leafs had landed the genius who was single-handedly going to turn sow’s ears into silk purses. Anyone who dared think otherwise were jealous “Leafs haters”

      • George in a comment you made regarding Shack’s passing you used the phase “hated Leafs” when reminiscing watching him so by definition you called yourself a leaf hater.

      • LOL. Nah Ron – there I used the word in its generic sense. Really, I’ve said in these pages many times over the years that I never truly “hated” any Leafs player at any time. Hell, I’ve “drafted” Leafs consistently here and there over the years in our many pools – including this past halted season with Matthews and Marner.

        What I could never stand is that element of the Toronto-based media that passes itself off as “national” in scope but can barely disguise their Toronto bias.

        And it was they who got the Leaf fan base stirred up by leading the cheering and flat-out promising great things to come with the signing of Babcock. With nothing to go on except the fact he arrived in Detroit just in time to enjoy the benefits of a solid team from top to bottom.

        They used to say about the powerhouse Canadiens that all the coach had to do was open and close the bench door. That was Babcock in Detroit. They won in spite of him – not because of him.

  6. Why not give Chiarelli another chance to ruin another franchise? Keep recycling boys …

  7. Chayka not being at that Taylor Hall meeting but everyone else was ?
    I think I would be a little bent . No respect for the position. Who’s building this team ?
    Steve Sullivan was a nice player with a nice career.

    • Or did Chayka already decided to leave before the meeting?

  8. Maybe Coyotes leave Steve Sullivan as GM & bring in a “mentor” type (a la Scotty Bowman) to oversee hockey ops. Excluding Gillis & Chiarelli . Most guys want the GM job, being in the trenches.

    • Ron Hextall is the best GM candidate out there, imo.

      • Agreed.
        He’d right their wagon in a couple of seasons.

  9. The Coyotes will sign a GM for <$80000 a year, so expect another no name hire. On the other side, Chia is a joke at this point, so they'd be better off with a no name.

  10. Arizona didn’t fire Chayka. He quit. Pretty sure it was his decision to skip Hall meeting. Next GM : Rick Dudley