NHL Rumor Mill – July 28, 2020

by | Jul 28, 2020 | Rumors | 43 comments

The latest on Taylor Hall, Semyon Varlamov, Mikael Granlund, Evgeni Malkin, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his latest 31 Thoughts column, Elliotte Friedman believes the Arizona Coyotes offered Taylor Hall a five-year contract worth an annual average value of $7.25 million. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

Friedman doesn’t think that’s their final offer. He also feels situation means as much to Hall as anything. He noted rumors are linking the Coyotes to former Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli but doesn’t see that happening while re-signing Hall is an option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall’s market value before the pandemic was considered between $9 – $10 million annually. The Coyotes’ offer could reflect the new economic landscape even if it is an opening pitch. Assuming they’re willing to pay much more, Hall must believe the Coyotes are poised to become a perennial playoff club before agreeing to sign. He’s appeared in only one post-season round during his career.

Chiarelli traded Hall to New Jersey in 2016. That move didn’t sit well at the time with the winger.

Friedman wondered if the Edmonton Oilers can find room to squeeze Andreas Athanasiou into their tight cap space. The winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the off-season. Athanasiou’s performance in the upcoming tournament could determine his number.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athanasiou is earning $3 million AAV on his current contract. Even if the winger plays well, Oilers GM Ken Holland could try to convince him to accept a one-year deal for the same AAV with the promise of a better deal after next season.

New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is a UFA at season’s end while Semyon Varlamov still has term on his contract. If Greiss outplays Varlamov in the upcoming tournament, Friedman wonders if the Isles might attempt to re-sign him to a friendlier deal and try to trade Varlamov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but Varlamov is seen as a mentor for promising young Ilya Sorokin, who recently signed an entry-level deal with the Isles. Despite their cap constraints, I think the Isles intend to go with Varlamov and Sorokin as their tandem next season.

Friedman wondered if Mikael Granlund can ramp up his value in the upcoming tournament. The Nashville Predators winger is a UFA at season’s end and is a talented player during a time of fiscal tightness.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granlund struggled after joining the Predators in a trade with Minnesota late last season. However, his play improved once John Hynes took over as head coach in January. A solid performance in the playoff tournament could bolster his free-agent value.

The Florida Panthers are expected to cut payroll next season. Friedman notes wingers Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov are due to become unrestricted free agents in the off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their tournament play could determine whether they get re-signed by the Panthers. Even then, they might only attempt to keep one of them. How much they’re seeking on their next contracts will also be a factor.

Friedman will also be watching the goaltending situations in Pittsburgh and Calgary. Penguins goaltenders Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry are restricted free agents. GM Jim Rutherford hinted there are ways to move around some money to re-sign both goalies. Meanwhile, the play of Flames netminders David Rittich and Cam Talbot will determine whether management tries something bold between the pipes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford has proven he can make moves to free up sufficient cap room to acquire or retain key players and keep his Penguins among the Stanley Cup contenders. It’ll be interesting to see what he does under a flat cap this time around.

Rittich has yet to establish himself as a reliable NHL starter. Talbot is a UFA at the end of this season and could seek a starter’s role elsewhere if the Flames remain committed to Rittich.

Rutherford was also asked if there will be any trade rumors involving Evgeni Malkin this summer. “Only if somebody makes them up,” he replied.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ok, folks, let’s see your best Malkin trade rumor in the comments section. They can’t be any worse than some we’ve seen over the years.


  1. OK Lyle, you asked for it—

    This is just to see if Pengy is awake yet:

    Bozak, Steen, and Faulk for Malkin AND JJ !!!

    • Iowa Prince/Boy

      This is Mrs. Pengy

      Pengy collapsed after reading your post… I’ve called an ambulance

      He was chanting a line by Brando in Apocalypse Now… “ Oh the horror”

      • “The horror. The horror.”

        Colonel Kurtz
        Heart of Darkness.

        Joseph Conrad

        That’s right, both the line and the character name were stolen from a 19th century masterpiece.

      • PENGY
        Well not a bad exhibition game a 3-2 Ot loss to philly. Jarry looked good in goal, zucker was good,and Malkin is the consistent dangerous turnover waiting to happen.. He tries to make a cross ice pass in his own zone picked off goal Philly. AT 34 he isnt going to change we have to take the great with the dumb ass turnovers. Lines looked ok, defense solid except schultz naping im OT, power play looked weak.. B- grade

    • Wait a minute—I’m going to change Faulk for Parayko (I know Pengy has a man crush with Colton) AND I’ll add Klim Kostin too.

      Final offer= Steen, Bozak, Parayko, Kostin

      Malkin is ALMOST half as old as ME
      JJ has ALMOST half the mobility as ME

    • Mrs Pengy here again

      Pengy screamed as ambulance pulled away that I needed to flip a counter proposal back…..

      Geno, Bjug, JJ, Ruhweedel

      For ROR; Parayko; Dunn; Kyrou

      • Come on! People don’t really make up trade rumors, do they?
        It’ll obviously never happen, but just to see Pengy’s reaction, here goes:
        Malkin to the Habs for Drouin, Poehling, and one of Jayden Struble/Jesse Ylonin/1st rounder.

      • Hi Howard

        Just reading this now; was in business meetings.

        Under no circumstances is Geno moving w/o JJ in tow; and Pens in win now so futures not important

        Geno; Bjug ; JJ ; Ruhweedel; for Danault; Suzuki; Chiarot

      • PENGY
        i think the Penguins will unload Bjug, Murray, Marlea let go sheary, Schultz..about $17 million in cap space..

  2. Re Hall: 5 @ $7.25 … yep that better be only a starting offer; or there is no chance he stays…. they still need to free up room (Stepan)… I still think fair chance at Habs getting him

    Re Pens moving a goalie… again I say they shouldn’t; move one and then with subsequent injury or sickness… De Smith is starter with Larmi (less than 20 combined AHL/ECHL games total NA experience)… yes there are ways to move players to get room to keep both… Sunday I posted a response re Vogl’s claim re Sabres :

    ““ Vogl believes the Sabres need one forward to reach the roster minimum. They could also want to add a left-handed defenseman and a spare forward. He suggested targeting several clubs with limited cap space looking to shed salary for next season.”

    So I posted:

    “Look no further Vogl

    Pens will generously send #3 and #27 and #2 with a
    sweeteners of #37 and #57…. for the low low price of either “future considerations” or 7th rounder in ‘23…. Buffalo’s choice”

    Re Geno and trading him…. Nyet Nyet Soviet …. NFW…. No thanks

    He doesn’t have trade protection , so it is “possible”….. but at 34 ; with two years left @ $9.5 M, the market would be to a win now (next two years) franchise; that has Cap space….. can you think of any team that fits that?

    • I see a significant drop in contract numbers unless the player is a proven elite and has NHL championship pedigree. As long as pandemic is keeping buildings empty and gate revenue is lost that offer to Hall may be the top dollar in this economy. If Coyotes actually made that offer it shows their commitment to the player and to winning. If I were Hall I’d think long before rejecting it.

    • Pengy. Malkin has a full nmc. Unlike most his age, that contract isn’t bad! 74 points this year in 55 games. The guy is a robot!

      • Hi Slick

        Just reading this now

        Agree; I wouldn’t trade him. Great year so far. Love Geno.

        Re NMC…. per CapFreindly “Player cannot be traded without his consent “…. so all in Geno’s hands ; and I can’t see him wanting to move

    • If the Pens don’t advance far this year… why not trade Malkin? Saying no looks an awful lot like a fan of the player that is on the downside….. and looks just plain old awful (not the player, turning down the idea of trading the player)

      Especially in a frozen cap world! Move him and move on!!!

      I know he is due for a 30 game iron man streak any day now but…..

      Seriously, the guy is as fragile as a Pringle. Something that is not uncommon on the Pens…

      It’s definitely time Pittsburgh starts thinking of life without Crosby and Malkin. Even if they were to win this year.

      • Why? Malkin, Crosby and Letang still playing at an elite level means you stick with it until they aren’t and I don’t think that’s any time soon because they all maintain a high fitness level. The Penguins have the best roster they have had since their last cup. They have 2 or 3 kids playing at an NHL level that can’t even get into the lineup.

      • Concur Deee

        Was surprised they sent home Poulin

        Pens have but one concern (and it’s a biggie; but an easy fix… sit him)…. #3

        On another note… do you know how I can watch today’s game? Rogers doesn’t carry NBCSN…. is there a feed online that I can watch it? If not watch, listen to it?

      • Dee,

        Malkin and Letang you can pencil in to miss 20 games a year. Does that get better with age? I doubt it does.

        Pittsburgh has no future past these guys. The absolute worst prospect pool in the nhl…

        Not sure how guys are playing at the nhl level that aren’t in the nhl?

        They aren’t going to make that any better by holding on to a guy like Malkin until he totally fades away and has no value. How does that help?

        As of right now I think Pittsburgh fans would be disappointed in Malkins return. The guy puts up fantastic numbers … but he’s a few days away from 35 and hasn’t played a full season since 08-09. And has only come close (78 games in 17-18)

        The hat high fitness level isn’t helping Malkin… and didn’t we hear that when Toronto signed Marleau?

        Father Time kicks everyone’s ass eventually.

        I don’t see teams lining up to take on 9.5 per on a 35 year old player who averages 20 plus missed games a year. Especially given the stagnant cap. And certainly can’t see giving up cost controlled youth in the process.

      • Malkin is turning 34. For his career he’s averaged over a point a game. Regular season and playoffs. Pens have been in playoffs every year since drafting him. Malkiin, from best I can figure, has only missed ONE playoff game during his career. This season, he finished 14th in scoring. 74 points in 55 games. I’d say he’s still playing at a high level. His cap hit among skaters, he’s in a 3 way tie for 15th. So I’d say he’s worth the cap hit.

      • Malkin would garner a return the average pens fan would find on the disappointing side. But it’s irrelevant really. Pens ride out the next several years going all in on sid and geno. Then they suck bad for a few years. The. They draft the next generational player. Then more cups. It’s rinse and repeat and I love it as a pens fan.

      • What contending team can or would take on his 9.5 cap hit for 2 years? The answer is none. Sure we can pass around a billion hypotheticals of trading Tarasenko plus for Malkin… which pretty much never happens, nor would St. Louis go there….. or any other team…but the reality is not one single contender could or would take on that hit without something being retained.

        So we’ve narrowed Malkins possibilities to Ottawa, Detroit, NJ or LA… and I seriously doubt LA wants to kick that can right now.

        I don’t know that Malkin has only missed one playoff game. That sure as hell doesn’t seem right?

      • Nyr4life,
        I.must agree between Malkin and Letang thats 25 to 30 games a year missed. Both have p!ayed much better but both are turnover gafs waiting to happen every shift…They both have no trafe and if Malkin was going to go it should have been 2 years ago.. CRosby is still the best OVERALL player in the game..not fastest or most explosive.. Malkin might except a trade to new york becsuse his wife loves it there..tv personality . Add him to a up snd coming RAnger team with the bread man zubeeenajad (sorry no clue how to spell his name) that could make them dangerous. I’m not sure what the penguins ask in return..

  3. Pengy a question. Just starting my hockey play off pool research. Is Pittsburgh better than their in season point total? Is there a D man there who will score well this year in the play offs.?

    • They are because they are healthy, they weren’t at all healthy during the season. Letang will put up points, Shultz and Marino will get theirs as well.

    • Hi OBD

      Just reading this now; was in business meetings.

      If you are in a draft pool for points (vs goals) you should easily be able to pick up Shultz or Pettersson in a late round of the draft. If not a draft…. and it’s for points (not goals)… I am thinking Shultz can outperform his reg season

    • Hi OBD

      reading Dee’s response I see I misread your post

      I was reading quickly and was responding as if you meant individual Pens outperforming their reg season

      With Dee… team is strong

      If they stay healthy; goalies play average or better ; and JJ sits …. excellent shot of being in ECF; good shot of getting to SCF

      Play JJ > 15 mins a game; and there is a chance; with a Price playing like he can; that Pens don’t past Habs. Good chance they lose in first round

  4. Well if we’re in fantasy land let’s do this. Habs send Drouin, 2022 1st round pick, 3 2021 2nd round picks, Lindgren, Alzner for Pens return of Malkin, Schultz, Johnson and 2 2021 3rd round picks.

    Will never happen but one can only dream.

    • why they would trade for Drouin when Pit will get Lafreniere?

      • Habs won’t get past Pens. They traded Thompson, Cousins, Scandella and Kovalchuk at deadline when they were out of the playoffs (which were not bad moves) only for the league to hand them a lifeline afterwards. Habs have better shot at Lafreniere than Pens do.

    • Hi Andy

      Re trade: See my response above to Howard

  5. Quantity never makes up for quality

  6. Just saw news of the son of “shoot the puck Barry” Beck. Was always one of my favorite players when with the Rangers. As a father of 2 young adult sons, can’t imagine going through something like that. Condolences to him and his family.

  7. Hall can get that offer on the open market, he won’t sign in Arizona for that offer.

    Malkin, is a interesting case to be traded.

    He has two things against him; his age and salary cap hit.

    He has two things going for him; he is still elite and he only has two season left on his contract.

    History has shown players decline as they get older and Malkin will be 34 in 3 more days.

    The question for me is how much would you want to give up for a player 34yrs old that in two years likely won’t be part of your core.

    You are buying a two year rental all be it a very good rental, who will impact your salary cap, limiting anything else you can do and you be mortgaging your future .

    You better be a Stanley Cup contender to make that move. I don’t see many with the cap space and the assets.

    Here is my trade: Malkin to the Rangers for Kreider and Adam Fox.

    Yes i believe NY could quickly climb the ranks. I’m not sure if i make that deal from either side.

    • Tend to agree on Hall Caper, but which team?
      If it is more about winning Boston could do it if they don’t sign Krug, but $7M would be max.
      Buffalo seems like it could be a fit, but would he go there, seems a little dysfunctional right now.

    • Hi Caper

      Re “Malkin to the Rangers for Kreider and Adam Fox.”

      Again; I’d not trade him (and he has NMC so Geno has to approve) ; but to further the discussion; if he’s moved; JJ MUST go in trade as well…. so for ships ‘ N Giggles…, counter…. with…..

      Geno; JJ; Bjug; Ruhweedel for Zib ; Staal; Strome; Smith

      • It would take Malkin + non-garbage (ie. not JJ) to just get Zib alone

    • There is absolutely no way NY makes that trade.

      Fox isn’t going anywhere… and NY is still adding about 3 million to the cap?

      A hard no thanks on that one.

      I can’t see NY taking on Malkin at all at this point. This has 2001 Rangers written all over it. Not 2021.

      I won’t even entertain Pengys proposal. Broken record… deals like that never happen. So we may as well talk about the possibility of pigs flying.

  8. Malkin left unprotected goes to Seattle.
    Kraken nickname immediately becomes Geno.

    Sorry for being so stupid. Early here on the west coast.

  9. Rangers trade DeAngelo, Fast and Trouba for Malkin and 2022 1st Round Draft Pick.

    Thank GOD Hockey is back!

    Enjoy every minute everybody.

    • To the most lucky guy in the world (to be dating Mona Lisa Vito 😍🥰😘)

      See my post above to Caper… Geno goes to Rangers…. JJ does as well

      • That was funny Pengy.

        You made me laugh.

  10. Malkin comes across as pouty and temperamental, I could see him refusing any trade (except maybe NYR) and just going back to the K if they ever tried to move him.