NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2020

by | Jul 8, 2020 | Rumors | 30 comments

Check out the latest on the Golden Knights, Bruins, and Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill.


LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen reports the salary cap remaining frozen at $81.5 million for next season makes it tougher for the Vegas Golden Knights to re-sign Robin Lehner. Acquired at the trade deadline, the 28-year-old goaltender is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

Can the Vegas Golden Knights afford to re-sign Robin Lehner? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Golden Knights have over $74.6 million invested in 17 players for 2020-21. Lehner will be seeking security after spending the past three seasons on one-year contracts. He could command around $6 million annually on the open market.

If Lehner departs, the Golden Knights must find a backup goalie for Marc-Andre Fleury. It could be recently re-signed Oscar Dansk, an affordable free agent, or perhaps trading for a promising netminder like the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Jesse Granger last week suggested the Golden Knights pursue goalies in the trade market who could be left exposed by their current clubs in next summer’s NHL expansion draft. Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray, Arizona’s Antti Raanta, and Toronto’s Frederik Andersen were among his proposed targets.

Andersen won’t be available next season but Murray and Raanta could be. Murray is a restricted free agent so his next contract will take up a big chunk of the Golden Knights’ payroll, meaning they’ll have to send salary the other way. Same goes for Raanta, but the Coyotes wouldn’t want salary back if they’re moving him to clear cap room to re-sign Taylor Hall.

The Golden Knights might prefer more affordable options. Trading for a young, affordable goalie like Georgiev might be the best move.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports the agent for Jake DeBrusk brushed aside talk of his client accepting a hometown discount. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who’s average 20 goals and 40 points in each of his first three NHL campaigns.

DeBrusk’s agent, Rick Valette, said they’re not considering taking less than market value at this stage. He also pointed to his client’s performance in big games during the playoffs, noting he’s been a top-six winger almost from the moment he first stepped on NHL ice.

During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston Zoom last week, Edmonton Oilers analyst Bob Stauffer suggested DeBrusk was worth between $5.5 million and $6 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk is completing his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. That gives Bruins management leverage to ink him to an affordable bridge deal if necessary. Much will depend on whether they can re-sign defenseman Torey Krug and the cost of keeping him off the UFA market at season’s end.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski was asked about Brandon Montour‘s future with the Sabres. The 26-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent who could cost $5 million annually to re-sign. Given their abundance of right-shot defensemen and their need for help on their forward line, Lysowski feels Montour has enough value to fetch a good return via trade.

Asked about whether Rasmus Ristolainen might be traded, Lysowski noted the coaching staff spoke highly of the blueliner. With head coach Ralph Krueger considering Ristolainen a core player, he probably won’t be moved.

Lysowski also doesn’t see the Sabres shopping their first-round pick (eighth overall) in this year’s draft. He also suggests they sign a UFA goalie to a short-term contract and attempt to find a team that will take the final year of Carter Hutton’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montour frequently surfaced in this season’s trade rumors because of his difficulties in adjusting to Krueger’s defensive system. He was acquired by now-former general manager Jason Botterill, so I don’t think new GM Kevyn Adams would have any qualms about shopping him for a second-line scoring forward.


  1. Montour will have interest. Right shot D are a need for a lot of teams. Entering his prime . I would not trade him in the division.

  2. Montour is not the right fit on the current Sabres team. Botterill picked him to fit into Housely’s approach. I don’t think he will get $5M in arbitration, more likely $4M. Could he be a core piece to get a player like Kerfoot from Toronto, Gaudette from the Canucks, Stepan from AZ or Johnson from Tampa?

    • Getting Johnson from Tampa Bay hinges on him waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres. I don’t see that happening. The Canucks have cap issues of their own to deal with. Shedding Gaudette (completing an entry-level deal) for Montour ($4-$5 million AAV on his next contract) doesn’t fit into their cap plans. Coyotes need to shed salary if they intend to re-sign Hall. If they try to move Stepan, it could be to accomplish that aim. Kerfoot ($3.5 million) might work salary-wise, but will the Leafs and Sabres deal with each other?

  3. As I’ve said before, I think the Blues would be happy “to take the final year of Carter Hutton’s contract” as a veteran backup for Binnington.

    Trading Allen would free up some much needed dollars for Dunn and Petro (I know it would take much more)

  4. Hate to break it to you Jake but the only reason you are a top 6 forward is because Bruins didn’t have anyone any better. 5.5 is a dream you better wake up 3.5 will be max on a bridge deal and if you want more see you later.

    • Yea OBE i didn’t give any thought of Debrusk being anything close to $6m per season. I thought 4-4.5 is an over payment. We’ll see.

    • Obe, agree. Buchnevich had similar numbers during his elc and got exactly that… a 2 year bridge for 3.5. Wonder also if B’s might try and get Vesey on a cheap deal.

  5. Lehner is quite the conundrum. I would think he has earned his shot to be a #1 and get paid as such. Saying that, current economic environment and next year’s expansion draft could impact his prospects significantly. I keep thinking Colorado makes a lot of sense, but they have 2 goalies already, so that creates a headache. Wish him the best.

  6. Pens could use a decent bottom pair d man to replace Shultz but couldn’t take a big salary back in trade with Vegas. Wouldn’t it be funny to see the Murray fleury combo again!

  7. Maybe Vegas buys out Fleury. They save 4.4 in cap this year and 3.9 next. The dead cap space for the 2 following years is a little over 2M. Vegas having no state tax, maybe they get Lehner for around 5m per?

    • Hi Slick

      See my suggestion below re freeing up $6.5 M in Cap… no dead Cap in out years

    • I don’t see that happening, very popular and he is the pillar that the young franchise has been built on. He was on pace for another 30+ win season. I don’t see Fleury going anywhere until the end of his contract unless he loses the net in this playoff tournament.

  8. With the current economics players need to look out for themselves. Forget about home town discounts get as much as you can for the term that you want. I doubt any team gives Debrusk what he’s looking for but if Boston low balls you say no even if you have to sit out a year then so be it. Same goes for Krug get what you can. If you don’t think the team is only looking out for them the you’re nuts. Chances are market value will currently be lower for all players anyways so get what you can.

    • I agree that they should look after themselves Roger, but sitting the year would be a bad decision.
      Say the $3.5 that Obe threw out there (reasonable IMO) is the # the B’s go with over 2 years.
      If he sits for a year and make $0, do you think he makes that up the following season? In order to do that he would need to sign for $7M for the following year vs playing on a good team for 2 more years and going for it then when the market improves and he has arb rights.
      I guess what I am saying is that it is not a real option. He has no leverage. If he is smart he signs the bridge and negotiates harder when he actually has some.
      Now if they low ball him at $2M, then ya make a stand. But I don’t think that happens.

    • RL you say get what you can, then add sit out a year if you have to for Debrusk.

      I know you said low ball, he is an rfa with a max of say $5.5 to a low offer $3.5 -$4.5 some wiggle room but not a lot.

      If Debrusk offer is less then a mill, lets say 4.5 instead of $5.5 on a three year deal. He sits a year and Boston cave into his demands signs him for 3yrs at $16.5 and the orignal offer is 3yrs for $13.5 so he gain $3m but lost a year at $4.5 basically we lost $1.5 in his negotiations and waiting an extra year to move on to his next contract.

      • That’s why I clearly said lowball off Caper. If it’s at the bottom of a reasonable offer then sign a deal that brings you to your UFA year and hope that you play well and hit a homerun then. There’s people saying only offer him 2 to 2.5 you have to take a stand somewhere. I’m also not saying that he will be lowballed. Boston has a great management team and I believe they will be fair.

      • I agree get what you can and deserve I just don’t believe he is worth 5 based on what I have seen so far. Is he capable of more for sure but sign a two year bridge than after playing top 6 and power play you should put up some good numbers. If you want to sit out fine but don’t let the door hit you in the butt on way out.

  9. Marchand and Bergeron at 6 and change.Debrusk is not in their bracket. Coyle 5.2 on a longer term . A
    A bridge has to be less . Mid to low 4’s 2-3 years is what I would expect for Jake.

    • Problem with that argument is that Marchand and Bergeron are worth a lot more than they are being paid.
      If those two were ufa’s, what would their next contracts be? I say they should be in the top 10% of the league, if not higher.
      It’s almost like a Gordie Howe syndrome in Boston where the talent is grossly underpaid.

      • Yeah, I think those two just want to win, and they’re aware of what it costs to fill out a roster.
        Seems like everyone else is falling in line.

      • Shoreorrpark, Marchand said as much and so did Pasta.
        They understand exactly what they did and why.
        They wanted to stay in Boston and wanted to win. If everybody makes a little less you can keep/acquire more talent.
        Money isn’t everything to everybody, and it is a lot easier to say that when you are Marchand and your career earnings are over $56M.

      • Bergeron didn’t sign for much of a discount. He signed during the 2015-16 season when the cap was just over 71 million. He has a cap hit of 8.75 million percentage wise he’s over 10 million in today’s cap number. Dido for Marchand his cap hit is 6.125 signed the same time as Bergeron making his cap hit around 7.5 in today’s cap world. He only had 1 60 point season by then so I would say a pretty high signing. Nylander has way more points at the same point in there careers. Boston was just lucky because the NHL thrived the following years and the cap kept rising. If you use percentage of cap at the time of signing I would say they were fair signings not discounted like those players claim.

      • Fair point Roger, I have argued on here that Nylander isn’t overpaid.
        That is the bet that TOR made when they signed Matthews and Marner, and in fairness the cap was expected to rise to at least $84M next season until Covid hit. And likely next year too. Tough luck for them, go B’s.

  10. Re Knights and Cap crunch… 21-22 onward Statsny is off the books; however in 20-21 costly for what he now produces ($6.5 M Cap ; $5.5 M sisal… one more year)… if possible …. Knights should move him…. has 10 team trade list so I am skeptical that he’d have Ottawa (highest taxes [with T.O. And Habs
    ] and a team not in Cup window during his remaining contract) in that list of 10

    Det?? Is that on his list?

    Will cost Knights a package something like Schultz AND Bischoff (but Knights have other D on the prospect rise…Hague, Whitecloud; Coughlan ; Korsac) ; and Knights have C prospects Glass; Krebs; Leschyshyn in the system to replace Statsny

    That $6.5 M freed up will go a long way !!

  11. Bergeron has never been a real point guy until played with Marchand and than Pasta. Bergeron was always and still is a top defensive forward who killed penalties and won face offs. This is a team first attitude and not what’s in for me. Each to their own but the great ones understand this if you want to win or just get rich very rich.

    • Obe, of course they are team guys. They even accept the role as wingers for Sidney Crosby on Team Canada.
      Such sacrifice needs to be acknowledged.

      • Lol

    • Kinda like that Obe. I feel that the real change in offense came after Claude left. Now the top line tries to score way more then when they were under Claudes tutelage.
      Bergie could be way over a point a game if he was a poor listener.

  12. Lindy Ruff to be head coach for Devils and Fitzgerald staying GM

    • Sad day for Devils. Rumor is Fitz played for ruff and that is connection…so hiring ahorrible D coach whose offense is 15 years old….