NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2020

by | Aug 11, 2020 | Rumors | 57 comments

Check out the latest on the Maple Leafs and the Wild in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons doesn’t believe Kyle Dubas should be fired, but feels the Maple Leafs general manager could be looking for work in a year if he hasn’t reversed the club’s fortunes by then.

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas (NHL.com)

Simmons feels Dubas has to strengthen the Leafs after turning over almost half the roster last summer, weakening their depth in the process. The top of the roster wasn’t productive enough, the bottom of the roster not good enough, and the team defense was taken advantage of physically during puck battles.

Simmons called on Dubas to make bold changes via trades or free agency. He wondered if the Leafs GM will come back with goaltender Frederik Andersen next season or look for someone like Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray, who Dubas knows from their days with the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds. He also noted there are desperate teams with salary-cap issues, roster issues, disappointed owners, or those like Pittsburgh and Nashville that have somehow lost their way.

TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk also wondered what Dubas has in store for the Leafs. He notes that fans and pundits are calling on the Leafs GM to trade William Nylander, or Mitch Marner, or Kasperi Kapanen and/or Andreas Johnsson. While Dubas could stubbornly stick to his plan, Feschuk suggests he needs to adjust it, pointing out the Leafs had this season’s sixth-worst goals-against per game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bloom is definitely off the Dubas rose. He’ll be under tremendous pressure to improve the Leafs this off-season.

Dubas isn’t afraid to make bold moves (signing Tavares and acquiring Tyson Barrie, Alex Kerfoot, and Cody Ceci). The problem is those decisions failed to address the Leafs’ glaring weaknesses. He must get it right this off-season or the calls for his dismissal will grow.

The Leafs GM has limited salary-cap space to work with, carrying over $76.9 million invested in 17 players. He and his capologist were able to free up sufficient cap space last summer to re-sign Marner, but they’ll have to get more creative this year to address the club’s issues. Fixing those problems could mean moving one of the Leafs’ top forwards, or one or two of their more affordable secondary scorers.


TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin knows his club is a long way from being a Stanley Cup contender. “There definitely have to be changes,” he said. “We haven’t had success here. Things need to get better. That’s just the way it is.”

Guerin indicated he’ll attempt to land a true first-line center, indicating that will likely come via free agency or the draft. “Teams don’t trade No. 1 centers. They just don’t,” he said. The Wild GM also indicated he was unhappy with his goaltending this season and didn’t rule out looking outside the organization for help.

Guerin will meet with pending UFA Mikko Koivu and intends to get started on contract extension talks with players such as Kevin Fiala. Jonas Brodin, Marcus Foligno, and Joel Eriksson Ek. He also said contract buyouts are a last resort, but Mizutani speculates Victor Rask could be a buyout candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin took his time evaluating his roster until midseason when he traded Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh and replaced Bruce Boudreau as head coach with Dean Evason. He’ll start putting a bigger stamp on this team through the offseason.

Several good goalies are available in this summer’s UFA market, but Guerin might stick with his current netminders next season to buy time for promising Kaapo Kahkonen. The current tandem (Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock) are under contract for next season, meaning one of them will have to be moved to acquire another netminder.

There aren’t any No.1 centers available in this year’s UFA market. Guerin could draft a promising center this year but that prospect won’t address that need next season. If he can’t find help in the trade market, he could try the offer sheet route. With over $65 million invested in 17 players, that’s probably not a wise course of action.

Rask has an annual average value of $4 million through 2021-22. Mizutani pointed out a buyout will leave the Wild with over $1.33 million in dead cap space through 2023-24.


  1. For Dubas, there aren’t any “dead” contracts out there for him to give him cap relief. (Clarkson/Nathan Horton contracts come off the books now. ) Maybe he can “trade” for Gaborik from Ott?
    I think he’ll have to keep some salary for Marner’s contract. He’ll actually have to balance his books like everyone else?

    • Gaborik, at $4,875,000, has just 1 year to go, as do Zetterberg ($6,083,333) in Detroit, and Hossa ($5,275,000) in Arizona,

      There’s also Ryan Kessler ($6,875,000) in Anaheim who doesn’t look like he’ll ever return and he has 2 years to go, as does Hertl ($5.125,000) in SJ.

      • Ok, good comment.

        But riddle me this George: how does assuming a dead contract free cap space?

      • As I understand it – and I’m wide open for correction – if the Leafs traded for, say, Kessler, they would free up some (all?( of his cap hit as of the 1st day of a new season for each year he was on their payroll and still on LTIR. And there’s the kicker – a team would need to be absolutely certain that the player was not about to attempt to play again.

      • And Zetterberg is only owed one million in actual salary so a team wanting to save dollars and maximize cap space next year should be very interested.

      • Thanks Double Minor … I think. Jaysus, where’s that Philadelphia Lawyer when you need him. Talk about convoluted machinations.

        It’s time the NHL parted ways with the firm of Muck & Mire and their junior partner Johnny Loophole and just go back to “if he’s on your roster his cap counts. If he has to go on LTIR, once that has been established by independent medical examinations, you are relieved of his cap hit … but he’s still your responsibility. NO trading after he’s designated LTIR.

        The ONLY teams that the current system benefits are the rich ones.

      • Oddly though George, the smaller markets also benefit. Carolina, NJ Arizona etc are all on the receiving end of these deal. They have received picks and prospects for taking on other people’s issues.

        I think Savard and Pronger have been on a half dozen teams each since they could no longer play.

    • The leafs are going to lose any trade they make with every team knowing they need d so bad, the best they might get is picks and prospects. Their cupboards are bare for dmen ( defensive dmen)

      • Bigbear,

        Agree, nobody is going to do Dubas a favor to bail him out of the mess he created. Leafs arent dealing from a position of strength ( roster needs, cap space) and every GM in the league knows it.

        Should be fun watching Mr Smarter Than Everyone Else try and get his trainwreck back on the rails.

      • And I guess other teams willingly help others? WTF are you talking about. Teams will do what’s best for each other. Will the value of traded players be different between any GMs on any player? I don’t know is water wet?

        Anyone that thinks the Leafs or the Bolts or any other team in a tight cap situation is in a bad spot have to remember that if you’re in that spot because you have good players and a good team, it’s much better than being in a tight cap situation without either or.

        And from a friend that used to work for the yotes once told me is that with so few guys who are GMs they all know and talk to one another, a lot more than you think.

      • Mr Moore,

        If the Leafs as you put it “have a good team” dont you think theyd be in the playoffs?

        Toronto has good players but they do not have a good team.

      • The Coyotes?

        Lmao. The Coyotes are the NHL standard bearers of incompetence.

    • when will shanny wake up and fire this guy i’ll bet lou would have made the leafs a cup winner he wouldn’t have been bullied like dubas has been — trade nylander and marner it’s clear Dubas plan isn’t working

  2. Kesler zetterberg future leafs?

    • LOL. We’re on the same wavelength Moegillknee (love that nick)

  3. CBJ have Dubinsky w/ 1 yr at $5.85 million who will be eligible for LTIR. They likely will be open to trading that deal to teams wanting to take on LTIR contracts for cap purposes. There was a rumor that TOR was one team inquiring about obtaining that contract…not sure how accurate that is though.

  4. If Dubas has his heart set on Murray we’ll gladly take KK back … 🙂

    • Andersen isn’t going anywhere. We know this because a) it makes sense if you think about it b) Kypreos said it was his last game as a Leaf.

      • Arnie, where is Kypreos operating from now?

      • Not much of a market for a goalie that gives up a garbage goal in every critical game he plays in.

      • Kypreos = Brooks = windbag

      • RON JULL agreed, he is a windbag.

        GEORGE he has his own podcast now with MacLean. I find them entertaining as hell but they might not have the best insights.

  5. Buffalo supposedly looking to move Montour. They have plenty of space to take on either Marner or Nylander. Probably need to add. Maybe Mittelstadt? There should be a deal to be had there, it’s a start.
    My advice to Guerin, ask permission to interview for Florida job! MY GOD!! What a mess in Minny. Parise: 7.5 mil per. Full nmc till he’s 41! Suter: 7.5. Full nmc until age 40. Zuc: 6m. Full nmc until he’s 35, then partial ntc for 2 seasons.Spurgeon: 7.5. Full nmc until he’s 34, then 3 seasons with partial ntc. Forget playoffs next year. Let Koivu walk. Unload pending Ufa’s at deadline. Should be a lottery team next year. Will have Pitts 1st rd pick plus whatever you get in deadline deals. That’s a start. Maybe guys with nmc agree to waive. Not sure who’s taking them with those contracts.

    • Hey slick, congrats on the lottery win. I don’t think Dunas wants to move the Nylander contract – its the most economical one he has of his top 4. And any team taking on MM – with the salary cap frozen – I doubt gives up too much unless a salary dump or retention is included and if that is the case what would the point be in trading him.

      • Exactly Kevin.

      • Kevin, maybe Kap or others then. Definayely should be going after one of those right dmen on Buffalo.

      • Wouldn’t trade Marner, anyway. Every player that has played a regular shift with him over the past two seasons has had a career year, and that’s valuuable. The idea is to get competent enough D to cover for his defensive foibles.Plus, they made a lot of moves to accommodate his contract. JT has a full NMC, and they’re not trading Matthews, so nobody really left BUT Nylander.

    • Slick, no way the Sabres can take on Marners contract…it would put them in the same situation as Toronto with 30M between 3 players (Eichel, Skinner and Marner) plus having to sign Reinhart to roughly 6.5M and Dahlin coming up soon. The Sabres first priority is a 2C and that is going to cost them unless they can pry someone like Bonino from the Preds who is in the last year of his contract at 4.1M. The hope is that Cozens develops while playing 3C and moves to 2C the following year. No idea where the Sabres stand on Mittelstadt, he was drafted by Botterill so Adams has no ties to him.

      Would Buffalo/Toronto do a trade is the question? If it back fires for one team it’ll be a hard pill to swallow for the other.

  6. Whatever happened to Rask. Some promise and then zip out of the league

    Liam Foudy is my early bird pick for rookie of the year .
    Columbus best line was Foligno Jenner and Nyquist. Not what I would call a lot of fire power. The Leafs need a line similar.

    Congrats to the Blue-shirts. I am just glad the Oilers didn’t get number 5

    • CBJ are very high on Foudy. Texier, Foudy, Bemstrom, & in a couple years their KHL prospects Marchenko & Voronkov are viewed as becoming the added skill F to the core of Dubois, Jenner, Atkinson, Bjorkstrand. They still need to find a creative way to draw from their depth in D and G to obtain a high skill F (they miss Panarin significantly….also need a true 2C) to continue in their “win now” approach

      • After watching Columbus against Toronto I have to say Jones is a beast and should be in the conversation for the Norris next year.
        Jones and Werenski are the best tandem in the NHL.

        I am sure Nashville has regrets trading Jones.

      • True that FlamesFan.
        That ended up being one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory.
        Now NSH is paying Johansen $8M. Good player but ouch.

  7. Typical Leaf overreactions. If Columbus beats Tampa, which they might, are we saying the same things about Tampa?Tampa, like the San Jose teams, is a good god damn team and it’s incredibly difficult to win in the NHL, especially in a 5 game series with everyone coming off of the couch. They’re a skill team in training camp with a goalie notorious for slow starts. If the forwards were in mid-season form and so was Andersen this might be a different series, but maybe not, you know why? Because COLUMBUS IS FRICKIN GOOD! They need to get grittier, no question, and Barrie and Ceci were HORRIBLE additions, despite the praise they got for acquiring them, which I couldn’t understand. They’ll try to make some minor adjustments, and it better be to get tougher, but I don’t see the need for drastic overhauls.

  8. George….an agree to disagree perhaps….

    Let’s see what time delivers over next 12 months…I think the real dollar issue for more teams than most here write will be more powerful for the financially weak teams than the cap dollars ….more and more teams will not even have a goal maxing out their cap limits so they can take on cap with no hurt

    Teams will be trading for contracts where bonuses have been paid and they get can cap credit towards cover minimum and players at a real dollar discount….at least this is my guess

    • That’s as valid an observation as mine OBD. We should start to find out which way the wind is blowing as soon as the Cup is awarded. I have a feeling we are going to see a flurry of early deals – one way or another – right up to and including draft day. I just hope some poor schmuck of a GM isn’t in a locale that suddenly loses its Wi-Fi to “technical problems” – THEN watch the conspiracy theorists have a field day 🙂

      • George O, with lottery done and first 15 picks set, I think all the non play off teams can start making trades now. Definitely can see a busy off season all together. Should be fun.
        Arnie: I’m hoping Tampa loses. Can see say reactions as the Leafs fans. No cap space and they went out in 1st round last year too. Stamkos and Hedman both hurting.

      • Slick teams aren’t going to start making trades with half the teams still playing, that means player values go down more could be in on it in the offseason

      • Slick62, according to LeBrun here, while the 7 non-playoff teams could have made trades while the play-ins/playoffs were in process, it could only be with each other. Since they are primarily the teams with the most cap space, I don’t see much logic in them dealing with one another unless it was something that sets both sides up for bigger deals once the other 24 get into the act.

        Now that they’re down to 16, it’s mostly those 16 that have the biggest cap issues and will be dealing to clear the decks – but they can’t do that as long as they’re still in it. And I doubt those eliminated along the way will be given an advantage by being able to trade while the remaining teams cannot. Same applies to the losers among the play-ins I would guess


  9. Lyle, Lyle, Lyle

    After 146 comments yesterday, are you SURE that you want to come back with the LEAFS again today?? You deserve a quieter day!!

    How about something harmless dealing with the Blues?

    • Depending on how the Blues do in their upcoming series, you could see those rumors in the near future, iowa boy…;)

    • LOL Iowa Boy, if that were the case the exchange would either be over by 9:00 am with about 5 posts, or extended to 100 the moment someone suggested that Pietrangelo was Toronto-bound.

  10. The lottery yesterday didnt contain much suspense or excitement, seemed very dull and boring.

    I think the NHL should have done the following :

    Load each teams ping pong ball into the machine and have each teams ball pulled eliminate that team from the #1 pick. That would have made for a much more dramatic conclusion with some excitement for the two teams left.

    • LOL. Sorta like the Miss Universe pageant? If, for some reason, the 1st picker cannot sign the player, he will fall to the runner up. Hey, I like that idea.

  11. Im just glad the Oilers or Penguins didnt win the lottery.

  12. I ran into Connor McDavid at the golf course yesterday. He’s changed his name to McDivot.

    • LOL. Wow, an Edmonton golf joke before we’ve heard the annual flurry of Leafs golf jokes! Good one though

  13. The Leafs – them again! – can go with hockey trades to strengthen the back end – Kapanen and Johnsson being the most likely trade bait – or they can bite the bullet and play next year with Sandin (20), Liljegren (21) andMikko Lehtonen joining the current defence corps.
    As George said, we’ll find out very quickly which way the league goes – lots of hockey trades or draft and develop. Should be a fascinating off-season.

  14. Dubas has to go. They have to find a GM that can build a playoff team.
    The team is too small & way too soft. Nylander, Marner, Kapanen, Johnsson, Kerfoot are not playoff performers.
    They need bigger two way players that don’t disappear in the playoffs.

  15. Is anyone actually surprised that boywonder/Dubas has failed miserably?

    • Shanahan? I know Lamoriello isn’t … whose team, by the way, has advanced.

      • George don’t forget that Lamoriello gave the extra year to Marleau that ultimately cost Toronto their first-round pick this year.
        I certainly agree that, if Dubas is getting the evil eye, there should be someone asking, “Who hired him?”
        Finally I think it’s only fair to point out that the Leaf franchise overall is in a much better place now than it was under the Nonis-Burke partnership:
        They have solid AHL and ECHL teams that have produced winning hockey and good prospects.
        They have definitely improved their scouting staffs, especially in Europe, and are bringing good prospects here to develop.
        Their player development program seems to be one of the best in the league.
        They are doing a lot of things the right way. There’s still a mountain to climb, that’s for sure, and that will be the ultimate measuring stick but there’s a lot to like about long-term success of the franchise. It shouldn’t all be doom and gloom.

      • I haven’t forgotten that Ray. Just that I think a Lomoriello-type approach to building a team is far better than the figure-filbert method. In the end, it’s all about giving your fans something to cheer about – even if a Stanley Cup is not won. There’s only one winner each year and that has to THE toughest grind to get there of any professional sport. After an 82-game schedule a team can be required to play another maximum 28 – or almost a third of a season – at peak intensity.

        In Shanahan’s 6 years at the helm, the Leafs have not won a playoff series, winning 8 games while losing 12. Going back to when they last won a playoff series – 2004 – you can add 9 wins and 11 losses. I daresay that the Lamoriello-led Devils sported a lot better record for their fans than that.

        Hell, since 2004 the woeful Senators have won 7 series, have been to the Cup finals once and were a Double-OT goal from going to their second just 3 years back. In the process they gave their fans 41 wins to go along with 41 losses.

        It’s a results-oriented sport and if you don’t produce the results how long should you get to keep your job? Is 6 years sufficient time to ice a team that is playoff-capable? More than enough I’d say.

      • Hey BCLeafFan, it all depends on how you look at it. Was it Lou signing Marleau to that 3rd year that caused them to give away their first or was it Dubas overpaying the other young forwards that caused it?

      • BCLeaffan – not Ray. Sorry

    • Trolls.
      Here’s a one finger salute. .,!..

  16. BCLeaf fan

    You bring up some very good points.
    A lot of people say Dubas will be fired, but what if ownership is not happy with Shanahan and he gets fired?
    That might be the start of an overhaul of the management team.

    A new President will want his Own management team and hire a new GM.

    If that happens the new GM will walk into a very good position. A team with good players a strong farm system and good scouting department. All he has to do is re-jig the lineup.
    I would bet they would go after a veteran GM that knows how to build a team.

    Rutherford seems to have worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh, maybe he would be the right man at the right time to put the finishing touch on this lineup

    Just spit balling