NHL Rumor Mill – August 13, 2020

by | Aug 13, 2020 | Rumors | 71 comments

Teams eliminated from the postseason can now make trades, plus the latest on the Canadiens, Leafs, Oilers, Jets, Wild, and Predators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the trade market is now open for the eight teams eliminated from the qualifying round. That also includes the seven teams that didn’t qualify to participate in the Return-to-Play plan.

LeBrun believes some of those teams could wait until all 31 clubs are able to take part in the trade market following the playoffs. Nevertheless, he wonders if some might make some calls in the limited market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of those clubs could start calling each other, and perhaps there might be a fit for a deal or two. Most will likely wait until the end of the playoffs. That’s when I expect we’ll see the biggest moves as teams pressed for cap space next season look to shed salary.


TVA SPORTS: Michel Bergeron recently observed Max Domi playing on the Montreal Canadiens’ fourth line. He believes the center’s days with the Habs are numbered.

Montreal Canadiens center Max Domi (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens coach Claude Julien indicated he had Domi on the fourth line to spread out the skill in his roster as he rolls four lines. However, their popgun offense could see the 25-year-old forward make a full-time return among the top-six forwards soon.

Domi’s future in Montreal has been a hot topic among Montreal pundits throughout this season. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Much will depend upon how contract talks go with Habs management.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wondered if there might be a fit between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers regarding the Leafs’ wingers. He pointed out Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl need help. The two clubs were close on some things in the past, like Connor Brown before he went to Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Making the cap dollars work will be an issue for the Oilers. With over $71.3 million invested in 17 players, they can’t afford to take on a salary like William Nylander’s $6.9 million AAV without clearing out some cap room. Kasperi Kapanen’s $3.2 million AAV would probably be more to their liking. Whether there’s a fit remains to be seen. The Leafs need blueline depth but the Oilers don’t have much to spare in that department.

Speaking of the Oilers, Friedman said it sounded like they thought a signing was close with Jesse Puljujarvi but the winger didn’t seem to think so. A trade is still possible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just spitballing but maybe Puljujarvi in a package deal to Toronto for Kapanen? On his own, his value is pretty low. However, he wouldn’t address the Leafs’ blueline needs.

Friedman believes the Winnipeg Jets will seek some beef on their blueline. The absence of Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers caught up with them in their qualifying-round series with the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. That lack of big-bodied depth on the defense hurt the Jets all season.

There were times earlier this season when Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin indicated a willingness to listen to offers on Jonas Brodin and/or Matt Dumba, but other clubs said he wasn’t in a hurry to move either guy. Friedman believes Guerin now has an idea of their market value if he decides to go that route.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba’s not going anywhere. His play improved as the season went on. Remember, he was still recovering early in the campaign from last season’s pectoral surgery. Brodin could be moved but it’ll take a significant offer to tempt Guerin.

Friedman wondered if the Nashville Predators will hang onto Kyle Turris for one more season and see what happens around next summer’s expansion draft, or buy him out and have $2 million of dead cap space each year for the next eight seasons.


  1. I think nothing happens until the draft In which a ton will happen.

    Domi should be playing with Drouin.

    Oilers have nothing beyond the top 3 . I would propose a Larsson Puljularvi Neal (hold a little dollars) and a third they dodged from Calgary to Toronto for Kapanen Johnsson and Kerfoot. A big trade but both clubs need something significant

    • SilverSeven, not so sure that nothing in the way of big trades will happen until the cup is awarded. It’s pretty evident that all the cap-strapped teams will be looking to shed enough cap hits to allow them to re-sign their RFAs and, in some cases, their UFAs.

      The problem is, there are far more of them than there are teams with lots of space, and since those teams can only take on so many such deals, whoever among the cap-strapped teams pulls the plug first on making such trades appealable to the cap rich will have a leg up.

      As matters now stand, among the eliminated there are several who really need to shed cap (e.g., Toronto, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Edmonton, Florida) so, if they were to approach cap-rich teams with proposals they really like, those cap-strapped teams still playing (such as Arizona, Chicago, Vegas) may find the market severely depleted – or gone – by the time they can deal.

      On the other hand, if the offers from those eliminated teams are not to the liking of the cap-rich they may just be told to take a hike.

      It could now get real interesting.

      • George O. I’ve been thinking same. The few teams that have the space (Sens,Wings,Devils, Sabre’s) could wait for Tampa and Blues who they know are up against it, but they could be risking losing out on players that might be there for the taking now. Plus those teams still in playoffs will be forced into a weaker position. Knowing Buffalo has been rumored to be looking to unload either Montour or Risto, I’d think Leafs would be looking now to move a forward or 2. I’m hoping Rangers could possibly move Smith to Detroit with a sweetener. Any team in position of looking to dump salary, should be doing it ASAP.

      • Hey George, agree with much of that other than the Oil and Panthers don’t need to shed salary. Better term might be would like to shed salary. No panic moves required.
        AA will be signed for less or he plays elsewhere for less. So there is some $. Oil need to get Bouchard in the lineup next season. 3rd pair in year one. 3rd pair RD today is Benning at $1.9 but will get a small bump and is a player they can trade without eating anything and get an asset (prospect/pick) back, so another $1M or so saved. get a #2 tender like Khudobin for $3M ish.
        If JP comes back he can fill a spot, if he stays in Finland then Benson gets a shot. I resign Enis for similar $ he gets today if he wants to stay.
        Nice to get McDavid another winger on the cheap, but the Oil will score enough. Tender more important next season, wait a year to pursue the winger if still needed. And will likely draft one this year so might be ready a year from now. Broberg should be ready later this season or next. Already skates well enough and is physically developed enough, just needs the reps. Russell will be gone then. Tough call on Larsson.

      • Ray, just to give a visual graphic of the various cap situations, following are all 31 teams showing (according to CapFriendly) how much each has in cap space based upon roster structure and also showing the numbers of RFAs and UFAs each has to consider. Now, while we can pretty much assume that most of the UFAs simply won’t be offered contracts, the fact remains the RFAs and UFAs together presents an idea as to how many bodies need replacing, and even ELCs are going to cost $600,000 up.

        Arizona $0 3 and 3
        Toronto $0 4 and 4
        Dallas $815 3 and 5
        St.L $20,326 2 and 3
        Vanc $30,474 5 and 6
        Pha $70,954 4 and 5
        Chi $175,558 5 and 1
        Wash $191,345 2 and 4
        Vegas $309,818 2 and 4
        Fla $416,408 6 and 5
        Edm $520,425 4 and 5
        SanJ $648,330 4 and 7
        Bos $669,543 2 and 4
        Pitt $792,598 8 and 3
        Buff $856,866 7 and 5
        Car $977,250 2 and 4
        Cgy $992,730 3 and 8
        T.B. $1,261,651 5 and 6
        Det $1,557.549 8 and 5
        Nash $2,382,897 0 and 6
        Anah $2,807,363 0 and 4
        Minn $2,927,652 2 and 3
        NYI $3,012,792 4 and 5
        Wpg $3,722,119 4 and 11
        NYR $3,886,585 5 and 4
        Mtl $4,539,794 4 and 3
        Clb $5,067,101 8 and 0
        Col $5,432,537 6 and 6
        L.A. $6,991,327 7 and 6
        Ott $7,180,631 7 and 6
        N.J. $8,775,682 5 and 4

        So, as you can see, even the cap-rich teams have bodies they need to re-sign which is an indication that there is only so much they can absorb through cap relief trades with those up tight – of which there are many many more. And although the majority of the UFAs are likely done in the NHL, there will still be some who will land contracts somewhere.

      • George, the Oil have a little over $10 in space next year with a roster size of 17.
        Need to add 5 or 6, one of which will be Bouchard @$900K.
        4 spots and $9.1M.
        Tender at $3M max.
        3 spots 6.1 M left.
        Say AA (or some other winger) at $2M
        2 spots $4M.
        Move Benning for a pick so 3 spots $6M left.

        Not ideal, but not forced into anything.

      • Ray, Athanasiou is an RFA with arbitration rights coming off a $3 mil cap hit – you really think he’s going to sign for $2 mil?? If he and his agent seek at least a short-term at $3.5 do the Oilers walk away? And Benning is another with arbitration and he made $1.9 mil – so who do you see taking on a virtual $2 mil contract (at least – he’s likely seeking a modest raise to $2.5). There are far better options available on other cap-strapped teams for the cap rich so why would they take Benning and have to go through arbitration with him to boot?

        Bear, at $720,000, and arguably one of their better D, is going to be seeking at least $2.5 mil. So right there the Oilers are looking at around $8 mil for those 3 combined. Smith cost them $2 mil – are they prepared to give 32 y/o Koskinen the bulk of the work with a bargain-basement back-up?

        I just don’t see it as being as cut-and-dried. If they walk away from Athanasiou and Benning, are there better options in their system?

        I guess we’ll see as soon as the cup is awarded

      • Hey George, I would be willing to bet a decent sum they do not qualify AA. I would also bet nobody else will pay him that. I wouldn’t rule out a return to Edm for less. He will test market for sure, good luck to him.
        Benning is a solid NHL D man who is affordable (In his career with Oil +61, Oil entire team -50 same period), they can move him, not resign him or sign him if they move someone else. Bouchard will be in the NHL next year, one of the D will be gone. The best spot for him is Benning’s, 3rd pair RD.
        Good point on Bear, forgot about him, ya $2.5 bridge seems about right.
        Smith won’t be back as the #2, need younger and less wild, and there are options out there. I would spend upwards of $3.5 for that position.
        Benning gone leaves you with $12M in space.
        Bear – $2.5
        Tender – $3.5
        Bouchard – $900K (Benning’s spot)
        Forward – AA or replacement $2M
        Total $8.9M

        Over $3M to fill out roster with a couple more forwards.

        Not ideal but not a situation where you are forced into anything. With many teams in a crunch, there will be bargains to be had in the UFA market for decent players, and plenty of guys on 1 year deals for $900K to fill out bottom 6 roles.
        If you are winger willing to take a 1 year deal to increase your value, I can think of worse places to play than McDavids wing.

    • The playoffs are showing the Habs finally have three centres: Suzuki, Danault, and Kotkaniemi. Domi isn’t a fourth liner, but is doesn’t seem to be effective on the wing. I will be surprised if he is not traded for a D or a winger with size and offensive touch.

      • LJ,

        I think the Habs came out on top when they got Suzuki from Vegas. Seems like an very good young player. I thought he had an outstanding game against Philly.

        I also think the Habs have a good chance of upsetting the Flyers. They played a strong game but just didn’t have the puck luck.

      • LJ

        I think the Habs did very well when they got Suzuki from Vegas.
        He had an outstanding game yesterday.

        I think the Habs have a good chance to upset the Flyers. They played well but just didn’t get the “puck luck”

      • Whoops, excuse the double post

      • Thanks, Flame.

        Yes, Suzuki looks like the real deal.

        The issue for the Habs is their forwards’ size: they aren’t great at puck battles or going to the front of the net. That’ll be the difference in this series.

        Good luck to your Flames.

      • Would a Montour for Domi trade work? Both are RFA’s with arbitration. Domi would fill Sabres need for middle 6 C.

      • GMan, Elliott Friedman apparently quoted rumours that Montour might not receive a qualifying offer from the Sabres.

        No idea if that is true, or if it is, why, but that doesn’t bode well for Montour’s trade value.

    • That is a big NO from the Leafs.

      A failed high draft pick, an average stay at home D, and an over the hill winger are not worth three cost controlled players

    • If you remove Neal, and Kerfoot……that deal might work for both teams…

    • Thanks for playing:

      I don’t know how you could legit be a “fan” of 3 teams, I follow other teams(city i live) but by no means am I a Canucks fan.

      My grandfather would roll over in grave, alot of Bandwagon fans.

      I remember when Canucks made finals vs Boston(Riot year)- thrre were all sorts of Eastindians & Asians who never watched hockey prior- to turn into super fans.

      Thats what it reminds me of.

      Rarely lose when youre a stan/fan of 10% of the teams in league,

  2. One of the casualties of the Jets with the Byfuglien saga was letting Ben Chairot walk and sign with Montreal.

    To say Winnipeg lost some beef on D, well that’s putting it mildly.

    Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Chairot.

    That is alot of beef and size.

    Not sure any team could handle losing all that at once.

    • you can add loss of forwards Tanev (lightweight but hit a lot), Lemieux, Armia (good size), Thorburn (not saying they should have kept him but…)

      I knew we were in trouble when I saw how low our penalty minutes were. Wheeler scrap with Tkachuk and Ehlers trying to initiate a scrap with him is not good use of 14.5million dollars. Not advocating for going back to undisciplined physicality but will say the pendulum swung too far too fast.

  3. Just did the math on a leaf – Oiler trade I proposed yesterday and the Oilers can swing it but would have to buy out Neal’s contract to give them an additional 3.8 million.

    Oilers trade Larsson and Koskinen to the Leafs for Anderson and Nylander.

    Leafs gain 3.4 million in cap space and get a top 3 defensive defensemen that they need.

    • That’s a very sensible trade scenario.

      • not to a Leaf fan

      • Shoreorrpark not to a Leaf fan

      • Ok Leafs fans. Saw this on a panthers Rumor sight. Ekblad for Marner. Go…

      • I understand, OBD but the $3.5 makes up for loss of talent allowing you to compensate with a FA signing.
        There will be excellent players to be had for that hit going forward.

      • I will drive Marner to Sunrise myself for that swap, Slick62

    • That’s awful!

      Koskinen is very inconsistent and overpaid. Who would be the Leafs starting goalie? Just because Chiarelli was dumb enough to trade a 30G winger for Larsson doesn’t mean it will happen again.

    • So trade one goalie that cant make a big save for another? A defenceman that cant defend for another soft forward?

      If Im Holland I definetely pass.

  4. I think Domi is playing on the fourth line to reduce his negotiation power. That way he can’t use high end players as comparable.

    I know Coaches coach to win but they still have a GM boss. Just my 0.014 cent (USD .02)

    • rene, you will know at the end of the season if Bergevin told Julien to do that as Julien will be resigning.
      There is zero chance that a GM would instruct a coach to put someone on the 4th line in playoffs to gain some leverage in negotiations.

      • Ya George wild west back in the day, and teams do still tank for the draft just not so brazenly.
        Not in a playoff series so much.

      • George O – I remember that season well. There is no doubt that management made moves to make the team lose so as to win the #1 pick. Whether it is management or players (probably not) tanking it is pathetic and should have been penalized. But that was not considered proper back then in the NHL. Still despicable. Because of this I have never trusted NHL management.

      • max domi to leafs for something—we need 3rd 4th centre—also would get tie domi around more

      • What I also recall from that year, Kevin, is Johnson, at the draft, pleading with Lemieux to come down and acknowledge the pick and don the Pittsburgh jersey. He refused

      • I was one at that time George. And I still marv at the beauty of those moves as gm

      • George O – That was back before the internet, I never heard that, although I enjoy that thought. There was no doubt that NJ was the worst team by far that season, and they were trying. Have to remember they were still giving NYR, NYI, and Phil $2 million/year each to enter the market place,that was a lot of money back then, they had no money for players for first 5 years. That fiscally held them back. It worked out OK for them though.

  5. Another possible trade I would like to see.

    Flames trade Gaudreau to NJ for the first round pick they acquired from Arizona.
    That would free up some cap space to sign Hall to a 4 year 7 million dollar contract.

    Hall could slot in with Monahan and Lindholm making them a little tougher to play against

    • Hey FlamesFan, I think Fitz does that. Doubt it highly that Calgary does it. Any team getting Johnny has to consider that he bolts to Philly at the end of the deal as a serious risk. So Fitz would have to consider that.

      • Kevin,
        It probably undervalues Johnny, but he is just not effective in the playoffs.
        He is just so weak along the boards because of his size.

  6. There aren’t a lot of teams with cap space to spare and those there are are bottom feeders that didn’t make the playoffs. If I was a little one looking to shed salary, like say the leafs, I’d be pushing to get something done before more high-salaries teams, like those still playing and unable to deal get into the market. I’m sure the buyers would rather wait but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

  7. Oilers-Rangers
    RNH+Neal for Kreider, Howden,Georgiev, B Smith

    • ds. Kreider going nowhere. Full nmc. Maybe. And that’s a big maybe… He waives for Boston. But I’d only do for McAvoy or add a prospect for combo of DeBrusk and Carlo.

      • Good try Slick but Boston isn’t doing either one. Kreider is a good player, not that good.
        Only Ranger that gets you McAvoy is Zib, and I’m not sure the Rangers would do that.

    • With LAf coming too many LW ;-0
      Neal could keep size on the roster with the loss of CK and play bottom 6.

      ;-0 i know kreider not moving

      • ds. Are you proposing that Kreider is too good for bottom 6 so we should trade him for someone who is a better fit on 3rd line? Are you hoping for another top 3 lotto pick next year?

    • Ds,

      You see many deals involving that many salaried players in the cap era?

      • Rangers need RNH more than Kreider imho.
        I am hoping Gorton finds a different way to get another experienced center.

        Buch is not a coach fav but what can he fetch….Buch+Georgie + the Canes 1st rounder for a center

      • with the flat cap next season we could see big salaries moved for sure.

        Rangers do need a center and could use a big minute LD until the kids bloom.
        I’d love to know what it would take to get Larkin out of Detroit- Georgiev fits there, Canes pick and some kids.

        RNC is an UFA after next season and Rangers might not be able to afford as teams will be willing to pay him as their #1C.

        No idea LD trade targets… there are some UFA that are better than Staal or Smith

      • But ds, while I agree some big salaries will need to move, the fundamental question still remains – moved where? See my list above of the cap situation for each team which clearly shows there are far more teams absolutely needing to move such salaries than there are capable of taking them on. And almost every one of them has multiple RFAs they need to accommodate.

  8. toronto just needs to bulk up with some more ltir room—bring in another top defenseman—last year for dubas–he will do something big

    • Leafs need 3rd/4th liners with some grit/nastiness.

      At least 3 defencemen with the focus being on defence. A starting goalie that doesnt fold in every big game he plays.

      A coach that can instill defensive responsibility onto his players.

      A general manager that understands the NHL playoffs are not the ice capades or pond hockey.

      A team president with a plan not a scam.

      Other than that the Leafs are good to go.

  9. Read somewhere today that Buffalo is thinking of not qualifying Montour….I have seen him play maybe 10 games so I won’t say I know his quality as a player….he sure as hell can skate in the league…

    But if true it is another indication , I think , that Buffalo is thinking real dollars not cap dollars…I also believe others are in the same boat

    This may seem a little radical….

    While the NHL is hadling the play offs in 2 bubble cities well….I would not be surprised if a re-start to regular play is not only way way off , but also be different than we imagine. Less games? Mini bubbles throughout a “season” ….conference only scheduling, the right to renegoiate contracts….You can’t take revenue streams away and expect nothing to change.

    I think the economic model of sports teams will have to change…..

    • Hi OBD

      If that is true; I believe Montour then becomes UFA…. will definitely get snapped up

      • At what cost and by who Pengy? See my list above. It’s fine to say some team will shuffle the deck to make room – but WHERE do they shuffle anyone? The simple fact is, most teams simply could not add him or any other UFA of consequence to their flat-cap roster. And when those with cap space begin to negotiate deals with cap-strapped teams to bring in someone with a significant cap, you can bet it’ll be someone a lot better than Montour.

  10. So according to Kyle Dubas Boy Genius he “believes” in his “core 4” which can only mean next season will be loaded with goals, fancy passing and individual success.

    Until the inevitiable playoff disappearing act.

  11. Re

    “ Friedman believes the Winnipeg Jets will seek some beef on their blueline. ”

    Caper…. how about 6’1” ,230

    Almost 1,000 GP…. intersted?

    Very very very cheap…. promise 😉


  12. 1 GM and 1 Head Coach up for trading (both with multiple cups)

    Make an offer to/care of #66BlackNGold

    ALL offers considered

    Willing to provide bus fare for said coach/GM to your city; will provide first class flights for all coming back in trade

    • Mike Sullivan to the Steelers for mike tomlin.

      • Done and Done


    • Hey Pengy, that never gets old 🙂

      • Ya I know I stole the sentiment but I really wish there was no reason for it

        I’ve had it with those two defending the worst NHLer in history (who has individually cost his team 3 of the last 7 playoff/playin games and was co responsible for another) at the expense of his teammates ; this year Murray and Shultz; and assistant coaches (who begged and pleaded with the coach to sit JJ)

        Had the coach just listened to his assistant coaches; Pens would be playing game 2 tonight vs Bruins


  13. Get better, Claude.
    Genuine thoughts and prayers.

    • Agreed,

      Hopefully a quick recovery for Julien.

      • An indication of the stress some of these guys are enduring. Get well Claude.

    • Speedy and full recovery CJ 😀

  14. When is the expansion draft? That should complicate things a bit too.

  15. Cue the months long parade of everybody to the Leafs for their garbage rumors…..

    Aaaaaaaand Go……

  16. No way Panthers trade Ekblad. Not even for Marner. They have several good scoring forwards. Their defense needs help. A trade like that would not improve their team.

    • Hit the nail on the head Howard. Yet something is wrong in Florida, they should be better and yet they are not. I was pulling for them to win the lottery (also Minn).