NHL Rumor Mill – August 13, 2020
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.
DOMI’S DAYS NUMBERED IN MONTREAL?
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.
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.
TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S RECENT 31 THOUGHTS
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.