NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2020

by | Aug 18, 2020 | Rumors | 110 comments

A look at off-season questions for several teams eliminated during the qualifying round, plus the latest on the Ottawa Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen examined one big off-season question for each club eliminated during the qualifying round. Among the noteworthy:

What kind of return could Kaspari Kapanen fetch for the Toronto Maple Leafs? (NHL Images)

Regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boylen asked what kind of defenseman they’ll add. Given the flat cap and the free-agent pool would be difficult to wade into, Boylen suggested the trade market could be their best option. He wonders if Kaspari Kapanen or Alex Kerfoot become trade bait, and what type of return they might fetch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kapanen or Kerfoot at best could bring a second-pairing right-side defenseman. They won’t bring in a top-pairing guy unless they’re packaged with a first-round pick and/or a top prospect, and they’ll have to target a team in need of shedding salary.

Whoever becomes the Florida Panthers’ next general manager has a lot of work to do. The defense is a problem area, plus they have to decide what to do with free agent wingers Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman. Boylen wonders if they’ll be replaced by rookies if ownership decides to cut payroll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things are a mess with the Panthers. We can’t really get a bead on their intentions until they’ve hired a new GM.

The Winnipeg Jets need more size on their blueline. Boylen wonders if GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will try to address that issue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have over $65 million invested in next year’s payroll and all their core players under contract. There’s room to make an addition or two, but a bigger move would require shipping out a notable player as part of the return. However, he could get more cap flexibility if sidelined center Bryan Little is placed on LTIR next season.

Boylen noted Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin was dissatisfied with his goaltending. He mused about whether Guerin will promote promising Kaapo Kahkonen or explore the free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s current goalie tandem of Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock is under contract for next season. One of them would have to be moved to make room for Kahkonen or someone else. Dubnyk ($4.333 million AAV for 2020-21) has a 19-team list of preferred trade destinations, but his performance this season remains a stumbling block. Stalock’s cap hit ($785K annually through 2021-22) could be the easiest to move. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators owner Eugene Melnyk rejected rumors suggesting his club might offer up the third- and fifth overall picks to the New York Rangers for the first-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, calling the notion “nonsensical.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers would probably reject that offer anyway. It could take a significant pitch to pry that pick away from them.


  1. I just don’t see a team offering what it would take to pry that #1 away from NY. I’d say 99.9% of what I’ve seen out there is nonsensical. I’ve seen one rumored deal with LA that I think NY would almost HAVE to make. But it wasn’t exactly something that had any wheels under it…. just another rumor.

    Lafreniere will be a Ranger on draft day and NY will figure out a way to navigate around the “problem” of Panarin, Kreider and Lafreniere all being left wingers later. Without making a deal for someone’s 💩 + their 1st rounder in 2027.

    • Nyr4life, if you are talking about the rumor posted in the Athletic , I agree that would be hard to pass on.

      the rumor was …..Kings are prepared to offer the 2020 2nd overall pick, Alex Turcotte (2019 5th overall) and Gabriel Vilardi (2017 11th overall).

      Rasmus Kupari, Tobias Bjornfot, Arthur Kaliyev and Samuel Fagemo are all attractive prospects who the Kings could be willing to include in a trade package to the Rangers. Lastly, the Kings have 11 picks in this draft. They may include some of them in this package as well

      • Yes Fergy. That is exactly the one I was talking about. However, I seriously doubt LA would offer that type of package.

        I also think LA is in more dire need of a center than NY. I Think anyone that landed the 1st was taking Lafreniere. However , I don’t think they mind how this all played out.

        If they were to offer that package, I don’t see a way Gorton could walk away.

      • Gorton would be a moron if he walked away from that deal. Fortunately for him, he will never have to find out as that trade proposal will never, ever in a millions years, be offered.

        The consensus is Ottawa would be overpaying if they offered the 3rd and 5th overall. So how much of an overpay is it if LA offered the 2nd overall plus last years 5th overall AND another 11th overall?????

        If a Leafs fan alluded to this type of trade on here, they would be lambasted for days.


      • Canadian King,

        I acknowledged that the type of deal proposed wasn’t happening or even real.

        I can’t say I agree on the general consensus of that 3rd and 5th being an overpay. Lafreniere is considered an elite talent… a can’t miss type player.

        Not so sure that label applies to the other top 4 selected this year…. does it ever?

        There is a reason the internet and this site have been flooded with proposals for that pick. Do you see 1/2 that type of chatter about #2-5? I don’t.

        The general consensus 2 weeks ago was Lafreniere was the uncontested #1. Of course that was before the pick landed in NY….. now it’s a close race between Lafreniere, and yesterday’s garbage!

      • You sure do love talking out both sides of your mouth don’t you?

        On one hand you accept the consensus of Lafreniere being the number one pick, cause it helps your argument but reject the consensus when talking about the 3rd and 5th overall picks as being an overpayment.

        Cant have it both ways. But even you must admit that the Athletics proposal is beyond ridiculous and a massive overpayment to move up ONE spot?

      • Is anyone talking about the 3rd and 5th being near the level of Lafreniere?

        How is that talking out of both sides of my mouth?
        I don’t think you’re going to find many people to go along with that being an overpayment.

        Even George agrees below…. he’s a sens fan!!!!

        Btw, I accept the consensus of Lafreniere being the first overall…. because whether it was LA. NY , Pittsburgh, Tampa…. he was going 1st overall. And that was never even questioned until NY drew that pick!

        Beyond ridiculous to say I’m using that to my benefit. Nobody whatsoever questioned him being 1st overall! Until now…..

        If that ball dropped in La’s lap, you wouldn’t be trying to convince me Lafreniere was the absolute hands down #1.

      • Historically 3 and 5 is an overpay. But lefren is supposed to be a good player with superstar potential. Consensus number 1 pick besides the usual stories that try to drum up interest in the draft by questioning that. Ott under no circumstances should trade 3and 5 for a guy who is not supposed to be on par with a mathews ovi mcdavid crosby level. But ny would be crazy to trade the 1 for 3 and 5 cause the player has the best chance of being a star. In this case it can work both ways.

      • Ny. There isn’t some conspiracy anti rangers thing going on here. This happens nearly every year when the first isnt considered a for sure generational talent. It’s all either to drum up clicks or to have something fun to debate about.

      • Most #1 picks aren’t McDavid, Crosby , etc.

        But Lafreniere is also a notch higher than most. He’s been compared to Kane, Kucherov etc.
        This isn’t a Hall , Seguin , Hughes Kakko debate. Well… it hasn’t been.

        And conspiracy started less than an hour after that ball dropped. It was all over the internet…..and here.

        Here is the timeline..

        2019-2020 Lafreniere is without question the #1. Lottery day…. he’s #1

        Ball drops …. conspiracy! Bettman cheated , the ball was weighted (my personal favorite, even gravity was in on it… because weighted balls should not be floating to the top… (hehehehe I said balls) were in on it!)

        Then it was … well he could miss, Byfield “May be better” …. etc.

        Certainly, he could be the next Yak… I doubt he is but you never know until you know. I wish NY could trade that pick for a day to see if his stock rises again . I’m positive that would be the case.

        I will start looking back here 1 weeks prior to that ball dropping to see how many people questioned the #1 thing. Honestly, I don’t remember anyone saying or suggesting it.

      • If the ball dropped any of 7 other ways it would have been a conspiracy. I’ll grant that the fact it dropped to a big market a big American market might have given that a push. But if the oil had won same conspiracy theories. And after most every other ball drop their were the guess who might not be number one anymore stories. Every year. Settle down.

      • No, again I’m not even necessarily talking about the way the ball dropped, I’m talking more about Lafreniere dropping since that ball dropped .

        Settle down? Lmao…. just stfu and see your way out homer.

      • Ill go back to my original comment and let you chew on that again. LA trading the 2nd overall, Turcotte (who was a 5th overall) and Villardi(who was the 11th overall), is a massive overpayment of epic proportions.

        LA has the best, yes better than the mighty Rangers, prospect pool in the NHL, and people actually think they’d trade their 3 best prospects for Lafreniere is beyond dumb.

        So if you dont see this then why dont you stfu. I can just imagine the garbage youd be spewing if the tables were turned.

        Enjoy the rest of your day!

      • Sigh. I’m the homer. Says the conspiracy theorist cause he imagines his team is being slighted. I can’t even stomach this. So. You are right ny. The Hockey world is totally out to To get ny. So are the aliens. And the Illuminati. And. Um. 💀 and 🦴. It’s because we are drowning in jealousy.

        You are a true winner.

        And I love you.

      • NY4Life if not Bettman you would have another 5 years of rebuild. No it wouldn’t be a conspiracy theory with the exception of Rangers. Thank to last year. “Lottery”.
        After reading your several posts I know why people hates New Yorkers. You’re just dumb

      • Stfu, I know you feel like the resident jokester that needs his 2 cents in every conversation before it’s complete…. but you’re a total homer that doesn’t know your ass from your elbow outside Pittsburgh!

      • Canadian King.

        All of which I agreed to and said wasn’t real…..
        Yes La has a deeper pool. But NY was #1 2 years ago. Not like we’re talking LA pool to say ….Pittsburgh pool.

        Ny dropped a few notches because their players are in the NHL. Not because they traded them away or ended up with 7 Yaks.

        And no… the tables have always been turned. #1 overalls gone in every direction but NYs in my lifetime. I’ve never kicked them once I found out where they were going. They didn’t all of the sudden become questionable 1st overalls…..

        I’ll bet anything, if LA made that ridiculous trade … something tells me Lafreniere would be the next McDavid I your eyes.

      • Wow, this debate had legs. It’s weird because didn’t it start over the trade offers and not about who is the best prospect today?
        LA supposed deal for Laf is a massive overpay.
        Sens trading 3 and 5 is too.
        That seems obvious to me.
        While it is less obvious, as we are dealing with 18 year old kids, is that Laf is the best player in the draft. But he is the best player in the draft based on today’s snapshot in time. I would guess if you asked 10 scouts 9 would pick Laf, hell maybe all 10.
        But those deals are still an overpay.
        You guys seem to arguing about 2 different things.

    • Ahh yes, Nyr4Life, but if you were following yesterday’s thread, I … and consequently everyone else who looks at things logically and pragmatically as opposed to a terminal Pollyannaish approach … have to be aware of the overriding axiom that “where there’s a will there’s a way.”

      Yeah, that LW situation is going to be some “problem.”

      • It is easier for a winger to switch sides than a D man, some actually prefer the opposite side because of the shooting angle.
        Personally I would put a vet like Kreider on his opposite side before Laf.

      • I think people are looking beyond the obvious. If you’re the Rangers, do you really pass up Lafreniere because you resigned Kreider? It’s ridiculous. Lafreniere should project to be, at minimum, a point per game winger. Kreider has never hit 60pts or 30 goals in a season in his career. He’s just going to be a very expensive 3rd line LW

    • Nyr4life,

      Its a good “problem” to have. I agree, it would take something massive to get the #1 from New York.

  2. I think it is something like 70% in the league are left shots. Some players even prefer the off wing. Makes no difference left right. However I would consider 2 of the top 5 for number one but I guess the Sens will not

    • Very true about that left shot % SilverSeven. One of the best RW of all time, Rocket Richard, was a left-shot and scored a high % of his goals with a wicked backhand.

      Re the offers for the # 1 pick, on a purely selfish note I would have loved to have seen NYR take #s 3 and 5 for # 1 but realize that that was a pipe dream. Of the consensus Top 5 picks, Lafreniere, who turns 19 in October, is the most ready to step in and help right now.

      Having 3 LW of that caliber is a “problem” 30 other teams would love to have.

      It’s that 2nd pick where the wheels start churning. Most believe L.A. will go for the big C, Byfield, and I’m one of them. But he only turns 18 tomorrow and, unless he wows them at the combine and then, if picked, training camp, the odds are he will likely go back to junior for one more season.

      Stutzle, on the other hand, another decent-sized C, turns 19 in January, shortly after a new season would begin, and he could become an immediate asset. Both the other two consensus Top 5 – Raymond and Rossi – also turn 19 in March and September respectively and could, with good training camps, make their teams right away. Longer shots – but possible.

      • Good point about age and potential readiness George. I think Stutzle is often left out of the conversation when talking about the top guys in the draft and is going to be a very solid NHLer.

        I wouldn’t think the Rangers take the #3&#5 for the #1 and initially I thought it was an offer the Sens should definitely make; but when you look at the probabilities and options (say Stutzle @ #3 and Drysdale @ #5…though there are more forwards and even a reach for a ‘tender if they want), keeping the 2 top 5 picks is a better bet. Yes Laf could turn out to be a Patrick Kane; could also turn out to be a Drouin, or even a Yakupov (though I think Drouin is a more reasonable low comparison.

      • SCJ, if Stutzle turns out to be anywhere near his countryman, Draisaitl, he’ll be a gem of a pick.

        As for Lafreniere, as I keep saying from observation in televised games where he played Gatineau at the Guertin Arena, and from the observations of a friend in Nova Scotia who has seen a lot more of him against the Mooseheads, while no one should expect another McDavid or Crosby or Lemieux, make no mistake: he is going to be a very good NHLer.

        Unlike Drouin, who was made to look a lot better than he was by virtue of playing alongside MacKinnon, it was Lafreniere who elevated the games of anyone he played alongside. Tampa got fooled by that when they took Drouin 3rd overall back of MacKinnon and Barkov. Imagine if they had, instead, taken Seth Jones who went # 4.

      • Drouin’s number definitely popped by virtue of getting to play with Mackinnon, but, having watched them a lot that year in the Q (also live in NS and get to see the Mooseheads a fair bit), Drouin actually looked like the more skilled guy on the ice. Absolutely skated circles around people…and I think that was more of the problem, he was so used to dominating in juniors he got overconfident and didn’t elevate his game the way Mackinnon and others have.

      • Meant to end that by saying that the junior dominance / overconfidence is the only reason I draw any (very) loose parallel with Laf as his lower ceiling. I expect Laf to be an excellent player and I can see him being Kane level good. Would still put money that he takes the Calder.

  3. Most trades will need to be cap neutral. Sabres need a short-term 2C while Cozens develops. They also need a short term upgrade in goal while UPL develops. Would the Wild consider sending Staal and Dubnyck to the Sabres for two Minn native sons (Okposo and Mittelstadt). Cap hit for 2020 would be about even. Wild would absorb a multi-year hit with Okposo but would gain a promising Center prospect. Staal was a teammate of Sabres new GM Adams during Carolina’s Cup year. Dub might shine in a contract year with a fresh start.

    • Why would the Sabres do that? Too early to give up on Mittelstadt for an old man in Staal whose best days are way behind him and a below average goalie making almost 5 mil? Delusional …

    • G-man , that trade is lopsided in Buff’s favor. Okposo’s better days are behind him and Middelstadt’s value has dropped off from 2 years ago. Staal is great value @ 3.25 cap hit.

    • I see a couple hurdles.
      First is Staal’s NTC. It is limited but all he needs do is list the ten teams with the most cap space and he is pretty well insured against moving anywhere if he does not want to.
      Second, the Sabres would then likely be stuck with Hutton’s contract as dead cap space. That is no bueno.

      Maybe Dubnyk, Rask and Sturm for Okposo, Mittlestadt and Hutton. Although, many on here will be quick to point out that compicated trades involving so many players are very uncommon.

      • Having said that, the Wild have long term problem contracts in Parise and Zuccarello. I doubt that middlestadt is enough of a sweetener for them to take on Okposo’s as well.

    • Well G-man, 2 posters disagree from the opposite side of the deal.
      Must be about right then.

      • Okposo’s 3×6 is dead weight , Staal , still has game and only committed for one more year but as pointed out by Cliff may have Buff as one of his no trade teams. Dubnyk is also 1 yr , again Cliff has pointed out Hutton would have to be moved, doable in another deal.
        I am not sold on Middlestadt’s potential, he looking great in 2018 WJC and NCAA but his conditioning and commitment have been called out the past couple of years.

    • Nonsense.

  4. Since when is depth a problem? All reports are coming across like Lafreniere is stepping in at an elite level. Yet nobody knows what his transition will be so this “problem” might not even be depending on how he is utilized and his transition to the NHL.

    If that LA offer is real it would have to strongly be considered, but the marque of the Rangers having that first overall and marketing the hell out of this kid might be too much of a draw to the Rangers. In any case everything is speculative at this point, still a long road to haul before we hit the draft.

    • Just like Kaako was stepping in and supposed to be this huge difference maker.

      And I am a Ranger fan but one with very tempered expectations. Ive seen how poorly things can, have and will go with this franchise for over 30 years.

      • Lafreniere should be on roster, just like Kakko. And also just like Kakko, will probably play 3rd line to ease transition. Injuries have a way of sorting things out. The “3 LW’s” problem isn’t really a problem. Kreider played some RW this season. Lafreniere has been the consensus #1 for 2 years now. No matter what you think of the next top prospects, they’re not that close in talent. Neither are Villardi and Turcotte sure things. My fear is that 10 years from now, when Laf has a couple cups, the stories will be, “how the hell did Rangers give away the best player in the league”

      • I don’t think anyone expected Kakko to be a difference maker his first year. A better rookie year? Absolutely! But nobody was expecting him to burst out of the gate. Anyone that did was grossly misinformed of the player / players available in the top 2 last year.

        More was definitely expected out of Kakko and Hughes than they delivered. But the general consensus is Lafreniere if eligible last year would have been taken over both.

        Side note:

        Ny Rangers bottom 6 is not pretty, or developed. McKegg, Lemieux, Gauthier , Di Gisuppe , aren’t exactly the kind of players that will set any player on fire. And Howden and Chytil are still kids themselves. Not to mention Kakko was 18 years old.

      • Kakko was sheltered a bit for good and bad. If the Rangers did not have Zib+Panarin with their season success Kakko would of had a lot more power play time etc

        His limited playin games were the best he has looked

      • My 2nd biggest fear is McKegg and DiGuissepe being back next year! Lemieux and Gauthier should be ok as 4th liners. Starting to turn off Quinn. Thought it was kind of a dbag move to play Fogarty over Kravtsov in playoff game after Fast was hurt. Gorton has done a nice job of building this team, I wonder if Quinn is going to be one of those stubborn pricks. Sure appears that he had zero intention of playing Kravtsov. Don’t get why they brought him back over from Russia.

      • I am guessing a lot of folks didn’t get why I put “problem” in quotations?

      • I said the day they signed Quinn that I didn’t think he’d see the end of that contract.
        Not a fan.

        I don’t hate McKegg . He is a useful 4th liner.

      • NY4. I understood your “problem”…. I was agreeing with you. As far as McKegg. As a 4th liner/healthy scratch at same salary? I’m fine. It’s when him and Pdg creep into top 9. Quinn seems to have “his guys” that only he sees something in. And as far as I thought he’d be good at developing young players, I’m a little disappointed in how things have worked out so far with Lias and Kravtsov. It’s not all coaches fault, but he seems to have immense patience with Kakko as compared to those guys. Not anything against Kakko, I just hope he does better with other 2.

      • Slick, I meant other posters not getting the “problem” wasn’t aimed at you at all.

  5. Winnipeg defense.
    Kulikov and Demelo walk. Resign Beaulieu. Sign Hamonic and one of Dillon, Edmundson or Forbert.
    Edmundson(for discussion’s sake)/Pionk
    Has the defense improved, stayed about the same or gone backwards?

    The Jets need a top pair guy to play with Morrissey and they could fit Pietrangelo without too many cap gymnastics. I wonder if he’d be willing to sign there.

    • For what it’s worth, I think Pietrangelo winds up with the Flames.
      Brodie, Hamonic, Forbert and Gustafsson all walk.


      Just my hunch. Time will tell.

      • I don’t think Calgary looks that direction (just my feeling) as Pietro is going to cost twice what Brodie will. Rather keep Brodie and use the extra money to round out the goalies (likely keep Talbot as this point). Also would MUCH rather keep Forbort than Stone; Forbort replaces a lot of what you lose in Hamonic, while Stone isn’t a top-6 defender in 29 of 31 teams.

      • I don’t think the Flames can keep Stone because they bought him out but due to late injury issues at the start of last season they got a let from the league to sign him to a one year deal.

        Pietrangelo would be a nice upgrade to the lineup but they cannot afford 8 or nine million plus I am always a bit worried about signing guys to long term contracts when they are 30

      • FF,
        Per Capfriendly the Flames have 9 forwards, 5 defensemen and 1 goaltender signed for 2021 plus two buyout fees adding up to a $65,514,167 cap hit. That leaves $15,985,833 cap space. Assuming Brodie, Hamonic, Forbert and Gustafsson all walk. Let’s say Pietrangelo signs for $9M per. That leaves nearly $7M to resign or replace Jankoski, Mangiapane, Kylington, Talbot, Reider, Rinaldo or Quine, and Stone. No doubt that they would be tight against the cap. But, it is at least feasible if they get a cheap replacement for Talbot. Or resign Talbot and trade/replace Rittich.

      • Cliff,

        Don’t get me wrong I would really like to see the Flames land Pietrangelo but if you go a little deeper Into the Flames cap situation there are a couple of things in the way to fit Pietrangelo into the cap.
        Mangiapane played his way onto the second line and is a real solid player will get at least 2.5 – 3.5 million.
        Talbot will probably gets 4 mil.

        If they sign Pietrangelo that would leave the Flames with no depth at all.
        If one or two guys go down they are hooped.

        I think they will sign either Brodie or Hamonic and Gustafson or Forbert.

        Valimaki / Giordano
        Hanifin / Hamonic
        Forbert / Anderson

        You will notice I have Valimaki as a top pair. This guy is a stud, most people don’t know him very well because he was injured but in my opinion he is a top pair #1 defensman

    • Trade for Karl Alzner

    • FlameFan,

      On a related topic, what do think of a Hanifin plus a pick and/or prospect, say Tuulola, to the Penguins for Pettersson and Jarry swap? Would the Flames be willing to walk away from Talbot? Am I being a homer Pens fan? Am I giving too much away for Hanifin?
      Anybody else have thoughts on the swap?

      • Cliff,

        I think the Flames are happy with Talbot and Rittich.
        They have some good prospects coming, the best one is Wolf.

        I think they will be looking to upgrade their forwards.
        If the Flames want to go far in the playoffs they have to get a first line that is bigger and play harder. That means Johnny has to go. Everyone asks the same question why can’t the first line score and I am the only one that will admit it’s because Johnny cannot play when the going gets tough. He is like a pee wee playing with men.

  6. Agree with Lyle….What Leafs have on offer…if it is only Kapanen, AJ, Kerfoot will not get the Leafs a very good defenseman. These are more tradeable than some think as their real dollars are less than their cap dollars. But the Leaf defense is so pathetic almost anything would help.

    Nylander might get you a 2 D…not close to getting you a 1 D. But he had his best year this year and he too is earning less than his cap. So he should get a quality D man

    Leaf D and size and hustle on the lower 6 needs to be improved. Last night’s Bruin game should be a real learning experience for Dubas. When the energy was changing for the Bruins it was the 4 th line that ( deservedly so) was getting a lot of ice time. Then a big hit from a D man. Game changer.

    Sandin ( 20 the choice) Lilligren ( 17 th) never make that hit. Bruin’s Carlo was a high second and the kid who made the hit on Staal was a late 1 st.
    Dubas is too book smart to learn street smarts. He seems lost in his jungle of numbers.

    The flaw of many intelligent young men…they are not as intelligent as they think they are. They need to serve an apprenticeship but sometimes are smart enough to avoid thus losing learning opportunities..

    Leafs would have been better off with Hunter in command. And that one is on Shanahan. Leaf GM is a real reach for a rookie,

    • “The flaw of many intelligent young men…they are not as intelligent as they think they are. They need to serve an apprenticeship but sometimes are smart enough to avoid thus losing learning opportunities.. ”

      Bang on OBD – and that applies to business and politics as well – as we’re discovering today.

    • OBD, your quote George pasted below might be the wisest words I have seen on this sight.

      • Here, here!

  7. George
    From yesterday, I believe we were both off slightly on arbitration and qualifying offer .
    The QA has to be 3 million for AA, cant be under and isn’t plus 10 %.
    To get to arbitration , Holland must offer the 3 million , and have AA reject. At that point team or player can choose arbitration. If no QA is made he goes to the open market .
    With this in mind how do you proceed now if your Holland?
    At the time of deal , GM’s were just told cap of 84-88 million and Holland I assume had no fear of arbitration with the season AA was having , the cap outlook looked great for the next few years . No question losing those picks will sting and is a misstep by Holland, BUT the pandemic and its effects on cap are the major factors , more so than the play of AA in short sample or a sudden change in direction or heart.
    Any opinions on this are appreciated , George this isn’t a troll job on you , your one of the more knowledgeable posters and would like to see your take now knowing the QA amount and arbitration path

    • Not a problem Craig. As I said, I’ve been operating under a misunderstanding of how arbitration works and so welcome the enlightenment.

      I tossed off that “stupid” comment as it relates to Holland without putting a whole lot of thought into it and during one of my “cranky” moods. Us octogenarians are prone to that :).

      It would, however, stand out like a sore thumb if Athanasiou wound up back in Detroit under a show-me deal and wound up developing into an all-round player, along with the two # 2 picks.

      LOL, I know, IF my uncle had different equipment he’d be my aunt.

    • Craig Button was on Edmonton radio last Friday and said he doesn’t think AA will ever be more than a bottom 6 guy on a good team even though he can fly and wire it.
      His take is he doesn’t play well with others – AKA no hockey sense. Can’t play with guys like McDavid and Draisaitl without it.
      Don’t agree with everything Button says, but he might be on to something with AA as the physical tools are there.

      • Craig Button : long winded “insider” with about the same amount of “inside” knowledge as you or me.

    • Oh, and I should have also mentioned Crag that I totally get your point on the pandemic – and the flat-cap – re-writing the traditional approach to contract management. Hell, I’ve been beating the same drum myself for weeks now.

      The only thing that kept bugging me is that Athanasiou only had 9 seasonal games to show that the change of scenery had done him any good (+ 4 in the play-in) which is hardly enough for a proper assessment, plus the fact Holland thought enough of him to relinquish 2 seconds in the first place.

      So perhaps one thing this does underscore – if Holland does indeed say no to anything even close to $3 mil – is my oft-stated opinion that a lot of RFAs (and UFAs) are going to have to drastically lower their expectations. This could be the first signal to that end. Gonna be interesting to say the least.

      • George
        I kept trying to state it really has very little to do with the 9 game sample . Holland knows the player well , I assume he had plans to qualify him or try to resign based off his performance after trade. As I mentioned , he was working off an assumed 84-88 cap, outlook very promising with expansion and TV deals looming . AA was in the midst of a terrible year so I doubt arbitration was a concern for Ken at all. The 3 million QA was probably a number he could work with , since like you said , he believed in the player enough to trade two picks . Then the pandemic hit , cap crashes to 81.5 and immediately gm around the league are forced to start looking for savings or options to match the new cap projection. I think Ken would love to have him back , but he’s not going to overpay to make it happen , especially not now.

      • Like I said yesterday, without the pandemic I agree all day , everyday. To give up two 2nds , you best be sure your cap is able to support the QA or projected signing range. In my opinion Holland would have done that, then the pandemic and flat cap happened . In my previous post I meant Holland would choose to qualify or re sign based on performance after trade , did not mean he would decide IF he would extend an offer at all .

  8. I don’t think we will ever see a first over-all selection traded in the next decades, because the publicity and fear that the team trading away the pick/prospect would be trading a guy who DOES become a generational dominant NHL fixture.
    With that said and looking realistically at this first overall prospect and this top ten offerings, I could see a scenario where a lottery winner would find the Ottawa 3 & 5 as a solid start to a rebuild and maybe players who turn out more valuable than to long term.
    I see Alexis Lafrenière very similar in style to Andrei Svechnikov, and the team going 1st can get that dimension or “two for.”
    I can see why Eugene says he wouldn’t do it, and understand why Rangers would not want the flack a deal like this would cause.
    But…I could realistically see many of the possible teams who could have lost the play-ins need more than one bullet to get to higher levels of excellence.

  9. Agree with (what appears to be consensus above) re Lafrennierre as a Ranger come next season

    The only exception I can see would be a flip with LA which would (1) require LA to covet Lafrennierre so much (over Byfield) that they are willing to give up enough assets to get him; and (2) Gorton willing to accept it

    Yes with Breadman and CK riding the same position; someone will be switching; and yes had Rangers landed in 2 instead of 1 … I’ve got strong confidence that Gorton would have gladly taken Byfield instead of giving up assets to flip to get Lafrennierre (with of course still one of Laf, CK, Breadman switching sides)

    Re the Rumour of Blake offering Gorton; Turcotte and Vilardi to make the flip…. can’t buy it…. I’d expect Gorton to sign off on that immediately and Blake kicked in the keister

    Sens …. 3rd & 5th for Lafrennierre ….. nope

    If there is movement in top 5; I could see Dorion trying to flip 3rd for 2nd to get Byfield (over Stutzle)

    With George re massive potential on Byfield in the future… C. over wing; one more year to develop just to be honestly compared to Lafrennierre (QB still 17 for another 14 hours; AL is 19 in 7;weeks); QB still listed as 6 ‘ 4 1/4” ; 215… note that listing has not changed since last summer when he was 16 ; even if he doesn’t get taller; at a minimum by the time he’s 21 he’ll be 230…. So to me …. Lafrennierre is better now but overall I see their prime years … 21-27 as Byfield being the better asset

    So what extra does Dorion have to give Blake to get Blake to accept Stutzle over Byfield…. will Isle’s first (which is looking now to be in the 22-25 range) and Sens 2nd (33rd) do it….

    3rd; 22nd ; 33rd for 2nd overall ? If Dorion can get Blake to bite on that 👍👍👍👍👍 for Sens

    Sens would still pick up Drysdale or Raymond @ 5

  10. 1St overall pick. Rangers are still in rebuilding state, have been in that stage for several years so it’s in a mature state, they don’t need QUANTITY, they will keep the 1st and go for QUALITY. Same goes for LA, They have collected a lot of good picks the past two years and still trading off older players for picks. The rest of the top 9 pickers are in various stages of rebuilding so I’m thinking that they to will draft the best player available. The interesting part of the draft starts at #10 Winnipeg, they have a lot of really good young forwards but the exit of D-men cost them dearly, I could see them moving the #10 pick for an experienced top #4 D-man, they are not rebuilding, they just did that, they need to plug a hole or two. Nashville at #11 could also move that pick to plug a hole at forward, lot of talent on that team but something is wrong there. Also, no way can they move several of their big money contracts, take a look at their centers and what they produce and the money they have committed to them YUCKIE. Carolina at #13 could also move the pick, young, lot’s of talent, but something is missing. Oilers at #14 could also move the pick, they need a second line forward that can score, a D-man ( don’t they always need a D-man) and maybe a goalie. Pitts at #15 – this pick is as good as gone, they already said that they are not going into rebuild, so if they need a D-man what else do they have to offer to secure a top #4 D-man ?

  11. Re

    “ The Winnipeg Jets need more size on their blueline. Boylen wonders if GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will try to address that issue.”


    how about 6’1” , 230, close to 940 NHL games played…. GUARANTEED pittance required for Chevy to give up in trade to acquire

    listening to any and all offers 👍😁

    • Pengy,

      All NHL, AHL, ECHL, USHL, KHL and any leagues that has ever existed, exists or will exist general managers decline any offer for said player.

      Decline, decline with malice, block your phone# and email address.

      Nobody anywhere is interested in Rutherfords Penguin trash.

      • Hi RRJ

        Well unfortunately your statement re that particular player; is pretty dang close to truth

        I’m a full believer that any trade (however remote) is possible (could be extremely unlikely; but still a possibility)

        Edmonton would never trade McD for a 1st ; but if the trade was top line Centre; future top pairing D ; 2nd line winger (total all for same Cap; but lower cash) plus 2 A prospects; plus 4 1sts; plus 4 2nds… Edmonton would take it

        Just to emphasize and use the insane….. if Joe Sackic was crazy enough to offer (Per above) Mac K; Makar; Burakovsky; Bowen; Bowers ; 4 1sts; 4 2nds… then Holland agrees

        So that is the two extreme goalposts of a trade… meaning a trade is (albeit extremely improbable) possible (minuscule likelihood but above zero)

        Under the same logic …. the 6’1” ; 230 lb DMan … is viable in a trade

        No team turns down him retained at 50%, plus sweetener of a top 6 winger (under a very low Cap); plus a prospect; plus 2 firsts

        No one is offering even a 5th for him straight up

        There is the two goalposts… there is a deal somewhere in there

        ….. or GMJR could do the simplest and most logical thing for a team already reported to cut costs…. buy him out… saves $2.75 M in cash; saves $2.1 M in Cap in EACH of next 2 years; AND immediately makes team better by a gargantuan margin


  12. If I was Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, I would rather trade Kerfoot than I would trade Kapenen. I dont want Kerfoot anymore. He is OK in the regular season, but not at all in the playoffs.

    I would only trade Kapenen if it were for someone like Parayko or Bertuzzi on St. Louis. Now those two would be worth it.
    Now, the Leafs may not have room (or enough money) for Spezza or even Marner if they got Parayko or Bertuzzi. But, the Leafs would still have better Deffence.

    I would not accept any offer from Ottawa because their team was horrible this year. And plus, far less skill than the Leafs have. One of their players and Cici mixed, don’t get me started.

    This is all my point of view but, im not the GM.

    • Hi Thad

      Outside chance Kappy gets Bortuzzo (I think that’s who you meant and not Tyler Burtuzzi from Detroit; which won’t happen)

      Zero chance Kappy gets Parayko….. I think Iowa Prince just keeled over on that post

    • Just another Toronto our trash for your star scenario.

      Why in the hell would St Louis make that deal?

      Leafs fans, always looking to trade chicken bologna for prime rib.

  13. Re

    “ Kapanen or Kerfoot at best could bring a second-pairing right-side defenseman. They won’t bring in a top-pairing guy unless they’re packaged with a first-round pick and/or a top prospect, and they’ll have to target a team in need of shedding salary.”….. 100 % Lyle; possibly even more

    Again … IMHO Leafs can’t win cup with 1/2 Cap on 4 fwds; and must improve D… so one of top 4 must go ; and it won’t be JT (his control) or AM (unless Leafs are then on a “new” 5 year rebuild) so it’s MM or WW; and way more teams can fit WW in and have space than teams (if there are any) that have space (and proper trade assets they are willing to give up; and that Leafs will accept) for MM

    Sitting idle…. no cup; still cap issues

    Moving Kappy or Kerfoot type of players…. won’t result in team make-up that is cup worthy

    Dubas; roll up your sleeves; put on your dual diplomacy/thinking cap…. and gedderdone

  14. On exactly which planet does Kerfoot net a 1 or 2 defenceman in a trade? Cause it sure aint planet earth.

    • Hi RRJ

      I believe it’s Neptune or Uranus… I’ve been informed that Hell freezes over there

    • Very correct here.

      I would not move Kapanen – he is too valuable and is your replacement for Nylander who must go to help the cap space.

      Kerfoot would look nice elsewhere and who cares what they get back – it’s a free up cap space move. I could live with losing Kerfoot and Nylander if it means we can pitch for Pieterangelo.

      Trading of anyone outside of Nylander would net you a maybe 3-4 D and maybe a 2-3 for Nylander.

  15. Looks like the annual our duds for your studs trade rumor season haas begun.

    • Hi RRJ

      the Covid “ our duds for your studs” has been re-branded to “ our JJ’s for your 50 % retained McD’s sweepstakes”

  16. Possible trade partners in the off-season?

    1. WPG gets Turris from NAS, with a sweetener for taking that contract (and WPG fills out centre position, especially if Little is on LTIR). Jets have the cap room and a possible/likely need at that position. Sweetener makes it worthwhile.

    2. MTL gets Dubnyk from MIN, with a sweetener. Wild shed cap space, Habs (who have the cap room) finally get a reliable backup for Price, and it’s only for one year, which is ideal. Sweetener makes it worth it for both sides.

    Flame away, all 🙂

    • Dubnyk and reliable dont belong in the same sentence.

      Doubtful Montreal wants to drop 14 million on goalies next year.

      • That’s fair. But dropping $11M the last few years has been a total disaster. They need someone that can actually give Price a break, pretty much no matter what the cost!!

    • Why would Habs want Dubbyk? Makes no sense from a habs point of view

  17. I’m having a hard time seeing Toronto getting any better than they currently are. They have to deal with a flat cap for the foreseeable future, no defense outside of Reilly and Muzzin, goalie issues and the fact that no GM is going to do them any favours.

    Kerfoot, Kappy nor Johnnson are going to fetch what they need and they’d be dollar for dollar deals at best. Tavares (nothing against him, but SUCH a bad signing) isn’t going anywhere. Marner and Nylander might get something good back, but not enough and it’d be dollar for dollar, as again, GMs aren’t gonna help Dubas out.

    In my mind, there is only one option….Matthews.

    He’s the type of player that opposing GMs would open their vaults to acquire. Trading him and Nylander (together, but likely seperate) could land alot of the pieces necessary to fill the holes, leave cap space, gain some picks/prospects and still leave plenty of firepower up front.

    Please go easy on this humble armchair GM. Que the peeper slapping!

    • Actually Artsy19, what you say makes a lot of sense if people look at the situation logically. Unfortunately, there never seems to be any toom at the inn for logic.

      Juggling rosters to take on cap hits of the magnitude of Tavares, Marner and even Nylander would be a helluva task because a GM would then to find a trading partner for the players he’d need to get rid of to make cap room. And that’s already promising to be an exercise in futility with so many teams NEEDING to shed space and so few teams with the space to take it on. And if some team did try that, the players they’d have to shed to make room would need to be good enough – and with term – to entice another team.

      But a Matthews would be an entirely different story.

      • Yes, Artsey and George you guys are spot on.

        If the leafs think it is possible to get a top 4 defenseman for any of Nylander, Kappy, Kerfoot, or Johnson they are dreaming.

        I use the example of Kadri a #2 center that played with grit gets them Barrie who after one year the leafs don’t want
        So if they think any of those forwards will net them a top 4 they are sorely mistaken.

      • If for no other reason than prospects/picks/solid depth. Try for a D, but not necessarily a #1 D. Reilly is as good a #1 as you need. He just needs solid help.

        There are quite a few FA’s available to solidify the team. If they have the space, they could take a shot at Pietrangelo and Lehner…..as long as they don’t overspend. If they don’t want to spend, build the D properly around Reilly.

        Otherwise, there are ALOT of options to gain in random trades that would come from the excess of riches Matthews can provide.

        The be all/end all of it comes down to core for me……Marner, Tavares, Kappy, Reilly are a good start. Better than a lot of teams.

    • The most significant move the Leafs can make can be summed up in two words:
      Bruce Boudreau (unless our friend Ron is available).

      • Gabby would coach the Leafs for the price of room and board.

  18. As a Stars fan, how about this for a trade. Seguin and Klingberg, plus a pick or prospect for the Rags first overall. Klinger is expendable with Harley coming on, Seguin is still relatively young, but under contract and I believe would thrive in a different system. Just musing, Rags would probably pass, and I can’t blame them, but it is at least plausible. Thoughts?

    • Not – a – chance. Lafreniere is a Ranger in the opening seconds of the draft.

    • My thoughts are …. cap space. How in the world does NY accommodate that trade?

      As I mentioned in a different trade scenario. This trade would be NYs 1st plus (losing ) DeAngelo, Strome , Lemieux.

      Ny would over the cap limit with 7-8 players to re-sign or replace.

      Love Seguin! Ny can’t afford this trade .

    • $$$$$.


  19. So Artsy, what you are saying is that the Leafs have become Oilers East?

    • Not at all! Kenny Holland “inherited” Edmonton’s cap mess.

      Toronto brass created their own!

    • Edmonton also has a nice stable of prospects ready to move up (finally!!) to replace the bad contracts coming off the books within the next year or two.

      They also don’t have 1/2 their cap tied up in 4 forwards.

  20. At the end of the day, the Leafs have major, deep-rooted flaws that can only be resolved with 1 if not more ‘balls out’ moves by Dubas that dramatically shift the path they are on.

    I think Matthews stay’s no matter what – he’s the best player on the team and you do not replace that type of talent. Therefore, I think they need to try to move Tavares or Marner – Nylander won’t bring back the required talent / assets and his cap isn’t the issue – so I don’t think he goes anywhere. I’m also done with Johnnson – fine clearing him out along with Kerfoot and Kappy potentially.

    Also – if we can be Lehner and swap him in for Andersen I’m game for that change. Robin is a warrior – if not – I think you keep Freddy for a shorter-term resign 2-3 years if he’s open to it. The other options out there aren’t that great.

    Anything less than this is going to be patch-work changes that will not address the miserable back-end. Dubas needs to go big or else his head is coming off in 2021.

  21. Montreal over Pittsburgh. Arizona over Nashville.

    Nobody saw that coming….



    Wonder what ever happened to the resident know it all?

    • Lot of people seen Nashville being ousted by Arizona

  22. Actually, Vinnie, didn’t Shanahan start the re-build when he took over 6 years ago?

  23. I think Marner would be considered a salary dump at this point. Hes really good, but not $10 mill good. And Tavares isn’t going anywhere, unless he chooses to leave. And the list of places he’d want to go would be short, not to mention HIGHLY unlikely to be able to take on his salary. Leafs would get fleeced.

    Packaging Matthews and Nylander will build the team into not just playoff contender, but Cup contender. Separate, it’d likely be the same.

    Matthews is the key. In my eyes, the only way Matthews leads the TML to a Cup is by being traded for the right parts.

  24. Final thought on the day, as my wee Oiler/Wings fans are craving my attention.

    The 2 reasons TML is where they are comes down to 2 things……

    1…..BIG mistake not hiring Hunts.
    2…..Tavares signing.

  25. tough news , Dale Hawerchuk has passed away from cancer. I lived in the Peg from ’87-90 and was fortunate to have seen ‘Ducky’ play many times at the old Winnipeg arena.

    Sad for his family and friends , gone far too soon.

  26. Bergeron 35
    Krejci 34
    Rask 33
    Marchand 32

    WOW .. time flies

  27. Leafs only Hope !!
    Close Up Shop !
    Let another owner take ownership ..
    Perhaps. Even a move to another city !
    Leafs have been a total Embarrassment for many years and disgrace to the Sport !!

  28. will be interesting to see what the panthers do.the q motorcade on oakland park blvd is a distant memory. randy moller chirped about drinking from the cup, and how q was going to teach the cats how to play defense.barkov was chirping early on about the playoffs. he’s only 25, but hes been banged up a bit.the defense is a train wreck and bob was not sharp all season. on the other hand, few noticed or cared.

  29. Spector you honestly must be crazy if you think Kerfoot could land a top 4 RHD

    • Here’s what I said: “Kapanen or Kerfoot at best could bring a second-pairing right-side defenseman.” Notice I said “at best” and “second-pairing right-side defenseman.”

      Is it crazy to assume Kerfoot could bring at best a second-pairing right-side defenseman? Perhaps. Then again, if someone proposed swapping Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson on June 28, 2016, they would’ve been mercilessly mocked, yet it still happened. Strange things sometimes happen in the trade market.