NHL Rumor Mill – August 20, 2020

by | Aug 20, 2020 | Rumors | 61 comments

What’s next for the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Carolina Hurricanes now that they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs? Read on for the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski wondered if the Arizona Coyotes will re-sign winger Taylor Hall, whose efforts to land a lucrative long-term contract could be affected by the flat salary cap for next season. Team ownership met with the pending UFA before the postseason began, but the club only has $1.51 million in cap space for next season.

Has Taylor Hall played his final game with the Arizona Coyotes? (NHL Images)

Wyshynski wondered if the Nashville Predators might be interested as they need a shakeup following another disappointing postseason. He also noted the Coyotes need to bolster their anemic offense.

AZCOYOTESINSIDER.COM (subscription required): Craig Morgan suggests the Coyotes flawed, tapped-out roster could need another rebuild, pointing out they were overmatched in skill and scoring in the playoffs. They lack a true No.1 center, scoring punch, and physicality at forward and on the blueline.

Efforts to acquire young talent will be hampered by a lack of a first- and third-round pick in this year’s draft. Morgan doesn’t expect pending UFAs Brad Richardson and Carl Soderberg will return and speculates players with one year on their contracts, such as Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, and Alex Goligoski could be shopped.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Difficult decisions await new general manager Steve Sullivan. They must attempt to convince Hall to re-sign, but even if he won’t get as much as he would’ve before COVID-19 flattened the salary cap, the Coyotes must shed salary to keep him.

Hall will likely test the market if the Coyotes opt to rebuild again. However, I don’t see him landing with the Predators unless they can dump some salary. They’ve got over $72 million committed to 17 players.

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reports the Chicago Blackhawks could face another off-season salary cap crunch with veteran starting goalie Corey Crawford an unrestricted free agent and RFAs Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome due for raises. She also said there’s some buzz around the league that this could be it for general manager Stan Bowman and head coach Jeremy Colliton.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope believes the goalie situation remains murky, the defense has some talent but little cohesion, and their bottom-six forwards were sub-par.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Phil Thompson believes the Blackhawks will be hard-pressed to go anywhere without Crawford. They have no one in their system capable of taking over as their starting goalie.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers wondered what the future holds for Brent Seabrook in the wake of two hip surgeries and shoulder surgery earlier this year. He has an unmovable contract worth $6.875 million annually for the next four seasons. Trying to trade him would mean including a key young player they cannot afford to give up. Andrew Shaw also faces an uncertain future as concussion injuries mount for the 29-year-old forward.

Lazerus and Powers expect Olli Maatta and Zack Smith to be bought out, freeing up a combined $5.5 million for next season. They also wondered about Alex Nylander’s place in the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blackhawks have over $74 million tied up in 19 players next season. If Seabrook and Shaw both start next season on long-term injury reserve, it would give them over $10.7 million in cap flexibility, enough to re-sign Crawford, Kubalik, and Strome and still leave a little wiggle room for other moves.

Seabrook, however, remains determined to return, as could Shaw if he feels he can continue his playing career. That could lead to buyouts for Maatta and Smith.

Crawford seems willing to finish his playing career in Chicago. The 35-year-old netminder could ink a one-year, bonus-laden deal with a low base salary ($2.5 – $3 million) to provide the Hawks with a bit of breathing space. Kubalik and Strome will get raises but could be signed to affordable short-term deals with promises of bigger rewards ahead.

Upsetting the Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round and the emergence of young players like Kubalik, Strome, Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, and Adam Boqvist could give Bowman and Colliton a reprieve. Nevertheless, the front-office shakeups earlier this year suggest they’re on notice.

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan speculates the Carolina Hurricanes could part ways with one or two of their pending UFA defensemen like Sami Vatanen, Joel Edmundson, or Trevor van Riemsdyk. She also wonders if Justin Williams has played his final NHL game and expects the budget-conscious Hurricanes to stick with their affordable goalie tandem of Petr Mrazek and James Reimer for one more season. Both are signed through 2020-21.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock also wondered if the 38-year-old Williams has come to the end of his playing career. He feels the Hurricanes lack an intimidating presence on their blueline. He thinks they’re built to make the playoffs but the Boston Bruins have shown them in successive postseasons what it takes to become a Stanley Cup contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Cap Friendly, the Hurricanes have over $72 million invested in 16 players, with RFAs Warren Foegele and Haydn Fleury also due for new contracts.

Those two will be affordable short-term signings, as could Edmundson if they want to retain some snarl on defense, but they won’t have enough to go shopping for an established starting goalie or to bring in some physical leadership. They could make it work for Williams if he wants to come back but I think this was his last hurrah.


  1. The Hurricanes have too many D already to bring back Edmundson. I would love to have him back, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t see a slot. This already assumes Vatanen doesn’t get re-signed.

    LD1: Slavin
    LD2: Skjei
    LD3: Fleury
    LD4: Gardiner
    LD5: Bean
    RD1: Hamilton
    RD2: Pesce
    RD3: Keane, maybe? Or Fleury off-side?

    Unless they can find a way to unload Gardiner, I don’t see a slot for Edmundson. Even if they do manage to find a taker, there’s still no real slot available to pay ~$3.5M for a 6th/7th D.

    Maybe Pengy will take Gardiner as insurance in case Jack Johnson gets traded or bought out.

    • Whalercane
      It’s possible that Canes could upgrade at “D” but it will cost them a lot. They need to “Shop” at a store that can give them options. Ducks have 3 D-men that are in their 20’s, in their prime and have reasonable contacts, GM here (Murray) has stated in the past that he doesn’t want to trade any of the 3 Fowler. Manson, Lindholm but that was before the Pandemic. Ducks are a team that has to share greater LA area with Kings so they considered a budget team. Ducks also are rebuilding so I am guessing that because of (maybe) no fans in the stands, reduced revenue, Ducks may reconsider not making trades of their core players. As a rebuilding team that #13 pick would look awful attractive to the Ducks as a STARTING point. Canes also have quite a few “prospects” that could seal the deal but Winnipeg with the #10 pick has also the same needs and prospect pool as Canes. So I am guessing that there will be deals made draft day or just before.

      • The two players on the Ducks that would fill Carolina’s needs are Manson and Gibson so they are probably not trading partners. The Ducks weren’t happy with how Carolina handled the Faulk trade that fell through. I wonder if they still have Waddell’s phone number.

      • GP
        The conditions of the economy has changed.
        I’m sure Ducks would talk to Waddell.
        Looking at the west it will be several years before Duck have a shot to make playoffs. They are SEVERAL players away not just one in a key position. If they can LOSE with GIBSON, MANSON, LINDHOLM, SILVERBERG etc they can lose without them. They have 6-7 really good hockey players on this team but only one I’d consider game changer and that’s Gibson. They have to rebuild and that means taking risks by trading the quality you have for Picks and Prospects. There seems to be need for a D-man for several teams to move up to the next level, so I would expect Ducks will be getting a lot of calls in the next 6 weeks getting offers. Would the Ducks trade all 6-7 guys who could bring a good return, no don’t think so but I can see one of them being traded with a first round pick being in the mix. Ducks have the #6 pick in first round, and the Boston #1 pick which I expect to be late first round, so getting a 3rd first rounder somewhere between #10-#20 would be ideal, At #10 is Winnipeg who needs “D”, at #13 is Carolina who needs hard hitter “D” ( Manson type) #15 is Pittsburgh and maybe Montreal who has a boat load of picks piled up.

    • Whalercane,

      I think Gardiner is tradeable. He could help a few teams but he has to play with a defensive partner that that can make up for his lack of recovery speed.

      The combination of Trevor Van Riemsdyk and Gardiner was brutal to watch because they both couldn’t keep up with the speed of the game. I actually thought Gardiner skated a lot better after the break. The problem for Gardiner in Carolina is he apparently can’t play his off side and Carolina is so deep on the left side.

      Waddell tinkered with the defense in the off season and was trying to fix the problem he caused, well before Hamilton was injured. At the time he was looking for a physical shutdown defenseman that plays the right side. The injuries to the depleted right side of the defense was too much to overcome.

    • Hi Whalercane

      Re “ Maybe Pengy will take Gardiner as insurance in case Jack Johnson gets traded or bought out.”

      Let’s combine that thought…. JJ for JG…
      Where do I sign ? 😁🧐🤪

      • JJ didn’t want to play in Carolina and the feeling is mutual. We like him right where he is at, thank you!

      • Thanks GP

        We ; don’t like where he is right now

        A buyout would solve everybody’s issues… not on any NHL team… and his wife & children would be happy to have him retired and at home; Pens save cash and Cap; and immediately Pens tremendously better

      • Holy 💩 pengy! Did you read Rutherford interview about jj today? Jj might get a 10 year extension at 10 mil a year! Wowsers.

    • The thing with Hamilton is you always want more and never get it.

      He is a good offensive dman, but with that size you always want to see more physicality.

      Unfortunately it isn’t in his DNA so you have to except him for what he is.

  2. The Canes are close and don’t have to do much. I thought they could get past Boston this year .
    Chicago forward group is solid. The backend needs some serious rework. What is the financial impact to buying out Seabrook ?

      • Seabrook had three surgeries – both hips and shoulder – and he may not be able to resume his career. LTIR?
        Alternately he recovers well and can contribute again with the Hawks.

    • I agree silver7,
      Canes are close, and this offseason is big for them. I assume Vatanen walks, and Williams is gone. But Edmunson could be brought back.
      The one upgrade I think they need is in between the pipes. Keeping 1 of there current netminders is good, but an upgrade would push them over the top.

      • Do the Canes draft Askarov at 13? Does he get to 13?
        If the Canes don’t do the Oil at 14?
        Other than a tender, the Canes should stay the course, let you young players develop. Add some veteran grit in off season or at deadline.

      • Ray,

        I think Carolina drafting Askarov is a real possibility but they may have to move in front of Minnesota to do it. I doubt the analytics guys in Carolina would want to draft a goalie at 13 but I think they are in a position in their organizations development (thank you Ron Francis) in which they can take that chance.

    • ‘Canes close? To what?

      They had three players with 60+ points and then a precipitous drop off in scoring from their forwards. Have a look again at the team stats and tell me if you still think they are close.

      • Some choose to look at team stats to form their opinions others choose to watch the games.

      • Stats are for losers.

        Canes have an excellent coach who has one a Stanley. A mix of youth Necas and Svechnikov who will be a perianal top 10 goal scorer. Their defence as a group as deep and good as any team in the league.

    • Seabrook may develop a strange allergy to his gloves?! Jus sayin

  3. A lot of people said Canes could get by Bruins but not so much.

    • The Canes are a good team. A playoff team. Not a championship team. But considering where this franchise has been, it’s a start.

      Kudus to BOS, they were simply better and made the plays they had to make when they needed to be made. I’d be shocked if they aren’t in the final 4. I couldn’t see any glaring weaknesses.

    • Obe most of the Pundits predicted that.

      They judge it on the bruins round robin exhibition play and Carolina handling of the NYR

      Wasn’t even close in the end.

  4. CBJ ended yesterday as well. They overachieved given the UFA losses and huge injury issues. There is a ton of buzz from legitimate sources Jarmo wants to be very active this offseason looking for an impact F via trade. With great depth at D and G and F like Anderson, Wennberg and potentially high end prospects available (there is a ton of interest in Marchenko though he is likely only available in a package for a true elite player) it will be an intriguing offseason.

  5. Hopefully Waddell has learned a lesson from his moves last summer.
    He signed two free agents Dzingel and Gardiner to what most fans assumed were affordable contracts. Both were not known for their playoff success but were skilled players brought in to improve the power play. Both ended up as healthy scratches in the playoffs having been beaten out by players from within the organization. They returned to the lineup as a result of injuries to other players.

    Carolina’s core of young NHL players continued to improve this season. Necas and Geekie took the next step in their development and proved they are ready for the NHL. Fleury finally solidified his position this year. He is a good example for high draft picks that have trouble transitioning to the NHL. His attitude, persistence and work ethic is the reason he has developed into a solid defenseman.

    I don’t think Williams will play anther year. I hope he does. His skills aren’t what they used to be but he still makes every line he plays on a better line, the team a better team, and the organization a better organization. If he is not a player he needs to be a coach.

    • All good points, GP. It turns out that both Dzingel and Gardiner were overpayments, though they seemed reasonable at the time. But with ~$9M in cap space, and only Fleury and Foegele (and maybe Williams) to re-sign, the Canes can stomach those costs.

      Still, finding a new home for Gardiner and/or Dzingel would help. You could then have the luxury of bringing Edmundson back, or of taking yet another crapshoot at a FA winger. (with size, please?).

      I don’t see either player being wanted elsewhere, especially with most teams having more pressing cap concerns, so they might as well stick with them vs. a buyout. If pressed against the cap, the situation changes.

      This becomes a bigger problem in 2021-2022 when Svechnikov and Hamilton are RFA/UFA. Though Dzingel (and Semin!) come off the books by then.

      • Im glad you mentioned Hamilton’s contract. I don’t think Carolina can take a chance on losing Hamilton for nothing. If they cant resign him before the season starts they should trade him.
        Pesce moves up to his spot and they are looking for a 2nd pair right side defenseman and a PP specialist. I don’t see Vatanen being that guy. Hamilton’s contract is the biggest off season issue.

      • Well, in finding a home for Dzingel you can rule out Ottawa.

    • Whalercane and GP, is Jake Bean developing or no?
      #’s look fine in Charlotte (good team), but after a couple seasons is he ready to make the jump?
      If Gardner can be moved he seems like a guy who can help a PP with Hamilton, at least he thrived in that role in Jr.

      • Ray,

        The general consensus is that Bean is ready and its the depth on the left side that is preventing him from getting playing time at the NHL level. I am assuming he is the 7th defenseman next year working his way into the lineup and probably getting PP time as you mentioned. If they resign Edmunson, either Bean or Fleury would probably be traded and Gardiner would not be on the team.

        The Canes will probably lose a good defenseman in the expansion draft. Ron Francis knows them well.

  6. John Chayka, left the coyotes in a bad spot.
    He has put them into cap jail, traded away their #1 and 3 round draft picks for players that may not even play on their team next year ( Hall and Soderberg)

    Chayka and Dubas are examples of young GM’s that were given the reins way to early.

  7. Just had a look at The Stars cap situation for next year and they are in surprisingly good shape.

    Could they take a run at signing Pietrangelo next year?

    • Hi FF

      yes $18.5 M to sign 7 ; plus the bonus attraction of no state tax does give them positioning to attempt the Petro coup

      Petro; Klinger ; Heiskenan on the right D… Hello … that’s a trove of spectacular assets

      Would Petro go to a Div rival?

      I still think Army gets it done; Petro stays with Blues

      If they lose to ‘Nucks (certainly possible now)… strategies could change

      • Pengy

        Yes, that would be a scary good Defense that could push Dallas over the top.

        Not good for the Flames or any other team in the west, or east for that matter

  8. Nazim Kadri and the Avalanche are off to round 2. 6 goals for Kadri, hard hits with heavy forechecking and overall gritty hardnosed effort.

    I wonder if any other team could have used that type of player during the play in round.

    Nah, much better to have a 3rd line slug and a dman that cant play any defence.

    Kyle Dumbass at his best. Good move Boy Blunder.

    Islanders advance with Johnny its not about the money Tavares gets eliminated again.

    Kadri off to round 2 while the Charmin Soft Leafs are booking tee times.

    The Shanascam…. in all its glory.

    • Another late night, Ron? Man, you need to cut back.
      How about Bruce Boudreau, you OK with him behind the bench?
      Leaf fans are waiting for your critical input.

      • Better Boudreau than Keefe….Leaf issues start at the top…with Shanahan and his ridiculous “plan”.

      • I hope you enjoyed yet another regular season of high octane fast paced pond hockey with the usual playoff success. Oh wait, thats right the Leafs didnt make the playoffs.

        Leafs are going nowhere until Doobas realizes the Ice Capades dont cut it when Mens Hockey begins.

        “The Superstar Line”, what a joke.

        Have a fantastic day!!!

      • Your Canucks are lookin’ good Ron!

      • Ray,

        Hardly my Canucks but I do think theyve played remarkably well vs the Wild and now the Blues. I can only assume Markstrom is having his bar tabs picked up by Tanev, Stecher and the rest of the turnstiles not named Hughes that call themselves defencemen, lol.

      • Still Dim Jim, or are you coming around to the way he has built the team?
        Definitely hanging with a tough physical Blues team.

      • Dim Jim has spent the Nucks into a cap crunch. Far to many dollars wasted on Eriksson, Beagle, Roussel, Myers and gifted their 1st rounder to T Bay for Miller when he should have gotten their pick for taking the cap hit (Miller has been pretty good though).

        Be very interesting to see what Bungling Jimmy does in the off season. Needs money for Markstrom this off season with Hughes and Pettersson up next year.

        Bennings a fool if he resigns Tanev for anything more than 2.5 for 2 years. Tanevs absolutely brutal.

      • Ya, Canucks have cap problems like a many teams but they have some $$ to spend.
        Not all Jim’s fault. Agree on Ericksson, I think a lot of us saw that coming. Heck, they still have to pay Luongo for another 2 years.
        Can’t see him letting Markstrom go and will have to buck up. Toffoli might be a luxury they can’t afford without moving out someone else.
        Not sure what they can get Tanev for if they decide they want to keep him. Can’t see a raise in these conditions, will likely get less wherever he goes. Not a star but you have to admit the guy battles hard.

    • But Ronald, he’s only had 6 years!

  9. Carolina is good enough to beat a lot of the playoff teams. Boston is the ultimate benchmark for every team. Carolina upset Washington last year in a series in which line match ups and last change played a significant role. As BrindAmour mentioned last year and again this year “there is not a lot of fall off from Bostons first through fourth line.” Their first line is called the perfection line for a reason. They have earned that reputation with their two way play. But the rest of their lines can also play against any teams 1st line and hold their own. It almost seems like your team is playing against a first line and three second lines.
    Boston can play any style a team wants to play but they dictate the way they want the game to be played. They are hard on good young teams that that still make small mistakes because they make you pay for every mistake.

    I hope Boston’s goal tending holds up because I really enjoy watching excellent hard working two way hockey and if Boston wins the cup it should put an end to the asterisk people have been discussing.

    • GP, IMO the Canes are good young team that made it to the ECF last year.
      Tough match up against my B’s, and to your point, it was because of depth up front that the Bruins won.
      If the Canes can deal from their D depth to add up front they can improve. Both tenders signed for next year, not sure if that is good, bad or just meh.

  10. From today’s Spector’s board on the three teams eliminated yesterday

    Canes have a good team; they are not that far off… yes I think they likely lose Edmunson … Bean certainly not at Edmunson level but ELC over what Edmunson worth and will get!!!! JW (a fan fav and certainly one of my favs) will likely retire. Great career JW!

    Chi … great youth coming through… I couldn’t believe that even with Crawford (35) ; Keith (37) and Toews; Smith ; Kane all 32 this year; and De Haan and Carpenter 30 in less than a year; that Hawks listed as youngest team (of 16 in round 1). Kubalik… wow. Dach and Strome…. nice to have those guys in your future. Seabrook very nigh untradeable and a buyout that only saves $2.8 M overall and but $300 K (that’s it) in Cap for ‘20-‘21… not happenin’

    ‘Yotes… fogeedddabowdit …. screwed. Hall not happening. To fit him they are moving more than just Stepan (and that will cost a pretty good sweetener …. Garland??) AND Hall would need to take less than he could get elsewhere to stay on a team that structurally has many issues… Hall moving on IMHO

    Re today’s games… I think Ovi et al leaving bubble tonight or tomorrow morn; but Flames push it to 7

    Knights and Avs looking more and more like the WCF teams

    If next round has Bruins/Bolts…. fans then are missing out on what would have been an excellent ECF

  11. Hey – regarding the Coyotes situation, would it make sense for Jeff Gorton and the Rangers to inquire about Stepan. Maybe package Georgiev and another player (DeAngelo comes to my mind now that he has improved his play).

    That gives NYR a legit 2C and gives PHX a legit/cheap goalie prospect (providing they also move Rantaa for assets).

    It also basically reverses the previous trade between the two teams – but stranger things have happened.

    • Hi Chris

      Gorton won’t need to give Georgiev and/or ADA in the trade

      Yotes have to sweeten the deal for someone to take on Stepan.. they have no Cap room

      I’ve been suggesting many times ; to George(who doesn’t want it) that Dorian could take on Stepan ; get Garland in the deal ; at the expense of maybe one of their 2nds

      Stepan has a big Cap hit; but only owed $2M for his last year

      Someone is going to gain assets(s) from taking on Stepan

      • ” at the expense of maybe one of their 2nds”

        In all likelihood, they could then flip him at next years deadline for a similar return to what they gave up for him, depending of course on health and performance.

      • Hi DM


        Flip him at TDL with 50% retained (bonus as they would have already accepted the fact of his Sal) and maximize the return

  12. Doesn’t Toews want to go home and play for his City.

    Isn’t that what all NHL players want?

    Trade Johnathan and his $10.5m contract to Winnipeg. I’m sure he’ll waive his NMC to lead the Jets to the Cup.

    • All NHLers want to play for the Leafs.

  13. Pengy,

    The Score has an interesting article on Jimmy Rutherfords love of JJ.

    Good player, good salary…….

    good times, lmao

    • Maybe we can start up a Go Fund Me Account to set up a life size statue of JJ at the Pens arena for the life time Pen. Hum, they can also sell JJLM ( Jack Johnson’s Life Matters” Sweat Shirts to help fund it.

      • Makes sense, after all Johnsons parents used him as their personal Go Fund Me…

  14. Read the Sportsnet article. It now all makes sense. Rutherford drafted him 3 overall while in Carolina and is stuck in the past

    • Rutherford has a history of reuniting with players he trades or lets walk. Matt Cullen twice, Erik Cole, Sean Hill, Ron Hainsey, and Jack Johnson to name a few off the top of my head.

  15. Bruins have $$ coming off the books mainly at the expense of Krug who I would let go for a shot at T Hall, have no idea what they are going to do with Rask who has 1 year left,. maybe they could use Rask trade for a top 2 Dman Let Krug go sign Hall sign a UFA goalie and add Two years to #46 contract at same $$$ if he won’t do it let him go also

    • Nobody is going to trade for a 33 yr old quitter.

      • Little harsh……no ?