NHL Rumor Mill – August 25, 2020

by | Aug 25, 2020 | Rumors | 73 comments

Penguins GM says there’s a “very, very good chance” he’ll trade Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry, plus the latest on the Blue Jackets and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN’s Darren Dreger and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Toronto Maple Leafs are working on a trade that would sent winger Kasperi Kapanen back to the Pittsburgh Penguins. When the details are announced, I’ll have an analysis of the deal in the News section.


THE SCORE: Josh Wegman cited The Athletic’s Josh Yohe reporting Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford admits his club likely cannot afford to retain Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. Both goaltenders are restricted free agents with arbitration rights following this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (NHL Images).

We know that there’s a very, very good chance that we’re going to have to move one of them,” said Rutherford. He also indicated he’s spoken with other NHL general managers, though he hasn’t reached the point where serious trade discussions have started. “There is already interest,” he said. “And it looks like we’re going to have to move one of them.”

Wegman reports the Penguins will have $12.4 million in salary-cap space this off-season. They also have six RFAs in addition to Murray and Jarry to re-sign, as well as decisions to be reached regarding UFAs Conor Sheary, Patrick Marleau, and Justin Schultz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yohe listed the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, and Edmonton Oilers as possible trade partners.

Wild GM Bill Guerin indicated he wasn’t happy with his goaltending following his club’s qualifying-round elimination by the Vancouver Canucks. Cap Friendly indicates he’s got $65.7 million invested in 17 players next season, but he’ll have to find a trade partner for Devan Dubnyk ($4.33 million annual average value through 2020-21, 19-team trade list) or dump the more affordable Alex Stalock ($785K through 2020-21).

The Flames could be in the market if Cam Talbot departs via free agency. The Sabres need an experienced starter but we don’t know the intentions of new GM Kevyn Adams. The budget-conscious Hurricanes could stick with their affordable tandem of James Reimer and Petr Mrazek for another year. The Oilers definitely need help between the pipes, but their limited cap space ($70.4 million invested in 16 players) means they’ll have to shed salary to add a new goalie.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace weighed in on the Blues Jackets offseason needs. He feels they need another top-six center or an impact scorer like the departed Artemi Panarin. He wondered if they’ll draw from their blueline and/or goaltending depth, or shop RFA winger Josh Anderson, or use some prospects as assets to upgrade the offense.

Arace also makes the point that the Jackets must convince defenseman Seth Jones that they’re capable of going deep into the playoffs so he doesn’t depart via free agency in 2022. They must also manage their salary cap accordingly to make Jones one of the league’s highest-paid blueliners.

NHL.COM: Craig Merz reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen plans to rebuild from within rather than through the free-agent market. “I don’t believe in the (free agent) signings to be the answer or recipe for success,” said Kekalainen. “We’ve done a good job building through drafting and having some depth.”

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox believes Josh Anderson will be used as a trade chip. He points out the Jackets are flush with middle-six wingers and Anderson’s game could be attractive to other clubs. His recovery timeline from shoulder surgery is Sept. 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Jackets have $76.2 million invested in 23 players for next season, with Anderson and Pierre-Luc Dubois slated for raises as restricted free agents. Kekalainen recently indicated Brandon Dubinsky’s chronic wrist injury could keep the forward on long-term injury reserve next season, freeing up $5.85 million if necessary.

Kekalainen will have to go shopping in the trade market if he won’t go the UFA route for scoring punch. Anderson seems the most likely to go as his name’s been in the rumor mill for months, but his shoulder injury could dampen his trade value. The Jackets GM could peddle a blueliner like David Savard or Ryan Murray, but they won’t fetch a scoring forward. Goalies Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins played well this season, but their inexperience could also hurt their trade value.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau acknowledged hearing the calls for his trade from frustrated fans and pundits. However, he insists he wants to stay in Calgary, calling it his “second home.”  Meanwhile, pending UFA goaltender Cam Talbot indicated he’s “very open” to re-signing with the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames GM Brad Treliving defended Gaudreau and told Talbot during the pause in the schedule he’s interested in talking contract with him. However, Treliving also acknowledged there will have to be some changes following yet another early playoff exit. Whether those involve Gaudreau or Talbot remain to be seen, but we can expect both players will feature prominently in the Flames rumor mill in the coming weeks.


  1. Sometimes Rutherford has a big mouth … keep your cards close to your vest like Lamariello does …

    • Couldn’t agree more. He was the one that “leaked” the Kessel for Zucker trade that didn’t come to fruition last summer. Nobody does that.

    • Ed,

      I hope you are well !
      Dad thought you were wonderful ( Mike Badyk )

      I was at your wedding ( I may have been 7 years old )

      Best wishes,

      Pete Badyk

      • In recent years Penguins won how many cups with Jim Rutherford as GM ??

    • Agreed

  2. CMB : Johnny Gudreau
    CGY: Josh Anderson & prospect

    work for both teams?

    Gudreau adds some scoring punch for CMB and CGY gets depth and cap space for Hall

    • You’ve really been under valuing Johnny the past couple of days.
      He’s worth so much more than any of those packages.

    • Johnny Hockey For Max Domi 1st Rd pick 16th overall

    • Anderson’s career points barely exceed Gaudreau in 2019….the ‘prospect’ better be Elvis.

  3. Well there is a lot of talk about change, like many years before. The difference is the hard cap for some teams. Should get interesting, with some patient GMs getting a haul as there are more sellers than buyers.

  4. Keeping cards close to chest didn’t work out to well when Boston traded Jumbo Joe to Sharks most GM,s didn’t know he was even available. Now Murray isn’t Joe but the more teams that know should create some interest and bidding wars especially for Thornton.

    • Players don’t get traded through media. So many media guys throw stupid trade scenarios out there (like we read daily here) and try to justify how much sense it makes. Sometime laughable. We all may have a “hunch” who’s likely to go from certain teams. I think GM’s target a specific player, and say “would you consider trading so & so. If so, let’s work something out if possible. or move on. Rutherford didn’t need to say that. Be vague, we’ll try to make the team better.

  5. Rangers problems aren’t opposite of Columbus.
    To Columbus: Buchnevich and DeAngelo
    To NYR: Anderson and Savard
    Buch has 1 year left before becoming arbitration eligible. Savard 1 year left to ufa
    AdA and Anderson both rfa
    Columbus adds adds offense and skill
    Rangers add size and improve defense. Anderson also gives them a right shot winger to replace Fast should they not sign. Too many skill guys currently. Move Kakko up to replace Buch. Anderson to 2nd or 3rd line. Opens spot for Kravtsov.

    • Dang auto correct
      That should read Columbus’ problems “are” opposite

    • as much as I like Anderson, he is a RFA and could be getting a big raise. Also can you see Buch and Torts?

      Rangers could use Wennberg

      • DS
        “He is a rfa”. So is DeAngelo. Trade is taking into consideration that they are both rfa and other 2 have 1 year left on contracts.

      • Not sure Anderson is the chip we seek
        another wing
        ‘kreider’ light

      • ds. Anderson is exactly type of forward we need. Not Kreider like, whatever that even means. Having a bunch of skilled, passive guys playing off wing will nor get you very far in playoffs. I agree with replacing Strome, but not Wennberg. And there’s no way I’d give Strome 5m. Saw this today elsewhere as far as bringing back Strome and DeAngelo. “ what would the point be of squeezing almost every dollar you have back into the same team that made the playoffs only because of a global pandemic and didn’t win a single play in game?”

      • @Slick62
        Anderson is a big body with less skill than Kreider who cannot stay healthy. I agree we need some more gritty forwards just not this one.

        And yeah Strome 5million. i mean after last season he deserves the $ but…. maybe not for the rangers

      • Bringing back the same team. But with one year more experience under their belt. I don’t think you trade away DeAngelo and Strome because they didn’t have success in this weird playoff environment.

        Both were top contributors to any success NY had this year. Strome was 3rd in scoring, DeAngelo 4th. 112 combined points.where is that production coming from ? Lafreniere? Kakko?

        That pressure should help tremendously with their development.

        NY was 2 points out when play was frozen. I don’t think it’s that far of a stretch to say they may have made the playoffs regardless. We’re not talking a far stretch like Montreal or Chicago…. 2 points.

        Strome 5 per.

        He made 4.1 and had a career year. Is 5 so out of line? I don’t think so. 33 points and 59 points in the last 2 years. I don’t see him taking less than 5 for 2 years.

        Too much? What’s the back up plan? Pay Wennberg 4.9 for less than half of that production?

        Play Chytil 2nd line center, who hasn’t looked up to that task?

        Is NY minus DeAngelo and Strome a more successful team in 2021? Are they going deeper in the playoffs without those 2?

        This seems like just unload 2 of our most productive players for the sake of change…. good or bad not really taken into consideration.

        Gorton and Davidson continue to preach patience. As recent as 2 weeks ago. But I believe some are refusing to listen.

      • ds. Anderson is big, tough and had 27 goals last season. Guy can shoot. As far as “can’t stay healthy” he had shoulder surgery this season. I’m not aware of other injury history?

  6. Ed’s wrong, Obe’s right and I hate crosby needs to add a first round pick and make it an A prospect for flames to even consider .

  7. Anderson and Liam Foudy would get me talking on Gaudreau .

    I hate the Flyers line combinations they will get swept at this rate.

    Colorado secondary scoring is weak and they also look they are going to be swept.

    • I doubt Foudy is going anywhere. He could be be top 6 as soon as next year.
      Anderson , while I really like what he brings when healthy, is damaged goods. Buyer beware.
      If any CLB is getting moved it would be Elvis, Korpisalo was great in the playoffs and very affordable. They do have depth in nets in the system.

      • Fergy as surprising as it may seem, the buzz here iN CBus is that Elvis is viewed as the higher ceiling and Korpi could be the one more likely available. With Tarasov coming to NA next year he is also viewed as having the highest ceiling of all the CBJ goalies. A package or separate trades of Anderson, Korp, Savard could yield CBJ the type of player(s) they seek in a flat cap environment. It should be interesting

      • Deacon Frost , I am surprised to hear that based on what I saw the past couple of weeks. But if JK was made available Jarmo should get lots of inquiries, he could fetch ( + others ) that coveted scoring forward.

    • I dont see Gaudreau as John Tortorella type player.

  8. Rutherford is merely admitting what anyone with a lick of hockey sense and knowledge of the Penguins’ roster already realizes. The 26-year-old Murray has two rings, but is developing a reputation for inconsistency. The late-blooming, 25-year-old Jarry is relatively unproven as an NHL starter who’s expected to be The Man. I think Rutherford finds a trade partner for Murray and signs Jarry (coming off a puny $675,000 AAV) to a short-term, prove-it contract. That still leaves the Pens with a salary cap headache, although they could get $4.1 million of cap relief if they place Nick Bjugstad on LTIR.

    • Agree Mark Allan, so what is the deadline to qualify RFA’s this year?
      I ask because if PIT hasn’t found a trade for Murray by that date, do they qualify him?
      I would think they would as opposed to walking from him, but he wasn’t very good this season and is there another team that wants to pay him close to $4M?

      • No!

      • Yup

      • Yep

  9. Rumor that Kapanen is going to PIT. No word on return.

      • George. This seems to follow what we discussed in previous weeks. Toronto creates cap space with this deal and now can pursue defensive help, either through trade or free agency

      • Not quite yet Slick62 – see the new thread on the Kapenen deal.

    • Only freed up $1.2 M… but fair win win trade IMHO

  10. CBJ needs to sign RFA PLD this summer.
    Habs offer sheet revisit?
    Even with Dubinsky LIRR where do they find money to add a top 6 forward? Can they lose one of the 2nd pair D?

    If Henrik retires the Rangers could afford Wennberg’s 4.9 and slot him into the 2/3 C. Gives Chytil more time to develop and resigning Strome is not as important.

    • Yikers!!!!

      Last year

      Wennberg 2 goals 23 assists 25 points

      Strome 18 goals 15 assists 33 points.

      This year


      5 goals 17 assists 22 points

      Strome 18 goals 41 assists 59 points

      I’d say re-signing Strome should be a greater priority than trading for Wennberg. They have trended in total opposite directions.

      I also believe they can lock Strome up for 2 years For around 5 per. Rather than Wennberg at 4.9 for 3 more years.

      Why would Wennberg be the better option?

      • Wennberg is an NHL center. Rangers need a 2way pivot. Zib is the only one. Strome needs to be on the wing imho. Wennberg is not far removed from 59 pt season.
        Laf or Kakko should make up for the offensive loss in Strome

        I still dont see Strome leaving but the Rangers have a huge need for a center that does not get lost in his own zone

      • I’d say Strome is working out just fine. Not sure why everyone wants him out the door.

        Wennberg has had 3 consecutive putrid seasons. So while he’s not that far removed from a 59 point season, he’s a hell of a lot closer to a 22 point season. 59 points is now 4 years ago. Since then? 35, 25, and 22. Dip, dip , dip.

        Wennberg right now is not as good as Strome. Why pay him nearly 5 million as a 3rd line center? Because that’s what he is today. He played behind Jenner for the most part. Who isn’t exactly an offensive dynamo either.

        I’d take a big pass on Wennberg, especially at that cap hit.

      • I still feel the Rangers need for a wennberg/bonino center with or without strome.

      • Ya Nyr4Life, weird how some folks want him out of NY.
        You pick him up for Ryan Spooner, yes that Ryan Spooner, he comes in and exceeds expectations even though he was a guy picked 5th overall. Which means you may be able to still get him on a decent contract because he struggled while in Edmonton which was a dysfunctional team in a serious rut at the time and he only has a year and a half in NY.
        Be happy you picked him up for a salary dump.

      • Unexplainable Ray Bark….Unexplainable.

  11. Kappy to the Penguins!

    • 👍 Kappy back to Pens

  12. Pens/Rutherford:

    “says there’s a “very, very good chance” he’ll trade Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry”

    Everybody is aware Jimbo… stating that publicly can (and likely will) lead to other GMs seeing you in panic/sell mode… devaluing what Pens get in trade return

    Of course this after his sermon from the mount (last week) as to how good JJ is …. this was horrifically bad for Pens and purely demented gibber jabber for a closed minded control freak who won’t admit his mistake(s)

    Fixing D for Pens paramount

    Highly likely one of MM or TJ are moved… but Pens could have a roster with both; within budget; save costs; and better; faster; younger

    Sheary; Marleau; Shultz gone

    JJ bought out and replaced by any of Riikola; Czuczman or PO-J…. team saves cash; saves Cap…. team vastly vastly vastly improved; and is faster; and is younger

    Bjug moved out for anything … roster spot filled by Poulin…. save Cap; cash ; team faster; younger; better

    Ruhweedel to WBS

    Above all in Pens control

    Then sign UFA Soucy 😁😁

    After the above:
    $14-$15M to sign Murray ; Jarry; McC; Rodrigues; Simon ; Laffy… completing 23 man roster…doable

    End result from above on back end
    P-O J Or Czuczman as 7th D

    Poulin in instead of Bjug

    That team way faster ; tremendously better ; and younger than current team

    This all starts with moving out Bjug and JJ… doing that alone saves buckets of dough and team immediately (and tremendously) better

    If Mario et al insist on more savings ….a possibility is guy I like 😢; Horny; but 33 and declining fast…so a b/o candidate: total cash savings … $5.3 M…. Cap savings $3.5 M in each of next three years; followed by three years of $1.8 M in dead cap (at a time when Pens are re-building and not needing the space)

    • If it’s obvious to everyone, how is publicly stating the obvious lead to other gms seeing panic mode?

      That doesn’t really a lot of sense.

      I think Pens fans need to really brace themselves for the realistic outcome of whatever Pittsburgh decides to do. I’m starting to wonder if Pittsburgh even has a market for either guy with all the other options out there.

      Realistically, I think a 3rd or worse is probably the outcome. A few months back a said a 2nd. That was before the list of options George dropped on us a few days back.

  13. Leafs did well in the Kappy trade.

    • Shoreorr, not bad. I thought Pitts would have had a better offer?

      • They paid through the nose for a 3rd line player at best. Pitt has no 1sts until ’22. Rutherford is a dope.

    • Win win trade… see my post in the other part of Lyle’s posts today

  14. The pens will ship a goalie to Minnesota here shortly.

    • Hi ShoreOrrPark

      It better be with JJ in tow to Wild

      JJ ; Bjug and Murr for Doobie is acceptable

  15. Details for Penguins:
    RW Kasperi Kapanen
    D Jesper Lindgren
    LW Pontus Aberg

    Maples Leafs getting:
    2020 Rd 1 pick (15 overall)
    LW Evan Rodrigues
    C Filip Hallander

    • This is beyond an awful return for the Pens. I can’t understand this from their side whatsoever.

      • Really? Seems pretty even to me.

      • Interesting, Chrisms – to each their own, obviously, especially in the world of trade values. But I see Kapanen as a pretty good middle-6 winger, not better. Honestly closer to me isn’t worth a mid-1st round pick. Add in that it gives the Leafs cap space (which lowers Kapanen’s value) and it seems like a gross overpayment, IMO.

        Personally, I see Kapanen as closer to a Michael Grabner than a legit 1st line option, and so any first is way too much. I don’t know the others too much, but it looks like the Leafs got the best prospect, too.

        Like I say, that’s just my view on it, though!!

      • Pens in win now mode and get a guy they think will fit that. Decent player. Cost controlled. The first is a gamble. Kappy is a known commodity. Seems like a fair trade for both

      • Hi Paddy

        These are my two fav teams… to me a win win

        It’s basically Rodrigues and 15th overall for Kappy… the rest is sundry and truly balanced

        Leafs gain $1.2 M in Cap and have a gritty and speedy bottom 6 WC… he could be used at 3C; and a 15th overall to use in a future trade

        Pens basically flipped UFA Sheary and a player that “may” make the NHL in 3 years for Kappy

        If you want to really look at it… Kahun and 15th overall for Kappy

        Kappy bigger; faster; 4 years younger than Sheary; cost controlled ; and with much better numbers than Sheary

        I’d put him where they had Sheary

        Sid/Guentz/Kappy (yes I’d play him here)
        Laff/WBS grad…. 13th/14th Fwds

        P-O J or Czuczman as 7th D

        MM & TJ

        Yes all above is less Cap and cash than last year

        Faster; waaaaaaay better; younger; cheaper in Cap and cash

      • Fair points, both of you!

  16. Domi for Anderson + a draft pick that adjusts based on number of games played, due to his injury concerns?

    To CBJ: Domi
    To MTL: Anderson + 2nd rounder if Anderson plays less than 30 games

    Domi can play C or wing and adds some offensive punch for the Jackets. Anderson makes Habs bigger and is a more natural wing fit

    • I like where you are going Paddy with a conditional pick based on Anderson games played

    • Domi does fit the CBJ

      They need to have real concerns about a PLD offer sheet.

    • The Montreal talk shows are all abuzz this afternoon about Max Domi removing all things Habs from his bios on social media, so yup, I too can see my problem child being moved for your problem child. In fact that is how Max wound up in Montreal in the first place!!!

  17. Soooooo Leafie Fans, are they keeping this pick or trading it with something else for a D-man ?

    • I hope it is flipped for or included in a trade for a new goalie as that is the Leafs must fix position for next season. I am a little surprised Canes didnt give back the marleau 1st (13th) since I always hear how much they wanted Sami’s kid.

      • I believe the Leafs currently have one of the 15 best goalies in the League. It’s top end defensemen and bottom six players they need.

  18. I think TML and CBJ are perfect trade partners now, especially after the Kappy trade.

    They both have what the other needs/wants.

    • Agree with that.

  19. Is Rutherford trying to completely ruin the Penguins before his inevitable sh*tcanning?

    Tells everyone hes going to try and move a goalie…. scapegoats the assistant coaching staff …. sings the praises of JJ…. then gives a 1st round pick for Kapenen to the Leafs? A first rounder?!?!

    The whole thing reeks of desperation, so badly even Kyle Dumbass took him to the toolshed on this trade…

    outwitted by Kyle Dubas?!? WTF Jimmy???

    • Hi Ron

      Agree the assistant coach fiasco and the maniacal praise of the worst player in NHL history was lunacy

      But to me … even trade… win win

      It’s basically ER and 15th overall for Kappy; the rest is a wash

      Leafs gain $1.2 M in cap ; a 15th overall (to be used in another trade) and a gritty (needed on Leafs) bottom 6 W/C at the expense of Kappy (which they moved around in wings)

      Pens putting Kappy in for Sheary… faster, bigger ; 4 years younger; much better numbers

      In reality it’s Kahun and 15th over-all for Kappy

      Taking it one step further… the true trade for Pens is Oli Maata plus 15th overall for Kappy… with that truism… Pens got 2 years younger; waaay faster; saved 900,K in Cap

  20. I agree Leaf goalie top 15 but he hasn’t had that big run in playoffs he has played fine just not outstanding. Tough call what to do I think I keep him for this year and see how it goes if he stinks make a deal at deadline. If Toronto moves a bunch of salary to sign Pietrangelo that’s huge mistake unless it involves Marner or at least Nylander can’t have big 4 and expensive D man