NHL Rumor Mill – August 31, 2020

by | Aug 31, 2020 | Rumors | 57 comments

Could the Coyotes make some big changes? Are the Hurricanes interested in Frederik Andersen? What’s the latest on Alex Pietrangelo, Jonas Brodin, and Phillip Danault? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Arizona Coyotes’ goal will be to cut payroll and rebuild. They face a tight salary cap for 2020-21 but then it eases. With no picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft and no first- or third-rounder for 2021, they could try to restock that.

Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NHL Images)

Friedman suggests there could be a market for goaltender Darcy Kuemper and they would like to test defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s trade value. Ekman-Larsson has seven years left on his contract with an annual average value of $8.25 million and a full no-movement clause, but he could be open to waiving it depending on the destination. They also have four defensemen (Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski, Jordan Oesterle and Niklas Hjalmarsson) with a year remaining on their contracts. Friedman claims Hjalmarsson remains much-loved around the league.

AZCOYOTESINSIDER: Craig Morgan considers Kuemper, Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun as the Coyotes’ most marketable assets if they decide to rebuild. Kuemper has two years left on his contract ($4.5 million AAV) and lacks no-trade protection. Chychrun has five years left ($4.6 million AAV) with a modified no-trade in the final two years. He also considered those other blueliners on one-year deals as tradeable assets, though he thinks they could retain Oesterle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because those names are being bandied about doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be moved in the off-season. The Coyotes still haven’t decided on a full-time general manager and it remains to be seen if they’ll make any drastic moves. Nevertheless, their situation will be worth monitoring.

Friedman said team owner Alex Muerelo’s casino business is getting hammered by COVID-19, resulting in business layoffs and players complaining of late per diem payments. If the goal is to cut payroll and rebuild with affordable players, veterans like Kuemper, Ekman-Larsson and Hjalmarsson could be on the move. It will also mean they won’t be re-signing Taylor Hall, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on Nov. 1.

Friedman reports the Carolina Hurricanes have an interest in Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen. However, the Leafs aren’t keen to make a change just for the sake of doing so. Friedman feels if they make that move it’ll be for an upgrade, suggesting they could wait to see how this year’s goaltending free-agent market shakes out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Leafs could pursue someone like Vegas’ Robin Lehner if he hits the open market. Or maybe they make a trade for someone like Darcy Kuemper and then peddle Andersen to the Hurricanes. If they go the UFA route they’ll be paying more than Andersen’s $5 million AAV. The Canes would also have to dump either Petr Mrazek or James Reimer as both have a year left on their contracts.

Speaking of the Leafs, Friedman doesn’t think William Nylander is going anywhere without a legitimate top-four right-hand shot defenseman coming in return.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: I think they’d prefer that defenseman to be a top-two right-side guy. It would take someone like Nylander to fetch that type of return, especially with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner considered untouchable.

Friedman also mentioned Alex Pietrangelo met last week with St. Louis Blues management to discuss a new contract. He feels the Blues captain wants to stay in St. Louis but cited a couple of sources suggesting it hasn’t been easy for Pietrangelo to see teammates like Justin Faulk, Marco Scandella and Brayden Schenn get contract extensions while his talks stalled.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have $79.4 million invested in 21 players, with defenseman Vince Dunn also to be re-signed. The additions of Faulk and Scandella were likely insurance in case Pietrangelo departs via free agency. If the Blues hope to re-sign him, they must shed two or three contracts to make it work. There’s plenty of time for both sides to get a deal done. The tip-off will be how quickly Blues GM Doug Armstrong sheds salary once the playoffs are over.

The Montreal Canadiens are getting asked about their plans for Phillip Danault, who’s a year away from UFA status. His comments following the Habs’ playoff elimination about his future being a bit unclear drew attention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Danault’s role as solely a defensive center against the Penguins and Flyers and the rise of promising centers Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi is stoking speculation about his future in Montreal.

As for his comments, Danault said he wasn’t ready to be solely a defensive forward, adding he enjoyed producing offensively and his role as a two-way forward. He acknowledged his role for next season would determine if he re-signs with Montreal. However, he also indicated that by what he’s proven in the last few years, his role shouldn’t change in Montreal.

The Canadiens could move him if they feel Suzuki and Kotkaniemi are now ready as full-time centers on the top two lines. However, I think they prefer keeping Danault around in case one or both struggle to adjust over the course of a long season. 

One of the Minnesota Wild’s priorities is figuring out the cost of extending Jonas Brodin. The 27-year-old defenseman will become an unrestricted free agent next year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo suggested the blueliner could also be used to acquire a starting goaltender like Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray or to acquire a center. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets could consider moving a goalie for some scoring. Friedman notes Joonas Korpisalo and Matiss Kivlenieks aren’t exempt from next year’s expansion draft. Meanwhile, he reports the Pittsburgh Penguins is testing the trade market on third-line center Jared McCann.







57 Comments

  1. Good morning everyone
    I hope everyone is well.

    LEAFS
    I dont have any issues with the Leafs moving on from Freddie if they have a SOLID replacement !
    However no goalie has faced more shots than he has over the past few years ..and his D core has been awful.

    I hope that the leafs don’t go the over paid Holtby route …HOWEVER ..I would go with M A Fleury if given the chance to obtain his rights via Vegas in a broader deal that would also include McNabb to play with Muzzin.

    Leafs helped out Vegas with the Clarkson deal ..maybe Vegas would eat $2 million of Fleurys salary in a kind exchange ..to help this process !
    Id love that for a few Cup runs !

    BLUES

    With the post covid world ..and the Cap staying flat ..I think Petro is in a bind if he wants to stay in St Louis ..he will get his asking elsewhere but not so sure he will in St Louis ..

    not to mention this is classic situation that a 30 year old will get over paid and in his 4th year will be an over the hill player in the league …A LA Shattenkirk ..with 4 years remaining and no where to go ..IMO ! Buyer beware TERM is the issue !

    HABS

    Personally I think the Habs small sample size in the playoffs was an anomaly and not the true TEAM you will see in an 82 game season ..

    This teams struggles in long stretches and does not know how to get it back on the rails as it has been seen to do for the last 3 years …
    With an aging and hurt Weber and Price I am sorry I dont see this team making a major push when all the teams around them have actually been seen to improve greatly and have a better core and play a bigger style of game ..ie Philly
    C B J Hurricanes and so forth !

    • Hi Kal El

      Welcome back. Re Leafs having a solid replacement; are you talking about Campbell? IMHO , I don’t think he can carry the load as a starter.

      Re: Petro and Blues

      Army has stated he wants him; Petro has stated he wants to stay

      The Cap is the biggest issue; so they have to move player(s) and/or do a buyout.

      Steen fully in control if he is to be moved; but that is where I would start.

      • Blues will have room via LTIR with Tarasenko likely out all of the 20-21 season, maybe longer. Binnington has looked below average since December of 19 and with a abundance of goalies hitting the market will they find any buyer for Allen? Steen is an injury waiting to happen and is a 8-10 min a game player with a 5.75 cap hit.
        But at the end of the day, Petro and Meehan asked for 76 million on a 8 year deal, 9.5 AAV. Army had to plan for life without Petro. Its hard to lose a player like Petro but at the same time, its hard to have a +36 year old player making 9.5 which is what you would have with an 8 year deal. If Petro wanted to stay a Blue he should have made that clear in the past year, not 6 weeks left until free agency. He can be upset over Faulk or Scandella, Schenn, etc. however it was Alex and his agent who decided to hold out the last contract negotiation and its Alex and his agent who have not budged at all off their original 9.5 AAV.

      • Forgot to add, Petro feels upset about the 3 re-signings, the guy is coming off a contract that paid him top 10 for his position for 4 seasons and the rest of his contract his was paid in the top 18 at his position.
        His recent publicity stunt of wanting to stay in St. Louis comes right out of the Backes and Meehan playbook. Where was that request before Faulk was re-signed?

  2. Pietrangelo will be a Bruin, he will replace both Krug and Chara. 7yrs at 8.5

    • Caper

      I’m thinking the same $8.5 and 6 yrs. to remain a Blue.

      • Hi Iowa Prince

        I posted yesterday how Army can effectively get him for a Cap hit of 5 @ $7.1 M

        Hometown discount could be less

        My post yesterday was based on other’s here who had touted the possibility of him getting a 6 @ 9.5….that’s $57M… will show below how I got to $7.1M

        Let’s say he’d stay for $52 M…

        Give him 8 yrs; sals in first 5 years is $1M; last 3 800K (max drop off highest Sal to lowest Sal per CBA is 20%). That’s $7.4M in Sals. The balance of $44.6M is paid in SBs over the first 5 years only. 52 M over 8– Cap hit is 52/8…$6.5M. After year 5 at 35 years of age; he drops from $10-$11M total Sal&SB to only $800K (less than $400K in take home); very big incentive to retire.

        The $7.1 per AAV above was 8 years; same Sal, $49.6 in SB’s first 5 yyears… 57/8… Cap of $7.1M per. Same incentive to retire at 35 with less than $400K take home pay due in that year.

        Army still needs to clear space; but less than has been bandied about if he goes the math route I’ve suggested

    • Caper, I was just saying this to my brother Saturday. Why would you sign Krug (who BTW has looked awful these playoffs) to 7/7.5 million a year when you could get a way better version in Pietrangelo for a little more.

  3. Let’s see – Carolina is reportedly interested in Andersen – despite all the chatter out of Toronto as to how he “chokes” in clutch games, And if such a deal were to be made, how Toronto should target Lehner.

    If Lehner is deemed to be an upgrade over Andersen, why wouldn’t Carolina just go after him themselves? That way they don’t relinquish any assets.

    Andersen, who commands $5 mil off the cap now, is 30 and will be a UFA after next season. Lehner, who is 29, costs $1.4 mil off the cap – you’d think he’d jump at a $5 mil offer for 5 years. And, arguably, Carolina has a better-balanced team than the Leafs.

    One thing is certain, unless they move out some significant cap space, Vegas won’t have enough to re-sign Lehner after they deal with their 2 RFAs.

    • George. You make a logical argument for Canes, but you left out the key issue. Everyone wants to play for Toronto.

      • Yeah … but at least no one can say Lehner is a “home-town boy” who wants to “come home.” 🙂

      • Taylor Hall, Peiterangelo and Lehner to the Maple Leafs for league minimum contracts.

        Cause evvvvveryone wants to play for the Leafs.

    • pls no reimer–nice guy but sieve
      vegas will be keeping lehner
      andersson has gotten 80% of his salary i think and is a deal to any team
      ek lar from arizona and kuemper would be great–or hamilton and mrasek from carolina
      let campbell have extra time

    • I’ll give it go to justify it George; because Anderson is on a reasonable short term deal and they are drafting Askarov at 13. And they trade one of the other guys, like Mrazek, back to the Leafs who get space, and CAR gets the better goalie in exchange.
      Leaf fans will be OK with it because they have turned on Anderson.
      How’s that?

      • Ray & George may be on to something here.
        Dubas rolled the dice two years ago, hoping that Sparks would be a capable backup netminder. Now he can roll the dice, hoping that Mrazek or Campbell emerge as a true number 1. And this time, he will have 2 shots at it.

        Also frees up almost $1.9 million in cap space and saves Carolina over $2 million in real dollars. Freddy will $5 million but $4 million will be paid as a signing bonus before the season starts.

      • OK, but aside from actual money owed (as some are pointing out), they’ll need to relinquish an asset in addition to Andersen costing $5 mil off the cap next season regardless following which he becomes a UFA? How much more is he going to want?

        If they can get Lehner at that $5 mil – a $3.6 mil increase for him – for 5 years without giving up an asset they get a goalie better than both Mrazek AND Andersen. And I’m sure Lehner, looking at the defense structure and style of play of any team approaching him, will quickly sort out the weakest from those whose D ranks near the top (as Carolina’s does)

    • George,

      Please stop making sense.

    • HI George

      Just slight clarification on Lehner.

      His Cap hit is $5M. Leafs portion of that is only $1.4M

      Lehner may (again may) stay in Vegas for $5M; I think he asks and gets a little more there. However, if he moves, where he lands will be paying him more than $5M IMHO.

      For Lehner to stay in the Desert, either the Flower or Statsny needs to be moved.

      • Actually $1.1 mil retained – not $1.4 – and that ends as soon as this season ends and he becomes a UFA, so it’s a non-factor in what he chooses to do next season.

  4. I think that Arizona will be an organization that that ends up collecting a team of high cap hits, but no cash owed.

    For example, Player A has a cap hit of 6 million dollars. But in terms of actual salary, Player A is only owed 1 million dollars in cash, due to bonus money being paid up front.
    Something like what the Isles pulled with Tim Thomas a few years back.

    I think that Lamorillo will look to dump Ladd, Boychuck or Leddy on Arizona or a team in a similar situation. I believe that there may be more cash strapped teams out there than you think.
    It’s not going to get better until fans can return

    Leafs. Andersen was never your problem. Good grief! When will the light bulb go off in T.O.

    You need DEFENSE.

    Hurricanes
    In my estimation, Carolina is a Goalie away from becoming a force in the East.
    The obvious answer is Lehner.
    If Lehner hits the FA market, the Canes have to go all in. Keep Mrazek as a back up and thank Reimer for his service. Trade, cut, buy out, demote to the AHL or hire a hit man. Whatever you need to do, but get it done.

    I think that your going to see a lot of talented players moving this off season. Every buck is going to count and the small market teams with cash flow problems are going to be dealing to stay afloat.
    Strange times about to get stranger.

    • Nevinsrip…I agree with you Carolina is a goalie away from heading to the top of the east..

      Lechner I think stays in vegas Crawford Holtby markstrom all will want big money …. $6 – $7 million per!!!

      I dont like dealing within the division but they need a goalie ee need a defenseman.

      TO CAROLINA
      –‘Goalie—Matt Murray only 26, two cups, affordable @ $3.75 this year plus speedy wing jared McCann ..

      TO PITTSBURGH
      — Defenseman HAyden Fluert, 24, and center Vincent trocheck 27
      Money is almost even..

      Both team fill needs.

  5. Anderson is under contract, if Carolina is actually expressing interest in him that would be tampering.

    • they express interest by contacting Kyle Dubas, the Leaf GM.

  6. Assuming the Coyotes plan to shed salary that infers there will be no attempt to resign Taylor Hall.

    Arizonas headed right back to “dumpster fire” status.

  7. Has LeBron given his permission for the NHL to resume yet?

    Asking for a friend.

    • they have to kneel first

  8. What John Chayka did the Coyotes borders on criminal behavior … they are now worse off before he took over … kind of like Dubas and the Loaves …

    • Ed,

      Coyotes have been, are, and will be a disaster.

    • Probably the real reason he abruptly left was realizing this was a mess even Houdini would have trouble escaping. And small wonder they have yet to name a full-time replacement … I can imagine anyone they may have contacted took one look at that nightmare and said no thanks.

      No one is – and in the vast majority of cases even could – take Kessel 32 $6.8 mil for 2 more years or Stepan 30 $6.5, Goligoski $5.475 or Ranta 31 $4,250 – each for 1 more year – off their hands.

      Instead we hear names like Schmaltz, Dvorak, Keller, Ekman-Larsson, Chychrun and Kuemper as trade possibilities for cap relief with only picks/prospects coming back which won’t impact their cap right away.

      Talk about a revolving door.

      • Chayka is hockey’s Pete Carroll, who decimated USC and then landed with the Seahawks while USC paid the bill.

        Little Gary should take a piece of Chayka’s ass for what he pulled. Maybe a year or two ban from any hockey related job.

  9. If you look at the last paragraph of Nevinsrip above, I think that is where more teams than we imagined will be. They will be stretching to reach some real cash that might or might not match their real cash expenses.

    Once the cup is awarded and a clearer idea of when and under what circumstances the league opens up next season. Rosters will be formed in a significant number of teams, not with the goal of winning a cup, but a goal as to how to survive without going into into the owner’s pockets.

    Businesses who operate in confined spaces….airlines, concerts, theatres, arena sports will not be bouncing back as quickly as businesses that do not face this reality.The NHL revenue forecasts will not be a source of joy to those owners operating on a shoe string.

    The symbol for this (if is true) would be the Coyotes going cheap on meal per diems. That is scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

    Another thing I think is far from chiseled in cement it the 3 yr fix on the cap. Loosening the cap rules may be the only way to keep the NHLPA content.

    May we live in interesting times

    • In a June 1966 speech in Cape Town, Robert Kennedy said “Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history” – that was 54 years ago and are even more pertinent today.

  10. Wondering about playing more NHL hockey outdoors this upcoming season with fans. I look at Sahlen Field in Buffalo where the Buffalo Blue Jays are playing now. Buffalo Bills fans have sat outside in the cold. I think many would brave the cold to watch hockey.

    • Hi G-Man

      I’m skeptical of games with fans this upcoming season aleady. Planning and delivering on an outdoor game for 20/21 is a long shot IMHO

      • The out door games have some merit as it is safer than indoors when talking about Covid spread.
        But, there is Buffalo cold and then there is Edmonton cold. Late Dec through Feb would be pretty tough to schedule.

      • Hi Ray

        Was just giggling to myself at the craziness of an outdoor game in LV or Phoenix… say last game of season… which next year will be in May or June… so a breezy 95-110 F 🙂

        The pucks will be bouncing like super-balls as they skip off the surface of the water that the game will be played on.

        Methinks next outdoor game won’t be until November of ’21 at the earliest

      • I don’t know how many know Ottawa’s weather, but I can’t imagine anyone playing hockey here outdoors in Jan or Feb when temps can – and often do – hit 25 below

      • There will not be outdoor games without fans.
        What’s the point?

        If there is no vaccine by the start of next season the NHL is in big trouble. Too many franchises bleeding cash, that’s not coming back.

        I do not think that the NHL will play games until fans are allowed back into the stadiums. Too many franchises operate on a very slim margin and now that’s gone. I don’t see owners willing to take that kind of beating to play non Playoff games. Jusy my 2 cents.

    • How ’bout them Jays!
      After all the hurdles they had and playing all the road games because they couldn’t play on Toronto, the are on a roll. And Vladdy is just starting to get hot.
      Good for them.
      Go Jays.

  11. re

    “Speaking of the Leafs, Friedman doesn’t think William Nylander is going anywhere without a legitimate top-four right-hand shot defenseman coming in return.”

    WW for Parayko; with sundry balancing , please

  12. Re:

    “Pittsburgh Penguins is testing the trade market on third-line center Jared McCann.”

    This and the MM possible moving out; at the same time-frame….

    10 days ago GMJR went on a JJ love fest and blamed everybody else ; and

    3 days ago , GMJR extends (including a raise BTW) a player who is at the very best a veteran quality AHL defenseman (generously) ; is maybe their 11th or 12th best D-man in the organization; and extended him a YEAR before his contract expires; for a raise; when no GM in the past, present, or future has any desire for this player (so there would be absolutely no pressure to re-up him at current Sal; IF GMJR needed to (he doesn’t BTW); next summer.

    The above is a strong indicator that GMJR is looking at having JJ/CR as the bottom pairing.

    Thus… all other moves are moot w.r.t. standings… Pens won’t make playoffs; and are only done for cost savings (oddly again, he gave CR a raise?????)

    • His negotiations right now should focus on moving Bjug; and the rest of the time practicing his signature for the BO paper-work on JJ, to be submitted the very second that the BO window opens up

  13. His negotiations right now should focus on moving Bjug; and the rest of the time practicing his signature for the BO paper-work on JJ, to be submitted the very second that the BO window opens up

    • not sure how that duplicate entry came out at the same time?

  14. Something I wonder about:

    If Pietrangelo talks to his buddy David Backes, do you think Backes says “I really wish I wouldn’t have pushed for the extra year, and resigned with St. Louis instead of Boston”??

    Do you think Armstrong draws a line in the sand (or ice) again with Petro?

    Just curious

    • Yes, I think he does Iowa Prince.
      And I think Petro stays.
      As a Bruins fan I wish Backes would have stayed in St Louis. Character guy and by all accounts a stellar human being, but, B’s would have been a better hockey team last season if they had spent that $$ on some younger legs.

  15. Aunt of young niece raped by Jacob Blake said he shouldn’t have been shot 7 times for raping young child he should have been shot 50 times but happy he is alive so she can watch him die. NHL protests him being shot and wonder why fans have stopped watching and will continue to not watch burn in hell Jacob.

    • I saw a screenshot of that tweet Obe.
      Pretty sure it’s not true and has been debunked.
      If you can find a reputable source that reports it, please share it.
      Lots of fake stuff out there, buyer beware.

      • Oh yeah – accepting information because you saw it on the InterNet is the ultimate Fool’s Errand. The internet – where quotes are made up and the sources don’t matter. It’s why I routinely use Snopes

      • Ya, there are fake tweets and stories coming out of the wood work now that US election is getting closer.

    • Yeah, it wasn’t a child he sexually assaulted…. it was a grown woman.

      The internet was only half wrong…..

      • He hasn’t been convicted yet Nyr4life. We don’t know any details yet either. Hardly a death sentence, unless now the police are judge, jury and executioner. If we assumed everybody was guilty for everything they were accused of or charged for there would be a long line of folks.
        Including you know who.

  16. Bruins fan here. I’d like to see the B’s move on from Rask. He has one year left on his deal at 7mil. How about Rask to Phoenix for Kuemper? Bruins get two years of Keumper at 4.5mil., and Coyotes get One year of Rask at 7mil., essentially saving Arizona 2mil.(4.5mil. X 2yrs. = 9mil.) Bruins could also try to trade Rask and acquire Murray or Lehner to play goal. What do you guys think?

  17. The four mentioned Arizona D not named Ekman Larsson look like excellent deadline rental deals for 3 & 4 round picks . Reliable Veterans on expiring deals. I am sure Toronto is asking but they will have to wait. Makeover starts this time next year.

    • Or at the draft SilverSeven.

  18. Seems to be a lot of Leafs haters here. Nothing new to Leafs fans.
    Something else thats not new to Leafs fans is the haters telling them how they feel and how they think.
    Guess what! Leafs fans have NOT turned on Andersen. In fact, his was one of the few positives to come out of this qualifier round. He played great.
    Not sure where this “Everyone wants to play for Toronto” sarcasm is coming from either. I can tell you that as a life-long Leafs fan, it seems to be very difficult to convince players to come to Toronto. Tavares the obvious exception.
    Toronto (and Canada) is highly taxed and has a high cost-of-living.
    The only way I see Toronto ever becoming a desirable place to play is if the cap is adjusted for taxes.
    That won’t happen in a US-run league.
    With this being the case, (IMO) Ontario, and more specifically GTA, born players will have to be satisfied with playing their best games when they come to play against the Leafs.