NHL Rumor Mill – August 4, 2020

by | Aug 4, 2020 | News, NHL | 20 comments

Has Henrik Lundqvist played his final game with the Rangers? What’s the latest Devils’ speculation? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NEW YORK POST: During his analysis of the Rangers’ 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of their qualifying-round series, Larry Brooks wondered if goaltender Henrik Lundqvist played his final game for the Blueshirts. The long-time Rangers starter has appeared in 129 consecutive playoff games.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (Photo via NHL Images).

With the Rangers facing elimination today, Brooks speculates Igor Shesterkin could get the start if healthy or backup Alexandar Georgiev could get the call.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist didn’t play badly in Game 2, but he wasn’t as sharp as in Game 1. As a team, the Rangers have struggled against the Hurricanes’ smothering forecheck. Head coach David Quinn could opt for Shesterkin or Georgiev as part of a lineup shake-up for today’s crucial Game 3. 

Lundqvist has one year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $8.5 million. He also carries a full no-movement clause. Since Shesterkin joined the lineup there’s been growing speculation the Rangers could ask him to waive his clause. Their other option is buying out his contract.

The Rangers need to free up the cap room to re-sign or replace Georgiev, Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux, and Ryan Strome. They’re slated to become restricted free agents with arbitration rights at the end of the season. Trading or buying out Lundqvist could be the only solution.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked about the possibility of the New Jersey Devils moving defenseman P.K. Subban in the off-season. He doesn’t expect that will happen, suggesting Subban’s trade value is lower than it was a year ago when the Devils acquired him. His contract also runs through 2021-22 and carries an annual cap hit of $9 million. He doubts the Devils will give up on the blueliner after one bad season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s play declined over the past two seasons. Combine that with his cap hit and the Devils won’t find many takers unless they agree to pick up half of his AAV, and even then, they’ll probably have to add a sweetener.

Asked if Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn would be a fit with the Devils, Masisak believes he’d be a good trade target, provided the Devils aren’t on his 16-team no-trade list. He also likes the fact Killorn has three years remaining on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn would be a terrific addition among the Devils’ top-six forwards. The Lightning could shop him to free up cap space to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. The sticking point, of course, is his modified no-trade, but if the Devils are on his list of preferred destinations, they should definitely explore that option.


  1. And I remember how fans came out of the woodwork to bash Bergevin for trading Subban for Shea Weber … I ought to recall it, I was one of them! Turned out to be much better for the Habs.

    • That trade and the oilers signing draisatl to 8.5 million, everyone was against that signing and look at him now, compared to some of the 11 million dollar contracts flying around draisatl looks like a steal

      • I’m 1 for 2 on that BBB. Defended the Draisaitl deal, criticized MTL for the Subban deal.

    • I think Weber is in twighlight of his career,(albeit still productive) and Subban can redeem himself. I think PK loves being “out there” & is thinking about his post career? I hope he can refocus and get back to being the guy he used to be (not all that long ago) if that’s possible. He should be #1 D man on Devils. This year will tell a lot. Hopefully regain some magic

      • Hello Vincois, As you are probably aware, Subban was a different player once there was a coaching change and they changed up their defensive system. Was he at allstar level, definitely not. I believe the system at the start of the season held him back from his game style, once freed up he became much better. I do not think he will ever return to his allstar form, but I think he can return to a productive Dman.

  2. I started talking about the Rangers looking at life after Lundqvist 3 years ago. It’s time to move on and let Shestyorkin take the reigns.

    It sucks that they came close a couple of times but never got there. Without question Lundqvist carried that team through the Tort years. But he is no longer able to carry this team on his back. But this organization doesn’t owe him anything today.

    • I agree. Lundqvist was given a long leash in a short series. That decision, i am speculating, was due to his experience and the things he had done for the organization in the past. This is a turning point. Time to move on.

      • To be fair, Lundqvist had a good performance in Game 1 but was let down by his teammates. He wasn’t bad in Game 2 but, as I noted, he wasn’t as sharp as he was in the previous game. Still, if Shesterkin hadn’t gotten hurt, he would’ve been in both games and who knows if the outcomes would’ve been different.

  3. I don’t see Lundqvist waiving his ntc for any team. The ones that have the cap space are mostly all rebuilding teams. As far as buying him out, that could depend on what the cost is to sign Gorgiev. Hank buyout saves 3m this year. How much of that goes to signing Gorgiev? Nobody is trading for Hank. With dead money already going to Shattenkirk and Girardi, will it be worth it to add another 1.5 dead cap space for another year?

    • Yes.

      • It’s not just about the money.

        3 G is a distraction, the whole situation is a distraction.

        Time to go.

      • Even if you can get assets in a Gorgiev trade? I don’t think so. Unless You can get Gorgiev signed for 1m. Shesterkin is #1, but if he gets hurt, who is only proven goalie? Hank. If they get trade offers for Gorgiev, I believe they pull trigger. Could be a package deal. Let’s not forget, AHL team finished with 3 goalies on their roster as well. Berube will be signed as goalie they’ll expose in expansion draft. I’d rather keep Hank for a year than buy him out just to sign Strome. Trade him!

  4. I think they’re going to have to buy Hank out. Everyone knows what he meant to that team but, time to move on, thank him, retire his # & let him be a team ambassador.
    I doubt anyone will trade for him because of $$, even if NY was willing to take even 1/3 $$ back.

    • Exactly, Hank will get his after retirement from Rangers. Do the team a solid and move on. Probably get a job elsewhere in the organization for yours to come.

  5. It’s a very long shot to see Hank waive and NYR trade w/o retention… almost impossible IMHO

    Hank waive ; 50% retention…. Rangers save $4.13 M in Cap… who takes Hank as back up for $4.13 M Cap? Is there a team he’d allow the waive (of NMC) that would want him as their starter at $4.13 M cap?

    Buyout is much more likely than trade …. NYR saves $3M Cap next year; dead $1.5 M 21/22

    If Hank is bought out… he loses but $1.5 M gross cash …..he can sign with any of the 30 other teams for that… lose nothing; have his choice of where to play…. Knights in tight to have room for Lehner… Hank in LV for a chance at cup in ‘21? Could push the flower to try and gain starter status?

    Rangers are an up and coming team; but IMHO 2 years , maybe 3 for Cup chance…. and can’t see Rangers extending Hank…. so if he wants a shot at a Cup…. it just may come with a buyout and choice of suitors

    Only other possibility is the “Lehner multi trade multi retention path”… double trade so that final destination team gets Hank at less than 50% of original Cap (right now Knights only covering 28% of Lehner’s Cap (Leafs 22%; Chi 50%)…. so if there is a team willing to take 25% of Hank ($2.1 M Cap ; $1.1 M cash) to receive 2 2nds (1 from VGK’s ; 1 from NYR for saving $4.2 M in Cap)?? ….

    NYR… have paid SB already … so end up paying an extra $2.25 M cash (they have buckets) and a 2nd to save $4.25 M in Cap

    Knights give up 2nd to get Hank for $1.1 M cash; $2.1 M Cap)

    Middle trade team (with Cap space) buys 2 2nds for $1.1 M Cash…. NJs 2nd rounder (via Knights) and Rangers 2nd ….. so probably picks in the early 30’s (NJ) and late 40’s (NYR)…. note Canes paid $3.8 M to get a pick likely somewhere in the 18th to 23rd range (Marleau trade)

    Instead of 2 2nds … 2 prospects????

    An even weirder path…

    Would Hank waive if Oil was the end destination…. ??? Same retention as above but Rangers give Lias Anderson and Hank (50 % retained) to mid trade team for the mid trade team’s 3rd; then mid trade team retains on Hank adds their own 2nd to Oil for JP

    Again all on Hank to waive but…

    Rangers rid $4.25 M in Cap ; gain a 2nd; but lose Lias A( who they have not been playing and have lent him overseas)

    Oil pay JP (who they didn’t play in 19/20) to gain Hank at $1.1 M cash; $2.1 M Cap (to replace Smith) plus a 2nd

    Middle team (with space) buy JP & LA for $1.1 M cash; a 2nd and a 3rd???

    convoluted …. yep

    Likely ….. nope

    Plausible and fair… IMHO … yep

    • Sorry … Rangers get a 3rd not a 2nd in the to-through scenario that has Hank enfolding in Oil country

      • Pengy, when FO sent out “the letter” Hank made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere. Why would that change now when they’re closer to being a playoff team? Buyout? Although the 1.5 dead cap hit in 20/21 doesn’t sound like much, they’re already carrying 2.54 that year. With a possible flat cap, every little counts. Again, Gorgiev is due a raise. He is arbitration eligible. As I said above, how much of Hanks 3m savings gets eaten up in a Gorgiev contract? He’ll never be more than a back up in NY and if another team sees him as a future starter, then I think you take what you can get for him. Rangers need to upgrade on defense. I’d much rather buy out Staal if needed. Smith has 1 year left and a limited ntc. Could explore possible trade for him with sweetener or just bury him in minors. As I’ve said, I’m not a Strome fan. There’s no way I’m giving him more then a 1 year deal. I’d rather they try to trade him. DeAngelo too.

      • Hi Slick

        Agree; as I said …. trade inly happens with Hank’s signature in it

        He has said a few times that he wants to stay; but if he rationalizes that there is no chance that they extend him (to 21/22 and/ir beyond)…, and I don’t think they will; AND if he rationalizes that Rangers Cup window is not until at least 21/22…. then maybe Hank will now consider an option if going to a team who is in Cup contention window next year (I had suggested VGKs)

        No idea on where his mindset is

        Yep $1.5 M Dead in 21/22 to add to Girardi/Shatt’s $2.5 M is tough with a flat cap …. just an option

        I really can’t see anyone taking him at $8.5 M cap… and it would need his OK and a bucket if sweetners

        So is it keep Hank for one more year (and not re-signing him) and lose yhe younger Geo? Or is there that weird 3 team to-through Lehner type move that gets Hank his shot at a Cup next year?

        Time will tell

  6. Pengy, Honestly, I have trouble sorting out your trade scenarios. Lmao. If they keep Gorgiev, chances are they expose him in draft anyways. I do believe they could buy out Hank as a mutual agreement. It will give him option of joining any team on a cheap deal. Who knows what kind of offers Gorton gets on Gorgiev. They have a lot of prospects and 2 first round picks again this year. With 4 rfa’s, none of whom I think are locks to be in future plans, it could be interesting summer. I’m hoping a good, young center becomes available from cap strapped teams.

    • Hi Slick

      Sorry I do get convoluted at times

      I think it’s certainly possible for Rangers to keep both Georg/Shist… Shist will still be on ELC… so doesn’t need to be protected; so Gorton could protect Georgiev if Hank was gone by then… just re-sign Berube … expose him

      Yes with you as I said… re a buyout… if Hank wishes to win a Cup… buyout gets him to chose whoever he wants and he can sign for $1.5 M … he loses nothing in Gross $’s … take home will depend on where he signs

      Gorton wouldn’t need to negotiate with Hank re a buyout… he can just do it…. however I am very confident that candid convos would be happening