NHL Rumor Mill – August 5, 2020

by | Aug 5, 2020 | Rumors | 74 comments

A look at possible off-season targets for the Sharks and the cost to the Red Wings of trying to move Justin Abdelkader or Frans Nielsen to the Kraken in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson will be looking to add depth to his roster in the off-season. He’s expressed interest in acquiring a forward.

Could the San Jose Sharks attempt to acquire Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson in the off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

Pashelka listed Florida Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov, Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson, Toronto Maple Leafs winger Kaspari Kapanen, St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, and Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Toffoli as potential targets.

Dadonov and Toffoli are unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Schwartz has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $5.35 million, Kapanen is earning $3.2 million per season through 2020-21, and Johnson is signed through 2023-24 worth $5 million annually.

Pashelka wonders if the Panthers will be willing to pay out another big salary to re-sign Dadonov when they’ve already got $60 million invested in 13 players for next season. The Lightning might consider moving Johnson to free up cap space. If he’s unavailable, perhaps Alex Killorn could be a worthwhile target.

The Leafs would likely want an affordable, right-shot defenseman in return for Kapanen. It might take a third team getting involved for the Sharks to land him. The Blues also need to shed some salary. They might prefer shopping center Tyler Bozak or goalie Jake Allen, but Schwartz would draw more interest. If the Canucks fail to re-sign Toffoli, perhaps he’d consider returning to a California-based club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pashelka also noted the Sharks have cap issues of their own, with 15 players under contract and roughly $14.9 million available next season. Adding Dadonov or Toffoli would take a big bite out of that cap room, forcing Wilson to make a salary-dumping deal. Probably better off to look at the trade market.

Kapanen carries the most affordable contract, but the asking price could be a sticking point. Johnson has a full no-trade clause and could be unwilling to waive it, whereas Killorn has a 16-team no-trade and might be amenable to moving to San Jose. The Blues could move Schwartz if push came to shove, but I see them shopping Allen and perhaps someone else.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James examined the cost to the Red Wings of trying to tempt the Seattle Kraken into acquiring Justin Abdelkader or Frans Nielsen next summer by packaging either player with a draft pick or prospect.

She believes it doesn’t make sense for the Wings if it means including a top prospect or a first-round pick. It also wouldn’t make sense for the Kraken to take on Abdelkader’s annual cap hit ($4.25 million through 2022-23) or Nielsen’s ($5.25 million through 2021-22) for a third- or fourth-round selection or a middling prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Wings could be stuck with both players beyond next season. Perhaps GM Steve Yzerman can find a budget team looking to reach the cap floor, but those teams would also want something decent in the package deal.


  1. The problem with Yzerman finding a “budget team” willing to take on Abdelkader or Franzen just to reach the cap floor is that, with so many teams seeking to shed salary, and so few teams needing to add salaries in order to do that, there are … and will be … far better options than those two.

    • I agree George . I see 0 reason for a team to take bad contracts . Lots of teams need to shed cap why take a bad contract and a sweetener that may pan out when you can get an NHL player .

      • For sure Swany – (by the way I meant Nielsen – not Franzen, who’s a UFA) – even if Yzerman used the 4th pick this year as the sweetener I couldn’t see any team taking on either a $4,250,000 deal to 2022-23 or a $5,250,000 one to 2021-22 for two albatrosses who will be 38/39 when their contracts end. Especially since just about every team with the current space to do so will be faced with re-signing a clutch of their more-promising RFAs should they develop as expected. Not to mention a UFA or two of their own they wish to keep in those years.

      • The team that would be the best fit to take the 4th overall for taking an albatross contract would be Detroit. Duh.

      • If Detroit wants to give up the 4th pick to take a bad contract, Buffalo might be interested.

    • George,

      I think teams are going to have a very hard time moving “bad” contracts.

      Teams with cap space are going to be able to demand very high returns for taking the Louie Erikssons of the world.

      • I agree Ronald … and for those who disagree and see it as “asset management” to take prospects and mid- to late round picks, I reiterate my contention that GMs of cap-rich teams will function with a closer ownership eye looking over their shoulder to make certain they play hardball if agreeing to take on players like that. Why would they do otherwise when they KNOW those cap-strapped teams have no other option BUT to clear space.

  2. Heh Sir Dougie Wilson… if you’re looking for a forward…

    You can have a 28 yr old former First rounder 6’6” , 215 lb C/RW ; under contract for 1 more year ($4.1 M) for a 7th rounder in ‘22.

    Heck… I feel generous…. I will throw in a 3rd overall pick; solid DMan (6’1” , 225, with over 900 NHL games experience ; under contract for 3 more years at the low low cap hit of $3.25 M) for nothing

    2 players for a 7th , two years from now

    …. wait , don’t answer yet; there’s more

    This once in a a lifetime deal comes with a full gently used bag of pucks; and a framed set of quotes endorsing and praising that same D-Man by his coach and GM. I

    In addition, personally autographed audio tapes of press conferences with same praise.

    Travel cost concerns? Say no more…. their first class cross country Greyhound bus tickets are already paid for 😁😁

    Covid concerns? These two gems will be sent with a full year’s supply of PPE

    Finally , with this unbelievable deal comes the promise of being put on the Christmas card lists of ALL currentPens; all Pens coaches; Jimbo ; Mario; and even Mayor Billy P.

    What say you Dougie Boy?

    • No

    • Silly and immature …

    • San Jose declines.

      With malice. Wilson blocks Rutherfords number.

      • Hi RRJ,

        Tell me what I need to absorb coming back and/or add… I’ll see what I can do

      • Pengy,

        Pens : Jack Johnson, mid level prospect and first round pick. Pens retain 1/2 Johnsons salary.

        Then you can begin discussing any “sweetner” to the deal.

        I highly highly doubt Pittsburgh finds a sucker to take JJ. The only team that wants him already has him.

      • Hi RRJ

        responded to your other proposal much farther down

        Re JJ and your post “ The only team that wants him already has him.”. Correction…Pens players don’t want him. Pens fans don’t want him. Pens ownership don’t want him. Assistant coaches don’t want him. GM refuses to acknowledge the worst mistake he ever made and Coach for whatever reason ; won’t be quoted on anything but backing the GM on this

        Re you above offer :

        JJ (50 % retained) mid level prospect, 1st

        Again as I said below…. fair first proposal

        I’ll counter by upping the prospect ; adding another roster player ; retaining 50 % on Bjug; no retention on JJ: 2nd instead of a 1st

        JJ; Laffy; Ruhweedel; Bjug (50 % retained) ; 2nd

        for B- prospect

      • Pengy,

        Thats the joy of any JJ trade…. it doesnt have to be fair…. and likely wont be… assuming JR is able to actually find himself a rube.

      • Hi Ronald

        I’m counting on him finding s Rube


  3. I thought the market was set before the pandemic, a first round pick for your salary dump. Seemed there were a few trades like that. If anything the cap freeze probably makes the market even more than a first rounder, not less ( a second rounder).

  4. Hard to imagine Detroit giving up assets to dump salary. They’re not in cap trouble. Who knows what their roster will look like next off season. Only 11 current players on their roster have contracts for next season. 3 the year after. They’ll have a bunch of young guys who won’t be eligible for expansion draft. Tyler Johnson will lose money going from no state tax Florida to high tax California. Can’t see that happening.

    • Hi Slick

      Yep yep yep re Johnson… full NTC and he’s on a cup fav team, nice weather city; lowest tax rate; already has a home there… who would he waive his clause for?

      No state tax…. Panthers…. nope; Dallas…. prob not; Preds… I have doubts; VGK… maybe…. but they have no space…. TJ stays a Bolt IMHO

      Agree with re Wings not going to dump assets

      Re Expansion draft… as at now they only MUST protect Nielsen, Abdelkader; Filpula and DeKeyser due to their NTC; I’m actually not sure on the protection rules for Filpula as at Exp draft time he’d technically still be under contract with an NTC but only 2-3 weeks away from UFA status….if he MUST be protected under the rules …. perhaps Stevie Y can by him a case of Glenfiditch to waive his NTC … then he doesn’t need to be protected; freeing up another spot for protection

      • You only have to protect players with No Movement Clauses. Detroit does not have any player with a No Movement Clause.

      • Sharks probably go after Tiffoli, given that he’s a responsible two-way forward who can play anywhere in top nine. Goaltending remains biggest question mark. If Martin Jones cannot turn it around this coming season, San Jose will have to make a change.

      • Hi Brian

        Many thanks

        Not challenging you but just asking if you are opining on that or are sure re NMC being the only mandatory protection clause…

        I knew NMCs for sure had to be protected but I thought players with FULL NTCs also had to be protected

        If it’s only NMC … then there are loads of players throughout league that I had previously thought had to be protected; that don’t 👍

        Excellent for teams if that is the case👍👍

        I had thought Bolts “HAD” to protect buckets Of players, but if it’s only NMC then it’s limited Stammer, Kuch, and VH

        For the Pens if only NMC; they will be allowed to expose Horny (who I’d thought was a forced protection slot with his NTC)

        Flames MUST protect Lucic! 🤪

      • Pengy, not sure there’s much of a market for T.J. at 5m per for another 4 years. I agree with Lyle, Killorn more likely trade candidate. Tampa could be a team next year that will make deal to unload a salary to Seattle. Johnson a native of Spokane. Good fit there.

      • Hi Slick

        Yep… see my post below re Seattle and expansion…just might be TJ with sweetener by Bolts in Exp draft

      • Pengy. Only nmc need protected. That’s it.

    • Johnson can either waive his no trade clause now and essentially choose where he wants to go out of the interested teams or wait and have zero control on going to Seattle.

      He’s not staying in TB long term regardless!

      • Tyler Johnson is from Spokane Washington , played his junior hockey there. Would be a good bet to be the face of the new franchise for a year or two, local boy comes home

      • Honestly I’d steer clear of Johnson. His cap hit is pretty friendly. But he’s a 40-50 point winger that will be 35 when that contract expires.

        His best season is about five years ago.

    • Yeah, Slick62 – the NHL has to come up with some kind of salary formula that evens the field between those franchises situated in tax-free havens and those in high-tax areas (e.g. Montreal). Unfortunately, there’s squat they can do about sunny climes vis-a-vis snow-shoe locations

      • Which would you prefer these days, George?
        I’d be buying snowshoes myself.

      • Yea, well, you got that right BCLeafFan. Question is, how perceptive are some of these millionaire hockey players when weighing total income against the safety of themselves and their families.

        “Hmmm … let’s see … if I stay in Florida I get a lot more of my $8 million per income than if I were to go to oh, say, Winnipeg, where my take-home would “only” be around $6 mil … nope, can’t possibly live on that … and anyway my tan is much more easily retained here than in Manitoba (or Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, B.C.) …

      • George, I’ve said before, for that reason I think a team should offer sheet Sergachev. I’d have no remorse screwing Tampa. They’ve enjoyed that advantage for awhile.

      • Well you’re playing hockey- not summer sport as far as i know.
        Mostly Canadian teams are hurt with high taxes, so Gary won’t do anything, because whats the point. All he cares is American market.

      • The nhl doesn’t have to nor should it come up with a system that addresses the tax issue.

    • The Wings won’t be giving up really anything for any salary dump. If anything they will acquire a player or two from other teams dumping salary. Who knows, maybe the Wings can get another 1st rounder or two to take other teams salary.

  5. Abdelkader buyout candidate , Nielsen will end up on LTIR somehow

  6. Is detroit in a hurry to get rid of those contracts? They are not contending yet for a few years, shouldnt they take contracts for picks instead of the reverse? The thing he should do is get a really good goalie so that they dont get a habit of losing, Lehner is young enough or how about Jarry from Penguins?

    • Price for Jarry is really high … doubtful that happens …

      • High price for Jarry???

        On which planet is that?

        Goalie market is flooded, why would anyone not named Benning or Chiarelli overpay for a backup goalie?

      • The price for Jarry would be high as compared to Other goalie prices. But the price for goalies is oddly low as compared to other positions. If you got a late 1st for any goalie then you did good. Prices likely lower

  7. I agree with you George re: evening out the financial situations but alas neither one of us has any influence….who does?

    The US TV networks….and they want good teams in demographically places….I don’t see anything happening to Canadian teams ( with the possible exception that 1 or 2 might want to move to the demographically desirable places).

    Canadians are victims to their collective addiction to the game….we will watch we will attend….no squeaky wheel no grease…..no potential exponential growth….no financial evening up

    We talk here often about windows of opportunity for various teams….I predict that in small increments the NHLPA and the owners will change things in such a way as to give players more chances to move…..and the windows of Canadian teams will be shorten….

    Sixties phrase for you George….FOLLOW THE MONEY

    • Hoo ya … ’twas ever thus … all of our best actors/comedians have repeatedly demonstrated that … not to mention nurses etc …

      • To that I should have added “any Canadian-born football player who is drafted by the NFL … meanwhile, the CFL continues with its idiotic “import rule” which, in the final analysis, only serves to make those “guaranteed” Canadian roster spots more costly on average.

    • This is quite accurate old blue. Why place an expansion team in Canada… you gonna grow the game more in Canada that way? No. Place a team in the us… more new fans, new talent growth zones, etc. Canada will watch and buy no matter what.

      • Chrisms, to answer your question on why expand in Canada is – money.
        40% of revenue is gate driven, and yes you can still grow the game here.
        I wouldn’t hesitate to put another team in Southern Ontario which has a population of over 11 Million and one team (I consider Ottawa not part of the area as it is closer to Montreal).
        Not everyone in Hamilton, London, Mississauga follows the Leafs closely and that is a whole bunch of people who can now actually get tickets to a game and become loyal fans. Also many recent immigrants to Canada to attract in that region, many of whom are professionals who can afford it.
        There is some debate about a “deal” made way back in the day that the Leafs have sole rights to hockey in the area. Might be so, but call me very skeptical that is the case or we would have evidence of it by now.
        If you wanted an area that is as close to a lock to make money, you would have a hard time finding one better IMO.
        I get the wanting to grow the game in non traditional markets part, but this seems like a licence to print $$.

  8. Pengy, only players with NMC must be protected. NTC’s of any type do not come into play at all in the expansion draft.

    Players with no-movement clauses who decline to waive those clauses must be protected.
    First- and second-year NHL players and all unsigned draft choices are exempt from selection and do not count toward protection limits.
    One available player must be a defenseman who is under contract in 2021-22 and played at least 40 NHL games in 2020-21 or 70 games in ’19-20 and ’20-21 combined.
    Two available players must be forwards who are under contract in 2021-22 and played at least 40 NHL games in 2020-21 or 70 games in ’19-20 and ’20-21 combined.
    One available player must be a goalie who is under contract in 2021-22 or who is a restricted free agent having received a qualifying offer from his team.
    Players who missed the final 60 games of the ’20-21 season or who have otherwise been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury cannot be exposed in the draft without league approval.

  9. With the flat Cap and so many teams pressed against the ceiling; I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle ends up with 8-10 (including their own) picks in the first 64 (first 2 rounds)

    Loui ; JJ ; Neal; Jones; Okposo; Tyler Johnson; Turris; Ladd; Alzner; Carter OR Brown; PK make up an excellent Cadre to choose from to not only gain extra 1sts or 2nds (or prospects) but way more than enough to help Seattle to reach required Cap floor

    JJ a Kraken please … might cost 1st plus a prospect… but so be it

    • Seattle’s not going to have ANY problem reaching the cap floor without taking on any of that crap

      • Hi George

        Agree that it probably won’t be an issue (Getting to floor) but certainly helps with flexibility taking on high Cap lower cost short term contracts

        I’d be quite surprised if at least 3 of that list don’t end up as Krakens

        They are going to get side offers coming out the ying yang. VGKs got many side offers and took up some. With flat Cap… sweetener price on side deals increases

        It may not be just picks but also prospects or even roster sweeteners

        Carter ($5.3 M cap) with only $2M cash … could be an easy move for right sweetener …. who knows; he may not want to play in Seattle and decide to retire after the transfer… costing Seattle no $’s

        Johnson (Spokane) another good bet

        For me and all Pens fans; Jimbo must pay whatever asking price to make JJ a Kraken…. dually good for Pens as it allows them to keep both Murr and Jarr (which I think they should) 🙏🤞

      • When is the last time a price for ANY goaltender was “really high”?

        Twice in the last decade has a goaltender returned anything of significance. Schneider and Lehner (when Buffalo traded him).

        Why is Jarry commanding a high price? Is it those 62 career season games? Or is it his his playoff experience of zero games?

      • Pengy, LAs not given a sweetener for Seattle to take anyone off their roster. They already have oodles of cap space, so no need to give up an asset for more.

        Plus, they will have very little talent to offer Seattle, as anyone worth saving is either protected or too young to be eligible.

        If they want Carter, then fine take him, if not then try and find something better, good luck!

    • I doubt The Kraken take on any of those contracts. Francis is going to be able to pick and choose what he does. Teams with cap room hold all the cards.

      Getting rid of Johnson will likely cost far more than a high draft pick.

  10. Hello All! I haven’t posted in quite awhile. I was in the middle of moving my family south when the world went crazy and hockey was postponed!

    I see we are still talking about how the NHL needs to “level the playing field” with regards to state/local taxes. I’m a Bruins fan, Boston is hardly a tax-friendly location so I get the desire to level that out.

    With that said, I still think there are so many other factors to consider besides just the tax issue. There are other fees that are higher even though income tax may be lower. Property taxes for instance.

    I just moved from the high everything tax Vermont to North Carolina where taxes are lower but registering a vehicle is a kick in the pants. Property taxes are lower here, but the schools don’t rank as high. It’s a slippery slope to start making adjustments to salary-cap based on one factor.

    Florida has no state income tax largely because they try to appeal to retirees. This has the bonus effect of appealing to professional athletes.

    It’s not uncommon for a locale to offer tax incentives/waivers for a business to relocate to their area. I see no reason they could not do the same for hockey players. Personally, I think the cities with higher tax rates should consider doing what they can to make themselves more appealing to these athletes if they desire to attract them to their teams.

    So, perhaps Toronto, Boston, Montreal, NYC etc may want to consider an income tax waiver for hockey players if remaining competitive for their services is important to them. I just don’t see how it is the league’s responsibility to manage this.

    • Damned good point Justin! We keep hearing from our mayors and provincial premiers how important a franchise is to the “local economy” so … do something along those lines to help ensure their continued existence

      And thanks for the details on factors that most of us are undoubtedly unaware

      Hope to hear more from you – assume that being in Vermont you were a Bruins fan … are you switching to the Hurricanes?? (speaking of hurricanes, I hope you avoided the worst effects of Isaias)

      • Hey George. My computer auto-populated my real name and I didn’t catch it. I’m the poster formerly known as DoubleMinor…lol!

        Lifelong Bruins fan, no plans to change that. We are in the Western part of the state so no effects from the storm.

        I don’t mind the Hurricanes, though I’m still not completely over the 2009 ECSF when Scott Walker sucker punched Aaron Ward, wasn’t punished, and then scored the series clinching goal.

      • LOL. Yeah, those kinds of memories do tend to stick around.

      • Thanks for the reminder Ttutone. Should have remembered that – have a granddaughter living in Edmonton and she reminds me at every opportunity! 🙂

  11. Pengy,

    Pittsburgh : Jack Johnson, Matt Murray
    Florida: Sergei Bobvrosky (3 million retained), 3rd rd pick.

    • Hi RRJ

      not a bad starting point counter offer 👍

      My counter counter proposal… Nix the 3rd from Panthers; crimp another $2M; Pens add Laffy & 4th & Bjug (50 % retained) in deal:

      JJ & Laffy & Murr & Bjug (50 % retained) & 4th (‘21)

      For Bobo (50 % retained)

      • Pengy,

        Thats a lot of trash youre cramming into one garbage can…. gotta pass

      • RRJ


        Love that line “ a lot of trash youre cramming into one garbage can”

        Gotta remember that one

        Although Laffy isn’t garbage

        I’m hoping someone; anyone; will take JJ

        I really don’t care that a first will have to go over in thr deal

        For the Pens the best thing is buying him out… that way all he costs is Cap space and not game points and a drag on all stats for all of his teamates

        A buyout saves $2.1 M in each of next 2 years; massively improves the team; all stats take off; team confidence skyrockets

        The $900 K dead cap for 3 years running 23/24 + means nothing then… Cap will be higher then and after the Cup window so back in next rebuild

        That is the mist sensical move …. do you think GMJR will use sense; save the team space; make the team waaaaaay better; but by doing so have to admit he was wrong???? Mmmmmm…. likely not

        If he’s traded and sweetener prispect given up…
        As long as its not Poulin … any prospect can be used

        They can always send him to WBS and save $1.08 M in Cap and make team immediately better!!!

  12. Congratulations to NY Rangers on winning the lottery. Last year 2nd overall pick, this year pre-playoff games and 1st overall. It’s good to be from big american city.

    • Be great to see Gary … but they haven’t won it yet.

      • George O
        Rangers fan?

    • If Montreal somehow beats Pittsburgh pretty much guaranteed Penguins will “luck” into the #1 pick….

  13. Montreal up 1 zip number 3 was on ice must have been his fault hey Pengy?

    • Habs had in the 1980’s, Rangers already got 2nd last year, it peuld be nice not to give them another high draft pick. I hope Laf will stay in Canada.
      But canadiens won’t get him in 100%

    • Hi Obe

      If ur a Habs fan… Ur a JJ fan

      Minus 3 on night… if not for ZAR and Murr with two excellent saves… JJ minus 5 on night

      He handed the victory to Habs by those three goals and completely sucking the confidence and energy out of his teammates 😡🤬😡🤬

      He may have now lost the series for Pens AND ended the current longest playoff streak (as technically Habs winning series means Pens don’t make playoffs)

      … and they won’t get Lafrennierre .. Karma not on their side

  14. Penguins can always Tonya Harding JJs knee…..


    • Please send me her phone number; I’ll sneak her in to the bubble