NHL Rumor Mill – August 6, 2020

by | Aug 6, 2020 | Rumors | 72 comments

The latest Rangers’ speculation involving Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Strome, Alexandar Georgiev, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

NEW YORK POST: With the Rangers’ season over, Larry Brooks believes Henrik Lundqvist’s long goodbye with the Blueshirts is over. He wonders how the goaltender and the club will part ways after 15 seasons as it transitions toward a tandem of Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev.

Has Henrik Lundqvist’s long career with the New York Rangers drawing to a close? (Photo via NHL Images).

Lundqvist has a year left on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $8.5 million. Brooks praised his handling of this situation, but he doesn’t know if the former Vezina Trophy winner will accept being a backup with the Rangers or another club.

The Rangers must shed salary to re-sign restricted free agents like Georgiev, Ryan Strome, and Tony DeAngelo. Brooks doesn’t see a legitimate Stanley Cup contender pursuing Lundqvist at this stage in his career, or another club taking him on even if the Rangers absorbed half of his cap hit. The other option is buying out his contract once the playoffs are over. Retirement is also a possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A difficult decision faces Lundqvist and the Rangers. I agree with Brooks’ take regarding his trade value. The 38-year-old netminder has enjoyed a stellar career but he’s no longer the type of starting goaltender a contender would covet. Even if the Rangers absorbed half his cap hit, it would make him an expensive backup.

As Brooks observed, if Lundqvist retires his $8.5 million cap hit won’t count against the Rangers’ cap payroll for next season, but he’d forfeit the $5.5 million he’s owed in actual salary. If they can’t trade him to another club, a buyout would create $3 million in savings but still leave some dead cap space.

Brooks indicates the Rangers received no significant offers for Georgiev before the February trade deadline, nor did management especially dangle him in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Georgiev’s name surfaced a lot in this year’s rumor mill, though most of it was pundits dreaming up potential destinations for him. Barring a surprising swerve where the Rangers keep Lundqvist, Georgiev appears destined to be Shesterkin’s backup next season.

Brooks examined other possible off-season moves for the Rangers. Popular check-line winger Jesper Fast is expected to depart via free agency. They must decide whether to sign Ryan Strome to a one-year contract that might be worth $5 million. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Strome didn’t improve his chances for a long-term deal or his trade value with a dismal performance against the Carolina Hurricanes in the qualifying round.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Strome had a couple of assists against the Hurricanes but his overall performance was disappointing. Maybe they consider trading him if they anticipate a difficult contract negotiation. Then again, perhaps the flat cap works in their favor if comparable players on other clubs start accepting less money on one-year deals.

The Rangers now have a shot at winning the upcoming second draft lottery and the right to select top prospect Alexis Lafreniere. Brooks, however, suggests the Rangers could instead consider selecting big Sudbury Wolves center Quinton Byfield. He points to a looming top-six opening at center over the next couple of years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks could be talking about Strome if the Rangers ink him to a one-year deal in the off-season. However, I suspect he’s referring to Mika Zibanejad, who becomes eligible for UFA status in 2022 and could seek a pay raise that proves too hefty for the Rangers to carry.

Landing Byfield might be a more sensible pick if the Rangers win the draft lottery. They already have Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider at the left wing, with both guys carrying expensive contracts and full no-movement clauses.

Playing Lafreniere on the third line isn’t a good option, and shifting him to the right side takes him out of his comfort zone. They could move Panarin or Kreider to the right side but could face the same problem.

If the Rangers win the first-overall pick, maybe they trade down with another club to ensure they get Byfield and something else.

What say you, Rangers fans? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


  1. 1st off, Zib will be 30 when his next contract starts. Speculating his next deal now is pointless. Strome isn’t getting 5 mil from anyone. Before this season he averaged 35 points a year. Putting up points in regular season playing with Panarin shouldn’t fool anyone into thinking he’s anything but a middle 6 player. Rangers just signed 2 big centers out of college. They drafted Karl Henriksson in 2nd round last year. Don’t count out Anderson. My guess is they pursue a 2C via trade. With all the prospects they’ve stocked, along with 2— 1st rd picks this year, they need to start trading quantity for quality. Agree, no way they would take Byfeld 1st overall if they do get the pick.
    On Lundqvist: I debated this yesterday with someone. If he retired he wouldn’t really be walking away from 5.5 mil. He’s already gotten his 1 mil bonus. So if you figure a buyout will leave him with only 3mil owed, and then figure what he’s actually leaving on table after taxes. Add to that he’d probably sell his digs in NYC, collecting a few more million and avoiding another year of property taxes. When you take into account his career earnings over 100 mil plus endorsement deals through the years, retirement would be a nice give back to an organization that has treated him very well.

    • You’re trying to rationalize him walking away from a couple of million dollars to show respect for a team that signed him to a contract that they no longer want to honour? It also sounds like Hank enjoys New York so the assumption that he’s going to sell off when he retires is a leap. Obviously NYR has been loyal to him and he’s been loyal to the team but it’s a bit much to ask him to just give up that money IMHO. I wouldn’t do it. They both agreed on the deal, not sure why he should give up that money.

      • If he decides to call it quits, there’s a good chance he goes and plays with his brother in Sweden. Yeah, he has a contract. Team and player have mutual respect. Writing is on the wall. Retiring is possible.

  2. I’m obviously not a Rangers fan, but no team should pass up Lafreniere, who is by far the top available player in the draft. You pick Lafreniere and then figure everything else out. Let the chips fall where they may.

    • As the old saying goes, you pick the best player available.

      • I’ll add that Kakko played most of rookie season on 3rd line. Lafreniere could also play 3rd line to start. Anatomy could move to RW. A lot of scouts believe Lafreniere could move to center. We’re getting ahead of ourselves, but the Rangers could also package that pick in a trade. #1, Strome+DeAngelo to Detroit for #4 and Larkin? A package for Eichel? Pointe?

      • Anatomy? Should’ve been Panarin.

      • Slick, can’t see Detroit doing that or Buf moving Eichel. Will Lafreniere even be as good as Larkin?
        Maybe LA makes a deal to move up a spot. They have Kopitar and just drafted Turcotte, a C.
        35th overall thrown in to move up a spot.
        Too much? Not enough?

      • Ray Bark, just spitballing possibilities. They have to win lotto 1st. LA would be a possibility if NY was really high on Byfeld. Would LA give up a prospect like Villardi or Turcotte for #1 and Rangers other 1st from Carolina? Same with Ottawa. I’d be happy with either Byfeld or Stuessel.

      • As compared to the only recent history trade of a number 1 that is close ray. Another young roster player with middle six potential and you’ve got the same value the panthers got from the pens all those years bsck

      • Its good to be Rangers fan when uncle Gary take care of your team. 1st and 2nd overall pick in 2 years, both with deep draft and big stars…nicely done, nicely done.

      • Gary,

        First of all, NY hasn’t been given 💩 in this years draft. The 1st and 2nd will not be decided until August 10th.

        Bettman has really favored NY…..

        54-55 years of no picks in the top 3 until last year (#2).

        Yeah, total conspiracy!

        In that same time… how many high picks have NJ, Tampa, Toronto, Edmonton Buffalo, Florida, Pittsburgh, Washington etc received?

        Yeah, keep commenting please!

        Thanks Bettman! You have given us such franchise players like…… ? Well there was that one ….. oh never mind. Ny has been given zero!

        While franchise and marquee players like McDavid, Eichel are buried in hockey hell.

      • Ray/Slick, let me chime in on LA potentially trading up. Personally I don’t see any reason to. LA is flush with centre prospects but are any of them as good as what Byfield is projecting to be? I say no.

        If I’m Blake, I’m happy with whoever is left over out of Byfield and Lafreniere. It makes no sense add another asset when your rebuilding to move up to pick a player at a less desirable position.

        I especially don’t make that trade if I have to throw in Villardi, LAs best prospect, who is also a centre. I’m not giving up two potential number one centres in Byfield and Villardi for Lafreniere, who doesn’t project to be a generational player like McDavid, et al

      • Hey CDN King, I get your point. And trading down for an extra asset, like I am suggesting NYR do, is more of an NFL move where they often draft for position.
        The reason I said LA is because of the point you make about all the C assets they already have. They don’t need another one, but they can play one on the wing I suppose.
        Maybe they want a D instead and consider trading down?
        I guess it all depends how they view the players in the draft. My only opportunity to watch the top guys was the WJC, and to me Lafreniere stood out over Byfield. So did Drysdale.

      • Hey Ray, your are spot on that Lafreniere and Drysdale stood out more at the Juniors. What I like about Byfield, and I believe the Kings do too as they love the bigger players, is the fact he has a rare blend of size and skill at a very coveted position.

        As for the Juniors , he is basically a full year younger than Lafreniere, so next year’s tournament, might be a better indicator on where he’s at comparable to Lafreniere.

        Anyways just a thought, enjoy the games tonight!

    • Rangers future looks good even with that embarassing sweep. Top heavy and big holes on D and bottom 6. And yes to a 2C-I am unsold on Chytil still and Strome on RW with less ice time would be acceptable for 3.75mil.

      They need to make a move for a center for sure. outside of that stay the course

      • ds. Improving top 6 with a better center automatically pushed better players down to bottom 6. I’d rather have Fast at RW for less than what Strome might get if he goes to arbitration. 4m is possible. No thanks. I

      • Yzerman would/should be fired if he made that ridiculous trade … #4 overall & Dylan larkin??? for that??? wow …

    • Sell the First pick to Montreal. They’d give half their picks and their sisters for Laffy.

    • They will give him an office job and be with the rangers forever

  3. The Rangers are in a good spot, team is developing nicely, no need to rush anything.

    Agree with slick62 always be wary of the 30 and over club when it come to forwards.

    Henry was given his farewell shot and probably knows it’s the end of the line, at least with the Rangers.

  4. I have a trade proposal

    Jake for Jake

    I’m growing tired of Debrusk game that has drastically changed since the Kadri hit.

    Vancouver seem to want to get away for Virtanen and his lack of defensive game.

    Let them both have a fresh start.

    • Interesting idea Caper. Virtanen seems to have more skill with Jake a better attitude and commitment to a team game. The #’s are pretty similar.
      The B’s need to wake the flip up. I know it isn’t do or die yet but they seem flat with no intensity and I’m not sure it is a switch you can just turn on.
      Looking for a sense of urgency against the Caps, a team they have struggled against overall for the past few years. If they play like they are it will be a quick exit next round.

    • Virtanen is a great skater, hits like a truck and has decent scoring ability. What he doesnt have is any drive or will to compete. Has only ever shown flashes but no consistency.

    • Finally, a proposal on this board that makes sense. You win the internet today bud.

      • Only difference is one is arbitration eligible. If Boston can get DeBrusk signed cheaper than other Jake, more cap space to sign Krug.

      • Krug has really shown defensive laps in these 2 playoff games. If I am the Bruins I am only signing him to 5 mill a year or I look else where.

        In a time where guys need to step up he has not. Macavoy and Luzon IMO have played much better.

  5. Its over for Queen Henrik……

  6. Hank has been a great Ranger but his time has come. Hopefully he sees that and retires. I would be hard pressed to trade the first overall pick. Especially since it’s Lafreniere. If LA offers up pick #2 and Turcotte and Kaliyev I would think they have to consider that or if Ottawa offered up #3 and #5 plus Shane Pinto that would also be something to consider.

    • LAs not offering up that much to move up one spot. They’ll be very happy walking with Byfield and keeping their top prospects.

      LA says no way.

  7. Why is queen Hendrick so great? What has he done? How many cups has he won? Big games? The most over rated goalie in history. I hope he stays and plays with them forever. If he played anywhere else but NY no one would care. Please stop it already you have to be kidding me queeny.

    • Thanks for your contribution! It was well thought out and Eloquently stated. Best of luck in your upcoming 4th grade school year!

      • @nyr4life, Lundqvist is a lock for HOF. Having said that, if you are not a NYR fan, there is a lot more hype around Lundqvist then probably deserved. this is a result of the NY marketplace and media. He has some great individual stats. But 1 Vezina and 0 Stanley Cups is definitely lacking. He played on teams that spent to the cap throughout his career, so he was not devoid of talent around him. Again an absolute HoF career, but the amount of accolades coming out of NY is overblown.

      • Kevin,

        I’d say that Lundqvist was VERY devoid of talent surrounding him.

        Most of the teams in front of him were constructed of 2nd 3rd round picks. And some of the 1st”s he’s had?

        Stepan, Dubinsky, Callahan, Girardi, etc… not exactly hof locks by any stretch. How many 50 goal or 100 point guys have surrounded him in his career….Jagr and…..?

        2014… Cup year…. NY Rangers were the lowest scoring teams in the playoffs but one of the best gaa in the playoffs … oddly so was LA.

        Torts years low scoring black and blue shirts era… stagnant offense and a PP that didn’t exist.

        Fleury won 3 cups, and wasn’t the playoff starter for 2 of them!!!

        Switch Lundqvist with Murray, Fleury , Crawford or Quick….

        Replace stepan, Nash with Toews, Kane… Crosby, Malkin…Doughty Kopitar….

        Measuring Lundqvist by cups he hasn’t won is a bit absurd.

        Lundqvist was always capable of stealing games, and sometimes a series. He wasn’t capable of scoring goals or stealing an entire playoff year. Which is not happening for ANY goaltender in today’s nhl.

        Over rated? I’d say his wins and career numbers tell a completely different story.

      • Rangers only made a Cup and 3 conference finals on Hank’s back. Dont tell me it was the D of Staal and Girardi(both admirable those seasons but not confused with bourque or lidstrom..)
        or their ‘fire power’.

      • Messier is better than Gretzky… he has more cups!

        How do we measure Ovechkin vs Crosby? 1 cup vs 3 cups…. but Ovie has more personal hardware?

        Mike Rupp is better than every player in the NHL that has not won a cup. Because he has a cup….

        See where I’m going with this?

      • Exactly Nyr4life – hardware, much of it voted upon, is hardly THE criterion to judge good, better, best.

        Henri Richard has 11 Stanley Cups. ELEVEN! It’s safe to say it’ll be a frosty Friday in Hades before anyone comes anywhere near that. But to extrapolate on that basis and say that means he’s better than, say, Gordie Howe of his era would be ludicrous.

      • Agreed George. When people say things like that, it’s really just a shortcut to thinking. It’s dumbed down argument of “who is better than who?”


        I find it ironic and hilarious that you used Bourque as an example … because if he didn’t land in Colorado…. he finishes his amazing career with no cup… ever mean his horrible career! Ditto Blake. Because obviously everything you’ve done short of a championship is a null and void… meaningless.

      • Unless we contract the league back down to 6 teams yes it will be pretty much impossible to match 11 cup wins by one player. Hardware, reputation, and folklore makes a player legendary; Henrik would easily qualify.

      • Ruppers!!!!!!!

    • Lundqvist and Luongo, two vastly over rated underwhelming careers.

    • Why do you guys call him Queen Henrik?
      Good looking fella, sure, seems more ruggedly handsome than pretty IMO.

      • I think they are mocking the “King” nickname, no other meaning.

      • It’s an easy/childish jump from King to Queen. That criticism has been there for years. Haters will hate, and as is said, consider the source. A childish mentality.

      • I think it has something to do with their homoerotic fantasies.

      • Much like the – yuk yuk – “Sedin Sisters” – juvenile ridicule of two extremely talented players

      • Really? I always thought Cindy crosby was the highlight of playing the flyers.

    • A few quotes on Lundqvist.“His streak of 129 consecutive playoff starts is the third-longest in NHL history, trailing Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy“.
      This is from 2015 article:” Lundqvist now has a career Game 7 record of 6-1 to go along with remarkable stats in those games. In Game 7s, Lundqvist’s goals-against average is 0.97 and save percentage is .962. That’s not to mention he has one shutout and has only allowed more than one goal against in a Game 7 once, and that was his only loss.“. That was during his prime years. I’d say he was pretty good in “big games”. Career playoff numbers counting this year. 130 games: 2.30 GAA. .921 save percentage. His numbers before the 2015/16 season were considerably better, as is with most players before they pass prime.

      • Do you guys not know what “trolling” is?


      • Yes Rattus I do. It was a response troll/joke in the format of a question.
        Attempt at wit that obviously missed it’s mark.

  8. I think the oilers are done and also Winnipeg it is sad that you play most of the year and you have a playoff spot and than lose to a 12th place team. I am disappointed in how the oilers and Winnipeg has played.

    • Soilers and Pens on the verge of epic chokejobs.

      • Spell check. I think jokejobs is more accurate. Eliminated by a team that has zero business being gifted with a 3 game season do-over

      • AND they’re going to get an equal crack at the # 1 pick. Only in the joke known as the NHL when it comes to those kinds of executive “decisions.”

      • The nhl found a way to fairly complete the 19-20 season in the middle of a pandemic. Honestly… if bettmans name isn’t engraved on the cup this year he’ll have been robbed.

    • I think the Oil come back and win the series, but wouldn’t bet more than $20 on it.
      They are the better team and deserved a better fate yesterday IMO, some questionable calls and bad bounces.
      The injuries bug bit WPG hard.

  9. Lottery is set for Monday at 6:00pm

    • George O
      Pit or Rangers will land 1st overall, wanna bet? Uncle Garry has to protect American market

      • Could well be Gary – and to answer here your question yesterday “no I am not a Rangers fan” – just that, given my druthers I’d sooner see them land # 1 than the Leafs (not much chance now of that as they should finish off Columbus), Penguins (they performed the hallmark of tank jobs to get Lemieux and had Crosby dropped in their laps through circumstances), or Edmonton (1st in 2010, 2011,2012, 2015 is quite enough).

        As for Chrisms thought that Bettman should have his name engraved on the Cup, I’d like to see it engraved all right … but not on any Cup!

      • George O
        I hope Rangers, Pit or Toronto will land 1st (or Chicago). It’s funny how always Canucks, Canadiens, Senators and recently Red wings are being screwed. Completely opposite to Devils, Rangers and not that long ago Toronto, Chicago and Pit. Im leaving Edmonton on a side, cause this team was dysfunctional

      • Will not*

  10. The Lundqvist fix is a no brainers. He will either get “the gunk” like Hossa or will retire and become a remote goalie consultant at say, I dunno, maybe 8.5 M over 4 years. ‘Voila” problem solved and no repercussions to NYR whose mgmt also knows this is a joke league now.

  11. Lundqvist is still a very good goalie. You would never be able to convince a Carolina Hurricanes fan that he was ever over hyped. I hope he can finish his hall of fame career with NYR.

    • Agreed. Had the Bruins been fortunate enough to have The King instead of Rask, they probably would have 4 more cups to add to the on in 2011.

      Change my mind.

      • Really? All I know is if Rask ain’t in net the pens blow bruins away in the ecf several years back

        Otherwise you could be dead on right for all’s I know

  12. Buying out Lundqvist would leave a 5.5 cap hit next season, meaning the Rangers would have nearly 13 million in cap to players that have been bought out. Per Cap Friendly.
    I dont see anyone walking away from 4.5 million in salary owed either. The only way I see NY getting out of this is packaging the 1st they got from Carolina, and retaining 50% of his contract to a team like Detroit.

    • 3 million in cap space is better than …. well not 3 million of additional cap space.

      Little to no chance Lundqvist walks away from this contract. (And beyond ridiculous to think he should as some have stated here) And about the same chance of trading him, even with 50% retained. Too many cheaper and younger options will be on the market.

      Lundqvist has played his last game in NY. And the only real option is buying him out.

      Cap space aside, keeping all 3 has been a problem. And everyone involved has talked about it. No chance they come back with 3 net minders next year.

    • My opinion for whatever it’s worth is goalies can almost always be found. I’d explore trade market for first Henrik at 50% retained for a nominal return. If no takers I’d explore georgiev for a reasonable for a goalie return… platoon Igor and Henrik and say toodles at deadline or after season. Rangers could be competitive for a playoff spot next year but a cup? If the believe Igor is the number 1 then georgie is luxury

  13. Best not to overlook the Flyers. 2-0 in round robin play. Chance at the #1 seed in the East vs Tampa on Saturday.

    Impressive wins over the Ruins and Crapitals.

    • Yeah, huge home ice advantage for them. Lol.

      The Flyers look great.

  14. Re Hank

    I posted before that a single trade (full or retained) still need Hank’s OK…. unlikely

    Can’t see him walking from that dough

    Buyout…. cash is nothing to NYR… save $3M in 20/21; dead $1.5 M 21/22…. mist likely scenario

    Hank loses but $1.5 M gross… he can sign with any team he wants @$1.5 M ; not lose a penny in gross (take home is pending taxes in market he signs with) ; and can go to a contender for a chance at a Cup

    VGK tight against Cap; looking at ways to extend Lehner as back up (but Lehnershould seek and get at least 4 somewhere)

    Hank @ $1.5 M in LV fits well within their budget and could push Flower for starter… VGK should once again finish top 4 in West and have fair shot at long run next year