NHL Rumor Mill – August 7, 2020

by | Aug 7, 2020 | Rumors | 40 comments

More Rangers speculation and what the Penguins will do with their free-agent goaltenders in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers are in need of a first-pair defenseman. He feels Brendan Smith is not up to logging those minutes alongside Jacob Trouba. Brooks points out Trouba was still trying to adjust to his new club when paired with rookie Libor Hajek earlier this season. Perhaps they might be a better fit next season. Promising K’Andre Miller might be able to fill that role one day, but it would be expecting too much for him to step into that position next season.

New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have over $68 million invested in 16 players next season, with Ryan Strome, Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux, and Alexandar Georgiev becoming restricted free agents with arbitration rights in the off-season. They would get some cap relief by trading or buying out Henrik Lundqvist, but that won’t be enough to re-sign those four and acquire a top-pairing blueliner via trade or free agency.

LOHUD.COM: Vincent Z. Mercogliano examined the Rangers’ possible off-season moves. He noted they’ll have about $13.5 million to spend on re-signing their free agents and can’t afford to keep them all.

Strome and DeAngelo earned the right to seek multi-year contracts, but their play against the Carolina Hurricanes in the qualifying-round series didn’t help their cause. To address their defensive issues. Mercogliano believes general manager Jeff Gorton will explore trade possibilities, with Strome, DeAngelo, and Georgiev as bait.

Regarding Henrik Lundqvist, if he’s unwilling to return as Igor Shesterkin’s backup next season or if the Blueshirt stick with Georgiev, Mercogliano speculates they could buy him out. Retirement is also possible but perhaps a long shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gorton has some big off-season decisions to make. Landing a top-pairing defenseman could involve shopping DeAngelo in a package deal. Still, acquiring that type of rearguard would eat up a lot of their cap room. Perhaps he’ll consider more affordable moves while waiting to see how things shake out next season with their younger players.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Starkey was asked about the long-term implication if the Penguins chose to re-sign goalie Tristan Jarry over Matt Murray regardless of the outcome of this postseason.

Starkey believes the Penguins cannot afford to re-sign both for even more than one season. They’re each slated to become restricted free agents with arbitration rights. It could come down to what each goalie seeks on his next contract. Murray’s performance in this year’s playoffs could also be a determining factor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray appeared in the Penguins’ first three games of their qualifying round series against the Montreal Canadiens, but he’s been out-played by the Canadiens’ Carey Price. If the Penguins are eliminated with Murray in net, that could have implications for his hopes of re-signing even a one-year deal.


  1. I thought Trouba was the saviour . Over priced

    Who is hoping for the Oilers to get the first overall pick ?

    • Who is hoping for the Oilers to get the first overall pick ?

      Oiler fanboys???

      • THAT would the absolute pinnacle of injustice! Followed closely by either the Leafs or Penguins winning it.

      • Pens, Oilers, Leafs could all get that #1….

        Rangers going from the #2 pick to #1….
        as a Ranger fan of course I do a dance.

        Somehow the Oilers winning the lottery seems to be worst option imho

      • Nobody.


    • He isn’t mentioning Troubas departure… he’s mentioning a better suited defensive partner.

      I thought McDavid was going to single handily turn around the oilers ? Then again… so was Hall, Rnh, Draisaitl, Klefbom, Yak, Eberle…..

      • Nyr4life – correct on Trouba.

        Also, Trouba is a RHD, just 26 and just coming into his prime.

        DeAngelo (hamstrings) played hurt against Carolina.
        Another RHD, again patience, but he could be dealt as Fox is yet another young RHD.

        Lundqvist is history, one way or the other.

        The only realistic reason to hold onto him Is for the mandatory goalie exposure in the Seattle Draft (Shest is exempt), but that would mean carrying 3 G for the 2020/21 season.
        Not ideal, but a COVID-shortened season might make that a viable option.

      • Be fair now. McDavid did lead his team all the way to the qualifying round.


    • I’m ok with it. Maybe they will trade it if they win it for those top tier D they always lack

  2. I wonder if a good team like Toronto gets the first overall pick if they would trade it along with a bad contract for a top two defensemen, for example would the wild take a bad contract and the first overall pick for Dumba and a pick.

    • Who do consider a “bad contract?”

      • good point George , Leafs don’t have any proverbial ‘bad contracts’

      • Exactly Fergy … ok so there are some who feel Nylander is overpaid at close to $7 mil per, but that would be a balsy move to relinquish the # 1 plus Nylander for Dumba and a bloody pick.

        And in the end, with a cap difference of less than a mil, they’d still not have enough to re-sign their 4 RFAs and UFA Clifford (if they wish to keep him).

        The question is, with their D needing the most attention, do they emulate the Oilers by ignore the best D-man available (Drysdale) and go for more offense (which they don’t need – at least in seasonal hockey) by taking Lafrenière?

        The year the Oilers took Yakopov they passed on Ryan Murray (2nd), Morgan Rielly (5th), Hampus Lindholm (6th), Matthew Dumba (7th), Jakob Trouba (9th). Wouldn’t any of them look good in an Oiler’s jersey right now?

      • That Tavares contract may not be a stinker yet but its starting to gather a very foul odor.

      • Lafreniere is no Yakupov. Youi do not pass on a guy like that. If they decide they need the D more than Lafreniere they trade the pick to someone like Ottawa for multiple picks and try and land Drysdale or Sanderson there. But If your picking iwth it you are picking Lafreniere.

      • No one said he was. He is also no McDavid or Matthews or Crosby.

    • If memory serves, didn’t TOR trade their first round pick w Marleau to Carolina. And then I think NYR gets one of Carolinas 1st’s for the defenseman (name escapes me). So Dubas won’t have to worry about how to sign another top 5 pick

      • The pick they traded to Carolina is Top 10 protected !!

      • It was Skjei trades to Carolina. Leafs can only get in top 10 if they win lottery. Otherwise Carolina gets that pick and Rangers get Carolinas due to conditions on that trade. (Rangers get the later pick). As far as Penguins, Leafs, Oilers getting #1, that would be a really bad look. For the life of me, I don’t know how the 2nd phase isn’t weighted the same as phase1. Jets held the spot that won in phase 1. They should have the best odds, followed by rest of teams listed in inverse order, with odds going down from 8-15.

      • What were the Rangers thinking trading Brady Skjei? IMO big mistake! Now, they need a #1 pairing guy? Brooksie at his best

    • If the Leafs are eliminated and get the 1st pick theyre NOT a good team.

  3. Best not sleep on the Flyers.

    • They ARE looking quietly good Ronald. Holding the Caps to 17 shots is no mean feat – talk about all-round preparation!

  4. Penguins starting Tristan Jarry in goal today.

    Must win game and you put your Cup winning goalie on the bench?

    Matt Murray…meet the Kraken, lol.

    • RU serious Ron… is that a guess or have they said that?

      If so Sully is trying to lay the blame at Murray who is 813 (well above season of 913) and a massive 970 + when JJ on the bench

      Please tell me that JJ is scratched

      It’s Sid’s B-Day… this HAS to be his wish!

      • Pengy,

        Sportsnet and The Score both mention Jarry starting today.

      • Pengy,

        Meet Matt Murray, your 2020 qualifer scapegoat.

  5. If the leafs get the Fort
    Pick overall they won’t draft
    The kid from Quebec because he is over 200lbs.
    Expect them to draft a smaller “ high skilled player”
    Dubai’s doesn’t like anyone who has size.

    • Like Marko Rossi?

  6. The Rangers didn’t really have traditional 1st, 2nd, 3rd pairs. It was pretty evenly matched. 1 offensive defenseman, 1 stay at home. DeAngelo/Staal. Fox/Lindgren. Trouba/Skjei. Hajek played briefly early in the season and Smith payed mostly 4th line wing until Skjei was dealt to Carolina. Trouba was paired with different guys for PK. Sometimes (well, most times) I wish Brooks opinions would be left out of the conversations. He still thinks DeAngelo and Strome will combine to make 10 mil. If they come back next season with all the same players and rely on younger guys being better, they’ll probably still be on outside looking in at the playoffs.

  7. Price has stood in his head but Murray at 913 way better than his season 899 ; and when JJ on the bench … Murray is over 970

    Pens should re-sign both. Moving one leaves the other as starter (DeSmith as back-up) and with any injury to Murr/Jarr (if they only keep one) then starter is DeSmith with back-up Larmi ( with a massive total of ECHL 11 games and 9 in WBS [note at 883 save %] as his full NA experience)

    That just won’t fly at all

    As at now … 7 spots to fill ; $13.2 M space

    Move Bjug for 7th rounder three years from now ; Poulin up filling Bjug forward roster spot…. now at $16.4 M to still fill 7 spots

    Buyout JJ ($2.1 M Cap savings) fill his slot with Riikola or Czuzman … now at $17.6 M for still 7 spots…. ABSOLUTELY doable

    That’s two moves…. one is absolutely easy and makes team waaaay better…. just a stroke of a Pen;

    The other …. getting a team to take Bjug; is tough but not impossible…. might cost them Lafferty … but someone will take Bjug

    They should also waive CR to WBS

    Make offers UFAs Soucy (just turned 26 two weeks ago) and Psyk (one of maybe 3 NHLers equally adept at D and Wing )



    Psyk/Soucy or Riikola/Soucy

    All above us affordable with a Bjug move and JJ buyout

    All above has team massively (call it gargantuan) better than current roster

    Has to be done

  8. Ronald R J informed me of some very depressing news above… in disbelief I had to check the veracity of it ( sorry RRJ; so unbelievable I had to)…. yep Sully the baboon publicly stated Jarr/ Murr flip for today….

    I don’t have social media but saw these posts from the link associated with video of Sully’s presser announcing TJ in over Murr instead of JJ out for ANYBODY

    Here are some of those posts with my comments

    “Jack Johnson should not see the ice surface for the rest of this evening. Or series. He is woefully out of his element here and is bleeding scoring chances every time he steps on the ice. Mike Sullivan’s ship is going down and he’s ignoring the hole.”

    My comment on this post… agree with everything except replace “for the rest of this evening. Or series. “ with “forever (and a day)”

    “you have to believe there’s someone in wilkes barre better than jack johnson”…

    My comment on that… EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE ANYTIME is better than JJ

    “Sullivan is leaving himself wide open for rightful and severe criticism right now.”

    My comment … You think? By making public the goalie change he’s Throwing Murray (970 + save % when JJ on bench) under the bus instead of just announcing JJ scratched ; saving series and his job

    “imagine waiting 4 months for jack johnson to potentially ruin the entire season for everyone in less than a week”

    My comment … replace “in less than a week” to “in less than 37 minutes total time 5 on 5”

    “Coach Sullivan to the media yesterday morning. If I were to make any personnel changes, I probably wouldn’t share them with you guys. Any time you make changes, there’s an element of risk associated with it. One could argue that there’s an element of risk associated with not making changes, too.”

    My comment … “probably won’t share” RUFKM ? He shared publicly the goalie switch to publicly throw spotlight away from JJ (and thus him for allowing JJ to play and ruin Pens winning chances) onto Murray (again let me add … 970+ when JJ on the bench and still at 913 for series (season he was 899) …. WTF?

    Take JJ out; and ANY goalie (including Larmi ) in ; instead of JJ in and Murray or Jarry standing on their heads…. Pens chances of winning today at the very least ; quintuple ; 10 fold NOT out of the question

    I reiterate … 970+ with JJ on the bench!!!! Goalie change was NOT the priority; NOT necessary

    One announcement stating JJ was out (with anybody; yes even CR replacing him) and EVERY Pen not named JJ breathe heavy sigh; and massively pumped for tonight’s game; all Pens fans EXUBERANT….

    • This goalie change sounds to me like a guy perhaps sniffing in the wind and getting an uneasy feeling that, if this series is lost, he’s out. So he’s looking for that rabbit in the hat in the form of a miraculous game (or two) from a goalie getting his first crack at playoff hockey. In which case Rutherford doesn’t dare fire a genius. Or so the thinking goes.

  9. Pittsburgh Penguins:

    2018 – eliminated by Capitals
    2019- swept in first round by Islanders
    2020 – missed playoffs

    Time for Rutherford and Sullivan to go.

    Its Over!!!

  10. Yep, and it wasn’t Johnson on the ice for both goals – it was Schultz

    And there goes Montreal’s shot at Lafrenière at the same time.

    One final thought: looking at Elliot Friedman we at least know where Joe Thornton’s bush went.

  11. I still say Pittsburgh looks slow Crosby and Malkin have plenty of miles on the odometer and Jake just recovered major injury. I have no idea how to fix this team but just benching one player I don’t believe is the answer but Pengy probably knows. First overall pick would definitely help but I’m hoping Winnipeg wins that.

  12. If Dubois played in Toronto and Mathews played in Columbus, would Dubois be touted as the 3rd best player in the league and Mathews just a good center?

  13. Oilers beat out by the 12th seeded Black Hawks…

    Connor McChokejob

    • Ronald, did you watch the game?
      What do you think about Kirby Dach?

      I think he is one terrific player and will be one of the top centermen in the league one day.
      Chicago probably got the best player in last years draft.

      • Didnt know much about Dach previously. Kid had a great series for sure.