Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 16, 2020

by | Aug 16, 2020 | Rumors | 46 comments

Has Tuukka Rask played his final game with the Bruins? Could the Rangers be tempted to trade the first-overall pick? What’s the latest on the Panthers? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont suggests it might be time for the Bruins and goaltender Tuukka Rask to part ways. This comes in the wake of Rask’s decision to return home for family reasons. While the club is supportive of the goalie’s decision, and Dupont is also sympathetic, the pundit points out this isn’t the first time he’s taken a leave of absence for family reasons.

Rask has one season left on his contract, but Dupont feels the Bruins cannot have uncertainty between the pipes, especially in the starter’s position. He notes the Bruins can trade the netminder to one of the 15 teams on the list he was obligated to provide in February. He believes Bruins general manager Don Sweeney “will be working the phones.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every statement coming from the Bruins’ organization supports Rask’s decision and I feel they’ve handled this situation well considering the circumstances His critics will condemn him for bailing on the team. We don’t know the full story but it appears to be something he carefully considered for some time.

I don’t fault Rask for putting his family first. The same goes for anyone else regardless of profession. It’s difficult to focus on a job when you’re worried about your family.

Rask’s decision, however, does raise questions over the goaltender’s future in Boston. Some will suggest a trade, others retirement.

Dupont feels the Bruins GM and coach need to know who they can count on during the good times, bad times, and especially during the playoffs. If that’s the rationale the Bruins use to trade Rask (and that’s a big “if” at this point), it will hurt his value in the trade market. If Rask returns next season, they could keep their goalie tandem intact with Jaroslav Halak for one more season. 

Will the New York Rangers use the first-overall pick to select Alexis Lafreniere? (


ESPN.COM: The New York Rangers won the draft lottery, but Greg Wyshynski notes this year’s top prospect, left-wing Alexis Lafreniere, won’t address their need for a skilled centerman. They’re already well-stocked at the left-wing position with Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider.

Wyshynski points out the Rangers could land a proven center and help on defense by shopping the first-overall pick. A bidding war could get started among clubs seeking a skilled left-winger. However, just because it’s an option doesn’t make it the best one.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Lisa Dillman cites former NHL GM Brian Burke suggesting the Rangers have got to listen if someone is going to come after that pick hard, but he notes those offers usually aren’t good.

Dillman wondered if the Los Angeles Kings, who own the second-overall pick, might contact the Rangers. The presence of No. 2 prospect Quinton Byfield (a center) might entice the Rangers to listen. While the Kings have depth in center prospects and the Blueshirts have a need at that position, it doesn’t mean there’s a fit there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if the Rangers don’t get some calls about that pick. Maybe from the Kings, perhaps from the Ottawa Senators, possibly from the Montreal Canadiens or another club in dire need of a potential scoring star. However, it’ll take a significant offer to convince them to part with that pick. Ultimately, I expect the Rangers will keep the pick, select Lafreniere, and find other ways to boost their depth at center, either internally or through the trade or free-agent markets. 


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards noted whoever becomes the Florida Panthers new GM will have decisions to make regarding unrestricted free agents such as Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman.

Richards suggests the flat salary cap could work to the Panthers’ advantage if they want to re-sign a couple of their UFAs without breaking the bank. Dadonov and Hoffman seem to enjoy living in Florida and playing for the Panthers, but they might have to accept short-term deals if they hope to stay. However, their production could make them cost-prohibitive if the Panthers decide to cut payroll.

Improving the defense should be the Panthers’ priority. Richards notes blueliner Mike Matheson has six years left on his contract at $4.8 million per season and was scratched from the final two games of the postseason. If they’re willing to give up on Matheson’s potential it might not be easy to move his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lack of a state tax also works in the Panthers’ favor if they hope to re-sign Dadonov and Hoffman. It’ll be interesting to see what transpires with those two as they approach free agency. They could test the market and then return to the Panthers if there’s nothing to their liking. That’ll depend, of course, on who takes over the GM’s chair between now and then.

Matheson frequently surfaced in this year’s rumor mill. The Panthers could be stuck with him as the decline of his play over the last couple of seasons could hurt his value in the trade market. Still, I can see the next GM calling around to see if there’s a club willing to take a chance on him.


  1. Rask in my opinion will retire and Boston will continue with Halak as their number one and hopefully one of the rookies will own the backup roll. I know Bruin brass and players are saying right thing and I believe most are sincere I just can’t imagine him walking into dressing room next year. Rask has never really looked like he fit in very well and to me seems like a bit of an outsider.

    • I know Lafreniere is the best player in the draft, but if the Rangers biggest need is at Center then they should draft Byfield or Rossi and the Kings would get Lafreniere. They shouldn’t have to trade down so Lafreniere is #1, their GMs responsibility is to do what’s best for them.

  2. Yes there has been hints from Rask the last few seasons about how much he’s actually into hockey and these playing conditions pushed it to this point and probably the last we see Rask in a Bruins jersey or with and other NHL team

  3. One more if I may would be nice to see Krug step up his playoff game and make it a harder decision for the Bruins

    Although $7.5+ million Per for 5 can’t happen

    • Joe right now all Krug is shown is $7m of reasoning to not resign him.

  4. Although we don’t know if there’s home or medical issues above and beyond for Rask that’s different. However if not then shame on him as every player is concerned about and miss there families.
    Rask himself is safe in the bubble and I’m sure with his money he has his family pretty safe as well.
    This is not jealousy at all but many ordinary and we’ll off people still go and do there jobs under trying times.
    Once again if he left because he didn’t like the bubble only it would be selfish and the bruins although saying all the right things would and need to move on from him.Im not a bruin fan but I know there a close group all sacrificing to win the cup and secretly not impressed there number 1 goalie bailed.
    I hope all is well with his family but you have guys like domi diabetic (who doesn’t have a great chance of winning) giving his all.

    • Well said Randy, I am thinking the same thing but didn’t know how to articulate it.

    • Randy, two months ago when this was in the planning stage most people agreed anyone opting out gets a pass. Other than Millbury running his mouth, nothings changed. Get out of here with that terrible take

      • Right on … another way of looking at it is that, perhaps, in his own mind he figures he wouldn’t be doing his team any favors if he can’t get his mind squarely on the task at hand. If his thoughts are mostly with his family and he knows he can’t shake those concerns, both he and the team are better off if he just leaves.

      • Well said George

      • Well said Chaas and George, and to those making assumptions about his motives and how the B’s will react, you don’t know either.
        Not a good look to act like you do.

    • Domi doesn’t have a family to worry about, he can focus solely on hockey. His generation is happy staying home playing video games.

  5. And trading Rask and his 7 Million salary would free up some $ for the Bs.

    • Only thing I myself would call Rask out on is saying these games are like exhibitions games to him this had nothing to do with his decision on opting out he used that statement as a prop and probably shouldn’t have entered the bubble to begin with he just wasn’t into it and his play showed

  6. I for one wish Rask the best in his future endeavors.
    Family first.
    Everyone handles things differently.
    I never liked the goalie, Rask, but I’m sure the guy, husband, dad, Rask, is a devoted one, and that’s fine too.

    • Well said, Shoreorpark. High five.

    • If it was family first for soldiers, where would our country be? Soldiers sign up, move their families and leave their families (to go overseas).
      How is it any different for hockey players going into the bubble except the bubble is probably quite a bit more luxurious than a fox hole in a foreign country.

      • Did you just compare a soldiers duties to a hockey players duties? Aye aye aye! That is grossly trivializing soldiers and what they do.

        Awful comparison!

      • To nyr4life: Grossly trivializing? Not in THIS soldier’s opinion.

      • Well, it is grossly trivializing soldiers, and grossly overstating the importance of people who PLAY a GAME for a living.

        Absolutely no comparison here. Zero.

  7. Re: Rask

    I’m assuming that once a player leaves the bubble, his season is over, no coming back later in the playoff’s ?
    For next season this puts the Bruins in a bind, if Rask retires before the draft and UFA’s signing’s then Bruins can at least get in on the Robin Lehner sweep states or try and make a trade at the draft. If Rask waits until training camp for next season trying to decide whether to play or retire that could put Bruins in hole that would be hard to get out of.

  8. Rask is well within his rights to opt out no matter the reasoning for it. Im sure that he, Bruins management will all the the proper pc things but Id wager the Bruins coaches and players are beyond angry over it.

    Not sure how Rask goes back into the Boston dressing room after this though.

    Bottom line is Rask bailed out on his team in the middle of the playoffs. Valid reason or not how can Boston count on him again in the future?

    Nobody wants a quitter on their roster or their team.

    Best guess is Rask has played his last game as a Bruin.

    • Mad Mike couldn’t have said it better

  9. I wonder if the Flyers are planning on showing up for todays game.

  10. Flyers/Montreal

    Game 1 : Hart > Price
    Game 2 : Price > Hart

    Game 3: ?? we’ll see.

  11. Leafs ****
    Dubais could of signed signed
    Marner and Matthews , a year earlier in which he did .
    This was noted by Mark Hunter
    Significant less money !’
    Now a starved salary cap situation , and a defense that is atrocious to say the least .
    Dubais has admitted to making mistakes !!!!!
    Johnsson in the lineup for the last game against Columbus ???
    After a 6 mth lay-off ???
    It’s the same old , same old !!
    Montreal and Vancouver advancing into the next round , even perhaps the third round
    Is proof , to the matter , organizations are run in a mannerism , with skilled , motivated upper management , especially – Vancouver ..
    Leafs will be involved in a major rebuild in the future , and a few tweaks over the next while , but nothing to put them over the top ..
    A person can review the Leafs as much as they like , but until they get the proper management , direction , Leafs will continue with their social distancing , pursuing the Stanley Cup
    Mark Hunter was the guy !!
    Not Dubais
    Perhaps , Shanahan should voluntarily bow out , and help the organization, seek a highly skilled leader to take them out of never , never land !!!

  12. Leafs ***
    Cont’d above , correction
    Leafs could of signed Marner and Matthews , a year earlier for. Far less money , in which he did … The offer of 8 and 9 million was on the table from their prospective agents !
    FACT !!!

    • Correction could have…
      Second only if the players agreed and who knows if they would have? They knew bigger payday was coming and no one predicted this cap situation or pandemic.

  13. It’s interesting that Florida, while having no state tax, hasn’t quite utilized that advantage like Tampa has. Giving Stralman that contract was insanity! And probably should’ve been able to get Bob for less. IMO, let ufas walk. Bring up the talented forwards you’ve drafted ( Denisenko, Noel, Borgstrom, Tippett). Give Priskie a shot on defense. All guys in elc’s Use whatever cap space to fix defense.
    As far as Rangers: Trading 1st overall isn’t very likely. Trading with LA because they have center prospects? So do Rangers. People have unjustly written them off though. A bunch of kids taken in either 1st or 2nd rd. Chytil, Anderson, Howden, Henriksson (my personal fav). Then you add 2 guys just signed out of college, Barron and Khodorenko…. there’s no guarantee Byfeld will be any better than any of those guys. Definayely not next year. I could see maybe trading for an established player with other assets, not the Lafreniere pick

  14. Well said Obe–Players are making commitments to be there but the big thing is they want to win the Cup. Team is extended family that are counting on their #1 goalie. If its a medical situation with someone than by all means go but he’s been wavering since he came back. Also if you remember he left team 2 years ago for family reasons. I believe that was marriage issues from what was rumored. Cheating on wife etc

  15. There has been a lot of discussion about the goalie market for next season. As I see it there are 23 teams that are pretty much set at the position. Most (Avalanche, Blue Jackets, Blues, Canadiens, Canucks [I assume Markstrom will be resigned], Capitals, Coyotes, Devils, Ducks, Flyers, Hurricanes, Islanders, Jets, Kings, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Panthers, Predators, Rangers, Senators, Sharks, Stars) seem to be happy with their #1. Others (Devils, Sharks) may be less enthusiastic about their highest salaried player but would have few practical avenues, if any, for moving a bad contract.
    Another five teams (Blackhawks, Bruins, Flames, Penguins and Golden Knights) have varying levels of uncertainty as to what direction they may go in manning the position next year. And I only see three teams (Redwings, Sabres and Wild) that are very likely to be shopping to upgrade the position for next season.
    Furthermore, the Blues (Allen) and Coyotes Raanta) both have guys sitting at #2 on the depth chart making #1 money. And, I believe, both are capable of being #1s in the league. Crawford, Holtby, Lehner and Markstrom (mentioned above) are all suited to #1 positions as well and all will be UFAs. Clearly teams looking for a #1 goalie have plenty of options and are in the driver’s seat. And teams looking to move a goalie (Blues, Coyotes and Penguins) have little hope of getting back full value in a trade. Should be interesting

  16. Rask should have taken the high road like Hamonic . Didn’t want to play then opt out. At the beginning !
    Of course unless something changed since late June family wise.

    If the Rangers trade that first it will be an overpay. As example Ottawa”s two first and a Norris . Montreal first and second and Caufield . If the seller wants to get it done at all cost it can happen. Sens-Habs are the only ones even a possibility.

    • Can’t see the Habs trading caufield the kid can score and will at the nhl level. How he dropped to 15th is a head scratcher

      • Do the Btuins pony up for Torey Krug? He will want $7 million and he is terrific..

    • “Montreal first and second and Caufield”

      If Bergevin could pull that one off there should have a statue of him place outside of the Bell Centre !!!!!

      It’s been several decades since the Habs had a star Francophone player. If Lafreniere is the best of this strong draft, he will be bringing an all round game as opposed to the offensive catalyst that Caufield is expected to be.

      Bottom line, they swap first round picks with the Rangers & only give a up a second rounder for this year, of which they have three, along with prospect in last years first round pick. With Chicago’s second rounder being the pick directly after the Habs second rounder, MB would not be mortgaging much of, if any of the Habs draft capital in doing so!!!

      I’m sure the Rangers would want more, alot more!!! I suspect Suzuki would have to be the centerpiece of any pkg, which would be an absolute “No Thank You” from me !!!!

      • They shoulda tanked against the Pens if they wanted that Francophone.

  17. David Krejci Is having a nice playoff series, Would’ve like to see him play with some nice scoring wingers after Horton & Lucic left … kind of wasted his talent

  18. Nyr4life… I was on this other site HF boards looking at some posted trade proposals and I saw this and thought of you? Ok god that’s scary LOL

    It involves our my Penguins and your Rangers….I wanted to get your thoughts?

    All based on Malkin waiving his No trade because he loves New York city.

    3 way trade Montreal Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers
    their proposal was:

    New York: Gets Evgeni Malkin

    Pittsburgh: Gets Max Domi + Howden

    Montreal” Gets 24th Overall pick (via Hurricanes) +Hajek

    This came from a Ranger fan and he thinks adding Malkin to Pannarin, Zibinajhad and Lafreniere Rangers could roll out two terrific lines. They have a decent defense, good goaltending which he believes makes them a top 5 in the east?

    Malkin Panarin
    Zibin / lafreniere


    • Hey Blackandgold,

      If NY were in win now mode,I’d say they’d have to make that deal.

      The biggest problem I see with this deal is NY does not have that type of cap space. They’d be throwing away much more than just Howden, Hajek and that 1st.

      This would also cost Strome, DeAngelo, Lemieux etc. essentially it Would be a 6-7 piece deal on NYs part and very short try sighted (even if the money did work).

      I think some NY Ranger fans are just too impatient. The day after NY won the lottery, John Davidson and Gorton held a press conference preaching patience and thanking NY for their continued patience and understanding of the time it takes to build a winner.

      I just don’t see this type of deal for NY in the near future.

      • Makes sense..they real tight against the Cap? Are ghey losing Kreider this year?

    • Why would the Pens basically gift wrap one of their players & handed to a divisional rival?????

      • I really have to proof read!!

        Why would the Pens basically gift wrap one of their best players & hand him to a divisional rival?????

  19. So, let’s say the Rangers take AlexisLaFreniere with their first pick and the make the Kings an offer for the second pick.
    For instance, Trouba, Strome, Buchnevich and the Rangers second pick in the first round.

    • Trade the 1st overall to Ottawa for two 1st round picks. Then select a center and a defenseman.

      • That MIGHT entice Dorion — but not if he had to add Norris as suggested by SilverSeven above. Not – a- chance.

  20. “They shouldn’t have to trade down so Lafreniere is #1, their GMs responsibility is to do what’s best for them.”

    And the best thing for them, if they’re not going to draft Lafreniere would be to get some other team to pay to draft him.

    Having the #1 pick and using it to pick someone other than the best prospect available while not even getting something in return for leaving him on the table for someone else to pick?

    That’s a firing offense.
    On the spot.
    No discussion.


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