NHL Rumor Mill – September 11, 2020

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Rumors | 64 comments

The latest on Matt Murray, Taylor Hall and Phillip Danault plus updates on the Jets and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Tim Benz cites Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater claiming Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is going to be at the top of the Colorado Avalanche’s wish list. He felt goaltending was a big factor in the Avs’ second-round elimination from the playoffs. Dater said the Avs like Murray’s age (26) as he’d fit into their template of building with younger players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reports Avs general manager Joe Sakic intends to stick with his tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz for next season. He cited their strong regular-season performances and didn’t fault them for injuries that sidelined both during the playoffs. Francouz played hurt in the second round until making way for Michael Hutchinson.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports being told the Penguins and Edmonton Oilers have had discussions about Murray but the asking price (first-round pick?) is too rich for the Oilers. He believes Edmonton will be patient with the goalie search and hasn’t ruled out bringing back Mike Smith.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the flooded market for goalies in the coming offseason there’s no reason for the Oilers to bring back Smith. Time to go with a younger option.


THE ATHLETIC: Adan Vingan reports a league executive told colleague Scott Burnside last month the Nashville Predators would make sense as a landing spot for Taylor Hall. The Arizona Coyotes left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9.

In examining the pros and cons, Vingan observes the cost of signing the 28-year-old Hall could be in excess of $8 million. The Predators have around $9.3 million in cap space and enough money already tied up in players in the late-20s and early-30s.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that, folks, is why I don’t see Hall landing in Nashville in the offseason.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Buffalo’s WGR 550 that he thinks the Canadiens will look at the trade market for Max Domi and Phillip Danault. With the latter saying he’s not crazy about his situation where he’s the No. 3 center, Friedman thinks there’s a chance Danault could be traded before Domi. He feels Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is open to anything.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I won’t rule anything out. Nevertheless, I think it’s more likely Domi gets moved before Danault. The latter is a year away from UFA eligibility but Bergevin could stick with him for next season and see how promising centers Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi develop before deciding on Danault’s future.

Speaking of Domi, his future in Montreal depends upon his contract talks with Habs management. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck feels it would make sense for the Jets to trade winger Patrik Laine only if they feel they can’t afford to re-sign him long-term. The same can be said if the return is too good to pass up. “But rarely do deals featuring big-name stars result in both sides walking away with their heads held high.”

Billeck also feels a Laine trade will depend upon which direction the club wants to go. They cannot continue with their current make-up. They’re currently a scrappy team that relies on their goaltending to bail them out, which isn’t a recipe for a Stanley Cup contender.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked if the New Jersey Devils should target Laine and what it would cost to land him. He acknowledged the Devils could use a skilled sniper like Laine and have the cap space to afford him. However, he doesn’t believe the Devils can afford the asking price, which would include parting with center Nico Hischier as part of the return. The Jets are built to win right now and won’t be interested in picks and prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine, 22, is a restricted free agent next year with arbitration rights who will seek a big raise over his current $6.75-million annual average value. That will factor into whatever decision the Jets make, but I believe they intend to keep him.

What the Jets need is a good second-line center to play alongside Laine, as well as improvements to their defense corps. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe suggested Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, Calgary’s T.J. Brodie or Travis Hamonic as possible targets to address their blueline needs.


PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher sounded as though he’d look toward his farm system to improve his roster. “I don’t think we have to do anything necessarily in the free-agent market or the trade market,” said Fletcher. “We have some holes we have to fill. Certainly we’re going to have to supplement some of the core pieces we have right now.”

Fletcher acknowledged his club’s need for another goal scorer. However, he pointed to the Flyers’ young players. “We have a lot of good kids coming,” he said, singling out those who got a taste of NHL action this season like Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost and Connor Bunnaman.

Carchidi points out the Flyers have over $72 million invested in 15 players, leaving little wiggle room for additions.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall also weighed in on Fletcher’s end-of-season comments. He also pointed out addressing the Flyers needs won’t be easy given the league’s current economic climate. Hall noted Fletcher indicating the Flyers have to manage their cap properly to ensure they can re-sign their young players two or three years from now.

NHL.COM: Adam Kimelman observed Fletcher indicating he’ll be looking to improve his roster, but it won’t be through free agency over the next couple of years. “We’ll be working the phones to see what we can find on the trade front,” said the Flyers GM.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher won’t be going the UFA route to address his club’s needs. He’ll look at the trade market but he’ll also promote from within.

If he does swing a deal it’ll likely be a dollar-for-dollar swap or something as close to that as possible. He does have depth in prospects and draft picks to use as trade bait, but as Fletcher pointed out, he has to ensure he leaves enough long-term cap room to re-sign those promising youngsters down the road.


  1. Bergevin will require a trade that knocks his socks & tighty whiteies off before he trades Danault.

    He has centered one of the top 5on5 lines in the league the past two seasons, was in the top five in Selke voting this season & not to mention he is Francophone.

    • Would he trade his 1st this year, STL 2nd this year along with Danault for Laine??

      Danault would center Ehlers then.

      • why in the hell would Win do that??? but then again your name says it all … delusional

      • Bergevin would. I don’t see Winnipeg doing it. Need a lot more for a scorer like Laine.

      • Ohhhhhhhhh, yes for Laine. Socks & Fruit of the Looms gone on that one.

        Would expect more for Ehlers. Maybe send the Jets 4th rder this season back to them for the 2nd rder next season with Ehlers.

        That said, ed is right, Winnipeg wouldn’t do either.

      • I’ve been saying for years that Winnipeg should Trade Laine. Though Laine has improved his over all game this year. I still feel he has soft hands on the stick and opponents can easily knock the puck off of him making too one dimensional for my likings. Added to that everyone else’s love of the guy I would trade high on him and bring in a 2nd line Centre. Danault may look good in Winnipeg on that second line.

        Winnipeg losing Schiefele and having to move Wheeler to Centre shows their lack of depth up the middle. There D preformed pretty well despite losing Trouba and Big Buff. It would be nice to shore it up as well. Perhaps a deal can be made where they do both by moving Laine.

    • Agreed. He is very important to the Habs and Bergevin would prefer not to trade him. The problem is that he’s a UFA a year from now. He has basically been the Habs top Center by default. He is not a first line center on a contender. Now, the Habs have Suzuki and KK ready to assume the top two roles and that is the better option. If Danault wants to be paid like a number one center, it may not be feasible. A long term deal at $5-$5.5m. AAV (reasonable for a number two center which is more in line with what he is) would be workable. Anything more than that and Bergevin May have no choice but to explore a trade. Remember, he also has to worry about future contracts for KK and Suzuki.

    • If it were my call I would see if Bill Guerin would give up pick 9 for Danault and Domi. Minnesota is desperate for centre help. Then, I would see if NYR would bite on Gallagher with picks 9, 15, and the MTL and CHI 2nds for pick 1 OVA.

      • Not! Gonna! Happen! No way the Rangers trade the No. 1 pick. And if the Habs do trade Domi or Danault, they would want someone who can help right away. The only way they realistically trade for picks is if they end up in the top 3 at the very least. And that not happening. To say nothing of the fact that your proposal would have the Habs trading Domi, Danault, Gallagher and the No. 16 pick for Lafreniere. Even for Lafreniere, that’s likely too much.

      • Bettman won’t aloud this trade. He worked really hard to give Rangers 1st overall this year. Don’t be silly

    • If Bergervin wants to maximize his returns, he waits until the trade deadline & decides who stays & who goes by then. The Habs will not be a contender next season.

      What would a team be willing to pay, picks & prospects wise for a face off/PK specialist in Danault??? Or a RH D-man in Petry??? Or secondary scoring winger in Tatar??? Or a veteran backup goaltender in Allen??? Or a PK specialist with size & some offensive ability in Armia??? Or even a small, gritty, warrior in Gallagher????

      All UFAs, so Montreal would have a opportunity to sign some of them back in the summer.

      So, would the Pens be willing to give up a Sam Poulin with a 2nd & a 3rd rder or Poulin & a 1st for a Philip Danault for a run at the Cup next year???

      Or, would the Oilers be willing to pay a Raphal Lavoie & a couple of picks for Jeff Petry????

      Those types of moves.

      As for Domi, unless it is one for a Josh Anderson (though I believe it is still buyer beware with him) or Jake DeBrusk, that kind of a deal, you keep him.

      Unless of course as I said before, it is an offer that knocks Marc’s socks & Duluth Bullpens off.

  2. to NJ: Domi
    to MTL: Wood & Arizona’s 1st?

    Devils can use an upgrade in their top 6. Domi Nico & Palmieri would look good.

    • Doubtful. At this point, the Habs would want someone who can provide immediate help. If Bergevin can find a scoring winger and a top 4 LD without giving up Domi or another top 6 forward, then it may work.

    • I think the Devils are set at center, and Domi is only going to be happy playing center, so I think that would be a hard sell.

  3. Hamonic a free walk over to the Jets . Close to home and family. That’s why he opted out (-up front Tuka ) and the reason he left Long Island for the Flames in the first place.

    If Hall gets $9m avv long term I will eat my shorts. Not convinced Pietrangelo even gets $9 and he is actually worth it.

    • Jet’s have space they could trade their 1st for ADA in NY. Bring some offensive punch to the back end. young enough to grow with them team and still part of their “win now” model.

      Joel Edmunson is anther I think would pay dividends there, or any team.

      • DeAngelo was the reason Pionk became disposable. Why would Jets want both? Pionk had only 8 less points than AdA last season.

  4. Rutherford has as much chance of getting a 1st round pick for Murray as he would for Jack Johnson.


    • I’m a Pens fan and couldn’t agree more … Rutherford has to hope that teams see Murray as he was, not as he is …

      • Rutherford unloads Bjugstad we do free $2.05 million in cap space… that’s something not the full salary but we are closed to $10 million in cap space.

        Next Matt Murray, Jared Mcann either separately or together as a package,

        Then buyout Jack Johnson…

        Then move Dominik Simon and Patrick Hornqvist… if possible…..

        cmon Rutherford…sounds like Buffalo is out on Murray they are more interested in MCcann!!

        I’think Rutherford wants to package those two for a better return…

    • Agreed. Having said that, any GM who doesnt try to fleece Ken Holland (or Matc Bergevin, for that matter) isn’t doing his job.

    • 1sts are going cheap on here today. Domi for a first. Murray for a first. Ada for a first.

    • Ron..agreed but I think Rutherford will package Mccann with Murray and look for a return of a roster player that can help..

      Don’t think he is interested in draft picks,,right now

  5. You don’t trade Laine for a second line Center.

    You trade for a second line center to play with Laine.

    • Do you think they have the cap space to sign him to a contract $$ he likes, round out the team, and he wants to stay in WPG?

      • Ihc, No concerns over playing in Winnipeg. Unlike Kane and Trouba who both wanted out of Winnipeg. There hasn’t been any discussion of that in Laine case.

        What we do know is Laine desire to play with an elite center.

        The other thing we know is that Chevy will play hard ball. Every year that Kane was here he requested a trade and it didn’t happen until Big Buff threw his track suit in the shower.

        We all knew Trouba was leaving never complained about the city but an opportunity for his fiance. Again Chevy wouldn’t move him until the last possible moment.

        My concern isn’t about him stay but more about how Chevy handles the negotiations and Laine reaction to them.

      • OH ok…. was not sure his mindset was to sign in WPG after his top line comment and if they will have enough cap to make him happy. Good info. Thanks…

    • I don’t like Laine’s progression enough to consider a 9m contract for him. If thats the number then its time to move on from him.

      In spite of the 40 goal seasons the Jets would have been a better team without him for the first couple years as he developed. Since then the league has got faster, Laine plays smarter but no faster. Maybe he figures out how to become a goal scorer who is more than a shooter and maybe he becomes a superstar – I am betting his current play is closer to what he is. Explore the trade options – Heischer is a great piece. There needs to be a star player in the return.

      As for finding a centre to play with him – yes – that would help but whoever that center is could also do very well with someone else on the wing. Interesting that the first winger Little didn’t put up great numbers with was Laine. Stasny had outstanding production with him for 1 week immediately following his acquisition then nothing – the rest of Stasny’s points came on the PP. My point is that he is a difficult player to play with… until he finds a way to open up a lane to receive a pass through. He is not a difficult player to defend against as there is no deception, and no quickness.

    • I don’t trade Laine either. I have said this before, but instead of trading a winger like Ehlers for a 2 C, why not move Wheeler to C and look for the D man.
      He played well there in the past hasn’t he?
      Unless they think Little is coming back, but that is a big unknown and not looking promising right now the way I understand it.
      From the outside looking in WPG needs an upgrade on D and a 2C but has depth in scoring on the wings.
      Seems like the easiest solution IMO.

    • Exactly Caper.

  6. Nashville finding a way to add Hall will compound with their stable of inconsistent and overpaid forward signings ala Duchene, Turris and RyanJo

  7. I would think any package for Laine would involve a #1 D and a #2 C.

    I figure his next contract will be worth between $8.5 and $10 mill.

    That being said, I still wouldn’t trade him!

    • I’m just not on the laine train, especially at those prices. Him getting paid more then wheeler seems crazy to me. His work ethic has been questioned in the past, he doesn’t drive his line, and hasn’t proven he can be more then a 70 point guy.

      • I’m thinking he’s going to end up a Hossa type player…..with more goals.
        But contrary to what I said earlier, he may BE their best trade chip in this Flat Cap era.

      • Wohoo Penguins moved Bjugstad….yes

  8. Off topic fellas.

    I just want to send a prayer for all the victims and the great city of New York in what marks 19 years today.

    Remember it like it was yesterday.

    • Yes that was a terrible day many lives would be changed forever. I was a mailman in Florida that day and a ex NYer I cried in the bathroom was hard to focus on anything. Thought world war 3 was coming. prayers to families you lost lives.

    • Thank you FD. At the time, my office was about 1/2 a mile from the WTC. I was thankfully never in danger but I was able to see the flames and I felt the ground tremble when the towers collapsed. Shock is the best way to describe how we all felt. Can’t believe it’s been 19 years. Obviously, the world moves on but it’s stunning how most people don’t even seem to take much note of the anniversary anymore. One lesson we can take from that to serve during these troubling times is that the fine and decent people of the world will always rise up again. Thank you for remembering the victims. May they Rest In Peace.

    • Here here great.message…

  9. Decent article by Haggs yesterday NBC Sports Boston

    With the Bruins doing a semi overhaul of the roster…no mention of Rask though ….. talked about letting Krug walk, trading DeBrusk, seeing what they might be able to get for Krejci moving Studnicka & Frederic up to the Big Club adding toughness and size without sacrificing speed. It’s going to be a interesting offseason for the B’s

  10. Sure seems like Laine’s name has been in rumors on and off for awhile now. Trade could be inevitable. Agree with Lyle, I think Domi gets dealt before Danault. Montreal has space and need for scoring winger. Laine to Montreal for Domi, Poehling, and Caufield.

    • That would certainly be worth considering from Habs perspective. I’d prefer to substitute this year’s #16 overall for Caufield. But anyway, I don’t see Winnipeg trading Laine.

    • Done Slick, where do I sign up for that trade????

  11. Dater is almost as much of a tool as Kiszla. I read the Chambers piece and I think Sakic is mostly right. The Avs had some really bad luck with injuries and it meant they couldn’t keep the puck out of the net as much as they had been able to throughout the season.

    Given the financial landscape, I don’t think it’s wise for him to go digging through the first-tier UFA’s to find help – they are just so rarely worth it. I read a different piece that shows, when you comb through the numbers, UFA’s only perform up to their contract and past performance 20% of the time. I understand the allure of a Hall or Petro but you almost always overpay in UFA.

    So, in that case, I’m thinking Sakic will start talking to teams that are looking to shed salary because the Avs have two things most clubs don’t: a legit SC contender roster and cap room. I bet he calls up AZ and TB first them moves on down from there.

    He can take on some guys at the end of their contracts to bolster team depth and playoff experience to be stopgaps for the arrival of guys like Byram and Newhook but be rid of those contracts by the time they need to re-sign Landeskog, Makar and, eventually, MacKinnon.

    I’m thinking guys like Hjalmarsson, at the end of his deal but at $5mil. AZ would probably love to dump that contract for next to nothing while the Avs get a very experienced D that isn’t too old, can play physically and would be an upgrade in terms of consistency over Zadorov.

    The Avs would be stupid to go after a guy like Murray who hasn’t been good for years, is injury prone but still thinks he’s worth $6mil. Better to spend that money improving the guys in front of the goalie and keeping your eye on re-signing your core players than waste it on someone like Murray.

    • Saying this as a Ducks fan, If I’m Avs I go after Gibson in goal, experienced but not old and has reasonable contract. Avs have what Ducks need, picks and prospects and taking back one of the Avs goalies would provide some cap relief for Ducks. Ducks won’t be in the playoffs for the near future so might as well start the tear down and major rebuild.

      • Hi, Boom/Bust. I suppose that’s a possibility. Sakic indicated that he’s happy with the goalie situation but if someone came along with the right offer, he might decide to make a change. But Gibson has a lot of years left and pretty big cap number. His numbers have been declining but the Ducks have been getting worse overall so maybe that’s a result of being behind a bad team.
        The other thing is that you really don’t need an elite goalie to win a Cup. It helps but it isn’t necessary. If Grubauer hadn’t gotten hurt, even with all the other injuries, I think the Avs win that series against Dallas.

        I do think Sakic has to be somewhat careful with trading out picks and prospects. While the pool isn’t bad, the need for youth and depth is always a plus and they still need some wings and to deepen the goalie pool. And while I think the Avs 1st this year is in play, someone is going to have to offer up something big for that. I’m not exactly sure what that would be but it’s not just a goalie, especially to a team that is rebuilding or just needs to cut salary.

    • I think alot of the comments about Domi to Winnipeg is based on him being born there when his Dad played for the Jets.

      The Ideal center to play with Laine would be someone like Krejci (just 10yrs younger) who doesn’t play with speed can slow down the play and find the open man.

      Who that is I dont know, maybe Danualt in MTL, who is also responsible defensively.

      So if MB could pull off a trade with Domi and others to Winnipeg for Laine that would potentially be a pick win for MTL, vice versa if Chevy could get Danault out of MTL to play with Laine that also could be a huge win for WPG.

      • Good insight Caper. Any of the 3 centers mentioned would help the Jets.

        I think that if there was going to be a deal between Montreal and Winnipeg it would have happened already unless Chevy has some ideas in the works with the Islanders or Tampa as both have some talent that might become available.

    • 100%…Avs had 5 starters out and came within OT game 7. Donskoi would have even helped. Johnson and 2 goalies Landeskog late. Tough climb.

  12. Pens
    I read Frank Seravalli’s column on TSN website yeaterday. He hinted that Arizona & Buff wanted to be around 70 million for next season, no surprise but he also said Pens wanted to be in lower 70’s for next year, well don’t understand what is happening there, as Cap friendly has them at 74.5 million and they still need to sign Jarry or Murray in goal and sign Schultz or a replacement for “D”. Does this team have a plan ? How they going for it now or just treading water ?
    I think there will be a lot of teams going with a 70 million roster until they can get a handle on where and how much $$$$ will be coming in

    • I agree … but many disagree, repeatedly saying all those teams flat up against the cap who have zilch to re-sign key RFAs or UFAs they’d like to keep will simply deal them off with “sweeteners” to the 4 or 5 teams that have cap space. And when anyone points out that that could be anywhere up to 30 or so players who would need to be moved, they just counter with “well, it’s always be done that way.”

      Mind-boggling square-peg into round-hole math.

      • I imagine it’s some owners saying that’s what they’d like to happen but know it may not be possible. For the very few teams that have space and are true contenders or are trying to get to contender status, they will have the advantage of perhaps being able to take their pick and name their price.

        Not a fan but maybe even the Leafs can improve their situation since they have deep pockets. Deal out a few expiring contracts for guys that will help but another team wants off their books. It’s going to be a weird year or two.

  13. larson for domi new teams for both as both have worn out there welcome would help both teams relatively same contracts going forward or A A for domi never liked his father but the kid can play

    • Larsson is a right shot dman, MTL needs a left, plus Larsson will be a ufa after 20-21 season. AA will not get you Domi alone.

      • If only Jake Gardiner was left-handed. Oh, wait – you’re in luck, he is!

        Call in the next 10 minutes and we’ll throw in a Hurricanes keychain and a collector Ron Francis bobblehead.

  14. September 11 no one should ever forget.

    Always remember where I was.

    Sad sad day, so much hatred.

    The only shining light was all those 1st responders and citizens running to help, without concern of what you looked like, or your religious and political views. Just wanting to help another human being.

    Much respect. God Bless America.

  15. According to Montreal 690, Lehner just signed a 5 yr extension with Vegas!!!!

    • OK, update, he has not signed, he has agreed to a five year extension. Not a done deal, sorry.

  16. I’m calling shenanigans on Minnesota and Pittsburgh.
    Is Mario still paying Bill Guerin on the down low?
    That trade is extremely suspect, to say the least.

    • Shore

      Shenanigans/suspect ONLY if JJ had been included in the trade package—just ask Pengy


  17. PENGY..PENGWIN…….Good move by Rutherford unloading Nick Bjugsatd and his $4.1 million dollar salary to Minnesota for a conditional pick…thank you Bill Guerin…

    Dont be surprised if Matt Murray or Matt Murray plus (ala Jared Mccann) end up there as well..

    • Actually b the Pens are retaining 2.1 M of his salary and they get a conditional 2021 draft pick. Now that’s trading a player for a couple of pucks and a jock strap lol

      • Wow, a conditional 7th round pick or nada and eat half of Bjugstad’s cap hit. Talk about sweetener. Is he really that bad when healthy?

      • Kind of but they do clear $2.05 million which helps a bit..puts the penguins at almost $10 million in space.