NHL Rumor Mill – September 17, 2020

by | Sep 17, 2020 | Rumors | 62 comments

Updates on the Jets and Leafs, plus the latest speculation about Matt Dumba and Brandon Saad in today’s NHL rumor mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman believes the Jets have money to spend in this offseason with Dustin Byfuglien and Dmitry Kulikov off the books and the uncertainty over center Bryan Little’s future following last season’s serious injury. He feels they don’t have to trade away a young star like Patrik Laine or Nikolaj Ehlers unless they’re getting a star player without a no-trade clause or a big-minute defenseman and a two-way, top-six center in return.

Wyman suggests general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff dangle the Jets’ first-round pick (10th overall) in this year’s draft and young players like Jack Roslovic, Sami Niku and Kristian Vesalainen. He thinks they could get something good, like Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. Failing that, Wyman proposed pursuing unrestricted free agents like Travis Hamonic, Brenden Dillon or T.J. Brodie on defense, Mikhail Granlund, Alex Galchenyuk or Derick Brassard at center.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe listed Tampa Bay’s Anthony Cirelli or Tyler Johnson, Montreal’s Phillip Danault, Florida’s Erik Haula, Philadelphia’s Nolan Patrick, Vegas’ Paul Stastny and the New York Islanders Derick Brassard as possible trade targets to address their second-line center need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Cheveldayoff moves Laine or Ehlers. Wyman’s proposals won’t land a superstar but I agree the Jets could get one or two good players from cap-strapped teams. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports they’re believed to have some interest in Dumba, but they don’t have a top-six center to entice the Wild.

Looking at Wiebe’s list, I don’t see the Lightning trading Cirelli and doubt Cheveldayoff will try to go the offer-sheet route to get him. Johnson, however, could be available but he’ll have to waive his no-trade clause. I don’t see the Canadiens parting with Danault. If they do, they’ll want a scoring winger in return.

Haula has been hampered by injuries. Patrick’s been dealing with a migraine disorder that cost him the entire 2019-20 season. Stastny was effective in his short tenure with the Jets in 2018 but the 34-year-old performance has declined since then. Brassard seems best suited for checking-line duty now.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan believes there are blue-line options out there for Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, but he’ll have to get creative to acquire them. Given the Leafs limited cap space, he doesn’t expect they’ll sign St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo if he hits the open market.

Koshan assumes Dubas will acquire a right-shot rearguard. Free-agent options include Sami Vatanen, Travis Hamonic, Dylan DeMelo, Justin Schultz and Chris Tanev. He also wonders if Dubas will take another look at Zach Bogosian, who’s played well for the Tampa Bay Lightning in this year’s playoffs.

Dubas could make a splash in the trade market by shopping William Nylander but Koshan doubts he’ll do that. Trade chips could include Andreas Johnsson or Alexander Kerfoot, or perhaps the first-round pick he acquired from Pittsburgh. He thinks Minnesota’s Matt Dumba, St. Louis’ Colton Parayko, Anaheim’s Josh Manson or Carolina’s Brett Pesce would look good in a Leafs jersey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild reportedly seek a center for Dumba. I doubt they’ll part with him for a third-line center like Kerfoot. I don’t see Parayko or Pesce going anywhere. The Ducks might listen if a scoring forward is offered up for Manson but Kerfoot or Johnsson won’t do it.

Dubas might have to go the free-agent route to land that right-shot blueliner. He’ll have to shed a little more salary to do it.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Mark Lazerus was asked if the Chicago Blackhawks might trade Brandon Saad before his UFA eligibility next summer. He doesn’t think there will be much of a market for a winger with a year left on his contract and a $6-million cap hit.

Lazerus also doesn’t see trading Saad making the Blackhawks better with the front office still in “win-now” mode. If they do move the left winger it’ll likely be at the trade deadline if they’re out of playoff contention by then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Hawks are willing to absorb part of Saad’s contract there would be more interest in him this summer. They could try to peddle him as a cost-cutting move, but they’ll likely have better luck shopping or buying out Olli Maatta or Zack Smith to free up the cap dollars to re-sign Dominik Kubalik, Corey Crawford and Dylan Strome.


  1. Re Dubas’ dilemma, one TV analyst who sees tough times ahead for a lot of GMs is Dave Poulin who is quoted in Garrioch;s column as saying “The flat cap is paralyzing and a propellent at the same time … teams know they have to do stuff. You’re going to see (GM’s) try to slide players through qualifying offer (period) and then come back to offer them something else. That’s a critical date because teams are going to be watching those lists. And, the sense I’m getting is, there’s more teams (who weren’t) looking to make change, they (now) have to make change. I do think, depending on the industry (the owner is in), there are going to be teams that are going to say, ‘We’re not going to go the cap. We’re just simply not.’ We’re going to be a budget team … And, who knows what we’re talking about for next season?”

    • Hi George…good morning

      Does your scenario create more parody in the league now …or does it gut the middle class teams that were on the rise and 2 or 3 years away from where they were trying to be built towards…. now that they have to take 2 steps back again with an internal cap ……as in a post lockout scenarios …i e teams such as Flames Yotes… Panthers … teams that were making deals improving and going for it the past 2 – 3 years and having some level of success …now have to put the breaks on..and move out a significant piece …or do they just go top heavy with a merry go round of very very inexpensive players again in the bottom 6 roles each year ..and if so ..then this means that the Goaltending position becomes more valuable as teams will need solid goal tending if the bottom 6 role players are all going to be 1st and 2nd year players all the time for the foreseeable future .

      Not because your a SENS fan ..but teams like the Sens are in the best position…they are in a full rebuild and have the space money and time for growth to grow and it be more available to them and get players in a lower AAV long term due to certain league and or team money conditions …

      Does this scenario …give a team like the islanders a better chance now than they would have had to sign Barzal to a team friendlier deal ?

      • All good questions Kal-el and, with varying opinions in these pages as to whether all those teams up tight against the cap will have a problem – or no problem – clearing the necessary space to bring their rosters up to the normal 23 at the major level, I guess the easy answer is the hoary old “time will tell.”

        Like several others I think there will be player “casualties” – including a lot of UFAs with no place to go, some RFAs where the parent team will simply not qualify, and a number from the so-called “middle class” in terms of overall ability and cap hits (doesn’t the middle class always get it in the butt in all aspects of society – including taxes??).

        If you break the league down into “Top Teams” – “Teams Pushing To Get Into The Top” and “Teams In Varying Stages Of A Re-Build), I see it this way:

        “Top Teams” – Vegas, St.L, T.B., Toronto, Columbus, Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, Dallas, Colorado – most of which are facing challenges with regards to the flat cap and players needed to be re-signed – or acquired – to get to 23.

        These I see as Pushing To Become Top Teams – Carolina, Nashville, NYI, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Florida – and again, several are facing the same challenges.

        Those in Various Stages Of A Re-Build I see as Anaheim, Arizona, Chicago, Montreal, Minnesota, San Jose, NYR, Calgary, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Buffalo, Detroit and Ottawa – and here, too, a few have cap issues to resolve (e.g. Anaheim, San Jose, Calgary, Chicago) to varying degrees, while about 4 or 5 have what could be described as significant cap space – even after re-signing their RFAs where applicable.

        There will be disagreements, probably, with the way I broke them down, and that’s fine -but to get an idea of their cap situations and draw your own conclusions as to whether or not their problems are going to be difficult to resolve based solely on the numbers, just Google NHL Teams CapFriendly and you’ll get a projected list from worst to best.

    • Hi George, Since you’re good with the Cap info can I find out just how much cash was owe to Stall.
      And how much to Johannson.

      I have a suspicion that Stall is owed very little real cash and that’s why the trade was made.
      The Pagulas are going broke and will need a cash cushion to make it to the cap floor..
      I’ve read that Arizona and Florida are both in the same position.

      I’ve said it previously that cash poor teams will make deals for cap rich/cash poor contracts. This is the beginning.

      • Johansson 4 mill Staal 3 mil. Buffalo saved a million. Go to Capfriendly that`s where most everybody gets the numbers

      • Hi Bill

        Diff is $1M cash… Johannson $4M ; Staal $3M

      • Sorry Bob

        When I hit reply your post wasn’t visible; I guess I had not refreshed my screen while I was reading posts… so it appears as if I was just duplicating your post. Certainly not my intention

  2. Someone would trade for Patrick?
    Where do we sign????

    Sorry, not to be down on the guy, but he will never be the same. Even if he makes a FULL recovery, he will always play with fear. One concussion and he could be in pain the rest of his life…
    Migraines suck and chronic pain changes who you are. If he’s smart, he will start looking to make a career move.

    • He has a migraine disorder, not a concussion issue.

      I’ll take him off your hands, right now!

      Where do I sign?

      • Patrick and Gostisbhere plus ……..

        for Laine

      • LJ14

        Please explain where the Flyers have the cap room for that deal?

        Flyers would pass even if the dollars worked.

    • How does Toronto become a good team….need to go a few rounds and not over paid forwards to do that

      • Hi Tee

        One of the top 4 must go and in must come a 22-26 year old top 3D who is under contract… that’s a start

        Won’t be JT… all in his control ; and won’t be AM

        So it’s down to MM or WW

        in this Covid flat cap era … I can’t think of a trade partner that could take on MM and has top 3D that they are willing to part with…. Jones for MM is not happening

        WW is only owed $2.5 M now for 20/21; and effectively on a cash AAV remaining of $5 M

        His cap hit is also nigh $4 M less than MM’s

        Unless Dubas can swing something similar to that… our Leafs may be on the play-off bubble next spring


    • People said the same things about Crosby. He seems to have come back and performed ok.

    • Yes it is a migraine disorder that they do not fully understand. Guess where it is… in his head. You think a concussion would not complicate things??
      Not to mention he’s already had a few concussions.

      He will forever play with a little more fear (and a lot more risk), and who can blame him? hockey isn’t everything, if he’s smart he will start looking for another career. This math is really easy…

      And another thing…
      Ghost and Patrick for Laine? I’ll do that in a second…

  3. George we discussed a month or so ago the difference between cap flexibility and its advantages and the importance of dollars in stress.

    Ottawa may have both as the GM has done a good job creating cap space but the owner has never had deep pockets. Florida and Arizona apparently have a dollar in problem. Other teams will be in unique circumstances as well.

    Having been in business in a downturn. I think the dollar in problem will be stronger. But that is a bias based on personal experience


    • Yeah, where Ottawa is concerned Old Blue Dog, the underlying bugaboo is always the “gray eminence” of Melnyk. But as I said the other day, talking a good game and then not doing what he’s promised re the young players and spending to the cap as they mature will no longer be tolerated. If he shows he’s behind whatever Dorion sees as a move designed to improve the team, the fans will be back (assuming, of course, the government also finally fixes that idiotic Phoenix Pay System so that thousands of public servants finally start seeing a regular income). If he balks – again – this team will either be defunct or elsewhere in short order.

      His situation vis-a-vis the economic downturns faced by a number of team owners whose other businesses are taking big hits is not as severe simply because some of his holdings are in pharmaceuticals – and as far as I’m aware, they all continue to do well despite the pandemic and, in some cases (not sure if any are his) are thriving like never before.

      • George O, history has shown Melnyk has never spent to the cap. I predict as the young prospects develop into stars it will be the same old, same old. He will trade them for picks and lower costing players. I hardly see the Flames as a mid tier spending team, owners consistently spend to the cap. Price of oil may change that, we will see.

      • That’s what I’m afraid of Ttutone … old habits die hard.

      • George, Why wouldn’t Melnyk throw an offer sheet at Barzal? They have the picks, cap room and Chabot & Barzal are close friends.

        The only thing in the way is money.

        What say you?

  4. I’m with a several billion dollar organization. Our revenue is off 40%
    I am sure the owner”s business and the league revenues are going to be in the neighbourhood.p at least short term.
    With that math if a player like Pietrangelo was slated for a $10m contract it will now be $6m to $7m
    Edmundson should have got $4.9m took 3.5m with that same logic.

  5. Kris LeTurnover for a face wash to be named later …

  6. So because Danault is unhappy with possible future role… caused by the emergence of 2 young centers. And Canadiens are looking for a scoring winger. How about: Laine to Montreal. Suzuki and Chiarot to Win? Jets get a stud young center and their defenseman. 2 for 1 deal and they gain over 2 mil in cap space to use elsewhere.

    • Canadiens will not trade Suzuki. Bergevin made it clear that Suzuki, Kotkaniemi and Romanov are untouchables… Somehow I wonder if the Canadiens will trade Petry to the Wings, he is sending his kids to a Detroit school and wasn’t reassuring on his future with the Habs… I would love seing trades like Petry and let’s say Poehling for Mantha and Danault or 1st rounder for Dumba. But that said, it’s always fun to dream 🙂

      • in a blockbuster the habs send gallagher and others to Van for Boeser

      • We would have loved to have Petry in Detroit – five years ago. And, although he would be a short term upgrade for our defense, his age indicates that he will not be contributing by the time we are back in Cup contention, and that’s all that matters here. Giving up Mantha, who is young enough to still contribute toward that goal for someone who will not plus a “B” prospect like Poehling is certainly a dream for a Montreal fan, but a nightmare for a Wings fan. It would take much more to pry Mantha away.

      • Gallagher and others? For Boeser? Why would Bergevin do that? Im no fan of Gallagarb but he has a much more full 200ft game than Brittle Boeser.

      • I could definitely see laine to Montreal, but definitely not for chariot or suzuki lol but wouldnt be shocked to see a domi and danault for laine type deal

    • Suzuki is a “stud centre”?
      How many games has he played in the NHL…71? He got 41points…
      Now, he has potential to be good but if you’re trading a proven goal scorer like Laine you would like to have somebody with a larger body of work to go by than somebody that’s played 71 games…
      Remember when everyone was going crazy after Poehling got a hat trick in his first game…?

      • I am not saying it wouldn’t be a faire deal, I am saying Bergevin said he doesn’t want to trade him. The kid is still young and will be a pretty good two way center, he is much better than Poehling. I love snipers like Laine and + he is still young and the Canadiens need one but he also is a unidimensional player.. Anyways I doubt the Jets will trade him, would be really surprised.

      • Ok. More like stud prospect who made a nice impression in playoffs. But that’s why you add Chiarot who is also a big need. Laine will need another contract after next season and that’s part of Jets dilemna as well. Habs in better position cap shape.

      • I agree to an extent. I think Poehling was and still is a different situation: everyone (including Poehling) tried to temper expectations after that game. There were some fans that thought he would be a 1st line center, but most (including the organization) knew that, at least from his previous body of work, he’ll top out as a middle 6 forward (maybe not even a center). Suzuki has a different body of work and a full season where he progressed really nicely and does have a habit of playing clutch hockey (as he has shown in Juniors and now in the NHL). I think he’s a first line talent, and I am certain that GMMB agrees.

        It’s still an interesting suggestion, though. The Canadiens would have to be REALLY confident in the progression of Kotkaniemi and that Domi is who they want as a 2nd/3rd line center. If they trade Suzuki, they’re definitely not going to deplete the rest of their centers by trading Danault, Domi or Kotkaniemi. I personally would keep Suzuki and try to trade Domi (that’s just my personal preference), Poehling and Kulak/Mete (and maybe their 16th pick) and see what they could get in return. Those options should absolutely be on the table.

    • @Slick … as other posters have pointed out on here, Danault’s discontent is media manufactured. It’s not what he said in full. Doesn’t mean he can’t be traded but highly unlikely it factors into him being traded.

      @Daryl … Suzuki isn’t ready to be crowned, I agree. Consistency is required to be great and the sample size is too small. But extending that logic suggests buyer beware that the Jets Laine isn’t a Habs Gomez redux. Thus it’s possible a GM makes a bold trade on a hunch. For all the analytics involved in modern sports, there is still bit of horse trading intuition going on. At least I sure hope there is.

      • Laine has a skill you can’t teach…goal scoring. He’s also got a pretty good stats line in his 4 years in the NHL having scored 138G and 247 pts.

        If Laine is made available the Jets phone will be ringing off the hook. Not many teams will trade a young #1 C for a winger but the Jets are in win now mode so they could try and offer him up for an older #1 C and a high pick/prospect.

    • Slick62 r u nutz!!! Not a F-ing chance Winnipeg goes anywhere near that deal. No…. now go work on a better deal and if you don’t have one don’t call back.

    • Slick, Laine would be a fantastic addition to the Habs but the trade you propose would make them stronger on the wing and weaker at both center and on d. The purpose of a trade is to make your team better.

      Center and D are two positions that the Habs have struggled mightily with for several years. Chiarot has been a strong performer, and as others have noted, Suzuki has promise written all over him.

      Bergevin has a few assets that are attractive enough to bring a net benefit, and he has a few draft picks to include if necessary. Suzuki, Kotkaniemi and Chiarot are not going anywhere.

      And no GM would trade Gallagher for Boeser.

  7. domi for dumba? been saying that since march

    • You a Leafs fan?

  8. Honest question to Vancouver and Toronto fans…other fans too…..Is the Leafs 15 th draft fair for Demko ?….if not what would need to be added ?

    • I doubt either Vancouver or Toronto would make that deal. Both will be looking to move out salary in any deal. Adding Demko leaves the Leafs with 3 goalies and no cap relief. Neither team can really make any move without a salary dump and neither has the cap space to add a trash contract in any deal.

      Deal in actuality is reasonable but the Leafs and Canucks are both helmed by GMs with zero clue on cap control and both are paying for it now.

      • Good summary Ron.

      • Great trade provided leafs can trade Anderson for a draft pick. Although cap is $5m the cash is only $1m.

      • Hey Ron,

        I would do that deal for Demko and move out Andersen (again I have said on here before – he is not leaving because he is worse – his salary hit will be north of 6 next year) – get a better D.

        Demko and Campbell then 1A and 1B

        How would you like Dumba for Nylander???

      • I think any deal for goaltending will hinge on the expansion draft considerations. If Covid continues, I think a lot of teams are going to have a self imposed lower cap number too…that may mean less platoon goalies and more AHL level backups to save salary.

  9. Laine is still RFA for 3 more years so no rush for Jets to take anything that doesn’t represent full value for an Elite scoring talent who has taken strides this year to be a more rounded player. At 6’6″ this is not some prospect who you will wonder how he will handle the physicality of the NHL and while still on track to hit 30 goals was almost a point a game player as his ability to be a playmaker is becoming evident. Still working to improve his skill sets while having an elite one (and size) speaks a lot about the player people are forming offers for with unproven prospects, above average players or draft picks not commensurable to Laine’s high draft spot. This is not a garage sale! The Jets are not against the cap at this point.

  10. All this talk about Danault and his value, yet Montreal see him as a 3rd line C.

    Danault is 27yrs old and this was his best statistic year with 13g 34a 47pts in 71 games.

    He has been mentioned as a potential Selke winner, meaning he is strong defensively and his +18 indicates that.

    I guess what im wondering where do you play a solid C really good defensive but limited offensively. Kind of a waste to play against other 3rd line teams, but doesn’t really have the offensive game to be a number one C.

    • Fair comment, Caper. Danault says he can put up better offensive numbers and I suspect that he will be given a chance to do so. If he starts scoring he stays the season. If he doesn’t he is gone at the trade deadline.

    • We have that “problem” here, goes by the name of Jordan Staal. Technically a 3C, but often plays against the other team’s top line, especially in the 3rd with a lead.

      It’s an excellent problem to have. The tricky part for any GM, though, is how do you accurately price that? Staal is $6M, which seems slightly high to most here, but I think it’s worth it for a ‘shutdown’ C.

      • If you say so, Whaler, but I don’t see the value in the second highest paid player on the team being a third line center.

  11. Gomez a 29 year old whose #’s were beginning to crater making 8M a year for 5 more years is your comparison for Laine? I think you may be suffering from PTSD after that blockbuster.

    • @Pleasant … I am entirely guilty of the PTSD charge and entirely not guilty of making a comparison.

      All I implied is not every player fits into every system with the success they had previously.

      • Fair enough but you did have two specific names in that post lol

      • @Pleasant … You are right, I did and what’s clear in my mind isn’t necessarily as clear in my writing. Apologies to Laine for mentioning him in the same post as Gomez.

  12. going off the board here:
    Would Wheeler consider waiving his NMC to go to Minny? would Bill G. want him and what would be the return? For the record I still belong to the Wheeler fan club and he has in no way failed to deliver for every dollar he is paid. This is about considering what the Jets look like in the A.W. (after Wheeler)

    Jets would become Scheifele’s team with Copp, Morrissey, Ehlers, Lowry (Little?) taking on developing leadership roles. Trading him would also make it a little more clear who needs protection in expansion and provide more flexibility. The return would have to be another impact player, top 6 or top pair d.

    Minny gets another American superstar who plays top 6, adds to cap (with amount depending on the rest of the trade).

    Wheeler with someone like Niku, Roslovic, Vesalainen or Heinola get you Dumba?

    • Really think getting younger is a big motivator for them so…

  13. One for me ….

    Bruins trade Kase & Ritchie back to the Ducks for Gudbranson & Deslauriers

    • As a Ducks fan, It’s a deal

  14. George, Why wouldn’t Melnyk throw an offer sheet at Barzal? They have the picks, cap room and Chabot & Barzal are close friends.

    The only thing in the way is money.

    What say you?

  15. On Cirelli:

    Of course TB wants to keep him and will probably be able to after they find a trade partner for Killorn. Their issue, of course, is going to be what to do with Sergachev and Cernak. After they sign Cirelli, they aren’t going to have enough to give them both what they’re due and they really can’t afford to lose more D – they only have 3 blueliners signed for next year. And then they have Point to re-sign in a few years I’m interested to see how they manage that situation because they can’t afford to keep everyone.

    • Buffalo has room..

      To BUF: Johnson & Killorn
      To TB: Miller or Montour & 2nd rd pick this year & 3rd 2021

      TB gets a Dman with contract plus a 2nd along with tons of cap space

      But gets two teammates that have been playing together and significantly upgrades their top 9

      • Dubas will not be trading any of his top 4 forwards so it is a waste of time to propose any trades involving them.

        Leafs are not in a cap problem. They have many assets they can easily move…johnsson,kerfoot dermott, liligren, andersen etc.

        I am almost certain Laine will be dealt this season at some point. The reason is 3 fold. He is one dimensional although great at that dimension, he is a huge trade chip to rebuild blue line with and chey did such a great job on contracts ie Shieffle that Laine at that top of pay list over him and wheeler is not a good look externally or for the players internally.

  16. I think Little is done. I certainly would be with all his injuries. Life altering potentially. That’s after a broken neck !
    Jets are Scheifele’s team. Myself , I keep Laine and Helybuck until the end Move combination of others prospects and picks for help on h backend