NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2020

by | Sep 4, 2020 | News, Rumors | 65 comments

NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2020

A Big Offseason Goalie Market

NOTE: We continue to experience issues with publishing our posts and are working to rectifity the situation. We appreciate your patience and ongoing support.

TSN: Following the St. Louis Blues trading Jake Allen to the Montreal Canadiens, Frank Seravalli listed a number of goaltenders potentially available in the offseason.

Free-agent options include Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom, Vegas’ Robin Lehner, Washington’s Braden Holtby, Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss, Chicago’s Corey Crawford, Calgary’s Cam Talbot, Edmonton’s Mike Smith, Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, Anaheim’s Ryan Miller, and Ottawa’s Craig Anderson.

Possible trade chips include Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray, Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury, Toronto’s Frederik Andersen, the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, Arizona’s Antti Raanta, and one of Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins.

Among the trade options, Seravalli reports the Penguins are believed to have an offer on the table for Murray. He speculates the Leafs, Oilers, Flames, Senators, Sabres and perhaps the Avalanche could become suitors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This summer could be a buyer’s market for goaltenders. Plenty of options to choose from here.

Of the UFAs, I believe Markstrom, Lehner and Crawford will re-sign with their current clubs. The Stars could stick with Khudobin as Ben Bishop’s backup depending on what he seeks in his next contract. The Flyers could bring back Elliott for another year backing up Carter Hart.

Holtby, Greiss and Talbot would be the best available options. However, finding new homes and lucrative deals could be difficult to come by depending on what happens in the trade market.

The trade candidates are a mixed bag. Andersen could be the best of the bunch. He catches a lot of flak from some Leafs fans over his playoff record, but he’s not to blame for his club’s porous defense. It’s to his credit he’s posted up the numbers he has given his heavy workload.

Murray has two Stanley Cups on his resume but he’s also struggled with injuries and consistency over the past couple of years. Raanta is an outstanding netminder when he’s healthy but he’s often sidelined.

Korpisalo and Merzlikins both played well this season, but are they truly ready for full-time starter’s work? Either guy could be a bit of a gamble.

Fleury turns 36 in November and his play during this season in part prompted the acquisition of Lehner at the trade deadline. Lundqvist is past his prime and carries an $8.5 million cap hit next season with a full no-movement clause. I doubt the Rangers will find many takers for King Henrik unless he waives his NMC and the Blueshirts pick up a healthy chunk of his cap space.

Smith, Howard, Miller and Anderson are well past their prime. Maybe Miller returns with the Ducks for one last season. Otherwise, he and the others could face retirement.

THE EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman including goalie Darcy Kuemper among the Arizona Coyotes’ trade chips. Staples feels Kuemper would be worth pursuing by the Oilers if they can clear out some money on defense. The Coyotes are without a first-round pick in the 2020 Draft, leading Staples to wonder if it would be wise for the Oilers to give up a first-rounder when other goalies could be more affordable in contract and return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Based on Kuemper’s performance this season, the Oilers should definitely look into acquiring him. I’m not saying they should overpay, but if what Kuemper did over the past two seasons is an indication of what lies ahead, he could be a big upgrade between the pipes in Edmonton. His performance in this year’s postseason will likely draw lots of interest from other clubs if the Coyotes shop him. As Friedman noted, however, that will depend upon what the next Coyotes’ GM wants to do.

THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle examined the Leafs options to replace Andersen if they decide to trade him. While acknowledging there’s no guarantee they’ll move Andersen, Mirtle believes they have a legitimate interest in Robin Lehner and could be among the bidders for his services when he becomes a UFA.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner will cost a lot more than the $5 million AAV the Leafs are paying Andersen for next season. He’s already making that much on a one-year deal. Yes, the flattened cap will have an effect upon Lehner’s next contract and those of his fellow pending UFAs. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got offers between $6-$7 million annually on a four- or five-year deal. The Leafs will have to shed more payroll if they hope to land Lehner.

Kevin Kurz recently observed the San Jose Sharks need a goaltender to pair with or supplant starter Martin Jones. He wondered if Andersen might be a better fit with the Sharks, noting he played his first three NHL seasons in the Western Conference with the Anaheim Ducks. If the Carolina Hurricanes decide to pursue a top-flight netminder, perhaps the Sharks could bring back James Reimer. He likely wouldn’t cost much beyond a mid-round pick.


  1. Wow–18 different goalies identified in the article, and the Blues/Armstrong were able to swing a trade early with Montreal for Jake! And to obtain a 3rd rounder! Real fortunate!

    Now the question is can Binnington and Husso be successful long-term in net?

    • There are a lot of teams that need help as well, im not sure the market is as flooded as people say. For instance it wouldnt be unrealistic for these to retire if no contracts/buyouts. Anderson, Miller, Lundqvist, Smith, Howard. That leaves 13 and these teams have goalie issues. Carolina needs an upgrade if they are to contend, Devils might need a better backup, Caps need a good 1B, Boston might need an upgrade if Rask retires, Buffalo needs a 1a or 1b, Detroit needs at least a 1B, Chicago needs a 1b if they sign Crawford, if Khodubin leaves, Dallas needs a 1b, Minnesota needs a 1a, If I were St Louis I would sign at least a 1b since who knows if Binnington bounces back, Calgary and Edmonton could use new 1a, so could the Avs, cant believe they didnt trade for Lehner at the trade deadline and Finally no team needs an upgrade more than SJ.

  2. How is Vegas going to sign Lehner for 6-7 million they have the flower too. This goalie market is flooded something has to give low trade value ?

    • Trade Fleury to Toronto, Vegas absorbs half the salary 3.5 – use that towards re-sign Lehner.

      Toronto can then save 1.5 over two years and have Fleury and Campbell.

      Gives Toronto 2 years to figure it out for Goalie.

      Side note I am also of the belief the Toronto D is the problem not Andersen. If they move Andersen for Fleury I could accept as this is salary shedding.

      However, send Andersen out for Murray and I guarantee that ends Dubas reign as GM.

      • Hi The Bottom Line

        VGKs can’t afford (Cap wise) to retain $3.5 M…. that’s then basically carrying Lehner at a minimum of $9.5 M (his cap of at least 6 ; plus Flowers) and they still need to sign a back up… that won’t be near as good as the Flower…

        Trade StTsny ; replace with Glass… faster, bigger, 14 years younger; and more than $5.6 M in Cap towards Lehner

      • Agreed Bottom Line … Freddy Andersen is not the problem. Leafs need Defense… when they get it and Freddy’s numbers get better they won’t be able to afford him either!

    • Hi Man on TV

      Lehner only stays with VGKs if they can move one or both of Statsny/Flower

      Statsny easier to move; replaced by Glass (14 years younger; much faster ; bigger)… saves over $5.6 M in Cap space

      • Colorado has popped in to the Matt Murray situation…their goalie s are average and grubauer is ok he isnt elite like Murray can and will be.


      • B and g. You seem to always post late. And “shout” a lot. What’s up with that?

      • Maybe he’s trying to convince himself of his own convictions. It’s also called motivational speaking for those who don’t want to listen.

  3. If Vegas blows it does DeBeor get fired and Gallant get rehired? Asking for a friend …

    • Is your friend DeBoer or Gallant?

  4. Vegas is on the brink of becoming the new “team choke”.

    If the Knights go with Fleury for game 7 how does Lehner resign with them?

    Great to see Oskar Lindblom in the lineup for the Flyers last night. An inspiration to everyone battling cancer.

    • totally agree on Lindblom, talk about pumping up the team for a must win game.
      Underdog and comeback stories are one of my favorite things to see in sports.

    • I read somewhere the Coyotes owner is cash strapped due to COVID effect on his casinos. If so, here is a fix for them (including if they need more cash to try and resign Hall):

      To TML
      Kuemper & Raanta (1.5m retained)

      To Ariz
      Andersen and Campbell and 2nd rnd 2020 Ariz cupboard is bare)

      Cap effect:

      $6,650,000 To Arizona
      $7,250,000 to Leafs

      Cash effect:

      Ariz pays $1M remaining for Andersen + $1.5M retained for Raanta and 1.5M for Campbell (2020 actual salary) = $3M actual payout, saving over $5M in cash with a lower cap hit. They get a goalie who is fine in the regular season and a backup at affordable rate for 2 years who may be able to take on more workload.

      Leafs cash effect: who cares they don’t, and they get the best goalie for 2 years and a very good 2nd goalie when healthy.

      A true win win I think.

      • I’m not being a jerk, but this has ps4 written all over it.

        It’s about the only place ever 2 teams would swap 4 goaltenders in one deal.

      • If that was true, then why are they still negotiating with Hall?

      • Because, out of cap necessity the guys they’ll be dealing are Dvorak and Chychrun who, combined, free up $9,050,000. They’ll be one of a number of teams fleshing out with ELC rookies next season simply because they’ll have to – with guys like Brayden Burke, Jordon Gross and Kyle Capobianco.

        Dubas is NOT getting Kuemper. Wishful-thinking in the extreme

      • Never will happen and that deal screws the Leafs – why pickup 2 damaged goalies for one that is fine and just need a stronger D.

        Campbell is better alone than Arizona Goalies!

      • Campbell is better than both – based on 60 some games played in the NHL??

      • Wasn’t Kuemper one of the best goalies in the NHL this year?
        928 save %. More then 3/4 of his starts are considered quality starts, which is best in the league for tenders who started more than 20 games. The guy was have a Vezina caliber year until he got hurt.

    • Hi Ron

      VGK’s aren’t “choking” win or lose tonight… they are massively outplaying ‘Nucks…. TD is the sole reason there was a game 6 and now a game 7.

      Yes Schmidt uncharacteristically is having a real tough go (responsible for all three ‘Nucks GWGs) but the rest of the team is just pounding away. The offensive zone time ; shots; shot attempts are just so unbelievably one sided

      I’m very impressed with TD

      For me I certainly hope they get through to the mesh behind TD and win tonight as I’m loaded with Knights in my draft pool

      • He is going to push markstrom right out of town…

      • Tann. Right atta tann.

  5. Ducks
    Not sure Miller is right fit as a back up considering his age. Ducks need to sign a low cost back up for TWO years as teams have to make a goalie available for the expansion draft.

  6. oops 4M arizona pays and saves 4m +

  7. So. Chara wants to play again next year… does Boston have the stones to say no thanks?

    • Great question Chrism. Unfortunate that Chara doesn’t see the end of the line.

      I think Sweeney will keep him for one more season.

      • THAT will be a mistake. Every player eventually reaches the end of the line. Chara is past that line.

      • Hope for chara and Boston sake it doesn’t turn into a polamalu type situation.

    • Chrisms,

      Chara really looked slow and overmatched vs Tampa Bay. Question is can the Bruins find a cheaper replacement thats as good.

      • Chara should probably hang’em up unless he wants to take bare minimum with limited time.
        That being said, he still holds that “Chara Mystique”. Seems like the ultimate team player (eg. refusing to refer to Rookies as “Rookies”). Seriously! Look how good this team has been since he came on board!
        I would LOVE that guy in a front office!

      • Chara was injured in the 2nd period (game 2? 3?), play dropped after that. He was not the reason the B’s lost.

        If he is expeacting to be top 4 then its not going to work but as a 5/6/7 he is still an nhler in a heartbeat.

      • Ron Jull. Add to that some quotes from Krug making it sound like he is a goner.

      • He did look slow but during the regular season he is still a good 4/5 D that will help them and might even be cheaper

    • Hi Chrisms

      Gut feeling is that he stays

      Rough playoffs and did look tired

      But says he wants to stay; reg season was NOT a disaster (was still +26)

      He got $3.5 M this year… $2M Sal plus $1.5 M PB

      They could sign him for league min Sal with PB’s that could get him to say $2.5 M

      At league min he’s a steal; and PB can be structured to be properly remunerating what he gives to team next year

      My guess is that he thought Bruins would go much further then retire on a high; now he’s looking to do a “one more game in each city” run

      If he retires… so does his number; big night of celebration; Bergeron becomes Captain

  8. Just a thought. In the interim while you fix News site, why don’t you post the coffee headlines on the Rumour Mill page??

  9. I don’t think Carolina will be as active in the trade market as they were last year. I could see a minor trade involving Gardiner, Dzingel or possibly Neiderreiter.

    The wildcards that may change everything is Dougie Hamilton’s contract negotiation and if they have a chance to trade for their #1 goalie of the future.

    Carolina has been in the market for the future goalie for many years and probably have a few select proven #1 goalies on their radar that they would trade for or sign as a free agent. My guess is they wait until after the draft. Don Waddell’s team has done a good job evaluating goalies and have demonstrated that they will wait for the right goalie before they make a long term commitment. They wont trade for a goalie that they cant lock up as the future #1 goalie. They are content with their current goalies going into next year.

    • I’m with you on this one, GP. The Canes have no need to overpay with the current tandem being serviceable for next year. Trouble comes the following year when there are NO goalie’s under contract.

      Future goalie is a must, so I don’t see a ‘rental’ type situation in play for next year.

      I’m guessing that they don’t see Nedeljkovic or Booth as the future #1, so will look outside. I just don’t see them being in a rush to do so.

      If they do go big-game hunting now, they’ll have to shed one of the G’s AND some salary. With almost everyone else looking to shed, that could get dicey.

      Luckily, they have the luxury of time to wait for a deal to materialize.

      And yes, I’m concerned that both Hamilton and Svechnikov will need to be re-signed with limited cap $ available the following year. That’s why you pay someone to take Gardiner if you have to. Gardiner and a 3rd(?) for a 7th to some team thin on D and with cap space. Hello, MTL.

    • GP… I was thinking that Carolina and Pittsburgh could be good trade partners. They need a number one goalie and we need a d-man..

      To Pittsburgh’
      Lhd defense-man -Hayden Fluery 24 $850,000
      Center -Ryan Dzingel 27 $3.75Million

      To Carolina
      Goalie – Matt Murray 26 $3.75 Million
      LW/ C – Jared Mccann 24 $1.25 Million

      Pittsburgh..We get the young top 4 rugged d-man to pair with young John Marino and a affordable 3rd line center..

      Carolina.Gets the number one goalie they need to make them a serious threat and a young speedy center/wing to add to an already fast up tempo team..

      I think this is a good deal for both teams… tough to deal with in the division but??


  10. If you want a goalie…wait
    The Blues needed to get rid of one..act now
    Flames have to do something and need an upgrade at that position
    Look at the current state of affairs. 3 rd string Avs backup Stars backup Canucks backup Td deal Knights backup Bruins . I think you need a solid tandem

    • Silver I keep returning to CAL and CBJ as being logical trade partners. Korpisalo Anderson Jenner (possibly) and multiple D apparently available.

  11. AZ is pooched. They need to take the Det/Ott approach. Strip it down and rebuild, but find that can actually do it!

    They have plenty of attractive peices to build a stock of picks and rebuild their farm system. Forget about Hall. You can’t build around him. So just….DON’T. Kessel isn’t THAT guy either.

    Kuemper, Stepan, Dvorak, Chychrun, Crouse? IMHO, easy dumps.

    I’d love to see Kuemper with Edmonton. He’s worth the 1st, but only if AZ can take on a salary dump at the same time.

    AZ – Neal, 1st
    Oil – Kuemper, Crouse

    Same with the Jets

    Jets – Stepan, Chychrun, Hayton
    AZ – Ehlers, 1st

    Dvorak and Crouse should be easy swaps for picks.

    • OR…..

      TML – Kuemper, Crouse,OEL, Hayton
      AZ – Matthews, Nylander

    • You’re never going to see that many players, dollars moved in one deal between two teams. It never happens. It won’t start happening but n a frozen cap.

      • I’m seriously not so sure about the amount of players involved anymore Nyr4life. I think that may be the only way to do things in the frozen cap years.

    • I Propose

      To TML: OEL

      To ARZ: 1st 2021, & 2 2nds 2020 (CHI & STL) & Alzner ($1 m retained)

      Opens up cap for ARZ and replenishes their cap a bit without having to trade their younger kids.
      Replenishes their cupboard of picks due to violating NHL policy.

      OEL pairs top line with Weber in his prime to MTL , who is trying to compete now by also brining in Allen.

      • I meant MTL not TML.

      • That looks like a sweet proposal!

    • quick no from the jets

      • How so? Stepan come in for Little for 1 year, Chych is a young, long term D at a reasonable price (though not a righty) and Hayton looks like a nice up & comer for the 2nd C spot!

      • Ehlers is young, dynamic and on a good contract. He is worth that package alone. Some fans believe him to be the Jets best forward. Chych is not a righty (significant) and he is the most tempting part of the offer.

    • ARZ is a cash poor team that will be even worse off with no gate driven revenue.
      They are also in a market where they need a good team to draw fans. It’s been a failed experiment since the arrived in the desert and will become much worse if no fans are present. Only reason ARZ is in the league is it’s a large TV market in the US.
      They’ll be open for business when they have a GM…especially on contracts where the cap hit is higher than the salary paid out in cash.

  12. “NOTE: We continue to experience issues with publishing our posts “

    Lyle, I’m pretty sure it’s Pengy’s lengthy 4 team trade proposals with many salary retentions that is throwing website out of wack!

    Pengy, just kidding buddy. Keep em coming!

    • LOL, Slick! But yes, please keep ’em comin’, Pengy. Those posts generate some interesting discussions.

    • Slick62

      Was that a Bazinga?

      • I don’t know. What’s a Bazinga?

      • Hi Slick

        It’s a saying from “The Big Bang Theory”….meaning “gotch ya” in response to pulling a joke on someone

  13. Tonight the top UFA goaltenders’ teams go head to head game 7 winner take all & both are nailed to the bench!!!!

    What does that say about their futures with their current teams???

    In Vancouver, especially if they win this series, the torch will have been passed. The best Vancouver can hope for is that some team steps forward with a bottom round draft pick offer to talk to Markstrom.

    In Vegas, it is not as cut & dry, but Lehner seems temperamental to me & he could simply walk away if there is another reasonable offer on the table.

    Sitting here playing with my crystal balls, I believe at least one of the two will be between the pipes in Sakicville next season.

    Actually, are more grey then crystall!!!

  14. Boston sports writer, Joe Haggerty (I believe it was) was on on Montreal 690 radio during the Montreal Forum a couple of days ago, suggested that Domi may be a good fit in Boston & that Jake Debrusk could be possibly moved to Montreal.

    His theory was Debrusk had fallen out of favour with Boston management who were expect more from him. He felt that Domi could easily play center in Boston & that gritty attitude would fit right into the Boston theme.

  15. If Demko goes on a real heater and takes the Canucks deep even into next round, do the Canucks then still invest in Markstrom? He’d want a multi-year deal and that would create an instant logjam for Demko.

  16. Does Montour and Buff 1st rd 2021 pick to TML for Nylander get it done?

  17. A potential 1st overall?? For Nylander??? That dog don’t bite.

  18. Bottom lines – comment on Fleury to Toronto and Vegas absorbing half of his salary .
    Campbell and Fleury share the net duties .
    Leafs draft And trade up , as per acquiring the Highly rated Russian goalie prospect and finally a fix in net for Toronto .
    The problem here is Dubais can’t think outside of the box and make reasoning on this scenario , and he is also obstinate and wants to do it his way only , reason for the Leafs , losing Mark Hunter !!

  19. Chrisms….Sorry for being late to the party..I’m not shouting the CAPS mean importance like the teams that need goalies…I’ll will try not to use caps…

    Hope you are well.. BnG