NHL Rumor Mill – September 9, 2020

by | Sep 9, 2020 | Rumors | 79 comments

Could the Penguins trade Kris Letang? Are the Blackhawks trying to re-sign Corey Crawford? Could Wayne Simmonds join the Leafs? What’s the latest on the Canucks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Rob Rossi reports Kris Letang would like to retire as a Pittsburgh Penguin but feels the club could try to trade him. Neither ownership nor management feels the club would be better without Letang and the return of Todd Reirden as an assistant coach could benefit the 33-year-old defenseman.

Nevertheless, Rossi cites multiple team sources saying Letang expects to be traded. League sources claim Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford was gauging the market value of the veteran blueliner but he’s not actively shopping him. Rutherford reportedly confided to associates that the right thing is for Letang, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to retire as Penguins-for-life.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t dismiss the possibility of Letang getting traded, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s suiting up with the Penguins next season.

Letang’s contract won’t be easy to move. He has two years remaining on his contract worth $7.25 million per season. He also has an 18-team no-trade list and a no-movement clause preventing him from being demoted to the minors. The flattened salary cap for 2020-21 will also affect his trade value.

I don’t fault Rutherford for exploring the trade market to see what’s out there for Letang. He probably doesn’t think he’ll find a suitable deal but it doesn’t hurt to consider that option. Maybe a club on the blueliner’s list of preferred trade destinations makes an offer too good to pass up.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks are believed to have offered Corey Crawford a one-year contract worth around $3.5 million. The 35-year-old goaltender is an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crawford’s completing a six-year, $36-million contract worth $6 million annually, but he knows he’s not getting that much for an annual average value again. The netminder is also aware of the Hawks’ cap constraints. Maybe he takes the hometown discount on a one-year deal, especially if that $3.5-million offer is the base salary for a bonus-laden deal.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports Wayne Simmonds believes the Toronto Maple Leafs are a team where he could have an impact right away. The 32-year-old winger is a UFA on Oct. 9 and spent last season split between the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres. He recently moved his family north of Toronto and spends a lot of time in the city.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds also indicated he’s open to everything as free agency approaches. “Whoever wants to choose me, I’ll be waiting. I’ll definitely be ready to go,” he told LeBrun. He’s also aware of the cap constraints facing the Leafs and other teams for next season.

Injuries hampered Simmonds’ performance over the past two years, limiting his effectiveness as a power forward. Still, he could be an affordable signing for clubs seeking veteran grit and leadership. Maybe a cap-strapped club like the Leafs comes calling.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports re-signing goaltender Jacob Markstrom is the top priority for Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning. It’s believed the Markstrom camp seeks over $6-million annually while the Canucks are believed to have countered with $5.5 million per season.

Re-signing Markstrom could affect the rest of the roster. Johnston also points out the Canucks are unlikely to keep Markstrom and promising goalie Thatcher Demko in next year’s expansion draft.

Johnston also reports Jake Virtanen could be shopped in the trade market. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, but with Benning hoping to re-sign pending UFA winger Tyler Toffoli, Virtanen would be demoted to third- or fourth-line duty. Benning indicated they’ve been patient with Virtanen but was expecting more production from the winger, especially in the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With $64.4 million invested in 16 players next season, a deal worth over $6 million annually for Markstrom will bite deeply into the Canucks’ remaining cap space. So will a new contract for Toffoli.

Trading Virtanen would allow money that would’ve gone to him be put toward re-signing Toffoli or another player. However, Benning still must shed salary to absorb new contracts for Markstrom and Toffoli and leave sufficient room for other moves.

Benning’s reportedly attempted to move winger Loui Eriksson ($6-million annually through 2021-22) without success. Brandon Sutter ($4.35 million) could be another trade candidate. The Canucks GM might get some wiggle room if Micheal Ferland ($3.5 million AAV through 2022-23) starts the season on long-term injury reserve, but he’ll have to make cap room for Ferland’s return.


  1. Simmonds would look great in a Habs jersey next season, as they lack that big man who plays that net presence on the PP, something the Habs have lacked for years, maybe decades.

    IMHO, Simmonds isn’t a Dubas type player, as he couldn’t wait to run Matt Martin out of town.

    • Five years ago, certainly. At this time, however, he doesn’t appear to have anything left in the tank.

      • Yup. He’s played for 4 teams in the past two years. – 37 and 25 goals during that time.


      • After Simmonds scored 24 times with Philadelphia in 2017-18, he’s tallied 25 times with 4 different teams. Do the Leafs really want to re-visit their old habit of bringing in players who were great in their prime but who had pretty much lost it by th e time they arrived in Toronto? Owen Nolan, Jason Allison, Luke Richardson, Brian Leetch, the second coming of Dougie

        It didn’t work then, why would they think it’ll work now?

      • I said bring Simmonds in to be the guy standing in front of the net during the PP. The Habs lack that type of player. If you expecting him to play a top nine forward, than yes, his best days are over. He plays two mintues of the power play & fourth line mintues. A far better use of a twentieth forward than Weal or Weise.

        So there, pppppppth!!!!

      • I tried to imitate your vowels. I succeeded in getting my toddlers to Spit on me.


    • You don’t bring Simmonds in to be a star point production. You bring him in to fill a void missing in the teams over all play. Much like Tampa did after their loss to Columbus last year. There is much more to hockey than goals and assists. Of coarse if you sign Simmonds to fill a role you pay him for that role. Not As a point producer.

      I think Simmonds addition to the leafs could very well make the team as a whole better.

      • That’s what they thought with a number of those just named. And there were more over the years as they kept looking for lightning in a bottle. They wound up getting neither. What did Simmonds bring to his last three stops? Neither goals nor consistent veteran grit. He’s past it.

      • Simmonds may very well find a way to succeed if teams who sign him don’t try and catch that lightning you speak of by playing him in situations where he excelled in the past. In this case you sign him as a bottom 6 guy to fill a roll.

        I can’t deny the risk. I can’t deny he may flop. What I can state if placed in a proper position with a defined role suitable to his game as it is today he may very well help a team to become better.

  2. I think Simmonds wants Toronto more than the Leafs want him . At only 32 he will land somewhere
    Ericksson will have to be bought out and Markstrom take a discount for it to all work in Lotus Land. This is in addition to moving someone else with no dollars in return.

    • I doubt that. I think Simmonds wants to continue to play and will say he will fit well with any team. He isn’t going to burn a bridge before even crossing it.

    • Which means sweetners will have to be added whether it’s in the form of draft picks or prospects and there aren’t many teams that can afford to add an Eriksson or even want to since it’s for 2 yrs..
      I’m sure the Sabres would like to dump Okposo but with 3 yrs left I think adding sweetners would sour the Sabres progress.

  3. I am a Leaf fan who is not impressed with a number of Dubas decisions…

    Matthews contract too short
    Kardri trade horrible …should have been 1 for 1 D man
    Immediately after signing Taverres should have traded Marner OR Nylander

    All GMs make mistakes

    Uwey what would bother me to the point of dismissing him is not learning from his mistakes….the kind of guy he ran out of town Martin….or won’t bring in town …McNab…those are exactly the type of guys still playing hockey….

    Simonds and 2 or 3 like him on D and at forward are what his team needs….if he doesn’t bring some of them in…..he and his boss for not directing Dubas should both be gone

    You can only have so many figure skaters when the money is on the table

    • “I am a Leaf fan who is not impressed with a number of Dubas decisions…

      Matthews contract too short”

      Matthews is going back to Arizona as soon as he can. Deal with it.

      Kyla Dubas had ZERO leverage to force him to take a longer contract.

      • Garth, I guess Dubas could have been more prudent by doing what most GMs do and give him the money he got for max term or giving him quite a lot less for term that is unfriendly to the Leafs. His leverage, take the picks if AM was offer sheeted or let him sit out. Dubas should have done one or the other with Nylander

      • Why would Mathews go back to AZ? The coyotes are in turmoil. The franchise is at the cap limit but with no real top end talent on the roster. Why are our brothers and sisters up north(Canadiens) so suspicious of Mathews leaving? He is a leaf. Embrace how lucky you are. Stop the hate.

      • And stop the hate “hate” – why has this generation decided to label anything that smacks of a differing opinion as “hate?”

        It’s idiotic.

      • George O. Maybe the definition of hate or the interpretation of the word has evolved or changed? My point is, I don’t understand why people be hatin’ on Mathews just because he is from the states. That’s all.
        Most people in the US don’t expect their first line center and star player to leave for a team that plays in the city he grew up in… Oh wait JohnTavares, nevermind.

      • Randino, first you have to understand there’s a HUGE difference between LeafsNation fans and those in the rest of Canada. For the most part, the latter could care less where the players on their team come from, and whether or not they “embrace” the city with fawning adoration. Just play to your beast ability.

        Not so much with those in the Centre Of The Hockey Universe.

  4. Re possible trade of Tanger….🤬😡🤪😭

    If it’s true that Jimbo is shopping him this is just another staggering ; mind-blowing thing that he’s doing

    It’s not the fact that he’s potentially shopping him; it’s shopping him; still keeping JJ; and AFTER Jimbo’s delusional rant praising JJ and blaming all others (but JJ) for Pens missing the playoffs

    Has he even looked at Tanger’s stats sans JJ for this year….. it is quite literally and proverbially “night and day” . JJ annihilated every Pens stats (especially Gino’s in 18/19 and Tanger’s, MM’s; TJ’s and Shultz’s in 19/20.

    It will be tough to move Tanger at his cap and dragged down JJ’s stats; and return ; if possible; will be poor. Din’t trade him!!!!

    Now, if keeping him; this hint at trading him, will likely have considerably soured the dressing room

    I’ll say it again; BO JJ meets the requirements of cost cutting asked by Ronny/Mario and massively massively massively improves team outlook; all players stats; makes fans ecstatic

    For those espousing that owners don’t like to pay players to sit at home (BO); these are businessmen big picture guys who look at overall team and profits and losses. Even if they are somehow looking at that one D position (JJ’s); he’s got 3 years left; buyout saves ~$2.8 M….. so as long as there is a player at 930 K ($2.8 M/3) that can fill (internally from AHL or UFA) a buyout spot that in turn is better than the player being bought out…. it’s not only “no skin off of their backs) , but an improvement

    Well …. Pens ALREADY have 9 D-Men in their system whose NHL sal is much lower than 930 K…..and ALL MASSIVELY better than JJ… savings; rocketed improvement to the team👍👍👍👍👍👍

    Riikola is off the charts better than JJ…. 3 years for him …. $3.4 M…. so 600 K more than the BO savings…. worth it👍👍👍👍👍

    The exception for replacement “might” be with CR…. $2.2 M for 3 years vs. Jj BO … so $600 K savings overall ; but CR is also quite brutal….. the team improves yes (CR in and JJ out) but that would be the last resort

    This D next year is attainable with 1 single UFA acquisition and IMHO positions Pens very very well for 1st in Metro:


    PO-J or Czuczman as 7th

    *the way I’d have them; BnG would switch them

    • Pengy..They have been trading Letang and Malkin for the last 5 years.
      Consider we have three nhl defenseman that can actually play dumo
      , Marino and Tanger I dont see him getting moved.

      Ww finally have some good young defensemen coming

      Pierre oliver Joseph
      Will Rielly RPI CAPTAIN
      Nick maniscalco Ariz sr
      Cam Lee

      They progress add a couple of them to .Marino Dumo potential is good.
      Rutherford is slipping but even he isnt stupid enough to move Tanger.

    • Pengy….Yes I would but that is the fun of this forum. You chat, compare, debate about all things we are both Penguins fans right?

      Marcus is solid, but I just don’t think he is a top 4 minutes guy. I think he is a solid 3 pairing guy stabilizing the 3rd pairing..

  5. To VAN: ADA

    To NYR: Virtanen & Stecher

    ADA replaces Stecher & Tanev. Takes pressure of Hughes being the only offensive power on the backend. ADA is 24 and even a 6 yr contract, he grows with the team.

    Virtanen shifts to 3rd line while Kakko slides up to 2nd line. Gives NYR felxibility if they want to trade Buch and not reup him the following off-season to leave room for Mika’s new contract and re-up ELC’s.

    • huh?
      oh btw yes the Igloo comment was in reference to your monkier here lol.

    • IHC. I’ve suggested trading for J Anderson. Virtanen would be same type of player. Not sure Vancouver would want AdA. I can definately see Buch going the other way.

    • would love Virtanen but my dead horse from yesterday…
      Send Hank over too and bring in Sutter or Beagle to balance some of the $.
      gives Rangers a checking center and cap space.

      • ds. I’ve said before I can’t see a Hank trade. But then again, I’d never would’ve guessed Allen to Montreal.

      • @slick62
        I really cannot see Henrik accepting or asking for a trade either. The one i could see is actually Vancouver. but if his kids base is still NYC no way.

    • who is ada? sounds like a very close friend. why be afraid to tell us?

      • Anthony De Angelo

  6. Re: Benning trying to move Loui…. right now he can’t be moved w/o Loui’s permission (full NTC through 19/20)

    But soon as UFA mkt opens… that means then we’re in 20/21…. it’s a MNTC(15 teams he can be traded to)…. then he can be moved

    Still owed $5M for the balance of contract ; $6M cap…. trade w/o retention and/or equal crap contract returning and/or massive sweetener; basically impossible

    • You are right Pengy, Louie is going nowhere in the coming season (2020/2021 or is just 2021 now?). Contract is untradeable. He will likely be bought out for his final contract year (2021/22). Still a significant cap hit in the first year $4 mil. I expect Benning to concentrate on moving Sutter. A decent third liner but too expensive. Best realistic option would be to trade with significant money hold back – even retain $2 mil would really help in getting cap flexibility. Stecher and Virtanen could well be traded. Though expensive talent would be useful, picks and prospects are what can be taken back due to Canucks cap woes – Eriksson contract, Luongo recapture, Spooner buyout, Baertschi burying – is just a little over $12 mil in dead cap. After 2021/22 though things start to get better fast.

  7. Simmonds needs to retire guy is done should get into being an announcer or maybe the GM of Leafs.

  8. Letang won’t garner much on the market with his AAV pens might have to add with letang’s injury history

    • Hi Bigbear

      Pens need to and should, keep him

      Even with his injuries; his stats w/o JJ warrant his Sal for sure

      There is > 30 % swing with/without JJ on Letang’s XGF/60; and the XGA/60 has a swing of > 35%

      That is cataclysmically high

      only Gino was hit more in the last two years… his 18/19 swing …with/without JJ was approaching 40%

      The entire Pens team for 18/19 XGF% – XGA% with/without JJ…. ENTIRE team as a whole…~20% better when he was on bench ….🤬😡😤

      The lowest differential of any Pen who played 5 games in last two years …. JJ on the bench… was CR at 7%…. and CR is pretty bad in his own right

      Keep Tanger; *BO JJ; CR to WBS… IMHO very very high chance at first in Metro

      *Added bonus…. meets with Ronny/Dumo ask of cutting costs

      • I agree for what the return is it’s better to hold on to him still a good player

  9. Babcock ran Martin out of town not Dubas.Babcock put Mm in the press box and leafs went on a run at the time . Dubas moved him for cap space

  10. Hi IHC

    Was doing test again as I did a couple of posts that are not (still not) showing.

    Lyle, have I been relegated to trash again?

    What igloo comment?

    • The post was restored, Pengy.

      • Thanks Lyle

    • Pengy,

      Youre not trash, but your feeble Penguins are getting close. lol

      • Thanks Ron

        Mrs. Pengy has the reverse of your viewpoints

      • The Jullie-bean rarely provides any useful insight here – your Pens, though not what they were, but they play an interesting style of hockey and sometimes can surprise. Maybe JJ will surprise one year….

      • Ron..I. disagree with you.The penguins finished 7th overall in the league with three decent defenseman in their top 6..a sub par bottom six forward group some big injuries and a inconsistent matt Murray.
        Our top 6 forwards are terrific Tristan jarry will be our number one goalie we make a few moves on defense and rid ourselves of j Johnson n bjugstad d simon m Murray we will be fine

  11. Letang – age, injury history, had a stroke, salary, term left on contract, lack of any defensive responsibility will make him very hard to trade.

    Virtanen – failed to report to camp in shape last September, didnt make opening night roster. Failed to be in shape when bubble camp opened, didnt make Canucks play in roster. Shows flashes of ability but disappears for long stretches.

    Markstrom – Canucks MVP. Main reason Canucks made the play in round. Anyone thinking Demkos 3 game playoff run makes Markstrom expendable needs to remember Mike Moffit. Markstrom is a must for Vancouver to resign.

    Eriksson – salary, lack of ability makes him virtually untradeable.

    Simmonds – is done.

    • TO PITT: Eriksson & Sutter

      TO VAN: Letang & JJ

      ?? lol

      • No not LOL; that’s COL (CryI got out loud)

        True fair trade is Loui (1/3 rd retained) for JJ

        ‘Nuck’s get 750 K Cap relief; or

        Bjug and JJ for Loui (no retention on any of them)…. Pens save $1.35 M cap (‘Nuck’s opposite) for 20/21; ‘Nucks save $2.75 M cap in 21/22 (Pens opposite)


      • Pens already did the Sutter thing. He didnt work at as one of the rotating 3rd line centers. Only bonino and staal were able to live up to expectations.

  12. Kris LeTurnover for a used bag of pucks … and we’ll absorb half of his salary …

    • Ed,

      Gonna require a sweetner …. couple of used water bottles and a few broken sticks seals the deal.


    • Look I’m critical of leturnover but he can be if ice time is managed better(no power play time no penalty kill) to 20 minutes a game..ok we have been trading letang and Malkin for 5 years..he isnt leaving..uugghh

  13. Krug… I’ve bet on myself and I’ve taken shorter-term deals and less amount of money my whole career now, so this is my time in terms of my value at its peak.”
    Let’s see 8 years in the NHL he’s scored 337 points yet he’s only a plus 23…only two seasons in his career has he been a plus 2012-14 & 2014-15 season for a total of +31 other 6 seasons either even or minus…..don’t play on the PK at all & don’t play at end of games when Bruins have a goal lead ….5’8” 180 lbs 29 years old & is looking for a $7+ mil per/5 years

    Buyers Beware

    • I TOTALLY agree! If he won’t take a 6mil per year deal than I hope he walks. 4-5 years from now he is going to be even more of a defensive liability!

    • BB32, you would keep Krug at 6Mill a year? I think its time for McAvot to step into the PP like Carlson did after a few years in Washington.

      I really hope they let him walk period. I would rather protect Lauzon come next years expansion draft anyways.

      • Letang, McCann + to MTL for Petry, Domi & Gallagher

        Letang to MTL for Petry & Domi.

      • I’m honestly not sure. He is an expensive offensive only d-man. If it was 6mil, I think I would just to show other players that loyalty matters. I do think they could trade for an equal d-man at a lot less money. I also agree McAvoy is ready.

        A lot of people are forgetting about the expansion draft next year. And if they play Vaak too much would he be eligible?

  14. Eriksson & Demko to the Sens for a 2nd rd pick.

    Watcha think about that one George????

    Anyone who thinks that any team is going to take on Ole Louie’s contract without getting something substantial in return needs to put their bong away. There are very few teams who can absorb that contract & have no real reason to do so without a substantial return.

    • Simmonds for < $1M is ok.

      Who cares about Matt Martin

      Arizona is unlikely to have an NHL team when Matthew's contract expires.

      Dubas is a good GM who will tune out the noise from the uniformed, on this blog and elsewhere, and bring the TO a cup. They are basically following the Lightning down that path.

      He has only had his coach for less than a season for heaven's sake.

      He knows what he needs: a new goalie and a top pair RHD… that's it.

      • It was blatantly obvious to all Babcock was not his coach or in line with his vision . Good gm would act on that and Babcock would never have seen the bench this season . If it was Shannys decision , why ? Don’t trust the good gm ? Your opinions are laughably blue . Just like you said keefe is a great coach and also said any two Guys in the system would be improvements over Ceci and Barrie . Good coache’s play the best lineup in playoffs / play ins . Also you think Freddy is the problem and not the d , or lack thereof and forwards not helping in that end as well . Your vision has more holes in it than Dubas himself . Swiss cheese . Blue Swiss .

      • As long as Bettman and his stubborn streak is around Arizona will have a team

    • Well, to remain consistent Uwey – Ottawa – at this stage of their re-build – does not need a goaltender. They have two (Nilsson – who they got from Vancouver – and Hogberg) for next season with Daccord and/or Gustavsson resdy to spell as needed. They have two decent draft picks just getting ready to start their pro careers.

      Now, if you said Eriksson and Pettersson I’m sure Dorion would be all over that. But Benning isn’t that dumb.

      • Interesting George, I would have thought a 24 yr old, 6’4″ goaltender would have been right inline with the Sens rebuild???

        See that’s, how one’s mind can mislead them without understanding the true make up of a team that one does not follow very closely.

      • By the time they’re ready to start being a serious contender again, they could have their own 6′ 7″ goaltender in Mads Sogaard, drafted from the Medicine Hat Tigers in the 2nd round in 2019, who turns 20 this December. They also have Kevin Mandolese, taken in the 6th round in 2018 from Cape Breton of the Q, who will start his pro career with Brampton of the ECHL.

        In the interim, Nilsson, Hogberg, Dacord and Gustavsson can hold down the fort.

        Don’t get me wrong, I like Demko – a lot. Just not “you must take Eriksson too” lot. 🙂

  15. What right shot defence man is worth pick #15 in the draft?
    Asking for Ron.

    • No one that would be an impact on the Leafs if ever?

      Did I win?

      • Not sure, Ron. Gotta figure Toronto trades this pick, don’t you think?

    • E Karlsson was picked 15th maybe pick a D with that pick

      • Derrick Pouliot was taken 8th, both Derek Pouliot and Duncan Siemens were taken 15th, Borje Salming was never drafted – what’s your point?

    • ADA from NYR

    • David Savard if CBJ are willing to take picks…though I think they only move Savard in a “hockey trade” salary in-salary out kind of move

  16. Two comments today:

    Simmonds to the Leafs a big, “no thank you”. Dubas has made mistakes and I am hoping he does not make one here. Simmonds is too slow now and not an effective player. Stay away Dubas!

    I love the scenario playing out in Vancouver. To the person who posted above do not let a few games dictate the future for Vancouver Goalies.
    Very good point, I would trade Demko now and cash in on his value before they lose him in expansion unless they work out a deal with Seattle to not touch Demko.

    That might be the way to go as teams are not going to back up the goodies truck and give you much. Demko looks like a sure thing – but, we have all heard that before.
    So, they must sign Markstrom – however, too bad Demko is coming around now because you could give a long term to Demko and save money. But, as stated a few games does not make a career, remember Andrew Hammond.

    I think they sign Markstrom to 6 mil for 5 years and roll the dice on Demko next off season and figure it out.
    (a little concerning is some injury history with Markstrom as of late)

    Anyways, good problem to have!

  17. How is a 35 year old goalie well past his prime given 3.5 mil contract a home town discount its actually a thank you for your service contract

    • Because, he can fetch that money elsewhere… And also, if Reimer has a 3,4 M$ salary, i’d prefer Crawford anytime soon.

  18. I think that Dorion should into trading for Jake Virtanen.

    Another player I would like to see Dorion look into trading for is Josh Andersson.

    • I hope that Bergevin is doing his due diligence on Virtanen. Anderson would be interesting as well as long as he’s not the only guy coming back in any trade with CBJ.

  19. Please trade LeTurnover waste of 7 million a year to soft

  20. I believe ADA is Nyr dman Anthony De Angelo

    • Meant abbreviation of ADA for Bob Geary