NHL Rumor Mill – October 16, 2020

by | Oct 16, 2020 | Rumors | 95 comments

The Patrik Laine trade speculation persists, an update on Zdeno Chara and the latest on the Blue Jackets and Predators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the agents for Patrik Laine denied speculation suggesting the 22-year-old winger wouldn’t report to Winnipeg Jets training camp if he’s not traded before then. However, Laine knows he’s been in trade discussion. Given his lack of first-line minutes over the last two years, his agents believe it would be mutually beneficial to the player and the team if he’s dealt before training camp. They added there’s been clear communication with Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Trade chatter persists about Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

LeBrun spoke to Cheveldayoff, who maintains he’s considering all trade options and insists Laine remains a big part of the Jets organization. However, he feels the Winnipeg GM isn’t going to trade the winger just for the sake of it and would want a return that makes sense for the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I thought the return of Paul Stastny might quell the Laine trade chatter but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The Jets addressed their need for a second-line center by reacquiring Stastny but they still need a right-side defenseman to skate alongside Josh Morrissey on their top blueline pairing. That’s probably Cheveldayoff’s asking price for Laine.

The question is, which team needs scoring and has the defensive depth to make that move? Some observers suggest the Carolina Hurricanes and Brett Pesce, but I don’t think he’s enough on his own to pry Laine away from the Jets. Another suggestion was the Florida Panthers and Aaron Ekblad. However, defense was a big problem last season for the Panthers, one that would be exacerbated by trading Ekblad.

The Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba is thought to be available, but they need a first-line center, not a scoring winger. The New Jersey Devils could use Laine, but I don’t see the Jets asking for P.K. Subban following his sub-par performance over the last two years. The Columbus Blue Jackets could be a suitor, but the Jets will likely prefer Seth Jones over David Savard and that’s a deal-breaker for the Jackets.

LeBrun also reports Zdeno Chara’s agent, Matt Keator, suggests his client’s return for another season with the Boston Bruins isn’t a slam dunk. LeBrun feels the Bruins remain the front-runner but other clubs have called. Keator said Chara intends to take his time. The schedule format for next season also interests the veteran defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara could be keeping all his options open. Nevertheless, some of this could simply be posturing to squeeze the Bruins for the best deal possible.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Porzline recently wondered if Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was done dealing after clearing salary-cap space while adding Max Domi and Mikko Koivu. He speculates Kekalainen could target one of the remaining scoring forwards in the UFA market if their asking prices drop the longer they’re available, if Pierre-Luc Dubois signs a new contract or if any team looking to target Dubois for an offer sheet makes a different move.

Portzline also mused about the possibility of the Jackets GM targeting a cap-strapped club for a forward. He proposed Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson as one option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Jackets have $13.625 million in cap space. That’s not including placing Brandon Dubinsky ($5.85 million) on long-term injury reserve if necessary. If ownership is willing to spend to the cap, they’ll have no problem matching an offer sheet for Dubois.

While an offer sheet is a concern, I don’t think it’s going to happen because the Jackets have the space to match. In the meantime, there could be enough room to pursue a scoring forward for the right price via free agency or trade.



  1. Old school three team trade

    • Dude, I was just gonna suggest that!

      • Why??? What would Calgary then do for a #1 centre??? Dude …

      • @Denis – if they did it, Lindholm would shift to Center. He’s played there before and has good 2-way play and faceoff numbers. Also have the freedom to try Bennett or Dube to see if they get some progression.

    • On the surface that looks – to use one of Pengy’s favourite words – doable since the initial cap numbers are quite close.

      However, whereas Winnipeg and Minnesota get manageable cost-certainty for 3 years each with Dumba and Monahan respectively, following which each become UFAs, Calgary’s acquisition, who costs a tad more than Monahan now, becomes an RFA next year with arbitration, joining Bennett, Dube and Valimaki, along with both back-up goalies becoming UFAs.
      Can you imagine what Laine would be seeking should he put up big numbers? While they’re still dealing with a flat cap??

    • Pretty sure Winnipeg needs more LD help then RD help, On the right side they’ve DeMelo and Pionk basically on the left side only Morrissey that is decent. Monahan for Dumba makes some sense but sending Dumba to Winnipeg and Laine to Calgary makes no sense what’s so ever for Winnipeg.

      • Agreed. Dumba should not get you Laine. He’s good, but not Laine good. There’d have to be a sweetner coming to the Peg too, maybe very good prospect center or 1rst round draft pick

    • That is not good enough of a return for Laine

  2. Looks like the Bruins closed up shop….they signed a 31 year old 3rd line goal scorer and a broken down Dman plus 3 AHL players of which two of them will never see the NHL nice job Sweeney/Neely

    • What’s wrong with them being smart? Let’s see what the young guys can do. Next season will be way more interesting with Rask, and Krejci off the books. Maybe they wait until then to make a big move.

      • I agree with this Jason , they may have had players on their list that they did not land. Nothing wrong with having some cap space at the TDL either. By not adding a body it gives Studnicka and Vaak a shot at making the team and playing decent minutes.
        I get why fans like Joe are disappointed but I will chalk this up to something else planned for the future.

      • It’s funny, though, that when Ottawa regularly kept $4 or $5 mil cushions, it was because Melnyk is cheap … but here it’s seen as “smart”

        Hey, I agree that having some decent wiggle room is the right move … I just wish that there was some consistency in the views as to why

      • “t’s funny, though, that when Ottawa regularly kept $4 or $5 mil cushions, it was because Melnyk is cheap … but here it’s seen as “smart””

        That’s because Ottawa never “chose” to have a cushion, they didn’t have the money to spend. Boston is making a decision not to spend money on things they don’t deem to be worth the money.

        “I just wish that there was some consistency in the views as to why”

        There’s no consistency because they’re doing it for different reasons. Ottawa has a budget, Boston doesn’t want to spend money stupidly.

    • Seems to be so Joe–Hopefully Hoffman is an option they can use him. He would do well next to 46

      Def–Have depth–can Moore play like he did in NJ? Can the young guys step in? See what happens–

    • Why do you look at Smith as a 3rd line winger Joe?
      He might be in Boston as they play Coyle almost as much as Krecji.
      There are 124 top 6 wingers in the NHL. (31×4)
      Smith scored the 56th most goals among wingers.

      Top 6 goal scorer production no matter where he plays in Boston. Perhaps we think average top 6 players score more than they actually do.

      Also was a plus player on a minus team and the highest among NSH forwards, 2nd overall.
      Solid signing IMO. And not expensive for a guy who is a consistent 20 goal scorer wherever he plays in the lineup.

      Seems like a guy who should fit into the B’s system/structure as well.

      Sounds like the B’s might be waiting on Chara?
      My thoughts on that are, if he is checking the market the B’s should too. Don’t want to miss out on someone else because you waited.

    • Joe, key point is the signing of Zboril.

      His contract is a one-way deal. Meaning he has to clear waivers to be sent down.

      Zboril is getting an opportunity to start next season.

      I agree Boston might be done unless there is a trade.

      • Caper…I’m still trying to figure out the Sweeney/Neely season ending presser, the we need to get bigger & tougher maybe they meant Frederic making the team this year

      • Well That is a name I haven’t heard in a while. Zboril was Chabots defensive partner and the more sought after D at that draft. Going well before Chabot. Perhaps he will make the leap and Shine.

    • Sweeney & Neely deserve to be FIRED.
      The WORST is yet to come for the Bruins due to horrible drafts, trades and free agent signings.
      Neither of them had anything to do with signing or drafting of our very OLD core players.

      • Sweeney has been on the job for 4 seasons.

        44W 31L 7OT 95pts

        50W 20L 12OT 112pts

        49W 24L 9OT 107pts

        44W 14L 12OT 100pts

        Seems pretty good to me.

        You’re worse at trolling than Don is at GMing.

      • So, when did having an opinion become “trolling?” … oh wait, I know, it’s when that opinion does not agree with those of the fan-boys

      • So, ever since he’s been posting it’s been at the same level of trolling as Wendel or some of the other one trick ponies.
        Do pay attention, George. Or are you to busy writing novels to be able read the room?
        Thanks for the response.

  3. I am still optimistic that Jarmo will find a way to acquire an additional scoring F for CBJ. It likely will require patience. With the Laine smoke not going away this would be ideal but the fit just isn’t there unless other moves are made. I suspect some other unexpected F will become available in season if teams underachieve and need to move $. Cap Flexibility and patience could be the key to finding the right deal. Hope springs eternal right?

  4. Just doing some spit balling on the Eastern Conference teams and their chances of getting into the playoffs next year are, as of now. I welcome others to revise, amend, condemn … or agree:

    Teams That Haven’t Done Much But Should Make the Playoffs:




    NY Islanders

    Teams That May Struggle to Make the Playoffs This Year


    Tampa Bay




    Teams That Are Legit Contenders to Make the Playoffs == This Time


    Teams Likely to Miss the Playoffs Again


    New Jersey



    Teams with a foot in each of Miss Again/Make it Now


    NY Rangers

    Tough Conference

    • Lj,

      Your list is pretty good to my eyes. Although I wouldnt assume Pittsburgh is a lock to qualify for the post season.

      • He wrote should, not a lock. And you know what happens when one assumes?

    • Hello LJ, I appreciate the optimism, however, as a Devil’s fan, I find it hard to believe they will be playoff contenders. Hopefully more competitive. That is of course barring any other moves, still a lot of cap space.

    • @LJ –

      Pittsburgh and Washington are both trotting out #1G’s who haven’t had a full season of games under their belts, so I would consider them as a little riskier.

      Don’t really see Boston or Tampa struggling to make the playoffs. Boston hasn’t really changed much after finishing #1 in the east and Tampa will certainly suffer some personnel losses, but there’s too much there to think they’ll struggle.

      I might have the Sabres in the foot in/foot out category, but their goaltending needs to improve to get there.

      • Tampa Bay and Boston – I would put them ahead of any of the teams in the other division so, one way or another, they’ll both be in the playoffs.
        Toronto and Montreal could be duking it out for third in the division but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them both make it.
        Not sure about the Islanders. They might struggle to repeat their 2020 level of play.
        Lots of moves still to come though and length of season could mean a lot again.
        Love the All-Canadian division concept.

      • All Canadian division would be like having all home games for the Leafs.

      • That one actually made me laugh Wendel.
        Because it is kind of true.

    • I would swap Tampa and Pit. I’m not sold that the Penguins are *that* good. (maybe addition by subtraction, though, eh Pengy?) Tampa has enough personnel left, even after several are given away, that they should get in relatively easily. You have more faith in my Hurricanes than I do. I’d probably put them in the 2nd category. The whole Metro is too hard.

    • I thought your teams that may struggle was mis title and meant to say locked in playoff teams.

    • Humm…..with Covid sticking around, chances are good, we’ll have a temporary Canadian division, for the next season, with the American teams forming three more. We can analyze what the organisations have done, but, until we know who-will-compete-against-whom, hard to predict playoff chances.

    • Thanks, to all who read/commented. I agree with those who pointed out teams that could slide in or out of one of these arbitrary measures.

    • No offense to Ottawa, but they’re not close to being where Rangers are in their rebuild. I don’t think Sens most avid supporters would expect them to make playoffs this year. Rangers added best prospect in last 3 drafts. They’ll have Shestyorkin to start season as #1 goalie and should expect more from young players development.
      Also, can’t see Cup champs and Presidents trophy winners “struggling to make playoffs”

      • Not yet Slick62 … not until we see how Norris, Formenton, Batherson, Logan Brown, Zub, Stutzle, Murray – maybe Brannstrom – perform as a season progresses … but they will be much improved over last season. And don’t think Dorion is done adding – even with the signing of Dadonov and the RFAs still left to re-up he will STILL have around $9-$10 mil and said yesterday he’s still putting irons in the fire with the GMs of cap-strapped teams.

        No, not yet a playoff team – but I’m betting a damned harder 2 points on most nights for any opponent.

  5. Adding Laine to any roster would be an upgrade. Expensive addition though in both assets and dollars needed to resign him.

    • You got that right Ron – see my response to Hockey in the other thread re his 3-way trade proposal. Agree, too, with your take on LJ’s excellent projection – in fact, not only could Pitt be among the strugglers, I can’t quite see TB dropping that much – not as dominant, perhaps, but still dangerous at any given time. I’m also torn when it comes to the Flyers – hard to get a handle on right now, but they showed definite signs of becoming a consistently hard opponent to beat.

      • What about Ryan Ellis for Laine? Dollars work, still giving Nashville room to make other changes/re-sign Laine. Both teams trade strength for weakness on their roster. (Leaves Preds a little thin on RD, but you have to give to get)

      • I thought the Flyers were at half speed during the playoffs. Just no flow to their game. Giroux wasnt very good and Vorachek only in patches.
        I thought Hart was very good minus a glitch here and there.
        Lucky to beat Montreal, and outhustled, outworked and outplayed by the Islanders.

        I have Philly as a should make the playoffs, but wont be surprised if they dont.

        Need Patrick fully recovered and contributing and for Morgan Frost to take a roster spot.

      • Paddy your proposal is the only sensible one in this entire thread.

      • While that’s true re the Flyers, Ron, perhaps that boiled down to pre-playoff preparation by the coaching staff not being as focused as that of the opposition. Internally they’ll know for certain following detailed assessment of game films. All I know is, the team playing down the stretch of what turned out to be a shortened season looked vastly different than the one that took to the ice against the Habs and Islanders, which is why I said “torn when it comes to the Flyers.” Konecny, especially, looked “off” in the playoffs as did Vorachek.

    • Team needs to have room next year Boston fits but do they need a another top scorer or would a stud D man be better? Would possibly cost one of their best D men to get Laine May have to pass.

      • Obe if the rumors are true and Laine wants top line, he isnt displacing Pastrnak on the top line.

        Boston has over $15m coming off the books, Krejci, Rask and Backes money, they’ll have to resign or replace plus they have Carlo and McAvoy contracts coming up over the next 2 season.

        I dont see Laine as a fit just based on his demands.

        Boston needs to start looking for their next 2 top C. Maybe Studnicka as one of them. Wait and see.

      • Agree Caper, need to start looking for the top 2 C(s). Not easy.
        Coyle could be a middle of the road 2 C. Studnicka is a maybe. He works hard on his game so hopefully he put some muscle on in the off season as he got pushed around.
        So other than sucking and picking high, or getting lucky later in draft, going to have to be a UFA.
        So overpay.
        Coming up next year – RNH, or Danault. Neither a 1C but a 2C. RNH likely isn’t leaving. Danault might?
        The year following year gets better. Barkov will still be young enough.

      • That’s why I said pass also rumors Stammer may be moved will be interesting to see where Laine and Stamkos end up maybe nowhere. Studnicka will be good not sure first line centre but 2nd for sure. If Boston did get Laine he would play with Bergeron and Pasta with Krejci not bad.

  6. Thought it was interesting that CLB went for 2 centers – Domi and Koivu – when they still have Dubois to sign. Pierre was definitely emerging in the playoffs, but you think it was the kick in the pants he needed from Torts that give the Jackets pause?… thinking he’s not ready for prime time, let him simmer a bit more. If I’m Pierre, I’m guessing no big contract and increase in responsibility this go around.

    • Neither Domi or Koivu are starting centres, one never was and the other isn’t anymore. Koivu at least can win faceoffs,while Domi is a high energy player that fits at centre only with specific type of winger, a banger that has a nose for rebounds, not to mention being a defensive liability

  7. what if NJ send Palmieri & Severson for Laine?

    Then NJ can sign Hamonic and Vatanen

    Laine can grow with the young team and play top minutes

    • A proposal that Devs would love. Not so much the Jets do, unless there is some more coming back.

    • Hamonic is not coming East. He has personal family problems that require him to stay close to home.

      I was why he left the isles in the first place and why he had to opt out of the playoffs.
      Pretty much Calgary, Winnipeg and perhaps Edmonton are choices. Maybe Colorado?

  8. I know Burns has a no movement contract, but what about a Burns for Laine attempt? Sharks need to move somebody on that back end while they still have value…

    • I doubt WPG bites on that deal. Burns is 35 and owed $40M for the next 5 seasons.

      The are going to want a young, cost-controlled D-man as a starter.

      • Zaitsev is cost-controlled for Ottawa the next four years. Winnipeg should give Dorion a call. 😉

      • true . You know u can be sure u r overpaying him 3.5m annually.

  9. Laine to Toronto
    Nylander, Marincin and a 4th to Winnipeg

    • How does that help Toronto past this year? Nylander is actually a decent contract for the next several years and Laine’s looking for more than Nylander on his next deal. With a flat cap, makes no sense for Toronto. If Nylander or Marner are traded, it would most likely be for a top 3 defenseman.

  10. For the sake of conversation, do you think Justin Faulk and Klim Kostin from the Blues for Laine would be fair/good??

    • Faulk is a decent defenseman, not really a top-pairing guy though, and a little overpaid IMO. He also has a full NMC.

      I don’t know much about Kostin. He’s a year younger than Laine and has managed 29 goals in 181 AHL games. Laine has scored 138 goals in 305 NHL games.

      I don’t see this package scoring Laine.

    • I would think it would start with Parayko and perhaps 1st round pick

  11. I think the flyers will be in on Laine. Package will start with sanheim, a first rounder, plus a high end prospect.
    The only question is how the flyers make the cap work.

    • That’s more in-line with what I would expect Laine to fetch. I think WPG just holds onto him rather than accepting much less.

    • If Im Philly I pass on that. Laine is good, but not that good.

    • Scott, that’s the closest to a fair trade so far but I really don’t see how Winnipeg ever wins in a Laine deal.
      Hate it when young players want out and go public with it.

  12. If we look at Chevy past, he doesn’t do anything in a rush.

    Evander Kane asked for a trade every off season and it took until Byfuglien three Kane track suit in the shower before he finally traded Kane.

    Every one knew Trouba was leaving town but again Chevy waited to long and got peanuts on the dollar.

    So don’t expect to see a Laine deal any time soon.

    • Admittedly I was skeptical of the return of Trouba but the call it “peanuts” on an expiring asset is ludicrous.

      Pionk Jets – 71 GP, 45 points, 51% CF 5v5

      Trouba NYR – 70 GP, 27 points, 45% CF 5v5

      Add in Heinola as a plausible blue chipper, and the Rangers are currently at a major deficit – and that doesn’t even include the fact Trouba ain’t worth $8 mil a year (maybe 5).

      • Brock, since these guys were traded for each other so you can compare how the #’s were with each team.
        They reverse.
        Trouba gets more Dzone starts than OZone and gets the tougher opposition too.
        I like advanced stats, but there is a bigger picture than just CF IMO.
        Heinola sounds like the real deal, so agree with you on the return if he works out. Still a big if.
        But considering every GM knew he wanted to be traded and wanted $$$. Not that many options out there for Chevvy.

      • Brock I’ve watched both play here in Winnipeg and there is no comparison to the overall game of both players.

        Trouba if a far better player then Pionk.

        Furthermore to my statement is if Chevy had dealt Trouba the season before he would’ve recieved a much better return.

      • Fair enough Caper, and in hindsight your probably right.
        WPG was an actual cup contender that year, so I see the reasoning for keeping him as well.

      • I’m a Jets 2.0 season ticket holder since day 1 – 35+ games a year when that was a thing. I liked Trouba, he was particularly good with JoMo, but he just didn’t/doesn’t have the offensive upside to be a $8 million a year player. You better put up 50+ points on the back end for that money. The deal he wanted would have been Bogo 2.0 but worse. The fact Chevy got a decent player and a pick, which he used well (at least in theory at this point) for a guy sour on the team, who was going to walk, who wanted WAY too much money for his abilities, to me that isn’t “peanuts on the dollar”.

  13. Does Laine count as a difference maker?

    Asking for a friend.

    • Tell your friend that Laine is a one trick pony that fans love, but solid NHL people are not as high on.

      I see him as a selfish, immature player who overvalues himself.

      No one is giving the Jets value for Laine. If a team can steal him, they will. Other than that, I don’t see it.

  14. Random thought, wouldn’t it be fun to see what happens if Detroit offer sheet one of TB Dman and Ottawa offer sheet the other.

    Is that even allowed? Could one team recieve more then one offer sheet at a time.

    • I don’t believe there’s any reason that could not happen.

      If Dorion and Yzerman “colluded” on that plan, that may be a different story though.

  15. The team that needs a scoring winger the most on their top line is the Islanders. Laine and Barzal would make a solid pair.
    Leddy, draft pick and prospect.

    • Great deal for the Islanders, Orange. But I think you are rooting for your team instead of thinking like an NHL GM.

      • What if the prospect is Beauvillier?

      • I’m an Isles fan and Winnipeg is not giving Laine away for that offer.

        And absolutely NOT on Beau.

        Beau is a core player.

      • I think Beauvillier has graduated beyond “prospect.”

  16. Tampa could make the deal with Winnipeg. Cirelli and McDonagh for Laine….heir to Stamkos

    • So you are assuming that Tampa can move Stamkos? Tough move given his injury history and an 8.5 million cap hit. It means that the Jets take on more salary than they have cap space for by close to 2 million, and they have D to add …

      And what about the year after next when Tampa needs to deal with Laine’s RFA status?

  17. Laine doesn’t play the Tampa well-established two-way style – wouldn’t be a good fit there.

  18. I see Calgary today re-upped RFA Mangiapen with the 2-year $4.85 mil deal, while Ottawa re-signed RFA Balcers to a 1-year 2-way deal at $700,000 – hello Belleville.

    And Jeremy Bracco now becomes a prospect trade commodity for the Hurricanes after they gave him a similar 2-way contract.

  19. Jumbo Joe to the Leafs?

    thornton, Spezza and Simmonds. The Mothball Line.

    Dubas is playing far to much xbox. Easy to raise Jumbos attributes:

    skating – 99
    passing – 99
    speed – 99
    agility – 99
    shooting – 99
    checking – 99
    hitting – 99

    There you go, less than 10 minutes and the Leafs finally have their difference maker.

    Rumor is Dubas is trying to sign Gilmour, Clark and Allan Bester. Can never have too many difference makers.

    • Joe: Hello? Who is this?

      (Fondue bubbles in the background).

      Dubas: It’s me, Kyle, Joe. Want to come play in Toro …

      Joe: More gruyere, please … click.

      • Ok, cheek aside, boy, Dubas has declared a lack of faith in the bottom 6 forwards he has been signing.

        Yes Joe is big and has lots of experience but 7 goals last year? Does he play third line, or does Spezza? He is sure to get less ice time than he did in SJ and his total shots have been less than 100 in each of the past 4 seasons …

    • I know he is old but 700k for 31 pts and he knows WHEN to make a pass….. not bad for 700k

      Solid face offs too…

    • I knew, when the Thornton signing was announced, that you’d be right in there, Ron.
      I like IHC’s comment – $700K for a guy that can make a pass, take faceoffs and really, really wants to win is worth the gamble.
      Dubas said they were going to change and they have. We’ll see where it goes.

      • totally agree with your assessment of Thornton, and hed be a good signing for the Leafs…. if they didnt already have Spezza.

        Both centers, one on 3rd the other on 4th line?

        One makes sense, not both. One of them will be in the pressbox for long stretches I think.

  20. Leafs can only afford entry level. That means very young or very old. I guess with no picks it has to be the latter

  21. Hey I have an autographed smokin joe Thornton Jersey happens to be in Black and Gold but for right number may sell to a Leaf fan. Joe won’t hurt Toronto in my opinion but not sure what he will add besides some locker room chatter. Now he has never won but he definitely has experience. Would be a great story if Leafs won and he went out on top.

  22. After taking care of their RFA’s……

    The Bruins should sign Chara for 1.3mil. + Bonuses

    Corey Perry for 700k.+ Bonuses

    Andy Green for 1mil.+ Bonuses.

    • Andy Greene is staying on the Island per LL.

      Corey Perry is in Dubas’ office , pen in hand, ready to sign.

      • Ha!