NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2020

by | Oct 19, 2020 | Rumors | 82 comments

The latest on the Flyers, Islanders and Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher is still actively talking to teams, but the flattened salary cap is making it difficult to add players to his roster.

This is the most difficult offseason that I’ve ever seen,” said Fletcher. He feels the NHL is entering the Flat Cap Era. “As crazy as it is right now out there, I think next summer could be even worse in terms of having some paralysis in the market, and having just too many teams having to move money.”

Fletcher is also focused on the long term. Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim will be restricted free agents next summer while Scott Laughton is due to become an unrestricted free agent. Sean Couturier is two years away from UFA eligibility.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (NHL Images).

Carchidi observers forwards such as Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund and Andreas Athanasiou remain available in the UFA market. However, he doesn’t know if Fletcher will pursue one of them.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall wondered what the Flyers’ recent signing of Erik Gustafsson to a one-year, $3-million contract means for Shayne Gostisbehere. Both defensemen play a similar offensive-minded style. While Gustafsson’s addition doesn’t guarantee Gostisbehere will be traded, Hall suggests it increases the possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The flattened salary cap could make it more difficult for the Flyers to move Gostisbehere. As per Cap Friendly, the 27-year-old blueliner has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports unrestricted free agents Andy Greene and Matt Martin are expected to return with the New York Islanders. The Isles could also be in the market for a bargain third-line winger. He listed Derick Brassard, Carl Soderberg, Erik Haula, Alex Galchenyuk and Riley Sheahan among forwards who might be available for the right price.

Staple added there’s nothing new regarding a recent rumor suggesting the Isles were close to trading defenseman Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million AAV for next season. He speculates perhaps the Isles could interest the New Jersey Devils in winger Leo Komarov, who has a $3 million cap hit for the next two years. Staple also thinks Andrew Ladd is a likely LTIR candidate given his recent injury history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders have $8.9 million in cap space, but a new contract for RFA center Mathew Barzal will likely eat up most of that, while defenseman Ryan Pulock is also due for a significant raise. Pulock has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Nov. 6.

GM Lou Lamoriello must shed salary to re-sign Barzal and Pulock and bring back Greene and Martin. Moving Boychuk could alleviate much of that cap concern, but Lamoriello could be forced to include a draft pick, prospect or young NHL player in the deal.

WGR 550: Brayton J. Wilson believes the Buffalo Sabres should revisit the idea of trading defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to provide themselves sufficient salary-cap flexibility for next season. The Sabres have a projected $13.645 million available but most of that will be taken up re-signing RFAs such as Sam Reinhart, Victor Olofsson, Casey Mittelstadt and Linus Ullmark and perhaps bring back Dominik Kahun after he wasn’t extended a qualifying offer.

Ristolainen, 25, has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.4 million. Wilson feels it may be worthwhile under the current economic conditions to move the blueliner for less than market value, pointing to the Vegas Golden Knights accepting a third-round pick in 2022 from the Vancouver Canucks for Nate Schmidt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ristolainen trade rumors had the Sabres attempting to move him in exchange for a scoring forward. That need has been addressed with the additions of Taylor Hall and Eric Staal.

It might be easier to move Ristolainen for a draft pick in a cost-cutting deal, but that’s assuming GM Kevyn Adams is willing to move him. Head coach Ralph Krueger apparently thinks highly of the Finnish blueliner and his opinion seems to carry considerable weight within the Sabres’ organization. Ristolainen probably won’t be shopped if Krueger wants him in the fold for next season.







82 Comments

  1. Why would the Devils have any interest in Leo Komarov with that contract in this environment? To take that on for any reason on a rebuilding team would be silly. The sweetener involved would not make it worthwhile to the Islanders. These writers throw of a lot of crap.

    • Agree redmonsters – writers like Staple obviously just cannot get their heads around the fact that, it will NOT be business as usual for at least 2 years and that the concept of “where there’s a will there’s a way” is also filed away for some time.

      Staple – and others like him who can’t get away from the old concept of tossing out names as if the move being discussed is so logical they can’t understand why no one else has thought about it – have to pay attention to what GMs like Fletcher are saying ““This is the most difficult offseason that I’ve ever seen … as crazy as it is right now out there, I think next summer could be even worse in terms of having some paralysis in the market, and having just too many teams having to move money.”

      And, I might add, precious few spots as to where that money CAN be moved.

      Acting like ostriches isn’t the answer. Maybe it’s time the league and NHLPA got together (virtually) to hammer out a fair and equitable formula to resolve the issue.

      • I’d add Ristolainen to that list, the Sabres were unable to move him last year when the league was open for business.
        Same goes for Boychuk, who is running after an old lead footed D with a 6M cap hit?

      • George O, agree 100% on your thoughts. I think writers like Staples are spitballing and hope something sticks as there is nothing much happening. But as you point out there is a new reality – and that should be Staples narrative, not the old retread stories/ideas. Its why I do like coming to this site, always informative. Being in NY we are a little starved for real insightful hockey news so between the Athletic and the Canadian sports site I get my fill.

      • Willy Wonka doesn’t have enough “sweetener” to make me want to take him on – or Loui Ericksson, Kessel, Goligoski, Hjalmarsson, Bozak, Fleury, Backes, Russell for that matter

      • Gentlemen- I would suggest you actually read the article in question before ripping Arthur Staple. If you do read it you will find he is not guilty of what you have accused him. He is providing information for his readers and is actually one of the best beat guys out there. Most of his information is generally right on the mark.

      • First off, I am not a Staple fan. I find him to be lazy and happy to pass along whatever he sees elsewhere.
        He was the local beat reporter for Newsday before joining the Athletic.

        Having said that, how many reporters have ever broken a Lou story?
        LL is the CIA of Hockey.
        It’s pretty much an impossible job to get anything out of the Isles that they don’t want released.

        I’ve been around hockey longer than many of you and what I have learned is that patience pays off.
        Lou has a plan, a back up plan and a back up to the back up plan.

        Remember the shock when Lou signed Kovy?
        Remember when he pried Schneider from Vancouver, when the entire hockey world was waiting for Bobby Lou to be traded?

        Remember last week when he traded Toews?

        Anyone write a “rumour” about that? Or did it just appear?

        Think back to how many times LL did something and you thought “didn’t see that coming”.

        “If you have time, why not use it”.

        Things will sort themselves out.

  2. You know Fletcher regrets signing JVR to 7 mil for next 3 years. Talk about a sweetener. And when Ghost bear is scratched multiple times (rightfully so) who’s lining up to get him? Not to pick on flyers, lots of teams have one or more crap contracts.

    • He regrets Hextall signing Jvr you mean. Facts r important.

      • Well played Wendel…

    • Flyers definitely have “more”

  3. I see Mike “Doc” Emrick is hanging up his microphone. Always enjoyed his enthusiasm while calling a game.

    • Doc was the best announcer of all the sports down here in the States imho. Many great memories of him calling a game.

      Wish him all the best in retirement!

    • Ugh. When he called Devil games back in the day every time he said “Niedermayer” was like nails on a chalkboard!

      Not one of my favorites. Thorne and Clement! Best ever in US!

      • Jiggs McDonald is my favorite broadcaster of all time.

        I used to look forward to the Isles Western Canada games, because Jiggs would call them.
        The regular Isle broadcaster, Howie Rose, would skip those trips in favor of Jiggs.

        Jiggs and Westfall were a pleasure to listen too.

        “Clement! Clement! Hands of cement.”

        I like Clement as a broadcaster. Very personable and comes across as easy going.

        Who here remembers the Big Whistle?

        Bill Chadwick was the Rangers color guy for ever.
        “Shoot the puck, Barry”

        Now the Rangers have Dan Maloney, who I suspect has a snoot full, before going on the air!

  4. I read an article on Boston Hockey Now; suggesting the Bruins should no what ever it takes to land Laine.

    Laine contract this season is a $6.750 contract, Boston has $6.6 in cap space.

    Winnipeg only has $27g in cap space and likely Little $5.291 will go on ltir when season starts.

    The Jets won’t want to take a lot of salary back.

    Debrusk would have to be part of the package and Boston need to send more money to absorb the cap. Brandon Carlo at $2.85 and Debrusk contract could make it work.

    Personally i would try to package Debrusk and Kase and his $2.6 and add a prospect from there.

    I really wouldn’t want to give up Carlo but i don’t think this deal would get done unless Carlo is included.

    • I have also seen many online reports linking the Bruins to Ehlers (take those rumors for what they are). I think if the Bruins make a trade with Winnipeg they will be giving up a lot but also need to ensure they can sign Laine to a long term deal.

      McAvoy and Carlo are the 2 dmen I think they should keep most, but D is where they have a surplus for sure.

    • Caper.. a Laine trade ( don’t give up Carlo ) would be the start of a pending rebuild …next year they will probably have Rask,Krejci,Kase,Kuraly,
      Lindholm could all leave the Bruins which could total up to around $20 million and a rebuild will be ongoing …. at 22 years old a Laine would a great start to the changing of the guard ….but seriously I don’t see the Bruins doing a major like this

      • Joe, i don’t see this happening either; also add in what Laine demands would be the following season plus the fact he wants to play on the 1st line.

      • I can’t see it either but if happened Laine with Bergie and Pasta with Krejci for sure.

    • as I said about flyers and provorov or a non starter , you may insert McAvoy as it relates to a bruins trade for laine.

  5. Trading Risto for a pick is like giving him away. 40+ point, 25 minute defensemen is something the Sabres can not afford to lose.

    • I said awhile back, you snooze, you lose. Rangers moving Staal’s 5.7 cap hit was a mini miracle. As time goes by, less teams with cap space. Tampa went all in on winning cup. They were also last to the party on being able to make trades. Teams are being very picky now with moves. A lot of players didn’t get qualifying offers. Wondering how many players that did make it to arbitration. A lot of teams could play hardball now with threat of walking away from awards. I’d recommend rfa’s take offers now or they’ll be part of ever growing ufa pool.

      • My consistent thoughts exactly Slick62 – we definitely haven’t seen the last of the already record-breaking number of RFAs whose teams cut them loose … and the more of them that are added to the UFA heap makes it almost impossible for what’s left of the legitimate UFAs to find (NHL) jobs.

      • Certainly at term and salary they may have received pre-Covid-19/flat cap.

    • I don’t know much about the Sabres defence other than the big names they have. With Dahlin, Risto, and Montour are as good or 3 as any top 4 in the NHL. Davidson is a solid 6th or 7th d-man. The players they have between those players I don’t know much about. Looking at that do the Sabres have the depth to trade from their defence? To me it looks like they need to add a solid piece or two.
      I do know that I have had Risto or Dahlin on my fantasy hockey team the last few years, and I have done pretty well.

      • Kevjam, the Sabres can afford to trade 2 of Risto, Montour or Miller but still need to address LD. Rist is 5.4M cap hit and the other 2 are slightly under 4M. I doubt Risto is going anywhere, Krueger loves him and for those that don’t know Krueger is calling the shots.

        My opinion is the Sabres should sign Hoffman bc Hall is probably a one and done. He’ll reap the rewards for playing with Eichel like Skinner did and then move on after a season.

      • dahlin is a 2 who will become a one. Risto, Montour and Wilson are 4,5,6 Dmen respectively.

    • I think Buffalo and Winnipeg should revisit as trading partners. Winnipeg trades Perrault and Roslovic for Risto. Perrault on his last year gives the cap space for next season plus some depth and they get Roslovic who has a lot of potential and upside than a draft pick who may or may not pan out.

    • Agree Mark, Risto seems like a deal at $5.4. Minute eater, more D zone starts than O zone and still puts up points.
      Big, can skate and still pretty young.
      Not sure why the rush to move him.
      The contract they need to get rid of IMO is Skinner. But good luck with that.
      Keep Risto, move Montour if you have a jog jam at D.

  6. What has my attention is the combination of an article disparaging the Leafs signing of over the hill players and the almost guaranteed cap problem extending beyond this season.

    Even if Thornton, Spezza and Simmonds roll back time this coming season the Leafs will not be Cup contenders. This means that in the next off season the Leafs might be worse off than they are now. Same cap constraints, 11 UFAs to sign, and a 54 year Cup drought.

    Yes Leaf fans, the Habs last won the Cup in ’93 and us Habs fans do drone on about our glory days in the long faded 70s. But whose roster and future is better?

    In a world where there is constant change and the disruptive effect of Covid, I do thank the Leafs for some corner of predictability. Bless you, Kyle.

    • With all due respect. In Matthews and Marner the Leafs have 4x the roster of the habs.

      • Yes Guy:

        You mean now, with the Leafs having scrubbed their bottom six for no gain? Perhaps you mean the Leafs combined age is 4X greater than the Habs?

        Or do you mean the same core that lost in the qualifying round to a team they were tied with for 8th spot, whilst the Habs beat a team 15 points ahead of them. The Habs made it into the playoffs, the Leafs went home.

        So, No, Guy. I don’t see it.

      • 4x the roster….and still missed the playoffs….

        lol

      • Just some fun on a rainy Monday morning! Time will tell, and I’d love to see Leafs and Habs play each other in the playoffs. Cheers!

    • I think the Leafs will be better this year but nothing to do with the Thornton signing.
      Nice story but I don’t think it will help them on the ice much. If he is the motivation they were lacking, then great, but that doesn’t make sense to me.

      I think the Leafs have improved their blue line quite a bit, and their young core guys should continue to get better. I think they improve and make the playoffs and push whoever they play, maybe even win a round or 2.
      And I don’t care much for the Leafs and would prefer to see them lose every year.
      Their roster is too good not to be a playoff team.

    • The leafs have zero cap issues for the next 2 years, even if they win the cup. All difference makers are locked up.

      The habs roster and cap situation looks like it was constructed by a drunken billionaire at a south Oshawa garage sale.

      • Jumbo doesn’t see the same goalie you are seeing I take it. Spoke very highly of Fred, best hope dubas isn’t listening . I hope your not still praising dubas as you were prior to draft and free agency .
        You made it very clear the ONLY changes needed were a goalie and a top rhd
        Negative on both counts, someone saw a need for grit, size and leadership instead of redundancy throughout the lineup . Whether that was dubas or shanny is another debate but Wendell was clear, nothing needed, no changes other than the goalie and rhd.
        Your boy has joined the linear thinkers ?? Lol

      • Hey, he’s lifted off the grate (to the subterranean LTC clubhouse) and is back to add his 1 cent:

        Thats what I said Craig and I know its true and I stand by it. If andersen is their goalie this playoffs I would support an immediate firing of Dubas as it remains the critical move. He is fine during the regular season. They might scrape by and win with adding just another top 4 RD rather than top pair RHD but no chance with the same loser goalie. I have watched alot more games by Andersen than Thornton has.

        But I know dubas knows so I am good for now.

        As for the toughness I am a fan of that and will look forward to Simmonds punching some heads off, but it is irrelevant to their success which is controlled by the top of the roster.

        The bottom 6 and bottom pair just have to be competent nhlers not cecis at the lowest possible price.

        Queue “THRILLER” I think Craig is gonna dance! Lol.

        Cheers.

      • You think you have a better idea than joe? I think he has seen a few goalies in his day and has had a closer look than your moms basement .
        You don’t have a clue , you have made that obvious time and again .
        You were dead set against anything but skill and speed . Size grit and toughness were a joke to you and nothing Dubas would consider .
        Like last year you will learn , or I should say you will see , balance and depth do exist and they are important.
        Get used to Fred , he’s not going anywhere this year , just like the leafs lol.

    • LJ, you are absolutely right, 54 years is a long time. Whose roster and future is better? Idk. Cap hell has put the leafs in a pickle, thats for sure. Montreal is a beautiful city, don’t know why UFA’s sign there. Most cups in the league, surely that is enticing…isn’t it? 1967 would be a nice fine wine if you had the money for it but a 93 wouldn’t be all that bad either.

      Cheers!

      • Apologies, meant to say…”don’t know why UFA’s don’t sign there”.

    • I know you’re just trolling LJ but thar was funny. Toronto’s top 4 is better than anything the habs have. Spezza playing 3rd line minutes last year averaged more points than Korkiami did playing front line minutes and top power play minutes. Spezza also had a better face off win percentage. All Montreal did was sign second tier players plus they only have second tier prospects. No top level talent not one. No Mathews, Marner, Tavares Let’s have some friendly fun. If Montreal makes the playoffs you can come on here and say I told you so and I will acknowledge your greatness. If they don’t I get to come on here and say I told you so and you acknowledge me. You guys are hanging your hat on a small playoff run and the fact that you beat a Penguins team that just couldn’t get going. Don’t get me wrong I think Bergevin showed a lot of guts and I can see the team he’s trying to build but Montreal is in even more trouble now the before. They will continue to be a middle of the pack team and continue to fill there AHL team with second tier prospects. If I’m wrong I will gladly admit it. Will you do the same?

      • Roger, I was aiming for teasing, not trolling, and I hope I didn’t miss. Don’t like trolls, don’t want to be one.

        We have had this exchange before, a while ago you and I, that one of us could strut around with our fingers in our suspenders if one of us proven correct next year.

        I have a lot of respect for Tavares and Matthews, they are better than anyone the Habs have. Marner? Hmmm, I think I have more respect for him than some of the Leaf fans here. Throw in Muzzin and that’s a hell of a start. No point in my repeating what I think of the Leafs roster as a whole.

        I am surprised that you truly dismiss the Canadiens roster so easily. I’ve noted from past comments that you believe last year’s statistics predict the coming year’s outcome. Fine if you are talking about older players clearly in decline. But young players who show improvement? I just don’t get your thinking.

        I believe you are very much in the minority in thinking the Habs won’t make the playoffs. Absent untimely injuries I believe they will win the first two rounds before bowing out.

        We shall have to wait and see.

      • Pretty funny reading posts from Leafs and Habs fans – you’d almost think there was a rivalry brewing….
        The key this year for the two teams might be how the young guns develop and become more effective at both ends of the rink. Coaching should have a lot to do with it and Montreal, at this point, gets the edge behind the bench but I would not count Toronto out.

    • LJ…you must be joking when you ask “whose roster is better”?

      Montreal was given a chance to make the playoffs…they didn’t earn it. They were not in a playoff position when the season was halted. TOR was in 6th in the conference, MTL was in 12th…10 points back of 8th place.

      I realize that you’re a Habs fan but the oddsmakers have their Leafs at +1900and the Habs at +4800

      Take off the bleu, blanc, et rouge glasses please. Matthews, Tavares, Marner and Nylander vs Tatar, Domi, Danault, and Gallagher…ask any GM in the NHL which four players they’d take, including Bergevin….it’s not even close.

      Montreal has made some changes…TOR has made some changes…let’s see how it plays out on the ice

  7. I dont see Philly getting much more than a 3rd, or 4th for Gostisbehere.

    • Ron, the way the flat cap has shaped up, and so many teams desperately looking to get out from under – and the available places for trades to go rapidly shrinking – I just don’t see where they’d even find a market for any return for a $4.5 mil deal still with 3 years to go for a one-dimensional D.

      • George,
        I tend to agree. If Philly is looking to move Gostisbehere the return will be very minimal. Vegas only got a 3rd for Schmidt, a much better defenceman than the Ghost.

        I do think that in the right situation Ghost can regain some of his earlier form. He does come with some cost certainty but is definetely overpaid for his production at this point. However, when he signed his current deal it looked like a bargain for the Flyers.

      • Oh for certain … in fact, a lot of contracts being discussed today as the types needed to be moved to clear cap space looked like good deals when originally finalized.

        That’s why I say somewhere above that perhaps it’s time the league and NHLPA got together (virtually) to hammer out a fair and equitable formula to resolve a pressing issue that was created by events beyond any GM’s – or player’s – control.

    • How about the Hurricanes trade you Gardiner for Gostisbehere? Their LD problem for your RD problem. Salaries are about the same, and term is exactly the same. I don’t really know Philly’s LD situation to know if it would be helpful.

      It wouldn’t help either team’s cap issues, however.

      • Also on Jake he has been practicing Covid-19 safe distancing for many years now. Don’t recall him being within six feet of any opposition player much less making contact with them. He would be a SAFE choice with todays health worries about Covid-19. Hell you would save a ton on masks alone.

      • Not the worst idea whalercane. Balances out both teams for LD/RD mix.

  8. LJ

    I have not studied this but it seems to me one of the things the Leafs are doing is very similar to what the Habs have done.

    When the Leafs signed Ron Hainsey….what did Babcock say….” We need an adult in the room” . Tavarre’s leadership style may or may not provide this.

    Last season Suzuki very immaturely tapped a goalie on the head. A few minutes later an opposition player tapped Suzuki on the head in a way that was intended to put Suzuki in his place. Weber raced in from the blueline to protect Suzuki.

    I would bet money that later in private Weber called Suzuki out. That is having an adult in the room and as of the play offs this year they still did not have it. This ingredient if properly done will improve the young over paid overly indulged highly talented players.

    I think Simmonds and Jumbo Thorton can provide this. If so it is less complicated than trading one of the big four.

    For the record I would trade one of them for close to fair value as soon as I could. Because of the money they make that seems to be next to impossible.

    Sometimes you have to do the next best thing

    Anyway, LJ something to think in terms of these old guys.

    • OBD, the leafs have Spezza as the mentor, Simmonds and Thornton are a waste. If they followed the Habs on this path, they would sign One of the three. Bergevin had Nate Thompson last year and hopefully Brian Boyle this year.

      With respect to “our” glory years of the 70’s, the Habs followed a previous tradition of moving most aging players .

      Savard,Lapointe. Robinson, Lafleur, Shutt, Mahovlich,all finished their careers elsewhere.

      Same happened with the 60’s and 50’s dynasties.
      Harvey, Moore, Geoffrion, Talbot, Plante, Olmstead allfinished their careers elsewhere.

    • OBD:

      It is true that mentoring is important, but the Leafs Young Guns have been in the league for several years now. If Tavares at aged 30 isn’t a mentor they had Spezza last year. More importantly, they have Muzzin, 31 and a two time Cup winner in the dressing room.

      I was being a bit cheeky with my post but on this reply I am being serious: how many mentors do the Leafs’ Young Guns need?

      I say that rhetorically because in my opinion the issue for the Leafs continues to be an imbalanced roster due to cap space problems.

      One can say Simmonds is an upgrade on Clifford because he is cheaper and he probably will score more. But Spezza had 9 goals last year and Thornton had 7 – the same total as Clifford with LA/Toronto. Wow!!

      Again, this is just me nattering away over a coffee but I cannot reconcile Dubas’ stated need for grit with Spezza and Thornton. Nor can I see how they will bring scoring of any significance to the Leafs bottom 6, weaker now than last year.

      Perhaps I will be eating crow with humble pie at the end of this next season. But I fancy my odds of something more elevated: French cuisine.

      • I watched the Columbus series closely. The Leafs like Tampa the year before were outworked out matured…..the other team knew how to win with less talent but more work…..

        I am not one who thinks that a Clifford or a Simmons can be tough for a star. That stuff I think ended perhaps with Gretsky and Semenko. But I do think that young people in most professions can learn how to do something to get desired results.

        There is a difference between Burkian truculence and being hard to play against. Marner is the star of being easy to play against. Suzuki and KK may be similar.

        My point with the guys they are bringing in is that it easier bring in a number of those guys in to uplift what is there , than to trade some of those obscene contracts that would be necessary to get more invested in defence which is obviously out of balance.

        I have been writing here about the Leafs for a while. I am not a Dubas fan but he is in place for at least this year. I think he has been given too much scope for a young employee. But the bad contracts exist and the way out is complicated when teams are trading contracts for cap space.

        What he is doing may be the only option…..before he gets fired at the end of another failed season.

      • Name me a team with cup aspirations with 3 non ELC players you would rather have in your bottom 6 for a combined $2.9m with no future committment, than Spezza, Thorton and Simmonds…..Buehler?…..Bueller?….

      • I’ll play Wendel, I can name 3 UFA’s that I would rather have that are still available to any team, cup aspirations or not.
        Many earned more than league min, but so did the guys the Leafs signed and there isn’t much $$ left out there. They either skate better or bring the toughness Dubas said he wanted.
        Brassard, Cagula, Martin, Wilson, Grabner, AA, Frolik, Sheary, Haula, Soderberg, Leivo.

        I could do more if you like?

      • OBD: thanks for engaging. You have a sense of humour, I trust.

        My Leafs buddy phoned me just now excited to announce the latest Leafs signing: Tim Horton has been exhumed and will be in the starting line up, fitting in well with the team demographics.

      • Spicoli er Ray, perhaps you may like to read my question again so you can answer the question that was asked.

      • Wendel, I know you are trying to frame the argument to your advantage, the point I making is the Leafs could have signed any # of players for cheap but chose those 3.
        They are the team that had the choice.
        I get having a vet like those 3, my point is all 3 just makes them slow in their bottom 6.
        It was their choice.

        I will take the B’s bottom 6 all day. It costs more yes, because they are not paying 4 forwards $40M +.

        So the choice you are giving is false and has no merit.

      • spoken like a polished politician Ray, entirely avoided answering the question which is there aren’t any other teams because they are paying worse players 2m + and can’t dump them to sign better guys at league minimum who may still be available as you suggest.

        Cheers.

      • Your question makes no sense Wendel. So ya you’re right no other team has as many used to be good players earning so little who are not on ELC’s because that either have better players and cap space or they have decent young players who can still skate in those checking roles.
        Not something to be bragging about IMO.
        If Joe had offers from other teams who had a real, like a TB, or COL, or BOS, or LV, he would have went there .
        The reason he didn’t is they likely didn’t offer as they have better options.
        Not a politician Wendel, just not a dick.

  9. “He feels the NHL is entering the Flat Cap Era.”

    Very perceptive. What makes him “feel” that? Is it the absolute fact that the cap is flat?

    I’d love to hear his opinions on water, vis a vis, its wetness.

      • Hmm…a typically verbose replay from me, I see.

        Let’s try again…

        ha!

        (now that I look, it was only 3 characters longer than what actually got posted)

    • Who?

    • Wonder if a Ghost for Yandle trade would work. Both 3 years left on deal. Yandle is older and making 1.85m more, but clearly an upgrade for Philly. Has full nmc, but could waive to go to better team. Very close friends with Hayes. Remarkably, hasn’t missed a regular season game in last 7 years. Florida would get younger and a team that has already been shaking up defense. Maybe Ghost turns career around playing for his hometown team.

  10. The earlier the NHLPA and the owners sit down and figure out a plan to cope with the wide variety of possibilities they face, the better off we will all be.
    Assuming there will be a vaccine.
    Assuming 2 years to population immunity and another year of habit adjustment and another year of handling extreme debt…..
    We are likely 4 years from full normal cash flow hockey even if we can get a full season of play in this year. I’d like to see a deal that gets all of the bottom half of the player pool reasonable compensation and/or career start; perhaps avoiding “cheating” the stars with some kind of long term deferral or equity participation in a future era a league revenues. There may be some owners that need help as well. The NHL is better off hanging together; it is ease to see a professional league tearing itself apart if it can’t respond to the pressures of the next few years. AS sports groups go, both the NHLPA and Bettman’s office have been forward looking and cooperative, now is the time to double down. This is more than just a tight cash market for salaries this season; the host cities and all the sponsoring businesses and fan budgets are facing uprecedented stresses. Hockey can get out front and meet the needs of both players, fans, and owners with a flexible road map negotiated in advance.

    • Great post, Richard.

    • Richard, out of curiosity, which team is your favorite and do you watch the rest of the playoffs regularly
      once your team is eliminated?

      • If hes a Leafs fan, there were no playoffs to watch

      • I played through div III US college. I have been a Tampa Season Ticket holder since day one. Before that, the Black Hawks, partly because I worked for one of the other pro sports teams in Chicago, and Minn. (North Stars). I have the NHL package and watch a number of games beside my own team, and from time to time also take in an ECHL game. I watch the entire playoffs every year. I have worked media in towns that have lost teams, and it is a difficult experience, hence my concern for league health. I’ve had personal contact with players who were loved in their day who ended up as street people. Does this satisfy your curiosity as to where I am coming from?

    • Someone actually posted a suggestion that looked workable. Allow each team to pay it’s top 2 players whatever it wants to above and beyond the cap. The cap will apply to all the other players on the roster. This frees up more money for the players on the bottom and allows the teams to keep their top players happy. People come to see the games because of the superstars. Teams win SC’s because of the rest of their rosters. It might be a little unfair to the teams with money but then again having a team in a tax free state is also an unfair advantage. In the long run parity is best for the league. For now the NHL needs to get fans back into the seats and get through the next 2-3 years.

    • Thanks Richard. I understand where you are coming from with your initial post now, to some extent at least.

      Being in FLA and a TB fan I get you wanting the NHL to get it all together as a unit because if they don’t it is franchises like FLA 2 teams who will be casualties.

      However, when the Lightning are out imagine if the rest of the teams playing had all top 6 forwards throughout their entire roster. How great would the hockey be then even though u wouldn’t have a home town team.

      That is why I would like to see the league massively contract to equally massively improve the product.

      I dont see a major economic impact from it either except to the league itself.

      Teams that fold if they have any support would have many current quality players in the next tier AHL (or a comparable new league). Workers will still have jobs at the same near minimum wages. The bottom half of the league players can still make a fair living as a player at a more realistic salary for an interchangable player.

      As a Leafs fan I would get the best end of it, but I think it should still be enticing to the real true fan as all but the very few watch NHL on TV.

      I think the quality of the game is quite low nowadays so I dont even watch the playoffs or regular season games the leafs aren’t playing in. I admit if I am flipping around and its in last few minutes tied or in OT I will give it a few minute, like a half period or so.

      To me it is such a shame our game is so watered down and I think this is a chance for a correction so excuse me for my admittedly selfish desire for a league reset.

      Can anyone out their admit this might not be so bad?

      …mylove, r u out there??

  11. Wendal
    “Name me a team with cup aspirations”……

    You lost me there?

    I didn’t realize that someone considered the Leafs to have Cup aspirations.

    Yes, your cheap, washed up, 4 th line will take the NHL by storm.
    The will easily dethrone Cizikas, Clutterbuck and Martin as the best 4 th line in the NHL.

    They will make Toronto the envy of every other team in the league.

    And all for just over 2 million bucks!!!

    • Nevinsrip

      They are the islanders 3rd line and are paid 5 x what simmonds thornton and spezza make and are worse. It doesn’t matter how hard you try if you have a dearth of talent. 3 motor city smitty,’s.

      Be straight with me: you licked a Cane toad before posting didn’t u?

      • Yes Wendel the are known as the “Best 4 th Line in Hockey” because they are the Isles 3 rd line?

        Do you even read what you write?

      • Look at these ice time dummy. They r the 3rd line