NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2020

by | Oct 20, 2020 | Rumors | 74 comments

The latest on Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Erik Haula in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils haven’t been shopping winger Kyle Palmieri, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His agent said there have only been preliminary contact discussions.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri (NHL Images).

LeBrun believes Palmieri wants to sign a contract extension. He’s entering the final season of a four-year deal with a $4.65-million cap hit. Brendan Gallagher’s new contract with the Montreal Canadiens (six years, $6.5 million AAV) could be of interest.

If an extension cannot be worked out, LeBrun speculates Palmieri could be moved by next season’s trade deadline.

Corey Masisak speculates Palmieri might’ve expected to receive a deal comparable to Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk (five years, $35 million) before the pandemic. That seems less likely now, as Masisak pointed to Evgenii Dadonov getting a three-year, $15 million deal with the Ottawa Senators and Tyler Toffoli inking a four-year, $17 million contract with the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palmieri wants to stay with the Devils and I believe they want to keep him. They could offer up a four-year deal worth around $5.5 million per season. He might prefer a shorter-term in hopes of a more lucrative deal in a year or two with the market being what it is, or perhaps a long-term term at around $5 million annually.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently reported there are “lots of indications” the Oilers are pursuing a contract extension for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He believes they have plenty of room to do this properly even if the cap doesn’t go up for 2021-22.

Leavins also suggests the Oilers consider signing former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Madison Bowey to add a veteran right-side rearguard to their blue line. He argues the Oilers could find sufficient cap space to sign Bowey and re-sign Ethan Bear by placing Oscar Klefbom on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers have $51.9 million invested in 11 players for 2021-22. Re-signing Nugent-Hopkins could cost $7.5 million annually. Given the ongoing economic uncertainty, perhaps they could convince him to accept a slight raise over his current $6 million per season (say, $6.5 million?) for the security of a long-term extension.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun reported agent Jay Grossman, who represents free-agent center Erik Haula, said he’s spoken with 10-12 teams that have a legitimate interest in his client. Haula’s coming off a three-year deal worth $2.75 million annually. He also has an injury history but Grossman said he’s fully healthy now.

LeBrun believes it’s probably best for Haula to be patient and see if those interested clubs that currently can’t sign him perhaps make a trade that frees up some cap space. He wondered if the Vegas Golden Knights might be willing to reach out to Haula if they can clear some cap room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haula will need to be very patient. It appears most teams now are hoping to out-wait players like him in hope of signing them to bargain contracts.


  1. Kyle Palmieri presents quite the dilemma for the Devils. He has been great for the Devils, fans love him and his cost was very reasonable. I would agree the Devils want to keep him and he wants to stay, BUT, when this new contract starts he will be on the wrong side of 30 and his age horizon does not gel well with the maturation of all the young talent the Devils have. I don’t think the Devils should go above $5.5 million or 4 years. Fitz should probably see what the market will offer for a one year rental, salary retained and weigh that against the extension. He can approach Palmieri similar as he did to Coleman, in that I am trading you to a team that will compete for the Cup.

    • If devils out of playoffs then trade him get assets then resign him.

      I find it odd this doesn’t happen more often

      • Chrisms, perhaps the grass is greener much of the time?

      • Hey Chrisms, yes a definite thought – but you would get more for a full season as opposed to a quarter season.

  2. I think most teams are realizing lengthy contracts for players over 30 is risky business. Good value at firstbut diminishing returns which results in a bloated difficult to move contract. Especially if the deal includes a nmc or no trade clause.

    The one or two year deal is the future for the over 30 crowd moving forward I think.

    • Agreed … perhaps what we will soon start to see in such contracts is a NM/NT clause being effective for only the first 2/3 years of any deal for 4 or over, thereby giving GMs SOME semblance of ongoing roster control.

    • @ Ron Jull

      Good morning …that COULD be true but only in the short term ..IMO

      What the heck is the Sharks going to do in a few years time with Karlssons contract in San Jose.

      That was pre pandemic..

      Injury riddled Achilles tendon issues and so forth ..he is not the Karlsson of the Ottawa era …

      is this now the worst contract in the NHL …id say so….so much so that they may have to entertain trading Burns at some point to give some relief …

      In regards to the Sharks …while they have had great success there over the last decade ..they have also had some really big issues ..they stripped 2 Captains in Marleau and Thornton of the ” C ” and then gave it to Pavelski ,,,who then snubbed his nose at them in a UFA year ..but Wilson opened the vault for one player in Karlsson via trade and the bank …and gave a guy who had ZERO allegiance or history to the franchise the biggest contract in team history but treated the players who created that franchise in San Jose not so good long term !

      That to me has red flags all over the place internally …even though Wilson is herald of keep this team a perennial contender for some time now…

      but pandemic or not …his Karlsson deal was a HUGE mistake …anyways ..not part of the program today ..but in my fact finding mission on the Sharks history of players and contracts
      ..I thought id post this today ..

      As George O either remembers or not ..LOL

      about the days we spoke about the Karlsson deal at his age we were both on board about how he would be overpaid and it was buyer beware but Wilson gave it to him anyways …my point is …teams will still over pay 30 year olds its just the way it is …when the cap and the league gets back to regular business …at some point the flood gates will open for players again !

      Cheers take care

      • My worst fear was that Karlsson would accept the long-term deal offered by Dorion – I caught flak for that – and the Hoffman dump, and for voicing my opinion that I was OK with letting Duchene and Dzingel “get away” – the only one I regretted seeing leave was Stone.

      • SJ could be in some trouble as soon as next offseason. They have 9 forwards listed on their NHL roster and their backup goalie on expiring contracts after next season!

        That’s a lot of roster spots to fill on what will almost certainly be another flat cap along with so much doled out to a few (mostly aging) players.

      • Not to mention being raked for my indifference to the Turris inclusion in that 3-way deal, and “allowing” Calgary to steal that sure-to-be “stud” Curtis Lazar.

      • Well George the issue fans have with the Sens is still whether Melnyk can hold together an established roster. Sometimes those complaints from the past were simply anti tear down. Sometimes they were blind fan love of the player.

        No one predicted SJ drop in the standings. Karlsson for Stützle plus seems like High way robbery at this point.

        E tear down has proven to be the right move much of what we had hasn’t really excelled elsewhere.

        Now we wait as they build up the roster to see if they maintain it or do a one year run at the cup and tear it down again.

      • In that regard they won’t be different than anyone else. One cup win and Tampa has to start chipping around the edges and, as a consequence, will lose some pretty good players. With the flat cap – never mind the long-term consequences of a cap – period – all teams will, at some point, reach the stage where they’ll have to (or be forced to) decide on players who have been around for several seasons and those relative newcomers (by comparison) who have played their way into large increases.

        It has nothing to do with Melnyk – he’s been the easy target for the disgruntled “blind fan love of the player” (for which I have no use) – as he OKd the deals offered Karlsson, Duchene, Stone – they chose to say no. For which – except for Stone – I am eternally grateful.

      • So Tampa is moving Vesalevksy, Point, Kucherov, Hedman. For some reason I thought they maintained that core for sometime and had multiple shots at the cup and one it This year.

        I don’t think you understood my one shot and done comment.

        The concern is Ottawa finally gets good. Becomes a buyer at the trade deadline. Takes their shot in the playoffs after which they watch a core player or two walk to free agency. That is Hardly what happened to Tampa.

      • In the end, a distinction without a difference. As for Ottawa’s “core” players walking away – they finished last with them, why the hell should they be paid $25 mil combined to do it again. And, again with the exception of Stone, none of the teams they wound up with have done anything of consequence.

    • totally agree Ron , I look at SJ’s D corps and it will be interesting in 2024-25 having 26.5 million invested in 3 defenseman aged 34 EK , 37 MV and 39 BB. Wilson will have some decisions to make.

      • Fergy22 – the assumption/problem there is that Wilson will not be around in 24/25 if he does not get things sorted out quickly.

    • Ron, that performance metric is know even to us at our “interested fan” level.

      I think the reason GMs keep signing players to long extensions include:

      * franchise player;
      * window open for a year or two, at time of extension;
      * competition for elite players;
      * messaging to fans;
      * messaging to available free agents.

      I am a Habs fan, and most of the above applies to Weber, Price, and now Gallagher. Had Price walked it would have been a PR disaster at the gate, and a message to other players that the Habs were a grave yard. Gallagher is seen as a heart and soul type that Bergevin wants to keep as an example for other players.

      All three of these contracts will bite in their last few years, and I am sure GMs know this is the price for icing a competitive team. They hope they get a Cup out of it as that success carries on for several marketing years. That of course also carries on for the contract years of the GMs who deliver it.

      • Weber is a perfect team contract, his pay will be $1million/year with a high cap hit, perfect trade bait for teams below the cap floor.

        Price is a positional goalie who will age well, not an acrobatic one that will lose mobility and effectiveness. Think Johnny Bower.

        Young players are arriving with so much skill and power that more often than not they can easily replace players on long term contracts.

        I think the window is 25-30 except for those players who are more cerebral and positional .

      • LJ your absolutely right. GMs also sign big dollar contracts to ‘aging’ players out of respect too. I think it’s disingenuous to think simply because someone is on the decline that in the real world no one will pony up big bucks for them. The old boys club of GMs know this and respect and precedence is a big part of the NHL’s culture.

      • habsfan30, I don’t understand your comment about Weber’s contract.

        Capfriendly has his cap hit at $7,857,143. What am I missing, or what is your point

        In his last year Weber will be 41. Performance drop off is guaranteed, as with any player in their late 30s.

        Price’s cap hit is 10,500,000, and will remain so through age 38. When you say think Johnny Bower “Honky the Christmas Goose” starts to play in my head.

        Both Weber and Price are still playing well (Price was fantastic in the play in – playoffs. But no one can sustain peak performance late into one’s 30s.

      • Weber’s last 4 years on his contract pays him 6 mil in total and the last 3 years pays him 1 mil per season. This contract will not be hard to trade and I’m thinking that if weber has injury problems he can easily retire and not give up to much salary.

      • LJ, the point about Weber is that he can be easily traded at the tail as he only costs $1million, but is a high cap for a team like the Sens.
        If he retires during the last few years instead of playing for 1 million, the cap falls on Nashville.

        Players have diminishing mobility not intelligence, I was pointing out that Price is a positional, angle goalie who is expected to have a longer shelf life than an acrobatic physical goalie and worth the gamble.
        The Johnny Bower reference is that despite playing for the hated Leafs, you had to admire his style, never stopped the puck but it always hit him, great positional play and he played into his forties at the same high level.

  3. 3 years is a lifetime in business.
    Players should Sign 2-3 year contracts even if you are 30. It is about market. I think potentially there will be a shift downward from the $81.4 and it could take 2-7 years to rebound. Where a player lands in that cycle will be important. Pietrangelo was fortunate.

    Flat cap is one thing, a decline is a much larger problem .

    Palmieri should be a Toffoli and Dadanov comparable.

    • @ CAPER

      I agree 100%

      This is where a past relationship my hinder the offer sheet as part of the RESPECT of the league
      because Steve Yzerman had he not been with Tampa should be offer sheeting Sergachev or Cirelli for SURE…both are the exact age and need for his development in Detroit…but outside of that …YES there are a number of teams that should be doing this as these guys are very very high quality players of the future !

  4. The Tampa Bay Lighting have three RFA

    Anthony Cirelli (c)
    Erik Cernak (RD)
    Mikhail Sergachev (LD)

    Tampa has $2.89m in cap space and 18/23 players signed.

    Three quanity of quality that every team looks for, two big dman; one all round Sergachev and one more stay at home Cernak and a C that could be a second or 3rd line C.

    The big ticket is Sergachev he is the complete package and Offer sheet between $6.5 and $8.7 mil would cost 1 1st, 1 2nd and 1 third. Well worth the payment.

    If the cost is too much and don’t have the asset or cap space. How about Cirelli or Cernak?

    How much do we think they could fletch in the dead cap era?

    If we think the max either would get is say is $4.3m that would cost only a second round pick and it would certainly put a ton off pressure on Tampa.

    If you feel it cost a little more next option is up to $6.5m and that cost is one first and one third, again if your ok with the cap hit, then the price is still very reasonable.

    The fact that no team has put an offer sheet in on these players is very telling and shame on the GM who has an opportunity to make their team better by signing these guys to an offer sheet.

    There isn’t much TBay could do about an offer sheet either match, then make other moves or take the package.

    If no team steps up to make an offer sheet to any of these high in demand assets, I suggest taking the offer sheet out of the CBA.

    • @ PENGY

      Have not talked much lately

      …but I thought about you the other day when PITT signed the Jack Johnson 2.0 in Ceci ….just got rid of one only to fill the hole with the exact same player and poor play that J J provided ….CECI may be even worse actually …sorry about that as you well know PITT is my defacto team ..huge Crosby fan …but this was really really stupid !

      Haula would be a good pick up for sure !

      I was hoping the Leafs would get rid of Kerfoot and replace him with Jankowksi

      ..but PiTT took him ..and the Leafs passed on now why we know to be Joe Thorton

      Connor Brown is out there …and id like to try get this player back in the mix on a COVID friendly deal instead …LOL as you say … $2 million AAV


    • If I am an NHL GM Id offer sheet Shergachev and or Barzal. Provided of course I have the cap room and the draft picks needed to do so.

      • Hi RJ

        see my post below re offer sheets

        Lower tiered (to Barzal and Serg) players; such as Dermott and Dunn; may be better offer sheets

        Team doing the offer sheet can always give the vulnerable GM a call and offer a late rounder in trade noting (to vulnerable GM) that refusal will force an offer sheet with a successful signing resulting in either nothing; or much much less (than trade offered) in compensation pick

        e.g. (don’t kill me George, just using this as an example)

        Kyle, it’s Pierre… 6th for Dermott

        NFW Pierre

        Oki Doki… I’ll offer him $1.4 M see if he bites… he does, you have no room; no compensatory pick; he doesn’t bite; I get him for the price of Holl’s contract; again you can’t match… you end up with a 3rd in ‘21… a player that “may” play as a depth addition in 23/24

        OK i’ll take the third



        5th take it or leave it

        5th it is 😭😭😭, thanks for nothin’ Pierre

      • Pengy…. puff, puff, pass man!

    • It seems obvious that more teams would do it Caper, yet they don’t very often. We agree there.
      There has to be a reason for it.
      The obvious in previous seasons was simply the math – the only way a team doesn’t match is if you overpay significantly and thus create your own cap problem. This year not as many have the space/ability.
      Now there are teams like OTT, NJ and DET that have the space and the players you mention would help them right now and long term. But they haven’t yet.
      They still might, but I’m not so sure they will.

      Some folks on here told me I was crazy when I discussed the relationships between GM’s being important and be careful what you wish for if you start offer sheeting guys. Not all GM’s are the same but I think it matters with many of them. Look how Burke reacted.
      Plus you are driving up the cost of players coming of ELC’s. Bad for everybody. It is about comparable’s.

      I have been making deals in the B2B world for over 30 years. Relationships matter. Always have and always will. If you want a player, make a deal for him.

      If you want players to have some leverage, give them arbitration rights sooner.

      • Ray the only team on your list that would make sense to put an offer sheet on is Ottawa, on the basis that they have a ton of young prospects, players very early in their contract years, and cap space.

        Even then a GM in such a position has to factor in whether such a signing will deliver a Cup before the Brady Tkachuks and Tim Stutsles start to command significantly more money which prompts unloading good players.

        So if I am Dorien, I am saying in 3-5 years I have a young, highly competitive, and affordable team. Sergachev is not worth the cost then, and won’t get me a Cup now.

      • Totally on board with that line of thinking, LJ. And as I’ve mentioned before, some time ago, in a general conversation, Dorion let it be known that he was not “comfortable” with the offer sheet process and its endless possibilities of later ramifications.

        He won’t go down that road.

    • I’d suspect that in the cozy club of 31 that is made up of NHL GM’s, offer sheets are far more fraught with peril than we see. The player has to sign the offer sheet, which almost surely means there has been tampering (nod nod wink wink) going on. The dynamics of why a play might, or might not wish to sign are interesting…its sort of a mini limited one team no go clause. I’m remembering the Chris Gratton deal…as I recall, though resisted by the Bolts at the time they couldn’t match, but in the long run it was an expensive disaster for Philly and Gratton eventually returned to Tampa. I don’t remember many coming up roses for the acquiring team. If someone really wants Sergechev, you could make an offer rich enough to pry him loose by solving JBB’s other issues,
      Using an offer sheet instead is so seldom done that I think there are consequences we don’t see from outside.

      • I guess the offer sheet is worthwhile in theory but, in reality, it’s a dodo bird. Might as well take it out of the bargaining agreement.

      • No. They should make compensation less punitive for the offering team. The compensation is not really been adjusted well in the cap era.

      • I could go for that. In fact, that’s probably reason # 1 why it’s not used more often – he haunting vision of “what if he doesn’t pan out here quite like I thought – meanwhile, I’ve lost X 1st rounders or whatever …”

    • If someone signs Sergachev to a 5yr 7 mill deal it would cripple TB. He is worth it and worth the picks IMO.

      He would solve the bruins LD side for years to come, and a come and a combo of him and McAvoy would be fun to watch.

      Any off to Barzal will be matched jsut like Aho.

  5. Re Haula

    Will be a good reasonable add To any team

    Was hoping for him on Pens

    Re Lebrun : “ He wondered if the Vegas Golden Knights might be willing to reach out to Haula if they can clear some cap room.”

    That one I think is very far fetched

    Knights right now $1M over with two to sign…. the obvious move is Martinez… which would then put them $3M under with 3 to sign and needing at least a little buffer

    2 @ League min… leaves $1.6 M for Haula AND buffer…. can’t see it happening

    For Pens…@ 23 now…$1.3 M in space…. waive Sceviour…. $2.4 M…. might Haula take a Covid 1 @ $2M??

    Pens do have a year start extra space of $1M with ZAR on LTIR …. but would then need to shuffle the deck later to get him back on board

    Not a great deal of extra space needed for ZAR return as 1 league min player goes down ; he comes back on …. so balance of year pro-rated at $300 K…. but that’s biting into the limited Cap buffer (for call ups)

    For Leafs… it ain’t hapennin’

  6. Agree 3 years is a lifetime. Teams are always going to bid on top free agents though. Pietreangelo and Krug both got 7 year deals. Vegas and Blues are paying for what those players can do now. Hall is betting he’ll get what he wants next year. Every team in the league has a past prime player on their roster making more money than they’re not worth at end of their deals. Usually because they all became free agents in their late 20’s. That’s just the way it’s been. A few changes in new cba might give pause to GM’s. NTC’s now travel with players who agree to waive. New team will have that ntc to deal with for life of contract. Also now contracts can’t be front loaded. Teams won’t be able to give out 7 year deals structured so they can be bought out easily in last couple years.
    As far as Devils, they need to keep some vets. Zajac is free agent after this season and is already 35. Does Palmieri want to stay knowing team probably won’t compete during next 3-4 years? For Devils, extending him isn’t an issue for that rime, they won’t have cap issues and he’s been a consistent 25 goal guy. They’ll field offers at deadline. Signing him now will only make it harder to move him at deadline.

  7. Haula….

    The issue is many teams don’t have cap space beyond $1M.

    Most of the ones who do, aren’t playoff teams.

    • Fully agree Dan

      He will find a home… but “10-12 teams” are unrealistic

      4 or 5 with any realistic hopes of getting him

      I am very confident it win’t be Arz and won’t be Leafs

      I would think Preds… nigh $13M with 4 to sign and no state tax advantage ; and with recent exodus of two centers…. would be the most prominent bidders on Haula

  8. I would like to throw out (again) the idea of offer sheets

    There are prominent players out there for a snatch and grab (like Barzal)…. but their current teams will almost certainly match ; making the offer sheet on them fruitless

    Not quite as high (an expected contract) are some players who are in teams with serious Cap issues(Bolts)

    No one right now is reaching out to help bolts by taking on TJ…. why are there no reported offer sheets on Serg or Cerelli?

    What is more surprising is the RFAs at the lower end (of next expected contract) that are on teams already over or dang near to, Cap

    Leafs…. <$1.5 M to sign Mikeyev (Leafs already submitted to Arb…$1M…. so no room for sure for Dermott; but likely $2M settlement IMHO… putting them over)….. so ….

    Why aren’t teams calling Dubas and offering a 6th for Dermott…. after Dubas refuses … they’ll say, fine … we’ll offer him $1.4 M to see if he bites… Leafs get nothing in Comp; if he balks … we’ll offer him the Holl contract (to me , Dermott better but regardless 3 @ $2M is more than fair)… Leafs in no way can match…. get a 3rd in compensation

    A 3rd for Dermott, to me, is more than fair for the receiving team…. they get an NHL D-Man now for an unknown 3rd rounder, that “may” be NHL ready as a “possible” depth player for the 23/24 season

    Dunn (Blues) is another example

    There are teams with space that still have multiple RFAs and an offer sheet can put plans at bay for them (Bolts highly vulnerable…. out of room…. Serg, Cerelli, Cernak, Joseph)

    Stars sitting seemingly OK with $6.6 M… but 3 to sign including Hintz and Gurianov (both with bright futures IMHO)…. leaving them vulnerable

    Where are the exciting offer sheets????

    Covid economics vulnerable teams beware

    • Pengy, to answer your question “Why aren’t teams calling Dubas and offering a 6th for Dermott?” – as I keep saying, the teams with enough space to take on either such RFAs OR good players with term and cap hits that make it necessary for teams to move them to clear space, simply do not need to be the pursuers at this stage. While none among them are threats to become serious contenders in the short term, all will be better than this past season and any among their fan bases with common sense will be quite happy with that.

      However, that’s not to say they are not sitting back waiting for those cap strapped teams to come to them – and they will simply because they have NO choice if they don’t want to lose key RFAs because there’s no way to fit them in.

      Mikheyev will likely come somewhere in between the $1 mil per offered by the team and the $2.7 he’s supposedly seeking, and when that happens, if Dubas and his staff remain high on Dermott and want him back we will see another move. But the teams with space will wait until Dubas approaches them with the offer.

      • Hi George

        It’s possible that they await a call from GMKD; but I do think it’s equally possible that someone calks him

      • Sure it’s possible – but in such a high stakes games the tendency – for Dubas – would be to assume that the caller wouldn’t have called if he didn’t have a real interest in the player concerned and so, unless he were overwhelmed by the offer, his first reaction would be to start dickering for a better return. There will be panic only on one side the way things are shaping up – and that’s in the camps of the teams that have to shed cap space. There is absolutely NO need for such angst among the few teams with lots of space.

        In Dubas’ case, his only other option is to demote a couple among Vesey, Robertson & Lehtonen to free up the space needed to ink Mikheyev and Dermott – but that leaves him with a roster of 20 in what could be a severely compacted schedule and no wiggle room to elevate anyone from the Marlies in the event of short-term injuries that preclude using the LTIR.

        Doable, I suppose, but not the wisest choice since 2 of the 20 MUST be goalies.

    • Pengy, takes 2 to tango. Young rfa’s in Tampa just won cup. Living in a nice area with no state tax. I’m sure their agents have been contacted, but they would need to agree to offer sheet. I’m sure Brisbois is working behind the scenes on keeping them and hoping they give him another year to clear space for bigger contracts than he can offer now.

      • Absolutely Slick…. the rush to sign an offer sheet (making it official) is highly suppressed

        TSN speculated last year that an average year likely has 15-20 offer sheets that go unsigned …. so not official and never reported

    • It is fair to assume we don’t see the real costs of an offer sheet to the offering team from outside the club. (per above comment)

  9. Fitzgerald, Yzerman and Dorion are in a position to get some nice value from teams trying to shed $.
    Seeing some names that could be dealt for 3,4,5th rounders is quite a change in return vs what they would have garnered 12 months ago.

  10. Offer Sheets.
    Owners should open up and pay.
    39% of hockey revenue comes from the gate.
    Tough to predict how that’s gonna go.
    That drives concessions, and to some degree merchandise.
    Same question.
    But these are rich guys.

    Hockey WILL adjust to economic reality. The question is, how much pain will there be, who will bear it, and how gracefully will it be handled.

    Existing contracts are guaranteed. This put all of the reduction burden on future contracts.

    Writing rich long tern contracts for players, even very good ones, is pretty hard for a lot of GM’s. Management has to ask what the business looks like if buildings are limited to 50% for a couple of years, for health reason or simple consumer reticence.

    Remember, even when we say an owner can “afford” the losses because e has deep pockets, losing money on a sports franchise may not be something desirable for the long term.

    Also, the league may have to deal with the serious dislocation of an all Canadian division this year if cross border travel still requires 14 day quarantines.

    “the club” may not be in a mood to poach one another’s assets with offer sheets but may instead be working on more difficult problems.

  11. George I wouldn’t be unhappy that Ottawa traded Stone I believe there is no reason to keep one or two great players when rebuilding. I think the team if blowing it might as well go all in. When Boston decides to rebuild it’s no use keeping Pasta if he has no one to play with trade them all get as many picks and prospects and start over.

    • Wasn’t exactly “unhappy” Obe – just sort of sad since he was one among that bunch who departed who I could see, with his conditioning regime and style of play, offering top notch effort for years to come. It isn’t clear what Dorion offered him to stay, but if it was anything like the $9.5 per he signed for in Vegas, he could fit in easily with their current cap situation, and I would have loved to have seen him on a line with Tkachuk on the left wing and Josh Norris at C. Ahhh well … c’est la vie

    • Obe, I couldn’t disagree more with you on this one.

      Look at the Oilers, they prove time and time again that you can have tons of great talent by multiple first overalls and with no one to guide and teach them how to play the right way, they don’t see their full potential.

      You can’t just hand the keys over to the young guys without them earning it. Sometimes there more value in keeping a superstar vet around then peddling him for other assets.

  12. Leafs have the best capologist in NHL. Dubas has already said he can fit dermott and micheyev in without moving anyone out. You just run a 20 man roster most days and send down on paper the guys that dont require waivers. Minor team is in same town. Dubas is light years ahead of the other GMs in cap mgmt. He knows of the compressed schedule and its impact on roster so will/has lots of bottom 6 frwrds and 3pair d and an nhl backup ready to go if needed. The mighty leafs flex again!

    • Kyle,
      Don’t you have better things to do than come on Lyle’s website everyday and tell us how wonderful you are and how amazing the team that you have assembled is?

      • Ha

    • Wendell Does he know the difference between the 3 rd line and the 4 th line?

      Maybe he can teach you.

      Because it’s not measured in ice time, as you wrote yesterday.
      And please refrain from calling me, or anyone else, a “dummy”.

      Especially, since it’s you.

      • Sorry. Yes it is Stupid

      • Lol !! Now where is mylove???

    • Still waiting for your Cap Genius Boy Wonder to announce the “difference making” signing of Pietrangelo.

      “Bank it”

      • It WILL snow somewhere in Canada between now and the end of the year

    • A lot of teams cant afford or choose not to have the 90 million + in salary expenditures the Leafs currently have on the books this year. Compare that to Las Vegas at 70.8 million in salary.

  13. The rebuild is officially on in Chicago as they released the NYR-style letter to their fan-base….cue the flood of Kane Toews speculation.

    Could be fun

    • For anyone interested here’s the link to the letter


      At the moment they are committed to 20 with $5,213,687 cap space to sign 3, including their only RFA Dylan Strome, coming off an ELC of $863,333 and 12g 26a 38pts + 1 in 58gp – adding 1g 2a 3pts in 9 playoff games.

      It will be interesting to see if they’re prepared to part with a few more at this stage – or more precisely, IF they can find takers

  14. I see by this little blurb that that vaunted # 1 overall of a few years back is on the move again

    “Nail Yakupov is on the move, though it’s not back to North America. The 2012 first overall pick has been traded in the KHL from Amur Khabarovsk to Avangard Omsk, in exchange for monetary compensation. Yakupov had just one goal and seven points in 15 games for Amur.”

    • Best take on Yakupov – Like trying to pass to moth around a light bulb.

    • You have to wonder how the hockey world could be so wrong on Yakupov and Galchenyuk

      • Alexandre Daigle…. Doug Wickenheiser….. both complete busts…. scouts and gms make mistakes…..just more glaring when the mistake is in the first round….

        I never could figure out why Montreal took Wickenheiser when they could have had french Canadian Denis Savard.

      • Ron, at the time the WHL was seen as head and shoulders above the Q as a development league and Wickenheiser was 6′ 1″ 200 lbs coming off 89g 81a 170 pts with the Regina Pats. Savard was 5′ 10″ 170lbs coming off 63g 118a 181 pts with the Montreal Jr. Habs.

        They went with the consensus (as they all did in the cases at hand). You win some – you lose some.

      • Doug Wick wasn’t a total bust. Played over 500 games. Wasn’t the elite scorer you would expect from a 1st overall.
        Nice folks those Wickenheisr’s.

      • Wick was a gentleman, he had the talent but the pressure to be “the next one” was too much for him.

        Montreal is a hard city to play in, expectations are high and frequently unreasonable.

        Case in point fans booed Boom Boom for passing Richard and winning the scoring title.

      • I remember that well Habfan30 … was a rabid Canadiens fan in those good old days and poor Geoffrion was just trying to do his best to put the team into 1st place ahead of Detroit the year of the St. Patrick’s Day riots after Rocket was suspended for the balance of the season and the playoffs. As it turns out, Boom Boom wound up with 75 pts, Rocket 74 and Beliveau 73. It would have been the Rocket’s only scoring title. They lost the cup that year, but next season, with Henri added to the roster among others, began that monumental 5-year run.

    • Yep, he slid all the way back to Avangard Omsk