NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2020

by | Oct 27, 2020 | Rumors | 47 comments

The latest on the Bruins, Red Wings, Capitals and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: DJ Bean wonders if the Bruins intend to trade Jake DeBrusk. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who averaged 20 goals per season over the course of his entry-level contract. He’s also surfaced in recent trade rumors.

Could the Boston Bruins trade Jake DeBrusk? (NHL Images)

Bean considers DeBrusk as one of the Bruins’ best trade chips if they were serious about making a big splash this offseason, “but perhaps they aren’t.” If not, he ponders how much the winger should get on his next contract and for how long. Bean suggested something around $4 million annually on a short-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bean also acknowledged the flattened salary cap could explain why the Bruins haven’t signed DeBrusk yet. They could still make that big offseason move or perhaps wait until training camp/preseason to make that splash with the young winger as the centerpiece. Otherwise, a two-year contract worth $4 million annually for DeBrusk seems the most likely route.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan observes the Detroit Red Wings should have around $8 million in salary-cap space once their restricted free agents are signed. He noted Wings general manager Steve Yzerman didn’t rule out adding another player via the free-agent market.

The most prominent unrestricted free agents include former Wing Andreas Athanasiou, Zdeno Chara, Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund, Erik Haula, Travis Hamonic, Mike Hoffman and Sami Vatanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman could dip into the market to add a veteran on an affordable short-term contract. I doubt he’ll bring Athanasiou back after his disappointing performance last season. I still expect Chara to return to the Bruins while Hoffman reportedly seeks a one-year, $6-million deal. The Wings’ defense corps could benefit from adding a veteran like Hamonic or Vatanen.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: explored the Capitals options to add a 13th forward. Among them could be trading Nick Jensen.

The 30-year-old defenseman would be an obvious trade candidate, though the current economic conditions make it difficult to move a player who’s struggled in Washington with three years left on his contract. However, Jensen’s a right-shot blueliner carrying an affordable $2.5 million cap hit, though the Capitals might have to include an asset in the deal.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jason Bell reports the Jets might be shopping Sami Niku, but the 24-year-old defenseman isn’t seeking a trade. His agent said his client has not asked to be moved. Niku and forward Jack Roslovic have surfaced in trade rumors of late. The blueliner is a restricted free agent.


  1. A name that appears among those RFAs scheduled for arbitration is Joshua Ho-Sang. Here’s a highly-touted 1st round draft pick (# 28 in 2014 by the Islanders) who had an outstanding junior career with the Windsor Spitfires and Niagara Ice Dogs in the OHL but who, since turning pro, has largely been a disaster. He has played in 53 NHL games and has contributed 7g 17a 24 pts, while his AHL stats – 178gp 30g 93a 123 pts – are just as mundane.

    At one point the general feeling was that his biggest problem was his attitude … but now you wonder why Lou made him a qualifying offer in the first place and if now he will just walk away from any arbitration award – which can’t be significant in any way, shape or form.

    Obviously, he’s hoping for that and to find a new home but will anyone bother?

    • JHS is a cautionary tale for young players like Duclair, Athanasiou, Puljujarvi, young guys who just want to go their own way until organizations tire of them.

      Once that happens they hurt themselves more than the team as they are easily replaceable and have little if any value to others.

      Individualism is to be admired if its the price for producing with consistency otherwise its just a waste of talent.

      • Add Subban to your list of players who wear out their welcome.

      • Josh ho-Sang is a
        great example of “you can never underestimate the intangibles”, character counts very highly at the pro level, they can get by off skill alone for only so long…

    • His first mistake was donning #66 … what a tool.

      • And don’t forget his comment to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox – “I want to be as good as (McDavid) or better.” Nothing like aiming high!

      • Hi George

        I’ll settle for being as young as McDavid

      • His 2nd mistake was not dominating th AHL

      • Don’t forget he called out Team Canada for not inviting him to their world Junior camp, saying they were “too afraid”

      • Hell, Pengy, I’d settle for being as young as Gretzky!

    • George. Award has to be over 4.5million to walk away. So, when Isles qualified him, they pretty much committed to a deal. Rangers were reportedly shopping Strome before they qualified him. I’m wondering if these arbitration cases could now be holding up trades. Could be teams want to know exactly what they’re paying players next season. Whether by arbitration or signings before hearings.

    • He just signed a $700,000/$225,000, 2 way deal

      • So, he can’t want out of the Islanders system that badly!

        Looking at that list of Islanders 13 F shown at CapFriendly, I don’t see anyone that you can point a finger at and say, Ho-Sang has a chance to displace him Hell, even on the AHL roster he has to be below Bellows, Jenkins and Carpenter in the pecking order.

    • Hi George O…

      Isn’t perception a strange thing in the NHL?

      While it is true that Ho-Sang’s attitude is his biggest problem his numbers are better in the NHL than a former 1st round pick for the Oilers

      Jesse Puljujarvi has 139 GP and 37 points

      Josh Ho-Sang has 53 GP and 24 points

      I’m surprised somebody doesn’t take a chance on Ho-Sang

      • Why haven’t the Islanders? He’s been a pro since 2016 and all they’ve given him is 53 games? Obviously, looking at his Major Junior stats, the kid has offensive talent. There has to be something else at work here – personality conflicts?? I don’t know, but if he’s tired of waiting for a decent chance from the Islanders why did he just sign a 2-way deal that pays him less than a third if his NHL cap if he winds up back in the AHL?

    • or the buyout window it opens?!?

  2. There is a saying that “ a one is never done “ . Some team will always give a first round pick another chance or two or three-Duclair

    Another saying is “ million dollar legs and a 10 cent brain”. That is Ho-Sang if there ever was a fit.

    • I remember when they tried to say that about Eddie Shack … but in his case he proved them wrong and carved out a pretty good career for himself – even if he couldn’t spell “score.” Jack Adams, behind the Detroit bench and never at a loss for insults, once yelled out “Shack – you’re so dumb you can’t even spell your own name” – right after which Eddie blasted a shot past Sawchuk, skated past the Detroit bench and yelled back “s-k-o-r-e.”

      • both Eddie and Wings G.M Demers couldn’t read. Does not make them dumb. Still can’t figure how a head coach and a GM managed to get by without anyone knowing for years? I think that took some intelligence.
        A player I can see- shoot da puck score da goal.

      • Makes me wonder if they were that smart to hide it why not just learn to read.

        Maybe dyslexic? Some other issue? One would think learning to read would be easier than hiding it for most people.

      • I’ve met Eddie shack (at a golf tourney). Dumb is a bingo. He even had hard spikes on his cowboy boots.

        Aside, Had a great condo with the Big M at same tourney. Very intelligent and witty.

      • Eddie Shack was – beyond any shadow of doubt – THE most entertaining player I ever saw – bar none. Raw talent and energy that was displayed every game with sheer abandonment and joy and never changed from shift to shift regardless of the score. And that went back to his junior days with the Biltmores and early pro career with the Rangers.

  3. I’m not sure what Boston is doing with Debrusk, doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency.

    I will say good on both parties to be able to keep the negotiations out of the media.

    There has been no report of how much DeBrusk is asking for or how much Sweeney is offering.

    Could a deal like Jake Virtanen be the way to go… 2yr deal backloaded so the qualifying offer has to be much higher.

    Trade him? what would he get? I liked Iowa suggestion of Vince Dunn. But not sure what the return would be. A potential goal scorer or LD? Preference for me is Debrusk stay in Boston and gets his edge back.

    • I was thinking the Virtanen deal was a good comparable as well Caper.
      Not an expert on Dunn, but seems closer to Grezlyk than Carlo. I would prefer a more defensive minded LD with some size.
      Also I don’t think St Louis would trade Dunn for DeBrusk without an add on, although it isn’t a crazy suggestion.
      I understand being patient with Chara, but still have to make a decision so Sweeney can too.

    • Caper,

      I’ll continue to propose the Dunn for DeBrusk swap. Dunn would be a LOSS for the Blues, but I think they have some prospects that can step in (Perunovich, Mikkola,…), in addition to Krug at LD.

      I am also hoping that Detroit/Stevie can be some help regarding the Blues’ cap issue. I thought MacEachern (a Mich St. alum) and Bortuzzo (veteran rugged D) might be good adds for the Wings, and provide 2.5 million cap relief to Blues.

      • That would depend on what other assets the Blues would attach to get rid of these two – no real need for either in Detroit.

      • What would the Blues be willing to add to dump these salaries ? I don’t believe there is any need for either in Detroit.

      • Lago,

        If Lyle and Khan are correct, the Wings are still wanting to complete their roster. I think those two Blues players would be able to contribute—two pretty decent players for a couple million. Maybe the Blues would add a prospect (not named Kyrou, Kostin, Perunovich, Hofer….). Late draft pick from Detroit–maybe a 4th round

      • I just don’t see the Wings trading even a 4th round pick to fill out their roster. They already have 7 defensemen under contract, and, once they sign Mantha and Timishov, 14 forwards, and 2 goalies. And maybe you haven’t noticed, Yzerman has made it a priority to accumulate draft picks, not trade them. I believe that either one of two things will happen – either the Wings take on another bad contract player that comes with sweetener picks or prospects, or they sign some of the remaining UFA’s. If the Blues want to move those two players to Detroit, there will need to be sweeteners attached, with Detroit returning “future considerations”.

    • Caper, when it comes to trying to determine what’s going on in Sweeney’s mind, so much depends in his case on exactly when the NHL’s new season gets under way. The only date the league has mentioned – officially – is January 1, but with the way the virus is proliferating everywhere that is a monumental pipe dream – and I think the same can be said of February 1. In fact, I believe there is a greater chance that the season is cancelled than meeting those two dates – but let’s be optimistic and compromise at March 1 after a miracle vaccine is developed, sanctioned, distributed and implemented widescale in North America.

      By that time all 3 of Pastrnak, Marchand and Miller will be back if you go by the latest prognosis:

      Pastrnak: “He’s coming off a situation where he had to have something repaired. He feels better. Moving along very well (with) rehab.” said Sweeney. “We don’t expect him to miss a lot of time, predicated on when the season actually does begin, and we still don’t know that.” Pastrnak went under the knife on Sept. 16, with an expected recovery period of approximately five months.

      Marchand: underwent sports hernia surgery on Sept. 14. The timetable for his recovery is 4 months making him ready by mid-January.

      Miller: missed all of the 2019-20 season including the playoffs after two separate kneecap injuries. Sweeney is confident that Miller is healthy and will work his way back into the line-up.

      That will give them a full 23-man complement with only DeBrusk to sign, but I doubt anyone expects LW Anton Blidh and his $700,000 ELC to stay with the big club (CapFriendly currently shows him among the 23) so when he’s demoted his ELC added to the $6,657,686 cap space currenly shown gives them $7,357,686. If DeBrusk gets between $4.5 and $5 mil they’ll have $2.1 to $1.6 left over.

      Their D is currently shown as McAvoy, Grzelcyk, Carlo, Moore, Clifton and Lauzon. If Chara returns to that mix, and someone like McKegg and his $700,000 ELC drops to the AHL to make room on the 23-man roster, depending upon what DeBrusk gets, they’d have $2.8 to $2.3 to sihn Chara.

      Is that realistic for DeBrisk?

      • George all good points.

      • I should have added, Caper, that, in addition to Chara returning, Miller will likely replace Lauzon, who will return to the AHL, thereby adding his $850,000 cap hit to the estimated $2.8 to $2.3 available to sign Chara, so you’re looking at $3.6 to $3.1 – more than enough to re-up Chara for 1 year and with a decent chunk left over.

      • I have read various places that Lauzon can also play the left side. I am still holding out hope that Moore is the guy that is traded.

      • If they can find a dance partner, yeah, that would be ideal – but at $2,750,000 per for 3 more years, when you look around at teams that have cap space AND a need for a 5/6 D-man, there just don’t appear to be any. Certainly Ottawa doesn’t need to look there, nor does Detroit.

        Signing Moore to the 5-year deal is the mistake that keeps on taking and only serves to further block aAnother in their system who merits a good look at the NHL level at some point this coming season – Zboril.

      • All depends on Chara George.
        I think the B’s carry 8 D on the NHL roster or risk losing guys like Zboril and Lauzon on waivers even if Chara signs.
        If every one is healthy, which they haven’t been very often the last couple years.

  4. If the Jets see trading Laine as inevitable, the Bruins have some good assets which could make sense. DeBrusk and a good young defenceman like Carlo might do it.

    I still think it would be a mistake to trade Laine. The Jets should look at trading declining assets with big contracts. I am losing faith that Wheeler will be around to see a cup run and although bold, GM’s with some gravitas would consider it.

    • that could be testy move by the B’s, I am betting Laine is not going to agree to a home town discount and it would piss off some of the players who took less than market value to stay in Boston if Laine was given a 9 million AAV contact , which is what I am thinking he will be looking for.

    • Tim butt out that wacky weed. The Laine trade starts with McAvoy or it ends immediately.

  5. If the Jets see trading Laine as inevitable, the Bruins have some good assets which could make sense. DeBrusk and a good young defenceman like Carlo might do it.

    I still think it would be a mistake to trade Laine. The Jets should look at trading declining assets with big contracts. I am losing faith that Wheeler will be around to see a cup run and although bold, GM’s with some gravitas would consider it.

  6. Sweeney is an incompetent GM.
    I do not trust him to make the Bruins any better.
    Jacobs needs to fire him and Neely.

    • And replace him with who, do you propose? And what fixes do you see needing?

      • Dubas but he is taken.

    • Chayka is available.

    • And who would be better? The guy won the GM of the year two years ago and had a team that won the president’s trophy last year. The loss of Rask was a major reason they didn’t go further in the playoffs. I don’t agree with a lot of the draft picks, trades and signings Sweeney has made, but I’m also not a GM for a reason!

      Thankfully you’re not Jacobs!

  7. Sakic just locked up D Devon Toews for 4 years at $4.1 mil per. That leaves him with $1,823,614 to sign 3 to reach 23 (or elevate from his minor league roster) including RFA C Kamenev, who’s coming off an ELC of $750,000.

    • Towes is a decent second pair D Man. 4 million is probably right for him.
      However, who does Sakic protect next year on the blueline when the Kracken come calling?

      The Isles have Pulock and Pelech as 2 slots.
      Dobson is exempt, so that leave Leddy or Mayfield for the last spot.

      Toews would have taken the 3 rd slot, so I think that LL made the move to A) sheds the 4 million that Towes was going to get in Arb.
      B) Get 2 2nd rounders in return and
      C) clear space to keep Mayfield, who probably would have been taken by Seattle.