NHL Rumor Mill – October 31, 2020

by | Oct 31, 2020 | Rumors | 19 comments

Could the Flyers or Blues attempt to sign Mike Hoffman? What’s the deal behind the Sabres’ recent short-term RFA signings? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall noted a recent report by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun indicating a “dozen or so” teams have expressed an interest in Mike Hoffman. However, a source told Hall the Flyers aren’t among the clubs pursuing the unrestricted free-agent winger.

Free-agent winger Mike Hoffman (NHL Images).

Hall notes Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher likes his club’s prospects on the wing and he still has defenseman Philippe Myers to re-sign. They’re also hoping for a better performance by veteran winger James van Riemsdyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have $4.8 million in cap space, which will shrink after Myers is signed. Unless they make a cost-cutting move to clear room for Hoffman, don’t expect to see him suit up for the Flyers in 2020-21.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong wouldn’t rule out adding a player like Hoffman. However, such a move would have to make sense dollar-wise for the Blues.

Rutherford noted the Blues already sit $1.2 million above the $81.5 million salary cap with restricted free agent defenseman Vince Dunn to be signed. They can put sidelined forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen (combined AAV of $13.25 million) on long-term injury reserve next season to exceed the cap by that amount, but they must also be cap compliant when those players are ready to return to action.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t look like the Blues will be among Hoffman’s suitors. Rutherford reported Armstrong wants to give more playing time to forwards Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou. The Blues GM also remains confident Tarasenko will return at some point in 2020-21.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently examined the Buffalo Sabres signing Sam Reinhart, Taylor Hall and Brandon Montour to one-year contracts, as well as their acquisition of Eric Staal, who has a year left on his contract.

O’Brien considers those “prove it” moves in which the players will have to justify longer deals through their performance in 2020-21. He also points out the flexibility it gives the Sabres at the 2021 trade deadline.

If the Sabres are non-contenders by then, they could peddle Hall to wherever he’s willing to accept getting dealt to. O’Brien also doesn’t rule out the possibility of shopping Reinhart by inflating his value, trading him before they have to pay up, and coming out on the better side of the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could use the same approach with Staal and Montour. Of course, that depends on how next season shakes out. If the Sabres are contenders, they won’t be sellers even at the risk of losing Hall, Staal and Montour to next year’s UFA market.


  1. Sabres GM Kevin Adams seems to be using a smart strategy with his signings. This team might not be playoff ready (would certainly like to see an upgrade in goal) but the flexibility and creativity in building the team are breath of fresh air.

    • Pretty much the exact same thing Steve Yzerman is doing in Detroit, Smart signings tons of cap flexibility down the road.

    • Agreed, G – Man.

      I have discounted measurable improvement by the Sabres, but I will give this a re-think. They just may surprise this year.

  2. With Seguin possibly out for 4 months does that give Dallas cap space to sign a forward and hold Tyler out til TDL?

    • ds, 4 months would take him to the end of February. If the season were to start on Jan 1 or Feb 1, they’d get some benefit from the LTIR, but the way things are shaping up, even March 1 is looking more and more like a long shot. And, of course, any trade deadline day will be up in the air accordingly.

      • At the moment, following the Honka signing, CapFriendly shows them with 9 D at the major level – Lindell, Klingberg, Johns, Oleksiak, Sekera, Heiskanen, Pysyk, Fedun and Honka, and $3,407,969 in cap space with which to sign 1

        They won’t, of course, keep 9 around so Honka and his $700,000 ELC will start in the AHL, which increases the cap space to $4,107,969 – and now they have 2 spots to fill. There’s also some reasonable doubt about the fitness of Johns and if he goes back on LTIR, his $2,350,000 becomes available on opening day.

        Now they’re down to 3 to sign for a full 23-man roster (IF they’re planing to do that). Their only RFA left to sign is Hintz, and the big F (6′ 3″ 220 lbs) had a pretty good season with 19g 14a 33pts and a +3 in 60gp, so you know his expiring ELC of $811,667 will eat up most or all of the cap space left. His signing would then bring them up to 21. Should Johns start the year on LTIR, they could then elevate one of their better ELC prospects from the minors to get to 22 or, perhaps, sign someone from the UFA list such as Duclair who shouldn’t cost more than an even million for 1 year.

  3. The issue will be gate revenue. Super Bowl is going with 20% capacity. Until at least that can happen NHL is a no go. I really hate to say it but this entire north’s American season is in Jeopardy. Bubble or not for the players and staff . Canada division two USA divisions or not.

    We should all value the World Juniors this year. That may be it

  4. As a pens fan it’s been satisfying to watch philly take a step backward this offseason. Especially since the pens are at best treading water.

    • @chrisms..agreed hearing the hated orange might still be interested in Johnny gautreauu of Calgary
      Using gosthabere..will see

      Heard we had some interest in eric haula he would be a nice 3rd line center fit.
      Can move zareese to long term ir saves 1.05 M we have 1.5 M left move rikola or rudwhedel that’s enough..we will see

      • Ghost has been on the block for couple years. There’s no appetite out there for the guy unless Flyers are asking for something ridiculous which is possible. Maybe a 3rd/4th round pick? If they thought he was so marvelous, he wouldn’t be healthy scratch.

      • It’s his $4,500,000 per deal with 3 years to go that no one wants to take on for a one-dimensional D.

  5. Here, for what it’s worth, is the up to date (as of this morning) Cap situations of all 31 teams using CapFriendly’s “Current Cap Space”

    showing # to reach 23 signed (assuming they all intend to have the full 23-man complement) – LTIRs (if any) – RFAs Still To Sign

    Over the cap by the amounts shown
    Ariz $2,770,284 – 1 – $5,275,000 (Hossa) – 0
    Van $1,501,878 – 0 – $3,500,000 (Ferland – possibly) – 0
    StL $1,175,515 – 2 – $13,250,000 (Tarasenko & Steen possibly) – 1 (Dunn)
    Tor $1,049,325 – 0 – 0 – 0
    Wash $1,024,877 – 2 – 0 – 0
    Veg $974,104 – 2 – 0 – 0
    Ana $929,999 – 1 (a back-up goalie?) – $6,875,000 (Kessler) – 0
    Wpg $697,856 – 1 – $5,291,667 (Little) – 1 (Roslovic)

    under the cap by less than $750,000
    Mtl $510,227 – 2 – 0 – 1(Hudon)

    under the cap by less than $2 mil
    Edm – $974,081 – 1 – 1 ($4,167,000 – Klefbom if surgery is necessary) – 1 (Bear)
    Cgy – $1,344,194 – 2 – 0 – 1 (Kylington)
    Pit – $1,752,870 – 0 – $1 mil (Aston-Reese) – 0

    under by $2 to $3.9 mil
    Col – $2,425,019 – 3 – 0 – 1 (Kamenev)
    SJ – $3,129,432 – 0 – 0 – 0
    Minn – $3,591,195 – 1 – 0 – 0
    TB – $3,850,843 – 5 – 0 – 3 (Cirelli, Cernak, Sergachev)

    Under by $4 to $5 mil
    Car – $4,098,751 – 2 – 0 – 1 (Foegele)
    Dal – $4,531,874 – 1 – $2,350,000 (Johns possibly) – 1 (Hintz)
    Buff – $4,648,714 – 2 – 0 – 1 (Pilut)

    under by $6 to $9 mil
    Pha – $6,397,803 – 4 – $1,574,125 (Patrick & Morin possibly) – 1 (Myers)
    Chi – $6,933.094 – 3 – $10,775,000 (Seabrook & Shaw) – 1 (Strome)
    Bos – $8,853,306 – 3 – $14,041,667 (Pastrnak, Marchand, Miller possibly) – 1 (DeBrusk)

    under by $10 to $15 mil
    NYI – $11,842,863 – 3 – 0 – 2 (Barzal & Pulock)
    NYR – $14,467,243 – 2 – 0 – 2 (Strome & Lemieux)
    Fla – $15,377,277 – 5 – 0 – 2 (Saarela & Weegar)
    Clb – $15,991,855 – 2 – 0 – 2 (Dubois, Gavrikov)

    under by $17 to $22 mil
    Nash – $17,210,855 – 4 – 0 – 1 (Kunin)
    Ott – $17,623,007 – 2 – $4,875,000 (Gaborik) – 1 (Jaros)
    L.A. – $18,112,653 – 4 – 0 – 0
    Det – $20,264,110 – 2 – $6,683,333 (Zetterberg) – 2 (Mantha, Timashov)
    NJ – $22,865,693 – 7 – 0 – 2 (Bratt & Blackwood)

    • Just remember, teams do not need to carry 23 players on the roster. So some teams, may elect a 20-21 man roster due to cap constraints.

      • That’s why I say, above “assuming they all intend to have the full 23-man complement”

  6. The Curse Of Loui Eriksson continues. This from the site The Hockey Writers:

    “According to Harman Dayal of The Athletic, the Vancouver Canucks have considered the idea of sending Loui Eriksson down to the AHL to free up cap space, but the matter is a bit more complicated than meets the eye. Dayal explains that because of the differences in escrow between the AHL and NHL, the Canucks would actually be paying more money to Eriksson if he was sent down. Dayal writes:

    ‘Well, the NHL and AHL rules for revenue sharing are different. We discussed this briefly in September, but the AHL doesn’t tax players with escrow which means Canucks ownership would actually be paying Eriksson more money if he plays in the minors as opposed to the big club.’

    When you consider the close to $780K net loss the Canucks would suffer, plus add in the cost of whatever player the team brings in to replace him, in a time where league revenues are dropping and owners aren’t liking the losses, it’s not an easy decision.”

    • 3 (-the 10% retention) of the 4 million total salary of Erickson was already paid via bonus so those numbers are confusing. A buyout this year also didn’t save any money so I assumed they would wait until after this season and buy him out before July 1. Next year he only has a 1 mil bonus.

  7. Flyers or Nashville might as well take Hoffman by the time Sweeney gets around to acquiring a free agent Hoffman will be retired! I’m hoping the b’s miss the playoffs this year, then they’ll have to fire him along with Lurch in the front office!

    • Fire Sweeney didn’t he just win GM of the year and didn’t they finish first by a mile last year lol. You fire people when your last not first.

  8. 3 (-the 10% retention) of the 4 million total salary of Erickson was already paid via bonus so those numbers are confusing. A buyout this year also didn’t save any money so I assumed they would wait until after this season and buy him out before July 1. Next year he only has a 1 mil bonus.