Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2020

by | Oct 25, 2020 | Rumors | 43 comments

A look at some intriguing offseason trade candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman recently listed 6 intriguing players who could still get traded this offseason.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (NHL Images).

He begins with Shayne Gostisbehere, noting the Philadelphia Flyers reportedly made the puck-moving defenseman available earlier in the offseason. Matt Niskanen’s sudden retirement and the Flyers’ subsequent addition of Erik Gustafsson (who plays a similar style to Gostisbehere) leaves the 26-year-old blueliner’s status uncertain in Philadelphia. Wegman suggested the Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings as potential landing spots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ and Jets’ limited cap space means the Flyers would have to take back some salary to move Gostisbehere to either of those clubs. Cap Friendly indicates he has three years remaining on his contract worth $4.5 million annually. The Kings can afford him but general manager Rob Blake already acquired Olli Maatta from Chicago and could be content to promote from within.

Wegman noted the trade speculation swirling around Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine. He pointed out Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will want either a top-six center or top-four defenseman as part of the return. The Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild are possible destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres landed Taylor Hall via free agency so I doubt they’re in the market for Laine. The Hurricanes could be a good fit but I don’t see them parting with any of their top-four defensemen plus they lack the depth in centers to pry Laine away from the Jets. The Wild need a proven top-line center, not a left-winger, so I don’t think they’re a fit.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they reportedly placed Jake Gardiner on the trade block. He’s tumbled down their depth chart and carries a $4.05 million cap hit, but could be a top-four defenseman for clubs like the Jets, Florida Panthers or New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner’s contract runs through 2022-23 so the Hurricanes will either have to absorb part of that cap hit or take back salary to make this work. The Panthers and Jets are looking for more defensive-minded options, plus the latter has limited cap space. I don’t see the Rangers taking on his contract.

Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been frequently mentioned in trade rumors for some time, prompting Wegman to wonder if new Sabres GM Kevyn Adams might find a taker for him. The Sabres have a logjam at right defense and moving one of their right-side blueliners to the left side isn’t ideal. Wegman suggested the Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Jets as possible landing spots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most reports out of Buffalo on Ristolainen suggested he was no longer on the trade block because head coach Ralph Krueger thinks highly of him. If so, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s need to shed salary to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev have Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson on Wegman’s list. Killorn has a 16-team no-trade list, making him somewhat easier to move. Johnson has a full no-trade clause but is willing to work with the Lightning to work out a trade, but there were no takers for his $5 million AAV when he was placed on waivers. They’ll have to include a sweetener to move him. The Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators or Panthers could be destinations for one of them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Detroit has the salary-cap space plus former Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is now the Red Wings’ GM. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if Killorn or Johnson would accept a trade to a rebuilding club like the Wings or the Senators.

The Panthers also have the cap space but could be unwilling to spend much higher than they already have. They could also be trying to woo back free agent Mike Hoffman. We also don’t know if Killorn or Johnson would accept getting traded to the Lightning’s less-successful rival.


  1. Bolts still screwed right now

    Can’t even do a buyout now

    I still say an option that might need to be explored is trading Serg

    $2.9 M , 5 to sign including 3 RFAs (two of them key)… is nuts… and they are having trouble moving TJ

    *If they move Johnson and Serg to one team (limited teams I realize) but
    That gets them to a much more flexible $8.4 M for 7

    Foote, Witowski, Raddysh up….I year COVID eco bridge on Cerelli and Cernak…. could leave $3M…. depth UFA forward at League Min…. would Vats sign 1 @ $2M?

    * of course one team is tough… two moves… Serg… whatever rec’d in trade… use most of that as sweetener to move TJ

    From cup winning team…. Raddysh replaces TJ, Foote for Bogo, Vats for Serg, depth UFA replaces Verhague… certainly not full replacement value for those 4… but those moves haven’t cataclysmically dropped the team overall

    The biggest change is Shatz replaced by Witowski

    That roster, fits under cap; no depth assets or picks lost; and still IMHO , has Bolts in top 2 in Atl

    The other way…. assets likely including Raddysh ; 1st, maybe even Foote to move TJ and Killorn

    Leaves cupboard bare, $12.3 M to sign 7; including the 3 RFAs, replacements for TJ and Killorn and Shatz and Bogo …. and that resulting team , IMHO, is weaker than the one proposed above

    All other Atl teams are pleased as plump, most Metro teams as well; Western conference teams are mentally wiping out (from their visions) Bolts as a potential SC match-up

    Has BrisBoise slept in 2 weeks?

    • Yzerman got out when the going was good.

      • You mean before he got his ring?

        I’m pretty sure Tampa gm is not feeling to bad right now.

    • Pengy, I’m guessing Brisebois has already began laying the groundwork for trades with Yzerman, Dorion, Blake, Fitzgerald and maybe Poile but with no immediate urgency to finalize anything until the NHL comes up with a firm start date (and, I agree, forget Jan 1 and even Feb 1 looks to be a fantasy when you see the daily rise in Covid-19 EVERYWHERE), right now they can continue to dicker and counter-offer. But in the end there will be at least a couple of deals worked out with the foregoing simply because they have the most cap space and can take on whatever TB gives up without having to find takers for players they’d then need to move – as would be the case with virtually every other team to varying degrees.

      Right now, without the urgency, we’re in a prolonged lull where signings/trades are concerned.

      • Keep an eye on Calgary, they are the only international airport in Canada about to start a pilot of rapid testing (24 hour results) they will eliminate the need for 2 week quarantine. Im sure NHL eyes will be on this over the next 6-8 weeks. Could be a game changer. I have always felt that rapid testing is the key to moving forward.

    • TB accomplished their goal and won the cup. They offer ntc and nmc to anyone who will sign for the less with the no state tax to offset it. It is great to see other teams stick it to them when they need cap space. Perhaps it is time for the league to negotiate the end of these clauses in the next CBA. Might help level the playing field.

      • Stevie Y gave NMC/NTC’s to every Tom Dick & Harry. Don’t need to change the CBA to accommodate . Brisbois is strapped with them. Don’t give them out. No one feels sorry for TB because they can’t unload players. If you want someone to take TJ, give them a decent pic or a decent prospect. If he’s unwilling, trade Serg & Cirelli

    • Pengy, Buffalo just knocked off one of their RFAs by signing Reinhard to 1 year at $5.2 mil. He’s an RFA again next year with arbitration rights. They now have 19 signed with $9,145,833 to sign 4 including RFAs Ullmark, Pilut and Olofsson. The latter should cost the most to re-sign, coming off 20g 22s 42 pts in 54gp and an ELC of $767,500 but should have no problem getting all 3 re-upped, with a bit left over.

  2. What if the Rangers would offer say Rykov or Hajek and a their 2021 3rd for Segachev? TB gets a very good prospect at a little above minimum and a 3rd while the Rangers get a D-man to play opposite Trouba moving Smith to the 3rd pairing. Does this makes sense for both teams given the salary cap bind that TB is in?

    • I know money is an issue for TB, but I can’t imagine this would be enough for Sergachev.

      As a Rangers fan I would love this deal, but it is not going to happen.

    • I’d prefer Rangers made a deal for Cirelli who would fill the teams biggest need down the middle.

    • Dov,
      There are other teams that would make way better offers for Sergachev, than what you just proposed.
      That is below market value for a top pair D, 22 year old, and plays 20+ minutes each game.

    • NY, this website is about opinions. You are entitled to yours. You are not the only person who has one. So why do you insist on this zero chance stuff. The league has plenty of things to talk about. You talk as if you are omnipotent. Give me a break.

  3. The should have 0 interest in Ghost or Gardiner, the former couldn’t be moved last year and he had a worse year since. The latter couldn’t keep a job on a porous Leaf defense and the one team that took him wants him out.

    The Jets need something of value for Laine, Tampa, Habs, Carolina all have what they need, centres and defensemen.

    • Ghost is del zotto 2.0 and he can’t get a job at the league minimum.

  4. The bottom line here is the salary cap isn’t really doing what it was meant to. Teams with good players won’t be able to pay them market rate after their 2nd contracts. Some players know this and make sure to have some form of NTC so they won’t end up on a team like Ottawa.
    Thee are better solutions than a simple dollar cap. Like a luxury tax or how if you draft them their salary won’t fully count against the cap but something like only FA signing are 100% cap hits. I’m sure there are even better ideas but still the cap needs to change, everything else has.

    I better leave now before george0 tells me to go away again. My thoughts aren’t welcome.

    • LOL. Obviously, if that’s still stinging, you’ve never heard of W. C. Fields.

      Anyway, in order for you to insult me, first I would have to value your opinion.

    • Ron Moore: I’m sure players would rather make a cup final and be within a game 7 OT goal of making another than lose out in the first round or miss the playoffs completely during the same stretch.

    • Ron, I have come to think the cap is ok. The “problems” we are seeing now surely come from covid and the declining cap. Tampa has complicated that by giving away NTCs like they were candy.

      As for the cap not doing what its supposed to do, I think it is. With Toronto’s revenues and no cap space they could buy their way out of cap hell, not worry about making fiscally prudent choices, and make perennial also rans out of too many franchises with their fiscal clout.

      The luxury tax in baseball works because the MLB has solid franchises and record viewer attendance – which rose last year by 15%. I imagine the same can be said for the stability of the NBA and NFL.

      The NHL cannot make such claims. Indeed, viewership for the playoffs this year was DOWN – 28%, and you likely know that the NHL is in 4th spot in pro sports viewership in the US. You likely also know that the NHL’s expansion to non-traditional regions was based on having a nation wide TV deal in the US.

      Whether Carolina, Arizona or even Tampa are “true” hockey towns is a separate debate. What surely is not up for debate is that sizeable disparity between viable franchises is greatest in the NHL, and without the cap to try and level that out a number of problems worse than the cap would be in play. We can all probably list others in addition to the Toronto example, so I will stop here.

      • Just read your post, LJ, and my first reaction is wouldn’t a twenty team NHL be wonderful?

      • Yeah, I agree BCLeafFan. Playing teams in other conferences twice a season, multiple back to back games, a pre-season, the 82 game schedule and a Cup awarded – normally – in June is not to my liking.

        But good luck to ever going back to a smaller league with fewer games. The players would never go for it as salaries would drop.

      • The AHL and ECHL would see the quality of their games increase, though.

    • I think teams should all play be same rules. Not the Red Sox/Yankee model. Only the Leafs/Rangers/ & Flyers will do that crap like they did before cap dame along. Luxury tax is a Ranger model.

  5. Ron GM,s have to stop over paying young players they go from 800k to 10 million. They need to put them on a bridge deal first and see how they keep progressing than in year five if they are studs up the contract. For Mitch Marner to be paid 11 million is nuts. I know it’s hard to trade young great players away but if it’s going to cripple your team you have to. Some are saying Debrusk between 5-6 million that’s what Pasta and Marchand make if Jake gets 4 I’ll scream if he won’t sign for reasonable numbers trade his butt out of town.

    • Exactly Obe. Going from 700k to 14 Million…is quite the pay bump. One could say…damn, I’ve already won…im rich. Stanley? Ya it would be nice and all but, maybe I’ll go buy another Ferrari for my 24th birthday!

      Each year of me completing my apprenticeship stages, I gradually progressed and received a pay bump, eventually getting fully licensed. Sounds cliche but, I became a man in the process. More or less, the process straightened me the f*** out.
      Gm’s just can’t help themselves i guess.

  6. Wondering Doogie Hamilton will be UFA next season, presently making $5.75, what does his new contract look like? $8 -$8.5 or more?

    • No idea on a number Caper. Worth more than Petro IMO as he will only be 28 next off season.
      All depends on the landscape.
      How about the highest paid UFA next off season?
      I would think CAR wants to keep him even though they are deep on the blue line.
      CAR also seems like a team that could contend for a while.

      • Ray when Boston drafted Hamilton, I said he might end up being better then both Kessel and Seguin.

        Not saying he is there, but if he ever discovered a mean side and started to use that big frame, he would eclipse both.

        Considering what Krug signed for; Hamilton is in for a raise

  7. Once Tampa finally resolves their self imposed capnissues, the Leafs will have the best roster in league by a country mile and if the odds in Vegas dont say so then we all have a tremendous betting opportunity. GO LEAFS GO.

    • WENDELL. your mom’s calling… IT’S DINNERTIME

    • I strongly encourage you to put a huge bet down on Toronto… just like Toronto you can’t lose!

  8. I think Tampa has to keep Sergachev . Buyout ,hold money ,add Radysh ,add draft picks do what ever else is necessary to move Killorn and or Johnson.

    Part of the problems of being a Stanley Cup Champion. Makes you appreciate what Chicago did over a 6 year window.

    • In regards to Chicago their issues started after they won the 3 cups.

      After Toews and Kane new contracts, that was the beginning of the end.

    • The “being a Stanley Cup Champion”is part of the point. Tampa will lose a very good player to the cap.
      Somehow, this is different that losing a very good player due to injury? Tampa will likely lose two very good players, and one or two good prospects due to cap constraints. They will ice a decent roster, probably be competitive, find a couple of pieces at trade deadline, and, I expect mount a credible defence.
      Their fans will likely be OK with that.
      I hope we play Toronto.
      It will be good to measure ourselves against an all-time great roster.

  9. I’ve deleted several comments from here today because of insulting behavior. There’s no reason to stoop to childish taunts just because you disagree with someone’s opinion.

  10. Bettman has done the job of increasing profits through growth, TV revenue, parity and caps.

    They work hand in hand, salary caps let teams even out the talent pool, parity expands interest , TV revenue exists because of a wider interest, and growth comes out of greed to get in on a good deal.

    I don’t see the point of complaining about salaries as its the market and management who’ll decide what is “fair” not us fans.

    Players need to live up to those big contracts or get run out of town like Patrice Brisebois and Scott Gomez, both of whom were booed mercilessly by fans in Montreal.

    • Just the sentiment the Habs need to attract players, habsfan30.

      • Playing in Montreal was always on the razor’s edge – unless you were a Richard, Beliveau or Ferguson. Boom Boom Geoffrion became personal non grata in the eyes of many for daring to take away the scoring title from a suspended Rocket in 1954-55, something many never forgot, I remember them getting on J.C. Tremblay – a lot, Terry Harper, Jacques Plante, even Doug Harvey.

        They are demanding fans … and when you’re paying top dollar for seats and whatever, you have every right to demand “what have you done for me lately.”

  11. Tampa’s 3 rfa’s don’t have arbitration rights, so as long as none of them sign an offer sheet, Tampa can put new deals on the back burner. Cirelli is interesting case. His name gets mentioned a lot in Ranger land. If Tampa has no intention on trading either Stamkos or Pointe, where does that leave him? He’ll be stuck at 3c unless he moves to wing, which imo would be a mistake. Surprised someone hasn’t gotten him to agree to an offer sheet.

  12. I’m interested to see how people here feel about Barzal.
    I’m an Isles fan.
    But I think that Barzal has not yet reached that “Superstar” status worth 10 million a year.

    He’s not among the league leaders in points.
    He’s just under a PPG pace, while other star players are over it.
    I don’t see him in the top echelon yet.
    He may get there, but you get paid for production

    In this climate, I’m thinking that 7-7.5 million for 2 years is enough.

    Your thoughts?

    • skill wise he has what is takes to be an upper echelon player in the league. He is a fantastic skater and a really solid play maker. I keep hearing rumblings about attitude, that could keep him from reaching SS category. He kinda reminds me of Yzerman skill wise . He is still only 23 years old, needs time to mature. Hopefully Trotz rubs off on him.
      I agree with you take on 7.5 x 2

  13. Fergy, I think that the attitude problems stem from the fact the Barzal told the press that he would not mind an offer sheet.


    An NHL player expressing an original thought on contract negotiations! Where will it end??

    There is also another story that flaoted around about his answer to a GM, who ended up passing on him at the draft.
    Apparently he told the GM “Don’t pick me and see what happens.”

    All superstars have that cocky/confidence attitude, so I’m fine with it.

    Barzal (like Stevie Y did) is learning at an earlier age to play the 200 foot game.

    As of now, I see him as a step below the Elites. A baby step but still a step. Lots of room to grow.
    I saw every game JT ever played in an Isles uniform. Barzal is way ahead of him in terms of growth. JT was knocked on his ass, on a nightly basis, as a rookie. But he grew into an exceptional NHL player through his hard work and dedication.

    I think that Matt has the same desire and work ethic. He was fortunate enough to play with JT and see first hand how a true professional operates.

  14. nevinsrip , fair comments , I have only seen him play in person 2x. My only knock would have been sometimes he gets tunnel vision and try’s to do too much on his own, especially if his team is behind.
    I read trade proposals involving MB , moving him now would be a mistake imo ( ‘yes’ even if Laine was involved )