NHL Morning Headlines and Rumors – November 8, 2020

by | Nov 8, 2020 | News, NHL, Rumors | 26 comments

The Bruins’ Stanley Cup odds, the Ducks sign another first-rounder and the latest Red Wings, Canadiens and Capitals speculation in today’s NHL morning headlines and rumors.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins aren’t as good as they were last season but they remain a Stanley Cup contender. They lost defenseman Torey Krug to free agency, Zdeno Chara has yet to sign, and forwards Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak could miss the start of the season recovering from offseason surgeries. Nevertheless, oddsmakers in Las Vegas give them 14-1 odds to win the Cup. Only the Colorado Avalanche, the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Vegas Golden Knights have better odds.

The Boston Bruins remain a Stanley Cup favorite in 2021 thanks to stars like David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins still have a solid goalie tandem in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, one of the top offensive lines in Marchand, Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron, two very good young defensemen in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, and a solid supporting cast featuring David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie Coyle. They’re not an overwhelming Cup favorite anymore but we shouldn’t underestimate them.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Jamie Drysdale to a three-year entry-level contract. They selected Drysdale with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second signing of a top prospect by the Ducks in recent days. On Thursday, they signed winger Jacob Perreault (26th overall in this year’s draft) to an ELC.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Defenseman Ian Mitchell, winger Lukas Reichel, and center Philipp Kurashev sit atop Ben Pope’s ranking of the Blackhawks’ top-10 prospects.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wonders why the Detroit Red Wings haven’t attempted to sign Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli to an offer sheet. He suspects Red Wings general manager (and former Lightning GM) Steve Yzerman has too much respect for his former employer, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be one reason. Another could be Cirelli might not be interested in an offer sheet. If he was, perhaps he’s not keen to join a rebuilding team when he’s currently a member of a Stanley Cup champion that has a good chance of winning again over the next two or three years. Maybe Yzerman isn’t keen to invest most of his remaining cap space into one player and give up the compensatory draft picks if the Bolts fail to match the offer.

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked what he thought Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin intends to do with Paul Byron. He was also asked if the Habs might pursue a gritty veteran winger like Corey Perry.

While Byron has dropped down the Canadiens’ depth chart, Engels doesn’t see him getting traded. He feels the veteran forward has more value to the Habs as a player than what he might fetch in a trade. However, Bergevin could attempt to package him with a draft pick to the Seattle Kraken to ensure another player on the Habs roster isn’t selected in the expansion draft.

As for Perry, Engels thinks he’s the type of player who could help the Canadiens. He’d be an affordable addition who could be a fringe player in the regular season to save him for the playoffs when they’d need him the most.

Engels was also asked if the Canadiens might bring back Ilya Kovalchuk. Unless one or two of their forwards are sidelined during training camp, he’d be shocked if Kovalchuk returned to Montreal. He also doesn’t expect the Habs will try to trade defenseman Brett Kulak given Bergevin’s preference for as much NHL-quality depth on the blueline as possible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Engels on most of his assessments here. My only quibble (and it’s not much of one) is regarding Perry, as I suspect he’ll be back with the Dallas Stars next season.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Tarik El-Bashir was asked which member of the Washington Capitals was most likely to be traded. He feels the Caps don’t have to make a trade but if forced to weigh salary versus role, Nick Jensen could be the likely candidate, though he stressed he’s not saying Jensen will be shopped.

Asked about any news on trading Jensen or Richard Panik, El-Bashir notes it won’t be easy to move their contracts. Jensen ($2.5 million annual average value) and Panik ($2.75 million AAV) each have three years remaining on their deals. He also doesn’t see the Capitals signing a free-agent forward like Anthony Duclair without freeing up some cap space first.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals are above the $81.5 million salary cap by $1.024 million. However, there’s no reason to make a salary-dumping deal because Michal Kempny ($2.5 million cap hit) is sidelined six-to-eight months following Achilles tendon surgery. They’ll simply place him on long-term injury reserve to become cap compliant for 2020-21.


  1. Why go the offer sheet route? Tampa is stuck. They gonna have to make a painful move or two. Detroit could potentially get a good player and assets from Tampa instead of giving up picks to get a good player

  2. I find those Vegas odds re; bruins chances at the cup laughable. They didn’t have enough this past season, they have even less for the next season. I think unless Sweeney does something of major move which he just doesn’t seem able to do each and every year it’s going to be rough season for the b’s time to fire Sweeney and needwit!

    • Rick the first question you must ask yourself is how much of a difference Rask would’ve made had he stayed and been in the right mental mind.

      Boston big question is secondary scoring and more importantly a second line.

      I’m not concern with Boston 1st, 3rd and 4th line but unless Debrusk becomes a consistent scorer and maybe time with Kase to have some chemistry.

      I think there biggest need is a LD, preferably someone with some grit.

      For me the loss of Krug isn’t substantial more of a liability then an offensive threat.

      Chara was a scary event every time he was on the ice, simply dump the puck in his corner and go get it.

      TB the defending champs are not as good as they were last season and still likely to lose a player or 2.

      No reason with Boston depth not to think the are still a cup contender but not elite.

  3. The Habs are slightly over $1m. above the cap, so some cuts will have to be made. I can see Jordan Weal being traded and replaced with a cheaper option. And I think that Kulakmay have to be traded as well. Byron will probably stick around this year, but after that, with new contracts kicking in for Petry, Gallagher and (hopefully) Danault, he will be on his way out. I think Bergevin will make a deal with Seattle to ensure that they select Byron.

    • Howard, CapFriendly shows the Habs with current cap of $383,691 with 2 to sign to reach 23 (IF they intend to go with the full complement) and still with RFA Hudon to sign.

      D-man Kulak ($1,850,000 with 2 years to go) might be enticing to some team seeking D depth, but good luck trying to find a taker for Weal ($1,400,000 while producing 8g 7a 15pts in 49gp).

      • Hudon is now playing in Switzerland, George. He moved his family there. I wouldn’t bet on his return.

      • Your ight re the Habs cap, but that is because KK is on loan. Not sure what happens when he comes back…. As for Kovalchuk, if he is not sign, I see him getting a training camp tryout with the Habs; he won’t get signed by the Habs, but get a chance to show off for other clubs.

        Hudon will not be signed, off to Europe my guess….

      • *right

      • George,

        Howard is correct.

        Jake Evans has basically made the team but is not on CF’s roster.

        So in truth Montreal has 1 player to add after Evans is added and is about $350-400K in the hole.
        Meaning they need about min $1.1 million in extra Cap room to be in compliance.

        Trading Kulak, you see this idea so often, does not really cut it.

        It covers the debt but would leave them with only $750K to fill his empty roster spot.

        A Kulak trade and filling his position with a minimally paid (ie inexperienced) D would also in the end leave them at basically $0 for Cap trade.

        So a downgraded D and $0?

        Bergevin has repeatedly said he wants a cushion of about $1 million.

        As Howard mentioned, Kulak is what Bergevin wants – a deep D.

        Really, when you look at it, it has to be one of Byron or Tatar (30 next month, no room to re-sign) on the way out.


      • Habs can waive Weal and his 1.4 million pay, probably wouldn’t be taken and save 1 million on cap

      • Makes sense rich …

  4. You keep saying this … but exactly who do you think he should have targeted in a trade and exactly who do you think he should have offered to acquire such player(s)?

    What players off the UFA heap do you think he should have targeted? Hoffman? Don’t look now but 30 other teams aren’t exactly clamoring for his services.

    The Bruins have been a solid contender for a number of years … and they will again this season (whenever and if that happens) … what more do you expect from them? A cup every year?

    All teams reach the point where they have to re-load entirely … damned few can simply “tinker” with a decent roster and return to immediate prominence. As things now stand, they have 7 players either well into, or fast approaching, the downward curve – Smith 31, Miller & Marchand 32, Rask 33, Krejci 34, Bergeron & Halak 35 and, IF they bring him back, Chara 43.

    Sweeney can do nothing about the calendar.

    • (Above should have appeared under Rick w Murray’s post)

    • Next off season will be a tough one for the Bruins … they will have 7 UFA and 4 RFA the turnover is coming to Beantown soon

      • With only two of the UFAs and one of the RFAs even mattering…. Boston will be fine. They will try and resign Krejci, Rask and Carlo. Kase will be a long shot depending on how he plays with Krejci and who ever is on the left side. Ritchie will be traded or they will let him walk. Kuraly, Lindholm, McKegg and Miller will not be back unless it is worth it. Halak may return depending on price and willingness to play.

        If anything, Boston will be better off next year with room for the young guys and the potential to bring in new UFAs.

  5. Lyle, on the subject of Corey Perry … and not that I think they’d even do this … now that’s he’s played a season in Dallas after being bought out by the Ducks, could he legally return to Anaheim for one last hurrah since he’s costing them $6,625,000 this coming season anyway (and $2 mil per for the two following seasons)??

    • He can sign with Anaheim if he wanted George, Michael Stone was bought out by the Flames and resigned the same season for $700k

      • Thanks Sparky. Seeing as how they have to pay him over $6 mil this coming season any how, if they have a spot why not bring him back for that season – surely his last – for spot duty and some work with Getzlaf here and there.

  6. Fine line between winning and losing in the NHL. The potential shorter length of next season will mean more teams in the playoff race. Having said that, Boston’s main two forwards are not starting until Feb/March. In particular Pastrnak who was rated as the best value player in the entire NHL .
    If Boston get behind in the standings in early going they may run out of track.
    Chara needs to retire .He is 43 for crying out loud.They sit in a very competitive division. Rask needs to return to form or they could be in trouble.
    Kase sure looked good in the playoffs. Should have had like 10 points and didn’t capitalize. Let;s see if he can finish in the regular season and for that matter finish a regular season.

  7. Bye Alex. You will be missed.

  8. Well said Chris. I’m just glad he choose to make that Ottawa selection in the draft. Great, last memory of a legend.

    RIP Mr. Trebek

    • The man fought it bravely to the end. R.I.P. Mr. Trebek – and thanks Mr. Melnyk for setting the wheels in motion to have him announce Ottawa’s 2020 top draft pick.

      • Absolutely George, well done Ottawa/Melnyk

  9. The Bruins are built for the regular season when playoff time comes along and against bigger tougher teams the B’s struggle ….. both Neelyband Sweeney said they had to ge bigger,tougher and better 5 on 5 which as of now none of it happened and probably won’t

  10. “Steve Simmons wonders why the Detroit Red Wings haven’t attempted to sign Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli to an offer sheet.”

    Yes Simmons, who apparently wasn’t paying attention when Yzerman went to arbitration to keep his middle-six forward salaries down, this it makes sense for Yzerman to overpay for a middle-six forward. As the 31st place team. Because, you know, that’s how you rebuild, by overpaying for not-top-line players and giving up picks in order to do so.

    Did Simmons take a look at capfriendly and decide that Detroit simply didn’t have enough middle-to-bottom-six forwards? What an ass.