NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2020

by | Nov 10, 2020 | Rumors | 37 comments

Recent speculation on Noah Hanifin, Eric Haula, Jimmy Howard and Corey Perry in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW (subscription required): Jimmy Murphy wondered if the Calgary Flames might shop left-side defenseman Noah Hanifin to bring in a right-side defenseman and to shed some cap space. The sources he spoke with believe Hanifin isn’t been shopped but didn’t rule out Flames general manager Brad Treliving listening to a “hockey trade” offer.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

The Flames have over $1 million in cap space, with Hanifin having four years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.95 million. Murphy suggests the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets as teams that could initiate calls.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins might have to part with Brandon Carlo ($2.5 million), the Red Wings with Filip Hronek ($714K), the Sabres with Brandon Montour ($3.85 million), and the Blue Jackets with David Savard ($4.25 million).

The Bruins would have to find a suitable right-side replacement if they swap Carlo for Hanifin. I don’t see the Wings trading away the promising Hronek. Savard is a UFA next summer and won’t provide much cap savings this season for the Flames. Montour is also slated to become UFA after 2020-21 and the Flames could prefer someone with more term left on their contract.

The Dallas Stars suffered a double-whammy with goaltender Ben Bishop and center Tyler Seguin sidelined for five months following recent surgeries. Murphy cites an NHL source claiming they’ve circled back to free-agent center Erik Haula. He also wondered if they might consider adding free-agent goaltender Jimmy Howard, pointing out Stars GM Jim Nill’s ties to Howard during their time with the Detroit Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill could put Bishop and Seguin on long-term injury reserve to make an affordable signing or two to offset their absences on a short-term basis. It could depend, however, on when the 2020-21 season begins. Bishop and Seguin could be good to go if the season opens in March.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Matthew DeFranks was asked about the possibility of Corey Perry returning with the Stars. He believes the 35-year-old winger would have to take a pay cut on the $1.5 million in base salary and $1.75 million in bonuses that he was paid last season. He cited recent rumors linking Perry to the Ottawa Senators and noted the Stars want to inject some youth into their forward lines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve believed Perry could return to the Stars for another season. I’m not so sure now after reading DeFranks’ take. They have the cap space to sign him but he might be reluctant to accept a pay cut. We’ll see.


  1. Someone please explain why it’s impossible for a left-shot defence man to play on the right side. Wingers do it all the time.

    • Something to do with the difficulty making a certain turn when suddenly converting to defense – I think Phaneuf experienced that when switched from his natural shot to the opposite side … and wasn’t that an issue also with Gonchar?

      • Because playing on your off side has you playing more backhands, it’s a comfort level thing. When you’re defending against the best in the world, you need to have some comfort level

      • My point, George, is that there are skills involved – different turns, different perspective – but they can be learned, can’t they?
        Wouldn’t a defence man who can play both sides be more valuable to his team?
        Mike Babcock was convinced that defence men needed to play on their strong side and, at one time, his opinion carried a lot of weight but it seems to me that having players who can play either side on the blue line adds to a team’s strength.
        Why keep looking for that elusive right defence man – why not develop prospects who can play either side?

      • Noted. Curious to know if there has ever been an ambidextrous hockey player – either F or D. In baseball, a switch-hitter used to be a lot more common than it is today. I think, too, way back there was even a pitcher who could throw effectively with either arm.

      • @George O…YOu seem well connexted I heard today for the third time in 5 weeks Penguins are interested and have talked about Chara.

        It is Boston and if not Pittsburgh has serious interest.

        Personally he could play 15 to 18 minutes a game on the third pair with home ever… ceci or Matheson.. he wouldnt have to play 23 25 like he was in Boston.

        Crosby Malkin would be a bit safer with big Z around.

        He brings toughness, character and leadership to team that needs all three. If pettersson screws up can move up with young budding john marino.

        You know anything?
        Black n gold

    • Wrong side forwards have the edge on one timers and sheltering the puck when driving to the middle. They have edge in corner body checking.

      Wrong side defensemen can’t use the boards as easily in ringing it out of defense zone or keeping it in the offense offense zone.

      Wrong side defensemen turn more easily to the inside but are more often than not challenged to the outside.

      Wrong side defensemen have their sticks on the “wrong side” to block cross ice passing

    • Lots of coaches prefer D on their strong side, not just Babcock. I dare say most do.
      All the things habfan30 said, plus the outlet pass up the middle of the ice, and even the 6′ quick pass to the C helping in front of net. Those on the back hand under pressure are not ideal. Much more common now as opposing team take away the rim with the D pinching and teams try to exit with speed and control in a group. Rim is last resort when you have zero time.

      You’re right about the part of it being a skill BCLeafFan, some are better than others. Russell just signed for another year in Edmonton and one of the reasons is he can play either side without much of a drop.
      But still a drop.

      • Having played the left side as a left the shot defenseman the main problem is when the puck is shot into your corner you’re turning your back on the play and the second it takes you to turn up ice you’re getting plastered if you defense partner isn’t back to receive your ring around behind the net. I liked the right side because of my point shot and found it easier to break up passes and rushes towards the net. Some players don’t mind it nor coaches. If you’re effective you’ll play.

  2. In the 2015 draft Sweeney tried to bundle his 3 consecutive 1st round picks to move up in the draft to select Hanifin and was unsuccessful in his efforts.

    Fast forward now he might be able to trade for Hanifin and the cost is not the 3 first round selections (or combination of two whatever the offer was) but Boston 1st 2nd round pick of the same draft Brendon Carlo.

    I can see Sweeney being all over this as he likes his local boys.

    • I like the idea of Hanafin in Boston Caper.
      Not sure I like the idea of giving up Carlo to get him.
      Hanafin is an elite skater, good size, still young. I have watched him live half a dozen times and he looks great. Defends well.
      But if you are moving Carlo to get him the upside isn’t that great and Carlo costs less.
      Hanafin shows better, but is he really any better when you look at what they actually accomplish?
      Would like to have a big fast young D, but would prefer if they moved DeBrusk and ?? to get him.

      Lauzon? Or is that too much?

      • Ray, i like your proposal; it would certainly improve Boston D.

        As I stated many times i’m a big Carlo fan and prefer if he stays.

        I don’t see Debrusk as a need for the Flames with Tkachuck and Gaudreau occupying the left side, then they have Lucic and Nordstrom.

        I think from Calgary pov it has to be Carlo.

      • Agree with Caper here. Calgary doesn’t need another LW; especially if his salary demand rumours are anywhere near true. Hanifin for Carlo would allow them to run three strong right-side D (depending on your Tanev opinion) and free up some room for the options on the left.

      • Don’t disagree from Calgary’s perspective boys. But for Boston you are just replacing one D man for another one that costs more.
        LD vs RD sure, but Carlo costs less, plays more minutes and the point differential is minimal and Carlo gets zero PP time.
        Boston’s prospect depth is the left side as well.

        I understand the lure as Hanafin is a bigger name, but as far as results go. Not much of a difference IMO.

      • It’s hard to imagine the Wings being involved in a trade for Hannafin, and just as hard imagining them trading Hronek. Just don’t see it.

      • Carlo has one season left, what do you think Carlo next contract will be.

        The other part Boston need is a LD, so the move makes sense that was having Hanifin and McAvoy top pair.

        My biggest wonder is Sweeney and how he see Hanifin because of trying to move up in 2015 to get him.

        Does Sweeney still have the same interest?

        Perfectly fine keeping Carlo but wonder where Sweeney head is.

      • I get what you’re saying Caper, would be nice to have that top pair or pair of top guys, as I don’t know if they would even play together?
        I’m kind of with Augustus, just from the Bruins side – Would like to keep Carlo and add Hanafin.
        But doubt if that is doable.
        No idea where Sweeney’s head is. In a holding pattern it seems with regards to anything. Knowing when the season starts, and what Chara is up to would help.

  3. To acquire Hannifin would take a lot.
    Would have to be a block buster.

    • Calgary signed LD Nesterov, who never made it as a full time dman and has been in Russia last 3 seasons. Valunaki is a good prospect, but still unproven. Giordano is 37 with 2 years left at 6.75m per. Could be a buyout candidate next off season. Sorry. Just don’t see Calgary trading best young defenseman they have. But, if they were interested, I’d swap DeAngelo for him.

  4. Sabres would be interested in Hanifin if Calgary took Ristolainen as part of the return. I would also add Mitts or Asplund as a sweetener.

    • Calgary will hard pass on Risto. Why would they trade Hanifin for a worse defender with a higher salary (that would push them to the very limit of the cap if not over even before resigning Kylington).

      • Much the same with De Angelo, good on offence. On defence not so much.

  5. Yes, it is amusing seeing so many ideas suggesting Hanifin traded for a forward.

    The Flames are seeking a RD WITH Hanifin on the team, what purpose does it serve even trading him 1 for 1 for a RD… unless they are 100% positive Valimaki and Kylington are BOTH healthy and ready to rock the NHL full time, makes no sense to me. Giordano is not going to be around much longer either so I’m not sure why they would weaken the left side in the year or two before he hangs them up or is left available for Seattle.

    But please, for the love of god, no more “Hanifin for DeBrusk” suggestions, it simply is not happening. Treliving is not Chiarelli.

    Two UFA options Flames could have on the cheap as depth for the right side are Jan Ruutta and Madison Bowey – preference to the experienced Ruutta.

    For a trade scenario, Tree, please feel free to trade Derek Ryan’s 4th line 3.5m salary. If you can find a taker for Lucic you’ll be deified.

    • Good luck on the Lucic trade Augustus, and Tree should get a statue for that. But hey Holland found a trade partner for him!
      I know I am asking you to predict the future, but is Hanafin going to be that #1 he was projected to be when drafted? You’re a Flames fan I assume, to me he seems like a guy who leaves you wanting more. Would like your opinion.
      The talent is obvious, but just kind of meh with the results IMO.

      • Ray, I am indeed a Flames fan, been a hockey fan since ’94, growing up in Vancouver – moved to Calgary in ’98 and experienced the Freddie Brathwaite era and was 16 years old for the ’04 run.

        I like Hanifin overall, I do not think he will reach the “Scott Niedermayer clone” potential, no …. but as a steady defender who can get the puck out of the D zone, I like him…. I’d equate his potential with that of, say, Alex Edler with a little less offensive flair for point-getting during prime years. The kind of defenceman where you say “huh, haven’t noticed him too much…. GOOD” lol.

      • Ray, Ryan Murray would be another great example of this type of player. I don’t know if Ryan Murray has Hanifin’s speed, but he is quietly a very good well-rounded defenceman who I think the Devils will be extremely happy with.

    • Augustus, there isn’t enough sweetener in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory to get anyone to take Lucic.

      • George, unfortunately, I know haha. We’re stuck with him until the buyout window 2 years from now opens up and its cheaper to get rid of him.

  6. Funny I was thinking Ristolainen, Mittlestadt and Thompson for Hannifin and Bennett. Flames save $700k

    • Burke said Risto was a definite no go from the flames.

  7. My thoughts .. would like to see the Bruins sign Anthony Duclair & package DeBrusk, one of their young Dmen and a draft pick if needed for a LD with size who can run the PP

    • If DeBrusk is willing to go with 2.5 per on a 2 year deal, perhaps Boston can re-engage with Anaheim like they did for the Kase-Heinen trade.

      Would you take Cam Fowler and a pick or prospect in exchange for DeBrusk and Grzelcyk? I don’t know much about Grzelcyk’s ceiling, or how good he is right now, but the money works anyway, if DeBrusk doesn’t ask for 3 or higher.

    • You mentioned Duclair yesterday Joe, and early this morning on that thread I asked “would you sign him for $3 mil per for 2 years?”

      That’s what he turned down from Dorion and since he’s yet to sign anywhere as a UFA you have to think he’s holding fast to something beyond that.

      Being your own agent can be the same as being your own worst enemy. I’m betting that, whenever and wherever he signs, someone gets him for $1 mil and 1 year. Prove it again Anthony.

      • George it seems to me Duclair & DeBrusk are the same type players maybe DeBrusk a little better on the D …same size & age …..if they ca get AD for 3 per I would do it and use the trade chip DeBrusk & Lauzon with a draft pick or young player for that Dman they really need ……with DeBrusk ties to the Oilers wonder if they would’ be interested and what would it take to get Nurse …… a Nurse , Craig Smith & Anthony Duclair add wouldn’t be a bad offseason …..

  8. Perry is NOT coming to Ottawa. And with just $257,969 showing in Current Cap Space following the re-signing of RFA Hintz he isn’t returning to Dallas either – unless they’re pretty sure Johns and his $2,350,000 cap hit again starts the year on LTIR with his ongoing concussion issues.

    • aside from Johns on LTIR if Seguin and Bishop start the year on LTIR as projected then Nill could make it work. Perry , Oettinger , Robertson all make the stars roster. Kero and L’esperance have a shot but have to clear waivers to go back to Texas.