NHL Rumor Mill – November 19, 2020

by | Nov 19, 2020 | Rumors | 45 comments

The latest Bruins speculation plus some free-agent options available to the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: DJ Bean examined what’s left for the Bruins to do during this offseason. They must sign winger Jake DeBrusk, determine if defenseman Zdeno Chara will return and fill a need for depth among their middle-six forwards.

Will Zdeno Chara return to the Boston Bruins? (NHL Images)

Given the Bruins’ limited salary-cap space ($7.35 million per PuckPedia) and DeBrusk’s streaky scoring, Bean believes the 22-year-old restricted free agent should receive a short-term deal worth somewhere in the range of $4 million annually.

Nothing much has happened with Chara, but if the unrestricted free agent wanted to leave, Bean thinks he would’ve done so by now. He feels the Bruins could use him as a third-pairing, left-side defenseman.

Bean believes the Bruins need additional left-wing depth. Possible options could include Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair, Erik Haula or Andreas Athanasiou. He doubts they have sufficient cap space for Hoffman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Bruins intend to sign DeBrusk on that short-term deal suggested by Bean. It’ll likely happen by the time training camp opens, which could be around mid-December if the NHL begins its 2020-21 schedule on Jan. 1.

Chara is reportedly waiting to see what the schedule forward for ’20-’21 looks like before deciding if he’ll return for another season. I concur with Bean that if the 43-year-old rearguard was signing with another club he would’ve done so by now, though we can’t rule out the possibility he’d get a better offer elsewhere. Nevertheless, I believe his preference is playing for the Bruins.

The Bruins could go the free-agent route to address their need for another left winger. Unless they make a cost-cutting trade, however, they can’t afford Hoffman. They might have to go into the bargain bin.

They could also go the trade route to address that need. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty reports prospect defenseman Urho Vaakanainen could be a trade candidate.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger examined the free-agent options available to Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen if he wants to bring in additional depth.

The Jackets could use a short-term replacement for Gustav Nyquist, who’s sidelined for five months recovering from shoulder surgery. Options include Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, Erik Haula and former Blue Jackets Derick Brassard and Anthony Duclair. However, Hedger believes Kekalainen could instead look at promoting a promising young player.

Hedger feels the Jackets’ blueline depth took a bit of a hit when Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivaara were traded in cost-cutting deals. He suggests Sami Vatanen would be a good fit on the right side of the third pairing.

Kekalainen might need an experienced goalie if he decides to trade Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo for additional cap space. Options could include Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard, and Ryan Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets popgun offense was a concern before Nyquist was sidelined. Kekalainen could go the UFA route or promote from within, but I’ve also read reports suggesting he could instead target a cap-strapped rival in the trade market.

Kekalainen could look to within his system to address his need on the third pairing but I wouldn’t rule out making an affordable short-term free-agent signing. Vatanen might be the best option but might not be cost-effective.

If Kekalainen trades Merzlikins or Korpisalo I believe he’ll promote Matiss Kivlenieks rather than add an aging UFA netminder.


  1. Re Bruins…

    to me Chara a Bruin or a retiree (BnG, just this morning read ur post from yesterday re Chara and Pens… I can’t see it happening)

    Agree re potential Cap on DeBrusk in that range

    Re Hoffman…. again as I said earlier…. all depends on finalized sched start

    If 1/1 (I have big doubts) ….. that’s at Least a full month of both Pasta and March on LTIR…. that could be a 1/4 if the season…. making the need for Hoffman greater; and the LTIR savings a good fraction towards space needed for Hoffman

    Jarmo gets PLD signed before game 1 IMHO; and I can’t see him signing Duclair … to me the Tortz/Duclair thing won’t work

    • Pengy……Boston is his first love but I believe if he plays anywhere else (and doesn’t retire) I think Rutherford is waiting to pounce and we could use him….
      Penguins have a way of getting things/players like Marian Hossa, Phil Kessel, Jason Zucker, Ron Francis Tom Barrasso, Ulf Samuelson etc….This organization has a long history so…we will see

      Doesn’t mean its going to happen but there have been more than one source saying there might be a chance for Chara in Pittsburgh if he decides to go elsewhere and not retire…and he would still be in black and gold.

      Pittsburgh will have a solid defense moving forward.


      # 6 Pierre Oliver Joseph almost made the tem out of camp last year

      # 9 Cam Lee big rugged lefthanded defenseman. solid overall game.

      #10 Joshua Maniscalco terrific skater, passer, offensive defenseman. He sees the ice extremely well.

      # 17 William Reilly. College free agent signing! He is a big, physical, good skating, all around defenseman. He is our sleeper!! He was also captain of the RPI hockey team good d-man.

      Even if two of these make it with John Marino and Brian Dumoulin solid future..

      • oooppps sorry I’m dyslexic..

        I meant our top 20 players under 25 in Penguins organization 4 are defenseman that are close…

      • Hi BnG

        I just can’t see Big Z being on Pens

        He would be 3LD …. and if so….. sitting $4.9 M (Matheson) doesn’t seem logical

        I think the pairings are reasonable:


        The key is to make sure CR doesn’t play…. at all. 6th D must be Riikola

        Pens right now at 23 and $1.3 M in space ; plus ZAR starts year on LTIR ;and currently his Sal counting in Cap but not his count in the 23)

        CR down plus another forward puts space at $2.8 M …. for a second count ZARs $1M on LTIR…. technically $3.8 M in space with 2 spots open….. here are some options:

        Duclair OR

        Haula AND Koekkoek ;OR

        Haula AND DelZ ;OR

        Vats AND Cagiula; OR

        Vats AND Kovalchuck (at league min)

      • “ 6th D must be Riikola”…. should read “7th D”

    • Pengy..it probably wo t happen..but if it’s not Boston and he doesnt retire why not Pittsburgh black n gold..

      Competition is good let chara Matheson ceci battle for two spots o ly makes us better.

      Matheson will b left u protected in the expansion drat hello kracken..

  2. What’s left for Bruins this offseason??? Everything. They are passed their window and need to rebuild. No longer in same class as Leafs, VGK and Lightning.

    • “past”

    • Wendel the same leafs that haven’t made it “ passed “ the first round?

    • The Leafs that “passed” on playoff hockey this “passed” season?

      And where is your “bank it” Pietrangelo to the Leafs announcement?

      • I didn’t realize , like the rest of the GMs that Dubas pulled another miracle out of nowhere to steal the Bobby Orr of the KHL for 925k. WOW!!!

        Have you seen his stats and he even had Covid.

        Methinks we have added a top pair RD For barely more than the minimum. I can hardly believe it, this team is so good. He will be as good as AP if not better at almost 8M per year less.

        This deal has “Panarin-like” written all over it.

        I feel sorry for the other GMs being so outclassed by the boy wonder.

        Admit it haters it will be therapuetic.

        (I did omit Avs in the elite team class to be fair)

        It is so great to support the most important team in the league!!!


      • Wendel haha you are something special. Pass the bong please. :->

      • Ta wendel he’s another Tyson Barrie in Toronto

      • I’m pretty sure Wendel is actually Kyle Dubas’ mother.

      • Double minor , google James tanner , read two or three of his articles and I think you will quickly see where Wendell gets his regurgitated garbage . Classic example from just the last couple days .
        One day , Tampa should fold , the next they are listed among the elites and Toronto . Lol

        Another classic he likes is proclaiming the leafs are set and in great shape for the cup the next two couple years with no key players to sign , then in the next post slamming Freddy and proclaiming the team has lost all faith in him and they can’t win anything with him .

        One last one , proclaims goal scoring is twice as valuable as assists , Yet only sees a small overpayment at 10.8 for Marner . Career high 26 goal Mitch Marner .

        I can’t say for sure it’s not mother Dubas , but if it is , she is tanners #1 fan .

      • Craig I’m guessing you pull the hair of girls u like .thanks foe being a fan!!

      • Classic Wendell , surprised you actually returned , nothing to say , but returned lol . Probably embarrassing seeing your garbage posted to re read and that’s just a few examples that I remember haha. Good response , really hurt my feelings , I don’t know what I’ll do next … haha .

      • Wendel can be a bit much Craig, but you have to admit the “pull the hair of the girls you like” part was pretty funny.
        Made me laugh any way.

      • We have different definitions of funny I guess , I don’t really get it , don’t think I care to get it . A bit much , it a bit of an understatement, 1 notch above eddy i suppose , Wendell does mix in a touch of sense , the odd time , well I remember once he did anyways lol

    • Leafs? Sure, homer.

    • Alex what is name a non PO team a contender & a Stanley Cup champ.

    • Truth is Leafs are not in same class as the Bear Toronto is like a farm team compared to Boston. Toronto is soft and has zero heart and I mean zero their best player doesn’t want to be there and Marner is week and disappears every playoff. Boston is full of passion and heart and when push comes to shove will destroy those week little boys.Leafs signed Tavares and soon after it was brought to our attention that’s his teammates on the Island couldn’t stand him big mistake. Keep dreaming and GOOD LUCK!!!!

  3. There are many teams wanting Hoffman I think he is waiting for the first team available to give him 5 mil despite his attitude 30 goal scorers dont grow on trees. Bruins need someone to fit under the cap I suggest Duclair or Athanasiou

    • There will still be some NHL talent available after the start of the season. Without knowing exactly when the season will start, Sweeney is a bit handcuffed due to the significant players currently recovering from injury.

      If 1/1 is solidified as the start date, I suspect he will sign one or two wingers to add some depth while Pasta and Marchand recover. He still may if the start date gets pushed back to February.

      There’s also a good chance he gives kids like Studnicka, Frederic and Bjork a shot as middle six wingers before picking up a Duclair or Athanasiou.

      • Agree DM, there is time. Find out what reality is before you make decisions.
        Caper I think Studnicka gets a shot with Kecji as he has the hockey sense, and Smith with Coyle is where I think he goes too. Looks like a good match IMO. Kase? Glad we have him early on with the injuries, and there will be more so you can move him around.
        With the B’s 3C’s you can move wingers around and see what clicks and matchups.
        Coyle’s line draws more tough assignments now that Bergeron is getting older. So guys like Smith and Bjork (if he continues to accept that role) make sense. I like the Smith signing.
        Re LD – I still think Zboril gets a shot. I hope he comes in ready. I agree they add, but a depth move. If Chara thinks he can go and accepts a smaller role, he will be back. Can’t see how he doesn’t miss it.
        They may just promote from within save the cap $$ for TDL if they really think they can contend and Hall is sick of Buffalo.

  4. Chara will play in Boston or no where depending on the schedule Bruins are done FA wise unless Sweeney can move out Moore and or others Team will be good again this year

  5. Bean says Boston middle 6 forwards need tweaking. I’ll be a little more specific. Boston second line needs tweaking.

    first line Marchand Bergeron Pastrnak
    Second line: Debrusk Krejci (Kase)
    third line: Bjork Coyle Smith
    fourth line: Ritchie Kuraly Wagner

    where does Studnicka fit? Kulman?

    I think Sweeney is done, he would like to add a LD for the right price.

  6. Columbus is showing 22 man roster, not counting PLD. Also not on main roster are both Texier and Foudy. So even with Nyquist out, that’s still 24 man roster. Someone will be moved down. Can’t see them signing Hoffman as PLD will take up most available cap space and Nyquist will eventually be back. I don’t see a need to trade a goalie. IMO they’re better off keeping both in case of injury. Vatanen on defense might add some offense from the back end, but again, not necessary.

  7. Big fan of the rumors — its fun to ponder “this guy to this team” and the impact it would have. However, all of this talk about trades to get under the team cap, the macro discussion is being missed. Without the 10% overage, there is about $125M in total space left. Just in UFAs alone, there is $115M in total salaries (assuming all UFAs want to make what they did last season, or more). And then you have the small group of RFAs that still need to be signed (again some are expecting significant increases — like Debrusk [ who has definitely earned it]). I know enough about the CBA and cap manipulation to be dangerous, the math doesn’t seem to work. Trading players doesn’t seem like a solution to larger problem.

    • I’ve been trying to get that same thought across for months Wingnut – the math is no closer to adding up now than it did in August when first examining the hefty list of RFAs not to mention UFAs likely to be signed.

      For some it’s always been a matter of 1 + 1 = “where there’s a will there’s a way” and damn the torpedoes!

      • Put another way, currently there are 187 players technically without jobs who were employed last season by the 31 NHL teams – an average of 6 per team.

        38 of those are RFAs – both at the major league and minor league levels – most of whom should be re-signed at some point – but not without some other moves being made in quite a few cases.

        Of the 149 UFAs still floating about, many will realistically either call it quits or look for employment in Europe. A few may get PTOs, while only a small number have a valid chance of getting an NHL job – but probably nowhere near what they (and their agents) thought they’d get 5 months ago. And again, their signing could also result in further necessary roster shuffling by the signing team due to cap restraints.

        But with the whole season up in the air despite all the positive chatter, NONE of those UFAs will be getting any sort of deal until a firm date is announced for the opening of training camps. And THAT, as far as I can see, could still be months away.

      • Well put George! Was hoping someone with more knowledge than me would lay it out. The pundits saying get this guy or that guy off the roster to make room…. that’s kind of shortsighted….. where are they to go. Just because the Red Wings/Devils have cap space doesn’t mean they are going to take a bad contract or a player that at the end of their career. They want to win as well.

        Really looking forward to gettin’ some hockey going. This year’s playoffs were a great reprieve from all of the negative energy we all getting pelted with.

  8. I look fw to Wendel’s posts, dripping with sarcasm, they’re entertaining.

  9. Studnicka all day . He got into the playoffs and looked really good. Far better than Athanasiou or Duclair in every sense. I want to say a rookie of the year candidate but won’t get the ice time or PP time

  10. Have I missed something on this Studnicka kid? Rookie of the year candidate? (if he got the ice time or pp action). What is that based on? Not being confrontational – but I assume there has to be something other than having OK stats.

    He’s a 6’1″ 170lb winger taken in the 2nd round (53rd overall) in 2017 whose 1 season in the AHL wasn’t bad by any means (23g 26a 49pts in 60 gp), ranking 13th in the AHL … but there are some who finished ahead of him with a lot more points (and in some cases, far fewer gp), not to mention some pretty good draft picks this season who all figure to be in the rookie mix.

    • George, it is because he is Boston’s highest skilled forward prospect. He is what we have that has a chance to play in the top 6. There is no one else.

      I have no idea if he will be all that, but he should get a chance after a full season in Providence where he led the team in scoring.
      Put up pts in Jr, team captain, works hard, plays hard, smart player etc.
      I would play him with good players for the first 10 games or so. They could really use him if it works out.
      If it doesn’t work out, plug in one of the other guys, but you ain’t gonna hit a home run with one of them.
      If he is smart he put on some muscle in the off season.

  11. I think that there are several owners who are looking for a way out of playing the season.

    The NHL is a business. How many times have we seen that?
    Well, the entire idea of a business is to MAKE money, not lose it. People confuse sports with some sort of higher duty to play. As if owners should be required to lose hundreds of millions
    of dollars, so that you can watch hockey on TV.

    It doesn’t work like that in the real world.

    I’m feeling very pessimistic about the season. I think that several owners are digging in and that there is a real chance that the season will be cancelled.
    If the owners can’t make money and stand to lose millions, why should they?
    Would you?

    Folks, it’s simple economics. Several teams were already are in the red before Covid.
    Without a proven vaccine, there will be empty arenas for the foreseeable future. No fans equals no cash.

    f I am the owner of Arizona, I’m not looking forward to losing my shirt and maybe my franchise.
    Anyway, that’s my take on things.

    And now back to our show.
    Today was DeBrusk day, so that means tomorrow is Hoffman’s turn.
    And so it goes.

    • Ty for economics 101 lol

      Many holes in your one sided view point. Damage to the NHL brand is missing. Franchise net value another. Competition for viewers. Etc

      • Nonsense.
        Damage to the NHL brand?

        How? In case you missed it, there is a pandemic going on. People are not concerned with the “NHL Brand” when they are losing lover ones and their livelihood.
        Did you happen to miss the TV ratings for the last Cup?

        Competition for viewers? See TV ratings.

        Franchise Net Value?
        What do you think will happen to the value of the smaller market teams if they are forced to loses hundreds of millions by playing in front of nobody.
        Yes, they will skyrocket!

        Wake up. Except for the diehards like us, the average person has a lot more on his plate than the NHL.
        If the NHLPA can’t reach a deal the season will be cancelled. The players are acting like things have not taken a turn for the worse.

        This is a serious question.
        If the NHL season is cancelled what portion of the population will care?
        Higher in Canada perhaps but overall less than 5%.

      • All very true nevinsrip. And we should always keep in mind that it didn’t stop both sides from digging in their heels on their positions about how to divvy up billions and canceling an entire season.

        So why wouldn’t an owner want to see any sort of season cancelled when there’s absolutely nothing to be made from HIS perspective?

  12. Chara to Pittsburgh is interesting… but would it really be an improvement? With Crosby, Malkin and Letang, they do not lack Cup experience or leadership – Chara simply for leadership doesn’t seem realistic.

    Pens D pairs right now:

    Dumo – Letang
    Pettersson – Marino
    Matheson – Ceci/Rikola

    I don’t see how a 40 plus year old Chara improves on that significantly enough to keep Ceci in the press box or Rikola off the ice either.

  13. Fast Forward if I may … the 2021-22 Bruins will be unrecognizable with the exception of prob 4 – 5 players … maybe

  14. Don’t overly care about stats. There is watching him and he has game. Or at least noticeable . Which you can’t say about even some veterans

    I didn’t say Studnicka would win and noted only as a candidate. Lafreniere
    Foudy Vlardi are your 123. Maybe not in that order

  15. The Trump Administration has deemed professional athletes essential workers in the United States.
    May 28, 2020

    What a moron seeing the need to declare it essential.

    Sports and other forms of live entertainment are free to return to Florida, so long as they stay closed to the general public. … According to Jerry Demings, the mayor of Orange County, Florida (where Orlando is), WWE was originally not among the pro sports deemed essential.Apr 14, 2020

    Not originally a sport. 😂😂

    • Glad you got that off your chest must of gave you some sleepless nights