Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 29, 2020

by | Nov 29, 2020 | Rumors | 13 comments

Updates on the remaining notable unrestricted free agents in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Emily Sadler recently updated the status of the top remaining NHL unrestricted free agents. She noted the UFA market is at a standstill given the uncertainty over the season.

Mike Hoffman remains the top player available in the NHL UFA market (NHL Images).

Mike Hoffman still tops the list of available talent. Sadler noted the Nashville Predators were believed to have an interest in the winger. The Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils could use more scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators, Jackets and Devils have the cap space to sign Hoffman to the one-year deal he’s seeking worth between $5.5 million and $6 million. If they are interested in him, however, they’re likely playing the waiting game hoping he’ll lower his asking price. Once we know when (if?) the season will begin, perhaps he’ll sign with one of them.

Sadler believes teams that fail to sign Hoffman could turn their focus toward winger Mikael Granlund. The annual average value on his previous contract was $5.75 million but he’ll have to accept less than that now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granlund will likely have to accept a lot less given the current economic situation and the decline in his production over the last two seasons. He could be looking at offers of $2.5 million on a one-year deal.

Travis Hamonic’s Manitoba roots, combined with the Jets’ need for blueline depth, makes Winnipeg a potential match. Sadler also suggested the Calgary Flames could use him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets are above the salary cap by over $697K but could have the wiggle room to add Hamonic (if they wish) by placing Bryan Little and his $5.29 million cap hit on LTIR. I don’t think we’ll see a reunion between Hamonic and the Flames unless he agrees to a substantial pay cut.

Sadler pointed out winger Anthony Duclair is currently training in Arizona with such notables as Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Matt Dumba and Jonathan Toews.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That might help Duclair’s value if he’s training with some of the league’s top stars. As Sadler points out, he appears determined to be at his best for the coming season.

Noting Ilya Kovalchuk’s brief but successful stint with the Canadiens, Sadler wonders if a return to Montreal is possible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That ship sailed when the Habs acquired Josh Anderson and signed Tyler Toffoli last month.

The Vancouver Canucks could still be searching for a defenseman. Sadler suggested Sami Vatanen as a possible fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are over the cap by $1.5 million but could get some relief if Micheal Ferland’s post-concussion issues put him on LTIR. His annual average value is $3.5 million, giving the Canucks some room to add Vatanen or another defenseman at an affordable price.


  1. Everyone always praises Sweeney’s signings but that always seems to be a smokescreen for his lack of player transactions. If all the rumours were true you would think Sweeney might be able land one of the big names thrown around! It never happens with this pug he can’t pull it off ever! His draft record is horrible I hope this is his last season.

    • Boston’s record over a 5 year stretch with Sweeney as GM is 229-120-49. That’s a .637 win % – good for 3rd in the NHL in that same span.

      I can think of a LOT of GMs who would give their eye teeth for that record.

      They’ve also played 55 games in 9 playoff rounds with an overall records of 27w 28l. Again, there are a LOT of GMs who would be happier than pigs in s&^t with that record. No, it doesn’t include a cup but what the heck – do you think they should win one every other year?

      Since the turn of the Century there have been 19 cup awarded – only Pittsburgh and Chicago have won as many as 3, followed by Los Angeles, Tampa & Detroit with 2 – one-time winners are St. Louis, Washington, Boston, Anaheim, Colorado, New Jersey and Carolina.

      That’s just 12 different teams in a league that went from 30 to 31 teams in 2018 – so, far more organizations have gone cupless since the turn of the century.

      • George, don’t waste your breath on this guy. I don’t think he is a Boston fan at all! ALL he does is complain about Sweeney. With what you put, plus add the award for top GM and a president’s trophy last year, I think many teams out there would fire their GMs on their GM on the spot if Sweeney was available.

      • LOL, BosBrn32, I think the same way about Wendell – and said as much before – but despite his denial, I still believe he is anything BUT a Leafs fan and make those often bizarre points simply to stir up anti-Leafs responses. I mean, some of them are so ridiculously out of left field there can be no other explanation, especially since, when offering comments on other subject matters, he makes sound points!

  2. George,

    I would think that RWM’s point would be that Sweeney basically inherited the team of the last 3 years.

    Many of the important players (Chara, Bergeron, Marchand, etc) are aging, Krug is gone.

    How’s that building the team for the future coming along under Sweeney?
    Because that future is not so far off.

    There is frustration concerning Sweeney’s 3 mid 1st Round picks in 2015 (Zboril, DeBrusk, Senshyn) compared to the 3 players who were chosen immediately afterwards (Barzal, Connor, Chabot).

    There actually is a fair amount of stuff to criticize.

    I’m not an owner and I don’t really care about the Bruins much, but if I were an owner I would rather keep my eye teeth, thank you, than pick up Sweeney.


    • Sorry George, typo.

      Make that “the team of the last “5” years”, not “3”.

    • Bravo!! People often forget his poor draft choices and absolutely inept manner in signing in any GOOD free agents.
      Sweeney is great at signing players already on the team that’s all about all he is good at. The bruins this year will feel the age crunch. A shorter season might actually favor them somewhat but I don’t think there’s enough there to get them into the post season. Sweeney as usual didn’t do any thing to improve the team!

  3. Well, yeah, those 3 picks are puzzling – in hindsight – but I think DeBrusk will continue to develop and, it must be kept in mind this was his first draft in 2015 and he was probably following the recommendations of his scouting staff.

    That same year, after he picked Senyshyn 15th, 5 D-men were taken ahead of Brando Carlo who was taken 37th. While he’s played 297 NHL games with 12g 39a 51 pts, Noah Juulsen, taken 26th by Montreal, has 44gp 2g 6a 8pts, Jacob Larsson, taken 37th by Anaheim, has 113gp 2g 14a 16 pts, Gabriel Carlsson, yaken 29th by Anaheim, has23gp 0g 3a 3pts, Jeremy Roy, yaken 31st by San Jose has yet to play an NHL game, and Travis Dermott, taken 34th by Toronto, has 157gp with 9g 32a 41 pts

    In 2016 he took Charlie McAvoy 14th – 184gp 19g 73a 92pts while D taken before him include Olli Juolevi 5th by Vancouver and has yet to play an NHL game, Mikhail Sergachev 9th by Montreal – who promptly dealt him to Tampa (and we all know how THAT turned out), while Jake Bean went 13th to Carolina and who has played in all of 2 NHL games.

    So, there have been positive along the way when it comes to drafting.

  4. Bruins are dropping like a lead balloon. Likely to miss playoffs this year.

    • Wendel Some one has to keep the Leafs company!

      • This is true

  5. I think Yzerman should work out a sign-and-trade with Mike Hoffman. Sign him to the big, dumb one- year contract he wants, then trade him to a team with little cap space and retain as much salary as he can while taking a sweetener in return.

    Hoffman gets the deal he wants, someone else gets him for half-price, Yzerman adds another draft pick to stockpile