NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2020

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Rumors | 30 comments

The latest on Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault and Mike Hoffman in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Justin Emerson noted TSN’s report earlier this week claiming the Vegas Golden Knights were looking into shopping winger Max Pacioretty. He examined their options if they decide to go that route.

Vegas Golden Knights owners Bill Foley denied a report claiming his club was shopping Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Emerson cited TSN’s speculation the Golden Knights could use the cap flexibility from moving Pacioretty to perhaps sign a more affordable player such as Mike Hoffman or Erik Haula. Replacing Pacioretty with Hoffman would make sense offensively but Emerson wondered if a better positional player like Haula (a former Golden Knight) might be a better idea.

Haula would be a more affordable option than Hoffman, and the savings could be put toward perhaps adding another player such as Anthony Duclair. However, Emerson feels the Golden Knights would have a bigger target in mind if they traded away Pacioretty.

They could attempt to sign New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal to an offer sheet but that seems unlikely, especially if the compensation to the Isles becomes four first-round picks. Emerson proposed going the trade route, suggesting the Nashville Predators (Viktor Arvidsson or Filip Forsberg) or New York Rangers (Ryan Strome or Pavel Buchnevich) as possible trade partners.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights owner Bill Foley recently dismissed the notion of trading Pacioretty. Given the dire dearth of real trade rumors, however, it won’t stop folks from speculating about what they could get in return by shopping him.

The Predators could attempt to shake things up and they have the cap space to take on Pacioretty’s contract. However, I don’t believe Nashville general manager David Poile would take on a 32-year-old winger carrying a $7 million annual average value for the next three seasons, and I don’t see him parting with Arvidsson or Forsberg.

Strome ($4.5 million AAV) and Buchnevich ($3.25 million) surfaced in trade speculation earlier this year but GM Jeff Gorton probably prefers starting the season with those two in his lineup and see how the season unfolds.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited two NHL sources claiming the Los Angeles Kings are interested in attempting to land the player they thought they had two years ago. The Kings tried to acquire Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens at the 2018 NHL Draft but the deal fell through and the winger was subsequently shipped to Vegas.

Murphy also reported the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Winnipeg Jets were mentioned by sources as potential suitors for Pacioretty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings’ situation changed since the summer of 2018. They weren’t invested in a full rebuild back then. GM Rob Blake has since put his focus on stocking his roster with promising youth. I don’t see Pacioretty as a fit there.

The Devils have lots of cap space and could use a winger like Pacioretty but they might not be on his list of preferred destinations. The Isles lack the cap space and still need to sign Mathew Barzal. The Sabres made their big offseason acquisition by signing Taylor Hall.

Having lost Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov to free agency, the Panthers could be looking at adding a scorer like Pacioretty, but I wonder how keen they’d be to take on his cap hit. The Jackets are putting their focus on getting Pierre-Luc Dubois under contract. The Jets’ priority is shoring up their blueline once they put Bryan Little on LTIR.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien also took note of Foley denying the Pacioretty trade rumor but the Golden Knights owner admitted in the same interview his club needed to shed cap space. O’Brien proposed winger Jonathan Marchessault as the more likely trade candidate as he’s younger by two years and carries a more affordable cap hit at $5 million annually.

While acknowledging the Golden Knights could be exploring their options in the trade market, O’Brien doesn’t expect they’ll move either player. The club is in win-now mode and has a better chance of doing so with both forwards in the lineup. He suggests a smaller trade or two could alleviate their cap issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Golden Knights are nearly $975K over the $81.5 million salary cap. They could get cap relief by trading or demoting a lower-salaried player.

Management might prefer shipping out a higher-salaried player to have more cap wiggle room for the coming season. But as O’Brien points out, their chances of winning the Stanley Cup this season are better with Pacioretty and Marchessault in the lineup.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie recently asked a panel of guests if Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin might be tempted to sign Mike Hoffman to a one-year, $5 million contract.

Hoffman’s spat with former teammate Erik Karlsson during their final season with the Ottawa Senators raise concerns over the winger’s behavior, but he wasn’t a problem with the Florida Panthers. Signing Hoffman, however, would mean moving out Tomas Tatar and Brett Kulak to clear sufficient cap room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could Bergevin make a pitch for Hoffman? Sure, anything’s possible. Will he? No. The Canadiens GM made his big offseason moves by shipping Max Domi to Columbus for Josh Anderson and signing Tyler Toffoli to a four-year contract. Hoffman won’t be signing with the Habs.


  1. Well it was promising but unreasonable rumor on Patches. Hopefully the hot stove heats up soon. The Devs (and others) seem to keep coming up as a cap relief trade team. In regular times I would agree. but with no ticket revenue and a shortened TV schedule I think these teams will keep payroll to the barest minimum. The Devs will have even more cap room next year and with hopefully a vaccine in place a cleaner line of sight on profitability. I just hope they don’t rush any prospects.

    • I can see Berevin signing Hoffman for sure, because it would be another brutal move which is his specialty. They are locked in to 6th place this year. Zero chance of making playoffs…bahahaha!!!! What a mess they are: overpaid non performers on ridiculously long contracts . Look out Ottawa soon to be Quebec Nordiques , Habs are sinking fast and could challenge you for best ECHL team in NHL.

      • I wonder what organization you support Wendell17. With the history of the leafs and poor trades, you should probably keep your mouth shut.

  2. Marc Bergevin did a masterful job this off season, to me the Habs are ready to go.

    • Amen ,, I have not been this excited in a longtime.

      • Agreed. And I agree with Lyle on Hoffman. No chance the Habs sign him. I’m sure Bergevin had interest back in October, but it obviously couldn’t be worked out and they signed Toffoli instead to an affordable 4 year deal. That closed the door on Hoffman. As good a scorer as Hoffman is, I’d rather have Toffoli on the deal he signed than Hoffman for 1 year at $5.5-6m. At this point, they’d have to move out a big contract to sign him – Likely Tatar and someone like Kulak. Given the chemistry that Tatar has developed with Danault and Gallagher, I’m not sure it would be worthwhile.

    • Being a diehard Bruins fan, I’m interested to see how the Canadiens do this year. I really like their signings and I think they will be a very exciting team to watch. If Price has a strong season, I would not be surprised to see the Cup in Montreal!! Very good off season for them.

      • Yep. It pains me to acknowledge it, but the Habs look great. Should be a heck of a battle for the cup………if there is one.

      • Nice to hear the props from Bruins fans, for as a Habs fan I am eye brows high in the rivalry and know the intensity of the rivalry.

        How do you, BB32 and SPO, think the Bruins will do this year?

      • We’ll be right up there with the Habs,
        I expect a Cup win, but I’ve said that every year since Bergeron and Chara have been around, LJ.

      • I think Boston will compete again for the Cup. The loss of Krug isn’t as dire as many on here think. They have some quality young guys that need opportunities. Adding Smith and giving the kids more ice time is the right thing to do. There is a reason we are not GMs!

        Rask will be the difference maker in this. If all the news out of the locker room is correct, than it will be a great season. Another d-man would help (Vatanen, Hamonic or even Stone) but I honestly think it can be done during the season if needed!

        Bottom line…. NHL Playoff hockey is better when Montreal and Boston face off!

    • I’m a Leaf fan

      But if I look at the two rosters as a whole…. Habs, IMHO, are better

      Top 4 …. no doubt…. Leafs
      Top two lines … no doubt…. Leafs

      Bottom 6…. Habs

      Overall 4 lines…. Habs more balanced; Leafs top heavy…. too close to call

      D… Habs for sure
      Gs…. no ifs ands or buts…. Habs …. by…. far.

      So … overall…. IMHO, Habs on paper are better than Leafs for this upcoming season…. could play each other as many as 10 times this upcoming season

      Time will tell

      • Pengy, partisan though I am, think the Habs’ roster is better too.

        But one thing that might work in favour of the Leafs is the shortened season. As long as there are not a string of three games in four nights, the shorter season may benefit Thornton and Spezza.

      • Hi LJ

        I think there will likely be several times this year with 3 games in 4 nights

        13/1 start with proposed playoff start 1/5 and 56 games….. 107 days …. that’s better than a game every other night

        I would not be surprised with something like (for Leafs); 4 in 6 at Habs; followed by 4 in 6 at Sens; home for 5 game respite; host 4 in 6 against Cannucks then 4 in 6 against Jets; 5 day respite

        Off for 8 games in 12 in Alta

        Reverse home away repeat; etc

      • What a ridiculous post LJ. Habs and Sens will be the soft touches in Cdn division, but your comment about Spezza and Thornton makes look look like a fool. Like they will drive Leaf results in a shortened season and not AM34, Tavares, Nylander, Marner, Reilly, Lehtonen etc etc . What a dope.

      • The Habs traded Carey Price? Must have because theres zero chance hes “by far” better than current Leaf goalie Andersen.

  3. Completely agree with Lyle that CBJ’s priority is resigning Dubois. There is continuing reporting that they are also looking to add a F via trade particularly with cap strapped teams. The extent to which they are in on Patches or other F will likely depend on if they can either move or place Dubinsky on LTIR and if they are able/willing to place Nyquist on LTIR. If so they will have cap to add a scoring F.

  4. There are 9 teams currently over the cap (by widely varing amounts), 4 of which still have key RFAs to sign, all of which, in and of itself, might suggest a pressing need to move players in order to comply. The lack of any such activity owes as much in equal amounts to uncertainty as to if and when a season will even be held and the possibility of high-priced players starting on LTIR.

    Here are the 9 and their current situations including amount over the cap:

    TB – $1,904,166 – 19 signed – 2 RFAs – Cirelli a C – 16g 28a 44 pts coming off $728,333 and Cernak RD 5g 7a 12pts coming off $697,500 (at least $5.5 to re-sign both) – Stamkos $8.5 on LTIR?
    Van – $1,504,878 – 23 signed – Ferland $3.5 on LTIR?
    St.L – $1,175,515 – 21 signed – 1 RFA – LD Dunn 9g 14a 23pts coming off $722,500 ($2.5 on a bridge deal?) – Tarasenko $7.5 & Steen $5.75 on LTIR?
    Tor – $1,049,325 – 23 signed
    Wash – $1,024,877 – 21 signed – Kempny $2.5 on LTIR?
    Veg – $974,104 – 21 signed
    Ana – $929,999 – 22 signed – Kessler $6.875 definitely on LTIR
    Wpg – $697,856 – 22 signed – 1 RFA – C/RW Roslovic 12g 17a 29pts coming off $894,166 ($2 mil bridge?) – Little $5,291,667 probably LTIR
    Edm – $242,491 – 23 signed – 1 RFA – RD Bear 5g 16a 21pts coming off $720,000 ($2.5 mil on bridge?) – Klefbom $4,167,000 probably on LTIR

    Two others have less than ELC-level cap space

    Dallas – $257,469 – 23 signed – Bishop $4,916,666, Seguin $8.85 & Johns $2,350,000 on LTIR?

    Mtl – $383,691 – 21 signed

  5. The Hab are really built now for this new alignment. They can roll lines and have the keeper. they easily win best backup too in their new division.

  6. I can see Berevin signing Hoffman for sure, because it would be another brutal move which is his specialty. They are locked in to 6th place this year. Zero chance of making playoffs…bahahaha!!!! What a mess they are: overpaid non performers on ridiculously long contracts . Look out Ottawa soon to be Quebec Nordiques , Habs are sinking fast and could challenge you for best ECHL team in NHL.

    • The school bell ring yet? Bet my daddy could beat your daddy! nyah nyah nyah nyah naaaah (sticking tongue out)

      Might as well get into your realm.

      • you are a tool full stop.

      • Are you staring in a mirror by chance Wendell ?

      • Craig, he’s a daily reminder that, while you’re only young once, you can be immature forever.

        However, trying to function at his level made my skin crawl and I should have remembered that there is absolutely no point in debating or arguing with an idiot because they’ll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    • I never comment. I am typically just a reader. But I do have to admit. Wendels comments are wearing pretty thin. I am sure he is just looking for us/you and the rebuttal comments. It encourages him.

  7. Agreed on LA Lyle, no way they have any interest in Pacioretty.

    The deal fell through a few years back between LA and MTL when extension talks between LA and Pacioretty took place. LA didn’t think he was worth a penny over $6mill per. Pacioretty got offended, nixed the trade and fired his agent.

    So if LA thought a 30yo Pacioretty was worth $6, why on earth would they trade for a 32yo Pacioretty at $7 per? in the middle of a rebuild nonetheless.

    The answer is they wouldn’t be.

  8. Haggs seriously needs to find another gig…..there’s no way the Bruins look Pacioretty‘s way they can’t afford him …. they need a LD which I hope Sweeney/Neely know that

  9. Are we really talking about Pacioretty for 3rd straight day? Man, I hope things pick up soon. Lmfao. There’s not a chance in H-E double hockey sticks that Rangers are at all interested in him. Just signed both Panarin and Kreider long term with nmc’s. Then win lottery and Lafreniere That’s 3 LW’s already. Add to that their lack of top 6 centers. Strome is currently their 2c. I don’t see him going anywhere unless they’re upgrading there.

  10. Four wild cards plus top 3 each division . Surely the Leafs can grab a spot. Although one key of the 7 player goes down and it is a house of cards. Like Reilly last year. I am not counting Andersson.

    Everybody is trying to unload dollars. Even if they don’t necessarily have to

    yeah, yeah, yeah …DROP THE PUCK

  11. Bruins will easily win the cup this year to much heart and soul Leafs to soft very wimpy team with a goalie who can’t win the big game and Tampa will not repeat it’s just to difficult. Boston Colorado final.