NHL Rumor Mill – December 12, 2020

by | Dec 12, 2020 | Rumors | 19 comments

Check out some recent speculation on the Red Wings, Bruins and  Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.

KUKLA’S KORNER: cites The Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan listing several players the Red Wings could be interested in before the start of this season.

Could the Detroit Red Wings acquire Tampa Bay Lightning winger Tyler Johnson? (NHL Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde and Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty are Kulfan’s suggested trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Red Wings’ trading Dmytro Timashov to the New York Islanders yesterday, general manager Steve Yzerman could make another addition to his roster before the season begins. 

A swap between the Wings and Lightning has potential. The Lightning must shed salary to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak. The Wings have plenty of cap space and general manager Steve Yzerman knows Killorn, Johnson and Gourde from his days as Lightning GM.

Killorn, however, has a modified no-trade list while Johnson and Gourde have full no-trade protection. If the Wings aren’t on their lists of preferred destinations they won’t be going to Detroit.

Pacioretty, meanwhile, has a 10-team no-trade list which could include the Wings. Besides, Yzerman might not be keen to invest in a 32-year-old winger carrying a $7 million annual average value for the next three seasons.

Unrestricted free agent targets could include Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, Anthony Duclair, Sami Vatanen, Andy Greene and former Red Wing Andreas Athanasiou.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman is willing to accept a one-year contract worth between $5.5 million and $6.5 million. I don’t think Yzerman will go that high for him. Granlund or Duclair might be affordable options, with Granlund perhaps the better choice depending on his asking price.

Vatanen could be a good addition to the Wings’ defense corps on a reasonable short-term contract. Greene is believed to have a deal with the Islanders that will be made official once they get Mathew Barzal under contract. I doubt Yzerman will bring Athanasiou back to Detroit given his disappointing performance during his contract year.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked about the possibility of the Bruins bringing in a player on a professional tryout offer during training camp. He suggested former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner as one option. UFA like Anthony Duclair and Mikael Granlund could become PTO candidates but Haggerty feels they’ll eventually sign guaranteed contracts rather than tryouts for training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely be aging veterans like Alzner, Ron Hainsey, goaltenders such as Jimmy Howard and Craig Anderson, and forwards like Justin Abdelkader and Michael Grabner could end up signing professional tryout options with the Bruins and other clubs.

Asked if the Bruins are done making moves, Haggerty speculates a trade is more likely than a free-agent signing. If they go the trade route, it’ll be for a top-four defenseman to plug the gap on the left side of their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty noted the Bruins’ efforts to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson before the blueliner’s Oct. 9 deadline brought that attempt to an end. GM Don Sweeney could attempt a trade for a left-side defender but it probably won’t be a move for someone like Ekman-Larsson at this stage.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently examined what could be a crucial season for the Calgary Flames. With two years remaining on the contracts of winger Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano, he feels the Flames are reaching a pivotal moment.

Another disappointing playoff performance could put pressure on general manager Brad Treliving to shake things up. Nevertheless, O’Brien feels blowing things up could make things worse.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The majority of Flames fans (and some Calgary pundits) were calling for change over the summer when the club was bounced from the first round of the 2020 playoffs. Defensemen T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic departed via free agency but general manager Brad Treliving ignored the cries for Gaudreau to be shopped following a disappointing postseason effort.

The Flames will face increased pressure this season to shake their recent reputation as a playoff underachiever. Another early exit could prompt a shakeup of the roster core.


  1. I would think Canadian teams looking to make trades and bring players in will want to do it before the season gets going. With the 2 week quarantine plus a condensed schedule players traded mid season could miss up to 8 games . That maybe a big problem for them trading . I would not be surprised to see trades start happening very soon for them .

    • With rumors of purchasing vaccines, I can see those protocols going out the window if they actual can obtain enough for entire league.

  2. Unless, of course, they trade with each other

    • Of course. We all know how easy it is with only 30 other teams to trade with, having only 8 seems easier so ya expect to see that often.

      • 8?

  3. TB and Det will most certainly be swapping HZ’s LTIR contract for a forward or two, thus providing TB with the room needed to resign their FA’s.
    Yzerman has nothing but time in Detroit.

    • Agree. And with Stevie Y in charge of the Wing’s rebuild waiving a ntc to join in that rebuild could be an attraction.

  4. I was one of those Calgary fans that thought for sure Johnny would be traded and wanted him traded. Unfortunately that does not look like it will happen. The only good thing is he always has very good regular seasons point wise.

    As I haven’t posted here for a while , I just wanted to comment on the TJ Brody signing by the Leafs.
    He is a good defenceman but he will frustrate the hell out of you when you watch him over the course of the season.
    I think Brody may regret signing with the leafs because he was somewhat sheltered playing in Calgary by the media, but I think the Toronto media will be brutal on him by years end.

    Kinda surprised Hamonic has not signed anywhere. Just wondering if maybe he has developed a bad reputation around the league. He demanded out of NY then opted out of the playoffs last year and didn’t even sound like there was ever any contract talks with the flames.
    Just seems a little odd because he is a big physical defensmen that plays top 4 minutes and played on the penalty kill. I don’t even think he would come with a high price tag.
    That’s the problem we as fans never know what goes on behind closed doors but as they say when there is smoke there’s fire.

    • Well when you think about it, things were way better during the summer & start of the bubble playoffs. Number of cases in every province were so much lower than it is today. So if Hamonic opted out back then, I honestly dont see any GM seeing he will go through with playing come January. So why waste a contract & cap space on a player that will probably chose not to play given the state of Covid. Not that I would hold that against him, he has lots of money and his right to put family over playing hockey. JMO

      • Yeah, that is a possibility.
        Maybe he just wants to go back to the family farm and lay low

    • Flame fan, I’ve seen Hannafins name thrown around quite a bit. Anything to those rumors?

      • Slick,
        I would be very surprised if they traded him. Pretty sure they are just rumours. He is young and signed to a good contract. Plus the Flames depth is not great.

    • He doesn’t want to play in the east nor is there cap room, but I wish the team I root for (Pens) would sign Hamonic … he would automatically become the team’s best d-man … by a mile.

    • First off Hamonic did DEMAND a trade. He approached Garth Snow and asked to be moved closer to home due to a family medical problem.

      He opted out because of that same problem.

      Hamonic is one of the most respected players in the NHL. Maybe check out the ESPN story “Honor Thy Father” to learn what an exceptional human being Travis is.

      Hamonic lost his father at an early age. He meets with children who lost a parent after every game.
      He gives them his personal phone number for support.
      All of this was done without press coverage and at his own expense.

      Hamonic is one in a million.

      • DID NOT DEMAND……… I left out the NOT.

  5. Flamefan – Totally agree about TJB. He’s a very introverted guy who I think will be burnt by the glare of the Toronto media. As both a Flames and Leafs fan I hope Dubas shelters him, and given how bad the Tyson Barrie experience was, Dubas has come out and said they need to be better at transitioning and integrating new players. And given the annual roster shakeup that is the TML (5-10 new players per season) the importance of this can’t be underestimated.

    • The big issue any player that comes into Toronto the media builds them up to hall of fame status, then the season starts and the player can’t live up to those lofty expectations and eventually get run out of town.

  6. oh no Haggerty, keep those ideas to yourself don’t share them, NO Alzner, or Ron Hainsey, Alzner is a horrible pick-up and Hainsey’s shelf life is beginning to wane.

  7. I would not be worried about the playoffs just yet. The Canadian division looks to be on the tougher side and the Flames might not even make the playoffs (depending on the format).

    Killorn is your best bet to be moved. Maybe talked in to it ?