NHL Rumor Mill – December 15, 2020

by | Dec 15, 2020 | Rumors | 26 comments

A look at two possible trade partners for the Vegas Golden Knights plus an update on Travis Hamonic in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Travis Yost suggests the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators as two clubs that could help the Vegas Golden Knights resolve their salary-cap crunch. Both are rebuilding teams with plenty of salary-cap space that could use more scoring punch.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault (NHL.com)

The Golden Knights were reportedly examining the possibility of trading winger Max Pacioretty. They’re also said to be testing the market for winger Jonathan Marchessault. Yost feels Marchessault would be a better fit with the Wings or Senators.

The 29-year-old is three years younger than Pacioretty and carries a more affordable contract. Pacioretty’s annual average value is $7 million while Marchessault’s is $5 million. He also carries an eight-team no-trade clause.

Yost believes Marchessault would immediately improve either club without clogging up a roster spot over the long term. Because the Golden Knights can’t take on salary and remain a Stanley Cup contender, they’ll be looking for a cheaper replacement and futures. “That sort of price is digestible for a 29-year-old signed through 2023-24 and on a back-diving, team-friendly contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Marchessault will earn $5 million in actual salary for 2020-21 and ’21-’22, dropping to $3.5 million annually over the final two seasons. His $5 million AAV would become worthwhile if the Wings or Senators wish to maintain payrolls near the salary-cap minimum in the final years of his deal.

Whether the Wings or Senators see Marchessault fitting into their plans remains to be seen. This could be irrelevant if those two clubs are on his no-trade list and he’s unwilling to waive it

TSN 1040 VANCOUVER: During yesterday’s “Donnie and Moj” show, Bob Marjanovich said he’d heard the Canucks and Calgary Flames were interested in Travis Hamonic. Both clubs have limited cap space, meaning they’d have to shed some salary to sign the free-agent defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are over the $81.5 million cap by $1.5 million while the Flames have just over $1 million in cap space with restricted free agent defenseman Oliver Kylington to sign.

Vancouver could get some cap relief if winger Micheal Ferland ($3.5 million) begins the season on long-term injury reserve because of lingering head trauma symptoms. Signing Kylington will eat up most of the Flames’ cap space.

It’s believed Hamonic will end up with a one-year contract because of the current economic situation. He’ll try to sign with the highest bidder but could prefer staying in Western Canada.

The Manitoba native has been linked to the Winnipeg Jets. They’re above the cap by over $697K but will get $5.29 million in cap relief when Bryan Little (ear) is placed on LTIR. They must also sign Jack Roslovic but there’s talk they could trade the RFA winger. Hamonic could be a fit with the Jets if they don’t Roslovic for a blueliner.


  1. Why wouldn’t Ottawa and Detroit be on Marchessault’s no-trade list? At the time he submitted the list of 8 both were sinking faster than the Leafs in a Round 1.

    • George, would Ottawa even be interested after signing Dadinov? For Detroit, I think he’d be a better option than the Johnson from Tampa.

      • Probably not Slick62.

        If Dorion is going to add one more higher-cap player through a trade which the other team needs to make in order to free up cap space, it would be for a C. Where wingers are concerned, there’s no point in adding one of those until he sees exactly what the kids in his system are capable of at the NHL level – he has lots of those and the only way to do that is to play them. Every game.

        Neither he nor that element of the fan base that thinks things through expects them to suddenly vault back into playoff contention – improvement is what they want to see.

      • It’s difficult to see Patches or Marchessault in a Red Wing uniform, just as it is with Johnson or Killorn. Yzerman has been accumulating picks / prospects, and the only veteran players he has signed or traded for are on one or two year deals. In fact, we have only two players on the entire roster who are signed for more than 2 years – Larkin and Mantha. Detroit already has 12 forwards signed, another 4 assigned to Grand Rapids who have spent time in the bigs, and another 3 coming back from playing in Europe. That isn’t to say Detroit will not be involved in a trade with LV or Tampa, but the return again would be picks or prospects. They might be involved as a 3rd party to a trade between LV / Tampa and another team, parking a portion of cap hit to get a deal done – or maybe Hank Z’s LTIR could be involved, but I don’t see anyone with 3 or 4 more years on contract ending up in Motown, unless that player is in their early / mid twenties.

  2. You would have to think Hamonic would want $3m on a one year. Made 3.8 over the last 3 with Calgary. Not sure how Flames or Canucks can manage that.

    • Harmonic will have to settle on a one year deal for around $1M. You can’t get blood from a stone

      • He’s a steal at that price …

  3. Yea and maybe he ops out like he did last year

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHYVIdf0MF8

      Please watch this before saying anything about Travis Hamonic.
      I had the pleasure of meeting him several times at the Isles STH events.

      There is no finer person in all of Hockey.

  4. Marchessault to NYR for Buchnevich. Vegas gains 1.75 in cap space. After deciding to keep Strome at 2C, adding a RW that can score goals , and plays a decent 2 way game will be a huge upgrade on that line. Kakko can move up to top line with Zib and Kreider. Vegas gets a younger player that’s still rfa after this season. Rangers add an older player, but will help them now while deep prospect pool develops. As Lyle mentions, last 2 years of his deal go down to 3.50m. His ntc goes down to 5 teams.

    • Panarin ?

  5. Just to bad Travis Harmonic isn’t a LD I can think of a team that can use his all around game plus plays with a little edge

  6. Re Vegas and moves

    Beating a dead horse (again)… easiest move is Martinez out… everything fits after that.

    But if they (Knights) insist on going big….

    Those on Knights with partial trade protection are unlikely to allow a move from a contender in a nice city, with great weather and amenities, plus a huge tax advantage; to a colder less attractive city, non contender , high tax place

    So I have fair confidence they are blocking Det/Ottw trades

    Big move? Preds have expressed interest in Patches … many times..nice city, reasonable weather, same tax advantage, have tons o’ room.

    Patches likely does NOT have Nash as a blocked trade city…so here is an all in move…

    Patches + Martinez for Scissons and Benning

    Knights then have $7.1 M in space…. for two Fwds…. Hoffman and anyone else

    • Just did some quick calls using the Gavin group…

      Re Duclair…. offer in Ottw was $3.5 M …. reportedly all Sal (no SB…. and SBs are NOT hit by escrow)

      If Knights offered him $1.4 M SB , $700 K Sal …. $2.1 M Cap hit…. after escrow and taxes …. Duclair would lose only about $65K in take home pay; and be on a contender

      Similarly … Hoffman reportedly looking at other cities (with higher taxes) in the $5.5 M range with higher majority in Sals (less, if any SBs)

      If Foley willing to do the heavier SB route… he could snag both Hoffman AND Duclair for a little less than $7 M in total Cap

      The above scenario then has Patches production replaced by Hoffman and Duclair and Scissons; with Benning replacing Martinez

      • “calcs” not “”calls”

      • Signing bonuses are subject to Escrow- they just don’t actually withhold the escrow from the bonus. The escrow due on the bonus is deducted from the salary

      • Escrow is due on signing bonuses, it’s just not actually deducted from the bonus payment. The escrow on the bonus is deducted from the salary

      • Hi Vader

        Per TSN , signing bonuses are exempt from escrow

        They are not exempt from the deferral though. They still get the full SB just not when they had originally planned for

        Austin Mathews will eventually get all of his $15.2 M in SB; he will lose $140 K (20% of his Sal) in escrow

        Same with Mitch Marner ; who will eventually get all of his $14M + in signing Bonus; and will also lose $140 K (20% escrow on his $700 K sal)

        Tavares gets all his $11 M + in SB and loses just over $180 K on his $910 K Sal

        They would owe back the SB (or another year extended on the contract) if the season were canceled

        Conversely Ovi loses $2M (20 % of his $10 M Sal); Sid loses $1.92 M of his $9.6 M sal. Neither have SBs this year or any year in their current contracts

  7. Everybody trading their cap casualties to Detroit or Ottawa. How much cap room do these “insiders” think theWings and Sens have?

    Zero creativity, just rewriting the same drivel over and over again.

    Some of the trades proposed here are assinine including my own sometimes but they at least show some form of cap and player movement strategy.

    • Yep. And it’s usually “justified” with ” … but you get a coveted draft pick ….” – as if getting a low-round pick from a top team somehow makes it all worthwhile to bend over backwards to help a top team out of a cap mess.

    • I know one guy who thinks that way. :-).

    • Hey, guys, not all Leaf fans look the same or think the same – or does that make it too tough for you to comment?

    • Not aimed at guys like you or OBD or Pengy in any way shape or form BCLeafFan … but you-know-who just invites the acidic retorts with that schoolyard approach. Some say he should just be ignored – but that doesn’t deter him – perhaps if the reasonable Leafs fans would chime in he’d tone it down to just annoying.

  8. Signing bonus is subject to escrow. It’s just not actually deducted from the bonus, it’s deducted from the salary

  9. I like Wendel. He raises the temperature in here.
    Some of his comments and ideas are incredibly ignorant, if not stupid,(like shrinking the number of teams) but he does stimulate some additional chatter and somewhat friendly banter. It’s a nice variant from the usual trade proposals and whatnot.
    Plus Wendel Clark and Rick Viave are the only Leafs I’ve ever liked. Paul Higgins was a plug, but probably a nice guy.

    • I like Marchand and loved Ken Linesman. To each his own for sure.