NHL Rumor Mill – December 19, 2020

by | Dec 19, 2020 | Rumors | 22 comments

Check out the latest Max Pacioretty speculation and how the Capitals could find a short-term replacement for Henrik Lundqvist in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Jesse Granger was asked about the recent trade rumors about Max Pacioretty. He doubts the Golden Knights will trade the winger, citing how much the Golden Knights gave up to the Montreal Canadiens two years ago to acquire him as one reason.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Granger cited sources indicating Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon called around the league to gauge interest in Pacioretty, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and winger Jonathan Marchessault. However, those talks didn’t progress as McCrimmon was merely testing the waters to see what might be out there. Granger also dismissed the notion that Pacioretty requested a trade.

If the Golden Knights were to trade Pacioretty or Marchessault, Granger speculates they could attempt to bring back Erik Haula, who could welcome a return to the city where he had his best NHL season.

Granger also doesn’t believe the Boston Bruins would entertain parting with winger Jake DeBrusk in a package deal for Pacioretty. The 24-year-old DeBrusk is younger than the 32-year-old Pacioretty, carries a more affordable contract and is a restricted free agent when it expires in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pacioretty trade chatter provided welcome grist to the NHL rumor mill. While anything’s possible, it seems unlikely he’ll be moved. In addition to the reasons listed by Granger, the Golden Knights are built to win right now. They have a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup with Pacioretty in the lineup this season.

I also agree with Granger’s take regarding Pacioretty to the Bruins. I don’t think they want to acquire a winger approaching his mid-thirties carrying a $7 million annual average value for the next three seasons. While they want to keep their championship window open for this season, they’re at the stage where they must also keep an eye on the future.

THE WASHINGTON POST: In her latest mailbag segment, Samantha Pell was asked if she expects the Capitals to make a trade before the season begins. She believes they could, citing a crowded blue line (“especially on the right side”) and the need to replace Henrik Lundqvist, who’s out for the season receiving treatment for a heart condition.

Pell suggested Nick Jensen as a possible trade candidate but could be retained in case another defenseman is injured.

THE SCORE: Brandon Maron listed several options for the Capitals to replace Lundqvist. One could be signing an unrestricted free agent such as Ryan Miller, Craig Anderson or Jimmy Howard. Another could be trading for a goalie, though he doesn’t see them taking on an expensive netminder such as Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals could surprise us by going the trade route. However, I concur with Maron that they’ll either sign a UFA or promote from within their system.


  1. And now teams will need to carry 3 goalies. Good news for the ufa’s! As a Ranger fan, I wish Lundqvist the best of health. I’ve seen fans attacked for saying this, but anyone that hasn’t thought about that 5mil dead cap space is lying if they say it hasn’t crossed their mind. “What if”. A lot of same fans were furious when Rangers bought him out. Oh well. Would’ve been nice for both reasons to have him still on Rangers. It’s weird seeing him in headlines as a Cap. I would’ve preferred they traded Gorgiev. At end of day, they only saved 575K in cap space this year while adding 1.5 to next year.

    • I am sure that there are a ton of Ranger fans who are supremely happy that you aren’t the GM …

    • NYR4, facts are important.

      It is a fact that had they not bought out Hank they could have put him on LTIR for the year and it would have cost them nothing.

      While they likely could not have anticipated this unfolding the fact still remains they (to use your words) , unfortunately for them, made absolutely the wrong decision.

      The can be no debate. They could have had him off the roster for zero cap had the made the right decision.

      Again, facts are important for the sake of credibility.

    • Well they could have anticipated the whole taxi squad thing and planned on shuttling him back and forth to it like the Vegas GK’s are going to do with MAF and Lehner. I mean, duh, facts dude. I’m still waiting on the announcement of the Pietroangelo trade to the Leafs with 50% retained.

    • George, maybe avoid trying non linear thinking, I dont wish to cause a hemorage.

      For even a linear thinker (at least a literate one) this really should be a slam dunk.

      I never suggested NYR mgmt should be blamed nor that it was an unreasonable move. In fact it seemed perfectly reasonable at the time (although Lou L likely would have “found” this with his crack medical team and dumped him off with Lupus and Robidas, but I digress).

      BUT…it still turned out to be the WRONG decision as had they not bought him out he would be on LTIR with no cap hit.

      Surely you follow this FACT?…George? …George?…Buehler???

    • Ditto NYR4 (sigh)

      Make sure to tie chinstraps on your helmuts tight, guys.

    • Sort of like saying, had Dubas been able to peddle Andersen the Leafs would have definitely signed Pietrangelo.

      If – if your uncle had different equipment he’d be your aunt.

      You don’t think inside the box nor do you think outside the box … it’s clear you have no clue where the box is.

      In your world your train of thought has derailed … there were no survivors.

      We’ve been down this road before and, admittedly, I should have followed my first inclination … but from this point on you can post whatever crap moves you and on any topic you like. I, for one anyway, will ignore you totally from this point on.

    • I am surprised you feel that way, George.

      (Ray, do I owe you royalties or damages trademark infringement?)

    • Booooo

  2. Washington Goalie situation: Each team is required to carry three goalies. They may promote one but certainly not two goalies from within the system? They are in a bind here and (imo) must sign a UFA or trade for a goalie. I repeat from Yesterday, Raanta for pick or prospects would set them up nicely?

    • Craig Anderson – if he shows well at a PTO – would cost them nothing

  3. Trades should start now and signing of rfas

    Ufa’s i have to wonder how many Ufa would want to sign with a Canadian team today as it stands?

    An Edmonton bubble wouldn’t be to enticing, playing in a un named US city. Probably want to find out what city first.

    For Winnipeg a US city might attract a player on a one year deal. Just saying.

    • Lots of nonsense and acrimony, today. Not the most fun I’ve had, reading the comments. Nobody targeted, but Wendell. This is getting tiresome. I might take a few days off.

  4. The Lundquist buyout was the right decision no question.
    You can chalk up the bad luck to the hockey gods. A lot like injuries.

    I think an option is two bubbles for Canada. East Toronto ,West -Edmonton. Moving all the teams south for 4 months a’int going to happen

    • I dont know SS, Mitch Marner said he hopes its somewhere warm, as it’s cold in Ontario right now.

      Sound like a future ufa to the sunshine state.

      • Shesterkin is now the #1 goalie in NY. Lundqvist buyout saved 3mil in cap space. Gorgiev signed for $2.425m As I stated, a savings of 575k. Not sure how that had anything to do with signing other players mentioned. Gorgiev will be gone within a year or 2.

  5. Getting my vaccine Monday morning fellas. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

    • I am surprised you feel that way, Chrisms.

      • Oh, man, you are just being an A-hole on purpose, it’s obvious. I’ll just do like George, and ignore whatever you write.
        Happy for you, Chrisms, and, if you are a feontline worker as I think I understood, thanks for your service, as we say in French 🙂

    • Good for you Chrisms. The real heroes in this new reality are the front-line health professionals, workers and other staff who have been putting their lives on line daily – not the millionaire pro athletes who far too many put on pedestals.

      • Very few of us consider ourselves hero’s George. But thanks!

    • Congrats Chrisms, a relief I’m sure.