NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2020

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Rumors | 20 comments

Could the Lightning and Red Wings become trade partners? Are the Predators preparing for more moves? What’s the latest on Mikael Granlund? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Duhatschek was asked what moves the Tampa Bay Lightning could make to shed sufficient cap space to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak while staying cap compliant for 2020-21.

Could the Detroit Red Wings take Tyler Johnson off the Tampa Bay Lightning’s hands? (NHL Images)

Duhatschek suggested the Detroit Red Wings as “the obvious first landing place” to address the Lightning’s cap issues. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is the former Lightning GM and responsible for many of the contracts on their books.

In a perfect world,” Duhatschek said he’d try to move Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn to Detroit, along with a first-round pick and quality young player. He thinks the Wings would jump on that deal if the young player was Cernak but the Bolts don’t want to part with him. Whatever moves the Lightning make they won’t be taking back players in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duhatschek’s colleagues Joe Smith and Max Bultman discussed the possibility of a Lightning-Red Wings swap. They agree Johnson or Killorn to the Wings could make sense depending on what the rest of the package looks like.

As Duhatschek points out, the Wings seem a logical trade partner for the Lightning given their cap space and Yzerman’s ties to the Bolts. However, that depends on whether the Wings are among the preferred trade destinations for Johnson or Killorn.

Duhatschek also commended the Nashville Predators for a “quietly successful” offseason, creating nearly $13 million in cap space while adding affordable grit such as Luke Kunin, Nick Cousins, Brad Richardson and Mark Borowiecki. He feels they’ve done their heavy lifting and suggests they hoard their cap space to see what the club looks like on the ice and what areas of the roster still needs improvement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators have been tied to unrestricted free agent Mike Hoffman. Some believe GM David Poile is playing the waiting game with Hoffman hoping he’ll lower his asking price.

Poile could add Hoffman on a one-year deal for considerably less than the $5.5 million to $6.5 million the winger’s camp reportedly seeks. That would still leave sufficient cap room to make other additions over the course of the season if required.

If Poile has made his significant moves this offseason it won’t hurt to have that cap space for the coming season, especially near the trade deadline.



  1. Other articles/writers have included Palat on the list of trade options for Tampa—it may take all three (Johnson, Killorn, Palat). I’ve also read that the Lightning are reluctant to include top prospects as “sweeteners”, but that really seems like wishful thinking!!

    ANY of those three players will make ANY team better—some pretty steady offensive production and some pretty consistent two-way players.

  2. “He thinks the Wings would jump on that deal if the young player was Cernak but the Bolts don’t want to part with him.”

    I can’t think of anything that a 31st place, rebuilding team wants more than TWO MORE middle-six forwards who are overpaid and also put them over the cap and OH YEAH here’s an RFA that you have to sign as well!

    Yzerman would jump at that, would he?

    • Oh hey, not to mention that acquiring Johnson, Killorn and Cernak puts them at 17 forwards, not including Tymashov.

      Great idea, Eric.

  3. I cab see them taking one for a BIG sweetener but not 2, no matter Yzermans ties to Tampa, he has a new job now

  4. Killorn may go to Nashville. A fun city a good team that has been close for a number of years. I think that kind of player would help them. That’s it…
    Not 3 players first rounders and prospects. Way too much to absorb Killorn and a second.
    Johnson will be tough at his rate. Might have to hold money and add a first Tampa would be foolish to trade Cernak

  5. If I were the Wings I’d want Johnson & Foote for a late pick. Can use a C & D.

    Palat would be a good add for many teams no doubt.

    • Any deal that includes a “late pick”? No thanks.

  6. Detroit only has 9 players under contract for 2021/22. Adding Killorn or Johnson won’t hurt long term cap. Killorn is slightly cheaper and 3 years left. But, is Detroit a team on his no trade list? Tampa went all in this year and it paid off. They traded away 2 1st round picks and the player they drafted in 1st round the previous year. They don’t have a 2nd round pick this year. Will they trade this years 1st too? If I’m Detroit, I’m not taking Johnson unless Cirelli comes with him, or a top prospect like Alex Barré-Boulet. I think Cirelli is more expendable than Cernak, as they lack right D. Cirelli is stuck behind Stamkos and Point, unless they decide to shop 1 of them, which I doubt. Coleman could play 3C, although dumping him to any team for a pick might make sense also. He only makes 1.8 next year, but you can replace him with 2 players on elc’s for that price. Can always add another player like him at tdl.

  7. As a Wings fan I would take Killorn with a pick and top prospect and in return ship Tampa Zetterberg’s last year of LTIR contract and future considerations, maybe a 4th or 5th.

    • and that is how you end up with middle of the pack players for detroit—which i am fine with—detroit can lose all they want–

      • No, because you can flip him to a contender for another pick and retain a bit of salary to make it easier. He is a proven playoff performer, 3 years left on contract and doesn’t have to stay in Detroit.

  8. I would have to think that Johnson does not have Detroit on his list of 5 or 6 teams or this would have been done long ago

    Zetterberg for Johnson (*plus whatever assets needed to make it a deal) should be enough to get Bolts to 23 and Cap compliant

    That flip would have 18 players at a Cap hit of $78.4 M plus Zetterberg LTIR of $6.1M…. with Cerelli and Cernak to sign. Absolutely doable to get 23 and Cap compliant

    The *plus above seems irrelevant as I believe if Johnson had Wings on his list…. this would have been done by now

    With that in mind…. Killorn and Johnson to wings…. not happening

    To me… the higher likelihood move is Stevie Y dealing with Knights….

    Zetterberg for Martinez plus NJs 2nd rounder (or maybe VGKs 1st) , plus Elvenes or Lechysyn

    The net (Martinez Sal less deferral and escrow less payment for Zetterberg’s non ins portion; less league min [taking up a roster spot])…. just shy of $2 M (if season played and no further deferral or escrow)…. to fill a D spot with a seasoned SC vet (who grew up close to Detroit) … and only under contract for one year… and gain a late 1st round and/or very early 2nd round; plus a fair prospect

    Stevie Y may ask for a little more… but that deal IMHO; has a much higher chance of happening than Johnson to Wings

    Neither May happen; just more likely Martinez than Johnson IMHO

    • Pengy, I don’t see how Tampa gets to 23. Maybe I’m missing something, but with or without Zetterberg they still only save the Johnson cap hit. How do they get from 18 to 23 with 3.1 in cap space? That’s not enough for Cernak, Cirelli and 3 more players.

    • Pengy…i would love eric haula seems like he is vegas bound.

      PENS Have $1.3 in cap space plus zack Aston reese will be put on LTR that is $1 million..in savings

      Probably best move would be an Andreas Anthansiou or a Anthony duclair for bottom 6….

      Would love Mikael Granlund but not sure that will happen..

  9. So What happens if the Bolts can’t get under the Cap?

    What’s the penalty?

    Who enforces it?

    • They pay heavy fines and forfeit every game while over the cap if I remember correctly.

  10. Is anyone knowledgeable on the Predators? Right now I have their line-up looking as such, and this is IF Tolvanen is ready:

    Rinne – Saros

    Josi – Ellis
    Ekholm – Benning
    Borowiecki – Fabbro

    Arvidsson – Duchene – Forsberg
    Tolvanen – Johansen – Jarnkrok
    ???????? – Kunin (RFA) – Sissons
    Cousins – Richardson – Grimaldi

    Capfriendly has Yakov Trenin on the roster, where would he fit in, if at all? Is Tomasino ready to make the team?

    I really have little idea about this team, yet looking at their players I don’t see a full 3rd line unless they expect a guy like Tomasino or Trenin to make the team, or a 4th liner like Cousins moves up..

  11. Here is something I don’t understand.

    The CBA calls for the players and owners to split revenue at 50% each.

    When the teams are losing money, there is no revenue to split.

    50% of a negative revenue stream is less than zero.

    So, how do the players expect to be paid at all fro this season?
    Wouldn’t escrow have to be 100%?

    Someone please explain this to me.

    Another thing. I see that Walsh and friends are saying that the league cannot use the pandemic as an excuse not play this year. That they will sue!!

    LOL LOL Where are you suing? In the Courts that are closed due to the pandemic?

    • There is revenue nevinsip just less, no profit as costs are higher than the rev.
      It is overall league revenue that determines it as well.
      Regarding this year and the absence of gate revenue, the league didn’t have much choice but to work it out.
      If the salary cap dropped by 40%, what would the teams do? I think they still owed the players the money from their contracts as they are guaranteed. Buy them all out? Still screwed.
      Rock and a hard place so they deferred the payments.

  12. I still believe that if Detroit is part of a deal for Johnson, it will be as part of a deal to move him somewhere else. The Wings could accept Johnson and take on part of his contract and TJ goes elsewhere. Depending on the return, Zetterburg’s LTIR could be part of the deal. I doubt the Wings end up with anyone who plays for them this year – but rather receives picks / prospects coming here.