NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2020

by | Dec 9, 2020 | Rumors | 47 comments

In today’s NHL rumor mill, the Golden Knights are reportedly trying to trade Max Pacioretty plus the anticipation of increased activity in the trade and free-agent markets as the new season approaches.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports the Vegas Golden Knights have “doubled down” in recent days and weeks in their efforts to trade Max Pacioretty. The 32-year-old winger has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million. He led the Golden Knights last season with 32 goals.

Vegas Golden Knights reportedly shopping winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images)

The Golden Knights are over the salary cap and attempted earlier in the offseason to shed some salary. Seravalli suggests moving Pacioretty would clear sufficient salary to become cap compliant and perhaps take a run at unrestricted free agents such as Mike Hoffman and former Golden Knight Erik Haula.

KUKLA’S KORNER: The Athletic’s Jesse Granger reports winger Jonathan Marchessault ($5 million AAV) and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury ($7 million) have also come up in Golden Knights’ trade chatter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time in weeks we’ve finally got a juicy NHL trade rumor. The last trade was made on Oct. 12, when the Golden Knight shipped defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks in a cost-cutting deal.

The Golden Knights are above the $81.5 million salary cap by over $974K according to Cap Friendly. Moving Pacioretty would indeed free up sufficient space for the Golden Knights to perhaps add a more affordable scorer like Hoffman or a cost-effective center by bringing back Haula.

Pacioretty’s cap hit, age and his 10-team no-trade clause, however, could make finding a suitable trade partner difficult. So will the limited number of clubs with sufficient cap room to comfortably absorb his full $7 million AAV.

Fleury was thought to be a goner when the Golden Knights signed goalie Robin Lehner to a contract extension. GM Kelly McCrimmon denied that speculation but Granger said the Golden Knights are looking into the trade values of Fleury, Pacioretty and Marchessault. Fleury also has a 10-team no-trade list while Marchessault has an eight-team list.

Whether it’s Pacioretty, Fleury or Marchessault on the trade block, the Golden Knights won’t want much (if any) salary in return. Only a handful of teams (New Jersey, Los Angeles, Nashville, Detroit and Ottawa) can comfortably afford any of them. Those clubs might not be on the trio’s lists of preferred trade destinations.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports action is starting to pick up in the free-agent market. UFA winger Mikael Granlund hopes to situate his family and could make a decision in the next few days. So could other notables such as Mike Hoffman and Andreas Athanasiou.

He believes some teams could start talking with the Seattle Kraken to see what they can do about future salary-cap space if the cap remains flattened.

Chris Johnston suggests keeping an eye on the restricted free agent market following the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday signing defenseman Philippe Myers to a three-year contract. He cites Ethan Bear in Edmonton, Oliver Kylington in Calgary and Erik Cernak in Tampa Bay among the blueliners who could be affected by the Myers signing.



  1. thank god! I was going so stir crazy…

  2. I think it might be a case of giving more top 6 opportunity to Glass Roy potentially Krebs.
    I would not take Patches @$7m or Fleury @$7m

    Marchessault is good value.

    With Jan 13 as the date I wonder if there is a Xmas freeze

    • Expecting Glass to get the chance as a 2C if March is moved.

      VGK will be selling low on a player for sure.

      March will be easier to move to maybe Detroit?

  3. Leafs are in great shape. No cap issues for at least 2 years and best roster in league. On top of that they will play in a weak division they will dominate with every game like a home game. Only question is who will miss playoffs along with the Habs and that ECHL team from the capital.

    • Cap is in good shape when old fogies added cheap.

      Far from the best roster & finally in a division without so many bottom feeders.

      Brodie will be the whipping boy so many fans love to have to pick on.

      Bright side is Freddie won’t be over worked.

      Can Keefe get his soft top 6 to play 200’ hockey? That’s a challenge I wouldn’t pin hopes on.

    • Bets roster in the league? That’s funny. The so-called best roster in the league can’t even get out of the 1st round

      • Best*

    • Best cap management, best gm, best coach, clearly the best roster in the league. 2020 Pond Hockey Champions poised to make another incredible playoff run…

      oh wait a minute…

      • Ron, the Leafs, as a team, merely suffer from delusions of adequacy. His delusions, on the other hand, solidifies the axiom that you can’t argue with crazy.

    • Sorry Wendel, And they still will not win the Cup.

      As for the team from Your nation’s capital, The Sens will win the Cup before the Leafs. They have an exciting young roster with tons of potential.

      Within 2 years, Ottawa will be the best team in Canada.
      Lots of talk about Makar and Hughes, but I’ll put Chabot right there.
      Dorian has done a masterful job in assembling the roster and pick needed to go forward.

      I just an outsider looking in, but if I m an Ottawa fan, I am really excited to see where this team goes from here.

    • Wendel I have never met a true Leaf Fan that continually puts themselves out there to be bashed upon. Only trolls do this. Suppose with Higgins as part of your handle that in fact you really are a Habs fan masquerating as a leaf fan to get everyone talking negatively about Leafs . True fans know what they have and dont need to continually throw gas on the fire like you do. You should just lighten up and enjoy the game man. IF YOU REALLY ARE A TRUE LEAF FAN THE REST OF THE LEAF FANS WOULD NOT WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU, JUST SAYING

      • I’d always thought he was referring to former Leafs great, Paul Higgins.

      • Fergie, I voiced much the same opinion a few months back … and although he denied any such suggestion, I still think exactly as you state. The roster “bragging” is so school-yard juvenile and praise for Dubas so ridiculous that it’s hard to draw any other conclusion. True Leafs fans like OldBlueDog, BCLeafFan and Pengy (part-time) must cringe every time he posts that drivel.

  4. There’s no way Vegas is trading Pacioretty. Just doesn’t make sense. You gave up Tatar and Suzuki, he lead team in goals, and now he’s a salary dump? They’ve already gave up Schmidt and Statsny just to sign Pietrangelo. You got a 3rd, 4th and a soon to be 26 year old d man with 64 nhl games on his resume. And if you where miraculously able to find a team on his list with 7m in cap space, why would you then sign Hoffman? Maybe Haula. And you still need to add another roster player or 2. I don’t see how team is better, and they’re slowly dealing away prospects.

    • I think one of the drivers to move Pacioretty is to slot Tuch into a top6 role

  5. If the Knights lose Pacioretty for peanuts like they did Schmidt, it is really going to make the Pietrangelo signing look bad. To have to trade your top scorer along with a top-4 D to pick up a UFA on a contract that is big on money and term is asking for trouble.

    • I think the Pietrangelo signing already looks bad. It kind of reminds me of the Tavares signing – the TML’s had no problem scoring goals pre JT, so signing him solved a problem they didn’t have. The same goes for AP – the Knights were already pretty good defensively, but couldn’t score enough – so giving a big contract to a D’man solved the problem the Knights didn’t have.

      • Agreed, I should have said make it look much worse. They got caught chasing the shiny object and made themselves worse. As you said, they were already decent enough defensively; a depth move would have been fine.

  6. SCJ, and with what they gave up for Pacioretty, McPhee is playing with fire. His best bet is trying to maybe move Martinez. He only has 1 year left at a 4m cap hit. Maybe Bruins?

    • It’s GM McCrimmon now not McPhee

      • Gordie. Just a matter of job titles. McPhee was GM when trade for Pacioretty was made. He’s still in charge.

    • Slick – definitely agree with this and your above post. The total cost of Suzuki, Schmidt, Stastny (must have a grudge against players with “S” last names) and Tatar would be completely insane. I don’t even think they could reasonably lose Martinez as their D would get too thin; will likely have to treat him as a season-long own-rental.

      They went all-in with the Pietro trade. Throwing it away by trading 30+ goals away is ludicrous.

      Both of those things said, their Centre depth is concerning (Karlsson – Glass – Stephenson) if they intend to be a contender.

    • Hi Slick62

      Must have missed ur post earlier

      Yes…. Martinez out; Hague up…. Roster still at 21…..has Knights at $2.2 M of space for 2 depth forwards…. gedddderrrrdone

  7. It would be nice if the nhl could start in January but in Alberta we are in lock down no sports period. What would the nhl do

    • Force Alberta teams to play outside of province until lock-down lifted would be the likely answer.

      • Yeah, except every province is seeing the virus going through the roof setting records on a per capita basis. Maybe if all the games could be played in Nunavut – or P.E.I – or Newfoundland.

      • Scratch Nunavut from that list George. Just came from there and their ascent to 180 cases in a month has them closed tighter than….you get it.

        My point was for the lock down in Alberta. All of Canada is still better off than anywhere in the U.S.; so the solution isn’t moving south of the border. If an adjacent province doesn’t have the same shut-down rules then you play there until Alberta is open again.

        All of this breezing past that it would be smarter to #StaytheBlazesHome (Nova Scotia joke). But since we will have hockey, there will be plenty of health second, make it work scenarios in the coming month(s).

      • George O.–I talked to medical authorities about playing games up there just yesterday, and they’ll have nun-a-vit.

      • LOL. Love it!

    • That’s a good question Robo, but it may not include the NHL, as it has not been mentioned.
      We are having the WJC here in a few weeks and that is still a go as I haven’t heard that they are pulling the pin on that either.

      • Sounds like Albertans are gearing up to pull the pin on Kenny who has badly managed the consequences of the pandemic in that province

  8. So, how long before Pietrangelo and Lehner are on the trade block too?

    I swear, Vegas is run by a 12-year-old EA Sports fan, isn’t it?

    • If so then then a 12yr old gamer is the 2nd best GM in the league after Dubas.

      • Looking forward to another dominant Leafs playoff run like in 2020….oops…I mean 2019…dammit, I meant 2018….oh drat I actually meant 2017….

      • They did win two playoff rounds in 2002…when the Greatest GM in the History of Sports was the ripe age of 16.

        They’ve won a total of 1 round since. Practically a dynasty.

      • Apparently in you-know-who’s mind, that’s all it takes to become a dynasty

      • Yes Wendel, Dubas has all those Cups on his resume.

        He makes Rutherford, Lamarillo and Bowman all look like losers.

        In fact, I have Dubas right up there with Bill Torrey.
        Surely Dubas’ Leafs will be breaking the Isles 19 straight playoff wins record starting this year.

        Right, Wendell?

    • It is hard to figure out why Vegas saw Pietrangelo as such a difference maker, especially when they knew they would have to dump an existing quality player to be cap compliant.

      Equally difficult to understand why they took so long to start moving players. Now, many rosters and caps are fixed. And if they did try to move players in anticipation of signing Pietrangelo and couldn’t, why go ahead signing him knowing the problems it brings?

      So yeah. McPhee, for all his brilliance at stocking his roster when the team entered the league, seems to have lost his way.

      • Hi LJ

        See my post below

        All can be accomplished by moving Martinez

  9. If so then then a 12yr old gamer is the 2nd best GM in the league after Dubas.

  10. Knights moving Patches???

    They only need to move Martinez

    Martinez out, Hague up…. leaves $2.2 M for depth forwards

    Martinez has no trade protection

    1 year left @ $4M; he grew up not far from the Wings arena

    Knights have many prospects plus they also have NJs 2nd (which should be a low 2nd rounder) to use as sweeteners

    Give Stevie Y a call

    If they are moving Patches … probably more sweetener needed (only due to contract size ; certainly not his abilities)

    If they do move Patches , they have to replace that offence…. so it should be Hoffman they go after

    No idea who are the 10 teams that Patches will nix a trade to; but if Detroit isn’t one of them….

    Patches and Martinez and whatever sweeteners need be…. for Zetterberg

    That puts Knights at $71.5 M in Sals plus $6.1 M in LTIR…. and at 19 on roster (plus of course Zetterberg)

    With that space they could sign Hoffman AND Duclair AND Vats; and bring up another from the AHL ; and still have ton’s of space for TDL moves

    What are the sweeteners needed in the deal?

  11. WJ to be decided by This Sunday. If all 10 teams arrive ,quarantine in Edmonton , and then get to the bubble we are a go.

    Vegas’s less than a million off cap. Get rid of Nosek and problem solved

    • I agree, Vegas is close to cap compliant and only have a $70.7 mil salary this season. The only way this rumor makes sense would be if Pacioretty asked for trade.

      • The thing is, you can almost bet that the few teams with lots of cap space are – with the possible exception of Nashville – on his no-go list.

        None among the rest can afford to take Pacioretty on without finding a taker for considerable cap themselves – so forget that – and since Vegas would only be moving him for cap purposes they won’t be interested in any high-cap coming back.

        Jim pegged it.

  12. The Pacioretty rumor screams of bloggers (ie: sports reporters) just nothing more than bored.

  13. Vegas is very similar to Toronto. They see a shiney new toy and just have to have it. The fact they will overpay or that it serves as no actual assistance in improving their fortunes is meaningless.

  14. I’ll trade the Leafs for a PS5…



  1. (12/10/2020) - BLH's NHL Rumor Roundup AM Edition: "They're Interested in a Pair of Big-Name Players With Big-Time Salaries" - Beer League Heroes - […] Lyle Richardson (Spector’s Hockey): Had this to say about the recent Pacioretty rumors, […]