NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2021

by | Jun 15, 2021 | Rumors | 50 comments

A look at possible destinations for Dougie Hamilton plus the latest Oilers speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin examined some potential destinations for Dougie Hamilton if the 27-year-old defenseman departs the Carolina Hurricanes via free agency.

The Carolina Hurricanes will allow Dougie Hamilton to speak with other teams (NHL Images).

Larkin cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting yesterday the Hurricanes will allow Hamilton to speak with other teams before the free-agent market opens on July 28. Friedman suggested that could set the stage for a sign-and-trade but didn’t rule out the blueliner returning to the Hurricanes if he doesn’t receive better offers elsewhere.

The Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets could be aggressive suitors given their need for a top-four right-side defenseman. Other possibilities include the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs. The latter would have to be willing to swap left-side defender Morgan Rielly for a righty like Hamilton.

Larkin included the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings under the category of too soon in their rebuild for the soon-to-be 28-year-old Hamilton. He also proposed the possibility of a hockey trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Seth Jones or the New Jersey Devils for P.K. Subban if half of his salary was retained.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Larkin’s take on the Blackhawks, Flyers and Jets among the aggressive suitors. If it’s a sign-and-trade scenario, there would be some salary heading to the Hurricanes in the deal. The Flyers might have to shed more with Cap Friendly showing them carrying $69.2 million invested in 17 players. They could get that if the Seattle Kraken select James van Riemsdyk in the expansion draft.

The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples is skeptical of the Oilers’ pursuing Hamilton because they have bigger needs than an offensive right-side blueliner, especially if Evan Bouchard is ready for full-time promotion. The Leafs could shake things up and a Rielly-for-Hamilton trade would certainly do that. However, Hamilton’s new contract for next season will be more expensive than Rielly’s $5 million. The Leafs can’t pull this off if they’re unwilling to move one of their high-salaried forwards.

I’ll be surprised if Hamilton ends up with the Wings or Kings. As Larkin points out, he might not be keen to join a rebuilding club at this stage in his career. The same applies to the Blue Jackets and Devils.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins reported contract talks between the Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins agent, Rick Valette. He speculates general manager Ken Holland could be open to more term in exchange for a more affordable annual average value. Leavins suggests something beyond six years would be risky for the Oilers as that would take him up to age 35 or 36 when his skills would be in decline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons suggested the Oilers let Nugent-Hopkins walk and pursue a more affordable center like Montreal’s Phillip Danault. Holland might have to go that route if he can’t get Nugent-Hopkins signed to a contract that fits within his budget. Nevertheless, the fact talks are resumed suggests the Oilers GM would prefer keeping him in the fold.

Leavins also speculates the Oilers could be interested in Toronto’s Zach Hyman if he goes to market but they’ll face competition from many suitors. Other options could include Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn if the Lightning needs to shed salary, Boston’s Jake DeBrusk or perhaps Taylor Hall if he doesn’t re-sign with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The most realistic of that bunch for the Oilers would be DeBrusk given his affordable $3.675 million contract. Killorn has a 16-team no-trade list and the Oilers could be on it.

I may be wrong but I can see Hyman accepting less than market value to stay in his hometown of Toronto. He’s got a good gig with the Leafs so why screw that up? Sure, Hall could return to Edmonton but that doesn’t mean a reunion with the Oilers will happen. I see him staying with the Bruins.


  1. Trading Reilly for Hamilton does not make the Leafs a better team. It would tie up more cap space at the top of the lineup, which is not what they need. I don’t see the Canes having any interest in Subban, even with salary retained.

  2. Hamilton will see what he is worth and sign with the Canes. He will not get Pietrangelo money

    OIlers had better figure out goaltending on a longer range. They also need to add scoring depth. 55.4% of team goals involve Mcd and Draisaitl . Not a fan of Debrusk but a couple of players like that. Might have to let RnH if the demand is too high.

    I would give whatever it took to land Seth Jones . A number of teams could use him. Even Colorado

    • Agree. This case will give us a pretty good idea of market value for UFA’s this year. It’s a sensible option by both the team and the player to get a realistic idea of the cost of signing a top-level defence man. I think Hamilton ends up back with Carolina.

  3. I say it all the time… very few players choose EDM on purpose. Travel time, taxes, its EDM… go on?
    Chicago and Philly are markets where he could build a brand for himself. Philly has the least amount of travel. Like 6 teams within an hours flight. Can’t beat that.

    • Whatever fake cowboy dan.
      How do the taxes in Alberta compare to most other NHL markets?
      You obviously don’t know.
      I suggest you try that google thingy.

      • Canadas taxes are higher than US. EDM is in Canada last time checked…
        I did notice that was your only comment, because you can’t argue the other reasons like travel time and you actually have to live in EDM…

        It’s the least favorite , or most hated city to play in according to the players…
        But you keep telling yourself otherwise…


      • If there were a bizzaro world where hockey was a summer sport and the players could fly south for the offseason during winter then I rxpthe northern teams would be attractive ish.

      • Like I said, whatever Dan, half of your posts are trashing EDM, it’s your schtick. Fine, but I live hear and like it, and am gonna call you on your BS. The article you post was 2018, the Oil weren’t very good, now they are. Changes everything.
        I have spent plenty of time in the US, both biz and pleasure and would never make it home if I had a choice and it has nothing to do with $.
        And if you talk only about taxes when considering how much money they take home you miss a huge difference in that Canadian players who live in Canada all year make up more in take home than the tax difference, as they are paid in US$ and their expenses are Canadian. Most CDN players do live in Canada during the off season and retire here. That is huge when discussing the financial benefit. You simply ignore it or are ignorant to it.
        They sucked, they earned it, now they don’t. They will get some quality players here at a competitive AAV.

      • Oh Dan, forgot to mention, federal taxes are not higher in Canada, other way around for the highest income rate.
        The difference is the state and provincial taxes.
        Some states have none, most are less than AB, some are higher.
        AB is the lowest in Canada.

    • Barrie had no issues in taking less money last season to play in Edmonton. You underestimate a pro athletes desire to win. If a team has a strong core, which Edmonton does, it makes attacking the right support players easier. The biggest attraction to a team for a player is where do they think they will have the best chance at winning. Everything else is secondary.

      • After being misused by Toronto, I am not sure there was a long line of potential suitors for Barrie. The TML’s darn near destroyed that guys career.

      • Winningh is be a consideration for players, but I am not sure that winning is top of the list anymore. They want to make (keep) as much money as possible. They want less travel time, and they’d like to have a QoL, which EDM can only offer if you like Ice and Misquitoes…

        Sorry… it’s a poopyhole

      • BCD
        You choose a Toronto sun article from 2015 to support your argument in 2021? Edmonton is middle of the pack in tax effects . I wouldn’t be so quick to criticize others with this hot garbage.

    • BCD, players are paid in US dollars. Cost of living in Canadian dollars. Health plan in place for all.
      Try it, you might like it.

  4. Toronto and Philly need a defenceman. One that actually plays defence.

    Id pass on Hamilton if Im either of them.

  5. Philly has a fair amount of $$ on the books. Strapped w/ 2 or 3 contracts (#93, JVR, & the Capt.) and no one’s going to help them out. They also need to sign Couts to a new contract. Knowing Philly, they will give the guy more than anyone else would. (that’s how they role). That’s not criticism, but reality.
    Look for Philly to trade for his rights like they did w/ Kevin Hayes.

    • Would not be shocked in the least to see Philly offer Konecny for Hamilton (as long as a contract is in place long term). From a Flyers fan perspective I’d be perfectly ok with this deal. Gotta move talent to get talent that addresses bigger needs.

      • Hamilton is not great defensively. More than anything they need a veteran top pair d man whose strength is D not O – ala Matt Niskanen

  6. The Jets need to add some muscle to their defence. Neil Pionk has emerged as the top defence man, the Jets should consider moving Morissey and a forward for a true play driver on the back end. Heinola can give you what Morissey does.

    It’s all moot if you leave Maurice in charge. Poor systems, defence to forward transition is terrible (no time and space once the forward gets the puck), overall weak forecheck – the Jets need a coach that gets commitment to play defence first, Hets too easy to play against.

  7. Hamilton to EDM makes sense of a sign & trade occurs by Carolina accepting Koskinen back and EDM buys out Neal. Thus no need to resign Barrie or Larsson.

    Hamilton to Philly for a sign and trade if Canes are willing to accept Ghost and Lindblom or Ghost & Laughton.

    Dollars are tight on both clubs with other needs.

    • That all depends on what the Oilers will be giving up in a trade besides Koskinen. Barrie will be cheaper to sign than Hamilton plus the Oilers won’t have to give up any other assets. Although Hamilton is little better in the defensive zone than Barrie. Larsson will still be needed just because of his strong defensive game.
      Without buyouts the Oilers still have over $21 million in cap space with 18 players already signed. IMO there are players out there that are available that fit the Oilers needs and cap system better than Hamilton. We just have to wait for the playoffs to finish before anything starts to happen.

    • Why would Carolina want Koskinen?

      • Carolina doesn’t have a goalie signed for next season. Nedeljkovic is a RFA and will most likely be the starter next season. Merazk is a UFA and will most likely be moving on to a team where he will be the starter. Depending on what Reimer decides to do, or want on a next contract, they may need a backup goalie for next season.

      • Geez Kevjam. In what universe would Carolina get a $4.0 mill backup in a deal to trade a top pairing RHS Dman in a trade & sign. That doesnt even make sense. Oilers would have an almost 40 year old goalie as their #1 goalie???? Seems to me goaltending should up the priority ladder. Im sure if you guys buy out enough players you will find the extra room to sign Grubauer or Andersen.

      • ihatecrosby brought up Koskinen, not me. I also realize if the Oilers do make a pitch for Hamilton and if Koskinen is part of the deal he would be a small piece of that deal.
        Also, If the Oilers do make this deal, it would only be one of a few moves that they make. By unloading Koskinen that would make room for Holland to resign Smith, which he already said he would like to do, and bring in another goalie like Driedger, Andersen, Gibson, or Ullmark. Would expect Grubauer to resign with the Avs.
        Holland did say at his end of season presser that he does expect to do at least one buyout. That would most likely be Neal and/or Koskinen.

      • I think you were right the first time KevJam, the Oilers spend their money elsewhere.
        Bouchard needs an opportunity, now is the time. Larsson fills a role they can’t replace internally, Barrie and Hamilton would simply block Bouchard.
        Top 6 winger, 2 if they don’t come to terms with RNH. And ya, a tender.

        I get that Hamilton can sign for an extra year if you trade for him, but is there another reason a team should do it instead of simply waiting?

  8. Teams with poor management paint themselves in a corner and then lust for freedom of choice and opportunity ….like my Leafs. They will not win until they trade one maybe 2 of the big 4. Which then allows them to look at their D core and goalies.

    Some questions for the readers here.

    What is Subban worth at 50% retained? Does he have some potential to return to previous form ? Who would be an accurate comparable in the league. I was thinking of him last night as I watched the Habs.

    • OBD, Devs fan here. PK is at best a second pairing Dman at this point. At 50% retained his cap hit is still $4.5 million. Cash out of pocket would be only $2 million after bonus is paid. He is a fan favorite. That combination appears to me to be unmovable for any decent asset in return. So Devs might as well keep him.

  9. Did read a DeBrusk to the Oilers could be very possible but it looks like the Bruins would have to take Kassian back in the trade which couldn’t be a bad thing

    • If the Oilers do trade Kassian then they will need to go out and try and replace the toughness that they will be losing. Maybe try and sign Brett Ritchie? I don’t know much about him other than he knocked out Jujhar Khaira and had a couple of strong games this past season against the Oilers.
      I like Kassian, but the last couple of seasons he hasn’t brought that energy that he needs to bring to be effective.

  10. Re PK

    Last year there was a trade with 72% total retained… Lehner

    This year; 3 separate trades that ended with 75% retained (50% by original team; and another 50% of that again [25%] by the to-through trade team…Foligno, Savard; Janmark

    After PK gets his SB… only then owed $2M…. at 75% retained…. cash outlay for final team… $500 K, and $2.25 M Cap hit

    That would have a market draw IMHO…. what’s he worth to the final team to get him at $500 K and only $2.25 M Cap hit… that trade value split between Devils and to to-through team (with space…. basically their cost is $500 K cash)?

    • Apparently NJ is looking into Risto in Buffalo so perhaps the #4 and taking PK off their hands to give them even more room to go after Dougie Hamilton?

      • Hi IHC

        Thanks for the update

        Hadn’t heard NJ was interested in him

        To me that would be a head scratcher … big guy, but habitual plus/minus negative guy

        Can’t see NJ parting with the 4th overall with a Risto/PK flip

        I don’t see DH ending up as a Devil, but stranger things have happened

    • Pengy I think Hughes and the #4 for Eichel would be cool (if Eichel is healthy) but I am only an internet GM.

  11. I’d love to see Hamilton go back to Boston but I doubt that happens.I think in the end he stays with Carolina .I don’t see the leafs as a fit maybe Seattle would give him bigger money as they are a blank slate and he’s a solid d man to start a new team.

    • Hamilton wanted out of Boston and they accomadated him.Beware of him,his last comment that I read was he was making excuses and complaining about the lightning using the LTIR with Kucherov.

  12. So many bad contracts that teams are now stuck with. One of the biggest doozies was Toronto signing Patrick Matleau to 6.25 million and then having to hand over a first round pick to have someone bail out that mistake.

    The fingernail twins JVR and Bozak get money thrown at them, their respective suitors salivate with pride only to see how the contracts become problems against a hard cap.

    Tavares 7 yrs 77 million set the stage for three millennials wanting to cash in on their terms to take them to UFA status where they’ll dictate terms further.

    It goes on and on. Kudos to Boston for managing their salaries better than most.

    • Frank Dubas didn`t have give away a 1st to trade Marleau it was an over payment. Dubas did it he claim so he could keep Kappy and Jonsson, but he turned around and traded Kappy to get the 1st back that he gave away to keep Kappy. If Dubas had let Nylander sit the rest of the season instead of caving in it wouldn`t have cost the Leafs as much as it did to sign the kids. It`s called really bad management Dubas has no real plan thats why it`s such a mess now. The ideal thing now is to clean house get some fresh eyes and then see who goes and who stays. Doesn`t help when you hire a coach that`s nothing but a yes man

    • Another gift from Uncle Lou Lamoriello – three year contract to Marleau.

      • Did uncle Lou also sign an 11 million dollar ufa to play 2C long term ? That is what created the cap mess and the moves that followed . Marleau for a first , Connor brown attached to Zaitsev , kapanen for futures ? In win now mode ? Johnsson for peanuts. Don’t blame Lou , he had a plan and didn’t get the chance to see it through . Dubas took over and forged his own path , which has resulted in not a single playoff series . Meanwhile uncle Lou has won how many ? 5 ? 6 ?

      • Uncle Lou didn’t open up the vault for barzal either or lead him to ufa status with a monster overpay . He used the leverage available to him , almost like he’s been through large contract negotiations before… imagine that

    • If they only drafted and evaluated players better.Coyle at over 5 mill. annually doesn t look to good now.

  13. I’m not sure I see the big reason why the Canes can’t resign Hamilton, unless they literally just don’t think he is worth whatever he is asking. They project $27 million in cap space, were a strong and deep team, and have one of the NHL’s top prospect pools. Guys like Jarvis & Keane will push for a full-time roster spot next year, giving an affordable contract.

    Geekie & Foagele are affordable resigns. McGinn & Marintook would have to take a small discount to return … Nedel & Bean aren’t going to have the vault opened yet.

    Hamilton & Svenchikov are the two guys it will cost a bit to sign. Even combined though, they make-up, like a MAXIMUM of $14million (I think that is a stretch). Assume Jarvis makes it, they are signed …

    It seems to be a problem that can be managed. So I can only assume they are scoffing at whatever Hamilton’s number is. A sign and trade would be great for them. If they can bring back a lesser salaried Top 4 defense and a depth piece for their bottom 6, I’d be calling that a win and a good hockey move.

  14. In what world does Danault replace RNH in Edmonton???

    I love Danault and he’s very good at what he does but he doesn’t replace any of the offence RNH
    brings to the team.

    Danault would be a great addition, not a replacement.

    I don’t know what RNH is lloking but he’s a productive 2C on most teams in the league

  15. Hamilton’s a bit of head case, he brings along some baggage. I really believe the b’s need to go full bore after Seth Jones the guy is a tremendous defensemen still with some upside. he is huge, great skater, good in his own end and super offensively

  16. Hamilton and Jones are not mean enough in my opinion Boston need like Charlie Manson.

  17. Jones has a little edge. More than Werenski and Hamilton combined. He also played over 60 minutes in a playoff game a couple years back, a stud. An elite D that I would have ‘valued’ more than Dubois or Laine.
    I am positive there will be multiple serious offers…The line starts to the left…

  18. why even include the Oilers in any of these talks ? no one wants to live in Edmonton ,thats proven by being #1 on the no trade to list