NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2023

by | Oct 25, 2023 | Rumors | 14 comments

Is it time for the Islanders to part ways with Anders Lee? Will the Senators sign or trade Shane Pinto? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: In his recent mailbag segment, Arthur Staple was asked if it was time for the New York Islanders to start shopping team captain Anders Lee. Another asked if the 33-year-old winger might become a contract buyout candidate next summer.

New York Islanders captain Anders Lee (NHL Images).

Staple shot down the notion of trading Lee. He pointed out that his $7 million annual salary cap hit through 2025-26 means there won’t be any takers. Lee is also adjusting to a new spot in the lineup and isn’t seeing much power-play time.

As for a contract buyout next summer, it wouldn’t be the worst move cap-wise. The Isles would get a savings of $4.125 million for 2024-25 and $2.775 million for 2025-26, with dead cap space of $1.725 million for each of the final two years of the buyout. Nevertheless, Staple preached patience given Lee’s new role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I realize this isn’t a rumor but those questions could turn into genuine speculation regarding Lee depending on his performance over the course of this season. He has just one goal and two points in the Isles’ first five games of this season but he’s also coming off back-to-back 28-goal performances.

Lee’s been a consistent producer for the Isles since 2014-15, tallying 20-plus goals in seven of the past nine seasons. It’s far too early to start calling on management to trade him or buy him out.

If the Isles were to shop Lee this season they’ll have to retain a healthy chunk of his cap hit to facilitate a deal. That’s assuming he’s willing to waive his full no-trade clause for this season. They might have better luck next summer when the salary cap is expected to jump by $4 million plus Lee’s full no-trade becomes a 15-team no-trade list on July 1.


TSN 1200 OTTAWA: On Monday, Dave Poulin dismissed the possibility of the Senators trading Shane Pinto rather than moving out someone else to clear cap space to sign the restricted free agent.

If the Senators were to trade Pinto they’re not going to want futures in return. They’ll want an established player and that means taking on salary. Poulin believes they’ll instead make a cost-cutting trade to free up sufficient cap space to sign the 22-year-old center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors persist that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is trying to trade winger Mathieu Joseph or defenseman Erik Brannstrom. That move would shed sufficient cap dollars to sign Pinto to a one or two-year contract with an AAV between $2 million and $2.5 million.


  1. Lee with 1.3 retained to WSH for Mantha and a 3rd

    Gives 5.7 cap space to NYI going forward

    Gives WSH a solid LW behind OVI and another look on the PP.

    Line 2 could be

    NYI now can make a pitch for Tarasenko or Kane or better yet spread the money along the bottom 6 for younger speed. Make top 2 lines

    • Washington is the 2nd oldest team in the league behind only Pittsburgh. This move only makes them even older. They’re in rapid decline. I seriously doubt they want to add 30+ players. They need to be subtracting 30+ players.

      • They promised OVI no rebuild mode as long as he is signed and playing. 🤷‍♂️

      • IhateCrosby, the Caps may want to have another conversation with Ovi at the end of the season. No ReBuild = No Playoffs. Old team without an elite goalie and any young stars.

        Mantha ($5.7 M) comes off the books at the end of this year. Other teams aren’t interested in Washington’s highly paid aging players. Through 5 games, Mantha, Backstrom, Kuznetsov and Oshie ($28 M +) have combined for one point (an assist).

    • Hammer the only player I honk they should talk to is Backstrom. With his recent surgery history that would clear 9.2 million to fix things in the bottom 6 to make another push.

      Trade Mantha and 3rd for Lee 1.3 retained. Gives Caps this year for a major push.

      Off season Backstrom bows out. Frees 9.2 to retool for anotherush.

      Following year kuzy and Oshie will be off books and Caps will be just fine going forward with all the “Cap” space.

      Tons of room then for their picks to come up after having time to develop.

  2. Nylander to islanders for Dobson and Lee (50% retained).

    Islander needs game breaking offence and leafs need game breaking defense.

    Trade will set the leafs back this year but they can restock in the offseason to address forwards.

    • I would not trade Dobson even up for Nylander. Dobson is young cheap and has a huge upside. get nylande4r for free this summer offer him whatever it takes. As for Lee he needs to be on the power play in front of the net tipping in shots. that is what he is good at. Would I trade him yes if the return is a young wing with speed and upside.No thanks to Mantha he is toast.

    • Nylander ($6.9 – $1.5 retained) for Dobson ($4) and Wahlstrom ($874,000)

      Nylander ($6.9) for Dobson ($4) and Lee ($3.5 – 50% retained)

      That would leave just as big a hole on Leafs right wing as they currently have on defense.

  3. Trading Brannstrom does not get Ottawa the space they need to sign Pinto. They would have to call up a player from Belleville to fill that D spot , that erases just under 1 million. Unless of course Pinto agrees to sign a 1 year deal for less than what he has been asking and I am reluctant to believe that happens.

    • You’d save another 800K or so sending down the guy he replaces.

  4. Lots of crap going on between Buffalo and Ottawa last night a few had a burr in their saddle. Poitras best young forward so far this year great start by a great kid.

  5. I like Joseph . Speed and aggression.
    I think the Sens will need him if they have playoff aspirations .
    Punt Brannstam . Give him away . If you have to add a pick

    • Ottawa send Joseph and Branstrom along with a pick to
      Nash for Fabbro and McCarron

      Clears cap for OTT to sign Pinto


  6. 41 games