Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 11, 2024

by | Feb 11, 2024 | Rumors | 38 comments

The Flames and Devils discussed Jacob Markstrom plus updates on the Bruins, Oilers and Sabres in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the respective general managers of the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils discussed Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom before the two clubs played each other last week. Neither team is commenting on this.

Friedman doesn’t know if this was ever taken to Markstrom, who is signed through 2025-26 with an average annual value of $6 million and a full no-movement clause. However, he believes the two sides held a serious discussion on the subject.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Two issues were the Flames’ asking price and salary retention. Friedman heard that those were difficult to overcome and stopped the discussions, adding it seemed unlikely that those talks would resume.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols suggests plenty of time for things to change with the March 8 trade deadline over three weeks away. He indicated that Markstrom is already willing to waive his no-movement clause and it’s been reported he’d be interested in doing so for the Devils. However, it will only be talk unless the Flames and Devils can reach an agreement that both sides are comfortable with.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames aren’t going to give Markstrom away nor are they under any pressure to trade him. In an interview last week with Friedman’s colleague Eric Francis, the netminder said he hadn’t been asked to waive his clause nor is he going to request a trade. With Markstom signed for two more years, the Flames can wait until the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers before March 8.

With Dougie Hamilton on LTIR for the rest of the regular season, the Devils have the cap room to take on Markstrom’s AAV. The problem, however, is what it’ll cost them next season.

Adding Markstrom’s full $6 million cap hit would push the Devils’ payroll to over $73 million invested in 15 players. That could make it difficult to re-sign or replace pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Toffoli, re-sign restricted free agent Dawson Mercer, fill out the remainder of the roster, and leave sufficient cap room to address any issues that arise next season.

That would explain why cap retention became one of the sticking points mentioned by Friedman. The Flames probably aren’t receptive to that unless the Devils make it worth their while with a significant return.

Speaking of the Flames, Friedman cited defensemen Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin being among four players currently holding up the trade market along with Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel and Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique.

Hanifin has had contract extension talks with the Flames. Until he signs, however, teams still consider him as being available.

Teams that could be waiting on Tanev and Hanifin include teams seeking blueline depth like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars. Friedman also said he’s heard the Edmonton Oilers are among the clubs with eyes on Guentzel. He thinks the Penguins are willing to see how the month plays out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, the teams holding those players can afford to be patient. Friedman also noted that some clubs can’t or won’t pay the asking prices for those players and could look at more affordable options.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa looked at what the Boston Bruins might do leading up to the March 8 trade deadline.

Given the high cost of acquiring a second-line center for now and the future, they could instead consider adding an impact winger. They probably couldn’t afford someone like Jake Guentzel but could instead look at more affordable options like Ottawa’s Vladimir Tarasenko, San Jose’s Anthony Duclair and Detroit’s David Perron.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss also had Duclair on his list. He also suggested they look at adding a forward who can play center or wing such as Anaheim’s Adam Henrique, Minnesota’s Brandon Duhaime, Arizona’s Liam O’Brien, and Washington’s Nic Dowd.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goss admits acquiring Henrique could be difficult for the cap-strapped Bruins given the forward’s $5.8 million cap hit. Even if Anaheim retains half, the Bruins still might have to send some salary to the Ducks. The Bruins would likely face the same issue with Tarasenko ($5 million) and Perron ($4.75 million).

If the Bruins make an addition or two at the trade deadline it’ll likely be more affordable options than Henrique, perhaps one of those on Goss’ list.


EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson tweeted that Oilers GM Ken Holland has long liked Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron. He’s slated to become a UFA this summer but the Wings would have to retain half of his $4.75 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming Perron is available. The Red Wings are jockeying for one of the two wild-card berths in the Eastern Conference. I don’t see Detroit GM Steve Yzerman trading away Perron if his club is in the chase for its first playoff appearance in eight years unless it’s for a better player. If anything, Yzerman could become a buyer by the deadline.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Buffalo Sabres are seeking help that improve their team now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a rumor flying around that the Sabres were actively shopping center Casey Mittelstadt and wanted a goaltender in return. The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski downplayed that speculation but his tweet is no longer available. However, in a reply to one of his followers regarding the Mittelstadt rumor, Lysowski tweeted they listen when teams make calls but they’re not shopping the 25-year-old center.


  1. The Flames aren’t trading Hanifin or Tanev for Matt Grzelcyk to make the money work. Let’s just get that out of the way today.

    • H, first off Grzelcyk is better than Tanev. So that trade isn’t happening.

      The point you’re missing getting a 1st round pick and adding Grzelcyk plus isn’t a bad thing.

      Grzelcyk is a decent puck moving dman, he allows Calgary to trade a player, get assets and allow the team to stay competitive for a playoff spot.

      Kind of like trading Lindholm and adding Kuzmenko. Calgary got a 1st and a player who is helping them stay competitive.

      This trade isn’t going to happen and that’s good because Hanifin isn’t what the Bruins need.

      Your comment make it sound like your getting a bag of pucks. Grizz is a decent dman, just not my cup of tea.

      • Sorry, I take Tanev all day long. Tough, and big. Grez small, and injury prone.

      • Caper I appreciate your perspective but disagree. If he’s that good then keep him. We don’t need him on the Flames nor his cap hit. Flames have mandated they’re getting younger and letting the boys play. Why would Conny get a player to flip when he’s already dealing with a bunch of ufas. Let it go. The dude won’t be a flame ever.

      • H, I don’t think this trade would ever happen nor do I want it.

        My prosal is from Sweeney obsession with the home boy Hanifin.

        Sweeney tried to trade his 3 first round picks to move up to draft him.

        To this day he still wants him.

        Hopefully he can get him in the off-season when it only cost money.

  2. Timo for Markstrom + Tanev (1.5M retained) 😁
    Then trade Vanecek + for a winger.
    Or go for Elvis, CBJ should retain some of that salary.

    • Meier and Dubois are both horribly overpaid, neither have much trade value without 50% retention. I noted those contracts were some of the worst in the league the day they were signed and somehow they already look worse.

    • Why Johnny?? Huberdeau, who was considered one of the worst contracts in the league is out performing Meiers. Why would Flames trade Markstrom for another meh contract for the next 7 years after this? I would think Mercer would be needing to come back to Flames, Holz & a 2024 1st & to eat 2.0 mill another 2025 2nd be added for the cap over the next 2 years.

  3. Lysowski is terrible…sides with management and never criticizes the team for what it is…poorly run from top to bottom.
    Sabres have plenty in the center department coming up and paying Mittelstadt makes no sense for your 3rd line center. They are doing the same to him as they did to Reinhart then finally traded him. He’s a good trade chip and should be dealt but not for a goalie, more like part of a package for a top 4 RHD.
    Pegula has hired 3 GM’s with no prior experience as a GM. Look at his coaching hires also Kruger, Housley and Granato. It’s time to go the experienced route.

    • Mitts to CBJ for Jeracek +

      • Jiricek is a top 4 RHD prospect that I can’t see Columbus parting with at this point in his development.

  4. Mitts to Boston makes a lot of sense, but at what cost?!?!?!?!

    • Unless Boston wants to trade multiple 1st, I don’t see it happening.

      • For a 3rd line center! Not!

  5. The AZ coyotes could solve their arena issue by renegotiating with the city of glendale.if the yotes are really interested in spending $2.1 billion on a new site they could buy the glendale arena for half that amount. The entertainment area is already in place,restaurants are all over the property, parking,discount shopping, a hotel are on site and a new casino is maybe a half mile away. The arena seats 17,125 for hockey and the population in the surrounding cities has exploded.the repurchase might be better than losing the team to salt lake.

    • Psssttt… they don’t have any money.

    • THIS!

  6. Mittelstadt, 25, would fill the role of center for a third solid developing line for the Habs. Not a third line center, but a center of a third solid line.

    A roster player, prospect & a pick.

    Struble or Harris, Luke Tuch & the Pens 2nd rder next season???

    As far as Buffalo looking for the netminder, does this suggest they should give up on Levi already???

    • Cozins is making 7million and Mittelstadt a better season… he will have want the same if he stays a Sabre. one of them should be moved

      • I’d stay with Cozens, more upside. He’s having the type of season he had 2 yrs ago…opportunities are there just not burying the puck and it’s not bc he doesn’t work hard. Last year they were going in and he had 31 goals.

    • No, the kid just needs more games in the AHL which should have been done from the start of this season and then brought up for the last stretch of the season to see where he was at. They should have acquired a goalie last off season. Adams is always a step behind.

  7. Buffalo Sabres season is over already, they need help for next season not “now”. Any move for this season says their most pressing need is a new GM.

  8. At some point, Yzerman is going to have to address his team’s lack of size and toughness. Vancouver joined the list of teams who try, to run the Wings off the ice, as they did yesterday, outmuscling guys like Raymond, DeBrincat and Seider. I’m not sure it happens before the TDL, but certainly before the start of the 24/25 season.

  9. On the Markstrom to NJD possibly. I think if, and that’s a big if, they were to agree to a deal, Vanacek and his $3.4 salary would have to be going the other way. Now if that’s, the case, NJD would only be adding $2.6M to the cap this year and the following 2, making the addition to add to the roster easier, in re-signing players.
    Now, we know that Fitzgerald is looking for an upgrade, but not if the return hurts the NJD roster going forward.
    They need to do something soon, because they are falling back, and it need to leapfrog too many teams. Waiting till 3/8 could be too late, and if they don’t make up much ground, then I personally think stay the course, sell off any guys you can, that are on expiring contracts, get assets and use those assets in the offseason to make an upgrade where needed. It doesn’t make sense, to wait and give up assets and high picks, if the math doesn’t work , in the NJD favor.
    Already lost this years 2nd in the Meier deal from last year. (Could have been this years 1st, but the conditions seem unlikely to be met)

    • OK, Timo is untradeable, or pretty much so
      But Is Dougie out for the season???
      Have to go with a 3 team trade.
      To Col………Vanacek (retain $1M)
      To Flames……NJ 1st, Holtz, NJ 4th; Logan O’Connor
      To NJ …….Markstrom, Tanav (1/2 retained)

  10. This salary retention stuff is CRAP! If a player wants to be traded he should eat some money Too!!!

    • And how, exactly, would he retain his own salary?

      • Pretty sure Kevin Lowe tried that in the Mike Comrie for Cory Perry deal many years ago. Didn’t work. Lol

  11. Boston & The Caps game yesterday afternoon,
    Boston Really need’s top 6 scoring help in a big way ⁉️

    Boston with No picks in the 1st 3 rounds of this year 2024 draft,
    They should just stay the course and see what happens… with young Matthew Poitra now out for the season,

    They have some 3rd & 4th line players that are UFA on the
    smaller size,
    They have UFA d/man Matt Grzelcyk $4.2M they have been trying to trade for over the past year
    the other UFA is Jake DeBust…A Bust
    this year @$5.M….😳
    Bruins have Cap space is $ for July 1st $27.M

    Top 2 Targets are
    1/ Hanifin LD man… $8.-M
    2/ Lindholm C top 6 centre they really need,$8-$9M
    = $17M for these two
    That leaves them $10M. to fill roll players positions and a bridge deal or something for Goaltender Swayman will depend on what the do with $5.M Linus Ullmark…..🤔 if they trade him or keep him but they cant aford both goaltenders unless he is delt with a back up goaltender coming the other way in a trade….???

    • WW

      Bruins are 1st in east 1 point from 1win from 1st in NHL. Debrusk 4 mil not 5. Griz 3.75 mil not 4plus Who says they are trying to move Griz. If they want to they easily can. Bruins are not trading for any top players this deadline probably if doable a 6th d man with bite/size. And a middle winger who can score a little Would never cough up 9 million for Lindholm feel sorry for who does as they will regret doing so not sure if they are going to move Ullmark or Swayman either. Though it makes sense to move Ullmark if you get decent return

      • Mrb4 agree, Boston not doing anything major and no Lindholm someone else can pay that contract.

        I do think Ullmark may get moved in the off season.

        But the moves at the deadline will be depth snarl.

      • Mittlestadt and glass to BOS

        Saros and debrusk to buff

        Ullmark and multiple picks combined from BOS and buff to NSH

        Even for everyone?

      • Mr B

        Your right Debust is $4.M this year, i head on a Sports radio he is looking for $5.M in his next contract…

        However Matt Grzelcyk is $4.2M, they have been trying to move him for well over a year, dont think they re-sign ether one of these guys

        I think after they re-sign Goaltender Swayman, before the NHL draft this year
        They will Trade Linus Ullmark as the market is Very Hot for a starting goaltender..
        Top destanation’s in this order
        1/ NJ
        2/ Carolina
        3/ Ottawa
        4/ Buffalo

  12. There is no rush moving Markstrom . You can have the same conversation in about a year from now.
    Hanifin should take the Flames money.
    Reported to be $60m .

    • Lou needs to call Conroy about Hanfin ASAP

      To CGY: Romanov & JGP and 1st
      To NYI: Hanafin plus a guy like Rooney for cap purposes

      CGY gets a young Dman signed past this season
      CGY gets center depth to make other moves

      NYI gets upside offensive Dman in prime years

      NYI can change their d- pairings to

      CGY can even trade JGP to another team if so desired
      Tanev and JGP to TML for Bertuzzi a 1st and another pick

      Flip Bertuzzi to contender with 50% retained for at least a 2nd

      Cgy gets younger and clears cap

      NYI fixes their bottom 4 and gets another offensive Dman to take the load off young Dobson

      • Should have typed
        Top 4 not bottom 4


      • Why would Leafs take on Pageau’s $5M dollar salary for three more years when Bertuzzi is an expiring contract.
        Pageau is a 31 year old, 3rd line center who is -11 and not worth half his existing contract.
        And giving up a 1st round pick for a 34 year old UFA is ludicrous.

    • Unless you are selling high, Markstrom’s pattern suggests next year he will be meh, and that would affect his value. Off-season could be a possibility though.
      That is definitely a lot of money for Hanifin. He is dumb not to jump on it.