NHL Rumor Mill – April 10, 2024

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Rumors | 16 comments

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and Flyers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels noted the Montreal Canadiens’ ongoing need for scoring depth following their 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A healthy Kirby Dach and improving young players like Juraj Slafkovsky and Alex Newhook should help the Canadiens’ offense next season. Nevertheless, Engels believes general manager Kent Hughes must use his plethora of defensemen and draft picks as trade bait to bolster their scoring punch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes acknowledged the need for more scoring following last month’s trade deadline. He hinted that he could be a buyer again at the draft. He acquired Dach during the first round of the 2022 draft and Newhook the day before the opening round of last year’s draft.

Dach and Newhook are promising players yet to reach their potential. The Canadiens need one or two established scorers, preferably in their mid-to-late twenties who can fit into the club’s long-term plans.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie and Tony Marinaro believe the Canadiens should part ways with struggling winger Josh Anderson.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson (NHL Images).

Lajoie believes the Canadiens cannot bring back Anderson next season. He suggests retaining 50 percent of his $5.5 million annual average value or buying out the remaining three years of his deal.

Failing that, Marinaro recommends Anderson start next season with their AHL affiliate in Laval. He pointed out they did the same thing this season with Joel Armia, whose performance improved after spending eight games with their farm team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Hughes has in store for Anderson, whose production fell from 21 goals in 2022-23 to just nine this season. The 29-year-old winger carries an eight-team no-trade list this season and a five-team no-trade for the remainder of the contract.

The Canadiens will have over $19 million in cap space (factoring in Carey Price’s $10.5 million on permanent LTIR) for 2024-25. Still, Hughes might not want to carry six years of dead cap space on his books, especially if he’s got plans to bring in a scorer or two this summer.

Buying out Anderson would only count as over $222K next season, climbing to $2.22 million in 2025-26 and $3.72 million in 2026-27 before dropping to $1.72 million in each of the final three seasons. Even with a rising cap, that’s a long time to carry that buyout on the books.

Retaining half his salary would be a better option but it’s still $2.75 million in dead cap space per season for three years. The best move could be to keep Anderson for another season, see if his production improves, and decide his future afterward.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz wondered if there could be offseason repercussions for the Philadelphia Flyers if they miss the playoffs. Having held a postseason berth for most of the season, the struggling Flyers are in danger of failing to clinch a spot.

The Flyers could go into next season with Samuel Ersson and Ivan Fedotov as their goalie tandem, depending on the latter’s contract talks. However, it’s not settled that they’re good enough to carry the club into the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter Hart’s absence from the Flyers contributed to their slide down the standings in recent weeks. Ersson’s done his best to fill the void but wasn’t meant to carry such a heavy workload at this early stage of his NHL career. After being forced to spend the past two seasons in the KHL, Fedotov has only three games of NHL experience and came in a couple of weeks ago under unusual circumstances.

With Hart’s future in the NHL cloudy, the Flyers could bring in a veteran backup for Ersson if Fedotov isn’t re-signed before July 1.

Kurz also cited hockey analyst Doug MacLean speculating that Flyers head coach John Tortorella could move into a management role next season.

MacLean claimed Tortorella requested a transition to management during his final season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then-GM Jarmo Kekalainen declined and Tortorella left at the end of the season.

If Tortorella took a management role, Kurz wondered if assistant coach Brad Shaw or Rocky Thompson would take over as head coach. He also noted that former St. Louis Blues bench boss Craig Berube is tight with Flyers president Keith Jones.


  1. I’m with Lyle on Anderson. Retaining half his salary for three years is not the way to go. Especially since a trade at this point wouldn’t bring back much. A buyout wouldn’t work either. Dead cap space for six years is too much. The Habs don’t need the space for next year. Keep him and hope he bounces back.

  2. How bout:
    Anderson at 1/2 salary and the Wild 3rd and the Pens 2025 2nd for Laine ($2M retained)
    Both could use a change of scenery and giving Monahan a new chance sure worked out.

    • Johnny, you really need to think your trade proposals through.

      First, Laine has a cap hit of 8.7 million, meaning the Habs would lose 3.2 million in cap space to move one reclamation project for another, in a straight up trade.

      Secondly: did you check cap friendly before you made your suggestion? It shows the Habs will enter next season retaining 4.2 million for two players. They are not going to add a third, which also would add another 2.6 million for a cap wing of nearly 6 million for Laine based on your proposal.

      Thirdly, Laine is in the player assistance program. He entered it after expressing confidence issues. You want to put him in an environment like Montreal?

      As for Monahan, you are not clear. If you meant a change in scenery in Montreal, his issue was injury related in Calgary, not performance per se. If you mean a change as in Winnipeg, he was playing well in Montreal.

      • Yes, Montreal might be a nightmare for Laine.

      • Not nearly as much a nightmare as Laine would be for Montreal

      • Finally, Montreal got Anderson from Columbus and we don’t want him back.

  3. Anderson staying another year is a 5.5m gamble. If he doesn’t bounce back you are in a worse position re trade but better position re buy out. Good luck. Cheapest route is 50% retained x 3 yrs plus you get another player, draft pick etc in the trade deal.

    • Richard. You are right it is a gamble to keep Anderson next year but I think it is a gamble Montreal has to take. Trading him now would mean not only would you have to retain 50% of his salary but you would also have to throw in a draft pick or prospect for the team to take him and in return you either would get nothing or a overpaid and under performing player from the other team and we already have a few them and don’t need anymore. The hope is Anderson has a good offseason and has a short memory. Unless Montreal acquires a legitimate 2nd winger in the offseason Anderson has to be given an opportunity to earn a spot on the 2nd line in training camp/start of the season and then it’s on him to sink or swim. The enigma Armia was sent to the minors at the beginning of the season and almost turned into a 20 goal scorer in a shortened season for him. I’m hoping (praying) Anderson rebounds next year.

  4. Anderson has to drink the same water as Slafkovsky and Armia, two players that had difficulty and made changes to their game and have become very effective.

    There has been a lot of emphasis on development and teaching, concentrating on the plethora of young players on the team.

    Anderson needs to make changes in his game to fit into the system and go beyond powering down the wing and trying to curl to the net.

    He’s going to be a project for the coaching staff to regain his form as he still has his physicality and legs.

    • HabFan you certainly can’t compare struggling veterans like Armia and Anderson to a 19 year old kid like Slafkovsky.

    • The problem with Anderson is he is lazy and thinks he is in a figure skating event most nights. A kick in the butt and an attitude adjustment is needed similar to what they did with Armia

    • There were rumours in Montreal that Josh refused to use the services of the team’s performance psychologist. I hope it’s not true. The poor guy has missed so many breakaways this season, may be he needs….an exorcism 🙂

      Hopefully he bounces back next season. I’m afraid his style doesn’t fit, long term, with the creative hockey St.Louis tries to establish. The best option would be to trade him next season, if he finds his groove back. If he doesn’t, a buy out could happen, summer of ’25.

  5. Habs didnt have any scoring issues pummeling the Feeble Flyers last night.


    • With 5 goals on Ersson and 17 shots and 4 on Fedotov and 13 shots I half-expected Tortorella to invoke an old answer from his days in Tampa when asked back then what he thought his team needed — “a save would be nice …”

    • This is brilliant commentary.

  6. MacKinnon 3 goals just sick (especially hat-trick goal) ; dancing around D at full speed.

    Congrats to Mathews reaching Mario sweater number in goals. Gut feeling is that he ends up just shy of 70.

    Isles over Rangers. No way I saw that coming. That with the Caps win lowered Penguins playoff odds.

    Again, I hate this situation. As at right now; 1% lottery chance at picking 5th (Lidstrom ?👍) but 99% chance at handing Sharks a mid rounder.

    Just about 3 weeks ago ; Penguins had more than a 13% chance of picking 1st or 2nd; and 100% chance of keeping pick (picking in top 10).

    This situation is solely on one issue. Massive number of 1 goal losses. If their power play (hovering at bottom of league) just improved :

    Right now, 31st in entire league. Thirty-first!

    Penguins current #1 PP unit collectively (career) has over 1,500 goals, over 2,700 As, and over 4,200 points. If you just take only PP situations; the numbers are 440, 1005, 1,445. That’s with Bunting (in place of Guentzel).

    Switching Guentel/Bunting in the above… career total for PP1: 1,668/2,879/4,557 and on just PP: 470/1,059/1,629

    How the hell does that talent have the 2nd worst PP in the entire league…. Answer. Rierdon

    What a way to wreck offensive chances

    31st in league. If they just had moved up 5 spots (to 26th overall…. Still horrid ); that PP % gets them 8 more goals this year; and those 8 wouldn’t be in same game. With so many 1 goal losses; just 3 of those 8 in games where they lost by 1 goal… gives Penguins at least 3 more game points…. And Penguins would be 3rd in Metro right now

    Again…. Loaded and proven talent on PP1; but 31st in league.

    Talent is there; direction/method/system isn’t.

    Fire Rierdon!!

    No effect on Cap hit BTW!