NHL Rumor Mill – May 9, 2024

by | May 9, 2024 | Rumors | 34 comments

Should the Islanders trade Brock Nelson? Will the Lightning peddle Anthony Cirelli? Could the Sabres trade their 2024 first-rounder? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello needs to shake up the core of his roster. He suggests trading forward Brock Nelson.

Brooks praised Nelson as an exemplary leader and team representative over the past 11 seasons. However, the 32-year-old winger would have value in the trade market as a full-season rental before his contract expires at the end of next season.

New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson (NHL Images).

Moving captain Anders Lee seems impossible given he has two years left on this contract with an AAV of $7 million and a 15-team no-trade clause. Bo Horvat has a full no-movement clause while Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock have full NTCs. They won’t part with Mathew Barzal and Noah Dobson. JG Pageau has two years left on his deal with an AAV of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know what the always-secretive Lamoriello has in store for his club this summer. If the Isles GM takes Brooks’ advice, Nelson’s 16-team no-trade clause will hamper efforts to move him.


TAMPA BAY TIMES: Eduardo A. Encina recently looked at five things the Lightning must do during the offseason. Re-signing Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman top the list but doing so means shedding sufficient salary to do so.

General manager Julien BriseBois said nothing was off the table when it comes to moving an existing contract to sign Stamkos and Hedman. One player worth watching is Anthony Cirelli because he’s the only member of the Lightning’s group of “locked-in” players lacking no-trade protection this summer.

It’s difficult to see the Lightning trading Cirelli. He’s their second-line center and their best two-way forward. However, he also carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit for the next seven years.

Encina also mentioned the possibility of getting defenseman Erik Cernak to accept a trade. However, the Lightning likely wouldn’t get much in return and might have to retain part of his salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cirelli would draw plenty of attention around the league, especially from rebuilding clubs with plenty of trade capital (draft picks, prospects, affordable young players) to offer up in return. It’ll be interesting to see if BriseBois would go that far.

Cernak’s no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. BriseBois could move him before then but he still won’t fetch as much as Cirelli.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski believes the Buffalo Sabres should trade their 2024 first-round pick (11th overall) for more immediate roster help. He based this on the club being in a “win-now situation” according to new head coach Lindy Ruff.

The Sabres are already well-stocked in good young roster players and prospects. Lysowski suggested targeting cap-strapped clubs like the Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets that could be trying to shed salary this summer.

THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn shares Lysowski’s view but only if the Sabres can find the right trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. The Sabres have missed the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. They must do something to end that streak and become perennial postseason contenders.


  1. I would hate to lose Nelson’s consistency, scoring and leadership, but my Islanders need to get younger, faster and more skilled. There’s limited help coming from our inferior prospect pool and Lou has dealt away too many draft picks, so trading looks like the only viable route. I’m not sure Lou is the guy to oversee a retool, and I get the impression ownership has given him a win-now mandate anyway. Sadly, it’s a mediocre squad that relies on goaltending to compete for a playoff berth without much hope against the beasts of the east.

  2. Cernak won’t bring a great return, but needs to be moved — he’s a good but part-year player as his style has made him injury prone. Thus his trade is a small but needed part of the puzzle JBB has to solve. Cirelli is an unlikely trade for a club that needs to get better defensively. Assuming Stamkos signs – an alternative is to repeat last year: try to grab a couple of useful left-overs at the end of the free agent market, cycle all of the kids in the organization through the big club to see if anyone sticks, and try to solve any glaring weaknesses at trade deadline time. The problem is, after all, assembling a useful third and fourth line, and third defensive pairing around a core that wasn’t terrible and is still viable.

  3. Could the Buffalo and Tampa be Trade partners…❓

    Tampa need to clear cap space to sign Stamkos
    Sabers could use a Centre like Anthony Cirelli
    to help with 2nd line Scoring…?

    With Buffalo 1st pick @ 11th Tampa could get a nice scoring forward for Cirelli

    Buffalo may need to add a 3rd pick to the deal or a prospect……🤔❓

    • A 1st for Cerelli would be more than enough, you are clearing cap for the too!

  4. I think there are going to be lots of trades at the draft this year❓
    and lots of trades before UFA period kicks in on
    July 1st,

    I Hope the Oilers Trade out Daniel Nurse
    before july 1st….

    • Good luck with that:):)

  5. Cerilli and Chernak for Zegras and Lindstrom 😄

  6. Depending on the price, Cermak would fit in well in Detroit, who are short on RD, and could use some size there too.

    I think Cirelli would be tougher to move. He is a very good but overpaid shut down 3rd line center.

  7. Hmmmmmm….Leafs fire Keefe….not sure about this one. I know Toronto needs to change the narrative, but I thought he finally had Toronto playing sound playoff style hockey.

    Berube a fit ?

    • Berube would be my pick to leafs. Even Julien would get them playing playoff style

    • There is buzz around here that stupid Dubas might be looking to bring Keefe here (local rumours have Sullivan being at the helm of the Devils next year).

      Pens do need to move on from Sullivan (just not getting job done), but Keefe is definitely not the answer. Absolutely not the answer.

      Berube behind Pens bench would be a Godsend.

      Expect Dubas to continue making big mistakes.

      Don’t be surprised this fall if team (setting aside the departure of 39 year old Carter) is older, smaller , weaker, and with less sandpaper (already low) and Keefe behind the bench.

      Falling further in standings; falling further in attendance

      Lebraun et al need to write a check out to Dubas to exit quickly

      Bring in anybody who has logic and who doesn’t go to the “friends” cupboard over better (and cheaper) options. Need only cite the Accairi signing where Dubas gave a “friends” 60% raise AND 3 years term on a player who was on a 1 year show me contract; where he did not show; and had 3 straight years of decline.

      We also need a GM that can at least draw even in any trade (not lose by big margins on all); can avoid huge overpay on UFAs; can draft for size/strength/grit.

      • Are the Maple Leafs content with the shenanigans of Brendan Shanahan?

        Dubas is doing a better job for the Penguins with more control and flexibility than he had with the Maple Leafs. He will do more good for the Penguins this offseason.

      • Better job? Like Karlsson trade, Jarry signing, Accari signing, Smith trade and Guentzel blunder?

        I think he should still call Shanahan before any trade or signing! Dubas is just flat out awful!

    • Yeah he had them playing solid hockey for three games. Too little too late. His playoff record is abysmal and a change was needed.
      Agree on Berube, he’d be a good fit

    • I can’t remember which game, but Keefe trotted Reaves out in the last 5 minutes when they were down 2 goals, and I thought “that alone is a fireable offense.”

      • Just “trotted Reaves out” period; is s fireable offense.

  8. Cernak cirelli to NYI for JGP mayfield Wahlstrom and a 2nd

    NYI trade offer to CMB
    Nelson and Lee for Gaudreau


    • Your proposed NYI-TB trade wouldn’t work because TB wouldn’t be able to take back much salary in trading Cirelli or Cernak.

      • Think they can flip JGP to teams needing 2nd line C like Chicago? They have cap room

        That’ll leave them with 7 m cleared and the cap raises 4

  9. Lindy Ruff says the Sabres are in a “win now” situation?

    Is it … no, today is May 09.

    They were 7 points out of a playoff spot this year, making it 13 years in a row they have missed the playoffs. The current roster is only responsible for the last couple of years but talk about altered reality.

  10. If I were the Leafs I would wait until the Hurricanes are out of the playoffs and go aggressively after Rod Brind’Amour. Their owner doesn’t like to spend money on coaches. So I would see if he would move to Toronto to become the highest paid NHL coach.

    • Headhunter, Brind’Amour and Carolina have apparently been working on an extension but aren’t quite there yet. IF the Canes lose in round 2, maybe he goes for the big bucks in Toronto, maybe not. I read that Rod was never interested in playing for the Leafs, more of a no go destination.

      I expect a new coach to be announced before the playoffs end.

    • If Toronto waits to try and sign Brind’Amour they will miss out on two good coaches.

  11. Re “Lance Lysowski believes the Buffalo Sabres should trade their 2024 first-round pick (11th overall) for more immediate roster help. ”

    Penguins are very pleased to accept that Sabres 1st round pick in exchange for 3 (three ) roster players with a combined almost 2,200 NHL games: Accairi, Eller, Nieto

    If Adams wants to play hardball then the Pens will add Smith; bringing a total of more than 3,000 NHL games experience to the Sabres

    Better still, have Lebraun write a personal check (and give a signed jersey ) to Pegula to flip Adams for Dubas

  12. Would Keefe want the SJ job? 1st overall and some good young talent?
    Sign a 5 yr

    Would be beneficial for both sides.

    • Wouldn’t be beneficial to Keefe at all. San Jose won’t be even sniff playoffs for at least 4 more seasons.

      New Jersey, Seattle, LA (If Hiller gets axed) make a lot more sense.

  13. Cirelli available???

    Pens propose a 5 roster players for 1 swap:

    Smith (50% retained); Eller; Accairi; Nieto; Bemsstrom….

    Plus the prospects from the Guentzel deal: Ponomarev( Lucius; Koivunen

    Lightning can bury Nieto and have the other 4 on the roster at a total Cap hit of less than $8 M.

    Cerelli Cap is $6.25 M; so Lightning get 3 extra roster players for a max if only $1.75 M (max avg. of $525 K each)

    No way this happens; but it’s a nice dream 😴

    • You mean 5 spare parts,not roster players!

      • Shhhh

        We want BriseBois mesmerized by the volume of return and Cap savings

        spare parts, roster players, over-paid has-beens; aging (poorly) 4th liners…. Just descriptors we’ll keep here on this site.

        The 7 assets for 1 plus Cap savings is all BriseBois needs to know.

        Your silence on this is greatly appreciated

        Or 1 for 1 swap…. Dubas (plus $40 M into a Swiss bank account for Vinik) to Lightning , for BriseBois

  14. Bruins got by in the regular season not winning faceoffs but it’s going to bite them in the playoffs … a legit 1st line center was a need going into the season, durning the season and will be a need this coming offseason ..

    • Joe,problem is Who is really a first line center that they should acquire? I Don t look at Lindholm as a bonafide 1st line center!

      • At least during the playoffs so far, he’s looked really good, especially in the face-off dot… all he really needs to do is win draws and then hang out in front of the net, slipping into the bumper spot when one of Pasta or Marchy goes to the corner. He’s still a pretty good shot from there.

      • He’s also looked great defensively for the Canucks. His regular season finish was kinda weak, but I suppose he got over that adjustment period and has found himself again in the playoffs.

  15. Sabres shouldn’t trade their first. They should trade some of their prospects.