Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 26, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 26, 2020

The latest on Shayne Gostisbehere, Chris Kreider, Tyler Toffoli, and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi suggests the Philadelphia Flyers might have to trade Shayne Gostisbehere and/ or a draft pick to land another offensive piece. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault seems to have found the right defensive pairings. Carchidi observes the Flyers have gone 5-2 since Gostisbehere was sidelined by arthroscopic knee surgery. He’s due to return to the lineup by Jan. 31, and Carchidi thinks his name will be tossed around before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

Will the Philadelphia Flyers try to shop defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere for a scoring forward? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere is struggling this season under Vigneault. He’s come up several times throughout this season in the rumor mill. “Ghost Bear was linked last November to the Montreal Canadiens, but that’s died out since they acquired Marco Scandella earlier this month. Gostisbehere lacks no-trade protection and has three years left on his contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million. Given his offensive skills, the 26-year-old rearguard could attract some interest leading up to deadline day, but interested clubs could ask for the Flyers to pick up part of his annual salary.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the word is the New York Rangers are playing both sides of the fence with Chris Kreider and aren’t sure which way they’ll go with the pending free-agent winger. There haven’t been any contract talks between the two sides, but that could be because management hasn’t made a final decision. The Boston Bruins could pursue Kreider if he hits the trade block.

The Bruins, Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes, and St. Louis Blues could try to add scoring before the trade deadline. Garrioch suggests Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli could be one option. Like Kreider, he’s due to become a UFA this summer.

San Jose’s Brenden Dillon could be an option for clubs seeking a blueliner. Sharks GM Doug Wilson is determined to make deals for draft picks.

New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald is looking to move pending UFAs Andy Greene, Sami Vatanen, and Wayne Simmonds. Winger Kyle Palmieri’s name is also out there in the rumor mill. He’s got an eight-team no-trade list.

League executives claim the Anaheim Ducks are engaging in a full rebuild and are open to just about any possibility at the trade deadline. That includes exchanging bad contracts for prospects and picks. GM Bob Murray won’t trade just anybody, but he’s open on several fronts.

The Florida Panthers are in the market for a defenseman and a backup goalie. Speculation suggests he has some interest in Ottawa Senators blueliner Dylan DeMelo.

At least 15 teams could be interested in Jean-Gabriel Pageau if the Ottawa Senators put the center on the trade block.

The New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets are in the market for a defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not much here that hasn’t already been reported elsewhere in recent weeks. If Ducks GM Bob Murray is open to trade suggestions, I don’t see him shopping long-time center Ryan Getzlaf unless he wants out. Getzlaf has a full no-movement clause. The modified no-trade clauses of forwards Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg could complicate attempts to move them. I don’t see Murray shopping Rickard Rakell, but maybe he’ll listen to offers for oft-injured Ondrej Kase. Defenseman Josh Manson has also come up in recent trade chatter and could be their best trade chip, but he also has a modified NTC.

I anticipate Panthers GM Dale Tallon will be busy leading up to the trade deadline. He’ll try to bolster his club’s chances of nailing down an Eastern Conference playoff berth.


THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger recently suggested the Vegas Golden Knights require a puck-moving defenseman who can clear the zone and improve their transition game. Options could include a blueliner signed beyond this season like Montreal’s Jeff Petry, a pending restricted free agent like the Rangers’ Tony DeAngelo, or a rental option like Chicago’s Erik Gustafsson or New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens aren’t under pressure to move Petry. Ditto the Rangers with DeAngelo. It could take a substantial offer to land either guy. Gustafsson or Vatanen would be more affordable options.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2020

The latest on Chris Kreider and Mathew Barzal plus updates on the Leafs and Hurricanes in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports Chris Kreider said he and the New York Rangers aren’t engaged in contract extension talks. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. With the Rangers sliding down the standings, there’s speculation he could be moved by the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline.

There hasn’t been any contract talks between the New York Rangers and winger Chris Kreider (Photo via NHL Images).

Kreider claims he’s unconcerned. “It’s not something I’ve really thought about,” he said. “I’m a Ranger until they tell me I’m not a Ranger.” Fox’s colleague Elliotte Friedman recently reported Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs interested in Kreider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing sense the Rangers will wait for as long as possible to determine if they’ll be sellers by the deadline. If they fail to rise in the standings, I believe Kreider will be traded by Feb. 24 to one of those clubs cited by Friedman.


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports the New York Islanders have plenty to consider about Mathew Barzal. The 22-year-old first-line center is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

Cyrgalis believes the most likely scenario sees general manager Lou Lamoriello re-signing Barzal to a two- or three-year bridge deal worth between $6 – $7 million per season. The Bazal camp could counter by seeking a deal comparable to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner’s six-year, $65.3-million contract.

Cyrgalis also said there’s a pesky notion that Barzal would love to play for the new Seattle franchise that starts playing in 2021-22. He played his junior hockey there and it’s close to his childhood home of Coquitlam, BC. Cyragalis wondered if Lamoriello would be so bold as to strike a deal with Seattle in which they take Barzal in the expansion draft in exchange for a first-round pick plus a bit more.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Barzal kicks up a fuss and wants off Long Island, he’s not going anywhere. I doubt he gets a deal similar to Marner’s. Given Lamoriello’s reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator, it wouldn’t be surprising if Barzal’s re-signed to a short-term deal with the promise of a lucrative, long-term contract down the road.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun examined where the 31 NHL teams stand a month from the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He rehashed much of the recent speculation (Penguins’ linked to Minnesota’s Jason Zucker, potential destinations for Chris Kreider and LA Kings winger Tyler Toffoli, etc). However, there were two nuggets of interest:

LeBrun doesn’t believe the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown interest in LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez yet. He wonders if they might pursue Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba, Calgary Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie, or Anaheim Ducks d-man Josh Manson. Landing one of them could cost the Leafs an asset such as winger Kasperi Kapanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regarding Brodie, The Athletic’s James Mirtle tweeted the Leafs were on his eight-team no-trade list when they attempted to acquire him for Nazem Kadri last summer. Appearing on TSN’s Leafs Lunch yesterday, however, Mirtle said Brodie may have taken the Leafs off that list after learning of their interest in him. It could be worth keeping an eye on that, though I think the Leafs aren’t willing to part with Kapanen or Johnsson for a rental defenseman. Someone with term on his contract, like Martinez, Dumba, or Manson, would be more to their liking.

Losing Dougie Hamilton to injury could force the Carolina Hurricanes to pursue a more defensive-minded blueliner, suggesting LA’s Alec Martinez or San Jose’s Brenden Dillon as trade options. He also believes the Canes could be interested in Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner if he hits the trade block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Blackhawks will trade Lehner regardless of where they are in the standings. He’s outplaying Corey Crawford and I believe GM Stan Bowman will re-sign Lehner unless his salary demands are outrageous. If he seeks something comparable to Montreal’s Carey Price or Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky, see ya later.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2020

Who could the Bruins target in the trade market, and could Charlie McAvoy become trade bait? What’s the latest on the Rangers and Red Wings? Check out the details in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Los Angeles’ Alec Martinez and San Jose’s Brenden Dillon top Nick Goss’ list of five defensemen for the Bruins to pursue at the trade deadline. New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen, Ottawa’s Ron Hainsey, and Chicago’s Erik Gustafsson round out his list.

Joe Haggerty suggests the New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider and the LA Kings’ Tyler Toffoli among the top-six forward trade options for the Bruins. New Jersey’s Kyle Palmieri, Montreal’s Ilya Kovalchuk, and Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel are the other notables on Haggerty’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were active during the last two trade deadlines, bringing in Rick Nash in 2018 and Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson last year. They believe their Stanley Cup window remains wide open, so they’ll likely make a significant move in the coming weeks. Adding a scoring winger is their pressing need, but we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility they’ll also add a veteran blueliner.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported an NHL scout texted him saying, “Don’t be surprised if the Bruins move (Charlie) McAvoy.” While other sources say the young defenseman isn’t being shopped, there’s growing speculation McAvoy could be used by general manager Don Sweeney to make a “statement trade” to add a young scoring winger with term remaining on his contract.

Could the Boston Bruins shop defenseman Charlie McAvoy for a scoring forward? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I would be surprised if the Bruins trade McAvoy, who was re-signed last summer to a cap-friendly, three-year contract. Nevertheless, if Sweeney indeed wants to make a significant move to bolster his offense, swapping the 22-year-old defenseman for a scoring forward would certainly do it. That type of move usually doesn’t take place until the off-season. We’ll find out soon enough what Sweeney has in store.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the trade buzz surrounding Alexandar Georgiev is picking up, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche said to be interested in the Rangers’ backup goaltender. If the Blueshirts don’t improve and remain in the playoff hunt over the next several weeks, Brooks feels Georgiev and other possible playoff rentals (Chris Kreider, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, Jesper Fast) and perhaps winger Pavel Buchnevich) could hit the trade block.

Noting the growing interest in Georgiev, Brooks suggests the Rangers strike now while the 23-year-old’s trade value is high. A bidding war for Georgiev’s services might fetch “a no-doubt top-nine winger with potential top-six upside.” He doesn’t believe veteran Henrik Lundqvist will ask to be moved or approached about waiving his no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers can get a quality return for Georgiev, they’ll move him. If not, they’ll retain him and see what his value will be in the off-season trade market. It’s expected Kreider will be moved unless the Rangers surge up the standings before the trade deadline. Not so sure about Strome, Fast, DeAngelo or Buchnevich getting shopped, but each could attract varying degrees of interest if management is willing to entertain offers.



MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman hopes to shop several pending unrestricted free agents for draft picks at the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Unfortunately, those trade candidates (Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard) are struggling this season and have limited trade value.

Khan thinks Green’s offensive abilities might draw some interest. Daley and Ericsson have been hurt a lot and clubs could seek better options. Howard’s performance and a thin goalie market probably make him untradeable. Asked about Valtteri Filppula and Andreas Athanasiou, Khan believes teams would want the Wings to pick up part of Filppula’s $3-million annual average salary, while Athanasiou’s struggles has sent his trade value plummeting this season.

Khan listed the Wings’ untouchables as Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Zadina and Filip Hronek on the current roster, and Moritz Seider, Joe Veleno and Michael Rasmussen in their system. He also wouldn’t give up on defenseman Dennis Cholowski.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Mark Falkner cites NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire reporting Trevor Daley requested a trade to a Stanley Cup contender. McGuire suggests the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, and Vegas Golden Knights could be interested.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Daley’s injury history and declining performance, I don’t see him helping the Stars, Avs or Golden Knights.

Sense or Nonsense – No Break for NHL GMs as Trade Deadline Nears

Sense or Nonsense – No Break for NHL GMs as Trade Deadline Nears


Rumor Trade Candidates Who Won’t Be Moved By The NHL Trade Deadline

Rumor Trade Candidates Who Won’t Be Moved By The NHL Trade Deadline


NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2020

Check out the latest on the Wild, Penguins, Leafs, Blackhawks and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Pittsburgh Penguins remain interested in Jason Zucker. However, they must find a way to make his contract ($5.5 million annually for the next three seasons) work. He also has a 10-team no-trade clause. Russo believes Zucker’s hometown Vegas Golden Knights are on his “yes list.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly still interested in acquiring Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker (Photo via NHL Images).

Russo also speculates defenseman Jonas Brodin (signed through 2020-21, $4.16-million annual average value) would be attractive to clubs seeking a top-four defenseman. Those would include Carolina, Toronto, Florida, and Vegas. The Hurricanes have serious interest, but Russo wonders if Dougie Hamilton’s recent injury could make them change course.

The Wild also possesses an attractive right-shot blueliner in Matt Dumba. His production and defensive play have declined this season. There’s a risk in trading him, as the 25-year-old could regain his form. His poor play this season could also affect his trade value.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also reports the Penguins continue to pursue Zucker. However, the Wild aren’t ready to concede anything just yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wild fail to climb back into the playoff chase by mid-February, first-year general manager Bill Guerin will become a seller. He won’t just ship out guys like Zucker, Brodin or Dumba for pennies on the dollar, but if he gets a solid offer for one them, I believe he’ll pull the trigger. There are others he could shop, but those three offer the best chance for a return that helps the Wild now and over the long term.

The Penguins made a failed attempt to land Zucker last spring. What could work in the Wild’s favor this time is Guerin joined them last summer from the Penguins’ front office. He’s well aware of Pittsburgh’s best young players and prospects. You can bet a couple of those could be in the asking price.

And no, I don’t see Mikko Koivu waiving his no-movement clause. Eric Staal could be moved if a team that’s not on his 10-team no-trade list comes calling, but I think Guerin would approach Staal to get his blessing.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said there’s a sense around the league the only way the Toronto Maple Leafs move winger Kasperi Kapanen is in a big deal that makes them significantly better. He also thinks the Leafs have been asked about pending UFA defensemen Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, and Jake Muzzin.

Friedman doesn’t see the Leafs becoming sellers, so the only way something happens there is is they want to give one of their younger blueliners more permanent minutes. It also sounds like there are some contract discussions between the Leafs and Muzzin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Kapanen won’t be used as trade bait for a backup goalie like the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev. If the 23-year-old winger can fetch them a reasonably priced top-four defenseman, preferably one with term remaining on his contract, I believe GM Kyle Dubas will take that deal.

No surprise they want to keep Muzzin. He’s their best defensive blueliner. With over $68 million invested in 12 players, they have sufficient room to re-sign Muzzin, but it won’t leave much space to fill out the rest of the roster unless they shed salary.


Nothing’s happening with the Chicago Blackhawks as long as they remain in the playoff chase. Should that change before the trade deadline, Friedman wonders if Florida Panthers head coach (and former Blackhawks bench boss) Joel Quenneville would ask to approach Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith on the virtues of playing in southeast Florida.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, goaltender Robin Lehner still wants to be paid fairly for his services. The pending unrestricted free agent wouldn’t say for sure if a long-term deal is a priority, but Friedman feels he won’t take a lesser annual average salary to get a longer-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Friedman that the Blackhawks won’t become sellers if they remain in the postseason hunt. If they do test the trade market, I still don’t see Keith or Lehner going anywhere. Keith has a full no-movement clause and there’s no hint that he wants out. Lehner, meanwhile, is out-playing long-time Hawks starter Corey Crawford. I think Chicago GM Stan Bowman intends to re-sign Lehner.

New Jersey Devils forward Travis Zajac wants to stay put. His agent claims something was offered to his client earlier this season, but he was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause at that time. His camp will see about the future after the season. Friedman guesses the offer came from the New York Islanders,

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zajac has a year remaining on his contract worth $5.75 million. He’s spent his entire 14-season NHL career with the Devils. Maybe he’ll consider a trade during the off-season if the right club come calling.