NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2019

Updates on several 2020 RFAs, some Coyotes speculation, and the latest on Joshua Ho-Sang in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: The recent re-signings of Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot, Arizona’s Clayton Keller, and Colorado’s Samuel Girard left Pierre LeBrun wondering if those moves were a reaction to this summer’s RFA signings. Negotiations to re-sign notable youngsters coming off entry-level contracts dragged on throughout the off-season. Some, such as Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, weren’t resolved until the final week of the preseason.

Will the New York Islanders re-sign Mathew Barzal before next summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

LeBrun believes there have been preliminary talks between the New York Islanders and center Mathew Barzal, the Columbus Blue Jackets and center Pierre-Luc Dubois, the New Jersey Devils and center Nico Hischier, and the Montreal Canadiens and defenseman Victor Mete.

It could only be a matter of time until the Blackhawks open talks with Dylan Strome. Meanwhile, it could take until season’s end before discussions open between the Tampa Bay Lightning and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, the St. Louis Blues and rearguard Vince Dunn, and the Boston Bruins and winger Jake DeBrusk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those RFA talks could be determined by how much salary-cap space those teams carry for next season. As per Cap Friendly, the Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Devils, and Islanders have more cap space to work with for 2020-21. They can afford to pursue new deals during the season for their notable free agents.

The value of the player is another factor. Barzal, Dubois, and Hischier are all first-line centers. That makes them more valuable to their respective clubs and a priority to re-sign.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked if the Arizona Coyotes might trade Alex Goligoski this season. The 34-year-old defenseman’s no-movement clause has now become a modified no-trade.

Morgan doesn’t think they Coyotes have any desire to trade Goligoski. That might change if they’re out of playoff contention by the February trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Goligoski has an eight-team no-trade list. That give the Coyotes some room to maneuver if they wish to shop him later this season. He’s signed through 2020-21 but his $5.45 million annual salary-cap hit could be a sticking point.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins weighed in on why the Oilers didn’t pluck Joshua Ho-Sang off waivers from the New York Islanders last week. He feels the only way Ho-Sang could help the Oilers is if he played as a top-six forward, something the winger hasn’t been able to do at the NHL or AHL levels.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay that’s the reason why Ho-Sang passed unclaimed through waivers last week. I’ve read some comments suggesting he’s an affordable gamble but that’s a view that doesn’t seem to be shared by NHL general managers. The fact he’s almost begging for a club to take a chance on him says all we need to know about his value in the trade market. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2019

The Senators re-sign Thomas Chabot, Patrik Laine tries to smooth some ruffled feathers with the Jets, plus the latest on Sidney Crosby, Dylan Larkin, Jake Allen, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday re-signed defenseman Thomas Chabot to an eight-year, $64-million contract extension. The annual average value is $8 million. 

The Ottawa Senators re-signed defenseman Thomas Chabot to an eight-year contract extension (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly has the details of the deal, including a 10-team modified no-trade clause in the final four seasons of the contract. In a 2018-19 season filled with turmoil for the Senators, Chabot established himself as a talented young puck-moving defenseman, tallying 55 points in 70 games. His emergence as a top-pairing rearguard eased the sting of Erik Karlsson’s departure.

In locking up Chabot to a long-term deal, the Senators are committing themselves to the young talent on their roster, having recently re-signed center Colin White to six-year extension. It’s also a potential bargain for the Senators. Should the 22-year-old blueliner continue his impressive development, he’ll be worth much more than $8 million annually in a few years. 

CBC.CA: Speaking of the Senators, team owner Eugene Melnyk was forced to go to court to get his company’s private jet back from an aviation company that was holding it due to an unpaid debt. Court documents revealed Flightpath Charter Airways claimed it was owed $693,524.19 for the operation, maintenance and storage of the jet. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the same day as the good news about Chabot’s long-term contract extension, we’re reminded of the ongoing follies of the Senators’ owner and why the club’s fans remain nervous over its future under Melnyk’s control. 

WINNIPEG SUN:  Jets winger Patrik Laine reached out to teammate Bryan Little to apologize over remarks he made to a Finnish media outlet that seemed to disparage the veteran center. Little said the apology was unnecessary but he appreciates Laine making the gesture. The 21-year-old winger is currently embroiled in a contract impasse with the Jets and is practicing with the Swiss club SC Bern.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby leads all NHL players in eBay merchandise sales. He also had the top-selling NHL Shop jersey last season. 

WGR 550: An injured hand will force Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour to miss the remainder of the preseason. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Should this injury threaten to keep Montour out of the lineup for the start of the season it could put a damper on the trade rumors swirling about Rasmus Ristolainen. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: A nagging foot injury has kept Red Wings center Dylan Larkin out of preseason play thus far but he’s hoping to see some action soon. Wings coach Jeff Blashill considers the injury a minor one but will give Larkin plenty of time to fully recover. 

STLTODAY.COM: After receiving off-season assurances he wouldn’t be traded, Jake Allen is focusing on regaining his role as the Blues’ starting goaltender. He was supplanted midway through last season by Jordan Binnington, who backstopped the Blues to the 2019 Stanley Cup. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings’ recent signing of defenseman Ben Hutton to a one-year contract was prompted by injuries to blueliners Derek Forbort and Paul LaDue. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils named Jake Reynolds as their new team president.