Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 10, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 10, 2019

The latest Taylor Hall speculation plus an update on Jason Spezza in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman considers it unlikely the New Jersey Devils will get Taylor Hall re-signed during this season. While the two sides met recently in Calgary, Hall’s agent Darren Ferris has a history of telling his clients to wait until as late as possible to determine their true market value. Friedman feels it’s up to Devils general manager Ray Shero to decide on his club’s course of action.

It’s looking unlikely Taylor Hall will re-sign with the New Jersey Devils during this season (Photo via NHL Images).

Friedman’s colleague Rory Boylen recently listed eight NHL teams that Hall could conceivably sign with by next July. The Devils are on that list but Boylen suggests their slow start could jeopardize their chances of re-signing him.

Boyle believes the Colorado Avalanche have the salary-cap space to sign Hall to a big contract. He also included Hall’s former club, the Edmonton Oilers, on this list but considers his return to Edmonton a long shot. He also wonders if the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, and Pittsburgh Penguins could be landing spots for Hall.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater examined the pros and cons of the Avalanche acquiring Hall near the trade deadline as a playoff rental. Acquiring him could be expensive. Dater speculates the asking price could be “Tyson Jost/J.T. Compher/Nikita Zadorov/all of the above, plus a first-round-pick and maybe another pick.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall’s name will remain a fixture in this season’s rumor mill if his camp is determined to wait until June to evaluate his free-agent value. Money won’t be an issue for the Devils. With over $57 million invested in 14 players, they can afford to re-sign Hall to an expensive new contract. I believe it boils down to whether he believes the Devils will provide him the best chance to play for a Stanley Cup contender. In the short term, there’s no indication they’re heading in that direction.

Hall’s only made one postseason appearance in his career. Approaching his 28th birthday, he’s at the stage in his career where he might be unwilling to wait on a rebuilding team for that opportunity.

Shero will set a high asking price if he shops Hall before the trade deadline. Interested parties will attempt to wait him out in hopes he’ll drop that price as the deadline nears.

The Avalanche could express interest but it’ll depend upon where they are in the standings and how long top-line forwards Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog remain sidelined. They do have the cap space to re-sign him but must consider how that could affect efforts to re-sign some key players within the next two or three seasons.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have to clear a roster spot to activate Zach Hyman this week. It appears center Jason Spezza could be the odd man out.

Spezza’s missed three straight games as a healthy scratch (nine overall so far this season). Johnston said Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock have had a constant dialogue with the veteran center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston also suggested that situation could change if Mitch Marner is sidelined for any length of time. Marner left last night’s game against Philadelphia with an apparent ankle injury. No word yet as to his status. If Marner is ok, the Leafs could place Spezza on waivers or attempt to trade him.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2019

The latest on the Red Wings, Senators, and Maple Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports outside sources believe the Detroit Red Wings will be a team with hand raised high for Torey Krug if the Boston Bruins defenseman tests next summer’s free-agent market. The Wings are Krug’s hometown team and he played for Wings coach Jeff Blashill in the USHL. They are also desperate for a power-play quarterback.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan recently reported the Red Wings’ mounting losses is generating speculation about Blashill’s future in Detroit. General manager Steve Yzerman hasn’t commented about his coach’s status. Citing Yzerman’s tenure as Tampa Bay Lightning GM, Kulfan observed he is normally patient and not given to making rash decisions. Despite the Wings’ poor start, the players remain supportive of Blashill.

Could the Detroit Red Wings pursue Torey Krug in next summer’s UFA market? (Photo via NHL Images).

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire told TSN radio Ottawa not to be surprised if Yzerman attempts to shop 2018 first-round pick Filip Zadina. McGuire was critical of the young winger’s play without the puck.

Zadina was drafted by former Wings GM Ken Holland. McGuire thinks it’s fair to say he shouldn’t have been selected as high as he was (sixth overall) in that draft.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently wondered if Yzerman might make a move to improve the Wings’ performance and provide some hope for the fanbase. For now, the plan is to once again unload contracts at the trade deadline for draft picks.

Their rental players (Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Mike Green) won’t have much value. Others signed beyond this season (Darren Helm, Valtteri Filppula, Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Bernier) will be almost impossible to move.

Khan believes Andreas Athanasiou could be the Wings’ biggest trade chip. He wonders if Yzerman will shop him at the trade deadline or before the 2020 NHL Draft for an additional first-round draft pick.

As for Blashill, Khan believes Yzerman could stick with him for the rest of the season unless the team completely falls apart. He also think Yzerman will continue to chip away at his roster with value-seeking deals leading up to the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings weren’t expected to be a playoff contender this season but it was hoped they’d show improvement. If these disheartening losses keep piling up, Yzerman could give Blashill the hook.

Yzerman can’t be happy with what he’s seeing right now. Making a significant move to turn things around will be difficult at this point in the season. Rival GMs are likely more interested in young core players like Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Anthony Mantha than those carrying expensive or expiring contracts.

If Athanasiou doesn’t pick up his play I can see Yzerman fielding trade offers later in the season. Playing for a deeper club could help the speedy forward regain his spark. I agree with McGuire it wouldn’t be surprising if Zadina was moved. It’s not a certainty but Yzerman could gauge his trade value.

Yzerman could get into the bidding for Krug if he hits the open market next summer. Krug, however, might not be keen to join a rebuilding club. He’ll draw plenty of interest around the league.


TSN: Ian Mendes reports Jean-Gabriel Pageau said he’s had no contract extension discussion lately with the Ottawa Senators. The 26-year-old center is off to the best statistical start of his NHL career. Pageau said he’s focused on his game and hasn’t given much thought to his contract. If he doesn’t fit into the rebuilding Senators plans he could be shopped at the trade deadline.

OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren also wonders about Pageau’s future with the Senators. His two-way skills would be attractive to playoff contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mendes and Warren believe it’ll come down to how much the Senators are willing to pay and how much Pageau believes his services are worth. Considering the Senators’ current rebuild, they could be unwilling to pony up big bucks for their pending UFA stars. Don’t be surprised if he’s playing elsewhere by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.


TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Maple Leafs placed Nic Petan and Martin Marincin on waivers yesterday to free up salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s return from knee surgery on Saturday. Petan and Marincin will be assigned to the Leafs’ AHL affiliate if they clear waivers at noon ET today.

Once those two are claimed or demoted, the Leafs must take one more salary off the roster. He lists Nick Shore, Jason Spezza, and Dmytro Timashov as prime candidates to be waived or traded. All have salary-cap salaries of around $700,000.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch considers it unlikely the Senators will try to bring Spezza back to Ottawa with a waiver claim. While he’d be a good mentor in the dressing room, the Sens don’t want an aging player taking a roster spot from their younger players.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2019

The latest Maple Leafs speculation plus an update on Josh Ho-Sang in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran wonders what’s next on the trade front for the Maple Leafs. If they need to get something, and McGran feels a backup goaltender is a priority, they’ll have to move someone off their roster or from their AHL affiliate. General manager Kyle Dubas could be reluctant to trade any more draft picks after giving up his 2020 first-rounder to Carolina in June’s Patrick Marleau deal.

Is a reunion possible for Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators? (Photo via NHL Images)

McGran also points out Dubas will have to move a player or two or three to free up salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s imminent return. Nic Petan was recalled into the lineup against the Los Angeles Kings. McGran suggests perhaps he was being showcased for a trade. He also wonders if Dubas “can package two or three of his spare parts and get something more meaningful than cap space back.”


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas could put one or two players (like Jason Spezza) on waivers but one of them could be plucked away for nothing by another club. He could try to peddle Petan for a backup goalie but there might not be many decent options available right now. He could end up waiting until the New Year before the market improves.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported teams contacted the Leafs to see if they were willing to move a big contract. However, they want to evaluate their roster when it’s fully healthy before making any decisions on a larger move. I don’t see him moving one of his expensive players. A forward like Alexander Kerfoot, Kaspari Kapanen, and Andreas Johnsson will draw more interest and fetch a better return. They’re all signed beyond this season with reasonable annual average salaries.

Spezza’s been a good solider thus far but he’s been a frequent healthy scratch with the Leafs. The Senators are reportedly seeking another experienced forward. Maybe they’ll consider a reunion with Spezza. His contract (one-year, $700k) is affordable for the budget-conscious Sens.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has been your weekly Ho-Sang update. Tune in again next week for probably more of the same.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2019

The New Jersey Devils need a goaltending upgrade, the Senators could acquire another forward, and the Leafs need to make room for Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the New Jersey Devils need a goaltending upgrade as Cory Schneider and MacKenzie Blackwood struggle between the pipes. He wonders if the Arizona Coyotes could be enticed to part with Antti Raanta, who’s recovered from the lower-body injury that sidelined him for most of last season. Raanta has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million and is backing up Darcy Kuemper.

Should the New Jersey Devils pursue a deal for Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks is speculating here. He’s not saying the Devils are pursuing Raanta or that the Coyotes are willing to part with him. Still, it might be worthwhile for Devils general manager Ray Shero to inquire into Raanta’s availability. When he’s healthy he’s outstanding but his injury history is an issue. Coyotes GM John Chayka isn’t under any pressure to move Raanta and could keep his goalie tandem intact for the season.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is searching for a forward who can help their roster. Calling up Filip Chlapik means little-used winger Mikkel Boedker’s days in Ottawa are numbered.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boedker could draw some interest from clubs seeking depth at right wing. Cap Friendly indicates he’s carrying an annual salary-cap hit of $4 million. Dorion might have to pick up part of that to move the 29-year-old winger.


TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski reports the Maple Leafs must make room for the return of sidelined winger Zach Hyman and defenseman Travis Dermott. Trading winger Nic Petan ($775K) could be one option as he’s appeared in just four games this season. Petan and defenseman Kevin Gravel both cleared waivers earlier this month and could be assigned to the Marlies. Fourth-liners Jason Spezza, Dmytro Timashov, and Nick Shore “live with the possibility that they could be moved at any time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petan would probably attract more interest in the trade market. So what do you think, Leafs fans? Which fourth-liner should be traded or demoted to make room for Hyman and Dermott? Weigh in with your opinions in the comments below.

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2019

The NHL free-agent market opens today at 12:01 pm ET. Check out the latest on Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Tyler Myers and more in today’s rumor mill. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis believes Artemi Panarin is believed to be deciding between the Rangers, Islanders and Florida Panthers. It’s expected he’ll receive a seven-year deal north of $11 million annually. If the Isles fail to land Panarin, they could fall back on bringing back captain Anders Lee. The Isles could also be in need of a goaltender if they fail to land Sergei Bobrovsky as contract talks with Robin Lehner stalled. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman cites The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets made a monstrous, last-minute pitch to Panarin. The offer was said to be eight years at between $96 – $100 million. Friedman is skeptical, however, that Panarin will accept it, knowing that money was there from the Jackets all along. 

Artemi Panarin poised to receive a lucrative long-term contract today. (Photo via NHL Images)

Friedman also cited Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater saying the Colorado Avalanche pitched a six-year, $70-million offer to Panarin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only reason Panarin might consider staying with the Jackets is they’re the only club that could offer him an eight-year deal. He apparently had until midnight ET to agree to it. Otherwise, they can only offer seven years if the agreement came today. We’ll find out soon enough what his decision was.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link to check out last night’s list of notable leaked contract signings. 

FOX SPORTS MIDWEST’s Andy Strickland expects the Florida Panthers will sign Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year deal worth “around $10 million” annually. 

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports the Vancouver Canucks and defenseman Tyler Myers are closing in on a six-year, $30-million contract. Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal expects the Canucks will also sign blueliner Jordie Benn and another defenseman today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an annual average value of $6 million for Myers, well below the rumored range of $7-$8 million per season. 


After trading away Andrew Shaw and Nicolas Deslauriers yesterday, the Montreal Canadiens now have over $13 million in salary-cap space. Elliotte Friedman speculates on possible targets for the Habs. He believes they’re in on Anders Lee, and noted they also had interest in Wayne Simmonds and Jake Gardiner. He also wondered if they had an interest in Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris. It’s believed they’ll sign Keith Kinkaid as a backup for Carey Price.

Friedman also wondered if they’ll go the offer sheet route. He pointed out player agent Gerry Johansson, who represents Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price, also represents Carolina’s Sebastian Aho. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Habs fans won’t mind if they sign Lee. They probably won’t be upset if they ink Gardiner. Given Simmonds injury history, that might not go down so well. If they offer-sheet Aho, the Hurricanes will match it. 


TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports the Pittsburgh Penguins could dip a toe into the UFA pool. “By the time they re-sign restricted free agents Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger, they probably will have a little more than $2 million to work with.” That could leave them pursuing more affordable options like Valtteri Filppula or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. If they pursue someone like Micheal Ferland or Patrick Maroon, they’ll have to shed salary. 

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks now have about $5-$6 million of salary-cap space after reacquiring Andrew Shaw yesterday. They could also consider a cost-effective depth move like signing Ryan Carpenter or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford cites a source claiming winger Patrick Maroon is unlikely to return with the St. Louis Blues. He took a hometown discount last season and could make more on multiple years on the open market. 

NEWS OBSERVER.COM: Despite the Carolina Hurricanes acquiring James Reimer yesterday, Chip Alexander reports they’re still trying to sign Petr Mrazek. 





Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 26, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 26, 2019

Updates on Phil Kessel, Brett Pesce, Erik Karlsson, Anders Lee and more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman suggests it won’t be easy for the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade Phil Kessel. He believes the 32-year-old winger vetoed a trade to the Minnesota Wild last week and both teams are unhappy. Kessel knows he’s going to be moved this summer but it will be on his terms. Friedman guesses the Arizona Coyotes would be among the winger’s trade preferences. It won’t be an easy fit because the Penguins want some scoring in return. The Coyotes were 28th in that category this season.

It won’t be easy for the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade Phil Kessel (Photo via NHL Images).

Friedman also thinks Wild winger Jason Zucker can’t be pleased. He was nearly sent to the Calgary Flames at the trade deadline and a deal that would’ve sent him to Pittsburgh for Kessel fell through. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel has an eight-team trade list. The Athletic’s Rob Rossi believes Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford might not be pleased with any offers from those clubs. He also suggests perhaps those clubs aren’t interested in Kessel at Rutherford’s asking price.

Rutherford needs to free up salary-cap room and bring in younger, cheaper scorers, which is why Kessel’s on the block. The winger might be receptive to a move but his modified no-trade will complicate thing.

If the Penguins can’t find a deal from one of the clubs on his list, Rutherford could be forced to take a lesser offer. He could use the savings and the return to address his scoring in a separate deal with another club. 

Following the Eastern Conference Final, sources told Friedman some in-season frustration from defenseman Brett Pesce could force the Carolina Hurricanes to trade him. GM Don Waddell said the issue was resolved. Pesce was unhappy with his playing time earlier in the season but it climbed significantly since New Year’s Day. If the Hurricanes shop a blueliner, Friedman thinks Haydn Fleury could be a candidate as he’s no longer waiver-exempt. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce’s name surfaced in the rumor mill a few times this season. I believe the Hurricanes will retain him. The 24-year-old is a good young rearguard coming off a career-best 29-point season.

It’s believed San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson wants to see if the Tampa Bay Lightning try to sign him this summer. Karlsson is an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Last summer, then-Lightning GM Steve Yzerman attempted to acquire him. ” Is there any reason Julien BriseBois would think differently?”, asks Friedman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Limited salary-cap space was among the reasons the Bolts failed to land Karlsson last summer. It will be the biggest factor preventing them from signing him this summer. Cap Friendly indicates they’ve got over $74.4 million invested in 17 players. Center Brayden Point is coming off his entry-level contract and a 92-point season. He’s going to get a significant raise.

Tampa Bay GM Julien BriseBois could re-sign him to an affordable bridge deal with the promise of a bigger, better deal down the road. He could also find a taker for aging winger Ryan Callahan and his $5.8 million annual average value. Even then, that’s not going to leave much room to sign Karlsson to the lucrative deal he’s bound to pursue via free agency. Another player, perhaps one lacking no-trade protection like J.T. Miller, will have to be moved to make room.

I’m not suggesting the Lightning won’t try to sign Karlsson. It just won’t be easy to do. 

Friedman believes the Ottawa Senators will consider bringing back Jason Spezza. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spezza spent all but five of his 16 NHL seasons with the Senators. The 35-year-old center’s best years are well behind him. Still, he could provide leadership and experienced depth at center for the rebuilding Sens. He could have other plans, like trying to sign with a potential contender. 

Friedman also reports the Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers, and Chicago Blackhawks could be among the clubs interested in Kevin Hayes. The 27-year-old Winnipeg Jets center is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes had some good seasons with the New York Rangers but struggled after being shipped to the Jets at the trade deadline. Finding the right team could be better for him than finding the most expensive contract.

The Vegas Golden Knights will try to move the contract of permanently sidelined winger David Clarkson. The deal has one year remaining at an annual average value of $5.25 million. However, the actual salary is $3.25 million. Friedman also anticipates they’ll make a move on defense. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights already have over $83 million invested in 19 players for 2019-20. They must also free up cap room to re-sign William Karlsson. They’re reportedly looking at trading defenseman Colin Miller. He carries a $3.875-million AAV through 2021-22. Center Cody Eakin ($3.85 million AAV) is another rumored trade option. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports contract term could be a sticking point in Anders Lee’s contract negotiations with the New York Islanders. Lee could seek a seven-year deal but Cyrgalis said GM Lou Lamoriello doesn’t want to be more than four. He also feels the two sides could compromise at $7 million per season. If a deal can’t be reached, Cyrgalis suggests the Minnesota Wild could pursue Lee, a Minnesota native. 

Cyrgalis suggests Robin Lehner’s comfort level with the Islanders, and the opportunity they gave him to resurrect his career, could factor into his contract negotiations. ” Anything less than five years around $5 million per probably makes sense for both parties.” Cyrgalis also feels Lamoriello could let winger Jordan Eberle test the free-agent market and see what happens. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see Lamoriello offering between $7 million to $7.5 million on a four-year deal for Lee. Time will tell if the latter will accept it. Lehner’s Vezina-worthy campaign will affect his contract talks with the Isles. Still, I expect the two sides will worth something out. 


SPORTSDAY: In a recent live chat with Dallas Stars fans, Matthew DeFranks wondered if the club might buy out winger Valeri Nichushkin. He’s got one season remaining on his contract worth $2.95 million. That would make him their sixth-highest paid forward next season. Nichushkin failed to score any goals this season (10 assists) and skated in just one playoff game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This season marked the once-promising Nichuskin’s return from a two-year stint in the KHL. The 24-year-old hasn’t been the same since undergoing hip surgery in 2014. A buyout would count as only $700K against next season’s cap payroll and $450K for 2020-21. Seems a likely course of action for the Stars.