NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2017

by | Jun 3, 2017 | Rumors | 27 comments

Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle could be moved in the coming weeks.

TSN’s top-30 trade-bait, including Jordan Eberle, Matt Duchene, Travis Hamonic and more in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, Minnesota Wild blueliners Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba, Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene and New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic top Frank Seravalli’s list of TSN’s top-30 trade-bait board.

Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, Avalanche rearguard Tyson Barrie, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury round out the top ten.

New Jersey Devils wayward winger Ilya Kovalchuk, Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan, Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok, Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer, New York Rangers netminder Antti Raanta, Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp and right wing Joel Armia, Lightning d-man Andrej Sustr, Blue Jackets center William Karlsson and Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin make up spots 11-20.

Filling spots 21 to 30 are San Jose Sharks defender Brenden Dillon, Isles blueliner Ryan Pulock, Lightning center Tyler Johnson, Predators center Colton Sissons, Montreal Canadiens d-man Nathan Beaulieu, Philadelphia Flyers center Brayden Schenn, Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin, Boston Bruins right wing Jimmy Hayes, St. Louis Blues forward Jori Lehtera and Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli notes some of the names on this list, such as Vatanan, Brodin and Dumba, are there because they belong to clubs at risk of  losing those players in the expansion draft later this month to the Vegas Golden Knights. Rather than lose them for nothing, some of those clubs could trade them.

Some, such as Duchene and MacKinnon, are here because their clubs are looking to make significant changes. Some, like Eberle and Jenner, could be dealt to shed salary. I believe Drouin and Johnson are here because their teams could lack sufficient cap space to re-sign them.

We can quibble over the placement of certain names on this list or whether some (such as MacKinnon) even belong here, but I think some of them could be joining new clubs by the end of this month.  While all of them won’t be traded, the combination of the expansion draft and salary-cap constraints could result in 10 or 12 getting moved in the coming weeks.

Seravalli’s colleagues Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger discussed the Edmonton Oilers’ efforts to re-sign Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Dreger said he’s been told there are trade offers on the table for Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, but none that general manager Peter Chiarelli is willing to accept right now. Citing the club’s need to free up sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Draisaitl and McDavid, Dreger believes it “sounds like he’ll definitely get traded.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, Chiarelli told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun he will have to move a player to clear cap room but didn’t have to do it this year. He also sang Eberle’s praises, despite his poor offensive production in the playoffs. That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Chiarelli tries to move him for a favorable return. While he obviously needs to clear room for the anticipated expensive new deals for Draisaitl and McDavid, it appears he’s not intent on just giving Eberle away. 

McKenzie considers Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as the player most likely to be traded this summer. He notes the Avs tried moving Duchene at the trade deadline but didn’t receive offers to their liking. He expects they’ll find what they’re looking for this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leading up to the trade deadline, the pundit consensus was the the Avs sought a good young defenseman or goaltender, a first-round pick, a top prospect and more for Duchene. If that’s true, it’s no wonder they didn’t get what they wanted. I daresay they’ll have to lower that asking price to move him this summer. Not saying Duchene can’t be traded or doesn’t have value, because he certainly does and there will be interest in him, but the Avs probably won’t get a king’s ransom for him. 

Dreger notes the New York Islanders risk losing a defenseman in the upcoming expansion draft, which could make Travis Hamonic an attractive trade piece for a top-six forward. Avalanche blueliner Tyson Barrie could also be in play if they move Matt Duchene for a defenseman. The asking price could be a high draft pick or a combination of picks and prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles could also look at cutting a side deal with Vegas to ensure they don’t lose a decent blueliner left exposed in the expansion draft. Moving Hamonic could also leave a big hole in the Isles defense for next season. As for Barrie, it appears his future hinges on what the Avs get in return from a possible Duchene trade. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to convince the Vegas Golden Knights to take winger David Clarkson’s contract off their hands in a trade. Clarkson is all but retired due to a back injury. The Jackets can place him on long-term injured reserve next season, but having his contract on their books affects possible offseason moves. Friedman said the Jackets are trying to determine what kind of “sweetener” to add to the deal to entice Vegas. Clarkson isn’t eligible to be exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have over $70 million invested in next season’s payroll with RFAs Alexander Wennberg and Josh Anderson to re-sign. They might also want to keep UFA forward Sam Gagner. Even if they lose a salaried player via the expansion draft, it might not clear enough room to re-sign those players and to perhaps make other additions. Clarkson has reportedly agreed to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Jackets to shop his contract, but it could take a quality draft pick or prospect to entice the Golden Knights. 



  1. Clarkson doesn’t have to waive his NMC to be left unprotected he is exempt.

    “* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

    Pulled from NHL news release regarding expansion draft rules dated June 22nd, 2016.


    • Where did I say he had to waive his NMC to be left unprotected in the expansion draft?

      • You didn’t, you said.

        “Clarkson has reportedly agreed to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Jackets to shop his contract, but it could take a quality draft pick or prospect to entice the Golden Knights.”

        Nor was my response directed to your comment. Just sharing the fact that Clarkson’s NMC isn’t an issue for Columbus for expansion but yes even though he can eventually be put on LTIR these contracts are a hassle for teams pushed up against the cap as we approach the active roster deadline.

        Can Columbus find a team willing to take Clarkson, sure. The market has been set numerous times. Florida just paid NJ a 2nd last season to take Savard; although only an actual salary of 575K so the cash implication to NJ minor.

        Do we know how much of the salary the insurer pays in these situations? It wouldn’t be 100% & I assume it would be similiar to any long term disability insurance package that any employee has if they have this type of coverage through there employer? 75, 80%?

        The important contract that needs to be waived is Hartnell. Have we heard anything about that contract? June 18th is 15 days away.

      • Columbus is in a difficult situation with the Hartnell issue, his NMC, as if Columbus is forced to protect him then passing on Anderson would be difficult for Vegas. If Hartnell does waive then the next obvious choice for Vegas to select would be Korpisalo, a great young goalie & waiver exempt so Vegas could send him down to the AHL or Karlsson, a solid up & coming 3rd line C.

        Columbus really needs to use the 7F, 3D & 1G option as they have to many solid forwards. Might Vegas pay Korpisalo a player they would lose anyway, D Johnson; a UFA in 1 year, if Vegas would take Clarkson?

        Johnson would have decent trade value next season as we approach the trade deadline.

      • Nor does Clarkson necessarily have to waive his NMC to be moved. He has a modified NTC, he has to submit a list of 14 teams he can be traded to. He would have to to facilitate a trade to the other 17.

      • Given Clarkson’s situation and the fact he’ll be collecting a salary without ever playing again no matter who owns his contract, makes the point of 14 vs 17 moot. What does he care?

      • Sometimes it looks like your talking to yourself in the mirror striker

    • No he doesn’t but be h must so he can be traded, thus part of the package and the player left exposed for Las Vegas to draft. I think it would be significant.

  2. I would be surprised if Vegas chooses to take Clarkson’s & his LTIR. Yes the contract is insurable meaning Vegas could recover the majority of his salary but these contracts are problematic at protected roster deadline time. It wouldn’t be for Vegas potentially with 3 years remaining but the compensation to do so would need to be significant.

    Few teams are as poorly positioned for expansion as Columbus & they stand to lose a very good player either at D or forward if they can’t convince Hartnell to waive his NMC it gets even worse.

    Forwards. Dubinsky, Hartnell & Foligno all have NMC’s, Saad, Atkinson, Jenner, Wennberg, Anderson & Karlsson. That’s 9 forwards not counting Clarkson & his NMC, see above, he’s exempt regardless.

    Defense. Jones, Savard, Johnson & Murray.

    Goal. Bobrovsky, Forsberg & Korpisao; waiver, exempt.

    If Columbus is paying Vegas to take Clarkson the cost will be significant as any of those players that can’t be protected have solid value.

    • I wonder if it would be a deal more similar to the reported Chicago deal, in that they agree to make a decent valued player available to also take Clarkson’s contract via trade.

      Columbus is poorly set up, so they aren’t keeping everyone, so it could make some sense. Maybe something has to be added one way or another as well, but then there are no exemption issues with Clarkson since he isn’t being selected but instead traded.

      • What ever happened to that Chicago deal?

      • McPhee said they may report there 1st trade next week.

        No rush.

  3. It’s hardly surprising that Chiarelli was warbling Eberle’s praises if, indeed, he hopes to deal him for something he can use despite that cap hit that far outweighs his contributions. I mean, he wouldn’t have much success finding a taker had he described him as he really is – an albatross on the Edmonton payroll whose offense when it counted was non-existent.

    • Indeed! I watched most of the Oilers games this season and he is about 4m$ overpaid. He is nothing in a game when he doesn’t score, that’s the problem! He is nithing but dead capspace for Oilers given their situation and depth, but I think he might thrive more on another team.

      • How could he not thrive more on another team? He’s got nowhere to go but up!

  4. Hartnell could have role with Vegas. Veteran and one who ” goes to war ” most nights. Trade him and maybe a couple of nice picks (2nd or 3rd) down the road. Convince him to waive NMC because he will be in and out of line up all year or threaten even to be sent to the minors never to be recalled. Vegas can then select the one hit wonder Clarkson. They do need to stock pile draft picks.

    • Nmc means no minors.

      • Haven’t we established if a player waives his NMC it ceases to exist?

        Are we talking about Hartnell or Clarkson?

      • Sorry if he actual is moved after he agree’s to waive. Or was that an waiving your NTC to be traded?

      • @Striker..

        I think he means Hartnell with his NMC can’t be sent to the minors, unless waiving it.

  5. I cannot believe I am seeing Killorn’s name here. NJ should call TB with the amount of picks they have this year. With a 4.45 cap hit effective starting this upcoming season, NJ would be getting a solid 20 goal scorer at a good price. I just am unsure why TB would need the cap space when Killorn is dependable.

  6. NJ has 21 million in cap space and the 1st overall pick… I am sure they must be working the phones with cap strapped teams….. can a deal with ANA or MIN for a top pairing Dman work out? a Vaatanen from ANA or Dumba or Brodin from MIN? Merill, Moore or rather ANY of their current Dmen can go to ANA or MIN along with picks and take back one of said Dmen from ANA or MIN.

    They certainly would be NJ’s new TOP dmen easily.

    • Ya for sure! N.J.could use a dman and adding to the prospect pool wouldn’t hurt,but are they going for the playoffs or a retool or rebuild? Cause Cory S.is 31

  7. TSN is correct–the Blues would LOVE to trade Lehtera. Never happen! Need some Vegas luck to get rid of that contract.

  8. GO PENS! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Clarkson to Arizona (e4)

    Makes sense, Arizona just likes hitting cap floor

  10. Good luck unloading Clarkson’s contract on anybody