NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2017

by | Sep 23, 2017 | Rumors | 36 comments

Could Josh Anderson’s contract standoff with the Columbus Blue Jackets lead to a trade?

Updates on the Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Penguins and Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his recent “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Frediman expressed surprise that Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson remains without a contract. It’s believed the Jackets seek a three-year deal to protect against Anderson’s upcoming salary arbitration eligibility but the two sides aren’t close to agreement on value. It’s thought the Colorado Avalanche sought Anderson as part of a return for center Matt Duchene but the Jackets refused.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets may have rejected including Anderson in a package deal for Duchene, but if this situation drags on, I wonder if they might reconsider. As the standoff continues, Anderson’s representatives have contacted Hockey Canada about the 2018 Winter Olympics. If he remains unsigned, he could be eligible to play for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey team. 

Friedman speculates the longer it takes the Detroit Red Wings to re-sign winger Andreas Athanasiou, the more a trade between the Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins could be contingent on signing him. It’s believed the Penguins are eyeing Red Wings center Riley Sheahan and Friedman wonders if Pens defenseman Derrick Pouliot might be part of the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey reports Pens general manager Jim Rutherford’s been impressed by centers “Teddy Blueger, Adam Johnson and Greg McKegg, along with potential fourth-line pivot, Jay McClement” during training camp thus far. Rutherford isn’t ruling out trading for a center perhaps it’s not the certainty it appeared to be a couple of weeks ago. 

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently suggested New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak could be a viable option for contenders seeking depth between the pipes. He feels the Isles have incentive to give Halak a chance for a fresh start this season, either to improve his trade value or if current starter Thomas Greiss struggles or becomes sidelined. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Halak needs a strong bounce-back performance to be enticing to other clubs seeking goaltending help. He played very well during last fall’s World Cup of Hockey but his play subsequently fell off during last season and wound up banished to the minors for a time. 



  1. I had read that McClement was having a bad camp so far. Also McKegg is out for me because I can’t trust anyone who’s first and last name rhyme. Blueger has played in all 3 preseason games so far. Last night he was 7 for 8 on the face off dot and had an assist on the first goal. He has played excellent 2 way hockey all 3 games. Johnson came back to earth a little last night but still played well. The Pens could easily start the year off with these 2 as the bottom 6 centers and Rowney as the 13th forward. This team does not need Zaripov, sorry Geno.

    • I agree Deeeee,
      See what I did there? But in all seriousness Pittsburgh doesn’t really need anything. I think they will win the Cup again this year. Ironically, in relation to the topics addressed here, it’s goaltending that Pittsburgh should be concerned about. Come deadline time if Halak is available that’s who they should target. That 1;2 punch in goal has helped the Penguins recently and historically; Fleury-Murray, and Barasso -Peitrangelo, Barasso- Wreggett. Even Zatkoff win them a game in 2016. Goalie by committee has benefited this team immensely. Considering Halak’s propensity for short term success I say go get him! Montreal 2010, Olympics, World Cup! He’s a tournament guy which is what the playoffs are. Murray is great but injury prone. That never seems to be brought up.

      • I hated the move at first and maybe still do but Niemi has been fantastic so far this preseason. If he keeps it up then stay the course, his cap hit is only 700 grand. Tristan Jarry needs to work some minutes this season too. I agree about them and the cup. Rutherford says Letang is in the best shape of his life, which is pretty fit. This team knows what it takes to win because they have done it together a lot lately. Add in Sprong, ZAR, Johnson amd Blueger on top of an already very deep forward group and they loaded up on dmen in the offseason so they are deep there too. People keep talking about the Pens no name defense but Letang, Dumoulin and Shultz top 3 with Maatta, Cole, Pouliot and Hunwick as the bottom 4. And then Ruhwedal, Tinordi, Corrado, Trotman, Summers, Bengsston, Taylor and Zink can all play NHL minutes. Sullivan can always be completely confident in whoever he has available.

  2. As a veritable third-line center, neither McClement nor McKegg is the real McCoy, but Sheahan is a tele tubby.

  3. Halak posted a .915 SV% last season. The average for goalies who played at least 41 games in the NHL last season was .914. Halak only played 28 games as he was banished to the AHL on Dec 31st so NYI didn’t have to waive Berube who they let walk as a UFA this summer.

    Snow has done some positive things but far to many head scratches for me. Halak should have stayed & Berube sent down.

    Halak was finally brought back up after tearing it up for 3 months in the AHL, on March 24th, after NYI went into a swoon from March 3rd to March 22nd with Greiss playing poorly. Halak played 7 of NYI’s last 10 games of the season winning 6 of them.

    If not for that Greiss’s poor play in March, NYI would have made the playoffs after Jack Capuano doomed this team for 3 & a 1/2 monmths till finally fired on January 17th. NYI came up 1/2 a point short of a playoff spot. NYI was the best team in the NHL from this date on, cost me 1K. Arghhhhh

  4. I had suggested Sheahan to Pit months ago. Perfect fit, although doesn’t potentially solve Det’s cap issues but may provide enough space to put Fransen on LTIR before opening day taking the lesser cap relief.


    Do you know what the cap relief is for putting players on LTIR before Oct 3rd. You get full relief if part of your 23 man roster but not sure the formula for players designated prior.

    • sorry should read if part of your 23 man roster & placed on LTIR on opening day Oct 4th this season.

    • In the past,you’ve written about players that I didn’t know existed until I read what you wrote about them,. Therefore, I reason that you might know something about Riley Sheahan that I don’t. Otherwise, though your love of Crosby is noted, you must hate the Penguins. Why else would you say that Riley is a perfect fit for them? If it were the last game of the season and the Penguins needed someone to score his first goal of the season or they would miss the playoffs, Riley would be a perfect fit. If you have no other circumstance in mind, not only will I be surprised, but I will be happy that you’re not my shoe salesman.

      • Low cap hit, RFA coming out of his current deal. A far better player than he showed last season. At 2 mil per would make a decent 3rd line C & cos5 to acquire from Det due to their cap issues shouldn’t be onerous.

    • Yeah Striker I’m not sure why you are patting yourself on the back. No one in either organization would give you any credit for the idea because no one has ever heard of you. Wow you connected a team looking for a bottom 6 centre with a team that has a bottom 6 centre available. How you have not already won 5 GM of the year awards only your god knows.

      • Deeeeee thanks for the kind words. Pleasure as always.

        Yes I did connect the dots.

  5. Rumour – Pens interested in acquiring Bruins center Ryan Spooner.

    • Who’s reporting the rumor?

      • Smells of old stund arse, Jimmy Murphy.
        Not credible imo.

      • Could see Bruins moving Spooner but not sure what Pit has left to trade back.

    • Spooner has pretty much played only LW for the Bruins during his career, And from what Mackey and Friedman are reporting that Sheahan for Pouliot is pretty much a done deal. Only waiting on Holland to resign Andreas Athanasiou and the Sheahan for Pouliot deal should go down.

      • Spooner has actually played far more C in the NHL than the shuffle from LW to RW to C he ex0erienced last season under Julien. Once Cassidy took over he was returned to C yet again.

    • why Ryan Spooner…not a big fan…

  6. Watched Sheahan the other night. Slow, made bad reads, not impressed. Has some size, I guess. If he’s great, I’ll gladly eat the crow as I did with Lovejoy 2.0.

    Adam Johnson will be the third line center next year, but he needs to play and build strength in the AHL first.

    Blueger could play in the NHL right now and would learn on the fly, but would be best served by one more year in the minors, too.

    If Sheahan bombs, they could always upgrade at the deadline and flip him for a late pick to a seller who needs warm bodies for the rest of the year.

    • I’m not speaking to what Sheahan may be offensively but seems like a logical low risk fit.

      I percieve him as a decent skater with very good size. At 6’3″ he falls into a slower development model for me. Like Dman 5 or 6 years & in or around 400 games.

      This C is getting Kessel as his primary linemate at ES & Kessel likes to carry the puck, something that makes his paring with Crosby & Malkin problomatic.

      Most 3rd line centers don’t generate significant points regardless & only see reasonable PP time on certain teams.

  7. What about Frans Nielson to the Pens? Detroit eats a few million and can resign Athanasiou.
    Versatile center and backup plan for when Sid/Gino miss a month with injuries.

    • Why would Detroit eat any money on him?

    • Percisely. Detroit targeted this player as a UFA last summer for a reason. Really a #2 even at his current age. Solid 2 way C, great penalty killer. I don’t see Detroit trading him yet but pehaps as his contract whines down.

    • DS…I like thatbetter than Ryan Spooner or Sheahan…

  8. Bozak to the Pens. Leafs hold back 1.5 million and receive a first or Pouliot and a third from Pitt. If he resigns they get a second from Pitt and if he doesn’t Leafs send a third to Pitt. The Leafs then sort out their roster and send a dman and a prospect to Wings if they need Sheehan. Would be better if Nylander goes to centre and let the rest of the roster sort itself out?

    • leaves are contenders now. trading for futures should be in the past. center depth is what playoff contenders should have and leaves should be at that point now. unless bozak moves as a piece of a deal to upgrade d or in another type of hockey trade they have no reason to move him.

      • Miriam-Webster online dictionary states that leaves or leafs is an acceptable plural.

      • The following information may be of interest to some and hated by fans who find a certain pleasure in their self righteous smugness in saying “it’s leaves!!” Please enjoy at your leisure, sincerely Perchy

        The Peculiar Side of Sports: Why Not the Maple Leaves? Michael Kovacs 2012

        You are either one of the millions who love the Leafs, or one among the many millions who hate them. For Leafs fanatics, they’ve heard it all before, and they’ve since developed a tough hide. Among the more common jeers thrown their way include the whole “not having won the Stanley Cup since the hippies crowded Haight-Ashbury” thing.  While this still finds a way to penetrate their thick exterior, it’s not the only insult that has become a part of the Anti-Leaf vernacular.

        Of course we have all considered the “clear” screw-up by whoever coined the Toronto team the “Leafs” and not “Leaves”.  But really, how many of us actually understand the reasoning behind the madness?  Was this just a hallucination turned into lore?  Was it a mistake at all, or are we the ones who have been mistaken for having questioned its correctness?

        Okay, let’s just look at what we think we know, which comes directly from the Maple Leafs website:
        “In February of 1927, Conn Smythe, who had built the New York Rangers franchise but was dismissed in favour of Lester Patrick, raised enough money to buy the St. Pats and prevented the team from moving to Philadelphia. Smythe, a military man, immediately had the Toronto franchise name changed from the St. Pats to Maple Leafs, the name of a World War I fighting unit, the Maple Leaf Regiment.”
        What we do know is that the maple leaf has been a symbol in Canada for centuries, quite literally.  As far back as the 1700s there is evidence of it being used to represent aspects of Canadian culture.  So it isn’t hard to believe the story about the Maple Leaf regiment.  Actually, on closer inspection, the maple leaf was the symbol used by the 100th regiment as early as 1860, and has been used in similar capacities over the next hundred years.

        All of that is known to many Leafs fans, and some avid hockey fans in general.  Bravo.  But, that’s not the solution to our riddle of “Why not the Maple Leaves”?  Why was the name not pluralized with ‘ves’ as opposed to the ‘fs’ it currently has?  Well, the answer again lies in the fact that the team name was adopted directly from the Maple Leaf regiment.

        Let me explain with a very brief grammar lesson.  Most know that words that end in ‘f’ are pluralized by dropping the ‘f’ and adding ‘ves’.  But that is true of common nouns (most, but not all – ie. “roofs”).  Proper nouns, simply put, are nouns that are specific names of people, places and things.  And when these proper nouns end in ‘f’, they are pluralized by simply adding an ‘s’.  So, Leaf (from the regiment) becomes Leafs.
        Ta-da!  Really, not quite as difficult as I anticipated.  A simple reflection on the name’s origins, cross-checked with simple grammar rules, and we have a logical answer that is perfectly acceptable from a historical and grammatical stand-point.  Rest easy, Leafs fans—while I can’t assume the jeers will cease any time soon concerning the lack of silverware in recent history, at least you will have a good retort the next time someone mocks the team’s name.

    • Pouliot isn’t the same value as a 1st. Pouliot is very close to suspect stage. To early to write 9ff but his lack of NHL games even in a sheltered role as yet is concerning.

      Tor has playoff aspirations, moving Bozak doesn’t help those aspirations.

      That said anyone can be had for the right price just not sure that’s it. I don’t think a late 1st is getting it done.

    • Tugboat…I agree I like Bozak best, they Frans Nielson, then Ryan Spooner, and the Riley Sheahan. The way the Penguins youngsters are doing at camp and in preseason games they may not need any of them we will see….

      penguins schedule is tough early on in the season they may need a vet at 3rd line center.

  9. I think it would have to be Sheahan and AA for Pouliot + a low end roster player for salarary sake

    • What value does Pouliot carry at this point?

      Bob Mackenziw said at last seasons deadline no 1 would pay anything of value for Pouliot, he was shopped to everyone. He will need to play & show he is an NHL player now & help his trade value.

      He needs to clear waivers so Pit keeps him in the NHL trades him or he will be lost on waivers. Pouliot isn’t getting you AA. He might get you Sheahan.

      Roster issues are in play. Detroit has waiver problems at D, taking him before Oct 4th is problomatic for them.

  10. This whole Sheahan to Penguins rumor is really funny. It’s a classic of how rumors get started and circulate based on nothing.

    Here’s what seems to have happened. Friedman says that the Pens are looking for a 3C. In the *next* sentence he says that Sheahan might be available. There is no connection between the two sentences. In fact, he specifically says that he has *no* information that the Pens are interested in him. This gets picked up and turned into “the Pens are interested in Sheahan” by people who can’t read. It soon is all over the internet.

    The Penguins beat writer Mackey picks it up and parrots as a rumor. He suggests that trading Pouliot might be a good offer. This gets turned into the Pens oare offering Poulit for Sheahan. A deal might already be in p[lace when AA signs. Forget the fact that Detroit is trying to dump salary. Why would they want to take Pouliot’s 800K?

    Next Friedman picks up up on Mackey and reports the rumor, including the Pouliot angle. He is reporting a rumour that he inadvertently started!!!!!!

    This is hilarious and a classic example of how the braindead denizens of the internet start and spread rumors with no substance whatever. Meanwhile, another source, Tiops, says that Sheahan isn’t anywhere near the top of the Penguins list. Whether credible or not, at least this isn’t a circle you-know-what like Friedman and Mackey.

    History has many examples of this leading to horrible consequences. It’s really frightening how easily stupid people are so ready to accept and to circulate rumors.

    • thanks for rescuing us from our stupidity zoro. Now if only we could find out who you really are behind that mask

  11. Come on Kyle, Halak was the main reason the Isles stayed in playoff contention. He went in a tear after his recall….

    • Doesn’t detract from the fact that he played poorly earlier in the season and wound up in the minors. Like it or not, his inconsistency is an issue.