NHL Rumor Mill – September 26, 2017

by | Sep 26, 2017 | Rumors | 23 comments

Edmonton Oilers have several factors to consider if they wish to re-sign Patrick Maroon.

Speculation over how the Edmonton Oilers might proceed in contract talks with Patrick Maroon and the latest on the Penguins’ search for a third-line center.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently mused over winger Patrick Maroon’s worth to the Edmonton Oilers. Maroon is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency and enjoyed a career-best performance (27 goals, 42 points) in 2016-17.

The two sides have reportedly open preliminary contract discussions. Among the talking points to consider is how many of Maroon’s 27 goals were due to skating alongside superstar center Connor McDavid, should they wait until later in the season to re-sign him to ensure last season’s stats weren’t a one-off or do they move now to avoid the risk of his value going up if he exceeds those numbers, as well as  comparable players and length of the deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What also has to be considered is the effect a new deal for Maroon will have upon the Oilers’ salary cap for 2018-19. They currently have over $60 million invested in 13 players, with Ryan Strome and Darnell Nurse potentially in line for significant raises. The cost of re-signing Maroon could also provide fodder to speculation suggesting center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his $6 million annual cap hit could be dealt next summer as a cost-cutting move. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Greg McKegg may have elevated himself into the front-runner for the role of third-line center with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Head coach Mike Sullivan said McKegg’s been impressive thus far in training camp and preseason play, citing his speed, poise and faceoff skills. 

Detroit Red Wings center Riley Sheahan is rumored to be on the Penguins’ radar as a possible trade target. However, Mackey said the hangup with a potential deal appears to hinge on the Red Wings’ contract stalemate with winger Andreas Athanasiou. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Sullivan feels comfortable starting the season with McKegg in the third-line role, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford won’t have to rush into a trade for fill that spot. If necessary, he can revisit the trade market later in the season when there could be more options to choose from.

That could also open things up for the New York Rangers as J.T. Miller is now expected to start the season on the wing instead of center. Rangers GM Jeff Gorton hasn’t ruled out adding a center via trade. 




  1. Mackey’s reporting is always better than his analysis.

    McKegg is indeed playing very well. He’s pretty much ended Jay McClement’s chances of an NHL deal and McKegg could even push Carter Rowney to the press box.

    But third line center? They still need someone else in the medium and long term.

    I’ve seen nothing from Sheahan that says he’s the answer, but if the price is Pouliot, better to have something than nothing, I guess.

    PS- Is there a better hockey nickname than “Kegger”?

    The Oilers need to find a trade for RNH similar to the Eberle for Strome deal where they find a comparable player at half the price.

    • I could see the pens starting the season as is but would prefer they add depth somehow. if they wait until Crosby or malkin inevitably get injured then teams can hold their feet to the fire. I’d take a viable nhl center in sheahan, even as a depth option, for a player like DP anytime. I don’t see DP starting over hunwick so waste not want not. hockey nicknames are so boring. I like geno better than kegger.

      • Geno is pure and unique

    • I wouldn’t really call Strome a comparable player to eberle at this point. He has potential at the moment and that’s about it

    • As far as nicknames. “The battleship” is my all time favorite but itvis well before my time.

  2. Getting Maroon signed should be simple. McDavid left $$$ on the table for this stuff.


  3. The Oilers can’t afford to hamstring themselves from a cap perspective by giving Maroon a hefty increase AND term. Here’s a LW who is 6′ 3″ 230 lbs taken 161st overall in Round 6 of the 2007 draft who took 220 NHL games to score 34 goals and then reaped the benefits of playing a season alongside McDavid by scoring 27 in 81 gp.

    He reminds me a bit of Colin Greening, a LW who is 6′ 2″ 212 lbs drafted 204th in Round 7 of the 2005 draft who, in his second NHL season, was lucky enough to play alongside Jason Spezza, scoring 17 goals in the 2011-12 season. On that basis he was handed a $2,650,000 salary 2 seasons later (after an 8 goal performance in the strike-shortened season), and from there to last season it took him 133 gp with Ottawa and Toronto to pot 14 goals, becoming nothing but a cap albatross for both teams.

    That’s the last thing the Oilers need with the way they’re painting themselves into a corner with their cap.

  4. 27 goals is pretty impressive; however, 42 overall points not so much; especially when skating with the second best player in the world. But having said that this guy is definitely worth keeping in Edmonton as he has a certain edge to his game that compliments the offensive production. Considering that he is playing for a potential winner of the dynasty category he might be willing to sign a deal “favorable” to all. I know the PA might not like to here that position; however, I think athletes like winning. Whatever he signs for won’t represent personal financial hardship either.

    • So, what’s a “home town discount” in his case? One million bringing him up to $2,500000 and with some significant term? Let’s assume that’s how it will shake dowen, meaning, next season they’ll have 9 players with term costing $51,499,667 against the cap. Let’s say the cap goes up to $77 mil next year – that’s 67% of the cap for these 9: McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic, Sekera, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, Maroon and Talbot.

      They then have to re-sign the 7 RFAs and 3 UFAs they wish to keep who, this year, account for $7,613,333 (RFAs Brossoit, Nurse, Strome, Slepyshev, Caggiula, Benning and Pasekarinen) and $6,525,000 (UFAs Letestu, Jokinen and Fayne). Just calculating their current cumulative cap hit ($14,138,333), that brings it to $65,638,000 for 19 players – or 85% of the cap, and still with 4 players needed to round out th e roster at 23.

      But of course, those RFAs/UFAs are going to cost considerably more than the above. What’s the average % increase in RFA contracts? 25%?? In the case of their 7 RFAs that’s an increase of $1,900,333 – or $9,516,666. Assuming they’re all re-signed at that % (Nurse for example may cost a LOT more than that) now they’re paying out $61,016,333 – or 80% of the cap – to 16 players, needing 7 to fill out the roster. For that they’d have $15,983,667 – or an average of #2,283,381 per). I doubt, however, they spend to the limit, so how much do they leave for “wiggle room?” And that doesn’t take into account those 3 UFAs. Even if they part ways with all 3, they still need to find replacements with some experience because I don’t think they want to go into the next season with 7 rookies.

      And all this is somewhat contingent upon Maroon being happy with a $1 mil increase after scoring 27 goals, and that all 7 RFAs are happy with a 25% increase.

      With all due respect to the talents of McDavid and Draisaitl, I don’t see “dynasty” in their future, even with a Jujhar Khaira who’s never been a goal scorer of any significance at any level.

      • Holy crap. Forgot Nugent-Hopkins and HIS $6 mil cap hit. So that brings the first calculation to 10 players costing $57,499,667 – or 75% of a $77 mil cap.

        It also impacts heavily on the rest of the calculations.

      • maroon Mcdavid Yamamoto
        Lucic Leon strome
        Jokinen(or other rental)Nuge puljujarvi
        Slepyshev caggiula Kassian
        1.5 +1.5+2=5
        Larsson klefbom
        Sekera Russell
        Nurse Benning
        2.0+ 2.0=4
        Talbot 4.1
        Brossoit 1.1
        47.5 + 21.7+ 5.2
        Pakarinen 1
        = 75.4
        Khaira 675k
        = 76
        Jones 720K
        +1.3 pouliot buyout = 78
        This just shows a rough idea of what 2018/19 could look like , not exact numbers just rough projections with a solid season from the oilers this year . Not quite the cap disaster ppl make it out to be , nugent Hopkins will decide with his play this year if he is part of the plan moving forward , he won’t be forced out . Strome needs a monster year to command a big raise and even then his seasons in NYI will also be a factor . Nurse and Benning aren’t Leo and Mcdavid , bridge deals . Caggiula slepyshev small raises. Maroon coming in cheaper , slightly larger cap rise , a trade (doesn’t have to be Nuge and 6 million) , how this season plays out all factor in but it’s no disaster , it’s a normal situation for what will be a contending team going forward , chilly can’t get married to guys in premium roles , like Maroon . Young blood or cheaper options going forward if deals can’t be found .

      • Craig, interesting that you have Yamamoto playing with McDavid in a year. You could be right about that. I haven’t been to a game yet to see him live, but looks good on TV and everything I hear locally is that he has a very high hockey IQ, especially for a young guy. Obviously needs to get stronger though, so not sure the time line.
        While I agree with George O that they can’t spend big on Maroon, they just don’t have the $$, he is a valuable guy. Not everyone can play with the top superstars (IE Crosby) because they think the game differently than most.
        Maroon thinks it at a high level, has soft hands around the net, with the added bonus of having McDavid’s back and being able to back it up. Great team mate they say as well.
        The million dollar raise George suggests seems doable as Maroon has to know how good a fit this is for him doesn’t he? Win win from an outsider’s perspective.

      • I agree on maroon ray bark . I have him in that breakdown at 3 million , 500 k more than George . Maroon sounds interested in staying and I think they find a deal . But if he tries to reach to high , can’t pay him or future guys in premium roles , like strome next year if he plays all year with Mcdavid , which I don’t see .
        And on Yamamoto, he is doing everything he can to stick around this season , I think he may earn a look but ultimately back to junior for another year to fill out and build strength . I don’t think it’s crazy to think he will be in that spot in 18/19

      • They better hope nothing happens to Talbot with a back-up having all of 14 NHL games to his credit.

      • George ,
        What happens this year in pit if Murray goes down ? Toronto , Anderson ? Montreal , price ? And on and on . Of course the oilers like any team need there goalie and top stars to stay healthy . What kind of start do you see out of your sens without karlsson ? My breakdown is just a rough idea of what things could look like , chilly isn’t backed in to a corner and needing to trade Nuge for a bag of pucks like ppl try to sell was my point . Turnover is inevitable in the cap world with contending teams but to say the oilers face disaster is crazy . The same people who argue Nuge has negative value are the ones saying trading him away is a huge loss and needs to be done for the cap .

      • Craig, leaving out “what ifs” where D are concerned (don’t worry about Karlsson – he’ll be playing early), it’s very true that Pittsburgh without Murray, Montreal without Price, Toronto without Andersen for any appreciable length of time would hurt – but Niemi in Pitt has 422 NHL games behind him, McElhiney has 166 for Toronto and, in Montreal, Montoya has 155. While not ideal over a slew of games, that’s still a far cry from 14 games and suddenly expected to carry the load long-term.

        The good teams have depth on D that can carry them for stretches while top-pairing guys are out to far greater success than teams with inexperienced goalies (at the NHL level).

      • If Talbot is out for a significant amount of time with a serious injury, say 30-40 games, they can pick up a backup target with experience somewhere for relatively cheap.

    • George ,
      Chilly has 8 million to add a rental at the deadline for a run . In the meantime allowing brossoit to get as many games (in a backup role not “carrying the load”) , so next year instead of 14 he will have say 30 ish . Or if say talbot were to go down for a long period ..

  5. I like Maroon and think that a lot of what he did had to do with McDavid. I believe that if Chiarelli doesn’t get him to sign for what will fit with the Oilers salary cap than Maroon becomes trade bait. As he can be easily replaced by a guy like Jujhar Khaira (6’4 219lbs).

  6. “Among the talking points to consider is how many of Maroon’s 27 goals were due to skating alongside superstar center Connor McDavid”

    I would say 15 of them.

  7. Maroon is a compliment winger not a key piece on McDavids line.

    Worth at most 2.5m/2yrs if he stays on that line. If he doesn’t like it who cares. Not a GM in the league would target him as a UFA & pay him a fortune. Brouwer is a prime example of a bad contract.

    Oilers hold the hammer & if he’s too dumb to realize that they can replace him easily.

    • I like that analysis. Pragmatic and definitive.

    • I agree on the first part. He’s the type of player you let walk. I don’t see any Oiler leverage here though. With a decent year, he will get paid by someone. As a pending UFA, he holds all the leverage here.