NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2017

by | Sep 4, 2017 | Rumors | 78 comments

Could the St. Louis Blues make a pitch for NY Islanders star John Tavares?

Updates on John Tavares and Danis Zaripov plus some possible PTO targets for the Capitals in your NHL rumor mill. 

STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with St. Louis Blues fans, Jeff Gordon doubted the club could afford to pursue New York Islanders center John Tavares via trade or free agency, Gordon feels Tavares wants to stay with the Islanders if the club can get a new arena. If not, he thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs have the pieces to acquire the Isles captain in a blockbuster trade.

Gordon also believes Tavares will get $10 million per season on his next contract. He points out it would be difficult for the Blues to afford Tavares and winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who’s earning over $7 million annually. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have over $58 million invested in 14 players for 2018-19. Assuming they acquired Tavares and paid him $10 million per season, that would push their payroll to over $68 million for 15 players. If there’s another marginal cap increase to between $77-$78 million for ’18-’19, the Blues will have limited salary-cap space to re-sign or replace other key players, including RFAs Robby Fabbri and Joel Edmundson. 

CSN MIDATLANTIC: J.J. Regan notes the Washington Capitals currently have only five defensemen (Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney) under contract from last season, leaving two spots open for prospects. If the Caps decide they need additional veteran depth, Regan lists unrestricted free agent defensemen Roman Polak, Fedor Tyutin, Cody Franson and Mark Stuart as possible professional tryout offer candidates. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay the Capitals aren’t the only clubs looking at those four as potential PTO candidates. The Chicago Blackhawks, for example, also only have five blueliners under contracts from ’16-’17. In July, a rumor emerged linking Franson to the Hawks as a tryout candidate. The Colorado Avalanche only have four rearguards under contract and recently invited Jared Cowen to camp on a tryout basis. 

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports sources say the Pittsburgh Penguins are among four NHL teams interested in former KHL winger Danis Zaripov. “According to sources, the Penguins have made an inquiry and are “internally discussing” a contract offer,” write Kingerski. He also notes the Pens remain in the market for a third-line center. The New York Rangers are also thought to have interest in the 36-year-old Zaripov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could depend upon how much it’ll cost the Penguins to sign Zaripov and if that leave sufficient space to bolster their depth at center. They currently have over $3.2 million in cap space, though Kingerski observes that’ll drop to $2.4 million if blueliner Derrick Pouliot cracks the roster this season. That could affect efforts to land that third-line center unless some salary is shipped out in a trade. 



  1. Third line center is by far the Pens greatest need. It will be interesting to see who jumps on Zaripov and how quickly he will get signed.

    • agreed……i hope they don’t think ZAF is ready just yet..he is really god but needs seasoning..

  2. malkin lobbying for him… pens are weaker on left side. could only work if pens have a trade worked out moving one of their wingers with salary (hags, horny) for the center they need. it would be in the pens best interest to move hags but I dont know if he has much trade value due to his stats last year and his cost.

    • Teams love his speed –

      • who’s speed Zaripov or ZAF ?

    • I can Assure you if RNH has negative value as you say Hagelin is worth absolutely nothing coming off 6 goals and what 22 points at a cap hit of 4 million .

      • I feel pretty much the same way Craig. Hags will have to show a bounce back year like rnh for both their respective contracts to not adversely affect their trade value.

        4th. Teams may love his speed but not scoring double digits at 4 mil for 2 more years could make him untradeable unless pens sweeten the pot

      • Lyle ,

        Wondering what you think RNH trade value is today ? I would be absolutely shocked if he was moved before the season but just curious what kind of value you would place on him right now ? Seems to be some in my camp , thinking he has value , some in chrisms camp , who think he has none , and others in the middle , where do you land ? Seasons almost here !!

      • Tough to place value on a player who, in my opinion, won’t be traded this season, Craig. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but that’s how I see it. Now, if a team lacking depth at center like, say, the Montreal Canadiens got silly and offered up Alex Galchenyuk for RNH today, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will happily make that swap. But I don’t see that kind of deal happening.

        Chiarelli will likely have to move RNH next summer to free up salary-cap space, he won’t just give him away. My guess is he’ll want a good, affordable young forward or defenseman in return. That’s what he got back for Hall (Larsson) and Eberle (Strome). Much will depend, of course, on RNH’s performance this season.

      • Thank you Lyle

        I couldn’t agree more with you .

      • uncle Lyle with the classy down to earth response 🙂

        rnh value is at his lowest ever right now and a solid performance could absolutely increase it. another subpar performance mixed with a cap crunch though…

        I don’t know if hall-larson is a good analogy… hall is in a different class. eberle though is a good one. same cost. he returned a lower cost young refurbish winger… which is far from nothing but shows the negative value that 6 mil can carry.

      • Eberle was at his lowest point too after a terrible playoff run . I’m
        Not sure why or how hall ever achieved his “elite” status . 7 seasons , 4 in which he had injury trouble . For an “elite” scorer has never hit 30 goals , only once hit 70 point plateau (80), is -36 for career , not good defensively , a winger coming off 53 pts on top line (top pp) . How again is he “elite” ? RNH should return in between eberle / hall IF dealt today .

      • if dealt today he would only get a return if salary was held or a bad contract came back. and hall may have had that but among lw he is a top ten player… so compared to his peers he is elite. rnh is in the 2nd-3rd line center tweener hell but is paid like a good number 2.

        hell.. if he is traded prior to the season we will see… oil have no reason to move him now while his value is so low. he should play and hope for a better year… if he plays well next summer there will be a market for a guy with one less year on his contract, who is still young, and had a good season… if he plays poorly someone will still take a flyer on him due to his pedigree but oil may have to hold some money or absorb some money back.

        all this being said I thought rangers would get a minimal return or have to hold money on stepan and they got back a decent prospect and a top 10 pick, albeit in a weaker draft. so who knows.

      • Eberle 27, is 2 years older than Strome 25. I know many of you don’t like R. Strome but I do. For what ever reason Capuano did not like this players game. He almost destroyed him but thankfully he gets a new lease on life to realize his potential.

        This is a very similiar situation to Niedereiter, now in Minnesota who just blossomed last season but has more offense to give now that he’s seeing quality PP time. Ironically Niederreiter was drafted the year before Strome but also 5th overall by NYI.

        There is a pattern developing where some players are starting to breakthrough far later in their careers than the norm. It took Neiderreiter over 300 games to breakthrough, B. Schenn was similiar & these aren’t really monster forwards who take longer to develop much more like Dman.

        I believe R. Strome to be 1 of these players although his is primarily due to a round peg trying to be forced into a square hole.

      • How is hall a top ten lw chrisms ? For 1/8 seasons he was in that group . I like strome , striker , better fit with the oilers than eberle (including the cap hits) . And I think he can produce but I don’t see him exclusively in top 6 winger role and can’t already credit him with 60 points and a 5 milllon cap hit following 2 seasons under 30 pts before the puck drops . And I’m an oilers fan hoping he has success .

      • Last season Hall tied for 15th at LW with Kreider, Saad & Sheary; I assume now a RW, but played most of last season as a LW.

        In Hall’s 7 seasons he’s been a top 10 LW 3 times, if he could stay healthy perhaps he would be elite but he hasn’t been able to. He did last season & wasn’t elite, although he saw elite minutes both in TOI/GP, 19:19 2nd for forwards to Zajac by 24 seconds & PP TOI/GP; lead all NJ skaters with 2:45.

        His 53 points last season tied him for 68th overall for all skaters, far from any where near elite. An Elite player should be able to drive his teams offense.

        Hall is a very good player but not elite for me. Has he been? Yes but not consistently a top 10 point producer & I donn’t care if he would have been had he stayed healthy he didn’t although he did last year & was only very good.

        Nor has he ever been selected to play for Canada’s Olympic team nor last summers WCH team. Ironically a player getting bashed here endlessly Duchene has done both. Hall had 2 more goals than Duchene last year!

      • sheary played most of last season on crosby’s right.

      • EXACTLY striker . I am not sure how the hall – larsson trade still catches so much flack . Hall is not elite , like people try to portray since the trade , he was never able to drive an offence in Edmonton , clearly didn’t in NJ with top line and pp minutes . Larsson was a budding young d man , with a 4.1 million cap hit long term already playing top pair role on a bad team , just entering his prime . alot here pointed to chilly backed in a corner saying he had to accept less value due to the league knowing he had to make a move to address the D , just like im hearing with the league knowing the oilers cap situation and forcing them to give players away next summer , crazy talk . I think he made a reasonable deal to get larsson , hall is no where near what he is being portrayed as , and IF strome comes close to strikers projections or is as certain to produce that’s a great great trade by chilly . Trading out a 6 million winger for a 2 million guy who can also play center and produce 60 pts in a top winger role . That would make that trade a steal , even if they have to pay him 5 million next summer (which I highly highly doubt) and move RNH .

      • Chrisms that list also had Tatar at 4 , ovechkin at 10 , sedin (still) at 7 .
        Grain of salt .

      • no one will ever convince me nj didnt win that trade base don talent alone.. but it did work out better for the oilers than I thunked. course mcdavid goes a long way with that. and the eberle trade was a win for the oil even if strome only works out to be a top 9 talent. based on money alone… shedding the over priced contracts to lock up the new and actually elite players is something oil will have to do.

      • as I said craig, that was opinion I found when i googled the lw stat. but 4th in points playing for the oil up until they became good again and then going the bottom rung again qualifies as elite to me. and that is flat out numeros.

      • I mean look who centered hall many of those years 😉

      • Hall produced elite numbers for exactly 1 season . Couldn’t stay healthy . Elite is not 53 points in top situations and minutes . Nor is it 7/8 seasons he played . I’m not saying he is a scrub , he’s a good / really good player , far from elite .

      • since he joined the league he is 7th overall in points for LW playing for the god awful oilers and now the god awful devils… when has he ever had an elite center? objectively he is a top performer at his position. if we wnat to haggle over semantics with elite, if we are including the mcdavids and the crosby’s in that category as the benchmark than no not elite. but then nobody is.

      • Sheary played LW until Guentzel secured his place as Crosby’s LW about 12 to 15 games into his NHL career at which point Sheary moved to RW. If you prefer take Sheary out as a LW that still leaves Hall in exactly the same ranking spot last season.

        Why are we going to cherry pick Hall’s career stats starting in the lock out season? Why that snap shot as opposed to when he started his NHL career? I don’t like 5 year windows, if trying to determine current trends for players under 30, 3 years would be a better timeline.

        That would put him 14th. Hall could be elite & has been 3 times, more if he could have stayed healthy, yes he has played for 2 bad teams. Playing on a borderline NHL roster in NJ last year makes shutting Hall down fairly easy except on the PP. He always see’s the other teams best checkers as they couldn’t ice 2 full scoring lines never mind a 3rd.

        I have made that very argument for Duchene in Colorado last season & can’t understand why their PP was so bad with McKinnon, Rantanen, Landeskog, Duchen & Barrie. Coaching?

        Colorado’s roster was even more devoid of NHL talent last season than NJ. At least Hall had chemistry with his C, Landeskog & Duchene aren’t a great fit for some reason or perhaps it was the dead beat on their RW that was the issue. Colorado had Rantanen who played with McKinnon at RW then nothing else.

      • I like that reference better Chrisms, in that scenario in his 7 year career I actually would have him 6th. Top 5 would be elite for me so close enough.

        Ovechkin, Benn; has played some C, D. Sedin, Marleau; has played some C, Pacioretty, then Hall, although Vanek & Zetterberg are both higher & played a ton of LW over those 7 years but not always. Vanek has played RW the last season & Zetterberg probably 1/2 his time at C.

        Only injuries have him just outside looking in for me. My criteria is you need to make the top 10 consistently & the top 5 frequently. If not for injures Hall would have done so.

      • Elite wingers do
        Not require elite center man . He was playing with RNH when he put up 80 pts (his one elite season). Elite players can drive there own lines that is a must . Hall cannot . He was an elite performer at his position for 1 season, that’s where the elite ends . In his 7th full year he scored 53 pts in top situations including pp . Far from elite .

      • striker, i arbitrarily picked the 5 year then decided on this slow labor day I would look up his draft year and look at that.

        craig elite wingers do need good centers. who is an elite winger that didnt have one? there are cetain generational players that make everyone around them better, the mcdavid’s, the crosby’s, etc. From my perspective its hard to think of to many wingers who could put the team on their back without help… jagr would fall into that category in his prime… Benn though as striker pointed out he’s a center as much winger. I’d like to know one elite winger that was stuck with the quality of the rnh’s and zajac’s in their career? AAAAAANNNNDDDDDD……… GO!

      • Hall played the majority of his time with RNH / Eberle . I said elite wingers don’t need ELITE centres . But without searching for hours I would point to a few closer to elite or elite wingers who have done so without an ELITE center like I said . Kessel in Toronto , pacioretty , wheeler (scheiffle there now) , kucherov , gaudreau , forsberg , tarasenko . As much as you dislike eberle / RNH , hall had a guy scoring 30 goals (and over same 7 year period 382 pts , hall had 381 over that period) and a playmaking center . Both not ideal , and paid to soon but not the scrubs your making it seem compared to others .

      • no one you mentioned carried their line alone… though taresenko might be reasonable.. I’ll give you that one. he might be the albino rhino like jagr. hall played with borderline 1st line players, no d that could get the puck up, and shoddy goaltending on the backend. Patches too… his tlent level compares to halls. so that puts hall in the company of patches and taresenko…

      • So the guys you agree are comparable are pacioretty and tarasenko. The last 3 seasons (before the 1 elite season hall had) , tarasenko has 222 pts , pacioretty had 198 , hall had 156 . if he was healthy … he wasn’t and that’s not going to change in year 8 . Clearly hall is not elite or able to stat healthy .

      • yeah… my brain farted there. patches and senko were able to really carry a line without other elite talent… hall should have been compared to the rest. comparing hall to kucherov might seem odd but kucherov has elite level talent like stamkos hedmen etc that hall never had (has).

      • How much time did kucherov play with stamcos last year ? Next to none . He is not elite , I think your starting to realize that . He is a good / very good player with injury concerns .

      • Sorry my man. But top 7 in points in his position with a couple above him playing more center while playing on the worst teams in the league is elite at his position. Never convince me otherwise. Odd that This conversion raised my opinion of patches though.

      • Hagelin having a bounce back season would be adding 10 to his last years total. He is and always will be about a 30 point player. Love his speed, love the chaos he can create short handed. But aside from Kovelov, he was probably the most frustrating player to watch in NY because he simply could not finish as often as you’d think he could. All that being said, I think he could generate a lot of interest around the league. Hell, I’d love to see him back in NY…. but not at 4 per.

      • How about the first couple of seasons for Ovi?:) Zubrus I believe was his center scoring 52 goals. He sure drove that line:)

      • Your list of “elite” has to be a mile long if we just established that hall doesn’t belong in tarasenko pacioretty class , but is still considered elite . Again coming off a 53 pt season , 1 career 70 + pt season , never scoring 30 , not able to drive a line , not a plus defender . He was for a season elite , other than that hd had been very good with consistent injury problems .

    • remember too Carl Hagelin was a healthy scratch through playoffs. Don’t remember who played in his stead, but it was rookie if I remember correctly.

      • hagelin was injured most of the games he missed… was a healthy scratch towards the end for 1 or 2 games.

      • Although way, way below even remotely being considered among the “elite” it’s amazing how they can “reward” a player who regressed from a 20 goal – 24 assist season to just 5 goals and 10 assists in 58 gp – and a demotion to the minors where he did no better relatively speaking – but that’s what Arizona did with Duclair when they gave him $1.2 mil for 1 year. The high cost of mediocrity indeed.

    • Hags is huge for the Penguins speed game and penalty kill why would you move him (we already (lost Cullen/Bonino penalty kill) for a 36 year old who might be half decent…no more Russians they don’t win outside Malkin

  3. RHN probably has negative value, he doesn’t score enough to be worth his contract and he’s soft and not good defensively to be worth his contract. He was paid based on being a first overall pick. If he is traded, it’ll be for another bad contract or the oil will have to retain the max 50% of his contract and they still won’t get anything of value back.

    As for the pens needing a third line center, what about Stajan from the Flames or Brodziak from the Blues? Both those guys would add depth and they’d be able to fit them in if they ship out a lower end contract.

    • I couldn’t disagree much more Paul , not good defensively ? Is he elite ? No , is he good ? Absolutely . 18 goals and 43 points and a solid defender is not fantastic , not terrible . The 6 million is the only issue , but he is 24 years old and has played on bad teams for years before last couple seasons . I’m guessing you had the same opinion on eberle (winger much worse defensively , same 6 million) ? A lot of folks on here had him going to Vegas for nothing or having to retain salary . RNH is more valuable than eberle .

      • Craig….I agree you put RNH on the Pittsburgh Penguins third line with Hornqvist and Hagelin and the second power play unit watch him score 25 plus…

    • The way the salary are going up, in two years he’ll be worth his contract.

      • That’s a great point Caper.

        Also if you consider the money teams have thrown at UFA’s like Radulov, Marleau, Dadanov, Williams, Hanzal, Lucic, Backes, Neilsen, Ladd, etc. Most on long term deals. I think someone will take RNH out of need.

      • ufa lot different than trade though. the leverage of using the oilers cap crunch will taint his value… unless he plays up to his contract then thats a different story.

      • I agree Chrisms. Yes the acquiring team will have to return something in trade as opposed to just cash but in cash it’s similiar & it may allow a team to move a middling player they no longer need or want with say a 2.5 to 3.5 mil cap hit & 1 or 2 years remaining with another asset or assets.

        I can’t see 1 next summer other than possibly Vegas & much will depend on what role & production RNH can generate this season. Edm had a very effective 1st unit PP last season but this season the 2nd unit that RNH played on last season should have Jokinen & Puljujarvi possibly helping RNH’s #’s but if Draisaitl plays C that pushes RNH to 3rd line minutes. That still may draw him Jokinen & Puljujarvi as wingers or if Draisaitl plays RW which he will at least sometimes RNH would slide into the #2 spot.

        I don’t think his salary will be that hard to move it will just require a little creativity & they will have to accept some depreciated value due to it. Like many players we discuss here all that really ails RNH is his cap hit. He isn’t a 6 mil per player in today’s cap world but as Caper stated salaries are rising & they are going to start rising faster now that McDavid & Draisaitl have reset the bar.

        How did Columbus get Wennberg signed at 6 years for 4.9 mil per? Is Draisaitl worth 3.6 more per?

      • wennberg was an amazing signing and may help temper some of the money issues coming up… i.e. if mathews gets better next year he could be looking a similar to mcdavid money but marner/nylander? they will likely come with draisatl money with leafs countering with wennburg money. we all see whats goingon with pasternak right now… players want paid for their best years (potentially). scares the bejesus out of me if jake BSP esq guentzel has another big year…

        but on wenburgh, I’d bet their are some young fellows in the league gonna give him a little extra for lowering the bar.

      • mcdavid’s situation is unique though. he is a bonafide generational talent.. with the ability to actually put a team on his back. He also has the marketability for the franchise and the league that puts him with a different set of rules regarding signing him… there as so many teams that would have offered him if he was left unsigned for those reasons. draisatl was a consequence of that but while mcdavid was a good signing his was a bit heavy. man… could you imagine if LA had offer sheeted mcdavid 🙂

    • At 4.5 mil per season, potentially even 5, I think RNH would have a significant # of suitors next summer. At this point with so many team so close to the cap moving RNH is virtually impossible.

      It is pretty rare to see significant real salary & Cap hits moved this close to the start of the season unless heading to LTIR & 80% to be covered by insurance.

      I don’t see RNH moving before next summer. Edm had better hope they can make a cup run this year as their cap issues next season are going to be an issue.

      They have 10 players that will need to be signed or replaced next season. They have 13 current roster players signed for the 2018-19 season at $60,783,667. Assuming the cap rises 2.5 to 3 mil it’s going to be tight to get all their RFA’s resigned never mind replacing their UFA’s.

      They can try to bridge Nurse, Benning & Caggiula but Strome will have arbitration rights & be 2 years from UFA status. As I suggested yesterday I see him coming in at around 5 mil per give or take 500K. I don’t see Strome failing to produce as Edm’s 1st or 2nd line RW. 20 to 25 goals & 55 to 60 points in a walk.

      • Striker you may not of seen my post yesterday but one hockey magazine “the Forecaster” has Strome at 30g and 72pts. Personally I don’t see it. He’s 24 and should’ve shown some growth already, not everyone produces with elite players. He did score 17g 3 seasons ago, but 30 is way off the mark, the NHL as a whole only had 26 30g scores but maybe 20, but I guessing 15.

      • If he plays 75 games min I have R. Strome scoring 20 to 25 goals & 55 to 60 points. I thought it was coming last season but Capunao used him as essentially a PP specialist.

        Few players drafted this high at forward have been as beaten down as much as Strome. He was returned to Jr not once but twice after being drafted, then spent 1/2 a season in the AHL before being given an NHL opportunity, being punished endlessly by both Capuano & to a lesser extent Snow.

        His sophomore season he played primarily as a RW with Tavares & Nelson at LW & had a great season. I loved that line. I still like Nelson as a LW with Tavares but I think that ship has sailed. Why Strome didn’t get even strength ice time consistently with Tavares was odd, why when you can deploy Bailey in that role?

        Nor do I think he will ever play C in the NHL like he often did in Jr & was tried numerous times in NYI. Having just turned 25 in July it’s way to early to write off this player off, he needed a fresh start almost 2 years ago. He gets it now.

        In the 2015-16 playoffs he was playing great offensively & wasn’t killing NYI defensively. What did Capuano do, he benched him. I’m not sure Strome could have landed in a better spot. If Lemieux could make Warren Young a 40 goal, 70 point player in the NHL’s high scoring era, McDavid or Draisatl can make Strome a 25 goal scorer & 55 point player in a walk in today’s far lower scoring NHL.

      • done forget robbie brown!

      • Ha-ha! Exactly. Is Draisaitl as good a player carrying his own line? He sure looked good in a brief snapshot in the playoffs. I’m not saying he isn’t but I don’t like him getting that much money so quickly nor McDavid for that matter. I would have waited until next summer to sign McDavid that should have allowed Draisaitl to have been signed for significantly less monies now.

        Scheifele signed last season at 6.125 for 8 years after scoring 29 goals & 61 points in 71 games playing the 4th most TOI/GP at forward & 2nd line PP time & was better than Draisaitl last season & didn’t play the majority of the season with McDavid. How can Draisatl get 2.3 & change more than Scheifele?

        Isn’t that what Edm did with Hall, RNH & Eberle? To much money to soon.

        Perhaps Chiarelli knows more about the NHL’s cap future than we do. As paying 21 million to 2 players doesn’t seem wise to me.

        Yes people like to point to the Pit model but Crosby was signed to a 12 year deal in a different cap world leaving money on the table, significantly reducing his cap hit for those 12 years. The year his deal kicked in 2013-14 the cap ceiling was 64.3 mil. His 8.7 cap hit accounted for 13.53% of the cap. He could have easily demanded the max 20%, over 12 mil per.

        McDavid’s contract will eat up a larger % of Edm’s cap than Crosby’s did in year 1 next season & Crosby signed his after playing 8 years in the NHL making to Stanley Cup appearances winning 1. What’s McDavid won so far? 1 scoring title so far but his new contract may handcuff Edm’s ability to build a cup contender past this season.

      • mcdavid’s situation is unique though. he is a bonafide generational talent.. with the ability to actually put a team on his back. He also has the marketability for the franchise and the league that puts him with a different set of rules regarding signing him… there as so many teams that would have offered him if he was left unsigned for those reasons. draisatl was a consequence of that but while mcdavid was a good signing his was a bit heavy. man… could you imagine if LA had offer sheeted mcdavid 🙂

        sorry wrong place

      • It was a different cap world , Mcdavid doesn’t have those options . Letting him go to next summer was never and should never have been an option . Him signing for 8 now was the certainty the oilers needed . Having said that it’s 100% different paying two guys entering prime on 8 year contracts at 21 combined than signing toews Kane heading the other direction . Also the oilers having top 2 d men at combined 8.2 longterm is huge factor . I can understand doubting or questioning Leon , the number and if it was too early . Ridiculous to include Mcdavid in that . If he hasn’t shown you enough yet striker there is issues . The code would have been blown apart and offer sheets flying at Mcdavid next summer . Do you think Mathews in signed next summer ? Not to mention giving Mcdavid an extra year to build his resume .

    • Paul,
      You’re absolutely right on about RNH. I think a team like Vegas would be interested.
      Here are the problems with RNH: He’s not a #1 C, and he’s making too much for most teams to make him their #2 C. On a great team, he’s definitely no more than a #3 C. But obviously, the problem lies with that contact.

      And as you pointed out, he’s soft, and a liability in the defensive zone; although he did improve slightly this past year.

      Obviously, he’s still very young, and had the natural ability to become better defensively; however, because he is extremely soft, I don’t see that happening. At best, he becomes average in his own end.

      So where does he fit? He’s never going to be an elite scorer, and lacks high end hockey IQ. He’s not really a goal scorer, or a skilled play maker. I think part of the problem was he was rushed in to the NHL, on a terrible team, and the coaching never really tried to correct his deficiencies. And after 5 years in the league, it’s very difficult to try and change the way a guy plays – especially a former #1 overall pick.

      If I were Edmonton, I would just keep him, and pair him up with McDavid so that they get the most production as possible out of him.

      But I’m sure there is at least one team that will think they can turn him into a #1 C. That’s why I think Vegas would be a good fit for him. Very little pressure, and a somewhat ‘big name’ player to create some excitement for the fans.

  4. Pouliot will have to be waived to be sent down to the AHL now so he makes Pit’s roster or someone will claim him off waivers.

    • another reason why I question hunwick. I firmly believe dp is a bust but with tanger, maatta, dumo, schultz, cole, ruhwedal, dp you had 7 nhl d-men. they could have always gotten one in a deadline trade as needed. the hunwick money could have helped shore up the 3rd line center position.

      • I like the Hunwick signing he provides solid depth in the 5/6 hole as injuries dictate.

        Not a hope Letang can play more than 55 possibly 60 games, he’s 1 soild hit from being forced to retire from repetitive concussions. Maatta has also struggled in his young career to do stay healthy as well.

        Ruhwedal is nothing more than insurance, He’s the #8, he’s payed to practice & play when injuries hit or a player is felled by cold, flu or family tragedy. Pouliot will be given a chance to play sparingly as injuries dictate.

        Pit will be reluctant to waive Pouliot as numerous teams will gamble he can be salvaged. Still to young to write off but I share your concerns.

        The #3 C spot will be addressed if none of the current options work. No rush. Anton-Reese makes it, a player is secured on waivers or a trade will eventually be made to solve the issue. As long as it’s solved by April who cares in the short term.

      • ruwhedal played well enough to be a bottom pairing regularly… but for depth purposes he is much better as a 4th pairing guy. dp has his last chance, if he can hold his own on a bottom pair and help the 2nd powerplay maybe the pens salvage him. every player is one hit away from retirement… I am far more worried about letangs blood than his noggin. and if maatta doesnt end up with SARS or legionaires, or candiria, or ovarian cancer this year I’d be shocked. yes pens need depth but the cheap kind, not the hunwick for three years kind. its not an albatross.. makes me wonder if they think cole has priced himself out after this year.

      • Ha-ha! That’s good stuff.

      • Yes Cole is RFA next summer and they can’t afford to keep him. Pouliot will be given every opportunity to make the team and play 3RD. Yes he’s a left shot but he played the right side in junior and that’s where he won CHL dman if the year. If he were given the same leniency that Maatta gets he would already be a full time member of the d corps. This was the age Dumoulin finally made the team and for 3 years prior he was the best player on the ice for their rookie tournament team. Pouliot and Shultz will man the second pp. Pouliots passing ability on the breakout is elite and he has a heavy, hard shot. It’s been confidence issue with him not talent issues. The team will have to move players out to bring in a 3C and because of contract status I put Cole and Hornqvist as likely candidates. Just depends on where and for who. William Karlson is still my first choice and Vegas can flip both of those guys at the TDL. It would be funny to see Neal and Hornqvist on the same team, even the same line.

      • the whole same leniency as blah blah blah is so old. heard it with despres, now pouliot. he failed for ballsma, johnson, and sully. three coaches didnt ruin this kid, he failed… plain and simple. he is still young but anyone blaming coaching on this kid (man now) is out to lunch… with fries on top! and its not just pens who feel this way cause they’d have moved him by now at consecutive deadlines if there was any decent return available.

      • oh… and cole I doubt is going anywhere.. can play top 4 minutes on a team with d health issues… horny will likely be kept to go for a run one more time. I see rust, or hags going first.

  5. I believe Pit will give Anton-Reese every opportunity to be their 3rd line C. At 23 having played 4 years of College hockey posting 31 goals & 63 points at NorthEastern he isn’t like a raw rookie coming out of Major Jr. I believe the job is his to lose.

    That said should a player get waived before teams submit their 23 man roster on Oct 3rd, Pit could nab a player off waivers & allow A-R some development time in the AHL bringing him up after Christmas just like Guentzel.

    • not the pens mo to do this… hell jake bill s preston esquire guentzel was down and up despite showing he belonged. pens might be forced to do this if they cant make a trade or if he destroys it in camp… but they have been quoted as saying they see him as a winger in the nhl (please don’t ask me where I read the quote or heard it, probably one one of his interviews on the FAN (he is quite a candid interview btw))

      • Baring a trade there doesn’t appear to be any room at the inn on the wing. Waivers will factor into where A-R starts the year unless he kicks the door down.

        All those depth wingers Archibald, Rust, Wilson, Kuhnhackl; I’d like to buy a vowel please, Rowney need to clear waivers & those business dynamics will surely come into play just like with Pouliot.

        Is Pit prepared to waive any of those forwards? To get Sprong or A-R onto this roster will require an injury, trade or putting a player on waivers.

      • I think they prefer sprong and ZAR to play in wbs. they seem cemented on kuni-2 being a 13th type guy and if they had to waive him due to a spectacular performance than I dont think it would phase them. id like to see em sign a zaripov or jagr or name your gamble winger candidate here and move on of the established wingers for a center… rust maybe who should have some value, hags maybe if they eat a mil.

  6. Does anyone know a site that shows tracks the GM trades and signings? Found one a year ago but my memory doesn’t serve me well.

    • Yes Caper, it’s NHL TRADE TRACKER.
      Thanks. Now I’ll be stuck there all day.

      • Thanks SOP. I’ll be in there with you.

    • Rather, nhltradetracker.com

    • If you use Wikepedia to find out when a GM was hired you can then go to ESPN NHL team pages & look at transactions by year starting with that 1.

  7. Thanks Striker & SOP fyi both them sites are lacking. For example they don’t have all the signing or the trades. In June 2015 Sweeney traded a third rnd pick for Zac Rinaldo and neither site mentioned it. Don must’ve paid them off.

    • or maybe he sent rinaldo to send a message?