NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2017

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Rumors | 53 comments

Updates on Rick Nash, several teams seeking forwards and the latest on the Penguins in your NHL rumor mill. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports winger Rick Nash understands his eligibility for unrestricted free agency in July creates uncertainty over his future with the New York Rangers. Brooks suggests Nash’s greatest value to the Rangers could be as a “blue-chip rental property to exchange for futures as the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches.” However, if Blueshirts general manager Jeff Gorton believes the Rangers have a playoff run in them, Brooks doubts Nash will be traded, even at the risk of his departure via free agency. 

The Rangers could re-sign Nash, whose preference is to stay in New York. He’s in the final season of an eight-year, $62.4 million contract. The 32-year-old won’t garner that much on his next deal. Brooks wonders if a four-year contract worth between $5 – $5.5 million annually is realistic considering J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey and Brady Skjei are restricted agents this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers are a playoff contender by the trade deadline, Nash won’t be going anywhere. Yes, they could lose him for nothing to free agency but that’s a risk I believe Gorton will take.

However, if they fall out of contention they’ll likely field offers for the aging forward. With those younger players all due for new contracts and with over $51 million invested in just 11 players, I have my doubts they’ll re-sign Nash. If they have sufficient cap room, I suspect they’ll look toward younger, more affordable UFA options. 


TSN: In the latest edition of “Insider Trading,” Bob McKenzie reports trade talk has increased since the Matt Duchene trade earlier this month. He said the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers are in the market for a center and the Florida Panthers have stepped up their search for a scoring winger of late. The Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning are also seeking forwards. 

Pierre LeBrun adds the Lightning need a top-nine winger to skate alongside Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn on their third line. They’ll look to within their organization to fill that role. If that doesn’t pan out, GM Steve Yzerman could look toward the trade market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers already made a move to bolster their scoring depth by acquiring Mike Cammalleri yesterday from the Los Angeles Kings. The Blue Jackets, like the Ducks, Habs and Rangers, are believed seeking a center and were among the clubs with interest in Duchene before he was dealt to the Senators. The Bruins could use a scoring winger as injuries have decimated their forward ranks.

With the standings still tight, most of those clubs could be forced to wait until more teams start falling out of playoff contention. Unlike most of the teams on that list, the powerhouse Lightning can afford to wait until then.


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: In a recent mailbag segment, Sam Werner was asked what the Pittsburgh Penguins might do to address their ongoing need for a third-line center. Riley Sheahan, acquired earlier this season from the Detroit Red Wings, has been OK defensively but he’s still struggling to score.

As for players the Penguins could dangle as trade bait, Werner doubts they’ll deal pending UFA forward Patric Hornqvist but thinks GM Jim Rutherford would be interested in moving winger Carl Hagelin’s $4 million salary from his books. Given Hagelin’s sub-par production this season, Werner feels finding a trade partner will be difficult.  Tom Kuhnhackl could be a more realistic trade chip, especially if promising winger Daniel Sprong joins the roster in the near future. 

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Pittsburgh Penguins have a need for an experienced backup goaltender. He wouldn’t be surprised if they add one for insurance. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins could find it easier to land a backup goalie than a third-line center. As noted above, they could be forced to wait until more clubs start falling out of playoff contention to address their center needs.

They’re not trading Hornqvist. Indeed, if they can free up sufficient cap room, I can see them re-signing him before July 1. Hagelin is signed through 2018-19 and I don’t see any takers unless they absorb part of his salary or take on another toxic contract. Kuhnhackl on his own might not fetch a third-line center until closer to the trade deadline. 



  1. Pens don’t need a goalie.

    Riley has had a couple good games in a row but still should be updated. I believe a team would take a flyer on hags even at his salary without pens needing to hold salary or take back a toxic contract but the return would be minimal. Kuni is a 13 forward and doesn’t bring back a 3rd line center unless a quality asset is added to the deal. If sprong comes up and plays well then pens best trade chips are one of rust sheary horny.

    • Pens badly need a vet goalie, Jarry should be playing regularly. Neither Sheary or Rust alone will bring back a decent return unless Sprong is included which I wouldn’t do. JR waited too long to trade Pouliot which is too bad, he wishes he could have a do-over on that bum. And Sheahan is a bust, 4th liner at best. Bonino did all of the dirty work which allowed Sid & Geno to flourish. Can’t replace that with a 4th liner. Can’t trade Horny either, you are nuts.

    • I believe it will be Rust he is fast, skilled and young. the only problem is his salary is only i believe $650,000 or $680,000 not moving much off the books. where hags is $4 million…They need to keep Hags move rust and add something like a pick. i would have said Sheary but he had picked it up lately and is up to 8 goals so????

    • They need some minor league depth at the goalie position

      • not really… desmith is a solid ahl goalie… so only in the regards that wbs might need a goalie for their playoff run this year… pens have their second round pick goalie in Europe who is highly thought of coming on soon.

      • desmith is good and they have this big Swedish kid (excuse the spelling have no idea) Gvuastason who is really good too. and jarry

  2. You’d think, with the way their season is going, that the Coyotes might be mentioned more often in trade talk. I’m not suggesting they start peddling some of their excellent youngsters like Keller, Wedgewood, Perlini, Dvorak or even a young vet like Ekman-Larsson – but with so many teams allegedly desperate for help up front and on D, yolu have to wonder what Chayka could get for someone like Goligoski, Hjalmarsson, Domi, Stepan, Duclair, etc.

    • The Habs have cap space for Stepan who I think stays in the desert to keep Keller developing

    • Well said George O. They could start a rebuild real quickly there.

    • The analytic experiment is failing hard so far. Not even a regulation win. Youd think of the new fancy qnalytics truly had merit a bad team built through analytics wouldnt make winless records.

      But hey thats me. Time will tell

  3. Duclair could be had but has been a healthy scratch and might return a mid round draft pick.
    Coyotes are bad. Historically bad evidentially. Some very good young talent that are not even shaving yet.

    Cammalleri for Jokinen is a wash. Actually both are washed up.

    • Well SilverSeven, it definitely isn’t a blockbuster, but I think the Oil got a piece that they needed. A shooter with a resume of finishing. Albeit with his best days behind him.
      They have been generating plenty of chances but needed another finisher on their 2nd PP unit and 3rd line.
      Cammalleri got bumped down the depth chart by younger talent like Iaffalo and that likely isn’t what he signed up for. Jokinen seemed totally disinterested in Edmonton and was doing absolutely nothing. But has a history of being a responsible depth player.
      I think Blake did Cammalleri a solid and moved him.

      • Absolutely Ray, Cammalleri once again pulled prima donna on the Kings and asked to be traded.

    • Arz just set a record for the most games played to start a season not winning a game in regulation.

      How does Tocchet still have a job? Surely ownership has to be looking at Chayka asking themselves what have we done.

      Based on the talent in Arz they shouldn’t be this bad. They are in the middle of a rebuild, what should be the late stages by now it seems like it has been going on for ever but they are terrible.

      Getting rid of Tocchet is the 1st & easiest choice as his deployment of players isn’t working & what ever system he is using is worse.

      I look at OEL, Hjalmarsson, Goligoski & Demers, that’s as solid top 4 D but can’t keep the pucks from ending up in the back of their net & that’s due to the forwards not picking up & helping with their assignments. It’s their best players that have been dreadful defensively.

  4. I would’ve thought maybe Vegas and Arizona record would be flipped with 20 games in. What happened to Arizona and what’s going on with Max Domi owner of 1 goal in 20 games.
    I’ve only watched a few of their games but with that roster I was expecting more, Keller with 11 goals and the next closes is 4 goal.
    Yet the goalies both have over a 900 sv% this team needs a shake up but is it too late.

    • Agreed Arizona has struggled it will take time….. VEGAS HAS A LOT OF VETERANS ALL OVER THEIR LINE-UP, the excitement of a new team, it’s us against the world thing, and all that fresh stuff going on. Where Arizona is maybe playing in front of 10,000 a game.

    • I didn’t even expect Vegas to be as bad as Arz is playing. I didn’t see any team ever being this bad. It’s ugly & Tocceht looks lost as a head coach.

      Scheduling issues still need to play out. Far to many variances this early in the season. Things are & have been correcting themselves & will continue to do so. Lets all look at the standings on the morning of Dec 4th & discuss who is surprising & who isn’t, as until then the disparities in home & away games, level of competition, back to back games, horrendous road trips, etc. balance out these things play to heavily into the standings today but with each passing day balance out.

  5. Totally agree with Lyle, Nash not going anywhere unless they’re getting back a quality center (Statsny?)and need cap space. Seriously don’t see him back next year at 34. Would have to be a cheap 1 or 2 year deal. Also, no way Arizona looking to trade Stepan for futures…They gave up young prospect and high pick for him

    • I agree on Stepan.

      NYR if out of the playoff picture at the deadline moves Nash for what ever they can get. If in the hunt with in 4 to 6 points depending upon games played issues keep him & let him walk as a UFA at seasons end.

      I like Nash but don’t want to see NYR pay him 5 mil+ even for a short term like 3 years. It’s time to move on & give that ice time to a younger player after this season again before if out of it.

      I have no issues with a team in the playoff picture keeping their UFA’s, no different to me than going out & trading for 1 at the deadline. Your not getting nothing, your gaining the cap space next season. That’s significant & your using that asset to try & win the cup now or advance further into the playoffs, each 1 of those playoff gates is serious monies to the organization & players aren’t paid during the playoffs although obviously it does count as HRR so really like teachers their wages are condensed into a shorter period but designed to pay them for the entire year.

      • Striker…I don’t see Rangers being out of playoff picture at deadline. What do you think of Nash for Statsny straight up?

  6. Are any of you Pittsburgh fans concerned with Pittsburgh’s & Murray’s SV%? Why can’t Pittsburgh keep the puck out of their net?

    To many back to backs already? A scheduling issue, level of competition?

    Is Murray’s .903 SV% a concern for anyone?

    • No!!
      How old is Matt Murray?
      How many Stanley Cups have the Penguins won in past two years?
      How many games have the Penguins played in the past two seasons?
      How many home games have the Penguins played so far this season?
      How many back to back games have the Penguins played so far this season?
      The season is too early.

      • Not meant to slight Murray in anyway. Just curious to know if anyone is concerned. Murray was my Calder winner last season. Votes shouldn’t be cast before the cup is awarded & winning 2 cups as the starting goalie well still a rookie is beyond amazing. A total stud but now no safety net. He shoulders the load by himself now mentally. We saw how that effected Hellebuyck in Win last season, another stud goalie in the making.

        23. 2 ,the only other goalie to accomplish this at such a young age is Dryden I believe. More than any other team in the NHL by a significant margin, plus add in those World Cup games many Pens played in. 7 & 6 of 19 already.

        I have been raising the scheduling issues repeatedly as it’s neither fair nor balanced & more time needs to pass for it to even remotely balance out. Ott has 15 or 16 back to backs to go as an example, they play the 2nd most to Pit this season, it might even be the same # at 19 or is it 18? I can’t remember.

      • Dryden didn’t do it back to back & was nominally older as well. rookie year & 3rd year.

    • I have two minor concerns…the price of the third line center at the deadline and Jake Guentzel’s quiet sophomore slump.

      Otherwise, it’s November and they can’t fool themselves into thinking it’s April.

      Murray has been great no matter what the numbers say.

    • STRIKER…… YES I AM CONCERNED Too many back to backs yes, Murray hasn’t been consistent enough, and the penguins miss Daley and Hainsey (Who blocked a lot of shots) and took up valuable minutes and Letang is playing scared and awful. Cole and Dumolin have been the only steady defenders. Schultz has been good but HAS missed 7 of 18 games due to injury..They better get some defensive help and soon.

      • Maatta best d this year by far.

    • Not concerned about Murray’s save pct or the Pens goal differential. Not concerned about Crosby’s issues. Not concerned about any of it. The only thing I was worried about was Niemi getting any more chances and these back to back games. Now that Jarry has kept the team in the game the 2 games he has played he is obviously the answer to that problem. Yes he maybe should play as many games as possible, I understand that school of thought. But there is a lot more to learn playing at the highest level against the best players(even if mostly in practice). The Pens need a centre for sure, McKegg is the answer to nothing. Sheahan can’t score to save his soul but he’s compitant defensively. Murray has been the victim of some unfavourable situations this year but when the games count he is always dialed in. This is obviously not going to be his first Vezina season but he will have enough of those at the end of his career.

    • Yawn. Is it the playoffs yet?

    • Well ottawa has 19 back to backs and are 3 for 3 so far. So cry me a rive pittsburgh. Ottawa also had a trip to sweden and an out door game acrewing with their schedule and play.

      • Pittsburgh is lokely dealing with the double stanley cup hangover. Rare but intense. Haha

  7. I don’t feel one bit sorry for the Coyotes organization. Hiring a GM in his 20’s due to his analytics and statistical genius is hopefully proof for the rest of the league that the Moneyball theory is total fiction, especially in hockey.
    I feel sorry for Tocchet, he was bound to fail taking on this youth laden team. Not to say the Coyotes are not loaded with prospects because they are but some such as Domi and Duclair are stalled in their development.

    • More than 1/2 of Arizona’s roster; 11 players, are veterans, most of those well into their mid to late 20’s & a few, 3 are 30 or above & I’m not counting Leighton who was just added.

      I feel sorry for Arz fan’s, it’s been never ending turmoil & struggle, I really thought we would see some significant improvement this year with the additions of Stepan, Hjlamarsson & later Demers, the return of Richardson, addition of Keller my rookie of the year candidate & the improvement of the youth added over the last 2 years.

      That said I still had them battling it out with Colorado for 2nd worst in the West edging Colorado out in the end, lagging the pack by 8 to 10 points above these 3 teams, Arz, Col & Vgs. I don’t see that happening now & even though it’s early, clawing their way out of the cellar in the West & finishing dead last in the NHL will be virtually impossible.

      • of the 11 vets only Stepan, OEL, Demers and Hjalmarsson would be considered possible impact players the others are all 4th line forwards and 6-7 d-men. The recipe to nurture young talent with solid vets to mentor them is not there in AZ.

      • Goligoski; 32, is Arz #2 Dman he was Dal’s as well & he would disagree with you as do I. Schenn at 28 absolutely. Reider; 24, 25 in Feb, Martinook; 25, & Richardson; 32, 33 in Jan, are a solid defensive players making up 3/4’s of Arz top 2 PK units.

        Was there any mention of impact players? I was responding to youth laden squad. Yes they are loaded with young talent but tons of veterans surrounding those players.

        The only youth playing consistently is Keller, Domi, Perlini; missed 6 games to injury, Fischer; health scratch in 2 games, & Dvorak really. Duclair has produced in limited minutes but another coach that doesn’t like this players game. Been a healthy scratch 6 times & only seeing 13:21 in TOI/GP over the 14 he has played in barely getting him in the top 9.

      • brain cramp on my part and missed Goligoski. They need a couple of offensively talented proven vets to mentor the studs they have. Stepan was a step in the right direction but else wise this skill set is lacking.

      • Something strange is going on in ARZ. I don’t know what it is but there is absolutely no way they should be this bad.
        Off ice crap or party boys or a total dysfunction in the room.
        This is a complete hunch with zero proof or even rumors, but something has to be up, it is the only thing that makes any sense.

      • For the record Boeser on vancouver was my Calder winner prediction.

    • Moneypuck is nonsense. Hockey has too many variables to be quantified the way it works in baseball.

      The Panthers and Coyotes are dumpster fires.

      Doug MacLean was laughing today about how someone told him that the Coyotes analytics are good this year. All you need to know.

  8. I think NY should trade Nash and get whatever they can. I hate to be “that guy ” but even in this win streak they still are a very flawed team. No sense in believing they can go far this year.

    • I agree on moving him if the market will return as much or more today as it will when most of his cap hit has been eaten at the deadline. No easy feat today due to cap issues for almost any teams & not eating salary or taking a dead contract back to accommodate trading him unless the prospects & picks to do so justify it.

      I still have NYR to make the playoffs, always have, not altering any of my playoff selections until Dec 4th at the earliest & even then highly unlikely I alter any. All are still in the battle even Edm & Anh, they are only out 3 & 4 pts out respectively. Bos is 4 out in the east but has only played 16 games, Anh 17 & Edm 18.

      Injuries are playing huge for Anh & Bos. Anh like Bos has been treading water but tough to be competitive covering for so many significant loses, they just have to hang in there until players start returning. It speaks well to the depth of these 2 organizations having been forced to ice so many AHL players so far this season.

      • Striker, I think I am less optimistic about the B’s making the playoffs. Lost 4 of last 5 with some key players not due back any time soon. Heading to California for 3 on the road.
        But on the same track as your question on Murray, I am concerned about Rask. Again.
        Average last year (brutal 2nd half) and average year before. His numbers don’t look good and some of the games I have been able to watch he seems pretty nonchalant. When is the last time he even tried to make a desperation save?
        Plenty of money for what is starting to look like an average tender.

  9. Some team that wants to move a minor league veteran goalie must keep floating this “Pens need a veteran backup” stuff.

    None of the goalies available are half as good as Jarry.


    • Exactly

  10. Lou must be in the middle of these talks. He has an extra backup goalie, could move a center (Bozak), a few extra forwards (Moore, Fehr, one of Leivo, Soshnikov or Kapenin), and even extra defense prospects if he acquires a top four defenseman. This does not even address the numerous prospects (Bracco, Rychel, Johnson, Dimitrov, etc) that could be used. He only has to move a couple or three of these. Nylander or Marleau can assume Bozak’s spot. It will be interesting.

  11. Nash isn’t going anywhere, unless Rangers take a nose dive, or someone offers something good. He still a good player, stop the BS. The hockey season is a marathon. The NYR are working on who they are with the changes they made, so what that got off to a slow start, it’s how you end up!

    • Let’s not let a win streak confuse anyone though….. If you’re relying on 4 goals , 2 power play in the 3rd period (Vegas) almost blowing a game against a terrible team ( Florida) and relying on.3 pp goals in the 3rd ( Columbus) as a good sign, you’re not seeing the big picture. Ny has played one great game in this streak (Tampa) and a couple of decent games.

      Starting out with a 2-3 goal deficit and hoping for 3rd period meltdowns isn’t a good idea. 5-5 scoring has got better, but still a point of concern. This team needs stronger starts.

      Right now, is Brooks brilliant words, they are more of pretenders than contenders. I just can’t envision them going deep. So why not trade Nash? I’ve argued here many times, even when he can’t score he’s their best player a lot of nights. But lose him for nothing, and not go deep? Sounds like a bad idea.

      • I’m not even thinking playoffs, it’s November. I start thinking about that after the trade deadline. Just play the games and stay in it, I don’t have any fears of any teams the NYR play, c’mon your really thinking how deep a playoff run there gonna make? They still are learning to play with one another!

      • Well , when you’re talking what ufas should stay or go… yeah I’m talking how deep they can or cannot go…

        Learning to play with one another 1/4 way into the season should indicate they’re not going far.

  12. With the mentioningof Arizona above, could this be feasible?

    To TOR: Ekman-Larrson
    To ARZ: Bracco+Liljegren+Soshnikov+2018 1st Round Pick

    • No.

      Try Reilly plus marner as a starting point.

    • Not even close to enough for a top 8 dman in a league desperate for number one, do it all, dmen. This offer is an insult in Toronto’s part. Bracco, Soshinkov are at best middle 6 wingers and they pick could be in the 20s. Liljegren has a 50/50 chance of being an NHL player. The Yotes could do a lot better than this before bunch of afterthoughts.