NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2017

by | Nov 2, 2017 | Rumors | 48 comments

Latest on the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman notes the New York Rangers began restocking their roster this summer and speculates the struggling club will continue that trend. Moving out pending unrestricted free agents such as Rick Nash and Michael Grabner would be the obvious, “simple play, very easy to do.”

He doesn’t see them shopping Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei or Mika Zibanejad, but thinks they could consider testing other options, such as gauging the value of Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider or J.T. Miller. Friedman doesn’t see them moving everybody and suggests it’s possible none of those four could move, but feels they will look. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much was made of several members of the Rangers’ front office scouting Monday’s Montreal Canadiens-Ottawa Senators game in Ottawa. The speculation suggested they were scouting Habs forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Andrew Shaw.

However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie cautions not to assume a deal is imminent between the two clubs.  “Last I heard, and again it’s always subject to change with one phone call, but it wasn’t front-burner, pot-boiling, ready to make a transaction as much as it was two teams that are on really hard times talking to each other about some possibilities.” McKenzie’s colleague Pierre LeBrun also said that trip was more of a  ‘file away the game for perhaps something down the road’.

Friedman suggests the Edmonton Oilers could be affected by whatever decisions the Rangers make. He said general manager Peter Chiarelli “has a lot of balls in the air”, as Jussi Jokinen is reportedly available and at least one team has interest in defenseman Matt Benning.

However, the Oilers could be in the same position as the Montreal Canadiens, forced to look to within for improvement. Friedman also suggests 2016 first-round pick Jesse Puljujarvi could be a valuable trade chip if (and that’s a big “if”) management determines he’s not a fit in Edmonton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Jokinen or Benning fetching the type of return that immediately improves the Oilers. Packaging one of them with Puljujarvi might do the trick, but is it really worthwhile shipping out a promising young right winger who could address their long-term needs for a quick fix now? 

It could be worthwhile keeping an eye on Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic. He’s had his ice time cut this season and was a healthy scratch three times. He’s a year away from UFA status. Given how difficult blueliners are to find via trade, other clubs will be watching. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 6’4″, 216-pound Petrovic is considered a physical shutdown blueliner. If he’s not a fit with the Panthers, he will attract some interest in the trade market. 

The Winnipeg Jets are getting calls about third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson. Ottawa Senators third stringer Andrew Hammond could also pop up soon in the rumor mill. He’s has a .929 save percentage with the Sens farm team this season. 

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford wants to ease the workload of defenseman Kris Letang but a healthier roster should address that issue. Rutherford said he’s not feeling any pressure to make trades. 



  1. For all the flack Jim Benning gets for selecting Juolevi, I can’t imagine the heat Chiarelli is going to get if he ships Puljujarvi out.
    What happened to that guy? All year he was neck n neck with Laine in the draft rankings. Was supposed to be the next “Selanne”. Ya, too early yet but when you see where Laine is and the success he is having, 3pts in a 2nd AHL year seems a disappointment.
    Perhaps a change of scenery would be great for Puljujarvi

    • And to add to Puljujarvi’s struggles Tyler he has the opportunity to play with McDavid and Draisaitl and even that doesn’t seem to work. If Laine played with them imagine, what they would do!In Charielli’s defense he took what everybody said was the best player available at the time in the spot he had.

      • ahem….let’s not forget whatever it is Pierre Luc Dubois is doing….

      • Good point Noel. Dubois isn’t exactly shining either after 12 games. Let’s see, with a tad more foresight Columbus/Edmonton could have had Tkachuk, Keller and/or Sergachev. of course, hindsight is ten cents a pound. Still, it would be great to somehow know what recommendations Chiarelli and Kekäläinen got from their scouting department and whether they simply disregarded that advice in favour of the consensus rankings.

      • Oh boy…At that draft everyone was certain that Benning wanted Dubois. Everything got shuffled after CBJ selected Dubois.
        I’m still ok with Canucks selecting Juolevi. He had just won a Mem Cup to go along with WJC gold and I believe the tourney’s best D…I could be wrong on that.
        He seems to be progressing back in Finland with TPS under the tutoring of Sami “Balls of Steel” Salo.

        But what the heck has happened to Puljujarvi?
        Would still take a chance on him as again…perhaps he needs better coaching.
        What a strong team Utica could be by adding him for the year.

      • The vast majority of forwards, 80%, can’t be assessed for a minimum of 5 years from the time they were drafted.

        D. Strome was drafted the year prior, 2015 at #3, there are 18 other players from the 1st round of that draft class that are still considered rookies, 12 that haven’t even started their NHL careers yet.

        2014. 13 still considered rookies from the 1st round. 9 that haven’t started their NHL careers yet.

        2013. 10 rookies, 11 still haven’t started their NHL careers but the misses are now starting to become obvious.

        & so on. Drafting 18 year old kids some that can be 17 if their birthday is before Sept 30th. This is far from an exact science. I hope the NHL & NHLPA are able to move the draft to 19 from 18.

        I would be very surprised if Edm moved Puljujarvi.

        How many of you had Edm to make the playoffs last season? I did but just. They played far better than I thought they would but almost everything went right. Losing Sekera is significant, very similiar to Winnipeg losing Myers last season. These Dman are not replaceable & they log hard minutes against the other teams best players. Moving Eberle also stings.

        Edm shouldn’t be this bad, nor should NYR, I have watched both play Edm live including last night & they have played well enough to win numerous games but just haven’t. Can they right the ship? Maybe, maybe not but they have about a month to do so. If by the time the last team in the league plays it’s 25th game if they aren’t with in 4 points of a playoff spot the odds don’t favor their making it.

      • Edmonton has become a one line threat. Too much of a perimeter team Despite having a guy like Lucic. They also seem to be afraid to stand in front of the net. Or just perhaps to many shooters and passes, not enough gritty crash the night type guys.

        What ever Edmonton does I think they should trade for a guy with these traits. Willing to stand infront of the net, screen the goalies and tip shots with quick hands to tap in rebounds.

    • Just a little early to dumping Puljujarvi. Here are Draisaitl’s stats from 2015/16 when he was the same age in Bakersfield. 6 GP, 1G, 1A Minus 5.
      JP is still 19 as he was one of the youngest players in the draft. People in Edmonton are comparing him with Yamamoto and the common line on him is that he is too young and they are hurting his development (I agree with that), and he is only 4 months younger than JP.
      Have a look at the Bakersfield roster and you will see he has no one with offensive talent to play with and is still generating plenty of shots.
      Some argue he should have stayed in Europe or played a year in JR to continue to develop with confidence. Maybe, but I sure as hell don’t know that answer.
      Last year he had 28 pts in 39 games as an 18 yr old in the AHL. Seems decent enough to me.
      He makes too many circles and doesn’t take the shortest and fastest path to where he needs to be, reaches instead of moving his feet, etc. The standard stuff young guys need to learn at NHL level. If he gets to play with a talented center with the Oil he will get his points, it is the rest of his game that needs to be refined.
      He will be fine.

      • I seem to recall many in here also saying Yakopov “will be fine” as he continued to spin his development wheels in Edmonton.

      • Ray, good stuff here. As opposed to other just making snarky or regurgitated comments, it seems as if you have actually done some research and have a leg to stand on.
        Thanks for the input

      • George. .
        Coilers have been a tire fire since their cup run in ’06. Sure they drafted 1st overall for it seemed 10 yrs in a row but imo, they almost ruined each one of them by throwing them into the fire with top line minutes right after they were drafted.
        Eberle was about the only one that got a full year of junior after he was drafted but going right back to Gagner, Hall, RNH, and even Yakupov. They all got killed before they could finally properly develop.
        Yakupov was a -34 in his draft year, heaven forbid Lowe,Tambellini and MacT let him develop another year or 2 before tossing him into The Show.
        Looking back tho there weren’t many great picks of ’12 draft class.
        Now the Coilers are looking for scoring as they’ve traded out Hall and Eberle for slugs like Lucic, Maroon and perennial sissy Strome.

      • Edm made a mistake drafting Yakupov at #1. We have all discussed the stories of their scouts voting for Murray & Lowe & Tambellini telling them to vote again. The vote came out the same & they choose Yakupov anyway. The last thing they needed was another forward.

        Yakupov may be fine. He will never be what his draft position says he should be but Edm destroyed what ever he was. He needs to play as a #2 RW seeing at least 2nd line PP time to have any hope of being an NHL player.

        Having just turned 24, he’s far to young to write off. He’s on his 3rd life & playing sparingly in Col but off to a respectable start.

        Comparing Yakupov to Puljujarvi is to big a jump for me. He hasn’t even seen the NHL yet. As Ray Ferraro likes to say. No players development is hurt playing in the AHL.

        All these starts are a cause for concern but its way to early to panic. At Least McLellan is shaking it up to try & achieve a better result. Now if Vigneault would do the same I’d be happier.

      • Taz, I just live in Edmonton so I go to some of their games, watch them on TV and listen to TSN 1260 on the radio so I get to hear many opinions on the Oil. There are many varying ones.
        I am not a fan of all the moves PC has made, but that can be said for any GM.
        It is early but you can feel the pressure building in EDM and methinks they might be squeezing the sticks a little tight. They play 16 games in November which is probably a good thing as they to keep going out there and not thinking too much.
        No panic…. yet.

  2. @Nyr4life, It’s believed in the hockey market that Jacob Trouba wants out of Winnipeg and wants to play in the US and the Ranger were one team mentioned. This deal wouldn’t take place until the offseason when he become an RFA with arbitration rights.
    We’ll then have a better ideal of his true intentions; if offer a 8yr at $8m and declines we know he wants out, if he signs great for Winnipeg.
    As I do not know the rangers farm system of young players but can tell you Trouba is the Jets number 1 defenseman and they would want Skjei in any deal, what or who are you adding to complete this deal? Fun to play the role of GM.

    • Would not swap Skjei for Trouba. That is a trade to make a trade.

      Rangers need the most help getting consistent play on the backend and stopping goals from being scored. they have enough offensive tools

      • Plus, with Trouba already at $2,812,500 and Skjei at $925,000 – and both RFA’s next year – I would think the cap hit for Trouba is going to be one helluva lot higher than that of Skjei over the next few seasons

    • I think that all boils down to Mcdonagh and what he’ll be seeking. I don’t see a way to pay him and Trouba 7-8 per as long as Staal and Lundqvist are still around. I’m not sure NY would make any trade involving Skjei until Mcdonagh is re-signed or dealt. As much as I’d like to see Mcdonagh/ Trouba pairing, I don’t see it happening.

  3. With the way players first shine, and then fade, in Florida maybe it’s time they started checking the water. A couple of seasons back Petrovic looked like a real comer with 2 goals 17 assists and a +17 on their D. Now he’s a regular healthy scratch?? At 6′ 4″ and 216 lbs and physical, you’d think teams would be burning the phone lines to Miami.

    • It seems as though players “retire early” after playing for the Panthers for a few years or sometimes a few months.

      What is really sad is they protected Petrovic instead of Marchessault. We sure could use some of that secondary scoring now.

      Despite a really good #1 line so far, this team is a train wreck again. Thank goodness for the Penguins. 🙂

      • Flo had a side deal with Vgs to select Marschesseault if they took Smith. Salary dump.

        Rumors have been floating around that Flo set an internal salary cap of 69 million. They are under on the cap just but over on actual salary by 2.5 mil. They would have made it had they not moved Demers for McGinn. Weird trade as Demers is far more valuable than McGinn & Flo ate salary. I’m surprised they couldn’t find someone to take Demers taking back a picks & a prospect. They did gain 2 years though. Demers having 4 years left in his deal & McGinn only having 2.

        Who knows what Flo is doing, ownership has made several terrible decisions, they are now essentially a 1 line team, with a couple of other solid forwards scattered over 2 lines in Trochek, Bjugstad & the veteran Vrbata, then it’s a bunch of kids or dead beats.

        I had them to be the 3rd worst team in the east this season. I don’t know how you move out 4 of your top 6 scorers & #4 Dman; 2nd unit PP & PK, from the previous season & expect to compete for a playoff spot.

  4. Jesse Puljujarvi will have value and I am sure interest. A 20 yr old and a third overall selection
    Edm could take a more seasoned player back with some salary. Ala Eberle trade but lesser monies involved.

    Jussi Jokinen is more of a suitcase at this point in his career and can be had for virtually nothing. Moving him will not bring anything back to help

    • Or maybe he’s Nail Yakopov 2.

      • Magnus Paajarvi 2.0

      • There is a large heap of “promising” forwards that were drafted by the Oilers isn’t there George O.? It’s unimaginable that a team had that many chances to acquire players and only ended up with two picks who have actually been successful! And they traded one! Three I guess when you add Draisaitl. They did get Nurse as well, but I am basically ranting about all the forwards they have taken.

      • Steven which 2. Hall & McDavid? Draisaitl, Eberle, RNH? You mentioned Nurse who’s a stud in the making & lets not forget Klefbom at 19 in 2011. Eberle & RNH are very good hockey players. RNH didn’t become what we expected him to be either but he is a solid mid tier #2 or exceptional #3 C. It’s interesting that with the new face off rules RNH is thriving in the dot.

        Missing on the #1 stings & don’t get me started about Kevin Lowe & his ineptness. How he still has a job in the NHL is crazy as he’s management decisions & team management were terrible, thank god they removed him from hockey operations.

      • I totally agree Steven. With all due respect, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins may be viewed by some as “very good hockey players” but the fact is, neither have lived up to their expectations when drafted. Looking at their draft history in the first two rounds since 2007 (11 years), they have dealt away their 2nd round pick 5 times (2007, 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017). As for what they actually picked, it’s been more of a miss than a hit so far:

        2007 – Sam Gagner C – 6th overall; Riley Nash C – 21st overall – never played for Edm – dealt to Carolina in 2010 for the 46th pick – Marincin (see below); Alex Plante D – 15th overall – played 10 games for Edm – now in Austria

        2008 – Jordan Eberle C – 22nd overall;

        2009 – Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson LW – 10th overall; Anton Lander C 40th overall – 2nd round – played 215 games for Edm – now in the KHL

        2010 – Taylor Hall LW – 1st overall; Tyler Pitlick C – 31st – 2nd round – played 70 games in the NHL – now with Dallas as a UFA; Martin Marincin D – see 2007 above – played 88 games with Edm before being dealt in 2015 to Toronto for Brad Ross (now in some boondock European league) and the 4th round pick in 2015 draft, which turned out to be D Caleb Jones – still in the AHL; Curtis Hamilton LW – 45th in the 2nd round – one nhil games wityh Edm – now in a Czech league;

        2011 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C – 1st overall; Oskar Klefbom D – 19th overall; David Musil D – 31st – 2nd round – 4 NHL games with Edm – now in Czech league;

        2012 – Nail Yakopov RW – 1st overall – played 252 games for Edm – dealt to St. L in 2016 for prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional 3rd-round pick in 2017 that would have become a 2nd in 2018 draft IF Yakupov scored 15 or more goals for St. Louis – he didn’t, potting 3 in 40 games. Pochiro, a C, has been essentially a ECHLer since turning pro. The 3rd round was D Dmitri Samorukov, still in the OHL with Guelph; Mitch Moroz LW – 32nd – 2nd round – never played in the NHL – now in the ECHL;

        2013 – Darnel Nurse D – 7th overall; Marco Roy C – 56th 2nd round – never played in the NHL – now in the ECHL;

        2014 – Leon Draisaitl C – 3rd overall;

        2015 – Connor McDavid C – 1st overall;

        2016 – Jesse Puljuvarvi RW – 4rth overall; Tyler Benson LW 32nd – 2nd round – still in junior;

        2017 – Kailer Yamamoto RW – 22nd overall

      • RNH turned 24 in April. NHL players best years generally come starting at 25 with a few minor exceptions. Has he become the player he was thought to be ? No. As a reference point he is 4 years younger, drafted 4 years later as well than Turris who was drafted 3rd overall & has 47 less points in his career than Turris in 136 less games.

        Eberle was a late 1st round pick at 22nd who has played 519 games scoring 167 goals & 224 assists & 391 points in his career. He sits 35th in scoring over the last 5 years, for all players. That’s pretty impressive. I don’t know what else your expecting from a 22nd pick.

      • Production equal to $6 Mil a year would be a good start.

      • No argument there George. Why Lowe felt it necessary to give all those kids money so quickly was wrong.

      • I guess, to be fair, it’s common knowledge that ANY management can and will lead to unintended results. The sad thing is that Lowe and MacTavish became masters at it and, as a consequence, the Oilers are still paying for that.

        Now, starting next season, they will be coughing up $38,500,000 for FIVE players – almost half of their cap limit. I don’t see that as any improvement in cap management by the current hierarchy. And lest people forget, unless your other two lines can produce some meaningful results, and your D and goaltending is as solid as any in the league, you won’t go far in the playoffs (does anyone think Lucic and Nugent-Hopkins can produce $12 Mil worth of offence?). As good as he was in junior, don’t forget that Oshawa shut McDavid down in the OHL finals in 2015, much the same was Kessler shut him down in the NHL playoffs last year. And with nothing much else to worry about in terms of power offence from the rest of the Oilers (Draisaitl excepted), it seems teams are concentrating on that pretty well so far this season.

      • I don’t like either of the contracts Draisaitl or McDavid got today nor do I like Eichel’s.

        What contracts were used as comparisons?

        By cap hit there are only a handful contracts over 8 mil many signed in a different cap world.

  5. EA Sports trades
    to EDM: Staal (replaces injured Sekera)
    to NYR: RNH

    RNH better 3rd line option than Desharnais.


    Although after watching the Sedins again….i wonder what dump of salary and slight enticement can grab the Sedins for AV for 1 final push and totally revamp next year, rather than this transitional season. The Sedins were generating so many chances against the Devils last night

    to VAN: Nash/Miller
    to NYR: Sedins (salary retained)


    • I’m starting to see desperation setting into NY fans….

      Mcdonagh alone I’m not trading for Galchenyuk and Shaw….

      Nash isn’t waiving to go North of the border. And that’s no secret.

      Staal isn’t fetching RNH.

      No way in hell I send ANYTHING to Vancouver for the Sedins…. these are the kind of moves that Neil Smith made in the 90s! And we all know how well that worked out.

      • Nash only wants to play for someone “north of the border” in an Olympic or World Championship tournament – THEN and only then is he a “proud Canadian.”

  6. Hearing something interesting today.
    Nash and Mcdonagh for Gachenyuk and Shaw

    • If Gorts (with AV’s approval) makes this happen, then entire management team from Sather on down should be fired. Mac has not been stellar agreed, but to move him bc of the albatross of other D-signings is insane. Mac is still their #1 D man. Though if you look at the lineup, he gets switched from his natural left side to play right on 2nd and 3rd pair, and has played with everyone so far this season. He was great with Staal years ago before Staal’s injury which forces Girardi to move up to top pair right side. He played over 90% of his minutes with Girardi and built a ton of great chemistry with him. What Mac needs is 1 partner on the right side for the rest of the season.

      Shaw is a OVERPAIRD 3rd liner as is Galchenyuk. MB paid Shaw for playing for Stanley Cup winning teams. He cannot generate offense by himself though….really not a top 6 player. Galchenyuk (high ceiling) again is not a generator of offense. He reminds me of Kreider. Gally needs someone to create space for him and pass to him when he is on the optimal spot. Kreids at least drives tot he net. Gally is a perimeter player. Gally reminds me of a young Nash, except Nash is solid on both ends of the ice (minus the scoring touch at this stage of his career).

      No thank you to this trade….

      • It was Staal and Girardi on the top pair. Not Mcdonagh and Staal. Way before Mcdonaghs emergence. Mcdonagh took Staals place.

    • No way. Nash for one has a partial no trade and value wise this makes no sense.

    • Not a chance I’m giving up McDonagh for those 2 players.

  7. Aname in rumors earlier this week I would consider trading Nash for: M Boedker. Speedy winger, and Nash would be a good fit in SJ. Would give Rangers a little cap space to perhaps make another deal for a center. Boedker has cap hit around 4m for 2 more seasons but is only owed 3 and 1 mil next 2 years.

    • Also, no way I trade Grabner. He’s been,and will continue to be a bargain. Great fit on Rangers. The guys a fitness nut too, so I’d Definately look to re sign regardless of age. He seems happy in NY and would probably sign a reasonable contract

      • The thing that makes me wonder about Grabner is, does he ever pass the puck? In his last 2 years of junior he had seasons of 38 goals – just 14 assists and 39 goals – just 16 assists. And so the pattern was develoiped: with the Moose in the AHL he had a season of 30 goals – 18 assists, and with the Islanders 34 goals – 18 assists and 20 goals – 10 assists. Last year with NYR he had 27 goals but only 13 assists. His NHL career shows 135 goals but only 83 assists in 486 games played. Considering there are often 2 assists on every goal it does make you wonder if he passes up better opportunities for linemates in favour of taking the shot himself. Damned good goal production for $1,650,000 I’ll admit – but with UFA status looming next year, what is he goping to want – and will he be worth a substantive increase?

      • It’s hard to pass when the other players are 7 strides behind him. Out of his 26 goals last year I’d say half of them came from Miller or Hayes finding him open and just springing him on the breakaway.

        I like this guy, when they traded Hagelin is was definitely an element missing on their pk. Hagelin couldn’t finish worth a crap, but he kept d-men honest and on their toes just with his threat of his speed.

        Something they missed until they snatched Grabner. I’d be glad to see him stick around. I don’t see another 20s goal season in him, but he is pretty useful.

      • But has that lack of ability to keep up by his linemates something that has haunted him right from junior? I didn’t realize he was blinding fast, but that could explain his NYR stats. I’m not picking on the guy or anything like that – but those stats do tend to stick out. What if he does score another 25-30 goals this season. In that case, what is he going to demand as a UFA?

      • If he does score 25-30, I think he becomes too rich for NY. Although I don’t see him having similar numbers anywhere else, so it would be buyer beware.

        He has just been unleashed and spoon fed in NY. A really odd stat, he scored 26 of his 27 goals last year 5-5 and one short handed. The 26 5-5 led the league I believe!

  8. Where’s Delvecchio with the big rumblings announcement of the upcoming changes in Montreal! Delvecchio…. I’m still tuned in as you told me to be a couple of weeks ago. Hahaha!

    • Did you huff, huff, huff….. and blow the house down?

  9. For what it’s worth, I just heard on Tim & Sid that Bruce Garrioch tweeted that there are 20 scouts from 20 different teams in attendance tonight in Ottawa for the Red Wings game – and that’s with 11 other games on the schedule. Garrioch feels “something is brewing.” And Turris returns to action tonight. Stay tuned!