NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2017

by | Nov 29, 2017 | Rumors | 46 comments

Updates on Ian Cole plus the latest on Evander Kane, Patrick Maroon and more in your NHL rumor mill. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports the “primary suitors” for Penguins defenseman Ian Cole appears to be “Las Vegas, Colorado and Toronto.”  The Penguins don’t intend to move him to a Metropolitan Division rival.  It’s unclear who the Pens are targeting and if that player could be a center. Cole, 28, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July with a cap hit of $2.1 million this season. That figure is likely to soar, making it difficult for the Penguins to re-sign him. Mackey also cites a source claiming the relationship between Cole and head coach Mike Sullivan had become strained. 

TSN: During last night’s “Insider Trading” segment, Bob McKenzie reported his understanding of this situation is the Penguins are prepared to trade Cole but only if they get a prime asset, such as a quality center, in return. Cole’s been a healthy scratch in the last three games, prompting speculation the Penguins are holding him out of action to avoid risking Cole suffering an injury while they’re trying to move him. However, McKenzie believes the rearguard will return to the lineup soon.

With Penguins starter Matt Murray sidelined two-four weeks, Darren Dreger believes they’ll seek some backup insurance, suggesting options such as Colorado’s Andrew Hammond or Calgary’s Eddie Lack, who are both in the minors right now. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman, in his recent “31 Thoughts” column, notes the Leafs have Calvin Pickard and Garret Sparks in their system if the Penguins seek a goaltender for Cole. He also wonders if Chicago and Edmonton could come calling for Cole or perhaps the New Jersey Devils, though Friedman wonders if there’s any chance of Pittsburgh dealing with a division rival. 

BSN DENVER: Adrian Dater reports the Colorado Avalanche have some interest in Cole but he believes it’s only mild at this point. If the Avs acquire Cole, Dater feels they’ll seemingly want an agreement on a contract extension in place. That could prove expensive and they have “prospect D-men such as Cale Makar and Conor Timmins who could be ready by next season.” He also points out the Avs aren’t a good enough team yet to give up future assets for a rental player. He did note the Avs’ recently demoted d-men Chris Bigras and Andrei Mironov but suggests that could be coincidental. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the blockbuster three-team trade earlier this month involving Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris, we’re still at the point of the season where there’s lots of rumors but not a lot of action in the trade market. Hence the reason for all the attention on the trade status of a depth defenseman like Cole. 

Anyway, The Athletic’s Josh Yohe (along with several others) report Cole’s preference is to stay with the Penguins while Sullivan lashed out at the trade speculation. “I don’t know how this information gets thrown out there,” said Sullivan. “I know that Ian Cole is a good hockey player and a valuable part of our team.”

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, meanwhile, didn’t deny he could trade Cole but confirmed he wasn’t being held out of the lineup pending an imminent deal. Rutherford said he wasn’t on the verge of moving Cole and denied his free-agent status has anything to do with it, but did say he wouldn’t trade Cole simply for the sake of doing so.

Rutherford is likely seeking scoring punch, preferably a center, and perhaps a backup goalie. If he can get a scorer for Cole he’ll likely make that move, but such a player could be difficult to find without tossing in a draft pick or prospect into the deal. I don’t believe Rutherford will move Cole simply for a backup no matter how desperate things might get. Indeed, for now he seems willing to see how things pan out with Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Buffalo Sabres will trade pending UFA left wing Evander Kane at some point before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. The Sabres haven’t reached that decision yet. He also notes the teams expressing interest in the 26-year-old Kane are those with limited salary-cap space but the Sabres are telling those clubs they’re willing to absorb part of his $5.25 million cap hit to facilitate a trade. LeBrun feels we’re about six or seven weeks away until talks get serious. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams with limited cap room in need of a scoring left wing like Kane include the Anaheim Ducks. Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins have also been linked to Kane but those clubs are more in need of scoring centers. The St. Louis Blues could also be an option. 

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also weighed in on the Penguins’ goaltending, suggesting Anaheim Ducks third-stringer Reto Berra could be a worthwhile option if the Ducks are willing to part with him. 

Regarding Evander Kane, LeBrun suggests keeping an eye on the San Jose Sharks near the trade deadline.

LeBrun also believes the Florida Panthers could pursue a top-six forward. Depending on where they are in the standings, they’re likely to pursue a player who can help them not just this season but beyond. 

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman believes pending UFA winger Patrick Maroon is the most likely Edmonton Oiler to be traded if things don’t soon improve for the struggling club. He wonders if Maroon’s hometown St. Louis Blues might be interested. 



  1. The Habs should trade Niemi to the Penguins for a pick :):)

  2. Is there enough history now for Murray to be labeled a band-aid ? I believe he has been hurt 3-4 times now in a couple year career.
    I could see Cole on the Leafs. Pickard and Leivo ?

    • Glad your not the GM.

    • Pickard & Leivo for Cole? bwa ha ha ha ha ha

    • I wouldn’t go that far – it’s not like he is Pascal Leclare here. This weekend’s injury was more of the freak nature with a collision that could have happened to anyone.

    • pickard and leivo? for a quality established number 4 d man? that’s quite a knee slapper

      • How can a guy that’s a healthy scratch regular be a quality established number 4 defence man? You’re saying a lot about the coach with that comment.

      • Has Cole ever logged top 4 TOI/GP well in Pit?

      • Him and Shultz did great in the 2nd pairing role. Healthy scratch to avoid injury

      • Ya Toronto said the same thing about Corrado. He didn’t get ice time to avoid injuries too


      • Please stop yelling.

      • Is that “stop yelling” comment the dumbest comment of the month? It’s just as easy to read caps on my screen as it is lower case letters.


    • He’a been hurt 5 times in 19 months. 3 of the serious variety.

  3. Seems like many teams (e.g., Pittsburg, NYRangers) are looking for a 2nd or 3rd line centre. I can see a Bozak & Sparks deal to Pittsburg for Cole. Personally, I like Sparks but the Leafs have holes to fill. There is no way Bozak will get resigned in Toronto as there is at least one of 30 other teams willing to overpay for a Bozak and the 11 eggs he carries in his pocket every game. Sparks is likely going to end up being a backup to Andersen and might carry some value now given his recent performance in the minors.

    • It’s PittsburgH … not Pittsburg … jesus



      • Black and gold ,
        Anyone can be traded for the right price , rnh could be available but it would take a great offer , not good and most certainly not for an Ian Cole + spare parts . Just because the hockey buzz reports there has been talk , doesn’t mean a whole lot , Philadelphia could want him and are asking about him , doesnt mean he is being shopped , which I doubt he is

      • I think we got it anyway. Jaysus!

    • If the Leafs were to trade Bozak who would replace him at center. Filling one hole while creating another doesn’t seem like a good move.

  4. A 3rd/4th line center option for Pitts could be in EDM. Mark Letestu has some decent speed and seems suited for that role. Can generate offense for that role and is pretty decent on the defensive side.

    EDM, with their injuries, has been looking to shore up their D. They are also looking for people who can skate as fast as Capt. Connor. So maybe a trade can be worked out while balancing out cap hit/salaries?

    to EDM: Cole (UFA) & Hagelin (1yr/4m)
    to PITT: Letestu (UFA) & Maroon (UFA)

    Costs neither side prospects nor picks. Straight up hockey trade.

    • Mark Letestu played for the Penguins before. Don’t foresee the Penguins trading for Letestu.

    • Why would the Pens want either of those 2? That deal makes little sense from the Pens perspective. Get another 4th line centre and a slow winger, no thanks. The Penguins are not looking for a goalie either. That is an organizational strength and so is the wing. They will trade Cole for a 3C or wait for a good deal.

    • I always did like Testy, he was always a solid 4th line Center…. just dont think Maroon fits into Pens system with his lack of speed.

      • If Maroon can play with McDavid. Why would he be too slow for pitt’s?????

    • not a bad offer… one of the few on here that makes sense. pens get to dump hags salary and get a upgrade over sheahan in center and a guy who can be a big body AND pick up points… what they should have done over reaves. edm pgrades d and gives hags a shot to regain his touch. fairest trade and most common sense trade I’ve seen for some time even if it skews slightly in the pens favor.

      • Letestu is no upgrade. He’s overachieving.

      • As opposed to sheahans underachieving?

      • Letestu is not an upgrade over Sheahan he is at very best on par and just like Drew Doughty said about Maroon on that all access show “buddy you SUCK at hockey!” He’s a 4th liner on every other team he just miraculously found chemistry with a McDavid which should make the Oilers want a guy like Hornqvist playing with Conner, a guy with actual talent. I would upgrade this trade for both sides and do Cole, Hornqvist and Sheary for RNH and Strome. And I would give them their pick of Archie, Kuhnhackle and McKegg. Edmonton would give both Horny and Cole new deals before signing. It’s not perfect but it helps both teams big time.

  5. If Vegas trades for Ian Cole, they’d clearly be going for a playoff push and that would take Neal and Perron off the market.

    The deal that still makes the most sense is Cole for Bozak with the Leafs retaining salary.

    The only way the Pens trade for a backup goalie is if he can be assigned to the AHL as insurance later. Jarry is significantly better than any of the guys available.

    If the Pens do intend to trade Cole soon, two serviceable defenseman just hit the waiver wire in Nate Prosser and Kyle Quincey. Put in a claim on both and get a legit #8 defenseman. Hopefully, a #9, too.

    • Quincey is garbage and Prosser is no better than Corrado, Tinordi, Pedan, Coachman, Trotman, Summers, Bengtsson etc. WBS actually has one of the deepest defences in the AHL and is a big reason that they are in first place. I would have no problem with any of the guys I mentioned above playing in Pittsburgh in an injury situation. Bengtsson is the most promising and intriguing. He had a great camp and has played very well for WBS on their top pairing with Pedan. He a right shot and is more offensive minded. I hope he gets the opportunity to push Ruhwedal out.

  6. If Cole was playing well enough to harner a 3rd line Center wouldn’t he be in a struggling Penguin’s line up right now? I haven’t seen any Penguin games to have an opinion that I could back up but why is he so badly on the outs?

    • Cole is not “on the outs.” It is just a number thing and a necessity to fill another need. Cole is a valued member of the team and was a significant contributor in both cups. But like I said he is a soon to be FA and his very affordable salary is going to be unaffordable for a team already paying 4 dmen top 4 money. Add to the fact that Sheahan is not good enough offensively to play with guys like Kessel, Hornqvist, Guentzel and Sheary. And Gregg McKegg is terrible and is best served as a 5C.

  7. Full disclosure I’ve only seen Cole play a couple times but to me his skill set is being way over blown. Even if Sullivan didn’t care for him you’re telling me he’s not an upgrade over Hunwick in anyones’s eyes? yet Cole’s been scratched the last 5 or 6 games? My question if he’s so good (as most seem to think he’s a #4 shutdown guy) why isn’t he playing in the bottom pairing in Pitts?

    • He is a better player than Hunwick for sure but he’s a pending FA and the Pens are already paying 4 dmen top 4 dollars and they can’t afford another one and still be able to pay Rust and Guentzel when the time comes. Cole is a left shot and so are Dumoulin and Maatta and the Pens like to play left shots on the left side and right shots on the right side which is part of the reason Pouliot struggled because he’s a left shot but prefers to play the right side like he is in Vancouver. Cole is an excellent number 4 shut down dman that hits hard and is good at blocking shots. If he wasn’t an FA soon he would be playing over Hunwick. They tried them together but neither can play his off hand side. Ruhwedal has been OK and shoots right and the Pens need a 3C so Cole is currently for sale. That is the situation in a nutshell.

      • Seconded to Deeee – Moving Cole is more a reality of the cap world and wanting to get value out of the asset than it is a reflection on his play.

        Let’s not forget, Cole was 3rd in the NHL last year in Blocked Shots behind only Russel and Karlsson. If your looking for a quality defensive defenseman, this is going to be your guy.

    • Ian Cole is a warrior. Pens don’t win either Cup without what he brought to the table.

      Signing Hunwick and boxing out Cole is the most perplexing move the Pens have made in a long time. I’d rather package Hunwick with a pick to get rid of him and his contract and extend Cole than trade Cole, forgoing the return on Cole in the process. He’s that valuable and sets a tone for the rest of the team to give their all, too.

      But that appears to be off the table. So, hopefully, Cole will get a nice extension and the Pens will get a good return.

      • MG AGREed 1005 on cole…

    • Cole is a warrior solid physically, can skate, moves the puck well..is he Brett burns no but a valuable two time Stanley cup champion. He was terrific last year when Letang was out in the playoffs

      • He was consistently the best D in that series against Ottawa. Wouldn’t mind seeing Dorion make a pitch for Cole – anything to shake up that moribund D – although not sure if Ottawa has – and will relinquish – what Pittsburgh needs.

      • He sounds terrific – why is the coach sitting him? I don’t get it. If you want to move a player, you showcase him, you don’t sit him.


  9. Wonder if anyone will pluck Kyle Quincy off waivers from Minnesota?

  10. Something stinks with Cole. I’ve hardly seen him play so I’m not basing it on that. I’m basing it on the notion that the team tied for the second worst GAA in the league sits a player that is supposedly a quality 2nd pair shut down d-man just because they are afraid he’ll get hurt and prevent a trade. This while they simultaneously bristle at and deny the existence of any such intent to trade him. Players get sat when a deal is imminent, sure, but not when they are just being shopped. Especially not if they are as valuable as people are claiming Cole is.