NHL Rumor Mill – December 15, 2017

by | Dec 15, 2017 | Rumors | 42 comments

The latest on the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks,Pittsburgh Penguins & Philadelphia Flyers in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: During Thursday’s “Insider Trading” segment, Pierre LeBrun reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion continues to listen to trade offers. Eight teams reached out to Dorion on Thursday. He’s not going to make a deal just for the sake of doing so and if a suitable deal isn’t there he’s not going to force it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The struggling Senators dominated the rumor mill this week with focus on Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Derick Brassard. While it’s possible Dorion could swing a deal before the holiday trade freeze kicks in on Dec.19, I wouldn’t be surprised if he waits until sometime in January to make a significant trade. And no, I don’t believe he’ll trade Karlsson.

LeBrun also reports the solid play of San Jose Sharks backup goaltender Aaron Dell is starting to attract some attention. He wonders if Dell, who’s an unrestricted free agent in July, could be this season’s Scott Darling, another backup goalie who garnered lots of interest last season. It’s currently unknown if the Sharks will use him as trade bait closer to the Feb. 26 trade deadline or re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent word out of San Jose suggests the Sharks aren’t likely to move Dell, preferring to retain him as insurance in case starter Martin Jones struggles or becomes sidelined by injury. Of course, that could change if the Sharks are in danger of falling out of playoff contention, but I think they’ll keep him for the rest of the season. 

LeBrun reports hearing the Philadelphia Flyers are willing to listen to offers for forward Jori Lehtera, who’s been a frequent healthy scratch this season. They’re not aggressively shopping Lehtera but could move him for the right price. His $4.7 million cap hit through 2018-19 could scare off some clubs, but he did tally 44 points three years ago with the St. Louis Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Flyers are willing to pick up part of Lehtera’s cap hit, I don’t see him drawing much interest. His production has steadily declined since that career-high season. 


THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports an NHL source claims “multiple teams” have contacted the Detroit Red Wings regarding goaltender Petr Mrazek, despite the fact he has only four wins and a save percentage under .900 this season. That’s an indication of how weak the goalie market is right now.

A source from one NHL team that looked at Mrazek noted several factors that work against the goalie’s trade value. His play has declined over the past season and a half, he carries a $4 million cap hit and will likely be a rental player this season as no one will qualify him at that price next summer, plus he has a reputation as a poor teammate.

Custance suggests the Wings should consider showcasing Mrazek in some upcoming games, though that could jeopardize their playoff hopes. Mrazek could fetch them a third-round pick.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the Wings will consider absorbing part of Mrazek’s salary for the right trade offer.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien suggests the Wings could seek a second-round pick for Mrazek if they pick up part of his salary. He suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers should consider acquiring Mrazek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Picking up part of Mrazek’s cap hit is the only way the Wings can make this guy more attractive to rival clubs. However, I think interested GMs will want to see him play in some upcoming games. As Custance notes, that’s the dilemma for the Wings, who are desperately trying to stay in the playoff chase. If they use Mrazek and he costs them points, it’ll also hurt his modest trade value. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey recently reported Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said his club is reaching a critical point in this season where they’ll have to decide if they’re going to shake things up or not. Rutherford said he’d prefer adding to his current roster. However, if things don’t improve soon he doesn’t rule out making a major move. He’d like to add more scoring to his roster and bolster his depth at center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford ideally wants a third-line center comparable to Nick Bonino, who was a key factor in the Penguins’ consecutive Stanley Cup championships before departing via free agency last summer to Nashville. He brought in Riley Sheahan earlier this season from Detroit but he lacks Bonino’s offensive skills. I think Rutherford would prefer to bring in a scoring third line center and drop Sheahan down to the fourth line. 



  1. Tyler Bozak for Ian Cole and a pick??

    • A fourth rounder maybe.

    • All day every day!

    • & why would Toronto a team heading to the playoffs move Bozak?

    • That might work if Justin Schultz wasn’t out injured and Kris Leturnover playing so crappy…. I would only give a 3rd rounder ! I believe both are UFA’s next season. the cap does go up next year that will help alot of clubs. It mat goes as high as $82 million probably more like a little over $80..

      • Letang is tied for second for scoring for dmen. His supposed terrible play is greatly exaggerated. He’s always been prone to turnovers sonhas Malkin so are most creative players. The Leturnover narrative is lazy and untrue. And Striker Toronto makes that trade because Nylander and Marleau can easily play 3C and Kapanan can move into their places. The Leafs have no stay at home dman that can play in a shutdown role except Hainsy and Polak and they both suck.

      • I have no issues with Letang, He’s paid to drive offense & when you gamble offensively as he does your going to get caught. All good for me.

        Pit won’t be getting Bozak & Cole isn’t going to Tor at least not in a deal for Bozak. Zaitsev is being used in a shut down role this season, now seeing no power play time & playing very well in such. Borgman has also been a very pleasant surprise in a sheltered role but his contribution has given Tor 5 Dman doing a decent job playing behind a group of forwards that like to go on offense.

        Tor will buy a Dman before the trade deadline but they won’t be giving up Bozak to get it done. Players like Shoshnikov, Lievo or Pickard will be packaged with a pick or picks for such an asset. Rotating Polak & Carrick at #6 isn’t the end of the world & Lilegren could return after the Swedish season is over.

      • Currently Eklund is claiming there is an Ian Cole for Evander Kane swap in the works. You can all keep your Bozak because Eklund is rarely wrong.

      • Then how about Kris LeGiveaway? Do you watch Penguin hockey games? Letang is a forward trapped in a d-man’s role … as thin as we are I would move Cole for Kane … but I don’t see Botterill making that move at all.

      • Buf will get a far better return than Cole in trade for Kane. If that deals in the works Pit is adding significant assets.

        I long since stopped going to the Hockeybuzz.

      • Still some decent bloggers on there if you shift through the bologna. I was all into it until I got banned for a year and now it’s an occasional stop by

      • I don’t go to hockeybuzz as much because the Penguins blogger is a broken record and there are 3-4 posters on there that are just d1cks.

      • Damn deeeee I thunked you was one of em. Dcoms? Go furgure. Mr w. Is a great fancy stats blogger but his appropriation of the pens blog to promote his self has been disappointing.

  2. Sheahan has been at least dangerous offensively the last few games and the guy works his butt off every shift. I have never seen a more snakebitten player though. He did snipe a nice goal a couple of games ago. If he was the 4C and they brought in a Bozak or a Marchessault to play 3C they could play Rowney as a winger on the 4th line for PK purposes. I like Simon with Guentzel and Sid. He’s small but has good hockey IQ and is not afraid to go after the puck. If they put Sheary and Hornqvist with Malkin then they could put Kessel with Bozak(or whoever) and Rust. That evens out the scoring much better.

    • Snakebitten he isn’t, did you watch Sheahan last year? I think he scored 2 goals and it was in games 80 and 81 I believe.
      Sheahan is an AHL’er.

      • I didn’t watch him last year he played for the dead wings. He’s an excellent defensive player and is a strong skater. He has a decent shot he just needs to learn where to shoot it. Or he’s gripping a little to tight and is overthinking it. What do they call that? Snakebitten?

      • He hasn’t ever scored more than 20 goals… Ever! Junior included.
        Last 112 games 5G 18A 23pts.
        You can tout the work ethic, overthinking, bad luck all you want deee. You sure do have an eye for talent.

      • Yeah I bet every player that centres stars like Glendening, Helm, Witkowski, Drew Miller and Abdelkader just rack up the points.

    • Quit being a Penguins fanboy. Sheahan sucks and Rutherford knows it.

      • Dead wings… really? How long were those magnificent pens cellar dwellers before they were relevant again? So bad for sooooo long that they needed 3 top 3 picks to save the organization from moving from the city… Sheahan shoulda been a career AHL’er

  3. dear George. How are you? I am fine. MAF beat the pens last night. I have mixed feelings. Best regards. Chris

    • Ha-ha! I love it.

      ET write home.

    • Nice Chris….nice

  4. What about plek to the penguins? Maybe the Habs retain half his salary (Habs have plenty of cap space). Would be a great 3rd line center for them. Can still shut down other teams top line, and maybe even find his offense again (he was a 50-60 point guy a few years ago).

    • Was on the list of targets at the trade deadline I had posted. If Mon is out of the playoffs come the deadline would be a good target if Mon improves his value picking up cap hit.

      Can Pit afford to wait until the trade deadline to do something? They currently sit out of the playoff picture with 2 more games played than teams they are chasing.

    • Why does every Habs fan want to dump Pleky on every other team. We need a guy who can score a few goals not a washed up defensive centre. Sheahan and Rowney are both better players at this point. That’s a giant no thanks. Top targets are Bozak and Marchessault as they are both FAs and Spooner from Boston who is becoming the odd man out and could benefit from a change of scenery. The Pens got burned on a player like this at the beginning of the season it’s our turn to be on the winning side.

      • I’m not a Habs fan, I hate the Habs & only 1 of 5 pending UFA C’s I suggested previously. Pit isn’t getting Bozak or Marchesseault so you may want to set some reasonable goals.

        Can Spooner be had? Probably but Bos won’t be just giving him away. An RFA with arbitration rights but not getting a major settlement in arbitration & he has been an integral part of Bos #1 PP for 2 years now.

      • I didn’t say you were a Habs fan I was talking to the guy that actually came up with this idea, today anyways. And Bozak and Marchessault are hardly untouchable. If Vegas really has a true long term plan and realizes that their success has as much to do with other teams in that divisions failures as it does anything then they will sell off Neal, Perron, Marchessault and and any other UFA that is performing for futures and young players. A guy that uses to comment on this site named Sticky once argued with me for days that there was no way the Penguins could get Kessel for futures and cap dumps and there was absolutely no way that they could get salary retention. Then about 3 weeks later………. I love it when know it alls eat it. There is no way you can say definitively that 2 players that are not core players and UFAs at the end of the season won’t be moved. Vegas and Toronto are not winning anything this year and Toronto probably can’t afford to re-sign Bozak. I’m not saying for sure it will happen but there’s no way you can say for sure it won’t when all signs point to very possible.

  5. Wings need a full rebuild. Dump as much salary as you can. Mrazek is a good start. Take what you can get for him at this point. Continue to develop Coreau and he can possibly challenge Jimmy for the starting job next year. Green can be moved at the deadline for hopefully a 1st rounder albeit a high 1st rounder as the pick will likely come from a contender. They should explore a trade for Neilsen and Ericcson as well. I admit there isn’t much of a market for either due to term and cap hit on their deals. That would clear about 10 million in cap space between Green and Mrazek. Making the playoffs this year is pointless for the Wings as they cannot compete for anything meaningful. At the end of season I would fire Holland as he is past his best before date and let another GM guild this rebuild. Just my thoughts.

  6. Flyers no doubt will pick up a good portion of the Letara’s salary. This is a better option than buying him out. A buyout will carry a Hit through the next two seasons. While retention only carries through to next.

  7. If I’m Detroit I’m more worried about who will replace Mrazek rather than maximizing his value for a 3rd round pick. If the guy can’t keep it together for more than one game at a time, hey you tried, he had good upside and it didn’t work out. They should have replaced Howard 5 years ago in my mind, now he’s 33 and you know what you have in him, a good backup. Go after Lehner if he can be had.

  8. Lehtera was a salary dump by StL in the trade to acquire Schenn. If Lehtera were waived I don’t think he would be selected not with another season left with a cap hit of 4.7 & an actual salary of 5 mil. Even if Phi eats significant salary I don’t see a market for Lehtera.

    Now if they pay someone to take Lehtera packaging him with another player of some value or a pick maybe.

  9. Acquiring a goalie at this time of year after teams have waived & buried goalies in the AHL is challenging. There are numerous goalies playing as back ups or in the minors that could all help NHL teams today, more than enough to stock 30 teams but the issue is what has to be paid to motivate another team to give up that insurance now.

    Goalies playing well buried in the AHL include Hammond, Hutchinson, Sparks, Picard, Campbell, Peterson, Comrie, Dominque, Ullmark, Lindback, Gillies, DeSmith, Demko, Bibeau & Berube. Almost any of these could play as an NHL back up.

  10. Thinking JR should call Dorian and offer Sheahan and Hags for JGP. JGP would be a great 3rd line center for Pitts.

    • I get why Pit would make that deal but why would Ottawa? No 1’s taking Hagelin at 4 mil per for another year & a 1/2. 1 of the most overpaid 3rd line checking LW’s in the NHL.

      When Brassard & Duchene are gone this summer or before next seasons trade deadline Pageau may have to be Ottawa’s #1 C until White or Brown are ready. Ha-ha! Sorry I jest but what a mess.

      • OF course none wants HAgs… I was merely talking principals…of course salary rent ion, prospers, etc… would have to be hammered out.

        Not saying I fully understand Ottawa’s situation but IF OTT “needs a shake up” and their current #1 is Duchene and #2 Brassard is up in 2yrs do they start reshaping now while they are at the bottom and not wait till the off season? White can come up and play 3C.

        Perhaps call EMD and work something Brassard/etc. for RNH/etc. RNH has 4 yrs left while Brassard at 30 only 2.

        Since noone wants Hags…offer Bobby Ryan for Hags straight up. LOL.

  11. The Penguins won 5 of 6 games using the following lines…

    Sheary – Crosby – Hornqvist
    Guentzel – Malkin – Kessel
    Hagelin – Sheahan – Rust

    They shuffled the lines before the Leafs game and have not won since.

    While I agree they need one or two upgrades to get back to being a top contender, they are making poor/curious use of what they have on hand.

    The trade I’d like to see is Hunwick for Bozak. Babcock get’s his pet project back and the Pens get a 3C rental (whose next contract should be less than his current deal, so he might be a solution beyond this year, as well).

    Then use Hunwick’s money to try to resign Ian Cole.

    • Bozak is better than Hunwick, so why would they do that? Also Toronto is in a better position than Pittsburgh right now, I’m not saying Pittsburgh wont make the playoffs but why would Toronto help them? There is a chance that Toronto plays Pittsburgh in the playoffs so why help them create another scoring line? While Bozak is not having his best year he is still a pretty good face-off guy and a decent option as a third or fourth line center, he can move up and down the lineup as needed. Why trade that for another lousy defenseman and help out a potential playoff matchup at the same time?

  12. DarrenHelm can be available for 3rd line duty. Fast and solid defensively too!

  13. All I’m going to say is most of the rumor trades I’ve see on here are pure garbage.

    I will also say if the penguins don’t get a convening 4 points in the next two games a huge trade is in the works that will change the face of the penguins.

  14. Completely off topic but maybe something Lyle can explore in future rumour additions.

    Melnyk on selling the Sens.

    “It just won’t happen,” Melnyk said with respect to selling the team, per Luke Fox of Sportsnet. “It’s a franchise. Imagine if you own a McDonald’s franchise. But you can move it. Why would you sell it? It’s something that’s very difficult to buy. We’re doing OK here. Nothing great, but we’re doing OK.”

    Fumour created: ate the Sens poised to relocate? Currently sitvaround 25 in league attendence.

  15. The Pens don’t need a goaltender. Period.