NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2017

by | Dec 2, 2017 | Rumors | 22 comments

Latest on the Sharks, Blue Jackets, Golden Knights, Capitals and Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.


THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle believes the Winnipeg Jets could be a suitable trade partner for the San Jose Sharks to address their need for a top-six forward. He notes the Jets are “loaded with young speed, skill and talent up front, so they could potentially give up a forward without creating a new hole in their lineup.” He also points out they could use some blueline depth with defenseman Toby Enstrom sidelined for at least another seven weeks.

While admitting it would be foolish to speculate over the who the Jets could be willing to part with, Gackle proposes the Sharks offer up a package of “a young defenseman, such as Tim Heed or Joakim Ryan, and one or more forward prospects, such as Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc or Danny O’Regan” to tempt Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gackle also acknowledges Cheveldayoff tends to be conservative when it comes to roster shakeups and believes the Jets will have to start dropping some games to make him desperate enough to jump into the trade market. As long as the Jets continue playing as well as they have thus far, that’s not going to happen. Cheveldayoff will be content to stick with his current roster. He could be a buyer at the trade deadline but won’t part with any of his good young forwards. 


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline responded to a reader’s question regarding the improved play of Columbus Blue Jackets rookie center Pierre-Luc Dubois and how it could affect their search for a center. While Portzline still believes the Jackets must stabilize that position, especially if they want to do damage in the playoffs, Dubois’ play and the club’s ongoing success suggests they might not need the top-six everybody was expecting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ developing terrific chemistry with wingers Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson on the Jackets’ top line. If that continues, Jackets management could shift their focus toward a more seasoned third- or fourth-line center. That would be much less costly than chasing a first- or second-line pivot in the trade market. 


SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen cites Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee recently suggesting his club won’t be sellers by the Feb. 26 trade deadline if they’re still in the playoff hunt by then. “We do have a master plan, but if this team is in the hunt way down the road, way down the road, in March, then we’ll stay in the hunt. I wouldn’t derail it. It’s not fair to this team or this community,” said McPhee.  Boylen feels we’ll have a better idea of how realistic their playoff hopes are by January 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When this season began, it was widely assumed the Knights, well out of playoff contention by the New Year, would start peddling pending UFAs such as James Neal, David Perron and Jonathan Marchessault for draft picks and prospects. However, I don’t believe that’s a certainty now. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if all three opt to re-sign with Vegas. 


NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: J.J. Regan cites the ongoing goaltending woes for the Pittsburgh Penguins as a good reason why the Washington Capitals could think twice about shopping backup Philipp Grubauer. While the 26-year-old Grubauer could make an attractive trade chip for clubs seeking depth between the pipes, he wonders where the Caps would be if they traded Grubauer and starter Braden Holtby got injured.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals do have promising Ilya Samsonov waiting in the wings but he’s currently playing in the KHL. To date, Grubauer hasn’t surfaced in the trade rumor mill. I expect the Caps will keep their current tandem together for this season. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. If the Capitals move him via trade it’ll likely happen then. 





  1. mcphee should try to sign his ufa’s to new contracts but has to think long term if they say they want to test the market. if he gets solid offers (i.e. 1st plus good prospect for neal) he should take it.. but if the offers are less than stellar he should go for the cup

  2. If I were a Blue Jackets fan I’d be very worried … only a matter of time before Tortarella ruins Dubois …

    • Tortorella

      • He’ll be blocking shots on the penalty kill.

    • that town was never the same after torts.

      • Yeah, we only made the playoffs, last year, and are first in the Metro, so far, this year. Since Torts sucks and ruins players, I guess we’d be gunning for another Stanley Cup,if we had a coach who is any good.

      • I was talking about the town of Dubois. Duh

  3. Winnipeg will not be doing anything,especially trading off their current roster. If they want to add depth it will be for a prospect or lower draft pick. The old saying if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    It’s good to see as the fans deserve it but Winnipeg is a legitimate Stanley cup contender. Kudos to the ownership group for being patient right from the start. In acquiring the franchise, working behind the scenes with Bettman, and in building the team. Thompson and Chipman deserve a lot of credit here.

    • Winnipeg is playing great. But I’m not sold on them being contenders just yet.

      This team has made the playoffs twice in their 18 year existence, and were swept both times in the 1st round.

      I’m not sure they’ll have anymore success this playoff year with Nashville, St.louis , LA, Chicago, San Jose and a healthy Anaheim in their way.

      • Wouldn’t anybody have said the same thing about Nashville last year? St. Louis never gets through, Chicago looks very inconsistent, San Jose and Nashville got through once each after years of trying and LA is definitely on the rebound. I honestly believe that past seasons these days in the NHL don’t mean as much as they used to. Just ask Edmonton. And yes Anaheim could be tough also. So overall, Winnipeg might as well go with the “why not us?” attitude and keep moving forward.

      • Im confident in winnpeg. They are as deep or deeper than any if those yeams yiu mentioned NYR4life.

        With laine looking to produce more. Perreault added after his long absence from injury.

        Thwy signed a starting goalie in the summer but thwir ateuggelig goalie of last year has grabbed the starting job, meaning they have two goalies of starter calibre.

        Big buff is aon a g and assist slump and will likely add more.

        This team is darn good. Has depth for miles

    • Bottom line. They haven’t even sniffed being there. A couple of years back Calgary , Dallas and Winnipeg all made the playoffs and people started throwing around “contenders ” didn’t happen.

      Toews alone probably has more playoff experience than the entire Jets team.

      Again, I’m not stomping on what they’re doing, but I wouldn’t go brushing off a cup in the near future either.

      Steven. How can you say St. Louis never gets through, but believe in a team 0-fer in the playoffs in their entire existence… with a team full of players virtually with zero playoff experience?

  4. The Penguins do not have goaltending woes they have the best tandem under 24 in recent memory. They had lots of woes when they had Niemi but he is long gone. They won’t be trading for a goalie unless one of their young guys falls apart or they get a deal that is a no brainer.

    • agreed Deeeeeee…..Penguins are in good shape assuming Murray comes back soon

  5. I liked the recent McNabb signing for Vegas. Next for them, I’d be looking at resigning Colin Miller, and Karlsson as RFA priorities. Karlsson is having a beast of a season so far. I think he will cool off but if he gets between 65 and 70 he should get a decent contract. Bridging is an option but I think he could get resigned for around 6m per on a longer term. Or bridge till he’s UFA in 2 years

    Of the UFA’s they have, I would say try to resign Marchessault. Neal is great but he will be 31 and I think better if he’s moved at the TDL. I’d want to see a package including one of their 2019 2nd’s for a good forward prospect and a first rounder this year. Something like Neal, NYI 2019 2nd to Columbus for Bjorkstrand, Ryan Collins 2018 1st. Bjorkstrand can come in and play, Collins a big RHD and whoever they get with the 1st.

    • Karlsson has played great ever since he was moved from 3rd line RW to 2nd line C with March & Smith.

      I don’t think Vgs will want to pay him 6 mil but if he can maintain this development curve & sustain it & waits to sign till the summer If he signs sooner think 4.5 to 5.25 may well fly. These Nordic players are well grounded & usually very accommodating & accepting in salary negotiations.

  6. The thing with Vegas players-on a longer view-were all left unprotected by their former team. Do not believe any of them will garner firsts and multiple picks and players unless it involves the same thing coming back from VGK

    “Cheveldayoff tends to be conservative when it comes to roster shakeups”..that is an understatement. I would say he is rather constipated when it comes to roster shakeups

    Flyers and Oilers need to make a deal. Both deep in the standings and are sitting well under most expectations. Sanheim and Simmonds for something like RNG, Benning, Benson

    • Vermette acquired a 1st, Neal will as well Perron less, I think Vgs will make every effort to resign Marchesseault but if not signed by the trade deadline the return for him should be a 1st as well or a very solid prospect & a 2nd.

      All you need do is go look at the trades made in past years. 1sts are harder to acquire but teams throw 2nds & 3rds around like candy as they should as the odds of that pick even becoming an NHL player aren’t very high. Acquire more & you improve your chances of getting an NHL player.

  7. With what you hear about EDM on this site, might it behoove Chiarelli to ask McPhee what is available as of TODAY? EDM is looking for help on D….and Vegas has spares. EDM is also looking for scoring help….well Vegas has a ton of that. I know Perron is not someone they want back. A guy like March and Merrill (affordable now and in future) might be in EDM’s radar? March can skate fast enough to get with McDavid. Just spitballing but it seems Vegas has spares to let go of now and EDM would be remiss to not come calling to McPhee.

  8. Great signing by McPhee getting McNabb signed for 4 years at 2.5 per. How did Smith get 4.35 for 4 years in NYR? Now we have rumors circulating that Cole wants to double his salary next year! I take McNabb before either of these 2 especially at 2.5, chump change for an NHL Dman & McNabb has been logging the 4th highest TOI/GP in Vgs, 1 second behind Engelland at 3 & less than a minute behind Sbisa at 2.

  9. I don’t have Vegas making the playoffs, but I could easily be wrong, I’m not getting them all right.

    Anaheim has treaded water with the worst injuries in the league to date but they are almost there. Kesler & Getzlaf are supposed to return before the next road trip, Henrique helps significantly, he provides C depth till those 2 return then slides to LW with Getzlaf. They aren’t missing the playoffs.

    Vegas has been slipping slowly as the schedule starts to balance out, we still aren’t quite there yet but things certainly look far more normal today as we approach my final marker. Lets look at the standings after games played on Dec 4th & we can discuss where we are at & where we are going. The last team in the league playing it’s 25th game.

    Several teams home & away games are still seriously skewed, Ott, NYR, Van & Arz, Ott still has a ton of back to backs & several teams have played soft schedules, etc., with each passing day these discrepancies are balancing out.

    Hopefully we can get George to rerun his stats at that point, working off of what the last wild card team in each conference currently sits at as a min # of points required to make the playoffs. Extrapolating out over 82 games based of today’s points in the standings at the 2nd wildcard spot factoring in the games played discrepancy for each team.

    The picture will look different if taken then & the variables for games played as well as the min # of points to make it are factored in.

  10. Unless Sedlak or Dubinsky sustains a season ending injury, the Jackets won’t be looking for a center. Dubi is signed to a nearly untradable long term contract and Sedlak is looking better with every game. Dubois’ play and Wennberg returning from injury has settled the center position. If Jarmo is looking for anything, come the deadline, it will most likely be a bottom six winger, since those slots are something of a revolving door.