NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2017

by | Dec 30, 2017 | Rumors | 56 comments

Updates on Kris Letang plus the latest Senators speculation in your NHL rumor mill.


DKPITTSBURGHSPORTS.COM: On Thursday, Matt Gajtka reported “an industry source” told him Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was “definitely available” for interested teams to pursue via the trade market. He noted Letang has a limited no-trade clause allowing him to choose 18 destinations, though he wasn’t able to confirm if Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford asked the blueliner for that list or if he’s waived his general no-movement clause. Gajtka noted Rutherford said earlier this month he wasn’t shopping his core players but wonders if their recent struggles changed his mind.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey yesterday reported a “team source” took issue with recent reports out of Canada claiming Letang was being actively shopped by the Penguins, denying the veteran rearguard was on the trade block. Letang (lower body) is currently on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Are the Penguins shopping Letang? I don’t believe so. Despite his on-ice difficulties this season, he’s still a valuable part of their roster. Could be they willing to entertain offers? Sure, why not. Makes sense to at least see what value he has in the trade market. Will Letang be traded this season? Doubtful. Assuming the Penguins are willing to make that deal, it’s not impossible to move his $7.25-million annual salary-cap hit. However, his long history of injuries could dampen interest in his services. 


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites insider Elliotte Friedman’s appearance Friday on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 discussing Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman. He believes the St. Louis Blues are “looking pretty hard” at Hoffman, who have “good prospects” (Tage Thompson, Klim Kostin) that could interest the Sens.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: George Richards reports Senators center Derick Brassard isn’t averse to the notion of perhaps returning to the Blue Jackets one day. Brassard is signed through 2018-19 with a $5-million annual cap hit and a modified no-trade clause. “Let’s say it this way: I will play hockey anywhere,” said Brassard following the Sens practice yesterday. He stressed that his job is playing hockey in Ottawa, but he added he wouldn’t refuse to go anywhere.

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis still believes the New York Islanders have the assets to pursue defenseman Erik Karlsson if the Senators decide to shop him. While he considers Isles rookie center Mathew Barzal a “non-starter” in any trade discussions, he wonders if a pitch of “Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Ho-Sang — and/or Ryan Pulock — plus a first-rounder and two conditional seconds” might tempt the Sens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Senators are shopping Hoffman and want to get younger, perhaps a package from the Blues with Thompson or Kostin as the center piece could do the trick. 

Brassard could be just the ticket to address the Blue Jackets’ need for skilled depth at center and Columbus has depth in young players to use as trade bait. I recently suggested struggling Alexander Wennberg as one option. Granted, the Jackets could be reluctant to do that. But if they’re in “win now” mode it’s not a far-fetched notion.

As for Karlsson, if the Senators put him on the block, it won’t happen until next summer at the earliest. The Isles won’t be the only club trying to land him. And if they re-sign superstar center John Tavares, they could be unwilling to invest $11 million annually in re-signing Karlsson, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. 



  1. The Blues will regret the day they deal Kostin … my Pens could have had him at the end of the 1st round but traded for Ryan Reaves who played all of 5 minutes last night. If the Blues keep him they will be loaded for years & years.

    And now let’s see how many asinine Letang rumours you guys can generate today … how about Letang and Riley Sheahan to Buffalo for Jack Eichel, Evander Kane & Ristoleinnen?

    • at 7.25M for another 4 years, I can’t see the Pens getting great value for Letang. As talented as he is, it would almost have the odor of a salary dump. And we’ve all seen that salary dumps rarely get satisfactory value on the return. The Pens would certainly not get a ‘win-now’ type of player in return-probably just one with as many question marks as Letang himself. At this point, he would seem to have the most value WITH the Pens.

      • pens only trade him if the receiving team values him as a potential number 1 d man again…. and 7.25 mil when karlson/doughty will be making upwards of 11 mil will be a steal if letang regains even close to his previous form. there is no salary dump.

        and Ed… pens will rue the name Kostin for the next decade.

      • Chrisms has spoken we can all just go by his comments! Talking about karlsson and doughty, letangs name should not be mentioned they bring a whole lot more to the game than the one dimensional letang

      • 👹🙄

      • Apples & oranges.

        Not only 3 different types of players who’s only similarity is all play D in the NHL but the 3 teams also play completely different systems. Pit being a run & gun team, LA being 1 of the best defensive shut down teams in the NHL for years & Ottawa well being Ottawa & all over the map but since Boucher took over all shut down the fabulous 1,2,2 offensive system.

        What #’s would you like to use to compare them ?

        The only thing that ails Letang is his ability to stay healthy & Pit’s inability to score this year.

      • Striker you must not watch the dmen very much? Any person that actually watches hockey and understands th3 game can easily see that letang is not in the same caliber of doughty and karlsson that’s just yapping to hear your self

      • I think I have made my position on Doughty pretty clear. If I were allowed to start a team today regardless of age & can choose any player I choose Doughty.

        Now what criteria would you like to use to compare these Dman except your eye test?

        Stanley Cups? Letang has 3 as does Doughty. Karlsson bupkiss. Hits, Bks, GvA’s, TkA’s shots, points, +/-, playoff games as well?

        No Letang isn’t Doughty or Karlsson he’s Letang 1 of the best offensive Dman to ever play the game & as valuable to Pit as either Doughty or Karlsson to their respective teams.

        His distinct advantage over Doughty & Karlsson today is he isn’t a UFA a little a year out. I see LA extending Doughty, Karlsson being extended in Ott is highly unlikely to me & his contract demands will make for an interesting trade situation.

      • It don’t matter what numbers you use there isn’t one gm or coach including the pens staff that would take letang over kthose 2

    • Asinine? hmm ok got one for you…..
      to DAL: Letang/Sheary/edVanImpe
      to PITT: Spezza and rights to Valeri Nichushkin

      does that fill your need for asinine for the day?

      • Yes that is pretty bad.

      • I’m not sure anybody would want Ed vanTurnover in a trade…

      • So like when did Doughty win his third cup

      • wow……thats direct…LOL

      • TB is back again why did you change your name Chrisms

      • Hey teebs! The trolls onto us! Cheese it!

      • Nah, just a sarcastic Toronto fan

      • 🤫lies…..

      • I get this strange feeling that a Letang for Pacioretty deal maybe coming….both sides may add but those two be the principles.

        Pacioretty Lw TO pITTSBURGH
        Byron C
        Benn D
        $9 million goes to Pitsburgh

        Letang D
        sheary W
        Rust or A draft pick
        $10.8 million goes to thE habs

        canadiens get two younger offensive players which they want plus a top 2 dman..
        Penguins get a sniper left wing to boost the offense, a 3rd line center which we need and a depth d-man.

        both team are looking for this in the returns. I hate to lose sheary and rust but we have Zack Anton Reese coming Daniel Sprong, Domink Simon coming

    • According to Rutherford they were going to take Lauzon with that pick so Kostin was never going to happen anyways. Let’s not talk about the fact that they could have gotten Lauzon in the third round because no one else wanted him.

      • he’s usually a straight shooter but that quote of his sounded like rationalization to the max

    • Pit moved down 21 spots to 51st to get Reeves. Drafted Zachary Lauzon. It will be 4 to 6 years before we have any idea what type of NHL Dman he may be if 1 at all.

      Why do people keep trying to represent it like they traded a 1st for Reeves. Far from it, a 1st was included but they got back a decent 2nd & Reeves.

      That said I don’t like the deal. I don’t think a team needs a pure enforcer in today’s game but Pit had ZERO grit before this trade. After Reeves Crosby is the next toughest player.

  2. News this morning Penguins recall forward Daniel Sprong.

    • 28 points in 29 games(18 goals) deserves to be rewarded. The kid has one of the best shots I have ever seen. https://youtu.be/jIMjnorf23A

      • I’ve been sitting on Sprong in 2 dynasty leagues all year where there are virtually no RW’s his current designation. I hope he lights it up & helps solve Pit’s scoring troubles. Been waiting 13 weeks.

        It’s about time he was finally called up.

    • Yay!!

  3. why do we listen to these sports writers spouting off about potential trades when most of them are self created to make themselves look to be in the know.no nhl general manager is going to tell some hack about what his future player plans are.this letang thing is a perfect example.

    • As they are a source of rumours. Some GM’s plant information but most leaks are coming from others in the organization talking to close friends & with each person passed to the rumour alters ever so slightly just like life.

      You tell your wife, best friend, physiologist, hairdresser, bartender a secret & ask them not to tell anyone. Scuttlebut circulates & soon you have a full fledged rumour.

    • You call Mackey a hack and quote DePaoli? 🤔

  4. The PENS won’t be able to give away Letang; with his injury prone tag, & anchored with a $7.25 M salary over 4 years.
    The PENS will have to offer to withhold $2 M per year for teams to start listening

    • I think there are a multitude of options around the league that will help both PITTS and the trading TEAM. It al depends on who is willing to give and get and a big IF PITTS wants to moe Letang. I wrote some reasonable options that were a base for discussion and able to evolve yesterday. SO many variables as to where teams think they are and will land in the standings.

      for example Detroit can think they do not have a chance to make up ground. Green will be available and will garner a 1st rd pick plus. Ericsson has 3 yrs left and may garner interest.

      So would Holland offer GREEN (40% retained) & Ericsson plus a 2nd to Pitts for Letang plus a low round pick? This frees up space for younger Men to get playing time and clears cap space.

      so many options on the market for GMs & TEAMs looking to get creative this season in plans for a cup run & next season ….and ya never know could change the outcome of their season this year.

      Me, I am willing to take chances to keep my cap solvent.

      • Mike Green is awful defensively he was with the caps is with Detroit…he makes Letang look like Larry Robinson in his own zone.

    • The only team silly enough to make a move for Letang would probably be Montreal. They r grasping for straws right now and with Price playing at sub par level would mortgage the house hoping Letang might lead them out of the doldrums they r currently in. Montreal will never recover from trading Subban.

      • In hindsight I really think the 1st time Subban was up for a contract renewal they tried to lowball him and last minute did not get the right $ and length correct so when he was available for a real payday it happened all over again and bam OVERPAID and too long a term. They compounded it by signing Petry AND never really having a development plan for the prospect thru the AHL. They relied so heavily on Price they never saw what their team truly was. Plus their system was trap-ish counter play under Therrien. No vision for the future and now they suffer by overpaying for talent like Drouin, Alzner, etc… Even Price is being paid for past Thank You and the future with a 11.5m/yr and the length of it. Sheesh. Started before MB and Gainey. Ownership won’t allow for a proper build.

      • ihatecrosby: I remember when PK was up for his first renewal and I remember crunching some numbers off of capgeekback then, but is memory and mine could be suspect. I remember Gomez being on the books as well as Gionta. The money offered PK kept the Habs cap compliant, the team intact, and gave them like 2 mill wiggle room for the deadline, all with the cap drop in mind. The Gomez buyout cover the salary cap drop almost exactly. The point is the contract was truely the most the Habs could off at the time and definitely had a hand shake agreement that in return for his signing they would get him next time. PK held out until Meehan got through to him the Habs team health cap wise was behind the offer value and it was not a personal dig. That’s how I remember it anyway…..

      • habsfan1…..you are actually correct…it was to remain cap compliant as I now remember better but I think other options were on the table and Subban camp just felt the rub. I am not in the locker room but I think Subban has been great professional. Sets up BIG charities in MTL, then gets trade to NSH and sets up one there and still goes takes care of the one he set up in MTL. SO yes, cap issue but they had other options to effectively get more out of the 1st re-up contract. Just poor management (all in hindsight).

      • lets hope Montreal will take letang….

  5. Klim Kostin was very highly ranked at one point. (I thought top 5 ) Injured his shoulder during his draft year, fell to 30th as are result. A steal of a pick. At the Ivan Hlinka and some of U tournaments he was dominant.

    Let’s see what Sprong can do.

    • I LOVE when a guy plays his heart out, works hard, and EARNS a call up based on performance. Those are the character players I would want in my organization. I am no Pitts fan but looking forward to seeing Sprong play too.

  6. If Pit moves Letang & that’s a big if they won’t be giving him away. Yes his injury history is a factor & it will play into the return should he be moved but nominally really.

    At least 3 teams; Buf, Det & Mon, should be willing to role the dice on his health today, probably another 6 to 8 this summer regardless of his 7.25 mil cap hit for 4 more years as these assets can’t be had & take years to find & develop if even able.

    As stated above when Dman like Doughty, Karlsson etc. are extended Letang’s 7.25 is going to seem pretty reasonable & well worth the risk. Hell it’s only 1.75 more than Petry makes. Petry has 3 more GvA’s than Letang this year, Alzner 3 less, they would all be great together. Letang has 27 TkA’s more than Petry; 15, & Alzner; 7, combined.

    If concerned about to much money being tied up on D in Mon move Alzner this summer, doing so would be pretty easy & he hasn’t fit well in Mon, he & Petry together have been a disaster.

    If Pit eats 2 mil as suggested by Greg that will increase the compensation a team would need to pay Pit significantly to secure Letang in trade. Letang’s contract is insured so 80% is recovarbale if needed.

    • Striker….IF Letang is acquired I believe the move is to move out WEBER, if Petry is kept. Pair Alzner with Letang. Petry gets a new partner. Alzner can be the Brooks Orpik to Niskaken type relationship. Let Letang rush and relax and Alzner sit back and relax. Then used the Weber trade to shore up the center position, since trading Petry would not do that without losing picks and prospects(which they really do not have).

      • I don’t trade Weber, at least not for 4 more years after this year if then, nor would I have moved him for Subban if Nas due to business concerns; salary & term, I still like this deal better for Mon than Nas.

        With Price & Weber healthy & playing 25 mins+ a night you can compete with almost anyone. Petry is virtually untradable due to his contract.

        I think Mon could stomach 25 mil & change for a top 4 D of Weber, Letang, Petry & Alzner as currently constructed & in a few years this will be the norm for the leagues best D’s.

        Montreal’s only player of significance due a new contract in the next 3 years is Pacioretty. Can Mon get him extended this summer? If so at what cost? Really what choice do they have?

        Mon’s roster is a mess. It hasn’t been positioned for a rebuild. Get Gelchenyuk out of there, this is a terrible situation for all. Package him with Plekanec, Benn & a 2nd round pick for Letang & Hagelin, perhaps even a 1st if the pick coming back from Pit helps offset this upgrade.

      • Striker….. what sort of value would Petry be at the trade deadline? or off season? Is it over valuing him to package him up with Patches to Carolina for Hanafin plus picks?

      • While Pacioretty would be welcome in CAR, I can’t see Hanifin going the other way. And no, Petry, if anything, might make that deal worse (due to $). CAR would be paying more for a D that arguably makes them worse. Now, what would/should Max get in return? Possibly Fleury, but I can’t see that being acceptable to MON. Anyway, GMRF is already on record (during the Duchene chase) that he won’t trade the future for an expiring/limited term contract, so the whole thing is probably a non-starter. Maybe if MON wants to raid Charlotte and/or picks, but I doubt that’s what MON would be looking for.

      • I don’t see Carolina trading Hanafin period for about 10 years unless made an offer to good to refuse & that’s not it. Carolina doesn’t need patches. Scoring is coming, Hanafin is cost controlled.

      • I don’t know Striker, I think Montreal needs price to play more than 25 minutes a night but I’m not a professional GM…

      • TB.


        Obviously Price plays the entire game but Weber plays 25+

  7. Even if a team wanted Letang, and could over look the concussions and upper body injuries and lower body injuries.
    It’s a cap era and he will be getting 30 million over the next 4 years and had a stroke.
    A freaking stroke.

    Temper expectations as if he got moved, it’s a salary dump.

    • HOMIEDCLOWN…… Letang is brittle, but uber talented when he is on his game…. The stroke thing was freaky and trust me he wouldn’t be playing if there was any danger of another one…..He has been in the line-up all year until recently! Kris is with the penguins on this 3 game road trip….so it isn’t too bad. LOOK $7.25 for 4 more years will be a bargain when you see what Doughty and Karlsson are asking for anD going to get..Karlsson has been banged up to…

      • Letang hasn’t played 50 games a season for along tim! They will be holding salary to move him

      • I see BUFF as the best fit IF Kane is willing to resign for a reasonable contract with PITTS…. perhaps sign and trade NBA style? Kane & Letang as the centerpieces. BUFF struggles on the backend to move the puck. Well then again their whole team defense struggles. They had a run and gun game against the Devils…. I felt like I was watching kids street hockey game. Very sloppy for Buff even with the win. If not for Eichel….well WOW is all I could say.

    • agreed 100%

  8. I would not want to be Denmark tonight

  9. Neither Ho-Sang or Beauvillier would temp me as a Sens fan and I hope it wouldn’t temp Dorion.

  10. Well let me just say Letsng to Montreal is possible but there is no way pens are getting anything of real value for him … they will never get a patches or Galchenyuk for him what a joke … if either player would be traded to the pens trust me it won’t be Montreal adding in the trade it’ll be Pit adding to the trade … Injury history and money are big red flags for any team to trade a lot for letang…. Pit will just be happy to get rid of his salary hit and will take prospects and draft picks and a third line centre like pleckanec so his contract comes off the books next year….