NHL Afternoon Rumor Roundup – February 23, 2018

by | Feb 23, 2018 | Rumors | 46 comments

Updated TSN Trade Bait list plus the latest on the Penguins, Jets and Blue Jackets in your afternoon NHL rumor mill update. 


The Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly interested in acquiring Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard (Photo via NHL Images).


Brassard to Pittsburgh for a 1st, goalie Gustavsson and other cap related elements.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s since been revealed that this is a three-way trade involving Ottawa, Pittsburgh and the Vegas Golden Knights. Possibly seeing Brassard go to Vegas, who then flips him to the Penguins. Stay tuned…


TSN: Frank Seravalli added New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello to his trade-bait list, debuting him at No. 10. He also added Chicago Blackhawks sophomore winger Ryan Hartman at No. 22. Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, Rangers winger Rick Nash, Detroit blueliner Mike Green, Ottawa center Derick Brassard, Edmonton winger Patrick Maroon, Buffalo left wing Evander Kane, Edmonton center Mark Letestu, Ottawa winger Mike Hoffman and Rangers blueliner Ryan McDonagh round out the top 10. 


SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen believes the Winnipeg Jets could be in the market for a speedy third- or fourth-line center or a scoring winger, a left-shot blueliner and perhaps a backup. He noted the Jets previous interest in Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman, as well as the concussions that sidelined goalies Steve Mason and Michael Hutchinson.

Possible trade bait includes Hutchinson, their first-round pick and perhaps a prospect such as Logan Stanley, Mason Appleton,Sami Niku, or Dylan Samberg. If they wish to make a big addition, Boylen suggests targeting Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty. A more affordable one (in terms of return) could be the New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello, who Jets coach Paul Maurice coached in the KHL during the last lockout.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Bob McKenzie telling Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 the Jets were in the mix for Michael Grabner before the Rangers shipping the winger on Thursday to the New Jersey Devils. He also thinks the Jets have spoken to the Rangers about winger Rick Nash and to the Senators regarding center Derick Brassard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is expected to add to his roster by the deadline. With the Jets riding high in the Western Conference and a lock to reach the playoffs, he’d probably like to add a quality player with postseason experience. I don’t think he’ll be able to pry away Pacioretty and the asking price for Nash is apparently expensive. Zuccarello, however, could be a good addition. Not sure if Brassard is willing to waive his no-trade for Winnipeg but the Jets have the room to take on his salary cap hit. 


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets reached out to defenseman Jack Johnson’s agent earlier this week in an effort to rekindle their stalled contract extension talks. Sources say Johnson last summer turned down a seven-year extension worth more than $22 million. There were reports Boston, Los Angeles and Washington had interest in Johnson but they’ve since gone with other options.

With the trade market possibly dwindling for Johnson, the Jackets could attempt to keep him rather than risk losing him for nothing this summer to free agency. Concern over the injury history of young blueliner Ryan Murray could also make the durable Johnson more attractive for the Jackets. Despite Johnson’s trade request earlier this season, he remains on good terms with Jackets management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets could also use this as a way of trying to drum up further interest in Johnson by letting interested clubs know they should act now or risk losing him. It’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds leading up to Monday’s trade deadline. 



  1. I agree and have been saying for days, Brassard is a perfect fit for the Pens, but I don’t believe the Pens have the pieces to make it work. Essential if they want the sens to retain $$$$’s.

    • Especially, not essential

    • The package would have to be phenomenal for Ottawa to eat any of Brassard’s contract. His cap hit is good for a player of his skill and he is only paid $3.5M next year, which is a complete bargain. I don’t think Pittsburgh has what it takes to get Brassard either, especially if Rutherford overvalues his players as much as Pittsburgh fans.

      • Lol all fans overvalue their teams players.

      • Garrioch reported at 2:29 eastern the deal is near?

        If the Sens trade for Hunwick and hold money in the deal, Dorion has completely lost his mind!

      • “Brassard to Pittsburgh for a 1st, goalie Gustavsson and other cap related elements.”

        Done deal I guess?

        If it is, wow, just wow!

      • Gustavsson better be good or that is a bad trade for Ottawa. They’ll flip Cole for something, but I can’t see much more than a third round pick.

    • well it worked nyr4life….

      • Not yet! Stay tuned

    • Crazy the rich just keep getting richer ;). I’m thinking this will be a better return on a 1st rounder than say a Reeves was ;). I think they did pretty good not giving up much at all for a 3rd Cup Run. Though it will be hard to repeat again, they gotta be top 5 at worse from East now. Tampa always seems to have a goalie get hurt in the playoffs or some key player like STamkos if not both… Boston has been red hot so its hard to think they will keep that going. Toronto will have a tough time to even get out of the 1st round… I figure they wont win division so will have to play the red hot Bruins or Tampa in the 1st round which will be tough. Penguins should have an easier 1st round team in theory. WAtching replay of Germany over Canada their uniforms sorta the same colors as Penguins oddly enough :)? West will probably still win Cup though it will be a lot harder for any in East to beat Penguins now…

      Brassard was a really good player so surprised they landed him easily. Senators doing what they have since they need to rebuild from the Net out as I said prior ;).

    • I think we can all officially say Karlsson isnt resigning with Ottawa.

      It’s now not a retool. Its a rebuild.

  2. Please sign troy stecher,
    Virtanen and everybody else that isnt signed them now,

    • VAN… Filip Gustavasson is excellent in fact may be the penguins best net minder including Murray.The penguins have 4 really good young goalies in Murray, Jarry, DeSmith and Filip Gustavasson. Filip was brilliant in the under 20 world juniors leading Sweden to the gold medal game…he stood on his head Canada won 2-1. HE Is big, athletic, sound technically and 19!

      • black N gold: After watching Sportsnet and TSN, it looks like you’re right about Gustavsson. They’re making him out to be one of the best goalie prospects in the league and is 2-3 years from the NHL. They also indicated that they could get more than I thought for Cole, so we’ll see.

        Ottawa doesn’t retain any of Brassard’s salary, swap 3rd round picks with Pittsburgh and give up Vincent Dunn in the trade (likely a career AHL player). If Cole can get more than just the third round pick I thought, I don’t mind the trade given Gustavsson appears to be legit.

  3. I know the Pens are keen to threepeat, but Daniel Sprong is a future snipester with easily 30-goal annual potential.

  4. Up Next, Karlsson to Tampa for 2 hot dogs , a pretzel and a conditional Medium coke with no ice!

    Fire this man already! Jesus! I’m not a Sens fan by any stretch. Or a Sens hater. But good lord Dorion sucks!

    • Is this coke regular or Diet? If diet its a steal for Ott

      • It’s regular, and flat. And Tampa can defer it until 2027

  5. Brassard to Pittsburgh – geez, for a GM who was basically ridden out of town on a rail in Carolina, Jim Rutherford just seems to get smarter by the day.
    Who’s next in Ottawa? Pageau? Ryan? Karlsson?
    Dorion? Melnyk?

    • Please be Melnyk. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The argument is over! Who won the Brassard for Zibanejad trade? Pittsburgh! Lmao!

    • No kidding. Ottawa got a 1st, Gustavsson and whatever they get for Cole (3rd?) for Zibanejad and a 2nd? Thanks for nothing, Dorion.

    • Lol. Yep

  7. Nice trade.

    The Pens have added Derick Brassard and Kris Letang to last year’s Cup champion.

    • ‘The Pens have added Derick Brassard and Kris Letang to last year’s Cup champion.’

      Yes to that statement

  8. Derick Brassard is now a Penguin!!!

    • cannot believe the steal PITTS got….they gave up NOTHING. PITTS still retains solid goaltender depth…the 1st rd pick is really a 2nd bc of how deep PITTS goes. Cole is someone Sully and GM JR were trading anyway. What a steal. They keep him for next year too. WOW…

      Sorry OTTAWA fans… not sure what GM Dorion was thinking =(

      guess he heard 1st…he thought 1st pick overall LOL.

      • Dorion got schooled by the master.

      • Dorion has made a lot of bad trades this year! Gave up Turris, a good prospect and a lotery pick in this years draft for duchene! Duchene has more offensive upside then turris but he gave up a lot to get him and now he trades brassard for almost nothing!

  9. I was worried when the Pens hired Jim Rutherford.

    I have never been more wrong about anything in my entire life. Never been happier to be wrong about anything…

    This team is now deeper in almost every way the two that just won Cups.

    Brassard with Kessel AND Guentzel??? Amazing.

    Sheahan on a fourth line (with Rust)? Big upgrade over Cullen.

    Losing Cole hurts. He is every thing you want out of a playoff D man. Jarry is great but he’s not MAF yet. Only two downgrades from last year.

    Oleksiak has been a stud, but if Hunwick or Ruhwedel have to play, there is the Pen’s Achilles Heel.

    Jimmy still has 3 days to fix that. CapFriendly hasn’t updated so I don’t know if he even can. But, if anyone can.

  10. You could argue this move was terrible for the sellers market. Or argue desperation has to set in in Tampa and Boston to now overpay. We’ll see I guess.


    Smith for Karlsson? Hahahahaha

    • HELLS YA!!! I’ll even throw in Staal and Dehsarnais , their flight fare …. all for a Vinny Lecavalier signed jersey

      This smells of Melnyk telling Dorion clear $$$. No GM can be this crazy to trade a huge asset for AHLers

      • hahahaha

    • Nyr4Life…. since Zucc is apparently on the block too….you comfy with this..?

      to AZ: Zucc & Smith

      to NYR : Domi & Hjalmarsson


      • I don’t see Arizona taking on a guy like Zuccarello, he’ll go to a contender if he goes, and I don’t see anyone really taking Smith.

        Although Dorion has been on fire lately!

      • Let the Smith for Cole till Monday begin LOL

  11. Any rental D men out there making less than 2.25 million?

    I’d send a 2nd and maybe more to anyone who takes Hunwick and sends a decent D man back.


    Rangers fans should be happy. This might lead Tampa to overpay for McDonough.

  12. do the Senators have the option to move their 2018 first round pick to Colorado in 2018 even if it is a top ten in the draft? can they decide if they want to move it after the lottery has determined their order in the draft? for instance if picking top 5 keep it and if picking 6-10 let it go to the Avs wit the hope that next years pick is better.

    if they keep this years 1st rounder then they could potentially be moving the 2019 1st overall from the Duchene deal. Dorion would by lynched if he goes full rebuild & the team ends up moving the 2019 pick to the Avs and they get the 1st overall.

    • You can probably get any of the conditional info on the CapFriendly team pages… When looking at the team salary caps… YOu will see on the top of the screen it shows their draft picks for the upcoming drafts/years. If you go over on them sometimes they have an icon or thing for conditional stuff… There other sites that can use for the same results but not sure how accurate.

      I’m sure with the kinda luck Senators have they will get shafted either way. Didn’t they take like Daige or Bonk some players who were like 1st rounders that didn’t quite live up to it ;). I remember when I knew Lalime was done when they were changing pads or rules for goalies I tried to trade him hardcore in a keeper league :). I think I took over some team who had him so it wasn’t my idea in first place ;). Ottawa realizes they least 3-5 years away rebuilding so they cutting ties now. Just seems Penguins made out like a bandit again akin to their trade for Kessel or SChultz etc ;).

    • BTW foggy reading CF about the conditional pick… If the 2018 pick is a top 10 then Senators retain the pick giving Colorado the 2019 1st rounder… They got a nice site can recap the draft info/lots of great stuff for that kinda details.

  13. This deal is NOT done. Vegas is involved , 3 way trade. So maybe this deal isn’t as lopsided as initially thought.

    The money didn’t make sense at all. The initial deal would have put Pittsburgh over the cap.

    • Seems real odd if Vegas is involved supposedly getting Brassard then shipping him to Penguins. IF they had enough to get him why not just keep him? Maybe NHL saw how bad the trade was so got involved making them add stuff like when Kings stole Palffy from cash strapped Islanders… I think they made them toss in Jokinen, Olli maybe it was back then since there many…

      One thing for sure a former Kings player will be winning a Gold along with a Silver not sure about Bronze. Voynov on Russia, also that other guy the forward w/ the P name who I Think they traded to Devils. Then Ehrhoff on the Germany team, Sharks got at least a silver having him along with Goc :). Seemed like almost every team had a former Kings player except for maybe USA, Korea, a few others hehe. Can’t wait to see the Curling Gold Medal match when USA goes for it all ;).

  14. Eventually when deal is done I like it for pens. Not jumping for joy. We needed a center but I woulda been ok with a more mundane name. Pens 1st and Gustafsson plus other assets I woulda preferred going for a top 3 d man. Ida sent ny 1st Gustafsson and dumo for mcd or car similar for Faulk.

    • Chrism, i like that, i agree MCD would be a great fit in Pitts. Still early though.

  15. I’m kinda surprised by all your reaction. I was thinking Dorion was going to end up getting a 2nd and some prospect for Brassard

  16. LET’S GO PEN’S!!!!

    Three – peat on the way!!!!!