NHL Rumor Mill – May 25, 2018

by | May 25, 2018 | Rumors | 60 comments

Latest on the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.

With Lou Lamoriello as their new president of hockey ops, the New York Islanders could make a big push to re-sign John Tavares (Photo via NHL Images).


NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross reports Lou Lamoriello, the new president of hockey operations for the New York Islanders, isn’t planning to rebuild their roster. “He wants to win now,” a league source said of Lamoriello, 75. “He took the job because he thought he had the assets.”

The Isles need a proven starting goaltender, which could come at the cost of one of their first-round selections (11th and 12th overall) in this year’s draft. They also need at least one, perhaps two, top-four defensemen. Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk and former New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk are both unrestricted free agents this summer and have previous ties to Lamoriello.

FRS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling NHL Network on Wednesday that he believes the Islanders brought in Lamoriello in part to convince team captain John Tavares to stay. Tavares is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He feels the organization is going to make a serious push to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello could be planning on a couple of bold moves prior to July 1 in hopes of convincing Tavares to stay put. The Isles have two picks in each of the first two rounds in this year’s draft. Lamoriello could use one or two of those as trade bait to bring in a goaltender and a defenseman. He could package those with some of the promising prospects within his system, such as Kieffer Bellows or Joshua Ho-Sang. He could also peddle a veteran such as forward Brock Nelson.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan believes Evander Kane’s new seven-year, $49-million contract with the San Jose Sharks is great news for Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty, who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent next July. The 29-year-old Canadiens captain is a five-time 30-goal scorer. The question now is whether Pacioretty will be negotiating that deal with Montreal GM Marc Bergevin or with another club. Cowan speculates Pacioretty could be headed elsewhere via trade. 

TVA SPORTS: Dallas Stars winger Antoine Roussel said he’d be willing to sign with the Canadiens if he’s unable to reach an agreement with his current club. Roussel, 28, is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s still hoping to re-sign with the Stars. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Pacioretty, who was hampered by injuries this season, regains his 30-goal form next season, he’ll easily get over $7 million annually on a long-term deal. However, I doubt it’s going to be with the Canadiens.

There were plenty of rumblings this season suggesting Pacioretty could be dealt. While they didn’t come to pass, there’s an expectation he could be shopped this summer or before next season’s trade deadline. As for Roussel, the Habs are in need of more scoring and blueline depth, so he might not suit their needs. 


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently noted the Edmonton Oilers will have to shop on a budget this summer to address their need for a backup goaltender, a puck-moving defenseman for their power play and perhaps a winger or two. The recent signing of KHL goaltender Mikko Koskinen makes him the front-runner for the backup spot.

The changes in Carolina Hurricanes management could make it possible for the Oilers to land a promising forward such as Warren Foegele and Lucas Wallmark. Mitchell also suggests New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-Sang could be available.

While Mitchell believes the Oilers should be aggressive pursuing a puck-moving blueliner, he considers free agents such as John Carlson and Mike Green or attempting to acquire Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson as non-starters for the Oilers. GM Peter Chiarelli could instead make a smaller move, perhaps by targeting defensemen such as Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers, Boston’s Torey Krug or the Islanders’ Nick Leddy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed Chiarelli could make a big trade to bring in a puck-moving rearguard. That could be easier said than done. Chiarelli does hold an enticing trade chip with his first round pick (10th overall), which he could package with a top prospect. There’s also speculation that Oscar Klefbom could be a trade candidate.

I doubt that Barrie, Myers and Leddy will be available. Krug could be, though he’s not a right-handed shot and carries a $5.25-million cap hit for two more years with a modified no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1. 



  1. Pengy be happy. Trib confirming that pens are shopping kessel around. I wonder what his value is? Tough one. He is at a peak right now but last couple years of his contract could be rough. Would pens hold a small amount of money to get a better return?

    Also. How does this fuel the taveres roooomers?

    • Could Jeff Skinner be on JR’s radar? JR has always spoke very highly of Skinner and knows he could replace Kessel’s goals if he played on Malkin’s line. It would be a more affordable option. I don’t know if Kessel would want to play in Carolina so it might have to be a three team deal.

      • It won’t be much cheaper. I assume JVR gets 5.75 to 6.25 give or take 500K on at least a 6 year deal in this summers UFA market. If Kane just got 7 for 7, although 2.5 years younger that speaks to this summers UFA market. McDavid has reset the bar pulling up salaries for all players moving forward.

      • Striker, Im not sure that Kane’s contract is an indicator of this summers free agent market. Kane’s age and skill set were a specific need for the Sharks. They had a trial run with him, liked what they saw and wanted to keep him off the market. Vegas playing for the Stanley cup may affect the summer free agent market more than the Kane signing.

      • The whole NHL contract model is based on comparables. Although signed prior to July 1st his leverage being a pending UFA is why he was able to demand as much as he signed for & SJ had to pay if they wished to retain him.

        Can you add more insight into your comment on Vegas? Not following your train of thought as to how their success is going to impact the UFA market or that of pending UFA’s.

      • I am pretty sure Kane is a good marker… nhl cap going up, less free agents hitting the market because of the competition for talent, being able to add talent without giving anything up for but money and cap space… FA will be a cluster as usual. It wont be too many years down the road before another player raises the bar mcdavid set.

      • Striker, My thinking is Vegas has demonstrated that you don’t need to have a high paid superstar on your roster to win.

    • When Cook had the same Kessel “rumors” last year, Madden shot them down. Him confirming means it’s likely real.

    • Kessel for Pacioretty ?

      • Unlikely. If Kessel is dealt elsewhere I can see the Pen’s taking Pacioretty as a replacement, but I can not see Mtl wanting Kessel while still having massive holes on the blueline and at centre.

      • Kessel has only ever scored well with a playmaking center. Montreal does not have one…which is their problem. Kessel for Patch solves nothing for Montreal. Montreal makes play for Tavares and gets him, Patch stays in Montreal. This is what I hope could happen.

  2. Looks like there could be a lot of moving parts this summer. What do you think the asking price for Kessel would be Chrisms? He’s a tough one to peg because he’s certainly valuable but not necessarily a player you would acquire to build your team around. He seems to get his fair share of the blame when things don’t go well. I wonder if he would fit in well with a team like Anaheim? Getzlaf and Perry still have a lot to give, in my opinion, he could provide a lot with the extra offence needed there.

    • Might not be a high asking price. An affordable younger winger or a young bottom pair d man with decent potential or a pick. I think gmjr would be looking for cap space to play with.

      • Why don’t people get it? The Pens want to win NOW. They are not making any trades where futures are big part of the return. If they trade, it will be a Neal-Holmqvist type of deal – a trade of style, not value.

      • I agree Larry. With the exception of the draft pick above… and even then. This trade helps for now

  3. NYI protected 5 Dman in the expansion draft; Leddy, Boychuk, Hamonic, Pelech & Pulock, oddly enough NYI paid Vegas to avoid selecting de Haan, Nelson or Bailey, but then signed de Haan to a 1-year deal making him a UFA this summer. Weird, terrible asset management on de Haan.

    NYI traded Hamonic but also have Scott Mayfield who just started to show his NHL abilities before being felled by injury. What was his agent doing signing a 5 years deal at 1.45 per season? Very odd but that locks NYI’s 5 Dman in next season.

    Leddy, Boychuk.
    Pelech, Pulock.
    ?, Mayfield.

    Ideally, de Haan would have been retained but that may prove challenging as he is the best value UFA Dman available & plays a strong shutdown game. Perhaps Hickey returns as NYI is better served if Boychuk mans a 2nd pairing but Leddy needs a strong defensive Dman to help cover for his offensive game.

    I agree NYI is very close to a playoff team. Losing de Haan early & Boychuck for 20+ games was devastating. On top of that Mayfield started to pick up some of the slack before being felled by injury himself. Aho & Toews are waiting for their NHL opportunities & Aho appears ready.

  4. All along I’ve felt that Tavares would sign with Isles. It’s his team since being drafted. I think people expect too much of Lamoriello. He’s 75! He came to Isles to work with his son, who probably is being groomed to be GM. When people speculate that FA’s will be signed to sway Tavares to stay, all I can think is why would they sign if they think he might leave? Team hasn’t exactly been in a rebuild, and they still missed playoffs. They’re not getting a decent goalie without giving up pieces. The defense is horrible and there’s not much in FA out there. They have their own guy that needs to be signed, and we all know Striker thinks he’ll attract offers elsewhere. I think Lou is dillusional thinking he’s got the pieces. JVR would be a nice add, but at what cost on top of a Tavares deal? Same for Kovy, who I seriously doubt would be welcomed with open arms by the guy he screwed. Rangers and Sharks are better options for JT.

    • After Tavares is signed, Lou needs to get Lee Anders and Eberle extended. I don’t see how they can afford another 6 mil forward when they still have to fix the back end.

      I hope Tavares resigns with NYI. Its good for the NHL when the face of a franchise spends his entire career with that organization.

      • Anders Lee

      • I agree & really hope he does as well. I like NYI’s roster with Tavares, their prospects & their draft picks.

        Snow’s been weird, he does some really good things & then drops the ball repeatedly making some serious head-scratchers. I have been advocating for him to be moved into more of scouting player development role & he may well be now that Lou is in charge.

        NYI has been in a weird business model for years. Having to find a temporary home, ownership issues, management issues & until 2016-17 season were running on a tight internal cap. New ownership let them spend the last 2 years, 2016-17, 2017-18 but only 2 teams lose more money than NYI, Car & Flo.

        That will change when they move into their new building. A team without a real home is a weird scenario. The Barclay Center was a last resort & a terrible 1.

    • I have always hoped Tavares will resign in NYI. The odds have dropped progressively & I’m not certain if Lou helps or hinders Tavares resigning if it was me it hinders such. I don’t like Lou. He left NJ a mess, granted building & ownership issues were in play but regardless he left that roster barren. He almost single-handedly sucked the life out of the NHL & who wanted to go watch a winning team play this style of hockey? very few.

      NYI has a decent roster, injuries devastated this team last season. You can’t lose that many man games to that quality of Dman & expect to compete. Goaltending wasn’t the issue. NYI was hanging their goalies out to dry endlessly. Has Barzal even met his goalie? All offence all the time. He will need to learn to play some semblance of a 2-way game eventually.

      Lee, Tavares, Bailey.
      Beauvilier, Barzal, Eberle.
      Ladd, Nelson, Bellows.
      Prince, Cizikas, Clutterbuck.
      Spare. Quine.

      Leddy, Boychuk.
      Pelech, Pulock.
      Aho, Mayfield.

      Greiss, ?.

      If Tavares is lost move all C’s up 1 spot. Beauvillier could always play C but if Tavares walks that would leave a ton of monies to pursue a stop gap like Thornton or on longer-term UFA C’s like Stastny & Bozak.

      Not sure what goalie solutions may be available. Grubauer? Buf appears to want to move Lehner if rumours are to be believed. All other real options are UFA’s & not sure any of them are legitimate starters but maybe Hutton, Halak, etc. might suffice until Sorokin gets to the NHL next season.

      • Nemestikov-Tavares-Zucharello
        This is just what they currently have plus Tavares… with 7 picks in 1st 3 rounds they could make a deal for an experienced top 4 right D. Also, possibility if they move Zucharello, they add Kovulchuk. IMO a much better lineup than Isles. Now and future.

  5. I don’t share Edm’s need for a puck moving Dman. All Edm needs is for their D to be healthy & for the kids to keep developing.

    Klefbom is fully capable of running Edm’s PP, although a RHD might be a better option as McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic & RNH are all left-handed shots. Klefbom played injured all season, he ran the PP fine the year prior to injury & is still just a kid far from fully developed. I would be planning on a significant bounce-back season. 12 to 15 goals & 45 to 50 points next season if he plays at least 75 games.

    Nurse has untapped offensive abilities & Sekera can take some 2nd unit minutes if needed, hell even Larsson has shown in NJ if deployed on the PP which were incredibly rare he can put up points. Bear is also progressing in the minors & should be the 1st injury replacement.

    Klefbom, Larsson.
    Sekera, Russell.
    Nurse, Benning.

    Nothing wrong with that D & 4 are just kids, Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse & Benning both by age & NHL experience, Larsson at 25 being the oldest of those 4 kids & just having fully developed at the NHL level having played 416 NHL regular season games, his best is still to come.

    None of Leddy, Krug, Barrie or Myers is moving anytime soon. Myers is 1 year, Krug & Barrie 2 years & Leddy 4 years from UFA status. Their respective teams will do everything they can to extend them as soon as able if their contract demands are unrealistic in salary or term, then they will be moved. I assume Win tries to get Myers extended this summer but so many contracts up this summer & next, doing so may prove challenging but they will certainly try to figure out how to keep their D intact but with expansion looming something probably has to give on D unless Win wants to protect 5 Dman 2 summers out!

    • Things could work out for EDM on the blue line Striker without making a move, but it sure would be nice to have an upgrade back there.
      What could go wrong did go wrong last year but what it highlighted was a serious lack of depth. They can’t sustain a significant injury with current D core.
      I would move Nurse to the top 4 on your list, and by mid season top pair defensively. They will keep pushing him until he falters. He improved significantly last year which is the one good news story from last year.
      Questions heading into next year:
      Sekera’s injury was serious, will he bounce back after a full off season? Probably but not a certainty.
      Klefbom hurt again, which is becoming the norm not the exception. Just bad luck or just the way it is with him?
      Russell is not a top 4 guy IMO, they had no choice last year so overpaid for a bottom pairing guy. Benning is a borderline NHL Dman and better served as a 6/7. Bear has shown some promise, but you are one serious injury away from having to throw an unproven kid to into the fire for full time NHL minutes. He needs another year of AHL but can handle the puck on the PP. I think they look for a 4/5 type guy and move Benning to 7.

      • It’s way too early to determine what Benning is or isn’t. He got sent down to start the 2016-17 season only to steal an NHL job & has been getting progressively better. At 135 NHL regular season games, he is still over 3 years away from showing what he may be.

        Edm appears to have gotten very lucky on this UFA cast off drafted by the Bruins. He just turned 24 today.

        In order to bring a Dman in a Dman would need to leave as none of Edm’s current top 6 are suited to sitting as a healthy scratch consistently.

        Ideally, Edm would find a RD but that would mean having to find a buyer for Russell who’s playing is offside. People keep saying Russell isn’t a top 4 but since arriving in Cal 6 years ago from StL he has played top 4 all 6 seasons, 3 in the top 3 just missing the top 4 nominally in those other 3 years. Many may not perceive him as such but his coaches do.

      • By TOI/GP & as he see’s virtually no PP time his ES TOI/GP bumps him even higher.

    • Edmonton needs a puck moving dman. They don’t have it. As McDavid has proven you can be considered the best player in the league but you alone are not going to get the team into the playoffs. PC would be wise if he could get Krug out of Boston. The Oilers have enough size to combat Krug diminutive size.

      • Why would Bos move Krug anytime soon, meaning before next summer at the earliest? He is an elite offensive Dman that isn’t a total train wreck defensively.

      • Nurse, Larsson, and Klefbom have shown that they can get the puck up and out of the d-zone. What the Oilers need is a RH d-man on the power play that can get the puck to the left handed forwards. Larsson and Benning are the only 2 d-men on the roster who shot right. Adding another left shot d-man, who is what Krug is, isn’t what the Oilers need. Especially at his cap hit. IMO Faulk is better, cheeper and 1 year younger. Besides Krug has a M-NTC where Faulk doesn’t.

      • I agree but am concerned that Faulk is only 2 years from UFA status & facing a significant raise, how will Edm make all those salaries work? From a hockey solution perspective eliminating the business side of the equation, he would make a perfect solution. Having 5 left-handed shooters potentially on the #1 PP based on last seasons PP TOI/GP after Letestu & Maroon were moved out, Maroon being a leftie as well isn’t ideal.

        The solution may simply have to come from within. With another expansion draft in Seattle 2 summers away Edm protecting potential 5 Dman doesn’t seem ideal. Currently baring trades the 3 would be Klefbom, Nurse & Larsson, adding Faulk would mean only being able to protect 3 forwards & that’s a serious problem.

        With McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH & Puljujarvi all needing to be protected that wouldn’t be ideal, Edm would have to pay Seattle to avoid 1 of those 3 forwards.

        The business side of hockey is a serious factor in all trades today & Edm trading for a Dman today is problematic. They should be thinking post-expansion draft & lockout as they aren’t a contender in the next 2 years baring a miracle.

      • I never thought of the expansion draft. I was also thinking that Russell had 2 years on his current contract, not 3. As things stand now, and if the Oilers trade for Faulk IMO the protection list would be McDavid, Nuge, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Klefbom, Nurse, Larson, Faulk, and Talbot. That is 8 skaters and 1 goalie. The only issue that scenario has is that it leaves Khaira exposed and possible taken, or on the brighter side Lucic taken. Can’t believe we are getting back at this expansion stuff again.

      • Does Lucic have ntc or nmc? If nmc he gotta be protected

      • Striker all depends on the needs and the return. Personally It wouldn’t bother me one bit if Boston moved Krug.

    • I do agree with you on the Oilers defence, and hope you are also right on Krug as he isn’t what the Oilers need. Although it would be nice if Chiarelli could work something out with Carolina for Justin Faulk that would include the 10th pick plus anything else short of Kleffbom, Nurse, Larsson, and the top 6 young forwards. Maybe the 10th pick, Yakamoto, and Benning?

      • that looks like wayyy too much for Faulk. I could be wrong but I don’t see him as a top 2D, he’s basically another Shattenkirk

      • Shattenkirk was a UFA & still yielded a 1st, Sandford, a solid B grade prospect, Brad Malone, fodder & a conditional 2nd, the terms weren’t met for the 2nd I believe.

        Faulk is a far more complete Dman although still paid to help drive offence. He has played as Car’s #1 Dman for most of his career & when he hasn’t lead Car Dman in TOI/GP he has been nominally behind Slavin & Sekera & I’m talking 2nds per game.

        His being signed for 2 more years at decent monies & having just turned 26 4 days ago having finally reached full development this past season; 477 NHL regular season games, he is far more valuable than Shattenkirk.

      • I have a hard time on what d-men are worth these days. When I make fake offers I don’t want to be one of those guys who offers junk for the other teams best players. I was just thinking that 2 of the pieces are potential and unproven and the other is a proven NHL d-man with the potential to be a #4 d-man at best.

  6. Any trade speculation involving Kessel is likely to involve Tocchet and the Yotes and Botteril and the Sabres. I don’t see any trade fit with Arizona.

    I do see the pieces for a potential Pens-Sabres deal, though…

    Kessel and Sheary for O’Reilly, with Buffalo eating $1 million to even his salary out with Phil’s, and a 2nd round pick…or thereabouts.

    Buffalo would get two first line wingers (Sheary Eichel Kessel) while the Pens get an elite third line center (but one who can actually do the things you need from a 3C and not just a second line center playing the third line) and clear some cap room by moving Sheary to resign Guentzel and Rust.

    The final year of Brassard (at $3M) should be able to fetch a decent return if they got ROR.

    • I would be surprised if Pittsburgh took on a contract that was a buyout proof bonus contract. Especially with a potential lock out during the term.

    • MG: Why would Buffalo have to add a 2nd round pick if they take on the Sheary contract? Plus, O’Reilly is a very good centre vs. a winger, 3 years younger and his contract ends when he is 32 instead of 34 for Kessel. If Sheary is in the trade, Pittsburgh would be adding a pick/prospect, not the other way around.

      GP: Kessel’s contract is also buyout proof. The last two years of his deal with $1M in salary and $5M in signing bonus.

      • How retarded ru people…so Kessel sheary and picks for ror….u guys r said and I hope ur not pens fans cause ur both sad

      • Sheary doesn’t have negative value at all.

      • How is Sheary good value at $3M/year for two more years? 30 pts in 78g and 2 pts in 12 playoff games indicates he is overpaid when he doesn’t add much to the team if he isn’t scoring. No thanks to a small, overpaid winger that has trouble scoring if not on Crosby’s line.

        ROR is a bad fit for Pittsburgh regardless of any trade speculation. As Chrisms said, why trade fro ROR when you already have Brassard as a 3C for only $3M next year? Trading Kessel to get a 3C doesn’t make much sense either given he is a top 3 forward on pretty much any team in the league. If Kessel is traded, I think Pittsburgh would want a top 4 defenceman back, much like Buffalo in a ROR trade.

      • Um… what Cote? Want to try that again in non retard language?

      • 3 mil a year for a versatile winger who can play line 1-4? Market value. He is streaky but pens are from me with that contract. Is he worth a ton in trade? No. Is he negative value? No

    • I don’t see this trade happening. ROR is a very good 2C but in Pittsburgh he’ll be playing third line. So Pens can’t, shouldn’t and wont pay that price for a 3C.

    • why trade for a very slight upgrade in o’reilly when you have brassard and his cheap ass cap hit? this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    • Hell’s no one of the dumbest suggestions ever….thank God amateurs don’t make trades the pens would have moved by now

  7. Edmonton’s defense now has a coach with a proven history of developing good young defense. Maybe giving him some time with this young d before pulling the trigger on a trade would be the best. Maybe with the proper system and mentoring we can develop the assets we have.

  8. Patches will be 30 in November, Kane will be 27 in August, almost 3yr playing age difference. Max is a ufa next season for intended purposes he’ll be 31 yrs old one month into he new contract.
    Kane has maybe 4 good years on his contract bringing him to 31, the last 3 years maybe tough.
    Max Pacioretty is a proven 30 goal scorer who I wouldn’t sign for more then 3yrs at the end of his existing contract; but someone will sign him for 5yrs at $7m per

  9. If an NHL mid first round pick could bring a team a real top three defender (whose contract is not some fat long term one) or a real starting goalie, wouldn’t we all see a history of past deals of this type?

    • a 9th overall brought Schneider. so the 11th overall in a deep draft isn’t too far off.

    • My very thought, Bill.

  10. I would like to see Jake gartiner and garret Sparks for Nurse in Edmonton.

    • So would the Leafs!

      • Georgie!

      • Hi George, hopefully welcome back as I enjoy your comments even though I am a Leaf fan lol.

    • No…that is all I can say…No.

  11. Hi George!

    • Shut up shticky!