Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 20, 2018

by | May 20, 2018 | Rumors | 62 comments

The latest on the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples recently cited Oilers insiders such as Bob Stauffer and Craig Simpson dismissing speculation suggesting the club could make a big splash in this summer’s trade or free-agent markets. Stauffer considered such talk “greatly exaggerated” while Simpson pointed out the Oilers lack the cap space to pursue a big-ticket free-agent such as Washington’s John Carlson.

Staples noted the Oilers’ projected salary cap payroll for 2018-19 is $77 million and $74.1 million for 2019-20. That’s accounting for possible re-signings of restricted free agents such as Ryan Strome and Darnell Nurse, along with estimated bonus payments.

Will Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli make a big move this summer? (Photo via

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Oilers can free up sufficient cap space via trades or buyouts, they really won’t have a lot of cap room to go “big-game hunting” as one pundit recently suggested. They could make a “hockey trade” where they move one of their salaried players for another, but that could be easier said than done.

General manager Peter Chiarelli will have to get creative. As Staples noted, however, Chiarelli has a debatable record in big trades (the Griffin Reinhart deal being a prime example) and signings (hello there, Milan Lucic).  

Some pundits suggested packaging Oscar Klefbom and his $4.167-million cap hit with their first-round pick (10th overall) in this year’s draft for someone such as Boston’s Torey Krug, but I don’t believe that deal significantly improves the Oilers. 


DETROIT FREE PRESS: In a recent mailbag segment, a reader asked Helene St. James if the Red Wings might move winger Andreas Athanasiou. Despite his speed and scoring ability, she considers his trade value to be low right now. His contract holdout at the start of the season, work ethic and his inconsistency affected his play and his stats. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure the Wings can find a market for Athanasiou if they wanted to, but the return probably wouldn’t be worthwhile. While he’s an RFA this summer with arbitration rights, he really didn’t do much to improve his bargaining position last season. I expect the Wings will retain him in hopes the 23-year-old matures into a reliable scoring winger next season.



  1. How do you have the best player on the planet and not succeed? Oh yeah, you let Chiarelli run things.

    • chiarelli doesnt run the pens

      • You really think Malkin’s that good?

      • jokes aside… malkin is a far more skilled player than crosby when he wants to be… best most dominant hockey player I’ve seen since mario… but he only turns it on sporadically. I’ve seen him repeatedly say to himself… time to score now… and beat all 6 of the opposing teams players by himself. then he usually decides to take the next game or 3 off.

      • Malkin is the best player in the league WHEN Sid is out

      • Spoken like true Pens fans. If Malkin could stay healthy like he did this season & could play a better 2-way game I agree but he can’t, that pushes him down still a top 10 maybe top 5 but not the best player in the league after Crosby. There are numerous players right there or better several very young & developing 1’s. Kucherov, McKinnon, McDavid, Crosby already mentioned, Kane, Benn, Giroux, Seguin, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Wheeler, Sceifele, etc. Malkin is right there with those players better than many but missing almost 20 games a season on average is an issue & bumps him out of the top 5 for me.

      • Well Striker has spoken. Malkin and his 3 cups, con smyth, 2 Art Ross’, Calder, and Hart is not as good as a bunch of guys who have never won anything. Injuries have no effect on anything, it’s not like he’s faking it. I’m so glad you’re wrong more often than you are right or I might be offended on Malkins behalf.

      • I placed him in the top 10 possibly top 5. That’s the best I can do.

        Sorry if that offends you.

        A 1st ballot hall of fame player just not the best player in the game after Crosby for me.

      • McDavid is the 2nd best player in the game today & he’s won how many cups & Conn Smythe trophies?

        He couldn’t even get Canada past the Swiss in the WC’s but that doesn’t change the fact he’s the 2nd best player in the world at the moment.

      • McDavid is a personal favourite and a super talent no question but the most talented player to ever play, Mr Mario Lemieux, is quoted as saying the only accomplishments that matter are scoring titles and championships. Malkin has done both while happily riding shotgun most seasons. In that way alone Crosby and Malkin are the NHLs version of Jordan and Pippen. Pippen was a generational talent himself and could have easily dominated outside of Michaels shadow. He chose to play second fidel for the sake of the bigger picture. He gave up a little personal glory on a lesser team to be a piece of something bigger than himself. Malkin is the same way, he could have asked his way out a long time ago but he’s a bigger picture thinker, something that is too rare these days.

    • That’s nothing. How to do have the best player in NHL history and not make the playoffs four years in a low and only one out of six.

      Ask the Penguins

      • Soft tissue injuries?

    • I watched the bronze medal game today and couldn’t help thinking that McDavid far from stood out. To be honest I was very unimpressed with his effort. And don’t forget as chrisms said, “Chiarelli doesn’t run the pens”.

  2. If he can wangle Lucic to agree to a trade; pay bonus on July 1; then trade him retaining 25%; then they reduce cap hit by $4.5/yr and accepting team gets Lucic for $3.38/yr with cap hit of $4.5/yr… so non cap ceiling spending teams get a good deal at $3.38…. must be worth a good prospect or two…. and frees up valuable cap space for a “big” (?)move

    • even with retained cap spce he isnt worth a good prospect or two…

    • Who in their right mind would trade for a slow cant score 6 million dollar winger? Lucic is almost untradeable unless the Oilers can find a team with tons of cap space and sweeten the deal with a high draft pick. Like Detroit did moving Datsyuks contract to Arizona. Im not sure but a buyout of Lucic could be very expensive and longterm. Perhaps one of the more cap knowledgeable posters can find an answer to that. I dont see how Lucic gets moved in a traditional hockey trade though.

      • Washed up at age 30.

    • Lucic needs to spend his offseason getting lean-he is not too old to trim down and speed up his step. Unless he is eating pie and counting his money in the offseason.

      • Lucic said as much following his exit interviews last season to the press. He intends to drop some body weight in hopes that it will help his footspeed & conditioning. He’s never going to be fast but he should still be a solid fearsome #2 LW for many more seasons. He turns 30 on June 7th.

        If he can’t play in the top 6 & see’s Strome as his C on the 3rd line that’s a ton of money &, not an ideal spot to be generating points from even with decent PP time.

      • Unfortunately for Oilers fans they probably aren’t buying out Lucic – If you bought him out this off-season the cap hit would be 3.2 mil, 3.7 mil, 5.7 mil, 4.2 mil, 5.7 mil over the first 5 years – then would reduced to 733k for the following year for the next 5 years.

    • Moving Lucic would be a real bad long term move for Edmonton . It is already next to impossible to attract free agents to Edmonton. If we run the ones we get out of town good luck getting anyone else willing to take a trip to Edmonton. For better or worse Edmonton has to make it work with Lucic.

      • Free agency has become an overrated redundancy. Unless a team is looking to increase its depth on the periphery free agency has little to offer. It’s not the king maker it was before the salary cap. You build a contender through the draft and by making shrewd trades. You do that by spending money on a top notch scouting and player evaluation team. GMs are finally realizing that July 1 is not going to turn any fortunes around.

      • How many free agents does Winnipeg attract? They look pretty good without free agency.

        I like to call July 1 each year as “The Day of Stupidity”. Alotta players getting paid for what they HAVE done, not necessarily what they are capable of doing moving forward.

        Spend the money on good scouts and a minor league system that can breed winning.

      • I don’t think I’d use the Winnipeg Jets as a shining example of how to build a team. 18 years of existence, and outside of this year, nothing to really show for their building approach.

      • @NYR4life the jets for the half those uears in Atlanta were runned poorly that now they getting the benefits of those bad years

        Drafting and developing is still more important then free agency.Since you are a rangers fan,remember those 90s team when they over paid all those super stars and had no playoffs.

      • I definitely don’t believe NYs 90s approach was a good idea either.
        There is somewhere between the two approaches a happy medium. See Pittsburgh, Chicago, LA etc. a mixture of home grown players and fa/trades.

        Winnipeg was a great story this year, but still dating back to the beginning, they’ve really accomplished very little. Basically winning 2 rounds in 18 years isn’t necessarily the model franchise. It wasn’t that long ago, they were drafting Laine. It’s not like he fell in their lap at pick 18-25…He came to them 2 years ago 2nd overall.

        Before we can pat them on the back and call for their approach as the “model”, a few more years of success similar or better to this year would be needed.

        Vegas is going to the SCF’s. And they are doing it almost as a 100% free agent approach…. I don’t know that we can call it the new model or expect the next expansion team to repeat what they’re doing.

        And it’s not like a bunch of key players or roster players were drafted by Winnipeg. Myers, Byfuglien, Wheeler, Perrault,Armia, stastny, Kulikov… Not drafted by Winnipeg. I’m sure there’s some I’m missing.

      • NYR-they have had a plan since moving to Winnipeg and stuck by the plan. Can’t blame the Jets’ past on the idiots that ran the Thrashers.

    • if we can get rid of chia instead of the usual route of hanging on to players coaches mgmt. until the damage is obvious that there is no choice just wasting McD stupidity reins supreme for this franchise

      • Edm’s unanticipated success in 2016-17 had expectations for Edm to high last season, myself included. Edm wasn’t as good as they showed in 2016-17, everything just went right. Nor are they as bad as they showed last season where injuries & everything went wrong.

        Just having a healthy D next season would make Edm significantly better. Sekera played 36 games, Klefbom 66 but the vast majority injured before finally being shut down, Larsson 63. You can’t have your top 3 Dman play so little & so many games well injured & hope to compete.

        Edm is a very young team with a few minor exceptions & all that youth has years of growth & development coming.

        Edm can’t just keep firing coaches & GM’s, that cycle has been playing out for over a decade. Stability, the lack thereof in this area is a big part of the problem.

        I’ll give Chiarelli 3 more full seasons then determine his fate. I want to see Edm play 1 season following the next round of expansion to really see what Chiarelli has built.

      • OK – you fire Chiarelli, now what? What would the incoming GM do to right the ship in Edmonton? Trade Draisatl? Change the goaltending? Fire the coach? What’s the answer?

  3. Edmonton has $10m in cap space plus whatever it goes up by, the only player that’s going to cut into that is Nurse, the other are more small signings. They have the space to add a skill player if they want.
    I’m thankful for PC contributions to bringing the Bruins a Cup in 2011 but he poorly managed the cap and it doesn’t appear that he learned his lesson in Edmonton. He should’ve been able to save at least $3m combined on the McDavid and Draisaitl contracts.

  4. Lucic will bounce back to 20 goals & 50 points next season. Edm is not moving Lucic any time soon, they have no 1 to replace him with, nor are they eating salary today because of that to facilitate it. Not to mention he has a full NMC.

    The logical time to potentially move Lucic will be post expansion draft if not selected in such. Eating some salary then or perhaps just paying his signing bonus for tgat season & taking some cap hit.

  5. EDM will have some monies to sign someone. The 5 RFA’s are all getting raises, I assume short-term deals for all including bridging Nurse. All should get signed combined for about 10.5 to 12 mil getting Edm to 20 players. That will leave Edm with about 5.5 to 9.5 mil depending upon those cap hits & how much the cap rises to spend on 3 players, 1 forward & 2 Dman.

    I assume Yamamoto is NHL ready that’s the 1 forward spot filled & a cap hit of approx 900K bonuses being deferrable if earned. The Dman needed are 7 & 8 depth guys.

    RNH, McDavid, Yamamoto.
    Lucic, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi.
    Cagguila, Strome, Rattie.
    Aberg, Khaira, Kassian.
    Spare. Pakarinen.

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

    Talbot, Montoya.

    As always move the wingers around any way you like. Rattie probably has the 1st chance with McDavid as it worked for the last 14 games but just a matter of time before Puljujarvi or Yamamoto breakthrough.

    Edm could bid for a RW to play with McDavid & has the money to do so, although not that many UFA options. Neal, Perron can both play either side, Vanek, perhaps they bring Maroon back & push Caggiula to RW. A trade may be a better option if 1 can be found but if Yamamoto is ready Edm should have it’s top 2 RW’s NHL ready very soon.

    • Do you watch the oilers. Your info is out dated.

      • Season ticket holder since 1992. That’s how I see next seasons roster baring injuries & or trades. Move wingers around anyway you want, mix up D pairings, coaches do all the time.

        What do you see that differs or anticipate differently?

      • Pul and lucic are terrible together. Pak is in Europe
        1st line needs more size than nuge and motto. Montoya is not the backup.

        Too many mistakes makes this look like a January opinion. I don’t blame you for not following the end of the season.

      • Striker watches all games all the time he is a wizard at being everywhere at every second sees all knows all just read his comments!

      • For someone who doesn’t deliberately troll you get yoself some serious shade striker. Now most of it comes from people who haven’t posted a relevant response in forever and seem to be content just being negative turds. But man you get a bad rap. Don’t get me wrong… some of your posts make me shake my head and smirk in derision but I don’t feel the need to keyboard shiv you

      • When’s the last time you’ve posted a relevant comment Chrisms? Most of your comments are duh!

      • Nothing like being proven correct. See above. Duh.

      • And you still haven’t……..keep trying! I hate being right

      • Few. I’m glad you don’t have to deal with those hateful fillins very often. Makes a man bitter.

      • You’re getting there……….keep trying you never know something relevant might pop out

    • Oilers still need that high end puck moving #1 dman. What does everything think it would take to get Karlsson from Ottawa or Doughty (with extension) from the Kings? And should they do it? Draisaitl/Klefbom for Doughty?

      • If the Kings said no to Draisaitl/Klefbom for Doughty they would be insane!

      • The Oilers would be beyond insane for offering that for Doughty. Drew is the best dman of his era but at his age you don’t give up 2 young core players that are almost a decade younger. The worst thing Edmonton can do this summer is panic. Their roster as is and healthy is a playoff team. Draft a decent player at 10 and make Puljujarvi and Yamamoto full time player. There is no trade that doesn’t cause long term regression available.

      • Your right. Oilers are stuck we’re they are. Have to make what they have work. Couple of cheap veterans stay the course. Add something to russel for nothing. 4mil cap relief for that sand bag. Can’t move the puck but can lay on the ice. Sandbag.

  6. Lucic and Nurse for Krug. Edmonton retains half or 2 million of the salary.
    I would take him back in Boston at a lower salary.
    If any way Boston could get that first rounder I would try as we lost ours.
    Add a couple guys Edmonton likes. Heinen,Bjork or Cehlarik.

    • Lol you would have to add to Krug just to get nurse! Let’s be reasonable

      • The add is taking Lucic off Edmonton’s books.
        He’s basically a salary dump player now and he’s not getting any faster.

  7. Anyone who don’t think mc david is the best player in the league is a retard he led league in scoring 2 yrs in a row on a team that is terrible. *drops Mic*

    • Your name ends in tit.

      • Lmao. Now that’s a mic drop

      • Chrisms, now that’s classic! Standing O! Still laughing.

      • What a boob!

      • 🙇

      • If mcdavid played in the Gretzky, Lemieux era he would break all Gretzkys records

  8. Lemieux is the most talented player ever closely followed by Orr then Gretzky, Sid, and McDavid. Gretzky had average physical tools but had the highest hockey IQ ever. McDavid combines superior physical tools with exceptional hockey IQ but has not put it together to get his team to win.

    • He 21 years old

  9. Just a random thought…..How many would trade Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Morgan Reilly and Garret Sparks for Connor McDavid?

    Then I woke up.

    • Still wouldn’t trade mcdavid for that, nylander and Matthews don’t look like playoff performers and Reilly should be a forward that’s how bad he is in his own end

  10. During the first half of the season, Athanasiou was always mentioned as one of the core group of young players for the Wings along with Mantha and Larkin. At the end of their season, his name had been replaced by Bertuzzi. In fact, he wan’t even mentioned by the local TV analysts. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s signed and then traded before the start of the 2018-19 season, possibly for a goalie prospect.