Updated NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2018

by | Jun 19, 2018 | Rumors | 33 comments

Latest speculation on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers in your NHL rumor mill.

Approaching the NHL Draft weekend, trade speculation continues to dog Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel (Photo via NHL Images)


TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford intends to bring “more depth and more balance at forward and defense” to his roster this summer.

Bombulie believes Rutherford could add “a low-cost right-handed defenseman or fourth-line right winger” with few changes to his roster. Going after bigger fish, however, would mean shedding significant salary.

The Penguins GM said he’s not going to be able to move anyone that free up considerable cap room, adding he’d only consider it if it would result in improving the team right away.

THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe feels Rutherford pulling the trigger on a trade seems inevitable, pointng the Penguins GM has a long history of making deals around the time of the NHL Draft. He noted the Penguins were interested in Max Domi before he was dealt by the Arizona Coyotes last Friday to the Montreal Canadiens. Though Rutherford said he doesn’t have to do anything, Yohe feels if a move comes it’ll involve a Penguins forward.

TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie speculates Penguins winger Phil Kessel could be moved as early as this week, pointing out Kessel’s unhappiness over not skating regularly on Evgeni Malkin’s line and his seemingly acrimonious relationship with head coach Mike Sullivan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since the start of this month, Rutherford twice dismissed speculation claiming Kessel was being shopped or that he was getting offers for the winger. But as we enter the busiest time in the offseason for player movement, Kessel could remain in the rumor mill.

If Rutherford intends to chase a big-name talent, he’ll definitely have to move a high-salaried guy like Kessel to make it happen. The Penguins interest in Domi gives some indication of the type of low-cost player Rutherford could have in mind. 


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers examines some possible cost-cutting moves for the Chicago Blackhawks.

One could be shopping the rights of all-but-retired winger Marian Hossa ($5.275-million cap hit). With Nick Schmaltz emerging as their second-line center, Artem Anisimov ($4.55 million) could be a trade candidate. To add a right-handed defenseman, Powers feels the Blackhawks must move either Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million), Connor Murphy ($3.85 million) or Jan Rutta ($2.3 million). Seabrook’s big contract and right-handed shot makes him unlikely to be dealt.

If they’re able to shed a significant salary, they could have sufficient room to pursue a second-line winger such as Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk or a top-four right-shooting defenseman like Carolina’s Justin Faulk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Powers also notes the Blackhawks could use a backup goaltender (such as Carter Hutton) and a fourth-line winger (like Tommy Wingels). Freeing up cap room to address those needs shouldn’t be too difficult. To land a scoring winger or top-four blueliner will require more.

Moving Hossa’s cap hit is possible if they include a sweetener, such as a draft pick or prospect. If they feel comfortable with Schmaltz centering the second line they could find takers for Anisimov from teams in need of depth at center, such as the Carolina Hurricanes or Montreal Canadiens. 


COURIER POST: Dave Isaac reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall has the salary-cap room to potentially make a splash via this summer’s free-agent market. After years of being strapped for cap payroll space, the Flyers could have between $18 million to $22 million available for 2018-19 Their biggest needs are a right-handed defenseman to play alongside Ivan Provorov on the top defense pairing and a third-line center.

Hextall said he’s “not going to reach out on a seven-year deal on a good player, I can assure you that,” which takes the Flyers out of the market for Washington’s John Carlson. Finding a suitable defense option could be easier to find in the trade market. Affordable center options could include Toronto’s Tyler Bozak or Boston’s Riley Nash. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Hextall going shopping for a defenseman via trade. He has depth in promising young players to use as trade bait, as well as an additional pick in this year’s draft (from St. Louis) to use as bait. I agree with Isaac that Hextall could find it easier addressing his third-line center needs via free agency. Bozak could be a good, affordable short-term option. 



  1. Again …. I know I’m in the minority here … but IMO … Pens should trade PK at what I believe to be his peak.

    Winger depth they have…. yes big points lost in moving PK… but IMO points will go down anyway so with that argument … losing 92 points is not valid….

    The return should be pretty fair… I would look to aquiring a D back with extra Cap space saved in deal

    They still MUST move TWSNBN…. can’t play him and huge cost for nothing in press box

    Perhaps a deal akin to what Ottw wants in moving EK (to also move Ryan)… would be a PK+TWSNBN going out

    Again … I dream

    • Am I the only one who has no idea what TWSNBN is?

      • Me neither Dino I have no idea who the bleeping blank TWSNBN is! This is probably a lazy millennial who can’t type the whole name…LOL

      • He uses an acronym means something Shell Not Be Names, I don’t remember what the other two letters are for TW. The player if I remember correctly is Matt Hunwick.

      • Those who shall not be named? I dunno, I stopped reading the posts a while ago since it’s the same material everyday

      • It stands for “that which shall not be named,” and he is referring to Matt Hunwick. Yes it’s stupid but Hunwick does have to go.

      • No clue here either.

    • “yes big points lost in moving PK… but IMO points will go down anyway so with that argument … losing 92 points is not valid…. ”

      OK, so they lose 70 points. That’s not a lot. And you (and a lot of other people) completely ignore that he is a great player performer. A year where he only score .75 pt/playoff game is considered bad year. Most players would kill for that.

      Neither even the 70 pts nor his playoff performance is easily replaced. Wait. No problem. Sprong!!!!

  2. Flyers- a 3rd line center is not a “splash”. How about a top line wing that can score?

    • You mean like konecny ? Lol

  3. Not that I am a Pens fan at all, I would not want to see Phil and the last few years of that contract. I honestly think this is the best year to turn that 6 Million in two players at 9 Million. Their window still has 3 – 4 years left before team’s like Toronto & Buffalo for example really start to take over the east. I would love to see Sid have at least one more cup as I was always sad to see Wayne not get his fifth with the Kings. Win while you can, it’s too hard of a Championship to wait until next year.

    • Buffalo? Lol

      • For sure…while I am not a fan at all they strike me as that team that will climb quickly. If they can strike gold with a ROR trade to fill in two roles vs one it can do so much. If you look at the division does Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit & Florida have more top end talent. Yes, Price is a difference maker for sure, but he can’t score for the Habs, Ottawa is a mess, Detroit stuck in the mussy middle and is Florida. If they get goaltending the Sabers have some top end talent with speed. Add in Mittelstadt and $20MM in cap space that is where the other 4 teams need to be. I project 94 to 98 points next season, even if Dahlin can’t play in his first year at a level that contributes.

  4. Hey Dino , It means the One that shall not be named.
    Is Tommy Wingels not playing for the Bruins?

  5. ilya to sj nash stay in bos

    • Which Nash?
      I like Riley, but the B’s need a 1 year gap fill until JFK or Frederic is ready. He isn’t signing for 1 year.
      Rick – no thanks

      • to be honest both are good, riley is great bottom 6 and can fill in on top lines if needed

        rick was concussed i think a 1-2 year deal is fair for a real chance to play in Btown

  6. Carter Hutton is one of the wild cards of the UFA season. Career backup is gonna get paid, but would is going to take a chance? Was last season in St. Louis the real Hutton or was it just an aberration?

  7. Chicago is stuck with Seabrooke – unless Dorian needs a right-handed defenseman.

  8. Dino and BlackNGold

    TWSNBN — That Which Shall Not be Named— I can’t bring myself to use his name– Caper gave you his name— too painful to watch in Toronto and now in Pitts— Ouch!

    BTW— very far from a Millenial– I have 4 kids who are Millenials … but not I…

    I’m not as “seasoned” as George but old enough to actually remember sitting with my Dad watching the Leafs ’67 SC.

    • oh ok..gotcha yeah that is a tough name to spew out feel the same way…buyout him please… i think Putin’s men’s team needs a defense man…LOL

    • NO one is as seasoned as the George guy the striker guy etc..feels like they have been around the block…LOL

      • Come now, George is old enough to be my father. I’m 55 soon to be 56 but my wife keeps telling me to stop acting like a 12-year-old.

  9. Striker–

    We say “seasoned” enough for George— not “old enough”

    I’ve got 2 years on you but my wife says I act like a 5 year old sometimes… Soooo …..Can I say I feel/look like I’m 45?

    told you I was a dreamer

    • Ha-ha!

  10. With MB in MTL trading how he has this summer maybe GM JR can send him Hunwick/Hags for Weber…. I am sure MB will throw in the 3rd overall too… lol

    on a slightly more serious side…Weber for Kessel?? anyone? for a base of negotiations

    • Montreal needs a center. If they decide to trade weber they better be getting a center in return. Think Phil has a no trade clause and he isn’t waiving to go to Montreal

      • Think they will end up trading Patches to FLA for Bjugstad

        so then vessel takes over and have more potent offense to hopefully keep it out of their zone bc weber won’t be able to do that alone lol.

  11. or..with Hextall looking for a Right Hand Dman.. does Weber from MTL gain his interest. A VERY GOOD leader for his young D-core and would look amazing next to Provorov. He has the cap space.
    It’d be Chris Pronger 2.0 on their blueline minus the concusions

    • If Hextall offers up Sanheim and a pick , then i think MB should take it

  12. @ nyr4life

    read other day your Lucic comment. Good one=)

    Even I would not remotely be serious and ever offer Smith & Staal for Lucic… LOL

    • Smith for Lucic and a 2nd rd pick

  13. Would like to see Krug in a package to the Flyers for Simmons