NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2018

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Rumors | 4 comments

After trading Marian Hossa, do the Chicago Blackhawks have other moves in store? Could the Detroit Red Wings move the recently re-signed Andreas Athanasiou? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

Could the Chicago Blackhawks use their extra cap space to bring back winger Artemi Panarin? (Photo via NHL Images)


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien wonders what the Chicago Blackhawks will do with the cap space free up by shipping the contract of virtually retired winger Marian Hossa yesterday to the Arizona Coyotes. He lists Columbus Blue Jackets winger (and former Blackhawk) Artemi Panarin, Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty, Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner and defenseman Justin Faulk and Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson as the most enticing trade targets. However, if he wonders if they can afford to land any of them.

O’Brien considers Faulk as perhaps “the best consideration of them all”, as he would provide much-needed depth to the Blackhawks defense corps. He also carries an affordable $4.83-million annual cap hit through 2019-20, whereas the others are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus also wonders what the Blackhawks will do with their extra cap space. He feels the Blackhawks must do something this summer. They can’t go into 2018-19 with their current roster and expect to make the playoffs in the very competitive Central Division.

Lazerus suggests bringing back center Marcus Kruger in the Hossa trade could make Artem Anisimov more expendable, which could free up an additional $4.55 million per season. That could create room to pursue Faulk or maybe Faulk and Skinner. He also suggested it could be enough to pursue Pacioretty or maybe even go for broke and chase Karlsson.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Joe Knowles believes the Blackhawks now have greater flexibility to bolster their blueline. He points out they’ve reportedly inquired about Faulk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With their current cap space ($9.3 million, according to Cap Friendly), the Blackhawks have the room to improve their defense corps, which I consider their biggest need this summer. There’s not much skilled depth beyond the aging duo of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Moving Anisimov would certainly provide more room to add a defenseman and a scoring winger but addressing both needs via trade won’t be easy.

Given the Hurricanes’ recent additions of Dougie Hamilton and Calvin de Haan, it appears Faulk’s days are numbered in Carolina. The Hurricanes, however, reportedly want winger Brandon Saad in return. While shedding Saad’s $6-million cap hit might be enticing, that move could weaken the Blackhawks’ scoring punch. Maybe something can be worked out to include Skinner in the deal but that could be a deal too complicated to work out. 

I don’t doubt the Blackhawks would love to bring back Panarin, who could be dealt if he’s unwilling to commit to a long-term extension with the Blue Jackets. The asking price, however, will be a player who can help them now and other assets for the future. Probably too expensive for the Blackhawks.

The Canadiens will want a scoring center in return for Pacioretty, who could be determined to hit the open market next summer if the Habs aren’t willing to re-sign him. The Senators’ asking price for Karlsson and the high cost of re-signing him before next summer puts the Blackhawks out of the bidding for his services. 


DETROIT FREE PRESS: Despite the Red Wings’ recent re-signing of winger Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year, $6-million contract, Helene St. James said it wouldn’t be surprising if they traded him at some point. “If they get a good offer — at least a second-round pick or a good prospect, preferably a defenseman — he could be flipped to help the rebuild,” she wrote.

St. James acknowledged Athanasiou’s speed and offensive skills but noted he’s a streaky scorer and his defensive game needs improvement. She suggested his new contract could also bolster his trade value. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Wings will take a “wait-and-see” approach with Athanasiou. He has good offensive skills but he always seems to leave you wanting more. If he fails to significantly improve in 2018-19, I can see the Wings attempting to move him before the Feb. 25th trade deadline. 



  1. Montreal is not going to get a scoring center for Patches. Bergevins dream of getting a draft pick and a center that can rack up points is laughable. It looks like hes trying to undo all the damage hes caused with one move. Nobody is going to trade anything of value for a 17 goal scorer on an expiring contract. He cant trade the Patches of 3 years ago, he has to move the slow as molasses cant check disappears in the playoffs 17 goal dud he is now. Fnny thing is, even if by some miracle or act of God he does trade for a decent scoring center just exactly who is that new center going to be passing the puck too? You just traded the only player with anything resembling offensive ability to get him!!

    • Ever hear of a guy named Brendan Gallagher? He only scored 31 goals last year.

    • Depends on their goal. If their goal is to deny they need to rebuild and they try to sneak into the 8th playoff spot…a Max P. for Anisimov deals makes sense.

  2. LOVE the Oleksiak deal. I wanted to sign him to the old Ian Cole did and that’s basically what he got. Nice work by JR.


    Nice move by Arizona. They got two useful pieces for free.

    Not sure what the Hawks are up to…

    If you are going to make this kind of move, shouldn’t you make it before the draft so you still have time to make trades and sign players?

    What do the Hawks have left to trade for anyone of note? Anisimov? That just opens another hole.

    Short of Corey Crawford returning and regaining Vezina nominee form, they are not making the playoffs next year.


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