NHL Rumor Mill – July 17, 2018

by | Jul 17, 2018 | Rumors | 53 comments

Latest on the Boston Bruins plus updates on Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba in your NHL rumor mill.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont wonders what the Boston Bruins defense corps will look like next season with their recent addition of John Moore via free agency. He suggests Moore, being a left-hand shot, “all but eliminates him” from being Zdeno Chara’s partner on the top pairing, leaving Charlie McAvoy in that spot. If Moore moves to the second pairing with Brandon Carlo, that could bump high-salaried Torey Krug ($5.25 million annually) to the third pairing.

Could the addition of Jaroslav Halak eventually lead the Boston Bruins to consider trading Tuukka Rask? (Photo via NHL Images)

Rumors had Krug on the trade block this spring but Dupont points out the Bruins would miss his point production. If Krug stays put, Moore could drop to the third pairing, which was filled last season by Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller. Dupont suggests perhaps moving McQuaid ($2.75-million cap hit), thus giving the Bruins around $5.75 million in cap space for 2018-19, giving the Bruins seven defenders (with Matt Grzelcyk) to work with.

NBC SPORTS: Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins’ addition of Jaroslav Halak as their new backup could provide some much-needed competition for starting goaltender Tuukka Rask. He speculates it could also open the door to the Bruins’ trading Rask for the right offer to shed the latter’s $7 million annual cap hit through 2020-21.

Haggerty pointed out Rask struggled in last spring’s playoffs, raising questions about his performance in big games. “So why not start to explore what Rask could yield in a hockey trade, and even pull the trigger if the price is right given that Halak is there as a proven starting goaltender?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what moves the Bruins’ make regarding their defense corps. One of those eight will have to be dealt or demoted. Certainly Chara, Moore, McAvoy and Carlo aren’t going anywhere and they recently re-signed Grzelcyk to a two-year deal worth $1.4 million annually. Krug, McQuaid or perhaps Miller could become fodder for trade speculation, perhaps during training camp or preseason in September. 

It’s laughable to suggest Halak’s addition could give the Bruins a reason to trade Rask. Halak’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistency in recent years. Sure, he could help spark a little bit of competitiveness with Rask but he won’t steal away the starter’s job on a full-time basis. 


SPORTSNET: Emily Sadler cites The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reporting there was no contract progress between Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and winger Artemi Panarin during yesterday’s meeting between the two in Paris.

Previous reported indicated the Jackets would like to re-sign Panarin, an unrestricted free agent next July, to a long-term contract extension but the winger is reluctant to discuss a deal at this time. His agent, Dan Milstein, said his client is unsure if he wants to commit to a long-term stay in Columbus. He also confirm Kekalainen has been testing the trade market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kekalainen and Milstein reportedly both expect Panarin will be on the Jackets roster when the season opens in October. Nevertheless the winger will remain a fixture in this summer’s trade-rumor mill. The Jackets’ asking price is believed to be a good player who can help them immediately as well as assets that could help them for the future. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe wonders if the Winnipeg Jets and defenseman Jacob Trouba can reach an agreement on a new contract before his arbitration hearing on July 20. Though Trouba and his agent sought a trade two years ago, the blueliner’s situation has changed since then as he’s now taken on a more prominent role as a right-side defenseman alongside Josh Morrissey. He also sees the second-most ice time among the Jets on a nightly basis.

As a skilled all-around defenseman, re-signing Trouba will prove expensive. Wiebe wonders if a six-year, $36-million deal will be enticing for the 24-year-old blueliner. If this goes to arbitration, he speculates the Jets could point to Columbus’ Seth Jones (six years, $5.4-million annually) as a comparable. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think it could cost closer to $7 million annually for the Jets to get Trouba signed to a long-term deal. There’s still time to get a new contract hammered out but the clock is ticking here with his arbitration hearing looming on Friday. If this goes to arbitration and Trouba gets less than he wants, it could stoke speculation that he’ll seek a trade.  



  1. Spector;

    I’m glad someone else thought it was absurd to think Halak would play consistently enough to make the Bruins consider trading Rask.

    Yes, he’s had his issues in “big” games, and he might be making a bit too much money; but they need to start drafting/developing his successor. They bricked hard with Malcolm Subban, and now their farm system is dry (No, Zane McIntyre is not an NHL goalie).

    Haggerty really has his panties in a bunch over Rask, but starting goalies are something you have to develop internally. Very rarely do Stanley Cup caliber goalies come along as a UFA.

    • I agree. If Boston were considering a trade of Rask it would not be because they signed Halak. It’s not as if they are desperate for cap space at the moment, and Halak is by no means an upgrade.

      Pure foolishness.

    • Two things the Bruins have failed to do in the last few drafts is drafting a goalie who can actually groom and play in the NHL in the future the other is drafting a winger with size & grit who can score

    • I dont see Halak taking the #1 spot from Rask. Haggerty seems to have it in for Tuuka for some reason. Halak can be extremely good in short stretches but not over the long haul. Rask isnt perfect but who does Haggerty really believe would be an upgrade over him?

    • Only way Rask gets traded is if it’s part of a huge deal for someone like bobrovski. Also halak will be a good backup option to push Rask.

  2. As a huge Bruin fan I was never a Rask fan I don’t like his mental game he reacts to every mistake his team makes in front of him. Goalies are paid to stop the puck so just stop the puck and If your D man screens you than so be it. Now saying that I thought Tuuka played fine in playoffs And in some games even great. Goalies are a rare breed I’m not sure I would move him without having a solid backup plan. I also would never sign one long term doesn’t seem to work out that well for the team.

    • Obe, I don’t think GM’s like signing them long term either because of the risk, but if you don’t have a solid tender you’re screwed. So they do.
      They also need to use better data. I know many out there don’t like the “fancy stats”, but when it comes to goaltending the measurements they use are logical and make sense. Expected save % vs actual save %, measuring where the shots come from and how difficult they are. There are many high paid tenders out there with average numbers over the last few years, like Price, Rask and Lundquist. To me anyway.
      FYI the best tender in the NHL last year was again Bob.

  3. Trouba is worth more than Seth Jones ? I don’t think so. His deal should be less not a comparable. Worth more than Hamilton ?
    Not a big fan. Granted a solid young defence man but show me some offence before we show you the big money.

    • I would take Jones or Hamilton over Trouba as well, but both have shown more since their contract’s were signed and when comparing them before signing to Trouba now, it’s much much closer. Trouba was used in a shutdown role for one of the best teams in the league, and has untapped offensive upside.

      Also, it will be Cap percentage based, so the range of those deals would be similar to $5.8M to $6.25M. Also, some of the best contracts in the league have been 2nd contracts on young D, and I think you may see the market adjust a little as most of those D that signed similar contracts look very underpaid right now. Trouba may not want out of Winnipeg, but I don’t think he is giving any kind of a discount.

    • $7 million, regardless of term, would IMO be a huge over pay for an injury prone over rated D-man.

    • 6M/yr for 6-7 yrs is the minimum. On the open market Trouba gets 7+ easy.

      • Like Henry, I think 7mil is over payment. Yes on the open market he might get close to 8 but that doesn’t mean the Jets or ANY other team SHOULD pay it. (see Ladds deal) The Jets will need to pinch every penny for the next 2 years and then decide who they can fit on the roster and who they can deal for maximum value.

    • Jones took less money in exchange for stability. He likes playing in Columbus and wants to stay, so he gave the Jackets a hometown discount, which makes it hard to cite him as a comparable.

    • Apples & oranges. Jones & Hamilton both signed their current deals coming out of their ELC’s 4 years from UFA status. Taking shorter term deals to make themselves UFA’s at 27.

      Trouba was bridged for 2 coming out of his ELC & is 2 years from UFA status. He can choose a 2 year settlement in arbitration making himself a UFA coming out of such the reason he can demand more monies than with Hamilitin or Jones.

      The business side of the equation is in play & Trouba’s leverage significantly greater than Jones or Hamilton’s when they choose to sign.

      • Pretty sure the term is the teams choice.

      • Absolutely correct Striker. If Trouba gets to the open market in two years he’s looking at 8 million per so it will cost Winnipeg more than 5-6 to buy out some of those unrestricted years

  4. Leafs are the team , in dire need of a top 4 defenseman .

    Gardener and Zaitszev are not the answer ..

    • The Leafs specifically need a guy capable of playing in the top 4 who can play the right side.

      Gardiner is not the issue, he is a top 4 LHD all day and on just about every team that isn’t Nashville.

      Zaitsev was bad this season, really really bad. He did have a broken foot, and some other issues that slowed him down, but he hasn’t done anything thus far to make him look like he’s a top 4 D. Boston targeted him and Hainsey in the playoffs, isolated them so they had to carry or move the puck, and that along with Kadri’s suspension are what really sunk the Leafs.

      Problem is there aren’t really any top 4 RHD available. Toronto doesn’t have cap problems, but they need very efficient contracts, and trading for Trouba doesn’t give them that.

      They are more likely to target borderline guys who haven’t been given a fair shake. There are some undervalued top 4 RHD in the league, and they may look to add one at some point. Thing is, they don’t need to rush. They are a near playoff lock and should be in contention for the division title as constructed. They can easily afford to wait until something shakes out during the season, and see where some of their guys are at.

      • Hi Dee

        I had read the article as well. I’m a Leafs fan (hometown) as well as a Pens fan— I’m not eschewing a Gardner trade— full disclosure I’m not a full on fan of his— just not necessarily saying trade him.

        I’ve been waiting North of 50 years for a hometown cup— I’m patient but weary

        I do not believe Leafs with current roster(or with any development of current prospects) will have a SC in next few years. This IMO is made even more unrealistic if Tbay gets EK.

        Leafs are locked and loaded and will blast away in regular season. A regular season Div champ or even Eastern Conf Champ— certainly attainable.

        It is in the playoffs where D is so much more important; and because of that notion…. IMO they are not there yet.

        If Tbay gets EK— IMO — Leafs don’t even get to ECF let alone SCF let alone win SC… for at least the next 3 years

        To make a move on a D— then they have to give up one of their forward stars— I would NOT trade MM. I think they need to explore a trade of Wee Willy

        This trade does not necessarily have to happen before season starts… but should be soon.

        WW value is up there— value will fall off if he has an injury and/or if he gets in a production slump.

        Who can they trade for— That is a question for many

        Before St L loaded up for Bear I would like to have seem Leafs move Heaven and Earth to acquire Colton Parayko— I have been huge on him for the last couple of years. I see him as a Pronger without the issues and truly believe he will be one of Canada’s two top D at next Olympics

        It would have had to have been WW ++ but IMO would have been worth it.

        St L not moving CP now as they seem set and don’t need scoring coming back.

        For those still contemplating Toronto somehow getting EK— I just can’t see that happening at all.

        My fingers have been crossed for 50+ years— my fingers are hurting; my patience waning

        In the interim— I will relish in Sydney hoisting the cup a few more times 🙂

      • It’s fine to say that this or that team should get this or that player but the reality is a very different thing. The Blues are as much a contender as the Leafs are on paper right now. What is their motivation to give the Leafs one of their 3 best players? Why would the Blues trade Parayko to anyone? In the 80s and 90s you saw players like this get traded because other teams bought their players and the gap was too big so it was easier to just start over. Now all the teams are so close you just can’t do that any more. Unless it’s very obvious that there is no way it could work like the Rags no team is giving away those elite players any more. Again I hate the Leafs but think about this. The Kessel trade the Leafs were given the choose between Kapanan or Sprong and Harrington or Dumoulin. The jury is still out on the first choice but the exact kind of player the Leafs need right now is Brian Dumoulin. An elite, top pairing, shut down, 6’4”-220 pound dman. Hindsight is a B/

      • Pretty much sums it up. Given the Leafs aren’t ultra deep on D, even on the left side, moving a top 4 for another top 4 only make sense if they are A) younger, B) under a good contract and C) are as good or better than Gardiner.

        Sure, if Seth Jones or Colton Parayko was available for a package around Gardiner, prospect and a 1st, do that all day. Thing is, they aren’t, so it’s a moot point.

        It would even be semi logical to do Gardiner for Faulk, as they are relatively close in skill level. Problem is Carolina doesn’t want a D, and 2 years of Faulk and 1 year of Gardiner isn’t likely an even swap. Hard to condone trading Gardiner + for a defensemen whose real additional value is that he shoots from a different side of his body.

        The Leafs need to add a RHD if they want to be better. Better served by looking at trying to pry someone like Pysyk out of Florida, or Demers out of Arizona, and maybe see if they can get Calgary to move off of Rasmus Andersen to add depth and youth to the right side. These would be more efficient additions.

      • @Pengy,

        I think it’s a stretch to say that it’s impossible for the Leafs current D to be part of a cup winning team. They likely need to be tweaked, but this obsession with needing a true #1 isn’t likely to happen, and isn’t necessary.

        The Leafs need to be better defensively, but that can come from the forwards as well. Having so many players in 1st and 2nd year last year will lead to some internal improvement. Not having to shelter lines that play 15-16 minutes of your 5 on 5 shifts will make a difference. Replacing minutes played by Komorov and Polak with Kapananen and Dermott will make a difference.

        They do need someone to eat up some minutes on the right side in the top 4, but the solution likely isn’t a big name.

        The caps just won the cup without a defined #1 all situations D, against Vegas with a $10M blueline. Pittsburgh won with the worst D core in the playoffs (because of Letang being out), and did so by running roughshod over the best D core in the league in the finals.

      • Hi Danny

        I know I’m not in synch with many re: Leafs and their D (now and prospects). Valid points re Wsh and Pens recent cups— but IMO– Pens overall D group and Wsh overall D group was better than Leafs have now and will have coming up in the near future with their prospects. That is just my subjective viewpoint/opinion.

        I really want to be proved wrong— it is just IMO— not there yet.

        as mentioned — CP not moving on from St L— However before their moves of the last 3 weeks— they were desperately wanting scoring— they went out and got scoring. CP a few weeks ago, was speculated by some, as a trade chip— at that time— I would have moved Heaven and Earth (yes repeating myself) to get CP

        Again— hope I’m wrong and you are right w.r.t. current D and depth able to push through deep in playoffs— it is just my believe that they are a ways off.

        …. just me in my jaded and bitter 50 year Leaf Cup vacuum mindset

        Regardless of viewpoint— current make up is a potentially highly skewed forward spending in a couple of years…. and for that reason, it (IMO) is now the time to move a young forward on the rise for a good D.

        Re: RHD — not likely happening — but what about WW as a key component for a trade to acquire someone akin to Barrie or Dumba? I think they are both RHD — am I right[correct – LOL]?

      • my belief not believe— ahhhhhh! single finger typing— 🙁

      • Deee, Then why did you read the article? Let me guess you have your jersey and hat hanging in a closet to take and wear when they win the Cup so you can say you cheered for them all along!

      • Gardiner should be a bottom 5,6 dman without a doubt , you watch him in his own end and it’s pathetic missing checks, not in the passing lane and just all around out of position. He should be matched up against other teams 3,4 lines and no where near the top 2 lines!

      • Pengy, Cubs fans did wait over 100 years for another World Series championship. And Blues fans have been waiting just as long as the Leafs.

      • But not as long as sens fans. Hayooohhh!

  5. There’s been a lot of speculation about the Bruins trading one of their defensemen after signing John Moore. There is definitely a logjam, but it is also nice to have depth when the inevitable injury hits.

    I remember a few years ago the Bruins would play Shane Hnidy at LW or RW on the 4th line. Would this be a possibility for either McQuaid or Miller? Have them play some 4th line minutes, kill penalties and still be available to play D if someone is injured.

    • Agree, with the major injuries Krug and Carlo suffered they might not be 100% to start the season. I suggested Krug play forward at times like you suggested. I don’t want Krug traded unless a really good top six right wing is coming back.

  6. Agree Rask’ s job is safe he just needs a little push….dealing McQuaid/Miller will remove a lot of toughness from the D and there’s no wingers who can pick up the slack in that department, game has changed but there has to be some size and toughness on the team

  7. Haven’t heard much on Tanev for a while. With the market short on RHD I wonder how much the Canucks can get in return for him.

    • I watch Tanev play 50-60 times a year. Nothing spectacular. Zero offence but more than adequate in his own end. I think he’s best suited slotted as a #3 or 4 defenceman and for a contender needing to bolster the back end he would be a good add at the right price. He does have a bit if an injury history but should be worth a late 2nd round or high 3rd round pick in a trade. Anyone trading for him shouldnt expect any offence or flair, just a decent dman that wontbwin you any games but probably wont lose you any either. Im sure some like thecresident expert Striker will disagree but thats my honest evaluation.

      • Yes I disagree with your perception of his draft pick value . Van isn’t moving Taney for a late 2nd or high 3rd. The return with 2 years remaining at 4 mil & change would be greater.

        I do agree with you though that Tanev is suited to 2nd pairing minutes in a shut down role. Solid defensive Dman with injury issues.

  8. The Time to trade Tuuka was when the Bruins had Martin Jones. No Halak is replacing Rask and nobody is taking Rask and his $7m per contract. Status quo.
    Trouba will get his money and no Hamilton is not a better player. Jones contract was signed when he finished with 3g and 31pts in 72 games, that is a comparable to Trouba.
    Trouba wasn’t his usual self when he came back from injury and didn’t play his physical style, hopefully with the time now he’ll continue on his trajectory.
    The Bruins cannot have two defenseman sitting in the press box, can’t send them down, they’ll be claimed something has to give.

    • Caper, yes Trouba will get his money. I am a Trouba fan and think he is better than Hamilton and the Seth Jones comparable seems reasonable for salary purposes.
      I don’t think we will see a move with the B’s D until training camp and they see how Krug and Carlo are doing after the injuries. Rehab isn’t the same as training for the upcoming season so we will see how ready they are.
      If all is well, then, you’re right something has to give.
      Krug brings back the biggest return, and if the B’s think they can replace that offence moving McAvoy to 1st PP and Grezlyk to 2nd PP, then they should do it. I don’t think McAvoy is ready for that and there would be a drop off but I love McAvoy’s poise and patience with the puck. He just needs more time. I agree with Striker on how good Krug is at driving offence, especially entering the zone with control.
      Having Krug play in your 3rd pair, getting more O zone starts and PP time seems ideal to me. Moore eats more tough minutes in a shut down role/PK and take some of those minutes away from Chara. He is 41 after all.
      McQuaid has always played well with Krug, but Miller is the better player, so I trade McQuaid. Zboril is you’re call up when you need it due to injury. The timing is right in his development for a taste of 20 games or so in the NHL.
      For me the only wildcard is a big return for Krug that changes the equation for Sweeney.

  9. Like many I think the route for the Leafs is to trade Nylander for equal value defenseman. Don’t know who that is. I feel Kapenen can replace Nylander.

    My intuition is that it will be the Ducks who make the trade….and I wonder if it will be a good young defenseman plus Corey Perry at a reduced salary for Nylander

    • There is no way the Leafs can take on a cap dump in a trade, and I would be shocked if Nylander is moved in the next few years.

      I feel like I say this a lot, but dangling young high value forwards and trying to pry out a D is just bad.

      I think Kapanen is a great young player to have in your line up, but he can’t do what Nylander does, and is not a great replacement. The Leafs Center depth is a bit unprecedented in that all 3 of their centers are as much shooters as playmakers. Keeping playmaking wingers in the fold just makes them that much more dangerous.

      The Leafs would be better off trying to pry out guys that are outside of teams current top 4 that either have upside, or are being a little bit misvalued.

      This will be less expensive, and will likely have the added benefit of that player being a better bargain which will keep the cap situation a lot simpler.

  10. I know the Leafs D is the weak point but the Pens just won 2 cups with a defence I would say was comparible. First cup Letang was hurt for. Trading Gardinerwould be silly right now as his worst game was the last he played but did have a good season. I am surprised we do not hear they are in on Faulk.

    • Motor City Smitty,

      Keeping Gardner is OK— they still need to upgrade IMO to get a SC– set for reg season, no worries.

      I’d try and move WW …. Barrie? Dumba? — good RHD… Min prob looking at Fwd production need. Col less so.

    • Pitts D was twice the leafs defense don’t kid yourself, look at the stats of shots,scoring chances against and end zone time

      • Blah blah blah

      • Truth hurts eh? Lol

  11. Why does it take so long to make friggin trades. Yeah, yeah, I know salary caps, no movement , no trade clauses, his wife doesn’t like such and such city, the team colours are not what I look good in, taxes are too high etc. C,mon guys get together, go out for a club sandwich, a couple of rum and cokes, make the deal, shake hands and flip for the who pays the bill. Geez, today’s NHL just pisses me off.

    • Raging R

      I’m sure that trade methodology was not far off reality in the mid 60’s— and Leafs won in ’67— soooooo….. maybe worth a try at beer and chicken wings and banter followed by the proverbial handshake deal— I like it— They’ll be carding Dubas on pub entry though!

      • I remember when Rangers had a handshake deal to get Lindros

  12. Rask numbers on the Islanders wouldn’t have been good.
    Good to have Halak i wouldn’t be surprised if he is just as good as Rask.

    • I like the signing of Halak. I like Jaro he wasn’t the problem in NYI.

  13. As a Flames fan I have watched Dougie Hamilton blossom into a true top pairing defenceman. Even some of the “expert” pundits thought that the Giordano – Hamilton pairing was one of the top few D pairings in the NHL last season. He may not level players like Chara used to in the corners, but he is effective at moving the puck up the ice, makes great passes, and often surprises defenders with his offensive skills and positioning. Hamilton’s offence is what separates him from Trouba. I was disappointed that he was traded because he is that good, but with the chatter that dressing room chemistry was affected by an apparent lack of commitment on his part (disaffection over his brother leaving…again), I think getting Hanifin and Lindholm, should they both actually want to be Flames (Lindholm apparently does), is great compensation. Sad to see him go but happy with the return given the circumstances.

    Oh yeah, Hamilton is better than Trouba. That was the point. If anything, we can all agree that we would want Hamilton at $5,750,000 than Trouba at $7,000,000.

    On a final note, Brad, you made my day, I haven’t had a good gut laugh like that in a while. Halak just as good as Rask… Just for Laughs festival is ready for you.

  14. LA Kings offer Brown and top prospect Clague plus what else for Panarin get it done?

  15. Trouba has a nice career + – but only has played 326 games. Also with noting only north of 70 games once.

  16. Biggest game of the Maple Leafs season:
    Jake Gardiner -5.

    Conversation over.