NHL Rumor Mill – July 9, 2018

by | Jul 9, 2018 | Rumors | 44 comments

Latest on Artemi Panarin, Milan Lucic and Patrick Maroon in your NHL Rumor Mill.

Artemi Panarin’s reluctance to re-sign a long-term extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets could make him a trade candidate this summer (Photo via NHL Images).


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline interviewed player agent Dan Milstein regarding his client, winger Artemi Panarin. Milstein confirmed Panarin informed the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to the recent 2018 NHL Draft regarding his reluctance to discuss a contract extension “at this time”. While his client “loves the team, he loves the coach” and has no issue over how they’re treating him, but he’s unsure if he wants to commit to eight seasons in Columbus. If it was a two-year deal, Milstein said, it would’ve been done by now. “But it isn’t a two-year deal. It’s gonna have to be an extended, seven- or eight-year deal put in place.”

Milstein also confirmed the Blue Jackets have been entertaining trade offers for Panarin, though there’s nothing imminent. He said Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has not asked if his client wants to speak with rival clubs nor is the Panarin camp asking to talk to other teams. Given his client’s current position, Milstein doesn’t fault the Jackets for considering trade options.

Portzline’s colleague Tom Reed believes the Jackets should spend the summer finding a suitable trade destination for the best possible return, even it the centerpiece is a high-end prospect and a top-six forward. He feels Panarin, who’s eligible next summer to become a unrestricted free agents, sees his future elsewhere.

Reed also acknowledged the Jackets could hang onto the winger until the Feb. 25 trade deadline to improve his trade value, though that move won’t sit well with Blue Jackets fans if Panarin is dealt in-season when the club is jockeying for playoff position. There’s also the risk he suffers a potentially season-ending injury.  He recommends shopping Panarin to the Florida Panthers (“rumored to be a desirable location”) for prospect center Henrik Borgstrom as part of the return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation has the Jackets listening to trade offers for Panarin but not receiving anything yet to their liking. They’re believed to be seeking a return that helps them now and in the future, hence Reed’s call for a return of a top prospect and a top-six forward. So far, interested teams are reportedly offering draft picks and prospects.

Some of the clubs with interest in Panarin could also be among those attempting to acquire Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. If the Jackets are attempting to move the winger, they could be forced to wait until the Karlsson situation is sorted out. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples took note of some recent speculation regarding Oilers left wing Milan Lucic. He dismissed TSN’s Frank Seravalli’s recent contention that Lucic’s situation with the Oilers is “untenable” and comparable to that of Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson. Seravalli noted there were reports Lucic was open to being dealt, but the winger’s agent, Gerry Johansson, denied that Lucic sought a trade or that Oilers management approached him about waiving his no-movement clause.

Staple also took note of some trade suggestions by Boston-based sports columnists Jimmy Murphy and Joe Haggerty, but also took note of Johansson’s comments indicating he expects his client will be returning with the Oilers this fall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lucic trade chatter died away around the NHL Draft weekend (June 22-23). While anything can change over the course of the summer, it appears likely that Lucic will still be an Oiler when the curtain rises on the 2018-19 campaign. 


THE ATHLETIC:  Jeremy Rutherford yesterday reported a source said unrestricted free agent winger and St. Louis native Patrick Maroon is expected to sign with the Blues soon. “Terms of the deal aren’t yet known and may not even be finalized yet,” wrote Rutherford. He followed up by saying Maroon’s agent confirmed the Blues remain “a strong option” but there are “other teams still in the mix”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon is the best player remaining in this summer’s UFA market. By the sound of things, he won’t be available for much longer. 



  1. Considering Panarin’s agent’s comments, maybe the Jackets should try offering him a three or four year deal just to see what the response would be.

    • Spot on. Even if it’s only 2 years. (actually be 3 in total-) you’ll be getting 3 of his best years. They have to put it all together in that time frame. the window might be closing.

    • Agreed & if short-term, 2, 3 or 4 years then monies reflect the term. I get why teams want to lock players up for 8 years they don’t want to risk losing them as UFA’s down the road. Panarin is a UFA 1 year out so buying an extra few years depending upon the NTC & NMC makes sense to me. Some are better than none.

      • At this point, from the player’s perspective, Panarin would be looking for a long-term deal. He will want to secure his future and minimize the risk of a career-ending injury. Columbus has been put on notice. They need to find a trade partner.

    • Would this fly ???

      no money held add in the first rounder for that purpose
      Jesse Pulijarvi and
      a first round pick 2020 lottery protected

      To Columbus for Panarin

      This gives a real quality Left Winger with tremendous skill to play with McDavid which is what they need.

      Columbus is very short on the right side and needs some depth and size and also can add young top prospect player and a future asset.

      If Iam either team I like this scenario and I truly believe that it can benefit each side for todays needs….if Lucic approves that is!

      I dont think that some of you here have given Panarin enough credit on his elite skill level and and speed if playing with an equally skilled player up the middle.

      If the Oilers take on Panarin they easily can fit him in with Lucic money and totally upgrade on that side for maybe only 1 million more per season at $8miillion annually for a 7 year deal!

      I firmly believe that this would be a quality deal.

      • I don’t know if the Jackets could take on Lucic’s contract and Puljujarvi while still staying under the cap with Bobrovsky also in the final year of his deal and several core players eligible to become RFAs after this season. That said, if the dollars can work, I don’t hate this idea, but I’m also not in love with it, either. My concern is Lucic. Are his numbers with the Oilers outliers or evidence of declining ability? And Puljujarvi hasn’t exactly lit up the scoreboard, has he? Does he simply need more maturity or were the Jackets right in passing over him for Dubois in the draft?

      • Lol
        More likely it would be Lucic and Puljujarvi to Jackets for conditional 6 round pick – just to make them take this albatross of a contract from Oilers

      • Interesting idea, but there is no guarantee panarin would resign with the oilers. So they would be giving up a high quality prospect, and a first to rent panarin and dump lucic’s salary. Doesn’t really make sense, but chia has done some things that don’t make sense so its not in the realm of impossible.

        Now that Lucic’s bonus is paid the actual real dollars owed has dropped significantly. The cap hit will stay the same as its determined as the average of the salary of the course of the deal. I really don’t think Lucic’s contract is unmoveable. I still think he will be a 35-45 point player for the rest of his contract. Overpaid for that level of production IMHO, but not a bad player.

      • Does Panarin have a NMC? I dont see him wanting a trade to Edmonton. Certainly not signing their long term.

      • since lucic is negative value… would a 2020 1st and a now questionable prospect beat other offers jackets would get for panarin… nope

      • I don’t think Columbus would even consider this deal. Panarin is a great player. I don’t think he ever goes to Edmonton but think if the oilers wanted him they would have to give up something like Bouchard RNH & 2nd 2019 and that’s with an extension for Panarin.

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go the the NYI for one of the islanders 1st round picks this year and Bailey.

      • Could Lucic accept a trade to Columbus? Possibly. Panarin is rumored to want out of Columbus to be in a more cosmopolitan city. As an Edmonton resident, I can tell you that it’s a downgrade.

        I think that Chiarelli is more likely to hang onto Lucic for another year and hope for a bounce-back season. Right now he has to pay to send him out. But if Lucic has a good year, he may get a neutral return out of him.

        While it’s a fairly good trade on paper, I don’t see Panarin re-signing so it would be a huge loss for the Oilers.

  2. ” … it appears likely that Lucic will still be an Oiler when the curtain rises on the 2018-19 campaign.”

    Lyle, at age 30 and a $6 mil cap hit to 2023-24 when he’ll be 36 – for a guy who has averaged 16 goals and 25 assists since joining the Oilers, I say he’ll be an Oiler for a long, long time.

    • Just thinking….
      Lucic only owed $22.5M now…. so take back of 50% and receiving team in effect only pays $11.25M ($2.25 M per)…. there has to be at least one team willing to take him at that price

      He’s got a NMC but they should be able to convince him for a move

    • If your going to comment on the age , at least get it accurate . Lucic will be 34 in the final season of his contract . I agree with silver seven comment below , this is a big season for Lucic . He had a bad year , with the rest of the team , lost his confidence . 16 / 25 and provide toughness and leadership would be just fine with me , deployed where he should be on the 3rd line and 2nd pp . He was overpayed on the ufa market , that’s not going to change but no need to compound the problem and try to play him higher in the lineup than he should be . No reason to believe he can’t bounce back to his career numbers , starting with that shooting percentage , not asking him to set career marks .

      • Lucic turned 30 on June 7. His contract runs out 6 seasons from now. In my world that adds up to 36. Are you using the “new math?”

      • Lucic has 5 years left . He just turned 30 . Years 30 , 31 32 33 34 in final year of contract . Is that “new”

      • At the end of the 2018-19 season he’ll be 31. At the end of the 2019-20 season he’ll be 32. At the end of the 2020-21 season he’ll be 33. At the end of the 2021-22 season he’ll be 34. At the end of the 2022-23 season he’ll be 35. For the end of the 2023-24 season, when he becomes a UFA, he’ll turn 36. That’s all I was saying. You want to split hairs on a mid-30s lumbering skater who’ll be coming off a $6 mil cap hit, well fill your boots.

      • LOl George . He will start his final season with the oilers , on his contract at 34 . If they play well in to the playoffs he may play a few games as a 35 yr old . That’s not quite splitting hairs . He becomes a ufa after the 22/23 season , not 23/24 . The oilers won’t be paying him for his 35 yr old season , that could be splitting hairs , let alone another year to 36 as you were saying

    • There is that short-sightedness I keep addressing & did so in the news section this morning. You want to take the worst case scenario & imply that’s what is going to happen moving forward. Lucic had a dreadful season last year, so did the entire Edm team for the most part.

      I see Lucic bouncing back to 20 to 25 goals & 50 to 55 points playing his nasty style of hockey.

      Where were you on Duchene, Barrie & Colorado to start last season, I can’t remember but most here had them written off based on 1 bad year. I didn’t I like to look over a far greater period of time factoring in age & opportunity.

      Lucic is going play a top 6 roll & see at least 2nd unit PP time. His career average shooting % was over 14% going into last season he scored at a rate of 6.8%. I call that an aberration, a negative exception. Lucic’s game has never been built on speed. His PP points in Edm from year 1 to 2 drooped from 25 to 7, 12 goals to 3, Edm’s PP was dreadful at 14.8% the worst in the league, Pit lead the league at 26.2, the median average was 20.6.

      No way Edm’s PP can be that bad again next season. Much has been written about all the left-hand shooters on Edm’s PP, Letestu saw 1st line PP time well in Edm as he was the only RH shot.

      Edm’s PP’s need to be reconfigured to get a better balance of RH shots on the ice if your #1 PP Dman Klefbom or NUrse are both lefties. Yamamoto, Strome, Puljujarvi, Rattie are all righties.

      This is the best potential landing spot for me for Faulk as his RH shot would help all those lefties Edm likes to deploy on the 1st PP unit.

      If Lucic bounces back to career norms & plays like the Lucic we have seen every other season of his career but last season what does that mean for Lucic & Edm moving forward?

      • Seems you’re always addressing what you deem “shortsightedness” in someone else’s opinion.

  3. This is a big season for Lucic. If he produces like last year the Oilers will be asking him to waive his no trade; retain half his salary and move him or buy him out.

    The Blues should be a contender this year even if Fabbri doesn’t return to form or Robert Thomas needs another year. They have made a lot of additions up front Perron O’Reilly Bozak and now Maroon . Schwartz stays healthy and Tarasenko Schenn perform as expected -look out

    • SS

      I must have been typing same time as you

    • I really like what the Blues have done. Time to shed that “always a bridesmaid … never the bride” reputation.

      • THANK GOODNESS the blues have recognized Patrick Burglund is an anchor! When his contract was coming up the last time I thought we would finally get rid of him and Armstrong signed him to ANOTHER contract. Now, he’s finally gone and he can be happy coasting, gliding, avoiding the front of the net and avoiding going TO the net for buffalo.

      • While I also like what the Blues have done (mostly, not big on Perron) unless Jake Allen pulls a Hellebuyck this year, it’s not going to happen.

      • George o agreed blues have done well..except they have the same problem average at best goaltending! Jake Allen seems to be never be consistent.
        I also like buffalo adding bergland svobota and traCe Thompson good young player a good young player and adding connor sheary from Pittsburgh..

    • Agreed. StL has been in a very interesting spot for several years. Armstrong’s pulling the plug balancing out the future has stung in the short term but this is a solid team & those additions give StL incredibly better depth than with Sobotka & Berglund.

      These choices have allowed to StL to stockpile 1 of the best prospect systems in the NHL & they have simply let their older UFA’s walk as well if necessary, recently Backes & Brouwer.

      If Allen hadn’t faltered consistently in his young career, just turned 27 StL would be have been a force. His development has been painful & it is still my primary concern with this roster, although Allen is just at the age where many goalies get a legitimate chance to be a #1.

      StL along with Cal & Buf are my most improved teams so far in the offseason.

  4. Artemi Panarin will be 27 years old in October, a team really wants him signed until age 34-35? Not me I want no part of this guy. Let him go party in a big city playing for Rangers

    • If you aren’t willing to give a 7 year contract to a 27 year old player, then you aren’t ever going to be able to sign any top end UFA.

    • God knows he won’t want any part of Buffalo! Lol.

      How much money did NYRs spend on UFA’s this year? I’ll answer for you… 700k…. not 7 million…. 700k! You’re jokes are 90ish type of Ranger jokes…. which coincidentally is about the last time the Sabres were relevant!

      Only Winnipeg has more cap room than NY. Buffalo? Middle of the pack… minus O’Reilly and they still are god awful!

      • Your jokes***

  5. I can see why a free agent wouldn’t sign in Columbus…

    Torts is entering the final season of his contract. OK, it’s not common but we do see lame duck coaches from time to time, including Trotz this year.

    Jarmo is entering the final season of his contract. It’s very rare to see a lame duck GM.

    John Davidson is also entering the final season of his contract.

    I’ve never heard of a team with a lame duck coach, GM AND team president. Seems ownership is keeping an open mind as to the direction of the team going forward.

    Why would a player commit when he doesn’t know who he’d be playing for?

    • Thks MG.

      That is interesting, I wasn’t aware & it is very odd.

      • Heard a lot of “Is Jack Johnson terrible?” interviews of Columbus people on Pittsburgh radio lately.

        Aaron Portzline mentioned it and how this season is huge for them.

        JD not having a deal is the red flag that ownership is either not committed or ready to clean house.

    • in the not so distant past both EK and Panarin would be Rangers this summer

  6. With all the chat about contracts being too long I’m suprised Columbus isn’t jumping all over the opportunity to sign Panarin short term.

    I understand there are pros and cons to each but instead of forcing a trade or devaluing his trade value with no term left, sign and defer the decision to a better opportunity and possibly better return

    • I agree fully Taz. Kick the problem down the road as much as possible. Cap hit, salary, NMC & or modified NTC being the potential issues to balance out.

    • I assume that you skipped over the part where his agent said, “It’s gonna have to be an extended, seven- or eight-year.” Why in the world would he even consider that and risk having a poor season or being injured, not to mention getting older? He will never be worth more than now.

    • Doesn’t sound like bread man wants to b in Columbus..torts can b tough to play for..seems like a lot of players wear out there welcome there for whatever reason…Nash Carter Johannson Johnson now panarin….

  7. I would think any team wanting to make a move and pick up Panerin is going to insist on a sign and trade. Otherwise the risk is too high.

  8. with MB making moves to remake MTL…does he offer Patches plus something to CMB for Panarin and try to lock Panarin up on a 7yr deal? MTL is a high life big city light place….

  9. I like a swap of Panarin and Pacioretty . Add whatever is necessary to git er done

  10. Panarin should be dealt in a conditional trade to Edmonton for lucic.
    If panarin is resigned by the Oilers they forfeit a future 1st rd pick. Two star players dealt for another. Monies the same except term.