Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 15, 2018

by | Jul 15, 2018 | Rumors | 72 comments

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils pursue one of the big names believed available in this summer’s trade market? Find out in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

PENGUINS COULD LOOK TO INTERNAL LEFT-WING SOLUTION

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie last week reported the re-signing of Jamie Oleksiak leaves the Penguins “presumably set on defense”, leaving left wing as the only area to be addressed. While Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner are among the biggest names in this summer’s trade market, general manager Jim Rutherford claims he’s comfortable with his current lineup heading into training camp. “With that being said, at this point in July, sometimes the odd player slips through the cracks. Thought they were getting signed on July 1. We’ll stay in the loop on that if we can find somebody that we feel can help our team. Other than that, that’s about it.”

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Rather than swing a trade for Pacioretty or Skinner, Jason Mackey reported the Penguins pan to test center Derick Brassard at left wing during training camp. Brassard has spend his entire NHL career as a center. If that experiment works well, Mackey speculates Rutherford could perhaps trade left wing Carl Hagelin “and appropriate his salary elsewhere.”

Are the Pittsburgh Penguins no longer interested in pursuing a top-six left wing like Carolina’s Jeff Skinner? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the past several weeks the anticipation was Rutherford sought balance between his defense and forward lines. Having addressed the blueline, however, they don’t have much cap space to take on additional salary.

There’s been frequently speculation suggesting Rutherford, the former GM of the Hurricanes, was targeting Skinner as a trade option. However, Cap Friendly indicates the Penguins have a projected $745K remaining. Unless Rutherford can do a dollar-for-dollar trade scenario or shed salary elsewhere, he doesn’t have much choice but to seek internal solutions to his club’s left-wing problem.

Hagelin’s limited production and $4-million cap hit is tough to offload as that move could also perhaps cost them a draft pick or prospect. Brassard has an eight-team no-trade list and a $3 million cap hit, as the other $2 million is held by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Rutherford’s found creative ways to bolster his roster before so we can’t rule out the possibility he’ll do so again. However, a deal that lands Pacioretty or Skinner could prove out of reach this summer.

NO BIG MOVES FOR DEVILS?

NJ.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Chris Ryan was asked if he sees the New Jersey Devils making a trade for a player like Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin. He doubts they’ll go that route, noting the Devils already have depth at left wing. Panarin will also be in line for a big raise at the same time as Devils star Taylor Hall.

Regarding the defense, Ryan feels Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson is a long shot but pointed out Carolina’s Justin Faulk could be available. However, “Faulk is a right-handed defenseman, and the Devils do have Sami Vatanen and Damon Severson lined up there.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have over $23 million in cap space and were expected to make a splash in this summer’s trade or free-agent market. So far, their only notable addition was signing depth defenseman Eric Gryba to a one-year, two-way deal.

I doubt the Devils are on Karlsson’s list of preferred trade destinations. If they were to pursue Panarin, they’ll likely want to talk contract extension first, something he’s coy about doing with Columbus and the reason why his name has surfaced in the rumor mill.

Faulk is a right-handed shot but he’s also a skilled top-four defenseman who wouldn’t cost anywhere near as much as Karlsson, who also shoots right. If there’s an opportunity to acquire Faulk, I think the Devils should look into it. 

 








72 Comments

  1. If you are going to do something dumb then instead of moving Brassard to wing trade him for a legit winger … keep him a centre

    • What does PITT have to trade with Brassard, Hagelin & ? in an effort to get both Skinner and Faulk?

  2. I don’t see the Jackets trading Panarin within the conference, much less within the division. That said, someone could suggest a “can’t turn this down” type offer for him.

    • Vegas has the assets in Tatar, etc…. to make a pitch for Panarin….who would look really well in that offense and BIG CITY.

  3. Pens what ever you do please don’t bring in patches. Leave the team as is. If you have to trade someone get rid of Brassard. Personally i wish they would get rid of Letang.

    • Pens are built for playoff success. The time of year Patches pulls his annual disappearing act. I agree with you, Pens should not even consider Patches.

      • yawn
        ho-hum

        same old, same old.

        tell us again how “slow” Pacioretty is, I miss my daily snicker.

      • Agreed we don’t need patches or skinner! We need one more depth defenseman say Alexi emelin for bottom pairing….he is physical as well.

    • Letang’s contract, recent injury history and declining production make him virtually untradeable.

      • Injury history. Funny, I could have sworn that he played 79 games last year and was 17th in scoring for defensemen. This is down a bit, but is at least partly due to having to share pp time with Schulz. His 51 pts was still more that the likes of Hamilton, Ekman-Larsson. Oh, and his analytics were excellent, if you put much stock in such things. Yeah, no one would ever want him.

      • And he’s played 70 or more games exactly 5 times in a 11 year career. Hmmmm And three times, not counting lock out years, he’s played 51 games or less. Hmmmmm Yeah, he stays reeeeeeeeeeal healthy and injury free.

      • Stasiuk

        You cant refute that Letang has a lengthy injury history. Concussions, stroke, neck. Decling production, injury history, salary and the fact he couldnt check a hat would make trading him very difficult. Not impossible but difficult unless JR has a hotline to Bergevin, Benning or the resident moron in Edmonton Chiarelli. Any of those three will surely overpay to pick up Letang.

      • Letang’s injury history is well documented & most relate to concussion issues. A players value isn’t based on 1 year of production & or health or injuries. There is a market for everyone even players on LTIR.

        If Letang were made tons of teams would bid happily & hope his serious injury issues are behind him & they could possibly be but history has shown otherwise so far.

        His value would be impacted by this injury history but the return would still be exceptional as it would for any Dman with his abilities & or skill set just tempered somewhat due to the risk involved. I don’t think his contract 4 years at 7.25 with a modified NTC; 18 team trade list, & his entire cap hit in salary with no crazy bonus monies in any year would appeal to a great many teams.

        His contract is insured, if there is a lockout he isn’t being paid like many players new deals & he may be injury prone but he is & has been a top 10, really top 5 offensive Dman that isn’t a train wreck defensively for almost his entire career & at 31 has years left at this level, yes declining but still elite.

      • Striker, I don’t doubt Letang’s talent. But, were I a GM, the fact that he’s stayed injury free enough to only play 5 seasons of 7O+ games and that contract, combined with his age, definitely would give me pause.

      • But would it give gms pause? My experience observing nhl gms is no.

      • Same crowd has called to trade Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Fleury. Not much imagination or smarts, that’s why you not a GM, thank god

      • We can only hope letang bounces back..hard to believe he will be that bad again this year.

  4. Why would you trade for Brassard as your long awaited 3C and then move him to wing?

    Cullen needs to be the C who moves to wing since he figures to sit in the press box some nights to keep him fresh which means bringing winger Dominik Simon into the lineup.

    Guentzel Crosby Hornqvist
    Hagelin Malkin Kessel
    ZAR Brassard Sprong
    Cullen/ Sheahan Rust
    Simon

    The RW’s will likely bounce around all year, but these lines give you grit and speed on each unit.

    Make Brassard’s mission to mentor the rookie wingers, not to learn how to play LW in the NHL at 30.

    • “Make Brassard’s mission to mentor the rookie wingers, not to learn how to play LW in the NHL at 30.”

      Perhaps this is a sly way of Jimmy getting Brassard to waive or expand places he could be traded to.

      • His modified NTC is an 8 team no-trade list. That leaves a ton of options.

    • It is going to be virtually impossible for Pit to make it through the entire season with a little under a mil in cap space unless someone ends up on LTIR.

      Something will eventually have to give & the obvious player or players to be moved would be Hagelin or Brassard as we have discussed often. Either would create much-needed cap space bringing back futures, a pick, a prospect or some combination of the 2.

      Sheahan played well as the #3 so if Brassard is moved at some point Pit has an in-house solution. Until such time I assume Sheahan plays as the #4 C.

      I assume when Cullen dresses he will play as a LW until injuries allow for him to play C or a trade is made moving out someone.

      • “It is going to be virtually impossible for Pit to make it through the entire season with a little under a mil in cap space unless someone ends up on LTIR.”

        Buzz. Wrong. The Pens have almost 1.4 million because Hayes is listed as a roster player but will be in WBS all year. They also can send down Aston-Reese if necessary.

        “Something will eventually have to give & the obvious player or players to be moved would be Hagelin or Brassard as we have discussed often. Either would create much-needed cap space bringing back futures, a pick, a prospect or some combination of the 2.

        It’s hard to believe than anyone would think even for a second that the Pens would trade Brassard after all the trouble they took to get him? And is only people’s whose knowledge extends point totals who think that the Pens would readily trade Hagelin. He is a very valuable player when he plays like he did the second half of last year.

      • Penguins trade candidates – not necessarily the obvious player or players to be moved would be Hagelin or Brassard. Last season Hagelin played pretty well with Malkin. Hagelin, the third wheel, with his mighty speed did the dirty work for Malkin. Last season Malkin scored how many goals???? Brassard – Penguins cap hit around 3 million – quite reasonable. According to Rutherford last season Brassard was playing hurt.

        Rumor – a few weeks ago, Penguins and Predators talked about a trade involving Phil Kessel and one of the Predators top four D and another piece. Penguins wanted a little more – deal didn’t happen at least not yet.

      • The day before the season starts all teams need to submit a 23 man roster. Yes, Pit could choose to carry fewer players once the season starts allowing for a little additional wiggle room in cap hit but injuries happen & you get no cap relief from such unless a player is designated to LTIR. Should they be they need to miss a minimum of 10 games.

        The average # of skaters deployed by team last season was 30. 9 teams got under 30. Dallas iced the least at 25, Ott the most at 41. Pit deployed 31. That doesn’t count goalies.

        Pit’s limited cap space evaporates very quickly covering for short-term injuries, again no way they can get through an 82 game schedule unless 1 of 3 things happens. The sustain virtually no injuries what so ever, a player with a solid cap hit ends up on LTIR or they make a trade.

        I’ll go with a combination of LTIR & a trade. I see no way Letang, Malkin, Maatta or possibly Hornqvist can make it an entire season without 1 of them ending up on LTIR, providing solid cap relief. Pit has the personnel to cover for the injury just not necessarily the cap space to do so today unless the injury is serious enough to require they miss a minimum of 10 games on LTIR.

      • “And is only people’s whose knowledge extends point totals who think that the Pens would readily trade Hagelin. He is a very valuable player when he plays like he did the second half of last year.”

        Exactly right. Hagelin sets the tone for the entire team and it’s identity.

        It makes little sense for a speed team to trade it’s fastest player.

      • Stasiuk – your comment yesterday to Pengy: “I know grammar is hard but at least give it a try”

        You today in a couple of places “was still more that the likes of Hamilton …”

        “It’s hard to believe than anyone would think …” – “And is only people’s whose knowledge extends point totals who think …” People’s?? Typos are one thing but “people’s???”

        I think you get the point. Being snarky is one thing but being snotty when it comes to text is quite another. Try practicing what you preach.

      • 🥊 left 🥊right. Tko Georgie!

      • Pitts would have to give a pick/prospect to get rid a hags contract that’s a given at this stage

  5. Matt Cullen said during a recent interview he was resigned by the Penguins to play either LW or C. Sounds like Cullen, at age 42, plays 4th line LW and plays 4th line C when one of the other four centers is not playing.

  6. For what it would take to get Panarin out of Columbus I would imagine any team looking to deal would insist on a sign and trade type exchange.

    • Please, sign and trade is not possible with the CBA. That’s why, when rumors about possible trades of players entering their final season on a contract before going UFA abound, journalists talk about “talks for an extension”. Because only after a player is actually traded can he sign a contract with his new team.

      • Unless I’m misunderstanding you this isn’t correct. There is nothing to preclude Mon or Car from signing & trading Patches or Skinner, both are eligible to be extended at any time & unless their contracts carry NMC’s they can be moved if under modified NTC under the terms of such. The CBA precludes them from returning to the team that traded them for 1 year but not from a sign & trade happening.

      • Uhmmm…

        If the Jackets and “team A” negotiate a trade for Panarin Columbus can give “team A” the right to negotiate a new contract with Panarin. If terms are agreed to and trade is in place between Columbus and “team A” then Panarin signs the contract with Columbus and is dealt to “team A”. This also allows for “team A” and Panarin to negotiate an 8yr deal instead the usual max 7 as a FA.

        Saying it is impossible is nonsensical.

        Thanks a lot, youve forced me to agree with Striker, dammit. Lol.

      • What you are talking about is exactly what I said. The team the player is traded to signs him to the extension AFTER he is traded, not before. That does not prevent that team from having discussions and negotiations with the player before the trade, with his original team’s permission.

    • Was some chatter Boston was talking Panarin and DeBrusk was part of the pkg. Bruins would need to move some salary out keeping hearing Krug or Krech. I like Jake but need to give to get and Panarin is exactly what the Bruins need.

  7. Wouldn’t surprise me if Shero made a play for both Skinner and Faulk. They have the space and the assets to pull off such a trade. Also, there were rumblings that they might be a 3rd team involved in the Karlsson trade to help take salary… The pieces are there it will be interesting to see how they fit and if they fit

    • Shero’s efforts to sign UFA’s didn’t go well, at least 2 took less money to play elsewhere, JvR & Moroon although Moroon’s was based on family reasons. Getting players willing to come to NJ is challenging. Shero has done a great job & has NJ on a solid course with a bright future but still a challenge to get players to want to sign there but that should be changing.

    • This is pure fantasyland. The Pens have neither the space nor the assets to get either, let alone both. And who exactly would Faulk replace on defense?

      The notion of Karlsson is so ridiculous that it isn’t even worth addressing

      • Never said they were getting Karlsson. Said they were mentioned as a 3rd team involved for cap purposes. That is not at all ridiculous as NJ is one of the few teams that can comfortably absorb a huge cap hit like Bobby Ryan without blinking an eye.

        And once players get here they seem to like it just fine. Seems to suit Taylor Hall and Sami Vatanan pretty well, ditto Cory Schneider.

  8. I think that the return for Skinner and/or Faulk has to replace Lindholm’s minutes or Carolina will not make the playoffs.

    Before the Calgary trade Carolina did not need a center. Carolina has a big hole to fill with the loss of Lindholm. Lindholm is a lock to score 40, has offensive upside, can play top 6 wing or center, plays a 200 ft game, and plays valuable PK/PP minutes. Lindholm is very reliable on faceoffs and Peters would use him on faceoffs on his strong side even when he was playing right wing. Lindholm is also very reliable at being the high forward covering for the way Peters likes to be aggressive with his defensmen. Lindholm was finally starting to play a more physical game and be stronger on the puck. Lindholm allows a coach a lot of flexibility in his lines and match ups. I saw Lindholm as the safety net for the development of Necas and Aho at center.

    • Necas will step straight into the NHL, I assume Svechnikov as well but Carolina has some waiver issues in play this year at forward. Zhykov, McGinn, Di Giuseppe, Wallmark & McKegg all have to clear waivers to be sent down to the AHL this year. Not an issue with McKegg but barring a trade the only other player that might make it through would be Di Giuseppe.

      This trade was all about money, Carolina saving some & if Ferland walks as a UFA next summer & Fox chooses to express his option to explore UFA status coming out of college, apparently he was moved as he wasn’t willing to sign in Cal & if he won’t in Carolina there is no way Carolina can win this trade.

      Hamilton has 3 years to UFA status & provides cost certainty but moving Lindholm & Hanafin who may well be Hamilton at the same point in his development made little sense long term. All it did was save having to pay Lindholm in or around 5 mil today on a 5 or 6-year deal & sign Hanafin long term today or bridge & do so following.

      Can Car make the playoffs? Even if they can get decent goaltending which is a huge concern with Darling & Mrazek, making the top 8 in either conference is going to be challenging. Do you see Car in the top 8 in the east? Is Carolina better than Was, Pit, Phi, Clb, TB, Bos, Tor, Flo & NJ? That’s 9.

  9. would a faulk and or skinner trade to philly work and if so what would carolina look for in return? any other roster moves expected by the flyers?

  10. Penguins can also mitigate Cap issue by trading Hagelin …. futures or pic or prospect …. free up $4.0M

    Then sign Derek Grant …. at less than 1/2 that

    Grant can fill in at C if needed (adds another depth C for Pens and is pretty good at face offs ). He has played at LW and has better PP60 and GP60 than Hags

    DG certainly not as fast as Hags and probably plays only 1/4 (or so) of the PK minutes that Hags does.

    I think that is more than overcome by paying at most; 1/2 of what Hags is paid; getting a much bigger player (and almost 2 years younger) with slightly better offensive numbers (per 60) and at the same time giving Pens another centre option with a fair face-off percentage

    The downside is minimal; upside pretty fair; great cap space

    If Pens considering a move of Brassard in order to be open for getting Patches or Skinner(I know other pieces) …. then the Hags out- Brassard out– Grant in …. frees up a min of $5M …. and keeps Pens with 5 available roster Centres (Crosby, Malkin , Sheahan, Grant, and in a pinch…. the “seasoned” Mr. Cullen)

    All just IMO …. but an option to consider

  11. What about a sign and trade scenario with Minnesota: Pit gets Zucker on 4.75 per season 4 year deal, Min gets Sprong, and has to take on Hagelin. Condition: if Pit wins the cup in 2019, Min gets Pit’s 2019 1st rounder (31st). Pittsburgh’s forward group then looks like:

    Guentzel – Crosby – Hornqvist
    Zucker – Malkin – Kessel
    Brassard – Sheahan – Rust
    Simon – Cullen – Aston-Reese

    • Hi Augustus

      I’m very pro on Sprong and IMO … Sprong better than Zucker in 2 years for sure ; if not sooner… Sprong is faster than Zucker as well …. don’t see that trade interesting GMJR

      …. what might have a chance …. at least should be explored … is Brass + Hags + 1st + J.S. Dea for Patches + 2nd

      Then sign Derek Grant

      Lines:

      Guentzel – Crosby – Hornqvist

      Patches – Malkin – Kessel

      Sprong- Grant or Sheahan – Rust

      4 C: Grant or Sheahan or Cullen

      Plus rister wing depth… Simon & ZAR

      • “roster” not “rister”… dang single finger typing on small screen

      • I think you might actually be in love/ lust with this Grant character. There is a reason why he still has not signed with any team. I don’t want any part of patch if it costs Brassard. They should stick with their current roster. A team doesn’t have to have 23 players, 23 is the maximum. The Penguins have the least available cap space in the league but they don’t have to worry about that until it becomes an issue.

      • Hi Dee

        No Bromance for me with Grant…. just see him as very reasonable option … and statistically on par (last year)with Hags

        With that in mind plus having another C option; younger and bigger than Hags… at most at 1/2 of Hags Sal …. why not try

        He’s still out there as his mgt team is looking for a raise over $650 he got last year …. production way more than $650 K paid

        GMJR could just take a swing at 2 * $1.2M and see what happens

        If it’s rejected .., no harm no foul

        If accepted …. well worth it in my mind …. gamble thennis really only the difference between his agreed upon Sal and league Min for two years (has to at very least be worth league Min no matter if his production drops way down)

        Max after a possible counter proposal from GRANT’s mgt team … $1.75 M take it or leave it… no harm no foul

        Then move Hags … space frees up

        If GMJR taking the gamble on JJ for more and longer …. why not throw an offer at DG

      • The reason to not sign Grant is to create a competitive atmosphere at camp for the young guys. If they think they have a shot a getting one roster spot then the healthy competition will be at a high. There are young guys in the system that are better players than Carter Rowney and Tom Kuhnhackle and could bring something to the team. Guys like Blueger, Angelo, Johnson, DiPauli, Millitec, and Bellerive come to mind. Angelo is 6’5”, 225 pounds and is mean as hell. That’s the kind of guy they need in the lineup.

  12. Pens would not have to pay someone to take hags but return would be minimal

    • Chrisms

      Absolutely …. anything better than nothing … but frees up space

      I truly believe that Hags out and Derek Grant in …. is better than stays quo … and gives C depth (more C depth)… and Cap space

      At the very least … Hags gets a late rounder next year

      • —–Ahhhhhhh!!!! “Status quo” not “stays quo”. That was an autocorrect flub

    • Why does everyone want to trade hamelin? His speed, forecheck, and penalty kill is super important. He is very valuable con is up after contract is up after this year..he would have been gone by now if pens were gonna move him.

      • BlackNgold,

        Don’t get me wrong

        I’m not wishing for Pens to move on from Hags

        It’s just that I’m throwing out options with little (if any) downside that will allow for more Cap space … that will be valuable at trade deadline

        If Pens were sitting with more cap space …. no issue (save for my previously stated, guarded concerns re:JJ)

        If TBay does grab EK…. it is my firm belief that GMJR must do a counter move

      • I’d prefer not at this point. But pens might need a little more space. Don’t want to get lovejoyed again. Better to fine tune cap space now then if it happens where there is none. That would then put the pens in a position they would actually have to pay a team to take money

  13. Lyle, I think it’s actually Vegas that is retaining 2 million on Brassards cap hit not Ottawa.

    • Noted and corrected. Thanks, Deee.

      • No problem Lyle keep up the great work I read every day!

    • Pengy…I know what you were saying…so many others want to move him..he is valuable! I hope we add o e more depth defenceman say Alexi emelin…co.petition is good right.Adding Cullen we have three guys who can play wing in sheahan brassard cullen…

      • BlackNGold

        I concur the D depth is important … if I’m right re my opinion of JJ (and boy do I hope I’m wrong)… then Pens need D depth …. however nothing can be done unless space is freed up … and odds are that it would be Hags or Brassard

        How much do you think Emelin would sign for …. if he’s pushing to remain at same pay cheque … too much for Pens as a depth D

  14. Ray Emery passed away his morning. Drowned while swimming in Hamilton Harbor around 600am.

    RIP Ray

    • I saw on the news that someone had drowned near Burlington beach, had no idea it was him. What an awful way to go. RIP.

    • Wow

      Very sad

      Thoughts and prayers go out to Ray’s family and friends

  15. Pengy, Sprong very well may be better than Zucker in two years, but the Penguins are cognizant of the fact that their two cup winning gurus, Crosby and Malkin, are in their early 30s now, and so is Kessel. The best chance for Pittsburgh to win another cup with this team is in the next two seasons. Sprong is a great young asset, but I think there are options out there that may help Pittsburgh win more quickly. JR has done a great job keeping this team competitive for the cup each year, helped by Malkin and (especially) Crosby’s relatively low cap hits. But still, can’t help but think that after two more years of regular season and at least 2nd round playoff appearances, that these veterans of theirs will begin to lose their step and close their window. They don’t have a Brayden Point or Mikhail Sergachev or a Cal Foote or a Boris Katchouk or a Taylor Raddysh coming up. Just Sprong. The time is now.

    • Hi Augustus

      You are absolutely right re the here and now

      Barring TBay getting EK I think Pens are OK (with the assumption that I’m wrong about JJ) for a shot at SCF with the tweak of getting more cap space (see previous post re Grant in Hags out)

      However … if TB gets EK… IMO GMJR must make a significant move and if it were me … I like Patches or Skinner over Zucker … that’s just my opinion

      As mentioned above …, I’d call Bergeron and see if he bites :

      Bergeron wants a centre and a first:

      Brass + Hags + 1st + J.S. Dea

      for Patches plus MB would have to throw back a 2nd

      Then GMJR then has over $3.0 M in Cap space

      sign Derek Grant… absolute max of $1.75… leaving cap room close to $1.5 to start season

      Then Lines are :
      Guentzel – Crosby – Hornqvist

      Patches – Malkin – Kessel

      Spring- Grant or Sheahan – Rust

      Then 4th line centre is one of Grant or Sheahan or Cullen… other two can play wing

      Depth wingers: Simon and ZAch Aston Reece

      • Your lines are too top heavy. Success and failure is now dictated by having scoring throughout the lineup. A team like Tampa with a great top 4 D can shut down 2 lines. Spreading the superduper stars across 3 lines is a must. I’m keeping Brassard over Patch and I would never offer so much for him. Brassard for Patch one for one is even a losing deal for Pittsburgh. The strength right now is down the middle. Having Sheahan and Cullen as the bottom 6 centres is a weakness not a strength. Unless Bellerive, Blueger, or Angelo come into camp and make it impossible on the coaches not to put them on the team then Brassard and his tiny 3 mill cap hit are staying. They don’t need any more scoring on the wings their wings are superior as is.

  16. Pengy and Deee, both decent points. Pengy, if Tampa gets Erik Karlsson then there will be a perceived need to up the ante in an arms race, but with an addition like Zucker, or a like player, that allows Pittsburgh to keep Brassard, it plays to Deee’s point that depth spread throughout the lineup pays dividends. Somewhere, I cannot remember, it was stated that Pittsburgh might try Brassard on the left wing, which is why I had him slotted on that side with Sheahan and Rust… that makes a good third line in my opinion, whether or not you like Sheahan there, Brassard and Rust on his sides makes it worthwhile. If Brassard stays at centre, then you can play with Simon, Aston-Reese and Sheahan as possible wingers on the left, whoever plays better. Still not bad.

    In the end, I don’t think you need to break the bank to remain competitive with Tampa, even if they do get Karlsson.

    • I hope you’re right

      I’m just nervous if TBay gets EK…. added to that my nervousness re JJ… I still stick with my guess that GMJR would need to make a move … obviously doesn’t have to match the magnitude but would need to do something

      Outside of any potential trades and/or acquisitions …. I think starting the season this tight to the cap ceiling could proove problematic

      I also heard re GMJR stating he was looking at Brass on wing … top 6 wing!!!!

      … he knows way more than I do …. I just don’t like it….. he acquired Brass to shore up C depth

      Gotta pull my Roast off the BBQ … then fam dinner … I’ll be out of loop for next couple of hours

    • These are the lines I would go with, I like to spread the wealth. Trade Hagelin for cap space and go with the best lineup available.
      Guentzel Crosby Sprong
      Bellerive Malkin Hornqvist
      ZAR Brassard Kessel
      Cullen Sheahan Rust
      Simon
      That is an impossible to defend lineup and puts a lot of pressure on every other teams bottom pair.

  17. The key for Pit with Bassard is he provides offensive depth not position so much. Second pp. Malkin has gone down Crosby has gone down Hornqvist has gone down. Tough playing all 82. He will be needed.

    I really like the comment “he couldn’t check a hat “ . I am definetly going to use it .

  18. I might have liked the idea of Brassard being moved if it were Derek Ryan, not Derek Grant, being proposed for the 3C spot, but my Flames were able to nab him. Speaking of, and laugh as you will, I really like Calgary’s lineup, minus the goaltending:

    Smith – Rittich

    Giordano – Brodie
    Hanifin – Hamonic
    Kulak – Stone/Andersson

    Gaudreau – Monahan – Neal
    Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
    Bennett – Ryan – Lindholm
    Lomberg/Hathaway – Jankowski – Czarnik/Brouwer

  19. Lazar and Foo are in the mix as well