NHL Rumor Mill – August 31, 2018

by | Aug 31, 2018 | Rumors | 41 comments

The latest on Max Pacioretty, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky in your NHL rumor mill.


LA PRESSE: Jean-Francois Tremblay cites Martin Leclerc of Radio Canada Sports claiming three solid sources say Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty repeatedly requested a trade last season. Leclerc added it’s not the first time Pacioretty asked to be dealt, reportedly expressing dissatisfaction back in 2013-14.

TSN: Pacioretty’s agent Allan Walsh was quick to respond, taking to Twitter yesterday denying the report and pointing out his client has consistently said he wants to remain with the Canadiens long term. Walsh insinuated the “sources” were coming from the Canadiens.

“Max will always take the high road and repeats again, he is ready to sign an extension with Montreal TODAY,” tweeted Walsh. “It was Montreal that traded Max to LA at the draft and it was a DONE DEAL subject to Max signing an extension with LA.”

The agent for Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty denies his club has repeatedly asked to be traded. (Photo via NHL Images)

That deal reportedly fell through when a contract extension couldn’t be worked out. It was around that time that Pacioretty fired Pat Brisson as his agent and replaced him with Walsh.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports a source close to Pacioretty denied Leclerc’s report that the winger requested a trade multiple times. The source also said Pacioretty received a call from Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin saying he was being traded to Los Angeles but the deal was conditional on the winger signing with the Kings, which Pacioretty declined to do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This situation is getting ugly really fast. Regardless of who you believe, the relationship between the player and management appears to be eroding to the point of no return, with each side pointing the finger of blame at the other.

Some believe it best for the Canadiens to wait until the Feb. 25 trade deadline to move Pacioretty. However, this recent turn of events could pressure Bergevin to trade the winger soon to avoid having this hang over the club at the start of the season.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports the uncertainty over the futures of pending unrestricted free agents Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky have cast a pall over the Columbus Blue Jackets’ upcoming season. Panarin remains reluctant to come to the negotiating table. Meanwhile, there’s a wide gulf in the initial offers between the Jackets and Bobrovsky’s representatives and little discussion has taken place since then. Trading one or both players would likely submarine the Jackets’ season but letting both walk with no return next summer could hurt the club for the next several seasons.

Panarin reportedly has several preferred destinations, including the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars. His agent denied this but Portzline cites NHL sources claiming the Rangers are the winger’s first choice.

The Blue Jackets have fielded trade offers of draft picks and prospects for Panarin but none of them contain anything that could ease the winger’s absence in 2018-19. Those offers won’t improve if the Rangers are perceived as Panarin’s top choice.

The Jackets don’t appear as concerned over Bobrovsky’s status. Portzline believes there’s a limited market for a starting goaltender seeking over $10 million per season. That could give the club a bit of leverage.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The status of Panarin and Bobrovsky is an unwelcome distraction for a Blue Jackets club hoping to take the next step toward Stanley Cup contention. As Portzline notes, if there’s a perception the Rangers are Panarin’s top choice the Jackets won’t get much for a guy who’ll be considered a playoff rental. The Rangers probably won’t waste assets making a trade offer this season for a player they can sign as a free agent next July.

Barring a change of heart on Panarin’s part, this season is probably his last with the Jackets. Whether he’s dealt before the start of the season, before the Feb. 25 trade deadline or departs via free agency next July remains to be determined. Moving him before the season opens in order to eliminate the distraction over his status seems like the best approach. However, the Jackets might decide to see how things unfold over the course of the schedule.

Bobrovsky is the Blue Jackets top goaltender but he’s yet to carry this club past the opening round of the playoffs. Indeed, his playoff performance doesn’t come close to matching his stellar regular-season play. The Jackets will likely put more emphasis on re-signing him but could remain reluctant paying over $10 million annually to do so. Unless they fall well out of contention this season, I doubt they’ll put Bobrovsky on the trade block before the deadline. 



  1. Bobrovsky isn’t worth Carey Price money, Carey Price isn’t worth Carey Price money. You can’t compete when you spend 1/8 of the cap on your goalie. Panarin isn’t being fair to the BJs, a deal can be made with the Islanders who are in need of a new franchise player. Ho Sang, Dal Colle and a first round pick. That might get the Islanders back in playoff contention.

    • So why isn’t he being “fair” with the BJ’s? Don’t blame him, blame the system. If you don’t like your employer you are free to quit and move on like everyone else. I have been to Columbus … nice place, friendly folks but not the cosmopolitan city Panarin craves like NY, LA, Miami, etc. If that’s where the guy wants to live & play how is that being unfair?

    • I think that this is one of the problems with the perception of ( GOALIES )and their worth.

      Who has been the Franchise player and the best player for the past few years on the Blue Jackets …whop has won the Vezina twice in the past few years ….who has gotten the team into the playoffs …who wins them games they have NO BUSINESS winning on any average night …who has one of the youngest D core in the league that has been a merry go round of wish washy talent outside of Seth Jones who still has not been a stalwart in his young age.
      ( getting there but not there )

      To answer all those questions his name is Sergei Bobrovsky ….he has not only been one of the most consistent players on the Blue Jackets he has been one of the most consistent players in the league
      ( per any given player )

      So in saying that how many teams that are on the door step each year blame goal tending as the cause of their early exits or not making the playoffs …there are only 31 starting Goalies in the league ..and only 12 of them that are LEGIT …their are only 5 Goalies that are true stars and he is one of them …not to mention the franchise player.

      What would the Flyers be if they had him!!!

      While Price may have been what they call overpaid …he earned his raise and what he was paid and set the bar for ELITE goaltenders who are NHL TEAM players too…

      I don’t see how you give up a Brobovsky

      all Korpiasalo has to do without a Bobs is loose 1 more game in every 10 outings and the Blue Jackets don`t make the playoffs.

      I may not pay Bobs 10 million …but id pay him $9 million and that’s what a Franchise player is worth at his least !

      Since Bobs was traded to the Blue jackets they went 4 years without a Playoff birth ….since his arrival 2 Vezina trophy’s and they have made the playoffs 3 out of 6 years.

      How in the world is Karlsson worth the imagined $10 to $11 million per year and Bobrovsky not….and them being the same component to each of their respective teams.

      I find it to be an interesting evaluation when 99% of the league says that Defense
      ( Goal tending ) wins Stanley Cups and you are only as good as your Goalie in the regular season.

      Panarin will not WILL you or single handily win you a Stanley cup like a Goalie will that’s for sure 100%

      ….dollar for dollar …Id take a
      Tom Wilson before I take a Panarin

      • “since his arrival 2 Vezina trophy’s and they have made the playoffs 3 out of 6 years.”

        Yes, and he has been mediocre or worse in every playoff series. 3.49GAA and .891 SV%. You don’t pay big money for a guy who disappears in the playoffs.

      • Yeah how is Bobrovskys performance in the playoffs working out? He’s been good in the regular season but is mediocre when it matters. If Matty played every game like he played in the 2016 playoffs I still dont think I would give him 9 mill. I think 5.5-6 would be my max. Bobrovsky is not a big game player and until he is he doesn’t get 10 mill a year.

      • They’d still be the flyers

      • Kal El, luv the post dude! Don’t agree with paying Bob that much, just because I don’t think the market will, so why do it? IMO MTL paid to much for Price for the same reason, I don’t think anybody else would have.
        Do agree with most of the rest.
        What I don’t like is how goalies are measured by many folks, and do like the advanced stats for tenders. They make sense and are logical. Bob shines in that regard and is CLB’s best player. Remarkably consistent in the regular season, and past playoff performance is often not a good predictor of future playoff success. If he isn’t the best tender in the league today he is top 3. Prices contract is the outlier and that should not be the bar.
        Bob will get paid, just not that much. $8.5/per?

      • Kal El, I enjoyed reading your post, nice read.
        Don’t disagree with you however as Ray points out the price tag isn’t quite there for goaltender yet.
        Yes defense wins games and championship however there has never been a winner with zero goals and I believe that’s the difference a goalie can’t score (generally)

      • I believe Lundqvist set the bar when he signed his 7 year 8.5 mil per deal in Dec of 2013. Price signed his 10.5 mil per 8-year deal 4 years & 7 months later.

        Bobrovsky is 1 of the elite goalies in the NHL, regardless I’m not paying any goalie that much money. No position better reflects the team in front of them & you simply don’t need to tie that much cap space up in a goalie. Simply supply & demand.

        As always take an elite goalie & put him on a bad team & you get a bad goalie. All you need do is look at goalie #’s with the teams in front of them, the opposite is also true, take a bad goalie & put him on a great team & you get a good goalie not exceptional but good and his #’s reflect such. I have listed the goalies repeatedly where this has played out.

        I’m not paying any goalie more than 6 mil per year in today’s Cap world as the cap goes up that # goes up obviously but tieing up more than 7 mil in a goalie seriously hampers your ability to spend much-needed cap space for depth on skaters.

        What has Price won or Bobrovsky. Pit won 2 cups riding a goalie on his ELC hitting the cap under a mil.

        Simple supply & demand issues for me. You can win the cup easily as the 10 years of cup winners below shows.

        Was. Holtby 6.1
        Pit. Murray .902, MAF 5.75
        Pit same.
        Chi. Crawford 6
        LA. Quick 5.8
        Chi.Crawford 6
        LA. Quick 5.8
        Bos. Thomas 5
        Chi. Niemi .826,875
        Pit. MAF 5.

      • Hard to argue with those stats Striker, but to quote Burke “if they could rename the NHL Playoffs Goalie, they would”.
        I agree that a great team can make a good goalie have great standard #’s like GAA and Save %, that’s why they shouldn’t be measured just that way. The reverse of your argument is also true – a bad goalie can make a good team bad and a great goalie can make a bad team good and a good team great. CLB doesn’t make the playoffs last year without the outstanding play of Bob last year and just an average goalie in his place.
        It is easy to say you don’t need to pay a goalie big money, unless you don’t have one that can stop the puck consistently.
        Agree that the contracts Lundquist and Price got are too much, and the I would prefer not to pay Bob the 8.5 I suggested, but I think he gets it as goalie salaries are getting a bump too.
        Bob has been better than Price or Lundquist over the last few years and might be the best goalie in the NHL. He has made a greater % of the tough saves than any goalie in the NHL over that span. Stops the ones he should too. Best in the biz IMO.

    • Carey Price isn’t worth Carey Price money.

    • This isn’t the same as a regular job. Unless you are UFA status you are obligated to play for the team that has your rights. You know this going into signing your contract. Yeah let’s let every player choose where they want to play. Turn the NHL into the NBA where you already know who’s going to win before the season starts. That would absolutely destroy small market teams and teams in higher tax zones. The whole point of the RFA/ UFA system is to force parity. I don’t want to see the Rags win every year because they put together a super team. That would just suck.

  2. Maybe I’m dense but when a player of Panarin or Sequin’s stature is 2 yrs from being an UFA would you not work on an extension? Why wait til the last year and risk losing that player for nothing or at best peanuts at the trade deadline. It would also work in the clubs favor to make that contract work cap wise as it gives them 2 yrs to fit what looms to be a big contract into their cap.

    • I don’t believe you can work out an extension with 2 years remaining. I believe it has to be done 1 year out.

    • The earliest a player can be extended under contract is July 1st with 1 year remaining under the current CBA. That doesn’t preclude teams from discussing nor agreeing to such just can’t be signed & filed with the NHL until that date.

      For players just signed with to 1-year deals this summer not until January 1st of the following calendar year. Russian roulette for me with players like Hayes, Nelson, etc. just signed to 1-year deals this summer being eligible for UFA status next July 1st.

  3. Some of these players including JT tell their teams what they want to hear. If a player won’t give a number what they would sign for than they are probably leaving. Dallas must know already what Tyler wants or if he will ever sign with them and if the answer is no than they must get the most for him. To many teams believe their player will come around and sign because it’s the easy thing to do. All the signs I’ve read point to Panarin wanting out of Dodge so the Jackets should ship his a$$ out and get what they can get.

    • Spot on. Why that’s not so obvious to these executives is baffling. Garth Snow should have been thrown out of the building head first for the JT fiasco. The return for JT at a deadline deal may have made the isles a legit contender in 3-4 seasons.

    • How many players of any real value have walked as UFA’s since the creation of the cap in 2004-05. It’s incredibly nominal. Most get extended 1 year out, a few signed before UFA status in season, Kopitar.

      The only 1’s I can think of who we would call stars to superstars would be Suter Nas, Parise, NJ, Tavares NYI & to a lesser extend de Haan not yet a star or superstar but a solid young defensive Dman not yet even fully developed.

      That said we may see more moving forward as boy are they’re quite a few players currently un extended heading into next season facing UFA status next July 1st who are exceptionally good NHL players.

      • Yep, and I think we will keep seeing more Striker. Many may still end up staying like Stamkos, but why not have a look around? The only issue I see is if you like where you are and cause uncertainty for your current team they trade you and move on. But if they wanted to pay you before you left they likely will when you are a UFA as well and have another asset to boot.

      • Agreed Striker, it is increasing and likely will continue to.

    • We were able to see both sides of the coin when it in this situation. Stamkos talked about it and ultimately chose to re-sign with Tampa. JT, talked about it with his family the same way Stammer did his family. JT turned right instead of left

      • North instead of south

  4. Panarin is being absolutely “fair”. He is on a team friendly contract, and is not asking out of Columbus, he is just saying he wants no in season distractions. He has every right to play out his contract, and explore his options as a UFA. 6 million against the cap, and a point a game. Thats more than fair. Bobrovsky wanting 10 million should be a warning sign for the Blue Jackets and every other team. No goalie deserves that much, let alone one who has never stolen a playoff series. No GM will pay him that much.

    • Agree with your point – but I’d venture a guess that when we credit a player with taking that approach, more often than not it’s his agent talking. Once in a blue moon we’ll hear that a player has changed agents, which may result from the player not agreeing with the agent’s advice – but for the most part they pretty much go along with what the agent recommends as he is always looking for the most lucrative deal for his client.

    • Guys wanna get paid. They see other players getting the bucks and they want the same. The Black Hawks opened the $10Mil/year door, now every team has to be prepared to pony up whenever a superstar is up for a deal. That’s the NHL today.

      • Yes, but at least Hawks were smart enough to dump Panarin before they got in the same situations as Columbus. Think Columbus wishes they could trade him back for Saad? You bet.

        Now, Columbus is in a bad situation. They want to stay competitive so they don’t want to trade him for futures, but there are few teams who might want him who are 1) willing to give up significant roster players, 2) have $6 mill cap space and 3) are anyplace Panarin is likely to sign.

        They’re only strategy now is play out the season. At the trade deadline if they look like they are solidly in the playoffs or likely out of the playoffs, then they can trade him for futures. Either way, losing him won’t matter. Maybe they can get a bidding war going. If it’s borderline, they will have a tough decision make.

      • Yeah. Worked out real well for the hawks too…

    • I disagree what distraction when it’s in the players best interest they say my agent is looking after it example Mathews. Now Panarin says he doesn’t want a distraction I thought their agent looked after it. Obvious to me he wants out but hey what do I know.

  5. I am not convinced Da Colle is even a suspect prospect any longer

    Maybe a Sequin Panarin deal could be worked out . Clb has lots of depth for a sweetener

    Great signing in Hanifin

    • Silverseven, I agree great signing for Calgary. Personally I don’t get why Hanifin would sign that contract, unless he has no confidence in his own ability to grow as a player. Capfriendly tweeted he is the 26th highest cap hit among left handed defensemen. Excellent signing by Calgary.

      • Caper, I think this might be one of the best value contracts in the NHL in a few years, if not next year.
        I was surprised, and your point about no confidence in himself is exactly what I thought. Why would you take the bridge, play well and earn significantly more $$? He definitely has the talent.

      • Why wouldn’t you

      • It’s simply the business side of the game. Hanafin is 4 years from UFA status doesn’t yet have arbitration rights but he only conceded to years of UFA status on this deal. He could have taken a 2-year bridge at lower dollars & signed a huge long-term deal coming out of the bridge.

        This deal makes him a UFA at 27 & when that next deal gets signed it will be for 8 years carrying him to 35 unless the new CBA changes those dynamics.

        As always I bridge then sign for 8. I don’t want to be paying any player other than a goalie until age 35. Not a forward or a Dman.

        Almost everyone here complains about the term & monies being paid to these players in their late 20’s getting huge 8-year deals carrying them way past their prime years but Hanafin’s new deal will put a team in that exact position on his next deal.

        This is a great deal for Calgary today & especially moving forward through the term but a great deal for Hanafin when he faces UFA status at 27.

  6. If the perceived is reality, and Panarin wants New York, Miami, Florida area. If said teams Islanders, Rangers, Devils and Panthers are interested. Wouldn’t it be best to deal with Columbus now, so you could have exclusive rights to sign him long term and have an advantage over the other teams that have to wait, making it irrelevant if you strike the long term deal.

  7. The only reason I can see the Devils not making a bid for Panarin is because they already have a top line LW and reigning Hart Trophy winner in Taylor Hall. Would Panarin want to be a 2nd line LW? Maybe they become a 1A 1B situation but I honestly dont see Panarin and the Devils working. Does Panarin want NYR for the big city life/stardom? I know NYR rumor has been kicked around for awhile but is there any tangible evidence to support these claims?

    Max Pacioretty almost guaranteed will be traded around the deadline to a contender of his choice

  8. While losing Bob would hurt, the Jackets do have options. Besides Korpisalo, Elvis’ contract is up this year and Jarmo has been careful to draft good goalies who are developing. As for Panarin, a lot of us in Columbus are tired of all this stuff. Trade him for whatever you can get and move on.

  9. What a peaceful and drama free comments section this morning.

    • Bite me 😋

      • LOL. Was half-expecting something. Hope Assmoses (love that nick) knows the histopry 🙂

      • I’ll pass. George put your teeth back in & bite Chrisms. Ha-ha!

      • Don’t want no splinters now George… so use the new chompers you got for Christmas.. not your originals.