Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 19, 2018

by | Aug 19, 2018 | Rumors | 28 comments

Updates on the Predators, Leafs and Devils in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently wondered if Nashville Predators general manager David Poile might make a big move this season to improve his club’s chances of winning the Stanley Cup this season. The Predators enter the coming season with over $7.6 million in salary-cap space with no outstanding restricted free agents to re-sign.

Could the Nashville Predators target a big-ticket player such as Columbus’ Artemi Panarin this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

O’Brien noted Poile is no stranger to blockbuster deals and he wouldn’t have to move much salary this season to acquire someone such as Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, Montreal’s Max Pacioretty, Columbus’ Artemi Panarin or Dallas’ Tyler Seguin. They also carry some tempting prospects like Dante Fabbro and Eeli Tolvanen, though Poile could be reluctant to part with them.

O’Brien observed they could have room to perhaps re-sign a major player acquired via trade this season, pointing out Pekka Rinne’s $7-million cap hit comes off the books next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Among this season’s Stanley Cup contenders, the Predators could be best-situated to manage a balanced roster in terms of salary-cap space. They also have the depth to swing a major move at some point if Poile believes it’s necessary.

O’Brien wasn’t saying Poile was definitely going to target someone like Karlsson, Pacioretty, Panarin or Seguin but he certainly has the assets and dollars this season to land one of them if he chooses. O’Brien also reminded us the Predators were also interested in John Tavares prior to his signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, so I wouldn’t rule out Poile making a big splash this season.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the contract defenseman Ryan Ellis signed last week with the Nashville Predators (eight years, $6-million annually) is what Maple Leafs blueliner Jake Gardiner can expect to get in his next deal, either from the Leafs or another club next summer via free agency. “Gardiner is no Ellis, but he’s just a step and some sense behind.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can hear Gardiner’s critics already howling over the possibility of Gardiner earning that much. Remember, never underestimate the ability of NHL general managers to overpay for talent. Gardiner’s current contract pays him $4.05 million annually and he’s exceeded 40 points in each of the last two seasons, including a career-best 52-point campaign in 2017-18. If he exceeds 40 points again, he’ll get $6 million per season from somebody. 


NORTHJERSEY.COM: In a recent profile of the New Jersey Devils’ defense corps for 2018-19, Abby Mastracco observed they still lack a proven shutdown blueliner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils need for depth scoring tends to overshadow that requirement for an established stay-at-home defender. Wouldn’t surprise me if GM Ray Shero keeps an eye on the trade market or waiver wire this season to address that need. 



  1. The Devils should trade Hall for Larsson. That will solve their defensive problems. =)

    • Devils have Santini as their 7th D who imho is better on the 2nd pairing than Severson.

    • chia would throw in Nuge

  2. Depending on what Poile offers, I can see Jarmo trading Panarin to Nashville. Especially as the two have made a big trade before.

    • It does make sense. Return wouldn’t please cbus fans but preds could offer a serviceable top 9 roster player and a solid prospect plus a conditional pick. Might beat deadline offers

  3. Nsh not going after Karlson. They have a great top 4D….adding EK of course great but the marginal increase in D is more than offset by losses in what they’d have to give up and get him.

    Seguin a great add … just can’t see Dal trading in their own Div.

    However, it would absolutely not come as a surprise to me if a big deal is made.

    Panarin and Patches would be great adds …. what would the cost be?

    Dubas … do not be swayed by Ellis deal to give similar deal to Gardner.

    IMO Dubas’ focus should be on a move that will better the D….. and again please … Bridge Wee Willy …. not 8 year lock pretty please

    • Nylander is NOT going to accept a bridge deal, it’s just not going to happen. He will get 8 for 8 at least, no question or he will sit out until he gets what he wants.
      Nashville should absolutely under no circumstances trade Tolvanen, that kid is going to be something special, maybe starting this year. Nashville’s D is great but it was no match for Pittsburgh’s O so it could always be upgraded.
      Seguins not going anywhere. Panarin is looking for a city with a Russian community, something tells me Nashville isn’t anymore diverse that Columbus. If it’s only for one year and Nashville pays a huge price that move will look idiotic a year from now. Just ask the Toronto Raptors, well a year from now anyways. Patch might bounce back or he might be coming down the other side of the mountain, it would be prudent to wait on that one. Nashville is an least good enough to stick with what they have for now and keep an eye on some of those options.

      • How did that hold out work for Trouba in the short term? How did Drouin’s walking out in TB play out? Nylander has zero leverage if Tor wants to bridge him he will eventually accept it as he has no choice. Will Tor sign him for 8 today? Maybe but interestingly we are seeing a trend of deals for these types of players at 6 making them UFA’s at or near 27. A scary proposition for me as then these players are going to want huge deals with term carrying them well into their mid to late 30’s.

        I agree with you that Tolvanen is going nowhere. Nas doesn’t need anything today. Go win with this roster. Injuries could change that need but if even remotely healthy Nas will finish in the top 3 in the league in points.

      • I think the player that will be moved eventually to make room for Tolvanen when truly NHL ready whenever that may be, now, when injuries hit later in the year, next season, etc. will be Craig Smith & Tolvanen will play his off wing or Fiala will getting him into the top 6 as soon as able.

      • Deee

        I am in full agreement with Striker. Dubas holds all the power… not Wee Willy (WW).

        I’ve posted B4 and continue to press on this …. Bridge or trade WW… under NO circumstances should he be locked now for 8:

        1) EL , then bridge , then 8 … gets athelete for 13/14 years and then a decision point of walk away/trade when Athelete is 30/31 …. much better than guaranteed 11 years (EL + 8) and then being forced to make a decision on an expensive 8 year extension (at 29) that takes them late into their 30’s for an athelete who is highly likely (at 29) to start declining. Yes… 8 year extension 2 or 3 years from now more expensive than 8 year contract now … but marginally and worth it to have productive 2/3 years of Bridge at cheaper rate;

        2) More importantly … if Dubas is dumb enough to agree to 8 year now …. ALL (every single piece of) negotiating power goes to MM & AM when they start negotiating in next contract. 8 year extension now for WW guarantees 8 year extensions for MM & AM.

        I stick with my contention that Toronto must improve D in hopes of a Cup. Leafs built for massive output in Reg season but not built to Win East (likely not even Div) in playoffs… WW trade option to improve D.

      • It’s unfortunate but striker is right (unfortunate that the nhl structure allows for the nylander stock be undervalued, not unfortunate that striker is correct). The only players that have leverage at this stage are the superstars. Nylander sits and Toronto takes a hit talent wise… but he isn’t the straw stirring the leafs playoffs drink. They can move on without him… does he want to lose out on hundreds of thousands of not mil plus of pay?

      • @Pengy right now Dubas holds all the cards with Willie and while a bridge for 2 years with a promise of a lot more might be just what Toronto needs. BUT, if Willie doesn`t go for it and Dubas forces it, yikes. I can see big problems down the road, cause in 2 years Dubas no longer has all the cards. Willie would be a RFA with arbitration rights. Can you say Trouba, cause that`s what you may end up with. If Willie agrees with a bridge then Dubas should go for it, if not forcing the issue may not be the best for either Willie or the Leafs in the long run. Lou and I never liked the guy screwed up royally when he gave Marleau that contract for 3 years. Hopefully Marleau retires at the end of this year since the last year only pays 1 mill. and his contract will become an asset.

      • Drouin was not a full time NHL player at the time and Nylander is a better player with more success than Trouba had during his. Nylander does have leverage actually in that the Leafs are just not as good of a team without him. Nylander is on par with Draisaitl and Pastrnak and neither of them got bridge deals. And I say this being a life long leaf hater. Plus the distraction that would cause the rest of the team with the awful hockey media in Toronto would not be worth it, especially if they start out with a slump. Nylander should be playing centre but there are 3 ahead of him that are better suited for their roles than he is and he’s not playing 4C. It’s nice to say what YOU would do in that situation but players in the top 5 percentile have different rules than the rest of the league. The contract will be 6-8 years and 7-8.5 mill aav.

      • Again, it’s fine to say that, and it might even make sense to you to do that with a regular player but not a star player. If they screw around too much then Nylander can say “well f you then I’m signing with Dynamo Moscow” because they will pay him whatever he wants. Kuznetsov threatened to do it and it cost the Caps MoJo to be able to afford Kuznetsov. There is more presedent that he’ll get a big contact than the few anomalies that are out there. Hell the Penguins aren’t even going to bridge a guy like Guentzel and he’s a slightly lower tier player.

      • No way he gets 8 or is even worth – Ehlers who was drafted a spot behind got 6 and even if you consider him bettet- he isn’t Johnny Gaudreau better – who got 6.75..

  4. Panarin would be an interesting addition, depending on what they would have to give up. I can’t see Columbus trading him without getting a significant piece in return, even if he only has one year left. It would make them better in the present, but most likely hurt their future and I dont see Poile doing that. Pacioretty would make the mose sense in my opinion. Bergevin will be on guard with this trade though knowing he got fleeced on the last one! Fabbro for Patches straight up is an overpay

  5. Columbus is a playoff team and any deal would have to bring back roster players. Hard to imagine any contender will make a deal, especially since Panarin’s reluctance to sign long term. I still think Rangers will be on his short list, and they have a few guys also on expiring contracts that don’t seem to be in their future plans. (Hayes and Zucharello) also have a ton of prospects. A package of those 2 and either a pick or prospect? Why isn’t anyone talking about Bobrovsky? Also a ufa after season.

  6. Bob will play out his season, hit UFA status,and sign on the dotted line with the most 0’s. Not much to talk about there.

  7. I don’t see Nas doing anything before the trade deadline unless injuries force a trade sooner. The current roster is a cup contender. Fiala; 22, is just scratching the surface of his vast potential they aren’t bumping him off the 2nd line to accommodate Panarin nor Patches. In 2 years he will be better than Patches & he may well be Panarin by the time he is 25 years old, 3 years from now.

    Nas needs nothing. A well-oiled machine. Move these players around any way you like but they have 1 of the best 23 man rosters in the NHL & Tolvanen, Fabbro & Saros waiting to replace players very soon, a stud at forward, defenseman & goalie waiting for their chances to take far more meaning full roles. I assume Fabbro leaves Bos U after his Jr year but even if he elects to finish his 4th season who cares with this top 4.

    Forsberg, Johanssen, Arviddson.
    Fiala, Turris, C. Smith.
    Scissons, Bonino, Hartman.
    Salomaki, Jarnkrok, Watson.
    Spare. Gaudreau.

    Josi, Ellis.
    Ekholm, Subban.
    Hamhuis, Irwin.
    Bitetto, Weber.

    Rinne, Saros.

    Unfortunately for Nas they need to find a way to get out of the toughest playoff bracket in the NHL. No easy feat.

    I assume Rinne will get at least a 2-year extension if not 3. Poille manages the cap better than any GM in the league he has the cap space to do whatever he wants & the prospects & picks as well.

    • Fabbro may want to go full blown vesey… stuck behind that top 4 once Josi is signed isn’t necessarily the best career move.

      • I have certainly had the same thoughts about any player who chooses the college route. I would be more concerned about Quinn in Vancouver who wants to join that gong show!

        By the time Fabbro is ready for a top 4 spot there will be room in Nas’s top 4.

        What’s Nashville doing for the Seattle expansion draft in 2 summers, protecting 4 Dman & only 4 forwards? I think Nas will trade Subban before the expansion draft to protect Josi, Ellis, Elkholm & 7 forwards, then Fabbro can be a top 4 Dman for them.

      • I do tend to forget the expansion draft.

      • And that being said. A deal centering around josi for Panarin? With other parts obviously… Murray and Panarin for josi?

      • Quinn is not staying in school just to avoid Vancouver. There’s no way he’s not in NHL In another year or 2

    • Striker

      Right you are again re how Nsh is positioned … very well balanced team with Cap to boot.

      I mentioned above that I wouldn’t be surprised if a blockbuster happens … I realize now that my statement might be interpreted that I’m thinking that it is “likely” ….sorry if that is the way it came across

      I agree with you in that I think they are set now and no matter what are playoff bound and can address anything (with the flex of Cap listed above) at Trade Deadline, if necessary

      However …. NSH has done blockbuster surprise moves before …. so if it happens tommorrow ; next week; during camp; after game 1; Christmas Day … it would not shock me

      Again , sorry if my statement inferred “likely”… in reality it is unlikely …. but would be interesting 🙂

  8. Tor can pay Gardiner or someone else will be happy to do so warts & all. In the last 5 years Gardiner sits tied for 29th in points by Dman. But as you drop down to 4 years, 3 years, 2 years he climbs that list rapidly as he reached full development which for me at D is 400 NHL regular season games played, then Dman play at that level for 4 to 5 years easily.

    4 years tied for 27th.
    3 years 24th.
    2 years tied for 15th.
    Last season tied for 15th.

    That makes Gardiner a Star offensive Dman & teams can’t develop these assets there aren’t any where near enough to stock all 31 teams. Gardiner has also logged huge minutes for Tor. Since he arrived in Tor 7 years ago he has averaged 21:22 TOI/GP playing for a dreadful defensive team.

    Tor would be crazy to lose Gardiner. They can pay him or someone else will & they won’t be better without him nor has he peaked offensively yet. I would assume that this season he pushes close to 60 points with the team Tor is rolling out.

    • I bet if he accepted $6,000,000 or less per season, Chicago would love to be able to sign Gardiner as a UFA. Something tells me he would make the Canucks D better as well. Of course, Chicago would have a hell of a time fitting him under their constantly tight cap situation.

      • He is a pens type of d man fo sho.