NHL Rumor Mill – September 1, 2018

by | Sep 1, 2018 | Rumors | 36 comments

Latest on Max Pacioretty, speculation over what notable RFAs might get and the Canucks’ efforts to land a marquee player in your NHL rumor mill.


LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Yvon Pedneault reports sources say the Montreal Canadiens could trade left wing Max Pacioretty very soon, perhaps within the next several days. He also claims Pacioretty told Canadiens owner Geoff Molson last season that it might be better if he were dealt to a new team days after general manager Marc Bergevin told him, “I’m going to trade you.”

Will the Montreal Canadiens trade Max Pacioretty soon? (Photo via NHL Images)

Pedneault also went through the oft-reported details of how a trade of Pacioretty to Los Angeles during the 2018 NHL Draft fell through because a contract extension couldn’t be worked out with the Kings, as well as the Canadiens’ captain changing agents during the period. He feels the only resolution to this situation is a trade as soon as possible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bergevin is trying to trade Pacioretty before the start of the season in October he could find it difficult getting a decent return. I’m not saying it’s impossible but Bergevin isn’t  dealing from a position of strength right now.

The better time to make that move could be near the Feb. 25 trade deadline when playoff contenders are looking to bolster their rosters. However, the downside is Pacioretty’s status will cast a pall over the upcoming season, becoming an unnecessary distraction for the team.

Then again, Bergevin could follow the recent example of Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic. Around this time last year, most fans and pundits blasted Sakic for not trading unhappy center Matt Duchene before the start of training camp. Sakic, to his credit, ignored the criticism and waited for the right offer, which eventually came in November.

A similar scenario could unfold for Pacioretty. Maybe the Kings revisit their interest in the left winger. Maybe a high-scoring forward on a playoff contender gets sidelined indefinitely early in the season, forcing his club into the trade market for immediate help. Maybe Bergevin swaps Pacioretty for another pending UFA in hopes of re-signing that player to a new contract. 


TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos looked at the remaining unsigned notable restricted free agents, speculation over the cost of getting them under contract. Based on Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander’s 48 goals and 135 points in 185 games, he could get “something in the $45-million range” spread over six or seven years. Traikos expects the Winnipeg Jets will try to lock up defenseman Josh Morrissey to “a long-term deal that looks better with every year.”

Traikos also suggests the six-year, $33-million contract of Montreal Canadiens center Jonathan Drouin “looks like a fair comparable” for Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart. He feels a bridge contract might be the best option for Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie. As for Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore, Traikos suspects the holdup getting him under contract might be tied to putting some money aside in case Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson becomes available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how these shake out. All of them are coming off entry-level contracts, meaning their only leverage is threatening not to play unless their teams meet their asking prices. However, that’s a tactic seldom employed and rarely successful. Each situation is also unique. Signing a player to a long-term deal might be worthwhile for one club while a bridge deal could be preferable to a team with limited short-term cap space. 


THE PROVINCE: Ed Willes recently noted the reports of the Vancouver Canucks apparently inquiring into the availability of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. He doubts the Canucks could land Karlsson but notes it’s the third time GM Jim Benning “made noises about pursuing a marquee name”, pointing out his previous interest in P.K. Subban and Steven Stamkos two years ago.

It leaves the fans wondering about the vision of the Canucks, pointing out it would cost three or four of their promising prospects to land someone such as Karlsson. Willes believes Benning should know making that type of move “will further alienate a fan base whose patience has been worn to a nub.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Benning is feeling pressure from ownership to make a big splash that hastens the club’s rebuild and improves ticket sales. The Canucks GM recently said he had no intention of trading away his promising assets. Of course, we all know what a GM says and what he does can be two different things.

Maybe the Canucks front office is keen to speed things along but circumstances (such as the exorbitant price of acquiring a big-name talent) could force them into staying patient with their own prospects. 



  1. Patches for hags and a 1st! 😋

    • Good start Chrisms. 🙂

      I’m heading to the EX (with Kansas at the Bandshell tonight) soon so I’m juiced for a deal…. I would like to “up” your offer:

      Patches & Jordie for Hags & JJ

      What say you Chrisms? Ready to shake on it?

    • Good start Chrisms. 🙂
      I’m heading to the EX (with Kansas at the Bandshell tonight) soon so I’m juiced for a deal…. I would like to “up” your offer:

      Patches & Jordie for Hags & JJ

      What say you Chrisms?
      Ready to shake on it?

      • Sorry all

        Shouldn’t have posted only in my ” Canadian Vernacular”

        Sorry to my American co-posters.

        “the EX” is short for ” The Exhibition” formally known as The Canadian National Exhibition…. the world’s oldest and largest annual fair. 18 days always finishing on Labour day.



      • Gmjr has the hots for Jj. He ain’t going nowhere but the top pairing and the number one pp unit

      • Chrisms

        Yep …. GMJR’s viewpoint on JJ is different from mine … I am hoping (big time hoping) to be proved wrong

        I was just hoping that you and I could shake on a deal ; get it signed and done ; before GMJR has a chance to nix it … LOL

        Heading now to EX … if there is proper wifi there U’ll try to check in later

      • Chrisms. Are you being humorous about JJ? Hard to tell.

      • Ummmm. Maybe? That feels like sarcasm that will in actuality happen….

      • I can’t see him dislodging Letang well healthy or Schultz from their PP assignments. I see him in or around Maatta’s TOI/GP should be just under in the 4/5 slot seeing Maatta’s 2nd line PP time at least for a few years.

  2. VCR signed a lot of old dudes this off season. Not what I thought would should happen. Sedins 14m and star power need to be replaced. And don’t say Horvat. He is a very good young player but not an elite to least yet anyway.

    The first soft trade deadline in the NHL is around the 20 game mark which happens in November . Keeping Pacioretty that long will drive him and all of us nuts

    • Not sure what Benning is doing, but then does anyone? Trading young players, prospects or picks would be foolhardy. Im on board with you regarding Horvat. I dont envision him as a #1 center. A very good #2 for sure. Unfortunately Vancouver media (especially David Pratt on 1040am) have made him out to be more than he is. A lot of pressure on Horvat as a result. The Canucks finally have some good young players (Horvat, Boeser, Stecher) and a prospect pool full of potential. It would be a travesty if Benning gave it away for Karlsson.

      • I gotta believe Benning wouldnt be too thrilled at giving away his prospect stable. One eastern reporter speculates something and Friedman even said it was only a hunch, suddenly there is 3 weeks of blown up radio and talk show after poll question after blogs, etc..
        You gotta think if anything its ownership driving the marquee player bus. Canucks arent ready for that player yet. Another 2 years after Hughes joins the team and gets settled and the rest of the prospects are starting to have an impact is when its time to go after a marquee guy.
        As for Horvat for captain, Im all for it. IMO, HE was the first big prospect to be drafted and signaled this long turn around which seems so long ago now but he has already endured the crap and abuse and seen it all.
        Hacks like Pratt can over-hype him but most in this market already know that Bo is a 2nd line center but has the fortitude to keep trying to be a #1. The guy is just wired and driven that way.

    • Horvat just turned 23 in April. I don’t see him as ever being elite but not enough elite C’s in the NHL for all 31 teams to have 1, especially when you factor in several teams have 2.

      Horvat has a ton to show still. Should settle in as a solid 30 goal, 70 point C by 25 playing a solid 2 way game. Canucks future captain.

    • Penguins don’t need pacioretty we don’t need Karlsson..I wish Ottawa and Montreal would just trade these guys somewhere now..we are Getting to matt duchense territory..where trade speculation just drags

    • “. the world’s oldest and largest annual fair.”

      It isn’t even the oldest annual fair in Canada, let alone the world. That’s Windsor NS. Look it up. I don’t know people from Toronto always have to overrate everything from hockey players to fairs.

      • LMcDonald

        Sorry I typed too quickly and left out the word “permanent”

        Largest permanent annual fair … read it again today as posted there (in several places)

        Sorry my bad

        Yes I knew there are many older fairs in Canada…. oldest annual general fair in Canada is in Williamsburg, ON and as you’ve pointed out, Canada’s oldest agricultural fair is in Windsor NS.

        Again sorry. Was typing fast and single fingered… I should learn to read mover B4 posting

  3. Patches and Mgr say that he’s never asked to be moved; more than one journalist claims sources report the opposite

    Someone’s lying … and in the words of Russel Peter’s dad… “Someone is going to get a hurt on real bad”

    Bob McK …. I challenge you to get to the bottom of this 🙂

  4. Duchene still had another year on his contract; MB doesn’t have the luxury with Pacioretty.

    • Trooff

    • Pacioretty turned down 6 years $36 million dollar extension from los Angeles on draft day. Good luck bettering that extension…

      • He won’t need luck. He will easily beat those numbers in ufa

  5. The Drouin comp for Reinhart is perfect.

    The Sabres would regret that deal just as much as the Habs regret Drouin’s.

    Gonna be hard to keep Jake Guentzel’s next deal team friendly with bad contracts like that being handed out left and right.

    • I like Reinhart. Wish he was a better skater but a great many players over the years have had great careers with skating issues.

      I have Reinhart hitting 30 goals & 65 points this season with better years in offence when truly in his prime, 25 to 29.

    • MG

      Here’s the rub re Guentzel … want him to perform well; I truly believe he will perform well … great for Pens… but as you’ve pointed out… if he performs at/near what I think he’ll do … that contract will be costly … fair value …. but costly

  6. These teams won’t deal with each other but Pacioretty to Boston makes sense. They still need a top 6 forward. He is from Connecticut I believe.
    Probably wants to play in NY I imagine though.

    • No interest in Patches. Let the kids play. What Bos potentially needs for me is a #3 C so Backes can play RW. I assume Bos plans to see if any of the prospects can assume the #3 C role.

      Trade McQuad & a 1st round pick or 1 of the forward prospects not Bjork or Donato for Anisimov from Chicago.

    • Dave

      What about patches to Boston for Torrey krug plus..thoughts

  7. Dave no thanks not a Pacioretty fan doesn’t play with heart has plenty of talent but not so sure he would work in Boston. Bruins have plenty of young players who should be given a chance and if they don’t work out than see what’s out there. I still liked Nash when he was healthy and Panarin adds speed and talent but your not getting him for nothing. Boston have drafted some quality young men time to see what they are made of and with Chara and Bergeron in the dressing room they have plenty of leadership to follow.

  8. I wonder if Darnell Nurse is close to being traded? Him still not having a contract is puzzling. Oilers would be losing a beauty but if they could swap him for a RW who can finish to put beside McDavid I think Oiler fans could live with that. They’d have to sweeten the pot to grab a guy like Nylander out of Toronto or Connor’s old Erie teammate Debrincat from Chicago but it’d be worth it. Ty Rattie on
    McDavid’s wing isn’t good enough.

    • Maybe Nurse isn’t signed for the same speculation there are for Theodore in Vegas. A hold out for EK package? One could have assumed the same for Hanafin but, the Flames took care of that notion!

      Hey Pengy, how was the air show? I heard some beasts fly by as I was in the backyard drinkin beer pretending to garden with the wife.

      • FD

        Air show was great

        Ice/Acrobatic show also pretty good and liked this band on the Milton stage called Bad To The Bone … Thorogood tribute band

        Consumed waaaay too much calories.

        Wanted to stay for Kansas … but heat/humidity drained us and when we walked over to Bandshell it didn’t look like we (fam) would be able to all sit together … so we headed home early

        All in all … good family outing

      • Sorry FD

        Molson stage not Milton stage … auto-correct and single finger typing… doh!

    • Nurse isn’t going anywhere & no rush. The season doesn’t start for over a month. There are always stragglers. With extremely minor situations all are signed by opening day. The odd player pushes a club to the limit, once in a blue moon we even see a player withhold services but coming out of your ELC as Lyle mentions above it never works. ZERO leverage. See Trouba being the last held out for 22 games solved nothing.

      Help is coming at RW, going to take several years still but Puljujarvi will be a #1 RW eventually, following a very common development path especially for a player of his physical mass. Yamamoto will eventually be ready as well.

      In the meantime, Edm will have to roll with what they have & hope Rattie, Caggiula, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto can develop rapidly. Might Abegr be able to play the RW, he has played LW so far in his career but a fabulous skater which would help address some of the speed concerns playing with McDavid.

      • Striker

        On board with you here. I love Nurse and have watched a great maturing path unfold; and if I was Ed I wouldn’t trade him.

        That said … who knows what’s in GMPC’s mind?

        If he does ship Nurse … and again I’m saying he shouldn’t ….he better win the trade … if he doesn’t … he’s got to go.

  9. Probert Fan,

    Nurse would certainly be coveted by a team like Chicago, or Toronto, and 28 others. His ceiling as a top pair shut down guru makes it difficult for me to see him being moved. I think it is just a matter of Nurse asking to be paid based on his future potential rather than his past performance, but it will get done.

    The recent signing of Noah Hanifin should speed up the progress of Josh Morrissey’s negotiations. Morrissey had 3 fewer goals and 5 fewer points than Hanifin last season, and is a few years older. His junior production still leaves hope that he can reach 40-50 point levels in the NHL by the time he is 26 or 27, but for now, it looks like a Hanifin type contract, around 4.75 per season could be fair.

    • Augustus and Probert Fan

      Love DN… I’m sure , as you Augustus have posted … 30 other GMs would love to have him as well.

      Is he valuable in a trade —yep.

      Should he be traded … nope

      Re contract … I think the Hanafin signing now has proverbially “started the engines”… IMO Morrisy contract finalized next.

      Agree that some of the potential hold up re DN and Theo contracts could be the temporary “wait and see” re:EK possibility. Add to that the fact that there still is time to get a deal done ; and deals for those 2 at/near opening day would not come as a huge surprise to me.