NHL Rumor Mill – September 29, 2018

by | Sep 29, 2018 | Rumors | 18 comments

Latest on the  Blue Jackets, Wild and Ducks in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie discussing with Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 how the Columbus Blue Jackets are addressing the uncertain futures of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Both are eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer and neither seem likely to re-sign with the club.

McKenzie believes Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen must continue to keep taking this difficult situation a day at a time “and not throw any gas on the fire.” He believes Kekalainen has “got to listen if he gets trade action on any of these guys, and I’m sure he will on Panarin.”

Given the Panarin is the Jackets’ top offensive player and Bobrovsky a two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender, McKenzie believes both are key to the Blue Jackets’ performance this season. He feels Kekalainen will let the season play out and let the chips fall where they may.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Jackets are serious playoff contenders this season they won’t trade Panarin or Bobrovsky. If they fall out of the playoff chase by February, one or both could be dealt to the highest bidder before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline. 

Does Eric Staal have a future with the Minnesota Wild? (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC: Tony Abbott recently examined the pros and cons for the Minnesota Wild in attempting to re-sign center Eric Staal, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

On the one hand, Staal will turn 35 in the first season of his next contract. However, letting him walk next summer potentially robs the Wild of an invaluable offensive player, leader and proven first-line center. While Staal’s been impressive over the past two seasons with the Wild, his 39 points in 2015-16 with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers suggests he might not age gracefully.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal’s been reborn with the Wild, who got him on a three-year deal for a bargain price of $3.5-million annually. While there is risk re-signing aging stars to new contracts, I think the Wild will happily invest in him for another two-or-three years, especially if he comes close to matching last season’s 42-goal performance.

The sticking point, however, will be the cap hit. Staal won’t get anything close to the $8.25-million cap hit of his previous deal but could seek something around $6 million per. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $68 million invested in 16 players for 2019-20. While all their other core players are under contract beyond next season and they can afford a raise for Staal, they might not want to spend too much on an aging asset. 


NBC SPORTS: Nothing the Anaheim Ducks will be without Corey Perry (knee surgery) for five months, James O’Brien wonders if it’s time for them to consider making significant changes to their roster. He points out some of their veterans (Perry, Ryan Kesler) are banged up while Ryan Getzlaf is approaching the stage in his career when he should be seeing fewer minutes. Other Pacific Division teams, meanwhile, made significant offseason additions. 

While they’ve got a good young blueline, a quality goalie in John Gibson and an emerging star in Rickard Rakell, this season might be a good time for a budget team whose general manager doesn’t see himself as a buyer to perhaps shed some salary via trades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Ducks are out of playoff contention by February, I expect GM Bob Murray will trim some payroll before the trade deadline. He’s not going to break up that talented young defense corps, he re-signed Gibson and forward Adam Henrique to long-term contract extensions and Rakell is now an invaluable core player. If Jakob Silfverberg plays well in his contract year, he could also get an extension.

Trading some of those aging veterans won’t be easy. With Perry sidelined and Kesler still recovering from hip surgery they’re obviously not going anywhere for the time being. Getzlaf still has plenty of trade value but he (like Perry and Kesler) carries a full no-movement clause and could be unwilling to leave Anaheim. His $8.25-million annual cap hit through 2020-21 could also be tough to move. 

Veteran forwards Patrick Eaves and Andrew Cogliano could attract some interest in the trade market if they play well this season. Both have modified no-trade clauses but could be easier to trade than Getzlaf in that regard. 



  1. Resigning Bobrovsky to a Price like contract would be a massive mistake. You only need to look at Montreal to see how that would play out. Getting fair value back in a Panarin trade is going to prove difficult. Any team trading for him will likely want reassurance he would resign with them. If hes merely a rental for the playoffs the return will be much less. Losing both to free agency would be a huge loss for the Jackets, star goalie and best player gone for zero return is not a very good option. Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

  2. I have commented very heavily on Bobrovsky.

    I am not sure how signing arguably the best goalie in thr league is a massive mistake….why do people put a lower emphasis on goalies as franchise players than foreards or D …its ridiculous…

    Do you kbow how much money Bobrovsky has made that franchise getting them into 3 post season years…and winning 2 vezinas….without him the jackets are deplorable…

    I think the needs to be a different level.of education on what super star goalies do for a franchise….elite goalies are virtually irreplaceable…
    Where you have 4 centers 8 wingers and 6 d men…you only have one elite goalie !!

    In my research…the best 2 teams poised to take on a Brobovsky is the Blues and Canucks…

    The blues have thr cap space and trade peices and are an elite goalie away from a conference final this year….

    Canucks could go from a mediocre team to a legit playoff contender this year with what they got going on and they are so desperate to round an amazing young team with a franchise goalie for thd nect 7 years to grow with that core team would be AMAZING…

    Would ..Demko Juloevi virtanen and a second be good for Bobrovsky??

    Parayko Allen and Fabri good for

    Bobs and Murray ??

    Food for thought …

    • Look what happened when Canucks added Luongo years ago. Sedins were just hitting their prime, Kesler, Burrows were just about to hit their strides. That team was at the top of the league for a good few years.
      Markstrom/Nilsson have been terrible at best letting in softy after softy and sucking the momentum out of every turn around effort they try to do when down a goal.
      Even with Bobrovsky this season, Canucks still have a ways to go but guys like Horvat, Boeser along with Swede rookie Pettersson are full of piss n vinegar to atleast try and make things happen and stand a better chance knowing they dont have to cringe at the seives in net now.

    • “I am not sure how signing arguably the best goalie in thr league is a massive mistake”

      You have misstated the problem. It isn’t a matter of signing “arguably” the best goalie in the league. It is a matter of signing “arguably” the best goalie in the league for an untradeable contract that will sink the team if it goes bad, which is almost certain to happen at the back end, if not sooner.

      • Oh yeah, one more thing. Ever look at playoff stats for “arguably the best goalie in thr league”. His three in Columbus have been .908, .882, .900. His career is .891. Yeah, let’s give this guy $10 million for 8 years. He always come through when it counts

      • Exactly.

        Bob isnt exactly the poster boy for staying healthy either.

      • Bobrovsky has never won a Stanley Cup Playoff Series ! He is not the best goalie in the league ! Marc Andre Fluery , And Matt Murray are better

    • Your fried! Parayko is an over payment by himself.

    • Im not saying resigning Bob would be a mistake. Giving him a ten year deal for Price like dollars is. 3-5 years at 8-10 million per is likely where he will fall. A ten year contract would in my Non-Striker opinion be a mistake.
      I do agree with you that in the current NHL a top tier goalie is under appreciated and valued.
      As to you potential trade partners for Bobvrosky I agree the Blues would be a good fit and he may be the missing piece.
      Im not sure how much you follow the Canucks but not even Jesus could turn them into a playoff contender. They’ve scored 9 goals in 6 preseason games. Their defence has been a nightmare and the goaltending average at best. Moving picks or prospects for Bob makes no sense but considering who the GM is I guess it shouldnt ge entirely discounted.

      The Canucks currently use two defensive systems in their own end:
      1) The Matador System where the defencemen wave at the attacking forwards as they go by.

      2) The Funnel System where the defence forces all the offensive action into the high slot down to the crease.


    • Parayko, Allen, Fabri are NOT being traded for ANY player who will be a UFA at the end of the season.

      No extension + contract demands on the other side of the moon, not to mention he is available for NOTHING but $’s after the year is over.

  3. “why do people put a lower emphasis on goalies as franchise players than foreards or D …its ridiculous…”

    Maybe its because teams have proven time and time again that you don’t need a super star goalie to win the cup.

    They are also bigger gamble. Goalies are highly inconsistent and unpredictable and go from good to bad much more readily than do skaters.

    Worse, there are only two goalies per team. If one is highly paid and goes goes bad, it basically precludes a team from bring in a replacement. You can only spend so much on goalies without killing your payroll. Teams can live with an overpaid winger, who is one of 12, or defenseman, who is one of 6.

    Further, since there is only one starter slot per team, the trade market is always going small so the contract will be hard to dump.

    • So true.

    • Hard to refute that assessment.

  4. if you endorse paying millions for players that produce points, then why not goalies also. Goalies win more games than any forward, on any team.

    The underlying issue is paying 1 player a large percentage of salary, thus handicapping the team in a salary cap era…welcome to the new nhl & nwo. Enjoy!
    PS Mitch Marner = Gretzky & orr

    • So untrue.

    • Bigbadbruins so true backwards you don’t realize hiw much you need that goalie until you don’t have one

      • Are you kidding? The Penguins could win the Stanley Cup this year with Casey DeSmith as their goaltender. They are so deep at every position they could score their way to the cup. I would still be happier with Murray in net than Bob in the playoffs any day.

  5. Ya, like they did last year. Bud Light seems to be a little strong for you today.