NHL Rumor Roundup – September 19, 2018

by | Sep 19, 2018 | Rumors | 38 comments

Reviewing NBC Sports’ listing of 10 pending UFAs who could be traded this season in your NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky top Adam Gretz’s list of 10 pending unrestricted free agents who could be traded this season. The pair are the Blue Jackets’ best players but it remains to be seen if they’ll stay in Columbus.

While the Jackets don’t want uncertainty about the pair’s status hanging over the club throughout this season, trading either guy could hurt their playoff hopes. Gretz doubts they’ll be traded but doesn’t rule out the possibility.

Could Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky become a trade candidate later this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Jackets receive offer of comparable players, Panarin and Bobrovsky won’t be going anywhere this season as long as the club remains a postseason contender. 

Ottawa Senators forwards Mark Stone and Matt Duchene are next on Gretz’s list. With the Senators in full rebuild, he believes there’s “virtually no chance” either guy remains with the team by season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone and Duchene are saying all the right things about how they’re open to signing new contracts with the Senators. However, I’m concur with Gretz’s take. I’ll be very surprised if they’re still with the Senators come the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline.

New York Rangers forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello are fifth and sixth on Gretz’s list. He feels the fact the Rangers didn’t try a little harder to get Hayes under a long-term contract this summer makes him “a pretty big trade candidate”.

Zuccarello, on the other hand, could still be a fit in the Rangers’ rebuild, as theirs isn’t a complete tear-down like the Senators. He also enjoys playing in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes’ one-year deal could be seen as a “show-me” contract, but I agree with Gretz that what you see with the big center is what you get. The 26-year-old is a reliable 40-plus point producer but there’s little indication he’s going to be better than that.

Zuccarello, 31, is older but has four 50-plus point campaigns under his belt. Perhaps he still has a future with the Rangers, but he could get dealt if they get a decent offer near the trade deadline. 

Gretz considers New York Islanders center Brock Nelson the more likely of their noteworthy UFAs (Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle being the others) to get moved this season. He’s in a nearly identical situation as Hayes with the Rangers. Like Hayes, Gretz feels the Isles would’ve made a more serious effort to get Nelson under a longer-term contract this summer if they felt he had a future with them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nelson’s situation will be interesting to watch this summer as the Isles attempt to retool in their first post-John Tavares season. I agree that he’s the more likely to be moved compared to Lee and Eberle. 

Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist is eighth on Gretz’s list. With the Wings still rebuilding, it doesn’t make much sense to re-sign Nyquist given where the team is going to be in the short term and their salary-cap situation. He could become a decent rental player for a postseason contender seeking scoring depth. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Wings have over $61 million invested in 15 players for 2019-20, with Nyquist, Thomas Vanek and Niklas Kronwall likely to be replaced. Kronwall will likely retire while Nyquist and Vanek probably don’t fit into the Wings’ long-term plans.

There’s also talk goalie Jimmy Howard could get a two-year extension.  After years of bumping up against the cap ceiling, the Wings are likely to invest more in younger, affordable talent going forward. 

Ninth on Gretz’s list is Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler, who could be helpful to a playoff contender this season. He still holds a full no-trade clause, which could complicate any potential efforts to move him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edler hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Canucks but that’ll depend upon whether management believes he has a place in their future plans. A trade later this season remains possible. 

Rounding out the list is forward Jeff Skinner, acquired this summer by the Buffalo Sabres. While Skinner is a skilled forward who could still be part of the Sabres’ future, a trade could be possible if he can’t be re-signed and the club struggles this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner seemed overjoyed to be traded to Buffalo. If he meshes well with first-line center Jack Eichel this season, I think the Sabres will open the vault to keep him. 



  1. Hayes is almost 5 years younger than Zuc and a solid 2 way center. Pretty much just hitting his prime. His being extended will depend mostly on how they evaluate younger guys and what kind of offers they receive. At 31, I seriously doubt Zuc is signed. I don’t understand how you think he’s more valuable in a rebuild. He was heavily rumored to be moved at deadline last season and pretty much a guarantee he’s gone this time.

    • Hayes is way more valuable than Zuc, not even close …

  2. Columbus should offer Panarin to Ottawa for Mark Stone.

    Panarin has more trade value, but CMB won’t get a better player in return for him, so trade for Stone and sign him to an extension and just let Ottawa flip Panarin.

  3. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. were a team!

    • Who was?

      • Ottawa GM when asked what fans have to look forward to this year… long delay followed by that statement

      • Actually, that was the network dweebs unable to resist poking more fun at a team already down by playing the clip that way. It was the topic of discussion this morning on Team 1200 radio.

      • He paused because he had to remind himself to not say “profits” from icing children instead of NHLers. This team deserves everything it gets. He’s a puppet and he has to think about what the owner told him to say before he goes ahead.

      • Arnie, the average age of the 23 that figure to form the 23-man roster is 24: Stone 26; Pageau 25; Ryan 31; Duchene 27; Borowiecki 29; Anderson 37; Ceci 24; Smith 30; Condon 28; Dzingel 26; Wideman 28; White 21; Pyatt 31; Bodker 28; Chabot 21; Carey 29; Paajarvi 27; Wolanin 23; Tierney 24; DeMelo 25; Harpur 23; McCormick 26; Brown 20.

        Since Pageau is out long term his spot will likely be taken by Tkachuk who is 19.

        So your description of “children” is total BS.

    • Minus the exclamation point.

      • @George what the hell are you talking about? It was a legitimate question. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves.

      • I’m just relating what I heard on Team 1200 radio – Ian Mendes and Todd White. Feeling sorry for myself? Personally, I don;t give a rat’s ass one way or another. OK?

      • And in the event you’re even remotely curious about the truth, what happened was, when a panelist asked Dorion what he was most optimistic about this season he took a – gasp – WHOLE 4 seconds to mull through his mind an appropriate answer to describe an organization that he had already described as “broken” a few months back and then responded “we’re a team.” The fact he then went on to elaborate that what he meant by that was, he felt there was now some cohesion compared to last season’s dressing room. But of course, in their haste to push the ridicule and try to come across as comedians, they then chose to simply play that 4-second response. Yuk, yuk, yuk. But go ahead and choose to read into it whatever you like. Who cares really?

  4. Interestingly enough Hayes in NYR is right at my breakthrough point for monster sized humans. That being the same as a defenseman in or around 400 games. He has played 310. His breakthrough actually started in the 2nd 1/2 of last season when Vigneault finally pulled his head out of his ass & started giving him better assignments & putting him on the 2nd PP unit.

    Here is Hayes scoring by 1/4 last season. .40, .43, .73, .80. He will surprise Lyle this season with 30 goals & 60 points with more to come in the years following. I believe; sorry I need to qualify these statements for some here, NYR will get Hayes extended shortly after January 1st as well they should.

    6 years at or near 6 mil per should get it done. Everything I have heard is Hayes wants to play for NYR. He hand-selected this team just like Vesey coming out of College & making himself a UFA. Ideally, NYR would have locked him up for 6 this summer at 5 & change but inflation & his continued growth & development will cost them more. If NYR doesn’t want to pay & Hayes hits the UFA market this summer he could get more in a bidding war. 6’5″ 220 lbs solid 2 way C’s aren’t easily acquired.

    • I hope everyone is right and he is just hitting his prime where I say we have seen what can do in this league.

      Even if he puts up only 45 points someone will pay him well next summer.

      Zuc is an easy player for any team to throw into their top 9-plug him on either wing on any line.
      Not sure he gets 1st rounder… a 2nd for sure

      • Players moved for more at least a 2nd at last seasons trade deadline.

        Grabner a 2nd & a B grade D prospect in Rykov.

        Did Brassard move for a 1st? A very convoluted trade.

        Nash a 1st & a haul of other assets, Spooner, Lindgren & Belesky with Bos retaining 1.9 mil in cap hit for the duration of the contract. Hated this trade, still do & I would prefer Zuccarello to Nash.

        Plekanec a 2nd, Valiev & Rychel.

        Hartman & a 5th for a 1st, 4th & Ejdsell a very intriguing prospect.

        Stastny a 1st & Foley a solid D prospect.

        E. Kane what became a 1st & 4th as he was resigned & conditions met.

        Tatar a 1st, 2nd & 3rd but was under contract for 3 more years.

        McDonagh, JT MIller a 1st, 2nd, Namestnikov, Howden & Hajek.

        I would say if Zuccarello is moved based on last seasons trades a conditional 2nd that becomes a 1st if the team he is traded to extends him & most likely some form of prospect.

      • Striker: Ottawa got a 2018 1st, Gustavsson and essentially a 2020 3rd round pick for Brassard. Ottawa and Pittsburgh swapped 3rd round picks in 2018 and 2019 so the Vegas portion of the trade could go through. Ian Cole also came to Ottawa in the Brassard trade and they flipped him to Columbus for a 2020 3rd round pick.

        I haven’t liked many of the Dorion trades, but this trade was actually pretty good. Dorion then flipped the 22nd pick in 2018 to the Rangers for the 26th pick and a 2nd round pick in 2018. In the end, Ottawa got the following for Brassard.


        Moultrey (minor league contract)
        2018 Ottawa 3rd round pick


        Bernard-Docker (2018 1st round, 26th)
        Tychonick (2018 2nd round)
        2019 3rd round pick
        2020 3rd round pick (for Ian Cole)

      • Thks Van do we have to go back now & factor in what the paid to get Brassard? Ha-ha! Just kidding.

        Not everything any GM does is all bad. Well unless your Tom Rowe in Flo but that reign was very short lived.

      • Don’t forget Kevin Lowe-Craig MacTavish in Edmonton.

    • As mentioned, Hayes is what he is. So whether extended for SLIGHTLY more $ or let go to UFA, he looks to have reached his high water point.
      And from the very beginning, money was the main motivating force in his decisions.
      And I understand he could play 2nd line centre, but he slots lower at pivot and would probably be more effective back on LW like in college

      • We’ll see Bill. I don’t concur with your assessment, although you & Lyle could easily be right as these #’s for development hold based on facts. What has happened to the same type of player going back decades 80% of the time give or take?

        What’s interesting is he doesn’t actually hit the marker fully until the 2019-20 season. Age is a nominal factor as he entered the NHL later having played 4 years of college hockey where a prospect like this coming through major Jr would have started his NHL career 1 or 2 years earlier, returned to major Jr for a season, maybe 2, a year in the AHL finally starting to see a cup of coffee in the NHL 3 years after being drafted starting his NHL career full time in year 4. The old 80/20 rule.

      • but, for as, these #’s hold

    • Hayes is a 40 point player. Always has been, always will be. If I had to coose between Hayes or Zuch Id take Hayes however. Younger, bigger and no where near as soft.
      Not worth 6 million though, not even close.

      • I’ll take the over on that 40 points.

        I don’t disagree with you about the 6 mil per but that is essentially the market give or take for this asset as a pending UFA next summer.

        1/2 the players in the league are overpaid as far as I’m concerned except most of them are on their ELC’s but even then not all are underpaid.

        Another lockout will help stabilise inflation nominally until the new revenue streams can be brought online and these concessions by the players play out over time to help allow for these salaries teams are choosing to give any player with average to above average to slightly above average skills. Supply & demand at it’s finest. Not enough quality supply so teas overbid for what they can get.

      • Should read except for most of them on their ELC’s drop the are.

  5. I know many have expressed their dissatisfaction with Holland in Detroit not breaking down Detroit’s roster quicker & rebuilding fast but unravelling the veteran presence has taken time. Detroit is only 2 years removed from the playoffs, I assume this season will be 3 bit Detroit has stockpiled a solid core of young players & slowly implemented many into the lineup.

    Detroit has a very long history of having their prospects play a long period of time in the AHL, really over developing them but the youth movement next season will be significant. Already added are Larkin, Mantha & Bertuzzi, Det’s & 1 line now as well as AA, & Frk. Coming soon are Zadina, Rasmussen, Veleno, Svechinikov, Hronek, Hicketts, Cholowski, & Sulak at a bare min.

    I assume Zadina stays in the NHL & Svechiniokov is very close, may take an injury or trade to open up a roster spot for this talented winger & will they let Rasmussen stay or send him back to the WHL until next season?

    These kids coming times out very well with Nyquist, Vanek & possibly Kronwall being moved out at the trade deadline but certainly, all are gone next season, opening up 3 roster spots for these kids.

    All isn’t as bleak as many felt it appeared in Det. I wouldn’t be surprised in Det looked at a buyout or 2 next summer or tries to trade a Green or and Eriksson, failing that they get moved at the following season’s deadline which probably times out better for Hicketts & Cholowski’s development & being ready to take sheltered minutes in the NHL.

    • Detroit’s third line is going to be Nyquist, Helm, and Nielsen. That is really bad. They gave too many bad contracts to too many mediocre players and now they have no room to let some of the young guys have roster spots. In a perfect world they would trade a few of Helm, Abdelkader, Nielsen. Witkowski, Ericsson, Glendenning, Jensen, etc but no one wants any of them. Holland is so terrified of playing guys that haven’t wasted extra years in the AHL. Holland is a dinosaur and he should be extinct. That team is going nowhere any time soon.

      • You may be right Deeeee.

        It isn’t that bad if that’s the line.

        Helm is a solid checker with good foot speed that can check but hands of stone, Neisen is a solid 2-way #3 C & Nyquist can score 20 to 25 goals & 45 to 50 points with those 2 & at least 2nd line PP time but might Abdelkader be the LW on that line & Helm plays with Glendening on the 4th line?

        Total shot in the dark but here is what I have at the moment. An educated guess.

        Bertuzzi, Larkin, Mantha.
        Zadina, Athanasiou, Vanek.
        Abdelkader, Neilsen, Nyquist.
        Helm, Glendening, Frk.
        Det. Jokinen if he signs after his PTO.

        Vanek & Nyquist will be gone by the deadline replaced by 2 of those prospects discussed above.

        Does anyone have Detroit contending for a playoff spot? Deeee do you? I won’t share my opinion as that gets me called names by this poster. Ha-ha! I’ll wait till Oct. 3rd to take a shot in the dark at my final standings by Div & conference.

      • Holland, the apparent dinosaur, may spend his days before extinction in Seattle. Meanwile, in Detroit, Stevie Y…….

      • Detroit is not contending for a playoff spot. The only thing they can hope to contend for is dead last in the entire league and that would be best case scenario for them. This is a good draft and next years draft is going to be even better. I’d say Detroit needs Hughes more than any other team but the Canucks need him more because their fans are used to a pair of brothers being the best players on the team. There are 11 teams that could make the playoffs in the east but Detroit is definitely not one of them.

      • Helm may be a solid checker but that type of player is antiquated and serves no purpose in the new NHL, the same as a goon. You better be able to play and contribute at both ends of the ice or you’re going to be replaced. Detroit has way too many of this type of one dimensional player and when a guy with some talent plays with a couple of replacement level players like Helm and Nielsen then his production is going to suffer greatly.

      • Was Darren Helm not renowned for his speed early on in his career? Maybe he has slowed down over time? Or is becoming the reincarnated Matthew Lombardi, who could always skate his way to a breakaway but was going too fast for his skill level and lost the puck in his feet before getting a shot off?

  6. Nelson for a bag of pucks done deal. Get him off the Island asap. A floater and worthless. All Isles fans have had enough of him doesn’t play tough a big guy who is afraid to get hit or give a hit. See ya. My wife hits harder then him.

    • lol, nice one.

    • The Penguins will trade Derek Grant and Carl Haglen for Nelson. Nelson can play on the 4th line with Sheahan and Rusty until injuries.

    • Hey Pete, as an Isle’s fan I respectfully disagree. I think he’s done alright with the chances he’s been given. I will be interested to see if his role changes and how he responds under a new coach. I would far rather see Ladd, Clusterf%#k and some of the other depth guys go before him.

  7. Another 1 of those monster forwards, 6’3″ 215 lbs that take far longer to develop, in or around 400 NHL regular season games, simple physics, Nelson has played 398 & never really been deployed offensively for any length of time other than when he played LW with Tavares for a portion of the 2015-16 season.

    Scored 14 goals as a rookie then 20, 26, 20 & last season 19 playing as the 3rd line checking C. Has seen limited 2nd line PP time but NYI has used the 1 loaded PP system with them seeing the vast majority of PP time as not enough depth to ice 2 balanced units like many teams are doing today. They will far more this season as they have more depth now & should be able to ice 2 more balanced units.

    No, he doesn’t play to his size, never has nor is that his game. Might there be a better upside to his game offensively? If he gets to play as the 2nd line C this season over Kovar he may surprise & I don’t like to write off any player until he’s achieved my markers which again for him is in or around 400 games.

    It’s early in camp & we have been rolling out split-squad rosters but the lines appear to be holding so far with Tavares gone.

    Beauvillier, Barzal, Eberle,
    Lee, Nelson, Bailey.

    Does this mean Kovar starts the season in the AHL? Way to early to tell. Nelson is a solid #3 C who may have no further top end. Will be 27 on Oct. 15th.

    • I think you’re right not to write off Nelson too quickly. Sometimes a player takes longer to find his potential. A prime example in my mind is Robert Lang, who spent the first several years of his career jumping between the NHL and the Czech Republic and the IHL. His rookie year was in 1992-93, but it was not until 1998-99 that he broke out with 44 points in Pittsburgh. After that, he had one 80 point season sprinkled in amongst 8 total 50+ point seasons.

      A late bloomer if I ever knew one, and Brock Nelson has the ability to still be an effective top 6 player, if he wills it.