NHL Rumor Mill – October 11, 2018

by | Oct 11, 2018 | Rumors | 39 comments

Updates on Artemi Panarin, Alex Edler and Sam Bennett, plus some salary-cap speculation, in your NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman believes Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin could be next to follow “John Tavares’s free-agent setup.” 

Speculation over Artemi Panarin’s future with the Columbus Blue Jackets remains a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Panarin’s not going to re-sign with the Blue Jackets and will instead meet with several other interested clubs in late-June before deciding on July 1 which one he’ll sign with. Friedman recently suggested the New York Rangers could be a serious contender for Panariin’s services. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, meanwhile, speculated over Panarin “pulling an Erik Karlsson” by not signing a contract extension through a trade, turning the winger into a playoff rental and thus adversely affecting his trade value.

LeBrun believes Panarin wants to go to a big-market club such as one of the New York teams, Tampa Bay or in L.A. For now, he believes the winger wants to focus on helping the Blue Jackets this season and then cashing in elsewhere in the offseason.

I don’t see the Blue Jackets trading Panarin while they’re a playoff contender. However, if they fall out of postseason contention before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline I think they’ll move him to the highest bidder. 

Friedman reports Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler has made it clear he doesn’t want to leave Vancouver. His contract expires at the end of this season. Friedman said the Tampa Bay Lightning expressed interest in Edler a year ago. “Someone’s going to want him as a rental, even if he returns to British Columbia next year,” said Friedman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edler has a no-trade clause in his contract and could waive it if Canucks management tells him they don’t intend on re-signing him. Perhaps he’ll also agree to become a playoff rental if he gets assurances from the Canucks that they’ll bring him back next summer. 

Friedman said Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett has attracted interest from several clubs over the years, including “Anaheim, Montreal, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay.” Despite Bennett’s struggles, Friedman isn’t convinced the Flames will trade the youngster, citing his age (22) and concern he could blossom elsewhere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman also mentioned Bennett’s potential and the Flames’ reluctance to move him last week. As I’ve said before, their patience isn’t endless. Bennett’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. If he fails to improve this season I can see them entertaining offers come June. 

Friedman also reports the NHL provided 2019-20 salary cap estimates at last week’s Board of Governors meeting. They ranged from $81.4 million to $85.4 million, depending upon the NHLPA’s escalator clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a rumor but it’s worth keeping in mind for future trade/free agent speculation over the course of this season. 



  1. Frankly, I despise what Panarin has done. First, he tells my Jackets he’s not willing to discuss an extension, signalling every other team that he might be available as a UFA next summer. Then, he tells them they have until September 13 to sign him (Despite refusing to discuss an extension.), destroying his trade value. It’s enough to make me wish JK would just ship him off for whatever he can get and give Bjorkstrand and Milano the chance to show they can be 1st line wingers.

    • Well obviously the city of Columbus should have shipped in enough Russians to make Panarin more comfy. And all fans shoulda learned Russian. Really…. it’s the cities and fans fault

      • Na Zdorovie 😂

      • I agree fully

        Putin may have also had a hand in this, somehow.

    • Paul

      Unfortunately for Clb… I think your right.

      Even if they are in the playoff hunt.., if he hasn’t signed an extension nearing TDL (which now looks nigh impossible) then they will need to trade him or they’ll get nothing (like NYI got for JT).

      The article doesn’t mention NJ as a possible destination which surprises me. Most reporters are claiming he wants the big cities and ones with a large Russian pop. He could live in NYC and commute to work????

      If he goes to either NYI, NYR or NJ that’s another kick to the nether regions because it’s in the same division.

      I’m surprised that TBay is included (Cap space, City size, size of Russian pop) over Panthers (as basically a Miami suburb ???

      • Miami isn’t all that close to sunrise. close enough until you deal with the traffic.and all the highly knowledgeable panther fans will flock to the nearest Panera bread thinking he just might be working there.ship his butt to rapid city

      • Hi right wing

        I didn’t know about the traffic situation …I knew it was only 50 KMs thereabout … but I guess if the traffic is brutal then it might be a different story.

        My meathead brother told me that when he was vacationing in Miami and he went to a panthers game; he said it only took him 35 minutes… that’s why I was throwing out the Panthers idea …. he is a bigger lead foot than I though! LOL

    • Trade him and get what you can, because he will become a distraction as the season rolls on. We have seen this before, get what you can now, vs waiting until the offers get lighter. Just like Kovalchuk and Atlanta – it was clear he wasn’t going to resign with the Thrash, so don’t wait.

    • He’s turned himself into a prima donna!

      • Henry Richard,

        He would like you to call him Czarina instead of prima Dona

    • Management knew something was up when they traded for him….they took a calculated gamble…he has been honest with everyone including Chicago before the trade to Columbus

      Your anger or disappointment should be directed at them.

      • Agree OBD. Players get traded everyday and have no control over where they go. So unless you really like where you are in terms of team, city, family interests, why wouldn’t you take the time to explore your options?
        He is in his prime and will likely sign a long term deal that will take him right through his prime years. It is the biggest decision he will make in his professional life and if living in a specific city really matters to him, for whatever reason, it is his decision.
        We all talk about players like assets, because that is how they are viewed by the teams and both the team and the player will do what is best for them whatever the reason behind that decision. You will rarely hear another player criticize another player for doing what Panarin is doing, because they get it.

    • Owners and GMs do what is best for their clubs, with little room for sentiment. Why shouldn’t players do what they think is in their best interests?

      • Ridiculous for ragging on someone who maybe wants to play in a city that has more of a home like feel, some people here have commented in the past about why would you ever want a team in Quebec City because players will want to play in an environment where they understand the language and feelings of those around them and the difference in the language and culture…this is exactly that situation, if I was to work in a different country I may actually want to go to a city where some more of the population understands me and I can find some kinda home like comforts.

      • Unfortunately what that could lead to is a non-universal draft such as they have in baseball where the best Japanese players, for example, pick and choose where THEY want to play in the majors – usually places like L.A., Seattle or New York. Who knows, maybe that’s the way to go in hockey, but it sure would eventually lead to the best Europeans choosing maybe 5 or 6 of the franchises t the extent where there would be a clear separation from the rest of the league.

      • Again I don’t really see it that way he played out a contract and has been traded it’s his right to play where he wants if he was Greek and wanted to live on the Danforth is there a Difference? No it’s just ragging on a guy cause he happens to be Russian

    • As an outsider, I thought Jackets should’ve gotten rid of Panarin. Everyone in the building and locker room knows he’d rather be somewhere else.

  2. Artemi Panarin would look very good in L.A. but would they even be able to afford his cap hit? They would have to move out a couple pieces if they intended to keep him, and I just don’t see that happening considering the assets they would have to move. It makes no sense to me why he would be interested in New York Rangers at this particular moment in time, besides what the city has to offer a young man with celebrity. Perhaps I don’t understand as I am not a limelight person. Is it that important to some people? Is it more important than a Stanley Cup to certain individuals? Growing up playing hockey the dream was always winning a cup. Game 7 overtime goal to win it all. Is this a purely North American thing? What do other countries players grow up dreaming of? Olympic Gold? Money? It makes no sense to me.

    • He’s look even better with the Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik.

    • Jeff Carter for Panarin lol.

  3. I believe this year is pivotal for Sam Bennet. He had a very good game against Nashville on Tuesday, the conundrum the Flames find is Sam’s game is really well suited for the playoffs. He bangs and crashes skates well unfortunately I have come to the realization Sam does not have the natural hockey instincts that players who are successful but with lesser amounts of talent have. If he can play for the right coach he might blossom into a very good NHLer as he has tremendous ability. We will see this year under Bill Peters if he can get him on the right path. Sam really took a step back under Gulitzan, but then again so did the whole team.

    • I thought Gulutzan was completely the wrong coach for the Flames. He was so wooden and didn’t seem to value grit and hard work which is a big part of their identity.

      I’m not sure Bennet has really been put in a place to succeed. He’s not a waterbug or end to end rusher. He needs complimentary players around him to thrive. Hopefully Peters figures him out. I’d love to see him thrive in Calgary.

      • Styx

        Yes, Gulutzan was one of those people that talk’s a good game and will blow you away in an interview but terrible when it comes time to actually execute.
        I’m glad he is gone, and even happier he went to Edmonton
        Good luck Oiler fans

      • Maybe if Bennet didn’t have to get used to a new coach EVERY gd year he might actually get comfortable enough to play to his own strengths. You can’t do that to young players, especially if your team is made up of mostly younger players:

      • Young player can’t figure it out and it’s the coaches fault. Heard that before. Or maybe it means he bombed for multiple coaches cause he ain’t no good?

      • Yeah it’s the 20 year old kids fault who has a new boss every 9 months because he should be a robot that just produces and keeps his mouth shut and his thoughts silent. I bet you were setting the world on fire when you were 20 years old Chris, that why you get to be such a judgmental prick now right?

  4. I don’t agree with the Panarin Tavares comparison. Panarin hasn’t gone out of his way to tell everyone how dedicated he is to Columbus, nor has he or his agent asked them not to trade him. While it’s unfortunate for Columbus that he apparently doesn’t want to stay he has at least handled the situation with honesty, dignity and honour.

    He hasn’t been a backstabbing weasel who professes undying loyalty until it won’t cost the team he really cares about anything to acquire him.

    • JT wouldn’t negotiate a new contract with New York last season, or the season before when he was eligible to sign a new contract… How was that leading them on and being a weasel exactly? He left his options open and decided to go to a new team which is his right as a free agent. New York should have seen the writing on the wall that they could possibly lose him when he wouldn’t sign a new contract, they decided not to trade him. He didn’t have a no trade clause… How is he a backstabbing weasel?

      • He plays for the Leafs so he must be a weasel?
        Either way, NHL players are professional and they (should) say the right words in front of the media. There are negotiations in the background but players or teams aren’t well served by making it common knowledge.

        I can appreciate that Panarin doesn’t want to play in Columbus but that information becoming public really hurts the Jackets.

    • I do believe JT was loyal to Garth Snow and his management team.
      Not Specifically the NYI.
      As soon as Snow and his crew were replaced by Uncle Lou, JT had a very different perspective imo.
      I don’t think that makes him a backstabbing weasel.

    • Tell us how you really feel Styx.. hate ta say I told ya so back when me and 3 other Leaf fans had our fingers crossed that the Leafs don’t sign Stamkos cause in 1 year
      there might actually be 1 guy who looks like he might actually be coming home …lol

      • And honestly man I’m just kidding around didn’t mean to come off like a jerk cheers man 😂

  5. Columbus has to trade him. Can’t lose him for nothing. Agree he won’t fetch a big return if he doesn’t sign an extension.
    Islanders made the mistake of thinking JT was gonna resign. He should have told them he wasn’t planning on returning. Kinda both at fault.

  6. Off topic but I’m really looking forward to watching the Sabres play the Avs tonight. 2 up and coming teams that should be near contendership in a few years. I want to check out Kamenev and Dahlin has played so well he’s do to score his first goal. Obviously my attention will be on a different game but the benefit of a 95” TV is that I can watch to games at the same time in 2 browser windows. Gotta love technology.

    • I completely forgot to mention that I super excited to see Jusso Riikola play his first game tonight as well. He could be the Penguins dman version of Panarin, in the way that Panarin came out of nowhere to become a star player. Again it’s way off topic but the usual topics are played out and stale. We should be talking about all these first and second year players that are looking fantastic so far this year. It seems like every team has at least one.

      • Im a Leafs fan and have to say Jesperi Kotkaniemi looks incredible I’m more impressed by him than Pettersson but both look like they are going to be incredible impressed by Chabot taking over in Ottawa aswell but Kotkaniemi overall I think looks like a franchise ligit rookie of the year type guy at 18…impressive see if he holds up

      • You are special

      • Glad you and your mama agree

      • Yeah Kotkaniemi and Petterson look like the real deal. Dahlin got his first point tonight but they got destroyed. Middlestat is still looking for the score sheet but he is WAY better on the d end than anyone would have ever guessed. Riikola was a revelation on the Pens blue line tonight and he and Oleksiak were the Pens best pair and they played a lot. The Flyers have that Russian centre whose name starts with a V but the rest of the letters shouldn’t go together who is incredible. It seems like every team has at least one kid who is blowing fans away. That makes the whole season that much more fun.