NHL Rumor Mill – October 15, 2018

by | Oct 15, 2018 | Rumors | 54 comments

Latest on Jacob Trouba and Sam Bennett plus concern over the Penguins goaltending in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s NHL insider Bob McKenzie recently addressed a question regarding the potential return for defenseman Jacob Trouba if the Winnipeg Jets opt to trade him next summer. Trouba is slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next July and will be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Defenseman Jacob Trouba’s future with the Winnipeg Jets is an ongoing topic of interest in the rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)

Given Trouba’s contentious contract negotiation history, McKenzie feels next summer is the optimal time to move the blueliner if he remains unwilling to commit to a long-term deal. However, he also believes Trouba would be considered an “extended rental” by rival clubs unless somebody can negotiate a lengthier contract term with him. That will affect whatever the Jets can get in return for Trouba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve summarized McKenzie’s take as he goes into greater detail on the subject. Well worth the read. He also points out the Jets aren’t concerned about that now because they’re putting their focus on this season. Trouba remains an important part of their blueline corps.

Unless the Jets fall out of playoff contention near the February 25, 2019 trade deadline, I don’t see them moving Trouba during this season. As we get closer to June and the offseason we can expect him to once again become a fixture in the trade-rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a Friday interview with Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was asked if the Flames ever came close to trading forward Sam Bennett. While they’ve “gone down the road at times,” Friedman doesn’t believe management reached the point where a deal was imminent. “I think at the end of the day, the Flames have always looked at what happened with Taylor Hall in Edmonton and said, ‘Yeah, I’m not sure we really want to do this,” said Friedman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: During last week’s “31 Thoughts” column, Friedman listed the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning as clubs that previously expressed interest in Bennett over the years.

I understand why the Flames are willing to remain patient with the 22-year-old Bennett, who still has time to develop into a solid second-line forward but, as I’ve said before, their patience isn’t limitless. If Bennett doesn’t make significant improvement this season, they could consider shopping him. That could happen next summer when he becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: During a recent mailbag segment, Paul Zeise was asked if he was worried about the long-term health of Penguins goaltender Matt Murray and if the club should try to trade for a veteran goaltender as insurance. He admits he is concerned about Murray and agreed that they probably should look for help between the pipes in case he gets hurt again before the playoffs. While acknowledging the Penguins have two young netminders in Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, neither seems ready to become a full-time goalie. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Penguins will explore adding a more experienced goalie later in the season but that depends upon Murray’s health and the performance of DeSmith and Jarry. So far, DeSmith’s been okay filling in for Murray, who’s due back soon. 



  1. So whats up with this guy Nylander …just joking ..lol..RELAX!! 🙁

    Hard to think that the Jets will move Trouba…he is a core player moving forward

    looking at the Jets cap issues for next year …Myers is a UFA so they can technically pass on him this Summer if they want to or just move out Kulikov and then sign Trouba and be just fine even today they have over $5 million and only 3rd & 4th liners to sign for the most part and the cap is going to go up again next year a few million as well so they are sitting just fine to sign him….he will be resigned in the Peg at $6 plus mill – AAV…
    I think him coming back after the hold out and playing has put him in a favorable position …if he thinks he can be a $7 or $8 million D man then obviously he will have to be moved but I think he stays !

    The problem with Bennett is that he hasn’t increased his trade value at all…I think the Flames keep hoping he goes on a hot streak in the hopes he increses his value through that stretch to be moved..just hasn’t happened ..very reminiscent of a Cody Hodgson type player.

    I think the deal would have to be a project for a project type swap.
    Maybe a Dylan Strome for a Sam Bennett ??

    With Murray out, De Smith and Jarry have had the better part of 2 years now getting their chances …both have shown signs of a quality netminder ..but at this level they have not taken the bull by the horns and are exhausting their chances to be in the league as a legit #1 NHL tendy …not many Goalies get these kind of chances and these 2 are getting plenty !

    Looking around the league there are few high quality Goalies waiting in the wings to take over an NHL position or even lack luster Veterans for that matter ..i.e Mrazek Cam Ward, Robin Lehner, Halak, Niemei Montoya type goalies …for me the only true legit tendy that.. MAY.. be able to break in right away and make an impact worth looking at is Sergei Samsonov in Washington…he may be available for the right price with Holtby cemented in Caps land….he would be wasted in that organization for years to come..he is a commodity at this point worth looki

    • Kal El

      Agree re Samsonov as an up and comer

      But IMO … hell freezes over before Wash helps out Pens via a trade sending a future goalie

      Are there any remaining unsigned UFA goalies?

      I must have been posting/typing at same time as you …. I’m just way slower (single fat finger typing in iPHONE)… for me Jarry over De Smith

      Re Trouba … IMO stays full year but will be traded and Meters kept (Cap casualty with highest return)

      Re Bennett for Strome … I think Arz is now at the point they should be keeping Strome …. I think he will have a great year.

      Last year I was thinking that maybe they should trade him as they weren’t really giving him a true chance to play

      • @ Pengy

        Wasn’t implying that Samsonov be headed to Pitt …NO WAY …LMAO
        was just looking around the league and stating that there isn’t a really high quality Goalie on the rise that everyone is looking at saying.. WOW!
        Pitt is stuck with Murray and his back ups!
        Pitts back end is a legit mess !!

        See you at the game ..LOL.. GO LEAFS !

      • @ Kal El, Patrick Laine and Kyle Connor are both RFA next season; Laine 44g and Connor 31g last season are not 3rd and 4th line players and will quickly eat up the $5m in cap space.

      • It’s funny hearing a leaf fan say Pitts defense is a legit mess! Kal el what do you think the leafs defense is?

      • @ Caper

        .if they don’t up Myers and Move out Kulikov they can fit in Trouba.. Laine and Connor..IMO

      • Kari Lehtonen is, in my opinion, the best option for Pitt to pursue if Murray remains unhealthy; he is a free agent so would not cost anything except cash. I would think he would jump at the chance to sign on with a cup contender.

        Decent article discussing some of his numbers, and comparing them to some of the other goalies that were signed this past offseason.

      • @ Double minor

        I agree …perfect fit… love his style of play …could still be a #1 on some lower end teams as well ..could be a real big help…not a big game goalie ..but can be a legit quality stopper.

        Good call…

      • @ Kal El my point was they are not 3rd and 4th line players, as you stated. However considering the cap space next season Winnipeg has 12 players signed with $23,722,503 remaining in cap space, by not letting Myers walk and trading Kulikov and his $4.33m cap hit would brings the jets to $28m in cap space and needing to sign 12 players.
        Depending on the Trouba situation is they can resign or move, will more then likely play a factor in their decision to resign Myers or not. Kulikov has been a healthy scratch to start the season and only got into yesterday game due to Byfuglien having the flue.
        Winnipeg does not have the depth on D to cover the lose of Trouba and Myers.

      • No to Kari Let-em-in as a solution to anything. Jarry and DeSmith won the AHL tandem award last year and are both capable NHL players and if they split duties even better. Last year signing Niemi was a disaster and Let-em-in is not even as good as Niemi. The Pens 3 goalie group is the best and only solution. Even if Murray misses significant time, which he won’t, I’m much more comfortable letting the 2 young and hungry guys play over some has been or never was.

      • The Penguins defense is hardly a mess either. Yes losing Shultz hurts but the emergence of Riikola who can play either side and having Ruhwedal available significantly helps in the interim. The Pens biggest and only black hole is Johnson, he got Maatta benched and has been awful so far(who cares how many hits he has), I wish it was he instead of Shultz that got hurt. Johnson is Rob Scuderi part 2 part 2. I wish they could have kept Calen Addison in the AHL just in case. I’ll take the Pens D without Shultz over the Leafs and Ron Hainsey any day.

    • Can a team really afford to give a non scoring defensemen 8 million per season? Trouba isn’t a top two way D man. This guy thinks he’s worth top dollar.

      • @ bigbad Bruins ..I agree with you 100%

        Not a big fan of the Leafs back end AT all
        Just an FYI ..my statement about it being a MES was that they have so many injuries right now inMuray Shultz and Matta and Johnson not playing very well ..its just a mess back there …was not implying that they sucked …its just a rough patch from the blueline back in Pitt …they have no real plan to inject any quality help…a lot of stop gaps for sure …I wish Leafs would trade Gardiner Zaitsev tomorrow ..I agree with you for sure on that aspect and I would always be the most critical in my opinion on my team as Iam sure you would be as well.

      • @ Matt …yes ..no way they can afford Trouba at $8 million as I stated ..it would have to $6 or around that ..if they don’t up Myers and Move out Kulikov they can fit in Trouba.. Laine and Connor!

      • I’d look at Howard from the Wings. His numbers don’t reflect his worth. Cap hit a bit high but closer to deadline it’s workable

      • Dee…We can only hope Johnson turns it around… I personally would like a small deal for Adam McQuaid of the New York Rangers. He was a solid defender in Boston for years. Could play top 4 if needed could easily slide in beside Rikola on the 3rd pairing.

        Maybe a 3rd round pick or one of our 9 centers to new York?

        Derek Grant 13 goals in Anaheim last year for Adam McQuaid?

      • I don’t hate the idea but McQuaid isn’t really built for Pens, break out pass, and pinch on O style hockey. He’s more of a throw back, stay at home dman. They don’t really need him for toughness either because they already have a bigger and tougher dman that is a good fit to their system. I’d like to see them grab the next waiver wire casualty and use him as the 8th dman. I like the top 6 they can put out there right now even with only one RHS.

    • Shultz has a fractured leg and will miss at least 4 months, maybe longer, and the Pens D is weakened but it’s still fine. No need to have a roster fire sale, especially when that roster won b2b cups not last season but the 2 before it. Oleksiak, Riikola And Johnson can play either side and Ruhwedal is a right handed shot. Not the time to panic, still a top team in the league.

  2. Re Pitts Netminders

    Personally I like Jarry over De Smith. I hope Murray will be back very soon … I thought they said on Sat that Murray was backing up De Smith …. I didn’t see a close up bench shot of the back up goalie to check if I had misheard.

    If he was dressed as back up, would he not be ready to go for next game?

    Does anybody here know if Murray was actually the back-up on Sat.?

    I will be at the Pens-Leafs game Thursday … the penultimate game for me this year…. either way I personally come out a winner.

    In theses games I usually cheer for whichever team is lower down in the standings and I live high scoring games.,. So I guess I’ll be cheering for Pens to win in a shoot-out (both literally and figuratively

    If it is De Casey in net …. Leafs will win handily in reg.

    The Shultz loss is very costly

    • De Smith not De Casey
      …. Doh!!!

    • Pittsburgh isn’t the only top team potentially in trouble between the pipes IF … what happens in Toronto if anything long-term happens to Andersen? So far it’s Sparks and a couple of guys named Joe.

      • SHAME ON YOU GEORGE !!!!

        NEVER say that out loud… DOH!! %$#@

        Us Goalies are like the force with things like that ..it moves through you and around you ..one can not put that out into the universe !! LOL …DOH !

      • Kal El,

        George IS right re the potential risk with Leafs.

        There is no injury yet in goal for Leafs… there is for Pens

        W/O Freddy … Leafs have 5 losses for sure

        He made a hat-trick of 10 bell saves on one shift in the third period against Wash

        W/O Anderson, IMO…. Leafs would have to win many games 8-7 just to make the playoffs

      • @ Pengy …

        yes Iam very aware …you just don’t say that stuff out loud …LOL ..its like saying the word SHUT OUT in the final 3 minutes of a game you just don’t go there!!!..LOL

        Id say almost every top team has this problem with a so / so back up ..its league wide really…not jst an issue in Toronto …plus you dont give Sparks enough credit ..I think he will surprise as the season goes along …he had a long season last year and he is a big guy and plays an NHL style ..so IMO I think he will improve over the season and show up a lot of none believers.

        In the mean time Q up the Montoya to the Pens rumors ..LOL

      • To be fair George many cup contenders are in the same boat in regards to their netminding.

        Seems to be a bit of a lull lately in ‘out of this world’ goaltenders…or is it just me lol.

      • @ Gary

        Yes you are correct ..teams like Carolina Islanders, Chicago,Sabres, and few others are all having a hard time finding that
        GO TO Legit back up or even a #1 for that Matter in regards to the Canes and Islanders ..they have taken a flyer on Lehner and Mrazek on short term deals to see how it goes…but there is definitely a BIG shortage on elite prospepcts in net !

        I had mentioned that one of the best Goalies not in teh NHl that could be considered the best Top prospect to be a franchise goalie is Samsonov ..he owned by the Caps …so some teams who will be in dire need should inquire to see what they are going to do with him …

      • Kal El

        Montoya is a bit too streaky for my liking. This might however be an option that would need exploring.

        This will be my last post at least for a few hours; and I’m likely only a sporadic and/or early morning poster for the next several weeks. Will read Pengy sets throughout that time though.

        I’m loaded with meetings today and will be focusing on a business item for next couple of months

      • I get what you are all saying re any number of top teams with potential disasters on their hands should their No. 1 goalie go down – it’s just that, while I’ve heard of the Pittsburgh goalie depth to some degree, can anyone say the same about Kasimir Kaskisuo and Jeff Glass???

        As for Sparks, while I have no doubt that, eventually, he could blossom into a top goalie, does anyone really think he’s ready to step in now and do well against that stat showing TO giving up tons of shots per game? He might do great – he could also flop entirely. Meantime, there is NOTHING behind him in the system.

      • @ George

        Jeff Glass backstopped the Hawks last year after Crawford went down …he played quite a bit and had some very good games …they also had Forsberg sharing that time ..

        Glass was pretty decent but he was relied on being the #1 and with his age and for the most part being in the minors his whole career was just a stop gap ..but he did play rather well…its just his age at this point ..almost like a Hammond in Ottawa or carbon copy of Calvin Picard for his style of play ….smaller guy as a goalie … His time has past… 3rd guy on any rotation in the NHL if that !

        Kaskisuo…is a very decent goalie as well…fast legs and plays well East to West Iam not sure he will translate into a #1 in the NHL …he is a Peter Mrazek style goalie but not as quick…still time to grow however but in me telling you Sparks is a wayyy better goalie in every facet should give you an idea of his projection.

        Hope that helps

      • Oh I understand all that very well. My point was, in the event of a long-term injury to Andersen, does anyone truly think with full confidence that any of Glass, Kaskisuo or Sparks is ready to step in and keep them as a top contender or, for that matter, make the playoffs? Not the “hope” – but flat-out confidence that nothing will change.

      • Well, if the news is correct you won’t have Glass to rely on in the immediate future anyway, and now we’ll see how Sparks can do as “the guy” – at least for a bit until we know more about that knee injury suffered by Andersen. With Andersen out tonight it looks like they’ll have to dress that other AHL goalie as the back-up.

      • sparks just won how is that ?

    • Can confirm – Heard the same thing you did on the HNIC broadcast that Murray was backing him up. As from what i have seen online, this appears to be legit

    • Pengy, heard the same thing on Saturday – Murray the back-up goaltender. You don’t dress a back-up unless you’re ready to use him.

    • Yes Murray was the backup against Montreal and will likely start against the Canucks tomorrow. DeSmith was excellent the 2 games he played, aside from the shootout, and I will take drive and ability over experience any day. DeSmith and Jarry splitting time the rest of the season is still a thousand times better than signing some over the hill has been.

  3. On a NON topic ..of conversation ..but with all the woes in Pitt.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what Pitt should look to do long term?

    Is it a legit time to look at moving a Malkin to start to rebuild around Crosby even just a little ?
    Any thoughts ..I think its time!
    Yes / NO ?

    • Malkin would go before Crosby. Syd is going to retire a Pen.

      That’s if they go in a rebuild direction. If they try and move anyone it would be Letang.

    • No. Kessel or letang maybe. Malkin will play for pens until he bolts to finish his career in Russia

    • Nope, no time to panic 4 games into the season. How does a team that is 2-1-1 have woes? Yeah they should be 3-1-0 but had a bad second period last game. They have 3 good goalies, 8 competent dmen and one of the best forward groups in the league as well as being the deepest team at centre. What does moving their second best player get them? They don’t have any glaring holes even without Shultz. I’m gonna wait until the 35 game mark to panic and make dumb moves.

  4. Hey the cap always goes up so just give Trouba whatever he wants!!! Hell, give him 10 million a year. Who cares the “cap always goes up”…ask the BlackHawks about building a winning team and not being able to keep them together due to cap. But hey, it always goes up. Trouba had 1 assist in playoffs. Some Ray Bourque he is.

    • Watched Trouba in a couple of games this year, he’d better hope Morrisey keeps bailing him out. He hasn’t looked good so far. Not worth even close what he’s looking for in a raise and term.

  5. People seen to forget that one of the biggest deterrent of offer sheets is cap space. Which team has the cap space to add a 6 to 8 million dollar player that is in position to give up those draft picks?

  6. Just read this in an article on SprotsNet.
    “The number and quality of draft choices due to the Prior Club shall be based on the average annual value of the compensation contained in the Principal Terms … of the New Club’s Offer Sheet (determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five).”

    So if you sign a player at 8.5 for 7 years that is a total of 59.5 million divided by 5 years (dividing such compensation by the lesser the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five) would equal 11.9 million. So that would come in the 4 first round picks in compensation.

  7. Like the Jets will ever fall out of playoffs contention. That means Trouba ain’t going nowhere folks, unlike Nylander.

  8. Im no fan of the Penguins but I do hope Murray makes a full recovery. Much too young to have his career (or life) derailed by head injuries. Not a ton of options for the Pens in goal. Lehtenon? Steve Mason? Both can play well in stretches but I wouldnt want to pin my Cup dreams on either of them.

    Very disappointed and surprised theres no mind numbing “update” on the Nylander crisis in Toronto. lol.

    • Speaking of options in goal, what are hextall and the flyers doing? They better do it quick the defense is already weak and terrible goaltending. You know hextall will screw it up like the terrible jvr signing, hextall is definitely one of the worst gms in th3 league

      • Weak in goal, yes. Weak on D? Absolutely not. The Flyers are blessed with 4 really good young D-men and two absolute studs in Ghost and Provorov.
        Hextall has done a great job with this roster and has the best goalie prospect in the league in the minors.

      • I completely agree. I wish Hexy had found the stones to buy out both Elliott and Neuvirth. Let Carter Hart and Anthony Stolarz play between the pipes. Their both younger, cheaper and better than either of the other two.

      • If you don’t think they’re are weak on d you must be a leaf fan! Ghost is terrible in his own end and provorov hasn’t exactly impressed anyone in his own end

    • Both are garbage and well past their best before dates. There is no reason to entertain the thought of signing either.

  9. Shouldn’t the Flames hold on to Bennett and see if Peters can get him turned around?

    • I watch every flame game and can say with certainty that the last two games Sam has elevated his game, especially on Saturday against Colorado. Peters mixed up the lines and put Bennet with Backlund and Neal, they were dynamite, Bennet delivered some monster hits and that line had Colorado trapped in their zone all night plus Bennet scored. Who knows maybe this is the year Bennet develops into the player everyone thought he would be.
      I am pretty sure the Flames have never had any desire to trade him.
      As I have said a few times already, if the Flames make the playoffs he will be a key player to any success as his game is really geared to the playoff style of hockey

      • Hows Rasmus Anderson doing this year? What would it take to acquire him? He’s the perfect type of player to take over for Shultz while he’s out.

    • Anderson will be a 2nd pairing Dman.
      The cost would be higher than the Penguins would want to pay.
      The Flames won’t move him for peanuts, so I don’t see a deal there.
      Maybe Stone could be had instead.