NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2018

by | Oct 20, 2018 | Rumors | 32 comments

Latest on Artemi Panarin plus an update on the Hurricanes in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a recent appearance on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, Darren Dreger said he wouldn’t be surprised if the rebuilding New York Rangers were keeping a close watch on Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Panarin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer but remains reluctant to sign a contract extension with the Jackets.

Could the New York Rangers target Artemi Panarin via free agency next summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

Dreger believes Panarin will want to play “either somewhere near the East Coast or somewhere on the West Coast. So I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t be interested in the New York Rangers. So there’s a name that will be attached to New York until something proves otherwise.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation has linked Panarin to the Rangers for some time but he’s given no indication as to his intentions. Don’t expect Rangers management to admit any interest in him. It’s worth noting they’ll have $59.8-million invested in 13 players for 2019-20 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), giving them plenty of cap space to pursue a big-ticket free agent like Panarin if they wish. 


SPORTSNET: During his recent “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman noted the Carolina Hurricanes dress “four right-shot defenders” with Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Trevor van Riemsdyk. Those are the type of blueliners teams covet.

Friedman also noted Scott Darling will be returning soon, and with Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney also on the roster, they’ll have a surplus between the pipes. He speculated Mrazek or McElhinney could be traded or placed on waivers, suggesting one of them could be targeted by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For months, it’s been assumed the Hurricanes could shop one of those right-hand defensemen – Faulk is usually mentioned – for a scoring forward. Faulk and Pesce have surfaced in trade speculation regarding Leafs restricted free agent forward William Nylander. However, the Hurricanes are off to a good start and they’re among the top-10 in scoring thus far. Perhaps they’ll shop one of their right-shot rearguards later this season if their offense falters. For now, they’ll likely be patient and see how the season unfolds and who’s available in the trade market.

If they decide to shop or waive McElhinney I can see the Leafs trying to bring him back. They recently lost him off waivers to the Hurricanes.



  1. No panic right now for Canes…, so no trade needed right now. Stay the course, IMO, for at least until US thanksgiving

    Panarin moving before TDL
    (If moved at all) is very slim chance

    ” You can bet your sweet bippy ” (for you youngins …. google the phrase) that Leafs will try to get McElhinney if he goes on waivers

    …. heading out now for reg Sat shopping with my elderly mom

    • “…. heading out now for reg Sat shopping with my elderly mom”

      You personal life is just soooooooooooooo interesting. Please post pictures.

    • I didn’t think anyone would be all that interested in your sat morning routine but it appears I was wrong.. you got a reply!

  2. “either somewhere near the East Coast or somewhere on the West Coast”

    That narrows it down. Journalism at its finest. Almost weatherman like…. It will either rain, or it won’t.


    • Lol exactly what I was thinking

      • So, I guess depending upon his definition of “near” that would exclude Colorado, Arizona, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis, Detroit and Nashville! Or are they “near” enough?

    • Reportedly, he also wants to play in a city that has a large Russian community. I’m thinking he’ll likely play in the KHL for a team near the Russian coast. It’s anybody’s guess, though, whether he prefers the Asian or the European side.

      • Yeah, preferably Admiral Vladivostok – the team logging the most air miles

    • Bingo, the need is for Columbus to move Panarin if he does not sign by December. Waiting for the trade deadline is a “Karlsson” loss in value. East coast and west coast, well Chicago is neither. Me thinks Chicago would be fine. Dumb reporting.

  3. If the Leafs want to trade for a Canes’ blueliner, they should prefer Pesce over Faulk. Pesce is a lot better defensively, Faulk is a miss in his own zone, which is why the team shelters his minutes. The Leafs need d-men better in their own zone than in the O-zone, they have enough offensive dmen

    • The problem is the canes are scoring at a good pace and I don’t think they would move pesce

      • Especially if Nylander and his agent dig in their heels on what they think he’s worth ($8 mil and long-term) then have to deal with their own RFAs (Teravainen,m Aho, McGinn, DiGuiseppe, Bishop) and UFAs (Williams, Martinook, Ferland, Mrazek, McElhiney) – either re-sigining them OR replacing them.

  4. So Panarin wants to go to the Metro division or the Pacific division. Doesn’t he currently play in the Metro ?
    Blue Jackets are in tough with this player. The genuine risk is he might pull a Tavares .

    • Pull a Tavares? Do you mean leaving a team that couldn’t be bothered to get him anyone to play with, for a team that actually has the talent to win a Cup? Yeah…what a monster Tavares is…..

      • That’s NOT what he said Mr. Jug Ears – clearly he means risk losing him for zilch a la Tavares. Jaysus H. You-Know-Who some of you clowns are so thin-skinned I bet you’re almost transparent.

      • Pump the breaks on the “talent to win th cup” talk. No one on the leafs has ever won anything, except Hainsey who never had played in the playoffs before his Pittsburgh stint. Until they can prove they can get out of the first round of the playoffs they aren’t much of anything.

      • Kettle meet pot, er I mean kettle meet George. Wow I just realized how very racist that colloquialism is.

      • How is that racist exactly?

        We can’t say anything about the colour black now?

        Good thing no one identifies as blue or we could talk about the sky.

  5. I don’t doubt Panarin could end up with Rangers, but too early to discuss. I remember reading all last year how Kovalchuk agreed to sign with Rangers. Never happened.

  6. Leaf fans, are you at all concerned with the lack of goal scoring production coming from Kadri?

    • Yes I’m concerned about the lack of goal scoring out of anyone not names Mathews or Tavarea

      • I’m confused as to why my auto correct does that Matthews

      • Nope guess that was just me doh should really start paying attention or at least throw my glasses on sorry jeesh lol

    • And 5 on 5 scoring

      • I’ve seen the wheels fall off this bus before I’m never really comfortable and know a thing or 2 about random vs percentages … imo injury or 2 away from hard times not as deep as some seem to think. If one of the top 2C miss anytime how many goals Kadri Lindholm or Gauthier have? That center linup looks mighty thin in experience right now after the big 2 and Nylander is more a playmaker than a shooter who isn’t a liability on the dot

      • You have to remember Kadri`s always been a bit of a streaky scorer

      • Between the difference of no BozakJVR Nylander and Kadris slow start that’s a whole lotta offense missing from previous years yeah Taveres and Matthews I know but…it’s not balanced or spread out as it should be

      • No it`s not balanced but if everybody got off to a great start who`d be left to score later. Beating teams 15 to 5 at the beginning is great but not everyone will continue their hot streak throughout the season. Hopefully when Tavaras Matthews production slows a bit guys like Kadri better be ready to pick up the slack. And yes 5 on 5 is a concern

      • Come on Yogi go through it NVM great start outside 2 or 3 guys scoring bushels who is is filling in those 165 or so of those 3 players points? Tavares Marner Matthews are putting up are very likely unsustainable and the rest of the offence it’s all pp accounting for the majority of the other points

      • We`re basically saying the same thing, I said when Matthews and Tavaras cool down hopefully Kadri will start scoring. He`s hit a few posts, been robbed a couple of times. He`s had these scoreless streaks before longest is 12 games. Babs has had them playing better defensively and when you have less than stellar goaltending players have a more cautious attitude too. Personally, I think it`s still a little early to panic, the 4th line is playing great. The 5 on 5 will get rolling, far too much talent there not to and Kadri will get hot.

      • Suppose we are just getting tired of hearing how rosey it is and that a 60 point too line playmaker guy won’t be or isnt missed after a 7 game start. Sorry Yogi it was nothing against you, your generally pretty reasonable for the most part I thought you were going the other way there… hence the come on…like oh not you too the zombies got Yogi!

  7. Why would Columbus risk losing Panarin for nothing.
    Trade him by the deadline. Get the best return available.
    I don’t care if they are in the playoffs or not.
    A trade can give you quality players for the playoffs or prospects for the future or both.