NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2018

by | Oct 26, 2018 | Rumors | 31 comments

Latest on Sergei Bobrovsky, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jesse Puljujarvi in your NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman believes the situation between the Columbus Blue Jackets and pending free agent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky appears “untenable”. Bobrovsky isn’t playing well and seems unhappy, prompting Friedman to suggest the Jackets must consider the effect it’s having on their roster.

Could unhappy Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky accept a trade? (Photo via NHL Images)

Bobrovsky has a full no-movement clause but Friedman reports “it is believed he has given an indication of teams he will consider.” There’s speculation suggesting the New York Islanders could be in Bobrovsky’s future but Friedman feels he has to improve his performance to bolster his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Bobrovsky’s early struggles this season I don’t think the Blue Jackets are looking to move him just yet. Backup Joonas Korpisalo will have to prove he’s capable of handling the starter’s role before they consider shopping their two-time Vezina Trophy winner.

Bobrovsky’s status as a pending free agent could adversely affect a potential return. His current performance certainly won’t help. Still, I believe the Jackets won’t move Bobrovsky as long as they remain in playoff contention. 


Friedman also noted there’s some interest around the league in New York Rangers forward Vladislav Namestnikov. He expects the Rangers are willing to listen to offers. Namestnikov’s playing time has reduced under new Blueshirts coach David Quinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite his slow start to this season, the 25-year-old Namestnikov is a versatile forward who can skate at center or wing, plays a two-way game and has decent offensive skills. He’s signed through 2019-20 with a $4-million annual cap hit and could be attractive to playoff contenders seeking second- or third-line depth. The rebuilding Rangers could consider moving him if they can get a suitable draft pick or prospect in return. 


TSN: Asked about what the future might hold for struggling Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi, Darren Dreger believes it’s still a tad early to suggest his situation is coming to a head. The Oilers still feel the youngster has a bright future. However, he also noted Puljujarvi is being outplayed by rookie Kailer Yamamoto. He thinks it’s a trust issue between the player and coach and it’s up to Puljujarvi to try and improve it. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers feel the Oilers haven’t done a good job developing Puljujarvi, suggesting they should shop him while he still has value for help on defense. While Puljujarvi’s in his third NHL season, he’s only 20 and still has plenty of time to develop into a reliable scorer.

The last thing the Oilers want is another situation where they give up on one of their highly touted youngsters only to see him blossom elsewhere, like Taylor Hall going to New Jersey and winning the Hart Trophy. However, one also has to wonder if this could be another Nail Yakupov scenario. Until the Oilers figure that out, Puljujarvi won’t be going anywhere for the time being. 



  1. regarding Puljujarvi, if you are being “outplayed” by a guy who has one goal in eight games while skating with McDavid then I would prepare for a change in scenery …

    • Hi Ed,

      I would give him time. This quite truly could turn out to be another big gaffe for GMPC if he trades him (traded for minimal return, only to see him play very well elsewhere).

      No rush I think right now. His return as at now is diminished due to his play; so why get a small return now for a potential embarrassment (JP plays well elsewhere) down the road?

      As at right now he will not bring back a coveted DMan. Who would be the suitors?

      All just IMO… time will tell.

    • Ed, Yamamoto was moved to the top line when Rattie got hurt in game 5. So 3 games after last night.
      Both PJ and Yam are not putting up big points as both are young and learning. They are only 4 1/2 months apart in age even though they were drafted in different years. I think PJ would benefit on time in the AHL which allows more time and more 1 on 1 time to develop specific skills and weaknesses. He was a scratch last night and if the coach doesn’t trust his play away from the puck, then send him down and let him play and learn. Sitting on the bench or in the press box won’t help him improve.
      Shouldn’t have played in the NHL last year or the year before IMO. It’s not to late to turn this around.

  2. Goalies, just like any player, can go through terrible stretches. Ups and downs are a part of the game. Not every player is game in and game out, consistent. Early season. Bobo has great performances under his belt; great seasons under his belt.

    Yes this could be the beginning of a steady decline…. the old adage of “anything is possible” can hold true. However, the likelihood of that (continued decline in Bobo play) is very very slim IMO.

    As pointed out— return now would be much less than desired.

    No panic needed right now– CBJ had a big victory last night.

    Now, that said… if decline continues… then nearing US Thanksgiving, there may be a requirement to move him. His trade value (even if he continues to be playing poorly) will be about the same as it is right now. Again, no rush needed.

  3. Off topic
    Pretty impressive shutout by Boston missing
    Mcavoy,Krug,Miller and Vaakanainen.
    Halak has been awesome and I predicted before the season he would become the number one. Any chance Rask could be moved?

    • Hi Dave

      I wouldn’t. Bos Tandem good. Bos is playing fine (14 of possible 20 points) despite injury woes.

      IMO , nothing happening trade wise for them in the next couple of weeks.

      I posted on Morning Coffee side— my foggy Crystal Ball still sees Bruins/Leafs first round match-up and despite me being a Leaf fan; I’m sensing (unless a Leaf D upgrade happens) a Bruins/Lightning div final.

      I’m done now for the day— will try and loop back in possibly tonight.

    • No, Rask isn’t moving. If you recall this is exactly how things started out last season and it was Anton Khudobin who carried the load until Rask found his game.
      By trading Rask, your backing up Halak with who? Then if / when Halak falters or get injured then what? Just to keep in mind the team trading for Rask would have to be on his 8 team list, which grows to 15 teams next season.

      • If Rask could be moved for a top 6 RW and a decent backup goalie I would do it.
        Salary is a issue for Rask also
        Rask has always had a great team in front of him. He’s overrated IMO

    • Dave, I’m with you.
      Glad to see Halak start well.
      I wouldn’t trade Rask right now, but he’d be on a really short leash going forward.
      Rest assured, I’d look to trade him in the summer though.

      • This speculation is not close to reality. Rask isn’t moving.
        Halak is doing well – in a back up role! Its working, why would the bruins even consider changing that??

    • I am sure Halak would love to beat the Habs a few times this season – one of the best sports rivalries just got better. Keep them both.

  4. Side note E. Karlsson is a minus 7. So was it the terrible Sens team or the very good Sharks team that is his problem ?

    I think Puljujarvi needs some time and I don’t think is a Nail just yet. The minors to build some confidence might help. Playing with Lucic sure doesn’t

    • Perhaps the players Ottawa took were the type that made a team better by rounding out a roster and provided quality in lesser support roles.

      Perhaos SJ was un a decline with their aging veterans and their relative success marked their decline and the addition of Karlsson generated undue hype.

      Perhaps SJ is simply having a slow start.

      • The sharks will be fine. They play in the absolute worst division in the NHL (by a mile) so they’ll make the playoffs and may even make the western final due to the softness on their side.

        Real shift coming in that dvision with the Cali teams getting older and slower and the Coyotes and Oilers having the young pieces to build on

      • San Jose are having a slow start? Check them out now – they are gaining momentum.

    • Like everyone, i’m really surprised at how well The Sens are doing so far this year. Dorion couldn’t have dreamed Tierny and Demelo would step up the way they have so far. Maybe Norris will join in after the NCAA season is over to center his boy Brady. Even frickin’ Rudolf Balcers is over a point a game clip so far down in Belleville. Couldn’t have gone better so far compared to that dumpster fire of a season last year. I’m a Leaf fan but Sens fans have lots to look forward to so far. The team being unexpectedly competitive early this year i’m sure helps fans to forget there’s no 65 on the blueline anymore…

  5. What I found interesting in the 2016 draft, it was considered by many to be between Matthews, Laine and Puljujarvi. However Columbus with the third overall pick and GM Kekalainen who is from Finland passed over the Finnish draft pick to draft Pierre-Luc Dubois.
    This isn’t to say Kekalainen should’ve have drafted a fellow country man, but the fact Puljujarvi was rated in the top 3, gave me thought of all the connections that Kekalainen would of had back in Finland and if there was some information he received that made him pass over Puljujarvi.

    • That does make you wonder Caper. Puljujarvi is a big lanky kid from the boonies in Finland, so you would think it would take him time to grow into that frame, the pro game in NA, and the major culture change.
      Why he has been in the NHL for the better part of 3 years is beyond me. Should have went to the AHL or stayed in Europe and played against lesser competition in minor pro or JR to improve his overall game without the pressure and glare of the NHL.
      I just don’t get what the Oilers are trying to accomplish with this kid.

    • He had to take a center with that pick.
      It was the right pick to make regardless of home country ties, in my opinion

    • Good call Caper. Edmonton by burning a couple years of his RA status is kinda all in with him now. Like mentioned above – he won’t get much back – keep him grinding on the 3rd line and let him learn to figure it out…

  6. There is no bigger Jackets fan than me. You guys on the outside looking in probably don’t see or hear it, but something has gone haywire with this team and it can be traced back to Panarin. All was trending upwards fast until Panarin decided he needs a beach and Chinese food at 4am.
    He and Bob have become thick as thieves off ice, logically, and now Bob is “unhappy” yadda, yadda, yadda.
    Bob has nothing to be unhappy about. He is paid well, has been offered better, and is treated like a God in this town without the hassle of a parade of fanboys bothering him everywhere he goes.
    Really getting sick of this. I say we just trade both of them now, cut our losses, and begin to rebuild things. Sick of the prima donna bs

    • He can’t even get cluck u in Columbus anymore at 4am. Can’t blame him.

  7. Lyle,

    I just read that article you recently did on
    “Are the Avs for Real?”…

    You just dropped
    turd on us fans, lol. Seriously!? You build us a nice picture just to throw it in the trash?

    Not very nice of you, Lyle. But, I still respect you’re opinion more than most. And, as a longtime reader, I love you’re site!

    • I appreciate your support and respect your opinion as well, Streamfisher. However, I’m curious as to how my article “dropped turd” on Avs fans or built “a nice picture just to throw it in the trash.” I provided what I believe was an evenly balanced piece on the Avalanche’s strengths and weaknesses.

      Ultimately, I think they’re a legitimate playoff team but not yet a dominant one. Their weaknesses, as I pointed out, have the potential to derail them. If they prove me wrong, great, but those roster weaknesses are a concern.


      • Just read that article. Nice read for sure and pretty accurate. One thing I would like to see mentioned is just how good Sam Gerard looks, I’ve seen a couple of AVs game and this guy is a hidden gem – how good was that Duchene trade for Colorado? Really Fu*kin good! (Sorry, Lyle, the curse was important for affect here)

        I brought up a few teams recently that I believe are one line teams and need to make moves (albeit that I said this in order to facilitate a conversation about Nylander’s trade value). Among those are Calgary, Dallas, Canes (though they seem to be follwoing the Nashville model of getting the defence involved), Ducks and Colorado. These are all teams that are playoff contenders but won’t get far without having secondary threats.

      • Thanks Lyle.

        The piece started out singing our praises and give us our due respect, just to dash our hopes and say “Nah, they’re probably gonna go to trash before it’s all over…”

        To be fair though, I’m a little more sensitive to the east coast bias at times.

        I just wanted to rib you a little, Lyle. As an Avs fan, I appreciate any attention we can get. This team is for real, even if I wrongly assumed you didnt think so? lol..

      • No worries, Streamfisher. And I get the concern about east coast bias. I spent 14 years living in Victoria BC, Calgary Alberta, and Anchorage Alaska. It’s not so much bias as there are larger media markets in the East so they tend to dominate more.

    • anyone who follows the avs knows that the first line is in the top 3 in the nhl..the d is greatly improved…girard is a young stud dman….goaltending has been steller no matter who is in net BUT the bottom 3 lines are all 3rd line quality….if no trade is made kerfoot, jost, and compher when he returns will have to shoulder some of the goal scoring to make the playoffs….the good news if they dont make the playoffs…two ping pong balls in the lottery derby…plus the team is fun to watch skate

  8. “Bob’ just needs to man up and do his job. Not sure what kind of term he’s going to get at his age and $11M seems pretty out there. I would not pay a goalie that much, unless his name was Hasek or Bernie Parent.

    • You need to stop posting porn sites