NHL Rumor Mill – November 27, 2018

by | Nov 27, 2018 | Rumors | 48 comments

Latest on the Flyers and an update on Artemi Panarin in your NHL rumor mill. 


NBC SPORTS: In the wake of the Philadelphia Flyers firing general manager Ron Hextall, John Boruk wonders what other moves might be in store for the struggling club. Flyers president Paul Holmgren said he’s begun the process of finding and selecting Hextall’s replacement, leading to questions over whether head coach Dave Hakstol could be replaced. 

Will a change in management spell the end of Wayne Simmonds’ tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers? (Photo via NHL Images)

As for possible player moves, Boruk notes only Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds have some form of no-trade protection. Simmonds, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July, is said to be seeking a six-year contract extension. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports former Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher and former Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis are among the early candidates to replace Hextall. Pierre LeBrun reports the Hurricanes haven’t been asked yet by the Flyers for permission to speak to Francis. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see who the Flyers eventually hire and what route their new GM takes. Hextall’s patient approach was said to clash with Holmgren’s desire for quicker action.

A coaching change could be in order as the new GM could bring in their own staff right away. They might want to assess the club’s performance under a new bench boss before pulling the trigger on a significant trade. 

I don’t see Giroux, Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, Nolan Patrick, Travis Konency, Ivan Provorov, or Shayne Gostisbhere going anywhere. Simmonds’ performance has declined this season, likely due to the wear and tear of his physical style over the years. Nevertheless, he could have value for Stanley Cup contenders seeking rental players near the trade deadline.

The Flyers’ biggest need is goaltending. Given the lack of viable options in the trade market, they could promote promising Carter Hart in the short term.  


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline yesterday reported Columbus Blue Jackets management met with Artemi Panarin’s agent, Dan Milstein, on Sunday in Detroit. The meeting, however, was to discuss other Milstein clients in the Jackets system, including  KHL defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and AHL forward Nikita Korostelev. 

Portzline said the Jackets haven’t given up hope of convincing Panarin, a pending UFA, to re-sign before next July. The window of opportunity could be during the All-Star break from Jan. 20-28. Milstein said his client is happy with the way things are going and they’ll talk business during the break. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he hasn’t had a trade discussion regarding Panarin in weeks and he isn’t monitoring the market. 

By playing the waiting game, Portzline suggests Kekalainen has the possibility of moving Panarin to a struggling club or an aging Cup contender before the deadline. It’s also possible Panarin could have a change of heart and re-sign. However, the risk is Panarin could suffer a season-ending injury that prevents them from moving him at the trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Milstein may have also been referring to the Blue Jacket’s bye week in January for discussing his client’s future with management. Despite uncertainty over the futures of Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the Jackets are playing well. If this continues into January or February, maybe he’ll decide his future is in Columbus.

Then again, Panarin could still prefer testing the market in July. That would leave the Jackets facing a tough decision: move Panarin at the trade deadline for the best offer at the risk of hurting their position in the standings, or keep him in hopes he’ll power them to a long playoff run even at the risk of losing him for nothing to free agency. 


  1. Hopefully Holmgren & the new GM trade away all of the young guys for slow, tough veterans and the Flyers will be irrelevant for another ten years.

    • Ed

      Have Holmy call Arz GMJC… he’s made what appears to be “silly” trades recently … maybe there’s a deal to be had

      I’d rather Holmy call GMKD…. WW for Sanheim and Simmonds

      • pengy In my opinion not a good option at all for the Leafs…only seen Sanheim play once…looked slow …Simmonds should go to the elephant graveyard of the NHL in LA…that way he would not look out of place for lack of speed

        Agree totally that Leafs could use some grit and size…just don’t think this is the right option…because of the nature of the others on the roster…the new grit and size has to have speed so that they can adapt when necessary

        Warning sign for this is James Neal in Calgary…just too slow for the rest of the roster

      • Hi OBD,

        I’ve not seen Sanheim a ton of games but those I did see, I did not get a “slow” vibe.

        Simmonds added for maturity and depth for this season.

        If he does not fit in well— Leafs would get something for him at trade deadline.

        Best case— he fills in well in top 9– worst case he is an asset at TDL— something coming back.

        I do like Sanheim.

        My other “shot in the dark” … Montour/Richie for WW… won’t happen though

      • Still think Nylander signs by the end of the week for a “reasonable” deal, whether it be bridge or with term.
        Dubas played this right and will get what he wants.
        Leafs will make some minor depth deals to for their blue line prior to TDL and will go on a long cup run to at least the conference finals, and unfortunately beat my Bruins along the way.

      • And Ray, I’m sticking to my prediction that he doesn’t sign and sits out the season.

      • I’m sticking with my prediction of trade. Duh.

      • I’ll stick to the deal is already done for around 42 mill 5 or 6 year and the Leafs play it out with the RFA signing loophole that Pirdham had a hand in writting in to the last chance the hit will be high 6 with a 9 mill first year like Uncle Bob has said in the past the Leafs can play this card…
        Nov. 30 to sign the winger to the same deal, his cap hit would rise to $9.6 million in Year 1, but drop to $6.6 million in each of the remaining years.

        Lowering Nylander’s cap hot is the issue not the contract announce the deal at the very last minute to save on the hit

    • Yeah I made this exact comment yesterday, would be so fitting if Homgren, who has had pretty much zero success, destroyed everything that Hextall built for the future, because what he was building was starting to look pretty scary for Penguins fans.

      • Deee

        True. I’m just as guilty as an Leaf fan of being arrogant in our sense of team.

        Yes this city will go absolutely nuts if they win a cup. I will.

        I do have a memory of sitting on my dad’s lap watching the Leafs win in ’67 and remember my dad being ecstatic and all the fathers talking about it for a long time.

        My Dad has passed now but I think I would go a little crazy with my own sons (I think my daughter could care less) with a Leaf SC… and my sons are in their mid 20’s

        So… yep… I believe you are right…. a win of SC by Leafs will be a major s%#@%t storm of arrogance imposed on fans of other teams…. fully concur.

      • Deee


        that post was to go in response to your post below regarding Leafs fans

        again — small screen, weak eyes, weak brain

        humble apologies

      • LMAO

        George O… and… Ray Bark

        Regardless maybe we can agree that he is not worth more than Pastrnak …

        And $7 million is really his ceiling anyway you cut it for the foreseeable future …on the Leafs ANYWAYS!

        Someone always overpays!!

    • @ CAPER

      Good game last night ….you were right about your secondary scoring as per our convo the other day …however you have good players in that line up ..Wagner Bjork and Hienen all played really good as well as Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson.

      I think it will translate better as time goes along …these guys are FRESH to the NHL and are just getting there feet wet ….I think you guys have a solid depth core in the minors system …you need to be patient …very rarely does any 1 player come up and be a significant impact….I though the Bruins played a real good game with those guys in the line up.

      I think another positive is that Jake Debrusk can carry is own line …and that is a positive for your depth moving forward …I like the way the Bruins play …it will translate better as the season moves along with more experience.


      • Concur

        First time I’d seen JFK and Bjork play— if going on only one game…. good future ahead.

        Love Debrusk… great skill and energy… he’s certainly making his dad proud!

      • @kal El it was an entertaining game; Boston lack of secondary scoring is a real eye sore. The Bruins have 11 goals in the last 5 games. Last night they had to move their next Bergeron (JFK) off the first line because he is brutal on the draws I believe 0-7 when they replaced him with Cave who was much better on the draw and allowed Pastrnak and Marchand to play with the puck a little more.
        I thought MM was outstanding and the patience he shows with the puck.
        You have to believe him and Matthews are watching with great interest how the Nylander situation gets resolved.
        Still like to see Kadri in a Bruins uniform Carlo for Kadri?

      • Re Pasternak, he’s worth quite a bit more than he’s getting now – a terrific young player – and, in the NHL cap world, underpaid now and likely overpaid toward the end of his career.

    • Flyers

      From all indications Carter Hart is having a down year in the Minors and probably the reason why he has not seen NHL work regardless of the holes the Flyers have in net …it would be worse to ruin this kid before his time …Hextall knows this ..HOWEVER Hakstoll needs to go.

      I am not a fan of Nolan Patrick …I think they should look to move him and with he firing of Hextall and signing of JVR i think that spells the end of Simmonds time in Philly.

      This team needs a coach who played professional hockey …LMFAO…and he is no Hitchcock !

      There are 15 teams looking to upgrade on the galie side of things …the plain fact for all those teams …there just isnt a magic wand to either make a deal or find one that can help because there just inst one to be had ….

      I have been posting about this for the past 3 months on the overall lack of quality goaltending BOTH in the NHL level and no up and coning stars outside the NHL …that why Iam AMAZED …that some team has not crushed down the door in Washington and thrown a top prospect or 1A player along with a #1 draft pick for Ilya Samsonov …he is the ONLY really high quality Goalie outside the NHL that is available to start a new era for a team.

      • Mark Hunter GM
        Sheldon Keefe Coach in Philly.

    • They’ll break loose for 6 goals tonight against Ottawa – who will likely score 5!

    • They’ll break out of THEIR slump and pot 6 goals tonight. The Senators will likely stay in their slump but score 5!

    • You mean, pull an “Edmonton”?

  2. Love the fact that Leafs won last night.

    that said— stellar performance by Freddy plus key plays by Marner saved the day. Outshot 40-30 with 3 top Bruins D out for entire game and another out most of the game; plus their top C out—- fully healthy Bruins team (which I expect in playoff first round match-up with Leafs) should still take it in a 7 game series even if WW signs and AM back.

    All the more reason , IMO — that best move for Leafs is a WW move for D upgrade.

    D is fair— just not there yet— and in the window of SC opporutniy that I believe they have … between June ’20 and June ’26…. they will need stronger core D. Hainsey (age) and Gardner (cap fatality) won’t be in the group… so need to get one who will be in prime during those years. Sit WW— get 30 teams with possible bids in off-season.

    I know this is contrary to many hear that believe Leafs can win SC this year; but I’m looking/praying for multiple cups; and thinking long term.

    With Chara, Carlo, McAvoy, Bergeron, AM, WW all in the line-up; and no other changes— I just can’t see as at now; any other result than Bos winning a 7 games series.

    If by some miracle; Leafs do win— getting past TBay AND Metro winner and West winner this year— just not in the cards.

    I know I’ve posted this many many times— I’m just more convinced now after seeing the two teams head-to-head last night.

    Leafs … I’m looking to be proven wrong— will greatly embrace my errors in predictions 🙂

    • “here” not “hear”…. single finger typing , small screen, small brain again

    • The prospect of the leafs winning multiple cups with that fan base in tow is almost enough to make me walk away from the NHL all together. I’m going to wait until it becomes a reality though, I have to believe they will blow it long before it comes to that.

    • @ Pengy

      I agree …

      If the leafs do not pick up a guy like Jake Muzzin or a power forward who makes life very hard on opponents like maybe a Hornqvist
      ( if available ) the Bruins will win the series when they have a full line up
      ( I hate to say ) 🙁

      There were times in the second period where the Leafs did not have a shot on net for the first 12 minutes of play ..and looked as if they might get steam rolled …BUT ..the Vezina season playing of Freddy Anderson stole another one.

      And just so people know not all Leafs fans over value or inflate everything …I just want to go on the record to say that Nylander is NO WHERE NEAR THE PLAYER Pastrnak is …not even in the same orbit !!

      • Kal El,

        Posted a response but then it vanished so this may be a duplicate

        True true true re: Pastrnak/WW comparison

        Re: Freddy — if he goes down for a stretch — Leafs are in trouble. Back-up is fair but there is no way he can perform as Freddy has (and is) done/doing for an extended stretch.

        Muzzin great add now— but I’d rather have a younger guy that will be in prime in what I perceive to be Leafs window ’20-’26. Sanheim will be Muzzin-like in two years IMO

      • If pens bow out of playoffs I’d be happy sending horny to leafs (if he agrees) for a younger more cost controlled asset and a pick. I thought horny might be Seattle fodder but I actually think pens will have excess d for them

      • @ Pengy

        While Sanheim is MAYBE the right age in a growth year for a team …Muzzin is the right player for a Cup contending team …he is a BEAST …and brings legit Cup experience into the room where the Leafs have NONE!!
        can not stress enough how much they need that in the room especially when they need to settle down a game and depend on a shut down D man when things go south or blow a lead …they still do not have a player like that ..they do not need another GREEN young kid ..they need a legit 16 game playoff hound !

      • Chrisms

        don’t give up on Pens yet.

        Was hoping for JJ as Seattle fodder…. how much extra would GMJR have to give up to get Seattle to take JJ?

        Tough next 2 games

        Pens win tonight and tomorrow or get 3 points(long shot but if they do)… no panic… minor tweak trade if necessary

        Pens get 2 points in the back2back Winn/Col games… I think maybe a tweak trade might have to happen.

        No points in those two games … now there is an issue

        I posted the other day my small tweaks

        – flip ZAR/Sprong… in minutes and position. Give Sprong a few shifts with Crosby and Guenzel.

        – play JJ 5-7 mins less a game; give those minutes mostly to the Big Rig

        – do not have Ruhweedel back in the line-up; play on with Riikola. If there is another D injury; bring up Prow.

      • Kal El

        You are absolutely bang on w.r.t. Muzzin—maturity, shut-down, size, strength, cup experience, etc..

        Great in the here and now; and for next couple of years. I’m just thinking longer term. So that was the trade-off that I had struggled with.

        You are right… the maturity and SC experience goes a long way in stimulating other D in the dressing room.

        I had fumbled many many times to try and come up with a trade for both of my fav teams that would fit the bill for both of them (and in line with what you have stated above)… with main pieces being WW and Dumo (who is an absolutely shut-down beast and is bigger than Muzzin, younger, 2 cups).

        I just couldn’t come up with the rest of the multi-player and prospects/picks swap that would be needed to fit in the cap (Pens now; Leafs out-years); make both teams happy now and future; and not compromise either team now or in the future.

        If you have a proposal that fits those parameters…. I’m all ears.

        I can’t think of one; but is there another big shut-down D with cup experience that would be a fit ($’s in future Cap, and on team) now and for a few years?

        Hainsey adds some of those qualities; but I would not be extending him past this year.

      • @ PENGY

        Great posts …

        In regards to the last post on Muzzin and or Dumo…

        The only other guys I can see through my own research on this topic is Hjarmalson in ARZ.

        I pinned it down to those 2 guys that the Leafs should look at for the shut down roll.

        If I was to add a 3rd player ( D man ) into that conversation mix but a bit more complicated of a trade scenario that may cost more on the Leafs side of the deal it would be….Duncan Keith

        …2 more years at $5 .5 …and the Hawks are trending in a different direction and always willing to make a deal if it is in there best interest…Hawks need a puck mover !

        Out of the 3 scenarios the Keith deal may cost more in players that are ready now…where as Muzzin or Niklas Hjalmarsson you may be able to do 1 A prospect and high draft pic.

        That would be my top 3 in the cross hairs …IMO…. anyways!


      • If gmjr is still in charge then he doesn’t pay to move Jj. And dumo is pens best d man. I think he’s essentially untouchable

      • Kal- I agree about the 2nd period. Too often The Leafs have a hard time getting back the puck. They are a great puck possession team – as long as they have the puck. Last year against Boston in the playoffs they had a difficult time “repossessing it”. Speed and skill is great but we got beat up physically – especially when Kadri was out. We lack a physical element to our game both up front and on the back end. We can skate circles around most teams but it won’t necessarily turn into playoff success. The only way we get the puck back is breaking up a pass, a rebound or a missed shot on net – we chase until one of those things occur…

        I would be in favor of picking up Simmonds. That being said – I think WN is signed by Saturday – 6 years or maybe a bridge but no way does he sit out – he’ll take what is on the table at that point. Money means too much to his old man to get that kind of bad advice…

    • Leafs may not win the cup this year but the Bruins will not either. Full lineup against each other would be nice to see and we may have to wait till the playoffs to see it. Bruins do need more scoring, if anyone figures out how to stop that top line they are in trouble

      • @ Pitty

        I could see the Bruins possibly getting out of the division…and I hate to say this BUT…. if not only for the Top Line and a healthy MCavoy and Chara but Halak could be the dark horse contributor on the Bruins come playoff time !

      • I just hope that at years end when talking about teh Bruins …iam not saying this …

        “The Bruins are what we thought they were ….the Bruins…. are WHAT WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!!

        AGAIN!! LOL

      • Pitty, I’ll reiterate what I said a few days ago: looking back at the 17-18 season, who among us predicted the Capitals would win the Cup? They had a long history of being competitive but never taking the final step.
        At this stage of the 18-19 season, who would you pick to go all the way? I say it could be any of eight or nine teams and Toronto and Boston would be in that group.

      • I agree the B’s won’t win the cup unless they address the secondary scoring.
        I can see them making the playoffs as a wildcard and not top 3 in the division. They are beat up bad right now and key guys are out long term.
        The play 9 games in 16 days with 7 on the road while they have 3 AHL D (at times more) and had 2 AHL centers playing last night. This is being held together with duct tape and it is entirely possible they fall back too far to make up the ground in the standings.
        Conner Clifton played 24 minutes on D and Colby Cave played over 16 at C. Great job for a night but not sustainable, and you still lost. JFK should also be playing in Providence. It is hang on time and hope you can stay in the hunt.

    • The question may be can they win a seven game series with the Sabres.

  3. Tough position with Panarin .

    A long list would be interested in Simmonds. I wonder what alumni takes over. Bill Barber Dave Shultz or the Riverton Riffle -Reggie Leach

    • Silver Seven

      Have Dave the Hammer Shultz and Bruser Billy Barber as co-GMs; have all deals negotiated in closed door sessions with just those two and an agent or other GM…. see who comes out of the room alive.

      Just sayin’

      • Add Larry Robinson and Schultz and Barber WON’T be coming out.

    • @ Silver Seven

      I think the Panarin situation is exactly the same as the Eric Karlsson situation …the Jackets will need his services going into a playoff run …but may loose out at the deadline …but does his stock go higher when all the teams know where they will stand into next year.

      If it were me ..and knowing he is most likely not going to resign ..I make a deal after the new year right away …and hope to have a team gel for a playoff run …if there is a quality legit deal to be had….not sure if any takers on a UFA and what the quality would be coming back and that premise though!

      You are right …tough one!

      Id make the deal before you end up with your willy in your hand at seasons end !

  4. Great piece by French on hb. The quality of play of rfas to be this coming summer is astounding and nylander situation is so relevant. Players got to be cheering this guy on and gms / owners cheering on kd. Serious pressure on both sides outside what initially meets the eye

  5. Flyers should sign Brian Burke. Seriously what could go wrong?

  6. Instead of helping better teams and unable to catch up, bottom teams should trade between each other.

    • Sammy Pollock just rolled over in his grave!

  7. Alzner to Philly for MacDonald , Montreal eats 1.5 mil per year for Alzner’s contract. Then Montreal flips Benn for a pick to someone for 6-7 pick