NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2018

by | Nov 9, 2018 | Rumors | 54 comments

Latest on the Penguins, Kings, Hurricanes, and Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford could consider shaking up his struggling roster in hopes of improving their chemistry. He speculates Rutherford might start with a small move by shopping young winger Daniel Sprong, who is struggling to become a top-nine forward. Dreger believes there will be interest in Sprong.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton suggests Patric Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin or Derick Brassard could become trade candidates. The three veterans aren’t playing well right now. Hornqvist carries a no-trade clause but if he’s willing to waive it, he could become an asset worth moving for the right return.

Los Angeles Kings winger Tanner Pearson continues to surface in the NHL trade-rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports Los Angeles Kings winger Tanner Pearson “is very much out there in terms of trade speculation and has been for a while.” Pearson’s been held goalless in 14 games.

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Dreger’s appearance yesterday on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing possible moves by the struggling Penguins. Noting the trade speculation swirling about Kings forward Tanner Pearson and defensemen Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin, he wondered if there might be a connection between the two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that Dreger isn’t saying the Penguins and Kings are discussing a trade, he’s just wondering if there’s a possible fit. Like the Penguins, the Kings are struggling to score this season.

It’s easy to propose a swap of Sprong for Pearson, as both players might benefit from a fresh start with new clubs. Sprong would address the Kings’ need to bring in younger, affordable talent. The worry for the Penguins, however, is Sprong blossoms into a scorer elsewhere while the player they acquire doesn’t improve their secondary scoring. Pearson’s difficulties this season suggest he won’t be on Rutherford’s radar.


Pierre LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes are in the market for a scoring forward. He believes that’s a need they identified entering this season. Given their recent struggles following a hot start, there’s a little more pressure to address that issue. LeBrun said they’re monitoring William Nylander’s contract impasse with the Toronto Maple Leafs but they’re also looking elsewhere for help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have been linked to Nylander for weeks. While they have the depth in defensemen to entice the Leafs and the salary-cap space (over $15 million in projected space, according to Cap Friendly), they could be unwilling to meet the rumored salary demands (over $8 million annually) of the Nylander camp.

They might also prefer finding a secondary scorer that won’t cost them one of the blueliners. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported they’re testing the market for Valentin Zykov. Perhaps they’ll package him with one of their second-round picks in the 2019 draft and target some short-term help by pursuing a pending UFA on a rebuilding club. 


Dreger also reports there’s “more tension” between the Edmonton Oilers and struggling winger Jesse Puljujarvi. While he’s still in the lineup, there’s talk he could be demoted to their AHL affiliate. “If this does happen, this could, in fact, be a breaking point for a player who just wants to develop in his own way in the NHL, but at this point, it’s still a little too soon to say,” said Dreger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi is only 20 and could still blossom into a reliable NHL scorer but it remains to be seen if he’ll do that in Edmonton or elsewhere. The Oilers could be facing another Nail Yakupov situation with Puljujarvi. His current struggles could spark suggestions that they shop the youngster while he still has some value for a player who can provide immediate help. 



  1. I would hold onto Horny, so he’s off to a slow start, his worth comes to fruition during the playoffs … Hagelin & Brassard are another story … unfortunately Hagelin’s hands don’t come anywhere near his speed so he is expendable … but at a 4M cap hit who wants him? Brassard is an injury prone malingerer who hasn’t fit in here since day ONE … this team is a mess.

    • Just a very simple suggestion here??

      Nylander and Gardiner

      Letang and Honrqvist = it deletes
      $12.5 million …

      Pens have $ 5 million in cap space to equal $17 million that they can use to sign Nylander at $8 million ( Letangs contract ) and sign Gardiner at $6.9 million thats $15 million ….with $2 million left over.

      Trade Kessel and delete another $6 million to have $8 million in cap space ..bring in Kunitz and its still $7 million to spend on another 2nd line winger and another 3rd line bigger body and depth players ….thats lots of cash !!

      It is very doable and would be great for both teams…IMO and keeps some cap space for the Pens and gets them younger and gives the Leafs a Power forward who puts up the same points as Nylander but plays a heavier game the leafs are missing plus net presence and a puck mover in Gardiner to replace a Letang…to get it up to the top 2 lines and helps on the PP with Shultz missing long term !

      Gives leafs Stanley cups in the room veteran presence and quality leadership Hornqvist is a missing piece that the Leafs really need as a player in top 2 lines and still works in the cap structure they will need to sign Marner and Matthews without hurting themsleves and everyomne upgrades !!

      Then in a separate trade move out Kessel for younger needed assets for 3rd line.

      Play Nylander with Malkin

      Bring back Kunitz for Sprong if Chicago is interested and play Kunitz with Crosby again as he is missing that guy big time!!

      Letang has always stated he wanted to play in Toronto if he was ever dealt …I think it would be a good time as he only has a few years left in both money and playing time in his age he would fit right in ..IMO

      Just a thought…wasnt drinking last night just wanted to add my 2 cents ..lol 🙂

      Hope this isnt that far fetched …not to be a good post for you guys …

      • the age differences is what kills this in my opinion…Leafs get too old

      • El Kal.. as a TML fan and I would think others will just ignore your thought out scenario…

        No offence taken!

      • Hi Kal El

        Your talking about my 2 favourite teams so this has peeked my interest

        $ wise yes it works

        However in the first move ….

        “Nylander and Gardiner
        Letang and Honrqvist”

        The Letang for Gardner is an upgrade to Leafs D yes for sure. It,s an offensive Dman for another offensive Dman … but the net gain in value (Letang over Gardner) IMO is nowhere near the net gain (to Pens) for receiving a 22 year old fleet footed winger for a currently over-paid underperforming 31 year old that (if the trend continues) seems to be on the decline of production in his waning years… and he,s got 4 more years after this one

        Small sample size so early in season ; and I hope for Pens sake that Horny picks up; but I would think it’s a long shot for GMKD to make that move

        In addition Letang; Horny; Phil all have NTCs

        Setting aside NTC , above deal IMO hard to turn down by GMJR but should be a non-starter from GMKD

        I’m still sensing WW being traded is more likely than re-signed

        …. dream for Dumba ; end up with Sanheim …. all good

      • Trading an elite dman for Gardiner is not going to work for me. This helps the leafs and kills the Penguins. They don’t need another 7-8 million dollar forward that doesn’t play D. They need to get Brassard back and sit Cullen. They need Jack Johnson to suffer a career ending injury.

      • To much age coming back to the Leafs plus Letang’s injuries would be a major concern, not comparing Jake to Letang rather 7 million in cap space on the IR really hurts. If a deal is to happen I still see the Ducks or Cans…give it Carolina they got some great value deals on that D-line, for a Leafs team that is heading to cap hell before winning a cup (at least the Hawks got theirs before the mess). If 20 goals per year get’s you $7 Million per, I hate the salary cap even more than I do already. Man, I miss the multi-player swap the 80’s were amazing for those deals.

      • Kal El, you have both Leaf fans and Pens fans who don’t like it.
        Must be about right then.

    • Hags is as much a “playoff “ guy as horny. Not sure if I had to pick which one I would chose. Horny is Seattle bait though which helps his value

      • Chrisms

        Yep … Horny lacks NMC… so Seattle could take him …. I would much rather they take JJ …. read …. I’m dreaming (LOL)

        Kesel as at now has to be protected in the draft and there is no way he waves his NMC …. I have posted before and continue to believe … Kessel’s final three years will be on rapid decline and therefore being forced to ptotect him at the expense of up and coming Pens could prove very costly

        As at now (if same rules as with VGK)…. they must protect Crosby , Malkin , Letang (no issues there) plus Phil

      • If they could they should get rid of Haglen and Hornqvist. They won both cups after they go an injection of hungry young players and they have some of those in WBS that could make a difference. Sit Cullen and keep Grant where he is. With Brassard back they could do something like
        Guentzel Crosby Simon
        ZAR Malkin Sprong
        Rust Brassard Kessel
        Angelo Sheahan Haggerty
        Matta Letang
        Dumoulin Oleksiak
        Riikola Ruhwedal
        A little youth that have a lot to prove would go a long way. Connor Sheary has 6 goals, I would have kept Hunwick and Sheary and not signed Johnson.

    • Horny isn’t going anywhere and neither is Hagelin….. Brassard if he would just stop getting injured and play like he did with the rangers we would be fine. Brassard has missed a bunch of games as well as Schultz and those two are important. Derrick could be resigned next year after other contracts are up.

  2. Puljujarvi “just wants to develop in his own way”?!? What?! Thats some next level millennial entitlement

    • Makes me smile after how everyone made snide remarks about my Jackets drafting Pierre Luc Dubois instead of Puljujarvi. PLD is a valued member of the Jackets and developing into a strong #1 center while the Oilers haven’t kept Puljujarvi on their roster.

      • Totally agree. It’s turning out to be one of the best draft day decisions in years!

      • I was one of those guys….man was I wrong. I thought this kid was going to be a stud, Edmonton is the luckiest and most unlucky organization in the NHL. Just so poorly run year after year…I cheer for them with pride and lost a TV to a glass and their PK lol.

      • I’m feel9ng the same way as a Sen fan jn regards to Tkachuk and Zadina but it is still very early.

        Chabot and Zboril as well. Though not taken back to back. My team got the D I wanted off of that Sea Dog team.

  3. Since the league expanded to 12 teams, I have always found it curious when the sports writers in hockey (and most sports) talk about GMs not:
    a) wanting to trade flat lining young guys because they may eventually blossom to better if not impact players.
    b) making trades in the division because they might come back and bite them in the standings and with the player finally improving when they “get it.”

    I have always wondered how real the reporting is, if GMs really think that way.

    If you have underachievers, you don’t necessarily want to wait until you have to negotiate re-ups with them, since the Cap has taken over each team’s daily and workings.

    I guess the reality is if a GM thinks a kid in the correct attitude and sees glimpses of what may, they stand pat, even if in a few months he may have little trade fodder to others.

    It just seems to me Nylander gets views as a very different commodity than Sprong or even Puljujarvi because we have seen many examples of high end upside that weighs differently, whereas the other two if I am GM I look for a deal that is gonna help me and don’t look at the situation and “weight” it because the Cap closes fast around players you wait for. Lots of mid and late first rounders in weak and strong drafts have seem 2 or 3 team changes once it seems like the aren’t getting it, fitting, succeeding.

    I am curious to see what you all think…

    • I also think that worrying about how another team improves should not factor in to your decision.

      If the best return is frlma division rival that is the best deal to take to improve your team.

      If you worry about trading to division rivals it could just blow up in your face like Ottawa loving Hoffman to SJ only for them to flip him to Florida, a division rival.

  4. I am sure a lot of trades have to do a lot with GM relationships. Like other industries & business
    New coach’s 0-2

    Pearson does not look good. Falling struggling panicking. Yikes . I would want Kempe instead who looks much better

  5. GMJR,

    please do not trade Sprong

    Play him with other speedy skilled players and he’ll do well

    Burying him on checking and depth lines is not working.

    Due to the fact that he’s been forced to play with sub-par line-mates… production not there… lower return in trade if done now

    Trading him now will end up being a similar situation to the Pouliot trade … little return and Pouliot doing very well for Van … has played 2nd most minutes of the entire team… I believed then that move was wrong and continue to believe so. Trade Sprong now … lower than true value in return AND he will do well when played properly on another team

    Play Sprong with Guentzel and Crosby for 3 games and see what happens

    Horny not doing well … trading him might be worthwhile but due to his performance of late; and contract size/length …. not sure who would take him w/o incentive and…. he has a NTC …. difficult

    If Pens really want to make a bold move to stir things up… have GMJR call VGK’s GMGM and ask what the cost is for Macek and Carr and Pirri ( baby Knights [Wolves]) and then have them play as the entire third line …. Macek and Carr at top of AHL … between them in 12 GP… 20 goals, 37 pts, +36; Pirri is 13 pts in 12 games and +6 I think

    Unless it’s a bold move … don’t give up on Sprong .

    No talk out of Pens land about the disappointment of absolutely brutal play by JJ in at least 7 games this young season. Last game was good . He had maybe 2 more “good” games … tons and tons of deplorable (and costly) shifts yet the media is citing disappointment in Dumolin??? Baffling IMO

  6. In my mind the Oilers should make some changes before the years gets too old. They don’t seem to be able to have much luck with top ranked rookies. Maybe they are bringing them to the NHL too young!

    • Smitty, sometimes yes they do. Puljujarvi needs to be in Bakersfield. He should have been all of last year as well. And the year before he should not even have played pro hockey.
      IMO having him riding the bench or in the press box isn’t helping his development. Nor is the media spotlight. In the AHL they get more one on one coaching and more practice time period. Isn’t this is exactly why you have a developmental league, to develop your young players? I simply do not get what they are trying to accomplish with this kid. He is still just 20 years old, he needs to play and he needs to learn.

    • Smitty, every Oilers loss now will bring Joel Quenneville one step closer to Edmonton…. unless Philly or LA hire him first.

      • Coach Q said he wants to coach again but will wait for the right fit. Edmonton is not the right fit for Quenville. I’m starting to believe Katz is pulling the strings here…I,e a la Melnyk. Katz + Chia = Hindenburg

  7. The only thing Jesse Puljujarvi has going for him at the moment from an organisation standpoint is he was the third overall pick. This makes him desirable to other teams. If he was a 3rd or 4th round pick, there wouldn’t be as much interest but at 6’4″ there would still be interest.
    The Oilers must be concerned considering that they hung onto Yakupov to long who had 17g 31pts in 48 games in his first NHL season which is tops Jesse best season of date at 12g 20pts in 68 games last season.
    To prove my point I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a bruins uni that size is something they can use and maybe all he needs is that proverbial “change of scenery”.

    • Now there is an idea Caper. Still hoping Zboril develops but it would likely take at least that to get JP.

      • Ray I like it, put the call into PC

      • September 25-27…. Read it! Then see how much it had to do with me! Ridiculous!

        Wasn’t necessarily aimed at you…. but his name pops up daily. And yes, it angers me. Because every time it does pop up, people begin to talk about how he was unfairly treated by others and made the poor guy leave… BS! Look at his last days here! I was one of the people involved…. so when it comes up, I’m one of the bullies… again … can’t sttress it enough READ his final conversations!

        Who hasn’t been picked apart here for an opinion at least one time by someone here?

        Again , let’s just let it go. Why continue to bring him up at all?

      • I’m confused

      • Loved striker.
        Great poster.

    • If Striker were around he’d say something like, “I’m not worried about Jesse Puljujarvi because big-bodied talent takes 400 games to reach their potential.” If the Canucks could get him for, say, Brendan Leipsic and a 4th, I’d be all over it.

      • If striker was here he would support his comment and probably also reference the 80/20 rule he also usually includes . And by the time he returned to the wall he would have multiple people jabbing him . Yeah he would come off a little strong but you would think the return posters would understand that and not get caught up in it day after day . JP is a 20 year old kid , I agree he should have seen more time in the ahl , but moving him should not be on the table , send him down , let him gain some confidence back , he looked good in preseason , send him down and revisit at Christmas . Rumblings sound like that is the plan in the coming days

      • Well he’s not here! He left us for that 25 year old bimbo and we have to fend for ourselves! I’m doing the best I can! Can’t you see that?

      • Haha just figured I would stand up for the guy , every few days someone still barbs him and he’s not here

      • I actually wasn’t trying to barb Striker at all, but rather point out that PJ still has lots of time to reach his potential and if the Canucks could buy low on him they should deffo do that.

        (Yes, I miss Striker.)

      • Anyone who thinks this guy was an angel , scared off by heathens needs to go back and read this board from September 25-27th…. Then look at his very last comment.

        I’m completely sick of the “poor guy” bs…

        Since we’ve been asked to not speak of this guy in a negative light, let’s not bring him up at all to avoid it.. re-read…. then let it go!

        For those who miss him so terribly, I’ll gladly fill in with condescending comments and tell you how little you know about the team you’ve followed your entire life, but I’ve “seen live 3 times “ this year….how dumb you are, how smart I am, how many millions I’ve made in fantasy pools, where you m off jet setting to today….

      • How angry you get just hearing his name shows a lot of what was going. I didn’t say anywhere he was an angel but I see why he left . It was to the point he couldn’t type any opinion without several jabs coming back , he earned them somedays , others it was just angry responses from previous conversations

      • Striker was the best.

    • Ah I see.

      First off im not posting this to be antagonistic but perhaps some self reflecting may reduce your anger at being accused of being a bully. NYR4LIFE your one of the reasons I reduced my posts.

      Take my thoughts as you will. I dont intend them to be demeaning, rather informative, I suppose would be the goal. Im kinda comfortable posting this because you never seemed to mind what others though anyways. I’m actually kind of surprised your angered at being accused of being a reason Striker left.

      But from my experience Interacting with you I grew tired of being attacked also being told I said something U didn’t. Perhaps you remember our Oiler conversations.

      So i keep it simple. Just read along and find other places to have less annoying hockey conversations or post layer in the day and hope people read it. The responses are far lesser this way But yes I acknowledge you may not be the reason Striker left. It was likely not due to one person at all but the culmination of many experiences over time.

      So for all of you reflect on how you interact. Enjoy talking hockey with people of similar interest and resist the edge to chest pump.and brow beat.

      Oh and Lyle if this post is unacceptable I understand. Feel free to prevent its posting.

  8. Hey Toronto! Want your goalie Back?

    Sign by a Bruins Fan

    • We’ll even retain some salary.

    • No thank you — signed Leafs Fans and Management 🙂

    • Ya he has that I don’t give a SH** thing going again.
      Halak actually started that game.
      Rask needs to get it going or we ain’t goin anywhere.

      • Rask was just granted a leave of absence from the team.
        Personal reasons.

      • I seen that Ray, makes a little more sense for a few of these goals, that a high school goaltender would stop. His mind isn’t on hockey. Hope he works it out

  9. Tomas Plekanec placed on waivers, I would go out on a limb and say this was a mutual decision and no hard feelings. He was brought back to see if he could make a difference but he won’t be bumping any of the current 4 roster centers out of a job. He also wanted to play his 1000th game in a Habs jersey, mission accomplished.The Canadiens just don’t want to risk losing another player by placing someone on waivers to make room for him. They already lost de laRose on waivers.

      • what if he gets claimed? Lots of teams out there that could use him.

      • “Bergevin said Plekanec will not count against the cap for the remainder of the season, since it was a mutual termination.”

        That’s from the article.
        He was 35+ a couple hundred days when the contract was signed. Is this a loophole we didn’t know about?

      • That’s an interesting point, but everything I can find states that the over 35 rule applies to multi-year contracts and this was only for a single year.

        I think with the news that Plekanec intends to retire, other teams would honor that and let him do so. I don’t expect a waiver claim to be placed.

  10. The Habs have a Finnish thing going on with their roster, maybe there is a fit for Jesse Puljujarvi there. Maybe being surrounded by fellow countrymen would help his development.

  11. my Nylander.(daily?) ++.e..to Vancouver for Gudbranson,Olli Juolevi and a 1 st rounder in next 2 years

    Not sure if this fair..is Juolevi a disappointment, or are the Canucks just being cautious…certainly drafted high..

    It would be a wild decade to see Pederson, Broesser and Nylander on one line and on the power play…Pederson certainly seems elite

    Leaf fan but a UBC grad…

    • Nylander in Vancouver might be a drag on their offence……