NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2018

by | Dec 11, 2018 | Rumors | 44 comments

Could the Sharks pursue Mitch Marner next summer? Could the Bruins trade Torey Krug to Edmonton for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? What’s the latest on the Penguins and Wild? Read on for the details in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE MERCURY NEWS: If Erik Karlsson decides not to re-sign with the San Jose Sharks, Paul Gackle suggests general manager Doug Wilson consider pursuing Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner. With the Leafs facing a potential cap crunch next summer attempting to re-sign Marner and Auston Matthews, it’s a situation Wilson could exploit. Marner would bring a valuable injection of youth, speed, and playmaking skills to the Sharks’ forward lines.

Could the San Jose Sharks attempt to pry Mitch Marner away from the Toronto Maple Leafs next summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

If Wilson were to go the offer-sheet route he would have to swing deals with the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres to regain the first-round draft picks he gave up in the trades for Karlsson and Evander Kane. Those picks would be part of the necessary compensation to the Leafs if they were unwilling to match that offer for Marner. 

Gackle acknowledged the difficulty of pitching an offer sheet for Marner. He suggests a more likely scenario is a trade before July 1 if the Leafs feel they cannot afford Marner and Matthews, allowing Wilson to swoop in as he did with Karlsson and Kane. While the cost of acquiring Marner in terms of return and salary would be expensive, Gackle believes it would be worth it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind this is merely speculation on Gackle’s part. It would take considerable creativity on Wilson’s part to go the offer sheet route and I doubt he could make all the pieces fit. A trade is a more likely option but there’s no certainty the Leafs will be entertaining offers for Marner. Still, it will be worthwhile monitoring how the Leafs address that coming salary-cap conundrum. If they decide to re-sign Matthews and move Marner, Wilson would probably be among the suitors. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Bob McKenzie was asked about the trade status of Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel during an appearance Saturday on Ottawa’s TSN 1200. He believes Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has only two untouchables: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. While Rutherford might not necessarily want to trade Kessel, he might be open to it for the right offers. If he went down that road, however, the asking price would be expensive. Kessel has three years remaining on his contract and still carries a modified no-trade clause.

McKenzie also believes some teams may have called Rutherford about injured starting goaltender Matt Murray. Like Kessel, he doesn’t think moving Murray is something the Penguins would move into lightly. “I think in a perfect world what the Pittsburgh Penguins would like is for Matt Murray to come back healthy from his injury and play at the top of his game, and not have any issues in goal whatsoever.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could the Penguins trade Kessel or Murray? Sure. Will they? Not this season and probably not for the foreseeable future.

It’ll take a significant offer to convince Rutherford to part with Kessel. Given the “win-now” mentality in Pittsburgh, a package of draft picks and prospects won’t cut it. As for Murray, they won’t trade him unless Casey DeSmith or Tristan Jarry show they’re capable of stealing the starter’s job away from him. I don’t think they’ve reached that level yet. 


BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter wonders if the Boston Bruins could trade defenseman Torey Krug to the Edmonton Oilers for center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He notes the Bruins could use “an experienced, highly skilled attacker,” while the Oilers could use playmaking help, especially on the blueline.

Porter also points out the Oilers had some interest in Krug last summer and he could look more attractive now. He also believes Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli could be fired if his club fails to reach the playoffs this season.

Porter suggests sweetening the pot by including a promising forward such as Edmonton native Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Ryan Donato or Danton Heinen. Krug has a modified no-trade clause but maybe he’d waive it to play with one of the game’s greats in Oilers center Connor McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t the first time a Boston pundit has floated the notion of swapping Krug for Nugent-Hopkins (hi, there, Joe Haggerty!) but I don’t believe that deal will ever materialize. All the things Porter listed that make Nugent-Hopkins attractive to the Bruins  (playmaking skills, defensive play, skating, and anticipation) are also what makes him valuable to the Oilers, who’ve recently rebounded under new head coach Ken Hitchcock and climbed back into the playoff race


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo recently reported that “multiple sources” claim the Minnesota Wild are dangling forward Charlie Coyle in the trade market. It’s believed the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and Boston Bruins have at least shown interest and are watching Coyle closely. Russo also said there’s “little doubt” Wild GM Paul Fenton would trade three-time 20-goal scorer Nino Niederreiter, who’s struggled with injury and consistency this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having lost center Matt Duchene indefinitely to a recent injury, the Senators could be very interested in Coyle, who could also prove a decent insurance policy in case Duchene departs next summer via free agency. The Canadiens’ interest in Coyle stretches back to last season but their priority this season could be bolstering their top-four defense depth. I can see Coyle being a more reasonable trade option for the Bruins than Nugent-Hopkins. He certainly wouldn’t cost themTorey Krug. 



  1. Pretty much any team could be rumored to want Marner. Same as Mathews, I think we’ll be seeing a lot of these comments from local reporters about offer sheeting or trading for these 2 players. Toronto will sign both of them this summer. Maybe one “holds out” until after season starts so they can get cap relief from Horton contract. (LTIR).

    • Hi Slick62

      Concur wholeheartedly that a trade involving either MM or AM is very very very unlikely but I stick with my previous posts re: if AM not under contract come 1/7 he will be handed at least one offer sheet.

      …. and again , if I’m his agent …. I’m counciling him not to sign with Leafs pre 1/7…. he has nothing to lose and everything to gain …. either he accepts an offer sheet (which will be more than Leafs can offer) or he shows the offer sheet(s) to GMKD to induce a better Leaf offer

      I hope I’m wrong .., but if I’m a betting man ..,.. I fear I’m right

      A MM offer sheet less likely but is a possibility

      An offer sheet from SJ is waaaaay more unlikely as per article above …. SJ has to wheel and deal with 2 teams to get back the proper picks

      • Pengy…Agree SJ is most unlikely match. Interesting that writer already considering fact Karlsson might not re sign with them. As far as AM, he’s their guy. I think he’ll get paid what he’s worth. I don’t see a team offer sheeting and driving up price. As mentioned here plenty of times, offer sheets are rare, signing them is even more rare,and Toronto not going to let him go. I don’t see either side participating in the ugliness. I don’t understand your 1/7 comment. Mathews will still be under contract, and I don’t believe anyone can give him an offer sheet. I think they’ll have an extension done before season ends.

      • I think he means 7-1 July 1st…. I think…

      • Hi Slick62

        Every team that has the available picks (their own) still in hand …. that is their own first rounders in EACH of ’20 through ’22 can offer sheet AM on July first unless Leafs have re-signed him by then.

        I know the offer sheet is really rare…. this will be one of those rare times … I still say that unless Leaf’s have a signed extension by 1/7 (July 1st); that AM WILL be sent an offer sheet

        I’m not saying he’d take it … I’m just saying he’d get at least one.

        Finger’s crossed that he’s signed by then

        If in the massively unlikely situation (read nigh impossible) that GMKD does not think he’ll (A) be able to re-sign him and/or (B) won’t be able to match an offer sheet …. and there is a trade…. it would be a whopper …. you’d have to expect 4 assets coming back and likely at least two of those being key roster spots ….. top 2D + top 6 winger + two A level prospects????

        Again a deal is so friggin remote a possibility that it’s almost insane …. but for ships ‘n giggles … what could be the return???

        Arz….. OEL , Galchenyuk , Crouse and A level prospect for

        AM and Zaitz????

        You see …. this is the nuttiness of what would be out there

        ….. finger’s crossed that AM’s agent is stupid enough to let him sign pre 1/7 and that GMKD can come in with an affordable contract (8 years $12M – $12.5M)

      • Sorry …. that should have been 4 first rounders from ’20–’23

      • NYR4Life


        Yes July first

        My 1/7 statement is just a friendly funny jab at our brother and sister US posters here

        US is the only country in the world that officially has dates as month-day-year

        Many countries now follow this and a high majority of software uses m-d-y but no other country to my knowledge has yet to formally/officially adapt/proclaim the m-d-y format yet

        All of my company’s financials with Canadian banks etc are d-m-y but the odd financial transactions with any US institution , comes in m-d-y.

        A few years ago I signed off on a cheque from us to a US firm and it was written for early Jan …. either 8/1 or 9/1 or 10/1 (note it was sent in $ CND ) and the receiving company’s CFO sent it back stating effectively that it was due then and now.

        All people born in Jan 1st, Feb 2nd , Mar 3rd …. etc ….. never have issues

        Every time we are upgrading my company’s computers I have to specifically request that the order to have the setting changed in all software to d-m-y

        Tommorrow (12-12-18) we can speak the same lingo


      • Give it a rest the leafs are not trading AM, there’s zero chance he’s traded. END OF DISCUSSION.

    • why don’t they go BUG someone else rumor mongers are terrible

  2. A trade of Phil Kessel in-year highly unlikely … limited trade partners (his list and desired teams with need/want and with GMJR required return).

    IMO the very limited likliehood of a Kessel trade in-year only happens with a multi-player multi-team trade scenario

    Do I think GMJR is done “tweaking”…. nope

    He’s now positioned the D well…. when Schultz returns Maata is expendable and one could argue that he (GMJR) could play with Letang, Dumo, Oleksiak, Riikola, Petterson and JJ NOW and move Maata pre Christmas trade freeze

    Maata plus Rust ???? Who’s the trade partner and what is the return????

    • Pengy… why do you believe Maata is expendable? Or Rust? Both are locked up in decent contracts for next 4 years. Sheehan on expiring contract I can see being moved. Isn’t Shultz a RD? Maata left?

      • Hi Slick62,

        Sorry … should not have used “expendable” in such firm terms

        “Tradeable” or “least needed” to current roster is more appropriate

        You know I’m not a JJ fan but that move won’t happen

        I’m just saying that once Shultz is back Pens definitely have more than enough D; and with the knowledge that GMJR will NOT (unfortunately) trade JJ… that a trade of a D with any reasonable return would include Maata

        Rust is underperforming relative to his contract value and that is why I threw out his name

        So if GMJR is to make another in-year player swap …. my logic is that the more likely move would be with Maata and/or Rust, as IMO they are least needed relative to what they could re-coup in return

        Sorry again for the crudeness of the use of “expendable”

  3. Re RNH/Krug swap

    I agree that this is highly unlikely to happen

    Oil have been doing well since the coaching change so a rash move now would be a gamble and unwarranted

    I believe Oil should stick with RNH

    I can’t fathom an ask ( by Chiarelli) of less than Krug plus DeBrusk …. and Debrusk is a costly give , IMO by Bos

    The likely counter offer of Krug plus Heinen I just don’t think will get it done

    So as Howie Mandel hears often nowadays …. “No Deal”


    • It would be hilarious to see Edmonton trade away RNH. After already losing the Hall, and Eberle trades, Yak busting.

      Sure makes the “patience “ management was preaching a few years back seem laughable!

      I guess patience means a lifetime.

      • Krug for Nugent Hopkins is actually a very fair trade in my opinion. Since Nugent Hopkins offers defensive depth, and scoring punch upfront which is what the pundits are saying the B’s need and the Oilers need to improve their overall hockey IQ from the back end then this deal makes a ton of sense. Let the managers figure out the other moving pieces with respect to the cap, roster players, prospects, and picks outside of all that this is really a good old fashioned player for player swap that meets the need of both teams. Imagine Krug flipping the puck up to McDavid, Daraisaitl and co. And as far as finding it humorous if Nugent Hopkins were dealt doesn’t really matter. As soon as McDavid was drafted deals should have been in place to completely overhaul that roster Hall included. They accomplished absolutely nothing together. Charielli needs to do now what is right for the team not the individuals from the old country club. And yes, the trade of hall for Larsson was lopsided. But a trade of Nugent Hopkins for Krug would not be. I am sure any good old fashioned Bruins fan would think twice about this suggestion.

      • Maybe they didn’t work as a group… maybe it had a lot to do with incompetence from the management, coaching staff?

        Imagine Hall flipping the puck to Mcdavid? Or vice versa? Imagine that, with Freeing up Draisatl / Eberle and moving RNH to the 3rd line? Or mix and match however you wish.

        So far I’ve seen everyone talk about how certain players were going to turn this organization around. Mcdavid, Sekera, Larsson…. So you’ll have to pardon me if I don’t get overly excited about yet another guy who may or may not help.

        Everything this organization has done has been nothing short of failure. Why would I or anyone believe this deal is anything less than the failures of the Hall or Eberle trades?

      • It is a pretty fair deal and agree that BOS would have to add, but Debrusk is too much.
        Both are good players on fair deals, but RNH has an extra year on it which is valuable.
        I like Krug and what he brings which is points and one of the best PP QB’s in the NHL. But I would do it from Boston’s side because of what I was saying yesterday, the B’s do not have anyone to replace Krecji or Bergeron as a 1C & 2C in the pipeline, and will likely pick too late in the draft to get one in the next couple years.
        Where they have excellent depth and prospects is on the blue line as they have drafted it heavily since Sweeney took over.
        Having said that I just can’t see Edmonton doing it. They don’t have the depth up front and have been forced to play either RNH or Draisaitl on the wing all year. Moving RNH removes that option and then what?
        Nyr4life, being in the US you probably haven’t heard the trashing that Ference gave the Oil, including Hall and Eberle (not by name but everyone in Edmonton knows exactly who he was talking about). It makes it easier to understand why PC made the deals he has. It is old news here in EDM if you paid attention, but still opened a wound that seems pretty fresh for Oiler fan still. People are fired up!

      • Edmontkn has 2 solid players. McJesus, Draislt and RNH. Those 3 should not be traded. They are just out side a playoff spot and are doing really well since the hitch affect took over.

        I would wait until 20 games under hitch before deciding on any major moves of core players. They’re may be much more affordable options than Krug fr the Oilers to chase in order to get that puck moving D.

      • NY4life, I think having Ken Hitchcock behind the bench allows the Oilers to be patient. Not sure where I saw the graph but the positive effect his coaching has on goaltenders is amazing – shots on goal drop significantly and save percentage goes up markedly as well.
        The man can coach.

      • Nuge isn’t going anywhere.

    • I like the Nuge, but I’m not moving more than Krug for him.
      50 pt defensemen are just as hard to come by as really good two way forwards.
      What would Striker777 do?

      • Striker would drone ad nauseum about meaningless stats before playing the “bounce back season” card in one form or another.

        Just before letting everyone else on this board know theyre morons and only his impressions matter.

        Last seen applying for GM job in Philadelphia, sadly the Flyers chose a different hire.

      • Thanks for keeping me in the loop Ron.

      • We will never know because ny drove him off. For shame.

      • Hahahaha, you’re next on my list!

      • 😳

  4. Problem with trying to move Murray is that his value has taken a huge hit… coupled with goalies not having the equivalent trade value as skaters. If gmjr found an offer with good value he should jump on it. But he won’t.

    • Chrisms

      Yep yep yep and not yep

      I just have a gut feeling that Murraycimes back and plays very well (wishful thinking??)

      DeSmith has been very good of late

      I posted months ago that I believed Jarry was the better of the two for back up

      At the time ….I don’t think my viewpoint was wrong

      In hindsight … that projection was wrong

      Munching in crow here now

      Very impressed with the 18 hole pie-plate tossing DeSmith…. kudos

  5. I like Coyle. Not sure he can play center but a big body with some skill. Why would the Wild move him unless the return is excellent . I doubt that happens. GMs looking for bargains

    It would take a Tarasenko type player as a principal to land Kessel. He is a lot younger and Pens would need to add an offset. Goalie and a D possibly

    • re: Coyle,big body,great skater,but no finish. In his 7th season and Wild management may feel his potential is tapped out.

    • I could see Carolina being interested in Coyle or Neiderreiter. Victor Rask would give Minnesota some depth at center.

  6. Cap Hell? Developing 3 & 4 line talent of young and cheaper players still important. TBL have 4 or more youngsters in lineup still on entry levels or cheap bridges. Trading for “mature” assets can put a lid on team development. Bigger premium than ever on scouting and development of your own and half the league seems not to have figured this out yet.

  7. Will check back in much later today as again I won’t have further chance to read throughout the day

    I will have to leave it to my much younger and brighter self (Kal El) to post throughout the day 😂😂😂👍👍👍

  8. Will unfortunately now be out of loop for most of the balance of today and possibly not be able to read again until tonight

    I will have to leave it to my much younger at brighter self (Kal El) to post 😂😂😂👍👍👍

  9. Love Thornton and everything he’s brought to San Jose, but this may be his last season – at least as a Shark. Pavelski having career year, Burns having great season; both’s stock never higher. Would not be surprised if one or both traded/signs somewhere else. EK kind of a mystery. Looks frustrated. Not sure what Deboer is doing with the lines.

    If Sharks don’t make deep playoff run – and right now it looks like they won’t, could see some major changes. New coach, Thornton and Burns to Toronto for AM (or MM) and Marleau’s contract. Pavelski signs too expensive deal to play with Eichel.

    In the meantime, it would be nice if they could find a defenseman who fits better with EK.

    • Wow!

  10. Eberle 13 pt’s in 29 games, -10 for $6,000,000. Good riddance don’t need this floater on a horrible salary. Free agent come July 1st and pity the GM who pays big bucks for him! RNH for Krug would be brutal as RNH is a great all around player and i would hope Chia has learned from his Seguin and Hall trades. When do the Blues go into panic mode to try and save the season?

    • RCR, RNH is a very good player and under appreciated for what he does. So is Krug, but as I said above only has a year left.
      I think the Oil will hope Bouchard is ready next year, play him on the bottom pair in sheltered minutes, and use him on the PP instead of trading a quality player like RNH for short term Krug.
      Never been an Eberle fan and is the very definition of a perimeter player who not only doesn’t win puck battles but barely even tries to.
      The odd highlight reel goal and a whole bunch of flying the zone and waiting for someone else to get the puck back.
      No thanks.

  11. What would it cost the Sens to get Coyle. As a Sen fan and SeaDog fan I am always interested when a former Seadog can find his way to the Sens.

    The Sens seem pretty fine down the middle. Yes they are injured. Pageau and Duchene now. Are they expecting a playoff spot if themselves.. Seems an unreasonable expectation. Im hesitant to give up much youth and picks for an aging player in Coyle.

  12. Two hockey questions.
    1. If a player is offside and another player in that team shots the puck towards the net and it goes in without that team touching the puck offsides does that goal count?
    2. If a player gets hurt then the team ices it and the player can’t come back on the ice how do they determine who comes back on?

    • Excellent questions.
      No, unless its touched by a defending player before crossing the goal line, and coaches choice are my guesses.

      • I’m pretty sure it would’nt count even if it hit an opposing player.
        As to your second question: it’s coaches choice. the Red Wings had a interesting situation like this the other night. They were on the power play in overtime(4 on 3) and the power play ended without Detroit scoring. Subsequently, Detroit iced the puck. This meant the play went 3 on 3 but the ref went over to the bench and TOLD Jeff Blashill who was allowed to come off. Most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a while.

    • It does not count. The rule isnt I’d a player touches the puck after he moves over the blue line before the puck making it an offside. An offside is sj.lly the player advancing over
      Line before the puck

      Though they do delay it by raising their hands to blow the whistle to give players a chance to come back and become kn side. It is still off side film that happens.

      Also if a player is carrying the puck and has complete control is is able to cross the line before the puck. He could do a fancy spin O Rama and bring the puck behind him as he crosses. It would not be off side. If he is fumble g the puck and has no control over it yet then it is off side.

      • I’m pretty sure you second question is the choice of the coach ofthe team committing the icing.