NHL Rumor Mill – December 28, 2018

by | Dec 28, 2018 | Rumors | 47 comments

The NHL Christmas trade freeze has ended. Check out the latest on the Blues, Hurricanes, and Leafs in your NHL rumor mill. 


STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon believes if the St. Louis Blues decided to ship out talents such as Alex Pietrangelo, Vladimir Tarasenko or Colton Parayko, they must get talent back. 

Teams hoping to pry Vladimir Tarasenko away from the St. Louis Blues should be prepared to pay a hefty price. (Photo via NHL Images)

Gordon wondered what would be a fair price for Parayko, a player many general managers would love to have on their rosters. He dismissed the notion that an offer of an unproven player, such as Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi, would be enough to tempt the Blues. 

Gordon acknowledged an all-around defenseman such as Pietrangelo, with a year remaining on his contract ($6.5-million annual salary-cap hit), could help a club like the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. However, he rejected the idea of the Blues accepting a role player such as Andreas Johnsson or a blueliner like Nikita Zaitsev as part of the return, suggesting someone such as Mitch Marner would be more appropriate.

As for Tarasenko, Gordon noted the Carolina Hurricanes need scoring. He felt the only forwards worth discussing in a trade of that magnitude are Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov and the Hurricanes aren’t parting with those two.

Gordon’s colleague Jim Thomas touched on the recent spate of Blues trade rumors during his latest live chat with Blues fans. 

Noting Tarasenko is second to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin in goals over the past “four-plus” seasons, Thomas believes it would take “a heck of a deal” to pry him away from the Blues. 

Thomas thought there was more talk about Parayko last offseason compared to now. Given the Blues’ underachievement this season, it’s understandable why he’s come up in trade rumors. 

A lot of teams would be interested in Brayden Schenn but Thomas felt trading him would be a mistake. He also believes Tyler Bozak’s contract would make him difficult to trade, noting his $5 million per season for the next two years is expensive for a third-line center. 

He doesn’t expect veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will fetch much at his age before the trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Blues general manager Doug Armstrong intends on blowing up the roster before the trade deadline and engaging in a major roster rebuild, he’s probably not accepting offers composed of draft picks, prospects, and unproven young players. He’ll want talent that can help his club now and over the long term.

Yes, NHL history is rife with instances of general managers making bad trades, but that doesn’t mean Armstrong will do the same. Moving top players such as Tarasenko and Pietrangelo will be blockbuster moves, and he’ll want a quality return for each guy. Same goes for Parayko and Schenn. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY:  During an appearance yesterday on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said the Carolina Hurricanes remain a club he’s keeping an eye on leading up to the NHL trade deadline. He notes Hurricanes GM Don Waddell has talked openly about their need to acquire a scorer, while team owner Tom Dundon said he doesn’t value or covet high-end defense when going into a draft. 

Dreger believes they’ll continue to link the Hurricanes with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He pointed out their previous interest in William Nylander before he re-signed with the Leafs, and they’re said to be interested in Leafs winger Kaspari Kapanen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two clubs seem, as Dreger pointed out, to be a good fit. The Leafs need to bolster their blueline, especially on the right side. The Hurricanes need scoring forwards. The Leafs have good young offensive forwards while the Hurricanes have depth in quality defensemen.

Both sides appear to be slow-dancing toward a possible deal in the coming weeks. Then again, perhaps they’ll find other options to address their respective needs. 


SPORTSNET: On Dec. 22, Luke Fox noted Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas saying he’d explore an upgrade on defense prior to the trade deadline if he didn’t see enough gains from his blueline before then. He wondered if Dubas might find a quality rearguard this season like the Washington Capitals did last season when they acquire Michal Kempny.

Assessing the list of veteran defensemen who might become available by the deadline, Fox listed Vancouver’s Alexander Edler, St. Louis’ Jay Bouwmeester, Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall or Nick Jensen, New Jersey’s Ben Lovejoy, and Dallas’ Marc Methot as potential rental options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Except for Edler, I can hear most of Leafs Nation replying, “Oh, hell no!” to these other options. Apart from the 28-year-old Jensen, the rest are in the mid to late thirties with a lot of mileage on them.

Edler 32, remains a skilled puck-moving defenseman who can still log big minutes. He could be a decent fit with the Leafs, provided he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause.  


  1. That dudes value for St. Louis players is accurate but also wouldn’t happen. Marner for Pietrangelo is about equal but who sees the leafs doing that when more affordable rentals will pop up

    • Marner for Pietrangelo isn’t a fair trade.

      Marner is one of the best players in the game and he’s only 21! He has 99 pts in his last 82 nhl games and is on pace for 111 pts this year. He’s done this despite playing only 18 non-pk minutes a night, by far the fewest of any player in the top 10. He kills penalties and leads the league in primary assists.

      St. Louis doesnt have a player the equal of Marner.

      • Lol oh here we go!

      • Absurd.
        In the bubble…

      • Marner is 21 playing great and nylander after finally struggling… nylander for pietriangelo makes more sense leafs have enough scoring power tavares matthews marner kadri…leafs need defense pietriangelo riley Gardiner gives you a big3 on D.

    • Bahahahahaha, god Leaf haters are something else.

      • Lololololol god leaf lovers are hilarious to read!

    • Yes. A top wing for a number 1 d man is almost exclusively tilted in favor of the team getting the d man. It’s only because Marner is as good as he is that it’s fair.

  2. weird that his name keeps coming up (uneducated hockey media, i.e. Jeff Gordon in this case)), but Mitch Marner is untouchable. this coming from a Blues fan.

    • Not even a little bit worth considering, not just on a 1 for 1 talent basis but the value to the team dynamic…part of what brought Tavares to Toronto was the opportunity to play with Marner now let’s ship him out of town and see if it effects Tavares. Your right he’s untouchable

      • Totally agreed Schticky. I watch most of the sports talk shows where informed hockey people provide valued input, unlike most of the media and some on this board. Consensus from knowledge hockey people is Marner is never dealt 1-1 for ANY defensemen and almost anyone in the league.

        I fought with many on this board last year, when Marner had the slow start that you don’t deal talent like that. I was called a rose-coloured you know what. It’s all good, the ones calling me that know jack about the game.

    • This guy sounds like leaf fans and media only upside down!

    • “However, he rejected the idea of the Blues accepting a role player such as Andreas Johnsson or a blueliner like Nikita Zaitsev as part of the return, suggesting someone such as Mitch Marner would be more appropriate.”

      I see St.Louis has a Steve Simmons as well lol

  3. Gorton wants Marner for Pietrangelo?

    How about we throw in Matthews for Bozak?

    Brown and Zaitsev or Brown and Gardiner going to St. Louis is about as good as Gortons going to get.

    How’s that Boxak signing looking for you Jeff?

    • Frank: Marner for Pietrangelo is bad, but your suggestions (Brown and Zaitsev or UFA Gardiner?!) are just as insulting. You’ll have to pay someone to take the Zaitsev anchor and Brown is at best a decent third line player. St. Louis will get much more than that for Pietrangelo (see McDonagh trade to TB last year).

      • Agreed. I don’t understand people saying no way on Marner 1-1, then suggesting UFA Gardiner, Or Zaitsev.

        No way ST.Louis is making a deal like that. Toronto fans may like Liljergren but he’s still a prospect. Nowhere near a top 10 prospect.

        St. Louis would be giving up a 1-2 guy in Parayko or Pietrangelo. Asking for a guy like Liljergren+ would be a starting point. St. Louis is still taking a risk here.

  4. Bozak.

    Darn autocorrect.

    • Gorton is in NY Armstrong is the GM in St.Louis

  5. As a cheaper alternative like a rental if he was willing to move I think Kronwall would be a good pick up lots of experience to help shelter some of the younger 4-6 dmen and has a bit of bite to his game

    • I agree with Kronwall

      I have been saying Kronwall is the best pick up for what Shannahan as he has said they are taking this year as ” THIS YEAR ”

      Kronwall is safe, experienced, has a cup and plays very physical all the check marks for this ( years run ) and you will not have to delete from your current roster either…a mid level to early draft pick will do or a depth D man prospect such as LoVerde, Olesky, Rosen or Holl even Marincin and a 2nd may do it if need be.

      I am of the school of thought that this is the best way to go for this year ..and may entice and or offer Kronwall a one year deal as well after this year as a 3rd 4th guy as he has shown this year he has one year left.

      Above Marner for Peitrangelo is nonsense….just nonsense.

      Edmonton is the best place for Pietrangelo imo.

    • I have been thinking Kronwall for a while too.
      Jaybo has actually not been terrible this year either, should be very affordable.

      I just don’t understand why Dubas has gone public with saying he won’t trade Nylander. I’d rather move WN as opposed to any of the other guys

  6. curious to hear from Pengy and other Pens fans on the Guentzel signing. I like this deal, fair $ and term @ 5 years. The more I look at this deal I can’t see how Skinner is going to command 9 million. Yes Skinner has more games played but zero playoff experience in 8 years, Guentzel has proven he is a playoff performer.

    • Skinner is a pending ufa. Can market himself to 31 teams. Not a valid comparison

    • I think guentzel is a great signing good for the club..hes a young core player 21 points 12 playoff games…good deal smart move to lock him up now…

    • Fergy..i agree cant see skinner getting $9 million per…he is good but maybe $7 7.5 ??

  7. Canes need scoring ? They should trade Skinner and Lindholm for bugger all.

    Why would the Blues trade Pietrangelo or Parayko? Because the Leafs need defence?

    Tarasenko is playing on the outside and doing as little as possible . He is the one to move.

    Bouwmeester is a good trade deadline pickup and should be a target

    • I don’t see why the Blues trade Parayko but Pieterangelo has been slowly declining since mid last year. Might be the best time to trade him with a year left on the deal after this one – they are trying to judge internally if he’s in their plans 4-8 years from now

  8. Pietrangelo is not worth a good talented young player and high draft picks. He’s getting older and Injured. Getting a 5-6 defenceman that is tough and unrestricted at the end of the season like McQuaid to take some of Hainsey’s minutes would be good.

    • He has missed 17 games over the last 5 years. That’s an average of 3.4 games missed which is probably around normal. Most players aren’t playing 82 , and certainly aren’t doing so over 5 years. The guy is 28 years old!

      Last year he had the most productive season he’s ever had in the NHL.

      All this talk of declining or injured seems a bit far fetched.

    • Agree agree agree. Let’s not go backwards in progress. Marner for Pitrangelo OMG must of had weeds for turkey stuffing. The answer to TO d man is Radko Gudas $3.5m and Jake Muzzin $4m. Both the Flyers and the Kings will dance come trade deadline. Once you have those two, time to ship out Zaitsev, Gardiner, Hainsey free up 12mill.

  9. I understand a lot of it is click bait, with the constant leaf coverage; however it’s always about needing a defenseman. Needless to say most people feel the leafs need a dman if they want to chase the cup.
    You know what team you never see any trade rumours about, well that would be Tampa Bay who have a very solid defense core. Unfortunately for the leafs they are in the same division and if Toronto wants to run with Tampa they are correct in looking for a Dman just not sure if one dman will be enough they may need two if they want to get by the Lightning.
    I don’t see Toronto moving Marner but if they want quality they got to give up something.
    Here is my simple trade to acquire one of the two dman:
    Kadri – Trouba

    Winnipeg could use a second line C and bumping Big Buff and Myers both r side dman would help lessen the blow of Trouba (who also plays the right side) Still not convince at the moment if Winnipeg could offset the loss of Trouba but doesn’t look like he’ll sign long term so might be the best time.
    This would give Toronto a top pairing of Reilly and Trouba, that is pretty solid to start.

    • Seems fair on the surface Caper, it just depends on WPG. If I am WPG I would prefer Trouba long term over Myers. Like you say we don’t know if Trouba will sign long term in WPG, we also don’t know that he won’t or that Myers will.
      Buff is also no spring chicken and if Chevvy has shown anything is that he is about not just right now but the long term.
      WPG doesn’t get the attention that the Leafs do but some interesting decisions for them coming up as well as they have to be considered a cup favorite, plus all the young talent they have that will need raises to be kept. Nice problem to have, but interesting none the less.

      • Ray agree on all accounts. I would prefer Winnipeg resign Trouba, we’ll see where that goes.
        Slick62 says Kadri +, I don’t disagree with that however it depends if Toronto can resign him. Kadri has good term and good $$$ and definitely fits into Winnipeg style of play. Kadri been a 30 goal scorer last two season, they don’t come cheap for the record Kadri finished 25th with 32 goals.

    • Kadri on his own will not get Trouba. Trouba is a rfa at seasons end, while Myers is ufa.

      • So you’re suggesting a rental for Kadri?

  10. Van,

    Agreed on what you said. Petrangelo would fetch more than what Brown and Zaitsev. I’m just saying that would be part of a package ( prospects or draft picks). I wouldn’t overpay for an aging defenseman who after one year will price himself out of Toronto.

    Van, Kadri for Trouba would benefit both clubs.

    If I had to get creative I would kick tires on Larkin and Kronwall in Detroit. Trade chips would include From pool of Gardiner, Zaitsev, Brown, Gauthier, Liljegren, Bracco, Johnsson, and draft picks.

    I doubt though Toronto could get them from that pool of smelts.

    Bottom line is you can underpay when you are in a position of strength because you can afford to walk away.

    Teams like St. Louis can dream about getting battleships from others but unless they find a sucker they’ll likely have to take less than they would like.

    • I’d be hard pressed to throw Liljegren in the mix of anyone. He’s a top prospect and D at that. If he was part of a package it would be maybe a 1st only for a Peitrangelo or Parayko.

    • Frank: Agree on the Kadri/Trouba trade if Winnipeg can’t extend Trouba. Toronto may need to add a bit, but Kadri is on a great contract for a few more years. Would allow Winnipeg to resign Myers and possibly trade Little for a solid package.

      Pietrangelo is a legit 1D with a year left on his deal. He would be a great add to Toronto and the cost will be significant. Likely Kapanen or Johnson, Liljegren or Dermott, a 2019 1st round pick and possibly a little more. Toronto can’t keep all of their young forwards past this year anyway and St. Louis will probably want a good young defenseman back in the trade. There could be smaller depth pieces moving back and forth for cap reasons too.

      • Van…i would love to see pietrangelo in Pittsburgh… maybe matta & sheahan & and a pick? Maybe larger deal Pietrangelo & Bozak to Pittsburgh…Matta & Brassard and young goalie Tristan Jarry to st.louis and maybe a 2nd rou s pick.

    • Kick the tires on Larkin? He is as important to Detroit as Mathews is to Toronto. So, unless the offer includes Mathews or Marner, move along.

  11. I see Kadri + as the best trade basis for Toronto…Kadri is on a good contract and plays the way more Toronto forwards should….they would miss him….but when you have Matthews and Tavares as 1 and 2 centremen….the number 3 does not need to be as good as Kadri…

    What a fair trade is I don’t know…out west when McDavid has better players around him….Kadri is one of the few centres that can almost skate with him

  12. I hope if my Sabres make a trade it doesn’t include any garbage cap dumping back to us, that ROR trade was just nonsense, you trade a guy who led NHL in faceoffs and great second line shut down center for 7.5 million worth of cap trash in return with Sobotka and Berglund…I would of rather seen Buffalo trade ROR for just a first round pick. Buffalo needs second line scoring, Maybe it will be Duchene? Four first round picks in next two drafts to help sweeten deal.

    In other news: if I’m Leafs no way am I trading Marner..

    • Of course u would rather not have berglund and sobotka but the blues dont want them either. If u dont take them and their salaries then its no deal. Luckily buffalo got out of the berglund deal!

  13. I would call Pietrangelo prime time as a 28 year old and not on the decline . He would have be on team Canada -Olympic and will be representing at the end of the regular season in whatever the hell that tournament is. Unless traded of course.

  14. What TO need to do right now is to prepare themselves for 1st round Boston 2nd round Washington 3rd round Tampa and the finals with Winnipeg. All these 4 teams are the teams TO must defeat in order to hoist the Lord Stanley come June. With the current Leafs roster they won’t make it out of the first round. All those teams are heavy and extremely physical and in the playoffs that style of play is what get you by each round. TO has absolutely no ONE who can provide toughness and provide some assurance for Matthews and Marner to do their magic. This is why Matthews was insignificant last year in playoffs against Boston. Babcock a great coach, but I question why he had Matt Martin seating in the press box against Boston I have no idea. I hope the Leafs brain trust learn from last year and alter their current roster to have more toughness around our superstars. Anything in life needs BALANCE no different in hockey. You have top two lines heavy offence you need the third line to be PHYSICAL, hard HITTING, aggressive CHECKING. And your fourth line providing timely spark through out the game by working hard. TO have all these upfront except for the third line. You need to have Matt Martin Nazem Kadri Ryan Reaves as your third line. Now you are talking.
    Lastly, a lot of people are saying Jake Gardiner is underrated. If so, the Leafs need to trade him as his value is worth something right now. Get a draft pick or two for him, he doesn’t fit the new TO team as we move forward. TO don’t need liable offensive d man, what we need is capable shut down d man. Kyle Dubas need to be honest with himself, can the Leafs afford not to have Jake moving forward, and if he is honest with himself he will realize Jake needs to go ASAP. Along with Zaitsev, Hainsey, Brown, Marleau and Nylander. A total of 27+ million dollars need to go. Then, you use those players to trade for Radko Gudas, Jake Muzzin, Matt Martin, and Ryan Reaves. A total of 13 million dollars cap hit this year and few more years. Then, you must sign Marner to $80 million/8years and Matthews for $100mills/8years and assign him to CAPTAINCY. If these moves are made prior to the trade deadline TO will be legit contender for the CUP for the next 4 years. I did the math, TO will have money to offer Artemi Panarin to a 5 years $51 million dollars contract. Matthews new linemate Panarin with Kapanen to his right. You with two best 1 2 punch line in hockey. Panarin Matthews Kapanen. And. Johnnson Tavares Marner.

    Go leafs Go

  15. If the Habs slip in the standings , you may be able to get Petry in exchange for a prospect and pick ; he’s a right handed shot , great skater , plays big minutes, and you wouldn’t lose Nylander or Kapanen in a bigger trade ….just my 2 cents

  16. Van…would love to see Pietrangelo in Pittsburgh.. smaller deal pietrangelo to pittsburgh matta & sheahan & 2nd rou d pick to st. Louis. Bigger deal Pietrangelo & Bozak to Pittsburgh Brassard & Matta & young goalie Tristan jarry to st. Louis