NHL Rumor Mill – December 31, 2018

by | Dec 31, 2018 | Rumors | 35 comments

Are more moves coming for the Oilers? What would a Vladimir Tarasenko trade look like? Are the Flames trying to force out Michael Frolik? Check out the latest in the final NHL rumor mill of 2018. 


SPORTSNET: Mark Spector weighed in on the Edmonton Oilers’ acquisitions of defensemen Alex Petrovic and Brandon Manning yesterday, suggesting the moves were made to boost their injury-depleted blueline. He said he’s been told Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is also in the market for a right winger. Ryan Spooner, acquired earlier this season from the New York Rangers for Ryan Strome, “is being made available by Chiarelli.”

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell called it “one of the weirdest Sundays in recent Oilers history.” He notes the club “began the process with a flawed winger, an older, end-of-the roster defenceman and a third-round pick. They end it with two end-of-the-roster defencemen, with Manning’s cap ($2.25 million) even more than the Petrovic deal ($1.95 million).” Mitchell also believes Chiarelli has more moves up his sleeve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most Oilers followers were dismissive of Chiarelli’s Sunday deals. Time will tell if they have any positive effect upon the blueline. A lack of secondary scoring has been an ongoing problem for the Oilers and threatens to scuttle their season. Spooner won’t be enough of an enticement to attract the type of player necessary to address that issue. 

If the St. Louis Blues shop Vladimir Tarasenko, they could set a high asking price. (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC:  Evan Sporer recently weighted the possibility of the St. Louis Blues trading winger Vladimir Tarasenko. He considers Tarasenko’s contract ($7.5 million annual average value through 2022-23) to be manageable, as well as a steal for a perennial 30-goal scorer.

Looking at the Blues might seek for Tarasenko, Sporer suggests it could be at least a first-round draft pick, “a big-time prospect”, and another piece or two if they’re looking at a long-term return. If the idea is to land a more immediate return, he proposed someone such as Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel, though he’s four years older than the 27-year-old Tarasenko. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of what type of return the Blues could seek, I don’t see a player of Tarasenko’s caliber being moved during the season. That type of blockbuster deal usually occurs in the offseason when teams have more salary-cap money and a willingness to spend it. 


THE SCORE: Josh Wegman reports Allan Walsh, the agent for Calgary Flames winger Michael Frolik, isn’t pleased that his client has become a recent healthy scratch. Walsh tweeted, “Keeping one of the team’s most efficient and versatile forwards in the stands marginalizes and devalues a great team player. Head coach’s attempt to run a good player out of town?”

Frolik’s in his fourth season with the Flames but Wegman noted this is his first under coach Bill Peters. Wegman said the offseason additions of Elias Lindholm and James Neal are partially to blame for Frolik’s diminished role. He also pointed out Frolik’s was trending downward offensively before Peters was hired. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears that Frolik isn’t a fit any longer with the Flames. Cap Friendly indicates he’s signed through 2019-20 with a $4.3 million annual cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list. They could attempt to shop him before the Feb. 25 trade deadline, though he’ll have to get in more playing time to bolster his value. 


  1. With a little over half the season left, St Louis needs to do something.Theyre 9 points out of wildcard picture, and more importantly, only 1 point out of bottom spot in western conference. Hard to imagine they’d trade Tarasenko, but if they don’t start moving up before deadline, it may be time to blow it up. Going back to yesterday’s conversation about Shattenkirk… Rangers are in St Louis tonight and just read a piece in NY post with Shatty discussing how much he liked his time with blues and how he still has friends on team. Also read a couple weeks back a piece out of St Louis about how team has trended downward since trading Shatty.
    PS: Columbus has 2nd worst power play in league. They have cap space.Theyre in win now mode. And they’ll probably lose Panarin after season. Just saying

    • @Slick62-Remember when Torts did not pick Shatty for the USA squad? No way Torts wants him

      Blues on paper with their top 3D and decent forward depth should be better. Team not the same since Backes left. They need a shakeup asap

      Rangers might take a 2nd if Blues wanted Shattenkirk back just for the salary relief.

      • The Blues don’t have cap space to take on a Shatty.

        BUT why wait till summer: Tarasenko and Schmaltz to LA for Toffoli, Muzzin and a 1st.

      • ds. I think Rangers need to deal him at any cost. There’s just no need for him. I’d be happy with any return. .

      • Slick62,

        OK I’ll take the bait….

        …. You said “I’d be happy with any return. .”

        Oki Doki— for complete ships ‘n giggles— 3 way

        To NYR: Zaitz + JJ; Rangers retain $1.0 M in Shatty Sal and also give up a 2nd
        Shatty first to Pens (who retain another $1.0M) and then flip him on to Leafs plus a first; sending Shatty at $4.65M, JJ and a first …. For Kappy

        *NYR: Zaitz + JJ for Shatty ($1.0M retained) plus 2nd
        Pens: Rid JJ + 1st + retain $1.0M for Shatty ; For Kappy
        Leafs: 1st, 2nd, Shatty at $4.65M for Kappy plus ridding of Zaitz

        Happening — not a chance in hell … Nyet Nyet —- No Waaaaayyyyyy

        A dream trade for me tho—- you betcha!
        (1)Leafs finally strengthen D at reasonable Cap hit but lose Kappy (that publicly they seem to be “indicating” [keeping WW and moving in summer; Kappy] but;

        (2) also gain a 1st and 2nd (which can then be dealt for further D upgrade);

        (3) Pens rid themselves of worst D at the expense of retaining $1.0M ; but

        (4)gain a very fast top 6 winger for a 1st rounder.

        (5) Pens gain valuable Cap space this year.

        *Willing to up the net for NYR…. Chad Ruhweedel —- Ha Ha!!

      • I disagree on so many things here. I don’t see St.Loius as a fit either. They sit 9 points out of the western wild card spot. I think they’ll waive the white flag before a Shattenkirk reunion in hopes he pushes them into the mix.

        And why would they have to deal him at any cost? They’re not in any kind of cap trouble, they don’t appear to be looking to compete, or make any type of big UFA splash.

        I’m not being an idiot here, but it seems you’re saying on one hand how he has value, and on the other he doesn’t?

        NY is 6 points out of a wild card spot, St.Louis 9. How could he add value in St.Louis but not in NY? St.Louis already has a much better defense than NY. I doubt either team makes the playoffs either way.

        As I said yesterday, you’d be hard pressed to find a team willing to take on Shattenkirk at full price. And I can’t see a fit on pretty much any contender.

      • Pengy,

        What do the rangers gain in that deal? Two unwanted contracts and the bonus of a million retained for 2 years?

        I’d take Shattenkirk at 2 1/2 more years on IR before taking Zaitsev for 5 1/2 and Johnson for 4 /12 more…. especially with that added bonus of holding money on Shattenkirk.

        Until NY sheds the contracts of Staal, Smith and Lundqvist, I don’t think they’ll be a dumping ground for other teams bad contracts.

      • Nyr4Life

        You are so right …. very little value to Rangers. I also agree that if that is what was offered, then Rangers should stick with Shatty.

        I was just “taking the bait” so to spea with Slick62’s statement: “I’d be happy with any return”

        As I said …. no way this is happening… nice dream of mine though— LOL

      • NY4. Can always count on you to disagree with me no matter what. Shatty has value to a team in win now mode. That’s not Rangers. I agree St Louis isn’t that team, but I mentioned only cause of talk they’d shake things up. I say trade now, cause he’s just not a fit and it’ll only get harder to move him going further.

      • No offense but it seems you kinda disagree with your own opinions at times.

        But again, I just don’t see a win now team able to comfortably take on Shattenkirk.

        Yesterday you discussed the possibility of Tampa and Toronto. And as I pointed out neither would be able to take him on because of cap restraints going forward.

        Boston no need
        Nashville no need
        Winnipeg no need
        Tampa can’t afford
        Toronto can’t afford
        Pittsburgh can’t afford
        Washington no need/ can’t afford
        Calgary no need
        San Jose no need
        Anaheim no need….

        What’s left?

        For the record, I don’t disagree with you just for the sake of disagreement.

        I think you keep changing your opinions. You thought Tavares, Karlsson, Panarin etc were must haves.
        But now feel if they trade Hayes Panarin isn’t worth it.

        You speak to shattenkirks value, and the next sentence you’re saying they must trade him at any cost and any return.

        You see why I’d be somewhat confused by that right?

        Why does NY need to trade him at any cost? He isn’t a cap problem at this point. So why are they moving him at any cost?

        Ny has set themselves up perfectly for a rebuild. Smith Staal, Lundqvist, Shattenkirk are all expiring before they become problematic to the cap.

        None of them are a problem whatsoever in the near future.
        Sure it would be nice to move them, but they don’t need to at this point.

        I think you’re not really ready for a rebuild. But it’s here. Wishing it away isn’t going to change that.

      • And for the record, If Shattenkirk was healthy, scoring, and was a UFA this year. I think some of the contenders would be willing to kick the tires.

        But none of that is reality. The only way NY is moving him at the moment imo. Is either holding a significant portion of salary and or taking a miserable contract in return or both depending on the player coming back.

        Barring a miraculous type turn around, he’s a tough sell.

      • NY4. My opinion changes with where we’re at. Yes, I thought Tavares as a ufa would’ve been nice. Obviously we did nothing, solets see what happens. At this point, I thinkwe follow what we did last year, which is unload older guys. I’m hoping by moving Shatty, maybe we keep Hayes. Karlsson and Panarin different situation. I felt then, as I do now, that whoever traded for him would have him for years. Panarin seems likely to hit FA,so as I said a few days ago, let’s wait and see where we’re at after draft. To me, top 3 guys that should be moved are Shatty, Zuc and Smith. Won’t be easy, but not impossible. I’m actually amicable to keeping McQuade another year since he adds the big body we lack.
        For the record, doesn’t bother me that you respond, I’ve grown to expect it. As long as we keep it respectable. Also, Anaheim, Colombus, and Montreal are 3 teams currently in playoff picture that are all at bottom of league in power play %

      • NY4… another point. You seem to be confusing what I’d like and what I think team would do. If you’re going to dissect my comments go back and look at what I wrote. I said what happens with Hayes will be a good barometer of what they will do in offseason. If they trade Hayes for more picks and prospects, to me that signals that they don’t plan on competing in near future. So yeah, I don’t see them pursuing FA’s like Panarin if Hayes is dealt. I also said no reason discussing FA’s now. I’ll have my opinions if and when Panarin and Karlsson hit ufa. I have no problem with where rebuild is right now. I think dealing Shatt, Smith and Zuc would be end of getting rid of guys not in future and building more of a prospect pool. I just don’t think it lasts as long as you think. This is pretty much year 3.

      • Pengy, for me dealing Shattenkirk “at all costs” was more his contract and age I’m getting rid of. Obviously would still expect some sort of return in line with teams needs… taking into consideration where they’re at.

      • This is year 1. Actually less. Sure Brassard and Stepan were the beginning. But this team fooled themselves into believing they could compete without Stepan. And adding Zibanejad over Brassard was a cost cutting measure.

        If the rebuild started 3 years ago, why on earth did they sign Shattenkirk, Smith? Buy out Girardi etc.

        This team waived the white flag last year.

    • Alright–

      Steen + Schmaltz for Shattenkirk + 3rd


      • Same as above. Not looking for more older guys on bad contracts. How about Shattenkirk, Vesey and a 2nd rd pick for Parayko and a 3rd

  2. Are Mark and Alex brothers Lyle?

    • Slick, I don’t see how Shat will be dealt. Playoff contenders likely don’t need what he brings and more importantly don’t want the cap hit and non playoff teams should be rebuilding and giving ice time to young developing players. He may be dealable on the last year of his deal. I just don’t see any options for trades on Shattenkirk.

      I could be wrong but my bias with Shattenkirk is very strong. I have never considered him any more than a 5-6 guy that can man the point on the powerplay (which does have some value) – but not at the money he is paid. JMO

      • Trekkie, you have your opinions, and a lot of people would agree. I wasn’t very high on him when Rangers signed him. But at time most folks thought that contract was a bargain. Rangers where weak on D and where desperate to improve. Nobody foresaw the collapse they went through. Obviously Washington felt at the time that he would help them in playoffs. I’m hoping he shows enough between now and deadline that someone else will feel same. I mentioned Colombus. They have space this year and with likelihood Panarin walks can handle Shattys cap hit for 2 more years. As mentioned, maybe Rangers retain some.

  3. Kessel for Tarasenko is such a lateral move it’s not really worth it. The only reason I would do it is because Tarasenko is younger. Then again the Pens stars are all pretty much the same age which should make the “when to rebuild” down the road a lot simpler. The Penguins only need right now is a right shot dman, which just happens to be every other teams need as well.

    • Deee

      Bang on — is a lateral trade — but I would take it— slight loss in production this year (as I think Taresenko on Pens would increase his production dramatically over what he has done so far this year) but the gain is size and age and I truly believe after this year Phil would be on decline; so out year gain in production for Pens for sure …. At a cost of $700K annually …. worth it.

      Don’t know if St L is on Phil’s list (apparently was a couple of years ago per TSN) but if St L was…. I would make that move. Who knows… putting Taresenko on Malkin’s wing…. Does that chemistry work in a true instant increase in production for the team (both players increasing current production beyond loss of current Kessel production)????

      What I would rather see for GMJR this upcoming TDL… (I would dream for a JJ move but it won’t happen)… so Maata and 2nd to An for Manson AND ZAR to VGK for Pirri (see my post re: Pirri on Morning Coffee)

      Pens D come playoffs:
      *JJ can sit for the whole playoffs (huge gain for Pens!!)

      • Sorry should have listed whole Pens playoff picture with those moves. I would also bring up Blueger (sp?) and play him instead of Cullen; and I’d like to see Prow in an injury situation instead of JJ:

        Crosby, Rust, Guentzel
        Malkin, Teresenko, Simone
        Brass, Pirri, Pearson
        Sheahan, **Grant, Blueger
        Cullen as 13th Fwd

        Pettersen and if injury Prow

        *JJ to not play a single playoff game unless there are 3 or more D injuries!

        **Deee , know you are not a Grant fan…. But in my books he has the size and grit and is not a serious defensive liability and comes with close to 60% face-off numbers; so I’m ok with him on 4th line.

  4. Maybe someone can explain why Chiarelli is still the GM and making trades. This guy is making JFJ look like a genius. Edmonton has the best player in the league some would say and they suck. Buffalo, Montreal and Vancouver are better. Rangers are trying to rebuild and are better. Not sure what the upper management is waiting for?? Lucic can’t keep up, Eberle and the mvp Hall they got nothing in return. Draisaitl they overpaid. It’s too bad!

    • Chirelli is trying to top Milbury’s GM legacy at this point.

      If I was the GM I would trade Leon for two top 6 forwards.

    • How is draisaitl overpaid ? Has played less than half the year with mcdavid , has 47 points , positive player , takes all the big draws , kills penalties . 8.5 and he’s still a pup . He is part of the solution , and not going anywhere . 8 year term and ufa years brought the number up but Willie just got 6×7.5 , 2 less ufa years , pasta same concept , better cap hit but ufa 2 years earlier

      • Ahead of Crosby , ovechkin , Tavares to name a few .. they play with pretty good players and pp’s . 4 , 10 game segments they have been fantastic in 2 , terrible in 2 , the second coinciding with klefbom and then Russell injuries and koskinens first terrible outing which cost them the Vancouver game . They need to find consistency, get healthy , added depth will help in short term . 1 more trade for an established winger would be ideal

  5. PC is making Ryan Spooner available. That’s funny; as if he wasn’t already available.

    Tarasenko would be a nice fit in Boston; however the cost would be to high. The bruins are in the dubious position of transition or rebuild on the go. You have Bergeron, Krecji, Marchand with a couple more years of solid out put and if you want to make a run at the cup then you need at least one more top 6 forward if not two. On the other hand to get a player like Tarasenko; Jake Debrusk is certainly going to be part of the ask, as well as Brandon Carlo; a move like that imo makes Boston weaker long term and present.
    I would rather Sweeney reach out to PC in Edmonton to see what the cost would be for Jesse Puljujarvi, you know one of them change of scenery trade for Danton Heinen and a second.

  6. Does Vegas go “all in” and go after Teresenko for another cup run:

    Braanerstrom (sp?) + Elvenes (sp?) + 1st ’19 + 2 2nds in ’20 (they currently have 3 2nds) plus a third round in ’19 (they have 3 thirds this year)

    …. for Teresenko and Jaybo (50% retained by St L to make Cap work)?

    This very bold move will obviously NOT happen but would be an awesome gamble for Vegas and StL gets a future top 4 D and likely top 9 (possibly top 6) winger and 4 picks.

    ….. just a light day today and boredom setting in (I told all staff they could leave 15 minutes ago) and I’m just day-dreaming—-LOL

    • Vegas shouldn’t touch that top line. They all perform better together.
      Tuch has been amazing as the 2nd line RW.
      I’d say patches is a lock for 2LW

      Any team would love to have Senko but I he makes very little sense in Vegas.

      Vegas needs a veteran back up and thats pretty much it.

      This team has yet to be healthy with at least one of their top4D and one forward from their top 6 injured all year – they are still in first albeit in more games played.

      Keep in mind that Haula is still out. Pirri has filled a top 6 role and looked good. So has. Same with Eakin.

      I don’t see them touching senko

      • taz

        fully concur…. again slow day for me and I was day-dreaming

        I want Pirri as a Pen… see my post this morning on Morning Coffee side of Spector… mind boggling to me that his only offer came from Vegas and at league min and he’s played pretty well all of the year (save for last two weeks) with Wolves??????

        ZAR for Pirri…. tweak trade that I believe works for both teams (here and now Pens; future for VGK)

        Concur re: VGK doing well with the D injuries they have had (and plus the 20 games w/o a top 2 D [suspension])… depth D tweak acquisition and tweak acquisition of seasoned UFA back-up in case of Flower injury … should get them to a great chance once again for the WCF. I’m still very strong on Winn as the SC rep from the West. Buff injury will hurt in short term but expect him back in full form for play-offs.

  7. Tarasenko needs a kick in the rear end. I have watched him 4-5 times this year. Outside soft and not competitive. It’s like his shoulder is still hurt. It has to be a mental issue. I have seen it before with young kids and not 7.5 m all stars.
    The benefit of the doubt is maybe he is not the same after surgery. Mobility strength something. In any event he cannot be a passenger. Trade him at the trade deadline. You could add a goalie Jarry and a pick second with Kessel

  8. If I’m the Bruins three players are on my radar Tarasenko, Stone , and Panarin and I move some prospects like Donato Carlo Heinen etc I wouldn’t move Charlie. Boston obviously would need to give up a first depending on deal. They need to move Chara into management after this season. Studnicka looks good love the way that kid plays hockey reminds me of young Bergeron.

  9. There’s a guy playing in the Spengler Cup named Bieksa……

  10. Apparently the Sabres are not going to make any moves for more scoring they think having the second and 3rd line score only 3 goals in 20 games is good. When your defense and 4th line scores more than middle lines you have serious issues. I’m so happy we traded ROR for a big guy who can’t skate or score, picked up 7 mil in dead cap(at least Burglund quit) and a first round pick next year. How exciting in maybe 3-4 years that pick might pan out…it will be exciting to see the team in 5 years. I’m not watching anymore games this year