NHL Rumor Mill – December 6, 2018

by | Dec 6, 2018 | Rumors | 55 comments

Latest on Phil Kessel and Wayne Simmonds plus an update on the Blackhawks in your NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman cited “multiple sources” claiming the Pittsburgh Penguins “tested the market” on winger Phil Kessel. He adds the Penguins “appear to have decided to hold off on anything involving him for the time being, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t be revisited.” He points out the Penguins were last in the Eastern Conference three weeks ago but have since risen to within range of a playoff berth.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel is once again popping up in the NHL trade-rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)

Friedman also noted Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford’s already made two notable trades (Carl Hagelin to Los Angeles for Tanner Pearson and Daniel Sprong to Anaheim for Marcus Pettersson) and is eyeing more. However, the Penguins don’t have much to trade without significantly altering their roster. Kessel still has a partial no-trade clause in his contract and Toronto still pays $1.8 million of his $8-million salary.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Joe Starkey reports a number of reporters he respects “have put forth the idea that Rutherford has at least been open to a Kessel deal.” Nevertheless, he believes the Penguins would be nuts to trade Kessel. He points to the winger’s offensive consistency, including a 92-point performance last season and having the same number of points this season (29) as Sidney Crosby.

Unless Kessel wants out, Starkey believes trading him would be a bad move. “If the idea is that Kessel is the one tradable piece that could net a big return, what’s your point? Would the return be better than Phil Kessel? Surely, we’re not looking at a rebuild just yet.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether the Penguins are winning Stanley Cups with Kessel or struggling in the standings despite his offensive contributions, there’s always a report or two each year suggesting they’re looking at trading him. Given the Penguins’ current struggles, there could be more creditability to the Kessel speculation this season.

Still, unless Rutherford is giving up on this season and tearing down his roster, it’s doubtful he’ll find a return for Kessel that’ll provide the Penguins with immediate improvement. If that move ever takes place, I’m guessing it’s an offseason deal that signals the Penguins are in rebuild mode. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers’ recent management change might affect Wayne Simmonds’ future. The winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Friedman said former Flyers GM Ron Hextall was fond of Simmonds but was “unwilling to commit term to the 30-year-old.”  There were also differing opinions on whether Hextall was shopping Simmonds. “Now we’ll find out what Chuck Fletcher thinks.”

NBC SPORTS: John Boruk notes Fletcher recently said he believes culture “is very important in any organization to be successful.” If so, that might work in Simmonds’ favor. Boruk believes the winger’s future will be “thoroughly discussed” to either reward him with a new contract or trade him for a return that could make the Flyers ” a more well-rounded team defensively.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Fletcher intends to take some time to fully evaluate his roster before deciding what his first roster moves will be. Simmonds’ performance between now and next February will determine if he has a future in Philadelphia. If Fletcher believes Simmonds is too expensive to retain, he’ll be shopped before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was at the Arizona Coyotes/Los Angeles Kings game on Tuesday. Capologist Kyle Davidson made a rare road-trip appearance, plus the Hawks had “two scouts at Los Angeles/Vancouver last Tuesday, three at Dallas/Calgary on Wednesday and two more the following night for Los Angeles/Edmonton.”  Friedman also notes the Blackhawks were interested in Sam Gagner in 2017 and might be thinking about him again. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks scouting the Dallas/Calgary game could be because they’re playing the Stars on Dec. 20 and the Flames on Jan. 7. However, they don’t face Edmonton until February and Vancouver, Arizona, and Los Angeles until March. So, maybe they are taking a close look at the Kings for a possible trade.

As for Gagner,  The Province’s Patrick Johnston notes he was recently recalled from the AHL for a stint but was recently returned to the Toronto Marlies. Canucks GM Jim Benning declined to comment about the recent speculation linking the Blackhawks to Gagner. He did say he told Gagner he’d keep looking for an NHL club interested in acquiring him. We’ll find out soon enough if the Blackhawks have revisited their interest in Gagner. 



  1. Hate when a guy uses the term reward. You don’t reward a player for what he has done, you pay him for what he can do…

    Lyle, Any rumors on Parayko to the Flyers?

    • BadCowboyDan

      I call dibs on Parayko for Leafs or Pens

      Was hoping for a last minute deal last week where WW went to StL and Parayko donned the Blue & White…. dreams are nice to have

      …. bigger dream …. 3 way (with many other sundries) with Key players ending up:

      Kessel in StL
      Parayko … Leafs
      WW…. Pens

      Not a chance …. but that’s why it’s a dream


      • No thanks on that one. Just what we need, WW on the other side of PA…

        Flyers (or anyone that wants to win) will have to have an Outstanding and stacked D. The team to beat for the foreseeable future are the Leafs. Too much O to go head to head. Gotta keep their D weak or it’ll be the “Oilers in the 80’s” again. Thank goodness for the cap…

      • Team to beat is Tampa in the east, along with Tor.

      • BadCowboyDan

        I’m a Leaf & Pens fan as you know but I side with Caper …. as at now … I think TBay favoured for East …. that is …. with rosters as they are now

        We’ll see what happens at TDL …, still holding out for a D upgrade …. WW can still be traded despite cap hit this year and despite what Leafs mgt have publicly stated re keeping him long term

    • If there was anything about Parayko to the Flyers, or anyone else, I would’ve posted it up by now.

    • OILERS

      Oiler Blues last night was an eye opening game ….

      Connor Mcdavid is WASTING his time there… WOW!
      He played more than half the game skated around the rink sometimes aimlessly and all alone from one end to the other most shifts ….the OILERS are in a terrible state …they my as well just send McDavid out there on his own each shift …both teams are having a really hard time scoring…Blues had so many chance but could not convert…fast teams but can not gel with young and old players well.

      Nurse and Klefbom are big assets…but other than that the Oilers are in serious organizational trouble wasting each year of McDavids prime…they need a MAJOR shake up though 3 lines.


      A… Kessel Murray… Package could be VERY interesting to some teams I think this could be a way to maximize the return to full potential.

      There are about 6 – 8 teams right now that are RIGHT THERE in points and need to make a solid trade to give the team a boost …which would put a lot of players in play !

      Shout goal in Van ..he looked really good on that line …he will do very well there ! Wish him well.


      With Peiterangelo out Bouwmeesteradn Gunnarson on the way out what is the Blues going to get for Parayko to solidify the backend as it is weak all ready …this just doe not make sense for me that they are looking to trade this guy!

      Shout out to Pengy and Caper …looking forward to the Bruins game on Saturday !

      • The only place Parayko is available, is in the minds of the drooling fan bases seeking him.

        I don’t believe he will be available in the near future.

      • Kal El, I didn’t think the Oilers were that bad last night? They had the better of the play overall.
        Agree that they lack offence on the wings though. After McD, RNH and Drai, what do they have?
        They also ony have one D man that can bring offence and that is Klefbom.
        That is why you are seeing Hitch instill a tighter structure. He has too. To paraphrase him him and he was talking to his offensive players, including McDavid “when we have the puck it is you play your way when we don’t, you play for us and you do it my way”. You will see their goals against go down, and their goaltender’s numbers improve.
        They are 5-2-0-1 since the coaching change. Is that a short term bump or a change? Time will tell. It isn’t going to be entertaining hockey, but I can see them winning more games and have a chance to get into the playoffs.
        I can’t see a major shake up as the Oil don’t have the assets to make that deal, unless they somehow find a home for Lucic without paying half his contract.
        IMO they need to stop trying quick fixes or “shakeups” that PC seems prone to. One thing PC has done is get some prospects in the pipeline like Bouchard, McLeod, Yamamoto, and even Puljujarvi. Have some patience and develop them for a change. In a couple years they could be a very different team.

      • @ ray bark

        They are 4 years in …4 YEARS with McDavid ..and it still looks like they have no real direction.

        they have some decent players on the back end coming around …yes for sure ..Nurse looks like he likes to rush the puck ..and has mean streak …Klefbom has a real nice point shot Sekera is a responsible D man when healthy ..and up and coming Bouchard ..for sure…100%

        But the top 4 lines are truly a mish mash and outside McDavid ..RNH is expendable and Draisitil is a good player but this doesn’t feel like a real team is being built here …it just seems as if McDavid is just meant to be the horse and that’s it ! Not sure where they go from here …I just don’t get the FEELING when I see them play like they are going anywhere ..it just seems as if they just hold on long enough to win by 1 goal or a shootout each night there doesn’t seem to be a path here …just a hope and a dream.

        I wander if Hitch will be given more of a say once he has evaluated everything to his liking on weather or not Chirelli stays because from last night they still need a lot of work to do to surround McDavid 4 years in !

        He is wasting away …IMO

      • @ NYR4Life

        A lot of hockey writers over the past 72 hours have been indicating that Parayko is available and the Blues want to listen …interesting that it has caught some head winds more than not.

        FYI ..

        Beauty goal by Stamkos the other night …still looking good ..LOL

        Mistake correction above …

        nice to see Josh Lievo get his first in Van …he looks really good on that line !!!

        He should do well…wish him the best.


      • Don’t disagree with your assessment of the Oil Kal el, just disagree with the approach to fixing it, if I am taking your shake up comment meaning a big trade.
        Those types of moves have put them in this position as they are never dealing from a position of strength and haven’t won many. Also have rushed prospects and drafted poorly. Don’t waste the next 7 years of McDavid by repeating that. IMO they need patience for 2 more years, let the young guys develop, save your cap space until you are actually ready to contend.

      • NYR4Life

        Re “The only place Parayko is available, is in the minds of the drooling fan bases seeking him.”

        …. that’s me 🙂

        I drool in my dreams … LOL

      • Kal El

        Re McD and Ed

        Yes it’s hard to watch all that talent and effort with little support but I’m not so much of the mindset of “wasted”…. that div is tight and Ed is still within striking distance … let’s see how next couple of weeks goes under the new coaching

      • Kal El

        Re “A… Kessel Murray… Package could be VERY interesting …. ”

        I can’t see a trade of both of them (in same trade)… anything is possible but a real longshot

        We’ll see how things go tonight … need to pump up the power play…. too many short ganders against this year


      After doing some digging and research and going over at least 14 team scenarios with Cap hit and positional need, along with where the team is in its organizational life and standings …and where they want to be this year and over the next 2 years I have drawn to this one scenario that seems to check all the boxes…for both teams.

      Kessel ….to Carolina


      Faulk & Cliff Pu

      Hurricanes have $16 million in Cap space
      They have wanted to move on from Faulk for some time now and Pitt needs a steady D man for both PP & PK on a short term contract…

      Pu would look good is young and has some good upside….moving out Phil gives them some cap relief as well.

      Canes missed out on Nylander and want scoring NOW!!


      • Kessel is a hot dogger, hes not a playmaker. He’s only good if hes around GREAT players. Otherwise hes just a passenger on the bus.

      • I think you take some of these rumor blogs too seriously. If Carolina wanted to move on from Faulk for some time now, they would have pulled the trigger. They’ve moved Hanafin, Skinner… what’s the holdup on Faulk?

        I’m not saying he won’t be traded. But I don’t see them saying anything of that nature. Nor would they, even if it were true.

        Ditto Parayko… sure, a lot of rumblings out on the rumor mill, but not so much from anyone associated with the Blues. Actually, those type of sites are saying he pretty much untouchable.

        These writers get paid, they need to come up with something. Even if it’s pulled out of theirs butt … they need something to talk about.

      • @ NYR4life

        Was just a suggestion…something worth talking about….

        Carolina is missing out on a lot of Goals from Skinner ..they have a plethra of D men and have made Faulk available at other times.

        In all the media talsk Ive gheard wit Don Waddel he has said tha he wanst to upgrade hi top 6 with a proven goal scorer …

        they have a tone of cap…and would not miss Faulk.

        Pitt really needs a guy to settle down the back end with all the injuries Letang is overworked …and needs a legit partner to carry the load //who is proven and solid ..this to me was a quality deal for both teams ..probably more pieces to be added by Canes ..but they would be a team that could make it all work …Pitt saves 2 million on cap which they need and shorter term for Faulk …less 1 year for Kessel deal …if Pitt uses Brassard or Murray in a secondary trade they could really upgrade the wing position in a secondary deal.

        Just seemed to fit all the holes for both teams, needs.

        Parayko again in the news here on Sportsnet on his availability sense is he is being shopped and Blues want to make a larger deal …who knows just discussing the mood of the day …sorry

      • I’d never say never on anyone getting traded.

        I just don’t believe Parayko is currently being shopped.
        Who knows? I said the other day there are about 3 players in the nhl I think are players you just don’t trade….. but even those 3 I’d at least listen. I think any GM (especially on a struggling team) should at least be open to listen. Even if it means laughing at the proposal and hanging up the phone.

      • Cliff Pu and Falk?!? Are you out of your damn mind? First of all there is no way Carolina is on Phil’s 8 team trade list, second of all who and who?? What an absolute franchise killing trade. The Pens are 6 points out of first in the Met. They just lost a trade a couple of days ago and now they are swinging for the fences of Loserville? No thanks, no thanks, NO THANKS!!

      • I was just thinking I would never make that deal if I was Carolina. Phil is a dynamic player, but let’s be honest, if he wasn’t third option on a stacked team, he’d never have a cup. I would never give up those guys for a player like Kessel.

      • Snicker

  2. The time to trade Kesell was early July …. maximum return.

    I’ve said before that I believe he will start to decline and decline rapidly starting next year

    His bouts of great offence have over-come his (IMO) declining fitness

    He also appears at times to be “unmotivated” or pissed/pouting … especially when they drop him from Malkin’s line

    He must be gone by June of ’21 as he would have to be protected in the Expansion draft (at the expense of losing a younger player )

    I’ve no idea which team could/would take him on right now … teams who need scoring ….

    LA … already on the cusp of the Cap ceiling

    and Car and Arz …. younger teams …. what would they realistically be willing to give up

    Would it be a 3-way deal that nets a third team a D; while Pens net young scoring winger from third team and Kessel goes to a 2nd party low scoring team??????

    GMJR did a multi-player swap yesterday with Ottw …. 3 Minor Leaguers for 2 … I don’t know anything about any of the players…does anybody here have insight on the rational of that trade…. multi-player AHL swaps are very rare

    Again …. pressed with meetings today so will be out of loop until much later

    • Pengy: I’ll take Phil for Anders Bjork, please and thanks!

      • shoreorrpark

        A deal …. if Pens can then flip Bork for …. say …. Skinner … 🙂

    • Curious if Vegas called about Kessel before making the Patches deal. That would of been a great fit

    • Pengy not trying to rub it in but Sprong scored a beauty last night playing on a line with Henrique and Ritchie. Proved your point that if he plays with skilled played he can produce.

      • Fergy22

        …. ouch!

        I still think the best trade for both teams that day (as there were two trades that day) would have been Spring for Leivo

        We’ll see how Petersson turns out … not sure why they keep sitting Riikola?

        They should waive Ruhweedel … not using on big team … if he clears … all good … if he’s snapped up … then you are only losing a redundant player

    • @Pengy but if Pens all in for last years of Sid+Geno prime=they need Kessel as the 3rd spark.
      Or do they try to get 2 players for Kessel… or trade Malkin….

      • If there is a trade out there for Kessel (BTW I can’t think of one short of a crazy multi-player multi-team move right now) and it doesn’t crimp too much on team scoring but brings in a fast mid 20’sRW …. then do it

        Keep Gino

        I sense another deal coming though with the extra D on the team now… they won’t trade JJ; should not touch Letang, Dumo; Oleksiak and would be foolish to flip the new acquisition and I truly believe a waste to move Riikola … so maybe ? Maata … what would they get?

    • @ Pengy

      Where have we seen this act before …

      His bouts of great offence have over-come his (IMO) declining fitness

      He also appears at times to be “unmotivated” or pissed/pouting …

      This lead to the famous line with Dave Feschuk …Are you a coach killer Phil??

      An the response was….



      Gary Roberts was on Sportsnet at the beginning of the season and had said Phill was in the best shape of his life..and trained with him all summer long …

      So it has to be chalked up to motivation and between the ears and just lack of caring to push him self when adversity is in his face …IMO


      • Kal El

        Attitude as you’ve said is the most likely culprit

        Re: Roberts stating that Phill was in great shape … since he trained him he’d have to say that publicly … I’m not buying it … but he did say it

    • Why would the penguins trade kessel 93 points last year….30 points in 26 games this year…he is the penguins second best offensive player behind Crosby…yes i said it not show up every 5 games Malkin…who wont shoot, takes dumb penalties, and has no heart.

      If i had one player to score a goal in a shootout or a breakaway its Phil Kessel period…

    • Trade Letang. 3 more years at 7.25? Tampa wanted Karlsson, still might if he hits free agency. Letang would cost less. Letang to Tampa for Callahan, Coburn, Radysh and Foote. Pitt gets 2 vets, one on expiring contract, one with a year left. And 2 solid prospects. Tampa gets another piece to chase cup, gives up 2 prospects to sweeten deal to dump Cally

      • Hi Slick

        Got your note the other day re my acronyms and short-cuts

        Will try to remember… very hard for me as I type with one finger on small screen and lazily try to save time/energy with shortcuts

        Unfortunately I think I’ll need to stick with the GM (General Manager) plus initials of a particular GM as it saves time

        Re ur trade proposal… unfortunately you lost me at Callahan …. under no circumstances should Pens ever consider him … that would seriously be a negative move IMO

        Raddysh and Foote …. love them . Coburn is not a problem

        Callahan is a deal breaker

        IMO …. if I was Yzerman … I would have done everything in my power last summer to rid the team of Callahan … thoughtbthere just might be s deal where NYR took him back

      • I wouldn’t trade Foote for Letang straight up. Foote is exactly a guy Tampa needs.
        Letang is not. Tampa isn’t in a position to take on Pittsburgh’s problem.

        Why does Tampa need a letang? Hedman, Mcdonagh? Sergachev? They aren’t guys that put up numbers? …. without the injuries and added salary?

        Even if it meant dumping Callahan… zero chance that deal is happening!

      • Pengy, trying to figure out your shortcuts.
        As far as Letang, was just spitballing and throwing his name out there as far as a guy who could bring back a return and clear cap space for future. Callahan has only 1 year left on his deal, Pitt can keep or buy out next season to clear more space. When healthy, he adds leadership and isn’t bad as a gritty 3rd liner. Adding 2 prospects make this a fair deal.
        NY4, maybe they don’t need Letang, but I see him as less of a problem financially than Karlsson, who they didn’t need either yet seemed to pursue pretty heavily. Letang currently has more points than EK and all the D men on Tampa as well, while Foote isn’t even playing in NHL. Plus all the guys you mentioned are left D. Steal man and G will both be ufa. Letang would immediately become top pair on right side. Could help our Rangers get another 1st round pick next draft!

      • Stralman… not Steal man

  3. Team should not overpaid into the free market and be more active on season rumor mill.

    • You always seem to write what I was thinking, just before I get a chance to type it.

  4. Hitchcock in Edmonton is like opening a box of imported Lindt chocolates, you take a bite, tastes a bit off, check the expiry date and the expiry date was 2.5 years ago.

    They are paying McDavid 12.5 million to skate around aimlessly because the rest of the team is being told to play in a defensive system that just doesn’t work anymore.

    The only person this benefits is Lucic who is slow, heavy, and can’t score on an empty net…brings the rest of them closer to what he contributes.

    • Lucic is now on 4th line with Kassian

      • And they are 5-2-0-1 since Hitch was hired.

  5. St Louis is an older team their top 10 scorers all over 26(2 are 26 rest older), if they finish bottom of league you would think they might want to go with the great young forwards they have. I wish they would trade my sabres Tarasenko, they could have their first round pick back for starters…lots of articles about how he’s regressing. If they play terrible next year as well they would most likely rebuild.

  6. Would a trade Kessel for Panarin make any sense? I know they are rivals, but if they are about to lose him, maybe Pitts is big enough for his GF 😀

  7. So Leaf fans, with Nylander under contract any guess if GMKD revisits a trade with LA?

    WN + salary balance parts for Doughty?

    • OMG, your trading Willie Nelson to L.A… Is Lukas part of the deal.

      • And Micah and Neil Young too 🙂 LOL

        BTW … saw Lucas and Micah sing with Neil young this summer … Lucas did a solo … sounds just like his dad

      • Lukas sounds exactly like his dad, he opened for Los Lonely Boys in Vancouver

    • Azwingsfan

      Never say never … but this move to get Doughty is almost at the never point …would need a load of take back … or many many player multiple teams trade

      We can dream … but it is almost impossible

  8. I guess the saying live by the sword die by the sword applies to Tom Wilson . Not much sympathy. Is Reaves being called onto the carpet ?

    • SilverSeven

      I don’t like anybody getting concussed … but this must be karma related … no?

      • I’d call it posturing, but that would make me a bad person if it turned out he is concussed.

  9. Tonight Phil Kessel scored 2 goals!!