NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2018

by | Dec 7, 2018 | Rumors | 17 comments

Latest on the Blues, Ducks, Hurricanes, and Flyers in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cited TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s Wednesday appearance on NBCSN discussing whether or not St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong might try to bolster his injury-ravaged roster via trades.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko is starting to pop up in NHL trade speculation (Photo via NHL Images).

While Armstrong might want to make a move, McKenzie points out they’re missing several players (including Alex Pietrangelo, Alexander Steen, and Robby Fabbri) to injury. He also believes Armstrong prefers to give new coach Craig Berube more time with a healthier roster to get a better idea of his club’s needs. Some have pointed to the Blues’ goaltending but McKenzie noted Jake Allen has improved of late.

STLTODAY.COM: During his weekly chat with Blues fans, Jim Thomas was asked about recent rumors claiming the Blues were scouting Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard. He believes they only make that move if they’re close to the playoffs and that’s currently not the case. He also speculates Armstrong’s supposed interest in Howard may have been an exploratory thing.

Thomas was also asked it it was time to blow up the roster and if it made sense to move players such as Steen, David Perron, Colton Parayko, Patrick Maroon, and Jake Allen “for a quick rebuild”. He would keep Parayko, doubts Maroon would fetch much as a rental player, and thinks Perron’s contract is reasonable enough not to scare off other teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are a mess right now. While they have the talent on paper to be better than they are this season, they’ve struggled defensively and seem to have difficulty adjusting to the faster pace of the game this season.

If they don’t reverse their fortunes soon, Armstrong could become a seller by the trade deadline, provided he hasn’t lost his job by then. After all, he built this roster and bears responsibility for their poor performance dating back to last season.

I don’t think they’ve give up on Parayko. Yes, he’s struggled this season but could regain his form under a new head coach since Berube is only there on an interim basis. Steen has a full no-trade clause and could be unwilling to waive it. With a five-team no-trade list, Perron ($4 million annually through 2021-22) would be easier to move though some clubs might be leery of the length of his contract. 


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Anaheim Ducks recently scouted the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes. He believes they’re looking for a third-pairing defenseman with a left-handed shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recently demoted Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner might suit their needs, though the Habs would have to pick up a significant chunk of his $4.625-million annual cap hit. He also has a seven-team no-trade list but I daresay at this point he’s not fussy over where he could go. 

Speaking of the Hurricanes, Pierre LeBrun reports they’re still in the market for a scoring forward and they have the blueline depth to draw upon as trade bait to address that need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s well known the Hurricanes were closely watching William Nylander’s recent contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hurricanes rearguards Brett Pesce and Justin Faulk are frequently mentioned as possible trade chips.

If the Ducks want one of those guys, however, they’ll have to part with a scoring forward, which could potentially weaken their own offensive depth. Still, if they feel they can’t reach an agreement with pending UFA Jakob Silfverberg, maybe the Ducks will try to use him to pry a d-man away from the Hurricanes? He’s a very streak scorer and might not be enticing to the Canes. 


COURIER-POST: Dave Isaac reports a dozen scouts took in the Philadelphia Flyers game last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Word on the street is “new general manager Chuck Fletcher has an itchy trigger finger,” though that’s not the impression Fletcher gave during his introductory press conference earlier this week. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher may have let it be known that he’s open to trade proposals but I believe he’s going to take some time evaluating his new roster before deciding what moves he’ll make. 



  1. Armstrong signed Bozak, Perron & Maroon & gave up considerable assets for ROR … did anyone other than a Blues fan really think that group would propel them to the top??? And with Jake Allen between the pipes? At the time I thought he was pissing away $ and cap space and that’s exactly what happened. Doug Armstrong has set the Blues back at least five years. And Craig Berube as head coach? Goons make horrible head coaches.

    • LOL…Yikes… eddievanimpe

      I actually thought the Blues would be a serious contender this year ..with ROR Bozak & Schenn down the middle I thought they would increase their posession time considerably and this would translate into more offensive options for Tarasenko especially in the offensive zone draws and power play.

      On paper they have a solid D core when healthy who both rush the puck and can shut down bigger lines …taking on Maroon and Perron was adding both size experience and skill not just size…and Jordan Nolan was the grit they lost in Ryan Reaves comes with a cup.

      Some major issues have been Fabri and Shwartz ..CA NOT STAY healthy and most likely never will.

      The goalie thing is what it is …the league is really low on quality goaltending and most of the usual suspects are getting older and are going to be done in another year….nothing new and upcoming around the league …there are no options there unless they blow the door open and make a major organizational change and give away a major player ( s) for either Bobs or Quick and I do not see that happening

      Not just because they have just played each other but I think the Blues and Oilers are very good trade partners right now.

      • Not sure if the goal tending is any worse or if the game has changed in ways that have driven up goals and scoring chances.
        High quality scoring chances are up significantly.
        There is more speed and skill in the league than ever before, hooking and slashing of the hands are being called more.
        Goalie equipment is smaller and sticks are better. Every body can fire it now, well maybe not Lucic.
        The league is younger (cheaper) and has more skill but also not as refined on the D side of the puck.
        I think more goals are good, the tenders probably don’t though.
        Methinks they keep getting bigger, make themselves square to the shooter and hope it hits them.
        Agree that it is a tough market for tenders though. Nobody is going to be handing them out for cheap.

      • @ raybark

        I think you are correct on all points for sure ..

        the equipment changes are the biggest aspect …especially for a goalie who is accustom to knowing where he is on angles and what he thinks he is covering and has done that for say around 15 years plus ..LOL… and all of a sudden that has changed ..there are now holes where there were not …it is almost like making the nets bigger in a way without actually doing so ..if you know what I mean….it gives these young shooters a lot more to see and yeppp..they can place it.

        Thats why back in the day 150 point seasons were natural more often …if you look at the years where Goalie equipment was at its biggest through late 90s and early 2000s the guys who were the best shooters were putting up out of this world numbers …they had no room ..but still scored 40 50 goals like Crosby.. OVI.. Paul Karya ..Bure ,St Louis, Mogilny and the likes there of ..that ERA with goalie equipment sizes might be the best goal scorers of all time due to how big the goalies were and the numbers they put up

        The thing with getting JUST A BIGGER goalie as the solution..is not going to fly..once a team has scouted and realizes that the goalie is not very mobile …they will use more cross seam passes and expose him on the EAST to WEST passes ..unfortunately this is where Garret Sparks is finding it hard in the NHL right now…the players are on another level in the NHL as opposed to the AHL …he has been caught cheating on way too many goals as most of the goalies we have talked about who need new starts …the equipment changes has not allowed them to cheat by not being agile enough AT ALL… being square is not cutting it anymore…the players are to fast and make plays!

    • Blues don’t have enough high end talent, too slow and can’t score when they need to. The game against Edmonton did it for me, stick a fork in them. Allen has been playing really well lately and then Tarasenko does this flamingo shit to screen Klefbom’s point shot at a critical point. I don’t watch Tarasenko a lot, but he either lost the heart or doesn’t have it. Schenn took a lazy, stupid tripping penalty at a critical point too and I seen Berube on the bench mouth “that was f%$king stupid!” ROR looked good though. These guys are toast.

      They have loads of assets if they want to do a rebuild. ROR, Schenn, Tarasenko would all fetch great returns. I mean look at Carolina, who knows what they would give up to land a Tarasenko. They could trade two firsts and a great prospect, who knows what they’re capable of, they’re nuts. It’s really hard to win so it might be best to cut Armstrong some slack and let him try again. Everyone liked his roster in early October. You’d be hard pressed to replace him with someone better. Besides, its his team that is in great shape for a rebuild. All his best players are in their prime, 27yrs old. Drop the hammer!

    • blozak can rot in st louis—on the leafs he had the worst plus minus in 100 years of the leafs organization—FACT–he ruined kessel and anything the leafs were doing—leaf fan for 35 years–he is so frustrating-if st louis were that dumb to not realize this somehow—then enjoy the basement–fools–great scouting st. louis lol

      • Bozak didn’t ruin Kessel. The leafs thrust him into a first line centre position. He is not a first line centre. The leafs poor management ruined Kessel as they had nobody to feed him the puck. Bozak is a good 3rd line centre with a very favorable faceoff win % nothing more. You cant blame a player for poor management.

  2. The Blues need to get out from under some big contracts (Boumeister, Steen, Allen, Bozak)and go “goalie shopping” after the season. Also need to upgrade defense–perhaps the Hurricanes could help in a trade. Their current lack of cap space is a real issue for immediate help/change.

    • @ Iowaboy

      I def could see …Steen and Bouwmeester on the move soon in the new year if not the trade deadline for sure…that would help clear some cap …Bozak is still good on draws and defensively responsible at his cap hit is a good #2 so he will stay behind ROR …Goalie shopping is a very very very thin market…not much in the way of options for an upgrade that will not cost you a serious player or 2…most likely an off season change at this point or a lower level sideways move that would only bring a change for the sake of a change.

      On another note :

      I really think teams are looking at the Jeff Skinner situation in Carolina and what that deal has cost the Canes … Skinner is one of the fastest players in Sabres history to hit 20 goals before December ….

      the Canes are desperate for goals right now…this situation has shined a light on a consideration that GMs need to be more weary of and is a MAJOR deal breaker when teams are now looking to make a serious trade ….

      i e Kessel Panarin …how do you make a deal for those guys that will bring back the points you are shipping out regardless of what you may save in cap hit or bring in in the way of prospects …it really has made GMs think twice before making a deal I believe …same with i.e Groux, Coututier in Philly as trade options as well… if you make those deals you are giving away a lot of points and goals that will need to be replaced or you my as well just call it a rebuild right away because there could be some pain coming! !

  3. instead of trading to trading, nhl should do some player fitting or coach fitting.

    • Precisely. That would solve a lot of problems.

  4. Fletcher is experienced and certainly would have the book on veterans and should not need a ton time to put his stamp on things.

    Makes me laugh – trade goal scoring and 2 months later “ we need goal scoring”

    I would move Quick. He should return a lot more than goalies have historically garnered

    LA STL and PHL need to do something

    • Can’t argue with that Silver! As a Kings fan, Quick would be the first asset I trade out of town for the reasons you state above.

      Besides, both Petersen and Campbell have played very well for LA this year.

  5. I think Blues fans should recognize (after the fact) that MUCH of the Blues earlier success with goaltending and defense was due to Hitchcock. I know his shelf life expired, but his system brought success.

    • Exactly

  6. The Blues aren’t going anywhere with Tyler Bozak.