Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 30, 2018

by | Dec 30, 2018 | Rumors | 27 comments

The fallout from Stars CEO Jim Lites’ harsh critique of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, plus updates on Artemi Panarin and Kevin Shattenkirk in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 


SPORTSNET: Assessing the fallout from Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites’ pointed, expletive-laden criticism of captain Jamie Benn and linemate Tyler Seguin, Nick Kypreos said the two players were blindsided by Lites’ remarks. He wonders where they go from here and believes the NHLPA would also like to have a say in this matter. Kypreos also speculates the PA and perhaps the league might take issue with Lites’ use of profanity while critiquing the players’ performance. 

Should Tyler Seguin and teammate Jamie Benn be concerned over their long-term futures with the Dallas Stars? (Photo via NHL Images)

Elliotte Friedman reports Stars owner Tom Gagliardi said Lites’ comments weren’t about trading anyone or firing anyone. With the club in danger of missing the playoffs for the third straight year, he wants his best players to be at their best. Given how much the Stars have invested in payroll and where they stand in ticket sales this season (23rd), Friedman suggests “all bets are off over the future of Dallas” if they fail to reach the playoffs.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Burnside reports Lites’ comments weren’t a spur of the moment thing but the result of long-percolating frustration over the club’s overall performance and that of Benn and Seguin. They also came with Gagliardi’s blessing and reflects concern over where the Stars sit in the Dallas marketplace and the urgency to finally realize their much-heralded potential. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lites’ remarks may be considered a wake-up call by the front office toward the Stars players in general and Benn and Seguin in particular. Nevertheless, his harsh words will raise questions over the direction of the Stars and the futures of their two best players, especially if they fail to reach the playoffs this season.

There’s no question Benn and Seguin would attract considerable interest in the trade market if ownership agreed to put one or both on the block. But as Cap Friendly indicates, both players carry expensive contracts with no-trade protection. Finding an acceptable trade partner with the right return won’t be easy.

If such a move were to take place it won’t happen during the season. Look toward the offseason, when teams have more salary-cap room and a willingness to swing blockbuster deals. 


SPORTSNET: While questions remain over Artemi Panarin’s future with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nick Kypreos reports his agent said the winger doesn’t want to be traded and intends to see out the season with the Jackets. He remains non-committal over a new contract. Panarin is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July. “Many believe inside our industry that he’s still destined to look at free agency, test the market, and the Rangers remain the odds-on favorite to land him next season,” said Kypreos.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Jackets remain a playoff contender, Panarin won’t be going anywhere this season. If they can stage a lengthy postseason run, perhaps that’ll make the winger more amenable toward a new contract with the Jackets. 


NEW YORK POST: With the Rangers’ hopes of reaching the 2019 playoffs a pipe dream, Larry Brooks believes coach David Quinn should “start coaching toward the trade deadline and build the value of his players, even if that might not align with the short-time objective of winning the next game.”

Brooks feels that applies “specifically to Kevin Shattenkirk,” who is expected to return from injury soon. With two years remaining on Shattenkirk’s contract ($6.65-million AAV) and a limited no-trade clause, he believes it might be best to play the blueliner on the top power-play unit to increase, if not establish, his market value. 

Meanwhile, Brooks believes pending UFA winger Mats Zuccarello has done little to improve his trade value since recently returning from a groin injury. Rather than wait for an unlikely bidding war, he feels the Rangers should be aggressively shopping Zuccarello now in hopes of landing a deal equivalent to the second-round pick and decent prospect they received last season in the Michael Grabner trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk was signed in 2017 when the Rangers still believed they could contend for the Stanley Cup. Now in the midst of a roster rebuild, the soon-to-be 30-year-old blueliner no longer appears to fit into their long-term plans. His age, annual salary, 10-team no-trade list, recent injury history, and declining production make him difficult to peddle. Zuccarello, thanks to his UFA status in the summer, would be an enticing rental player. 


  1. Rangers aren’t getting anything significant for either Shattenkirk or Zucarello … and Jim Lites should have been calling out Jim Nill, not his two best players … and a college head coach.

    • Clueless momo….
      NYR was getting anything of value for Nash last year…. tea right…get a clue vanimpotent

  2. Well- he’s right, you know….

    They have been horse§μ¡t all season.

  3. Dallas bottom 9 forwards are not a playoff team. I think Lites is confusing the NHL with the NBA where you pay two players a mountain and expect them to play 80% of the minutes

    • Agreed. Hamstrung with Spezza @ 7m and Hanzal @ 5.5m (on IR) is not helping balance their scoring out either, with dependable forwards.

      They could call up NYR and offer up Spezza plus draft pics for Hayes, then trade some of their non-performing forwards.

      It would give Dallas a 2nd line center to slide Benn or Radulov with, in life of always have Benn, Seguin and Radulov all on one line leaving no scoring the rest of the line-up.

      TO DAL: HAYES & Shattenkirk
      TO NYR: Spezza, Hanzal & picks

      • Spezza for B Smith would please me. But Spezza would be taking ice time from the kids but Rangers could send him to a playoff team for a late pick and eat salary just to say goodbye to Smith

        Still think Hayes as the 2nd pivot in Colorado makes sense.

      • No thanks on Spezza or Hanzal.

        Ny would have a hard time moving Shattenkirk at this point. I know he was one of the better offensive d-men for years, but I don’t think any GM cares what he hid 2-3 years ago. Also that NMC … where is he agreeing to go? And what contending team has the cap space for him?

        I’d say zero chance he agrees to go to another bottom dweller at this point.

      • NY4. Shattenkirk only has a 10 team no trade, which goes down to 8 teams in final year.

      • But still…. who’s taking him on? I can’t think of a contender that needs him or can afford him.

      • @NYR4
        Spezza is a UFA end of season, so we can be flipped at deadline. Under my proposal was to facilitate cap space for DALLAS to take Shatts. Hayes was the bonus throw in. Hanzal can also be flipped since he only has 1 yr left after this season. Just spitballing.

      • I know you’ll disagree, but for a team like Tampa that seemed to be very interested in Karlsson who would cost a lot more in future? Girardi, Stralman and Coburn are all ufa after season. Point only top guy that needs new contract. Shattenkirk for Coburn and a prospect? Maybe Rangers make a deal and retain some salary?

      • Shattenkirk for Maatta, Grant and a first while we are at ridiculous def con 4.

      • See. Pitt has Letang. Shattenkirk not exactly a need there. How about Zuc? Reunite with his BFF. Brassard

      • Deee. Not see. Jeez

      • Tampa definitely can’t afford him. Coburn and Stralmans money is already spent.

        Kucherov salary goes up 5 million next year.
        Mcdonagh 2 million
        Gourde increases 4 million.

        That’s 11 million.
        Point, Paquette, Erne all have to be dealt with. Point is going to want 6-7 per?

        Even trading Callahan doesn’t really help.

        The following year…
        Sergachev, and Vasilesky.
        Vasilesky will command 7-8 per?

        Where is the cap space coming from? I certainly would not give up Point, Johnson, Stamkos etc to make room for Shattenkirk.

        Plus, Shattenkirk already turned down a very nice payday from Tampa prior to being traded from St. Louis.

        And they were every bit of the contender they are today. So what’s changed?

  4. Lites has every right to say what he did. Benn is 71st in scoring in the league but is the 4th highest paid player.
    Seguin is due a huge raise and is 60th in scoring.

    That’s not good enough.

    • especially for 7+ million. i’d be screaming

    • Jim Lites can call out whom ever he pleases!
      His signature is on the check, he is the owner, I think this is something he wanted to do the past 2 years and it finally boiled over as he stated …meeting after meeting after meeting …we have been there when you don’t get results something has to change.
      Everything he said was unfortunately true, he has every right.

      Can not blame the GM for bringing in the players but NILL has obviously given them a pass when they are not engaged and treated then with kit gloves. Seguin has put up great numbers but he goes to his own tune whenever he wants to, and may not be in step with the big games when they need the two best players to be the 2 best players on the ice, they do carry that team.

      They miss Roussel and Eakins big time.

  5. Shattenkirk had many suitors before signing what everyone thought was a very below market contract with Rangers. 4 years @ 26 mil was nothing compared to everyone’s prediction of a long term deal. Hard to imagine that a contender wouldn’t look to acquire him. Only owed 10 mil in final 2 years ( one of which could be a lockout season) for a team in win now, I’d be watching him from now till deadline. Let’s not forget his slow start was due to coming off knee surgery and Quinn sheltering his minutes. Then he had minor shoulder injury. Supposed to dress next game at St Louis. Don’t think at 29 his skills are diminished. Would still be a good pickup for team looking for power play QB

    • Think TOR can afford him ? Say 2nd rd pick and Zaitsev to NY for Shatts?

      • Toronto would be another team I’d think might have interest. Their PP could use his services. They can fit him this year and they could let Hainsey walk next. Rangers would probably need to retain salary. I don’t think Rangers would want Zaitzev though.

      • When you see a Toronto fans perspective, I’m betting they’re saying hell no!

        They have Gardiner 23 points and Reilly, 44 points. Why do they need Shattenkirks pp help?

      • Both are left handed and combined they have same amount of pp goals as Shatty. 1. Gardener has 3 points on pp total and is ufa at seasons end. So is Hainsey.

      • Where is he playing? With Gardiner? I bet that mak s Every Toronto fan throw up in their mouth a little bit!

        Lefty , Righty? Doesn’t really matter. They’re contributing enough that Shattenkirk isn’t needed.
        And why let Gardiner go to keep Shattenkirk? He’s younger and rumored to be asking in the same ballpark as Shattenkirk… and he hasn’t missed a game since 15-16 season when he played 79 games.

        He’s also being rumored to be gone because of his asking price. So unless NY is holding retention, it kills that too.

      • We don`t care if Shattenkirk can use either hand the answer would be hell no at any price. The PP is at 24% which isn`t that bad

  6. So what is the take on Tarasenko and his 22 points for 7.5m

    • Pathetic…that’s the take on Tarasenko. He doesn’t seem to want to shoot the puck anymore..always looking to pass first. He hasn’t been the same since the shoulder injury.