NHL Rumor Mill – January 2, 2019

by | Jan 2, 2019 | Rumors | 39 comments

The latest on the Senators and Blue Jackets plus updates on the Oilers and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


OTTAWA SUN: Following Monday’s games between the Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets, Ken Warren observed the two clubs have big decisions to make regarding their top unrestricted free agents. Senators forwards Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel are slated to become UFAs in July, as are Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and winger Artemi Panarin. 

Mark Stone remains keen to re-sign with the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Stone recently said he expects contract talks with the Senators to resume within the next couple of weeks. He added he wants to stay because he loves the team and the city. Duchene remains uncertain over his future but said it would be a great situation if it all works out. Meanwhile, Panarin’s agent Dan Milstein said he intends to speak with his client about his plans during the All-Star break later this month. 

If those pending UFAs make it clear they intend to test the market in July, Warren believes the two clubs will be forced to move those players before the Feb. 25 trade deadline for the best possible returns. The biggest difference, however, is the Blue Jackets are in the thick of the playoff chase while the Senators postseason hopes are fading. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky and Panarin aren’t going anywhere before the trade deadline. While both appear non-committal about re-signing, they’re also focused on helping the Jackets reach the playoffs. Both will be crucial to the Jackets hopes for a long postseason run this spring. Barring a major collapse by the Jackets between now and late-February, I don’t see either guy hitting the trade block.

Of the three Senators UFAs, Stone appears most keen to stay put and I don’t doubt management wants to keep him. Duchene’s indicated he’s open to re-signing but hasn’t been as publicly eager as Stone. Dzingel would be the most affordable of the trio.

The wild card is whether quick-tempered owner Eugene Melnyk is willing to invest in keeping them in the fold. If they’re not under contract by late-February, they could all end up on the trade block. 


THE ATHLETIC: After the Edmonton Oilers acquired depth defenseman Alex Petrovic and Brandon Manning on Sunday, Pierre LeBrun speculates general manager Peter Chiarelli could attempt more meaningful moves leading up to the Feb. 25 trade deadline. While a right winger could be among the desired options, LeBrun believes adding a top-four defenseman remains the top need, though it won’t be easy to address. 

LeBrun believes the Oilers have had the odd chat with the Carolina Hurricanes in recent weeks but doesn’t think those discussions went very far. If Chiarelli asked for Justin Faulk or Brett Pesce, LeBrun feels the Hurricanes will ask for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in return, something the Oilers GM would be reluctant to do. 

Perhaps Chiarelli would be interested in upgrading the blueline in exchange for futures if the Oilers remain in playoff contention. “Would Los Angeles, for example, look at a picks/prospects package in exchange for Jake Muzzin?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun was expounding on his Dec. 31 report on TSN regarding the Oilers’ plans. The Hurricanes desperately need scoring so an asking price of Nugent-Hopkins for Faulk or Pesce makes sense on their part. I agree with LeBrun that Chiarelli won’t make that move as it’ll only address one problem while creating another.

Maybe a picks/prospects package for a defenseman like Muzzin will work, but as LeBrun noted, only if the Oilers are still in playoff contention. Even then, another club could swoop in with a better offer. 


LeBrun also reports player agent Allan Walsh, who represents Calgary Flames winger Michael Frolik, spoke with Flames GM Brad Treliving several times about his client in recent weeks before posting a recent tweet blasting coach Bill Peters for making Frolik a healthy scratch. The winger subsequently returned to the lineup in a top-six role.

Nevertheless, LeBrun suggests this situation could bear watching. If Frolik continues to bounce around the lineup, Walsh could pressure Treliving to move him, if he hasn’t already done so. LeBrun speculates the Flames GM could pursue a third-pairing, left-shot defenseman before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun isn’t saying Frolik will be shopped for a defenseman, though you can’t dismiss the possibility if his role gets reduced again. Right now the Flames are rolling along as one of the top teams in the Western Conference. As LeBrun points out, Treliving doesn’t have to rush into anything right now. 


  1. Matt Duchene is a trap player, stay away, this is only season he’s been over point per game and he’s 28 years old this month, do you want to give him a long deal? Stay far away unless it’s a 3-4 year deal max.

    • Matt, so so true….not a guy you want to build your team around.

  2. The Rangers should sign or trade for Panarin, Bobrovsky, Duchene, Stone, Muzzin, Pesce, Dzingel.

    Trade Shattenkirk, Smith , Staal, Lundqvist, Chytl , Andersson, Kreider, Howden, Kravtsov, Miller, Pionk, Deangelo, Lundkvist, And Every 1st round pick for the next 4 years.

    Fire Quinn , Bring back Keenan, Messier, Leetch , Zubov and Graves.

    This rebuild is getting so tiresome. I’ve had to deal with it for nearly 11 minutes now… and no results!

    Did I miss anything?

    • You missed trading for Dustin Brown and Brent Seabrook. 5 Cups between them

    • NY4, those are some pretty Slick moves.

      • FD. “Slick” moves. I get it. Haha. Kind of crap you find over at Hockey Buzz.

      • Ya slick fd is a bit of a maroon

    • NY4. Nice you show some incentive!! You didn’t even wait for me to make a comment. Even though Rangers weren’t even discussed, you still feel a need to show all you’re number 1 expert on all matters related to NYR, while taking a dig at me. Congrats. Give yourself a big pat on the back. If you’re such a fan though, and feel they don’t need to do anything, why are you here?

      • We can’t all be super armchair gms like you slick.

        I saw some shiny names and wanted to play armchair gm like a lot of other Ranger fans.

        Sorry you’re feelings got hurt in the process. The floor is yours now. What do you have for us today? Shattenkirk and McLeod for Mcdavid and Draisatl?

        Hockeybuzz? Some of your brilliant proposals will fit right in there and blueshirt banter. Bsb, home of the homer site for Ranger fans.

        Do I have to come here to propose NY Ranger trade scenarios only? Or chase after anyone rumored to be available or every shiny UFA that hits the market regardless of skill set, age , price, cost, that are never happening?

      • I have the floor? Ok. Look above! “NHL rumor mill” then scroll down. “Comments”. There is no argument section. You’ve proven over and over that you live for online confrontations. My feelings aren’t hurt. You’re a nuisance. Like a mosquito. I’m back at work so it’s all yours now.

      • No argument from me. It’s strange you see me as a guy that comes here just to disagree with you. Aren’t you disagreeing with me as well? Hmmmmmmm.?

        You seem to have a problem with anyone not willing to go along with your ideas.

        I never mentioned you by name. I was playing armchair gm. You don’t like my proposals? I’m offended!

      • Good god have you guys been married for 50 years or what? No likes reading your bickering…act like grown men or woman or whatever you are geez.

      • You can always scroll through? It’s not really that difficult.

      • Ah Slick, chill out…I’m only messin with you.

      • 🍿

  3. Every parent should show the play Bergeron made yesterday during outdoor game to their sons or daughters. Makes an unbelievable play back checking to save a goal then 20 seconds later scores. Bergeron is the best two way player in the game maybe ever never wines plays the game the right way what a leader.

    • He’s always been an incredible 2 way forward but over the last three years, with elite line mates his offensive talent is really showing. Doesn’t get nearly the coverage that the other stars get and makes less than $7M per year.

      That entire line is on great contracts

      • Coaches Corner should show a video clip of Bergeron every Saturday night just cuz…. “Hey, all you kids out there, watch this guy. This is how you play hockey.”

    • Slick 62 i have the same issue with nyr4life he rips everything can do no wrong and lives for controversy…maybe he is a new yorker.. happt new years..

      • Let’s not exaggerate here black and gold. I made a joke about Rusts 1 game hot steak 30 games into the season and questioned your Rust for Muzzin trade.

        Let’s not get crazy here! It’s an open forum. If you’re entitled to throw out lopsided trades, people are going to criticize them. No need to get into defensive mode or find a safe place.

        This is why I NEVER make trade proposals . I’d have to find a safe place of my own!

      • And I even refrained from making fun of the way you constantly reply in the wrong area. See! I’m totally being sensitive here!

      • Is NYR becoming the new striker?

      • Oh boy…. I almost have to hear this comparison?

        I really don’t … but my morbid curiosity is getting the better of me.

      • Lol there is no other striker!

  4. If the “tankers” had their way NYR would ice the Hartford Wolfpack and call it growing.

    All these trade “ideas” – Why trade a center to acquire someone else’s older center?
    Why would anyone give us their very best for our not so great players?
    All these UFA’s NY is going after come July… why would they want to sign here after we traded away all the other vets? Panarin wants to play in NY with… who? Zeb and Hank?
    Karlsson is friends with Hank, so he must want to play in NY.
    I have a best friend too. And I know that he wouldn’t be if I had to work with him everyday.

  5. Mark Stone would be a good resign for Ottawa, but will Ottawa hand him the money? What is his worth? He presently signed the one year deal for $7.35 he got 18 goals in 36 games on track for 36 goals which would be 10 higher then his previous season of 26 goals in 2014-2015 mainly because he hasn’t played a full season.

    What is Stone value on the open market $8m $8.5? will Ottawa pay that? would Stone stay for less? He’ll will get his money if he hits the open market.

    Where is our resident Ottawa blogger? George O does he stay or traded by the deadline?

    • I predict Stone resigns for 8.5-9 mil for 8 years, Duchene and Dzingel will be dealt at the deadline for much needed help, young D and goaltending, prospects and picks. I can see Vegas and the Sens dealing, with Fleury playing as well as he is and locked up for another 3 years Subban won’t realistically get a chance to be a #1 in Vegas any time soon. Subban could become a valuable trade chip. Vegas also has some very good D prospects, not including Branstrom who I see in Vegas lineup perhaps this spring.

  6. My thinking is they keep and sign Stone as he legitimately seems as if he wants to stay. It does not send a healthy message around the league or internally to future players interested in signing if they let all three go. Duchenne and Dzingel are as good as gone. They will take more money elsewhere.

  7. I am not sure what Peters rational is by sitting Frolik. He is a very dependable steady player that in my mind is much better then the bottom 3 players on the team. I was always thinking they would have to trade him only for cap space but making him a healthy scratch makes no sense. It diminishes his value for no good reason.

    I totally disagree with LeBrun about going after a left shot defensemen. The flames are quite flush with defensemen especially when Stone and Valimaki return. It seems just the opposite that would be a position of strength of which to deal from

  8. Wow, my theory about strong management is the most important part of a team keeps proving itself over and over
    Just look at the Oilers, Hurricanes, Panthers and before the Leafs assembled their current management team. Bad management will forever keep you in the basement and always chasing bad trades and poor drafting.

    This is quite evident in all sports look at the NFL and the bottom feeders there, the bad teams have been consistently bad for years verses the good teams are always near the top.
    If I owned a team, my top priority would be to assemble the best management team possible. That is the recipe for success.

    • The NFL you also need a lot of luck. No farm system, short shelf life for players, no real cost controlled players, about zero time frame to develop players , straight from college into the NFL, and the time you control players is like a blink. Not to mention the constant injuries you have to deal with every week.

      You have to be right a lot!

  9. The Oilers might want to talk to the Lightning. Its possible they would move a functional defenseman for futures. They are rotating now with one stuck on a conditioning drill in the AHL.

    • I think Tbay is hanging on to D because they have 3 UFA’s on the blue line this summer. Can’t see them signing all of them.

  10. How come Duncan Keith’s name doesn’t come up in trade rumours.
    This would be the perfect addition, in my opinion, with an expiring contract, just 1 year away.
    Hello Dubas…
    You need a “skilled” defenseman, without breaking the bank !

    • Ken, Keith has 4 years left on his contract after this season @ 5.538 and an NMC. The team acquiring him has him on the books until he is 39 yrs old and he would have to approve a trade.

    • Keith’s name has popped up a few time already. No one takes it seriously because of his contract and no-movement clause.

  11. Chiarelli is still looking for a Defenseman and a scoring winger….

    …Canucks just happen to be shopping Del Zotto and Goldobin

  12. Dorion got something for nothing in acquiring Nilsson.