NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2019

by | Jan 28, 2019 | Rumors | 36 comments

Latest on the Blues plus updates on Kevin Hayes and Artemi Panarin in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas reports St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said it remains to be determined if he’ll be a buyer or a seller by the Feb. 25 trade deadline. He believes the performance of his players will determine his actions.

Armstrong was a seller before last season’s deadline. While the club’s record is worse compared to this point last season he sounds more hopeful, pointing out top players such as Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo have performed better in recent games. Armstong also believes there’s a different vibe on the team entering this year’s All-Star break compared to last season. 

During a recent live chat, Thomas was asked by a reader if there would be any teams interested in Alex Steen or Tyler Bozak. Given Steen’s age (he turns 35 in March) and the two years remaining on his contract (at $5.75 million per season), he doesn’t see him having much trade value. He felt Bozak hasn’t played badly this season but notes his contract ($5 million annually for two more years plus a modified no-trade clause) could be an issue. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues entered the All-Star break having won six of their last 10 games to sit just three points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. If they remain in contention over the next four weeks, Armstrong could become a buyer. The Blues’ improvement in recent weeks has quieted the trade rumors that were swirling around Tarasenko and Pietrangelo earlier in the season.  

Will the New York Rangers re-sign or trade center Kevin Hayes? (Photo via NHL Images)


NEW YORK POST: With the NHL trade deadline less than a month away, Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers must soon reach a decision on whether to re-sign center Kevin Hayes or trade him.

The two sides haven’t ruled out a contract extension but Brooks feels Rangers GM Jeff Gorton will aggressively shop Hayes to determine his trade value. He feels it could take a five- or six-year contract worth around $6 million per season to keep him in the fold. Hayes’ trade value may not be determined  “until the fates of prospective available forwards Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Artemi Panarin, Brayden Schenn and perhaps Vladimir Tarasenko are established.”

Brooks believes it’ll take more than a late first-round pick to tempt Gorton into moving Hayes, who Brooks called the club’s best player over the past two seasons. Hayes will return to the Rangers lineup on Tuesday after missing nine games with a “middle-body injury.” He has 33 points in 39 games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At 26, Hayes is young enough to remain part of the Rangers’ rebuild and part of their long-term future. The money, however, is the sticking point. He’s currently on a one-year, $5.175-million contract. The Blueshirts could prefer keeping him for around $5.5-million but Hayes could get much more than that on the open market. If he hits the trade block, the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins or Winnipeg Jets could come calling. 



  1. “Hey we need a two way center… Let’s call about Tarasenko, Stone, or Panarin availability?”

    Why would any one of those guys run interference on a Hayes negotiation? They’re not compatibles, and certainly won’t come cheaper.

    I try and read Brooks thoughts daily with an open mind. Then he throws something like this out there…. as usual.

    Gorton shouldn’t sit around waiting for every other winger or even center for that matter to fall in place. Even Duchene isn’t a direct comparable . Sure he’d be more desirable short term, but I’m guessing a hell of a lot more expensive to retain long term.

    I’m not even sure why I read his column. Other than I happen to be on the NY post on a daily basis.
    I think I’ve seen eye to eye with him once in the past 2 years!

    • Brooks is a hack. I think he writes the headline first and then tries to make a story around it. The players love him though, just ask Keith Yandle.

      • Constantly overrates the value of NYR players as well

      • It was Dan Boyle who had the infamous encounter with Brooks, I agree with Boyle, Brooks is a moron

  2. Like I said yesterday sign Hayes 6m range is not out of line all things considered. It’s not like the Rangers haven’t thrown money around before. Only caveat is unless he wants out and you have to buy him to stay or someone is going to give multiple high quality assets that include a first.

    • It’s definitely not a money issue. It’s a value and fit issue. Anything more than 6-6.5 on a 4 year deal and I’m walking. And no way I’m giving out NT/ NMCs at this point. Ny tends to keep extensions under 5 years. With the exceptions of Lundqvist (who was a mistake) and Skjei who has struggled since that deal and may be a mistake.

      I’m certainly not signing Hayes to a 6-8 year deal in the middle of a rebuild. All of their bad contracts are going away in the next 1-2 1/2 years. Shattenkirk, Lundqvist, Beleskey, Staal , Smith.

      No need to add one they may regret in 3-4 years from now. It wouldn’t hurt Andersson, Howden and Chytl to get more minutes next year.

      • Rangers will not be a contender again for another 2+ seasons… Keeping Hayes as the #2 center will continue to slow down the glut of center prospects getting minutes with decent wingers…

        This is the reason to trade him

      • At 26 he still has at least a few years left in his prime . I would think it would be more up to the prospect(s) to prove that they deserve the 2nd line centre position over Hayes.

      • They all definitely have something to prove, and I agree, I’d keep Hayes around for 4 years and under 7 million with no ntc or no nmc. But that’s about it. 7.5 or 5 years or any combination of the above, he’s moving on.

        Plus trading him , Zuccarello, Mcquaid now helps in the Hughes sweepstakes.
        Ny is still trying to win for some strange reason. If I’m Gorton, I’ll help them in the losing process by trading these guys now.

      • Nyr4life, agree with your Hayes position, he won’t accept much less than he can earn on the market to stay, so he will likely move on.
        I agree that if you want to win the Cup you need the elite level players, it is proven by history.
        Those are found at the top of the draft, which means you need to suck or get really lucky in the lottery. Perhaps that will change as we see more and more talent coming into the NHL at a young age. but it hasn’t been proven yet.
        But living here in Edmonton I have learned, you really have to be careful not to get that losing culture. It can be hard to shake.

  3. I still believe the Blues will be active in moving UFAs like Maroon, Boumeister and Gunnarsson, and vets like Bozak, Steen, Allen, maybe even Petro. I’m expecting something big.

    • The Blues are not moving Petro. They have enough issues on defense. With Bo and Gunnar likely leaving in UFA, Schmaltz failing to make an impact and no other defensemen in their system, they need to be adding defense. CP’s numbers went down while playing a top pairing role while Petro was out, Edmundson has regressed, and Dunn hasnt taken a step forward.
      The Blues need help on D, they dont need to be shipping out their best defensemen.

    • These moves are going to happen in the offseason. They’ll make a push for the playoffs, they might even make the playoffs, but I believe the big decisions have been made as to what the path forward is. The blues goal is to win the cup, they’ll trim the fat and move forward. Unless of course there is some miracle, galvanizing effect that results in big playoff success, but even then I think odds are they’re making significant changes.

  4. He felt Bozak hasn’t played badly this season but notes his contract ($5 million annually for two more years plus a modified no-trade clause) could be an issue. Well, geez, who was the idiot who gave him that contract in the first place???? Armstrong is as bad as Waddell.

    • Bozak was signed BEFORE O’Reilly was in place, so Armstrong needed a center. Bozak has been OK (sometimes injured), but I would sure get out of his contract at the deadline—maybe Brassard for Bozak??

      • I believe for that to work St.L would have to retain salary @40-50%.

      • If I’m the Pens I wouldn’t do it … they are the same player pretty much and both are often injured.

    • blozak had worst plus minus in the 100 years of the toronto maple leafs—st. louis execs are dumb

  5. @ Pengy. You probably aren’t too happy about that trade today.
    Unpopular opinion by me but I think it was a good move. JJ is better than most of you give him credit for. He faces top forwards every game, in undesirable zone starts. Big Jamie O is the odd man out.
    Anyhow, it looks like a precursor to more deals in days ahead.

    • especially odd since Pittsburgh signed JO to an affordable 3 year deal.

      • Traded a 7th to get him. Got a 7th in return.
        Nothing ventured, nothing gained?

      • * 4th rounder.

    • Pengy, the good news is that they can finally start playing Ruhwedel!

  6. So the Leafs got Muzzoin for pretty much a pick and a prospect …anyone still think they are gonna have to send a package Kapanen and pucks plus prospects away for a 4th D in Carolina?

    • Dubas doesn’t seem so much like an idiot now does he?how bout 5 or 6 years of none of this max contract type nonsense for Matthews… Hmm who woulda thought?

      • To just throw a guy in who might score 30 goals a year seems excessive, who cares about what he might want it’s an elc

    • While you are probably correct that CAR wouldn’t get Kapanen, there are a couple of points of difference in this case:
      1) CAR isn’t packing in the season and selling off players (yet). The proposed deal of RHD for an upgrade is just that – looking for an upgrade. If the upgrade isn’t there, there’s no reason for CAR to make the deal. Unlike LA who has packed in the season and is now selling off assets.
      2)Muzzin has 1 year left, Pesce has 5 at below-market. That’s a huge deal, and that’s why Kapanen (+?) might be in play.
      3) The argument could be made that Pesce’s the number 2, not number 4. An argument, frankly, that I support. (DeHaan 3, Faulk 4,Hamilton 5)
      4) Hamilton and Faulk, also RHD, are more likely to be dealt, but no, I don’t think they get Kapanen due to different contract situations.

      • I have nothing against Pesce and have stated he would be a good pick up but overpriced if that’s the cost, right now in your opinion who’s the better D Muzzin or Pesce? They got a better player for under 5 mill with term for far less than Kapanen plus the pick and the prospect

  7. So Muzzin to the leafs for a 1st in 2019 plus Sean Duzi and Grunstrom.

    For all you leaf fans what can you tell me about Durzi? Is he a good prospect?

  8. Yup

    • Care to expand shticky,

      • The yup was agreement with Shore Druzi is an overage 22nd rnd pick the 2nd year of eligibility probably nothing a bit of a gamble kid from the gta feel good draft pick

      • My reply posts are just being slow to respond sorry.

  9. Well Ray Shore and caper the arms race is on cause suddenly Rilley Muzzin Gardiner is getting in to a top 4 that can almost match up

    • Hamilton would be sweet