NHL Trade Rumors – January 31, 2019

by | Jan 31, 2019 | Rumors | 58 comments

Updates on Artemi Panarin, Wayne Simmonds, and Cody Ceci plus the latest on the Leafs and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


NBC SPORTS (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): TSN insider Bob McKenzie noted the Columbus Blue Jackets face a tough decision with pending unrestricted free agent winger Artemi Panarin, who recently indicated his unwillingness to discuss a new contract during the season. Do they keep him and risk losing him to free agency this summer or trade him for what could be futures because interested clubs could be reluctant to part with anyone off their rosters.  He believes it’ll take a big return to convince Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen to part with his best player and risk sabotaging his playoff chances. If they decide to trade Panarin, McKenzie suggests that could affect what they might do with goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. 

NHL NETWORK (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman believes the Columbus Blue Jackets won’t move Artemi Panarin before the trade deadline if no one meets their asking price. He pointed to last year’s trade deadline where they held onto defenseman Jack Johnson when no one was willing to part with a first-round draft pick. If management feels they’re good enough to stage a Cup run then they should retain Panarin and fellow pending UFA Sergei Bobrovsky and go for it.

Friedman also acknowledges Bobrovsky’s erratic season has thrown a curve ball into their plans this season. He wondered if the goaltender, who has a full no-trade clause, has put any potential trade destinations down on paper. 

In his latest 31 Thoughts column, Friedman suggested the Florida Panthers as an “out of the box” club to try to sign Panarin and Bobrovsky this summer. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin feels a Panarin trade seems unlikely, citing many of the reasons listed by McKenzie, but adds it’s not impossible to envision. Short-term destinations could include the Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, and New York Islanders. 

NHL.COM: In his latest mailbag segment, Dan Rosen listed the New York Rangers, Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, and New York Islanders as possible free-agent destinations for Panarin this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN moved Panarin to the top of their trade-bait board but it remains to be seen if he gets traded by the Feb. 25 deadline. If the Jackets put him on the block, I wonder if interested clubs might seek permission to talk contract with him. After all, his reluctance to talk contract in-season could apply solely to the Blue Jackets. A sign-and-trade scenario would certainly improve the return for the Jackets.

Nevertheless, I’m in agreement with McKenzie and Friedman. It’ll come down to whether a club is willing to meet the Jackets’ asking price. If not, they’ll retain Panarin (and Bobrovsky) and hope for the best in the playoffs. 

Will the Philadelphia Flyers have to wait for other players to move to find trade partners for Wayne Simmonds? (Photo via NHL Images)


NHL NETWORK (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman suggests it could take the Philadelphia Flyers a little while to move left winger Wayne Simmonds, noting teams are still waiting to see what the Blue Jackets do with Artemi Panarin and the Ottawa Senators with Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. 

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Friedman speculated the Boston Bruins could be in on Simmonds no matter what. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli said getting a heavy forward has been on Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock’s wish list for some time. Craig Button suggests Simmonds and Micheal Ferland as options, noting Simmonds can also play alongside good players and be effective on the power play. 

THE ATHLETIC: In the wake of Austin Watson’s indefinite suspension, John Glennon believes the Nashville Predators need some size and toughness up front. He feels acquiring Simmonds would make a lot of sense. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect plenty of suitors for Simmonds as the trade deadline nears. While teams could be waiting to see what happens with Duchene, Stone, and Panarin, those in the market for a winger who can play a physical style probably won’t play the waiting game. The Leafs gave up their first-round pick this year in the Jake Muzzin deal so, unless they’re willing to give up a good young forward, they could be out of the running for Simmonds.


NBC SPORTS (via KUKLA’S KORNER): TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes Ottawa Senators right-shot defenseman Cody Ceci is “definitely in play”. There’s some question if the Senators are willing to pay the money he’ll be seeking as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. McKenzie feels they could move him if they can get a first-round pick and a prospect. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators aren’t shopping Ceci but teams have been calling and GM Pierre Dorion has been listening to determine his market value. He also reports a few teams have shown interest in winger Mikkel Boedker, who’s signed through 2019-20 with a $4 million cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ceci’s RFA status this summer means they’re under no pressure to move him at the trade deadline. Once they sort out Duchene, Stone and UFA winger Ryan Dzingel by mid-February, they could listen more closely to offers for Ceci leading up to deadline day. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs will keep an eye open for right-shot defensemen leading up to the trade deadline, but they’re now in a salary-cap situation. They’ll need to keep about $3.75 million in cap room available to avoid bonus money for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner leaking into next season’s salary cap. He feels they’ll have to consider dollar-in, dollar-out scenarios. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing an affordable right-side depth defenseman, such as Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas or the New York Rangers’ Adam McQuaid, seems more likely for the Leafs than landing a physical scoring forward like Wayne Simmonds or Carolina’s Micheal Ferland. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing yesterday on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290: Darren Dreger expressed confidence saying the Jets will add a forward. He wondered if they’ll pursue a center as they did last season. He noted the Jets expressed interest in Pittsburgh’s Derick Brassard last season and kicked tires on Brassard again but didn’t like the asking price of Adam Lowry. If the Ottawa Senators decided to shop center Matt Duchene, Dreger assumes Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will look into it. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre believes the Jets’ recent lackluster performance suggests they need to make a move or two to address their five-on-five offense, secondary scoring, and defensive depth. He said he’s been told Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been working the phones searching for a more experienced depth forward. McIntyre hopes Cheveldayoff will also try to land a top center to get the streaky Patrik Laine’s offense going.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets are going for it this season and landing a scoring center appears to be the priority. If Duchene becomes available I can see Cheveldayoff calling the Senators about the asking price.  Brayden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues or Kevin Hayes of the New York Rangers could also be on Cheveldayoff’s radar. 


  1. Lou could give up some assets for a Panarin rental while showing him NYC is around the corner if you are an Islander. But on the other side they need to resign Lehner(or another goalie) plus Lee, Eberle, Nelson etc…
    Not much cap space for all next season

    • Islanders don’t need to sign Eberle…. and Brock is not a True first line center. If the Bread man is in play You can start with Eberle going the other way.

    • Isles won’t have an issue with cap.

      CURRENT CAP SPACE : $27,949,952
      DEADLINE CAP SPACE : $46,117,421

  2. Simmonds to Nashville for a first rounder and Dante Fabro.

    • I like that trade!

      • That’s a lot for a rental unless there is a bidding war

    • Make that a conditional 1st if signed and a 2nd if not and Fabbro

  3. I can see Toronto going for Simmonds and Gudas as Fletcher is both a buyer and seller and not afraid to take risks. I would think Gardiner would be on the radar as they can sign him and Toronto will not. Zaitsev will likely stay as he’s a RD unless they keep Gardiner and move Zaitsev instead. Zaitsev has term which can be attractive and righties are in demand.

    I’m not sure that Fletcher wants a first rounder as he has the money to spend in the summer.

    My prediction:

    Gardiner or Zaitsev, Brown, Sparks and Bracco for Simmonds and Gudas

    • Frank, I think every Leaf you mentioned will be with Toronto to the end of the season. Other than that, good call.

      • that was funny lol

    • Frank that would be dream scenario for the leafs if your trade proposal come to a fruition. Only downfall would be losing Bracco, as I think he can be a great together with Trevor Moore and Lindholm at the fourth line. But, if it means to get rid of Gardiner, Brown , and Sparks. I’m all in.

    • McQuaid will cost less than Gudas

      • I like McQuaid. Why not both McQuaid and Gudas. Get rid of Gardiner and Zaitsev. I dont know how, but hopefully somehow.

    • why would the Flyers want Gardiner? Nothing against him, he is above avg in the other zone, but he is not the kind of player the Flyers need today or tomorrow. Unless they would flip him. Flyers have Ghost, Sanheim, Provorov and Myers coming that move the puck. Morin prob replaces Gudas, but they actually need a guy that can keep the puck out of the net up a goal with a minute left and lead by example from a d perspective. I could see a deal with the leafs for Kap or Nylander. Maybe a Johnsson. Flyers add in something else if Kap.

      There is a deal there somewhere, but the only d on TO that can really help the Flyers just got there.

  4. Not Fabro who was their first pick a couple of years ago for a rental . If Simmonds indicates he will sign with them that could change things but not Fabro.
    Blue Jackets should keep Bob and Panarin and add. Move all in . Because if they don’t might not even make the playoffs.

    Schenn would be a nice addition to a number of teams, Same for Zuccarello . Would be top of my list for Trade Bait

    • SilverSeven…the thing I don’t like about that scenario is that we know these guys already have their bags packed and can’t wait for July 1. I think Columbus should do the smart thing and trade them both, and get as much back as they can. It will suck if they miss the playoffs, but, I don’t think they get past Tampa or Washington or even Toronto, unless they can add a Duchesne or a player of that stature. I’d bail on this season so they can be stronger going forward (relative to letting those guys walk for nothing).

  5. Is it just me, or does everyone think that, from now till the puck drops next season, there are gonna be alot of players with new area/zip codes? With all the big name RFA’s and UFA’s and salary cap limitations, IMO this will be one helluva year for rumour mongers like me!

    Just throwing it out there, here are a few ideas this armchair wannabe has….

    Th Oil MUST hire Mark Hunter. And let him overhaul everything and everyone. No more “Boy’s on the Bus” mentality. It’s gotten old. Close the friggin’ door!!!

    How many Boy’s on the Bus does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    None! They all sit in the dark and talk about how good the old lightbulb used to be.

    Oilers – Draisaitl, Puli, Russell, Talbot and a 1st in 2020.
    Philly – Patrick, Morin, Ghost, Simmonds and Stolarz

    It’s a hockey trade with alot of “names”, but one of which should be taking place with soooo many teams!!!

    • That’s a trade Chia would make and nobody else. It’s insanely lopsided with Drasaitl involved.

      I agree though that Edmonton needs to have someone outside come in. However, they also need a complete cleaning of house with most of the front office getting the axe. Lowe, MacT and Mr. “something in the water”

      • Agreed Boss….why am I saying that on a day off???? 😉

        It was just a hypothetical trade I threw out from my armchair. Though I don’t believe it’s a bad trade. HOLY CRAP…..I completely meant 2nd rounder…Not 1st!!!!

    • The only player you mentioned that the Oilers can use would be Gostisbehere. Draisaitl isn’t a small guy and uses his strength so Simmonds wouldn’t be in the top 6 on the Oilers RW. The Oilers already have a few goalie prospects in the AHL so Stolarz wouldn’t fit their needs. So no, this wouldn’t work for the Oilers.

      • why on earth would the flyers do that deal?

        players included on the oilers side are fine, but the Flyers moving away from Patrick?

        When he is on he is the best player on the ice. might take him a while to be consistent, but he is not going anywhere.

        Morin has not played in a yr. He could be a beast, however, don’t see how he gets moved right now.

        Don’t see the Oilers paying for Simmonds what others might pay (1st and a prospect or a good young winger). Teams that are close to the cup will outbid them.

  6. Florida already has about $8 million committed to Luongo’s and Reimer for the next 2 or 3 years. If they acquire Bob at the reported $9-10 million/year, I assume they will trade Reimer or the 39 year old Luongo is planning to retire. If it’s the latter, Vancouver better keep some cap space open because Luongo’s salary may be their problem for the next3 years.

  7. Winged, agreed on Hunter. He would dismantle the team and change the culture overall assuming they give him full control. By that I mean no one is untouchable except McDavid.

    Somehow I can’t see Oilers management doing that. See last Soap Box column for bang on assessment on that.

    • I read the Soapbox the other day and Lyle seems to be as angry as me! Lol!!! I don’t believe I’ve read an intro like that from him! But he lit a fire under me. And I’m a Wings Fan!!! In DET, I trust.

      It totally starts at the top with Edmonton. Katz needs to keep his nose out of things. Nicholson probably has to go. He’s too tight with alot of “The Boy’s”. His hiring a few years ago worried me. But he hired Chia and I thought that was outstanding….for 10 minutes.

      If he was wise, Katz will hire Hunter and give him the keys to The Bus (Pun Intended..is that a Pun??? Lol). Let him clean house. Rafters to foundation. Use the rest of this season and off season to rebuild/retool/gettheircollectiveheadsouttatheirasses – If anyone can read that last part, I’ll give you a sucker like I give my daughter when she pees on the potty.

      It really shouldn’t take much. They’re not gonna win the Cup this year anyway, let alone make the post season.. As you said, the only untouchable is McDavid. And Lucic…cuz Chia is a dumbass.

  8. Panarin is a great player but starting next year he will be 28 years old, so you want to be paying a forward 34-35 10 mill or more cap hit?

    • And give up a bunch of top picks and prospects to get him.
      Agree would love him in Boston but don’t want to give up young guys and pay that salary if resigned. So hard pass.

      • If Boston got Panarin it would have to be as a rental only.

  9. a 1st rounder for ceci….lol…I’ll be SHOCKED if he gets a 2nd rounder.

    Pair him with Bobby Ryan and take a conditional pick back. The condition being Dorrion agrees never to call the accepting GM for another favor again.

    • If Ottawa gets a 1st and a good prospect for Ceci, I would be beyond happy. Ceci is replaceable with Ottawa’s current young defenceman and is challenging Jack Johnson (right, Pengy?) for the Robitusan award this year.

      • agreed Van. With Karlsson leaving Ceci had the opportunity to step up and be the veteran presence with all the young D in the line up. He has not risen to the challenge. I would say a 2nd + prospect is a good return. RD are in demand which may increase the return somewhat. I have watched him since he came into the league, he went from raw, to promising to flat and no progression the last 3 seasons. Time to move on.

      • Heh heh there Van

        JJ had that award locked up months ago…. he has absolutely no challengers for it 😂😂

  10. If Jarmo Kekalainen has the mental toughness to look at his team and say “NO, this isn’t a Stanley Cup contending lineup.” and decides to move Panarin for a package.
    What if he looks at his team and says “We are this piece away from being a true contender” then goes out and gets it. Good for him.

    Tonight I’ll be at the Jets – Blue Jacket game. Tomorrow Don Sweeney you can check in here for my Bias opinion if you should go after Panarin; because as it is right now the Bruins are a one line team that ranks 26th in the league 5 vs 5 and second in the league on PP and generally there is less pp in the playoff. Personally I prefer Boston to target Mark Stone.

    • Yes very much a one line team ( a very good one) but need more depth

    • Fair enough Caper. I am concerned by their play if late as well. I keep thinking it was because of all the injuries that they weren’t higher up in the standings. They get healthy and lose Rask.
      Tough call for B’s and Clb.
      The thought that Boston is in in Simmonds no matter what sounds like an over pay to me. Shades of Nash.

      • BBB/Ray agree one of the best lines in hockey.

        How about this, thinking outside the Box. When Bergeron went down Krecji stepped in and played his best hockey and March and Pasta. What if Cassidy flipped Bergeron and Krecji would this help generate more secondary scoring.

        The argument is Krecji needs good wingers to be effective; conversely Bergeron makes his wingers better. How much production would the first line lose and how much would the second line gain?

      • It would be worth at least experimenting with for a few games Caper. Marchand and Pastrnak have also produced with Riley Nash and Colby Cave as their center in the past couple of years when Bergeron was injured; I don’t see a whole lot of drop off from them.

        Bergeron with Debrusk would certainly be worth trying. Who should get the first shot at the other wing?

      • the question for me is: does any acquisition other than a Panarin or Tarasenko move the needle enough for the B’s to be worth the assets they give up? Does acquiring a Schenn or Ferland really put the B’s in a stronger position going up against Tampa or Washington or even Toronto. Given that we have had Tornoto’s number, I’m more concerned with Washington who B’s cant seem to beat and what a monster Tampa is.

        B’s need to address secondary scoring, but who and at what cost? If prices are ridonkulous then Sweeney isnt going to risk a Nash buyers remorse situation. He will go into playoffs as is.

      • It is definitely worth a try Caper, but do it now to see how it works. You can always get the band back together in the 3rd when trailing.
        They have been waiting for one of Heinen, Donato, Cehlarik, Bjork to seize the opportunity and run with it. They haven’t with Krecji, so give it a go with Bergy.
        If that doesn’t work, I can’t see Sweeney not making a deal. We know the age of his best core players, so does he.

    • Jarmo obviously has no pressure on him. would be funny if they get pretty much what the flyers got for bob (a 2 and a 3).

  11. Florida as a lot of good forwards (NHL ready AND prospects) but they are going nowhere and for so many years like Huberdeau said. Seems like there might be some dressing room and leadership problems as well, time for a change?

    Florida and Columbus could make many trades?

    Huberdeau + Bjugstad + Luongo
    Panarin and Bob

    I bet Dadonov would love to play with Panarin and Dubois with Hubydoubidou

    • I think Florida is a likely destination this summer for Bob

      Still makes no sense to me how Florida does not have a better record

  12. The 4th line has to hit people. Leafs 4th line doesn’t touch anyone. That should be addressed.
    A lot of people rip on Zaitsev, let’s not forget who his defence partner is. I’ll say it again, how much confidence will Gardiner have if the Leafs meet the Bruins in the playoffs? How much will the coach have to put him on the ice?

    • exactly and no grit to back anything up too

    • They’re doomed I tell ya, doomed!

    • gauthier hits, zaitsev does the job he needs to do, I see muzzin playing more with gardiner than with reilly

  13. I would think that Columbus would be better off trading both Panarin and Bobrovsky. With Tampa, Toronto, Nashville and Winnipeg to deal with, the chance of them winning a Cup is pretty slim, and certainly not high enough to risk losing BOTH guys for nothing.Surely, Jarko sees this.

    • Columbus as-is would not shock coming out of the Metro bracket to face Tampa/Toronto

      also just as likely to miss the last wild card…

      a small market team like CBJ needs every playoff game for profits… hard spot to be in

    • Jarko who?

  14. With Toronto – I figure that Gardiner stays the season unless they get a long-term return at a good price for him.
    A move will likely come soon as Muzzin puts another player in the pressbox with Marancin and Holl.
    Babcock and almost everybody else in Toronto are huge fans of Trevor Moore and I have little doubt that Babcock wants him in the line-up for the play-offs and stretch games. The Leafs have pretty much done trading draft-picks,unless there is an amazing offer (unlikely) but guys with contracts or impending contracts are most likely to move.
    If I had to guess, Braco,Connor Brown, Freddy Gauthier,Tyler Ennis, Johnsson,Holl, Marancin, Lilegren and maybe Garrett Sparks are the most movable players and won’t carry a lot of value unless a trading partner is looking to cut salary and sees a bargain in the return.

    Bracco, and Lilegren could be very interesting to teams that are looking to rebuld. Holl’s value is not going to be much as long as Babcock has him hidden on the bench.
    I agree that another heavy dman is likely the target, but the Leafs might also be willing to move a Brown or Johnsson for a young power forward. A guy like Lawson Crouse in Arizona might be a good example.

    • A lot of gms aren’t high on lilegren, tsn said the kings had a chance for lilegren but opted for durzi

  15. I think the LEAFS should trade Gardiner to anyone who is willing to have him. Frankly, I don’t even care if we get zilch in return. Gardiner is a liability on the ice, yeah he makes couple of decent offensive plays here and there, but thats nothing compares to his defensive gong show he displays nightly basis. I need my defenseman playing DEFENCE not trying to be BOBBY ORR when clearly his not even 1% of what ORR was. Babcock needs to be more open minded with the Leafs defence situation. He should play Dermott and Holl as third paring. Let them play 5 to 6 games and see what they are capable of. I love to bring in McQuaid to replace Hainsey as Rielly’s D partner on the right side. Then I will bring in Gudas to play on the right side with Muzzin. Now you have 6 really good mix of defence core. McQuaid, Gudas, and Muzzin bring much more needed toughness and shut down d mentality. I love what Dermott and Holl did with the Marlies, they were clearly the number one D pairing during AHL playoffs. Hainsey, Zaitsev, and Gardiner needs to shipped out. After that, need to tinker bottom six to add more sandpaper and muscle.

    • McQuaid on ther first pairing with Rielly? Really? IMO Muzzin will play with Rielly. If Dubas aquires McQuaid then maybe as a depth addition but not to play 20+ minutes on the first pairing. I’d rather trade for Robert Hagg or Niklas Kronwall to play on the second or third pairing with Gardiner or Dermott. Like it or not Gardiner will stay unless there’s an offer to good to refuse (highly unlikely). Zaitsev will also stay. If he really is that bad why would any team take him???? Gudas will be expensive and I’m not a fan of him.
      Imo they will call up Rosen for the play-offs and try to aquire another bottom six d-man. Maybe one of McQuaid, Lovejoy, Folin, Hagg….
      Personally I would trade Nylander plus for another top 4-Dman. May be that happens in the off-season after they let Gardiner walk.

    • Gardiner +17

      • Currently ranked 18 overall in the league for +- just behind Sid and ahead of Marner

  16. Lilegren’s big problem is staying healthy long enough to show his development. GMs all like his skills, but he has yet to dominate in the AHL. That’s what he was expected to do. However the focus by the Marlies has been to round out his 200 ft game rather than let him grow offensively and put up big numbers. The assumption is that his passing, speed, vision all will be there when needed in the NHL, but if he can’t handle the positional game and the pro-style defence, then he’ll be stuck in the minors. Over the last 3 years, he hasn’t shown the durability or the leadership that many hoped for, but the skill package is still impressive. LA wanted Durzi as he’s a lot more predictable and has a better track record on leadership roles, durability and 2-way play. Toronto likely was willing to move him as he’s not yet signed to a pro contract.

  17. Why is it that Gudas is now this great defenceman? Nothanks! I would have Roman Polak any day of the week before Gudas.

  18. Nylander and Zatizev for Panarin. Blue Jackets get two players with term, Leafs get a proven scorer. If Panarin would have to agree with an extension for 9 mil per year. Leafs would save 2.5 mil as Nylander and Zatizev next years cap hit will be 11.5 mil. Maybe Leafs have to throw in a 2nd. Just a thought.

    • Zaitsev, w/ his contract, is a negative return value…