NHL Rumor Mill – February 2, 2019

by | Feb 2, 2019 | Rumors | 39 comments

Latest on the Penguins, Panthers, and Devils, plus updates on Shayne Gostisbehere, Duncan Keith, and Alexander Edler in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Wells Dusenbury reports Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon explained the rationale for trading Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann to the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday for pending free agents Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, and three draft picks. “This move allows our team to remain competitive this season while providing additional flexibility and permitting us to be aggressive in the free agent market this summer,” said Tallon. Dusenbury speculates the Panthers could pursue Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky via free agency in July. 

THE ATHLETIC (Subscription required): Craig Custance and George Richards also believe Tallon could be clearing salary-cap space to pursue Panarin or Bobrovsky this summer.

Custance speculates the Panthers could flip Brassard to another club before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. He won’t fetch a first-round pick but a source suggested Brassard could land maybe two second-round picks or a second and another pick. In addition to pursuing a goalie and a forward this summer, Custance said the Panthers would also like a defenseman to play alongside Mike Matheson. 

Richards also thinks the Panthers could move Brassard and Sheahan before the deadline and suggested they could be of interest to the Blue Jackets. Tallon said performance would determine what they do. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford might not be finished dealing. Though he now has limited salary-cap space, Mackey notes Rutherford usually finds a way to get things done. The Pens GM wasn’t happy with his club’s performance this season, noting a lack of focus and intensity cost them several games. Acquiring Bjugstad and McCann now provides Rutherford time to evaluate his roster to determine if further moves are necessary.

THE ATHLETIC:  Josh Yohe also doesn’t rule out Rutherford making another move before the deadline if this recent deal doesn’t improve the Penguins’ performance. The Penguins GM told Yohe he isn’t likely to move his first-round pick in this year’s draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yesterday’s deal with the Panthers marks Rutherford’s sixth trade of this season so yeah, he could make another move before the deadline if Friday’s trade fails to improve his club’s performance.

As for the Panthers, I think Tallon’s waved the white flag on this season. Sitting 11 points out of contention, their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread now.

Assuming Brassard and Sheahan aren’t re-signed, the Panthers have over $58 million invested in 14 players with all their core players signed through next season. If the cap reaches $83 million as projected, they’ll have around $25 million to play with this summer, perhaps more if they can find a taker for backup goalie James Reimer. They can afford to hand out big contracts to guys like Panarin and/or Bobrovsky come July 1.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has recently surfaced in the NHL rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)


CSNPHILLY: John Boruk recently included defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on his list of five Philadelphia Flyers who could be moved before the trade deadline. Boruk doubts the 25-year-old rearguard will be playing elsewhere by Feb. 25 but noted his name surfaced in recent media speculation. If Gostisbehere becomes available, Boruk suggested the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks as possible destinations.

Boruk’s colleague Jordan Hall noted the trade buzz surrounding Gostisbehere along with his struggles this season. However, he feels it’s important for the Flyers to remain focused on his abilities and affordable contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher recently indicated Claude Giroux was his only untouchable, sparking speculation someone like Gostisbehere might be had for the right price. While Fletcher could be attempting to determine the market value of his best players I doubt he intends to move the Ghost Bear unless he gets a mind-blowing offer.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Jason Lieser reports Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said he hasn’t been approached by management about waiving his no-movement clause. Lieser noted Keith, the subject of recent media trade chatter, didn’t definitively say he wasn’t open to being traded. “I haven’t really thought too much about anything. You get reports out there, I don’t know where that stuff kind of comes from. I just take one day at a time.”

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus believes the Blackhawks have little choice but to ask Keith if he’ll accept a trade, noting he’s one of their few tradeable assets and would fetch more in terms of draft picks and prospects. Keith, however, declined to get into speculation about going to a contender, adding he likes it in Chicago and hasn’t thought about a trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Keith doesn’t want to be traded there’s nothing the Blackhawks can do about it. Yes, they could threaten to bench him or cut his playing time but we all know that won’t happen. Assuming Keith would be open to a trade, there’s a chance his preferred destinations could find him too expensive to acquire in terms of his contract (over $5.5 million annual average value through 2022-23) or the Hawks asking price. 


TSN: reports Benning said he remains hopeful of re-signing pending UFA defenseman Alexander Edler to a new contract. He praised Edler’s leadership and his blueline skills, noting the 32-year-old wishes to remain in Vancouver.  “I think he’s made it clear to us that he wants to stay in Vancouver, so we’re going to continue to talk to them and see if we can figure something out.” 

Benning also addressed the notion of trading Edler and bringing him back this summer via free agency. “We’ve talked about it, but I don’t know if it’s something that’s real,” he said.

SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre recently reported Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning doesn’t intend to move his picks in this year’s draft for a quick fix to improve their playoff chances. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There seems a mutual willingness toward getting a deal done here but, as always, it comes down to money. Benning and company are likely leery about investing too much for too long in a player turning 33 in April. 


NORTHJERSEY.COM: Abbey Mastracco listed Ben Lovejoy, Brian Boyle, Keith Kinkaid, Pavel Zacha, and Marcus Johansson as hypothetical trade candidates for the New Jersey Devils. All are unrestricted free agents this summer except Zacha, who’s a restricted free agent. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle and Zacha could have the most trade value for the Devils. Johansson has a five-team no-trade list but his injury history could hurt his value. 


  1. Ghost to Winnipeg as part of a trade for Trouba in the off-season. His reasonable contract would be attractive to the Jets who are in a cap squeeze next year

    • perhaps even make a bigger deal and send Voracek too and take 2 forwards back..maybe Connor/Perrault plus a pick

      to PHILLY: Trouba, Connor, Perrault & pick
      to WPG: Ghost & Voraceck

      • That is an absolute horrible trade for Jets to make. Trouba>>>>>Ghost and Connor>>>Voracek. I wouldn’t trade Trouba straight up for those two let alone throwing in Connor, Perrault and a pick.

      • Ya no chance the jets do that! They will get a way better return for trouba let alone adding Connor to that

      • I have to agree, that is one of the worst trade proposals of all time.

      • I don’t think the jets would ever consider trading Connor, that guy is a stud. In my opinion Connor is more valuable than Laine.

        Connor can play an impressive 200 foot game, Laine however is only a one dimensional player, and when he is not scoring he hurts you defensively.
        I thought Laine would be breaking the bank at the end of this year but I have since changed my mind. He will probably get a bridge contract no where near the big money everyone thought he would get

        Caper could probably provide more insight into Connor and Laine

      • Dream on. Connor is awesome

      • Just another delusional Filly-Phlyer fan that wants the Jets/ Flyers to play a little game called…


        The Jets would be giving up the 2 best players in the trade, give your head a shake!

      • ridiculous! Connor isn’t going anywhere, probably ever

    • And why would Trouba be interested in Philly? No way i see Trouba signing long term there. He’s either coming home to Detroit or possibly Tampa or Florida.

      • That’s the dumbest post I seen in a long time.
        Flyers can offer term, dollars, and a competitive young team. That’s why he could sign there.

        Gary, you obviously no nothing about the Flyers organization!

      • Q) how to find a die hard Filly-Phlyer fan in a crowd (besides the no teeth/sour milk odor)?

        A) Look for the one Calling Gary out for ~the dumbest post you’ve seen in a long time~…

        …then proceeds to post =

        “…well Gary you obviously no nothing about the Flyers”

        “you obviously no nothing”

        “no nothing”

      • anywhere in the NHL is an upgrade to living in Winnipeg except maybe Buffalo.

    • No thanks. Love Chuck Fletcher

    • #1 all time Filly homer report trade scenario.



      Trouba/Conner/ Perreault/ draft pick

      Not even worth laughing at, any rational NHL fan would know that is 100% joke like their season (but the poster WAS serious about the trade, a “huge fan”)

  2. Voracek cap hit is 8m. Jets are not taking on that . Now the highest paid player on their roster -would upset the apple cart.
    They should sign Laine while he is down. 5 points in 17 games or something like that.

    Rutherford is the new Trader Phil

    • If the Jets could trade Trouba for Couturier in the off-season I would be thrilled as a Jets fan but know way Philly trades away that contract.

  3. Rutherford would be silly to trade his 1st rd pick. What do they have left? A 1st and a 5th round pick? Ottawa has their 3rd and Florida has their 2nd and 4ths.

    • They have yet another 4th!

      • They have yet another 4th!
        They will use it on Ben lovejoy

  4. Pens Cap situation before and after trade has really not changed much at all …. in anual terms …. $5.1M went out the door and $5.35 came in …. 250 K over s full year …. for 32 games ….less than 100 K …. basically nothing

    I’d love them to move JJ …. they should but they won’t …., sit him is better than playing him

    Waive Ruhweedel …. $650 K annually ..,, that’s a little over 250K freed up to year end

    Depth RHD would be great…. GMJR …. doesn’t hurt to give Bieksa s call …. I know he’s hinted that his only return would be to California …. but making the call costs nothing and may just be fruitful

    Bieksa at his age and out of NHL for 8 + months is still 10 times the defenseman JJ is

    Just sayin’

    • J j was awful last night Pengy…penguins up 4-1 j j was directly responsible for goals two and three against bad pass turnover then huy blew by him he couldnt pivot and turn fast enough..
      Just sit him or for the live of god deal him. 5-3 win should have been 4-1 both new guys made it in time they were chartered rhen a police escort from the airport to ppg paints arena arrived at 655 for a 715 statt.. be tough in Toronto tonight no malkin..both teMs back to back..bjugstad had an assist last..hes playing center with malkin out but his shot he may end up at winger..

      • Hi BlackNGold

        Ya …. was watching delayed (PVR taped)…. responded to your post late last night …, fully agree … he’d brutal

        Out of place for one goal and then they send him out 80 seconds later …. again out of place …, yes should have been 4-1

        Agree both fit in well … the Bjugstaad, Rust , Kessel line was clicking fine

        waive Ruhweedel …. sign depth RHD … if they can pick up Bieksa …. won’t cost assets

        Then make sure JJ sits for all play-off games

        Waive Ruhweedel

        Other than that … if GMJR brings in anybody else …. he’ll have to give up more assets

        As at now ; this upcoming draft they only have their own 1st, 5th and 7th round picks ; plus Buffalo’s 4th (longshot to become a 3rd (Sheary would have to pour on points until end of season) ; plus Vegas’ 7th

        Hard for them to give up any more picks

      • Yins all keep saying deal him… how? Even with 50 retained who wants him for 4 more years?

      • I just keep my prayers alive

        There has to be an incentive that will work … please ?

        Joking aside …. he’s only moved as part of a multi-player swap

        That shouldn’t stop GMJR from waiving Ruhweedel …. that’s just throwing away Cap for no reason

  5. Pens still really need Ferland but I don’t see it happening now … too bad … still have no answer for Tom Wilson, the scum of the earth jr. (behind Milan Lucic) …

    • Edvanimpe…agree ferland would be nice ww kept our number #1 pick. I m not sure what is ferlands cap hit is we woulds have to move somone..i still think we need a depth defenceman ro play 3rd pair with petterseon..sit jack Johnson…maybe a jordie benn jay boumeester???

      • Jaybo and Benn would be s great add ….

        Jaybo out of the question …$5.4M AAV …. max retain is 50% …. $2.7M…. even for balance of year that’s in the 900 K level …. won’t be able to do it

        Benn …$1.1 M AAV … even with 50 % retained ; balance of year ….over $200 K in Cap

        and for those teams to move the player and retain Sal …. Pens have to give up assets

        ….. now ….. if there are other GMs out there as blind to JJ’s brutal play as GMJR and Sully…..

        Then maybe flip JJ for a depth RHD

        …. we all know the probability of that happening

    • Tom says hello. You wish you had him.

    • Tom Wilson could play on my Team anytime and I’m no Caps fan. Who wouldn’t want him power forward who scores and intimidates.

      • Me

      • Obe

        I would never want him on my team. Period.

  6. Trouba think’s he is worth 8 million a year, stay far away from him, why pay a guy who is not a top 2 way D man that much? Remember he gets usually 20-30 points per game on a very skilled high scoring jets team, as a free agent or new team making 8 million he will most likely be the go to guy and he’s not the next Ray Bourque. I wouldn’t pay him more than 6 million. Just my opinion, go ahead sign him for 7-8 years at 8 mill a pop.

  7. If Winnipeg needs a defenceman, how about Gardiner? Anyone think he could fetch a 1st rounder.

    • Lol only in la la leaf land

      • We should have enough to take on whats left of jordie benns mini.al $1,1 million deal?

    • Not available. Check back in July.

      • Yes guy
        Someone please take Gardiner !!!

    • Please Mr. Dubas trade Gardiner for anything 5th 6th..10th rounder. Just get rid of him. And bring in Justin Holl to play alongside Dermott. And please trade Zaitsev and Hainsey for anything really. Go after McQuaid and Gudas. Our new D Parings will look like this:

      I can dream can’t I. These moves will make our D respectable. No more cherry picking on our D’s.