NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2019

by | Feb 5, 2019 | Rumors | 44 comments

Updates on Sergei Bobrovsky, Brent Seabrook, Derick Brassard, Matt Duchene, Micheal Ferland, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cited a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks citing a source claiming the Florida Panthers are interested in acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in hopes of signing him to an eight-year contract extension. Derick Brassard, acquired by the Panthers in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, would likely be part of the package going to Columbus. 

THE ATHLETIC:(subscription required) Aaron Portzline reports a source within the Blue Jackets organization said the Panthers are not engaged in talks with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and called the Brooks report “just speculation.” The Panthers are also said to have interest in Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin. 

Could the Florida Panthers attempt to acquire Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky before the Feb. 25 trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming such a deal were possible, Bobrovsky must agree to waive his no-movement clause. The Jackets would also likely want more than just Brassard as part of the return.

With the Panthers already carrying two goalies in Roberto Luongo and James Reimer, my guess is Reimer would be included as Luongo isn’t going anywhere. If a deal isn’t possible before the Feb. 25 trade deadline, the Panthers could attempt to land Bobrovsky and/or Panarin this summers as free agents.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Shannon Ryan reports Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook denied a recent report claiming he’d been approached by management about waiving his no-movement clause. “I haven’t been approached by anyone. I don’t know where the reports are coming from,” he said. Asked by reporters if he could ever see himself playing for another team, Seabrook claims he hasn’t thought about. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Seabrook was willing to waive his NMC, his age (33), declining performance, and contract ($6.875 million annually through 2023-24) makes him difficult to trade. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports contract discussions between Senators GM Pierre Dorion and Matt Duchene’s agent (Pat Brisson) recently intensified. Duchene is slated to become a UFA on July 1. During talks last month, the Senators were believed to have proposed an eight-year, $64-million contract.

Garrioch said Dorion is getting inquiries from other clubs about Duchene and fellow UFA forward Mark Stone but the club still hopes to re-sign them as well as winger Ryan Dzingel. Still, it’s believed Duchene and Stone have until next week to reach a decision. If they decide to test this summer’s free-agent market, the Senators will want sufficient time to gauge the trade market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing belief among the punditry that whatever happens with Duchene and Stone will determine the moves by others clubs in the trade market. We should know by next week if one or both will be re-signed or traded. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports the trade market for Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland has slowed as teams await the fates of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Mark Stone. He still expects Ferland to be moved by deadline day. 

Several teams have reached out to the New Jersey Devils regarding forward Brian Boyle, who has an eight-team no-trade list. LeBrun doesn’t rule out the possibility of the Devils moving Boyle before the deadline and bringing him back this summer via free agency.

With the Los Angeles Kings trading Jake Muzzin last week to Toronto, LeBrun feels they’ll likely hold onto defenseman Alec Martinez.

If the Blue Jackets trade Bobrovsky, LeBrun wonders if they might have interest in Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. 


NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Brian McNally reports Capitals GM Brian MacLellan still thinks highly of struggling winger Andre Burakovsky, who’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation this season. He noted the Capitals still hold Burakovsky’s rights for two more seasons and remains hopeful the winger will improve. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Chris Kuc reports Burakovsky has heard the trade chatter but insists he wants to stay with the Capitals despite a recent reduction in his role and ice time. Kuc said teams have asked about the winger and MacLellan is listening. The Capitals GM also confirmed he’s active in trade talks but didn’t specifically say if Burakovsky is among the names been discussed. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Kuc noted the Caps GM believes there are hockey trades to be made. If Burakovsky gets traded it probably won’t be for a draft pick or prospect. It’s thought MacLellan will want a player of comparable age (23) who can help the Capitals right away. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis recently cited Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said GM Lou Lamoriello is as diligent as anyone monitoring the trade market to see what’s out there to potentially help his club. Cyrgalis doubts Lamoriello will shop forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle to contenders as playoff rentals as that would gut the Isles’ chances of staging a little postseason run. Getting Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey back from injury will also bolster their depth. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Pierre LeBrun’s appearance yesterday on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 speculating the Islanders could add before the deadline, noting they’ve got plenty of salary-cap space to work with. He expects they’ll be aggressive before deadline day and during this summer’s free-agent market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz’s comments are about as close as we’re going to get in learning what the notoriously secretive Lamoriello has in store for his club leading up to the deadline. Given his previous history of trade-deadline moves, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he makes a move or two. 


  1. With all due respect to Pierre Lebrun, Columbus is loaded with strong goalie prospects. If Bob is traded, it’s much more likely that the Jackets will want a veteran back up goalie to act as a mentor to one of those goalies than another starter.

    • Hi Paul

      I type slow,

      so my post below was being typed while you had already posted. I couldn’t see your comment until I had posted.

      I am in the belief that if Bobo does go to Panthers with Brass included; then Reimer is also coming back— my logic is laid out below.

      I’m not overly familiar with Berube and have no familiarity on Kivlenieks, so I was making assumptions there.

      • Pengy…I have that feeling again that I had about Brassard even before we traded him to Florida…that he ends up in Columbus..

        We still should go after Ferland! I think Malkin is out again tonight…maybe he plays Thursday at Florida.

        These next two games home against Carolina and away at Florida are important because then we go to tampa and Philly..

  2. question, if a GM is engaged in trade talks for a pending UFA can they grant the target team permission to talk to the player and agent to gauge what they are looking for in a new contract? or is that border line tampering?

    • reason I ask is Dorion is surely going to get a better return if the acquiring team thinks they can re-sign Stone or Duchene vs a rental

      • Fergy22,

        I’m not 100% sure, but I believe they can grant this permission; and this permission can, I think, be specific— geared towards certain teams actually having right to discuss (instead of free-for-all)

        I await someone here who has the definitive 100% certainty on this answer

  3. If both Bobo and Panarin are not traded; I would truly think that Panthers would be uber aggressive in trying to get both on July 1st.

    As suggested above; a Panthers/Jackets trade pre TDL for Bobo will IMO, include BOTH Reimer and Brass. What else?

    My logic— if Columbus is trading Bobo– and bringing in Brass, then they expect to still vie for playoffs….

    …. and if so… and knowing that Korpisalo can’t carry the full load for balance of season; can Berube and/or Kivlenieks realisticaly be enough strength as back-up(s) (maybe 8 games to YE) to eke Jackets into play-off spot? IMO , no. So Reimer would be coming over in the trade.

    Does Brass, Reimer, 2nd do it?

    …. and Bobo still holds all the cards (full NMC).

    Re: Sens—- George are you out there? Hope all is good with you:

    IMO, it is too much for the organization to lose both Stone and Duchene. At least one needs to remain to give some faith (to fans) moving forward. I think Stone would make a great Captain.

    If Columbus does not get Brass; I would think Winn may move on this and then possibly truly load up — truly truly all in — also going for hometown boy Stone

    If Winn all in all in; is this possibility that far from reality:

    (Panther’s trade): Brass for 2nd (’19)


    Sens trade:

    (a) Stone (50% retained by Sens) for 1st and Roslivic ?


    (b) Stone (50% retained by Sens) for 1st and Petan and Stanely?

    Just throwin’ it out there

    • Pengy , these are viable offers but preferably for Duchene. From what I have heard the Jets are targeting a center. Other names that could come into play are Niku and Vesalainen.
      I get the sign the home boy Stone but I believe the Sens will lock him up.

      • Hi Fergy22

        For Sens, I hope you are right. It would be great if they could keep both Stone and Duchene. However, I think if they are only keeping one of the two — Stone would be the better of the two to keep. Younger, always been a Sen, bigger, and I think has more upside.

        From Winn perspective; yes I was hinging on the hometown boy end; but Stone is also truly in the mold of what that team is built around — size — 6’4″, 220— big boy!!!

        All else equal; usually Centres cost more in trade. Would Duchene put Winn over the top? Maybe.

        However, if Brass was 2nd line C AND they get Stone; with losing only Roslivic or Petan from current line-up— IMO, that would put them over the top.

        Winn , gearing for SC, has to get there (SCF) first before they think about TBay (my opinion).

        So all in would mean build a team that has a massive advantage over Nsh, SJ and Cgy (again these are my opinions).

        All else equal, I think a Winn team with both Brass and Stone can take a 7 game series against all three teams.

        If it is just the add of Duchene; I’m not as convinced.

        As Dark G just posted — Duch’s agent in town— maybe Duch will be off the table?

        All ears until probably mid next week— then the fun begins.

      • Pengy you lost me @ Brassard, I know lots of people on this forum like him but I am not a fan. Sure he was ‘big game Brass’ with the Rangers but that was 4-5 years ago. Yes he brings playoff experience but he is no longer a #2 center IMO. From what I have read today on TSN , Roslovic is not likely going to be moved. He could be slotted in the 2 spot starting next season. As noted by others Hayes may be better suited for Wpg’s needs.

    • Pengy a nice storey home town boy coming home to lead his NHL team to the Stanley Cup. No I’m not talking John Tavares but Mark Stone of Winnipeg.
      If we use last year trade deadline the Jets went after and got a C in Paul Stastny who left for Vegas in free agency and the Jets haven’t replaced.
      The Jets were hoping that the NHL first star of the week Jack Roslovic would claim that spot. Although Roslovic with his 5 goals in 3 games 4 of them on the PP hasn’t proven to be ready as of yet. IMO must get a lot stronger on the puck easily knocked off and doesn’t like the board play too much, which he won’t need when/if he gets moved back to center.
      That leave Brian Little as the 2nd line center same one they had last year before acquiring Stastny. Little is having a better season then last year but Winnipeg still might want an upgrade.
      There been rumours floating that the jets might try to get both Duchene and Stone, Don’t know what the cost of that would be. I do not the Jets only have one first round pick so they would be emptying on shelve in their cupboard to acquire both unless give up 2020 1st round pick also.
      In the end it could be Kevin Hayes of the NYR suiting up for 2nd line center. I think the Jets will be targeting a Center first and foremost depending on what their willing to give up will determine who the player.

      • Is it at all possible that Laine may go the other way? Sens would have to take some other form of salary back and Winnipeg has the knowledge that they can sign at least one of Duchy and Stone?

      • Caper

        I think you are probably right. I was just throwing out the possibilities.

        Winn is a very strong team now.

        However, they have strong competition

        Staying pat— I see no issues whatsoever, with first round

        The potential Nshv series could (as at now) go either way; and then if they’ve been successful with what I believe would be a long series with Nsh— is Winn then good enough as is, after being in a tough series; to get by either of SJ or Cgy? I’m not so sure.

        So… I’ve got strong confidence in a trade happening.

        Both Duchene and Stone on the team —- Wow— that would be a sight to see— They’d both be rentals as Winn cannot afford them next year— that would be ALL IN ALL IN

        Ottw would have to retain 50% on both and then I’m guessing:

        Both 1st in ’19 and ’20 and Roslivic and Petan and Stanley (I don’t think they are moving Vesaliennen (sp?)

        Not sure if Chevy is that ALL IN ALL IN?

        Would be a great team to see though!

        On the flip side—- what moves (if any) are TBay making

        Are they going to get someone to take on Callahan so that they can add somebody now (and have the Cap space next year for extensions)?

        Callahan contract is the TBay thorn in the side right now

        In the back of my mind: I was wondering if Tbay might have some incentive that would make it worthwhile to Car for a flip of Callahan for Ferland— that would truly up TBays game add to their already great chance at a SC; and protect for next year.

        Callahan has one year left $5.8 M cap; $4.7M Sal

        What does it take Carolina to take on Callahan and give up Ferland— 1st (’20) AND Katchouk OR Raddysh?

        Of course for me, I’d love Ferland on Pens or Leafs (However, Leafs can’t add now (have to keep space for playing bonuses for MM and AM so they don’t go in to next year) and I think unfortunately, it’s a long shot for Ferland in a Pens uni).

        Fun times ahead!!!

      • 0% chance the Jets get both Stone & Duchene…

    • Just commenting here to check in on George as well – hes gone missing a few times for long stretches.

      George if you are reading this then let us know, we worry about you!!

    • Sadly the ball is in the players court when it comes to these negotiations. So I’m not holding out hope they resign. Maybe I’m protecting myself having my hopes dashed like every other star the Sens have had and waved bye to.
      Short of the sens crazy over paying, they both probably know they can get more and a better team elsewhere. I really hope I’m wrong, but there’s a reason I’ve never put a name on the back of my sens jersey.

  4. Duchene’s agent is in town (Ottawa)
    So something is afoot.

  5. I would think Duchene would get more than 8×8 on July 1st.
    Am I wrong.

    • if he signs elsewhere max term is 7 years, if he were to sign in a tax free state could accept 8x7yrs, but I would bet north of 8mil

    • Dave,

      Just my opinion, but I am thinking that the AAV of 8 for 8 was not as much of a sticking point as the make-up of the money coming in (front end loaded, how much in SB?)

      I’m just guessing, but I think the Ottw offer might be more balanced in cash per term and with less SB.

      As UFA– can only get 7 years— but as pointed out by Fergy22 — with the tax advantages (VGKs, both Florida teams, Dallas, and Nashville) an $8M/year contract would be closing in on an extra $1.1M a year take-home (over Ottw or Tor or Mon).

      $9M Sal in Ottw per year would be about the same take-home (around 47%) as $7M Sal (at close to 61% take-home) in Vegas, Nash, Dall, or either of the two FLA teams.

      I am in agreement with those who have posted before that money is not everything. Absolutely true. But money does play a bit in this. Professional atheletes do not have as many years of earning at their profession as the rest of us. For most, their window closes in their mid 30’s and not mid 50’s to early 60’s like us other scrubs. So— if weighing an extra $9M take home over 7 years — it just may be something to chew on.

      …. another way to look at it… Duchene would be weighing the same or more take-home to be on a team further along in the re-build mode; and for one less year (7 vs. 8). At the end of a 7 year contract (36 years of age) he may get a 2 year contract, reasonable money. With an 8 year contract— at 37 years of age— one year contract and likely at less than the second year of the 2 year extension he might get at 36.

      Alot to consider.

      Also— family, friends, team-mates, team direction, ownership


      It would be great for both to be back next year.

      Unfortunately, in all honesty, I think the odds for both returning may be slightly less than neither returning.

      Fingers crossed.

      George? Oh George, Whereforartthou on this?

      • does anyone see Duchene getting a deal from a team besides the Sens that would come close to what they might pay? who has cap space for him?

        Arizona? etc?

        who wants to pay him 8 million for 7 years…

    • what team will sign 29 year old Duchene for 7×8 or more?

      • sorry double post appeared late

      • I could see Dallas possibly jumping into the mix, offer 8.5×6 yrs laden with signing bonus ….condition is no NTC on the deal and if necessary settle on a limited NTC.
        Big risk though already having Benn and Seguin locked up for big $.

      • Ds…..not a very smart team that’s for sure!

        Duchense is talented but I wouldn’t go anymore than 5 years probably 4 years.

    • He should get more due to his value to the team. Historically rebuilding teams need to over pay quality vets to convince them to sit through the rebuild.

      Im ok with over paying an actually good player. Ottawa tends tk cheep out on their star talent and over pay bottom 6 type guys.

      They gotta fix that.

  6. ****I DON”T AGREE**** Ok don’t take me to serious. Yesterday post I read response stating the leak of an offer sheet drives up all elcs. WHY!
    I had similar debates on here about trades that it’s the new cost. This goes back to the Hall for Larson deal where several posted it was the new cost to get a top 4 dman; my argument which is the same for the elc’s one deal doesn’t make a trend. The GM who made that deal is now on the sidelines funny thing is some of the same media people and poster now use that same deal against him pointing to the errors of his way.
    There is always a cost just a matter if your willing to pay that cost.
    Will MM get offer sheet who knows, well we will if Toronto doesn’t lock him up first, you don’t hear much of Laine or McAvoy names being banished around anymore for an offer sheet, simply because they are not playing at the level people expected them to. Sure Laine has 25 goals but only 3 in his last 20 also a -13 next closest is -5
    When Nylander held out for his money well it was said new trend, yet to be determined but if anything Nylander lack of output may just prove to be the opposite or not.
    Comes down to who your dealing with agent/player/Gm who will dig in deeper and who will cave, you can look at passed history but each case is different if for no other reason then the personalities your dealing with.
    Any GM worth is wage shouldn’t make deals based on what another GM has done.
    I always like to refer to Bill Belichick the Super Bowl Champs coach and GM. He never has a problem letting a player go and sign elsewhere for more money yet in a salary cap world he is still producing championship teams, no deep threat, no superstars outside of one or two players, no elite WR. A quality team that bought into a system that works. No hard feelings if you want more money, just not here.
    I understand there is difference between the league but I don’t buy into one mans deals is the new standard.

    • Caper, this might be me you are referring to. You can call me out by name if so, all good to disagree.
      And we do disagree on a specific contract driving up others.
      Yesterday I was arguing that the strategy of leaking the rumor was brilliant or not. My argument was that if you leak it, then you are not actually going to offer sheet him, and Dubas would know that too. And if the point was to drive up the cost of Marner, than it would impact the price of offensive RFA’s coming out of their ELC’s including the teams leaking if their strategy actually worked.
      I stand by it for the simple fact that the negotiations are based on comparable’s, I think we can agree on that? I think McDavid’s contract has had an impact as has Draisaitl’s.

  7. Not sure who the Isles pursue if they are looking to add. So far they’ve been scoring by committee and could definitely use more punch up front. Perhaps they go after Ferland, Stone, or Duchene? They can move their first but don’t really have a lot of prospects that are close other than DalCole and Ho Sang. I’m not sure either of those guys blows anyones skirt up as they haven’t produced in the NHL yet. Perhaps they consider moving Kiefer Bellows for an upgrade up front.

    They also have a lot of cap space to play with so could easily be involved with other teams to take on salary and get assets back for doing so. Maybe they get a pick or prospect for helping someone tight up against the cap make another move.

  8. If anyone wants to see what a true top four defenseman should be have a look at this Jake Muzzin highlight video:

    The hit on Corey Perry last night was spectacular. I haven’t seen anyone like that since my Aunt Sally laid out my cousin Lou at the neighbourhood rink.

  9. The Panthers have a legitimate chance of signing Bob, and maybe Panarin, in the off-season. Warm, beautiful climate with low taxes and a team that’s not far from the playoffs. Pretty enticing.

    Maybe rather than give up an asset(s) for Bob in a lost season, why not leak rumours that you’re interested in him but then decide NOT to give up an asset in a trade for him, and wait until summer to sign him instead?

    This way, he’s now fully aware you want him in the summer and you increase the odds of getting him, without needing to give up a player or pick in return.

    You still need to get rid of Reimer in summer, but that can probably be done at a cheaper cost. (Reimer + 5th for an 8th, etc)

    Just conspiracy theorizing… 🙂

    • I could see it happening, but if Bob is truly seeking $10M per as some have reported, the cap hits for him Bob and Roberto (that’s kinda funny) would total be $14.53M. That’s pretty steep. Even if Bob “settles” for $8M that’s a lot tied up in goaltending.

      I also think it will take a better sweetener and/or holding salary on Reimer to get him dealt. He’s a fairly mediocre backup at this point and earning $3.4M for 2 more seasons. Just for reference, Halak is getting $2.75M in Boston.

      • Good thoughts. And you’re right, Reimer probably needs an extra push to get him gone. For me, the Luongo contract is a sunk cost for Florida: they won’t win a lot with him, so they need to find the money for an elite goaltender, even if they’re paying Luongo massive money to be a backup. Until then, or an elite prospect comes up, they’re stuck in goaltending purgatory!

  10. Shortly after Jake Muzzin laid out Corey Perry last night, Nick Ritchie crosschecked the beast.

    Muzzin draws the penalty, less than 30 second in the power play Muzzin slaps the puck in their net.

    After the horn blows, some one in Leafs management decides it’s fitting to play the elevator music that annoys everyone except the person who made the decision to play this.

    Please watch this video from the singers of this song and tell me if it’s the right follow up to Jake Muzzin fixing Randy Carlyles little red wagon:


    Is it possible that the guy with the moustache in the video that does the ostrich neck jerk while looking at us is the Leaf exec who decided this was the celebratory song?


  11. Matthews just signed for 5 years at $11.5 million a year. Should give the Leafs a little clarity on how to play out trades this season.

  12. I have been advocating to acquire Jake Muzzin since the beginning of the season, because the Leafs main flaw is not having enough sandpaper at the blue line. Last night’s game was prime example why this is so important in a hockey game and how it affects the opponents trying to cross the blue line not to mention how a simple HIT like that changes the game and brings ENERGY to the teammates. Gardiner and Zaitsev provided classic example last night why they don’t belong in Leafs roster. The only goal the Ducks managed to score last night was when Gardiner/Zaitsev combo allowed the ducks to walk right in through blue line without any resistence. As a defenseman you must treat the blueline as if its your front door to your home. You can’t just allow anybody walk right in to your home without your permission. This is why I have been advocating Hainsey, Gardiner, and Zaitsev to be traded the entire season. These three players has no clue playing DEFENCE. Its not even about the money they make, they simply don’t know how to play DEFENSE. I am happy, Dubas finally was able to acquire MUZZIN, unfortunately he is just 1 of the 3 players Dubas must acquire before the deadline to make some noise in the playoffs. Dubas must go after Radko Gudas and Adam McQuaid to balance out the rest of the DEFENSE and provide that SCOTT STEVENS effect at the blue line. Muzzin can’t do that all by himself. Rielly/McQuaid Muzzin/Gudas and Dermott/Holl. If I am Dubas I would also explore the idea of trading Nylander to Columbus for Artemi Panarin. Matthews need a true elite wing man like Panarin to flourish. Panarin has shown interest in playing in big hockey market, and his agent has multiple times spoke about European players would love to play in Toronto. If Nylander becomes untradable I suggest altering the lines this way:




    This of course is due to the cap crunch. I love to add more grit players like Reaves, Maroon, Martin but thats wishful thinking in my part.

    Marleau, Brown, Hainsey, Gardiner, and Zaitsev is a must to be moved ASAP. Nylander if possible for Panarin would be dream come true.


  13. 11,6 for 5. Takes him right to ufa I believe. I really didn’t get why a player would leave years on the table until I realized about the ufa years. Makes sense. Congrats to leafs fans for him leaving a tad bit of money on the table.

    • Matthews stuck to what he said a few days ago, that he would do what he thought would be fair. Said he was happy to be in Toronto. Nice to see for a change

      • I really thought he could legitimately ask for and receive 13 for 8. But I didn’t consider the ufa aspect. Apparently the bonus money is most of the deal so props to sticky on calling that.

        One thing for sure though. The nhlpa can’t be overly satisfied. I remember the backlash when Crosby signed his weird deal.

      • I suppose he is gambling on a huge payday when this deal expires (not that $11.5 per is exactly minimum wage). I believe he will be 27?

        With the way salaries are rising, and if the PA can get a better slice of the pie in the next CBA…who knows he might get $15M per or more on that next deal.

      • Both sides are gambling. Will there even be 8 year contracts next cba

  14. Matthews accepted 5 years as he will be able to go to Arizona when this deal expires. Doesn’t anyone see the writing on the wall? He didn’t want to commit to 8 years when he can get out sooner.