NHL Rumor Mill – March 6, 2019

by | Mar 6, 2019 | Rumors | 17 comments

Check out the latest on the Islanders, Predators, and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis acknowledged the difficulty Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello would’ve faced becoming a seller at the recent NHL trade deadline. Doing so would’ve been demoralizing to a roster jockeying for first place in the Metropolitan Division with the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

However, Cyrgalis believes Lamoriello was mistaken by not selling at the deadline, pointing out the Islanders lack sufficient top-end talent to be a legitimate Cup contender this season. He wonders what they might’ve received had they peddled pending UFAs such as goaltender Robin Lehner and forwards Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Brock Nelson. 

Cyrgalis believes Lamoriello could be “first in line” to bid for Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin via free agency and perhaps San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. “The Islanders need what so many teams need, and that’s top-end talent.”

Will the New York Islanders re-sign Brock Nelson? (Photo via NHL Images)

He also recently reported Lamoriello hasn’t engaged in substantial contract negotiations with Nelson, preferring to keep his options open. He speculated Nelson could seek a deal comparable to Anaheim’s Adam Henrique (five years, $29.125 million, $5.825 million AAV) while the Isles GM could consider a $5 million annual cap hit on a two- or three-year deal more palatable. Nelson said it’s a good thing both sides are taking things day-by-day. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winning the Cup may be the ultimate goal for NHL teams, but making the playoffs is also very important to a club’s bottom line. It generates excitement among their fanbase, especially one that entered this season with low expectations, encouraging them to support the club down the stretch and into the postseason. It’s also a good way for Lamoriello to prove to the Islanders’ long-suffering fans that this team is finally heading in the right direction.

As for the offseason, Lamoriello’s expected pursuit of someone like Panarin or Karlsson will affect Nelson’s future with the Islanders. Signing either guy will cost a lot of money, and while the Isles have over $47.7 million invested in 16 players, they must ensure they have sufficient short-term space to re-sign someone like Lehner (or Nelson) and long-term room for the big raise Mathew Barzal will be seeking.


THE TENNESSEAN: During a recent mailbag segment, Paul Skrbina was asked if Brian Boyle and Wayne Simmonds will be returning with the Nashville Predators next season. Both are pending UFAs acquired before the trade deadline.

Skrbina expects Boyle to return as he’d be a more affordable re-signing than Simmonds. He believes their priority will be re-signing recently-acquired left winger Mikael Granlund, who has a year remaining on his contract and is eligible for UFA status next summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granlund could seek a long-term deal worth around $7 million annually. Predators GM David Poile, however, might prefer something a little shorter and closer to $6.5 million per. Boyle, 35, is completing a two-year, $5.1-million deal and could be re-upped to a one-year deal worth the same cap hit ($2.55 million) or a little less. I expect Simmonds will be testing the UFA market. 


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield believes the Blackhawks could be hampered in their efforts this summer to bolster their defense. He said their blueliners are either too old and can’t be moved because of their expensive contracts and no-movement clauses (Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook) or too young and inexperienced (Henri Jokiharju) to make an impact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to take time to improve the Blackhawks defense. Keith and Seabrook surfaced in this season’s trade rumor mill but they both denied management approached them about waiving their no-movement clauses. Assuming either guy was willing to accept a trade, the Blackhawks could be forced to pick up part of their cap hit or take back a toxic contract. They’ll also likely have to include a sweetener such as a promising young player or a first-round pick. 


  1. Here in NYC we have an important rule of thumb. Always take note of what New York Post columnists suggest. Then do the opposite.

    • Heh. I think you can apply that to just about every city in the NHL. Even more avoidable are many of the off-the-wall proposals floated in these pages at times.

    • Larry Brooks and Brett Cyrgalis are just hacks for the Rangers. Brooks showed his bias with his article knocking Ovechkin after winning the cup. (doesn’t make up for his past failures in the playoffs) And his continuing “bromance” with Lundqvist is unbelievable.

  2. Nelson is the original MR Softie. He drives the ice cream truck in my area he is the poster boy for Mr Softie. Let him walk he does nothing runs away from the corners does not drive to the net. Yeah he scores goals with a good wrist shot and that is all he does, terrible on face offs does not stand up to bullies or protect his teammates. Every Isles fans hates his game let him walk PLEASE.

  3. Hope Lehner is ok.

  4. Seriously? Islanders should have been sellers a first place metro division team above the likes of the defending cup champs and the penguins and this loser says isles should be sellers at the deadline? Thats the wildest comment i have ever heard. I am not a biased fan the isles are absolutely over-achieving this season but if they indeed sold off there UFA’s your basically just tanking the season and saying we have a good thing going but it wont last so lets just tank the rest of the year. How much money do you get paid to just say stupid s**t like that man I mean come on were you just bored or something? What a loser

  5. This is like visiting ocean city in April.

    • It’s usually pretty quiet soon after the trade deadline. Things will pick up in the coming weeks when the regular season ends and the speculation over the offseason plans of the non-playoff clubs kicks in.

      • The Leafs stink! They’ve been running on blind luck thus far. Bunch of no-talent wanna-be’s.

      • Nice George. That was chum in the water.

        Lyle. You definitely get tides. Regardless I don’t doubt the regulars read but they get posting fatigue….

        It’s a thing

        My cousin said so. And he’s a doctor.


      • Well, there’s that for sure among some – but when neither the Leafs nor the Penguins are part of the topics, it simply piques their indifference.

      • I read this every day.
        I just got tired of the endless banter of some fans.

      • TheManOss, well said! I feel the exact same way sometimes.

  6. A team in first place should be sellers at the deadline??? Who would actually suggest this?

  7. Watch Mathews . Should be no where close to the compensation of McDavid . Any other market a couple million less avv. Focused on him live and barely touched the puck and virtually invisible. He should be barely 4 highest on the Leafs behind Tavares Marner Reilly

    • Matthews has already resigned….?

  8. Duncan Keith is hardly the problem. Furthermore his contract is more than reasonable. Seabrook’s contract could be a problem in 20-21 season; as it is right now they have cap space to use (if they want) that is if anyone wants to sign in Chicago anyway. The following season Corey Crawford’s 6million cap hit comes off the books~who knows if he’ll resign; though they will have many RFA to resign. Their cap problems are exaggerated at the moment. Just an issue of having an expensive team! Pizza costs 8 bucks a slice or whatever it is; ridiculous! And it’s the pizza is not that good.