NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2019

by | Apr 12, 2019 | Rumors | 38 comments

Latest Oilers speculation and an update on Sergei Bobrovsky in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell suggested this summer might be the last one for the Oilers to maximize defenseman Adam Larsson’s trade value. Larsson has two seasons remaining on his contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $4.16 million. As an example, Mitchell suggested peddling Larsson for a scoring winger and then acquire someone like Tyson Barrie from the Colorado Avalanche, who are awash in puck-moving blueliners. 

Could the Edmonton Oilers shop Adam Larsson for a scoring forward this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

Mitchell feels Larsson and center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be trade chips because of their contract lengths, as shopping them next summer when they have a year remaining would make them rental players. The Oilers’ first-round pick (eighth overall) in this year’s draft could be in play. In addition to Larsson, Mitchell thinks blueliners like Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Andrej Sekera, and Kris Russell could be available depending on the ask. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Mitchell isn’t saying those players will be moved but is simply musing over which ones could become trade candidates when the new Oilers general manager takes over. Larsson, who lacks no-trade protection, could have value for clubs with plenty of scoring forward looking to bolster their defense. It might make more sense to shop him than Nugent-Hopkins, given the Oilers need for secondary scoring punch.

Mitchell’s suggestion of pursuing someone like Barrie might not be far-fetched. Barrie is a year away from UFA status and some in the Denver media feel he could be moved to make way for promising youngsters like Cale Makar in the system. That’s assuming, of course, Avs GM Joe Sakic believes Barrie to be too expensive to retain.

Nurse would certainly attract interest if the Oilers were willing to move him. However, I think Larsson would be the more likely trade candidate of the two. Still, the next Oilers GM might not be willing to move Larsson or Nurse this summer. At this stage, it’s just spitballing. 

Given the depth in promising youngsters within the Oilers’ system, it would be worthwhile to see what their first rounder in this year’s draft might fetch in the trade market. Maybe it can be packaged with a player or prospect to bring in that scorer without having to part with Larsson or Nurse. 


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes a strong playoff performance could improve the free-agent value of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. There’s a lot riding on this opening-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning for Bobrovsky, who’s never a playoff series in his NHL career.

Bobrovsky’s expected to test this summer’s free-agent market. In talking with several “front-office types” around the league, LeBrun gets the feeling the two-time Vezina Trophy winner is already guaranteed a big payday this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some general managers will balk at Bobrovsky’s lousy playoff record and inconsistent performance this season. Others, however, will gamble on him being the final piece of the playoff puzzle (hello there, Florida Panthers). He’ll get his money this summer, but backstopping the Blue Jackets to a first-round upset of the Lightning will almost certainly silence his critics. 


  1. Tyson Barrie COULD become available with the promotions of Makar and Conor Timmins and should Sakic opt to take, with the 4th pick (Ottawa’s), highly-rated 6′ 1″ 192 lb D Bowen Byram of Vancouver of the WHL.

    • especially with the expansion draft coming…if Barrie is kept that means almost certainly zadorov is gone….but I think if joe starts dangling Tyson out there it will bring a big return….he is very underrated

      • agreed avsattack , Barrie has impressed me the few times I have seen him play this year. The other D man who is underrated IMO is Girard , he s going to be a top 4 for a long time to come.

    • “He (Markar) is the highest-scoring defenseman in the NCAA since Wisconsin’s Brendan Smith put up 52 points in 2009-10.”

      Yeah, let that sink in for a minute….Brendan Smith…..

      • i was at the University of WI when smith played….first off the only thing similar between makar and smith are the stats…. makar is a way better prospect than smith…as well as the college hockey played now vs smith’s days is far higher quality

      • Point being, they’re a prospect, until they’re not a prospect.

        There is no exact science here.

  2. The issue with the Aves trading Barrie is that he is only one of 2 RD on the Aves roster. They do have 1 RD prospects, but you can’t expect a 21 year old to come in and replace Barrie.

    • Just pointing out the Hurricanes have 4 RDs on the roster, one on the edge of the NHL (McKeown), and a 6th (Fox) potentially on the way that they can’t seem to figure out what to with. Is there a deal to be had with the Avs?

      • For what? Little point in adding Barrie to the mix in Carolina. Not sure what Sakic would make available from his roster and prospects among other positions. Guess it depends on which RD Carolina is offering.

      • Fox is returning to school and will be a free agent next August

  3. I can’t see in any way the Oilers trading Nurse. He is to valuable to the Oilers future.
    I also have a hard time seeing the Oilers trade any piece of their defence. They don’t have the depth to be trading from that position. If they trade Lasson plus for a top 6 forward they will most likely be bring in more salary. Then they are supposed to go out and get Berrie?! How can the afford all of that under the salary cap?!

    • girard has much promise and at 20 yrs old has a long career ahead of him but he does not get his shot through a crowd yet like Tyson can and last nite the flames beat him up along the boards

      • agreed but he’ll get bigger and better with age. Very good skater, see’s the ice well and makes a nice first pass.

  4. Is there any truth to the Canucks interested to have both Hughes?

    If so I’d deem Pettersson and Boeser untouchables obviously… does not leave much to offer with the #10 pick so it would be a Vancouver pipe dream.
    #10+Bo Horvat…..

    • I think it would take Pettersson or Boeser + to get Hughes.

      • Pettersson already showed what he can do in the NHL. Would you swap him for the #1 pick to take Hughes?

      • Why would the Canucks do that? Petterson has shown that he is going to be a force in the NHL. So far, we know zilch about Hughes in that regard. Yes, he has wracked up points and looked good in the USHL which has impressed the scouts, but competitively speaking overall, that league is nowhere near the calibre of the OHL, the Q or the WHL

      • Nowhere near? Take a look at star talent in the nhl coming out of that league George. 4 of top 7 na skaters for upcoming nhl draft. I think very near is more accurate

      • Chrisms: No one is denying the talent of the high end players in the USHL. However, the depth of talent in the CHL is much higher overall.

      • I stand by what I said – if you take the top team in the USHL – not an all-star team – and put them up against almost any team in Major Junior they’d get blown out.

      • The USHL is made up of these 16 teams: Des Moines Buccaneers; Cedar Rapids RoughRiders; Fargo Force; Central Illinois Flying Aces; Lincoln Stars; Chicago Steel; Omaha Lancers; Dubuque Fighting Saints; Sioux City Musketeers; Green Bay Gamblers; Sioux Falls Stampede; Madison Capitols; Tri-City Storm; Muskegon Lumberjacks; Waterloo Black Hawks; Youngstown Phantoms. Assuming a roster size of 21 – that’s roughly 336 players involved in any one season. The best among those those teams go to Team U.S.A. along with, of course, the best Americans playing in the Canadian Major Junior leagues. One reason why many opt to stay in the USHL, rather than go to the Canadian Major Junior league, is that once they play 1 game in those Canadian leagues, any chance of going to a U.S. University goes out the window since they look upon the Canadian leagues as “pro” – and they don’t want to sully their self-assumed purity.
        As I say, overall there a lot more pros coming out of the Major Junior leagues than the USHL, which collectively as a league is about on a par with the second tier of junior leagues in Canada, such as the Central Junior League.

      • Not at all. Sure the sheet size of the chl makes putting out more talent and thus having more talent to pull from. But the nhl talent coming out of the ushl is up there in star power. Which is crazy considering how relativyyoung it is. Hell George your own brady from there. Again 4 outta top 7 skaters from na projected teams n the next draft from there. I’ll concede that the chl is a larger market with more talent pull. But when it comes to drafting young nhl stars the ushl is coming on fast… even overtaking them potentially in to tier draft picks.

        The ushl is near or equal the caliber of the other leagues when it comes to nhl draftable talent. And growing

      • When is the last time a second tier Canadian league produced top tier draft talent as the ushl George?

      • You will notice I said “overall” – as a league. Take any one team from the USHL and put them p against any one team in Major Junior, or the top teams in Tier II junior and I’d bet every time on the Major Junior/Tier II teams.

        I’m not denying there is high-end talent in that league – but it’s spread out over 16 teams and some 336 players, and when that talent comes together with Team U.S.A. they are always augmented by the best American players in Major Junior and in College. There is NO way they could put together a Team U.S.A. using only USHL talent.

        As for Tier II Juniors, many of the best there remain there for the same reason they do in the USHL – 1 game in Major Junior and out go any chances of a U.S. scholarship. A fair number of Tier II go on to play at U.S. universities and, through that program, into the NHL. And Tkachuk did have the benefit of one year at Boston in college.

      • Maybe we are arguing different points. The only factor I’m concerned about with non nhl hockey that rates that leagues caliber is the amount of talent they develop for the nhl. Can’t develop that talent without decent competition. The ushl as a league is getting closer and closer to the chl every year due to nhl top talent

        I wouldn’t ever pay a dime to watch chl or college or ushl hockey.

    • Hi ds

      I do believe Van would be interested ….. they should be…. it’s not just bringing the Bros together but being able to pick 1st (and a reported very good first at that) in their own building

      The other day I proposed a potential 2 step move…. Van currently has cap space and actual $’s:

      1) call Ed re 8th over-all …. Lucic , if he was to waive; you would figure would waive to go home…. Ed’s 8th plus taking on Lucic for Van’s 2nd and a prospect…. Ed moves up 30 spots but moves $6M in what many in Oil country already deem dead cap space ; can now move on UFAs with the room created AND get a prospect.

      Van now has 8th and 10th and if the don’t really want Lucic, can buy him out after SB paid for $650K over 8 years…. this just may be worth it

      2) Now with 8th and 10th …. call Shero to find out what extra needs to be added to get to Hughes

      Would Shero move on 8th + 10 th in ‘19( with some very good prospects in that range) plus a prospect plus Van’s 1st (lottery protected) in ‘20…. FOR

      Hughes and NJ’s 2nd ‘19 round pick??

      The Net effect for Van …. call the NJ 2nd in for Van’s 2nd out (34th overall for 40th overall) basically a saw off….

      So Van in effect gets to pick Hughes in their own building for their 1st in ‘20 and 2 prospects ; plus at worst $5M over 8 years for Lucic

      Vs picking a fair prospect at 10th…. IMO …. a good deal

      For Shero; he gets 3 top 10 picks over 12 months; plus a prospect; and there will be very good picks in the top 10

      Vs Hughes

      To me…. worth it

      At the very least; GMJB has to pick up the phone and ask Ray Jr. what’ll take

      • @Pengy GMJB will call NJD and Rangers for sure.
        Kakko stock rising

      • NYR GM is high on KK….he wants him over Hughes. From the way he talks about each player, I believe, he values KK over Hughes.

      • So the gm owning the number two pick wants the commonly named number two pick over the overwhelming number one? Sounds about right

    • Good luck with that.

    • I dont see any chance of EP and a first in a return for Hughes. Even Horvat is questionable, with all the talk of underrated players, he certainly is one.

    • IMO, the Canucks would be further ahead with Horvat and one of Boldy, Zegras, Caufield, Broberg or Soderstrom with the 10th pick than Just Hughes. They only have 3 legit top 6 forwards and their D is a work in progress so trading the 1st and Horvat would leave them still with only 3 top 6 forwards and no improvement on D.

  5. The Oilers aren’t trading their way out of the mess they’re in. They had a scoring winger and traded him for Larsson, now they want to trade him for a scoring winger? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they need to keep drafting and stay the course. If it takes a couple more years to develop your prospects and build a foundation, so what. It’s better than making a bunch of losing trades and overpaying for B and C level UFA’s that won’t help you

    • I agree. They have prospects that are probably ready to help out in the bottom 6 right now. With the 8th pick this year and Yamamoto the potencial is there for 2 top 6 forwards that they are needing in 2 to 3 years. Along with Bear, Jones, and Bouchard the pieces are there for them to build their contender, and all brought in are on the ELC for cheap.
      Puljujärvi is still a building piece, but don’t really know where he will fit in. Perhaps he could also be part of fixing the bottom 6.

      • I think Benson has a chance to play in the top 6 as well Kevjam.
        May even get a shot next year. Smart player that could play with either C.

  6. Regardless of ” who is coming up” it takes years. Barrie is a keeper in my books. …I said it a few times throughout the season. Larson would be a good fit on the Leafs . Not sure of the assets coming back to make that happen. Also, Gardiner a good fit on the Habs. Which will cost noting but a contract and makes room for Larsson, maybe a late draft pick for exclusive negotiation rights prior to July 1

    • a lot of avs fans complain about tyson’s d play at times…and when things are going bad he takes more than his fair share of the fans guff…but when you look at Corsi %’s etc avs are best when Barrie is on the ice by a long shot…I’d re sign him