NHL Rumor Mill – April 26, 2019

by | Apr 26, 2019 | Rumors | 88 comments

Could the Penguins consider trading Evgeni Malkin or other big-name players? Is another summer trade in the offing for the Predators’ P.K. Subban? Should the Maple Leafs consider shopping William Nylander? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports sources within the Penguins’ organization say management is considering almost every available option to chart the course of the next several years. That includes everything from possibly trading key players such as Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel to standing pat. 

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins consider shopping Evgeni Malkin this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

Should they decide on making major changes it wouldn’t be a teardown rebuild. Rather, it would be to move established assets while their trade value is high for returns of younger, affordable talent who can keep the club’s championship window open. It’s believed there’s a select group of players – captain Sidney Crosby and goaltender Matt Murray among them – the Penguins believe they can build around. 

Several days ago, Mackey also reported Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford could consider trading one or two defensemen under contract through next season to address their other roster needs. Mackey considered Olli Maatta as the most realistic trade candidate as moving him would free up $4.083 million in salary-cap space. He doesn’t believe Rutherford intends to move Brian Dumoulin and it would be very difficult to find any takers for Jack Johnson, who has four years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $3.25 million. 

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Jonathan Bombulie agrees Maatta is the most likely to be moved but he doesn’t anticipate a major overhaul of the Penguins’ blueline. He noted Rutherford recently saying their defense “is probably the best now that it’s been since I’ve been here, as a group.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the notion of the Penguins trading someone like Malkin or Letang makes for sexy headlines, I doubt very much they’re going that route with those two. Cap Friendly indicates Malkin has a full no-movement clause and I don’t think he’s keen to move on. Letang has a modified no-trade listing 18 clubs he can be traded to but I doubt Rutherford intends to make him the scapegoat for the Penguins’ early playoff exit.

If a major move takes place it’ll probably be Kessel. He’s clashed with Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and Rutherford reportedly fielded trade offers for the right winger last summer. I agree with Mackey and Bombulie that Maatta also seems a likely trade candidate this summer. Sullivan seems to have lost confidence in the 24-year-old and he could probably benefit from a change of scenery. 


THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan believes the Nashville Predators cannot justify maintaining the status quo following their first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Dallas Stars. Changes could be coming this summer, perhaps to shore up an offense that relied too much on the top line of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson.

While they could dump center Kyle Turris, Vingan believes it’ll be difficult finding takers for the remaining five years and $30 million of his contract. He suggests they could turn to their defense, with P.K. Subban the natural target considering his expensive contract and wasn’t drafted and developed by the Predators. He also notes Ryan Ellis’ performance was a disappointment this season. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina reports Subban, who has three years remaining on his contract with a $9 million annual average value, wants to remain with the Predators and be part of the solution. However, he also acknowledged the business of hockey and that he has trade value if they were to shop him for a scoring forward. “If I’m talking facts, I’m the highest paid player on this team,” he said Wednesday. “With that comes responsibility. Just like everybody else, the responsibility is on me to take the fact that we didn’t win the first round; we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skrbina also noted Predators GM David Poile conceded his club failed to meet expectations this season and changes will be coming to their roster this summer. If he does decide to draw upon his blueline depth for a trade chip to bring in a scoring forward, Subban or Ellis seem the likely candidates.

I doubt Poile intends to move captain Roman Josi and will try to free up some long-term cap room for Josi’s new contract next summer, while Mattias Ekholm earns a very affordable $3.75-million annually through 2021-22. Subban and Ellis also lack no-trade protection and both will attract plenty of interest in the trade market. 


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas wouldn’t confirm if head coach Mike Babcock will return next season but he also didn’t say he was contemplating a coaching change. He said team president Brendan Shanahan will do a full evaluation on everyone, including Dubas. Simmons assumes Babcock will be back but suggests there could be some changes to the assistant coaching staff. 

Dubas’ priority will be re-signing restricted free agent winger Mitch Marner. Simmons expects the Leafs will lose defensemen Jake Gardiner and Ron Hainsey to unrestricted free agency. Dubas must also decide if he’ll trade or retain center Nazem Kadri, trying to re-sign RFAs Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson, and finding a solution to the Patrick Marleau situation. 

Marleau told Simmons he’s not considering retirement. The 39-year-old winger wouldn’t say if he’d accept a trade, adding it’s tough to speculate. Trading Marleau and his $6.25 million salary-cap hit would free up salary-cap space. Simmons also believes Dubas would like to shed Nikita Zaitsev’s $4.25 million cap hit and feels the Leafs GM must consider moving William Nylander no matter what he may have told the winger personally about staying in Toronto. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Among his five burning offseason questions for the Leafs, Matt Larkin wonders if Dubas will move an impact forward like Kapanen, Johnsson, Nylander or Kadri for a defenseman this summer. “Nylander for Subban or Hamilton, anyone?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock isn’t on the hot seat yet but it’s starting to get warm. Despite Dubas comments, I expect the Leafs coach will be back next season. However, I daresay there will be discussions with Babcock regarding the usage of several players, including giving too much playing time to the fading Marleau.

It appears Dubas isn’t going to let Marner’s contract situation drag on throughout the summer. Quite frankly, he can’t afford to.

He needs to get the winger under contract as quickly as possible to determine how much salary-cap space he needs to free up to retain other players and to address other roster needs. Whether that involves moving Nylander or Kadri for a top-pairing, right-shot defenseman like Subban or Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton remains to be seen.


  1. Geno has a full NMC. He’s his own general manager.
    And he’s made plain that he doesn’t want to leave Pittsburgh.

    While it’s not quite as certain that Letang will stay, it’s very unlikely he moves. The Pens offseason needs to start by figuring out what they intend to do with Justin Schultz. If he agrees to a new deal, than move Maatta. If not, then move him and keep Maatta.

    I’ve come around to the idea of trading Phil (who I think has many good years left) only because of Seattle (Pens have a lot of NTCs) and because you can likely get a real return for him now, instead of just a salary dump in a few years.

    Their main problem remains: Hornqvist and his contract. A big deal with a NTC and he doesn’t fit with either Sid or Geno.

    Between Phil, Hornqvist, Bjugstad and Rust, the Pens have 4 right shot RW’ers who make at least $3.5 M AAV. Someone’s gotta go.

    Also, is DeSmith that much better than Jarry that it’s worth paying twice as much for him?

    It’s still possible for this team to reload, but it will take some needle threading by Rutherford.

    • Hornqvist was a terrible contract before the ink dried. I can’t see Pittsburgh trading their way out of that or Johnson. Maatta and Rust are tradeable and are much more likely to go.

    • I agree that Hornqvist and Johnson are the main problems for the Pens.
      Trading Johnson is nearly impossible without taking back a similar bad contract or retaining 50% of the cap and adding something else.
      I would buyout Johnson
      Doesn’t look as bad as I expected.

      I would keep Maata. If Sullivan has lost confidence in him and not in JJ (sitting JJ just once in the islanders series) I can only shake my head.

      If the return is good I’m open to move Phil the thrill.

      And I think Bjugstad and McCann won’t be traded.

      • Contracts like johnson lucic Neal etc are why those that think Seattle doesn’t have a chance to be as good as Vegas very wrong. Gms don’t learn. Picks prospects etc will be going to Seattle to take these players. So long as they don’t have nmc. I could easily see johnson or horny going this way

      • Hi Juss76,

        See my full post below

        JJ a first move no matter what. Buy him out and only $700K next year…. that is a super super super bonus!!!!

        McC needs to stay with Sid and Guentzel— they clicked well

        I’d keep Bjug at 3C. Trading him and your just needing to get the same back at probably the same $’s… doesn’t make sense


    • Yeah I see Malkin retiring a Penguin, ditto Letang. Crosby will play till he’s 45 and then he will be immediately given a front office or coaching job. He may even take over Mario’s ownership role he just means that much to the franchise and the city. I think it’s safe to say that Crosby, Malkin, Guentzel, Murray, McCann, Bjugstad, and Letang will all be back next year. I think Blueger, Rust, Simon, And ZAR are pretty safe bets as well. Kessel and Shultz aren’t going anywhere unless the offer is too good to pass up. Petterson and Goody will probably be back as the third pair. The changes will be with whoever I haven’t mentioned. I think they will have at least 2 spots open for young guys on ELCs, yes they don’t have a prospect in the top 100 but they haven’t had one for years and they still keep developing excellent young players year after year. There is at least 5 players in the system that could make the jump out of training camp plus whomever they get with their first round pick this year.

      • Crosby won’t play until he is 45. He is NOT Chris Chelios or a Gordie Howe. He will play until 38-40 tops.

        He is also not a Steve Yzerman so I am not sure how he will be as a coach or management roll. Maybe scouting…

      • While you may be able to take the boy out of Nova Scotia. you can never take Nova Scotia out of the boy. If Crosby buys into a team after he retires it will more apt to be the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Junior League.

      • 45? Lol. I love be how you consider players like Zuccarello old, Skinner damaged goods… but Crosby, who’s a headshot away from career ending will roll on until he’s 45?

        Coach, Gm? Why? Like Gretzky? Or like Messier has gone on to careers after their careers winded down?


      • Or Howe, the Richards, Beliveau, Moore, Hull

  2. Oh that 3.25 with 4 years left for Johnson has become a problem after year 1? Shocker
    I never liked the Hornqvist re-signing either, it seemed a little rushed. As much as Rutherford helped bring in 2 cups, since then, the signings have been head scratching. Decent trades though (McCann, Bjugstad, Pearson, Gudbranson)

    I would love a Subban trade out of Nashville but I don’t know how many GMs would trade big pieces for him. I feel if he is, the return would be underwhelming based on the skill set. If they can move Subban and Turris and get a better 2C, I would be very happy. I even like the idea of trading Johanssen

  3. Malkin goin nowhere. Tanger has a solid solid regular season but I can’t help but think his past two post seasons were poor and pens won a cup without him the year before that. If Ron hainsey can come in and replace him then maybe it’s time to explode moving on.

    • Ron Hainsey didn’t replace anyone and was an absolute disaster the entire time he was a Penguin. If not for Dumoulin being such a great skater and so positinally sound Hainsey would have cost them everything.

      • Except he played reasonably well during his stay. Unfortunately people get bogged down in preconceptions and then judge something based on that.

        The point though was the pens got a bottom pair d man who was forced up the lineup due to tangers injury and still won the cup.

  4. While I think – and have said here several times – that Nylander’s season-long funk is likely related to having missed the training camp and pre-season games along with a good chunk of the early regular schedule, the fact remains that few teams – if any – are about to relinquish anything of any value (such as Subban or Hamilton) in a trade to bring in someone making close to $7 mil off the cap long-term unless they were absolutely CERTAIN that that was, indeed, the cause of his poor performance.

    Having said that, if Dorion could get him without giving up any key elements among his prospects (i.e., simply as a salary dump by Dubas in order to be able to re-sign guys like Kapanen) I would hope he’d do that in a flash. But that has as much chance of transpiring as the proverbial snowball in Hell since the LAST thing Dubas would want to see is Nylander turning everything around next year just up the 401.

    So, I believe Nylander will remain in Toronto and function under an entirely different system run by someone not named Babcock.

    • George O … I thought I was alone, you think Babcock is gone too as well

      • If anybody needs to be canned it would be Dubas, Nylander contract lack of depth all on Dubas. Babs playing Marleau more than he should maybe Babs is just showing a little class. Something the organization was ridiculed for, a lack of class for decades. Anybody who says that Babcock wasn`t a Dubas hire, Dubas was part of management that hired Babs. Shanny says he loves the different opinions everyone brings to the team but every once in a while he has to remind everyone who really is in charge Shannahan

      • That was one of Babcocks problems in Detroit. Heavy on the veterans and didn’t like playing the youth… this, a delayed re-tool earlier.

      • The Toronto media are just as bad as the fans! Nylander or kadri for atop pairing dman??? Do these people actually watch the games geez. Dubas already gave a first and a prospect for a second pairing dman yet a soft no heart nylander making way too much will get a top pairing dman? Or a bonehead like Kadri? Cmon man

    • @GeorgeO
      Nylander had plenty of time to show what he can do in the playoffs… his line should of overmatched what the Bruins put out against them…and Nylander’s second effort had nothing to do with missing camp

      IMHO Toronto should do what they can to grab Ryan Ellis and shore up the top 4.

      • Personally, I think Babcock has grown weary of the intense everyday pressure which is normal in TO when it comes to hockey and the Leafs – much, much more than that faced by the Blue Jays, Raptors and Argonauts.

        He may have thought he could abide that when he was first signed on on May 20, 2015 by Shanahan, just a month after the firing of Nonis, and a month before a veteran GM with a good track record – Lou Lamoriello – came in as GM, and probably liked their chances under that veteran leadership and their long-range, patient plans – even with the presence of a fuzzy-cheeked 29 y/o figure-filbert as Assistant GM.

        But when Shanahan decided to squeeze out Lamoriello and turn full control over to Dubas following last season, Babcock might not have liked this move – or the choices made by Dubas – one iota – something that has been borne out by at least two public episodes of voicing criticism at the figure-filbert – one just before the playoffs got under way.

        I think he – an experienced, veteran hockey mind – can’t see how the team can possibly improve where needed most given the pending cap crunch and immovable hefty contracts which will severely limit any options to bring in veteran – and quality – D. All of which is to say, I really believe he’s hoping Dubas cans him because he knows there are at least two teams ready to make him an immediate offer – Buffalo being one of them.

        But, hey, that’s just one person’s observation and I hardly expect others to agree. Only time will tell.

      • I don’t know George, the Raptors are actually legitimately one of the best teams in the NBA and have actual legitimate super stars. I think there is actually tremendous pressure on them right now, maybe more than the leafs for this season. They are absolutely expected to be a finals team and there will be hell to pay if they fall short this year. I think the only team that has a chance of beating them in the east are the Bucks.

      • Oh, I see the Raptors being in the NBA finals for sure – the only observation I’m making is that the media intensity on them is nowhere NEAR that faced by the Leafs management/coaches seemingly 24-7 365 days a year.

      • George, I agree their seems to be some tension and disagreement between Dubas and Babcock. I think it would be a mistake for them to fire Babcock. Like you say it is a high pressure environment so things get blown up, but in reality disagreement between folks in management is fairly normal, and if handled correctly and professionally is actually beneficial and helps both parties.
        If they do turf him add Edmonton to the list. They have interviewed Hunter twice and now that Vegas is out McCrimmon will be interviewed as well. Word is McCrimmon is the front runner for Seattle due to his work and experience with LV, which makes sense. Both highly regarded and would be crazy not talk to Babcock if he is available, especially Hunter if he comes out west.

      • @George I think you`re right with the Babcock growing weary with the constant media attention. Before a bad question would get a snide remark from Babs now if he doesn`t like the question he just gets up and leaves. But as far as his criticism of Dubas a couple of times, he did it to Lou last year too. But I think that`s a privilege Shanny gave him so he`d come to Toronto. Shanahan says he likes that about his management group different opinions butting heads. Does Dubas have the power to fire Babcock, I don`t think he has. This is Shanahan`s team. Dubas is free to do what he wants as long as it`s what Shanahan wants too

    • George, another point is that, if the Leafs trade Kadri, they may need Nylander to replace him at centre.
      I don’t think Kadri gets moved nor Nylander, for that matter, but Toronto could use some depth at the centre ice position.

      • I’m sure you’re right on both counts. They’d be nuts to trade Kadri with his abilities and cap hit even if he goes off the deep end now and then. Marchand used to be like that to some degree and he’s learned to curb his more extreme reactions to the benefit of the Bruins.

        Kadri only turns 29 in October and here’s a guy who, after back-to-back 30+ goal seasons, assumed a largely 3rd line role without a complaint and did the best he could with the resulting reduced ice-time. If they really want to trade him due to his antics in the past two playoff seasons, Ottawa would take him in a flash. But again, as with Nylander, Dubas would never go down that road with their provincial rival.

    • How long will you guys (Toronto Maple Laughs) use the he missed training camp I can see using this an excuse for a month or two but I mean using that excuse up until the playoffs I gotta say ” Come On Man! Nylander should’ve been traded or sitting @ home until he came back on his own I mean look he didn’t even look like a 7 million dollar player did he? I’m Still shaking my head and laughing at the Maple Laughs

      • Maple Laughs? That’s new to the guys here. I bet nobody here heard that before.
        May be I’ll start shaking my head too and hopefully have also a brainstorm like this 😀

      • I once had a Lhasa Apso named Suki. That you?

        Look, twit, first of all I am not now, never have been and probably never will be a “fan” of the Leafs and I’m sure everyone in here knows that. But while I don’t “hate” them – or any other team for that matter – I feel free to make observations from a purely subjective point of view when they are one of the topics of the day.

        As for the “Laughs” epithet, I truly thought we had discouraged all juvenile dorks who like to use that sort of schoolyard crap.

        As for Nylander, my opinion that his season-long funk may – note the may – be related to having missed all of training camp and almost the first two months of the season is based on having watched/followed hockey probably long before you or ever your father were gleams in the respective father’s eyes.

        So stuff it.

  5. Lyle – have you heard anything lately from Schticky? I would have thought we’d hear SOMETHING from Kingston through all this Leafs angst.

    • I’ll answer for him, every forward on the leafs will get a top pairing dman in a trade! The leafs are always contenders , every prospect is going to be great

      • Ahh, I liked Schticky – we had our disagreements, but I found him to be pretty pragmatic

  6. Ellis just signed a big deal. Over and over again the season following a big contract is a set back year. Not sure why . Recent ones i recall are both Monahan and Gaudreau . Could be in addition to the hold out Nylander situation

    Dante Fabro looked good and from what I saw is ready. Move PK for a nice forward and a couple of top prospects

    • SilverSeven ….agreed Nashville should move Subban for a forward but there are not many teams who would be looking to add a 9 million cap hit. Either he goes to a team who has space, and those teams are limited, or he goes to a team that is sending substantial cap back the other way. Personally I do not feel he is worth 9 mil, plus he brings some drama and rub with him. Fans love him but some team mates not so much.

      • thinking ahead , expansion draft 2 years away, who does Nashville protect on the backend if they go 7fwd 3d ? I would bet Josi, Ekholm , Ellis. I beleive Fabbro would be exempt. Subban odd man out and they won’t want to lose him for nothing.

      • Fergy, I was thinking the same.
        No way the Preds will lose him for nothing. If they can trade him for a solid return they’ll do it in the offseason. They need the money to re-sign Josi and could add a scoring forward.

  7. The Leafs are in a huge Cap crunch, why the hell is the media suggesting a Subban trade to TOR? He is making $9.0 million per!
    My thoughts are that either one of Kappanen or Johnsson will be traded, if they can’t trade Marleau.
    I’d like to see Nylander traded for a draft pick & a prospect.
    Rosen will be a good replacement for Gardiner.

  8. Toronto media is playing CapFriendly’s Armchair GM. No, Toronto doesnt need to make that many changes. Marleau would maybe go to the Isles, as Lamoriello signed him, or SJ but it’s a senseless move for the receiving team to receive an old expensive winger, and a senseless move for Toronto to part with a draft pick and retaining salary.

    The only drastic moves that Toronto should look to do are trading Kadri for draft picks and prospects, which I suspect Arizona would be interested, and looking to add a quality dman via trade, which means Nylander could go.

    Malkin will only be moved if he is ready for a change himself. I think that will only happen if the Penguins hit rock bottom and need to retool, which is unlikely to happen.

    Kessel is most likely to go.

    Nashville doesnt need to trade PK Subban, although if Toronto shows interest they might listen. Still, it’s unlikely the Preds will make any big moves, but most likely a couple of changes that are intriguing, just not drastic.

    • Imo they should not trade Kadri. His cap hit is low ($4,500,000).
      They should pay Nylander his signing bonus on July 1st, then trade him and take the best return they can get. To me it doesn’t matter if this means picks and/or prospect or a top 4-d-men (depending on who comes back they may have to add something).

  9. Toronto in my opinion will not be able to compete with 4 players making 40 million. It will be to hard to fill out the roster so to me that means moving either Tavares Mathews Marner or Nylander. Your not getting much for Nylander I would move Mathews he is only signed 5 years and you would get a top D man and a great prospect for him. Leafs need one more real good D man to help out defensively and shut down the other teams top line.

    • @Obe
      Leafs will roll out Tavares, Marner and Mathews for years… the rest of the forwards need to be affordable. Right now with Nylander+Marleau + the new contracts for Marner/Mathews they are in a tight spot.
      Mathews would have a long line of interested parties if somehow he is made available. Cannot see it.

      Kadri even with his control issues would have suitors and I believe he is gone for cap space+two suspensions at the worst time. Ive said it all season he would be traded this season for cap reasons regardless.

      • DS trading Kadri would be a mistake, he is simply one of the best value in the league he is 28yrs old 3 more years remaining at $4.5m per and he is a 30 goal scorer. NO kidding he is tradeable every team in the league would take this guy on their roster. Would definitely love to see him in a Bruins uni next season but that trade isn’t happening but I wish it would.

      • @Caper
        I think Dubas has no choice but to move Kadri and not resign Gardiner.
        Those moves+ the cap issues+ getting a RHD for the top 4 is going to be fun for him.

        A team like NJ could really use a Kadri style center with all their softer guys down the middle…but most teams would LOVE to have KAdri as their #3 center

      • Wow 30 goal scorer for 4.5 million and you want to trade him

      • A lot of teams would luv to have Kadri as their 2nd line center, let alone 3rd.
        How may 2C’s have scored 30 twice?
        I would play him ahead of Turris in Nashville. They have D TO could use.
        Will CLB need a 2C next year?
        They have D depth as well.

    • Give your head a shake !

      • I think Shanahan needs to make a “major” decision !
        Dubais or Babcock have to go ..
        Both for that matter, but at least “1”

  10. Nashville needs to sign Duchene, move Johansen to 2nd line and trade Turris. I would explore trading Subban to prepare for Seattle or a 1st line center if Duchene signs elsewhere.

    Toronto made a mistake signing Tavares since now I agree that they cant keep Nylander or Mathews. As for Kapanen/Johanssson I would trade one or both on the high. For defence they only need a stopgap since they have 3 really good Swedish prospects coming and Sandin can be really really good

    • Good luck trading Turris. I hated the package given up for Duchene at the time, but Ottawa avoided a long term disaster on the Turris contract. Nashville will likely have to trade from their defensive depth to shore up the forward situation, plus they have Tolvanen coming up next year.

      How about trading Ceci for Nylander after the signing bonus is paid on July 1? I’d love that as an Ottawa fan and Ottawa won’t have any cap issues dealing with Nylander’s ~$7M cap hit.

      • No thanks. Imo they can get a better return than Cody Ceci.
        And just because Chiarelli traded Hall for Larsson doesn’t mean this serves as a model for futere trades (and no I don’t think Nylander is as good as Hall)

      • Van , if Dorion could pull that off that trade they should have a parade for him. Living in Ottawa I see Ceci play lots, he had promise when he broke in but he is not progressing, he can be a very frustrating player to watch in his own end. His last arbitration was ugly and won’t be any better this time around if he is looking for a raise from his 4.3 million. He’s likely going to move but to get Nylander Ottawa would have to add allot more.

      • Fergy22: I see 8-10 Sens games live a year too and Ceci is a frustrating player to watch. It was more wishful thinking than reality. If Dorion pulled that off, even with a moderate sweetener, that would be a steal for Ottawa.

  11. “Nylander for Hamilton or Subban, anyone?” First off Subban makes $9m per season and I believe Toronto is trying to increase cap space not decrease it. Hamilton would be an option but I don’t believe NYlander alone gets that deal done and he certainly wouldn’t bring PK back by himself.
    If Nashville were to trade PK who would the suitors be? What team could handle his personality in the room?
    I remember a reporter asking Brendan Gallagher about PK and Gallagher response was “if you want to know about PK ask PK.” You got a very skill dman with an over the top personality who some claim it’s about PK first and team second. However his skill set is there, where does he fit?

    • I agree that Nylander on his own doesn’t land the Leafs Dougie Hamilton or PK Subban.
      And PK is not the d-man the Leafs need.
      Imo a good fit for PK could be Seattle in 2021/2022 (if he is available in the expansion draft). Seattle would have a star from the beginning on (good for marketing, giving the franchise a face…)

  12. Wow Re Pens

    Any discussion of moving Geno needs to stop.

    Fiirst order of business, NO ifs ands or buts… rid team of JJ.

    No takers (and that is very likely)— just buy him out. His buyout then ONLY has Pens on hook for $700 K next year for him. That is it…. just $700K (a smidge over League minimum).

    Door #1: $700 K and no brutal player on the ice game in and game out causing many many goals against and costing multiple victories , game points, and notches in the standings; OR door number 2… $3.25M cap hit for the most brutal and costliest (in detrimental play) player in the league…. Door number 1 please.

    Moving Dumolin…. this should not be considered… he is sturdy, very dependable, and comes with a great cap hit for what he provides. Keep Dumo!!!

    I can buy moving Letang if that is the case; but this should only be done with a top pairing Dman coming back.

    An acceptable D for next year:

    Letang/Maata (they worked well together)

    Shultz/ Dumo

    Gundbranson / Petterson


    Moving Geno… how do you replace him???

    The key piece to move (after buying out the brutal JJ) should be Phil. He is on the decline. I argued that last July was his absolute peak in trade value. Pens would have scored big (via trade) then for him. Next year will be worse for Phil and rapidly declining thereafter

    Pens can in no way afford to have to protect Phil (in lieu of a much younger and up and coming player) in the Seattle draft when he will start 21/22 season as a 34 year old on a very very reduced output relative to this year. That would be waaaay too costly.

    They must trade him this off-season. Limited trade list as he has to provide 8 teams to trade him to… but certainly doable and if it frees up $6.8M and brings back assets that are younger (noting currently less productive than Phil but on the rise and who will be MORE productive than him either next year or the year after).

    The only team that he has always had on the list is Chi (so close to his home town); but I’m not sure if there is a move there.

    I think the top line should be Sid, Guentzel, McC and Geno should definitely stay.

    If they keep Bjugstaad at 3C and move Phil and somehow move Horny (many hurdles on that one); then the return to balance out the lines would work.

    Blueger should definitely be the 4C

    Trading pieces potentials:

    Phil, Horny, Rust, ZAR, Simone

    Now if they do in fact move Maata; a top 4 D must come back.

    Massive moves all over the place screws up chemistry but something has to give.

    Let’s just say for arguments sake that they move Phil, Maata, Rust and ZAR (noting ZAR is RFA; the equivalent $’s leaving is in the $16M range) and in return get

    2nd pairing LD
    Mid 20’s 2LW
    Mid 20’s 2RW

    Would leave pretty fair Cap space on the table after the trade and:

    Sid/Guentz/ McC

    Geno/ Mid 20’s LW, Mid 20’s RW

    Bjugstaad, Simone, Horny

    Blueger, UFA/WBS winger (Anthony Angello?) / another UFA/WBS winger

    13th Fwd

    Letang/ Dumo

    Shultz/Maata trade replacement




    Note: in no way should Pens trade their first rounder. This pick is highly likely to be in the 17th-21st pick range. That is not bad for a team that has not had a first rounder in a while.

    In that range they could get Lavoie (C) or Leason (RW) both 6’4″ both 200 lbs. Leason is 2 years older and just may be NHL ready

    In summary; buyout JJ; move Phil; keep Geno; and consider no more than 3 or 4 other players going out the door to be replaced by younger speedier players; AND keep 1st round pick

    Go Pens Go!

    • Pengy……Malkin needs to go the problem is he has a NMC in his contract.
      – he is missing more and more games every year.
      – word out of Pittsburgh (inside Pittsburgh sports.com) he was un-coach able this year.
      -He is uber talent but too many times he disappears, makes bad passes and turnovers or take critical or stupid penalties.










      • PK to pens for kessel. done

      • Only thing outta Pittsburgh saying Malkin was uncoachable is from headline grabbing sports tabloid trash.

      • The National Enquirer of the hockey world?

  13. I know I keep repeating myself w.r.t. Leafs but….

    Use the LTIR on Horton, trade WW for top 4 D, move Marleau (will have to give up assets) and $26 M (and enought !!!) available to pay for:

    MM, Kappy, Johnsson extensions, plus pay for top 4 D aquired in trade (WW); and balance of remaining spots

    Result: better team than last year; fit under cap; chemistry not really affected (only Marleau and WW gone).

    Kadri to stay

    I would also consider a flip of Zaitsev…. to me the handful of “good” games that he has played over the last 30 does not make up for his over-all play.

    Can live with him staying if good top 4 D comes in the WW trade; but team better off if Zaitzev is moved IMO

    Go Leafs Go

    • @ Pengy: I agree for the most part.Trading Kadri would be a mistake as the Leafs would be forced to go find somebody just like him with less brain farts. That’s on Naz and he knows it too.
      I’d like to see the Horton contract traded to a team needing to meet the floor but not sure who’s financials at this point in time could use that leverage.
      Nylander, Hasta La Vista..If you can, see if a Nylander To the Canes for Brett Pesce and something can be worked out AFTER JULY 01.
      Marleau? Dubas has to find a way to make a trade with somebody as a buyout is not an option.

    • @ Pengy: Forgot about Zaitsev: He’s kind of an enigma to this me at this point in time. Some days, he’s a gnarly little MoFo and appears competent; and then other days, well, lets just say, there is room for improvement !

  14. I’m wondering if the Pens can match up with another team that has a toxic contract to dump. Like if another team has someone for 3 or 4 years up front they need to move to make space for a younger player and take back someone like Johnson who they could use to fill space on defense. Short list I know but plenty of teams have a guy or 2 they regret!

    • Sorry buddy.

      For all you pens fans out there!!

      Johnson is not leaving the team this summer. Nope. Nup. Nada. Zilch. Negative. Gmjr is behind this guy… he’s dug in … doubled down!

      Gmjr actually will acknowledge when he thinks he screwed up.. a la hunwick. He is pasted to the seat in the Jj train.

      Think of other ways to improve the pens. Maybe they will actually happen



      • C’est la vie.

  15. For a change of pace, I notice a few sites are beginning to think that 5″ 10″ C Jack Hughes could drop a few notches in this year’s draft, with the 6″ 1″ 180- lb left-shooting power F Kaapo Kakko of Finland going # 1 to NJ. There is even speculation that 6′ 2″ 181 lb C Dylan Cozens of Lethbridge and 6′ 182 lb Russian RW Vityaz Podolsk might edge ahead of Hughes as well. Going to be an interesting draft day.

    • George- 5” 1” is always on the kinda weird size thing. Myself 5”9 disagrees with this sentiment…

      I wonder what shero 4”9” thinks?

    • Was this before or after Hughes had a hat trick against the Finns? Hughes is going first.

    • Hughes will go first George, you can bet your RRSPs on it

      • LOL. Where did I say he wouldn’t?? I was just pointing out that some sources – including Sporting News – were speculating that the Finn and a couple of others could edge him down the list – even citing size and durability as a factor after watching Gaudreau get bounced around like a ping-pong ball in the playoffs.

  16. Any thoughts on Kadri and Nylander to Nashville for turris and ekholm???

    • ekholm shoots left

    • Chrisms..always the doubter arent..where there’s smoke there’s firs you’ll see.. Malkin is a lazy ass moody pain and he has pissed people off.. time will tell…this isn’t the first ti.e Malkin has been mentioned. Funny they never me tio ed guentzel crosby murray dumolin do they.

      • Never seen anything from Malkin to say he was lazy. As for those others… you can’t make up crap about Crosby because fans would Lynch you… and none of the other ones you named areas good of click bait as Malkin.
        Also none of them are Russian.

  17. Did Dubas sound like a guy that was looking to trade Nylander? Its not happening. He will attempt to move Marleau if he wants to go- not hard to do not much “real dollars” left to pay just a cap number.
    Other wise they are fine with moving Brown and letting rest walk. They can bridge both kapanen and Jonsson – both knowing 6.25 comes off the books the following year. Are they any worse off with Rosen and Sandin instead of Gardiner.. I know my opinion.. lol.
    Leafs are fine-if Kadri played- they won that series and for all the warts . Zaitsev looked good paired with Muzzin…
    Would love to move on from Babcock though- the arrogance and stubbornness is evident

    • Everybody talks about Dubas going back on his word if he trades Nylander. How about Marleau who they signed a contract with with a full NMC?
      That seems to be just as bad, if not worse as there is no room for the parsing of words. They signed a contract. I’m not sure Shanny would even ask him to waive.

  18. pENGY/cHRISMS…Maybe Seattle will want jack Johnson… 🙂

    • The CBA will expire in two years, unless one side opts out after this year.

      Jack Johnson will be a compliance buyout.

      That was very likely the plan from the day they signed him.

      • Mayhap.

    • As I said above… horny or johnson may go Seattle way… but johnson will have to have a sweetener

      • Chrisms…i have agreed with alot of what you say..when it comes to Malkin….you are like the referee that made that horrible call in the vegas san jose playoff game..you missed a lot and don’t see much..another word your blind….Malkin skates in circles, does fly byes . Never comes back past his own blue line unless its late, never drives the net he is 100% an east west player. Makes lazy careless passes hence all the shorthanded goals against..shall i go on.. where there’s smoke there is fire malkin is a moody lazy pain..

  19. Habs sign Weal , 2 years AAV 1.4 , good signing. Armina is next up. I can see Weise , Peca, Deslauriers and Hudon either traded, bought out or playing in Laval next year


    Nothing else swapped.

    NSH gets cap space.
    NY gets the D partner Skjei NEEDS

  21. Pens are deep on the backend. Malkin and a defenceman maybe Maata for Subban and a forward maybe like Turis. They would still have to move a D

    • Malin for Drouin plus their 1st this year?

    • Silverscreen..i like your Nashville pittsburgj proposal..