NHL Rumor Mill – April 29, 2019

by | Apr 29, 2019 | Rumors | 38 comments

Should the Winnipeg Jets trade Jacob Trouba? Will the Tampa Bay Lightning pursue defensemen via trade or free agency this summer? What changes could be coming to the Vegas Golden Knights? Read on for the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre feels it’s time for the Winnipeg Jets to trade Jacob Trouba. He believes it’s clear the 25-year-old defenseman doesn’t want to be in Winnipeg long-term but the Jets can’t afford to let him depart next summer via free agency for nothing. McIntyre suggested the Jets find a trade partner for Trouba (Florida? Philadelphia? Detroit?) and make the best deal they can. If Trouba is traded, that could open the door to retaining pending UFA blueliner Tyler Myers. 

Could the Winnipeg Jets trade Jacob Trouba this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

McIntyre also proposed the Jets find a way to re-sign UFA Ben Chiarot, trade third-string goalie Eric Comrie, trade or buy out defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and shake up the forward group by trading a veteran like Bryan Little or Mathieu Perreault. 

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s anticipated the Jets will trade Trouba this summer. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a year away from UFA eligibility. Given his contentious contract history with Jets management, it’s doubtful general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff wants to go through another bruising round of negotiations with Trouba’s camp this summer. He should fetch a quality return that helps the Jets now and in the long-term.

As per Cap Friendly, the 31-year-old Little has a full no-movement clause and I daresay the five years remaining on his contract (at over $5.2 million annually) dampen his trade value. Perreault carries a shorter deal with a cheaper cap hit ($4.125 million through 2020-21) and a five-team no-trade list. He’d be a more likely trade candidate but his recent injury history could make him difficult to move. Kulikov has a six-team no-trade list with an annual cap hit of $4.33 million through 2020-21. Trading him could require adding a sweetener like a decent draft pick or a quality prospect. 


THE ATHLETIC:  Joe Smith recently noted the Tampa Bay Lightning’s defense corps could have a different look next season. Veterans Dan Girardi, Braydon Coburn, and Anton Stralman are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Of the three, Coburn played the best this season and could return on a shorter, cost-effective contract. Stralman might also be willing to accept a short-term, cap-friendly contract. 

Smith also suggested the Lightning could attempt to go the trade route this summer. Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen are the notable defensemen potentially available. They could also revisit their interest in San Jose’s Erik Karlsson if he hits the open market on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith acknowledges the Lightning will have to shed salary to pursue those players, especially with center Brayden Point due for a big raise coming off a 92-point performance this season. With over $73 million invested in 16 players, Point’s new contract will likely eat up most of their cap space, leaving little room to re-sign Coburn and/or Stralman and also re-sign or replace their other free agents. It’s assumed winger Ryan Callahan ($5.8 million for next season) will be traded or bought out, while J.T. Miller ($5.25 million annually through 2022-23) lacks no-trade protection and could also be shopped this summer.

I doubt they can free up sufficient cap room to land Karlsson. If they swing a trade for Trouba or Ristolainen it will likely involve shipping a salaried player out as part of the deal, but they’ll still have to shed another contract to create room for their other free-agent signings. 


LAS VEGAS SUN: Justin Emerson believes re-signing center William Karlsson is the Vegas Golden Knights’ top priority. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights coming off a one-year, $5.25-million contract. He had a career-best 78-point performance last season but his production dropped to 56 points this season.

Given the Golden Knights’ limited salary-cap space, someone must be traded to free up room for Karlsson’s new contract. They currently have over $82 million invested in 17 players for 2019-20. They’ll recoup $5.25 million by placing permanently sidelined winger David Clarkson on long-term injury reserve or they could attempt to trade that dead cap space to a budget-conscious team in need of reaching the cap minimum next season. 

Emerson notes that “Cody Eakin ($3.85 million), Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million), Nick Holden ($2.2 million) and Jon Merrill ($1.375 million) all have sizable cap hits and are entering the last year of their contracts. Colin Miller ($3.875 million) and Brayden McNabb ($2.5 million) could be possibilities as well, but each has three years remaining on their respective deals.”  He also suggested trading one of the defensemen on that list could help free up a logjam on the blueline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect two or three players on Emerson’s list will be on the move this summer. All lack no-trade protection and they also carry reasonable salary-cap hits that could prove attractive in the trade market. I think they’ll retain McNabb and Miller. Eakin, Reaves, Holden or Merrill seem the likely trade candidates. 


  1. Geez, Lyle, if Cheveldayoff ever deals Trouba and he signs with his new team, that will remove about 20% from your future trade rumor page

  2. Besides Lyttles no trade, it’s hard to imagine they’d deal him considering they’ll be losing Hayes in FA. 2nd year in a row they traded away assets for a center with nothing to show. A lot of talk in NY about trading for him. At his age he’d be a good fit with Rangers young team, and we do have their 1st round pick.

    • Trade for Trouba, not Lyttle

    • @ slick62

      If the Rangers get a 1st rounder from Dallas in the end I would be up to talk a deal for Trouba but then again is it too early for the Rangers to add a piece in his prime?

      • Ds… I’m counting on that Dallas pick. 3 more wins! It’ll be a record 8 1st round picks in a 3 year span. I don’t buy into that it’s not time yet. I think Carolina and Colorado have proved that. I can understand people not wanting Karlsson, who is 3-4 years older and will cost a lot more. Defense needs upgrade and Trouba would be a fixture for 6-7 years. We’d be getting him just as he hits prime. With Kravtsov and Kakko probably making team next year, we’re getting to point where we need to address needs with excess at other positions. I think if we go after Panarin, it could mean we don’t extend Kreider. Gorton has hinted toward possibly adding nhl ready players this off season. I think Trouba would be a no brainer. He adds something we’re lacking on right side.

      • Carolina is where they are from drafting and building patiently, so is Colorado.

        Carolina really hasn’t made any significant moves outside of Hamilton. They traded a guy like Skinner away, they didn’t bring in one. They went 10 years with one playoff appearance (this year).

        Colorado very similar. They traded or let walk, Stastny, Oreilly, Duchene. No real big free agent splashes to get them where they are today.
        10 years, 4 playoff appearances , 1 series win. (This year)

        So if you’re saying they should follow this model, signing Panarin, or Trading for a Trouba should be 8 years away?

  3. Little> not Lyttle. Sorry.

  4. An expansion team in cap trouble already wow
    VGK should keep Eakins and Reeves

    Trouba should be a target for a number of teams. 50 points this year. His salary demands just went up. Jets should move him sooner rather than later or they risk they can’t ala Columbus

    • Can he be offer sheeted? If he’s valued between 6-8 mil per, it’s a reasonable 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks for compensation. I think trade value should be comparable.

      • I don’t see any team making an offer sheet for Trouba. Yes he is a top line d-man, but he isn’t at the level to be considered a difference maker or a future Norris trophy winner. The contract would handcuff a team in the near future. IMO the type of player you make an offer sheet to are the top tier players like Marner.

      • Slick, the Bruins took a 1st and 2 2nds for Hamilton and the rumor around Edmonton at the time was that PC from the Oilers was going to offer sheet his old team. Flames beat that slightly.
        Hamilton was farther away from UFA status at the time though.
        Will be interesting to see if WPG takes picks/prospects in return as they lack cap space at the moment, or if they want an established player back for Trouba?

  5. The thought is trade Trouba now and get the most value; however I wonder if that is always true, sometimes it seem players bring a better return at the trade deadline from team with cup aspirations but that is usually for teams outside the playoff pictures and I don’t believe Winnipeg falls into that category.
    It appears Trouba doesn’t want to play in Winnipeg and his desire is to play in the US, so trade him to the US and put Detroit and NY Rangers and whom ever else that he will sign with to get the best return as possible.
    I believe Trouba has played his last game for the Jets and it’s time to let him and it might be time to move Perreault who can move up and down a lineup very versatile he’ll be easy to move.
    Winnipeg should resign Brandon Tanev who is an ufa 4th line player with 14 goals; a tone of energy, will block and hit anything current salary is $1.15 does a small raise price him out of Winnipeg? The TLC (Tanev, Lowry, Copp) line in Winnipeg was a very consistent line for the jets.

    • I heard speculation from TSN hockey insiders that there may have been a dressing room issue rose midway through the season. That was the reason why Cheveldayoff required Hendricks at the trade deadline to help out the dressing room. There is going to be changes coming in Winnipeg this offseason. They can’t afford for these issues to persist with their contention window open. I have no idea what their prospect pool is like, but with no 1st round pick last season and only 3 picks so far this draft with no 1st round pick, one can think that it’s not very deep.

      • After listening to Paul Maurice’s last press conference it appears that the locker room issue is about a player or players not willing to play a 200 foot game or play within the teams defensive structure. Maurice needs to stay and the player or players need to go. He was careful to say they had a issues defensively but it was a team defense problem. Sounds like he ruffled some feathers trying to make a few players accountable to the team first mentality.

  6. Ray Bark, Jets in a bind. Any roster player will also bring salary. I think a combo of 1st rd pick and a player of need at a reasonable cap hit.
    KevJam, Trouba wouldn’t be in the Mariner class of compensation. Figuring he gets an offer between 6-8 mil, team signing him will forfeit a1st, 2nd and 3rd rounder
    For a guy like Mariner, you’re looking at at least 2 1sts a 2nd and 3rd. If he gets over 10m, compensation is 4 1st rounders

    • Marner…. damn auto correct!!!

    • GP, I like Paul Maurice, smart guy with a sense of humour, but couldn’t you compare his comments end of season with Mike Babcock’s?
      The difference seems to be people’s interpretations – in Winnipeg, there’s a problem with a couple of players; in Toronto, it’s Babcock throwing his GM and his players under the bus.
      Could it not be possible that the Jets’ defensive problems came from a faulty structure, in other words, from behind the bench?
      Here’s a trade proposal – Paul Maurice for Mike Babcock straight up. Might refresh the post-game pressers in both cities.

      • Other than Sparks who did Babcock throw under the bus. As far as Dubas goes Babcock couldn’t throw him far enough or fast enough for my liking the guys an idiot. Shanahans only mistake so far was giving Dubas the job

  7. Leafs send Nylander to Peg for Trouba? Throw in Brown or a pick? Short term, Braydon Copburn could help
    Leafs, but no other free agents are great-maybe Risto from Sabres?

    • I don’t think the Jets want a player with a high salary cap in return (Nylander). They have to re-sign Laine and Connor and don’t a forward in return for Trouba.
      More likely imo would be Toronto’s 1st round pick in 2020 plus Liljegren/Sandin.

      • Isn’t Toronto in same boat as Jets as far as cap?

      • Correct. Imo they will trade one or two (or more) of their forwards to upgrade their defense.
        I don’t think they will trade for Trouba. I think that Nylander would not be enough for Trouba (if Trouba re-signs). Trouba would cost at least as much as Nylander so there would be no cap left to re-sign Kapanen and Johnson.
        Dubas (and Lou) created that “mess” and in July we’ll know how he resolves their cap problem.

  8. Jets need changes-that team has too much talent to go out as they did…Nylander for Trouba, then flip Trouba to Rangers?

  9. Trouba is going to Philadelphia

    • Trouba wore a Detroit Tigers hat during the final press conference. Looks like he will be a Red Wing.

  10. Flyers fan? Why do you think he will go to Philly?
    May be he wants to play close to his home (Rochester Michigan) for the Red Wings?

  11. William Nylander for Tyson Barrie.


    If the Leafs are actually entertaining the idea of trading Kadri, the Pens should offer Schultz or Maatta for him. Then call back and offer a pick, too, after they hang up on the first call.

    • Kadri would actually help Jets with their center depth and would clear cap space for Trouba, just not sure Trouba wants to stay in Canada. Would allow them to let Hainsey go and probably Gardener. Bring up Lijngren

    • We have had our cookes and Neals and ulfs. No thank you to that kinda doushebaggery. I’d much rather lose than employ human garbage. One of my proudest moments as a pens fan was how they handled Cooke. Shape up or ship out.

  12. Winnipeg’s strength is their forward group if they move Trouba it will be for a lesser D-man with a better contract. Leafs in know way could afford Trouba with the big 4 making 40 million.

  13. Kadri to Montreal for Petry. Trouba to Philly for Patrick. Nylander to Edmonton for Larsson.

  14. to Philly: Trouba & Kulikov
    to WPG: Ghost, MacDonald & 1st


    • Unlike most of your proposals. Yup

  15. Jets get their 1st rd pick back from Rangers, Lisa Anderson and Pionk for Trouba.
    As I mentioned, the compensation if they offer sheet him is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Anderson was 7th overall pick so they’re actually getting 2 1st’s. plus Pionk. They gain cap space to sign their other players

  16. Off topic of the day but pens should trade malkin and hornquist to oilers for mcdavid. They unload malkins attitude and hornquist crappy contract and mcdavid would get to win a some cups(yes plural) as long as sid keeps playing.

    • 🤣
      Malkin alone doesn’t get you McDavid. McDavid is much younger and better. Adding a salary dump in hornqvist doesn’t help either.
      And you wrote “unload malkins attitude and hornqvists crappy contract”. Why should the Oilers trade one of the best Players if not the best player in the world for “malkins attitude and a crappy contract”?

      • Don’t confuse ’em with logic Juss76 – gives them a headache.