NHL Rumor Mill – April 5, 2019

by | Apr 5, 2019 | Rumors | 44 comments

Latest on Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Torey Krug plus what could be in store for the Wild this summer in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples was dismissive of The Athletic’s Justin Bourne’s opinion that Oilers captain Connor McDavid wants out of Edmonton. Bourne made the comments during a recent appearance on Sportsnet’s 590 The Fan in Toronto, taking note of McDavid’s recent interview where he voiced his frustration over the club’s poor performance this season and the need for improvement soon. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no denying McDavid’s obvious unhappiness in the Oilers’ direction over the last two years. However, that doesn’t mean he wants to be traded or intends to approach management to request a move. That won’t stop some folks from trying to decipher the soft-spoken McDavid’s intentions based on his emotions from one day to the next. 

Should the Edmonton Oilers trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins this summer for a defenseman? (Photo via NHL Images)

Staples also noted Hockey Night in Canada analyst Craig Simpson’s suggestion that the Oilers should shop center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for a top player in return. Staples acknowledged Nugent-Hopkins trade value is high right now. If the Oilers were to move him, Staples suggests packaging him with a defenseman like Matt Benning or Kris Russell for a “strong-to-outstanding defenseman”. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Oilers lose their minds and put McDavid or Leon Draisaitl on the block, Nugent-Hopkins is probably their best trade chip. He’s signed through 2020-21 earning $6 million per season and lacking no-trade protection.

Some might consider his salary too expensive for a second-line center but I’d argue the rising cap combined with RNH’s career-best 67-point performance this season would make him quite enticing in the trade market. However, moving RNH for a defenseman will only further deplete the Oilers’ already thin secondary scoring depth. I don’t think that’s an option the next Oilers GM will seriously entertain. 


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski and Chris Peters believe big changes could be coming for the Minnesota Wild this summer after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2012. They wonder if head coach Bruce Boudreau will be back next season and believe the roster must get younger, faster and improve their scoring depth. They suggest general manager Paul Fenton should look for more trades comparable to their recent swap of Mikael Granlund for Kevin Fiala. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Michael Russo also wonders what the future could hold for Boudreau, who has one year remaining on his contract. He said every indication is team owner Craig Leipold doesn’t want to fire Boudreau. Russo also recommends Fenton find a true goal scorer. While he recommends proceeding with caution in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market, he also thinks Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner could be an intriguing option assuming they have no shot at Columbus’ Artemi Panarin.

Russo also wonders if Fenton will try to shop players like Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin or Jared Spurgeon for other assets. He pointed out Fenton was interested in Toronto winger William Nylander before he re-signed with the Leafs and could circle back with the Leafs this summer. Russo also wondered if the Wild GM will target restricted free agents on cap-strapped clubs. The Wild could use a true No.1 center and some right-shot forwards. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fenton already started overhauling the Wild roster this year by swapping Nino Niederreiter for Victor Rask, Ryan Donato for Charlie Coyle and Granlund for Fiala. Those moves have had mixed results. Donato’s tallied 16 points in 21 games with the Wild but has cooled of late. Rask hasn’t panned out as hoped thus far while the jury’s still out on Fiala.

I expect he’ll continue making moves with an eye on short- and long-term improvement. Zucker, Brodin, and Spurgeon frequently surfaced as possible trade candidates this season and I daresay we’ll see them pop up again once the playoffs are over. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Fluto Shinzawa recently observed Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug will be due for a hefty pay raise when his current contract expires next summer. Cap Friendly indicates his annual salary-cap hit is $5.25-million and he carries an eight-team no-trade list. Should the Bruins feel he’ll be too expensive to retain, Shinzawa believes this summer will likely be their final opportunity to move him, as he doesn’t see them peddling Krug near the trade deadline while in the thick of the playoff race. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug frequently popped up in trade speculation last summer. His future with the Bruins could depend upon how much it costs to get restricted free agent defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo re-signed this summer. Both are coming off entry-level contract and both will be looking for significant pay raises. Winger Danton Heinen is also completing his ELC and in line for a raise, while Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk will be RFAs next summer.

Krug will be 29 when his current contract expires and the Bruins could be reluctant to invest too much for too long in a defenseman pushing 30.  Could be interesting to see how this plays out.


  1. I wonder what “Pierre in Orleans” will do with Thomas Chabot. He’s RFA. I recall the shock and horror when Brian Murray signed young erik karlsson to a long term 6.5 million dollar deal coming out of his elc. Easily one of Murray’s more astute signings.

    Ottawa needs some serious coaching/management brains to come in here and mold/shape/coach/draft this rebuild the right way. It’s a shame nobody wants to work for this owner.

    • He’s not an RFA until 2020-21

    • I’m pretty surprised there isn’t much talk about Chabot’s next contract. It really is the first big chance for the front office to show their commitment that they have promised to the fans.

  2. Krug is a solid offensive defenseman but Boston has Charlie and Matt both young and ready to step up on power play. Bruins would be better to move him unless he will take a five year term at 6.5 million per yr. Krug will probably want more and if does trade him at the draft for a first round pick. Chara is signed for one more yr at 3.5 and that may be his last year playing. Bruins defense looks good moving forward Carlo and Charlie are solid and some nice prospects like Vaakanainen and Zboril seasoning.

    • Obe, I for one have no problem seeing Krug go; Boston given up what 14 shorthanded goals and most of them are tied directly to Krug taking a slapshot and the puck hitting the guy standing directly in front of him in the shin pads leading to a break away. I don’t dislike him put his offensive skills doesn’t offset his porous defensive skills. Trade him at the draft, this may upset Marchy but he’ll get over it.

    • Would he get a first rounder? Maybe. But if they move him I doubt they want futures. He may have more value to them as a keeper rental. What do teams want most at the deadline? Usually top 4 d men.

  3. If McDavid ever requests a trade it will be after July 1st 2022. That is when his NTC kicks in. Before than the Oilers can trade him anywhere they want.
    Also the only place we are hearing that McDavid wants out of Edmonton is the southern Ontario media. Which explains a lot.

  4. What are the chances Edmonton would move Leon? Their prospect pool is so weak upfront.

    The Rangers could send the Jets 1st round +??.
    2 of Kreider/Chytil/Howden? Panarin hints @ NYC or Miami. The Rangers could move a few forwards. No one wants Namestnikov…

    Losing Kreider+Howden/Chytil still leaves the Rangers with a decent top 9 IF Panarin signs.

    Zib Panarin Chytil/Kreider
    Leon Lemieux Buchnevich
    Andersson Strome Kravtsov/Vesey

    • The Oilers are not trading Draisaitl.

      • @KevJam
        tell me how the Oilers can become a playoff team next year or the following. They would need some magic from both Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. The cupboard is bare and the cap space is hurting

        Do they just live with the big two upfront and hope that keeps people in the building?

      • Flyers – oilers trade:

        to oilers:
        1st round pick

        to flyers:
        Lucic (edmonton retains portion of salary)
        3rd round pick

        Who says no?

      • The Oilers prospect pool is not bare.
        Benson, Yamamoto, Marody, Bear, Jones, McLeod, and Bouchard are just the beginning. If Puljujarvi can turn thing around it will make things that much better, or bring in something that can help in a deal for him. I have no idea why everyone thinks the Oilers prospect pool is empty.
        The top 6 isn’t a big issue. Yes they need to improve there to become a contender. To come playoff team, which is the first step, is to get some secondary scoring from their bottom 6, which they can do through trades or promotions from the farm. After that, in a season or 2, then they can focus on getting a top 6 forward to help Draisaitl, McDavid, and RNH. IMO.
        Trading quality for quantity is not the way to improve your team. That is like fixing a hole in one place and creating a crater in another.

      • No. God no from Edmonton perspective

      • I admit I just want Leon in NYC but the Oilers organization has really become too long of a running joke.

      • Kevjam, I agree. To build a cup contender you absolutely need two studs up front and one on defense. Edmonton has that, they need to focus on the secondary side of things as well on their game play systems. The latter of which I think is Edmonton’s biggest issue. I like their prospects and I know they have some cap issues due to Lucic, who IMO is untradeable even if Edmonton picks up half the salary. Mostly due to term.

      • Kevjam, with all due respect who are the top 6 you are referring to ? I see a top 3 and 9 players who are 3rd and 4th line players on most teams. Chiasson had a good year but he may re-sign elsewhere in the off season. The Oilers have 3 talented centers but zero top 6 wingers. Benson and Marody are tearing it up in Bakersfield, if they can bring that to the NHL next year that is a big problem solved. On the other hand how often do we see players who are prolific in the minors and just can’t take it to the next level.

      • @Fergy22 – The Oilers do have an issue with their top 6, as you are right about them only having 3 actual top six forwards in RNH, McDavid, and Draisaitl. I’m just saying that their bottom 6 is a bigger issue. Corsi wise the Oilers are one of the best teams in the NHL with McDavid on the ice. It’s when he is off the ice that they drop down to one of the worst team in the NHL. If the Oilers can beef up their bottom 6 that will get them to be a playoff contending team. That is where Benson and/or Marody can help out.
        Once that is area is fixed then they can focus on adding to the top 6.

      • How/ What/ Why would the oilers consider that one sided trade? Draisaitl is the Malkin to McDavids Crosby, they stay no matter what.

      • True that Kevjam, they are not trading Draisaitl. I also think it is highly unlikely they trade RNH.

    • So a bonifide superstar and the trade proposal manages to avoid sending the highest pick.


    • I would give up Bellows; AB; Wilde and a 1 for Leon D. He would be just what Barzal ordered.

  5. Normally you wouldn’t want to trade a player like Krug for a pick but Boston doesn’t need a player back. Bruins have a full roster with prospects knocking on the door. Now you could trade two like Krug and someone for one player. I believe a team would gladly give a first especially if it’s a late pick or if he agrees to an extension.

    • I agree with this. I think a lot of trades will involve more picks this year. Not because of the roster players and prospects a team has, but because of the upcoming expansion draft. It may be 2 years away, but teams need to start planning now.

    • Obe, I agree 100%. It is the perfect time to trade Krug. Yes he warts, but what he brings on offence is top tier, so they easily get a first. If it late in the 1st I dare say they throw in another mid level prospect to get Boston to accept.
      For the reasons you lay out I don’t think the B’s will sign him long term, and I don’t think Krug accepts less than he thinks he can get on the open market. It is simply the situation they are in, shake hands and move on. Oil could use a guy like him, but don’t see them giving up their first or any young quality assets for a couple more years.

  6. Trekkie……honest question not trolling ….who is the Edmonton defense man who is a stud in your eyes…and how do you define a stud D man ?

    • Adam Larson. Understood you’re not trolling.

    • Repost, Adam Larsson. I get you’re not trolling. A stud defenseman to me is someone that dominates. Adam Larsson can dominate. His numbers are poor this year as the team is very poor system wise, or better put, players buying into a proper system. He is the type of guy most teams, not Tampa, Boston, or Nashville would need to be a true contender.

      • What team do you see that would become a true contender by simply adding Larsson? Edmonton, I assume, is among “most teams” – they have him and they’re nowhere near being a contender. Vegas? Winnipeg? Carolina?

  7. What a difference a year makes for Justin Faulk. Last year he was the subject of trade rumors with a lot of questions about his value. Last night Rod BrindAmour couldn’t say enough good things about him and said it was Faulk’s best season in the NHL. He has one more year on his contract and Carolina will have some tough decisions to make this summer. Carolina will also be in a much different situation for the Seattle expansion draft than they were in the Las Vegas draft.

    • George, my point is you need a stud or you have no chance – don’t nitpick and perhaps read the post above. Any team without a stud on D has no chance IMO -get it?

      • Nitpicking? You said “He is the type of guy most teams, not Tampa, Boston, or Nashville would need to be a true contender.” All I asked was, what teams do you see as needing Larsson (or a “stud” D as you put it) to make them a contender? In plainer words, what teams that are one “stud” short of that kind of D do you see as moving from non-contender to contender?

      • George, you need to read all the comments not just the ones that catch your fancy – hence the nitpick comment – sorry if it ruffled you. My comments above were as follows – you need two offensive and one offensive stud to build a contender around. I was questioned as to who I thought Edmonton’s stud was and responded accordingly.

        I never said any team was one stud short. Sorry you read it that way but again, you didn’t read the entire thread.

  8. Hi Trekkie

    Re: Lucic untradeable.

    I agree that it will be difficult to trade him; but IMO, due to the design of his contract and the ability of an acquiring team to (if they want to) buy him out…. A trade has a chance…. Slim but there.

    I posted the other day on this…..if (I think this is the true hurdle) they can get him to waive his NMC; this can be done …. See below. Re: actually getting him to waive his rights….I don’t believe it will be as difficult (as most are putting it) for him to do so …. he knows he is under massive scrutiny in Ed and disliked (his play not him personally) by many fans .

    So… if they can get him to waive his clause…pay him his Singing Bonus (SB) of $3M on July 1st. This leaves $16M due for 4 years (Avg AAV of $4M). ….

    Option 1: take back 50 %…. receiving team gets him for 4 years @ AAV of $2M …. for big body ; mature presence ; 3rd liner. Oil free up much needed $3M in Cap. Oil would need to add a kicker in the trade as an incentive….(Note: that team in turn could buy him out for 8 years at $325K per)…. Does adding a first to the trade work??? Acquiring team basically buying a 1st round pick for $2.5 M spread over 8 years.

    Option 2: Acquiring team takes him at full hit (nothing retained) and immediately buys him out ….. $650 K * 8….. what’s the kicker to make that happen???… A first and Jesse Puljujarvii (JP)?

    A first and JP to free up $6 M Cap might just be worth it to Oil…. then they can make better off season moves

    I also posed the long shot happening…. Oil win the lottery (big ouch …. But hear me out). Moving Lucic with Hughes might even get something back.

    Look at Van… draft is in Van… they would salivate to have first pick at home to bring the 2 Hughes boys together. Lucic’s from the Vancouver area.

    Van would definitely even give back something to make that trade happen… maybe even

    Lucic + 1st (Hughes) + 2nd to get Vancouver’s 1st round pick (at 8th or 9th)…. Oil ridding Lucic contract and end up picking about the same place as they likely would have; at the expense of a 2nd rounder. Van get’s the “next” phenom, to pick at their hosting party, to play with his brother and burgeon an already promising young team. The expense is Lucic… which they could buy out.

    Yes the Oil winning the lottery is waaaay out there (and would drive the rest of the teams absolutely batty) but… A Lucic trade; under even the other circumstance(s) laid out above, however improbable and unlikely; does have a thread of becoming a reality. It can be done…. Very low odds; but a chance; a glimmer of hope for Oil.

    IMO, this route (finding a trade partner and examining the costs) is one that Edmonton must explore to the fullest. If they don’t even attempt to find a buyer and/or negotiate…. Then they deserve to sit at the bottom, out of the playoffs and wasting the unbelievable talents of both McDavid and Draisitl (sp?) in their prime.

    Just a thought


    • Any team that Lucic is on won’t buy him out this coming up year or next. There is simply not enough saves to do it.
      If bought out this offseason the cap hit for the next 8 seasons is year 1 – 3.625mill, year 2 – 5.625mill, year 3 – 4.125mill, year 4 – 5.625mill, and years 5 to 8 – 0.625mill. He is a great 3rd or 4th liner right now in his career, it’s just that the 6mill cap hit hurts.

      • Kevjam, I don’t consider Lucic a viable NHLer in today’s game. He was quite the player when the game was more based on heavy big hockey, 5-7 years ago. I don’t see the game getting back to that and Lucic has no place in today’s game IMO.

    • Pengy, my point is there is no team in hockey that will play Lucic for four more years and take up valuable space on the roster. If he had one year left, perhaps. Can you name a team that would play him?

      • Hi Trekkie

        Your right, the list would be very short…. but if there was a team who will have Cap space for the next 4 years …. there has to be a return that they would move on….. it’s just more how much Ed would be willing to meet that price/return

        If it was me; with space; I’d evaluate what I need in return for $2.5 M (50 % retained) over eight years ($325K) or $5M over 8 (none retained)…, $650 per

        I know George disagrees with me in this …. but if I were in Dorion’s shoes …. i’d ask for the world and see what the counter offer is

        I would also think that Jim Benning should do the same ….. ask a bundle ….. find out what the counter offer is

        If by a miracle ; Ed gets one of the top 3 lottery balls… their odds for ridding of Lucic contract increases

        If the penultimate happens … # 1 pick…. Benning would be foolish not to accept an offer that included Lucic to get Hughes

        All I’m saying …. it is imperative for Ed to at least explore what the ask would be … they need to free up Cap space

    • I gotta say. Even if you get rid of Lucic, how do you draw big names to EDM? Ever been there? I realize there a few that will sign on, but not many, and EDM will have to overpay.

      Players don’t want the travel time, the 20 below or the awesome mosquito filled summers… Would you choose that over say Florida, Dallas, or Anaheim? Why?

      In the end, EDM has too many things going against it to ever get back on top… just a matter of time, Houston Oilers will happen.

    • I think Vancouver could be a viable trade partner. Each team could gain by the right exchange. Vancouver could use some toughness (lucic) and possible Hughes pick (or at least higher pick). Edmonton needs wingers (Virtanen, Goldobin, Motte, Leivo). Even Eriksson might be a better fit with Edmonton since he is defensively responsible and can kill penalties. It could be a win for both.

  9. The statement today from Waddell that Carolina may still sign sign Fox could only mean a sign and trade. Tom Dunden has been very consistent and clear that if a player has any hesitation about not wanting to be in Carolina and committed to the new culture then that player will not be in Carolina when the next season starts.

    • What a difference a few years makes. Five years ago the Hurricanes would have pulling out all the stops to get Fox here out of desperation. Now, with a solid D, and the rare bonus of stacked RHDs, they don’t need Fox. Certainly he would be a nice luxury, but not a desperate need. You know what you do with luxury items you don’t need? – you sell them.

      Trade the rights, move on.

  10. Sens will give you J.G Pageau, Mike Condon and the usually thrown in 2nd rounder for Lucic (would he waive) and Nugent-Hopkins.

  11. Zucker will move . Calgary apparently had a deal at the TD

    Krug could play on my team. I think Boston will keep him . Chara – spell check came up Character- will be gone soon and probably into a management role.

    I say you need 3 Defence that are upper echelon.

    • Would like to get Zucker in EDM