NHL Rumor Mill – May 18, 2019

by | May 18, 2019 | Rumors | 44 comments

Reaction to TSN’s latest “trade bait” board in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan, Minnesota’s Jason Zucker, and Nashville’s P.K. Subban are the top-five names on Frank Seravalli’s latest NHL trade bait board. 

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel tops TSN’s spring trade bait list (Photo via NHL Images)

The Penguins were swept from the opening round of the 2019 playoffs, prompting general manager Jim Rutherford to suggest big changes could be coming.  Seravalli cites friction with Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and linemate Evgeni Malkin as one reason why Kessel could be shopped this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel has three years remaining on his contract with the Penguins carrying $6.8 million of his $8 million annual average value. The Toronto Maple Leafs carry the other $1.2 million. Cap Friendly indicates he has a modified no-trade clause listing eight preferred trade destinations.

Moving him won’t be easy but it’s not impossible. Rutherford reportedly fielded trade inquiries about the 32-year-old right winger last summer. I daresay he’ll be open to offers this summer. The Arizona Coyotes are rumored as a possible destination. 

Trouba is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status. Seravalli suggests the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche as trade partners. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trouba’s contentious contract negotiation history with the Jets is fueling speculation he could be traded before July 1. He’s on a one-year, $5.5-million contract and lacks no-trade protection. Interested parties will want to speak to him about a contract extension before agreeing to a trade. 

Callahan could be a cap casualty as the Lightning attempt to free up salary to re-sign restricted free agent Brayden Point. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Callahan, 34, has a year remaining on his contract with a $5.8-million AAV and a 16-team trade list. The Lightning will have to include a sweetener (draft pick, prospect or young player) to draw interest in Callahan. If a trade isn’t possible, Callahan could be bought out. 

Seravalli noted the Wild came close to moving Zucker at the trade deadline. He wonders if GM Paul Fenton will revisit a Zucker trade this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fenton already shipped out Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, and Mikael Granlund for younger, cheaper talent. Zucker’s entering the second year of a five-year, $27.5-million contract with a modified no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1. The Flames were the team reportedly close to acquiring Zucker at the deadline. Don’t be surprised if Fenton calls them again.

Given the Predators early postseason exit, Seravalli wonders if GM David Poile might tinker with his blueline. He noted Subban no longer has no-trade protection, as that was voided after he was acquired from Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile said changes were coming to his roster. That’s what’s given rise to the Subban trade speculation. The Predators need more scoring punch at forward. Subban would be their best bargaining chip to address that need. I don’t see Poile moving Josi, Mattias Ekholm, or Ryan Ellis, who signed a contract extension last summer. Trading Subban would be a bold move but Poile’s has a history of making such deals. 

Calgary winger Michael Frolik, Toronto winger Connor Brown, Predators center Kyle Turris, Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, and Columbus left winger Artemi Panarin are in spots six through 10 on Seravalli’s list. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Frolik was reportedly part of that aborted deal for Zucker at the trade deadline. I don’t think the Wild would be interested in him now. Nevertheless, the Flames could shop him in a cost-cutting move. He’s got a year left on his contract with a $4.3-million AAV and a 10-team no-trade list.

Brown, 25, has one year left on his deal with a $2.1-million cap hit. The Leafs must free up salary to re-sign Mitch Marner. Brown could be a cost-cutting option.

Turris is coming off an injury-shortened season that saw him net just 23 points in 55 games. He’s also entering the second year of a six-year, $36-million contract. Unless Poile agrees to pick up a healthy chunk of his contract (something he’s never done in previous trades), I don’t see Turris going anywhere.

Shattenkirk has two years left on his deal with a $6.65-million AAV and a 10-team no-trade list.  The 30-year-old blueliner has a long injury history and his play has declined. The Rangers will either have to pick up part of that contract, take back a toxic deal, or include a significant sweetener to move him.

Panarin is headed to this summer’s UFA market. Seravalli suggests he could become a sign-and-trade candidate. He wonders if the New York Rangers might be a suitor. Failing that, the Blue Jackets could shop his rights to interested clubs for a conditional draft pick.

Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic, Toronto blueliner Nikita Zaitsev, Penguins rearguard Olli Maatta, Vegas d-man Colin Miller, and Edmonton left wing Milan Lucic round out the rest of the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could try to free up some cap room to re-sign winger Matthew Tkachuk. They could also be in the market for a scoring right wing. Most of the speculation out of Calgary suggests T.J. Brodie, not Hamonic, as the likely trade candidate.

Seravalli speculates Leafs GM Kyle Dubas could try to gauge the trade market for Zaitsev. He’s got five years left on his deal worth $4.5 million per season.  I don’t see many takers for him unless the Leafs pick up part of that cap hit or include a decent draft pick or prospect.

Maatta’s come up a lot in Penguins trade speculation from Pittsburgh. He’s been in coach Mike Sullivan’s doghouse quite a bit and could benefit from a change of scenery. Maatta’s a 24-year-old puck-moving defenseman with a reasonable $4.083-million AAV through 2021-22. He also lacks no-trade protection. I can see him drawing interest in this summer’s trade market. 

The Golden Knights must shed salary to re-sign William Karlsson this summer. Miller’s been mentioned as a cost-cutting option, as well as center Cody Eakin.

As for Lucic, the Oilers might be able to find a taker for him if they can take back a bad contract or retain half of his $6 million AAV. Still, that seems more like wishful thinking at this point. He’s also got a full no-movement clause. He could agree to waive it but he won’t do it for just any club. 


  1. “He’s (Lucic) also got a full no-movement clause. He could agree to waive it but he won’t do it for just any club.”

    That’s essentially what I’ve been saying to anyone who suggests Ottawa might take on Callahan if accompanied by a nice sweetener. He might have a 16-team trade list but I’d bet dollars to donuts that Ottawa isn’t on it. Why would he waive that to leave a tax haven like Tampa to go to a team where his income on his last year would be severely lessened by tax-happy Ottawa (federal, provincial and even municipal if buying property)? He doesn’t owe TB any favors so “playing nice” for the good of the franchise isn’t about to enter the picture.

    • George,

      Pretty sure youre spot on with that.

    • Just spitballing here (and desperately so)….

      What about Lucic (with $2 mill retained) plus this years 1st to Ottawa for one of their spare 2nd round picks in the next 3 years, preferably Florida’s this year?

      Oilers get much needed cap space and Ottawa gets a higher 1st back in their pocket.

      Then – the tough thing for Ottawa – the Sens buy Lucic out and he’s free to go wherever he wants.

      Yes, the Sens would be paying for his remaining salary, but it’ll help them stay above the cap floor AND give them a chance at a great prospect. His lower “buyout rate” should coincide with the Sens bevy of Young Guns coming into their 2nd contracts….if my math is correct.

      • Im not sure how far from the cap floor Ottawa is but I am pretty sure Lucic has a NM clause in his contract he’d have to waive. Might be doable if Sens make guarantee to Lucic he will be bought out leaving him free to sign anywhere he wants.

        Question is, is it worth it to the Oilers to surrender a high 1st round pick to free up cap space.

        Sadly previous management has left the Oilers in such terrible condition this is the kind of move they might have to bite the bullet on.

      • I wondered the same question about the 1st. But, in my ever-so-humble opinion, in today’s salary cap world and with 2 elite players making ALOT of money, there has to be some sacrifices.

        Unfortunately, due to management’s money-mismanagement, the Oilers NEED to take a few lumps just to get back to a level playing field while attempting to stay competitive.

      • @Artsy give your head a shake why in the world would Lucic agree to go to a team that`s just going to buy him out. That might cost him up to 2 million a year and it`s highly unlikely another NHL team gives him another contract worth more than a million and for only 1 year. Not sure who would say no to this deal faster Ottawa or Lucic

      • Bob, I realize he would be giving up money. I’m basing my belief of him going for it based on the fact he seems to want out of Edmonton – possibly desperately so – and start over with another team (re: love to finish his career with Van). As much as I see him having lost what he was signed for (grit AND goals), I believe he is still worth paying. Just not at $6 mill per year. Even IF he only gets $1 mill for resigning elsewhere (likely still worth $2.5-3 mill), he’ll still be playing. And hopefully, for his sake, contributing. And in a place HE wants!

        Any way around it, Lucic is gonna be bought out, as I don’t see ANYONE trading nothing but another bad contract back.

      • @Arsty Lucic may or may not want out of Edmonton but not at the tune of losing 2 mill a year. If Lucic wanted out of Edmonton all he`d have to do to help is remove the NMC part of his contract which he hasn`t done. I don`t see any team paying Lucic more than a million he`s just not worth it anymore in today’s NHL. He`s a 4th line slug now. Please tell me which teams would pay him other than a KHL team

      • Lol! Who ruled out the KHL???? LOL!!! I kid, I kid….kinda….

        My point is this….he is either a) getting bought out by Edmonton or b) getting traded with some sweetener by a salary cap cellar dweller to be bought out.

        It’s not his fault he can’t keep up in today’s game and it’s not his fault that previous management overrated him. He took the money and ran! I’d do the same thing!

        If he was a good guy – I believe he is – he would waive his NMC for the above mentioned purposes and move on with his career.

        As for him only getting $1 mill? I’d give him $2 mill to play on my beloved Wings just for his toughness and veteran presence.

        But I’m not Stevie Y nor am I Kenny Holland. Or Milan Lucic. I’m just an armchair GM spitballing. This is all just my humble opinion.

      • Good guy is really subjective. What if his wife or family like it in (snicker) edm. Wouldn’t be a good guy to agree to move out of the kindness of his own heart in that case.

    • I bet Detroit is on his list…

  2. Gosh, i remember getting absolutely ROASTED on here 2 years ago by some over zealous Rangers fan for saying Shattenkirk was a waste of money.

    I would love to see Callaghan on Canucks for a year. The leadership he could bring to that team would be huge. Play him with Horvat. Doubt Vancouver is on Ryans list, but this fan would like to see it happen none the less.

    • Would ya offer this years 1st and Spooner plus for Kessel ??

      • Probably not although, Hornqvist has shown great chemistry with Pettersson at Worlds. Wish Hornqvist was 3yrs younger and 2 years less on his contract

        If Pens are looking for another amazing Canucks D, they can take Hutton AND Spooner

      • How bout we take Calen Addison as sweetner for taking Hornqvists contract off your hands.
        Send you Spooner and Hutton since you dont mind Canuck D slugs

    • right on mr. tyler-callahan has an awesome attitude

      • also mr tyler-kudos on shattykirk-i kinda thought that but wasn’t sure-

    • Tyler, at the time, Rangers got Shattenkirk for what most thought was a steal of a contract. Who knows what would’ve happened if he didn’t have knee surgery. Was just getting back from that this year when he separated shoulder. I don’t see Rangers trading him unless they’re planning on either trading for Trouba or possibly signing EK

  3. Not sure what contract besides Zucker Minny might move.
    praise and Suter have a NMC

    to EDM: Zucker & Foligno
    to MIN: Lucic(1 m retained) , Puljujarvi & this years 1st

    Zucker sign can play top 9 with RNH or McDavid or Leon’s line. Foligno can play bottom 6

    MN gets a 1st (important for their retool) and a top prospect back and clears small amount of cap space for the next 2 years.

    Bad idea i know…just spitballing aloud.

    • If I am the oilers, there would be no way I’m trading away my first round pick this year.
      I would take my lumps with Lucic one more year.
      The oilers will probably get an excellent player in this years draft that will be cost controlled for years to come.
      If they trade Lucic and their first round pick it would set them back even farther.

  4. I would love to see Detroit throw a pick or prospect to Winnipeg for Trouba’s negotiating rights.

    And if Vanek isn’t resigned by the Wings (hoping he is), he’d be good in the same role with the Oilers – a mentor that can still play.

  5. i’d say that previously proposed Lucic-for-Louis Ericsson deal has legs.

    unless the Rangers buy out Shattenkirk, I can’t see how they can fit in Panarin’s big contract unless they do a sign-and-trade, sending Kreider to Columbus

    good luck to Toronto on shedding Zaitsev’s contract. too many years left to buy out (the buyout would be on their books for 10 years, I believe). I think they’ll have to trade 2 or Nylander, Marleau and/or Kadri in order to resign Marner

    with EK65’s injuries, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have to wait until the 2nd or 3rd week of July to sign with a team, as teams haggle over contract length. If you’re gonna pay him big $$$ that he expects, you better be sure about him lasting long in a contract with the groin and ankle injuries he’s had

    • Gosh I hope Lucic deal to Van has no legs. Better be one sweet sweetner coming Vancouvers way.

    • I cannot understand why anyone would want Lucic. His best days, on “talent” alone, are behind him. His style of play is also yesterday’s. And he has health issues. That’s 0 for 3. He’s not even appealing solely to help a team reach the cap floor, because almost anyone else could help with that and contribute to the team.

      But I guess musings like this help fill the void until next season.

      • LJ, remember when Alex Ovechkin’s best days were behind him? If Lucic isn’t motivated to come to camp in his best condition ever, I’ll be amazed. He is definitely a “comeback player” candidate in my book.

    • Ny has 19 million in cap space with a few RFAs that aren’t breaking the bank.

      Next year Vesey, Strome, Kreider, Beleskey, and Spooners retention all come off the books. Only Kreider and possibly Strome are re-sign candidates.

      The following year Shattenkirk, Staal, Smith and Lundqvist all come off the books.

      NY would have absolutely zero problem fitting Panarin under the cap this year, and zero problems going into the following years.

    • Lucic for Ericksson is trading garbage for trash. Why would the Oilers need to add a “sweetner”? Both are vastly overpaid underacheivers. Little or no chance either have one of Strikers infamous “bounceback” seasons.

    • The Rangers will have projected cap space of $19mil. I think they can fit Panarin in quite comfortably.

  6. Disappointing not to see any Brooks Malkin to the Rangers, Panarin to the Rangers or every teams best player to the Rangers for their 4th line garbage offerings this morning. I assume he’s at home working hard on a huge steaming pile of fecal matter to print tomorrow. Lol.

    • Think he was typing Brendan Smith and Vinny Lettieri for Malkin as we speak.

  7. What might EDM want for RNH at this point?

    Would they want top prospects and picks this draft ?

    Clears space

    or a top 6 winger?

    Thinking Kreider for RNH

    Kreider’s speed with McDavid would look good

    NY gets that much need 2nd line center

    both guys are entering their prime but EDM does not need a 3rd center right?

    it makes sense for NY so Chytl can move to wing for good and Kratsov can stay on the wing as well.

    It makes sense for EDM as they acquire someone fast enough to keep up consistently with MCD (besides Leon)
    allows them to build another line around Leon to balance their top 6 better.

    • Kreider being a UFA in a year pretty much stops that trade from happening unless the Rangers sign Kreider to an extension without any ntc provisions

      • Holland has been good to re-sign players over the years to contract with term. He does like to sure up his roster and know who are they key players for years. I think they can have Holland work out an extension with Kreider then NY can trade him over for RNH.

      • Sorry but in this case, Holland doesn`t have the cap space to overpay Kreider and I`ve seen nothing to warrant Kreider would want to stay in Edmonton either I just can`t see a deal here happening. A Kreider for Hopkins wouldn`t be a bad trade for either team but not with Kreider a year away from UFA

    • unfortunately, chytil can not play wing. he despises playing wing. he refuses to battle in the corners. he is a center and can only excel at center, so if chytil can’t be your second line center, he will not work out for nyr. but i do like your rnh for kreider suggestion.

  8. every guy that needs to be moved somehow Colorado is in the picture?….while I like Trouba I don’t think he’s on the avs radar

    • At least Colorado is in the picture on relatively GOOD players that might need to be moved. Ottawa’s in the picture for every pile of crap holding back teams from making any serious contract moves, ostensibly on the pretense that they need to “spend to get to the cap floor.”

      Yes, they need to spend, but there will be half-decent UFAs to spend that on including a couple they have now, as well as perhaps an RFA here or there that some teams simply cannot re-sign due to cap constraints who will gladly take back a prospect/pick. Dorion just needs to be patient, not saddle himself with the likes of a Lucic.

      • sens can be back in the playoffs in 2-3 yrs….so many teams cap constrained and getting older and slower….just have to bite the bullet and stay young and hopefully progress every year….and don’t trade draft picks away!

      • Ottawa can take a bad contract off of a team for picks and prospects, one-year deal yes anything longer isn`t worth it for Ottawa. Contracts like Lucic has is just plain bad that`s the crap they have to stay away from

      • Dont worry George, Patrick Roy is on his way to save the day

      • George, what do you think of Patrick Roy as Sens coach? Just saw he’s getting interview

      • Really? Hadn’t seen that. If that transpires Dorion had better be looking over his shoulder the moment he signs on the dotted line. Not sure Roy is the “teacher” type some seem to think is needed in Ottawa while the kids mature. But his unpredictability would certainly add some bums to those empty seats!

      • But those baby blues!

  9. Just don’t let Roy have a ton of imput on the draft!….he hates college players and is living in the past …..behind the bench he’s not the worst