NHL Rumor Mill – June 12, 2019

by | Jun 12, 2019 | Rumors | 33 comments

The latest on Phil Kessel, Corey Perry, and Shayne Gostisbehere, plus updates on the Islanders and Rangers in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford now considers trading Phil Kessel “unlikely”. An attempt to Kessel to the Minnesota Wild was rejected by the winger, who holds an eight-team trade list. Rutherford now expects Kessel “will probably play for Pittsburgh next season.” He wouldn’t say if other teams had inquired about the veteran forward. The Penguins GM praised Kessel’s play, adding he’s fine with him staying in Pittsburgh.

After weeks of trade speculation, winger Phil Kessel could be staying with the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images).

Rutherford admitted he still has to move “a couple of players, probably” to free up salary-cap room. Kessel has three years remaining on his contract with the Penguins carrying $6.8 million per season of his $8 million annual average value. 

TSN: Darren Dreger said “there’s some speculation” Kris Letang could be “potentially in play.” Like Kessel, the 32-year-old defenseman has three years left on his contract with a significant cap hit ($7.25 million AAV) and a modified no-trade clause. Except for Sidney Crosby, Dreger believes Rutherford is willing to listen to offers “on just about everyone” on his roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Letang has an 18-team trade list, which is much wider than Kessel’s. His big cap hit and long injury history could make him difficult to move. Other trade possibilities could include Patric Hornqvist, Justin Schultz, and Olli Maatta. 

Earlier this spring, Evgeni Malkin was also mentioned as a possible trade candidate. However, Yohe claims he and Crosby aren’t going anywhere. I’d also add starting goaltender Matt Murray to that list. 


TSN 690 MONTREAL: Darren Dreger discussed possible destinations for Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry if he’s bought out of his contract later this month. The Ducks reportedly will try to trade him before month’s end. However, they could buy out the remaining two years of his contract if a trade isn’t possible.

Dreger feels there would be a market for Perry via the UFA market this summer. He suggests the Edmonton Oilers could perhaps use him to help captain Connor McDavid on the leadership side. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry’s veteran leadership would be helpful but the Oilers need a speedy scoring right wing. He can’t address that issue for them. 


TVA SPORTS: cites NHL Network collaborators Dennis Bernstein and Anthony Di Marco claiming the Montreal Canadiens have been linked to Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. There’s no deal pending between the two clubs.

Di Marco said the Flyers are interested in rugged Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw. Bernstein added Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is also looking at speedy left wing Paul Byron.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere to Montreal for Shaw and Byron? I don’t see that one happening. Too lopsided in the Canadiens’ favor.

“The Ghost Bear” is a former Calder Trophy finalist (2016) who is a year removed from a career-high 65-point performance. While his production dropped to 37 points this season, I attribute that to the fact the Flyers were a mess this season. He would certainly address the Habs’ need for a skilled left-side blueliner.

Shaw is a physical player who can play center or wing and has a decent scoring touch. He also has a long history of injuries and takes too many undisciplined penalties. Losing Byron would rob the Canadiens of a fast-skating 20-goal scorer. That could be offset, however, via free agency or with one of their promising youngsters within their system.  


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple provides an update on the New York Islanders’ contract negotiations with pending UFAs Anders Lee, Robin Lehner, and Jordan Eberle. While discussions between management and Lee remain cordial, the contract term is believed the sticking point. The Isles captain could seek between seven-to-eight years while the Isles prefer something around five or six years. The annual average value could be $6.5 million to $7 million. 

Staple feels Lehner would like to stay put for the right price and term but the Islanders might not be at that point yet. If Lehner departs, GM Lou Lamoriello could sign a veteran to a one-year deal as a stopgap until promising Ilya Sorokin is ready to join them in 2020. If he seeks a longer-term option, Staple suggests pursuing Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky. 

Unless Eberle is willing to accept a short-term deal, it’s expected he’ll depart via free agency on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Isles will get Lee and Lehner re-signed. I think they can get a reasonable deal done with Lehner. I don’t see Eberle returning. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers aren’t ruling out going the contract buyout route later this month. Brendan Smith is the most likely buyout candidate. He’s got two years left on his contract with a $4.35 million AAV. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (two years, $6.65-million AAV) could be another, though the caps savings of over $5.1 million in 2019-20 would drop to just $56K the following year. 


  1. I think Smith gets bought out this weekend. His cap hit this year will drop over 3M to just over 900K. Next year it jumps to over 3M, but Girardis cap hit drops down to 1.1 and Spooners cap hits come off books. Although it doesn’t appear they need the space, they will if they’re looking to trade for Trouba or sign any ufa’s. Adding the extra 2 years of cap hits is minimal when you consider all the young guys that’ll be sprinkled in on elc’s., Keeping Smith is pointless, and burying him in AHL doesn’t really save you anything. Shattenkirk….don’t see any reason to buy him out.

    • @ Slick
      Rangers seem too loyal to Staal and Smith is really a pointless roster spot.

      As s Ranger fan how do you feel about Kadri for a package that includes Howden or Lias? I am sure the Rangers will deal with the #2 pivot spot until they know for sure Hughes will not be @ MSG

    • I don’t see the value in any buyouts… at least if the rangers stick to the rebuild. They arnt at the cap are they? Hold onto the players and either buyout next year when it’s less painful or maybe make it easier to trade players with salary retained

  2. Plenty of teams could use Kessel. SJ waiting to see who resigns?

    • Yep

    • Ds..agreed the problem is he will only go to the 8 teams on his list….

      he is a terrific player……

      he has a lot of control in this situation..

      Minnesota–would be a good trade for both sides Phil didn’t want to go there…

  3. It wouldn’t be Byron and Shaw for Ghost. Likely one or the other plus a prospect and a pick. I don’t think Bergevin is keen on trading a 1st or a top prospect. More likely a 2nd and mid level prospect. May not be enough. I think the Habs may target Leddy or Brodie instead.

    • Agreed about the targets you mention, maybe add Maata to the list? I can see Shaw being traded. I can see Mete being trade if for a Dman. Byron, however, will probably have a higher than expected cost, from Mtl’s perspective, so much that I’m not sure Ghost would get it done. No knock on Ghost or his value but the stats on Mtl’s wins with Byron in the line up vs out are really skewed. Mtl plays much better (85% if I remember correctly) with him playing. To be honest, based on his speed, I think Mtl would actually get a better return for Byron from the Oilers; he’d be a great winger for McDavid.

      Would a Shaw, Mete, and Mtls 2 2nds get Ghost and a small +? Just spitballing….

      • Hey Habsfan1

        I honestly think that’s too much (2 2nds) to include in that deal. I don’t want too loose Byron.

        Personally, I would try to go after Letang if a reasonable deal can get done. Weber/Letang would be a perfect pairing in my opinion.

        I pray to God that Bergevin doesn’t go after Karlsson…

      • I’d love to see what the range of offers would be for tanger… you could accurately paint him in so many positive and negative lights.

      • @ Le French: I’m not so scared about Karlson on the Habs as much as the salary really scares me. Paying him anywhere near his rumoured ask and term is truly frighting for the Habs, IMO. As a player, I’m ok with it. I think, although it will never happen, the best player for the D would be Fowler. That is a dream that sadly will never come true….

    • I don’t think Montrèal needs to do too much tinkering.
      They were on the cusp of getting in.
      In the West, they would have!
      MB takes a lot of unnecessary flak imho.
      He’s drafted well in recent years and has almost filled out the team with some hard to find peices.
      Letang would be ideal but the price might be too much to stomach.
      See what’s out there for FA’s and offer according to club needs .
      With that said, I stay the course if I’m him.
      They’re not far off.

      • if they need a LD perhaps Staal in NY for a 3rd?

      • So Montreal gives a 3rd and gets staal and a first lol staal isn’t moving without a sweetener from the rangers

  4. In my opinion, Perry is cheap & dirty and a poor role model for young players, whose leadership is likely more related to the Ducks’ multi-year tailspin than any success they had in the past (which was due to his talent, not leadership skills).

    If you think he can score you a gritty 20 goals, sign him! But not as a leader.

  5. What if NYR ships Pionk with Smith to Detroit?

    Shattenkirk can’t be bought out, not worth it. But he must be traded if NYR is looking to add Karlsson.

    • In Brooks article he mentions that they’ve been actively shopping both Shattenkirk and Smith. No luck.

    • “What if NYR ships Pionk with Smith to Detroit?”

      What if Steve Yzerman suffered brain damage?

    • Sure – we’ll do it, but only if the return we send you is Justin Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen.

  6. The Seattle expansion draft makes GMs consider not onlly the cost of trading for a player, but the value of any player he would displace on what would otherwise have been the team’s protected list. For that reason, Kessel’s NMC might be as great an obstacle to trading him as is his NTC. Moving picks or prospects that don’t require protection in exchange for Kessel might require the team acquiring him to expose a valuable roster player.

    • Great points Francis S.

  7. I think Guentzel is also untouchable. He has very good chemistry with Sid and his cap hit of $6.000.000 is a bargain compared to other 40 goal scorers (hello there Jeff Skinner)

  8. If there is said market for ufa perry… multiple suitors… I could see him getting at least three mil a year… at that rate would a team with especially high interest just trade for him with 50% retained? Get their guy with only a bit more cash,.. maybe get a small sweetener in the process?

  9. The Isles need more scoring but I doubt that Eberle is the answer. He was overpaid on his previous contract (6 mil per) and will likely get offered more than the Isles want to pay.

    I do expect the Isles to move a D man and Leddy makes the most sense. They have so much young depth, both on the team and on the way.

    Hoping they keep Lee and Lehner but prepared mentally if they don’t 🙂

  10. I think found a way to get rid of Smith

    to ANA: Smith & Vesey
    to NYR: Perry & Fowler


    ANA looses Fowler BUT gets rid of 16mil over 2 yrs

    cheaper for ANA to buy out Smith than it is Perry.

    Smith Vesey cost what Fowler makes. Vesey is a young winger to keep for depth.

    NY gets Fowler to pair with Skjei.

    Now NY can move out Namestnikov & ADA or Pionk to maybe Vancouver for maybe the #10?

    Done….I solved the NY off-season woes

    • Lol geez you are not getting Fowler for throwaways

      • LOL …. can’t blame a guy for sheepishly suggesting

    • That would be an absolutely horrible trade for Anaheim. I’d buy Perry out and keep Fowler if that is the best option. How would Anaheim replace Fowler after that trade?

      • toss in ADA too 😉


    • Cam Fowler has a 4 team trade list Doubt the NYR are on it.

      • bet he would go to Manhattan….

    • You have to love his persistence! First of all , no thanks on Perry. Even with Fowler attached! No thanks!

      Ride smith Staal and the rest out! Can’t stress this enough!

  11. Go blues!!! Beat those cheatin northern easterners!