NHL Rumor Mill – June 13, 2019

by | Jun 13, 2019 | Rumors | 59 comments

Looking ahead for the Bruins and Blues plus updates on Phil Kessel, Jason Zucker and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


ESPN.COM: Following Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, Greg Wyshynski, Emily Kaplan, and Chris Peters looked at some off-season keys for the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. They believe the Bruins still have a good mix of veterans and youth to contend for the Cup next season but they should also focus on getting younger.

Should the Boston Bruins shop defenseman Torey Krug this summer for a second-line winger? (Photo via NHL Images)

Given Boston’s blueline depth, they suggest shopping defenseman Torey Krug for a second-line winger. The Bruins should also consider buying out the final two seasons ($6 million annual average value) of David Backes’ contract. 

The Blues must sort out new contracts for restricted free agents like Jordan Binnington, Ivan Barbashev, Oskar Sundqvist, and Joel Edmundson. Oft-injured winger Robby Fabbri faces an uncertain future after falling out of favor by the end of the playoffs. Carl Gunnarsson and Patrick Maroon can become unrestricted free agents but both could return on affordable short-term deals. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be easy for both clubs to repeat as Cup Finalists. The Bruins appear to have the better chance of returning to the Final next season. They’ve got a lot of good young talent on their roster and within their system.

Krug’s been mentioned in media trade chatter since last summer but nothing came of it. However, he’s a year away from UFA status and could prove an expensive re-signing. 

The  Bruins must also re-sign RFA blueliners Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. With over $68 million invested in 19 players, there’s room to get both under contract but it could be a tight squeeze. Moving Krug’s $5.25-million cap hit would clear some additional room depending on what they get back in return.

A Backes buyout will only free up over $333K in cap space for 2019-20. The real savings come in the following three years of the buyout term.

I don’t expect big changes in store for the Blues. GM Doug Armstrong will probably try to keep as much of the roster intact as possible. With over $64 million committed to 16 players and all their core players except for Binnington under contract, they can afford to keep the band together. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Fabbri, whose once-promising career has been hampered by numerous injuries.  


TRIBLIVE.COM: Despite Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford saying it looks like Phil Kessel won’t be traded, Kevin Gorman doesn’t believe it. He calls Rutherford’s comments “public posturing at its best.” Kessel recently used his no-trade clause to spike a proposed deal to the Minnesota Wild. Gorman believes Rutherford left Kessel with two choices: continue playing for the Penguins under coach Mike Sullivan or help management find a suitable trade partner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford could be bluffing. It wouldn’t be the first time an NHL GM says a player probably won’t be traded only to move him soon afterward.

His comments could be aimed at sending the Kessel camp a message. If he doesn’t want to play for Sullivan any longer, he’ll have to consider other trade destinations beyond his eight-team list. However, if Kessel holds firm, Rutherford will have to consider other cost-cutting moves. 

THE ATHLETIC: In an interview with Wild GM Paul Fenton, Michael Russo asked him about Jason Zucker’s trade status. He was nearly part of that proposed pitch for Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel and was nearly shipped to the Calgary Flames at the February trade deadline.

Fenton admits he’s received calls about Zucker but also other players on his roster. He also denied he’s intent on moving the winger. Nevertheless, it’s believed he’s also discussed Zucker with the Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets, and Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fenton may be playing coy about his intentions to move Zucker. However, it appears he’s willing to entertain offers and isn’t shy about pitching him to other clubs. He won’t move Zucker just for the sake of doing so but I believe he’s looking for the right deal.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recent comments on a rumored Milan Lucic-for-Loui Eriksson swap between Edmonton and Vancouver. Given the extra year on Lucic’s contract, he wondered if the Oilers would have to include Jesse Puljuarvi as part of the return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staples points out Friedman isn’t saying this is a trade rumor but merely musing over what it might take to pull off that type of swap. I concur with Staples that adding Puljujarvi in that deal would be too much. 



  1. I don’t think in an erikisson lucic swap but with other teams I said JP might have to be a sweetener aswell as retaining salary to move lucic,

    • Lucic has a full no move clause so he would have to agree to the trade. If pool party is going with him, you would have to like what you are getting back in return. Trading two roster players for one roster player doesn’t make much sense considering how thin the Oilers are on wingers.

      • You have to realize lucic contract is terrible to though nobody is taking that for nothing unless a near as bad contract is coming back it the cap way

      • The Oilers need RWers more so than LWers. On the Oilers left side there are either Nuge or Draisaitl, Nygard, Benson, Khaira, and Lucic. The right side there are Kassian, Gagner, and Puljujarvi. Chaison is an UFA and unknown right now.
        Like I said below, I’m neither for or against this trade rumour. If it does happen though, the only sweetener that should be added is a late round draft pick at the most. In Lucic we know what we have. It happens then we can see what Eriksson can do with the caliber of linemates that the Canucks don’t have in Draisaitl and McDavid.

    • This entire Lucic for Eriksson deal seems like nonsense to me. Neither is vrry good any more. I cant see Holland adding a “sweetner” to make this deal. Why would he?

      • Extra yr of 6million dollar cap hit!

      • I heard on sports net the difference is, Ericsson has a no trade contract so they could send him to the minors to piss him off and he has been paid 23 of 36 million already, Lucic has a full no move contract, and of course the extra year at 6 million,

  2. I thought something along the lines of Gorman but I’m not so sure. Gmjr seems like he usually shoots straight in an I’m to old to prevaricate take it or leave it kinda way.

  3. Let the trades begin! Lyle’s starting an NHL trade pool – first trade, biggest trade, most ridiculous trade, etc.
    Say, that guy that won the Conn Smythe trophy – didn’t he get traded last summer?

    • Boston needs some toughness on the team, this is why they lost and was pushed around from the 1st series on. Bringing back Lucic to play on the 3rd or 4th line would help tremendously. What are your thoughts? Teams that have won the cup, have done it with toughness. I still say that Boston will never win with Rask. He was great all playoffs, but stunk on the biggest game of his career.

  4. Trading Krug would be a mistake.

    BTW would the Blues have won the Cup if they received Eichel in that trade? No.

  5. Puljujarvi just had hip surgery. Like Juolevi, I hope these guys can finally get their careers on track. Puljujarvi was supposed to be doing what Laine is doing

  6. Good thing St.louis didn’t trade Pietrangelo or Parayko at the trade deadline like a lot of people were claiming they should.
    I personally called for a Tarasenko deal and it looks like that wouldn’t have been too wise a decision either.
    Although we are done for this season the next 2- 3 weeks are my favourite.

    • Silverscreen…good call i remember when they were considering trading Pietrangelo, or Tarasenko or Payranko….

      wow…that would have been a disaster…

      • Sometimes the best trades made are the ones that aren’t made…

  7. Does Toronto need a defenseman, or 2 ..Lol
    Speaking of Krug by the way !
    I think these 2 teams know each other’s lineup .
    Hardly unlikely , a swap between these 2 rivals would happen .
    Toronto certainly has the access of wingers to make it happen .
    I would love to see Nylander be part of the equation , but Dubais is fond of this guy ???
    We are 8 days from draft day ..
    Trading places should be fairly active …

    • Krug is a solid piece but not the piece that Toronto requires. They have their PP1 QB in Reilly and with Dermott, Reilly and Muzzing all being LHD I don’t know where Krug would be placed. His value to the Leafs is less than his open market value.

  8. to all the posters that sh*t on J Bo and Bozak this season …I hope you enjoy your dish of crow today.
    amazing to look back and the trade rumors involving the Blues in January, Armstrong played a good hand.
    old time hockey , they played a perfect game 7 ( not to mention some stellar goaltending )

    • Fergy, you’ll remember all the stuff that Bozak and Kessel heard when they played in Toronto. Now they both have championship rings – that should silence the naysayers but it won’t.
      By the way, an oldtimer hockey buddy of mine grew up in the same neighbourhood as John Ferguson and always said that Fergy was as tough as there ever was. Great lacrosse player too.

      • BCLF , your buddy is right, John Ferguson was one tough dude , he had hands the size of small hams.
        I grew up in Montreal and I was a big fan of his, so much that I attending his hockey school in the early 70’s.

      • From one site dealing with Ferguson: “The Montreal Canadiens dispatched a scout to watch Ferguson play with the Cleveland Barons. That night, Ferguson shot a puck at a teammate who was talking with an opponent before the game.

        The Canadiens hierarchy, which felt the team had been pushed around in the 1963 playoffs, liked the 5’11″ 190-pound Vancouver native’s strength, snarl, and skills. Montreal outbid the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers for his services.

        Thirteen seconds into his first game with the Canadiens on October 8, 1963. Ferguson landed three haymakers to the face of Boston Bruin defenseman Ted Green.”

    • Hardly a perfect game 7. Boston was all over them in the first. Marchand’s brain fart of supreme priportions put them up 2 nothing. Aftew which the blues played a pretty perfect game.

  9. I don’t understand why the Oilers would be expected to add a big sweetener in an Eriksson for Lucic trade just because of the one extra year on Lucic’s contract. The most I would add is a 3rd round pick, and even that would be hard to give up.
    I’m neither for or against a Lucic for Eriksson trade. If it doesn’t happen, I’m fine. It it does happen then I see 3 positives.
    1) Eriksson has one less year on his contract.
    2)Eriksson is a RWer and in trading Lucic would free up a spot on the LW for Nagard and/or Benson.
    3) The Canucks don’t have the line mats for Eriksson to play with the caliber of Draisaitl and McDavid.

    • I agree as I said above lucic/eriksson doesn’t need a huge sweetener but that extra yr will require something

    • I dont see Holland trading away a pick or a prospect just to save a couple of million bucks. By the time the Oilers are ready to contend Lucics contract will be done and theyll have the cap space when they really need it.
      Luci for Eriksson makes zero sense either way. Trading trash for garbage still leaves you with a pile of refuse you dont want.

      • Do you not understand how the cap works Ron? Look at the teams this coming season would die to have an extra 6 million in space

      • Bbb…

        Im very clear on how the cap works and that a lot of teams need space. I just dont think Holland needs to add a sweetner for this particular deall


      • It’s funny you said the leafs will have to give something to move Marleau for one yr of 6.25 but not lucic for one yr of 6?


      • Like to see where I ever said that…

    • You forgot about the nmc too… that moves with lucic unless he chooses for it not to. So he’s a mandatory protect in the expansion draft.

      • Lucic already said he would approve of a move to the Canucks. If he refuses to wave his NMC to be left unprotected in the expansion draft then you buy him out at that time.
        You would have to think that he would know that with his lack of production and the amount he’s getting paid Seattle will pass on him in the expansion draft.

      • Unless van was to include a sweetener for them to take him… a la clarkson

  10. Boston defense is to small Clifton 5’11”, Grezelcyk 5’9″, Krug 5’9″ and McAvoy 6’0″ need some size and physicality back there.
    McAvoy need to be on the number one pp and take over the D, partner with Carlo this is Boston number 1 D pairing. Krug is one dimensional at best if he can be traded for a top 6 forward please do.
    The Bruins are set down the middle with Bergeron, Krecji, Coyle and Kuraly for me that is solid; However if you can move Krecji out for younger talent I be good with that. St. Louis shut down the number one line and Pastrnak never seem right to me since returning from his injury, some contribution from the second line would’ve help. Debrusk wasn’t the same player since the Toronto round, kept thinking he must be injured but having heard anything.
    Boston need more size and physicality on defense and a second line winger and size, speed and grit.

    • Your Bruins lost the Cup in 7 and they had many key players not at full strength. Yes a version of Krecji with a little more speed+force is needed. And the size issues on the backend… not sure why ppl want Krug moved-Miller would of helped.
      Will not be surprised to see the Bruins contending again next season. Johansson might be too expensive but he was flying all playoff.

      Add some size on D and add a 2nd line force… easier said than done

      • I like Krug too ds. Ya he’s little but he is effective and really good at driving offence. Dude plays hard.
        The reason he is a candidate to be moved is he only has a year left on his deal, and D is a position of strength for Boston. On the roster and prospects. Plus he has real value to many teams.
        Perhaps they make a deal at the draft player for player or trade him for a first and…? Use those assets at the deadline.
        They can add a 2nd line winger at the deadline again, it doesn’t need to be a big swing unless the deal is too sweet to ignore.
        Not any serious holes other than the one wing position.

    • I agree but I’d personally hate to lose Krug. However I think Zadorov would be great for our Bruins.

      • Agree!! Zadorov was a player I had hoped management would go after at TDL. He is a younger version of Chara (after a few years in league)….. Bruins need more size and snarl throughout line up.

    • You have to wonder if Chara will pack it in after all. Maybe it was just my perception, but that blank stare on his face after the 4th St. Louis goal suggested a realization that he likely never will come this close again to another cup. Hope I’m wrong because I’ve loved his game right from his first one in Ottawa after that infamous Milbury trade and was disgusted with that idiot Muckler when he opted to keep Redden and let Chara walk as a UFA.

      • I could think of millions of reasons he might come back….

      • All bearing a photo of Ben Franklin. Yeah, that certainly has to be factored in, but I have a feeling he won’t ever be needing a tag day and at some point in his life. Now that he’s in his 40s, he has to wonder if the 82-game grind is something he wants to endure yet again. I just don’t get the impression that he’s a money-first kind of person.

      • Chara is already signed, so I have to think it his intention to come back. At least it was a couple months ago.
        He had a tough final round and the Bruins got hemmed in with him on the ice, consistently.
        I have been a huge Chara defender on here, and he played well until the final round. The puck was a grenade on his stick. Perhaps a broken face will do that to a guy.

    • That Chara guy is pretty big.

    • Caper, definitely agree with your last sentence! Sums it up pretty well for me. Thanks!

  11. my thought watching this years SC… Bruins had a hard time 5 on 5 because of the Blues size the Blues spent a lot of extended time in Bruins D Zone throughout the series…..B’s need a 2nd line goal scorer with size & toughness ( good luck finding that) also they need a Dman or two with size ……agree with using Krug to help find that 2nd line goal scorer ……there is also a need to start drafting players with size…not saying go back to the Bruins of old ( big & tough) but there needs to be a blend of size toughness and speed

    • that appears 2 b very insightful & well thought out-

      • lol…..has the looks of what a lot are saying

    • Krieder is that option on the 2nd line….. may cost a bit but worth the try.

  12. Leafs are on the clock, 1967 and counting.

    • Ron, good article in The Hockey News about the eleven teams that have never won a
      Worth reading.

      • Leafs would be one of those teams if they entered the leagu with the other teams though wouldn’t they?

  13. To MTL: Nick Leddy
    To NYI: 2nd rnd pick 2019 + Cale Fleury (or Noah Juulsen) + Byron (or Lehkonen)
    Mtl could even add Teasdale or Jake Evans.
    Is that enough or too much?

    • That is too much for Leddy for me that being said I’m not sure why the Islanders are looking for cap space? Are they going free agent hunting?

  14. just a thought ….in their after the season FO meeting would the Bruins ever think of going the Tyler Seguin route with Pastrnak….in the short film I saw it was never about Seguin’s off ice antics it was about his failed playoffs

  15. Boston should’ve kept McQuade…. he’s a ufa now, can probably get him on a 1 or 2 year deal now for cheap. Rangers might shop Vesey, a Mass. kid , has good size and should be a 20 goal scorer. I think he’d be a good fit in Boston. He’s 1 year away from ufa, so maybe next deadline

    • With the game Vesey brings, they already have that on their bottom 6 for cheaper. I do not see Vesey as a fit there. Maybe part of a package to Minny or other aging teams.

  16. to LA: Lias Andersson, Vesey, Smith, this years 20th, next years 1st, ADA or Pionk or both

    to NYR: Doughty

    lol =)

    • Stop! Your obsession with trading Smith is bordering on insanity!

  17. What you think of lucic+puljujarvi vs eriksson+virtanen

  18. St. Louis great win…Karma baby it was awesome to see that little cheap ass bitch Marchand crying his eyes out.

    he is so taleneted yet the worst cheap shot artist in the league..slew foot, hacks, cross checks and punches to the backs of players heads who arent looking..

    glad you lost you littl bitch…maybe you and that pervy owner of the Patriots can cry over a beer…

    This shouls hut Boston upi for a while..

    most final losses in Stanley cup history 14..

    6 and 14 go Boston….

    they have a terrific team and i really thought they would win I just cant stand Marchand and Chara..hackers