NHL Rumor Mill – June 18, 2019

by | Jun 18, 2019 | Rumors | 75 comments

The fallout from the Karlsson signing and the Trouba trade, plus the latest on the Penguins, Bruins, Canadiens, Islanders, and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: In the wake of the San Jose Sharks re-signing Erik Karlsson, Marcus White examined its effect upon the club for the remainder of the offseason. Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi and Gustav Nyquist are their noteworthy unrestricted free agents. Their restricted free agents include Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc.  White indicates the Sharks now have around $12.5 million in salary-cap space, leaving general manager Doug Wilson facing some tough choices.

White’s colleague Chelena Goldman expects Karlsson, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Radim Simek will likely be the staples of the Sharks blueline next season. Defensemen Justin Braun and Brenden Dillon are a year away from UFA status. Goldman suggests they could be used in off-season trades.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien observes Karlsson’s signing leaves this summer’s UFA market thin on quality defensemen. The best of the bunch include Toronto’s Jake Gardiner, Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers, Vancouver’s Alex Edler, and Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Cap Friendly, Braun carries a salary-cap hit of $3.8 million while Dillon’s is $3.27 million. Both lack no-trade protection. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both are traded in cost-cutting deals. Even then, the Sharks probably won’t have enough cap space to re-sign everyone. Nyquist and Donskoi could be goners. Pavelski, too, if he seeks an expensive new deal. 

**UPDATE** Sharks general manager Doug Wilson isn’t wasting time freeing up cap space. He traded Braun to the Philadelphia Flyers for a second-round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2020 Draft. 


WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre believes more changes are coming for the Jets following yesterday’s trade of defenseman Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff faces a potential salary-cap crunch with RFAs Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, and Andrew Copp to re-sign. McIntyre notes there are plenty of trade rumors swirling around left wing Nikolaj Ehlers. If Ehlers is moved, McIntyre suspects it’ll be more of a hockey trade to address a specific roster need for a center or a defenseman.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers will find it expensive re-signing Trouba. The RFA blueliner could seek at least $7.5- million annually on his next contract. That could affect potential efforts to pursue a scorer like Columbus’ Artemi Panarin via free agency next month. Brooks speculates winger Chris Kreider could be shopped at the upcoming NHL draft if his asking price to re-sign proves too expensive. Kreider’s a year away from UFA status and carries an 11-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the Trouba trade, McIntyre reported Cheveldayoff said he’s still got a lot of balls in the air right now. In other words, the Jets GM might not be done dealing. Ehlers carries an expensive annual cap hit ($6 million) but lacks no-trade protection this summer. He’ll attract plenty of interest if he hits the trade block.

It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out between Kreider and the Rangers. If they intend to pursue Panarin or Matt Duchene via free agency they could move Kreider to free up cap room. They could also attempt to trade or buy out a defenseman like Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith. 

Following the Sharks re-signing Erik Karlsson yesterday, Brooks wonders if San Jose GM Doug Wilson might try to acquire Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. While the Rangers aren’t shopping Lundqvist, Brooks points out the goalie’s sister lives in the San Jose area plus he’s also good friends with Karlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks admits this is just speculation on his part. Given the Sharks’ limited cap space and Lundqvist’s no-movement clause, I don’t see the long-time Rangers goaltender going anywhere. 

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford maintains he’s not shopping winger Phil Kessel (Photo via NHL Images).


NHL.COM: Appearing on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan yesterday, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford admitted Phil Kessel rejected a proposed trade to the Minnesota Wild by invoking his no-trade clause. Rutherford said he’s not actively shopping the winger. When asked about trade rumors regarding center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang, Rutherford said they’re not untouchable. However, he added they’re not players he’s pushing to move or intends to trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers aren’t buying Rutherford’s claim he’s no longer trying to trade Kessel. However, he won’t be going anywhere unless a club on Kessel’s eight-team trade list makes a great offer or the winger expands that list. I don’t see Malkin or Letang getting traded anytime soon.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney didn’t outright reject the notion of trading Torey Krug this summer. However, he indicated he’d have to receive a mind-blowing offer to consider it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug’s coming off arguably the best season of his career. He’s a year away from UFA status and will be an expensive re-signing for the Bruins. Nevertheless, Sweeney’s doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to move Krug. 


NEWSDAY: With Erik Karlsson and Jacob Trouba no longer available, Andrew Gross wondered who the New York Islanders’ blueline targets could be. Even with their depth on defense, Gross believes GM Lou Lamoriello won’t shy away from an opportunity to bolster his defense. Possible free-agent options could include Toronto’s Jake Gardiner, Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers, and Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman. Calgary Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie could be a trade option.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Yvon Pedneault observed there’s speculation linking the Montreal Canadiens to New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy. The 28-year-old has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million. He also lacks no-trade protection and has dropped out of the Isles’ top-two defense pairings. Appearing on TVA Sports, Pedneault speculates the Isles could shop Leddy for a forward. He suggests it would cost the Canadiens Andrew Shaw and a second-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $22 million in projected cap space, the Islanders are expected to be busy in this summer’s trade and free-agent markets. If they bring in a blueliner they could put Leddy on the trade block. The Canadiens are in dire need of a top-four left-side defenseman and Leddy could interest them. 



  1. Makes me wonder if the reason Winnipeg didn’t let rangers talk to trouba is he is dead set on ufa next year. If that’s the case Erik’s deal certainly highlights the power of an ufa top tier d man heading towards fa.

    • I don’t think Trouba is looking at Doughty or Karlsson money. Nor do I think he’ll get it. I think NY will come to an agreement in the 8-8.5 range. Slightly over what most are projecting him at (7-7.5).

      I’m okay with a slight overpayment here. They have a ton of money coming off the books this year and next.

      If they fail to re-sign him this was a bad trade for NY…. says captain obvious.

      But I’ll stick to my prediction of 8-8.5 Xs 8 years. I’ll be the happiest wrong guy here ever if they get him under 8.

      • Certainly possible… but it was strange with the whole can’t talk thing. Plus I have a feeling people will be apoplectic when Gardiner signs. Trouba be like 🤑

      • The key for NY is getting a deal done before July 1st. I certainly don’t want Gardiner setting the bar here.

        More than likely Gardiner is getting somewhere between overpaid and grossly overpaid.

      • I’m a Jets fan. Rarely see the Rangers play. What can you say about Pionk? He better be a solid 2nd Pairing dman already with some potential for more still. If not. Chevy got beat up in this trade. That doesn’t happen very often. He drafts and trades very well.

      • @ Geoff204

        I think Chevy getting the first rounder was crucial for your club, over the next few years as you have a heavy load in salary and will need to insert new upcoming talent at some point and keep that in motion, I think that was key for Chevy in this deal , he could not afford Trouba and he knows it he did what was best for both short term and long term , while looking at spreading out money for quantity and quality and not all in on one guy with a heavy salary all ready on the D side on the jets.

        He must see some upside in his prospect pool as well to make this move…and sign Connor where he will need money there for sure.

        Pionk is an investment and is serviceable and will not take a huge cap hit if resigned at any time….he is a work in progress with good wheels.

      • Nyr4life,
        The NYR can only sign Trouba to a 7 year deal.

      • This trade could only happen on PlayStation… never in real life. Duh.

    • Trouba decision according to him, is made entirely based on his girlfriend who he intend on marrying. She is studying to be a Doctor and has worked very hard to get to that position and her career is just as important to her as mine is to me. Not a direct quote but you get the understanding, that Jacob wants to play in the city that she is practicing.
      Chevy wouldn’t let any team talk to Trouba, does that mean the team Trouba wants to play for didn’t inquire? Or wouldn’t offer anything Winnipeg wanted?
      No one in Winnipeg is happy with this deal, feeling is Chevy came up way short and what was the rush if this was the best offer for a top pairing right shoot dman who created a so-call bidding war.

    • @ George O

      Here is something to make you smile 🙂

      Erik Karlsson re-signing with the Sharks means the Ottawa Senators get their 2021 2nd round pick.

      Over the next three drafts the Senators have 28 draft picks with four in the 1st, eight in the 2nd and four in the 3rd.

      • Oh yeah, well aware of that. And if Duchene re-signs in Columbus they also get the Blue Jackets’ 1st round pick in 2020. Some of those, I think, will be traded for more experienced players in deals with those teams that need to clear cap space (e.g. SJ who are paying out $33,350,000 for 6 D, including Dillon and Braun, both over $3 mil – could one of them be made available?)

        Incidentally, anyone have any idea why Braun and his #3.8 mil cap hit is not shown in CapFriendly? Do they know something we don’t Lyle?

        All this, and that collection of picks, tells me Dorion won’t have – or need – any deal like the Clarkson one, Pengy.

      • George O, did you look for Brain on Flyers payroll?

      • saw it right after i posted

  2. Joe Pavelski’s value? Great track record, serious injury in the playoffs, age now a factor. If he goes to free agency, where and for how much? And how do the Sharks replace him?
    Jake Gardiner – much maligned by some Leaf fans, now considered by some to be the best free agent blueliner out there.
    Life in the NHL is strange.

    • Most lists have Gardiner 28, Myers 28 , Elder 33, Stralman 32, and Hainsey 38 as their top 5.

      With the Trouba trade, I’d imagine Myers is off that list. This isn’t exactly a good list here. Gardiner is the most desirable by default and age. The rest are well past their best by age.

      I don’t think Gardiner at #1 on this list says much, other than it’s slim pickin’s at defense this year.

    • I would happily have Jake back on the team, we just can’t afford him unfortunately. I was expecting him to get 5.5-6 mill a year but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get more with it being a weak free agency class.

      • Definitely not trashing Gardiner here. But it is a weak class.

      • Gardiner – is a great first pass D man and has great wheels with open ice when he is not being rushed
        BUT, its when he is pressured and coughs up the puck and in hi sown zone (OFTEN ) other team gets the cycle going in his end that is when he is deemed absolutely useless…once again ( OFTEN ) .
        Very soft D man gets walked all over every time in the corners and has a propensity to throw the puck in front of his own net in desperation once again
        ( OFTEN )

        He will come in at around $6.9 – $7 million id say.

        Leafs need to move on… and get bigger and more physical on the back end and will pucks out of the zone not flip shots all day long down the middle.

        The Bs and Blues proved that , Leafs have no size on the D side use the money there instead and have the wingers come back to push the puck up instead and let the D men take care of business in the corners and in front….my 2 cents anyways.

      • Gardiner definitely has good wheels – and sme size to go with them – which makes me wonder why the Leafs never tried to play him as a F – wouldn’t be the first time that happened, including their own history when the converted Norris winner Red Kelly to F after getting him from Detroit.

      • @ GEORGE O

        Wendle Clark was a D man through Junior as well and became a prolific power forward sniper in his move to upfront…

        Jake Gardiner ( was ) a forward in his college playing day also ..I had advocated to do the Brent Burns thing with him in the past, I agree it could have been useful at times.

        ca la vie

  3. I am a little surprised at the dealings so far. Sharks might only be able to sign little Joe and someone on the backend is definitely done (other than Burns)

    I thought Trouba would get more than an un drafted defence and a first. He is a bit of a risk for long term and dollars and that may have been the best deal

    Niskanen and Hayes trades came out of left field but I like them . Eberle signing so quick and the dollars

    TJ Brodie’s stock just went up

    More to come. “Don’t change the station we will be right back”

  4. Chris Kreider would look good in a Bruins uniform…..along with a shutdown Dman ….

    • @ Joe

      At that point you would most likely have to move Krejci if you were to bring in Krieder ..NO??

  5. Very happy to get Trouba and hoping we lock him up long term. Although it’s been reported that Trouba camp wasn’t given permission to talk to other teams, it’s also been reported that his camp gave Chevy a short list of teams he’d be willing to sign with. Pretty sure at this time we can only give him a 7 year deal. I’d be shocked if he only does one year and goes to ufa next summer. If that’s the case, I’d expect Rangers to deal him at deadline. By making this move, I’d be very disappointed if we don’t extend Kreider. With young wingers coming in on elc’s giving him a bump shouldn’t be a problem. There’s 4 other veteran forwards in last year of their contracts and other than Fast, Who I don’t see getting a big raise, id much rather see the other 3 moved.

    • I believe NY can give him 8 even past July 1. He’s a Rfa so his rights belong to NY. If he were an UFA, I believe they lose the 8th year past July 1.

      • I thought I’ve seen before he has to be on roster at previous trade deadline to get 8?

      • Maybe I’m wrong, Lyle?

      • Coburn signed with Tampa

      • @ slick 62 – Coburn signing

        After Tampa dodging the Karlsson bullet which is the next Dion Phaneuf contract , they had some loose change to spare …hes a big – big guy and at that price for 2 years is decent and exactly expires when Sergachev , Cernak and Foote will require a new deal so timing is very good at that price!

      • Slick62 is right, This is from the CBA

        An SPC with a term of greater than seven (7) years, provided, however,
        that a Club may sign a Player to an SPC with a term of up to eight (8)
        years if that Player was on such Club’s Reserve List as of and since the
        most recent Trade Deadline. With respect to potential Unrestricted Free
        Agents only, the ability to re-sign a Player to an SPC of eight (8) years
        expires when the Player becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent. With
        respect to a Player who becomes a Group 2 Restricted Free Agent, a Club
        may sign such Player to an SPC with a term of up to eight (8) years
        provided such Player was on such Club’s Reserve List and/or Restricted
        Free Agent List as of and since the most recent Trade Deadline

      • What prevents them from signing trouba to a one year deal now then signing the 8 year deal next year? If he wants to be in ny and all that

      • Two things – from his perspective, he suffers a serious career-threatening injury which impacts any long-term commitment thereafter – and from NYs perspective, he has a massive season which ups his demand considerably

      • Fair enough. Just trying to see someway around this 7 year thing.

      • Is There anything prohibiting working out both a 1-year and a 7-year deal to kick in right after the 12-year expires? Or is that a loophole long blocked?

  6. Might as well keep Krug. After this next season Chara will probably retire leaving the left side rather thin. Give Krug Chara’s 2 million salary and there’s your 7.5 what he is worth. Moving Backes salary would go a long way to adding the top 6 RW needed forever.
    I would take one more run next season before making major changes.

  7. we must not fully grasp the cap hell sum teams have put themselves in,Chevy aint a dope,the statement which is misleading is “other teams offered better talent ?
    Yes but with a contract ,Winny cant afford what they have now, getting a top 20 1st rder & a possible D man ready in Pionk may have been best for Winny now,
    I felt Pionk had that Boby Orr end to end goal early in season and had a best 1st half possible for him ,BUT in long run he cant grind and still produce as a top 4 must do, we will see ,maybe partnerd with a better talent and using him on 2nd PP unit
    they may have 2 pieces in there line up instead of less if they traded with $$$
    very little cap issue there , i see the reasoning
    I wonder like Tor. after seeing this deal are shaking in there boots with so much talent to sign & such a big hole on D to solve..& No $$ to do it
    I D K but this summer just got great , and its only gonna get better as all the warts come out with the draft friday ,teams that need to manuever there cap $$ & talent to sign the critical moves BUT they cant do all of them , cant wait to see who falls form the squeeze plays happening… GREAT STUFF

    How does S J sign Karlsson ? whats gonna happen there is worth watching alone ?
    there must be 5-10 teams in the same boat as
    Winny ,Tor,Pitt,Edm, Cal.,Vegas,T B thats off the top of my head ,didnt scrutinize

    whats gonna happen with expansion draft &stocking Seattle like Vegas ?
    O M G better not have the G M meeting in a high rise building with windows
    you never know
    teams better watch out or the next 2 seasons the power base will shift

    • It does seem like a very poor return for Jets, but I don’t think there was many teams Trouba was willing to sign with. It’s been reported that NY was one of the only teams that had the cap room. I’m not sure what his fiancé is studying at med school, but there’s no shortage of work in NYC. Brady Skjei also posted how happy he is to have one of his best friends for last 8 years on team. Obviously if Jets could’ve gotten a better deal they would have. Seems like they really wanted the pick before Friday. I’m confident Rangers will sign him long term. Good fit.

      • Nope

    • I have been thinking the same thing nashty guy. With so many teams up against the cap, and not even having the space to sign their own RFA’s, and so few teams willing to take their problems off their hands, you have to think that all of them are dealing from a position of weakness.
      I think this had an impact on Chevvy taking the deal he did. Do you really want to risk being last to the party? As teams like NYR make their deals, that shrinks the market and teams like Toronto have less leverage.
      Will this finally bring sanity to the UFA market.

    • How are the Penguins in “the same boat”?

      They have no UFAs. Marcus Petterson is their biggest RFA and they have the space to resign.

      Their issue is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. That and Kessel’s reported “issues” coupled with aging stars, Jack Johnson being paid by them, and no A grade prospects.

  8. If it’s true that Rangers have been shopping Shattenkirk and willing to retain salary, I’m surprised in such a week class that it hasn’t happened. Maybe they’re expecting a buyout? Rangers would save over 5m this year but have a cap hit over 6m next if they do it, with 2 extra years of cap hits over a mil. As mentioned before here, trading him after most thought he took a hometown discount wouldn’t look good, perhaps a buyout would be the way to go. He would become a ufa and have choice of going anywhere and making a little more money. Honestly, I’m not all in on Panarin, and don’t see a need to move Shattenkirk. With Kakko and Kravtsov both probably in line up next year, I’m not sure Rangers are set on signing him. Getting that 2nd pick changed things. Fixing defense was a priority.

    • @Slick62
      Panarin is a tough one to pass up. You deal with the extra forward issues when one of the K’s blossoms or trade the K-Kreider.

      The 2nd line center is the issue of concern for me. Lias could still be that guy? maybe? Chytil plays like a winger imho

      • DS, for that reason I think Rangers are better off either offer sheeting or possibly working a deal with Tampa for Pointe. Not sure Tampa would move him, but they currently only have 18 players rostered with 6+ mil of cap space. Panarin will be 28 at beginning of season. He’s averaged 29 goals in his 4 years. If we’re not willing to give Kreider 6-7 mil for 5/6 years, I don’t know why we’d give Panarin, who is a few months younger, 10-11 mil for 7 years? Different types of players, both left wings.

      • avs need to make an offer to the breadman that he cant refuse!

  9. I don’t think MTL swaps Shaw for Leddy. It’s most likely Byron, Hudon and Reilly for Leddy. Shaw and Leddy have huge chemistry going back to their Blackhawk days.

    • The Islanders are deep in mid six forwards. Not sure why they would want a collection of scraps for Leddy. With the weak FA class on D and Leddy’s reasonable cap hit the Isles should be able to do better than that.

  10. With huge Karlsson contract, do we now put Timo Meier on offer sheet watch?

    • @ Slick 62

      Id go after Labanc and try and pry him out instead guys got a great shot plays bigger than he is …just a thought.

  11. maybe there’s a market for ceci if the defense ufa pool is so weak…

    …probably not.

    • He’s Ottawa’s Zaitzev, Dark G – already overpaid for what he delivers … and about to seek even more as an RFA.

  12. Glad MTL didn’t end up with EK. Too much money. Leddy is an interesting choice and I think Shaw could do well with Isles.

    • I dont watch Isles to much, so is Leddy any good? Worth this trade? (if its happen?)

      • Leddy is a remarkable skater and can drive the offence. Only reason the Isles think about moving him is they have so many young D already there and on the way. They need some more scoring punch up front.

  13. Sounds like the cap might be under 82 million, things might tighten up for a few teams if this is the case

  14. There’s rumours out there now that a potential trade between Winning and Carolina is being discussed. One that would involve Ehlers going to the Canes and one of their RHD going to the Jets.

    • good fit. means they cannot afford Myers ?

    • @ Leafs advocate

      The Canes had been saying all season long last year that they wanted a faster line up and a top 6 winger that could score hence why they were after Nylander, this could be a really good second option at a little less money AAV but for roughly the same style player.

      He had a so / so season but he is very talented and could easily be a 20 plus perennial goal guy on the Canes as well.,,,still lots to offer !

  15. if NY retains $2m of Shatt’s contract where would he fit?

    to TML: Lias & Shatt
    to NYR: Kadri

    TML uses their $ spent to get a right side defenseman with no long term obligation

    TML gets a young center

    NYR gets 3rd line center they can use as a #2 with Howden at the 3C spot

    too optimistic??

    • Kadri isn’t worth that much!

      • ok we will take your 1st rd pick next year =)

      • @ Leafs advocate & ihatecrosby

        Leafs would need to fill Kadris role for faceoffs …

        he was in the top 20 best face off players in the NHL
        18th to be exact last year.

        Matthews is not great at that aspect, Tavares is decent @ 24th …but if you trade Kadri you need a quality 3rd line Center for face offs.
        Leafs will struggle in this area if the let Kadri go.
        and with a soft defense could be even worse next year .

        Just thinking long term …as it is crucial to start with the puck in your own zone more often …

        Kadri & Nylander = $11.5 mill


        Henrique and Manson = $10 mill

        might be a decent deal.

        Thoughts …Henrique to expensive for a 3rd line center ???

        He sits behind Kesler and Getzlaf on Ducks ??

        Leafs save $1.5 million and get the right shot hard nosed D man

    • Stealing my thunder… ;-0
      Ive said for months that Lias would be a good replacement for Kadri in TO.

      • Kessel plus ?? for Nylander. He still scores, plays D as well as Nylander and has only 2 years left

    • Will Shatty go to Toronto? Partial ntc

    • To Tampa:Lias, Shatty (50% retained) , next years 1st rd pick
      To NYR: Pointe

      • NYR would have to give up a ton more for Pointe

        Holding 50% is awfully a lot. Better off holding onto Shatts if 50% retention is needed.

        Sadly, I cannot see TB giving up Pointe for a small package like that regardless of their cap dilemas.

      • Of course trade proposals here aren’t to be taken too serious, but why would keeping Shatty be better at 6.6 mil than opening spot for a young guy on an elc? Still better than a buyout. If they where to trade for Pointe it will give them some cap space

      • @Slick62

        Agreed…we all propose ideas in good fun.

        In regards to TB & Pointe,

        I guess I am leaning towards Pointe being worth more to TB now and in the future than Shatt is to them. I think they would do everything under the sun to move other contracts, even giveaways of good players, before they scrap trying to lock up Pointe. IMO based on his previous seasons performance.

        ah yes Shatts would waive to go to TML for a cup run.

  16. When i read Rutherford’s ckmments here I take it for what it is and truth. He isnt actively shopping Kessel. Probably doesnt want to.go through the work this time only to have kessel nix it and the teams kessel will permit are not good fits.

    So he passively does it. That is gets a call with an offer he likes. Then simply takes it to kessel.

  17. Flyers backend is shaping up nicely. Getting a little crowded for guys like Myers Hagg and Morin.
    Sharks got a decent return . 41 overall is nothing to sneeze at when you need to dump salary

    I love this time of year.

  18. I believe it’s four years and counting that Neely & Sweeney have been looking for a winger with size to play on that 2nd line ….

  19. Nylander for anyone-I would make the Manson deal but not for Henrique-I would ask for a more rugged winger…Shattenkirk? Kessel back to Leafs? This is great fairy tale land which makes it fun!