NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2019

by | Jun 28, 2019 | Rumors | 89 comments

The latest Penguins, Leafs and Golden Knights trade speculation plus updates on Artemi Panarin, Robin Lehner, Joe Pavelski, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe cites sources within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization claiming general manager Jim Rutherford is still talking trade with other clubs. Rutherford wants to change the culture of his club, shed some salary, and bring in a younger, faster player or two that can have an immediate impact.

The Phil Kessel trade rumors are still churning (Photo via NHL Images).

Yohe believes Rutherford is still trying to trade Phil Kessel. Earlier this month, the 32-year-old winger used his no-trade clause to squash a deal that would’ve sent him to the Minnesota Wild.

Contrary to recent rumors, the Penguins won’t pursue veteran wingers Corey Perry and Wayne Simmonds via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford’s said he’s comfortable with Kessel returning to the lineup this fall. Nevertheless, Yohe joins several Pittsburgh pundits who believe he’s still trying to move the winger. Cap Friendly indicates Kessel has an eight-team trade list, which complicates Rutherford’s efforts.

I never understood the logic behind those rumors linking Perry and Simmonds to the Penguins. It’s obvious Rutherford wants his club to get younger and faster. Those two won’t address those needs. 


TSN:  Frank Seravalli notes the Toronto Maple Leafs need to shed salary places defenseman Nikita Zaitsev sits atop the latest update of his NHL “trade bait” list. The high cost of re-signing restricted free agent Mitch Marner makes it necessary to try and move Zaitsev’s $4.5-million annual salary-cap hit. Seravalli believes it’ll take packaging Zaitsev with a “sweetener” to get it done.

The Vegas Golden Knights are already sitting above the $81.5-million salary cap and must shed salary. Defenseman Colin Miller and forward Ryan Reaves are possible trade candidates.


THE SCORE: Josh Gold-Smith cites The Athletic’s Arthur Staple claiming a league source suggest Robin Lehner’s days with the New York Islanders could be drawing to a close. The two sides are believed far apart in contract talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would explain why the Islanders met with Sergei Bobrovsky earlier this week. However, the cost of signing Bobrovsky would be much higher than re-signing Lehner. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reported left-winger Artemi Panarin met with the New York Rangers yesterday.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild have inquired about Anders Lee. They also have “serious interest” in Joe Pavelski and Wayne Simmonds.

Gold-Smith also noted The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline tweeting winger Mats Zuccarello seeks a five-year contract.

TSN: Ryan Rishaug reports it sounds like the Calgary Flames are among several teams interested in winger Patrick Maroon.



  1. Term seemed to be sticking point for Zuccarello in Dallas, but I find it hard to believe anyone will give him 5 years at 32 years old. I’m still hoping he circles back to Dallas so Rangers get that extra 1st round pick next year. Of course, if I’m Dallas that’s something else to consider.

    • Hard to go more than 3 yrs. Good player but already 32.

    • Zuccarello would make sense on the Devils 1st line with Hughes and Hall. Offer 4 years $23M

      Columbus should have a lot to spend after losing Bobrovsky Duchene and Panarin. Wonder who they will overspend on.

    • Ranger fan? Yeah, Rangers last 1st picks have been great *lol* They pick donkey among race horses. So if Zucc returned to Dallas and the rangers get a 1st pick, I would laugh if the pick (which isnot lottery protected) is lost. Then they taded zuck for a 2nd pick. Good deal?

  2. Biggest issue the Leafs face is team’s that have their own sled imposed salary cap are much less likely to wheel and deal until after July 1 when players like Zaitsev and Nylander have their HUGE lump sum payouts… Well, paid out! After July 1 we should see some Leaf trades and movement.

    Personally I would like to see a Nylander for Barrie deal with the AVS, or a Nylander for Hamilton or Faulk and Foegle deal with the Canes. But I would LOVE to see a Nylander (and a little extra somethin’ somethin’) to the Wild for Dumba. I also think a deal can be made with the Oilers that would see Larsson and Puljujarvi come the Leafs way in exchange for some combination of Brown and Johnsson or Kapanen but more likely Brown and Zaitsev and a pick.

    The fact Kapanen and Johnsson are apparently signed, sealed and all but delivered makes me think the likely hood of a Nylander trade after July 1 is very high.

    • While I can understand a devoited fan’s desire to see the best possible scenarios unfold in trades to help their teeam where it’s needed most – we’re all like that to varying degrees – but Nylander’s value when it comes to trade options isn’t exactly at its highest at the moment, and while dealing him MIGHT bring back a serviceable 3-5 D-man from a team loaded with defense depth and lots of cap space, I seriously doubt the names you mention would be relinquished for a close to $7 mil F who, until he proves otherwise, might be looked upon as a one-shot Roman candle. As for Edmonton, D is among their biggest needs – not offense – so why would Holland even think about giving up Larsson?

      • Well said George, I think most trades the leafs do this off season will involve a sweetener or very low return! Every gm knows Vegas and the leafs are in cap hell, and what we saw with the first with Marleau is a good indicator

      • Hi George,

        I fully agree with you w.r.t. WW’s trade value NOW (i.e. today through EOD Monday)

        His value will massively increase come Tuesday morning.

        After he is paid his SB on Monday ; receiving team gets him for only $700 K next year and a balance of contract AAV of LESS than $5M per year (the $7M cap remains, but the cash is much lower).

        Add to that his recent high end performance at the Worlds and I do believe, if GMKD can put his “promise” aside; that Leafs can get a top 4 D back for WW.

        On the morning coffee side I saw some suggesting a Dumba or Hamilton etc. etc. Me likey 🙂

        To me, those players would be great adds. All is negotiable, but I do believe on Tuesday the door opens much wider for Dubas

        My penultimate D acquisition for Leafs would be Parayko but we all know that is impossible now.

        Is there a scenario with Carolina— I think it could be done

        Is there a scenario with Edmonton (would love to see Darnell Nurse as a Leaf); much less likely due to Oil being at a cap crunch as well.

        If the key players moving were Nurse and WW (note a lot of finessing going on) …. then maybe there is a win win….

        Just a maniacal stab here… WW on July 2nd for Nurse, Gagner, Brodziak; then Leafs buy out Gagner and Brodziak:

        Result… Ed saves a ton of cash, basically flipping Nurse for WW and saving some Cap. WW should play much closer to his capabilities with a change of scenery (note current performance at worlds).

        Leafs gain a mobile and solid top 4 D (albeit L-Hander) for WW (who was not needed offensively for Leafs); Leafs are good to go offensively w/o him) and the net Cap savings after buyouts is an extra $1.6M in Cap for Leafs.

        I’m certainly not saying this will happen; just trying to show that logical deals (a win for both teams involved) are out there

        Fingers crossed

        Go Leafs Go

      • Hi George, I respectfully disagree that D is among Edmonton’s biggest needs. This is not to say Edmonton has a top blue line for 19/20 but they have excellent prospect depth and guys who can push this year, next year and the year after. It has a chance to be a major strength in 2-3 years and should improve as early as next season.
        6 D on the roster are NHL caliber. None are true #1’s, and you could argue that none are even #2’s, although I would put Klefbom as a 2 when healthy and Nurse has a chance to be.
        Jones sure looks to be ready and did pretty good when he came up last year. The problem is he was pushed over 20 minutes against top lines. When he wasn’t he played well and I would bet he starts the year in Edmonton and takes a job from Russell. Persson could also prove to be worthy.
        Excellent prospects in Broberg, Bouchard, and Samorukov.
        IMO the biggest needs are in net then wingers.
        Trading Larsson makes them worse this year but they should have plenty of depth real soon.
        I would target Kadri not Nylander if they do it.

      • OK, but would you take Zaitsev and his $4.5 long-term deal as a replacement for Larsson which means the Oilers would still have him when some of those kids start negotiating for bigger contracts?

      • George, hell no on Zaitsev unless they throw in something significant.
        But would I move Larsson for Kadri if there was a way to get the famous “sweetener” to help on the wing? Yes if they were young and affordable.
        My comment had to do with the Oil not so much the Leafs.
        IMO the Oil are handcuffed this year and need to chew on it this season and focus on 2-3 years from now. If they can add assets to get them there, then do it.
        They don’t have much coming on the wings. Benson looks good so far. PJ and Yamamoto? Who knows.
        D is the only position they have real prospect depth.

      • I’d like Kadri as well – and as I’ve said many times I’d take Zaitsev too – but not of the deal involved someone of Larsson’s caliber going the other way. My response was to Hollywood Hudon saying “I also think a deal can be made with the Oilers that would see Larsson and Puljujarvi come the Leafs way in exchange for some combination of Brown and Johnsson or Kapanen but more likely Brown and Zaitsev and a pick.”

    • Do I know this Hudon? Young Gun here.

    • I would love to see a M Nylander trade to a team that needs his skills. Toronto apparently don’t if you’re listening to their fans. I would love to see him in a Buffalo shirt or maybe a Rangers one.

    • Face facts- Marner’s a goner. He’ll be attending his best buds & former teammate Matt Martin’s wedding this week while he’s here, I’m sure Matt will introduce him to Lou & let’s see where that goes. I do however believe the reason for the actual pen to paper signing by Kapanen & Johnsson is the beginning to the end for MM in Toronto.

      • Or two sign-and-trades?

      • LOL Marner knows Lou already, well. Lou does not hand out record breaking contracts anymore. Lou was GM for Marner’s first 2 seasons. On Lou’s teams, kidding around is frowned upon. Not a Marner type of environment. Martin is not a lock for a starting job on the Island either, that team is pretty deep in their development system. Marner to the NYIs? Doubt that for a lot of reasons.
        Lou taking Nylander in a trade is far more likely…if Dubas ignores what Lou taught him and trades inside his own conference.

  3. Always wondered why Kessel rejecting the deal was made public. It didn’t have to. Who would benefit by making it public? (Rutherford? Wild? Perhaps before you trade someone w/ NTC, you might consult said player. Kessel doesn’t care who he’s being traded for, if a trade happens, it’ll be to a place he wants to play. He’s won 2 cups!

  4. Add to younger and faster is also bigger and tougher. This years draft is well toward this. See a lot if negativity in some circles about Eric Gudbranson on defense. He is very serviceable and is definitely a plus in negating the goonery especially in the division.

  5. Trade Nylander, perhaps but, for me, trade Marner….the fact that he is playing this game at age 22, with a small career behnd him and three playoff exits in round one tells me that the hype about Marner and his love of the TML and the game is fiction-he is either not in control of what’s going on or he is letting it happen and in both cases, trae him for the depth help the team needs…get rid of him, Nylander and Brown, Zaitsev and try to re-make this team with some semblance of planning and adding grit. With Dubas, the latter may never happen!~

    • Geez this has nothing to do with marner’s love for the city, this is a business leaf fans! You should be upset with your gm who handed over 11 million and 11.6 to Tavares and Matthews when marner had more points and plays the pk. Anyone on here that says they wouldn’t chase the most money at 22 yrs old is lying

      • It makes for fun reading.

        All will be forgotten once he’s signed, and he will be be great once more.
        Young/new Leaf fans are absolutely adorable.

      • Shore 🤣👍

      • Totally agree. Marners allowed to seek max dollars just like you, me and everybody else.

      • The reality is that Marner’s numbers would top out at $9.5 as a winger on any other team. His numbers are good, but nobody is getting near $11 M for those numbers. Sure Marchand thinks Marner is worth double his own salary, that’s a stunt. LOL
        Marner is only asking those numbers because of Matthew’s production being less. Eventually Matthews and Marner will play on the same line, that does not happen elsewhere. Nylander will be traded for D, just watch.

      • No way marner doesn’t get atleast 11 Dave, he’s been there best forwards the last 2 years drives the offence plays the pk, you can’t look back on previous contracts when the cap was lower that’s ridiculous marner would have to have the worst agent ever to do that! Lol

    • Trading MM to the Islanders would make a lot of sense. We get one of the best forwards available in Marner & we have defenseman a plenty on the roster & in the minors. We would love to move Leddy and/ or Boychuk along with a defensive prospect or even two. There are a few that aren’t available for trade but I’m sure we could work out something that makes everyone happy.

  6. Trade Marner

  7. Oh no the sky is falling again. Good morning Obe.

  8. Trade who again?

    • 🤣

  9. Any trades involving Nylander won’t happen until after July 1st, which is when his bonus will be paid.
    I agree he is the most likely of their top 4, to be traded; going forward it would be ridiculous to tie up $40 + million in four forwards.

  10. All this talk offer sheeting the Big ticket player.
    Is there any rfa player(s) out there that are worth offering or gambling on a player who could help your team at the price of $4.2m hence only rendering a 2nd round pick if not matched but might be to much of a cap hit for his present team.

    • Definitely brings more teams in Caper, but I still don’t see it happening and will believe it when I see it.
      If it doesn’t happen this year, then when?
      Every team will be in a tough spot sooner or later and I think that is the main reason they hold back.
      The list of RFA’s that were not qualified has some guys that are worth taking a flier on for teams that need some help.

    • Caper – I think you are 100% correct. Any team that uses an offer sheet that costs them 4 first round picks is doomed to lose. Over paying by enough so that the team doesn’t match is going to kill your cap situation. Then paying 4 picks is added punishment.

      As a Leaf fan the example you gave is why I was happy to see that the Leafs officially signed Kapanen and Johnson today. Since compensation is only a second rounder for that caliber of player it is a much smarter tactic.

    • Kapanen & Johnsson were silly to not sign an OS for 4.2m. They owe nothing to the Leafs & should’ve maxed out their leverage. Other players took the max.

  11. So the hold up for Nylander plus to COL for Barrie is the signing Bonus? I can see that. What else is heading to COL? Brown?

  12. If Im the GM of any team in the NHL Im calling Vancouver before making any deal. Bennings eager to make a splash and is under pressure to make the playoffs. With his trading history and current situation hes ripe for another picking.

    • Leafs cannot bail fast enough.
      No help is coming that is good.

  13. Can a team negotiate if a player agrees to an offer sheet and the other team does not match?
    Say the Rangers offersheet Aho and Carolina agrees to a few players+2 1st rounds etc?

    • No it is set in stone except the team making the offer has 5 yrs to pay out the 4 1st if it that big of an offer

    • This could totally work as a sign-and-trade. But not directly as compensation, as bigbadbruins notes.

  14. Zaitsev



    • It certainly gets the Pens younger and a bit cheaper. And Letang to me would be an excellent fit at #2 RD, paired with Muzzin.

      I like it! Though perhaps both sides may prefer Brown instead of Kapanen??? More versatility and cheaper price tag @ shorter term.


    • Anyone would jump on that! The GM doing it will be crucified!

  15. Toronto : Kadri, Nylander and Zaitsev
    Vancouver : Sutter, Boeser, Stecher and 2nd rd pick.

    • Dubas: Hey Jim, nice shoes
      Benning: Geez, thanks Kyle. How about a first instead of a second?
      Dubas: No no Jim, I’ll give you a first!
      Benning: forget it

      • It’s more like , Jim I’ll give you a first and zaitsev for a 7th? No make it a 2nd kyle no no Jim it’s zaitsev he asked for a trade it’s a first

    • Nylander/Zaitsev

      Cap space sorely needed.
      Zaitsev is an anchor contract that doesn’t get get disguised.
      Sutter helps sorely needed defense from F’s.
      Willie is a 6m player dressed up as a 7m hit. He’s good but not great but the best player in the trade to go with the worst Zaitsev.

  16. Unrelated to any of this.

    A thought occured to me regarding the draft and Ottawa’s pick. Is it possibke Dorion selecting players that need a few yesrs to develope and the goalie to better poaition himself for the exoansion draft. Perhaps not and any player drsfted this year will be too green tk be eligible for the expansion draft.

    In which case could he be positioning himself to protect against a loss? By drafting positiinal needs rather than the concensus best player?

  17. From my understanding….

    Marner, Andreas and Kapanen have all been signed.

    Zaitsev has been offered in many trade offers. Carolina was interested but decided to trade DeHaan to Chicago as Toronto’s “sweetener” was too much with high salary cap going back to Carolina.

    Khadri has also been offered in many trade offers as well.

    • Wow! That marner signing was quiet! Lol

      • LMFAO

    • Don’t know what your smoking or where you get your info from but Marner hasn’t signed anywhere. Geesh! You Mapleloops fans are nuts. The trades you propose are ridiculously one-sided. You must really think the rest of the leagues are as stupid as yours has already proven he is. Good luck!

  18. It’s my contention that the Penguins need to trade one of their 4 right shot RW’s who all make at least $3.5 million.

    I’m curious to hear from Penguins fans and fans of other teams what order they are valued in…for Pens fans the order you want to keep them, for other teams the order you want them on your team.

    Assume realistic trade returns/costs, age, cap hit, etc.

    Alphabetically: Bjugstad, Hornqvist, Kessel, Rust

    For me it’s…

    1) Rust
    2) and 3) Can’t decide between Kessel and Bjugstad
    4) Hornqvist

    • Perhaps you call GM Shero and offer Kessel for Zacha & a 1st?

      Gives NJ depth…they have the cap space. Zacha has not panned out as a 2C and they have Hughes for that as Zajac slides into 3C

      Pitts gets significant cap relief to try and make moves to get back into serious contention and a 1st next yr to rebuild or flip for something.

      perhaps even

      Kessel and JJ
      Zacha & Mueller plus 1st

      • That’s an interesting idea. But knowing Shero, he’d play hardball. It would be Kessel for Zacha straight up, but…

        A young player with upside who slots in as a 3C putting McCann and Bjugstad on the wings where they belong?

        That’s actually not a bad return, really.

      • IHC,

        You had me at JJ going out the door…. don’t have to read any more…. deal is fair as soon as JJ leaves 🙂

        Ok, I’ve picked myself up off the floor now.

        Deal is reasonable and fair; but seeing as Pens are in the here and now… the draft pick is much less coveted than a player.

        Seeing as JJ can then immediately be bought out by NJ and they only get a $270K cap hit… perhaps there is more coming back (player instead of a 1st).

        Please post immediately as soon as this deal goes through…. you will hear me cheering all the way from Toronto …. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • @Pengy…. since you do not want a 1st and seek more immediate help

        to NJ: Kessel & JJ and mid rd pick
        to Pitts: Zacha, Bratt & Carrick

        that get it done for ya?

      • LMAO at the trade proposed here. Sorry, but your lucky if you get a Devils Jersey for Kessel. We paid less for Subban than Zacha and a 1st.

      • IHC

        Now you are getting close 👍

        Setting aside an unlikely intra-divisional trade …. that’s not fat off

        Now to be fair…. i watched Carrick as a Leaf and Marlie… so that is not an asset coming that would be of any interest …..

        I’ll step it up…

        Phil; JJ ; ZAR ; and either Horny or Bjugstaad ; plus 3 mid rounders over 3 years for

        Zacha, Bratt, Smyth, McLeod

        What say you Sir IHC?


      • not “far” off …. accidentally put “not fat off”


      • Asking too much. McLeod will be on the team. IT gives up too much young talent….

        Remember Carrick is the sweetener for taking JJ lol

        Too much $ coming back to NJ….they need the space for Hall. Kessel can be the only big ticket coming their way.

        IF you accept my Zacha, Bratt & Carrick we have a deal =)

        do not worry about division. “I need to please Hall and get some playoff revenue to keep from going Bankrupt” says the NJ Devils owners LOL.

      • Pens should keep Kessel. Try hard to move JJ and Hornqvist instead. NJD should look at Zuccarello. Hold onto those two pieces.

      • IHC,

        I tried to slip that (McLeod inclusion) by you …. I guess it was too bold

        Carrick is RFA anyway so neither team has to sign him so take him or leave him doesn’t matter

        So …. my final offer good sir….

        Phil, JJ, ZAR , and either Horny or Bjugstaad ; no picks


        Zacha , Bratt ,Smyth and a lottery protected 1st; if we must take Carrick and then not sign him so be it


        Phil, JJ; ZAR and Horny or Bjugstaad


        Severson, Bratt, Smyth and two 3rd rounders; and again if need be Carrick and then refuse to sign him

        I will even throw in my secret Lasagne recipe ; my Jack Valiquette rookie card ; and my 1976 Lange hockey skates (size 12)

        Can we shake on this good sir


      • Hahahahaha, goodness. C’mon fellas, almost sound like your giving the Devils great value by dumping all your old farts that are worth nothing. The best offer is Zacha and a 2020 3rd for Crosby and signing rights to Matt Cullen. I am throwing in Zacha for good measure.

      • The key is moving JJ

        I should have made something clear in my trade proposal. Sorry.

        As part of the trade, NJ canNOT buyout JJ and MUST agree to play him regular and for 82 games

        That’s the big penalty to NJ

        Hall might not even re-sign under those conditions; and Pens (1) have a gargantuan uptick defensively as well as with team motivation ; and (2) the reverse happens to divisional counterpart NJ …..all just with the JJ flip

        Sorry for not making that clear

        Whoosh….. that deal w/o that condition is absolutely crazy 😜

        All a whimsical and farcical in all these dream trades

        Still absolute best move for Pens is to buy out JJ…. Jimmy boy still has today and tomorrow or better be praying for ZAR to go for arbitration so the the buyout window opens up again


  19. Apparently Pierre From Orleans could have garnered an additional 6th round pick by trading down from 32 to 33.

    Of course he didn’t do it. Who needs anymore picks?

  20. Thank you Kyle Dubas and the TML for finally announcing the Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson re-signing!

    Good for you and us fans knowing that you’re standing your ground and putting team first.

    At least you are transparent ..


    TML fan

    • If your not trading both of them + others you’re out of the MM Sweepstakes! Have a nice day😎

    • I thought when folks announced things through the media, it was considered poor form?
      Does this only apply to Ol’ Mitchy?
      So many tunes.

    • @Antoni: I hear ya. If anything, Dubas has sent a message to the team. and Mitch.

      He signed the two players most likely to receive an offer sheet and sent a very quiet message to his nibs that , you can do your rockstar tour, but in the meantime, I’m getting business done

  21. Team sources from the Pens leaking bad stuff about Kessel yesterday to Rob Rossi all but certainly means that they are laying the groundwork for the fans to accept a lesser return than expected.

    They might trade him for whatever they can get before July 1 starts.

    I doubt this happens and have heard no link between them, but Maroon would be an interesting fit.

  22. TSN and Sportsnet both have Zaitsev at #1 on their trade bait list.

    Surely theres no Leaf bias there and theres no way theyre trying to inflate Zaitsevs value.

    TSN and Sportsnet….. media shills for all things Toronto.

    • Maybe Shero will trade Carrick back to TML lol for Zaitsev and Kapanen LOL

  23. Hearing burakovsky to Colorado

    • Yep, dealt for Scott Kosmachuk a 3rd round pick RW taken by the Jets 7 years ago + 2 2020 picks – a 2nd round and a 3rd round

    • Great move by COL….

      Depth move…gives them another here and now player to play with their core. Especially when they did not qualify some of their bottom 6

      • That team keeps getting better and better.

      • Ya good trade for col, Vegas traded Collin Miller to Buffalo for a 2nd and 5th good for Buffalo! You really wonder after the whole nylander fiasco last yr the leafs don’t just give marner his money? Waiting to see what happens the leafs are missing out on dmen they desperately need, they could have 3 ahlers dmen on the team next year

      • Think after losing to COL they saw who stepped up and competed in the playoffs. Which players were not built for that type of series and decided to do something about it. They just got BIGGER too.

        I think a player that will certainly help their top 9 tremendously is Zuccarello. His playmaking skills would be an amazing addition but again….most teams do not want to invest 5 yrs on Zucc sadly. He is good still.

      • * I mean COL losing to SJ

  24. Don’t listen to a word Josh Yohe says….blah blah blahhhh

  25. Hopefully the Colin Miller to BUFF means Risto is available.

    I’d still like to see Kreider for Risto.

    Or a bigger deal of

    Kreider, Vesey & Shatts


    Risto & Thompson

  26. Dubas has the Leafs in a bad position to move players for cap space. Nobody is wanting Zaitsev unless more sweeteners given away. Even then it’s a hard sell. Brown isn’t getting anything substantial.