NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2019
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.
PENGUINS STILL SHOPPING KESSEL?
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.
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.
UPDATE ON THE MAPLE LEAFS AND GOLDEN KNIGHTS
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.
LATEST NOTEWORTHY UFA UPDATES
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.
Thomas Vanek’s camp is talking with other teams and have been informed there’s probably not a fit between him and Detroit for this year.
— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) June 27, 2019