NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2019

by | Jun 29, 2019 | Rumors | 89 comments

Check out the latest on Artemi Panarin, Phil Kessel, Joe Pavelski, Anders Lee, Patrick Marleau, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers will pursue left winger Artemi Panarin via free agency on July 1. However, they don’t intend to get into a bidding war for his services. A source told Brooks that if they offer a seven-year deal for between $11 – $11.25 million annually, they won’t go higher to increase or match other bids. The Florida Panthers and New York Islanders could also be suitors for Panarin, as well as goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

Can the Rangers afford Artemi Panarin? (Photo via NHL Images)

Brooks also reports the Rangers won’t sign support players for anything beyond two years. They’re also said to be interested in bringing Brian Boyle back to New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be very interesting to see how much Panarin gets on the open market. There’s talk it could be over $12 million annually on a seven-year deal. That’ll price him out of most markets this summer. The Panthers are the favorites to sign him and Bobrovsky on July 1.


THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi reports sources claimed several teams remain interested in acquiring Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel. However, his unwillingness to expand his eight-team trade list is creating bad feelings within the Penguins organization and affecting their off-season plans.

 Kessel’s off-ice behavior, which includes regularly visiting a Pittsburgh casino, is influencing some younger teammates like Jake Guentzel. He’s also had run-ins with head coach Mike Sullivan. Some also blame Kessel for adversely affecting Evgeni Malkin’s performance. However, Kessel’s supporters among management and the roster believe he’s being unfairly targeted for the Penguins’ problems.

General manager Jim Rutherford is said to be seeking a hockey trade for Kessel, which includes not taking back a lot of salary in return. That could also affect Rutherford’s efforts to move the winger. The Pens GM has received a couple of offers for defenseman Kris Letang but ownership doesn’t want to part with him or Malkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sources for this piece appear to be front-office types unhappy with Kessel’s refusal to expand his list of trade destinations. Perhaps they’re hoping this provides additional “motivation” for the winger to reconsider. That tactic, however, could backfire.

If Kessel sticks to his guns, and he has every right to do so under his contract, this situation becomes more toxic. It could also make it harder to move Kessel. The Penguins will seem desperate, reducing whatever leverage they could’ve had. It could also make potential suitors fearful of Kessel being a “bad influence” upon their rosters.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Ali Thanawalla cited The Athletic’s Craig Custance reporting the number of teams interested in Joe Pavelski is at “double-digits”. Pavelski met with the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning this week. The Minnesota Wild are also rumored to be among the suitors.

Custance’s colleague Kevin Kurz took to Twitter yesterday saying there’s an “overwhelming sense” Pavelski won’t be returning with the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks signing Erik Karlsson may have spelled the end of Pavelski’s tenure in San Jose. He wants a lucrative deal which they can’t afford now. This could be, as Kurz put it, the end of an era for the Sharks. 

THE SCORE: Josh Gold-Smith cites The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reporting Patrick Marleau would like to return to the Sharks. The 39-year-old winger believes he has one good season left and would like it to be in San Jose, where he spent 19 of his 21 NHL seasons.


TSN: In his updated list of this summer’s top UFAs, Frank Seravalli believes New York Islanders captain Anders Lee will be moving on via free agency. He believes the shift in the market means Lee stands to make more than what the Isles expected.

Citing what Mark Stone got with the Vegas Golden Knights (eight years, $9.5 million per season), Seravalli suggests Lee could get at least $7.5 million annually, perhaps more.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most reports out of New York suggested term, not dollars, was the issue. Lee wanted a seven-year deal from the Isles but they would only go as far as five years for the 29-year-old winger. Given their meeting with Artemi Panarin this week, it seems Isles GM Lou Lamoriello is preparing to find a replacement for Lee. 


TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said he’s continuing to have “good dialogue” with Mitch Marner’s representative. He praised the pending restricted free agent and hopes to keep working toward an agreement. He’s also expressed interest in bringing back UFA defenseman Ron Hainsey. Meanwhile, the Leafs lack of blueline depth could mean Nikita Zaitsev stays put despite his trade request.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Florida Panthers are still working hard trying to trade goaltender James Reimer. They’d prefer moving him rather than buying him out. “Reimer has two seasons left on his current contract at a $3.4 million cap hit.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The buyout period ends at 5 pm ET on Sunday, June 30. My guess is the Panthers could be forced to go that route. Teams seeking backup goalies could prefer more affordable options via the UFA market. 






  1. Rossi was always malkins media mouthpiece…


    • I think Phil should open his own hotdog stand during the off season, get himself even fatter, and stick to his 8 team trade list and then sit back and watch all the tears that flow

      • Phil could make a killing at least sponsoring a hot dog joint. Not sure whose tears be flowing…?

        Rusts? He might have to go.

        Bjugstad? Ditto.

        All the teams the pens beat in part because of Phil’s ppg pace?

      • Welcomt To:

        “Phat Fills Phantastic Hawt Dawgs”

        Phried in Phat dawgs loaded onto drenched in butter buns.

        Guaranteed to put on the pounds!!!

        No Vegan Options

        “Eat at Phat Fills, or Ph*k-Awf”

      • Not bad

    • the tears flow because unless Phil agrees to be traded again, JR can’t do much and Phil really doesn’t care if he likes it or not.

      Phil can score;no doubt about it. He’s a wealthy man and now a two time champion. Its hot dog time !

  2. Not sure how I feel about Talbot in CGY. Had one great year in EDM then a couple of not so great year. Though EDM defense wasn’t good. Went to PHILLY and still didn’t post good numbers in front of a better defense. CGY does have a better defense then PHILLY IMO. I think MTL should go after Gardiner, who would be great with Weber but only if terms and AAV makes sense. I also like Barrie paired with Weber if a trade can be made.

    Also, what about Reimer in MTL to back up Price? To me that makes a lot sense but only if FLA is willing to pick up part of Reimer’s salary.

    • I kinda like the idea of Talbot coming to Calgary. The flames do not have a lot of cap space so maybe they can sign him for 1.5 million and Rittick for 2.5 million.

      • How do the Flames have a lot of cap space? $13 million to sign Tkachuk, Rittich, Mangiapane, and Bennett isn’t enough. That is without getting a backup goalie, unless Gillies is going to be the backup.

      • He said “do NOThave a lot of cap space”

      • Kevjam,

        If you reread my post it will make sense why I suggest only offering Talbot 1.5 million.
        It’s not because the Flames have a lot of cap space, just the opposite.

  3. $12mil a year is way to much for Panarin. Especially in states with no tax (Florida….)
    Imo he’s not worth more than Mark Stone.

    Oh and it’s certainly and 150% for sure and all alone Phil’s fault that the Pens were eliminated in the first round.
    And imagine how many goals Guentzel could have scored without the bad influence by Kessel… probably 156 😂

    • Traded out of Boston, leafs moved him because they didn’t want him around the young players now this. I wouldn’t put much stock into it if it was the first time but obviously something is up

      • Bozak ruined kessel
        Worst plus minus in 100 years true stat Toronto star
        Kessel is a superstar
        His contract is his contract
        His points speak for themselves

      • I’m with BBB on this one. Simply too much smoke. My guess is that some players have grown tired of his act. Going to a casino regularly in itself isn’t that big a deal (stupid mind you, hey Phil the more you play the more you will lose), and neither is eating hot dogs as a staple when you are a professional athlete isn’t. Mocking a coach and not following the system doesn’t help a team win.
        Guys like Crosby, and I am sure others want to win cups. He doesn’t seem willing to do all it takes to do that, when he is obviously capable of doing more.
        If guys like Crosby have to consistently prod guys like Phil to do what is right for the team, it must get old and pretty soon you just decide you would be better off without him.
        My guess this is coming from the leaders of the team, so JR has to deal with it.
        Perhaps the teams on his list don’t want him either?
        Dealing with guys like him when

      • Yet, Jeff, it was Bozak who was a paltry -3 in 82 gp for St. Louis and who contributed 5 goals and 8 assists in 26 playoff games en route to hoisting the cup.

      • BBB:

        Where theres smoke theres fire. Or in Kessels case Phat, lol.

      • Lol Ron

  4. Habs are looking at Kinkaid from NJ as a backup ….I would love to see them bring up Lindgren , but getting more playng time in Laval rather than sitting on the bench for 80% of MTL’s games behind CP 31.
    Gardiner needs a freah start , $$ + term has to work for him to be an option , Richardson has done great things with the defense, and i can see him refining JG’s game , picking his spots when to take off , gap control, strong below the dots , if he can cut back on a couple of mistakes a game and keep his focus , it might be a vood option , time will tell

  5. I hope to God the Rangers don’t get Panarin totally over priced and over rated . And he’s a midget to boot

    • 11 million + is way to much for Panarin. But calling him a midget (he’s 5’11”) is cheap and irrelevant to his performance. He had 87 points in CLB in the regular season, and had 11 points in10 playoff games.

    • otherwise-lights out!

    • Given the choice of extending Kreider at 6-6.5 or Panarin at 11-12…. I think I’d stick with Kreider. Ny has Kravtsov, Kakko, Buchnevich, Kreider etc. why on earth are they even in the market for another winger?

      Ny has stockpiled D-men and wingers. Georgiev and Shestyorkin look to be the future in net. If they should be shopping, they should be looking at centers.

      • And with only 17.5 in cap space. They won’t have much beyond signing Panarin, and extending Trouba.

        Still have to deal with Deangelo, Buchnevich, Kakko, Lemieux. And after seeing Edstrom… I’d be all over giving him a deal today. 6’6” center that can fly!
        6th round pick …. who cares ! This guy should be playing in NA now!

      • I think splitting what you would give Panarin and re-upping Kreider for 6 for 3 and bring is Joe Pavs as the 2C for 6 for 3 makes sense while all the young kids play out their ELC and get better. Plus 6 for 3 or even 4 for Kreider allows they a chance to move him to solidify their top 4 d if need be.

      • I still think maybe Kreider & ADA for Risto. Gives more ice time to their young kids and Risto is better than ADA to better their top 4 D long term.

      • I think having Skjei, Staal, Smith, Trouba, Fox, Shattenkirk, Hajek, Lindgren and Rykov is a bit of a logjam as it is….

        Both Rykov and Fox are being praised in camp. Risto is adding to the logjam. And again, I wouldn’t send Kreider anywhere. Especially if they don’t land Panarin. Fingers crossed they don’t!

      • @NYR4Life…
        my thought on grabbing Risto is bc in two seasons Staal, Shatts & Risto will be gone. If Risto lines up behind Trouba, Fox can slot 3rd pairing with Hajek with Shatts riding the pine and Smith sent down.

        Best case scenario…Kreider & Shatts for Risto and picks. LOL Much better top 4 for NY. Just don’t see ADA and Fox being that different and both not being able to play that physical style enough to grind out wins. Need someone else besides Skjei and Trouba to help. Risto is that big body. Then in 2 yrs K’Andre Miller becomes his partner and that is a SOLID top 4. Fox & Hajek or Lilgren as the other pairing and now the Rangers have a 5-6 yr windows with a solid backend.

        The rest of the off-season will be very interesting. I just don’t want Panarin and I don’t want Kreider extended for more than 3 years.

      • I think it’s way too early to evaluate Fox. Like 3-4 years too early. I’ve never been a Deangelo fan. He shows a lot of promise, but also shows a lot of immaturity, and becomes unglued too often. Horrible self control and it’s always been his problem. Hence why a promising 1st rounder was traded twice before the ink on his elc deal was dry.

        Again, I’m not trading Kreider anywhere! As I mentioned before, he makes a hell of a lot more sense than Panarin.
        NY has to figure out what they have. I’m extending Kreider before I take on 2 years of Risto. They can’t afford to move Kreider and Deangelo for 2 years of service without moving out some other d contracts. And I’m not tying up all those cap $$$’s on Trouba and Risto with all the promising guys they’ve been stockpiling.

        It’s time NY starts getting out from all these bad contracts, which are right around the corner. Before they even think about getting involved in more of them.

  6. Talbot had better be on the cheap and only a couple of years term with that save percentage .

  7. At the age of 29 is not the age to be demanding an 8 year term deal unless you are willing to take a cut on salary. After 2 or 3 years production will really decline and that big cap hit for the rest of the term hurts the cap.

  8. The leaks to Rossi are likely not about forcing Kessel’s hand, but instead about mentally preparing the fan base to accept a salary dump return.

    Creating a “get him out of here” mentality that makes draft picks and cap space seem like a solid return.

    One thing that has never leaked is Phil’s list of 8 teams, so we can’t even guess where they could dump him if that’s what they decide to do…aside from Arizona.


      • Arizona doesnt have the cap space to take on Phat Fills contract and I highly doubt they would move a top tier defenceman (OEK) or Hjalmarsson in a 1 for 1 deal.

        Also lack of high end hot dog food trucks in the Phoenix area lays waste to Fill accepting a deal to the Coyotes. (or should I have said lays waist, lol)


  9. Paraphrasing ..”Hey Phil the gyms that way “

    • I was in Tulsa 2 weeks ago, and they had a bar called “the Jim” . The motto was “come in and get ripped “ I wish I could upload the pic here!

      • Ha!

    • Paraphrasing: Yo, Phat Fill the gyms that way.
      Phil: Ph*k Awf.


  10. Moving Reimer in a trade likely wont happen. 2 years at 3.4 million is an overpay for a middle of the road backup goalie. Elliott resigned in Philly for 1 yr and 2 million per which is more in line with Reimers value. Floridas going to have to either eat salary in a deal or buy Reimer out.
    Unless Tallon calls Vancouver and lures Benning into a deal I cant see a trade for Reimer.

    Florida : Reimer, Hoffman
    Vancouver: Virtanen, Demko, 2nd rd pick.

    Panthers better land Bobvrosky or their goaltending is going to be a nightmare.

    • Ottawa would be happy to send them Anderson who lives in Miami and relieve some of that goaltending log-jam. Elevate Hogberg to share the net with Nilsson. Mind you, that would do little for their efforts to reach the cap floor – but they can always over-spend on a 2-year deal for some UFA D or F (such as Spezza) to get to the minimum – either that or open Melnyk’s vault for Chabot!

    • I think Demko has more upside than Reimer so adding a 2nd rd pick is no bueno…..BUT knowing Benning…you might land Boeser for Reimer straight up.

    • @Ron Jull: I think the Panthers are going to throw a bag full of dough at Bob. With no state tax either, I see a fit.

      Reimer is forever stuck between being too good for a backup and not good enuf as a starter. His value to any team depends on their need for those qualities at that point in time

      • Your points are spot on.

  11. Pens should offer Valeri Nicushkin a 2 year/$2 million deal.

    So much size, speed, skill, etc.

    They need to give him a shot to pull a Justin Schultz on Malkin’s LW.

    • Mg.i agree about nichuskin..talented pens should give this a try..

      • So should the Oil.

  12. has anyone else noticed how much more pleasant this rumor mill flow runs when it’s not totally flooded with Leaf fanatics?

    • Lol 👍

    • Such a friendly ghost, casper, have you checked the name below you? Speaking of friendly….

    • Gee I wonder if you are smart enough to figure out why that is, nope not a chance.

    • lol.

    • Have you also noticed nobody’s been bashing the leafs.

      • Bashing or saying it like it is vinnie?

  13. If you ask me, Pavelski could be a great fit for the Habs. Brings leadership for their young centres, even with a too-long contract would retire in time for their young C’s to take over the reins of 1C and 2C, and could still fit into their salary structure.

    I think he returns to SJS, but I think Montreal is actually a sneaky good fit

    • Sounds like he going to Dallas or Tb, I think he is as good as gone from sj but you never know! I’m surprised leaf fans haven’t said he will come to Toronto for a league minimum because one of his distant relatives is from Toronto? Lol sound good bcleaf? Lol

      • Pavelski will surely join the growing lineup of RFA and UFA players absolutely dying to take less money so they play in Toronto with the guarantee that they’ll still be able to book tee-times by the 3rd week of April.

      • LOL, both Bruins & Ron

      • I think he liked a tweet about him going to Toronto. As we know, that is a sure sign he signs in Toronto. Just like Stamkos!

      • Forgot about that NYR lol

    • I see him as a great fit in NY with the Rangers for 3 years. IT gives them a solid 2 C and allows their young guys to learn the wing and work their way into the center slot. Takes pressure of Lias Andersson also from carrying that load right away. Great to help the young guys learn. He can mentor Howden & Lias, while Zib mentors Kratsov and Chytl for center.

  14. Toronto: Nylander, Zaitsev, 2nd rd pick
    Vancouver: Boeser, Stetcher

    • Not sure Benning would accept that…. he might throw in a 2021 and a 2022 1st rd draft pick provided they send back Sparks. =)

      • True, you just never know with Jimmy, lol.

      • Catch Jimmy on the right day and he just might toss on Pettersson as a sweetner to make it happen, lol.

  15. Pretty excited about seeing the Hurricanes Marleau tribute video next time Marleaus new team is in Raleigh.

    Im sure Carolina will never forget the Marleau era.


  16. Id really like it if some team offer sheeted Marner for 12 million or more. Just to watch the ensuing sh*tstorm in Toronto.


    • THe islanders should skip paladin and offer sheet Marner. Then work out a trade of HoSang Del Cole and other prospects and 1st rd picks for Marner OR Leddy, HoSang and pick for Nylander & Zaitsev

      Then move Boychuck to bottom pairing.

  17. The islanders would be the best, especially after that snak Tavares left them and the islanders still went farther in the playoffs lol

  18. Sorry, Casper, the jerks always show up and there goes the neighbourhood.

    • I thought the canes fans were the jerks, not the leaf fans?

    • Wonder if Brad is still crying. That was two quick goals against Chicago back in 2013

      • He wasn’t crying as much as leafs players and fans after being up 4-1 with 10mins left and choking game 7! Lol

  19. Sharks could use Kessel now if Pavelski ends up leaving. They could use him in different ways.

  20. This just in – Kessel to the Coyotes for Galchenyuk. Discuss.

    • Love it…except that Galchenyuk is a UFA after this season.

      They should extend him or else flip him…for someone on a good deal like Zucker.

      Thanks for the good times, Phil.

  21. So Pittsburgh superstarbPhat Fill gets dumped to the Coyotes for left over Montreal reject Galchenyuk a late round pick and a couple of guys nobody has ever heard of.

    Ill go out on a limb here and say Galchenyuk scores more than Fill the Thrill this season and Kessel is a buyout casualty in 2020.

    Galchenyuk – 28 goals, 35 assists , 63 points
    Kessel – 18 goals, 17 assists, 35 points

    No way the Phat one hits more than 20 without Crosby or Malkin setting him up for freebies, lol.

    • Betcha an attaboy he pots 30+.

      • Done screenshoted this bet. Guarantee me jull pusses out.

      • shoreorrpark:

        Kessel adds 30 goals? Or pounds?


  22. George,

    Sportsnet (Maple Leafs shill) are reporting Sens and Leafs working on Zaitsev for Ceci trade.

    I hope for Ottawas sake its more than just one for one. Surely Dumbass has a draft pick or two left to add.

    • They will let Ceci go to arbitration, and not except, and that will be more cap space freed up. GO LEAFS GO

      • 2010 Bruins up 3 games to 0 . Lost to flyers 4 games to 3. I think that’s worse

      • That one was the reason why I normally don’t stick it to other fans in the playoffs.
        Didn’t gloat against Vancouver after the win, or the Leafs in more recent years.
        Anything can happen in a seven game series.

      • Vinnie cmon atleast I do it against the team you cheer for! It makes it a lot funnier 🤣

      • vinnie

        Not only were Bruins up 3-0 in games, they were up 3-0 in game 7 as well I believe.

        Whats worse? Leafs blowing 4-1 lead in game 7? Or…..Bruins blow 3-0 series lead and 3-0 lead in game 7 to a team that didnt make the playoffs until a shootout in game 82 and whose goalies were Brian Boucher and Micheal Freakin Leighton?

        Think the Bruins choke was worse, far worse lol.

        Jeeeez, I think I just stuck up for the bloody Leafs, lol

  23. That’s for sure. I respect your views shoreorrpark.

  24. Ya , you’re right bigbadbruins I cheated but I had nothing. Lol

    • Lol all good

  25. Ron Jull. Thanks I think. lol