NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2019

by | Jul 22, 2019 | Rumors | 40 comments

Updates on the Rangers and Avalanche, plus six young players who could benefit from a change of scenery, in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS: With the New York Rangers pressed for salary-cap space, Adam Gretz makes the case for the club to consider trading Chris Kreider as soon as possible. The 27-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and his performance could decline this season. Gretz acknowledged Kreider still has value to the Rangers roster but feels the winger would be more valuable as a trade chip.

Should the New York Rangers trade Chris Kreider now? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Rangers are over $900K above the $81.5-million salary cap, with Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony DeAngelo to re-sign. They can exceed the cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be cap compliant when the season opens in October. It’s apparent they’ll have to do something to get under the ceiling before then.

Trading Kreider could be the easiest way to address that problem. He’s carrying an annual cap hit of $4.625 million with an 11-team no-trade list and will draw interest from clubs seeking scoring depth. Rangers management could prefer trading him rather than have questions over his future in New York dogging the team throughout the season. His trade value could be at its highest right now.

It’s also possible the Rangers retain Kreider and look toward other options to free up salary. They could try to trade or buy out Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith, or shop center Vladislav Namestnikov.


THE DENVER POST: In a recent mailbag segment, Mike Chambers said he doesn’t expect the Colorado Avalanche to present an offer sheet to Toronto’s Mitch Marner or Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point. He believes they’re focused on re-signing their restricted free agents like Mikko Rantanen and others.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $16 million in cap space, the Avalanche are perfectly positioned to sign another club’s restricted free agent star to a big offer sheet. But as Chambers points out, Rantanen will likely cost between $8 to $10-million annually to re-sign. That will take a big bite out of that cap space.

I daresay general manager Joe Sakic wants to keep as much long-term space available as possible. Over the next two seasons, Gabe Landeskog, Cale Makar, Philipp Grubauer, and Samuel Girard will be due for new contracts.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Calgary’s Sam Bennett, Edmonton’s Jesse Puljujarvi, and the New York Islanders’ Joshua Ho-Sang are among Jared Clinton’s list of six young players who could use a change of scenery. Dallas’ Julius Honka, Columbus’ Sonny Milano, and Carolina’s Julien Gauthier round out the listing of promising youngsters struggling to play up to expectations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least one of those players could end up with new teams this season. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck believes Honka could be a good fit with the Jets as a cheap right-shot defenseman. Puljujarvi’s agent requested a trade but Oilers GM Ken Holland said he’ll move the winger only if he finds a return that benefits his club.

Ho-Sang’s struggled to crack the Islanders roster. Clinton suggests they should move him if they don’t intend to use the young winger. Milano, meanwhile, is sliding down the Jackets’ depth chart and doesn’t seem to fit into their long-term plans. Gauthier also risks the same fate with the Hurricanes.

Bennett’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill over the last two years. Flames GM Brad Treliving has been reluctant to trade the versatile forward. However, the cost of re-signing Matthew Tkachuk and David Rittich could make Bennett a cost-cutting candidate.


  1. If rumors where true that Kreider almost got traded at draft to Av’s, and Rangers didn’t get what they wanted, I’m guessing that they havnt gotten fair offers since. While Gretz made some good comparisons of players who went into decline at his age, I still think Kreider will didn’t a team friendly deal. The article had more to do with overpaying Kreider and getting value. He is a valuable leader on that team and it has been speculated that if he signs extension, he’ll likely be next captain. I think more likely that they move Strome and Namestikov with Puljujarvi and Milano possible returns.

    • Several articles I’ve read have indicated that there’s no market interest in Shattenkirk, Smith, or Namestnikov however, I don’t know how accurate that statement is or what the details surrounding it would be.

      Strome would be an interesting trade chip but, I don’t think there’s much depth at center and losing Strome would be a significant dent center depth leaving Namestnikov the likely candidate in that situation however, if there’s little to no interest, there’s not much that can be done.

      Puljujarvi has negative value on NYR. The wing positions are already saturated and I don’t see how he would even crack the lineup. Even if for example there was a Namestnikov for Puljujarvi even swap, I think Lettieri could contend for that RW position vs Puljujarvi. Granted, this is just an fan opinion, I’m not basing it on stats or any real form of analytics.

      • Unless you’re ready to label Puljujarvi a bust, I would think he’d have just as much a chance of crackin the lineup as anyone. He’s 3 years younger and I’d say his upside is still more promising than Lettieri. Obviously the whole conversation is about moving salary. I think now that teams have to deal with losses in free agency, moving Namestikov to a team like Columbus could be possible. I mentioned Puljujarvi and Milano cause those are the names that have been put out. You say wing position is “saturated”, but that’s only if we continue to move guys to wing who where drafted as centers.

      • In fairness, I don’t think someone with around 139 NHL games should be considered a bust. I just don’t see Puljujarvi being able to help NYR outside of lowering the overall salary cap.

      • Nyf. That’s the whole point. It’s not an option. They need to trade some guys. And ideally you want the return to be picks or prospects. Guys like Namestikov and Strome have value to teams that have space and don’t have a full roster.and IMO, are more expendable than Kreider. Even Fast, who has been a nice inexpensive piece for a few years, I don’t see him as untouchable. Columbus had a nice run last spring and are now in danger of a serious decline. Buchnevich hearing only a week away. 48 hour buyout window starts 3 days after he has either gotten awarded a new deal or he is signed before them. If Rangers havnt made a deal by then, they will be forced to buy out a contract or 2.

    • IF the Rangers have to take less back for Kreider and get the team to acquire Shatts or Smith then go for it .

      • IHC. I have a strange sense that they’re keeping Shatty. It’s been mentioned before how he took less to play for his hometown team, and it would be a bad look. He’s been interviewed and doesn’t come across at all as someone who doesn’t expect to be back. He just had a baby which would make it even harder for him to leave area. Besides, unless anyone thinks Fox will automatically play at highest level and produce, they’re still not that deep on right side. I’m curious to see how he bounces back after having all off season to train, unlike last summer when he was still rehabbing knee.

      • IHC:
        As much as I’d like to keep Kreider, that could actually work with Columbus. If Kreider was willing to sign an extension, he’d be a good replacement at LW for Panarin. He played at BC same time Atkinson was there. Maybe Kreider and Smith w/50% retention or Beleskey? Milano and a 1st back to NY?

      • @Slick…. no player just picks. Rangers have plenty of players.

        Think Shattenkirk has the better value than Smith.

        Going to be tough but ALL of
        Strome (unfortunately)
        would have to go this off season just to make Kreider fit….but Kreider would still not fit in their plans bc he long term cap hit will be even higher and the Rangers still had mid-tier players needing contracts that may come out to around 2.5-3.5 m range.

        Not enough money going around. Hank is not going anywhere. IF somehow someone took all of Hank then Kreider would fit in their plans long term. Kreider is sought after. Get some pics back for him OR take less to clear Smith & Namestnikov. Keep some cap space for trade deadline.

        Tough decisions for Ranger nation.

        I know I keep harping on Kreider trade options. It is not that I WANT him to go, however, there really is no long term way they can keep him unless Smith, SHatts, Namestnikov, Strome & Hank & Staal all go this off season lol. Not likely.

        2 yrs the young kids will be up for an increase and bridge deals and will need cap space then. Zib is almost up and will need to be extended right after that too.

    • His stats are underwhelming indeed. His AHL coach is right in holding him accountable for his play and lack of maturity based on that article anyways
      Long road back to the NHL when you’re getting benched in the AHL and you’re 23

    • Why do all those players have to go to fit kreider? His extension is for next year not this year right? If he gets 2.5 increase that is easily offset by staal buyout and reduction of girardi cap hit with money left. The problem is this year with his low salary of 4.6. Just buyout 1 player and trade names or strome and all is well. Keep kreider

  2. Updated list – ALL DETAILS ACCORDING TO CAPFRIENDLY – number needed to reach the maximum major league roster of 23 – number signed for the organization (maximum of 50) – available cap space – RFAs still to be signed including those (marked *) regarded as part of each team’s minor league rosters.

    When considering available cap space keep in mind that, for just about every team, CapFriendly shows players with minimal cap hits who will likely be sent to the minors before the season begins. Some (or all?) may require waivers.

    Vegas – 2 42 $0 Gusev, *Schuldt (both offer sheet exempt);
    NYR – 1 42 $0 DeAngelo, Lemieux, Buchnevich, *Lettieri;
    Arizona – 2 46 $178,099 *Emil Pettersson; *Hill
    Pittsburgh – 1 46 $842,500 Aston-Reese, Marcus Pettersson;
    Washington – 2 45 $935,706 Djoos, Stephenson;
    Dallas – 1 48 $970,001 Honka, *Hansson;
    Edmonton – 0 47 $2,433,001 Puljujarvi;
    Carolina – 0 37 $2,495,209 *Maenalanen, *Carrick, *McKeown, *Forsberg;
    Chicago – 3 44 $3,336,539 Perlini, *Ejdsell;
    Toronto – 0 45 $3,765,301 Marner;
    Montreal – 0 47 $4,044,524 *McCarron;
    St Louis – 0 48 $4,370,406 Edmundson, Barbashev;
    San Jose – 2 46 $4,682,583 – none
    Florida – 5 41 $4,705,456 McCoshen, Weeger, Malgin;*Mamin;
    Vancouver – 0 45 $5,058,462 Goldobin, Boeser (offer sheet exempt);
    Buffalo – 2 42 $5,115,476 Ullmark, McCabe, Rodrigues, *Elie;
    Nashville – 1 43 $5,191,667 Grimaldi, Sissons;
    Detroit – 2 45 $5,284,623 *Turgeon; *Rybar;
    Tampa Bay – 2 48 $5,576,669 Point, Erne;
    Boston – 1 42 $8,103,334 Carlo, McAvoy (offer sheet exempt), *Forsbacka-Karlsson (offer sheet exempt & has reurned to play in Sweden for 2019-20 to be closer to family);
    Anaheim – 0 48 $8,500,242 – none;
    NYI – 1 43 $8,653,334 DalColle, Beauvillier, *Ho-Sang;
    L.A. -1 48 $8,740,606 Kempe;
    Minnesota – 4 45 $9,446,411 Eriksson Ek, Fiala, *Warner, *Belpedio;
    Calgary – 2 40 $9,973,292 Rittich, Bennett, Tkachuk, Mangiapane;
    Philadelphia – 3 45 $13,417,421 Provorov, Konecny;
    Columbus – 2 46 $15,765,918 Werenski, Sedlak;
    Colorado – 1 39 $16,465,239 Rantanen, Kamenev, *Greer, *Dries, *Lindholm;
    New Jersey – 5 38 $18,345,000 Butcher, Mueller, Zacha;
    Winnipeg – 7 38 $19,872,503 Comrie, Connor, Copp, Laine
    Ottawa – 3 48 $20,640,000 White (offer sheet exempt);

    • I should also have mentioned, re the above, the following LTIR cap money which may be available either in total or in part if needed

      Vegas – Clarkson $5,250,000
      Arizona – Hossa $5275,000
      Dallas – Stephen $2,350,000
      Toronto – Horton $5,300,000
      Detroit – Zetterberg $6,083,000 and Franzen $3,954,545
      Tampa Bay – Callahan – $5,800,000
      Ottawa – Gaborik $4,875,000 and MacArthur $4,650,000

  3. Why would the Avs even be mentioned as an offer sheet candidate. They have their own in Rantanen. Who is as good and as valuable as there are available. He should set the bar . Frankly I would not trade him straight up for Marner.
    Rangers won’t trade Kreider unless it is a forgone conclusion he does not want to be back. It should not be this summer at the very least. Many other options for the Blueshirts to get under the cap
    “ Patience grasshopper “

    • The Avs have enough available cap space and hockey writers need something to write about…those are the only reasons.

      • Yep. It’s July!

  4. Where’s Waldo? (Jake Gardiner) I’m guessing he is in holding mold, waiting for trades or rfa’s to sign and hoping a team with cap space of his liking comes knocking.

    • Caper,

      I think the back issue combined with Gardiners asking price has made teams a little hesistant.

    • I think, in his case, a “team of his liking” has long surpassed consideration. As indicated above, once the key RFAs are resolved there will be few teams with the necessary cap space willing or able to sign a one-dimensional D-man with back issues for anything more than a 1-year “show-me” contract nowhere near the rumored $7 mil being sought.

      He’s just one of a number of UFA “casualties” thanks to the realities of a hard cap, a number of whom have had to come down a peg or three in their expectations.

  5. Silver Seven….

    It is interesting to me how fans & media value players….and how these values will come out when the money on the table is real dollars…..& real dollars against the cap

    I agree with you about Marner vs Rantanen….the Avs player is better….so is Kuchero 9.5 ……Timo Mier got 6 million,,,,La Banc 1 million…Aho 8 million….

    Why have there been no offers sheets so far for Marner…..other GMs don’t think he is worth it….no more no less…when the real money gets put on the table ….the money has been less than the speculation, so far….

    If Kucherov’s 125 points gets 9.5 million in a low tax state I recognize….why would Marner’s 94 points get 11.5 in a high tax local….but with lots of outside advertising revenue to counter the low taxes…

    It will be real interesting to see how this breaks for this RFA class….

  6. Geez, OBD the fellas have been doing great not talking about the Leafs. It has been interesting seeing what they write about the other teams and players the last couple of days.
    Then you had to bring up Marner again.
    Please keep talking about the other teams. It has been interesting. Not the same thing everday.

    • I liked to buy a y for my last word in the previous post.

      • This was funny. See. You know how to keep it light and not trolly. Keep it up!

    • and yet you mentioned him again in a post:):):)

    • I was not the first to bring up Marner….but I did enter the conversations using him….

      Sorry Vinnie….I agree that the other RFAs are not talked about enough….I broke a rule I guess…

      • No you didn’t OBD I’m just being me.

    • Lets talk Brayden Point. coming off 41 goals and 92pts and TB only with limited cap space. What is TB going to do? Like the rest wait and see, Bridge deal is not dead yet.

      • As I indicate above, TB has $5,576,669 and whatever portion is necessary of Callahan’s $5.8 mil LTIR to draw on in order to sign Point and Erne.

  7. Joe Sakic should offer sheet Brandon Carlo $6.2 per compensation would be a 1st and a 3rd round pick. Carlo is an excellent skater with good size at 6’5″ and he is a right shot, which Colorado only has two Johnson and Makar. Boston with limited cap space and still have McAvoy to sign would have to think long and hard. Bonus side for Colorado is Carlo is from the area.

  8. For some reason I think Carlo is the most vulnerable to an offer sheet…I know this may seem backwards ….

    But why not, St Louis that already has similar players who are older and are now a proven success and could be traded to make some of the draft choices necessary in the offer sheet to Boston…….

    By getting Carlo, St Louis enhances their chances of being a dynasty by getting younger and staying with their successful mold…Carlo might sign the sheet thinking he goes to a proven winner

    Just some out of the box thinking…..sensible or not ???

  9. Old Blue Dog, by “players who are older” I assume you mean D-men Bouwmeester who is 35 and has one ytear left at $3,250,000, Gunnarsson, 32 with 2 years left at $1,750,000 per, and Bortuzzo, 30, with 3 years to go at $1,375,000.

    I think Bouwmeester is a non-starter insofar as a trade is concerned – there just aren’t any teams with lots of cap space who would have room for – or want – a 35 y/o. One or both of the other two might be doable, giving them $3,125,000 to add to the almost $4.4 they have now, but if they offered Carlo what it would take to get him to consider signing an offer sheet, most of that is gone instantly – and they still need to re-sign Edmundson (coming off $3 mil himself) and Barbashev, coming off a $700,0000 ELC and just having scored 14g 12a 26 pts. Combined, they are likely looking at $7 mil!

  10. George:

    I was thinking of Edmundson ( who may be UFA & Bortuzo which goes to show it was a theoritical construct not a specific idea

    It was an idea based on the given draft choices would be low, some value could be got back from trading current assets , and that winning teams often are brought down 2 or 3 years later ( LA Kings eg after their SC win) by staying loyal to players when that is the very time some assets are at a maximum ( Brown, the ex Flyer player with the prescription drug problem, Carter examples)….

    It was an attempt to present a differen logic to offer sheets ….

  11. Yesterday – or maybe the day before – I mentioned yo someone that I had sent an e-mail to CapFriendly raising 2 questions.

    The first related to their compilation of the 23-man upper limit which, in a number of cases, shows some teams with players unlikely to remain on the NHL roster once the season begins. For example, Toronto showing players such as Shore, Agostino, Petan, while Winnipeg shows 8 to reach 23 but with similar type players listed as part of their minor league structure.

    The second related to the max organizational 50-player limit, asking if there have been teams routinely entering the season well below the 50 upper limit?

    Here is the response I just received:

    1 – We usually don’t adjust rosters for the upcoming season until training camp opens and we get a better feel of who might make the team, and who might not. At the moment, we let other factors dictate who we tentatively have up on the roster or not. Such as contract AAV, are they 1 or 2-way deals, waiver status & NHL experience.

    2 – Teams almost always start the season below the 50 player limit. The average team will hover around the 46-47 mark. But there have been instances in which clubs enter the season at 50 contracts. It’s obviously not ideal because of the reduced flexibility it gives the team, but it does happen.

  12. I see Pittsburgh just signed Aston-Reese to 2 years at $1 mil per giving them the full 23 (according to CapFriendly) – 47 of 50 and $0 left with Marcus Petterseon still to re-sign. They are now $157,500 over the cap.

    Meanwhile, Florida reduced their “to sign” to 3 and 43 of 50 with i year deals for each of Weeger ($1.6 mil) and McCoshen ($700,000) , leaving them with $2,405,456 with only Malgin left to re-sign at the major league level.

    • Hi George

      Was out of touch for the day

      Not a huge deal signing ZAR; amount just a tad more than his value IMO; the big problem is that they still have to sign Pettersson and they still have JJ; and no $’s

      If they don’t sign Pettersson ; keep JJ and play JJ as 2nd pairing; at best it would be a 50% chance they make the playoffs ; and if so; out first round. ZERO chance at cup

      Rid JJ; sign Petterson ; prob of making playoffs …. got to be very close to 100 % and fair shot at winning Div and meeting TBay in ECF

      I don’t know where Jimbo’s head is at ; he has yet to sign Pettersson ; absolutely by far the most important RFA they had; signs ZAR now nearing the 11th hour (coming up on Arb heating) at a Sal they could have signed him at 2 months ago; yet the rushed to extend Ruhweedel for two years; a player who is a very bad D. Ruhweedel played only 18 games with 2 points and Minus 9
      (Which by the way extrapolates in an 82 game season to 9 points and MINUS 41. That extension was paramount in Jimbo’s mind and their 2nd best LD is still unsigned???

      Jimbo is now on the clock… he has now less than 40 hours to buyout JJ

      If he doesn’t buyout JJ or trade him or waive him to minors with associated trade of another player so that Pettersson can be signed; then he; in good faith; should decline his hall of fame induction ; all his past glory (very warranting of the induction) is quashed by his persistence in keeping JJ just for him [GMJR] to save face; all at the expense of the entire team; ownership; and ALL Pens fans


  13. Not sure if this has been discussed yet, but interesting conditions to be met for the Oil to include a 3rd RD pick.
    The conditions are Neal needs to score 21 or more and has to score at least 10 more than Lucic.
    I haven’t seen conditions quite like this before.
    So what would you bet on?
    Tough call but I go with Edmonton sending a 3rd.
    Looks like the obvious was true, Cgy knew they were giving up offence in this deal.

  14. Lucic will score 10 or less. Twenty -one is the number for Neal to hit. If lined up on the top two lines it should be obtainable. Calgary gave him every chance.
    Without that third this deal sucks for the Flames.

    • Even with the 3rd it sucks I think. Never you could find an nhl player in the 3rd round, but not usually.
      First trade, on the surface anyway, that the Oil have won in a while.