NHL Rumor Mill – July 24, 2019

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Rumors | 29 comments

The latest on the Jets’ efforts to re-sign Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, an update on Ben Hutton, and the latest on the Panthers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe observes the two-year, $4.9-million arbitration award for forward Andrew Copp leaves the Jets roughly $15 million with wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor to re-sign. He doesn’t consider a buyout of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov worthwhile as it would count as $1.4 million annually against their salary cap and further deplete their blueline.

Are the Montreal Canadiens pursuing Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine (Photo via NHL Images).

Noting the Jets shipped out Joel Armia and Steve Mason last summer to free up cap space, Wiebe believes the Jets could make another cost-cutting deal. He also dismissed the notion of the Jets signing unrestricted free agent rearguard Jake Gardiner, “barring some major reconstructive roster surgery.”

Wiebe speculates negotiations to re-sign Laine and Connor could drag throughout the summer. He also believes they can’t afford to open the season without those two.

TVA SPORTS: Yvon Pedneault addressed speculation linking Laine to the Montreal Canadiens. He doesn’t put much stock into the prospect of the Habs swinging a deal to land the 21-year-old winger.

If there are discussions between the two clubs, Pedneault doesn’t believe they involve Laine. If they did, he said he was told the Jets would want Max Domi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets could surprise us by putting Laine or Connor on the trade block but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it. I consider a Laine-to-Montreal scenario to be wishful thinking by some Habs followers. They aren’t going to sign Laine to an offer sheet, and I’m not convinced the winger wants one.

Cap Friendly indicates the Jets have over $17 million remaining. Whatever the actual amount, there appears enough to re-sign Laine and Connor to deals worth a combined $15 million. That’s assuming, however, they can get both players to agree to accept around $7.5-million each per season.

Given their stats and upside, they could be seeking much more. They could also be watching to see what comparable players like Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk and Vancouver’s Brock Boeser receive.

Jets forwards Nikolaj Ehlers ($6 million annual average value) and Mathieu Perreault ($4.125 million) have frequently surfaced in offseason trade speculation. I daresay they’ll remain fixtures in the rumor mill for the remainder of the summer. Depending on how much it costs to re-sign Laine and Connor, one of them could be shopped before the start of the season.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently reported sources claim multiple teams have strong interest in former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton. Those clubs are dissatisfied with their current defense corps. Hutton is 26 and averaged over 22 minutes of ice time per game, more than Jake Gardiner. Fox said Hutton wants to stick in the NHL, preferably as a second-pairing rearguard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hutton is a left-shot defenseman who also netted 20 points in 69 games with the Canucks last season. I expect a team in need of a left-side, second-pairing blueliner will attempt to sign him to an affordable short-term deal.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards addressed several questions from Florida Panthers fans wondering what other moves the club might have in store. If the Panthers feel good enough about their current defensive depth, Richards agrees Mark Pysyk could become a cost-cutting trade option.

He doesn’t see them pursuing a UFA like Jake Gardiner or Patrick Marleau. Addressing trade rumors regarding winger Mike Hoffman, Richards expects he’ll stick around for the time being.


  1. Perrault is overpaid as a 3rd line center who gets hurt. Jets should buy him out and then resign Laine and Conner, and see if they can get Gardiner on a 1 year $5M deal

    • Perrault aside, there is little likelihood a team is going to get Gardiner on a 1-year deal. It’s just too much of a risk for a player who is 29 and who has been dealing with back issues. Having said that, he also has to realize he can no longer be picky as to where he signs and that, when he does, it won’t be anything close to $7 mil (probably closer to the $4 mil he just made) and probably not for anything longer than 3 years.

      • Dr. George- I do believe you have this nailed-

    • Perreault is overpaid for how he is being used in his regular lineup spot (3rd/4th line wing, sometimes centre). His biggest value to the Jets as they utilize him is for his versatility (wing, centre, PP, PK, 1st-4thline) On many teams he is a regular top 6 player. Jets reduced his time (reduce injury risk?) in 2018/19.

      I think they are open to trading him but more for cap than for hockey reasons.

  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 will require waivers. Their explanation is:

    “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.”

    NYR – 1 42 $0 DeAngelo, Lemieux, Buchnevich, *Lettieri (team currently $906,466 over the cap);
    Toronto – 1 45 $3,765,301 but with Horton’s $5,300,000 & Clarkson’s $5,250,000 LTIRs available – Marner (team currently $734,669 over the cap);
    Pittsburgh – 0 47 $0 Marcus Pettersson (team currently $157,500 over the cap);
    Arizona – 2 46 $178,099 but with Hossa’s $5,275.000 LTIR available – *Emil Pettersson; *Hill
    Washington – 2 45 $935,706 Djoos, Stephenson;
    Dallas – 1 48 $970,001 but with Stephen’s $2,350,000 LTIR available – Honka, *Hansson;
    Vegas – 2 42 $0 Gusev, *Schuldt (both OS exempt);
    Nashville – 0 44 $2,334,524 Grimaldi;
    Florida – 3 43 $2,405,456 Malgin;*Mamin;
    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;
    Montreal – 0 47 $4,044,524 *McCarron;
    St Louis – 0 48 $4,370,406 Edmundson, Barbashev;
    San Jose – 2 46 $4,682,583 – none
    Vancouver – 0 45 $5,058,462 Goldobin, Boeser (OS exempt);
    Buffalo – 2 42 $5,115,476 Ullmark, McCabe, Rodrigues, *Elie;
    Detroit – 2 45 $5,284,623 plus the Zetterberg $6,083,000 & Franzen $3,954,545 LTIRs available – *Turgeon; *Rybar;
    Tampa Bay – 2 48 $5,576,669 but with Callahan’s $5,800,000 LTIR available – Point, Erne;
    Boston – 1 42 $8,103,334 Carlo, McAvoy (OS exempt);
    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 40 $16,465,239 Rantanen, Kamenev, *Greer, *Dries;
    New Jersey – 4 39 $16,945,000 Butcher, Zacha;
    Ottawa – 3 48 $20,640,000 plus the Gaborik $4,875,000 & MacArthur $4,650,000 LTIRs available – White (OS exempt);
    Winnipeg – 6 39 $17,592,503 Comrie, Connor, Laine

  3. Season start there my be some cheap players out there that didn’t fit in…

    • BadCowboyDan

      Yep, more of those than ever in the past IMO

      Some agents just might have to book flights to Euorope and Russia for the first week in Oct.

      • Pengy..while like you im hesitant on jake Gardiner but guys like jonas brodin t j Brodie Brandon montour all good options and available.

        Left you a message the day..Penguins are getting younger better faster and more skilled.

        Whats your obsession with stahl of Minnesota an older and slower player….black n gold here

      • Hi BlackNGold

        I DID respond to your post re Staal etc…. just didn’t get to read and respond until later. Take a look back….You can see my rationale there…. fully agree with younger faster and more skill… you will see my whole logic on my proposal(s)

        It still comes down to ridding JJ; nothing else really matters until they do that

        I know you are not as pro on Pettersson as I am.

        I think he is rounding out quite well and is for sure Pens 2nd best LD; and should be their 2LD for the next few years

        I coveted Montour months ago for either Pens or Leafs…. super steal by Botterill… no way he gives up Montour

        Brodie would be a great add but 29 now and UFA next year and Pens can’t afford his cap right now

        I know you’ve posted a few times re Brodin …. 26 and 2 more years at $4.2M

        If it was the Brodin of 17/18 that you were talking about …. I’m with you…. however I’m skewed in thought and rationale by “recency bias”….. no ifs and or buts…in 18/19 Pettersson was better than Brodin ; is 3 years younger; is also a smooth skater; and Pens effectively own his rights for 4 more years; and most importantly should come at lower cap than Brodin

        Just ridding the team of JJ and replacing his last year regular 2nd LD spot with Pettersson is an absolute gargantuan improvement to Pens team as a whole

        Riikola at 3 LD IMO is the gamble … it could work but is a gamble

        A move has to be made anyway ….

        if GMJR somehow keeps JJ just to “save face” and loses Pettersson …. perhaps he should think of declining his HHOF induction

        Last little trade pitch …. since Anaheim was reported to have interest in JJ…. Rust and JJ for Ritchie and either Simon or Mahura (both Gulls’ LD prospects)

        Waive Ruhweedel and now with space opened up; re-sign Pettersson and sign UFA Hutton:

        Letang Dumo

        Shultz Pettersson

        Gudbranson Hutton


        and Ritchie will be a middle 6 winger

        Top line still Sid Guentz McC

        Gino with G – Chuck

        3C and. 4C are *Bjug and Blueger

        *Bjug at 3C is the mis-cast issue IMO


  4. As a sharks fan I would like to see them make an offer for Laine. His play style suits the team and we need a second line scorer on the left or right.

    If picks and Melker Karlsson would win them over I would make that deal and that should free up enough cap space in the process.

    I would close the door on Jumbo and Patty but that this stage that’s okay.

    • You really think one of THE most careful GMs in the game is going to give up a player of Laine’s calibre foir some picks and a guy who has 12g 4a in 79 gp last year and just 54g 46a 100 pts in 335 NHL games?

      Not saying the Sharks couldn’t or shouldn’t make an offer as they’re sitting pretty with $4.6 mil in cap space and no one, really, they need to sign – but it’s going to take a lot more than that. A LOT.

      • He may have meant Timo Meier plus picks? Melker is a dime a dozen kind of player at this time

      • Now that I would say might pique Cheveldayov’s interest – depending upon the picks as well

      • If he’s a careful GM why did he give Wheeler who is 33 years old such a crazy long deal? That is highly risky, 8.5 cap hit even if he is injured or retires. Now it prevents him from keeping younger stars

      • Agree Matt, I made that exact point on this site when Wheeler signed that deal.
        He seems to be the heart and soul of that team, and WPG fans would know more about that than me, but the term of that deal is huge IMO.
        Especially when they have that many high quality young guys that would be getting a raise.
        You knew they couldn’t keep them all, so you would think they would lean to the youth.

    • Brandon Montour is not available. He is signed through this season.

  5. Thanks again for the update list George

    I still think that Rangers are the most tenuous in that multiple moves need to be made. Certainly doable, but the most work IMO

    Re: Leafs .. yesterday’s move infers to me that MM won’t likely be signed until after opening day…. GMKD buffering more LTIR room with re-acquiring Clarkson

    From VGK side ; that was an excellent trade ; they got England signed and freed up more Cap (George, your list had $0 but I think it’s actually $1M)

    Now, if they want, they can do a single trade to get more space and sign Gusev

    I’m not sure if Schuldt is a priority for them (perhaps used as a sweetener in a deal)

    Looks like the reigning SC Champs will return with over 95% of the same roster (only basically losing Maroon)

    Looks like Bolts , with Callahan in LTIR; should have the space. The only trouble is if Pointe’s camp; just like all the other key RFAs ; are waiting on a major RFA signing to start the Dominos falling. I still say that Pointe as a C is a more logical OS (if another one does happen) than MM

    I realize that Pointe has publicly emphasized his certainty in only going back to the Bolts; but that shouldn’t stop at least discussions

    • Winnipeg:

      What Cap Friendly actually shows is app $17.6 million in Cap space but with only 17 players signed.

      In other words: yes, they could conceivably sign Connor and Laine at $7.5 million each (good luck with that!!) for a total of $15 million.

      But, Lyle, there actually wouldn’t be “enough” Cap space to do that.

      Because this would leave slightly less than $2.6 million to sign the 4 remaining players needed to bring the Winn Roster to total 23, and this is impossible.

      The League min salary this year is $700K, and 4 x 700 = $2.800,000 required.

      One could equally say that there is “enough” to sign them each to $8.5 or $9 million contracts.
      It amounts to the same thing in the end, just a question of degree.

      Another player has to go in any realistic scenario where they sign both Laine and Connor.

      My bet is on Kulikov.
      Ehlers at #2.

      I don’t see anyone taking on Perreault at that money and term.


      • there is a significant number of jets fans who think Perreault’s contract is an excellent value and point to advanced stats to support this. It is at the very least a fair value contract.

        Kulikov is overpaid for what he brings (#5-7 d)

        It could happen that Perreault and Kulikov get packaged for a pick to free up cap space.

    • Yep. Thanks Pengy. Meant to update the Vegas totals when I showed them dropping to 7th on CapFriendly’s table, but slipped up – should read

      Vegas – 0 43 $1,025,001 Gusev, *Schuldt (both OS exempt);

      • Dammit – Vegas 1 …. LOL

    • Yesterday on TSN Mike Johnson (I believe) indicated that the move for Toronto was done because having both Clarkson and Horton on the books allowed them to go over the cap by 10.5 mill because they new for sure that those players are going on the LTIR.

      I had never heard that before and if that is the case why can’t all the teams with players like that spend over knowing those players are not playing.

      • To maximize that $10.5m of space it would be in the Leafs best interest to be as close to the cap ceiling before the season starts so they can max out on the LTIR other wise if they are say $2m under the cap of $81m, they’ll have $8.5m of LTIR cap relief since their cap hit must be the same as if those players were on the active roster of 23 players.

      • When he explained going over the cap, he indicated that they could go over by that much this summer, and not just with the 10% allowed, but the whole amount of those 2 contracts because they knew they were going on the LTIR.

      • There are weird details of the CBA coming out over the last few weeks. Things that even GMs weren’t sure of. Regardless of the on ice product the Leafs do have some creative and knowledgeable folks in the back rows of the front office

  6. Still suggest

    to NYR: Risto & Girgensons (total $7M)
    to Buff: Kreider & Namestnikov (total $8.6)

    Buff has around $5M left before this trade and after leaves them around $2m and change. They get depth and a solid scoring forward they wanted to round out their top 6.

    NY can trade off Girgensons’ $1.6m easier and take picks back or package up with ADA for a better pick to free up additional cap space to resign Buch & Lemieux.

    Win Win for both clubs

    Still challenging for both teams to sign their players but gives them positional needs using the salary caps they already are.

  7. PENGY…agree with ost everything you said and hopefully rutherford does the right thing..big if

    BRODIN Brody montour all would fit.

    Montour didn’t okay great in Buffalo -21….. they went out and got colin millee who Brandon montour 2.0 and botterelli loves Brian Rust

    With scandella dahlin ristolainen miller bogosian.montour could b had.

    Whether its brody brodin…they can b resigned because looks like the penguins will move on from justin Schulz after the year…

    Move rust trade buyout J.J get a defender and squeeze in Pat Maroons to a cheap 1 year deal.. imagine

    Blueger ZAR Maroon nice 4th line…
    Pettersson is good not sure he is ready for top also agree Ben HUtton would be good..

  8. Hi BlackNGold

    Sorry if I inferred Pettersson as top pairing …. I meant him with Shultz on 2nd pairing

    Re JJ buyout…. I was praying and hoping …. TSN has confirmed that buyout window opens as long as it was player requested Arb (which ZAR did) even if settled outside of Arb (which they did)

    TSN mentioned that there was a threshold … player must earn in 19/20 > $3.45 M ( JJ scheduled for $4M this year)…. I was all excited

    However Francis S pointed out yesterday that the $3.45 M threshold is for Cap and NOT Actual

    So GMJR could have bought out JJ in June but can’t now

    The team’s only hope is (1) trading him or (2) burying him (which only frees up $1.08 M)

    Pens really need that Anaheim trade to materialize again

    Buried is still with $2.17 M counting but at least he’s off the roster

    Perhaps Anaheim would take him at 40% retained which saves them $2M in Cap and rids the team of a nightmare

    Maybe it will have to be Rust and ZAR as sweetners for Anaheim to take on JJ and return Ritchie and one of Simon/Mahura

    That trade and waiving Ruhweedel and Trottman would then have Pens with about $7.5 M in Cap …. more than enough to extend Pettersson ; and sign Hutton and sign a UFA “show me” contract of maybe $800 K for someone like Nichushkin…. now harm no foul to balance out the roster…. if he works out …, great… if not …, just a depth sign for 1 year

    D then way better; Rust and ZAR replaced by Ritchie and Nichushkin …. a slight hit on fwd offence but way way way more than compensated for the defence uptick

    Again, something has to be done

    • Pengy..i have always liked nichuskin…and ritchie..both would also b good fits with Pittsburgh..
      Only hope they can deal J J somehow cmon Anaheim step up.