NHL Rumor Mill – July 26, 2019

by | Jul 26, 2019 | Rumors | 43 comments

Updates on Jesse Puljujarvi and Loui Eriksson plus the latest Devils speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples believes deciding what to do with Jesse Puljujarvi remains an important decision for Oilers general manager Ken Holland. The unhappy restricted free agent let it be known through his agent that he wants to be traded or else he’ll spend the coming season playing in Europe. Holland maintains he’s open to anything that’s in the Oilers’ best interest, including retaining Puljujarvi if the winger has a change of heart.

Determining Jesse Puljujarvi’s fate is the next significant decision facing Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland (Photo via NHL Images).

Staples thinks it would be best if the Oilers let Puljujarvi play in Europe to regain his health, game, and confidence. If a trade is in the best interest for all parties, he proposes three options.

One is packaging the winger with defenseman Kris Russell to a team seeking a blueliner carrying a useful surplus forward with an affordable salary-cap hit. Another could be bundling Puljujarvi with a younger defenseman (Ethan Bear, William Lagesson or Matt Benning) to a team with limited cap space carrying an affordable forward. Another could be simply swapping him for an affordable forward on a cap-strapped club such as “Vegas, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Nashville, Calgary or Winnipeg.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi could change his mind and return to the Oilers, but Staples said it sounds like Holland has worked hard to try and make a trade happen. The Oilers GM will want a decent return and might have to wait until training camp approaches in September to find it. 


THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal believes the Vancouver Canucks must consider all options to trade Loui Eriksson. He feels it’s still possible to move the 34-year-old winger and his hefty contract. Eriksson’s performance has steadily declined, making his $6-million annual cap hit a burden for the Canucks. Most of the actual salary has already been paid out, as he’s now owed just $9 million over the remaining three years of his deal. 

Dayal suggests taking a page from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ book and ship Eriksson to a budget-conscious club carrying a permanently sidelined player on long-term injury reserve. He proposes pitching the winger to the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan Kesler, who’ll miss all of next season to hip surgery and probably won’t ever play again in the NHL. Dayal also suggests picking up half of Eriksson’s cap hit and adding a sweetener to make that move more palatable to the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we’ve seen this summer, it is possible to move a fading player like Eriksson carrying an expensive salary-cap hit. The question is whether Canucks management can find a creative way to do so that won’t adversely affect their efforts to build up their roster.

Dayal’s proposed swap for Kesler works only if the Ducks are agreeable and if the center agrees to waive his no-movement clause. If he knows his playing days are over, it would be merely a formality. However, if Kesler believes he can play after next season, he could prefer staying in Anaheim.


NJ.COM: Chris Ryan observed the addition of P.K. Subban gives the New Jersey Devils considerable depth on the right side of their defense corps. The left side, however, could still use some help. One way would be moving one of their right-side blueliners, such as Sami Vatanen, to the left side.

If they’re not comfortable doing that, Ryan suggests perhaps pursuing unrestricted free agent blueliner Jake Gardiner. That scenario would mean trading Vatanen, who’s a year away from UFA eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: During the Devils’ formal introduction yesterday of P.K. Subban to their fans, managing partner Josh Harris hinted his club wasn’t finished making additions. “We’re not done. Ray is working hard, wheeling and dealing. I don’t mean to portend any (specific) moves, but we’re not done.”

Whether that involves signing Jake Gardiner or swinging another trade for a left-side defenseman remains to be seen.


  1. Gardiner shoots left alright and can skate and move the puck but his back is the ? mark.


      Gardiners problem is NOT his back its his head…and between the ears …he gives up the puck way to much and is out worked and out played off the puck both in the corners and in front of the net and is a liability in pressure moments!
      He has a great Corsi for zone exits almost the best in the league for the Icetime but that,s mostly due to defensive zone draw wins …not puck battles.


      With the support the the Devils have on the back end …I think that this would be the BEST landing spot for Gardiner …Devils needs some help on Zone exits and get that puck up to Hall and Nico Hischier…also will help the 1st & 2nd unit power play as a double shift point shot with Subban.


      This poor Oilers team only has $2.4 million in cap space ..so if you trade Puljujarvi…you have to make it a Hockey deal or for a project and or draft picks…IMO ..there is no sense keeping a player in this atmosphere and on a struggling team looking to sell itself as a rebound year of improvement……He has to get moved !

      I think its a case scenario like the Nylander situation in Buffalo …and that may end up being the style of trade.
      But the Oilers are in serious need of a winger who can skate & score …even with the addition of Neal ..and thats what they should be looking for IMO ..The Oilers are cap strapped to make any significant improvements …they need to shed Russel and Larsson contract to make a serious trade or move !

      Here are my 2 trade scenarios for Puljujarvi obviously money has to be moved around as well ..hence moving either one of or both Larsson and Russel.

      Ottawa – for – J G Pageau
      Kings – Tyler Toffoli
      Vegas – Reilly Smith or Gusev
      Islanders – Anthony Beauvillier

      Just a few suggestions that would benefit both teams with either money in or out or player performance for positional need…and upgrade.

      • @BB U can shove all the stats u want in our faces about Jake’s meltdowns but quite frankly, any Dman under siege to the degree ‘Jake has been under is going to brain fart more than once.

        Does Jake brain fart more than the average Dman under siege? Maybe..but regardless, despite your impeccable set of facts, most G,M’s are concerned about his back. I suggest you take your decisive beliefs and examine the bigger picture

      • Puljujarvi has an 875 K qualifying offer with no arbitration rights. Everyone wants him – for very little. At that price he will almost certainly be a value contract and has huge upside. “He has to get moved ” Why?

        If he was going to Europe he would have signed there by now. He’ll probably be back in Edmonton

  2. Re Oil “dilemma” and suggested moves listed above

    How about

    JP and Russell

    for Rust, JJ, Drozg ?

    • No one wants JJ, you would have to add a lot of sweetener for him.

      • Jeremy

        If I add “please”???


        Rust, JJ, Drozg, 3rd???

      • If I add “please”???


        Rust, JJ, Drozg, 3rd???

      • Trade him to Calgary. They love Edmontons old garbage.

    • The Oilers only have 2.4 mil cap space so they can’t take Rust and JJ and Drozg. Rust for JP works though for both teams’ needs. I also agree…no one wants JJ so all the Pens fans should give that up. It’s not happening!

      • Hi Marko

        They have (just) enough

        23 on roster now so with 3 coming in and one going …. Simone has to go down …. minimum of $700 K….

        Russell out at $4.0M with JJ ($3.25 M) and Rust ($3.5M) coming in …. then depending on who is sent down…, Ed left with $300K-$600K…. not much but doable

        Drogz (AHL) and puck won’t have any impact on Cap

        It is the absence of motivation and not feasibility that is preventing a trade such as this


    • Only Jim Rutherford thinks JJ has any value.

      • Hi Ron

        Sad 😢 …. very very sad 😢…. but oh so true

        I would like to seek out that Anaheim reporter (from a couple of weeks ago) that was saying Murray had interest in JJ…. he got my hopes waaaaaaaaay up…. if I strangled that reporter would it be classified as justifiable homicide ?

        It seems more and more now that the only chance Pens have is to burry JJ to WBS ($1.08M) and waive Ruhweedel and Trottman …. another $1.4M… and somehow sign Pettersson to $2.25M … starting the season with 22 players and ZERO cap space ….

        How likely is that to happen???

        GMJR SHOULD explore any and all options wrt trading JJ…. just finding a club with the lowest required sweetener (and this just may be Ducks)???

  3. Devils have the cap space so I don’t think they’d necessarily would need to move Vatanen. At least not right away.
    Ive said from beginning, Rangers should be in on Puljujarvi. They have 5 forwards in last year of their contracts. To me, Namestikov would be most likely. Could retain salary. With Buchnevich arb coming up, they need to make some trades or be forced to use 2nd buyout window. I don’t think they can chance not doing so.

  4. Loui for Justin Abdelkader, straight up. 😛

  5. Puljujarvi – Best case scenario – he appologizes then shuts his mouth and focuses on his deficiencies and the things he can control that are holding him back from establishing himself. Worst case scenario – he goes to europe like stalls his development. Nichushkin did this and I’m not sure he’ll be able to recover.

    He needs a new agent.

    • Dadanov did this and is a legit top 6 now.

  6. good morning,
    I’m just a regular reader. I like the Jesse Puljujarvi “concept” of being traded to the Rangers. But the idea of giving up Krieder to relieve cap space and getting someone back that has nothing more than potential to be revolting idea.
    Krieder or Buch and ADA? who in gods name chooses the inconsistent Russian and the Jersey boy with a attitude problem over Krieder? I’m not even a big Krieder fan. He’s got his problems/issues too.

    • There’s no way Kreider would be traded straight up for Puljujarvi. For one, I doubt he’d agree to a trade there. He’s not going anywhere he’s not willing to sign an extension. There’s no way Gorton would move him as a salary dump. Buchnevich not going anywhere without signing a contract 1st. They would lose 2nd buyout window. Namestikov, Fast, Strome and Beleskey would be most likely trade chips as far as pure salary dumps.

  7. Not sure if I said this before John Moore for Jesse Puljujarvi

  8. Slow day when Ken Campbell is posting this, but I bit and checked it out.


    “The best hockey player born on your birthday has to score a goal on a penalty shot to save your life. The goalie he’s facing is the starter of the Stanley Cup champs the year you graduated high school. Do you get to see tomorrow?”

    I got Tony Amonte vs Marty Brodeur. Amonte was a terrific goal-scorer but I would be hard pressed to bet against Brodeur. I’d probably be a goner.

    NHL player lists by birthday are here – https://www.hockey-reference.com/friv/birthdays.cgi?month=8&day=2

    • Rob Gaudreau vs Tom Barrasso. See you in the afterlife 🙂

    • Marcel Dionne Vs Mike Vernon.. I like my chances!

    • Brendan Shanahan vs. Tom Barasso 🙂

    • Guy Lafleur vs Grant “coke is it” Fuhr…..

      I live.

      • Zach Parise vs. Garth Snow – hmmmm. Maybe.

    • Don McKenney vs Patrick Roy.

      there is no tomorrow for me.

      my other option was Krieder, in which case I still don’t see the sun rise again.

    • I’ve got the lowest survival chance in my family.

      I’d have Gary Leeman shooting on Billy Smith. Yeah, I’m a dead man. Just my luck. Phil Esposito’s birthday is a day after mine.

      My wife’s goalie would also be Battlin’ Billy, but she’d have Ovechkin shooting. So she’d have a fighting chance.

      My twins would have Anton Statsny (Jeff Friesen also possible) shooting on Matt Murray. Good chance, but one day earlier (Rocket Richard) would have been better.

      My youngest would have Kyle Connor (or Petr Nedved) shooting on Jordan Binnington. Pretty good chance too.

      I guess a husband and father must sacrifice himself for his family.

      • Might beat you. I got marek zidlicky against Smith. I’m boned.

    • Who’s doing my Eulogy?

      Olli Jokinen on Dryden ☹️

      My wife just might be laughing at my graveside as my future son-in-law Sid goes “top cheese” on Billy Smith

    • I have andreychuk on 95 brodeur, ill take it, pretty sure brodeur never seen a breakaway in 1995 lol

      • andreychuk vs Fuhr – flip a coin.

    • I got Artemi Panarin vs Ken Dryden.

      Pretty sure Artemi can beat a 71-year old 😛

  9. Would EDM & Vegas consider

    To Vegas: Namestnikov ($2m retained via NYR) & mid rd pick via EDM

    To NYR: Pujujarvi

    To EDM: Gusev

    Vegas gets that $2m player they want to fill the gap
    EDM gets a young Gusev to score
    NYR gets Puljujarvi who wants a fresh start

    • Puljujarvi said he wanted to avoid going to a “big” market team…so no Toronto, Montreal, NYC.

      • I have a feeling playing with another young Fin would convince him. Rangers have a better structure for development too.

        Think it would work

    • ok but then rangers still need to shed about $4M…if they are retaining $ and sign buch and ADA. I fear that Kreider could move..

      • I was thinking Kreider would need to go to.

    • Not sure Rangers would be willing to retain that much. Would probably need to sign Puljujarvi and Lemieux to minor league deals.

      • I would think for $2m the NYR would since Vlad is not in the long term plans and is up at season end in order to obtain a prospect pf Puljujarvi’s caliber and see how he meshes with Kakko and company.

        Going to be interested to see when Kreider gets traded and for how much. IF they wait too long they risk getting less than going market rate.

      • I don’t think you trade him now for cap relief. You’re only getting back full value if he goes to a team that he’s willing to sign an extension with. Combine that with fact we need to get under cap, better off trying to move other guys. I’m not sure they don’t have Kreider in their future plans. As far as retaining 2m on Namestikov, I’d do it. Would still need to make other moves though. I’ve said for awhile that I think Smith gets bought out, but I’m starting to think maybe Staal would be better option

    • Hi IHC

      I fully agree that Gusev with Ed just may work and I absolutely love multiple player multiple team trades (rare but exciting) but to be fair , IMO , a more logical move might be just between Oil and Knights …. if Oil can get Gusev to take $3M instead of $4M and GMGM can somehow to take a one year show me $1M …. then a 1 for 1 swap just may work

      Ed at 23 in roster right now with $2.43 avail … have to get to 22 to sign Gusev so sending one player down even at league min gets them to $3.13 M…. doable

      VGK have 22 signed and just over $1M avail.

      Extremely tight on both ends but doable

      • “GMGM can somehow to take a one year show me $1M ”

        should have been

        “GMGM can somehow get JP to take a one year show me $1M “