NHL Rumor Mill – August 12, 2019

by | Aug 12, 2019 | Rumors | 41 comments

Rasmus Ristolainen implies a trade request, plus the latest on the Blues and Coyotes in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski cites a recent report from Finland’s MTV Sports indicating Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen implied he’s requested a trade. “I cannot say anything other than the fact that on the 12th of September, I will be at one of the NHL team’s training camps,” he said. The blueliner added he wants to keep his discussions with Sabres management private.

In a recent interview, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen seemed to imply he’s requested a trade

“I haven’t been able to help the team win,” he told MTV Sports, according to the translation. “Recent seasons have been tough and I haven’t been able to enjoy hockey.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen’s been the subject of frequent media trade chatter since April. The Sabres’ recent additions of right-side defensemen Colin Miller and Henri Jokiharju stoked the speculation.

The Score’s Sean O’Leary reminds us Ristolainen “reportedly drew interest in trade talks after the Winnipeg Jets dealt Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers in June.” The blueliner’s recent comments ensure he remains a fixture in the rumor mill leading up to the start of training camp next month.


STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Tom Timmermann addressed some questions regarding several Blues players. He believes restricted free agent Ivan Barbashev could be seeking a deal similar to Oskar Sundqvist’s four-year ($2.75-million AAV) contract. He doesn’t expect Joel Edmundson to be traded, citing Jay Bouwmeester’s potential retirement at the end of this season and Carl Gunnarsson’s injury history.

Timmermann feels roster space is as much a factor regarding bringing back Pat Maroon as salary-cap space. He doubts the Blues will consider trading Alex Steen in a cost-cutting move as they still value his contributions. If Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen play well this season, the latter’s trade value could improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect any big shake-ups by the Blues this season. Coming off a Stanley Cup championship, management will try to keep the roster intact as much as possible. Maroon could be the exception, depending on whether they feel his spot on the roster can be filled by a younger, cheaper player.


AZCENTRAL.COM: Winger Justin Williams and center Brian Boyle are among five players Richard Morin believes could help the Arizona Coyotes if the price is right. Riley Sheahan, Alex Petrovic, and Magnus Paajarvi round out his list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams is expected to return with the Carolina Hurricanes for one more season or retire. Boyle, 34, could bring some invaluable experience and leadership to the young Coyotes. Sheahan, Petrovic, and Paajarvi would be younger (late-twenties) and more affordable options.


  1. Realistically, it seems that Barbashev should fall somewhere between Sanford @ 1.5 and Sundquist @ 2.75 depending on term. I don’t want to lose him for the year to the KHL like Sobotka, but he is NOT worth Sundquist dollars yet.

    I do think there are some younger players (Blais, Sanford, Machecern, Kostin) that can play Maroon’s role, but he sure brings some intangibles–locker room and community.

    I am also hoping that Kyrou can find a spot this year.

  2. Realistically what does Ristolainen get Buffalo back? I’d think a 1st and solid B prospect? Possibly salary piece going back to Buffalo to balance it out?

    • NYR will offer ADA (?M), Strome (3.1M) and prospect for Risto (5.4M)

      that is my BUFF proposal =)

      subsequent move

      Kreider (4.6M) & Namestnikov (4M w/ 725K retained) for RNH (6M)
      NYR takes in 11.4 M and a retention of 725k
      NYR ships out 11.7 plus (ADA contract)
      net wash for salary but NYR gets their legit 2 C for the same cap they use now

      Chtyle move to wing
      Risto gets fresh start
      EDM gets a legit winger for McDavid and Leo D can center line #2
      Buff gets a cheaper RD and a #2c / winger who is cost controlled
      not too shabby =)
      I did not even try to include Smith

    • Both Minnesota and LA are trying to sign good (not great) RFA’s in Fiala and Kempe. Could one of those unsigned RFA’s (plus a pick or a prospect) be traded to the Sabres for Ristolanian?

  3. If I’m Blues and I’m weighing Maroon or Barbashev; I go with Barbashev only due to his being younger.

    Very few SC champs in the last 40 years have been able to basically field the same team the next year. Blues losing just 1 from SC roster?

    If Binnington keeps pace and Allen fairs OK…. a Bolts/Blues final is certainly not a far fetched scenario.

    If Blues absolutely felt that it was mandatory to shed some sal (and I’m not advocating for that, but if so) I believe the order of consideration should be Steen (only due to age) and then Gunnerson (age/injury risk). Under no circumstance should they consider moving Edmundson….. although Edmunsdson on Leafs or Pens would look nice 🙂

    Roster at 23 now; I know they can send down w/o issue Thomas, but if it was me, I would waive MacEachern.

    No matter what, Blues are sitting with a solid roster and can fit in Barbashev even if it becomes mandatory (I disagree) that he is signed at same as Sundqvist…. Thomas moved down… leaves just enough Cap space.

    • I thought Patrick Maroon was a guiding force wearing the Blues jersey in their Cup quest. He certainly has passion playing in front of his home town. Patrick reminded me of Dustin Buyfuglien when he was in beast mode playing forward during the Black Hawks Stanley Cup run. I’m not certain other teams are willing to invest or risk if Maroon will drive the net the same way he did for the Blues…unless he moves his kid to wherever he goes..

      • Hi Rob

        Sorry if I inferred that Maroon was not a positive contributor and/or positive influence. Not the case.

        I only meant if there was a decision to make w.r.t. Barbashev vs Maroon ; I would go with Barbashev due to his youth and what he can contribute this year and future years …. in other words … losing a young player with Blues still owning his rights for a few years vs. UFA Maroon…. I would go with the RFA over the UFA.

  4. I think Ristolainen should be ranked in the top 20 -25 defence man in the league. He has size and can log some big minutes. 40 + points in each of his last two seasons on a team near the bottom of goals for and a high draft choice in his 20’s.
    I have said all along should not be moved but if the parties insist they could ask for someone like Connor if the Jets are involved.

    • 8th overall pick in 2013 and 4 consecutive 40 + point campaigns . 6’4” and 215

    • Hi Silver Seven

      I agree with you that Buff should look to keep Risto rather than move him.

      Re: Risto/Connor swap… certainly not out of the realm of fairness but that would not rectify the cap issue with Buff as Connor still needs to be signed and is looking for more than Risto’s current Cap hit.

      I had a quick look at Cap Friendly and got a shock (I had not before looked that closely at Buffalo’s situation).

      I had not realized that Buff only has 9 players under contract for 20/21… 10 UFAs, 4 RFAs for Botterill to think about for next July…. wow! Ottw also in that boat (8 currently signed for 20/21).

      • In Ottawa’s case these UFAs next year won’t be back: Boedker, Pageau, Hainsey, Anderson – freeing up an additional $15,350,000.

        LTIRs off the books are Callahan ($5,800,000) and MacArthur ($4,650,000)

        UFAs likely re-signed: Ennis, DeMemo, Borowiecki – bring them up to 11.

        RFAs to be re-signed: Chabot, Jaros, Tierney, Brown, Duclair, Veronneau – bringing th em to 17.

        Elevated (some this year and next) Batherson, Logan Brown, Formenton, Brannstroim, Abramiov and either Hogberg or Gustavsson – to 22.

      • Hi George

        No challenge there other than, IMO, I would not necessarily write off Pageau.

        I only brought up Ottw as a comparative (to Buff) on where they stand w.r.t. contracts for next year.

        Sens have good players in the system; prospects being developed; and picks coming. On the right track.

        New arena, new owner a priority IMO 🙂

      • Pengy, J-G Pageau could be gone as early as the trade deadline, but certainly at season’s end. He’s a smallish (5′ 10 180 lbs) C whose offense has steadily declined since his high-water season 4 years ago of 19g 24a 43 pts. His cap hit now is $3.1 mil and, turning 27 this November, will likely seek an increase not commensurate with a 4th line C – and probably wants at least 4 years.

        Meanwhile, the Sens have White, Tierney, Brown and Anisimov all capable of playing C now (White could get the # 1 line by default for this coming season) with Josh Norris and Filip Chlapik pushing for spots.

        There’s nothing to be gained by a rebuilding club retaining someone like Pageau at this stage of his career.

      • Pengy: I agree with George other than I think Pageau could be a good 3C on a competitive team. Pageau isn’t worth over US$3M/year on a team as young as Ottawa with the 2-4C depth they have now. White, Anisimov and Tierney are better players now with Brown and Norris knocking on the door. Batherson is listed as a C on Capfriendly, but is more likely to be a scoring winger long term from what I’ve seen. Ottawa has multiple 4C options long term as well with Paul, Chlapik and others.

      • Honestly, I am not a big fan of Risto at all. He isn’t horrendous, but I think he is massively overrated. His biggest impact is on the offensive side of the puck, but he is far from elite either on the PP or 5 on 5. His defensive game isn’t great, and ideally you want him playing against weaker competition.

        If he’s your teams number 1 PP guy, and shutdown D, your team is not going to be elite on the PP or defensively overall.

        His offensive numbers get pumped up by the fact he gets so much PP time, and he’s big and throws hits, so he gets overrated by a lot of people. I think Buffalo should move him if they can, because there is no way he gets top unit minutes this year, and if he comes out of this season with 25-30 pts, and a decreased role defensively he might not be easy to move going forward.

      • Hi George and Van

        It’s just my gut feeling on Pageau that he’ll have a bounce back year this year…. no guess on $ or term; just not ruling him out as a re-sign

        I’ll tell you that if Sens miss out on Lafreniere and “only” get Byfield ; they should be happy…. big time

        I watched the Hilinka-Gretzky tournie and man this kid has great hands and fantastic hockey sense …. and will be a friggin man-boy …. he’s already 6’4” and 215 and still 16 !!!

      • Buffalo should be in a good place next July. They should have 8 of their projected top nine back (Eichel, Skinner, Reinhart, Johansson, Mittlestadt, Olaffson, Thompson and Cozens). They can re-sign the best of UFA’s Vesey, Sheary or they will have a forward in return for Risto. Defense will be great shape.

    • Makes you wonder why he is always showing up in trade rumors. His plus minus is brutal and his possession stats aren’t stellar either.
      Is that simply because he is on the ice more than anyone else on a bad team? And if the Sabres don’t value him why does his coach play him more than anyone else?
      It’s strange.

    • Maybe Ehlers? Early summer rumors were Winnipeg was talking to Carolina about trading Ehlers for a defenseman.

      • You could be right but if a trade is to happen it’s after
        Laine and Connor are signed. Can’t see Buffalo taking back a bad contract such as Perreault along with Ehlers unless Botterill has another trade in the works bc the Sabres are against the cap ceiling now.

  5. The NHL published it’s top 20 centers last week. I was surprised not to see Johnathan Toews or maybe Giroux or Kopitar in the top 30. Here are the top 20 and their ranking by nhl.com;

    1. McDavid
    2. Crosby
    3. MacKinnon
    4. Barkov
    6. Matthews
    7. Bergeron
    8. Stamkos
    9. Scheifele
    10. Point
    11. Seguin
    12. O’Reilly
    13. Malkin
    14. Aho
    15. Eichel
    16. Kuznetsov
    17. Couture
    18. Backstrom
    19. Monahan
    20. Pettersson

    • Hi Caper

      Ya I saw that…. the header brief was:

      “Winning important face-offs, leading rushes up the ice, and setting up teammates are hallmarks of an elite center….”

      With that definition/parameter in mind I was surprised to see Gino so low on the list and if it were me (as at now) I would have had Bergeron and Stamkos ahead of Mathews.

      The top 5 as listed ; no challenge whatsoever there.

      I expect Pettersson and probably Point to jump up that list next year.

      Interesting to see 2 in the top 4 on teams that didn’t make playoffs last year.

    • Thanks for the list, Caper. That solidifies how silly it is to suggest Point should get US$8M/year while Marner is “worth” US$10-11M. A top 10 centre in the league is worth more than any winger other than someone like Ovechkin in his prime.

      Speaking of wingers, I don’t follow Colorado and didn’t realize Rantanen missed 8 games last year and 1 the previous season. Rantanen has averaged 1.1 pts/game over the past 2 seasons while Marner, who hasn’t missed a game, is averaging ~1 pt/game. Even last year, Rantanen averaged more points/game than Marner (1.18 vs. 1.15) on a worse team. I’d argue Rantanen is more important to his team than Marner as he is clearly their 2nd best player behind MacKinnon and Marner could be as low as fifth on Toronto’s depth chart behind Matthews, Tavares, Rielly and Andersen. Why would Rantanen take $9M/year when Marner is rumoured to get $10-$11M/year? Rantanen has been the better player the last two years.

      Dubas better stick to his guns because they’ll need extra money for Rielly and Andersen in the near future. Rielly will get about double his current contract and Andersen will likely get 50% more.

      • Agents are ruining the league…with the salary cap system as it stands, and so many good talented players the math isn’t going to add up, and the “good” 30 and up guys are going to either be pushed out of the league or take less than they are worth, while the “great” 30 and up guys will also be taking discounts. This reeks to me of agents taking advantage of young guys with $$$ in the heads. You can’t have the best young players holding out EVERY summer. Have a feeling the next CBA will look at 5yr ELC or a salary max for the first 7yrs. Only so much money for everyone to go around, and there are going to be a lot of players pushed out in the next few years because teams won’t have the $ to sign them, or those players (Gardiner?) feel they are worth more as they’ve proven themselves. It’ll get ugly before it gets better

  6. If Ottawa was really interested in turning it around, they could do it this year.
    They have the cap room , the picks and teams in cap trouble.
    Ottawa is in a perfect position to fix their situation if they really wanted too
    And yet nothing happens, promises of building a contender.
    Time to prove it.
    Baa Baa Baa

    • Vinnie: I’m not a Melnyk fan, but Ottawa is doing what they should this off-season given they aren’t making the playoffs anyway. They have plenty of youth that are NHL ready and a top 5 pick in next year’s draft would make them even stronger long term. Next year is supposed to be a very strong draft and getting Lafreniere or Byfield could be a franchise changer. The only thing lacking in Ottawa’s prospect pool is an elite, legit top3 scoring forward. Next year is the time to spend some money and take advantage of teams in cap hell.

  7. Ya , I guess don’t go after someone who has proven they can play in the NHL.
    Might better go after draft picks that are unpredictable.
    Never know maybe they will be lucky and get another Alexander Daigle.
    Everyone talks about Benning in Vancouver being bad.
    Dorion inherited a team that was 1 goal from the finals, got them to drop to 30th and then 31st place.
    Lost a #1 pick for someone they no longer have.
    And their doing things right. Ha Ha , ya Ok
    Baa Baa Baa

    • Vinnie: You keep bringing up how Ottawa lost a pick for nothing, but that isn’t true because they traded Duchene at the deadline for a 2019 1st (Thomson), Abramov and Davidsson. In hindsight, they lucked out not extending Turris before he significantly regressed and gave up the fourth overall pick (Byram), Bowers and a 2019 3rd in addition to Turris.

      I didn’t like Ottawa’s original Duchene trade at the time, but time will tell how it turns out. Long term, Ottawa got a 2019 1st (Lassi Thomson), Vitali Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson for a better 2019 1st (Bowen Byram), Shane Bowers and a 2019 3rd (Matthew Stienberg).

      Colorado made out like bandits because they got Girard (looks like a 2-3D long term), Kamenev and a 2019 2nd (Filip Hallander) in addition to the Ottawa component for Duchene.

      • Agree 100% Van that Ott should wait. I would suggest that they should wait longer before spending on UFA’s of any significance. Exception; 1 year guys that they can flip at the deadline for more picks.
        OTT made $3M last year spending $70M on players. If they want to be a cap team, Melnyk needs to bank some $$. Now is that time and he needs more than a season.
        Ottawa needs top end players if they ever want to compete for a cup. Only 1 team has won the cup in the last 25 years (might actually be more than 25) without a player drafted in the top 3 of the draft.
        So what tells you is that drafting in the top 3 doesn’t guarantee a cup (not even close), but not having a player drafted in the top 3 almost guarantees you won’t.
        Ott will never be a big player in the high end UFA market, and trades for the elite guys rarely happen. Ottawa needs to draft them, which means they need to tank.

      • Which is, why, Van, I keep saying they’ll be elsewhere – when I first said that a year ago I gave them 5 years – haven’t change that opinion and now it’s down to 4.

        I agree with everything you say, and as more and more of the regulars in attendance come to that realization, the attendance will dwindle to sufficiently alarming numbers that the league will have no choice but to allow Melnyk to move the franchise – likely south of the border. He’s stubborn enough that he won’t sell to anyone else, and as long as he’s part of the equation everyone can forget about a downtown arena in the Flats area.

    • Welcome to the Hells George’s van.

      • LOL. I’m waiting for the message saying I’m one of George’s lackies that doesn’t think for himself.

  8. I would give Risto plus 3 first round picks for Kyle Connor. Stop messing around and win

  9. I stand corrected , Dorion is a genius.
    They sure haven’t stayed in the status quo under his direction.
    No where to go but up.
    Funny all their top level prospects in the AHL couldn’t even make the playoffs, but they will turn the NHL team around.
    Ya ok

    • At least Ottawa made it to the Conference Finals within the last three years and within an OT goal of the Stanley Cup Finals. Toronto hasn’t made it that far since 2002. Ottawa has made the Stanley Cup final and the Conference Finals twice since then. Congratulations to Toronto on nearly 20 years of incompetence/mediocrity!

      • Ha Ha , same number of cups in that span too.
        And yet they couldn’t finish it.
        Probably because their girlfriends were fighting.

  10. Please trade Marner, please!

  11. Trade Marner…please?

    • It’s alright Jon it will work out. I think they already have a deal. They just aren’t announcing it.

  12. The Coyotes could use some more grit, and even Maroon would help their front line. I don’t see Williams leaving Carolina. Boyle would be a good addition. They need one more piece to stay competitive in the ever increasing talented Pacific.

  13. I guess T.J. Brodie is off the table now. Valimaki torn ACL out for the season. Tough break for a kid. Don’t think they moving anything from that position now especially in conjunction with the Stone buyout