NHL Rumor Mill – August 16, 2019

by | Aug 16, 2019 | Rumors | 32 comments

Updates on the Kings and Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS: Scott Billeck recently examined possible options for Los Angeles Kings general manager Rob Blake to rebuild his roster. Several players, including Tyler Toffoli, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, and Derek Forbort, will be seeking new contracts next season and it’s unlikely they’ll get them in Los Angeles. Billeck suggests those players could be shipped out at the trade deadline for assets.

James O’Brien believes goaltender Jonathan Quick’s trade window will be after this season. He feels teams will find Quick’s $5.8 million annual average value more palatable because his actual salary steadily declines to $3.5 million in 2020-21, $3 million in 2021-22, and $2.5 million in 2022-23.

Could this season be Jonathan Quick’s last with the Los Angeles Kings? (Photo via NHL Images)

O’Brien suggests Toffoli and defenseman Alec Martinez would attract plenty of interest in the trade market. The big contracts of Jeff Carter, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Dustin Brown make them unlikely to be moved this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake could take a “wait-and-see” approach to allow new head coach Todd McLellan a chance to turn things around this season. If Quick stays healthy and returns to form, if Kovalchuk regains his scoring touch, and if players in their contract years (like Toffoli) have strong performances, the Kings could sneak into the playoffs next spring.

But if the Kings remain outside the postseason picture, Blake could start shipping out some veterans for younger assets by the February trade deadline.

The decline in Quick’s actual salary in the final three years of his contract won’t matter if he has another injury-shortened campaign. Toffoli will certainly draw interest as a rental player. With a year left on his contract, Martinez will be enticing to clubs seeking blueline depth beyond this season. 


NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz notes the same old questions remain for the Edmonton Oilers entering this season. He points to the lack of scoring punch beyond Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the still-thin defense, and questionable goaltending in Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith.

Gretz believes it’s only a matter of time until unhappy winger Jesse Puljujarvi is traded. He also wonders if forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or defenseman Oscar Klefbom hit the trade block this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since taking over as general manager this spring, Ken Holland earned positive marks for his moves thus far. That includes shipping fading power forward Milan Lucic to Calgary for less expensive winger James Neal.

Nevertheless, Gretz makes valid points about the Oilers’ ongoing problem areas. If there’s no significant improvement this season, Nugent-Hopkins or Klefbom could resurface in the rumor mill.

Puljujarvi could also be moved, provided Holland gets a decent return. Otherwise, Holland could call the youngster’s bluff, let him play in Finland this season, and revisit contract discussions or the trade market next summer.


  1. With $8,740,606 in cap space and only RFA LW Adrian Kempe to re-sign (coming off an ELC of $894,167 and a season of 12g 16a 28 pts in 81 gp he should come in at no more than $1.5 mil in a bridge deal),I think Blake might be one of those teams with decent cap space waiting for one of those needing to shed cap money to cough up something useful at minimal cost to L.A. for one more shot at the playoffs before things really begin to unravel.

    Because next season he will be busy with just 10 players signed at $57,010,227 and 8 UFAs (forwards Toffoli, Lewis, Clifford, Mario Kempe,, defensemen Forbort, LaDue, Ryan and goalie Campbell and 4 RFAs – forward Grundstrom and Wagner and defensemen Walker and MacDermid along with 10 more RFAs from among his non-roster personnel.

  2. Chiarelli left the Oilers a complete mess. Its going to take Holland years to undo the damage.

    • For me:

      small change

      to the Oilers for

      1st Round pick (non Lottery protected) small change

      is a deal that makes sense for both teams.

      Habs’ fans will howl, but the team needs an LD and the 2020 Draft is in Montreal – Lafreniere is out there.

      • Rattus, Holland here, no thanks.

      • Klefbom and the 1st are the most valuable pieces in that offer by far.

      • Rattus, Bergevin here.

        No thanks. Twice.

    • holland had a good “run” in motown. he is responsible for a few brutal contracts. should’ve just retired. he’s going to have to give away the store to get anyone to sign there

      • oilers are certainly in a predicament.and I wonder how long before the McDavid warp like end to end rushes start to dissipate. hopefully his patience will last longer.

    • Don’t disagree that PC made some brutal deals in Edmonton Ron. But Holland has to repair damage from the last decade, not just PC’s tenure.
      At least PC restocked the pipeline a little bit. His trades? That is another story altogether.

      • Ray, at the moment Holland has $2,433,001 in cap space with 23 shown by CapFriendly at the major league level. Three of those (Thomas Jurco ($750,000), Colby Cave ($675,000) and Nygard ($925,000) will likely be delegated, freeing up another $2,350,000 for a total of $4,793,000.

        Puljujarvi probably has seen his last game in an Oiler uniform so, given his situation, it makes little sense for Holland to play hard-ball with him.

        Could he be included in a deal with, say a Gagner ($3,150,000), Kassian ($1,950,000) or LD Manning ($2,250,000) – all three UFAs next year – in exchange for pick(s)/prospects, and then use that additional freed-up cap giving him anywhere from #6,743,000 to $7,043,000 to $7,943,000 – depending upon who goes with the rights to Puljujarvi – and then get in on the act with those teams waiting for cash-strapped clubs to cave and peddle off someone useful at minimal cost?

        Just spitballing – but it sure seems that a proactive approach along those lines would be preferable to entering the season with his thumb up his bum.

      • I think that overall strategy makes sense George, if I am understanding right, but I don’t think he could get picks for either Gagner or Manning, I dare see he would have to give them up to move them.
        Manning couldn’t crack the roster last year after they gave away a decent NHL player away in Caguilla for him. 7th Dman at best and more like an AHL guy.
        Gagner is good on the PP, and a liability 5 vs 5.
        Kassian is a good player. Skates great, tough with a little bit of snap case mixed in, can actually contribute on a scoring line or a checking line.
        I can see him in the top 6 on occasion. He is worth something for sure, but man, they need 3 more top 6 guys and aren’t really in a position to give any up. Even if borderline.
        Maybe Neal clicks, but will have to wait and see.
        I think Holland will be patient and wait this out and be opportunistic for a couple years.
        Frolic would be a great fit.

  3. Still think RNH for Kreider makes sense for both sides

    Rangers could throw in Namestnikov too.

    Kreider fits with McD
    Namer can incresse bottom 6th dept and may even find more offense playing with Leo

    Rangers get a #2 c and can always trade Strome if the kids have a really good camp.

    • Depending how the Rangers kid-wings progess the highest bidder @TDL will get CK with the slim chance of resigning him themselves in the summer.

  4. I doubt Edmonton would move RNH for Kreider and Namestnikov.
    1st off CK20 is a UFA at seasons end, and doubt he re-signs in Edmonton. RNH has 2 years left on his deal. As for throwing in Namestnikov, he’s also up at seasons end, and there are cheaper options still available to Edmonton in the UFA market.

    • Agree Francois. IMO opinion Holland will make no moves with simply this season in mind.
      He can’t.
      No space and too many holes to fill.
      D prospects look good but we are 2 years away from seeing the Oil enjoy the benefits of those guys.
      Keep drafting and developing and money starts freeing up after this season and next.

    • Besides fact Kreider probably wouldn’t sign there, he has a partial ntc that would pretty much kill any chance he’d agree to go there. Namestikov cap hit gone next year anyways, so taking on RNH contract with a 6 million cap hit next year probably not happening after Shatty buyout. Especially swapping him for Kreider makes no sense. You’re pretty much giving away Namestikov.

    • 100% on the mark

  5. Just like Pengy says Matthews will be in Arizona and McDavid will be a Leaf.

    • Hi Vinnie

      Yes for sure re AM in the desert but I never said McD would be in T.O.

      He might eventually come here; but I never posted that he would

      • Yes , I meant you said the first part. I think the 2nd part happens if oilers continue to lose.

      • That’s certainly not a far-fetched scenario; but I have to believe that Holland at least is moving them upwards now… it’s just a matter of how far up and how fast that happens

    • That would be fine by me……..add in a trade of Marner and we would get rid of the “kids” who are much less in reality than the hype. McDavid is not going to stay in Edmonton with the disarray there now that won’t be easily fixed in the next 3 years.

      • Jon, I will go out on a limb and say McDavid will finish his 8 year contract in Edmonton. I would bet $$ on it.
        Not only did he commit to the Oil, the Oil committed to him. They are paying him $100M, Yes I know, other teams would pay him that, but the Oil are and McDavid seems like a guy who understands what that type of commitment means when you sign it.
        He also doesn’t seem like a guy who whines and moans, but instead tries to work and fix it.
        You know, a leader.
        I also predict the Oil will turn it around and be a serious contender in 3 years. 2 of the best forwards in the entire NHL and an up and coming blue line that will top level. Big fast, physical and skilled.
        They will find some wingers to play the right way and add some offence when they have the room and Holland has a couple more drafts, I think they have one already in Benson. And maybe, just maybe, one of them has the initials JP. If he grows up and becomes a man instead of a boy and stops blaming other people for his own short comings.
        That and they need a goalie, which seems more like a crap shoot than the rest.

      • And the Leafs have had so much more success than Edmonton?
        Toronto better get past the first round sooner than later. The window is closing.

  6. Habs should be phoning about Toffoli. They have cap space, Toffoli fits a need (winger who can help on the PP) and have some nice young assets to send in return.

    • Agreed. Except i suspect LA will want a 1st. Not sure I’d do that.

  7. Matthews or Marner will be elsewhere in 2 or 3 years….it might not be Arizona unless they have quality players they can trade….my dark horse for Mathhews is LA….

    McDavid to Toronto is a Leaf fans dream…McDavid probably has the power to make it happen IF it his dream too….I don’t think he will accept 3 or 4 more years out of the play offs or not doing well in the play offs….

    Oiler fans I am not saying it his dream….just that it might be….and that he only has one career …my guess is that Holland better make something happen within 3 years

  8. Oilers will have to draft their way out of the current state. Nothing really to trade off the roster except RNH, Kleffbom and Nurse. You have to keep Bouchard and Yamamoto in the system for a couple of years at least.

  9. Would you wait three years if you were Connor? Would you take a Matthews for McD trade straight up? Few would which exposes the hype of AM. Trade him to Coyotes? For whom? He needs a market that is big but adoring and not very smart, like LA!!
    I would send Marner, and whatever else it took to Oilers for McD……Mitch, Kappy, Liljegren, first rounders? better for Oilers than an unhappy Connor.

    • Hi Jon

      Re McD for AM straight up… I’m on that trade 100% amundo

      No way Oil makes that trade though

      Outside of the fact that I believe McD is a better player than AM; outside of looking at the numbers each has (skewed in McD’s favour and all while playing with a weaker supporting cast)……

      Just the fact that one is likely to move on (from either team) in 5 years ; while the other is locked for 7 and would have a bit more incentive to stay past 7 (home town; more advertising $’s in T.O.) is why I would take that swap anytime

      I really think AM is gone in 5 years (perhaps before that if Dubas sees after 4 that he’s not looking to extend) ; and I truly believe Leafs won’t have a Cup next June…. so with that in mind Dubas should be building a focus on 20/21 through 23/24…. and he must have a respectable D in place …. as at this point he has but one NHL D under contract for 20/21!

      • Matthews to Arizona for Crouse, Keller, Chychrun & a first round pick. That equates to four 1st round selections for Matthews.

  10. It drives me nuts when fans and Toronto Media says Matthew’s is arguably the best goal scorer ever! Mike Bossy scored 173 goals his first three seasons and had 50-60 every year until his last, 17 goals in playoffs 3 years in a row. Laine had 110 goals his first three seasons Matthew’s 111, it’s way to early to say he’s greatest goal scorer in league history.