NHL Rumor Mill – August 21, 2019

by | Aug 21, 2019 | Rumors | 52 comments

Updates on Mitch Marner, Torey Krug, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Derick Brassard in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger yesterday reported via Twitter that the representatives for Mitch Marner have spoken with Swiss League club ZSC Lions about training with them next month. There’s been little progress in contract talks between the Marner camp and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Could Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner practice in Switzerland if unsigned before training camp opens? (Photo via NHL Images)

Dreger also said Marner could pay the insurance premium and attend Leafs training camp next month without a contract. “What a circus that would be,” he said. Dreger also suggested trade interest in the 22-year-old winger “will grow as well as days go by.”

The Lions released a statement yesterday confirming Marner’s European agent sought permission to participate in their practices. “Whether and when the player will train with Zurich is not decided yet.”

It’s believed the Leafs have discussed three, six, and seven-year deals with the Marner camp worth between $9 to $11 million annually.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby believes all this posturing could come to nothing by the end of Leafs camp. By then, the club will have made another trade to get close to Marner’s $11 million or activate $10.55 million in cap space by placing Nathan Horton and David Clarkson on long-term injury reserve.

SPORT-EXPRESS’ Igor Eronko tweeted Marner wasn’t drafted in the KHL so he could sign with any KHL club he wishes. “Some of them could offer much more than Zurich or any other Swiss team. Avangard did a lot to land William Nylander but he was set to sign with the Leafs. Is Mitch set?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This looks like an insurance move by Marner’s reps. If there’s no deal in place when camp opens next month, I doubt he’ll attend without a contract. Should it take until the start of the season to get a new contract in place with the Leafs, he’ll need a team to practice with. It ensures he can stay sharp and close to NHL-ready when the season begins.

Some teams could call the Leafs to inquire about Marner’s availability. However, they’ll have to make a significant offer to tempt general manager Kyle Dubas. Any club interested in Marner must also ensure they have sufficient cap space to pay him what he seeks.

I doubt Marner signs with a KHL team. He wants to play in the NHL, preferably with the Leafs, but he also wants to get what he believes is a fair price for his services.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source claiming there have been no new contract extension talks between the Bruins and Torey Krug. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s in the final season of a four-year, $21-million contract.

Murphy speculates the lack of communication could be tied to the Bruins’ ongoing efforts to re-sign blueliners Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. He thinks Krug could command up to $9 million annually on the open market and wonders if the Bruins can afford to retain him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug’s UFA status will make him the subject of some trade speculation throughout this season. If the Bruins are out of playoff contention by the February trade deadline, maybe they’ll consider shopping the rearguard. Otherwise, they could retain Krug for another run at the Stanley Cup next spring and deal with his contract situation afterward.


TSN: reports Jesse Puljujarvi still seeks a fresh start away from the Edmonton Oilers. He told Finnish TV station Laari he’s hoping for a top-six forward role with a new NHL team. “I want a team where I get a place in one of the first two lines and where I get to play for 15 minutes per game. Then I could show what I’m going for. That is my main goal.”

Puljujarvi also admitted he’s struggled to learn English since coming to North America in 2016. Meanwhile, his agent insists his client isn’t bluffing about wanting a trade out of Edmonton. “Puljujärvi is and has been convinced that he needs a change. He is an NHL player,” said agent Markus Lehto on Monday. “This is about getting an opportunity for a new start. The salary can be almost anything.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt the Puljujarvi camp is sincere about their trade request. However, he’s coming off a disappointing performance throughout his entry-level contract and holds no leverage here. He’s not a core Oilers player and his trade value is low right now. Until Oilers GM Ken Holland finds what he considers a decent return, I doubt he’ll move Puljujarvi.



  1. Marner should be caution about injury. Ask Valimaki.
    Puljularvi has to EARN top 6 minutes. No club at junior on up hands anybody anything. He is not getting it gifted and has to prove it on the ice both at practice and during games. I having a feeling he is playing in Finland this year . You will not hold an NHL GM over a barrel with a player of his status
    Brassard will be a good pickup on a one year deal. If it is the Oilers good for them.

    • Leafs fans needn’t worry. They’ve been assured by a resident expert in these pages that he won’t be spending any time in Zurich.

      • LMAO.

      • no need to worry we didn’t sign white to almost 5 million ha ha

      • Oh yeah, I mean, he HAS to be a no-talent slug right? What were they thinking? Nobody gives that kind of money and term to a stiff who only went 21st overall and who finished 5th among all rookies last season with 14 goals and 27 assists in 71 gp and ranking him 3rd among all rookies in assists.

        Total waste of resources.

      • Yer on fire today George.

      • 80 year old crybaby bragging about a 1year player

  2. TML and Marner needs a divorce..

    Enough said.

  3. Another Marner speculation??? Shocking. Seriously though, it’s not just Marner. It’s Point, Laine, Conner, Tachuk, Rantonnen, +++. All these kids have wanted to do (and they are still kids) is play hockey and make the NHL. They’ve worked their entire short lived to get here. This is a coordinated move from the agents and GM’s. If none of these players are signed by training camp, then that will show that the GM’s have coordinated and dug their heals in…which as a fan, I’d like too see. I don’t want to miss out on watching these kids dominate the NHL, but this yearly RFA garbage is growing so tiring. As a fan of the game, yes I want to see the best players play. As a fan of “my” team, I’d rather see the team (in my case the Leafs, but it applies to every club) be competitive not hamstrung by bad contracts. I actually don’t want to see the salary cap lifted either…I used to hate seeing the unbalanced $$$ the Rangers and Leafs used to just throw at everyone.
    The agents aren’t looking out for the future of this game, and I don’t feel like they are looking out for the best interest of the kids they rep. Money is a HUGE part of life, but it isn’t everything, and people won’t remember you for how rich you were. They remember you for what you’ve accomplished…

    • I think (and this may have been said on here in the past month as i’ve been not on here much – sorry Lyle) that what has slowed the whole RFA process down for the remaining RFA’s this offseason was the contract that Aho signed. With an AAV of only (I can’t believe i’m saying “only”) 8.54 mill, that is a lot less than what other RFA’s have been asking for. It effectively set the market for these other guys. Marner can throw out all these numbers but he’s a winger and not a center. He’s small and not big. Yes he kills penalties but ultimately you don’t want your star players killing penalties, blocking a shot and breaking a foot.

      • Except Aho got that through an offer sheet. Had Montreal offered him closer to $10 mil, then that is what Carolina would have had to match in order to retain him. It had zilch to do with negotiations. Carolina was trying to bring him in at $6 – 6.5 so you know that, had there been no offer sheet, he’d be among the RFAs still not signed.

        The two issues can’t be compared.

  4. As much as I like Krug, I do not think he is anywhere close to a 9 million a year player. Bruins need to re-sign Carlo and McAvoy and still could use a second line winger.

    Send Edmonton, Krug, the rights to JFK and a 3rd for Klefbom and Puljujarvi. That gives the Bruins an extra million in cap space. Lock up McAvoy long term at around 6-7 mil per. Get Carlo either long term or a two year bridge deal. And sign Puljujarvi to a one year “prove it” deal.

    • BosBrn32 interesting that not a bad proposal but I think Boston still might have to add. I say this knowing Krug was named in the top 20 for dman. He would be a nice add to the Oilers PP and enough team toughness to help keep him safe but would he resign in Edmonton. The Oilers would have to do some moving around to sign him.

    • I don’t think Holland will think Krug is a 9 mill a year D-man anymore that Sweeney does… I think it’s a good fair deal you’ve proposed but it doesn’t solve the problem of Krug thinking that he’s worth more than he is…

  5. There is about as high a chance the Ottawa Senators win the division as there is the Bruins being out of playoff contention by February. Krug won’t be moved at the deadline.

  6. I’ve been supporting Puljujarvi on here from the beginning but I have to say I don’t agree with his latest statement.

    You can’t say I want to go where I can play in the top 6 and get 15 minutes a game.

    You need to say “I want to prove myself and earn a top 6 role and have increased ice time.”

    The only thing that comes with being a top prospect / pick is an opportunity and the higher the pick the more opportunities you’ll receive but in the end your play will dictate where you play in the lineup and how much toi you will receive.

    • Caper, yep.
      In Edmonton we have had the benefit of already knowing that about JP. The reporting has been that the Oil wanted to send him down. Not only did he not want to go, he wanted a top 6 role.
      Huge gap in expectations between the 2 parties.
      Now he wasn’t to be traded and isn’t worth what he thinks he is.
      If there was a team that was thinking about making that move for JP, I would think that these statements would make them reconsider that idea.

  7. Ok Bruins Fan you have a choice, you can have 2 out of 3 McAvoy, Carlo and Krug. Which two do you want.

    The odd man out for me is Krug, he’ll be to expensive to resign.

    Trade him now or keep him for another run and watch him walk at season end.

    Trade him now, he is at his highest peak, will free up dollars to sign McAvoy and Carlo. Bring back prospect and picks. Prospects can be players playing on their elc that could potentially be a top 6 player.
    Waiting the year out could suffer an injury and have no trade value. now is the time.

    • You’ve got me coming around to your thinking on Krug Caper.
      Phone Don, get it done.

  8. Marner scored 4 points in 7 playoff games, if I’m paying a guy second or 3rd most money in league he better be a game breaker in playoffs not a Joe Thornton or Rick Nash no show type. He better be over a point per game.

    • Like I’ve said for months…. Marner blocked two shots in one game and it made him 2 million more per season.

    • good point & well pointed out-
      it seems like most of the rumor pages are devoted 2 all of the hockey pucks that have an inflated opinion of themselves & demand payment-
      it also seems like they place low priority in helping their team obtain the most success-

  9. When karlsson was demanding 11 million every one said it was too much. Krug at 9?

  10. Boston fans think McAvoy will sign long term at 6 to 7 million while they speculate Marner will get 11 million long term. What alternative universe are they living in.

    Then ask the same fans if they would trade McAvoy even up for Marner….they hesitate as they recognize these players are of similar value to a team.In fact you could make a case, that good D Men make a greater contribution to winning teams than good wingers.

    What is the difference between these two good players,
    in terms of skill, value to the team, both are home town boys. Do both them give a home town discount or just the Boston guy.

    I am waiting for reality to set in.

    If it doesn’t send Marner out to a place where they don’t do advertising using hockey players. Marner (IMO) the most overrated player in the NHL

    • McAvoy stays healthy he’s going to be a better all around player than Krug..sign him & give him the PP to run, trade Krug for a winger with size who can score goals

    • Everyone thought Pastranak was going to make much more as well! McAvoy will be great so long as he stays healthy. I just don’t see him in the same category as Hedman, Burns or Karlsson. So yes, I think he is a 7 mil a year player on a 5 year term. Also add in that some players see the whole picture and know they can live well off of 7 mil rather than 11 mil and still leave some for the team to compete. As in, Bergeron, Marchand, Pastranak, etc. Is McAvoy worth more than those three?

      But as a die hard Bruins fan, I don’t think you could get Marner straight up for McAvoy!

      • I recall hearing a Pasternak interview where he said that I am living the dream, making millions and playing the game I love. If you told me that I could have this life I wouldn’t believe you. I paraphrase of course since I am working from memory. Essentially he didn’t care about and extra million or two, he’s happy with the boat load he is making already and loving life.
        Ahh, the attitude we would hope every player has but only a large minority actually do

    • OBD, I think 7 is OK for McAvoy and think Marner at $11M is crazy.
      McAvoy is more of an unknown because the details required in playing D take more time. On a great path so far, but he needs seasoning.
      In 2 years if he keeps progressing I dare say I wouldn’t trade a top D for a top winger. I don’t think McAvoy is there yet, but that’s normal for the position.
      Marner is there earlier, which is expected.
      I just don’t understand how he is worth $11m/year.

  11. I still say give Marner the C and 9.5 for seven but make him grow a mullet

  12. 💨

  13. Amazing request by Puljujarvi….insisting a top six role when he’s proven very little when given the opportunity.

  14. Ottawa just signed Colin White to 6 years at $4,750,000 per. That completes their RFAs anyway.

    • I kinda like it. Has the potential to be a steal if he pans out to be a good top 6 in the next couple. If he turns out to be s middle six it’s reasonable value… slightly overpaid but you bought the potential. Only is a bad deal if he struggles to contribute in that role.

      • Agree Chrisms. That’s today’s reality in a nutshell. What it does show, however, is that there’s at least ONE player who doesn’t mind playing for Melnyk 🙂

  15. Latest tweets from the Kingdom of Twitter seem to indicate that Brassard will NOT be going to Edmonton. They have the Isles as more likely.

  16. If Boston’s General Manager is tops in the league this past year, why hasn’t he made the Bruins any better as of yet? My opinion is, he stinks and has t a clue how to run the Bruins. Boston lost due to not being tough enough and no scoring. Where was the first line in the finals? But yet your coming back with the same team that St Louis beat up on with their physicality. Sweeney was a soft player and has turned his Bruins into pussycats. Isn’t toughness that brought us a cup in 2011? Toughness again in 2019? Wake up Sweeney or give it up-so called Top GM!!!’n

    • Don Sweeney is a pussy Tony? Seriously dude.
      At 5’10” and 184 he played over 1200 games (including playoffs) in an era that valued size and toughness way more than today. Was also way more physical than today’s game.

      Sounds like a guy with some nuts to me.

      • Hey Ray! Serious dude, your telling me that Sweeney played tough? Are you kidding me. Tell me something, why is it the last 3 Stanley Cups have been won by toughness. Bruins should’ve lost against Toronto 1st round. What saved their butts, RASK. St.Louis was all over them pushing them around like rag dolls. Please go back and relax-think what your saying. Seeeney hasn’t made a good trade since he’s been here. With the roster he has right now, no more than 1-2 rounds. Sweeney-tough, what a JOKE!!!

      • The last three? I guess as a pens fan I should thank you as a Boston fan for calling Crosby Murray Malkin and co tough. Not the adjective usually applied.

      • Secondly…. maybe you could try relax thinking right now.

      • Tony, no more than 1 or 2 rounds? Uhhh… they just went to the finals.
        Little stat for you tough guy talker, the team that had more hits lost more games than they won in the playoffs.
        Exception – St Louis.
        CLB ran at Boston all series and the B’s spanked them.
        So yeah, it worked for STL. So did their D and goaltending. And O’Rielly got hot. Good on them they deserved it.
        Toughness isn’t about running around drilling guys. It is about being physical, yes, but it is also about going to the dirty areas, winning puck battles and talking shots while you do it. How about playing hurt?
        Sweeney and I are a year apart in age, so I watched him play plenty as a Bruins fan, he took plenty of hits to make plays and never backed down as an undersized D man. That means tough in my books.
        As a GM? Mixed bag. I think he wiffed the 3 straight 1st RD picks he had and only hit on Debrusk when the higher ranked guys have panned out. Too clever by half. Later picks have been really good. Trades I give him a B minus. UFA’s a C minus.
        The B’s core is getting old, they ain’t gonna start running around trying to intimidate teams. Those days are gone until they hit the refresh button.

  17. Leafs should trade marner for tzachuck. Calgary would likely have to throw in hamonic to make the cap work and leaf s could add prospects.

    • That’s a trade I would do as a leafs fan

    • Why would Calgary do that?

    • That wouldn’t be that bad, Tkachuk for Marner…but in the NHL world, Calgary would have to give up a lot, but not including Hamonic!

      To TOR: Tkachuk + Kylington
      To CGY: Marner

      • As things now stand, Calgary would be giving up an offensive player with grit who’s seeking around $9 – $9.5 mil which they currently can’t afford, to get someone who’s seeking $11 mil + – both with comparable stats. To what end?

      • Tkachuk is a better all around player than Marner by quite a bit.
        Why would Calgary add Kylington?

  18. Tony I disagree Sweeney is one of the top GM,s in the league I do agree that Bruins need to be tougher but only two teams played in final and Boston is one of them. John Beecher was a steal at 30 and working within the cap isn’t easy if Bruins win game seven I’m sure your opinion is different. As for what to do with Carlo Krug and Charlie I keep all three if they agree to decent contracts but if they want the moon sign Carlo and trade the other two for young stud forwards and play Urho. Can’t have the tail wagging the dog if Charlie wants to be a Bruin forever like he says than sign a fair deal but don’t get greedy.

    • Hi Obe, I agree, but Sweeney is not a top GM. The last last 3 Stanley Cups have been won with toughness, Toronto should’ve won the 1st round, but Boston got lucky. We need to play like the Big Bad Bruins. Sweeney was not a tough player. Look up a fight he had back when he played. All I’m saying is, we need another winger to play on the 2nd line, he hasn’t done it. This is my opinion that’s all.

  19. Stop! Marner will sign! And like Nylander the year before will wait until just before December 1st. But unlike Nylander he will fill the net and provide a bevy assists! Yawn! The Leafs will be winning Cups very soon. Move on everybody. This story is like a car accident that all the nosy vultures want to see!

  20. Brassard to isles

    • Probably to Keep Czikas as the 4th line where he is VERY effective and put Brassard on the 3rd line with Ladd and Komarov ?