NHL Rumor Mill – August 23, 2019

by | Aug 23, 2019 | Rumors | 38 comments

Latest on the Wild, Stars, Rangers, and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: With Bill Guerin the Minnesota Wild’s new general manager, Jared Clinton believes his first order of business is determining which direction to take the franchise. He could continue to build around the veteran core or use the opportunity to at least undertake a roster reset. He points out the Wild are thin on prospect depth.

Does Jason Zucker fit into the plans of the Minnesota Wild’s new general manager? (Photo via NHL Images)

Clinton feels Guerin must also decide if Jason Zucker has a future with the Wild. Earlier this year, the 27-year-old winger was nearly traded twice by Guerin’s predecessor. Trading him, however, would hurt their top-six forward depth.

Clinton advocates shopping defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status. He feels Matt Dumba is a ready-made replacement for Spurgeon, who could fetch a significant return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Guerin has in store for the Wild. A roster rebuild could be in the cards. Guerin could take this season to evaluate the Wild’s performance before deciding if a significant shakeup is necessary. If an overhaul is required, Zucker and Spurgeon could be his best trade chips.


THE ATHLETIC: Sean Shapiro recently reported defenseman Julius Honka doesn’t know if he’ll be playing with the Dallas Stars this season. A restricted free agent, he skated in just 29 games last season and was a frequent healthy scratch.

Stars GM Jim Nill discussed trading the former first-round pick (2014) during this year’s NHL draft. He’s since constructed a blueline that will be almost impossible for Honka to crack.

Shapiro believes Honka could thrive in a third-pairing role with another NHL club. He would also be affordable, costing perhaps less than $1 million annually to sign. However, he remains in limbo until the top unsigned RFAs are signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Honka, 23, could be a cost-effective one-year gamble for a club looking for blueline depth. That being said, he could be waiting a while before someone comes calling with an offer.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reported Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux face limited options in their contract standoffs with the Rangers. If they don’t accept the club’s qualifying offers (one-year, $874K), they could either withhold their services or attempt to attract an offer sheet from a rival club. The two aren’t in prime position to cash in that way but the compensation return for players of their pay grade is light and the Blueshirts have limited salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With both coming off entry-level deals lacking arbitration rights, DeAngelo and Lemieux have little leverage here. A rival club could try signing them to an offer sheet but I don’t consider that likely. The Rangers could attempt to trade one or both if they don’t re-sign. Ultimately, I expect both will accept their qualifying offers.


VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks forward Nikolay Goldobin is expected to sign a short-term contract extension. He has no leverage, arbitration rights, or even a guaranteed roster spot because of the Canucks glut of wingers. GM Jim Benning expects to get something done soon.

Kuzma suggests they’re “either dangling yet another motivational carrot in front of Goldobin or perhaps they’re pondering a sign-and-trade scenario to free up cap space and a roster spot.” Once winger Antoine Roussel returns in December from knee surgery, Goldobin could be placed on waivers.


  1. Goldobin will be put on waivers. The Canucks are over the top with average forwards. Pettersson Boeser and Horvat aside. They will be unable to move Ericksson.
    If you can trade Honka for a pick ; I am not sure why they haven’t. Maybe the Canucks and the Stars align.
    With current market conditions Lemieux and DeAngelo better sign. They have a chance to move up the depth charts with all the rookies in play. Playing time and opportunity is key for guys like them to stay in the league .

    • I think they do dangle the carrot for Goldobin while also waiting to see what they’ve got in Sven. Baertcshi had a nasty knock to the head. If he isnt right, they can shut him down, scratch him or simply deal with him accordingly and still have Goldobin. He got off to a hot start with Pettersson and Boeser last year.

  2. As mentioned yesterday, Guerin has inherited $7,958,911 in cap space but still has LW Kevin Fiala to re-sign, He came over in the trade deadline deal with Nashville which sent them Granlund, and in 83gp with the two teams he potted 13g 26a 39 pts and is coming off an ELC of $863,333. You can bet his agent is looking at the very similar production of Colin White who just got a 6-year deal at $4,750,000 per, so if he costs anywhere near that, it will leave Guerin with about $3.2 mil in cap space. Combined with the $5,187,500 cap hit of Spurgeon, if he’s dealt, he’d have just over $8.3 mil, which could accommodate a pretty good player in return for Spurgeon.

    • With their cap room would they be a good partner for WPG who needs to sign Laine & Conner??

      to Min: Ehlers
      to WPG: Spurgeon

      for WPG, it might create a little extra cash room to get Laine & Conner signed and they use Ehlers $ to shore up their right side on the backend

      for Min they get younger upfront with Koivu a UFA and seasons end, and gives them additional depth in case they want to move Zucker at the deadline or seasons end?

      • That’s certainly the kind of deal now open to Guerin. I could see that transpiring.

  3. Re potential OS for either/both ADA and Lemieux

    I hadn’t thought about this before but this (see below) just may come out (if there is a GM) bold enough to make the moves

    Both players could fit in Rangers if both accepted the $0.87 M QO and one of the currently signed ELCs are sent down

    Here’s the weird thing … up to $1.4 M per OS…. no comp; even between $1.4 and $2.1 M it’s only a third

    To me both should be worth at least a 3rd; ADA for sure…. any interested GM should give Gorton a call and offer a 4th and say “I’m being transparent here, if we can’t work out a deal for a 4th rounder, I’m going to offer sheet at $1.3M and then you won’t match and you get zero comp”…. Gorton could counter with asking for a 2nd; they settle in a 3rd???

    That’s not a stretch IMHO

    I would like to see either GMKD or GMJR make a call as above for ADA

    Rangers fans here…. does the above sound unreasonable (I’m not asking re probability ; just if the scenario has cogent rationale).

    • Not sure it does bc ADA has no leverage and has not proven himself to be a solid top 4 D man ….even in NY were he got plenty of opportunity during the season to do so. It was the lack of talent (excluding their name) from the “Superstar” Dmen and vet men ahead of him that gave him a chance to solidify himself and he has shown he still is a bottom pairing man. IMO. He is young and learning so honestly for ADA and NYR, it is in both their best interest for him to take the 1 yr qualifying offer and show what he can do with new talent brought in.

      He is going to have better upfront talent to break out pass to. He will need to make better defensive coverage decisions and get stronger to control down low and in front of the net better. That or be magical with his defensive stick work.

      • Thanks IHC

        My thoughts were from another GMs perspective to make the call/move and then Gorton’s reaction/action on that

        I realize that ADA might still need to prove himself but for the “offering “ team …. the asset risk is ZERO if OS <$1.4M and only a 3rd if greater

        If the “negotiated” deal is for a 3rd…. the risk to the “new” team …. prob $300 – $500 K (whatever over $900 K) for one year vs losing a 3rd rounder that at best makes NHL in fall of ‘21

        Here the receiving team already knows what they have

        Worst case …. (and the odds of this happening are ver slim) they blew some small change for 1 year ; then don’t re-sign; just to get an AHL player that never pans out …. for the expense of a future player that may never get to the NHL

        Best case …. they have improvement from player that gets him to a solid 3rd pairing with potential for 2nd pairing down the road; AND still own that asset for a few more years

        Big potential upside ; low risk downside

        When I look at the risk/reward/mitigate analysis…. I (if I’m a GM with a small prospect cupboard [hello Pens]) would make that call at risk the 3rd rounder and extra $’s

        That’s me…. I’m a big picture long term type of guy



    • I don’t see it rational from a NYR MGT perspective.

      anything possible behind closed doors.

      carolina could have called mtl to make that offer sheet to keep the cost lower ….never know

  4. Re : “Clinton advocates shopping defenseman Jared Spurgeon”….

    Would look great as a Pen….

    Bjug + JJ for Spurgeon

    Note Bjug is a Minny boy

    Minny gets a hometown young big C (or wing) still under contract for 2 years for UFA Spurgeon (and the talk from Clinton was moving him is a viable option) for the expense of JJ (who was apparently part of the mixed Phil deal)

    Pens waive Ruhweedel; extend Pettersson and Pens set to go … just under cap and with that roster CAN win the Div


    • “Zucker and Spurgeon could be his best trade chips.”

      Why would they take a bad contract in return? If they feel Dumba is a good replacement….. why do they need JJ? Why would they add cap $$$ to move on from Spurgeon?

      This doesn’t make much sense any way you look at it. I don’t think the hometown boy thing covers the rest of the issues I Point out above.

      I get your disdain. I don’t like Staals deal, didn’t like Shattenkirks deal etc. but I’m also realistic to the situation. It would cost to move them….. not rewarded with better players to move them.

      Realistically, Shattenkirks solution is probably the best solution to the JJ problem. Buy him out or ride him out.

      • Hi NY4Life

        When I first read ur post I didn’t understand re: Staal …. I was in the Minny mindset… now I realize which Staal bro Ur talking about

        Yes Jimbo should have done the “Shatty” plan on JJ in June …. window now closed (until next June)…., HUGE mistake

        The hometown thing ur right is not huge but the Media had reported a few times wrt Minny’s interest in Bjug and had mentioned at the time; on top of his size ; youth ; and ability to play C and wing; the “hometown” issue

        The article today mentioned the idea of ridding Spurgeon as he’s UFA…. for that they’d get Bjug in return (2yrs) and that is IMO ; a deal skewed in Minny’s fav ; so I through in the “penalty” of taking JJ… as you prob have already realized …. I’d make almost any trade to rid Pens of JJ and… as I said … the Phil deal was purportedly to include JJ …. so Minn was going to take him anyway

        Ideally …. for me …. Pens already talking moving Bjug or Rust for Cap reasons

        With that in mind:

        Bjug AND Rust AND JJ

        for the eldest Staal and Soucy

        Minn gets a younger C to go with rebuild … for Staal

        Minn gets a speedy scoring winger under reasonable contract for taking on JJ and giving up Souccy ( depth AHL Dman)

        Pens then waive Ruhweedel and have $8 M in space to :

        Extend Peterson
        Sign 2 UFA depth wingers or 1 UFA D and 1 UFA depth D and still have nice cap room at TDL

        Now Ur talking!!!

        Sid Guentz McC

        Gino G-Chuck Kahun/SIMON

        Staal Horny Kahun/Simon/Tanev


        4th line wingers and depth wingers:

        ZAR, Tanev (if not on third line)

        Brouwer – UFA $900 K or
        Paajarvi – UFA $900 K

        Tanger Dumo

        Shultz Pettersson

        Gudbranson Kronwall ($1M – $ 1.5 M)


        Or waive/Bury GudB:

        Tanger Dumo

        Shultz Pettersson

        McQ ($1.5M) Kronwall ($1M – $ 1.5 M)


        Murray De Smith

        …., a guy can dream right 😜

    • Ridiculous. Bjug isn’t getting spurgeon. Add jj and it’s going in opposite direction.

      • Hi Wendell17higgins

        What if I said “pretty please”

        I’m trying everything here …. more than Rutherford

        Joking aside I do believe that Spurgeon as a UFA is compensated fairly and a bit more with Bjug

        I’ll take pretty well any deal (outside of moving Sid, Tanger it Murray, Guentz) that is even somewhat close to fair if it rids JJ and saves some Cap

      • No more ridiculous than Marner for Seth Jones. dumping Ceci and re-signing Gardiner for $6-7 mil.

      • CBJ needs to sell tickets with panarin gone. Jones is better player but marner will sell way more tickets in OH.

    • Call ANAHEIM and offer your

      to ANA: JJ & Bjugstad & solid prospect (7.5M)

      to PITT: Del Zotto & Henrique (6M)

      see if GMJR can pull that off lol

      • Hi IHC

        We’re talking Jimbo here … can’t think he gets that done …. prospect cupboard pretty bare right now

        I’ll see if I can load an App to change my voice to sound just like Jimmy’s and I’ll call Murray

  5. I always scratch my head when I hear the suggestion that a new GM will ‘take the season’ to evaluate their roster. They were interviewed. They have had to have a plan or why were they hired? I can understand needing a year to get the stars to lineup for a move to make sense/happen. The major question like to rebuild or not should have been asked and answered and what about Zucker should already have been asked and answered. The question, however, with all trades is what is the return? Is the return actually on offer? THAT could take well over a year to sort out, but the desire to move Zucker or not must have already been decided.

    • I agree Habsfan1. It’s simply a polite way to tell the media to “eff off with questions about detailed plans while I get the deck in order.”

  6. Didn’t the Sens kick the tires on Honka when there was a rumoured deal to send Karlsson to Dallas?

    If his stock has slid so low maybe they could pry him out of Dallas for something else. A fresh start somewhere else.

    • I think I recall that, too, Dark G. But right now, where would Honka fit on their depth chart at D? You have the 7 spots at the major-league level taken by Chabot, Zaitsev, Hainsey, DeMelo, Jaros, Wolanin and Borowiecki and, apparently, one of them will fall to Belleville (or be dealt) if beaten out at camp by Erik Brannstrom, Then you have top prospects Lassi Thompson and Jacob Bernard-Docker in the pipeline and, in Belleville, Englund and Lajoie.

      • not top prospects are prospects and that’s all they are

      • your hockey iq is about the same as a nat you brag about nothing

      • Yours isn’t much better – at least I know it’s spelled “gnat”

      • your right vinnie he can’t stop himself he has to be RIGHT all the time instead of spector’s hockey make it all that george is right hockey i know he will reply because he can’t be wrong

    • if Calgary still needs a defenseman…….

      NYR are happy to send Smith to assist and will take back Frolik

      will even send Lettieri for ya to sweeten it

      • IHC

        Smith for JJ and Ruhweedel…. Rangers save $400 K in Cap

        Can we shake on it?


      • Nah, Calgary’s fine with Andrew MacDonald coming to camp on a PTO 🙂

      • sadly no Pengy….those extra 2 years AND taking Ruhweedal is not conducive to my long term health lol

        now if you held 50% of JJ i”ll make that trade

        you can always give away Bjugstad to someone for a pick to make the cap work

  7. Thomas don’t pick on George or the Senators on this site or they will call you names. Oh my
    Resident expert on that subject. lol
    George is very thin skinned

    • Wow. Coming from inside out boy.

  8. See Thomas, told ya. lol

  9. Batting 100% tonight. And I believe that is what you would call a statistic.

    • Was that an X-ray of someone’s skull?

  10. Memo to Hockey Fan: When was last time Larry Brooks was correct in reporting?