NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2019

by | Aug 29, 2019 | Rumors | 29 comments

The latest on Nikolaj Ehlers, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Andrei Markov in today’s NHL rumor mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck notes Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers became a fixture in offseason trade speculation. He believes the Jets would come to regret moving him, pointing to Ehlers’ positive impact on the Jets’ shot attempts, controlling possession out fo the defensive zone, and into the opposition zone.

Could the Winnipeg Jets dangle Nikolaj Ehlers as trade bait for a defenseman? (Photo via NHL Images)

Billeck acknowledged Ehlers’ poor postseason numbers and that he can sometimes be unpredictable. His critics would like to see him be stronger on the puck.

Ehlers was linked to the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres. While some suggest swapping him for Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, Billeck believes the Jets would lose in that deal. He consider it folly to trade him unless the return is a “young, top-pairing defenseman with a high ceiling.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Billeck notes the Jets could draw upon their depth on the wings for trade bait, making Ehlers a prime candidate to swap for a blueliner. Finding the right fit, however, could be difficult.

The Sabres loaded up with defensemen this summer, making Ristolainen a potential trade candidate. I don’t share Billecks’ low assessment of Ristolainen but Ehlers probably isn’t a fit with the Sabres because they’re deep enough at left wing.

Hurricanes veteran Justin Faulk is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer and could be shopped if an agreement on a contract extension can’t be worked out. However, he won’t fit that requirement for a young top-pairing rearguard with upside.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson weighed in on his thoughts regarding Jesse Puljujarvi opting to play in Finland while awaiting a trade by the Oilers. The winger’s poor stats (37 points in 139 games) resulted in tepid trade interest, though if he were placed on waivers, the other 30 NHL teams would put in a claim for him.

Unless a club offers up a good, young prospect and a draft pick, he doesn’t see the Oilers moving Puljujarvi. Matheson wonders if the winger’s value might improve while he plays in Finland or if other clubs get into injury problems.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not much else to say about Puljujarvi’s situation that hasn’t already been said. Barring an unexpected rise of interest in the former first-round pick in the coming weeks, it could take a while before the Oilers receive a decent offer.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: With Andrei Markov hiring agent Allan Walsh in hopes of making an NHL comeback, Jared Clinton looks at possible destinations for the 40-year-old defenseman.

Markov spent his entire NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens and would prefer a return with the Habs. With Victor Mete, Ben Chiarot, Brett Kulak, and Mike Reilly on the left side, Markov might not be a fit with the Canadiens. Clinton wondered if a reunion with former Habs defense partner P.K. Subban might be possible on the New Jersey Devils.

The Calgary Flames could seek a replacement for sidelined defenseman Juuso Valimaki. Age and money, however, could work against Markov heading to the Stampede City. The Colorado Avalanche could use a little more experienced blueline depth, as could the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out Markov returning to Montreal but that depends on general manager Marc Bergevin. I daresay he’ll assess his blueline during training camp and preseason play before deciding if his defense corps needs help. Even then, Markov might not be on his list of options.

As for the other clubs, Markov’s age and his two-year absence from the NHL work against him. He could be forced to accept a professional tryout offer.


  1. It would come down to Markov’s salary expectations whether he gets a shot. He ain’t no Jagr and that didn’t pan out.

    I have a high regard for Ristolainen and would not move him . If I felt the need it would have to be an Ehlers type return..

    • If the Habs were interested in Markov he wouldn’t have had to resort to an interview to try and drum up interest. Now that Markov has hired an agent it tells us that interest is indeed limited. Highly unlikely that the Habs reach out.

      • Concur, LJ. BTW, his agent recently said he’s had five teams reach out to him. Markov seeks a one-year contract and his agent thinks he won’t have to go through a tryout to get one.

  2. What about Ehlers for Nick Leddy. Isles are short on lw and Leddy makes 4. 5 mill they would get 1.5 cap relief and will help sign Laine.

    • Pete, that would bring the Isles down to 6 D – Boychuk, Hickey, Pulock (166gp in the NHL), Pelech (209gp in the NHL), Mayfield (162gp in the NHL), Toews (48 gp in the NHL). Not a lot of experience with those last 4 who, together, don’t match Leddy’s 660gp. Can’t see Lamoriello taking that approach to shoring up his offense.

      • add in dobson though who is ready for NHL time. leddy isn’t exactly a shut down defender as it is. it is not the most experienced blue line, but is it better to have dobson + ehlers or just leddy?

      • Two options for the Isles should they make such a trade:
        1. Keep 2018 first rounder Noah Dobson with the team. The drawback is that he’s a right shooter and would be a rookie.
        2. Sign Jake Gardiner. That might work.

      • They can do that and then trade a 4th to Detroit for Ericsson who is a UFA at the end of the year….

      • Brendan Guhle could be the 7th D-man coming out of camp

      • RS, one of the sites that deals in NHL top prospects has this top say about Dobson:

        “Defensively, Dobson still has some aspects to work on like battles near the front of the net. He needs to probably gain some upper-body muscle mass and work a little bit on technique in his own zone. When that catches up to his offense, then look out! The defenseman plays likely in the QMJHL again next season with an eye towards the AHL not too long after.”

        I don’t see Lamoriello rushing him to the NHL

    • Pete..no way Leddy is decent for sure but straight up for Ehlers No way….

      i would never make that deal….

  3. Why would Jets trade Ehlers for Leddy? That makes no sense at all and Leddy makes 5.5

    • I dont like any of these teams but ehlers is worth far more than risto (add a 1st) or leddy (add 1st and 2nd)

  4. Trade suggested on the radio this AM on my drive in – Kris Russell for Mathieu Perreault.
    Not crazy, maybe a small add from Edmonton required.
    Both players are “OK”, not great.
    Fills a big need for both teams.

    • I think that trade would have to be considered after training camp. As it is the Oilers will need on of Bear, Jones, Bouchard, Samorukov, Lagesson, or Persson to make the team coming out of training camp. The Oilers trade Russell then they would need two of them, which is a big risk. So, if two of those young d-men impress in training camp and make Russell expendable then I’m all for that. Although both players have a M-NTC.

    • “Fills a big need for both teams.”

      How does trading away D fill Edmonton’s biggest need, which is D?

      • The Oilers have a lot of defensive prospects, including their last 2 first round picks in Bouchard and Broberg. The Oilers need on defence will be fix by within.

      • Oilers biggest needs is not D it is on the wing and 3C.
        Jones is ready after 2 years in Bakersfield, and showed last season when the Oil caught the injury bug on the blue line. He was logging over 20 minutes against top opposition and did OK. In a sheltered role he will be an upgrade. Persson is 25 coming over from Europe and was already in line for the 7th D spot if not in the last pairing. Although not proven in NHL he is a solid pro.
        Agree Manning is a fill in. Bouchard will get a shot to make the team but I think they would prefer to have him play a full season in the AHL with plans to give him a taste at the start of the season, with a few call ups during the year if injury hits. Next year he gets a real shot.

  5. Oh, and just to add, a third young Oilers d-man would need to show that they can be a 7th d-man. As I am sure Manning will be sent down to the AHL as soon as he the Oilers are able to send him down.

    • Hi KevJam

      I’m not sure if you saw IHC’s Oil/Pens proposal; but it’s got me giddy thinking about it and it would be moving Manning

      He had Manning & JP to Pens for Rust & JJ ($1M retained)

      The absolute best workable deal I’ve seen in a long long time

      I have my fingers, toes and eyes crossed on this one


      • Omg, day 4. This is why I took IHC’s trade card away. Terrible proposal!
        And breathes life into Pengys obsession of moving a guy nobody wants.

        Sometimes you just have to accept reality. I’ve come to terms with Staal and Smith and the fact NY will be riding them out….

        It’s time to move on Pengy.

      • Hi NY4Life

        Move on ?

        No can do

        You in Ranger land have fantastic D in Smith and Staal when comparing to JJ

        IHC’s trade card must Not be taken away as long as he’s coming up with logical ways to get rid of JJ

      • It doesn’t even work from a cap perspective.

        Never mind a team willing to take on Johnson….. for years. For Manning’s ONE year .

  6. Ehlers is a great playoff guy, 21 games zero goals, pass on that clown. Regular season stats mean nothing if you can’t do the same or better in playoffs.

    • Amen!

    • to Minny: Ehlerswith Pionk


      to WPG: Spurgeon?

      clears more room for Wpg

      younger options for Minny

      win win??

    • Better than being one of those clowns that can’t even make the playoffs year, after year, after year after……

  7. Ehlers to Canes for Faulk?

    • IHC, if they can sign him to a reasonable extension first. But I think WPG is looking for younger, less expensive. 2-3rd year pro type.
      It make sense for WPG to trade a forward for D help, area of strength for an area of weakness, but not so sure Ehlers is the guy they want to move. Good young player on a decent contract.
      How about a blockbuster for Laine?
      See what you can come up with!