NHL Rumor Mill – August 3, 2019

by | Aug 3, 2019 | Rumors | 45 comments

Updates on Jesse Puljujarvi and Jason Zucker plus a look at the notable players still available in the UFA market in today’s NHL rumor mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Finnish newspaper Kaleva reporting Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi still wants to be traded. Unlike previous reports where Puljujarvi’s agent spoke for his client, this time it’s the winger personally making his intentions known. A restricted free agent, he said he’ll stay in Finland until he has a new contract.

‘I want a new start with some other team. Playing in North America is still my goal.” “I will stay on Oulu until I have a contract. I will find a place to play somewhere.’

Puljujarvi added he’s recovered from his recent hip surgery and feels much better. He’s hoping to be traded by the Oilers before training camp.

Jesse Puljujarvi still wants out of Edmonton (Photo via NHL Images).

Staples, however, doubts Puljujarvi doubling down on his trade request will changes things much. The Oilers would need a solid trade offer to move him. That’s still possible but increasingly unlikely given clubs are now locking in their rosters “and finding ways to get out of the cap trouble that may have forced a trade.”

Staples feels the best option is for the Oilers to simply allow Puljujarvi to spend this season playing in Europe and regaining his confidence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Puljujarvi isn’t re-signed or traded when training camp opens next month, he could be forced to swallow his pride and return to the Oilers if he wants to play in the NHL. If he thinks personally telling the press he wants a trade will force Holland to move him, he’s setting himself up for disappointment.

I don’t doubt Holland has looked into trade Puljujarvi but the youngster’s stock is probably so low right now that whatever offers the Oilers received doesn’t make moving him worthwhile. Holland won’t trade him for peanuts or for the sake of making a deal.


NHL.COM: Jesse Pierce reports Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker was told directly by team owner Craig Leipold that Paul Fenton was relieved of his duties as general manager. Zucker, 27, was the subject of trade rumors since the middle of last season as Fenton attempted to move him to Calgary and Pittsburgh since February.

“Names get floated out there all the time, and I’m glad the trades didn’t happen,” Zucker said. “It’s always something. If it happens once, it’s in the back of your mind for a bit; if it happens twice, it’s really in the back of your mind, and it was definitely something at the forefront of my life for the last while. But again, it’s hard for me to fault [Fenton] if he thought that’s what’s best for the organization.

“Whether you agree or disagree with it, he felt those were moves that would make the team better, and ultimately Craig disagreed and didn’t like what was happening and decided to go in another direction.”

Zucker added he’s unconcerned about having to prove himself to whoever becomes the next Wild general manager. However, he feels it’s up to him and his teammates “to prove to the GM who they are, why they should keep them, and why they should be centerpieces of the team and things of that’s sort.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Fenton out of the picture, I daresay Zucker won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. He also now has a 10-team no-trade list, which could complicate attempts by the future GM to move him.


NBC SPORTS: Sean Leahy recently recently looked at some of the noteworthy players still available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

He expects veterans such as Joe Thornton, Justin Williams, and Nikla Kronwall will either return for another season with the clubs they played for in 2018-19 or retire. He also expects Patrick Marleau will sign with San Jose or hang up his skates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton and Marleau will likely get one-year, bonus-laden contracts with the San Jose Sharks. Williams is believed to be leaning toward another season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Kronwall hasn’t reached a decision yet but Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman indicated his willingness to bring back the blueliner for one more season.

Professional tryout offer candidates include goaltender Cam Ward and Scott Darling and defenseman Dion Phaneuf, Ben Lovejoy, and Marc Methot.

Age and/or injury have taken a toll on these players. They could indeed be forced to compete for jobs via tryout offers when training camps open next month. Methot is reportedly considering retirement.

Among the available forwards, Leahy lists (alphabetically) Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard, Patrick Maroon, Jason Pominville, and Tobia Rieder as the best of the bunch. The 26-year-old Rieder is the youngest and Leahy suggests he could be a “real bounce-back candidate” this season.

Jake Gardiner remains the best available defenseman. Ben Hutton, 26, is also available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leahy published this listing before the New York Rangers bought out Kevin Shattenkirk. Despite his struggles with the Rangers, I expect some team will have interest in him.


  1. I believe Jumbo Joe and Marleau do sign with SJ

    I Posted before on the subject of Marleau and I’ll post again here ….I’d believe him to be greedy if he signs a 1 year for more than league min.

    With his buyout; and signing ANY contract (League min is $700 K) he’s already getting more than he would have if he had stayed with the Leafs or Car for his final year of his contract (lost $417 K; gains $700 K) .

    Add to that he would get to play (and retire) where he wanted to.

    Him just signing with SJ is a win win for him

    I’m not challenging at all free market negotiations ; but IMO it is greedy for him to ask for more than League min.

    If the PBs suggested are for points/goals milestones and based on fair market points/goals to Sal comparisons; then there is some merit to it. If his PB is based on number of games played …. that’s just greedy IMO

    off to shop now; I expect there will be posts here that disagree with my viewpoint on Marleau

    • Lyle, what would constitue a fair return for Puljuljarvi? A second round pick?

      • A second round pick ? Ken has made it clear he won’t trade just for the sake of honouring request . ^ that is just that .

      • Yep. A LOT smarter to hang onto him until he becomes the next Nail Yakopov. Who they wound up giving away.

      • You think that is a smart trade George ? To each there own but I disagree . I would let him play in Europe for a year before dealing him for that . It’s going to come down to a decision for Jesse , not Ken , play in the Edmonton , or play in Europe . If you want out , play your way out when the return is worth the trade .
        Ken has stated multiple times he won’t make a trade if it doesn’t help the oilers , that trade does not , it’s selling low for no reason due to a player request . If that was going g to get it done he would have been gone at the draft . I think it’s safe to say at this stage he will hold firm on his ask .

      • Actually I think a second in next year’s draft is a fair bit to ask for a guy who has failed to stick on a middling Oiler roster and already had some baggage.

    • Pengy , Marleau greedy ? seriously ?? the guy has 1657 season games in the league, has not missed a game due to injury in the past 10 seasons. Put up 37 points as a 39 yr old mentor for the Leafs. Not his fault he was signed to the deal he was at his age. I am not saying he is worth more than a 1 yr deal or big bucks but you saying league minimum is all he deserves is a slap unless you meant sign with the Sharks at the minimum with bonuses included.

      • Agree. His money from the leafs has nothing to do with his value to the Sharks…

      • Hi Fergy 22

        Sorry for my miscommunication if my sentiments

        If he signs for more than 1 yr; no issues AFAIAC; none

        If he signs a bonus laden 1 year deal for guaranteed $700 K that has bonuses only relative to actual performance (points/goals etc)…. all good AFAIAC

        However if he signs a 1 year for above League min guaranteed or for a league min plus PBs based solely on games played …. that’s where I see him as greedy

        No matter what ; if he signs any contract he is at greater financial sir than he is right now.

        If he signs in SJ; that’s a bonus to him (and family) as that is where he wants to be

        Again sorry for miscommunication my sentiments

    • Pengy

      Marleau demanded a 3rd year , Toronto obliged . Gave him the retirement package ,, to which he played two years and then requested a trade out of the 3rd to try to get back to SJ to finish his career at the number he was looking for. He played Toronto like a fiddle, got everything he wanted financially , SJ gets him for minimal cap hit , and Toronto lost a 1st to accommodate the move . That seems fairly Greedy to me .

    • Everyone tries to get as much as they can.

      • Every time I hire somebody new, they usually talk me down in their starting pay.
        Usually give me the argument “ wow, thanks but I’m not worth it, please knock that down at least 30-50%”

        It happens all the time!

    • Marleau is one of the great players of his generation. One of the greatest ever during the playoffs. His contributions to the Sharks and the Leafs are immeasurable. League minimum? Marleau and Thornton may sign with Sharks, but it won’t be for league minimum. Or maybe they both follow Pavs to Dallas.

    • I have his jersey and if we pay over 1m for him or Jumbo I’ll be disappointed. What message does that send to Labanc?

      • That he is a nimrod for signing that contract… someone needs to send him that message

      • Labanc is betting he’ll have a stellar year & be able to cash in as an UFA. Not saying I agree with his decision, but the dude’s got some stones to roll the dice and not take guaranteed money.

  2. Zucker to EMD for Cogiano & Pujujarvi ??

    think it works for both teams cap

    EDM has plenty coming off the books to consider who to keep but Zucker is a keeper and lends depth to their top 6. allows

    nice looking top 6

    mine gets a solid prospect and even more cap space to resign Spurgeon and make other moves.

    • Who is Cogiano?

      • meant Gagner

        did not realize that… Was talking to my buddy typing that LOL

        my friends last name is that LOL

      • Happens to the best of us. And me more often then most.

    • How many points do you think “?” is going to get? Is he a draftee? AHLer? Europen player?

      I gotta be honest, Ive never heard of “?”.

  3. So if reports are true Bruins C McAvoy is looking for 6/80….good young player who has a hard time staying healthy with only 7-8 mil to sign Charlie and Carlo the Bruins will have to move bodies out or they will be looking at holdouts when camp starts

    • Excuse 8/60 for McAvoy contract

      • Tough call Joe on whether to go long term or short with McAvoy. $7.5/yr when buying 3 UFA years isn’t crazy, but seems a little high. But just an ask, so maybe he settles for $7.
        My preference is a bridge as he still needs some seasoning. All signs are positive so far for him to be a potential #1, but not a sure thing.
        I’m big on prove it first, especially D.
        Bridge at $5.5 for 2 years seems about right IMO.

      • Ray I take the gamble of 8yrs at $7m or $7.5 yes there is risk factors with his health. But if they can get him for 8yrs at $6.5 you have to do it.

        The bridge deal could backfire if he produces then that average is going to a lot more then $7m or $7.5

        Joe where did you hear the 8/60 from?

      • You could very well be right Caper. Hope you are as a B’s fan. A lot more money available in 2 years from a cap perspective.
        Tough call, but I guess that is why Sweeney gets the $$.
        Backes contract seems like the elephant in the room for Boston if they decide to lock up McAvoy and Carlo, and actually add up front to give it a real go.
        How much do you give up to move that one?

    • Kreider for McAvoy time? ;-0

      • ds
        Yeah, that’ll be 22 mil invested in 3 dmen next year and 1 of them won’t even be on team!

  4. Puljujarvi better button up or he will be waiting for a long, long time.
    Camp is still a month out . I am guessing all these prized RFA’s still have some time. A few will not want to miss all of training camp.
    Only three 16 year olds in history have scored 30 goals or more in the Western Hockey League. One of them was Marleau

  5. Holland can let JP sit in Finland, this isn’t good for Edmonton or Jesse; however for a team with the best player in the NHL on it and not able to get into the playoffs can’t afford to have an asset sitting in Europe with nothing in return.
    Today Puljujarvi still has value but letting him sit might depreciate his value.
    Don’t know why people get upset when some one request a trade because he isn’t happy. Be miserable stay here.

    • Tell me which team wants a whiner? The kid has a chance to start over – new GM, new coach, fresh start.
      How does he handle it? He whines. Wa-wa-wa-wa-waaa.
      Where is his agent? Where is his family? Where are his friends? This kid is talking himself out of an NHL career. What exactly is his problem?

      • BCLeaffan, not even close. He’ll be traded. call it whatever you want. He doesn’t want to play in Edmonton. Holland can make him sit if he wants, or trade him, or force him back and have a disgruntle employee in you work place and have his value dip lower then it already is, which is a really smart GM move.

      • This whole JP thing is weird. Like BCLeaf said, new coach, new GM, seems like a fresh start.
        Is it his team mates he doesn’t like? He can’t hate all of them can he. Does anybody like everybody they work with?
        Maybe he is just weird?
        I dunno, maybe a 2nd was never even offered?
        I disagree with the Yakopov comparison George O. Yakopov wasn’t scoring either but the similarities end there IMO. If Yak wasn’t scoring he did nothing else. JP is a big boy who can skate and if he committed to being a 3rd line guy who played within the system he would have the 3rd line winger spot, and would get every chance to succeed. If he plays well there are spots with McDavid and Draisaitl available. That opportunity is in Edmonton, and it isn’t anywhere else.
        It my be oversimplified, but maybe he just needs to grow up.
        This doesn’t compute in my brain.

      • Ray Bark, I completely understand where he is coming from. This is just an organization thing, doesn’t matter the changes involved it’s still Edmonton and the Edmonton Oilers are tainted in his mind and he doesn’t want to be part of the organization.
        He very well might feel it should be easier to get out now as Holland did not draft him and Tippet didn’t coach him, so let me move on.

      • Here’s a stretch, we have another Jimmy Carson on our hands. He’s got talent but has pissed off the room. Recall Jimmy Carson almost getting the snot beaten out of him by Messier and Lowe for throwing the Oilers jersey on the floor after a loss. He called him Mr. Messier in his next interview. There is more than coach/GM happening.

  6. As I have pointed out the Sharks still need to fill a 2nd line scorer and a third line center and winger.

    Assuming Jumbo and Patty resign you have filled the 3rd line. They shouldn’t get more than 1m.

    That leaves 2.5m, not counting any players sent to the minors, to fill a second line spot. I don’t see it. Unless they move another player or demote 2-3 other guys. But that still puts them right against the cap.

    Without Pav this doesn’t look like a better team. I don’t have a solution. Someone suggest something before I get depressed about our playoff potential. Here’s hoping someone has a break out training camp!

    • Hi J Shark

      How about this

      Sign Jumbo Joe and Marleau each for $700 guaranteed plus up to an extra $750 each based on PB (points/goals only NOT games played)

      Then trade with Pitts

      Rusty (Pens retain $1M) + JJ

      for Dillon

      Now 3rd line filed out; plus you have ur 2nd line winger

      SJ then still sitting with close to $800 K in Cap space

      If Jumbo Joe or Marleau earn any PB it can be paid out of 20/21 where SJ has more flex than this year

      Pens improve a gargantuan amount at D ; free up enough to sign Pettersson ; at the expense of losing Rust (a fair trade off IMO)

      Would that work?

      • Sorry… forgot their are already at 21 on Roster ; the trade and signing both vets gets them to 24; so someone is sent down and then Cap space is near $1.5 M

      • “They are” not “their are”… weak eyes; fat fingers; auto-correct ; and pushing send before re-reading (limited brain)… take your pic

    • 2nd line scorers like Hertl & Kane?

  7. Holland: Hi Jim, Im looking to move Pujujolivi, interested?
    Benning: Yes!!! He would ge great on our first line, what do you want for him?
    Holland: Virtanen and a 3rd?
    Benning: No, that doesnt seem fair.
    Holland: Make an offer then.
    Benning: Virtanen and a 2021 1st round pick.
    Holland: Sounds good deal.

    Benning: Sucker
    Holland: I gotta put Jimmy on my speed dial.

    • You put quite a bit of effort into the benning stuff.

    • Hi Ron,

      Can you please have Jim B call Jim R right away

      Travis Green loves challenges!

      I would be in your debt 💲💲💲

      Note : willing to pay in any currency

  8. Don’t be so sure that Marleau won’t be back with the Leafs, they just couldn’t afford his previous contract. Matthews and Marner love him. 750 thousand plus 6.25 million is 7 million for this year .l can see Dubas doing this

    • Maybe Dubas uses it to get Marner to sign before training camp. Kyle to Patty: 700K , bonuses and free babysitting. Patty: Cool, so Mitch will babsit my kids for free? Kyle….No actually, you would babysit Mitch for free. LOL. The point is Mitch needs to wear big boy pants now, (no uncles on the team) and unless you guarantee me Marleau plays less than 10 minutes per night, the Leafs cannot afford him.