Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 4, 2019

by | Aug 4, 2019 | Rumors | 64 comments

Updates on the Oilers, Penguins, and Flyers in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell explored what could be in store for Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland over the next seven months. If Holland decides to add a forward via free agency, Mitchell listed Derick Brassard and Thomas Vanek among the affordable remaining UFA options. 

Could Derick Brassard be a good fit with the Edmonton Oilers? (Photo via NHL Images)

Holland will have to figure out what to do with Jesse Puljujarvi, who’s threatened to stay in Europe if he’s not traded before the start of the season. Mitchell notes Holland has a history of extreme patience in such matters, as he outwaited Jiri Hudler nearly a decade ago during his tenure as GM of the Detroit Red Wings. 

If the Oilers become sellers at next year’s trade deadline, Mitchell speculated Holland could gauge the trade value of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Larson, who are slated to become UFAs in 2021. If Holland becomes a buyer, perhaps he’ll pursue a forward like Florida’s Mike Hoffman or Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland’s had a busy, largely productive offseason, including shipping Milan Lucic to Calgary for James Neal. It’ll be interesting to see what else he could have in store over the coming season. Of course, much will depend upon the Oilers’ on-ice performance. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins notes the Oilers could still use some help at center. He reports they have some interest in UFA Derick Brassard but his camp is “far in excess ($4m) of what the Oilers are willing to pay.” He’s also heard the Montreal Canadiens could have some interest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brassard’s not getting $4 million from the Oilers or anyone else this summer. 


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe recently reported of mutual interest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Marcus Pettersson regarding a long-term contract. General manager Jim Rutherford said a deal will be completed soon but acknowledged he’ll have to do something to free up sufficient salary-cap space. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Penguins sit just over $157K above the $81.5-million salary cap. PIttsburgh fans would love to see defenseman Jack Johnson traded but that seems unlikely. Forwards Nick Bjugstad ($4.1-million annual average value) and Bryan Rust ($3.5 million AAV) frequently surfaced in this summer’s rumor mill. 


THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor recently observed the Philadelphia Flyers will have eight NHL-caliber defensemen on their blueline once restricted free agent Ivan Provorov is re-signed. They could end up moving one of them before the start of the season, leaving Samuel Morin or Robert Hagg expendable. 


  1. I wonder what Holland considers affordable? Still think Rangers could move Namestikov. Wouldn’t he be affordable at 50% retained? (2mil). Can be 3c Option over older guys. Rangers sure look like a perfect landing spot for Puljujarvi. Young team, fresh start. Has fellow Fin Kakko starting out with him. If I’m Rangers I’d even throw in a 4th rounder or B prospect. Helps clear another 2mil in cap space. Low risk, high reward.

    • Yep, that’s an awesome trade for the Rangers and no one else.

      Oilers would be much better served to let JP go play in Europe for a season than to take a soon-to-be UFA coming off an average at best season.

      Holland would be crazy to make that trade. Zero chance that happens.

      • Soon to be free agent that could be signed to an extension. Who has proven he can play on a top line. Would think adding a 4th rounder would be a better deal than just a 2nd. Oiler fans need to come to realization that he’ll never play there. If he goes to Europe, you’ll have trouble getting a 6th for him next year.

      • That’s not true Slick. Gusev just garnered a 2nd and 3rd round draft pick and he has no where near the upside that JP does.

        JP was a recent 4th overall pick, meanwhile Gusev was something like a 6th or 7th rounder.

      • Hi Slick62 & Canadian King

        Re Nam/JP flip

        To me this may be a viable trade. There are sundries (retained $’s; picks) to the trade that have to be swapped to make it worth it but flipping them just may work

        Right now JP value is low and he does need a change in scenery IMO. Playing overseas sometimes boosts confidence , development and value but could backfire….. lower his value so future return is less than now

        JP Playing for Oil this year is an option but is a tenuous risk

        Re 50% retained on Nam… Rangers still would need to sign JP (which will be at a minimum of $1M) so Cap savings max would be $1M

        JP would get a new start and Oil get a player that is currently better than what JP is producing; but has a high prob of moving on after this year

        An interesting trade that both sides should at least explore

        If Oil really think that they can get JP turned around; then they should keep him. If they feel that JP to Europe or staying in the Oil system for another year only has a 50/50 shot at improving his play(value)…. then he needs to be moved ….now

      • I am amazed that no one else looked at Gusev. Leading scorer at the Olympics, 2nd leading scorer at the World Championship playing on Russia’s top line. Watched the Gusev play numerous times…he is as good or better than Panarin. This guys going to light it up in New Jersey. I predict 25 goals and 40 assists. I believe he’ll line up beside Hughes

      • Hi Kirk

        I agree

        I’d suggested a few times that a JP for Gusev swap would have been a huge deal for Oil

        Of course I would have loved Gusev on Leafs it Pens !

      • Canadien King
        I’m not totally sold on Gusev but he has been one of the best players in the Khl for a few years. Devils had the cap space and picks. They made a choice. Hard to imagine that Edmonton would’ve turned down a similar offer from Devils.

    • Good day

      OILERS – Rangers

      I think a swap of Kreider & Lemieux for Puljujarvi and a draft pick or B prospect would be good for both teams moving forward.

      Oilers would have 2 solid power forward wingers who can score with Neal and Kreider …and the Rangers get a solid prospect player that COULD really flourish with the direction they are going with the young players i.e Kakko they are going ….this would be a deal that should be explored ..

      The Oilers can replace Kassian with Lemieux and could be a really good player for them …and is still young and has some upside …while being a piece they can retain if Krieder does not sign.

      So what he is a UFA …the Oilers have 7 forward UFAs of no real substance anyways next year …if Krieder doesn’t pan out or extension talks fail miserably Krieder is a better trade chip at the deadline for a playoff bound team this year than Puljujarvi will be at ANY time anyways …

      If Iam the Oilers I would really push for this scenario…
      And this rally helps the Rangers with youth and cap room…

      The Rangers have limited Cap space and can use the room plus a player they can control for a bit as well.

      I also have to say that this is the trade deadline year that you have to move out R N H …his value will never be higher as he still has one more full year then a UFA year after this one …so if you are out of the running by Trade deadline you really have to cash in on this player at some point …IMO ..especially for this organization.


      • Oilers only have 2.4 million in cap space. Kreider is at 4.6 million. Even if you remove Kassians 1.9 million that still leaves Edmonton 300 thousand over the cap with this deal and still needing to sign Lemieux. Moving Kassian (15 goals, 26 pts) for Lemieux 12 goals, 17 pts) makes little or no sense.

        Very doubtful Holland makes that trade IMO.

      • I don’t think either one of these trade proposals are good.

        Kreider and Lemieux? Not a chance. UFA or not, Kreider alone is worth at least that package . No way I’m making that deal.

        I doubt Edmonton sees Namestikov as an answer. I think NY has enough prospects in the pipeline. They don’t need another project.

        Until they figure out what the center situation is, they should be holding on to anyone that can play center.
        Namestikov thrived with good players in Tampa. Why not see how he looks now?

      • Kirk I agree big time . I have no idea why the HABS would not have taken a shot (Big HABS Fan Hear LOL) but agree so much upside and only signed 2 years very low risk

      • Good morning. If everything is true about Jessie P. in terms of attitudeand bad blood in the dressing room, its not going to go away. The Oilers desperately need a fresh start more than Jessie. If he is in fact a boil on the teamss ass, Id see where he wants to go then trade him.

        Id like to have Brendan Lemieux myself. Holland is good at what he does so he could make something happen.

        Regarding RNH, Id keep him. He is a steady player and does whst has been told. I think he will get better and better. I could see him getting 75 points this year with 30 goals.

        I really dont think the Oil is far away from the playoffs. They just need to fill in the holes as Holland is doing with lots of young guys biting at the bit to play.if some opportunities knock via injury or bad play.

        I believe Neal could score 30 goals as well.

    • And high risk, low reward for the Oil Slick.
      I can’t see Edmonton doing anything that doesn’t have the next 2-3 years in mind. If they trade PJ it wil be for a good prospect who may be struggling but not a guy like Namestikov.
      WIll they try to compete for a playoff spot, sure. IMO they will supplement their core with vets on 1 year deals that don’t impact them long term with the cap, and if they struggle again this season they can flip t the deadline for whatever they can get.
      JP needs to understand their are 2 parties in this deal and it has to work for both.
      He needs to suck it up and get to work, whether that is in Edmonton or Europe. Be a good hockey player, then he and the Oil will get what they want.
      Pretty simple.

      • Ray Bark
        A prospect that will help in 2-3 years? How many years of Draisatl and McDavid you want to waste? Team should be looking for help now.
        That trade is laughable. That wouldn’t get you Kreider alone. Only way Rangers trade him would be if they aren’t giving him an extension. And they’re not dealing him to a team as a rental either. Would guess Oil are on his no trade list too.

      • Slick, take a look at the Oilers cap situation.
        How exactly would they go for it now? They now have prospects on D that will help in a couple years. If you look at their roster how many top 6 forwards do they have? I’m going with 3. Neal is a crap shoot but maybe he contributes.
        Holland is smart and pragmatic, and selling the future for now is exactly what PC tried to do, and look what happened.
        Holland understands it if you listen to his comments to the press when he started.

      • Ray I agree that isn’t a good trade for Edmonton

    • Perhaps Holland offers Gagner & PJ for Zucker and pick

      works for both teams going forward

      Zucker is signed and EDM has tons of contracts coming off the books next year


      a better top 6 option than what they have currently.

      • Ray Bark. I considered cap situation. Namestikov at 2mil is doable. I don’t see Puljujarvi ever playing for Oilers. I think Namesyikov is a guy that could sign in Edmonton. I don’t see Rangers keeping him. Yeah, Rangers have plenty of prospects, but not all will work out and the more they have the better the chances of some being regulars.He’s a better fit with NY in near future considering salary and ability to send to minors.

      • Slick, they need multiple young assets. Not a guy with a year left.
        They need JP to produce so he can either play for them, or he is worth something of value in return.
        If the goal is to win the cup, then adding Namestikov isn’t going to get you there.
        Holland will build through the draft and go for it when they can contend. That isn’t this year. Not enough quality players and too much $$ devoted to guys who just aren’t good enough.
        My opinion anyway.

  2. I agree that $4m. for Brassard is ridiculous right now. But a 1-year, prove it deal at no more than $2.5m. would make some sense for the Habs now. He’s only one year removed from a 21 goal, 46 point season. He could still be useful as a third line center. This would take some pressure off Ryan Poehling, allow Max Domi to shift to the wing and allow Jesperi Kotkaniemi to play center on one of the top two lines with wingers who can actually score.

    • His issue is he wants to play top 6. Maybe lack of interest will bring him back to reality. But that was his issue the last couple years.

      • Brassard can no longer be choosy. A prove-it deal as a third line center is the best he will do. If he does it well, a top six spot thereafter would not be out of the question. If he holds out for more, he may find himself in the KHL or on a PTO.

      • Hi Chrisms and Howard

        Re Brass

        He’s got to re-evaluate himself (soon) before he “re-invents” himself because if he doesn’t get a contract soon; fewer places available and he may be in the “PTO world of hurt” scenario

        His ideal niche IMHO should be to look for a team that will take him 3C and commit to him top 6 if earned or injuries to top 6 happen ; plus PP time commitment….$2.5M – $3M is fair IMO

      • Howard, you just described Gardiner and a slew of other UFAs as well. Long past the stage where they can be picky if they want to extend their NHL careers.

  3. Montreal has a better chance of finding a deal for Alzner than Pittsburgh does for Jack Johnson.

    But neither is totally useless if both stand as shining examples of bad decisions

    • Jack Johnson is tradable. He was almost dealt with Phil Kessel to Minnesota before Phil declined the trade. Option for the Penguins – make a 2 players for 1 player deal with a team under the salary cap.

      • Hi Speed Kills

        With you (I pray for this in fact)… please see my post below

      • Never suggested he was untradable Speed Kills – just voiced the opinion that Montreal would find it easier dealing Alzner (a 30 y/o LD costing $4,625,000 to 2021-22) than Pittsburgh would finding a trade partner for Johnson (32 y/o LD costing $3,250,000 to 2022-23). Both, clearly, would need to involve a healthy “sweetener” by the respective clubs. I guess it depends on who wants to get rid of the player most.

        Based on what has gone down to this point, with Alzner being waived already and obviously not part of Montreal’s plans going forward, compared to very little indication that Rutherford has completely soured on Johnson (despite the wishes of some that he would), I just see Montreal maybe coughing up a better package.

    • with MTL space perhaps they go for Namestnikov & Smith for Alzner

      they get cap space sooner

      • IHC

        now your negotiating with other teams?

        I thought we had a deal below (Pens/Habs)???

        You had my hops up

        No soup for you!

      • IHC

        Now you’re reaching out for other trades?

        I thought we had a deal below (Pens/Hats?


    • GEORGE O…Black N Gold here.

      .Where do you think Gardner will end up? People keep saying he wants to go back to the LeAFs..Hasn’t that shipped sailed especially with ceci and Barrie now Leafs??

      He would fit my penguins second pairing with Schutz just the back thing seems to b holding teams bAck.. is it serious do you know..

  4. Why would Philly want to part with Hagg?

    • Numbers game. Provorov/Niskonen, Sanheim/Braun, ghost,/Myers.
      I think hagg is a solid 5/6 guy, but is a LHD which is where the Flyers had a surplus last year.

      • Sam Morin is going to push for a roster spot as welll

      • I would maybe call EDM and see if they could work out a deal for Jesse Puljujarvi. The Flyers could use their surplus in D man to their advantage and get a talented young player with upside to play wing.

  5. Hi Lyle

    Re “PIttsburgh fans would love to see defenseman Jack Johnson traded but that seems unlikely.”

    Ahhhh …. your kicking me when I’m down ☹️😢

    The reality is that somebody has to be moved . Waiving Ruhweedel (another must IMO) won’t be enough.

    As has been discussed by many in the media and you have just pointed out; this may be a move out of Bjug or Rusty.

    I contend that if they are moving one (or both of them) force the other team to take JJ. It’s just part of a deal that makes the Pens better in the long run; and gets them a chance at a cup.

    Under the CBA I believe that “future considerations” can be the return in a deal when moving 1 player but NOT for moving 2 or more.

    So…. moving say Rust + JJ has to get something/anything back (pick? prospect? player?)

    In that deal it should be thought of as (1) a free buyout of JJ with no cap hit or cash hit penalty AND (2)freeing up an extra $6.75 M in Cap at the expense of (3) trading Rust for a minuscule return

    The trading partner gets a viable speedy winger at the expense of (1) giving back a very small return and (2) having to take on JJ (that they can bury in the AHL)

    Pens then by waiving Ruhweedel ; have $7M to extend Pettersson; sign a UFA D; and bring up/sign a depth winger … 23 man roster that has a shot at a SC

    Having one individual (GMJR) hold up the entire team’s; ownership’s; coaching staff’s; and all fans’ hopes of another cup just because he doesn’t want to admit his mistake ; is outright maniacal lunacy

    Something has got to give

    There will be a trade ; it just better include JJ

    NOTE : GMJR has a viable option. Murray did express some interest in JJ…. so send JJ to Ducks for a late round pick a few seasons from now (7th in ‘23) or future considerations

    Note: Minn has previously expressed interest in home-town boy Bjugstaad (so Bjug + JJ for …….)

    • Pengy

      to MTL: JJ & Bjugstad & mid pick (7.35)

      to PITT: Alzner & Hudon (5.5)


      • Hi IHC

        You throw in two Ruebens and a plate of poutine from Schwartz’s and you’ve got yourself a deal and a high five…. LOL

        In reality; above with Mon retaining $1M of Alzner to net Pens $2.85M in the deal ; would be needed (Pens still need to sign Pettersson)


      • Peggy why would the Habs do that ? Cap space will be needed every year .
        Alzner is a real bad contract but JJ is worse one more year . Hoping my Habs will need that space 3 years from now because they close . I do read everyday and I see you are trying to do anything to rid JJ from the Pens Peggy lol . But please not my habs

      • Pengy…

        to BUF: Bjugstad & JJ
        to Pitt: Okposo

        and no salary retention



      • Hi Swany

        I’ll take JJ on any team but Leafs and Pens

      • Hi IHC

        w/o retention on Okposo ; not enough Cap freed up; so no from Pens perspective

        Botterill won’t take JJ

    • @ Pengy: Still beating that trade JJ drum with no taker in sight huh? Why don’t you tweet JR and tell him all the reasons he should trade JJ for (3) A broken stick (2) 2 pairs of shin pads or (1) for anything of value.

      Karma always favors the inevitable.

      Now you go out there and cheer him up brother !

      • Hi Joey

        I don’t do twitter and therefore my communication with GMJR just might be in person …. what is the jail time for Justifiable Homicide in Pennsylvania ?

    • At this rate pens might get a minuscule return for rust or bjug alone… let alone trying to dump jj

      • Hi Chrisms

        I know you’re saying that tongue ‘n cheek …..

        The market return IS down; and especially when you (GMJR) are in a position that you HAVE to trade; but they (Rusty or Bjug) will get somewhat “fair” value back

        All jesting aside; I do think there is a viable trade out there for Rust & JJ or Bjug & JJ.

        The problem is not lack of trade partners willing to make the swap; it’s in reality Jimbo refusing to admit his mistake and including JJ in any trade talks

        His job is to make the team better ; ego has to be set aside

      • I was being completely serious. There are more teams that NEED to shed salary than that want or even can take salary. I wouldn’t be shocked if a few teams, including the pens, will have to pay teams to take good players. At best they get pennies on the dollar.

      • Hi Chrisms

        I agree with you in general and in principle

        They’ll get less than true value but it won’t be minuscule

        I still think best option is multi-player move that includes JJ for little in return

    • Pengy..Black N gold here…j j is tradable but at this point it has to be Anaheim 8.5 cap space or the Kings who have cap space and hope we get a 5th 6th ill take a 7th rou d pick..

      Johnson is better suited in the buyout maybe a injury to a teams defense he gets moved or bury him in the minors….

      Right now our best best for a top 4 dman to play second pairing is Buffalo and maybe Rutherford and our ex penguin buddy GM botterli can work out a deal. BUFFALO HAS A TON OF GOOD DEFENDERS THEY NEED SCORING..MILLER SCANDELLA MONTOUR DAHLIN BOGOSIAN RISTOLANIN..

      BRIAN RUST $ 3.5 to Buffalo

      Marco Scandella $4.0 to Pittsburgh

      We waive rudwhedel 750,000 or johnson save 1.08 million good u der the cap..

      • Hi BlackNGold

        I like that trade very much if they waive both JJ AND Ruhweedel
        …. leaving Pens with $1.1 M in Cap space

        Pens still need to free up more room though to sign Pettersson because (and this is one of the very few things I agree with GMJR on) he is the Pens long term plan at 2nd LHD

        So another move has to be made to free up Cap; just moving ZAR for picks won’t be enough

        NOTE : Buff (currently showing 24 on Capfriendly) already over Cap by more than $1M ; so also have to send down a player

        Re JJ to a western team ; agree there two. Only Ducks had stated interest and I’m beginning to think that there interest was in a bigger (more players) move that included JJ

        If the offer for JJ by Ducks was straight up “for future considerations” or a 7th in 2025….. GMJR should have jumped on it

        Ducks need scoring:

        Rust ZAR JJ

        for Richie + Steel

        Waive Ruhweedel

        That frees up $7M to extend Pettersson; sign a UFA defender; bring up or sign a depth winger; and leave Cap space

        LA still has to sign Kempe but has 5 players that can be waived freely:

        ZAR + JJ for 7th in ‘22

        Waive Ruhweedel

        Now Pens have $4.8 M to extend Pettersson; sign a UFA D; and bring up say Anthony Angelo or even give Bellerevie a shot

  6. I think maybe you should give GMJR some slack he has managed a couple of cups in Pittsburgh recently.
    Wish Toronto had that problem.
    The old saying, much wants more is true.

    • Vinnie agreed Rutherford has done well…he deserves more credit…

    • Hi Vinnie

      I don’t take anything away from GMJR for his Pedigree and the two cups

      Kudos abound

      He made a mistake getting JJ; it’s a mistake; mistakes happen…. again no issue

      What I can’t ever cut him some slack on is his insistence on putting his ego ahead of team; coaches; ownership and fans

      He keeps insisting in keeping JJ so as to “show/prove” he didn’t make an error…. that move alone precludes any chance (ZERO) of another cup and does in fact give Pens a chance (slim but a chance) of missing the playoffs (just by playing JJ as a reg). Remember; they made the playoffs by 4 points; JJ individually (all by his lonesome) cost Pens 11 game points (which would have put Pens 2nd in the entire Leage and home ice against another team).

      Add to that his atrocious playoffs …..

      It’s just a simple thing …. trade JJ and/or waive him and team IMMEDIATELY and MASSIVELY improves

      Again, the only thing that has stopped this all along is GMJR’s ego; so for that; I have major difficulty cutting him slack

      I keep my 🤞

  7. @pengy
    regarding your trade suggestion yesterday, there’s no way the Sharks take jack johnson. You’re forgetting about the cup loss tax that would be applied.

    yes I am still salty.

    That said i think johnson could be traded, bjugstad too but the pens would have to retain 1.5m or more given the term on both players.

    I dont think “jj” is as bad as hes being branded but that his ice time, term and cost are far to high.

    and good luck moving Ruhwedel.

    As for the sharks looking at the numbers more closely they could muster 4.5m if patty and jumbo stay at 1m. which im not even sold on. I would rather have younger players.

    who’s available for trade that’s a left wing 2nd line?

  8. We are in the fourth day of August and all the top end rfa’s are not signed and we now hear zero mention of an offer sheet.

    The offer sheet isn’t coming and bridge deals are not going.

    • There was one offer sheet for top player. No teams have any cap space. It’s odd that teams will load up right to cap and not save any space. Why not have at least 4 guys on team as rookies or cheap veterans. Instead a team like my sabres has a 7 million dollar 4th line, complete nonsense.

      • Maybe, Matt, it’s just that they don’t want a general comparison to teams like Ottawa whose reluctance to spend right up to the cap is seen as being “cheap” rather than practical.

      • Is it possible that maybe some teams talked to rfa’s and we just don’t know anything about it cause players aren’t signing offer sheets? A team like Columbus that just lost 3 high end players to free agency certainly could’ve talked to either Of Marner, Pointe, or Tkachuk. I think they’d be crazy not to at least look into it.

      • Slick, Columbus is actually the team that I think will make some moves to poach quality players off teams that are up against it.
        Quality D core, needs some talent up front and goaltending is a question mark.
        Why offer sheet a guy when you can wait this out and pick off some quality players at a significant discount. Chrisms is right, to a certain extent, something has to give and a team like Ott isn’t going to do it, at least I don’t think they will..
        I am guessing Clb has been getting calls.

    • Yes Matt, there was an offer sheet, but no of any consequence really it was just a waste of time for Montreal, when they put forward such a weak offer.

  9. As first and second line RFAs drive up the cost of signing, the bottom 6 forwards and guys who bounce between 2nd and 3rd lines get a lot less money.
    Brassard wll be lucky he gets over $3 M.

  10. If Ottawa wanted to they could get a high end talent with an offer sheet and the other team wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Either Calgary, Toronto or Tampa or various other teams wouldn’t be able to match. They could also trade some of their many picks to cap strapped teams for a couple top notch defensemen, like Boston or Calgary.
    Not sure cheap is the word George. Practical isn’t the word either.
    I think maybe naive or stupid is the word if a person believes they are trying to be competitive or turn the franchise around.
    There is lots of opportunities for them to do it this summer and yet they don’t.
    Baa Baa Baa