NHL Rumor Mill – September 26, 2019

by | Sep 26, 2019 | Rumors | 45 comments

The latest on Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Mikko Rantanen, Jonathan Drouin, and Jake Virtanen, plus updates on the Wild and Penguins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: During last night’s “Insider Trading” segment, the panel discussed the contract status of Winnipeg Jets forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor and Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen.

Are the Winnipeg Jets any closer to re-signing Patrik Laine (pictured) and Kyle Connor? (Photo via NHL Images)

Pierre LeBrun believes the Jets recently offered Laine a two-year bridge deal worth $6 million annually but feels the Laine camp seeks north of $7 million per season. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are focused on a long-term deal for Rantanen. LeBrun thinks the two sides could reach an agreement on a seven-year deal worth $9 million per season, speculating it could be signed within the next couple of days.

Bob McKenzie believes the Jets and Connor are talking about a six-year deal. However, they don’t appear close to a deal at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These players could sign new contracts before the regular season opens on Oct. 2. Still, negotiations could drag on into the start of the season. Jets coach Paul Maurice is preparing for the upcoming schedule without Laine and Connor on the roster. Even if these three are signed soon, it’s going to take some time before they’re up to speed with their teammates.


Darren Dreger reports Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin wants to acquire a first- or second-line center. He points out the Wild can draw upon their abundance of wingers, prospects and draft picks for trade bait. Dreger also notes Guerin understands it won’t be easy to address that need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jason Zucker was nearly traded twice by Guerin’s predecessor but it appears the Wild winger is off the market. Cap Friendly indicates the Wild have all but one of their picks (no third-rounder) in the 2020 draft and all their picks in the 2021 and 2022 drafts.

Dreger believes Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford will move a defenseman. Veteran Jack Johnson’s been the subject of trade speculation but his contract is tough to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson has an affordable salary-cap hit ($3.25 million) but his contract runs through 2022-23. With the 32-year-old defenseman in decline, it’ll take a significant sweetener to convince another club to take on that contract.


LeBrun believes the Nashville Predators are willing to go to $8.5 million per season on a long-term deal to re-sign Roman Josi. The 29-year-old Predators defenseman and captain is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July. LeBrun speculates the Josi camp would prefer something over $9 million. He believes they’ll get it done though it’s interesting it hasn’t happened yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators have over $60 million invested in 14 players for 2020-21. Josi would be their most important signing. Most of their other free agents, apart from Josi and Mikael Granlund, could be affordable to retain or replace. Josi’s new deal, however, would take a big bite out of their cap space.

McKenzie also noted St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo is in the same boat. It’s expected Blues GM Doug Armstrong will meet with the rearguard’s representatives when the Blues visit Toronto early in the regular season. The recent addition of Justin Faulk could provide the Blues with a bit of leverage.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted Jay Bouwmeester comes off the Blues’ books at the end of this season. He suggested they could give Pietrangelo a $3 million raise over his current $6.5 million AAV.

Gordon believes Armstrong is committed to re-signing Pietrangelo and center Brayden Schenn but can probably keep only one. He feels Pietrangelo could be easier to retain. “If Kevin Hayes can get a seven-year, $50 million deal in Philadelphia, what could Schenn fetch in the open market?”


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports an “Eastern Conference executive” texted him claiming Jonathan Drouin’s name is out there in the trade market. The 24-year-old Montreal Canadiens forward has had what Engels called two mostly disappointing seasons and hasn’t looked good in preseason play. At this point, Engels feels the Canadiens would be selling low, so much so they might have to hang onto Drouin and hope he turns things around soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was listening to offers but it remains to be seen if he’s actively shopping Drouin. Bear in mind that preseason play isn’t necessarily an accurate forecast of a player’s regular-season performance. I agree Drouin’s trade value will suffer if his inconsistency persists this season.



  1. Summary of cap space/# of players at ML level according to CapFriendly which now seems to be changing hourly as roster decisions are made as we get closer to the season openers

    3 unsigned KEY RFAs … plus Honka
    Connor & Laine – Wpg – $23,050,836 – 19 (10F 6D 3G) – includes $7.6 mil for Byfuglien
    Rantanen – Col – $15,615,239 – 23 – Cole’s $4,250,000 LTIR available to late Dec + the ELC amount for whoever is demoted if and when he signs
    Honka – Dal – $970,001 – 22 – Hanzal’s $4.75 mil LTIR might be available + Johns $2,350,000 LTIR

    These 8 teams have everyone signed but are over the cap by the amount shown, so watch for other imminent roster moves (including application of LTIRs) as necessary – the 4 teams over 23 have the additional cap space of those demoted

    Toronto – $14,040,199 – 24
    Vancouver – $1,716,539 – 26
    Washington – $1,364,294 – 23
    Buffalo – $1,059,524 – 23
    Calgary – $658,375 – 23
    St. Louis – $611,260 – 24
    Carolina – $498,124 – 24
    Pittsburgh – $331,625 – 23

    The teams with everyone signed and the most remaining cap space – listed according to adjustments which will follow increasing or decreasing to meet 23-man roster
    Ottawa – $11,815,001 – 21
    Anaheim – $8,500,242 – 21
    NJ – $6,461,667 – 22
    L.A. – $5,240,606 – 24
    Columbus – $6,789,767 – 27
    NYI – $4,653,334 – 25
    Mtl – $4,044,524 – 25
    Minn – $4,958,911 – 21
    Det – $4,270,457 – 22
    SJ – $2,682,583 – 22
    TB – $1,726,669 – 23
    Edm – $1,533,001 – 23
    Nash – $1,334,524 – 24
    Chi – $2,462,414 – 21
    Bos – $1,153,334 – 23

    The teams have everyone signed but have NO wiggle room and/or will be hard-pressed to get to 23-man roster
    Pha – $1,867,421 – 20
    Veg – $1,025,001 – 22
    Fla – $781,331 – 22
    NYR – $235,201 – 23
    Ariz – $178,099 – 21 – could access Hossa’s $5,2750,000 LTIR

    • Thanks George

      Noticed on CF the magical SJ roster of 30 plummeted to 22 …. I think the data entry clerks were imbibing

      Jets are the team that is in the most tenuous situation with two key RFAs unsigned; Buff still a mystery and only 19 (10-6-3) on roster; and with as at now $23M + in Space …. technically below the floor

      can’t dress 3 goalies in a game …. so if season were to start now w\o changes …. 10 Fwds , 6 D , 2 G

      As for so many teams at/over ceiling or effectively so once they get to 23; there is going to be a great deal of movement downward and outward….

      Resulting in panicking GMs at/over cap calling GMs with space; panicking UFAs either signing overseas or with AHL; and other UFAs retiring (Phaneuf? Etc)

      I still think Vanek and McQ land somewhere

      In fact it would be logical for Chevy to reach out to McQ (RHD) just to see what he can get him for …. if he can get him for $1 M ….. just $300 K over League min…. he should jump on it

      • Pengy if ya call Benning now you may be able to get Virtanen for JJ plus . LOL

      • Hi IHC

        Pleasure doing business with you

        I think a certain Van fan poster here is ready to throttle you though for that suggestion though….. am I right?

      • LOL. Yeah, SJ comes back to 22 while Columbus jumps to 27. Someone at CapFriendly is playing musical chairs with some rosters.

      • Jack Johnson’s contract may be affordable but the detriment he puts your team in is not sustainable. But I can’t wait to get rid of him.

      • Not sure Vanek and McQ will be getting offers any time soon Pengy – anyone who misses all of training camp usually experiences difficulty “catching up” – it can’t be easier for veteran players. If any team was interested in either – even the slightest interest – you’d think they’d have brought them in before now. Some doors open – some just get slammed shut.

  2. I think the biggest obstacle for the Blues to resign Pietrangelo will be TERM, not DOLLARS. Anything over 4 or 5 years will be excessive, and Petro will want more security. Armstrong has not yielded on this in the past (ie. Backes)

    • Hi IowaBoy

      You may be right. I still think (barring a fair decline in play) that Petro is extended. They’ll come up with a deal that works.

  3. if Laine was offered 2 yr 6 per , he should counter with same dollars but structure it

    year 1 – 4 Million
    year 2 – 8 Million

    so though he does not get the $$ he wants per year (7 plus) his next qualifying offer would have to be above 8.

    Fair enough counter since WPG allegedly is offer 2 yr 6 per.

    • Hi IHC

      If Chevy is offering 2 yrs 6 AAV then it won’t be 6 and 6 ; it would have to be ramped and just may not be that far off your above proposal

      More than likely it ends as a 2 or 3 year ($7M – $7.5 M) with last year nearing $9 M

      Re Spector of today wrt Wild trades and Pens trades; I have another negotiating assignment for you

      JJ & Bjug to Wild

      For Rask, Dewar , Gordeev

      Rask/JJ both eyesores on their team and both still owed around $12M….saw off

      Bjug for sought after Wild C spot at the expense of 2 prospects

      You up to it? Or are you still working with the Oil to finalize your proposal?


      • make it

        to Pitts: Rask

        to MIN: Rust & JJ ($1m retained)

        and ya have a deal

      • IHC

        that’s a no go for sure

        The Rask for JJ is a straight swap…. both teams anxious to rid their player…. both teams owe their player about $12M

        Your deal has Pens retaining an extra $1M ; which makes no sense; and then throwing in Rusty for free?

        No can do

        The reason I put Bjug was (1) they talked about need for a C…. Bjug can and has played C; Rusty is a straight winger; and the little added feature that Bjug is a Minny boy

        Again all joking aside

        Easiest fix for Pens is JJ for Kessler; leaving Pens with $2.9 M in Cap space

        Ducks will be paying over $4M for Kessler to sit at home and then retire in 3 years

        This way they get something for money spent ….. effectively getting JJ for $2M per and Murray HAD expressed interest (per TSN & SN) in JJ just a few weeks ago

        If a sweetener is need in deal add Rust and Ritchie:

        An: JJ & Rust

        Pens : Kessler (LTIR- no Cap) & Ritchie

        Net Cap to Pens ….$5.25 M

        Could sign Vanek and McQ for a total < $3M and still have Cap space

      • pengy JJ is almost a decade older than Rask lol not even close to an even swap 🙂

      • Hardest players to trade…
        B Smith
        ADA-not getting potential value back
        Bobby Ryan
        Drouin-not getting potential value back

      • Backes? Okposo?

      • @Chrisms
        Oops on Kyle

        But I think Backes still has value

      • Alzner?

      • you can partially bury Alzner in the ahl yeah?

      • Not a bad trade proposal but the Penguins have more forwards than they know what to do with. Sell Jack for a bottle of Jack Daniels and be happy with the return.

      • Or just prepare to drink a bottle of Jack when you watch the pens.

      • As a Pens I would not worry….
        Lottery pick for Lafreniere next summer

      • Montreal, as was expected, have asked waivers on Alzner, Weiss and Peca preparatory to sending them to Laval. They get about $1.3 mil for each in cap space, I believe? (assuming no one claims any – which I doubt). That would bring them close to $8 mil.

  4. Josi is intriguing bc if he wants over 9 NSH might lower the term.

    Josi can pull a Parise/Sutter and just ask for full 8 years knowing he may not play them out. He will be turning 30 this season. So take the 8.5 for 8 and grab that NTC NMC etc. and a handshake they won’t buy ya out toward the end.

  5. The GM’s have demonstrated in the past to give a sweetheart deal to key players on a championship team. Pietrangelo and Schenn will get done.

    Jets are in trouble with this current roster as of this morning
    Not sure why they have not reached out to Mcquaid . Maybe Buff is returning at some point . Like I have said you would have to have some serious issues to leave $15m on the table.

    • Serious issues like having tens of millions in the bank, a bad wheel that hasn’t healed, and are considering spending time fishing and enjoying friends and family? Or anything else he may choose to do to stay busy.
      That would suck.

  6. If that is the case then quit . Done.
    Are you his financial advisor? Modano broke JJ was broke, the list goes on. Don’t assume he has millions in the bank.

    What’s in your wallet

    • will that be in a Jennifer Garner voice or Sam Jackson’s ?

    • Bobby Orr broke. Thanks to a notable shyster.

      • I think Bobby is doing OK with Orr Hockey Group now George.
        3rd largest as far as contracts they represent in the NHL according to Forbes.
        But I get what your referring to as I believe he was offered a share of the Bruins and the shyster you refer to didn’t tell him so he could collect a higher commission from the Chicago deal.
        Was it 10% ownership of the B’s?
        The current value of the Bruins is $925M.

    • That is the decision he is making SilverSeven.
      The Jets told him to take as much time as he wants, so I guess he is.

  7. to WPG: Leddy, Puloch, Beauvilier & HoSang
    to NYI: Laine & Kulikov

    scale 1 to 10 how crazy?

    • If Jets decided to part ways with Laine that is a solid package for return. Kulikov is overpaid but serviceable and the Jets would like to save that cap.

      Leddy and Puloch (manitoba kid) solidify the defense again, Beauvilier is a good NHLer with upside, HoSang is a wildcard that looks like Isles are done with.

      If the team that gets the best player wins the trade then that is likely to be scored an Isle’s win. Palatable because the trade is out of conference.

      • my first thought was, ack, but after thinking about it , not a bad deal for both teams. May need tweak but good starting point IHC. One concern I could see is giving Lain a fat contract and having to deal with Barzal getting a large chunk of change next year

      • @Fergy

        Kulikov is up after this upcoming season leaving some wiggle room.
        With Dobson looking good, moving Leddy & Beauvillier for a Laine makes sense.

    • I get the feeling that including Ho Sang in any package is long past the stage of enticement. He’s been bouncing around the pros – AHL and NHL – for over 3 years now and hasn’t really opened any eyes at any level. Looks like another late 2st round bust. Wouldn’t be the first and definitely won’t be the last. All that would do is switch him over to Winnipeg’s AHL team.

      • “… 1st round bust”

      • Ho-Sang = Linus Omark.

      • Ol’ Linus, though, wasn’t drafted until the 4th round – lots and lots of 4th round busts

      • Great shoot out goal videos for Ol’Linus if you ever want to check it out. Dude could handle the puck.

  8. I think you have the right teams but there is no way Pulock is in that deal. He is on the Islanders top pairing and going nowhere. A more likely scenario is Leddy, Ho Sang , Kiefer Bellows, maybe another solid prospect and a first round pick. Jets get a dman they desperately need, restock their prospect pool and gain flexibility while the islanders gain the sniper they need.

  9. I see the Bruins signed PTO Petrovic to 1 year at $700,000

    • Another D?
      9 on NHL deals.
      8 are legit NHL players, Petrovic is fringe these days.
      Is this a – can’t have too many D thing or is there a deal pending and Petrovic is the insurance 8th guy?

      • Well, according to CapFriendly “transactions” page they signed him, putting them at 24 players at the ML level, and then placed him on waivers so, unless someone puts in a claim – which is doubtful – he’s likely headed to their AHL team. But at least one of those PTOs got a contract.

      • Well he gets an NHL paycheck to play in the AHL, good for him.
        A veteran to play with the kids is a good idea.