NHL Rumor Mill – October 3, 2019

by | Oct 3, 2019 | Rumors | 18 comments

Updates on Alex Pietrangelo, Brayden Schenn, Joshua Ho-Sang, Jesse Puljujarvi, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman cited an NHL executive suggesting the St. Louis Blues and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo should agree to a new contract unless one side doesn’t want to make it work. Pietrangelo is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s contract status could be a hot topic in this season’s NHL rumor mill (Photo via NHL Images).

Friedman points out Pietrangelo turns 30 in January. His negotiations come at a time when teams are spending more on younger talent. Friedman also believes the Blues are “taking a big run” at re-signing pending UFA center Brayden Schenn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cost and term will be the big issues for Pietrangelo. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong could balk if his captain seeks a seven- or eight-year deal worth over $9 million annually. However, he could also be reluctant to let his top defenseman – the guy who led the Blues to its first-ever Stanley Cup championship – depart via free agency.

With over $67 million invested in 16 players (stick tap to Cap Friendly), it’ll be difficult to keep Pietrangelo and Schenn. Armstrong’s admitted he’ll have to get creative to re-sign both and leave enough for the rest of the roster. That could mean a cost-cutting trade or two before July 1.

If the Blues are out of playoff contention by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Armstrong could shop Pietrangelo and/or Schenn if there are no agreements on new contracts by that point. Nevertheless, I think he’ll be keen to keep both players in the fold.

Friedman also believes a break is coming between the New York Islanders and Joshua Ho-Sang. He cited Isles GM Lou Lamoriello saying the young winger worked hard to earn a roster spot in training camp but it didn’t work out. Ho-Sang passed unclaimed through waivers earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some think Ho-Sang might improve with a new club. The fact he passed through waivers, however, indicates nobody else wants to give him that opportunity.

It’s been five years since the Islanders selected Ho-Sang in the first round (28th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. He’s had several opportunities under different coaches and management to crack their roster. The simple truth could be that he isn’t good enough to cut it at the NHL level.

Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland indicated things are quiet on the Jesse Puljujarvi trade front. The young winger is currently playing in Finland waiting for the Oilers to honor his trade request. Holland hopes Puljujarvi’s performance overseas bolsters his trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have until Dec. 1 to re-sign Puljujarvi or he’ll become ineligible to play the remainder of this NHL season.

Friedman advises keeping an eye on the Arizona Coyotes goaltending. They re-signed Darcy Kuemper and claimed Eric Comrie off waivers this week. With Antti Raanta and Adin Hill also in the fold, perhaps GM John Chayka will use this goalie surplus to swing a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could depend on Raanta. Friedman notes he’s very good when healthy, but he’s struggled through injuries over the past two seasons. He was sidelined during training camp and was sent to their farm team on a two-week conditioning stint. If there’s concern over Raanta’s health, Chayka could need that surplus between the pipes.

Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils looked at Florida Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk. He also noted the Dallas Stars seek a “reasonably high pick (second- or third-rounder) or a prospect” for rearguard Julius Honka.


  1. Re Pietrangelo – there’s no room for “sentiment” in pro sports when it comes to managing a team and contracts. Not if you want to produce a winner. When these athletes pushing 30 start holding out for 7-8 year deals at top dollar, especially in a hard-cap league, you just chuck it in the f*^k-it bucket and move on.

    As Leo Durocher said many years ago “nice guys finish last.”

    • George O, I wouldn’t put dman in the same conversation as forwards as they seem to be able to keep their top level play longer then most forwards, but agree 7 or 8 years is a lot. 5 would be the magic number.

    • You don’t sign any 30 year old to more than a 4 or 5 year deal…its suicide

      If he wants $9 million maybe 3 4 years.

      If he is insistent on a 7 year deal move him….. for valuable assets.

      unless your Sidney Crosby who is still on top of hockey at 32 or Patrick Kane who i still on top of his game at 30 31 don’t hand out a long term deal.

      In any sport let alone hockey….

      Pietrangelo can bring back a good return..

  2. Guess with that logic. Pierre Dorion must be the nicest guy ever. lol

  3. Well, George, Toronto made it through Game 1 under the cap – only 81 to go. And they sent Liljegren down to the Marlies today and will bring someone (Nic Petan?) up for the game in Columbus. I have no idea why they are doing this but apparently they want to be as close to the cap as possible using call ups game by game.
    Lyle, what is the strategy here?

    • I believe (feel free to correct me here) that in order to use the Horton, Clarkson LTIR room the leafs have to be at and over the cap, otherwise their salaries count against the cap. You only get the relief once you go over.

  4. And as I said the other day, in our convoluted pool which combines picking a team with a draft of players from unselected teams, I took Trawna – good start. I just hope Matthews can stay healthy for as close to 82 as possible.

  5. George it matters not when nor how you arrived at the promised land…..

    Bienvenidos amigo nuevo

    • As I say old blue dog, I’m pragmatic first – besides, my grandson and daughter-in-law in Scarborough being avid Leafs fans, it made their day – well, my daughter-in-law at least as my grandson is also in the pool and he had to take SJ 3rd. My oldest son had 1st pick and he took TB. Others in the pool took Calgary, Washington, Florida and Colorado.

  6. Please correct me if I wrong: If a team claimed Ho-sang they would have to put him on the roster and them demote him. If he passes through waivers, they can trade for him and place him directly in the minors. I ask /point this out only because there is little question he is not ready for the NHL and needs time to re-gain some sort of form No way anyone would want him on the roster as is. He does not need simply a change of scenery but some serious tweeking as well.

    • HabsFan lol I asked the same ? on morning coffee but different player.
      My understanding is if a player is claimed off waivers his must stay on the NHL roster and if put back on waivers and goes unclaimed he is returned to his original team.

      • I’ve never heard that before. I’ve heard of teams reclaiming waivered players but not hat players are returned

  7. Sure hope Jim Benning noticed his overpaid defensive forward Sutter giving the puck to McDavid who then waltzed right by noted defensive star Chris Tanev for the winning goal last night.

    Sutter and Tanev. Nope, didnt see that one coming at all.

    • Not a great pass by Sutter Ron, true that.
      But plenty mistakes to go around on that goal.
      Why was Eriksson flying the zone and not supporting the puck carrier, then does a big loop instead of stopping when the puck was turned over.
      The D on the side that should have challenged McD was Hughes. It was a 1 on 2, he should have stepped up. Hard to blame the kid who was likely in that situation for the first time against McD.
      Also the RW on that line decides to make a change as soon as Sutter got the puck. Sutter had one outlet, and that was Eriksson. Other option was try and dump it in at the right pace and not take an icing.
      Multiple bad decisions led to that one.

      • Hughes did indeed knock the puck from McDavid’s stick.
        Conner just retrieved it and placed a nice one up top.
        It was a good effort but look who he was defending.
        Miller looked good.

    • To be fair, McDavid has made better d-men look more foolish. It’s not like they let Chaisson walk through them.

      • Better than Chris Tanev? Doubtful.

        – Jim Benning