NHL Rumor Mill – October 4, 2019

by | Oct 4, 2019 | Rumors | 30 comments

The potential effect of recent RFA signings, the Oilers options to replace the sidelined Adam Larsson, and updates on Joshua Ho-Sang and Julius Honka in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


TSN: Pierre LeBrun suspects the rash of recent signings by players slated to become restricted free agents in 2020 could be a sign of a trend. After watching the negotiations for many of this summer’s top RFAs drag on well into training camp, some teams are moving aggressively to re-sign their pending top RFAs coming off entry-level contracts. 

Could Alex DeBrincat’s new contract with the Blackhawks lead to other 2020 RFAs, like the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal, getting re-signed during this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks were the latest, re-signing winger Alex DeBrincat to an extension yesterday. Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard, Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller, and Ottawa Senators blueliner Thomas Chabot were also re-signed in recent weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We could see more over the course of this season. Those in the final season of their ELCs include DeBrincat’s linemate Dylan Strome, the New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (pictured), New Jersey’s Nico Hischier, and Columbus’ PIerre-Luc Dubois. 

Bob McKenzie believes the Edmonton Oilers aren’t opposed to going outside their organization to find a potential replacement for sidelined defenseman Adam Larsson. However, he doesn’t think there’s a comparable defenseman available.

He pointed out New York Islanders rearguard Thomas Hickey is available and was recently on waivers but he’s not a top-pairing blueliner. Hickey also carries a $2 million cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers recalled defenseman Evan Bouchard from their AHL affiliate. If he struggles to fill the void, perhaps general manager Ken Holland will explore the trade or waiver wire. 

Speaking of the Oilers, Darren Dreger observes a few teams expressed interest in Jesse Puljujarvi. The 21-year-old RFA winger is playing in Finland as he waits for the Oilers to honor his trade request. He’s playing well overseas but there’s nothing doable for the Oilers so far. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt there’s growing interest in Puljujarvi but the Oilers asking price of a draft pick and prospect could be more than those clubs are willing to pay. Maybe one of those teams will get desperate if injuries strike or they struggle to score. 

Dreger also notes New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-Sang has requested a trade. He wants a fresh start elsewhere and isn’t averse to playing for another team’s AHL club. However, his fate remains in the hands of Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Arthur Staple doubts Ho-Sang will fetch much in return. Because he’s already cleared waivers he can be sent directly to the AHL if acquired via trade by another team. 

McKenzie believes it’s not a question of if the Dallas Stars move defenseman Julius Honka but when. The restricted free agent is in Finland awaiting a trade. The issue with him isn’t money but an opportunity and a fresh start after three seasons in the AHL. Teams are speaking to Stars GM Jim Nill. McKenzie expects the Stars will get a draft pick in return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Montreal Canadiens were reportedly interested in Honka, who’s also been linked to the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets. 


  1. WHO would bother with Ho-Sang? He never dominated a single AHL game for a player suppose to be an offensive wing?

    • No one will take him if Lamoriello expects anything significant in return. And really, Holland can’t expect much more for Puljujarvi if you compare their performances at the AHL level.

      In 156 AHL gp Ho-Sang (a 28th overall pick) has scored26 goals and added 84 assists for 110 pts – or .71 pts per game.

      Although admittedly a smaller sample, Puljujarvi has played 53 AHL games and has 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 pts – or .70 pts per game. And much more was expected of him. being a 4th overall pick.

      Unless they get an offer that they like – or maybe simply want to move the distraction and constant questions about the two, both will likely sit on them until they reach UFA status.

    • DS. The Oilers. They can send him and a roster player for Puljujarvi. I’d still like to see Rangers trade for JP. Fast or Namestikov with salary retained, and a 3rd or 4th… I don’t see either back next year and with Rangers don’t need to rush Puljujarvi. Would free up cap space and create a spot for Chytil or Kravtsov.

      • The last thing the Oilers need is another Rob Schremp. All the talent with no work ethic, wich is what Ho-Sang is. JP still has an upside, Ho-Sang is who he is now, a career minor leaguer.

      • KevJam, I prefer the Omark comparison for Ho-Sang, but ya, bang on.
        JP is an NHL player today, just hasn’t produced at the level to play where he wants to. Was he rushed, ya. Is it on him now? You bet.
        We’ll see how he reacts.

  2. Just thought this was worth a mention.

    “However, his fate remains in the hands of Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.”

    LL hasn’t worked for the Devils since 2015

    At this point if I am the Isles I trade JHS and a pick to Edmonton for Puljujarvi.

    • The Isles would do that in a second

      but why not just claim him when he was on waivers… let him go to europe

      • Well, if any team is interested in him in the slightest as a reclamation project they’d offer a low pick (7th round) and send him to their AHL team to see how things go. I think his reputation as a bit of a s*&t-disturber is as much to blame for the non-interest as anything.

    • Why not JP for Honka? Fills Oil’s need

      • When this proposal was raised a few days ago I offered the opinion that that might not be a starter for the simple reason that, both being 1st round picks, neither GM wants to see the guy who they dealt away turn out to be a hidden gem while the one they got back turns out to be a dud.

        At least getting back a pick and a prospect in each case puts some distance between the transaction and the development of the pick/prospect so the comparison isn’t immediate.

        Human nature I guess.

      • The Oil have guys that are as good as Honka IMO.
        Larsson was playing in their top pair with Nurse, the Oil don’t have a replacement for that and Honka isn’t that either.
        Holland isn’t going to find a top pairing D without moving another asset (RNH) that will create another hole that will be just a big a problem.
        And the Oil don’t have depth in the minors at C that they do at D.
        Plug the hole rotating Bear, Persson, Lagesson etc in and out of the lineup and try to hang on until Larsson gets back. Can’t see how the Oil win a trade this time of year making a desperation move.
        Holland knows the Oil are at best a bubble team and this will take a couple years. He needs to be patient and will be. That includes with JP, and what to do about the hole left with Larsson out 4-6.

      • George O
        What about this:
        To Dal: JP + 2nd
        To Edm: Honka + 1st?

      • K, giving up a 1st or even a 2nd is never the best approach unless you KNOW for certain that the player you’re getting back is a guaranteed star. Neither fits that label yet.

        And since Dallas isn’t a shoo-in to make the playoffs – they should but s&^t happens as you know – Jim Nill would be looking for a job if an extra lottery chance turned out to be # 1 for Edmonton – especially if Puljujarvi simply doesn’t have it at the NHL level. It would be a helluva gamble.

      • I think JP is an NHL player today George. He had a spot on the 3rd line unless he regressed. At worst 4th line.
        He thought he deserved top 6 minutes, Oil said earn it first. He is in Finland.
        Is there a chance that he regresses and isn’t an NHL player, ya. But Hitchcock said at the end of last year that he had no problem sending JP over the boards on a regular shift and JP won’t hurt you, but that he needed to work on his offensive game if he wanted top 6 minutes.
        IMO he is a low risk pickup who still has a chance to be a big top 6 forward. Attitude aside, which I guess is the million $ question.
        The irony is that Edmonton has spots up for the taking and need a winger desperately and have 3 excellent centers to play with. As far as opportunity goes, it doesn’t get any better. Maybe he comes around and it ends up being happy ever after.

      • That’s the way Holland should go Ray. For certain. They’re a long-shot to make the playoff s anyway, so give the kid a long look at top 6 minutes. If, at the end, he simply doesn’t fit top 6 he then has no one to blame but himself (unless he takes a page from Laine’s book and blames his line-mates!)

        But I wouldn’t be giving up a 1st round pick to get him if a trade is what Holland is hoping to complete.

      • Fair point George, there is one way out of this for both sides. JP needs to play better.

  3. interesting what is going on in StLouis , Schenn signs an 8 year deal avg hit of 6.5 which is nice but I am not keen on the term. Then again to get that price he had to get term. Not much cap left to resign Pietrangelo next year. Unsure if Tarasenko has a full NTC but he is the guy I see being moved to save $ to resign the captain. Would like to see feedback from Blues fans out there

    • bozak will have 1 yr left, steen has 1 yr left as does Schwartz. Though Steen has NTC and Schwartz has a M-NTC perhaps something happens there. That will help create some room if any of the 3 are moved.

  4. Add Jake Allen to the Blues players who have 1 year left. There’s no way he’s resigned by the the blues (if isn’t traded or taken in the expansion waiver before his contract runs out at the end of next season).
    The Blues could package Steen, Bozak or Allen with a sweetner to free up some cap space.
    Funny how one game (Stanley Cup final game #7) makes ALL the difference in whether the team stay in tact or has changes. If Boston wins game #7, I thing there are many changes to the Blues over last summer.
    And I can’t see Tarasenko playing elsewhere.

    • Not sure I agree with that Nasgaq40. The Bruins lost game 7 and made only minimal changes.
      It is just my opinion of course, but why drastically change a team a game away from winning it all? Unless you have UFA’s leaving etc.

    • Most likely they are banking on the save saved from Allen being gone. All in all it is a good move as Schenn has become a very aggressive player and it has spurred his offense to the next level. He takes it to the play rather than waiting for someone else to create. Agreed term is a bit long but with a few contracts coming off no big deal.

  5. George what say you about Logan Brown’s Agent’s comment. What is he worth on the market currently?

    • He’;ll get his shot ihatecrosby and fairly early on I think if he opens in Belleville the same way he closed out last season.

  6. I think Dorion should package Brown and Branstrom and a first and see if the Rangers will let him have Zibanejad back. I know it would be hard to lose Branstrom seem as how he is a monster at 5′ 10″ and 173 lbs.
    I think the Rangers have a youth movement going and they might do it.
    I just hope he doesn’t trade with Nashville and Colorado again. They sure took the bonehead to school there.

    • Huge Ranger fan and I would not do this bc you just signed Panarin. If Hank was gone and ya did not sign Panarin or trade for Trouba then I could see this as a topic to discuss.

      Zib will be with NY for a while. Especially with NO other center in the system that can handle the position.

      • IHC,

        It was entirely in jest. Vinnie has some obsession with poking George.

      • He wants George to be his son-in-law.

      • LOL.

      • Gotta say sometimes you swing and miss Chrisms, but now and then……
        I almost pissed myself.