NHL Rumor Mill – October 9, 2019

by | Oct 9, 2019 | Rumors | 21 comments

The latest on the Pittsburgh Penguins plus updates on Roman Josi, Alex Pietrangelo, Brian Boyle and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports injuries will sideline Pittsburgh Penguins centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad for the next four weeks. While there’s no way they can find a suitable replacement for Malkin, McKenzie wonders if they’ll draw upon their blueline depth to find some short-term help in the trade market.

Jack Johnson was mentioned in recent trade speculation. McKenzie also suggested throwing Erik Gudbranson into the mix. It would have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out move to allow sufficient cap space when Malkin and Bjugstad return.

THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said it’s too early to pursue a trade for a center. Rutherford tried to peddle Johnson at the end of training camp. Rossi speculates he could call up a couple of forwards from their AHL affiliate.

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins attempt to shop Jack Johnson for a center? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s not much of a market for Johnson and I doubt Rutherford will have much luck floating Gudbranson in the trade market. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested Juuso Riikola as an option. The Penguins will probably ride it out for the time being while Rutherford keeps an eye on the trade market and the waiver wire.


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports there’s significant interest in Brian Boyle. The free-agent center is talking with several teams. McKenzie claims one of those clubs must either clear some salary-cap space or a roster spot to sign Boyle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wonder if the Penguins might be among those teams?


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Roman Josi’s contract negotiations with the Nashville Predators have hit a snag. There was momentum in those talks during the summer but that’s stopped now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Tennessean’s Paul Skrbina suggests Josi’s asking price could be north of $9 million per season. Josi and Predators GM David Poile have downplayed the situation. I expect he’ll be re-signed but it won’t be for a hometown discount.

The St. Louis Blues could use Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s contract as a baseline in negotiations with Alex Pietrangelo. Ekman-Larsson is in the first season of an eight-year, $66-million deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Ekman-Larsson’s annual average value is $8.25 million. The Pietrangelo camp could seek over $9 million per season.

The Florida Panthers will try to move Mark Pysyk. The veteran defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Friedman noted the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks had an interest during the summer. His AAV ($2.73 million) could be difficult for clubs with limited cap space to absorb.


  1. Looking at the looming Josi/Pietrangelo situations, and the big contracts being signed by RFAs, it’s hard to escape the feeling that the NHL and its hard cap is about to experience the long-predicted saturation point. By that I mean player demands will soon simply run out of viable options as more and more teams find themselves forking over almost half their cap to 4 or 5 players and so unable to entertain any thoughts of bringing in anyone thinking they’re worth upwards of $8..5-9 mil + per.

    • I don’t think you will George, the leafs put themselves in a hole with the order they signed their rfa’s and the Tavares signing. Rantannen makes 1.6 million less than marner and marner is only the 3rd highest on the leafs. It was reported that marner would have signed 8 for 8 before the nylander signing

  2. Sj needs to trade Vlassic. The issue has been a top right wing. Anyone have a suggestion, Doug might be reading, seeing as he signed Patty hes pretty desperate.

    • It’s still early I think he waits 5-6 more games before making a team changing trade, but they haven’t looked good at all this year

    • Nobody is taking on that Vlascic contract. 32 years old a 7m per for next 7 years? No thanks

      • That’s a real deal killer all right. Not only that, but the market has shrunk dramatically and the teams that DO have the cap space simply aren’t looking at that type of player going forward. Another albatross contract rears its ugly head.

      • Vlasic to Pitts for JJ & Gudbranson

        think Pengy would do that lol

    • Coaching change comes first. Not just Vlasic, entire team looks slow and flat – except Ferraro. Biggest concern is Martin Jones. Those two goals he gave up in the third were terrible. Have a feeling Sharks may do something stupid like trade for Quick.

    • If SJ was willing to take on the contract of Karl Alzner, MTL could kick in a Hudon (who can play RW and is looking for a fresh start) in exchange for Vlasic. It might take an additional sweetener (Picks and Prospects), but MTL has an abundance of those to get it done.

      • That is a GREAT trade idea giving SJ cap space for other moves.

        MTL get their partner for Weber as a shutdown pair.

    • Bobby ryan

  3. I had no idea the Vlassic contract was 7 million until he is 39….one bad long contract can do a lot of harm in hard cap system…..the Marner contract could easily do the same to the Leafs….candidate for the worst contract in the NHL in 2 years…..

    GM ‘s build a roster with a certain philosophy in mind….but they should be Board level instructions always build in some lee way in a hard cap system….

    If Dubas had three feet he would shoot himself in all 3

  4. So the Penguins big trade chips are Jack Johnson an overpaid stiff that nobody wants and Erik Gubrandson a pylon that not even the bottom feeding Canucks wanted?

    Good luck on that Jimmy R, youre going to need it.

    • Hi Ron

      I’ve been so bogged with this new client at work that I haven’t been able to have time to post here

      Taking just a couple of minutes her just to say 😭😭😭😭😭😭😡😡😡😡😡😡…. Pens in trouble!!!

      I guess with the IR and LTIR the Cap space expands every day …. glass half empty?

      Oh and BTW .. congrats on last week’s Lions win… worst Argo drubbing I’ve ever seen…. with 10 secs left it was 55-0; then we get the miracle TD with 8 seconds left 😭😡😭😡😭😡

      Exciting VGK vs Bruins game last night


      • Pengy,

        First time all year the Lions gave Reilly time to throw, totally shredded the Argos.

        May be best to package JJ with Letang and a pick for a top 9 forward and top 6 dman?

        Rutherford best do something or the Pens are going to be in a real battle for a playoff spot.

      • Hi Ron

        Answer for Canucks future …. can Burnham skate? … those catches were spectacular ; and yes finally a chance for Reilly to throw … I can’t believe he hasn’t gone down after all those sacks

        Pinball will turn it around in Argoland

        Re Pens…. next game will have Sid, Guentz , McCann and Tanev plus 8 (eight) 4th liners /AHLers to round out Fwds …. not a pretty sight

        A trade or UFA acquisition must happen …., Malkin , Bjug and Rusty out for a minimum of 4 weeks … 12-15 games …. ouch

        …. and they still play JJ😡

        I don’t think they’d ever consider moving Tanger …. but I also thought that no way Pens would sign JJ to 5 @ $3.25 M…. so who knows

        They do have space … I’ll post on that later

  5. Guess Holland won that trade with Calgary eh? Neal looks like a rejuvenated player. Same as when he got sent to Vegas.

  6. If that’s Bob Mackenzie trade proposal, I suggest he stay away from such and keep his focus on the insider information.

    This type of trade suggestion only hurts his credibility and I’m a fan of Bobs.

  7. I wrote it at the time, the Neal for Lucic was terrible

  8. Been crazy at work …. haven’t had time really to read/post here

    Oki Doki

    The Pens are in a whole lot of hurt (‘scuse the pun) right now but DO have Cap flex for possible mitigation

    26 players including Malkin ; Bjug ; Rusty … @ annual Cap of $ 83.9M

    But a closer look …. they were Cap compliant to start and
    Setting aside any lengthy Horny or G-Chuck IRs…. the 3 above have annual Caps North of $17 M …. their replacements as at now all make less than $1M … call it $3 M annual total just to be simple …. the difference annually is $14 M in Cap

    one month (minimum as has been stated) on IR or LTIR …. is 1/6 th if the year… 1/6th of $14 M = $2.3M “saved” in Cap so to speak

    Even with Sundry call ups adding up … with nothing else changing … by the end of the year Pens will have north of $2M in space…. that’s w/o any further IRs or one of the 3 out longer than a month (some reports have Geno not back within 6 weeks)

    … so they could acquire a UFA …Boyle ($1M???) w/o any worry at all Cap wise

    Setting aside any of the above ; and if Boyle could be had for $1M….. waive and bury JJ frees up $1.08 M …. about same as Cap for Boyle ….no change whatsoever in current Cap situation … just sayin’

    Pens ABSOLUTELY do not need to keep 9 D up BTW

    One of the trades above mentioned JJ …. that still will come with a sweetener (unless GMJR can call MURRAY and take Kessler)… just food for thought

    Talk above re trading Riikola ??? And still keeping JJ??? WTF? Riikola has only a small NHL sample size so his return will be negligible …. but he’s already a much better bottom pairing DMan than JJ… so again WTF ?

    What I’d do immediately is sign Boyle …. they have the space (if he would sign for $1M) …. he can immediately go in at 3C; Bluger back to 4C …. McC @ 2C…. it cauterizes the wounds to stem some of the flow …. something has to be done

    When the trio comes back from IR… Boyle fits in nicely in the bottom 6 and has the Centre/wing flexibility

    Finally …. above articles mentioned UFAs out there …. didn’t see McQ’s name ? Why

  9. Pengy…look for the penguins to sign Brian Boyle heaving interest Im hearing to sign him..

    Also Gudbrason is a healthy scratch tonight versus the Ducks… something cooking ??? we will see