NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2019

by | Nov 15, 2019 | Rumors | 18 comments

The latest on Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ilya Kovalchuk in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Ottawa Senators are keeping mum regarding Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s contract status. That’s understandable given their recent history with unrestricted free agents like Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene, and Mark Stone. They have no intention of speaking publicly about this situation until the winger is re-signed or traded.

Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau could become an attractive trade option for playoff contenders (Photo via NHL Images).

Pageau, 27, is earning an annual average value of $3.1 million. Despite his strong start to this season (11 goals, 19 points in 20 games), McKenzie considers him to be a 10-20 goal, 30-40 point player. The market value suggests he’s worth between $3.65 and $4 million annually. McKenzie speculates Pageau could want over $4 million annually to remain with the rebuilding Senators.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell wonders if Pageau will want to stick with a rebuilding club or look at joining a possible Stanley Cup contender. His versatility and all-around skills would make him an attractive trade option for playoff contenders. If re-signing Pageau isn’t possible, Campbell advocated trading him while his trade value is at its highest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Campbell points out, the young Senators would benefit by keeping Pageau in the fold. Nevertheless, they should explore the trade market to get the best possible return while his value is high if there’s no chance of re-signing him.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports discussions continued between the Los Angeles Kings and Ilya Kovalchuk’s representatives regarding the winger’s future with the club. He’s on a 35-plus contract, meaning his full salary-cap hit ($6.25 million AAV) counts against the Kings’ salary cap if his contract is terminated or he retires.

LeBrun believes the better option is trading Kovalchuk but there’s no market for him right now. His agents would like to see him back in the lineup to generate interest in his services but that’s not happening for the time being.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A recent report claimed the Kings intended to terminate Kovalchuk’s contract. LeBrun’s report suggests they’re not close to that option yet. Divorce is coming for Kovalchuk and the Kings, but it won’t be an easy one and could take longer than both sides want.


  1. I don’t think it will ever become a situation whereby there’s “no chance” of re-signing Pageau. If they offer him something north of $5 mil over 6-7 years of course he’ll re-sign in Ottawa. He isn’t going to get that anywhere else.

    I agree with Mackenzie that he’s a 10-20 goal, 30-40 pts player and, with where the Senators are right now, I wouldn’t go higher than $4 mil and no more than 5 years. Having just turned 27, he’d still only be 30 when all the good young prospects in their system (and to come with all the picks they’ll have in June) finally gel into a cohesive unit, and along the way he’d be a veteran presence they’d need.

    But if they hold to $4 mil/5 year limit, and he and his agent get the idea that they could get the same money/term from a “now” contender, you couldn’t blame him for taking a shot. Maybe the Habs if they continue to improve up and down the line-up?

    • Maybe they should flip him for assets, now or at the deadline, depending on the market.
      Then circle back and resign him for 5 x 5 or 6 next summer.

      That’s what I’d be aiming for if I was Dorian.
      The guys a good player.

    • “If they offer him something north of $5 mil over 6-7 years of course he’ll re-sign in Ottawa.”

      So, there’s definitely no chance.

      • All depends on what he and his agent are seeking as well as does he want to remain close to home? So, without resorting to splitting hairs, there’s obviously still “a chance.”

    • If the Sens can get him signed to $5 million or a little more on a long term contract in about 3 years that contract will look like a bargain, if he can keep up that 10-20 goals and 30 to 40 points a season.

      • That is the $64,000 question KevJam. We’ve seen many players rise to the occasion of a contract-year season, only to retrograde when their future is solidified (hello Bobby Ryan). NOT saying Pageau has ever shown to be that type of player … but it’s happened often enough that you can’t blame GMs for being cautious.

      • Well if the Sens can get him signed for a little over market value of a 15 goal scorer and 40 point player but less than what he does this season, I would think the Sens management should jump at that. So if he does drop off to what his past stats then like I said before, in about 3 years that will be a bargain. If he just drops off the face of the earth then it’s not a crippling cap hit like what Ryan’s is. If he just takes off and continues doing what he is currently doing then the Sens have themselves a deal. Like Meatloaf says, “2 out of 3 ain’t bad” 😉

    • **OTT/Pageau**

      He has never had as much value as he currently does(or ever will as he isn’t going to keep up his lofty numbers), sell high & get some young assets to continue rebuilding…

      Or keep him, if he is going to give a little hometown discount AKA a “down-to-Earth contract”, sign him

      4.5 mill X 4 years

  2. George

    Pens down their top C …. top 3 in the league IMHO….. for 6 weeks

    Pens have space

    Setting aside what Dorian might do…. please give me a trade proposal for JGP…. I will respond in kind


    • Jarry, JJ, Rust & 1st

      for Anderson & JGP



      • Hi IHC

        Not out of the realm but I think I can answer for George on that with a NFW response (due to JJ)

        My counter is a 2-step


        To Minn

        Bjug ZAR Ruhweedel

        For Soucy & Dewar & 2nd (‘21)

        To Ottw Soucy Dewar 2nd (‘21) Minn ; 2nd (‘21 ) Pens

        To Pens

        JGP and Ty Ennis

        George ?? How say you good sir

      • Ooops missed an important piece of the Sens/Pens trade

        To Ottw Soucy Dewar DeSmith 2nd (‘21) Minn ; 2nd (‘21 ) Pens

        To Pens

        JGP and Ty Ennis and *Anderson

        *I’d keep Jarry and flip
        Anderson + at TDL for an expiring contract for the push

  3. Kovalchuk for Backes make any sense. Contracts about the same. La can get rid of him Boston can get a potential RW.

    • LA’s stuck with Kovalchuk’s cap hit regardless. I’m just wondering if they just want to free up the roster spot to bring a guy up from the minors and unable to with Kovalchuk sticking around. Or they may have a trade on hold that would put them over the contract max.
      If a 35+ contract is terminated does it still count towards the 50 contract max?

      • Hi KevJam

        Per TSN … they are stuck with the Cap unless they trade him or he miraculously makes it on to LTIR; all other avenues and they still “reap” the Cap

      • Hi KevJam

        I have to remember to read a full post before I respond


        Terminated contract … Cap counts ; contract count as part of 50 NOT included

  4. If what a team decides is Pageau’s monetary worth depends on how valid a spec it believes plus/minus to be. he could easily be worth $4 million/yr. and he might be a relative bargain at $5 milllion/yr. For example, if Pageau’s cap hit would increase by 2 million/yr, it would still be just under $2 million/yr less than than W. Nylander’s. Statistically, though, Pageau compares well with Nylander, and that’s not just in this, his contrtact year. If we take away his last season, when he played only 39 games after returning from achilles heel surgery, Pageau would be plus-37 with 145 points in 247 games. In 259 games, Nylander is plus-20 with 178 points.

    It may be heresy to compare Pageau or Nylander to Marner, but both are having a better seasons. And Pageau’s maximum projected asking price is less than half of Marners cap hit. Is he worth it?

    At $3.1 million/yr, I think he’s a poor man’s Patrice Bergeron– who might be hockey’s best bargain at less than $7 million/yr.

    • “At $3.1 million/yr, I think he’s a poor man’s Patrice Bergeron– who might be hockey’s best bargain at less than $7 million/yr.”

      No, that’s still Nathan McKinnon