NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2019

by | Nov 9, 2019 | Rumors | 27 comments

The latest on the Blues, Leafs, and Penguins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Tim Timmermann was asked if the St. Louis Blues could target New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider as a short-term replacement for sidelined winger Vladimir Tarasenko. While acknowledging the 28-year-old Kreider would make a lot of sense, Timmermann doesn’t see the Blues targeting a “big-name, big-salary guy” if there’s any chance Tarasenko could return before season’s end. He cites their limited salary-cap space as a factor.

Could New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider become a trade option for the St. Louis Blues? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting atop the Western Conference standings, the Blues aren’t under any pressure to swing a deal. They’ll attempt to offset Tarasenko’s absence from within.

Should they start struggling by midseason and appear in danger of falling out of playoff contention, GM Doug Armstrong could get busy in the trade market. Kreider might interest him but the Rangers could seek a first-round pick and either a top prospect or NHL-ready youngers in return. Kreider’s also a left winger while Tarasenko is a right wing.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, James Mirtle was asked if he sees a player among the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top-nine forwards or top-four defensemen getting moved at the trade deadline. He was also asked how the Leafs could swing a trade for a better defense partner for Morgan Rielly with their limited salary-cap space.

Mirtle feels there’s no need to do anything rash. With Travis Dermott back from injury and Zach Hyman’s return imminent, he believes the Leafs will want to evaluate their full team. If a move needs to be made, it could come around late-January at the earliest. That was around the time last season when they acquired Jake Muzzin. Their limited cap space means a significant deal would have to be dollar-in, dollar-out.

Asked if the Leafs could pursue Detroit’s Jimmy Howard to shore up their goaltending depth, Mirtle believes his age (36), contract, and .907 save percentage over the last three seasons works against that possibility. If the Leafs feel they need a better backup they’ll probably explore more affordable options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has proven capable of juggling his limited salary cap to shed bad contracts and bring in players who can help his club. It would be foolish to underestimate him.

Still, it will be challenging to bolster the lineup or address a glaring weakness in-season while bumping up against the cap ceiling. Potential trade partners could ask for cheaper Leafs forwards such as Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson in return.


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Vengel recently reported Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn’t working on any trades at present. He garnered some salary-cap relief by shipping Erik Gudbranson last month to the Anaheim Ducks. That leaves him some wiggle room for potential moves near the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Penguins having weathered the absence of several players to injuries, Rutherford will take time to evaluate his roster as it gets healthier. He’s usually among the most active GMs in the trade market during the regular season. I expect he’ll have something up his sleeve as the trade deadline approaches.


  1. Forget Kreider, it’s time for Kyrou and Kostin from AHL San Antonio to get the call-up for Blues.

    • I would agree with you there. Why not give them valuable time this season in the interim so come off trade deadline it gives ya a better idea IF you need to do something bigger or not.

      Why give away prospects for someone to walk at season end…… best trade will be waiting for Tarasenko to come back.

      • Dubas is an analytic guy. It seems to me he will always tey to keep the best player due to analytics. The numbers wont lie. However vuy doing that and moving out lesser players i wonder if the analytics of over all yeam performance is lost. It would be difficult to project out the numbers of retaining a good analytic player and subtracting several guys with lesser stats.

        Id be interested to see their calculations when they do the math up and determine the value of making the move.

    • the Blues do not need to rush into getting a forward. Kreider will probably be a TDL deal and not sooner due to his salary

  2. Dubas is the most overrated GM in the NHL. Pridham is behind all the cap juggling, not Dumbas. Barrie and a B prospect to the Oilers for Benning and Puljujarvi. I`d send Ceci to the Growlers or about 500 miles farther east would be nice. Nylander/Kerfoot or both if necessary to Carolina for a right-handed Dman. I think Subban would be a good back up for Toronto and I`d love to send Dumbas to visit Ceci

    • I agree dubas might have moved salary around but he really didn’t improve the team, the defense is worse this year than last

    • The problem is, Subban is regarded as a good back-up for Fleury costing just $850,000 this year off the cap (and an RFA next year). Why would Vegas, already with NO cap space themselves, want to move him to take on an expensive Toronto contract? And what would be the point of dealing him for a prospect/picks?

      • Which expensive contract would Vegas be taking on none that I know of. Vegas could use depth on the wings which is something that Toronto has

      • My point was, they’re not about to relinquish Subban for a prospect and/or picks, and go with one among Sparks, Ferguson or Dansk as the back-up to Fleury.

        Even if so inclined, with only $174,641 in cap space and a full 23-man roster, trading Subban would give them only $1,024,641 with which to take on whoever comes back from Toronto. So, among their depth F that leaves out Kerfoot ($3,500,000), Johnsson ($3,400,000) and Kapanen ($3,200,000).

        Mikheyev ($925,000) might fit the bill but a) I doubt the Leafs want to part with him, and b) Vegas would still then be faced with having Fleury backed up by someone not-ready-for-prime-time (Moore, Shore or Timashev aren’t even in the equation).

        Bottom line – it isn’t going to happen.

    • Benning can’t even skate, come on!

      • I`d rather have Benning playing with Muzzin than Barrie. Besides, it`s Puljujarvi I`m interested in. Barrie isn`t helping and won`t be resigned. Ceci is a better dman than Barrie and that`s scary

  3. I have a different though perhaps not rare view than Myrtle, and perhaps Lyle too.

    The Leafs have tons of offense and a shallow defensive corp. Dubas has far too much money devoted to his top six for the Leafs to make a deep run in the playoffs when play becomes much tighter and defense oriented.

    Could Dubas trade, say, Nylander for a solid defenseman? Possibly, but there is a premium on the quality of d that would make a difference to the Leafs. And one d is unlikely to be the missing ingredient.

    And that is just this year. Signing Muzzin as a ufa after this season will be very difficult, and he is one of 5 (!) current Leaf d who will become rfas. So the future doesn’t look bright either.

    That’s how I see it.

    • Nylander has been a constant subject of “trade him for a solid D-man” almost since the day Dubas signed him to a deal that costs virtually $7 mil per off the cap for 5 more years (including this one).

      But that has to be filed under “easier said than done.” Simply put, there are NO teams prepared to weaken their D by giving up one who qualifies as “solid” for a soft F who got a big long-term contract based upon what Dubas thought he would develop into until he demonstrates that he’s capable of scoring more than his career high (22 goals).

      As Lyle says above, if Dubas is looking to make a deal for cap relief, teams will likely want cheaper cost-controlled Fs like Kapanen or Johnsson. Otherwise, no thanks.

      • Hell, Ryan Dzingel – roughly the same size and just as fast if not faster – had back to back seasons of 23 and 26 goals, and is doing just as well as Nylander so far this year (3g 8a 11 pts to Nylander’s 4g 7a 11 pts) with probably less ice time, and the best he could get as a UFA was $3,375,000 from Carolina.

      • Kind of what I am saying, George, though Nylander was just an example. And Kapanen or Johnsson aren’t going to fetch a top 4 d.

      • Was agreeing with you LJ – just elaborating using performance since that signing. We’re on the same page for sure.

  4. BLUES

    Last year the Blues were in last place up to the New year even with Tarasenko ……LOL …..and we all know how that turned out ..

    I agree with the comments by… IOWA Boy above …its a good time to insert players from your system and intergrate them now..when your playing with house money and a Cup ring to show off …you cant go wrong with internal 1 A prospects …Binnington showed that !

    You do have somewhat of an aging team with Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester, Steen, Bozak ..great time to have younger players step in and learn with a quality coach as well.

  5. Kapanen AND Johnsson need to go for a little lesser cap hit for a little more grit and toughness type players. Crouse would be someone I make a serious offer on. Arizona also have some goalie depth.

    Can’t see Little from the Jets coming back.

    If the Blues keep winning no need to replace Tarasenko with a trade. Don’t want to jinx him but Schwartz won’t play 70.

    • Johnsson is one of the few leafs with grit. You don’t get rid of guys with a scoring touch like his

  6. Today is November 9th, time is getting short for Jesse Puljujarvi.
    Will he or won’t he

    • Keep feeling like he will be a Ranger

  7. anybody thought of markstrom from vancouver? that guy could demand a hefty price right now tho

    • Any relation to the tough Bob Geary I played a couple of games with for the Verdun Shamcats of the QHL way back in the late ’50s?

      • QSFL

      • OK, let me get this straight – lol – the QRFU (Quebec Rugby Football Union) which was a senior caliber NA football league

  8. The Penguins don’t really have any weaknesses right now. Obviously the Jackhole is the worst player on the team but he’s the only liability and his impact has been marginalized by third pairing minutes. Dumoulin and Petterson have been fantastic defensively and Shultz has been very noticeable at both ends. Marino has been phenomenal as well and is filling in for Letang on the top pair nicely. And Riikola carries Johnson last game. Their goaltending has been good for the most part. And the forward group is formidable when healthy. Of course Rutherford is going to stay put right now. There is no reason to add anything.

    • Dee…100% agree Marino was terrific great vision cross ice pass to Rust to tie it at 2 tonight versus Chicago…3-2 shootout win for Pittsburgh.

      Pettersson sold play
      Rikola always just fills in nicely when called upon looked good tonight

      Schultz continues to get better hard year last year being hurt for 54 games

      we still need another top 4 defenseman to compete with Washington Boston NY Islanders and Tampa


      letang dumolin Schultz (T.J. Brodie) Pettersson Marino