Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 3, 2019

by | Nov 3, 2019 | Rumors | 42 comments

The latest on Dustin Byfuglien and Jesse Puljujarvi plus some recent Penguins speculation in today’s NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports a resolution in the ongoing saga between the Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien doesn’t seem likely. The defenseman has been absent from the club pondering his future. He recently underwent ankle surgery and could be sidelined until sometime in the new year. Friedman claims the situation has become emotional, heated, and heading to arbitration.

The relationship between Dustin Byfuglien and Winnipeg Jets’ front office seems to be souring (Photo via NHL Images)

Friedman said the Jets were told not to discuss the situation, which explains general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff’s guarded comments. During Byfuglien’s exit physical at the end of last season, the team felt he was ready to play. He didn’t tell them he had issues with his ankle during the summer and informed them of his intention to retire.

Byfuglien’s side of the story is he was injured going into the playoffs, played hurt, took the summer off to heal, returned to Winnipeg intending to play but his ankle acted up again while skating. Friedman said a broken bone was also discovered in Byfuglien’s foot during the surgery. There’s a dispute over when the injury happened and when everyone knew about it.

Chris Johnston said there are bad feelings and money involved. As Byfuglien is still under contract, part of an arbiter’s role could be trying to determine when the defenseman starts getting paid again. The Jets suspended him during his leave of absence for salary-cap purposes. While Byfuglien is uncertain over the status of his career, he’s indicated a willingness to return to action.

If Byfuglien does return, Friedman said it remains to be seen if he’ll play for the Jets or if they’ll want him back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this requires arbitration to settle it could spell the end of Byfuglien’s tenure in Winnipeg. If he’s still willing to play, however, it could prove difficult for the Jets to trade him. 

Playoff contenders would certainly have interest in Byfuglien’s services. However, his recent surgery, age (34), salary-cap hit ($7.6 million annually through 2020-21) and 14-team no-trade list will affect efforts to move him. 

Meanwhile, this situation hampers the Jets’ ability to address their weakened blueline. Byfuglien’s suspension currently gives them over $6.6 million in salary-cap space. If he returns, however, they must shed salary to become cap compliant.

They could be forced to make a dollar-for-dollar swap. The Hockey News’ Jared Clinton recently observed there are veteran options like Chicago’s Brent Seabrook, Pittsburgh’s Jack Johnson or the New York Rangers’ Marc Staal. However, they have their contract baggage of their own and won’t improve the Jets’ defense corps.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Jesse Puljujarvi’s strong play in Finland has attracted some suitors in the NHL trade market. The 21-year-old restricted free agent is playing overseas while awaiting a trade by the Edmonton Oilers. General manager Ken Holland is heading to Finland to watch Puljujarvi play in an upcoming international tournament.

Johnston doesn’t believe the organization has made a decision if they’ll try to trade Puljujarvi right away, wait until the Dec. 1 deadline to re-sign him approaches, or try and keep him. Holland spoke extensively with teams since the summer. Johnston believes the New York Rangers have shown persistent interest in Puljujarvi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are a rebuilding club. They’re using defenseman Brendan Smith as a fourth-line right wing. Depending on the asking price, Puljujarvi could be a fit with the Blueshirts.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Josh Yohe was asked about the possibility of the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Jack Johnson since Erik Gudbranson was shipped to Anaheim. He doesn’t see Johnson getting moved but didn’t rule it out. He points out they had a deal to trade the veteran defenseman on the table in late September. However, they aren’t displeased with his performance.

Asked about Nick Bjugstad, Yohe thinks he could be the next forward to go. He hasn’t been impressed with Bjugstad’s performance since joining the Penguins last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Why didn’t Penguins GM Jim Rutherford move Johnson if they had a deal on the table? Perhaps the return wasn’t that good, or maybe they had to include a first-round pick, something Rutherford doesn’t want to do. Bjugstad’s unimpressive play could also hurt any attempt to trade him during the season.


  1. No way the Pens had a deal for JJ.

    • In my heart Ron,

      they did

      It was a good day that went bad for me

      • Thought Dettroit wanted him with Bjugstad for Neilsen? right Pengy? lol

      • No IHC

        I nixed that deal due to Neilson’s age cap and contract length remaining

      • Bujgstad next to go..he isn’t. cutting it solid player just not in the BURG trade him for a pick go get Anthansiiou.. kahun 4 points last two games he sits bujgstad plays whaaaattttttt

    • They need a new G M

  2. If Byfuglien heals moving him and his contract won’t be an issue. He has one year after this season on his contract. When at his best he can take over a game. Teams with cup aspirations would love to have him on the back end. The bigger question is what kind of return could you expect.

    • Looks like damaged goods to me.
      I’d offer a defensive prospect or a late round pick, at most.

      As an aside, Kyle Conner has some of the quickest hands I’ve seen in some time.
      Patrick Kane like, in fact.

      • Is that the old patrick kane from years past or the 30 yr old patick kane from this year who has 3 goals in 12 games and has a +/- of -5 for the year?

      • There’s also the elephant in the room nobody has mentioned. Literally. The guy called Big Buff was rumored to have put on some weight. Having ankle surgery might’ve have kept him from offseason workouts, and if he was mulling retirement he might not have cared. Looks like his biggest concern now is proving he was injured playing so he can get paid.

      • @Nasdaq40.
        Definitely, 2013 Pat Kane.
        The 2019 model leaves a little bit to be desired.

      • @slick62 that’s a very valid concern. Weight is always something Big Buff struggle with and very well might be the Elephant in the room.
        If Byfuglien wants to continue his career he’ll have to the gym once he is able.

    • Little bit of left field here but what about

      to NYI: Buff
      to WPG: Boychuck

      need for both and since contract sucks for both…it may be a more balanced swap than it first appears

  3. With the Oilers cap situation how can they trade JP for anything other than picks/prospects?

    I’d love the Rangers adding him with Adam Larsson so they can stop playing Smith on the right side PK.

    • I would say Smith is playing 4th line to shelter the young kids on the back end from playing tons of minutes and wearing down too quickly. If ya watch, Smith has been on the D spot on the PK. He eats the extra minutes giving the young kids a chance to grow at a more comfortable rate. This is coming from me who always wants to trade Smith lol…… I can see why Gorton and Quinn did this.

      Don’t like it but I get it.

      What i would do , once Zib returns, is see if Strome can get ya PJ plus from EDM.

      Line can look like

      Panarin/Zib/ ?

      maybe then bring Kratsov back and let me play 1st line with Panarin & Zib so Kakko can play with countryman PJ on the 3rd and Andersson now can play with real wingers.

      • @ihatecrosby
        Strome failed in ED…they wont try again.
        Would you let Howden go for JP?

        Smith and his penalties is enough to send to Hartford

    • DS did ya like the effort against TB & NSH? I hope they can keep up the pressure they have been. Even Kreider looks like his is skating more.

      • @ihatecrosby
        and the PK to end the game. Andersson even had the coach’s trust there-shocked.
        Add Zib+Keep put Staal

      • Playing good. Don’t forget Smiths horrible penalty with about 5 minutes left. Hopefully don’t put Staal back in.
        If I’m Rangers, I’d offer Lias or Howden for Puljujarvi . Edm has been looking for a 3c. Even with Zib out, Lias still stuck on 4th line. I don’t see either Lias or Howden having a higher ceiling than 3c. Puljujarvi would add a right shot forward, something to consider with Strome and Fast contracts up at seasons end.

      • @Slick62
        Howden is easier to replace than Andersson even if Howden is a better playmaker. Andersson under Tippett would thrive though….But either is overpayment for a kid that went to back to Europe.

      • Other options are available as Rangers have draft picks and prospects. I want to keep a roster spot for Kratsov next year on the wing.

        Howden is a Quinn favorite and is one of their better guys on face offs. What i would argue is making Howden center Lemieux & Fast on the 4th line as the true defensive line who can still generate offensive chances

        then move Andersson to 3C with real wingers like PJ on left side & Kratsov on the right side. (or vice versa)

        Dump Haley and leave Smith in the press box.

        Resign Kreider to a 3 yr deal and he lines up with Chtyl & Buch.

        Then Kakko 1st line with Zib & Panarin

      • Ds. I’m sure if you talked to Edm fans they’d consider Howden or Anderson as an underpayment. Seeing that it’s reported that Rangers have had interest since summer, I wonder how much Howden playing more than Lias could be showcasing? I have no problem with kid going back to Finland. There seems to be issues with him fitting in with Oilers locker room. Who knows. Can’t deny kids talent. Sure Rangers will employ extreme due diligence. Wouldn’t doubt guy they just had in NY to help Kakko, will be talking to Puljujarvi if given permission.

      • Rangers in a good spot with kids and all. But they can move Howden or Andersson for sure…finding a bottom 6 center is not so hard. Personally I like when Lias plays with an edge over Howden.
        After what happened with Yakopov(spelling) every team has a buyer beware with JP. NO need to overpay

      • IHC

        Smith for JJ & Ruhweedel ….. Gedderdone!


  4. I think a Howden for Puljularvi is a fair deal . Strome will be looking for a raise and not very likely going back to Edmonton in any deal.

    Sharks are in trouble and looking like the coach has to move . Not sure how he got dumb over the summer. That is rhetorical.
    Can’t fire 23 players. Karlsson second worse +- in the league and that draft pick is looking like it will be decent

    • SilverSeven, good comment about the coach’s IQ plummeting over the summer. Seems to happen a lot.
      As always, though, bad goaltending equals bad coaching. DeBoer may take the fall but the problem likely lies elsewhere in the room.
      Sure looks like they miss “Little Joe.”

    • what about Ryan Gropp & Lettieri for PJ ?

  5. IHC. Would have to ask does either of those players make them better right now? Probably not. Not sure either of those guys ever crack their line up. They don’t have to trade the kid.

    • Fair question and agree they do not.

      Better to get some value than no?

      Strome was suggested bc there is a different regime there and different coach that plays into Strome’s strengths.

      Strome on the right side of McD & Draisatl would provide additional defensive look. Strome also is a two way player that can help out there pk and 2nd unit PP.


      Strome & Smith who EDM then buys out for Russell & PJ?

      • Can’t just buy out somebody at any time. Pretty sure they’d have to wait until next off season, so no cap space. I think you can also only have a certain number of buyouts. Edm already has a few. Another issue for them is they’re at 48 contracts and 50 is the limit.

      • I like to fix things that aren’t broken…..Strome is playing excellent this year, and was probably NYs best player down the stretch last year…. let’s trade him for a guy that hasn’t had any success in the nhl in hopes he can turn it around? Fingers crossed!

        Aye aye aye.

      • @NYR
        more like planning for next year with less cap room bc of Shatts buy out . Planning ahead. creating options. its what this entraining site is. Breathe a bit instead of crapping on everyone for entertaining ourselves.

        If you don’t think its broken…that is a problem in and of itself. You keep Strome you have to trade Kreider & ADA. The math works out that way.

        None of us said it will happen or its the best option. just speculating on a rumor site and simply having fun.

        God bless & have a great weekend

      • Ihc,

        I’m breathing just fine. Entertainment to make up ridiculous trade scenarios? Lol… okay. But there is many other sources / ways to entertain yourself. Idk, I’ve heard a lot of horrible excuses for trade proposals before. But fun and entertaining? Yikers bro!

        It may be time for a hobby. I just don’t see any value in talking about things that aren’t likely to happen or are beyond the absurd. Up next…. breathing under water….

        NYs cap situation can and will work out just fine. I’ll worry about next year….. next year. The idea of trading Strome / Howden/ Andersson for PJ ( as I’ve noter above…. very little success in the NHL) is not entertaining. It’s absurd.

        God bless you as well. And may he bring light to your trade proposals.

      • IHC

        Smith for JJ & Ruhweedel ….. Gedderdone!


      • Reason #276 why your trade proposals are absurd …. Pengy likes them….

        And you breath life into his JJ obsession….

  6. Ranger fans need to cool their collective tits.

    It’s the beginning of a rebuild.

    Gorton is a top 5 GM.

    They have prospects and picks like they’ve never had before.

    I despise the Rags, but I love watching what Gorton is doing for his club.
    That’s part of the reason why I don’t want The Don trading with him. Friggin guy doesn’t lose many, if any swaps.

    3-5 years away from something pretty good imo.

    • Exactly Shorepark. I’m not so high on Gorton. The whole Girardi/ Shattenkirk moves were horrible.
      However, I like the general overall picture of what they’re doing.

      But as you can clearly see… A lot of NY fans don’t. To the tune of “Trade prospects and players playing well ….for other teams underperforming players”

      Stanley cup here we come! Problem solved!

      • Edmonton 2017-18 season. Strome :13 goals/82 games
        Puljujarvi : 12 goals/65 games (19 years old)
        2018/19 Strome 1 goal 1 assist in 18 games gets traded to Rangers for Spooner. Trade works out well for Rangers. Strome scores 18 goals rest of season. Starts hot in 2019/20. Now what. 26 years old, and rfa at seasons end. (Arb. Rights?) How much do you think it costs to extend him? 3,4,5 mil??? If you’re not going to sign him then what? Wait till he cools off? He’s never scored 20 goals in a season. As far as prospects. Puljujarvi is 21. Just like Howden (2 months older) and Anderson(5 months younger) trading one for the other ( who most people think has the higher ceiling) would not be out of the question. I don’t thing Strome would be part of trade with Edmonton, but I do think he will be dealt somewhere before season is over.

  7. NY4LIFE, a headline at CNN today, “Trump Fòllowing Seinfeld’s Law.
    One of Jerry Seinfeld’s standup lines was “My parents didn’t want to leave New York for Florida but they turned 60 and that’s the law.”
    Broke me up. Thought you’d like it.

    • Lmao. I followed Seinfeld’s law WAY too early!

  8. Rutherford had a deal for Johnson, he then asked Johnson’s NMC (Crosby) if he could do the deal. Sid said no.

  9. I’ll offer Edmonton a 5th for Puljujarvi. If they say no, I laugh and hang up. The only thing that Puljujarvi has done in his young career is PROVE that he can not play the NHL game. A 5th might be worth the risk for a roll of the dice, but any more than that is a hard pass.