NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2019

by | Dec 30, 2019 | Rumors | 20 comments

Could the Oilers pursue Tyler Toffoli, Brandon Saad or Jean-Gabriel Pageau? Could the Predators shop Mikael Granlund? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples referenced Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer suggesting Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli or Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad as possible fits with the Oilers. He believes it could cost them a pick in one of the first three rounds to get either guy. He added there’s concern among Oilers management that they’ve given up way too many draft picks in previous deals. Friedman points out Saad has a year left on his contract, requiring some salary-cap work on the Oilers’ part.

Are the Edmonton Oilers looking at Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad? (Photo via NHL Images)

Staples also cited Sportsnet’s Mark Spector predicting the Oilers could pursue Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Like Toffoli, the Ottawa Senators center will become an unrestricted free agent in July. Staples wondered if Mikko Koivu could be a trade target if the Minnesota Wild are out of playoff contention by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the slumping Oilers once again in danger of falling out of playoff contention, management could face pressure to make a season-saving deal. Despite their reluctance to part with draft picks, they could be forced to part with a second-rounder if they’re seriously interested in Toffoli, Saad, or Pageau. They also have some depth on defense and the rights for winger Jesse Puljujarvi to use as trade bait.

With over $58 million invested in just 11 players for 2020-21 and Darnell Nurse and Zack Kassian due for substantial raises, there might not be room for Saad unless the Blackhawks pick up a chunk of his $6 million annual average value. As for Koivu, he’s got a full no-movement clause and shows no inclination to leave the only NHL club he’s ever played for. 


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked if he felt Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund could be traded again. He’s struggled offensively since joining the Predators in a mid-season trade last February.

Granlund is an unrestricted free agent in July and the Predators lack sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign him. Vingan feels the club has made enough “win-now” deals, suggesting any trade they make this season could be for draft picks and prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Preds still in “win-now” mode, they could attempt to add an affordable rental player. Should they fail to gain ground in the standings by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, general manager David Poile could jettison a pending UFA like Granlund.


  1. Re the Oilers … “With over $58 million invested in just 11 players for 2020-21 and Darnell Nurse and Zack Kassian due for substantial raises …”

    Can’t see them going for Pageau unless he’s seen as a pure rental down the stretch. He’s still only 27 y/o and, coming off a $3.1 mil cap hit with 18g 11a 29 pts so far this season, he’s headed for his best year since 2015-16 when he finished with 19g 24a 43 pts.

    This will be his last crack at a big contract and I think he and his agent will at least enter the UFA market next spring looking to see if anyone will offer close to $5 mil and term.

    I can’t see Holland as one of those over-spending on him nor will he be back in Ottawa if those are his numbers. I wouldn’t go higher than $4.2 and for no more than 5 years. With 8 C ranked in the 1st round, and two picks which could both be quite high, I see Dorion taking at least one … and maybe even two in that round.

    But, someone will bite.

    • Pageau is having a career year, playing career high minutes, on the top line in Ottawa. Same as the Duke.

      I’m not the only one who sees what’s happening here.
      Good players, but…….

    • How much will Darnell Nurse get? Is he like Ray Bourque? Players these days get ridiculous money for doing nothing. He will probably get 8-10 million.

  2. Glad I am not in Holland’s position (minus his salary).
    You cannot give up too much just to make the playoffs and you cannot miss the playoffs AGAIN with 97+Leon—

    Their 1st round pick has to be in play as long as lottery protected. One player not going to change the tides…. tough spot

    • Wonder if Oilers would be interested in a Strome reunion? Different coach there. Strome value as high as it can be ( though his numbers with/ without Panarin are huge discrepancy) . His prorated cap hit is under 2m right now. Rangers need to make decision on Kreider. I don’t think they can keep both. Strome could help unload Anderson as well.
      Strome/Anderson/Gorgiev for Puljujarvi/McLeod?

      • Ryan Strome , Georgiev and Anderson for Puljujarvi and Mcleod? I wish but…..no chance.
        Georgiev alone has been rumoured straight across for Kasperi Kapanen. Those 3 players from the Rangers would require something like Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Samorukov and a 2nd rounder, maybe more.

      • No thanks to any of that!
        If NY loses Strome, who’s playing center? I don’t get the reluctance to accept Strome from the NY fan base. The guy has stepped up, especially when Zibanejad went down. The drop off from Strome and Zibanejad is tremendous. Howden 10 points in 38 games, Chytl 13 in 29 games.

        Strome was playing well before being placed with Panarin. Regardless of why he’s working…. he’s working! Absolutely zero guarantee Chytl or Howden step up.

        If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! I’m confused. On one hand you want NY to step up and not worry about picks and prospects…. and in this scenario, you want to trade a few working pieces for some question marks?

      • Ottawa has 2 quality 1rst round picks at the moment and 3 second round picks. I get they are rebuilding but they dont really need more picks. Signing Pageau is more valuable unless pageau demands to much. However sig ing him will go along way to show what has been an apathetic fan base that the team can and will keep productive fan favorite type players. It will also solidify veteran precense as more and more youth move up the latter to take roster spots.

        Guys like Craig anderson can go for picks.

    • Ya ds, there is no easy solution for Edmonton to become a contender this year or even next. In a way the decision is an easy one for Holland, as what options does he have?
      No cap space, not enough prospects up front, because as stated above, previous management traded too many away for short term solutions, or rushed players too quickly into the NHL.
      There is really only one way to turn this around. Do the opposite of what caused this. Draft well, let them develop in the AHL and have some patience for a change.
      I get why Oiler fans don’t have any patience left, it has been over a decade of brutal, but I can’t see any other path. Your right, when you have Mcd and Drai, you can’t start a rebuild that lasts 5 years, but in a couple years their blue line will look very different, and they will have some space to play with.
      Since the Oil have D depth the guy I look to move is Russell, but what do you get for him? Larsson, next season, if they are in the same boat at the TDL. Give their young D another season to mature. Bear and Jones are already in Edmonton, Bouchard, Lagesson and Samarukov are close.

  3. I would think Dorion should sign Pageau he has good numbers and is a positive player on a poor team.
    Their rebuild has been going on for along time.
    Toronto finished last then made the playoffs. People on this site say they have under achieved.
    Ottawa has been 30th , 31st and probably out of the playoffs again this year. Dorion is also on his 4th coach.
    Draft picks are great. Ottawa will probably be better when Puempel , Lazar, Noesen finally develop.
    To bad Zibanejad didn’t turn out to be a good center.

    • As a Ranger fan, happy to have Zib. But, Ottawa was in a totally different situation when the Brassard trade was made and he was still playing at a high level. At the time, was a good trade for both teams.

      • Too much difference in age. Dorion didn’t know the difference between luck and talent.

      • Don’t even bother trying Slick – the bug’s too far us his sorry ass.

  4. Just an opinion George, sorry if you don’t agree

  5. B’s #46 has a lot of talent to offer, he needs a big goal scoring LW with some toughness it’s a waste of his skills playing with what he’s playing with now ….wake up Sweeney

    • Strongly agree.

    • I think Sweeney will make a move Joe. Just not a big splash unless the price is right. I also think he looks to the RW and sticks with Debrusk.
      A guy like Toffoli makes sense. 2nd should get it done?

  6. Shoreorrpark…..Ray Bark…….would you be willing to let all the Bruins UFA’s & some of their RFA’s walk with a thought of bringing back Chara and or Halak to sign Taylor Hall this coming off season

    • Nope.
      He’s not the player we’re looking for.
      I once thought he was, but I now believe that I was wrong in my assessment.

      Z and Jaro should both be back, next season.

      • With Shoreorrpark on Hall, but I have never thought Hall was a guy you spend a bunch of $$ on. Dude just didn’t seem to give a crap when he was here in Edmonton. Maybe he has grown up.
        Halak may get some serious offers this off season, not sure we can afford him? Dude could start on quite a few teams. Would like to keep him though as who do you replace him with?
        Some decent money coming off the books this off season. $3M in dead money, Miller is another $2.5. If you don’t sign Krug, there is another $5.25.
        The good thing about Debrusk struggling is an affordable bridge is likely.
        The rest of the guys won’t cost too much more than they make today to keep or replace.
        I am warming to the Palmieri idea. Can play either side, wears an A. Seems right to me. Might be able to keep Halak if you go for a guy like him at the TDL. He only makes $4.6 this year and next.