NHL Rumor Mill – January 2, 2020

by | Jan 2, 2020 | Rumors | 59 comments

Could the Penguins make a trade to offset the loss of Jake Guentzel? Could the Blackhawks use their newly-gained salary-cap space to bolster their roster for the rest of the season? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: With high-scoring Jake Guentzel sidelined four-to-six months by a shoulder injury, Rob Rossi examined some creative ways the Pittsburgh Penguins could offset the winger’s absence. By placing Guentzel on long-term injury reserve, they have an additional $6 million to bolster their roster. General manager Jim Rutherford has said he’ll probably wait until the Feb. 24 trade deadline to make any moves.

Should the Pittsburgh Penguins shop goaltender Matt Murray for a scoring winger? (Photo via NHL Images).

Rossi speculates Rutherford could shop his first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, suggesting New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider could be his top trade target. With Tristan Jarry playing well and Casey DeSmith in the minors, Rossi also suggested shopping goaltender Matt Murray, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. That could be a risky move if Jarry’s current hot performance should cool over the second half of the schedule.

Free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk is another option, but Rossi claims Rutherford isn’t interested.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Penguins continue playing well, Rutherford could take his time and evaluate the trade market leading up to the deadline. They’ll get a big boost when sidelined captain Sidney Crosby returns to the lineup soon. Rutherford has a well-earned reputation as a wheeler-dealer, so we shouldn’t rule out the possibility he’ll look into making a move or two in the coming weeks.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield notes the Blackhawks have an additional $10 million at their disposal with defensemen Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan sidelined for the remainder of the season. As their salaries go back to counting against the Blackhawks cap payroll next season, the Blackhawks would have to pursue players on expiring contracts.

Greenfield suggested Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, or New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen as possibilities. He also pointed out the Blackhawks aren’t trading promising youngsters Kirby Dach or Adam Boqvist, and they probably won’t move their first-rounder. They also lack a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That lack of tradeable assets could make it difficult for the Blackhawks to get into the bidding for a decent playoff rental player. That’s assuming they’re still in the postseason chase by next month’s trade deadline. If they fail to gain ground in the standings by the end of this month, I doubt GM Stan Bowman will become a major buyer.



  1. Sven Baertschi and Goldobin are also available to a few lucky teams
    (Said with a grin)

    • Lmfao.

      Erikssons available too.

  2. If Chicago is out of contention would it not make sense for Chicago to turn to a team up against the cap to just make a trade to take a player + a second round pick from the other team that would free up the other team’s cap space allowing the other team more cap space to make deals at the deadline (a.k.a salary dump)?

    • They can if the player they are getting has a Contract that expires at the end of the Season.
      Seabrook and DeHann’s contracts are back on the books next season.
      Also, Strome and hopefully Lehner’s contract’s are up at the end of this season. I’m not sure who else’s contracts need to be negotiated?

      • Well Tony, after Crawford and Lehner – both UFAs totaling $11 mil off the cap this season – the only other UFA, and one who they may wish to retain, is LD Erik Gustafsson who’s coming off a $1.2 mil deal and, in 40gp so far, has 5g 11a 16 pts and is a -3. He turns 28 in March.

        As for RFAs, there are 4 of which C Dylan Strome is likely a keeper. He’s coming off an ELC of $863,333 and, in 37gp this year, has 9g 20a 29 pts so is on pace for maybe a 60-point season.

        LW Dominik Kubalik has an ELC of $925,000 and in 39gp has 11g 7a 18 pts so will likely wind up around 40 pts. C Matthew Highmore has only played 11 games this year and is on an ELC of $775,833 with 2 points. Then there’s LD Slater Koekkoek – once highly thought of in TB – who has 3 pts in just 16 games and is a -4, coming off an ELC of $925,000. Should cost mucg to keep the last two, but the other two RFAs could be looking for substantial raises.

      • “Shouldn’t cost much to keep the last two …”

  3. I can’t imagine any scenario that involves Pittsburgh and NY making a deal for Kreider.

    Aside from the obvious…. I don’t think Pittsburgh has the type of assets ny would be seeking.

    • All depends on what Kreider ends up being worth. That’ll depend on the market at the deadline. Right now Kreider probably has some inflated worth as the best of a mediocre crop of rentals. But if more teams fall out and become sellers his value could go down.

      Will he fetch a first? Maybe. A grade a prospect? Almost certainly not. Pens have that 1st. Not so much a grade a prospects.

      • I think without question he’s getting a 1st or a grade a prospect.

        I think regardless of who else becomes available, Kreiders value won’t change much. He’s a big, Physical, fast forward that can score….who isn’t looking to add that type of player for a run?

        I don’t see NY falling in love with a low 1st…

        I think if NYs out they’ll be looking for a prospect or two.

      • What team will give up a first and prospects for him when he’s not signed and probably wants 8 million a year at age 28? Every guy who gets 20 goals and 40-50 points wants crazy money today! Pass on him

      • Where did I say a 1st and a prospect? And …. look at what these type of rentals have returned in the past…. Nash?

      • Teams do overpay for guys at the deadline. Hall essentially got a 1st and a b prospect. If that’s what the recent hart trophy winner got do you see Kreider getting a similar return? I don’t. But it’ll depend on the market. If most teams are buyers the bidding will drive Kreider up. If there are 5-6 rental wingers out there by deadline then his return might not even be a 1st unless it’s conditional.

      • Where has anyone reported he wants 8 mil per?

      • I don’t think he gets a 1st +.

        I think NY will want a solid prospect. A grade a … maybe . Definitely a grade b +.

        Either way, he’s getting a 1st or solid prospect in return. Not a chance he’s getting less.

        Hall is a tough case. He certainly isn’t living up to the type of contract he’ll be seeking. And he certainly isn’t looking a recent hart trophy winner either.

        Hall. 37 games played, 8 goals 21 assists. 29 points. 6 million per . 1/2 retained.

        Kreider, 39 games 12 goals 13 assist 25 points …4.625 per.

        We’re not comparing Mcdavid vs . Mike Rupp here. Their numbers are nearly identical. However Kreider will more than likely be a much cheaper re-sign. Nobody should care what Hall did 2 years ago. They should care what he brings today.

    • Kreider being on the short list of top 6 playoff rentals will help the Rangers.
      Too bad he did not go to AZ for Kevin Bahl

      • ds, Bahl sure does look good playing against the best of his age group in the WJC. Moves OK for such a big dude, at least in this tournament. Seems pretty calm with the puck and makes good decisions.
        And is really physical. Dude hits hard. Hard to tell on TV if his feet are fast enough for the NHL yet, but if they are, he has shut down guy written all over him.

      • @Ray Bark
        yes man among boys…that size helping for sure. big kids usually are late bloomers in the NHL too. PK guy and 2nd pairing potential…not a Taylor Hall but nice piece

    • We (penguins) don’t need Kreider…it seems like he Boston bound…

      we are better off with an Anthansiou, a Kevin Fiala, a Pageau, Namestinikov someone like that

      • How are Namestikov, Anthansiou, or Fiala better options?

        And do you honestly believe Fiala is going to be available? Minnesota can Ill afford to give up ANY young talent at this point. Why are they trading him now?

    • NYR4LIFE… Pittsburgh is playing a high speed, up tempo, forechecking system…Kreider IS TO EXPENSIVE

      Anthansiou is 25 fast, skilled and at $3.0 million perfect for third line center (this guy scored 30 goals last year and can easily be reigned..im sure we are moving on from Schultz Galchenyuk and Bjugstad $14.8 million dollars either at the dealine or in the off season..

      Fiala is 23, super fast, skilled, and fits this system also under contract for $3.0 million until 2021- 2022

      Hell Fiala and Anthnasiosu together are cheaper than what Kreiser will want next year…

      Namestinikov also cheaper younger and faster..

      so the point is CHEAPER we cant resign Kreider even if we wanted to…so he isn’t a good fit

      I know he is a beloved new York ranger and your precious team but.. he isn’t a fit financially really terrific player really terrific seems Boston bound.

      Rutherford is rebuilding with fast, quick, talented skill guys that are more cost effective

      can you imagine adding a Anthansiou or Fiala to Tanev Kahun Mccann Simon Malkin and returning fresh Crosby wow

      • “Namestinikov also cheaper younger and faster..”

        Faster? I’m pretty familiar with both of these players. Namestikov is definitely not faster. And a completely different type of player. Not one built for playoffs imo.

        Younger? Yeah, a year… lmao… still slower.

        “Fiala is 23, super fast, skilled, and fits this system also under contract for $3.0 million until 2021- 2022”

        Which is exactly why Minnesota won’t be trading him.

        Reality , I know these players. Nothing to do with “precious Rangers “… ( little bit funny coming from you actually) . Possibly the biggest homer on this site….,


    • Didn’t say I knew Fiala was available!

      This is a team that are constantly pushing All star left wing Jason Zucker in trades every year.

      I have a feeling if the deal was right Kevin Fiala would be available.

      like getting a young goalie with Stanley cup rings and pedigree who is 25 and talented..ummhh Matt Murray

      Minnesota’s goalies are older Dubynk is 105 ok 34 Stalock is 32 so…??????just saying

      • Remind me of the last time a struggling goaltender landed anything close to Fiala?

        Yeah that’s right , pretty much never in recent years!

        I know he’s on your precious penguins….. lmfao… but his rings mean 💩! He’s constantly broken, and is barely holding down his job in Pittsburgh!

    • Thank god….

      you don’t have anything we need….

    • yeah you got nothing we need a lower place team in the standings…

  4. Hornqvist is back and I believe that offsets the loss of Guentzel. Pittsburgh is doing fine with Crosby soon to come back they will wait till the deadline to see where there is a need unless someone wants Galchenyuk. Chicago I cant see them trying to make a run they will only trade unless its a hockey trade not a Buyers trade.

    • Leo… I agree with you getting Hornqvist back and Crosby returning soon helps for now but not for the Playoffs.

      They need to add a forward and another dman to this roster even when Sid and DuMoulin comeback..i cant see us beating the Bruins or the Capitals or Islanders in a 7 game series without some additions.

      what they have done is remarkable really but the payoffs are a different animal everyone knows that.

  5. I’m betting Rutherford is really all set to try and sign Kovalchuk. Here he doesn’t have to give up assets and can be had for cheap. I think Rutherford will also give up on Murray and try to get a huge return for him. Teams like; Vancouver, Edmonton, Columbus, Calgary, Ottawa and Detroit would/should be all over this. Rutherford could restore Pittsburgh to a contender again, especially knowing that he made the wrong move in getting rid of Fleury via the expansion situation. Now it could be time for Rutherford to cash in on moving Murray out to put the Fleury loss behind them.

    • Why on earth would Vancouver want Murray, also dont think Columbus is interested. Too soon for Detroit and Goaltending isnt the big problem in Calgary, so that leaves Edmonton and Ottawa. The big goaltending fish would be Lehner if Chicago falls behind, would be interesting to see if Carolina would bite on that tradebait, provided they could get rid of one of their other goalies.

      • Kent Nilsson, to your point about the Oil and goaltender, it will be interesting who they pursue.
        I guess it depends on Koskinen, who has been great until recently, but that coincides with a lack of defensive responsibility from the entire team over the last month. And the last half of last season.
        If he gets it together they may pursue a guy like Halak or Khudobin who can play 30-35 games and be insurance.

    • Yes, we need a young NHL ready goalie in Detroit, but, having said that, I would not give up much for Murray – or DeSmith. Niether one has numbers that are good enough for me to want them in Detroit. Now maybe Jarry, but Pittsburgh can keep the other two.

    • Hindsight might prove gmjr made the wrong call in Murray vs fleury but it was absolutely the right call at the time.

      • The Fleury move was the right call for age and especially cap reasons. Murray going mental doesn’t change that.

    • “I’m betting Rutherford is really all set to try and sign Kovalchuk…”

      Malkin is already on soft-ground mentally. I doubt that Rutherford wants Kovalchuk anywhere near Malkin.

    • 0.0% chance Penguins sign Kovalchuk !!! !!!

  6. Goaltender returns are always minimal. Not sure why for such an important position . Maybe a draft pick and even a first but in no way “a haul” is coming back for Murray or Jarry

    • I don’t think the Penguins are moving Jarry, but he’s be the type of goalie that gets a good return. He’s young, talented, controllable and has good pedigree. Although teams don’t pick goalies in the first round often, this is exactly what they hope they turn out to be, but won’t have to wait four or five years. The Penguins have to take advantage of Crosby, Malkin, Letang and their goaltending. No use wasting a player in the AHL.

  7. And in other news…my Sabres have 15 NHL defensemen and only 4 NHL forwards. Why in the world did we trade for more D men when we already had so many younger cheaper and better guys? Every guy our GM trades for was being benched by other teams, so we picked up worthless guys. Imagine if Berglund didn’t quit and retire??? Cap hit for years left, so lucky he quit! Great GM, trades for all these defensemen so Jeff Skinner is playing with 4th liners lol. How about trading for a good or great player? Give up first round picks and prospects. If we re-sign Sheary, Vesey, Etc I’ll quit Sabres like Berglund did, then we can start a bowling league together.

    • Matt..I think your Sabres and my penguins are a good match..

      we need another good defenseman you have 5,000

      you need another forward and we have extra…

      Scandella or Colin Miller I would take.

      Galchenyuk is starting to play well goals in 2 of the last three games is up to 16 points in 34 games not bad for secondary scoring which is what you need he is only 25..

      hope something happens

      • “goals in 2 of the last three games “

        And 3 points in his last 12… lmfao.

        He has 13 points in 30 games????? We just padding stats now? Are you sure you’re a penguins fan?

        Your precious Penguins!

  8. Bruins….24-7 with 10 OTL….. so what is really going on here looking for answers….

    • Joe i’ll give it a shot. Their goaltending strength is built on systems and their offensive strength is built on team play; hence this team is built for a shootout where it becomes more of a skill game.

    • Wish I knew Joe. With the top end talent they have you would think they would thrive 3 on 3 and the shoot out.
      They only had 9 OTL for all of last season. Right at the league average.
      That problem goes away come playoff time.

  9. I don’t think Rutherford will trade one of his goalies. The last cup run with Fleury and Murray showed how important it can be to have two good goaltenders.
    And they need DeSmith also as an insurance if one on the Big Club gets injured.
    Kreider would be a great but costly addition.
    I hope Rutherford makes a trade sooner than later. The more games the rental player can play before the play-offs the better it would be.

  10. Getting Crosby or Malkin a big fast winger like Kreider would make everything more interesting for sure.

  11. A freind of mine texted this to me yesterday and said it was posted by Shug McSween (yesterday) … I found it on-line so McSween DID post this :

    “According to sources connected to Pens’ GM, Jim Rutherford, the Penguins were in contact with the Chicago Blackhawks before the Christmas break regarding a deal centered around Brandon Saad for Alex Galchenyuk, Jack Johnson and a draft pick.” “

    I damn near fainted with glee

    The post would have mentioned if it was a first; so at best 2nd (‘21) or 3rd (‘20) as Pens don’t have a 2nd in the upcoming draft

    Jimbo seriously back in my good books if he can gedderdone

    Re Kreider… would be a great add to Pens but Jimbo can ill afford to get into a bidding war.

    Kreider has size ; tenacity ; speed and offensive production

    Setting aside the Lefty vs Righty …. I think whatever package (including a 1st) it will take to get Kreider from Rangers to Pens could also get Toffoli AND Hutton from Kings …. just a little loss in production (Toffoli vs Kreider) but then the addition of a D makes it well worth it

    If Above two things come through

    Out … G-Chuck and JJ and say 2nd (‘21) (Saad deal) probably 1st ; Legare OR say Laffy (Hutton/Toffoli deal)

    Saad ; Toffoli ; Hutton

    So basically Toffoli & Saad to replace production of Guentz/G-Chuck (and maybe Laffy??)

    ….. and most importantly …. JJ gone and replaced by Hutton…. Bazinga 👍😁

    … and still have Bjug as trade bait to use whatever assets in his trade ; towards the ones above !!!

    • 😂

    • Pengy, to paraphrase Irving Berlin, “You’re dreaming of a………..trade ” or maybe “Blue Skies, nothing but blue skies do you see.”
      C’mon, man!

    • Pengy… that true about the Chicago talks….

      Saad is a Pittsburgh native…. fast, good skill, and would thrive with Sidney or Geno.

      Galchenyuk secondary scoring and Johnson helps Chicago who lost two key defenseman…not sure what the pick was..

      Toffoli is solid, but too slow for this up style forechecking system we have same with Kovalchuk.

      If that Chicago deal did actually happen I would move Schultz to Anaheim for Ondjre Kase

      and Bjugstad to LA for Hutton a nice solid LHD

      My preference would be:

      Deal one——————-

      To Pittsburgh Andres Anthansiou 25, $3.0 million third line center. SPEED, SKILL. AND SIZE

      To Detroit;
      .Alex Gakchenyuk also 25 $4.9 million
      plus a third round pick

      dEAL TWO—————

      To Pittsburgh

      Kevin Fala 23 left wing $3.0
      Marcus Foligno 31 left wing $2.85
      Alex Stalock 32 goalie (back up) $750,000


      Matt Murray 25 Goalie $3.75
      Nick Bjugstad 27 Center/wing $4.1 million
      a 3rd or 4th round pick

      Pittsburgh gets a young left wing with speed and skill, a 4th liner with grit who can score playoff garbage goal (good guy in the room) and a capable NHL back-up goalie so Desmith stays put for now

      Minnesota gets a young goalie for the future they can build on with Stanley cup rings and pedigree ( DUBNYK 34- STALOCK 32) and some second line wing scoring and somebody under 30…

      then you could always deal Justin Schultz if you know your not going to resign him next year he is at $5.5 Anaheim is in dire need of a right handed defenseman.

      • Lmao!

        Smh….. yeah. Then reality sets in….

    • Pengy….
      I’m sure you had to be sedated with that one from sweeny…you’re boy jack Johnson finally gone….LOL

      Wish it was true Sadd IS a good fit for penguins..

      Jack Johnson helps Chicago right now they lost two top 4 d-man
      Galchenyuk they can let him walk…Do you know how high the pick was that was discussed in this deal…

  12. Why don’t the Penguins offer a back up and a 1st and take Kapenen back?

  13. Nyr4life..you know that Matt Murray isa good young number # 1 goaltender!
    He is just struggling that’s all and every bleeping goalie goes through these struggles.
    I ‘v seen Carey Price, Lundqvist, MAF,Patrick Roy you name it all have bad struggles..

    You tell me Minnesota wouldn’t take 25 year old Matt Murray 2 time cup winner over Dubfuck and stalock 13 c’mon manyour not thinking clearly.

    You sound like you know all these players..i do to and Kreider isn’t all that fast!11111

    He’s a better version of Kevin Haynes.
    How did that trade work out where is he now. I’m betting you never played hockey before a public skater..

    look Kreider is terrific not saying that but he is too expensive a rental…is what I’m saying.

    Homer wow! That’s rich coming from Homer Bailey’s son!!

    • When is the last time a goaltender landed anything significant in a trade?

  14. nyr4life..then reality sets in don’t se you criticizing Pengy i was responding to hid ideas at least he has some ulike you douche..

    your a dick….now I remember you…

    what place are your rangers in again?

    • “You’re “ not your….. I remember you as well. “You’re “! The guy that can’t seem to figure out how or where to respond in a thread…..

    • What month is it again? What are the rangers doing? Oh yeah…. rebuilding! Lmao!!!!

  15. nyr4life…..Galchenyuk does have 2 goals in the last three games obviously I’m off on the points..ooopppsssss maybe a little padding…

    your the jerk who made fun and criticized the city of Pittsburgh (where I grew up) ripping it a new one..calling it disgusting place yada yada yada..

    Yet New York is one of the dirtiest s**t hole cities in the world… rats the size of humans place smells in the summer, we fought hard

    you kept ripping Pittsburgh and I fought back with the stupid mayor and politicians there too stupid couldn’t figure out a new place for the new tower…which is true 10 plus years to rebuild please..

    I also lost someone in those towers so it has nothing to do with that…NOTHING

    your dumb ass officials you rip Pittsburgh ill rip new York and you started it bro…

    • “You’re the jerk”…..”they’re too stupid”? Lmfao!!! When you finish the 4th grade let me know….