NHL Rumor Mill – May 19, 2020

by | May 19, 2020 | Rumors | 43 comments

Check out the latest on the Leafs and Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: During a recent mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked what a contract extension for Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen might look like, and if the Leafs should attempt to acquire Matt Murray. He believes they could push Andersen’s extension to 2021 and dismissed the notion of acquiring Murray.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs dump Frederik Andersen in favor of Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray? (Photo via NHL Images)

Despite Murray’s two Stanley Cup rings, Fox is not convinced that the Pittsburgh Penguins netminder is better than Andersen, pointing out the latter has more wins over the past four seasons and a better career save percentage. Murray is also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about the comparisons of Andersen’s and Murray’s career stats, the Leafs can’t afford the latter even if they wanted to acquire him. As per Cap Friendly, they have almost $77 million invested in 16 players for 2020-21, with $6.65 million going to Andersen and Jack Campbell. Unless they intend on trading Andersen (and I don’t believe they do), there’s no room to take on Murray. 

Fox was asked if the Leafs should trade Mitch Marner to the Dallas Stars for Miro Heiskanen. He doesn’t see the Stars parting with their 20-year-old stud defenseman. He also cites Stars beat reporter Sean Shapiro declaring Heiskanen untouchable but speculates they could be willing to part with blueliner John Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, Marner for Klingberg, Leafs fans? Discuss! 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins cited a New York source claiming there was “renewed smoke” over the possibility of a trade that would see the Oilers ship winger Jesse Puljujarvi to the New York Rangers for center Lias Andersson. However, word out of New York is Oilers general manager Ken Holland would also demand a first-round pick from the Rangers, with the Oilers including another mid-level prospect in a two-for-two swap. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Under that scenario, I envision it ending with Rangers GM Jeff Gorton rolling his eyes skyward, politely thanking Holland for his offer, and hanging up the phone. 

Jim Matheson doesn’t expect to see the Oilers trading Puljujarvi to the Florida Panthers for center Henrik Borgstrom. The Panthers currently value centers over wingers, especially after trading away Vincent Trocheck. The Panthers also don’t need Puljujarvi when they’ve got Owen Tippett and Grigori Denisenko in their pipeline. Speaking of Tippett, sources consider swapping him for Puljujarvi a non-starter.

Regarding a recent suggestion of the Oilers shopping Puljujarvi to the Ottawa Senators for their third first-round pick in the 2020 draft, Matheson said sources indicate the Senators are lukewarm on the Oilers winger because they’re deep in farm forwards ready to make the jump to the NHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson also indicates Holland won’t be talking to other GMs about Puljujarvi’s rights until hockey resumes. In other words, the aforementioned rumors are probably just media spitballing. 


  1. If the rumors about Puljujarvi are just reporter spitballing, I understand that angle (talk is ridiculous). If there is any truth that Holland is asking for a prospect and a first round pick, I cannot fathom what Holland is thinking.
    Also I don’t see Dallas ruining their cap structure in any of those deal scenarios.

  2. The value of first rounders, late picks specifically, are over-valued IMO.
    What’s the success rate, 7%? could it be as high as 10%, idk, but it ain’t high enough.

    • While that’s very true Baron, you could also apply those % to Puljujarvi’s chances at the NHL level.

      • Hello George,
        Are you saying that the success rate of a first round pick making the NHL is the same for a guy that’s already made the NHL…
        George, I know you a big deal around here, but that doesn’t make any sense.
        “60% of the time, every time”

      • Yes, but Baron, Puljujarvi hasn’t made the NHL yet. He hasn’t proven he’s any more than an AHL forward.

      • No “big deal” here Baron – just opinionated …. like everyone else, yourself included.

        So, in your opinion, a guy who was taken 4th overall in a draft and has played 139 games in the NHL and found wanting has made it – so explain why another guy (Yakopov) who was taken 1st overall and played 350 games would up getting, in a trade, a prospect who has never played in the NHL and a 3rd round pick that has also gone nowhere.

        Puljujarvi hasn’t made it – after the Yakopov fiasco the Oilers were hoping to pound a square peg into a round hole by playing Puljujarvi all over the line-up in a desperate attempt to avoid having egg on their face twice with high draft picks that didn’t pan out. He didn’t do much better in 53 AHL games and while his stats were ok in the Finnish league this year, that’s a league about on a par with the ECHL.

        And that is my opinion. Doesn’t make it right … just the way I see it.

    • I could see jp for that late first being doable if oil throw in another pick. Maybe a 2nd in 2021. Might be worth the risk.

      • Not from Ottawa chrisms. As has been suggested, they are loaded with decent to good prospects of their own … with two more Top 4 picks coming.

      • Unless the plan is to move the late 1st for a current nhler then moving it for a high risk high reward might make sense. Otherwise you just get another prospect who is decent to good.

      • That’s what I think Dorion was hoping to do at this draft chrisms – deal that pick for an established NHLer with term from a team desperately looking for cap space – and there are a few of them. Now, it seems, this draft won’t allow such trading – unless it’s postponed until this season is either concluded or written off.

  3. I could see a Toronto deal with Buffalo for Kerfoot. Especially if they decide to keep Vesey. It would reunite a productive pairing from Vesey’s Hobey Baker year. Buffalo could send a future 2nd round pick and maybe a mid level prospect. It would shift $3.5 M off their cap and Buffalo could use him in a middle six role.

    • Buff ain’t got cap space to spare either.

      • Buffalo would need to ship out one of their RD’s in a separate deal to even out the cap. Toronto needs Cap space and Buffalo has a couple of near NHL ready D-men on reasonable contracts (Bryson, Borgen, Laaksonen) that could make a deal happen.

      • If you`re a fan of advanced stats Risto is Barrie 2.0 I wouldn`t trade Dermott straight up for the guy. Dermott still has some upside Risto is just plain bad.

      • Leafs would have to add to that for sure, I see bob is wearing his blue and white glasses

      • Bob. I believe in advanced stats to a limited extent. I also trust the eye test. Admittedly I dont see Risto alot but he is always a beast against the leafs it seems. He is young and has more time to develop. Regarding advanced stats. The acronym GIGO comes to mind. I dont trust they really are accurate with the rallying. Too fast a game with too quick of line changes to be precise enough. I mean the nhl still counts PP and pk percentages the same whether they 2 2 minutes or 20 seconds.thats all I am saying…other than “give peace a chance”

  4. Goes to show you if you can’t move Marner for Heiskanen . He is over paid as top 10 in the league.
    No thanks on Klingberg. Not even on the Stars number one PP most of the year. Leafs don’t need that style of rearguard. Better off with a Lindell Guraniov package. Stars can’t take on $10.9m anyway

  5. As a Leaf and Penguins fan ; Murray on either team is fine by me

    ….. but Leafs in no way could fit him into their cap situation; and

    …. from a Pens situation…. the available goalie market should be substantial so trade return likely relatively low

    I’d like to see Pens somehow keep both Murray & Jarry…. I like that tandem

    If they move Murray : (1) as mentioned above; a less than spectacular return; (2) with Jarry/DeSmith Pens are 1 extended injury to Jarry away from DeSmith (up and down/streaky WBS .905 season this year)/Larmi (whopping 9 career AHL games @ 0.883). I’m not even 100 % confident in DeSmith as back-up to Jarry

    (I’m certainly not saying that I don’t like DeSmith; not the case. What I am saying is that I don’t have the required super strong confidence in DeSmith if Jarry goes down to injury; or even as a 15-20 game starting back-up)

    Short term contracts for both MM & TJ please and can always move one just prior to the expansion draft if it is looking like a high possibility of losing one of them (for nothing) to Seattle

    • It will be hard to move Jarry or Murray just prior to the expansion draft when the rest of league knows the desperation of the situation. Unlikely to get much a return. Probably the best time to move one is mid-season next year when hopefully the choice is a little clearer.

      • Hi Marko

        Good point

        My hopes at expansion is a pick offered up to Seattle to take on JJ 🙏🤞

    • If Murray or Jarry traded a vet ahl nhl tweener would be signed I’m sure

      • Hi Chrisms

        Would have to be an NHL tweener IMHO

        Still say they should do everything they can to keep both

        The window for another cup with Sid; Gino; Tanger (now moving into their mid 30’s) is up to ‘21’s cup IMHO

        This year may or may not go forward; so using my assumption (holding onto last cup chance (‘21) ) followed by a likely required rebuild ; to me, 20-21 Pens need both MM & TJ

        A TJ with tweener/DeSmith or MM with tweener/DeSmith is too much of a gamble IMHO

        The CBO media talk has died down considerably from just 2-3 weeks ago; but if it does miraculously come about…. CBO JJ; and move Bjug (even for very little return) and that $7.4 M in freed up cap space moves the needle tremendously in signing full roster of Pens (including both TJ & MM) that has pretty strong (IMO)contention odds for ‘21

  6. If I’m Jeff Gorton I counter with Lias Andersson, Ryan Strome and the 2020 1st Round Draft Pick for JP, Nugent Hopkins and Edmonton’s 2020 2nd Round Draft Pick.

    • Cousin Vinny,
      Why would Edmonton want Strome? They already had him.
      The market for JP and Lias Andersson are weak at this point.
      Also, doubt Edmonton wants to move RNH, as he performed well this past season.

      • Interesting that Strom could’ve also been labeled a bust in Edmonton. A move to Rangers did him a world of good. What’s interesting to me is Anderson, who was a 7th overall, doesn’t seem to get the same attention as JP. Both players are in exact same situations. Both where thrown to wolves at a young age. I think it’s way too early to label either a bust. For Rangers, they lack depth in right shot wingers. Fast is ufa and Panarin plays left wing. Rangers added Gaithier at deadline. They also acquired another 1st rd pick. What I don’t get is what kind of prospect would Edmonton add if Rangers where to give up their extra 1st? What makes JP that much more valuable than Anderson? Not for a mid level prospect. Rangers already have a deep prospect pool. At the most, maybe Rangers give an extra mid level prospect along with Anderson for just JP. Maybe a guy like Lettieri, who hasn’t been able to move up and might never crack Rangers lineup, especially if they add JP

      • Strome has been a great fit for NY. Hands down Gorton won that trade. No idea why Ranger fans can’t wait to ship him out the door.

      • I think a lot of fans aren’t sold on him as a 2C. IMO, He’s still rfa, give him another year as long as it’s not more than 4m. Again, with Fast probably moving on, Strome has value as a guy that can also play RW. I’d like to see him cut down on the penalties.

    • No way edmonton traded huge he is an absolute steal at 6mil

  7. It’s probably time to admit that, at this point, nobody has a clue as to what JP really is, He could be anything from a late blooming future top 6 forward to a Nail Yakupov type first round bust, or anything in between. Since the Oilers have control of JP for several more years, KH is afraid to move him for anything less than top 6 type value, and other GM’s aren’t willing to meet that price, fearing they are receiving the bust part in return. I don’t see JP moving anytime in the near future, unless KH lowers the price significantly, and I don’t think he will. If anyone thought there was a good chance that he will be a top 6 forward, he would have been traded already. Right now, I think the offers are probably more in line with a mid round pick, or a B prospect, but not both. KH won’t bite on that.

    • I disagree on the take that JP isn’t an NHL player today. He could be one today if he would play in EDM, he had a 3rd line spot coming into camp. JP chose not to.
      In years 2 and 3, when they wanted to send him down to work on his game and get more ice time he and his agent pushed back. Shame on the Oil for not sticking to their guns. Might be in e better place today.
      Hitchcock was the interim coach his last season in Edmonton and said he had no issue with playing JP regular minutes on the 3rd line.
      The reason Holland gave for not pursuing a deal on Anderson was that he didn’t think he had NHL foot speed. AKA doesn’t skate well enough.
      JP can skate really well for a big man. Has some issues with his game, but not enough to keep him out of the NHL.
      He wants top 6 without earning it and proving he is the best option for those minutes.
      IMO this is about him maturing and working on his game, and perhaps in Europe away from the NHL spotlight will be exactly what he needs to get his game to a top 6 level.
      Maybe not.
      At worst he is a big strong, young and fast 3rd line winger who is cheap. At best he puts in the work and his offence translates to the NHL and he is top 6.
      Would you trade that for a mid round pick or wait to see if he changes his mind about Edmonton?

      • One thing that gives me reason for pause is why JP wasn’t included as part of the AA trade from Detroit. Now I am a Detroit guy, and I know our roster and players in the system pretty well. We have holes to fill all over the place, but one thing we really need is a right shot top 9 forward. We played most of last season with only one right shooting forward, and Luke Glendenning is no goal scorer. And we have no right shot forwards in the system that are anywhere near making the NHL. In short, we need a good RH forward more than anyone in the league. I believe that if Stevie Y thought much of JP, he and Holland would have worked something out. The fact that they didn’t makes me believe that there is a large difference in the Oiler’s perceived value of JP and that of the rest of the league’s GM’s. I think KH must be thinking of waiting it out.

      • Iago, it might be because the Oil need top wingers too.
        AA was a deadline deal because they need wingers who can score on the team and prospects. Why trade one of the few that you have?
        Unfortunately they haven’t had a chance to evaluate how he will work out in EDM for the remainder of the season and make a decision on whether they qualify him or not..
        I get why GM’s are unsure about JP. The talent is there but is the commitment to get better? Fair enough, but not a reason to sell for pennies on the dollar.
        If you have the time take it.

  8. You got it Iago – and Puljujarvi sounds like he’s stubborn enough to stay in Finland until he’s 27 and take his chances then at an NHL offer. At which point Holland’s own stubbornness gets him nothing but the satisfaction that he didn’t allow an asset to dictate terms. You have to wonder who is the agent for Puljujarvi and what advice he has been giving him.

    • George, that would be Mark Lehto.

      However I am not privy to their conversations.

    • George, have to wonder if this kid had issues with certain players there. I don’t see how he goes back to a situation that he’s only made worse. Same for Anderson. Both GM’s have to figure keeping these players isn’t an option. I think both are in same boat and would be best to work out a deal.

      • I agree Slick63 (and thanks rattus rattus for that info on his agent). Deep down I think both GMs are functioning on the fear that, whatever they get in return will be the subject of even more intense scrutiny by local media should Puljujarvi and Anderson ever turn out to be what Striker used to like to call “studs” for their new teams. Anderson might – but I’ve seen nothing from Puljujarvi at any level which suggests he’ll be anything more than a serviceable bottom 6 F. And since it wasn’t Holland who wasted a 4th overall pick on him, why should he worry about what he might do somewhere else. Get rid of the distraction.

        Speaking of which, that is the kind of deal we might have seen at a normal draft but that seems to have have been shelved – unless the draft is put off until after this season is either completed or itself shelved.

  9. Johnsson for pulijarvi. Move nylander to lw where he is more effective and kappy on rw . Saves leads some cap space for next year .

    • Oilers are hurting for cap space too….

  10. Considering on this site some say Puljujarvi is never gonna amount to much .He sure gets talked about.
    I would say Holland must see something in him , maybe he can smooth the waters and have a hockey player yet .He is only 22 this year.
    Wendel17higgins if Holland would do that the Leafs should go for it

  11. Puljujarvi and Benning for dollar reasons for Johansson and a pick of some sort

  12. I would think Buffalo might be willing to swap Mittlestadt for Anderson. Both have yet to prove themselves. Anderson might thrive with Krueger’s approach and the fellow Swedes on the team. Mittlestadt may yet figure it out, but time is running out on him in Buffalo (see today’s Buffalo News article).