NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2023

by | Aug 14, 2023 | Rumors | 27 comments

Are the Penguins considering adding a free-agent forward? What kind of trade value does Jeff Petry have? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE ATHLETIC’S Rob Rossi reported Saturday that the Pittsburgh Penguins remain keen on Tomas Tatar. He also cited the free-agent winger confirming in a Slovak interview that he’d been in talks with the Penguins.

Free agent winger Tomas Tatar (NHL Images).

However, Rossi suggested it could come down to whether Tatar gets a guaranteed contract elsewhere compared to what could be a professional tryout offer with the Penguins and the expectation that he gets a contract with them.

Rossi didn’t rule out Tatar inking a one-year deal with the Penguins. He added that the winger is eyeing more term.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski also weighed in on the rumors linking Tatar to the Penguins. Following their acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the 32-year-old winger could be on their radar.

Kingerski pointed out that Friedman made those remarks when it was uncertain how long sidelined Penguins winger Jake Guentzel would be out of the lineup when the season began. General manager Kyle Dubas subsequently indicated he could miss perhaps no more than five games.

With Guentzel not going on long-term injury reserve to start the season, the Penguins are pressed for cap space and cannot add another player unless they shed salary. Dubas also stated that he didn’t expect to make another major acquisition during this offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Penguins seriously want to sign Tatar they must make a cost-cutting move. They could demote a low-cost player but that might not be enough to outbid other clubs for the winger’s services.

Tatar is coming off a two-year contract in which he earned an average annual value of $4.5 million. He’s not going to get that much on his next deal but he’s probably unwilling to accept anything less than $2 million annually, especially after his 20-goal, 48-point performance last season.

That could change, of course, if Tatar cannot find anyone willing to offer him a guaranteed contract for at least two years. Still, it would be surprising if he were to accept a PTO heading into training camp.

Kingerski also shot down a baseless rumor claiming Dubas was attempting to bring back former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr on a one-year, league-minimum contract. That speculation was based on a joke post on social media that got blown out of proportion by a Facebook hockey site.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those who were wondering what Jagr’s plans are, the 51-year-old future Hockey Hall-of-Famer has committed to another season with the Czechia club Kladno Knights. He owns that team and has been playing with them since leaving the Calgary Flames midway through the 2017-18 season.


TSN: Travis Yost recently looked at the trade market for Jeff Petry. The Montreal Canadiens recently reacquired the 35-year-old defenseman from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the three-team Erik Karlsson trade. It’s rumored the Canadiens could attempt to move him before the start of the regular season.

While Petry’s offensive production has dropped, Yost believes he could be a worthwhile option for a contender seeking a reliable two-way blueliner. Fitting the remaining two years of his contract onto their books could require salary-cap retention by the Canadiens or the involvement of a third team to spread the cap hit around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost cited the Penguins retained 25 percent of Petry’s $6.25 million AAV through 2024-25. Most of the trade speculation about Petry out of Montreal suggested the Canadiens could retain half of his $4.7 million AAV that they currently carry on their books.

The opportunity to acquire Petry at around $2.35 million annually for just two seasons could be tempting to some clubs. It will require, however, offering something of value to the Canadiens to have them agree to retain half of his cap hit.


  1. If Tatar is looking for more than a one year deal, there are only three letters to consider. K, H & L. At this point he’s not getting more than one year. And he won’t get much more than $2n. either. And at this point there probably aren’t a lot of other clubs to outbid. If Tatar has received a two year offer or even a one year offer at close to what he made last year he’d be signed already.

    • I’m sure that Tatars agent must have put that out there that a few teams are interested and at a minimum of $2m Dubas let it be known that there interested in bringing in a few players on PTO was just a shot back, I could see him getting 1.5-1.6 from the Pitt but only on a 1 year

  2. David Krejci Officially Announces Retirement

    He is not coming back…………..maybe to retire his #

  3. Not so sure I agree that Petrys offensive production has dropped. Last year he put up 31 points in 61 games. Works out to 42 points over 82 games. The year before, he was non productive until the coaching change, as were the rest of the Habs, but played much better after St Louis took over. Obviously at his age health is a concern and there’s no guarantee he’ll play all 82 games.
    Petry is an RD with size who can skate and put up points. Those players are in high demand. Especially with only two years left on his contract at a cap hit of less that $2.5m. if the Habs retain salary. Hughes is not going to give him away. It’ll take more than just a 2nd. If Hughes won’t get a good return now he’ll wait till the deadline when contenders are trigger happy.

    • Petry can be acquired for a 2nd if there is no salary retention..

      • 29 year old Damon Severson and 30 year old Shane Gostisbehere were acquired for a 3rd round pick. It’s difficult to imagine that 35 year old Jeff Petry has even that much value, even though the other 2 were UFA’s.

      • Johnny, you may be right but I think the Habs May be well served to hold on to Petry a while in the hopes that he can build up his value.
        Lago, the Severson situation is absolutely no comparison to Petry. He was about to become a UFA, the Devils were not going to sign him and they merely traded his rights. As for Gostisbehere, he’s been wildly inconsistent and doesn’t have Petrys size or all around game. As to the fact that he’s younger than Petry, that’s obviously a valid point, but Petry’s value would be as a short term player for a team in win now mode. So age isn’t as much a concern.

      • I’m not sure what you mean by more than a second? It does lead to some interesting thoughts though. If at full salary pens had to give him away for free… and at two point whatever million the habs can get back significant value… that speaks volumes about how much 4 mil in cap space is worth.

  4. It is time for Emperor Penguin Kyle to acquire Brian Little’s contract from the Yotes and sign Tatar to a $2.2M AAV deal.

    • Acquiring Little’s contract won’t allow the Pens to sign Tatar. Not how it works.

      • Oh how little he knows.

  5. I think the Penguins have acquired just enough big ol contracts. They need defense that can defend and goaltending that can tend goal. They still lack both. While I think they’ll be very good offensively they’ll be the same team as the Dubas blue team. All offense and no defense. Lots of 7-5 losses.

    • What metrics are you using for the Leafs defense being poor?
      They had the tied 7th best GAA last year.

      • Eye test.
        Smell test.
        My eyes see some of the most gifted offensive players in the league. My nose smells repeated playoff exits when suddenly—fire wagon–run’n’gun–hockey is no longer the way. It’s simply unfathomable to me that Kyle didn’t learn this lesson, kept making the same mistakes and now is going to make them again.

        Metrics will come and go. Like Poker on TV. The game is played the way it is played. Call them “stay at home”. Call them shut down D men. Defensive D. I don’t care. Kyle seemed to think they weren’t necessary, and like 3rd and 4th liners they’d just magically appear from the draft. They don’t. Morgan Reilley isn’t one of them. Eric Karlsson needs a straight man. The calming force. The one who’s actually goin to defend when he starts his routine.

    • Dark G…..i think dubas has added alot of good players..Matt Nieto Riley Smith, Lars Eller, Noel Accari, Ryan Graves Erik Karlsson..vinnie hinistrova

      Graves will steady letang
      Peterson will steady Karlsson.

      Jarry your right is the key and if he struggles dubas will go get a goalie gibson Hellybuck whoever and he will offer alot maybe bryan rust p o Joseph a d a pick..you wTch

  6. Still can’t believe that the Bruins are going to go into this coming season without a legit #1 or #2 center … unless they are going to punt the season

    • I can Joe, no cap space and no quality young assets to acquire one. Plus no 1st, 2nd or 3rd round pick next year.
      Getting a top C is nearly impossible most of the time. Lloyd Christmas would have a hard time being optimistic about their chances to acquire one this season.

      Unless they were willing to move one of the best players on their roster for a guy with a year left in Calgary.

      I think they see how it goes this year leading up to the TDL, if in a playoff spot, keep going with what they have. If not, sell all pending UFA’s for picks and start the rebuild, retool, whatever you want to call it.

      DeBrusk, Grz, Forbort etc on the block.

      If Lindholm hits UFA? Go get him, if he wants to come to BOS that is.

    • Pretty sure ruins beat Florida when Krech and Bergeron were not playing Boston will be fine. If I’m Sweeney I wait till next year to sign Mark or Lias or Matthews. Could you imagine Matthews and Pasta on a line wowzy

  7. This will be an in between year for the Bruins. Give the young guys a shot, to see what they are capable of and then at the trade dead line, assess where you are. If you can pull of some trades and stock up your draft picks for the next 2 years, do it. They also have a ton of money coming off of the books as well. They can reload with a pricey UFA or 2. The team already had both goalies, Pasta, McVoy, Dicarlo, Lindmark, Coyle, Marchand, under contract for the next year and most for a couple of years. They will be an attractive destination for a Centerman. None of us thought they would do anything last year with 2 top centers being over 36 years old, yet they broke all sorts of records. Let’s sit back and see how this plays out.

    • You know, if we combine our names we’d make an incredible 3 pairings?!

      Orr – Shore

      Bourque – Park

      Chara – McAvoy

      We’ve had an embarrassment of wealth on the back end for a very long time. So many Norris trophies.

      • That is a good group!
        I would play Shore with Chara, so after he 2 hands somebody, Chara can deal vs having Orr have to do it, even though Bobby definitely could.

        A little discussed stat – Orr had more fights than good ole’ Floral Sask boy, Gordie Howe.

      • You gonna take that bourque?? He put his three in the top three and your three in the bottom three.

      • ShoreOrrPark, just continuing the trend you started my friend! The Bruins have always had a stud defenseman, as far as I can remember.

    • Thanks for sharing Mike

      Very sad

      Condolences out to his entire family

      Tragic, very very sad

  8. Thanks for sharing, Mike. Losing young people is always more tragic to me than when we lose our old heroes.

  9. Re Pens/LTIR/Guentzel

    Surgery was 2/8 with surgeon stating “we will re-evaluate” in 12 weeks

    12 weeks is 25/10….. Pens will have already played 6 games

    LTIR is 10 games and 24 days…..

    The day after “re-evaluation” is game 7 v Avs….

    Declaration of LTIR to start the season must be day before season opens … that’s 9/10

    If miraculously at 9/10 he’s already practising with team but in a yellow jersey…. Maybe , just maybe, he plays v Avs

    After Avs, games 8-10…. Sens (28/10); Ducks (30/10), Sharks (4/11)

    If he’s only skating on his own on day before season starts….. he definitely MUST go on LTIR…. Worst case ; he is miraculously better and ready to play for Sens game; but must sit those 3 games; to meet LTIR requirements….. BUT…. If Pens do start season with $6M on LTIR….. that’s what they can go over cap by…. Note: Still need to be Cap compliant when he returns

    To that end….. would be great to have Tater Tots…..top 6 until Guentzel returns; then bonus on 3rd line

    Per Capfriendly ….Right now $0.08 M over…. 22 players; Guentzel NOT on LTIR yet

    Those Pens fans like myself; dreaming of the Hossa itch for Carter….. not happening

    Pitlick down; Poulin or any WBS forward up…. 22 on roster; and under the Cap

    Ideal situation…..

    Start Guentzel on LTIR…. Worst case….. he misses a total of 4 games that he MAY have been able to play in; BUT Pens gain thr LTIR relief

    Sign Tater Tots; sign Toews (yes, I know he may never play again; hoping he’s healthy and signs with Pens); trade Accairi for late rounder ‘26

    First 10 games:

    Sid Rakell Tater Tots

    Gino Rusty Smith

    Toews, Eller, Poulin or Nylander

    Carter, O’Connor, Poulin or Nylander

    Pitlick, Zoho

    Friedman/P-O J


    When Guentz returns….

    Sid Guentz Rakell

    Gino Rusty Smith

    Toews, Eller , Tater Tots

    O’Connor , Poulin , Nylander

    Carter, Zoho