NHL Rumor Mill – August 30, 2023

by | Aug 30, 2023 | Rumors | 31 comments

Should the Golden Knights look into acquiring Canucks center Elias Pettersson? Could the Blues trade Torey Krug this season? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Chris Gawlik recently suggested the Golden Knights look into acquiring Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson if Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson don’t get contract extensions.

Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (NHL Images).

Marchessault and Stephenson are slated to become unrestricted free agents next July. It’s not a certainty one or both will be re-signed as both will likely command significant raises. Marchessault won the Conn Smythe Trophy last season while Stephenson has been outperforming his current contract.

Noting Pettersson’s recent remarks about putting contract talks with the Canucks on hold, Gawlik speculated the pending restricted free agent might prefer a trade to a potential contender. He pointed out that Marchessault and Stephenson have already peaked while the 24-year-old Pettersson is just starting his prime. The Golden Knights could offer up draft picks and prospects to get him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gawlik isn’t the first pundit to suggest the team that he’s covering should look into Pettersson’s availability. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy made the same proposal for the Bruins.

Bear in mind Gawlik and Murphy aren’t stating that the Golden Knights and Bruins are actively pursuing Pettersson or even remotely interested at this point. They’re just suggesting the management of those clubs should conduct their due diligence and at least look into it.

In reality, it will take more than draft picks and prospects for the Golden Knights to pry Pettersson away from the Canucks. Their first-round picks in 2024, 2025 and 2026 will likely be near the bottom of each round. They’ve also depleted their prospect pipeline putting together their current roster.

The Golden Knights currently have 16 active roster players under contract for 2024-25 with just over $16 million in cap space. A new contract for Pettersson will likely eat up over $10 million of that, making him a tight squeeze within their cap payroll.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford made 10 bold predictions for the St. Louis Blues this season. Among them was trading Torey Krug.

Rutherford indicated that the Blues had a trade in place earlier this summer to ship Krug to the rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers. However, the 32-year-old defenseman nixed the deal by invoking his no-trade clause.

There are three reasons why Rutherford believes a Krug trade is possible during the upcoming season. The Blues’ failed attempt to move the veteran blueliner created a potentially awkward and distracting situation. They’d like to free up a spot on their defense corps for Scott Perunovich. They’re also up against the $83.5 million cap and moving out Krug’s $6.5 million cap hit will free up much-needed payroll space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford acknowledged it remains difficult to trade Krug given his cap hit and his no-trade clause. Nevertheless, it could happen if a suitable trade destination can be found. A healthy season and a return to form could also make him more desirable in the trade market.


  1. Pettersson will be in BIG demand at the end of the year and may not wish to be a Canuck any longer. He will generate a bigger return than what Eichel received.

  2. Krug is reduced to a pp specialist
    Can’t stay healthy over most of his career and especially in St.Louis
    With his dollars -50% and a third team and then maybe he can be moved .
    In the end he has control .
    Blues have lots of attractive prospects to force the issue. Neighbors and Bolduc to name a couple

    • Doug Armstrong has had a great run with the Blues however the Krug Faulk arc is not some of his best work. He traded for Faulk when ke already had a bigger better version of him in Petro. Petro who was a Blues icon, married to a St. Louis native and captain of the team saw the handwriting on the wall and started to consider leaving as a f/a which he did. Armstrong then overpaid Krug in terms of money, term of contract and the dreaded no trade clause. Armstrong stated publicly that he wanted to get the team playing faster as part of the reason he wanted Krug. However the Blues won being big and physical and they became a team of smurfs mainly because Armstrong was enamored with Colorado and their speed game. Never mind the fact that Krug never fit Berube’s coaching style. Now with the entire d core on no trade deals Armstrong is stuck and is trying to fix his mistakes but Krug has been exposed as a pp specialist that is hurt all the time and will be hard to move.

      • Krug (retain $1M) for Chiarot

      • Snold49, you know more about the Blues than I do as a fan of them I assume.
        Petro is obviously a better player than Krug or Faulk, no question. Armstrong knows that too, so odd situation.

        But when you look at the timing of the Faulk trade it was Sept 24, 2019. Petro & the Blues could have agreed to an extension starting on July 1, 2019. But didn’t happen, that’s close to 3 a month gap. Why?

        Seems like there was a disagreement on either $$ or term.

        Maybe Armstrong was just doing what numerous GM’s are doing now, hunting for an alternative if they can’t sign a player to something reasonable.

        Maybe agent was playing hardball? If so, that’s on Petro if he really wanted to stay in St Louis. The agent reports to the player.

        Who knows for sure, maybe Armstrong thought the term and money were both too much.

        I dunno, but a strange one, guys like him usually stay.

      • Ray Bark great point and I’m sure that factored in since Armstrong basically took that approach with Backes earlier. My biggest gripe is him going all in on Krug who never appeared as a solid dman to me even in Boston. I should have also added that the unexpected retirement of Boumeester hurt the d corps which is felt to this day especially by Parayko. Boumeester was very underrated I think.

      • Agree Snold, Krug was over rated. He was a nice piece on a good B’s team, but not the kind of guy you give big$ and term too IMO. PP guy, as you said. We Bruin fans knew that too, Caper was an advocate of trading him prior to becoming a UFA. He was right about that.

        Bouwmeetser is on the other end of the scale, way under rated. Great, wide, pure, skating stride. Looked effortless. Add the length of his frame and smarts, prototype shut down D that smart teams salivate over. Total team first guy too boot.

        Maybe that’s why Armstrong chased Krug, desperate to plug a hole and trying to stay in contention.

      • Nuts for that contract for Krug
        he should be fired

  3. I remember when Krug nixed the trade; media pundits questioning Krug and saying it was a bad move on his part. Comments like “they don’t want you” “how awkward to have Krug in the dressing room” “d#@b decision to not except the trade” etc

    Krug negotiated his trade in good faith and clearly made a decision for him and his family.

    The notion the team doesn’t want him isn’t totally accurate. The GM wanted to move him out for his reasons and it didn’t work. That’s one person.

    Krug teammates maybe happy he is still there, the coach also may have no issue with Krug; the team medical staff could also have a very good relationship with Krug.

    To say the team doesn’t want him is misleading.

    If you don’t want to be restricted by ntc or nmc then don’t hand them out.

    • I would also say the GM may want him
      But only attempted to move him to solve a larger roster problem in regards to the cap. Sometimes you can’t keep everyone you want to.

    • And Krug may have said, “I’d rather be miserable in St. Louis than play for Torts”

    • The GM is totally at fault with Krug and all the NMC and NTC he gave out!Letting Petro go was a huge mistake! Why did he revert to small,speed players after his team bullied Boston in the cup finals in 2019?As a parting shot why was Binnington given a ridiculous contract? If he were in the business world he would be on the street now!

    • Ha ha..I bet the Blues medical staff knows Krug all too well

  4. It’s a credit to management in Vegas that has built a solid team in a place where players enjoy playing that they’re always the first team mentioned when a top player may become available. But trading for Pettersson would be exactly the wrong thing for them to do. They already have a highly paid first line center in Eichel and would be much better off re-signing Stevenson to be #2. Pettersson will likely command a higher payday than Eichel and going after him would be the same mistake the Leafs made with Tavares. Spending big on a player they don’t really need and leaving little room to build a complete roster that could challenge for the Cup. The Knights have won a Cup with a deep roster that’s built on a few top flight players and a solid lineup with depth at all positions. Why mess with success?

    • Agreed, except Tavares was only a mistake in hindsight, because no one could foresee the AM and MM contracts. The Leafs needed a #1C at that wime and got the best available.

      • Johnny, at that point Matthews had already established himself as the Leafs #1 Center. They had bigger needs than signing Tavares to a huge contract.

      • I have to agree with Howard. Toronto was in the top tier in the league in goal scoring the year before signing JT, but were mediocre at keeping the puck out of their own net. They were giving up high danger scoring chances like candy on Hollaween. The concept of then spending top dollar on another goal scorer was a bad idea at the time, and continues to plague the Leafs today.

      • Oops, I thought AM had only been there for 1 yr not 2!

      • The Tavares signing was a mistake in hindsight, not due to the AM and MM contracts, but due to something nobody could have predicted…a global pandemic. If it wasn’t for that, the cap right now would have been $100 million, and the contract wouldn’t have been an issue.

    • 100% Howard. #nailedit

    • Agree. If the Leafs fail to win a cup with this core, signing Tavares is going to be looked back on as the decision that handicapped an entire era for the Leafs.

      Feel the same about Vegas. They don’t need Petterson. Even if Marchessault leaves, he can be replaced via FA with 1 or 2 other available players.

  5. Bruins definitely don’t have the trade capital to land Pettersson and krug is signed to one of the worst contracts in the league. Not capable of playing top 4 minutes and a defensive liability in tight games

    • Re; The Canucks
      Elias Pettersson’s salary is $10,250,000 and his cap hit is $7,350,000 for the 2023-24 season.

      is an RFA july 1st 2024, if he go’s to Arbitration next summer the following year he will be an UFA July 2025….and gone for nothing

      Next contract with the increased Salary Cap
      +$12 M Salary Range…⁉️
      if Vancouver dont do better this up & coming season
      this kid will bolt……….

  6. The Bruins have a longer history of trading players like Pettersson AWAY than acquiring them. No, I don’t see the Bruins acquiring him.

    • Agree, plus their prospects cupboard is pretty empty so unless Pastrnak or McAvoy is involved, I don’t see it happening either

  7. Armstrong painted the Blues into a corner by signing too many players to long term deals with full NTC.’s.

  8. I think the John Tavares situation in Toronto will play out in the Meida much like Krug and the Blues.🤔

    I know Tavares has a NTC…..
    but there are ways around that using the media

    However, if they want to keep there best young Winger in Willy Nylander….
    They should move out the Old guy JT… if not its going to be 2 more years of missing the playoffs for the leafs untill they can get Rid of JT & his $11.M contract….

    Maple leafs could fill that salary with 2 very good d/men….. as the Leafs d Sucks…‼️
    looks like they are going for 8 years in a row going nowwhere in the playoffs

    It looks like they have there Best Young goaltender in Many Years in Samsonov👍

    • Right now the Leafs have 33 mil in cap space next season with 12 players signed. It’s going to be interesting to see how they handle the cap space.

    • williew,

      So your going to use the media to pressure and turn against your captain, who you recruited from a team he was also captain of and played his whole career with, in order to waive a NMC your team gave him as part of the deal to get him to sign there.

      Classy and professional.

      Oh, and just sign 2 very good D-men with the $$ instead.

      That was easy!

    • I’d see Tavares with the Bruins but unless there is a 3rd team involved in that trade, it wouldn’t help the Leafs. Would be nice though

      • I really think Boston would love JT!!! Especially NOW!
        It would have to be Charlie Coyle and Ullmark going the other way.
        Coyle, Ullmark, Carlo for JT, Sammy
        The salaries are close.
        But those pesky NTC”s! 😄😄