NHL Rumor Mill – May 15, 2024

by | May 15, 2024 | Rumors | 20 comments

The latest on the Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl and the Kings’ Cam Talbot plus an update on the Penguins in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski discussing Leon Draisaitl’s future during a recent appearance on The Jeff Marek Show.

Marek and Wyshynski were chatting about possible roster upheavals for teams that failed to advance to this year’s Conference Finals. They mentioned speculation claiming the Edmonton Oilers superstar might be interested in signing with the San Jose Sharks because team owner Hasso Plattner is German.

Wyshynski also listed other factors about the Sharks that might entice Draisaitl. “Emerging market, great young players. They will obviously compensate him.”

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl will be eligible for unrestricted free-agent status next July. The Oilers can sign him to a contract extension on July 1, 2024.

There’s nothing wrong with pondering Draisaitl’s future. His plans could depend on the Oilers’ performance this postseason. That’s why we’re starting to hear his name mentioned in the rumor mill while his team is in the midst of playoff competition.

Draisaitl signing with San Jose because their owner is a countryman is akin to rumors claiming every Quebec-born NHL star wants to play for the Montreal Canadiens. Recent speculation also had Draisaitl wanting to join the Boston Bruins if the Oilers fail to progress in their quest for the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins likely can’t afford to acquire Draisaitl via trade or to sign him next summer. While the Sharks have the cash, they’re years away from being a playoff contender. That could take them out of the Draisaitl sweepstakes next summer if he hits the open market.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski looked at three potential trade options for the Penguins to add young, affordable talent to their roster.

The first is Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nicholas Robertson. He’s struggled over the past four seasons to crack the Leafs roster on a full-time basis. The 22-year-old was drafted by Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas when he was the Leafs GM.

Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev is another option. The 22-year-old’s production went cold during the second half of this season. Kings GM Rob Blake was critical of Kaliyev’s performance, prompting speculation he could be traded this summer.

Max Jones of the Anaheim Ducks could provide depth to the Penguins’ checking lines. The 6’3”, 216-pounder can skate and doesn’t mind using his size.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski examines the strengths and weaknesses of those three players. They’re slated to become restricted free agents this summer, with Robertson and Kaliyev lacking arbitration rights coming off their entry-level contracts.

Kaliyev seems the most likely of the three to become available given Blake’s comments about his play. The asking price could be a second-round pick, something the Penguins have two of in this year’s draft.

Kingerski also recently listed four Penguins besides Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang who won’t be traded this summer.

Erik Karlsson will stay put unless he asks to be traded. There were rumors the Penguins asked Bryan Rust to waive his no-movement clause before the trade deadline but both sides denied it.

Goaltender Tristan Jarry’s late-season struggles make it unlikely that another team will come calling with an irresistible trade offer. Michael Bunting was a solid addition after coming over from the Carolina Hurricanes in the Jake Guentzel trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski also doesn’t see Dubas shopping 25-year-old forward Drew O’Connor unless the return is a headline grabber.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Spencer Lazary looked at three destinations this summer for Cam Talbot. The 36-year-old Los Angeles Kings goaltender is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Talbot might fit with the Washington Capitals if they end up trading Darcy Kuemper. He would fill the backup role for Charlie Lindgren.

The Penguins could also be an option. They’ll need a backup with Alex Nedeljkovic heading to free agency on July 1.

Lazary also suggested the Kings given Talbot’s willingness to re-sign with them. He’d be a reliable backup for whoever they bring in this summer as their new starter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the Capitals hope Kuemper will spend the offseason working on improving his game for next season. The Penguins will likely promote promising Joel Blomqvist to share the goalie duties with Jarry. Talbot might have a better chance of sticking with the Kings as an affordable and familiar backup.


  1. Nik Robertson to the Penguins is interesting.

    Will Scooby jump at the chance to double down on his mistake of drafting him in the first place?

    • Leon for Mitch straight up

      • are you kidding me how about Tor throwing in a 1st plus a prospect Marner is nothing in the playoffs

  2. If I were the Leafs G.M. Id let Muskoka Mitch walk as a free agent and back the brinks truck up to sign Draisitl.

    Bigger, stronger, as good if not better offensively, shows up for the playoffs.

    I think their cap hits will be fairly similar on any new deal they sign.

    Total upgrade over Mitchell and costs nothing in assets except cash and cap room.

    Assuming of course that Draisitl is willing to play for the Leafs.

  3. Hey Ron,

    Why would you let Muskoka Mitch Walk as a free agent…. thats very poor management ?
    he is in the Top 5 in scoring RW

    If he wont wave his no trade and want to Screw the Toronto Maple leafs he wont be able to show his face in Ontario again….. let alone The Scotiabank Arena ….he will become the most hatted person in Ontario leaf fan take this stuff personally ❗️😳 😂

    • willie,

      If Marner doesnt waive his NMC he walks as a UFA, for nothing. That is on Scooby and Shanascam for handing out NMCs like Halloween candy.

      If he actually cared what Leaf fans think of him he most assuedly would have shown up for the playoffs this year, or last year, or the year before or the year before.

      • So Ron by your math, since Mitch was 23, like all 23 yr old players who are good enough to play on top lines should also expected to automatically be a playoff performer? Even though the general perception is he doesn’t show up, I think scoring about a point per game in the playoffs isn’t enough to shake that moniker. But in my opinion, true playoff performers should be scoring 1.5 pts/game.

      • You are right re Marner and playoffs this year. All over the media on that.

        Last year and the year before I didn’t know so I looked it up

        Both years over a point per game. Last year, 14 points in 11 games.

        22 points in 18 playoff games (21/22 and 22/23); more than Mathews (21); Tavares (18); Nylander (17) in those same two playoff years.

        Is he a prima donna …. seems most on here think so; you’re not going to find me arguing the point

        Is his dad going to demand more than he’s worth; count on it

        Does he care about Leaf fans? Can’t read his mind; but poor playoff performance this year by any player doesn’t automatically equate to not caring for fans

        Is he an easy trade candidate at $10.9 M (without retention) ? No

        Will he walk as a UFA in July of next year? TBD

        That, in and of itself, is entirely in his control.

        Leafs in a New York minute would re-up him for 8 years if he is only asking for league minimum (a deal Marner obviously would never take) and will not entertain at all 8 years at $12 M (a deal Marner WOULD take).

        Therefore there is a number between league minimum and $12 M where an 8 year deal could be struck

        All of us not cheering for Leafs are hoping that Treliving keeps the Shanaplan alive and re-ups Marner 8 @ $12M

        That said; logic will likely prevail; and if he won’t waive before (or to start ) the season; perhaps Treliving can get him to waive at trade deadline ; retain 50%; get another team to also retain (another 25%) to get Leafs a big return

        Most of us here look forward to Leafs failures and would laugh gleefully if Leafs go 8 @ $12 M ; effectively saying “FU” to the media

        However, 8 @ $12M will drive market prices up for other players on other teams throughout the league

        Dubas signed Marner’s current contract; so 8 @$12 M then sort of pats him (Dubas) on the back; and those kind of things might have Dubas do more lunacy such as trading a first for Robertson and giving him 8 @$7.5 M

        Can we trade our GM please

      • Mr Jull, give me one player, that produces like Marner does, and produced like Marner did when he signed that deal, that does not have a NMC for the seasons he is UFA eligible.

        Marners NMC kicked in during the 23/24 season, the first year he would have been UFA eligible. As it is for all of these deals coming out of ELC.

        Marner signed his current deal in Sept 2019, following following his 18/19 season where he put up 94 pts and was plus 22.

        Every GM would have done that and every agent would insist on it in that situation, because they know they will get it if they want the player to extend into UFA years. So I guess they are all idiots like Scooby and Shanascam.

        Or somebody else is.

        Maybe there is one, and I have never been aware of it. Let us know what you find.

    • willew, Sundin survived that same scenario all right.

      Marner “owes” nothing to the Leafs … nor does the team “owe” anything to him.

      He’s a professional in a professional league and got paid exactly what the GM thought he was worth. Whether hindsight now suggests he was overpaid is immaterial.

      If some among the fan base choose to look at his departure as a UFA as “betrayal” – IF that ever happens – simply suggests that that element has no clue as to what professional sports is all about.

      • I can’t help but compare the NHL to the NBA regarding No Trade Clauses.
        There is only one (1) player in the NBA with a NTC that I know of.
        Bradley Beal.
        No trade clauses through the contract term are okay though restricting.
        What I find unacceptable on the part of GM’s is giving out NTCs in the final year of the contract.
        The team gives up all semblance of control over the player they have paid millions of dollars to.
        I feel Leafs should make it team policy in the future, that there will be no NTCs handed out covering the final year of the contract.
        If the player doesn’t like it then trade him before he is in a position to make such a team UNFRIENDLY demand.
        I don’t care who the player is.
        Marner should have been traded prior to the 2023 draft and his NTC kicked in.

      • Allan, Beal is indeed the only NBA player with a “no trade” clause in his contract. In fact, in the history of the NBA there have been just 10 players with such a clause: David Robinson; John Stockton; Kobe Bryant; Tim Duncan; Kevin Garnett; Dirk Nowitzki; Dwayne Wade; LeBron James; Carmelo Anthony, and now Bradley Beal.

  4. Yes but Will. That’s what the Leafs are staring at. Nobody the most “inside” people know what leafs management are pondering with respect to Marner and of course it doesn’t matter as Marner holds all the cards.

    Look at both sides objectively. If they don’t offer him a deal it behooves him to play his ass off because his reputation is in the toilet (playoffs anyhow) Sure he’s a top ten NHL forward but what has he done? He’s turning into a Joe Thornton. Why is anyone going to offer him the money he wants if he doesn’t perform for TO in his final season with them?

    At the same time, even at the trade deadline Toronto isn’t going to get full value for him (as has been discussed by Lyle and others) Tough spot all around for the player and the team. If I was Marner, and if it was that toxic, I would approach the Leafs and do the deal to Chicago. Young rising star to play with. Excited fan base. Western conference away from the spotlight.

  5. Robertson to Pens? No more Leaf castaways needed. No more mini buzzatrons needed. The answer is no.

    Kaliyev is basically Jesse pullijarvi. A 2nd? The answer is no

    Talbot backing up Jarry. The answer is no. Bring up Bloomy

    Max Jones; 6’3” , 220, 26 years old…. This is the type of depth player Pens need.

    His cap hit will not be an increase over current ($1.3 M).

    For argument sake; lets say it’s the same; $1.3 M

    Compare that to the lowly Nieto:

    Jones: 6’3”, 220, 26 yrs old; full season pace of 8-16-24 on league’s 3rd worst team

    Nieto: 5’10”, 180, 32 this year; season pace of 4-11-15 on a much better team. Cap hit $900 K

    Jones Cap hit will be about $400 K more than Nieto. Definitely worth it.

    Nieto can be fully buried; Jones risk is really just the $150 K or so that can’t be buried.

    If article above is arguing for 2nd for Kaliyev (4 years younger than Jones) …. Then 3rd for Jones???


    2nd and Accairi for Jones

    An aside; Brisson (Crosby’s agent) is Jones agent

    • Better still than Jones….

      Pay Ducks more (in assets) and get Leason

      6’5” 218; 25 years old; RFA; full year pace 13-13-26 (again; on 3rd worst team in the league)

      Leason and/or Jones or players of the same ilk are bottom 6 wingers that Penguins DO need to go after

    • 8787 Black N Gold here.

      Dubas has made some good decisions and he also has to be given time to un do two years of the useless duo of Hextall and Burke who f****D things up.

      Eller worked out well
      Karlsson was solid not great but he went for it
      Nedelkjovic was strong

      Nieto was a good idea, speed, some grit he unfortunately, got hurt and missed the year

      He made a good move moving Guentzel and got a solid return in Bunting and Ponomarev and Koivunen who are talented young and coming!

      Acciari was a bust
      Reilly Smith a bit of a disappointment
      Puljujarvi eeehhhhhhh
      Ryan Graves a mystery good idea he was good in Colorado and New Jersey struggle in Pittsburgh.

      I was born and raised in Pittsburgh live in LA now Kaliev can snipe, great shot, young, can skate, and has fallen out of favor in LA. Be a good fit for the Pens might help fire up Malkin having another younger Russian…..the boy can shoot.

      Put him on the off wing on the second power play unit let him blast away…. we need someone that has a shooters mentality haven’t had it since Kessel left…..oh yeah that’s when our power play was dangerous mmmhhhh

      no more X leafs players or coaches..

  6. There is no way Oilers late Leon walk. If he doesn’t sign after July 1st, they will look to move him

  7. Draisaitl signing with San Jose because their owner is a countryman……..❗️😂

    Ther is No way Leon signs with the Sharks are in a 7-8 years Re-build
    100% he stays in Edmonton With his besti Connor

    • Maybe be signs with Ottawa to play with countryman Stutzle. 🙂

      • ha!

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