NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2019

The Blue Jackets reportedly looked into signing Mitch Marner to an offer sheet. The details plus the latest on the Canadiens, Blackhawks, and Bruins in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BLUE JACKETS SPOKE TO MARNER ABOUT AN OFFER SHEET

TSN: cited a tweet by The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reporting the Columbus Blue Jackets were among “many teams” that spoke to Mitch Marner about an offer sheet. The Maple Leafs winger is a restricted free agent but Portzline said he’s seen no indication he wants to leave Toronto. He’s also convinced the Leafs would match any offer, “perhaps by trading (William) Nylander.”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said he also believes the Columbus Blue Jackets were thinking about signing Marner to an offer sheet. This came after a report a week ago by a Sportsnet colleague claiming everyone was talking about the New York Islanders pursuing the winger. Friedman believes term was the sticking point, with the Jackets preferring seven years and Marner less than that. He added sources told him if anyone was going to pursue Marner with an offer sheet, it was the Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly had interest in signing Mitch Marner to an offer sheet (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Around and around we go in what’s become “The Summer of Marner.” Last week, it was the Islanders supposedly poised to sign him despite carrying insufficient cap space to pull it off. Now, it’s the Blue Jackets. Some pundits even wondered if the Montreal Canadiens, fresh off their failed attempt to sign Sebastian Aho away from the Carolina Hurricanes, might make a pitch. Wonder what team will be linked to Marner next week? 

Yes, a rival club could sign Marner to a expensive short-term offer sheet too expensive for the cap-strapped Leafs to match. Perhaps they could be forced to trade Nylander to free up the dollars to match. The longer this goes on, however, the less likely that scenario seems to be. 

I don’t doubt the Blue Jackets looked into it. Cap Friendly indicates they’ve got over $15 million in cap space and need something to significantly bolster their offense after losing Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel to free agency.

However, restricted free agent defenseman Zach Werenski is due a substantial raise that would eat up a big chunk of that cap room. And no, they’re not going to ink him to a short-term bridge deal when defense partner Seth Jones is pulling down $5.4 million per season. So I don’t see how Marner’s a fit there.

As I noted earlier this week, only a handful of teams – the Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild – have enough cap space to make a competitive offer for Marner.

Some, like the Jackets, Avalanche, Fyers, and Jets, have significant restricted free agents of their own to re-sign, cutting deeply into their cap space. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues are more interested in keeping as much of their roster intact as possible. The Wild, meanwhile, don’t strike me as a club with serious interest in going the offer sheet route. 

SUGGESTED MOVES FOR THE CANADIENS

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere are among seven suggested trade targets for Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin. Others include Vegas Golden Knights forward Nikita Gusev, New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy, Calgary Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie, and Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The piece acknowledged pursuing Laine via trade or offer sheet was a pipe dream. I daresay it was included simply because some observers wondered if Bergevin would try his luck again after failing to land Aho.

Kreider could become a cost-cutting candidate by the Rangers. There’s also the risk he’ll depart next summer via free agency. Trade rumors last month linked the Habs to Gostisbehere, Leddy and Brodie. The Canadiens need another good left-side blueliner so perhaps there’s a deal to be made with one of those teams.

Gusev reportedly seeks a two-year deal worth $4 million annually, which might explain why he hasn’t been traded yet. Puljujarvi is a reclamation project at this point. Still, the Oilers will want a decent return. 

TVA SPORTS: suggested Bergevin should target some of the few available Quebec-born players still available in the UFA market. They include forwards Jason Pominville, Derick Brassard, and Gabriel Bourque. A report out of Edmonton earlier this week claimed Brassard sought $4 million per season, which he denied on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rather than target one of the few remaining Quebeckers, all of whom are past their playing primes, how about pursuing the best available and affordable talent that might actually improve the roster? Just throwin’ that out there. I don’t presume to know Bergevin’s intentions for the remainder of the offseason. Signing a fading veteran merely to add another Quebecker to the roster doesn’t appear to be a front-burner issue. 

BRUINS MUST SHED SALARY

NBC SPORTS: In the wake of the Boston Bruins signing Danton Heinen earlier this week, Joe Haggerty notes they’ll have to shed salary to re-sign defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. The Bruins now have around $8 million in cap space.

Haggerty believes it could cost around $10 million to re-sign the two young blueliners. He suggests shopping a sidelined blueliner like Kevan Miller ($2.5 million AAV) or John Moore ($2.75 million) once they become healthy enough to play. In the meantime, the Bruins could one of them on LTIR to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rival club could also squeeze the Bruins by insisting on a draft pick, a prospect, or a young NHL-ready player be included in the deal. It’ll depend, of course, on how much it costs to re-sign McAvoy and Carlo. 

 










2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Here’s the list of today’s notable deals heading toward the 3 pm ET deadline. This list will be updated frequently throughout the day.  Following the deadline, I’ll examine the day’s biggest moves in the Soapbox section. 

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Chris Wideman to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Sebastian Dea.

Winnipeg Jets trade left wing Nic Petan to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for center Par Lindholm.

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.

Buffalo Sabres trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick. 

Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tanner Pearson.

Minnesota Wild trade center Matt Hendricks to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick. 

Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger Marcus Johansson to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Philadelphia Flyers trade winger Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Matt Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images)

Ottawa Senators trade right wing Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights for prospect defenseman Erik Brannstrom, center Oscar Lindberg, and a second-round pick in 2020. 

Minnesota Wild trade forward Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala. 

Los Angeles Kings trade defenseman Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020.

New York Rangers trade defenseman Adam McQuaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth- and a seventh-round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Florida Panthers trade center Derick Brassard and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020 to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020

Florida Panthers trade forward Tomas Jurco to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. The Hurricanes trade prospect Cliff Pu to the Panthers for future considerations.

Arizona Coyotes trade center Jordan Weal to the Montreal Canadiens for center Michael Chaput

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the New York Rangers trade center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for Brendan Lemieux, the Jets’ 2019 first-round pick and a conditional pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a fifth-round pick in 2022.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2020. 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2019

Updates on Sergei Bobrovsky, Brent Seabrook, Derick Brassard, Matt Duchene, Micheal Ferland, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

PANTHERS PURSUING BOBROVSKY? 

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cited a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks citing a source claiming the Florida Panthers are interested in acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in hopes of signing him to an eight-year contract extension. Derick Brassard, acquired by the Panthers in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, would likely be part of the package going to Columbus. 

THE ATHLETIC:(subscription required) Aaron Portzline reports a source within the Blue Jackets organization said the Panthers are not engaged in talks with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and called the Brooks report “just speculation.” The Panthers are also said to have interest in Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin. 

Could the Florida Panthers attempt to acquire Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky before the Feb. 25 trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming such a deal were possible, Bobrovsky must agree to waive his no-movement clause. The Jackets would also likely want more than just Brassard as part of the return.

With the Panthers already carrying two goalies in Roberto Luongo and James Reimer, my guess is Reimer would be included as Luongo isn’t going anywhere. If a deal isn’t possible before the Feb. 25 trade deadline, the Panthers could attempt to land Bobrovsky and/or Panarin this summers as free agents.

SEABROOK DENIES BEING ASKED TO WAIVE NMC

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Shannon Ryan reports Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook denied a recent report claiming he’d been approached by management about waiving his no-movement clause. “I haven’t been approached by anyone. I don’t know where the reports are coming from,” he said. Asked by reporters if he could ever see himself playing for another team, Seabrook claims he hasn’t thought about. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Seabrook was willing to waive his NMC, his age (33), declining performance, and contract ($6.875 million annually through 2023-24) makes him difficult to trade. 

CONTRACT TALKS CONTINUE BETWEEN SENATORS, DUCHENE

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports contract discussions between Senators GM Pierre Dorion and Matt Duchene’s agent (Pat Brisson) recently intensified. Duchene is slated to become a UFA on July 1. During talks last month, the Senators were believed to have proposed an eight-year, $64-million contract.

Garrioch said Dorion is getting inquiries from other clubs about Duchene and fellow UFA forward Mark Stone but the club still hopes to re-sign them as well as winger Ryan Dzingel. Still, it’s believed Duchene and Stone have until next week to reach a decision. If they decide to test this summer’s free-agent market, the Senators will want sufficient time to gauge the trade market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing belief among the punditry that whatever happens with Duchene and Stone will determine the moves by others clubs in the trade market. We should know by next week if one or both will be re-signed or traded. 

UPDATES ON FERLAND, BOYLE, MARTINEZ, AND HOWARD

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports the trade market for Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland has slowed as teams await the fates of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Mark Stone. He still expects Ferland to be moved by deadline day. 

Several teams have reached out to the New Jersey Devils regarding forward Brian Boyle, who has an eight-team no-trade list. LeBrun doesn’t rule out the possibility of the Devils moving Boyle before the deadline and bringing him back this summer via free agency.

With the Los Angeles Kings trading Jake Muzzin last week to Toronto, LeBrun feels they’ll likely hold onto defenseman Alec Martinez.

If the Blue Jackets trade Bobrovsky, LeBrun wonders if they might have interest in Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. 

LATEST ON BURAKOVSKY

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Brian McNally reports Capitals GM Brian MacLellan still thinks highly of struggling winger Andre Burakovsky, who’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation this season. He noted the Capitals still hold Burakovsky’s rights for two more seasons and remains hopeful the winger will improve. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Chris Kuc reports Burakovsky has heard the trade chatter but insists he wants to stay with the Capitals despite a recent reduction in his role and ice time. Kuc said teams have asked about the winger and MacLellan is listening. The Capitals GM also confirmed he’s active in trade talks but didn’t specifically say if Burakovsky is among the names been discussed. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Kuc noted the Caps GM believes there are hockey trades to be made. If Burakovsky gets traded it probably won’t be for a draft pick or prospect. It’s thought MacLellan will want a player of comparable age (23) who can help the Capitals right away. 

ISLANDERS COULD BE BUSY IN TRADE MARKET

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis recently cited Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said GM Lou Lamoriello is as diligent as anyone monitoring the trade market to see what’s out there to potentially help his club. Cyrgalis doubts Lamoriello will shop forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle to contenders as playoff rentals as that would gut the Isles’ chances of staging a little postseason run. Getting Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey back from injury will also bolster their depth. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Pierre LeBrun’s appearance yesterday on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 speculating the Islanders could add before the deadline, noting they’ve got plenty of salary-cap space to work with. He expects they’ll be aggressive before deadline day and during this summer’s free-agent market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz’s comments are about as close as we’re going to get in learning what the notoriously secretive Lamoriello has in store for his club leading up to the deadline. Given his previous history of trade-deadline moves, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he makes a move or two. 










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 3, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 3, 2019

Latest on Auston Matthews, Taylor Hall, Artemi Panarin, Derick Brassard, Brent Seabrook and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

LEAFS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs will meet with Auston Matthews’ representatives regarding a contract extension for the 21-year-old center, who’s slated to become a restricted free agent this summer. While he’s eligible to receive an eight-year extension, that would be too expensive and force the breakup of the roster. Instead, they’re focusing on a five- or six-year deal.

Chris Johnston speculates it could be worth in the range of $11 million while a six-year one creeps closer to $12 million. A five-year contract also buys one of Matthew’s unrestricted free agent years while a six-year one buys two UFA years. Once the Matthews deal is settled, Nick Kypreos said the Leafs will shift their attention to Mitch Marner, who’s also due to become an RFA this summer. 

Luke Fox reports Matthews is fine with whatever agreement the two sides reach. “There’s no secret there’s a cap. So, try to find something that works for both sides and obviously helps us out with that whole situation. I’ll leave it to them and just continue to play hockey, and once it’s done, it’s done. That’ll be it,” said Matthews.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes a simple way for the Leafs to avoid Matthews and Marner receiving offer sheets this summer is to re-sign them before July 1…He also said he’s told the Leafs wouldn’t trade Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson for Chicago Blackhawks veteran defenseman Duncan Keith…Simmons said the Leafs will attempt to include blueliner Nikita Zaitsev in every trade talk they have leading up to the trade deadline. He doesn’t believe they should move prospect defenseman Rasmus Sandin but said they’re getting some action on Timothy Liljegren, who looks like a future NHL defenseman, though not a star. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to cost a lot of money to re-sign Matthews. The Leafs are simply trying to make it as affordable as possible to free up an extra million or two to put toward other signings this summer. Sounds like something between $11-$12 million annually. Matthews doesn’t appear too concerned over how much he’ll get and for how long. Some thought he’d push for Connor McDavid money ($12.5 million) or more. This will push him close to McDavid.

Trading for Keith would be a great idea if he weren’t 35, signed through 2022-23, and if the Leafs weren’t faced with investing over $20 million on Matthews and Marner this summer. Good luck moving Zaitsev and his $4.5-million annual average value through 2023-24.   

The New Jersey Devils aren’t moving Taylor Hall before the trade deadline. (Photo via NHL Images)

DEVILS, HALL, AND BOYLE

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports some teams decided to take stock of players with expiring contracts after it emerged the Columbus Blue Jackets wouldn’t be able to re-sign winger Artemi Panarin during this season. He said there were rumblings the New Jersey Devils might try to move Taylor Hall now as opposed to doing so this summer but Devils general manager Ray Shero said there’s “zero chance” he trades Hall before the trade deadline. Hall is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2020. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports there’s increased interest in Devils forward Brian Boyle but the 34-year-old prefers staying put. He has an eight-team no-trade list. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Devils are prepared to make Hall the highest-paid player in franchise history this summer. But if they feel he’s hesitant about re-signing, they could try shopping him in the offseason rather than suffer the same fate as the Blue Jackets with Panarin. I can also see them re-signing Boyle to an affordable deal. 

BRASSARD AND PANARIN

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos believes center Derick Brassard shouldn’t get too comfortable with the Florida Panthers after being dealt by the Pittsburgh Penguins. There’s a feeling he could be moved and there’s speculation the Columbus Blue Jackets might be interested.

Kypreos wonders if that might involve “a bigger picture” with Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky but Elliotte Friedman feels that’s speculation and pursuing those guys would be free-agent moves. He adds there’s a ton of interest in Panarin but teams that are interested don’t expect they’ll be allowed to discuss a contract extension with him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brassard bundled in a package deal (with at least a good young forward and a first-round pick) for Panarin would certainly be a bold move by the Panthers, but why part with assets for a guy you could sign this summer via free agency? Yes, I know, it would give them time to hammer out an agreement on a new contract, but there’s still the risk he could test the market. You’ve also got to figure the Blue Jackets would want a good young forward as part of the return, too. If Brassard returns to Columbus, it’ll likely be for a draft pick. 

BLACKHAWKS ASK SEABROOK TO WAIVE NO-TRADE.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Chicago Blackhawks management has approached defenseman Brent Seabrook about waiving his no-trade clause. Seabrook has said no to that request but the club will still test the trade market to see if there’s interest in the veteran blueliner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hands up everyone who wants to take on a fading 33-year-old defenseman signed through 2023-24 with an annual salary-cap hit of $6.875 million? Anyone? Anyone? 

RANGERS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers should avoid a scenario in which they swap pending UFA center Kevin Hayes for Columbus’ pending UFA winger Artemi Panarin. He feels Hayes will likely be moved by the trade deadline for a stockpile of future assets and not someone who could depart via free agency in July. Brooks speculates the Florida Panthers are the one non-contender with a vested interest in obtaining Panarin and using the remainder of the season to woo him into signing a contract extension. 

Brooks also reports the Pittsburgh Penguins have been monitoring Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello, though they’re not overflowing with prospects to exchange for a rental player. He wonders if the Blueshirts might trade Hayes and Zuccarello before the trade deadline and perhaps attempt to bring them back this summer as free agents. 

Brooks recently wondered if there might be a market for Rangers blueliner Marc Staal. While teams aren’t beating down the door to inquire about “a rather immobile 32-year-old defenseman” with two full seasons at $5.7 million per season but noted some serious contenders are always in the market for blueline depth. Staal would have to waive his no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see a Hayes-for-Panarin swap going down. If, as expected, Hayes gets traded it’ll be for young assets that could help the Rangers within the next couple of years. The Penguins could dangle young goalie Tristan Jarry for Zuccarello but I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s possible Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is done dealing but he could still have once more trick up his sleeve. I also don’t see a market for Staal. 

JETS EXPECTED TO BE BUYERS

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is expected to be a buyer at the trade deadline and will likely target a forward. While a center remains a priority, a high-end winger like Ottawa’s Mark Stone (provided he’s available) could also prove tempting. With their window of opportunity now at its widest before the inevitable salary-cap crunch, Cheveldayoff could look long and hard at his options. Wiebe expects Cheveldayoff will be careful with cost and won’t mortgage the future, though the Jets’ first-round pick in this year’s draft could be in play. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets are actively shopping little-used Nic Petan but are rejecting offers for young forward Jack Roslovic. 

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos said Hayes is still linked to the Winnipeg Jets

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes could be a more realistic option for the Jets than Stone or Matt Duchene, as the Senators will set a high price for either guy. With a growing number of quality players potentially available leading up to the deadline, Cheveldayoff should be able to find a suitable trade target that’s within his price range, especially if he’s willing to part with his first-round pick. 

TEAMS SEEKING FIRST-ROUNDERS FOR KEY RENTALS

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports it’s become a buyer’s market, with the sellers seeking first-round picks. The Los Angeles Kings seek a first-round pick for Tyler Toffoli, as do the Ottawa Senators for Ryan Dzingel, and the Carolina Hurricanes for Micheal Ferland. Kypreos believes the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators have their first-rounders in play. 

PREDATORS

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos speculates the Nashville Predators could be in the market for one or two forwards with Auston Watson now suspended indefinitely as he receives treatment under the league’s substance abuse program. 

BRUINS

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Darren Dreger appeared on Buffalo’s WGR 550 on Friday and was asked if the Boston Bruins will do anything before the trade deadline. Dreger believes they will try to add a center or a right wing. He suggested Ottawa’s Matt Duchene (if he’s available) or Ryan Dzingel or Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli as possible options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ve also been linked to Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds and Carolina’s Micheal Ferland. 

KRONWALL WANTS TO REMAIN A RED WING

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports Detroit Red Wings veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall has informed the team he has no interest in being traded. He has a limited no-trade clause but it’s believed GM Ken Holland will respect Kronwall’s wishes unless he gets an offer too good to refuse and could then take it to Kronwall. Kypreos said there’s also talk of a possible contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Kronwall will still be a Red Wing after 3 PM ET on Feb. 25. 










Penguins Trade Brassard to Panthers in Multi-Player Deal

Penguins Trade Brassard to Panthers in Multi-Player Deal

The Pittsburgh Penguins traded centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, along with a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, to the Florida Panthers for centers Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade Derick Brassard to the Florida Panthers in a multi-player swap (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford makes his much-anticipated move to bolster his depth at forward while moving out Brassard, who struggled as Pittsburgh’s third-line center since joining the club prior to last year’s trade deadline. 

As TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted, by taking on pending free agents like Brassard and Sheahan, the Panthers will free up salary-cap space for additional moves in the offseason. It’s rumored they could take a run at signing Columbus Blue Jackets Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky via free agency.

Depending on how Brassard and Sheahan perform with the Panthers, perhaps they might be re-signed after this season provided they seek reasonable new deals. Otherwise, they’ll be allowed to walk on July 1 as the Panthers chase bigger fish in the UFA pool. Perhaps one of them might be flipped elsewhere before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. 

McKenzie also said this deal allows the Penguins to swap two players on expiring contracts for two younger players without taking an immediate step backward. Bjugstad is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $4.1 million while McCann is signed through next season with a $1.25-mlllion AAV. 

Bjugstad, 26, is a big center (6’6″, 215 pounds) who can also skate on the wing and has two 40-plus point seasons on his resume. He’s been plagued at times by injuries and has just 12 points this season but could regain his offensive touch with the Penguins. McCann, 22, is a two-way center who can also play on the wing.

This move also leaves the Penguins with less than $500K in salary-cap space. If Rutherford has any other moves planned they’ll have to be dollar-for-dollar or he’ll have to dump salary first. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2019

Game recaps, including Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang reaching career milestones, plus updates on Derick Brassard, Sami Vatanen, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang both reached career milestones in the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Malkin tallied his 600th career assist while Letang set a franchise record for Penguins defenseman with his 108th career goal. Malkin also dropped the gloves with Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. The Penguins skated without center Derick Brassard, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brassard has frequently surfaced in trade rumors of late. Teams with interest in him will be monitoring his status as to the severity of the injury and its potential effect upon his performance. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin tallied his 600th career assist in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images).

Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop had a 30-save shutout performance to blank the Buffalo Sabres 1-0. Stars captain Jamie Benn scored the only goal. 

NJ.COM:  New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen was diagnosed with a concussion suffered during Monday’s win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils also placed blueliner Ben Lovejoy on injured reserve. The Devils also acquired minor-league defenseman Ryan Murphy from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for rearguard Michael Kapla.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers rookie center Brett Howden suffered a knee sprain during Tuesday’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He underwent an MRI yesterday and more information could be revealed today. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights recalled goaltender Maxime Legace and defenseman Jake Bischoff from the minors. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings have assigned rookie forward Michael Rasmussen to the AHL on a conditioning stint. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens forward Mario Roberge is being praised as a hero after rescuing two elderly women from an apartment fire on Jan. 22.