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NHL Rumor Mill – December 18, 2017

Speculation over Tyler Seguin’s future plus updates on the Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.


DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Mike Heika was asked if Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin has proven worthy of a contract extension, or if that depends on the club’s record before the trade deadline. 

Heika doesn’t believe the Stars will trade Seguin this season, but wonders if the club extends him next summer or let it run into his UFA season of 2018-19. If he has a healthy and successful playoff, Heika bets the Stars re-sign him. If he doesn’t, “the question about trading him before or during next season is very relevant.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin’s earning an average salary-cap hit of $5.75 million on his current contract, though in actual salary he’s making $6 million this season and will earn $6.5 million in 2018-19. Since joining the Stars he has four consecutive 70-point campaigns. With 29 points in 34 games, he is on pace for another one.

It could cost the Stars between $8-$9 million annually on a long-term deal to re-sign him. Seguin’s performance over the remainder of this season and in the playoffs will play a significant role in determining his future with the Stars. 


SPORTSNET: Sonny Sachdeva lists the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild as five potential trade partners for the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins haven’t suitably addressed last summer’s departure via free agency of third-line center Nick Bonino. GM Jim Rutherford is aware of the problem and seems to be inching closer toward a midseason deal. 

Sachdeva notes the Golden Knights were among three teams to recently express interest in Penguins defenseman Ian Cole. If they’re still keen, he suggests swapping Cole for Erik Haula or Cody Eakin. The Leafs were also reportedly interested in Cole and center Tyler Bozak is often mentioned by the Pittsburgh media as a player the Pens brass “hold in high regard.” 

Derick Brassard could be an option if the Senators decide to shake up their struggling roster. While his $5 million cap hit could be difficult to absorb, Sachdeva reminds us of the Pens’ earlier interest in Matt Duchene ($6 million cap hit) prior to the Colorado Avalanche shipping him to Ottawa. Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau could be another player of interest for the Pens. The Senators could seek defensive help, prompting Sachdeva to suggest Cole or Olli Maatta as possibilities.

The Avalanche were also among the clubs with interest in Cole. Sachdeva suggests Carl Soderberg, whose offensive skills could be a good fit with the Pens. There’s also a chance the Penguins could try to bring back Matt Cullen, who departed last summer to sign with the Minnesota Wild. Cullen seems like an odd man out with the Wild and Sachdeva doubts it’ll cost the Penguins much to acquire him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Golden Knights impressive play, perhaps their interest in Cole has cooled in the last couple of weeks. With the Leafs near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, I don’t think they want to move Bozak or any of their other pending UFAs.

Considering the recent trade speculation about the Senators they could be a trade partner for the Pens. I doubt Rutherford parts with Maatta for Brassard or Pageau. Quite frankly, I don’t see Maatta hitting the trade block at all.

Soderberg’s been inconsistent in Colorado but he did have a 51-point performance there in 2015-16 and is a versatile two-way forward. Perhaps playing for the defending Cup champions could improve his play. Bringing back Cullen is much more affordable and could be  tempting. However, he’s best suited in a fourth-line role.


Things I missed – catching up

Sep 18, 2017

I can only watch, read and write so much, so periodically I fall behind.  I’m sorry, but I do have some extra time coming up, so expect me to be posting up a heck of a lot more stuff and far more regularly.  Anyway, here’s what I think is important stuff that I have missed:

  • Bryan Little agrees to 6-year extension with Jets | I really think Bryan Little is a very over-looked and under-rated player.  He consistently puts up solid numbers and has been a solid leadership presence on what was once a very young Jets team.  From the Jets’ perspective, I think they know what they are paying for, and got reasonable value for their money here.  I believe a bit of it is a payment for past performance, but repaying loyalty is something I applaud.
  • David Pastrnak signs 6-year, $40 million deal with Bruins | Boston got great value here.  I am stunned that it took so long, as the Bruins had been offering pretty much this package from the very beginning.  Either way, they needed to get this done, as Pastrnak is their most gifted offensive talent and a complement to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.  Pastrnak’s camp showed class by accepting significantly less than the Leon Draisaitl numbers that had been bandied about in the press.  He’ll still get a shot a bigger money as a UFA while he’s still in peak playing years.
  • Clarke MacArthur fails medical test after concussion plagued seasons With the Ottawa Senators saying that they don’t know why he failed, some have suggested they are trying to bury him on injured reserve a la Joffrey Lupul.  I have a hard time believing that, as MacArthur has always been known as a good team guy, well liked and coach-friendly.  Hopefully he gets better soon.
  • Wild agree to terms with LW Foligno on 4-year, $11.5M deal | I think again, Minnesota got good value for an every occasion player who still has untapped upside.  Foligno is nothing flashy, but fits in well as a third line winger who can move up if needed.
  • Avalanche agree to 2-year deal with defenseman Nikita Zadorov | Second most urgent thing on Joe Sakic’s to-do list is now in the books.  This in no way impacts the much discussion Duchene situation.  Zadorov is one of those guys who I think could still bolt to Russia if he doesn’t see the Avalanche improving.  He is too good of a player to waste of a team being run into the ground by an incompetent GM.  This is really Sakic’s proving ground.  If he mishandles Zadorov, he will be removed as GM.  Write that down!
  • Wild, captain Mikko Koivu agree to 2-year, $11 million deal | I think Koivu’s on the down-slope of his career, but out of respect for their captain, they paid more in order to pay him for less years.  He will continue to be extended like this in perpetuity until he can play no longer.  It is a decent value extension for both sides, and I think the next one will be around the $4.5 million mark.

Well, that’s the important stuff.  I’ll be back to posting tomorrow, so until then, be safe and be sane!  Well, at least safe!


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