NHL Rumors: Wild, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on Jared Spurgeon out of Minnesota, there is a report by Elliotte Friedman that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner may not be far apart on a short-term deal, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a plan to replace their assistant GM and Georges Laraque finds an easy away around the incorrect reporting of Derick Brassard’s new deal.

Wild Could Trade Spurgeon This Season

Michael Russo of The Athletic writes during a recent mailbag segment that he believes the Minnesota Wild will likely trade defenseman Jared Spurgeon instead of signing him to an extension.

Jared Spurgeon
Jared Spurgeon (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Spurgeon will be turning 30 years old soon and looking for big money on a long-term deal. Saying new GM Bill Guerin should sit down and chat with Spurgeon about his plan for the team, Russo writes:

If Spurgeon’s going to consider a contract extension, he has made it crystal clear that a path to success is even more important than the right financial package that’s only increasing by the day.

source – ‘Ask Russo: On Wild’s GM search, Winter Classic, future of key players and more’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 08/18/2019

If the Wild are out of the playoff race at the deadline they could look to move Spurgeon. Noting that Spurgeon may look for $8 million per season on a long-term deal, Russo adds:

That’s a lot of coin for a soon-to-be 30-year-old. I really believe at this point there is a better chance of Spurgeon being traded this season than him re-signing. 

Related: No Hard Feelings Between Hurricanes and Aho?

Maple Leafs and Marner Close on Short-Term Deal?

During a Maple Leafs Hot Stove segment, Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet 590 that restricted free agent Mitch Marner and the Maple Leafs aren’t far apart on a short-term contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Mitch Marner (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Friedman says, “I’ve had people tell me they don’t think they’re really that far off on a short-term deal. I’ve had other people telling me the team is really starting to get fed up with the way this is going. We’ll see how it goes.”

Speculation is that talk centers around a three-year deal and that any conversations that include long-term plans aren’t close between the two sides. “… they just haven’t moved anywhere. I think that the organization is really frustrated by that.” Friedman explained.

He also says that the Maple Leafs are getting frustrated at the thought of a William Nylander situation repeating itself. GM Kyle Dubas absolutely does not want a situation where Marner doesn’t sign until December.

Related: Can Wild Pull off the Impossible?

Who Will Replace Bill Guerin in Pittsburgh?

Beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike DeFabo tweeted that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said he has already made up an informal list of assistant GM candidates to replace Bill Guerin.

(Bill Wade/Post-Gazette)

That said, Rutherford also said he is not in a rush to fill the position: “I probably will wait for a period of time – maybe even until the end of this coming season.”

Guerin took the job as new GM of the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.

Related: NHL Rumors: Senators, Capitals, Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, More

Laraque Says Brassard “Changed His Mind”

When former Edmonton Oiler Georges Laraque incorrectly tweeted that Derick Brassard was ready to sign a one-year deal with the Oilers, (Brassard instead signed with the New York Islanders), Laraque took some heat for tweeting what he said was, essentially, a done deal.

Laraque responded simply with “Changed his mind, Lou probably convinced him that his role would be bigger.”

Laraque also noted that he spoke directly with Brassard and said the decision was extremely close and that Laraque hold told him Edmonton was the “best place to play.” He also suggested Brassard didn’t get much of a chance with the Colorado Avalanche and that he’s “a gamer” who should have a much better season.

Meanwhile, it sounds like the Oilers did have conversations with Brassard but they weren’t ever as close as Laraque suggested. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet had tweeted, the wheels were in motion at the time of Laraque tweet but it wasn’t with the Oilers.

Related: Oilers News and Rumors: Brassard, Smith, Puljujarvi, More