In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is news that the Pittsburgh Penguins might find it worthwhile sniffing around Jesse Puljujarvi out of Edmonton. Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman reports buzz contrary to the latest on Jake Gardiner and notes the Toronto Maple Leafs are worried about Mitch Marner negotiations dragging into the season. Finally, in Arizona, there are questions about what the Coyotes might do with Derek Stephan?
Penguins Interested in Jesse Puljujarvi?
Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now noted there was a time when the Pittsburgh Penguins had looked into acquiring Jesse Puljujarvi. He wonders if the team should do so again?
At that time, it was believed the Oilers were asking for Bryan Rust, which was too rich for the Penguins. But, Kingserski also writes the Penguins need to move some salary to be able to sign RFA defenseman Marcus Pettersson. If the Penguins were to move Rust for Puljujarvi, it would potentially open up the space they need.
Meanwhile, Puljujarvi’s stance that he’d like an opportunity elsewhere hasn’t changed and the latest from Ken Holland is that he needs to start re-working the phones.
Marleau to Oilers?
In other news, one Edmonton media scribe pondered out loud on Twitter what it might look like if the Oilers brought Patrick Marleau to Edmonton? There isn’t likely much, if anything, to this rumor. This is one media guy (a respected one) speculating about a player that hasn’t landed where most people thought he would, San Jose.
Marleau will likely end up in San Jose, just not until mid-September.
Gardiner Not Waiting?
Despite recent reports that free agent defenseman Jake Gardiner might be waiting for the situation in Toronto to clear itself up, Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman says he doesn’t believe that to be the case.
While on the Maple Leafs Hot Stove, Friedman said that he doesn’t think Gardiner is waiting because it doesn’t help is long-term contract goals. If he wants to expose his talents for a future lucrative contract, Toronto is probably not the place to do so. On a short-term deal, the best he’ll get is third-pairing minutes and his power play time may be limited.
Instead, Friedman thinks Gardiner has other options. He explained:
“I’ve heard the rumours that he is waiting for a team to make a move. I do think there is some interest in him. I think Arizona has had some interest in him. I do wonder about Buffalo. If they do make the Ristolainen move, I wonder if that is a possibility. I just don’t know if it’s going to be as big as he hoped for it to be.”
There is also news that the Maple Leafs are concerned about any negotiations with Mitch Marner dragging into the season because it will affect his cap hit for this year.
Friedman noted that one team said, in reference to a similar issue the Maple Leafs might be facing, “If our guy signs after the season, that cap hit is going to go up this season and we don’t know what exactly the amount of room we have is.” Friedman notes there is widespread concern around the NHL that this could happen with a few players.
Related: 7 Cool Things About Auston Matthews
Arizona to Move Derek Stepan?
Craig Morgan of The Athletic was asked during a mailbag segment if he sees the Arizona Coyotes hanging onto center Derek Stepan after this season? He said he doesn’t believe so but that based on where the team is at, a move might come after the season.
If the Coyotes are a playoff team this season, I can’t imagine them trading him at the deadline. If they are not, maybe that is an option they will consider, but with Brad Richardson’s and Carl Söderberg’s contracts expiring after this season, they’ll have to consider how much of a hit their center depth can take.source – ‘Coyotes monthly mailbag: You asked, we tried to answer’ – Craig Morgan – The Athletic – 08/19/2019
Morgan also notes, what happens to Stepan long-term depends upon the development of players like Barrett Hayton, Nick Schmaltz, and Christian Dvorak.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”