NHL Rumors: Penguins, Maple Leafs, Blues, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is apparently a trade in the works between the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins, but also a glitch in the trade. Is this the only deal the Penguins are working on? In Toronto, would the Maple Leafs actually consider moving Morgan Rielly to make room for Alex Pietrangelo? Finally, what is the situation with Pietrangelo in St. Louis? Is there a deal on the table?

Penguins and Panthers Talking Deal

According to Kevin Weekes, a deal that would see forward Patric Hornqvist go to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Mike Matheson was in the works, only for the deal to hit some sort of snag Wednesday afternoon.

Patric Hornqvist Pittsburgh Penguins
Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

After Weekes broke the trade, sources, including Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, and Pierre LeBrun and Josh Yohe of The Athletic said there was a hold up. What the “glitch” is was not clear but some assumed perhaps Hornqvist’s no-trade clause was factoring into everything. It’s also possible some of the details in terms of salaries or retaining salaries were playing into things.

These are two hefty contracts for underperforming players so it might not be a simple as a straight-across one-for-one.

Related: Pittsburgh Penguins 2020 NHL Draft Preview

Penguins Also Taking Calls on Rust

If the Hornqvist deal goes through, it might not be the only trade the Penguins make over the next week or so. According to Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe of The Athletic, GM Jim Rutherford is fielding a number of calls pertaining to Penguins’ forward Bryan Rust.

They note:

…GM Jim Rutherford, who is not actively shopping Rust and would prefer to keep his breakout top-six winger, according to multiple league sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of trade discussions. 

source – ‘What we’re hearing as Penguins trade talks heat up’ – Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe – The Athletic – 09/22/2020

Rust scored at over a point-per-game pace this past season and with two-years left at a $3.5 million cap hit, he’d garner plenty of interest around the NHL. Speculation is that Rutherford would be asking for an NHL-ready player and a top prospect.

It sounds like, if the Penguins move Rust, it’s because they believe this is the best chance to maximize his value in trade.

Related: 5 Potential Destinations for Marc-Andre Fleury

Morgan Rielly Rumor Involving Pietrangelo

The rumors regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to make room for Alex Pietrangelo have not calmed and a strange rumor to hit the wire yesterday was the GM Kyle Dubas might actually contemplate moving defenseman Morgan Rielly out, freeing up the space need to sign the Blues captain.

Morgan Rielly Toronto Maple Leafs
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star recently discussed the rumor of Rielly being traded, saying:

The return for Rielly would be enormous, a stabilizing, puck-moving, all-around defenceman with a team-friendly contract for two more seasons. He’s just outside the Venn diagram of Norris candidates, but was trending that direction before an injury riddled 2019-20 season. Personally, I thought he had a terrific playoff — he was healthy.

source – ‘Could the Maple Leafs land Alex Pietrangelo? Should they?’ – Kevin McGran – Toronto Star – 09/21/2020

But, As McGran points out, if the Maple Leafs moved Rielly and brought in Pietrangelo, “The defence would only be marginally better, the salary cap situation much worse.” He adds that the age difference would play a big factor to as the Leafs would be paying for what Pietrangelo did, not necessarily what he can do. Meanwhile, the Leafs would be giving up on Rielly at the age of 26.

Instead, McGran believes the Leafs should target players like Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, Michael Stone, Dylan DeMelo, or Cody Goloubef, even T.J. Brodie.

Blues Have Offer on Table

Over in St. Louis, Nick Kypreos reports that the Blues have an offer on the table for Pietrangelo. Their latest offer is 8 years at $8 million per season. He’s not sure how much longer that deal will stay on the table.

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