NHL Draft Day Rumor Mill – June 23, 2017

by | Jun 23, 2017 | Rumors | 85 comments

Will the New York Islanders move Travis Hamonic this weekend?

Latest on Travis Hamonic, Jason Pominville, Sami Vatanen, Alex Radulov & more in your NHL Draft Day rumor mill. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan appear to be the most attractive trade targets for other teams. He said there was “strong chatter” on Thursday that Hamonic could be on the move ” possibly for a young forward and a draft pick.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie yesterday reported of speculation the Isles could seek two first-round picks for Hamonic. They’ve obviously set a high price for him, but I doubt they’ll get two first-rounders. If they’re serious about moving Hamonic they could end up accepting a young player or first-round pick. We’ll find out soon enough.

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports Flames GM Brad Treliving is working the phones in search of a defenseman. One option is Islanders blueliner Travis Hamonic. Another could be Vegas Golden Knights rearguard Marc Methot. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher continues to ponder the possibility of moving one of his defensemen during the upcoming NHL draft. There’s been strong interest in Jonas Brodin all month. Marco Scandella has also attracted interest, especially from his hometown Montreal Canadiens, but by Thursday talks seemed to cool. It’s believed Fletcher has had lots of discussions with the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning. Fletcher is open to receiving “an immediate player” in return but he could also accept draft picks and prospects, allowing him salary-cap flexibility to re-sign key players.

 It’s also believed Fletcher tried to move right wing Jason Pominville and his $5.6 million annual cap hit. He has a 10-team no-trade list which rises to 20 teams by July 1. It’s thought Fletcher recently spoke to the Boston Bruins regarding Pominville. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds as though Fletcher might prefer moving Scandella over Brodin. No indication if he’s had any discussions regarding Matt Dumba. Of the three, Scandella could be most likely to go.

As for the 34-year-old Pominville, his production has declined over the past couple of years. Unless Fletcher is willing to pick up a good chunk of the winger’s cap hit or take back a toxic contract, I don’t think he’ll find many takers. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington suggests Wild blueliners Jonas Brodin or Marco Scandella could be good fits on the Sabres blueline. He wonders if offering up Evander Kane would land one of those d-men, though he probably wouldn’t be a good fit under their salary cap. Harrington cautions that trading Kane would leave the Sabres searching for a scoring forward. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Curtis Zupke reports there is still believed to be heavy interest in Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen in the trade market. There’s also speculation Ducks GM Bob Murray could try to move veteran Kevin Bieksa despite his no-move clause. 

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have been linked to Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller and are also among the clubs that pursued Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, However, the Ducks gave up defenseman Shea Theodore to Vegas to protect Vatanen and Josh Manson in the expansion draft and could either keep both or set a high price for them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t fully rule out a Vatanen trade, especially if the Ducks get an offer of a good scoring winger. However, the departure of Clayton Stone and Shea Theodore via the expansion draft could make Murray reluctant to move Vatanen now. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports hearing Montreal Canadiens right wing Alexander Radulov seeks a six-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $7 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that’s what Radulov truly wants, he can forget about re-signing with the Canadiens. And good luck finding any takers elsewhere in the NHL for that price.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is in the market for a top-nine winger and a defenseman, Yzerman isn’t fussy if the winger is a right- or left-handed shot. He also said he’s had some talks with teams regarding a blueliner. Smith observes the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild are getting offers for blueliners. If the Colorado Avalanche trade Matt Duchene for a defenseman, Tyson Barrie could be available. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall could be in the market for a goaltender. His tandem for next season consists of Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz. “Hextall may make a deal at the draft or he might pursue the goalie free-agent market July 1. Among the prospective free-agent goalies besides Steve Mason: Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliott, Anders Nilsson, Keith Kinkaid, and Ryan Miller.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not many suitable options available for Hextall via the trade market or free agency. I expect he’ll do something via one option or another but finding a quality starter in his playing prime seems unlikely. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to re-signing defenseman Kris Russell to a four-year deal worth around $4 million annually. The deal could be in place by today. 

 








85 Comments

  1. Hard pass on Pominville

  2. The Leaf defense in my opinion , is a “serious” concern.
    There were an abundant of defenseman available.
    The window of opportunity is less likely.
    Any thoughts here., other than the draft , even than – the player will be sent back to junior , and not rushed, as prior errors by the Leafs

    • I agree with you Ken. The Leafs had to be disappointed with Vegas’ defense picks. Not much to trade for there in my honest opinion. Miller is solid but really no better than what they already have, and Methot is a little too old for them in my opinion. Although he could certainly help. I think Lou really needs to be on the horn with the Wild and Ducks to acquire the defenseman they need.

      • The leafs are on methots no trade list anyways

      • Problem is, except for draft picks, Leafs are not willing to part with the assets to bring in the level of D they want. JVR, Kadri, etc not gonna be enough.

    • Friedman believes the Leafs are in on Hamonic. The ask seems to be 2 1st round picks. The understanding is Snow doesn’t want to take back any players so they can keep their cap clean to sign Tavares

      • If there is any team that need a hamonic type it’s the leafs, their defense is weak and hamonic would definitely help

      • we don’t agree often BBB but yes, Hamonic is a guy they should be targeting (without overpaying).
        I’m thinking Brown + a 2nd or Soshnikov/Rychel + a 1st (which will probably be Cal Foote)

        I do believe that other teams can beat this offer but in my opinion this should be the highest the Leafs go.

    • The Leafs defense is certainly their biggest weakness, but over reacting and overpaying should not be the strategy. I also wouldn’t call it a serious concern, as they don’t need to make their defense elite overnight, and bringing their defense from bottom 10 to middle 10 is achievable, and would go a long way to improving the team overall.

      The Leafs D is flexible as they don’t have any albatross and they do have 3 guys capable of playing different roles in a good top 4.

      Gardiner – Often underrated by people, Leafs fans and Haters alike, he is a legitimate top pairing D making $4M. He may make ugly mistakes from time to time, but there is no denying results. The results being opposing teams get less shots, chances and goals when he is on the ice, and last year he spent the last 30 or so games taking on tough matchups with a less than ideal top pairing partner and he was still effective. His offense is there, and his defensive skills are vastly underrated because they are not prototypical. The ugliness in his game is what stops him from being elite, but if you take him for what he is, he has big value.

      Rielly – Hasn’t grown into the top pairing guy the Leafs wanted, and he is very devisive. He dominates against weaker lines, but doesn’t do well in tough matchups. Luckily at $5M, he is still able to provide full value as a 2nd pair guy that takes advantage of teams non-star players. The upside is a nice icing, even if it’s looking a little less likely.

      Zaitsev – Up and down rookie year overall. Asked to do way too much, but can be a solid number 4. I don’t love the term or dollars of his contract, but if Kris Russell is getting $4M, it’s definitely not something that kills your cap on D, as you can have a good D core if he is #4, and it can be reasonably priced if he is the 4th highest paid.

      Carrick is a solid young bottom pairing guy that maybe has top 4 potential, so worth holding onto.

      Polak – Needs to be moved.

      Hunwick – decent depth guy for bottom pair, and good guy to have around the locker room. Wasn’t even terrible in the playoffs when moved into a more top 4 roll. Should be re-signed cheap.

      The biggest issue is everybody was essentially playing one spot higher than they should, which has a big impact on the group as a whole. The Leafs D now and overall outlook would be vastly improved if they could get a decent all-round player to play with Gardiner. Dumba is likely the ideal, but chances are he will be too costly, as Minnesota can simply do a bait and switch with Scandella if they feel the price isn’t what they want, so it’s not as if he’s absolutely being moved. I feel like the Fletcher would need to be blown away to trade him, and being the team to blow someone away doesn’t typically work out well.

      Demers, Hamonic, Scandella, Brodin would also work out very well if the price is more reasonable, as the Leafs should be looking at holding onto either Brown or their 1st in a deal, otherwise they probably move on.

      If that type of player isn’t available, Toronto should look at a couple of smaller improvements so their D. The basic idea is you want to go into the season with at least 2 guys who probably project to be top 4 guys eventually competing for that ice time with the other 3, along with 2 veterans who are good bottom pairing defenders likely competing for a regular spot. Then let the signed Swedes, and younger guys push competition internally, and draft the defensemen with the biggest upside you can, possibly even trying to move up and nab Lilegren if he slides.

      Guys who are bonafide top pairing D rarely get traded, so planning around trading for one is a bad plan. It’s like planning on winning the lottery. Teams that have traded for a guy who is a top pair D now, typically trade for them as prospects or young D with upside, or even just guys who have been underrated (Hamilton, Jones, Gardiner, Leddy, Niskanen). So rather than overpay, the Leafs are better off accumulating chances at turning guys into a top 4. The price will be better overall, and likely avoid making big mistakes by ruining a player by trying to make them something they are not (Phaneuf, Yandle, Staal, Orpik).

      • Dan you don’t watch the Leafs very often, do you. That defence took the Caps to 6 games in the playoffs. They played great overall including Polak until he got injured. For the moment there’s no real reason to make a trade. Plenty of time to let the kids develop into the position. If needed in a year or two, then a trade would be in order. Unless a team is giving a RHD away the Leafs can stay the course

      • enough with the Polak hate, I agree he’s no superstar but he is no tomato can on skates either.

  3. Anyone know much about Scandella? Is he a top 4? Potential top pairing guy? Good puck mover?

    • On most teams Scandella would be a #4, he played as Min’s #5 last season but they have 1 of the top 3 D’s in the NHL. Has shown he can play a 2 way game if given offensive opportunities. Most of his career in Min has been as a defensive Dman carrying a younger Dman, last season of the 3rd pairing. He has played 2nd pairing minutes before Brodin & Dumba assumed full time NHL roles passing him on their depth chart.

      Scandella is right at my breakthrough point & being fully developed at the NHL level. He has 373 regular season games under his belt; my threshold is 400, just turned 27 & is entering his prime for NHL Dman 28 to 32.

      He’s a solid penalty killer & has untapped offensive abilities if ever deployed as such. He doesn’t play a physical game nor actively block shots, he plays more of a positional game blocking passing lanes, taking away seems & tying the man up defensive style.

      In Montreal he would be at least on par with Petry but different, he is potentially better offensively than Petry & not quite as proficient defensively.

      • Thanks Striker, great analysis. Probably won’t happen anyway. Unless maybe a 2nd or 3rd will get him.

      • That won’t get him.

        Apparently that gets you a TvR & he moved to cheap as far as i”m concerned. Buffalo getting Bealieau out of MtL for a 3rd was far worse. Boy is Mtl going to regret that trade. That will go down as 1 of Begevins biggest blunders ever. We will know next year it’s bad but with each passing year for the next 5 to 7 it will get worse & worse. The trade that just keeps on giving. Bealieau will be a soft #2 Dman in 3 years, solid #3 with good offensive #’s. 40 to 45 points double digit goals.

  4. Here’s what I don’t get– the Islanders are looking to show Tavares that they are serious about becoming a Cup contender and they are looking to trade one of their best defensemen who is currently under a decent contract? I thought good defensemen were at a premium especially those under good contracts? What am I missing here? Please enlighten me!

    • The Islanders needed more scoring punch, so that’s Garth Snow’s thinking. You gotta give up value to get value in return, though I don’t think he should be trading Hamonic or de Haan unless it’s for a goalie.

      • I agree Jaysin, but they also have to keep the puck out of the net.

    • Hence the high asking price. You want their D you better be willing to give up a finger to get em.

    • The fact that NYI has to many Dman, 2 that were protected Pulock & Pelech are no longer waiver exempt so they stay in the NHL from opening day or need to be waived. That’s not happening obviously & seeing as Snow protected them he has high hopes for them. That leaves Leddy, Boychuk, Hamonic, de Haan, Hickey, Seidenberg & Mayfield. That’s 9 & all must clear waivers. None are other than possibly Seideneberg but chances are at 1.25 someone would snap him up.

      None are the type that should be sitting as #7, 8 guys so something has to give. That’s Hamonic or de Haan being traded. A very nice luxury to have as the return will be substantial. I assume primarily futures, waiver exempt assets & picks.

  5. The most sensible thing reported today is Edmonton being close to re-signing Kris Russell. The craziest thing is Radulov looking for 7 million over 6 years. I agree with Lyle there is no way he gets that much. I guess he is asking high to get what he truly wants.

    As a Leafs fan I really hope Lou goes after a proven defenseman. I didn’t mention Shea Theodore in an earlier post regarding defensemen Toronto should pursue from Vegas because I don’t think he is one they will trade.

    • Giving Kris Russell 4 x $4M is not sensible

      • Maybe not 4 X 4 but 3 X 4 wouldn’t be bad.

      • That’s the market. Simply way more demand than supply. You can pay it or not. He played well with Sekera & with Sekera missing the start of the year Edm has few choices & that gives Russell a pending UFA significant leverage to demand a premium both in salary & term.

        I wouldn’t either but I get why Edm would. They can afford to though so not the end of the world. I wouldn’t give him a full NTC though nor for the full term.

      • The money that they saved shipping out Eberle ($6M) they just erased with Strome ($2.5M) and Russell ($4M). Granted, 2 players rather than one but when you look at what McDavid is going to ask (rumors of $14M) plus Leon you can find cheaper options for the same player

  6. Leafs have offence on the back end they need defence= Brodin Methot. or similar

    • Toronto is on Methot’s “no-go” list of teams – and he’s record to McPhee as saying that’s not negotiable. In other words, if you’re planning on “flipping” me it will have to be to a team not on that list. Whether Dallas is one of those teams no one knows for sure.

      • One would also think that if Montreal and T.O are on Methots no trade list that Calgary would also be on it. Also with Calgarys lack of forward depth and forward prospects it will be difficult for them to trade for a d-man.

      • Yes Kevjam the only Canadian team on the list is Ott & he can’t be traded back to them until after Jan 1st.

  7. Leafs should add Girardi

    • No reason to add Girardi. Hunwick can fill the same role

  8. Lyle, yesterday Kevin Cheveldayoff was on the air here in Winnipeg and mention he was set for a big deal but fell thru. Earlier in the day he mentioned in a media scrum there was a deal that didn’t work because of financial and not on his side (financials that is) any speculations of who and who? If I was putting 2 and 2 together that would leave me to believe Myers and his $5.5 be a part of that deal. Everyone else has nmc or maybe Pearreault at $4.125

    • No idea, Caper, as Chevy keeps his cards very close to the vest. Your suggestion of Myers sounds reasonable. I think they want to retain Perreault.

  9. Habs 1st rounder for Shea Theodore? Yes please.

    – signed, all Habs fans

    • Won’t happen. Theodore is one of their acquisitions they plan to retain for the long haul. Oh, if the right deal was there they might consider it – but a mid- to late range pick in a so-so draft won’t do it.

  10. What ever team out there has dead salary to get rid of, I suggest you call Arizona and work out a deal for OEL, it’s apparent they are cutting cost and at $5.5 OEL is probably available for draft picks, prospects and most importantly dead money. Or a team make a trade for dead money then call Arizona.

    • Great call Caper. The Coyotes are a mess right now. Draft day and the Yotes have no coach, no captain, no president, no starting goalie, no 1C and no president of hockey ops (stole this from one of their beat writers)

      Would love to see OEL in Boston

      • wow, once you put that altogether it sounds absolutely absurd. What a mess.
        For OEL they can have anyone on the Leafs not named Auston plus picks

    • *AND a 28 year old analytics GM

      • IMO in a struggling hockey market slow defensive hockey is not what managment would want as well. The Coyotes do have some good your forwards who can be exciting to watch if they get a coach in there who can set a system up so they can be just that.

      • Young*

    • It’s not that bleak. Just a completely different perspective on their future. Tippet is old school, he wanted Doan back & Smith retained but Baroway wants to pass the torch to Dominque. He’s 25 & has shown he has starter potential. I assume Johnson gets signed or another veteran to back him up.

      What’s going on in Arziona is unfortunate as it creates all this negative press; effecting the gate, but many of these decisions aren’t being solely made for financial reasons but yes they are part of it. Arizona is ready to take a step up, Baroway & most likely Chayka want to play a different style of hockey than Tippett would ever be willing to play.

      Moving Smith & his cap hit in this goalie market isn’t easy & I’m shocked they could even find a buyer. The ate just over 1.5 per for 2 years to do so but garnered a solid D prospect in Brandon Hickey, selected 65th overall in 2014. He made Canada’s WJC squad out of Boston College very rare most Canadian Dman come out of Major Jr, a 3rd round pick which moved to a 2nd if Calgary makes the playoffs & Johnson. Pending UFA.

      Dvorak, Strome will be Arz top 2 C’s moving forward, Richardson their #3 & anyone of Cousins, Burmistrov, Holland or Jooris their #4. Arizona is going to surprise many as they are right on the cusp of taking a major step up.

      • The Coyotes were eliminated from the playoffs on March 19th. Surely this different style of hockey that Chayka and Barroway want to play didn’t come to them overnight. 3 months passed before they decided to send him packing the night before the draft

      • Darren Dreger – “Promote within? Based on reaction received from the coaching fraternity, the all of a sudden vacant job in Arizona is viewed as toxic.”

        Maybe you should throw Chayka your resume Striker – this could be your big break! Hahah 🙂

      • I’m surious what you have seen in Domingue that makes you think he is a starter in the making.
        You made a similar claim about Hellebyuck and look how that worked out, and Helley is a way better goalie. I have no doubt that he will be a starter soon but expecting that from DOmingue in the next couple of years is extremely optimistic.
        Maybe leave that piece out of the resume if you are following SH21’s advice

      • I’m *curious* what you…..

      • & just like that Arz is now only 200K off the cap floor. Bonus monies potentially to be paid; Dvorak’s, Strome’s, Keller’s etc total 5.445 mil, count against the cap. 5 RFA’s to sign, 1 UFA Vrbata & they now have their #1 C & a veteran to shelter Dominque in net. Raanta will be the starter, Dominque will get 35 starts.

        That’s why Tippett was sent packing.

        Arz may well be next season’s Toronto just far more difficult to make the top 8 in the west this year, than in the east last season. It’s harder to make the top 8 in the West almost every year with a few rare exceptions.

      • Hellebuyck is Winnipeg’s #1. Just a kid developing like any player at any position. Thrown to the wolves last season.

        Most goalies don’t just get thrown to the wolves nor become the #1 till 26. Hellebuyck had no safety net.

        Dominique is young to having played 30+ games the last 2 seasons on 1 of the worst teams in the league.

        Lets revisit this over the next 3 years 4 to 6 times & watch the progress in development which not just these 2 goalies but 2 teams do.

  11. Hopefully fletcher doesn’t talk Sweeney into taking pominville, he should have learned from the terrible backes signing last yr

    • Hopefully his conversation was about Brodin and nowhere in the conversation on Sweeney part should Pominville name be mentioned.

      • I agree out of the wild defenders brodin would be the one Boston shoul target, but now that they can’t lose him for expansion the price tag will be high

    • Boston isn’t taking Pominville.

      I like the Backes signing, just would have preferred 1 mil less a season but Boston has the cap space & that’s the market.

      He played essentially 2nd line minutes as both a RW & C, finished 5th in TOI/GP at forward, 7th in PP TOI/GP for all Boston players. His physical game is elite & he made the top 10 in hits for all forwards & was 1 hit out of the top 15 for all players. Missing 8 games.

      His addition helped Boston make the playoffs. His 17 goals were reasonable but ideally he would have posted better than his 38 points & with a little more continuity in line mates & position, especially if Boston can find a LW to play with Krejci & Backes that will help.

      • I agree. Backes was as expected last year, good physical play, putting up points and being able to play in pretty much any situation.
        Just a million too much as you point out, but thats the usual UFA premium.

        He is the prototypical Bruin

      • More than happy with his contribution. Not fun to play against, a heavy hitter, decent enough defensive player, fabulous leader & can slide from RW to C if injuries dictate.

  12. Hamilton was traded for the 15th; Senyshyn, 45th; Forsbacka-Karlsson & 52nd; Lauzon, picks in 2015 to Calgary. Is Hamonic with his $3,857,143 contract for 3 more years, 1,892,857 less per year than Hamilton’s worth any less? 2 different type of Dman but that almost 2 mil less per season in cap hit is significant & has value it & of it’s self. Other Dman with Hamonic’s skill set, age, pedigree are make 4.5 to 5.5 mil per.

    • Hamilton is also younger. What Snow is asking for is to much but then again what a GM asks and what they get are two different things.
      IMO:
      Hamilton is a top pairing guy who is great offensively but struggles defensively. Also plays on the first pp unit.
      Hamonic is a second pairing all-round d-man who can move up to the top pairing when needed. Also can play on the second pp unit and first pk unit.

      • Hamilton has yet to play 1st pairing minutes in any of his stops in the NHL. He was 4th in TOI/GP in Cal last season, really 3rd as Wideman although higher only played 51 games. His 1st season in Cal 5th for TOI/GP by D. last season in Bos 3rd, season prior 5th.

        Nor did he get 1st unit PP time in Cal last season. He was 7th in PP TOI/GP for all skaters, 3rd to Brodie & Giordano on D. The year prior 6th for all 3rd for D.

        Less than 3 years different in age, inconsequential as not even a factor until well into their 30’s. Neither has hit their prime for Dman yet 28 to 32. At 3.8 I’d prefer Hamonic. Finding a Dman like Hamilton is easier than 1 like Hamonic factoring in abilities, character, cap hit & term.

        I watch Calgary play a ton live. Hamilton ism’t a train wreck defensively, like most O Dman he is asked to drive offense compromising his defensive abilities. He is getting better every year defensively & he still isn’t full developed having only played 341 NHL regular season games. Hamonic just broke that threshold last season having now played 444.

  13. A little research project here…

    Many have posited that Vegas did well to build a really bad team instead of a pretty good team (in a novice hockey market with an NFL team coming) because they got a lot of draft picks and that’s the right way to build a team. They got 3 first round picks after all, right?

    Let’s take a look at teams that have had 3 or 4 first round picks over the past 20 years.

    1998 COL- Tanguay, Regher, Skoula, Parker

    A star forward and a stud D, not bad at all. But not pieces you can build a team around.

    1999 NYI- Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Branislav Mezei (all top 10 picks) Kristian Kudroc

    I have to put their full names here. For a reason. 3 top ten picks and 4 in the first. Surely they built a dynasty, right?

    2002- WSH Steve Eminger, Semin, Boyd Gordon

    Eminger never really stuck, Semin was a great one dimensional regular season player, Gordon a 4th liner.

    2004- WSH Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz, Mike Green

    Clearly the best haul. Picking #1 with a generational talent helps. Also far less likely under the new lottery.

    2007- STL Eller, Cole, Perron

    Not bad. But hardly the core of a Cup team. Secondary pieces.

    2010- FLA Gubrandson, Bjugstad, Howden

    See above, less the bust in Howden.

    2013- CBJ Wennberg, Rychel, Dano

    Good players/prospects, not one an impact player.

    2013- CGY Monahan, Poirier, Klimchuk

    A top line center and two busts.

    2015- BOS Zboril, DeBrusk, Senyshen

    Meh. Their best pick was in the second round.

    So, one franchise player, one top line center and some nice players. Not one of those teams went on to win the Cup, except the already loaded Avs. And many of these teams who were “building the right way for the future” just spun their wheels instead.

    History shows that having lots of picks is a guarantee of exactly nothing.

    • Nice research, my thought process as well without having the motivation to go back and look. The draft is a crap shoot, always will be when you’re talking about kids entering a league against men – I liked what McPhee did but feel he could have definitely iced a better team out of the gate

      • He could have built basically the same team and gotten most of the same side deals and still been a playoff contender.

        If he takes Bobby Ryan and Eric Staal to pair with Neal on a top line, he pushes the rest of the lines down a slot and gives them legit scoring depth on each line. And they are 30 and 32, not 35 or 36.

        All it would have cost them was Alex Tuch and whatever they get for Methot. They still would have had the Isles, CBJ and ANH side deals. But not Tampa’s, I’d have taken Jake Dotchin over what they got from Yzerman.

      • 100. Nice work

      • He didn’t even need to take those 2 to be a better team & still accomplish what he did for picks.

        It is what it is now. I had 20 of his 30 picks but they other 10 significantly alter the fortunes of Vegas in the short term.

    • Just a suspicion here. I don’t think McPhee wanted to be competitive this season because the 2018 entry draft is supposed to be strong and deep. So this will get him better odds in next years draft. So get as many first and second round picks this year to get some good future second, third, and/or fourth line support players and go for the first line players next year. The only way to get those number 1 centres and top pairing d-men is through the draft.

      • You don’t even have to think. He didn’t. All good lets keep this party moving along, the trades are coming fast & furious finally.

    • Except Mg, the other way works no better. The Washington capitals expansion team took many veterans and and ended up horrendous. The MY Mets in baseball took several former all stars in baseball and ended up 40-120 and didn’t win until the drafted better players years later.

      Your way doesn’t work and never has. All the proof you need is the 1968 expansion. Teams need to build an identity over time

      The draft does that. It is the patience of drafting that buys time. Great research but a very faulty conclusion.

      Fans are just upset that their rivals weren’t hurt by losing players as much as they might have been. But that doesn’t necessarily help Vegas build a better TEAM going forward

      • Enjoy your Tim Connolly’s and 8,000 paying customers in 5 years.

        Once you realize that it’s not JUST about building a hockey team, it’s about growing a fan base and building a sustainable business from absolute scratch.

        Do you know what Vegas LOVES? Losers.

        Oh wait…

        And, again, we are talking about the difference between Alex Tuch and the return for Methot to ice a legit team. They’d still have Theodore and all the picks.

        The Florida Panthers made the Stanley Cup Final in Year 3 and built what little fan base they have by doing so.

        The Tampa Bay Lightning did it and gave their fans some decent hockey (as opposed to Ottawa or San Jose) before tearing it down and winning the Cup quicker than any of the “build through the draft” teams like Ottawa or Minnesota.

        If that was the expansion Quebec team built the other day, fine, great, perfect. Those knowledgeable and hungry hockey fans would be patient.

        Miami and Phoenix are bleeding money and those are MUCH bigger cities than comparably tiny Vegas.

        Vegas has made a questionable bet here. IF they happen to win the lottery a few times or luck into a mid round superstar, great. If not…they are mediocre for a decade, at least.

      • Vegas will have no problem building a fan base, big town, still growing with more tourism than any other town in the league. planning for a 3-5 year window was the smart way to do this… and the deals made prior to list day made sure vegas was dealing with teams in trouble, not the rest of the league. Your statement about lotteries and lucking into stars applies to each and every team in the league… including our pens.

  14. All Canadian teams EXCEPT Ottawa are on Methot’s no-go list.

    He’ll be back beside EK65 January 2nd.

    • Methot can’t go back to Ottawa for one calendar year

      • he can be traded back January 1st.

        I see him maybe signing there in two years as a UFA.
        Ottawa will inject their young D in the line up this year, Phanuef will move to the first pairing and Ottawa will assess if they even need to make the trade if offered Jan 1st

      • “Any players picked by Vegas cannot be traded back to their former team before January 1, 2018, and any player picked in the expansion draft cannot have their contracts bought out until after the completion of the 2017–18 season.”

        So, conceivably, Methot could be dealt back to Ottawa on New Year’s Day – or at the trade deadline.

      • Agree Taz. And by then perhaps a $4.9 mil cap hit does not fit into their structure IF they spend something on a veteran D in the upcoming UFA “frenzy” (more like a leisurely stroll if past years are any criterion).

  15. Harmonic is not a #1 and not a #2 because he isn’t offensive minded. What he is is an absolutely rock solid defender wholl do anything to Win. His battles with Geno are legendary as he drives Malkin to distraction, though often Hamonic ends up dinged after playing Pittsburgh. He would be better off out of The Metro because of his almost irrational compulsion to protect Tavares and his teammates.

    • 1st of all what constitutes a #1 or 2? For me it will always be quantity & quality of icetime, especially, specialty teams both the PP & PK. Not all #1’s are 2’s are offensive Dman. Chara is still Boston’s #1 & has been for ever, yet he relinquished his PP time to Hamilton & Krug virtually upon their arrivals. No Dman plays more or harder minutes in Boston he just isn’t being deployed as an offensive Dman any where near as often.

      That said most are major offensive contributors but like everything there are exceptions. The old 80/20 rule is in play here as well. Looking at the top 60 Dman; 30 teams X2, in the NHL by TOI/GP here is what we see as it relates to what are #1’s or 2’s by TOI/GP but not really offensive Dman.

      Edler, Ekholm, Slavin, Chara, Goligoski, Ceci, Stralman, Lindholm, Bouwmeester, Petry, Hainsey, Dekeyser, Enstrom, Kulikov & Savard. All make the top 60 in TOI/GP.

      That’s actually slightly better than 20%; 25% actually, & there were a few others that really only see decent PP time when injuries hit in that mix, Niskanen & the 2 Johnson’s now.

      Hamonic due to injuries this season only managed 20:27 of TOI/GP in his 49 games he managed to play in, many injured. Historically he plays significantly more 2012-13 22:48, 2013-14 25:00, 2015-16 23:49, putting him comfortably in the top 60 in TOI/GP. He has also shown if given PP time or offensive zone starts he can generate points just to valuable in a shut down role to get that opportunity.

      • In the cap era the old model of #1’s thru #4 just isn’t applicable. It can be, some teams have a very strict hierarchy, but not many.

        What it boils down is that a team needs to have the following to have a strong top 4.
        – 4 guys who can play against good NHLers successfully.
        – At least one guy who can be successful at suppressing scoring chances of opposing top lines. One other guy that doesn’t hurt the first guys ability to do this job.
        – At least one guy that can drive offense 5 on 5.
        – At least one guy that can quarterback a powerplay.
        – Two guys who are good on the penalty kill.

        How you accomplish this doesn’t really matter. If you can spread things around so that all four guys have specific roles, you can have a very good top 4, as long as each player does their job well. You can have 3 average guys, and one true stud that fills all the rarest jobs. That works too.

        In the end, you need to think about what situation your current D is not built to handle, and fill roles appropriately.

        I view Hamonic as a guy who can play against other team’s top pairs, and Kill penalties. He isn’t dominant offensively or on the PP. His price makes him a perfect fit for a team that needs those skills. In Toronto he will get top pairing 5 on 5 minutes, and will be a good fit because they need one more defender who can do that adequately. In Calgary he will support a second pairing and add depth. Neither team needs him to QB a powerplay, or be a solo act shutdown guy, and his cap hit is a fit for both teams.

  16. You’re dead on Bill,Hamonic is the guy Leafs should go after!

  17. Friedman reporting Hjalmarsson to ARZ. Don’t know return yet

    • D Connor Murphy and F Laurent Dauphin

  18. Friedman also saying a Panarin for Saad swap

    • yeah, just saw this on Twitter. Another trade I don’t get.

      Chicago has made two head scratchers

      • Saad, Goalie Anton Forsberg and a pick to Chicago
        Panarin, Tyler Motte and a pick to Columbus

        It looks like Bowman is acquiring players with similar contracts but spread out over longer term. In this situation, both are $6M players but Saad is cost controlled for 2 extra years, while Panarin is going to need an increase. It appears Bowman is looking toward the future with more cap stability

      • Chicago got far more physical. Got Saad who’s cost controlled for 3 years, panarin is getting a huge raise in 2 years. Even more pronounced for Murphy under a decent contract for 5 more years to hal’s 2. Murphy still has 3 years before fully developed.

        I like this trade for all 3 teams. Clb needs cap flexibility down the road, hal is 1 of OEL’s best friends apparently & this may be a ploy to make him happy to stay.

  19. And now this from Dreger “Sounds like another big Arizona trade is in works. Raanta and Stepan likely to Coyotes. 7th overall could be part of it and DeAngelo.”

    This is fun

    • To #Rangers:
      D Anthony Deangelo
      2017 1st RD pick (7th overall)

      To #Coyotes:
      F Derek Stepan
      G Antti Raanta

      • Arizona got ripped off! Good on NY for possibly making another Mcdounagh trade.