Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 10, 2019

by | Feb 10, 2019 | Rumors | 64 comments

Latest on the Senators, Bruins, Leafs, Kings, Predators, Jets, and Canadiens in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup. 

DECISION DAY COMING FOR SENATORS

SPORTSNET (via Kukla’s Korner): Elliotte Friedman reports the Ottawa Senators have informed teams that they’ll reach a decision on retaining or trading Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel about 10 days before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. The trio is slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

The Ottawa Senators must soon decide to re-sign or trade Matt Duchene (Photo via NHL Images)

Chris Johnston noted talks between Duchene and Senators management have centered around the future of the franchise. He hasn’t been given a deadline to reach a decision. He also noted Duchene loves living and playing in Ottawa and he doesn’t rule out the possibility of Duchene returning as a free agent this summer if he’s traded at the deadline.

Nick Kypreos noted the Senators tabled an eight-year, $64-million offer to Duchene, suggesting many believe that will be the best cash offer he’ll get via free agency because he can only get seven years as a UFA from other clubs. He doubts Duchene will get over $9 million annually on a seven-year deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trade market seems to be in a holding pattern as teams wait to see what happens with Duchene and Stone. Their fates will determine what happens to other notable players being bandied about as potential trade candidates. We should know for certain by Feb. 15. 

BRUINS TRADE OPTIONS

BOSTON GLOBE: With the trade deadline approaching, Matt Porter recently examined some possible trade options for the Boston Bruins. Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin is the big prize in the trade market, with the asking price believed to be a first-round draft pick, a top prospects, and a player. It’s a high price to pay for a player who could depart via free agency but Porter claims the Bruins are among the interested parties. 

Porter speculates the Bruins could add a physical winger like Carolina’s Micheal Ferland or Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds, who will be considerably more affordable than Panarin. New York Rangers (and Massachusetts natives) Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey, or Chris Kreider could be available. With the New Jersey Devils in sell mode, winger Kyle Palmieri would make sense as he lives in Boston in the offseason and has two more years remaining on his contract. 

Porter also suggested Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle, Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg or Rickard Rakell, or Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli, Carl Hagelin or Ilya Kovalchuk as possible trade targets.  

Kevin Paul Dupont suggested Detroit Red Wings forwards Gustav Nyquist or Thomas Vanek as possible second-line options for the Bruins. He noted Vanek was on their radar last season before they acquired Rick Nash. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Bruins GM Don Sweeney will acquire a scoring forward by the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Panarin would be the best option but he’d also cost probably far more than Sweeney is willing to pay. Ferland, Simmonds, Hayes, Silfverberg, Kovalchuk or Nyquist would be more affordable options.

Toffoli has surfaced in the rumor mill but I’m not sure the Kings are ready to part with him just yet unless they get a terrific offer. Vanek has a tendency to disappear for long stretches so I don’t think he’s a worthwhile target. I don’t believe Rakell, Coyle, Kreider, Palmieri or Vesey are available, though there’s no harm in at least making inquiries. 

UPDATE ON THE LEAFS

Elliotte Friedman reports the Leafs have been linked to Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland, who the Hurricanes might keep. He said the Leafs are pursuing a similar player but, for a rental player, they’re not parting with top prospects Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren or a first-round pick. 

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons noted the Buffalo Sabres need lots of help on their blueline. He wondered if they might be interested in defenseman Nikita Zaitsev if the Leafs offered to pick up part of his salary-cap hit. He also speculated the Leafs might be able to pry Wayne Simmonds away from the Philadelphia Flyers for a second- or third-round pick or a draft pick and Connor Brown.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Sabres are desperate enough to consider Zaitsev an improvement even if the Leafs picked up half of his $4.5-million annual cap hit. A second-round pick and Brown? Swap Brown for Johnsson and the Flyers might do it. 

LATEST ON THE KINGS

Nick Kypreos reports Ilya Kovalchuk hasn’t scored at the rate the Los Angeles Kings had hope for this season. Nevertheless, there may be some interest in Kovalchuk near the trade deadline as his performance might improve on a better team. Kypreos noted the Boston Bruins were runner-up for Kovalchuk’s services before he signed with Los Angeles. If the Kings trade him, however, the Kings will have to retain up to 25 percent of his salary. He has a no-move clause and hasn’t been asked to waive it but Kypreos feels that shouldn’t be a problem if he wants to win a Stanley Cup. 

NBC SPORTS: After the Kings recently made veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf a healthy scratch, Adam Gretz wondered about the blueliner’s future with the club. The 33-year-old blueliner is a fading asset carrying an annual salary-cap hit of $7 million through 2020-21, making him nearly impossible to move via trade. A buyout would cost them $2.9 million next season, $5.4 million in 2020-21, followed by two seasons of $1.4 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are carrying $5.25 million annually of Phaneuf’s contract as the Ottawa Senators are carrying $1.75 million per season. 

JETS AND PREDATORS

Nick Kypreos noted rumors linking the Nashville Predators to Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin and the Winnipeg Jets to Ottawa’s Mark Stone. Their first-round picks are said to be in play but, if the Predators or Jets want to land Grade A talent, a top prospect such as the Predator’s Eeli Tolvanen or Winnipeg’s Sami Niku will also have to be included. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing sense the Predators and Jets are “all-in” this season. Giving up a first and a top prospect for a notable playoff rental is an expensive gamble, one that could prove painful if the rental player turns into a bust. It’ll be interesting to see who they target and how much they’re willing to give up. 

COULD CANADIENS MOVE HUDON?

Elliotte Friedman reports the Montreal Canadiens made Charles Hudon a healthy scratch before Saturday’s game against the Leafs. He believes they’re trying to find a way to get recently acquired forward Dale Weise into the lineup and suggested Hudon could be moved for a mid-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hudon’s struggled to crack the Canadiens’ roster on a full-time basis this season and might benefit playing elsewhere. The Habs already have two picks in the fourth round of this year’s draft (as well as next year’s) and two in the fifth round. Having traded their 2019 fifth-rounder to Vegas in 2017 for David Schlemko, maybe GM Marc Bergevin wants to replace that pick.







64 Comments

  1. I get the whole idea of supply and demand..but this whole Simmonds and Ferland thing is becoming comical..they are rentals for starters and hardly “impact players”..they are fetching 2nd rounders and b prospects at best..maybe an extra B prospect if the flyers take another roster players..
    just my take..
    Only way leafs are moving a Kapanen or Johnsson is if they get the player they want and the team takes Zaitsev and or Brown

    • How important is PK to NSH playoff run? Could they get away with a run this season without him?

      Perhaps

      To OTT: PK, their 1st , Tolvanen, Fiala and C. Smith
      To NSH: Stone & Duchene (assuming they re-sign there)

      OTT can throw in Ceci in IF this proposal is too much in OTT favor.

      Polie is looking to go “ALL-IN” right?

      • that is comical

      • Poile can go all in without sacrificing his defense. It seems more likely that he’ll include his first round pick, and either a top prospect or a mid tier prospect and a middle six forward, to upgrade that middle sixer to one of Panarin, Duchene or Stone.

    • @ SAM

      A few things …on Simmonds and Ferland

      The Ferland Simmonds thing is actually pretty important to a few top teams that are contenders …will these guys put you over the top ..probably not …BUT after watching last years top 4 a bigger body and more aggressive player could really turn a tide in the series and with the parady in the league and most likely in the top 6 teams deep in the playoffs players like Simmonds and Ferland could turn a series around like a Tom Wilson style player ….they may not be as important in a 82 game season …but in a 7 game series they could be extremely valuable and a catalyst in winning.
      Just my opinion …but it happens every year that specific players step up to change a series.

      LEAFS
      The thing with Brown is that in his rookie year playing with better players and in a more top 6 roll he put up great points and had 20 goals on a poor Leafs team…he is being underutilized as a checker ONLY and would fair better with more ice time and power play minutes..he bleeds BLUE & WHITE and would be sorely missed if they traded him away just to have a 2 million in cap space …I would not move him with the bottom 4 a little thin all ready …he is not a THROW IN in a deal to take on a bad contract ..IMO and neither is Kapy but I understand where you are coming from with taking on Zaitsevs contract and it maybe the only way …I would NOT trade Kapy I think he can be extended on a bridge deal first and allow for 2 more years to pass by have the cap increase ..move on from Gardiner Marleau Hainsey Zaitsev in that duration and Kappy still fits in just perfect on a short term bridge deal for money …he will want to stay in Toronto and I think he will be extended …you just can not trade for a guy like this down the road so you have to grow the asset ..they can do it….and I believe they will …I think Kappy will be a Leaf for the next little while and will take over Marleaus roll and money in a years time even with Marner Matthews signed …

      • Kal El

        I’m with you

        The reality of Leafs crimped Cap for next year (they won’t be losing MM) means that if

        at least one of(preferably both) Marleau & WW are not moved

        then Kappy and/or Kadri are gone AND Leafs already questionable (questionable wrt a SC) D is weaker next year

        Unfortunately it’s straight math

        Marleau can’t be moved w/o his permission . WW can…. the answer is simple to me ….pay him his SB on 1/7 …, move him for a $4-$5M D (with at least / years term) and put the rest towards a Kappy bridge

        I agree that Brown’s usage now not optimal

        Dubas will earn every single penny of his paycheque over the next 6 months

        He will get grey before his time

      • Ooops

        “at least / years ” should have read “at least 2 years”

  2. Sweeney & Neely need to decide by bringing in a 2nd line goal scorer only, will improve their chances in the playoffs, even if that happens they won’t get past TB and will have a very hard time advancing past Tor …..they also need help in the D zone

    • Would BOS trade Carlo for Kreider? Perhaps add a D’Angelo to offer the RD loss by BOS and perhaps a non-essential depth FWD back to NYR?

      • No Carlo is their best defenseman.

  3. I reviewed the notes above in regards to obtaining Simmons .

    It’s reasonable in my mind , and mandatory for the Leafs
    Michael Ferland is a possibility as well , I just like Simmons , great leadership and will spruce up the power play , and of course provide the necesssry “grit” needed in playoff style hockey !

  4. that is comical

  5. If Duchene wants to play in Ottawa; then I suggest trading him. Don’t worry about the Colorado pick. Gets the assets you can now for Duchene, as Ottawa is not a playoff team and resign him in the office season. The price Ottawa paid for Duchene won’t look as bad with the asset required by trading him and resigning in the off season.

    • Caper

      Excellent points and all true but Sens would then (in summer) be dealing with Duchene as a UFA and therefore can only sign him to 7 years (just like all other teams) and therefore from Duchene’s camp…. would need to be 7 @ $9.15M ($64M) just to be the same offer as is reportedly in the table now ($8M * 8=$64M)

      As I said below in my post ; my gut feeling is that the $64M is not as questionable to Duchene’s camp as what I believe to be the fact that not as much SB (as he’d like) is in the offer

      Melnyk , if truly wanting him to stay; should just realize that $64 M is close … throw him$66 M and substantially increase the SB portions over current offer. Done

      I can’t see Melnyk agreeing to same price but getting the athlete for one less year (if done in July)

      If they are all in for the return in picks/prospects …. fine; just forget about (IMO) then re-signing him in July

      To me, if they are only going to keep one of Duchene / Stone (both would be best IMO) then Stone would be my pick…. always been a Sen; younger; bigger; more of a fan fav

      George

      Are you out there?

      Shout out to George for his opinion on this

      Hope all is well George 🙂

    • Pengy, I don’t think the extra year is a big thing, I would rather pay Duchene the same amount over 7yrs just for the fact the contract will be over at 35yrs old and not 36yrs old. Maybe a compromise to make.

      Ottawa would be able to trade for assets and resign Duchene in the offseason and have him off the books one year earlier and Duchene gets the money spread out over 7yrs not 8yrs. Put more money into signing bonus everybody wins as long as Duchene produces.

      • Guys, good discussion regarding Duchene. I am a Duchene fan.
        The trading now resign in July sounds like a great plan, and we throw it out there, but it sure doesn’t happen that often.
        I haven’t searched the results but I am having a hard time coming up with an impact player where it has actually happened.
        I don’t have the answer as to why, but perhaps the grass is greener sometimes.

      • Hey Ray, I think Keith Tkachuk did this a couple of times for… St Louis?

      • Hi Caper

        I’m good with it ; Ray Bark seems in line with it; you are

        …. and I think many would be

        The question is if Melnyk will allow Dorion to do it

        Ottw would benefit huge from a 1st and 2 assets for EACH of Duchene AND Stone ; AND having them both back next year (both re-signing in July); but I’m just skeptical that Ottawa’s most famous spendthrift, will allow an employee to be paid the same but work 1 year less

        He already has issues with paying signing bonuses

        Fingers crossed for Ottw’s sake

        George … what say you on this???

  6. Bruins are almost a one line team but my God what a line. Easily in my opinion the best all around line in hockey both offensively and defensively they score tons and kill penalties. Not sure you can line match this line because they play against the other teams best line most often anyway. Bergeron played his 1,000 game and looks better now than five years ago. Rask needs to be lights out in playoffs and they need a player like Panarin to compete for Lord Stanley in my humble opinion. Remember the name Studnicka I believe he models his game after Bergie and will be on team next year.

  7. Boston wouldn’t offer Kovalchuk a 3yr deal in the off season, now he might be their best economical choice. I don’t mind one more season (yes I do, I think) but having him and Backes counting for over $11m in cap space for two more years, no thanks.

    Not a knock on the Islanders but Boston having the 1st wildcard spot isn’t a bad thing. Choice between TB, Tor, Mtl or Islanders in the 1st round, I think we matchup best against the Islanders. Watching MTL VS Tor would be fun.

    Prefer if Boston made a trade for a player with term on his contract (not named Kovalchuk). Also don’t think the defense is overly strong. For me at present Carlo is their best dman, Chara will get badly exposed in the playoffs (hope to be proven wrong) having both Krug and Grzelcyk on D is one too many small men.

    After watching Tor vs Mtl last night it was fast an entertaining 7 game series with some dislike would be a good series. Don’t think either matches up well against TB just because of the lack of physical play.

    • Agree on Chara he is a class act but his age has caught up with him. I hope he retires after this season. That 5 million cap could have gone to a top 6 RW this season. With Vaakanienen ready for next year I think it’s time.

    • Hey Caper!! As an Isles fan I’m not offended at all. Isles clearly need more scoring. The 1-0 shootout win by Boston was actually a pretty good game a few days ago. The Isles did manage to beat TBay with a tough, heavy, aggressive forecheck last week, I’m wondering if TBay may be vulnerable in the playoffs when that style is more prevalent.

    • What happens if LA were to retain 20-25% of Kovalchuk’s salary? Putting him in the 4.5-5 mil range. As long as the return package isn’t a 1st round pick Sweeney should be all over it. Gives Krejci a winger for 2 more years, and some stability to the top 6 meanwhile finally putting that “missing winger” search to bed and they can focus on other areas of weakness.

  8. I just can’t fathom Botterill having any interest at all in Zaitsev . That to me made no sense at all.

    I like Chris Johnston and I’m often in sync with his thoughts. I however disagree with him on his contention that Duchene could decline Ottw offer; be traded; then circle back in summer to sign as UFA with Sens. This also, to me, makes no sense.

    If reports are true that current declined offer is $8M * 8…. how can the cash strapped Sens make an even better 7 year offer in the summer? They , like most teams in my belief (and it appears also in Kypper’s beliefs) are not going to offer $9.15M + for 7 for Duchene…. IMO it’s basically now or never for Ottw to get Duchene

    I’m just spit-balling here; but my gut thinks the total of $64M is not so much the issue (with Duch) as is the Sal to SB structure…. Melnyk … just realize you are paying $64M anyway; and then structure it with heavy SB and get the deal done

    I’m with Elliotte Friedman here…, under no circumstances ; for any player; should Leafs also give up their ’20 First rounder. To me , their chance at SC comes earliest , in June of ’20, so save that pick until next year’s TDL

    With Ducks now basically Dust in the Wind …. I see the the heightened discussions re trading UFA Silfverberg ; not as much for the reasonably priced (with 3 more years after this) Rakell …., but why has there not been talk wrt Manson or Montour???

    Both RDs and young (27 and 24) and under contract (Manson $4.1M ; 3 more years after this; Montour $3.4M ; one more year after this BUT RFA)

    Manson a strapping (6’3″ , 215) stay at home; Montour a very quick puck mover with offensive talents that could only take off even more with a greater/younger/speedier team (than Ducks)

    Either of those two on Pens of Leafs would suit me just fine!!!

    • I think the gist of the Zaitsev/BUF deal would be that BUF could effectively get him without having to give up anything as a straight salary dump. Does it make them better? That’s questionable; but I could see where it might be worth the (salary-only) risk.

      • Hi Whalercane

        I somewhat see your logic.

        I’m very low on my grading of Zaitsev

        To me; at best he’s bottom pairing ; cheapest Botterril could get him is at 50% take back :

        (1) Leafs can’t afford 2.25 in takeback for next 5 years

        (2) Is Botterill willing to pay a bottom pairing guy $2.25M…. and before you say it …. yes Pens are paying $3.25M to JJ …. I know 🙁

        (3) Like #1 above … but in reality; Leafs can’t afford to take back any Sal for anybody next year…. so Botterril painfully agreeing to take in Zaitsev at full hit is going to cost Leafs very very precious assets

    • Pengy…montour is a good fit with Pittsburgh. A blockbuster phil kessel olli Matta dominik simon and our number one pick to anaheim for Brandon montour and jakob silfverberg..penguins are injured and struggling Anaheim sucks. So i would do this we get our top 4 dman to pair with schultz silfverberg top 6 winger get malkin back and go. Anaheim gets a sniper in phil a 24 year old second pairing dman who fits that system a high pick and a young talent.

      • Hi BlackNGold

        Pens IMO could get those two w/o giving up Phil (Moving Phil won’t happen in season)

        As you know, I’m both a Pens and Leafs fan

        I’m very strong on my belief this year that ALL IN mentality should be limited to the West

        Putting my heart and want aside; my logic tells me that it will be a massive longshot for Leafs to get to SCF this year. TBay is that strong.

        As it stands right now ; unfortunately I have less confidence (than Leafs) in the Pens

        Pens have Sid of course and many great players but the struggles with injuries; the missing chemistry ; the massive line juggling ; and worst of all; the blindness in playing JJ EVERY game AND heavy minutes even when he (1) repeatedly costs Pens opportunities to score and (2) every game he leads to a few scoring chances against and (3) most games a GA; and (4) has literally individually cost Pens at least 8 game points so far this year …. with all that…. my confidence in a Pens SC this year is low

        BTW apparently Pens 5 on 5 GF %’age when JJ is NOT on the ice is > 60%. When he’s on the ice that percentage drops by more than 20%. Just sayin’

        Apparently not a single other Dman in the entire League that has played more than 40 games;that has a drop of greater than 10% in that stat (off ice/on ice)

        Now that said …. if they sat JJ (or traded him—see below) when Shultz gets back ; and with Gino in the line-up; then a big trade for Silfverberg/Montour would massively sky-rocket my expectations/projections for Pens this play-offs:

        This is an ALL IN deal (it won’t happen due to the magnitude of players and of course the absolute refusal by GMJR to admit his mistake with the JJ signing) but it’s just to show you my perspective:

        Rust + 1st + Pearson + ZAR+ JJ + Cullen

        for
        Montour ; Silfverberg; Ritchie

        Sid ; Guentzel ; Silfverberg

        Gino; *Bjugstaad; **Ritchie/Simon

        *Bjugstaad/McCann ; Kessel ; Horny

        *McCann/Blueger/Angelo
        Wilson

        *Bjugstaad can play 2nd line winger or 3C and if he’s on 2nd line … McCann is 3C; if Bjugstaad is 3C; Mc Can is 4C

        **Ritchie and Simon are certainly good enough to move up or down the wings

        Petterson /Letang
        Dumo/Shultz
        Maata/Montour
        Riikola

        Murray
        DeSmith

        As I said …. that trade is impossible just by shear magnitude of players and GMJR refusal to move JJ; but that’s the kind of all in I’d be referring to that has an excellent shot at Pens getting to ECF; which will be IMO against TBay …. and then if Murray can perform near Vaz’s play …. there is a chance

        If they continue with JJ playing north of 19 mins every game …., I can’t fathom any miracle trade that could result in Pens winning the SC

        If the ONLY thing the Pens do when Shultz returns; is to completely sit JJ for the balance of the season; and for EVERY single play-off game; their chance of getting to the ECF has to at least jump by 20 % :

        Shultz will start to stabilize the D;

        with JJ out of every game GF% on 5on5 jumps by 20% for every game for his avg 5on5 TOI… call it 16 mins…. since Shultz effectively taking his minutes …. the team jump in %GF for those 16 mins/game will sky-rocket …. just this move alone could net Pens an average of an extra 1/3 to 1/2 goal per game …. that’s huge

        The chemistry with the new additions from Panther’s plus the stabilizing of lines will take another couple of weeks ; and Gino will be back; and IMO much better…. all this leads to Pens clicking much better by end of reg season

        …. Now if that happens (no JJ at all) …. a lesser tweak move might be all that is needed

        It all starts with the permanent benching of JJ

        GO PENS GO

  9. If I was a Toronto fan I would be exasperated reading things like “e said the Leafs are pursuing a similar player but, for a rental player, they’re not parting with top prospects Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren or a first-round pick. ” Mega contract time starts next year!

    • What’s exasperating to me, Chrisms, is hearing over and over that the Leafs need “grit.” Most of the young players on the team will be playing in their third or fourth post-season and they have developed physically, learned about NHL hockey and have been part of a better team in each of the past three years.
      They have veterans like Tavares, Marleau, Kadri, Hainsey, Reilly and now Muzzin who have playoff experience and certainly won’t be rattled by the whole deal. They have solid goaltending. If Andersen stays healthy, they can play with the best teams in the league.
      They don’t need grit; they need to play well.
      And, finally for all the Hainsey haters, the guy is second in the entire league in plus/minus. I know that doesn’t mean as much with advanced stats but would you rather have someone who’s Plus 28 on your team or someone like Drew Doughty who’s Minus 18? OK, just kidding but Hainsey is a good player. End of rant.

      • Agreed but extrapolated to the whole league. Pens won back to backs on speed and talent. Not grit. Reo speedwagon > the nitty gritty dirt band baby!

      • This is the best. Great post BC.

      • A team that gets knocked around in the playoffs and throws them right off their game doesn’t need grit lol just needs to play better! This is hilarious

  10. I hope Boston adds two forwards but not the big names that will cost a first or any of the top 3 prospects. Stone,Duchene and Panarin will cost too much as rentals. Not worth losing the assets for a first round loss or missing playoffs all together. I’m ok with rentals as long as it’s only costing a second or lower prospects. Hayes would be a great 3C if can be had for a second and lower prospect. Stone is the top guy we need but only if he stays. Definitely no on Kovalchuk. Dzingel or Nyquist good options.

    • To Dave (and all Bruins followers)

      In line with your thoughts …. Silfverberg would be a reasonable “get” for reasonable return…. I think a second does it

      If Sweeney ALL IN…. is he willing to give up both 1st and second and roster and prospect for 2 UFAs:

      Duch (1st, roster, prospect)

      Silfverberg (2nd)

      That would give Bos two very good lines

      Just asking?

      • Pengy NO!!!!! All in and lose, sets the franchise backwards. I believe Boston needs are to much and think the same way as Dave which is they also need another dman.

      • Caper

        I know …. with TBay that good ; I have trouble with the logic of any other team in the East going all in

        I was just asking , if Sweeney did have that mindset …. would adding those two meet his (Sweeney’s) reality of ALL IN

        Now …, out West …. if Flames; Jets; Preds; or Sharks go ALL IN …. I can understand it

        My logic ; is that each of those teams have a shot of getting to the SCF; and then they at least have s chance at the Cup;

        whereas, as it stands right now; I don’t have that confidence (getting to SCF) even with big ALL IN changes ; for any of the Eastern Teams not having home games at Amalie Arena

        I’m not a defeatist ; just a pragmatist weighing what currently stands as long odds

        Anything can happen in the play-offs …. expect the unexpected

        ….. but if I’m weighing a reasonable shot next year vs blowing a ton against the stacked odds this year…. I’m maneuvering for next year

        That’s why I’ve listed many times …. Leafs should not give up a first unless it’s for D and one with term…. so far so good

        For my other favourite team …. Pens… (1) they are hanging on to last WC spot …. as at now Car losing 2-0 to NJ; if Car comes back and wins …. Pens outside looking in ; and (2) the coach continues to play arguably one of the worst D men in the League ; EVERY game AND for disproportionate (and severely costly ) minutes … so unless that changes …. Pens should definitely NOT go all in

  11. Too bad Wpg and Nas have to meet in the quarter final. Hayes on either would help

    For Duchene to hit the market and then come back to the Sens in the summer would cost him personally a few million 8 vs7 year term.

    Leafs need a checking line and Brown should be a key. Adding a veteran center like they have tried the last 2 years is the route they will go

  12. Who the hell is Spectors Note. Johnsson and a pick for rental Simmonds. Are you sick in the head. Flyers need to throw in a 1st rounder plus Simmonds for Johnsson. Johnsson played in a third and fourth line for the Leafs for the majority of this season, and yet he has been one of the most consistent player in terms of production despite getting virtually nil power play time thanks to our obviously BLIND coach in Babcock. Johnsson did not become MVP of Calder Cup by fluke, he is a legit top six forward in NHL. I can’t believe these so called experts in media and in this forum tossing Kappy and Johnsson’s name around in trade discussions as a throw in. If you guys watch the game last night against the Habs, what did MATTHEWS line do? Zilch, Nada. This is a very common theme with this line, they produce in 1 or 2 games and they go DORMANT for the next 2 games. I don’t blame Matthews I blame Babcock for not recognizing the flaw in the line. I don’t understand why Babcock does not take Marleau off that line and promote Johnsson to Matthews’s line with Kappy. Johnnson’s skill is being wasted at the fourth line and at the same time Marleau is killing the Matthews’s line. Until TO can bring in a player like Panarin to be Matthews’s side kick, Johnsson is the best option at LW for Matthews. Matthews is too good to be kept dormant thanks to his incapable linemate Marleau who has a knack of distrupting the flow on the ice. Babcock needs to put the TEAM first, not his personal agenda. Dubas need to recognize who are the future Leafs and who needs to go out the door despite what their contributions were in the past. TO needs to win the CUP, and you can’t win with guys like Gardiner, Marleau, Zaitsev, Hainsey, and even Kadri. All these players Babcock speaks so highly of while he continuously demoting guys like Johnsson and Kapanen up and down the lineup. This tells me, Babcock is not as smart of a coach as we all thought when he signed that near $50 million dollars contract. I mean he is smart in that he got that contract, but clearly he is clueless in talent evaluation and also in tactical prospective. Zaitsev was one of the most highly touted Russian defender, and he showcased himself in world stage and the first year with the Leafs, he played like one. But, under Babcock he has been slowly declining downward year after year. Is it Babcock’s system that is failing him? Has he just become BAD for no reason? When I observe his game, I see a player who has lost all his confidence, I see a guy who seem to lack jump in his game and a lot of times indecisive as if he is scared to make a mistake. Whatever he is going through, it’s not good for the Leafs. I believe a change of a scenery will revive his play. I think he can flourish under Julien or Trotz. I believe Babcock is missing out on his players, he is definitely not utilizing his players to an optimal level of success. Power play is another example.

    Go Leafs Go

    • That is the question we ask ourselves. Who the hell is Spectors Note? A question as old as time.

      • Good one Chrisms, I made it all the way to the third sentence. Are you sick in the head.

    • absolutely right—but honesty isn’t allowed as a leaf fan lol—been fan for 30 years—read everything on leafs–follow this blog for 6 years everyday–met babcock a couple of times–very closed minded—seems very stubborn–also has resting B face lol—he’s misusing the lines—also get rid of the goat=—he plays like a goat lol
      put the speed up with mathews
      also need a net front presence like we had with jvr–also a booming right shot D–we don’t have much of a shot from blueline
      go leafs

      • So Jeff how long did you and Babs sit down and talk hockey. Must have been a few hours to come away with those opinions. Kappy plays with Mathews and he isn`t fast enough. You`re agreeing with Mike so you must watch the leafs less than him and he thinks they should put Bracco on the checking line and the only thing he`s checked in the past 2 years is his stats and his bank account. Yikes you guys

      • I have met Babcock once myself, at a lake in Sask. Didn’t talk hockey but golf. Their was a few of us and had a beer and a laugh. Seemed pretty normal to me. Red Wing (who he coached at the time) line combinations didn’t come up.

      • The funny part here is talking hockey with Babcock! Like he’s going to talk actual game plan with a fan?

        Imagine that, an NHL coach that seems stubborn to an obsessed fans ideas or opinions? Lmfao!

        You…“Hey, you’re misusing lines….”

        Babcock “ hey is that burger done yet? I’ve been at this table for 30 minutes , and I’m going to need some extra ranch and a coke ASAP “

      • My point exactly Nyr. The last thing a guy like that wants to talk about while he is at the summer cabin is talk hockey strategy with guys like us. I wasn’t there to talk about work, pretty sure he wasn’t either.

    • Mike, I actually listened to a word or two of what my wife was saying while skipping over your post. Thanks, now I know the mother in law is coming over and I can dip out just before her arrival. Cheers!

      • Ha ha!. Well played FD

      • Great hockey comment fd you really add to the topic on hand lol

    • Mike, the Leafs have a guy like Panarin to play with Matthews. His name is William Nylander.

      • Bbb, how nice of you to show up…as did your Habs last night. Cheers!

      • Way to post in the wrong spot, how slow are people that have been on here so much that can’t even reply right? Lol

    • I started reading Mike’s post and it started like another delusional Leaf rant but after reading the whole thing…..HE TOTALLY REDEEMED HIMSELF. Some good points and valid gripes.

  13. Got your wish Lyle.

  14. Bob Murray as head coach of the Ducks . No experiance . Going to be tough making deals from behind the bench. Going to be tough making match ups trying to close a deal on Silfverberg .

    Babcock has won Stanley Cups and Gold medals. I think he knows a thing or two. I am betting the lines will look different come April

    • If Toronto ever fires Mike Babcock, I hope Kyle Dubas doesn’t make himself the interim coach. Those pucks can hurt.

  15. The Leafs won’t move a roster player for a rental, with a possible exception on Zaitsev,Holl, or Ozighaov. They would all be movable if a rugged top 4 dman was available.*Upgrade with an expiring contract*
    Simmons is not playing with a lot of energy this season and Ferland has already had one concussion scare…so I doubt the Leafs would be willing to move a key asset for a rental unless there is a lot of cap-space coming back as well.
    Johnsson and Kapanen are pretty unlikely to be moved this season, though one might be moved at the draft…as both are RFAs. Jeremy Bracco and Trevor Moore each look like they could step into a third line winger role if the play-offs were not too near. Mason Marchment could fill a role on afourth line. So guys like Connor Brown or Johnsson, possibly Par Lindholm could maybe be dealt if the return is significant.

  16. Have to admit I was confused by the Simmonds piece. He said Buffalo needed help on D and then mentioned Zaitsev. I’m still not sure what the connection was there 🙂

    He suggests getting Simmonds for a 2nd and Brown (one of the guys who may well not be affordable next year). I suspect the Flyers will get better offers than a late second and a guy they could pick up for free in the off season. Hmmm, maybe they could use Zaitsev? (that’s sacrcasm btw).

  17. Leafs will get bounced in the 1st round so it doesn’t matter who they try to trade for.

  18. Anyone know of anywhere they track the data of how often a team wins when they swap out goalies because of how bad the score is? Does it ever work?

  19. Just curious, maybe I’m stupid, but does Ottawa get cap relief if the Kings buy out Phaneuf’s contract? I’ve really ever seen if come up before.

    • “never”

  20. Pengy..i like your trade better montour silfverberg ritchie. I know j j is just well awfil..i played division 1 hockey 2 years semi pro and watching jj i cringe at his bad reads lack of strength defending the cycle poor turnovers brutal..

  21. The Flyers aren’t giving Simmonds up for a 2nd or 3rd, that’s ludicrous!