Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 14, 2019

by | Apr 14, 2019 | Rumors | 43 comments

A call for the Leafs to move Nazem Kadri this summer plus updates on the Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers in today’s NHL rumor roundup.

SHOULD THE LEAFS TRADE KADRI?

TORONTO SUN: With center Nazem Kadri facing a suspension for another undisciplined postseason performance, Steve Simmons believes the Toronto Maple Leafs should part ways with him this summer. Kadri was ejected from Game 2 of the Leafs’ opening-round series against the Boston Bruins for cross-checking Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. A year ago, Kadri received a three-game suspension in last year’s series against Boston and could face a longer one this time. 

Should the Leafs part ways with Nazem Kadri this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

Simmons feels Kadri’s reckless antics means the Leafs can no longer depend on him to be a central part of a contending team. Of the five penalties the Leafs took in Game 2, Kadri had four of them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri could be facing a five-game suspension, which will finish him for this series and rob the Leafs of an invaluable third-line center. You can bet that won’t sit well with Leafs management and head coach Mike Babcock.

Just because a pundit calls upon the Leafs to move Kadri doesn’t mean the club shares that view. Nevertheless, this is the second year in a row Kadri’s emotion got the better of him during a playoff series. For a team that sees itself as a Cup contender, they cannot afford one of their key players to be a loose cannon in the heat of postseason competition.

It’ll be interesting to see if this incident affects Kadri’s future with the Leafs. He’s in the third season of a six-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $4.5 million and a 10-team no-trade list. 

LATEST ON THE WILD

STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: Sarah McLellan reports the Minnesota Wild enter the offseason with salary-cap room and a need to bolster their scoring. Assuming the cap rises to $83 million as projected, they’ll have around $18 million in salary-cap space to work with. Some of that will be invested in re-signing restricted free agents such as Ryan Donato, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Kevin Fiala. She speculates they could focus on realistic targets in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market, which includes such notable scorers as Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Jeff Skinner, Anders Lee, and Brock Nelson.

McLellan also speculates the Wild could create more salary-cap space via the trade market. Winger Jason Zucker could be a trade candidate, as he was nearly shipped to the Calgary Flames at the trade deadline in February. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Zucker acknowledged his uncertain future with the Wild after seeing former teammates Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, and Charlie Coyle get traded. Zucker insists he wants to return with the Wild and intends to focus on improving his play this summer. However, Mizutani feels it wouldn’t be surprising if Zucker was traded to shed his $5.5 million salary-cap hit. 

McLellan also reported contract extension talks with defenseman Jared Spurgeon are an offseason priority for Wild general manager Paul Fenton. Spurgeon has a year remaining on his four-year, $20.75-million contract and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. However, he’s indicated his preference is to re-sign with the Wild. “My family loves it here,” he said. “We love it here. I want to win here, so you can just go about it the way you can and let your agent do his thing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fenton appears intent on shaking up the Wild’s forward lines by adding younger, more affordable talent with upside. If he gets a quality offer for Zucker this summer I don’t think he’ll hesitate to move him. The 27-year-old winger would be enticing to playoff contenders seeking an experienced scoring winger. 

Cap Friendly indicates Zucker’s modified no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. If Fenton decides to shop Zucker, expect it to be around the 2019 NHL Draft weekend (June 21-22) in Vancouver.

As for Spurgeon, it’s clear Fenton values his contributions to the Wild blueline. However, he’ll turn 30 in November and currently carries an annual average value of over $5.187 million. He’ll turn 31 in the first year of his next contract and Fenton might not be keen to invest too much for too long. 

UPDATE ON THE PANTHERS

THE ATHLETIC: With the Florida Panthers signing Joel Quenneville last week as their new head coach, Eric Duhatschek noted they have around $17.55 million in projected salary-cap space to bolster their roster via trade and/or free agency. Quenneville’s hiring has some observers suggesting that could prove enticing for Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, who had a good relationship with Quenneville during their days with the Chicago Blackhawks.

If the Panthers intend to pursue Panarin and teammate Sergei Bobrovsky via free agency, Duhatschek believes they’ll have to free up more cap space to comfortably afford the two and still leave sufficient space for other moves, like adding a skilled defenseman such as Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers. 

Duhatschek suggests adding Bobrovsky means moving out either Roberto Luongo or James Reimer. If they land Panarin, they’ll be forced to part with one of their top-six forwards to make the salary cap numbers work. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers were among the top-10 in scoring this season. Panarin is a luxury they don’t need. Goaltending and defense are the problem areas that must be addressed. Should they bring in a goalie as expected, Reimer is likely the odd man out as he carries an affordable $3.4 million annual salary cap hit and lacks no-trade protection.

If they wish to go the trade route for a defenseman, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba could be a good fit. He’s an RFA this summer with arbitration rights and a year away from UFA eligibility. Given his contentious contract negotiations with the Jets, who also have to re-sign Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine this summer, they could be willing to move Trouba. The Panthers have the depth in young assets to make a competitive pitch. 







43 Comments

  1. Well, if the Leafs do decide to part ways with Kadri at least there is 0 chance he brings his loose cannon act to Ottawa as they are almost assuredly on his 10-team no-go list. Whew!

    • It would be too bad if the Leafs move Kadri – he is one of the few players on the team with any brass.

      • Yeah, but there’s “responsible brass” – like Matthew Tkachuk – and then there’s “brain-fart brass” and that’s what Kadri displays when he gets frustrated

    • Thank you George for that insightful comment.

      • You’re entirely welcome!

      • I think he put it very eloquently, “brain-fart brass”

  2. Trouba is going to end up in Philadelphia

    • I think Zucker is a great addition to any team looking to go deeper in the playoffs. He is a but fragile and $5.5M is a good chunk as well. Still, I can see Zucker fit in AZ, SJ, PHI, NYI, TO, CAR.

      Kadri always had issues with his character. You want to like the guy but it’s “always something”. I can see SJ be a fit as they need some injected youth and could possibly lose both Joes this summer.

      Panthers will make noise from draft week and forward. Yes Panarin is a luxury, but Hoffman is most likely not a long-term Panther. Which means they may trade him for a dman if and after they sign Panarin.

      Myers would be a solid addition but teams must tread carefully with a big contract.

      Trouba is of interest but Jets, as much as they had issues resigning him last time, would not be able to replace him.

    • Not a chance.

  3. I bet the Cats buy out Reimer, who has always been way too streaky. Luongo’s contract buyout would have cap ramifications.

  4. Would EDM take Reimer & Pysk & a pick for one of their defensemen like Larsson? FLA can hold some of Reimer’s cap.
    EDM needs a back up who can push their starter

    FLA needs to round out top 4

    EDM gets a backup and a RD for the same cap value ( or less if retained) of Larsson. Also clears up room for Sekera on the backend.

    • or Reimer & Hoffman for Larsson??

      FLA then can pitch for both Panarin and Bobrovsky

      EDM gets Hoffman to play with McDavid.

      • Just what the Oilers need – a seive G and another floating winger who wouldn’t back-check his hat

      • I don’t the Oilers will trade Larsson. He’s on a good contract and I think he’ll bounce back next season.
        May be Russell + for Reimer + to even the cap hitsL??????

      • reimer is likely gone and luongo is said to be retiring, or to ltir to start next season. that leaves bob and young montembault. panthers can run and gun, but the defense was porous. we’ll see what the 6 million dollar man can do in sunrise. but he does not have a toews or kane.barkov is great when healthy.

  5. lol

    but at least Hoffman can score

  6. Kadri gets 3. DeBrusk was deliberate with the knee.
    The Leafs will be soft if they lose Kadri no matter how out of control he gets.

    What did DeBrusk eat before the game? He was everywhere

    • Not sure how you know it was deliberate ds. Was he trying drill him, yes. Did he stick his knee out to the side to intentionally knee on knee him? Didn’t look like it to me as Kadri jumped last second to avoid the direct hit. Looked like a reaction play, which is still a penalty.
      Agree with the commentary during and after the game that the refs lost control but letting too much stuff go.
      Everybody is talking about Leafs being short handed without Kadri. The Bruins now have 4 D out of their lineup. 4 is a lot and they were already playing Clifton up from Providence. Maybe Clifton can play but it sure doesn’t look like Krug will.
      Methinks we will see Lauzon and Zboril, which means big minutes for Chara, Carlo and McAvoy. Or Moore and or Miller play hurt.
      From from ideal.

      • Ray I believe Kampfer will be the next man up. Moore is close to returning. Debrusk went thru concussion testing after the game; hopefully he is fine.
        I take Kadri in Boston, but we know that isn’t a trade about to happen. Be fun to watch Kadri play Toronto in the playoffs.

      • borderline knee and it Kadri crosschecked in the back it would of been nothing. back of the neck/head is idiotic

      • Even if Kadri drops the gloves, DeBrusk likely obliges. Maybe a 2 minute instigator but more than likely they both just go to the box.
        Love Kadri’s intensity and grit Caper, plus he has skill. So yeah I take him on my team. Bruins have some RD to form the basis of a deal as well, although if you trade with a rival you best be winning the trade.
        Perhaps Kadri can meditate with Marchand in the off season to learn how to keep the emotions in check.

  7. Perhaps TML looks at Hayes as their 3rd line center for next season…..after trading Kadri….

    Very reliable …..

    salary obviously will determine if they can get him…..

  8. Kadri has become a player that makes Marchand look classy. Talented player, but vindictive and dirty.

    Zucker could be a good fit for the Habs, who create chances but don’t have enough high percentage shooters, and have the cap space to absorb him. Not sure what the Wild would want, though.

    (especially as the article indicates they need more scoring, not sure why they’d get rid of a scorer)

  9. Can’t see how Jets keep both Trouba and Myers. Would guess keeping Trouba would be the priority. but it’s entirely up to him. Don’t see him agreeing to anything but a long term deal and not sure he wants to stay there. If he becomes available, there will be a lot of interest and the price will be high in both return and price of contract. Rangers have Jets 1st rounder plus a ton of assets. They have the cap space. They don’t have a top pair right D with his size and skill. Not now, not in future. I’d expect them to be very interested as he’d be perfect fit at his age.

  10. Jack Johnson!

    • I can’t wait to see how Jack Johnson was 100% to blame for this series loss.

      I’ll be making some popcorn and sitting back reading.

      Priceless! I can’t believe I find myself cheering on an islanders sweep. But this fan base in Pittsburgh makes it easy!

      • Oooh yeah. And although JJ was the giveaway artist on that 3rd Islander goal, you aren’t going to win many playoff games with 1 goal – and just 5 in 3 games – none from Crosby – not even an assist.

      • And against a goalie that the Buffalo Sabres decided wasn’t worth a contract offer!

      • George, I’m not going to lie. I absolutely love this! Especially after arguing all year with a few select Pittsburgh fans about who is the best player in the game today, and haters being the demons that pick the Islanders with another!

        Father Time catches us all! And relying on a very injury prone aging team to continue to dominate the NHL… well… that’s working out well!

        Lmfao! There isn’t a bigger Islander fan than me at the moment!

        Go Islanders! Shut the “haters” mouths!

      • Ny. Except the sweep thing I am sooooo with you. It’s really sad how the online pens base blames Jj for almost everything.

        I can assure you that the actual local fans and the local media was appalled when he was scratched game one

  11. Chara was smart and it took a lot of self control not to put Kadri in a special place. Bruins need both Krug and Jake to beat Toronto even without Kadri. Carlo and Charlie can’t play the whole game. I like Moore and Miller but don’t think either is ready. Zboril has been recalled for emergency I guess you have to get your feet in the fire sooner or later.

    • Ya Obe a few more games for Zboril in the NHL would have been preferred prior to getting thrown in. He can skate which is key against the Leafs. Has an edge to his game too.
      He has been getting some bigger minutes this year which should help him. Methinks he gets 13 or so minutes if he actually plays. Offensive zone and 4th line starts. Maybe even some 2nd PP unit.
      McAvoy Carlo and Chara may all get 25 ish minutes.

  12. Haters! How dare any of you pick the Islanders over Pittsburgh? How dare you have opinions against my favorite team that don’t jive with my opinions…. Pittsburgh is 8!

    My favorite homer seems to be absent today, so I thought I’d fill in for him.

    • Pittsburgh in 8, not is 8

    • I appreciate you.

    • How can I win the king of the hill and be your favorite homer ny. It would be an honor

    • Nice deflection from the TB series….

      • I definitely wasn’t dumb enough to call anyone “haters” for picking Columbus…. go Bruins!
        But nice try of a deflection.

  13. hopefully kadri is gone for rest of series which means done for the year…lol

  14. Kadri = Trash

  15. Leafs trade Mathews , Kadri , Sandin , Nylander and two firsts to L.A for Kopitar, Carter and Drew Doughty. Toronto has Tavares, Carter and Kopitar at centre win multiple Cups and L.A starts rebuild. Babcock loves players who are seasoned and works better with them than kids.

    • Wow, go big or go home Obe!
      Not sure the Leafs need to throw in the 2 firsts.

      • Seems like just yesterday a team moved three players / contracts like Doughty, Kopitar and Carter in one trade… jk, that never happens!