NHL Rumor Mill – August 17, 2016

by | Aug 17, 2016 | Rumors | 92 comments

The Detroit Red Wings could dangle Gustav Nyquist (left) or Tomas Tatar as trade bait for a top-three defenseman.

The Detroit Red Wings could dangle Gustav Nyquist (left) or Tomas Tatar as trade bait for a top-three defenseman.

 In today’s NHL rumor mill, the latest on the Red Wings and Islanders plus updates on the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes.


MLIVE.COM:  In a recent mailbag segment, Ansar Khan reported Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar are all coming back to the Detroit Red Wings for the upcoming season. “The question is whether any of them will be traded during the season in a package for a top-three defenseman,” writes Khan. He considers Tatar as their best trade chip, but believes moving him would sacrifice a good chunk of their offense. The combination of Nyquist’s contract ($4.75 million annually through 2018-19) and dip in production last season hurts his trade value.

Khan also suggested defenseman Brendan Smith faces a critical season. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. If the Wings feel he hasn’t significantly improved, they could try moving him at the Feb. 28 trade deadline rather than lose him for nothing to the UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wings general manager Ken Holland suggested his search for a top-three defenseman could stretch into training camp. There’s a good possibility it could carry through into the upcoming season. I agree Tatar is their best trade chip, but it’s doubtful on his own he’ll attract that blueliner the Wings need. Holland could be forced to package a top prospect into the deal.

I realize some will point to the Edmonton Oilers giving up Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson to suggest otherwise, but that’s not a comparable. I don’t see a team like the Anaheim Ducks being so desperate to add a left winger than they’ll part with Cam Fowler for Tatar straight up.


NHL.COM’S Brian Compton recently responded to a reader’s question about the New York Islanders shopping goalie Jaroslav Halak this summer. While the reader didn’t see a landing spot for Halak, Compton still doesn’t rule it out during the World Cup of Hockey and training camp. He considers Thomas Greiss and J-F Berube the Isles’ preferred tandem. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  As Compton suggested, a lot can happen during that period. Still, moving Halak won’t be easy. He’s under contract through 2017-18 at $4.75 million per and has a lengthy injury history. 


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports multiple sources claim unrestricted free agent and 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey met yesterday in Boston with representatives from the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins. Today, they’re expected to meet with reps from the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.

Red Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin said Vesey told them he’d prefer playing closer to home. Harrington suggests that could be bad news for the Blackhawks. 

The 23-year-old left wing is expected to reach a decision on Friday. The Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings made inquiries but none of them are expected to be contenders for his services. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Vesey wants to play closer to home, it could also be bad news for the Penguins, Sabres and Maple Leafs, though the latter has ties with his father and brother. Hopefully Vesey will reach a decision by week’s end and not drag this out any longer than necessary. 


  1. With the addition of Vermette, Anaheim no longer needs a LW. Either Vermette will play LW with Getzlaf & Perry or he’ll move to the # 3 C spot & Rackell will play LW with them like he did at the beginning of last season.

    Anaheim is precariously close to the cap ceiling with 6.6 mil in space & Lindholm & Rackell still to sign. For the last 2 seasons Anaheim has run on an internal cap far below the max. Murray did say in his season ending news conference that the budget was higher for this coming season but getting both these players signed under 6.6 will be challenging. Perhaps Anaheim is going to spend some of their future expansion revenue on this seasons roster?

    Vermette/Rackell, Getzlaf, Perry.
    Cogliano, Kesler, Silfverberg.
    Ritchie, Rackell/Vermette, Garbutt.
    Raymond, Wagner, Boll.
    Spare. ?

    I still assume a Dman is being moved at some point between now & the trade deadline but it appears more likely the return may simply be futures & a young player on a cost effective ELC.

    • According to general fanager the ducks have $9,270,734 in cap space that’s with the addition of Vermette.

      • Really? Great position to be in for the Ducks! Surprised they haven’t added more already with that type of space available.

      • Capfriendly shows 6.6 NHLnumbers.com 6.7?

      • Striker, I checked it out. General Fanager listed Vermettee contract but its doesn’t add into their total accounting for $1.750 of the difference, also General Fanager does not list Shea Theodore salary of $863,133 because that would but them at 9 dman. So I would put the cap space at 6.6 plus Theodore hit of $863,133 cap space of $7.46

      • Cool.

      • Don’t go with fanager. If you click on the team to the left you will see projected cap. If you look at top you will see 2016-17 cap that includes Vermette and you will notice that there is a 1.75 mil difference. Also they are missing entry contract 2016 pick they signed. Go with CapFriendly. It is up to date everywhere on site. Ducks..66,342,500 cap

    • Given Anaheim’s cap situation, it looks like they will be pushing for 2-3 year bridge deals for Lindholm and Rakell to keep their cap hits lower in the short term. That is what they did with Vatanen and Silfverberg (1 year) and those moves worked out fine for both sides. I still think Fowler will be traded at some point, but there shouldn’t be any urgency from Anaheim’s perspective given Fowler is a highly coveted 2/3 defenseman, if not a possible number 1 defenseman.

      Detroit is in a horrible cap situation even with Franzen and Vitale going on LTIR. They have massively overpaid their defense core and third/fourth line players. I hate the new DeKeyser and Helm contracts, Green is quite overpaid at $6M/year the next couple seasons and Abdelkader for 7 years at $4.25M with a full NTC for a few years isn’t great either. This could be the year Detroit’s impressive playoff streak ends and much of it is on Holland’s poor contracts the last couple seasons.

      • Good points regarding the Ducks. They are deep defensively but still need to maximize their return for a guy like Fowler. I still think Edmonton is a great trade partner for Anaheim but am not sure they want to help a divisional rival and vice versa.

      • Totally agree that Holland’s bad signings here will be the death of this team. I think the 6×5 DeKeyser signing was fine he will be our top D-man here shortly after Kronwall retires in 3 years or so. Totally agree that the Helm signing was bad. No way is Helm worth nearly $4 million here for 5 months. I would rather be giving playing time to Mantha and AA right now over Helm and Vanek. Signing both Miller and Ott were mistakes. Pretty sure that we’ve enough to play the 4th line grinder role. Abdelkader’s deal could be bad within 5 years from now. Holland has this team up against the wall. With all of these bad contracts we’re going to be in cap hell for the foreseeable future here as i see it the cap saved from Green coming off the books will go to Larkin giving him a big contract in 2 years or so.

    • Unfortunately at this stage of his career, Vermette is a 3rd line center or winger not a top line winger Vermette wont help Getzlag all that much on the top line he’s be lucky to add 40 points this season. And Anaheim still needs to move a D-man out. Anaheim can’t afford to be up against the cap and they surely will once Lindholm and Rakell resign because of their internal budget that their owner laid on the team. By all accounts BM is still looking to add a top 6 LW.

      • Gary
        BUT if Bob Murray gets a bundle of draft picks for Fowler he can always pick up a left winger at the trade deadline for a #2 pick. There will be more players available at trade deadline then ever before as teams will be looking to trade players that they feel they could lose in expansion draft.

    • Striker I’m a Ducks fan as well. Please stop misrepresenting our needs! Judging from Bob Murray’s moves the last few years he seems to get his ideas from the comment sections of blogs like this, and you are giving him the wrong idea if he’s reading!

      Of course the Ducks still need help at LW! How the hell does 34 year old Antoine Vermette fix anything outside bottom 6 depth? Check out the lines:

      . . . – Getzlaf – . . .
      . . . – Rakell – Perry
      Cogliano – Kesler – Silfverberg
      Raymond – Vermette – Garbutt
      Boll, Wagner, Ritchie

      Even if you put Vermette at 2C, which is a disaster, and Rakell at LW, you’re still missing a top six LW and a top-six RW.

      I mean just be realistic, who are the Ducks top six wingers right now? Name me one besides Perry! Just one. Kesler himself said the team needed to add someone to play with Getzlaf because Perry and Rakell were good together. That means Perry as the RW and Rakell as the CENTER.

      But okay, even if you make Rakell your LW, who else plays top six LW or RW for the Ducks? You need four top six wingers. Perry is 1. Let’s say Rakell is 2 for argument’s sake.

      Who else? Nick Ritchie wasn’t even a good 4th liner last year, let alone top six. Silfverberg and Cogliano both play on the checking line, and neither cracked 40 points last year! NEITHER!

      So who else lol? Most Vermette’s points were on the PP last year, he wasn’t good 5 on 5. And even though he got prime PP time, he failed to crack 40 points as well.

      So you’ve totally misrepresented the situation. The Ducks don’t just need one more top six forward, they need 3 ideally, at least two. That’s why trading Fowler to Detroit to get a Tatar or Nyquist AND an Athanasiou or Mantha could potentially net them two top six forwards in one trade, two young ones also, if they develop right. But certainly whatever they do, they need to add top six forwards. You are crazy if you think adding 34 year old Vermette, who isn’t even a 40 point player and had single digit even strength goals last year, fixes the top line LW spot or any top six hole.

  2. Vesey to the Leafs, they will finally have the Dman to run the power play. Leafs win the cup this year.

    • Sheesh, Oil Fan I am on here pumping your team’s tires and you seem to be making rather sarcastic remarks about my Leafs.

      In all seriousness I think both of these teams are trending quickly in the right direction. Agreed?

      • Unfortunately every fanbase has their trolls.
        As an Oiler fan myself I agree that the Leafs are trending in the right direction. The only questions I have is Anderson, unproven at being a number 1 goalie and coming from a top team. Can he be the same goalie on a lower team? and do the leafs have the veterans to protect the young players?

        IMO the only difference between this leafs team and the Oilers when they drafted Hall back in 2010 is Morgan Rielly and a good young potential number 1 goalie.

      • Andersen I believe is going to do great on what will be a vastly improved Toronto team. He’s part of the big improvement.

    • None of this comment makes sense. Vesey is a LW and I don’t see why they would convert him to defense even though I agree the leafs D is awful.

      • It’s a sad attempt at humour Deee. The type that has been thrown at the Leafs for decades now! It will stop in the very near future.

      • Umm Steven. Surely us non leaf fans can keep the bad jokes coming regardless off where the leafs end up in the standings.

        Did you hear about the leaf fan who asked for the mapleleaf players to be the pallbearers at his funeral?

        He requested so that the leafs could let him down one last time.

    • Give it a rest and get out of your parents’ basement bro.

  3. Hall for Larsson as a barometer for trade value is a mistake. People need to realize that deal was made in part to clear salary to add Lucic. The real deal here was Larsson and Lucic for Hall. Chiarelli knows Lucic and has won with him. I think that deal is worth making. Other forwards in Edmonton will be dealt to complete that defence. With Chiarelli at the helm Edmonton will become a powerhouse.

    • I disagree and that point of view is looking at it from Oiler fan rose coloured glasses. From New Jersey’s perspective, they got Hall for Larsen and Lucic had nothing to do with the trade.

      In Edmonton’s defense, they absolutely had to get a high end defenseman and Larsson could very well develop into a good top pairing d-man. If that happens, his contract is very team friendly and I can see why Chiarelli made the trade. In my opinion, Hall was too much for that asset, but I’m sure Chiarelli contacted everyone in the league about getting that top defenseman and this was his best option. He likely tried to move Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins instead, but they weren’t valuable enough in such a trade.

      • Van, that would be exactly what happened. PC couldn’t get what he wanted for RNH or Eberle, so he pulled the trigger on the Hall deal once he knew he was getting Lucic. There is no way he could keep going without a top 3 Dman that was young. Unfortunately every other GM knew that too. Tough deal to make, but he did it. Have to give him credit for having the nuts to do it. He knew he the deal wouldn’t be popular with the fan base or media. Straight up the deal doesn’t look great, but right decision for team.

      • You don’t seem to understand how the cap influences the absence of old time hockey trades. In the end Chiarelli gets Lucic and Larsson who he did not have before the trade. He no longer has Hall. So the end game is Larsson and Lucic for Hall. It’s that simple.

      • Steven: I totally understand how the cap works, but you are still looking at it from only Edmonton’s perspective. On New Jersey’s side, it was Larsson for Hall, nothing more to it. It should work out fine for both teams and Chiarelli had the stones to make the trade, unlike Tambewieni and Kevin Blow.

        As an aside, I’m guessing most Edmonton fans would want a do-over on the 2011 and 2012 drafts. They could have picked Adam Larsson over Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 when that was a real debate and now had Hall, Lucic and Larsson. Draisatl could fill-in as the long-term second line center and they would be looking pretty strong going forward if they could find one more top 3 defenseman. However, if they had picked Murray over Yakupov in 2012, there is your extra top 3 defenseman. No way Columbus swaps those players today and no team will give up a top 3D for Yakupov straight up.

        Lowe and MacTavish made these draft decisions even worse with Nugent-Hopkins’ second contract as he isn’t worth $6M/year for another 5 years. If he had been bridged a couple years after his entry level deal and an RFA this summer, he would have much more trade value than he does now. His value is lower because of the inflated contract given he is no more than a 2C.

      • Van, not only would they not get a 3D for Yakupav, they would be lucky to get a 2nd round pick.

      • Oilers play the Devils twice in January. I would love to see Hall destroy them. other than those 2 games I do want the oilers to do well and finally realize they don’t need to keep tanking it every season…after being taught a losing is winning culture for so long it could be hard to turn it around.

      • Think I’m taking Ovie over Lucic lol best power forward in the game?? Serious?

    • Agreed. Plus they needed Lucic to clobber anyone who touches McDavid. I hate Lucic, he’s an arrogant troglodyte but he’s the perfect player to ensure Connor plays a whole season, and makes more horrible comercials about fishing or whatever that garbage was.

      • Looch has slowed down he isn’t the big time tough guy he once was, has had his butt beat a few times in the last couple of years

      • Pretty sure Looch can still handle himself quite well. Best power forward in the game right now my concern is in year 4

    • You can look at it that way but technically they were 2 separate deals.

      • They are 2 separate deals but the reality is once they signed Lucic to $6 mil one of Hall, Eberle or Nuge had to go.

    • Steven!!!!!!!!!! LUCIC was NOT part of the Hall deal. Get over it!

      • That’s not what I said! Chiarelli knew he wanted Lucic. He also knew he needed a defenceman. So he traded Hall for Larsson knowing that gave him room for Lucic. In the end he has Larsson and Lucic and no longer has Hall. You can move backwards in checkers Caper! That’s what he did. He lost one checker and came out with two! Ironically one was a King. By the way check your temper this is simply a chat room about hockey.

      • Steven: New Jersey moved one checker for one checker in your scenario. Caper isn’t angry, you just have tunnel vision.

      • AND a very selective “sense of humor”

      • Thanks for noticing my sense of humor George! The reality is that is’s a lot of fun bickering about with you all!

      • Hi,
        There is no tunnel vision on his part when you speak about a trade out of Oilers perspective. Yes, the trade was Hall for Larsson. But also 6m caphit for 4.2.
        And also forward for defence. And also creating a whole for Lucic.
        The trade isn’t as simple as one for one. All things considered, I think it was an excellent move by the Oilers.

      • I agree the deal of Hall for Larson did not have lucid as a part. However if Lucic wasn’t available I doubt the trade happens. His availability influenced the Hall for Larson deal. Lucia was a separate deal but one would not occur with our the other. In my not so humble opinion.

  4. I don’t see the Isles being able to get rid of Halak unless it is a pure salary dump and don’t expect much back. There was some speculation they would exchange him with Bishop as part of a larger deal since Tampa has to dump salary. That swap will save Tampa around 1.2M on the Cap but Halak has two years remaining as opposed to Bishop’s one.

  5. I no he is not a Dman just new a Leaf fan would say somthing, but thanks for the heads up on that.

    • And why wouldn’t a leaf fan say something? If you said the same comment with any other team I’m sure there fans would comment.

  6. Detroit needs to trade a winger to help the cap

    trade a winger for someone who only has a year left on the contract. There are teams that need to trade players like that for immediate cap space

  7. If Vesey doesn’t sign with Boston, Sweeney can start sending out the job resumes asap he’s not going to be around much longer once the fans catch wind of it!

    • I don’t think losing Vesey would get Sweeney fired. To be honest, I think he has done a decent job with Neely and Jacobs hovering over his shoulder. He probably should have traded Eriksson at the deadline, but I understand why he didn’t with them being in a playoff spot at the time. He made the right move in not signing Eriksson to the buyout proof contract that Vancouver offered and will regret in a few years (Ron Jull’s comments are welcome).

      The only move Sweeney made that makes no sense to me was buying out Seidenberg, which leaves over $1M/year in dead cap space for four years, to sign John Michael-Liles at a cap savings of only about $800k this year? Seidenberg didn’t have a NMC, so he could have been left unprotected for expansion, and Boston didn’t have any real cap issues this year.

      • I’m OK with Sweeney as well. The core issue with this team (no young D in the pipeline) was not really his making. Yes I know Hamilton left, and I think he could have got more, he just really liked the depth of the draft that year. So we will see about that.
        They would still be in tough with Hamilton as they need more than just one top 4 D, they need 3.
        Their is a shortage out there for the young top D men and he isn’t overpaying, he is drafting instead.
        I am unsure how long he can keep this rebuild on the fly working though before he has to sell some older quality assets and start the rebuild for real. I see them as a bubble team.
        I also do not get the Seidenberg buyout.

  8. Jimmy Vesey to Boston, still sticking to it. Reports yesterday about Detroit being told Vesey has no interest in playing there because he remains focused on playing close to home favors the Bruins… if it’s in fact true. I agree with Lyle, this puts a lot of those teams making pitches to Vesey in a difficult position but again, only if that’s true.

    Boston supposedly met with Jimmy Vesey yesterday and is the final scheduled team to meet again with him today. From reports it sounds like Boston is the only team out of the short list that’s getting the opportunity to meet twice with Jimmy Vesey and camp, aside from Buffalo obviously.

    • Chad, the writing seems to be on the wall with Vessey going to Boston….

      • mattstake,

        Feels that way today more than it did yesterday but we won’t know until the kid makes his decision… could throw a curve ball in there.

        From the reports of Bruins meeting yesterday and getting the chance to be the final team to meet with Vesey today… I chalk that up as an advantage. Also, reports of his camp explaining to Detroit that he’s interested in playing closer to home. I think that cuts the list to about 3 teams.

      • it matters meeting with home team last…lets see if they deliver

    • I respect your stance Chad. You are picking one team as your prediction for Vesey as am I. My pick is the Leafs. You and I unlike so many others are taking the risk of being wrong. By saying he could sign with Buffalo, Boston, Toronto, NYI, NYR, NJD, Pittsburgh, or Chicago allows certainty for being able to say, “I told you so”. Good on you!

      • Steven,

        All along I’ve been in the Vesey to Boston group… these beat writers lately who narrow their list to 20 teams (sarcasm) that Vesey may sign with are just playing the numbers.

        Stick to your stance! Good on you as well.

      • Nah. You’re all wrong. He’s going to sign with the Senators. That will give LeafsNation someone new to hate with a passion associated with the Senators since which they haven’t had since Alfie went to Detroit – and then retired.

      • Lol George. Someone new for leaf nation to boo. I going with new Jersey cause I don’t think it will happen. That normally means it will.

    • Boston is the last team to see Jimmy and is entourage. There is no mention of them meeting the Bruins twice.

    • I’d rather have a top 3 Dman, that was their main objective so said Sweeney at the season ending presser, somewhere along the way that got lost, this team will finish out of the playoffs again because thus far they are going into the 17 season with the exact same D just a year older

    • Hope your right!

  9. I personally think its between Bos,NYR, and the Isles. With the Bruins being the frontrunner. Btw, does anyone know if his parents are together or separated. I know its personal info but that may affect another teams chances that are on the short list. If he is in fact wanting to stay close to home.

    • HockeyFan,

      Not really sure. There were some reports circling though that said his Mom wanted him close to home…

  10. Van,

    Love the Tambeweini and Kevin Blow nicknames! Great stuff!

    • Once in a while, I can be creative with nicknames. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      • Kevin Lowe was a horrible manager. Edmonton’s greatest move so far was to clear him and MacTabish away from managerial decisions. I am a huge Leaf fan but do think they will be the team everybody’s chasing real soon.

      • Better believe it. Alberta hockey will be dominating again in about 3 years.

  11. Brian Burke said Vesey is as insignificant as a pimple on an Elephant butt.

    • Coming from the guy who graced the league with Tyler Bozak Christian Hanson that’s rich.

      • Bozak was one of the best pickups in Leafs history and one of the best college signings in the entire NHL.

        435 games played, 107 goals and 160 assists for 267 points. Cost – nothing, not even a draft pick.

      • Let’s not get carried away with one of the best Leaf pickup in history are you Bozaks uncle Dan? lol

      • Burke did say Bozak was the best player that came out of that league.

      • lol he is wrong

    • I’m not about to jump on the Vesey bandwagon – but if there had been ANY chance that Calgary might have landed him Burke would be claiming he would have selected him # 1 – as he did with Rielly when he took him 5th – ALTHOUGH, when you look back at that draft, other than Galchenyuk, the 4 taken ahead of him haven’t exactly been standing the league on its ear. So maybe ol’ Burkie knows the value of what he sees. Then again, Dumba, Lindholm, Forsberg and Maata all went later in that 1st round.

      • That’s true George, but that group is just coming into their prime over the next few years. Rielly, in particular, looked like he took another step at the Worlds.

        I think that after this upcoming season we’ll be able to start to really evaluate with confidence who the best D among the 94 crop were.

      • Great syntax!

      • Agreed on all Burke comments. No one from that draft other than Forsberg is clearly better than Reilly today.

        What was McPhee thinking trading Forsberg for Erat?! One of the most lopsided trades in the last 20 years. For Vegas’ sake, he better not make many trades like that.

      • Van, there are Ducks fans of Lindholm who might disagree. And Maata has a Stanley Cup to brag about.

      • George, I said clearly better. Lindholm and Maatta are good young defenseman, but I wouldn’t say they are any better than Rielly today. We’ll know in a few years. This is coming from a Sens fan (like yourself).

    • No he didn’t. He said the impact of NCAA draft picks has been equivalent in hockey to the size of a pimple on an elephant’s butt. He actually said Vesey is a great prospect. What video did you watch?

      • I bet that an elephant pimple is a pretty darn big thing. Just waiting to explode with untapped potential. Yuck.

      • I think Vesey is coming from the NCAA, that would make him a pimple

  12. I think Veseys headed for Boston and as a Leafs fan I don’t mind at all. Leafs have good prospects on wing. If Vesey was a goalie or dman it would be a different story. We’ll take him, but not a biggie if he goes elsewhere.

    • Indeed, especially on that left side there really isn’t a need for him. If you get him, you make a place, but right now the left side is full with.

      • Dan if Leafs do happen to sign him, one can bet JVR could be on the move for some defensive help.

      • There would be the affordable LW for the Ducks

      • Yes and the ducks have a couple of kids that would look good in a leafs uniform

  13. jvr isn’t going anywhere unless uncle Lou’s socks are blown off! Could be a dangerous power forward when actually playing with players of a hire caliber go leafs go Mathews for the Calder!

    • Hoo-boy, the cheerleaders have signed on.

      • Out trolling again George

      • 100% true yogi as crazy as it sounds JVR is the key or at least part of the key to the Leafs fixing the blue line imo

      • Watch the syntax George. Isn’t it ooh boy?

      • And what would you call “go leafs go Mathews for the Calder!” if not cheerleading?

    • I believe that JVR would have been gone at the trade deadline, if not for his injure. He was exactly what Anaheim was and still is looking for. Whether T.O. signs Vesey or not, JVR is worth more to the leafs as a trade chip than as a roster player.