NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2016

by | Aug 18, 2016 | Rumors | 94 comments

The Dallas Stars face another season with the underwhelming goalie tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi.

The Dallas Stars face another season with the underwhelming goalie tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi.

 Latest on the Dallas Stars goaltending, the Colorado Avalanche’s search for a coach and how the Boston Bruins did in their interview with Jimmy Vesey.


NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough reports goaltending remains an issue for the Dallas Stars heading into 2016-17.  Kari Lehtonen (.899 save percentage in the 2016 playoffs) and Antti Niemi (.865 SP) didn’t provide the type of goaltending expected from a tandem earning a combined salary-cap hit of $10.4 million. Their regular-season stats were also modest. Brough cited Dallas Morning News beat writer Mike Heika speculating Stars general manager Jim Nill will wait and see how things play out this season.

Earlier this summer, there was speculation the Stars had interest in Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop. Though Bishop is a UFA next summer and could prove too expensive for the Bolts to re-sign, they could hang onto him next season as they evaluate promising Andrei Vasilevskiy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill wouldn’t buy out Lehtonen or Niemi and couldn’t find anyone to take either guy off his hands to free up room for a replacement. He has little choice but to start the season with his current tandem and see how things unfold. Bishop or Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury could become available before the February trade deadline. Perhaps another goalie could also hit the trade block. Even then, Nill will have to find a way to move out Lehtonen or Niemi. 


THE MERCURY NEWS:  Curtis Pashelka reports San Jose Sharks assistant coach Bob Boughner could be among those under consideration for the vacant head coach position with the Colorado Avalanche. Washington Capitals assistant Lane Lambert and Jared Bednar of the AHL champion Lake Erie Monsters could also be on the Avs list. 

ESPN.COM’S Craig Custance reports the Anaheim Ducks could grant permission for the Avalanche to speak with assistant coach Paul MacLean if they ask for it. Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Davis Payne could be another possibility

THE DENVER POST: Former University of Denver coach George Gwozdecky and his successor Jim Montgomery have not been approached by the Avalanche. 


THE BOSTON GLOBE:  The Bruins reportedly did very well in their meeting yesterday with promising unrestricted free agent forward Jimmy Vesey. He’s expected to reach a decision on which NHL club he’ll sign with by this weekend. Vesey also met with the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs this week. 


  1. Vesey! be smart, go with your heart, and join the Bruin’s!!

    • Being smart and going with your heart rarely coexist… such as in the case you mentioned. Course when you will make 1-3 millions there really inst a dumb decision.

      • unless he joins the leaf’s!!

    • He isnt a good fit for the Bruins. I’ve watched Vesey game videos, and he doesnt take anywhere near as many dives for calls as needed for a Bruins player.

      • Ben you must be a bitter Canuck fan?

      • Skay… Marchand will just do a few more to help the rookie out. 😉

      • keep your feet moving and you can dive all you want Ben!

      • And the Habs don’t dive?

      • Every team likely has a diver. So let’s leave the partisan “oh yeah?” crapola to the lesser sites.

      • Not the Flames 🙂

  2. Jimmy Vesey is about to become Hockey Howard Wolowotz still living up stairs at Ma’s house.

    • lmao. This is getting so old it’s sad. I wanted the kid as a Sabres fan and still do to a degree. But he has created his own mess that could follow if he does not produce.

      • Has he created this mess?

      • Think we would be talking about a third round pick for weeks on end of he signed with the team that drafted him? Like it or not he kinda did.

      • Not if there was other news

    • Vesey has a deceptively hot wife with massive gozungas?

      • At least that’s different Vesey news 🙂 so explain again why his situation is right or wrong. How much will his first contract be…no forget it…why ruin tomorrow’s discussion

    • Good one! Wolowitz got married though!

  3. Any news on Kris Russell….anything on anybody…Rfa’s, ufa’s (except one…you know)

    • Well, was it mentioned that the Penguins re-signed Cullen?

      • Yes!!!! Actual hockey news!!!!

      • Bidding for Fehr starting at a third round pick… can I see a second?

  4. He didn’t create the mess. The Media did. He’s just doing what’s best for him. Why shouldn’t he.

    That being said, this is getting old. It’s not like he’s a first overall pick.

    Burke’s comments about college players killed me.

    • He created it when he decided to go this route and not sign with the Preds. What did he think would happen? All he had to do was look at the attention Schultz had when he did the same thing.

      • Loving the fact players are doing this… loved Mathews defection to europe as well. Vesey got a full college degree AND gets to choose, like most people, the organization he wants to sell his services to.

      • The fact is he still could have gotten his degree and still signed with the Preds. I am not criticizing him for making this decision because yes it was available to him. I am just saying that he created this hype on himself by going this route. Also just to add Nashville has had no problem in developing their own picks, no better place for a young player to go and develop than Nashville.

      • Ahh common sense

  5. definitely getting old…honestly think his choice from the get-go was boston…and i get it’s his choice to meet with teams. just why bother…maybe they should have this start on july 1st too so teams can move on if they don’t get him.

  6. Dallas is going to be stuck with their two pylons, who would want either of them? 5 million plus for both combined with some of the worst stats of any NHL goalie. Good thing the Stars score goals by the truckload. Theyre gonna need them.

    • We’re talking about goalies here. One of them could strike gold over the summer, come into camp full of confidence and get the job done. Dallas needs decent goaltending, not Vezina Trophy stuff.
      Wait – and – see might work out for them.

      • Odds are based on their track records they will continue to leak goals

    • I think the Flames have that honor. Worst goaltending stats in the league last season. Thankfully they fixed that in a big way. Dallas made the playoffs with the tandem they had. Defense was a huge problem in Dallas not always just the goalies fault. Their stars also under achieved during the playoffs and the last half of the season.

  7. Caper,
    I think once the Vesey situation is finalized, we will then see some movement with UFA’s that haven’t signed yet.

  8. I think he’s doing what’s best for him in the short term, but the process has jacked the expectations for him sky high. If he doesn’t reach those expectation, and it won’t be easy, he’s opened himself to much ridicule. In the front office of the team he signs with and with the fans. Not a good situation to be in long term.

    • Not sure about that Resp, Kevin Hayes was a Chicago first round pick in 2010 and took the same route, signing with NYR in 2014.
      Good player not great, nobody even talks about it anymore. I would expect similar results as plenty of teams want him, so there is likely a good player there, and similar media coverage when it is over. None. The media created the interest (it worked because there is nothing else) on this story, and will move on to the next story when it’s over. He will just play hockey and be judged on that like everybody else.

      • for Kevin Hayes it might of worked out fine.. but for a guy like justin schultz it didn’t work out so great, so could go either way with vessey. nhl should really get rid of that loophole, if team that drafted you wants to sign you you shouldn’t have a chance of becoming ufa

      • I’m OK with it the way it is. You gotta remember Vesey is 23, not 18, 19 or 20. He waited a long time. From what teams are chasing him and what I read he is an NHL player, and likely was last year, when Nashville also wanted him to sign late in the season. He walked from money right now to get a degree so it is not like he didn’t give anything up.
        The vast majority of drafted players chasing the NHL dream don’t make it. So why is it a bad thing if more choose to get a degree? If the incentive of being a UFA causes more players to stay in school and finish their degree, that would be a good thing would it not? It may even force the CHL to change their education policy which could use an update. Some of the restrictions are a little ridiculous.

      • Steve… it worked out just fine for Shultz… just not the oilers. He had the “misfortune” of getting a 1.4 million dollar salary this year. Hope he likes pork n beans and free church sketti dinners.

      • Hayes could have his name on the Cup by now if he hadnt been a me me me player. Now he gets to waste his career in New York and never win anything.

      • Regarding Schultz, I live in Edmonton. He was run out of town because he played soft when he was here. He really struggled, and then the fans got all over him for it. Didn’t help that Mac T gave him a big ticket, which forced the coaches to give him top pairing minutes when he wasn’t ready.
        He got booed because he played poorly. Never heard a mention of him being criticized for being UFA when he came out of college, just his play on the ice.

      • @Steve you know the draft in itself is illegal. Players have to have a choice, it’s the law. The only reason there hasn’t been a bigger backlash, is the KHL. It doesn’t matter which way you learn to play the game, the option to be a ufa will always be there. Don’t know why people get upset when a kid does what he thinks is best for himself. Kevin Hayes is the main reason Vesey took this route, they are good friends

      • When you’re team mantra is low lose lose so we can get a good draft pick you can’t blame a player for playing poorly

      • True that 83. Schultz was in a difficult position with no support.

      • Colorad’s pick Tyson Jost is going the same route. At least he’s committed for one year at university. The steal of the draft I think. Points per game no one was in the ball park. Hopefully he commits for the 4 years. I hate seeing these players come into the league before they’re mature enough to play properly. No need at all to get them in at 18 unless they’re a true phenom like a McDavid type. Or give them at least 3 years of junior. Bennett for Calgary was brought up way to early less than a year and a half of junior. Hopefully they don’t bring Tkachuk up this season with only one year under his belt but they seem to be getting caught up in the hype. How about seeing how he performs with out Marner and Dvorak first.

      • No argument here.
        They need to change the CHL rule so if the best option for the player is the AHL, he should be allowed to go when 19.
        Also since some of us are debating the benefits of staying in school, the CHL should also change the rule regarding education. Currently you get a year of university paid for for every year you play major junior. The catch is you only get 1 year after you graduate leave the team to take advantage of it. So if you want to give ago to make the NHL you have to decide after a year.
        They will continue to lose players to the NCAA if they don’t compete with that. You could fund it easily with a minimal increase in ticket prices. Likely around a buck or 2 depending on your attendance.
        Also it is just the right thing to do.

      • Not that I’m trying to knock the oilers Ray Bark. I’m a Calgary Flames fan so for years they’ve been my enemy but I find myself excited to watch oiler games now with the players they got and looking very forward to watching this season with the moves they’ve made. I still want The Flames to kick their ass but other than that I really hope McDavid plays a full season and becomes the phenom that he is. I think Alberta hockey will be great this season. Both teams have taken great strides in the right direction as have many. It will be a tough year to make the playoffs. I believe there will be teams that are seasonal contenders finding themselves not making it this year.

      • Lived Cgy before I move here to Edm. So got to like both teams. Root for both as long as they aren’t playing Boston.
        Agree, Battle of Alberta is back!

  9. Hoping he goes to Boston. Put Krejci between him and Pastrnak. If he doesn’t find his game after 20 games or so, drop him to the third line and put Vatrano on the second instead. With Vesey on the team, Boston will have a great balance of young skilled forwards in pasta, spoon, Vatrano, Vesey, and two way play of Bergeron, Marchand, Backes and Krejci. Also the grit of Belesky and Backes. I think they’ll have one of the best top nine in the league.

  10. Leafs will get him and be so good.

  11. The Vesey story doesn’t bother me at. Why it bothers others is something I don’t think I’m capable of understanding. What does bother me is the lack of nothing else to talk of. The plight of August.

    • In a sense, Vesey is the one responsible for that. Had he not been in an uncertain picture over the summer in terms of WHERE he might actually grace with his presence, those remaining UFAs would have been in the news long before now, especially where eastern teams are concerned. As it is, only Vermette and Cullen have been picked up and, quite simply, it’s because Anaheim had a bit of cap space and there was no way Vesey was going to the coast, and Pittsburgh simply could not afford to be put in a cap bind next season through a bonus-laden contract, so they brought Cullen back for 1 year at $1 mil.

      • Pitt can still afford vesey even after cullen. Though it is possibly telling that they signed cullen After meeting with Vesey.

      • Let’s get this straight. Vesey is in no way “responsible” for any of the hype around him, let’s not confuse him with some other idiotic American unfortunately already polluting our airwaves. Nor is he responsible for cap situations that are forcing GMs to hold off signing unsigned UFAs. Those remaining UFAs are likely to get invites/tryouts at camps this fall or sign overseas.

        I never went to Havard but I’m sure if one graduates from there, they are likely to be smarter than your average collage grad. He seems to know what he wants, we don’t and has narrowed from a list of 30 teams to just over a handful that meet his criteria and in the case where he has an opportunity to meet and hear from these organizations about themselves that outsiders see only a tenth of before you make your life altering decision…who wouldn’t do that? He’s not breaking any rules…he did what anyone would do, got a real good education and now he’s basically looking for work with people reporting about it because that’s their job.

        If you still don’t get it, look at it this way. Most guys in the NHL are players that were formally a 1st round pick. Having a player (asset) that could play in the NHL is very valuable when you consider the fact that only about 60% of those former 1st round selection become successful. Vesey has the tools to be an NHL regular and I don’t think anyone of the GMs are looking at Vesey being the next great one but rather a big bodied player they could hopefully slot in a wing position for years to come. I have no idea how good he will be but I think he knows what kind of support he needs for him to excel and that is smart. Hockey is months away and some fan base is gonna be getting a shiny new player. Leafs fans were excited to get their collage FA named Bozak, now most like to see him go.


    • Me neither, there is some intrigue as to where he goes and why he chose to go there. (Go B’s)
      Many want to crucify the guy for doing what he wants to do; finish his hockey career at Harvard and get a degree that is extremely valuable. Wish I had one myself. Seems like a smart young guy that works hard. Wish him the best…. unless he goes to the Leafs.

      • No one is crucifying the guy for finishing school Ray. People are kinda sick of the story and the hype and hoopla of it all and a guy who has proven nothing choosing where he wants to play and getting handed a great situation….where have I heard people complain about this before?

      • Jaysus, yet another who feels the need to write a tome to refute another post. I prefaced my comment in response to Jeff with “in a sense” – then went on to explain that other teams – especially in the east where he wants to remain – were holding off signing any of the other UFAs available until they knew for certain that Vesey wasn’t signing with them.

      • Really Schticky? Pasted a few, there is more:
        – Veseys history is screaming me first.
        – I don’t think I have ever been more turned off or annoyed with an athlete more than I am with Vesey.
        – coming across like a prima donna idiot
        – What will the writers around the world possibly write about after this punk signs?

        I wasn’t referring to your comparing him to Lindros (I kind of see a few commonalities as he didn’t have a signed contract, but not the same) and Drouin. Not even in the same ballpark, he had a contract.

      • I still don’t see anyone mentioning he is any of those things because he finished school Ray, it’s all the other stuff that surrounds the kid that people find annoying. No one said he got a degree from Harvard what a prima Donna! No it involves his choosing where he wants to play and who is willing to give him what he wants that is leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths not his education. Again no he is not breaking any written rules but sometimes the way that rules are written don’t make things right. Potentially if 1/3 guys can just pick where they want to play what’s the point in having a draft? It’s going to get more ridiculous before it gets better.

      • Schticky there is no point arguing about this again. Let me make my point with more clarity and depth in case I was unclear, then I will stop.
        People are crucifying him because he decided to become a UFA, which was his option because he decided to stay in school and get a Harvard degree and play another year with the team. Instead of signing sooner with Nashville and collecting an NHL paycheck last year and earlier this year. I disagree with the people who think he should have some loyalty to Nashville. It will not be reciprocated by any NHL team. They can and would trade him with no hesitation if they thought it would make the team better. As they should. He is doing what he thinks is best for his life. As he should.
        If drafted players want to collect a paycheck sooner and chase the dream, great. If they want to wait until they are 23 get an education and become a UFA. Great. My guess is most of the top draft picks will start to chase the dream and get a paycheck. If there is an incentive of being a UFA to stay in school and get an education? In my opinion that is a good thing, as the vast majority of NHL players do not make it. If some fans in Nashville or anywhere else lose out on a new hockey hero, too bad. It just hockey for us fans, not life.
        We disagree on this, that is OK.

      • Vast majority of drafted players

      • Isn’t going where a team is willing to give him what he wants the only deciding factor for him. Is there another way he should be making his decision. It’s ok for a team to cut a drafted player but not ok for a drafted player to cut a team. Doesn’t make sense. Calgary just did it with Agostino and Grant. 2 players where time effort and money were put into developing these players who were ready to make the jump and playing very well I might add so it’s not like they weren’t doing their job. When it came time to sign them to their new contract this summer they were just let go. I’m glad they were picked up by St. Louis and Buffalo immediately.

      • I do agree with that Ray and I don’t want to seem like a jerk to ya I do enjoy the chat. I do want to make clear I don’t like or dislike Vesey it’s the system that needs fixing maybe college players should have to declare as in other sports maybe the age of draft eligibility moves back or a combination of not plus some more I don’t know, it’s just the wildly milky rules of young players that kinda bothers me not just this but AHL eligibility and some others regarding RFA status…o believe in a somewhat equal set of rules which doesn’t appear to exist now and am bothered more by the way people flop around with their opinions more than anything else I am sure that if it was the other way around and the Bruins were losing a draft pick it would not be the same collection of people claiming what a smart boy this kid seems to be. Cheers Ray

      • True dat

  12. People need to see the Vesey situation for what it has become. Fans are morphing the one kids decision into a microcosm for where their team is at. Buffalo signing him = “we are are the right track… see, even this kid knows it.” Bruins fans same thing with the added “See how awesome Boston is! Kid is staying home with us where he belongs!” Rangers = “See! Our team is still a competitor, even this kid knows it.” Pittsburgh takes it as “We are the champs and gonna do it again, kid joined us cause its his best chance at a cup.” So on and so forth. As a pens fan I like looking at it as a chance to sorta recoup a draft pick, who if redraft occured would be a first rounder, traded away during sheros years.

  13. Make the UFA date for this type of player July 1st…problem solved.

  14. I think vesey wanted to go home all along,this circus was all show boston it is!

    • These teams are fighting over the right to spend a million bucks to see if this kid can play or not that’s all. A million bucks to them is the same as the cost of a McDonalds happy meal to the rest of us. Big deal it’s just the fee to pay for the right to take a look at a player who hasn’t proven himself yet. They’re not fighting over they player they’re fighting each other for the right to play a cheap chance player in the pre season

  15. As Shakespeare so succinctly This is
    “Much ado about nothing”

    • I think I said that 2 days ago.

      • Yes George you did! And with beautiful syntax!

      • Never as good as William’s though!

    • As a Boston fan and former Charlestown resident I wish he would sign with the B’s but word around the old neighborhood is that he isn’t going to sign here because of the spotlight and fear of failure in his hometown.

  16. Vesey to the leafs. He will be so impresses with the Wonder Boy’s (Kyle Dubas) sales pitch on analytics he cant refuse. Oh yeh the wonder boy has disappeared and is non existent in Lou’s mgt team. A year ago Schticky and other leaf lovers were saying he was their savior and the true GM.

    • Lol if that is true Why did he turn down the job in Arizona and say this? Very bluntly put, I don’t believe I’m ready to be an NHL general manager,” Dubas told reporters (watch above). “I believe I have a lot to learn, and I believe Toronto is the best place for me to learn that.”

      • As an assistant under Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello — a Hall of Fame GM with two more seasons left on his contract — Dubas guided the Marlies to first place in the American Hockey League.
        As an assistant under Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello — a Hall of Fame GM with two more seasons left on his contract — Dubas guided the Marlies to first place in the American Hockey League.

        Seems like a good first year no? At least for a guy who disapeared

      • First place in the regular season the Marlies folded like a shirt in the playoffs and yes shticky you have said dubas should be gm and how Lou can’t win in the new nhl until he signed with the leafs! ?

  17. Soon as 1 uses a term like Leaf lover you are pretty muc immediately trolling and have lost any credibility to a non bias argument really but I found this particularly funny and directed at me so…

    • Maybe he just thinks you REALLY like salads?

      • Lmao

    • I remember the Leaf lovers saying the dream team of Shanahan, Hunter and Dubus-had all this hockey experience and that the didn’t need to hire a full time GM with experience.
      They then went onto hire Lou (which I think is a great hire). All of a sudden Dubas is never mentioned by Lou or by the media.

      • Shticky has a short memory about what he blabs about

      • @Scott are you as dumb as you sound? The question from day one was whether Shanahan was going to be the GM or would he hire someone too the job. He said he didn`t want the title and since Shanahan`s policy is to say next to nothing, nobody knew who was going to be hired or how long it was going to take. Until he named a GM the job would be done by committee. I`ll bet you can`t name more than 1 or 2 ass. gm`s in the NHL right now.

  18. Those kind of terms are, at best, juvenile for sure Shticky. Hell, everyone in here is likely a “lover” of one team or another. Scott doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that basic fact.

  19. The summer is a terrible time for commentary: we are all feeling deprived of substance until the WCH of we get short-tempered and smart-assed! I just want some real news, get rid of the Vesey saga..by the way, any opinions on Leafs plans for a back-up goalie?

    • I heard directly from Mason Raymond at a golf tournament that the leafs were checking into the knee injury Ramo sustained last season with Calgary to see how serious it is or was and are very serious in him as back up. Not sure how true that is but it is coming from someone who would know a little something regarding an ex team mate.

  20. Living in New England I get the opportunity to see Vesey play every Wednesday night in Foxboro and this kid will be a helluva asset to any team.A very good player with a high hockey I Q.

  21. WOW! STRIKER had nothing to say about anything today?

    • I think he`s throwing a tantrum

    • I think you among others is missing the point here no one is critising the guy for perusing an education first it’s the part that follows that’ seems inappropriate. If an athelete chooses that path perhaps he shouldn’t be attending training camps or leading an organization on for 3 years. I bet if he had said at any point over the past few years I don’t think I will play here, not maybe, not we will see actually said I won’t be a Predator that Poile a very smart hockey guy would have probably been able to move him for more than what he received from Buffalo or included him as part of some kind of package. Maybe if guys want to Finnish college they should have to declare when they are ready to commit to a team or to being a professional athlete.

      • ☝☝ that’s for Jeff

    • He did say a few days ago that he was done commenting about Vesey, and since that was really the ONLY topic today, I guess he’s being true to his word. either that, or he’s working on a 14-paragraph long dissertation.

  22. Keeping this short. I think any young man who puts his professional athletic career on hold to obtain an education in an academic or trade field should be rewarded with opportunities such as those Vesey is currently taking advantage of.

  23. Hopefully Cam Fowler gets traded for 2 near-ready top six forwards soon. Like for Nyquist and Athanasiou or Tatar and Mantha, something like that.

    BM should definitely not rush it if the deal isn’t there, don’t take a bad deal, but hopefully a good offer is there soon because Vermette doesn’t solve anything. The Ducks still need to trade Fowler for some talent up front.

    I’d also be curious to see if either Brandon Montour from the AHL, or Sami Vatanen, could be moved to forward like Brent Burns was.

    • I am certainly tired of hearing how great Cam Fowler is.?? Why do all Anaheim fans want to get rid of him? Your GM, BM will never make a good trade, he is a budget team’s(read bottom feeder) dream come true, however you never get any good results out of him because he won’t take any risks and is too damn greedy. When gets reasonable then he might make a decent trade.