NHL Rumor Mill – August 26, 2016

by | Aug 26, 2016 | Rumors | 59 comments

Re-signing Hampus Lindholm could force the Anaheim Ducks to trade another defenseman.

Re-signing Hampus Lindholm could force the Anaheim Ducks to trade another defenseman.

 A look at several NHL offseason storylines that must be addressed, and how the Rangers signing of Brandon Pirri could affect a possible Rick Nash trade.

USA TODAY: Hampus LIndholm’s contract negotiations with the Anaheim Ducks, Jacob Trouba’s future with the Winnipeg Jets and available unrestricted free agents were among Kevin Allen’s list of five NHL storylines that still need to be addressed. 

Once the Ducks re-sign Lindholm, they’re expected to trade another defenseman, They will have eight under one-way contracts and promising Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour waiting in the wings. Allen notes Cam Fowler’s name has come up in trade chatter. He notes the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers are among several clubs in need of blueline help. 

Allen notes Trouba’s role with the Jets is as much as factor as how much to pay him. If a contract agreement can’t be reached, “multiple teams” are interested in acquiring him. 

Kris Russell, Patrik Elias, Kyle Quincey, Dominic Moore and Dennis Seidenberg are among the notables still available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While it’s not a certainty the Ducks will trade Fowler, he seems the most likely trade candidate. They recently re-signed Sami Vatanen to a multi-year deal and obviously won’t part with Lindholm. Kevin Bieksa is now well past his prime, while Simon Despres and Clayton Stoner don’t have the trade value of Fowler, who could fetch them a scoring left winger.

Because Trouba’s coming off an entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights, I expect he’ll be re-signed by the Jets to a short-term bridge deal. At this point, I doubt he’ll get an offer sheet. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff made it clear he’ll match any offer.  

Of the available UFAs, Russell, Quincey and Moore probably have the best value. Elias will likely be re-signed by the Devils if he’s fully recovered from his knee surgery. Seidenberg hasn’t been the same since suffering a knee injury a few years ago. 

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports the Rangers signing UFA forward Brandon Pirri doesn’t mean a trade is imminent. “At this point in the summer, the market has hardly changed from where it was a few weeks ago. So, no, Rick Nash and his $7.8 million annual cap hit haven’t been flipped yet – and he likely won’t be before the Blueshirts show up to training camp in about a month.”  However, he believes GM Jeff Gorton isn’t done dealing, noting there are still questions about their defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Throughout the summer, there was talk of the Rangers shipping Nash to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. However, I don’t believe the Blues are interested in that move, mainly because they’re already deep on the wings. The Rangers could go after Anaheim’s Cam Fowler, but they’d have to pick up part of Nash’s salary, provided the Ducks are on his list of preferred trade destinations.

Gorten’s done a commendable job stocking up at forward this summer, but addressing his defense (especially with Dan Girardi and Marc Staal taking up a combined $11.2 million of salary-cap payroll) won’t be easy. 


  1. Sadly, they could have had Fowler for nothing, but chose to go with Mcilrath instead.

    • How do you get Fowler for nothing?

      • The 2010 draft, they passed him at 10 and chose Mcilrath. Fowler went 12th.

      • The 2010 draft, they passed him at 10 and chose Mcilrath. Fowler went 12th. I understand why they didn’t pick Fowler at the time. They had Staal, Girardi, Mcdonagh, Mdz, Sauer, Gilroy. But it doesn’t look so good today. I don’t love the draft a position of need thought process. I’d take the best player on the board (positional) and work around it. They couldn’t see Gilroy being a bust, or Sauers career ending…. But….

      • Nyr4life.

        That doesn’t make sense they took a Dman anyway.

      • Actually Striker it makes perfect sense. At the time of that draft, Fowler was thought to be much better than Mcilrath. The Rangers drafted a guy they thought would be a bottom pairing / depth d-man (because of their defensive depth at that moment) instead of drafting a guy thought to be a top 4. How does that confuse you? Take the better guy! You can always trade an asset later. You can’t get a draft do over if you don’t.

      • Now I’m really confused, are you saying they took McIlrath as they thought he was a bottom pairing Dman & passed on Fowler as they saw him as a top 4 Dman?

        McIlrath wasn’t rated higher than Fowler in the 2010 draft. The experts were shocked when the Rangers selected McIlrath; the Rangers reached for size; swing & a miss, & going into the 2010 draft Fowler was ranked in the top 5, most were shocked he dropped to 12th. I still am. He’s easily top 5 from that draft today & 2010 was a pretty solid draft year. StLouis laid the foundation for themselves for the next 15 years with Schwartz at 14 & Tarasenko at 16.

        There were some serious misses in that 1st round as well. Numerous teams are shacking their heads looking back at that draft now.

      • That’s exactly my point. It wasn’t just Ranger fans scratching their heads when NY selected Mcilrath. Not only was Fowler ranked higher, NY pretty much went off the board when they took Mcilrath. Regardless of the depth they had on d, Fowler should have been taken, not Mcilrath. Staal, Girardi, Mdz etc. had plenty of value back then if they found themselves with a log jam at d.

      • Sorry I was reading your post as they passed on Fowler as they wanted the lesser Dman or that’s what it implies to me. No way that happened. If your going to be selecting a Dman you wouldn’t willingly pass over the better 1. Obviously NYR’s scouting department or who ever made the call liked McILrath better. I sure hope that person got fired.

      • I know right, Supposedly right before the draft. Holland was talking to Bob Murray about Cam Fowler and supposedly Murray wanted Tatar/Nyqust+Detroit’s 2nd round pick which is more then fair enough for Fowler. And i guess Holland once again said no. But Fowler definitely has value here.

      • Gary can you link me to the source that Murray wanted Tatar/Nyquist and a 2nd for Fowler?

      • At the time, McIlrath was probably going go between 12-15 in the draft. Teams were fairly hot for him…a good number of scouts saw Shea Weber-type upside in his game. At the very worst, he was a bottom pairing guy.
        Basically I’m with NY4Life, who I think misspoke a little bit. Yes, the NY D was STACKED, and they thought they had something in Michael Del Zotto that, unfortunately, it turned out they didn’t. They figured “Why take another offensive-minded dman when we already have a star in MDZ?” So they went for what’s been a HUGE need in NY for over a decade – a tough-as-nails defenseman who’ll put you on your butt and knock the life out of you if you look at anybody funny. Paired with some perceived upside…it was still a shocker, but not completely in Hugh Jessiman territory.
        There’s also a question of Cam Fowler…it’s not like he’s any great shakes. He started with a splash, but he hasn’t exactly worked his way into the upper echelon of NHL defensemen or anything. And there’s a reason he slipped in his draft – he’s not exactly great at defense. Being that he’s also been trade bait for almost 2 seasons now…it’s not like the Rangers missed out on a stud defenseman in lieu of Dylan McIlrath. Gormley was the other guy that everybody was shocked wasn’t taken, and he’s kinda busty. Pysyk is well-thought-of, but for some reason is immune to the “it took him 5 years to make it to the NHL” chatter that McIlrath gets. Forbort, Tinordi…bleh. Even Gudbranson who went higher than any of them is the type of d-man who’s looking a bit obsolete.
        If you want to get on the Rangers for passing on stars like Tarasenko and Kuznetsov, or extremely good forwards like Schwartz, Bjugstad – go ahead. But Fowler? I’m not exactly filled with a ton of regret over not having that one.

      • Losing My Leschyshyn

        Award for Best name on a hockey blog goes too…

        Much respect mate

      • Fowler lead all Dman in TOI/GP in Anaheim. 1st for PP TOI/GP, 3d for SH TOI/GP 5 seconds per game behind Desires who lead the team. Tied for 2nd in D scoring in Anaheim having only played 69 games. He is currently Anaheim’s #1 Dman.

        Fowler is a stud. Solid 2 way minute munched that can play against the leagues best players.

      • IMO fowler would be third on the ducks depth chart behind lindholm and vatenan

    • It probably had to do with the left / right thing, Fowler shoots left ,NYR did not need another left shooting Dman so they chose a big RH Dman in McIlraith. Who in my opinion is a bust .

      • Valid point. I’m of the opinion to take the best player available. No guarantee they will retain value. The consensus number one, Yakupov hasn’t. But the idea being you can use the perceived best pick in the draft as an asset or if he turns out really good it will allow you to use other roster players as assets. Taking a guy for positional needs really doesn’t allow you to make future moves. Especially if they bust.

      • I agree. If there’s an obvious best player ya take him. I mean if not for Vancouver’s bonehead pick the Flames don’t get Tkachuk. Edmonton’s greatest need was D but how do they pass on Puljujarvi after Columbus gift wrapped him for them.

    • That’s the same with Vesey, Boston could’ve drafted him in his first draft when no one took him, and they could’ve drafted him the next year in the first round but chose Subban, the bruins didn’t have a second round pick. According to Kirk Luedeke he’s a scout out of New England for the red line report and has his own blog scouting post. He claims to have a personal connection with Vesey and says he was upset the bruins passed him up in the draft and might have led the bruins on. Luedeke is a blow hard and likes to blow his own horn but he knows his stuff. But if this is the cases you would think Vesey would also know the GM of the team was the bruins passed him over is no longer there. This is to answer your question from the other day when you asked how did Vesey led the bruins on. Personally I don’t think he did, because that would say more about his character then the Bruins.

  2. The Rangers forward picture is becoming even more muddled. They now have 15 forwards showing on Capfriendly not counting Bucenevich with only Vesey having waiver rights.

    The Pirri signing seems odd. Another player that will bite into Vesey’s opportunity to play more minutes & see PP time.

    • Why? Is Vesey switching to center? Or is Pirri switching to wing?

      • Trying to piece together a 13 forward roster is hard, especially trying to figure out a top 9 now assuming a 13F, 8D & 2 G set up, the standard for most teams, although some carry 14F & 7D. I assume Lindberg is put on LTIR at some point but that still leaves 14 forwards.

        Kreider, Stepan, Zuccarello.
        Miller, Zibanejad, Nash.
        Vesey, Hayes, Pirri.
        Fast, Jooris; until Lindberg returns, Grabner.
        Spare. Glass.

        Move the top 6 wingers around as you like. Maybe Miller even goes to 3rd line C moving Hayes to RW & Pirrie to LW so Vesey can play LW in the top 6 as was being reported a signing demand.

        That means Gerbe is waived before the season starts & then when Lindberg returns someone else will need to be waived. Not that it matterds as I doubt anyone claims Gerbe, although Jooris might attract some interest. Vigneault seems to like Glass for what ever reason.

      • Vesey when signed clearly stated he was OK in a top nine roll. All this talk of him demanding top 6 minutes was pure conjecture and rumour mongering that allowed people to attack his character.

        In the end Vesey was looking for the beat opportunity to succeed plus enjoy and make some good cash in his professional career. He is clearly willing to work his way up the roster latter despite want all his nay sayers have said to degrade his character.

  3. I’m surprised it took this long for Pirri to be signed. I’ve heard his D game is non-existent which would obviously be of concern but he could be had cheaply on a one year “prove to us” type of deal… maybe even a two-way deal. The fact he has put up points but has been hasn’t been able to stick with his teams and add to it the fact it took this long to get any sort of deal screams he has to improve his game.

    • I do not know if he defensive game is lacking but he does seem to lack an ability to distribute the puck and seems to only be able to score.

  4. How can any pundit list Patrik Elias among the “notable” UFAs?? The guy will turn 41 in April an hasn’t played close to a full schedule since 2011! “Notable” maybe in the sense that he was once a force in the NHL, but his long tooth has since fallen out.

    • Noteable in a sense there isn’t much else to talk about, not that will stop a certain someone from penning a novel on today’s news by the looks of things. ?

  5. Boy have times changed in Arizona. I can understand taking on Pronger or Datsyuk as Arizona only has to pay Pronger 575K & Datsyuk nothing but Bolland is getting paid 5.5 million for 3 more years. Does anyone know if Bolland’s contract was insurable? Numerous aren’t due to injury history; see Horton.

    Getting Lawson Crouse makes it a slam dunk for me if you can afford the contract hit of Bolland but I never saw Arizona taking on a cash contract like this until now. Good for Arizona. Boy does the future look bright for Arizona moving forward. They already have the best prospect young player group in the NHL & adding Crouse is awesome long term. Well done young fella; John Chayka, times be a changing in Arizona big time.

    • Striker, Bolland is going straight onto LTIR immediately after the season begins.

      • Yes I understand that. You miss my meaning. Arizona historicly can’t have players who are making big money in real dollars & bury them on LTIR. I assume Holland’s contract is insured but I don’t know. The reason I askked.

      • Apparently the contract is 80% covered by insurance.

        Also the 2nd becomes a 3rd if Crouse doesn’t play a certain number of NHL games next year.

        Very shrewd move by Chyka(?) in my opinion. He’s shown he wasn’t gonna come in here and take a year doing nothing to get acclimatized to the nhl.

      • There is more than speed to skating a good skater can mean good technique which leads to not tireing yourself out also but you might not understand that

    • Crouse is pretty slow by NHL standards. Not sure he’s a slam dunk at all. You’d think they could have gotten a real sure thing for taking on a bad contract. Whether Anthony Mantha from Detroit, or someone better from Florida. Instead they got Chygrun, who is big but probably overrated and may be a bust, and Crouse, who is big but but probably overrated and may be a bust.

      I thought they had an analytics management team lol? Because those two moves where they chased Canadian size, grit, and leadership seem like Brian Burke moves, not analytics moves. DeAngelo was more like it though if he is committed to the game and can get fast and strong enough to play his game in the NHL. The skills at least are elite so that makes sense as an analytics move. Total possession monster in junior. But Crouse and Chygrun, those are Brian Burke size and grit and leadership “good Canadian boyz” moves, not analytics, skill moves.

      • Crouse may be slow but hopefully he will be a better skater with the new skating instructor. Hockeys future states his skating is far from a weakness.I like the move from Arizonas point as I can see them projecting Crouse to be a grinder in the corners and a huge net presence. With all their skill, a little bit of grit, someone to open up the ice is a good player to add to the mix. Crouse has skill too.Florida now has 9 mil in cap space and with the big raise coming for Ekblad it helps them too.

      • Not sure where ya got that he is slow Ruby may just assumption with a big guy but Crouse is an excellent skater, I’ve seen him quite a bit and any scouting material will tell you the same thing. Seems funny throwing shade on guys like Crouse and Chycrun calling them busts and in
        the same sentence saying they could have got Mantha, I wouldn’t be just assuming because a guy is big he is not skilled.

      • You hear it all the time, people saying if he gets drafted really high it’s crazy,” said Mark Seidel, chief scout of NACS Scouting, who has Crouse ranked seventh overall. “He’s one of those guys that analytics isn’t going to be a friend of, but if you watch him play and watch the things he does, that’s why I think he’ll go so high.”
        He’s got intangibles, they say; the kind of intangibles that you have to see in person to appreciate. You need to see the way he skates, see the way he uses his stick to break up plays and how he can close the gap on the forecheck

        Corey Pronman, ESPN’s prospects writer, who has Crouse ranked 10th overall. “He’s a big guy that can skate. There’s a lot there to like.”

      • I watched crouse a bit in the ohl and yes his speed will be something he needs to work on in the nhl but he does so many other things right they will make up for the speed

      • U watched him a bit ….
        Guess that means more than most pro scouts or the GM who dealt for him who said. “We are very pleased to acquire Lawson,” said Coyotes GM John Chayka. “He’s a big, physical, power forward who is a strong skater with good hands. Players of his caliber and profile are extremely hard to find.” There is no issue with how Crouse skates lol

      • I am not saying Crouse works out to be an NHL stud forward but people should realize that guys who watch these young players a lot for a living will have some idea to the skill set. When being drafted in the first 10 picks of the first round generally teams are not going to waste that kind of pick on a kid that can’t skate…yes it can happen and anything is possible but possible does not mean likely.

      • There is more than speed to being a good skater a good technique can mean not getting tired as quick but you might not understand that?

  6. I am sure someone can confirm but young very good teams do not necessarily win championships. Arizona will be a ways out even with all that young talent. Some of them will be eventually traded for veterans….Still think that Florida is up to something or believe they are close. You can not give Crouse away like that.

    • Exactly silverseven. It’s very rare for a rebuild to pan out perfectly, go all the way, and turn out like Chicago.

      Arizona was on that track. If they would have won the McEichel lottery, they would have been golden. Now, I’m not sure Dylan Strome will be good enough as the top C they got instead. Likewise, apparently they had the chance to trade Christian Dvorak for Jonathan Drouin. If they’d done that, they would have been golden. Now, I’m not sure Christian Dvorak is as good as they think he is, or that good at all. When I watched the London Knights, he just finished plays created by Mitch Marner constantly. Marner looked like the player to me. Dvorak looked like a future bottom 6 forward lucky enough to play with two top 5 draft NHL picks.

      I would have traded him for Drouin in a second. But Arizona missed that chance. They missed McDavid and Eichel, and then took Strome over Marner. They have enough young talent to be a playoff team soon, but those decisions may be what we look back on in the future as the reason they don’t progress to a Cup winner. They also drafted Perlini over other options, and drafted Chygrun when Rubtsov was still on the board. That may go down as another huge miss in the future that could be the difference between a decent rebuild like Colorado’s and a great one like Chicago’s.

      • Not that I don’t like some of what Sakic has done but “…a decent rebuild like Colarado…” You realize that in the last 5 years both the Avs and Coyotes have made the playoffs exactly once right? And the Avs was a first round out and the Coyotes went to the conference final? besides that all those prospects you are throwing shade on again has the Coyotes ranked tops amongst just about every scouting resource?

      • Dvorak is a stud. 52 goals & 121 points in 59 games in his last season in Major Jr. 1 of the best young players not currently playing in the NHL. He will be a full time NHL player next season. Looked like a man playing with boys in London this year. Great 2 way hockey player with decent size & still filling out.

        I thought he was carrying Marner. Ha-ha! Arizona has left roster spots open for both Strome & Dvorak to play this year. If their not ready then Arizona will address but they will be given every opportunity to make this squad out of the gate.

      • How is Chycrun already a bust? He’s been an NHL draftee for only 3 months. I watch him in Ssrnia all the time he’s very good at everything.

    • That was my thought exactly. They must need that cap room for some little behind the scenes bigger name.

    • typically unless u have a superstar (over ppg); seems like two stars dont quite do it.

    • Hmmmmmmmmmmmm if Bolland is going on LTIR why didn’t Florida just put him there ? I believe it’s only costing Arizona a small amount as insurance is covering most of the cost.
      When you look at it that way I don’t understand why Florida would move Crouse

  7. My Trouba angle, personally don’t care what a gm says, its a ploy not to offer my player an offer sheet. Boston gives Trouba an offer sheet of $1.2 m for one year. Obviously the jets will match that. Trouba would sign because he knows next year when the bruins have their own 2nd and 3rd round pick, that there is a much bigger offer sheet coming. Lots of holes in this, because the jets would also know its coming. I heard this scenario floated out before. Thought it was interesting but boy wouldn’t you be putting a target on your back by planning a year out to take another team player. Don’t think many teams or any would look at that fondly.

    • Thats a big if for Trouba. I don’t think he signs a 1.2M offer sheet

    • Interesting angle I hadn’t thought of, but I can’t see Trouba settling for a $1.2M one year deal. Even on a one year deal, Trouba would get $2.3M-$2.5M like the first years of the Ceci and Dumba bridge deals.

      Further, Winnipeg could file for arbitration next year and remove the threat of an offer sheet from a rival club.

      Lastly, with Neely and Jacobs at the top, who knows if Sweeney is still Boston’s GM next year. Sweeney could very well make that promise only to be fired before the proposed offer sheet could take place.

    • @Caper how would Trouba know what Boston’s gonna do next year. Boston can’t negotiate with Trouba, that’s tampering and I’d be willing to bet that the NHL would see that as circumventing the agreement anyhow

    • Really. Are we really that bored that we have to ponder something that isn’t even realistic in the slightest? Trouba isn’t signing a 1 year deal with anyone for 1.2. Have you been drinking?

      • now, now Striker this is the kind of stuff you spiel all the time on hear. You must be upset that you didn’t know this was a possibility. Cheers to another drink.

  8. Solution to Detroit, Winnipeg and Anaheim’s dilemma – Trouba to Detroit, Tatar to Anaheim and Fowler to Winnipeg.

    • Going to take more than that from the Wings imo.

  9. Who will win the Patrick Elias sweepstakes? I love August.

    • Lol. The teams that dont sign him win!

      • Hey, he’s among the “notable” UFAs still available according to the hockey minds at USA Today (I didn’t even know they were still in business!)