NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2016

by | Sep 2, 2016 | Rumors | 60 comments

Marc-Andre Fleury's future with the Pittsburgh Penguins could be an issue this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury’s future with the Pittsburgh Penguins could be an issue this season.

 Updates on the Penguins, Canucks and Coyotes in your NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford recently reported the watch on the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltending is on. Long-time starter Marc-Andre Fleury was relegated to backup duty by Matt Murray, who backstopped the club to the Stanley Cup this past spring. Fleury, however, hopes to regain the starter’s job.

Fleury’s no-movement clause means the club would have to protect him in next June’s expansion draft while leaving Murray exposed. Halford doesn’t see that scenario unfolding and expects Fleury could be on the move before then. Prior to the Calgary Flames acquiring Brian Elliott in June, they reportedly expressed interest in Fleury. Halford speculates that door might not be fully closed if Elliott fails to pan out as their starting goalie. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he’d like to start the season with Fleury and Murray as his tandem.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Halford points out, Rutherford didn’t say anything about that tandem remaining intact by season’s end. Rutherford could play out the season with Fleury and Murray to see how things unfolds and then move one of them before the expansion draft. He could also swing a side deal with Las Vegas for future considerations to ensure they bypass Murray if he’s left unprotected in the draft. 

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning remains in the market for an impact left winger. While Benning is hopeful Sven Baertschi or Anton Rodin can step up and fill that role on the second line, Kuzma said he is still talking to teams.

Such a move, however, could cost them promising center Bo Hovat or defenseman Chris Tanev or a high draft pick, which is a non-starter. Buffalo Sabres left wing (and Vancouver native) Evander Kane has popped up in this summer’s rumor mill, but his off-ice issues are a red flag. Benning is also expected to extend professional tryout offers before training camp opens in three weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this stage, I expect Benning will evaluate Baertschi and Rodin in training camp and preseason play before deciding if he needs to pursue a trade. Even then, the asking price could be more than he wants to part with.

If the Sabres are shopping Kane, they probably won’t want much in return. Given his recent issues and decline in production, however, he could be an expensive gamble for the Canucks. Benning could be waiting a while before finding a deal he likes this season. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports the stalled contract talks between the Coyotes and restricted free agent forward Tobias Rieder has given rise to speculation he could be traded. League sources, however, claim there’s no chance the Coyotes will trade Rieder. “That would leave Rieder with three options: re-sign with the Coyotes, play in Europe this season or sit out the season,” writes Morgan, who also notes RFAs must be under contract by Dec. 1 or become ineligible to play the remainder of the season. 


  1. The Fleury situation will be interesting to watch. As a Pens fan, I’m glad they are starting the season with both guys so Murray can get some more starts before they decide to actually hand the keys to him.

    It will get interesting if either guy has a bad start to the season.

    • Which could happen if the “Stanley Cup Hangover” kicks in.

      • What could be interesting is if Murray is the #1 for Team North America and comes into the season hot. Or if he stumbles there…

      • I think holding onto fleury to see what happens with Murray is a good move, we have seen in the past young goalies that go on a hot streak in the playoffs not be so great in the years to come

    • Agree, might be best for the Pens to hold onto Fleury in case Murray struggles a bit. They wont be dealing from a position of strength because of their expansion draft setup and other teams will know that. Might be best to wait until the deadline to unload him to a team needing a decent goalie for a playoff push or run.

    • I can see a side deal worked out with LV on Fleury. Pitts agrees to send ? to LV for a pick with the promise of LV not drafting MAF. Not sure if a deal like that can be put to writing.If Rutherford holds on to Fleury then this is what I predict.
      It be funny if a deal is made and afterwards Vegas says they had plans on drafting MAF in the 1st place !
      Also with all thes NTCs out there, not one I bet says Vegas on it !

      • Pretty sure MAF has a NMC and isn’t eligible for the expansion draft. If they lost anyone it would be Murray.

      • I am curious as to what you all would think Vegas would ask for in compensation to not take Fleury.

      • I meant not drafting Murray.

      • So am I Jeff. I would figure a high draft pick and a prospect. Maybe more.

    • I’m in the same boat. I was sort of following him with the Baby Pens (and Jarry too), there clearly was a talent level and a mentality about him that stood out. His stats/records there say it all. I was not surprised when he came in and performed well for the big club in the spring. I personally think he is the longterm answer in goal for the team. That said, common sense dictates that you give him every opportunity to learn from Fleury, but also to fail to see where his limits are. I don’t think he will, but am glad there is a competent backup in Fleury. I don’t want them to repeat the mistakes the Sens made with the Hamburgler’s hot run, followed by trading Lehner (who talent/potential wise is a far better goalie).

  2. I have Vancouver to finish dead last in the West this season & 27th overall based on what we know today. More changes are coming for many teams between now & opening day & injuries start as soon as camp opens. Some minor, some major, so I don’t set my final rankings till opening day but I don’t like the Canucks secondary scoring & I have little faith in the D assembled. Eriksson will help & getting a full season out of Sutter should have some form of positive effect just not sure it will be enough to get them out of the cellar.

    The NHL standings are going to be far tighter than we have seen in long time. The new lottery rules make deliberately tanking a risky proposition & the state of several rebuilds is well under way & those teams far more competitive.

    The teams at the top will still out pace the pack by a significant margin but 8 through 14 in the west & 7 through 16 in the East could be as tight as 6 to 8 points respectively.

    • I agree Striker, the Canucks finished 3rd from the bottom last year, & have done diddly squat this off season as far as improving. It could be between the Canucks & Devils duking it out for last place.
      I could see the Leafs improving from their 69 point finish last season to around the 80 +/- point range, which could put them in the range of 5th +/- from the bottom.

      • Very interested to see how things start playing out & if teams will do what Toronto did last season, Buffalo & Arizona the season prior, etc. continue to happen moving forward.

        Finishing dead last may give you the best chance of winning the new 3 round lottery but 20% odds aren’t great. That means there is an 80% chance you won’t be picking 1st. Toronto was lucky to have done so last year but the odds of probability don’t favor the team finishing last picking 1st.

        See Edmonton made a significant contribution to the NHL in some way in the last decade. They forced the NHL to create a more equitable & fair lottery system so as no team would ever again get the opportunity they had. That being 4 1st overall picks in 4 out of 5 seasons.

      • Just a quick correction there. It was 4 in 6, Draisaitl and Nurse were not 1st overall picks. 😉

      • 2010; Hall, 2011; RNH; 2012; Yakupov, 2015; McDavid. Isn’t that 4 in 5 years? Are we using the same math?

      • Agree with you boys that making it tougher to tank is a good thing. But as an Edmonton native we are happy to bring up the point that the Oilers drafted first overall 4 times because of there was a lottery.
        They were only last in the standings twice, got lucky the other 2 times.
        Yes they still sucked those years.

      • “the Canucks finished 3rd from the bottom last year, & have done diddly squat this off season as far as improving”

        Eriksson? Gudbranson? Rodin? Larsen? Plus Tryamkin?

      • @striker: where’s 2013 and 2014? 😉
        It’s 4 out of 6. 10 through 15 is 6.
        Not important but anyway…

    • I agree – I think the Canucks likely will be a tire fire this year. The window closed 3 years ago and they’ve done a poor job of moving out assets and rebuilding.
      They should have moved the Sedins out a few years ago and completely missed that opportunity. Now they’ll get nothing for them. The Eriksson signing I am seeing as good (he’s a talented player), but more a band-aid.

      • Trading the Sedins has never been an option. Their leadership on the ice, in the room, in the gym and in the community is an invaluable resource to have for the young prospects in our system. Ask any top player and they will gladly give you a story of how veteran leadership and tutelage during their early years was crucial to their development in the NHL. Furthermore the cap space ($14M) required by any team trying to acquire the Sedins is pretty much a non starter.

      • Striker, 2010 through 2015 included 6 drafts; you are, in fact, using different math than anyone else.

        1. 2010
        2. 2011
        3. 2012
        4. 2013
        5. 2014
        6. 2015

    • The question for the start of the season is whether the Canucks will have much if any secondary scoring. But I having a feeling the defence will be better than they were last season – a low bar I admit. The Canucks need to take small steps and get a high draft choice. Part of the slow march to being competative again.

  3. Noticed in the Ottawa Sun this morning that Sweden won’t have Zetterberg for the upcoming flag-waving, chest-thumping “cash-grab” gathering due to a knee injury. But I’m sure Detroit is not exactly happy either. Just the tip if the iceberg when it comes to tournament injuries seriously affecting NHL teams.

    • Zetterberg was injured doing off season training. Players get injured all the time training for any & all things. World Cup, Olympics, the regular season what have you. This is the fastest most physical sport on the planet & they play a ton of games. Players are going to get injured.

      The cash grab is a good thing for all involved including the NHLPA which gets an equal share of revenue; the IIHF a significant portion, & the marketing opportunity to promote the game of hockey & grow the sport not only in NA but world wide is important.

      Players will get injured. Tavares getting injured in the 2014 Olympics was a devastating loss for NYI but it’s part of the cost to help grow & promote the game.

      I want to see this type of hockey. The best against the best; I’m not enamored with the format but accept there is no easy formula to stage such an event. Ironically most of the people I know that participate in the fantasy leagues I’m in feel the same way.

      I respect your opinion & right to verbalize such & would advise if not interested, then you not watch. The rest of us that are interested will. I’m hoping it becomes very exciting & is an incredible success.

      • Oh, believe me, I do NOT need your “sage” advice not to watch. I never had any intention of doing so. I just passed along a bit of information on Zetterberg and, in so doing, let it be known again what I think of the bloody cash-grab.

      • All good George. Lots of other options with baseball playoffs at hand & the NFL under way.


      • See the way this works George is it’s an actual discussion, sometimes a debate if you prefer. You make a comment, someone responds, you counter & so on.

        If I agree with you I will say so, if not I will comment & make suggestions. It’s not that I don’t want to hear your opinion but no need to be cranky & spell NOT in capitals. Ha-ha! That just makes me want to stir the pot with you more than I already am.

        We just agree to disagree as we most often do but not always & that’s all good. It wouldn’t be any fun if we agreed all the time. Nothing to talk about then.

      • maybe it’s just your way of discussing things that is aggravating Striker? In a day with 20 posts so far 10 of em are your know it all condescending essays…they are not real discussions it’s you acting like some kinda hockey media insider or you are teaching class again on every post. lol sure it’s a free country feel free but don’t whine about people not being interested in your little fantasy of being a guest on your hockey talk show.

      • Let’s just stick to hockey talk and not about how condescending a comment might sound. A lot of comments sound that way simply because we’re trying to say things as to the point as possible and how you read it or comes off sounding…I don’t think anyone means to sound that way noir sound as mean or dumb as they do. 🙂

      • Exactly Mr Moore.
        The concept is pretty simple, keep the debate to the issue at hand and try not to make it specifically about the person you disagree with.
        If you like debating a specific person. Don’t.

      • If you don’t like

      • Good grief the irony to “Mr Moore” and his post is almost boundless. It’s kinda hard not to laugh, pot meet kettle.
        All I am saying Ray is perhaps a guy who literally responds to every thing posted in a 500 word essay comes across condescending and pompous and starts
        responses like “See the way this works George is it’s an actual discussion, sometimes a debate if you prefer….” Shouldn’t be complaining about how some one uses capital letter in their response to him. No different than the lessons Mr Moore and yourself are trying to enlighten us with lol

      • Schticky,
        Perhaps I don’t get on this site as much as others, but I don’t see the irony in “Mr Moore’s” post. Perhaps you could explain it to me?
        I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but what I read from it was a suggestion that some folks may take posts of others out of context and not how they are intended. It is a communication medium that does not include tone.
        Not trying to enlighten anyone, just think most people who come on this site prefer to keep it somewhat cordial, even when we disagree.

      • This is pretty funny great hockey discussion all

    • “2010; Hall, 2011; RNH; 2012; Yakupov, 2015; McDavid. Isn’t that 4 in 5 years? Are we using the same math?”

      2010 EDM
      2011 EDM
      2012 EDM
      2013 COL
      2014 FL
      2015 EDM

      look 4 of 6 to me

      • Lol

  4. There are a ton of very interesting player personal decisions being faced by numerous teams with the expansion draft looming. It is going to be very interesting to watch & see how all of this plays out & when.

    Buying your way out of this round of expansion will be far more costly than previous due to the quality of players being forced to be exposed this time. Protected rosters are significantly smaller.

    A team like Pittsburgh is in a terrible spot with their goalies as few team need 1 now or potentially moving forward, several others will be available some potentially as UFA’s; Bishop, Miller, Elliott, Bernier, Pavelic, Mason, Neuvirth, Greiss, etc.

    At today’s cap of 73 million; assuming a nominal increase like the last 2 seasons, according to Capfriendly Pittsburgh has $16,676,667 available for the 2017-18 season; based on 73 mil, with 13 players signed & facing some significant player issues, 11 players either heading to UFA or RFA status. Bonino & Dailey being the significant UFA’s, Murray & Dumoulin being the major RFA’s. These 4 players are getting significant raises & you still have Sheary, Pouliot, Schultz & lesser players due some form of raise.

    Interesting times.

    • Aside from Bishop MAF is better than any of those goalies you listed. There’s a deal to be made with Dallas for sure and Edmonton, Nashville, and Calgary if Elliot can’t cut it. I would personally prefer it if he was traded already but the old man is taking the cautious approach. Yes Dumoulin, Murray and Pouliot need new contracts next year but Kunitz, Dupuis, Scuderi, Daley, and MAF will be off the books and that is about 19 million. They have Daniel Sprong and Jake Guentzle as well as Oskar Sundqvist on ELC’s to take their place. The only must signs are Dumoulin and Murray who are looking at 4-4.5 each. Pouliot hasn’t earned a big contract yet and Shultz will re-sign at about the same because he loves playing there so much he turned down other offers to sign this summer. Next year will be the best situation cap wise the Penguins have been in in a long time

      • We will see Deeeeeee. Dallas has their own cap issues as well with the vast majority of their roster due new contracts as well next summer; 11 players not counting Nichushkin, Benn’s new deal kicking in & 1 or both of those goalies needing to be bought out to make room for say a Fleury.

        As I said interesting times.

      • I would say Ottawa too will be in the market looking for a tender. Anderson isn’t getting younger, Hammond isn’t a starter. O’Connor hasn’t shown he can be a starter yet.

      • Yeah Ottawa is another team to watch in need of an upgrade in goaltending maybe Buffalo too and there’s a guy that’s already a big part of the Sabres that is a big fan of MAF and they are old friends. Obviously the Pens will have to take a goalie back in any deal but they will be compensated for doing so. Bringing in Niemi or Anderson or Hammond or even Elliot short term is definitely possible if the others team is willing to pay up for it.

  5. If i’m Vancouver and I can get Kane out of Buffalo on the cheap, I be doing it in a moment. Kane only has two years left on his contract he is still a 20+ goal scorer and a solid penalty killer and win instantly upgrade the Canucks. The only issue would be what do you send out to get under the cap.

    • I agree Caper but I don’t see Buffalo moving their #1 LW at any form of discount & although his off ice distractions are becoming a serious issue if not curtailed this is still a solid hockey player with very good skills.

      20 goals in 65 games only contributing 2 on the PP is impressive. Kane has had issues with staying healthy but he can play on my team any time warts & all. Happy to have him & what he brings to the ice. I only hope that as he ages turned 26 a month ago today that he matures. I would love to see him enroll in the NHL/NHLPA stage 1 drug & alcohol treatment program. It would show a commitment to acknowledge there is a problem & he wants to change.

  6. It was reported and talked about on tsn 1290 Winnipeg yesterday that Arizona has phoned the jets several times inquiring about Trouba, no names from Arizona were mentioned. They were told the jets are not interested in moving Trouba at this time. Did I mention I would like to see Trouba in Boston? My daily fix.

    • Hahahahaha. Me to.

    • Nope want to see Trouba home in Detroit.

      • Really don’t see Boston wanting to give up what will be required to land trouba Krug will be part of the deal for sure the Jets will want an nhl dman in return

      • Not sure why Winnipeg is looking for a defensman. You’d have to think Buff, Myers, Enstrom will be 3 of the top 4 and Morrisey is a future top 4 as well.
        The only available spot is at 5/6.
        Would they be better off getting a solid defensive 5/6 guy plus a strong top 6 winger in case Stafford doesn’t quite fit in anymore?

      • Enstrom won’t be resigned maybe even moved, in today’s nhl unless you’re getting a major overpayment in return moving good young dmen will always get an nhl dman in return

  7. Fredrick Anderson injured in an Olympic qualifying game

    • You just love that Bigbear

      • Yankee fan is on the smack again ?

      • Leave me out of this tool. I reaad but no longer post as I dont need your BS bigbear.

      • Sure sure? Like your not hockeyfan ?

  8. For the most part I’m not posting comments. I do on occasion when nothing else of interest to respond to otherwise the majority of the time I’m having a discussion with people. That means back & forth discussion, posts. I would prefer to do so in live discussions & do so a ton but that’s not what this chat group is for. I don’t look at it as a post room but a chat room.

  9. Kings need a LW they should try to get Kane maybe for Dwight King or Kyle Clifford

    • think it would cost a little more than Clifford or king for Kane

  10. Pittsburgh is indeed entering uncharted waters. I understand wanting to keep both MAF and Murray around for another run at the cup but the fact remains unless Murray is a complete bust this season they must move MAF before the expansion draft or be completely at the mercy of LV. And if I was McPhee my price for not selecting Murray would be something in the order of 2 first round picks. Sounds about right for an elite starting goalie. On the flip side trying to move MAF next June could be a difficult proposition. He might be an upgrade for 1 or 2 teams but his age and salary will be serious deterents. It might very likely mean paying to unload him. Taking a bad contract in return would most likely be part of it.

  11. Pull out your fingers Striker 4 first overall picks in 6… Not 5.
    2010 – Hall
    2011 – Nuge
    2012 – Yakupov
    2013 – Nurse (Not 1st overall)
    2014 – Draisaitl (Not 1st overall)
    2015 – McDavid