NHL Rumor Mill – October 1, 2016

by | Oct 1, 2016 | Rumors | 58 comments

Could Cam Fowler be shipped soon to an Eastern Conference team?

Could Cam Fowler be shipped soon to an Eastern Conference team?

Ducks could be working on a trade, more Lightning trade speculation and updates on Joe Thornton and Tobias Rieder.

TSN’s Blake Price yesterday reported the following via Twitter: “Pierre Mcguire tells us the Ducks are in trade talks with an Eastern Conference team to unload a significant contract, and get room for RFAs.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Cam Fowler’s contract ($4 million annually through 2017-18) is the one they intend to move. They have considerable depth on defense, which could make Fowler expendable.

As for the potential Eastern Conference team, it’ll have to be one with the cap space to take on Fowler’s cap hit along with affordable assets (draft picks, prospects) to send to the Ducks, who can’t afford to take back a significant salary. It must also be a team in need of a defenseman such as Fowler.

The New Jersey Devils ($11.4 million in cap space), Buffalo Sabres ($7.4 million), Ottawa Senators ($5.9 million) and Boston Bruins ($5.8 million) seem the likely candidates. The Toronto Maple Leafs could be another. While they have only $2.9 million in cap space, they will get cap relief by placing Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) on LTIR. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Martin Fennelly believes something’s got to give for the Tampa Bay Lightning if they’re to re-sign restricted free agent winger Nikita Kucherov. He expects it’ll cost the Lightning $6 million per season to re-sign the sniper. To clear salary-cap room for Kucherov’s new salary, they’ll have to move someone.

Fennelly lists goaltender Ben Bishop ($5.9 million), center Tyler Johnson ($3.3 million), center Valtteri Filppula ($5 million) and defenseman Jason Garrison ($4.5 million) as potential trade candidates. He notes Bishop was almost shipped to Calgary in the offseason, wonders if Johnson is a No.2 center, doubts a rival club will be interested in Filppula’s salary and questions if the Bolts can spare a defenseman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop, Filppula and Garrison were often mentioned as possible trade candidates to free up cap space for Kucherov’s new contract, but this is the first time Johnson’s been included in that category by a Tampa Bay pundit. Given his clutch scoring and proven playoff experience, I doubt the Bolts will move him. Indeed, I see Johnson as part of their long-term plans. Fennelly makes good points about Filppula and Garrison. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman’s suggested he could retain Bishop for this season.

With Ryan Callahan ($5.75 million) sidelined until late-November, Yzerman can place him on long-term injury reserve, which will provide him sufficient wiggle room in the short term for Kucherov’s new contract. However, he’ll have to free up cap room when Callahan comes off LTIR. If a trade happens, it might not come until sometime in November. 

TSN: In a recent edition of “Insider Trading”, Pierre LeBrun suggests if center Joe Thornton re-signs with the San Jose Sharks, it could be another three-year deal. While the 37-year-old’s age and cap implications are issues, Thornton’s solid play could make another three-year deal with the Sharks a possibility. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite his age, Thornton continues playing very well. Last season, he led the Sharks in scoring and finished fourth among the league leaders with 82 points. He and Sharks GM Doug Wilson seem to have buried the hatchet on their very public feud in the 2014-15 season. If Thornton enjoys another strong outing, I can see the Sharks inking him to another three-year contract. 

Bob McKenzie reports restricted free agent winger Tobias Rieder hasn’t demanded a trade from the Arizona Coyotes, but his agent has suggested it would be in everyone’s best interests to move him if the Coyotes are unwilling to meet his contract demands. Rieder seeks a two-year deal worth $2.5 million annually, while the Coyotes are offering $2.1-$2.2 million per season or accept a one-year qualifying offer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides aren’t that far apart. Perhaps they can come up to $2.3 million per season. 


  1. Not just Horton, Robidas as well. Lupul will also be going on LTIR at least for some period of time. That free’s up a ton of space. 13.52 Mil in LTIR wiggle room is coming, at least 8.3 all season in Horton & Robidas.

    With Matthew’s; Not going any where obviously, Nylander; unlikely although not impossible, Marner; unlikely although not impossible, Brown, Soshnikov, Hyman, Leivo, Kapanen, Zaitsev, Carrick & Nielsen all from incredible to good prospects no team may be in a better position to give Murray the things he needs. Of the 3 2nd’s Toronto currently holds Anaheim is getting the middle of the 3 but Toronto could afford to add a pick as well & Fowler would fit in perfectly in Toronto both in age & abilities.

    Being a Bruins fan I would love Fowler, they & Buffalo appear as solid possibilities, although Buffalo doesn’t appear to need a Dman with the acquisition of Kulikov, at least in the short term. What could NJ give up to acquire Fowler? NJ is barren of solid prospects at forward with the exception of Zacha. Ditto Ottawa, their not overflowing with forward prospects, something Anaheim needs. Anaheim’s D & prospect D cupboard is overflowing so don’t even need to take a Dman back & if they do he isn’t even needed for 2 or 3 years.

    • Maybe Fowler is just the payoff for taking a contract? Or with Gibson seeming to be perhaps a little on the fragile side the Ducks have some interest in Blackwood? Who knows but when it comes to teams making deals with the goal of it clearing salary as opposed to player or need acquisition, it’s tough to say anything is out of the realm of reason.

      • No. Fowler isn’t moving as a salary dump. Thompson is going on LTIR giving Anaheim 9.1 in space.

        Historicly they haven’t spent to the cap in the last 2 to 3 years but with their share of expansion revenue coming they can afford to.

        Although Anaheim needs to get Rackell signed soon waiting out Lindholm although not ideal is an option when you have the best D in the NHL. Few teams can afford to play a Despres as a #5 & keep a Theodore in the minorsvas he’s waiver eligable & they can’t get him the minutes he needs in the NHL to develop properly.

      • Being able to afford to spend to the cap and being willing to are 2 completely different things, not saying that’s for sure what happens with Fowler but with some of the contracts the Ducks have bring virtually impossible to move (imo hello Bieksa and Stoner) maybe this is the only way really…not sure anyone really seen Saad being the payoff for a bit of cap room but he was. You maybe right but it’s tough to say when these decisions seem more about $ than hockey is all I am getting at.

      • Could a Fowler for Trouba deal happen with Trouba getting flipped to a 3rd team for a forward(s)?

      • I doubt the Ducks move a 4 million per guy to take on a guy that wants 6 per. That doesn’t help them at all.

      • Striker Anaheim has always opporayed on a budget. I fail to see how that changes suddenly.

      • What the heck is opporayed, way to go spell check. Meant operated.

      • Jeff.

        Go to Nhlnumbers.com & look at Anaheim’s final cap hits annually by year for the last 10 years.

    • Toronto will be in a good position cap wise once those players go on ltir. They definitely have the prospects to make a trade for fowler, they already have reily and gardiner on left side, adding fowler adds depth on left side, or maybe they get fowler and flip him to winnipeg for trouba.

      • “or maybe they get fowler and flip him to winnipeg for trouba.”

        Of all the possibilities listed, THAT isn’t going to happen,

      • sorry George O didn’t realize you were a leafs gm, Fowler isn’t the type of D the leafs need and winnipeg isn’t trading trouba for forward prospects unless they have a 3way trade in place to get a d from another team.

      • Or maybe they get Fowler and trade for Trouba as well!? With all that cap space why not have them both.

    • I thought the same tings in regards to Toronto and Fowler, it would be easy enough for the Leafs to find the cap space and ya they would have somethings that may interest the Ducks as far as young affordable forward prospects but I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’m not sure the Leafs make any moves for awhile until they can get a little more conclusive look at what they have in some of these younger guys.

      • Can’t see the leafs being interested in a fowler type need more of a young shutdown dman

      • So, lemme see if I have this right Steve – YOU are entitled to express opinions regarding the Leafs – but I’m not? That about it?

      • Not sure Schticky. When it comes to good defence I think you go for it. They have Reilly and Gardiner and Zeitsev looks great too. Why not add one if Fowler or Trouba, if not both, to create an iron clad defence. Not an expert on who plays what side which could cause issues for Trouba that he already resents in Winnipeg. But Geez! Just go for it.

    • I think the Leafs and Ducks talked about this trade awhile ago, and the Jared Cowen situation is slowing everything down. Since the Leafs cant use any LTIR till training camp ends. Its probably picks and prospects since the Ducks don’t want salary in return.

    • Nylander and Marner also in the not going anywhere category

      • If they want fowler I can see one of them involved because the Devils will offer more than anything less than those 2

  2. If the Devils somehow find away to land Fowler they maybe one of the most improved teams this offseason.

    • Agreed. Quincey helped their D was brutal. What do the give up to make it happen? I just can’t see it.

    • Agreed, devils lack top prospects but they have all their 1st round picks and have 2 2nd rounders for next draft so perhaps they can somehow get fowler with b prospect and a 1st and 2nd rounder

      • Some might disagree, pointing to 6′ 3″ 213lb C Pavel Zach, taken 6th overall in 2015; 6′ 2″ D Steve Santini taken 42nd overall in 2013; and 6′ 4″ 224lb goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, taken 42nd overall in 2015. Also highly regarded is 5′ 11″ 200-lb C Blake Pietila.

  3. Maybe just 1 link to you’re blog Ron don’t spam it up with 30 separate ones for each team lol

    • Yeah, Ron…. I do Draftsite website and could easily post a link on ANY player mentioned…but it gets in the way of Kyle’s reviews and our discussions.

  4. I can’t see tampa being desperate enough for cap space to trade tyler johnson right now, but they don’t have many trade options other then garisson and coburn. Cant see any takers on callahan’s salary and filpulla’s. Garisson would be hard to trade too unless they retain salary and he’s willing to waive his nmc

    • From what I see it seems teams will accept a dud of a deal if there is a sweetener tossed in. Carolina and Chicago is a good example of this. So is Arizona and the Crouse deal.
      Therefore I suggest it isn’t out of the possibilities that Yzerman moves a potentially good player with a dud to get the relief he needs. I hope it isn’t the case but I can see it happening. Stevie may continue to face these issues next year with the RFAs he has.
      So trade a Garrison, Coburn ( with their permission )or a Filpulla with a Johnson or a Palat and I think teams will bite.
      The return would be where there is the most pressing need ,defense perhaps ? TB has forwards that can move to the big club such as Ernie or Point.
      I’d also go after a player who is young and locked into a reasonable contract for some time.Lots of players to go after.

  5. Ron get help

    • Don’t quit your day job Ron

  6. Ron,I have to disagree… when the Blackhawks top prospect Nick Schmaltz leaves school early, he probably gets the benefit of the doubt with the speedy Vinnie Hinostroza….There are four forwards spots available, so kids are the Cap relief…until the tarded deadline…

  7. Through my eyeball test, Cm Fowler still is lacking a solid defensive game, so maybe the Ducks send him to the Bruins and let Shea Theodore and later Keaton thompson fill the back end cheaper.
    Another case of an early selected prospect wanting NH:L pay for more on the job training.

    • I agree bill good 2nd pairing guy

  8. Has to be the Leafs just has to be.

    • Shut up Oil Fan

  9. If Boston were to acquire Fowler, I hope its only so they can flip him to Winnipeg for Trouba.

  10. I dob’t think the Leafs pursuing Fowler is a bad idea at all. Reilly and Gardiner can lock down the left side, Fowler and hopefully Zaitsev can lock down the right. As top 4 D go it isn’t the worst, and moving forward could be one of the better D units in the division. Anaheim and T.O have a recent trade history, and the Leafs have the young prospects to spare. Kapanen and Carrick to Anaheim; or Kapanen and a pick should be enough if Anaheim is looking to keep $ low and limit number of contracts they have signed. Might be a pipe dream, but would rather pursue Fowler @ $4mil than Trouba @ $5.5+ mil right now.

    • Not that I think it’s a bad idea, just I’m not sure with the calibre of a guy like Fowler that when talking cheaper younger forward prospects with out much salary coming back in return, you are not talking Levio or kapenan with another 4 or 5 mill contract like Gardinder or JVR it’s going cost Nylander or Marner more than the others, the idea for the Ducks seems to be clearing some money not adding and I’m just not sure that the Leafs would do one of those guys like that quite yet…maybe but I think if they were to trade one of those 2 they will want to be sure of what they are doing.

      • Just for the record. The Ducks on July 1 stated that they have increased their internal budget and willing to spend to the cap. Mainly due to revenue from expansion and that they think they are close to returning to fight for the cup. Fowler being traded is due to the log jam of NHL ready defense they have in their system. The extra money will allow them to take care of all those upcoming contract and not find themselves in the position Tampa is in.
        As far as the leafs. They aren’t trading for Fowler unless they can do something like trade Gardiner for Trouba. The leafs are stronger on the left D right now and anyone that has heard, seen or watched Babcock knows he want D to play on their strong side. Which means they would prefer to strengthen the right side. I do admit that adding both for Gardiner and the right prospects would look good. At least better then today…
        L R
        Riley Trouba
        Fowler Zaitsev
        Hundwick Polak

      • They ain’t getting trouba unless they trade Reilly so please just stop leaf fans

      • It is “wishful-thinking” time after all.

  11. Obviously the leafs and ducks have a history in the trade dept to say the least,both past and recent. both sides have also proven to be patient,waiting for more of Lupuls salary to burn off before the Beauchemin Gardiner Lupul deal could be finalized and doing the same until Berniers 2 mill bonus was paid out. Toronto will have space soon enuf,they have shown they will retain,take on or move salary to finalize a deal. Ducks have to improve top six,left side specifically, watch internal budget,clear room for Lindholm and Rakell.Getzlaf and Perry aren’t getting any younger,Carlyle only got two yrs plus club option,GM Murray has played the new coach card,seems like time might be of the essence here as well. A lot on their plate in Anaheim with not much time. No mater what u think of the Leafs this sure feels like they’re involved,we know they can play it any way u want. JVR,taking on a bad contract,tossing in prospects or helping out financially and getting some one or two of yours.

    • Agreed leafwolf. The Leafs should be in on both Fowler and Trouba in my opinion. The trade history with Anaheim is evident for sure.

      The Bernier trade will be just like the Gretzky trade as everyone will be talking 28 years from now about where they were when it went down! ???

      But in all seriousness I do think the Leafs can definitely get it done for Fowler!

  12. I would avoid dealing JVR due to his good contract and complimentary skills for Mathews. I do not want Fowler because he would be the the same type of D man as Gardiner(why we got him in the first place) but Trouba would be a great improvement who’s skills would grow at the same rate as his similarly aged team.

    • Might not be Fowler or jvr, but these two clubs have had lots of conversations over the summer obviously, Ducks will do something, probably lots, don’t be surprised if Leafs r involved

    • That’s why you go for both! Gardiner=Fowler and Reilly= Trouba! Every team needs a solid top 4 on D. Look at Ottawa they have Carlson- Methot, Phaneuf- Ceci. That’s considered good by many hockey pundits. Carlson definitely sweetens that pot, but that wouldn’t be as good as Gardiner-Reilly, Fowler- Trouba.

      • I hate to break it to ya Steven but the leafs defence is bottom 5 in the league and they aren’t getting trouba without giving up Reilly. And fowler will cost a top prospect and pick what happened to the stick to the plan and rebuild?

      • This is what’s bound to happen with this (some of this) fan base and likely sooner rather than later, now that there are finally getting to have some prospects some will be looking to trade them for anything that comes up, for quick fixes on the blue line not that there is anything wrong with guys like Fowler or Trouba but I’m not sure that there maybe better opertunities with cap space available in the future… I think Leaf management remain patient for a little while yet.

  13. Bruins are loaded on left defenseman Chara,Krug,Morrow, and Ehroff just signed at PTO
    Plus more prospects playing there
    Bruins need a right side guy.
    How about a move for Fowler then move Krug for Trouba
    I would love to have both

    • Funny Dave, I had the same scenario in mind. But I’m not sure I want to give up Krug skill set.

    • There you go Dave! I agree I want them both too! But as Leafs.

  14. Anaheim and toronto are talking trade,one can only hope that it is lindholm!

    • Really Hunter? The whole blog was about Fowler. Who wouldn’t want Lindholm, but he’s not available.

  15. If I was Fowler I’d start growing a beard right away.

  16. Changing subjects
    I was reading thru the transactions list on TSN and saw that Blackhawks released
    Alex DeBrincat, wasn’t he the big scorer with small body that Blackhawks picked in 2nd round of 2016 draft? A few of the “experts” thought he would go late first round.

    • Huh??? No way they released him maybe sent him to the minors

      • He went back to JR

      • Checked again on TSN transaction page.
        IF sent to Juniors or minors they list where player sent, it just says RELEASED.