NHL Rumor Mill – October 21, 2016

by | Oct 21, 2016 | Rumors | 39 comments

Matt Murray's re-signing doesn't mean the Penguins will trade Marc-Andre Fleury this season.

Matt Murray’s re-signing doesn’t mean the Penguins will trade Marc-Andre Fleury this season.

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Ryan Miller, Cam Fowler and Dylan McIlrath in your NHL rumor mill. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Sam Werner reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford dismissed the notion his club’s re-signing goaltender Matt Murray to a three-year, $11.25 million contract means it’s another step in the eventual departure of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury. Rutherford said he wants to see how things play out and cautions against the presumption Fleury is automatically out.

Werner observes the looming expansion draft means Rutherford can only protect one goalie. Fleury has a no-movement clause, meaning he has to waive it to agree to be left unprotected in the draft or traded before the end of the season if Rutherford hopes to protect Murray. Fleury’s also carrying a $5.75 million cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford doesn’t have to trade Fleury this season. He can wait until the days leading up to the June expansion draft to do that. Remember, Fleury has an 18-team list of acceptable trade destinations, so that gives Rutherford some room to work with here. If he can’t trade Fleury, he could also cut a deal with Las Vegas GM George McPhee to ensure an unprotected Murray isn’t selected in the expansion draft. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford dismisses the notion the Vancouver Canucks might trade veteran goalie Ryan Miller to the Los Angeles Kings, who are in need of a short-term replacement for the sidelined Jonathan Quick. Botchford said Canucks GM Jim Benning doesn’t want to trade Miller. Botchford believes that move won’t happen unless the Canucks surrender the season. He doubts the Canucks would get more than a third-round pick for Miller at this point in the season. The Kings also lack the cap space to take on Miller’s $6 million cap hit, plus the Canucks don’t have a third goalie in their system to replace Miller this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are also off to a surprisingly strong start (4-0-0) on this season. There’s no reason to move Miller right now. As Botchford suggests, if that move comes, it’ll be later in the season if the Canucks are out of playoff contention. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS:  Helene St. James reports the Detroit Red Wings brass recently scouted Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler. However, the last asking price was said to include promising forward Anthony Mantha. The Wings are also loath to part with young forward Evgeny Svechnikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks really can’t afford to take back much salary if they move Fowler and his $4 million cap hit to clear cap space for Hampus Lindholm’s eventual re-signing. However, they don’t want to just give Fowler away. It’s understandable that they’ll want one or two top prospects as part of the return. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the return from injury of Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein leaves the Rangers trying to figure out what to do with little-used defenseman Dylan McIlrath. “General manager Jeff Gorton would love to hear someone calling with an offer of a third-round pick, but that call hasn’t even come close to happening yet.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rival clubs could be waiting for the Rangers to place McIlrath on waivers in hopes of scooping him up that way, rather than part with an asset via trade to get him. 


  1. Why such panic regarding Fluery, and/or Murray? George MacPhee is an intelligent hockey person, I am sure he is fully aware of how valuable Murray is to Rutherford. Staying away from him could lead to a decent prospect and pick for a young franchise. Why not have two great goalies on your team? If Fluery has an 18 team list than that can hardly be considered a no trade. If Rutherford cannot get a guarantee from Vegas that they won’t take Murray, or Fluery for that matter, then it doesn’t sound like he’s cornered into anything by any means. I think Pittsburgh owes it to their players to stay intact as a team as they do have a very solid opportunity to repeat. I would suggest that teams with two quality netminders have an increased opportunity to be successful.

    • I agree. Even moving Fleury just leading up to the expansion draft shouldn’t be that much of an issue. He may not garner a normal return due to the expansion draft looming but it will be decent & the cap space alone is the benefit.

      Teams are allowed to exceed the cap in the off season & a team like Dallas could trade for Fleury & on July 1st buyout Lehtonen or Niemi. Calgary may still feel what ails them is goaltending & let Elliott walk as a UFA & trade for Fleury instead. How does Elliott look playing behind that team? Numerous teams will need goalie’s this summer. Vancouver, possible Buffalo if Lehner can’t start to stay healthy, Cal, Car, Dal, Ott & Phi?

      As for any team buying off Las Vegas to pass on taking a player. The cost will be far greater in this round of expansion than any of the past 1’s as the quality of the players is better. Not saying Murray will be available come expansion but if he were, again he won’t be, the cost to get Vegas to pass on him would be substantial like Sprong & a 1st. Murray is going to be a stud. Having won a cup he may be already but we need to see how he handles 60 to 65 games in 1 season to make that determination. The load a stud goalie plays. I have no doubts he will be as advertised & Vegas isn’t passing unless the offer we’re to good to refuse. Murray would give them their #1 for the next 15 years.

      • It be awesome for Vegas when teams come calling to protect their players and Vegas starts cutting deals. Many of these players Vegas may have decided not to take preferring another player. It will be like accumulating free draft picks.

      • Being the only expansion team is a nice luxury. They don’t have to worry about what the other expansion team has planned or up their sleeve.

      • Sprong and a first is definitely not happening. That is outright robbery. We haven’t had a first round pick in years either and it would be nice to get a center next year. Maybe a couple seconds and a Connor Hall but that’s it. If Vegas wants to be greedy then we are happy to just move MAF for assets. Jarry, Sprong and Guentzle are never going to be throwi ins, they are too valuable.

      • You need not worry Deeeee. Fleury will be long gone & Murray protected.

        Hypoteticly. You don’t think Murray is worth a 1st & solid prospect?

      • My point was more to the fact that buying Vegas off in this round of expansion won’t be as easy or as cheap as past expansion drafts & that Vegas won’t be passing on any players unless the compensation being offered is worth more than the player their passing on.

        Teams in the NHL for the most part are willing to sacrifice the future some what for the chance to win today & as Las Vegas is going to need several years to build a winning team futures should suffice as long as they win that trade long term. Well if they get the right prospects & draft well with the picks.

      • As Lyle wrote above, Rutherford cautions against the assumption that this means that Fleury is automatically out. Specifically, Rutherford said,”Let’s let the two guys play it out. We’ll see where that goes.” Rutherford, prudently, offered a bridge contract, not only for cap reasons, but because he knows that, based on Murray’s short NHL career, neither he nor any GM can know that Murray will be any team’s No. 1 for 15 years. If it does turn out that Murray is worth a No.! and a top prospect, and Fleury plays well, a contingency plan might be to trade Murray. Fleury is only 31, and last year, Rutherford drafted what scouts said was the best European goalie.

    • It’s not just the expansion draft that comes into consideration with MAF. There are other factors at play here. Dumoulin, Pouliot, Bonino, and Daley are all FAs and will be getting raises and carrying 2 goalies taking up 10 million of the cap and then paying 4 superstars superstar money in Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang does not leave much room for other players even though Rust, Wilson, Kunhackle, and Sheary are all still signed for under a million. The other factor is young Tristan Jarry will be due for a promotion if he continues his good play in the AHL this season and they still have even younger Gustavson in the pipeline to consider. It’s bitter sweet because MAF has been there for so long and owns every Penguins goaltending record but losing one of these younger guys to keep him at his cap hit just is not an option after this season.

      • That’s right Deeee, but for now there is no need to worry. I was surprised to learn that Fluery’s list included 18 teams! That’s 60% of the league. Even if they were trading him would they actually talk to 18 different teams. That in itself causes me to question why there is so much concern regarding this situation.

      • Agree with you guys. There is also no guarantee that Vegas will spend MAF money to any goaltender. Why would they? They are not going to be a contender for a few years, they really don’t need a big ticket in net.
        If I am Vegas I am building as young a team as I can, sprinkled with some vets for leadership. They will have options at goaltender without going that high.
        I leave MAF unprotected (which I think they can due as he does not have a NMC) or trade him if you find that Murray can handle the load this season.

      • Let] not forget that the difference in their cap hits next year will be about only $2 Million. While it’s not feasible to keep both players, what Pittsburgh would lose or gain by trading either one should be a greater consideration than that relatively small amount.

      • Actually Fleury does have an NMC

      • Thanks Striker, can you please clarify again what the rules are for expansion and NTC vs NMC.
        Who has to be protected and who doesn’t?

      • RayBark, to your point about not needing a goalie like Fleury at this point. I disagree.

        Vegas will ice a competitive team, but they won’t win much at all for the first few years. Having an established goalie who has a very popular personality and a couple of cup rings at least gives them a recognizable character between the pipes.

        I agree he wouldn’t make or break the team’s chances at winning, but he would at least give fans a legit name on their roster, which helps put butts in seats for the early years.

  2. I am glad the speculation on Trouba was non-existent today. That has become an “it is what it is” situation. Hopefully, he gets moved soon as he should be contributing to a team rather than sitting on the sidelines. Although, I do agree Winnipeg needs to maximize the return. I would like to think the next time his name hits the airwaves it’s news of a trade.

    • It WAS nonexistent until you brought it up! Lol

      • That’s true, and I hope it stays that way:)

    • Not going to happen. This is going to drag on for sometime yet.

  3. I just hope Girardi can bounce back a little bit at least and stay healthy. I’m not sure what he has left, or how he is going to fit in the new AV speed, speed and more speed philosophy. The Mcilrath situation is what it is, and NY has put themselves in a position where they will either have to waive him, play him, or lose him for nothing at the end of the season.

    • How would they lose him for nothing at the end of the season?

      • McIlrath that is.

      • If he doesn’t play about 40 games his year he will be some sort of UFA

      • No he is an RFA at the completion of this season. He will have arbitration rights but that won’t help his cause I assume NYR would qualify him at 880K.

      • Very cool, well done. You should report to Capfriendly.

        I agree no way MacIlrath gets into 42 games unless significant injuries hit & then I I assume NYR would trade out of the issue 1st.

      • group 6 UFA is a player playing 3 years, and not playing 80 games (skater) 28 g (goalie) before they are 25 on July 1.

        This often happens with college players who turn pro then sign to an ELC contract. they may do 2 years i the AHL (waiver exempt) then year 3 they play for the big team.

        It happens more often with goalies because of longer waiver exemption.

    • Ask me again why I don’t care about NY trading away 1st round draft picks! So many swings, so many misses! Outside of Kreider, Miller and possibly Skjei, it’s an awful list of fails.

      • Draft, Schmaft, to quote Cliff Fletcher, and how did that work out for the Leafs?

      • I agree. I keep telling people ” what do you mean no 1st’s? We have Nash, (Brassard) Zbad, Mcdonagh etc. Who cares how you aquire the players you need? The way Ny has drafted, you would replace Nash with Jessiman, Mcdongh with Mcilrath, lmao!

      • Why don’t you care about NY trading away 1st round picks?

      • Because we’ll never get our Bolland / Crosby! ?

  4. Skjei, Girardi and Lindbergh to Winnipeg for Trouba!! McIlwrath and picks to Ducks for Fowler

    • Hahahaha!!!

    • Why wouldn’t NY just cut Winnipeg out and get Trouba and Fowler? I kid I kid!

    • Get real that garbage doesn’t get you Trouba, Skejei at best is a 5/6 D man in Winnipeg and Cheveldayoff is looking for a top pairing D man to play alongside Buff and Sorry Skjei isn’t that person. So it’s not going to happen any team can beat that package. And why would Cheveldayoff want a overpaid Girardi any ways? And what part of Anahein not needs another D man back don’t you understand. Bob Murray is seeking a top LW for Cam Fowler and McIlrath is not needed in Anaheim. Both are garbage deals for Winnipeg and Anaheim and both are easily shot down.

  5. Anybody else annoyed by the fact that holland never seems to want to trade anything of value to aquire serious assets? So holland, do you think you’re overpaid, underperforming players are going to get you Trouba?

    At one point you have to give something to get. Not my problem, suits my needs for division rivalry.

    • I totally agree that these deals are beyond ridiculous, however I don’t think Skjei’s ceiling is a 5-6 guy…. That is equally a ridiculous statement. In the very short window he’s had, he’s already shown he can play top 4 minutes….. I don’t think that one person that watched the NY / Pittsburgh series last year would not say that Skjei was the BEST looking d-man in that series for NY….. Yandle looked terrible….. If that’s any indication of Skjeis future.

  6. I still think Fleury is a good fit for Ottawa.

    A deal (even after the season) involving Craig Anderson would make sense, as he would give the Pens someone to expose and then they could either let him walk or sign him to back up Murray if they want Jarry to play in the AHL.