NHL Rumor Mill – October 6, 2016

by | Oct 6, 2016 | Rumors | 48 comments

Don't expect the Tampa Bay Lightning to trade Nikita Kucherov.

Don’t expect the Tampa Bay Lightning to trade Nikita Kucherov.

Updates on Nikita Kucherov, the Ducks stalemate with Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell and a rumor Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon could be on the trade block.

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: Appearing on TSN 690 yesterday, Bob McKenzie said he doesn’t believe Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman will trade unsigned restricted free agent winger Nikita Kucherov. He said Yzerman still wants to re-sign Kucherov. McKenzie believes Yzerman could move another forward like center Valtteri Filppula, though his value in the trade market obviously isn’t as strong as Kucherov’s. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith cites McKenzie’s colleague Craig Button dismissing the notion of Kucherov receiving an offer sheet. Button cites the rarity of offer sheets, noting the last player to be successfully signed away was Dustin Penner, who left the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 to join the Edmonton Oilers. He also notes how few teams have sufficient salary-cap space to pitch Kucherov an offer sheet, plus the likelihood the Lightning would match any offer for the winger. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov must also be willing to accept an offer from a rival club. If he’s put the word out via his agent that he’s not interested in receiving one, it’s pointless for a rival GM to go that route.  As for a trade, unless Kucherov follows the lead of Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba and asks to be moved, it’s not going to happen. He’s a valuable member of the Lightning’s future. They want to keep him and he wants to stay.

The problem is Yzerman has to free up sufficient salary-cap space for Kucherov’s new contract, which could come in around $6 million per season on a long-term deal. He’ll get some temporary cap relief by placing sidelined winger Ryan Callahan ($5.7 million) on long-term injury reserve. However, Yzerman will have to free up cap room in late-November when Callahan, who’s recovering from offseason hip surgery, returns to the lineup. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports the contract stalemates continue between the Anaheim Ducks and restricted free agents Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rackell. He claims long-term deals are desired by both sides, but it’s the money that’s the sticking point.Term lengths as long as eight years for Lindholm and six for Rakell have been discussed.

The Ducks have $7.5 million in salary-cap space, which doesn’t appear enough to re-sign both players. They could get some cap relief by placing Nate Thompson ($1.6 million), who’s sidelined until March, on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm could be seeking $6 million annually, while the Ducks could prefer something around $5.5 million. Regardless, that won’t leave much for Rakell, who could seek around $3 million annually. The Ducks must also ensure they’ve got sufficient wiggle room for additional moves if required over the course of the season. That’s why defenseman Cam Fowler and his $4 million annual cap hit remains a fixture in the trade rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET’S Eric Engels reported the following yesterday on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon: “From what I’ve heard, there are a couple of Western teams kicking the tires on Condon. Trade is a possibility”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condon did a decent job last season filling in for the sidelined Carey Price. With Al Montoya signed as Price’s backup this season, it appears Condon could be on his way out. The San Jose Sharks lack an experienced backup, so perhaps they’re one of those two Western Conference clubs with interest in Condon. He’d have to pass through waivers if demoted, where he could be plucked away by a rival club. 


  1. Or, Montreal could do with Condon what Ottawa did with Bishop who was kept around for some time as the 3rd goalie behind Anderson and Lehner before being dealt to TB for Conacher (didn’t THAT turn out well for Ottawa!).

    • They could do that but then then they will have to trade one of their forwards… Lehkonen and Carr have earned roster spots while Andrighetto or Danault would have to pass through waivers. I can see them trading Condon for a low pick but who knows.

      • McCarron goes down and plays #1 center and on speed dial for injury call-up. Montreal will need to expose one goalie with 70 games NHL experience (Condon needs 15 more games)and signed for next year in the expansion draft. So Condon stays up, plays 15 games this year, and is resign before the expansion draft. After the expansion draft, Montoya is resigned to 2-3 year deal as he is a UFA and won’t be pixked in the expansion draft.

      • I think they’re already planning on McCarron playing in the AHL this season. I’d rather see him take Desharnais’ spot on the 3rd line but I don’t see it happening this year. The goaltending will eventually sort itself out with either Fucale or Lindgren playing backup a year or two from now. I just don’t see much of a future in Montreal for Condon or Montoya.

    • In all fairness when Ottawa made that trade Conacher was pretty highly regarded I believe he was leading all rookies in goals or something along those lines … Ottawa only paid a second round pick for Bishop in the first place

      • Conacher had gotten off to a hot start that year, but I believe when the trade was made he hadn’t scored in almost 10 games and was deficient defensively. Murray took a chance but it never panned out.

  2. Isn’t the fact that the Habs signed Montoya say something about how they felt about Mike “Experienced backup” Condon?

    • And at Condons salary why wouldn’t you just take him off waivers?

      • Agreed. The only reason I can see anyone taking him in trade is to balance out a contract as it relates to the # a team are allowed, 50. SJ sits at 44 so lots of space. I assume Dell will be SJ’s back up.

      • True. The writing was on the wall for Condon when the Habs signed Montoya. The only reason anyone would trade for Condon would be if they really wanted him as opposed to taking a chance on the waiver wire. But does anyone really want him? Harsh, I know. But he’s in a tough spot.

  3. Kucherov isn’t going anywhere. Someone else in Tampa will be though. They are going to run into cap issues over the next two seasons more so than they are now and will be forced to deal a very good player for a non-substantial return.

    I could see a Condon to the pens type deal going on. Sharks and Kings could also be a viable option for trade.

    Yakupov for a 4th rounder? Wow this kid sure has crashed and burned. He can score and put the puck in the net, I wonder what team would take a chance on him. My bets are on Washington

    • The Caps (and I am a fan from day #1 in 1974) are stupid enough to do just about anything…or nothing.

    • When has Yakupov put the puck in the net in the NHL? He is a huge bust and was outscored by Pat Maroon last year

      • 17 goals & 31 points in 48 games in 2012-13 his rookie year.

        I like Maroon as a sleeper for Edm this season. His size will be used, not the greatest skater but plays hard & hits hard. Playing against, Lucic, Maroon & Kassian won’t be fun for other teams. These guys hit to hurt.

      • Yeah Striker we can all use google and we can look up players stats but thanks,

      • I thought you were asking a question. Isn’t that what ? means? 17 goals looked good in 48 games as a rookie.

        I don’t use Google, I’m a Yahoo guy. NHL.com & Capfriedly for stats.

      • It was rhetorical, my point was this kid has been an enormous bust and other then a really good rookie year for a half a season when the entire league had almost a year off he hasn’t shown much and has been given opportunities.

        I would be shocked if Edmonton gave him away for a 3rd or 4th round pick and if that was the price the only hold up would be his $2.5 mill cap hit.

        The google comment was more or less that everyone has access to the same webpages and regurgitating the same numbers everyone sees daily is condescending. Like when you keep telling people about the offer sheet breakdown and posting a link …

      • Well Dino some people don’t seem to get it but apparently you do. Well done. Bob MacKenzie didn’t the other day.

        Numerous others don’t as well so at least if they don’t they can at least go read it for themselves.

        Agreed on Yak by the way.

  4. In regards to Yakupov…if the cost is a 3rd or 4th round player, and I am one of the 29 other teams that he doesn’t play for, I take a shot on him. Especially if you the cap space. I believe he only has 1 more yr on his contract. Edmonton was always a bad fit for him. He needs mentors around him that aren’t all kids in their early 20’s. He has raw talent, but his immaturity has always been evident. Send him to a team like SJ or Anaheim with Thorton, Marleau, Burns, Cetzlaf, Perry type character leaders and he might be an excellent reclamation project.

    • Pretty bad when you’re a “reclamation project” in your early 20s

      • That’s a little judgmental no? Here… lets give a kid a few million dollars, move him to the other side of the world, let him hang out with a bunch of other kids his own age (that have millions as well) and oh by the way, don’t get distracted, party or do anything stupid. It’s unfortunate, but not really unrealistic. Some people need a lot more guidance than others. Just having raw skill doesn’t make you responsible or mature. He has skill, but needs a mentor. I’m not saying he will be a great player, but he could easily be a 20g scorer for a team if he were to grow up. Also in this league, if you aren’t a reclamation project in your early 20’s, the ship has already sailed and your NHL career is over.

      • It’s not like the Oilers took win from the wilderness, threw him in a room full of money and booze, ripped a sack of his and said go nuts… I think you may be stretching his excuse just a tad.

      • Having watched Yakupov from his rookie season to now, you can see how much his confidence has dropped off. He is trying and putting in the effort but you can see how tentative he is with the puck. I think a fresh start might be what he needs and a team that takes a shot at him may be pleasantly surprised by the results. By all accounts that I’ve heard, he is a good kid and he does not have a problem with partying. Like many other players, he had his confidence destroyed under the Dallas Eakins regime- similar to Justin Schultz.

      • It’s Yak’s 23rd birthday today, lets show him some love. Haahahahaha

      • This sounds more reasonable. I know young players will party and sometimes it can effect guys differently but for the most part it’s no different then when the majority of us were younger and guess what some of the vets around the league are no different than the younger guys when it comes to drinking and partying. (Remember Hudler at the all star game? …anyway my point is players like most others take time to mature and I doubt it has much to do with anything in Yaks game, maybe it’s not working out in Edmonton because a lot of things in Edmonton haven’t worked out up till recently besides the lottery machine. I agree a fresh start and a coach and teammates to help build him back up a bit is probably the best thing for yak

    • I would think he is a good fit in Pitts with Malkin to mentor him.

  5. Flyers trade Streit for Yakupov and retain salary differential. This provides Flyers with some roster space for Provorov and gives the Oilers an experienced leader at D. Flyers take a low risk chance of adding some much needed scoring. Makes too much sense

    • I’ve made that basic suggestion numerous times although I have Philly having to add a sweetener to make that deal fly. You don’t even need to eat salary. Streit was paid a 2 mil bonus on July 1 so only has 2 mil in salary remaining this season. You just need to pay Edm to take the cap hit of 5.25.

      Philly could sure use the cap space getting Streit off the books would provide. The question is at what cost?

      • If they don’t move a D man in a trade-they will have to demote a dman,probably Brandon Manning and expose him to waivers-and at his salary probably be claimed.
        Another possibility for a trade is Strasbourg’s Nick Schultz

      • Philly could carry 8 D most teams do, the standard is 13F, 8D & 2G with a few exceptions. Give Provorov his 9 game look & if ready keep him in the NHL.

  6. I have had the misfortune to watch Yakupov’s deployment & usage since he arrived in Edm live. He has never been deployed as more than a 3rd line winger except for brief stretches.

    Kruger had him well on his way in his rookie year in the lock out shortened 2012-13 season, he took of in the last 1/2 of that season when deployed as a scorer with talented players, then Eakins destroyed him. He’s only averaged more than 15 mins in TOI/GP once in his 4 years & saw 2nd line PP minutes in his 1st 3 but not even that last season.

    Talk about trying to cram a square peg into a round hole. 1 of the most mismanaged assets to come into the NHL. Edm will have to give him away for free now or he possibly gets selected in expansion. He certainly needs a fresh start on a team that would try & deploy him as a scorer not a checker.

    It’s to bad as the kid certainly has talent but he has been destroyed by Edmonton. At 23 it’s not to late for someone to turn him around. It won’t be easy as his confidence is shot not sure what type of NHL player he is now & he’s getting squeezed out in Edm. If Draisaitl moves to RW which is quite possible Yakupov will be hard pressed to dress unless injuries hit.

    Going to be curious to see what Edm does with Puljujarvi, as if he stays he gets Yakupov’s 3rd line RW spot as Caggula looks to be a lock out of the gate. Young players even 1’s coming out of University & nominally older & more mature can still hit the wall fast.

  7. Mike Condon? Must be a slow day.

    • I wish something would happen.


      On a positive note, Chabot & Claesson appear to be locks out of the gate in Ottawa baring a waiver acquisition or trade for a Dman as the UFA kitty other than Russell; who neither of us have signing in Ottawa, is bare.

      Hears hoping Chabot can step in & play 16 to 18 mins a night of responsible hockey. Claesson has certainly been a loyal Senator. 4 years in Binghamton final getting into 16 games last season. I sure hope this works for Ottawa as their #5/6 D spots are my only concern with them making the playoffs.

      • Chabot will certainly get his 9 games and in that span he needs to play regularly in order to get a feel for his readiness to deal with NHL forwards from a defensive aspect. There is no question about his offensive capability. Seems like Boucher has decided on 8 D and 12 F to start anyway (Paul has been sent down and Bartkowski cut) until Lazar gets back (he should put in 3 or 4 games at Binghamton as his “training camp”). Claesson seems to have impressed enough in the exhibition games to stick and if he’s finally made it, I’d prefer seeing him and Chabot as the 5/6 pairing – for now. There is NO point in sending Chabot back to junior. I hate that idiotic “agreement” with Major Junior – anyone out of college or Europe can be sent to the AHL – but not 19 y/o Major Junior players. Stupid rule and there I agree with Yzerman’s take – he hates it too. What they’re saying is, a 19 y/o is not entitled to start earning a living – at least in hockey. I wonder how long that would stand up in court.

      • There should be some form of an exclusion for certain types of players. Some players just can’t benefit from returning to Jr at 19. Having teams like Vancouver keep Virtanen & McCann up & barely play them makes no sense for me.

  8. Why wouldn’t the pens be interested in yakapov maybe getting Edmonton to retain part of his salary I surely would think he would be worth a pick or a swap for pouliot who seems to be in the same position with the pens that yak is with the oilers

    • I don’t see Pouliot being moved by Pittsburgh & their situations aren’t even remotely similiar for me. He’s following a very standard development curve for almost all Dman but especially Dman that got drafted as 1 dimensional as him. He’s had to learn to play defense. This is the age most Dman start seeing semi regular playing time in the NHL.

      • Pouliot and Brian would make a great Dumoulition squad on the second pair one day.

  9. Ana may have found a solution to their issues today as Stoner has been placed on waivers.

    • It only free’s up another 950 K in cap space, 2.3 counts against the cap unless claimed which would be shocking due to his salary in relationship to his abilities. Why Stoner wasn’t bought out this summer was very odd.

      Signed in a different cap world when these types of Dman were getting this type of money & more. July 1st 2014. The Canadian Dollar was at 94 cents & some GM’s hadn’t foreseen the cap drag coming.

  10. Yakupov going to Blackhawks

    • Just a rumour right now. Nothing emanate. Although I did say last season that Chicago would be one of the best teams for him to go to. With one of the best coaches in Quenneville and a on ice leaders in Toews could only spell good things for Yakupov.

      • According to one site Darren Dreger is quoted as saying “Pete Chiarelli tried to move Nail Yakupov leading up to the trade deadline … and I’m sure that he kicked a few tires at the draft in trying to move him again. There just isn’t – and hasn’t been to date, anyway – a market for him. Now, the Oilers would tell you that it’s not like they’re asking for an exorbitant or unrealistic return. It’s a draft pick. And it’s not a first, second – and at one point they were asking for a third, but it’s probably not even that anymore”

        Hard to believe someone would not offer a 4th and if that’s the case his stock must really be at a low ebb. Why not just demote him if waivers are still in effect for him (surely he doesn’t have a no movement clause) and see if anyone bites? He’s not going to improve his appeal by sitting up in nosebleed alley.

      • From Bob McKenzie twitter page an hour ago.
        “Regarding Yakupov to CHI trade rumors, my understanding as follows: CHI has had talks with EDM on Yak, could still have interest in him but there is no imminent deal. CHI, at this moment, still looking at their kids to fill holes, but maybe that changes at some point. EDM would obviously need to take back salary in a Yakupov deal with CHI and while Bowman-Chiarelli did talk Yak trade, nothing too recent. All that said, depending on how things proceed for Hawks, Yakupov is player they have had interest in and may still have some interest.”

        With how Caggiula has performed this pre-season and drafting Puljujarvi has only pushed Yakupov down the depth chart. The Oiler sports reporters don’t even know how Yakupov is going to fit into the opening day lineup if he is still with the team.

  11. Striker ANA is hoping he will be claimed. Your right I dont know if it will work for ANA.

    Yakapov rumors all over twitter, nothing imminent.
    Jon Merrill done for a month or so……..Kris Russell ?? Stoner ??

    • Won’t be Russell if he’s still hoping to get upwards of $3.5 to $4 mil. Even for 1 year.

    • I don’t think losing Merril is any cause to panic, just means Moore gets to avoid waiver wire for now

  12. I wonder if Lou is looking for d help? Watching the game tonight poor Anderson is gonna be eating a lot of rubber!