NHL Rumor Mill – November 19, 2016

by | Nov 19, 2016 | Rumors | 36 comments

Vancouver Canucks interest in Buffalo's Evander Kane could be fading.

Vancouver Canucks interest in Buffalo’s Evander Kane could be fading.

Updates on Evander Kane, Martin Hanzal, Kevin Shattenkirk, Andrew Hammond and Ryan Murphy in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG: On Friday, NHL analyst Darren Dreger told Buffalo’s WGR 550 that Sabres winger Evander Kane was connected to the Vancouver Canucks in recent trade speculation. While Dreger said there’s nothing imminent, he added a potential trade of Kane to the Canucks was being closely followed by he and his colleagues. 

Later in the day, however, Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie took to Twitter claiming whatever dialogue the Canucks and Sabres had regarding Kane is no longer being pursued. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Jason Botchford believes the fact the Canucks are interested in Kane “strikes to the core of all that is wrong with this team.” He feels it’s not a move a rebuilding club makes, noting Kane hasn’t helped the Sabres. If he can’t help the Canucks score, “what makes anyone think he’s going to move the needle in Vancouver before he becomes a UFA?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, I understand why Canucks general manager Jim Benning would explore a deal for Kane. His club needs offense and he wants them to keep their playoff hopes alive On the other hand, those playoff hopes are fading daily and this club needs a full rebuild. Given Kane’s baggage, he’s not the right player to have in that dressing room.

CSNNE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty dismissed a Hockey Buzz rumor claiming the talk of St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk heading to the Boston Bruins has heated up again. Haggerty said he hasn’t heard anything about the Bruins rekindling their interest in Shattenkirk, who’s been the Blues’ best defenseman so far this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues aren’t in any hurry to trade Shattenkirk right now. If they do go that route, it’ll be near the March 1 trade deadline. 

ESPN.COM/ARIZONA SPORTS:  Craig Custance reports via Twitter the Arizona Coyotes have ruled out re-signing pending unrestricted free agent center Martin Hanzal. He adds there’s nothing imminent on the trade front. Craig Morgan, meanwhile. doesn’t put any stock into the recent Hanzal trade speculation. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think it’s far too early to start talking about a Hanzal trade. Like the Blues with Shattenkirk, if the Coyotes decide to trade Hanzal, it’ll likely be near the March 1 trade deadline. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond has declined being sent to their AHL affiliate for a two-week conditioning stint. The club’s recent addition of Mike Condon dropped Hammond to the No.3 goalie spot. Garrioch said Hammond’s name has surfaced in the rumor mill and sources claim the Sens are shopping him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see Hammond getting placed on waivers if the Sens can’t find any takers for him in the trade market. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Carolina Hurricanes are actively shopping defenseman Ryan Murphy.  “With a salary of $750,000 this year and $825,000 next season, the 23-year-old, right-shot defenceman will likely be on the move,” said Dreger, adding the ‘Canes are looking to bolster their blueline. 


  1. Is Hammond trying to (not) play his way out of the NHL?

    He won’t go to the AHL for a conditioning stint? He’s basically an AHL goalie.

    If I were a GM thinking of trading for him, I’d have real questions about his attitude/ego/sense of entitlement and I’d look elsewhere.

    The guy had 6 good weeks of hockey in his life and suddenly he’s Patrick Roy? He can’t be bothered to stay in game shape?

    John Druce thinks Andrew Hammond is a “flash in the pan” even.

    This is a really bad career move on his part. A few years from now when he’s in the ECHL he’ll wish he went to the AHL for that conditioning stint.

    • Druce would know !

    • I take it that Hammond would need to clear waivers for a normal demotion to the AHL. If that’s the case, it would make sense to go down on a conditioning assignment, play well and perhaps be claimed by one of the teams that needs help in goal. Something’s strange about this whole deal.

    • Perhaps he knows he is a flash in the pan. Road the flash as long as he could and doesn’t want to move his family at this time.

  2. What happens with Hammond is the LEAST of the problems with the Sens and, in the overall scheme of things, who cares? Their problems start and end with putting the bloody puck in the net. If this points to whatever “system” Boucher is trying to instill, maybe it’s time to question whether he has the necessary ingredients to play that “system.” Goal-scoring was certainly never a problem the past couple of seasons – but now they simply look lost.

    The other day BCLeafFan asked “About the Sens, though, 10-5-1. There’s a problem???”

    don’t be followed by the record. As Brennan says in the Sun, this is the worst 10-5-1 team EVER … and I don’t think he’s far wrong. They owe that record to Anderson standing on his head – aided admirably by Condon in his first couple of games – until the other night when Nashville made him look very ordinary – as they did to the rest of the team. They’re not a “bad” team – but neither are they a “good” team – which leaves mediocre as the correct adjective. And the fans are showing their displeasure with endless mediocrity.

    • “… don’t be fooled” – LOL – grumble, grumble … bloody faded script ….

    • Look on the bright side George, a 10-5-1 start with most of the players off to a slow start, when they get going it may just keep them near the top come April. Providing Anderson can keep his focus.

      • That cancer his wife has is a serious one and when she starts the treatment – radiation/chemo – he probably won’t be available for long stretches. And if it’s the “system” Boucher is trying to instill that is causing the goal shortage, why do you think they will get it going anytime soon? Even the Baby Sens can’t score under that “system” with the lowest total so far in the AHL by the proverbial country mile.

      • As a Sabres fan, I hope this type of system is not one that GMTM is wanting to continue in Buffalo.
        Buffalo learned the hard way that you can’t ride a goalie forever.

      • The big question I suppose George is, are they getting chances. I haven`t watched enough of Ottawa`s games to say this player or that person, but a lot of scorers are streaky and learning a new system does take time. Still a little early to say a system isn`t working, sometimes it`s the player`s reluctance to change that takes the extra time to find a comfort zone in a new system. A few tweaks may be in order, but one can`t keep making major modifications every 10 games or so. Condon I think was a great pick up and should be a good enough short term replacement for Anderson should he need to be away. Hopefully all goes well for his wife

    • Against Nashville the also had no Hoffman and no Ryan. For a team struggling to score that made the loss a certainty.

      • 5-1?? Hoffman is not known for his defense and although Ryan only played 4:46 in that game, he still managed to be a -1 before leaving.

  3. I think Hanzal and Shattenkirk are 2 entirely different cases the Blues have hopes of being a playoff team and could maybe even keep the blue liner for a playoff run and lose hin for nothing to free agencey like they did with others last year, there is not really any hope or spectating of that from the Coyotes perspective if a deal presented it self I doubt they would have issue moving a player that they now feel is not in the long term interest of their team

    • *him
      I’m with George on the faded script thing ?

    • To me Hanzel and JVR are in the same boat. They both play on teams that have lots of up and coming kids that are gonna want big raise over the next 3 yrs. Can Ari. and Toronto keep them without screwing up the long term cap. Arizona may even think Hanzel is worth want his asking price is, BUT, the cap may say no chance. The cap is gonna force teams like Arizona and Toronto to deal players that they would love to keep. As far as Shattenkirk goes I think he`s a gonner by the trade deadline regardless where St.Louis is in the standings. Not getting anything for Backles and Brower last year hurt. Armstrong just can`t take that gamble 2 years in a row.

      • Yogi, only if the Leafs immediately go long term with the kids post ELC. Can see them going term with Zaitsev, who should get a Rielly deal, but the kids should get short term second deals IMO. Should have lots of cap through those second deals. When we have to buy UFA years, yeah, we’re in trouble.

      • Ya but some of the bridge deals are getting out of hand Dan. You can force a smaller deal on guys, but in the long term guys like Matthews, Marner may warrant bigger deals. Do you want Trouba situations for your better players or hand out better/longer deals and keep them happy. A fine line to walk, a lot of juggling and a dam good GM to make it work

    • I just don’t understand on keeping a player who you are not going to resign? It’s not like your only going to get a bag of pucks for him. Blues didn’t do to well last playoff an ended up losing two key guys. I think I would play it safe an go for getting a return for him

      • Not saying they will keep or trade him but as Lyle said Shattenkirk been maybe their best D, and I’m not sure their window isn’t closing (for sure Hitchcock is) tough to send your best D packing if you think you have a shot at a cup possibly your last for a year or 2…no way are the Blues getting D back that’s going to come in and take Shattenkirk spot so… I’m not sure what they would do but at any rate imo it’s a far different
        Situation than Hanzal

  4. Hanzal is good but a bandaid as in injured all the time…. Ottawa’s problem is B Ryan- where is head at with his 6 points ? Z for Brassard is not working out as well as expected either.

    • Pageau has done nothing with loads of ice-time, as has Stone, Smith and the rest of the D after Karlsson.

      • Not trolling, haven’t followed the situation, but how is Phaneuf working out for you? There were hopes some of the pieces we got back could be recycled for late picks at the deadline, but turns out Michalek et al were non-recyclable, i.e. garbage.

        On a related note, anyone heard anything on the Cowen buyout ruling?

      • Phaneuf is doing his job. But his partner (Ceci) is having a rough time and frequently hangs Phaneuf out to dry. Anyway, except for that 5-1 rout at the hands of Nashville their D is fine overall (42 goals against which is 16 better than the Leafs – but in goals for they trail the Leafs badly – 39 to 56).

      • Phaneuf as you leaf fans know is slow on his feet. He got out skated a few times but overall he is doing well. It’s weird. I thought the team was doing pretty well despite their not scoring.

        If you watched the Nashville game you saw a horrendously ill prepared and inadequate team who would make it in the AHL

        That was by far the worse I’ve seen them play in some time. Perhaps it was the loss of Ryan added to Hoffman already being out. Perhaps frustrations of not scoring are causing the players to second guess the system and they are not conducting it properly perhaps it’s the system itself. Perhaps it is the case of one team matching up well against another.

        It is likely a combination of these things.

        They are looking lost. It isn’t going to be a fun ride this year.

      • The latest I could find on the Cowen situation is dated Oct 20 and indicates an arbiter’s decision could take 30 days – which means we’re getting close. Here’s the blurb:

        October 20, 2016, 5:20 PM

        The fate of Jared Cowen’s contract buyout now rests in the hands of an impartial arbitrator, and that impending decision carries significant consequences for both the 25-year-old defenceman and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

        It could take as long as 30 days for a ruling, per the terms of the NHL collective bargaining agreement, after the sides held a hearing in New York on Wednesday.

        At issue is whether Cowen was healthy enough to have the final year of his contract bought out by the Leafs last summer. A lengthy section of the CBA is devoted to “procedures for determining fitness to play,” and they include a player’s right to pursue a second medical opinion beyond what is provided by the team.

        That information, plus witness testimony and other evidence, will be taken into account by the arbitrator while rendering a decision.

        For Cowen, there is $3-million in salary at stake. That represents somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25 per cent of his career NHL earnings to date – a huge amount given his injury history and diminished future earning potential.

        For the Leafs, there are serious salary cap ramifications hanging in the balance.

        They are currently operating about $800,000 below the $73-million upper limit, according to capfriendly.com, but that is factoring in a unique $650,000 buyout credit they received for terminating the Cowen contract.

        Should the arbitrator rule that they’re unable to do that because the player was hurt, they would lose the credit while reassuming his $3.1-million cap hit this season. That’s a $3.75-million cap swing in total and would almost certainly result in the Leafs invoking long-term injury relief on one of three players – Nathan Horton, Stephane Robidas or Joffrey Lupul – to remain compliant.

        Even though the LTI maneuver would offer immediate relief, it’s something the Leafs hope to avoid since it would increase the size of the cap overage penalty they’ll carry into next season because of performance bonuses expected to be earned by as many as five rookies in their current lineup.

        Toronto has shown tremendous creativity with the way it has managed the salary cap the last couple seasons and only took on Cowen’s contract from Ottawa as a sweetener in the Dion Phaneuf trade on Feb. 9.”

      • George the Cowan arbitration was postponed to the middle of Dec.

      • Thx Yogi, so mid Dec plus 30 days for a decision – really dragging it out. Too bad there isn’t a mechanism to resolve this so Cowen gets his money and the Leafs get their cap – I’m sure they’d go for that

      • What got me re Cowen’s “injury” claim is the fact he spent the early part of the summer here in Ottawa taking power-skating in effort to help with his foot-speed. If he was indeed injured during the season it seems a bit — well — shady, that he was able to spend some time with those drills. Unless the injury was “upper body.” I really have no idea.

      • George when Ott/Tor made the deal that sent Cowan to T.O., he was skating at the time. Supposedly Barb Underhill was working with him to improve his foot speed. When Lou sent him to the Marlies, it was to play, not just to just hide him. They could have just left him in the press box. The Ott and T.O. doctors had cleared him to play. This is when Cowan complained about his hip not being right. Instead of forcing him, Lou said go home. When the season ended Cowan went to the Mayo clinic, where according to his agent they had found a problem with his hip that was related to his knee injure. He was to have an operation to try to correct the problem. That was the last that I had heard. You know how hard it is to get info from Lou or Shanny. As Dreger said just last week, the only info that comes from Lou is what he wants you to know. I can tell you for a fact, if you have any significant upper body injure, you aren`t taking power skating lessons. How you hold and move your arms plays a big part of your skating.

  5. Question for Sens fans…what’s up with Mike Hoffman?

    Is he playing poorly? Still on top line? Still on top PP unit? When healthy, of couse.

    I’m totally not asking because he’s available in a few of my fantasy leagues…he gets a ton of shots, I know that much.

    Think he’ll get back to his pace and form of the past two years or is he not the same player in the new system?

    • “… or is he not the same player in the new system?”

      That’s the developing $64,000 question! Same with Stone and Brassard. Turris (with 8 goals) seems to be the only one who has some idea where the net’s at!

    • He looks fine to me. They all do but I think the guys are either to fancy with their passes or to simple with their dump ins. They look frustrated and uncertain of their game.

    • He will bounce back. You can tell they just haven’t quite figured out the system. I’d grab him if you have room on the roster.

      • I’d be dropping Lucic…

  6. Hammond on waivers. …

    • I’ll be surprised if he’s claimed.