NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2016

by | Nov 2, 2016 | Rumors | 62 comments

Could Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev become trade bait for a scoring forward?

Could Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev become trade bait for a scoring forward?

Latest on the Canucks, Stars, Kings and Leafs, plus updates on Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Spooner, Rick Nash and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports if the Vancouver Canucks can find a trade partner over the next month or two, they’d like to add a 20-goal scorer. They’ve been looking for a scorer since the summer. 

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston notes the Canucks don’t have a lot of trade chips to land a 20-goal scorer. He doesn’t see them moving promising youngsters Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser and Olli Juolevi. He suggests defenseman Chris Tanev as a possibility. noting the emergence of Troy Stecher, the club’s reluctance to place Alex Biega on waivers and Nikita Tryamkin’s unwillingness to accept a demotion. He doubts they’ll put Luca Sbisa or Philip Larsen on the block. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston also feels clubs could be more interested in the Canucks young prospects as part of the return. Tanev might attract interest, but maybe not enough to land the scorer the Canucks need. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the New York Islanders aren’t in any rush to appease goaltender Jaroslav Halak or his agent Allan Walsh, who recently took to Twitter questioning the club’s wisdom in carrying three netminders. Halak is the most obvious to be dealt, but Dreger claims as of Monday night the Isles didn’t receive any trade offers and there’s very little interest in the 31-year-old goalie. The Islanders have no problem maintaining the status quo of three goaltenders. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Halak’s injury history, inconsistency and $4.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18 are the likely sticking points.  

Bob McKenzie reports the Los Angeles Kings are in a better position to acquire a goaltender if they so desire. They recalled Rob Scuderi and then demoted him the following day. The move allowed them to place sidelined starter Jonathan Quick ($5.8 million salary-cap hit) on long-term injured reserve, giving them the opportunity to exceed the cap ceiling if they acquire another goalie. When Quick returns, however, they must become cap compliant again. That means it doesn’t make much sense for them to pursue someone like the Winnipeg Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec ($3.9 million). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, the Kings seem content to ride things out with goalies Peter Budaj, Jeff Zatkoff and Jack Campbell. If they decide to seek another netminder, my guess is they go after someone more affordable. Pittsburgh Penguins third-stringer Mike Condon ($575K) could be an option. They don’t want to saddle themselves with an expensive goalie still carrying term on their contract.

McKenzie also believes the Dallas Stars would like to upgrade their goaltending, but they’ve got over $10 million tied up in Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi through next season, making it difficult to pursue someone like Halak ($4.5 million). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars could offer up Lehtonen or Niemi for Halak, but that really doesn’t suit the Isles needs, as they likely prefer shedding Halak and going with a tandem of Thomas Greiss and J-F Berube. 

SPORTSNET:  In his latest “30 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports there was some interest in Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner when he was made a healthy scratch for the club’s home opener. Unless the Bruins can get a good young defenseman, Friedman isn’t sure Spooner’s going anywhere.

With Michael Del Zotto and Scott Laughton close to returning, the Philadelphia Flyers must shed salary to make room for them. He doubts they’ll move winger Matt Read, who was the topic of trade speculation last season but has improved since then. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They could demote Andrew MacDonald and his $5 million annual cap hit again. Or perhaps Brandon Manning ($975K). 

Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is looking to upgrade his defense. The problem, however, is there aren’t any top-four caliber blueliners currently available. 

There’s no truth to a recent rumor claiming restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba might return to the Winnipeg Jets on a short-term bridge deal. Also no truth to speculation the San Jose Sharks and pending unrestricted free agent blueliner Brent Burns shelved contract talks until the spring. 

The year remaining on New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak is a big sticking point. 

It doesn’t appear a trade involving New York Rangers veteran winger Rick Nash was anywhere close to happening. Nash was the subject of offseason trade chatter. 

TORONTO STAR: In a recent Q&A with his readers regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kevin McGran believes someone will take winger Milan Michalek off their hands via trade. Michalek was recently demoted to the minors. He suggests Roman Polak and Matt Hunwick are movable as depth defensemen for a contender. McGran also listed defenseman Jake Gardiner and center Tyler Bozak as possible trade candidates, though he likes how well the latter’s played under head coach Mike Babcock. He believes those with no-trade clauses, such as Michalek, could prove difficult to move if they’re unwilling to waive those clauses. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If demoted players with no-trade clauses, such as Michalek and Colin Greening, get an opportunity to be dealt to a team where they’ll get NHL playing minutes, I believe they’ll take it. Polak and Hunwick likely won’t be moved until close to the March 1 trade deadline. The play of Gardiner and Bozak over the course of this season could determine if they become trade bait. 







62 Comments

  1. Manning had played too good to expose him to waivers.
    McDonald is the likely candidate to be sent down, but hextall would like him to play 40 games to make him eligible for the expansion draft.

    • Philadelphia only has to expose 1 Dman that has played 40 games this season or 70 over the last 2. That shouldn’t be an issue.

      • Striker-and who would that be. They will protect Ghost, Gudas, Manning (or Del Zotto). If they don’t re-sign Del Zotto-they will need Mcdonald to play 40 games to qualify. So yes it is an issue.

      • Scott.

        I truly don’t know. The current roster is a bit of a mess as it relates to expansion when you look at Capfriendly. I assume they will be making trades before the expansion draft.

        They don’t have 3 keeper Dman due to the # of Dman who’s contracts expire of July 1st & become UFA’s. Nor do we have proper clarity on how UFA’s who’s contracts expire on July 1st will be handled for expansion. Lyle & I are on opposite sides of the spectrum in this regard. He feels they need to be protected should they have NMC’s, I don’t.

        All I know is the expansion draft is a long way off, sort of & I assume that we will see significant player movement & buyouts before it happens.

        I agree with you on the current keepers based on the existing roster make up. Ghost, Manning & Gudas.

        Injuires will happen so MacDonald will be back at some point & worst case scenario they move a useless pick to acquire some Dman that meets the criteria if & when necessary.

        Well researched by the way. well done.

      • Striker

        Could you please expand on the part where you and Lyle have different opinions on the expansion draft in regards to protecting UFA/RFA.

        I did hear something in regards to the expansion team being able to start negotiations with the UFA’s 48 hours prior to the July 1st free agent frenzy. (I’m not sure about the RFA’s)

        So this to me would mean if you wanted to keep your UFA you would have to protect him, even with the possibility he won’t resigns. Eg. Brent burns.

        But if Las Vegas signs a to be UFA then you don’t lose a player during the expansion draft as the lost UFA counts as your player lost.

        So with that being said I think it would be up to the 30 GM’s if they want to protect a potential FA regardless of the NTC/NMC.

        For eg. Dennis Wideman in Calgary has a NTC and will be an UFA. I doubt CGY protects him and I can see them being pretty upset if they had to because the league gives LV 2 days to chat to UFA’s.

        I know there are some really knowledgeable hockey people on this site. And I don’t comment very often but I do read the comments almost everyday. Forgive me if you’ve already discussed this topic.

        Thanks for the insight on whomever wants to comment.

        -Proscout

      • Proscout.

        I don’t think teams are required to protect players in the expansion draft who have NMC’s but become UFA’s on July 1st even though the expansion draft happens on that date

        Unless Lyle has altered his opinion he does think they need to be protected. Bishop as an example if not resigned prior.

      • Pardon me before that date not on that date. Typing from my phone as always.

      • Thanks Striker.

  2. “Elliotte Friedman reports there was some interest in Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner”

    I’m sure there is interest in the Bruins center. He’s young, low cap hit, and has shown the ability to be a 2nd line center in the NHL. With the opportunity he will/is a top 6 forward.

    He’s going to want some more money in the off season when he resigns but I’m sure a reasonable deal or bridge can be made.

    I do think, however, that Spooner alone doesn’t return a good young defenseman, which Friedman seems to insinuate but also doesn’t mention adding pieces. I believe it would take some additional pieces around Spooner in a package to get back a good young defenseman.

    • Spooner hasn’t shown me yet he is a #2 C. He has to learn to play some semblance of a 2 way game. At present he appears to be a bit of a PP specialist. Although not really young, 25 in January he is young by NHL experience & should have the ability to potentially become a 2nd line C. I agree with you, Spooner alone isn’t getting you a good defensemen.

      • I felt that last season when he stepped in for Krejci he showed a lot of 2-way play. Although this season so far I would argue he hasn’t… he also hasn’t shown much of a game at all this season and has gotten off to a bit of a rough start.

        I do agree with you regarding his ability to become a 2nd line C. I think that’s obviously what you sell teams on and most likely know that by now anyways. I could see him on the move this season although it could be closer to the trade deadline and not the freeze. The Bruins have other options at center now and Spooner has always looked better at center than on the wing. He’s an expendable asset right now but only at the right price.

      • I agree Chad. Seems like the logical asset to move with other assets to get what they need.

      • Ya, Spooner has his faults, and seems like they are taking some to fix. Likely why they got Backes.
        I guess it depends on how you define “good young defenceman”.
        Do you trade him for a 23 – 25 year old # 4 D-man? I sure would, but don’t think Spooner would get you that, to your guys point. A 20 year old D-man playing his first year in the AHL with upside to be a 3-4? A gamble, but ya I would do that too, as I am not sold on Spooner as a 2C.
        Would you guys?

      • I agree Raybark.

      • Ray Bark,

        I’m not entirely sure I would trade Spooner for a guy currently in the AHL who may be a 3-4 slot. The argument I would make is that Spooner has already shown his capability at the NHL level and teams know his ability. He has shown flashes of a 2nd line center. A lot of people need to understand as well that Spooner gets shuffled around as do many on the team. He saw ample time last year as top 6 center when Krejci was down and impressed but he also gets moved around a lot.

      • He has been shuffled around Chad. From the outside it appears Julien doesn’t think he can handle the 2C/3C full time over his other options. He has very good offensive talent especially on the PP, but the knock on him is he struggles with responsibilities in his own end which are greater with centermen than wingers.
        Perhaps playing on the wing will allow him to focus on offense more and it works out for him in Boston. Hasn’t so far, but early.

      • Ray Bark,

        I agree… he has at times not done well in his end. I hope that changes and if it does will increase his value. He’s never looked comfortable on the wing though, which is discouraging because that cuts into the options Bruins have.

      • I think he should go back to center. Be it third or fourth line.
        The third line is awful and needs to be broken up.
        Accari has been really good. I would move him up maybe on a wing with Bergeron or Krejci.
        Spooner needs speed on his line,Krejci is too slow.
        Spooner put up his best numbers when Pastrnak was with him two years ago.

      • Spooner put his best #’s up last year with a revolving door of wingers as the 3rd line C.

  3. I accept Halak has injury issues but I don’t really buy the inconsistency issue. His SV% in every year he’s played in his career are solid to exceptional. His career average is solid, his playoffs great. All goalies have stretches where their bad, well except for maybe Price. Ha-ha!

    NYI has been brutal this year & have had a really tough schedule. How Capunano still has a job makes no sense to me. There are few coaches in the NHL that frustrate me more now that Dave Cameron has been sent packing in Ottawa.

    Halak’s 5 starts this season are against very good teams except one. Lost 5-3 in game 1 to NYR, won 3-2 in OT against Anh, lost 3-2 to SJ, won 2-1 against Arz & lost 4-2 to Pit. That’s pretty tough assignments that few goalies in the league are posting good #’s against. 3 top 10 teams in the league last year; Pit 6th, Anh 4th & NYR 9th, SJ finished 11th.

    I don’t know if it’s just me but the schedule has had a ton of oddities to start the season. Edm has played 7 of 9 games in Oct against non playoff teams, Nas has played 8 games against teams that all made the playoffs. The condensed schedule is brutal as well. The season has only started 5 days later than last season due to the WC but the # of times teams play 5 games in a week this year is shocking. I’m not sure a single team played 5 games in 1 week last season.

  4. Demoting MacDonald only gets 950K off the cap. It would get Philadelphia cap compliant with pennies to spare when Del Zotto comes off this weekend but when Laughton is ready to come off someone else will need to be sent down.

    Manning would have to clear waivers. That’s not happening. I assume Lyubimov who is waiver exempt will be sent down but Philadelphia will still be in cap hell with less than 400K in cap space. Philadelphia when Raffle is healthy; not on LTIR but IR, so no cap relief returns a another player will need to be waived or a trade made to stay roster compliant with the 23 man limit.

  5. How come the centre of the hockey universe has such knuckle headed hockey commentary. What NHL player is going to say nope you can’t trade me I love playing for the Marlies. Playing in front of 3000 people in rundown old rinks is fun and bus trips are my
    favourite.

    • Besides guys like Michalek and a couple of the older guys looking for minutes (maybe a Bottom pairing D man like 1 of Hunwick or Polak) dealt for little to no return I doubt very much the Leafs are making many moves until the deadline unless it’s a crazy offer. As much as I don’t like Bozak he finally fills a bit of a need for now.

  6. After how bad Polak was last year in the playoffs I don’t know why a playoff caliber team would give up assets for him at the TRL unless they are very desperate. During last years finals his lack of any foot speed made me almost feel embarrassed for him. In fact I would go so far to say that the sharks would have made it more of a series had the Penguins not feasted on Polak every time he took a shift.

    • Hell SJ’s fore check made Cole & Lovejoy both look like the 2nd coming of Paul Coffee not exactly the m ost fleet of foot skaters either. I agree with you, Polak was brutal as was his partner Dhillon.

      That said teams like depth & Polak did what he’s paid to do which is hit & block shots. In a sheltered role with a better partner he would be nominally better. When the time comes soneone will give up something for Polak as insurance just a question of what. I would think at least a 4th maybe even a 3rd. Teams over pay at trade deadline time.

      Note to Jim Benning. Teams overpay at trade deadline time! Moron. Gave Garrison & Bieksa away in the off season. Both should have been traded at the trade deadline the years before they were moved or held & moved following.

    • Not sure that he is overly slow maybe a little, but I think it’s his over all (lack of) awareness that gets him in to trouble. I agree he didn’t look great in the playoffs last year, but bottom pairing guys seldom do look great or else chances are they wouldn’t be bottom pairing guys. He provides some size toughness and blocks shots…that’s about it.

      • Not to mention he was playing in the Cup finals against the eventual cup winner.

      • Agreed th Pens in the finals last year could make fast players look slow…that was a show, they looked fantastic and were clicking on all cylinders. Still Polak is what he is. Knuckle dragging 6 D

      • Polak is close to being out of the NHL the game is just to fast

  7. Reading those Vancouver comments, Lyle, it’s like they’re saying “give us a guaranteed 20-goal scorer and maybe we’ll give you one of our “maybe’s.”

    • Didn’t they sign that player as a UFA? Vancouver is awful. You want to talk about tough schedules. Vancouver has a brutal Nov. They should sit comfortably where they belong at the end Nov. Bottom 3 in the league.

      Linden & Benning have failed miserably. Please take them as well as owner Aqualini & send them all packing. Getting offers via email from all my scalper buddies I used to sell my tickets through for $25 game tickets, they can’t give them away.

    • That seems like a rather optimistic view of Tanev, but who knows.

      • I would assume if Tanev is made available he can return a 20 goal scorer easily but that does little to nothing for Vancouver’s fortunes. Sure it looks like Stecher will be a good NHL Dman but 1 20 goal scorer isn’t righting this mess.

        Tanev has never been deployed in an offensive role. See’s virtually no PP time & plays on Vancouver’s #1 PK unit & has for years. Solid top 4 Dman, may have lower end #2 potential as a shut down Dman when he is fully developed. Has only played 301 NHL regular season games to date, 99 off my development mark. Came out of now here to become an NHL player. 1 of the best Canucks finds ever.

  8. Has anyone else noticed Seidenberg’s fine play this season as NYI’s #5? Boy George would he have helped Ottawa’s D.

    • Aside from the drubbing they put on the Leafs I think it’s been hard to say anyone on the Islanders has been great.

      • I’ve watched NYI play 3 times now, & caught portions of others, as flipping around through intermissions. He has played great & his #’s also support it.

        10 games, 3 goals, 2 assist for 5 points, +7. Blocking shots at a significant rate. Sits 11th in the NHL for Dman. Also played very well in the WC.

        You know I didn’t want Boston to buy him out this summer. Perhaps next summer following the expansion draft if his play didn’t improve. Bringing on Liles to replace him was idiotic & financially makes no sense. Nothing was saved in the time frame of Seidenberg’s buy out.

      • Striker,

        Seidenberg’s play this season has been impressive. Although I was on board with the Bruins getting rid of the player… his performance for the Islanders has been great to see. I’m glad to hear he’s been able to gain some traction there. Sometimes a new environment does that for players.

      • And he is healthy now after back surgery and major knee surgery. Takes at least 12-18 months to get back to full speed. Especially for an older guy, an extra off season to get stronger makes a big difference.
        I also did not get the buy out, makes no sense to me when you consider where Boston is at this point in time.

      • Agree Boston shouldn’t have bought him out unless they were getting a top defenseman with the cap space. Lyles isn’t much of a difference.

  9. I forgot to get my daily plug in.

    Zibanejad, 2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points in 10 games, 33 shots, 55.2% face off winning % on 183 face offs. Brassard, 1 goal & 4 assist for 5 points in 9 games, 20 shots, 45.2% face off winning % on 155 face offs.

    • We need this for Weber / Subban.

      • Ha-ha!

      • All you need to know about Subban is he hasn’t played well yet. He will be fine but not being deployed in the same way in Nashville as he was in Montreal. Not even on the #1 PP in Nashville which is odd. He has occasionally but not consistently.

        That said Nashville has had a brutal schedule. Sits 6th in PP TOI/GP in Nashville. Markov beat Subban by 4 seconds per game in PP TOI/GP in 2012-13 but Subban was Montreal’s go to PP point man almost since entering the NHL. His TOI/GP is also down over 2 mins a game.

      • Also watch them in the defensive zone Weber is just so much better, and for some reason I think Weber is a better leader too! Lol

      • Weber 9gp 4g 6a 10pts (tied for 1st amongst d), +12 25.19 toi 3ppg 4 pp pts

        Subban 9gp 2g 3a 5pts (31st amongst d) -6 24:15 toi ppg 2 pp pts 4 (just 1 pt 5 on 5 and shorthanded)

      • I like Weber better in the short term but Subban in the long run. Especially with Webers contract.

    • Brassard hadn’t been getting the points. But not for lack of opportunity. The guy is playing damn well and fantastic in his own zone. He boosted the Sens PP. Given options in the dot and made the Sens roster more rounded. On another note I am impressed with Pratt. Nice pick up.

  10. Doesn’t matter who the Kings have in net especially b/c they keep putting up donuts every game. Kings need to get more skilled up front.
    That should be their focus.

    • LA has serious cap issues. Not currently with Quick now on LTIR but that’s only short term relief. This summer they have to resign both Tiffoli & Pearson. That isn’t going to come cheap.

      LA doesn’t have the cap space to solve their lack of depth. When you pay a player 10 mil in this cap world to room for error else where. See Brown. 12 mil in space this summer; at the current 73 mil, having to sign those 2, getting them to 18 signed & flush out 5 more players!

      • Striker,

        Another team with major cap issues. Bruins were in this situation a few years ago and made difficult decisions to get out of that. Kings aren’t alone in that regard as other teams in the league are pressed against the cap as well.

        Side note… Condon was just traded to Ottawa for a 5th round pick.

      • I could see something like that coming when Hammond down with a bad groin injury. Given Anderson’s situation, who knows how long he may be forced to stay away once all the tests are done on his wife. Hopefully, it’s the type of cancer than can be treated with minimal invasion/chemo – but if it isn’t, the prospect of going for a lengthy period with Dreidger or O’Connor at THIS state of their development wasn’t encouraging.

      • And still 6 more years on Browns absurd 5.8 mill contract and nearly 5 mill for Gaborik till he’s 40 its stomach churning…

  11. Condon to Ottawa for a 5th or essentially nothing.

    • Just commented above with that in response to one of your posts!

      Basically nothing is right. I’m surprised the Kings didn’t jump at this. Low cap hit, low cost in terms of the pick going to other way… Ottawa snuck in on this one. Actually surprised the Bruins didn’t jump either as a matter of fact. They’ve been struggling with the goalie depth. Khudobin should be back soon but who knows how that plays out and if he goes down again or Rask… depth is a good thing.

      • A 5th is essentially free. Surprised as well numerous teams with goalie issues aren’t addressing them in some way. LA’s in serious trouble.

      • Very surprised. Nice pickup for Ottawa though!

    • Good move Ottawa. A little depth and teams like LA miss out again.

    • Ehh better than having to put him on waivers and taking absolutely nothing…Good deal for both.

  12. “SPECTOR’S NOTE: They could demote Andrew MacDonald and his $5 million annual cap hit again. Or perhaps Brandon Manning ($975K””

    Quite surprised by this comment as demoting MacDonald frees up only $950K-ish; which is not a lot of cap flexibility.

  13. I like it. I haven’t liked Hammonds game in sometime.

    • What game? He’s either getting injured or just coming off some ailment since that miraculous run 2 years ago. He’s got 1 year to go at $1,350,000 which becomes an easy buy-out next season.

  14. What I like about coming here to this site,no trolls!well except for one (oil)kid,and the a casual ribbing lol,but the posts are pretty good hockey thoughts!good job guys!