NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2016

by | Nov 23, 2016 | Rumors | 65 comments

Trade rumors still dog Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Trade rumors still dog Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Evander Kane, Michael Stone & more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Pittsburgh Penguins could listen to offers for Marc-Andre Fleury at some point before the March 1 trade deadline. He feels there’s “not enough net” for two No.1 goalies and they don’t want to expose Matt Murray in the expansion draft. He notes Fleury has a no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this season, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said he was fine with keeping his tandem of Fleury and Murray intact for this season. Still, a lot can happen between now and March 1 to change that.

Rutherford could still stick with the duo for the season, but he’ll have to act quickly to move Fleury before the expansion draft. Otherwise, he could try to cut a side deal with the Vegas Golden Knights to ensure they don’t select Murray if forced to leave him unprotected. 

Bob McKenzie reports the Buffalo Sabres aren’t shopping left wing Evander Kane but they appear open to the idea if they get the right defenseman in return. McKenzie notes the Vancouver Canucks shut down talks with the Sabres last week and the New York Islanders kicked the tires but there’s nothing imminent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres apparently seek a top-four defenseman in return. Kane’s value, however, has plummeted in the trade market. He’s struggling to score, has some off-ice issues and carries a $5.25 million cap hit through 2017-18. Tough to get a quality blueliner for him right now. 

Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to move center Peter Holland, who’s been in and out of their lineup. GM Lou Lamoriello seeks a shutdown defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As host James Duthie noted, a lot of clubs seek a shutdown defenseman right now. Holland won’t be sufficient bait to land one. 

Dreger also reports at least three teams are interested in Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy. The Hurricanes recently sent Murphy to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint to get some playing time and perhaps showcase him to interested GMs. Dreger said one of the clubs was a Western Conference team, but didn’t know if it was the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy might benefit from a change of scenery. He’s only 23, carries an affordable $787K cap hit and has a right-handed shot. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also weighs in on the Canucks’ apparent interest in Kane, saying the assumption was the asking price by the Sabres would be low, but that’s not the case. He’s heard the Sabres are looking for speed up front and on the blueline. Friedman also doesn’t believe the Canucks will part with a top prospect unless it’s for a massive return, and doesn’t think the Sabres are too interested in anyone off the Canucks main roster except perhaps for defenseman Chris Tanev. 

Friedman also reports Colorado and Detroit are looking for defensemen, Calgary is open for business and Minnesota seeks a scorer. He also mentions Montreal looking for a defenseman and wouldn’t be surprised if they added a powerful forward or two, describing the Canadiens as “all in” this year. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has pulled off some early-season deals in the past. However, I think he’ll have to wait until closer to the March 1 trade deadline to find what he needs this season. 

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said over the weekend if he adds anything, it’ll be a winger. However, he wants to take some time and evaluate his young forwards. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently speculated Bowman might not be a heavy dealer at this year’s trade deadline compared to recent years. If those kids pan out as hoped, he’ll have little reason to go shopping. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson recently posted the following on Twitter: “Coyotes offensive D Michael Stone is apparently available. UFA in July. Would Edm be interested? Big shot.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone, 26, tallied a career-best 36 points last season with the Coyotes. Consistency, however, has been a issue and he’s been hampered by injury since last season. He’s got good size (6’3″, 210 pounds) and has a right-handed shot. If he is on the market, several clubs could look at him as a short-term investment this season. 


  1. Peter Holland won’t net much of anything in a trade. Maybe a conditional late pick.

    As much as I don’t value him, I think he’d be better than Smith in the 4th line C spot.

    Smith was brought in for face-offs, but is below 50% in that metric so far.

    We we can waive him for all I care to make room for Leivo to rejoin the active roster after Lou runs out of CBA loopholes.

    Move Komarov to the 4th line, Shoshnikov up to his spot. The young Russian has more skill and the same tenacity.

    • I thought Smith was brought in to kill penalties & provide energy in a 4th line role. He has taken 170 face offs since arriving in Toronto winning 52.9% which is solid.

      • He was brought in to win defensive zone draws and skate off the ice ASAP and he is below 50%. I just looked up the number and he is at 44%.

        You are quite correct that he is at 53% overall, however. Those are 4th line OZ starts, though, and the point is just to buy time to put your scoring lines on.

      • NHL.com, total face offs taken, 170, winning 52.9% for all zones. Again those are solid face off #’s, not elite but way above average & 2nd best out of Toronto’s top 4. Bozak 58.4, Matthews 50.3 & Kadri 44.6.

        Does Smith even get deployed in the Ozone if not an odd face off situation on the penalty kill?

      • Which site are you using for zone starts for faceoffs?

      • NHL.com also has the faceoffs broken down by zone. For a PK-specialist C, the D-zone faceoffs are vastly more important than the O-zone starts.

        O-zone starts at 5v5 for a 4th line are largely about burning time off the clock so your talented players can rest up.

        Years ago, we’d throw the goons for those occasions unless we could trap another teams 4th line and try and take advantage.

  2. Would love to see the Leafs get Murphy from the Canes. Canes seem to have a good young core on the back end and pretty solid there. Perhaps a deal revolving around Murphy for Holland + AHL prospect could work.


    • Depending upon the extent of Chara’s injury, Boston might enter the picture on Murphy. If Chara is out long-term it’ll be interesting to see what effect that has on Carlo’s game.

      • They could also take a look at Stone if Arizona is intent on dealing him.

      • It will be interesting George O.
        I think he will be OK, not as productive as having Chara as his partner, which is true for anyone, but he seems to be ahead of the curve.
        Some of us Bruins fans have discussed why they traded for Liles instead of giving ice time to the young guys C Miller and Morrow.
        If this lasts a while they will get plenty and I don’t think Sweeney will rush to make a deal and will give them a chance. I hope I am wrong about this, but I expect the normal growing pains with playing young D plenty of minutes.
        Chara was playing great this year, hope this isn’t serious.

      • Ray nothing against Liles but he should be wearing another teams uni, should’ve never been brought in, that ice time should’ve went to C.Miller and Morrow. Not to late to trade him. Not sure what he would fetch, maybe a 3rd rnd pick.

      • Ya, I hated that signing as well. There depth will be tested if Chara misses any serious length of time, so he may be a useful asset.
        K Miller is hurt again, and judging by history, will be again after that.
        I think Sweeney thought Carlo would play in Providence and only get called up if needed and deserved. He forced his way in with his play which has led to the decreased ice time for Morrow and C Miller. I do agree with your assessment of Liles at this stage of his career there is no big advantage to playing him over Morrow or C Miller.
        Bottom line – If those 2 play better Julien will play them just like he is playing Carlo.

      • Murphy is worse than the young kids fighting for icetime now in Boston. C. Miller & Morrow. K. Miller is also skating again. Pass but thank you for thinking of us. Ha-ha!

        Now if Stone can be had, I’d like Sweeney to get all over that option. Cost in trade & salary should be reasonable. Stone is a solid 2 way Dman still 2 years away from showing his full stripes in the NHL.

        Playing in Arizona he gets no recognition for his abilities. He would be a great acquisition for any team looking for a 2 way Dman that still has upside & development over what he brings to the rink now.

      • AND his brother plays for the Sens. Not that I expect Dorion to pull his thumb from his you-know-where – but it would be a nice addition to the Sens blue-line.

    • Pretty 1 dimensional soft Dman. Wouldn’t make Toronto’s top 7 now. Young so lots of time to improve.

      • No shortage of 7/8 Dmen in Toronto’s system. At the game yesterday, Hunwick looked even worse live than he does on the broadcast and that’s saying something.

        I don’t know what he’s there for, perhaps to set an example of sacrificing your body to make a play, which he does with abandon to his credit.

        Hunwick and Polak together are a black hole for the Leafs possession numbers. I’d rather see Marincin, but Corrado hasn’t looked better and doesn’t partner well.

        Part of the rebuilding process I suppose – need to keep reminding myself it’s year one and we need to be patient… Very hard to watch our D as a fan, though.

      • I can only assume you only had the choice to watch the Toronto game. I choose StL Boston, not because I’m a Bruins fan but due to the quality of the teams playing & the Backes dynamic. Why watch 2 of the worst teams in the NHL when other options exist. How many times do you need to see the kids play?

        Between periods I watched the Flyers, Panthers followed by NYI in Anh.

        I don’t always choose to watch the Bruins play live. I pick the games I want to watch based on quality of competition, intrigue & watch the Bruins play after the fact. Everyone should own the NHLcenter Ice package if available to you. Dirt cheap. Cost me less than the Chicago game in Vancouver Saturday night. Tickets were 110.00 each X2 & drinks came in at 140.00.

      • Striker, I was at the game, gifted tickets – would not have paid the exorbitant price to go see the Leafs match-up against a team coached by a Babcock disciple myself.

        In any case, given a choice on TV, I would still have absolutely watched the kids play again.

        You have no idea the joy it brings me to watch my young Leafs play with a level of skill I haven’t seen since Sundin and Gilmour.

      • Awesome Dan39. Congrats on the gift. I enjoy watching the Leafs play as well now but even though a Bruins fan I still watch what I perceive to be the best match ups nightly 1st watching Boston on tape delay essentially, rarely missing a game but occasionally. Don’t want to miss them playing ideally.

        Even though a Bruins fan, really I’m just a hockey freak & like to see everyone play at least twice a season live & at least 6 times annually. The lone exception being NJ. Can’t stand watching them play. Not worth the price of admission most nights. Nor will I see Vancouver play 6 times this season. Avoiding them like the plague.

      • I’m with you on not watching NJ play. I, too, am a Bruins fan dating back to the Cam Neely days – my favorite player as a kid. Harder to watch the team lose their identity and drift in recent years, though.

  3. I thought it was already established that Pitt does not have to protect Fleury?

    • Yes, they do. He carries a no-movement clause. All players carrying such clauses must be protected in the expansion draft unless they agree to waive them for the draft.

      • Thanks Lyle.
        Is there a difference between NMC and NTC when it comes to expansion. As they use different terms for different clauses on Cap Friendly.
        Or is it as simple as all players with any form of a NMC/NTC need to be protected.

        IE – Bergeron has a modified NMC.
        Marchand has a modified NTC.

      • Players with NTC’s don’t have to be protected. Capfriendly has it correct. Now the standard for such info. Not 100% perfect for everything but NMC’s, NTC’s, waiver eligibility, arbitration rights, etc. they are very reliable.

    • Well that changes everything. They can’t lose Murray. I don’t want to say he’s as important as Price but he might become that kind of good. Elite of the elite.

    • No anything but. Not sure how you would have gotten that perception.

      • Nobody likes you striker, go away. Go write a book and see if anyone buys it.

  4. A partial NMC still requires expansion draft protection. No-trades do not.

    • Hi Lyle,
      What do you think the Coyotes would want for Stone? He may be a good fit for the Habs. I also believe Kane would fit well with us, do you see that happening?

      • Hard to say what the asking price might be for Stone, let alone if indeed he’s available. The Coyotes rumored asking price for Martin Hanzal was supposedly a young player, preferably a defenseman, who can help them right away. I daresay the same logic could be applied to Stone’s situation. While Stone could be a good fit with the Habs, Kane is not. The last thing Bergevin and Therrien want is a struggling, overpaid winger with off-ice issues.

      • Especially since they too that very same chance with Radulov. While that’s working out well for them, I’m pretty sure they won’t roll the dice twice. Kane’ll be playing in Las Vegas next year.

  5. The Wild have plenty of D to part with for Kane. And if Kane cannot score a goal for the Wild then I quit.

    • The Wild are in a very nice position to get some nice toys back for whatever D they want to Dangle. They can do a lot better than Kane for Dumba.

      • Agreed.

        Nor is Kane getting you a Dman of even the quality of a Tanev. That’s a non starter. Nor would I move Hutton for him either.

  6. No 1 took Holland on waivers so unlikely he is tradable. Not impossible but unlikely. It’s rare for a player to be traded after being waived unless unusual circumstances. See Clarkson.

    Holland value is zero.

    • Mcilrath passed through waivers and was traded a week or so later. Sure the return wasn’t much better than nothing off waivers but…..

      • See below. I would call it unusual circumstances & did they get something back? Is Kampfer something, anything? Ha-ha!

    • If anything on a lot of cases I think a trade makes more sense and it more likely a player is moved than waivers when talking guys like Holland and McIlrath (which I admit I likely expressed wrong and set NYR off) no one is adding salary and a contract for these types of border line farm league players even if
      Involves picking them up for “free” it can handcuff a team with a higher number of contracts or effect on making a move later on.

      • Agreed.

  7. Yesterday it was noted that Kane said he is “concentrating on scoring goals.” If I were to take that at face value without seeing the rest of the transcript. That statement would be an issue fore me and also very telling of the individual. I would preferred he said That he is doing what ever he can to help his team win games; that he knows he needs to be productive in other areas to help his team win in other ways why he continue to find that back of the net. The statement just strikes me as it’s all about me. But that just me.

    • I saw the interview it was in the context of helping the team win. Kane is paid to score goals, skate like the wind & pressure the puck. It wasn’t expressed in a negative way nor was he throwing his teammates under the bus as expressed by TSN’s article. Totally taken out of context & following another tough loss.

      Lets not forget this is a misguided youth. Just turned 25 in August. I was 27 when I completed my University degree, another 3 to write my thesis. How I even managed to pass considering my lifestyle choices still has me chuckle when I think about those years. Crazy times, way to much partying & all associated distractions.

      As I tell my kids few employers care about your grades or where you ranked in your graduating class in your program. They care that you finished & secured your degree. Hell I’m surprised I made it through alive. Ha-ha!

  8. Not necessarily. For example McIlrath was waived then traded for Kampfer.I have seen it a lot lately and question each time why it happens.

    • Each situation is unique somewhat. In this situation the teams are balancing out contracts as you are limited to 50 players under contract. NYR saves a little real cash & provides McIlrath an opportunity with another team he was not going to get in NYR.

  9. I haven’t perceived Stone as inconsistent. I don’t watch Arz play often on TV, although I do see them live several times a year as they play in the west & the same division as the Stars & I see at least 80 to 90 games live in the west each season.

    Stone is a solid young Dman. Still find it odd he was only signed to a 1 year deal making him a UFA this summer. He has played as a top 4 Dman almost since entering the league as a rookie in 2012-13 for Arz. Playing as their #3 in 2014-15 & their #2 last season.

    If available I would gladly take Stone & get him resigned immediately to at least a 5 or 6 year deal for the lowest dollars possible but gladly paying 4 to 4.5. Solid 2 way Dman still 113 games from breaking through in the NHL having just turned 26 in June playing 287 regular season games to date.

    Hello Sweeney? Ha-ha! Spooner straight up for Stone as long as he agree’s to at least a 3 year deal at point of trade. Then just pay Liles to watch games from the press box.

    • Spooner,the only reason I would look at him is he is not a UFA at seasons end. I think he is vastly over rated by Bruin fans.

      • 1 dimensional but young by NHL experience so should get better defensively over time. He has value in trade. Not getting you a top 4 Dman under normal circumstances straight up but he might get a Stone as he’s facing UFA status & he is certainly a top 4 Dman except on the strongest of NHL D’s.

        I like Stone & Arizona is a mess at C. Richrdson just went down long term leaving Hanzal; UFA will be traded by the deadline, Dvorak; rookie, Martinook; had never played C in the NHL before this season & 2nd year player, & Dauphin; rookie. White could play C in a 4th line role but Arizona could use Spooner. he imediately becomes their #2 & #1 when Hanzal is traded until the kids are ready which is years away.

      • Spooner did score 13 goals & 49 points last season, his 1st full season in the league after getting a few cups of coffee the 2 previous seasons, & was a significant part of Boston’s very successful PP. Still is although it’s struggling out of the gate with Krejci & Krug both coming off major surgery & integrating in Backes instead of Eriksson. Injuries to Backes, Pastrnak & Bergeron also being significant factors in Boston’s PP struggles out of the gate.

        Spooner had 6 PPG’s & 17 PPP’s last season. Pretty impressive for a player with limited NHL experience. His being on a good contract with limited bargaining power going into the summer even with arbitration rights has value. He’s getting a fairly decent raise but not breaking the bank. I would think like Rackell, Rask type dollars. Maybe nominally less. Great value regardless.

  10. Boy did Carlo looked lost with out Chara in the 3rd last night. That’s why Chara stays with Boston until he retires. Stabilizing influence to mentor these young D coming. He’s like having a coach on the ice.

    Just accept him for what he is now & think fondly about what he once was, specifically as he skated around carrying the Stanley Cup above his head in Vancouver. Ha-ha!

    • Ya, Carlo’s mistakes will get exposed more now. He doesn’t make that many for a 19 year old rookie. He seems like a kid who will keep it together even after he lost his security blanket, just a confidence/comfort zone thing.
      Hopefully Julien protects him a little bit now short term as he doesn’t have Chara to do it for him.
      Kid has his act together, should be fine as long as everyone doesn’t expect him to be their top D-man without Chara.
      It does give a glimpse into the future without Chara though doesn’t it.
      Hurry up young guys cause we are gonna need ya.

    • No way Spooner is ready to be a # 1 centre. You’re right about 1 thing Arizona is a mess. At some point they need to make a deal with all their assets to become a better team. Reminds me of Edmonton with the talent. Everyone says they are going to be a good team in a few years. Edmonton needed McDavid and to move Hall( as controversial deal as it was ) to start showing an improvement in the standings.
      There are no more McDavids out there. Good luck Arizona.

      • Remember what you just said when it comes to Toronto! Toronto looks exactly like edm,ari it might be different but looks very similar

  11. If the Hoffman, Brassard, Stone line stays together that would be awesome for all 3 players. Even in limited minutes last night that line was very effective.

    • When the team wasn’t in the penalty box thanks to the home-town zeal of two rookie officials who wouldn’t know a hook if it rose up and bit them on the ass..

      • Ha-ha! No 1 every likes the officials, part of the game. I raised 3, 1 still reffing, my middle son, year 7, 17 years old doing Bantam house up through rep, various academies, Midget minor, Major midget & Jr B as a linesman; loves breaking up fights. Ha-ha! To busy playing competitive hockey & baseball to get a real job. Reffing provides a ton of flexibility. You just put in your availability around life & accept 7 decline the opportunities. I was even RIC for our association. Everyone hates the officiating I can assure you. To the point it’s a serious problem finding & developing officials. Not for the weak minded. They get chewed up & spit out by everyone in the game. Players, coaches, fans, parents, everyone.

        They won George be happy & injures may have found a line that has a ton of potential.

        As much as I have been preaching Zibanejad over Brassard I do have Brassard in 1 of my draft pools. I draft with my head not my heart. Zibanejad was already selected when I choose Brassard & although I expected Zibanejad to out score Brassard all things being equal. Equal being at least 75 games played, I had the variance as nominal.

        Brassard should be generating way better production than he has to date. has been getting solid minutes in all situations just hasn’t found the right linemates yet & here’s hoping last nights trio gets sometime together to develop some chemistry.

      • I watched the habs sens/bruins stl games the habs outplayed them that’s why the sens were taking penalties 3 of the sens 4 goals were bad bounces

      • That’s the way this game goes on many nights – the outplayed team gets the bounces and, with some good goaltending when it counts, they win. The other night Ottawa badly outplayed the Panthers – but Luongo stood on his head. C’est la vie.

      • Ya last night 3 of the 5 winning team were outplayed

  12. Y does every player havta go to toronto or Boston. Apparently thats where most of u r from. Not dissin yall. But i believe both teams would be looking for solid nhl top 4 dman. Not a 7th dman. Now on joe morrow poor guy just seems like he cant catch a break and get some ice time. Pittsburgh ripped his game apart to make him defensive. And now the league is all about puck moving mobile dmen which he was and now he just dont no what to do. Id like him to get moved to a team where he would gta chance.

    • I think it’s as many of us are older so all original 6 team fans for the most part.

      Although over the years there have been some solid contributors from various teams. Not sure why more people don’t find this chat board. Best on the net for hockey talk. It gets heated & personal on occasion but nothing like the immaturity prevalent else where.

      We have some Edm, Buf, Mtl fans; not the least of which is Lyle but he is pretty unbiased, nor does he reference his love of the Canadians as often as he did in the early days. Ha-ha!

      We discuss opportunities for a range of teams we just all wish said players would come to our teams 1st.

    • I go to the Pen’s rookie camps most years.

      Joe Morrow looked like he was going to be a STUD. We were already engraving his Norris Trophies.

      No idea what happened to him.

      Having said that…the other young defenseman who really really stood out in camp years ago was…Paul Bissonette.

      He almost made the team as an 18 year old defenseman but was one of the final cuts. He wasn’t as good the next year. A few years later he was a forward and a goon.

      • Ya, Morrow was a big part of the seguin deal for Boston.
        He had some knee issues early on when he came to Providence/Boston and missed some time which may have held him back.
        Has the tools but hasn’t put it all together.
        Happens sometimes and he could still put it together.
        Would like to have seen the B’s not sign Liles so he had more consistent ice time.
        Hopefully he can stay healthy.

  13. After Carey Price, Matt Murray might well be the best goalie in the NHL.

    Unless the Pens have a gentleman’s agreement with Fleury in place, I would move him ASAP to avoid ANY risk of losing Murray.

    Fleury would actually be the perfect goalie for the Vegas Golden Knights. Great guy and can play behind a loose defense.

    • Precisely, the compansation paid to pass on Murray would have to be immense.

  14. Matt murray is pretty good. I dont see the pens getting anything to exciting for maf just cause of the situation. They could always trade murray i mean they do have jarry who was rated much higher tho ratings aren’t much to me. But he could end up being a number 1 also. And you can get more for murray than maf. And cudos on the biznasty statement.

  15. Holland wasn’t bad when he played this year, but if Lou hopes to get fair value for him, he’s going to have to ask Babcock to to play him. Nobody offers fair value for a healthy scratch.