NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2016

by | Nov 28, 2016 | Rumors | 44 comments

Could the Islanders ongoing struggles test John Tavares' patience?

Could the Islanders ongoing struggles test John Tavares’ patience?

Recent speculation on John Tavares and Evander Kane in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG SPORTS (via Chris Nichols): The ongoing struggles of the New York Islanders led to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun recently being asked about the possible impact it could have upon John Tavares’ future with the club. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. 

While Tavares has repeatedly said he wants to help the Isles become a winner, the club’s decline this season is raising questions. McKenzie believes it’ll be fascinating to see where the Isles finish this season and what effect it has upon what Tavares does or doesn’t do regarding a contract extension. 

LeBrun noted Tavares’ repeated insistence on being an Islander for life, but concedes the club’s poor showing thus far could affect his future a bit. He points out this season was going to be a significant one for the club’s new ownership in showing Tavares what their vision is. He feels they’re on the clock to prove to their captain they’re going to do all they can to create a winning environment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders obviously don’t want to trade Tavares and certainly won’t be shopping him this season. However, if they miss the playoffs, it’s going to generate considerable interest next summer in his future plans. The Isles can open contract extension talks on July 1. The longer he goes unsigned, the more speculation will grow suggesting he’ll move on as a UFA in 2018. And of course, there will be non-stop “Tavares to Toronto” chatter. 

Nichols also cited TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent appearance on Buffalo’s WGR 550 to discuss the ongoing trade rumors regarding Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane. Dreger insists the rumors are for real, but they died down over the past week. He doesn’t know if that’s because of lack of interest in Kane, or the club’s asking price or if a deal made any sense. Dreger suggests Sabres GM Tim Murray wants to get a decent return. Despite Kane’s off-ice issues and current on-ice struggles, Dreger maintains he’s a valuable piece. 

Bob McKenzie, meanwhile, noted the recent trade talks between the Sabres and Vancouver Canucks regarding Kane were shut down real tight, so we can put those to rest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt there’s interest in Kane, despite his issues. However, it seems the Sabres want too much in return. The ongoing speculation suggests they want a top-four defenseman. If those trade talks with the Canucks are truly closed, it means Murray sought far more (Chris Tanev? Ben Hutton?) than the Canucks were willing to give. It also means perhaps the Sabres could be stuck with Kane for the rest of the season unless Murray lowers his asking price. 


  1. What were those multitude of comments about players who block a ton of shots, liabilities, give away artists, just down right bad players, injury prone, dum?

    Go look who leads the league in blocked shots this season.

    • I’ll take the majority of the players on the top of that list still play for teams in the bottom half of the league in shot differential for $500 Alex…. It doesn’t matter the name on the back of the jersey guys who block a tone of shots play on teams that generally get out shot. The weird thing isn’t that Karlsson is there it’s that there are no Coyotes

  2. Off hand I know lat year Philly’s Radko Gudas was very high in blocks / hits The blocks tie into how crappy the player’s team being a crappy zone time team, so there ned is occupied and they see more shots and PP to BLOCK. So maybe that ties to middle zone play of that playe rand his team. Also know Colrado’s Eirk Johnson was up there and even Francois Beauchemin but that doesn’t make them terriifc defensive stalwarts as much as guys on loos defensive clubs where they SEE those long shots and have to block them by virtue of the play. So, when you pull this surprising answer out of the hat, all I’ll say is check at the end of seasonn and revisit who it is, b/c after this little of the season gone it defines little except a way to prop up a guy who probably sn’t all that defensively when it comes to slowing attacks INTO the zone.

    • Exactly…I think.

      • Good defensive teams don’t allow a lot of goals is the only stat you need to look at! When they let the goalie SEE The shot the majority of goalie will make the save. Boxing out,keeping the players to the outside and getting the rebound so it’s one and done are the keys. Players shoot from everywhere these days to improve their advance stats well the shot itself has a very low chance of making anything happen

      • I agree completely.

      • Although I much prefer watching Dallas play to most teams in the NHL & win or lose it’s always exciting. Beats watching the style of hockey NJ or OTT are currently employing.

        I wonder how much Ottawa fans like winning in this way. Boucher’s system is yielding wins but dump & chase isn’t my style of hockey.

        I want to win but I also want to enjoy going to & watching the games.

      • I’ve enjoyed watching the Devils this year lol
        lots of close exciting games good goaltending not really low scoring…

      • They are tied for 20th in GF/GP.

        Their games are always close often with them finding away to win riding Schneider.

        I can’t stand the style of play. Just not my thing. If they were the only team playing that night I might watch but even then it would depend on who their playing. Ha-ha!

      • Coaches who do so with a style mainly to “please the fans” and not to the limits of his roster are always among the first to be fired.

      • The Sens went into NY last night on the second of back-to-back games to play a fresh team that just so happens to be the highest scoring one in the league. So, in your view, they should have just opened her up and let the chips fall where they may – likely getting their ass waxed but leaving NY with the thought that “the fans were pleased.” LOL. right.

      • This Sen fan loves it. We are a budget team that can’t afford to run and gun. I love defensive hockey as much as offensive. The chess game Boucher has put in place is a joy to watch.

        Like George said we went on on the wrong side of back to back games and shutout the highest scoring team, or goalie played both games and only let in 1 goal. We got a 4 game win streak beating the two leading teams in both eastern divisions.

        Yes Sens fans love it. I’d go crazy being a Dallas fan knowing the win would be there with better defensive play.

  3. There will be a house cleaning in the Bronx for the Islanders and soon. Coach and Players first and then Garth. Still early but last place ?

    • I’d almost think fire Garth first so he doesn’t do something desperate.

      • coach or trade will happen before snow

      • Please let it be so.

    • Dear god please? Garth first, then Cappy, then prep for the expansion draft by moving a D man (De Haan or Pullock?).

  4. The Islanders are probably a couple of weeks away from making a desperation move to try and save the season. I still think E.Kane makes sense with a Dman going the other way maybe with some later draft picks mixed in. They need to do something, hard to convince Tavares to resign long term when they could be drafting 1st overall again and rebuilding 8 years after doing it with him. Maybe the missed the boat with Hamonic and a Edmonton trade last season,

    • I’m with you on that thought, which is why I wonder if it wouldn’t be smart to axe Snow before the coach. Not sure but I would have to think a Hammonic kinda guy for Kane or a little bigger of a deal with a few players moving to even things out would be the gamble and Im not sure I’d love that idea if I was an Islanders fan.

      • Agree Schticky, if he wasn’t gonna get fired before, Hamonic and Kane as the key pieces of a trade would ensure it.
        I don’t think Hamonic is still looking to move so why would you trade a player like that on that contract?
        I don’t think Wang is still the majority owner so Snow could be on the hot seat and new ownership has no ties.
        I think Striker was talking about attendance being way down in Brooklyn as well.
        Not a good mix to attract/keep top UFA’s if they struggle on the ice as well.
        Let the MLF rumors begin.

      • If they didn’t take hall as part of a deal for hamonic don’t see them taking Kane for hamonic

      • We don’t know if Hall was on the table during Hamonic discussions. That desperation may have set in when Hamonic was removed from the board & little to no other options existed.

        That said I’m not saying Hamonic for Kane is even a consideration. NYI isn’t moving Hamonic. 1 of the best contracts to quality of players in the NHL if not the best. It would take a kings ransom to convince NYI to move Hamonic. Buffalo doesn’t have it to pay.

        Kane isn’t a solution to NYI’s issues. Remove Capuano, get a coach who will play the right players in the right roles. As long as Bailey, Ladd, Chimera, Cizikas, Clutterbuck & Kulemin continue to get better minutes than Nelson, Strome, Lee & Beauvillier, NYI is in trouble.

  5. Islander’s top young prospects have all underperformed.
    How does JT see it any better in the next few years? Eastern rival teams have some good young cores.

    • To me the biggest let down in the islanders organization is Strome. This guy was suppose to be a highly valued prospect who really had what it took to light up the league. He just never seems to have shown that in the NHL. I think the isles keep waiting for it to happen and it never does and looks like it never will. On top of it, the signings they made this off season were questionable. Ladd to be your first line winger? He’s a 3rd liner who can play up to 2nd when needed. He’s one of the better ones on the league at this but that’s what he is. Callaghan is the same way in Tampa. These guys get paid a ton but as far as numbers go, they don’t show it

      • Right but understated. The Isles have failed to develop a lot of young players properly. Nelson, Lee, Strome, Pullock all have great potential but don’t seem to be thriving in the Isles system.

        Snow has actually been ok in getting talent in the system but appears to have no clue about the next step. Ladd was an awful deal and merely takes up cap and space. They need a new top management team/coach for the next phase of the clubs growth.

  6. Oh let me guess!! Tavares to Toronto!! As a Leafs fan I would certainly welcome it, but do not expect it considering the development of our young group of forwards. To be honest the only Islander I would be looking to acquire is Travis Hamonic.

    • Hamonic would ask at least Nyllander from the leafs.
      It will be interesting what the leafs do to fill their holes on Defense. With no #1’s ever making it to UFA (seen SJ-Burns)the only way to get one is the draft or a trade. With Reilly being a #2 (maybe a #3), I can see the leafs having to package a Marner for a #1 down the road.

      • I think it would be a Nylander before a Marner if any but you are likely right with a package involving one of the young forwards for a D if they go down that road during the season. If they wait it out I think the cost comes down with expansion

      • No way Marner moves. Nylander maybe but Marner no.

      • I wouldn’t say never to Marner. I am sure 3-4 years ago the oilers fans would say the same thing about taylor hall.

      • I wouldn’t say never but I would say not with this management group, Hunter in particular is not likely having any part in trading Marner who he has now drafted twice. Took a lot of change and a few years for the Oilers to trade Hall not sure O see the Leafs trading a guy like Marner in his 1st year. Not sure I see a Nylander either but chances of that happening are better than Marner.

      • Marner! He’s going nowhere!

      • Ya no way Marner moves. That kid works as hard as anyone in the league every game he plays. He obviously was the driving force on that London knights top line as Dvorak and Tkachuk aren’t doing nearly as well.

    • Besides Steven where would you play him and better still how would you pay him. The monies is gonna get tight in a couple years in Toronto. But I agree Hamonic would be a higher priority for Toronto right now

      • Who? Where would I play Tavares? If that’s who you are asking about you make a great point! I only said if he agreed to come he would be hard to say no to. I wouldn’t actively pursue him because as far as I am concerned I am prepared to learn, lose and progress with the young forwards we have.

      • Sorry Steven I was talking about Tavares, it’s just that as soon as someone starts talking about some player from theToronto area, you know how it goes. I agree let the kids have their shot, but I’m not sure I’d take Tavares. We may not have a need and our priorities will probably be taking us in a different direction

  7. How much longer is Kane’s contract? This year and next? Keep him for that length of time if you have to, but don’t re-sign him. Use that money to re-sign other players within your organization or other viable free agents at the time. Maybe Tavares? Kane is not Abel! I have been dying to use that one!

    • If the GM doesn’t plan on resigning him why the heck would they bother keeping him? If the organization was done with Kane, I’m sure they’d be keen to move him now or at the trade deadline.

      I don’t see Tavares going to Buffalo, IMO he’ll resign with the NYI, there’s even less chatter about the Tavares to Toronto rumours than Stamkos and he stayed put.

      • I agree with you, but if nobody wants Kane you might as well play him and then lest him sign in the KHL. As for Tavares, I agree with you completely, he will not sign anywhere but NYI. Remember everybody I said the Tavares to Toronto talk will begin again and that as a Leafs fan I want no part of it! Stick to the plan.

  8. NYI isn’t in a good spot come expansion time at D.

    Leddy, Boychuk; NMC so has to be protected, Hamonic, De Haan, Hickey & Pulock all have to be protected or all but Boychuk exposed.

    On a positive note NYI has few forwards other than Tavares, Cizikas & Nelson that are essential to be protected. Salaries, Ladd, Kulemin & Lee may preclude them from being selected even if exposed so NYI can keep 4 or 5 Dman.

    • Ladd has a NMC has to be protected if memory serves.

      • Yes he does unless he agrees to waive.

  9. How long until Kane can be trade to the golden knights?

    • The Sabres won’t have to trade him there, they’ll leave him unprotected in the draft and hope George McPhee selects him.