NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2016

by | Dec 14, 2016 | Rumors | 53 comments

Buffalo Sabres won't sell low on center Zemgus Girgensons.

Buffalo Sabres won’t sell low on center Zemgus Girgensons.

Updates on Zemgus Girgensons, Jarome iginla & Ryan Spooner, plus the latest on the Lightning & Blues in your NHL rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET:  Elliotte Friedman thinks the Anaheim Ducks had some interest last summer in Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, but the Sabres’ asking price was one of the Ducks’ talented young defensemen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last weekend, Friedman reported some teams noticed the decline in Girgensons’ playing time this season and inquired into his status, but the Sabres aren’t willing to sell low because they still believe in him. The 22-year-old center must improve, however, if the Sabres hope to land a quality return. 

Noting Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome iginla’s recent comments that he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause this season to join a contender, Friedman wonders if the Edmonton Oilers would think about pursuing him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I went over this in yesterday’s rumor mill. Long story short, given the decline in Iginla’s speed and skills, I don’t think he’s a fit for the Oilers. Still, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli did sign Iginla back when he was GM of the Boston Bruins and Iggy put up some decent numbers with them, so I suppose we can’t completely dismiss the possibility. 

Friedman reports there’s no truth to a rumor suggesting the Boston Bruins could trade forward Ryan Spooner to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Matt Dumba. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba’s improved this season under Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. Unlikely that they’ll part with him. 

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Tampa Bay Lightning top priority between now and the March 1 trade deadline is a top-four defenseman. He also believes the St. Louis Blues could use a top-four blueliner, but doubts they’ll pursue a rental player. He thinks they’ll want one who can play for them beyond this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Lightning pursue a rental defenseman, Calgary’s Dennis Wideman and Arizona’s Michael Stone could top the list of potentially available notables.

The Blues will find it difficult landing a rearguard who can play with them beyond next season. Perhaps they’ll target clubs that could risk losing a defenseman to next June’s expansion draft. The Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators could face that situation. 



  1. Spooner for Dumba seems a little one sided.

    • For which team? As a Wild fan I think it’s pretty even but I wouldn’t still be all that interested.

      • Bos would have to add picks/prospects I would think

    • Spooner has picked up his play since I posted I wasn’t a fan. Good for him.
      Spooner and a medium sized sweetener works for me, doesnt Minny have to move a dman before expansion ? Not sure how this would play out with that looming.

      • Yes Minny has 5 keepers at D Suter, Spurgeon, Brodin, Scandella & Dumba. Something has to give here eventually. Most teams would be happy to take anyone of these guys.

    • I know, right. what else is Minnie willing to give. Of course I kid.

    • A little extra from Boston and I think it’s a fair deal. Defenseman are obviously more coveted and thus more valuable but I’d say Centers are a close 2nd.

      Spooner has started off slow this season but if he begins to turn things around his value will rocket up.

      Bruins need to make a few changes. They’re currently riding the coattails of Rask and Pastrnak, which they wont be able to do the entire season.

      • Agree Chad, not sure what is up withe Bergeron’s lack of production so far this year.
        Injured to start year, I wonder if it’s one of those things that lingers until the off season.

      • I just wish Julian would move him back to C. I know he’s 1 dimensional but not working well as a LW.

      • Striker,

        I absolutely agree with you there. Spooner is a playmaking center with speed and good hands. He’s not a winger, sniper, or whatever they’re trying to twist him into. I think it’s hurting his trade value and development as well.

      • Agree also with Spooner at center.
        He also needs wingers with speed.
        When he has Pastrnak on his wing two seasons ago they both put up huge numbers.
        Putting Spooner with slow forwards like Krejci and Backes is moronic.

    • Boston would have to add significant additional compensation to make this deal fly. I would assume at least a 1st or a 2nd & other.

      I see Boston called up Grzelcyk perhaps he is going to be show cased for a trade? Vesey’s best friend growing up in Boston. Played high school hockey together. Had a solid University career & played well for team USA at the WJC in 2014. Or are they just getting insurance at D on the roster before the Dec 19th roster freeze?

      • Striker,

        I would assume it’s the later and they’re adding some insurance. Beleskey on IR. They bring up another player to fill in a spot on the roster.

        I’m interested to see how Grzelcyk plays, if he in fact sees ice time.

        Also, on a side note it was mentioned last Saturday by a Bruins insider on radio that he had spoken to a member of the B’s front office who firmly stated that the organization is not interested in moving talented prospects and/or high end players on the team. They’ve had enough of spreading their talent among the league. I think the comment came about because Pastrnak isn’t signed yet and people were speculating that they would trade him like Seguin for example.

      • I’m with them as well Chad. For me this is the 2nd year of Sweeney’s rebuild, not a full tear down but a serious effort to restock the prospect kitty & advance youth, but the Bruins have numerous young players playing key roles. 8 regulars on the roster with limited NHL experience. Krug the most going into the year with 241 regular season games, Carlo & Czarnik the least with zero most others under a 100, Patrnak, C. Miller, Accairi & Spooner just over at 136.

        Can’t wait until the opportunity arises for the Bruins to spend some of the cap space available, 4.7 currently according to Capfriendly.

      • Striker,

        If I’m not mistaken and honestly probably am but I think their cap situation even after signing Pastrnak next season should look better than this year because of Chara.

  2. Interesting tidbit from the ESPN site, apropos of nothing related to “trade rumours” – but still eye-catching:

    “Tonight is the 1st time in almost 2 years that 5 NHL teams scored at least 6 goals on the same day (Hurricanes, Canucks, Sabres, Predators, Stars). It last happened on January 3, 2015 (when 6 teams did it).

  3. I’ve got to think that the whole situation in Florida is leading to something big happening. The team has struggled under Rowe and the offense is really absent. I do know that they have Huberdeau injured and that would take a huge chunk of offense out of their lineup but at the same time there’s a lack of production overall. I have to feel like there’s going to be a big trade coming there as Rowe will want to prove that he made the right decision when firing Gallant (he didn’t). Right now he will likely blame players and I see a significant deal on the horizon from Florida. Thoughts?

    • Still can’t believe they got rid of gallant! Makes absolutely no sense?

      • Yeah Dumb move Gallant was solid…like they are playing so much better under Rowe..right?

      • First they boot Tallon “upstairs” – then trade off Gudbranson for a 6′ skinny C named McCann who’s now in the AHL, let Campbell walk and replace him with Yandle !!! at $6,350,000 for 7 years (when he’ll be 37) – and also let Montoya and Hudler leave as UFAs and instead give Reimer $3.4 mil as the heir apparent to Luongo, deal away Piri and Purcell for picks they won’t see in the NHL for probably 4 or 5 years – if at all – and now rely on a team-leading scorer who’s a 5’9″ 175 lb AHL vet. And for this they fire the coach unceremoniously – all under the guise of “analytics.”

      • I certainly don’t want to defend Rowe & Co’s decisions there are some head scratchers in there but a little more context is required.

        Florida made every effort to retain Campbell & Gubranson. Campbell wanted to leave, it had nothing to do with money, Florida offered him far more & term. He took peanuts to sign in Chicago even with his deferrable bonus monies.

        Gubranson rejected a 5 mil a year long term taking 1 year deal at 3.5, he had to go. He thinks he’s worth more. He’s not. He’s a physical #4 Dman at best with solid character & leadership skills but isn’t a 5 mil per year Dman.

        The Reimer signing stumps me. Makes no sense to me at all with Luongo still having 5 more years remaining after this season. Pirri had no future in Florida, anyone could have signed him as a UFA this summer, NYR finally did for 1.1 in late August on a 1 year deal & he is essentially a PP specialist barely playing otherwise. The 25th of August to be exact so that should help determine his value to the other 29 teams. Purcell is now firmly entrenched in the AHL. Hudler & Purcell were rentals for last seasons playoff run & their acquisitions made Pirri expendable.

        McCann came with a 2nd & 4th. That 2nd will be top 5 in the 2nd round, a pretty solid pick & McCann will be a very good player eventually. Solid future as 3rd line C who should easily score 20 goals & 40 points & is expansion draft exempt might have 2nd line capabilities. Florida wins this deal long term.

        Florida has replaced 3 of their top 4 D & that’s going to take some serious time to settle out, nothing good ever comes from such wholesale change short term. Out are Campbell, Kulikov & Gubranson. In are Yandle, Demers & Pysyk. Add in the loss of Huberdeau, Bjugstad & Jokinen to injures, Barkov, Jagr, Smith & Trochek not producing & Reimer getting way to many starts & what you see is what you get.

        That said Florida is only 4 points out of a playoff spot & has taken some tough loses & factoring in all of the above are hanging in there. They will be fine. They should still make the playoffs comfortably when all is said & done but even only being out by 4 points the odds are against them. I think they still make it but just.

        This inability to score yet no personnel changes made to correct it especially on the PP is weird. Same people getting the same opportunities repeatedly. Tweak it even a little. Try something.

        Rowe is rolling the same players in the same roles. This coaching change had noting to do with what’s happening to Florida today but management & Gallant were on completely different pages as to how to build an NHL team & something had to give. Gallant got short changed but he won’t be unemployed long.

    • The best deal from Florida would be to move to Quebec City!

      • Florida isn’t moving, attendance issues & all. Integral to the NHL’s long term national television plans. You have to have a presence in the Miami metropolis.

        Carolina will be moved but not to Quebec City. Quebec City will be awarded an NHL expansion team 2 years following Las Vegas & begin play in 2019-20 possibly 2020-21. The NHL will want to get this expansion revenue collected before the next round of CBA negotiations. The NHLPA erred not getting these monies included in league revenue & will want to make sure it is moving forward after this CBA.

        Carolina will move to the west following the 2021-22; contract issue with City & state on building lease, season or when play resumes after the next lock out. Neither the NHLPA or NHL are opting out of the current CBA 3 years early. Neither side may be happy but negotiations will again shut down the season for an extensive period. Just they way professional sports labor bargaining works in a flawed business model.

      • Lol. The Metropolis of Miami could give two craps about hockey. Terrible, terrible, brutal market for hockey. Once again the NHL failing to do demographic homework!!!

      • Striker-“The NHLPA erred not getting these monies included in league revenue & will want to make sure it is moving forward after this CBA.”

        Guaranteed the owners are not giving the players a share of expansion proceeds-new CBA or not this is not going to be negotiated away to the players.

    • My thought is that Florida Money Pucked themselves.

      Just like Arizona.

      Hockey isn’t baseball. Analytics tell 90% of the story in baseball. They only tell 10% of the story in hockey. You can’t substitute human evaluations for data in this sport.

      • Couldn’t agree more MG

      • I couldn’t agree more. I think they made a massive mistake and honestly I enjoy watching them lose now. You need to combine analytics with strong human evaluation in order to move in the right direction now. Look at Toronto, good combination there. You have Lou, Babcock and Hunter who are all strong at recognizing talent and progress then you have Dubas to fill the role of analytics specialist. Rowe will likely be bringing out pie graphs and charts in his pregame speech. Can you imagine the thoughts about this guy that go through Jagr’s head?

      • Finally….. I’m watching Florida and Arizona closely to see how well analytics play in the NHL. Florida made moves to bring in possession guy and gave up grit, fair to say so far that has not worked out for them.
        I watch Edmonton, with Kassian, Maroon and Lucic and see they are a much tougher team to play against. Toughness is still required in the NHL.

      • Bang on MG! Bang on. So bloody true – Lord help the game if the figure-filberts get the upper hand.

      • The eye test is an integral component of a players ability. Far to many variables to solely rely on any 1 statistic or analytic.

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Far to much subjectivity in hockey. Not as clean statistically as baseball or football for stats or analytics.

      • I don’t think analytics would work in the NFL. You take a Rb like Bell and put him in Jacksonville or Indianapolis where the O-lines are putrid, he’s not going to be running anyone over. Take Julio Jones and put him on San Fran, or NYJ’s and he won’t be receiving 100+ yards a game.

  4. Who among us who post here regularly consider Edmonton a contender? I don’t have them in that category yet anyway, an improved team? Yes. Contender? Not so much. Give it two years and then for sure if they continue to improve.

    • Agree with your take on the Oil. Improved but not a real contender.
      They still have some issues and Nurse being out for a long stretch with a bad injury doesn’t help. He has taken a big step this year.
      Lucic signing was a big mistake. Overpaid for what he brings and what the league allows him to bring with the instigator rule and the fines associated with that type of play.
      RNH and Eberle are good players, but are paid like REALLY good players. RNH has taken a serious step back this year and Eberle is one dimensional. If he isn’t scoring a whack he is overpaid. He isn’t.
      Larson, has not continued to improve and has been just OK and that was a big price to pay. (I was in favor of this trade originally and has helped the blue line, but perhaps a better deal was out their for a similar type player to Larson that didn’t cost Hall).
      Some high end parts with McDavid, Nurse, Klefbom, Draisaitl, Talbot and possibly Puljujarvi, but some significant commitments to key players that are not paying off and will hamper their ability to improve down the road due to the cap.

    • I’m an Oiler fan and I had them fighting for a wildcard playoff spot but missing at the beginning of the season.

      • I’m hoping they make the playoffs always like to see superstars like mcdavid in the playoffs and what he can do

      • Next year BBB, this year Boston has their 2nd rnd pick and for that reason only, I hope they miss. Selfish I know.

      • Lol ok next yr than caper!

      • Caper,

        Are we 100% sure now that the Oilers will in fact be giving the Bruins their 2nd round pick?

        Or will they be allowed to push the pick to 2018…

      • Capfriendly has it as 2017 no further conditions or options attached.

      • Striker,

        Hoping that’s the case. Those 2nd round picks can net a decent player… just look at Carlo and what he’s done for this team.

    • Definitely an improved team but have to agree, not a contender. Makes me wonder what Friedman is seeing in the Oilers to pool them into the comments made by Iginla.

    • They may not be a team that folks are thinking ya they got a chance this season but once you make it to the playoffs all bets are off. Anything can happen. No way did anyone think in 04 that Calgary would make it past the first round. Not one of the best flames teams to make the playoffs but the grit and heart was massive.

  5. I agree with you Bigbadbruins in regards to seeing what McDavid would bring to the playoffs. Much tighter hockey for sure. I hope the OIlers make the playoffs too and also hope that they do become an annual contender once McDavid truly rounds into form and maximizes his potential.

    • Also agree would love to see what the playoff atmosphere, intensity and pressure if McDavid goes to another level…..

  6. The Bruins need to make a few moves. I’m not sure if that entails Ryan Spooner being traded. He’s the obvious piece that holds value and makes the most sense to move because of the depth at center, but something has to give.

    The team is being dragged along by Rask and Pastrnak. The big names and big contract players have yet to show up. Chara has been a bit of a bright spark this season, which is great, but the list of underperformers is getting long. Not to mention Khudobin’s performances so far.

    Trade Spooner, trade either McQuaid or K. Miller, and throw in some sweeteners here and there. I’m not insinuating selling the farm but I think it’s time to make a trade.

    • I know I have gone on this tangent before regarding my Bruins, but they are trying to suck and blow at the same time. The classic rebuild on the fly that never works other than Detroit getting lucky in the draft with Datsyuk and Zetterberg.
      They have some in their prime elite players with Bergeron, Rask and still a great defender in Chara. Theyhave some other decent talent but other than Pastrnak, Marchand and Kreicji nothing that great.
      They have some promising prospects, but they will not be ready to contribute in a meaningful way before Chara is gone and Bergeron, Backes, Kreicji are on the back 9. 3 years from now.
      The rest is filler.
      They will be a bubble team. Competitive but not a contender.
      I get it, they have key players that are champions, you want to give it another go before they are out of their prime. But unless you move considerable prospects, they will not get what they need to contend for the cup.
      Go for it, or rebuild. Or they will continue to battle for a playoff spot and in a good year win a round.

      • Ray Bark,

        Nice write up and basically sums up the Bruins as they are right now.

        I don’t see the Bruins giving up major prospects or any highly talented players like a Pastrnak. I do, however, see Spooner as a trade chip because of the log jam at center. I do see either McQuaid or K. Miller getting moved at some point to make room for another younger defenseman to get playing time.

      • Chad, those are the moves that make sense, and also agree that they won’t give up much of the prospect base to go for it.
        Looking forward to seeing Grzelyk play. I think it is more likely they keep him long term than as a trade chip. He has been plying really well in Providence and may help give the PP a spark.

        So which is the 3rd D Man the B’s protect in the expansion draft? C Miller or Morrow?
        Starting to think they will protect Morrow. Julien seems to trust him more of late.

      • I would lean toward Colin Miller. I believe the upside is greater with C. Miller than it is with Morrow but I do see what you mean with Julien favoring Morrow as of recently.

        Tough to say with either player because both defenseman were a big piece to huge trades for this organization. For a while I thought that the Bruins had given up on Morrow being anything more than a bust in that trade package.

      • Agree Boston is stuck in the middle right now.
        Can’t trade young assets for veterans the rebuild is on.
        Can’t trade the big names most have no movement clause.
        Chara is having a good year but his time is coming to an end.
        I think Bergeron is a guy you want to retire a Bruin.
        I think it may be time to move Krejci and put Spooner in his spot. Spooner fit in nicely when Krejci was injured last year.
        He’s younger and cheaper.

  7. Being a betting man I assume Nashville will protect 4 D under the 8 skater option & risk losing a Smith or Wilson as opposed to Elkholm.

    Eklholm at 3.75 for 5 more years after this season is way more valuable than either of these forwards & you could argue that both Smith; 4.25 for 3 more years after this & to a lesser extent Wilson, 3.97 for 2 more are over paid based on their contributions & consistence issues & other young forwards in the system are passing them on the depth chart. Fiala; expansion exempt, & Arviddsson.

    Add Columbus, NYI & Winnipeg to that list of teams faced with hard decisions as NMC’s & players required to be protected or potentially lost at D are significant.