NHL Rumor Mill – December 15, 2016

by | Dec 15, 2016 | Rumors | 76 comments

Trade speculation still dogs Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop.

Trade speculation still dogs Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop.

Latest speculation on the goaltending of the LA Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets in your NHL rumor mill. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning goalie Ben Bishop isn’t giving any thought to nearly being dealt last summer to the Calgary Flames heading into last night’s game in Calgary. An unrestricted free agent, Bishop could be traded by the March 1 trade deadline.

With the LIghtning currently struggling, speculation is growing over Bishop’s trade status. However, there’s currently not much of a market for goalies right now. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The best destination could be the Dallas Stars, who were also linked to Bishop during the 2016 NHL Draft weekend last June. However, they’ll first have to shed either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi. If the Lightning intend to trade Bishop, they’ll likely wait until January or February in hopes the trade market improves. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports Kings starting goalie Jonathan Quick, who’s been sidelined since the season opener with a groin injury, won’t return to action until mid-February. General manager Dean Lombardi said he’s not ready to toss the kitchen sink at another club to acquire a top goalie even if one were available and he could squeeze the contract within his limited salary-cap payroll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings cannot afford to go after goalies such as Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop or Detroit’s Jimmy Howard. Those who could be available, such as Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec, probably isn’t much of an upgrade over their current tandem of Peter Budaj and Jeff Zatkoff. Like it or not, the Kings are stuck with what they’ve got, for better or worse. 

NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough reports Philadelphia Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz is making the case to be part of their full-time tandem next season. Current goaltenders Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth are both UFAs this summer and Stolarz has played well replacing the sidelined Neuvirth, winning both of his starts. The Flyers could put Mason or Neuvirth on the block by the March 1 trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll depend upon how well Mason and Neuvirth are playing by then. Neuvirth was outstanding last season but struggled prior to his injury, while Mason’s shaken off a poor start with several solid efforts in his recent games. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH’s Aaron Portzline was recently asked via Twitter if the Blue Jackets might acquire a backup to play every fourth game and relieve the workload of starter Sergei Bobrovsky. “I don’t think it’s out of the question, but not right now. McElhinney was really good in Phoenix. If Korpisalo struggles, I could see it.” 







76 Comments

  1. Cough, cough Auston Matthews now leading in ppg among rookies.

    It’s almost like his massive shot generation translating to points is sustainable.

    Who could have possibly predicted that?

    Hopefully now he develops a solid defensive game like Laine.

    • And that has to do with today’s rumors how exactly?

      • When it comes to Leaf’s fans, it doesn’t need to be relevant to the post, it’s all Leafs all the time. Center of the universe!

      • Why do I get the feeling that, had I opened with the observation that the Leafs are closer to 30th than they are playoff contention I’d have been jumped all over as a “troll?”

      • Leafs are trading him for Ben Bishop, don’tcha know.

      • So true George! Leaf fans have a habit of cherry picking stats to make the players/team look better but you’re the troll George lol

    • Dan its kind of like games in hand, they only mean something if you do something with them. You are referring to .786 to .782, which is good for both players. My question is why would you care what Laine is doing? When Boston got Seguin and not Hall, I wasn’t concerned about what Hall was doing in Edmonton; I was hopeful that Seguin would be successful with Boston.
      To your point though, Matthews still trails Laine in goal and points, but glad you got something to hang your hat on. Remember you now open yourself up for some shots if things don’t fall your way.

      • I just wish we could all except that these are 2 stud players with great NHL careers ahead of them & we are all the lucky 1’s for getting to watch them play. This need to constantly compare & judge a player seems pointless to me in real life & from a hockey pool or fantasy perspective, I only care about their ability to generate points & in fantasy leagues positional variances actually come into play similiar to the real world but in the opposite way. C’s are a dime a dozen, wingers limited. My fantasy leagues carry at least a 15 point variance between wingers & C’s over an 82 game season. The C needing to score at a significantly higher rate to have the same value. Simply supply & demand.

  2. Mason is the starter and will be the guy throughout the rest of the season. The bigger question is which goalie will Philly protect from the expansion draft? Mason or the prospect goalie Stolarz?

    • Well 1st Philadelphia would need to sign Mason to protect him being a UFA. If not then protecting Stolarz is the obvious choice. Although Philadelphia doesn’t currently have a goalie under contract to expose, if they qualify Lyon; RFA, he would qualify.

      Philadelphia may be better served to leave Mason & Neuivirth unsigned for the expansion draft, protect Stolarz & then sign Mason following the expansion draft if able. If Lyon’s qualifies for exposure.

      There are going to be some very interesting player personnel decisions come the deadline to submit expansion protected rosters.

      • I am not a Flyer fan and love it when they suck…..but I think Steve Mason has been terrific for them in goal this season..yes i’m a penguins fans…penguins are smoking hot and the Flyers well 10 in a row speaks for itself

  3. Philadelphia always seems to be haunted by goaltending. I must confess I haven’t paid much attention to them this year, but how much has goaltending played into their recent 9 game winning streak? It must have some influence. They certainly have the depth they need at the forward positions, and some good young defensemen. A Pittsburgh- Philly playoff series would be fun to watch!

    • Goaltending has been strong throughout the streak.

    • You’ll have to settle for the Pens vs Flyers stadium series game this year because the Flyers are not making the playoffs this year in a very strong and competitive metro division this year.

      • 9 points ahead of Tampa for the last playoff spot today

      • Dee…have you seen the Flyers 10 in a row they have jumped right up with Pittsburgh New York Rangers Columbus Washington.

        They will make the playoffs and i hate them but they have been amazing 10 in a row

      • Deeee can only see black and yellow… Black and yellow! Lmao

  4. As for the lead-in Leaf comment: it is unfortunate that some Leafs fans think the only topic worth speaking on regarding hockey is the Leafs. To be honest the Leafs have been irrelevant (at the least the on ice product) for large portions of time (outside of 93, 94, 99-02) since their last Cup. I think they are becoming relevant again and it’s nice to see. But that still doesn’t grant them a monopoly as the only hockey topic worth discussing. Just some perspective from a Leafs fan!

    • Steven you’re doing the exact same thing with this comment, and I’m pretty sure if you look back thru some days you have made the same error of bringing them up when they were not really the topic at hand. Spare the lecture.

      • Yes Shticky I have but only in response to others who insist on changing the topic. Like you I love the Leafs but acknowledge there are other topics worth discussing. The difference is I am willing to concede that the Leafs do not represent a hallmark for hockey fans to look up to, unlike so many other Leaf fans who won’t admit how bad we have been at different times in our history.

    • Look, I understand that the GTA dwarfs EVERY other market – insofar as hockey is concerned anyway – and when you add in the legions of Leafs fans across Canada (THAT I could never quite figure out since most developing fans seem to latch onto a team that is at least relevant in the league), it makes sense that the bulk of comments in sites such as this will always somehow bring up some aspect of the team – regardless of whether or not they are part of the daily subject matter.

      What bugs me, though, is that these same fans get hot under the collar if anyone else dares to be critical of any aspect of the team. I have been accused countless times of “trolling” for that very reason, despite the fact that, as an Ottawa resident and Sens “fan” I have just as consistently been critical of any and all aspects of that team when and where I think it’s applicable. It’s called being subjective and discarding the “my team right or wrong” approach.

      • Don’t mean to start something here George just helping you understand the reason
        “What bugs me, though, is that these same fans get hot under the collar if anyone else dares to be critical of any aspect of the team. I have been accused countless times of “trolling” for that very reason ”

        This is because everytime something is said about the leafs whether relevant to topics or not you cannot help put in your critical point of view (same goes for BBB but he’s much worse)

        This habit of not being able to resist bashing is sometimes confused with trolling. While it might not be trolling in the true sense it is still bordering on the limits.

        Just my opinion as a neutral observer

      • I don’t “bash” – nor have I EVER used juvenile terms like “Laffs” or “Senaturds.” What I DO do is counter assumptions or assessments that I think – i.e., voicing my opinion – are way off base – whether it involves the Leafs, Senators or any other team for that matter. If that’s “trolling” then point me to my bridge.

      • Always 2 sides of the coin tho taz, leafs fans always ” troll” by pumping the tires of the team/players that haven’t been good for a long time. Everyone has an opinion

      • Agreed George! I consider myself an objective Leafs fan. When we stink we stink; period.

      • Yes Leaf fans are the most sensitive fans in global professional sports. I think it comes from 3 generations now supporting a loser. One benefit of being a leaf fan though that I have seen a lot of over the years is that it allows them to support the Leafs all season and then pick whatever team they want to support for the playoffs and then act like that’s always been their second favourite team. Then pick a different team the next year. I can’t relate, I’ve supported the same team for 30 years even though I live in The middle of Leaf and Wings territory and can’t stand either. But 5 cup finals, 4 actual cups, 16 Art Ross, 7 Hart Memorials, 2 relocation scares it’s been quite the ride. As I just now see a bulletin on my phone come up as I type their that Letang is out for the next few weeks. All part of the ride. Hopefully this is where the legend Derrick Pouliot becomes the reality I have been hoping for since he was drafted.

  5. @ George O.

    You are right about the Leafs and quite possibly right about getting trolled as well. Its the truth about them so no one can deny that.
    I dont care if they finish in the lottery as at least this year they are trying to win and are playing exciting hockey.

    I get the feeling that it is buyer beware about Bishop. He has faced injuries every year and his style of play is taking a toll on him.Its going to be interesting to see how he plays out, he wants a long term deal no doubt and I wouldn’t give it to him. I’m sure some GM will step up but by year 2 or 3 they will start to regret the signing. I could be wrong and I hope so as Bish is still one of the best out there.

    • Interesting take on Bishop. With his injury history he could be difficult to trade.

  6. It would be Neuvirth that could be traded at the deadline. Maybe opening up some cap$ for another forward.

    I can see flyers protecting Stolarz in the expansion draft. They can re-sign Mason anytime after the expansion draft

    • But what if Mason is selected by Vegas? I don’t think Stolarz is ready for full-time duty. Or would they pay Bishop in free agency? I think I’d prefer Mase over Bishop. Bishop’s cap hit will far exceed Mason’s next year and beyond. And I don’t see him as a huge upgrade for Philly.

      • Vegas would only select Mason if they knew could sign him as he is a UFA.
        Its a roll of the dice-depends on how much they like Stolarz.

      • Unless Mason is resigned & exposed by Philadelphia I don’t see Vegas using their 48 hour window to lock Mason up & use 1 of their expansion selections on him.

        Their are a ton of great young goalie options available with solid pedigree’s & NHL exposure just waiting for the opportunity to be starters that will be available to Vegas at far less cost in salary yet provide solid goaltending. Vegas won’t have to take on a contract like Mason will demand.

  7. Did somebody say Maple Leafs? Hot Damn!

  8. What about Jeff Skinner, I used to see his name daily last year in the rumour mill, Carolina suck again as expected but Skinner is having a very decent start. He carries a $5.75M cap hit through 19/20 (nhlnumbers.com) and is posting a 11G and 14A, respectable to say the least.

    Would a team take a flyer on him and his injury woes? What would Carolina get back for him?

    • I would think skinner is part of the canes future unless they get an offer that blows the socks off they keep him

    • Yes but they have 2 more points than Toronto currently & the same # as NJ, Flo & Det.

    • Jeff Skinner Injury prone? Only one player in the 2010 draft has played more NHL games than Skinner and only one player in the 2010 draft has scored more goals. Take a flyer on him?

      The Canes are playing good hockey. They have played 29 games with only 11 being home games. They have also completed their west coast trips which are never easy. It will be tough for them to make the playoffs because of the strength of Metropolitan division, not because they aren’t playing good hockey.

      • And I’m thinking this Provorov kid is the real deal. At one point early in the season he was a -10 – which he has since cut back to -2 while playing some very effective minutes.

  9. Flippin’ targets.
    They are very difficult to predict from year to year and any GM or fan who thinks he knows who will be their best over the next 3-5 years is kidding himself.
    You can count on one hand how many have been consistently in the top 5 year after year for more than a couple years, and deserve to be paid like it. Look at the leaders in save % each year for the last 5. Elliott has had some of the best % years in history and now….Chad Johnson is the starter and playing great after being a career backup.
    The examples are endless of the up and downs they almost all go through.
    It is the most risky position to invest big $ on after a couple good years, and to trade assets for. Always buyer beware.
    I always thought it was harder to not get hit by the puck than to get in the way of it!
    Flippin’ targets.

    • It’s hard enough just trying to pick winners year to year at the start of each season never mind several years out. I try to think more in terms of improvement. It’s obvious certain teams are going to improve but with youth comes mistakes & often young players can back track for a period of time sometimes even a year or 2 & injures are also a significant factor. All teams get them but not all injures are created equally. Losing any roster player can be difficult but lose a #1 C or top 2 Dman & the results can be devastating. Don’t replaced the loss of a key UFA the same.

  10. I see a trend in today’s rumors… goalies.

    On that subject and particularly backups. I’ve been most disappointed with Anton Khudobin this season. He has started off the season 1-4, 3.02 and an .888% SV. Very disappointing for this team. I was really on board with that signing and thought it was a sneaky good one because it took care of a big issue from last year. Which was Rask having to play too many games, however, so far it hasn’t worked out well.

    Meanwhile down in Providence, Zane McIntyre is 5-0, 1.26 and a .955% SV. I wonder if the Bruins have any plans to make a change a backup or look at alternative options in the trade market. Not sure that’s even a possibility at this point since they signed Khudobin in the off season but I think something should be changed there before things get out of hand. Can’t ride the coattails of Rask all season.

    • I’d keep Zane on the farm. At least he is getting work. Better there then playing every 5th or 6th game for the Bruins. Unless the B’s trade Rask ( which they wont ) Zane is going to have to wait his time.

      • The reps are good for Zane I agree… just throwing that information out there. They’ve brought up Subban before as well when he would benefit more from being in Providence.

        I would enjoy seeing a change though. Give Khudobin maybe until after the New Year and then look at options.

  11. LA has over 8 mil in cap space with LTIR relief. As i stated months ago i would be surprised if Quick returns this season & even after waiting it out & trying to heal his abdominal injury there is a very good chance he may need surgery anyway.

    With 8+ mil in space & the cost of a goalie dropping in cap hit dailey LA could afford any goalie they want. They don’t need any goalie an average 1 will do. LA is a power house team defensively. They make Budaj look good. A good goalie they make look great.

    Why NYI & LA haven’t made a deal yet is odd. Halak for some combination of Mersch, Purcell, Dowd or a nominal pick like 1 of these players & a 2nd or take Greiss.

    NYI’s season is over. They are 12 points out of the last wildcard spot. Stick a fork in them. On a positive note Snow has this entire roster less Greiss & Seidenberg signed for next season. De Haan, Pelch & Bereube being RFA’s. Ha-ha!

    Even changing coaches now is a lost cause. Another mess & squandering some of Tavares best years

    • there will be room when daley moves on and scuds cap comes off. he replaces daley in top 4, gets 4-5 a year which is about where daley+scuds cap are at. dumo is having an up down year and wont make as much as people thought

      • When who replaces Daley? Dumoulin will get 4 mill for 5 years easily and the way Shultz is playing he will too. Now with Letang out we will see what Pouliot can do with real minutes and not having to look over his shoulder. If he plays well he’ll get a bridge deal in the 2-3 range. That means next year the d will look like this
        Dumoulin Letang
        Maatta Shultz
        Cole Pouliot
        Bengsston
        Not sure who you are looking at but cap space will be tight even with Sprong and Guentzel and Sundqvist on ELCs and Wilson, Rust, Sheary, and Kuhnhackle all making a million each. I think LV will take Fehr and MAF will obviously be gone so maybe there will finally be a little cap space to play with.

      • Wow. Fehr to lv? Keep dreaming. One of the young forwards or pouliot. Daley doesn’t need replaced… your top 4 was fine. Money would be about even with Shultz dumo raises and maf and Daley and scuds gone.

      • Lol. Deeee is a total homer!

      • It’s a good thing he didn’t grow up in the GTA!

    • It be tough for LA to move Mersch. Kid has a bright LA Kings type future. Halak is on the books for 1 more yr at 4.5 and that’s an expensive back up once Quick returns. Yes he could be moved or exposed but then you’re losing Mersch for nothing. Id go after a rental. Greiss makes sense. Others I would consider would be Mason and even Elliott. I cant see it being Elliott though as divisional trades are rare.
      In return for Mase I would send LAs 2nd and a prospect such as Lintuniemi. Add a roster player..Nic Dowd.Change the pick to a 3rd if you’re going after Griess.
      It sure is boring if you love trades these days in the NHL.

    • Oh, yes, Striker, “With 8+ mil in space & the cost of a goalie dropping in cap hit dailey LA could afford any goalie they want. They don’t need any goalie an average 1 will do.” Except it’s not as easy as you suggest. If it were, Lombardi would’ve done so by now, rather than stick with Budaj and Zatkoff, who haven’t performed well at all in their recent outings.

      As I’ve explained to you before, just because a team has a lot of room because of LTIR doesn’t mean they’ll use it. Remember, should Quick return in February or March as projected, the Kings must shed salary to become cap compliant, creating another headache for Lombardi. That’s likely what’s staying his hand right now. That, and the fact he’s not dealing from a position of strength, and the poor market for goalies right now.

      You find it odd that Lombardi hasn’t acquired Halak yet. Perhaps it’s because the Isles, who have playoff hopes (albeit fading) of their own, don’t want to move Halak yet. Perhaps the Isles are unwilling to pick up part of Halak’s remaining cap hit. Maybe their asking price is unreasonable. Perhaps Lombardi simply prefers a better option than an oft-injured, inconsistent starter? Maybe Lombardi doesn’t think Greiss is the word.

      • As I stated I don’t see Quick returning this season. I think LA erred in not getting it surgical repaired. Nor did I buy the original timeline which has now been extended significantly. Even if he were to return by mid February which I’m not buying, at least 1/2 his cap hit will have been saved & 1/2 of Halak’s or someone else’s paid.

        My argument is LA has the space to buy a better option, they can easily afford to if they can find a dance partner not that they don’t have the money to do so as you keep implying. Semantics really but it bugs me you refuse to accept the LTIR space numerous teams have available should they be so inclined to use it.

        For what ever reason Lombardi hasn’t felt the need to do so or as you state there simply aren’t any dance partners at a cost acceptable to Lombardi. His prerogative. Budaj is costing LA wins. He’s been semi adequate at best. His .907 SV% playing behind 1 of the best defensive teams & strongest possession teams in the league isn’t good. Of goalies that have played at least 13 games, 1/2 of the teams games played by the team having played the lowest # of games in the NHL, that puts Budaj in tie for 23rd thru 26th!

        LA is on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. Tied with Nashville but losing the tie breaker with Dallas & Winnipeg getting healthy finally. They are in the hunt but I have them missing if they keep allowing Budaj to lose games an average goalie would win. They are giving up victories that will prove to costly to over come later.

        As for NYI. Being 12 points out of the last wildcard spot in the east & 13 out of the top 3 in their division although not mathematically eliminated would have to play lights out to have any hope of sneaking in. The odds of probability are against such a run even with a really good team. NYI doesn’t have the personnel to go on an extended winning streak nor have they had injuries to use as an excuse for their plight. This 3 headed goalie situation is a joke. Berube has played in portions of 13 games since NYI scooped him of waivers from LA at the start of the 2015-16 season! 15 months ago. His development is being seriously hampered. You can’t develop if you don’t play.

        There are more than enough goalies playing in the minors that LA could find a better solution cheap, several have been waived & LA has passed regardless. It’s not to late but it needs to be addressed. LA just started a 9 game road trip. Losing game 1 to Buffalo 6-3. If LA falters on this trip there season may well be over before Lombardi gets off his ass & addresses it.

        It’s disheartening to players to see a goalie give up soft goals so consistently. Making it harder for them to bust there’s as significantly. Momentum is huge in hockey. No other sport like it. Budaj is killing LA’s.

      • As always love the content & writing style. We just agree to disagree on this 1. My issue is with your implication many of these teams don’t have the monies. Many do & in LA’s case even after Quick returns. Enough monies will have already been saved & spent on the players available.

        Why don’t they just do what Toronto does & say players are unfit to play & put them on LTIR. Leivo until recently even after his 2 week conditioning assignment, Lupul feels he’s fit to play now. Toronto doesn’t. You would think the NHLPA & NHL would decide if these players are fit to play & allowed to be off the cap not the team.

        They were having an interesting debate on the NHL network yesterday when I was driving around. On the actual ability of Quick. Is he a stud goalie or the beneficiary of playing for 1 of the best defensive teams in the NHL when playing & really just an average goalie?

        I think many goalies have shown that where you play is a significant factor in your ability to play well. Good goalie bad team, equals bad goalie. Average goalie on a great team great goalie. No position better reflects team defense than goalie.

      • Striker, many of the teams DON’T have the money. Take a look at Cap Friendly. Only five of 30 teams have $5 million or more in cap space. And those five operate under internal caps.

        Not every team has a situation akin to the Leafs. Every club has its unique cap situations to deal with. Just because the Leafs can tell Lupul and Robidas to stay home doesn’t mean every team are in the same position to do the same thing. If they were, they’d do it. You’re assuming everyone should follow the Leafs lead, when reality is most of them simply can’t.

        As I’ve repeatedly told you, just because a team has LTIR room doesn’t mean they intend to use it. Not every club can afford to do that. I’ve already explained to you why the Kings aren’t going after an upgrade between the pipes. When Quick returns (and he very well may by February or March), they must shed salary to become cap compliant, which creates another cap headache and could potentially weaken depth elsewhere in the roster.

        You advocated Lombardi should pursue Halak and puzzlement that he hasn’t. I’ve already explained the probable reasons why he hasn’t. Bottom line is there really isn’t anyone available who’s affordable and an upgrade over the current tandem of Budaj and Zatkoff. That’s the reality the Kings find themselves in. Granted, it’s a problem of Lombardi’s making, handing out big contracts to players such as Brown and Gaborik that are almost impossible to move. But it’s not one that’s resolvable as simply as you suggest.

  12. Completely off topic, but…what might the market be for Olli Maatta?

    Justin Schultz is playing so well in Sullivan’s system (and right shot defenseman are more valuable)that the Penguins have to be thinking about signing him long term.

    But there won’t be enough cap room to pay him, Dumoulin and Maatta.

    • There may be. You have to try & extrapolate what’s going to happen with Fleury & his cap hit & who Pittsburgh will lose in expansion.

      We Know Crosby, Malkin, Kessel & Letang aren’t going any where as they all have NMC’s as does Fleruy but we all assume he will be moved at least prior to the expansion draft even if the return is nominal.

      Looking at both protector scenario’s.

      8 skater. Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornqvist, Letang, Maatta, Dumolin, Pouliot/Schultz; only room in this scenario for 1, & Murray.

      7f, 3D & 1G. Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornqvist, Hagelin, ?, ?, Letang, Maatta, Dumolin & Murray.

      Sheary is exempt but Pouliot is not, most other players of value are exempt or are of little consequence being lost. Depending upon what Pittsburgh decides to do with Bonino who is a UFA Pit looks to be using the 8 skater option currently as they don’t really have forward keepers at the 6 & 7 slots so they potential lose Hagelin, Pouliot or Schultz.

      With Fleury gone & potentially Hagelin as I assume Pouliot will be protected, Schultz exposed & Vegas unless something changes selects Hagelin. Pittsburgh could afford Maatta & Schultz. Schultz only needs to be qualified at his current contract of 1.4 & even in arbitration isn’t getting a huge raise.

      It’s nice to see Schultz resurrecting his career. His 5 goals & 17 points put him in a tie for 13th in D scoring in the NHL with Subban, Hamilton, Josi, Suter & McDonagh. More impressive is his plus 18.

      All this is pure speculation & who really has a clue as to how all this will play out.I certainly don’t just trying to speculate based on what we know today which will change as we get closer.

      • Rust is not exempt. Making a trade for a forward worth protecting seems like a good idea.

        I see little chance The Penguins would protect Pouliot over Schultz (if they kept him) or Rust and other forwards. I see him being traded in a deal for the afformentioned forward or, if the market Fleury doesn’t materialize as anticipated, used as a sweetener to convince a team to trade for MAF instead of Bishop, etc.

        Resigning Schultz/trading Maatta would be more of a cap issue than a Vegas issue. Even if they protected all 4, they cannot afford all 4.

      • hagelin protected over pouliot. Let him bomb in vegas as well. better to trade pouliot for a pick or rental at deadline this year.

      • Sure they can. Most good teams spend 17 to 20 mil on their top 4D. Letang hits the cap at 7.25, Maatta at 4.083 & change. Dumolin & Schultz will flush out the top 4 depending upon who is lost in expansion. Again I assume it’s Hagelin with Pit protecting 8 skaters 4 of which are Dman.

        I think Dumolin & Schultz will both get 1 or 2 year deals at reasonable money, less than 6 million combined. 7 tops. Even with arbitration rights limited leverage based on career accomplishments & situations to date.

        Pittsburgh can’t currently afford to sign either long term need to essentially bridge to buy time to make space to afford either long term. Trading Maatta who is young & has a solid contract makes little sense nor can they hope to afford Daley who will see Petry type monies as a UFA.

      • Chirsms.

        That is quite possible. Going to be some very interesting player movement before teams are required to submit their expansion protected rosters on June 17th.

      • Schultz is playing protected minutes for the pens. He is disposable and will not be protected. He play less the 16 mins a night mostly with Sid and 3-4 mins of PP. inflated numbers and they will fall if they try to insert him in latangs roll.

    • MG…
      I am a die hard Penguins fan and I agree with you I think Oli Matta could go..terrific young defense man and is controlled for 4 years at $4.2…he just isn’t the best fit for Mike Sullivan’s system. Justin Schultz has done extremely well in Pittsburgh this year + 11 an has a cannon of a shot. I could see Matta going. Many clubs could use him he is young and solid. Funny with the big ice overseas he does well in the Olympics. (speed there too) just has trouble sometimes here with speed. Good point by you though. i would like to see them move him for a forward.

      • I’d like to trade Maatta for value, but if the choice comes down to losing Maatta in the expansion draft or letting Schultz walk as a UFA…the former is an easy one.

        It could come back to haunt the Pens. Maatta’s ceiling looked stratospheric in his rookie year, but the injuries and cancer have brought him back to Earth. He could still end being a top pair for a decade guy.

      • I’d love to see the Sens somehow get Maata in a deal – but I’m not about to hold my breath.

    • Maatta is just a kid, turned 22 in August with less than 200 games of NHL experience as I write this. Years away from being the player he will be. Playing as a top 4 Dman now seeing no PP time.

      This is a future #3 probably a #2 & could potentially even be a #1, we won’t know for years, again at least 3 more. You don’t trade these types of assets for forwards unless confronted with little choice. Being signed for 5 more years after this season, little choice isn’t reached until the trade deadline of the 2021-22 season.

      Why a Pittsburgh fan would even consider moving this type of player/asset is surprising to me. No harder asset to acquire. You have 1, I keep it unless given no choice but to have to move him.

      • I can’t believe I’m going to agree with you but yes I’m not trading Maatta at this point. His hockey IQ is one of the best on the team and he’s positionaly the best defender in the team. Why do you think Sullivan trusts playing him in every situation? He did have his thyroid removed and without it any human being is going to be drained of energy. But once his body gets used to his meds which include synthetic thyroid hormones and he gets some real rest he will be back on track. This year he has been playing with Daley who has never been a positive possession player and honestly has dragged Olli down a little and left him out to dry a lot too. I still see Olli as untouchable as Dumoulin and Letang. And Shultz won’t be selected by LV, he’s an RFA. I’m more worried about them taking Sundqvist than Shultz.

      • They may not trade Matta but he is too slow for Sullivan’s system….. the same reason Pouliot is having trouble he is not fast enough i’m afraid. You could deal Matta for Trouba or Tyson Barrie of Colorado…many possibilities.

        Schultz is a better fit and has a cannon of a shot, better skater and better passer.

  13. The Standings are still pretty tight, a lot of teams are still in a fight for a playoff spot. Tampa Bay is in a dog fight of their playoff lives, it is too risky to be trading away Bishop at this point, I’d be surprised to see him moved during this season.
    Same goes for PIT & Fleury, I doubt we will see any big name goalies moved any time soon.

    • Fleury will be gone by Jan 30, he’s not getting back in net unless it’s a back to back. Murray has been too good in his opportunities and MAF has been mediocre at best.

      • I agree but Murray did not play that well last night in a 4-3 OT win over Boston shaky really.

        MAF will be gone though.. too bad

      • Dee because they have no one else….. Matta should be bottom pairing.

        Schultz and Cole have been terrific Matta and Daley are coming around we will see

      • Dee Good point hate to lose Sundqvist….

      • Scary good thing Tristan Jarry is lighting up the Ahl with the Baby Penguins and is projected as the best goalie prospect in the AHL…having he and Murray wow fluery who?

  14. Can you one tell me a site where I can read what fans are saying about the Bruins, trying to get a perspective of what they are doing with C.Miller and Morrow. I don’t understand it, but by reading other thoughts maybe I can get some clarity or understanding of why CJ handles the two the way he does.

    • You need look no further than Claude Julien and his lack of tolerance of rookie mistakes which, whether you regard it as right or wrong, has been part of his coaching approach throughout his career. And he’s not the first – or only – NHL coach with that philosophy.