Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 18, 2016

by | Dec 18, 2016 | Rumors | 51 comments

Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk continues to pop up in the rumor mill.

Latest on James van Riemsdyk, Martin Hanzal, the Colorado Avalanche & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk isn’t being shopped and the Leafs haven’t received any hard offers. However, teams are making inquiries and the Leafs are willing to listen.

JVR has a year remaining on his contract and wants a long-term deal for his next one. The Leafs would seek a significant return comparable to that received from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs decide to trade JVR, it won’t happen during this season unless they get a substantial offer. That type of trade typically takes place near the annual NHL draft every June. Even so, there’s no certainty van Riemsdyk gets dealt. He and the Leafs could hammer out a long-term extension that works for both sides. However, they must balance that with the significant raises that rising young stars such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander will be seeking in two-three years time. 

OTTAWA SUN: With the NHL holiday roster freeze (Dec. 19-27) fast approaching, Bruce Garrioch reports a league executive said things are quiet in the trade market. Garrioch cites nobody, other than the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche, can be considered out of playoff contention. He also claims Avs general manager Joe Sakic has been working the phones and is open to all suggestions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Sakic decides to shake up his roster, I don’t see that move coming before midnight tomorrow. Such a move could happen leading up to the March 1 trade deadline, but I think those type of deals happen in the off-season. 

Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello is sniffing around for a defenseman. 

The Los Angeles Kings continue shopping for a goaltender. They haven’t spoken to the Winnipeg Jets about Ondrej Pavelec since last month’s GMs meetings in Toronto. They could reach out to the Penguins for Marc-Andre Fleury, but with sidelined starter Jonathan Quick due back later this season, they need a short-term solution. The Pens don’t want to move Fleury right now. The Kings had interest in Ottawa Senators backup Andrew Hammond but he’s not on their radar now. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick is currently on long-term injury reserve, allowing the Kings to spend above the $73 million cap ceiling by over $5 million. The problem, however, is they must become cap compliant when Quick returns in February or March as projected. If they’ve acquire a goalie carrying a significant salary, that means shedding salary and potentially weakening their depth elsewhere in the lineup.

That’s why I don’t see the Kings chasing any goalie with significant salary and term on their contract like Fleury, or even someone with only a year left on their contract like the New York Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak. Kings GM Dean Lombardi also knows he’s dealing from a position of weakness, which explains why he said last week he’s not throwing the kitchen sink at another team to land a starter. 

The Arizona Coyotes have been trying to move pending UFA center Martin Hanzal but asking price is a sticking point. It’s believed they want a prospect and at least a second-round draft pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one’s biting for Hanzal right now. If the Coyotes continue to shop him, their best opportunity to get that type of return is closer to the March 1 trade deadline. 


  1. Garrioch’s column also had this interesting bit of information “Former NHL player Pat LaFontaine has been working hard on player development and many believe he’s got a model to bring together the NHL, NHLPA, AHL, CHL, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and the USHL that may have some backing. The word is one possible scenario would see the NHL draft be mainly be for 19-year-old players while the only time 18-year-old’s can be taken is in the first round. LaFontaine’s group may also be proposing that certain 18- and 19-year-old junior players can play in the AHL”

    That’s long overdue, especially allowing certain 18-year-olds to report to AHL teams rather than go back to junior – Thomas Chabot being a prime example.

    • It`s easy George, you want to put Chabot in a spot that best helps his development, then compensate his Jr. team for the lost revenue. If a NHL team wants to put 19 yr. olds in the AHL, which would help increase their farm teams profits by the way, then better support for the feeder teams is needed. You can`t expect the minor league teams to just to hand over their assets. Even tho some players are too good for Jrs. ect., doesn`t mean they`re ready to play against 30 yr. olds in the AHL. The AHL can be a far rougher/dirtier than the NHL

      • I agree with your last sentence Yogi and thats the biggest issue I have with say having let Marner play in the AHL this year, which was clearly not needed anyways lol.

      • But some are. And if they’re old enough to go in the armed forces, for example, they’re damned well old enough to start earning a living with a pro salary. I’d like to see that tested in court – “your honour, my client can start earning $ 65,000 a year tomorrow but the NHL and OHL have blocked that opportunity. If Europeans can start playing pro at 18 and 19, why are Canadians/Americans prohibited from doing so?”

        The NHL/OHL position wouldn’t stand 2 minutes in that scenario.

      • George why do think they lowered the draft age to 18 from 20. 0f coarse the NHL would lose in court, the draft itself is basically illegal. It restricts a persons freedom of choice, now you have the KHL as an option. The age limits overseas has nothing to do with us tho George, you couldn`t use that in a court of law here.

      • If the draft should be illegal then junior teams holding onto players who can make a living being professionals should also be illegal. NHL has zero need to consider the profits of junior teams. The agreements with the chl need to go and if Pat is working on it then great!

      • Exactly. Forget the KHL. I’m talking about 18- 19-year-old Europeans who DON’T have to go back to their local clubs if they don’t make the NHL roster. They can go for pro “seasoning” in the AHL. A Swede, for example, can start earning AHL salaries right away, but a Canadian or American kid cannot.

        “Handing over their assets” is NOT part of the equation in a free and democratic society.

      • @chrisms you couldn`t be more wrong, no minor leagues no NHL, plain and simple. The NHL needs the Jrs. and other minor leagues to develop the kids, the NHL couldn`t do it when it was a 6 team league and they sponsored Jr. teams directly. When an 18 yr. old player makes the NHL, the Jr. team can`t stop them, it`s when the NHL team tries to send that player to a farm team not back to the Jr. team. They need a system that is best for everyone not just the NHL.

      • And as far as the NCAA is concerned, any player in major junior is a “pro” in their eyes and so cannot transfer to a U.S. university.

      • “… no minor leagues no NHL, plain and simple …”

        What an utter load of horse-manure. There’s no “major junior” football or baseball in the U.S. and both MLB and the NFL seem to be doing just fine. The universities are the breeding grounds – not some private ownership clubs that are free to uproot 16 to 19 year-olds and trade them around the league, often hundreds of miles from home and even into another country.

      • And the NBA, which I overlooked.

      • George in countries like Sweden and Finland the Pro team owns the Jr. team, so moving from the pros to jr. and back to the pro team is relatively easy. It`s a single organization which really helps in the player development. As far as minor leagues for baseball and football in the states George, they are there (try high school) and as far as the NCAA goes, the biggest money racket in sports. The NCAA wants to use the CHL as a feeder system right now, but they don`t want to pay the Jrs anything for the scouting and development of their players. You need to get off the couch once in a while, go outside and see what the world is really like

      • George don`t expect the Swedes and the Fins to keep allowing the 18 and 19 yr. olds to play in the Ahl to last. Right now it`s a loop hole in their agreement with the NHL. Some one happened to notice last year that there was no provision in the accord with the Euro Federations against it. So teams are taking advantage of it till it gets changed.

      • NHL doesn’t need juniors. Plenty of other venues for player development. And without the artificial propping up of junior those others will flourish. From high school programs up.

      • I think Yogi has been taking condescending lessons from you-know-who. Yogi, I’ve probably forgotten more about sports – both amateur and pro – than you’ll ever know, so save the “get off the couch” snide remark. Developing hockey would survive just fine without major junior.

        High school is a development league for baseball?? In what universe? Yeas, they play high school baseball and high school basketball and high school basketball. They also play high school hockey down there – same as in Canada. But in the U.S. they then go to the university level and get an education while they’re at it. Here, the best hockey players are in bantam and midget until “drafted” by major junior. The smart ones choose U.S. college hockey.

        It’s interesting to see, however, that you have “inside knowledge” on the Swedish/Finnish situation. Keep us posted.

      • And if it ever got to court, adding to the ensuing can of worms would be the age at which a person is considered by law to be an adult – i.e., the “age of majority” and which age they can purchase and drink booze since each province and territory makes the determinations: Age of Majority is 18 in Alberta, Manitoba; Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan, and 19 in B.C., New Brunswick , Nfld & Labrador, Northwest Territories, N.S., Nunavut – 19 and Yukon Territory. As for buying and drinking booze, it’s 18 in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec only. Everywhere else it’s 19.

      • George can you explain to me then why baseball has a H.S. draft, along with a Coll. draft in baseball. In western Can. we have no H.S. hockey leagues, just community. The CHL has a Bantam draft, no midget. For every year that you play Jr., Jr.A, you get a year of your education, of your choice paid for, if you don`t play Pro. Out in the Okanagan 2 of the bigger hockey school operate, at one point the Penticton school (OHA) hired Pat Quinn and Bryan Burke, you might of heard of them, to help run their summer camps. They had a Jr.B. team in Summerland coached by R. Kromm and Blake Westley. Tim Hunter was coaching the midget team here. The schools main job was to teach hockey and arrange scholarships. Sadly the scholarships really weren`t worth a whole lot, a few of the kids got what they paid for , a lot didn`t. Parents spent a lot of their hard earned dollars thinking the U.S. coll. was the smart way to go. They were sadly mistaken. Now both hockey schools are almost bankrupt and I found out Tim Hunter is a lot smarter than everybody thought, doesn`t look that tough when you stand next to him. So go back to your couch George

      • None of that refutes the original assertion that denying 18- and 19-year olds – depending upon the province/territory – the right to earn a living at the occupation they choose (and we are constantly being reminded that pro sports is a business) – is a violation of their basic right in a free and democratic society. Or are you saying the NHL and CHL can operate above the law? I repeat – it would not stand up to a legal challenge.

      • George for the most part you are 100% right as far as the draft goes. When you sign a contract with a CHL club, you wave those so called rights, so there`s nothing illegal. Almost every kid has an agent these days before the bantam draft and the parents or the kids guardians must also sign the contracts. A team like Ottawa is better off saying to the CHL team that holds the rights to Chabot, we`ll give you 100,000 to cover any lost revenue so we can put him in the AHL, it`s that simple. Every Jr. team has a price and it would be faster and simpler than going to court.

      • We keep going around in circles. I GET what you’re saying. My initial comment was that none of it would stand up in a court of law. No one has challenged it yet. But it will happen.

  2. Love the guess work coming out of Toronto, Lou and Shanny keep secrets better than the CIA. As Bobby Mac said a while back, the only info that Lou tells anybody is the info he wants out there. Nick reports that Lou may or may not be shopping JVR. Priceless

    • Indeed Yogi, been making the same point myself. So many hockey reporters in Toronto and so little to report on. They might actually have to learn to analyze the game and market – imagine that!

  3. Interesting take on what the Leafs would be seeking for JVR instead of a hockey type deal along the lines of a forward (or packaged up) for a D to try and flip him for a package like Kessel of more building type pieces. (Draft picks and prospects)

    • As much as what Nick said last night is common sense, more than anything because of the cap situation, I can`t really see Lou trading JVR just for picks and prospects. Last nights game showed just how close Toronto`s getting, at times totally dominating Pitts, even with Sid on the ice with Polak on D. no less. Lou trades JVR or in a package, it`ll be for a young NHL ready Dman at least in my opinion. Bozak, Komarov I can see for picks and prospects, just to keep the shelves stocked

      • Yep, nailed it. Leafs aren’t about picks and prospects anymore, even in the last draft you can see them selecting for specific roles instead of purely best player available. If JVR gets moved, it’s in a trade for the key piece being an NHL Dman.

        On Polak – the fact he played a double shift on the 5 on 3 tells you how well he’s been playing the PK in Babcock’s eyes. I don’t mind him, Hunwick more concerned with. Not to mention Rielly of late – tough playing top pair as a 22 yr old and it shows.

  4. Has there been a trade since Oct 14 ? The slowest I can ever remember-ever. What JVR wants for a long term deal will determine if he moves or stays- that simple.

    • Unless JVR is resigning for 20 mill/5yr kinda deal, the nos. and Toronto`s needs say otherwise. Tons of trades, you didn`t hear Toronto just traded Holland for an imaginary draft pick and it`s already come back to bite them in the but

    • yes. Holland for a late-round draft pick – and he beat the team that traded him with a So goal within a week.

      • That’s just a standard part of the return for a Leafs trade, happened so many times. Surprised Kessel didn’t get the game winner last night, maybe if his stick didn’t give out on his break

  5. Better hope in Toronto that the team manages JVR’s trade better than Kessels. Although teams know now that the rebuild trumps getting actual decent value back. Still remains one of the most lopsided trades in recent history. Seriously, if someone offers a 1st, a third, a b prospect and a c prospect for JVR and a second…. who would bite?

    • You’re forgetting the approximately 55 mill Pitts took off of Toronto`s hands in the deal. That`s helped make T.O.s rebuild possible. It`s not as lopsided as you think considering what some teams have done just to get 5 mill off the books. I think it`s been a good trade for both Pitts and Toronto, because it really helped both teams

      • Yeah, considering Kapanen looks like a future top six NHL winger and is the AHL mainly because he doesn’t require waivers and the 1st was most of the payment for Andersen, who has been fantastic after his first 8 games getting settled. Yeah, not a bad return even setting aside the flexibility, which was the main impetus for the move.

    • I agree Chris the got taken on both ends of the kessel trade gave up seguin and Hamilton and got back basically nothing. I will say the Bs gave up seguin for nothing also lol

      • They did not give up Seguin and Hamilton for Kessell, but draft choices. They knew what was available in the draft, and thought the trade worthwhile. Additionally, there is no certainty that they would have drafted those particular prospects even if they had retained the picks.

      • Lol sure sure! The fact is those players were available at those spots

      • What he means is the Leafs didnt expect to be even worse those two years – the prior year they drafted Kadri at 7, probably thought those were mid round picks. The stupidity was not putting protection on the picks, probably why almost every deal with 1sts now has that clause!

      • Most everyone knew the leafs were gonna be bad! Why do you think PC wouldn’t do the trade with lottery protection? Terrible trade any way you look at it

      • I don’t know about any of that, but it definitely looked like a terrible trade the way it worked out, mostly because of the rest of the team construction.

        Kessel himself, while one dimensional, has shown in PIT what a great player he is. On pace for 70-80 pts this year after a great playoffs.

        Only PIT was even interested in trading for him apparently. Rest of the league missed the boat?

      • The trade is still not done for the Leafs. They moved Spalling to SJ for 2 second rd picks. there are conditions on the 1st 2nd rd pick in 2017 it is the Leafs right now but that may change. the 2018 2nd rd pick is still Toronto’s as well.
        So we are getting more players in the deal. Kasper Kapanen may turn out to be a productive NHLer we don’t know yet. His future is promising. They used the 1st rd pick, flipped it to get Andersen. Harrington was traded for Kerby Rychel. Again the jury is out on him, he looks to be a serviceable 3rd or 4th liner. We don’t know. The 2016 3rd rd pick ended up being JD Greenway who has a high upside but he needs work.
        The money retained is a small price to pay for the Leafs. Moving out Kessell also allowed them to tank to get Auston Matthews. Trade sounds pretty good so far.

      • Whiskey you have to look right from the start of the trade tho leafs could have had seguin and Hamilton

      • BBB
        I do have to agree the start of the Kessell era was a disaster. You can thank Brian Burke’s ego for this. I think everyone had a feeling it was going to be a deal that would come back to haunt the Leafs as it did. Just as bad as I think it was Kurvers who turned into Niedermeyer.
        Ultimately the Leafs got a good return when they moved Phil. It took how many years but Shanahan and Lou have fixed it.

    • The only reason the Kessel deal got done was because the Leafs (and their London Knight loving management team) overvalued Scott Harrington.

      That and Pittsburgh was basically the only team that wanted Phil.

      They turned the first into Anderson. Anderson plus cap space is a fair enough return for a player they didn’t want.

    • Teams getting money off the books are trying to move over the hill or injured players. Not a top winger still in their prime. All the responses below did not address whether jvr and a second for a first third b and c prospects would be fair?

      • Oh and leafs have to hold 15% of jvrs salary also to compare

      • Chrisms, there’s no way the Leafs are holding salary on a JVR trade this year as they can’t afford it. Going into LTIR is a problem they don’t need.

      • Can`t compare the 2, Pitts took approximately 55 mill off of Toronto`s hands. That was a huge part of the transaction. You have to look at the deal 18 months later, would you make the same trade again, knowing the end results. The answer for me is Yes, I like the trade better now than when it took place. Can`t say how the money impacts Pitts bottom line, but it looks like a good deal for both right now

      • Every leaf fan said no way the leafs are holding salary on kessel too! Lol

  6. Olli Maatta and two 2nd round picks for Landeskog.

    Or, even better, Maatta, a 1st round pick and a 2nd and a prospect like Dominik Simon for Landeskog with the Avs paying $2 million a year of it.

    • No thanks for Pittsburgh. Eww.

  7. JVR… most likely will be moved…as the Leafs will be sellers in the end..

    When the deal was made for Kessel, no one ever thought Pittsburg was going to come on like gang busters and finish 1st overall…

    A top “2” pairing defensemen is almost impossible to obtain…
    Taylor Hall trade is proof to that !

    I hope I am wrong and a team cave’s in, and relinquishes a top defensemen for JVR,,, highly unlikely..

    2 first rounders ,, the Leafs might be able to holdout for…
    JVR”s contract is not absurd, like Kessel’s, which gives them trading leverage, as well…

  8. It would be nice if people on this site could just agree to disagree without any insults. The bottom line we are all amateurs with the benefit of hindsight.
    JVR should bring a fowler-like dman, a good prospect like a Ritchie, and a first rounder if they add a prospect like Lievo or Brown. To me the Ducks are the best team for this type of trade and the salary dollars would work but the Wild (Trouba), Jets (Dumba), Flames (Hamilton), or Islanders are also possibilities? Kessell is now being appreciated for what he is an elite scorer that doesnt get hurt because he isn’t a banger. The only difference is that he is not the focus because he is not the most talented player on the team. I appreciated him for what he was in TO. JVR is a different player but would easily get 7 mill on the open market. His contract makes this year look really good for a trade.

    Bozak, Polak, even Komorov, and Hunwick and the vets in the AHL are all assets for the trade deadline. Take them out of the lineup and maybe Corrado can show what he has? It will also result in a mini tank. The draft doesn’t have a step in dman, except maybe for the guy rated #2, but does have a lot of good forwards. Corrado has some physicality to his game but still isn’t the shutdown type of guy. I would hope that next year Pollak and Komorov (if he is a free agent) would be brought back because they show the effort that has to be put in to stay in the NHL. When this team is ready to compete for a cup they will need a couple of wily vets.

    Timing is everything so Lou is a master at that.