NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2017

by | Jan 27, 2017 | Rumors | 63 comments

The Arizona Coyotes trading Shane Doan isn’t a certainty.

Latest on the Coyotes and Lightning plus updates on Kevin Shattenkirk and Matt Duchene in your NHL rumor mill. 

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford reports Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka telling an Arizona sports radio station that the recent trade speculation regarding Coyotes captain Shane Doan is “a bit overblown.” Chayka said he’s taken calls about the 40-year-old Doan, but nothing’s imminent. Doan has said he could consider waiving his no-trade clause for the right situation. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  Craig Morgan reports any team interested in Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata must deal with the $1.25 million in bonuses he’s entitled to if he ends up reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. He’s also entitled to a $500K bonus for playing 30 games this season and could be in line for another if he scores 20 goals or 40 points. He already has 11 goals and 33 points this season. Morgan adds Coyotes management haven’t had any recent discussions with the Vrbata camp about trading him. He also wonders what Vrbata could fetch in return. While normally a player of his caliber could be worth a pick in the third- to fifth-round range, this isn’t a normal trade market this year. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reports Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone is trying to regain his form after undergoing knee surgery last year. Uncertainty over his future in Arizona could also be a factor. He’s an unrestricted free agent in July and has yet to have contract discussions with management. If the Coyotes decide to trade Stone,  McLellan cites multiple sources claiming there’s a market for him. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK:  Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Montreal’s TSN 690 that he doesn’t fault Chayka for setting a high-asking price for center Martin Hanzal. He believes a team like the Montreal Canadiens could use a big center such as Hanzal.  Dreger believes it’s more likely Hanzal is dealt by the March 1 trade deadline, but the asking price has to come down and he expects it will.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doan is looking for what he calls the perfect scenario to be moved. One assumes it’s to a Stanley Cup contender. However, not many of those are in the market for an aging right wing whose best seasons are behind him. Not saying Doan won’t attract interest, but there might not be a lot. Vrbata’s bonus clauses will certainly be a stumbling block in efforts to move him. Stone will be considered an affordable rental option, as his struggles this season hurts his trade value.

Chayka must lower his price if he hopes to move Hanzal by the deadline. The young GM must be careful, however, not to wait too long  for the right deal or he could run out of time to find a suitable trade. He should remember what happened to New York Islanders GM Garth Snow at the 2014 NHL trade deadline. Snow waited too long in hopes of finding a club willing to pay a high price for Thomas Vanek. When that didn’t materialize, he was stuck accepting a much lesser return from the Montreal Canadiens. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin lists the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs as the top-five trade destinations for St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The Rangers have depth in young forwards such as J.T. Miller to offer and the Oilers could perhaps dangle right wing Jordan Eberle. Larkin suggests perhaps a straight-up swap of Shattenkirk to the Lightning for goalie Ben Bishop. He also suggests the Bruins offer up a package of forward Ryan Spooner and perhaps a prospect such as Jakub Zboril, while the Leafs could offer up prospects or perhaps dangle left wing James van Riemsdyk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Blues need for depth at center, I believe the Rangers are the only suitable fit. They could offer up Miller or Derek Stepan (unlikely but possible) or Mika Zibanejad, who recently returned from a broken leg. The Rangers must fill the gap on the right side of their blueline and they’ve been linked to Shattenkirk in the rumor mill since last summer. Still, that move’s not a certainty. The Rangers are sitting comfortably in a playoff spot this season and could look at cheaper rental options at the deadline. They could bid wait and bid for Shattenkirk’s services this summer, rather than give up a good roster player to get him via trade.  

THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla reports Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene is open to the notion of being traded. ““When I say open to it, I know it’s part of the business, and it’s something that might happen. I’m not hiding from it. I’m not running away. I’m not banging my head. I understand it’s part of what we deal with as pro athletes.” Duchene hasn’t requested a trade but is resigned to the fact it could happen. Kiszla suggests the Avs dangle the 26-year-old center to the Carolina Hurricanes for big 22-year-old blueliner (and Denver native) Jaccob Slavin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes seem the best fit for Duchene. They need scoring punch and the Avs need a top-four defenseman. The Hurricanes are loaded with good young blueliners and they have the cap space to absorb Duchene’s $6 million annual cap hit. Whether Hurricanes GM Ron Francis agrees, however, is another matter. So far, he’s given no indication if he’s in the market for a scorer.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tom Jones believes the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning should stand pat at the trade deadline. He argues one bad season after three good ones is no reason to panic and gut the roster or fire the coach. He cites their core of good young players as one reason why the Bolts aren’t a team in decline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sometimes bad seasons happen. Injuries were certainly a factor this season for the Lightning, especially the loss of team captain Steven Stamkos. Still, the Bolts have over $60 million invested in 14 players next season, with Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat in need of big raises. If they’re out of contention by the deadline, they could consider trimming some salary by trying to move someone like Valtteri Filppula to free up cap space for the summer. They’ve already started by shipping defenseman Nikita Nesterov last night to the Montreal Canadiens for a minor leaguer and a draft pick. 


  1. On Duchene, the Avs asking price for a young D would have to be a player automatically protected for expansion draft because they are forced to block 2 aging D men (NMC) and that leaves Barrie, Zadorov, and whomever D they get back in a deal to protect. That will be quite difficult, so I am not sure they trade him before the draft this coming season or don’t ask for a D (again unless automatically protected, which teams right now would be crazy to trade that type of D man without getting an auto protected player back).

    • Sakic asks Beauchemin to waive his NMC for expansion. If he declines Sakic can always choose to buy him out before expansion if so inclined. NMC issue solved

      • Striker, I asked Lyle about this before, and I don’t believe there is a buy-out period before the expansion draft. If there were, that would change many team’s plans.

      • The buyout period begins June 15 or 48 hours following the end of the Stanley Cup Final, whichever is later. This year, the longest the playoffs can go is June 14. If it does, the buyout period begins June 16. The date for teams to submit their protection lists to the league is 5 pm ET on June 17. There is nothing in the NHL expansion draft rules that prevents a team from buying out a player they don’t wish to protect.

      • Interesting, there might be a few players bought out. I’m thinking Bieksa, Beauchemin, Enstrom…

  2. The bishop for shatty deal is dead in the water….blues will ride out allen. With reports being that shatty might be willing to sign an extension Rangers might be wise to act and not plan on him making it to ufa

    • If he wants to go to the Rangers then they won’t offer up much for him as they can just sign him for nothing in UFA. This is how we traded almost nothing (Mckegg) for Hyman, one of our key rookies this year and a hometown boy

  3. On the the Leafs broadcast last night, Doug MacLean reported from a source that JVR is no longer on the market. He speculated the Leafs would make only very minor moves at the TDL. Seems like a safe bet.

    On the subject of Nylander: a deeper dive into his underlying stats suggests he’s been more productive than Marner, but spectacularly unlucky to date. Certainly you’d want to see a larger sample size


    • That pension plan puppets article is the stupidest thing ever written. It extrapolates team based stats to individual levels. It compares apples to oranges. It’s author has long been a Nylander supporter and now that his Nylander>Marner hypothesis has been definitively disproven by actually watching the two players play NHL games, he has resorted to cheery picking irrelevant stats and using them in ways they were never designed to be used in an attempt to salvage his biased opinions.

      Anyone who’s watched the games can see that Marner is on a whole other level. On par with Matthews. And the stats most indicative of individual play bare that out in spades. Nylander has not been unlucky, he’s performing exactly as one would predict from his entire history to date. And that means Nylander has been preforming at an elite level for his age as he always has.

      Nylander is a terrific player don’t get me wrong, but Marner is on a fast track to elite status and NHL greatness.

      • Some highlights of the cross eyed article …
        “It could be noise. It could be that Marner generates more dangerous chances. It could even be that Nylander himself is a poor finisher”

        “I’m comfortable dismissing that difference as insignificant.”

        “I’m going to shy away from the use of WOWYs in this context, ”

        The whole article is the author picking and choosing what’s significant and what’s not.

        I really like Nylander too and yes he is developing as he should, but this is more of these ridiculous comparisons Dan. I don’t care what obscurity or metric you want to use, try using your head, put it all together right now who do you think most would rather have Marner or Nylander?
        It all comes down to what you want to see and show with the way you and some others use these numbers when it’s Laine he is unsustainable when it’s Nylander he is unlucky. I follow stats and like the use of analytics in the game (this isn’t really what they are for) but the way some need them to try and pump the tires of some when things aren’t going as well as some and to trash others is what drives people nuts I believe.

      • Ever? Wow!

    • Expected Primary Points per 60 what kind of stat is that? These advanced stats are getting out of hand.

      Nylander is nowhere near Marner as of now, you can draw whatever kind of chart you want.

      • Absolutely ridiculous. I don’t think many would care or have an issue with some of these things if used properly. All they are really meant for is to maybe help explain a team or players games. Player A is struggling a bit maybe because he need to shoot more or less or from a different position on the ice or maybe he starts in the other end a little more than he should…that’s kinda the idea behind analytics a tool not a goal as in it’s not the same as points goals saves things like that. They are not meant to compare players or say who’s better or anything of the sort. It’s just away of helping to get a picture of what’s going on, where it goes off the rails is when people start using these bizarre metrics to say that one guy is better or the same as another

      • I couldn’t agree more, I wonder if the author of that article actually believes what he wrote.

        “he should be recognized as the Leafs’ second best rookie, and arguably their second best forward too”

        If you watch the leafs at all there is no way you would put Nylander in the top 3 forwards on that team with the way Matthews, Marner and Kadri have been playing.

      • I’d go further than that and question if he has been a top 5 forward Marner Mathews Kadri JVR Bozak Brown all been very good in different ways…I’ve never liked Bozak but even I have to admit this year in his role he has been great. It’s not a knock on Nylander who I like much better than Bozak as a player going down the road it’s just he is still young and developing.

      • Could you imagine trying to fit all these things on the back of a hockey card?
        Expected Primary points per 60 minutes…

      • LMAO … Every card would come with a binder.

        Im not going to lie I am not really as up to date with most of these stats I still believe in the eye test and a players history.

      • Ya I dunno they interest me I guess because I deal with statistics and stuff like this in my job (demographics is markets mostly) and some other thing but like I said its more of a tool than a comparison thing like you see a lot of people do. Just because something works for 1 person doesn’t mean anything really, Kadri is a prime example really if you look at analytics last year his possession was better he shot more he shot lots from good scoring positions he was playing lighter competition.. last year besides analytic his year was terrible, this year he has lower analytics playing heavier competition as a shutdown guy and is having a career type year. It’s a tool as a staff you would use or try to use to show where adjustments can be made. In baseball you really only see it as in building a team not very often are people comparing baseball players base on the myriad of analytics. This guy is better because he is on base this much compared to this guy who hits homeruns all the time…I mean you do see it but not nearly the amount of seeing it in hockey. There is a big difference.

      • Florida seems a good example of what happens when youvlean to heavily on stats in making personal decisions.

        Augment the eyetest with the fancy stats. Dont replace one with the other.

      • Not really I think that’s what a lot of people want to use to blame Florida for their position but it doesn’t really make much sense. A lot of twhat analytics has showed hasn’t really changed in Florida despite the roster changes they were not great last year and still are lacking in a lot of areas. What has changed is the chemistry between guys on the blueline some some veteran leadership and goaltending hasn’t been at the same level as it was last year. It seems everyone is quick to jump on a team that has an element of something different about it. Maybe instead of analytics being to blame it was a owner/management group that lacked experience. Other teams that use this kind of information don’t have such drastic swings in seasons. If anything that’s showing that there might be something to these stats. Last year Florida many were saying were not very good analytically and going to crash at some point the same as the Leafs under Carlyle the Flames Avs…the analytics showed they were lucky getting wins with great goaltending getting out shot and chanced and scoring goals in bunches with crazy high shooting %, this year a lot of it is normal and the same and presto changeo the Panthers are not very good.

      • That oddly enough is kinda what I’m talking about. If used like a tool they illustrate things they are not an end result. wins losses goals saves are end results…fancy stat should kinda paint a picture of what’s happening they are not really for comparison like this team is good because analytics or this team is bad because of analytics. It’s the same as using an eye test you can watch a player for a week or a month and everything seems to be going in for him he looks fantastic maybe elite then a month or so later nothing goes in…. it’s the same player he doesn’t suddenly suck or forgot how to play and is no longer elite, the more you see with your eyes or know the using analytics gives you a clearer picture of the player. They kinda work the same and go hand in hand.

      • Cant really argue with you their shticky. Its nice ti here a different persoective though. Gives me sonething to dwell on as i reflect on my original thoughts. You due to that flip flopping nature of mine.

  4. Bad, and Good seasons happen. Hockey is a Small sample size sport. One of the jobs of a GM is to sort out the underlying character, talent, and non-obvious abilities from the lucky, or unlucky bounces or bad calls. That’s the purpose of ‘fancy stats’, still nascent in our sport compared to their ascendency in baseball. Want to play GM? Take a dozen veteran players at random, and compare their first 60 game stats (typical for evauating a rookie at this time of year) to their career. The Lightning are Sellers now — who wants to match wits with Stevie Y. While Nesterov was moved for a sixth to keep Witkowski, he is probably temporary too. If I were gonna trade with Vegas, I
    d sure think in terms of draft picks –they won’t see much of what you need to stock a pipeline in the expansion draft, and will probably want double picks for two or three years as they are likely to start with a relatively old roster (think about it). SO talk to the Lightning, folks…a number 2 will get you some help at a variety of places, and some talent with serious playoff experience is available.

  5. I wonder if Tampa Bay’s trade last night is setting the table for acquiring Shattenkirk next?? I think the St. Louis would like Tyler Johnson wearing the bluenote. (Tampa would need to add if Shatty is signed)

    • The Bolts need to fill three of Four D slots. Shattenkirk value vs cap hit makes the problem worse. TJ for three promising Dline possibles is more like it — hello Minnesota?

  6. I really like the Nesterov mover by MTL. I think the very little Yzerman got in return indicates how desperate he is for a shake up. Good move by Bergevin.

  7. If I am basically giving up on Matt Duschene, I have to get more than Jacob Slavin. Is Haydn Fleury finally rounding out and is goalie Alex Nedeljkovic growing more of his game? Maybe that’s not enough either. You would have to give the Avs something else that is valuable off that Hurricane roster.

    • Not much else. A forward they might lose to vegas and maybe a lottery protected pick

    • Bill,

      I’m not a Hurricane’s fan but is Slavvin really good? Would Hanifin be a bigger target… or better return?

      • Slavin has been the best defenseman on the Hurricanes all year.

      • Slavin leads the league in takeaways. His defensive partner Pesce is also in the top 5 in takeaways. They have been more consistent than Faulk and Hainsey and are Carolina’s top pair. Hanifin may have more upside but Slavin is very good right now.

  8. Kevin Shattenkirk is a nice player but he’s a second pair defenseman on a team that’s never won anything.

    Eberle? Miller? Stepan? For two months of Shattenkirk? I don’t think so.

    I think he’s really a 2, but Derek Stepan is the Rangers #1 center and plays on their top PP. He’s under contract for 4 more seasons. The Rangers have no one to replace him. So, they are going to trade him for two months of a second pairing defenseman?

    Carolina should jump on Matt Duchene. He’s a great player. He would be in the bottom half of top line centers in the league but he’d still be a legit #1 center and push Rask and Staal down to their proper roles as 2’s and 3’s.

    • The only way the Blues are getting a big return for Shattenkirk is if it’s a sign and trade. There’s no guarantee that he signs with the team he’s moved to, which leaves all of the risk on the team acquiring him.

      If he was signed to a good contract with plenty of years left then yes, otherwise I would expect the return to be around a 1st round pick 2017, and a good prospect.

      If he signs a deal and is moved by the deadline then obviously the return will be a lot more.

    • Can’t see the Blues wanting Eberle for 2 reasons. 1) he makes 6mill for 2 more seasons after this season and the Blues are looking to shed salary. 2) The Blues I don’t think want to add another week defensive Oiler forward.

      • The blues also would like to bring some grit back to their roster. They hace the skill.

  9. Everyone is overvaluing their players right now that’s why no moves yet.
    Not many teams are gonna give up young assets for guys making 5-6 million a year. Especially young defenseman.

    Shattenkirk won’t be moved unless he agrees to an extension,only way St. Louis will get a decent return.

  10. Whoever gets Shatty, better get ready to pony up Suter dollars ($7.5M per). But I can see him getting between that money and M.Staal’s $5.7M, meeting at an annual cap hit of $6.275M. It does make the best sense that he’d want to go to Toronto, to get paid. Because after this Season, the Leafs will lose:

    – Robidas ($3M)
    – Polak ($2.25M)
    – Laich ($4.5M)
    – Michalek ($4M)
    – Greening ($2.65M)

    • If he does go to Toronto, their top 2 D would look a little bit better:


      • I think Shattenkirk plays with Gardiner, Zaitsev stays with Rielly, personally I Shattenkirk Rielly together as a pair sounds like it could be scary bad defensively in their own end. Balance would be to have those 2 split. Zaitsev kinda allows Rielly to do Rielly things and Gardiner has been great covering the constant brain farts of Carrick. Need to have a defensively responsible guy in a pair imo. Not sure either Rielly or Shattenkirk is that.

    • I believe a decent amount of teams in the offseason will be in the market for his services and most will enter into the bidding knowing that he’s going to cost a lot.

      I’m not sure there’s any more of an advantage for Shattenkirk going to Toronto. They’d offer the same money that another team would. Plenty will have available cap to make it work.

      It’s well known that he’d like to target a team on the east coast. Now, maybe that changes between now and when he signs a contract but that’ll remain to be seen for now.

  11. Chayka has to be very careful not to overplay his hand and price himself out with Hanzal. It’s okay to set a high price initially but he has to be willing to drop that request significantly if he’s to move him by the deadline.

    I believe the same situation played out for the Bruins last season. They had a valuable asset in Eriksson who was having a fantastic year. Bruins sat on their hands up to the deadline and then on deadline day couldn’t even muster some 2nd round picks for him? Neely has said this much and is on record stating that if 2nd round picks were on the table he would’ve moved him. It wasn’t there. Not because the player wasn’t worth it but because the team dragged its feet.

    My comparable at the time was Chicago acquiring Ladd and sending the Jets a 1st and Dano. They were quick to move the player before the deadline. The Bruins should’ve done the same.

    Chayka needs to be flexible here, otherwise deadline day will come and teams won’t be offering up a lot of value.

    • Chayka’s asking price of McCarron, a 1st and a conditional pick is too high. If he included Duclaire and Desharnais, it would still be too high but closer, IMO

  12. I will go the opposite that Colorado and Arizona need to be careful and not under sell. Today standing shows only them two team out of the playoff pictures and for the contenders and some pretenders they might be willing to offer up a little more to get the player they want. There is example on both size some teams paying to much, while other got burnt holding out to the last minute for a pressure deal that never happen. Today time is on Col and Arz side, but could change over the course of the next four weeks and more teams deem themselves at sellers. No rush today for them two teams to make a deal unless their happy with the return.

    • Caper,

      You are definitely correct in that there’s no rush for either of those teams to make moves. Not many teams are out of the playoff picture and many are only a few points from the 7-8 seed. That also means there’s no rush for these teams to overpay Arizona or Colorado for a deal.

      • If you could get high value for Cody Soso (ex. main piece in a Duchene trade), I’d take it. He looks like no more than a solid 4-5 defenseman longterm, and this is coming from a Sens fan. Ottawa would still be fine on defense for expansion as they could protect Karlsson, Phaneuf and Methot while adding Chabot next year. Claesson has been developed properly and looked good the last couple weeks as well.

        Curtis Lazar basically has no trade value right now and it looks like the Sens should have left him in junior an extra year. My hope is that Vegas sees potential in him and that is our expansion casualty, but I’m sure that is wishful thinking.

  13. The Sens aren’t overvaluing their players. Ceci and Lazar are available. Please take them.

    • Lazar needs a reset! It has not worked in Ottawa.

      • True that Steven. Afresh start certainly wouldn’t hurt. Why they kept him in the NHL all season to play 5-6 minutes a night is beyond me. Let the kid play and hope he gets some confidence.
        He is a player I would take a flier on if I am an opposing team and could get him on the cheap.
        The kid did nothing but win before he came to the NHL. Good leader and a great person with an infectious personality.
        Hopefully he gets another shot somewhere.

    • Have the Sens soured on Ceci? If so, why?

      The times I’ve seen him I’ve always liked him.

      • I wouldn’t say Sens fans have soured on Ceci. It is more that he is a replaceable piece if traded for a high-end player (ex. key piece in Duchene trade as mentioned above). I’ve watched him a lot and it seems like he should be better than he is offensively, but he just doesn’t have the vision/hockey IQ. He is definitely not someone I’d give away, but I’m fine trading him for the right piece.

        Lazar just looks lost out there and needs a change of scenery. He has been passed by multiple young players that weren’t 1st round picks (best example is Dzingel) and I think Ottawa rushed his development too much.

  14. If Doan was serious about winning anything he would have allowed a trade years before this. That’s his right by the way, but I don’t see any team poised to win a Cup becoming more of a sure thing by adding him. Does he make Washington, Pittsburgh, or Chicago any better? Adding him probably doesn’t improve Minnesota, Anaheim or San Jose either. I categorize the Cup contenders in these two groupings because is going to one these six teams and more likely to one of the first group than the other.

  15. Lyle

    You might know the answer. If Vrbata was to be traded could it be set between the two teams for Arizona to pay the bonus?

    • From what I’ve read on the subject, the club acquiring Vrbata will have his bonuses applied to their bonus cushion.

    • Arizona has already incured 500k of the possible 2.25 available. It was achieved when he played his 30th game. He can earn another 500k at 40 points. He’s 6 off. If he achieves before the trade deadline his confirmed salary to point of trade will be 2 MIL. Arizona can eat 1/2 of that. The playoff bonus’s if earned are at the expense of team scquiring him. If the remining 1.25 available is earned & pushes the team over the cap this season as he’s over 35 on a 1 year contract any overage can be carried forward to next season as a penalty.

  16. I’d like to see this…

    To TOR: Vrbata + Dvorak
    To ARZ: JVR

    • that’s a big gamble by the leafs don’t you think? And why would we want Verbata? No thanks.

      • Vrbata, sorry

  17. Neither Lamerello, Shannahan, nor the Leafs are stupid enough to trade anything of value for Shattenkirk. IF JVR is traded it will be in the window between the end of the Stanley Cup final and the expansion draft when teams are strapped with loosing a player to Vegas for nothing (which would make trading JVR unlikely). Cam Fowler would be a better target for trade with Shattenkick a free agent target.

    • I agree Fowler is as good of a move. However, I don’t think the leafs should trade JVR at all.

  18. Something brewing in Tampa!!?? Stevie Y made 1 trade already. Now a couple more players put on waivers and a couple to AHL???

    • Maybe. Very common to send players down at the All-Star. Although moving Nesterov isn’t earth shattering odd to do so for nothing. Seems odd & although not certain a rosterspot & some nominal cap space have been freed up.

  19. Well. I think if shattenkirk moves he will go to a team thatcjumps in at the last minute.

    So if not the 5 teams touted as most likely. I wonder who will be team 6 win it is all said and done?

    Any ideas, suggestions? Perhaps a massive trade with philly?

    • Pittsburgh for Fluery. Just a thought.