NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2017

by | Jan 28, 2017 | Rumors | 45 comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins could find it difficult to move Marc-Andre Fleury.

Updates on Matt Duchene, Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop & more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports pressure is growing upon the Pittsburgh Penguins management to resolve their goaltending situation, noting Matt Murray has had six straight starts over veteran Marc-Andre Fleury. While it’s known that Fleury is available, the Penguins won’t find it easy getting a decent return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Finding a trade partner suitable for Fleury could also be difficult, as he carries a modified no-trade clause. Only two clubs, the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues, could be suitable destinations, but it remains to be seen if a deal can be reached with either club. 

While Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene recently acknowledged he’d be open to a trade, Dreger claims that doesn’t mean a trade is imminent, noting Duchene hasn’t requested a trade. He said multiple (“double-digit”) teams are calling about the center, but the asking price is high and general manager Joe Sakic is in no rush to move him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe trading Duchene is more likely to occur in the offseason, not the trade deadline. If Sakic’s willing to be patient, it could take until this summer for find a suitable deal. 

Regarding the Philadelphia Flyers and their pending free-agent goalies Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, Bob McKenzie said it appears the Flyers will take the entire season to evaluate them. The pair have been inconsistent thus far and there’s been no contract negotiations yet. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if Flyers GM Ron Hextall opts to see what he can find via trade or free agency this summer. The Flyers need more consistency in goal and they’re not getting it from their current tandem. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators are among the clubs kicking the tires on Matt Duchene, but the asking price is expensive and Sens GM Pierre Dorion isn’t desperate to make a move with his club currently holding a playoff berth. Garrioch also claims that asking price starts with a top-four defenseman, a top prospect and a first-round pick, and there’s indications the Avs could seek even more. He speculates it could cost the Senators defenseman Codi Ceci along with a prospect such as Colin White or Thomas Chabot, but the Sens have no intention of moving Ceci. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if the Avs can land a top-four blueliner, a top prospect, a first-round pick and more for Duchene. He’s a very good player, but he’s not worth a king’s ransom. Expect that price to drop this summer. Sakic should be able to get a good return for Duchene, but nothing like what he currently seeks. I don’t see the the Sens parting with Ceci, White or Chabot. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman told Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 he believes the Tampa Bay Lightning’s recent trade of defenseman Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadiens could be just the start for both clubs. He cites Montreal media speculating the Nesterov move could mean Canadiens blueliner Nathan Beaulieu could be available.

As for the Bolts, he speculates we could start hearing pending UFA goalie Ben Bishop’s name come up in the rumor mill, listing the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues as possible destinations. He’s not sure if the Philadelphia Flyers would look for a short-term solution like Bishop. Friedman also thinks Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was looking at Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone, but isn’t sure if Yzerman is interested in adding a rental player now. 

SPORTSNET:  Eric Engels suggests the Nesterov deal could open up some trade possibilities for the Canadiens. He wonders if GM Marc Bergevin might include blueliner Nathan Beaulieu in a package deal for a top-six forward before the March 1 trade deadline, perhaps for a long-term addition such as Colorado’s Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog. Beaulieu is a restricted free agent, but salary-cap issues and the need to re-sign Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov could make him expendable. The improved play of 38-year-old Andrei Markov could earn him another contract with the Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin’s proven to be a savvy wheeler-dealer at the trade deadline, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nesterov trade could be setting the stage for the addition of a top-six forward. Because of those issues raised by Engels, he could be looking at a short-term option. Bringing in someone like Duchene or Landeskog could be a tall order, especially if the Avs maintain their high prices for both guys. As for trading Bishop, the Bolts could find themselves facing the same potential difficulty as the Penguins with Fleury. The trade market for goalies is very limited right now. 


  1. Not sure I see the point in Dallas dealing for Bishop or another goalie this season they are pretty much out of the central and 3 points back with 2 or 3 teams to get past for the wild card. If they have to some how have to move one of the other goalies contracts to make it work (which will cost assets) on top of the assets it would cost to acquire Bishop (who is kinda up and down this year) I’m still not sure it’s enough to get them in and even if they do it would likely be a 1 and done team with that D. Imo it may make more sense to wait it out and go after Bishop as a UFA after they’ve done some house cleaning on the roster.

    • I agree with your analysis. Seems the young D core is learning the hard way this season. The style of play Ruff uses takes precision and quick decisions. Too many 2 on 1’s against the Finn tandem. I think they’ll ride this out. However, I think there’s a chance they can make a small run and squeak in the playoffs. One and done but something that the young defenseman can learn and feed off for next season. I think Nill will trade Sharp and Oduya back to the Hawks for any picks they can get.

    • Dallas could look at the goalie situation as one they may need to fix for the future regardless of their place in the standings this season. The defense is learning but neither Niemi or Lethonen have shown to be capable and consistent.The cost to get a starter level goalie could be worth it to take advantage of Benn and Seguins prime

  2. I wonder given Yzerman’s current “Sell” mode, could MTL take a shot at Brian Boyle?

    When I watched both The Rangers (2014); and The Lightning (2015); in their finals appearances, the common denominator was Brian Boyle. Boyle is 6-7, 243-pounds. He’s a big centre who can play the wing and would fit perfectly on the 3rd line.

    He’s a UFA year’s end at 2-million, pro rated. You could probably steal him away for a 2nd round pick.

    If I’m looking to go all in for the playoffs in Montreal. If I put myself in Bergevin’s shoes, I would think the additions of Boyle and Vanek as rentals would put you over the top.

    Vanek is a name I mentioned before. He was just recently named to the Eastern Conference Analytics All Stars team by sportsnet.ca. He also tops tsn.ca’s Trade Bait List.

    You could probably yank Vanek from Detroit for a prospect or 2 and a pick. I would have no problem parting with a 1st for Vanek.

    • I thought the same with the Sens when they were rumoured to be looking for a scoring forward. Vanek could be a pretty affordable pick up for a team in terms of assets to acquire and cap. I’m not sure he is an expensive long term blow your brains out gamble now that he used to be, roll the dice puck him up for a run and let him walk either way.

      • If Tampa decides to deal Boyle I think the return will be surprising. He is pretty much the prototype for good playoff depth.

    • Boyle will be good addition. But I am not convinced yet that Stevie is in sell mode.

      Can’t see them bring Vanek back even if he is having a good season. A Patrick Sharp from Dallas might be a good fit. Blackhawk connect and Bergevin was rumoured to be looking at him before hawks shipped him to Dallas.

      We need a couple of more teams to fall out of it in next 3 weeks.

      • Tampa figures to be a playoff club the next few years, and Boyle delivers higher net value than you are like to buy for his cap hit. He has also been rumored to be willing to sign a modest contract as some other Lightning have done to stay in the market. Sure there could be a knock my socks off offer, but he volunteered to come here from New York, has delivered great value, and could well sign a cap friendly but get me to the end of my career contract.

    • Been there…done that. Don’t want him back.

  3. There is no bigger Matt Murray fan than me, but it does seem like the Penguins might be trying to force Fleury’s hand. 6 straight starts? Murray was clearly tired in the Bruins game on Thursday.

    I think the team most likely to want MAF this season (other than the Blues, of course) is Calgary. Unless Chad Johnson is playing way above his head, they have little chance of making the playoffs. Bring in MAF and their chances are legit.

    Dallas doesn’t seem like a playoff team this year, with or without MAF.

    I also see Buffalo as the best fit for him long term. So, if he isn’t traded until the draft, the Sabres might have a better idea of what they are doing with Lehner going forward.

    PS- A Calder, two Art Ross’s, a Hart, a Lindsay, a Conn Smythe, two Stanley Cups and the 14th highest PPG in NHL history.

    Sounds like a top 100 player to me.

    • Totally agree with you on Malkin being a top 100. Personally I’d give him Kane’s spot.

      • Kane? He’s also won a Calder, 3 Cups, an Art Ross, I think he got the Hart (I stopped paying attention to post season awards after know nothings like the Puck Daddy crew started getting votes). He’s top 100. I’d drop Toews before Kane.

        No offense to these guys who are all great players, but Oates, Sundin, Nieuwendyk, etc. are simply not better than Malkin.

        He doesn’t reach his A game as often or as consistently as Crosby or some others, but when Malkin is at the peak of his game, he’s the best player in the NHL.

      • I’m a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan born and raised there love my Steelers Penguins and Pirates. Malkin is world class world talent he just doesn’t bring it every night like Gretzky, Lemieux, Forsberg, Crosby, Toews Ovechkin and all the greats on that list. He is moody, takes stupid penalties all the time, not a good defensive player at all, and for all his talents makes some of the worst passes ever.. he is having a really good year this year but he is all over the map not consistent with the greats. just doesnt

      • also born n raised but you cant argue that for malkin and ignore the fact that the greatest player of all time fits almost every criticism you just lobbied at malkin. He could be moody, take bad penalties, take nights off… still belongs in the top 1.00 spot on the list.

      • There definitely should have been room for Malkin on that list. No one but Crosby has been better than him since he’s come in the league and hats with or with out Crosby in the line up. I think Thornton should have been there as well. I’m very surprised by Keith being there. I personally would have replaced Toews and Keith with Malkin and Thornton. Perhaps the fact that he has no Stanley cup (Thornton) is what kept him off but there is no excuse for Malkin.

      • I got to say I think Oates and Sundin are very very close to as good as Malkin and I think belong on the list but I agree with Nieuwy.

      • Totally agree with Chrisms. I’m sure most all players in the top 100 has some type of hate group who think they know something bad about his personality. All that matters is what happens on the ice and Malkin has proven himself with and without Crosby.

    • I agree Buffalo is also a good fit for Marc ANDRE fLUERY it reunites him with coach Bylsma…who he won a cup with. Buffalo’s goalies are young, inexperiernced and inconsistent and Bylmsa had a stare down last week when he pulled on of them. Fluery can really help this young team.

      • Fleury to Buffalo undoubtedly would b a smart move for both clubs. In Buff case they solidify back end with a vet, allow tgeir skaters to gain winning confidence and MAF would b a great tutor for young G prospect Peterson.

    • Calder trophy a cup and 3rd most wins in NHL history behind Brodeur and Roy but no Eddie Belfour….I’m not sure there isn’t quite a few questionable omissions and players on that list that don’t really belong, Keith maybe the biggest question mark but certainly not the only one.

  4. If Bergerin looks to a short term option for top 6. Then I am not sure invluding Beaulieu makes sense.

    For Duchene type player with term left then by all means. Salary will be hard to make work. Beaulieu, Juulsen, Deharnias, and 1st. Likely not enough for Sakic.

    How about deal with Blues around Shattenkirk + and Beaulieu ++? Berglund and Yaks I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on.

    • As to Shattenkirk, he is a RD, where the Habs currently have both Weber and Petry.
      So which of these guys, or Skirk, goes to the 3rd pairing?
      He’s not happening.

      As to Beaulieu and future Cap issues, he is likely going to resign for $3.5 to 4 million, but give back on term (eg 5 years).
      If you think this causes Cap problems going forward, then compare that to the Cap hit issues involved with Duchenne or Landeskog.

      Also, the Habs are really thin on LD. After Beaulieu comes only Emelin (he does what he does) and Markov – slowing down, ageing, and injury-prone.

      imo Mtl would be far better to keep Beaulieu and target someone like Grigorenko.
      He was Roy’s player from Junior, obtained from Buffalo. Well, Roy is gone.
      Far cheaper to obtain. Far cheaper to retain. And easier to flip if some other option works out.

      Just all imo.

      • I’m still more than open to the idea of bringing in Grigorenko. He’s a good, low cost move for MTL to make, similar to Nesterov. Given how little MTL gave up for Nesterov, I would think Josiah Didier and a 2nd rounder would be a sufficient return for a guy like Grigorenko. You could put together your own version of the “Russian 5” power-play unit Detroit used to have.

      • Ah, yes you are right with shatty as a RD it won’t work. If they did move Beaulieu they got target a left Dman in a separate deal. Oduya is leftie? If Dallas falls out what would it take to grab him and Sharp?

        Grigo is an interesting option. Not seeing many Col games… 3rd line Center with size? Can he play the wing too? Where would Danaut and Pleks slot in?

      • Gally, I think Danault could be our 2nd line centre not just this year but for years after. I think the 2nd line job is a coin toss between Plekanec and Danault at best. One or the other will go 2 and 3.

        I believe MTL to be 1 or 2 pieces away from taking the cup this season. It is going to be an interesting month heading toward the deadline.

  5. I don’t get the logic behind moving Beaulieu for a forward (As Engels Suggested). Habs are thin on prospect defense, and won’t have anything coming up for at least a couple of years. Redmond and Johnston are not every day NHL D. Markov isn’t going to be around much longer. Nesterov, based on how he has played thus far, is not on the same level as Beaulieu. So why make your D worse simply to make your offence better? That runs contrary to pretty much every single thing this organization has ever done.

    Teams rarely trade away their young D for scoring help midway through the season, anyway. It is illogical, and simply put, does not happen (Unless there are other circumstances involved, such as the Evander Kane fiasco). No, trading Beaulieu seems silly. Unless they can get a guy with some control, but then again, teams aren’t trading away young guns still under contract at this point, either. If they are moving him for a rental, I would probably crap my pants.

  6. Off-topic, non present-Blog related, nothing to do with the Leafs, and a propos of nothing:

    I really, really liked the trade for Nesterov yesterday

    • Nesterov impressed me last year I haven’t watched much of the Lightning this year but I was kinda surprised how far out of favor he has fallen in Tampa. MB I think made a great deal. Very little risk of this going bad and still tones of ceiling in a 23/24 year old D.

      • He is best suited to being a third line forward. May well have more value in the KHL than NHL Good guy, significant talent, got lots of ice time in several rolls, none worked. Steve Y telling Bowness to play Koekoek.

    • If MTL ends up keeping Nesterov past this season, I can’t help but think he could be one of those guys that comes back to haunt Yzerman.

  7. I just can’t see Montreal trading for anything that’s carrying a heavy cap. We really have no cap space.

    That is unless we know our current injuries are going to stay on the LTIR (hello Markov). Otherwise we have what 700K space. Getting a Duchene seems impossible to me.

  8. Gunnarsson and a second possibly a first for MAF…STL has to take on some additional cap hit so may have to move another salary- maybe throw Hutton in the deal ? Do it early as in a couple of weeks- not at the deadline.

    • I don’t see any fit for a player based trade between the Pens and Blues unless it’s Shattenkirk coming back, which I’m not sure either team wants.

      Gunnarsson and Bouwmeester’s contracts don’t fit the Pens cap situation.

      I think it would have to be draft picks for MAF.

      The only player who might intrigue me as a possible return from StL would be Yakupov.
      Same situation as Schultz. An RFA who could be treated as a rental unless he really fits with the team like JS did.

      But that would be a hail mary play. Yakupov has shown far less than Schultz had at that point.

  9. Gunnarson and a second potentially a first for MAF. Throw in Hutton to balance the dollars .

    • keep gunnarson. pens would take hutton and a 1st for sure… a second even.

  10. Ottawa would be crazy to move Chabot or White after the way they played in the world Jrs.
    Boston missed the boat on that draft taking the three picks they took before them. Barzel went after those three picks t
    He also looked good at the Jrs. Then Kyle Conner picked.
    Zboril,Debrusk and Synshyn are ok but would rather have
    Chabot and Conner. Synshyn looks good and was said to be a stretch at that pick.

    • Prettu much everyone i think would of took zboril over Chabot even the Sens if he was available.

      He was prettier to watch at the time on the Seadogs roster. I was very happy though to see the Sens get Chabot.

  11. So with all the talk of John Tavares going home and being better off elsewhere it got me thinking…. Let’s move ahead 5 or 6 years and tell me who has a better chance of being on their current team? John Tavares ? Auston Matthews? Connor McDavid? I think the answer is John Tavares.

    • 5 or 6 years? McDavid and Mathews are restricted free agents and likely locked up long term well before then so I’m not seeing any reason for this. I doubt Taveres goes any where but seeing how Mathews is under contract for 2 more years after this then has no arbitration rights and McDavid likely gets an 8 year extension in the next year…I’d say it’s more likely that the Unristricted Free Agent moves before the Restricted Free Agents (that are likely the face of a franchise) the club controls their rights. Not that I see Taveres moving.

      • I would say you are right, the only thing that can cause McDavid or Matthews to move is because they force their team to do so or sit for upto 7 years. And I don’t see them being that tyoe of people.
        No way you trade McDavid unless you get like a new perfect team with allstar quality. The new face of the NHL.
        Now, I don’t think Tavares will move, but atleast he can and that amounts to like 40 times more likely he moves than McDavid.

    • I think Tavares is the most likely to be moved after 6 years of those 3 players. Maybe he won’t be but certainly the other 2 won’t. What is the reasoning behind this.

  12. Pens are not going to get $5.75 net cap space in a deal. A salary needs to come back for MAF.

  13. So Hall gets you Larson and Duchene gets you all that? Don’t think so! And yes I have stated that the Hall for Larson deal has proven to be good for Edmonton. But now that it has maybe a top forward like Hall/ Duchene for a solid defender is fair?

    And yes I also understand how contracts and cap hits and all that boring stuff can effect trades, but really? I don’t see anybody giving that much for Duchene!

    As for Bishop? Straight up for Trouba! I have been criticized for saying this before by others claiming the Jets have two good young goalies. Then why was Pavelec recalled?

    The Jets also need to fire Paul Maurice!

    • Agree the jets should have had pavelec up from the start of the season. Just an odd move.

  14. Maybe Beaulieu Plechanec Mccarron and a 1st round pick would get Duchane.