NHL Rumor Mill – January 31, 2017

by | Jan 31, 2017 | Rumors | 37 comments

Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith has no plans to waive his no-trade clause.

Updates on Wayne Simmonds, Mike Smith and the Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Toronto’s TSN 1050 he guesses most of the trade calls received by Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall involve winger Wayne Simmonds, who was named MVP of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a trade rumor, but worth noting anyway. While anyone can be traded, it’s safe to say Simmonds is considered a key part of the Flyers’ core and isn’t available. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: Sarah McLellan recently reported Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith hasn’t considered waiving his no-trade clause to explore new possibilities with another club. Smith told McLellan he’s optimistic over his future with the Coyotes. He’s currently in the fourth season of a six-year, $34-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith’s hefty contract, injury history and inconsistent play work against him as a viable trade target this season. 

NEWSDAY: In a recent mailbag segment, Arthur Staple suggested buying out the final season of goalie Jaroslav Halak’s contract could free up some valuable salary-cap space for the New York Islanders before the start of free-agency on July 1. He also proposed moving one of their players with a year remaining on their contracts, such as Josh Bailey, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome or Thomas Hickey. If the Isles stay healthy and maintain their recent improvement, he doesn’t see them making any moves by the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their re-signing last night of Thomas Greiss to a three-year, $10 million deal could be the most significant move they make. 


  1. Wow, slow day. Not much happening with a month before the deadline.

    • That’s because all the pundits were still returning from the All-Star game Sunday and Monday. I daresay the speculation will increase soon.

  2. I thought you were going to mention the Islanders actually moving the team not players! Apparently they’re getting kicked out of the Barclays centre in 18-19.

    • They shouldn’t be in that arena. It’s the only arena in the league that haS PVC instead of metal pipes for the cooling under the rink, which is why the ice is so bad. If I bought it basketball team and said I was moving it to an arena that had a tile floor instead of wood they would never let me do that. It’s pretty Mickey mouse to let a team play on a substandard surface with a cooling system you don’t see on amateur rinks.

      • Todd, A men brother. I’m hopeful the new owners are a bit more clued in than Wang was. They may need a temporary home for a bit while a new one is built or they may need to retrofit an existing facility. Either way the drama is far from over for Isles fans.

      • Even a retro fit would dislodge them from Barclays after the 2018-19 season. Part of the reason they left Nasseau was a major reno taken there. They may return there after the current lease arrangement expires until a new facilitiy can be completed once site chosen, plans & permits addressed, etc.

    • Noel, I mentioned it in the News section.

      • the Nassau coliseum is a dead deal. plans are for a major renovation to attract “entertainers”. it will not be a large venue. the coli was a wonderfully small arena. the last row was as good as the first. but there are zero plans to bring the isles back,which is sad.

  3. Simmonds obviously isn’t on the block. I cant even imagine what they could get for a return for him. Young teams like the Oilers, Jets or Leafs would love to have this high character, tough and skilled winger

    • The Leafs are going to trade JVR, but would love to get Simmonds? I mean, hell of a player and I get your point – it’s a good one – but, even if he was available, and he’s a hell of a nice piece to have, the Leafs wouldn’t be the right team.

      • Believe me JVR and Simmonds aren’t the same player. The reason I threw the Leafs out there for wanting Simmonds-is Jeff O’neil mentioned on Overdrive-what a great fit he would be for the leafs riding shot gun for Matthews.
        But like I said there is no way he is on the block.

      • Any team in the league would love to have Simmonds, any fan that doesn’t think their team needs him doesn’t know much about him!

  4. my guess is that Wayne Simmonds would love to play in his hometown and he would be a wonderful addition to a yong team that needs grit and skill such as he provides. Cannot imagine why the Flyers would trade him. If they are looking to improve, they need to get rid of Giroux, bring in their young d-men languishing on the farm, give up the dream that the “Ghost” is anything but a flash in the pan, and find consistent goaltending, the bane of their existence for twenty years or more!

  5. Wayne Simmons should not ever appear in the rumors sction( maybe I I 6-7 yrs)
    He is the ultimate Flyer( in Philly fans eyes)-he is still young enough to even get better-u do not trade power forwards, with great hands-scoring-passing-fighting, etc)
    Toronto fans-feel entitled( Why , I don’t know) to every good player out there!!

    • Probably because a large portion of the good players out there are from Toronto and self professed leafs fans since they were kids. True some don’t like the lime-light and would never sign here but there’s a hell of a lot of NHLer’s who still dream of donning the blue and white so ya, I guess you can say leaf fans are slightly entitled, maybe call us dreamers, I like that term better….

    • That’s a silly thing to say. All super-fans dream of getting top talent on their teams. In the NHL, it just so happens the Leafs have the largest following by a significant margin and many of them are super-fans.

    • I thought I missed a post, someone says Philadelphia will never trade him but wonder what they could get in that a young team like Toronto or Winnipeg or Edmonton would like him. Next a Toronto fan says he’s a great player but not a fit with Toronto anyway. Then someone else says the player might like to play in his home town but Philadelphia will never trade him. I don’t think this is a case of Toronto fans feeling entitled, looks like a case of Someone who doesn’t like Toronto fans. There are people on here who make crazy Proposals that favour their team, Toronto fans are like all others and do that sometimes. But I think the comments about Toronto fans outnumber the times Toronto fans actually do this.

      • Todd, it’s non stop. Just yesterday Leaf fans were being criticized for saying Tavares wants to come home. I’ve never heard that on here.

        Today we’re being criticized on a hypothetical argument we want Simmonds – ridiculous idea, never heard before and again down below for generally claiming all players want to come to Toronto.

        It’s insane.

        As a Leafs fan, we’ve had an incredible run of luck and we’re really happy with the team and management group we have.

      • You think wrong. Proportionally leafs fans outnumber others on this and most other sites. Goes with a passionate fan base uoh rah. But the persecution complex is amazing.

      • I have no issues with you Toronto fans. I’m just as happy talking about them as anyone really. Pure demographics. Largest city in Canada, 1 of the NHL’s premier teams financially. Factor in most here are Canadians to boot & what you see is what you get. I don’t counter the fact your crazed Leaf’s fans just your perceptions if I perceive they aren’t realistic.

        I don’t agree with Dan39 for example that Nylander is untouchable. That said by no means am I saying he will be traded. In the right situation anyone can be & moving JvR seems more logical to me but he won’t generate the same quality of return unless he’s signed then traded.

        At least we get to talk about the positives the Leafs are generating now. We just went through 40+ years of having to address the negative. Ha-ha! Sorry couldn’t resist.

    • @Sid Lyle mentioned it, no leaf fan brought it up. I think it’s more of a compliment to how good he really is and what he brings to a team than anything

      • Actually Dan I think it was not Leaf Fans being criticized but you being criticized for trying to tell everyone that Mathews and the week before that Kadri were better than Tavares. And I believe it was your fellow Leaf fan doing the criticizing.

  6. Lyle, might be wrong section, but wondering have you heard anything about Tyler Myers? hasn’t played since Nov 11, lower body injury, then asked for a leave for personal reasons, a few weeks back. Like crickets out here, pretty tight lipped.

    • Hi, Caper, nothing new on Myers. Last report was in mid-January saying he’s on a leave of absence for personal reasons and was still recovering from a lower-body injury.

    • The last I had heard before the personal leave Caper was that he was travelling with the team & was close to returning. You being in Winnipeg are better connected potentially through local radio to get insight. The lack of info in the NHL has always bothered me.

  7. Smith is doing what they all do— “I really like playing here….. think we have what it takes to turn it around….. yaddy, yaddy, yaddah!” Of course he likes it; it’s warm and you are done in April! Seems like Shane Doan’s attitude has infected the group! Jeez I wish this team would just go away!

    • To be fair, lots of older guys signed to nmcs and long term contracts do that. I don’t think it’s just Arizona. It’s pretty unusual for one of those guys to say “yeah this sucks, can’t wait to get outta here!”. But I do agree with the “go away Arizona” sentiment.

    • What’s worse is the elitist original six (mainly Leaf) fans on this site always complaining about southern teams and their players. It’ll be nice when Matthews comes back home.

      I’m not even a Yotes fan

      • I admit outright to being an original six fan! But I don’t see that as being elitist. It’s a simple fact that those cities have fans who are actually interested in hockey. And as much as I love the original six and the initial expansion teams I am willing to acknowledge when the southern experiment has succeeded. Hockey in California has definitely succeeded but not without Gretzky saving it, and yes my Leafs now benefit from an Arizona hockey player; it’s about time as several southern teams have benefited from Ontario born players!

        Have you ever noticed that this site continually inspires conversation about the lack of defensive depth experienced by most teams in the League? Well that’s because there are too many teams!

        This league does not need to be larger than 24 teams! And now we are going to Vegas and everybody is scared to death that they might lose one of their defencemen that cannot compete in a 30 team League let alone a 31 team League?

        And yes I know it’s about the revenue and League growth and all that stuff. Tell that to the people of Quebec who love hockey, have a building, and several instant rivalries that would only add to the League!

        That’s my rant for today. And you can call me an elitist if you want, but I prefer to look at it as old school or purist if you will!

      • Hey Steven, I agree and disagree 🙂 For years we have had a lot of teams putting sub standard players out there because that’s all they could manage/afford. and there have been guys playing that shouldn’t have been.

        We’ve also seen places with hockey teams that seem fairly disinterested in them. with rinks that are pretty sub standard. The Isles current rink is terrible but there have been teams come in (Tampa among them) who say the ice is as good as or better than theirs. It’s hard, at times, not to see this as more than a money grab by owners and players alike.

        During the last strike I actually reached a place where I realized that hockey wasn’t going to disappear but some teams might. I became a lot calmer then because I realized I didn’t give a crap if a few less players were collecting cheques or a couple of owners lost their toys.

        Having said all of that the game actually does seem to be growing. We are seeing an influx of young talent like never before. I don’t believe for a minute that they planned it but the league may actually be growing into itself.

    • A borrowed page from the Leafs for how long?

    • Have you spent any time in Phoenix? I wish I could live their 6 months a year min.

      Look at the financial issues mismanagement issues both at ownership & the coaching levels Arizona has had to deal with in it’s existence.

      Moving forward Arizona is in a great position. The creation of the cap laid the foundation for a future, stable ownership replacing the NHL’s short term position will moving forward & the move to their future home in the University district with what may be the best group of prospects currently in the NHL a solid future.

      The next CBA will be the final concessions many NHL teams need to be not only viable as all are now but Carolina but profitable.

      I love going to games well in Phoenix golfing with buddies or clients.

  8. With Markov and potentially Pateryn coming back soon, maybe MTL can package Barberio and a 2nd to Tampa Bay for Brian Boyle. With all the restricted guys they have to resign, moving Boyle in a year where the playoffs are far from certain, would be ideal for them. Barberio is a familiar face to help them now and they snag a second round pick to help
    them with the future.

    • TB could be right back in it with Stamkos back. I think they’ll wait and see at the dead line where they’re at and if they’re close, I bet they don’t sell.

      A 1-year retool on the fly could be very effective except that this is a weak draft, with the projected 1st overall selection this year probably a 5 or 6 selection in the 2016 draft if he was a week older, according to McKenzie.

      • Original 6 died once the entry draft brought hockey out of long gone era of territorial rights hoarding. Ev the Habs & Sam Pollock can no longer bilk the LAK lol

    • Boyle could very well provide Montreal with the physicality they need up front.

  9. The Isles have played very well over the last few weeks and are back on the bubble. They could indeed stand pat but they could really stand to improve the club. They aren’t really a threat to go deep in the playoffs.

    Signing Greiss was a good solid move. They could stand to move a D man to help protect for the expansion draft. Hickey or De Haan make the most sense and they could also move their picks to get something ready now or shortly to go along with the core they have in place. Talk of Kulomen or Bailey moving is also reasonable though I hope they don’t move Strome.