NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2017

by | Jan 5, 2017 | Rumors | 44 comments

Joe Thornton reportedly seeks a three-year deal from the San Jose Sharks.

Updates on Joe Thornton, Martin Hanzal, Cam Fowler and Jarome Iginla in your NHL rumor mill. 

ESPN.COM: In assessing the potential expansion draft plans of the San Jose Sharks, Pierre LeBrun reports John Thornton, agent and brother of center Joe Thornton, said his camp seeks a three-year contract. LeBrun speculates the Sharks could be reluctant to invest that long in Thornton, who’ll turn 38 on July 2. He suspects they’d prefer a one-year deal and could also await further information on next season’s salary cap.

LeBrun also said he’d wouldn’t be surprised if the Sharks didn’t re-sign 37-year-old Patrick Marleau. He also claims all pending unrestricted free agents, such as Thornton, are ineligible for the expansion draft. However, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowed to speak to any pending UFA during a 48-hour window prior to the June 21 expansion draft. 

LeBrun also claims all pending unrestricted free agents, such as Thornton, are ineligible for the expansion draft. However, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowed to speak to any pending UFA during a 48-hour window prior to the June 21 expansion draft. While advocating the Sharks wait until after the expansion draft to re-sign Thornton to give them more flexibility in protecting other players, he notes the risk of the Golden Knight potentially signing the veteran center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if UFAs weren’t exempt from the expansion draft, it would be a waste of a draft pick for the Golden Knights to select one if that player isn’t willing to re-sign. I can see the Sharks and Thornton agreeing to a two-year for up to $6 million per. As for Marleau, this season could be his last, not just with the Sharks, but as an NHL player. Though on pace for 22 goals and 35 points this season, his production’s steadily declined in recent years and he’s no longer a reliable top-six forward. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC:  Sarah McLellan reports Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka and pending UFA center Martin Hanzal remain open to contract discussions during this season. Chayka admits Hanzal, who holds a modified no-trade clause, could be dealt by the March 1 trade deadline but said he currently hasn’t engaged in any trade discussions and hasn’t yet received a serious offer for the center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this season, the talk was Chayka sought a good young defenseman/top prospect plus a high draft pick for Hanzal. He’s not going to get from this year’s draft market. Hanzal’s made it clear he wants to stay with the Coyotes, but it’s believed he seeks a long-term deal while the ‘Yotes prefer a two- or three-year deal. 

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford observes the Anaheim Ducks called up defenseman Brandon Montour while demoting another promising young blueliner in Shea Theodore. He wonders if this could be their way of readying to move another rearguard by the trade deadline, pointing out it’s inevitable for salary-cap reasons that they’ll have to trade a defenseman, pointing out Cam Fowler ($4 million annually through 2017-18) was a frequent subject of offseason trade chatter. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks could ship out a quality defenseman for perhaps a scoring forward before the trade deadline. Whether it’s Fowler, Hampus Lindholm or Sami Vatanen remains to be seen. They could try to convince Kevin Bieksa to waive his no-movement clause before March 1, but I doubt he’ll attract much interest. If they can’t move Bieksa, they’ll have to protect four blueliners to keep Fowler, Lindholm and Vatanen in the fold, but that means they can only protect four forwards, making Jakob Silfverberg potentially the odd man out. 

CALGARY SUN:  Wes Gilbertson reports Colorado Avalanche winger Jarome Iginla is still willing to consider waiving his no-movement clause if asked to accept a trade to a playoff club. Gilbertson’s colleague Eric Francis believes it would be a good idea to bring Iginla back to Calgary to finish his career. Despite the decline in Iginla’s play, Francis still feels he can help their power play. 

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Eric Duhatschek wonders if the Edmonton Oilers might be a logical destination for Iginla, noting that Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli brought the veteran winger to Boston when he was GM of the Bruins. Duhatschek also lists the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, and the Flames as possibilities. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect a playoff contender will acquire Iginla before the trade deadline as a depth acquisition, but don’t expect very much from the 39-year-old Iginla now.  He’s one of my all-time favorite players, but he’s also well past his prime now.  


  1. Not sure that LAK/NSH won’t bump them out of the wildcard, but regardless, Flames should absolutely bring back Jerome to finish out his career if that’s what he wants. Leafs did that with Dougie, lasted one game, but was still the right move for an organization that purportedly conducts itself with class.

    • Tell that to Dave Keon!

      • That was what I was thinking too George the past couple years doesn’t really erase history.

      • He wasn’t the only one treated that way. I remember Stafford Smythe bursting into the dressing room after the Leafs had just been eliminated in a playoff round to loudly fire Punch Imlach on the spot. Distinct lack of class – or Ballard re-hiring Roger Nielson but making him come to the bench with a paper bag over his head!

        And I can never erase the memory of a “night” devoted to Tie Domi where they embarrassed the hell out him by playing “I Did It MY Waaaay” loudly over the speakers. Jaysus!

      • lol ya there have been some doozies. Also speaking as someone who’s known the Gilmours for years if Dan knew Dougie a little more personally I’m not sure class had anything to do with that last contract. Honestly the guy was a great hockey player, that’s about it.

  2. Marleau can still skate and play but will have to take a serious hair cut to remain in the league. Tidbit one of 3 players to score 30 goals in WHL as a 16 year old. Nolan Patrick is another and do not recall the third.

    • Modano with the PA Raiders in the mid 80’s might be the 3rd?

  3. This came across my twitter feed last night. Since 1987 only 2 18yr olds have scored 20+ goals in their first 40 NHL games:

    • Austin Matthews had 20 in 35 games. Twitter is a dying media tool

      • Sorry, Matthews turned 19 in September. Misread

      • I think Brett Connolly did it? Same year Evander Kane played in Whl

      • Sorry that should be under ray bark about the 30 goal scorer at 16 in the whl

  4. I would be shocked if Marleau retires. He’s suffered virtually no injuries. Is still a great skater, is in excellant shape & someone will gladly pay Marleau to come score 25 goals for them. He only retires if he wants to. Why would he want to? Numerous teams will bid for his services & pay him significant monies, 4+ million on a short 1 to 3 year deal to play for them. 25 goal scorers are a pretty rare commodity. There are a dozen teams in the NHL that could use Marleau’s skills on their #1 PP.

  5. I wonder if Bieksa would agree to wave his NMC for the expansion draft. I doubt he would be selected regardless but some form on enticement could be made by Anaheim if he’s not open to the concept.

    Bieksa is declining obviously & Anaheim has a ton of depth at D in the NHL now, not even counting Despres; who’s career may well be over, with Theodore, Montour & Larsson all banging on the door.

    What if Murray signed Bieksa a 2 year extension now in or around 3 mil per with another NMC attached in return for waiving his NMC for the expansion draft. That would make him even more unappealing to Vegas allowing Anaheim to potential only have to protect Fowler, Lindholm & Vatanen letting them protect 7 forwards, or Manson & still exposing Silfverberg?

    Then Anaheim moves a Dman following the expansion draft. I don’t think the market for Dman will ever be higher than following the expansion draft. I would even get Fowler resigned. I don’t see Anaheim moving Lindholm & agree Fowler is the obvious choice due to the fact he is a UFA the season following next but a ton of long term options available to Anaheim. Bieksa is stiull playing as a solid top 4 & should be able to handle top 5 minutes till 40. #5 Dman are making over 3 mil per now & inflation is never going away especially in pro sports.

    • Interesting idea Striker, but that is a big commitment to an old guy who has hard miles on him. If the contract is that unappealing to LV perhaps it should be to ANA too.
      He plays a physical style, not sure how effective he will be if he doesn’t or if he breaks down.
      Can’t comment too much on him as I don’t watch the Ducks very often.

    • Striker – I also like and usually agree with your insight and opinions (and I am also a Bruins fan now living in Duck country).

      I would be interested to get your take on the Ducks protected players for the expansion draft – for me the no brainers are Lindholm, Fowler, Vatanen, Rakell, Gibson, Kesler and Silverberg (i am not sure of the NTCs involved that would affecting who can be exposed or the exact breakdown of forwards/D/G).

      That leaves Getzlaf and Perry – both of them signed similar (if i am not mistaken – identicaly contracts) – the way they are both playing right now I dont think LV would want either of them at the cap hit and term so what are the odds of either one/both of them being exposed? i feel they both may have NMC which might not make them eligible.

    • Ducks can’t sign Bieksa to an extension until July 1st; after the expansion draft.

  6. Florida with Gallant. 11-10-1. Playing 500 with numerous players injured. Jokinen; 10 games missed, Marchessault; 7 games, Bjugstad; all but 2 of the games Gallant coached. Both have had to play with out Huberdeau; Smith just missed to games & Petrovic has been out since game 16. Barkov has now missed 1 game.

    Florida under Rowe. 5-5-7. 7 games under 500. Things aren’t getting better but worse. Curious to see how this all plays out this summer in Florida. Surprised also that Gallant hasn’t yet found a new job.

    How Capuano still has his job is a head scratcher for me. Nor has Blashill impressed me 1/2 way through his 2nd season. Laviolette appears to be approaching his best before date earlier than normal. Bednar appears to be in way over his head & although Johnson has been a huge factor in Calgary being where they are, I don’t like Gulitzen either but both being new hires both have very long leashes.

    Arizona has been brutal as well but Tippet taking on the position of VP of Hockey Operations the only way he gets axed in Arizona is if he quits like Roy; for me Roy was the issue & the reason Colorado is in this plight, did in Colorado after forcing his will on the organization in his time there but not getting his wish to send Barrie packing.

    • Roy quit cause they wouldn’t sign radulov who he coached in junior, seeing the way radulov is playing he definitely wouldn’t have hurt the avs!

    • We had this conversation a few weeks ago. 5-5-7 isn’t really 7 games under .500, In a point system that 1 point is gained from an ot loss, it’s still .500. 17 games, a total of 34 points to possibly be awarded, they have 17. Stupid system, and what’s going on in Florida is far from pretty….. But until the system changes being awarded 1 point for a loss is basically 1/2 a win.

      • I agree it’s silly, the only time it comes into player is if a tie at the end of the yr more ROW gets the better spot

      • No matter how you look at it; its a loss. I read it as 7 games under 500. They lost them 7 games, didn’t win or tie but a loss.

      • But you still accumulate points. Hypothetically if a team went 0-0-82, they finish with 81 points, if the last 2 positions in the playoffs / wild card have 80 and 81 points who’s going? The team with more wins or more points?
        Granted, a very unlikely scenario to say the least. But the point remains.

        It only matters in a tie breaker situation . This isn’t a wins / losses system like the mlb or NFL .

      • Nyr4life.

        In points I agree with you but for me it’s still a loss. I had no issue with ties either.

        On another subject the NHL’s weird stance bothers me on.

        Many say if we make the nets bigger to bring more scoring into the game it will for ever alter the record book. That has happened already, repeatedly with the evolution of the game & rules. Removing the red line for 2 line passes, the way the new icing rule works, the points structure were talking about here, etc.

        What happened when the NHL eliminated ties? Brodeur went out & set a single season wins record. How are any of these things different?

        The NHL creating this false parity makes me think, they think we are stupid & can’t see through the false balance they are trying to create. Bring back ties or make all games worth 3 points in some way. I n this points structure making up even a small # of points in the standings is virtually impossible unless you go on a 6 or 7 plus game winning streak & then not followed by a similiar losing streak. Like Philadelphia is currently doing.

        Sorry I was digressing there. Ha-ha! I hate this false parity & don’t like the fact the NHL thinks it helps the game. It’s a joke.

      • Oooops 82 points! Lol

      • Nyr4life – this is one of my favourite debates, so I’m getting all riled up! 🙂

        I’m with you: 5-5-7 isn’t 7 games under .500. It’s actually incalculable unless you know # of OTW’s, as well.

        .500 *should* mean you won 50% of available points.

        Imagine a 2-team league. They play 82gms, each winning 41. But Team 1 wins them all in regulation, Team 2 wins all in OT. Team 2 finished 41-41-0. 82pts. .500, right? But Team 1 finishes 41-0-41. 123pts. So Team 2 is really nowhere near .500

        The 3-pt game in the NHL means not all games are created equal. Teams that win OT games really only get 2/3 of the points (.667 win% for those games). And losers get 1/3 of the pts (.333%).

        Saying an OT win = 1.000% ignores the fact that you’re competing against other teams for playoff spots and they’re accumulating points for OTLs.

        This is all a little nerdy, I realize! 🙂

        Let’s say we consider 82 pts = .500. Last year 10 teams had 82 pts or less. 20 had more than 82 pts. If 82 pts = .500, I don’t want ever want to be a .500 team. I’d never make the playoffs!

        (91 pts was actually league average last year, which would effectively make that .500 for last season)

        /Nerd Rant Out! (I assume nobody read this far anyway lol)


  7. Have a great day gentlemen. Another great day of hockey on tap. The WJC’s are my favorite hockey games. Loved yesterdays games both the US & Russia as well as Canada Sweden were awesome.

    Got some huge brownie points for doing the 8 loads of laundry that had backed up well watching the US Russia game at the laudromat. Only shrunk 1 sweater & apparently running gear can’t go in the dryer either, although I can’t tell what I may have done to it. Ha-ha!

    Go Canada.

    • Have to agree, love the WJC. The hockey is often fantastic and the level of passion and emotion is incredible. Barzel and Nylander both looked incredible.

      Admit I’m biased about Barzel since he’s an Isles prospect but I’m amazed at how he always seems to get and maintain puck possession. Strong skater, fun to dream though that skill level in junior doesn’t always translate to NHL success.

      I imagine it’s exciting for Buffalo fans to watch Alex Nylander dangle through all those defenders as well 🙂

  8. Cam Fowler still appears to the prime candidate to be moved given his contract and value. If the Ducks want a high end return, Fowler will be the name to move.

  9. Trade proposal:
    N. Juulsen,1st 2017,2nd 2018+ DD(cap dump) For B. Sutter + A. Burrows fully retained

  10. Add 2nd round 2017***from mtl

    • Big overpayment by the habs

    • Hey Tony, not sure the Nucks are going to be willing to deal since they are now improbably in the playoff hunt. The GM isn’t a real genius either. I think you’ve offered a lot of future value in the deal for the Nucks but understand that the Habs get to dump a contract and pick up a solid centre in Sutter and a good veteran winger in Burrows.

      The one place Vancouver has young players is on D so Juulsen may have more value to someone else. He’s looked very solid at the WJC so his stock may be on the rise. If I was the Nucks GM I’d definitely take that deal but given I cheer for Vancouver that likely means it’s too rich from the Habs side.

  11. I really think the Oilers, Leafs or Flames (in that order) should trade for Iginla.

    Getting Gary Roberts in 2007 for a 5 game playoff run set the stage for the Penguins back to back trips to the Finals and Cup win in 2009.

    If you can get an elite leader into your room while your kids are still learning…do it.

    Actually, don’t do it…I want the Penguins to keep winning, but…for their sakes, they should do it.

  12. There’s a lot of chatter out there today regarding the Bruins pursuit of Landeskog. Sounds like they’re making serious inquiries and aggressive in getting a trade done with the Avalanche.

    Not surprised by this at all as they desperately need some wingers who can insert into the Top 6. Sounds like Carlo wouldn’t be part of the package but the package would be quite large and includes a 1st round pick.

    • Chad, they have plenty of prospects to deal if they choose.
      My guess is your looking at some combination of pick(s) and Debrusk/Senyshyn/Zboril/Lauzon/Forsbaka – Karlson/Frederic. My guess is that they will pursue Zboril as they need D. Effortless skater with size and some offense. Should be NHL ready with minimal time in the minors.
      McIvoy and Carlo being the untouchables.
      Landeskog is young enough that he will still have plenty of game left when the many young guys start to mature into real NHL players.
      Hopefully they throw in Backes for his leadership value.

      • Ray Bark,

        From what I’ve read Bruins countered with Zboril, DeBrusk, Morrow, and the 1st 2017. No word yet back from Avalanche but according to reports the discussion started with Carlo and Bruins said no way. Still open dialogue. Some combination of 2-3 higher end prospects such as DeBrusk and Zboril and the 1st, add another piece in there (Morrow, Spooner, ect.) I think that’s the structure of a trade.

        But… looking at that Avs fans on Twitter have been ranting over they’re delusional if they think they’ll get McAvoy and/or Carlo plus DeBrusk or Vatrano, a 1st round pick and Heinon… lol

      • Wow, perhaps I am a delusional Bruins fan but Zboril, Debrusk plus Morrow or Spooner seems like enough to me. The first starts to make this really expensive.
        I think Zboril will be a top 4 guy in no time with potential to be very good and maybe a 2.
        Landeskog is a good player, but that is a steep price. I’m not as high on Debrusk, but should be an NHL player.
        Crappy draft from what they say though, if that is what it takes.
        Wow, Sweeney doesn’t sit on his hands does he.

      • Based on how Zboril played in the WJC… still needs some seasoning but has looked much much much better this season so far than last year.

        DeBrusk is beginning to come around in the AHL and has been lighting it up lately. A lot of skill showing through. Will develop into an NHL player. Reminds me a bit of Vatrano IMO but with better hands. Also 6’0 and can be strong on the puck.

        I’ve heard this draft class is lacking as well. I’m not so much concerned about the pick(s) involved. Bruins have done a good job restocking the farm. I’m more concerned about throwing away 3 or more higher end prospects for Landeskog. He’s a good player, still young, but this isn’t a top 20 player in the league. He’s only been a top 50 player in terms of points once in 5 seasons. Bruins need scoring… I don’t want to hear about intangibles, they need another Pastrnak, ect. who can skillfully place the puck in the net. I’m not moving that big of a package for anything but a player who is a perennial scorer and young.

  13. MTL needs to make a move now. They’ve got veterans who aren’t scoring. They’re injured list just got 2 players longer. I still believe Grabbing; Grigorenko, Wiercioch and Bourque out of Colorado is there best move for stocking the cupboard now. It is cost effective both in assets traded and cap wise for MTL.

    You could give them Didier, Fucale, Flynn and a 1st. It’s a weak draft class anyway. Give them the extra 1st in their tank year. You’ve stock piled 2nd round picks, so you still have pick depth, that you can either trade at the deadline or hold on to until the draft.

    MTL going after a bigger piece like Duchene or Fowler now means they’re:

    A) Giving up on key pieces of their future like Beaulieu, McCarron or Lehkonen; only to watch them flourish later elsewhere.

    B) Having to find a way to accommodate a bigger salary. Duchene is in the ballpark of 6 mil. Grigorenko, Bourque and Wiercioch combined are 2.75 mil.

    C) Difficulty moving a bigger salaried player. Plekanec is a 6 mil cap hit through 2018 with a modified NTC. Plus, he’s having his worst season. Any other big salaried names create voids for you if you move them. Plus, you’re looking to add to you’re depth not subtract from it.


    D) With all the injuries, MTL is dealing from a point of weakness. Getting those 3 out of Colorado, helps your team now without having to part with too much.

    MTL due to their current injuries maybe unable to make a deal at all, right now because they lack the depth to.

    • Grigorenko,weircoch and bourque? Why oh why would they want them? If beregivin makes a move it will be for a duschene type not 3 below avg players

  14. Eric Francis is a clown. Though I agree with him and would love Iginla back in Calgary to retire a Flame (if he chooses to retire at seasons end), Francis is contradicting what he said when Iginla was initially traded from Calgary.

    • Calgary flames have no need for a washed up old player. Nor should any team. Iginla brings no worth to any team. He has no skil left…his experience and heart are sure doing wonders for the young group in Colorado. Yes Iggy was great and we all respect him blah blah blah…but he no longer holds any value.

  15. @Striker

    U forgot when forward passes were not allowed.
    Bringing up rule changes is touchy but things change.
    Thats life & also hockey.