NHL Rumor Mill – January 9, 2017

by | Jan 9, 2017 | Rumors | 51 comments

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk could head to an East Coast team this summer via free agency.

Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk and Steve Mason plus updates on the Leafs and Lightning in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: On Jan. 6, Chris Nichols cited NHL analyst Darren Dreger appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050 speculating about potential destinations this summer for St. Louis Blues pending free-agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Noting Shattenkirk’s preference to play on the American eastern seaboard, Dreger suggests the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers as possible landing spots. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the free-agent destination talk about Shattenkirk has the Bruins and Rangers as the likely destinations. Given the Flyers depth in good young defensemen, I doubt they’ll want to saddle themselves with an expensive blueliner. Depending on the play of Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, they could be in the market for a starting goalie this summer. 

Nichols also cited analyst Elliotte Friedman appearing on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 and discussing the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs pursuing a defenseman before the trade deadline. While it’s no secret the Leafs need another key blueliner, Friedman points out the market for such players is very expensive right now. If the Leafs trade winger James van Riemsdyk, they would be hoping to land a defenseman. Friedman notes Arizona Coyotes blueliner Michael Stone could be a good rental player, but he’s not sure the Leafs would pay the price because they’re looking at the long-term picture. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Leafs keeping an eye on the trade market near the deadline for an affordable rental player, someone who won’t cost them either quality player, high draft pick or top prospect. They won’t overpay for someone like Stone. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: On Saturday, Joe Smith reported Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is looking for help for his struggling team. Smith notes the roster needs a shakeup and badly needs another top-four defenseman. Yzerman is finding it challenging, noting the high number of teams with limited salary-cap space, the limited number of sellers and June’s expansion draft is affecting the trade market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All it takes is for one significant deal to take place and the market should open up. Problem is, that might not happen until late-January or early-February. That could be too late to help the struggling Lightning.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi speculates a strong second-half performance by goaltender Steve Mason could earn him a new contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. He speculates Mason could get a short-term contract to bridge the gap until their promising goalie prospects are ready to move up. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Should Mason and Michal Neuvirth struggle over the rest of the season, neither will be re-signed. Both are UFAs in July. Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop could be available by then. 


  1. If the cost for Landeskog is. too high for the Bruins I wonder if they might not consider a guy like JVR. Not just for the obvious he wouldn’t take as much to acquire (they keep Carlo and McAvoy possibly give up Zobril) and but also he wouldn’t need as much house cleaning to fit under the cap for the next season and a half.

    • Not entirely sure the Leafs have interest in dealing anything to the Bruins… and likewise.

      Both teams battling for playoffs and mostly those last few spots in the standings as there’s only 3 points separating them. Leafs with games in hand. Doesn’t make sense to give the Bruins a piece that fits in right now and bolsters their run… at least from a competitive standpoint.

      Makes more sense for the Leafs to deal JVR elsewhere.

      I do agree that it seems currently that Landeskog is too pricey to trade for. He’s having a down year but seems that his price is set as high as possible. Maybe it moves down a bit but I don’t think the Avalanche are in any rush.

      • I don’t see the impediment to a TOR/BOS trade as being competitiveness for a playoff spot – despite the standings, the Leafs are undoubtedly thinking longer term.

        The issue IMO is more that JVR for Zboril doesn’t make sense. What is Zboril going to do for the Leafs? In 3 years, challenge Gardiner or Rielly for a spot on the left side?

        Dumba, Manson, etc, is the type of piece we want IMO.

        The price on Landeskog is currently absurd, but will come down. Zboril, Debrusk, Morrow plus a 1st according to Dater – I don’t think so.

        The formula for trading a young-ish 1st/2nd line scoring winger is a 1st plus a roster player or a prospect. Meaning, 1st plus one of those prospects.

      • Not very often teams battling for a playoff spot would make a trade like that?

      • Dan39,

        Agree to disagree then. Although I do understand that the Leafs are building towards the future… they’re also not looking to tank. If they can make the playoffs they will do just that. The league is about revenue and the owners want their teams to make the playoffs no matter what.

        I don’t see them sending a winger who would undoubtedly bolster the Bruins offense and help them make a run into the playoffs when they’re only 3 points apart.

        I do agree with you regarding the LH side and Zboril fitting in a few years… from that standpoint it doesn’t make as much sense either.

        Landeskog’s price is absurdly high right now. Especially for someone who is having a down year to say the least. I realize everyone chants “intangibles intangibles intangibles” but teams aren’t going to give up that big of a package for someone who’s struggling right now. If he catches fire this month and gets hot then maybe towards the deadline. Otherwise the Avalanche will need to bring the price down or just be patient. I don’t think there is an immediate NEED to move him.

      • Indeed Chad, the Leafs will make the playoffs if they can and management has made statements along those lines, talking about the importance for development of playing meaningful games and so on.

        Having said that, I think this management group is pretty sober in their assessments and is still viewing this as a long term rebuild, with the current performance being them playing a bit above the level of where they’re really at rather than this really being a playoff team that you start thinking about fine tuning.

      • Who says anything about it has to happen now? Or trade deadline? I get they are battling for a playoff spot but Landeskog isn’t exactly a rental. If the Bruins are looking at that type a guy it’s more long term than just to make the playoffs. If they can’t or don’t see the justification in cost maybe they don’t do a deal right away, doesn’t mean the need is any less. I was just kinda spitballing but if the Bruins can’t find away to fill that need in season maybe it waits and is looked at in the offseason, if the Leafs were to hang on to JVR for a run there is something to be revisited there. Not like the Leafs and Bruins don’t do deals. As far as Zobril being LH and the Leafs apparent need for a rightie currently the Leafs have 2 UFA and 2rfa D on their roster I think they maybe looking for more than just 1 elusive right handed top pair guy down the road and you can never have enough D.

    • I take JVR in Boston but maybe its a deal done in the summer. Answer me this leaf fans, why is his name in the rumour mix. He’s still relatively young, very good hockey player can still score, hit etc. Great to have youth but doesn’t he give you stability and secondary scoring and grit?

      • Caper the need for a right handed defenceman cap issues in 2/3 years and a lack of better tradable assets right now. Not giving up the kids so JVR becomes the obvious choice

      • I think he is in the mill right now more due to the amount of more affordable options the Leafs will have coming down the road Caper. JVR is going to be a costly contract for a team that will likely trying to resign 3 or 4 other very costly contracts within 2 years, a luxury they won’t be able to afford when you consider their choices at wing. I for one hope that for once Leafs management doesn’t hold on to a player too long as they have showed in the past. JVR is a good player move him while he has value.

      • Caper, people moan on about JVR not being physical enough, not enough compete, not responsible enough defensibly, etc – it’s the normal list of complaints you can draw from and apply to 95% of the players in the league.


        29 pts in 40 gp last season before twisting his ankle or whatever it was (0.73 ppg)

        33 pts in 39 gp this season (0.85 ppg), running a bit hot on SH%

        That’s legit 1st line production in the NHL and the Leafs would only move him for a commensurate return that addresses the glaring weakness of the right-side D and fits with the age group of their core.

    • Also, doesn’t have to be a JVR blockbuster trade. What about C Miller from the Bruins? He’s a right shot, looked good against the Leafs, currently getting only 15-16 minutes per night.

      Presumably if McAvoy makes the team next year, Miller has less room for growth in minutes.

      Polak plus Leipsic for C. Miller.

      Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
      Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid/Replacement
      K Miller – McAvoy

      • Send it! Sweeney will sign immediately

      • rather try to move Krug with a piece and keep C Miller who can play the same way as Krug and is bigger…

    • The way you worded it just felt like you were referring to inseason with regards to the cap and not having to clear much for next season.

      Maybe they do a deal in the offseason, however, I think the Bruins are more likely to target a bigger move to help the roster sooner rather than later. Their playoff hopes are hanging by a mere thread. The last month or so has been rough and that’s to put it kindly.

      I could see them making a move in the offseason as well but just felt more like they were looking to make an immediate move.

    • Don’t think the leafs move him for anything but an either nhl ready now d (carlo, and no I wouldn’t do it from Bostons prospective)) or NHL projected next year d. Zboril wouldn’t get it done.

      • Part of a package I think it would. The good old 2nd round pick a prospect (Zobril) or 2 and some utility type player with a year left on his contract that us Leaf fans could pump the tires on till he gets moved at the trade deadline. Jimmy Hayes perhaps? lol thus turning JVR in to a couple decent picks and a good prospect or the other way around with a couple decent prospects and a pick that’s about what I could see a good winger with 1 full year left on a deal being worth. I’m not so sure unless the Leafs add to a deal that JVR nets an NHL ready, good RHD unless it was from a team losing one in expansion and at that point I might question the quality of that D

      • Have some f’n pride as a leafs fan. The sell ride has to end somewhere and the leafs skillfully and luckily pulled it off. You have enough young talent to be a competitor in the years to come… except at d. Jvr is worth a top 4 d man even if leafs have to toss in slightly. Time to go for it (2017-18) and swim with the big boys. No more hiding loss behind rebuild. IMO of course. ?

      • If he had another year or 2 on that contract I’d agree he is but 1 year of JVR is not worth a the legendary right handed top 4 d unless it’s a team that has expansion issues, and if you’re a team with expansion issues the D you may have to move might not really be that much better or it could easily be that with in a year or 2 the prospect (Zobril) may turn out to be better than the expansion option rather quickly.

  2. What is the cap situation for the Lightning? According to CapFriendly they have no space $0. Now they could put Stamkos on LTIR but if they’re making a hockey trade it’s likely a player coming back with term. That won’t make the situation easier when Stamkos returns.

    Something tells me their options are quite limited at this point in time… minor moves maybe but otherwise the roster shaking will need to take place in the offseason

    • The lightning might have to give away a pick/prospect to dump some salary like a fillipula,Callahan or coburn

      • That’s what I was thinking. Only logical way would be a “hockey trade” where money is moving both ways and the Lightning pitch in extra to make it enticing.

        Not really sure how much roster shaking they can actually pull off. In season changes are difficult. We see teams struggling to make even minor moves let alone big roster changing moves.

    • Stamkos is already on LTIR. TB has 7.6 mil & change to spend if so inclined.

  3. Leafs and Bruins have made deals in the past…..The trading right now is constipated .Have to make a move but can’t.

    • They’ve made a total of 4 trades between each other in a decade. 1 of which was only rights that were traded. So a total of 3 trades that involved a player(s) moving. Of the 3 trades, 1 happened in season and that was Kaberle. The other 2 were off season moves (Kessel and Raycroft)

  4. Shattenkirk to the Bruins or Rangers in the offseason. Seems like the most logical and likely destinations. Would love to add Shattenkirk to the Bruins but only if they decide to let JML walk and at some point between now and then trade K. Miller or McQuaid. That’ll move out money and add some space.

    I think McAvoy has a good shot at making the team and starting next season. Bruins need to have available space in the lineup. The players below are who I’d like to see for defenseman next season.

    Krug (unless you can move for a winger)
    C. Miller
    McQuaid or K. Miller (trade 1)

    • I think most Bruins fans hope Maquaid or K.Miller get chosen in the expansion draft. Hopefully Sweeney keeps enough cap space available for Shattenkirk. That’s why Landeskog isn’t a great idea now. Unless they can shed some salary another way like Krug or Krejci.

    • If Boston is to acquire Shattenkirk, then best be trading Krug. Having both be a luxury but not practical for cap reason and structure. Krug is 7 among d in assit, after having two season of double digit scoring had 3 last year and one this year. Shattenkirk is more complete with better size but how much will he demand on the open market? if it’s 7m then the Bruins best be walking on by.

    • giving Krug that contract was a mistake I wonder if anyone would want him at that price

      • Given a choice of Krug or Shattenkirk I’ll take Krug. Shattenkirk is going to get 7 years at 6.5 mil plus. Last year both posted 44 points. Shattenkirk minus 14, Krug plus 9. Shattenkirk has 450 games of NHL regular season experience, now fully developed. Krug just over 250. 2 years still from showing us the player he will be. Krug is a shooting machine. The reason he gets so many assists.

        Getting your shot off & on net is huge in the NHL. Krug was 4th last season for shots by Dman in the entire NHL. 4 shots out of 2nd, sits tied for 4th this season.

        This hate you guys have for Krug is shocking to me. He is a stud young offensive Dman that’s not a total train wreck defensively & is going to get better in both regards over the next 2 to 3 seasons.

        He currently sits 13th in scoring B Dman. This after major off season shoulder surgery & a really slow start due to such. Most teams in the NHL would kill to have such a player.

  5. If TB is really looking to shake things up, maybe the should pitch Filpulla for Shattenkirk for a rental to get them back in the playoff picture.

    • Fillpula plus,plus,plus?

      • It would have to be Filppula +… there’s no way he gets Shattenkirk alone even with his impending FA.

        Filppula also has a NMC and is signed for another season. Would the Blues be interested in that type of deal? Something tells me the Blues are looking for cheaper end, younger end, talent and “A” level prospects for Shattenkirk. Things they can use to build with or add and will be the future.

      • With Stastny, Lehtera, Berglund, Brodziak at C & Steen, Schwartz & Fabbri all capable of playing C why would StL want an overpaid 3rd line C in Filppula?

  6. Flip & Callahan have no-movement clauses. Need to move both somehow, tho to protect Kucherov/Johnson/Palat …probably will lose one to the draft anyhow. But must, I think protect Kooch.
    I suspect Bishop stays with the Lightning. He is an UFA, so won ‘t be drafted, then can sign back. With one less triplet to sign & Callahan/Filpula/Coburn/Garrison adjusted, team can afford a Vezina quality goalie. Only reason he is not extended is the upcoming draft. I think, like Stamkos, he wants to be here, it’s a good fit, and there are enough young forwards to manage the cap (including four more coming from the Canadian world junior team) and still bring in some D, tho not at the expense of a Shettenkirk level salary. Vasyeleski needs another year or 2- he’s not played a lot of NHL games, and his rebound control
    and puck handling are not at playoff level yet. Might have to tough out this year due to cap issues as the D you need to bring in cost more than the young talent you’ll have to move to get them. The Lightning history of not overpaying suggest someone else would give more for a decent young defenceman now than Steve Y, if one were on the market.

    • I don’t see any reason for tb to keep bishop he is gonna want a lot of money, and isn’t much better than vasy

    • There seems to be 1 significant factor you guys seem not to be accounting for. 48 hours after the Stanley Cup is awarded teams are allowed to buy players out.

      If Players like Filppula, Bieksa, etc. who have NMC’s but don’t agree to waive their NMC’s to be exposed for expansion what do you think these teams are going to do? They are going to buy them out. Their NMC’s don’t protect them from being bought out.

      A few of teams will use this option even on players who have more than 1 season remaining this summer like Filppula; TB, Pominville; Minny; Hartnell; should Clb really want out of his deal, even Fleury; if Pit can’t find a trade partner but simply don’t see that being an issue bit if push came to shove they will do what is ever necessary to protect Murray over Fleury.

  7. Off topic to the stories, but the emergence of Tyler Parsons and the current standings in the West have (to me, at least) made the landing spot for Fleury for obvious.

    Calgary can get that playoff spot if they get some goaltending.

    Fleury has two years left after this which is a perfect timeline for bringing Parsons along.

    Elliot or Johnson would have to come back plus a pick or a D prospect.

    I think both teams erred in not getting that deal done back at the draft, but it still makes the most sense for both sides.

    *I also like the same concept with Vancouver and Miller if the Canucks want a bridge to Demko. Actually, I prefer it because Miller is better than the Flames goalies, but their need is far less than Calgary’s.

    • MG – Calgary won’t be trading for Fleury. Fleury is not playing as well as Johnson for 4 mil less a season. Fleury only has the pathetic number of wins he has because his team can score more goals than the other teams. Calgary not only has way better goal tending in Johnson right now but they have 4 very good prospects in Parsons, Gillies, Rittich, and Schneider all playing very well in their leagues. They have players they need to sign over the next 2 seasons and will not be able to afford Fleury’s outrageous salary anyway.
      You think the Flames erred in not giving away Tkachuk? that’s what the cost was for Fleury last season. Tkachuk has been the hottest rookie in the league over the last month. If Murray can stay healthy once he gets back from injury the only game time Fleury will get is regular back up time and not a single playoff game and in the off season Pittsburg will realize they are not going to get anywhere near what they think his worth is.

      Players tend to be highly motivated in contract years…Johnson is playing like he wants and deserves the big dollar and the effort Elliott is putting is embarrassing to the position he plays. No way Calgary resigns him and possibly he gets signed by no one next season. There is a huge chance of that with the effort he’s put in so far this season. There is no space for ho hum goaltenders in the league and too many great prospects out there willing to give it their all. It will be Johnson and one of the 4 prospects for Calgary next season…I would assume until Parsons is ready to take over anyway which won’t be for at least 2 more years.

      Fleury to Calgary will never happen.

    • I have always felt now that Andersen was signed by Toronto that Fleury is the best goalie available & Cal, Car & Dal are obvious landing spots.

      Cal has a serious issue like Dallas. What ails them has far more to do than just goalies. these teams overall team defensive is dismal. Like Schneider is showing in NJ even a stud goalie can look really bad playing behind a suspect D. the odd thing in Calgary is the D appears solid on paper but it hasn’t mattered regardless.

      • Sorry that didn’t come across exactly as hoped or I meant to imply. Calgary’s actual D is solid. Giordano, Hamilton, Brodie, Wideman, Englelland is a solid top 5 D. Team D is suspect.

        Sorry in South East Asia for 10 days. Been in transit for 27 hours. Spent.

      • Their D had a very slow start this season but they’ve all picked up their stats over the last 27 games. All except Brodie who is still struggling. First 15 were quite horrible. Elliott has been a huge disappointment but it doesn’t matter because Johnson is filling in as well as any goal tender in the league could. As far as the media goes in Calgary the only problem that keeps getting brought up is Brodie’s bad play and the concern that Bennett is progressing at a very slow pace.

  8. Landeskog is not the player his “character” suggests and while intangibles are valuable, he is not a front-line player, never really met expectations.JVR will stay with Leafs, I am guessing, if they remain in the playoff picture…but their fortunes might take a dive once the really tough part of the schedule hits the rookies! They also overuse Andersen right now and have no reliable backup. Bruins have little to offer for JVR even if they wanted him and I don’t think he goes to an Eastern rival, not this year.

    • Bruins have tons to offer for JVR. Bruins have all of the pieces to swing just about any trade they wish to… now would they move some of those players, probably not. They’re not going to overpay and send away a huge package of assets and be taken as foolish amongst the league. They’ve already soiled themselves enough times… I’m quite certain they’ll approach trades much more carefully than in past years.

      However, people around the league need to stop sleeping on the talent level and assets that the Bruins have in their farm. They’re amongst the top 10 in the league in terms of talent/prospects. Most of their “A” level guys are doing exceptionally well this season, which will only boost their prospect grade by team.

    • I think Landeskog is a good fit for Carolina and they have the defensive prospects and extra draft picks Colorado needs. The Canes would probably also have to part with a promising young forward. I doubt they would part with Skinner, Rask, Teravainen, Staal or Aho nor should they. Lindholm has been slow to develop but he is only 22 and is finally showing signs of what they thought he could be when he was drafted.

      The Canes desperately need to make the playoffs and turn the attendance issues around. Maybe Landeskog could be that spark. They could use a 20+ goal forward that plays with some grit and will go to the net consistently.

      It’s questionable whether Karmonas would approve spending the extra money for a 6 mill salary so Ron Francis hands may be tied.

      Ron Francis has kept his promise to ice a team that is well coached, competitive, and plays hard every night but the attendance hasn’t improved as much as the team has.

      • Leafs would also make a great trading partner for the Canes. Good post.

      • GP. Solid post. Skinner rumors have been floating for years. Concussion issues are a concern.

        Carolina will eventually relocate. Not for at least another 6 years due to lease structure but Francis has done a great job restructuring this team & in the very near future we should see those efforts rewarded.

  9. Agree Chad Bostons prospects are looking good.
    JFK had the first two goals for BU in the frozen Fenway game and a hat trick the game before. Mcavoy had the third goal in the BU game and we know what he did at the World Jrs. Synshyn had another hat trick last week I believe his fourth of the year.
    More than enough to get JVR but Sweeney isn’t giving up top prospects yet and I hope he doesn’t.

    • Dave, BOS will be giving up picks/prospects or both if it wants a quality piece back come the TDL (if you’re in contention).

      McAvoy sounds like he’s basically untouchable, which is fair enough. But, you can’t land a first line scoring winger for crappy roster players and 2nd round picks.

      Look at what you got for Lucic – essentially a 1st, another 1st after the Jones trade another piece and Miller who is probably worth a 1st himself…

      • Boston doesn’t need a 1st line LW but potentially a 2nd. Not certaion they need that either. I think Vatrano in 2 to 3 years is that player. Marchand is 1 of the best 1st line LW’s in the game. No interest in JvR & his soon to be bloated contract demands.

        Stay the course continue the rebuild, add pieces as the opportunity presents it’s elf for reasonable cost or address from with in or on the UFA market.

        With all these D prospects coming 1 or more may need to be moved in the future. The return if forwards are required will be significant.

  10. Anyone who thinks the leafs will get a Matt Dumba or a Folwer for JVR is dilusional at best. No team is going to do the leafs any favors in regards to defence. I think a good trade target although same division is buffalo.

    How about a trade centered around ristolinen ( young top right shot,draft oedegree and signed long term.

    It obviously wouldnt be cheap to aquire esp from a rival but risto and a third for the leafs first/nylander to play with his brother the sabers drafted.and jvr. Might sound like a lot but you gotta give to get. Taylor hall iis twice the player jvr is and risto in my opinion is one of the better top right shot d.

    I foubt buffao even takes that.