Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 29, 2017

by | Jan 29, 2017 | Rumors | 25 comments

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning listen to offers for Tyler Johnson?

Latest on the Lightning, Bruins, Sabres and Islanders in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith speculates the Lightning’s trade of defenseman Nikita Nesterov last week to the Montreal Canadiens could be the start of moves by general manager Steve Yzerman to prepare for the June expansion draft and the club’s upcoming salary-cap crunch. If the Lightning face missing the playoffs, a trade of pending free-agent goaltender Ben Bishop before the March 1 deadline could be worth considering. Smith also suggests it could be worthwhile listening to offers for center Tyler Johnson if the Bolts feel they cannot afford to re-sign Johnson and fellow restricted free agents Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Smith, I don’t expect Yzerman to blow up his roster if the Bolts are out of contention by the deadline. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he entertains offers for Bishop. I can see him trying to peddle center Valtteri Filppula to free up some salary-cap room and to protect another player from the expansion draft. I don’t think he’s keen to move Johnson, but if he goes that route I expect it’ll happen in the offseason. 

CSNNE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty doesn’t see the Boston Bruins being a major buyer or seller at the trade deadline, noting they don’t want to trade their young pieces while most of their core players, such as David Krejci, don’t want to move. He believes the Bruins won’t get a true No. 1 defenseman unless they’re willing to give up a promising young asset such as Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy. He also rejects the notion the New York Islanders will trade center John Tavares, let alone that the Bruins should pursue him.

Haggerty also said the Bruins currently don’t have a plan to acquire an experienced backup goaltender. Haggerty also feels GM Don Sweeney is “a bit overmatched” wheeling and dealing with his fellow general managers.  He also doesn’t think it’s clear head coach Claude Julien won’t be fired this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The biggest move the Bruins might make by the deadline is a coaching change. Even then, I don’t think that’s the right course of action. Julien shouldn’t be made the scapegoat for the Bruins’ depleted roster. If they make any significant moves, such as pursuing Shattenkirk, they’ll likely wait for the offseason.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington wonders what the Toronto Maple Leafs “will do about making a move on St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk.” He also notes the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings have scouted each other of late, suggesting the Kings could use someone like Sabres winger Evander Kane. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s performance has improved in recent weeks, putting him within range of 30 goals this season. Perhaps he might thrive under a no-nonsense coach such as Darryl Sutter. The Kings will have over $6 million in prorated salary-cap space by the trade deadline (over $12 million if Jonathan Quick remains on LTIR), so they can afford to take on Kane’s $5.25 million cap hit for this season and next. However, the Kings must also ensure they have sufficient cap space to re-sign RFAs Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks observes the New York Islanders improved performance of late. He wonders if GM Garth Snow might acquire Detroit Red Wings winger (and former Islander) Thomas Vanek as a playoff rental. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles are within five points of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. If they continue to improve, perhaps Snow will become a buyer. Remains to be seen if he’ll go after Vanek, who could be re-signed by the Red Wings. 


  1. Of all of the GM’s in the league, Stevie Y may be the least concerned about “this year”. A rational assesment requires mentally penciling Stamkos back into the lineup,d not oly considering his points but the derivitive effects. And the Setroit background stresses long-term competitiveness over peak year performance. When two GM’s have different points of view, interesting deals can happen as it is more likely to find something that is “good for both teams”. I think the Bolt’s roster of core names is only five or six long if there is value to be had — I expect ‘proven for prospects’ deals from the Lightning to fill in the defensive side of the pipeline.

    • I guess the issue with not worrying about this year is that a)Stamkos has missed large stretches of time before, and it did not have a negative impact on the team, and 2)The Lightning Defense has been abysmal, and the bolts probably won’t be able to address the issue until after the expansion draft, when everyone else in the league is also trying to fill holes.

  2. Please no Vanek. We have enough headaches here already.

  3. At this point I just hope there is a deal. Any deal involving anybody… We might have to wait until late June early July this year….Boston has defence coming up and Toronto will stay with their drafting plan. Do not expect much from them…. Tampa have some roster issues and certainly will pull the trigger

  4. If The Lightning are out of it by the deadline, MTL might want Brian Boyle. He’s a much better centre with size than Hanzal.

    • I love that Idea 🙂

  5. Carolina has 5 games before they start their team break. They have to win 3 of 5 and they have to play to the level they were playing before the last 6 games or they will start to try and move UFA’s.

    Carolina’s most valuable UFA is Hainsey. He would be a good addition for a team looking for defensive depth. He has a low cap hit, can play either side, plays pk, plays 3 on 3 and can play with any type of defensive partner. Another plus is that he will not impact a teams expansion draft roster. Trading Hainsey would give Carolina a chance to evaluate some of their AHL defensive prospects before the offseason.
    I could see Rutherford having interest in Hainsey and wanting to move before the deadline.

    • Hainsey to Pittsburgh seems like a very realistic trade possibility. It’s likely that he would be receptive to that deal, since he holds the record for games played without appearing in a Stanley Cup playoff game. What’s more, Rutherford surely would like to have another defenseman who is over 5’9′, 175 pounds, and who would come cheaply. However, Hainsey has been a minus player for most years of his career. Assuming that you’ve watched him often, how good is this guy? Is he worth an asset when Rutherford has Tim Erixson available without giving up anything?

      • Hainsey. Columbus, Atlanta, Winnipeg & Carolina over the last 12 years of his career. Playing against the other teams best players in almost every stop. Need I address his +/- issues in any other way? Ha-ha!

  6. LA may be one of the few teams that protects 4D in the expansion draft.

    • To get Kane it will likely cost Muzzin.

      Buffalo is another team that could protect 4 dmen.

      A potentiometer deal could be Kane and Kulikov for Muzzin+. Then LA could go 7-3-1.

      Buffalo is not trading Kane portland picks and prospects unless that prospect is a grade A one on defense.

      • To get Kane it will likely cost Muzzin???

        There is zero chance Kane lands Muzzin. Muzzin just proved he’s one of the best all-round defencemen in the league by making Team Canada’s stacked World Cup roster and annually has one of the best possession stats. Add to that he has an awesome contract of $4 mill per year for the next 3 years and the fact Kane has a very shady and inconsistent career and you’ll see my point.

        If that not enough for you, defensemen are way more valuable than wingers, just look at what it took to get Larsson out of NJ, and Muzzin is better than Larsson and Kane is no where near Hall.

      • Kane & contract isn’t worth half a Muzzin…

      • Kulikov is a UFA. It will cost more than Kane to get Muzzin significantly more. Muzzin is signed long term 3 more years at 4 mil per, Kane for 1 more year at 5.25!

        Put down that pipe.

    • Really, who’s #4, McNabb or Forbert? Doughty, Muzzin & Martinez are top 3. That would only leave spots for these 4 forwards. Kopitar, Carter, Tiffoli & Pearson.

      • I would say Forbort would be #4, given his age, draft position, age and the way he has really busted out for the Kings this year. He has basically been on the top pair with Doughty most of the season and has held his own quite nicely. The Kings love slow playing their prospects and it’s once again proving to be the right move with Forbort.

        But yes you are correct, that means only Carter, Toffoli, Pearson and Kopitar will be protected up front. Which means McNabb is likely picked by LV, unless of course McPhee has a serious brain fart and picks Brown.

      • I assume the player lost would be Clifford, Dowd, Mcnabb or Andrehoff. I guess gaborik might be a possibility.

  7. The Nesterov trade is very odd. He was essentially dressing at the #5 spot when ever dressed & had played 35 of 50 games. A young kid that looks like he has an NHL future as at least a #^ & TB got nothing in return. He would have had to clear waivers so all that TB really accomplished was to free up a roster spot on the NHL roster. Racine still counts as 1 of their 50 NHL contracts. They stayed at 47.

    I think this may relate to TB opening a spot to add a Dman in trade. Being only 6 points out a playoff spot with 2 games in hand on Boston for 3rd in the Atlantic & 5 behind Philadelphia having played the same # of games for the last wildcard spot with 32 games to go doesn’t sound like a sell of for me.

  8. Boston has now played 2 games with a fully healthy roster for the 1st time all season. In the last game against Pittsburgh, it was the 1st game this season that Spooner has played C. He centered the 3rd line with Belesky & Schaller. Now we just need to give him a scoring RW, would like to see Czarnik get a shot their 1st, failing that a trade maybe.

  9. Evander Kane’s improvement started right when it should have & as I expressed long ago. He needed time to over come his own injury & Buffalo specifically needed Eichel back in the line up to make it harder for teams to check 1 line & balance out the scoring.

    Since Knae returned from injury here are his FP’s by week. Bonus points are awarded for PPG’s, SHG’s & OTG’s but to get a and FP he has to have had a real life point.

    Staring in week #5 after returning from injury here is his production by week in our leagues. 1,1,3,3,3,1,2,1,2,3,4&4. Yes some of those are bonus points but talk about consistency, it doesn’t get much better than that.

    • I stand by all the comments I have made about Kane when ever discussed. Essentially Buffalo’s #1 LW even though he doesn’t play on the 1st line nor 1st PP unit but by TOI/GP; 4th for forwards in Buffalo, & points he is their best. He won’t be traded until he is close to the expiry of his contract next years deadline, Buffalo gets an offer to good to refuse, not a fair trade & certainly not under value in anyway, or he’s part of the compensation paid to get a top 3 Dman.

  10. if anyone can give me an update on the state of Tyler Tofolli of the LA Kings. Is he coming back after the allstar break…???? thanks

    • Kings remain hopeful that he’ll return shortly after the All-Star break. No word for sure when.

  11. Could see the Isles potentially being in the market for a rental but who won’t be? I suspect there will be good prices to be had for those selling. The Isles still need to prepare for the expansion draft which likely means moving a D man between now and then.

  12. I think Sid the Kid was talking to Paul Coffey about him signing back in Pitts for the remainder of this season and playoffs.