Latest on the Lightning, Flyers and Sabres – February 21, 2017

by | Feb 21, 2017 | Rumors | 28 comments

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning move Ben Bishop at the trade deadline?

A look at possible moves by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres in your NHL rumor mill. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES:  Joe Smith reports the Tampa Bay Lightning’s recent improvement could complicate things for general manager Steve Yzerman leading up to the March 1 trade deadline, particularly involving pending free agents such as goalie Ben Bishop and center Brian Boyle. The Bolts are now only five points out of a wild-card spot. Yzerman said he’s not staging a fire sale and will make moves only if it makes sense for his club.

Smith assumes Yzerman seeks help for his blueline, noting the Bolts and defense-rich Nashville Predators recently scouted each other. However, Yzerman isn’t seeking a rental player. If the Lightning can move a contract like Valtteri Filppula’s or Jason Garrison’s, it would free up additional cap space to re-sign key forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin.  A high number of teams with limited salary-cap room makes trades difficult, as does concern over the expansion draft in June. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly have interest in Boyle. Smith recently said things are quiet on the Bishop trade front. of late he’s been playing his best hockey of the season. That should boost Bishop’s trade value, but could also make him invaluable to the Bolts’ playoff hopes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tough situation for Yzerman. Does he become a buyer and go for a playoff spot, hoping the eventual return of sidelined captain Steven Stamkos puts them over the top? Or does he look to get the best return he can for Bishop and Boyle? Their performance in their remaining games leading up to the March 1 trade deadline could determine which direction Yzerman takes. 

COURIER POST: David Isaac believes the Philadelphia Flyers need a scoring winger or a second-line center. Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene could fill both roles but the Avs asking price is expensive. While Flyers GM Ron Hextall could afford to part with a young defense or goalie prospect, Isaac speculates he’s unwilling to move his first-round pick, though this year’s draft isn’t that strong. As for pending UFA defensemen Mark Streit, Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zotto, Isaac thinks Hextall will keep one at most. One of their goalies (Steven Mason and Michal Neuvirth) could fetch something in return at the deadline. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio believes there’s no moves Hextall can make to improve his club without mortgaging the future. He believes the Flyers GM has to be a seller at the trade deadline. Panaccio suggests Streit and Del Zotto could help other clubs. Given the Avalanche’s high asking prices for Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, he’s not surprised that Hextall won’t get into the bidding. Panaccio also dismisses calls from some Flyers followers for captain Claude Giroux to be dealt, saying there’s no indication from Flyers management that this is even being contemplated. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are only three points out of a wild-card spot. I think Hextall waits to see how his club perform leading up to the deadline. If they lose more ground in the standings, I expect he’ll be a seller. Streit, Del Zotto, Schultz, Mason or Neuvirth could hit the block. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, John Vogl observes that Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane’s trade value has never been higher, thanks to his run of 21 goals in his last 36 games. He feels Sabres GM Tim Murray should trade Kane only if he’s unwilling to re-sign a contract extension. Kane is signed through next season and eligible for UFA status in 2018. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres need skilled top-four depth on their blueline. If Murray gets an offer of a good young defenseman for Kane, he could seriously consider it. 


  1. Sabres aren’t making the playoffs this year, it’s thought that Guhle will be ready next year so why trade for a like defenseman? We aren’t high scoring as it is and if Kane is now playing the way GMTM envisioned when he traded for him then I have to agree with Vogl, only trade him if he’s not willing to sign an extension. Kane’s game has changed drastically as it’s not fly down the boards and shoot 25 footers as he normally did…He is now looking to make plays and has scored most of those goals crashing the net. I would like to see the Sabres get a good stay at home defenseman that is good in his own end which Franson,Gorges and Bogosian aren’t. I think with a weaker draft crop this year the Sabres #1 could come into play plus maybe using a prospect etc can secure such a defenseman. JMO

    • Buffalo is in an interesting spot but as mentioned they arnt searious contenders. They could possibly explore options for Kane, but in all honesty i wonder if theres a market for griginson or foligino.

      If the money worked, i wonder if the ducks could put something interesting together for the players noted above.

      That should be their first call.

      • Don’t know what the interest level would be because of the 4.6 cap hit but Tyler Ennis can be added to that list Twin…probably more of a off season trade candidate as he needs a change but he is always going to be a hit away from retirement.

  2. As I mentioned the other day Garrison although carrying a 4.6 mil per cap hits only has a 2.5 mil salary next season. Buyout is less than 850K for 2 years, freeing up slightly more than 3.75 next season. Garrison has not played well this season. I see no trade market for him. It may not be solely his fault as his partner Sustr has been brutal as well. He has played significantly better since TB reworked their pairings. Has been playing with Stralman during this up tick in play by TB.

    • Garrison will be bought out this off season. Teams wont take a short term on him with the cap hit that he carries.

      The playoff race in the east will start to separate soon. Certain teams will throw in the towel early and try to get the jump on quality returns (Philly, Buffalo, NJ). Canes and Wings seem to know their fate.

      Expect the wild card race to be Ottawa, Toronto, Florida, Boston, NYI and Tampa.

      I would expect to see Tampa on the outside looking in along with Boston and NYI. Toronto, Florida and Ottawa should make up the final two seeds in the Atlantic and then the final wild card spot. Bolts will be the closest team on the outside looking in and it should come right down to the wire.

      • Montreal & Ottawa may be in trouble. Montreal is in free fall again. Ottawa had better hope Hoffman & Stone’s injuries aren’t serious. Neither was put on IR & both are travelling with the Senators so that appears positive.

        NYI starts a 7 game road trip. That will detrmine their fate I believe.

        Going to be an interesting run for the playoffs. Semi artificial due to the NHL’s stupid 3 point system but it is the current system as much as i hate it.

      • I suspect the Isles fall out of the race in the next bit as they play on the road a lot and haven’t been great away from home. Of course this may not have a huge impact on the trade market as they don’t have a lot pending UFA’s to deal.

        It would appear there isn’t a lot of interest in Halak. They could look at dealing Kuleman and a couple of D men to prep for the expansion draft but we’ll see.

    • He’s an interesting case in that (eyeball test of a season ticket holder) he has lost a step going up and down the ice but is otherwise very effective. So if you transition him from an all-over-the-ice player to a stay-at-home defenceman there is value there, especially on a team where the D overall is thin. It’s a contract the Bolts would love to move, and I’m thinking more than one playoff team could slot him in their third pairing & improve considerably. The fanbase would take the risk of letting him go for a 3rd to allow Tyler Johnson to stay, 7 forcing KeoKeok into the lineup to see what happens, IMO. Wouldn’t necessarily kill all chance.

    • Garrison been playing with Stralman.
      Hedman dotchin
      Stralman garrison
      Sustr coburn

      If yzerman is going to make a trade anywhere its going to come at a high price. The asking price for Boyle is a first rounder so I can only guess what he wants for bishop

  3. With the loser point 3 is really 6 and 5 is really 10 points back in comparison to the day …. TBay is very thin after Hedman and Stralman and need help…Something is up with Calgary. Nice grab with Stone for a third and a conditional . Not sure if in the long range plans or someone else is now in play or simply a flip at the deadline

    • Stone played in the wHL for the Hitman. His wife is from Calgary. They just had twins!

      I think this is Calgary playing the UFA game. They won’t have to protect him for expansion. They will be able to resign him easier than all other teams & won’t have to wait until July 1st.

      As soon as the expansion draft has passed they lock Stone up. Solid top 4 dman that can play a 2 way game.

      Very smart play by Calgary. Wideman will be gone by the deadline.

    • U laugh but i wonder if the right deal comes calling into the coyotes if they consider trading OEL. I doubt they do but can you imagine what he could fetch at the deadline

  4. Anyone know what the asking price is for Bishop?

    • It’s not the asking price that’s the problem but his salary demands.

      • Very true. Pay a team to acquire him. Then pay an UFA price to resign him. That’s why I see Philly going after Halak a more realistic possibility.

      • Halak is a solid tendy. I think the Isles made a mistake in how they managed their goalie situation this year.

      • Bigboss, I don’t take issue with you saying the Isles made a mistake. I do take issue with the use of the singular pronoun 🙂 The Isles make many mistakes, this was simply another one.

  5. Boyle makes sense in Edmonton as they continue to improve in the standings and look to compliment offence with grit. Columbus is already a defensive dynamo and Toronto needs to stick to the plan! Tampa needs to realize that they have to get something for Bishop. I never used to think that way regarding Tampa but this year they are simply not a contender.

  6. Nobody wants to talk today!

    • Get’s tiring beating the same bushes over & over.

    • Nylander is great. Nylander sucks. Don’t trade Carlo or mcalvoy. Polak for a 2nd. Dusch landy too expensive. Trade proposal- Montreal junk for good player. Etc etc

  7. I am a Leaf fan but I don’t want to believe the Habs will fall out of the play-offs. Right now they are one of the worse teams in the league. The Leafs are not playing that much better but they are better. Right The Panthers, NYI and Boston look to be the favourites for the playoffs while Tampa, Buffalo and TO are there but Tampa doesn’t look like they will make it. If the Habs continue the free fall they might just not make it even with Julien?

    • I guess you too are counting the Sens out.

      • Updating what I posted a couple of weeks back, if 96 points is going to be the cut-off to qualify for the playoffs (that’s the east average over the past 3 seasons) and based upon the points % so far for each team (% of possible points earned to date) here is the current % pace for each team seeking to make it followed by the % needed to get to 96 from this point on (Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbus and NYR are locks for 4 of the 8)

        Mtl 59gp .593 – .565
        Ott 57gp .596 – .560
        Fla 58gp .569 – .625
        Tor 58gp .560 – .646
        Bos 59gp .559 – .652
        NYI 58gp .552 – .667
        Pha 59gp .534 – .717
        Car 55gp .509 – .741
        TBL 58gp .517 – .750
        Buf 60gp .517 – .773
        NJD 59gp .508 – .783
        Det 59gp .492 – .826

        Only Ott and Mtl can afford slight dips in their % pace while FLA. TO and Bos each need to increase their pace by about .090 (and FLA is trending in that direction). For the rest it appears to be lights out play from here on in or pack it up for the season. I don’t see any of them increasing their % level to the degrees shown.

        With those devastating injuries, and unless Hoffman and Stone can return soon and an adequate replacement for Ryan is found, it seems Ottawa will be on the outside looking in at game 82 with Mtl, Tor, Fla and Bos all making it.

      • Tough to say with the Sens I think on one hand it’s 3 of their best forwards on the other hand they have been winning games with good goaltending more than offence imo Never know maybe someone steps up or an affordable pick up keeps them going the same way Condon has showed.

  8. One of the other sites is saying that Galchenyuk might be available to get Duchene. If that is so they might be able to give a first and a young defenseman for him but then should expect at least a third pick or a rental back?

    It also says the Oilers need a good face-off guy, depth D and a back up goalie. Bozak would be a good pickup because he has term and could be a veteran 2/3 center. Probably get him cheap like a second and a prospect. That would free them to trade RNH for other needs. I still think Driasitl needs to be a center? The Leafs could also provide a depth dman cheap?

    The Stone trade places a price on those UFA dman rentals as a third pick. Del Zotto, Streit(?), Pollack, Hunwick, Franson, etc, etc all fit in that group. Shattenkirk is at a totally different level. I could see the Blues getting a second and a prospect that turns into a first if he resigns?

    Yes I am a Leafs fan but I don’t think I overvalue them in these trades. I also don’t think they should go after Shattenkirk or any other rental?

  9. I’m not sure what the Pilly writers think the Flyers are going to get for a couple of meh goalies. I would group them in a similar class as Halak and we saw the overwhelming interest there when he could have been picked up for free on waivers. Bishop and MAF are both floating around in the rumours. I suspect that if the Flyers move a goalie it’s for a late round pick that doesn’t really make much difference.

  10. More then likely the Lightning will have to try & trade Filppula & Callahan. I can’t see how they let Johnson or Drouin go. They’ll want to resign them.