NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2017

by | Feb 11, 2017 | Rumors | 76 comments

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is doing his best to ignore recent trade speculation.

Updates on Kevin Shattenkirk, Evander Kane, William Nylander and Bobby Ryan in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN/SPORTSNET:  St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk spoke with the Toronto media prior to his club’s 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto regarding the trade rumor swirling about him in recent week. Pierre LeBrun reported Shattenkirk said he wasn’t troubled by the speculation, acknowledging it helped that he received less intense press coverage in St. Louis. Chris Johnston reported the blueliner was aware his status as an unrestricted free agent this summer and his club’s current struggles could result in a trade. While a sign-and-trade scenario is possible, it’s not a priority for him right now. 

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran doubted the Leafs are a fit for Shattenkirk. He cited the expense of re-signing the blueliner (at least $6 million annually on a long-term contract) and the need for sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign their rising young stars in the near future. McGran also believed the Leafs won’t part with one of their prized young assets for Shattenkirk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun and Johnston believe Shattenkirk will likely be dealt by the March 1 trade deadline, as the Blues can’t afford to lose him for nothing as they did last summer with David Backes and Troy Brouwer. The difference between their situation and Shattenkirk’s is the Blues were considered a Stanley Cup contender last season, while they’re struggling this year to remain in playoff contention. I expect the speculation will only increase leading up to deadline day.

As for the Leafs, if they’re smart they’ll look for more affordable options better suited to their rebuilding plan. They should target clubs with depth in young defensemen, such as the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild. Those clubs are likely to lose a promising blueliner in the June expansion draft, which could make them receptive to a trade. 

WGR 550:  Brayton J. Wilson reports Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray isn’t actively shopping left wing Evander Kane. However, he wouldn’t rule out a trade for the right offer. He went on to praise Kane’s game, citing his physical style and speed. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, the right offer is a good young defenseman ready to play a role on the top-four. If someone comes calling with that deal, I think Murray will listen. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman notes some people get crazy whenever Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander gets mentioned in trade rumors, suggesting the reason is there’s so few rumors right now. While noting Leafs coach Mike Babcock isn’t a big fan of some aspects of Nylander’s game, Friedman doesn’t believe management’s in a rush to move the youngster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs were offered someone like Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, I think they’ll seriously consider it. But that offer’s not coming. In my opinion, if the Leafs decide to go shopping for a top-four defenseman, they’ll do it this summer, and they should use left wing James van Riemsdyk as bait, not Nylander. van Riemsdyk is a year away from free agent and will be expensive to re-sign. Nylander’s yet to reach his full potential and should be a key part of their future. 

PRO HOCKEY RUMORS: Mike Furlano cites TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent AMA on Reddit speculating the Ottawa Senators could leave winger Bobby Ryan expose in this June’s NHL expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leaving Ryan exposed is no certainly he’ll be claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s got five years remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $7.25 million, which could prove too rich for the Knights. While he has a no-movement clause, the language in that clause actually allows him to be exposed in the draft.  


  1. It almost seems like there are 25 teams that look back at their history, figure they’ve been fleeced in deadline deals before, and don’t want to pull the trigger. Add in cap paralysis, and not many obvious rebulders, & we have a quiet season. Without the pending expansion draft, we might be talking about a sea change favoring teams that draft well and build from within. Especially when someone like the Leafs hit the rookie jackpot, This actually leaves Toronto in a great position to use their next gen pieces to balance out the roster to create a multiple year cup window. They are in a great position to trade, but I don’t think the objective should be this year’s run. Babcock has made more difference than this Leaf hater ever thought he would, so I’d certainly configure his roster for the rest of his contract term before I’d make a sacrifice to improve this year. Toronto seems to have both the most assets and most flexibility — trying to grab a Shatenkirk would seem to be a step backwards in this context.

    • Another factor hampering trades involving other than journeymen – is the necessity – unless it’s a pure “rental” deal – to protect a player picked up which could be problematic for some teams looking ahead to the expansion draft – e.g., if Ottawa ever did pony up a Chabot or White to land a Duchesne or Landescog (JUST example before someone jumps all over the idea) it cluld open someone else up at the draft that they really don’t want to expose.It’s a real balancing act.

    • Agree Richard. And you could take that theory farther with UFA signings in the off season when more mistakes are made.
      IMO the only teams that should be adding are the true contenders, WAS, PIT, CHI, MIN and that is for depth to guard against injury or the one piece.
      History shows that you need the elite players as a core to win a cup. Those that are found at the top of the draft. The odd exception shows up like Carolina in 06, but it is consistent.
      However, I also believe that some teams ownership groups own teams strictly to make money, which is their right of course.
      The playoffs are bonus time and drive the bottom line. So the goal can be to just get in consistently and have a profitable business. Hence the pressure on GM’s to make moves to that objective, not necessarily the best one to win compete for a cup 3 years down the road.
      The Leafs make more money than anybody win or lose (Forex removed), their goal is to win it all.
      Not always the case.

    • Dont matter who they draft they have have been and always will be losers. 1967, will soon be the worst in prosports in 30 more years . They are the cleveland browns of the Nhl.

      Only difference now they publically tank seasons for the shanaplan. They do have a good young center, but the hype on nylander is a little high, at best he will be a jordan eberle but without the hands

      • They will always be losers Justin?

  2. The Vegas owner coughed up HALF A BILLION for that franchise – somehow I doubt he’d be deterred by Ryan’s contract. What WOULD deter him and McPhee, however, is the production Ryan is giving for that hefty contract – which is negligible.

    • If Ryan was producing enough to make that contract look in anyway shape or form like he was worth over 7 mill and that contract was decent, I doubt we would be discussing leaving Ryan unprotected in an expansion draft.

      • Very true. But then again, Ryan has shown in the past that he can score – maybe just not while functioning in a D-first system like Boucher has installed. Maybe if he were allowed to open it up and to hell with defensive responsibilities he could be a top goal-producer again. And with an expansion team like Vegas – which will likely be more prone to playing a style that produces “excitement” for a new fan-base – he could be a poster boy for the first couple of seasons anyway.

  3. Lyle, I know the Blues would prefer a center, but wouldn’t JVR for Shattenkirk make sense? The dollars are real close–maybe some conditional picks or prospects as well.

    • It’s the upcoming contract for Shattenkirk that would be the concern for the Leafs perspective they would be unlikely to resign JVR for 6 mill plus as they would for Shattenkirk. Until they are a little more certain of what they will be paying in the future for some of the rookies I wouldn’t expect too big of contracts to be handed out by the Leafs. I’m not sure I see the fit with Shattenkirk. He would likely be paired with Gardiner and at that price for what that pair would be like defensively it could be a bit of a train wreck similar to when the brought in Phaneuf. I’m not sure the role they need filled is a player like Shattenkirk.

      • Its no fun for the bloggers, but for some teams in some years one “wins” by doing nothing. Especially true of a team like Toronto or MN that has captured an unusually good chemistry with their current group.

      • Richard, I definitely understand the “stand pat/patient/chemistry mentality if I have a top tier, cup contending team. But both the Leafs and Blues are middle of pack/bubble teams in reality and could each look for upgrades where necessary.

      • @Mark The only smart way for Toronto is to sign him as a free agent in the summer. Even then cap wise Shattenkirk to Toronto would fit only if it`s short term deal and we all know that wouldn`t be high on Shattenkirk list.

      • That’s assuming Shattenkirk wants any part of playing in TO. He wouldn’t be the first prominent UFA to look anywhere but there.

  4. Unless Murray plans on moving Gionta at the deadline, you hang on to Kane. He’s been playing respectable hockey, playing with captain Brian Gionta; and if you plan on resigning your captain, you’ll want to hang on to Evander Kane. There are other pieces BUF can leave exposed in the expansion draft (Tyler Ennis). If Tim Murray moves Evander Kane, it’ll be at next year’s deadline, not this one. Murray will want Gionta his captain and as Evander Kane’s line mate, until deadline day, 2018. That’ll give him ample time to evaluate the level of success Kane’s achieved, under the mentoring of the team captain. Kane is no where near his top 5 draft pedigree, but he’s playing significantly better than in previous years.

  5. The only way Kane goes is for a young top 4 D…Murray was on radio before a recent game and didn’t sound like he wants to part with Kane, he said he has not made any calls shopping him nor had any media leak Kane was available. He had nothing but good things to say about Kane and he brought up the off ice issues and said they should not be forgotten and they continue to work with Kane on that. Time will tell but I for one hope Kane stays.

  6. I kind of think the whole deadline trade thing is a bit overblown. It takes time for a player to fit in with the team and it’s hard to think of a deadline trade that made a huge impact on the team. It’s easier to think of deadline trades where the player didn’t seem worth it if they were a rental, just my opinion of course. My prediction for next year is that Shatenkirk Will be the worst contract signed by any team, no matter where he goes. I don’t see a situation where he is worth that much money. Again, just my opinion.

  7. I like Ekblad but when you consider he costs 7.5 for the next 6 years you wonder if that is too rich a contract as well?
    Don’t get me wrong Florisa calls with Ekblad for Nylander (which they wont) the leafs should be all over it.
    You wonder what makes Ekblad that much more valuable than Shattenkirk IF kevin is signing for 6/year

    • Lyle,
      Nylander for Ekblad and the Leafs would “seriously consider it”?!?


      I should think so, and also kiss the feet of the Florida GM deluded enough to make that offer.

      I think Taylor Hall for Larson has shown us where the market value for “Stay at Home” defencemen is.

      Is so much more than Larson.

      • Really..are you his agent and or buddy?

        If Florida offered him to Vegas, I doubt they would accept!! Ekblad reminds me of Phaneuf signing.. he is not even playing top minutes and plus minus -17 is worth $9 million!??

        I could see if he can produce 60 points per year and play 30 minutes plus..

        Worst signing in my opinion.

      • After firing gallant I don’t think Florida would be stupid enough to trade ekblad for nylander!!! That’s a leaf fan nhl17 trade

      • Lyle i love your site but i cant believe you would even put ekblad and nylander in the same sentance. Was your cpu hacked lol

      • Lyle was just citing an example of the KIND of return that would be required – and emphasized that with “But that offer’s not coming.”

        Come on people, READ the things in context.

      • Bless you, George!

      • Lyle, I can see you sitting there with a big smile. You knew once you put Ekblad name there, people would run with it. Just tugging the strings a little bit.

      • Actually, I just put it out there as a hypothetical, which I followed up with the next sentence by saying that offer won’t happen.

    • I think the biggest part would be the age. Shattenkirk is 28 and Ekblad is 21 also 4″ talker at 6’4″. This would allow Ekblad to grow with the young core who all would be around the same age. Aaron is not a complete player as of yet and is still developing. I don’t see Florida trading him.

  8. Nylander is becoming the next Kadri when it comes to Leaf trade rumors. Kadri has been a mainstay in the rumor mill since day 1.
    I’m sure 4-5 years from now Nylander will still be in the rumor mill, even with a guess’timated 70+ point per season production.
    Up to this point it has only been media speculation (vs Leaf chat) & will continue this way.

    • Nylander alone wont get you a young top 4 d….if he could the leafs would have already msde the trade

  9. The reason for Dale Tallon no longer involved with contract negotiations and losing his General Manager position is because of the Ekblad signing.

    Albeit he did a lot of great things in Florida thus the proverbial 3 year extension and most likely his golden handshake (dismissal after the season).

    • You either don’t watch ekblad or have no idea what you are talking about? Let me guess you would take Reilly over ekblad too right? Lol

      • It doesn’t matter one iota who I like , my point being is Ekblad signed for $7.5 per year X 8 ($60 million) is ridiculous for somebody not proven. Period. If he is a Boston Bruin, would you agree to Ekblad signing for $60 million !!??

        And if you say YES, then that is you prerogative. Ok..

      • It doesn’t matter one iota who I like , my point being is Ekblad signed for $7.5 per year X 8 ($60 million) is ridiculous for somebody not proven. Period. If he is a Boston Bruin, would you agree to Ekblad signing for $60 million !!??

        And if you say YES, then that is you prerogative.

    • Really?

      To quote yourself:

      “…are you his agent or his buddy”?

      Please, this is not Fantasy hockey.

  10. Contray to popular belief JVR will NOT get Toronto a top four defenceman. Defenceman are at a premium.

    You have to give to get sometimes, even if you lose the trade. Hall vs. Larssen being an example. You guys can over value your players all you want, but all you will here is ring tones. If it isnt nylander and your first it will be kardri and a first and a big plus.

    Anyone who thinks jvr will garner a you g top pairing is in dream land!

    To toronto: cam fowler third rounder 2017

    To anaheim : william nylander, travis dermott, kapinen and a first rounder in 2017 or 2018(lottery protected)

    Might sound like a good haul but fowler is a legit yound d in his prime and aside from nylander and a draft pick that may not pan out is good for both teams.

    • Twin don’t talk too much sense on here leaf fans don’t like it

      • Why do you always foment antagonistic views on everything Leafs..!??

        You should be discussing Bruins and other hockey related matters. Seems you bash any mention of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

      • What’s the difference between you bashing tallon and ekblad than me bashing leafs players? Get over yourself you take offence if a leaf player is bashed yet you think it’s alright for you to bash other teams players? Makes no sense

      • My bad then.. not my intention to bash as you say but simply acquiesce Lyles’ mention of Ekblad and simply offer MY rebuttal to rattus rattus’ comment.

        Again if it seem I offended you ” my sincere apology”.

    • How about Ducks keep Fowler and Leafs keep all players and pick you suggested & in 2 years time revisit the situation ok!

      Leafs probably win this scenario of standing pat and gain more experience and save valuable Cap space$$$

      Why are you trying to trade Fowler ? Is he not the best Defenseman for the Ducks..

      • Leafs need defence now. Nobody is going to give away top 4 defence (young on cheap contracts to the leafs)

        No one did it for the oilers and i highly doubt they will gor the leafs.

    • Back away from the bong. Fowler has 1 year left on his contract can’t see a deal where any team is giving that up that return for a 1 year contract. 3 prospects that are all first round picks and a second? What happens to the lottery protected puck if they are in the lottery for the next 2 years?
      The very reason some question JVRs value is because of the one year contract but I guess that doesn’t apply to Fowler?

      Here is somethings Chris Johnson from sportsnet wrote about Kapanen and his game around the all star break speaking to some scouts who have been watching him.

      Scouts who have watched him this year tend to agree with that point of view. There’s even a strong sentiment that he’s prepared to make the jump
      Kapanen is a scorer – with 16 goals and 32 points in 31 games – but there are only so many seats at the big kids table. It’s up to him to carve out a niche that fits the group.
      “I’m a believer,” said one person on the inside.
      Added a scout from another team:
      “I can’t find a flaw, he has an elite asset, which is his speed, and there’s a lot more to the game where you can utilize that other than just creating offence.”
      At least one teammate thinks he would be among the very fastest skaters in the NHL right now… seems like some scouts may think

      All that being said I can’t see in any way why the Leafs would be giving up a package involving 3 first round picks like that for a left handed D with 1 year on his contract.

      • I know this might be hard to understand but Chiarelli has made trades like that before sending young players away because he didn’t think they fit what he thought of a role on his team. Seguin for Eriksson doesn’t mean that top line centres started getting traded for 2nd line wingers and that was a Chiarelli trade too. I don’t care that Larsson got traded for Taylor Hall other defence men have been traded that didn’t cost a player like Hall. Hamilton was just draft picks Jones was Johansen Schultz was a 3rd round pick Gudbranson was a lower end prospect and a pick Petry was picks Stralman was picks…lol why do people not mention all these other trades that involve D? There have been lots of Defenceman traded for players not named Taylor Hall and part of that trade is a cap consideration where the Oilers are getting a guy that is locked up long term for 4 million bucks for a guy making over 6 it’s saving 2 million off the cap which helped sign Lucic it’s not just about the players the contracts played a part in it.
        As Lyle said at the beginning there are going to be some teams that could lose good young top 4 type D for nothing in expansion the Leafs could trade a lot less for 1 of them than giving up 3 first round picks for a guy with 1 year left on his contract who is a left handed shot when really they need a rightie.

      • Funny the people that rationalized the deal when it when it first happened as “well it’s really Lucic and Larsson for Hall…” until other teams start talking about trading for a D and then it becomes “look at what the Oilers had to give up to get Larsson..”

      • Agree with shticky

    • No. Leafs fans often overvalue but you are way undervaluing. JVR wont get a young top 4… but could get a decent d man… either prospect with top 4 potential or a middle pairing d man with a similar contract situation. Nylander alone would get a young d-man with top 4 potential. Neither would get you a bona-fide top pairing guy.

      • Nylander and a pick would get you shea thdodore i imagine. No way it nets u a linholm,foeler or hanifan

      • So true buddy jumping on me. Nylander is good but could regress. Hes unproven. Kapanen is in the ahl he should be going good as a former first tounder at 20.and dermott, much like strome piggy backed off mcdavids coattails. If im toronto i make that trade if anyone would take it. Call calgary see if they would do hamilton for nylander kapanen and a first. Maybe hope burke has an off day

      • I think Calgary would do Hamilton for just nylander.

      • You mean Strome who is very nearly producing at the same rate as McDavid was his last year of OHL with out McDavid.

  11. With Ekblad it is all about the age. Not many defence have played 3 years at 21 ! Maybe a bit of extra money spent on that deal with no bridge strategy but not a gross overpay. …. I used to love Bobby Ryan and he had lots of highlight reel goals and plays. Not much over the last couple of years. A change may help.

    • Ekblad will not be going to the leafs. It would take an extreme overpayment including both matthews and nylander and even then glorida hangs up.

      Even then florida doesnt trade ekblad. If they wanted a center they woulda taken draistle

      • I do admire how much time you have on your hands to comment so frequent on your least favorite team. Some would take your views to this extreme a little creepy! Yikes

  12. They arnt trolls toronto at the players listed wont be getting a top 4 d. They are best to keep their players noted above and hope to make side deals with vegas… they could get a guy or 2 then i would imagine

  13. Toronto has 3 options.

    Overpay for d now via trade.
    Hope to over pay in free agency.
    Or draft an develope(crapshoot) and wste entry level deals of matthews and co.

    Its sad but true. They are not legit contenders esp in the east they are best folding the season in hopes of aquiring more picks they can use to get d later. The cupords are way to bare to make big trades and be players this season folks

    • 59 comments s far today about 30 are twin/justin talking about how bad nylander is. No memntion of how nylander is 4th in rookie scoring, he really sucks. Shame how 2 or 3 guys ruin this site and make it not worth the time.

  14. Some teams win consistently. Some seldom do.
    There is enough luck in the game to support the odd really good or really bad year (like the Carolina cup cited earlier). In general however, good teams manage their personnel better than bad ones year in and year out.
    I’d suggest this management has more to do with 6th round draft choices, NCAA free agents, and well chosen second tier free agents than “big” deals. Add in a good veteran rehab project, and a find from the european league. Every team has stars and name players. You can have several, and be terrible. The ‘winner’ this year will trade an aged but serviceable veteran to a contender for a prospect, a fourth and a sixth, something we would all ho-hum.

  15. Question would any of the leafs fans trade morgan reily for max domi straight up??

    Didnt think so. Id rather a healthy domi over nylander. You would want domi, crouse and chychuran for reilly and a second… wingers in the grand sceme of things hold less value then c and dmen and always will.

    Nylander is a good player but is too small and doft to play center 82 games a year

    • Rielly would have to show that he can play consistent D without the frequent brain-farts. While I happen to agree with many who think +/- can be misleading, it IS glaring that, on the Leafs D corps, Rielly is the only one with a minus at -9. Gardiner (+15), Zaitsev (+6), Carrick (+6), Marincin (+2),Hunwick (+1). Hell, even Polak is E.

      Yeah, yeah, I know, Rielly plays top minutes, often against the other team’s top line – but he’s paired with SOMEBODY who clearly doesn’t doesn’t suffer the same number of gaffs.

      So, forget that kind of deal at least at the present time. Arizona isn’t THAT desperate.

      • thank you george but let us not forget the brain farts of karlson lately and when mathews took the puck from a timbit the was pure whatever you call it

      • Probably wouldn’t want Karlsson either I guess cause after all he is a minus player too and on a better defensive team.

      • Karlsson – 1 Methot and his +13 must mean that same thing right? That Karlsson is great defensively cause well look at Methot? Jeez George I dunno what you’re going for here but I’m not sure that there are not a lot of good top pair D out there that depending where their teams are in the standings are not – players. Rielly Subban Karlsson Hamonic Ekblad Barrie Hamilton Faulk Oliver Ekman Larsson…pretty sure the minus isn’t really an issue with any of these guys what it does say is they are on the ice a lot.

      • The only problem saying that is the majority of the minuses are Reilly being out of position or pinching when he shouldn’t! Somebody must of said something bad about the leafs shticky is going off again! ?

      • No biggie Id say the same about any of them not just Rielly Im sure that some of Ekblads -17 is from missed coverage and bad pinches, same as Oliver Ekman Larssons – 22 or Hamonics -14 I don’t think it’s because they don’t know how to play D or are bad players I think it’s because they happen to be on the ice more than most everyone else on their team and when they or your teams best player makes a mistake like all players do and you’re on kinda middle of the road or bad teams like they are on, it goes in the net. All players make mistakes biggie. It has nothing to do with the Leafs, is exactly my point.

      • Shticky instead of sounding like a homer all the time why don’t you just admit that Reilly isn’t good at defense

  16. Twin I agree d men have more value then most wingers but that depends on the d men just because edm overpaid doesn’t mean Toronto will. Fowler is one year away from being free not a chance I am giving what you put up in your trade. There are a few special wingers in the nhl that drive their lines marner is one I wouldn’t trade him. Jvr is the only guy I would trade.

  17. Realistically, how many better forwards could Vegas get in an expansion draft than Bobby Ryan?

    They figure to have really good goaltending, decent defense and a bunch of 3rd liners at forward.

    Between that and the salary floor, I think McPhee would be happy to take Ryan. Plekanec, too. If Rick Nash didn’t have a NTC, Vegas would have a top line right there.

  18. Folks, we can disagree with each other without resorting to insults and name-calling. If this persists, I’ll remove the offending posts.

    • ?

  19. Wow, Jack eichal is making this a statement game. Hey Mr Mathews I’m the #1 young American in the game!

    • Well it maybe a bit of a statement period but I’m not sure it’s worth going all Jim Ross over it…Bah god look at the carnage! It was a 3-1 game lol

      • And eichel vastly outplayed Matthews which was his point nothing to do with the score of the game

      • Eh I think Lehrer out played Andersen more than anything else really, and let’s be honest bbb you watched the Blues beat the Habs so really you have no idea who outplayed who

      • Your response has nothing at all to do with my post. How was I going Jim Ross?

  20. My wish list for the B’s. for this year and going forward. A shutdown Dman and a tough power forward who can score

  21. Hard to keep pace with the Niagara Falls of commentaries here: on Morgan Rielly: he won’t ever be the number one d-man for the leafs: his physical talents are not matched by his ability to think the game.As for Nylander for Domi: I suspect no one who wants that trade has watched either player for any length of time. Max will be serviceable winger maybe third line, but WN is a genuine talent.JVR trade? It depends to which team, who has the most need to get to the top…Pittsburgh? Chicago?Columbus? San Jose? There are about six teams close to being favored for Cup who would be better with JVR on their second line…….and I applaud Lyle for reminding folks to avoid insults on this site..it is one of the few remaining where civility, Canada-style, is in place!