NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2017

by | Feb 18, 2017 | Rumors | 23 comments

Could Sharks forward Patrick Marleau’s improved performance earn him another contract with San Jose?

Latest on the Sharks, Predators, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Blackhawks and Rangers in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: Mark Purdy wonders what the future holds for long-time San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who’s eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. The 37-year-old Marleau is on pace for 28 goals for the first time since 2014 and his resurgence combined with Joe Thornton’s steadiness could see general manager Doug Wilson consider re-signing both. If so, Purdy suggests Wilson waits until after the expansion draft to do so. 

Despite Aaron Dell emerging as a good backup goaltender for the San Jose Sharks, Paul Gackle reports there’s rumors they’re shopping for an experienced backup. Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer deferred goaltending trade decisions to GM Doug Wilson, but said he told Wilson he has confidence in the 27-year-old Dell. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to GJ Berg for the links. Marleau’s production significantly improved since early-January, vaulting him into a tie with Joe Pavelski for the second-most goals (20) on the Sharks this season and into fifth in points with 33. He’s also tied with Pavelski and Brent Burns for the lead in game-winning goals with five.

If Marleau can maintain this level of production over the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, it could earn him perhaps a one-year, bonus-laden deal with the Sharks, though the final total will be considerably less than the $6.6 million annual cap hit of his current contract.

As for Dell, he’s played quite well for the Sharks as Jones’ backup. I see no reason for them to go shopping for another. Yes, he lacks posteason experience, but NHL playoff history is rife with instances of inexperienced goalies rising to the occasion when needed. Besides, it’s unlikely he’ll have a chance to play a postseason contest this year if Jones is healthy and on his game. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Joe Rexrode wonders if Nashville Predators GM David Poile has another big trade in him as the March 1 trade deadline approaches. Last January, Poile shipped defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen and last summer dealt defenseman Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for blueliner P.K. Subban. Rexrode believes the only apparent big-splash deal available is Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, but he doesn’t believe it’s worth parting with a top-four defenseman or mortgaging the club’s future. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile reportedly contacted the Avs last month about Duchene, but I daresay that was simply due diligence on his part. The Avalanche set a very high price for Duchene (young top-four defenseman, first-round pick, top prospect and possibly more) and I doubt Poile’s willing to meet that demand this season. Perhaps he’ll revisit his interest this summer. If Poile makes a move at the deadline, I suspect he’ll seek an affordable rental player. 

MLIVE.COM: Asked by a reader if pending UFA winger Thomas Vanek might re-sign with the Detroit Red Wings in the offseason even if dealt at the trade deadline, Ansar Khan doubts return this summer. He’ll want a multi-year deal and the Wings lack the cap space to give it to him, especially with younger players to re-sign over the next two years. While Vanek’s enjoyed his time with the Wings, Khan speculates he’d prefer signing with a Stanley Cup contender instead of a rebuilding team. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 14 goals and 36 points in 44 games, Vanek will be among the most attractive trade-deadline rental targets. I’ll be very surprised if he’s still in a Red Wings jersey after 3 pm ET on March 1. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Responding to a reader’s question about possible trade targets for the Blackhawks, Mark Lazerus said they’re still in need of a top-six winger for center Jonathan Toews’ line and a bottom-pairing defenseman. He considers Dallas Stars forward Patrick Eaves as their best trade option. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman insists he doesn’t expect to be a major player at the upcoming trade deadline. Given his dealing at previous deadlines of the recent past, few observers believe him. While he might not make a big splash, he could bring in an affordable depth player such as Eaves. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline believes the Blue Jackets will likely be shopping for depth, and not a high-end acquisition, at the March 1 trade deadline. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said if there’s a time down the road where they feel their window of opportunity to win a championship is closing, then they might consider it. “”I don’t see any reason to go crazy because we have a crack open in our window. We’re trying to widen it by making wise, long-term decisions, and get better from within,” said Kekalainen. He also pointed out that taking on a player with term left on his contract could mean exposing another player in the expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation suggested the Jackets had some interest in Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle. If true, that gives us a good indication of what Kekalainen’s looking at heading toward the trade deadline. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests Vancouver Canucks pesky winger Alex Burrows would make sense for the New York Rangers as a playoff rental, providing some much-needed grit to their lineup. While Burrows carries a no-trade clause that limits where he can go, Brooks believes that could also make him an affordable acquisition.


  1. Is recreational marijuana use legal in Colorado? If so Joe Sakic seems to be indulging!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. A young top-four defenseman, first-round pick, top prospect and possibly more? Even if you were talking about an Ovechkin, P. Kane, Karlsson, that is almost even a tad much for one of them and Duchene isn’t any of them.

    • Agree he is asking for way too much. As a Bruins fan I’m saying no to Carlo for Landeskog straight up never mind adding more to it. Top four defenseman are worth more than a second line left wing. He can keep asking but I’m sure he won’t get it. Maybe from Anaheim or Carolina who have too many defenseman and will lose one in the expansion draft.

      • Carolina doesn’t have no many Dman for expansion. Slavin, Hanafin & Pesce are all exempt from having to be protected. Therie are other teams that do though like Columbus, Minnesota, NYI, MTL & Win.

        Anh does but it will only be Manson if not moved before the expansion draft. If Bieksa refuses to waive his NMC I assume he will be bought out & Anh will protect Fowler, Lidstrom & Vantanen. Theodore & Montour are exempt.

      • I agree Dave this carlo kid looks to be really good and landescog is ok but not worth Carlo…

    • We really have no idea what Sakic is asking for. Pure speculation.

      As I have stated many times I don’t trade either. I ship out any & all UFA’s; Iginla, Tyutin, Goloubef, Mtichell, Bourque & Martinsen, for what ever I can get now, as well as any other players on short term deals who might be movable, Beauchemin; NMC an issue with expansion looming but could be bought out by any team if problematic, Comeau, & Barberio. I would also look at trading Wiercioch an RFA this summer if able.

      This summer buy some assets from teams with to many pre expansion draft, then wait until after to see what might be available for Landeskog or Duchene. Take assets from teams with cap issues that will need to get compliant. Keep both Landeskog & Duchene if you can’t get an offer to good to refuse.

      • I agree to just keep these two guys. They are both young enough to build around. Also true we don’t know exactly what Sakic is asking for. I’m sure if someone offered him something good enough he would take it. Like if Trouba or Mcavoy were offered straight up.

      • Your 6 Col. players will collectively get you a bucket of pucks

      • Agreed. Just ship them out for what ever you can get like I suggested, bring up youth to get a cup of coffee before the season ends.

        Lets see Greer, Compher, Bigras & Boikov from San Antonio. As players become available coming out of Jr or College lets see them to. Meloche, Jost, & Beaudin.

    • 1st State in the US to do so, Jan 2013. Must be the water. Ha-ha!

      • Sorry that was supposed to be at the very top.

  2. The Rangers are in a rather interesting position. Attaining the first wild card position and crossing over to the Atlantic is perfect for them. They should be in on trade deadline day. They can certainly compete with the other three in the Met division. Could be an interesting finalist representing the East. I would take both Ottawa and New York as considerable dark horses coming from that Conference.

    • In this morning’s Sun, Don Brennan was musing about Todd White’s speculation on Team 1200 that the Sens could – with its excellent goal-tending and emphasis on a rigid (and often boring0) defensive game – actually wind up in the Cup final (Brennan disagrees, figuring it’s Washington’s year to represent the East). But he did raise an interesting comparison to the 2003 Cup winner New Jersey, saying “In 2003, White was on a Senators team that was eliminated in the Eastern Conference final by the Devils, who went on to defeat the Ducks to take the Cup. That New Jersey team had a Hall of Fame goalie in Martin Brodeur, but on many a night he had a struggle to stay awake. The commitment to protecting the D-zone was intense under coach Pat Burns. New Jersey’s leading scorer was Patrik Elias, whose 57 points was 67th highest in the league. Only four Devils had more than 45 points”

      What will ultimately eliminate Ottawa is the lack of scoring and as Brennan points out “Every year around this time, Huge-een Melnyk says he’ll give his GM the necessary money to add a significant piece, but when was the last time it happened? … When indeed?

      • Boring? Im watchibg different games I think, I havent been bored yet.

      • I agree that the Sens have pretty good goaltending and Boucher has really put more structure into this team I just don’t see Andy or Condon being able to stay hot that long. Andy has won 1 playoff round in his career if I’m correct. They could easily win round 1 then play the Rangers and then most likely the Caps or Pens. Don’t see them going to the finals but if they add something at the deadline and stay healthy ya never know.

  3. Vanek and Boyle will go, but to whom. Like I posted yesterday Buyers say “Duchene is over rated” and sellers say ” he just having an off year”….. In any event he is not worth a top 4 D, first round and an A prospect +… Should only garner a younger 3/4 D and a first rounder. The trouble is his salary and frankly his lack of “superstar” play.

    • When you have a team as shallow of talent as Colorado it makes it very easy for the other team to shut down what little offense you do have. Duchene has had some great years when Colorado was able to ice better depth of talent. Duchene is a solid NHL player a star. Not a superstar but certainly a 1st line player. I like him better as a LW than C.

    • Duschene cap isn’t a problem, very fair playing in Colorado hasn’t helped his value making team Canada says a lot

      • That line of O’Reilly centering Duchene & Thornton was Canada’s best line in the WC. Dominated played every time it stepped onto the ice.

        Colorado will get a 1st round pick in the top 10, they would be better served to defer it to 2018, a young playing Dman with top 4 potential & something else.

        Examples of such Dman. Manson, C. Miller, Pesce, Beaulieu, De Haan, etc. There could even be a few surprises.

        Again I don’t trade either player now & wait until this summer & see how it all plays out with expansion both before & after. I wait for the deal to good to refuse. If it doesn’t exist I keep both. Play the scenario I have stated many times.

    • I know Vanek has decent stats and experience but he’s also ended up a healthy scratch in the playoffs. He’s got not bite to his game and disappears when the pace and physical play picks up. Wouldn’t trade anything of value for him. 3rd round pick max.

  4. No thanks on Burrows. NY has a gritty player in Glass if they decide that’s what they need. They should target Boyle and a rh defense men and nothing else.

    • Boyle is too slow, he didn’t want to play in AV’s system no way they want him. Shattenkirk is the guy they want!

  5. I would love Burrows to come back home to Montreal. I would love to take his heart into the playoffs!