NHL Rumor Mill – February 2, 2017

by | Feb 2, 2017 | Rumors | 71 comments

Toronto Maple Leafs should avoid pursuing St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk as a rental player.

Latest on Shattenkirk, Duchene, Bishop, Iginla and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Pierre LeBrun doubts the Toronto Maple Leafs will pursue St. Louis Blues defenseman (and pending free agent) Kevin Shattenkirk as a rental player at the trade deadline. While the Leafs front office considers reaching the postseason a great learning experience for their young players, they don’t want to give up huge assets for a rental.

If Shattenkirk were signed beyond this season, perhaps it would be a different story. LeBrun recommends pursuing younger defensemen, such as Brandon Montour or Shea Theodore of the Anaheim Ducks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It makes no sense for the Leafs to pursue a pending UFA such as Shattenkirk when there’s no certainty they can re-sign him. Even if they could re-sign him, it could cost upwards of $7 million annually to do so. I agree with LeBrun that they should look toward younger options on clubs that are loaded with young blueliners, such as Anaheim, Carolina and Minnesota. 

Regarding Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Arizona’s Martin Hanzal and the Montreal Canadiens, LeBrun notes the Habs want to upgrade at center. They have spoken with Arizona about Hanzal but the asking price is sky high. The Canadiens could look at Duchene but if the price is crazy they won’t do it. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not sold on Hanzal as the answer for the Habs’ depth at center. He’s not a high scorer and has a lengthy injury history. Duchene would be a great fit, but the Avs reportedly want a top-four defenseman, a first-round pick, a top prospect and perhaps more. I’ve seen some suggest Nathan Beaulieu in a package for Duchene, but I doubt that’ll interest Colorado GM Joe Sakic. He’s apparently in no hurry to move Duchene and could wait for better offers this summer. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports much of the St. Louis Blues’ trade talk centers upon defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. There’s also some chatter about center Patrik Berglund. The pair are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene took some heat for recently admitting to the Denver Post he’s open to the possibility of a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While he might be open to the notion, it’s important to note he hasn’t demanded a trade. And as Friedman notes, he’s being asked about this every day so what do you expect him to say? I give him credit for at least being honest. 

He also reports there’s a growing sense the Tampa Bay Lightning are willing to move pending UFA goalie Ben Bishop. Offers are currently low and general manager Steve Yzerman isn’t biting.

Buffalo Sabres pending UFA blueliner Dmitry Kulikov could also be available before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kulikov missed half the season because of injuries. I think potentially interested clubs will want to wait and see how he performs throughout this month before looking into acquiring him. 

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland could stand pat if his club is in playoff contention, but could explore the trade market if they fall further back. He doesn’t see his club being a buyer.

Friedman speculates former NHL head coaches Jack Capuano, Gerard Gallant Ken Hitchcock might get interviews with the Vegas Golden Knights. He also thinks Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller could also get an interview.

Friedman’s colleague Mike Johnston reports the Vegas Golden Knights can start making some deals on the March 1 trade deadline, provided team owner Bill Foley makes the final payment of his $500 million expansion fee on or before that date. The Golden Knights can’t acquire players who are active during this season, but they can acquire draft picks, unsigned draft choices or make deals associated with the expansion draft. General manager George McPhee can make trades where he agrees not to select a certain player in the expansion draft. He can also begin signing college or junior free agents on that date. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect we’ll see the Golden Knights swing a deal or two at the trade deadline, likely involving clubs that have players they’ll be forced to leave unprotected in the draft but are keen not to lose. 

YAHOO SPORTS: Josh Cooper reports Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla indicated he’d like to go somewhere at the trade deadline where he’ll have a chance to play in the postseason. Iginla said he hasn’t really discuss this yet with Avalanche management but he understands that aging players with expiring contracts on non-playoff clubs usually get moved to contenders by the deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With only 12 points in 48 games, the 39-year-old Iginla is having the worst season of his career. Still, he’s garnered enough respect around the league that perhaps a contender seeking experienced depth at right wing might consider him for a reasonable price. 


  1. All this talk of the leafs being buyers. On that note, you are probably right in them bringing in young defenceman. However, not many teams are giving away young defence and you got to give something to get something. We all seen what happened when the oilers rolled in with a team of 20 year olds in years past….

    Imo they shoulld see if the ducks will take nylander and a high draft pick for say fowler. Or a matt dumba. Theres always a premium for top four d. Look at the kings paid for sekera.

    • Leafs are not the Oilers. They are not drafting 1st overall this year. Have you seen the standings? It’s more than halfway through the season…

      Nylander plus a 1st for Fowler? No, just stop.

      If they were willing to give up one of their top young forwards for a Dman they simply would have drafted one, like Hanifin over Marner.

      • Dan you’re nuts if you don’t think it would be nylander and a 1st for fowler! Please stop overvaluing every leaf player that hasn’t even played a full season

      • its not that far off Dan.
        I would easily do Nylander straight up for Fowler. The first does exceed it but a 2nd or 3rd, the leafs should bite.

        Is there an opinion worth less than the hate that spews out of BBB’s keyboard?

      • Yes tazi dans ridiculous value of leafs players

      • You’re right Dan. The leafs are not the Oilers. The Oilers have McDavid and you don’t. Sorry

      • …and it only took being more terrible than the Leafs the last decade and drafting 4 1sts and 6 top 5 picks in the past 7 seasons to get him.

      • I don’t think the leafs should do anything in terms of trade. They are not winning the cup, even just getting into the playoffs would be a good learning experience for the younger guys on their roster. Besides there is plenty of time for the leafs to collapse. I seem to recall pretty epic failures in the last half of the season over recent years.

      • If you think all 3 of these leaf players are going to be stars,your probably in for a shock! Lets see after a couple of years how they adapt to the checking and pressure after other teams have more video on them and get aware of their tendencies.They better keep a good number of veterans around to help them.The smartest thing the leafs have done so far is the coach!

      • Of course all three players will be stars in the league. You don’t think all the teams have tape on the current stars in the league and are aware of their tendencies and are all still stars in the league. The only question regarding those 3 players is how long they’ll be stars in Toronto. Very team has tape on everyone. It doesn’t stop the talented from being talented.

  2. Montréal’s smartest play for rental centre depth is Brian Boyle. Boyle is 6-7, 243-pounds and a UFA is 2017. He’s much more affordable than Duchesne or Hanzal.

    • How about patrick a berglund? I think Montreal should explore this option too. Boyle would be good for sure.

      • I’d prefer Boyle. He was the common denominator on the teams that eliminated MTL in 14 and 15, both of which went to the finals.

      • Sounds like a number of teams are seriously looking at Boyle. Whoever trades for him will probably end up over paying for him

    • I like it, seems pretty attainable.

      • MTL could afford to overpay a bit for Boyle considering they only surrendered a minor league goon and a 6th for Nesterov.

  3. Proposal trade:
    S. Reinhart and M. Foligno for:
    B. Gallagher,M. McCarron,N. juulsen,1st 2017,1st 2018

    • Way too much on one side. Reinhart will be a good player in the NHL, but i’m still not sure he’ll live up to expectations. Foligno is a 3rd line guy and MontreaL’s need are top 6 forwards and a top 4 D-Man. Bergevin will never give 2 1st rd draft picks for these guys.

      • IMO, Gallagher brings more to the table than Foligno so the trade comes down to 4 first round picks for Sam Reinhardt which is a huge overpayment. If Montreal presented these players and picks to Colorado for Duschene and Landeskog I think Salic would listen. There may need to be another player offered but it’s a decent start.

    • lol those players are not even worth the two first rounders let alone adding 24 Yr old Gallagher, two first round prospects McCarron, Juulsen. Don’t get me wrong they are good players but come on

    • Thats got video game trade written all over it

    • That is a horrible trade for MTL. I would want Bergevin fired if he made that deal.

    • If you throw in Risto and Eichel coming Montreal’s way… Sure 😛

    • I’m sorry Tony, but Sam is not moving for draft picks. This trade would set back the rebuild by at least 3 years.

  4. Boston needs a backup goalie….Now. Rask is tired and its showing 9 of his last 13 games save % is in the 800’s and last night 773. Said he mildly pop his groin last night. The fact the bruins only have one win that didn’t come from Rask speaks volume. Rask should not of been playing in the back to back last night and I’m guessing the bruins feel there only chance to win is with Rask. The inability of a backup providing any relieve is now taking its tow on Rask and the team. His SV% in the last 4 are all below 900 and the fifth game was 909. The bye week can’t come quick enough for the Bruins but imo there going to need someone to help take the load and quickly because the trend is not good.

    • I wonder if the hockey Gods are unleashing some vengeance for the series of gutless, slew foot cheap shots your star winger has delivered recently? Friedman argued it’s bringing the entire league into disrepute.

      In any case, if a suitable backup can be found cheaply then fine, but the Bruins would be unwise to invest significant assets at this point in a push for the playoffs when on points% it looks risky. Better to wait and see how things shake out.

      • Rask’s save % has gone down every month.
        Nov – 932, Dec – 915, Jan – 882.
        Yes, he has been carrying a load, but less than some others that are out performing him over the last 60 days.
        He is one of the reasons the Bruins winning % has declined at the same time.
        This is not the time for a panic move by Sweeney and I agree with Dan totally.
        Bring up Subban let him get some NHL reps and let what happens happen. He may surprise and has been playing better of late.
        The month of Feb will be very telling as to what direction current management takes and if they are realistic about where this team is.

      • Now Dan be nice. They are not slew foot they are trips. But I do agree they are dangerous and he need to stop. Also I will follow up with this Perry slashes Perrault pitchfork way (tow of the stick) and breaks Perrault fingers and hasn’t play since..but no one talks about it. Should they? last night Washington player takes the toe of his stick and drives it into the back of Krecji leg, causing him to fall awkwardly, also a dirty play, but no one talks about it…should they? I will close with this, I do think Marchand should’ve been suspended for the Krownwall trip but because it wasn’t considered a slew foot it wasn’t, the language in the rule book needs to change.

      • I didn’t say the Bruins should trade for a backup, I said they need one now. By that I mean someone they are willing to put in the net and not just dress and sit on the bench. Be it one of the 3 they have, also need to tell that goalie it doesn’t matter how many goals you give up because your not coming out. Rask will play Saturday and he will win, then there is the break, but he cannot be expected to play every game.

      • Caper, now understood. Yep they do. As I said I would like to see Subban give it a go. Let Mcintyre play in Providence, too soon to throw into the fire.
        I used to think Marchand’s “agitating” had some humor to it and was never that dangerous other than the low bridge stuff which was a habit that some small guys get into to defend themselves.
        This cheap crap from behind needs to stop. He deserves a beat down from the next guy he does it to if the league won’t address it. And Chara and Co need to let him deal with it on his own.

      • I think the big issue is the Bruins are desperate for points. A local writer did some math and figured that the Bruins would need to maintain a .688 winning % the rest of the season in order to get into the playoffs as the 8th seed based on last years standings.

        The Bruins can’t afford to lose games and I think Julien is pressured to put his best out on the ice, which is why I think we’re seeing Rask a lot and not enough of the backups.

        I do agree that the team needs to lighten the load on Rask.

        Rask is on pace to play 65 games this season. He played 64 last year and 70 the year before. That means the last 3 seasons (including this one) have far and away been more than he’s ever played in his career in the NHL.

      • What’s really sad is that Marchand was named forward of the month for January. Obviously the league approves of his dangerous actions.

      • Dan39,

        I will 100% agree that Marchand should’ve been suspended last week. That play was called dead anyways and he came out of his skating path to purposely trip the player. He was fined the max instead… everyone moved on.

        However, I will argue what happened just the other night because a lot of people are up in arms about it. The puck changed direction and Marchand quickly altered his skating path to go after the puck. It all happened very quickly and the other player was directly in his line. Marchand was moving his legs, granted, I will say that his leg did extend a bit more than it should have but it wasn’t nearly as egregious as what occurred the week prior.

        Nonetheless the league is likely on notice now and Marchand needs to pick his battles carefully. Next time might result in a suspension. Sad, because he really is a talented player.

      • Chad, Caper:

        That one play may have been accidental and I would give it the benefit of the doubt in isolation, but there’s a long history. For example, documented in this compilation of Marchand slew foots:


      • Marchand and Kadri are almost identical with the dirty plays always throwing an extra jab in or stick work

      • BigBruin, let us know when you can produce some actual evidence to support your anti-Leaf claims.

      • You’re wearing the blue and white glasses if you cant( don’t want to see) the evidence with Kadri

      • Dan39,

        I do understand that point of view and unfortunately that’s what having a history does BUT that trip the other night was nowhere near as egregious as last week, which is a big reason why he got nothing.

        Side note: Nazem Kadri is a dirty player as well. I saw BBB posted something of a comparison of the 2 players always having to add in some extra. Kadri most certainly plays that way. He’s had multiple suspensions and a lot of borderline hits that have been reviewed and hasn’t been suspended for. He’s a players that makes dangerous plays as well and in a lot of cases they’re poor judgement and avoidable.

      • Bang on chad about Kadri in dans eyes tho Kadri is an lady byng candidate

      • I’d say both Kadri and Marchand are guys you want on your team rather than playing against em, and both have a lot of skill and can get under players skin. Pronger was one of the dirtiest players of his era who cares if they are dirty if they have skill and can play, it’s the Torres and Burrows and players that play 3rd and 4th line roles that wouldn’t even have an NHL job if it wasn’t for the fact they are dirty. Same as fighters there is always going to be room for a guy who can drop the mits who can play, it’s the knuckle dragger on the 4th line who only played 3 mins a night the league had issues with.

      • It was quite a lengthy highlight reel of Marchand’s slew foot in action on the hockey show tonight.

      • Agree with shticky. Everyone hates a dirty talented player unless they play for the team you cheer for.

    • Hope that’s all true Caper! Bodes well for the Leafs!

      • Steven, it does, but do the Leafs really benefit from making the playoffs? I’m not sold on the idea the experience is so valuable in comparison to unloading what pieces we have for more picks even in a weaker draft.

        And maybe it’s prospects instead of picks. Could we find the next Colin Miller, for example, who was discussed yesterday as being acquired as a lowly rated D prospect and now is a promising potential top four?

        Leafs 5th ranked PK% see heavy contributions from Hunwick-Polak, who at evens also have lowest GA/60 on the team. Could we net a pair of 2nds for either/both?

        What about +1 contracts, JVR for a young, RHD; Bozak for a pick and prospect; Komarov for a pick? McElhenny for a late pick if he continues to play well?

      • Dan39 are you talking about nhl17 trades or real NHL trades? Geez

      • I’m not a fan of either team, but IMHO Marchand is a very dirty player who needs to get a major suspension.
        Kadri is that guy that plays rough and on the edge, but he is not Marchand and trying to infer that he’s the same just isn’t true.

      • Shaw Gallagher Folin Tkachuk Mitchell hell even Crosby has a couple on YouTube. I’m not sure because a player slew foots another player or you can find a link to footage means a guy is “dirty” it’s a tough game sticks blindsides elbows it’s all part of the game again if the guy has skill and can play what does it matter? Who wouldn’t want a guy like Pronger on their team?

      • Ive never said those guys don’t belong just Kadri and Marchand are very similar in dirtiness

  5. Hi Lyle, can you answer the following question? When a player is put on the waiver wire and multiple claims are put in, it states from what I read the team lowest in the standing gets to claim the player. Is this correct? To me it should be the team with the lowest winning percentage first, then standings second. Especially this year with such contrast with games played. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Caper.

      If more than one team puts in a claim on a player during the waiver period, then the team with the higher waiver priority’s claim is accepted.

      • It starts with the lowest in the standings and moves upward from there. However, if the team at the bottom of the standings previously claimed a player, they go to the end of the list and the next club has priority.

  6. I think the habs should go after B. Boyle and P. Berglund…
    What would it cost?

    • Someone mentioned that yesterday as well. Boyle could add more sandpiper and offence in Montreal upfront.

      • sandpaper sorry

    • Burglund yes I would take a chance on him and I’d take yakupov as well as a chance ..
      it won’t cost much for both players a 2nd and a 4th would probably do the job or J De la rose and a 2nd

      • Would need some salary to go the other way. Deharnias.

  7. I could not agree more regarding the Leafs acquisition, or lack thereof, of Shattenkirk.

    Stick to the plan. Suggesting a trade for younger defenceman makes sense to me, because the bulk of the team upfront is young as well. Theodore would make sense.

    I think looking toward the KHL wouldn’t hurt either when you look at Zaitsev.

  8. I didn’t realize Iginla was struggling that much this season. Only 12 points… yikes!

    He may have some interest at the deadline but I wouldn’t expect much value coming back to the Avalanche.

    • Iginla is done…old slow and unproductive..unfortunate because he was a true sniper and stud on the ice just cant keep up.

      • Maybe he should train with Jagr in the offseasons…

      • It’s too bad, would’ve like to see him win a cup. Doesn’t look like its going to happen.

      • Caper,

        Long shot at this point for a player who has had an incredible career. Really sad to see that.

        Yet, there’s probably a dozen players every year that win a Stanley Cup and will never amount to the talent/career of Jarome Iginla. Nature of the beast I guess.

    • I was thinking the avs would have to pay a team to take him

  9. Iginla will be a coach someday. But his playing days are done. It’s to the point where any contending team would be diminishing their lineup; who sits when he arrives? It’s not like he wants to be traded to be a healthy scratch.

    • Disagree. Whoever picks up Iginla is going to get whatever he’s got left in the tank.He’s not the player he once was but he’d be an asset on a young team getting a taste of the playoffs. Toronto or Edmonton maybe. He’ll cost basically nothing so if he is out of gas there’s no big loss.

  10. I am a Leaf fan. Kadri is not as dirty as Marchand because he doesn’t slew foot but the rest is about the same. Marchand is a slightly better player.

    in regard to the trade deadline I want the Leafs to get assets/picks or Hunwick, Corrado and Polack if they can. After that other moves are probably for after the season unless there is a hockey trade to get one or two young defensemen. I think their order of priority should be Trouba, Dumba, Brodin, Theodore, Manson, Morin, Fowler, Lindholm, Kulikov or even Stone. Some of these are are top two pairing guys and some are more shutdown bottom two pairing guys. If there is any possibility of getting them any combination of Kapenin, Leipsic, draft picks including a lottery protected first, JVR, Bozak, Marincin, Corrado, and prospects (Bracco, Pinnich, Brooks, Linberg, Dzierkals, Walker, etc).
    Other than the Jets the rumour sites seem to report the other teams want picks and prospects. Leafs have lots of these.

    The only way the Leafs should include Nylander in any trade talks is if they are discussing Taveres but I don’t think the cap will work with him, Matthews and Marner?

    Anyway there are my two-bits worth for today.

    • I’m a Leafs fan too and I really like the guys you have listed as options but you lost me when you started about what we should offer for them.
      Kulikov or Stone are the only ones that you can get with the prospects you listed.
      There is no way Tavares is moving for anything less than Matthews but that statement can just as easily read ‘there is no way Tavares is moving’

      The only realistic trade here is JVR plus a sweetner for Fowler.

      I’ll start this off cuz others are on their way to rip your post apart.

      Cue BBB

  11. I don’t we know what will get some of these guys. If the trade for the defensemen is at the end of the year then teams are risking losing guys for nothing in the expansion draft. It may not be these guys but losing good players for nothing will change the asking price closer to the expansion draft?

    The wild and Ducks will lose one good dman. Not every team can send something to the Knights to pick someone else. From my perspective the best deal is JVR for Fowler because the salaries are basically the same but Ducks rumours say they want prospects and picks. Leafs would have to add something to this.

    I find it interesting that the Avs want McCarron, a first and a young defenseman for Duchene. I don’t think they will get that unless the Avs throw in a second? The Habs can afford this trade and it probably makes sense but do they want to give up these assets. Maybe a rental (Mitchell and/or Iginla)for the playoffs have to come back? Duchene could be the piece to make them real contenders?

  12. Keep in mind a good chance the AV’s get Patrick and if a MTL first maybe a Popugayov or Strome later in the first.. Juhlsen and McCarron and a first is about right