NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2017

by | Feb 4, 2017 | Rumors | 40 comments

The St. Louis Blues could find it difficult to move Kevin Shattenkirk in a sign-and-trade scenario.

Latest on Shattenkirk, Duchene, Hanzal, Landeskog, Bishop, Fleury and more in your NHL rumor mill.

ESPN.COM:  Pierre LeBrun reports the St. Louis Blues are open to doing a “sign and trade” deal with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but they aren’t finding many takers for the trade part of the deal. He cites sources claiming interested clubs are only interested in acquiring Shattenkirk as a playoff rental, with one source saying fear of a flat salary-cap next season makes many of them leery of taking on a blueliner who could cost $7 million per season. LeBrun feels those clubs prefer to wait until June to see what the cap for 2017-18 will be. He also believes the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are among the clubs that kicked tires on Shattenkirk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s looking unlikely that the Blues can swing a sign-and-trade for Shattenkirk. If they fall further out of contention, they could peddle him as a rental player. They won’t get as much as they would in a sign-and-trade, but it’ll be better than losing him for nothing this summer to free agency. 

LeBrun also reports there’s no shortage of suitors for Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, but the Avs are willing to wait until this summer if necessary to get a high-quality return. He believes the Montreal Canadiens are among the interested parties, but not at a sky-high price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve said for weeks, unless the Avs lower their asking price to something more reasonable than a king’s ransom, Duchene won’t be going anywhere by the deadline. 

The Los Angeles Kings briefly inquired about Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog but LeBrun doubts there’s a fit there because the Avs want a young, high-end defense prospect as part of the return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings have been clearing cap space of late, recently placing Tom Gilbert on waivers. They have nearly $7 million in prorated cap space at the trade deadline and over $12 million if Jonathan Quick remains on long-term injured reserve. 

LeBrun also believes the Canadiens are a good fit for Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal,  Buffalo Sabres blueliner Dmitry Kulikov could be a good consolation prize for clubs that lose out on Shattenkirk near the trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t sacrifice their future for a short-term fix and doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers as a fit for Shattenkirk as this isn’t the time to waste assets on a costly rental player.

LeBrun’s colleague Craig Custance believes the Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks should be aggressive in this season’s trade market. He notes the Western Conference is wide open for the first time in years, as the Kings and Chicago Blackhawks are no longer the powerhouses they once were while the Blues and Dallas Stars are struggling. The Wild sat out last season’s trade deadline but Custance thinks GM Chuck Fletcher should be pushing this season.

As for the Sharks, he believes they should be all-in this season after reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. He notes both clubs could have concerns about making a big move that might upset their current chemistry. Custance reports both clubs expressed interest in Coyotes center Martin Hanzal and speculates Blues center Patrik Berglund could be available if St. Louis falls further out of contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the past, Fletcher has proven willing to swing moves near the deadline to help his team. He could do so again this season, but it’s obvious he has no intention of parting with young blueliners such as Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba, even if he risks losing one of them to the expansion draft in June. Sharks GM Doug Wilson has seemingly never met a trade deadline he didn’t like, as he’s often active around that time. I expect he’ll be busy again this year. 

LeBrun reports Fletcher noted during the All-Star weekend the difficulty this season in making trades. If he does make a move, it won’t involve parting with a defenseman. Fletcher remains committed to keeping his blueline depth intact for the playoffs. LeBrun speculates Fletcher could be interested in a defensive center such as Hanzal or Colorado’s John Mitchell.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports the writing’s been on the wall for some time that this season could be goaltender Ben Bishop’s last with the Lightning, as he’s eligible this summer for UFA status. Bishop’s been the subject of trade speculation for months, but Smith said there doesn’t appear to be much of a trade market for goalies this season. He also reports GM Steve Yzerman won’t part with Bishop unless he gets the right price, If he finds it, Bishop isn’t likely to stand in his way.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far there’s not much of a market for goalies. Yzerman is obviously hoping that improves by March 1. While he’d prefer waiting for the right deal, the Lightning GM could be forced to settle for less if he wants to avoid losing Bishop later this summer for nothing to free agency. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford prefers to retain Marc-Andre Fleury as goaltending insurance over the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, But with Fleury now relegated to backup status, Rutherford said he’ll listen if the veteran netminder asks to be dealt. Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, recently declined to comment on his client’s status. Bombulie notes Fleury’s $5.75 million annual salary-cap hit through 2018-19 and limited no-trade clause are significant hurdles that could make moving him difficult.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So it all comes down to what Fleury wants. If he’s willing to finish the season with the Pens and approve an off-season move, that’s fine by Rutherford. As for the expansion draft, if the Penguins can’t move him via trade before the 5 pm ET deadline on June 17 to submit the list of protected players, they can buy him out before then. The buyout window opens either June 15th or 48 hours after the Cup is awarded, whichever is later. The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded this year is June 14th. Plenty of time for the Pens to buy out Fleury if necessary. There’s nothing in the expansion draft rules preventing teams from buying out players before the due date for submitting their protected lists. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS:  Mike Harrington reports Sabres captain Brian Gionta could attract the most attention if Buffalo GM Tim Murray goes into sell mode by the trade deadline. Pending free agents such as goaltender Anders Nilsson and defenseman Cody Franson and Dmitry Kulikov could also garner some interest.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Murray’s recent appearance on WGR 550 acknowledging a lot of teams are scouting the Sabres.  He said he hasn’t made up his mind yet if he’ll be a buyer or seller, but if he goes the buyer route he won’t “sell off the farm for a one-off playoff shot.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sabres fail to gain ground in the standings over the next couple of weeks, Murray will be a seller and I can see Gionta, Franson and Kulikov attracting plenty of interest from contenders looking for experienced depth players. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa reports the Detroit Red Wings have some unrestricted free agents, such as Thomas Vanek and Brendan Smith, that might be enticing to clubs seeking scoring depth or a bit of jump on their blueline. GM Ken Holland stressed he won’t part with future assets for a short-term fix, but also added he didn’t think anyone was untouchable. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James believes the Wings should move out as many veterans as possible for draft picks and prospects, but she doubts there might not be much interest beyond Vanek. She points out defenseman Mike Green carries a $6 million annual cap hit while wingers Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist have been disappointing this season. She also doubts the Wings will find many takers for inconsistent goalie Petr Mrazek. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland’s indicates Vanek could be re-signed if he’s willing to accept a reasonable deal. The winger could also be dealt at the deadline and return to the Wings as a free agent. There was a recent report claiming the Chicago Blackhawks had interest in Tatar or Nyquist, but it doesn’t appear that’s gone very far. 


  1. When I think of Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene I can’t help but think of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards when in Phi, or when Colorado let players like ROR get away. You can’t force improvement (aka the Burke plan) if you make a mistake don’t compound it. Smart deals are out there, as an Edmonton fan I hate seeing D Hamilton in Calgary and what we could have given Boston at the time to get him. We won so many lotteries to get one generational player, but our lack of development continues to hurt the organization. Keep developing and growing players and your organization will thrive.

    • Tempe, i agree with you, wholeheartedly. GMs are on an even faster ticking clock with the Cap slowed down. You get really high end kids and YOU KNOW there is something there…but, before you know it,you are faced with your on the job training guys becoming RFAs, and their representatives see bridge deals as heresy. And when a guy starts sniffing around OUTSIDE for a better RFA deal, the GMs seem to deal them as a matter of principle. Especially teams who finished low and draft high, unless they have one of their high end picks FLOP (Edmtn/Yakupov) and trade another young high contract away (Taylor Hall) you don’t get the luxuxry of time. Right now, the avs are panicing to “save” this season b/c they know they are done and where they will pick. That doesn’t solve the need to improve in net, or that they simply need a TWO-defenseman upgrade, and also upgrades at forward around the core. There isn’t a thick group of prospects or minor pros that have stepped up yet. So, there GM might have to look to get a promising NHL goalie still cast in a back up role, a solid veteran and prospects that are closer to being pros FROM the OUTSIDE for a Duchene.
      It’s harsh, yes, but Duchene has underachieved on his part of the contract. And they don’t want to get a return that is a) still dveloping but alreayd getting paid a high NHL scale, b) just going to be patchwork players or c) doesn’t include one solid NHL piece that makes them better now.
      Not an easy task.
      I just wanted to go back to Hamilton for a bit. Hamilton was drafted early based on his size skill and while in Boston was what he was…and unable as a youngster to step up and fill in for the injured Chara DEFENSIVELY.
      and then quickly that RFA staus was putting his representation in a cat bird seat and the BRUINs saw the option of a trade for three picks over possibly getting saddled with paying a giant non-physical finesse defender to continue his on the job training and tighten their Cap for years to come. They were in a corner. Hamilton’s less than six mil long term deal is a good value IF he improves, but is he there? i think not. It just seems like each team needs to continue signing and retooling minor pros from Europe and undrafted college gusy with the idea they help the Cap, while actually to draft solid mid line-up replacements, so they don’t get caught where Colorado finds themselves.

      • Regarding prom8sing goalies. What did it cost Ottawa to get Comdon.

        There out there

  2. Does Shattenkirk even make the Rangers any better? How much of an improvement over Kevin Klein is he with exception of the Powerplay?

    The Rangers need a workhorse on the right side to play 20+ minutes and skate against top lines more than PP help.

    I almost prefer Mike Green and nasty side for a playoff run if it was not for his injury history.

    The Leafs could use Shattenkirk for longer than the rental period.

    • Not at 6.5-7 mill long term they couldn’t it’s too much money for a 2nd pair guy and that likely where he would be playing with Gardiner.

      • If it was just for a short term or a cheap deal I think Franson would be worth a look couple Sabres games I’ve seen this year he has looked pretty good for what he is.

      • Two years of a player like Shattenkirk would help the Leafs but yes past that point his salary and declining speed handcuff the team.

        Part of my point with him and the Leafs is that they do not need to overpay for a playoff rental when they are not at that point yet

      • Eh depends on the cost really to me. Wouldn’t give up any top prospects but if was something like later or players that are not in thier plans anyway I’d have no issue with it. They can always recoup some picks moving guys around the draft. If they went that route. I think there comes a point with contract limits that you actually kinda can have too many picks and tweeners by that I mean younger guys that bounce between AHL and NHL until they find their way as depth NHL guys.

    • Shattenkrk to the Rangers will be Yandle 2.0, just playing the opposite side. Klein has been somewhat of a train wreck this year, so I’d say Shattenkirk would be an upgrade, but I don’t think he puts them over the top. And if the cost is anything more than picks and prospects they should run away. No way should they even consider Miller + who’s name is always popping up in that deal. I’m sure their will be a cheaper alternative at the deadline.

      • Oooops…. there will be …not their will be!

      • At most Klein+a 4th for Shattenkirk. And Rangers cannot sign him long term-makes no sense.

        Miller should only be moved if a young D from Anaheim or Minnesota or Winnipeg is coming back

      • Don’t worry about grammar hear.

      • ?? it caper

  3. Bruins could use Shattenkirk for the long term as Chara is winding down.
    His salary drops to 4 million next year and it’s his last.
    I don’t think he’s worth 7 million though. I also wouldn’t give up assets this season as Boston isn’t going far. He should be moved as a rental then signed by someone July 1st.

    • Dave, how many of these types of dman do you want? Got Krug and C.Miller filling that role at much cheaper price then what Shattenkirk will reportedly seek. I would like to see Boston get a complete Dman. Someone who can play all zones, hits and a little nasty at times. For me that player is Jacob Trouba. I know some don’t like how he handle his situation but I look at it this way, every player except one, on the Jets was happy to see him back and they personally get along. Don’t care what management thinks and management doesn’t care either as long as you effective on the ice. The only way your getting Trouba is if you giving up Carlo or Krug in some type of deal. I offer Carlo and a 1st and see if that gets the deal done.

      • I would take all six defenseman playing this style. The game is changing to speed and skill over slow and physical.
        I do agree with you though I would definitely take Trouba over Shattenkirk. I would move Carlo plus for Trouba as well.

  4. Why is Shattenkirk expected to be signed for $7 m ?
    Is he worth +3 over someone like Brodie, +2 Seth Jones,The list is long.

    • Agree maybe a long term 7,7,6,5,5,4,4 average around 5.4 would be fair for both sides.

      • nhlnumbers.com lists Brett Burns at 10mil/per year. Am I reading that incorrectly. When it was announced I thought it was 8mil. In any case, Shattenkirk is nowhere near Burns money, but there will be a GM stupid enough to offer 7 years/7-7.5 mil per year.

        It is to a point where the Blues would be better off signing Shats and trading Petro for value. Parako’s missing element this season has been his lack of scoring. He is scoring now, and has become a real force on the Blueline. Shattenkirk and Parako on the right side will make up for the loss of Pietrangelo.

        If Armstrong cannot get a conditional high #1 pick for Shats, he has batched this and should be gone.

      • Ted; it’s 8.
        10 in real money for the start of the term. Look further to the right 🙂

  5. To qualify for a wild-card over the past 3 seasons teams needed: 2013-14 – 93 pts; 2014-15 – 98 pts; 2015-16 – 96 pts. As to which teams may be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline (avg of 96 pts). Here is a list showing current %, projected finish at that pace, and what % they need to play at down the stretch to get to 96 points Washington, Columbus and Pittsburgh are considered locks):

    Mtl – .644 – 106 – .500
    NYR – .637 – 105 – .500
    Ott – .612 – 100 – .545
    Tor – .561 – 92 – .621
    Pha – .558 – 92 – .633
    NYI – .541 – 89 – .652
    Fla – .538 – 88 – .667
    Bos – .537 – 88 – .679
    Car – .530 – 87 – .672
    Buf – .500 – 82 – .719
    Det – .500 – 82 – .726
    NJ – .500 – 82 – .733
    TB – .481 – 80 – .767

    Only Mtl, NYR and Ott can afford dips in their %, although Ottawa’s margin of error is much narrower – all the rest need to pick up the pace. And from NYI down it’s a considerable increase in the pace of their % point production. Unless someone sees any having the potential to play at the pace needed, I’d say they are all toast.

    • In the west Min, Chi, Sj, Ana, Edm and Nash should all be locks while Ariz and Col have NO chance. As to the rest

      Cgy – .528 – 87 pts – .696
      Los – .549 – 90 pts – .645
      StL – .539 – 88 pts – .661
      Wpg – .500 – 82 pts – .750
      Van – .510 – 84 pts – .710
      Dal – .500 – 82 pts – .733

      • Appears as though the western cut-off could be significantly lower than the projected 96 points required in the east. Maybe something like 90.

        No case is entirely hopeless, however, not even that of TB who would need to play at a .767 clip the rest of the way. They certainly have the talent to do it and all you need to do is recall Ottawa’s incredible pace over the last 31 games of the 2013-14 season when they went 23 – 4 – 4 for a % pace of .807.

  6. Leafs just placed Corrado on waivers and picked up Marchenko (RD) from Detroit.

    • Well, at least Corrado will get a chance to play somewhere. I`ll be surprised if some one claims him

      • The Canucks….. but, even if he’s unclaimed, at least Corrado will get games, actual games, with the Marlies.

    • Guess that didn`t last long, waivers non-roster. Just when you think Corrado might get a break, now I hope somebody does pick him up.

      • Just need one more minor deal:

        If I were Lou Lamoriello, I would try and swing a deal with San Jose for Dylan Demelo (Sharks willlose in the expansion anyways) and throw in Michael Haley for cap relief – offer Ben Smith (they qualify) or Josh Leivo for the expansion draft and perhaps a high conditional pick for playoff appearance etc..
        Helps both teams especially the Sharks for immediate cap relief like they did with Wingels (RS).

        Hunwick, Polak, Leivo can be traded for picks etc.

        Thus allowing the TML to address pursuing a younger top, one to three spot Defenseman during the offseason prior to puck drop..

      • Demelo has been suggested before, but now Toronto`s at 49 contracts so it starts to complicate matters. Generally not good to be at 49-50 contracts at this time of the year

      • Was me that suggested and Corrado and other moves will be made to be contract compliant.

        And Ben Smith only needs 11 more games and qualified – not 16 from what you replied yesterday to be able to expose for the expansion draft.

      • Ya I forgot about the 4 Col. games he played. The first time I heard the Demelo suggestion was from Pierre Lebrun about 3 months ago. He was commenting about 3 players who might be available because of the expansion draft and be helpful for Toronto.

  7. Leafs got lucky.. I didn’t think that we would be able to claim Marchenko! Brilliant move. I suspected they would make a claim but another team would beat us..

    He is still raw but has a high ceiling!

    • BRILLIANT move??? Come on man, take off the blue & white blinders. 11 teams – including Arizona and Colorado – passed on a guy who’s been around with Detroit (hardly a paragon of excellence when it comes to their D) since 2013-14 and has played 110 games in the NHL with 3 goals and 16 assists. A better stiff than Corrado is the best you can say for him – but hardly “brilliant.”

      • Marchenko!!!! Lol

  8. Tampa’s goalie siutation is tough. Vasilevsky (excuse the butchery of spelling) isnt playing well. Bishop id argue is better but costly and prone to injury.

    Iteresting conundrum.

  9. Hey Lyle

    Curious on your Duchene comments. Do you think in the offseason they could get that kings ransom rumour? Or they need to lower the asking price for deadline as well as offseason?

    • I still think they must lower it. I don’t see many teams lining up to part with a top-four blueliner, a first-round pick and a top-prospect for a 30-goal scorer.

  10. Hi, so if the rumors are true there will be yet another horrible contract to Shattenkirk that will look awful 1 year after signing. Maybe there should be some more term and money rules in the next cba?
    I just say Kopitar… nice contract, try to live upto atleast half of it!

    • I think the oilers r in trouble I don’t think they will make the playoffs they have lost the last tthree games and don’t look interested in playing hockey what do u guys think

      • I don’t see them falling completely out of the race.

        That said, I don’t see them getting past the first round either.

        They’re turning things around finally, but the journey to being a consistently good team (ie – in the playoffs regularly and a chance at going to the finals) isn’t over for them yet.

        There are still some glaring issues with their roster construction that will likely take another off season and then regular season to figure out and then fix.

        When the roster is balanced top to bottom and they have consistency – which is a big part of what they currently lack – they’re going to be a very strong team.