NHL Rumor Mill (Part Two) – February 24, 2017

by | Feb 24, 2017 | Rumors | 36 comments

Should the Buffalo Sabres try to trade Evander Kane at the trade deadline?

Updates on the Sabres, Flyers, Penguins and Flames in your latest NHL rumor update.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason reports Sabres winger Evander Kane’s dominant performance since early-December has his trade value soaring. Gleason feels several teams could try to acquire Kane before the trade deadline. He feels the disparity between the Sabres’ asking price and the offers they’ll get could make a deal unlikely, but still believes Sabres GM Tim Murray should listen to offers.

While Kane has terrific chemistry with young center Jack Eichel and is playing well of late, it remains to be seen if he’ll maintain his current level of production. A free agent in July 2018 carrying a $5.25 million cap hit, Kane could also prove too expensive to re-sign. Ultimately, Gleason feels Murray should retain Kane until he gets an offer too good to refuse. 

John Vogl reports the return the Carolina Hurricanes received from the Pittsburgh Penguins for  Ron Hainsey (a second-round pick) and what the Arizona Coyotes got back from the Calgary Flames for  Michael Stone (a third rounder in 2017 and a conditional fifth in 2018) gives them an idea of the market value of blueliners Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson. The Hurricanes and Coyotes also retained salary in those deals, something the Sabres could also do to move Kulikov or Franson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres probably won’t make the playoffs this season. If they can get a good offer for Kane now, move him and look for a replacement via this summer’s trade or free-agent markets. Kane has a history of being a streaky scorer. Best to strike now while his value has improved. As for Kulikov and Franson, the former likely has more trade value and could attract interest from clubs that lose out in the Kevin Shattenkirk sweepstakes. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio cites an NHL source claims the Colorado Avalanche would love to do a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Avs are believed to be shopping either Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog. Panaccio says they’re looking for a top forward and defensive help, pointing out the Flyers have a slew of young defensemen and not all of them will be able to play in Philadelphia.

The Los Angeles Kings have also been scouting the Flyers. Panaccio said they’re seeking a left wing for Anze Kopitar’s line, but the Flyers don’t have any to spare. The Kings could also be in the market for a backup goalie if Jonathan Quick’s return to action is delayed. Panaccio also said scouts are saying there’s a market for goaltender Michal Neuvirth if the Flyers wish to move him now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Flyers want to add Duchene or Landeskog, they must free up over $6 million in cap room. They don’t have a lot of space to work with. That means they’ll have to move a young salaried blueliner. The Avs won’t be interested in aging Mark Streit or pending UFAs Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz. And I doubt they’ll take Andrew MacDonald and his $5 million cap hit off the Flyers hands. The Avalanche probably have their eye on promising Ivan Provorov, but I can’t see the Flyers parting with him. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said Thursday night his club will decide within the next 24 hours if they’ll add another defenseman. The Penguins yesterday acquired blueliner Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes. Rutherford also isn’t considering placing sidelined rearguards Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley on long-term injured reserve. While such a move would give the Penguins flexibility to spend over the $73 million cap ceiling, it could also take them out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season. Rutherford expects both could be ready to return to the lineup before season’s end.

Rutherford also isn’t budging from his stated intent to retain goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the remainder of the season. Fleury, meanwhile, said he’s not going to do anything to force a trade. Mackey also thinks Rutherford could still have something big up his sleeve for the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury could still be moved, but I think at this point the odds are against it. Young starter Matt Murray’s been sidelined a couple of times already this season. Best to keep Fleury around as insurance. If Rutherford wants to add another defenseman or swing a big move, he’ll either have to bury some salary in the minors or move out a salaried player. He doesn’t have much cap room to work with right now. 

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman won’t stand in management’s way if they find a trade partner for his services. Wideman has a full no-movement clause but is open to waiving it. So far, he hasn’t been approached about it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wideman’s also carrying a $5.25 million cap hit for this season. The Flames will have to pick up part of it in order to move him. Since the Flames acquired Michael Stone from Arizona and sign Matt Bartkowski earlier this week, Wideman’s become the odd man out on their blueline. 


  1. Is MTL a buyer or a seller? Judging by their play, I’d say sellers.

    • If I were Habs’ GM, I’d be a seller. I don’t even know if they’ll make the playoffs, honestly. But I believe Bergevin thinks, “With Carey Price, we always have a chance,” so he’ll be a buyer.

      • The need a spark and Duchene is probably exactly what they need, I get the price is high but so is burning another year of Price’s team friendly contract,

        Give up the kid they want with the draft picks and take a real shot this year and next

      • If bergevin is a seller after moving Subban he is a gonner. He will buy to save his job.

      • Dino

        I believe they need to do exactly that! Go for it.

      • Give 1st rounders in 2017 and 2018, Scherbak, Beaulieu, and Hudon for both Duchene and Landeskog. Set the table with those two, and resign Radulov to complement, then trade Pleks and let your centers be Galchenyuk/Duchene/Danault/McCarron.

    • Good day

      Here s my take on a few things …

      Buffalo needs to get rid of Kane & Lehner ..this franchise needs a total cultural overhaul and it needs to start with moving out those 2 guys that have wayyyy to big of egos for a REAL TEAM to come together especially a rebuilding one that needs to have a strong 4 line unit in a rebuilding process with young guys up and coming…IMO …without making those 2 deals they will nevber be on the right track to a TRUE cup winning organization.

      Habs …need to make a serious change for the future direction not for just the franchise but for Price and Weber…they need to pull the trigger and get Duchene ASAP …move out Chucky this years first and a D man to make the deal …IMO they have no choice moving forward and they really need to insulate this team with a TRUE professional that has winning under his belt in the way of a few Olympic gold medals…it would give this team a TRUE leader on the front end back end and in net and would compliment Gallagher on offense.
      IMO… Deuchene is the TRUE key to Habs success…. in 2 years they can make a decision on where they want to go with either resigning Duchene, where as if they sign Chucky to 6 years they are stuck and he will not take them any further than Duchene would anyways IMO the Habs have a sincere 2 year window left with Price and Weber anyways at there best…Duchene is a true professional and would thrive in Montreal and carry the load and blend in with the core of this franchise to win now!

      • STOP with the Kane rumors! He is going nowhere. He is turning into the player that we want. Didn’t that other Kane in Chicago have trouble with the law?

        While Lehner hasn’t been the player we hoped for, he’s got more grit than some other players on this team. If you watched him speak recently you can tell the other guys in the locker room listened!

        As me early this season about Gionta and Moulson and I’d of said TRADE them. Not now – this team is at a “good” turning point now.

      • I think you need to take a look at Lehner’s stats before you comment about how poor he is.
        Top 6 in save % and top 5 in shot faced with fewer games played that any other top goalie.

  2. Would Kane alone get one of the big D-men? I’m mostly thinking Fowler though I know he’s their #1 guy and may have decided not to move him at this point.

  3. I like Kanes game. He’s physical and has offensive production. His reputed attitude is what i dont like.

    Yet perhaps hed be a nice add for Ottawa.

    • I could see Kane joining Ottawa. I don’t know what Buffalo would want for him but I would like him with Turris.

  4. I think the Flames should be all in on Fleury, they could offer up a package to replace the second Pitts moved in the Hainsy deal.

    Elliott + Bouma + 2nd


    Fleury + 3rd

    • Why not Reimer.

      Could he be cheaper?

      • I doubt Florida wants to move Reimer a year after signing him and Bobby Lou destined to slow down over the next year or so.

        Fleury will give the a solid next few years on a similar cap hit until Gillies is ready or even Parsons.

        I think the Flames would love to move Bouma anyway and Elliott is gone after this year.

      • You dont think Vegas will take him. I think he is vegas’s goalie selection

      • If he is traded I doubt he is available and as far as I know he has to be protected in the expansion draft,

    • Ottawa would be getting Duchene in his prime, you can’t just keep waiting for the future.

      Is White going to be better then Duchene, I doubt it, depending on the other pieces I would make this move all day long.

    • If Ottawa is giving up White, there shouldn’t be a whole lot more added to the trade. Maybe White, a 3rd and Pageau given they can afford to lose a Center in with Duchene coming back. White is an elite prospect and I wouldn’t give up the 1st given they don’t have their 2nd round pick already.

      Chabot is the only high-end defense prospect Ottawa has and I’d be shocked if they traded him.

    • Let’s see, a 5′ 11″ 200 lb C whose periods of prolonged non-productivity make Phil Kessel look like a model of inconsistency and who spends way too much attention on his Country-rock aspirations while hauling in $6 mil per for 2 more seasons before becoming a UFa, OR
      a 6′ 1″ 210 lb LW who may not be as productive as Duchene but who plays a solid 2-way game and has a mean streak to boot while costing $5,571,428 with 4 more years to go.

      Assuming they’d each fetch about the same return, I’d take Landeskog – but NOT at the cost of Chabot.

      • should read “model of consistency ….”

  5. either JMJG is for reals when he says he don’t want to affect chemistry and have two good goalies or there is no market for MAF and he doesn’t want to reveal that. Ultimately MAF could have had some small value this deadline… the only value he has in summer is if a team is worried another team will out bid them for his services after he is bought out.

    • When all is said and done, I have to think Rutherford has a Fleury for Niemi deal in his back pocket. There is no way Jim Nill can go to his ownership and say they are going to use the same tandem again.

      I think MAF’s main value is the Pens is keeping hockey’s best and most superstitious player happy.

      I’d love to know the real story of what happened with Calgary last summer. Did the Flames pass? Did Rutherford really ask for the #6 pick for a guy he might now have to buy out? Did Marc block the deal?

      I suspect all parties involved would love a do-over on that deal. The 2nd round pick the Flames paid for an ineffective Elliot would have been a fair deal.

      • Gmjr played chicken and “lost”. He has done a solid job so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt with this situation.

  6. Lyle, I think you’re being generous when you say “The Sabres probably won’t make the playoffs this season.”

    It’s as safe a bet as one can make that they won’t be going to the dance. Out of a possible 120 points thus far they’ve chalked up 62 for a pts % of .517. With 96 looking to be the cut-off this year in the East, they’d need to add 34 out of a possible 44 points left in the schedule – or a % of .773.

    They are a better team than in past years – but nowhere near THAT good. That pace over 82 games nets a team 126 points.

  7. Out of all that is stated by Rutherford the one thing I find that is complete BS is that he isn’t going LTIR Daley or Maatta. If he has something in the works and he needs the cap space he will at least LTIR at least one of them if not both. Plus he is massively foolish if he doesn’t and needs the cap space only because neither is really going to be available until the earliest and I mean EARLIEST is a week before playoffs. At that point LTIR them use the cap space, strengthen the team, and welcome Maatta and especially Daley back at the start of the playoffs.

    Honestly the only one of the two that might make it back with a week to go is Maatta maybe just because it a hand, he can still keep skating shape. Daley is a leg, he can’t currently skate and it will take a week at least to get back game day skate shape. No way in hell will he be back before the playoffs.

    Honestly take the 8 NHL experienced defensivemen and pick up a extra depth forward for that next forward that will get injured and give your team the best chance to repeat. After all there is currently no depth in the minors that will help you win the cup again. The current defense depth is game service at best definitely not playoff worthy at least until they added Hanisey. Now they need a 8th. As for forwards they really can use one sense they are game service worthy at best also. None will help you win a second cup. Half of them shouldn’t even be used in the NHL at all. Especially Carter Rowley.

    • An extra depth player is unlikely to help a team more than having one, let alone, two rusty defensemen in your top 6 hurts it.

      The only way they should put one of them on LTIR is if they are pushed out of the top 6 by a trade. I don’t see that trade out there.

      And even then, you are gambling no one else gets hurt.

      I can already hear the cannon and the AC/DC blaring thinking about a rusty Olli trying to backpeddle.

  8. Right now, the trade that the Habs need to make is Price vs 2 offensives players. Having a superstar between the pipes simply doesn’t do it anymore if you want to win. The Habs need offense and other teams aren’t interested in our players but Price could fetch a nice return. It’s nothing against Price but the Habs need to spark up the offense. Our last offensive team dates back close to 25 years and our last 50 goal scorer was Stéphane Richer.

    • If Montreal doesn’t feel they can win prior to next year, they’d be be better off shipping Price out now. He will get a contract worse than Lundqvists deal next year.

    • Then who plays net once they start scoring? Your creating a giant hole and fixing two smaller holes.

      • We have some goalies in the system that can do the job. The holes in the offense are deep holes and we need to score goals to win. I’d rather win a game 7 to 4 than 1 to 0 since it’s more exciting. And lately, we’re losing games by shutouts left and right so definitely a deep hole at the offensive side.

      • I’m suggesting to trade him if they don’t think they can win now with him. Which I think is the case without some major changes. You don’t need a Price or Lundqvist in net. Thee are plenty of much more affordable options out there. I’m sure NY is wishing they went with Talbot rather than handcuffing themselves to an 8.5 per guy that simply cannot win games. Sure he can steal some here and there, but you cannot expect these guys to win multiple series in a row. It has been the death of NY every year expecting him to carry the team.

  9. Random minor prediction…I know he’d be a good fit with the Leafs and Oilers, too but I see Mark Streit back with the Habs filling that spot they tried to fill with Nesterov.

  10. Eaves to the Ducks for a conditional 2nd Rd pick

  11. The Flyers should work with Buffalo. Claude Giroux for Evander Kane. Claude Giroux would likely fit very nicely with Eichel. And the Flyers only have to deal with Kane’s contract until the summer 2018.