Latest on the Capitals, Lightning & Jets – March 7, 2017

by | Mar 7, 2017 | Rumors | 55 comments

Can the Washington Capitals afford to re-sign Kevin Shattenkirk?

The possibility of the Washington Capitals re-signing Kevin Shattenkirk plus musings over offseason moves by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Isabelle Khurshudyan recently reports Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan doesn’t sound closed off to the idea of re-signing recently acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He said much will depend upon performance down the stretch and into the playoffs. Shattenkirk is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and could seek a raise over $6 million annually on a long-term deal.

Caps winger T.J. Oshie and defenseman Karl Alzner are also eligible for UFA status and forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky will be restricted free agents. While the Shattenkirk camp seems open to the possibility of re-signing with the Capitals, Khurshudyan believes doing so seems unlikely unless they can shed some salary. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have over $51 million invested in 12 players. They’ll obviously re-sign Kuznetsov and Burakovsky and could retain Alzner or Oshie, but I doubt they can afford Shattenkirk. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith recently examined the next round of possible player moves by Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. While the Bolts have over $18 million in cap space for next season, Smith wonders if that’s enough to re-sign pending RFA forwards Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. They must also add a backup goalie and a top-four defenseman.

Smith suggested it wouldn’t be surprising if Drouin, Johnson or Palat were packaged in a trade this summer for a blueliner. He wondered if one of them was part of the failed attempt to acquire Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues in late-January.

Smith also noted the Lightning and the defense-rich Nashville Predators scouted each other leading up to the recent trade deadline and suggested they could circle back to each other before the draft. He also speculated the Bolts could make moves with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to protect some players in the expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the trio of forwards noted by Smith, Johnson could be most likely to move. His name surfaced several times since January in trade speculation. The Predators must prepare for center Mike Fisher’s inevitable decline and Johnson could be a fit as their second-line center. The Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild are also loaded with defensemen and could emerge as trade targets for the Lightning. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen recently reported Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said he’d revisit his goaltending in the offseason. Connor Hellebuyck isn’t ready yet to become their full-time starter and backup Michael Hutchinson is little more now than a disposable chip in the June expansion draft. It appears Cheveldayoff isn’t thinking about a coaching change this summer. Cheveldayoff and head coach Paul Maurice are expected to sign new deals with the club this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s time for a management and coaching change in Winnipeg. Cheveldayoff’s had six seasons in the GM chair and the Jets haven’t made any notable progress under his tenure. Maurice took over as head coach midway through 2013-14. Granted, he’s done the best he can with the roster he’s been given, but perhaps a fresh view is needed behind the bench. The roster weaknesses, especially in goal, have hampered any chance to develop into a perennial playoff club. If the Jets fail to noticeably improve next season, Winnipeg fans will get restless. 









55 Comments

  1. I don’t think Winnipeg will get restless. Being a new resident of the city I think Laine and scheifele has brought new hope and patience to the fan base. The difficulty of playing in the metro isn’t a secrete. I think the management team down to the coach are just fine. Teams in the division will decline and the Jets will emerge. A goaltender will certainly be something they look into and I suspect a Troubadour trade over the summer

    • Central not metro

      • Oops. Same point. My bad. I know this just a weird mistake.

    • Metro? You sure you’re in Winnipeg Manitoba?

    • Have to disagree with you Jeff, knowing quite a few season ticket holders they’re already upset. Management this year took calculated risks. 1 they decided they didn’t want veteran players and wanted to play their youth and develop. Morrissey, Laine nobody complaining, other like Copp, Petan, Dano, Tanev, and Connor didn’t develop as quickly as the Jets were hoping they would. They were really expecting more from Petan and Kyle Connor but they weren’t ready for full time duty. Kyle Connor could get another call up I believe he has 11g in his last 10 games. Maybe this decision help them next season.
      The second decision they decided to do was to put Pavelc on waivers and go with two unproven goaltenders and that decision failed. Helleybuck looks like he could be a number 1 goaltending but openly admitted that he wasn’t ready for the mental part of a long season and that was the toughest part for him. The Jets missed an opportunity this season, with the decline in the Central given the setbacks of Dallas and St.Louis the Jets had an opportunity to get in this year.
      Trouba was asked by Lawless if he’s open to staying in Winnipeg according to Lawless his reply was he wants to see where he fits in once Myers comes back from injury. At present Paul Maurice called him and Morrisey his number 1 d pairing.
      Winnipeg is one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL and are in the bottom of the league for goals against also before Washington acquiring Shattenkirk had the highest payroll for defense. The structure they play in the dzone has to change. As Paul Maurice recently said some players like to stay at the Buffet to long. They still take lazy penalties and are regularly not ready to play all these fall at the feet of Maurice and it now time for Maurice to change his style. He has encourage his players to play with skill and go to the buffet as often as they want, now its time for less eating and burning calories by running (skating) home. You can still be offensive minded and be responsible defensively.
      There is a lot to like about the Jets and I have said on here a few times that I believe the Jets will be the next Canadian team to win the cup. The only doubt that creeps into my thinking is Trouba, he’s a stud and Winnipeg need to find away to keep him and if they can do that and solidify the goaltending then I still stay to my belief.
      This is the longest I’ve ever wrote; personally I wouldn’t read this much or write because my attention span isn’t that long.

      • I dont disagree any of this. I met a few season ticket holders myself. Im wanting their Sen game tickets near the end of the season haha.

        Non seem as if their suddenly not going to renew. I havent asked directly but that ground work isnt hard to do. I will ask around the small number I know. The one guy i do know who was upset with any lack of move at tje tradd deadline. Lives outside winnipeg and doesnt have any season tickets.

        Sure their is disapointment on tje jets season. But i havent got tje sense fans want heads to roll.

      • I didn’t have any trouble following that at all.

      • Thanks Caper. Good reading!!

  2. I have stated before do not trade the Triplets they are the core of the Bolts (along with Hedman and Stamkos healthy). I Think Tbay has done enough to create space. Filppula was a miracle and Bishop a big ticket. Move Garrison someway and they are good financially

    • I agree, and the other side of the coin as a rival GM is that I have seen TJ play with, and without, the other two. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I would value Palat more highly to adapt to new situations.
      I think Yzerman see the best “2nd” line around, and wants to keep it. I don’t deny a stud Dman would be nice, But a solid second pair guy that you might get in a Namenstikov trade woould be fine. agree that Garrison is the remaining issue, might even be a buyout

    • Buy Garrison out, free up the 3.75 & change in cap space.

  3. I agree with you Lyle that a change is needed in Winnipeg; however, I would argue that Maurice is the one that has to go. He has been given a very good roster in my opinion, short of a goaltender but has produced very little. Winnipeg has to address this position in the off season or these woes will continue. The Jets continued willingness to take dumb penalties demonstrates that they are not listening to their coach. This is a very disappointing team!

    • Who do you have in mind to replace Maurice? A couple of names that come to mind for me are Paul MacLean, Todd Nelson, and IMO the best coach that is not coaching in the NHL Ralph Krueger.

    • Hear what your saying about the dumb penalties Steven, but it is not a good roster without a good tender. The most important position in hockey.
      Show me a coach who got fired or is on the hot seat and I will show you a poor team save %. The Jets are at 899, 26th in the NHL.
      While poor defensive play can contribute to a poor save %, it is also true you can’t win without at least steady/average goal tending.
      I don’t watch the Jets enough to know which one it is for sure as they also have slightly below average shot metrics, and a relatively young team, so a little bit of both likely.
      Bottom line is that a 899 save % does not lead to victories.

      • Dumb penalties do not help goaltending numbers. Chicago won a Stanley Cup in 2010 with very questionable goaltending. How do you think Dallas thinks about Niemi? A disciplined team can balance mid level goaltending. I think Paul MacLean would be a great fit in Winnipeg. Look at Montreal and Boston coaching changes have helped there and let’s not say for a moment that Rask has been all world all season this year!

      • Steven, Rask was hot for a month and a half, then he was brutal for a month and a half, (because they had no good backup and he played too much) then CJ got fired. Go figure. The schedule has been better lately and so has Rask. The Bruins have a poor team save % overall.
        The Bruins shot metrics are the best in the league which has helped overcome their overall save %.
        Chicago in 2010 is the exception, not the rule.

    • I agree Paul has to go specifically special teams is a joke…but if this team can’t get a save it’s still not going to work. Without a goalie honestly what’s the point?

      • Makes me think back to a response Tortorella gave when coaching in TB and in the midst of a losing skid:
        Q: what does the team need most to break out of this slump?

        A: A save would be nice.

    • Hate to kick anyone when they’re down but IMO the Jets’ poor season can almost blamed on the play of one person…Michael Hutchison. He’s 4-W 11-L 3-OTL. If he’s 7-W 8-L 3-OTL the Jets are in a playoff spot.

      • Yes sir

        And once again i agree that a coaching change would be a good thing. It likely wont be a bad thing.

        Yet just to be clear. I am countering Lyles position regarding the Jets fan base losing patience. I havent gotten that feeli g when talking to the ones i know and am quite confident Jets ticket sales will remain steady for some time yet

        People had high expectations from last playoff appearance. Most realise thete are pieces needed to push this team further ahead and they ate still happily waiting.

    • Has anyone considered Scott Arneil as a possible replacement for Maurice. He had strong ties with Winnipeg when he was a player and coach with the Moose.

  4. Vegas could be a cap savior to some teams… orpik and a good sweetener to vegas to open up shat space? or nisk? Vegas could get some good young prospects / picks for taking a few salaries away from a few teams.

    • Fleury would be another one they could get some picks for to take his salary

      • Fleury would have to agree to go there first. I highly doubt that he would agree to go to an expansion team.

      • Doubt it. When gmjr came in I had my doubts but he has done remarkably well. I feel he has the situation figured out with maf. I could be wrong but I doubt a buy out is necessary. A trade for small return is my guess. The thought of pens not getting hurt bothers lots of teams fans… lots of people with a red butt out there… but that’s ok. Odd to say it but I gots faith in gmjr.

      • The pens won’t get a great return on fleury, no point for any team to give anything when every team knows the pens can’t keep him

  5. Carolina needs a legitimate top 6 power forward that will drive the net, they have enough perimeter skill. Its been a team weakness since the 2010-2011 season so its nothing new. The team has never replaced what they lost when they didn’t resign Erik Cole.

    • Who cares what Carolina needs? Other than a move to Quebec they might as well go away!

      • Carolina has been and will be a solid hockey market. It’s pretty low to root for a team to move. The team would be in the playoff run in any division not the metro. Good young team.

      • Raleigh, North Carolina, is a good hockey market indeed. It is also the closest market National Hockey League fans in North Carolina and South Carolina to see their teams.

    • Should be interesting to see what Carolina does with their depth on D. They could easily swing a deal for any forward pieces they are missing. Perhaps Landescog or Duchesne?

  6. Cheveldayoff’s time is up indeed. If the team is not trending upward and into postseason play after six seasons at the helm, it is time to bring in a new general manager who wants an opportunity to build and manage a team to win.

    • The whole Jets organization including the Moose who r as woeful as the Jets require a over haul. . Same issues exist with the Moose as with the Jets. No defensive structure whatsoever. Bring some previous Jets to oversee hockey operations and draft players from Winnipeg and limit U.S. college players being drafted.

  7. It’s not low to want hockey where it belongs!

    • oh? and where is that? The cities who proved they couldn’t support a team in the past? Hockey is growing around the world and that is only a good thing for the game. Burns some Canadian’s I know but it isn’t “their” game anymore. No better proof than the last draft, the value of many US franchise’s, the spread to China through KHL… list goes on and on. So yup it’s low…

    • Belongs? In Quebec City? How so? Do you honestly believe that a franchise can thrive in an area where damned few – if any – Anglo UFAs will want to re-locate considering their language – and that of their families – is legislatively relegated to non-official status?

      That, and the unwillingness of some draftees to go there (remember Lindros?), and the dilution of the talent pool when it comes to management/coaches based first on language capability, reduces substantially their ability to keep pace with other franchises.

      This isn’t a “racist” diatribe – it’s just bloody reality, and until Quebec realizes you cannot legislate a language into dominance there will always be that cloud hanging over their heads.

      • Should read “legislate a language into dominance without adverse consequences …”

      • As a western Canadian I have to agree with much that you say George. Also not crazy about the initial demands that the federal government cough up funds to make it work.

        Now I would love to see a team in Quebec City but they will face all of the challenges you have identified. It’s also not clear if they have dealt with the financial issues that caused the team to move in the first place over the long term.

      • Several months ago, you submitted a post comparing the pupulations of Canadian cities with and without NHL teams. I recall that Quebec City had abouts the same population as Winnipeg, the least populated NHL Canadian city. Not exactly a South Porcupine, but not comparable to the more than 2 million that populate Raleigh and its environs in the Research Triangle. The hockey market is growing there because of rapid population growth due to employment opportunites. Considering the existence of the conditions you cited in Quebec City, I wonder if that area will experience a market increase any time soon.

        Incidentally, I read that the Sens have sent a scout to S. Porcupine to find out if hockey hall-of-famer Murray Costello has any kin playing hockey there. Pierre Dorian envisions that, one day, he could have Chabot and Costello in his lineup.

      • As a guy born and raised in New Brinswick and whose wife is a born and raised Quebecer who is raising his children to be bilingual. I completrly disagree with what george has stated.

        If European countries can preserve all their languages. Surely Quebec can.

        But im going to put this in the political bucket where it shall remain. Cant help peoples ignorances.

        The language issue in Quebev is way toncomplicated anyways.

      • “Ignorances??” Point to one item I said that you could successfully argue is wrong Jeff. Just one.

    • Hmm, where it belongs? I used to live in that part of the world. Granted it wouldn’t have been my first choice for a franchise location but they seem to be attracting enough fans. They also have a cup in the last decade so clearly someone knows something there.

      I also haven’t heard them demanding that the government pay for their facility or the league give them any handouts.

  8. Lyle.

    Winnipeg hasn’t significantly improved in 6 years. This roster is now littered with great young talent. The fruits of those efforts just being realized as we speak.

    Scheifele; 23, Lowry; 23, Laine; 18, Armia; 23, Dano; 22, Copp; 22, Ehlers; 21, Petan; 21, Trouba; 23, Morrissey; 21, Hellebuyck; 23. These are all NHL regulars in Winnipeg now. Are they getting better very quickly?

    The only players remaining from Atlanta are Wheeler, Little, Byfuglien, Enstrom, Postma, Stuart & Pavelic.

    If it’s 5 years to rebuild to be playoff competitor isn’t Winnipeg right on schedule? Winnipeg has the smallest NHL market in the NHL, 4th lowest payroll. They sell out every game. I’d see the future has never looked brighter. Management is going no where. The coach has long outlived his life span. I vote for Gerard Gallant.

    • Not happening Striker, Maurice will be signing a new contract this off season. Chevy was on board with the goaltending situation and must take some of the blame. Maurice will get a two or three year deal. Not saying I agree with this, but it’s what I think will happen.

      • Caper. Your more in tune with what’s going on living there. I’d like to see Winnipeg make a coaching change but not the end of the world. Winnipeg is right on the cusp of breaking out. If they could just play with any semblance of discipline & stop taking stupid penalties they would be a playoff team now.

      • Ur right the Jets will probably give Maurice another 2 years but they should punt the assistant coaches especially Huddy who hasn’t done dick in his time here to improve Jets defence.

    • All true Striker but if we look at history now is exactly when the GM gets fired. It often seems like teams are just about to turn the corner, someone does all the hard work, and then boom new guy comes in and gets all the credit.

  9. Wow! Lots of love for Carolina! You own stocks in the team?

    • I wish. I’d defend any team in the league when people are cavalier about ripping away the team from their fans after a period of bad management (ironic considering my statement about GMJR above), bad coaching, and bad luck. a period of nhl relevancy will cement the team and start the local growth it needs.

  10. Carolina is a better market for hockey in months not named March. Still, they’ve followed much the same path as Tampa, including a cup, but don’t seem to have built as much of a fanbase. It takes time. We are now seeing the second generation fans, a huge difference from when we counted on opposing team fans (and locals with foreign sweaters in their closet) to fill the building. Hockey must succeed in non-traditional markets to maintain network TV and avoid being a niche sport. I accept both Tamp and Carolina as proof that this is possible.

  11. Lightning will probably try & trade Callahan to somebody at some point, too!

    • Garrison will be bought out. That will free up 3.75 mil & change. Callahan will qualify for expansion draft exemption which doesn’t even really matter now that Filppula has been traded but that only free’s up a potential protector not the salary issue his contract creates if he does in fact come back & play.

      https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

      “* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

      • Report on local sports radio in Tampa: 2nd operation confirmed normal healing of the original injury but found problems with scar tissue & blood flow. Second procedure done in a very small proportion of cases (but most don’t try to return to sports fitness). Normal life no problem, but ability of the repair to support pro hockey uncertain – timeline suggest decision about the start of training camp next season. Report supposedly by dr familiar with but not actually on the case. Lighning had similar hip situation with Tim Taylor a decade ago. He rehabbed and came back, but retired seven games into the season–he still skates in oldtimer events but couldn’t complete a 40 second shift at full speed.

  12. Keep the GM.
    Develop the goalie.
    Fire the coach.
    Trade Byfuglien.

    That’s what the Jets need to do.

    Lots of young talent. Hellebuyck can become a very good goalie. But there is no discipline on this team and it starts with the coach not being able to control Buff and the poor example it sets for the team.

    Hire Therrien or Hitchcock. Build around Trouba, Morrissey and Myers and the elite young forwards.

    • No old fossils for Jets coaches. Hitchcock is on his way to a seniors home. No French coaches for Jets. Scott Arneil?