Latest on the Flyers, Sabres & Stars – March 20, 2017

by | Mar 20, 2017 | Rumors | 25 comments

Could the Philadelphia Flyers target Ben Bishop this summer?

A look at some possible offseason moves for the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars in your NHL rumor mill. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi recently suggested stabilizing the Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltending is the offseason priority for general manager Ron Hextall. So far, Hextall hasn’t decided if he’ll make a contract offer to pending unrestricted free agent Steve Mason. The Flyers GM must also decide whether to protect Michal Neuvirth or Anthony Stolarz in the June expansion draft.

Carchidi pointed out Ben Bishop and Scott Darling could be available via free agency. The Flyers also have some promising young goalies in their system who are close to being ready for the NHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Hextall will look for an experienced starter and could set his sights on Bishop, though it could cost up to $7 million annually on a five-year deal to land him. The Flyers have over $59 million invested in 16 players for next season, with Mason their most notable unrestricted free agent and Shayne Gostisbhere their top restricted free agent.

Hextall could have sufficient cap space to pursue a big-ticket goalie such as Bishop. Whether he does, however, remains to be seen. He could also look around in the trade market. Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury could be available, but it’s unlikely long-time rivals such as the Flyers and Penguins will deal directly with each other. 

WGR 550: Howard Simon recently speculated he expected Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray will turn to this summer’s trade market to bring in a top-four defenseman. He felt it could cost the Sabres left wing Evander Kane. Simon’s not sure how they can fit an expensive, long-term contract extension for Kane with other deals that’ll have to be made in the near future. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane will likely continue to surface as a trade candidate in the coming weeks. While his improved performance this season could improve his trade value, concerns over his off-ice issues could linger. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika believes the Dallas Stars will have a new starting goalie next season. He thinks Stars GM Jim Nill would love to trade Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi but buying out one (or both?) could be his best option. Heika listed Los Angeles’ Ben Bishop, Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta, Washington’s Philipp Grubauer, Chicago’s Scott Darling and Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo as possible offseason goaltending targets for the Dallas Stars.  Bishop and Darling are unrestricted free agents while Grubauer and Korpisalo are restricted free agents. Fleury, Raanta, Grubauer and Korpisalo could be available via the trade market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins could trade or buy out Fleury in order to protect Matt Murray in the expansion draft. Raanta, Grubauer or Korpisalo could be shopped before the expansion draft, as their respective clubs could decide they don’t want to risk losing them for nothing.

Bishop and Darling won’t cost any player assets to acquire. Of the two, Bishop will be expensive to sign. Darling would be more affordable. He could be ready for a starter’s job after spending several seasons as Corey Crawford’s understudy in Chicago. 


  1. Did Howie Simon do any research before saying the Sabres couldn’t fit E. Kane in long term? Teams like Pitt and Chic can fit their star players and still contend so why can’t the Sabres…both Pitt and Chic shell out 50-53 mil for their top 8 contracts according to capfriendly and that includes each paying a goalie around 6mil which Lehner will not be getting. Moulson is a goner by either expansion draft or buyout, Gionta and Kulikov come off he books and Ennis should be moved but that could be hard due to his contract and past health issues and Gorges is off the book after next year.

    Yes, Eichel will get a big raise but is he worth more then 87 in Pitt? Reinhart will get a raise also but it’ll either be a bridge contract or maybe in the 5mil range on a longer term deal IMO

    I don’t see giving Kane a 6-6.5 mil contract like Okposo as a problem as I do him staying clean off the ice. He may have to go to get a top 4 D-man but teams are going to think he is only locked up for one year and then a new contract is due so how good a D-man are they going to be willing to give up is the question?

    • Did Howie Simon do any research before saying the Sabres couldn’t fit E. Kane in long term?
      The bigger question is how does he REALLY think a team would pay a TRUE top FOUR defender (a guys who has played there in established contender teams?
      Evander has been overpaid since his he skipped his bridge contract and as far as I can see is STILL on the job trainning on and off the ice. Sure there are ALWAYS going to be teams willing to make a deal for him, with the hopes he really continue on a consistent path to a NHL journeyman, but to answer your question, it remains questionable ANY GM wants to bump up that inflated contract with the Cap no longer skyrocketing upward every year…you get burned if he isn’t the real deal, and I still am not sure he is the real deal? EVERYONE?

      • Not sure what your getting at Bill. Kane 25 goals in 60 games, last year 20 goal in 65 and in each of the 3 previous season well on pace for between 20 and 30 goals. So I think you know what your getting a guy who scores between 20 and 30 goals when healthy, fast, plays physical and very good on the pk. As always the knock on Kane is his off ice activities and his immaturity. I do agree he isn’t getting you a top 4 dman th one year left on his contract but Buffalo should be looking at resigning him not trading.

      • I don’t think we know yet Bill, at least I don’t. Are the off ice issues behind him? Probably? Maybe? Will he stay healthy? Maybe? Will he continue to develop? Maybe.
        Plenty of maybe’s, which means added risk. Whoever assumes the risk, adds cost, that is how it works in business.
        Added risk means smaller contract than a similar player without that risk attached, that simple. Of course there is demand for big, fast forwards who can score. So… somebody could buck up.
        Do you give up a top 4 D? Top 4 is a pretty big window. If you are talking a number 4 D man with similar term left and some upside, then sure.

      • Some seem to think Radulov will get a healthy deal from the Habs and his. And that other Kane”past” is hardly a secret. And that other Kane seems to have put his recent “past” behind him, nor have I heard the Hawks are looking to trade him due to that “past.” Give the guy a break!

      • should read ” … from the Habs and his “past” is well documented.”

    • On 2028 buffalo has eichel and reinhart due high 2nd contracts. With Ennis snd Moulson with high final year contracts 18/19 will be near the cap. If they can get Ennis or moulson off the roster ( vegas picking them) then buffalo has room yo sign Kane. Thus model assumes buffali brings in a $5M top 4 Dman like thru UFA.

      When moulson and Ennis contracts end their money would mo e yo D/G side with mccabe due in 2019.

      The other risk in play in in 2018 buffalo has bailey, baptiste, fasching, and Carrier due bridge contracts. While they can give them minimum offers they will be near the cap that a team could sign them to a low offer sheet that buffalo could not match.

      • Sabres need to target Karl Alzner – he would be a nice fit with Risto on the top pairing.

  2. A lot teams interested in MAF and Bishop. Probably going to drive up the price. I think Elliot stays in Calgary with Gilles. Mason will find a home but not sure where the Dallas goalies fit in the league.

  3. I don’t see the Flyers re-signing Mason. Whether there is truth to this or not-I read the flyers signed Neuvirth with the understanding that vegas will take him in the draft (McPhee was in agreement on the contract).

    • The Flyers will not be in on the big name, high priced goaltenders. They did indeed sign Neuvirth to be claimed by LV with the intention of bringing Mason back on a 2 year deal.

      2 years from now the Flyers goalie will be Stolarz, Lyon or Hart. With the off season’s purge, the only monetary or player outlays will be for top offensive prospects and proven wingers as the Flyers are on D and G for the near term once the prospects arrive.

      • I would lean more to signing a mid tier tender like Elliot over Mason
        Defence next year will be Provorov, Ghost, Gudas, Manning,Morin, and Macdonald.
        Some how they need to upgrade their 5 on 5 forward production.

      • I assume you mean exposed in expansion? I don’t see Vegas selecting Neuvirth. Depending upon who the 7th keeper is at forward out of the following Raffl, Cousins, Weiss, Weal & Laughton I assume 1 of these other forwards would be selected 1st.

      • @Striker-Its all conjecture-but the rumour out there is Hextall and vegas already have a side deal in place assuring Neuvorth is selected on the expansion draft

      • What’s the rumor?

        I don’t see why Vegas would possibly take Neuvirth an average back up making 2.5.

        Given a choice of the players I show above I take Laughton, Cousins or Raffl in that order depending upon which 1 gets protected.

        Otherwise I want fairly solid compensation to pass on them.

      • @striker-as we all see-you are not all knowing. I got my info from one of the Flyers writers. And I am sure I follow the flyers closer than you-I will go with my post being accurate

      • My question was Scott what’s the rumor or is that the extent of it?

  4. If one goes by the better informed than anybody realized Kypreos, then he said that Vegas left the GM`s meetings having made 3 deals that he knew of. One of which was with Toronto, that he elaborated on and 2 others that Nick didn`t go over. Considering Vegas gets to talk to the UFA`s a week before the draft, Vegas wouldn`t need Philly to sign Neuvirth to any kind of a deal now. But, since no one seems to know what the other 2 deals were, other than Kipper that is, anything is possible.

  5. IF BUFF wants a top 4 Dman…Would they consider STAAL from the Rangers? You know they will not touch Girardi (slower than STAAL)… Rangers can asked for Ullmark (ideal) or Nilsson and 2nd pick….

    Rangers clear cap and can use Raanta as trade bait before the expansion draft to a team like Dallas.

    • @ihatescrosby Nilsson will be an UFA and Ullmark is needed as to be exposed in the expansion draft as the rules allow a team to expose a goalie who is a RFA provided said goalie is tendered a qualifying offer which the Sabres will do.

      • No one likes a hater… @hatercrosby LOL

    • I hate Crosby…you must be from Philadelphia….LOL

    • alzner all day

  6. I would be shocked if Hextall goes after a high price free agent goalie. The guy has made it clear he wants to build via draft. The philly press suggested, by my read, that Hextall signed N, will protect Stolarz, and if LV takes N, he feels confident he can get Mason.

    The most likely place he goes is to the college FA’s at forward.

    There is only one scenario where he goes after mid tier FA. And that is trading a Giroux or Simmonds for prospects and using the cap space.

    My personnel hope is Giroux’s days are numbered in Philly. We need to parlay him into a Mike Richards type trade.

    • G won’t bring as much as Simmonds for sure. I wouldn’t mind seeing them both go (for what they’d bring back), but I do love having Simmonds and think he would make a great captain.