Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 19, 2017

by | Mar 19, 2017 | Rumors | 54 comments

Still more speculation suggesting the Washington Capitals could attempt to re-sign Kevin Shattenkirk in June.

 Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt Duchene, Justin Schultz, the Stars head-coaching job & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s a belief any kind of playoff success could prompt the Washington Capitals to try and re-sign pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Given their limited salary-cap space, Garrioch speculates they’d have to try get Brooks Orpik and his $5.5 million annual cap hit off their books. The Caps also have to re-sign T.J. Oshie, Karl Alzner and Dmitry Orlov. Garrioch believes the New York Rangers could be the frontrunner for Shattenkirk’s services if he tests the market in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A couple of weeks ago, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan wouldn’t rule out the possibility of re-signing Shattenkirk. However, it’ll depend on how well he performs with the Caps over the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, as well as his asking price. It’s assumed he’ll seek a seven-year deal worth over $7 million per season. That’s far too expensive for the Caps, even if they somehow manage to clear Orpik’s contract from their salary-cap payroll. 

Buffalo Sabre head coach Dan Bylsma has three years left on his contract but league executives believe he’s under the microscope. Garrioch expects Bylsma will return next season behind the Sabres bench but they better get off to a good start after this season’s disappointment.

If the Colorado Avalanche decide to re-tool by shopping center Matt Duchene, Garrioch believes they should also find a new goaltender because Semyon Varlamov isn’t getting the job done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington’s Philipp Grubauer and the NY Rangers’ Antti Raanta could be trade options. Ben Bishop, Brian Elliott and Scott Darling could be available via free agency. 

Garrioch expects the Dallas Stars will part ways with head coach Lindy Ruff this summer. Ruff’s contract expires at the end of this season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently wondered if the Dallas Stars will replace Lindy Ruff at season’s end with former Stars bench boss Ken Hitchcock. He also considers former Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger and former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant as possible candidates to take over for Ruff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Stars hire a new coach, I doubt they’ll bring back Hitchcock. The current ownership and management likely want their own guy, not a blast from the past. Gallant could be on their radar. 

While the Colorado Avalanche are seeking multiple pieces for Matt Duchene, Matheson suggested the easier deals are one-for-one, such as the Nashville Predators sending defenseman Seth Jones to Columbus for center Ryan Johansen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs could be reduced to making a one-for-one swap this summer. No one’s paying their current high asking price of a good young NHL-ready defenseman or goalie, a first-round pick and a top prospect plus. 

Speaking of the Preds, Matheson doesn’t see them moving Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis or Mattias Ekholm. The Anaheim Ducks, on the other hand, have the depth to move one of their blueliners. Their top four consists of Cam Fowler, Lindholm, Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson, with youngsters Shea Theodore, Brandon Montour and Jacob Larsson waiting in the wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect the Ducks to be the top trade target this summer for clubs with depth in young forwards in need of blueline depth. 

Matheson speculated it could cost the Pittsburgh Penguins three years and $12 million to re-sign blueliner Justin Schultz. They’ll also have to find some money to re-sign Brian Dumoulin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have over $59 million invested in 15 players next season. Inking Schultz to $4 million annually will take a significant bite out of that cap space, but it’s likely necessary to keep him in the fold. Dumoulin and Connor Sheary are RFAs in need of raises, which could cost a combined $8 million. Centers Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen are UFAs, as are blueliners Ron Hainsey, Trevor Daley and Mark Streit. Hainsey and Streit likely won’t be re-signed and Cullen could retire. Re-signing Bonino and Daley will also eat up valuable cap room, perhaps another $8 million combined. Of course, they will likely drop a salary via the expansion draft, but perhaps not enough to free up room to re-sign everybody. 


  1. Pk probably won’t be moved but poile has to be wondering where his team would be with Weber defensively instead of subban? Pk has struggled in his own end this making 9million a yr

    • SAN JOSE, Calif. – Shea Weber took the blame for his poor Game 7 performance.
      He knew after his Nashville Predators were downed 5-0 by the San Jose Sharks that only he could answer for his showing, which included a minus-3 and being on ice for all of the Sharks’ goals in the loss.

      • Weber struggled last year and the Preds made the Playoffs 2 times in his last 4 seasons. Weber is a very good D but as far as the Predators go here is Webers last season in Nashville

        78GP 20G 31A 51pt -7

        55gp 8G 27A 35pt -4.

        I think Poile will be ok

      • Here is the comparison with Subban Playing a full season with Price vs Weber and. Full season with Price
        82Gp 15g 45A 60pt. +21

        71Gp 16g 24A 40pt +15

      • Shticky PK is better then Weber? Not last year and not this year. Maybe in two years when Weber slows down. One dimensional, if and when he learns to play a 200ft game.

      • What I’m saying Caper is that biggies hero worship is sickening and making it seem like it’s all one sided is misleading to say the least if you put them in the same situations the results are pretty similar, at least and in many ways PK comes out on top and I’m not even getting in to the analytics…There are 2 sides to every coin.

      • And I’m not sure that Weber was better last year, the Preds were better than the Habs without Price but besides that point to something that shows Webers was better and I’ll point to something that says he wasn’t

      • I agree caper Weber brings a lot more to the game, subban is very very one dimensional and doesn’t look to be trying improve that. Going into the playoffs most would want Weber over subban

      • Got to remember that Weber player a large part of this season with Emelin, who seriously brought down Weber’s play.

      • Both Weber & PK r overpayed. Webers contract will be an anchor in a few years & PK will never live up to his $9m/yr.

  2. The Penguins will have players on ELCs to offset the cost of re-signing Dumoulin, Shultz and Sheary. All the rest of the UFAs can go find new teams. Signing college star Zach Aston-Rease may be a blessing if he can make the team like Vesey made the Rags this year. He and Daniel Sprong(who is lighting up the Q) will be important pieces in the middle 6. Oskar Sundqvist will also be in the mix. The blue line is trickier. Hopefully Derrick Pouliot can get his stuff together soon. They will need him. A dark horse for me is Jeff Taylor who was just signed after a successful collegiate career. I have seen him play live and he is very talented

    • If they need DP they are proper screwed. they dont though. top 4 is set with maatta letang, dumo, schultz, with cole and who knows at 6-7. I’d like to see hainsey brought back at a reasonable price for depth. hopefully another WBS d man is ready for the 7 role… or chad if he resigns

    • Vesey made the team more so cuz of cap space rather than deserving it IMO.

  3. I doubt it will take 8 mil for sheary and dumo… more in the 6 range. daley for the love of scrod doesnt get resigned. neither bonino. Pens likely expose a hags or horny in the draft. Kunitz gone. sund will be one of the bottom 6 centers on an elc… finding another will take some cash. MAF cap hit gone. overall cap going up slightly. it will work for schultz if 4 mil a year is all he wants. Sure Crozby, Malkin, Kessel expensive up front but top 6 wingers of rust, guentzel, sheary, sprong? wont be too expensive.

    • They would still have Hagelen and Hornqvist or one or the other depending on the draft. Moving MAF opens up some cash especially if they give Jarry(who has earned it in my opinion) the backup job. It will look something like this
      Sheary Crosby Guentzel
      Hornqvist Malkin Kessel
      Sprong Sundqvist Rust
      Kuhnhackle ? ZAR
      Dumo Letang
      Maatta Shultz
      Cole Pouliot
      Haven’t tried it on that hockey’s cap site but I’m sure there will be money left over to sign a competant forth line centre or third depending on Sunny. If Pouliot was used correctly he would be an asset. He’s not a shutdown defensive dman. He’s an offensive player with a big shot and excellent passing skills. He’s an excellent possession player and he’s very talented when used right. Right now he looks like he’s terrified to make a mistake and he’s playing passively. That’s not his game. We are doing to him what Edmonton did to Shultz.

      • If I were Jim Rutherford, I would be active in improving my corps of defensemen. Olli Määttä and Ian Cole have played their way out of Pittsburgh through shoddy play. Trevor Daley has earned an extension. Ron Hainsey could be extended if he wants to play for a contender. Mark Streit should retire after the season.

      • Wow. Hextall is that you? Maatta certainly hasn’t been steady but cole is excellent in his role as a bottom pair d. When injuries force him to be middle pair he struggles. Daley is abysmal.

      • Giving away the puck three or four time a game and leaving the goaltender exposed makes a defenseman excellent?

      • No… pouliot has had chance after chance and can’t do anything with them. Pens arnt doing anything to him… he’s blowing up on his own. I’d rather see hainsey resigned for bottom pair. He can hold his own on second pair when injuries occur. There will be another Cullen out there for cheap. And Jarry has earned NHL time but I’d rather see an expienced back up so Jarry don’t get to good at opening the bench door.

      • I have not given much thought into the Penguins’ goaltending. Both Murray and Fleury can play big roles toward another Stanley Cup championship. After the season, one can remain. Sadly, Fleury would be the goaltender to separate. If he is traded, there should be a good return of players coming back to the Penguins.

        An experienced backup goaltender is what the Penguins need. The Penguins should go after Ryan Miller. I know Miller wants to be in the Pacific Division to be closer to his family. At the same time, he would like to play for a contender. There are not many available options beyond Vancouver.

      • Your thinking about Daley. Cole does struggle when forced into a role he shouldn’t be in but overal he has been, after tanger, pens most steady d man. And unless two or more teams get into a bidding war for maf he will go cheap

      • What are your expectations for a Dman that just turned 22 before the season started & has just over 200 games of NHL experience. Most Dman aren’t even playing in the NHL as regulars at 22.

        Maatta will be just fine. Injures have happered his progress but he’s in very elite company having played this many games at this young an age.

        In 3 or 4 more years as he approaches 25 or 26 he will be a #2 dman by the time he reaches his prime for dman 28 he may well be a #1. This judging kids or GM’s after such a short timeline makes no sense.

    • Sundqvist is coming out of his ELC but he isn’t getting much of a raise, the minimum is 10% Pittsburgh might bump him to a mil & change on a 2 year deal. The clock is ticking for this prospect. He turns 23 on March 23rd, it has almost been 5 years since he was drafted & to date he has 22 games of NHL experience.

      As a 3rd round pick he’s about right where he should be. Unlikely to have an NHL future.

      • Hard to argue striker but the team is high on him. He also has had injury issues and played professionally in Europe.

  4. NJD should pay Shattenkirk what ever it takes. Still New York area .

    • Does anyone willing sign in NJ if they have other options? The only way a UFA chooses NJ is they are offering significantly more money than you can get else where.

      This team is a mess currently. Years from being a playoff team. Have they even started a rebuild yet?

  5. Signing Bylsma and giving up a 3rd round pick is just another bad move by Murray. Murray needs to go along with Bylsma.

    • Murray and Bylsma are responsible for their mess. I would be okay if the Sabres relieved them from the organization. Neither are interested in the Pegula family’s vision to win.

      • Murray is the worst of the 2 – he needs to go before he does more damage.

      • Spectating at the trade deadline when talent should have been acquired with a team floundering in the postseason race is a bad mark on Murray.

        Bylsma is not taking accountability and responsibility for his team losing. He is not benching players for not scoring. He rides the underachieving goaltender Robin Lehner to allow four or more goals a game. He has been clueless since his last season with the Penguins.

      • Why do you think he was side-stepped in Ottawa? Even his uncle didn’t see him as a bona-fide GM.

      • I cannot speak for Tim Murray during his tenure with the Senators. Murray has done more in three years than what Darcy Regier did not do in 17 years.

      • Murray was hired on January 9th 2014 mid season. That’s just over 3 years ago. Buffalo was a mess when he took over. He is essentially in year 2 of his rebuild. He’s added Reinhart, Eichel & several other stud prospects, Nylander, Asplund & Guhle. He traded for Kane, O’Reilly & Lehner, he signed the best & youngest UFA in Okposo. Buffalo has bags of cap space to do what ever he chooses & an extra 2nd & 3rd round pick this season.

        He has set up Buffalo perfectly for expansion. 7 F, 3D & a G. O’Reilly, Okposo, Kane, Foligno, Girgensons, Larsson, ?, Ristolainen, Bogosian, McCabe & Lehner. Everyone else of substance is exempt. He can take on at least 1 forward potential even 2 if he so desires from teams that have expansion draft issues at forward.

        Buffalo has another solid draft lottery pick as they should being in year 3 of a rebuild & will be able to take on salary from teams confronted with cap issues before next season starts.

        The future has never looked brighter for Buffalo, yet Murray has some how done a bad job in his 3 years 2 months on the job! I don’t think so nor do I agree. The timing of his trades for O’Reilly’ Kane & Lehner, the UFA signing of Okposo time out perfectly if Buffalo being ready to step up significantly in the very near future, possibly next season but this was a complete rebuild & that time line is 5 years, so not next season but the season following.

      • Sorry should read Buffalo has a solid draft lottery pick moving into year 3 of a rebuild.

      • Lehner is tied with the 6th best SV% in the NHL for goalies that have played started at least 35 games. 1/2 the average games started by NHL teams so far this season. This is a young team, the D needs help. Georges, Kulikov & Franson were place holders.

        2 of Buffalo’s future studs are in year 2, Eichel & Reinhart, their #1 D & G just kids years from being the players they will be like both Eichel & Reinhart.

        The standard rebuild is 5 years. Why are you judging Buffalo on what is either year 2 or 3 of their rebuild depending upon your perspective of when it started? It started the summer after Murray was hired. That’s 3 years this summer.

        I don’t know what your expectations for Buffalo were this season. Mine was 2nd last in the East & the NHL this year so they exceeded that.

      • Striker – Sabres are truly a mess. Worst defense in the league, they give up the most shots and are not playing as a team.

        Even Smug Murray looks like a deer in the headlights right now. Hurts worse that the Leafs have vaulted past Buffalo, in the playoff hunt when the Sabres are ready for the excitement of another draft lottery.

        I will never defend Regier, but Darcy clearly was under a tight budget on and off the ice. Murray has the Pegulas, who have an open wallet to whatever Murray needs to build a winner.

        Murray is a scout,he’s not a GM – that is becoming clearer every day.

      • I couldn’t disagree more than for the reasons already expressed.

        Lets readdress in 2 years.Murray will still be in place.

      • The Sabres do not need to be in a perpetual rebuild mode. If the entire roster and coaching staff has been overhauled over many seasons and the team is constantly losing, the the organization needs to examine itself. The Arizona Coyotes are having that issue.

        Murray’s third full season as general manager should be one where the team on the ice is winning. If Murray could not find players available at the trade deadline to improve the roster, he should have been straightforward.

        Lehner may have a good save percentage, but he allows in many goals. That is not convincing to be among the better goaltenders. Either Lehner has not proven himself yet, or the Sabres continue to deploy bad defenses.

        I would not mind Murray and Bylsma staying around for the 2017-2018 season if they walk the walk of winning and making a postseason appearance.

  6. So are the Rangers expected to take on Shattenkirk’s 7 year/$7M a year contract or are they banking a hometown discount?

    Rags need someone to take Girardi or Staal off their hands.

    If he wants that kind of deal he’s gonna have to be open to more teams than the Rangers.

    • NYR doesn’t need Shattenkirk, a 1 dimensional offensive Dman. He is essentially Yandle who Vigneault wouldn’t even give 1st line PP time to. At 7 years for 7 mil pass. Let Skjei man the #2 unit & keep McDonaugh with the 4 forwards on the #1 unit, Miller manning the other point or promote Skjei to that spot. Holden can man the #2 spot until a far cheaper option can be found or developed. Spend that money else where.

      NYR will have some trade options when the season ends. Probable not until post expansion but it’s possible 1 of Grabner, Fast or Lindberg could be traded before 1 is lost in expansion.

      • Who is gonna take Giradi or Staal?

      • They don’t need to move Staal. Today he’s playing on the top pairing on his offside and its working fine. Girardi is a tough sell. But Savard, Pronger, Clarkson, ….Phaneuf…. have all been moved. Lets not make it out to be it’s impossible!

  7. The Sabres have a mess to clean up.

    Both general manager Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma are on the hook to explain this disastrous season. If both return, they will be on a tight leash. Murray will need to participate in the draft and free agency market. Bylsma needs to coach his team better and/or make changes on his staff.

    The Sabres will need to find a new ECHL affiliate as the Elmira Jackals will fold after the season. Some prospects are ready to play professionally, but they are not ready for the Rochester Americans (AHL).

    • Again what were you expectations for Buffalo this season? I’m not sure what you expected from a team 1/2 way thru a 5 year rebuild. Obviously very unrealistic 1’s. I could acre less if Bylsma is canned at some point I never liked the hire & that’s certainly on Murray but way to early to judge Murray but for me he’s done an amazing job.

      • They will be challenged to match then number of points they had last season. That is a step backwards, sideways at best. Lost in all this is the nice season Eichel is having.

      • Playoffs in a weak division was there to be had. Amazing job when D sucks c’mon lol.
        Bylsma is overrated.

  8. 3 years for $12 M? I wish Jim Matheson was Schultz’s agent.

    I think he’ll get $16 over 4 years at a minimum. Actually, if I had to bet I’d say that would be his deal. But, I could see it going to 5 years between $20-25 M if his agent really pushes it.

    Any extra money they pay Schultz can be recovered each year when Letang goes on LTIR.

  9. Lyle,
    Based on Garrioch’s comment regarding Varlamov, do you think there’s a possibility talks reheat between COL/NYI where Halak becomes part of the package for Duchene or Landeskog?


    • Mbossy imo the avs would be looking to get a younger goalie to grow rather than an older kinda injury prone halak

    • The only problem with Varlamov has been his ability to stay healthy. Take a really good goalie like Schneider or any goalie for that matter & put him behind a bad D & he will be bad to average at best. Colorado’s D has been brutal for years, yet Varlamov has had some great to exceptional seasons playing behind it. Schenider’s .911 SV% puts him 26th for goalies that have started at least 35 games this year. That’s bad. I think we all agree Schneider isn’t a bad goalie just the opposite actually.

      Varlamov will be exposed in expansion, Pickard protected. Varlamov will go unclaimed & the tandem will be Colorado’s pairing again next season.

      Duchene may get traded, he may not, no goalie will be involved, Colorado is just fine in net. Varlamov staying healthy will help but it’s a big if, their D is in serious need of help their forward depth isn’t much better.

      Look at teams with bad D’s, the reality is they are bad. Edm for years. This season it wasn’t rocket science to know NJ; I had them 14th in the east, & Dal; 9th in the west, were in serious trouble like Colorado to start the season. I didn’t expect Colorado to be this bad but I had them 4th worst in the west. Primarily due to their D but also the complete lack of depth at forward. They couldn’t ice 2 forward lines with 6 quality players, they were a player short, never mind a 3rd line.

    • Doubt it. Halak is not the answer to the Avs goaltending woes.

  10. Lindy in Dallas – Stars’ defense took some big hits in the offseason, not his doing. He’s also not responsible for the goaltending = Swiss cheese X 2

  11. Duchene & Varlamov to ‘Canes for Faulk, Lack & 1 st rd pick

    • Why?
      Varlamov cost a 1st to get.
      Lack is a horrible back up.


  1. Raanta to Garner Trade Interest this Offseason | NY Rangers Blog - […] Lyle Richardson at Spector’s Hockey mentions Raanta as a potential target for the Colorado Avalanche if they decide to…