Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 5, 2017

by | Mar 5, 2017 | Rumors | 36 comments

Vegas Golden Knights could pursue Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop, Kevin Bieksa, Jonathan Drouin, Scott Darling and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports it’s believed Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee is targeting Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He’s the best goalie that’s available and Kypreos suggests he could be a franchise-type player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury must agree to waive his no-movement clause in order to be exposed in the expansion draft. If he doesn’t, the Penguins could trade him to a club of his choosing or buy him out before the June 17 due date for submitting their draft protection list. 

Kypreos also reports the Montreal Canadiens were believed in on winger Alex Burrows prior to his trade from the Vancouver Canucks to the Ottawa Senators. What stopped it was the $5 million contract extension the Sens were willing to give him. Elliotte Friedman said up to eight teams were interested in Burrows.

On Friday, Friedman told Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 he believed the Calgary Flames revisited their interest in goaltender Ben Bishop prior to his trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Los Angeles Kings. Friedman noted the Flames’ interest in Bishop last summer, where the goalie believed he was close to being dealt to Calgary. He said he’s heard through the grapevine the Flames offered Bishop a six-year, $6 million contract, which Bishop was prepared to accept before the deal fell through.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the Flames do about their goaltending this summer. After a rough first half of the season, Brian Elliott’s improved of late. But even if he backstops them into the playoffs, I’m not convinced they’ll re-sign him. Bishop will be a tempting option via free agency, but it could cost more than six years at $6 million annually to get him. 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun recently stated his belief that there could be fireworks in this summer’s trade market as teams attempt to deal with the expansion draft and a possible flat salary cap for next season. The Colorado Avalanche are expected to field offers for forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, but could find themselves in competition with other clubs also looking to move big name talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As LeBrun points out, the Avs pretty much had the trade market to themselves this season when it came to moving name talent. That could change this summer, especially if the expansion draft and a stagnant cap forces clubs to move some star players. Could make for some interesting intrigue once the playoffs end in mid-June. 

LeBrun also expects the Ducks will move a defenseman for both expansion draft purposes and to re-sign Cam Fowler, who has a year remaining on his current contract. He anticipates blueliner Kevin Bieksa could be asked to waive his no-movement clause. In order to protect winger Jakob Silfverberg, LeBrun speculates they could look at protecting only three defensemen and trading one in his offseason. If they move one of their top-six rearguards, teams such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames could come calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieksa could agree to waive his movement clause if he feels the Golden Knights might pass on him. Being a veteran blueline in decline, he might not be an enticing expansion-draft target. The Ducks still have lots of depth on the blueline. If they re-sign Fowler, they’ll also have Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen on long-term deals. They could shop one of them, or perhaps dangle Josh Manson (provided he’s not taken in the expansion draft), Shea Theodore or Brandon Montour (both are exempt from the expansion draft) to bring in some depth at forward. 

Speaking of the Lightning, LeBrun thinks acquiring a top-four defenseman is a priority for them this summer. Such a move, however, could cost them one of their top-six forwards. He notes Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are restricted free agents in July. Drouin could become a subject of interest but LeBrun feels the Bolts prefer to keep him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning now have just over $55 million invested in 13 players. Assuming a marginal rise in the cap to $74 million, they’ll have roughly $19 million to re-sign Drouin, Johnson and Palat.  GM Steve Yzerman’s proven to be a wizard at getting his notable free agents to accept less than market value to remain in Tampa Bay. However, this summer could be his biggest challenge. He could retain Drouin on an affordable bridge contract but Johnson and Palat are eligible for arbitration and will seek significant raises. Johnson’s name was floated at times this season as a possible trade candidate. 

LeBrun also suggests this summer could see trade activity involving goaltenders. Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury and the NY Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak “will await trades”. He also speculates the Detroit Red Wings could shop Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek and wonders if the Colorado Avalanche will try to move Semyon Varlamov and the remaining two years (worth $5.9 million annually) of his contract. While Ben Bishop, Brian Elliott and Steve Mason are among the notables eligible for unrestricted free agency, Chicago’s Scott Darling could attract interest from teams such as Calgary, Winnipeg, Dallas and Philadelphia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury and Halak could also be bought out before the June 17 date for teams to submit their expansion draft protection lists. Howard or Mrazek could be left unprotected by the Wings. Ditto Varlamov by the Avs, though his injury history and inconsistency could keep him in Colorado. Of the UFA goalies, Darling could certainly prove enticing for clubs seeking an affordable potential starter. He’s played very well in a backup role in Chicago and seems ready for a larger role elsewhere. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa speculates the Washington Capitals won’t be able to afford to re-sign recently acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s eligible for UFA status in July. He anticipates the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers could pursue Shattenkirk this summer.

Shinzawa also thinks the Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes could be possible destinations this summer for pending UFA goalie Ben Bishop.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets and Stars could also get into the bidding for Bishop. The Stars could trade or buy out either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi, who each have a year left on their respective contracts. One of them will also be exposed in the expansion draft, but Vegas could pass. 



  1. Boy, that could be some interesting phone calls if, as LeBrun thinks, Anaheim decides to trade one of the top D with TB, Winnipeg, Toronto, Buffalo, and Calgary all possibly in the mix. Maybe Washington too if they can’t afford to keep Shattenkirk. You have to wonder, in that scenario, who is prepared to give up the best package of returns in terms of Anaheim’s needs.

    Would you love to be tapped into THOSE discussions.

    • Hey george its kinda nice to hear Ottawa being a team willing to handcout a contract others werent.

      • It is, and while I would normally dismiss anything to emanate from Kypreos, after he got that Bishop move to L.A. bang on, now I wonder about that “8 teams” trying to land Burrows – with the 2-year extension almost certainly the reason he agreed to go to Ottawa.

        Whatever the case, the two moves have paid dividends early on with 2 goals from Burrows in the Colorado game and one from Stalberg last night vs Columbus. Can’t wait for Ryan to get back and begin playing at LW – where he had his best years in Anaheim – alongside Turris and Stone.

      • They should star jokkipakka (sorry for spelling) Wingels, Burrows, Stalberg all score within a game or 2 of beibg picked up. Jokkipakka is practically gauranteed a goal.

      • I really liked the joki and burrows move for sens, burrows will be great for the playoffs. Also liked the Habs getting benn,king and ott for the playoffs. Both teams added playoff players that will help in the second season. Didn’t realize julien is 6-2 with the Habs all the teams that made a coaching change seem to be improved

  2. Interesting take on vegas and marc. Would he want to start there? I dont doubt he wants to start somewhere but the choices will all be mid (playoff bound but not considered the likeliest to win cup) to lower tier teams. Dallas, St. Louis, Car, Cal, Vegas, Peg, or Buff. Most teams have their starter… so all teams he would have some say into as far as a trade have question marks… vegas would be a fresh start on a team that could be competitive or could start as a building team, depending on mcfee draft strategy… though if they did pick marc I believe it shines a light on mcfees goals… compete immediately.

    • Not necessarily. Any team needs leadership & stability. As I expressed yesterday MAF, Grubauer & a young waiver eligable goalie like Ulmark, Gillies Etc. Makes sense to me for Vegas.

      That said I see MAF traded before expansion but Vegas still brings in a veteran most likely via UFA signing to mentor & buffer Vegas’s goalie choices.

      Although the quality of players available to Vegas are better than in the past & it’s only them selecting they will be the worst team in the league for a minimum of 2 years, in year 3 if things go well they might be able to compete to stay out of the hole. If they can become a playoff team in under 5 years that would be an amazing accomplishment.

      • Marc has a reasonable chance to be third, outside chance of 2nd all time in wins for an nhl goalie… though its taken a hit this year. joining a winning team would be a priority I think… though I certainly cant speak for the man. best bet would be blues though I think Car is close to competitive and would 100% be there with a decent goalie in any division except the metro.

      • Agreed. If not for the pending expansion draft StL would have done something to shelter Allen. In hindsight trading Elliott has backfired significantly but they made an asset management decision & it looks like it’s going to cost them a playoff spot.

        The goalie market returns to normal following the expansion draft.

  3. cant see philly paying that much for bishop, maybe a cheaper option like halak or maybe darling would be a good match with neuvirth for a couple of years.

  4. I’m placing my bets on a deal going down between TOR & ANA, with JVR + going to ANA for a D man +

    • Unless Ana thinks they can resign him I wouldn’t count on a great return. If it’s for one of the young d then a young prospect would likely be the desired return. Especially prior to expansion.

    • The most logical Dman moving will be Manson. Toronto is a posibility but JvR’s contract term is an issue. The + would need to be significant. There will be at least 12 other teams bidding willing to give up similisr assets but with better contract situations.

      Anh will move 1 Dman before the expansion draft but it won’t be 1 of the exempt kids. If that happens it will be after the expansion draft. Anh could afford to do both if so inclined.

      Murray is usually ahead of the curve & another expansion team Quebec is right around the corner. Montour, Theodore & Larsson won’t be exempt for that expansion draft. 3 years away tops.

    • Not sure Anaheim is looking to take on a cap hit $4,250,000 with just one year to go before he’ll likely seek something in the $6 mil range with term. There are enough teams looking for upgrades on D who can likely offer a better deal involving a younger – and initially cheaper – player and/or package in return.

  5. Lebrun was right on track until throwing Calgary & Winnipeg’s names into that article. How are these 2 teams adding a Dman before the expansion draft. Not happening.

  6. As I have mentioned numerous times. Bieksa agree’s to waive or he is bought out. Manson is traded. Fowler resigned. Anaheim protects 7F, 3D & 1G. The 7th forward protector is acquired in trade when Manson is moved.

  7. TB will free up another 3.75 mil & change when garrison is bought out from his final season of his contract.

  8. I sure hope Boston goes in a different direction than Shattenkirk. I would prefer Manson, Brodin, Savard, De Haan or Trouba. Ideally in order Trouba, Brodin then Savard. Luke warm interest in the other 2.

    Krug & C. Miller lean to offense, Carlo & McAvoy will be solid 2 way Dman. Boston has numerous other D prospects coming to fill other roles. Let’s spend the cap space on a solid 2/3 RW.

  9. kinda once sided towards the end there general striker.

    • Ha-ha! All good. Part of the idea is to respond to the Blog above by Lyle. We lose a ton of our usual suspects when the trade deadline passes. Gets even quieter come August.

      Hockey is 24/7/365 for me. No real down time. Just less time.

  10. Are we talking Gilles with Calgary ? Why would he not be excempt ? Do not break up the “Triplets” . …I will never doubt Kypreos again ;)…..”Even a blind squirrel finds the odd acorn”

    • In the 3rd year of his NHL contract. Only players with 2 years or less are exempt.

      It’s looking like Calgary may use their protector spot on Gillies & address their goalie need post expansion.

  11. really down the rabbit hole on this one. The great Ryan Malone made the point about waiving no trade clauses is that you are costing the team acquiring you assets making your new team weaker in assets. Unless you are a rental going for futures that doesnt do you any favors. Here is where it gets kinky. Maybe GMJR gets Marc to waive his no movement clause to go to Vegas but cuts a side deal with Vegas to have them not select Marc but another asset. then GMJR trades Marc to Vegas for a real late pick. Marc agrees to waive because he gets to go to Vegas with a buddy and ultimately it makes his new team more competitive. How bout dem apples. 🙂

    I hope that buddy is Hags btw… good player with good skills but overpaid… he could be replaced at half the cost or less with some of the pens youth. sprong/guentzel/sheary all top 9 LW. Kuhnhackel is a decent bottom line lw as well.

    • Not only will Vegas do Pittsburgh one favor, but two? Lmao! Omg, I love your imagination! Maybe they then select Girardi and Lundqvist to do NY a solid as well?

      • Looking more and more like fleury will have to be a dump and maybe have to give a pick or prospect to unload him

  12. If that is the case then absolutely protect Gillies. In fact he could earn a spot next year anyway -“penciled in”. Him along with MacDonald is the future in net for the Flames.

  13. What happens if Fleury has a serious injury such as a torn ACL before the expansion draft? An injured player cannot be bought out and no other team would want him. How would Pittsburgh protect Murray in that senario?

    • Interesting point. Pittsburgh would have to hope for 1 of 3 scenarios. He agree’s to waive his NMC to be exposed, he gets traded well injured or Pittsburgh pays of Vegas not to take Murray.

      • Though I admire your fervor for hockey, I question your proficiency at behavioral psychology. Pittsburgh might hope for a NMC waiver, but not for the other alternatives. Trading Fleury while healthy was frustrating enough, ane paying off Vegas would be like getting divorced to save money.

    • isnt there a clause that teams dont have to protect injured players? if so that might be a best bet for pens! Sorry Marc 🙁

  14. With the oilers and flames both looking like all but playoff locks , who would you give the advantage to in the most important position . Talbots season long great play or Elliot’s great play lately at the right time of year? I give the nod to talbot and it’s not even really that close IMO

    • Who is the guy Craig watching? Elliot can sniff the post season and Talbot is tanking. No mystery here. Another Oiler fan blinded by McSavoir!

      • Talbot is just as good and will be better than Elliot

  15. Talbot can’t even hold Elliots jock strap Manzer.

    • Haha I love it . 2 flames fans, family . Currently at the game. Can’t be too much to watch there .. haha enjoy the win .

      • Flames are squarely in the Oilers rear view mirror. I smell the fear.