Latest on the Flyers, Avalanche and Panthers – April 7, 2017

by | Apr 7, 2017 | Rumors | 19 comments

Claude Giroux has no intention of leaving the Philadelphia Flyers.

Updates on Claude Giroux, Michael Del Zotto and Semyon Varlamov, plus the Panthers could see a shift in management. 

CSN PHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux doesn’t anticipate any of the club’s core players to be traded this summer. Giroux, who carries a no-movement clause, said he hasn’t thought about being dealt and doesn’t plan on leaving.

Panaccio also cites club sources saying Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has no intention of moving Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds or Brayden Schenn. When asked about removing a core forward, Hextall said he’d speak to the media about that when the season’s over. 

PHILLY.COM: Marc Narducci reports pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto acknowledged this season could be his last with the Flyers. “Being unrestricted this summer, there haven’t been any talks [with the Flyers]. We’ll see what happens,” he said. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have over $59 million invested in 16 players for 2017-18. Their most notable restricted free agent is Shayne Gostisbehere, who’ll likely get a bridge deal coming off his entry-level contact after struggling through his sophomore campaign. Del Zotto, Steve Mason and Nick Schultz are their top UFAs and I don’t anticipate they’ll be back.

As for the Flyers’ core players, there’s no need to move any of them for cap reasons or to shake things up. Giroux was hampered throughout this season by the after-effects of last year’s hip surgery but I expect he’ll return to form next season. Voracek, Simmonds and Schenn remain consistent performers. The Flyers need better goaltending and to sort out their defense. I suspect that’s where Hextall’s focus will be this summer. Those issues can be addressed via free agency or by dangling a promising young blueliner as trade bait. 

THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov feels good after undergoing surgery earlier this year on both hips. He anticipates he’ll be fully healthy and ready for a fresh start when training camp opens in September. Varlamov, 28, has two seasons remaining on his contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5.9 million. He could be left exposed in the expansion draft.

Given Varlamov’s salary, inconsistency and injuries, Frei doubts the Vegas Golden Knights will select him. He also points out Golden Knights general manager George McPhee traded Varlamov to the Avs several years ago when he was GM of the Washington Capitals after balking at paying him as a starting goalie. Varlamov acknowledged the rumors but insists he wants to remain with the Avalanche and help them reverse their fortunes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe McPhee is interested in selecting Varlamov if he is available in the expansion draft. At this stage in Varlamov’s career, I also doubt another club is interested in taking him off the Avs’ hands via trade. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe won’t be returning next season as their head coach. Harvey Fialkov reports Rowe also sounds like he might not be back in the general manager’s role. When asked about the difficulty of compiling the Panthers’ list of protected players for the June expansion draft, he laughingly said it wouldn’t be difficult for him because team president Dale Tallon was going to handle it. He adds he expects he’ll be sitting down with Tallon to discuss that list after the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe Rowe was simply joking. Perhaps he’s staying in the general manager’s job but is handing off the expansion draft list for Tallon. Or maybe he’ll be moved out of that job and into another role with the club. We’ll likely learn more about the Panthers’ management and coaching plans in the coming weeks and what part, if any, Rowe will play. 


  1. It seems many people think that MacPhee is somehow going to pick the worst players available to him. Vegas has an opportunity to pick, at least as of right now, several goalies far more reliable that Varlamov. Why would MacPhee even consider him as an option? He’s not using this draft to accommodate the needs of other teams by picking players they want to get rid to facilitate favorable trade options at a later date. MacPhee is competitive and Vegas needs to get off to as good a start as possible considering the level of investment they have put into joining the NHL. I have said it here before; MacPhee is a successful NHL manager and he will ice a team in Vegas that will be a tough two points early on. A playoff team no but a respectable team; quite possibly.

    • LV is not going to get a star from this draft. Third and fourth line forwards and 4-7 level dmen. I predict they end up with Nico Hiesher in the entry draft and he’s 2 years away from playing in the NHL. They have to get to the cap floor and they will be open to dealing. At this point you can’t rule out any scenario. At the same time for a guy like Varlamov, Dustin Brown, Gaborik, etc, etc, LV could be their last chance to stay in the league.

      • Vegas doesn’t have to get to the cap floor. In year 1 they are only required to spend to 60% of the ceiling. If the cap hits 76 mil as Bettman advised GM’s it’s current target, Vegas has to spend a min of 45.6. That’s 6 mil below this seasons floor never mind next seasons.

        Vegas won’t be selecting any of those players. Brown, Gaborik or Varlamov nor will they need to. They will have no trouble spending 50+ million when the puck drops on next season.

        LA looks to be protecting 4 D baring a trade. Doughty, Muzzin, Martinez & Forbert. If they don’t protect Forbert Vegas will select him, if they do, they take Lewis.

        I’m not quite as optimistic as Steven but Vegas has access to better quality players than in an previous expansion draft. It is going to be hard for many teams to protect good young up & coming D man & forwards that have followed a more conventional development curve & are 2 or 3 years from being good NHL players. Not stars but potentially solid 3/4 D of 2nd or 3rd line forwards.

    • He should focus on drafting youth. He can get vets AND additional assets through trading for salary dumps. Plus FA. Mcfee shouldn’t draft anyone over the age of 25 and should stick to early twenties. have a 3-5 year plan. get late firsts, 2nds, thirds in the next two years drafts and build a system next couple years to compete in 3-5.

      • He will do a combination of any & all. He won’t limit himself in anyway drafting only players under 25 as older players available on 1 year deals will fetch just those assets either in trade following the expansion draft in the summer or as next seasons trade deadline approaches.

        Example. If Pittsburgh exposes a player like Hornqvist he will be selected unless Pittsburgh pays McPhee to pass on him.

        McPhee is going to take the best assets available factoring in all factors & dynamics. The 1st being the quality of the player, then in no particular order age, salary, contract term, etc. The dynamic is needing to draft so many forwards, dman & goalies.

      • Drafting to trade is valid but it essentially plays to the same strategy… build but not try to compete immediately. 2 to 3 top 5 picks are in the cards ? For Vegas. As far as the cap though striker vegas doesn’t need to target salary at all. They will get any salary needed in fa or salary dump trades. Sure if horny is available they take and flip. But youth should be the target in any not clear cut case.

  2. Macphee has made a couple of bone head deals in his career. Forsberg comes to mind. Drafts pretty well though.

    • Won all those cups too…

    • That was a doozy. Trading a prospect is fraught with peril. I didn’t like that that trade then for Washington & hate it more now. Ha-ha!

  3. DelZotto simply hasn’t been able to grasp the defensive end since being rushed inot the league as part of the “greatest defenseman class of Entry Draft history.”

    • DelZotto is a niche player, he would thrive on a team like the Penguins and they should have mutual interest in each other this summer. Justin Shultz part 2.

      • if pens lose cole to expansion he could be a good expension

      • Vegas isn’t selecting Cole. Let it go. Bairing trades before the expansion draft Pittsburgh is locked into 8 skaters. Letang, Schultz, Maatta & Dumolion being the 4 keepers at D. That means Crosby, Malkin, Kessel & Sheary are the forward keepers. If it plays out that way Vegas takes Hornqvist. They may then trade him for other assets later in the summer or wait until the traded deadline next year.

      • I agree with you striker but lots of quote unquote insiders and hockey writers throwing his name around. Vegas takes hags or horny from pens. Don’t tell me to let it go tiger I ain’t the one spreading it around.

      • It’s just not being reported; Cole, in my market or by anyone I read or follow in NA.

      • Maybe it’s because it’s Pittsburgh sports radio but the sports talk shows get guests from various outlets sites etc and several have said don’t rule out cole. Gmjr didn’t rule out protecting cole though that was likely gm talk. Cole has easily been the pens steadiest d man and a solid number 4 guy much of the year but vegas will have better options in Pitt imo.

      • All Pens are all stars!!! Lmao. Is there one player on that roster you somehow don’t polish into something they’re not? Ever?….. One criticism of a pens player by a pens fan and I’d fall off my chair!

  4. No way Hexy dangles a blueliner for a short term fix. Too many good prospects in the farm to go long term. Just have to stay the course