Latest on the Stars and Kings – April 5, 2017

by | Apr 5, 2017 | Rumors | 26 comments

Should the Dallas Stars pursue Columbus Blue Jackets backup Joonas Korpisalo?

More speculation on the Stars goaltending and the Kings management and coaching in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In a recent live chat, Mike Heika once again addressed the state of the Dallas Stars goaltending. He doesn’t expect the current tandem of Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi will remain intact, suggesting one or both could be bought out in late-June. 

Heika recommends the Stars attempt to acquire young goaltender Joonas Korpisalo from the Columbus Blue Jackets via trade, as the Jackets risk losing him to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Once Korpisalo is acquired, Heika suggests buying out Lehtonen and Niemi, which would cost a combined $3.5 million per season for the next two years against the Stars’ salary cap. It would free up cap room to pursue an unrestricted free agent goalie such as Scott Darling or Ben Bishop. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Heika is merely making his own suggestion here. I agree with him that the Stars cannot return with the same goalie tandem next season. Whether they buy out one or both of their current netminders, I expect they’ll be busy in the trade and/or free agent markets this summer. They could also look at trying to pry Antti Raanta away from the New York Rangers or pursuing the Washington Capitals’ Philipp Grubauer. Like Korpisalo, they could be left exposed in the expansion draft so the Rangers and Capitals could instead try to trade them . The Stars were occasionally linked to Pittsburgh Penguins veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, though he’s got two more years at an annual cap hit of $5.75 million left on his contract. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he expects the Los Angeles Kings ownership will make a hard evaluation of the club in the offseason. With the Kings missing the playoffs twice in the last three seasons, McKenzie said he’d “be surprised if the Kings came back intact in terms of the management and the coach. But we’ll see what happens.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been talk of the Kings moving general manager Dean Lombardi into a different role within the organization and putting Rob Blake into the GM’s chair. If that happens, Blake could consider a coaching change, though I don’t think Sutter should lose his job because Lombardi was unable to bolster the roster.

Whether it’s Lombardi, Blake or somebody else as the Kings’ GM, they must find a way to clear some salary-cap space to re-sign restricted free agent forwards Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, who both have arbitration rights and are in line for significant raises. It could force them to make a difficult decision, such as costly buyouts of expensive, fading forwards such as Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik, or perhaps dealing winger Jeff Carter while his trade value remains high. 


  1. LA had better buy out Gaborik while he is still healthy. Might hurt himself getting out of a cab. 4 more years at 4.8 they can not afford. At least Brown is a leader and battles.

    • There is no way that “leader and battles” justifies nearly 6 million bucks a year till 2022 for a 10 or 11 goal guy, not that Gaborik’s contract is any good either but it’s a mill and a season less for a guy who tho fragile still manages to put up more points despite less games than Brown. Both are bad contracts Browns might be one of the worst in the league and will only get worse as his style continues catching up with him in the later years.

      • If you leave cap hits out of it and look at it like real money, Brown is going to make nearly 10 million dollars more than Gaborik over the duration of the contract…lotta extra $ for a little bit of grit from someone who will be well over 35 before it’s done.

    • I agree, they still have a window, I would sell off as many assets as I could package with bad contracts or buy- outs. With that core, they have another 3 years….you have to keep pushing while you can. Teams can go for years without even getting to the playoffs. Your first and seconds over the next two years are the sacrifice.

  2. I’d try to get vegas to take brown or gaborik on a trade. Gaborik more likely. Send them a 2nd rounder and gaborik for a 7th rounder. In 2020

    • Not trying to be offensive but why would Vegas take a 2nd round pick to get straddled with Gaborik or Brown? Flo just paid NJ a 2nd to take Savard last summer who only had 1 year remaining & in real salary was only being paid 575K.

      In this round of expansion if you want Vegas to help you out of a cap issue or not select a player the cost is going to be far higher than ever before.

      • maybe not. Completely different situation than florida. Vegas needs to build a system. If they want additional assets they would have to take what teams offer them. It’s the same as the MAF situation in Pitt. Its not the value of the contract (or lack there of) vs the value of the asset… its the value of getting rid of the asset and what the team is willing to pay. If LA says its not worth moving a first or good prospect to move gaborik and only willing to offer a 2nd then vegas can take it or leave it. But they need to build a farm and by taking this deal they get a total of three assets out of LA… the expansion pick, the pick, and a name, when not injured, who can play for them now while they build the team. Vegas will not be competitive off the bat so taking gab’s 4’ish mil wont hurt them at all and they get a pick… though they might be able to get another mid round pick in 18 out of it as well. People are giving vegas way way to much leverage in the upcoming draft because they are looking at the surface value… but vegas can get burned pretty bad too if they don’t play ball… its a two way street.

      • How in the world can Vegas get burned let alone real bad if they don’t take Brown or Gaborik. You don’t make any sense at all

      • They don’t necessarily. But they lose the potential asset they could have gotten. And vegas is gonna need to accumulate extra assets. 30 players and 7 picks won’t cut it to build a farm. Taking bad contracts for additional assets is a solid way to do that. They’ll have the space. They could use some name power. And playing those players can let them develop the younger assets they acquire to fit a nice 3-5 year build.

      • Exactly…Vegas is in the driver’s seat and if they take anyone’s crap contract off of their hands it will more than likely be for no less than the teams first round pick and a good prospect to go along with it or not at all. Vegas is going to want to build the best possible team they can. I’m sure Vegas will gladly take it or leave it if the teams with the bad contracts think they can dictate what Vegas needs to take for them. Vegas has absolutely no use for Brown or Gaborik. Why would LA have any leg to stand on. These teams looking to get rid of bad contracts are going to have to make it hard to for Vegas to say no or sell it somewhere else.

      • I guess we will see how it turns out. I seem to be in minority but I think people will be quite surprised at the return vegas gets for bloated contracts. Doubt any team is giving a first below 20th let alone a 1st and a prospect. Vegas isn’t in the only drivers seat. The other teams have a seat in their own cars and it’s a game of chicken for all to lose

      • @chrisms guys like Brown and Gaborik are the ones Vegas wants to stay away from. You`ll need a lot more than a 2nd from L.A. to take those 2 deadbeats off their hands. Vegas should be signing college and jr, free agents and drafting a few reasonably priced vets. If Vegas is going to take a bad contract off some ones hands, it would be from the east not some one in their own conference. You don`t want to be doing your main competition any worth while favours. That’s what will come back to haunt them in the end.

      • The division point is well taken mr bear. But college and jr fa? Good luck. Any real talent there is signing with contenders like Reese with Pitt. They need picks and drafted prospects. Taking on bad salaries for those assets is a mondo way to get them.

  3. *Warning off topic* What do think Marchand should get for his spear last night? Personally I think he should get 5 games (yes I’m a bruins fan) but enough is enough, it was a selfish needless play and the NHL doesn’t need that kind of play. However I guessing he’ll get three games, meaning he’ll miss one playoff game. I won’t be surprised if its only two, but I think everyone including Marchand is expecting a suspension.

    • I to am a bruin fan and agree with 5 games for Marchand. One question I have is why did Crosby go unpunished (no penalty or suspension) for essentially and blatantly doing the same thing to Ryan O’reilly last week

      • Agreed.

      • cause it was an accident… duh. Crosby said so himself!

    • Works for me, but if that’s 5 for Marchand then Giordano should get 10 for leading with his knee & making direct contact to Fowler’s knee. 1 of the most dangerous plays in hockey & the result is usual a significant long term injury. Should have been a 5 minute major, game misconduct & in person hearing.

      • Regarding the Calgary Anaheim game…That was a rough game that got way out of hand and quite a number reviewable plays may be sent in on both sides. It looked like Gio was coming in for the hip check and their knees hit first. Probably why he didn’t get a penalty on the ice for the hit and if it gets reviewed he may get a couple games at best. Marchand is known to be a dirty player and this is his what 5th suspension for dirty play. that should factor in to the punishment.

  4. Brad should get the same as Prust got when he speared him.

  5. Despite the loathing and antipathy between the owners, Dallas should contact Vancouver about their goaltenders. Vancouver won’t be able to compete for even a place in the playoffs for at least a couple of years, and will have some cap room after this year. So they are able to do some Lou Lamoriello like moves in order to improve their prospect pool. This pool has improved over the last two years, but has few real quality prospects. If Dallas were to offer one of their goaltenders (retaining 50%) plus decent picks/prospects for say a really late round pick and prospect that Vancouver wants to get rid of, it would to the benefit of both teams. Dallas gets one of the goaltenders off their books a year faster for a bit less total salary, and Vancouver has more chips, either to develop or use in potential trades.

    • Not sure anyone would want Lehtonen or Neimi neither of them can barely win 50% of their games played. they were worse than bad this season. gonna be tough to get rid of one of them. I think Dallas will be stuck with those guys until 2018/19 and then just let them walk.

      • They are bad. But so will be the Canucks next year. Whichever one the Canucks were to get, he would be the backup to Markstrom, probably lose most of his starts, and help the Canucks get another high first round draft choice. A win-win situation and he would be gone after a year, probably making room for Demko.

  6. Black and gold homerush. He wasn’t penalized because he’s the star of the league. He’s an arrogant little rat.

  7. ….that should have been homer.

    • That was meant for Crosby. It could easily thought of as Marchand.