Latest on the Stars, Jets and Avalanche – April 10, 2017

by | Apr 10, 2017 | Rumors | 24 comments

Could the Dallas Stars pursue LA Kings goaltender Ben Bishop via free agency in July?

Possible coaching candidates for the Stars, latest on Jacob Trouba and Toby Enstrom and an update on the Avalanche in your NHL rumor mill. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: With the Dallas Stars’ announcing yesterday Lindy Ruff will not return as their head coach, Mike Heika list former Stars bench boss Ken Hitchcock, former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant and Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller as three options to consider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Heika is offering up suggestions and isn’t saying the Stars are pursuing those three. General manager Jim Nill undoubtedly has his own ideas over who will replace Ruff. It could be one of the guys on Heika’s list or somebody else. 

Heika also recently examined which players the Stars will part ways with this summer and those they could pursue via trade or free agency. He speculated pending free agent Patrick Sharp might want to finish his career with the Stars and thinks the Stars could be interested in bringing back winger Ales Hemsky. He doesn’t expect Jiri Hudler will be back.

Free agent targets could include LA Kings goaltender Ben Bishop, Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner and Caps winger T.J. Oshie. Heika also recommended trying to pry promising goalie Joonas Korpisalo away from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the June expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharp is 35 and underwent hip surgery. If he wants to return, the Stars have to determine if he’s a good fit under their new head coach. Same goes for Hemsky.

Bishop will be an expensive free-agent target. A more affordable option could be Chicago’s Scott Darling. Other goalie trade options could include Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington’s Philipp Grubauer and the New York Ranger’s Antti Raanta. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman reports defenseman Jacob Trouba has no problem with playing in Winnipeg. Finishing the first season of a two-year deal, his contract standoff last fall raises questions over the long-term future with the Jets. “The contract is a two-way street and both sides have to come to together and agree on something. It’s not completely me, it’s not completely them. It’s a mutual thing,” said Trouba. He adds he’ll speak with his agent and with management, but also said he’ll play out next year and see how things go. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next July.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike Sawatzky reports Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom has one season remaining on his contract. The 32-year-old could give the Jets more flexibility in the June expansion draft by agreeing to waive his no-movement clause, but he insists he’s happy with the Jets and hasn’t been asked by management to waive his clause. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trouba was the subject of trade speculation throughout last summer and into the opening month of the season before agreeing to his two-year deal. I expect the trade chatter could resurface following the playoffs. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could approach the Trouba camp about a long-term deal in July, but I have a feeling they’ll be content to wait until next summer in hopes his value will rise. As for Enstrom, I doubt he’ll waive his NMC simply to be exposed in the expansion draft. 

THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei recently reported Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic still considers Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost as untouchables. “They’re part of the rebuild because of their ages and the direction we want to go,” he said. “It’s like anything, I don’t know the calls you’re going to get, but those are building blocks.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation suggested MacKinnon was no longer an untouchable. Sakic has publicly dismissed that idea. Of course, if a rival were to pitch an incredible offer to the Avs GM, maybe he’ll change his mind, but I’ll take Sakic at his word. MacKinnon is the closest to a franchise player the Avs have. Unless the offer is someone such as Toronto’s Auston Matthews or Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine as part of the return – and we all know those two aren’t going anywhere – I don’t see the Avs trading MacKinnon.


  1. I posted what I thought of the decision not to renew Ruff in the news portion. Classic avoidance of a mirror by GM Nill.

  2. The Avalanche need to keep MacKinnon, which is unfortunate for him. The Avalanche are a mess, unless they can hood wink some other team to trade for the Landeskogs and Duchenes at the current asking price. MacKinnon will end up like Tavares; great player, lousy team! It’s sad really.

    • I consider the islanders 2 be a good team. Terrible persoanl decissions by Capuano for the 1st 3 games of the season doomed NYI.

      They ended up missing the playoffs by 1 point after 2 consecutive 100 point seasons & playoff appearences.

      This is a good team, their prospect pool as good as almost any team in the NHL & they are dressing a bunch of kids now who have growth & development ahead of them.

      They also have 1 of the deepest D’s in the NHL. They will be fine.

      • Sorry should read 30 games not 3

      • True Striker, but they continually find a way to mess it up despite the talent they have. Tavares would be smart to leave town

      • That would surprise me

  3. Jacob Trouba who finished with 8g 25a for 33pts in 60 game while averaging 24:57 of ice time is coming off his best season. Now would be a good time to renegotiate for the Jets not for Trouba. He’ll play out next season like he has said on a few occasions since signing his new two year deal. Next season he has arbitration rights and if he continue his upward projector, then he’ll get between $7 and $7.5 for two years in his hearing, then after that he’ll do a one year thru arbitration then be done in Winnipeg. Hopefully I’m wrong and he signs a long term deal in Winnipeg but I’m skeptical about that. At some point in time the Jets are going to have to ask themselves the same question but I guess they already know the answer and r hoping the young dman changes his mind and wants to stay with a growing young competitive team.

    • If he’s not willing to sign a long term deal on July 1st I trade him this summer.

      • Agreed Striker, Trouba has no interest in being in Winnipeg.

      • Trouba will not be traded.

  4. Just seen a tweet by Cap Friendly “Leon Draisaitl’s 2 pts last night knocked #Sabres Jack Eichel out of the top 10 in league Pts/Gm. Eichel misses out on a $2M bonus by 0.01” Ouch! and how is your Monday.

    • I stepped in gum and it then got on the inside of my pants and I had to cut my pants to get it out… eichel aint got nothing on me!

  5. Dale Tallon now the new but old GM in Florida, does this mean a return of Gallant.

  6. I should’ve said maybe Tallon will make a Gallant return.

    • Sure they can send him a cab to pick him up!

  7. What caught my eye this morning from Zeisburger’s column “The odds recently put out by Westgate have the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals listed as co-favourites to win the Cup at 4-1. The Oilers (12-1), Canadiens (14-1), Flames (25-1), Maple Leafs (30-1) and Senators (40-1) round out the Canadian contingent.”

    So, what they are saying is, the Leafs have a better chance at the cup by going through Washington than do the Sens by going through Boston! Based on what exactly I wonder?

    • That’s brutal odds laying. Never mind Washington should they get lucky enough to get by them then they draw Columbus or Pittsburgh.

      So that shows Westgate to be clueless.

      • I think people get too caught in the emotion and hype. A team that had a dramatic finish that was expected by many to come near the bottom of the conference get’s some Cinderella points, throw in the fact they are the Leafs and you have a recipe for someone to spike the odds.

        The Senators were too boring I guess, pretty well solidly in a playoff position all year without being a top tier contending team. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to basically penalize them for this. Honestly, if they win the first rounds, they have what may amount to be one of the easier paths to the Confernece finals. Any team they will face until then will have some serious flaws, and none of them play an overly punishing game, which gives you decent odds. Washington may get the Leafs in the first round, but after that it’s either the defending stanley cup Champions who look about as close to repeat ready as we have seen in the modern NHL, or a heavy and deep Columbus team who will at least take something out of the caps over a 7 game series.

  8. Seems like a “changing of the old guard” with Hitchcock out and now Ruff out—although Heika’s article suggests otherwise, I’m not sure either will return behind the bench? Kind of sad.

    • Desjardins is also out in Vancouver. Yet another case of a GM covering his own sorry ass – like Nill in Dallas.

      • There is more than enough blme to go around in Vancouver. Desjardins had his own issues.

        Nill thinking he could win with that D was shocking. It was bad with Goligoski & Demers both lost & only Hamhuis was brought in.

  9. Lombardi, sutter gone in la

  10. Sutter better not end up in Boston way to defensive , I like the run and gun much better with type of players the Bruins have.

    • One place Sutter WON’T wind up is Las Vegas. The last thing they need in trying to promote hockey there is a coach who answers questions with monosyllabic grunts.