NHL Rumor Mill – April 11, 2017

by | Apr 11, 2017 | Rumors | 29 comments

This could be a summer of decision for John Tavares and the New York Islanders.

Latest on John Tavares, Claude Giroux, Alex Edler and Ryan Spooner in your NHL rumor mill. 

NEWSDAY: Neil Best reports many teams would love to a superstar such as New York Islanders center John Tavares on their rosters. He is a year away from unrestricted free agency and can begin contract negotiations in July.

Tavares maintains his desire to remain with the Islanders but there will be much to discuss with the Isles front office in the coming weeks, such as the club’s future. However, those talks will be conducted internally. If the Isles and Tavares fail to agree to a long-term extension, Best believes there could be pressure to trade him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like it or not, Isles fans, speculation over Tavares’ future will be a hot topic in the rumor mill come June. The longer he goes without a new contract, the more he’ll be a fixture in offseason trade chatter. 

PHILLY.COM:  Marcus Hayes believes the Philadelphia Flyers should at least listen to offers for team captain Claude Giroux this summer. Doing so would free up $9 million annually in cap space over the next four seasons, providing flexibility to acquire younger talent. It would also allow head coach Dave Hakstol to own the room next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes acknowledged that Flyers GM Ron Hextall recently said he’s disinclined to trade Giroux or Jake Voracek. He also noted Giroux has a full no-movement clause. The Flyers captain recently said he wants to stay in Philly and isn’t seeking a trade. Unless Hextall gets an offer he can’t refuse and convinces Giroux to waive his clause, don’t expect to see the center playing elsewhere next season. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Jeff Paterson included defenseman Alex Edler waiving his no-trade clause among the 10 things he’d like to see from the Vancouver Canucks next season. He believes Edler looked dispirited and disinterested this season and needs a change of scenery. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edler’s given no indication he wants to move on. Perhaps Canucks management will try to convince him to do so. Even then, his $5 million annual cap hit through 2018-19 and injury history could hurt his trade value. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports pending restricted free agent forward Ryan Spooner’s agent could seek more than $3 million annually on a new contract for his client. Spooner is eligible for arbitration this summer and Shinzawa wonders if he’ll get that raise with the Bruins or elsewhere. He enters the 2017 playoffs as their fourth-line center and a power-play specialist. He expects the Bruins will protect Spooner in the expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spooner’s name surfaced a couple of times earlier this season in the rumor mill. That trade talk faded following their midseason coaching change, but it could crop up again in June. His situation could be worth watching this summer. 


  1. His (Tavares) whereabouts will be a topic this summer whether we like it or not. But please NO talk of him going to the Leafs. Who was that kid that got 40 goals this year? We don’t need him! And yes I brought it up but only to crush it from the onset! We all know what will happen anyway, he’ll just sign with the Islanders and hope like hell that they good some day. It’s the classic hockey player move. Don’t need a crystal ball here to determine the outcome of this one!

    • He’ll re-sign with the Islanders. After a horrible start they played .615 hockey from January on and didn’t miss by much, adding emphasis to the old adage that a point or two in October can be just as important as those gained down the stretch. They have some great young talent like Lee, Bailey, Nelson, Chimera, Strome, Ho-Sang and D such as Leddy, DeHaan, Boychuk and Hamonic they can supplement through free-agents or trades, not to mention some nice young talent on the way – Beauvillier, Barzal, Dal Colle and Pulock to name a few.

      Their biggest problem is settling on a viable venue – I thin k they’d be an instant hit in Hartford.

      • You’re right George O they have lots of young talent and did play well down the stretch. So there are reasons for him to stay; however, teams like the Islanders are a dime a dozen just like Winnipeg and Carolina. Time will tell if they actually reach their potential. Tavares will serve himself properly by taking a real look at other teams before simply committing to the Islanders. If it’s his intention to re sign now then do it and get it done and save everybody the headache. A commitment from him might very well lead to the Islanders addressing other needs such as goaltending.

      • Well, for starters, they can’t start talking contract until July 1 so signing “right now” is out of the question.

        Last I looked neither Carolina nor Winnipeg can boast 4 straight Cups in their history.

      • Team makes the playoffs 2nd time in 13 years and all of a sudden peg isles and canes are dime a dozen huh?

      • Would like to see the Islanduhs back at Nassau or in the general area.

    • Agree that Tavares in TO makes zero sense. Nylander is a natural center as well and they could have Matthews, Kadri and Nylander as their top three centers for many years if they wish. Nylander on the wing in the top 6 isn’t an issue either. The Leafs are a couple defensemen away from being one of the best teams in the league within 2 or 3 years. They should really push to get Alzner in the offseason.

      Ottawa should be a strong team going forward as well and it’s great to see the battle of Ontario coming back. Exciting times.

      • Pretty much exciting for all Canadian team but Vancouver

    • If everyone wants to go home. Maybe Carey Price wants to home to Vancouver after next season. Wouldn’t he be a nice addition to his home town team Canucks as a UFA in 2018.

      • Or maybe Miller re-visited by then?

  2. Thankfully July 1st isn’t that far away & we will only have to listen to this Tavares nonsense for a couple of months.

    I like the roster NYI has built. They were a #2 RW short this year but Weight finally returned Strome to that role which I think he is better suited for.

    I could have sworn Spooner was Boston’s #3 C not their #4 & it took a coaching change to really even get him back into that role.

    • The problem with that theory is Tavares isn’t a ufa until next July. So this could potentially drag out another year plus…..

      • I see Tavares signing an 8 year deal shortly after July 1st for 8 to 9 mil per.

    • I don’t know the answer with Spooner, his biggest weakness from my pov is his strength and willingness to compete, he is so easily knocked off the puck and doesn’t try very hard to get it back. Need to see the gym this summer.

  3. If the Tavares trade rumors flash up this summer, I don’t see the Leafs as suitors. Auston Matthews is their franchise player and Nazem Kadri has turned into a reliable two-way forward under Mike Babcock. Marner and Nylander also provide invaluable offensive depth. Those four are the Leafs future. Matthews, Marner and Nylander will all need hefty raises within the next two years. There’s simply no room for Tavares nor is there any need to acquire him. Leafs fans should be grateful Steven Stamkos spurned them last summer.

    • Unfortunately, Lyle, that won’t stop the perpetual dreamers from fantasizing and in that category I include certain of the Toronto media. And in that case you’ll have to include their wishful-thinking columns in your daily updates.

      I don’t know whether or not you watch Hockey Central At Noon, but if you do did you catch Jeff Marek’s comment a few days ago when he responded to tweets from viewers complaining about the CONSTANT droning on about the Leafs in a supposed national viewpoint program – he said “we are under direction from above to discuss the Leafs …” or words to that effect. Maybe it was tongue-in-cheek – but the evidence suggests otherwise.

      • I agree George O. The media will be all over this just like they were with Stamkos. Our role is to ignore it. This is a non story. The Leafs will stick to the plan and Tavares will stay with the Islanders. There’s nothing more to this.

      • I don’t think it’ll be any near as bad as Stamkos. When everyone was on the Stamkos bandwagon we didn’t have Mattews nor did we know just how good Marner, Nylander and the rest of the rookies were going to be. This time it should be quite a bit different. Even the media has said we don’t need Tavares or how we would fit him in. Sure some will write about it they have to sell papers after all. Most of the comments will come from non Leaf fans trying to stir the pot. At least half the comments about Stamkos came from people who weren’t Leaf fans

    • I agree Lyle,
      But the problem is whether or not the Leafs pursue Tavares does not matter to the media. They will pursue him for the Leafs! Just to annoy everybody. Oh and to create interest to generate revenue.

      • seems to me the non-leaf fans are talking about it far more than the leaf fans

    • I was wondering if there is any reason to project a substantial salary cap increase within the next few years, If there is such an increase, would it obviate many present predictions of affordable player acquisitions, or would a proportionate increase in player salaries cause things to remain much the same?

      • There won’t be any substantial cap increase if the Canadian $ dips to .60 as some prominent economists are predicting – and that could come as soon as later this year.

    • I still think one of the big rookies is gonna have to go for a top pairing guy. So hard to draft them and unless leafs draft one this year it will be years before they can get one developed. When was the last true number 1 d man in fa?

    • Leafs fans better hope all these young guys haven’t just experienced their career years. Have to chuckle on Kadri – so many Leaf fans wanted the kid run out of town. All it took was the right coach to get him to play 200′.

  4. Spooner needs to play ball if he what’s to remain a Bruin if his demands are to high I see Boston shipping him out. Bruins have a lot of young talent in the system and need to work the top ones in or they will get restless.

  5. Perhaps Spooner trade to Ottawa for a defenseman and a pick. Wideman maybe? Ottawa loves collecting home grown talent and spooner was raised a stone’s throw from the CTC. Ottawa can’t protect all it’s D men. Might be a deal to be done there.

    • With Harpur showing signs of being ready and Chabot on the horizon I’d make that deal in a flash. There will be room up front as neither Kelly nor Neil will be back, and possibly Pyatt.

  6. To be honest I think Montreal should pursue Tavares. Yes I know they are ahead of Toronto at this point standings wise anyways, but they are not as deep as the Leafs down the middle looking toward the future. Tavares would be a good fit there in my opinion. You can build around Tavares, Weber, and Price for some quick success in my opinion.

  7. If TO only has to give up picks and prospects then go for Traveres but if they don’t get a couple top four defensemen it wont matter. The Leafs could move Bozak, Kapenin, Leipsic, and two or three firsts for Traveres and DeHaan or Pullock? I think the Leafs could fit everyone including JVR under the cap for two years then bodies would have to move.

    Just think of a lineup like:
    Reilly- ???

    The big question mark is who plays with Reilly? I would like to see them get Manson.

    It is all a fantasy anyway.