NHL Rumor Mill – April 20, 2017

by | Apr 20, 2017 | Rumors | 49 comments

Could the New Jersey Devils target Kevin Shattenkirk via free agency in July?

Latest on Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott,  and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK:  Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he doubted Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk’s free-agent value is unlikely to be adversely affected by his performance thus far in the 2017 playoffs. While Dreger noted Shattenkirk is perceived as a power-play specialist who’s not great at even strength, that won’t prevent a team from signing him to an expensive long-term deal in July. 

NJ.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Chris Ryan said the New Jersey Devils “will likely have Kevin Shattenkirk or Karl Alzner targeted in their with hopes of landing one — if not both — since they certainly have the cap space.” He believes adding more defensemen who can generate offense is a priority for the Devils. He can also see the Devils use their depth in draft picks to add some NHL-ready talent via trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils currently have over $51.6 million invested in 15 players for next season, more than enough to make a big-money offer to Shattenkirk and/or Alzner. However, the duo could put their focus on joining playoff-ready clubs instead of a rebuilding team. I agree with Dreger’s take that Shattenkirk’s less-than-stellar play thus far in the 2017 playoffs won’t significantly hurt his free-agent value this summer. 

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis believes goaltender Brian Elliott played his final game with the Calgary Flames. An unrestricted free agent in July, Elliott failed to provide the Flames with reliable goaltending this season. Before the Flames opening-round series against the Anaheim Ducks, Francis said it seemed likely the Flames would entertain the notion of re-signing the 32-year-old Elliott. However, his inconsistent play against the Ducks has dashed that possibility. He expects backup Chad Johnston to return as the Flames backup, ” but let the Ben Bishop rumours begin”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott didn’t play well enough to earn a new contract with the Flames. I expect they’ll revisit their previous interest in Bishop, who’s also a UFA in July. I also believe they’ll take a look at more affordable options via free agency, such as Chicago’s Scott Darling. They could also look at Antti Raanta of the New York Rangers or Philipp Grubauer of the Washington Capitals via trade. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford believes the Vancouver Canucks should avoid bringing in expensive veteran free agents in the 30s this summer. That includes Canucks goalie Ryan Miller. Botchford suggest the Canucks instead focus on adding prospects. He also suggests using their $17 million in cap space for 2017-18 to move up in the draft order by targeting clubs in need of shedding cap space. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade rumor but I felt it worthwhile to pass along. Remains to be seen if Canucks management follow Botchford’s advice. 


  1. Whoever signs Shattenkirk to a big $ multi-year deal had better have solid D in the mix or they will come to regret that move.

    Elliott probably sees himself as a # 1 so, at the start anyway, will be looking for a deal with that in mind. He could still be looking when training camp opens.

    Can’t see any advantage to Vancouver moving up in a weak draft – this is likely the first year in many years that the # 1 overall (Nico Hischier?) doesn’t play in the NHL in his first year. Interesting, too, that 7 of the projected Top 10 picks are C and just 2 are D.

    • Nolan Patrick is still the prize of this years draft and other than his injury history, I’m not sure why more people arnt excited at what he can bring to the table. He’s as versatile a 2 way player as we have seen in a long time. He has potential to win an Art Ross and a Selke in the same season. Whether he does remakes to be seen with all the young talent the league has right now. He’s a true 1C which along with a true 1D are the most difficult positions to fill.

      • This is the first time I have ever read anything like that about Nolan Patrick. From what I have read he is going to be a solid #2 two-way center but not as gifted offensively as a true #1. I guess time will tell,

      • I agree Dino. He may turn out to be a solid C in the league, but cool the expectations. when I hear things like that I’m reminded of Doug Wickenheiser, a 6′ 1″ 200 lb C taken first overall by the Habs in 1980 after he scored 89 goals and 81 assists for the Regina Pats. I mean, there were high expectations there too, and while he did go on to have a lengthy career, it was quite modest to disappointing compared to the little guy (Dennis Savard) who Chicago took 3rd. Of course, hindsight being 10 cents a pound, the Habs faithful were later unanimous that Montreal made a mistake in not taking Savard after he became a star in Chicago (as a point of interest, 6′ 2″ 220 lb D Dave Babych went 2nd to Winnipeg.

        And I stand by what I said above – even Patrick won’t be playing in the NHL next year.

  2. Signing both d men to Jersey and adding two 2-3 d men immediately makes Jersey a contender. That coupled with one or two other moves would be huge. I always wondered about players who want top tier money needing to go to a “contender.” If they were sold on their own abilities it would mean that they are a big part in making any team a contender. speaks to lack of confidence if players avoid teams because of that.

    • From 27th to contender overnight! I don’t buy that concept nor do I see either Alzner or Shattenkirk signing in NJ. This isn’t a desired destination for NHL UFA’s. They really only sign in NJ if the money is to good to refuse & even then on the downward side of their career.

      You could add Weber & Keith to this NJ team; that’s not happening either but if we’re living in a fantasy world, & it wouldn’t even necessarily make them a playoff team never mind contender.

      This team can’t even ice 2 full scoring lines, they are 2 players short. If Zajac is your #1 C that’s a problem. Adding 2 Dman even if they could secure Shatty & Alner; not, that really only helps solidify their top 4 with Greene & Severson moving Lovejoy to 5. That’s not what I consider a contender.

      • agreed Striker,
        As you all know I pine for the days of a much smaller NHL. This team is one that I wish would just go away. I know I have been told repeatedly by many of you how impossible my dream is! But a guy can dream!

      • zajac palmieri and hall was a solid line. and this was a team without to much help from the back end moving the puck up. two d men that would become essentially their top pairing and a couple of tweaks to the forward lines and they have a competitive team for sure… only problem is its the metro. if it was the atlantic they would compete for sure. lovejoy is a solid bottom pairing guy. Jersey has some talent in the pipeline and another top pick coming in. good coach and gm. cap space galore. team on the rise.

        again though… if jersey isn’t a destination based on their compete level then its a reflection on the players self confidence… “I want paid like a number one d… but not on a team I have to be the number one d.” I call bologna.

        I doubt they sign both but it would immediately put them into competition with the rest of the east.

      • I can’t wait till nhl is 32 teams. unfortunately the crappy chl agreement is keeping too much talent in juniors that should be in the nhl. got to keep growing the game! I don’t like what Bettman does most of the time but his expansion of the league is and will be great for the game of hockey.

      • Zajac hasn’t posted more than 50 points in 7 years. 45 last season, didn’t even hit 15 goals. I would far prefer to see Henrique play on that line.

        Zajac is #1 in TOI/GP for forwards & 3rd overall for all skaters in PP TOI/GP in NJ. Most overpaid player in the NHL. Should be a 3rd line C not a #1 & certainly never have been given an 8 year 5.75 per long term deal.

        What was Lou thinking?

      • Don’t disagree at all. Way overpaid. But the line was objectively among the leagues most effective both ends of ice using all dem fancy stats n’at

      • Here’s my issue with your evaluation of players/ bias….Zajac is a good first line center but,,, lol? You seen oddly confused when it comes to anyone but Pittsburgh centers? How is Zajac a good 1st line center ….. and Stepan not? Lmao!

    • Shattenkirk and Alzner don’t make the Capitals a contender let alone New Jersey. The Devils have a long way to go and a lot of assets to acquire before they are even a playoff team.

      • Precisely.

      • The president trophy? Huh. I guess I should have clarified contender as for the playoffs. Then again Mario Wayne bobby gordie etc couldn’t make the caps cup contenders… they were created to choke

      • Agreed Chrisms. Had you said playoff contender I would have moved on. When you said contender I assumed you meant for the Stanley Cup not just the playoffs. That said even if Shatty & Alzner sign in NJ I doubt that gets them into the playoffs in the east. They would need at least 1 top 6 winger a solid #3 C I don’t think Zacha is ready for that role & a 3rd line RW.

        To be a playoff team today you need a 3rd line that can play sound defensively & help on offense. NJ barely has that ability after the line you mentioned. They can’t ice 2 full scoring lines never mind a 3rd that can help in almost anyway currently.

      • Also mostly agree. A schneider with decent d and a couple tweaks puts them up there. They won’t get a number one center… they would have to do scoring by committee like rangers ott Columbus etc. but they have cap space picks etc to obtain all the missing pieces cept that center

  3. I think the Devils will see what they can do via trade with the expansion draft and at the NHL Draft with teams that can’t protect players or that need cap space with the cap not expecting to rise. I think Shattenkirk and or Alzner are most likely the “plan B” option should they fail to get impact Defensemen through trades

  4. People forget every year that shattenkirk is always bad in the playoffs. That’s why blues didn’t mind trading him. Guy is a mess once the real games start.

    • Shatty had 3 solid playoff runs in StL. StL traded him as he’s a UFA & they wanted something to show for lossing him & they had the D depth to cover for the loss to some extent.

      These are hard choices to make. What we do know is he has been terrible in this series & this acquisition bumping carlsson off the #1 unit is significant in Washingtons struggles. That & the fact orpik can’t cover for Shatty’s mistakes. That pairing has been brutal. Trotz barely played them last night.

  5. Sabres clean house

    • This is Jack Eichel team. Get on board or get out.

      • Well, I hope the rumor about him refusing to sign a long term deal if Bylsma was his coach aren’t true. Pretty ballsy for a kid his age to say that, so I am skeptical that it is actually true and not click bait. Anybody know the original source of that story?
        Teams do their annual reviews this time of year, and the house cleaning seemed likely after the moves they made, and the results they produced.

      • Lets not forget ROR, if a team he plays for gets into the playoffs he would be a Selke finalist year in year out

      • I don’t like Bylsma. Murray got shafted. 3 years on the job, just completed year 2 of his & Buffalo’s rebuild. Came on board as GM in january 2014. BUffalo was a mess. Positioned them to draft Reinhart & Eichel.

        Made some great trades. O’Reiily, Kane, Lehner & some lesser lights. Signed the best & youngest UFA available this summer in Okposo numerous lesser lights to fill positions as prospects were being developed. Stock piled picks, etc.

        I’m with Lebrun. I feel sorry for Buffalo fans. Buffalo is 1 solid Dman away from being a playoff team & a year maybe 2 from a serious step up. Now another GM gets to swoop in & steal Murrays glory.

      • Like Blustering Burke did in Anaheim after another Murray got fired there.

      • That’s fair Striker it does take at least 5 years. Not Bylsma fan either and Murray hired him. I’m not a fan of giving up Myers in a trade for Kane as the center piece either. Just seems like he is not a guy his team mates like. That is a problem that I think is underrated, and there was plenty of evidence out there. Made a great deal on ROR though. All deals don’t work out for any GM.
        Just imagine if they got McDavid instead of Eichel….

  6. Shattenkirk is so overrated!The Blues have excelled since they were fortunate enough to get rid of him.
    Buffalo firing Murray and Bylsma should make it interesting in the next few weeks to see who will come in to try and mold some talented youngsters into stars!

    • RCR. I also think it is very interesting to see how successful, at least early on, St. Louis has been without Shattenkirk.

  7. I’m assuming Botchford meant after the 1st round as they finished 29th this season & will have the 2nd best lottery odds with Vegas.

    Well on the Casnucks as discussed the other day, 1 of the Canucks young players is bolting the NHL. The reason given? Wasn’t happy with the deployment he received from Willie. Nor was I & not just with Tryamkin.

  8. NJ can’t score, it would certainly be helpful on their PP with Shattenkirk feeding Hall. As far as his playoff struggles, NJ will deal with that when they get there.

  9. Vancouver got some bad news today as its been reported rookie dman Nikita Tryamkin has returned to the KHL after one season with the Canucks. I don’t know anything about this prospect other then his size and numbers but never good losing a young prospect/player.

    • Tryamkin has big upside. He is Chara huge, and moves good for a guy that size at that age. Way too early to say he will be Chara good, but he has a chance to be.
      This is kind of a big deal for the Canucks? One has to assume he will be back soon enough unless he just prefers to be close to home?

  10. If the Flames are concerned about goaltending then they have to be all in on Bishop. None of the others suggested have the proven track record to address their biggest concern. St. Louis is looking like they made the right decision in goal. Calgary might also pursue MAF.

    • I think MAF is the best option, I don’t think you saddle yourself with the term Bishop is going to want.

      2 years is probably exactly what you will need until Gillis is ready to split time with someone, then eventually take over the starter role.

      We will have to wait to see who the GM is as BT hasn’t gotten a new contract .. Maybe Burke is taking over … I kid I kid

  11. I brought up Schneider yesterday on this forum and still believe he should be traded.
    I spoke about Winnipeg yesterday with Hellebyuck + trouba going back for Schneider + Santini/Severson

    Calgary should make that call too, see if they can send over Bennett+ for Schneider.
    The flames have 1C and 2C covered with Monahan and Backlund finally coming good.

    Schneider is being wasted in NJ, they aren’t making the playoffs anytime soon and its better for them to get in on the high draft picks rather than competing and improving to 10 in the eastern Ala Leafs of the past decade.

    • I think if Schneider is moved, that Winnipeg would be a great destination. As much as they said earlier that they would want a good young LHD for Trouba, that deal is almost impossible to make since most people willing to look at Trouba don’t improve much by giving a very good D back.

      Trouba’s good play, but still non-committal comments, along with expansion draft shaking up some trade scenarios, should be the ideal time to move Trouba, and I can’t think of many other moves that would improve the Jets as quickly as Schneider would.

      • Can’t see them trading Trouba for Schneider, or any goalie for that matter. I agree with what you are saying about a D for D, and don’t think they will get a player “similar to Trouba” for Trouba. Who will do that? What I expect is a high end D prospect, or young NHL D man with upside like a Brandon Carlo or one of the many in Carolina like Striker suggested. Plus a sweetener.
        Goalies are just too risky and unpredictable. They go from the scrap heap to great like Dubnyk. Struggling mightily like Allen, to playing great. Great all year like Holtby, and then average at best in the playoffs this year. It’s voodoo, and if anyone has the answer on how to predict that position I would love to hear it. Trouba is too valuable for that type of risk.
        I also believe the Jets should try and stabilize the goal tending short term (hello MAF) and take the burden of Helly but plan to have him be your guy long term solution until he proves otherwise. MAF shouldn’t cost much as PIT has to move him before expansion, unless they have already made other arrangements with LV.

      • I was suggesting Schneider plus Santini (or maybe Severon) for Trouba and Helle – keeping in mind that Comrie is supposed to be quite good.
        The other variable that I am considering is that Trouba is not projected to resign in Winnipeg long term

    • The Jets are not trading Trouba or Helley. Throw in Hall and they might consider it. Trouba is the next Duncan Keith.

  12. Ironic in discussion with someone here the other day defending Desjardins I said he wasn’t good. His refusal to play young players was detrimental to the team & their style of play under Desjardins was not fun to watch & you couldn’t give tickets away.

    Even with Desjardins gone Trymakin bolts. Still Canuck property & I assume may be back several years from now but so unessessary. Now if we can turf Benning & linden I might be willing to renew my season tickets. Would if they even just turfed Benning.

    Not happy with almost anything accomplished by any of these individuals since arriving with a few minor exceptions. Some of the worst asset management & personal decissions I have ever seen.

    • With their cap space this off season…..do you see it beneficial for them to “tank” and take it players from cap strapped teams for the next 2 seasons while stock piling pics and prospects?

      • That is what I would do.

      • There is absolutely no reason not to.
        In the cap world you have to use any advantage you get.

  13. On a side note I see linesman Don Henderson has opened 10.25 mill lawsuit against Dennis Wideman. I hope Don gets every penny of it.

  14. On another side note Laine, Matthews and Werenski were named finalists for the calder trophy. No surprises here, all 3 worthy of winning the calder.

  15. Blustering Burke went out of his way to credit Murray in Anaheim and John Ferguson JR and others in Toronto for the players they acquired that that turned into good players while he was in charge. He may be full of bluster and bs sometimes but he was a stand up guy that did not take credit for others work. He even admitted that he thought the Leafs were better then they were when he traded for Kessell. Kessell’s performance in Pitt shows just how good a trade that was. In hindsight I’m sure having Seguin,
    Hamilton, and Spooner would have helped the Leafs more Wilson might have ruined them like he did to Schenn?

    It is interesting how quiet he is in Calgary especially when the ultimate Burke-type of player (Thachuk?) is there.

  16. The Blues have a draft pick “hanging in the balance” if Elliott resigns with the Flames–I would sure like to see Calgary stick with him for his “veteran leadership”.

  17. Wondering what you all think it would take to pry Josh Manson from Anaheim to Winnipeg. Trouba is a non starter and is t going anywhere.