NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2017

by | Apr 25, 2017 | Rumors | 56 comments

James van Riemsdyk’s future is one of the issues to be addressed this summer by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

More on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins in your NHL rumor mill. 

TORONTO STAR/TORONTO SUN: Damien Cox wouldn’t be surprised if the Toronto Maple Leafs make only two or three changes in the offseason. He suggests re-signing Roman Polak and perhaps adding another experienced defenseman, but he doesn’t see them pursuing a big-ticket blueliner via trade or free agency. Cox also suggests finding someone capable of playing among their top-nine forwards and thinks they could already have that player in promising Kasperi Kapanen.

With rising stars such as Auston Matthews due new contracts in the next couple of years, Cox advocates being mindful of investing in expensive, long-term deals this summer. They’ll also have to reach a decision on left wing James van Riemsdyk, who’s a year away from UFA status. Cox adds the Leafs will know by mid-summer if they have any shot at landing center John Tavares or if the New York Islanders will re-sign him. 

Lance Hornby speculates the first order of business for the Leafs is completing the rumored seven-year deal for blueliner Nikita Zaitsev. He also wonders if the Leafs will get into the market for a defenseman in July. They avoided pursuing Kevin Shattenkirk at the trade deadline and the other notable UFA options (Andrei Markov, Mark Streit and Dennis Wideman) are well into their 30s. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have no reason to pursue Tavares. None. With Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri, they’re already set at center among their top-two lines. I can see them trying to bolster their defense but probably not via free agency. They have the cap space and depth in draft picks and prospects to swing a trade, either by targeting clubs that must shed cap space or those at risk of losing a defenseman in the expansion draft. If van Riemsdyk won’t commit to a long-term deal this summer, the Leafs could shop him for a blueliner. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE/SPORTSNET: In the wake of the Canadiens early playoff exit, Pat Hickey reports general manager Marc Bergevin has no intention of blowing up his roster. Pending unrestricted free agents Alex Radulov and Andrei Markov expressed their willingness to re-sign with the Habs. So did goaltender Carey Price, who’s a year away from free agency and isn’t concerned about getting a new deal worked out.

Bergevin still faces finding a first-line center, a role Alex Galchenyuk won’t be filling to start next season. Galchenyuk is a restricted free agent and Hickey considers it doubtful he’ll get a long-term extension. The Habs GM flatly dismissed the notion of shopping Price for a center. 

Eric Engels reports Bergevin, in his season-ending press conference, doesn’t discount the possibility of looking outside the NHL to address his scoring needs. Engels speculates KHL winger (and former New Jersey Devil) Ilya Kovalchuk could be an option. The Habs GM also didn’t rule out trying to sign another team’s restricted free agent with an offer sheet if it could help his club. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens definitely need more scoring punch, preferably at center. However, it won’t be easy to do. I doubt Bergevin will go the offer sheet route. He could, but such moves are rare and almost never successful. I can see Bergevin trying to target clubs looking to shed salary or those at risk of losing a good forward via the expansion draft. 

The Habs have over $50 million invested next season in 15 players, though that will be reduced by one player following the expansion draft. Still, with Radulov due a significant raise and Price eligible next summer for a lucrative new deal, Bergevin must invest wisely.

Galchenyuk could be re-signed but he won’t get a big raise over his current $3.1 million actual salary for this season. I still wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shopped in the offseason. 

BOSTON HERALD/BOSTON GLOBE: Among the five things Steve Conroy believes the Bruins must do in the offseason are finding a third-line center, extending Zdeno Chara’s contract and identifying a second-line left wing. He doubts RFA forward Ryan Spooner will be back. Despite Chara’s age, Conroy thinks the 40-year-old, who has a year left on his contract, remains their best blueliner. He suggests a one-year, bonus-laden offer. He suggests the Bruins have sufficient prospect depth to acquire a left wing via trade.

Kevin Paul Dupont suggests wingers Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes could be buyout candidates, doesn’t see RFAs Ryan Spooner and Joe Morrow returning and doubts pending UFAs Drew Stafford and John-Michael Liles will be re-signed. He also wonders if UFA forward Dominic Moore will be  back. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Bruins should wait and see how Chara plays next season before investing in one more year. It’ll also depend upon how much the big blueliner feels he’s got left to give. If he wants to continue playing beyond next season, the Bruins will be his first choice. I expect they’ll go shopping for a scoring winger. Given their depth in promising young defensemen, they can bolster their defense from within. 









56 Comments

  1. You have to wonder if Damien Cox has a short-attention span problem – in one breath he says the Leafs should be “mindful of investing in expensive, long-term deals this summer …” then adds “they’ll also have to reach a decision on left wing James van Riemsdyk, who’s a year away from UFA status” and “will know by mid-summer if they have any shot at landing center John Tavares or if the New York Islanders will re-sign him.”

    Apparently he believes neither Van Riemsdyk nor Tavares will fall within the “expensive long-term” category.

    • Hey George O.,

      I agree both JVR and Tavares (who we don’t need, but is a conversation for another time) are in the long term category. Another thing he seems to forget is that the Leafs need defense of the long term variety; despite their Herculean effort against the Caps.

      You can’t expect to continue to do patchwork on the blue line and stay competitive in this league. Polak played well and does deserve to stay; but other long term acquisitions are needed. Yes you can draft a defense man and I hope they do; however, as we all know defense men take a long time to mature. The Leafs need somebody who can step in actually play with the talent they have up front. There are options and I hope Toronto pursues them aggressively. We do not need help up front.

      • Watching some of Babcock’s end-of-season press scrum he said something that everyone should keep in mind. They finished 8th and were out in the first round so there’s need for improvement if they are to keep pace with the other 7 that made it (all of whom can look forward to new promising blood coming in from their farm systems except maybe Montreal) not to mention several that just missed – TB despite some horrendous injuries that stunted their season, the Islanders who were one of the hottest team from January on but simply ran out of games after a poor start, Florida who also had some key injuries, and Philadelphia and Carolina.

        The Leafs may have lots of cap space at this writing – but over the next couple of seasons they need to be careful not to paint themselves into a corner by giving long-term expensive contracts. If they don’t retain this year’s UFAs – Boyle, Polak and Hunwick – then they need to find adequate replacements for what they bring – if they DO sign them each will eat into the cap surplus to some degree – and for how long? Meanwhile, they have the same considerations to deal with for this year’s RFAs – Hyman, Brown and Zaitsev – each will get a raise – but how much and for how long?

        After next season they’ll need to decide who to trade or sign from among veteran UFAs JVR, Bozak and Komarov – each of whock will be looking for significant raises, as well as RFAs Nylander, Soshnikov, Leivo and Carrick. Some won’t be retained, probably, but again they have to find adequate replacements.

        Then comes 2019-20 and RFAs Matthews, Marner, Kapanen – two at least will command really big bucks and term.

        So it’s not as simple a process as some suggest without disrupting team chemistry – all the while being aware that there are 4 or 5 teams intent on getting in.

      • I agree George. Well written.

        Juggling the financial aspect of today’s NHL in this cap world is a serious challenge. Some teams seem to be getting their players to accept these realities. Some not. Chi & LA. None of Toews, Kane or Kopitar are worth 10 mil+ nor was Lundqvist ever worth 8.5 but it sets the bare for everyone else & what they demand. Kopitar had LA over a barrel facing UFA status & little choice. Toews & Kane both still had a year left. These are hard difficult choices but no player should be making more than Crosby at forward, Doughty at D or Price in net.

        As the whole structure is based on comparables other peoples mistakes & your own are problematic. 1 team over paying a player to early causes serious headaches for others with similiar assets but different roster cap issues.

        I assume we will see a limit put on 2nd contracts in the next CBA & walk away rights will also be tabled yet again, these may not be the issues the NHL falls on it’s sword for as both can be addressed just in altering the revenue split which I think the NHL will fall on it’s sword over.

        Having players come out of their ELC’s signing 8 year deals at huge money becoming UFA’s at potentially 27 or 28 isn’t good for controlling high end salaries. It’s inflationary.

      • Striker: Karlsson is worth more than Doughty and Hedman potentially is too. Doughty is great, but over-rated due to the from Toronto bias.

      • Striker: Karlsson is definitely worth more than Doughty and Hedman possibly is too. Doughty is great, but is over-rated due to the from Toronto bias. Even Bob MacKenzie said Karlsson is by far the best defenceman in the league and in the top 3 players in the NHL with Crosby and McDavid.

    • I know, I don’t think the Leafs should be planning on either, at least this summer.

      I think they should move on from JVR before the expansion draft in order to trade him for a D. That could also save a forward protection slot, and even give them the option to go 4-4 if that works out for them. I just don’t think you can invest what JVR would cost long term in a guy who is already fallen to being your 5th best forward. Also, I do think he has value, but the Leafs could replace him in the line up, and between the replacement player, and internal growth of guys like Marner, Matthews, Nylander, Kapenen, Brown and Hyman, you likely won’t miss his goals, or at least not enough to change the fact that the Leafs have a very dangerous offense.

      Tavares is likely a pipe dream, and while it is something you consider IF it becomes a possibility, the Leafs have enough work to do this summer that worrying about what could be next summer should be the least of their concerns.

      It’s a pivotal summer for a team that has taken great steps. They need to continue to draft and develop as they improve so they have a steady stream of replacements coming through the pipe as some players either leave or become too expensive.

      • Toronto has JVR, Bozak and Komarov all with 1yr left on their contracts. The leafs had a great run and did what nobody expected them to do. The cap issue isn’t a concern, with $11.3 coming off their books between buried and ltir contracts, the team has money, then another $7.2 the following with another LTIR and 2 buyouts. JVR with one year left on his contract seem to be the guy most think will bring the best return, maybe a flip with Ana for Fowler who also has one yr left on his contract. Don’t forget the leafs got the last playoff spot and there is no guarantee that they’ll be back in the playoffs next season. We often see 2nd year players take a step back and the leafs have to many to think one or two won’t take a step back. Got money to spend and teams like Anaheim and Minnesota have dman to spare or can’t protect. If you move JVR, then what do you do with Bozak and Komarov?

      • You would have to give up more than JVR to get Fowler, either a high draft pick or a solid prospect. Other teams would be happy to pay that for a top pairing defenseman.

      • I don’t see a need for Fowler anyway JVR for a Brodin or Manson would be closer I think depending. Pretty sure Kapanen gets a shot to move up the lineup next year.

      • I don’t think Fowler will be moved. I think he will be resigned for 8 years & 6 to 6.5 mil per on July 1st. I see Vatanen or Manson being moved, most likely Vatanen. Have been debating & discussing this point for well over a year now with many. After Vatanen signed some felt that took him off the board. Not me.

        In fact his contract with 3 years remaining at 4.875 with no NTC or NMC makes him even more valuable than he was. Great contract & their will be tons of bidders about 25 of them including Toronto. He gets replaced by Theodore or Montour.

      • Caper, I think trading JVR makes sense because of the follow up contract required. I don’t think the money in the short run is an issue, but I do believe JVR will be wanting to cash in (and he should be trying to), and I can’t see the Leafs wanting to tie $5.5+ to JVR for 6 or 7 seasons given his role will likely continue to diminish on the team.

        Bozak and Komorov are a slightly different scenario. Both played well in their roles, and their roles are complimentary. I also don’t see either asking for massive terms or big raises on their next contracts, making it more realistic to keep them.

        While I do think there is potential for regression with the Leafs, I don’t think it will be because Marner, Nylander and Matthews have massive steps back. I do think it could be because of less luck with Injuries, and the simple fact it’s hard to imagine guys like Bozak, Kadri, Gardiner, JVR (if kept), are all going to continue to have career years, maybe, but definitely some regression there is possible, and while I don’t think you will see a massive regression in the big 3, It’s not as if that means I think they take massive steps forward either as all 3 outplayed expectations.

      • Just to play devils advocate or to stimulate the discussion, something I do often but feel I should qualify before people start attacking me. JvR seems logical to move to me to as well but what about this.

        If JVR is moved other than Hyman who’s playing LW in Toronto next year? Why not look to sign JvR who is a year younger than Marchand to a similar contract for slightly less money say 5.5 per for 7 or 8 years? I think Toronto could make the monies work long term.

        Hyamn & Connor are getting nominal raises now on 2 or 3 year deals & will probably never see huge monies; maybe Brown to early to tell. Gardner & Reilly are signed to decent contracts as is Kadri. It sounds like Zaitsev will be signed under 5 as well. Meaning they have their top 3 D locked up for at least 2 more years; Reilly & Zaitsev long term, at under 15 mil. Gardner will be getting a raise following the final 2 years of his deal. Even then what? 5 to 5.5 per long term?

        Komorov & Bozak will be gone replaced by youth but bring assets back in return, picks & or prospects. Obviously Matthew’s, Nylander & Marner are eventually getting big money but bridging 1 or 2, even all 3 allows Toronto to buy time & lock them up longer into their careers; Ala Kucherov, is always an option allowing Toronto time to absorb JvR’s contract for 2 more years into their bridge deals.

        Don’t worry about Tavares a player Toronto doesn’t need. Lets keep the 6’3″ 210 lbs LW Toronto already has. Lets trade Komorov & Bozak not necessarily today but before next seasons trade deadline with 1 of Leivo, Soshnikov or possible even Brown or Kapanen with or with out a pick to get a Dman.

        Komorov, Kapanen; maybe Brown modifying the picks, & Toronto’s 1st this year or 2 2nds next season for Vatanen? & he’s a rightie. Just saying their are other options that should be explored. JvR is 1 of the best LW’s in the game today.

      • I still dont see where JVR rates a 7 year deal for $6m plus. He is a career minus player. Every year he has played more than 40 games he has been a minus player. One season of 30 or more goals. Turns 28 this month (May).

        He is NOT one of the top LW’s in the game. You can site all those other peripheral stats you want. Minus player. Averaged 20 goals a year for 8 years, same with assists. So basically a 40-50 point a year player for $7m?

        No thanks. In a cap’d system, I’d spend my money elsewhere.

      • Someone has trouble with math…

        338 points in 528 games

        = 52 points a year avg

        As a Leaf
        332 games 119 goals 240 points

        Avg = 29 goal 59 points a season

      • Shticky,

        JVR is a good player, and I think he is worth and will get that kind of money, I just think it’s a bigger opportunity for the Leafs to add in an area of larger need, while not losing as much as a team that relies on JVR type as a #1 offensive piece. I see the logic behind wanting to keep him, but the Leafs will likely replace much of his offense internally or possibly a veteran signing, and will have less long term money signed.

        I think it comes down to how many 6+ year contracts do you want to have. Right now Rielly, Kadri and soon Zaitsev (not as thrilled about this one, unless the cap hit is less than the 4.5M speculated) will be on long term contracts. We know that Nylander, Marner and Matthews will likely walk right into 8 year contracts from ELC. So I think JVR is just not the guy for the Leafs to invest that term in.

        Finally, I think the leafs could gamble on moving JVR, and dangling a good top 9 role for a veteran looking for a shorter term deal. Someone like Marleau, Williams, or Sharp could be a great fit on a 2 year deal. The Leafs could afford to overpay in $ just to add some experience and because the flexibility having that deal expire before having to sign the big 3 would be huge.

  2. I doubt there is anything any of the teams above could do to compete with the metro teams. At least for the next 2-3 years.

    • I’m going to need to see Columbus repeat. As it stands currently few teams, Minnesota, are positioned worse for expansion. CLB has 4 Dman Jones, Murray, Johnson & Savard. Even if they trade 1 so they can use the 7F, 3D & 1G option as opposed to the 8 skater option they are in trouble at forward.

      They have at least 8 forwards & that’s after buying out Hartnell, & his NMC with no cap space. Saad, Dubibnsky, Foligno, Atkinson, Jenner, Wennberg, Anderson & Karlsson; solid 3rd like checking C with a bright future. Wennberg & Anderson are both RFA’s, where is the money coming from both are getting raises? Wenneberg’s potentially significant. Think Rackell type money.

      Columbus could easily be like Dallas next year. They went from 2nd in the league to out of the playoffs by a mile. Not saying it will be that significant a drop but them missing next year at the expense of NYI, FLO, Car or even Phi wouldn’t shock me. We will have 8 teams fighting it out hard next season for 3 spots.

      With the new weighted lottery system deliberately tanking it isn’t a great option. I believe Colorado has a 17.9% chance of winning the lottery, can’t remember the exact #. That means an 82.1% chance they don’t. I don’t like those odds at all, so no point finishing last.

      • 4th best team and the youngest? Doubt they go anywhere. Sure they lose a good player but will easily make up for it.

      • It’s partly the age issue that concerns me. Young players can struggle unexpectedly. Also it’s deceptive as they only have 1 player over 30; Hartnell.

        Their performance after reeling off 16 consecutive wins seriously concerns me. They finished 50-24-8. Finishing the season 23-19-4 after starting 27-5-4!

        A team like Arizona has Doan 40, Vrbata & Smith 35 & Michalek 34 who is counted in their average age this year. The remaining group of players is significantly younger than Clb’s as are Buf’s with out Gionta, McCormick, Moulson & Georges, Car’s with out Stempniak, Ward & McClement & numerous other teams with 2 or 3 players that skew their average age, many of who are UFA’s next season. Remove many, especially in net, which isn’t as significant an issue.

        This age issue as reported isn’t really that telling as it doesn’t properly reflect the entire roster. Median average of a teams 23 man roster, ideally by the 3 primary positions would be far more meaningful, nor am I saying they will miss, just not a shoe in in the Metro nor as I stated would it shock me if they missed.

        Where was Bobrovsky in the playoffs? He’s goes from a shoe into to win the Vezina to the maybe the worst goalie in the playoffs, I think he played far worse than Elliott but both were terrible & both played 2 of the best teams in each conference?

        Did you have Dallas dropping from 2nd overall in the league to not only missing the playoffs but falling to 24th this season?

      • I was more surprised by the bluejackets 2015-16 season than the 2016-17 season. My opinion is they have more of a chance of winning the metro than they do of missing the playoffs next year. They have too good of a team defense to do what Dallas did.

        I agree Hartnell will not be on the roster next year.

        If Columbus has to trade a defenseman I think they trade Jack Johnson since he only has one year left on his contract and probably will not be easy to re-sign.

        That being said I will be surprised if Columbus does not make a pre-expansion draft deal with Vegas to ensure Vegas drafts a forward and allows Columbus to keep both Korpisalo and Johnson.

  3. I forget where I read it but Kovalchuk can only be signed by any team not named New Jersey is if every team in the league signs off on it. Not going to happen. His only way back into the NHL is via New Jersey, whether he plays for them, or via a sign and trade scenario.

    • That was from Bob MacKenzie Thirsty Deer, a hockey reporter who actually knows what he is talking about. I think Kovalchuk may be looking at Radulov’s new found success in Montreal? If he left New Jersey to go home I am not sure why he might want to come back. For the record when he left I didn’t really understand why so many were so upset that he went home. How are they any different than us? He had an opportunity to go home, make skads of money and do what he loves! What’s wrong with that? I personally could care less what he does. I am not implying you do either by the way, my thoughts just got away on me and turned into a rant.

      • Oh yes, I remember why Kovalchuk’s NHL fate is in NJ’s hands… He is on some sort of “voluntary retirement leave” or something like that. It’s not the same as outright retiring from the NHL.

        As for why he bolted for the KHL in the first place, I’d put my money on 1) the fame of being the face of the league, 2) the more money he’d earn there (factoring in the incredible tax breaks they get, endorsements, etc). However, now that Putin made Russia’s economy hit the dumpster, player contracts are dropping, teams are folding, the value on their currency is horrible… in other words, he’s chasing the money.

      • As usual I’m not on the same page as Cox. As we discussed yesterday I see Toronto bringing in 2 new Dman next season. 1 in trade pre expansion from any one of, Anh, Clb, Min, Mtl, NYI, Ott, etc.

        Nor do I consider any of Hornby’s Dman Markov, Streit or Wideman to be notable, although I still like Wideman as a 4/5 option with 2nd unit power play deployment as long as his cap hit stays under 3 mil on no more than a 2 year deal.

        Other than Shatty an offensive Dman something Toronto doesn’t really need the best UFA Dman currently available for me are Alzner, Daley, Stone, Kulikov, Del Zotto, Russell, Franson, all would help & depending on term & cap hit help. I also have no issues bringing back Polak or Hunwick.

      • Striker: You are the first person I have seen mention Ottawa with a possible defenseman to trade pre-expansion and I totally agree. Methot would be the obvious exposed defenseman in the 7F/3D format (Karlsson, Phaneuf with NMC and Ceci being the protected players) and he would help a lot of teams with a reasonable cap hit of $4.9M for two more years. If Ottawa did the 4F/4D option, the forward they would expose would be very good as well (likely Brassard or Pageau with Turris, Stone and Hoffman beings locks to protect), so the logical option would be to trade Methot and improve their 7th forward or get picks/expansion exempt players.

      • Van.

        It has come up on several occasions. Methot is a great solution for anyone looking for a solid stay at home Dman to protect an offensive rushing Dman. As he plays with Karlsson that doesn’t make him a #1 or 2 but a solid top 4 option. Many teams play a lesser Dman on their #1 pairing. Some teams like Anaheim have the luxury of putting their top 3 on 3 separate pairings. The only other team in the NHL with that luxury has been Minnesota.

        Not an ideal fit in Toronto as he’s a leftie but the left, right thing can be overcome. He’s certainly a viable option in Toronto.

  4. Orange crush baby are should I say Blue crush all the stuff I have been hearing about the Leafs.

    • ?

    • Couldn’t agree more

  5. Boston biggest need next season is a second line LW. Vataron, nor Belesky have proven to be that. Maybe Debrusk gets a shot at it. Many pundits believe Spooner has seen his last days in Boston, Ryan need to get stronger, you don’t see him win many battles for the puck and if he receives one good body check, then he disappears for the night. Joe Morrow for a guy who hardly got to play all year, played OK in the playoffs and maybe Boston keeps him, after all that all we really have left to show for in the Tyler Seguin trade. Chara been a great Bruin and should be kept to tutor but if the bruins look like their missing the playoffs he needs to be dealt for the best possible return.

    • Baring significant injures I have Boston making the playoffs next year although it will be tight & tough& certainly not guaranteed. All the young players introduced over the last 4 years will have another years development, Krejci & Krug will start the season healthy, not coming off major surgeries, the additions of Carlo & McAvoy will give Boston a stellar D & when Hayes is bought out & 1 of Belesky, McQuad or K. Miller lost in expansion, Boston will have some cash to spend.

      I don’t care if Spooner stays or goes. I like him as the #3 C with Belesky; until a better option can be found, on the left & Vatrano on the right. If Senyshin, JFK; or he takes Spooner’s spot, are ready move Vatrano to LW & play Senyshyn as the #3 RW or play Cehlarik as the #3 LW. Boston has some solid forward prospects coming knocking on the door. Spooner works well on the #1 PP, is young & will get better. If he goes he will be replaced either in trade or by promotion.

      Hard to buy Belesky out yet. He still has 3 years remaining. Most teams don’t buy players out until they have 1 season remaining with the occasional exception usually related to serious cap issues, something Boston isn’t facing thanks to Sweeney’s retooling. Belesky being selected is unlikely with K. Miller & McQuad both having very appealing contracts.

      • Striker, Caper, I think we all agree that it is good to see Boston filling their holes from within. I can see the B’s betting on Debrusk having the 2nd line LW job coming out of camp and it will be his to lose. His production has increased as the season went on in Providence and has been a consistent point producer for the last 3rd. I think they are comfortable with what they have seen at the pro level with him. Senyshin definatley has upside as a goal scorer, but I think the B’s opt for AHL after the a few games for a taste of the NHL.
        It may be best for JFK to get big minutes in the AHL at center for his development long term, but hey maybe he surprises.
        I also think McQuaid or Miller get picked up by LV, but Subban is a wild card as well. They need 3 targets and he still has significant upside. I would like to see McQuaid stay, like his character, toughness and penalty killing. He can help shelter and mentor the youth.
        Will also be interesting to see how Zboril and Lauzon do in Providence next year. Frederic and Lindgren the year after that. Good to see!

  6. If I had a chance to sign Tavares, Kadri would be on the trade block before the ink dried.

    • Why pay 9 or 10 mill for a 1C when you already have a cheaper 1 and 2 C and Nylander on top of that who looked very good taking draws and playing C against the Caps? I’m not saying any is better than JT but why rush in to cap problems? Mathews will develop in to a good #1 maybe not better but still if they were to resign Boyle that would leave Mathews 69 points Kadri 61 points Nylander 61 points Bozak 55 points on top of Komarov Boyle Gauthier all at C which is pretty deep and leaves no need for (Tavares 66 points) a that expensive if a centre. Again I know it’s just not about the points but 3 of them were within 10 pointsof JT and 1 out produced him; I’m not suggesting in anyway they are all better I just don’t think the cost is anywhere close to being justified by the need or depth at the position. Kadri is a very nice player for the cost of the contract (4.5 mill).

      • I agree fully Shticky. I wouldn’t trade Kadri in a minute. He logs the most difficult minutes 5 on 5 & Babcock is transforming him into a solid 2 way C. Odd he doesn’t kill penalties but with Hyman, Brown, Komorov & Soshinikov it hasn’t been necessary. His 5 years remaining at 4.5 per is incredible value & I think he can still get better. It’s been a bumpy road but attitude adjusted, his role & future defined.

        Getting him signed long term before he fully blossomed was very smart.

    • I’ll take Kadri at 4M rather than JT at $10M
      Leafs need to sign Ziatsev, Marner, Nylander, Matthews, Kapanen, JVR (or replacement) etc etc in the next 3 years

    • If you want to trade Kadri I’m sure Ottawa could find a spot for him. He has a nasty side that all teams need – something like Marchand although not yet the goal-scorer he has turned out to be. Then again, when he was averaging about 20 goals a season over his first 5 I doubt anyone saw him blossoming into a 30+ goal scorer – while maintaining his nasty approach.

  7. The Canadiens with Galchenyuk:

    He is a young skilled player, and it’s tough to give up on someone like that already. I think there is a better chance that they re-sign him.

    However, if they are exploring a trade then it is not so easy. Duchene is out there from the Avs, but Colorado is asking a steep price for a player who may not bring that much change to the Habs. Montreal would be adding yet another smallish, skilled center/forward, and losing a younger player plus at least another valuable asset for that.

    Is that really worth it?

    Montreal is looking to shake things up on their roster, and Julien will definitely have a say in what kind of team he wants. Julien had size in Boston, so he’d likely want size in Montreal.

    Montreal is ready to part ways with two young skilled players, Galchenyuk and Beaulieu. Duchene is not the answer to Montreal’s woes, and let’s face it…anyone that is tradable outside of Duchene from the Avs is not worthy a bag of pucks.

    Montreal needs to look for size, experienced depth.

    I would not rule out the Florida Panthers as a trade partner.

    Two large players on the Panthers are Bjugstad and Petrovic. The Panthers really have no reason to trade such young talent, but it’s a matter of who fits into their game. Petrovic may actually be a victim of the expansion draft under the Panthers, but not under the Habs.

    Bjugstad on the other hand does not have the same skill set and upside that Galchenyuk has, but he has the size and offensive abilities at a young age, which Montreal needs.

    Could something work out here between these two teams?

    What say you?

    • Mike some solid points.

      Montreal has the same issues at D Florida does facing expansion baring trades. Weber, Petry & Beaulieu being their 3 keepers at D currently. 8 skaters doesn’t look like a suitable option as currently constructed taking on Petrovic. That would cost them a forward they can’t afford to lose assuming the 4 keepers at forward would be Patches, Gallagher, Gelchenyuk & Danault/Shaw. Lehkonen being exempt. I assume they would lose Shaw/Danault in that scenario.

      Galchenyuk may simply be better suited to play wing than C but Mtl has little choice but to play him at C as the kitty is bare currently.

      Not sure how Mtl solves what ails it, other than Sergechev a stud prospect at D & to a far lesser extent Juulsen the prospect kitty is essentially bare. McCarron & Scherbak have little to no trade value today & may never, not certain what the future holds for either in the NHL.

      I assume they will bid for some forwards from teams potentially looking at losing 1 or 2 in expansion. Scourer the UFA market & sign several but this team is a bit of a mess. The NHL is transitioning to a faster game, Bergevin is stuck in the past trying to play a physical grind it out game hoping for timely scoring & a solid PP.

      Simply not enough scoring depth to flush out 2 scoring lines leaving the 3rd virtually useless. Mtl was the only team to make the playoffs with only 2 players scoring over 50 points, it dropped from Radulov at 54 in 2nd to Galchenyuk at 3rd with 44!

  8. Toronto definitely should make a pre-expansion trade for a defenseman. It would be easy to improve on Carrick as your third keeper behind Reilly and Gardner. Toronto is in great position to make a trade like this as they will lose no one of consequence in the expansion draft given the youth of the players (i.e. expansion exempt).

    • I agree.

  9. Andrei Markov will sign with the Habs. He will play his 1000 NHL game all with one team. The only question is how long and how much. Rumour is one or two years at 5 mill per. Galchenyuk might be traded, if so I can see him being packaged with Nathan Beaulieu, cause he is even more likely to be traded.

  10. I don’t get these rumors of JT to Toronto. The only thing Toronto needs to focus on is getting a top 4 defensman. Either through FA, trade or travel to Europe and find one
    There is only one pressing an obvious need here.

    The other would be to get Percy or Lindgren some playing time next year

    • Percy is no longer in the leafs organization

  11. Zaitsev for 7 years is a joke , and a bad one for leafs fans . He was unbelievably bad in the playoffs , scored on on his first shift in both games 3/4 and the last goal of the series , and in between was a giveaway machine, got no points and I didn’t even notice a chance created from him . He’s not a true rookie , has played vs men in the khl / World Cup , isn’t going to get any bigger at 25. Factor in the current group of offensive D who can’t defend and it’s a disaster . They will need a whole lot more than 1 of the D men being commonly mentioned (brodin/alzner/Manson etc). Razor thin margin for error going forward without big changes , just like the end of this season . By all accounts Freddy was great .. yet his save percentage / goals against near the bottom . How ? A terrible D insulated by great goaltending . Had a great / successful season , outperformed all expectations , but very little credit goes to the D and zero steps forward in that area . Zaitsev for 7 will be one giant step back .

    • I agree that Zaitsv had a poor playoff run but he was coming back form injury.
      He had a great regular season so thats why an extension is important but I do agree that 7 years is high risk, the 4-5 range would be much better

    • Zaitsev was a rookie playing hurt. He had 10 turn overs in 4 games, tied with Marincin. Hunwick lead the team with 13, Reilly & Gardner each had 12 all playing 6 games.

      He was 3rd in rookie scoring for Dman playing most of the year with Reilly on the #1 pairing again as a rookie. His job is to help drive offense 1st being as responsible as able. He will need 3 to 5 more years to fully develop.

      Dman aren’t easy to acquire & getting anyone with a pulse under 5 mil a season is a serious challenge. Be happy with what you have.

      • That’s all zaitsev has , a pulse . Comparing him to the rest of the D or lack of is irrelevant , they are all terrible defenders . They have two defencenan to drive offense , signing a 3rd for 7 is disaster . I have trouble giving credit for a great season , terrible terrible numbers , made to look better by a padded point count playing with a great offence . Yeah he played some tough minutes , and failed miserably in that role . No other sample to draw from .

      • Started 70% of the time in the D zone against one of the highest scoring teams in the league against Ovechkin and their best line and was scored on? Jeesh that’s dreadful….depending on the $ I don’t think giving Zaitsev term is a bad idea. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to wait and see what a contract is before calling it a bad one on a first year player.

      • Shticky how can you stick up for Zaitsev? He was terrible in the playoffs we all know you are a leaf fan but cmon man? Don cherry said he plays small and that is exactly right

  12. You cant sign Kolvachuck as New Jersey property and if New Jersey dont want him then all NHL teams must say yes for him to come back into league free agent way. But you think all teams will do that according to Bob Mckenzie who I would belive more than Engles.

  13. it was dreadful , 100% . Stating 70 % of time in his own end because what option was available ? Zero . And he was exposed time and time again , not only ovechkin line , Reilly and hunwick took those minutes when possible and didn’t get exposed like zaitsev . The deal is basically done so the reports say . Anything in the neibourhood would be terrible . Zaitsev was forced in to big minutes all year , due to a lack of other options , and he failed miserably , in the playoffs it was worse but Freddy was fantastic . How a need based heavy work load and great offense to pad his points has earned him even consideration for a long term deal is craziness . Zaitsev agent must be Scott boras 2.0

    • Well said Craig

  14. Shticky

    This is a rumor mill comment board you do realize that ? There will be and has been comments and debates on reported deals , rumors , lots which never happen , kind of the point of a rumor mill .

  15. As a Bruin fan I get tired of hearing Chara is old and to slow to play this game. I hope they give him a two more year extension at 3 to 4 million play him 16 minutes a game as a number 3 guy. Chara was a horse in the playoffs and without him were in trouble. He will lead and help Carlo McAvoy and other young Bruin prospects develop.