Latest on the Lightning, Red Wings & Senators – May 29, 2017

by | May 29, 2017 | Rumors | 46 comments

Should the Tampa Bay Lightning trade or re-sign Jonathan Drouin?

Pros and cons of trading Jonathan Drouin plus more speculation on possible moves by the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators in your NHL rumor mill.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith and Martin Fennelly debated the pros and cons of trading Tampa Bay Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin.

Smith cites the financial cost of re-signing the 22-year-old, his current high trade value and the club’s need to bring in another top-tier defenseman as the reasons why the Lightning could consider a trade. With $18 million in cap space, he believes the Lightning lack sufficient cap space to re-sign RFAs such as Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson and still have enough to go around for the remainder of the roster.

Fennelly cites Drouin’s unique playmaking skills and offensive upside as the factors for keeping the talented winger. He instead believes Johnson should be dealt to ensure sufficient cap space to re-sign Drouin and Palat and to address their other roster needs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve summarized Smith and Fennelly’s arguments to present the main points. I recommend you follow the links provided above to read their full takes on this topic.

Drouin would certainly bring in that high-value puck-moving defenseman the Lightning need. There was talk that he was offered in a package deal last January to the St. Louis Blues for Kevin Shattenkirk before the rearguard was shipped a month later to the Washington Capitals.

But if they trade Drouin, there’s a definite risk he goes on to become an all-star with another club. I share Fennelly’s view that the Bolts should retain Drouin and shop Johnson for a d-man. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings would like to move one of their goaltenders (Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek) prior to submitting their expansion draft protection list on June 17. General manager Ken Holland admits he’s not sure what he’ll do but will continue working the phones. “Holland denied telling Grand Rapids Griffins radio announcer Bob Kaser that he intends to trade Mrazek,” writes Khan, who notes that it makes more sense to protect him in the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Howard is exposed it’s possible the Vegas Golden Knights could select him, clearing nearly $5.3 million annually from the Wings’ salary-cap payroll for the next two seasons. However, there’s no guarantee Vegas will make this move.

If the Wings can find any takers for Howard via trade, they not only ensure moving his cap hit but could also get something back in return. However, they could be forced to pick up part of his cap hit to make him more enticing in the trade market. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion has lots of work to do in a shortened offseason. Garrioch speculates it’ll be surprising if veteran UFA forwards Chris Kelly, Chris Neil and Tommy Wingels return, but suggests they could attempt to re-sign winger Tom Pyatt. It’s expected goaltender Craig Anderson will sign a one-year contract extension this summer. Backup Mike Condon is a UFA but he’s indicated he wants to stay in Ottawa, leading Garrioch to speculate that a deal could be worked out.

The Sens must also decide if they’ll re-sign center Jean-Gabriel Pageau to a long-term deal or let an arbitrator decide. Pageau could also attract some interest from rival clubs interested in a trade. Fellow RFA Ryan Dzingel could sign his qualifying offer as he’s not dealing from a position of strength.

Garrioch also suggests asking Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause in order to protect Marc Methot in the expansion draft makes the most sense. The Sens don’t want to lose Phaneuf and Garrioch guesses they’ll get assurances from the Vegas Golden Knights that they won’t select him. They also have to decide if they’ll leave winger Bobby Ryan unprotected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Anderson, Pageau, Condon and Dzingel will be re-signed. If Phaneuf and/or Ryan are exposed in the draft I doubt the Golden Knights will be eager to take on their expensive cap hits



  1. I don’t know that LV will balk at drafting a high-cost long-term player IF – and here I stress that IF – they think that player can help solidify what will mostly be a younger collection. Hell, the cap cost of most of the players they select won’t even get them close to the cap floor, so bringing in a $7 mil player isn’t going to set them back financially.

    What I find intriguing about the draft is, what happens to the 7/8 who don’t rank – in their estimation – as part of their projected 22-23-man roster? All or most will presumably be NHL roster players who could suddenly find themselves back riding the bus -UNLESS of course McPhee then uses them as trade bait for prospects already in the minors and/or picks. Most likely that will be his course of action after he and his management team decide which 22/23 will probably form their roster for season 1.

    The thing is, any such trades would need to take place early in the off-season since training camp trades are few and far between.

    • This will form a part of their draft strategy. I think they will take assets that will make decent trade chips, and from some teams they might take more prospect type players that aren’t protected. In a few cases these aren’t current NHL regulars, so I don’t think this will cause many current regulars to lose roster spots.

      I believe Vegas will end up drafting a stockpile of capable 3rd pairing defense men, as there will be more solid defense available than any other position, and they have great trade value. They aren’t likely to have an abundance of bonafide top 4 guys, but there will be a market for those guys who upgrade a bottom pair, and can fill in a top 4 role capably when there is an injury.

    • That’s exactly what will happen George, especially at D. Vegas isn’t getting many stars or studs but a bunch of 3rd or 4th line players with a few exceptions but almost all will be NHL players & some fairly young with 2nd line upside possibly even better. Moving out an extra Dman like say a McQuad with a solid 3rd line forward to a team with cap problems or depth issues, or a player for a pick or picks will be easy this summer.

      By the time Vegas has to submit it’s 23 man active roster they will be no different than any NHL team trying to sneak a few borderline NHL players thru waivers to the minors. Vegas will select some players that although not expansion draft exempt are waivers exempt. Not all teams in the expansion draft are losing anything of quality but some will be young players that haven’t really even started their NHL careers yet.

  2. I would love Drouin on Rangers. With Sean Days resurgence in winning Memorial cup maybe package of him and this years 1st round pick. Wouldn’t help them immediately but frees up cap spaceIf Tampa had interest last year in Shatty, what would stop them from pursuing him now in FA? They always have advantage of paying less since there’s no state tax .

    • Just a feeling, but somehow I seriously doubt Yzerman will take the chance on dealing Drouin to a division or maybe even conference rival.

      • I think there are enough options out west with Columbus, Anaheim and Minnesota that could be offering a D prior to expansion.

        Columbus might be one of the more interesting teams that isn’t being talked about a lot.

        Their cap situation might make things tricky, but they also have 4 D they value. I think they may value Johnson more than other teams will, but they do crave more offense and preferably a center, so with their strength on D they could be interested in Duchene, Drouin or maybe they do something surprising and discuss Johnson with Tampa instead.

        They might offer someone like Savard, not sure how the trade would need to be balanced, but I do think they will be active and could be a good bet to do something surprising.

      • Danny.

        Minnesota has no room to take back a protectable asset back like Drouin pre expansion draft so they don’t fit well with TB prior to the expansion draft. They have to many forwards & to many D. No team is currently positioned worse for expansion than Minnesota.

        They will move at least 1 Dman pre expansion draft & there are enough teams that can give Minnesota exactly what they need. TB could get creative but they have protection problems of their own.

      • Striker,

        Yeah, you are quite right. Was looking at protecting 7 forwards, however unless Minny wants to trade 2 D, that isn’t likely.

        They are in tough. Some of it is just because they have a good deep pool of young players in most positions, however some of it is that they will end up protecting a minimum of one forward they would probably prefer to expose. Actually I don’t think they would really mind exposing any of their 3 NMC’s up front. Those NMCs are going to cost at least two good players from their roster, and as you said, they can’t take back any non-exempt assets.

      • Danny.

        & Columbus’s situation isn’t much better. They have no room for Drouin pre expansion draft as well.

    • NYR is loaded with young up & coming forwards just the opposite at D. This doesn’t make any sense to me.

  3. If all these prognosticators get their way, Vegas will skate on opening night with twenty goalies…

    • Baring trades pre expansion draft I see Vegas selecting 2 of Grubauer, Forsberg; depending upon what CLB does with their extra Dman currently, Korpisalo; same scenario as Forsberg, waivers exempt, Ullmark; waivers exempt, Pickard, Saros; waivers exempt. 1 of which will be the waivers exempt.

      Then I see them signing or trading for a veteran back up to help mentor these young up & coming goalies.

      • At best I see Vegas coming out of the expansion draft with 4 goalies, they are required to select at least 3 & with the exception of 1 it makes sense for them to be expansion exempt so they can be sent to Vegas’s AHL affiliate in Chicago.

  4. I would keep Drouin over Palat and Johnson. June 17 is like a second trade deadline day this year. Do we have 14 hours of TSN ?….Maybe Howard ends up in Calgary .

    • The problem is every other team would take drouin over Johnson or palat

    • I had advocated for Detroit to send Howard to Calgary last year for Wideman & some nominal salry retianed in the final 2 years of his deal. I wonder in calgary regrets not enteratining that offer.

      As I said then I didn’t think Howard was done but in today’s cap world just some what over paid a mil & change & trying to get back on track from injury issues. he had a great come back season in Detroit still battled injuries & looked even better in a small sample size playing in the WC on a far better team.

      With only 2 years left on his deal now with a declining salary, 5 mil next season & 4.25 the season following but 5.25 cap hit he should be more tradeable having to take some salary back in return but for an asset that should help at D. Not the stud D I see them trading for but a depth move post expansion draft if not lost in expansion or traded prior.

  5. There is only 1 team in need of a goalie pre expansion draft, Calgary. They don’t currently have a protector in net. Following the expansion draft it opens up but doesn’t get much better with the possible exceptions of Philadelphia & Vancouver, rumors are Vancouver is looking to resign Miller.

    Several teams will need back ups or a veteran to support a younger goalie but in most cases won’t want someone with a large salary. Until the trade picture clears based on what we see today I don’t see Vegas taking either Detroit goalie but 1 of their forwards.

    Zetterberg, Nielsen, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Mantha & Athanasiou makes 8 forwards with only room for 7. Baring Detroit paying Vegas off, 1 of these forwards will be lost.

    If Vegas wants Howard they can wait till after the expansion draft & get Detroit to pay them to take 1 of their goalies, there are enough available in expansion on far better contracts with significantly better futures.

    • Nor does that include Glendening a good checking C with solid face off skills who worked on Detroits 1st PK unit & he can play any forward position with a great contract. That said I assume Detroit will be moving out a at least 1 forward, Tatar, Nyquist, Athanasiou or other with additional assets to acquire a Dman in trade before the expansion draft.

      • I’ve been wondering if Detroit is considering trading Larkin for defensive help. A year ago he was considered untouchable.

      • That would be very shocking. His development at the NHL level has been a roller coaster but he should be a solid 1st or 2nd line C when fully developed. The 1st under 20 rookie to make the Wings in 2 decades the last 1 being Lidstrom.

        I assume Tatar, Nyquist, or other but not Larkin, Mantha, or Athanasiou, this is the start of a long over due rebuild, with picks will be used to get 1 of the Dman potentially available.

        Tatar would be a good fit in Anh.

      • I agree Detroit shouldn’t trade Larkin and I hope they don’t unless Carolina is on the other side of the trade.

        However, Larkin being exempt from the expansion draft may create a unique return from a team like Minnesota. I guess that’s what makes this pre expansion draft trade period so fun to analyze, I’m thinking of trade scenarios that I normally wouldn’t consider.

    • I’m sure the wings don’t mind exposing AbdelKader, that is a monster contract and I don’t see him being a 4.5M guy

      • If they do Vegas will be happy to take him. Overpaid yes but coaches love this player. Leaves nothing behind, all heart all the time. Can play any where in your line up.

        I would ne shocked if this player is exposed by Detroit. That said i prefer him in a 3rd line role with 2nd line PP time. 2nd line as injuries dictate. Detroit gives him far better ice time an opportunities than that. Ahead of Tatar under Blashill. That has never made sense to me.

  6. Tampa needs another top 4 D and they can lose a decent forward to make a deal.
    Drouin has more upside than Johnson and will fetch a better catch for sure. Johnson is also expendable with the emergence of Brayden Point. This all said I trade whichever played gets me the defenseman I need

  7. Jimmy Howard will end up in Philly

  8. If Phaneuf & or Ryan are exposed I see no reason Vegas wouldn’t select 1 of them. Nor do I think they will be scared of by salaries. They are going to select the best player available that provides them with the best long term return & that return is based on what that player can acquire for Vegas moving forward. Wins or assets in trade now or in the years to come.

    Obviously if a cheaper option is available at a lower salary Vegas will factor that in but in that scenario that’s possibly players like Dzingel, Cleasson or worse & I don’t see Vegas taking either of those players over Ryan or Phaneuf if available regardless of their salaries.

    • I agree on Phaneuf but not Ryan. At $7.25mil and coming off a 25 point season and his only 70+ point season is 7 seasons ago and in now 30 and has 5 more seasons at that cap hit. I just don’t see Vegas taking that contract.

      • He earned every dime of his 7.25 in the playoffs, his 6 goals, 15 points, 3 GW’s, 2 in OT made Melnyk millions in additional gate revenue.

        Given a choice of Ryan or Phaneuf I take Ryan as a ton of solid D available in expansion similiar to Phaneuf at far less cap hit if he were some how exposed.

        Ryan or Methot, I select Methot. There is no guarantee Phaneuf would agree to waive, why would he? & Ott has ZERO leverage to make him like Anh with Bieksa, Colorado with Beuchemin or Winnipeg with Enstrom all with 1 year remaining so easy buy outs even on full cap hits to Bieksa & Beauchemin if necessary although I think both will agree to waive if asked.

        Phaneuf still has 4 years left on his contract & that’s a buy out Melnyk isn’t paying for 8 years & Phaneuf is a huge part of the reason Ott made the playoffs as he helped solidify Ottawa’s top 4 & played great, granted with his usual warts often but strengths far out weigh weaknesses.

      • If Ottawa exposes Methot and Ryan then Methot is getting selected. At minimum he has better trade value.
        If Phaneuf and Ryan are exposed then its a lot closer. Ottawa fans can ask themselves, who would they rather lose; I’m certain most knowledgeable fans would respond Ryan

  9. So everyone is just going to waive their NMC, nobody is protected. You negotiated in good faith and might have left money on the table to get this advantage of a nmc.
    I wonder if the NHLPA has cautioned the rank and file about waiving this clause and its something they fought to get. Correct me if I’m wrong but once you waive your nmc you then lose it because it’s not transfer to your new team.
    I do realize that in some cases it the player may want to waive it; however I would think there will be pressure from the NHLPA not wanting its players to waive their nmc.

    • I think you are essentially correct Caper & the actual # that will be asked to waive will be minimal regardless, less than 5%, a non factor really.

      The 1’s that will be asked are all protection issues for the expansion draft. Their NMC’s are problematic but most have very little leverage & if push comes to shove their teams will have little choice but to buy them out. Some may not even be asked & simply bought out at the 1st opportunity. Specifically Pominville; I see no way he’s not just bought out all though it could come in the 2nd buyout window if he agree’s to waive but no room for him in Minny any longer, to expensive & blocking opportunities for younger players, & possible Hartnell if he doesn’t agree to waive.

      Agreeing to waive is not necessarily in their best interests as to where they wish to play, for some sure but not all. I think Bieksa is very happy in Anaheim & his only hope of staying is to waive & hope Vegas doesn’t select him or Anaheim pays Vegas to pass. A little game of chicken to be played by Vegas with Anaheim that they may be able to leverage to their advantage in some way.

  10. How exciting of a time this must be for LV, virtually every NHL team is talking and negotiating with them, and then we they get the unprotected list, they’ll be a rush of new phone calls teams asking them to draft so and so from someone else roster and we’ll give you this and that in a trade for said player. They have short window after the protected list are in to get it all done.
    I wonder if Vegas is taking an over/under in how many draft picks and prospects the Golden Knights will come away with.
    All roads go thru Las Vegas, fun time for them. No sleep needed

    • Is the expansion draft being broadcast live?
      As a leafs fan this’ll be easy viewing for me.

      • The NHL has decided to include in some way with their awards ceremony but hasn’t been very forthcoming as to exactly what it’s plans are.

    • I fun time for any avid hockey fan as well Caper. This issue fascinates me & I’m more excited for it to happen than the Stanley Cup. I know that sounds crazy but I’m weird.

      • Well that makes two of us – to me the expansion and entry draft and possible trades involving both are far more interesting than which of these teams wins the cup – although I’d prefer to see the Preds do it just to put a different face on the winner – kinda like when Carolina and TB won their first (and only) cups.

      • I know what you mean. It’s a rare occurrence, it’s like a trade deadline that has repercussions for not acting.

        Also, with a short window for some teams to settle their expansion issues, lots of activity, I think we could be in for a few unexpected or weird scenarios to play out.

        It could be easy for a team to miss something too. I know that having looked spent quite a bit of time looking at some of the lists I am still prone to not thinking of certain scenarios. One of which is in all the talk of Anaheim trading away a defensemen, if they don’t get Bieksa to waive his NMC and buy him out instead, they actually need to take back a defensemen that meets the exposure criteria.

        Could see some weird things happen.

      • I find the expansion draft more interesting than the regular draft, trade deadline, or the start of free agency. The number of variables and GM’s being forced to make decisions out of the norm is fascinating. I equally enjoy the play offs and was hoping Ottawa would get the chance to match Tampa and Carolina’s (only) stanley cup win.

      • I’m hoping Nashville wins but if Pittsburgh does, I see the positives in that as well. Happy with either team for different reasons.

        Pittsburgh will be the 1st back to back winner in 2 decades if they win, Detroit in 1997 & 98 & puts Pittsburgh with Chicago, ahead of actually due to back to backs, with 3 cups in the last decade & solidifies Crosby as 1 of the best players to ever play in the NHL.

        Nashville, a market many here say doesn’t deserve NHL hockey. I couldn’t disagree a more. The NHL’s & Gary Bettman’s long term vision of the NHL’s is paying in spades & the growth of hockey both in the south & US is benefiting greatly with this cup final as are all NHL hockey fans. This helps grow the game significantly & might finally shut the neanderthals up but I highly doubt that.

        Times are changing catch up.

      • Danny.

        Solid knowledgeable posts but the odd swing & a miss. Clayton Stoner meets the exposure requirements at D for Anaheim. He will eventually be bought out but not before the expansion draft.

        Anaheim will have to qualify Etem or take a player back in trade that is an RFA & qualify & request arbitration or have it requested by player to open the 2nd buy out window potentially but Anaheim meets all expansion requirements today.

        2 forwards & 1 Dman with 40 games played this past season or 70 in the previous 2. At D Stoner at forward pick 2, Boll, Vermette, Cogliano; if not protected & Shaw & Tokarski in net. No games played requirement for goalies just has to be signed or qualified as an RFA, Tokarski is signed.

        I have exhausted any & all scenario’s for all 30 teams in the NHL repeatedly now for 15 months.

        Few teams are in as great a position as Anh. They have 2 hurdles to address at D to make it all work. Bieksam waiving his NMC or bought out & trading Vatenan. Both will be easily accomplished & Anaheim will be a cup contender yet again next season.

  11. I realize that this is a very naive comment; however, it really annoys me that every team has to be so concerned about what Vegas is going to do. Teams need to realize that Vegas can only take so many players anyway. If you lose a player you gain some cash! Now, outside of that, I do understand the predicament a team like Anaheim faces regarding this issue with so many defenceman to protect, but jeez it’s like Vegas has a gun to everybody’s head the way everybody talks here.

    • Not so much a “gun” per se (figuratively speaking, but unless McPhee likes what a team is offering to pick/or not pick so-and-so, he has no reason to call anyone – at least until he sees the lists and probably not even then – let them come to him. And being a smart GM he will keep his overall strategy close to the vest. We can speculate all we like in here as to what that strategy might be – but the simple fact is we have no clue – and neither do the other GMs. Those whop THINK they do could be in for a rude awakening, especially since McPhee doesn’t have to share those lists with another expansion team. He doesn’t owe anyone any favours and in his position no one will criticize him for doing what is best for his owners.

    • You have a point, but a lot of it is that the teams that are in trouble, which is not the majority, are the ones we debate about endlessly.

      What’s really causing a lot of the speculation is either Defense, since it causes a situation where a few teams are very deep might consider making a trade where D trades don’t often happen. Also teams with a handcuffing number of NMCs, they aren’t giving up their 8th best asset at F or 4th best at D, in some cases, like in Minnesota, they could lose arguably their 4 or 5th most valuable forward even after trading away two D for exempt assets.

    • I don’t have those feelings at all. They have some leverage with some teams but Anh certainly isn’t 1 of them. I see no issues for Anh. My biggest concerns are for Minny & NYI & Vegas certainly has leverage with a bunch of teams.

      Losing a player that helps stir the drink especially in a playoff or cup contender could be very problematic. Nor do I sense the same issues you do from reading the comments here of most.

  12. I just don’t share everyone’s cap concerns with TB.

    Buyout Garrison or trade him. His 2.5 salary will appeal to numerous teams in trade even with a 4.6 cap hit, he’s still a soft #4 or solid #5 Dman. Numerous teams can use his abilities & have ample cap space. Regardless he’s not protected & if he needs to be bought out in TB he will be to free up over 3 mil.

    Drouin gets bridged at 2 or 3 years for no more than Kucherov, depends on term shorter less longer more.

    Johnson & Palat get 5 to 5.5 mil per for 5 or 6 years.

    TB is going to lose a player in the expansion draft. I assume they acquire 1 of the Dman available pre expansion draft as their #3rd keeper at D. They can do so with out moving any of these 3. Nemestinkov, Killorn, or 1 of the multitude of prospects with picks can achieve this.

    I assume Coburn may well be the player they lose in expansion. A solid soft #4 or solid #5 option with a reasonable cap hit & term.

    No cap issues, with tons of cap space to spare. $17,538,333 in cap space now at today’s cap hit. Garrison free’s up at least 3 if not 4.6, Cobrun gets selected in expansion another 3.7, cap rises by 2 to 3 & the player sent out in trade; Namestnikov or Killorn, to get a player like Vatanen & his reasonable cap hit of 4.875 only 275K more than Garrison.

    They keep all 3 Drouin, Johnson & Palat have cap space to spare & have another run at the cup with a hopefully healthy Stamkos.

  13. TO was interested in Sheehan so if Wings want some prospects they could have a deal. I would also take Dion back in TO if Senators keep some money? He is exactly what they now need. They have a pretty good prospect in Braaco. I bet he has to go for them to get a good Dman?