NHL Rumor Mill – May 10, 2017

by | May 10, 2017 | Rumors | 88 comments

New Jersey Devils willing to consider a sign-and-trade scenario for Ilya Kovalchuk.

Latest on Ilya Kovalchuk and Ben Bishop, plus a look at possible offseason moves for the New York Rangers in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said he confirmed with agent Jay Grossman that his client, Ilya Kovalchuk, “definitely wants to return to the NHL next season.” Shero has given Grossman permission to speak with other clubs and is open to a “sign-and-trade” scenario if it makes sense for the Devils.

Because Kovalchuk is on the league’s voluntary retirement list, he cannot sign an NHL contract until July 1. He’s also exempt from the June expansion draft and no picks in this year’s draft can be used in a possible Kovalchuk trade. “As well, if Kovalchuk were to delay his return to the NHL for a year, he would do so as a 35-year-old free agent,” writes LeBrun. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman appearing yesterday on the NHL Network discussing possible trade destinations for Kovalchuk. He notes the winger has a history in the New York area and suggested the Rangers as a possibility. Friedman also noted the winger had a home built in Florida and wondered ift Kovalchuk might consider the two teams (Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning) in that area. The Montreal Canadiens could be another possibility.

Friedman also wondered what type of term he’d get on an NHL contract. Citing the Vegas Golden Knights recent signing of Vadim Shipachyov to a two-year deal, he wonders if the 34-year-old Kovalchuk might seek a similar term. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James wonders if Kovalchuk might be of interest for the Detroit Red Wings. Despite his obvious scoring skills, St. James thinks the Devils could set an asking price that wouldn’t make sense for the Wings. She feels former Wing Thomas Vanek would be a better and cheaper option. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Kovalchuk will get one- or two-year offers worth between $5.5 – $6 million annually. Once he determines where he wants to go, the Devils asking price could become the biggest sticking point. The Devils need scoring punch and could ask for a promising young forward in return. They also need help on the blueline. 

The Rangers and Canadiens could kick the tires on Kovalchuk, but they have other issues to address. The Rangers could pursue Kevin Shattenkirk to boost their blueline. The Habs must re-sign Alexander Radulov and are in need of a scoring center, something Kovalchuk won’t address. The Panthers could have some interest in Kovalchuk but not the Lightning, who must re-sign Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat plus find a good top-four defenseman.

I can see teams with cap space in need of scoring punch, such as the Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes or the Vegas Golden Knights, also having interest in Kovalchuk. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes big changes are coming for the New York Rangers in the wake of their elimination from the second round of the 2017 playoffs. He feels it “all but certainly will mark the end of the core group” that includes Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan. “Everything will be on the table,” said Brooks. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance suggests the Rangers must make roster moves in preparation of the expansion draft, restructure their defense and sign Washington Capitals unrestricted free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The Rangers could lose a good player to the Vegas Golden Knights (Michael Grabner, Antti Raanta or Nick Holden), which could prompt Rangers GM Jeff Gorton to shop one or more before the draft in hopes of getting a decent return. Custance also suggests buying out Dan Girardi, who carries a no-movement clause. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks doesn’t say what big changes he expects, but I daresay they could fall in line with Custance’s options. For months, Brooks speculated Girardi could be bought out to free up cap space and to protect another player in the expansion draft. You can see the buyout details here. It’s been rumored for months that Shattenkirk could sign with the Rangers, but that could depend upon his asking price. Anything north of $7 million annually could price him out of the Blueshirts’ range. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika speculates over possible goalie moves by the Dallas Stars in the wake of their acquisition yesterday of Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings.  “The Stars can now protect Bishop in the expansion draft while exposing Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi,” writes Heika. “If Vegas takes either, the Stars will be relieved of the final year of that player’s salary. If Vegas leaves both, Dallas will likely look to trade Niemi or buy him out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Niemi will be bought out. Though he has only one year left on his contract, his play declined over the last couple of years. That’s unlikely to entice teams to pick up his $4.5 million cap hit. 



  1. Nobody thinks the Ducks could be in on this? They have tons of young defensive prospects that address a need in New Jersey. Some extra scoring punch up front might address the Game 7 woes of an otherwise consistently competitive team. Tonight’s outcome against the Oilers may very well vault the Ducks into this situation. That’s going to be a great game tonight by the way!

    • Makes sense, but all things being equal they would rather keep their young D than spend money on an older Kchuk

      • Good point Sam, but one could argue that Anaheim’s window will still be open next year. In fact it’s still open this year. Adding Kovalchuk could improve Anaheim’s chances in the near future as Perry and Getzlaf are not getting any younger. Getzlaf is still playing dominant hockey; however, the Ducks need to capitalize on that fact. Kovalchuk could address that scoring need.

    • I don’t see Murray taking on Kovalchuk. I assume a Dman, most likely Vatanen will be moved for a forward to protect in their 7 & some other asset or assets, picks & or prospects.

    • I thought the ducks right away. It makes sense.

      • & how does Anaheim make that work with in the cap? Who goes to take on that salary? Theodore, Montour, Manson & Ritchie are all getting substantially raises a year out. Gibson & Silfverberg 2 out.

        If Anaheim takes on that kind of salary it will be for a younger player with a bright future, not an aging Kovalchuk.

      • Striker, a year out. You can sign Kovy for a 1-year deal for probably $6M. Radulov got a 1-year deal for $5.75M and he was 4 years younger for his come back. A 1-year deal won’t effect having to sign those players next offseason

  2. I doubt NY is buying out Girardi. And he is not the reason NY failed by any stretch. Plenty of blame to go around on this one other than the usual suspects of Girardi and Nash.

    Hayes, Miller, Kreider were invisible. Lundqvist not nearly good enough, ditto Stepan, ditto enter any name here.

    Ultimately I blame the entire team for their inability to hold a lead. This one could have been won and closed out in five for NY. They lead for all but 13:10 through 5 games and lose the series?
    Three 2 goal leads blown in a game, the last of the three with 3 minutes left? Yikes!

    Ugly, just flat out ugly disheartening performance. I don’t care for Brooks very much. But I agree here, changes should be coming.

    • Maybe they simply need to adopt a more defensive-oriented approach to the game rather than try and outskate everyone north-south.

      All year I kept hearing about how a guy like Ryan was not living up to his cap hit and that he was “unhappy” with the D-first style of Boucher. And yet there was Ryan, blocking shots and helping clog up the centre zone and the defensive zone making sure there were no rebounds when Anderson himself wasn’t smothering them. Same with Stone, Hoffman. And before anyone says that’s “boring” hockey, somehow I doubt the MSG faithful would care as long as they won.

      As Rupp and Byalsma said in their post-game wrap-up (I put the link in the News section), Karlsson still managed 13 points with that system – imagine what he might have had if they had played a wide-open style.

      • I think NY should just worry about playing like NY. And forget about what everyone else is doing. When they were a defensive 1st shot blocking team, they couldn’t get over the hump. Last year they were beat with speed, so they decided to go that route this year. Just figure out a direction and forget about what everyone else is doing.

      • They couldn’t get over the hump with Torts in charge because too many didn’t buy into the system he tried to instill. It takes a total team effort.

      • Agreed NYR4life. As you know most here didn’t even have NYR making the playoffs this year & kept saying they were old. I said they were a top 6 team in the eastern conference & young with a few minor exceptions, primarily Lundqvist.

        11 of the 15 forwards shown on their roster on Capfriendly are 26 or younger! 4 are over, Nash 32; 1 year remaining on his contract, Glass 33; UFA, Zuccarello; 2 years remaining, & Grabner; 1 year remaining, 29. Of the 9 D shown 3 are over 30. Giardi 33; 3 years remaining, Klein 32; I assume he will be the D bought out, Staal 30.

        I change little to nothing. Not all playoff loses are a sign changes need to be made. NYR played great they just lost. Unfortunate but someone has to. All that youth will get better, learn from it & be better next season.

        Few teams in the NHL have had the playoff success NYR has strung together the last 6 years. 2012 Conference finals, 2013 Semifinals/2nd round, 2014 Stanley Cup, 2015 Conference finals, 2016 lost to Pitt Cup champions in round 1, 2017 Semi Finals/2nd round. They will be right back there again next season & for me are a cup contender as currently constructed.

        The only real concern is the aging Lundqvist & how much longer he can play at close to an elite level. His regular season was OK & he played great in the playoffs but those 2 late collapses are as much on him as anyone. To be a cup winner you need those saves. Don’t get them when needed & your sent packing. Such a fine line everything needs to fall almost perfectly.

      • Great credit to the Sen’s coaching staff and to the players for buying in to the team’s style of play. Karlsson, by the way, is simply incredible. Ottawa has a big chance to go all the way and they have earned it.

      • Lets talk about the Rangers powerplay…never been strong in the Henrik era. We would be talking about at least another Cup appearance if they could finish on the PP.

        And AV was using wrong players to hold leads in game 2 and 5.

        The core is almost the same next season. The might need to overpay for a PP QB.
        And what motivates Hayes Kreider Miller…. they were all inconsistent…

      • NYR’s PP was good in the regular season, tied for 10th but beyond brutal in the playoffs, 7.7% yikes. Same scenario in 2015-16. The exact opposite in 2014-15, back to 2015-16 & 2016-17 scenario in 2013-14.

      • Hey George O.

        I am a Leafs guy and truly enjoyed watching your Senators knock off the Rangers! I even wore my Sens jersey for the game. That was not boring hockey! One thing you can say about the Senators is they are exciting to watch. I agree with you on Bobby Ryan as well, there is no way he is unhappy when you look at how he sacrificed himself on that blocked shot. Does he make that play in game 10 of the regular season? Maybe not. But he’s doing it now and this is when it matters most. Go Sens! (until next year:)

      • Steven, you are absolutely right on Ryan – he doesn’t make that block in game 10 of the season – hell in ANY game from Oct to mid-Dec. But he was doing it down the stretch when they were trying to solidify a playoff spot. That’s what teams that are built for the playoffs do. And adding guys like Burrows and Stahlberg just strengthened that quality. One guy in here, in a spewing of sour grapes by an obvious NYR fan, laments that the Rangers lost to “a very beatable team.” As if this was a collection of nobody’s who had no business being in the same grouping as the “big boys.” I wonder how many of Stone, Hoffman, Turris, Pageau, Ryan, Karlsson, Methot, Ceci, Brassard, Phaneuf, Anderson would be sought by some of these “big boys” if they became available?

        And by the way, the Leafs are building that kind of approach under Babcock and will be there once that D is fleshed out with the right ingredients. They already have the F needed.

      • I wouldn’t say that George, even Gaborik was blocking shots…..

    • They were my pick to go through,very deep team all aroujnd. Will say this, much as a I like Rick Nash the person, as a player has to be one of the most overrated players of the last 10 years…Perpetually gets treated like a star, yet really does nothing to show for it..

      • I don’t see any of that. Who is saying (other than Millbury) Nash is a superstar? Nash is overpaid, but hardly overrated. Huge difference. And as I said above nowhere near the main problem this year. When Tanner Glass is out scoring 2-3 top 6 players….. there’s plenty of blame to go around! Hayes had 3 assists in 11 games?

      • Guess I am speaking as a Canadian- every time an international team is chosen he is foregone conclusion to make the team- I have seen very few glimpses of dominance. His ceiling was through the roof…but is he a good use of money at 7.6 million per season?

      • Only Kreider played in the top 6. Hayes & Miller played on the 3rd line.

        Vigneault is as much to blame as anyone. Choosing to barely play Smith & Skjei down the stretch in the 3rd period & into OT of game 2 the 6-5 come from behind OT victory for Ottawa was seriously questionable. They were the best D pairing in that game for either team. This isn’t the 1st time Vigneault has made some very questionable decisions at the wrong time. Not playing Schneider in game 6 in Boston in the 2010-11 Stanley Cup finals was a brutal decision.

        If any major change needs to take place perhaps that’s the change NYR make, replacing Vigneault? After 4 full seasons in NYR he just can’t seem to get over the top. Same issue in Vancouver & his decisions in both situations are questionable & were certainly a potential factor.

      • Only Kredier played in the top 6. Miller & Hayes played on the 3rd line.

        Vigneault is as much to blame as anyone & for me #1 actually. Sitting Smith & Skjei down the stretch in game 2, the 6-5 OT lose was a huge mistake. They were the best D pairing in that game for either team.

        This isn’t the 1st time Vigneault has made very poor personal decisions at the wrong time. Not dressing Schneider in game 6 in Boston of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup playoffs was a huge mistake.

        Vigneault has been in place for 4 years & can’t get NYR over the top nor could he with a very good team in Vancouver. Time for him to go. Not that’s he’s a bad coach but hasn’t been able to get it done time to move on.

        That is my major change for NYR next season. Like Julien in Boston, great coach; not 1 I have ever liked though, but time for a fresh voice.

      • Nash signed his contract in 2009 when he was scoring 35 to 40 goals & 65 to 70 points comfortably & 25 years old. A totally different cap world & his cap hit like all long term deals was amortized out over the term, 8 years. None of these deals are going to look good at the tail ends. That’s the system unfortunately.

        Nash was a superstar, then a star, now just a very good player. There was a reason he was chosen to play for Canada in the last 3 Olympics. He was an elite level NHL goal scorer for over well over a decade.

        In the last 10 years he sits 7th in goal scoring with 300 goals, 2 out of the top 5. Over his 15 year NHL career; really only 14 2004-05 lock out, he sits 4th, 2 less than Hossa at 3 who played significantly more games in that time frame.

        I think that covers off what Nash was.

      • Hayes averaged 18 seconds less per game than Zbad. Only Kreder and Zuccs played more es minutes than Miller on wing. Miller played a good portion of the year with Hayes and Grabner, but not all of it. He also spent most of last year in the top 6. Call it 1a-1b and 2…… whatever you want. He’s pretty much a top 6 guy.

      • Nyr4life.

        Sorry I though you were speaking about the playoffs, Millers time in the top 6 in the regular season was often due to injury’s but I agree he played top 6 minutes for a whole range of reasons often.

        Yes 3rd lines today play very similiar minutes as I was debating with George yesterday. TOI/GP is a far better determination of value than discussing line placement but you didn’t reference TOI but line placement. Sorry for being so black & white just who I am.

        I did not like Vigneault’s lines in the playoffs & would have deployed them differently. Specifically I like Miller at LW with Stepan not Hayes but there are other variations I would prefer as well.

        I don’t care if Glass had 2 secondary assists in game 4, he was the goat of game 5 & he wouldn’t have played at all if up to me Buchnevich would have.

        My lines would have been as such.

        Miller, Stepan, Zuccerello.
        Kreider, Zibanejad, Buchnevich.
        Vesey, Hayes, Nash.
        Grabner, Lindberg, Fast.

        I would have juggled the RW’s on the top 3 lines as required but the C/LW pairings would have stayed intact at least 5 on 5. But what do I know, nothing really. Ha-ha!

      • I think Nash has been “miscast” more than anything. I find his play to be quite dominant at times to be honest. He is on Team Canada because of his defensive play. Could easily be a Selke nominee. He put up big numbers early on in Columbus (of all places as they were no good when he was there) and more was expected of him. He’s older now; however, in his prime I would have been more than happy to see him as a Leaf! Who themselves miscast both Phaneuf and Kessel.

      • AV is the one that needs to go. Not a particularly good coach, especially in game. There is some up and coming talent in the NCAA ranks that could be an interesting look for a team looking for youth

    • I agree with your very objective of the Rangers. However, at times neither team looked like they wanted to win this series at times. As these playoffs go on it’s starting to look more and more like Washington’s opportunity to finally get the monkey off their backs. But again, they could lose tonight! I guess that’s why we all keep watching.

      • objective comments I meant to say

      • Striker I agree with most of your viewpoints- but cant on this one..Nash was never an elite goal scorer..a year or two here or there sure. He scored over 40 three times in 12 years of hockey and although he has scored 30.. 5 times he did so once in the 7 years before he got his current deal. He has broken the 70 point barrier only once in his career. Not sure how that ranks as an elite scorer. That’s an impressive stat for the last 10 years but since he came to the Rangers he has averaged 25…all this too say not really producing for a 7.6 million dollar man. I get it, contract was given out long time ago- but I also felt he was overpaid at the time. Overall, an underachiever for what was expected of him. Just my opinion

      • Sam. He sits 4th overall over the last 15 years in goal scoring in the NHL, 2 behind Hossa. How can that not be elite?

        Not sure what criteria your using but boy is your criteria alot different than mine & that includes 3 of his last 4 seasons lost to injuries & declining in abilities as he’s moved into his 30’s.

        Nash will be 33 in June. He will retire in the 500 goal club when all is said & done putting him in very elite company. Most of his time played in the NHL thru the clutch & grab era.

    • For me, it all falls on Lundqvist, has three games with save % over .950 and three that .880 .865 and .824 I found he looked nervous almost scared to lose. Never should’ve lost the second game. I believe Rangers outplayed Ottawa in the series. I know you pointed out other players and I maybe simplifying it, but King Henrik didn’t get the job done.

      • If we need to blame 1 individual I blame Vigneault.

      • And looked absolutely dejected at center ice after the game. Hank’s window is closed

    • nyr4life..it sucks to lose like they did,but the last minute and a half in games 2 and 5 did them in despite the many forwards who didn’t contribute offensively…they really should’ve won the series in no more than 5 games as they blew those leads..you have to give tons of credit to karlsson,who is unreal and craig anderson and the senators..they did what they had to do and that was to figure out a way to win,something our club couldn’t figure out

  3. While I agree that the Rangers played lousy as a team there are certain players who were invisible. Unlike Nash who plays a two-way game and played very well all around in the series. IMHO, Derek Stephan is not a first line center. He totally disappeared in both series. The youngsters Hayes,Miller and Kreider had a lot of ups and dwns but they all cotributed here and there. Glass is a keeper as are Fast, Buchenevich and Lindberg. As much as Grabner contributed I think he gets traded to protect the younger players. I’d really liek them to keep Smith who showed a real edge during the playoffs. Girardi and Stephen need to go.

  4. NYR seriously outplayed Ottawa even in last nights game but Andersen played great & stole the game. If I’m NYR I don’t make any significant changes nor sign Shattenkirk.

    In expansion I would protect 7 F, Stepan, Nash, Zuccarello, Kreider, Hayes, Miller & Zibanejad, D McDonaugh, Staal & Girardi, a G Lundqvist & move on. I assume they lose Fast or Lindberg in expansion. Perhaps they look to trade 1 or both prior to the expansion draft. Losing either 1 id unfortunate but not earth shattering.

    Following the expansion draft they resign Smith; I’m interested to see how much he costs to resign him if able, look to possibly trade Nash to help elevate some cap pressure; may have to take a contract back, but the only real contract resigning of significance is Zibanejad.

    NYR has been adding youth over the last 3 seasons. Vesey, Buchnevich, Fast, Lindberg, Miller, Hayes, Kreider, Zibanejad, Peumple & Skjei. All are still getting better & not yet fully developed.

    With 3 years remaining on Girardi’s contract I don’t see buying him out. 6 years is a long time to carry a cap hit for a player. The only issue with Girardi is his cap hit but he was signed in a different cap world. Very rare for teams to buy players out with more than 1 year remaining.

  5. George. Congratulations. Fans in Ottawa must have been whooping it up last night. Well done.

    • Congratulations?? I had nothing to do with it. LOL. Happy they won? Sure. And their win boiled down to EVERYONE buying into the system. Nor do I think NY outplayed them from start to finish. The first 2 periods were fairly even in terms of shots and chances. Certainly in the 3rd, but that’s what you expect when a team enters the period down 3-1 and facing elimination.

      Simply put, they had no answer to Karlsson who, if he was playing in some mega-media infested city would be hailed – rightly or wrongly – as the greatest in the world.

      As for Anderson “stealing” the game – that’s why you need a top-of-the-line goalie. I can recall Lundvist “stealing” games (and series) the Rangers had no business winning when he legitimately earned the sobriquet “King Henry.”

      • George O I’m not sure if your living under a rock or not. But are you kidding me. All I’ve been hearing is Karlsson this and Karlsson that, he already the con symth winner to some in the media. That goal he scored in Lundqvist when he was in the corner it went off Henrik head and in the net, according to Gary Galley Karlsson tried to score from there and that was the shot he intended. So I don’t know how much more Karlsson talk you want, but I’m sure you’ll get plenty more of it when Ottawa plays Pitts or Wash in the next round.

      • Your the 7th player George.

      • Actually Caper, I was referring to the “homer” media in places that will go unnamed and their penchant for tooting the horns of the local players. The Ottawa media is much more muted when it comes to dislocating their shoulders from patting themselves on the back in praising the virtues of the local boys. They do it – but not as stridently.

    • If you paid money to go to any games this season or watched them frequently on tv you were an important part of it George. Take away the fans and there ain’t no more team

  6. Kovy to canes for a d prospect like fluery and a pick could benefit both teams. Gives canes more o depth. Then tempt col with tt a d man and a pick for dusch.

    • The canes aren’t signing an older kovy. Bishop rights traded shows that fleury won’t return much of anything but a pick

      • I don’t think anyone ever assumed MAF would return much more than a pick.. maybe a backup goalie as well so the other team can make room and the pens can expose him. I wouldn’t rule canes out of much… this is the year they get a bit aggressive me thinks.

      • He means hayden fleury who is a top rated d prospect not marc andre fleury the goalie of the penguins who has absolutely nothing to do with the canes .

    • Canes look like a sneaky contender to me as well.
      They have what NJ wants, the cap hit and room in their top 6.
      I guess Montreal will be in play too but I only see them offering Kovalchuk a one year contract at most.

      • I like the Canes as well Taz but I see no need to add Kovy to that group. I’m not a Kovy fan, never have been. Had hoped we would never have to discuss him again. Carolina has far better options than paying Kovy & he will cherry pick a cup contender willing to take him. Carolina isn’t that team.

        I have Carolina making the playoffs next season even if they do nothing else now, anything will just help solidify that view for me.

        I see Carolina doing several things as they don’t even have enough protectors as we discuss this for the expansion draft. They need 1 more forward & 2 Dman. Kovy isn’t even in play until after July 1st, Carolina will have addressed these holes far before then. They also have 1 of the strongest prospect kitties in the NHL every where but in net.

        They could be incredibly active this summer moving Dman in then moving 1 out post expansion but before the season starts. This would be a great landing spot for Drouin & Carolina has exactly what TB needs.

      • I’m sorry. A top six with kovy added is better for every team in the league. Not sure what team gets worse.

    • Kovy to Canes would be great for them. He’ll add to leadership role. Only drawback is that Kovy doesn’t want to play for a “rebuilding” Devils, so why would he choose Canes who are further along than Devils, but not a shoe-in for playoffs just yet.
      I think he’ll go to more of a established contender.
      i doubt Kovy will get any more than a 1 or 2 year term wherever.

  7. Rangers “core” you listed above are all close to untradable with exception of Ryan and who would move him. Unless rangers ate money or sweetened the pot, depending on which player, they are stuck with buyouts. Hell they’d be better off with Dave bolland than a couple of those guys cause he could stay on ltir ?

    • Of course they’re un-tradable, they don’t wear Pittsburgh Jerseys! Only when they switch over to that jersey do they become “superstars ” like Hagelin.

      • HEY! If they wear Pittsburgh Jerseys they are also untradeable… Cause their too damn good to trade! Boomin!

    • What guys? NYR doesn’t need to buyout anyone. Although I assume Klein will be as he’s no longer needed & removing his salary free’s up enough money to get Zibanejad & Smith in under the cap comfortably.

      Almost every every forward I listed has trade value. The exception being Glass. No Girardi & Staal aren’t movable but only due to salary. They make to much for the roles they play but both were signed in a different cap world.

      • who trades for staal or girardi or lunquist (obviously still a good player but sooo expensive) without salary becoming an issue? unless salary is held, a bad contract returned, or a sweetener added I don’t see them going anywhere. Stepan is awful close to this group as well though I suspect somebody would take a risk on that salary. oh and to be clear the “you listed above” comment was directed at the article not you striker.

      • I’m not saying anyone trades for any of those 3 nor am I saying they are even in play. I assumed you were talking about everyone else. That’s how I read your post anyway. That’s 3 of a possible 23 players. They don’t have to move.

        I don’t see NYR having any interest in moving Lundqvist anytime soon. Next 3 years minimum. I’m sure they would like to move Girardi but baring a significant incentive to do so that’s not happening & certainly not pre expansion nor do I think it will happen post.

        NYR can ride those players out until it’s acceptable to buy them out or they pay someone to take them. That’s 2 years out for Giradi, 3 for Staal or Lundqvist. They cross that bridge when they get there.

        NYR has no serious cap issues that aren’t easily addressed this summer & the summer following Nash comes off the books solving them then. More than enough space to carry all 3 of those contracts & still be a cup contender as they are now.

  8. There is ZERO chance Shero deals Kovalchuk to the rangers… Hell even within the division without it being one hell of a return back to them. The Devils hold the advantage here if Kovalchuk really wants to come back and especially if he wants a multi-year deal. Next season he will be 35 which changes the structure of a buy out should his back problems come back or a decline in production. Shero isn’t dealing a player like him within the division and then go on to worry whether he will bury us 4x a season. That package from the rangers especially, because they are our top rival would have to be over the top. Within division the only teams I see that have a need and the assets to deal would be the Canes and the Isles.

  9. NJ having a good start to their 2017 season won the lottery and now Kovalchuk wants to come back to the NHL, it’s like found money they sign and trade him, meaning NJ will get something back of value a player, prospect or pick(s) this wasn’t something they seeing play out but here it is. If Kovalchuk waited until next season when he’ll be 35 he be an UFA according to Pierre Lebrun and NJ would get nothing in return. Things are looking up in New Jersey.

    • What does looking up look like in the short term? Say next season based on what we anticipate happening today. They draft 1 of the 2 obvious choices at #1 & move Kovalchuk for something?

      Do they make the playoffs, are they even a pretender? I think you know my answer at least based on what we know today. When was the last time a team went from last in the eastern conference to a playoff team the next?

      • A bit of a trick question & the answer is kind of funny. Ha-ha!

      • Toronto just did it.

      • Inserting the #1 pick into their lineup and signed a top D FA like Shattenkirk would be a good start. That Metro division is brutal though so who knows who will make it out alive

    • That turning 35 thing has more to do with the contract a player gets – signing after he turns 35 puts a serious crimp in any later buy-out intentions that may crop up.

      • George just on topic not directed at you.

        Kovalchuk isn’t getting a long term deal even at 34, never mind a year from now at 35. If NJ agree’s to the compensation paid by who’s interested in signing him I see no more than 2 years probably 1, a show me deal. Then being 35 teams will do the 1 year bonus laden deals being over 35 allows for as long as he can contribute.

      • I’m not so sure about Kovalchuk not getting at least a 3-year deal. It certainly depends on what scouts and/or their contacts in the KHL tell them about his game, and whether they think he’s got anything left in the tank. And as for destinations, why wouldn’t McPhee take a shot by working out a draft deal with NJ along with, say, a 3rd round pick. LV only has to spend to within 60% of the cap floor in their first year and, given the crap they are about to inherit from some teams, they won’t be having cap problems for quite a while. Why not take a chance on Kovalchuk if information they receive says he can still score. They need SOMETHING to get the fans enthused and a guy (or two) like that would be great for publicity. But again, I reiterate, no one is buying a pig-in-a-poke so the information they get now on his ability will be the deciding factor.

  10. One of the things that blows my mind- seems to get overlooked. Kchuk signs a huge (perceived salary cap circumventing) deal.. He retires and instead of being dinged like the Devils should have been – they are let out of it with only a 250K cap hit, this is bad enough, but how on earth does the league let them retain his rights in the event he comes back as well? I can only assume that when Luongo Weber etc retire early the league will step in a void those cap hits as well…

    • The league really handled Jersey with Kid gloves as the ownership was changing hands and they didn’t want to punish new owners as harshly for previous errors.

      So initially they were supposed to lose a first round pick, but got it given back (just at the end of the the round).

      Next they get to walk away from the Kovalchuk cap hit with a pretty minor penalty.

      Now they get his rights so they can trade him and probably get a 1st, which will all but guarantee they end up fully recouping (and then some) any asset lost for signing the deal in the first place.

      So considering at one point they were supposed to be punished for circumventing the cap, it has turned out pretty well.

  11. I’d rather see Pittsburgh win today but wouldn’t it be something to see Washington, Ottawa and Nashville all in the final 4? 3 team who have never won the cup. Would be nice to see a new champ, all these teams have devoted fans that deserve the moment

    • It would be a year to remember if one of them did win the cup. I mean, last fall you had the Cubs winning the World Series (they won one before but there’s no one alive on the planet who remembers), maybe the Cavs winning the NBA for the first time (after another first-time winner, Golden State, took back-to-back wins) and Atlanta coming close to upsetting the Patriots in the NFL (let’s face they SHOULD have won the bloody thing just like Seattle should have won it the year before), and in the CFL Ottawa winning the Grey Cup in only their 3rd year in the league (the previous franchises don’t count).

  12. As for Rangers: dump Nash, trade Krieder, move Girardi anyway you have to, and consider a genuine re-build. This group has been past its shelf life for two years…..they have no true number one center, no real go to player, and while Zuccarello is a great heart and effort guy, he is at best a good supplementary player, not your star! Move Staal, Holden, focus on getting better on d, and find yourselves the heir to Henrik. By the way, why exactly was everyone in pursuit of Jimmy Vesey..did he actually play in this series?

    • This is a pretty bad evaluation. They already have a pretty solid guy to replace Lundqvist. Why is a team that’s making the playoffs and usually going deep “rebuilding”. Trade Kreider for ONE bad playoff run? This is just nowhere near spot on.

  13. One more thing on the Rangers: if you have to import Tanner Glass to provide a “lift”, it affirms the basic issue with the Rangers: no grit, not much passion, and little apparent energy for engaging with a really beatable team! Krieder, for example, seemed to turn it on for a spell in third period-but where was that person the rest of the series? And this is an annual question for him: where is the determination to improve? That is true also of both Hayes and Miller..Hayes should be spelled “Haze”!!

    • A “really beatable team”???? Boston couldn’t. And whoever they play in the finals is going to find they are NO fun to play against. That comments amounts to nothing more than uninformed cheauvinism.

    • Miller played a good chunk on the 4th line…. mind blowing to me. Should have played down him up not down with all other options even more inconsistent than him.

  14. I think the Rangers (actually this applies to all disappointed teams really) need to avoid over reacting because of what happened this year.

    Teams consistently look at whoever just won the cup as the new model franchise and some even change course to suit this. Think the Caps when they ran into an Uber hot Halak. They didn’t have a bad team, but they basically threw a year in the garbage by trying to completely change their style, and while they had some success, you can’t play away from your strengths and expect to accomplish much.

    There is no guaranteed way to build a winner, what gives you the best chance is to build a team that is consistently competitive so they give themselves an opportunity if things go their way in terms of injuries and match up.

    The one big mistake that franchises need to stop making (the Rangers are particularly guilty of this) is the idea that “this is the time” and empty the cupboard because so-and-so’s window is closing. The right rental, for the right price is ok now and then, but just acquiring for the sake of doing so rarely seems to work out. Also, GM’s tend to have the opposite thought process to reality. “Gee, I’m a good team so basically my picks are worthless and I shouldn’t worry about just trading them all away”. It’s really the opposite, since good teams don’t get many sure things, these assets need to be retained to give the scouting staff at least some opportunity to get a good player now and then.

    Think of where Washington would be if they traded their first every year after starting to play well. No Kuznetsov, Burakowsky, or Johansson. Also, how much better would they be if they didn’t trade Forsberg for Erat?

    • I think Gorton has done a good job of steering clear of overpaying for older players. He’s also added former 1st round picks from other teams, so I think they aren’t really guilty of the whole throwing away the future thing. Hockey is one ofthe only sports where draft eligibility ends at such a young age, making it harder to actually nail the draft.

      • Definitely think Kovulchuk would be worth pursuing on a 1or 2 year deal. Depending on asking price. Although I don’t see Devils working with us, maybe if they don’t see themselves contending next couple of years we could send a pick or prospect?

  15. pipe dreaming here but although I do not fault Henrik for the Rangers loss I hear Calgary is still looking for a goalie…… I would only do it b/c of salary/cap.

    I truly hope they do not offer the world in salary/cap to Shattenkirk…. they need to remain flexible the next few years to find a true “go-to” #1 center. Someone who can dominate and take over games b/c Stepan was a ghost in the play-offs and their 2nd line center played very unsure of himself out there.

    Also why did Kreider not look “hungry” for the puck? Almost looked as if he waited the entire series for someone to get him the puck and when he had a chance to shooter drive to the net he dished it to a teammate.

    • I think what some are overlooking is the structure of a team – and it’s approach to the game. Teams that are built and structured with the playoffs in mind will struggle at time throughout an 82-game season when playing those whose approach is up-and-down hell-bent-for-election hockey. Flashy goals in Oct to mid-Dec look great in highlight reels but once playoff hockey kicks in as teams jockey for position down the stretch, those types of goals are few and far between. And once the tournament grind begins, if a team hasn’t learned to handle the relentless stifling play of their opponent – which doesn’t let up even if that opponent is behind – they get frustrated and become prone to coughing up the puck at the worst times. It’s a vastly different game.

    • Lundquist not going anywhere unless he asks for trade. Although he’s not as great as he was, still 3rd in playoffs in GAA and save %. Agree we shouldn’t go for a Shattenkirk. Hoping we make deal with AV’s. Seems like they’d be interested in a deal that would include Stepan for Duchene.

  16. Just a question here. It says that Dallas can protect Bishop. Is he not a UFA still so he does not need to be protected. If he signs then yes I see the protecting.

    • And don’t other 2 goalies have no trade clauses?

  17. Just my 2cents worth but Kovalchuck deserves nothing from anybody.Walked out on a lucrative contract and now that things are no longer peaches n cream, wants to come back to the NHL. I say stay home..you’re too old and too full of yourself

    • “They” were saying much the same about Radulov when he decoded to return. Turned out to be one of the better F on the Habs. Kovalchuk is a Russian – maybe he simply was home-sick. What would you be saying if the shoe was on the other foot and a Patrick Kane or Ryan Getzlaf had been playing in some super European league and suddenly decided they wanted to go “home?”

  18. Don’t see Rangers pursuing Shattenkirk. Although everyone has him going to Rags I think he’ll be looking at a payday like Yandle’s, which I don’t think we’ll do. Makes more sense to go for Trouba, using Skjei as part of deal. Maybe go for Barry and Duchene while sending Stepan. Too many left handed D on roster and in system. Raanta can also be used in trades if he doesn’t go to Vegas. We have plenty of goalie prospects. I don’t see price tag being all that high for Kovulchuk, basically same as trading for his rights. What did Kings get for Bishop? If he’s not interested in playing for Devils, getting something is better than nothing. Gorton has done a good job of not overspending on older FA’s, but 1 or 2 years of Kovulchuk would be a no brainer. Would help Pp and give us a proven scorer we lack. Look what Kessel did for Pens.

    • And people used to trash Kessel