NHL Rumor Mill – May 13, 2017

by | May 13, 2017 | Rumors | 41 comments

Could the Dallas Stars pursue Kevin Shattenkirk this summer?

Updates on the Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Prior to the Dallas Stars signing goaltender Ben Bishop, Mike Heika listed five possible free-agent defensemen and forwards who could help the club. The defensemen are Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner, Edmonton’s Kris Russell, Philadelphia’s Michael Del Zotto and Pittsburgh’s Trevor Daley. The forwards include Montreal’s Alexander Radulov, Washington’s TJ Oshie and Justin Williams, Anaheim’s Patrick Eaves and Los Angeles’ Jarome Iginla. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars acquisition and signing of Bishop could be their only significant free-agent move. But if I had to pick one from each list I’d go with Alzner and Oshie. The Stars already have a good puck-moving blueliner in John Klingberg and could use an experienced shutdown rearguard such as Alzner, who’s 28 and in his playing prime. Williams has the championship pedigree but he turns 36 in October and his best years are behind him. Oshie is 30 and still has a few good seasons left. Feel free to make your picks in the comments section, everyone!

THE HOCKEY NEWS: With the Stars acquiring and signing Ben Bishop, Jared Clinton examined goaltending options for the Calgary Flames. He lists Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, Philadelphia’s Steve Mason, the New York Islanders Jaroslav Halak and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury as trade or free-agent options. He also suggests re-signing Brian Elliott. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury is the best of this bunch. Despite his strong performance in this postseason, the Penguins are expected to protect Matt Murray in the expansion draft and either trade or buy out Fleury before submitting their list of protected players on June 17. The Flames reportedly looked into acquiring Fleury last summer but the Pens apparently wanted their first-round selection in the 2016 draft. The asking price could be more reasonable this June.

Howard and Mason are plagued by injuries and inconsistency, Halak is past his prime and Elliott simply didn’t pan out as hoped with the Flames this season. I can also see the Flames targeting clubs at risk of losing a good goaltender in the expansion draft. Anaheim’s Jonathan Bernier, the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta, Ottawa’s Mike Condon and Washington’s Philipp Grubauer could be trade targets. 

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox listed six priorities for Buffalo Sabres new general manager Jason Botterill to address. Among the suggestions is using their salary-cap space wisely by investing in the defense and find a goaltender. He suggests “Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner, Michael Stone, Trevor Daley and Michael Del Zotto” as possible free-agent targets.

Fox also wonders if Botterill will re-sign restricted free agent goalie Robin Lehner or shop for a replacement via trade or free agency. “Steve Mason, Jaroslav Halak, Mike Condon, Brian Elliott, and Marc-Andre Fleury come to mind.Detroit’s Jimmy Howard is from Syracuse, N.Y. Just saying.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Fox points out, Lehner put up decent numbers behind an atrocious defense last season. However, he also has a lengthy injury history. The Sabres need durability as well as skill between the pipes.

Of those on his list, Fleury and Condon would be the best bets, but I doubt Fleury will waive his no-trade to go to Buffalo. Condon might leap at the chance to be a clear-cut starter in Buffalo. Other options could include Anaheim’s Jonathan Bernier, the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta and Washington’s Philipp Grubauer.

CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz recently suggested it’s time for San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson to make another big move akin to his acquisitions of Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns. Even if the Sharks part ways with aging stars Thornton and Patrick Marleau, he believes they still have the pieces to remain a competitive team “if they make the right moves.”  

Kurz wonders if they’ll get into the discussions for Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene or Nathan MacKinnon. If the New York Islanders are unable to re-sign John Tavares and decide to trade him, maybe Wilson will get into the bidding. “Perhaps Philadelphia, which got lucky in the draft lottery with the second overall pick, will look to move captain Claude Giroux to make way for Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Kurz is merely speculating here. Given the potential upheaval next month’s expansion draft could create in the trade market, Wilson could keep an eye out for a possible blockbuster. If he goes that route it will mean parting ways with Thornton and Marleau. 



  1. Hard to figure out what goes on the minds of Dallas management. Following a 109 point first-place finish, a season in which their D was solid, they allow 31 y/o Alex Goligoski (82gp 5g 32a 37 pts and a +21), 28 y/o Jason Demers (82gp 7g 16a 23 pts and a +16) and 30 y/o Kris Russell (just 4gp after acquiring him) ALL get away as UFAs, and now, after a dismal season., they conclude that their D is the culprit (some pundits even suggesting they target Russell again) while hanging onto best-before types such as Sharp, Hemsky and Hudler whose combined cap hit is $11,900,000!

    • Jim Nill had confidence that the young players would step right in which didn’t happen. Although it was kind of a blessing in disguise because it brought the team to this point. Getting Bishop, 3rd overall pick, Hitchcock’s signing, and some tough experience for the young defense will bring this team to a new level. I think Alzner will be the next target.

      • What is Spezza’s trade value at the moment?

      • And continues to spend 16% of his cap on 3 who have long since seen their best years? He’d better hope that young D continues to develop because there’s little likelihood the 3rd pick is going to make the roster next season and no guarantees that Bishop won’t continue with his various injuries (much like Lehner).

        But I guess hope springs eternal as they say.

      • Michael, if I was Ottawa I’d give them Nick Paul and Guptil for him – as long as they also withheld $3 mil of his cap hit. LOL.

    • I preached the same argument to start last season. Dallas’s D even with Goligoski & Demers had issues. Russell was there so briefly not really a factor, he came in as a rental at the trade deadline. I had Dallas missing the playoffs this year due to that D issue, my same concern with NJ & Col as well. For me on paper these were the 3 worst D’s on paper in the NHL last season.

      Hitchcock will kill Dallas’s run & gun & implement his aggressive forecheck all over the ice. That will help goals against but also reduce goal scoring. If Dallas doesn’t acquire a solid #2 & 3 Dman something they don’t currently have although Lindell if he doesn’t regress & continues his rapid assent not suffering the dreaded sophomoric slump may fill that role.

      Having Klingberg; 221 games of NHL experience, Lindell; 77 games of NHL experience & Hamhuis as your top 3 D is questionable. It always brings me back to Babcock’s comment about team NA in the World Cup.

      “I loved watching all those kids play for team NA, it was exciting but I like winning better.”

      Youth especially at D isn’t a recipe for success. Young players lack experience both physically & mentally & make alot of mistakes. Carolina being a very rare exception but Johns, Nemeth & Oleksiak aren’t Slavin, Pesce & Hanafin.

      How Nill expected this to work seriously calls into question his abilities as a GM. He should have know better.

  2. Buffalo won’t be able to go free agent shopping this year unless they ditch Matt Moulson 5 mill cap hit for two years or Zack Bogoisain 3 years left 5 plus mill…sabres have number 1-2 pp so they don’t need Shattenkirk, what they need is a two way d man who can skate puck up ice, score at even strength and prevent goals. I rather take a look at Cam Folwer who is younger and faster.

    • The Sabres’ top priority should be to hire a coach that can take control of the roster. Darryl Sutter comes to mind.

    • Buffalo has $22,823,392 in cap space next season with 16 players signed. None of the 4 RFA’s Lehner, Foligno, Larsson or Girgensons are seeing substantial raises, all will be qualified & all will be signed either in arbitration or before.

      They can go shopping & they will for 1 of the Dman available from 1 of the 5 teams faced with losing 1 in the expansion draft. Anh, Clb, Min, NYI & Ott & I assume they will sign a UFA Dman come July 1st as well.

      Buffalo could easily use another offensive Dman. Risto is the stud 2 way Dman but after that there isn’t a transitional PP guy really in Buffalo now. Vatanen would fit perfectly & Brodin or Savard solid 2 way options.

      • Yes but when Eichel signs an extension of 8-9 million and Reinhart signs for 5-6…we won’t have any cap space so that’s why you don’t add any contracts this year. Eichels contract if he signs one will kick in after this next season. We have 3 bad contracts, Bogo, Moulson and Ennis. That’s about 15 million.

      • I would feel much better if we can ditch Bogo who has 3 more years left. Moulson is another terrible contract. Hopefully the expansion team can be bribed to take one of those. If we have Ennis, Moulson and Bogo still on team after this year we will be in serious cap crunch

    • Anaheim won’t be trading Fowler. He will be resigned on July 1st for 8 years at 6.5 to 7 mil per.

      • If Buffalo signs or trades for a goalie it could be at least 4 million. I hope we don’t sign Lenher.

  3. Alzner & Oshie would be huge pick ups for the Stars. I’d strongly consider bringing back Eaves if not Oshie.

  4. MAF would be a great fit for Winnipeg, 2yrs left on his contract, time for Hellebuyck to get ready for prime time. Unfortunately won’t happen because Winnipeg isn’t going to leave Hellebuyck expose for the expansion draft and Pitts must trade before then.
    Winnipeg will end up with either Chad Johnson or Brian Elliot to give Hellebuyck some competition.
    If Calgary wants MAF and what experts are calling a weak draft class, why not trade that 1st rnd pick to get it done; If Pitts buy him out there is no guarantee he’ll sign in Calgary.

    • That ship sailed Caper.

      Winnipeg runs a tight budget & can’t afford MAF especially with Little needing to be extended this summer. He will cost 5 to 6 mil per possibly nominally more for at least 6 years. He is Winnipeg’s Kesler with out the rat side or Boston’s Bergeron. Exceptional 2 way abilities & a solid charter player.

      Then you have Ehlers, Armia, Lowry & Morrissey RFA’s next summer. Not to mention the obvious, Trouba being up again at the same time.

      Winnipeg just can’t afford MAF or anyone like him.

      • First Striker, read my comment said it can’t happen because Winnipeg won’t trade for him and leave Hellebuyck exposed. Secondly they can afford him, yes they work within a budget; but to say they can’t afford him is incorrect your implying that Winnipeg won’t pay that much for any player. That’s wrong, they already have 4 players making just as much or more and one other making $250,000 less.
        If David Thomson wants to go to the cap ceiling I don’t think it will take much of a financial hit on his financial. So yes Winnipeg can afford him, but it won’t happen. As I told you numerous times Striker and where we disagree. Winnipeg will not start the season with Hellebuyck and Hutchinson. Hellebuyck and 1a or 1b, but someone who is going to challenge Hellebuyck for the number 1.

      • I’m not saying that at all. That Winnipeg won’t pay players those monies I just said in that very statement it will cost more than that to sign Little & numerous others coming.

        Winnipeg is committed to Hellebuyck like it or not. They aren’t bring MAF or anyone else as their #1. They may well bring in a veteran back up for a mil or 2 if they don’t feel Hutchinson can handle the role.

        I know your pining hard for a goalie change in Winnipeg & you like to blame Hellebuyck & Chevy for all that ails them but this is a very young team with a ton of youth playing key roles. Injuries aside Winnipeg had a very good year & should be better next season but even as they sit today I don’t have them making the playoffs. That could change before the puck drops & trades or acquisitions are made but even the 2nd coming of Martin Brodeaur doesn’t make Winnipeg a playoff team last year.

        Few teams could overcome the loss of their #2 Dman all season, never mind their best 2 way C & leader in Little for 23 games & their #3 Dman holding out for 22 games then needing almost 10 to 12 to get back up to speed. Add in all the other players lost & what you see is what you get.

        A great young up & coming team who will be paying Lowry, Ehler’s, Laine & Morrissey huge money in the very near future.

  5. I’ve heard some ridiculous speculation from writers around the NHL, but the Flyers are not moving Giroux “to make room” for Hischier .

  6. My goalie choices before they started getting gobbled up were in the following order Grubauer, MAF, Darling & Bishop. Grubauer is my 1st choice due to age, RFA status & potential contract demands.

    How can Halak be past his prime. He just turned 32 today. For me a goalies prime years are 28 to 34. Most don’t even become entrenched as starters until their 26.

  7. Lehner played in 59 games last season posting a .920 SV%. He isn’t being replaced. A veteran may be brought in as a back up. At 25 soon to be 26 he will be given 1 more contract to try & show he can stay healthy. His abilities aren’t in question just his health. His 58 starts last season ranked him 13th.

  8. Calgary should have choices in net and I hope they make the right one.
    Bernier is interesting. Not much of a chance in Toronto for success and will never unseat Gibson. Maybe he can be the starter in Calgary ?
    I would trade Calgary’s first this year and throw in a defence prospect for Fleury and bring in Gillies as the back up.

    • so Fleury has a no move so he has to be protected unless he agrees to waive it, unless they threaten to buy him out , why would he do that? even a buyout threat he gets two thirds and is Ufa,so go night ahead. unless they find an ideal spot to his liking,chance to win,right city etc he may prefer to stay right where he is and they won’t be able to do much about that. He has been there for years,told Chris Simpson how proud he is to be a Penguin after the Caps series,at the very least this isn’t going to be easy for the Pens

      • MAF is a proud player. He knows his future in Pitts as their starter is over. He will be moved in trade, if not to 1 of the 18 teams on his trade list then to a team in need & the only team in need of a goalie pre expansion is Calgary. Post 1 more, Philadelphia. Everyone else has their starter. Supply & demand for goalies now that Carolina & Dallas have chosen their’s are essentially gone.

      • MAF can only block a trade to 12 teams. He can be moved, if need be. He has a NMC but only a partial NTC.

        I base this on almost nothing, but I believe that MAF agreed to waive for Vegas in exchange for not being dealt in season and that Rutherford might have already made a promise deal with Vegas for him.

      • It’s very possible MG that a deal has been struck with Vegas although if I’m MAF Calgary is appealing to me. They are a good team, not a cup contender but a bunch of youth developing & a playoff bubble team something Vegas won’t be for many years.

    • Grubauer for anyone in need of a goalie. Trade pre expansion draft, protect him then sign a veteran to back him up. If I’m any team in need of a goalie this is my 1st choice. Then you sign him a solid back up to help shelter him. In Calgary resign Elliott. Essentially a shared work load next season then if Grubauer is truly ready move him into a full starters role.

      MAF as the fall back position.

  9. Why trade for Condon, according to Cap Friendly he is a UFA. Do Ottawa not have to have a signed goaltender to protect in the expansion draft.

    • Goalies only need to be qualified to be exposed in the expansion draft unlike forwards & D who must be signed & meet games played requirements. Ottawa has a goalie to expose, Hammond.

  10. If that’s all that’s available in goalies then Calgary better pursue MAF hard!

  11. Botterill might want MAF, especially if Tocchet gets the coaching job.

    FTR, to the Pens fans saying the Pens should keep MAF and then Jarry can be the number one goalie…kinda like it was OK to trade Letang because Derrick Pouliot was going be the number defenseman, right?

    You don’t trade 15 years of championship caliber goaltending for 5. You just don’t.

    • It’s going to cost Buffalo 3.15 to qualify Lehner his actual salary last season. Buffalo needs to spend at least 10 mil on 2 Dman; 1 in trade 1 as a UFA, no cap space to bring on MAF. Like Hellebuyck in Winnipeg, Buffalo is committed to Lehner for at least 1 more contract.

      It’s not Lehner’s abilities in question but his ability to stay healthy. He played 59 games last season & has posted solid SV% #’s, his .920 SV% ranked him 7th for starters in the NHL last season playing behind a brutal D in Buffalo.

      A starter for me being a minimum of 41 appearances. 1/2 a teams games played.

      • If I worked for Terry “Quick Trigger” Pegula, I wouldn’t bet my future on Lehner.

      • Nor do I think Botterill will. Lehner may have to accept his qualifying offer or he gets a 1 or 2 year deal at or around 3.5. A show me deal. Possibly even 3 years.

        Buffalo isn’t a playoff team yet. Murray was 2.5 years into a rebuild. Botterill gets to slide & & take the glory of the foundation Murray has put in place. Buffalo is a 2 solid Dman & a year away from being a very good team, certainly a playoff team.

    • Rephrase that as you don’t trade conn smythe caliber goalies for injury prone question marks in goal and it sounds a bit different

      • Semantics can do that.

        You don’t trade a 22 year old goalie who has never lost a playoff series for a 32 year old on a hot streak who has lost playoffs series on his own.

        Neither of our assessments are accurate in reality. Both are elite goalies.

        Zero chance the Pens move Murray. Mario remembers the Skudra/Aubin/Caron days, even if the fans forget what it’s like to not have a real goalie.

      • Pens have a real goalie who still has several years of prime left. Coincidentally the same amount of time the stars will still be in their primes. Hey given a choice I go for Murray. Because of the youth and potential and cost. But there is absolutely a scenario that could happen where keeping maf is a better call. If he takes pens to finals playing well and if there is no market for him (which is increasingly likely with Dallas and car out) and if Murray would return a good haul of futures I could see Marc staying. I’d rather have Marc, good Murray return then Marc’s buyout no return. You say zero chance… each series I say the chance grows though still small. I put it at ten% chance right now Murray moves over marc

      • While conventional knowledge dictates that MAF gets traded the scenario of Murray being traded is at least possible.
        It happened within this decade with the schneider trade

  12. I can’t see Tyler Seguin staying in Dallas I believe he will be searching for the biggest and brightest cities with all the night life lol maybe Vegas or New York.

    • He loves Dallas now and wants to be with his best friend Benn. When Spezza’s contract runs out they’ll give Seguin the $$$ he wants plus term. Honestly it’s funny how this “party” thing won’t go away. He’s been with the team now for years and hasn’t had any controversy. Boston was foolish to trade him period.

  13. Montreal should offer a trade Pacioretty and Galcheniuk to the islanders for John Taveres,got to move Pacioretty before hus value start to drop.