NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2017

by | May 26, 2017 | Rumors | 35 comments

Should the Ottawa Senators try to convince the Vegas Golden Knights to take Bobby Ryan off their hands?

Suggested moves for the Ottawa Senators plus the latest on the Carolina Hurricanes & Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance suggests the Ottawa Senators should try to convince the Vegas Golden Knights to take winger Bobby Ryan in the expansion draft, sign Jean-Gabriel Pageau to a long-term contract extension and make room on their blueline for promising defenseman Thomas Chabot. 

Custance cites Ryan’s strong playoff performance as something Sens management could build upon to contact the Golden Knights to work out a deal to select the veteran winger, though he acknowledges it’ll take a “serious sweetener” to sway them into taking the remaining five years ($7.25 million annual salary-cap hit) off their hands.  He also considers Pageau a Selke Trophy-caliber defensive forward. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Pageau and finding a spot for Chabot will be much easier to accomplish than convincing the Golden Knights to take Ryan’s fat contract. It could take tossing in a good young player plus picking up a good chunk of his annual cap hit. Even then, I doubt Knights GM George McPhee will go for it. I believe he wants to build a roster made up primarily of young, affordable talent with upside.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis still has plenty of early draft picks to tempt the Vegas Golden Knights into ensuring “the right player” gets selected in the expansion draft. DeCock speculates Francis could try to convince Golden Knights GM George McPhee to clear the Hurricanes logjam in goal by selecting a goalie such as Eddie Lack, rather than a forward such as Lee Stempniak.

Francis also has a lot to offer teams at risk of losing a good forward in the expansion draft (Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators or New York Rangers) who might be willing to entertain trade offers. The Hurricanes GM admits he’s open for business, acknowledging the unique situation he’s in with his high number of picks and promising prospects.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Francis will be very busy this summer. He’s already made a significant move by acquiring goaltender Scott Darling from the Chicago Blackhawks for a draft pick and re-signing him to a long-term contract and I suspect he isn’t done dealing.

The Hurricanes need scoring depth and Francis could certainly pursue a forward from clubs that face exposing a good one in the expansion draft. Francis also has over $45 million invested in 16 players for 2017-18. While he won’t spend to the salary-cap ceiling he will still have plenty of room to take on a good forward with term remaining on his contract. He could target clubs that need to shed salary next season, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets. 

THE PROVINCE:  Ben Kuzma reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning remains hopeful of convincing free agent goaltender Ryan Miller to return to his rebuilding club. Benning also insists he’s not shopping defenseman Chris Tanev, noting it’s other GMs bringing him up in conversations. Unless he gets an offer “that makes sense for our future,” the Canucks GM said he’s not trading Tanev. He also has no plans to move blueliner Alex Edler. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keeping Miller around for another season could help provide stability in goal as the Canucks transition toward Jacob Markstrom and promising Thatcher Demko. Provided Miller wants to return for a reasonable term and price, re-signing him could be a worthwhile short-term move. Given Miller’s likely preference to remain on the west coast, the Canucks could be his best option.

Tanev and Edler are usually brought up by pundits suggesting they’ll make good trade chips to bring in a scorer, a top prospect or a high draft pick. Unless Benning gets that kind of offer, and it doesn’t appear as though he’s received anything like that so far, there’s little reason for him to move either guy. 



  1. Ryan finally bought into Boucher’s system (in his own words he did it in game 82) and as a result had a pretty decent playoff run. With all due respect to Custance who knows as much about the Sens as I do Vladivostok of the KHL, Ryan ain’t going anywhere. He’ll be protected.

    what the Sens will lose in the draft is one of their D – and I really think Dorion already has a deal in place whereby LV passes on Methot in favor of a Dzingel or someone like Claeson, couple with a prospect. White, Chabot and Harpur will all be on the roster to start next season.

    • If Ott does have a deal in place with Vegas to select Dzingel over Methot that additional compensation will need to be very significant as Methot is a #3/4 Dman capable of playing 1st pairing minutes as the safety net for his partner at ES.

      Those assets are expensive to buy. If Ottawa were trading for Methot you would be looking at players way better than Dzingel. If it’s Dzingel at 1st & some other asset would be moving with him at a minimum.

    • I believe that 82 game statement was more of a joke George. Ryan’s contract is huge and he isn’t worth that amount as things stand today.

      You know as well as the rest of us that the real measure of a good player in todays cap world is the performance and cap hit ratio. That ratio is not very high for Ryan making him someone that Ottawa needs to get off their roster

      • Taz.

        That’s certainly the case today but wasn’t when many of these teams committed to these deals. Ryan was signed in Oct of 2014 less than a year from UFA status. Some teams didn’t heed Bettman’s warnings about the Canadian dollar & it’s impact on the cap. Ott being 1 of them.

        Had we still been in a run away cap world no 1 would necessarily be complianing about Ryan’s contract nor should they be right now. In these playoffs he’s been worth every dime of the money he’s being paid

        His 6 goals & 15 points, 3 GW’s 2 scored in OT are a huge factor in Ottawa getting all those home dates & additional playoff revenue’s.

        Hell even George has him being protected now. Ha-ha!

  2. I would like to see the Senators lock up Pageau on a 5 year deal and give him 2nd line minutes, trade Brassard for a D man and start 2017-18 with Turris, Pageau, Zack Smith and Colin White at center. Or bring in a 3rd/4th line checking center and leave Smith on the wing. Sens should consider trying to pry Drouin away from the Bolts for Ceci ++ , this might involve them also having to take Garrison ….and I see them losing Dzingel or Claesson to LV in the upcoming expansion draft. Congrats to the Sens on a solid run in the playoffs this year, they battled hard.

    • I would like to see the Senators lock up Pageau on a 5 year deal and give him 2nd line minutes, trade Brassard for a D man and start 2017-18 with Turris, Pageau, Zack Smith and Colin White at center. Or bring in a 3rd/4th line checking center and leave Smith on the wing. Sens should consider trying to pry Drouin away from the Bolts for Ceci ++ , this might involve them also having to take Garrison ….and I see them losing Dzingel or Claesson to LV in the upcoming expansion draft. Congrats to the Sens on a solid run in the playoffs this year, they battled hard.

      I’m with you on Pageau – and I truly believe both Boucher and Dorion are as well. That will get done. But Dorion is also high on Brassard, who is also a local and had a pretty good playoff run, and the two of them are developing a following from the Quebec side of the Ottawa river. Look for Anselmi to work on developing that fan base, including special shuttles from key spots in Gatineau, so he probably won’t be going anywhere. I think Smith is more effective as a wing, while White has a gritty side and will be groomed at C to become a physical counter to big C like Malkin.

      What I’d like to see them acquire is another veteran winger along the lines of Burrows – albeit a tad younger! – and re-sign Stalberg, Pyatt and Condon. As for thew D, it all depends on who they lose to LV. If it’s Methoit, then go after an Alzner as a UFA. If Dorion works out a deal with McPhee and it’s NOT Methot, but rather someone like Claeson (who I’d hate to lose) along with a prospect . Then their D is going to be pretty solid to start the season with Karlsson, Methot, Ceci, Phaneuf, Wideman, Borowiecki. Chabot, Harpur and Englund. In fact, Ceci could be expendable to bring in that hairy-assed winger they’ve been looking for.

      • sorry – didn’t mean to repeat your post – I’ve taken to cutting and pasting a post in WordPerfect in order to draft a response to avoid the damned faded script in the site and diminish typos.

      • agreed on most of your points George re: resign , Pyatt, Stalberg , Condon…definitely. I would hate to see them lose Methot, very under rated player and also a local to the Ottawa area. They have a good stable of up and coming d-men as you noted. Still not sold on Brassard even if he is a local, I find he plays a pedestrian game, kinda like watching a boxer who is a counter puncher. It will be interesting to see what happens the year after next, do they re-sign Turris? I guess it will depend on White’s and Brown’s progress.

      • I thought Claesson didn’t need protection?

      • Claesson needs to be protected. Been a pro for 3 years now (2+ in the AHL).

    • Given the premium on defensemen, I’m not sure that you would even need to add anything other than at most a mid-round pick or C-prospect to Ceci for Drouin. Ceci is looking like a long term shutdown 2/3 defenseman behind Karlsson and those are near impossible to get other than through the draft.

      Ottawa has drafted exceptionally well in the mid-rounds the last 5-10 years. Claesson (5th round), Wideman (4th round), Borocop (5th round) and Harpur (4th round) on defense. Add that to getting Stone (6th round), Hoffman (5th round), Pageau (4th round), Smith (3rd round) and Dzingel (7th round) at forward and that is why they are so deep today. This doesn’t even include getting Karlsson 15th overall in 2008.

      Agree with fergy22 and George O. that they are likely losing Dzingel or Claesson to expansion. This assumes they trade Methot (Karlsson, Phaneuf and Ceci as three defenseman keepers) for a nice expansion draft exempt return. Ottawa is way too deep at forward to go the 4F/4D route for protectors.

  3. Chabot is still a one-dimensional defenseman. He might be NHL ready but a year in the AHL wouldn’t hurt him

    • I don’t know which Thomas Chabot you’ve been watching, but the Chabot I’ve seen has been anything but one dimensional.

      • LOL. And he’s hard to miss too. In the World Juniors he played FORTY-FIVE minutes in that last game and, so far in the Memorial Cup has also dished out some big hits. With him being groomed to share PP duty with Karlsson as next season progresses they might yet wind up with a decent power-play.

        He won’t be going to the AHL.

  4. Edler and Tanev BOTH need to go. Both will bring great returns to help the rebuild. If they want vet leadership sign a UFA vet for that on a 1 year contract and flip them at the TDL for later picks.
    Why diD they sign Markstrom at a 3yr contract to simply make him a $3.5mil/ back-up?

    • If Tanev and Edler both need to go, there are plenty of teams that would like to have them. The question is what type of return do they garner? Would the packages coming back help the Canucks in their re-build? Does Miller look elsewhere if two of the best defencemen in front of him are gone?
      Could be a good way to start a tank job in Vancouver. I’d hate to see that.

      • Good points but we got out butts kicked even WITH both of them in our line-up.
        For Edler, he proved he could be effective in a secondary role playing with talented guys such as Klingberg. Tampa and Dallas need D. Edler could garner a 1st, prospect and a cap dump.
        Tanev is a RHD that can log 24+mins/ game. There are a dozen teams that would love that. He has a very good cap hit with alot of term and no NTC. That alone is a 1st, decent prospect and a useful player
        So if the 2 of them can bring 2 1st rnd picks along with 2 prospects, then yes….that helps the future.

        As far as Miller is concerned, I could care less if he signed. It’s not like LA, SJ or Anaheim are beating his door down for his services so the Canucks are in a position of strength. I would preferry they only sign him to a 1yr deal anyway so Demko can play another year in the minors.

      • Think Anaheim might show interest in Miller with Bernier blowing it in the playoffs and Gibson’s questionable health.
        Remains to be seen if Miller will take a 1B role at reduced salary for a chance to live in Cali and be on a contender

  5. I think McPhee & Vegas will select the best asset or assets; if paid to take a specific player adding assets if Vegas were to do so, available from each team regardless of age or contract hit. It’s what are these players worth to Vegas today, tomorrow & what can they be flipped for in trade over the next 3 years. The minimum timeline it will take for Vegas to get out of the cellar.

    They will be selecting a ton of young players because that’s the best asset available from a great many teams but if players like Ryan are on the board & Vegas can leverage Ottawa to include a solid sweetener they would select him taking the sweetener or the will select Methot if not traded. I have never seen Ryan being available regardless.

    It’s kind of a 1 off with each of the 30 teams. There are similarities among some but for the most part it’s different for every team & those in the worst scenario’s Min, Clb, NYI, ETC. are far different than Car, Tor, Arz, etc. Some teams are going to lose a very good player even if they make several trades, others are going to lose nothing of consequence.

    Vegas doesn’t need to hit the cap floor in year 1 but they do in year 2 & they will need to take on salary some how & fairly quickly with in 17 months & getting UFA’s to sign in Vegas over the next 2 or 3 summers will prove challenging. UFA’s unless offered more money pick winning teams primarily or some it’s a life style choice; family. Brouwer in Calgary & very likely Stone takes a discount as facing UFA status to stay in Calgary following the expansion draft.

  6. When I initially saw the comment regarding Bobby Ryan I thought, “whaaat?”, but the length of the deal along with the inconsistency at times makes the point palatable. I thought Bobby Ryan had a great playoff though.

  7. I think I may have asked this question awhile back. But I either didn’t return for the answer or forgot? Lol

    How will the Vegas farm system work? As far as I know, they have yet to acquire any type of associated team on any level? And I can’t remember how it worked in previous expansion. Do they loan drafted players to someone else’s Ahl team until they secure their own?

    • Sharing an ahl team with someone, can’t remember who. Chicago wolves? Until ahl expands and vegas has enough system players that is likely to stay for a couple seasons.

    • Vegas has a deal with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. For the 17-18 season the Blues will “associate” with Vegas and in a way share the team. AHL will probably expand to 31 teams down the road.

  8. Lyle.

    Why do NYI need to shed salary? The have their entire roster signed except De Haan, 2 mil in cap space before the cap rises 2 to 3 mil & Grabovsky’s cap hit of 5 mil to put on LTIR.

    Baring at least 3 players being traded pre expansion draft they are losing a very good player & with him another significant contract.

    I see no cap issues for NYI.

    • Yes, Grabovski’s cap hit goes on LTIR, assuming he can’t return to action. And yes, assuming the cap rises to around $75-$76 million, they could have over $10 million to work with.

      That’s also assuming de Haan gets selected in the expansion draft thus freeing the Isles from re-signing him to a mew deal worth between $2.5-$3 million annually (roughly his market value), or that Ryan Strome is unprotected ($2.5 million cap hit for 2017-18) and selected by Vegas. That’s also assuming GM Garth Snow stands pat with his current roster and does nothing to improve his goaltending, blueline depth or scoring depth for next season, or decides to trade Tavares if he won’t sign a contract extension. And yes, I realize the Isles finished 10th last season in goals-for, but that was largely due in part to a late surge by an aging Andrew Ladd and 38-year-old Jason Chimera enjoying what’s likely his last 20-goal campaign. Unless they get offense from elsewhere, that production could decline next season.

      Snow’s currently carrying over $70 million for a club that failed to reach the playoffs this season and could struggle to do reach the postseason in 2018 if he sticks with the same bunch (sans Grabrovski and either de Haan or Strome) next season. I realize injuries played a part in the Isles’ struggles, but if you’re trying to convince Tavares this club is trending toward Cup contention, you can’t stick with this current bunch and pretend everything’s ok. Perhaps a couple of their youngsters (Ho-Sang, Beavillier, Barzal) blossom into scoring stars next season and alleviates their scoring issues. But I suspect Snow wants to bolster his roster and that means trades or free agent signings, and that means freeing up some much-needed cap space.

      • Great partner for kovy if devils will trade him in division. Devils could get on of those d men and a decent prospect or pick back. Timing is a bit muddled but it could be worked out

  9. Just read an article how the Rangers should pursue Eberle…why? He was a non-factor in two rounds of the playoffs on a team with 2 #1 centers and a 3rd center who might be as good as any on the Rangers roster…

    Sorry had to vent.

    Rangers need their young core Kreider Hayes Miller to play 100% every shift. And Stepan is slow for his age

    • ds; couldn’t agree more. I don’t know why anybody would pursue Eberle.

      • Getting him for a deal and trying him with Tavares is worthwhile for the Islanders-

        Why in the world with JT resign….

    • one place where the rangers are set is at the wing. They definitely dont need eberle.

      Whats really impressive about teh rangers forwards is that almost all of them are able to play two out of the three forward positions. JT can play all three

  10. Why would the Sens have to add a sweetener?

    Vegas should be happy to get a player with Bobby Ryan’s skill. Ottawa presumably (I haven’t looked) has other players to protect and/or wants to shed his contract. Win-win.

    Good chance Ryan will be the second player taken in the expansion draft after Marc-Andre Fleury.

    • Contract issue. To much for too long. Another site speculated sens 1st to get vegas to take Ryan. If I’m vegas I don’t do that. I’d agree to trade a 7th rounder in a couple years for Ryan and a second or even third. But still get a decent player off sens in expansion. Turned one low asset into three bigger ones.

  11. If Vegas starts with players like Ryan and Fleury then wow they will be a decent team. Remember they got that Shipachayov dude from SKA St. Petersburg and some are wondering if Kovalchuk would want to play with him again. I for one just as soon prefer Vegas never even got a team; however, now that they have one they might as well be competitive. A League with too many door mats (Colorado) is not good in my opinion.

    • Every sports league in Northern America has door mats. NHL may have the most parity of them all.