NHL Rumor Mill – May 4, 2017

by | May 4, 2017 | Rumors | 51 comments

Could the New Jersey Devils pursue Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk via free agency in July?

Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk and speculation over whether the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres should shop their 2017 first-round draft picks. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited NHL insider Pierre LeBrun telling Montreal’s TSN 690 on Tuesday he doubted the playoff struggles of Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will adversely affect his value in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

LeBrun noted the lack of skilled depth for blueliner in this summer’s market, especially for a “right-handed transitioning offensive defenseman” such as Shattenkirk. He suspects New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero could be among the club’s pursuing Shattenkirk via free agency in July. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Justin Tasch suggests the New York Rangers could be better off re-signing UFA blueliner Brendan Smith than chasing Shattenkirk in the free-agent market. Smith’s “been everything the Rangers hoped, a sharp blue-liner with plenty of bite, and some bark to go along with it” in this year’s playoffs. While Smith is due a raise over his $2.75 million cap hit, he’d be more affordable than Shattenkirk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils’ cap space could give them an advantage in bidding for Shattenkirk’s services. He could be interested in joining the Rangers but Smith’s play could give them something to think about entering the offseason. With the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild likely to shop a good young defenseman before the expansion draft, and perhaps the Carolina Hurricanes shopping one for a scoring forward, maybe there won’t be as many suitors for Shattenkirk come July 1. 

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan doubts the Devils will shop the first-overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft. The last time such a pick was dealt was in 2003. He also notes the rarity of a team having the top pick in the draft. “It represents an opportunity for the Devils to add a young, immediate-impact player who could help the Devils become a playoff team in the short and long terms,” writes Ryan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but unless Devils GM Ray Shero gets an offer too good to resist, he’ll retain that pick. Considering there’s no certain franchise player in this year’s draft, I think it’s unlikely Shero gets that offer. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington suggests whoever becomes the next GM of the Buffalo Sabres should trade their first-round pick (8th overall) for an NHL-level defenseman. He believes winning next season “has to be an immediate priority” and improving the blueline “is paramount.” Harrington advocates packaging that pick to a defense-rich team such as Anaheim Ducks or Minnesota Wild. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Harrington isn’t saying that’s what the next Sabres GM will do, but it is an interesting suggestion. The Ducks and Wild could seek an affordable return for one of their defensemen. While this year’s draft isn’t considered a deep one, a top-10 pick will still be an enticing trade chip. 



  1. Some team will overspend exorbitantly for a very overrated Shattenkirk even though he is shatten the bed in the playoffs. Whoever pays is going to regret it within 2 years when they see he is at best a second pairing dman with a 1ds pay check

    • You got it. Some GMs will get giddy when the pressure mounts to sign someone. But only the dumb ones whose eventual firing will start ticking down before the ink is dry.

      • Jeez George when you put it that way it has Bergevin written all over it! The further Subban marches through the playoffs the more pressure he will feel. Having said that, even though Subban is playing well he is not the main reason for Nashville’s success nor would he be the main reason for Montreal’s failure. But his celebrity status in Montreal will make the success of Nashville that much harder to bear in Montreal.

      • I didn’t perceive George’s post to be directed at Bergevin although he certainly meets the criteria. A few others who may be feeling some heat are Sakic, Nill, Holland & Snow. Benning can be shown the door anytime to as far as I’m concerned.

      • Lou with that horrible zaitsev signing I could see overpaying for shats

      • Toronto is not signing Shattenkirk. That is a step in the opposite direction from what they are trying to achieve or have been doing for two years

      • I like the Zaitsev signing, alot. I think this is great value for the 3rd highest scoring rookie Dman in the NHL, top 40; tied for 38th, for the entire league & only 3 points out of the top 25. Played 1st pairing minutes as a rookie against the other teams best players every night. Can only get better as Toronto’s D & he improve & develop.

        He & Reilly are currently miscast as the #1 pairing but they played well enough for Toronto to make the playoffs & what choice did Toronto have?

        In 3 to 5 years when a #3 Dman with a pulse is making 6+, they are getting 5+ now this will seem like incredible value. A few extra dollars spent today to benefit later seems smart to me. Zaitsev will be 32 when this contract expires.

      • Striker what about your games played scenario? Do you do gut feelings after 82 now

      • I assume he’s potentially susceptible to the dreaded sophomore slump, being older he may be less susceptible but age isn’t really the significant factor he should just be more mature than a raw 2nd year player.

        I would draft in a pool for about the same production give or take 5 real life points based on what we know today. Should Toronto pick up an offensive Dman or a solid 2 way 1, his production could decline I would factor that in at that time.

        He is on the same 400 games played tread mill I assume all Dman are on. Every October before the season starts I make final assessments based on facts. When confronted with 2 similiar choices that’s about the only time I use my gut. Otherwise it’s development; games played, & opportunity, quantity & quality of anticipated ice time, or perceived role, based on team depth. Competition for said ice time/

      • I should have mentioned to Bigbadbruins that Zaitsev for me falls into the 20% side of my system. As he develops he should get better but having such a big rookie season not a ton of upside perceived today.

      • Wow

    • Someone will sign Shattenkirk 16 months younger than Yandle for the same basic term & money. That’s the going rate for exactly the player you define as a UFA. A 2nd pairing #1 PP Dman. RFA’s Dman meeting this qualification see a mil or so less.

      I just hope it’s not Boston, NYR, or a few others. NJ sure, TB could use his skill set & had tried to acquire apparently, he would help Buffalo as well although all these teams would be better served with some of the other Dman at least 5 teams have available pre expansion draft.

      • devils either need to be all in on alsner and shat or need to trade Schneider and rebuild around youth and nico/Patrick. don’t straddle the boat and the dock and pull a groin muscle.

      • I agree on Alzner & Shatty but even a rebuilding team needs the confidence a great goalie like Schneider can provide. You don’t rebuild with out a solid goaltender or it won’t go well.

        I had Andersen as the best goalie available last summer. We debated that here with many almost all year leading up to Toronto acquiring him. Andersen is as important to what Toronto accomplished this season as any of the kids.

        Schneider will be to NJ as well.

      • I agree on Alzner & Shatty but even a rebuilding team needs the confidence a great goalie like Schneider can provide. You don’t rebuild with out a solid goaltender or it won’t go well.

        I had Andersen as the best goalie available last summer. We debated that here with many almost all year leading up to Toronto acquiring him. Andersen is as important to what Toronto accomplished this season as any of the kids.

        Schneider will be to NJ as well. Nor is NJ’s rebuild a complete tear down like Tor, Buf, Car or Arz. With Hall, Zajac, Henrique, Greene, Cammalleri, Palmieri, Lovejoy & Schneider not an option this is a retooling rebuild on the fly like Bos & SJ. Shero just had his 2 year anniversary.

      • NJ will trade Kovalchuk rights for a d-men, but i don’t know with who

  2. Once again the Senators get overlooked in the ongoing speculation as to which teams might be offering a D in the off-season. Anaheim gets mentioned – Carolina – Minnesota. Seems to me with the emergence of Ben Harpur and the arrival of Thomas Chabot, not to mention Andreas Englund who has a chance to crack an NHL line-up next season, there will be names like Borowiecki, Wideman and Claeson in the mix, each of whom played roles in the successful season (so far).

    • The difference is all the teams you mentioned have established top 4 d men and some potential top 2 d men in potential play. Fowler or vatenen… Faulk for car. Scandella or Brodin for minny. The names you mentioned are really bottom pairing guys with second pairing potential. Decent assets and have value but not in the same tier as the other teams.

      • Either Methot or Ceci will be available for trade pre-expansion as I mentioned yesterday. There would be a lot of interest in either one given their contracts and, with Ceci, his age. I don’t think Ceci will be traded unless it is for a very high end forward with term (ex. Drouin as I said yesterday).

      • By term, I meant term before UFA or an RFA with years before potential UFA status. Drouin is clearly the latter.

      • With all due respect Chrisms, I can think of at least 3 teams where any of those guys would be an improvement over their so-called “top 4”

      • Arizona… jersey… uh… anyone else? Thing is the few teams they are an upgade over will be looking at the car Ana minny teams to get better d men than those you listed… and then there is fa as well. Vatanen or borowicki? Claoson or brodin? Wiseman or shat? I dont doubt ott could get a return for those guys but higher than a third round pick would suprise me… and that’s after expansion

      • The interest in Borowiecki or Wideman will be virtually none existent & the return no better than a mid round pick, Claeson might garner nominally more think a 3rd. What’s the point Ottawa will need the depth themselves. It takes 8 or 9 Dman to get through a season & the playoffs.

        Arizona doesn’t need any of these Dman they have OEL, Goligoski, Murphy & Chychrun as their top 4 with Schenn, Deangelo; expansion draft exempt, Connauton all signed & Kyle Wood waiting in the wings. Probably at least 1 full season from really getting his chance for a cup of coffee in the NHL.

        I don’t see any team in the NHL that could use any of those 3 Ottawa Dman in their top 4, none are better than what those teams already have or coming.

      • This from someone who just admitted the other day that he “doesn’t get to see Ottawa play a lot.” Last I looked, someone in Colorado was responsible for their horrible season (s) and, questionable or not, their +/- sticks out like a sore thumb. The best of the lot are Johnson (-6 2g 15a) and Beauchemin (-14 5g 13a_ and he’s 36. Some will not doubt argue that Barrie is a – to use the popular vernacular “a stud” – with his 7g 31a – but -34 tells me he’s not exactly reliable back of his own blue line. Zadorov is -20 with 10g 10a and still young, while the rtest are eminently forgettable – Tyutin -25, Wiercioch -18, and Goloubef (- 11) – and please don’t try and t ell me that all these are going to be grade A D i short order.

    • Also, some of those teams are in much more difficult predicaments.

      Anaheim has 4 D that are young and currently top 4 calibre, and still have Bieksa to deal with as he has a NMC, and have too much value in their forward ranks to go with 8 skaters. Anaheim is losing a top 6 forward, or a top 4 D no matter how you slice it. Because of their Depth on D, they will almost definitely trade one of those D for exempt assets and protect the forwards.

      Minnesota has almost the exact same scenario. Maybe not as deep organizationally on D, but with guys like Staal, Granlund, Niederriter, and Coyle aside from 3 F with NMCs, I can’t see them going the 8 skater route, so trading a D will make the most sense.

      Carolina is interesting since they also need to get a D to meet exposure requirements or not protect all of their D. They could even decide to trade Faulk, and protect 8 forwards as outside of Faulk, their valuable D are all exempt. They are’t in a tough position, just an odd one that could see them get in the market. They get mentioned a lot, but I think they would be better served by keeping Faulk, and driving a harder bargain for the teams that missed out before the expansion draft if they are actually thinking about trading him.

    • I have mentioned Ottawa repeatedly regarding Methot. 1 of the 5 teams along with Anh, Clb, Min & NYI that needs to trade a Dman pre expansion or they will be losing a solid top 4 if not better Dman.

      • Why? Is Dorion not capable of making deals same as Bowman, Lamoriello or any of the others? Or is he just there to fill a seat? NOBODY knows who, for certain, a team is going to lose to LV until we see the draft. It’s just as possible that Dorion and McPhee have been working on an agreement which will preclude Ottawa losing a Methot. And LV could do a lot worse than having a Borowiecki and Wideman (or Claeson) as their 5/6 pairing. Quit trying to come across as this know-all sage because you, like everyone else her, is guessing.

  3. Just as an aside, how many people really like the current NHL cap system?

    I think in general, the idea of a cap is appealing, and can certainly be great for all concerned if done correctly, but the current system doesn’t accomplish it’s goals.

    First off, the NHL has been able to distract the NHLPA with add ons the the system, when the only issue that should matter is hockey related revenue and the split of said revenue. Contract lengths, max contracts, buy out options, inflator clause, all of this is meaningless since in the end, x % of a certain pie is all that is ever going to get paid to the group of players as a whole anyway.

    The cap inflator is just a joke. The NHL doesn’t care, it doesn’t increase their cost. They pretend to care because it makes it feel like a win, and it’s only now players are catching on. The cap inflates, but all that allows is big market teams can spend a little extra cash up front, knowing that some of it will come back from escrow, and small market teams can have a budget and receive an escrow bonus. Players end up just being happy and going “wooo! now I can have 80% of $5M a season instead of 90% of $4.5M.. Go me”

    It’s the equivalent of giving your kid brother the 2nd player controller of the nintendo and telling him he is playing as the bad guys. In reality you just want to make them feel included, but the NHL would rather play Ninja Turtles alone.

    I know it sounds like I am just insulting the players, but in reality this is what businesses often do, and they sleep at night by telling themselves that it’s ok and it’s the players fault for not knowing better.

    Anyway, that started as a question, ended as a rant, and I can’t remember my point. Job Well Done.

    • Danny, I would like to agree or disagree but I’m not sure what your asking? The escrow seem to bother you but it doesn’t bother me that will be something that will come up in the next cba. Personally I’m happy I get 100% of my salary.
      The cap? I’m for the cap, if the league didn’t have a cap, there would be teams paying below the floor and other who could afford paying well above the ceiling, which would lead to more empty barns and potentially teams folding (not that less teams is a bad thing). All the top level UFA would be going to the teams the make money, thru ticket sales, merchandise and TV revenue.
      If I could change one rule it would be the elimination of the no trade clause. Living in WPG and known that Winnipeg is the team that appears the most on any given NTC list it makes it more difficult for teams like Winnipeg to acquire players that have a ntc. Where as a team like Ana, SJ, LA, FlD and TB don’t appear on any list (I know this is never going to happen). Also they need to close the hole on US college players becoming UFA.
      Danny so I agree and disagree with you (I think) changes need to be made but the cap can’t be removed.

      • Agree- eliminate the no-trade clause AND guaranteed contracts. If someone doesn’t live up to the pre-contract hype in the eyes of management they are cut loose to make the best deal elsewhere (confirmed injuries excepted) – just like the NFL.

      • Chrisms, in the end I was poking fun at myself for not really getting to a point, so much as starting one thought and ranting on something else, but I decided to leave it as is anyway.

        I agree there should be a cap, I just think the guarantees on revenue should go both ways. In other words, if less than the agreed upon percentage of revenues is spent on contracts, that things go the other way and players are paid a bonus. Since the heart of the matter is cost certainty from the leagues perspective, and guaranteeing a fair portion gets spent on players salaries from the PAs perspective. I believe this fixes a lot of issues inherent in the current system.

        I think eliminating fully guaranteed contracts would be good, something like 10% guaranteed, to a minimum of league minimum. This adds more players to FA pool each year, is cheaper than buyouts (dumping a $7M contract costs $700k against the cap). Overall, this won’t effect the slice of the pie players as a whole get since money not going to one player will get divided to the union based on what I mentioned above. I know players would have a hard time seeing this, but this would benefit players as they aged. Right now, many teams are catching on that ELCs and players signed as RFAs are providing maximum value, and UFA signings are risky. By shortening these commitments, older players value won’t inherently decline, and teams will spend a little more on shorter term contracts, and fill their rosters with older players. Also, adjusting current RFA windows would also be a benefit. Right now the system is set up so that you have to get underpaid as a young player, then hit your big pay day finally as a UFA, where you basically are trying to get back paid, then the team regrets it as you are now overpaid. Trading the ability for young players to command better contracts earlier, with teams being able to have more flexibility with dealing with contracts seems like a better way for teams to basically pay for what they get more consistently.

        Eliminate no-trade clauses completely. This just makes it easier to be competitive since players can’t block trades to teams trying to improve. No Move clauses aren’t necessary if there are no guaranteed contracts and no NTCs, since you wouldn’t put high paid player in the minors if you can release them. Players won’t be forced to play in the AHL just to get paid, they can shop their services around again instead.

        The league should leave disability guarantees in, as no one wants to see tools implemented that cost dollars to players whose careers are cut way short, and should offer to share the cost of an increased disability fund for players whose careers are ended shortly in.

        Obviously we are headed for a lockout if the league just decides to ask for concessions without giving something, which is why I think the revenue guarantee, disability benefits and likely a renegotiation of what constitutes hockey related revenues as well as the split need to be on the table. I just don’t think it will happen, and instead we will get a bunch of convoluted issues and hypotheticals that distract from the core issue.

      • Chrisms, I was actually poking fun at myself for starting with a point in mind, but not really getting there and going off on a rant.

        I also agree there should be a cap, I just get frustrated that we lose parts of hockey seasons over arguments around non-core issues.

        The League wants cost certainty, the players want to ensure they get their fair share of revenues. Everything else should be easy if they can knock this part out.

        They need to figure out what constitutes hockey related revenues, and what a fair % of that for the PA is. I know it’s easier said than done, but that is the issue, they waste time on less important things. I think a big thing needs to be that if the split used to figure out the cap isn’t spent on payroll, it needs to be paid to the players anyway, so they can be sure they always are getting their share. The NHL has a safety switch in Escrow to avoid paying too much, but no set system of what happens if they pay too little. Increasing the cap is not an appropriate response as it too much like trickle down economics.

        I think then they just make some common sense fair trades. Lose fully guaranteed contracts (maybe something like league min is guaranteed for duration, rest of the contract is void), they give the players earlier UFA & RFA status. I think it should be 3 years from draft year, you can sign an ELC for whatever term is left. So if no ELC is signed right after the draft, it’s a 2 year and so on. If not signed during those, you are a UFA. I think 2 years of RFA status after that is enough. This will allow players to get more appropriate salary earlier during largest years of productivity, which should even out with the loss of big contract guarantees.

        Lose NTC’s and NMC’s. NMC’s won’t be necessary anyway since lack of guarantees on the contracts means teams would release a player on a one way instead of just hiding him in the minors.

        The NHL should be willing help fund a better disability plan or emergency reserve for players suffering career ending injuries. There shouldn’t be a situation where a player is ok because he got injured right after signing his UFA contract for 5 years versus a player who got severely injured right before ever getting a significant contract. This is an easy and fair trade off to getting rid of guaranteed contracts. Also, this can be cost shared between PA and the league.

        In then end there would be bigger FA pools, teams would have an easier time staying cap compliant, teams would have an easier time paying players what they are worth, players would have certainty that they will get their fair share, earlier and better negotiation rights for good contracts, some better benefits. I know I am not going to solve the future league arguments on a message board, but hopefully the negotiations do end up starting around the real core issues and don’t get hung up on things that really don’t matter.

      • Agrwed we need a cap or we go back to Tor, NY, Detroit throwing buckets of money on all the Hot UFAs of the moment and driving the market price to ridiculous levels. Yes i agree That the NTC should be removed especially on contracts over 3 or 4 years or more, this needs to be addressed as well on the next cba.

    • They need to make it easier for junior players to match up with college and European players to get to FA. With the shortness of many players careers if they hit age 21 and are not signed and playing professionally they should be fa. especially with expansion. RFA should be implemented immediately after being drafted with different compensation rules specifying that the signed player has to be guaranteed an nhl contract and roster spot right away. compensation would be picks returned to the other team. Only 4 rounds should exist in the draft and all undrafted players should be FA at 20. Mandate teams to spend to the cap ceiling based on their attendance records to promote reward for the fans that show up. just some ideas

    • Some of your points are valid some make no sense at all. GM’s love the escalator. If the NHLPA didn’t keep approving the escalator 1/2 the teams in the NHL are in serious cap trouble. The monies returned to teams because of the guaranteed revenue split 50/50 is a bonus but doesn’t factor into what teams can spend.

      My only issue with the cap is that we shouldn’t be using cap hit but actually monies paid in a given year. This would stop these ridiculously front loaded long term deals. You incur the cap in real money paid each year.

      • Players are guaranteed 50% of hockey related revenue have been since this CBA went into effect in the 2012-13 season. Guaranteed. No issue with should get more or less. The NHL’s fiscal year end is June 30th. The NHLPA does a revue audit of what ever they wish the 2 agree to a #, usually by late July but it drags on longer often, grievances are filed etc. to be resolved retroactively. The payers are returned what ever portion of their escrow wasn’t required to guarantee the NHL’s 50%.

        Players may hate escrow but it’s never going away. In fact I will be shocked if the players % isn’t reduced in the next lock out from 1 to 5%, I’m thinking it will be a split the difference issue 2 or 3%. Still way to many teams losing money with a 50/50 split. Essentially a 3rd of the league in 2015-16 I assume more this season due to the Canadian dollar.

      • I wasn’t advocating for a lack of cap, just that transparency, revenue split and what constitutes hockey related revenue are the key factors.

        My issue isn’t the split, it’s the mechanisms in place favour the league. The players pay into a pot for a refund to the league if the actual dollars would have favoured the players, however if all of escrow is paid back, that means that the PA received less than 50% of revenues, when this happens the only mechanism for the players to get the difference is a further increased cap instead of an immediate payout.

        Also, the PA should not be concerned with what individual teams make when deciding what a fair share of revenue is since a cap means that can’t freely negotiate better deals with whatever team can afford it. All they care about is the League as a whole profitable, and it is to the tune of about $350M as a whole or about $10M per individual team if equalized.

        The fact that some teams aren’t individually profitable is not something that should be on the players. I am not saying that 50/50 is right, but you cant just lower the players revenues to the point that all teams can be profitable, since that basically puts the players getting compensated based on available funds of the poorest team in the league. The way negotiations have gone is it’s about the PA as a whole, versus the NHL as a whole, and that’s the focus both sides need to take.

        Finally, the inflator being loved by GMs is my point, as it giving the players control of it doesn’t do anything for the players as a group. It may help the current crop of FAs negotiate slightly higher deals, but it likely means everyone currently under contract loses more to escrow if enacted in a year where the cap should not have increased.

        Anyway, I may have opened a conversation that it is far too early for, but just some thoughts I had recently.

  4. The cap has made the League more competitive. No need to change it in anyway. I have said this before and always get the stock answer (the league wants to expand because it’s about money)but; please CONTRACT do not EXPAND. This League would be better with 24 teams! Ever wonder why virtually every team cannot find defense? It’s clear there are not enough caliber players to fill the need of 31 teams in this position. Remember this is my OPINION.

    • The talent is there its just being held back to prop up things like the CHL. Part of it is also the outdated idea that the nhl still needs goons and that size makes a major difference at all in quality players. Expansion also helps grow the talent pool although that is quite a long game. Austin Mathews from Arizona?

    • The NHL will have 32 teams before the next lock out. These markets the NHL has expanded into are essentially in creating the proper foot print for the NHL’s future national US television aspirations. There will be a fairly solid bidding war for these rights when the current joint venture between the NHL & NBC expires in 4 years.

      There are enough players to go around. It’s your perception of quality that’s the issue, specifically at the # 4 thru 6 slots, it’s the state of teams rebuilds & a multitude of other factors, coaching, their respective development, etc..

      The growth of hockey in the US at the grass roots level is expanding rapidly. They just won the U17, U18 & WJC’s this year.

      Jones; Texas, Carlo, Colorado, Chychurn; Florida, DeAngelo; NJ, C. Murphy; Ohio, Krug; Michigan, McAvoy; NY, McCabe; Wisconsin, Slavin; Colorado, Pesce NY, Hanafin, Maryland, Werenski, Michigan, McCoshen; California, La Due; North Dakota, Skjei; Minnesota, Gostisbehere; Florida, Dumoulin; Maine, Trouba; Michigan, etc.. For the most part I avoided the common US breeding grounds, their are tons of 3 thru 5 Dman I didn’t even mention from these traditional markets. Simply ran a excel spread sheet asking for Dman under the age of 25 from the US.

      You know what the vast majority of these young up & coming Dman share in common? Had it not been for the NHL’s expansion efforts most would have chosen to play a different sport than hockey. The #’s at forward are far more profound & this is just the tip of the iceberg. Like almost any sport the US will dominate hockey in 10 to 15 years.

      Few countries fund sports like the US both from a tax perspective for individuals & businesses. My allowed deduction in Can is $500 per child annually to the age of 19? Last season we spent 27 thousand dollars; after tax dollars, the vast majority spent on travel for 1 of 3 boys playing 2 competitive sports, hockey & baseball.

      The state of California has had more 5 years old sign up to play hockey in the last 2 years than all of Canada! & so they should, they have essentially the same population base. What’s that mean for the future of the NHL game? Would that be happening with out SJ; formerly Minnesota, & ANH being added to LA?

      • don’t forget… last draft only two of the top 10 picks came from Canada. Us had some, Europe the rest. These programs, ushl/college hockey and the European leagues are getting better at growing talent and growing larger. expansion grows the game. It takes those teams winning and doing well to solidify it though. best ecample I know is Pburgh. before Mario… bubkiss. After Mario with local rinks etc growing.. ryan Malone, nate guenin, matt bartowski, George parros, Dylan reese, mike weber, rj umberger, Vincent troecheck, Brandon saad, john Gibson, jt miller. the list gets better towards the end I guess but the point is valid… expansion created a venue for these players.

  5. I don’t see Carolina moving a Dman anytime soon unless it’s to acquire 1 of the Dman from the 5 teams faced with losing 1. I see them trading for 1 before the expansion draft as the only protector they have at D is Faulk unless you consider Murphy a protector. Slavin, Pesce & Hanafin are all expansion draft exempt.

    Few teams are better positioned than Carolina for expansion, taking on other teams cap problems; they have almost 32 mil in cap space, or expansion draft protection problems at any position.

    Carolina currently only has 6 keepers at forward. Staal, Skinner, Rask, Lindholm, Teravainen & McGinn. 1 at D Faulk, again unless you consider Murphy a protector & no 1 in goal unless Darling is signed pre expansion. Why would they sign before, better to sign immediately following but before July 1st. They can take on a forward, d & goalie pre expansion.

    Carolina is in a perfect position to trade with Winnipeg taking back Trouba & Armia; I see no way Winnipeg can protect Armia under any scenario, They send Fleury a young stud left handed D prospect, a B grade forward prospect, expansion draft exempt & with 6 picks in the 1st 3 rounds, a 1st, 3 2nd’s & 2 3rd’s, 2 draft picks, 1 being their 12th overall. Similar offers to Anh, Clb, Min or NYI; no forward included from Anh or NYI altering the compensation to these 2 teams slightly, for any of the Dman they are faced with losing.

    Then trade their 2nd; Ward & a B grade forward prospect to Pit for MAF. Pittsburgh gets a goalie to expose for expansion & to back up Murray with 1 year remaining at a reasonable cap hit of 3.3. Then sign Darling after the expansion draft for 2 years at 2.75 even as high as 3.75 if that’s what it takes to get his signature on a contract as a UFA & then look at moving MAF at some later point; with in the next 2 years, if Darling is truly ready to be a #1. Carolina has 2 years to decide. Buy out Lack.

    Carolina makes these trades they are a playoff team. I think they will be next season regardless.

    • Not happening. Hayden Fleury plus a b level prospect for Trouba and Armia. That deal doesn’t get you Trouba alone, might get you Armia. Even if you thru in a 1st round pick its still not getting you Trouba.

      • Hamilton moved for a 1st & 2 2nds. 15, 45 & 52 in 2015. Not entirely the same dynamics; contract & character issues but Trouba certainly has a contract issue & won’t be in Winnipeg long term, 2.5 years more tops the trade deadline of his 2nd year arbitration award that’s how this plays out if not traded prior, in play but certainly a comparable.

        You don’t feel Fleury, selected 7th overall in 2014, Carolina’s 1st this year; 12th & another 2nd or 3rd round pick with 1 of the plethora of forward prospects Carolina has not named Gauthier or Roy can secure a Trouba?

        I’ll ask you the same question I asked last week but you didn’t choose to answer. Who in your opinion is Winnipeg going to protect for expansion & in what format. Feel free to extrapolate however you wish. Example, buying out Enstrom, trading so & so pre expansion etc.. Few teams are positioned worse.

      • Currently Winnipeg is locked into the 8 skaters protection scenario. They can get out of it by getting Enstrom to waive his NMC & or buying him out. As we have discussed prior this is potentially problematic if Trouba isn’t staying long term, or they can trade Myers or Trouba.

        Trading Trouba this summer pre expansion draft may be the best scenario. Trade him, protect Enstrom & 7 forwards. Take back all expansion draft exempt assets as Winnipeg has more than 7 protectors at forward.

      • Winnipeg has Scheifele, Wheeler, Little; I assume Winnipeg will make very effort to resign Little July 1st with only 1 season remaining of his contract, Perreault, Lowry, Armia, Copp & Dano. They could protect 7 of the 8 if they can solve the issue at D prior to expansion.

  6. Have been semi off work; only what can be accomplished from home, injured for sometime, back issue, so bored stiff, allowed to do very little, including flying. Sorry for the endless posts little else to do but debate & watch hockey & baseball.

  7. I’d take Smith back over Shattenkirk all day! No thanks on 6-7 per for RH Yandle part deux! If he wants to come home so badly, He’ll have to come down to earth . Wouldn’t mind him at all, but not anywhere near that ask! And still prefer to sign Smith anyway. Skjei and Mcdonagh can produce enough on the offensive side! If they could lose Girardi or Klein, Great! if not just stay away!!!

  8. mr mike harrington…..buffalo isnt winning because mr murray traded for draft picks he later traded away for has beens except for kane and oreilly. so now your writing an article to trade the teams future away for more has beens? unless cam fowler is coming to buffalo theres no other trade i would make including a draft pick in the 1st round. i shouldve been a sports writer because it doesnt take a rocket scientist to recognize buffalos weaknesses. how about a coach with a backbone on that wishlist so the new coach can scream at bogosian for standing around, skating lazy, not hitting and not shooting the puck when you pay the guy over 5 million a year. hes supposed to be a top two dman and he has played at best a 5 or 6 from all 82 games i watched last season. Guhle is ready for action next year. Ristolainen, Mccabe, Gorges, Bogosian, Guhle and ????? Im not trading my 1st round pick for anybody but Fowler….another 5-6 dman will cost maybe 2-3 million tops per year. I take one of the top 3 dmen in that draft at spot #8 and grow that player in my system for the future. If Buffalo cant win with what they have now how would trading this pick away add up to making the playoffs? its gonna depend on the gm/ coach and new system 1st and foremost.

    • Totally agree Derek! Tim Murray’s failure was he traded away too many picks and dmen (the worst being McNabb and 2 #2s for Fasching and Deslauriers). Seems like he was in love with forwards only. You need to build a team to compete over years and different setups, in case one doesn’t work…look at the capitals…they may be out again. Trading a top 10 pick would only serve to make the playoffs, not compete long-term.

    • For has been’s the only one has been Bogosian. Except he was a never was. Bogosian was never supposed to be a top 2 defenseman when we traded for him. If you think that you honestly shouldn’t be writing about sports.

      I agree, definitely keep the pick and select the best defenseman available.

      It’s also time the Sabres trade Reinhart IMHO. Package Reino to the ‘Canes for Slavin or Hanifin. They need a centre we need a defenseman.