Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 14, 2017

by | May 14, 2017 | Rumors | 41 comments

What should the Washington Capitals do with Alex Ovechkin?

Latest on the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins,  Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks singles out Alex Ovechkin for the Washington Capitals’ seventh series loss in their last nine playoffs for a lower-seeded team. Ovechkin turns 32 before next season), his physical style has taken its toll and his production declined this season. He has four years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of over $9.5 million.

“That makes him tradeable only for a player or combination of players carrying a similar obligation, and only to a team for which Ovechkin would waive his no-move clause.”

Brooks wonders if the Los Angeles Kings might consider such a deal if Marian Gaborik could be part of the package going to the Capitals. However, he speculates they could instead prefer taking another run at landing Ilya Kovalchuk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anyone can be traded, including Ovechkin, but unless Capitals owner Ted Leonsis blesses the notion I don’t expect him to move. If they do shop Ovechkin and if the Kings are on his list of preferred trade destinations, I don’t think there’s a deal that helps the Capitals. I certainly don’t see them taking a fading, banged-up Gaborik as part of the deal. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE:  Fluto Shinzawa lists Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin, San Jose’s Brenden Dillon, the New York Islanders’ Calvin de Haan and Washington’s Nate Schmidt as left-shot defensemen as possible trade targets for the Boston Bruins. Those teams could prefer shopping those blueliners rather than risk losing them for nothing to the Vegas Golden Knights in next month’s expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins won’t be the only clubs targeting those teams. The Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks could also come calling. 

Shinzawa also thinks the Detroit Red Wings could be players in this summer’s UFA market for Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The blueliner could use the Wings as leverage in hopes of driving up his asking price with a club that could be a better fit for his services.

He notes the Lightning need a right-shot defenseman. If they consider moving one of restricted free agent forwards (Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat), that could free up cap space for Shattenkirk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Shinzawa points out, Shattenkirk is the best defenseman in this summer’s otherwise barren free-agent market. He recently stated that wherever he goes, he wants to play a bigger role. He’ll be seeking a long-term deal worth over $6 million annually. While he’s a skilled puck-moving defenseman he could struggle to handle a top-pairing role.

Prior to his trade to the Capitals, the Tampa Bay Lightning reportedly attempted to acquire him from the St. Louis Blues. However, the deal fell through because he apparently wouldn’t commit to a long-term deal. Combine that with his less-than-stellar play in this year’s postseason and the Lightning could be looking elsewhere.

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford recently reported Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic told a Denver radio station last week that there’s going to be a lot of turnover for his club this summer.“We’re going to get some younger guys in here. We’re expecting to be a much quicker team and a much more competitive team.”

Halford writes that it appears the Avs core consists of two untouchables (Nathan MacKinnon and Miko Rantanen) “and may or may not include the likes of Matt Duchene, Tyson Barrie and captain Gabriel Landeskog.” He also wonders what the future holds for disappointing center Carl Soderberg and how they’ll remodel their struggling defense corps. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the Avs trade speculation this season focused upon Duchene and Landeskog. Once the playoffs end and the NHL Draft weekend (June 23-24) approaches, their names will surface frequently in the rumor mill. During this season, it was speculated the Avs sought three or four pieces for Duchene or Landeskog. With more quality players potentially becoming available next month, Sakic could be forced to lower his asking price. 

STLTODAY.COM:  Jeremy Rutherford reports we shouldn’t expect much roster upheaval this summer for the St. Louis Blues. Their lone unrestricted free agent is Scottie Upshall while Colton Parayko, Nail Yakupov and Magnus Paajarvi are their notable restricted free agents.

Rutherford notes Blues GM Doug Armstrong will keep searching for that hard-to-find big center but he doesn’t see Armstrong gutting the roster to pursue the New York Islanders’ John Tavares or Colorado’s Matt Duchene. The Blues might be unable to trade center Jori Lehtera but he could be lost in the expansion draft. Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson could also be exposed in that draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After the upheaval of losing David Backes and Troy Brouwer last summer and Kevin Shattenkirk via trade this season, the Blues could consider only affordable veteran additions and focus mainly on promoting from within. 



  1. Just a question; where the hell is Yakupov? Was he injured?

  2. Ovechkin will not be traded! Not that he’s untradeable, but he is the face of that franchise. Like it or not! Will they ever win a Cup with him? No. But Marcel Dionne never won a Cup either. And before Gretzky he was definitely the face of the Kings. You know something? Some great players don’t win the Cup. He will more than likely become one of them. He is a dynamic player in a team game remember.

  3. Not sure if the flyers would do this. But you have to think the avalanche would be interested in the second overall pick. That would be a Starting piece for Matt duchene

    • No way Duchene with 2 years left until UFA at a 6 mil cap hit and declining numbers gets the 2nd overall! There are at least 75 other NHLers with cheaper contracts and higher production than Duchene had last year.

      If Duchene fetches a first round pick it won’t be a top 10 pick for sure! Maybe 15-20 and a couple B prospects at best!

      • MST.

        How many points do you think Duchene might get next season either in Colorado or else where?

      • I agree that I’m not a big fan of Duchenne’s declining Production. I would rather have the flyers do a big package with Nathan McKinnon. Draft pick one of their stud defenseman.

      • Matt Duchene will thrive in a different environment. Put him with a good coach and he will thrive. He is 26 years old. Once he’s traded, put him down for your hockey pool roster.

      • I would assume 25 to 30 goals & 55 to 60 points if he can play 75 games in Colorado maybe add 7 to 10 more points to the top end if he went to just the right situation. No 1 in Colorado had a good season last year other than possible Rantanen’s 20 goal 38 point rookie year but he played as Colorado’s #4 forward.

        Duchene just turned 26 in January. He had an off year. It happens, not often but it does happen that’s how we get bounce back players & Duchene is as good a candidate as any, Barrie maybe a better candidate.

        Colorado was devoid of talent last season, they couldn’t ice 2 scoring lines making it very easy to shut down what little scoring they had & their D was brutal they couldn’t ice 2 competent pairings even when Johnson was healthy, he missed 36 games. Their 165 goals scored last season puts them in elite company for goal scoring futility in the last decade. Right their with the tank teams of Buf, Tor & Arz of recent years.

  4. Trading Ovechkin for Gaborik is like trading a ripped $10 bill for 2 toonies. He definitely could be traded but thinking the Caps will unload him for any other teams garbage is asinine. If they could trade him for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Labdeskog straight up then you might be getting somewhere.

    • No Trading Ovechkin for Gaborick is like trading a slightly used Porsche for a broken down Volkswagon that doesn’t have a motor or wheels and costs more to move off the lot than its worth to a scrap yard!

      If that deal were to take place LA would have to throw in their next 4 1st rounders!

    • No way I give up #9 and #92 for this overrated non-playoff piece the Caps are indeed stuck with. You can’t win a Cup by scoring and jumping against the glass in the regular season sorry. I do admire his grit , but he lacks the punch when it’s on the line.

      • dear nhl . please get rid of the stupid stupid stupid coaches challenge .at least in the playoffs.thank you

  5. I would be very surprised If Washington traded Ovechkin, shocked actually. I don’t see it happening. Washington is 1 of the best teams in the NHL unfortunately they had to play 1 of the best teams in the NHL in the 2nd round. Which is beyond stupid. Dear NHL, please fix this ridiculous bracket system, enough is enough all ready you said 3 years. it has been 3 years can we please return to 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, etc., reseeding after each round. Please.

    I see no reason for Washington to tear it down nor do anything drastic, significant change is coming regardless. Their top 2 RW’s are both UFA’s as is their 1st paring Dman with Carlson in Alzner. It’s possible Williams could be resigned later this summer but not guaranteed. Oshie & Alzner won’t be back, Was simply can’t afford them & their services will be in high demand & costly.

    There is enough blame to go around for everyone. Trading for Shattenkirk failed, he made them worse not better, injures, Alzner could barely play even when he returned leading to 7 Dman being dressed messing with D pairings & forward lines, Holtby was brutal, only Crawford, Bobrovsky & Elliott were worse & Trotz deployment of the personal was questionable.

    Winning a cup takes a bunch of things going right not the least of which is above average goaltending, don’t get it & your done, but frankly luck plays a huge role. A timely goal, or a player missing an open net, a bad bounce due to terrible ice this time of year in many buildings, what have you all become factors.

    There is no shame in losing especially to Pittsburgh.

    • True to the bracket system; however still got to beat the teams your playing if you want to win the cup. Pitts did with ClB and Wash. Now playing the boring and hard to watch Senators, their easiest opponent so far and might prove to be the most difficult. Ovie 5g 3a for 8pts in 13 games simply isn’t and wasn’t good enough as we know was moved down to the third line and didn’t show enough urgency in his game.
      Yes anyone can be traded but Ted Leonsis who built this team around Ovie and already told him he can go play in the Olympics isn’t moving the face of the franchise, the face he put there and does all of his marketing around.

      • Yes you do Caper & only 1 team can win. Ovy was part of the problem but there was enough blame to go around for everyone. Did you see the picture of Ovy’s leg? I’m surprised he could even skate. It couldn’t have been pleasant & cost him some of his speed & mobility.

        No sport, especially 1 as physical as hockey makes you battle it out for 2 straight months playing almost every other day with the odd 2 day gap unless you end your series quickly. Injuries are a factor, the team that experiences the least especially to their studs often becomes the cup champion.

        Losing to a good team shouldn’t mean having to tear it apart & trading Ovy seems pretty rash to me. How does trading Ovy make Was better? Especially in today’s cap world. Few teams can take on a 9.5 cap hit meaning eating salary or taking back a bad contract, how does that help Was? Ovy has had other years where he scored 32 & 38 goals 10-11 & 11-12.

        At 31 the clock is ticking but Ovy is still 1 of the most elite goal scorers in the game & will continue to be probably right thru the final 4 years of his contract. There aren’t may 50 goal seasons left for anyone in the NHL & since the 2012-13 lock out the last 4 years the only player to hit 50 is Ovy, 3 times.

        For what it’s worth I’m not really an Ovechkin fan. Like Kovy I accept his talents but he rubs me the wrong way. His comments about next years Olympics being a perfect example. He wants all the benefits of playing in the NHL but to play by his own rules.

    • I totally agree with the playoff seeding!!! Just do it like the NFL does it and you pick where your record falls. Not many teams will try to tank on purpose to where it’s actually an issue. And the AVS should target a guy like Williams as he is the real deal come playoff time. But some dork team will over pay .

  6. If I’m St.Louis, I pass on qualifying Yakupov. He made $2.5 million this year and if qualified by the Blues is entitled to 100% raise.
    Let him become a UFA and go back to Russia as I’m doubtful he has any value around the NHL

    • StL will let Yakupov walk, he won’t be qualified as an RFA making him a UFA. Yakupov isn’t entitled to any raise on his qualifying offer but at 2.5 he won’t be qualified.

      Players making under a mil need to be given a 10% raise on their qualifying offers, players over a mil no raise to qualify.

      If someone gives Yakupov an NHL contract it will be for about 1 mil on a 1 year show me deal. At 24 to start next season I assume someone will but even then it will be limited. NJ?

      • That Hockey News article for which I provided the link above suggests 4 or 5 possible destinations – including Las Vegas on a possible all-Russian line. Remember about a year ago when some of us were saying it’s time he was recognized as a high-pick bust and others (where are you Jeff?) were trying to convince us that he “just needed a chance to shine”?

      • Joey.

        Your not reading it right. It says 100% of their salary last season. A 100% of last years 2.5 is still 2.5.

        Yakupov isn’t being qualified at 2.5. Same thing happened to Schultz in Pittsburgh. Came out of his 3.9 contract & wasn’t qualified by Pit, then signed a 1 year show me deal for 1.4. He will be getting a significant raise this summer probably for more than the 3.9 on his previous contract.

        Although that show me deal isn’t coming from StL.

      • Read the article, it says that Yakupov must get atleast 100% of his contract not a 100% increase.
        So his qualifying offer is 2.5M

        Ovi isn’t being traded. This is tabloid journalism. Give it a couplen of months, ovi will slap a few in beggining of next season and Caps fans will love him again

      • Ya I see what you mean. My bad. BUT..I’m doubtful Yak will find employment with any NHL team this summer unless its one of those one year show me contracts for not much $

  7. George do you still think Ott will expose Ryan in the expansion draft?

    • Nope! And I loved his answer at the press-scrum after the game when someone asked him how long it took him to adapt to Boucher’s game-plan – his answer was “game 82.” He’s bought in now and it’s showing. Of course, some are decrying the style as “boring” – as if all teams should adopt cookie-cutter wide-open north-south hockey to please the know-nothings.

      • Not my cup of tea but I don’t begrudge Ott for choosing to play it. It’s not always boring & there is something to be said about winning. I’m just not paying big money to watch it, free sure.

        Ideally entertained & winning suits me best. Ha-ha!

      • If teams don’t want to face the trap, and lots of teams use a variety of it, they simply need to score first and/or score on the power play. The onus is on the team with the puck to create action. Pittsburgh will play better in Game 2.

      • In the playoffs one does what one has to, especially on the road. There are ways to beat the 1-3-1, if Pitts can`t figure it or isn`t talented enough (work hard enough) then they don`t deserve to move on plain and simple and I`m sure Ott is just quaking in their boots with the thoughts that some of the pundits here don`t like what they`re doing. Ott played the perfect road game and it`s up to Pitts to come up with a game plan to counter.

      • It is boring to watch George but that doesnt negate the fact it is working. Happens in every sport.. football… fans who really get the game understand running out the clock and pounding it out is a good strategy… nowhere near as fun to watch as a rocket arm throwing it downfield. In baseball the slogan is “Chicks dig the longball.” its entertaining but to a fan a pitchers duel is wicked. But all sports, especially hockey need the casual fans, who then become true fans, to make the game successful. You can’t blame Ott for playing a game suited to the skill level of the players on the team… their job is to win… but it isn’t good for the overall game. and calling the style cookie cutter is the pot calling the kettle black.

      • I agree totally Yogi. And for Deeee’s information, I am not saying the Pens can’t adapt to the system and find a way to crack it – they probably will as they certainly have the talent – just that, with the holes on their D waiting to be exploited by a counter-attacking D-first team, they had better figure it out.

        And as BCLeafsFan says, they need to capitalize on their PP – failure to generate more than an 8-6 shot advantage in the 1st after 4 straight Ottawa penalties – when they couldn’t employ the 1-3-1, sure isn’t going to do it. Deee should just quit blaming the Ottawa system.

      • chrisms, when I wrote “as if all teams should adopt cookie-cutter wide-open north-south hockey to please the know-nothings” I was not referring to the Pittsburgh approach – or to any particular team. Rather I was saying if everyone played the exact same style (hence the term “cookie cutter”) the game would become one helluva lot more predictable based solely on accumulative talent. In that instance GMs had better get it right fast and coaches shouldn’t unpack their bags.

        Both are in it to win and please their owners and so will adopt ANY style that best suits their ingredients.

      • @chrisms Pitts used the trap against the Caps, didn`t hear you wine then. What makes the trap bad now. Apparently the trap is only good and exciting when Pitts uses it, geez you guys. Offence may look pretty, but in the end it`s the D that wins the championship or a goalie that stands on his head

      • Wouldn’t hear me “wine” then cause it worked. As I said teams will adapt to the style they need to in order to win… much as George said. Doesn’t make it good for the game. Ultimately if the league wants to fix boring hockey it’ll change the rules. Until then it’s the coaches and players responsibility to play the game to win within the rules provided. I’m not complaining ott is playing the way they are… that was the point of my post… but that doesn’t make me wrong to call it bad for selling the game when it’s on it’s biggest stage… it’s both the right move for ott and bad for the NHL.

      • @chrisms, you wanna fix boring hockey. Get rid of 7 or 8 teams, quit changing the rules every year. No more challenges, that`s the worst thing they`ve ever done and get rid of all the harder than steel equipment that causes so many injuries

      • George simply put its boring hockey. It has nothing to do with know it all or whatever you would like to refer to them as. Personally I turned the channel don’t have 3 hours of my day to be Bored. I can do that at work. If the game is tied or Ottawa is behind it’s more exciting.
        But your right when you don’t have enough top end skilled players employ the system that will give you the best chance of winning. I’m certain you and the fans of Ottawa don’t care how they win as long as they win. Pitts will figure it out and we won’t have to watch it in the finals.

      • Agree about the equipment and challenges but disagree about the teams. It’s not lack of quality players out there but the league allowing so much obstruction and dirt (and by league I mean NHL and nhlpa) that teams feel they need “grit” over skill. The leagues non traditional market growth has had mixed results but overall is trending up… hell an American boy from Arizona just turned the Canadian poster team into a contender.

      • That’s a new one – even from someone who doesn’t care one way or the other about Ottawa (much like I don’t give a rat’s ass about Nashville and Anaheim if it boils down to enjoying the late spring or watching hockey) – called Eric Karlsson and J.-G. Pageau “boring” -or even Stone, Hoffman or Ryan (wasn’t that a boring OT winner?). Give it a rest.

      • I think George you would be in the minority of people thinking that was the most entertaining few hours of their life. I for one had to flip back and forth to reruns of Seinfeld to liven the evening up. Course that’s on both teams. I expect Crosby and malkin will liven it up tomorrow.

      • @chrisms, don`t know how you can say trending up. It`s hard to find a solid 1-2 defenceman these days, it`s even harder to find a consistent 30 goal scorer or a true no.1 centreman now. Yes, a kid who grew up in Arizona is one of the kids now leading Toronto, but if Matthews wasn`t there, Toronto would have gladly taken Laine and been just as happy. I think Matthews is a great kid and I think he will be a great player, but is the mess in Arizona worth it to get a Matthews, never. People pay high prices in Canada and a few of the U.S. cities so teams like Arizona, Carolina and Florida can be in the NHL. 12 BUCKS TO GO SEE A GAME IN ARIZONA, I pay more than that to see a Jr. A game in the Okanagan That`s not really growing the game, that`s bad business

  8. Yogi.

    Some great ideas there, not all but some. Even the trap isn’t boring specifically. Teams play to there strength’s. I admire anyone that can play a sound defensive system. Just prefer not to pay to watch many of them.

    All teams play some form of D system. Just not many left playing a pure trap. Hitchkocks system is aggressive fore check on the puck carrier in all zones. Yeo went to a zone coverage system when he took over for them.

    For me it’s not so much what they do when they don’t have the puck but what they do when they do that decides if it’s interesting to watch.