Updates on Ben Bishop and Ilya Kovalchuk – May 2, 2017

by | May 2, 2017 | Rumors | 66 comments

Could the Calgary Flames or Dallas Stars acquire the rights to Los Angeles Kings goalie Ben Bishop?

Some team are interested in acquiring goalie Ben Bishop’s rights, plus a look at the next step for the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk in your NHL rumor mill. 

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting “a couple of teams” have contacted the Los Angeles Kings expressing interest in acquiring the rights of pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Ben Bishop. This report comes days after the Carolina Hurricanes acquired the rights of UFA goalie Scott Darling from the Chicago Blackhawks. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites LeBrun’s appearance on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 yesterday to elaborate on his report. While he doesn’t know which teams contacted the Kings about Bishop, he speculates the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars would make sense. LeBrun pointed out the Flames had worked on a trade to acquire Bishop last June from the Tampa Bay Lightning before swinging a deal with the St. Louis Blues for Brian Elliott. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whichever team acquires Bishop would have exclusive negotiating rights with him until July 1, though there is a brief period leading up to that date when the goalie can speak to other clubs. There’s no guarantee they can re-sign them but it certainly gives them an advantage.

It would be easier for the Flames to sign Bishop than it would for the Stars. It’s not expected they’ll re-sign Elliott plus backup Chad Johnson is also eligible for UFA status, though it’s possible he could be re-signed. The Stars, meanwhile, still have Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi under contract through next season and both carry no-trade clauses. They’ll have to move one of them via trade or contract buyout to make room for Bishop, who could prove an expensive re-signing. 

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan reports New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero recently said he’d reach out to Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman this week to determine if there’s any substance to recent reports claiming the former Devil is interested in returning to the NHL. Kovalchuk, 34, retired following the 2012-13 season and spent the past four seasons playing for KHL team SKA St. Petersburg. The Devils own Kovalchuk’s NHL rights until age 35, but the earliest they could sign him is July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are conflicting reports regarding Kovalchuk’s willing to play for the Devils. It’s been reported he doesn’t want to return to New Jersey, but KHL insider Aivis Kalnins claims that’s not true. There’s apparently no issue with Kovalchuk re-joining the Devils, but if he wants to sign with another club it requires unanimous approvals from all 31 NHL teams. That’s what prompted talk of a “sign-and-trade” move by the Devils. 



  1. Lyle, could Las Vegas draft Kovalchuk in order to acquire those rights?

    • No. In the expansion draft, they can only select active players from NHL rosters. Kovalchuk is not an active NHL player.

    • Would u pay a 34 year old 6-7 mil if u were a expansion team. I would rather sign hard Nosed American/Canadian players over European players. Ask Cherry who he would rather sign.

  2. WHATEVER it takes, I completely expect that Bishop will be reunited with Hitchcock in Dallas. (ps. plan on Steve Ott joining the Stars too) The Stars and Blues rivalry will be HOT

    • Not that it really matters but Hitchcock started in StL on Nov. 6 2011, Bishop was traded to Ott on February 26th 2012. Bishop never played a game for StL well Hitchcock was there. Nor did they even share camp together as Hitchcock started after the season commenced.

      I avoid Bishop as he appears far to expensive to sign. I trade for MAF, Grubauer, consider far less expensive options both in salary & trade cost in Darling or Halak.

      • Sorry that should have read Raanta not Darling, although should Carolina not sign Darling he would certainly be a consideration as well.

    • Best move would be if Vancouver traded their entire team for Bishop. They will never get a better goalie than they had in Cory Schneider who they gave away for a bag of pucks. Schneider would look good in a Jets jersey after playing for the Moose and his strong ties in Winnipeg.

      • Bo Horvat is hardly a bag of pucks.

  3. Just a trade proposal for MB..
    A. Galchenyuk,N Beaulieu and M. McCarron for S. couturier and there 2nd overall in 2017…

    • Trollin down I76 huh?

      • I used to think some in LeafsNation held the patent on unlikely trades. THAT is a doozy.

    • No way the flyers make this trade. They don’t need a Dman in Beuaulieu and Macarron has no offensive upside. Plus Galchenyuk hasn’t proven he can be a top 6 Centre.

      • If nathon Mccinnon is in play-I can see a deal that includes the #2 pick to the Avs.

      • Nathan Mackinnon is worth more than the #2 pick. You’d be picking a lesser version of him regardless who goes second

      • my bad, you clearly said ‘that includes the #2 pick to the avs’
        I don’t see the AVs doing this unless a really good D is involved along with the pick

      • Didn’t Sakic just come out & say McKinnon, Rantanen & Jost were untouchable?

      • No GM should EVER utter those words if they are doing their job properly. He’s extremely unlikely to trade any – but if an offer comes along that’s too good to pass up he looks like a hypocrite.

      • I don’t disagree George. I’m just saying I believe that Sakic just recently made that very statement. No player is untouchable for me as unlikely as it is that I might trade him. Like you if the offer is to good to refuse I’m in.

    • McCarron’s trade value is zero. Philadelphia has 1 of the best D prospect pipelines in the NHL in the Gost, Provorov, Sanheim, Morin, Myers & Hagg. That doesn’t account for current NHL Dman, Gudas, Manning & MacDonald; who they are stuck with for at least 2 more seasons, then I assume they will buy out his final year.

      Philadelphia is going to add a C at #2 in this years entry draft. Patrick & or Hischier. Galchenyuk could play LW for Philly I guess. I like Beaulieu, I think Mtl would be crazy to move him as by 2019-20, just as he’s entering his prime for Dman he should be a solid #2 transitional offensive Dman many teams covet. Plays 2nd pairing, logs 1st unit PP time & takes almost all offensive zone faceoff shifts if able.

      The trade proposal isn’t bad just highly unlikely, not a great fit & Couturier is being groomed to be a solid #2 2 way center. Think Kesler. He has shown glimpses of such just hasn’t put it all together for 1 season as yet.

      Couturier is right at my break out point for forwards 6’3″ & taller. 400 regular season games. He has played 416. Still hasn’t full filled out that massive frame yet.

      • Seems to me the the habs have decided to move Beaulieu. All reports suggest that this is a certainty, add to that they just added a European defenseman (I forget his name) who plays the left side, all signs point towards the door for Nathan.

        PS: I find this statement ridiculous “Couturier is right at my break out point for forwards 6’3″ & taller. ” Its such a strange metric to pick up, forwards 6’3″ and over. Then classify that as ‘my breaking point’ as if you are Deloitte or something. I’m laughing man, just ridiculous.

      • If he was 6’3 1/4″ it would be 550 games!! He’s all over the map

      • I get it Taz. Just a defined pattern in place, there are certainly very blurry lines in there, but you will find that a large % of forwards 6’3″ & taller take far longer to grow into their frame & fully develop. I don’t try to understand why I just process the data.

        Being a 1/4 inch taller is inconsequential but thank you Bigbear for your usual tact.

        I set bench marks & thresholds. You need to set a line some where, that’s mine. Think of it like tax’s. The Government sets thresholds.

        There is also a pattern developing where it’s starting to take some % of forwards longer to break thru than historical norms. Not able to quantify this data fully as yet but as the sample size is to small but building the data with each passing year & accepting a trend is forming.

        I’m not just a NHL hockey fan but a draft pool, box pool, fantasy pool fan & I lay a ton of wagers. I don’t make assumptions, guess or pick with my heart. I play the odds of probability, except those odds & play the #’s & systems I have developed. If that makes me odd so be it. It pays well & winning is fun.

      • I have been active in hockey pools for a long time as well and consistently do well and win money.

        I admit for a while you had me going with all the defense argument about X number of games needed. Why is it that you have never said well if a defenseman is between 5’1″ and 6’2″ then this is the number of games and so on?

        Like I said this arbitrary number of 6’3″ today is just ridiculous. How is it that weight doesn’t factor in here then? How about position played? C/RW/LW? Training regime? Diet? etc etc. This is jokes man

        As a side note
        I appreciate some of the analysis you put on here and I actually do learn a lot as well.

      • Taz.

        Treat yourself. In September go out & buy the NHL Guide & Record book, looking thru the alphabetical listing of NHL veteran players tracking games played, months of work spent over years, decades actually. You can do it electronically on NHL.com, keep a calculator handy or export from another source, I bought mine from the Elias Sports Bereau, to an excel spread sheet so you can manipulate to your own criteria.

        All of those things you mention are factors & there are others but if you stick to this basic formula. 80% of players follow a standard. There can be variances year to year but over the long haul the math holds & as a basic simple formula you will be right significantly more often than you are wrong. Far more significantly.

        Forwards take 200 NHL regular season games to fully develop & show what they will be in the NHL. Don’t give up until they have passed this threshold. As I said earlier there is a trend forming that some are now taking longer. B. Schenn being 1 that comes to mind quickly, there are others. Not just part of the 20% but a new class being created or formed. Haven’t wrapped my head around it yet. All about math & years of tracking the data. You need at least a decade of data.

        Defensemen & forwards 6’3″ & bigger 400 NHL regular season games. Your point about a 6’2″ player with a massive bone structure who may fill out at 225 or 230 may fall into this catagory. Part of the 20% or a possible an exception to the rule. There are some but on % minuscule to non existent & not a big enough factor to account for in statistics or odds of probability.

        Again essentially 80% of the time, these basic formulas hold. Take the time to go & look at players. Don’t be selective start with Anaheim & run thru their entire NHL roster thru to Winnipeg & do so annually, year after year. I have & do.

        Others Like Dobber do it on years of service. The problem with that formula is those %’s drop from 80/20 significantly, no better than 60/40 as many players don’t just step into the NHL immediately & spend several years hopscotching form the AHL to NHL especially at D.

        When confronted with 2 players to pick from having taken all the other factors you mention into account but specifically for me, quantity & quality of ice time regardless of games played, skill set & opportunity based on team make up I take the player closest to this criteria if they don’t jump out for me in these other areas above.

      • Couturier is Dave Bolland I have been saying that for years and I stand behind it.

      • wow

    • You couldn’t get Beaulieu alone, for Couturier…

  4. Just a trade proposal for MB..
    A. Galchenyuk,N Beaulieu and M. McCarron for S. couturier and there 2nd overall in 2017…

    • I don’t think the value is very close in this deal, and there is no part of it that is enticing to Philly. Couturier is leap years ahead of McCarron as a checking line center, and I think the prospect of drafting a top center and having more years of control is more appealing than having Galchenyuk, even if you figure this isn’t a stellar draft. So the only win for Philly is Beaulieu, which isn’t nearly valuable enough, and also doesn’t fill some gaping hole in the flyers line up.

      I could see picks after 3 moving up or down, as this could be a very active draft, but at the very least the top 2 are unlikely to be moved since both teams will really covet taking a potential #1 C and developing that player themselves.

  5. The Calgary Flames have an easier route to sign Bishop as outlined by Spector. If I was Bishop Calgary would look like a much better option with respect to future growth as a team. Winnipeg should be in on this too in my opinion. Proven goaltending makes both of these teams better instantly.

    • Bishop would be a nice sign for Winnipeg and would provide Helleybuck more time to develop as a starter; however they won’t be doing any goaltender shopping until after the expansion draft because they will protect Helleybuck. Unless there is a side deal with Vegas.

    • Winnipeg won’t be making any goaltending deals until after the expansion draft, they’ll be protecting Helleybuck. Bishop would be a nice fit but also might be out of the Jets price range.

    • Do you want to pay Bishop 7+ mil per season for 7 years? The rumor/gossip was Calgary passed on Bishop last summer as he wanted Lundqvist monies & MAF as Pittsburgh wanted their 1st round pick.

      I don’t want to pay any goalie more than 6 tops for 5 years, maybe 7 years if 27 or 28 & then only a true stud. Failing that give me a Talbot, Dubnyk, etc. for 4 to 4.5. Bishop will be 31 in November & didn’t have a good year. His stop in LA, 1 of the best defensive teams in the NHL in almost any catagory you wish to use & he was brutal. He got all the easy starts.

      Cal, Van, Arz, Cal, Win, Cal & Cal. Cal got a 1st hand look in 4 of those games, Bishop went 1-2-1. I don’t see Calgary meeting his salary demands nor is he the answer, simply to expensive. I trade for MAF or Grubauer.

      • Those are two good options for Calgary as well. Especially when you consider Fluery’s play right now. It is clearly obvious that Calgary needs to improve in the goalie position.

      • Goaltending is so fickle, I agree completely that you want to limit the cost and committment.

        The difference between very good goaltending (guys who are consistently better than league average) and great goaltending (guys with multiple vezina nominations) ends up costing a lot of cap dollars for very little difference in the standings.

        If we compare a group of guys like Jones, Anderson, Talbot, Allen, Andersen, Crawford to guys who have been considered elite (and have been) Rask, Ludqvist and Price, you don’t get a massive difference over the long run.

        The first group have had career save percentages of 0.915-0.919 with 0.918 being roughly the average and most typical.

        The second group have career save percentages of 0.920 for Lundqvist and Price, and 0.923 for Rask (which I beleive is the highest in league history still, if he were to retire with it).

        The difference between the worst goalie on that list, and the best is about 0.008, or for an average season for a starting goalie about 12-15 goals. Not insignificant, but typically the gap is closer, and the amount you would pay for that difference is a lot.

        Also, I know people will mention that great goalies are capable of great performances, however none of those goalies have been a #1 on a cup winning team, and goalie performances are variable, we just don’t tend to rememeber when it goes the other way.

        For instance, this year alone we have seen the following:
        Lundqvist vastly outperform Price in Round 1 despite being past his prime.
        Andersen stay even with (and likely faced tougher shots) than Holtby.
        Anderson outperformed rask, and now is outplaying lundvist.
        Fleury is outdueling Holtby and is the biggest reason his team is up a game right now. He also outplayed Bobrovsky in round one.

        So I would agree that limiting what you spend on a goalie is important in most cases. A good goalie is more obtainable, less costly, and likely ties you to a guy for a lot less time and cap hit. Also, solid goalies on solid contracts are moveable, and you avoid the risk of mis-identifying a guy as elite (Quick, Ward, Varlamov) when he has just good but happened to have a great season, or paying a guy for being elite when he likely won’t be toward the end of his contract (Lundqvist, Rinne, Rask possibly).

      • Striker, I bet that CGY wishes they had made that deal with Pit for a 1st, and PIT is really happy they didn’t.
        I wonder if they revisit that this off season?
        Does the price go up if PIT and MAF keep it going, or does the price come down because PIT is up against the clock? Is the market better for MAF this year vs last now that he has proven he can still play at an elite level?
        Interesting off season coming up to say the least. I would think that if what they are saying about this years draft is true, that is a way better option for CGY than Bishop. The term and dollars for Bishop are just too punitive.

      • the last vezina winning goalie to win the cup was Marty… only one in past twenty years. getting good enough goaltending at a reasonable price is more important nowadays.

      • No way I would have given up Tkachuk for MAF. Goalies shouldn’t cost that much, simple supply & demand. MAF value hasn’t changed for me at all. I have defended him non stop. That said Murray is better, younger, cost controlled & MAF has to go because expansion forces the issue.

        No position better reflects a teams defense, not just at D but as a whole than in goal. Take a great goalie, a stud & put him on a bad team & presto bad goalie. See Schneider this season. I think we all agree Schneider is a great goalie, I perceive him as a stud, still do. Take a below average goalie & put him on a team that has a great D & plays a sound D system & presto great goalie. See Budaj in LA this season. Take an average goalie & put him on a team with a bad D & team D & you have a really bad goalie. See Dallas.

      • I could expound on that with further examples.

        Moving out Larsson, NJ’s #1 shut down Dman who logged the hardest minutes & assignments in NJ last season cost NJ a goal differential of minus 61 this season. Last season they were minus 26. That’s 35 more goals allowed. Many here said that would be off set by Hall’s scoring. It wasn’t. I took serious flack for stating that trade would move NJ to 14th in the east this season. Boy was I wrong, it actually moved them to 16th, dead last & made Schneider look brutal playing behind that D.

        EDM’s revamped D is now as solid as almost any team in the league. The additions of Sekera, Larsson & Benning; what a find off Boston’s scrape heap, & the emergence & continued development of Klefbom & Nurse, their D is now set for the next decade. 4 of those D aren’t even yet fully developed. Larsson, Klefbom, Benning & Nurse. Benning & Nurse being expansion draft exempt brings back Edm’s top 5 D next season.

        Like 6’3″ forwards, my marker for D is also 400 regular season NHL games played & that D makes Talbot look like the 2nd coming of Price; 1 of the exceptions to the rule. He’s super human, the best player on the planet currently.

        For me that rebuilt D in Edm is the most significant reason for Edm’s success this season. Getting McDavid is incredibly significant as is the added toughness Kassian, Maroon & Lucic brought but with out that D Edm doesn’t make the playoffs this year. Another thing I took flack here from the usual suspects. That wager paid very well.

        For those usual suspects. How do you like Chiarelli now? He’s not with out warts, His trade for Reinhart still boggles my mind. He got fleeced on that 1. You can’t win them all.

      • Striker, I made an assumption that it was this years draft (meaning upcoming), not last years. My bad.
        No I would not give up Tkachuk either

      • It’s hard to measure what has had the biggest impact in EDM as PC has made a few significant moves.
        As you mention the D and McDavid. Talbot has been huge for them, has stole 2 games in the playoffs already.
        The added size and physicality has also been huge. Larsson, Kassian, Maroon and Lucic. EDM used to crumble against the big teams, not they push back. Hard.

      • As many of us were discussing in the off season. Edm is now a team, what Chiarelli has accomplished in 2 short years is astounding. Yes getting McDavid was incredibly fortuitous; lucky, 1 of the 2 best forwards in the world & only in year 2 of his NHL career but hockey is a team game & for me it starts from the back end. I really good D can carry a team a long way & make a goalie look incredible, the confidence it creates is a big factor for a goalie but a team also needs a game breaker like McDavid as well to win a cup & toughness.

        I don’t know if GM of the year nominee’s have been announced yet but Chiarelli is my choice. What Columbus accomplished was amazing as well but the season prior the so called experts had them not only making the playoffs but doing some damage. I know Dobber had Edm making the playoffs this season as well but most didn’t, some said it was possible but few drank the KoolAid. I gambled, liked the potential return based on the odds it paid well. Just as easily could have come up short like my Dec 30th wager on NYI making the playoffs. Came up a point short but liked the risk reward formula. Ha-ha!

      • It’s funny…Until the very moment Elliott let in the bad goal in game 4 Calgary was resigning him for sure. It was non stop with the media blah blah gush gush can’t believe how Elliott alone has turned Calgary’s season around and then the dreaded playoff mistake and the fickle media goes nuts in they got to get rid of this guy…quite humorous. Tree was on talk radio today talking about it and reassured the listeners that there is a very good chance they may be resigning both goalies if the price and term were right. His reasoning was that regardless of what may have gone on in the playoffs the team would not have been there without The incredible play of Elliott over his last 30 games and they will be taking that into account as well. Calgary’s focus for the future in Goal is definitely Parsons so There is no chance they would be signing bishop for 7 mil over 7 years. No need to go nuts yet. They got young players with big raises to sign and goalies to sign. They certainly won’t be selling the farm for Bishop or Fleury. Bishop certainly showed that he is not worth his asking price this past season and I would worry about Fleury ‘s Play going to a team that doesn’t have the 2 best points per game players in the league over the last 10 years like Pittsburg has had. Imagine older Fleury coming to a team like Calgary who sometimes make their fans feel like they’ll never score a goal ever again.

  6. Hypothetical question. What happens if a team isn’t compliant to the exposure rules come expansion draft day. E.g., A team only has one eligible goaltender under contract but wish to protect him? Or has 3 protectable d-men, 2 on elc deals and one UFA? Would they not have to expose any player in these positions? I don’t even know that any team is actually in a position…. just curious.

    • My understanding is they would have to fill the exposure rules. So, if that means they have only one goalie who meets the criteria, they have to expose that goalie and just waste the protection slot.

      Same goes for F & D, if they don’t meet the requirements, they will have to expose a player they would prefer to protect in order to meet the requirements.

      I don’t think there will be any teams in this position, but you did see some trade deadline deals, waiver claims and the like that were about making sure teams could meet requirements.

      For example the Leafs took Fehr and Marchenko to meet requirements as they have such a large part of their roster exempt that they didn’t meet the requirements after protecting enough assets, so they would have had to a player they would prefer not to had they not added those players.

    • There is a slight variance for goaltenders.

      iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

      I assume all teams will be compliant. This is partly why we are seeing these cheap late player signings that would normally not happen till far later into the summer. The NHL has never given us all the expansion rules just Coles notes version’s some of which have already been changed.

      If interested this is pretty much all the NHL has released.


      • Also, capfriendly has a great tool that lets you play with teams potential protection and exposed lists, as well as identifies who have met requirements for exposure etc.

        You can even go through every team, complete their lists, then do a mock draft as vegas to see who they may have available to them, or look at other people’s mock drafts.

      • I just ran my own starting as soon as the NHL confirmed expansion & have modified with each passing day as required.

        I can’t wait to see how this all plays out in the real world. Should be a great summer for hockey fans like us.

    • A. Striker your comments about Edmonton’s revamped D and the Hall/Larson trade are bang on & well written.
      B. I wonder where Eberle ends up on draft day? He has great offensive upside but if a kid ever needed a change of scenery it’s Jordan Eberle. Montreal maybe for Beaulieu?

  7. So if LeBrun say a couple teams are interested in Kolachuck then who are they or he just saying this to report on somthing

    • I think it’s one of those “safe bet” rumors without specific foundation. I mean, why wouldn’t there be interest from AT LEAST a couple of teams in a F who’s a proven goal-scorer and is hardly ancient?

  8. I personally have no interest in the Kovalchuk story. When he is signed let me know. Don’t really know why but I just don’t care.

  9. I would expect the Avs to be in on Bishop too. I’m thinking they’ll do whatever they can to get away from Varlamov.

    • I like Varlamov. Hopefully the abdominal surgery he just had will solve the groin issue he suffered this season.

      Colorado has 1 of the worst D’s in the NHL. Right there with Dallas & NJ. Losing Johnson for 36 games just exasperated the problem. In Johnson, Barrie & Zadarov there is hope for the future. Bigras should join the group full time next season’ being eased into the NHL this time & I assume Duchene will be traded to fill this whole at some point this summer bring back help at D & forward.

      Colorado’s forward depth wasn’t any better. They couldn’t even ice 2 full scoring lines but the prospect kitty is solid. Not elite like a Tor, Buf, Car or Arz but help is coming full time next season in Jost, Greer, Bigras & Compher.

      Colorado has no major signings coming this summer other than Zadarov but he’s not breaking the bank yet, I assume a 2 year bridge deal at 3 give or take 500K, a ton of cap space & they are well positioned for expansion.

      Should they trade for a Dman pre expansion draft then Beauchemin will need to waive his NMC or Colorado will have little choice but to buy him out. Like Bieksa in Anh I doubt Vegas would select either regardless due to age & only 1 year remaining. Far better options than those 2 aging Dman.

      Colorado should also be a destination for teams in cap trouble. All these things make Colorado’s goaltending better next season.

  10. Zaitsev signs his 7 year 4.5 deal we were told was coming weeks ago. I love this signing for Toronto. Should be great value down the road.

    B. Smith signs a 1 year deal for peanuts, 650K. He meets the 40 games played this season or 70 in the prior 2 seasons to expansion draft, played exactly 40 last season & signed requirement for Toronto. Each team needs to expose 2 players at forward & D meeting this requirement.

    These no name signings, B. Smith, Seidenberg, Dahlbeck are starting to trickle in in preparation for the expansion draft.

    • That is an absolute terrible signing that guy will not get any better he has played against men for a long time. He will be a bottom pair dman sooner than later

      • -26 for the year gets him a 7 year contract. Yikes! Lou is back to his NJ ways. Terrible contract.

      • I can’t agree more!!! One Year gets him 7 @ 4.5? Similar player…. Brady Skjei…. 39 points vs. Zaitsevs 36, 4 playoff games for Zaitsev 0 points-4 +/- Vs. 4 points for Skjei +5 +/-. Regular season -22 for Zaitsev vs. +11 for Skjei.

        NO WAY! I give Skjei 4.5 per for 7 years! ZERO chance! NONE. Keep cost controlled players…..cost controlled as long as possible! MAYBE…. Just MAYBE they are a steal in year 3-4-5-6-7….MAYBE! Maybe by year 5 they fall to an ahl player level!!!!!

        Lou being Lou. He drove NJ into the ground because he had no idea how to be a cap team….. Looks more of the same.

        I could be wrong….. I could be… Again…keep cost controlled players cost controlled as long as humanly possible!!!

      • odd… while ziatsev was a almost wow signing in its riskiness… shjej or schej or shiji or whatever his name is is so much less risky at 4.5 for 7 years.. not the greatest signing but it wouldnt be as disturbing as zitsface or whatever. couldnt be as bad as stepan for sho. (that was a ribbing btw, dont have a conniption.

      • Could be worse… could have 8-9 million invested in two centers, one a head shot away from retirement, the other just generally a broken guy…. or a defenseman with strokes, and a general touch of the ouchies costing 7 + per………. yeah! Ouch-ies!

    • Really? I thought you had a 300- 400 game formula of how d-men develope? How on earth does this fit into your plan? They get paid after 82 games like they played 200-300? Lol

      Or is there going to be exemptions based on a gut feeling here?

      • This is for strikers take….

    • I am not a fan of this signing, at least not the term and money. Either or could be ok, but for that term, I would want a discount, for that money I would want to dictate the term.

      I see the logic for it to some extent. If he is worth 4.5M for say 4-5 years, he will be 29-30 at the end of that deal and a UFA. Chances are where the cap would be at that time, and his play unlikely to be sharply declined by then, that 4.5M wouldn’t be too hard to move, so the extra years make some sense. Also, at 4.5M you can have him as a #4, which is where you want a defensemen of his make up to be if you want to be a contender.

      My issue is with the precedent. To me Core players get 6+ years. So by extending this contract to Zaitsev you basically include him in the core group. Now I think that core group gets too big potentially. Do you give Gardiner 6-7 years at his next renewal? Do you give the defensmen hopefully brought in to be another top 4 guy that much? Eventually you have 4 defensemen signed with big terms and that doesnt’ give you a ton of flexibility if you start to find that you need to make changes to your team.

      The Leafs still have a lot of growing to do to be a cup contender, and the more guys that are considered part of a core you commit to for this term, the harder it is to make adjustments when you realize that maybe you aren’t advancing anymore.

      Anyway, I don’t think it will be a massive issue on it’s own, just my thoughts on setting a precedent.

  11. Zaitsev played with Reilly to be a shutdown pair. That was all hey had and it did not work so good. Hopefully next year the Leafs will have a true shutdown pair? He played big minutes in all situations. He was better playing with Gardner so the second pairing is solid. Now get Reilly a good physical partner and that leaves Carrick with Rosen if he makes the team. Bring back Pollak for the seventh guy and the defense looks better. From my perspective Manson, Montadour, Gudbranson, and Dumba are the best options to pair with Reilly. With these changes the defense has a different look and does not take into account Dermott or Neilsen making the team. If one does it is a bonus.

  12. Striker

    How can a player who makes every player he steps on the ice with worse by possession numbers , 40 pts sure , on a high powered offence , driven by the rookies , not any d , -26 on a positive playoff team , force fed minutes because the leafs had zero options , and he struggled , worse in the playoffs , plays small, is not a true rookie has played men for 7 full seasons prior to NHL and a couple years older . How does this add up to a 7 year term at any number close to 4.5 ?

  13. If I was an NHL player i would be firing my agent today for Scott boras 2.0 (zaitsev current agent not sure of name) . Incredible work pulled off there