NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2017

by | Jun 10, 2017 | Rumors | 40 comments

Could the Anaheim Ducks or San Jose Sharks pursue Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane?

Latest on Evander Kane and Ilya Kovalchuk plus an update on the St. Louis Blues in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites TSN’s Darren Dreger appearance Friday on Buffalo’s WGR 550 in which he discussed trade speculation regarding Sabres left wing Evander Kane.

While Dreger claims there’s “clear interest” in Kane from clubs in “win now” mode, moving him leaves a big hole at left wing for the Sabres. While he didn’t specify which teams could have interest in Kane, Dreger suggests the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks as two Western Conference clubs as possibilities. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sabres decide to trade Kane, I believe they’ll want a good, young top-four defenseman to help bolster their bluelline in return. Interested clubs could try to get the Sabres to pick up part of Kane’s $5.25 million cap hit. 

SPORT-EXPRESS’ Igor Eronko reports hearing the New York Rangers are out of the bidding for left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, who hopes to return to the NHL after four seasons in the KHL. NEWSDAY’S Arthur Staple replied he’s heard the New York Islanders also aren’t interested in the Russian winger. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New Jersey Devils own Kovalchuk’s rights but they’ve given his agent permission to speak with other NHL teams. A sign-and-trade scenario is possible but it appears it won’t be with the Rangers and Islanders. There’s talk the Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks could be interested. 

STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Jeremy Rutherford said St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has been in touch with Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee but otherwise things are quiet on the Blues’ trade front. While the Blues biggest need is for a center, Rutherford speculates they could acquire scoring depth. He considers Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle and Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin as the strongest possibilities. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have over $68 million invested in 20 player for 2017-18 and they must re-sign restricted free agent blueliner Colton Parayko. Unless they clear out significant cap room or convince the Oilers to pick up part of Eberle’s $6 million cap hit, I don’t think there’s a fit there. If the Lightning trade Drouin they’ll want a top-four blueliner in return and could ask for Parayko, which is a deal breaker. 



  1. That Kovalchuk thing could drag on into the summer long after the expansion draft dust has settled – and after teams have cleared cap space one way or another. I say that because I think he’ll wind up somewhere in the west, and since he probably prefers a team that at least has a chance to go all the way, every one of them is pushing the cap limit at the moment.

    • Doubt it.

      It’s a place where there’s room for creativity.

    • What’s well after the dust settles? If NJ is reasonably compensated it should happen very close to the date NJ is actually allowed to sign him which is July 1st.

      In the west 9 of 15 teams have essentially 15 mil or more in cap space now before the cap rises 2 to 3 million. Minnesota when they buy out Pominville will as well & most teams will be losing at least 1 player in expansion some a few more in side deals with Vegas.

      Why do you think he’ll end up in the West? Just curious.

    • I think Kovalchuk will follow Vadim Shipachyov to Vegas. Either NJ trades him to whatever team Kovalchuk decides or he will wait for another year and NJ will lose any trade compensation.

      • 34 year olds can’t afford to wait another year since 35+ contracts suck

      • Is it impossible? No. If, for example, other teams pitch in a first next year to ask Vegas to draft a salary dump from their team, then Vegas might have that 1st next year to shift NJ’s way for Kovy as part of the deal.

      • Yes & no, you just need to stick to 1 year deals for players over 35, then teams get 2 potential benefits, bonuses can be added for things like games played & if said bonuses push a team over the cap if earned they can carry forward as a penalty

      • I don’t see anyone giving up a 1st for Kovy & certainly not Vegas even if a late 1st acquired from another team. If Vegas is flipping that type of asset it will be to acquire a much younger player.

        I could see Vegas flipping a Dman of some nature for a player like Kovy. The 1 thing Vegas should end up with more than anything else is solid depth Dman & they will be able to flip a few for help else where.

        The quality of goalies & D available is solid. Thisn expansion draft format over all previous allows Vegas to build a decent team working from the net out onto their D which should lay a solid foundation for tgeir future. Their D in year 1 will be better than probably 4 or 5 other teams next season. No studs but a solid top 8 that as they approach the trade deadline they can sell at maximum value.

      • If Vegas got one of Minnesota’s d and Minnesota was too stubborn to trade one of them because they weren’t being offered good value, I could see it.

        However, with what will be available, there’s not much else that will entice the Devils to move Kovy to Vegas.

      • NJ has a very small window to get anything for Kovy. By the US long weekend in July any UFA of value will be signed & the pendulum swings back the other way to 2/3rd’s of all teams in the NHL having little to no cap space.

        I don’t see Kovy returning much. Maybe a semi servicable 3rd line player & a 2nd round pick. For me he’s sort of a UFA but can’t be had solely for cash this summer, NJ gets something but it won’t even be as valuable as it would if Kovy would just sign & play there.

        NJ wouldn’t be a bad spot if he would, they can afford him & he would help.

      • I could see Vegas going for Kovalchuk, only if the price was right, the same way I could see Vegas drafting Chara (if he waived his nmc and was exposed….I know not happening) which would be to hang on to him closer to the trading deadline and flipping him for more then you paid for him. There is always that one or two teams willing to pay the price if they think they are just one Kovy away from a deep run. Other wise and including my theory are unrealistic.

      • It’s a common opinion that Kovy won’t return much… many say a 2nd and you added a roster player.

        NJ wouldn’t do that; they’d let him go back to Russia. Unless they’re getting a good defensive prospect or a first round pick, they’re just going to send him back to Russia because they’re not going to make a team stronger just to essentially do them a favour (a 2nd and a roster player is pretty much two guys they could pick up off waivers or free agency, so almost worth nothing).

        Unless teams offer something tangible for him, Kovy’s not going anywhere at all.

        However, I can think of at least four teams, even taking away the New Yorks, that can put together considerable deals for him which wouldn’t be what I call “scavenge pickings”… 2nd+ rounders, 3rd+ liners… NJ doesn’t need more of those so they’re going to refuse them outright.

  2. NJ has a bunch of cap room.

    • Maybe so – but I doubt they want expensive crap back – and there’s plenty of that out west – in any deal involving Kovalchuk.

      • They want viable return back and it gives them room to manoeuvre for a viable return.

      • Sorry George what are you on about today. Ha-ha! Expensive crap out west? I’m struggling to follow your chain of thought today.

      • When MJR1 said NJ has a bunch of cap room, there was the implication they could afford to take on cap in any deal involving Kovalchuk. I seriously doubt anyone is going to offer a very good high-cap player in any deal and so was thinking along the lines of a Gaborik, Brown, Krueger kind of return. I.E. crap.

        As to why I think he’ll wind up out west – just a hunch.

      • Thanks George.

        I think Kovy will follow the money 1st, then consider cup aspirations. It’s probably going to cost 5.5 min on at least a 1 possibly a 3 year deal. There are advantages to both the player potentially & team to lock him up for a few years before he turns 35.

        For me it always comes down to who needs him, will he agree to play there & if so at what cost to that team in salary & trade compensation. Following the expansion draft leading up to July 1st that could be 2/3rd’s of the league.

        Not that it really matters but he’s never played in the west & the west plays a much tougher brand of hockey.

      • Well, considering that my bathroom is on the west side of the house I might be in the running for Kovy this morning.

      • LOL. Well, to justify my hunch, according to what’s said above both the Islanders and Rangers are out as are, I expect, Buffalo. Washington, TB and Columbus have enough cap problems looming without adding Kovalchuk to more than a 1 year deal. Same with Pittsburgh. No way he fits Boucher’s style in Ottawa, and I don’t think Florida wants to add another aging vet if they re-sign Jagr. The Leafs don’t want to go down that tired old “add a vet with past glory” routine again – not under Shanahan’s watch. Montreal MIGHT be a destination, but they already have one Russian reclamation – do they want 2? That leaves Philadelphia, Carolina, Detroit and Boston – anyone see any of those taking him on?

      • Possible desinations for Kovy based on what we know today. Some remote but could afford to.

        Arz, Buf, Car, Col, Dal, Edm, Flo, Min, Mon, Nas, NJ, Ott, SJ, Tor, Van & Win.

  3. Asking for Parayko is a “deal breaker” for Drouin? Really? As a Lightning fan, a realistic one, I would say the Lightning would be giving up way more value than they would receive. The fans here would rather see Killorn and his terrible contract on the move or Tyler Johnson. Drouin with his phenomenal upside, should be a keeper. Shattenkirk saved Yzerman much embarrassment by nixing his deal for Drouin during the season.

    • I was speaking of a hypothetical deal, Jimbo. If the Blues are interested in Drouin, the asking price by the Lightning could be Parayko. IMO that’s a deal breaker for the Blues. Parayko has considerable upside and I’ll be very surprised if they’re willing to move him for a scorer, even one such as Drouin.

      • I agree with this, especially considering Parayko’s performance in the playoffs. This guy is a keeper. The Lightning aren’t getting Parayko with Drouin.

      • LOL…..good!

      • A top 4 moving towareds top pairing d man on his second contract? drouin wouldnt come close to touching that… with their need for a center johnson and droiun is about the right cost with another salaried player going back to tampa.

    • I keep hearing that the Flyers and Lightning talked at the world’s.
      Ghostisbehere, +, for Drouin. They were just waiting for Ghost to sign.

      • Intriguing. But what Ghost do they get – the one who erupted onto the scene 2 years ago with 17 goals and 29 assists and a +8 – or the one who regressed to 7 goals – added 32 assists – but was a whopping -21. Don’t follow the Flyers that closely but that was a helluva turnaround. Was it all his doing or were there extenuating circumstances?

  4. There are far better potential fits for Drouin than StL. That said i don’t think Drouin is going any where, nor Palat or Johnson at least not until TB takes a few more runs at winning the cup over the next several years.

    I see TB trading Killorn, prospects & or picks to acquire a solid top 3 Dman if not better. They are in a great position to bid for any Dman potentially available pre or post expansion.

    • Although highly unlikely if Killorn isn’t traded pre expansion draft he could possibly be left exposed & if he were Vegas would certainly select him. That would allow TB to protect Namestnikov.

      That said I think TB will find a #3 protector at D pre expansion draft & their protection problem at forward resolved. They have 8 forwards that need to be protected unless Callahan were exempt meeting the LTIR injury exemption.

      • Callahan meets the requirement as written, having missed the last 60 games of the 2016-17 season on LTIR but no clarity from anyone if actually exempt.

      • Didn’t they send the list of injured players that cannot be selected by Vegas or used in any sort of a deal regarding the expansion draft a couple of days ago?

      • Attached is a link to the list:


        “Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

  5. I believe that it’s 60 games missed, and there is no viable chance a player will return from LTIR.
    It was put in for players with clauses, that cannot play again, i.e.: Clowe,Clarkson etc.

    • Then that’s why that article was written the other day in the TB Times which indicated he has to be protected – and that Yzerman hasn’t asked him – yet – to waive the NMC clause.

    • Agreed, I assume.

  6. A trade rumour that surfaced overnight that is posted on the Chicago page is Seabrook for Tanev as the main principles

  7. Nothing to do with today’s topics – but a quick scan of potential UFAs at the end of next season reveals an interesting crop. Most will re-up with their teams – but some could come on the market or be traded at next year’s deadline – interesting to speculate who and whether any would consider Las Vegas

    Carey Price Mtl
    Martin Jones SJ
    Craig Anderson Ott

    Cam Fowler LD Ana
    Marc-Edouard Vlasic LD SJ
    Toby Enstrom LD Wpg
    Zdeno Chara LD Bos
    Jack Johnson LD Columbus
    Mike Green RD Wash
    John Carlson RD Wash

    John Tavares NYI
    Kyle Turis Ott
    Mikael Backlund Calgary
    Paul Stastny StL
    Tyler Bozac Tor
    Leo Komarov Tor

    Left Wing
    James Van Reimsdyk Tor
    Evander Kane Buf
    James Neal Nash
    Patrick Maroon Edm
    Rick Nash NYR

    Right Wing
    Cam Atkinson Columbus
    Patric Hornvist Pit
    Bryan Little Wpg
    Matt Read Pha

  8. Kovalchuck building huge house in ritzy north jersey town close to NYC we’ll see where it goes from there If right deal came along I’d see Rangers make the deal Lindbergh and 3rd pick

  9. Mike Green plays for Detroit.

    Price, Jones, Fowler, Vlasic, Carlson, Tavaras, Turis, will all be re-signed this summer.