NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2017

by | Jun 26, 2017 | Rumors | 108 comments

Could the NY Rangers or Nashville Predators look into signing San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton?

Updates on Joe Thornton, Kevin Shattenkirk, Andrei Markov & other notable UFAs in your NHL rumor mill.

NEW YORK POST/TORONTO SUN: Larry Brooks reports it’s unknown whether San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is willing to come to New York and reunite with buddy Rick Nash with the Rangers. it’s expected Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton could kick the tires on the soon-to-be 38-year-old center.  Meanwhile, Steve Simmons the Nashville Predators could also have interest in Thornton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton’s preference is to finish his career in San Jose. However, he reportedly seeks a three-year deal which could be too lengthy for the Sharks. If he hits the open market he could try to stay close to California. As for the Preds interest, I think that hinges on their efforts to pry Matt Duchene away from the Colorado Avalanche. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman could be looking into signing Washington Capitals UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Yzerman, however, is wary about losing his recently gained salary-cap flexibility. The Lightning attempted to acquire Shattenkirk before he was dealt to the Capitals by the St. Louis Blues but the blueliner spiked the deal because he didn’t want to sign a long-term extension with the Bolts.

Yzerman could also check on UFA blueliners Karl Alzner and Cody Franson and could still consider the trade market to bolster their blueline. He also hopes to add a top-nine winger via free agency. Possible fits include Washington’s Justin Williams and former Lightning Brian Boyle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk is seeking top dollar on a long-term deal, possibly a seven-year contract worth over $7 million annually. Unless he’s willing to lower his price or Yzerman can free up more cap space, the chances he’ll land in Tampa Bay appear slim. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports term remains a sticking point in contract talks between the Canadiens and right wing Alexander Radulov, who apparently seeks a seven-year deal. Hickey advocates re-signing long-time Habs blueliner Andrei Markov to a two-year deal. Otherwise, GM Marc Bergevin will be left scrambling to find a suitable replacement.

There’s speculation restricted free agent winger Alex Galchenyuk could be shopped for a high-end defenseman but that will leave a hole in the Canadiens offense. If Galchenyuk isn’t shopped he won’t get a long-term extension from the Canadiens and Hickey wouldn’t be surprised if his negotiations head to arbitration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov, who turns 31 in July, is dreaming if he thinks he’s getting a seven-year deal from the Habs or anyone else via free agency. If he’s willing to accept four years, the Habs will be receptive to that. I expect Markov will get a two-year deal, especially because losing him to free agency hurts their already weakened blueline depth. Bergevin is obviously listening to offers for Galchenyuk but will keep him in the short term if he doesn’t get worthwhile return. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jason Bell reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is likely to go shopping for a veteran goaltender to split the duties with Connor Hellebuyck. “Recipients of a call from the Jets could include the camps of UFAs Brian Elliott, 32, of the Calgary Flames, Steve Mason, 29, of the Philadelphia Flyers, Jonathan Bernier, 28, of the Anaheim Ducks or Ryan Miller, 36, of the Vancouver Canucks.” Bell also suggests Carolina Hurricanes veteran Cam Ward could be available via trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott or Mason could be the best bets for the Jets. Both are coming off inconsistent performance last season and I think they can be had for affordable one- or two-year deals. Both should be looking for bounce-back efforts next season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa believes the Detroit Red Wings should take advantage of the lack of quality goalies in the UFA market by shopping Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek for a return that can help their roster rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets and Philadelphia Flyers could be worthwhile trade targets. Both need help between the pipes for next season. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford faces potentially replacing UFA centers Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen. The best options in the trade market are Colorado’s Matt Duchene (who would be expensive in both return and contract) and Chicago’s Marcus Kruger (earning over $3 million as a low-scoring center). Given the lack of depth in the UFA market, Rutherford’s best option could be attempting to re-sign Bonino and talking Cullen out of retirement.

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney could continue his efforts to land a left-handed defenseman leading up to the start of the UFA market on July 1. The Bruins were linked to Minnesota Wild blueliner Marco Scandella over the weekend but it’s unclear how deep that interest ran. Conroy also suggests Sweeney look at Pittsburgh’s Nick Bonino as a possible replacement for Ryan Spooner, who was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. 



  1. For once I would love to see Larry Brooks write “I wish “…..” could play for NY Rangers”

  2. I also hope that if Shattenkirk DOES sign for Rangers, that it’s a nice longggggg contract at $7/

    • Shatty will likely sign with Rag$. He has too many sparkles for them to pass him up.

      • Vincenzo worry about your own team since you are not A Rangers Fan..

      • He’s free to speak to more than just his favorite team. Is that a prerequisite? As if so I’m doing it wrong. Ha-ha!

    • tyler don’t see that happening although wishful thinking on your part. Let him sign with the ducks although who really wants to play in a crummy arena like that…;-)

      • What are we 12? Steven isn’t an alias for Roy is it?

  3. I wouldn’t mind seeing boyle, thorton, hanzel, etc brought in by pens depending on term and money. FA is so ridiculous though…

    • Wait, Reaves can’t skate well enough to play for the Pens, but Boyle or Thornton can?

      Reaves is Konstantin Koltsov next to those two.

      Bonino or Hanzal are the only two UFA’s who would fit the role and Hanzal would cost more anyway.

      It’s Bones or a trade.

      And to answer ds below: I also thought MTL might be the team to overpay Nick.

      But, with the difference in taxes, is $4 million in MTL that different than $3.25 million in Pittsburgh?

    • If you mean can’t play the puck and was a waste of time then yes koltsov compares to reaves. thornton can skate as well as bones as can boyle. thorton is a pipe dream though and I’d rather see boyle on the 4th line but he will command top 9 money. third line center is really all that’s left up front for pens to address. if you top nine is Crosby, malkin, kessel, sheary, guentzal, horny, hags, rust, ? center, and your 4th line is kuny(2), Wilson, rowney, with reaves, ZAR, sprong as extras… pens can afford to spend some money on a third line center. not sure they have the pieces to trade for one though.

      BTW I never said reaves couldn’t skate… I said his presence will do nothing to stop cheap shots and players like kuhnackel, Wilson, sprong, ZAR, maybe kunitz if he comes back cheap all are better at playing hockey. (I guess ZAR and sprong still have to prove it but I’d rather give them the chance over wasting a lineup spot on rr.)

    • How about this then? A couple small trades and sign some RFA’s and get 5 million under the cap to do so. And before anyone complains about what I paid Thornton remember this is his last chance to win a cup, he’s made lots of money. And the team speed is on the wings and on D. Our team speed does not come from the center position nor is it important for our 3C or 4C to be fleet of foot. They just need to be able to pass and win face-offs. Check out this team and tremble before its potential https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/380023

  4. When will the Jets truly “take off”? Forget who it was but on TSN they made comment to the Jets complete inactivity at the Draft in acquiring help for their team. Look at Arizona, Calgary, and even Edmonton (Russell) they are all looking to get better, and now Chicago is making a splash also. Winnipeg is just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. And now there is mention of going after Elliott, Miller, Mason, and EVEN Bernier! Jesus if my primary team was the Jets I would not be happy! This team is a disappointment.

    • I saw Selanne on the TSN website awaiting the call for the Hall. Thought maybe the Jets were making a deal and bringing him back! Oh yeah, it’s the Jets they are not doing anything. Remember?

      • Cheveldayoff is probably THE most conservative GM in the game. Except for the Drew Stafford salary dump that Kane deal likely quenched any thirst he had to make a big trade for at least 5 years.

      • Winnipeg had a deal in place on expansion draft day, however it fell thru do to financials according to Cheveldayoff, the financial restrictions were on the other team and not the jets. Looking at the Jets roster and seeing all the contracts the only real player from the jets perspective that fit that category is Tyler Myers with over a $5m contract and no restrictions.
        Would be nice to know who the target was.

      • Hey the jets dod a good job protecting thwircroster through thecexpansion

    • Steven, Winnipeg is a draft and develop team, who was second in the West goals for and tied for 5th overall. As reported last year they are the number 1 team listed on the “no trade list.” this makes it harder to do any trades, if the gut you target says no thank you to Winnipeg.
      I believe Winnipeg is looking for a goaltender to challenge Hellebuyck and I believe Elliott is the guy they are targeting. If they can’t land Elliott they’ll land another goalie. I also believe they are in the market for a left side defenseman and maybe they look at all the talent they have up front and cupboard load of prospects to land one, as long as he doesn’t have a no trade clause with Winnipeg on his list.

      • Caper,
        Winnipeg may well be a draft and development team, but they have several key pieces in place. They like everybody else have to spend to a certain amount. It never hurts to add players that can truly make you more competitive. Every other team drafts, and develops as well as long you hide behind that as an excuse you will never be as competitive as teams like Chicago, and Pittsburgh. I am really impressed with what Calgary did. The Jets are a disappointment; case closed. I wish I was wrong as I was so happy when they returned to the League.

      • I suppose Striker may be able to answer this one for me, how is it that the jets can’t afford to spend at the cap? Their building is full most nights and I imagine they sell enough merchandise given the only other sports organization there is the bluebombers who with have been terrible in the recent past (other than last year)

      • The Jets home arena seats 15,294 for hockey – the Sens, for example, can play to a capacity of 19,153. Even if they don’t sell out they are still drawing a few thousand more than the Jets each night – and yet they don’t spend to the cap limit either. They likely sell about the same amount in merchandise.

      • Taz.

        Winnipeg actually turns a solid profit, over 11 mil in operating income in the 2015-16 season but they run on a tight internal cap & are right at the end of a long rebuild & future contracts are coming fast. It started with Buf & Scheifele but they have Little; please extend him this summer, but a ton of kids coming up for new contracts & many will be seeing significant raises. Some will be bridged.

        Chevy is smart he works with what he has. He let Ladd walk even though he wanted to return just wanted to much money, getting Dano & a 1st. I also like the Kane trade for Winnipeg. I really like Armia long term as well as the upgrade to Myers over Bogo & the prospects & pick. This is very similar to what Ottawa does, out goes salary.

        Winnipeg doesn’t have the ancillary revenue streams most other teams have. They don’t own their broadcaster nor get significant cable revenue for their local broadcast rights. The owners of Winnipeg don’t want to run this team at a loss & are essentially building up cash reserves to pay players coming up down the road.

        Winnipeg is never going to overpay a veteran to stay or sign 1 as a UFA demanding the UFA premium, just not a luxury they can or are willing to afford. They will pay a fair value. Buffy got 7.6 but not on a ridiculous 8 year term like say Burns, he got 5 & even though 1 dimensional, worth every penny.

      • Thanks for the clarification Striker. So coaching change it is then?

      • I new voice couldn’t hurt but Chevy is a fair straight shooter & likes Maurice. Winnipeg should be better. Will that be enough to get them into the playoffs?

        Lots of summer of change to go not just for Winnipeg but others in the West & some have gotten better. Calgary securing Smith & Hamonic has to make them better, StL getting Schenn, Arizona getting Raanta & Stepan, Chi’s move is sort of a lateral move but Murphy is a tough customer not sure how that is going to play out, Hal was an elite stay at home D. Murphy is 7 years younger & far from what ever player he will be in a few years but 5 years remaining on a decent contract. I assume in 2 years we will be saying why did Arz let this player go with this cap hit.

        Is Dallas going to be better? LA? making the top 8 really in either conference is a challenge in a 31 team league where tanking it serves no purpose any longer as the odds of selecting 1st at 18.7% aren’t good.

    • IMO all the Jets need to do is sign Elliott, who can start 40 or so games, to help mentor Hellebyuck. Also maybe sign a third pairing d-man who can posable move up to the second pairing to fill in for injuries. The Jets are pretty well set. They have a great core forwards and a good core of d-men. They just need their goaltending to fall into form.

      • But they won’t do it KevJam. That’s my point. May I make the assumption that you think they are as good as I think they are when you say, “IMO all the Jets need to do is sign Elliott…”? Because I think they are very close to being a contender. Another thing they need is to more play disciplined. A new Coach wouldn’t hurt. I would love to see the Jets be on the cusp of greatness just like Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa! The more Canadian teams with a real shot the better! Until Winnipeg makes the changes everybody else sees they are a disappointment.

      • Steven, case closed, why because you say so. I don’t think you have an understanding of what draft and develop is. If your going to use Chicago as a baseline, then look at the facts. The blackhawks were a bottom dwelling team, that drafted Kane 1st overall and Toews 3rd overall. The jets didn’t have that luxury and luck out last year winning the draft lottery and moving up to 2 to pick Laine. This team has done a great job of drafting and develop and are not just going to thru it down the drain to make a move. As I stated yesterday this is a playoff team and they will be in the playoffs next season. By way of your comments you do not have an understanding of how the jets play or their players. Case closed as you would say.

      • Caper,
        I actually do watch the jets play, they have all the makings of a playoff team, looking at their top 9 and top 4 d-men its a miracle that they don’t. The problem is missed assignments, too many issues with no clearing the front of the net, not blocking passing lanes and puck chasing.
        Either Maurice has lost the room or he just doesn’t understand a defensive games.
        This looks like a junior team with a run and gun offense, that doesn’t work at the NHL level.

        Change of coach and I’m totally with you, this is a playoff caliber team. Elliott might help but not as much as a good coach

      • Winnipeg is a fun team to watch play. They implemented a weird strategy last season. They, including Chevy let the offensive players gamble, willingly last season. I assume they will be roped in somewhat this season but even a years experience for all that youth will help them understand their assignments but more importantly why a 2 way game is needed. They played a bit carefree but it didn’t really lead to success in the win loss column.

        I assume that the decision was made to allow those kids to continue developing their offensive abilities at the expense of their defensive 1’s. Curious to see what style of hockey Maurice has them playing this season.

        I have really enjoyed watching Dallas play run & gun hockey but I fear those days are over with Hitchcock coming in. Winnipeg kind of played that strategy last season as well. I like Ottawa but watching them play & stifle almost all creativity but for a few of their players isn’t exciting. I think a balance needs to be found between the 2. You are in the entertainment business after all & I get your in it to win. I guess I’m just greedy I want to win & be entertained. Is that to much to ask?

      • Not a 100 percent sold on Winnipeg generating a solid profit. When the franchise was purchased the debt load was about 60 million, today it is around 130 million.

      • I’m not sure how often I need to post this data but apparently more.


        2016-17’s 3’s are almost 6 months away the NHL’s fiscal year runs July 1st thru June 30th so last year not yet complete.

        All teams have debt load. Vegas leading the charge currently. They just built a building & paid 500K US to join the club. Those costs will be amortized over about 30 years on the building & longer on the team.

      • Winnipeg was 13th at 11.4 mil in operating profit in 2015-16. That was not making the playoffs.

      • Striker: $500k for an NHL franchise sounds like a great deal for me. I should get a couple friends together and become an owner someday. 🙂

    • Ehler’s; entering year 3, Scheifele, Wheeler.
      Perreault, Little, Laine; entering year 2.
      Dano; has yet to play his 1st full NHL season, Lowry; entering year 4 but a monster forward, still needs 2 more years, Armia; entering his 2nd full season.
      Tanev; split last year between the AHL/NHL, Copp; entering year 3 but was sent to the AHL last season, Matthias.

      That’s a ton of youth that last season was even younger. They also sustained significant injuries. Myers their #2 Dman missed 71 games, Trouba their #3 held out for 22 games & needed almost a dozen to get back up to speed, Enstrom their #4 missed 22, Morrissey their #5 was a rookie & tasked with playing more minutes than ideal for a rookie. Hellebuyck played his 1st full season as a starter at 23!, had he played 1 less game the season prior; he played 26 in his rookie year, he would have still been a rookie last season as well.

      At forward Little went down in game 1 missing 23 games, Laine 9, Perreault 17, Matthias 37, Armia 25 & others. That’s to many injuries to to many significant players, specifically Myers their #2 Dman, few teams can over come the loss of their #2 Dman for almost an entire season but losing Little for those 23 games right out of the gate coupled with the loss of Myers doomed Winnipeg’s season.

      Few teams dressing that much youth across the board are playoff teams. Winnipeg did exactly what I expected them to do they competed for a playoff spot. Considering the loss of Myers & Little they did way better than I though they would. It’s called a rebuild & Winnipeg is essentially right at the end of it & now the future looks incredibly bright.

      Having retained their entire D I’m leaning to them making the playoffs next season but I’ll wait till Oct 3rd to put in my final selections & lay my wagers. They are very close now & as long as we see no significant regression to that youth have a shoot. The issue is at who’s expense?

      • The injury issues on defence is one reason why I think they need to sign a border line #4 solid #5 d-man. A guy who can move up if need be. Also Scheifele and Laine who, as far as I know, spent the majority of last season together and are a year older should have a great season together again this coming up season.
        The Jets are looking good for next season.

      • Their top 5 is right their with the elite D’s in the NHL & their 6/7 guys decnt enough.

        I think they will have to run 3 balanced pairings to keep Trouba on his right side as Maurice promissed. Assuming Myers is fit to play.

        Enstrom, Buffy,
        Morrissey, Trouba.
        Chiarot, Myers
        Spare. Stuart

        Tucker Polman a solid 2 way RD coming out of 3 years at UND may be ready for NHL duty by January.

      • Trouba should be playing first pair buff should be on the 2nd pairing with 1st PP minutes. Its too obvious not to implement, right?

      • I don’t even really look at it that way for most teams any more. We have ES where we have pairings in place but then specialty ice time PK & PP alter parings & minutes.

        Methot played 1st pairing minutes with Karlsson, but see’s no PP time & is 4th for PK TOI/GP having him see 3+ minutes less of TOI/GP than Phaneuf at #3.

        When you look at the really good D’s in the NHL the minutes played between 1 thru 4 can be nominal & a few even role 3 pairings at ES only altering ice time for PP & PK’s.

  5. Bonino was so important to the 2016 Cup win-who will overpay him? He is a solid #2 1/2 center. Doe anyone go over 4million?


    I can see Pittsburgh signing Brian Boyle

    • Sounds like if Tampa offers Boyle a contract he is going back, Bonino could fit montreal if they don’t trade for another one

      • I would be fine with Boyle back with the Rangers on a 2 year deal.

        Does Montreal offer Handzal and Bonino the same contract?

      • Montreal is definitely looking for a centre

    • a solid number 1/2 center? did we watch the same guy during the regular season? and despite the “clutchness” of his goals he went long stretches in playoffs without scoring. anyone paying him for regular top 6 minutes is in for a disappointment… but someone will

      • I’m with you there Chrims. He is a role player, thrusting him into the top 6 is a mistake.
        The habs comment really confuses me too, they need a top line center they have enough 2a, 2b, 3a type centers

      • I called him a 2.5 or 2 1/2 line center. He can play more minutes when needed but best as your 3rd line center

        Playoff clutch performances get you paid.someone will reach

      • Exactly not what Montreal needs

      • Where is Montreal going to get a top end center from? It probably isn’t happening. They don’t really have the assets to trade for one and there isn’t much available in free agency. You need depth at center. So, chances are they are going to have to settle on adding depth instead of that high end guy everyone is well aware that they need. I know it isn’t what the team needs to improve in earnest, but it may be the only realistic choice available.

  6. Clearing Stepan and Girardi contracts have set the Rangers up to acquire Shattenkirk. I would be surprised if he is not a Blue Shirt by next Sunday……Chevy is reluctant to make a trade. Only moved E.Kane because the players forced him. They should call him ” Stan Pat “

    • I think Shattenkirk will go to New York as well. But it won’t really change anything. The Rangers will again be good but not be a contender. Just my opinion. Pittsburgh will continue to rule the East. Now with Fleury gone and his cap space freed up I could easily see someone like Alzner sign there. Look what they did without Letang! Adding Alzner to Letang, Maata, and Daley (if you keep him) with Murray in goal (if he stays healthy) and oh yeah remember Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Rust, Sheary, and Guentzel (not Hanzal; get it?) along with the stability of Dumolin, and Cole; and finally adding some toughness with Reaves! Look out for Pittsburgh again! I do wonder if they should go after Condon again as a reliable backup until that Jarry kid is ready. Here’s the other thing, Rutherford is a GM who is not afraid to tinker! Looks like the Penguins are going to keep the Cup polished until Canada’s teams are ready to take over, those teams being Edmonton, Toronto, and Calgary. And maybe even Ottawa!

      • Shatty will line up next to Capt Ryan. I have accepted it and trying to think it is the ‘right move’…

        Tampa can skate with the Pens. I see them knocking them out next spring.

        Pens still need a center but they get back Letang….

      • & where is all that money coming from? Pit has 19 mil to sign or replace 6 players. Schultz & Dumoulin are RFA’s both with arbitration rights that’s 8 to 10 mil. They need a #3 & 4 C, that’s 4 to 5 mil, Sheary; bridge deal, 2.5 to ?, & they need to sign a #6 & 7 Dman & a back up goalie.

        Playing Jarry in a back up role unless Murray is injured for an extended period so he can play doesn’t help his development.

        No room for Alzner’s contract nor anyone of substance. They just need to get their own players signed for as little as possible. PIt is still fighting the cap. Buying out Hagelin would help & allow for some flexibility & an addition.

      • There really shouldn’t be many true #3C that should be paid 5 million.
        I understand when a team is rolling out a 2A and 2B line, but 5 million is crazy steep for a 3C. How much would Gagner want? Probably 3.5?

      • needing only a 3rd line center and a bottom pair d leaves pens in decent shape cap wise. good estimate on dumo/Shultz but doubt the pens go 4-5 mil on a 3 center. Pens will not need to buy out hags at all. slightly overpaid player. If they really needed to move him they could… even if they had to eat a mil or so.

      • Taz.

        I said for a #3, 3.5 to 4 & a #4. mil to mil 5.

      • Playing Jarry in a backuop role right now is perfect for him and something he has earned. I go into the season with Jarry as my backup and give it the first half of the season to see how he handles himself. Hell Murray was thrown to the wolves 2 years ago and he was practically unbeatable from day 1. Jarry was supposed to be the better prospect between the 2. I would like to develop Jarry like the Kings developed Jones and then trade him for a top 10 first round pick when Gustavson is ready to be backup.

    • He traded Ladd for Dano a 1st & conditional 2nd. He traded for Lee Stempniak at the trade deadline & of course the Kane trade. This team has been built thru the draft with a few solid UFA signings.

      Winnipeg is right on the cusp of breaking thru. It may not happen till Trouba is turned into a bounty. His days in Winniopeg are #’ed & as hard as Chevy may try to hold onto him as long as possible he’s leaving soon; ideally before he files for arbitration next summer, or as a UFA in 3 years.

      If Trouba selects player arbitration next season he can take a 2 year deal & be a UFA coming out of it. This situation needs to be resolved before that happens or his value in trade declines significantly if they team acquiring him can’t get him locked up long term. He won’t be committing to the Jets long term under any scenario.

  7. The Pens first priority has to be Nick Bonino, but 1B should be Mike Condon.

    By far the best UFA backup available and the right fit for the Pens.

    If/when you get those two, see how much money is left to fill the 6th D slot. Daley, Stone, Kulikov or Del Zotto the only intriguing options in free agency.

    And then if you have anything left, I’d still try to bring back Chris Kunitz and (if he doesn’t retire) maybe Matt Cullen.

    • I wonder about that possibility of Condon signing with the Penguins as well. I suppose it will all come down to a combination of money/term – AND how many games he figures to start back of Murray as opposed to Anderson in Ottawa – who’s a lot older than Murray and figures to start a lot less games next season. We’ll soon see.

      • I wasn’t sure if Condon would even hit the market given his worth to the Sens, but I heard Dorion talking about how they’d be OK using Hammond as the backup, so I have some hope.

      • They didn’t sign him before the draft MG because then he would have needed to be protected. As a UFA he was less likely to be a target for McPhee since that would count as his Ottawa pick and if he didn’t agree to go to LV the pick would have been wasted.

      • Ottawa wouldn’t have had to protect Condon they could have exposed him. He wasn’t getting selected over Methot.

      • Gee, I didn’t know that. The point was, what would be the purpose of signing him to a deal that might then appeal to McPhee if he wasn’t protected. The issue was – draft him as a UFA is you want – but I doubt you’ll do it.

    • Isn’t Schultz UFA too?

      He might of priced himself off the Pens. He really stepped up this spring and was the unsung hero imho

      • Schultz is RFA, but he’s going to get big money, yeah. I think it will be around $4 M AAV, but I’ve heard it could be up to $5 M per year.

        With Letang’s health, they have to keep Schultz.

      • That means they can keep Schultz. Not sure why I thought he was an UFA

      • Is 4 mil big money? I consider that the norm for a decent Dman that can play as a #4.

      • Tell that to the next homeless person you come across.

      • Tell that to the 5th or 6th best player on Real Madrid or the cavs where the average team salary is over 8.5M (gross). That analogy would work both ways George

      • Lets not confuse professional athletes with real people & stay on topic. 4 mil for what was a top 10 offensive Dman; tied for 7th, 2 points out of the top 5, this season is chump change. What’s more amazing is he was +27!

        If I’m Schultz I push for a 2 year deal at 4.5 so I can be a UFA coming out of it looking at Shattenkirk type monies from someone. If Pit wants more term then more money.

        How do you like him now George? You were in the write him off bum group, most here were a few of us weren’t. How many regular season games has Justin Schultz played now? 344 & what does that mean for his potential next season in his development?

        Seeing any similarities here to Gardiner? Most had him as a bum as well, ironically he just broke that magical 400 NHL regular season games played threshold. He missed my goal target by 1 but finished right between my points range of 40 to 45; 43, & he was +24 carrying Carrick almost all year. What’s better is the best is yet to come for both these Dman. I have Gardner breaking 15 goals & 50 points next season. Schultz may have offensive growth but much depends on that 1st line PP time which ties to Letang’s health.

      • “Big money” in terms of a raise and impact on the cap. He played on that $1.4 million “this is all the cap space we have left” deal last year.

        Number one goalie making $800K and number one defenseman (by default) making $1.4 million. That’s a nice formula.

      • It sure was but that ship has sailed. They will still get Schultz at a discount & Murray only hitting the cap 3,75 for 3 years is a nice bonus.

    • I rarely am on the same page MG but I would like to see Condon brought back as well. Good run with Ott, familiar with Pitt, should be affordable (though rumors are he turned down a deal for “back-up” money in Ott. If he wants 1.5 or less I’d bring him in and play Jarry down minors.

      • Bringing Condon in is a slap in Jarry’s face. You want him to go back to the AHL for a third year? The kid has more pure talent than Condon so give his shot. If it doesn’t work then there will still be guys like Brian Elliotte and Steve Mason with no team and lots of experience. Theres no need to spend any kind of money on Jarry insurance right now. Too bad we couldnt get Zatkof back on a 2 way contract, he would be perfect.

  8. If Pitts need a center man, maybe they should look at Dominic Moore, he’ll be cheap, had a solid season for Boston. He’s good on the penalty kill and good on face offs. Would be a solid addition to a solid team.

    • I like Moore. He always outproduces his contract.

      But, he used to play here and (who knows if this is true or not) word was he wasn’t liked in the room. But that was a decade ago.

      I’d be very happy to get Moore as a 4th line center.

    • pens have a decent 4th line center in rowney. depth is great but priority has to be a top 9 center right now.

    • Agreed. I was thinking of him returning to NYR to play as their #4. Solid addition to any team wanting a solid checking center, even at 37 in August. I would even be happy with the Bruins bringing him back.

  9. Not sure what the market is for Petr Mrazek. I mentioned on Friday that Gary Lawless (works for Las Vegas now) was on the radio in Winnipeg, he mentioned there wasn’t any appetite for goaltenders. He said Mcphee asked around the league what goaltenders that other team might want LV to draft for them and that the reply they got “no interest.” so they switched all their misc picks to defenseman.
    Considering Mrazek has no conditions and could be traded to any team, you think maybe the Jets would’ve have inquired about him. Maybe they did and the asking was to high from their perspective.

    • I still don’t get why Vegas didn’t take Ullmark; Buf, & Ultshuller; Car, 2 waiver eligible goalies they could have sent to the minors. Carrier from Buf might have a future in the NHL but a 6th round pick to pass on him? Brickely the player selected from Carolina has no NHL future. Just a wasted pick & passing on Ultshuller for a 5th is nothing as well.

      The chances of a 5th or 6th rounder making the NHL are less than slim bordering on a miracle.

      • makes me wonder why the draft goes 7 rounds. draft should be 4 rounds with players undrafted eligible for FA when past drafting age. the chances of players going in the 5-7 rounds making it as a pro go up significantly if they can chose the team they go to. a D man that was drafted in the 6th round but by a team deep in d prospects could instead sign with a team with a couple less guys to compete with for ice time. increase their chances.

      • Chrism’s idea makes a lot of sense for the league and for prospects – four rounds and undrafted players become unrestricted free agents once they are 18. I think we’d see a steady diet of undrafted players making the NHL by hooking up with teams whose needs most closely match their skills.The effect would be similar to NCAA players signing with NHL clubs.

  10. ds,
    “Tampa can skate with the Pens”, true but you have to make the playoffs.

    • TB like NYI missed by 1/2 a game. Do you think TB misses the playoffs next season? I’m 3 months from putting in my final selections but I’ll go out on a limb here. TB makes the playoffs next season. Ha-ha!

      • Al signs point to them making the playoffs. I have concerns about their top four and goaltending. I’ll be drafting Vailevsky in my pools as my second goalie if I can, but its still a question mark

  11. It really don’t matter. Unless injury or something crazy happens Pens will win it all again. Im not a Pens fan but the reality is they are just better

    • They may well but no easy feat. I won’t bet them to. Odds are to tight to justify the wager.

    • Which team came closest to defeating them? Here’s a hint – it was one that MOST pundits didn’t even have making the playoffs.

      • As we discussed George last summer, I had Ottawa making it with the addition of Phaneuf. I would have liked to see them sign L. Schenn or Qincey for veteran depth but Borowie;cki, Wideman & late in the season Cleasson all made solid contributions in limited roles & minutes; none averaged more than 14 mins in TOI/GP, with the top 4 doing all the heavy lifting & consuming the lions share of the minutes, Ala Nashville.

        When Boucher was hired you knew what was coming. Sound defensive hockey. It worked perfectly. Have concerns currently about next season but will reserve that judgement until Oct 3rd.

      • When I say “pundits” I’m referring to those who do it for a living – not this bunch in here. Out of some 25 “experts” at NHL.com just two (Tim Campbell and Kebin Weekes) had them as a wild card. Sportsnet, using analytics, had them missing. Only Ryan Dixon had them in the playoffs.

        I assume they all were also aware that Boucher would bring in a “system” – but even that made no difference.

  12. do you hear any chatter if the habs will pursue thornton or marleau or does it all hinge on whether they can trade for dushene

    • Haven’t heard any serious chatter about Thornton or Marleau coming to Montreal. Doubt the Habs are a destination for either guy.

      • If the habs can’t find any trade partners then Thornton might not be the worst option.
        I just don’t see how the habs can be truly competitive or a contender with Denault and Pleks as their top 2C. Maybe they give Galchenyuk another run at C if they dont trade him.

        Lots of pieces to work out though with salary, term and Thornton’s willingness to sign with the habs.

        Your knowledge and passion for the habs is obviously much greater but as an outsider this looks like a decent plan B

    • I was listening to XM91 this am. They were discussing Sharp & or Thornton possibly going to Mtl.

      Beregevin apparently offered Radulov serious money; in or arond 7 mil, no thank you, on a 4 year deal & he declined.

      • Heard Radulov to Isles on radio too.
        Thornton is too tall to be a Hab

  13. Karl Alzner would be a nice add for the Bruins but cap space prob won’t allow it

    • Whats a realistic number for Alzner. His stats would suggest he’s a 4M – 4.5M guy and 5 Million should be enough. Looking at UFA though, do you guys think he’s getting a 6/6+ offer?

      • 5+-6+ seems about the range..if Bruins lost McQuaid & Hayes they wouldd have been able to swing it

    • As a Bruins fan no interest in Alzner. McQuad & K. Miller play a very similiar game. Chara plays that role now & Carlo is a solid developing 2 way game with a great defensive game. Bos needs another solid 2 way LH Dman.

      The D market has all but dried up. The # moved now will be nominal & I don’t consider Methot, Emelin or Scandella to be solid 2 way Dman. The only 3 Dman still really available now. If these are the only real options I would prefer Boston just sign a UFA LH D to play with McAvoy. Kulikov? Why give up assets when a similiar quality Dman can be had for nothing more than cash?

      • Agree. At this point, if it’s not Brodin I don’t want to give up anything but cash for the player. Seems like Kulikov would be the best option and hope he can stay healthy. Can’t even believe I’m asking, but what are your thoughts on Del Zotto? Not the guy to pair with McAvoy but might be a guy that had some pop and could be acquired for relatively cheap?

      • I get what you’re saying about the need for LHD Striker, but you would still have to move a RHD if they went the UFA route. They have 6 D now that all should play regular minutes, assuming McAvoy is what he showed in the playoffs.
        Either somebody plays wrong side and they pickup a depth guy to sit in the press box with Morrow waiting for an injury (which they will have).
        Or move a RD like McQuaid or Miller for a quality LD, and pick up a depth guy, or simply call up from Providence when you have an injury.

  14. Rangers Opening night? Is it any better than the team that lost to the Senators?



    • Doesn’t look like a playoff team to me, not in the Metro where every team is now better. Except Pitts and Wash anyway.

  15. Hey Lyle.

    What kind of deal do you think Bonino will get? Was also thinking the Jets could Offer Tyler Myers to Montreal for Galchenyuk.

    • Can see Bonino getting $3.5 – $4 million per on a four-year deal, depending on where he goes. As for Myers for Galcheyuk, I think Bergervin would prefer Trouba in that hypothetical situation.

  16. Clarity was provided by the NHL today on players acquired in the expansion draft. Only players acquired in trade before the expansion draft are restricted from returning to the team they were acquired from. Technically no players were.

    That means Methot can be traded back to Ott.

    Rumors circulating that MtL is going to bid on. Alzner. That would help tremendously & exactly what they need. Well them & about 15 other NHL teams.

  17. This is some bargain bin shopping but…I’d like to offer 2 way deals to Simon Despres and Jyrki Jokipakka.

  18. I wonder why Dallas go for Emelin over methot eh striker? Lol

    • Didnt*

  19. Never give a forward a long term deal after age 30, these days most guys are done at age 31…Vinnie, Brad Richards, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown etc…I could name many more.

    Thornton stinks in playoffs so being with Nash the worst playoff player ever might be a match made in heaven.