NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2017

by | Jun 27, 2017 | Rumors | 104 comments

Will the New York Islanders re-sign John Tavares on July 1?

Latest on John Tavares, Matt Duchene and Nail Yakupov plus updates on the Maple Leafs, Wild and Blackhawks in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Elliotte Friedman discussing the future of New York Islanders center John Tavares on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 yesterday. Tavares is a year away from unrestricted free agent status and there’s considerable speculation over whether he’ll re-sign an extension on July 1.

 “I don’t think he’s going to sign. I don’t think he signs July 1,” predicted Friedman. “I think the Islanders say, ‘We’re going to take our chances.’ He thinks the two sides are going to take this into next season and isn’t hearing any indication the Isles could trade their captain. 

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes Tavares’ future will dominate the NHL rumor mill until it’s resolved, with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the epicenter. He notes the Leafs were willing to spend big on Steven Stamkos, who last summer opted instead to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Cox points out the addition of young stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander could change things for the Leafs, whose primary need now is for a defenseman. Still, if the Leafs acquired Tavares next season via trade, Cox believes it will vault them into contender status. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve frequently said whenever talk of Tavares coming to Toronto flares up, the Leafs don’t need him. They have their superstar center in Matthews. He, Marner and Nylander are the future of the Leafs, a future Toronto fans got a tantalizing preview of in 2016-17 when the kids carried the club to an unexpected berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Prying Tavares away from the Isles via trade will cost the Leafs at least one of those good young forwards as part of a significant package deal. No, the Leafs need to keep their focus on landing that elusive top-pairing right-side defenseman. Let some other club blow its brains out over Tavares. 

THE ATHLETIC:  James Mirtle speculates over possible moves by the Leafs to bring in that right-side blueliner. He considers Kevin Shattenkirk a long shot and notes the rest of the UFA market is sparse. He suggests a trade is still possible. “The Ducks, Panthers and Jets have three solid D on the right side each. Jason Demers in Florida, in particular, is being shopped around and could be a solid fit.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget the chatter about Tavares, Leafs fans. Focus on more sensible columns (like Mirtle’s) examining how the Leafs could address their blueline needs. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Bob McKenzie telling Edmonton’s TSN 1260 still believes the Colorado Avalanche must “turn the page” on center Matt Duchene and trade him. He believes this has dragged on long enough and their suggestion they could retain Duchene isn’t good for either side. He believes the New York Islanders are still in on Duchene to some degree, noting the recent assets they acquired in the Travis Hamonic trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I appreciate Avalanche GM Joe Sakic’s desire to get the best deal he can, and I certainly don’t advocate moving Duchene simply for the sake of doing so. But it appears to me Sakic’s at risk of overplaying his hand, if he hasn’t already done so.

The Islanders, Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens are among the clubs thought to be interested in Duchene. There has to be a reasonable deal out there. If this drags on too long, whatever viable options are available to Sakic will vanish. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo believes the Minnesota Wild’s activities yesterday indicate a trade could be around the corner, possibly involving defenseman Marco Scandella. On Monday, the Wild re-signed Gustav Olofsson to a two-year deal and cut ties with Christian Folin.

The Wild only have around $12.5 million in salary cap room to re-sign key free agents such as Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter, so they probably need to shed a contract. Russo also speculates the Wild could have interest in pending UFA forwards such as Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz, Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks and perhaps St. Louis’ Scottie Upshall. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are among the clubs who reportedly inquired into Scandella’s trade status. 

THE ATHLETIC: Brian Hedger reports a source said the Chicago Blackhawks could be willing to bring back winger Patrick Sharp via unrestricted free agency on a low-risk contract. Sharp, a member of three Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks, was dealt to the Dallas Stars two years ago as a cost-cutting measure. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks are nearly $3 million over the cap ceiling for 2017.18. However, they could free up over $5 million in cap room to sign Sharp if the league allows them to place Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve when next season begins. 

NEWS 1130: Rick Dhaliwal reports St. Louis Blues winger Nail Yakupov becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. His agent said his client has interest in signing with the Vancouver Canucks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: J.D. Lagrange raised the idea yesterday  on Twitter of the Montreal Canadiens signing Yakupov to a professional tryout offer. I think that’s a good idea for the Canadiens or any club that might have interest in the former first-overall draft pick. If he plays well, sign him to an affordable one-year deal. If he washed out, you cut him and you’re not on the hook for anything. 



  1. Aww crap – here we go again with the endless fodder centered around Tavares to the Leafs on the so-called “national sports shows” emanating from Toronto.

    • Yup, for everyone that thought it was over once Stamkos signed…. buckle up

    • Trust me, the only people that want him in Toronto are the ones that perpetually carry pompoms. Which are most bloggers and their readers, unfortunately.

      • I wasn’t ever in favor of signing Stamkos, but honestly I ddi keep saying that the Leafs should wait for Tavares instead. That was early 2016, then Mathews, Nylander and Marner broke out. I can say with certainty that I would love to have Tavares on the Leafs but not at the cost of acquiring him or the cost of signign him. Hard pass on that

      • Leafs don’t need Tavares. They need a number 1 D – preferably right handed. With the Kings in turmoil and needing to get younger and faster; what do you think it would cost to get Doughty?

      • Doughty might be testing UFA next year, i’d wait on trading for him.
        As a Leafs fan that would be THE signing. Buying the jersey next day

      • Agreed would he be nice sure!but ya only media driven and kids who will talk about such nonsense! …next!

      • Next is right. Especially if you saw that recent interview with Sid Seixeiro where he explained why he loves it on the coast as opposed to a place like Toronto: essentially what Corey Perry said a few seasons back – weather; beach nearby; ability to do simple things like shopping without being mobbed; minimal media coverage.

        I wouldn’t hold my breath on seeing Doughty in blue & white.

      • Drew Doughty has two more years with the Kings. He won’t be an UFA next year.

      • This began with Chris asking what it would take for the Leafs to get Doughty. No one was suggesting he’d be a UFA up for grabs next year. The thing is, it’s pretty obvious from his interview with Seixeiro that, all things being equal – Toronto would be among those teams he would not agree to go to in a deal. Besides which, LA isn’t about to deal him unless the Leafs offered up Matthews or someone of that ilk. Ain’t gonna happen is the bottom line.

    • The game is so much more speed absed and as much as I respect tavares, he isn’t as fleet as the Toronto three.

    • Leafs only want young guys… no old guys…

    • I’m with you, George, what a crock. Let’s stick with real hockey stuff. Most sane Leaf fans want to know who the new defence man will be.

    • we get blamed for taveres and stamkos but it was george that brought it up take it up with him

      • I didn’t bring it up – I was reacting to the above reports by Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox.

    • The media will feed this frenzy for the simple reason that it sells. I agree, the Leafs shouldn’t pursue Taveras. They have their stars to build around. It makes more sense to upgrade their blue line for a reasonable price (if possible) and stick to the Shanaplan.

  2. Way too much pressure on any hopes Yakupov has of resurrecting his career should he go to a media-dominant location like Montreal – or even Vancouver. He’d be far better off in a place like Las Vegas, Colorado or New Jersey where he could fly under the radar.

    • Yakupov had NHL success scoring goals early but last 3-4 years have been downhill. You would think he would at least get PP time with his shot and put up more points.

      Good gamble for Vancouver. It would be interesting to reunite him with Galchenyuk but I don’t see it happening.

      • Yakupov’s agent should insist he sign with whatever team Galchenyuk plays for next season. It’s pretty much his only chance of being given a real look on a scoring line.

        Otherwise, he’ll be miscast in a bottom six role, fail and be out of the league.

      • Yakupov should sign a 2 way deal with the champs. He could start the season in the AHL and be the first man up when injury occurs. Yak on Malkins wing or Crosby’s is where he will resurrect his career. Not toiling away on a garbage offense like the Habs.

      • Sprong will be the first man up with Aston-Reese behind him. Unless we make some trades, we are loaded on wing.

        I’d rather take chances on the young D who have been cut loose like Joe Morrow, Simon Despres or maybe Jyrki Jokipakka.

    • I think Vegas offers him the best opportunity. He will likely slot in with Shipchyov, and get the most opportunities there, not state income tax, and very low pressure to perform.

      As a player looking for a last chance, I think it makes the most sense.

    • He flew really stealthfully under the radar all last season in St. Louis. I think he’s got one last pro tryout somewhere this off season and if he doesn’t make the most of that he’s KHL bound… He was a douche in Sarnia – has talent and could score at the junior level but not in the best league in the world where everyone was real good in junior hockey…

      Being a Leaf fan i’d love for Tavares to sign in Toronto but for far less than what he will want – he’d have to take quite the “homer discount” for The Leafs to be able to fit him in cap-wise and that’s not gonna happen… That being said – Tavares will have to decide if he wants to win or if he wants to get paid – he probably won’t be able to get both out of this contract unless someone is really willing to do some money moving around to fit him in… No way The Leafs trade for him – that’s absolutely for sure…

      • Yup. As an oiler fan who saw Yak play hundreds of times – he can skate, he can shoot, but he can’t play hockey. Someone suggesting he’d be a fit in Pittsburgh? Sorry but he’d be lost trying play with Sid or Gino.

  3. I could see the Panthers move Demers as either a contract dump or as part of a deal to acquire a scoring forward.

    It may be unlikely, but the Panthers may be the quiet ones on the Duchene front.

    Panthers have prospects and players that would address what Sakic wants.

    • Nothing in the sparse Panther media coverage here about a Duchene deal. Not sure he would be a fit as the Cats already have three solid centers. The team needs wingers badly with the losses to Vegas.

      • The coverage is sparse because there’s not a lot of rumors regarding the Panthers coming from the local or NHL-wide media. Tallon’s playing his cards close to the vest.

    • Florida is a mess. They can’t figure out what their doing. They spend salary, now they are dumping salary again. No team in the NHL loses more money.

      I have to idea what they are doing. Who’s going to score next year? They just let 60 goals go.This isn’t a playoff team.

  4. Yakupov to Vancouver makes sense. If that happens and I’m Montreal, I reach out to Vancouver and work out a deal involving Galchenyuk and Tanev. Maybe having the old linemates back together would set Yakupov on the right track again

    • As crazy as it sounds there is no room for Yakupov.

      Baertschi, Horvat, Boeser.
      Sedin, Sedin, Goldobin.
      Granlund, Sutter, Eriksson.

      That’s the top 3 lines so unless Yakupov has developed 4th line checking abilities no room for him in Vancouver either.

      Vancouver should be better next season. Not a playoff team but better.

      • And that there is the issue with Yakupov. McLellan was pulling his hair out because Yakupov never worked on what he needed to in practice. All he did was worked on what he was good at. Yakupov has a Jagr type attitude without the Jagr type of skill.

      • Vancouver is lottery team trash. Better? Not likely. The Canucks will be the first team in NHL history to finish 31st.

      • Yak just needs to go to the KHL and take Grigorenko and Burmistrov with him. Time for all three to head back to the homeland.

    • To add to your point Striker, I don’t know what team that hopes to improve would add Yakupov. He can’t seem to develop chemistry with other top line players because they have no idea where he is going to be, and consistently proves he can’t play within a 200′ system, which all successful teams play. From all reports around EDM he is a good guy to be around, works as hard as anyone. Just doesn’t get the systems, and he has been given plenty of opportunity. Without the ability to beat players one on one like he did in junior, he is lost.
      The suggestion of a pro tryout seems about right.

      • Which is why I said Vancouver (Tanev for Galchenyuk) – but essentially you can change that to anywhere that Galchenyuk is traded to. They have the chemistry and this experiment would be the last shot for Yakupov to prove he can make it in the NHL. Wherever Galchenyuk gets dealt to, that team should be reaching out immediately to get Yakupov on their team

      • & which C does Galchenyuk replace?

        Sutter has 4 years remaining, The Sedins’ will be reupped for at least 1 probably 2 years.

        No room for Galchenyuk in this rebuild either.

      • We disagree on the Sedins. I see them as an anchor dragging this team down more than helping. I would have Galchenyuk as 2C in Vancouver and have Sedins on the third line. It wouldn’t be your typical third line – it would allow Vancouver the opportunity to essentially role 4 lines which is something they haven’t been able to do in a long time

      • I suppose it is possible that Yakupov and Galchenyuk would have the same chemistry in the NHL as in JR, but I am skeptical. In JR they dominated based on their individual talent against their age group. That doesn’t exist for them in the NHL. Apples and oranges.
        There is nothing in Yakupov’s history that would suggest he will be a successful NHL player. Some high quality NHL coaches have already come to that conclusion.
        He may end up going to the KHL, and then maybe it clicks for him and he comes back in a couple years.
        I don’t waste an NHL roster spot on him.

    • For as long as the Sedins are on this team, there can be no rebuild. They should be a 3rd line pair now and give way to the kids that will take over this franchise. Vancouver needs to move on

      • 2nd line this season & next then give way moving to 3rd line duty for 1 final season. By then This years 1st will be ready.

        This sin’t a complete tear down & they will surprise people next season. Not Toronto surprise but they won’t be as bad.

      • Only Dim Jim Benning rebuilds a team around 37yr old 40 point scorers. All aboard the Bungling Jimmy Lottery Express to Nowheresville.

    • Interesting!it would be an up grade for montreals top four!

  5. NTTIT! No To Tavares In Toronto! Like Spector said TLHM! The Leafs Have Matthews (and others).

    It’s NAD! National Acronym Day!

  6. I really feel for Duchene. Poor guy constantly hearing his name in the rumor mill. A Young guy feeling unwanted does a number on your confidence. Sakic is way over his head as a GM. Done so much damage to this team and in particular Duchene. If Duchene stays, I believe his play will suffer because of the above.

    • Agreed. Duchene needs to get out of Colorado as quickly as possible and then we all will see the all world potential that he has. Colorado has quickly become the black hole of the NHL – a long fall from grace from the late 90’s early 2000’s teams. This is the tough part with bringing in a legend for that team during his playing days into a front office position. Extremely difficult to cut bait and move on after giving so much to the team at one point

  7. Sakic is afraid to pull the trigger and needs to pop his cherry….. Isles have lots of attractive assets. A number #1 plus Ho Sang ,de Haan, and Da Colle or some other two part last name player.

    • Why if the standard rebuild usually banded about is 5 years are we judging Sakic based on significantly less time?

      Only 3 players from the start of this rebuild have been added, Zadarov & Grigorenko added in trade before Sakic assumed the GM role, since then Rantanen. Compher got into 21 games last season so still a rookie going into next season, Bigras played 31 the season before due to injures but other than that none of the other players acquired since the rebuild started are even in the NHL as yet.

      There are several more coming next season. Jost, Bigras, Greer & 1 of Mirinov, Lindholm or Meloche. I assume Beaudin will spend a season in San Antonio like Rantanen did.

      Sakic’s acquisition of Nieto, decent 3rd line checker, & Andrighetto, fit well with McKinnon & Rantanen are the only player personal moves we know Roy wasn’t involved in under the 2 headed monster that existed prior to Roy, sulking off.

      You guys sure like to live in the now. Yes Colorado was a bad team last season, they are in year 3 of a rebuild & the previous management team, Sakic & Roy shared player personal decisions. Isn’t it obvious they weren’t on the same page?

      • I think the issue is that 2 years in it doesn’t feel like Sakic embraced doing a rebuild. The only re-build feeling move was O’Reilly, and that deal felt more forced by a player who they had negotiation issues with than it was by a team looking to maximize assets. Also, letting Pickard go to protect Varlamov does feel counter intuitive for a re-building team as well.

        It feels as if Sakic knows he has a diminishing asset in Duchene but refuses to trade him for less than what he may have been worth a couple of years ago. Again, not saying this is the case, as we don’t know the offers, and things can change quickly but perception of what is going on is what is causing fans to question the re-build strategy. Couple that with a lack of a clear message to the fan base, and I get why fans are frustrated

      • And what if the wrong one walked away? Roy has been successful elsewhere. Has Sakic? If you’re in year 3 of a rebuild where your biggest piece has been involved in trade rumors for the whole time, obviously effecting his play, and are outpricing yourself and now saying we might just keep him – I think the judging here is justified

      • I don’t think Roy “sulked of” – I think he just decided to get out of Dodge when he realized that ownership decided to put more faith in Sakic’s views than his, and didn’t want to be painted with the same critical brush that’s now plastering Joe “Mr. Dithers” Sakic.

      • The only one who sticks up for Sakic and the Avs here. I greatly appreciate that Striker. In all reality, no one knows what is going on in Colorado, or what the Sakic/Duchene relationship is really like. Colorado insiders are just as sparse and their front offices have always been a vault. Anything you hear about the Avs is always just speculation. People like Bob McKenzie, who I respect a lot, are just going off the same deduction-without-the-facts postulation as every pundit is. This season especially the Avs have marked a solid course for the franchise’s new direction under Sakic’s helm. And no one seems to give credit to Sakic’s hiring of firing inept Rick Pracey, who drafted bombs for us, and hiring Alan Hepple. Sakic and Hepple have finally started to stock our cupboards with some good young talent. Ever since Pierre Lacroix sold the farm during our glory years, Colorado’s cupboards have been barer than Old Mother Hubbard’s. We just got our own AHL franchise a couple years ago, and are likely going to move it up to Colorado Springs and make the CHL Eagles our new AHL franchise soon. Other than than this Duchene fiasco, which up till now has been solely conjured up in the media and exploited to the hilt, Sakic has actually been a decent GM. I would say the best since Lacroix. Colorado’s “black hole” wasn’t created by Sakic. And until now, he’s the only one who has attempted to pull us out. The ineptitude of the Avs franchise is much bigger than Joe Sakic’s trade learning curve.

        And Garth Snow is a saint because he let Hamonic fly free to be close to his ailing mother. But he somehow escapes the backlash from everyone? I guess since he somehow got Hamonic to take back his trade request in the public eye so that Garth could keep him for the playoffs that year and this year makes everything acceptable. Regardless of what Hamonic said about Garth on his way out, It was still a pretty selfish move to make Hamonic wait another year before Snow finally let him go. We all thought this was settled last year, but now we know Hamonic was still looking to be moved the whole time.

        Maybe the Duchene thing is what the hockey pundits want it to be. Maybe it’s more friendly than that narrative and postulation. But, time and time again these character exploitations are never what they seem. It’s like someone gets some “outside” information that someone “might” have had a grain of sand in their skate and says wow!
        “That must be terribly painful and unbearable for him!” “I would hope that he can find a new pair of skates, the poor kid.” And then two weeks later… “The powers that be won’t get him new skates! His foot has definitely been ruined! He will never be any good again!” “Its so tragic! How awful can a GM be that he won’t just buy him new skates!”” I hate this GM for him for letting him suffer with that grain of sand in his old skates. that foot will most assuredly have to be amputated if he has to skate in it next season.”

        When we finally hear the whole story it’s usually more like the player says “yeah, that bit of sand in my skate was uncomfortable, but it got removed and I still like my old skates!” Or, “yeah, after that bit of sand was removed, I’m sad to say I need to move on from my favorite skates, but, I’m gonna keep them near to my heart always.” And usually…”What sand?”

        See the sensationalism here?

      • As a Sabres fan I can tell you that Zadorov and Grigerenko are busts, Zadorov has never been a plus player and he can’t even make it to practices on time, Grigerenko his nickname on Buffalo was NO Zip, he was lazy, slow and lacking in heart, had no zip or effort to his game. JT Compher is not a natural scorer, probably a good 3rd liner someday maybe 5-10 goals.

      • Matt.

        I think you will ge shocked with what Zadarov is at 26. That’s 4 years from noe when fully developed.

        Compher isn’t a natural scorer. He thinks pass 1st. What he will be in the NHL isn’t known yet but he is going to get his shot. He was a high 2nd round pick. That garuntees him his chance. It’s coming next year. Scoring 63 points in his 3rd & final season in NCAA Div 1 is impressive.

  8. Can Michael Del Zotto play any defense?

    If so, he and Michael Stone are the only potential upgrades over Trevor Daley in free agency.

    And how much of Antti Niemi’s horrific numbers were him being bad vs. Dallas’ D being terrible?

    • Radio comment here in Ottawa says Dorion is looking at making an offer to Stone to join his brother as a veteran replacement on the D. Which, if it happens, means someone has to be moved out because there would suddenly be a log-jam at the positions with Karlsson, Phaneuf, Ceci, Claesson, Stone, Borowiecki, Wideman, Chabot, Harpur – should the last two play well in enough in camp to earn spots on the roster.

    • From what I read about Del Zotto his defensive abilities are suspect at best, & is very inconsistent, resulting in being a healthy scratch at times. Pass . .

    • I have made the same argument about any goalie & the reason I had Dallas missing the playoffs last season, a season after winning the West & finishing 2nd overall. I also had NJ adding 30 goals against & dropping to 12th. I took a ton of flack for both assumptions & I was wrong about NJ’s, they added 37 goals against & finished 16th.

      See even I am wrong occasionally. Or is that just more right than wrong? Ha-ha!

    • Regarding Del Zotto, not really… but there are a number of things he can do well, at least used to be able to. I think if he is paired with the right partner he could have a positive impact for somebody

  9. Great read from J.D.Lagrange. Didn’t know that link was out there until now. Thanks

  10. I am actually shocked with what McPhee got for Methot. I thought he sold TVR and Schlemko cheap, the Methot trade is just insane.

    No way is his value any lower than a 1st come trade deadline. Hell it should have been at least 2 2nd rounders from another team. Hamonic is not much different and look at what he just got for the Isles in a trade.

    Another way to look at this is how did Dorian not prevent this at the expansion draft? Surely he could have paid Vegas a 2nd and a 4th/5th/6th/7th?

    I don’t get it! Some of the expansion draft choices were crazy but this is next level. Ottawa fans should be livid!

    • No – or at least not all fans here. I said from the get-go that the comments from Dorion were of the politically-correct variety after “losing” Methot and his near $5 mil cap hit to LV. He couldn’t very well come out and say he was glad to see him go. but deep down I think the organization simply made way for the next generation ready to step in. I think those fans who are “livid” will soon come to have a new respect for the ever-improving play of Claesson – who fellow-Swede Karlsson has said he loves playing alongside, not to mention what Chabot will bring to the table and maybe even Harpur who showed in the Boston series that he ready for prime time.

      • Agree to disagree here George. Thrusting Claesson into 1st line duties is a mistake. This is how players get destroyed.

        Lets wait to see him in a full year before projecting him to be a #2 D-man. Even if they hang on to Methot, surely they could trade him for better than a 2nd rounder in 2020? Why was this trade not made before the expansion draft?

        Realistically, They’ll move Phaneuf to #2 after he just a great season by his standards as a #3 and give Ceci a new partner who is also young and developing.
        Methot’s contract was expiring at a great time for the sens.

      • I agree, I think it was good asset management for Ottawa to look at what they had and realize they could absorb the loss of Methot rather than overpaying to keep him. The freed up cap space has some value as well.

        I like Methot, he is a good character guy, and a useful defensemen capable of playing in a lot of top 4’s, however I do think he was propped up a bit by playing in the absolute max value situation for his archetype. He got top pairing minutes playing with a guy who is essentially the best in the league at every skill Methot lacks, and was able to be used to his maximum efficiency. This can cause a player to be overvalued by a team who may use him differently, and that often leads to overpayment and disappointment.

        For this case, this doesn’t really apply as Dallas got good value, and I think Dallas will utilize every bit of what Methot brings by using him almost identically. The only downside is that he won’t be playing with Karlsson, but given Dallas’ D, he will still be a big upgrade.

        Anyway, I like Ottawa’s D core and D prospects, and I like taking advantage of having Karlsson to take a chances on letting guys play up the line up and see what they have to offer.

      • Agree we’ll have to develop a wait-and-see approach Taz – but I really believe many will be talking about Claesson next season with a whole new level of respect. Yes, most D require longer development, but he’ll turn 25 in November and has 4 full years of AHL development under his belt. He was solid throughout the playoffs and was the ONE player on Dorion’s exposed list that he really did not want to lose. As far as I’m concerned McPhee should have taken him and kept him as part of their core D rather than Methot if all he could wind up getting was an 18 y/o junior goalie and a 2nd round pick in 2020 (which, if Dallas improves as some think they will, could be well down the list).

        McPhee thought he was hosing Dorion – it was him who’s been hosed.

      • George,

        I don’t know if I would say McPhee got hosed in Ottawa, as there wasn’t a massive value he passed on. Claesson or Pageau probably would have been better value, but neither guarantees it. In the end Ottawa didn’t have a terrible exposed list, and accepted the fact they were going to lose someone, so they didn’t compound that by throwing assets on top of it.

      • Danny, I’m not saying he got hosed by Ottawa in selecting McPhee IF he either kept him or, at least got something immediately useful in return. Where he got hosed was in trading Methot to Dallas for a goalie we won’t see in the NHL for at least 5 years – if ever – and a 2nd round pick two years down the line which may wind up to be around the 50 to 60 pick! For a Top 4 D man? That’s a hosing.

      • Ah, I see. You are right, I don’t feel like he got max value for Methot at all either. I found overall McPhee has been all over the place. Getting great value in some situations (Anaheim, Islanders, Winnipeg), and underwhelming value in a few others (Minnesota, Dallas). Will be interesting to see what he gets on the next few trades

      • In fact, it’s a hosing that comes close to the one where he deal Forsberg from Washington to Nashville for Erat and Latta – which starts to call into question his overall acumen as a GM.

      • Lets not forget how badly he did with the Buffalo and Carolina picks as well.
        He got the right value from the others, nothing amazing.

      • I agree with you George that Claesson looks to be the real deal. Big, moves puck pretty well, and has a great shot. He really started putting things together in the playoffs. Harper also looked quite good in the post season too. I think if I’m Dorian I would try and trade Phaneuf to another team by keeping a bit of his money and then get Stone in FA to have another experienced D with a lesser contract.

      • When I hear such comments it always makes me smile & think about Mike Babcock’s comment when asked about team NA in the WC.

        “I love 3 watching these kids play, fast, exciting, I just like winning better.”

        I’m not saying it can’t work, dressing a ton of inexperience at D just very rare that it does.

      • Saint Mike and your unctuous smile aside, there was a time when many of today’s Top 4 D-men had to pay their dues developing in the AHL and Claesson, with 285 games at Binghamton in his resumé, has more than paid his. There are also a number of Top 4 D who either never played an AHL game or appeared in just a handful before becoming NHL regulars. I think a guy like Chabot, who many described this past season as the “best NHL D not yet in the NHL” will do just fine.

    • It’s certainly weird. Methot should be worth way more than a 2nd even with 2 years remaining at 4.9 per.

      • Smith moved to NYR for a 2nd; Ott’s in 2018 acquired in the Zibby trade, & a 3rd; 2017, at last seasons trade deadline.

      • Especially with the demand for established top 4 D! I would say any playoff contender would have loved to add him if they could.

        I think Mcphee has been intentionally kind to people in the Western Conference. Is it a strategy that works down the road?We’ll see. But I don’t like his peer relations skills as a GM. He doesn’t seem like he is his own man. Like Lamorello, Poile, (Anaheim’s) Murray, and Tallon. McPhee seems like he’s more of a guy who wants to be important to his peers. Like the kid who wants to hang out with the big boys and craves their praise.

        He’s a good GM for building a Vegas franchise, but I don’t think I’d want him beyond that.

        I’m not a skilled GM analyst or anything. Just my feeling and opinion.

  11. The Islanders are fools if they let the Tavares contract situation drag on past September. The further they get into the season, the more they’ll have to spend to keep Tavares.

    Look at what happened with Kopitar and the Kings. Kopitar is a great players, but he’s not worth $10M. Now we can expect the Kings to have cap problems for the next 7 years or so as Kopitar’s skills decline.

    The Islanders should give Tavares a mid-July deadline and if they’re not close, put him on the block and move him.

    • If Tavares won’t sign an extension before the end of July I move him this summer. Kopitar held LA ransom, what choice did the have? Suter & Parasie walked for nothing. TB got Stamkos resigned but most are lost for nothing if this road is followed or their contract demands insane to retain. Again Stamkos being a rare exception, although I don’t thin k he ever wanted to leave he just tried to leverage more monies. Swing & a miss he got what Yzerman offered a year prior.

  12. I have maintained Colorado shouldn’t even be considering trading Duchene. He is only 26 & fits with the ongoing rebuild. If he can’t be extended next summer then entertain trading him. It is most likely to late for that now as he’s been out there in rumors hard for 6 solid months.

    If I’m Sakic I try to put all of this behind me if able & get him back on board. I have Duchene as my 2nd bounce back candidate next season, Barrie is #1. I don’t think Colorado can be that bad again. They will be bad but not 48 points bad & I have Duchene & Barrie bouncing back to their
    historical norms.

    The additions of Compher, Jost & Greer & entire season of Andrigetto & Nieto will allow Colorado to ice 3 lines with some offensive abilities & give them 2 PP units. Last season they couldn’t ice 2 scoring lines. Their depth at both forward & D was brutal last season.

    Youth will be served, as Sakic said when he bought of Beauchemin which I feel was a mistake also, youth is being served. That usually isn’t very well received in the win loss column but they will score far more goals than last seasons 166 goals. I have them scoring 40 to 50 more goals next season.

    • Totally with you. Get a better team around him.

      • How? If you mean through the draft he’ll be 35 before that starts to show any positive effect. If through free agency – there isn’t much there to begin with and for any good ones that pop up he’s competing with around 29 other teams. If through trade – who does he trade? His stiffs won’t get anything in return.

  13. This is my thing to do, every time I hear Tavares to Toronto, I like to for fun say what about Price to Vancouver, he’s a BC boy I’m sure he would love to go home and be the king of the city and bring glory back to Vancouver. Or is it just the stars that want to go home to Toronto and area.

    • It still shocks me that so many Leafs fans and Media are so enamoured with signing a guy like Tavares. You would think after last season, the majority would be more bullish on their current offense and forward depth. Not to mention the cap problems they would eventually face when re-signing their three top rookies.

      I hope Tavares signs and 9 year extension 30 seconds after free agency opens just to put a stake in it, well at least for awhile until another Ontario native free agent is up, or somethings happens that starts even a whisper of a trade rumor.

      • Lol yes for the love of god! Please sign him gaff snow,so we can move on from such nonsense.And leaf fans that I know all say ya it would be great to add J.T.but no thanks! we need a dman(three)actually! so I hope leafs brass hide their phones til late August! Or until after silly day July 1st!and maybe pick from the bargain bin! Lol

      • Lol Danny the only problem is they are only allow to sign him 8yrs. But I think that’s your point.

      • Caper, I honestly just re-read my post and cannot remember if that was a typo or I was intentionally exaggerating haha. But it is my point. It will give us a break from Toronto Media speculation until Doughty goes into the final year of his deal.

      • Hunter,

        I like the bargain bin analogy. That is truthfully where the max value is year after year in free agency. I think Ben Smith will be the best value of the big UFA D, as I do think he will get some term and dollars.

        I really like Cody Franson for a low price, low risk add. Hugely underrated defensemen. Big flaws yes, but far better than he is perceived when compared to the $2M or less he will get on a 1-2 year deal.

        For D available via trade, I really like Demers. I honestly think he is one of the better D that was supposedly available. He flies under the radar, but honestly I think he is actually a little better all-round than some of the bigger names rumoured (Hamonic, Vatanen, Brodin), and Florida is in such a mess I think they will end up undervaluing him. They seem to be rejecting the analytics approach that lead to signing him in the first place, so I could see a team taking advantage of them over reacting to creating a culture change.

      • Who are all these Leaf fans? Where have you heard all these Leaf fans saying this?

    • Going “home” to play isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be for a lot of these athletes. There are so many more added distractions to a normal “work” day than you have if you’re playing 3,000 miles away from home. Between that kid you sat next to on the bus to school that one time in 2nd grade asking you for tickets or constantly being treated as the hometown savior – there seems to be rarely any time to yourself in these situations. It works for some, but not for all

      Anyone care to ask Jimmy Hayes what it’s like to play in your backyard?

    • Good point Caper, how about Mathews to Phoenix? Is it too early to start that conversation?

  14. Look for the Flyers to aggressively shop Claude Giroux. The organization and the fans have grown tired of his lack of production and leadership.

    • if thats the case then Montreal should be all over this. I imagine Giroux would be happy to play there, he spends his offseasons in Orleans or at least I’ve seen him around here playing ball in Fallingbrook

      • Orleans is a lot closer to Ottawa than it is Montreal! In fact, it’s part of Metro Ottawa. And don’t look now but there are more Francophones with the Sens than there are in Montreal.

    • Tired of “the best player in the world”, eh?

  15. I think Yakupov is a great fit for the bruins his speed would be a welcome addition and he would benefit from the veveteran presence i could see him playing with backes they could very well compliment each other speed via yakupov & backes grit maybe its just me but i see that working out

    • Also backes plays in front of the net yacupov has a good shot just fire the puck on net and let backes clean it up u get that going that could revive yacupov’s confidence who know’s it also may just get him putting more in bouns is the low cost and if gets close to what he was projected to be he could earn him self a contract just a thought i personally always liked him to much was asked in Edmonton during the rebuild most know that can set young players back. I believe he can still play just depends on where he goes. Vancouver would be all wrong for him other than wanting to play there beautiful place but he should be going somewhere to get to his full potential & i think he can just hope he choses wisely i’d like to see him succeed. Yacupov talk to boston call Sweeney

      • Chris, as a Bruins fan I hope that Sweeney hangs up unless Yak accepts a 2 way contract. Which he likely won’t as he has the KHL option available to him. Maybe I am wrong about that.
        Here is what I don’t get about the fans who think Yak deserves another chance, and they are here in EDM as well, the main reason Yak isn’t an NHL regular is because of Yak. Not the Oilers, not the Blues, not his coaches or line mates.
        He needs to prove he is an NHL player, it is not up to teams like the Bruins to boost his confidence, or try and find someone who can play with him. They are busy trying to win hockey games. Yak needs to prove he can play, or he won’t.

      • The reason he isn’t an NHL player is the Oilers and Oilers alone.
        He was rushed to the NHL just like they did with Sam Gagner and RNH. Not everyone is a McDavid and be NHL ready out of Juniors.
        McTavish was terrible. Chia is protecting Puljuuarvi and Draisaitl wasn’t rushed either.
        Oilers were an awful organization and fortunately for their fans the new management has turned it around.

      • Anything more than a PTO is too much in Boston. Too many promising young guys I’d much rather see get a shot to crack the NHL lineup

      • You and I disagree on that 100% Taz, and I’m getting on my soapbox. Sorry in advance!
        Was coming to the Oilers during that time the best case for Yak? No. But almost all first overall picks do play right away, and almost all of them are on a bad team or they would not have had the first overall pick. Yak got to play with good players, got PP time, and got 50 chances to improve. Even if a player is in a bad fit, a bad line, a coach he hates, he can still go out and play the right way within the team’s system. If he is able to.
        Even in the worst case scenario a player has team mates for support, playing the game he loves with an opportunity in front of him to live his dream.
        Even in the worst case scenario it is 80% player and 20% team.
        Blaming everyone around you instead of taking responsibility for your own performance is what whiners and losers do. And they never last in any profession. It is also not what Yak is doing and I bet if you asked him he would take responsibility for his own failures. He works hard, is a good guy, he just can’t or won’t do it.
        It’s on him just like it is on all of us.

  16. As a Leafs fan, I like the Leafs situation at forward. If they’re going to add a significant piece to the roster, a number 1 defenseman should be the target.

    • The Leafs need to add Bracco and a pick to get a #4 defenseman if they can’t land a #2. Bracco is at his highest value right now and there is no space at RW for the foreseeable future

  17. The comments that are negative about JT are inaccurate: while I agree that the Leafs should not give up their young players, presumably what they would give up is cash and long-term years and both those would limit future developments, perhaps. But JT is a first rate player and leader and he would give the leafs five years of excellence-he is a fitness guy, his skating game improves all the time and he has the overall sense and capacity to be the leader even if not the captain…in my view, the Leafs with Taveres and what they have now in the pipeline could be potent, assuming that one of their young d-men matures to be effective. On the Methot deal: he has been overrated and the price was the right one; secondly, stay away for Shattenkirk, let the Rangers hamstring themselves as they seem to do often by signing Thornton and Shattenkirk and then playing mediocre hockey..there is lots of eastern competition, without the Rangers getting better!