NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2017

by | Jun 28, 2017 | Rumors | 150 comments

Would a swap of Dustin Brown for Dion Phaneuf make sense for the LA Kings & Ottawa Senators?

Latest on Dion Phaneuf, Joe Thornton, Matt Duchene and more in your NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his latest “30 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman suggested one move that might make sense for the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators is swapping winger Dustin Brown for defenseman Dion Phaneuf. However, he’s unsure if Brown’s no-trade list allows him to go to Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t see how that works for the Senators. They need scoring and Brown’s best seasons are well in the past. Phaneuf carries a $7 million annual cap hit for four more seasons while Brown has five more years at $5.875 million annually left on his contract. The Sens could shed salary but the cap-strapped Kings would be add nearly $1.2 million to their payroll in this proposed swap. 

Potential suitors for San Jose Sharks pending UFA center Joe Thornton include “Columbus, Los Angeles, Montreal and the Rangers.” He can also see Toronto having interest but isn’t certain if they do. He also doubts Thornton would be keen to join Detroit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak at center. Unless they intend to part ways with one of them – and I don’t believe they are –  I don’t see Thornton being a fit there. 

Friedman thinks it’s possible Alex Galchenyuk remains with the Montreal Canadiens. Hasn’t been as much of a market for him as previously thought.

There’s an expectation Vancouver Canucks UFA goaltender Ryan Miller could sign a $1 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks, though Friedman isn’t sure if bonuses would be added to that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller’s possible departure could force the Canucks into the UFA market for a goaltender. The Province’s Jason Botchford lists Steve Mason, Chad Johnson, Brian Elliott, Jonathan Bernier and Mike Condon as possible replacement options available for the Canucks. 

The New York Rangers appear close to a deal with defenseman Brendan Smith. Same can’t be said for the Calgary Flames and Michael Stone. The Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets could have interest in Buffalo Sabres d-man Dmitry Kulikov. It could cost between $4-$4.5 million annually to sign Washington’s UFA d-man Karl Alzner. Some are curious to see if the Sabres make a big pitch for Kevin Shattenkirk, who might not be heading to the Rangers as originally assumed.

It could be Minnesota, Pittsburgh or retirement for veteran center Matt Cullen, though Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if the Sabres put in a call. They could also look at center Brian Boyle.

Friedman suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins as a “low-key possibility” trade destination for Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. He said the Penguins have circle around Duchene before and wonders if a pitch of defenseman Olli Maatta and more pieces might get a deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Phil Kessel trade two years ago was a clear indication that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn’t afraid to make a big move. But with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as the Penguins top-two centers, I don’t think Duchene’s a fit there. Yes, he can also play on the wing, but the Pens will be in need of possibly replacing third-line center Nick Bonino if he departs via free agency. I don’t see Duchene thriving in that role. Moving Maatta would also leave a hole on the Penguins’ blueline. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowen reports Andrei Markov seeks a two-year, $12 million contract from the Canadiens. Meanwhile, Pat Hickey reports Washington Capitals pending UFA blueliner Karl Alzner has interest in joining the Habs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Habs countering with one-year and $6 million. It’ll be interesting to see how the Markov situation pans out. Alzner could be a good replacement for the departed Alexei Emelin. 

THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports the Detroit Red Wings “have had conversations with the camps for defensemen Trevor Daley, Dan Girardi and Ron Hainsey. It’s expected they’ll also give strong consideration to defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.”

Scott Power reports the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets pending UFA forward Sam Gagner have mutual interest in each other. 

PHILLY.COM/WINNIPEG SUN: The Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets could turn to the free-agent market for goaltending depth. Options include Steve Mason and Brian Elliott. The Jets could also look at Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports the Boston Bruins were rumored to have interest in Arizona Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata at the March trade deadline. A source close to the 36-year-old Vrbata said the veteran winger could have interest in signing with the Bruins. He tallied 55 points on the sad-sack Coyotes last season. 

BOSTON HERALD/DETROIT FREE PRESS:  The Bruins and Red Wings reportedly spoke with Pittsburgh Penguins UFA defenseman Trevor Daley. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: J.J. Regan wonders if the Washington Capitals could attempt to shop goaltender Philipp Grubauer for a return to fill their holes on the blueline. He believes the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets definitely need a starting goaltender. He lists the Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings as possible destinations. He notes the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers also need help between the pipes but considers them unlikely trade partners. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Regan observers, if the Capitals shop Grubauer they should do it before the UFA market opens on July 1. Problem is, most of those teams lack sufficient blueline depth to bring the Caps a suitable defenseman. Sure, Jets defeseman Jacob Trouba came up over the past year in trade chatter but they obviously won’t move him for a package with Grubauer as the centerpiece. 



  1. I just was talking to some friends about Phaneuf coming to LA, but my swap was Gaborik for Phaneuf. Gaborik’s contract is $1M per season less and one year shorter.

    I think it makes sense. The Kings get the physical scoring defenseman they need and the Senators get a player who can still score if healthy while saving some cap space.

    • Click…….

    • Pass, I can think of better ways to spend $7 million than on a second pairing d man past his prime.

    • Better than Brown! But a deal for me if I am Ottawa. Why not keep Phaneuf? He hasn’t hurt them. I realize there may be some animosity now considering the NMC business, but they are all professional. So if he is on the team he will still contribute. As stated before I was happy as a Leafs fan to see him go, but I am equally impressed with his performance in Ottawa. NMC’s were part of a collective agreement signed by ownership and the PA. He cannot be faulted for not waiving it and showing he wanted to stay in Ottawa.

    • Islanders have Halak and Greiss so unless one is traded the Islanders have need for a Goalie

  2. I have a side question here. Nothing to do with today’s topic.
    Do you think the Senators would part with Thomas CHabot? if so, what would it cost. I would love to see him in Buffalo.

    • Two answers to the above questions: there is NO way Ottawa trades Phaneuf for stiffs like Brown or Gaborik. Not saying they wouldn’t trade him under any circumstances – just not for those two turkeys. And absolutely NO WAY they deal off Chabot to Buffalo – or anywhere else for that matter. To what end? Friedman had to have smoked something funny before formulating his “30 thoughts” and probably should have cut them down to 20 or so.

      • Please do my Kings a favour and keep phaneuf. It was a horrible contract in TO and even worse today. I remember you bashing it hard a few years ago, funny how that changed once he was traded to Ottawa

      • Your memory is select. Yes I “bashed” Phaneuf in TO – not for his play but rather the fact I never thought he was a Top 2 nor captain material. The “bashing” however was for the way the Leafs used him. Is he overpaid for what he does on ice? You bet. About $2 mil overpaid. But there is NO bashing for what he brought to the team in a second pairing role and he was a key element in their coming within a double OT goal of going to the finals.

        I suppose a lot of teams have what they now consider overpaid players, not the least of which are Kopitar at TEN MILLION with 7 years to go before he becomes a UFA, Brown at $5,875,000 with 6 years to go and Gaborik at $4,875,000 with another 5 years to go. Good luck with that combined $20 Mil albatross.

      • There is no way any team gives up anything better for an overrated and overpaid stiff like Phaneuf. His contract is toxic, Ottawa will have to eat most of unless they take a similar contract in return.

      • Phaneuf is overpaid by ~$2M/year as George said, but I wouldn’t even want Brown or Gaborik at half of their cap hits given the term remaining on both contracts. Phaneuf if a very useful 2nd pairing defenseman (solid 3) and people wouldn’t be complaining if he made $5M vs. $7M. Brown at just under $6M/year for 5 more years (not 4 like Phaneuf) is quite possibly the worst contract in the league other than maybe Nathan Horton, who can at least be put on LTIR. Gaborik at just under $5M/year for 4 more years isn’t much better.

      • I think he’s on crack. EF that is. I agree. Keep Phaneuf. Now way Chabot moves & taking back a Brown or Gaborik makes no sense nor fits with Ott’s MO. Phaneuf is a soft #2 Dman or really solid #3. Considering the money Ott saved dumping all that salary on Tor to take Phaneuf he provides solid value. His addition was as important as any in Ott making the playoffs this season. His acquisition solidified their top 4 D.

      • You all seem to forget the monies Ott shipped out to get Phaneuf. Tor ate a ton of cash over 2 years to facilitate this trade.

        Phaneuf after the savings of these deals in real dollars is paying Phaneuf 2 mil less per season, actually more than that. 4.6 to be precious. That’s the savings on Greening, Michalek & Cowen’s contracts taken on by Tor to jettison Phaneuf.

        Have defended Phaneuf endlessly. Almost all of you live in the now & don’t look at the big piucture. Phaneuf was paid market value in Dec of 2013 when he signed this 7 year deal facing UFA status 6 months later. The Canadian dollar was trading higher than the US & we were in a run away cap world.

        How convenient to turn a blind eye to these facts today. Phaneuf is a very good Dman. Does he have warts? absolutely who doesn’t. Is he a 7 mil Dman in today’s NHL? No but he didn’t cost Ott 7 mil per season but again 4.6 for the remainder of his term based on the salaries shipped out to acquire him.

      • Mackenzie made s good point. Ottawa is likely wanting to move phaneuf to free uo money to resign karlsson.

        Cleassem and chabot areclikely beleived by the Sens to have a great chance of making the line up and a free agent signing can be made to help shore up.

        Phaneuf is a good wnd pair D. I wouldnt say great. My only complaint on him beyond being probably 2.5 million dollars over paid is his foot speed.

        Yet he’d fit well on many other teams. Is cap hit would make him hard to move though. I think ottawa wont tetain money but may be willing to take back a bad contract with shorter term.

    • First round pick and a roster player? That’s what I would think.

    • This would be one of those scenarios where the player isn’t available, and there is no incentive to move him, as there is upside, cost certainty and control for the player. So the price to pry him out is not going to be his real value, it will have to be way more, and that price is probably not something Buffalo can afford to do. This is why we don’t often see teams target a player and then just go get them, it’s just too expensive, instead teams try and acquire a player who is known to be available, makes sense to be available, or dangle a coveted asset, and try and squeeze whatever they can from the team making the trade.

  3. Joe Thornton, a possible option for Montreal ?
    We haven’t heard that rumor at all in Mtl.
    Pacioretty would sure love to have a real playmaker on his line, but does Thornton can still can fill the first center role ?

    • Joe is not going to Montreal, he wants a cup!

  4. Joe Thornton with that beard wearing a Maple Leaf Jersey? Nah..Swing and a miss on that one Elliotte

    • You may not have to worry, reports out of LA are saying Thornton to LA is a very strong possibility.

      • I would be very surprised if Thornton doesn’t resign in SJ. Where does LA get the money to sign Thronton. Yes they will get some cap relief on Gaborik’s injury but his return isn’t supposed to drag much past opening day. They could always play the Robidas, Lupul, Hossa card & bury him on LTIR which no 1 seems to care about the NHL nor NHLPA.

      • Thornton to the Penguins they need a new third line centre. Imagine that PP with Thornton at the half wall passing to Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang. Would make it worth the slight pay cut he would be taking to have a real chance at a cup.

      • I know for a fact that Thornton loves the west coast – loves the beach. If he doesn’t stay in SJ he could go to LA but that would be it… I can’t see him coming back east…

  5. I once thought M.Stone was a lock for Calgary. His wife is from there and they have a young family. Maybe no discount and he wants too much salary/ term for the Flames budget. Ottawa or MTL could be a destination. I would put him in a similar class as Alzner and like I stated the other day $4m-$5m.

    • Or that with the acquisition of Hamonic his role will be diminished.

      • KevJam. Significantly. No top 4 spot left in Calgary unless a short term injury fill in.

        Silverscreen. Stone isn’t in Alzner’s class defensively but has way more offence. They won’t see similiar salaries. Stone will see at least a mil less, probably more & on a far shorter term.

  6. Duchense and what else for Maatta? No thanks.

    When I see people propose guys like him, Thornton, Sam Gagner, etc. to fill Bonino’s role, I really wonder what game they watch.

    I wouldn’t 100% rule out Duchense as he’s reportedly a friend of Sid’s, but…Kessel would be the guy who moved on if they did…and he’s clearly not a fit with the Avs. Not happening.

    • Other way around, Maata and what else for Duchene.

      • Click.

        $6 million for a tin man who scored 41 points last year. No thanks.

        I’ll keep my 22 year old top 4 D man who plays the #5 role and is signed long term.

        I wouldn’t trade Sheary even up for him.

        I’d give Sakic Tom Kuhnhackl and a second round pick if he eats half of Duchene’s deal. Best offer I’d make for that guy.

      • Why write a player off after a bad season. Colorado was a mess last year. No depth any where, making it easy to shut down the team. To the tune of 166 goals for. Duchene will bounce back to historical norms next season even in Colorado. 20 to 25 goals & 50 to 55 points.

        Colorado at a bare minimum will add 30 to 40 goals for next season, probably closer to 50. Help is coming. They will ice 3 semi competent lines. They couldn’t ice 2 last year.

    • Duchene for Matta and a 2nd is probably a realistic return. I doubt the Aves could do any better. Don’t get me wrong I love Duchene but young defensemen are hard to get and Duchene only has 2 years on his contract before he becomes a UFA and he carries a 6 mil cap hit and his production lately has been atrocious. Any buyers are buying past reputation and hope of rehabilitation. That doesn’t scream huge return to anyone.

      And Duchene as a third line centre with Kessel on his wing would be a pretty unbeatable 3rd line. Assuming Duchene can rebound. If this deal happens and Duchene returns to form the Pens will 4 peat. The Pens have already shown they can win with ragtag D. The loss of Matta won’t hurt them as much as the addition of a reinvigorated Duchene will help.

      I hate the Pens so I hope this deal doesn’t happen!

      • All Star teams never win…except the 2002 Wings.

        You need guys like Bonino to win…PK, faceoffs, blocking shots, winning tough puck battles, diving to make crucial clears. Duchene offers none of that.

      • I agree. Duchene does not bring what the Pens need unless he is replacing Kessel.

      • Pit isn’t trading Maatta.

      • Also, after two Stanley Cups let me submit that the Pen’s “ragtag” defense is seriously underrated.

        Letang is a stud #1. But even without him, Dumoulin and Schultz are legit #2’s. Cole, Maatta (and when here and healthy) Daley are all solid #3’s.

    • Matta for Duchene! Lol good lord!a little overvaluing Matta lol . besides he’s going to the islanders imo

      • No, Duchene is absurdly overvalued.

        41 points. For $6 million. For a guy who books his late April vacations in January and brags about them in the locker room full of guys who are actually trying to win.

        No thanks.

      • Duchene to the Islanders makes sense for the “keep John Tavares” plan – Hamonic was the supposed return but now who goes to Colorado – picks and prospects?

      • Maats isn’t getting duscjene that’s a video game trade! Unless Pitts is throwing in good picks as well

      • Again, I wouldn’t even offer Maatta.

        Kuhnhackl and a 2nd if they eat half his salary. Absolute best offer.

        That is what he is worth to me.

  7. Brown for Phaneuf? Did Friedman watch Phaneuf in the playoffs this year? Phaneuf played VERY well. This coming from a Leafs fan who was glad to see him go! The other question here is what if Bobby Ryan reverts back to his regular season form of last year. Do the Senators really want to have two forwards being paid that much contributing that little? I am not sure what Friedman is thinking here? Maybe his socks are on too tight and stopping the blood flow back up to the brain. He has impressive socks if you ever noticed on HNIC.

    • Exactly. Phaneuf is overpaid, but Friedman is on crack if he thinks that will happen.

    • If anybody needs an accurate portrayal of Phaneuf refer to George O’s post which was in response to Canadian King’s response to George’s original post which was a response to Marco and his wish to land Chabot in Buffalo!

      Bang on George O! Bang on!

  8. Ryan Rishaug tweeted this morning that MacDavid watch is on and he thinks Connor will get 8yrs at $13. At $104 Million would that be the NHL first $100 million dollar player contract? That would be slightly over 17% of the salary cap hit. Personally I think its to much to early. Interesting to watch. Sure way to handy cap yourself, just need to look at Chicago with Toews and Kane (all be it they have won 3 Stanley cups together). How much does Leon Draisaitl get, $4m on a 2yr bridge.

    • Awesome to watch Edmonton devour itself with huge contracts before getting to the next level. Toronto will be next.

    • As great as McDavid is, no one should take up $13M on the cap. Good luck filling out the rest of the team on that one. Plus, if it will cost that much now, why wouldn’t you do a 2 year bridge first and then give McDavid an 8 year deal so you have him through most to all of his prime? He would be a UFA before 30 if they gave him 8 years now.

      • Agree that $13M is too much for 1 player, but what Rishaug said yesterday on the radio was that if they want McDavid to sign for 8 years, that is what it would cost. McDavid’s agent is likely pushing for the 5 year deal, and then sign a massive contract either as a UFA, or with the threat of the UFA hanging over the Oilers head 1 year prior. If they agree on the 5 it will be for less than 13. If they want to buy 3 years of UFA, it will cost more.
        McDavid will not be signing a bridge deal, not happening nor will EDM even try. Either will Draisaitl.
        Rishaug also brought up an interesting scenario. They do McDavid first, and it is at $13M or close. Are they then exposed to a predatory offer sheet from a rival for Draisaitl at $9.5? I personally doubt it, but then what do you do if you are the Oilers?

      • I think we will see 30% on McDavid+Leon together.

    • Caper,

      Do you think a cap of $10,000,000 as your highest paid player would fix this? I agree with you that 17% on one player is ludicrous! Even if it is McDavid. How do you win with one player?

    • Caper, it will be interesting to see if Draisaitl accepts a bridge. I doubt it, but unlike McDaivid he didn’t take home both MVP awards after 1.5 years in the league.
      Even if it is a bridge I think it will be for more that 4M. I know he has no leverage other than future relations and sitting, but he is 21, big, 8 in league scoring, a beast in the playoffs, and has a work ethic and attitude that is second to none.
      The only way I see him accepting a bridge is if he thinks he will be worth $9M in in 2 years. Which if he keeps improving….. he is.
      Bottom line is if the Oilers give the 2 of them over $22M combined (which is being speculated here in EDM) they either win the cup next year or they will be waiting for the cap to go up in 3 or 4 years to compete again.

      • And with some economists predicting a .66 cent Canadian $ by the end of the year following the repercussions from the softwood lumber slap in the face and further erosion of NAFTA, I doubt we’ll see the cap going up to any extent in the foreseeable future. Rocky financial days ahead for the Canadian teams.

      • Ya, I’ve seen that as well George, but I’ve learned to trust many economic forecasters less and less. Without getting too political I have more optimism than that as we are a commodity based economy which is dependent of world economic growth, which is showing positive signs of improvement/growth. Oil being the wildcard and 2 years out for a jump, and it will be significant.
        My prediction – cap will have modest (2M) growth for next couple years, then more significant.

      • You’re way more optimistic than I am Ray. Let’s hope you’re right – but at the same time I think you and a lot of other should brace themselves for a significant worldwide recession along the lines of what hit during the Obama-Harper years. Just based on reading a wide variety of economic forecasts, several of which point to professional sports as among the hardest hit.

      • George, I assume you mean Bush – Harper. Obama just had to deal with it. All kinds of world events can turn the economy upside down, and there is definitely potential for that. The one thing I would bet a lot of money on before 2017 is over is the Dow Jones will correct down in a significant way as the latest bump is based on speculation that I don’t think will happen. China & India keep pushing forward.

    • The German Gretzky gets at least 9!if it’s long term,a bridge deal? 6mil

    • Caper, Did the Hawks win their cups before the 10.5 mil contracts kicked in?

      • They won their 3rd the first year those contracts kicked in.

    • I was off by a million!

  9. Girardi as a 3rd pairing D on a deep team making 1.5-2million is fine.

    Right handed defensemen seem to have become the new ‘left handed specialist relief pitcher’

  10. Demers for Brown (50% salary retained) and a 3rd?

  11. Another off topic comment. SprotsNet is reporting that the Leafs offered JVR and a first round pick for Hamonic but Snow decided to do the deal with Calgary. Did anyone else hear this? SprotsNet from what I find is not the most reliable source, other than Elliott Friedman.

    • They’re citing a two-day-old report by Newsday’s Arthur Staple, who is a very reliable source for Isles rumors.

    • After today’s half baked comments by Friedman KevJam I suggest you find a new favorite source.

      • Ya, that one doesn’t make much sense. As George said “probably should have cut it down to 20”, which is bang on. In Friedman’s defense it can’t be easy coming up with 30 interesting story lines that are actually somewhat original, logical and plausible at this time of year.

      • Oh Friedman is not my favourite. I am a TSN guy. So Bobby Mac, Dreger, and LeBrun are my guys, along with Mr. Richardson. Friedman is SportsNet most reliable reporter IMO.

      • Ya TSN is still the best with their team.

      • Most unfortunate TSN lost the NHL’s rights. They are the best in NA at what they do. Sportsnet is a joke. Not even in the same class but they seriously outbid TSN to get those rights.

    • Also heard that Snow offered Hamonic and a 2018 1st for Duchene and Sakic said no. If he thinks he’s getting a better offer than that…good luck.

      • If he truly turned down that offer he should be sacked immediately.

      • I agree George.

      • So if Sakic could of had Harmonic and a 1st?,then flip Harmonic to calgary for the same deal?1st 2nds not to bad!doesn’t help them now,but their not making the playoffs and with next years draft, Dahlin being at the top of the list currently,and apparently a deep draft? Three 1st rounders would of been a nice addition!

    • What I have heard most since, reported by Dreger, McKenzie and LeBrun was that the Leafs discussed packages involving JVR or a 1st, but when the Isles asked for both, that’s when the deal started to fall apart. LeBrun (I beleive it was LeBrun who stated this), even went so far as to state that he got confirmation that JVR and a 1st was not offered.

      This makes a little more sense to me personally, as I am not sure the Leafs would be offering that much, and I am not convinced Snow would turn it down had he been offered that.

      The Leafs 1st is a little more valuable than Calgary’s, as I believe the Leafs are more vulnerable to fall back out of the playoffs, and if the Islanders are wanting another winger, I don’t imagine they are finding a better one that JVR, or that they value two 2nds higher than JVR given his cap hit and consistency.

      • Totally agree with you on the first part of your post! But if the leafs were offering their 1st+,the 1st would of been lottery protected!,and carried to 2018 they been down that road before one to many times lol,see (kurvers and Kessel) trades!lol

    • No wrong!at least the 1st was never on the table from the leafs perspective! But that’s what possibly killed the deal,funny thing tho,garth won’t be around to see those picks in islanders sweaters!and not sure how those picks help them get in now? Sure he could flip them!but Colorado not just taking picks!so now it’s a 1st, player,prospect+possibly? With dmen at a premium!you would think that garth would of wanted a player who could come in now and help coming back?If the islanders don’t make the playoffs! Then you can say goodbye to garth snow andJ.T.too!

    • Didn’t happen!nothing to see here! Silly rumor! Leafs were interested but they did not offer that!

  12. Sakic is just waiting for July 1 to see what teams miss out on ufas and circle back to Sakic on a Duchene deal. I’d say Maatta,1 Rd, Hornquist. Then the Avs can get another 1rd pick for Hornquist come trade deadline day next season.

    • Maatta, Hornqvist and a first for just Duchene?!?!? No! Then again look what the old man paid for that piece of garbage Reeves. Maybe it will be that. Seems like a lot though.

  13. Anybody know if the NHL salary cap will go up alot next year because of LVK paying $500 million.. so does that count as hockey related revenue or do the owners split that money

    Any ideas????

    • the $500M is not considered hockey related revenue in the current CBA. That may change in the next one, which will be too late and likely after the next expansion team is added.

      • When Quebec gets back in!

      • That would make me happy! the more in Canada the better.

    • It goes into owners pockets! And with the Canadian dollar projected to be floating around the same the cap will remain the same!

  14. Duschene would look great on the pens. But they can’t move a d man unless its for another d man. no depth in that area. Duschene as a winger/center would help with center depth as we know Crosby/malkin will miss at least 20+ games combined, and winger depth. I’d move some good pieces for Dusch but not a d man. You could offer up a sprong, pouliot, 1st rounder for him and I bet Sakic says no… plus they would have to take a hags to make salary work for pens. Don’t see it. GMJR has surprised us before with big moves though.

    • Sprong, Pouliot and a first?? Are you crazy? For Duchene? In 3 years Sprong will be a 30 goal scorer. Definitely would mutiny if that happened. We can just sign Thornton and only lose money. At least he can play defence and take important face offs. I think our trade partner is LV. If we could get 2 of Schmidt, Miller, and Merril then we would be rolling.

      • Pens window is now. Don’t really care about 30 goals in three years. How about 30 goals now. Rumors flying it’s maatta sprong 1st on table. Value is ok but pens can’t lose a d unless they have a plan.

  15. How close do people think LA is to needing a full on re-build?

    I don’t think there is a good way to move on from Gaborik or Brown’s contract. They are just way too bad, and the asset it would cost to trade them away makes it prohibitive.

    They are good defensively but don’t score enough. It’s been shown over and over again that its very difficult to acquire top end scoring talent through signings, and LA doesn’t have a good cap situation to do so even if someone was available. If they struggle again next year, would Doughty re-sign before going into his UFA year? I feel like he wouldn’t, and the speculation will drive down his value relative to what it is now. Also, 2 years from now Kopitar, Carter and Quick’s contracts will either be too hard to move, or just return much less value as you are using up more of the useful years left.

    To me it seems like it might make sense to get max value for Doughty, Kopitar and Carter now, while teams are still trying to make big changes. I know it’s hard to want to do a teardown, but with the ages, terms and dollars of their contracts, two years of futility would make a re-build a long and very painful process if some players aren’t moved before then.

    • Those albatross contracts and the resulting fall-out in the standings are what cost Lombardi his job. We’ll soon see how Rob Blake differs from the point of view of making pro-active changes/trades. Not sure that the rumour he wants to bring in his old – and the emphasis is on old – buddy Thornton is the right way to start things off.

      • I believe that the same will be said for Dorion! Not protecting Karlssons best friend!plus bad contracts! Ryan,Phaneuf,Karlsson will be gone along with his 10mil dollar contract!

      • George, it could be that Blake is giving the current roster one more kick at the can before starting the re-build. In that case, Thornton makes a lot of sense.

      • Hunter: What was Dorion supposed to do? Leave Ceci unprotected instead of Methot? Ceci is only 23 and could be a solid 2/3 defenceman for the next 10 years. The only other move he could have made was protecting 4F and 4D, but that was problematic too because they’d lose a guy like Brassard, Smith or Claesson, which could be worse long term given Ottawa’s defensive depth.

        Not saying it is impossible, but I’d be surprised if Karlsson left in two years because all indications are he loves being in Ottawa and the Sens are carefully handling the cap now to keep him long term. Why would he leave when they came within a goal of making the Cup final? If you think the fans hate Melnyk now, imagine if he let Karlsson leave!

      • I think the thing LA needs to consider, and take a real hard honest look at, is what does trying for another year cost?

        Kopitar is still valuable, but that contract is going to make him a negative value at some point. So his worth is tied to the number of years of value a team feels like they will get, so every year that LA uses up, drives the value down.

        Doughty’s value is pretty much at a peak, but a year from now it will be less, and he could put them in a tough spot if he gets to a year remaining and it becomes obvious he doesn’t plan to re-sign.

        Carter’s contract is a good value right now, but again, with the term left, every year that passes is a gamble, as the term and age become an anchor if Carter gives teams some hint of decline.

        The fact that they are spending 15% of the cap on guys who could be cut from some teams forward group is just a nightmare. It’s hard to build a contending team with that scenario. So LA has to decide if they can be a winner again if they pay the price to move on from those contracts (assuming they even can). If they pay the price, and still aren’t able to fill holes quickly, they have other ticking time bomb contracts, and starting a re-build after paying a huge price to shed cap space a year or two later, is a terrible situation to be in as well.

        I see it as a pretty big gamble. Normally I am an advocate of a team that has elite players re-tooling, but the cap mismangement and age of the core players makes that insanely difficult in LAs situation, and I don’t think their current roster is very close to being a contender anymore.

    • I think LA might be further from winning than any team in the NHL. They needed to start the rebuild already, but instead they will likely add and take another shot, maybe even two, before beginning the rebuild and by then, their players will have little value.

      They’ll be what the Philadelphia Phillies were two years ago. 3 years too late.

      *I did like their top two picks last week. If they both pan out, that could accelerate things if they could move some bad contracts.

      • Interesting thoughts but I have to disagree, that their thr farthest team?And retool might be a better word!but in saying that your spot on in their contact situation! Only Vegas and possibly Arizona could have an answer for that mess! And it will cost if so!

      • Dorion didn’t dole out the bad contracts – he inherited them. Why should he suffer any later consequences?

  16. The Leaf watch is Traveres, Seguin and Doughty over the next few years. Personally only Doughty is of interest but let the rumours fly.

    They should talk to the Sens about Phaneuf if they keep 2 million in salary? That is about right for the cap hit and he is exactly what they need. I know they wouldn’t do it but that is exactly what they need.

    I think they should go after Dumba, one of the young guys from Florida, Miller, Manson, or just sign Polack for two years and let everyone develop. Lou is right not to over pay.

    • Lamoriello, when faced with the prospect of signing a UFA – or trading for a Top 4 D – has to keep in mind the relatively flat cap. It only goes up $2 mil this year and that is already lost to buy-out costs for Kessel ($1,200,000 every year to 2021-22), Gleason ($1.333,333 this year) and Cowen ($750,000 this year) – for a total of $3,283,333 this year that he can’t use.

      He also has to decide on what to offer his UFAs Boyle, Hunnwick, Polak and MacElhinney IF he wants to keep any. If not MacElhinney, then he has to spend something on a back-up goalie Babcock can trust. Then there are histwo RFAs – Brown and Hyman – what will they cost to sign? But whatever he does, always in the back of his mind is the list of RFAs next year – Nylander, Soshnikov, Leivo, Marchenko, Marincin & Carrick, followed in 2019-20 by the two biggies – Matthews and Marner.

      • Leafs are fine!after getting rid of 6mil in Kessel,the trade that keeps giving! directly or indirectly! Matthews,kappy, Andersen,Rychel then they got rid of Phaneuf,and Clarkson!And then Robi got is own island named after him!he was so happy,he invited Lupul! Contracts!..the leafs have it figured out!

      • They have approximately 20mil once the season starts with thanks to Horton and lupul! minus the Hyman,Brown signings,backup goaltender and so on,half of those RFAs won’t be returning imo,and other players won’t be here either,Bozak jvr and uncle Lou!

      • Many may well be gone down the line – but you have to have somebody to replace them. You think they possess a magic wand and that everything they touch or draft will be a star?

      • at least we don’t have to pay karlson 10 million

      • That’s 2 years away – lots can happen between then and now. In the meantime, you’d be dribbling in your pants at the thought of having Karlsson.

    • Doughty won’t be with the leafs! He said in an interview,in so many words that he couldn’t handle the presure! Lol,and don’t need J.T.or Seguin,Would be great! Just not at 10mil! And centremen are not the leafs concern! dmen please! Like 2/3lol

    • Seguin will resign in Dallas. They have planned for this with their cap space. He loves it there and they’ll be contenders. Leafs already have their centers.

      Only way I can see him leave is that he absolutely hates Hitch. By all accounts Tyler is looking forward to more responsibility not to mention he’s best friends with Benn.

      • Nice post,well said! I agree!

    • No thanks to Doughty tugboat. He already stated he does not want the pressure of being in Toronto. If he doesn’t want to be there then why bother! And yes I realize he said he understands why free agents don’t want to go there. That means he is telling everybody to understand why he won’t either when the time comes. All of this free agent crap in Toronto is media driven anyway. Stick to the Shanaplan!

      • Agreed! The media needs something to talk about! And with July 1st around the corner,and most big trades completed,a weak class of free agents! Their(sports net and tsn) July 1st tv shows will be so boring! Lol

      • It`s got nothing to do with the pressure. Dought`s won his cups, now he wants to have a life away from the rink. L.A. or some other non hockey city will overpay him and he`ll be happy not being noticed by anyone

  17. I’m starting to think EF has lost it, in fact he may never have had it. Phaneuf for Brown? What possible motivation could Ott have for making that swap?

    • None!unless their finding out what the leafs did!.. Unfortunately after that Albatross of a contract,they gave him!

      • The Sens made the playoffs with him – and damned near went to the finals. The Leafs surrounded him with slugs and so went nowhere. As Babcock said after the trade -= Dion is ready to win now – we aren’t.”

      • suck it up phanuef that’s what ottawa used to say wave the wand and he was gone

      • Morons chanted a lot of things – in all cities – they still do. But those same morons would be lining up to kiss the butts at centre ice of many of those players should they suddenly appear on THEIR Team. Twas ever thus.

  18. I’m not giving the 38 year old Markov, 39 in Dec 6 mil even for 1 season.

    • Bergy will! At least 5.5? But depending on the market! It’s crazy week, and hopefully the leafs brass will hide their phones til late August! And rummage though the bargain bin! (more pain please!)lol

  19. I’m not paying any player more than the 8.7 mil per Crosby has left for 8 more years. I just point at him & say are you better than him?

    I also use the leverage the CBA provides me. All players get bridged, I’m not making a player a UFA at 27 or 28 unless I don’t see them as still top end players at that age. I’m having them play out their ELC’s, bridging them for 2 or 3 years depending upon being a forward or D, then I lock them up long term.

    If they don’t like it they can hold out & capitulate eventually. Coming out of their bridge deals with a year remaining if they won’t sign the long term deal I trade them.

    Can you do this with McDavid? I try to find some form of compromise but I use the leverage the CBA gives me, that being he is my property for 7 years. I don’t let him get close to that UFA window & arbitration is a serious factor coming out of a bridge deal. See Trouba. He plays out his current bridge elects arbitration next summer & can choose a 2 year award making him a UFA after his 7 years.

    This all needs to be accounted for, the dreaded business side of hockey. Use the leverage well you have it.

    • Couldn’t agree more Striker.

    • I agree, I wouldn’t pay a big premium to buy those UFA years now, if the price is as advertised. The report is indicating that the AAV could be quite a bit lower on a 5 year deal. I know people worry a lot about losing a few years control, but control of your cap is just as important.

      I don’t advocate for always doing a bridge deal, but I do advocate for using all the tools and options available to maximize value, which is sometimes a bridge and sometimes a longer term, but in anycase, it’s what is best for your cap.

      With McDavid, I think you pick whatever term gives you the lowest AAV, if that is 5 years, then so be it. McDavid’s AAV sets a cap for your team, and essentially througout the league. I would also use Crosby’s contract, although not the dollars, but cap percentage as a ceiling.

      The loss of control might be scary, but 5 years with a 2-3 million extra under the cap increases McDavid’s value, and gives Edmonton time to put together a real contender. If Edmonton spins it’s wheels for 4 years, they have more flexibility to make decisions for their franchise. If they win or come close, they become an appealing destination to stay. Either way, I only add term on a contract if it likely lowers the total AAV during the controllable years. I don’t think it makes sense for a GM to pay a higher AAV to add years, especially when it’s near the cap any player can make in a league where the cap hasn’t been increasing like it used to.

    • I get what you are saying about Crosby Striker, and I wish that was the case, but his agent simply points to Ovechkin, Kopitar, Toews, Kane, Malkin etc and say how much better will McDavid be than them over the next 5-8 years? Who would you rather have for the next 5 years?
      Those are the years you are paying for. Every player knows that the top salary will go up almost every year.
      I guess it all depends on the stance that McDavid and his agent take. If they play hardball, you return the favor, but I have a hard time believing that is the preferred route for either one. They want McDavid for the next 15 years assuming he stays healthy. If you lose him in 5 as soon as he can become a UFA, it is a major fail for the organization.
      McDavid’s agent knows his value, and while he only has one real comparable on the ice he has plenty of contracts to compare to. It is a business but these are people too. With emotions.

      • I hear you Raybark. I get it but it will doom Edm’s future. Pittsburgh got Crosby signed in the old cap world, his 12 year deal allowed Pit to achieve what they are achieving today. Same for Chi with Keith & Hossa. This opportunity is a reason those cap hits allowed the flexibility to ice the rosters they have.

        That opportunity is gone for ever & I assume in the next CBA several other these other odd contractual issues will be streamlined yet again.

        I get what McDavid’s agent is trying to sell. Crosby’s % of the total cap hit at point of signing compared to McDavid’s. I’m just not buying it. I use the leverage I have & start to implement some form of fiscal sanity to the process.

        The players don’t like escrow but even at this lower % of an increase will lose monies in escrow just not quite as significant. They keep exceeding their 50% of league revenue & these big contracts are a significant reason as their inflationary. Everyone else that thinks themselves as close to McDavid will want similiar monies.

      • We agree on the fact it will hamper EDM after this year, 100%. For a few years at least until the cap moves up (how many I have no idea). I think where we disagree, in this specific McDavid instance, is the amount of leverage. McDavid has plenty. They are – he leaves in 5 yrs, he sits out, nasty fan reaction right when their is optimism after a decade of suck, merchandise sales that are huge. 2 out 3 jerseys in Rogers has McDavid’s name on the back. He makes the Oilers more money than he makes off of them.
        Would the Oilers be better in 5 years with or without McDavid even at $13.2M?
        I agree with your theory, but the exceptions to it are guys like McDavid. They have more leverage than the team.
        Perhaps the income inequality will become an issue for the NHLPA? A cap on the highest salary as a % of the overall team cap #? It mirrors society. Perhaps the need to feel the Bern!

    • Crosby signed before the Bowman got nuts and signed kane and John,(3 cups can’t complain!) it had a ripple affect and the next thing LA signs Kopitar!All 10mil! So if mcdavids agent asks for 14mil what ever he wants he’ll get!and if it’s an 8 year deal then I believe hell get 14mil and they won’t piss mcdavid off! And the notion that it will sacrifice other players? That’s their problem!see (Lucic,Russell) Lol,and speaking of which, The German Gretzky will then want 10mil!

    • Mcdavids agent holds all the cards period! IF mcdavids agent wants 8 years 14mil he gets it! and I’m sure he’ll want 8 years,If they lowball and then try to bridge? Ebbs got 6,so 9mil would be the lowest you would think?And do they want to possibly piss him off? with a bridge deal? I know that Edmonton will get it done and 8 years of mcdavid to enjoy! a great Toronto boy!…sorry couldn’t resist!lol But then the money questions go the the other ONE!

      • Sorry guys I’ve repeated myself! In regards to mcdavid!lol very interesting and knowledgeable posts! aside from mine!lol Enjoy your day guys!

    • Crosbys deal is irrelevant striker. 1. Cap goes up every year thus percent of money to players goes up. 2. Free market says pay me or I’ll take my services to someone else. Rfa blocks some of that but not for superstars offer sheets still optional. Name one team that wouldn’t trade 4 1sts for mcdavid.

  20. It is clearly silly season and I cannot wait for real hockey..the summer is the time for lack of clarity. Please, Leafs, stay away form Alzner…and stay with the overall plan and away for dumb FA deals…Thornton not a fit, maybe Marleau on a two yea deal” He could play third line, help youngsters, can still skate, score and lead…my guess is Leafs have some faith in their younger players still in Marlie land……and they will fill roster from there. Maybe the newly signed Swedes are ready? Carl Grundstrom might be next year, good checker, some grit…

    • Alzner would be a perfect fit for the leafs, not unlike a lot of NHL players they want to stay as far away from Toronto as they can

      • Very true Bear,some guys play great else where then come to the leafs and suck!lol they can’t handle the presure! Doughty said it himself, They talk amongst them selfs and know that their’s dozens of reporter’s,at every game! and in most cities you have a couple of beat writers! And in the states it ends up on page ten?behind football, baseball, basketball,boxing golf,racecar,tennis,wrestling,bowling and fishing!

      • So true lol

    • Nice post Jon,and have you seen the Rosen and Borgman highlight videos? Swedish fans very disappointed to see them go,scouts saying that Rosen has elite skating and great vision,Babcock loves these guys! He personally called Rosen during his season and gave him advice on his game,and once becoming a free agent,Rosen didn’t forget!And Borgman won rookie of the year, plays a north American style game,like to hit, and has a howitzer of a shot! But who knows what they might turn out to be?and might not see them this year in the nhl?,but a hellva coup adding these two for nothing!

  21. A couple of very surprising moves this summer, specifically Chicago but otherwise anticlimactic yet again.

    Nor do I like what Vegas did. They made 20 of my 30 selections but it’s the 10 they didn’t make that make their roster significantly different. Nor do I understand why Vegas didn’t have deals in place for selections they wanted to move prior. It’s not like they didn’t have time & if I didn’t I would have selected someone else in most cases.

    Having to give Methot away for nothing makes little sense to me. This is the worst team in the NHL next season by a mile. It could have been far more competitive, still gotten a ton of picks & set it’s self up for the same strategy down the road.

    When they lose the lottery, year after year & don’t pick as high as hoped those picks won’t justify the strategy.

    • I’d say they are better off not listening to you! Ha-ha

      • Ha-ha! I don’t think they are either nor give a rats ass what I think but I have those thoughts regardless & Lyle is kind enough to give us a forum to share them.

      • Yes Lyle does! And on a quality site! thank you Lyle! Always nice too see your thoughts!

    • I think the thing that is most puzzling is the inconsistency. There did not seem to be a set price. It blows my mind that they got more from Anaheim with a pre-arranged deal than they got from Minnesota without one. Actually, it’s their pre-arranged deals where it seems like they got the most value, and the deals where they owned the asset or had the leverage were the ones that were the most lacking.

    • They only took 20 of your 30 picks? Hmmmmm. I’m shocked they didn’t take your consulting more seriously. Heads should roll!

      • Ha-ha!

        Heads will role, just in about 4 or 5 years. By the time Vegas is actually competitive McPhee & Gallant will be long gone.

        Most of these picks won’t become anything, some will but not all. More not than will.

        Can McPhee best the odds, maybe but I don’t hold out much hope of that happening.

        How quickly does Vegas become a playoff team? Cup contender?

      • I thunked Vegas did good at the draft forcing teams to play ball with them by not asking for crazy returns…. after though I’m surprised. The schlemko deal the methot deal… odd returns in both value and year

    • Vegas made 22 of my picks,and I knew on the others George would mess up!in saying that tho he did do great in the first round at the draft imho

  22. Oilers near future changes if Draisaitl gets an offer sheet.

    • Won’t happen I doubt very much? But if calgary could that would be hilarious! And a smart move it might add!screw with your provincial rivals! Lol

      • Say McD signs for 12 million and Leon for 10.
        They are fine for this years cap but next season they are 6-7 million over the cap BEFORE raises for any other UFA/RFA.

        COMPLETELY OFFTOPic but what voter gave Tavares a 1st place vote for the Selke and who gave a 1st place to McDavid? their mothers?

      • I mentioned earlier that it would be hilarious if calgary offersheet Draisaitl? Well I heard that a rival team is contemplating doing just that! With calgarys core locked up,wonder who that could be? Lol

  23. Just heard that Mike Condon has signed a 3-year 7.2 mil contract. Now for Stalberg.

    • I really wanted Condon, but Pens couldn’t pay him that much. Nice deal for Ottawa.

      The list of UFA goalies looks really ugly now.

      So ugly that I’m actually intrigued by Antti Niemi (if he’d play for the minimum).

    • Stalbergs a nice peice to have!size, decent speed and can play up and down the wing hopefully they can get him on a decent contract!

  24. So early today I mentioned that if mcdavid (Actually a couple of times!lol)wanted 14mil he’ll get it!and apparently a 13to13.5? depending on who’s take you listen too? Is about to be signed! ( And No I don’t want a cookie!)but want does this mean for the rest or the elites? I think Draisaitl, Matthews and Eichels agents are going to be sending mcdavids agent a thankyou note! 10to12?mil maybe coming up?

    • Draisaitl offersheet possibly coming! And if Edmonton doesn’t match? Then five 1st to Edmonton! Hopefully nuge has a great offseason if this happens!.. Who knows? But if it does happen the war of Alberta is about to get awesome!

  25. I love it when teams get out from under one bad deal only to get into another one.

    How long until the Brendan Smith buyout?

    • Rangers do not need Smith, Staal and Holden. They should only be dressing 2 of those 3. I prefer Smith over the others…Holden has the most offensive upside but he has brain freezes. Staal shows flashes of the 6’4″ shutdown D he used to be before the injuries.
      Smith should be getting 3.5 max

      They will could also Shattenkirk so what is the point of getting DeAngelo?


      Klein goes to Europe and DeAngelo 7th D.

      • A buyout? Why are they buying out Smith exactly? Oh , that’s right…. pens fan! He doesn’t put up Letang (Iron man) numbers… therefore he must be terrible! Lol

        What are their options? Girardi gone, Klein is retiring…. maybe Shattenkirk go 7xs 7? Alzner for 6+?